Piers-Morgan-cnn-debut-007-300x180Just once, I’d like to see a TV interview go more like this:

Host: You are a Christian pastor, and you say you believe the Bible, which means you are supposed to love all people.

Pastor: That’s right.

Host: But it appears to me that you and your church take a rather unloving position when it comes to gay people. Are homosexuals welcome to come to your church?

Pastor: Of course. We believe that the gospel is a message relevant for every person on the planet, and we want everyone to hear the gospel and find salvation in Jesus Christ. So at our church, our arms are outstretched to people from every background, every race, every ethnicity and culture. We’re a place for all kinds of sinners and people with all kinds of problems.

Host: But you said there, “We’re a place for sinners.” So you do believe that homosexuality is sinful, right?

Pastor: Yes, I do.

Host: So how do you reconcile the command to love all people with a position on homosexuality that some would say is radically intolerant?

Pastor: (smiling) If you think my position on homosexuality is radical, just wait until you hear what else I believe! I believe that a teenage guy and girl who have sex in the backseat of a pick-up are sinning. The unmarried heterosexual couple living down the street from me is sinning. In fact, any sexual activity that takes place outside of the marriage covenant between a husband and wife is sinful. What’s more, Jesus takes this sexual ethic a step further and goes to the heart of the matter. That means that any time I even lust after someone else, I am sinning. Jesus’ radical view of sexuality shows all of us up as sexual sinners, and that’s why He came to die. Jesus died to save lustful, homo- and heterosexual sinners and transform our hearts and minds and behavior. Because He died for me, I owe Him my all. And as a follower of Jesus, I’m bound to what He says about sex and morality.

Host: But Jesus didn’t condemn homosexuality outright, did He?

Pastor: He didn’t have to. He went to the heart issue and intensified the commands against immoral behavior in the Old Testament. So Jesus doesn’t just condemn adultery, for example, as does one of the Ten Commandments. Jesus condemns even the lust that leads to adultery, all with the purpose of offering us transformed hearts that begin beating in step with His radical demands.

Host: You say he condemned adultery, but he chose not to condemn the woman caught in adultery.

Pastor: That’s right, but He did tell her to “go and sin no more.”

Host: But who are you to condemn someone who doesn’t line up with your personal beliefs about sexuality?

Pastor: Who am I? No one. It’s not all that important what I think about these things. This conversation about homosexuality isn’t really about my personal beliefs. They’re about Jesus and what He says. I have no right to condemn or judge the world. That right belongs to Jesus. My hope is to follow Him faithfully. That means that whatever He says in regard to sexual practices is what I believe to be true, loving, and ultimately best for human flourishing – even when it seems out of step with the whims of contemporary culture.

Host: But you are judging. You are telling all the gay people watching this broadcast that they are sinners.

Pastor: I’m not singling out gay people. I’m pointing to Jesus as the answer to all sexual sinfulness.

Host: But you are referring to gay people. Why are you so focused on homosexuality?

Pastor: (smiling) With all due respect, you are the one who brought up this subject.

Host: Are you saying that you can’t be gay and Christian?

Pastor: No. I’m saying that you can’t be a genuine Christian without repentance. Everyone – including me – is guilty of sin, but Christianity hinges on repentance. We agree with God about our sin, and we turn from it and turn toward Jesus. When it comes to Christianity, this debate is not about homosexuality versus other sins. It’s about whether or not repentance is integral to the Christian life.

Host: But do you see why a homosexual watching this might think you are attacking them personally? You’re saying that something is wrong with them.

Pastor: I think Jesus’ teaching on sexuality shows us that there is something wrong with all of us – something that can only be fixed by what Jesus did for us on the cross and in His resurrection. That said, I understand why people might think I am attacking them personally. Most people with same-sex desires believe they were born with these tendencies. That’s why they often see their attraction as going to the very core of who they are, and so they identify themselves with the “gay” label. So whenever someone questions their behavior or desires, they take it as an attack on the very core of their being. That’s usually not the intent of the person who disagrees with homosexual behavior. But that’s the way it is perceived. I understand that.

Host: If it’s true that a person is born with one sexual orientation or another, then how can it possibly be loving to condemn one person’s orientation?

Pastor: Well, we really don’t know for certain about sexual attraction being innate and set from birth. All we have is the testimony of people who say that they’ve experienced same-sex desires since childhood. Christianity teaches that all people are born with a bent toward sin. It’s possible that some people will have a propensity toward alcohol abuse or angry outbursts, while others may have a propensity toward other sins. Regardless, Christians believe people are more than their sexual urges. We believe that human dignity is diminished whenever we define ourselves by sexual urges and behaviors. Consider this: married men are sometimes attracted to multiple women who are not their wives. Does this mean they should self-identify as polygamists? Not at all. And surely you wouldn’t consider it hateful for Christians to encourage married men not to act on their desires in an effort to remain faithful to their spouses. It is the Christian way, after all.

Host: No, but it still seems like you are telling people not to be true to who they are.

Pastor: It only seems that way because you believe sexual desire reflects the core of one’s identity. It would help if you and others who agree with you would understand that in your putting pressure on me to accept homosexual behavior as normal and virtuous, you are going to the very core of my identity as a follower of Jesus. The label most important to me is “Christian.” My identity – in Christ – is central to who I am. So I could say the same thing and call you intolerant, bigoted, and hateful for trying to change a conviction that goes to the core of who I am as a Christian. I don’t say that because I don’t believe that’s your intention. But neither should you think it’s my intention to attack a homosexual person or cause them harm merely because I disagree.

Host: But the problem is, your position fosters hate and encourages bullying.

Pastor: I recognize that some people have mistreated gays and lesbians in the past. It’s a shame that anyone anywhere would mock, taunt, or bully another human being made in God’s image. That said, I think we need to make one thing clear in regard to civil discourse: To differ is not to hate. I hope we can still have a real conversation in this country about different points of view without casting one another in the worst possible light. The idea that disagreeing with homosexual behavior necessarily results in harm to gay people is designed to shut down conversation and immediately rule one point of view (in this case, the Christian one) out of bounds. As a Christian, I am to love my neighbor and seek his good, even when I don’t see eye to eye with my neighbor. Furthermore, the picture of Christ on the cross dying for His enemies necessarily affects the way I think about this and other issues.

Print Friendly
View Comments

Comments:


559 thoughts on “How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go”

  1. Thank you so much. I would so much love also to see a TV interview go more like that.

    May God bless you and lets keep praying and hoping. If God grants, we would see a TV interview or debate that will go that.

    Maranatha,
    Prayson

    1. Sally S. says:

      I think it did go exactly like that. But people didn’t listen to it.

  2. Frank Turk says:

    This would be good.

    I think that’s a better still.

    More on that another time.

  3. Greg Judy says:

    Very good Trevin. Unfortunately, you will probably never see an interview go like this. Even if the pastor was saying these things, I think he would be rudely interupted by the host, so as not to get his point across.

  4. Joshua Butcher says:

    Another question that would probably come up:

    “So if adultery is the sexual problem we all face, as you say, do you think it is wrong for a monogamous homosexual couple to marry and remain faithful to each other, and if so why?”

    1. Tom says:

      Because the Bible clearly states two things on this matter: 1) a marriage is b/w a man & a woman, and 2) men are not to have sex with other men and, depending on which translation you read, the New Testament also says women are not to have sex with other women. Regardless of whether you agree with #2, since #1 is painfully obvious a marriage b/w same sex couples would not be valid in the eyes of God, so they would be “fornicators” and still be living a life of sin!

      1. Jon says:

        Sorry Charlie, the bible says nothing about marriage btw one man and one woman. I hope people remember one day that it is not for us to judge but for God.

        1. KC says:

          You are correct in that it is not for us to judge but God. The Bible states that a man should leave his parents and cling to his wife (not wife or husband). Also that man should not lie with another man. If you want to twist it to your own desirous nature than you are free to do so. That is the beauty of our loving God and Creator. He gives us a choice. Of course there are consequences to all our choices. If you want to look to the Bible as a guide to having a closer relationship to God that is commendable but so often people try to use it as a means to see how much they can get away with and still be considered a Christian. God speed!

        2. Frank says:

          Jon read Matthew 19, specifically 19:4. Jesus’ FIRST WORDS about a question on divorce are “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?” He very clearly show that marriage is between a male and a female

          1. Matt says:

            Matthew 19:4 refers to Genesis 2:24. The Adam and Eve story is a true and poetic representation of the beginning of time: http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/Genesis_texts.html
            and it seems to describe marriage and how it came to be the way it marriage was in the time of the Bible when the “identity” of being “gay” did not exist. Pederasty was very likely the closest thing, but that was a part of the culture and it was not an identity. The descriptions of marriage as between a and a wife in Matthew and Genesis were not meant to be an exclusion of God-centered same-sex relationships (which I believe might exist today), because that was not even a concept, but these descriptions were supposed to be descriptive, not prescriptive. Matthew 19th deals with divorce, not modern homosexuality.
            This “issue” is a lot more complicated then it seems at first. The way that our position on this issue turns into a way in which to measure how close we are to God’s will and ultimately how right we are is a horrible thing and the devil has had a field day with this issue and uses it to tear God’s Church apart. We should accept people as they are as God does and be there to try and press them to continue to bring up issues, such as homosexuality, that may or may not be sin so that, in their own relationship with Christ they can be transformed day by day to be more and more in His perfect image. This should be dealt with on an individual level. We Christians, making generalization after generalization so that we can say loud and clear that we “love the sinner and hate the sin” does not work. All that unbelievers get from that phrase, and all that people hear is hate. Hate is important to us as Christians and hate for what God hates is justified, but all we need to worry about is accepting and loving people. I am a part of a church that strives to be a place in which people on either side of this issue can live together and love one another as members of God’s body.

          2. ignatz says:

            [Jesus’ FIRST WORDS about a question on divorce are “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?” ]

            So how come the churches aren’t trying to make no-fault divorce illegal, since he was condemning divorce, not homosexuality?

            How come the churches ONLY cite this verse to condemn homosexuality, and not divorce, when it’s about divorce?

          3. Tim says:

            With regard to the comment of ignatz, (1) who is trying to make homosexuality illegal? (2) not all of “the churches” condone no-fault divorce. Many do not. Your idea of “the churches” seems limited to those you want to cite, but more importantly indicts many of them in believing that “churches” get to decide that something in Scripture can be ignored if you want to do so. I commend you for your call for consistency and hope that you will commit to that type of Biblical honesty as well.

          4. Jack says:

            @Tim

            I’m sure you’re aware that homosexual marriages are already illegal in most states. The majority of voters are trying to keep it that way, especially in the Bible Belt states. One recent example is North Carolina’s Amendment One. It states “ARTICLE XIV, Section 6 of the Constitution of North Carolina, as amended, states the following:

            “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”

            This measure was passed and the biblical definition of marriage is now law in North Carolina. Homosexual marriages were already illegal in the state, and 61% of voters used their vote to ensure that homosexuals cannot be considered equal to heterosexuals in the eyes of the law.

            1. Mark says:

              One religion cannot dictate law, in this country, anyway. That is why we have the separation of church and state. (And please kindly recall that religious persecution and intolerance is one of the reasons America was founded, and founded under the principles of that separation.) It is outrageous that we are actually having this debate in the third millennium. To say that homosexuals cannot be considered equal to heterosexuals in the eyes of the law is about as hateful and ignorant as it gets. Keep (your perception of) your God to yourself (or to those with the same beliefs), and out of the matters of State, as Constitutional Law demands. You are on the wrong side of history, here. But it’s not too late to repent. :-)

              1. Gabe says:

                Hello Mark,
                Sadly it seems you have fallen hook line and sinker for the propaganda and equivocation that is so common among the homosexual lobby. It is a misunderstanding of what the separation of church and state is to bring it up in support of your position because it actually supports the other side. Also, it is just nonsense to say “To say that homosexuals cannot be considered equal to heterosexuals in the eyes of the law is about as hateful and ignorant as it gets.” Literally NO ONE is saying that! If you think that is the position of anyone you totally misunderstand the issue
                Let me clarify some things for you. Anyone can get married. Their sexual orientation does not matter. It’s just that marriage IS the union of a man and a woman. If people don’t want to get married because of their sexual preference then fine, but to call it unequal is absurd. There are no restrictions on marriage due to one’s sexual orientation.
                To say that homosexuals are not considered equal is pure hyperbole. Simply because we don’t call something that isn’t marriage, marriage does not a bigot make. Homosexuals are equal to everyone else in every way! It is simply the behaviors of some homosexuals that others don’t want to be forced to endorse. This is where separation of church and state come in. The state cannot force a person to violate his religious convictions. This is exactly what is happening when someone is forced to participate in the celebration of so called same sex marriage by baking a cake or providing other services.
                The reason that the state recognizes marriage has nothing to do with religion. The reason the state recognizes marriage is because it is a particular kind of union that has a historical, demonstrable benefit to the state. Namely that most marriages produce children and it is historically the best situation in which to rear those children. These are benefits that same sex unions by definition cannot provide. If someone wants to argue that same sex unions also provide demonstrable societal benefits and we should recognize those unions as well, then fine, make your arguments but whatever those benefits might be, they will always be different than the benefits of marriage.
                Your talking points and rhetoric fall flat when given just a little bit of thought.

        3. JerTam says:

          @Jon
          Genesis 2:24
          Matthew 19:4-5

        4. Stephanie says:

          The bible explicitly states in Matthew 19:4-5 that a marriage is between one man and one woman… I’m not sure what bible you are reading, Charlie, but you are incorrect in your first statement.

          1. taryn says:

            You need to get a new bible or something. Not anywhere in the bible does it say anything about being homosexual.

          2. Tony says:

            Stephanie, the part that I think most Christians who read this article seem to miss is the part where the fictional pastor says, “Who am I to judge?”. It’s up to Jesus to judge, presuming you believe in Him. But you, like many others, take the argument a step beyond mere belief and push the issue into the legal arena. No faith has a claim on legal issues, including who should be allowed to marry. You choose to believe that God intended that only one man and one woman should have that right. In. Your. Faith. Your faith does not dictate what is legal in this or any other country. God sanctioned David and his men cutting off the foreskins of 200 Philistines. Do that today and you’ll end up in jail for the rest of your life. Faith and civil law have nothing to do with each other. Besides, in the above post Matthew 19:4-5 is quoted as: “He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” Nowhere does it say that Adam and Eve were married. Nowhere does it say what legal marriage IS. Nowhere does it say that just because Adam and Eve were one man and one woman that that is the only formula for marriage. That is the only formula for creating a child and no one knows for sure that that wasn’t the ONLY reason God created Adam and Eve as male and female.

          3. Randy says:

            Taryn,
            you are mistaken.

            Leviticus
            18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (Leviticus 18:22 KJV)[1]
            20:13 “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination….

          4. Steve says:

            Leviticus also says these things. You do not get to cherry pick which rules in the bible you think we should follow and which we should not.

            http://leviticusbans.tumblr.com/post/23730370413/76-things-banned-in-leviticus

          5. Sam says:

            Tony, while I agree with your comments on how many Christians tend to incorrectly try to cause behavioral modification in unbelievers by stepping into the legal field and making laws against various sins (as if people could be saved by obeying the Law alone), you are incorrect in saying:

            “Nowhere does it say that Adam and Eve were married.”

            In Genesis 2:25, Moses actually does say that Adam and Eve were married! He says, “and the man [referring to Adam] and *his wife* [Eve] were both naked and were not ashamed.”

            In Christ,
            Sam

          6. Andrew says:

            Hi Taryn,

            I was wondering what your take is on Romans 1:18-32? I’ve always understood Paul in this passage to be using homosexual relations as an illustration to show just how sinful human beings truly are. How would you interpret this passage?

        5. Sally S. says:

          First of all, there is a myth out there that no one is to judge. And yet the very essence of having the concept of wrong and right is based on a judgement call. The do not judge verse, you are referring to, in context and translation, means to not be a hypocrite. Do not point out others who are doing exactly what you are doing. The Bible’s unction is to not have a condemning spirit. To go to someone else in love, with restoration in mind. Judgement is necessary. We are told many times to Make Judgement Calls….too judge. It is our job, as believers. If not, we are aimless unethical sinful blobs. Again, The “Do Not Judge” mantra, is not the 11th commandment. It does not cancel out the other 10. In fact, it is not a commandment at all.

        6. Russell says:

          Actually, there are plenty of scriptures that show that marriage is between man and woman only. eg “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the church” Ive never seen anywhere in the bible where it mentions marriage being between Man and Man or Woman and Woman.

        7. Todd Zmina says:

          God does define marriage as one man and one woman:Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Ephesians 5:31….” ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?”. There is nowhere in the Bible that God is ambiguous about marriage.
          He also included His 5th Commandment which, very specifically, stated “Thy shall honour thy father and thy mother”, not ‘thy parents’.

  5. Doc B says:

    Only one problem, and this is why it’s a pipe-dream…no TV host would dare let the guest complete a thought in anything more than a soundbite sentence or two. Well-reasoned paragraphs are not allowed.

  6. Candle says:

    Trevin,

    You (the “Pastor”) write,
    ” If you think my position on homosexuality is radical, just wait until you hear what else I believe! I believe that a teenage guy and girl who have sex in the backseat of a pick-up are sinning. The unmarried heterosexual couple living down the street from me is sinning. In fact, any sexual activity that takes place outside of the marriage covenant between a husband and wife is sinful. What’s more, Jesus takes this sexual ethic a step further and goes to the heart of the matter. That means that any time I even lust after someone else, I am sinning. Jesus’ radical view of sexuality shows all of us up as sexual sinners, and that’s why He came to die. Jesus died to save lustful, homo- and heterosexual sinners and transform our hearts and minds and behavior. Because He died for me, I owe Him my all. And as a follower of Jesus, I’m bound to what He says about sex and morality.”

    Can’t this be taken further?

    Pastor: I’ll go even a step farther and say that even sexual activity in a marriage covenant between a husband and wife, if not done in faith, is sinful. This means than unregenerate spouses in the bedroom and outside of it can’t do anything right.

    1. Jason says:

      What do you mean by “in faith”? Are you saying that sex is a bad thing no matter what, or simply that it ought to be an expression of faithfulness to one’s spouse..? O_o

      1. Laura says:

        I think they mean is that originally people believed that sex was purely for procreation and that any sex that was not had for the intent of having a child was considered sinful, even enjoying sex was considered sinful, if we believe this then only sex that results in a child and that is not enjoyed by either partner is really a faithful act to God.
        Of course no one really believes this anymore so why should it matter what someone does in their bedroom?

        1. Tim says:

          Candle, any argument can be stretched to say anything. According to I Corinthians 7, husbands and wives owe it to one another to have sex. Sex in marriage IS an act of faith. As for the “unregenerate spouses” – in that same chapter, Paul also told Christians who were married to non-Christians to remain married and stay with them. Maybe I don’t understand your point. Are you trying to negate the argument in the article or tell the writer they haven’t gone far enough?

          Laura, exactly *which* people believed that sex was only for procreation? Not people in the Bible. Go all the way back to Abraham and Sarah, whose behavior toward one another was frisky enough to convince a king that they weren’t brother and sister… if you’re talking about the Roman Catholic church, they’re johnny-come-latelys to the sex question, and they say they don’t teach it anymore. Paul calls sex – not procreation – the “duty” of husbands and wives to one another in I Corinthians 7. To be faithful to the text one must say that what married people *don’t* do in their own bedrooms should be more worrisome (to them, not us) than what they do! And what all other people do in their own bedrooms must be reflective of what God has commanded regarding fornication and adultery. Is that our business? No. But it is God’s business, and He will judge sin.

        2. Sally S. says:

          I don’t think any one believed that, but they did believe that desire would be fulfilled by getting married.

        3. Dini says:

          No, it should not matter. Even if they choose to o it with dogs, why should it matter… After all it is in “their bed room”. That’s where humanity is headed and those bullying Bible believers to make the Bible conform to their whims and caprices will stop at nothing in ensuring this, including calling believers names while at the same time advising them to ‘shush’. One even expressed, with reckless finality, the view that to ensure ‘the future of our specie’ there is no other way but the homo way. Now, believers need to have it in their heads that the Bible I actually the route course of exterminating the human race. What a warped reasoning a warped world?

  7. Internet says:

    Follow-up:

    Host: With the vast sea of unbiblically divorced and remarried Christians in good standing at their local churches, these heterosexual couples are, undoubtedly, guilty of adultery, correct?

    Since these remarried heterosexual families are acceptable to your churches, would you refuse membership to married born-again homosexuals who are also repentant of their sins?

    1. Jim C. says:

      In the big picture it doesn’t matter whether a Church approves of certain people nor whether it deems they have sufficiently repented. It matters how God sees them. From my understanding of God’s view which seems to be congruous with the author & the Bible:

      (1) the Bible defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and a marriage covenant is under God’s authority, not man’s (or government’s). In that case, the 2 were never married.

      (2) if the 2 people still consider themselves married, then they have not repented toward God’s expressed view of sexual purity

    2. JerTam says:

      A re born christian that has repented of their sins will no longer live in that sin. God does not recognize homosexual marriage. If they are reborn and repent and ask God for His grace, God will grant His peace. It is promised.

  8. David says:

    Magnificent, Trevin. I’d work just one more thing in here, in response to the interviewer’s question about Jesus on homosexuality: In his discourse with the Pharisees on divorce (Mt. 19 and pars.) Jesus emphatically reaffirms the creation of man as male and female, and marriage as between man and woman.

  9. rev.spike says:

    This is boss. Thanks.

  10. Philip says:

    Recently on Joy Behar she interviewed a pastor from GA who has divorced his wife because he was “gay.” He continues to preach at the church and his wife is still the CFO of the church. He is very persuassive and is teaching that this lifestyle is from God.

    During the interview, Joy brought up that the Bible condemns eating shellfish and catfish. To which the Pastor replied (and I’m paraphrasing), “I love the Apostle Paul and preach mostly in his letters, but he promotes slavery.”

    It would be good for you to add that dimension to this discourse.

    1. GeoPolitico says:

      Philip: It is evident that you are unfamiliar with the whole teachings of the Bible, both Old & New Testaments. No where does the apostle promote slavery. The Bible teaches that if one is a slave he does not need to be free from slavery to be a child of God, ie a Christian. I find it most interesting that people want to discuss a book (the Bible) of which they know very little as if they were experts.

      1. Joel says:

        GeoPolitico:
        I think Philip’s point is that people believe this and it needs to be addressed and corrected. He doesn’t seem to be affirming the conversation he’s describing.

      2. Telliac Naxor says:

        GeoPolitico:
        Profound statement sir! How I wish that every man, woman, boy and girl would take on the attitude of the Beareans (Acts 17) and search the scriptures to see if these things are so, ask the Holy Spirit to lead them into all truths (John 16:13) and simply repent of their sins and trust Jesus in EVERYTHING! That would make my day. I also wish that this issue of homosexuality would stop being the “Topic of the Day” everyday! The Christians have taken a stand, we believe what the Holy Bible says EVERY word of it, we have offered Christ to the world as your personal Saviour. Now, let us move past this issue of homosexuality and allow God to be God. The Word of God does not need defending. Remember, some plant, some water, but utimately, God gives the increase 1 Corinthians 3:6) and to God be the Glory! No man, woman, boy or girl alive today can honestly say they have not heard of God, even nature speaks of His goodness and grace and mercy (Psalm 19:1, Romans 8:18-25). It is time for the Christians to let the chips fall where they may and stop judging folks. We didn’t make any one, God did and we all belong to Him. We’re His for judging. Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and move on. Enough with the debating already. God bless!

      3. Russell says:

        Actually, Paul was not promoting slavery. He was simply telling the person to be obedient to the law of the land which allowed for slavery. As Paul was an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, then I have no doubt that he would have found slavery to be wrong.

    2. Leigh D Stebbins says:

      If I am right you are refering to Gene Robinson. All I can say there, is that if his Church had any moral Character and plain old guts they would have excommunicated him unless he was to repent and turn away from his choice of lifestyle and return unto Christ but prevent him from preaching until such time as has had sufficient time to show unto others that he had truly repented of his idolent and sinful ways.

      True Repentance is defined as having Godly Sorrow and turning away and forsaking the sinful practice of which one has been participating in. Forsaking means once we forgo that practice is never ever revisting that practice again, because if we repent and then later fall back into the same sinful practice then the Sin become an even greater sin and the perpetrator shal come under even greater condemnation before God and Jesus Christ.

      So repenting is not about giving lip service but about fully forsaking the Sin and never revisiting, because Christ has said, for he who has not repented of gross and moral sin, must sufferer even as I God have suffered the greatest pain and agony, before they can receive forgiveness. He was literally refering to Moral Sins mainly under the heading of Fornication to which he likened all moral sin including same gender relationships.

      1. Meghan Hunt says:

        Sending someone AWAY from the church for something they see as sin? Somehow this doesn’t seem to spread the message of love or acceptance Jesus commanded.

        1. Anonymous says:

          Excommunication is not sending someone away. Churches operate in a manner wherein if you abide by certain principles, you will enjoy certain blessings. When one is excommunicated, it is because one’s life is not only not in-line with the teachings, but that person is also *unwilling to be so,* and thus they cut themselves off from the blessings associated with said principles.

          If one is to actively pursue a homosexual relationship in spite of their church’s teachings, the proper process would be to determine whether that person will choose their own desires or exercise self-control and seek to conform to the Lord’s standards. If they are unrepentant, an excommunication may take place, where they ought not be permitted to partake of Sacraments (for example) which symbolize a remembrance of the Savior and by association a covenant to do his will–that said, why would you partake of a token of the Savior’s Atonement if you had no intention to strive to live by his teachings? That is lying to God.

          In short, excommunication is not a matter of kicking someone out, but of officially recognizing that person’s status as having thoroughly separated themselves from the doctrines of Christ. It is a probation of sorts. The person will have full ability to attend meetings, etc., and they are just as welcome as anyone ought to be–for how can you repent if you are separated from the places where you might learn of repentance?

          No, excommunication does not send you away. It revokes the subscription to the blessings associated with church service until you have come to a point where you are willing again to actively work to serve the Lord by *his* standards rather than your own.

        2. Paul says:

          Meghan, excommunication shouldn’t be confused in this case with a non-Christian with same-sex attraction who wants to attend and learn more about the Christian faith. We are all sinners and Jesus’ invitation is for everyone to come to Him. Everyone is welcome in their search. But ultimately, anyone who professes to be a Christian will strive to live a life of purity, whether they have same or opposite-sex attraction or any other struggle with sin.

          1. Scott says:

            Martin Luther was excommunicated. Just some food for thought.

  11. Don Sartain says:

    For the love of all that is good and holy, THANK YOU!!! It’s about time…

  12. Paul says:

    Your general tenor is dead on. If you simply remove the *sexual* qualifiers for sinning, I’d be cheering! The bottom line is that sin is pervasive across the human experience. Economic sin. Ecological sin. Political sin. Religious sin. As St. Paul sums it up “ALL have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” Thank God that while “the wages of sin is death…the gift of God is eternal life.”
    Providing a moral compass is imperative. Making sure it is not stuck is also quite important. :)

  13. Rebecca says:

    In this hypothetical situation, what came first, being born-again or “married”?
    If a homosexual becomes born-again, he/she would have a conscience about continuing in the sinful state of a homosexual relationship
    by knowing homo- “marriage” is not biblical

  14. Jeremy Myers says:

    I would like to see an interview go this way also… though the pastor should also throw in the sins of greed and gluttony, which many of us pastors struggle with on a daily basis.

    1. Leigh D Stebbins says:

      Jeremy Myers ask yourself which is the greater Sins, sins of Immorality or the sins of greed or gluttony which come under appitite rather than Moral Sinning upon which this interview was based. On this interview the extra sins you are advocating to be discussed had no bearing or relevence to this interview alone, they are a different matter and subject

      1. Kay Svedin says:

        Actually Leigh, no sin is “greater” than another, since any presence of sin of any “amount” or “degree” is enough to separate us from God forever. He is holy; without ANY sin. So, ANY sin in God’s eyes (which is really the only valuation that matters) is condemned. That’s why the emphasis was that ALL of use need to be saved by Christ alone, because we are ALL sinners. I believe Jeremy has a good point, and that it could have been brought up well in this mock interview. Sexual sin is no greater and no worse, and no more deserving of God’s wrath than thievery, gluttony, covetousness, etc.

      2. Addison says:

        There are no “greater sins” than other sins.

        1. Greg says:

          Sexual sins do seem to have some special concern in 1 Cor. 6:

          Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!
          Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
          But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
          Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.
          Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
          you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

          1. Sharon says:

            AMEN! There is no other sin in the Word of God where it say that “God gave them up, or that God gave them over” as he did about the sin of homosexuality. Romans 1:24-27

  15. Mark says:

    As long as the basis of the conversation remains “who I am” as opposed to “what I do”, we’ll be losing.

    Your focus on redirecting perceptions of personal identity away from who someone is sexually attracted to is exactly the correct approach.

    I may well have an innate sexual attraction to people of my own gender. I might have a gene that causes me to be impulsive and short-tempered. Early childhood experiences could cause me to feel disconnected and seek multiple, shallow sexual relationships. I may feel special excitement and fulfillment by stealing trinkets of little value.

    But none of those things makes me a homosexual, a wife-beater, an adulterer, or a shoplifter. My actions would place me in one or more of those categories.

    Regardless of our own tendencies, temptations, or weaknesses, the one category we all share is that of sinner. From that we are helpless to release ourselves. We are totally dependent on a gracious and loving Savior.

    Once we get an accurate view of the magnitude of our own sin we’ll be hard-pressed to focus on that of our neighbor. And the fact that my label is less stigmatized than yours will give me scant comfort.

    1. Patrick says:

      Well said sir. Probably the best of the comments I have read thus far. I am sooooo broken. Your brokenness does not give me any comfort. I cry for us both, as does Christ. If we would refocus on leading those around us to Christ as He has called us to do….He will lead them through the rest. Anyway, I love the “Iron sharpening Iron” tone of your thought. Keep up the good work!

  16. Good outline Trevin. Thanks man.

  17. Mark says:

    Enjoyed this, Trevin.

  18. Don Shaw says:

    Sincere thanks for this biblical wisdom stated so very clearly and compassionately.

  19. Justin says:

    Clearly a well-thought article! I enjoyed reading it. The main idea that I do not understand though is why most Christians do not agree with same-sex marriage. If everyone sins, what is the difference between a man and a woman getting married compared to a man and a man getting married? It’s just confusing and very unclear to me why some people in the world are not allowed to go through this official ceremony.

    1. John says:

      Once you are saved, you are aware of the sin in your life. It does not mean that you will never sin again but it does mean that when you sin, you are aware and you repent and do your best to say no to that sin and never repeat it again. When same sex couples marry, they are basically making a life long commitment to live in a sinful joining of two people. The bible clearly says marriage is between a man and woman. Not man and man or woman and woman. We must remember that when we are saved and claim to be Christian, our lives should be lived to glorify God. If you continue getting drunk, sleeping around, pre or extra-marital sex, same sex marriage, etc. then you are NOT glorifying God, as you are conforming to the sinful patterns of this world and not to the pattern or lifestyle of Jesus.

  20. Richard says:

    Trevin: I agree in dialog with non-believers we do not clearly articulate the Biblical sexual ethic: all sexual activity, in thought, word or deed, outside of life-long, monogamous heterosexual marriage is sin. To be baited into discussing singular sins (whether adultery, pre-marital sex or homosexuality) takes us far away from the discussion we are all sinners and all need a Savior, who is Jesus Christ the Lord. We need to re-focus our discussions on the Savior rather than individual or corporate sins.

  21. Apathiest says:

    If you’re against all sexual sinning then maybe you should start campaigns against suggestive advertising, make-up companies, lingerie companies, etc.

    Your bigotry is not Christian-like. Jesus couldn’t care less what genitals the person you love has.

    1. Heather says:

      Nevertheless , to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
      1 Corinthians 7:2 KJV

    2. Leigh D Stebbins says:

      Aphiest what makes you think that the Lord is not against suggestive advertising, make-up and lingerie for the sake of fashion, because he loves a modest person rather than the vain and shallow people who follow the worldly trends for the sake of peer approval and acceptance, you cdan also throw in body art and self mutilation as Christ taught that the body of a Man is likened to a Temple for the housing of a Man’s soul and is a Sacred eddiface, would you mutilate or desecrate a Temple of God, but when a person tattoo’s their bodies our self mutilates this is exactly what they are doing.

      You are plain wrong and misguided in that Christ as you say does not care what genitals a person whom your love has, but he does care as to the manner in which you express that love or lust as it may be. He has condemned Men laying with Men and Women laying with Women and clearly a concisely stated that a Man shall leave his Parents and take unto himself a wife and cleave unto Her only, and he has also said the same for a Woman that she shall leave her Parents and take a Husband and cleave unto Him only. Nowhere has the Saviour commanded that Man or a Woman should leave their Parents and take as a Partner one of their own Sexual Gender and cleave unto them only. He as in Hebrews expressly condemned the practice through the teachings of Paul who was preaching the Gospel in an area where this was common practice.

      God destroyed the twin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for the same practice and these are not fabled Cities but their remains have actually been discovered and catalouged and there has been found by archeologists that ther is much evedince relating to these practices.

      So back to the drawing board for you Sunshine

  22. how do you know what jesus and would like? where do you get any information about him?

    1. Leigh D Stebbins says:

      Dustin Germain obviously in your feigned ignorance you have not heard of Holy Scripture or of a a comformation and testimony of these truths by the Holy Ghost whose role is to testify and witness the truth unto all Men with an honest and sincere heart.

      Obviously from your ignorance you fail to fall into this category. So I suggest you go away and get yourself a copy of the Scriptures and honestly read them so as the Holy Ghost can comfirm and witness these truths unto you. If you will not do this, how can you ever declare yourself to be honest and sincere in Heart, as the evidence will be in you Actions.

  23. Apathiest says:

    @dustin germain

    The same place you did– I made it up myself by interpreting a bunch of garbage written by other people that made it up over the past few thousand years.

    1. Jane says:

      This is a perfect response.

  24. Derrick says:

    Excellent! Truly, exactly excellent. So glad you wrote this.

  25. Rayni says:

    I thought this was very well-written and thought-provoking. Great job writing it.

  26. apatheist, what is “christian-like”? logic would dictate that you must have an idea about what it is supposed to look like or be, in order for you to know what its not.

  27. Apathiest says:

    @dustin germain

    Non-judgement would be paramount. For as much as this article claims that Christians are against all sorts of sexual sinning, it sure seems like you guys are spending a whole lot of time on 10% of the population’s sins instead of the other 90% that’s heterosexual. Since you spend your time demonizing a small portion of the population it appears that you are judging them more harshly and wasting time that could be spent educating the vastly greater numbers of heterosexual people on proper behavior.

    For the record, I’m a heterosexual, faithful, married man.

  28. The sad part about the whole discussion is that there is no mention of violence on the part of the homosexuals against others. Why is this clear void in the discussion so painful and clearly evident? Why, because someone wants it that way. They do not want any discussion of the fact that homosexuals commit rape just like heterosexuals, that they take advantage of others, too. A recent issue of Whistle blower presented some of the problems with this reality in the military.

    1. indorri says:

      Why is that a conversation point any more than rape that heterosexuals perform? It’s like whenever there’s a case of a man abusing a boy, the less savory wretches go on about the “homosexual pedophile problem”, but I’ve never heard them utter a word about the “heterosexual pedophile problem”. Or like “black on black” violence used as rhetoric, but never “white on white”. It’s likely because they want to associate something that is present across the human spectrum as something unique to their particular scapegoat, which is what I’m anticipating is your intention with this bit of sophistry.

