You Can’t Quote Leviticus to Prove God Hates Homosexuality

Cover of "Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set ...

Apostle of the Heart Set Free

The standard Biblical case against homosexuality is not as air-tight as many people seem to think. People bring up many points routinely, and it’s amazing how the attacks don’t hold up–if you look at their Biblical “evidence” carefully.

In this post we will be looking at two verses in Leviticus used as Clobber Passages, proof texts used to condemn gays and lesbians.

We Are No Longer Under the Law

The apostle Paul taught that we are no longer under the Law. Period.

The verses are Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. First, Thou shalt not lie with a man, as with a woman: it is abomination. Second,  If a man lie with a man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

There is, however, a big problem with quoting Leviticus. The problem is that Christians are no longer under the Law. We do not live our Christian life by following the Old Testament Law.  The Apostle Paul makes this abundantly clear. It is not something fabricated to win an argument, or made up in the twentieth century, or manufactured to get around something somebody doesn’t like. It is clearly stated in the Greek scriptures. The Apostle Paul wrote it in Galatians:

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” (Galatians 3:10)

If we rely on following the Law (the Torah, the first five books of the Bible) we are under a curse. The passage above, Galatians 3:10, contains a quote from the Law itself, Deuteronomy 27:26. According to Paul’s statement below, things have changed.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. (Galatians 3:13)

It was Jesus’ death on the cross that rescued us from the curse of the Law. If we insist on following the Law and imposing the Law on others, we negate the cross of Christ, and repudiate Christ’s death on the cross.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

Return to the Law = Return to Slavery to Sin

If we measure ourselves as Christians by how well we follow the Law, we have returned to our slavery to sin. We are then measuring ourselves, “justifying” ourselves, by evaluating our behavior by the Law. For us religious folks, this is precisely what is meant by “a dog returning to its own vomit” (Proverbs 26:11; II Peter 2:22). And if we put other Christians under the Law, we are subjecting them to the very yoke of slavery Paul warned them about. We force them to return to their own vomit as well.

If you insist that other people observe the Law, then you are burdening people “again by a yoke of slavery,” which makes you a slave master.  When people resist your attempt to place them under the Law, they are acting in accordance with the urging of Paul, “Do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Stop burdening people with a yoke of slavery.

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. (Galatians 5:18).

You Cannot Observe the Law and Walk in the Spirit Simultaneously

A mature Christian cannot be led by the Spirit and follow the Law simultaneously. This is an example of “serving two masters,” which Christ said was impossible. In the Greek scriptures Paul urges us to walk in the Spirit, to be filled with the Spirit, to keep in step with the Spirit, and warn us against the bondage to the Law. We can’t live life in the Spirit if the Law has us in chains.

The Bible Does Not Teach a “Ceremonial Law” and a “Moral Law”

The people who would return you to slavery to the Law, slavery to sin, will say, “Paul was talking about the ceremonial law, not the moral law. He abolished the ceremonial law, but we are still under the moral law.”

Sorry. That distinction between the ceremonial law and the moral law is a man-made excuse to keep themselves and others under bondage to the Law. An argument can be made to support the alleged distinction between a ceremonial law and a moral law, but it is not a Biblical distinction.  None other than conservative Bible scholar F.F. Bruce says this in his book, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free, in chapter 18, “What the Law Could Not Do.”

Paul never makes a distinction between a so-called ceremonial law and a so-called moral law. The Bible makes no such distinction. The Law is the Law, according to James the brother of Jesus.

For whoever keeps the whole Law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (James 2:10)

Not only is no distinction made between a ceremonial law and a moral law in the scriptures, the actual emphasis of the scriptures is the unity of the law. That phrase, “the whole law,” is used in at least half a dozen places–Deuteronomy 4:8; 33:10; Galatians 5:3,14; 6:13; James 2:10; and elsewhere.

James never makes a distinction between the so-called ceremonial law and the so-called moral law, either. There is no discussion in James of dividing up the Law into different kinds.

So just remember this: anyone who tries to use the Law in Leviticus to prove that God condemns homosexuality is abusing scripture — totally misusing Leviticus. God ruled that piece of evidence “inadmissible.”

In the book of Romans Paul describes the death-dealing destructiveness of the Law, and he also describes what has taken the place of the Torah for Christians in various letters: 1) the Image of God, 2) the Law of Love, 3) the Holy Spirit, 4) our Conscience, and 5) Human Government.

How to Respond to False Teachers

If someone uses Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13 to prove that God hates homosexuality, challenge them on it. Tell them, “Don’t quote Leviticus to me. In Galatians Paul says we are no longer under the Law. Paul said Leviticus is the yoke of slavery, Galatians 5:1.”

If they say, “God was talking about the ceremonial Law, not the moral Law,” ask them, “Where in the Bible does it say there’s a difference between moral law and ceremonial law? That distinction was made up by men (literally true). Show me in the Bible where those phrases even appear, moral law and ceremonial law.” that.” The word ceremonial only appears in the New International Version; no other translation even uses the word.

They won’t be able to show you any Biblical reference distinguishing between the so-called ceremonial and moral laws. If they refer to the book of Acts and the sheet being lowered from heaven, simply say, “That was just one concrete example of the cancellation of the entire Law.”

Simple truth: You cannot quote Leviticus to prove God hates homosexuality. The Apostle Paul said so in Galatians.

If You Obligate People to Obey the Law, You Bring them Under a Curse

Please note: I did not say that the Old Testament is irrelevant to us. And I did not say that the Law is irrelevant to us.

The WHOLE Bible is relevant.

All I said is that you cannot legitimately quote Leviticus to prove that God hates homosexuality. If you make people accountable to obey the Law, you bring them under a curse. The Apostle Paul said so in Galatians.