    2. Lao Ho says:

      Dr. Witherington: How dare you suggest that there is anything wrong with homosexuials. Everyone knows that they are good, pure, upright people; sinless victims of evil, cruel, unrelenting theistic persecution and they make better parents than anyone else. They deserve the right to walk into your house and take whatever they like because of all the cruelty they’ve received over the years. By attacking homosexuals, you have blasphemed against….[sarc].

  29. you have no arguments from me there. i completely agree with you. that’s not the point though- the point is that you don’t have any basis for saying what is or is not jesus-like or christian-like. For this reason it would be fair to say that the only source or authority that you possess that says that would say that true-Christianity is non-judgmental is your own personal belief and conviction, based on…nothing.

    As a side note, your heterosexuality, marriage status and faithfulness, while nice, are irrelevant. I would consider your point with the same care and consideration if you were a promiscuous homosexual man.

  30. Wow. Talk about tortured grammar. Ignore that post. Let me try that again, apatheist.

    You have no arguments from me there with what you just said. I completely agree with you. That’s not the point though. The point is that you’ve no basis for saying what is or is not jesus-like or christian-like. For this reason, the only source of authority that you possess which makes the declaration that true-Christianity is non-judgmental, is your own personal belief and conviction, based on…nothing.

    As a side note, your heterosexuality, marriage status and faithfulness, while nice, are irrelevant. I would consider your point with the same care and consideration if you were a promiscuous homosexual man.

  31. Laura says:

    Hmmmm, that “Pastor” seems to know more about what Jesus thought about sex than love…must be using a different Bible than mine.

    1. Barry says:

      @ Laura, hmmm, that “Pastor” seems to be answering the questions he is being asked….perhaps if he were asked questions about Christ’s view on love he would be speaking more about love. Perhaps you should try and follow along….

  32. sarah says:

    Who are we to assume that what Jesus meant as man and woman are what we define by physical characteristics? We should see gender and sexuality as aspects of our personalities, and as a continuum – no one 100 percent masculine or feminine, but all of us somewhere in between. Some women are more feminine than others, for example. We are given both masculine and feminine attributes, why couldn’t Jesus have meant that a relationship should seek a balance of those attributes between partners?

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Sarah. The reason that we state that what Jesus meant as man and woman refers to physical gender is because the content of those verses, including the words used, when put in context and translated, quite literally and explicitly refers to physical attributes. This is not interpretation, nor any other arbitrary psychological trick, but plain, simply greek and hebrew documents making these statements in a simple fashion. Nothing about personality. Just physical gender and a single definition of marriage that leaves no room for doubt. That is all.

  33. Apathiest says:

    @dustin germain

    How about the whole “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” thing?

    Seems like the vocal Christians out there do a whole lot more preaching than they do self-assessment and repentance.

    And as for your argument about whether or not I have any basis for what is- or is not Christian-like, *neither do you*. When it comes down to it, it’s all what the individual believes, which is why the sentiments of tolerance and acceptance that you’ve expressed differ so greatly compared to what many of your co-Christians have stated. It’s completely arbitrary, and I’m allowed to have my arbitrary beliefs just as you are.

    @Dr. James Willingham

    You’re thoughts and comments here are despicable. Again, the whole 90%/10% thing– far more rapes are committed by heterosexuals than homosexuals, and the magazine you’re referencing is pure drivel.

    1. Marty T says:

      For the record – the 10% gay population statistic is total fabrication created by Alfred Kinsey. All current statistics, even those provided by the gay community, suggest 3% to 3.5% of the US population is gay.

  34. “How about the whole “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” thing?”

    Case in point. You are just cherry picking things here and there while ignoring others. You go to the bible as your source of authority of what is or is not “Jesus-like”, and you like the parts you agree with, but if I were to post other things that Jesus said that don’t fit with your beliefs, you would rail against them and say “that is not jesus-like”

    Here is my advantage- I don’t take a simplistic, ignorant, intellectually suicidal position on the bible that you have taken, but rather a measured, thoughtful and thorough one. I examine the whole thing carefully and then am able to say what is or is not “Jesus-like”

    You don’t have to agree with what the bible teaches, but you also can’t have your cake and eat it too. I’m cool with you saying “I don’t believe in the bible” But don’t play games where you get to pretend you know what it says about Jesus’ life when you pick and choose indiscriminately what it says based on your own feelings and whims.

    1. Barry says:

      “casting the first stone” is in CONTEXT of Jesus addressing a women caught in adultery (a sexual sin) he didn’t condemn her in that moment for her sin, HOWEVER, advised her to “go and stop committing the sexual sin”! The point being – if she continued in her sin ultimately she would be condemned, therefore, must stop sinning!

      1. John says:

        Barry that is the BEST comment I have read on here. No matter what the sin, once a person is made aware it is a sin, they must stop sinning. Well said.

      2. Tim says:

        Concerning the adulterous women, the men bringing this woman to Jesus were blood thirsty and trying to trap Jesus. It is a precarious situation, for one the man who sinned with her is not present. Also, the Lord kneels down and starts to write in the sand. No one knows what he wrote. Could it have been the names of women that the men with stones in their hands had been with? We may never know. But the fact remains, one by one they dropped their stones after reading the writing in the sand.

  35. Brian Watson says:

    Well, I would like to see the argument put that way, too. The argument needs to go to the gospel and all sin. For those who think Trevin and all Christians are focusing on homosexuality, you’re missing why Trevin is writing this. The key is the picture at the top: Piers Morgan. I enjoy watching his show, and I have noticed how he seems to ask anyone who is Christian about homosexuality. He is the one who keeps bringing it up. But we Christians have to be ready to answer the question, because it will be asked, over and over.

    Keep on keeping on, Trevin. Don’t mind the haters and cowards who use pseudonyms.

    1. ThirstyJon says:

      Is this THE Brian Watson, of Walk to the Death (or the end of the street) fame? ;-)

      I agree with you, although I am surprised you like Piers Morgan’s show. That guy seems like he’s way off every time I’ve seen him.

      :-)

      P.S. Am I a “hater” with a Pseudonym? :-)

  36. Linda Owen says:

    Thank you AGAIN for your take on the subject. You helped me immensely in another post where you addressed that the main difference between ‘this sin’ and ‘that one’ is Repentance. We must seek repentance for every sin…whether it be sezual, relational, with our words, attitudes, etc.

    Thanks for the clarity. I only wish/pray that this discussion would really happen. Christians LOVE others, or should. It’s not about the SIN, but the ONE who takes it away!

    Thank you, Trevin!

  37. Apathiest says:

    @dustin germain

    “But don’t play games where you get to pretend you know what it says about Jesus’ life when you pick and choose indiscriminately what it says based on your own feelings and whims.”

    Again, once the majority of those that are Christian eat your words, you’ll have grounds to tell me what I can and can’t do.

    @Brian Watson

    “Don’t mind the haters and cowards who use pseudonyms.”

    If your co-Christians didn’t react with violence, hate, and shame against people with dissenting viewpoints, I’d feel fully comfortable discussing these things without a Pseudonym. Until then, the general intolerance and anger of your social group has forced me to obfuscate my identity.

  38. Edwin says:

    @Apathiest: Why do you have to turn the argument toward extremism? No one here was “reacting with hate” toward gays.

  39. Apathiest says:

    @Edwin

    I didn’t turn the argument toward extremism, Dr. James Willingham did.

    My interactions with the majority of you here today have been civil, but I can’t feel safe exposing myself when the likes of him are present and vocal, much less those like him that are just lurking.

    And to be very clear, I wasn’t claiming that people only react “with hate” to gays, I was claiming that they react “with hate” to anyone that doesn’t have their same views.

    As I’ve stated before, I’m a married, faithful, hetero male, and I have personally been the victim of verbal and physical abuse for defending the rights of others.

    If I ran a company, and some of my employees were spouting out hate speech and attacking potential customers, I’d drop everything and stop them before I’d start calling peaceful people with different opinions “sinners”.

  40. KT says:

    “I recognize that some people have mistreated homosexuals in the past. It’s a shame that anyone anywhere would mock, taunt, or bully another human”

    Don’t forget assault, rape, and murder.

    Arguing whether one’s sexuality is natural or not is pointless. The issue is what we do to deal with people and why. I found it ironic that he also thought that being asked to not call homosexuals sinners for being gay was pushing on his core beliefs but seemed to forget that not everyone believes the same thing. Arguments like this are best solved when everyone comes to the table understanding that we don’t all see things exactly the same and speaking past one another is a waste of time.

  41. gruff says:

    Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

  42. Edwin says:

    @Apathiest: Your very first post accused everyone here of “bigotry”. Your second one outright called christian beliefs as “garbage”. May I asked what on this discussion prompted that?

    Again, as Trevin explained on the blog post, “To differ is not to hate”.

  43. Jason says:

    I just don’t really get why it is such a big deal. In all the Scripture I’ve read, I have yet to find a single passage (that isn’t taken out of context) that condemns monogomous homosexual relations.
    Perhaps I am just ignorant, but I decided to err on the side of tolerance.

    1. Micah says:

      Romans 1:18-32, particularly verses 26 and 27. I understand your caution but homosexuality is exactly what those two verses are talking about.

  44. Apathiest says:

    @Edwin

    You said that I turned the argument toward extremism, which I refuted, because I did not.

    big·ot·ry /ˈbigətrē/
    Noun:
    Bigoted attitudes; intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

    I called Christians that believe homosexuals are sinners that need to repent bigots. Sounds intolerant to me.

    gar·bage /ˈgärbij/
    Noun:
    A thing that is considered worthless or meaningless.

    I consider the words in the bible to be without worth and/or meaning, therefore, “garbage” an acceptable term as far as I’m concerned. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as you are probably aware.

    “Again, as Trevin explained on the blog post, “To differ is not to hate”.”

    Of course– if this is what you practiced, I’d be all for it. Take the marriage issue, for one. You are completely within your rights to never, ever take part in a same-sex marriage, however you’re intolerance for those with views that differ from you forces your views on them. You’re not giving them the chance to differ, you’re not tolerating them, and you’re keeping them from doing something that in no way shape or form affects you. I feel that this could only come from a place of hate.

    hate /hāt/
    Verb:
    Feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone): “the boys hate each other”.

    1. Lissa says:

      Apathiest

      Is it or is it not OK for Christians to believe that certain activities are sinful?

      Please answer that.

    2. Katie says:

      Tolerance does not mean that we have to agree that whatever anyone decides to do is good. Why is everyone trying to change the definition of tolerance lately?

  45. MR says:

    As a Christian man who has fought homosexual temptation my entire adult life, I want to speak about one aspect of this situation that many of us Christians don’t “get”.

    I will most likely never have sex my entire life.

    Think about it. For reasons unknown to me, I have very little sexual attraction to women but strong attraction to men. From the teachings in the Bible I cannot ever have sex with a man and I must marry to have sex with a woman. I do not believe it would be right to marry a woman who I merely desired to have as a friend.That would inflict serious pain on her and me.

    What do I do? I deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Jesus by remaining celibate. He is absolutely worth it! He helps me along the way as I look forward to worshiping Him eternally in the perfect joy of His presence!

    1. Mrs. Brown says:

      Mr.,
      Thank you for your comment! This is how I have come to view this subject…I DO believe that men/women are legitimately attracted to the same sex, and yet God, in his holiness and wisdom, says that this is not the way. Therefore, the only biblical answer IS to take up your cross and to deny yourself! AMEN! Prayers for you as you continue to fight for godliness and run hard after Jesus. Just as I am tempted by different sin in my life, I too must say “no” to ungodliness and yes to righteousness. God bless and may God see you safely through this journey of life and may you see him in all of his glory, blameless and pure on that day!

    2. Andrew says:

      That’s great to hear MR. Vaughan Roberts has written a very insightful blog on this issue here: http://www.e-n.org.uk/6028-A-battle-I-face.htm

    3. Patrick says:

      Well said. And not even sort of easy I am sure. As it is not easy for me not to give into lust that is the seed of adultery or anger that is the seed of murder in my own life daily. We all struggle mightily with sin in our lives daily. I wish we could remove our human egos from this and refocus on sharing the gospel message and remaining in fellowship so that we can sharpen one another daily.

  46. Apathiest says:

    @MR

    So, how do you feel about homosexuals that are not Christian? Are you okay with them marrying one another, since they’re not Christian and your Christian views only apply to you and your fellow Christians?

    1. Lissa says:

      Apathiest

      What you are apparently not understanding here is that we do not wish to dictate how others lead their lives. However, when asked, we will state that an activity is a sin. And that seems to occur very frequently, often out of context with the situation at hand, for instance, Kirk Cameron and Manny Pacquiao.

      We’d be glad to keep our opinions on the matter to ourselves. But we keep being asked, like when the matter of gay marriage is on the ballot. We can and we will vote and voice our conscience and belief. We aren’t asked what our opinions are on fornication, adultery, gluttony, lust, etc are very often. But if we are, we will state that they are sinful behaviors too.

      In addition to sexual immorality being sinful, it is also a sin to condone others in sin. So yeah, we are not going to say that it is OK to engage in gay sex. Ever. We are also not going to say it’s OK to have heterosexual sex if one is not married to one’s partner.

      Being a Christian means that we have had the knowledge of truth placed in our hearts, minds and souls. Belief in God, His Word, in His Son and the Holy Spirit is not just simple faith in something we cannot see, touch, taste or hear. It is revealed truth and we know it is real just as we know the chair in which we sit is real.

      One day, this truth will be revealed to you too.

      In the meantime, all we ask is that our beliefs be tolerated, and that we are not scorned, hated, threatened or discriminated against because we hold beliefs with which some others disagree.

      1. Higgendoorn says:

        If it was simply a case of commenting when asked, why did my pastor put it in the middle of morning prayer yesterday, alongside abortion, and not abutted with condemnation for other sexual sins?

  47. Tim says:

    I second what someone said earlier…Jesus DID speak expressly against homosexuality. Not to mention (and a non-Christian wouldn’t understand this), Jesus IS God, so every other mention of homosexuality in the Bible, from Leviticus to Romans and elsewhere…is JESUS speaking against homosexuality.

  48. Apathiest says:

    @Tim

    Although I am not a Christian, I understand completely that you believe Jesus to be God.

    And as it has been asked 100,000 times before, please provide me some citations of Jesus speaking out against homosexuality.

    1. Lissa says:

      [18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. [19] For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. [20] For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. [21] For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. [22] Claiming to be wise, they became fools, [23] and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
      [24] Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, [25] because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
      [26] For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; [27] and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
      [28] And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. [29] They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, [30] slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, [31] foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. [32] Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

      (Romans 1:18-32 ESV)

      1. Higgendoorn says:

        Said Paul, and not Jesus.

        1. D. C. Wright says:

          Paul was speaking with God’s authority. Where he speaks his own opinion, he makes that clear, also. Paul was a Pharisee before his conversion and KNEW God’s laws backwards and forward. He knew what was sinful and what wasn’t. THAT did not change, nor did the penalty for sin. The only change is the manner of Redemption, who paid the penalty for sin. Which is the essence of Christianity.

  49. Joe_S says:

    “I recognize that some people have mistreated homosexuals in the past. It’s a shame that anyone anywhere would mock, taunt, or bully another human being made in God’s image.”

    But no “We are sorry” ?

    Listen to gay people who show up at church. It’s not about “To differ is not to hate”. It’s about real hate and real contempt shown towards people who (at some point when you are getting to know them) say “I am gay”.

  50. E D B says:

    I think something that gets lost a lot in these kinds of debates is where ideology meets action. I don’t take offence or cry bigotry if someone tells me that they *think* or *believe* that homosexuality is wrong (along with any number of other consensual things that the Bible condemns). Where I get upset is when they try to force that on belief on other people.

    The reality here is that if you are a Christian, the best you can do is read and study the Bible and TRY to understand what Jesus meant, and how the text reflects on what God wants you to do. The fact that there are so many splintered sects of Christians shows that no one can make any serious claim about what is on the mind of God.

    But if you live in the western world, you are living in a secular culture. The promise is that no one will tell you what to believe, and in turn you are to do the same.

    This all comes crashing down, however, when we start trying to pass laws and amend constitutional documents on the basis of our interpretations of our religious texts and on the basis of our beliefs. If you can’t come up with honest non-religious reasons for these kinds of political actions, then you ARE being discriminatory.

    The Gay-Marriage stuff is a great example of this. Gay people are seeking the secular privileges of being married (such as being considered family for cases of emergency), and many good Christians are trying to prevent that because of their belief that it is not what God wants. The way I see it is, if God doesn’t want Gay people to be married, then he will handle it in this life or the next; as a Christian, you don’t need the Government’s approval to be married (though it is convenient) — you need God’s permission. Let the gay folk have the Government’s approval — if you think God objects, say so. Ultimately it is the individual’s responsibility to seek God’s forgiveness, not our place to force them to conform to his will.

    1. Barry says:

      @EBD – living in a western world where people are given the right to due process wherein a civil society creates laws by which they wish to be governed. It is ludicrous to point out that someone is discriminatory by acting within the guidelines of the law in trying to pass laws and amend constitutional documents. EVERY law discriminates. Like it or not. To pass a law that forces people to wear a seat belt in the privacy of their own car is discriminatory. To pass a speed limit law discriminates, a law against stealing, against smoking in a restaurant, against hitchhiking, etc…. all discriminate! That is the purpose of law, to discriminate against unwanted behavior. The way I see it, if someone doesn’t want to wear a seat belt the government shouldn’t be involved in someones right to not wear one if they don’t wish to and yet they that is exactly what has been done – against my will. Ultimately, it is the individual’s responsibility to act according to their lawful rights to petition the government to pass laws they wish to be governed and if enough people agree make it the law of the land and if there are not enough people who agree with me the petition is struck down – thus – making it a government for the people and by the people NOT the other way around!

      1. Joe says:

        It is absolutely absurd that you would compare laws against speeding, smoking in a restaurant, etc. to laws preventing gay marriage. Such laws give us protection from unsafe behavior – what is the big deal if two people, who happen to share the same gender, that you don’t know and will likely never meet, want to be married in the eyes of the government? I am a firm believer that the government can only regulate “morality” that causes direct HARM to others.

        Just because a majority wishes for something does not make it right – in the western world, you have a right to be free of the tyranny of the majority. Laws are not there to prevent unWANTED behavior – they are there to protect from behavior that is detrimental to others’ quality of life. Your right to oppose gay marriage is no more valid than a gay person’s right to have one, because either way, it only affects the individual. So why do you get to decide how they live their life?

        In the most idealized form of the modern government/rule of law, one is free to do whatever they wish with their life so long as it doesn’t harm others – and is thus free from being told what to do by others. Discrimination is when one subset of people are allowed to do something that others aren’t. Laws against stealing aren’t discrimination, because (in theory) no one can steal! Discrimination would be a law saying, for example, “women can’t vote”. Today we would all agree (I hope) that this is unfair – but it was not always so.

        Religion should only ever be one’s own business. Freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion.

        There’s a quote which, IMO, should be the end of all this “debate” : If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get one.

  51. Karen says:

    While my relationship with my wife may not be the be-all end-all of my identity, it is certainly a major part of my identity. And before we married, who I was dating was also part of my identity.

    Sin, to most rational people who think about sin, is something that harms others or oneself. Otherwise, God would just be arbitratrily making rules. The fact that Christians continue to insist that my life is inherently harmful, not because of the times that I actually do something wrong (which I do), but just because of the form of the body of the person I love… It’s never going to fly with anyone who is gay and also values himself or herself and what our lives actually mean.

    It just leads to poor, tortured souls like the celibate gentleman above.

    I am sinful, but not because of who I love. Until you get that, you’re never going to win this debate, because saying otherwise *is* hateful to self-respecting gay people.

    1. KC says:

      To say that just because a person doesn’t agree with you, that he/she is homophobic shows your fear of debate and discourse.

  52. David says:

    Tim & Apatheist: To be clear, there isn’t one quote from Jesus in the Gospels that condemns homosexuality directly. What does appear in the Gospels is a resounding affirmation by Jesus of the created order as that order is set forth in Genesis 1-2. Specifically, Jesus affirms: (1) that God made humankind “male and female” in the image of God; (2) that marriage is a man leaving his father and mother and cleaving to his wife, and the two becoming one flesh. In positively and specifically defining what marriage is, Jesus also states what it is not. Since Jesus’s affirmation appears in a debate over divorce its most obvious application is to divorce — but the application doesn’t end there.

  53. David says:

    MR: My brother, “may you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Your testimony has encouraged me to press onward more vigorously in my own struggles against sin.

  54. /B says:

    I feel that this article is very distasteful. I do believe that “homosexuality” is biologically unintentional (please don’t misquote me, I’m trying to find the right words but can’t find them) as in its not a male/female union but I do believe we need to respect their orientation regardless. Not to compare gay/lesbians to them, but do you consider those mentally challenged children to have sinned or have been the result of a sin? It isn’t morally right. Think! Logic has done us much good and it doesn’t hurt to use some now.
    I am a 16-year-old straight male. I realize many of you may consider myself childish and immature. I still stand by my statements. http://www.gifbin.com/bin/052009/1242032359_haters-gonna-hate.gif

  55. Charles Vannette says:

    That is why so many people spend their money to support NPR :}

  56. Let me see if I get this straight:

    The “pastor” is not judging homosexuals because he is not singling them out as sinners. OTOH, he is saying that pretty much everyone is a sinner.

    That seems to me like he is judging everyone.

    Oh, sure, he says it’s not him, it’s Jesus. Well, since Jesus has not spoken to him, what he *actually* means is that his study of the bible leads him to believe that God would deem almost everyone sinners.

    OTOH, there are other people who have studied the bible (or at least parts of it) and decided that what God really really wants is that people don’t eat pork, which I assume the “pastor” has no problems with.

    Therefore, his study of the bible contradicts that other person’s study of the bible. Or, going back to the original theme, he is actually saying that studying the bible leads *some* people (including him) to believe that almost everyone is a sinner, and other people (not him) to believe pork is sinful.

    On further consideration, what he really means is that his study of an old book has convinced him that a specific supernatural entity considers all of us sinners, while others, studying other books are convinced that different supernatural entities will reincarnate us after our deaths.

    But he will also tell you that those who believe a specific supernatural entity will reincarnate them are wrong, because their supernatural entity does not exist, but his does, because he has the correct old book, and the others have the wrong one.

    So, what he really means is that, if you have the correct old book, and you understand it the way he does, we are all sinners, but if you read it wrong, you can’t eat pork, and if you have the wrong book, you believe you will reincarnate as a beetle.

    But in fact, what he really is saying is “you are all sinners because I say so”.

    1. Lissa says:

      Nope. You pretty much don’t understand.

      1 Corinthians 1:18 explains why. But then, you might not understand that one either.

      One day you will though.

    2. João Paulo Rocha says:

      “Romans 3:23 says:
      23 for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

      Now, that doesn’t take a whole lot of interpretation, does it? I am a sinner, you are a sinner. We all are sinners.
      It doesnt’t look like you got it right since you say the Pastor is saying that “almost everyone” is a sinner.

      Everyone is a sinner. You are and you know that. You didn’t even need the Bible to tell you that.

  57. Charles Vannette says:

    (to Doc)

  58. Mike says:

    Jesus does care about the kind of genitals your spouse has and that they differ from yours for many biblical reasons. The greatest is what a marriage relationship represents. Christ is the husband and the Church is his bride. How a husband and wife interact and know each other intimately is the example of our relationship with Christ. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot show love if we only love ourselves. There must be a Savior and those needing to be saved in order for the relationship to work. That is God’s design. He explains how to live the happiest life you can through serving Him in the Bible. Before this idea is totally dismissed read you Bible from front to back, know it love it. Than talk about what it teaches.

    1. jrditch says:

      Excellent point! The truths of the Bible are consistent throughout the whole Bible and represented by example, specifics, and overarching eternal themes.

  59. Last I checked, if you believe the bible, Jesus closest disciple (Peter) died horribly after suffering great hardships.

    Since he was close to him and had first-hand experience of his teachings, howcome their life was so NOT the happiest possible life?

    1. Micah says:

      Why do we only want to know a God that makes our life perfect with no obligation or inconveniences to us? Jesus didn’t come to make this life easy for us. In John 15:18 Jesus said, ““If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”

  60. Katie says:

    This is very nice, and I thank you for posting it. As a recently deconverted Christian, I do qualify that your argument is respectable without agreeing with it. One point that did sorely stick out to me was this line:

    “Pastor: Well, we really don’t know for certain about sexual attraction being innate and set from birth. All we have is the testimony of people who say that they’ve experienced same-sex desires since childhood.”

    That simply is not true. There have been a number of studies to show a genetic base for homosexuality, and these studies are strong enough that the majority of mental health institutions support the validity of the results. I think Christians are often far too presumptuous to assume that these studies are still just little theories. I know I thought that way as a Christian, and I am sorry for having been so dismissive.

    1. Jim says:

      Katie, Unfortunately you are mistaken on this issue. There are no studies that show a genetic foundation of homosexuality. These studies have been claimed, but never confirmed. The fact is there is no proven genetic cause, but neither will I say that it is a choice. Same sex attraction is not a choice, however our response to the attraction is a choice. MR, above, has made one choice, that he should be celibate for the rest of his life. Others have found help through organizations that eventually lead many to happy, fulfilling hetrosexual lives.

    2. Leigh D Stebbins says:

      Katie science has yet to offer inconclusive evidence that same sex attraction is because of genetic defect. At present what is being bandied about is still only a theory or hyperboly which they are not willing to take the next step to test their theory. They are not willing to take the supposed gene from a person possessing and placing it in some person missing that Gene.

      They are not confident enough to do so because of their fear of being so wide of the mark and finding that that person or even a number of persons to whom they would transfer this attraction gene into are3 not affected by this gene in that after a relatively period of time don’t develop this same gender attraction’

      There theories are a bit like carbon dating which is only a theory based on the rate of decay of carbon within matter. This theory only applies under considered ideal circumstances, but then we know all circustances are not ideal and that carbon decomposes at different rates under less than the optomin circumstances.

      So until Science becomes honest and deals with their Hypothses honestly, I for one will except the Scriptural accounts before the Scientific Theories and yes there is mention of all sexual sin in the scripture under the term fornication, which under Hebrew and Greek languages means unatural sexual orientation or not of God.

      1. Higgendoorn says:

        Carbon dating is a theory like gravity is a theory. It’s backed by thousands if not millions of scientific experiments.

        Human cloning and genetic testing is illegal. People aren’t “afraid” of testing that hypothesis in the very specific way you suggested. No human has ever been cloned – why would we start by pasting potentially incompatible genes into a person before the process got started.

        Plus, genetics is larger than just DNA. There is evidence that some genetic phenomena are caused by proteins that bind to strands of DNA, not even the DNA itself.

        What you have simply presented is that you do not understand or trust science as a source for confirming truth – something that Christians like Gregor Mendel – the father of genetics – would not be so keen to simply reject.

        There is ample evidence that homosexuality is greatly influenced by genetics.

  61. Katie says:

    @Karen, you articulated this point extremely well. When I was a Christian, I had a constant internal debate over the fact that homosexuality is not even remotely harmful like I had always assumed of sin. I saw quite a few gay Christian friends get severely burned as a result, and I do wish this fact would cause Christians to cast doubt on some of those things they call doctrine, especially the terribly twisted writings of Paul.

  62. Excellent hypothetical interview. One big problem. You seem to assume that all sexual desire is reducible to lust. Not true. Sexuality may – and often does – involve lust, but it’s also more complex than strong sensual appetite.

  63. Trevin:

    By the way, are you aware that we’re both contributors to Christianity Today? I enjoy reading your articles and mini book reviews.

    Anyway, I’m curious if you’ve read Janell Williams Paris’ THE END OF SEXUAL IDENTITY? I’m reviewing it for the magazine along with some other books on homosexuality. Her book is relevant to this point you made:

    “Most people with same-sex desires believe they were born with these tendencies. That’s why they often see their attraction as going to the very core of who they are, and so they identify themselves with the “gay” label. So whenever someone questions their behavior or desires, they take it as an attack on the very core of their being.”

    Paris would contend (rightly, in my opinion) that the hypothetical pastor is mistaken in appropriating a socially constructed identity – “homosexual” (or “heterosexual”) – rather than using a divinely given identity – “image-bearer of God,” “beloved,” and “human being.” Simply put, we do violence to same-sex attracted persons when we totalize their identity with a label like “gay” or “lesbian.” The Bible doesn’t recognize such labels; they are, like the rest of us, “beloved.”

  64. Derek says:

    Candle… that’ view is not biblical.

  65. MikeH says:

    @Katie: “…homosexuality is not even remotely harmful like I had always assumed of sin.”

    So, can I assume you would not see any problem with me peeking through your bedroom blinds (or anyone else’s) every night, without your/their knowledge?

    No harm = no sin?

  66. Beggar says:

    As someone who is just two day away from spending the evening with a relative who identifies herself as a Wiccan and a lesbian, this article could not have come at a better time. I anticipated sharing the gospel with her, but was a little unsure of how to talk about the issue of homosexuality, which is inevitably going to come up (from her), and retain all grace, truth and Christ-likeness as I do so. The Lord providentially brought me to this article I believe, which has provided a great amount of clarity, wisdom and gospel truth for the coming meeting. It will prove to be an excellent guideline, despite the fact that the conversation will most likely not flow the same way.

    Interestingly, I just returned with my wife from our mid-week Bible study, which concluded by our praying for God’s wisdom in this upcoming meeting, and for my relative’s salvation.

    Thank you Father for your hand of providence, and for answering our prayers earlier this evening. Thank you also, brother Trevin, for your love for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for His Word.

  67. Mary says:

    I am straight, and I also live a celibate life. Come on, people. It’s not a big deal to live a celibate life in order to live a life that honors God.

    What I’m saying is that a life without sex is not a life without love when you are loved by God and are living a life of purity to bring him honor and glory. I just do not believe that is any more difficult for a gay person to do than a straight person.

  68. E D B says:

    @MikeH
    “So, can I assume you would not see any problem with me peeking through your bedroom blinds (or anyone else’s) every night, without your/their knowledge?”

    Since when is spying on people ‘harmless’? An invasion of privacy can be incredibly harmful. It’s part of the reason why people spend so much time defending their right to privacy.

  69. MPW says:

    Was there supposed to be a DEBATE going on there, Trevin Wax? Because all that this piece contains is a proponent of one viewpoint answering insipid, vague questions (which said proponent selected for himself), all the while allowing himself the liberty to make a wide variety of unfounded assertions without having to justify them.

    There is a debate to be had, to be sure, but it should hardly look like this.

  70. Nick says:

    You akin Christianity to a biological determined fact. It isn’t. Belief in Christ is a choice, a choice you make every day, wether it’s part of your self identity or not. Homosexuality isn’t a choice. It is a matter of biology and there is a large body of scientific evidence to prove it. Homosexuality isn’t just about having random and numerous sexual partners. There are many homosexuals that prefer long term monotonous relationships. Being “gay” isn’t just another term for homosexual. Calling oneself gay is about a whole host of things including being part of an international community, having a shared culture and thousands of years of history. Being gay isn’t just about sex. It’d part of a personal identity and an important part to many of us.

  71. MikeH says:

    @E D B: If I engage in an activity that no-one (including the “victim”) knows about, then who is harmed?

    So, flowing from what Katie says, if no-one is harmed then it seems that it isn’t a sin.

  72. Bethan says:

    Hmmmm so much to say. First off, let me say that I am a Christian and I believe the Bible. I believe that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    I’m not sure what I think about the distinction between behaviour and identity. I think I see what you’re saying, but if someone lies, doesn’t that make them a liar? If someone abuses children, doesn’t it make them a child abuser? If someone looks after their children well, doesn’t that make them a good parent? Maybe I’m wrong, I’d like to know what you think. I can completely understand why someone would feel attacked when you attack their behaviour.

    I do agree that homosexuality is wrong, but that it is among many, many other sins in the Bible. And I don’t think, as some have said, that this writer, at least, has focused on it unduly. If you look at his archives, they are mostly dealing with the problems within the church, not having a go at others. So, the comment about the head of a company dealing with his own employees first does seem to be already dealt with.

    A lot of you seem to be arguing with a dichotomy between religion and secular/logic. Someone argued that unless something can be shown to be wrong with non-religious arguments, then Christians should stop trying to change the law on it. Whatever my views on homosexual marriage, I can’t agree with you on that point. It is a false dichotomy. “secular” logic made slavery out to be right and it was largely a Christian logic that brought an end to it. If William Wilberforce had kept to your logic, he would have kept his Christianity to himself and let slavery continue. THere is much more I could say on this, but this post is already getting long.

    I have gay friends, both Christian and non-christian, that I absolutely love. And if a stranger came to my church who was gay (whether openly or not) I feel almost 100% sure he/she would meet with nothing but love. I say almost 100% because “churches” are not filled with Bible-believing Christians. There are people there who have come to find out more, some who are dragged along unwillingly, and some who are religious hypocrites.

    That leads me on to my final point. Jesus does affirm, as has already been said, the heterosexual nature of marriage. However, the sin he more openly and often attacks is religious hypocrisy, in its many forms. He attacks people who dare to sully the name of God by having false religion. He wants pure worship for his father, and he is angry when he finds anything else. This being the case, all people should approach God, in fear and trembling, repenting of all sin as he is a God of “too pure eyes than to look on evil.”

  73. Treven says:

    Very good article.

    The problem is the with sin of homosexuality versus the other various sins and how homosexuality is justified. Most people who have sin in their life know they need to change and clean it up. The rebellion of homosexuality for whatever reason tries to make right the wrong by saying its normal to like the same sex. However, it’s contrary to Jesus because you cannot breed life from death which is exactly what homosexuality does.

    Until we come into the light and truly follow Jesus not settling, we’ll always justify sin nature. Jesus through his Spirit reveals to us the change that needs to take place. It’s up to us to deal with sin or keep justifying it. I choose to deal with all sin in my life.

  74. Good job. I think John MacArthur would be one to do something like this. :)

  75. Katie says:

    @MikeH What a silly argument you present, it doesn’t even merit a response, though I see EDB already did (thanks). I’m sorry you have to get extremely defensive just because I once was a Christian and finally found its statutes untenable. I understand what sin is at its core – a separation from God. I was defining sin in terms of how Karen had defined it, which is actually a rational definition on a human level. I agree with Karen’s argument that loving another person is not harmful (though perhaps I should define this term for you?) and should never be considered a separation from God, quite the opposite actually.

  76. Karen says:

    Not knowing of something does not make it harmless.

    If you take 20$ from my purse, and I never realize I was stolen from, you have nevertheless harmed me.

    If you spread a lie about me, and I lose a friend without knowing why, you have harmed me.

    If you read my diary, but never get around to blackmailing me with the contents, you have nevertheless harmed me.

    If you spy in my window when I expect privacy and witness some intimate act, I may never know about what you have stolen from me, but it is stolen all the same.

    On the other hand, if I find the love of my life, she returns the feeling, we vow to spend the rest of our lives together, we do so faithfully, and we enjoy each other intimately and sexually, who is harmed? What have I taken, and from whom? How can you be so sure that this isn’t God’s plan for me? Last time I checked, and I apologize for bluntness, but Jesus does not have sex with the church, so I fail to see how my relationship with my wife couldn’t be just as much based on that model as my straight brother’s. Unless, of course, you hold an unashamedly sexist sort of view where women are saved by their husbands only.

    1. Checkered Demon says:

      Bravo, Karen! That is among the most reasoned and reasonable posts I have read today. I find the arguments posited by most of the Christian apologists to be incredibly disingenuous, ill-informed, and self-serving.

      The book they hold in such reverence (the Bible) is filled with so many contradictions, hypocrisies, immoral teachings (condoning/espousing slavery, sentencing children to death for unruly behavior, etc.) and outright lies as to be, IMHO, essentially worthless as a guide for proper conduct.

      The fact that the vast majority of the folks posting here see it as the light, the truth, and the way is frightening to me. And it gives me very little hope for the continuation of our species for any reasonable length of time…

      -CD-

  77. Justiln wilson says:

    I too wish the debate would go like this. Not so much for the stance (which I don’t agree with), but for the rational and reasonable aproach to the topic. Religious conviction on what is right and wrong is important, and has as much right to shape our common society as any other philosophy. But many who self-identify as christians have shown time and time again an inability/unwillingness to engage in civil exchange such as you depict here. Perhaps the bigots and hate-mongers are a non-representative minority. But they are very vocal, and from my outsiders view-point their intolerance taints your entire group.

    As to the larger question of homosexuality as a sin, can any true christian make a judgement of anothers actions without hypocrisy? I am no biblical expert, but I have read it and done my best to understand it. It seems to me that Jesus was very clear on the subject: “Judge not lest ye be judged” and “Let he who is withotu sin cast teh first stone.” I take these qoutes directly form Jesus to mean that no regular human being is entitled to judge another -in any way-. It is not for mere mortals to decide if this act is sinful or that one is not. It is not our job. Our job, by my reading of the new testament, is to try and repent for our own sins, each individually.

    Unless you are immaculatley moral, it is hypocritical to even think you are qualified to judge anothers actions as sinful. “Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

    1. Jim says:

      Justin, you need to look at the context of the verses that you are quoting. Jesus was speaking to the Pharisee’s who believed that they had kept the law in it’s completeness, even though they knew inside that they had not. As you read the entire passage, you will see that what Jesus is instructing is that the believer examine his/her own life first, acknowledge that he/she is a sinner and then approach other sinners as equally fallen sinners. It is also not in my place to judge a persons salvation, however I can judge their actions. We do this all the time – when a child behaves in a manner that we do not agree with, we judge the action and give them a time out, when a criminal breaks a law, we judge the action and sentence them to a punishment. We don’t say that the child is an evil child because they hit the cat, but we still judge the action. I certainly don’t hate the homosexual, or the adulterer or the gossip or the glutton, however I do hate the sin that is committed.
      You may ask if it is possible to hate the sin and love the sinner. Absolutely yes! Have you ever done something so foolish that the thought of it brings you shame? Hurtful words spoken in haste? Foolish teenage act? Do you hate that you did that? Yet this does not mean that you hate yourself. I can love myself yet hate some of the things that I have done. It is the same approach that I take to other sinners.

  78. Justiln wilson says:

    Please forgive my numerous typos, I’m afraid my passion has overwhelmed my grammar.

  79. Vincent says:

    @sarah Such a good point. Sexuality is not black or white. There is no archetype ‘man’ and ‘woman’. We all have varying levels of masculinity and femininity. To declare otherwise is to reject the biological and psychological nuances that make us human. In the words of King Missile, “Jesus was way cool”, but unfortunately he had a pretty antiquated view of sexuality. Soon, this conversation will go the way of slavery and stoning and witch hunts and we will collectively say ‘remember when people actually believed this?’

    Generally though, I agree with your title. I wish the conversation were always so civil and everyone was given time to finish their thoughts and be heard. That’s how we advance society.

  80. David Zook says:

    I would add this is what is required of single heterosexual people as well.

  81. Karen says:

    Thank you for editing and posting, rather than deleting, my comment. However I think you’ve slightly blurred an important point. I do have sex with my wife, so I think it’s important to note that *specifically heterosexual*, male-part-in-female-part sex is not something that Jesus does with his church. So, saying that male-female sexual relationships can model Christ’s relationship with his church while same-sex sexual relationships can’t… It’s eisegesis. The text isn’t there. It’s all assumptions and extrapolations.

    As for the claim that this is continually brought up by non-Christians while Christians would be happy to sit in non-judgement-but-it’s-still-a-sin-land without further discussion: I can only laugh. The efforts to “protect” the other children in our daughter’s class from knowing, not of the intimate times my wife and I share in the bedroom, but of *the mere existence* of families like ours… Banning books, banning even the most innocuous and sexuality-free discussion… Attempting to ensure that our *secular* government will never ever recognize our marriage even while it recognizes divorce and remarriage, the marriages of atheists, marriages where sexual faithfulness is not expected, and other marriages that are just as “bad” in your interpretation…

    You may not be on the street corner holding a sign condemning us, but anti-gay Christians are the ones picking this fight. I honestly don’t care if you think I’m sinful and not a “real” Christian and not “really” saved, but I do care when you act on these beliefs in a way that harms me.

  82. Katie says:

    @Karen, church leaders should be begging you to speak these words to their congregations.

  83. Bill O'Neill says:

    Thank you, Trevin. Your “ideal” television interview of a Christian (pastor or otherwise) can also be a useful apologetic tool. I particularly appreciate your use of this to address the key issue of core identity; it’s either in Jesus Christ or it isn’t.

    BTW, my wife and I greatly appreciated your presentations at the Psalm 119 Conference in Boston. Thank you!

  84. R Hampton says:

    How I Wish the anti-Homosexuality Christian Activists would act:

    Equally condemning in voice and number, of all the sexual sins — for examples, a state by state campaign to pass Amendments on: adultery, pre-marital sex, divorce, & lustfulness.

    How I Believe the anti-Homosexuality Christian Activists actually act:

    All issues regarding homosexuality are more important, more dangerous and more sinful then any other – equal only to abortion. The other, lesser sins, do not require the same degree of protesting, law-making, and the like.

    1. Tammy says:

      I am a sinner…. And I now there is a God.. I hear a lot of people say I am a good person. I don’t hurt no one,steal, cheat, lie, or kill. My live is great. But when asked if they believe in Jesus the most common answer is no. I don’t sin I’m a good person. I contribute to the community, pay taxes, don’t break the law. In my option this is a good person. But I am sad, for they will not be in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus spoke the only way to the father is through me. And if you don’t know him (Jesus) my father (God) will not recognize you. I feel that when Jesus said… Give to Cesar what is Cesar’s and give to God what is Gods. If you believe in God that would be his creations. Not what men want. All the sins of this time this age will be judged by only one. Every knee shall bow and tounge confess that He is the alpha and omega. Jesus came to save us from certain death. God sent the savior for all who believe in him. In our world today, people seek self before they seek the truth of our savior Jesus Christ… The people who say I do not believe and I mean in no god what so ever, that when they die that’s just it. Nothing ever really happens to them . And why… Why should the prince off lies bother them. Their heart, mind, nor eyes are willing to even believe. He wants to bring down God his maker. One must know if there’s good there’s evil. The bible is not just a book. It a history book of how we came to be and what is going to happen. Put it through the test. Step out and read the past history of the Jews. Past, present, future. When I asked God what he wanted. I heard and felt his answer. Just you.

  85. Joe_S says:

    All of this is empty rhetoric until you tell your unbiblically divorced and remarried Christian brothers and sisters to “sin no more”. They can also start living chaste single lives if they sincerely repent.

  86. Portia says:

    The smiling pastor in this fantasy narrative can’t possibly mean what he says when he says this: ” My hope is to follow Him faithfully. That means that whatever He says in regard to sexual practices is what I believe to be true, loving, and ultimately best for human flourishing – even when it seems out of step with the whims of contemporary culture.”

    Most american evangelical pastors have no problem exegeting “love your enemy” right out of the Bible. If you intend to follow him faithfully, how is it that most evangelicals support American wars and many support torture? How can anyone take this pastor seriously when Christians in the west are so willing to ignore what Jesus thinks is “true, loving, and ultimately best” about relating to our enemies? This is hypocrisy, plain and simple.

  87. Apatheist says:

    @David RE:
    “Specifically, Jesus affirms: (1) that God made humankind “male and female” in the image of God; (2) that marriage is a man leaving his father and mother and cleaving to his wife, and the two becoming one flesh. In positively and specifically defining what marriage is, Jesus also states what it is not. Since Jesus’s affirmation appears in a debate over divorce its most obvious application is to divorce — but the application doesn’t end there.”

    Keep in mind that the word “wife” was never written in the bible, and when you read “wife” it is the result of many translations throughout history, ultimately into English.

    You have confirmed that current Christian hate towards homosexuals is due to personal interpretation of things that were said thousands of years ago and written down, transcribed, modified, and translated throughout history.

    Not to mention that this still has absolutely nothing to do with non-Christian homosexuals.

  88. Thomas says:

    This sounds like the view Eastern Orthodox Christians have. We don’t really embrace homosexuality but at the same time we don’t shun away or condemn people who are because of God’s love. Therefore we accept them, yet claim they are sinning. It’s a bit confusing. I think there’s nothing wrong with people being homosexual. Even have a cousin who’s a lesbian.

  89. Katie says:

    @Portia, I agree with you entirely. It’s a terrible pitfall of Christianity that no one who follows it knows how to follow it correctly (because the Bible is so full of inconsistencies, in my opinion), or according to them, they can’t because they are too clouded by sin (even though Jesus freed them from sin…?). Somehow we are supposed to see their love as a testament to God’s love even though their lives generally look quite a bit like any other stranger on the street.

    That is why I wish Christianity could be a personal matter, but the Bible does urge its followers to spread “the Good News,” no matter how irrelevant or unwanted it may be.

  90. David says:

    Apatheist:

    Keep in mind that the word “wife” was never written in the bible, and when you read “wife” it is the result of many translations throughout history, ultimately into English.

    The Hebrew texts are not equivocal as to the word that appears in Genesis 2:24, which Jesus quotes in St Matthew 19 and its parallels. You are correct that the word does not literally mean “wife.” It means “woman.” I don’t think that advances your argument, though.

    You have confirmed that current Christian hate towards homosexuals is due to personal interpretation of things that were said thousands of years ago and written down, transcribed, modified, and translated throughout history.

    If I used your methods for evaluating arguments, I could just as easily say that “current apatheist hate towards Christians grows from personal interpretation of a tradition of thought, going back to Diagoras, Critias, and Democritus, which has been written down, transcribed, modified, and translated throughout history.”

    To be a little more constructive, though, let’s see if we can establish some point of agreement from which dialogue proper might proceed. To that end, two questions:

    (1) Does disagreement equal hate?
    (2) Does identifying something that a person does as “sin” equal hate?

    Cheers,
    David

  91. Kaylene says:

    Exactly what I was thinking.

  92. MikeH says:

    @Apatheist: Of course the word “wife” was used in the Bible. Take a look in Genesis 2:23. Note that in the preceding verse, it is also pretty clear that the wife was a woman. Sure, the Hebrew word is clearly not “wife”, but if you are suggesting that we don’t know the meaning of the original word, – that it’s a translation of a translation of a translation, or whatever – then you have no understanding of how Bible translation works.

    Our current Bible is translated using a resource of,literally, thousands of ancient manuscripts, in the original Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic, that are cross-checked against each other to ensure the correct meaning is conveyed.

    Note that I’m not actually weighing in on the homosexuality question in this post – so please don’t attack me on that count – but this sort of uninformed nonsense, in your argument, just makes me a little miffed.

  93. Katie says:

    @MikeH It is hard for me to watch believers become so selfishly accusatory in discussions like these. I wish you could see it defeats your ultimate purpose (assuming you’re a Christian), which is to reflect Christ’s love. Telling someone what they say is “uninformed nonsense” will never prove to anyone that Christ’s love is worth anything at all, even to you.

  94. MikeH says:

    @Katie: In general, I would absolutely agree with you; however, no amount of “love” is going to change the opinion of @Apatheist and he has very firmly set the tone of his dealings on this site.

    In this case, I’m calling it like I see it and maybe, just maybe (but I doubt it), Apatheist will hesitate to use the argument again, on the basis that he now knows it’s spurious, even though he thinks poorly of me. Maybe I’ll regret it in the morning but, hey, I can live with that.

    Not that I would ever compare myself to Jesus but, if you take a look at your Gospels, you’ll find that He often, quite bluntly, called it as He saw it.

  95. Karen says:

    What I love is the absurdities you find when anti-gay Christian activists start talking about homosexuality in “Christianese”.

    Homosexuals are trying to “create life from death”? Whaa? I solemnly swear that my wife and I have no basement laboratory. When we are together sexually, there is no death anywhere around and we are certainly, like most honest Christians during most of their sexual encounters with their spouses, not actually trying to create life.

  96. MikeH says:

    @Katie: “What a silly argument you present…” etc.

    I’m merely exploring your definition of morality. You appear to have rejected the idea of an objective morality, emanating from God, so, where does your definition of morality come from? When you discarded the Bible, what became your moral compass?

    You seemed to be saying it was about “harm”, yet when I describe a situation in which no-one is apparently harmed, you want to take the moral high-ground. On what basis?

    There are lots of people around (my daughters included) that think I’m being immoral by eating meat and wearing leather. Have they got it right? Several billion people disagree with them, but maybe it’s all the rest of us who have it wrong. Strangely, many of those same people that are offended by my carnivorous nature, apparently seem to think it’s OK to kill unborn babies; go figure.

    There are women in the world that seem really happy to walk around in clothing that fully conceals them, but apparently there are others who understand better what is good for those women and demand that they be “emancipated”.

    A hundred years ago, it was scandalous for a woman to show her ankle. Today, now that we are free of that outmoded prudishness, we have 24/7 pornography available to anyone with an internet connection and, in my humble opinion, we will have a generation of young men who have no understanding of real intimacy and a generation of young women who will regret it.

    You rail against the “terribly twisted” writings of Paul. On what basis are they “twisted”? What special knowledge do you have, that generations of Christians didn’t? I’m not saying you are wrong, but where are you getting your standard from?

    Personally, I’m undecided about the same-sex marriage debate. A big part of me says “what’s the harm?” and if it were to be put to a vote, I’m currently thinking I’d vote in favour of same-sex civil marriages. On the other hand, I’d do this knowing that I wouldn’t really then have a valid reason to vote against any other alternative models that might then be pushed.

    It’s sad that you felt the need to leave the Church over these types of issues, but, bottom line for me, following a very long-winded discussion, is that when we discard God’s Word as our moral compass, when we discard our objective standard, we end up on a very slippery slope and I don’t really look forward to finding out what’s at the bottom.

  97. Doug C says:

    I don’t know who the pastor is, or if this conversation happened, but I would love more like him speaking to the media. I loved it

  98. Dave Jenkins says:

    Good work here Trevin thank you.

  99. E D B says:

    @MikeH:
    “when I describe a situation in which no-one is apparently harmed”

    That is decidedly unlike Christ — as the article says, Jesus preached that to lust was to commit adultery; just because you do something harmful and don’t succeed doesn’t mean that you are innocent of doing harm, just that you are bad at it.

    If I steal something from someone that they meant to give me as a gift, no one was harmed, but I have still done wrong. If I shoot a man to kill, only to discover after that he is already dead, I have still done wrong. Just because you spy on someone and they don’t notice (and presumably you fail to observe something they object to you witnessing) you have still done wrong.

  100. Internet says:

    When God mandated that we be fruitful and multiply, He meant it each and every time you and your spouse come together to be open to another child per the constant Roman Catholic Church teaching. Protestants went off the road, into the ditch and have been falling into the ravine for 80 years, ultimately, devolving into this:

    “We [same-sex partners] are certainly, like most honest [Protestants] during most of their sexual encounters with their spouses, not actually trying to create life.”
    -Karen

    Hasn’t contraceptive (unfruitful) sex always been rehearsal for homosexual sex? Now that millions of heterosexual Christians of all stripes have been engaging in fruitless married sex, did we think our collective sin wouldn’t find us out?

    Judgment begins in the house of God.

  101. Katie says:

    @MikeH, I don’t understand why you’re assuming that I left the Church over “these types of issues.” My leaving the church was a long process brought on by many separate issues, many different from these. I held onto my belief in God as long as I could, because I wanted to believe. I simply cannot believe anymore, but my reasoning is way beyond the limitations you presume. I don’t take belief so lightly as to reject it over a few qualms. I’ve lost close friendships over this decision, so please don’t assume it was such a flippant, prideful act. I came to where I am honestly.

    I, too, used to employ a lot of the same arguments you do, so I *think* I can understand where you’re pulling them from. I used to think the world would be a bankrupt place without God as our compass for morality, but then I considered how my non-believing friends seem to be more moral than some of my believing friends. I realized how much of morality simply stems from the natural human tendency toward survival and well-being and, well, common sense. If I lie, for example, I could build a reputation as a liar, and it’s possible no one would ever trust me again. It is much easier to do well in life if people can trust me, so I don’t run around lying. Also, I love people. I just do, and I don’t need God to tell me to love people for me to love them.

    And again, I used the term “harm” based on someone else’s argument. Sin is separation from God in its rawest form. I know what sin is, and sin is a harmful thing in the sense that it severs a closeness to God. For people who don’t understand what this relationship with God is actually like, they sometimes understand sin as something harmful between people, which does grieve God. I was coming from that perspective. To be honest, I don’t think of the world in terms of “sin” anymore, because I don’t consider any grievance of God. I do think that spying on someone is harmful because invading privacy puts the other party in a place of vulnerability, whether they know it or not. I don’t believe morality comes from religious texts, because *something* we would call morality existed before those texts. Something innate that doesn’t necessarily have to be ascribed to God, though it very well may be if one so decides.

    It actually disturbs me to think that people really would descend into chaos if they didn’t have God’s word telling them not to.

  102. MikeH says:

    @E D B: I absolutely agree with you. That is my point.

  103. Katie says:

    @MikeH Claiming that no amount of love will affect a certain person (Apatheist) only casts doubt on the effective power of your “loving” God. Again, you present no valid reason for believing in your God.

    Jesus also spoke in parables that he said you won’t understand, so I wouldn’t presume to understand the ways of Jesus.

  104. MikeH says:

    @Katie: I wasn’t actually presenting a valid reason for believing in God, I was refuting an invalid one for denying Him.

    If God wants Apatheist, He’ll get Him, even despite (or maybe because of) my efforts. If we can’t “presume to understand the ways of Jesus” who’s to say I didn’t say exactly the right thing at exactly the right time?

    With respect to my other post: my apologies for my assumption about why you left the faith. Given your strong words in this regard, I jumped to a conclusion and was certainly not trying to belittle your decision.

    As to the rest of your post,I agree that our morality is “innate” (even though we often ignore it) because (in my view), we are made in the image of God. However, apart from that innate sense, He also gives us specific standards in His Word, which we ignore at our own peril. Not because of God’s judgement, in most cases at least, but because of the natural consequences of our actions, which, because He loves us, He would prefer us to avoid.

  105. Apatheist says:

    @David:

    “current apatheist hate towards Christians grows from personal interpretation of a tradition of thought, going back to Diagoras, Critias, and Democritus, which has been written down, transcribed, modified, and translated throughout history.”

    Wrong. I’ve stated no hate, I’ve expressed no interest in stopping you from practicing your religion. My distaste for your views is brought upon by your co-Christians and their constant campaigning against equal rights for all people, Christian or not.

    “(1) Does disagreement equal hate?”

    No.

    “(2) Does identifying something that a person does as “sin” equal hate?”

    Again, no.

    When you take it a step beyond disagreement and classification of a person that is (I’m excluding the self-hating homosexual Christians out there) not part of your sect and also attempt to keep them from enjoying the same rights and privileges that you enjoy in our secular society, I move your actions into the category of “hate”.

  106. Apatheist says:

    @MikeH

    “Take a look in Genesis 2:23 dot dot dot et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.”

    I did, and “wife” and “woman” are how the various translators translate “Isha”, “from man”. I even looked at G 2:22, as you suggested, and again, it seems to say things like “woman” and “wife” in the various translations. Are there any translations that specify the inverted genitalia of “Isha”? Is it possible that god made Adam a companion in the general sense?

    Even if these tails have been told identically and translated impeccably since the first time they were written down, you’re still looking at something where the first written version of the story occurs thousands of years after the events took place.

    If humans are capable of twisting and mangling the ~250 year-old words and thoughts of the USA’s founding fathers, with incredibly numerous records and accounts in a language that is largely the same as ours is today, you can’t expect me to believe that the words in your book, which is thousands of years old, are any less subject to humanity’s innate ability to twist the facts to their advantage.

  107. Vicki says:

    He never did say he would refuse membership, he said that he would welcome them into the sanctuary to learn more about what Jesus wants us to do.
    Copied from the interview:

    Host: But it appears to me that you and your church take a rather unloving position when it comes to gay people. Are homosexuals welcome to come to your church?

    Pastor: Of course. We believe that the gospel is a message relevant for every person on the planet, and we want everyone to hear the gospel and find salvation in Jesus Christ. So at our church, our arms are outstretched to people from every background, every race, every ethnicity and culture. We’re a place for all kinds of sinners and people with all kinds of problems.

  108. Katie says:

    @MikeH “If God wants Apatheist, He’ll get Him…” Yes, this argument is part of why I don’t believe. The fact that a loving God just kind of “wants” certain people and “gets” them at his pleasure while the rest go off to suffer for eternity (even the ones who have reached their beliefs honestly like me and never once went out with the intent of rejecting or hating God whatsoever). I used to hate it when people would call God a sadist, but now that’s all he looks like, if he’s even real.

  109. David says:

    Apatheist:

    Wrong. I’ve stated no hate, I’ve expressed no interest in stopping you from practicing your religion. My distaste for your views is brought upon by your co-Christians and their constant campaigning against equal rights for all people, Christian or not.

    Which was my point: Trevin stated no hate. Nor had I. Only disagreement. Go back and read Trevin’s post. He did not broach the civil rights issue, at all. All he did was answer the kinds of questions that are commonly asked of Christians when they are interviewed on national TV. Deal with the arguments presented here, not with your grievances against all Christians everywhere. Again, if I followed your rhetorical method I might respond to this hemming and hawing about “co-Christians” by pointing out how many Christians your co-atheists in communist China have slaughtered. But that would hardly be productive. Eye on the ball.

    “(1) Does disagreement equal hate?”

    No.

    “(2) Does identifying something that a person does as “sin” equal hate?”

    Again, no.

    Very well. We’ve at least established agreement on two points. Happy to leave it there for now.

  110. Karen says:

    Stating that one should repent of something that is an integral, enjoyable, loving, and healthy part of one’s life is not loving. Self-respecting gay people will always find it hateful no matter what you tell yourself about it.

    I believe I covered the part of sin that harms your relationship with God in that which harms oneself. That includes spiritually. I just came to the conclusion long ago that any God that would be distanced from me for this reason is no God I could believe in. It would be cruel and arbitrary – and my God isn’t. I am not farther from God because of my relationship with my wife.

    Internet: that’s why I said “honest Christians”. No, sex with contraceptives isn’t a rehearsal for gay sex. That would be… Funny. No, it’s a modern solution to a time-worn problem: people want to have sex with their spouses even when another baby would be inadvisable. It’s a sweet idea that most couples would actually have sex without considering the odds, not merely always open to life if it should happen, but always actually hoping to create it. Before there were condoms and pills, there were other methods, less effective, but used nevertheless. Sex is so much more than reproduction, for all couples.

    Let me tell you, if God wanted to miraculously bless us with life when we have sex, I’d be open to that – I’m not expecting it any more than old Elizabeth was, but I’d still be thrilled. Why do you think it’s less possible for us than for a heterosexual woman of 70, or who has had a complete hysterectomy? Do you believe God’s miraculous powers are limited? So why is it sinful for us, but not for her and her husband?

  111. Matt Prorok says:

    “If you think my position on homosexuality is radical, just wait until you hear what else I believe!”

    I totally thought this was going in another direction. There’s a lot of really wacky things you could believe based on scripture. But yeah, believing that we’re lesser, sinful creatures who have to beg an undetectable, telepathic father for forgiveness, because we keep doing things that he created us knowing we would do, and which are only bad because he said so, is pretty radical.

    Meanwhile, since I don’t believe in sin, I’d like to report that sex is really, really fun. And there’s no shame in it.

  112. Internet says:

    For those who consider themselves religious yet desire homosexual (AKA Contraceptive) marriage?

    Count the costs:

    Secular political science scholar Dr. Eric Kaufmann, at the University of London, has written the following book: “Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?”

    Which religions will survive?:
    (1.) Old Order Amish.
    (2.) Quiverfull Evangelical Movement.
    (3.) Traditional Latin Mass Catholics.
    (4.) American Mormons.
    (5.) Hasidic Jews.
    (6.) Muslims.

    Can a religion which even allows contraception survive?

    Not according to Dr. Kaufmann.

    What’s the winning recipe? Make love and, when you do, make babies. Teach them about God and your faith tradition all-day everyday.

  113. maybe says:

    maybe if your opinion was based on something other than 2000 year old magic book with no evidence this would be more acceptable

  114. Matt Prorok says:

    “Can a religion which even allows contraception survive?
    Not according to Dr. Kaufmann.”

    The fact that there are gay people would seem to refute this hypothesis. Also, people convert to other religious beliefs at points in their lives other than childhood. This hypothesis does not make sense in the context of the evidence, and must thus be discarded.

  115. Apatheist says:

    @David

    If Trevin updates his “interview” above with the following question, I’ll retract my accusations of hate.

    Interviewer: So all of the sinning and whatnot aside, do you support the movement to allow secular homosexuals to attain the same rights and privileges to marriage that you and your fellow heterosexuals enjoy?

    Pastor: Certainly. While my religion has it’s own definition for “marriage”, I understand that in our secular society that the term has come to be used to describe a legal status offered by the government to consenting adults, and would have no problem voting “Yes” to grant the same rights and privileges to all people in this country, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

    Once that happens I’ll believe you when you say this interview and your posts don’t come from a place of hate.

  116. triloci says:

    What this presumably fictional pastor says is only true if you are willing to accept a 2,000 fantasy novel as fact. Belief is no virtue.

  117. Apatheist says:

    @David

    “Again, if I followed your rhetorical method I might respond to this hemming and hawing about “co-Christians” by pointing out how many Christians your co-atheists in communist China have slaughtered.”

    I’m not an atheist. I don’t think that my feeble human mind is remotely capable of understanding the vast complexities of this universe or its origins. I frankly just don’t care, hence the “apathy” portion of my handle here.

    Just as your “co-Christians” have throughout time slaughtered innocent people with differing viewpoints, my “co-atheists in China” as you call them, are also responsible for these reprehensible acts. And just as you would (I hope) be vehemently against abuses such as that by members of your own religion, I, too, am against those actions taken by anyone, without regard to their religious affiliation, or lack thereof.

    I’m not going to say that your religion doesn’t classify homosexuals as “sinners”, they clearly do, and it’s your right to do so, but let me ask you this: Do you support the right to a secular marriage between two consenting adults in the United States?

    If you don’t, you’re applying your religious viewpoint to people that are not (again, I’m not counting the Christian homosexuals) part of your group, for reasons that I can only see as hateful.

  118. Internet says:

    “The fact that there are gay people would seem to refute this hypothesis.”

    Homosexuality does not have religious text/tradition handed down to succeeding generations. Homosexuality is not a religion. Homosexuals and contracepting Christian heterosexuals are bedfellows.

    Homosexuals and contracepting heterosexuals view companionship and org*sm as #1. Newborns? Almost never on their list.

  119. Matt Prorok says:

    “Homosexuality does not have religious text/tradition handed down to succeeding generations. Homosexuality is not a religion.”

    It does, however, provide a counter-example. It is a community of practice that exists despite the fact that its members do not procreate. If you’d like another counter-example, one more explicitly religious, why are there still monks and nuns? They should have died out centuries ago, right?

    I just can’t fathom the mindset you seem to be using. Sex is fun. Sometimes, people want to have fun without life-changing consequences. If there exists a perfectly safe way to do that, why not make use of it?

  120. Apatheist says:

    @Matt Prorok

    It doesn’t matter how they classify particular physical acts or people that participate in them, what matters is that they’re forcing their views on people that are not a part of their religion.

    Want to say that sex without offspring is sin? Go right ahead, I don’t care how you classify it, because I’m not a part of your peer group.

    All we should ask is that they acknowledge that homosexuals deserve their rights just as heterosexuals do.

    How about we ban legal marriages for everyone, make the legal/governmental procedure a “civil union” (for ALL people, straight, gay, asexual, whatever), and if you want a “marriage” you can have a little certificate printed by your church. Where’s the harm there?

  121. Natasha says:

    What is so infuriating about this piece is how compassionate and revolutionary the author thinks he is. *gag*

  122. Ryan Groene says:

    I have looked over all of the comments on this site, and I feel that I have some things to say. I am an evangelical Protestant, and while I have not had any friends who are personally gay, I have tried to think of this issue from the viewpoint of somebody who is and who, in fact, sees it as a part of his/her identity. At 24 years of age (well, as of tomorrow), I have never been in any kind of romantic relationship, so I have trouble thinking of my identity as being defined relationally, yet there have been many things that I have considered to be a part of myself that I have questioned and that I have had any often do have a lot of trouble letting go of. There are, for instance, aspects of my personality that I have considered to be a part of me that do not seem to harmonize with biblical standards. Yet, in the end, I know that we were each individually created by God with our own personality and with our own strengths and that the Spirit does grant us our unique gifts, but we all, by nature, have certain traits and tendencies that are the result of sin. And these tendencies are not the same in one person as they are in another. I am not saying that I can ever REALLY begin to imagine what anybody else has to go through or what anyone else has to struggle with, so I can really only speak for myself and speak according to what I believe that the Lord teaches us.

    As for the issue of tolerance, I do think it is important to emphasize that there is nothing necessarily wrong with saying that something that somebody else is doing is sinful. I mean, everybody does that to some extent, and because I believe that God has given us His Word and that He does allow us all to understand it (progressively and often along different trajectories) that I am justified in arguing from what I believe that His Word says. At the same time, it’s not a matter of saying that I am more or less worthy of eternal life than you. It’s really a matter of coming back to the point that we are all in need of a Savior to free us both from the consequences of sin and from the power of sin in our lives. Sin destroys our internal harmony, our relationships with others, and our relationship with God, and we need God’s grace to counteract the results of sin and to restore harmony and inner purity.

    Finally, I did like Trevin’s post as I have liked the majority of his posts in the past, and I did not find any of it to really be “hateful.” The issue of civil marriage did not even come up, so as much as one might think that the issue is somehow “implied,” it really isn’t. As for my position, I don’t think that the government can change anybody’s heart, and I don’t believe it should try to. If we were really consistent, we’d have to also say that marriages where the husband and wife don’t really love each other should be banned, but we all know that would be ridiculous. So, to be honest, I really am apathetic about the political issues. It would make virtually know difference in whom I voted for.

  123. Katie says:

    @Ryan, I really do appreciate you coming in as a gracious voice among a lot of (sometimes harsh) disagreement. Since I’ve been in your place before, I know how much a truly God-fearing Christian does want to love others unconditionally and love God above all. The idea that even a Christian’s tolerance can still appear “hateful” stems from the fact that a Christian who believes the Bible is the inerrant word of God does believe that homosexuality is sin. As long as you believe it is a sin (something worthy of going to hell), there will be gay people who find that accusation hateful and offensive, no matter how much you try to wrap up your disagreement in love. As a Christian, you might have to accept that taking such a position is simply going to put you in that camp. I do respect your opinion personally, though, and I thank you for bringing calm to this discussion.

  124. J.Anthony says:

    Your forgot the 2nd part of that verse. He told the woman to go and sin no more!

  125. Geoff R says:

    Great stuff. Too bad the host didn’t finish by asking, “What must I do to be saved?” :-) That woulda been 10/10!

  126. poet says:

    It would indeed be good to have a debate like this in public space because it shows how anti-humanitarian these beliefs are. Sexuality is innate, necessary, and beautiful. (Like many other inherently beautiful things it can be used for bad purposes, but that’s another story) It comes in many forms, and its purpose is not just procreation but also the maintenance of relationship.

    Jesus was a person who enjoyed the physical side of life (cf. the Pharisees sneering at him for not being ascetic enough with respect to food and wine). Just because the bible says nothing about his sexuality – because honestly, that wasn’t at the core of his teachings in any way, it was about having an attitude of lovingkindness and respect towards all people in society, especially those belonging to marginalized groups such as publicans, prostitutes, etcetera… – doesn’t mean he didn’t have one.

  127. gary says:

    Wakeup”’We do not condem the Gay community, We offer repentance and the word to them,
    And yes, homosexuality is a choice and is a sin against the word of Christ..
    1 Corinthians 6:9-10

    Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: no sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.

  128. Neither will you because:

    1) there is no god

    2) if there is a god, the chances he caes abou you are remote

    3) if he exists and he cares he’s unlikely to be the god of the bible

    4) if he exists, cares and he is the god of the bible, the odds of your specific sect, founded less than 500 years ago, being the one that knows exactly how to please the fickle entity are negligible.

    5) If he exists, cares, is the god of the bible, and he is exactly as your sect describes him, he can go catch a flying fig, because he’s an almightly bastard.

    Just saying, dude!

  129. Apatheist says:

    @Gary

    I don’t care if you call it sin or not, it’s your right, but in our secular society our laws should not enforce your opinions on people that are not a part of your group.

    I could say that in my belief system, we find people that dislike homosexuals are guilty of “fart-knocking” and that you’re all “fart-knockers.” Just because I think you’re a “fart-knocker” doesn’t mean you care, and just because I think you’re a “fart-knocker” doesn’t mean I should get to keep you from enjoying the same rights and privileges I do in this country.

  130. Shane Dodson says:

    @Apatheist…

    What “rights and privileges” are you referring to? If you’re referring to marriage, homosexual adults have the same right to marry as any heterosexual adults.

    Please define your terms. Blessings!

  131. drobbrown says:

    Interesting dialogue. I find that much is misunderstand in Christianity, as a Jesus follower. We have heard it said, hate the sin, love the sinner. Do Christians hate sin, yes. Does God hate sin? The Old Testament bares witness to this. Let us consider why Christians, why God hates sin. With this term sin, let us consider this word close relatives to evil, wrong and immoral. When we consider these terms someone may be hurt, harmed, offended, etc. When this happens relationship is broken, damaged, in disrepair. Now whether we look at rape, lying, killing, adultery, child abuse, homosexuality; in these venues harm is done to a person, an individual. In rape a woman or man are forced to have sex, thus intense pain physiologically occurs. Let us look at lying, lying corrodes trust, respect. Adultery affects loyalty, trust, among many other issues. Killing, enough said, child abuse, enough said! Homosexuality, let us look at this, since this is the topic of concern in this debate. Homosexuality, let us consider the results, aids, lack of love, this is a false love. Why would anyone, whether heterosexual or homosexual say if they love someone, want to give another a disease? STL’s have been around for ions. Look at Hollywood for example, or rock stars Rock Hudson, Freddie Mercury of Queen. Sin, evil, wrong, is hated because of what it does. Consider a bully, should the behavior of a bully be tolerated? We dislike, hate the bullying, but love the person, and try to help them. Is bullying in one’s DNA? What makes a bully? Relationship breakdown! Alcoholics, is this a choice or in DNA? More than likely it is a learned behavior. One step further, if someone runs over your mother and kills her, would you hate the action or the behavior? Feelings run and rage like a river, and need guided. A friend dies of cancer, do you hate the friend for getting cancer or hate the cancer? God, in His sovereignty gives us choices, just look all throughout the Bible. Do we dislike, hate some choices people make – yes! Why, because they cause harm, are cruel, cause guilt, diminish the quality of life. Whether you are homosexual or not, how do you feel, what do you think when you are wronged, when you are sinned against? Do you hate what was done? And this is being intolerant! And Christians are vilified for this! Very interesting indeed!

  132. RWZero says:

    “That means that any time I even lust after someone else, I am sinning. Jesus’ radical view of sexuality shows all of us up as sexual sinners, and that’s why He came to die.”

    Most Christians don’t have the balls to lay the absurdity out in plain view. So I appreciate that you do.

    Now that we can all see the absurdity, however, perhaps we can think harder about it (or at least harder than I did about it for my whole life as a Christian):

    Scenario A) God decides to create humans with deviant sexual tendencies that nobody can avoid. Then he calls some of them “sinful,” and sends his son to die so we can be saved from the way he made us. Furthermore, nothing actually changes once this happens–everyone continues to inevitably lust for as long as the body lives. Finally, most people go to hell, and don’t get the benefit of being saved from these sinful desires.