About the verses in Leviticus. To put it simply, if a judge rules a piece of evidence inadmissible, it cannot be introduced as evidence. If one of the parties mentions the evidence anyway, the judge declares a mistrial. When people say, “The Bible condemns homosexuality throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments,” God the Righteous Judge would throw the case of the accusers out of court.

[edited for content 3/5/12]

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If you want to Demolish the Strongholds of shallow anti-gay slogans, click here.

If you want to respond to the Clobber Passages, click here.

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About Ron Goetz

Lay leader, intellectual, struggler, disciple, writer, activist. Husband, father, grandpa, friend, son.
This entry was posted in Antinomianism, Bible, Christianity, Clobber Passages, Homosexuality, Homosexuality and the Bible, Leviticus, Romans, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

228 Responses to You Can’t Quote Leviticus to Prove God Hates Homosexuality

  1. Nice essay!

    Gay seminary grad here and professor of NT. I have my students wrestle with such passages as those you mention. Always interesting.

    I travel with a one-man show about being a gay person of faith and use Leviticus in the show–though in a different way than you do.

    Peace,
    RDS

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  2. Thomas Vik says:

    You’re right that Christians are not condemned by the Law. The Law was given to Israel as a specific means of regulating human behaviour at the time of the Exodus. The death of Jesus provided a new and direct means for people to relate to God without the intervention of law. Because (as Paul points out in Galations) the law is no longer condemning us, does this mean that people no longer need to follow the law? Can we now commit murder, theft, adultery (none of which receives a renewed prohibition in the New Testament)? No, because as Jesus says: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5, 17-18). What Paul is saying is that salvation does not come by keeping the law – salvation is given free. So sorry – but Jesus does not rule ‘that piece of evidence “inadmissible”‘ – far from it: he says that “until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished”.

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    • Ron Goetz says:

      Thomas, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I believe that Jesus did fulfill the Law, in its entirety. And you’re right–Jesus said not one jot or tittle would disappear from the Law until everything was accomplished, which Jesus announced, from the cross, had happened. “It is finished!” (John 19:30). I know this won’t be satisfactory for everyone, but that is my understanding of the matter at this point.

      I will be discussing the personal and spiritual implications of the cancellation of the Law in subsequent posts. All I would add right now is that there has always been a diversity of interpretations of the Scripture, and for good reason.

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      • Thomas Vik says:

        Thank you. You make an interesting point, which I hadn’t thought of before, in equating Jesus’ “it is finished” on the cross with “everything is accomplished” in Matthew 5. I’m not entirely convinced, though, because immediately after Jesus says that “not one jot or tittle would disappear from the Law until everything was accomplished” he continues by refining aspects of the Law (“You have heard that it was said … but I tell you that …”). He doesn’t give any indication that this is purely a temporary arrangement (“just for the next couple of years, after which we’re scrapping the whole law thing anyway”) – this is basic moral teaching for evermore, founded on the Law. What Jesus is doing is to say that the Law is not a textbook or numbered list in which we can search for exceptions and loopholes to justify our behaviour: it is “case law” that shows us how God regards our moral behaviour in a broad sense. It’s not a matter of “score more than 7 out of 10 and you’ll be saved” but of “this is how God’s people live”. And that, I think, is also precisely what Paul is getting at — I don’t see any contradiction there. In other words, there is no shift in what is morally right and acceptable between the OT and the NT – merely in the relationship between law and salvation. The “yoke of the law” to which Paul was referring is the idea that salvation depends on how well we keep the law. It doesn’t – it depends on Jesus Christ. But Jesus still tells us – just like he told the rich young man – to live according to the Law (capital “L”, singular, rather than small “l” plural).

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      • Jbarnum says:

        I hate to disagree with you but you’re wrong. It is an abomnation and we still have to abide by the Torah. Yeshua said “if you love me he you will keep my commandments” and John says if we love Him then we should walk as He walked. I’m quoting from the NT but we can quote Psalms and Prophets or anywhere else and we get the same message. So what am I saying that I’m going to quote a scripture from Leviticus to a homosexual and tell them they should be stoned to death? Of course not, then I would be breaking the “equally [most] important Law” to love my neighbor as I do myself. If you notice there is no: love your neighbor unless they’re homosexual or muslim or black or whatever proceeding this commandment. I don’t struggle with this particular sin but there are plenty on my resume that are at least as bad as this. I have homosexual friends and some of the truly don’t like the opposite sex, sexually speaking. So what happened? Did Yahweh make a mistake in designing them or did He do it just like He planned to? I would hold the latter to be true. I believe they don’t like the opposite sex because they have a higher calling, as Paul describes about himself in 1 Corinthians or the 144,000 described in Revalation.

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    • Douglas Asbury says:

      The problem as I see it is that this whole “obey the law” argument completely ignores Romans 8 (as Paul himself often did in some of his other writings). Paul writes that it is only when the law of sin and death is abrogated as the law that the spirit of life takes over in our hearts and minds, affirming to us that we are Children of God. Only then do we even have the capacity to “obey the law,” because it is the Law of Love we are “obeying,” not the law of letters and rules. Oddly enough – and this is a mark of the “wisdom of God” that is “foolishness to those who are perishing” – when the Law of Love is obeyed, obedience to the moral law is what results; whereas our attempts to obey the moral law alone without the aid of the spirit of life who infuses God’s love into our hearts are doomed to failure.

      At the end of chapter 8 Paul writes that “[nothing] in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,” to which I would add the caveat, “except when our alleged ‘fellow Christians’ keep throwing up the law of letters while they themselves lack the humility that comes from the fact that they are no closer to obeying that law than are ware” (as Paul remarks in Romans 2 and following). So if we keep focusing on the “moral law,” we reveal that we are not yet truly “in Christ,” since to be “in Christ” is to live in love, which “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and never fails.” (1 Cor. 13.7)

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      • Ron Goetz says:

        That about says it, Douglas. Thanks!