    Scenario B) We have such strong sexual desires because natural selection destroys the genes of people who don’t care about sex, and amplifies the genes of people who are sex-crazed. Those genes are in us. Sexual desire is strong because it is the driving force that got us all here–and because it’s so strong and emotionally charged (and indeed, the driving force behind much behaviour), it generates all the social stigmas, taboos and thorny moral issues we see today.

    *

    I used to think that Scenario B was really bleak, and refuse to believe it. But they’re both terribly bleak–it’s just that one of them actually makes sense, whereas the other doesn’t.

  133. Katie says:

    @drobbrown, it seems you have very little understanding of genetics, and these analogies are pretty atrocious.

  134. Julia Domina says:

    Sheesh. Talk about jousting with a straw man. People, when you write BOTH SIDES of a “debate,” it’s NOT a debate. I know it must feel good to shoot down easy counterarguments that you’ve put in the mouths of your opponents. But that has zero intellectual credibility.

    Try debating a real believer in gay rights. You may not win the debate, but you might learn some things, and be better positioned to teach some things.

  135. lyn says:

    I would like to add Matthew 15:19, where our Lord did indeed speak out against homosexuality,” For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”

    The word fornication means ‘ illicit sexual intercourse
    a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
    b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
    c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12
    metaph. the worship of idols
    a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols
    From blueletterbible.org

  136. lyn says:

    My apologies, I hit the submit button before I was finished! The Lord stated what the results of this sin were in Matt.15:20, “These are [the things] which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” So Christ did indeed speak out against homosexuality.

    As a sinner saved by grace from this bondage, I am aware of all the loopholes. I do pray for the truth to go forth and for sinners to be saved.

  137. Tad says:

    Besides the religious aspects of this post gay sexuality goes against the design of the body.The male penis was not designed to be put into another man’s anus.The anus was designed to get rid of human waste.The anus doesn’t provide natural lube.When you think about it,it’s just gross.But we can justify anything we want to do.There are adult men who claim they were born to be attracted to young boys,but we know that’s not true.

  138. lyn says:

    If homosexuals insist they are born that way, why is a lesbian couple giving their 11 year old son hormone blockers so he can choose his gender? Here is the link http://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-speak-out-against-blocking-puberty-letting-boy-choose-his-gender-58547/

  139. Lyn, it may come as a surprise to you, but homosexuals don’t go to homosexual college and study to pass some sort of homosexual exam and become certified homosexuals.

    In the real world, there are lots of people who do lots of wacky stuff, some of them homosexuals, and some not.

    Your comment makes as much sense as if I were to ask you “since christians believe the world was to end earlier today, why are you commenting on the internet instead of in heaven”.

  140. lyn says:

    Roberto,

    As a former lesbian saved by God’s grace, I know why I, and all of fallen man do the things we do…to fulfill our forbidden sinful desires and insatiable appetite for all that is contrary to God’s Holy Word. James 1:13-14 clearly states who is to blame for sin, ‘but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust’. We do not just stumble into sin, we choose it. As I have already stated in Matthew 15:19, sin originates in our hearts.
    These two women have no business raising children, that story proves it. As for the homosexual march, there is an agenda by them to cram their sin down the throat of society and scream ‘tolerance’ all the while. God’s word is clear, those who practice homosexuality will not enter His kingdom (1 Cor.6:9-10). Christ died so we may live, not to sin but to serve Him, love Him and spend eternity with Him. Be reconciled to God, believe and trust in what Christ has done…His death, burial, and resurrection. He is the only hope for the sinner, after this life is over, where will you go?

  141. Lyn, no, you don’t know why others do things. You may know why YOU did things.

    Or rather, you believe that’s why you did things. I bet at the time you believed your reasons were different, and in the future, you may believe your reasons were yet other, different ones.

    After this life is over I will not go anywhere, because I will cease to be. That’s why I try to do good in this life, since there is nothing else beyond it.

    If I were to do good in the hopes of heavenly reward, it would be akin to my son’s being good in hopes of dessert. I have grown beyond those childish ways.

    Hopefully some day you all will grow too.

    BTW: agreed, those women are quite nuts. OTOH, so are many christians.

  142. Lyn: BTW, you did not state anything in Matthew whatever or other. You are supposed to believe some guy called Matthew stated whatever that verse says.

    Take care!

  143. lyn says:

    Roberto,

    You believe everything happens by chance, or randomly? Ok.
    Do you believe it is wrong to walk up to a stranger and randomly take their life?
    If someone rapes your daughter or your wife, is this a random act and is it wrong?

  144. lyn says:

    Also, what is your basis for saying these women are nuts?

  145. PB says:

    Well-said! Sin is a more comprehensive and insidious problem than we realize.

  146. Eric says:

    Justin,

    The issue of homosexual marriage is one of theology. Ephesians 5 teaches that marriage was instituted by God as an earthly picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. Husband=Christ, wife=church. To allow homosexuals to enter into that covenant would be to confuse the theology behind marriage.

    Also, as someone else mentioned, when Jesus was discussing marriage with the Pharisees (Matt. 19, I think), He said that “in the beginning God made them male and female. For this reason a *man* shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his *wife* and the two shall become one flesh.” Marriage was instituted by God for H glory, and it’s His prerogative who He wants to allow to participate in it. His Word is pretty clear about it.

  147. lyn: Oh, the randomness gambit! I don’t believe everything happens by chance. For example, I am not typing random words here, I am thinking and deciding what I type, then acting in consequence.

    If someone raped my wife it may be random in the sense that the rapist was not specifically intending to rape my wife. It may be random in that the rapist may have decided to do it in the spot instead of having a frapuccino.

    And in both cases it is wrong, not because some deity says so, but because we live in a society where we have an agreement that raping women is wrong, and because raping women is hurtful.

    Your morality, on the other hand, is taken from a book. A book where a man offers his daughters to be raped in order to protect other men and is praised for it. I rank that between weird and not gentleman-like.

    My morality is human, and earned. Yours is frail, and given. My virtue is obtained through work and deeds, yours is obtained through blindly following precepts handed to you without the possiblity of discussion. I consider mine a much improved version.

    My basis for calling those women nuts is, their actions are insane.

  148. Eric: you are for some reason ssuming the church(es) are the arbiters of what marriage is, or should be.

    That may have worked in, say, France in 1250, but hardly is the case nowadays.

  149. Cary says:

    Follow-up:

    “Host: With the vast sea of unbiblically divorced and remarried Christians in good standing at their local churches, these heterosexual couples are, undoubtedly, guilty of adultery, correct?

    Since these remarried heterosexual families are acceptable to your churches, would you refuse membership to married born-again homosexuals who are also repentant of their sins?”

    Answer: If by “married born-again homosexuals” (aka “flaming snowflakes”) you mean a homosexual couple who is still together and engaging in fornication, thus showing that they are not BIBLICALLY repentant (remember Judas claimed to be “repentant”), then yes, membership in a Biblical Christian church should be denied. Or, in short, your apparent paradox is no paradox at all if you define repentance as “turning away from sin and turning to Christ as Savior AND Lord.”

    I would add that you have used an example that is not Biblically black and white (divorce and remarriage) to compare to an issue that is very clear in Scripture (same gender sex is sin). That is equivocating, a false analogy.

    1. Leigh D Stebbins says:

      Cary you arguement on re-married Christians in good standing in the Church is in many ways falical because not all divorces are are due to as you seem to intimate. More divices are often due to selfishness on the part of one, sometimes two in the marriage, another big cause of divorce is due to a lack of trust between husband and wife, rather than infidelity, and the third greatest cause for divorce is emotional problems in one or the other, where one is unable to cope with everyday problems and pressures. Your contention that it is due to infidelity is merely a furpthy and a typical response from the leftist intolerance brigade. Infidelity is only the 4th greatest cause of Divorce, and whose fault is it that divorce is so prevelant. It is not the Churches, but interfering big Brother or Government who changed the way that divorce is handled making it so easy for those not fully committed to their marriage to opt out under the guise of irrecosnsilable difference. In my time I have rarely seen a Divorce that is truly due to an irreconcilable difference but more due to the reasons I have stated. If people could do away with the underlying causes irreconsilable differences would not be on the Radar.

      Have you heard of the Gospel Principle of teaching Men correct Principals that they may Govern themselves, or to put it another way, be able to gain self Mastery over their own carnal desires and appetites

      So Cary I would suggest you look to stop blaming the Churches for divorce and lie it at the feet of where it truly belongs, at the feet of individuals and the Governments for making it so easy for couples to divorce on a percieved whim rather than divorced on truth and responsibility.

      With Man having free been given his agency by God, at the end of the day there is always a choice, no man or woman can say I have no choice, and all must be accountable for the consequences of any such choice. Whether we like to accept it or not we ourselves are responsible for our own Eternal Destinies, not God, he only put in place the Law and frameworks and as such is with Jesus Christ only the Judge and where required the dispenser of Mercy while satisfying the needs of Justice.

      So Cary back to the drawing board for you to dream up some more lamebrained ideals and cockamany philosophies. All men are commanded to live in this World but not to be of it and it’s ill concieved perceptions and philosophies because they are no match for the Wisdom and Moral Laws of God.

  150. Reader says:

    It’s so true that in this debate anyone who is a Christian or doesn’t believe homosexuality is right is always judged and intolerant and even hateful. They are never given the chance to explain themselves or say the reason of their position. They are also condemned for the hateful crimes that happen to homosexuals. I, as a Christian wish that my stand on this topiccould be heard, like the pastors was in this scenario. It is a sin but so are many other things. But the good news is Jesus saves us from our sins.

  151. Alessandra says:

    @MR
    For reasons unknown to me, I have very little sexual attraction to women but strong attraction to men.
    ============
    Well, that is exactly the problem with most people who have developed a homosexual problem: lack of knowledge about their own personality and psychological development and dynamics.

    The best thing any person with a homosexual problem could do is to investigate why they had the need to develop same-sex attraction in the first place and what hampers their complementary-sex attractions?

    NARTH therapists and researchers have done a lot to investigate the question, and have produced a great deal of knowledge on the subject, contrary to the APA, which is a completely incompetent and unprofessional organization regarding the question.

  152. Alessandra says:

    @Tad
    But we can justify anything we want to do.There are adult men who claim they were born to be attracted to young boys,but we know that’s not true.

    =============
    Exactly, but liberals are so afraid of the the truth to be known about the equally problematic causes for homosexuality that they must censor every piece of knowledge about the social, familial, and environmental contributing factors towards homosexuality or bisexuality.

    That’s why many people with a homosexual problem (and their liberal fanatical supporters) say: I don’t know why I am homosexual –but so neither should you or anyone else–no one should know anything either, we should all be completely ignorant.

    No one wants an ignorance policy shoved down society’s throat concerning pedophilia causes, but liberals are desperate to keep everyone ignorant when it comes to homosexuality.

    You can’t normalize homosexuality if you start moving away from ignorance and becoming knowledgeable about its causing and contributing factors. You are then forced to face how many dysfunctional or egotistical or problematic factors lie at the base of the development of a homosexual or bisexual psychology.

    No one is born homosexual or bisexual, but liberals cannot face this most basic human fact.

  153. Alessandra says:

    @Karen–
    On the other hand, if I find the love of my life, she returns the feeling, we vow to spend the rest of our lives together, we do so faithfully, and we enjoy each other intimately and sexually, who is harmed?
    =============
    The list of harm is so long, but just to continue with the point made in my previous posts, the question is why did you need to develop sexual desires for another woman? Secondly, what impairs you from feeling attraction to men?

    The greatest harm done by your ideology is that it is an ideology fundamentally constructed on denial and ignorance. Such questions may never be asked or investigated exactly because the answers will show you were not born determined to have a homosexual psychology, and only became so because you were not able to develop a healthy, wholesome attraction to men.

    The most important question to be asked here is why.

    ============
    I find the love of my life, she returns the feeling, we vow to spend the rest of our lives together, we do so faithfully, and we enjoy each other intimately and sexually, who is harmed?

    What if you don’t? What if the other woman with a homosexual problem doesn’t return your feelings? What if you are not faithful? Why hold up this example when a great number of homosexual or bisexuals (the latter, who by definition are not exactly faithful) are not anything like this? Why not talk about all the harms involved then?

  154. E D B says:

    @Alessandra
    Your prejudice to this issue is bleedingly obvious here, with the way you sling the label “homosexual problem”.

    Why are you so determined to believe that people who are gay are psychologically damaged? There is a long list of homosexual behavior observed in nature; it certainly makes more sense that being gay is a natural state than to guess that a bonobo chimp was molested, or became spiteful of lady chimps through rejection or some other nonsense. You throw out the APA on this matter essentially because you don’t like their conclusions, despite the training and research involved in coming to those conclusions.

    Science isn’t afraid of understanding why people are gay, and more than it is afraid of understanding why people get sick or why some people have blue eyes. Just because there isn’t a consensus of the cause doesn’t mean they’re not looking, it just means that they’re not as interested in jumping to conclusions. Statements like “No one is born homosexual or bisexual […]” is frankly unsubstantiated, and the implications are the cause of quite a lot of the hate that gay people suffer from. I would posit that if there is a “homosexual problem”, then THAT is it.

    Finally; as someone who knows some bisexuals, I take offense to this slander: “[bisexuals] by definition are not exactly faithful”. That is an old, totally unfounded belief. Yes, bisexuals are attracted to men and women; no, this DOES NOT MEAN that they need to have multiple lovers. They’re no more interested in multiple partners than any heterosexual people are (which again, varies from person to person).

    While the rest of your rhetoric is incredibly biased and ignorant, that particular statement is outright insulting and prejudiced.

  155. lyn says:

    Where did your moral beliefs come from Roberto? Why is rape wrong, and why are the lesbians who have the 11 year old nuts?

  156. lyn says:

    Another question for you Roberto, why do you spend so much time on a Christian blog?

  157. Lyn:

    I will take the liberty of answering both your posts here. It makes things easier.

    Rape is wrong to me because it hurts a person, and humans valuable to me. Also, as I mentioned already, there is an agreement in our society about what is right and what is wrong.

    Since in my world view humans are the most valuable part of existence, reaching this specific decision, “rape is wrong” is very easy.

    OTOH, are you claim christians do not reach this conclusion on their own and need external supernatural guidance in order not to rape other people? I seriously doubt that if you had not read the bible you would be raping people.

    As for why I spend so much time in a christian blog:

    1) It’s not so much time. I get email when someone comments, and it takes me like, 1 minute to read the comment, including answering if I want to (I touch type and the christian discourse is so shallow it doesn’t require major brain effort to answer).

    2) I fight confirmation bias.

    3) You lot are quite amusing, it’s like seaworld but without the fishy stink.

    4) I enjoy expressing opinions clearly and seeing what comesback after it gets filtered by intentional blindness (going in) and dogma (going out).

    5) Sometimes, I have managed to convince people of minor things.

    6) If in the future some digital archeologists finds this page, I want him to that western civilization did not consist solely of christians spouting condescending noise to each other.

    I could go on, but I will not. On the other hand, Lyn, why are you spending so much time talking to me? Let me introduce myself!

    I am a married man (To a woman, just in case you wondered!) I have a cute kid. I do well economically. I live very very far away from you. I am an atheist. I don’t mind what you christians do in your sunday club. I have not intentionally harmed anyone that I can recall. You fully expect me to burn in hell.

    Which one of those statements sounds wildly out of place?

  158. lyn says:

    Roberto,
    I appreciate your answering my questions. I find it strange you think an agreement in society determines right from wrong; obviously a rapist or murderer does not agree with you. What causes some to rape, murder, steal, cheat, lie etc.?
    Can a list of do’s and don’ts keep a society from spiraling out of control?
    Now here is a personal question directed at you, if you do wrong, for instance, view porn, lie to a loved one, speak rudely to someone, do you feel any guilt, shame or remorse?
    where do we draw the line as to what is right and what is wrong? who determines such?

  159. Lyn:

    Of course there are disagrements about what is right and what is wrong. For instance, I don’t consider watching porn to be a bad thing. I in fact consider it less harmful than watching a wrestling show.

    As a society, we reach agreements, we achieve consensus, and we write them as laws. Those laws are the expression of what we think is the difference between good and evil.

    And if you break those laws, you can expect to suffer a punishment for it, and by that, I mean a verifiable punishment, which at least tries to be proportional to the crime, even if the US is working hard to make that not be the case.

    So, who determines what’s right and wrong? We all do. And since I am breaking the rules of the society I belong to, and going against what I was taught, I indeed feel remorse and guilt.

    However, it should be pretty obvious to anyone that has met a small child, remorse and guilt are hardly natural responses to lying, cheating or hitting someone with a stick. They are learned responses.

    So, going back to a question I asked already: Do you believe that if you were not a christian, and had not read the bible, you would go around raping and murdering? And the only thing preventing that is your religion?

    I don’t think you would. Or at least I hope you won’t! Imagine if this small conversation caused you to lose faith for a minute and made you, say, pet your cats in an inappropiate manner. That would be a heavy burden in my conscience.

  160. lyn says:

    I believe that all of mankind is born evil – we lie, steal, cheat deceive, covet, have immoral thoughts and actions because we are wicked and sinful. God gave all a concsience, that is why we have this built in ‘right from wrong’ knowledge that you say society as a whole decides. There has to be a basis for attaining the knowledge of good and evil, that basis is a God given conscience. It is when unbelievers like yourself suppress that truth that society runs amuck…immorality, greed, corruption, addiction, the destruction of family as designated by God.
    Two things Roberto, why did you consider it necessary to enter into a covenant of marriage with your wife if you deny God’s existence? Also, why is porn okay but not pedophilia?
    Why would you need to view porn, is your wife not enough? Porn is a way for men and women to satisfy their lust. If you love someone the way God designed for a man and woman to love, there would be no need for lustful desires.
    My beliefs are based on the word of the Living God, a God who is merciful but will not let sinful man go unpunished for their wickedness. It is inherent truth that manifests itself as foolishness to those who are perishing. God left His mark, proof of His creative power and His existence in His creation…the sun, moon, stars, mountains, oceans, rivers, lakes, deserts, flowers, birds, animals, fish and lastly…man himself speaks of a divine Creator. You will not comprehend this unless God grants you understanding.
    Your denial of God certainly does not make His existence null and void, it just means you will one day face His wrath.

    Here is a true testimony in the death of an athiest….

    The noted French atheist, Voltaire, died a frightening death. Let me quote for you the exact record as published, “When Voltaire felt the stroke that he realized must terminate in death, he was overpowered with remorse. He at once sent for the priest, and wanted to be ‘reconciled with the church.’ His infidel flatterers hastened to his chamber to prevent his recantation; but it was only to witness his ignominy and their own. He cursed them to their faces; and, as his distress was increased by their presence, he repeatedly and loudly exclaimed, ‘Begone! It is you that have brought me to my present condition. Leave me, I say; begone! What a wretched glory is this which you have produced to me!’

    “Hoping to allay his anguish by a written recantation, he had it prepared, signed it, and saw it witnessed. But it was all unavailing. For two months he was tortured with such an agony as led him at times to gnash his teeth in impotent rage against God and man. At other times in plaintive accents, he would plead, ‘O, Christ! O, Lord Jesus!’ Then, turning his face, he would cry out, ‘I must die-abandoned of God and of men!’

    “As his end drew near, his condition became so frightful that his infidel associates were afraid to approach his bedside. Still they guarded the door, that others might not know how awfully an infidel was compelled to die. Even his nurse repeatedly said, ‘For all the wealth of Europe I would never see another infidel die.’ It was a scene of horror that lies beyond all exaggeration. Such is the well-attested end of the one who had a natural sovereignty of intellect, excellent education, great wealth, and much earthly honor.” (Dying Testimonies of Saved and Unsaved by Rev. S B Shaw, pp. 49-50.)

  161. Dear Lyn:

    Oh, the famous deathbed conversions! You really need to improve your reading material. According to witnesses that actually were at Voltaire’s deathbed, his last words were: “Now, now, my good man, this is not the time for making enemies.” It was his response to a priest at the side of his deathbed, asking Voltaire to use the precious few moments left to renounce Satan.

    As for blaming me for the dissolution of family, immorality, greed, corruption, and so on… I plead not guilty. I live a fairly decent life.

    Again, I ask you the third time: if you had not read the bible, or did not believe in it, would you be raping and murdering people? In that case, I posit myself as your moral superior, since not having read it nor believed it, I do not do those things.

    On the other hand, if that is not the case, then the requirement of god as source of morality is proven unnecessary and excessive, and your argument falls flat on its face.

    Therefore, your choice, either god is not necessary as a source of morality, or you are a much worse person than I and I don’t deserve your disapproval.

    As for porn and my wife not being enough: why are you assuming she is not there and/or not watching? I love her and I lust after her. Also, it’s a lot of fun.

    Also, if you have to ask why I consider porn ok, and not pedophilia, well, I think it should be obvious based on our previous exchanges. I will be happy to repeat myself if you really need it, but I suggest you just move up a bit in the page and reread.

    Do you notice that I have been calm and rational, friendly and relaxed this whole exchange, while you, in the last post, seem half way to bursting a vein?

    This is because I *am* calm and at peace with myself and others, while you are descending into a frenzy, throwing at me promises of eternal punishment, and calling me wicked.

    From where I am standing, you seem to be suffering a great deal. If your church has a counseling service, please ask for an appointment. You seem to be a really, really angry person.

  162. lyn says:

    roberto,
    First of all, reading my bible is NOT why I am a Christian, I am saved by the supernatural power of a mighty God, Jesus speaks of this in John 3:3. Now, as for what I would be doing if God had not saved me, I would be doing just as you are, lusting, sinning, and denying there is a God. That is what I did before God saved me…I willfully sinned, just like you are doing.
    I have responded to where morals come from…your conscience. The more you
    deny God’s truth ( you being society in general) the more you fall into a society gone mad. I was not blaming you solely for the downward spiral of society, it is tons of dead in sin sinners like you, who deny there is a God, suppress the truth, and go headlong into sin. Your viewing porn is just as sinful as the pedophile’s
    actions (Matthew 5:28).
    As for Voltaire, his was no deathbed conversion, instead he died a miserable
    agonizing death. He was terrified, you obviously did not read the article. You too
    will be terrified, unless God shows you mercy. I pray He does. You can talk all big and tough, most do until they, like Voltaire, are on their deathbed.

    As for your charge that I am angry, or irrational simply because I give you God’s truth, you are dead wrong, your soul is at stake and you are blinded by your own foolishness. Your constant visits here definitely mean something, there is a reason you frequent this blog. Athiests typically do not hang around Christian blogs, what would be the point?

    Roberto, I have given you truth, Christ died to save the ungodly. You have no hope when your life is thru, unless you cry out to God for mercy. May He save you while you still have breath in your lungs.

    As I can tell from this accusation by you -From where I am standing, you seem to be suffering a great deal. If your church has a counseling service, please ask for an appointment. You seem to be a really, really angry person – my words are getting under your skin. God’s truth does just that, you will either cry out for mercy or you will lash out in sarcasm and/or anger.

    Any further exchange is pointless, I pray for the redemption of your soul, for it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31)

    Time to move on Roberto, i have no desire to stoop to childish levels and throw out silly accusations, time is precious and slips away silently.

    May the Great God of heaven and earth look upon you and be gracious to you

  163. Dear Lyn:

    It’s mildly amusing that you can say “Your viewing porn is just as sinful as the pedophile’s actions (Matthew 5:28).” and with a straight face, in the same post say that when I said “you seem to be in pain” I was “lash[ing] out in sarcasm and/or anger.”

    As I already explained, I don’t actually frequent this blog. I just commented on this article (which I reached via a link from somewhere else) and subscribed to the comments.

    So, unless someone replies, I am not here, and I don’t see it. In fact, I have not even bothered reading any other pages in the site.

    Also, why shouldn’t atheists frequent christian blogs? Your lot is supposed to be welcoming, and appreciative of the chance to show us the light and truth of religion, right?

    As for Voltaire’s death, you say “you obviously did not read the article.” If you are referring to the book by Shaw, you are absolutely right, I have not read it. However, I must tell you: what the book describes is not true in this case. There are contemporary descriptions of Voltaire’s death, by people who where actually there, and it’s not like that.

    Again, you seem to have a really hard time answering a very simple question. Were you not a christian, would you be a rapist or murderer? Is your christianity what’s holding you back from that? It’s *easy* to answer! I would expect most reasonable people to just say “no”. But you seem unable to do it.

    And finally, sorry, but it’s not you who says when I speak or not, what I speak of or not. If the owner of the blog came and said “Hey, Roberto, stop rattling Lyn”, I would show proper respect for, shall we say, the owner of the premises, and stop.

    But you, dear Lyn? You are just a commenter like me. A commenter, I must say, that is starting to look rather agitated by my simple and friendly words, for reasons I can’t quite grasp.

    I will not be praying for you because it would be hypocrisy to do so, but hey, I wish you peace!

  164. E D B says:

    Lyn:

    When you state that your morals come from your conscious, you are telling us that morality is intuitive. But then you quote the Bible for specific Moral tenants (like pedophilia being equivalent to watching pornography), implying that morality is dictated.

    If both of those things are true, then there would be a greater natural consensus on lots of morally ‘grey’ things, including pornography, homosexuality, blasphemy, and slavery. And additionally, you are effectively declaring that anyone who does not agree with you, regardless of if they (think) they are saved (or are otherwise believers), that they are denying God.

    You are claiming that your interpretation of the Bible (which you feel is correct) is the only valid interpretation; thus anyone who disagrees is not Christian. I would question that implied authority; you are passing judgement on others, something I imagine only God is qualified to do.

  165. random non-christian, non-gay guy says:

    Perhaps better than average, but still with many of the same fallacies. “Well, we really don’t know for certain about sexual attraction being innate and set from birth. All we have is the testimony of people who say that they’ve experienced same-sex desires since childhood.” Nope. We have also the testimony of people who say they’ve experienced other-sex attraction since childhood as well.

    This sort of thinking can only come from those who are innately bisexual or homosexual, but repress the homosexual attraction. For most people, there’s no way one (innately heterosexual, most people) could “chose” to be attracted (it’s almost an oxymoron, attraction is almost by definition something that happens automatically, instinctively, not a conscious decision. “Ah, there’s a woman. She has a highly symmetrical face, her body is in shape, therefore I’m going to voluntarily feel attracted to her, as I’m not in this moment, before I’ve made this evaluation and the decision”) to someone of the same sex, just as no one could simply decide to feel appetite for some food one does not like. And this one should be somewhat easier, but still does not happen, even though the taste for cuisines is by far not as hard-wired as heterosexual attraction, which is the overwhelming rule all over the animal kingdom.

    Funnily enough, some gay/etc activists (those who speak against the “male-female dichotomy”, saying we’re in a “post male-female dichotomy era” or something) “and “anti-gay” activists seem to be the only ones who believe otherwise, that one pretty much voluntarily chooses to whom they feel attracted. All of them either never consider the flaw in their thinking, failing to notice how their own heterosexually seems hard-wired from birth, “chosing” otherwise being impossible regardless of any religious thought even crossing their mind, or never seem to consider that their sexual preferences, even if it’s “no preference one way or another” may be hardwired, then think everyone else is the same, when the vast majority are heterosexuals who simply can’t consider “acting homosexual” by choice, without feeling repugnance by the thought — even if they have nothing against gays or lesbians themselves.

    And the whole thing about Jesus forgiving the adulterous woman is probably an interpolation anyway. And some people say that it’s not that stoning is not in the rules anymore, only that in that particular situation the rules were not satisfied.

  166. lyn says:

    Edb,
    Right and wrong come from God, the concsience is what is pricked when you do wrong. This is from Romans 1…

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.

    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

    Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    When God’s truth is suppressed, society goes amuck, everything goes as man toots his own horn and dictates out of his own corruptness what is acceptable, as if society can overrule God.

  167. lyn says:

    I continue on, I never said my interpretation is the only correct one, and would appreciate it if you would refrain from false accusations EDB. The only way anyone can understand God’s word is if He opens your understanding, read Luke 24:45.

    John 3:3, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again’. For a biblical explanation of this read Ezekiel 36:26-27.

    This post concerns homosexuality, let’s get back to the topic at hand.

  168. Dear lyn: You say “I never said my interpretation is the only correct one” and immediately say “The only way anyone can understand God’s word is if He opens your understanding”

    Allow me to explain why that seems like a contradiction in terms to other members of this argument who are, perhaps, more interested in formal logic than you are.

    You, of course, claim to understand the word of God, and that Luke is correct, therefore you are claiming that your understanding comes from god himself, because he “opened your understanding”.

    Since it is obvious that god would not reveal contradictory “correct” understandings, and yours comes from god,your understanding would, indeed, be the only correct one.

    In short, dear Lyn, you are claiming that your interpretation is the correct one, and that there can only be one correct interpretation, therefore, you are claiming that your interpretation is the only correct one.

    So, when you say ” I never said my interpretation is the only correct one”, you are wrong, or lying. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you had not worked out the implications of what you wrote, and that you were, therefore, just very wrong.

  169. E D B says:

    Lyn:

    The Bible also states that Blasphemy is an unforgivable; the gravest of sins. I find that rather incredible — that to curse God’s name is a greater sin then murder. The Book endorses sexism, slavery, selective murder, and all sorts of physical abuse that should turn the stomach of any modern person, Christian or otherwise.

    “When God’s truth is suppressed, society goes amuck”
    Has society gone amuck? I’m sure you’ll jump on saying ‘yes’, but let’s stop and look. Crime (especially violent crime) has been declining for years in most of the world. The standard of living has been rising similarly. We are living longer, happier lives in general.

    So what has gone amuck? And before you say anything — are you sure things are getting worse, and it’s not just ‘Golden Age’ thinking? If not, are you merely railing against the (perceived) increase in sexuality in western culture?

    This brings us right back to the article at hand; there is no small number of people who think that there is nothing wrong with Homosexuality, and we believe that God doesn’t have any issue with it either. And what I gather from the way you’ve been responding in these comments is that if someone disagrees with you (at least, on homosexuality) that you believe they are “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents”.

    What I am saying is that I do not believe it is anyone’s place to come to those conclusions about another person. No one can be certain of the true intention of God; you must follow your faith as your heart guides you. No one benefits from demonizing and discriminating behavior.

  170. Jarvis says:

    @ EDB, If you get a chance you should take a look at Paul Copan’s book, Is God A Moral Monster.

    @ Others, Copan has also done some good work on inerrancy.

    That said –

    @ManyOthers…

    I think you can agree with the content of the blog post, but you cannot and ought not to have a reaction, such as “I enjoyed it” or “I am glad you posted it”.

    If anything this issue is a cause for sadness and should push you to pray unceasingly.

    “Be joyful in hope,
    patient in affliction,
    fervent in prayer.”
    ~ Romans 12:12

  171. gary says:

    Its not an opinion its Gods word.All will face Him, no matter what your belief…what was, what is, and what is to come is Christ.

  172. Dear Gary: Indeed that is your opinion.

  173. gary says:

    If anyone thinks Gods word is somones opinion, that person has alot to loose, for eternity.

    You make sure that your thoughts are 100%, absolutely right, no error, not your opinion, true fact, no what if??.

    Still…God will accept you into His eternal kingdom..all you need to do is ask and receive, it is not given it is offered.

  174. Abby says:

    We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. (1 Timothy 1:8-11 NIV)

    Honestly I’m so sick of this debate. Here it is clear in the bible for believers & non-believers to see. Take it or leave it, just be sure of one thing, everyone will be accountable to god when they die, so make up ur mind here & now whether to take up the cross & follow Christ leaving your old ways & habits behind or be closed to the fact that there is sin in each one of us which is clear when u take a second to look at your/my heart in comparison to christs.

  175. Harlin J. says:

    All this arguing and debate . . . look how long this thread is. And all this hate, violence and arguing in the world over this issue, abortion, and so many other things that religion seems to bring divide to. And who’s spiritual beliefs are “correct” and who’s are not? Every devoted person to every belief will tell you they are right? I was once a Christian but these days I don’t know what to believe anymore. I’m so sick of all the bickering and hate that it drums up. It seems as if there was a God, He could have been a lot more clear on all this stuff and left us with a bit more to go on than what we have in the manner with how it was supposedly given to us. Things should be more clear God, I’m sorry. Even the best of theologians and thousands of years of study do not bring agreement to it all. How is mere mortal man supposed to make sense of it all? I just don’t get it anymore.

  176. gary says:

    @Harlin J.

    Keep your faith, Christ was, He is, and He will come again.
    All this trbulation was prophecied by Him. Every time a Christian states a point on Gods word there is a lot of persecution. If you go liberal no one seems to care.
    Walk with Christ no mater what. He will be there for you. Read the book of John for starters..
    God Bless you.

  177. Crystal says:

    Christians, it is not necessary to attempt to convince non-Christians about the truth of homosexuality, nor is it appropriate. We are not sent out to be the moral police of the world. We are sent out to share the gospel message – that is all. When a person accepts our beloved Nazarene, then, and only then, can he or she possibly be in a position to understand His truths. The only people we should be preaching these types of messages to are our fellow Christians who already have the foundation in their souls. We muddy the waters and lead people to lose focus when we do otherwise, and it is absolutely impossible to convince someone of truth who has no foundation of truth within their hearts and souls. Please – stop. Get back to the core message – Jesus Christ Lord and Savior. Focus on righteousness only when the person has been transformed… because, as the true believer knows, this is the only possibility for righteousness at all.

  178. Tiago says:

    Religiously:

    It’s the teachings of our lord Jesus that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    Socially:

    It’s not that it’s bad, they would not be doing nothing socially wrong (like robing or killing someone). However to support homosexuality maybe harmful for the country and its economic stability since children are needed to replace older generation and that it’s only possible through heterosexual relationships.
    (Science can create babies in pitry dishes but that is another subject since it involves when does human life begins and if its acceptable to “play” with human life like that).

    So economically its good that if a teenager or even an adult starts to have homosexual desires to be discourage of them (and not force them out or be excluded as a contagious desiese)

    Ps: sorry if my English was not the best since it’s not my native language)

  179. Amen!! I think it really hits the nail on the head the example of men lusting after women other than their spouse not defining themselves as polygamists.

  180. John, MD says:

    I do appreciate the tenor of this piece but I think it perpetuates one central flaw: while arguing against a ‘gay’ identity, it says there are gay people. The key issue here is one of behavior, not of essential nature. A so-called gay person is a heterosexual person who performs homosexual acts. The gay identity was invented to put on the cloak of civil rights associated with immutable traits such as sex or skin color.

    Second problem is that it does not fully answer the question of why the focus on homosexuality. The main reason is not that it an especially bad sin but because it is one of the sins (along with abortion) that our culture is not just tolerating as other sins but is positively glamorizing. Whoa unto him who calls good evil and evil good.

  181. MEEEEEE says:

    OMG! Was this real? Is there a video of this?? HAHAHAHAHA!
    If someone was actually was on Piers’s show and said that, they would have gotten owned!! Talk about public humiliation. That’s as bad as saying raw milk is unhealthy! ;-)

  182. MEEEEEE says:

    OMG! Was this real? Is there a video of this?? AMEN!
    First of all: How can a person hate gays? They are so nice!
    Secondly, it is wrong to tell someone that they can’t love someone who is their same gender.
    Third of all: Jesus loves everyone! So all true Christians should too!
    People don’t need to be reminded of this. They should already know it.

  183. I so agree with you. Thanks for voicing that.

  184. Hannah says:

    Very well written article which a lot of people seem to be missing the point of. This is one Christian encouraging other Christians to speak and act from a place of love and to NOT consider homosexuals any differently then themselves. He’s not judging others, he’s calling himself and every other Christian a sinner too. He’s putting every single human being in the same category and calling them equals in the eyes of God. And he’s calling Christians to realize it and live it out. This is a good thing!

    People claim Christians are intolerant because of their beliefs but people are also intolerant of Christians. Allow this man to encourage his brothers and sisters to respond in love, to an issue that is continually thrown at Christians. And if you disagree, fine. Certainly part of the freedoms countless Americans have died for allows us to have differing opinions doesn’t it?

    Yes, people call themselves Christians and behave badly. They have killed and raped and assaulted in the name of Jesus…and in the name of Allah, and in the name of Ares…and in the name of Satan…and in the name of insanity and any other scapegoat they think they can dump their responsibility on. In every group of the human race, there are people who behave in such a manner than the entire group becomes tarnished.

    Christians are tarnished by some horrible people who kill and assault those who have or perform abortions; politicians are tarnished by some who have been completely dishonest and vile; women are tarnished by some women on ‘reality’ TV shows that portray them as conniving, vengeful, disrespectful, gossips, adulterers, and husband-stealers; men are tarnished by some men who use their physical strength to dominate, rape, and assault women; adolescents are tarnished by media reports of them being utterly apathetic, ungrateful, lazy, selfish, rude, ‘spongers’; the Ku Klux Klan tarnishes the reputation of Caucasians…do I need to go on?

    The bottom line is, this article is about recognizing that especially in this area which has been a source of strife because of the ongoing political debates, Christians have failed to show love and tolerance and the author is reminding them of that and calling them to a higher standard. We are all the same, none of us is any better than another and life difficult and it sucks sometimes and we all need to just embrace each other as human beings, share support, show love and live our lives the best that we can.

  185. Dylan says:

    ‘we really don’t know for certain about sexual attraction being innate and set from birth. All we have is the testimony of people who say that they’ve experienced same-sex desires since childhood. Christianity teaches that all people are born with a bent toward sin. It’s possible that some people will have a propensity toward alcohol abuse or angry outbursts, while others may have a propensity toward other sins.’

    Hmm I see, so no judging there then. Homosexuality is just an inconvienient tendency like alcholism. I praise the Lord I have been free of fundamental christianity for thirty years now, and every year since has been sweeter, since I was born again at the age of twenty and finally threw off the chains of self hatred, condemnation of everyone else who wasn’t a christian, and a belief systen based on the ethnocentrism of western monotheism.

    Intrestingly enough, my brother, sister, and father have all recently decided to leave New Frontier churches because of their intolerance of any other views than those of their leaders – who are I notice without exception male. Of course homophobia, the fear of homosexuality, is predominantly experienced by men who feel that their position is in some way threatened by other men. An all male leadership would be particulary susceptible to this tendency I would imagine. The extraordinary amount of time spent on the dicussion of this topic by men in positions of authority in the church – and not only New Frontier ones – can surely only be explained by the fact that they can’t leave it alone, it draws them to it like moths to a flame.

    Why do you think that interviewers always ask you about it? It’s because you spend so much time talking about it, you are obsessed with it. It is a shame that Jesus didn’t talk more about the evils of child labour, pollution of the environment for profit, or bankers bonuses, but – hey ho – they arent in the Bible so lets just bang on and on about men having sex with eachother.

  186. Thom Hunter says:

    Besides clearly sharing the truth with clarity, the other stunning thing about this “interview” is that both people remained calm. So many times we Christians have difficulty responding with grace and instead come off as judgmental and unloving, thus providing more ammunition and seeming hypocritical. It’s not as hard as we think to be compassionate without compromising. As a former struggler who now helps others walk free, I wish more Christians could share the truth with compassion.

  187. Mary says:

    What you say about Jesus is not true. Jesus does care how we handle ourselves sexually, because he had to carry the weight of all of these sins regardless of the specific type. He felt the spiritual separation from His Father that was meant to be the consequence for each person because of our sin.

  188. Mary says:

    My previous comment was directed to Apathiest’ comment about Jesus not caring what the genitals are of the person we love.

  189. E D B says:

    Mary:

    I’ve been hands off here for a little while (still looking in to a recommended book), but this reminds me of another question that I believe is important here: why is it sin?

    We know that God abhores sin, and that we as humans are sinful. Sure. But why is any particular sin… sinful? Moral relativism suggests that causing harm is a reliable measure in which we can identify immoral activity, but the Bible is moral absolute; things are immoral because we are told that they are.

    So the question raised is — are sins bad because of some sort of consequence that we may not be aware of (such as in the case of homosexuals) and they are declared sins because God is protecting us? Or, are sins bad because the fly against God’s subjective morality?

    In the case of the former, that God is a messenger of absolute morality, could we not ask for moral clarity and revelation? I imagine many people would feel far more comfortable understanding why God forsakes their sin.

    In the latter case, is it not possible that God’s judgement may change in light of changing society?

  190. @Thom Hunter: Both persons remained calm because there were no two persons. It’s just one person throwing softballs and accepting replies unchallenged.

    Of course, in such cases, people would remain calm. It’s like wondering why a plant in a hothouse is green in winter. It’s because it’s easy.

  191. Aidan says:

    I recognise so many of my friends in this piece. This, more than anything else I have read, points to some very deep issues that prevent Christianity from accepting homosexuality as a potential fulfilling way of being.

    The prime issue is that Christianity sees man (and woman) and world as essentially evil (Christians would say ‘fallen’). They wouldn’t say it, but Christian belief hangs off of this particular belief. Because this is a hidden article of faith, salvation makes sense. And because of this belief, they can brush aside all arguments in favour of accepting homosexual people and practice into their communities by saying that these arguments only reveal the fallen nature of humankind. This is where we run up against a brick wall that has sadly blinded many on both sides to any form of *real* compassion.

    What this pastor doesn’t seem to realise is where homosexuality differs from alcoholism, poly-relationships and drug addictions. All of the latter things actively and obviously detract from a person’s life. You can see it when it happens – and the community’s judgement of them is not required to reveal this damage. Homosexuality is different. Homosexuality does not actually hurt, emotionally or physically, either the lovers or the community and family around them. It is only the strong negative reactions by the community that bring about the depression, the angst and the rejection felt by most of us. There is nothing inherent about same-sex sexual, long lasting, monogamous relationships that destroys people’s lives, or prevents them from flourishing.

    To counter this, Christianity says, ‘Ah, but you’re wrong! Homosexuality creates a rift between you and God.’ My question then is, ‘What kind of God are we worshiping?’ Is He the type that has set in place an arbitrary set of moral laws (such as those against homosexuality) that would ensure that certain otherwise innocuous acts would offend Him deeply? This seems to me to be a lesser god, one who is petty and insecure. The way I understand God to be (God, not god), is one who is great enough to handle the minor difference we churn up with love, compassion and understanding. I do not see why homosexual sexual relationships (if they are firm, loving and committed) are verboten – taboo and unquestionably wrong in the eyes of God.

    Ultimately, as well written and clever as this piece is, it only reveals (and does not deal with) the issues at the heart of the debate. I think Christianity needs to defend these claims if we are to take their taboo seriously: Why ought we believe that humankind is fallen, rather than just complex? Why ought we believe that homosexuality is part of this fallen nature? Why ought we believe that God truly finds this offensive (while still being the loving God we claim Him to be)? Why ought we believe that homosexuality damages people, or prevents them from flourishing?

  192. l says:

    E.D.B.
    Jesus said….. go unto the WORLD and preach the gospel to EVERY creature.

    You my friend…. are one of the every creatures. Jesus told us to preach to people so that they might also be saved.

  193. l says:

    E.B.D.

    There really is no difference on the sins we do. God (Jesus) said that if you’ve done ONE of these, you have done them ALL!

    I could make a case that it’s ok to be an axe murderer if you’d like:

    Someone murdered my family and I ‘felt’ God let me down and I have this feeling and I can’t let go of it and I don’t think I should. I mean, God gave me this feeling right?

    Wouldn’t he want me to exact revenge on this person? So, I should take care of by murdering the person with an axe.

    But to go to the human question of why God made these ‘sexual’ rules?

    1. God said so. Yes, sounds demonstrative and all that, but in the end… that’s why. We don’t set the world in motion, maintain it in any real way even though we may like to think we do.

    2. People die from sexually perversion

    3. People are not procreated from sexual perversion

    4. Homes are NOT better off because of sexual perversion.

    5. Divorce comes from sexual perversions

    6. Guilt associated from the sexual perversion permeates the person, thereby depressing them

    There are many other reasons why. Everyone (including yourself)understands why. You understand because you are not a stupid person.

    The issue is: are you going to subject yourself to God’s rules or not.

  194. l says:

    hey robert… are we going to throw snowballs and act as children?

    yes he did

  195. @l

    Well, at least I spell your name correctly.

    It’s a perfectly valid argument, even if it’s one you don’t like. You said “Jesus said [blah blah]”. I say he did not.

    Your evidence he said that? It’s in the bible.

    If we go by that standard, I have here a copy of a book, about the same age than the bible’s oldest bits (give or take a millenium), that says your soul will be weighed after you die by a hippopotamus-headed god. Says so *right here*.

    So, sorry, you are just asserting the rules. That doesn’t mean the rules apply, or even exist, only that you are claiming it.

    So, since I don’t accept your basic premise that “Jesus” and “God” (in the sense of supernatural beings described by the bible) exist, no, he did not say that.

    Maybe someone called something similar to “Jesus” said something like that in the middle east 2000 years ago or so. I am fairly sure someone also said something like “hey, that is a cute camel”. Doesn’t mean I must consider camels cute.

  196. E D B says:

    Re: I

    “There really is no difference on the sins we do. God (Jesus) said that if you’ve done ONE of these, you have done them ALL!”

    As I said earlier, the Bible also states that Blasphemy is an unforgivable sin. If doing any sin is like doing all sins, then God either forgives all or forgives none — do you see where I’m coming from here? These are the sorts of interpretations that make me wary to anyone who claims absolute understanding of the Bible, and more over why I believe that God’s morality must be more complex and understanding than a list of rules. This goes back to earlier in the conversation about sin and morality as defined by the idea of ‘harm’.

    To meet your further points:
    1. I would hope that a kind and loving God who would make the world and breath life in to it would have a more nuanced reasoning for his moral structure than “just ’cause”, and that’s one of the primary issues with sin as described in the Bible.

    2. People die from many things. People drive cars at unsafe speeds and die, yet speeding is not a sin. (The Bible is also quite vague on Vehicular Manslaughter.) You can get sick or injured in almost any kind of sex, beyond what’s condemned in the Bible. So why are we singling out things like homosexually which can be practiced as safely as heterosexuality?

    3. This point always brings rise to the consequential question; If sex is merely for procreation, should we allow infertile people to have sex? By extension, if marriage is to create a family for children, should we allow infertile people to marry? And if non-procreative sex isn’t always bad, then with the developments in technology for non-traditional conception (such as artificial insemination and surrogacy) why should homosexuals be allowed to marry?

    4. You’ll need to be more specific about why “Homes” suffer. I have seen many homes much better off because a family supported and accepted gay family and friends — especially since those people would be suffering powerful rejection from people they love had they not been supported.

    5. This is patently silly. Divorce comes from a lot of things. The statistic suggest that Divorce happens most frequently with couples who wait until marriage to have sex, and then find themselves incompatible. This flies against your point (since I would expect that premartial sex would count as ‘perversion’ in your umbrella) — as those who as less religious often have stronger, longer lasting relationships.

    6. Doesn’t that guilt come from a person being judged by other human beings exerting societal pressure on them? As I stated before, I believe only God can judge a person — a human passing judgement on another person is merely a violation of the request to ‘love thy neighbor’.

    I don’t think you really have any valid reasons here — I think you’re just trying to rationalize your dislike for people who find happiness in a way that makes YOU uncomfortable. Am I wrong?

    I don’t believe we have a choice to be subject to God’s rules or not; but I do believe that God’s judgement is not merely a score card of sins committed against forgiveness offered.

  197. l says:

    E.D.B.

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
    Flee Sexual Immorality
    12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16Or do you not know that he who is joined[d] to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin[e] a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

    Saying people get divorced for all sorts of reasons is a red herring. People murder for all sorts of reasons, but that doesn’t mean murder is ok.

    God says homosexuality is an admonition
    Another dogmatic statement. Whether you believe that is a horse of another color. You don’t and have been given numerous reasons why, yet continue to make excuses.

    That’s understandable. Sorta like when I tried to justify my own sins.

    As far as disliking people I’m glad you didn’t say hate because I’d be hating my brother. I’m sure to let him know on Thanksgiving that you said I dislike him too! Egads I’m glad you know me so well! lol

    You then tell me I’m basically being silly in my comparisons.

    Well, if you can make up another interpretation of homosexuality and what the bible says about it, I can make up my own interpretation of what murder is and what I can do about someone murdering my family can’t I?

    Or, are you telling me dogmatically that I don’t have the right to make my own rules like you want to?

    It’s easy to say well, people divorce for all sorts of reasons when I was actually stating it as ONE reason out of the many that I stated, or in fact could further be stated.

    Again, you’re not looking for reasons. You’re looking to validate your own feelings.

    I never stated divorce was good in any situation. In fact, it sucks. However, divorce is only a end of means from a sickness of personal sin. Whether the sin is adultery, fornication or the many forms of selfishness:

    They’re sins.

    God hates sin in all form whether a believer or not.

  198. E D B says:

    Re: I,

    Please bare with me; I’m not completely sure I understand what you’re trying to say here, but let me address it as best I can.

    There is something incredibly suspect about quoting the bible with the word ‘homosexuality’ (or its permutations) anywhere in it, since that word was coined near the end of the 19th century. English has been very happy over its life as a language to lift words from every other language when it lacked its own, so I would assume that if the original writings meant ‘homosexual’, we would probably be using that word in our vernacular.

    It’s interesting how your translation chose to take “The Effeminate” (from the KJV) and make it “Men who Practice Homosexuality”; there is no archaic definitions of ‘effeminate’ that makes that implication that I can find. Seems like a stretch to me, though I could argue with what ‘the effeminate’ does mean. Even then, the KJV is still about 1200 years from the first Bible in any case. I don’t know how accurate it is either.

    “are you telling me dogmatically”
    What dogma? Do you even understand what that word means? I’m not saying we can redefine divorce, murder or homosexuality. I’m saying that I don’t think that God cares about a little sin score-card when you die — I would assume that God can make a far more even measure of a person than that.

    You keep going back to the idea of killing people and redefining murder, but what about something like Self Defense? It wasn’t even a legal concept until the 1600s. In fact, the Bible advocates ‘an eye for an eye’ justice in quite a few places — another of many morally dubious ideas in the text.

    “Again, you’re not looking for reasons. You’re looking to validate your own feelings.”
    You’re accusation is easily reversed. You’re not looking to understand God; you’re wielding a repeatedly translated book like a knife to use against others. I have no intention or expectation of being authoritative; I merely have the point of view that the Bible is a tool to know God, but it is not perfect, nor is it the only tool. The context of the book is as important as the text; it was written by men. Divine inspiration or not, men are fallible.

  199. lew says:

    EBD..

    Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

    Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    1 Kings 14:24 And there were also sodomites (qadēš) in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

    qādēš – Is a word that refers to male temple prostitutes so one might argue that the context of this passage has to do with engaging in pagan worship. However, that doesn’t negate the fact that sin is what God calls sin and it means to fail to live in accordance with his will for your life.

    Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him…Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24

    God never did and never will create men to have sex with men, or women to have sex with women. That’s because of the debasing of humanity.

    Sin.

    Absolutely NO reference to ANY other sexual relationship except for man and woman.

    Again, you have offered no references that back up your claim. In a court of law you’d look pretty foolish quite honestly.

    Play a word game all you want. You may believe you’re winning now my friend, but in the end… you will not.

    God wins. It’s his earth, his rules and you can snub your nose at him all you want.

  200. E D B says:

    Re: lew

    “Again, you have offered no references that back up your claim. In a court of law you’d look pretty foolish quite honestly.”

    Really? Are you sure? Because I think I said, “I’m not an authority” and “I believe”. My interpretation is different from yours. I also said earlier that I don’t believe that anyone can be certain their interpretation is correct — I don’t remember excluding myself from that list, but please let me know if I did and I’ll write a retraction. I offered no references because I don’t see any value in them. I don’t associate any weight with yours, because I question the inerrancy of the Bible — I thought that was clear at this point.

    “Play a word game all you want.”
    What are you even talking about? That I think as modern people with modern language we may be interpreting a repeatedly retranslated work differently than it was intended when written? How is that a game, and not merely a rational line of inquiry?

    “You may believe you’re winning now my friend, but in the end… you will not.”
    Here is where we most clearly differ. We disagree — you clearly believe in the Bibles message as written (and translated), where I believe it is merely one of many tools which God has given us to understand him; I believe that rational inquiry and philosophical questioning are other ways that we can know God.

    More importantly than our philosophical differences, you believe I am going to hell, and I do not reflect your veiled accusation. As I stated before, I would expect a good and loving God to have a morality more complex than a list of grievances, a point we clearly seem to disagree on.

  201. lew says:

    E.D.B.

    NO SEXUAL RELATIONS OUTSIDE OF MAN/WOMAN Marriage!

    Even if I took your interpretation (which I do not again) it still doesn’t wash! There are NO passages you can show of man/man, woman/woman, 3 ways, 4 ways, man/animal, relations. That is because they’re are none.

    If that isn’t clear cut my friend…..

    Your argument for interpretation is lacking. You want latitude on YOUR interpretation of a word so that it fits your sinful desire. You can come up with your own interpretation, but you have to allow for someone else on say whatever word that’s your pet word.

    God has allowed us to live longer than we should. Be thankful you (as I am) are not dead already. You’re not here for yourself just like I am not. We’re here to glorify God. I certainly do not do that all the time, but I recognize that fact and don’t try to run counter to His Word. God isn’t here to give us everything we want just because we want it.

    By the way, I said nothing about hell. If you were pricked by the scriptures, then that is good. I stated you shouldn’t snub your nose at God. Nor any other issue that doesn’t line up with scripture.

    Please read the verses posted throughout this thread. They are clear and absolute in their meaning. Very straightforward.

    1 John 3:4-10

    Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s[b] seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

    Be Holy as I am Holy.

    And if it is difficult even for a righteous man to be saved, what will become of irreligious men and sinners?

  202. lew says:

    “This is patently silly. Divorce comes from a lot of things. The statistic suggest that Divorce happens most frequently with couples who wait until marriage to have sex, and then find themselves incompatible. This flies against your point (since I would expect that premartial sex would count as ‘perversion’ in your umbrella) — as those who as less religious often have stronger, longer lasting relationships.”

    Don’t believe the lie EDB

    Actually studies show people who cohabitate and/or have premarital sex have a 50% higher divorce rate than those who do not. Also, those couples have a higher rate of domestic violence, more extra martial affairs as well.

    If a female cohabitator has a baby, the male cohabitator has a much higher chance of leaving the relationship within the next 2 years. You obviously know what that means.

    HIV/Aids is rampant
    STD’s are rampant
    Gono is rampant again
    Syph is rampant again
    Clamyidia is rampant again

    Guess what?

    None are gotten by people who hold to biblical principles.

  203. Aidan says:

    Ok, now I feel I have to step in.

    Lew, you seem to be arguing for the infallibility of the Bible. Let me ask you a couple of questions – the first having to do with God not allowing polygamy:
    1) How many wives did Solomon have?
    2) How many concubines did he have?
    3) Is one technically married to a concubine?

    4) What are you supposed to do to your house if you find mildew in it?
    5) How many textile or fabrics may your clothing be made of?
    6) What may women wear to church? Don’t they ALWAYS have to have their heads covered? (Sounds a lot like a certain other religion to me).
    7) What may women not do in church? St Paul says no talking!

    I’ve taken a bit of risk here – you may be one of those who follow all of these rules – you may even burn your house down when you find mildew in it. But I’m guessing not. Even you interpret the Word in light of what you believe to be moral. Yet, why is your moral standard better than E.D.B.’s? I don’t have any evidence that your moral standard is better than mine – not in the Word at least.

    (Remember, Jesus said: Not one iota will be removed from the Law. Therefore, even Old Testament laws apply today – at least, to non-believers (the irony!). That means it is bad for non-believers to eat pork, crayfish etc., for non-believing women to have short hair or to enter a place of worship and speak, and so forth).

    Also, I want to know why I should believe that God did say that homosexuality is a sin? The bible has been translated countless times – and trust me, older translations cared less about doing things word for word. We have had a number of corrupt Popes and a very questionable Emperor Constantine involved in deciding just what the bible says and what should not be included – see the Council of Nicaea. It seems more plausible to me (and to the rabbis that study the matter) that the Bible is a multi-layered historical text that records not only the original message but also the social mores of different times.

    History has also shown us that whenever a people feel threatened or want to unify themselves, they cast out and attack those who are different. How are you sure that the Bible doesn’t just record those moments in history when the Jews/Christians felt most persecuted and decided to denounce all irregularity? If this is the case, then the anti-homosexuality passages you quoted reflect more on the lack of love in the writers (and trust me, there were many!) of the Bible than the love of God.

    I think before you can convince either E.D.B. or me of your point that God hates homosexual practice, you need to defend the source of your ‘knowledge’ – why are we to believe that all the passages you are sprouting are the Word of God?

  204. Aidan says:

    Also, Lew. Why should I believe that these plagues are visited on us because of the Christian God? Can’t a Muslim say exactly the same thing and point to passages in the Koran to support what he is saying? Can’t a Hindu say the same and say that it is the capriciousness of the gods? Why can’t I see these things as relating to population growth and density rather than to sexual immorality? Or to social change? Or simply to a hangover of irrelevant religious values that get us to think that men should behave in one way and women in another (re: high rate of divorce)?

    Your evidence does not support your claim – it is too erratic.

  205. Aidan says:

    Once again, Lew, you are looking for reasons not to love people practically. Love would be to understand others (who are different to you) compassionately, to welcome them into you community, to stand up for them when they are downtrodden, to lift them up when they are weak. I can see none of this in your passage-quoting. You aren’t doing any of this out of love for us – you want to be right, and your words show it.

    Perhaps one day you will enjoy a sumptuous feast in heaven with us, sinners and your enemies, burning and being tortured as the entertainment (read Psalm 23:5 and Boethius – early Christian philosophyer). But I can tell you, even if that was the reward for your ‘discipline’ and legality, I would rather love too much than too little, I would rather suffer for loving the outcast who has hated and hurt no one than gain from casting him out.

  206. lew says:

    Aidan,

    Please don’t give me this hate stuff or I’m holier than anyone else or conjuring up O.T. cermonial shellfish laws that you know are not part of the N.T.

    What I believe I’ve done is quote scripture in context concerning this topic. Those references do exactly as you are asking me to do. I need not make any further points about scripture or what Jesus says.

    Actually I will leave one more.

    Jesus said go and sin no more to the woman who had 5 husbands and was shacking with another.

    That means I am not supposed to say

    Watch porno all day long every day and say…

    I’m a porno watcher and it’s ok. God made me that way.

    Hey I’m an adulterer, but God made me that way.

    No, he says… I am holy, you be holy.

    We won’t be perfect, but we’re not supposed to snub our noses at God’s Word.

    By the way, Solomon repented and took actions against his sins were that got him into trouble. He was brought down by his sinful choices and in fact, he died because of it.

    I’m not even close to perfect, not holier than anyone else on this board, but I can’t live as a adulterer, porno reader or any other sexually sinful person.

    The scriptures back it. I didn’t dictate the bible. God did. God saves whom He wants.

  207. Sam says:

    Very well done. Always bringing it back to Christ and getting at the heart of the matter is the only way to keep it in accordance with the gospel. Again, well done.

    It’s a shame “Christianity” strays so far from Christ. We need the gospel in our lives. If Christians always brought it back to the fact that we are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory, so much would become clear.

  208. MotherLodeBeth says:

    If Christian heterosexuals would be called to account for the divorce and remarriage that has become rampant since no fault divorce it would help. About ten years ago I was switching radio stations and came upon Dr James Dobson who noted divorce amongst Christian was higher than amongst non Christians. Ever hear this preached in your church?

    Look at the 1st Commandment You shall have no other gods before me. Now ask yourself how many Christians do any of us know including ourselves who at sometime has made money their God. How many churches preach about this?

    And how many church’s preach against greed, laziness, pride, gluttony, envy? These are sins as well in the Bible and yet how many Christians are ever reminded of these sins? What about the 4th Commandment? How many Christians prefer football on TV to going to church?

    Personally I believe abortion like active homosexuality are sins. But I also believe they are the sins Christians tend to talk about the most because they are the sins least found amongst active Christians.

    Folks who are obese deal with the sin of gluttony. People who shop for things they cannot afford are dealing with the sin of envy.

    In the end we need to obey 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

  209. Jay says:

    The Bible says, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NIV).
    Also,Leviticus 18:22 – “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (NIV)
    In addition, 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. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (NIV)
    Those are the verses that clearly condemn homosexuality. But the verses are not pointed at homosexuality alone. It is just pointing out the various sins that were occurring in Corinth and Rome. Homosexuality is just another sin on the list, but the Bible also says that sexual sin is worse because our body is a temple of God. So if you are a homosexual, you are no worse a sinner than a liar. But to be saved we have to repent of all of our sins and trust in Jesus Christ as the Savior of our sins. As the Bible says 1 Corinthians 6:11 – “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (NIV) We are ALL sinners. But when we become Christians, we are born again. God begins to weed out those sins from our life. He convicts us of our sins and we are to listen and flee FROM sin TO God! It’s not an easy road as someone stated above. It is constant failure and forgiveness. But the goal is to run the race as if to capture the prize. Die to self and live in Christ.
    Lastly, I want to say to those who may be gay. A Christian pointing out your sin is loving in the sense that if you see a friend walking towards a cliff unknowingly. You should tell him before it’s too late. It’s not intended to be bigoted or hateful. The Bible also says that if someone refuses the gospel to shake the dust off your feet and leave. Do not cast pearls before swine. So those who have heard the gospel and refuse to repent, it is a Christian’s job to move on to the next person who is lost. God Bless. Great article.

  210. Jay says:

    To add on to what you and lyn have been discussing. The fact that you know rape and murder are wrong testifies to the fact that you have a conscience, which proves God’s existence. If there were no universal/supernatural right and wrong, who would care. Every where people know it is not right to do these things. Everyone knows not to steal from other people because it is a God-given moral law. However, Jesus came to show that no one can follow God’s laws, thus the need of a Savior. The ungodly suppress the truth in order to do the things they want/desire to do instead of being transformed by the power of God. We love atheist, that’s what all true Christians were before being saved by Christ Jesus Our Lord.

  211. Jay says:

    Mother Lodebeth, I agree completely with you. However, i would contend that most of these people are not “C”hristians, they are christians. Jesus said narrow is the path and are few that find it. He also said you will know them by their fruit. And there are many that will say in that day didn’t i do this or that in your name. And he’ll say depart from me you workers of iniquity. So I would encourage you and all other true Christians to be faithful to God in word and deed. Live the word and preach it and let God do the rest. But your comments are spot on.

  212. @jay: tl;dr: no, it doesn’t.

    Longer version:

    No, that I “know” rape is wrong doesn’t prove god exists. Even if it did prove “a” god existed, it wouldn’t prove your specific god exists.

    On the other hand, quoting scripture doesn; t further your argument since … well, the devil himself quotes scripture in Matthew!

    You are acting out of faith. Your faith is blind and unthinking. One day you will open your eyes and feel the light of reason. It’s a lot like it, eith the difference of being real.

  213. Zasta Krockett says:

    Haha, Christians writing an entire article obsessing about homosexuality, and then THIS:

    “Pastor: (smiling) With all due respect, you are the one who brought up this subject.”

    Real-life satire is alive and well.

  214. Reformed and always reforming says:

    Pastor: (smiling) With all due respect, you are the one who brought up this subject.

    By the time I got to this point in the article a picture of the “pastor” had formed in my mind. He (of course “he” and not “she”) had a smug smile, something like Charles Krauthammer, a smile that immediately communicated, “Why, silly boy, how could you ever doubt me?” Yuck.

    I noticed immediately that Trevin never describes the facial expressions of the interviewer in the screenplay. The script seems a bit light in the area of character-development. Especially the interviewer’s.

    In the debate *I’d* like to see, the interviewer might actually understand and talk about the fact that many Christian denominations affirm and accept gay and lesbians as members and pastors. The interviewer might know that the word homosexuality didn’t exist until late in the nineteenth century and is never used in scripture. The interviewer might have known that Jesus never spoke about homosexuality at all, but that he did say a great deal about humility, love, and caring for the “least of these,” especially for those regarded by society as outcasts. The interviewer might have thought about how Christians found support for slavery in the Bible, and then discovered how wrong they had been; and how the Bible was used by some Christians to prevent women from serving as pastors, while many Christians interpret the Bible differently on the subject; and how Jesus speaks strongly about divorce and remarriage, but most Christian churches (even those who will not ordain women) do not practice a strict, literal interpretation of Jesus’ words on *that* subject. Finally, the interviewer might have been familiar with “What God Has Joined Together: the Christian Case for Gay Marriage” by Meyers and Scanzoni, and with “Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church” by Jack Rogers. There are biblical scholars who disagree with this author’s perspective on this issue.

    “The Word has to be free to remake and reform the Church over and over again” (G.C. Berkouwer, “Understanding Scripture,” Christianity Today, 1970, as quoted by Meyers/Scanzoni).

    1. jrditch says:

      I too (as it sounds like you do) am in a constant effort to increase my knowledge and understanding of God. I appreciate these specific references by bible scholars so I can study them as I continue to seek God’s heart on the subject of homosexuality.

  215. lew says:

    Romans 1 (New International Version)

    1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[a] was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from[c] faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

    7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:

    Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome
    8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

    11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,[d] that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

    14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

    16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[e] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[f]
    God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    Me:

    Nuclear bombs weren’t in the bible either, but there are verses about hurting other isn’t there? lol

    The debate is about homosexuality, and these verses speak very clearly about it. You can apply these scriptures to the other items listed as well. So, if you’re an adulterer and a church ‘open and affirming’ of adultery, pedohphila, thievery, etc… you’d have the same problem as a church that is opening and affirming of homosexuality. They’d be considered quite outside the bounds of orthodoxy. I’d say much deeper than that myself.

  216. Biff says:

    I must admit my disappointment in the comment section of this posting. It would seem as though the people most able to defend against a more liberal interpretation have relegated the task to those whose approach lacks the insight of an academic. It is not that I have anything against passionate apologies. I just prefer logical ones, and there is a deafening silence coming from one side of this debate. I know that this blog attracts many conservative intellectuals who have something to add, where are you?

    Lew, Chapter and verse are recent additions to scripture. Nowhere is this more evident (and problematic) than the transition between Romans chapter 1 and 2. I believe that if you look a little closer, you will find that Romans is directing you to point your finger at yourself.

  217. William says:

    OMG.

    I was involved in this very discussion with… surprise, surprise… other christians.

    I took the very same line as the pastor on this and I was told by this forum of christians that I needed to experience the “True Love of God” and stop promoting hate against homosexuals… these christians pretty much reverberated word for word the very argument that the “host” used here.

    It is mind blowing to see this played out here after what I went through today… God is truly a God of wisdom and knowledge.

  218. ema says:

    hmm, i agree, he may either be using a difeerent and more standard bible than yours, or your understanding of what you read is jaundiced and u have no clear understainding of what the pastor is saying. My advice, read the bible some more!

  219. lew says:

    Biff,

    Can I be a unrepentant serial rapist or pedophile? No, didn’t think so.

    Here’s a renditon of II Tim 3:16

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    That means that ALL is for ALL Christians. So, if one says they’re a Christian and a homosexual, I say that you need to take the WHOLE armour of God into affect. Since II Tim 3:16 says so. Since it does, then I have to take Romans, Corinthians, Lev. Deut or any other book of the bible that speaks against those sins.

    So, just because you don’t like rendering scriptures that assail against homosexuality, beastiality, pedophila, adultery, thievery, liars, cheaters, gossip or any other range of sins, isn’t for you to be angry against me.

    Be angry against God. It’s His Word and he has said:

    16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

  220. lew says:

    Well William… looks like God was speaking directly to you for a very important reason. Take that to mean to stand with God on this and other issues. It’s getting really ugly out there especially with the UN trying to pass laws against this being able to do this.

  221. Biff says:

    Lew, Since I have read your previous posts, I realize that any further exchange is likely an exercise in futility, with very little chance of providing any productive discourse for either of us. That being understood, I can’t sleep tonight anyway.

    Yes, of course, you have the ability to be an unrepentant serial rapist and pedophile. The only thing that you would need is the belief that you should be. Unfortunately, given your embrace of the “WHOLE armor of God”, the Bible is not as clear on the subjects as you appear to assume (provided the objects of desire are not to be set apart for God).

    What I find curious, is the way in which you are so well-versed in the art of reproof and correction, yet appear to be lacking at the task of instruction of righteousness, beginning with your own. Perhaps it is not the “WHOLE armor of God” that convicts you after all. Instead, you may prefer only the armor which you choose to convict with.

    I am not angry with you because you rendered some scriptures which assail sin. I am not even angry with you because you shamelessly overlook the passages which assail your own. In fact, I am not mad at you in the least. What I harbor for you is pity.

    You expend your energies seeking to justify your righteousness by focusing upon the shortcomings of others. All the while, remaining burdened with the lenses of failed tradition and the blinders of societal and moral presentism.

    What compels you is not your desire to provide salvation to others (which is not even within your ability) but your desire to alleviate your own insecurity and fear. It is a losing proposition, as your compulsion necessarily separates you from what “hangs all the law and prophets”. I fear that given your mindset of legalistic dualism, you miss the point entirely.

  222. lew says:

    Biff,
    I am not righteous at all. If Paul’s righteousness was as filthy rags, mine has to be exceedingly less than his. I’m a dirt bag and I know it. I am saved by the blood of Christ.

    Being saved, that doesn’t mean I’m supposed to continously watch porn or having homosexual sex every day.

    If a person is trying to walk right and falls, then they fall. Ask for forgiveness and walk again. It doesn’t mean walking in the sin and here’s the kicker… saying it’s OK to do it.

    If you could point out scripture that says differently, then I’d be welcomed to review it.

  223. Anon says:

    Ephesians 5:31
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

    Genesis 2:24
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

  224. Biff says:

    lew, Actually, the way I see it, you also believe that it is okay for you to continue walking in your sins. Right after you sanctimoniously feigned your acknowledgement of being a dirt-bag (aren’t we all in the end), you immediately followed with another attempt to vindicate your sins, as you commit them only once (but clearly over and over and over again). Then, without hesitation, you affirmed your own salvation.

    Of course, it is okay for you to view each sin as an individual occurrence, but you lose some credibility when you pick and choose who is “walking in sin” as a result of that view. Moreover, like those you decry, you do not seem to accept the nature of your sins, or even want to overcome them. Like the homosexuals and backbiters, which Romans 1 describes, you have given yourself over, and have become the hypocrite that Paul describes in Romans 2.

    I do not guess I should be surprised by the article and video that you posted (yes, I read/watched it). Unfortunately, the gentleman giving the sermon appears to be engaging in highly questionable mental gymnastics to prove his point. He searched so hard for validation of his beliefs that he misrepresented scripture, history, and likely the nature of sin itself. To be clear, some of his assertions were probably not inspired by differing interpretations of scripture; they were patently false. He was either lying or an idiot. I do not know what bothers me more, the fact that he was given a platform, or that he apparently has a following.

    Like you, this gentleman has clearly been blessed with God’s omniscient discernment while trapped within this life of flesh that we all share. He, and those who believe likewise, are apparently not burdened with typical human weaknesses. It seems as though their only weakness is their inability to administer the retribution that is required of God’s perfect judgment. They selflessly do what they can to overcome that particular shortcoming though.