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      • Jbarnum says:

        In regards to your Romans 8 quote, what Paul was trying to say is that if you yourself try to keep the Law you are condemned. Yet if we abide by the Spirit then we will keep the Law because the “Law is good” according to Paul. However we “don’t do what we want to and do what we don’t want to do because we are wretched.”

        I mean think about it, you know that it’s wrong to steal, murder, beat someone up etc but me by myself can’t keep from wanting to do these things with out the Spirit. These are naturally engrained laws and we can’t even keep them on our own. Why do you think this is? Because “man is evil from the days of his youth.” -Gen 8

        In regards to the Matt 5, heaven and earth have not passed away and they don’t until Rev 21 right at the end of the book and age. This Law is no different from the laws of gravity, motion, electromagnetism etc; Yeshua also fullfilled these laws yet they are still at work because ALL isn’t accomplished. He thought outside of the box and for the future.

        You say that we don’t have to abide by the Torah because Yeshua fullfilled it. You’re absolutely right we don’t have to abide by the Torah but not because He fullfilled it. Moses didn’t have to, Joshua, David, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah etc didn’t have to either. But they understood that the Law is good and if we keep it we get the blessings instead of the curses as described in Deut 28. I know that Paul says we’ve already got all the blessings we need, which is true because salvation is it. This is found at the end of the OT: “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.”-Malachi 4:4

        The NT doesn’t tell us anything new except for the life of Yeshua. It is simply a re-itteration of the OT. The point that you are implying is that Yahweh made a mistake when giving His commandments but if that is so then why should we trust a God that makes mistakes? Or could it be as stated in Isaiah 55 “I don’t think the way you think or work the way you work” or when he says “mens glory fades like flowers in the fields but the word of Yahweh stands forever.” Could it be that Malachi got it right in 3:6, “For I am Yahweh, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

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      • xnlover says:

        @Jbarnum, no one is claiming that “Yahweh made a mistake.” The Old Covenant is for the Jews; the New Covenant is for Christians. The argument about whether those under the new covenant needed to observe all the strictures of the old covenant was settled at the Council of Jerusalem (cf. Acts 15.1-21). We mustn’t continue to open old arguments that have been settled for millennia.

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    • storm longhauser says:

      I agree that the Law was superseded by Jesus’ sacrifice, as you’ve clearly laid out.. But a problem I still have is that it still suggests that at one time, God was not okay with it. Which gives ammo to the dissenters. Consider Marcus Borg’s contention that the Bible is not a set of literal truths written by God, but instead a written account inspired by God. In other words, the men who wrote these passage were inspired by God to write a historical account of how THEY saw God in relation to the events that happened. Not God’s version of history, but theirs. So the story of Sodom and Gomorrah turns the phenomenon of unexplainable (at that time) meteorites falling from the sky becomes God sending his wrath on a depraved city. Then when you look at the passages you cited within the context of the time it was written, it is clear that those were laws of man and not intended by God to be applied to us- today or at any time.

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      • also sodom had nothing to do with homosexuals, and more so to do with the city living in COMPLETE DEFIANCE OF GOD BY NOT OBSERVING ANY OF THE COMMANDMENTS HE SET FORTH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. It was not homosexuality alone, it was the intentions towards GOD itself by openly defying ALL his laws. Because, to break a mandate set by GOD is SIN.

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      • xnlover says:

        @Coleman, you are correct in your first statement that “sodom had nothing to do with homosexuals,” but you muddy the waters when you then write, “It was not homosexuality alone.” I believe most people today are aware of what is called “prison rape,” which is a terrible problem in our prison system in the United States, even in the present day. Many also know that in time of war, often rape of not only women but also men is practiced by the victorious troops. Neither of these types of “sexual” activity has anything to do with “homosexuality,” but, instead, it is more properly termed “man on man sex.” These types of rape are practiced in order to increase the sense that one man or group of men is dominant over another man or group of men. It is used as a means of control through demonstrating superior power and through demeaning the victim through humiliation. It is this kind of man on man sex that the residents of Sodom were threatening against Lot’s guests, not “homosexual sex.” When we use the term “homosexual” as a blanket term referring to all man on man sex, we fail to recognize the variety of ways in which human beings have used sexual acts throughout history, not only to demonstrate love, to produce children, to give one another mutual pleasure, and so on, but also to dominate, to humiliate, to brutalize, to punish, and to enact all kinds of other hurtful and monstrous kinds of intentions. We need to use words carefully and to make clear what we mean when we use them, especially when words like “homosexual” have been so regularly misapplied.

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    • If you are only going by the ten commandments, then where does it say in the ten commandments “DONT BE GAY”, and don’t refer to adultery, because it does not say in the big 10 ” GAYS CANT GET MARRIED”. So according to your argument is, gays get married and they no longer commit adultery

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  3. Russell King says:

    Brilliant.

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  4. Lizzie says:

    While this means well, I find it not helpful and, because it falls in the purview of one of my personal quirks, somewhat repulsive. I’ll be repeating this in a post over to FB as I’d rather get in a discussion there than here. I’ve been too often burned by mobs of strangers at someone’s blog to want to go through it again. But here is my personal (personal, subjective) critique:

    (1) The premise is that the quotes in question are irrelevant because the OT Scriptures are argued as irrelevant. It does not take advantage of any of the scholarship that has been done to contextualize the quotes and show that they do not, in fact, condemn homosexuals as God created them — these quotes do have a specific context and it is not homosexuality. (I believe one has to do with temple prostitutes and I can’t recall about the other.)