    Look, I do not care what you believe about homosexuality (or any other sexuality) being right or wrong. That is not the topic which I am engaging in. I am much more interested in your sins, specifically as they relate to homosexuality. Neither of us posses the ability to save or condemn anyone. The most that we can do is to strive for an understanding of our motivations, attempt to regulate our own actions, and hopefully live lives that are worthy of emulation. Until we achieve those goals, any reproof or correction directed to others is somewhat tainted.

    Put aside your insecurity; it is manifest as pride, hypocrisy, and contempt. Nothing good will ensue from it for anyone, but particularly for yourself.

  225. SH says:

    When I first read this article I was intrigued. I don’t think it was a perfect conversation, but I do agree that it allowed the person being interviewed the chance to speak. Over and over again I have noticed that one of the biggest faults Western (especially American) news/media has is the constant interruptions. I can’t stand to watch someone interrupted as they attempt to answer the questions the interviewer asks of them. Why bother inviting them on to speak if you don’t actually let them speak. In that sense, I loved this article.

    In the sense of the homosexuality debate, it seems that the original intent of this article was simply to spark conversation and redirect reporters to reporting and Christians to the Bible. It was a great idea Trevin. However, this stream of comments slowly became less and less civil. Rather than sparking discussion and encouraging understanding…this has become a pointless cycle of argument and rebuttal. I just read ALL of these comments carefully and noticed that we are all literally doing the OPPOSITE of what the article is asking of us. While it’s content could be interpreted as “one-dimensional,” as unique individuals WE are not. We can look at this in so many ways. A great opportunity for dialogue has been lost, only to be replaced with incoherent debate (sorry intellectuals, even your posts are falling on deaf ears).

    Few of us are bothering to listen to/hear out the alternative views expressed. Stop and think for a moment…any time you apologize or say you understand someone’s point of view and then follow that statement with the word BUT, you are negating that apology/understanding. The word “but” can be found almost 200 times in these comments. Clearly, there has been a lack of understanding, listening, and compassion.

    As for the topic being discussed…I have really struggled with my feelings/beliefs about this over the years. When I was younger I followed the “hate the sin, love the sinner” model of Christianity. Then I experienced a close friend and mentor realizing that he had always been attracted to men. Did this change any of the good work that God had done in my life through him? I didn’t even have to pray over this or reference scripture. I know who God is and regardless of sin, He loves us. So I love my friend. I continue to consider scripture and pray over these things, but I do not hate. I do my best to love in all circumstances.

    I don’t have a perfect answer for you all. I don’t know how to reconcile politics, scripture, doctrine, tradition, secular ideas, and personal feelings. I simply work to explore this issue with the utmost care. I deeply hope you can do the same. I didn’t write this to be self-righteous or to sound holier-than-though. I simply felt that I needed to say something, as reading these comments had become almost unbearable.

    For all those who have been angered, hurt, or belittled because of this discussion board…I apologize. No but. I am sorry.

    For those who are still fired up and will simply ignore these words…please at least try to understand where this post came from. Not from rebuke or hostility, but from a place of concern and care.

    You are all loved.

  226. Jonathan F says:

    Thanks SH for your thoughtful comment. I have read this article and many of the comments. I think the heart of this issue is:
    1. Do Christians and Chrurches take a position on homosexuality?
    2. Does this position include homosexuality as a sin?
    This is the main line of disagreement based on my understanding of this entire discourse.

    Jesus was born over 2000 years ago. What we read today in the Bible was written for an audience and government system limited by historical realities. A lot has changed in 2000 years and allows us leeway to interpretation. I say leeway because:
    1. Slavery is condemned across the world
    2. Women can vote and have the same jobs as men.
    3. Gay marriage is being passed in states and nations thus officially recognizing that a man-man and woman-woman relationship is legal.

    We will never know what Jesus would say if he were here today because he was speaking in context of the times in which he lived. These three issues, slavery, women’s suffrage, and gay marriage were entirely unacceptable subjects of their time and I would say that Jesus condoned and possibly fomented these practices. However today, Christians accept and agree that:
    1. Slavery is wrong and Jesus is against it
    2. To discriminate against a person for a job or a voice due to her gender is wrong and Jesus is against it.
    3. That Christians agree to disagree with homosexuals and their supporters…that man-man and woman-woman relationships and the love they make are sinful.

    From a historical perspective, it took over 13,000 years for slavery to be abolished from its roots during the neolithic period. Mauritania was the last country to abolish it in 1981 (!!!). Based on what I have read, Jesus even avoided the subject on numerous opportunities.
    Women have been around much longer than 13,000 years and they have only been able to vote beginning in 1860’s in the western world. It is only within the last 50 years that women have been able to work at the same jobs as men. Again, did Jesus take a position on this?

    The evidence that we have for Jesus and the apostles against homosexuality is that it is wrong to be promiscuous, wrong to fornicate, and wrong to commit adultery with anyone regardless of gender differences. Perhaps if gay marriage existed 2000 years ago, Jesus would have said something different.

    Homosexuality is a difficult topic to be sure for Christians. It is unfortunate to me that churches and pastors take a position on this issue based on what I think is circumstantial evidence. I think God is greater than the two questions I have posed above and that our understanding of God is incomplete due to a wealth of factors including our own imperfections.

  227. Lynette says:

    I am and have been Christian for years. I also have one gay uncle, a gay cousin, and a gay nephew. I could not agree more with what this pastor is saying. It is possible to love the “sinner” (like we all are), but not like the sin. I love each of those men and would give my life for them all if I needed too. However, I disagree with their lifesytle. I like what he said about disagreeing does not mean hating. I love and pray for all of those people who are homosexual, alcoholics, fornicators, and for myself b/c I am not perfect. I do not judge, but pray. I think that is Christ’s love. Thanks for sharing!!

  228. Kelli says:

    Not all Americans are Christian. Not all LGBT Americans are Christian. For this reason, we cannot, as a country, legislate morality without violating people’s first amendment right to freedom of (and from) religion.

  229. Jesse Wilson says:

    Great job!

  230. Cody says:

    Great article.

    We ALL have our vices, but their existence doesn’t make them our identity.

  231. Anonymous Christian Struggling with Homosexuality says:

    I was just praying that someone would have an articulate Christian response to all of this hoopla about the “gay debate”! I was really tired of this conversation involving hateful exchanges on both sides.

    But I’d like to see the evangelical community take their response a step further. I feel as if the strategy with homosexuality has been to quietly disagree and hope that nobody calls us bigots. Meanwhile, people on other sides of the debate (there are a multitude of different, non-Christian positions on this issue) are putting out messages full-time, in both political and non-political ways, encouraging anything and everything but trusting in Jesus Christ to cleanse us of our unholy desires. Please, I’d like to see more biblical support out there for people like me, who struggle with this and want to see change. Not just more sermons on why homosexuality is unbiblical, although those are good. But people like me feel left out, that our sin is either unmentionable or political, and we struggle in the dark. I’d like to see more biblical ministries and books that deal with this problem in a practical way.

    1. C H says:

      Hey Anonymous, I struggle with SSA as well, and I completely agree. The church needs to do a better job of ministering to it’s members who struggle.
      There are not really any great resources that are solid theologically and practically helpful (that I have found). Tim Chester’s “You Can Change” does offer a very practical approach to evaluating your life and approaching sin from a heart level instead of just behavior. John Piper has a few good sermons on the issues, and he is very sympathetic to those who struggle.

      In the end, fighting this sin is the same for any Christian who fights any sin. The difference is that people who struggle with SSA feel that they can’t talk about it and therefore struggle in isolation. I’d encourage you, if you haven’t already, to seek out biblical community and be open and honest about your struggle. I have several close friends who know about my struggle and it’s made dealing with it so much easier.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Sadly, CH and Anonymous Christian… I am a Christian Counseling major, and have had to look into the laws regarding this topic. The main reason that there is no help for you is 1: California state law forbids addressing Homosexuality as anything but a healthy lifestyle choice in the COunseling arena, and 2: The APA will remove the licensure of any individual that disagrees with their political views, being that homosexuality is legitimate and we should only help a person get used to it.If this has changed, I am unaware of it, but this is, as far as I am aware, the legal reality. Sorry. Wish it was different, but it’s a stranglehold, and the church is not equipped yet to deal with this topic in a professional manner because that has been forced into the secular arena.

  232. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

    It would have been cool if Kirk Cameron had this interview to guide him in his Q&A with Piers Morgan.

  233. They don’t offer type big enough or bold enough for this amen but…AMEN.

  234. Kristen says:

    By this logic, no one should be allowed to marry because we’re all guilty of sexual sin.

  235. Jake says:

    Its simple.scripture clearly says that homosexuality and any sex outside of marriage is a sin. Take it or leave it, the path is narrow.

  236. Eric says:

    Very well said and needed to bring the discussion back to Christ and the need of forgiveness of ALL sins.

  237. GeoPolitico says:

    It is interesting to note that Pierce Morgan is the one who insists on pursuing the homosexual debate. And for the Host to discuss “Love” as all acceptance is puzzling to say the least! If “Love” were to be all inclusive, then no parent would ever discipline a children’s behavior. But isn’t real love to correct a child to turn from non productive behavior to encourgae them to be & do better? And this example goes not only for children, but for adults who need to contiunally take personal responsibility for their behaviou & learn to be better!

  238. jason says:

    Pastor (actually Trevin Wax): “any time I even lust after someone else, I am sinning.”

    Pastor (actually Jesus): “anyone who looks at a wife lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

    Why is Pastor Trevin Wax’s definition of “sinning” so very much larger than Jesus’ definition? Trevin, you should consider that Jesus said, using the same Greek word translated above as ‘lust,’ ““With desire I have lusted to eat this Passover with you.” Like everything God created is good (1 Tim 4), lust is inherently good. It only becomes sin when man uses it sinfully.

    “Lust” simply means “desire intensely.” We are not to desire other men’s wives intensely. We should not lust for them. We should not feed our desire for them and intensify it by through looking at them, always wanting more and never satisfied. Instead, we are to desire our own wives. Lusting for our wives is good. This whole “lust is a sin” thing causes so much destruction in humanity. It is a shame that it so often seems to come through those who call themselves by the name of Jesus.

  239. Andrew says:

    No mention of Paul in this interview from the subject. Why?

    He connects homosexual “passions” to pagan worship, explicitly, in Romans 1. This is the only passage of the Bible making direct reference to the idea of orientation.

    Perhaps there is no mention because we know that paganism does NOT cause homosexuality. It has existed in all cultures, in all times, in all political situations. In the East, West, Indigenous tribes… It is throughout the animal kingdom. It is, in fact, natural. Paul asserts otherwise… that is the real problem. Some think that the Bible is still a scientific document.

    We also know that Paul thinks people should remain single if possible, and that marriage, while not sinful, is not helpful either in the end times (1 Corinthians 7).

    And we know that asking someone to repent on an ongoing basis for something they feel naturally, which is an expression of love, is a primary cause of severe mental illness. It is not evidence of love or grace. It is one thing for people to be aware of their own “guilt” in how they live their lives. It is quite another to live feeling ashamed every second of the day. Anyone who has actually taken these words of Evangelical leaders literally knows that there is a VERY big difference. One may think that it is the same thing, but not feeling worthy of any basic love, relationship, or other connection to others, because of how one is oriented, does nothing to produce joy, peacefulness, humbleness, or anything of the like. Humility is NOT the same thing as feeling humiliated.

    Of course, Paul is the only one in the Bible that mentions the sin of Adam and Eve casting a shadow over humanity. In fact, original sin is Augustine’s concept, not technically Paul’s, or Christ’s.

    I wonder why that discussion was left out of this theoretical “interview.”

    People suffer for different reasons for being different. People of color suffer at the hand of white majorities. They suffer differently than, say, women do in a male dominated culture. And LGBT people suffer differently than those two groups. But that suffering is very real. I see no effort for Evangelical leaders to get in touch with their own suffering in the same way. Not really. Perhaps there are those who live in their woundedness. But LGBT people don’t have to live this way. And as so many LGBT people of faith can attest to, living unashamed is the beginning of a walk of faith with God, not the end of one.

  240. Tony says:

    God hates heterosexuals. God Loves Everyone. God is a contradiction. The God you perceive is not real.

  241. Sheila says:

    It would be nice to have a clear voice like this.

  242. Stoney says:

    Living the lifestyle as a homosexual is a sin,you cannot live that lifestyle and be a true christian,to be a christian you must repent of your sins when you do sin so if you keep living that homosexual lifestyle then you are not repenting. Why do you think when God made Adam He gave him a woman as a mate instead of another man. God also says to multiply the earth.Why do you think only a man and a woman can make a child. Because God did not intend for man to man relations or woman to woman relations. Now that’s the Gospel.

  243. Michael says:

    I would like to see this added:

    Host: You believe this issue is one of the most important issues in the “culture war;” why is it more important and worth more of our political time, energy, and money than sins like murder (capitol punishment included), adultery (divorce included), and being bad parents (disowning gay children included)?

    Pastor: Good point; I don’t know. We can’t use the Bible to preach against inter-racial marriage anymore like my father in the 1960s and 1970s, so I guess this was the next best thing on our list.

    Host: Our producer, who is gay, had a sandwich for lunch this afternoon. Did his gay lunch invalidate your straight lunch?

    Pastor: Absolutely not!

    Host: Then how is his gay marriage going to invalidate your straight marriage? If it’s a civil ceremony and only recognized by the courts, then what difference does it make if your church recognizes it?

    Pastor: Marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman, whether they’re both Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Satanists, or Wiccans or atheists; just not two men or two women.

  244. Randy says:

    Mr. Wax-
    I really love the sentiment and the ideas you’re trying to evoke here. I really do. However, I have seen the reality play out many times, and it hurts me to say that this is not the dialogue most believers are having, or the loving tone most believers are conveying.
    I am a devout Christian and have spent years in collegiate ministry, and over the years I have come to believe so fully that God’s love rests equally on homosexuals as it does heterosexuals. In fact, I would go so far as to argue being gay no more condemns a man than being straight redeems him. However, taking this position has cost me dearly. I was urged to leave a Christian ministry, I was dropped by several friends, and I have earned some derision for my views, even though I believe they are rooted in Scripture.
    I have seen firsthand how violent, vitriolic, and vicious people get when it comes to this issue, and I have seen even the most devout Christians resort to trashing other believers who defend gay rights. Yes, to be very fair, I’ve seen the reverse, where Christians who argue for longheld traditions are cast as ignorant, simple-minded fools. Both hurt me, because I have dearly loved friends on both sides who are sincerely faithful.
    Saying all this, I do appreciate what you said, and wish life were so simple, and that people were so reasonable. My faith has taken a lot of blows over this one issue, and I’m at the point where I have grave misgivings about the future of the church in America.

    Thanks.

  245. Kim says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the best explanation I’ve ever heard in the topic of homosexuality. If more Christians spike like this, we may be seen as powiple who live like Jesus did!

  246. Kathy Durling says:

    Wonderful article; thank you for articulating Biblical views so well! Kathy Durling

  247. Jacob Loyd says:

    @Apartheist

    Jesus never expressly came out against bestiality in the Bible either. But does that mean that Jesus was accepting of bestiality?

    The logic of “Jesus never said it” is faulty. Even the idea of Sola Scriptura is! The Bible wasn’t written in a vacuum. There was a Christian tradition that gave us the NT.

    For someone who claims to be speaking tolerance, calling the Bible garbage is a sure way to ruin the conversation. If you believe my beliefs are garbage, why should I try and have a civil conversation?

  248. maz says:

    Way too complicated of a response and way too many words….keep it simple…Jesus would have. He says in Romans people who would not glorify or thank God because of the futility of their thinking their darkened foolish hearts were given over to the sinful desires of their hearts…to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another…and were given over to shameful lusts …even the women exchanged natural relations for unatural ones and were inflamed with lust for one another and men committed indecent acts with other men,. and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Why do you think so many people have gotten aids?….because of sexual sin. So say what God says..He calls it unnatural, indecent, perversion, inflamed with lust, shameful and that the penalty will be brought upon thmeselves. That’s whats wrong with the body of Christ today…everybody tries to be too nice..just say it like the word of God does and if they listen the truth will set them free.

  249. CD says:

    This is a clearer expression of Christian ideas about sex. But let’s be clear here. If he does not want a gay marriage, he doesn’t have to get one.
    Sex outside of marriage is not illegal.
    Sex inside marriage is not illegal.
    Gay sex is, in many places, not illegal.
    To deny gay persons the same rights as non gay persons, is discrimination.
    If sex inside marriage is morally preferred, and not allowing gay persons to marry is discrimination, then the Christian choice should be obvious: allow gay marriage.
    Instead, it’s Christians who are blocking the marriage equality process. This man claims it’s not strictly a gay hate thing, well, if that’s true, then why do using the standards of his argument suggest that it is?

    1. As an African American, I am offended that LGBT has used Civil Rights to forward their agenda of sexual immorality. I am outraged that the NAACP recently renamed as the NAALGBT, Jessie Jackson, Joseph Lowery, and Al Sharpton is encouraging pastors to support the president. A position that the Scriptures clearly condemn. A position that I vehemently condemn. Discrimination against sexual “orientation” is just a hijacking of the Civil Rights Movement. Put my black skin on for a nano second and you will know what discrimination is all about. To confuse racial issues with sexual immorality is just cover for the continuation of sexual sins.

      Many of you have no sense about the fact that Jesus, pre-incarnate, is the God the Son. He was there when He gave the Word in the beginning. So to say that He didn’t say anything about homosexuality is error. Jesus is the Word (Read John chapter 1, verse 1-3). So Who do you think gave the Word that called same sex an abomination (Leviticus 18:22).

      Finally, as an African American, LGBT is riding the backs of Blacks and enslaving us once again. Note these statistics from the CDC.

      In 2009, black men accounted for 70% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks.
      The estimated rate of new HIV infection for black men was more than six
      and a half times as high as that of white men, and two and a half times as high as that of Latino men or black women.

      
In 2009, black men who have sex with men (MSM)1 represented an estimated
      73% of new infections among all black men, and 37% among all MSM.
      More new HIV infections occurred among young black MSM (aged 13–29)
      than any other age and racial group of MSM. In addition, new HIV infections
      among young black MSM increased by 48% from 2006–2009.

      In 2009, black women accounted for 30% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks.

      Most (85%) black women with HIV acquired HIV through heterosexual sex.
      The estimated rate of new HIV infections for black women was more than 15 times as high as the rate for white women, and more than three times as high as that of Latina women.



      So, do we really want this to continue the charade or be truthful about the fact that homosexuality and sexual immorality of all kinds is against the will of God?

  250. Abby says:

    Or you know, there’s nothing wrong with any of us and we should stop worrying about what ancient sky gods would think of us.

    You shouldn’t be ashamed of yourself for any sexual urges. It is not a sin. And don’t let deluded and uneducated people who cling to religion because they aren’t strong enough to take responsibility for themselves make you feel ashamed with made up rules. The bible is not a legal document and as we grow as a society gay people will have the right to marry. That’s the problems with us humans… we get smarter. And we deserve equal rights.

  251. MBW says:

    Yes, gay people are just dying to go to a church that believes they are sinning. What a joke.

  252. Stoney says:

    Here’s a comment for CD and ABBY, one thing we are’nt saying homosexuality is illegal we are saying that it is a sin. God’s law has a higher standard and is way more important to keep than human laws. And also,The Lord Jesus Christ is not any ancient sky god He is the one and only true GOD.I wish you would believe that because it IS true.As the LORD said one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is God.That means everyone who has ever existed, even the unbelievers,but it will be to late for them because they will spend eternity in hell.The word says “to live like there is no GOD makes you a fool.

  253. This is the kind of conversation that CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, LGBT supporting media are afraid of. The truth ministered in love. This is one of the best presentations of the truth about all sexual immorality ever compiled. The next step is to be able to present this to the world to show that the church is serious about turning this around. That is, the fact that we can’t stand and that we are weak willed about this issue. Quite the contrary. We are willing to discuss this any where, any place, any time should an opportunity be afforded.

  254. Ben says:

    I wish he would of used something other than “homosexual” or “homosexuality”. I am faithful follower of Jesus who is dedicated in following Him. Not that works mean anything but I am active in my church in serving, I am actively involved in sharing the gospel with those outside of the church, I stay accountable and love dearly the homegroup I am a part of, and I try to practice the spiritaul disciplines. Works mean nothing but hopefully they provide some evidence that points towards the faith I have in and for Jesus. I love Jesus so much. I try to keep my eyes centered on Him. He is my love and my heart. He is my everything. I fight against sin and unwanted desires, as to keep my eyes focused on Him. There is nothing more I want than to praise His name. There is nothing more I want than to know Him. I am also a man with dominately samesex attractions. I don’t act out on those samesex attractions. I am happy to give my life to Jesus. I am happy to be a celibate. Jesus called none of us to be alone, so I reject my singleness in accepting Him as my present and future hope. I embrace that His Spirit is with me always. Don’t get me wrong I long for companionship. Long for it deeply. I tried to go straight, spent years in Ex-Gay ministries and reparative therapy; it just didn’t work and ended up with debt which I am still paying off equal loans for a private college. But thats ok, I gave it an effort. So I am content to have Jesus as my everything.

    The thing is so many folks who write on the gay issue seem to completely forget about us who are loving Jesus but have samesex attraction yet don’t choose to act out on our desire. In this post for example homosexuality is used in all different ways that it would have even me excluded from the kingdom of God. I hope that you guys are wrong when you inadvertently write that or like that all people with samesex attractions are excluded from being Christians and thus part of God’s kingdom. But you know what even if I am excluded from God’s kingdom with my deep love and faith in Jesus given also in a life of celibacy towards Him; thats ok mostly though would break my heart. I love Him. I am more concerned now with Him being made known. I am more concerned with Him being praised and adorned. Its about Jesus, its not about me. But I do think you guys are wrong when you write intentionally or unintentionally with your language. I feel the presence of God in my life. I see Him active in my life and in those around me. So I would ask for you guys to think about how you write things. A post like this can be very discouraging for someone like me. At the best it makes us feel like we are second class citizens in the Kingdom, always underneath the heterosexuals and never good enough in this life or next. At the worst it makes us who feel like there is nothing we can do besides hope for a miracle so that we can meet the base minimum to be a Christian. I don’t know about the rest of y’all but I do believe the Fall effected all parts of us as humans, including our sexuality. So all of us have to reorient our sexuality through Jesus by the Spirit towards the Father. So please think about how things like this post comes across.

    *Cross posting this comment to another thread which basically comes out with the same result.

    1. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

      Ben: “I wish he would of used something other than “homosexual” or “homosexuality”.”

      Who’s “he”? You mean, Trevin Wax?

      Would it be better if Trevin Wax specifically named it as “Same-Sex Behavior”?

      “I don’t act out on those samesex attractions. I am happy to give my life to Jesus. I am happy to be a celibate.”

      Fantastic obedience to God’s Commands in Scripture!

      Just like celibate unmarried heterosexuals who are faithfully obeying God’s Commands in Scripture to not fornicate.

      “The thing is so many folks who write on the gay issue seem to completely forget about us who are loving Jesus but have samesex attraction yet don’t choose to act out on our desire.”

      That’s not what I see. Many, if not all, Christians that I know of praise celibate homosexuals.

    2. Melody says:

      @Ben surely you realize that you are not the majority. I’m a divorced woman which is not a popular thing to claim. Everyone talks like it is so accepted in the church these days but that is not what I am finding. I’m not saying that people don’t love me. I know that they do but I’m not on anyone’s mind when they talk about divorce being a sin. They don’t worry about how they word things.

      I have repented. I am not out trolling for a husband inside or outside of the church like lots of women do either. It used to bother me but I can see that I’m different than a lot of divorced Christian women.

      That makes me and you the exception rather than the rule. Remember our identity is with Christ and not our flawed sinful life of the past.

  255. nhe says:

    Late to the party here, sorry. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned Andy Stanley yet, but his position (and he’s in the top 5 of “high profile” pastors in the U.S.) is that he just flat won’t go on these shows.

    I agree with him. I find Trevor’s “script” pretty troubling. He’s not winning a debate, even if he’s representing the Bible and Christ accurately (and I would dispute that slightly).

    The bigger issue is that Trevor would consider going on a show like this in the first place. It’s just flat the wrong forum. Time & energy should not be spent even considering it. There is no way to “accurately” represent Christ in a forum like this.

    This battle must be fought one-on-one in covenant friendship with homosexuals – its the only way – and its the way we’re (largely) unwilling to consider.

  256. Stephanie says:

    Beautiful. Thank you!

  257. Peggy Hoefl says:

    Excellent article. We are ALL Sinners!

  258. James says:

    Hi all, I take the point about homosexual urges and homosexual activity. I commend celibate people struggling faithfully with homosexual urges and would like to see them acknowledged by this interview as a celibate heterosexual man (single celibate people often seem to go unacknowledged until we sin then judgement is quickly passed). Generally though I think this is a really good treatment of the subject and wish we saw interviews go this way. I think a major point we almost always miss about sin is that it is primarily about our relationship with God. I think Christian thinking is often hijacked by a secular understanding of sin that defines it without reference to God purely by reference to ‘human feeling’. Though this is a shifty position because different humans feel different things. I think its important that we communicate that this is not an option for the Christian we must come to the Bible as a whole and reason with it. The problem is that’s not sound bite stuff and you always get nonsense arguments about the Bible supporting stoning children and the like (which is largely unreasoned and does not take into account the fullness of God’s revelation). Anyway thank you for this article. God blessed me by it.

  259. Kepha says:

    I think it would also be useful to note that just as I and others must, as Christians, repent daily of certain sins (a pretty bad temper in my case) and fight to keep them in check, so must a homosexual who wants to follow Jesus.

    And, since we’re dealing with all these modern folks who are so proud of how “uninhibited” they are, some middle-aged man whose physician wants to check the old prostate every so often (who wants cancer?) should just come out and say that anyone who likes getting the equivalent of a prostate exam has to be nuts, and anyone who gets his kicks giving it has to be more than just a little bit cruel.

  260. John Alleyne Dewar says:

    I fail to understand how one can claim that Jesus is God (gods are immortal), and that he died for our sins. The argument that he became man and sacrificed his life for our sins is also inconsistent. Where is the sacrifice if what you are apparently losing will be returned to you in a short while

  261. Scott Lemaster says:

    Mr. Dewar you have to understand GOD THE FATHER, JESUS THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, are all the same GOD. ALL existed before the creation of the earth and man. GOD BEING IN THREE FORMS, at the same time is hard for us as HIS creation is hard for us to understand . At the same time easy for him because HE IS GOD not a human. I hope this helps.

  262. Jeff Knight says:

    I would also add that since those engaged in the homosexual lifestyle have a higher rate of suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse, sexually transmitted disease, and that the Jesus, who in the beginning was the Word, says an unrepentant sinner will not inherit the kingdom of God, For a Christian to sit by and let a person head down a path that leads to physical, emotional and spritual death is NOT the most loving way to be. Those who want them to continue on the path to destruction just because they want too, would be no different than some giving a person addicted to meth the money to go buy some. Those people demanding acceptance are the ones who are demonstrating the most hate.
    God is a God of Love, but he is also a God of virtue and rightenous. You cannot claim, as some have, that he will forgive all sins, both repented and unrepented because he is a God of Love. He only forgives the former, not the latter.

    1. maz says:

      Meant to say good comment but I believe it was a God comment too.

  263. maz says:

    Godd comment Trevin..i agree with you wholeheartedly

  264. indorri says:

    You lost me when you started to compare being gay to being a cheater.

    It seems the reason you want the conversation to go this way is because you want people to be more concerned with your tone and your self-perception of loving than what your attitudes, rhetoric and actions actually do to gay people.

    You want to be considered the moral voice of this conversation, while everyone else either acquiesces or remains passive. Despite taking the road yourself, it seems you don’t like it when others call you out for your moral irrectitude because you’re saying bad things in soft tones and pleasant words.

  265. Barry says:

    The world will only ever twist the debate to fit their sinful viewpoint to avoid personal responsibility before God – this only delays the ultimate moment when every person will give an account of their lives before God – until then Christians continue to love people regardless of the intolerance.

  266. Angela B says:

    I enjoyed the reading here. It was thought provoking. Pierce may have met one of his matches. I do think that the pastor’s words could be used to describe hate for many other issues. I might need to follow him to see where his thinking is.

  267. marvin says:

    Yes he (GOD) did condemn Homosexuality in Leviticus. He said homosexuality was an abomination. END of Subject!

  268. [email protected] says:

    Being gay is not sinning. Committing immoral acts is sinning. Not all Christians and other good and informed people believe that all gay people are sinners. People that equate gay with sinning can go to hell. Who are they to judge!?!

  269. Meghan Hunt says:

    However accepting and loving this may seem, I do not want to see an interview “go like this” with any pastor. At the core of the Pastor’s argument he is still condemning gay people, and labeling what they identify as as “sinful.” I myself am a straight Christian, but from talking to friends who are gay in and outside the Church, most all feel attacked by people speaking that their innate desires are sinful and can merely be prayed and repented away. Many misguided people used out of context Bible verses to support slavery, segregation, women’s right etc. History is repeating itself with the use of verses removed from their situational context to bash gays. I am in no way saying I know the thoughts of God on this matter, but instead choose to err on the side of love and acceptance, content to sit in the fact that I simply do not know, and most likely won’t until I die.

  270. aceSJ says:

    I’m curious as to what the OP’s stance on asexuals and asexuality would be, as well as people who are intersex (i.e. undeterminable sex at birth).
    It is possible for someone to consider themselves “homosexual” (or bisexual or pansexual) without feeling -sexual- attraction toward that sex, merely romantic attraction. If sexual sin is defined by lust, what then about those you condemn as amoral who do not lust but do not fall under your stipulations for the right kind of love?
    (Note there are heterosexual asexuals as well.)
    As for those who are intersex, are they then not allowed to be married since they are not female nor male?

  271. Lee Neil says:

    Jesus indeed called us to the highest standard of sexual purity when he deemed lust to be as sinful as adultery. Do you then advocate for a radical change in church culture that demands that divorced members (same percentage in churches as the general sinful population) return to their former spouses so as not to taint congregations with adulterers? How do you do that? Do you sort out the divorcees in categories? Those who had a sexually wayward spouse and those who just couldn’t hack the rigors of marriage. How do you handle this for divorce in the context of what you wrote: “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.” Seriously, how do you call sexually sinful divorcees to the same standard that you would call gay men and women who love Jesus? And, if you didn’t, would you not be a hypocrite?

  272. Dennis says:

    Thank you for this article. I wish everyone on both sides would read it carefully.

  273. Ken says:

    I find it amazing that people who call themselves Christians (One who claims to have adopted the attitude and concerns of Jesus the Christ) have so much reverence for something a fictional Pastor ‘believes’ as opposed to what the actual Jesus did and said in regards to the subject here, so allow me to refresh your memory…

    Here is everything Jesus had to say about homosexuality:







    There you have it.

  274. Nikki Tapia says:

    Amen! Amen and amen Mr. Trevin Wax!

  275. Ken says:

    Host:
    You are a Christian pastor, and you say you believe the Bible…

    Pastor:
    Well, let me first say to that point that Christians believe in Jesus. The Bible is a container, not the content. The jar is important, don’t get me wrong, but ultimately we are talking about feeding our higher nature, and it’s what’s inside the jar that is going to sustain and energize you. If I went to a seminar on healthy eating, and all the speaker talked about was how awesome the wrappers and boxes and jars were and never got to the part about the nutrition inside them… I would stand up and walk out. So I like to think we believe in Jesus the content.

    Host:
    Point taken. As a Christian, you’re supposed to love all people, but it appears to me that a lot of churches take a rather unloving position when it comes to gay people. Is this a proper and Biblically supported Christian stance?

    Pastor:
    I define a Christian as one who has adopted the attitudes and concerns of Jesus… at the very top of these is Love… period. Jesus never mentions homosexuality once, ever, so I don’t want to waste anyone’s time on something Jesus never even spoke about ever. If someone being gay makes me uncomfortable and anxious, well, according to Jesus who I claim to follow, that’s my problem to deal with, and is a shortcoming of my own. I need to call on Jesus to help me work through and overcome my needless fear, which is really what we’re talking about here. The purpose of my faith is to point my finger at me when I fall short, and to use the lessons of those moments to help change myself into a more Loving person, not to insult a fellow human’s dignity and point my broken finger at another person’s brokenness and demand that they change. That would be hypocrisy, something Jesus actually spoke about against, unlike homosexuality. Jesus said “Woe unto you” to the hypocrites, not to the homosexuals. This should mean something to a person who claims to follow Jesus the Christ.

    Host:
    So homosexuality is a non-issue to you?

    Pastor:
    I wouldn’t call anything a person struggles with a ‘non-issue’, I just think the struggle in terms of Christianity always lies with the one who is finding it difficult to show non-judgment, compassion, and Love to another human being. I would say this struggle that Christian communities are having with homosexuality is more about our ability as individuals that claim to have adopted the attitude of Jesus, to take a step back and ask ourselves the hard and honest questions like “Am I being Loving right now, or am I being fearful and judgmental? I think that’s a fair self-assessment, and I would even go as far as to call it a central responsibility of one who claims to follow in the path of Jesus the Christ.

    Host:
    What about ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin”?

    Pastor: Again, Jesus never said that, and since we’re having a discussion about what it means to be a follower of Jesus and not just a fan, I don’t wish to waste time on projecting something Jesus never said onto something Jesus never talked about. To me, a statement like that is more of a sign of spiritual laziness opting for the easy justification of judgment or hate, rather than the difficult practice of transcending and abolishing it. In any case, I don’t accept or recognize that notion as a Christian one.

    Host:
    Isn’t it your job as a Pastor, let alone a Christian, to point out other people’s transgressions?

    Pastor:
    For me as an individual, being a Christian is about focusing on my own shortcomings, and working on my ability, or more honest, my inability in most cases to Love unconditionally. So really the pressures and challenges are on me to be as Christ-like as I can be and to Love people where they’re at and not judge them. My task as a Christian is not to try to change others, but to change myself into a more Loving person. If I succeed in doing that as an individual, then I have succeeded in being a good Pastor by setting an example.

    Host:
    That all sounds great, but at the end of the day, isn’t homosexuality a sin?

    Pastor:
    I would answer that question with another question… is it your sin to worry about? What did Jesus have to say about it? If the answers to those two questions are “No”, and “Nothing”, then as a serious Christian, your time might be better spent focusing on what you’re doing or not doing in in regards to the words and actions of Jesus.

    Host:
    Is it enough to say that Christian views on homosexuality can be chalked up to a difference of opinion and there’s no real harm being done?

    Pastor:
    Some might say “to differ is not to hate”. I agree with that. But by the same token, to differ is not to Love either… to differ is simply to differ. If you want to spend all your time focused on were we differ, by all means, go and join a debate team. But don’t confuse that with in any way shape or form with Jesus’ message of agape Love. As a Christian, or one who claims to following the path walked by Jesus, at the core of His message to those willing to receive it, is Love… His words, not mine. The only proper response to Love is to accept it, there is nothing to ‘do’ to earn it. I think this is actually where Love begins, because I truly, truly believe that once you learn that you can accept Love unconditionally, it is only then that you can, in turn, give Love unconditionally. I truly believe that this is the good news, or ‘gospel truth’ that is perpetually revealed to us, and that we are saved through our ability to see ourselves as worthy of being Loved.

  276. Shelby Shock-Marsh says:

    Heres the thing…what Jesus taught was during the old Testament…he was bound by the law & his audience was strictly the jews who were also bound by the rules & regulations of the 10 commandments. It wasnt until his payment of sin ( Jesus’ death) fulfilled that law & at that moment there was a new covenant of grace made between God & man & all those rules & regulations no longer apply…To anyone. Our only commandment now is to love God & love others. Period. So although what Jesus says is significant..it is not how we are to model our life. We are called to love & can only Really do that once we have received His love bc we dont know the first thing about pure love until we do. God doesnt just have love, He is love. So we love everyone right where they are & how they are & let God draw everyone to himself. He is the only one qualified to judge. And honestly we arent capable of loving like God…but he will teach us if we will just keep our eyes focused on him & not play the role of sin police.He created us & if he wants us to change, he knows how best to do that. Love covers a multitude of sins…even ignorance of his perfect, grace-filled love. Peace.