    (2) Anything that puts Paul as the Authority, over and above Jesus (who you may recall was a practicing Jew) is obnoxious.

    Thanks anyway and keep ‘em coming.

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    • Ron Goetz says:

      Lizzie, I’ve been mobbed in discussions, too, and I’ll do my best to prevent any cyber lynchings here!

      Diversity in the Body of Christ includes diverse solutions to problems. While I understand and appreciate the contextualizing scholarship you mention, I think a lot of people’s eyes begin to glaze over when they read it. Either that or, especially among evangelicals, they see a lot of theological double-talk that simply obfuscates the “plain meaning of scripture.” I’m not saying it’s theological double-talk, this is how conservative Christians see it.

      I also find the typical elevation of Paul above Jesus obnoxious, I really do. But this particular context, I start with this: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (II Corinthians 10:4)

      In the last three paragraphs I actually disavowed saying that the verses in Leviticus were “irrelevant.” All scripture is relevant.

      “Keep ‘em coming”? You bet!

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  5. Eliza says:

    Ron,
    Thank you for your insightful, thoughtful, and theological words on this difficult topic.
    I am an Associate Pastor in the PCUSA, and last week our denomination voted to remove our constitutional language barring LGBT peoples from ordination. This morning, I am composing a response to an inflammatory email sent out by my head of staff that railed against the decision. I, and many other folks in my congregation, were very hurt by this and by the way it was presented. I sat down this morning to compose a well thought out biblical response based on the interplay of Leviticus and Paul. To read your blog was encouraging and has provided more insight into my thoughts. Many blessings upon you and your ministry.

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    • Ron Goetz says:

      Eliza, I know a lot of people were encouraged and excited by the PCUSA’s decision. About the inflammatory email–when we’re in the middle of our wrath, it”s not common for us to think about the personal effect of our words. It’s similar to the effect of our votes. I’m reminded of the comment made by a lesbian in the midwest after the Prop 8 vote here in California: “They really do hate us.”

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  6. Lizzie says:

    @RDS, You must be very interesting company! I clicked through to your website but don’t have time to look today. I hope to return later.

    @Ron, thank you for your thoughtful discussion and space here. I guess part of my problem is that I really can’t get my head around a lot of the evangelical mindset. From the concept that the Bible As Printed Today In English is the Infallible Word of God (never edited, never politicized, never disrupted from Speaker to reader), to the practice of what in D&D we called “rules lawyering” bein more important than what online we call “IRL”… it’s just such a bizarre world. Likewise I am sure that my apparently “wacko liberal elitist” POV is ridiculous to most evangelicals. How can anyone claim to be serious about studying Scripture when they aren’t interested in any sort of in depth actual study? You know, languages, historical context, that sort of thing. While we’re on the “different worlds” topic, do a lot of them really think that the Rapture is going to happen this weekend?

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    • Ron Goetz says:

      I agree, rank and file evangelicals and fundamentalists do have a–simplistic?–understanding of the Bible. And their educated leaders actually know better, they live in fear of disabusing them of their simplistic notions.

      Harold Camping’s Rapture? No. Only Camping’s band of radio listeners believe it. Everyone else is shaking their heads in disgust, pity, or mockery. William Miller made the same prediction in 1843/1844, which resulted in what is called “The Great Disappointment.” Camping made two previous announcements, neither of which requires anything empirical, verifiable, or observable to be “true.” They can both be spiritualized. The Great Tribulation “probably” began in 1988, and the Church Age ended in 1994.

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  7. Katie says:

    well done and thanks ….

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  8. Fred Conwell says:

    On a purely physical level, since these references are supposedly directed at Gay men, how do we know how to “lie with a man as with a woman” since I theoretically have no such experience with women? And how exactly would a theoretical bisexual man duplicate their experiences with both genders?

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    • Ron Goetz says:

      In their agrarian society the Israelites learned the facts of life from the time toddlers could make their way across the barnyard. “What are they doing, Daddy?” Talk about a sex-saturated society–they actually saw sex every day! I think pretty much everyone knew the facts of life in those days.
      I think this is about as far as we should take this discussion.

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  9. Hill says:

    I guess since I am okay your conclusions, I should be quiet, but I can’t. This is some very misleading Biblical scholarship. There is only one reason the Hebrew Scripture Law should no longer apply: it’s because it’s a bunch of well meaning foolishness. Every last bit of it. Any other reasoning that tries to reconcile or remove the Law is just bad theology. Be honest: would you ever make such an argument in the case of incest or bestiality? By your reading, love of neighbor isn’t valid because it is, indeed, a law of the Torah. But no liberal ever makes such a case. They all do what you have done. Or, worse, come up with unproven justifications about temple priestesses or pedophilia. The problem with this is you ignore parts of Leviticus (and subsequently, stories in Exodus and Numbers) that attest to the seriousness of the Law. Leviticus is not the book against homosexuality. It says a lot of things we still follow today. The “Holiness Code,” which is a popular name of part of Leviticus, is an anachronism that seeks to hide the harsh reality of what is written in this book. Leviticus 24:10-23 is not written as if the Law is some minor thing. God isn’t like “Oh, be holy if you can! If not, don’t stress it.” THEY KILL A GUY BECAUSE GOD TOLD THEM TO! The Hebrew Scriptures is filled with these isolated episodes. It would stand to reason that if the text tells us they, indeed, put people to death under direction of The Lord, then it is highly unlikely that Leviticus 20:13 was to be taken lightly. The reality is, none of our after the fact, misleading scholarship has any base within the text and reading the Bible should let us know that, according to the Hebrew Scriptures, the reason for an act is immaterial – it is the act itself that supposedly angers God and angering God is BAD and has DEADLY consequences. So if you’re being true to the Bible – and not an agenda intent on approving of a certain kind of homosexuality – you know God doesn’t want to hear sob stories about monogamy, I was born this way, the text was really about little boys, or it was about profaning the temple, and so on, and so on. God doesn’t want men having sex with men. Period. But as I said earlier, I think the Hebrew text is an exaggeration that God was never a part of, so that’s why I feel the “Law” no longer applies. I think it never applied.

    You also didn’t explain the context of Galatians. Paul is not writing general commentary on the Law and Christ. He has an angle for writing. The Galatians are worried that they must get circumcised to be true people of God. This would be a valid concern, per Genesis 17:9-14 and Exodus 4:24-26, but Paul wants to discourage this because he feels it negates the work of Christ (Gal 5:2-6). This is, shall we say odd, in light of the account of Paul in Acts 16:3. Nevertheless, Paul is arguing against circumcision (or following the Law) being a requirement of being a child of God – not that the Law no longer matters in ANY context and thus, all the other 613 laws should not be followed.

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    • Lizzie says:

      Hi Hill,
      I just wanted to write and say that I liked your argument. You have some good points and you make and illustrate them well. This whole kettle gets a bit over my head sometimes… or rather, it “does Scripture” in ways that I find tedious, maybe. I like where we are trying to go with this, but I have trouble with the details of how we are doing it.
      It’s mind-boggling how many different ways people process the Bible. If nothing else, trying to follow these arguments is really opening my eyes to that.
      Thanks.

      Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      You suggest that I believe that “the Law no longer matters in ANY context and thus, all the other 613 laws should not be followed.” I think I made it pretty clear that this is not what I believe. Let me repeat the last paragraphs of the post here:

      “Please note: I did not say that the Old Testament is irrelevant to us. And I did not say that the Law is irrelevant to us.
      The WHOLE Bible is relevant.
      All I said is that you cannot legitimately quote Leviticus to prove that God hates homosexuality. If you make people accountable to obey the Law, you bring them under a curse. The Apostle Paul said so in Galatians.”

      As I’ve said elsewhere, there’s only so much you can write in a single, 600-1200 word blog post! I will be writing more about Paul’s cancellation of the Law later. There are important implications for Christian spirituality based on our relationship to the written code.

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  10. John Meunier says:

    Ron,

    I have some disorganized thoughts about counter-arguments someone who stands on the other side of this debate might make.

    How do you resolve this argument with Paul’s frequent condemnation of many actions condemned by the OT law?

    Isn’t a lot of the distinction between ceremonial and moral law drawn from NT discussions about food served to idols and other parts of the law that are deemed no longer applicable, even as others aspects of the law are affirmed? I think of Acts 15 here.

    Jesus certainly quoted the law. The two great commandments, after all, come straight from the Torah.

    Finally, and this may not be relevant from your point of view, the United Methodist Articles of Faith specifically endorse the following of the moral law of the Old Testament.

    I’m just curious how you would respond to these arguments.

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    • Ron Goetz says:

      John, these questions are all valid elements in a complete discussion of the Christian’s relationship to the Law, and I plan to discuss all or most of them. In this particular post I’m establishing Paul’s overwhelming rejection of the Law in the life of the believer. Let me know if it seems like I’ve forgotten about any of the issues you’ve raised, eh?

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  11. Fred Conwell says:

    Jesus defines ALL sin as lack of love (Mt.22:36-40). So what is unloving about a homosexual/Gay relationship? Who is unloved, hurt and ready to file suit? No one. But the Leviticus references could be condemning prison rape and other “homosexual” encounters that have unloved victims.

    Like

    • John Meunier says:

      Fred, I’m as big a fan of the two great commandments as anyone, but I’m not following the connection you make.

      An advocate of the traditional reading of Scripture would say that to ignore or reject a command of God is not loving God (1 John 5:2 would be the most explicit reference).

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      • Brcdude says:

        While I see what point you are trying to make, I am afraid that you are attempting to utilize circular logic. While it is pointed out that all of the law is restated in the two Great Commandments, you state that not following a previous commandment that was restated is breaking the Great Commandments. To clarify, it is stated in the two great commandments that the DEFINITION OF SIN is when you DO NOT LOVE someone. However, you are stating that in order to love God (In other words, the definition of love), you must not sin. See how this is circular logic? When Term A (sin) is defined as Term B (hate), you are trying to say that at the same time, Term B (hate) is defined as Term A (sin). While I agree that avoiding sin is definitely loving, that is because avoiding sin is THE RESULT of loving, not the DEFINITION of loving, since committing sin is THE RESULT of not loving. It’s a bit confusing, but hopefully someone can explain it a bit better. While I understand what you are trying to say in stating that we need to keep God’s Commandments, it doesn’t work AGAINST the Great Commandments, it works IN CONJUNCTION with them, because they sum up what God’s Commandments are.

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  12. Aaron says:

    I have to commend everyone on their comments thus far! It has been fascinating to read and very educational and brought back memories of some of the debates I witnessed as a PK (pastor’s kid).

    Please understand that I am NOT a biblical scholar, I just like to think that I have a good understanding of the bible.

    I love these discussions because (as a Christian who is a firm believer in the separation of church and state) it gratifies my love of debates about the bible & politics.

    What came to my mind as I was reading these comments was the many, many times that Jesus was critical of the Pharisees for their excessive “rules lawyering” (Lizzie, this old AD&Der was ROFLMAO when I read that). I recall a story that highlights the excessive rules lawyering of Jesus’s day. As I recall, in order to travel anywhere on the Sabbath, one had to repeatedly throw their sandal down the road, retrieve it and throw it again. Jesus said that “Man was not made for the Sabbath, the Sabbath was made for man.”