  277. robert cardwell says:

    Love this article very well said

  278. Ben says:

    Clever post, wishful thinking. And I think misses the main point.

    How I wish election seasons would go:

    Christians stop voting for candidates who believe marriage (among many other things) is an issue of the federal government. Yes, that usually means Republicans, too. So much of this vitriol stems entirely from that, yet no one ever really seems to talk about it. Homosexuals want to marry, the government slowly gives permission, Christians take up arms to change legislation, and Piers Morgan brings on another evangelical to remind America why they hate Christians. Again, and again, and again, round and round we go. Yet we Christians wonder why so many people hate us.

    Marriage is not an issue of the federal government.

    Good luck changing the dialogue without addressing the elephant in the room. Stop voting for personalities, for the ‘more Christian’ candidate who’s in favor of a big government with just as tight a grip over personal decisions. Let homosexuals have liberty to marry, let Christians evangelize them as they please, without the media getting in the way with it’s political conversations. With government out of marriage, they wouldn’t have any grounds to host them, because it would no longer be a hot-topic political conversation.

    Start talking, blogging, and debating that. Otherwise keep wishing for changes in dialogue.

  279. Elaine says:

    Well said Pastor, finally, someone who says what he truly believes,
    We all have been given the freedom to choose, not all choices reflect Christ, but it is our marching orders to love the sinner and hate the sin, one day, we will all answer for all we have said and done, I am not better than other, but I am forgiven through the blood of Jesus,

    Merry Christmas,

  280. Marsha Metzger says:

    excellent article!

  281. Watchman says:

    This interview is still very flawed. Why? Because it still conveys a morality-based and soteriological gospel. This is what is inherently wrong with the American evangelical church. And, the reason why many are either leaving the church OR not even interested at all. The Gospel is not about pointing out people’s sins or trying to make an upright society. Nor is it only about salvation… a free ticket to heaven. The Gospel is about being a witness and light of God’s kingdom through our lives and the way we love others and point them to Christ. When the evangelical church gets over its obsession with hell, homosexuality, and entertainment based churchianity and begin to truly and sincerely love people living in the margins of society, only then will people listen. Until then, people will remain largely disinterested or disenfranchised with the church.

  282. Ronald G Miller says:

    Didn’t touch the marriage issue

    Host: Many in the Christian Community say it’s not about morality. Why do you stand against Homosexual marriage? Didn’t Paul tell Christians to leave judgement to God for those outside the church (1Co 5:12-13)? Why do Christians to enforce their theocracy on the rest of the country, when in most cases there is no discipline among their own membership?
    If Christians can’t keep the moral law apart from Christ (http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2012/04/04/making-the-gospel-explicit-an-interview-with-matt-chandler/) What makes you think those who don’t know Christ can? How can you force those who aren’t moral to be moral in your definition?

    Trevin like to hear what you and others at the GC have to say how to answer that one.

    1. Gabe Holm says:

      Ronald in order to answer your question we must first understand what is meant by marriage. If marriage simply means the right for two people(same sex or opposite sex) to have a ceremony and share their vows in front of their loved ones, exchange rings, live together, etc… then there is no Christian resistance to this. However if marriage means a same sex union that the state recognizes as equivalent to traditional marriage then there is a problem. That kind of marriage forces the consent of Christians who think this behavior is morally wrong. In other words, Christians are fine to let people live how they want as long as they are not involved.

      I will mention a few other relevant points here. There is simply no good reason to legalize same sex marriage. This is completely apart from anything religious. Heterosexual marriage is recognized by states because it provides a demonstrable benefit to society, namely most marriages produce children and the optimal situation to raise children. There is no equivalent benefit with same sex marriage. Equality is not an issue either since no matter what your orientation anyone can marry, it’s just that marriage is between a man and a woman, if you don’t want to do that, fine, but that is your choice. So what would be the reason for the state recognizing same sex marriage?

      The irony here is that it is the homosexual lobby that is doing exactly what it is accusing Christians of doing, namely forcing their views/lifestyle/morality on those who don’t agree with it. Christians aren’t trying to stop anyone’s behavior; they just don’t want to be legally obliged to recognize it. So how do you answer the assertion that it is actually the legalization of same sex marriage that is violating a person’s rights and not the other way around?

  283. Sean says:

    It is throwing stumbling blocks in front of your neighbor. “Just not”, take the beam out of your own eye, and All fall short of the glory. Our focus as Christians is to show love for each other period. It is not our job to point at anyone else, because we are ALL sinners. No sin is above another yet “Christians” focus on the gay population. Why not the liars, we all fall into that category. It IS bigotry and teaching hate to focus on pointing at the gay population. I am one Christian who is tired of other “Christians” condemning people in the name of my faith. It makes people not want to become Christians and sets up barriers to telling others about the wonderful gift that came from our maker through Christ our lord. No it isn’t about OUR repentance it IS about what Jesus sacrificed for us. It is what he did not what we do. If you don’t understand that you should reread your Bible, as the message is very clear. Love your neighbor as yourself, and even as your enemy.

  284. Ana says:

    Christianity is blessed to have a powerful leader like Pope Francis, who reminds us frequently of our roles on this planet: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”.
    The point is is that is you pursue the Lord and repent for your sins and strive to live a good life, then why does it matter if you want to be with a man or a woman? Marriage in modern society is NOT all about reproduction. Your partner in life is your companion, someone you love beyond any other human, someone you want to come home to, have a family with, provide for, take care of, and challenge to be better. Both heterosexual and homosexual couples want the same things. They look for the same things in a partner it is simply the physical component is different.
    “Gay thoughts” is such a hurtful term it makes my skin crawl. People don’t choose their sexual orientation! I’ve been having “straight thoughts” since I was young too- I’ve always been attracted to men. Being gay does not creep into ones mind like a disease or something. Everyone discovers their sexual orientation the same way.
    Finally, let me comment on this:

    Host: But you are referring to gay people. Why are you so focused on homosexuality?

    Pastor: (smiling) With all due respect, you are the one who brought up this subject.

    Is the pastor saying that homosexuality ISN’T as big of a deal as it has been made to seem? FINALLY! In the grand scheme of things, WHY is this was we choose to focus on? We need to be spreading the Word, helping those who are spiritually poor, setting good examples of humanity and rights for those who won’t convert or don’t identify as Christians. Why are we so focused on this? A smart pastor would then shift the conversation to the things that are REALLY important to the Church. Let us remember what is truly important and what battles the Lord has REALLY put us on this Earth to fight, eh?

  285. Woman person says:

    So is it a sin to be “asexual?” Jesus never married and never had sex with anyone that we are aware. So is that immoral?? Just wondering… and why is EVERYONE so concerned about someone else’s sex life for crying out loud!! That seems a bit perverted to me.

  286. Le Cajun du foux says:

    Very well done. Doing my part to make it go viral. If it opens even one eye for now, that would be great. Still sowing the seeds is a job we should all be doing. This is one great seed.

  287. K says:

    Excellent remarks by the Pastor who is well read in the Word of God. And of course, the host is the one pushing the points on homosexuality. At least the Pastor got to share very well rounded answers and wasn’t cut off as so many in the media do.

  288. Daniyel says:

    I read this from a friends page and I have to say there are two main points of which prevent an interview to ever go the way in which you describe that I have not seen any religious commentary addressing.

    Firstly homosexuality is not a choice, a disorder or disease. It is a state of being, a preference for the same sex of which a homosexual has no control over just in the same way I as a heterosexual do not have any control over my preference. Not all states of being are this way but it has been found that this is one that is. How then can a church say that they do not persecute a group by saying they do not have the same rights in fulfilling their preferences in the same way as everyone else, repressing a group in such a way which can lead to psychopathy outcomes. Facilitating an environment in such a way is unethical especially when the literature is so readily available.

    Second is the exclusiveness aspect. Sexual equality and sexual preference equality are principles set to facilitate a social environment in which all are treated equally. See Russian example for environment in which government and/or religious institutions predicate and repress innocent members of society.

    With these two unanswered factors I stand my flag against anyone with the position you describe against homosexuals and their rights to be treated and recognized as equals in society just as I do.

    I do not subscribe to the idea a god of which you describe in your texts could create or create circumstances in which people without the option to be any different are persecuted for how they are.

  289. Lemuel says:

    Having read several comments, there seem to be a consensus among some that the author is speaking in behalf of Jesus without knowing exactly what Jesus may have thought about concerning the issue of homosexuality (apart from the statements He made in the Gospels). To those who may hold this line of argument, I would encourage you to study Orthodox Judaism’s Biblical view of homosexuality – as Jesus was an orthodox Jew. You can do what I just did: I Googled the subject.

  290. Little Neats says:

    This is great!! I especially liked the part where the pastor didn’t say his personal religious view had anything to do with other people legally getting married!! I do wish the convo would go this way.

  291. Mar says:

    The pastor’s entire argument is based on the fact that a person is straight or gay based solely on their sexual desires. That is false. I am not straight because I’m sexually attracted to men, I’m straight because I feel an emotional connection with men that I don’t feel with girls. A little girl who dreams of her Prince Charming has no idea what sexual desire even is – so saying a little boy is attracted to boys from a young age because of his sinful sexual tendencies makes no sense. It really is a part of who you are and how you view yourself and who you connect with. This “debate” is ridiculous because the pastor is essentially saying intimate human relationships come down to sexual desire – in reality they are based on SO much more, the sexual part is just a nice bonus.

  292. G. Mac says:

    Warning about separation from God cannot be minimized. It’s in the book or tear it out. Love covers warnings as well as edifications.

  293. Michael says:

    My little cousin had this posted on his facebook page, so I assume that it’s this site and others like it that have filled his mind with this idiotic nonsense. First of all, homosexuality isn’t a choice that people make, it’s biology. You’re either born gay or you’re not. I’m sure this site makes a profit from keeping the debate going for the simple minded among society, but it’s not something that is backed up by science. Oh I know what’s a word that causes confusion in you religious types, but we live in a fact based world. Second of all, this talk about homosexuality being a sin according to the word of god…..tell me, which chapter of the bible was written by jesus ? Right, there isn’t one. It’s just a collection of stories written by some guys that no one ever met, and who lived in a time when they didn’t understand that the great flood was just a Tsunami, and not the doing of a vengeful god. They didn’t understand the most basic of things about the natural world they live in.
    There is no homosexuality debate. Only in the narrow minded brains of religious nutcases does such a thing even exist.
    Here’s an idea, why don’t you mind your own business. The crushing majority of the nation knows that what you are ranting about is dumb. For a group of people who spend your days being judgemental of others and tossing bible verses at every imagined social ill, You sure spend a lot of time thinking about homosexual men, which seems, I don’t know…..odd

  294. ignatz says:

    I think the reason these churches condemn homosexuality, but are silent on divorce (even though the latter is the one that Jesus actually condemned) is because homosexuality is OTHER peoples’ sin. They ignore what Jesus said about divorce because that one affects THEM.

    And then they wonder why so many good and decent people view them as phonies, hypocrites and Pharisees.

    1. Jon Davis says:

      No, I doubt it, but I actually appreciate the psychological exploration. I don’t hear as much about porn in church as I would expect, either, and could guess, inappropriately (whether it’s true or not it’s none of my business) that it’s because the pastor(s) struggle with it themselves and therefore they can’t speak. However, being more specific regarding homosexuality, your argument would weigh in better if it took into account homosexual *tendencies* being completely foreign to them as straight people. However, this really doesn’t apply; sexual inclinations, in whatever form, are common to all, and there is the added argument of rather obvious violation of nature’s design to consider–the designed purpose of the penis (be one with vagina), the designed purpose of the vagina (be one with penis), the designed purpose of the anus (hold poop), and the designed purpose of the mouth (chomp and speak). These details are nauseating in a church setting, but until we get back to the basics people WON’T GET IT and will instead play games with the complexities of psychology and abandon the obvious functions of their body parts.

  295. LoriM says:

    SUCH a good article – thank you, I’ve been looking for something like this, which expresses in a thoughtful, loving way what I myself believe (somehow missed it back in 2011 – ha!)

    Any chance you can fix this so that Beyoncé’s picture doesn’t come up when it’s shared on Facebook? Not everyone knows how to delete a thumbnail with a shared link :-) There’s nothing wrong with Beyoncé’s photo; it’s just confusing in this context.

  296. pat waits says:

    Bravo. and blessing on you. You have helped me know how to handle these questions. Thank you.

  297. Beezleboss666 says:

    1) how can you possibly deEm it acceptable to decipher a book as ancient and diluted as the bible down to the very word and then use it to “go forth” and judge people?
    2) do your research, homosexuality is caused by a genetic mutation, ergo they were born that way.
    3) as for getting married before having any sexual contact, admirable if it works, but the Catholic Church okayed divorce in the early 16th century
    (see diluted point 1)
    4) if the bible is God’s words for us, why are you all sitting here wasting your time bickering when you could be out preaching to gays about Sodom. If you think about it when God speaks to his people in the bible it doesn’t take them an online forum and two thousand some odd years to figure out… Does it?
    5) the bible is outdated.

  298. Carolyn Elliott says:

    While I really appreciate this article, there is one thought I would like to add. Our hypothetical pastor raises the following concern:

    “The label most important to me is “Christian.” My identity – in Christ – is central to who I am. So I could say the same thing and call you intolerant, bigoted, and hateful for trying to change a conviction that goes to the core of who I am as a Christian. I don’t say that because I don’t believe that’s your intention.”

    This point is raised by many Christians under a general concern that might be paraphrased as “Why are we the only group left that it is politically acceptable to insult?”. That was often my emotional response when the beliefs of Christians were ridiculed. Recently, however, a question came to mind. Aren’t we called on to endure persecution as followers of our Saviour? If so, let’s accept others’ intolerance of our beliefs without complaint. Our chief concern is to share the love of Christ, not to complain that we suffer for His sake.

    1. Norma says:

      In too many cases these days, the politically correct agenda is simply a tool to “shut the Christians up”.

      Romans 1 very clearly defines homosexuality as sin. Not only does it describe this sexual sin, it is the sin that precedes the LORD “giving them over”. Verse 24 says, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts.”

      Apologetics does NOT mean that we have to apologize for what GOD SAYS. If GOD condemns specific sins, we can say without apology that GOD will/does judge that sin. Repeating what GOD has said IS NOT JUDGING. Remember: In order to NOT THROW PEARLS BEFORE SWINE … you have to discern what GOD means by swine … which means we have to make a JUDGEMENT (gasp!)

      Before you JUDGE me, I’m only saying we have to take the WHOLE counsel of God before deciding the best approach in witnessing to anyone. When the Lord witnessed to Nicodemus, He used the term “born again” (the only place in the Bible this is used) addressing the “intellectual” issue that Nicodemus had. When the Lord witnessed to the woman at the well, He addressed her sexual sin, because that is what she needed to come to a knowledge of the truth. When the Lord talked with the rich, young ruler, He went right to the heart of this young man and told him to sell all of his earthly goods because THAT was what his heart was idolizing. We can’t give pat answers but rather depend on the Holy Spirit for wisdom at any given moment.

      Colossians 4 tells us, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

      We must be very clear in our presentation of the gospel that ALL have sinned (including ourselves) and are in need of a Savior. At the same time, we realize that the Lord himself said he would be a “Rock of Offense”. Don’t be surprised even when you use the POLITICALLY CORRECT approach if you still get a nasty response

  299. RIch Day says:

    I don’t know how someone who has spent time around gay people can feel there isn’t a basic difference, biologically based. It appears to me as something that is as easy to see as other biological differences such as introversion vs extraversion. Having said that, I like the tone of this interview. As I see it, true Christianity shows compassion. Even in areas of dissagreement, even when there is a judgement made about behavior, it is presented emulsified in compassion. The voice of God as I understand it, it a dual timbre, an emulsification of judgement and mercy where one is never present without the other. It is a “hug back into rightness of being”. I believe one problem is the Christian community does not always bathe their judgement in compassion. Having said all that, I think people should be free to voice their opinions without being castigated as haters.

  300. Mike Upshaw says:

    The thing is, this article isn’t a debate–it’s a statement of this person’s belief. He doesn’t give a stance on gay marriage as an equal protection issue, nor does he address whether sexuality should be a consideration in employment discrimination. I don’t think anyone cares much what a person’s individual convictions on the topic are. The problem is when someone uses a personal conviction as justification for the disenfranchisement of another who might not agree with those convictions.

    And, it comes off as presumptuous to assert Jesus’s position on the matter with that much authority–particularly when there isn’t even an apocryphal record of him opining on the subject.

    Samaritans, tax collectors, and people with diseases were unclean–and disenfranchised as a result. Jesus was against that, and he would be against allowing discrimination against people on the basis of their beliefs.

    It is a Christian duty to support laws like ENDA that prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexuality and gender identity–whatever one’s personal convictions may be on the subject.

    Additionally, family law only deals with how to split stuff and kids when a marriage ends. The state institution of marriage is merely a recordation and acknowledgement of a public commitment of a couple. State marriage cannot be sacred by definition (by virtue of the 1st Amendment through the reconstruction amendments). However, the benefits of marriage are great when it comes to simplicity in estate and life planning. Gay couples in states that do not have gay marriage cannot get the same protections without incurring extensive legal fees–and even then there is no guaranty that courts and hospitals will honor their arrangements.

    It seems unduly discriminatory to reject legal recognition of certain families on the basis that the particular type of couple offends one’s personal religious convictions. Particularly when the laws in place could easily be applied to same-sex couples without any modification–which would increase the efficiency of the courts in dealing with family and probate matters.

    And anecdotally speaking–even my most conservative friends would not call into question the love, sincerity, and commitment of gay couples that are close to them. For the community to recognize matrimonial commitments of adults who wish to make such a public declaration is appropriate, regardless of whether one approves of the particular relationship.

    I presume this article was written in the wake of the recent Phil Roberts/A&E fracas. First, Phil has the right to say whatever he wants. At the same time, A&E has the right to fire Phil within the terms of his contract. Phil wasn’t furloughed for his convictions–he was furloughed for making glib statements which are dismissive and offensive.

    But, compare Pope Francis, for example: The Pope shares Phil’s convictions on the sinfulness of homosexuality–but, he respects that people feel differently about the matter, and he acknowledges that having a different opinion on the matter does not mean that the person is evil or an enemy of Truth. As a result, he has been lauded for his openness, and has been a real representation of Jesus on Earth–in such a way that even people who are opposed to his theological views have to admire him and call his actions a true “Christ-like” ministry.

    An attitude of functional pluralism is what is required if the focus of the church is truly committed to following Jesus’s example. Loving your neighbors means respecting your neighbors enough to allow them to follow their convictions and happiness, just as they allow you to follow yours. From the Mayflower Compact to the Constitution, to the Budget Bill, America was founded on compromise and maximizing the freedom of its citizens to follow their hearts and convictions. Speaking out for those protections for others is the surest way to ensure those protections for yourself.

    1. Norma says:

      Dear Mike,

      Before opining on what Jesus said about gays, it might be enlightening for you to read Matthew 19 and Romans 1.

  301. Donna says:

    Homosexuals, both male and female suffer a lifetime of degradation, hate and abuse, both physical and mental. Anyone who believes that they would CHOOSE this path and be subjected to this torment is obviously closed-minded, hateful, and unforgiving. Two things that I have to be thankful for this Christmas season are: that I don’t belong to this Pastor’s church nor do I subscribe to his radical and hateful rantings; that I believe in a loving God who created each and every one of us and accepts us for who we are. Merry Christmas. I will include all of you misguided haters in my prayers.

    1. Gabe says:

      Donna, what part of what he said is hateful? Even if it is true that people are born gay, does that automatically make it right for them to engage in homosexual behavior? It is truly tragic the discrimination and hatefulness that many homosexuals have had to endure, but this article is speaking against that. You aren’t doing much to support your view when anyone can just read the article and see that your assertions are untrue.

      1. Donna says:

        ” Even if it is true that people are born gay, does that automatically make it right for them to engage in homosexual behavior?”….Gabe’s words.

        So are you saying that being born heterosexual automatically makes it right to engage in heterosexual behavior but being born gay does NOT automatically make it right to engage in homosexual behavior? How do you justify that bigoted statement? Talk about homophobia. So your Lord and Savior created homosexuals, but condemns them to a life devoid of love, companionship and sexual intimacy? Sorry, my Lord and Savior is much kinder that that.

        1. Gabe says:

          Donna, nothing I wrote suggests your odd logic. In fact it suggests just the opposite. Morality is not based on how we were born but rather It emanates from the character of God himself revealed primarily in Scripture which is very clear that homosexual behavior (not orientation) is wrong. So again you are making outrageous claims of hatred and bigotry that anyone reading the post can see are not true.

          1. Donna says:

            It would behoove you to stop replying to my posts,because the more you do,the more homophobic and ignorant you sound.

          2. Gabe says:

            Calling people names is not nice nor does it make you right. If you think I’m wrong, explain why.

        2. Deroy Crews says:

          Bottom line is we were Created to serve, worship and Love God. God has already given us the genders and Lifestyles that we are supposed to Live.Jesus Christ is both our advocate as well as the model we are to copy from, Our lives (as Christians), must line up with the truth of God’s word. Bible says we are all born into sin, that’s why we ALL must be reconciled back to God.If we have a problem with the way God created us or of following scripture, that doesn’t change the fact of What God said and who Jesus is.

    2. Norma says:

      Dear Donna,
      I am curious as to why you read this blog to begin with?

      To believe God’s Word to BE God’s Word does not make a person a “hater”. If I am a thief and someone tells me that God says to steal is wrong, is that person being hateful? If I get angry and kill a person and someone tells me that God says it is wrong to murder, is that person using “hate speech”?

      I think that you get my point. To restate something that GOD ALMIGHTY has stated is the most loving thing we can do for anyone. God is a loving, gracious God. He tells us in Romans 1 what his judgment is of homosexuality. To call a sin – a sin – because GOD calls it sin is neither hateful and judgmental.

      All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God making ALL of us in need of a Savior. Romans 1 tells us God’s judgment about homosexuality. The rest of Romans gives us a picture of how the Lord provided us salvation through Jesus Christ.

      1. Donna says:

        I read this blog to begin with because I am sick to death of the condemnation homosexuals face daily. In my original post, I made mention of the fact that gays suffer and must endure a lifetime of degradation and abuse because of who they are. And I asked why anyone would CHOOSE this life if they were not born to it. I firmly believe that homosexuality is genetic. My God, the loving God that I worship and adore, created all of us. He loves us for who we are. He is not a vengeful God. He will not punish any of His children for living the life He created. That is my God. I feel sorry for those who believe in a God who would hate and refuse redemption to one of His children. It’s between God and each and every individual. None of us has a right to judge or give our opinion of biblical interpretation. That being said—Merry Christmas. May the peace and love of the newborn Christ fill your hearts with love and compassion for all.

        1. Norma says:

          Dear Donna,

          I find it encouraging that you do believe in God. It is also encouraging that you are seeking out what Christians believe about the homosexual lifestyle. I agree that homosexuals have a genetic tendency toward that lifestyle because Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” This is referring to Adam. Genetically – we have ALL inherited a sinful nature. There are those who have a lifestyle of habitual adultery or kleptomaniacs that have a lifestyle of theft or those who have anger issues or gossip issues or all manner of SIN ISSUES and combinations thereof – all going back to the root cause of being GENETICALLY sinful creatures. Because “all have sinned”. We don’t have to teach a child to sin, it comes naturally/genetically.

          When you talk about the God you believe in, it sounds like a God that you have created in your own mind and not the God I read about in the Word of God. I Peter 1:15-16 says, “be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'” For the most part the Bible is VERY straight forward with NO interpretation needed. God is a VERY loving God BUT he is also a HOLY God. That is why Jesus came to die for our sins. God doesn’t just “accept” us the way we are He accepts us when we are declared righteous not by works which we have done but by the righteousness imputed to us through the blood of Jesus Christ. (See Romans chapters 4 and 5) It is not a matter of works that will either send us to hell of welcome us into the presence of God … it is what we have done about THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [h]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” The newborn Christ existed only during a brief time in history. He is now the victorious, RISEN LORD who paid the price for your sin and mine on the cross. We must “believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST” (Acts 16:33) and thus be saved. That means he is not only our Savior but our LORD. Which means we are his slaves and love to do HIS BIDDING. Which includes desiring to live a holy lifestyle. He does not “refuse us redemption” on the basis of our lifestyle. Our lifestyle puts us in need of a Savior. He does not “refuse us redemption” for any other reason that rejection of His Son and all that HE stands for. Ephesians 2 also explains our very LOVING Father this way …
          2 And you were DEAD in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all FORMERLY lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being RICH in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

          May the Lord bless you with the revelation of his Word to your heart. May HIS love and compassion draw you ever closer to the Truth.

  302. Higgendoorn says:

    Dominant culture, for the last few centuries, has written a script of what a good heterosexual life should look like – grow up, get married, have children, have a job.

    For several decades of that life, a man may be paired with a partner whom he loves, connects with on a deep level, and shares nearly everything in his life with – he is committed to her by a covenant made with God, and usually verified by the local governance.

    It is the Christian thing to say that we love a gay man like we love an alcoholic – he’s a sinner. But alcoholism has obvious negative impacts to society. Aside from not fitting in the bible’s descriptions of marriage(which are pretty wide-ranging, including rampant polygamy), it is not clear to me how in modern society, any quntifiable harm could be attributed to gay marriage.

    But further, what we are describing is that a person, through no fault of his own, and for his whole life, would be restricted to the option of marrying a heterosexual woman, or no person at all. Homosexuality does not mean that he could just choose to like women. It means that if he wishes to be married, he has to live in a way that contradicts his innermost feelings and desires. It means being subjected to a life of shame – not because he has sinned, but because a Christian society has told him that the deepest parts of his being are evil.

    It would be very difficult for him to be completely open and honest with a woman, and marry her.

    The alternative is to never marry, never have sex – be completely cut off from this gift God gave us, just because he like 1 in every 30 men in the world, was born with an attraction to men and not women. An alcoholic, as goes the example, has every chance to beat alcoholism – they can abstain, or they can sometimes drink in moderation, and this does not change their role in society. Add to that that alcoholism isn’t a trait that you either naturally have, or don’t – it’s a learned behavior with a higher predisposition in some people, but it’s not a deeply rooted part of identity.

    It is disingenuous to suggest that homosexuality is a predisposed sin, like alcoholism, that we condemn but we still love the sinner. Because to believe that is to not understand homosexuals on any level.

    It is disingenuous to suggest that a heterosexual man with a roving eye is as equally sinful as a homosexual man. Science would suggest that all men seek variety in their partners – a common desire to all men. But only homosexuals bear the burden of living outside their innermost nature, of being cut off from the parts of society that we have long since established as blessings – love, intimacy, and the raising of children – because their desire is for someone of the wrong sex.

    I have heard all the biblical arguments on sin, and I really don’t care anymore, because to declare homosexuality as an abberation and homosexual activity as a sin, even in a monogamous context, is to deny to homosexuals many types of constructive and uplifting relationships and experiences that sustain heterosexuals day-to-day, and which are only ever seen as blessings. And that’s to say nothing of the bullying and violence that Christians passively condone day-to-day – which tell our Children that being gay (something central to their being, something they didn’t choose) is an abberation, that they are worthless as a result.

    If you read all that, and still think that Paul’s words are completely fair to use to judge homosexual people – that he wrote those words in full knowledge of the nature of homosexuality (which I would argue that even many modern Christians seem to not have taken the time to understand); Paul, who told us that women should not teach in Church – then I think you lack Christ’s heart of justice, and fail to consider the differences between knowledge and society in the 1st century and knowledge and society which have grown and and been refined greatly since then.

    1. Telliac Naxor says:

      1.) Christians simply believe the Word of God. We didn’t write it, we believe it.

      2.) How can a homosexual raise children? Please do not say by adopting them because it took a man and a woman to create said child. If a homosexual couple can create a baby, then by all means go for it, otherwise you have just agreed with the Word of God. Homosexuality is death. You can in no way procreate with two men or two women. You need one of each in order to procreate.

      3.) Paul words about women being silent in Church was spoken about women who were being disruptive in Church. Please read 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35)seek to get a clear understanding of what the women were doing during the meetings of worship. If nothing else, God is a God of order and He will have no disorder in His Church. Which leads us right back to disorder in sexual relations. And that disorder is between two men and or two women.

      1. Higgendoorn says:

        1.) Christians interpret the Bible, or they believe specific interpretations of the Bible. That it was written 2 millenia ago, in a society quite unlike our own, commenting on issues and practices that would have different social contexts at the time suggests that some interpretation will always be necessary.

        2.) Many men and women cannot conceive naturally. Many of them adopt. Does God judge them for this? I suspect you would say no. The ability to procreate does not seem to be a one-size-fits-all test for the appropriateness of a relationship. All sorts of things are death. Speaking the Word, in the right/wrong context could lead to death.

        3.) This, again, is a reading of the Word, in its specific context. While the interpretation is accurate, it once again requires things to be put into a cultural context.

        I suspect you have no interest in entertaining the idea that apart from the your reading Bible, homosexuality has almost no inherent negative impact on society. I find it hard to believe that God would continue to judge individuals who were not harming society or creation in any measurable way. These are not pederasts, they are not pedophiles, they are not temple prostitutes, they are men and women seeking emotional fulfillment and support the same that you seek from your husband. Those that adopt children, or who conceive via IVF, seek to bring up bright, godly, kind children the same way you and your husband do. If that’s not what God intended marriage for, I don’t know what is.

  303. Stewart says:

    Isn’t this a transcript of the interview that Mark Driscoll had with Piers Morgan?

  304. Janet says:

    Have you sent a copy of this imagined interview to Piers Morgan and other opinion-makers?

    If we could just get such a reasoned argument out to more people! If we could just get more people to read or listen all the way through such a reasoned argument!

    Excellent statement of correct Christian thinking.

  305. Jon says:

    But isn’t this “debate” a different debate then what non-Christians are saying. (Some) Muslims treatment of women, is sexist. Finding justification in a holy book does not change that. Christians in the heart of hearts may strongly feel that their views are justified by their belief in Christ, and that is fine, nobody is trying to change the bible. However outside of the bible, in the real world where not everyone (in fact not even most people) are driven or guided by that book it is still bigotry against a group of people.

    This article is justifying the religious stance, and arguing in favor of the church’s position and its justification based on scripture. Nobody is arguing that. This is a debate about the legal system and equal legal protections. How you personally justify your views to yourself, does make it any less hateful. If I was raised to believe that all black people are lazy criminals, if I go around and say “all black people are lazy criminals” and I honestly believe that. Just because I can say “well that’s what my personal beliefs are” doesn’t make my comment any less racist, and doesn’t make me not a bigot.

    Christians, and everyone else is free to believe what they want to believe, however you can’t demand that others accept the bible, as you do. Saying “well Jesus said…” carries just as much weight as “well in Scientology they say….” when it comes to debating issues in a non-religious setting. I think that is what Christians don’t understand, you want your religious views held above all else but in the eyes of most people they aren’t. And that leads to “everyone is out to get Christians” when all that is happening is your personal religious views are being given the same level of respect as every other religion.

  306. Josh says:

    I actually think this article missed the point completely.

    For one, no one is wanting the Christian community to accept homosexuality as a godly way to live. Most logical people understand and respect that Christians who follow the Bible as God’s word view homosexuality as a sin, and no one is asking them to change their views.
    What the ARE asking for, is that no law made by our government (separation of church and state) prevent them (members of the LGBT community) from life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Huge difference.
    Also, the article posted refers to homosexuality as a sin, and that Christians need to ask forgiveness for their sins (“…Christianity hinges on repentance”). So, it seems to me that even though a church may accept a homosexual in their congregation (“…We believe that the gospel is a message relevant for every person…”) they would ask that they repent for that sin, and sin no more. Meaning stop being gay. I can’t say that’s a tolerant viewpoint on homosexuality.
    Also, “…I hope we can still have a real conversation in this country about different points of view without casting one another in the worst possible light.” ~ this author has obviously not heard of Westboro Baptist.
    How I wish the homosexuality debate would go:

    Gay couple: “Hi, we’d like to apply for a marriage certificate”
    State worker: “Of course, please fill out these forms and bring them back when you’re done”

    Gay Man: “Hi, I’d like to add my husband as the beneficiary of my life insurance”
    Insurance person: “Of course, fill out this form, and bring it back when you’re done”

    Gay woman: ” Hi, my wife and I would like to adopt a child”
    Social worker” Of course, please fill out these forms, and bring them back when you’re done, then we’ll start the process”

    Gay man: “Hi, I’d like to file taxes jointly with my husband, so we can take advantage of the tax benefits of being married”
    Accountant: “Of course, let’s fill out this 1040 form”

    Gay woman: “Hi, I’d like to not be fired because of my sexual orientation”
    Company: “We can’t do that, it’s illegal. In 2013, in 29 states, we could have legally done that. Crazy, huh?”

  307. David says:

    I have heard and read a lot on the straight, gay debate. I speak as one who has seen both sides. As a child I was exposed to homosexual behaviour and did take part. As I got older I participatated with others. At the age of 25 I found salvation in my saviour Jesus Christ. He brought me out of this life stile through repentance and faith. It was hard for a long time because temptation is always there. For years I had nightmares and would wake up in sweets but God is faithful and seen me through it. It is wrong for people of the same sex to have sex with each other. The parts do not fit! A yes for you who are trying to justify you behavior or your lustful thoughts with Gods word remember just as God is love God is also just and judge he will hold you accountable for you misdeeds as well. Marvil not that I said unto you yea must be born again.

  308. Puritan Lad says:

    or…

    Host: “If it’s true that a person is born with one sexual orientation or another, then how can it possibly be loving to condemn one person’s orientation?”

    Pastor: “Just because a person is drawn to, or perhaps even feels trapped into, a certain behavior pattern just not justify that behavior. Once that can of worms is open, you can justify anything.”

    1. Jon says:

      @Puritan Lad

      or…

      “Just because you can use religion to justify a law doesn’t make it right or just. Because once that an of worms is open, you can justify anything”

  309. Kristen says:

    Just for the record, there are more than just a few childhood memories backing the idea that people are born either gay or straight – there have been scientific studies, and scientists are even getting close to finding the genes which determine sexual orientation. On another note, being gay isn’t just about sexual desires, anymore than being straight is. Gay people don’t just want sex, they want love just like any other person. It is flawed logic to insinuate otherwise. However, I enjoy the discourse and agree that the argument should be more civil and fact-based.

    1. Michael K says:

      Well said, Kristen. The scientific evidence is making it more and more difficult to make the claim that sexual orientation is anything but genetic and pre-determined from birth. Otherwise, I think the theoretical pastor here makes some good points and I wish this type of dialogue would occur more often in the national spotlight (even if I disagree with the pastor here).

      One thing that confuses me: The pastor says that it is technically sinful to even lust after another person. Doesn’t lust have to necessarily preclude a relationship, and therefore marriage? Given that lust is a sexually-inspired feeling, to deny the fact that lust does not have to exist for marriage to take place is to deny the place sex has in marriages at all, and I think we all know how important sex and sexual attraction is, given the attention placed on it by both the religious and non-religious. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but doesn’t this sentence mean it is impossible not to sin in the process of marriage?

  310. UrbsDei 21 says:

    I agree with most of this post. It would be great for someone to play the part of the host, just to give a pastor the opportunity to present the Gospel perspective on homosexuality.