    I think that a great deal of focus on the rules stated in the Bible distracts us from God and the divine love that is there for us. The last time I checked the New testament, we Christians are explicitly told to LOVE and RESPECT and care for ALL people. Especially those that society deems to be “disreputable”.

    I also believe that if the Almighty really found homosexuality so offensive, it simply would not exist in either the animal OR human kingdom. If we study the bible, do our best to live in the Holy Spirit, and remember that God is Love (not hate as the conservatives would have you believe) things are gonna work out a whole lot better for us all.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      I think that a great deal of focus on the rules stated in the Bible distracts us from God and the divine love that is there for us. The last time I checked the New testament, we Christians are explicitly told to LOVE and RESPECT and care for ALL people. Especially those that society deems to be “disreputable”.

      Aaron, I think you’re right. And what Jesus said about the whole Law being contained in the two commands to love–does not require being a biblical scholar to understand. And to live it out in your life, it helps if you’re not a biblical scholar!

      Like

  13. Hill says:

    @Ron – There may be only so much you can write, but I am focused on what you did write. The title of this is “You Can’t Quote Leviticus to Prove God Hates Homosexuality.” I’m sorry, but for anyone who believes the Bible is either inerrant or at least inspired by God, they absolutely can. There is nothing in Galatians to suggest God stops hating sin. As Leviticus states homosexual acts are a sin, I think plenty of Christians make a very reasonable step to assume God hates homosexuality. And, as a side note, all of the stuff about prison rape or temple priests and all the other attempts to “clarify” the homosexual acts of which the Bible speaks is flimsy at best. You either assume those explanations are true or not. They are not a facts. At any rate, your specific explanation of why Leviticus is unable to be used can only accurately suggest that people who want to be children of God under the Law must keep the whole Law, or they are cursed. You write: “If you make people accountable to obey the Law, you bring them under a curse. The Apostle Paul said so in Galatians.” This is grossly misleading at best, and flat out wrong at worst. A more accurate statement according to proper exposition of everything Paul wrote would be “If you make people accountable to obey the Law IN ORDER TO BE A CHILD OF GOD, OR “SAVED,” you bring them under a curse. The Apostle Paul said so in Galatians.” And the curse would be metaphorical anyway. Humans have no power to put other humans under a real curse. Again, I am with your purpose, but I find many problems with the argument itself. You are proof texting (i.e. taking random verses out of random books with little regard to context of the verse, the book in which its found, or its place in the overall Biblical narrative) and that leads both liberals and conservatives to make poorly researched conclusions that can easily be unraveled by adequate scholarship, or worse yet, even more proof texting. Some conclusions, like yours, are “acceptable” to me. But some are not, so I find it best to eliminate as much proof texting as possible.

    Like

    • Derrail says:

      I AGREE WITH HILL SHE’S RIGHT. GOD AND HIS SEEDLINGS HATE SIN WE ARE ALL SIN BIGOTS PERIOD. YAHSHUA DIED FOR THE ELECT OF GOD FOR GOD LOVED HIMSELF SO MUCH HE POURED DOWN UPON US ALL HIS SPIRIT THE PARACLETES. TO REMIND US CHIDE WITH US KEEP US MOST HOLY AND NO OTHER. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT TO BE CLEAN. STOP TRYING TO APPEAR HOLY AND USE TERMS GODLY TERMS TO JUSTIFY YOUR DOINGS LOL. YOUR INSIDES AS YAHSHUA SPOKE ABOUT TO THE PHARISEES SAYING THEY DO THE WORKS OF THEIR FATHER THE “EVIL” THEREFORE ARE THEY EVIL. THEY TO SET THEMSELVES APART LIKE YOU. CLAIMING TO NOT BE BORN OUT OF FORNICATION. SAYING WE ARE THE SEEDS OF ABRAHAM AND HE SAID I KNOW YOU ARE BUT YOU DO NOT HIS WORKS. AND ALSO SAYING HE SEEN ABRAHAM AND THEY POINTED OUT HIS SUPPOSED NATURAL AGE OF THIS WORLD IN ALL WAYS THEY OFFENDED GOD AS YOU WHO DO SUCH WICKEDNESS. IF THE LAW CEASED WHY DO POLICE AND CONGRESSMEN AND JUDGES AND EVERYTHING LAW RELATED EXIST TODAY? MORE IMPORTANTLY WHY DOES THIS SUPPOSE SECOND VERSION CONTINUE TO POP UP?

      LOOK EVERYTHING ORIGINATES WITH GOD HE IS “HOLY” FIRST. THEN AFTER HE EXPRESSES HIS SELF THEN HE EXPLAINS SECOND. YOU SCRIBES EVEN MESS UP SECOND. IT MEANS THE GENERAL CONGREGATION. IN THE BEGINNING GOD SPOKE AND IT WAS ALL GOOD. THEN HE SETUP SECOND THIRD FOURTH FIFTH AND SO ON. HE IS THE ONLY CREATOR. HE DIDN’T CREATE SECULARISM AS IT IS PUBLISHED BY YOU FALSE gods. EVERYTHING IS STILL SET IN STONE SINCE CREATION AND THE FALL OF MAN. AND MAN IS NO LONGER HE WAS CREATED LAST OF ALL THAT GOD CREATED JUST AS THE EARTH WAS LAST TO BE CREATED NOT FIRST. MAN BECAME SEVERAL DAYS LATER. SO IDENTITY WAS NEVER UPON HIM. HIS NAME ADAM MEANS HYPOCRITE. SOURCE ONLINEBIBLE.ORG STARTER PACK STUDY TO SHOW YOURSELVES APPROVED UNTO GOD AND NO OTHER.