    One small quibble: near the end, the hypothetical pastor says that “It’s a shame that anyone anywhere would mock, taunt, or bully another human being made in God’s image.” This seems to be ignoring much of Elijah’s work in dealing with the prophets of Baal. When people absolutely refuse to give up their nonsense, sometimes mockery can be an effective weapon in destroying their rebellious position. I’m not saying that it should be the first tool we turn to: but neither should we rule out the possibility of mockery being used in a godly way.

    1. Higgendoorn says:

      What a terrible way to treat a human being – “you don’t fit in at school, you aren’t attracted to girls, but are attracted to boys – you are constantly disparaged, punched, and made to feel worthless. Well, we tried just telling you not to be gay, but sometimes you need a good punch, so you learn to quit being a worthless gay.”

      There is no justifying bullying just to teach whatever lesson you think a kid being bullied for being gay could ‘benefit’ from.

      1. Dave Anfenson says:

        Thank you Higgendoorn, absolutely! As a minister, I completely agree. UrbsDei 21, Elijah is not our hermeneutical key to building relationships with marginalized groups…that would be Jesus and he always taught us to love the sinner and hate our own sins.

  311. tavamay says:

    what I don’t get is why God chose to put anything about homosexuality in the bible at all when committed homosexual relationships cause no harm to anyone…. so much pain could have been avoided if He’d just kept silent on the matter. I’d say that rule has caused NO good at all and a great amount of evil (hatred, violence, etc)

  312. Bing Verbist says:

    Christians have read the road map to life. There are millions of people happily riding down that highway. Is is “love” or “hate” to warn people about the abyss at the end of that road.

  313. Deroy Crews says:

    Finally a Pastor that is not afraid to tell the truth. The World knows in their consciences,that Homosexuality is wrong, that’s why they find ways to put some people in the Hot seat.

  314. DragonsRightWing says:

    It is pretty easy to write a nice reasoned debate when one is writing both sides of the argument …

    The big problem I see is that this is an interview, not a debate. “Pastor” is using all his own definitions, and “Host” is simply accepting them. In real debates on the homosexuality issue, those definitions are not so clear and agreed-upon – even the definition of “the homosexuality issue” differs.

    For instance:
    Pastor defines “homosexuality” as “homosexual acts”, and Host just seems to roll over and accept that definition – yet that is characteristic of a Larry King interview, not a debate.

    Pastor defines sexual desires as not being a part of one’s identity, but rather as a simple “urge” to be denied. Again, Host simply accepts Pastor’s assertion, and “debate” again becomes simple “interview”.

    Pastor equates the occasional urge of a married man to the near-complete denial of sexual outlet to a homosexual, and Host fails to challenge the asserted equation, and again, no actual debate occurs.

    From the other perspective, Host fails to bring up any actual challenging points, instead merely pitching softballs for Pastor:
    Host fails to ask about platonic homosexual relationships: where two men have an exclusive marriage relationship with no actual sexual conduct. Is that acceptable to Pastor as a valid marriage? Or possibly non-marriage relationship?

    What about female homosexual relationships? There is no biblical passage directly condemning such – is it possible that a female-female marriage is acceptable in God’s eyes?

    What about hermaphrodites? Should they be considered male or female? What level of hermaphroditism is needed to trigger a “hermaphrodite clause”?

    What about those who make seemingly solid arguments that homosexuality itself is not biblically condemned, but rather homosexual acts related to paganism, and thus that a monogamous homosexual marriage meets biblical standards – making sex within that marriage just as valid and pure as Pastor’s own relationship with his wife?

    Regardless of my own personal views on the subject, the article seems to have nothing to do with the actual debate, but is really just a description of a fantasy, where people who disagree simply roll over and accept what they are told.

  315. Bill Norris says:

    ONE SUGGESTED CORRECTION ON AN OTHERWISE GREAT ARTICLE:

    HOST: Are you saying that you can’t be gay and Christian?

    PASTOR: No. One becomes a Christian and receives eternal life simply by placing their faith in Jesus Christ…by simply believing that He is the only begotten Son of God who died for your sins personally on that cross at Calvary. At that moment, the Bible tells us that you are saved from the “penalty” of sin which is eternal separation from God. But once you have new life in Christ, you are also saved from the “power” of sin in your life. Now that is not to say that you no longer struggle with sin or cannot fall into sin, it simply means that now you don’t have to be a slave to it. As a Christian you have to daily choose to rest in the power of Christ and not your own power. If you rest in the power of Christ, you will not sin. If you rely on your own power, you will surely fail and fall into sin.

    All Christians struggle with sin. Some struggle with homosexuality while others struggle with lust and desires to commit adultery, formication, etc. But the Bible tells us that we don’t have to be a slave to sinful desires any longer if we choose to walk in the power of Christ and not ourselves. And when a Christian does sin, it does not mean that they lose their salvation or that they never were a Christian in the first place, it means we have sinned and that we need to “confess” that sin to God and turn from it. To confess simply means to say the same thing about it that god does…that it was contrary to His nature and desire for our life. And the Bible says that when we confess our sins—he is faithful & just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    The problem comes when people who claim to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ willing commit sin. Whether it’s unrepentant homosexuality or any other kind of sin or rebellion, the Bible is very clear and stern in its warning that these selfish children of God invite His discipline and judgment upon their lives both now and when they stand before Him in heaven. While they are still His children by grace through faith, they invite His wrath upon sin in their lives on earth and will experience great weeping and gnashing of teeth when they see the consequences of their sin in the presence of Christ at His Judgment Seat (2 Cor. 5:10).

  316. Bill says:

    That Pastor just slammed Morgan. I love it and I hope he and his liberal friends have learned something. They are the main part of the problem. They bring on the hate and fight.

  317. fed up friend of gays says:

    Your argument falls thru the minute you assert that being a gay person is just about sexual desire. This is a lie. Just like heterosexuals are drawn to the opposite sex to fulfill the relationship needs in their lives, a homosexual searches out the same needs but from members of the same sex. Things crucial to humans, love, respect, sharing, kindness friendship. a companion. You hold an archaic belief that its just a bunch of gay sex going on and that’s all that its about. WRONG. So youre trying to tell me you just have sex with your spouse and that’s the only role they have in your life? You don’t get it, homosexuals are just regular people like you, only they don’t go for straight sex.

    Gay people form life long bonds of love with their partners, and have a much better success rate at staying with their partners than straight people do.
    You need to know a little bit about the people you are talking about before you try and talk about them. The bigotry and hypocrisy is blatant and wont be tolerated any more

    1. Jon Davis says:

      Personally this is where I draw the line. Gay sex is the pronounced sin. Men being dear, very dear friends with other men even to the point of calling it “gay” but not to the point of “sex” is *NOT* a sin, there’s nowhere in the Bible that suggests it’s a sin, and in fact I dare say the disciples were that close to Jesus or wanted to be.

      I really wish Christians would draw a line between “a gay person”, and “a person who engages in homosexual sexual activity”. The former is someone who is confused deep in the reaches of his mind. The latter is a willful sinner and chooses his actions; no one is born engaging in sex no matter how you believe the desire is there.

    2. Jon Davis says:

      “Gay people form life long bonds of love with their partners, and have a much better success rate at staying with their partners than straight people do.”

      Liars are in that pronounced list alongside homosexuals, pal. The human race does not thrive on men with men.

  318. Julian says:

    What is “the backseat of a pickup”?

  319. mskii says:

    I’m sure i’m not the only one to find Christianity/Islam/Judaism obsession with sex and virginity deeply disturbing. How could anyone attach such harmful stigma to a purely biological act if not for the godly.
    Do they forget that our societies view of right/wrong evolves as we are able to better rationalize what will allow for the maximum happiness of it’s citizens? That stoning your child to death for disobedience is no longer a fitting punishment? (& yet in the same verses apparently homosexual behavior is wrong). The double standards are phenomenal. And the hoops the religious have to jump through to interpret their text to suit their views is rather telling of it’s irrelevance. I posit it would be just as valid & helpful for me to consult Lord of the Rings for marital and spiritual advice.
    There is nothing ‘sinful’ about same sex attraction. In fact you cannot even prove that original sin exists.
    It could well be demonstrated however, that a society believing it is sinful to be homosexual is damaging. In the west in comparatively higher suicide rates for young homosexuals. Or the hideous laws that will likely pass in Uganda for the imprisonment of homosexuals. (A law that was allegedly inspired by several US evangelists)
    I also don’t get the big appeal of this debate on TV. Isn’t TV a dying medium? We are free to have the conversation here, and in more depth. These views are heard in countless arenas, there is nothing particularly new about it.

  320. Theo Consonants says:

    Can you believe in one page of The Bible, and not in another page of The Bible? Because The Bible says that homosexuality is punishable by death. Leviticus 20:13.

    If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

    Hypocrites pick and choose what pages/books/verses they want to believe in and try to justify in their minds why this isn’t a paradox. Good luck trying. I’m sure your brain has already come up with an answer.

    It’s impossible for a delusional person to see their way out of their delusion. So I’m sure the answer you’ve already formulated in your human brain further entrenches you in your mental illness.

    Not even God can help you now.

    1. Donna says:

      So then are you saying that we have a God-given duty to execute all homosexuals because it says so in the Bible

  321. Your intentions are well met, but that imaginary interview would not have silenced the interviewer. In fact there was nothing the pastor said that would have silenced the skeptic. I believe it would have been better served to focus more on the sin issue than you did. The non-believer wants always to go to the human side of the equation. We need to focus on the righteous spiritual side of the argument. One sin can not be singled out over another. The issue is always sin, not homosexuality or adultery. Thank you for the effort.

  322. Joe's World says:

    Needs a laugh track.

    Seriously though, we’ve heard all this before. It wasn’t honest then and it isn’t honest now.

    The reason believers are so badly losing this debate is that they have nothing to offer, no good reasoning, no insight, nothing at all.

    1. Gabe says:

      It’s interesting you say that but offer no rebuttal to the points he makes. what specifically don’t you agree with?

  323. Daniel R Shannon says:

    The interviewer suggested that by saying homosexuality is sin one is attacking the very core of an individual who believes they were born that way. Whether or not a person is born that way is not the issue, Christ said we ALL must be BORN AGAIN! ALL things made new! Me, I was born with a very strong bent towards alcoholism. My dads family has had four brothers and sisters die from alcoholism. I did fall into its trap BUT was delivered from my sin by the blood of Christ! It does not matter what our “core” might be, Christ has the answer!

  324. So I’m guessing that you’ve ripped both your eyes out by now (Matthew 5:29) since you believe that Jesus’ purpose was to intensify Old Testament morality and not to nail people who thought they could judge others?

  325. Dave Anfenson says:

    How I will it would go:

    Host: So what’s your position on homosexuality?

    Pastor: A lot of people say we should love the sinner and hate the sin…

    Host: Is that what you believe?

    Pastor: Nope, because Jesus told us to love the sinner and hate our own sin :)

    “It’s the Fathers job to judge, the Spirit’s job to convict and ours to simply love without question.” – Billy Graham

    1. Jon Davis says:

      It gets more complex than that. Let’s say I have a neighbor who has a habit of putting cats in a blender. “It’s just a cat, I ‘put it to sleep’ with a syringe first so it’s already dead, and people kill animals to eat meat,” he says. “And I’m not hurting you. Go away.” (Now before you get sidetracked on how homosexuals aren’t hurting each other, say that to an anus next time you see one face-to-face.)

      The disgust straight people have with homosexuality is natural and I would even say it is beneficial to a healthy society. Being very, very close friends with someone of the same gender is good for society; whereas, engaging in homosexual sexual activity is not good for society. Besides offering nothing to procreation of the human race, it usurps the natural order of a person’s understanding of sexuality, of the sanctity of a family unit, and, most importantly, the character and characterization of God and His presence.

      Christians identify the problem as a problem because it is a problem. Meanwhile, however, while the direct hatred some Christians have shown towards other people because of their sin has been cruel and misplaced and inappropriate, most Christians who characterize homosexuality as a sin do not, in fact, go around telling gay people off that their sin is sin. They might disassociate from them in the context of their personal lives, as a matter of distaste in some “gay personalities”, and they might disassociate from them in the context of church as a matter of judging within the church (read 1 Corinthians 5 before you say another word about judging others’ sins), but in one-on-one interactions such as in the workplace they almost always turn a blind eye to the matter. Perhaps I am overgeneralizing, but I say this as one who has had to be among gay people from time to time. I never judged them nor their sin. But I did, and always have, thought their sin was a sin to abhor, in general terms.

  326. Steve says:

    I have been a Christian all my life but this obsession that some Christians have with homosexuality is batty. The Old Testament is far more upset with the idea that people might eat shellfish than that men may have sex with other men. Everybody loves to cite Leviticus on the topic on homosexuality but look at this list I found of other prohibitions in that book. Most Christians have broken most of these their entire lives. Many of these rules don’t even make sense to us today. So what we’re doing then is cherry-piciking, right? We’re saying, “Here’s this rule prohibiting homosexuality and I’ll ignore these other ones here, even though I say I believe the bible to be the literal world of God.” There’s no defending it. http://leviticusbans.tumblr.com/post/23730370413/76-things-banned-in-leviticus

    1. Jon Davis says:

      Steve, it is not Leviticus that motivates a Christian to use the Bible as a reference to identify homosexuality as sin. There are at least two places in the New Testament that spell it out: Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. The benefit in referencing Leviticus, however, is that the law does not only specify not to do it (a religious “abomination”), in 18:22 it indicates that the activity is “detestable”. Meaning, God detests it, God who never changes.

  327. Oladini Oyebadejo says:

    “No religion has a say on legal issues on who you should marry or not”. Now, what about if a man decides to marry his dog or a woman, her cat, simply because she is attracted to animals? The way those bigoted against Christians are going, only God knows where the boundary and redefinition of marriage will end humanity.

    1. Jon Davis says:

      “No religion has a say on legal issues on who you should marry or not” ..

      As much as I detest the sin of homosexuality and the notion of homosexual marriages, I actually separate myself from other Christians about the meaning of “marriage”. I don’t believe in marriage “because God..”. I believe in marriage “because society..”, and “because human race..”. Neither creationism nor evolutionism endorses the notion that a gay couple actively engaged in simulating a “family unit” by attempting to be “one flesh” is beneficial to procreation nor to the presentation of the dual roles of man and woman in bringing up a child (whether adopted or born from a test tube). A government framework recognizing a family unit as a family unit, calling it marriage, benefits its society by supporting that which correlates to the definition of an intended base design recognizable in nature itself.

      This is NOT to say that a gay couple cannot raise up a child (although it certainly cannot conceive a child) or stay together. However, *ALL SEXUAL FEELINGS ASIDE*, feelings which are vain and should be no less meaningless to the function of a government as religious dogma, gay coupling simply does not fit the definition of a natural family unit of man and woman being one flesh. Penis is made for vagina, vagina for penis, and anus for retaining poop.

  328. Jon Davis says:

    This fictional interview is actually pretty typical, in my opinion, and I am very frustrated that even in fantasy it misses the point completely.

    The perpetuity of the debate hinges on the fact that leftists are fighting for identity and Christians forget that they’re against physical, homosexual actions, and we MUST MAKE THAT CLEAR. Sex is sacred and regardless the human anatomy is not designed for that, hello?! Nothing to do with identity or even attraction. It’s like the abortion debate, one side speaks for babies’ lives while the other side argues for choice, as if the pro-lifers never said anything. (Baby’s life. Hello?)

    1. Steve says:

      I’m not sure the bible delves too deeply into what the human body is designed for. At any rate, it would be naive to pretend that there aren’t many heterosexual (married, practicing) Christians who don’t adhere in the bedroom to your definition of what the body is designed for either.

      1. Jon Davis says:

        The Bible does not need to delve deeply into what the human body is designed for. The Bible is intended to provide spiritual guidance. I learned about the purposes of the mouth and the anus when I was in sixth grade of elementary school; I learned about the purposes of the penis and vagina in Health class. Both classes were environments that were secular and secularist in form and in nature. But the fact is, I didn’t need a class for this. We all know what these body parts are for. The more you believe an anus is designed (whether by God or by evolution) for the purpose of homosexual gratification, the more twisted your mind is and the more obvious you are a liar, both to yourself and to those around you. Shame on you!

        1. mskii says:

          So according to your line of reasoning, sex is and should only ever be for the propagation of genes / reproductive purposes. So there is no place for pleasure or bonding. Are you also against contraception? After all that would be ‘unnatural’ as the only purpose of penis and vagina is surely heterosexual sex for the purpose of recreation. People derive enjoyment from all sorts of behaviors that do not make sense in the utilitarian sense, and which go against human productivity and logic. And all throughout history this has been the case. Much like how sex (including homosexuality) is observed as a bonding / stress relief tool in species like the Bonobo with whom we share common ancestory. To say that homosexuality is wrong because it doesn’t achieve conception is to dismiss any other human benefit of sex. Not to mention to miss the point that homosexual relationships are not just about sex. ‘Shame on you’.

  329. David Hendricks says:

    If I were gay I doubt I would ever go to this man’s church. Church should be a place where every one is welcomed and loved. It should be a safe place. Yes, we all are sinners, but saying someone is a sinner because of the way God created them is not the kind of loving environment I would want to raise my children. I teach my children all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Not because of who they are, but because they choose to separate themselves from God’s love and the care one should find in God’s loving community.

    i am not concerned whether God created someone gay or straight, bi-sexual or transgendered, but it does concern me when a pastor thinks he has the authority to call these people who God created as sinful because of who they love. This is illogical and goes against the very nature of a loving God.

    The church should be a safe place for everyone – not just for some. This pastor is saying you are welcome to come, but you will not be considered a true Christian until you change who God created you to be. What sense does that make? Jesus did not say anything about homosexuality, and I can not imagine he would be the first to throw the first stone at our gay brothers and lesbian sisters.

    It is a shame the church of Jesus Christ continues to throw stones and cannot see the log in their eye. Some times it truly is hard to see the forest for the trees.

    1. Jon Davis says:

      “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” — Words of Jesus, Matthew 19:4-6.

      Penis is designed for vagina, vagina is designed for penis, and anus is designed for retaining poop. When will you people get it through your heads that “someone is a sinner because of the way God created them” has absolutely no basis in reality?

      1. Steve says:

        Ahh, yes. “You people” getting it through “your heads.” Familiar verbiage there; not the sort that will do much to change anyone’s mind or help anyone’s cause, I’m afraid.

        1. Jon Davis says:

          Non-chalant arrogant smart alec side-swipes about the choice of plural second person perspective in words won’t resolve the matter, either. It boils down to people, such as perhaps yourself, completely ignoring the most basic fundamentals of human physiology, all in the interest of sexual and psychological gratification. (Also known as, sin.)

  330. stretch says:

    I would like to hear Christians make a big noise about what they love, rather than what they hate. Enough with the stone throwing. Take a page from Pope Francis.

    1. Jon Davis says:

      I would love to know which culture is still throwing stones. Last I checked, the “stone throwing” intentions of those who Jesus managed to shoo away with his wit actually intended to throw literal stones and kill the prostitute.

      Calling sin out as sin is not throwing stones.

      Now if you really want to know what noise Christians are making about what (and who) they love, stop turning to articles where there is a debate on homosexuality. There are plenty of places to look.

  331. Jon Davis says:

    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” — Words of Jesus, Matthew 19:4-6.

    Penis is designed for vagina, vagina is designed for penis, and anus is designed for retaining poop. When will you people get it through your heads that “someone is a sinner because of the way God created them” has absolutely no basis in reality?

    1. Norma says:

      Jon Davis …

      My thoughts exactly! Some times you just have to say it like it is. This may sound a bit base/raw but, hey, it puts it in the correct perspective. Just look at how many comments have been made on this subject. Trying to make things more palatable, “loving”, or “sweet” doesn’t change the very obvious facts that our Lord spoke very plainly in TWO SENTENCES. Thanks

  332. Sally S. says:

    Hi:
    This article is nice and well-meaning, but I think that is exactly what Phil said. When you read the manuscript, he quoted the Scripture, naming several sins. Phil did an unoffensive job.

    People, commenting about comments is not that intelligent. You have to comment about what was said in the interview.

    Phil was asked to name a sin. To summarize, he was asked, he answered. He told his personal logic about creative design. He quoted a verse. Not enough to lose a job over. Was he supposed to say, “I am not allowed to have an opinion in the United States, therefore I will be ashamed of my faith.”? He is being penalized because he said it, not because he believes it; that being a freedom of speech issue.

    What blows my mind, is there was an A & E associate with him at the time. Make sense of that.

    Most people feel the exact way Phil does, that is why marriage is still historically heterosexual. Yes, Phil’s penalty means there is no free speech, and that the law of the land, marriage, is laughable as well. Seems incredibly sad and upside down. The haters believe he should not be allowed to even speak of things that the majority already believe.

  333. Mister Freckles says:

    No one I know discourages Christians from believing the various doctrines of their church, and engaging in spirited discussion of same. It’s a free country, and it’s great to see this happening.

    What remains beyond my comprehension though, to the point of actual laugh-ability were it not so sad, is the willingness of Christians to suggest that they have the market cornered on morality somehow — and to believe **that they have the answers for others who do not share their faith.**

    Believe what you chose to believe, but we were founded as a decidedly secular nation and hopefully shall remain one. Those of you who believe in an imaginary friend and who make life choices based on the doctrines of what your church says would benefit from showing respect and understanding to those of other religions, and those who have no religion at all.

    Oh, and Merry Christmas! :) Cheers.

  334. NCR says:

    Excellent! Bravo! Well said! Amen! Hit the nail on the head the most succinctly I’ve read yet! :)

  335. Ella says:

    This is not a debate it’s a friendly interview. I don’t believe that inviting gay people into your church to be told that being gay in a sin in itself is going to work well. Hold gay people to the same standard as heterosexual married couples with regards to monogamy, marriage premarital and extramarital sex etc.. and I’ll support it. To “welcome” gay people into your church and then lecture them on how wrong their feelings are that you might call a lifestyle won’t work. Conversion and praying the gay away are of course what this pastor has in mind. Then on top of it to be so patronizing as to say “don’t get mad at me if you don’t like the message, I’m not saying it I’m just repeating the word of God.” I grew up in a very Christian conservative community and I got a real taste of how kind and wonderful conservative Christians are. They are nice to each other and nasty as sin to people like me. Don’t try to fool me with a message of “love”.

    1. AndyM says:

      And what would you have preachers preach for those who sin by theft, lying, greed, lust? After all, it’d be just as horrible to them to be invited in to church then told they are wrong.

      Who gets to define what sin is? God or us?

      If you see someone acting in a way that you deeply believe will result in their eternal punishment, surely it is more loving to try and bring this to their attention than to just remain silent

  336. Starstorm says:

    Host got owned!

    Ok sorry, that was a little immature. Anyways, I wish I had seen the interview.

  337. ThirstyJon says:

    I saw this interview on youtube or somewhere.

    I wish you’d included a link, or at least a date and time for the interview!

  338. So good. Thanks, Trevin. Great model of dialogue.

  339. Martha Blimptonq says:

    I can see how a Christian would think this was a step in the right direction and it is another example of how easy it is for them to justify their bigotry and use a lot of “Jesus this” and “Jesus that” to hide behind. The part of the interview where the pastor is referring to all of us being sinners and that just because a married man might be innately attracted to someone(s) other than his wife and you wouldn’t refer to him as a polygamist as an argument is horrible and the interviewer missed an opportunity in my opinion. Gay people are attracted to more than just their partners at times and they are not polygamists either. They are gay. It is innate. It doesn’t make them sinners. It makes up a huge part of their identity. Just like being straight makes up a huge part of a straight persons identity. I hate that so much of this argument is about gay people’s sex life. I like the argument being shifted to a gay person’s love for their partner. It’s nobody’s business what two people in love do privately. This interview is sickening to me because it’s just the usual, in-line-with-Christianity rhetoric that I have to call BS on. Love is love. Christlike interaction is nothing like this sort of automatic response with no openness to change. Because let’s face it, the times, they are a changing

  340. Derek Tucker says:

    Here is why it never happens like this:
    I will illustrate this with a quotation from Hugh Nibley, writing about a group of people who had become wicked. Nibley wrote, “The Nephites…as they approach their end are hopelessly trapped by a desperate mentality in which the suppressed awareness of their own sins finds paranoid expression in a mad, ungovernable hatred of others…Then awful guilt leaps out in their instant resentment of any criticism of themselves.”
    –Since Cumorah, pg. 399

    What is happening is that when someone expresses that homosexuality is a sin, or opposes same sex marriage, those who have sexual transgression and most especially those with that type of transgression have the door to their conscience pried open–the door that they try so desperately to keep slammed shut. When there is any opposition to their position, they have an intense and immediate hatred towards those who oppose them. This hatred blinds any rational response. They wish to pick up stones and smash those who stand in their way–those who cause their carefully crafted self deception to shaken.

  341. Marco says:

    I thought the Dr. Brown exchange with Piers Morgan on Phil Robertson’s recent comments went very well. Anyone else see it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzJj8dQr0JM

  342. Marco says:

    What’s the point of this pastor coming out and saying gay people are welcome in his church when he does not recognize being gay as anything but sinful? Is he opening his church up to gay people so that he can lecture gays on the wrongfulness of their ways and then “pray the gay away” or attempt to refer them to some sort of conversion therapy? This will never appeal to gay people, never ever. People say they wish the homosexual debate would go this way but this was not a debate in the first place. All the pastor has to do is let it be known that he does not respect gay people for the way they are, and I think that is obvious, and the “debate”, if there ever was or is one, is over at that point.

  343. JL says:

    Trevin,
    Thanks for a great post that touches the core issues of loving God most, living His commandments, and building strong marriages and families now and forever. It reminded me how all of us like Paul have a “thorn in the flesh” that either causes us to curse God and walk away from Him or humbly seek Him and His help (see 2 Cor. 12:5-10). I am grateful for God’s laws and His love for everyone. Here is an interview with an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding this issue from 2006 that highlights many of the points you do: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/interview-oaks-wickman-same-gender-attraction.
    The world is blessed by leaders, teachers, husbands, and wives like you who continue to teach what is right and invite us to draw closer to Christ. Here are some recent addresses about the law of chastity and the sanctity of marriage from God’s Apostles: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/no-other-gods, http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/decisions-for-eternity, http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/we-believe-in-being-chaste.
    Keep up the great work you are doing!

  344. Al Peffley says:

    I am a Christian and a fellow who minored in the biological sciences. Every person who made a comment was born from the sexual relationship from a male and female human (I doubt there are any test tube babies in theses discussions, but that may not be the case in the future.) Any sexual activity that fosters fear, mistrust, transmittable diseases, hatred, violence, uncontrolled lust, genetic distortions (DNA issues), disabilities, and grief in people is not healthy — physically or mentally. This is not rocket science folks, it’s what I believe God was trying to tell us when the first sins were committed. He sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins. We still violate the Ten Commandments, but our hope and vision as Christians should be to live as we were created in the image of God. Anything that is against his procreation plan is against all souls being a part of the Trinity (“I Am”). AM NOT is the evil side of life. If you choose “AM NOT” you will not survive the judgement that Satan (spirits of evil) will receive. It’s a conscious decision (free will) that we all must make. It is the most important decision of your life. All souls (spirits) come to earth through a natural birth. Any activities that hinder or stop that holy delivery process are sin. If you don’t believe that there is a God, then this discussion is pointless. But, if there is a God like the Bible describes very clearly (I believe in Jesus Christ, Good the Father, and the Holy Spirit are real) and you chose the “AM NOT” route, then you have a lot to lose in the end of life as we know it on earth. I have had enough situations and seen enough “miracles” in my lifetime to firm up my belief in the Trinity. I pray that you will also discover Jesus and let him love you and take on your worries and burdens in life like he does mine. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

    I have friends who are lesbians. I worry abut their trials in life like any other person I know. I love them as close friends, but I realize their lifestyle and sexual relationships will never produce a body for a new soul. I cherish marriages that produce new souls with responsible and balanced parenting. Same sex marriage as an institution is a dead end for humanity because it dooes not produce new souls in a natural family environment. Destroy the core family and you will destroy and society. Christians believe in God’s plan, His Living Word, Jesus Christ (How then shall we live?), and the mystery of eternal love and life.

    Good gave you free will — quit warring with words with each other. God will reveal the truths of life if you would just listen and watch for His hourly, daily, and yearly messages of love and guidance to you. He wants you to be creative, hard working, loving, and useful to other people in his earthly creation. If you spend all of your time debating with each other and trying to force your points on other people you will be caught up in the world’s chaos and will never hear him. Above all, quit persecuting his messengers!

    Lord,”…forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We are all responsible for our actions in life. Make the right decisions as a responsible human being. Don’t pray the Lord’s Prayer without thinking about what commitments you are saying to God the Father. Saul (Paul) was an unbeliever who became a devout Christian. What letter would he write to you and your community today? Many of his letters on the Christian life are “timeless” (hint, hint…)

    Al

  345. Steve says:

    In response to the man who cited passages from the bible that he believed indicated a preference for male/female marriage, does the New Testament even really say much about marriage, as such? Didn’t Jesus encourage his followers to walk away from such domestic concerns and follow him? Doesn’t Paul say to male Christians, “Do not seek a wife?” What is this obsession with marriage as it is defined by the bible? Is there such a thing?

    1. ThirstyJon says:

      Steve, get out your Bible and read your New Testament. Then you won’t need to ask that question. There is plenty there about marriage, and there is plenty there of instruction about daily life and real practical living. It would not be accurate to say that Jesus wanted His followers to “walk away” from domestic concerns.

      And keep in mind, Jesus is also the God of the Old Testament. He is behind all that as well.

      I Cor 7:2 ; Matt 19:1-9 ; Eph 5 There are just a few references to marriage.

      Matt 19 is a clear affirmation of marriage being a union between a man and a woman.

      1. Steve says:

        ThistyJon, I got out my New Testament, like you asked

        Matthew 19:29

        “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

        Mark 10: 28-30

        Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”

        “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.”

        Luke 9: 57-62

        As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

        Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

        He said to another man, “Follow me.”

        But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

        Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

        Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

        Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

        1. ThirstyJon says:

          @Steve,

          You ignored your own actual question (to which I was referring) which was: “does the New Testament even really say much about marriage?”

          I was suggesting that you get out your New Testament and read the verses that are actually about marriage.

          The apostles (at the very least Peter) went on to “take along a believing wife” as Paul later talks about.

          So… Those verses you quoted, they aren’t intended to downplay, nullify, or end marriage.

          1. Steve says:

            Thirsty Jon —

            It seems a lot of Christians and Conservatives want to cherry-pick their biblical quotes and their issues of supposed contemporary relevance. If there is one thing Christ was unequivocal on, it’s that greed is bad and that money-grubbing is bad. I think it’s safe to say that Christ believed a life accumulating money was antithetical to a Godly life.

            And yet you have all these Christian capitalists out there trying to pretend Christ didn’t say and do these things, trying to twist his words around.

            My point is this: Christians (like those who backed the bill in Arizona) behave as if rejecting homosexuals, and putting as much distance between themselves and homosexuality, is some central tenet of their faith, when — in fact — it’s not really something Christ seemed to have put a lot of thought and effort into.

            And I don’t think this should come as news to any of you: As far as society as a whole goes, you are going to lose this fight. You know that, right? Every generation will find less and less to be upset about here.

            And if you give them an ultimatum — Reject gays or reject my version of Christianity — you might be disappointed to find how many people choose the second option.

          2. ThirstyJon says:

            @Steve,

            Regarding “cherry-picking”:

            — some Christians may do that, so let’s not. Let’s study the whole Bible and interpret it in the context of itself. What do you say?

            Regarding Christ on “greed” and “money-grubbing” and “accumulating money:”

            — It will be easy to show (Biblically) that stealing and disrespecting the property of others is bad. It will be easy to show that being consumed by temporal wealth-pursuit above-and-beyond eternal wealth-pursuit is dangerous for the soul. But you will have to “cherry-pick” to show that accumulating wealth in-and-of itself is “bad” or “antithetical” to Christian living. There is too much in the Bible about being faithful with wealth, taking dominion, working-to-prosper, etc.

            Regarding “rejecting homosexuals [etc.]” and these issues “not really something Christ seemed to have put a lot of thought and effort into.”:

            — Teaching/Arguing/Asserting that God has revealed in the Bible that sexual relations with someone of the same gender is contrary to God’s ways (i.e. sin) is NOT “rejecting.” It IS love. It offers the possibility of repentance and forgiveness. And Christ is the One True and Eternal God through whom the world was created. He is the author of the entire Bible (Old and New Testament). He has had much to say on sexuality and marriage. There is no foundation for the idea that Christ has not thought of or expressed truth on issues of marriage and sexuality.

            Regarding your suggestion that I (or others taking on lies about homosexuality) am going to “lose this fight,” and regarding your suggestion that people might reject “my version” of Christianity rather than “reject gays.”:

            — Well… Christianity has been rejected by millions of people from the beginning of time until now. Nothing new there. Whether or not some people choose to reject Biblical teachings on sexuality has no bearing on whether or not Christianity is true or will last. The current sense-of-trend that homosexual activity will forever become acceptable will be short-lived. God’s Love (according to His Standard – not our standard) will win in the end. No number of people or percentage of the population saying that homosexual acts are okay with God will make it so, and His Will will prevail.

            “The Earth will be filled with the Knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea…” (Habakkuk 2:14) You can’t stop it, and I can’t screw it up. God has determined it and it will come to pass.

          3. ThirstyJon says:

            P.S. I wouldn’t say that Christians shouldn’t love homosexuals. Homosexuals (folks choosing to engage in sex with the same gender) are just another group of sinners. Just like adulterers, thieves, God-haters, etc. Everyone who is a Christian is someone who knows what they were before Christ – lost and without hope.

            God Offers hope for all of us screw-ups on this planet, but that hope does NOT involve telling us that our sins are actually NOT sins after all.

            God’s hope and love shows us our sins so that we can come to Him and receive forgiveness and mercy and the (sometimes-annoyingly-slow) power to be changed.

  346. Charlie says:

    Citing laws to justify what you believe about the homosexuality issue is pointless. EVERY law is right, correct, true, eternal. “Not one jot or tittle” can be sidelined. The PURPOSE of all the laws all along is to show we can’t possibly live by them… to show us that we NEED a Saviour. We didn’t get it… We don’t get it… that is, until we DO get it. Jesus is the innocent animal God killed in Eden to cover our shame… He is the slain lamb whose blood covered the doorposts in Egypt… He is the son of God bleeding on the cross to cover the sins of the world. A family… A nation… The world. As the blood became more precious to God, it’s efficacy to cover sin became more and more universal. Jesus Christ is INCLUSIVE, not EXCLUSIVE. “If I be lifted up, I will draw ALL MANKIND unto myself.” Not only Christian but Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan, Atheist… all who begin to see that the way to eternal life is through the only One who can open the door… Who IS the very door.

    1. Derek says:

      Charlie: I need to respond to your statement that “The PURPOSE of all the laws all along is to show we can’t possibly live by them….” I am sorry, but this is untrue. Whenever God has given laws, it has been with the full intent that we are to live and follow those laws. Now, sometimes they are laws that we are indeed capable of following with the strength and power we have. But, there are many times that the laws are beyond our current capacity. In Philippians 4:13, Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” We can keep all the commandments to the degree that we turn to God and rely on Him for strength and ability to do so. God can change us. That is the miracle of Christ’s sacrifice for us–not that we just get some kind of permission slip to not change. Please do not undermine the power of Christ’s sacrifice by saying that God does not intend for us to change and live the commandments in truth. Christ himself said in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” We show and develop our love for Christ by changing through his grace to keep the commandments. Christ also taught, “If any man will do his will, he shall know the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” God expresses His will to us by giving us directions and commandments. It is through the doing or living of those commandments and directions that we gain a greater comprehension of God. Not by believing without doing. Chapter 2 of James makes this quite clear as well. Faith without works (works being living the commandments) is dead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

Trevin Wax's Books