      BUT THEN YOU HAVE THE LANGUAGE ENGLISH AS THE CHIEF PROBLEM. IT PROVIDES THE ANARCHY. IT’S EASIER TO SUBMIT THAN TO DISOBEY FOR BY IT WOULD WE ALL FALL DOWN AND PRAISE GOD AND NO OTHER.

      Like

  14. Anonymous says:

    You can say that God does not hate homosexuals. God does not hate anyone. He hates the sin and the lifestyles in which true unbelievers choose to live. This is free will. We are able to do whatever we want to, whether that is legal or illegal, ethical or unethical. If a person chooses to live in a life of sin and living in a sinful lifestyle keeps us apart from God’s true love. He knows our hearts and our every thought. Yes Christ grants salvation to us, but just accepting the fact that he did in fact die for our sins and then saying the words does not get you into heaven. You must live a lifestyle in which you truly try not to sin. Living a homosexual lifestyle makes a mockery of God. The author of Roman’s writes that a homosexuality lifestyle is WRONG in the eyes and mind of God. Problem is, to many people today look to their friends to justify their sinful lifestyle so that they make themselves feel better. This is why this man created this blog. He is aware that he is living a lifestyle outside of what God wants, yet he looks to his friends instead of God to make himself feel better concerning how he thinks. This man’s blog is just another example of how a justifying world wants to make everything right in their own eyes so that they all can disobey what God truly says because they do not want to give up what they are doing It is easier to have your friends say its right then to actually listen to what God says is right and wrong. Homosexuality is wrong according to God’s word. If God wanted men to be sexual with other men and women to be sexual with other women, then it would clearly be said that such acts would not be forgiven. If I had to choose between sexuality and salvation, I would choose salvation. Never would I allow my salvation to come between me and my salvation. Homosexuality is a continuous sinful lifestyle. Believe it or not, I would not bet my salvation on my sexuality any day of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • xnlover says:

      When you write: “This is why this man created this blog. He is aware that he is living a lifestyle outside of what God wants,” you show not only your ignorance but your unwillingness to learn. If you simply click on “A Little About Me,” above, you would discover that this man is a married heterosexual man who simply sees the Truth of God in scripture rather than the lies of humans through the centuries that the Church has tended to propagate to its own advantage and the disadvantage of many whom God loves and affirms.

      Evidence of your ignorance is compounded by your use–and implicit affirmation–of the concept of the “homosexual lifestyle.” Is there a “heterosexual lifestyle” that is common to all straight people? Of course not! How, then, can there be a “homosexual lifestyle” that is common to all gay people? Obviously, there can’t be.

      I, for example, am a celibate, out, gay, United Methodist minister who is working to change the position of my denomination on homosexuality because it is based on the same lies about the Bible and the “homosexual lifestyle” as is your position, as well as the same type of ignorance that won’t look more deeply into reality.

      I am sad for you and people like you, that you have some hidden fear that you can’t confront, and so, as psychologist Carl Jung indicated decades ago, you project that fearsome thing out onto others and try to eliminate it by eliminating them. This corresponds to failing to take the log out of your own eye so you can see clearly to take the mote out of another’s eye.

      Like

  15. shawn says:

    a.bom.i.na.tion 1. a thing that causes disgust or hatred. 2. a feeling of hatred. Ibelive this is what God had in mind when he destroyed sodom & gom orrah. lets not over complicate this please..those who forget the past tend to repeat it….

    Like

    • Heterosexual Liberal Agnostic says:

      The definition of abomination has changed since the Bible was conceived. The modern definition you have quoted does not apply, because we are not talking about something modern, we are talking about something written during the late Neolithic and early Bronze Ages. The definition of abomination was, at the time the Bible was written, something not done during worship. Furthermore, when the line in Leviticus says “natural” it means natural to the individual. Therefore, THAT line ACTUALLY means, “You shouldn’t sleep with whichever gender you aren’t oriented towards, because having sex with that gender isn’t natural to you.” This means that if someone is oriented towards men, regardless of their own gender, then they should sleep with a man who is also oriented towards men. If a person is oriented towards someone of the opposite gender, they need to sleep with someone of the opposite gender. In conclusion, a man who is homosexual should sleep with homosexual men, because that is natural to them. A man who is heterosexual should sleep with a heterosexual woman, because that is what is natural to THEM. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

      Like

  16. Fred Conwell says:

    Why did God destroy S&G ? Read Ezekiel 16:49.

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    • Ron Goetz says:

      Yup, I’m with you on that Fred.

      “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

      The sin of Sodom. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Like

    • Dug Swank says:

      I like what Christ said about Sodom, in that his reference in terms of inhospitable treatment of visitors. .

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  17. Heterosexual Liberal Agnostic says:

    Wow. It’s become rare to read something I have to re-read to understand entirely. Kudos for that alone. And the point you make is brilliant. May I also add, not only do I recall there being a passage in the Bible where God quite explicitly told man not to take Leviticus seriously (though unfortunately, I’ve forgotten which passage that was), I am pretty sure the meaning of ‘abomination’ has swung pretty far the other way since the time the Bible was conceived. Originally, ‘abomination’ was not something you associated with hideous monsters and a horrid fate with the Devil (who, after taking classes on Greek Mythology and the transition of Southern Europe to Christianity, really seems to be a very nice old man. Hades went around closing up holes in the ground because the dead were afraid of the light after being underground so long, and he seemed rather shy. But I digress.), it was very simply something you didn’t do during worship.

    And quite frankly, another thing to point out, I myself see no reason to single out homosexuality. There are PLENTY of things Leviticus claims you shouldn’t do that people (even Catholic conservatives!) do on a daily basis. They say “No, it’s not that big of a deal.” But they don’t seem to realize that makes basing any other arguments out of Leviticus very hard to take seriously.

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  18. Vic says:

    [Edited for Content]

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  19. Vic says:

    H L A:

    [Edited for Content]

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  20. It is enjoyable reading bright, intelligent discussion amongst theologians. However, in the end, all of it is specious because, by definition, none of us can know the mind and heart of God. We only conject and propose and explain our own limited understandings in such discussions; and to what end? Is it so that we can convince people of our rightness or even our righteousness? I understand that we are exhort one another to holy lives, but one only has to read Micah or the words of Christ to understand what that really means. And I am not being exclusive about context here, only citing those two examples as the clearest, most direct language about the law and what God truly seeks from humanity. The law comes down to nurturing relationships of a loving nature between God and oneself and between oneself and others.

    If anyone truly concentrates on his or her own relationships to God, then that person can trust God to work in the lives of others as God sees fit. What we can do is to be loving to others; encourage them, looking to meet their needs for food shelter and physical well being, and assuring them of God’s unfailing love towards them.

    For those of you hung up on whether to honor the Old Testament or apply the Levitical law in your lives or to the lives of others, I have news for you: The rest of this tired, old hurting world needs you to get off your collective asses and quit arguing and start with the basics of loving EVERY person. Otherwise, your faith and theology mean nothing. (And don’t give me any crap about trying to save souls here. The hungry in Africa, the ill in Haiti, the suicidal gay teen, the depressed Lesbian, the poor Fundamentalist preacher living a lie – they all need some real and daily expressions of love from you. You can start with basic charity and work your way up to civil rights for all, but please get started.

    Like

    • JiMMie Lee says:

      I am in agreement with you, James. Although I enjoy articulating and discussing theology, I have found that what REALL MATTERS MOST, I believe, to God is that we love our neighbor. It seems that it is the Law issued by Jesus. The one and only Law that is above all others. That’s because it sums all other laws. Have you ever read Romans 2:13 and then Romans 3:20 and found the contradictory? I have. Come to find out, Romans 2:13 refers to the Royal Law: Love thy neighbor as thyself. Romans 3:20 refers to the Law Of Moses. I recently discovered that the Law Of Moses was divided into two subset: the Jobs Of The Torah and the Justices Of The Torah. The Jobs were considered works. Command between mand and God. The Justices were the commands between man and his neighbor. Jesus discarded the Jobs, works, or deeds of the Law Of Moses and made the Justice (commands between man and his neighbor) to be what the Law only consists of. So, when you say we should be helping others in need more so than discussing theologies, I’d say Jesus would likely agree with you as well. Although, it seems a bit impossible to help others 24/7, it should be a part of one’s lifestyle, Christian or not. As I have also found that God does not care if someone is a Christian by label or not. Not only Chrisitans are capable of beind “doers of the Law” (Romans 2:13).

      Like

  21. Wayne Johnson says:

    Thanks for the great post Ron. I am intrigued by another question about Lev 20:13. Does it even say what we are told it says? If you look at the text in Hebrew, it says “(men), do not lie with a male in the lyings (mishkevei) of a woman.” Mishkevei is a gerund and means lyings; often but not always the m- on gerunds in Hebrew means a place, so in this case beds, bedrooms, couches etc. Besides the two occurrences in Leviticus, that exact word “mishekevei” occurs only one other time in the Old Testament, and in that verse (Gen 49:4 ) it definitely means “bed.”

    Other forms related to mishkevei occur 43 times in the Old Testament, and EVERY SINGLE OCCURRENCE means bed – the place. Not “sexual intercourse.” There are 5 occurrences in Numbers where the word is *part* of an idiom that refers to sex – yada’u mishkab, to know (someone) in bed – but even there the word still means “bed.” The verbal euphemism that refers to sex is “yada,” (to know) not “miskhab” (in bed).

    So we really have to go out of our way to claim that it means “sexual intercourse” in this case. If it means “bed,” then what Leviticus 20:13 says is “(Men), do not lie with a man IN A WOMAN’S BED.”

    That is a very different message than “Kill all sexually active gay men,” which is what we are told the verse says.
    http://biblos.com/leviticus/20-13.htm

    Like

  22. Dug Swank says:

    One important phrase missing from that article: If you are a Christian. And that article shows the Christian Privileged to assume that everyone who reads it is Christian. While I am a Christian, I do not believe that everyone else in the USA is a Christian. If you are an Orthodox Jew living by the Holiness Code, we can discuss it, and how it may actually pertain to combat rape.

    Like

  23. Ellis says:

    Are you saying none of the laws of leviticus apply? Is it ok to have sex with animals or incest?

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    • Ron Goetz says:

      Ellis, would the Spirit of God lead you to commit incest or have sex with an animal? Paul said we are to be led by the Holy Spirit in all things, and to walk in love.

      Paul said that the Law is powerless to prevent us from sinning. Anyone who is determined to commit incest or have sex with an animal will not be restrained by verses in the Bible.

      “The law is powerless because it is weakened by the flesh.” (Romans 8:3)

      Like

  24. Miguel says:

    Any of you who use this verse to condemn Homosexuals, just make sure you also make your wives and daughters leave your home wile they are menstruating. What cracks me up about people who take the bible literally is they are so willing to skip over any part of the bible that makes that doesn’t fit their agenda, but beat it to death over something lthat makes them uncomfortable like homosexuality. I’m not gay, and I don’t really get the whole men being attracted to men thing, but why should I care what other people choose to do? It’s their buisness, not mine. It’s between them and God, not me. Stop being such nosey Christians, and worry about your own relationship with God. I’m sure it probably needs tending!

    Like

  25. I’m sure its been quoted here already ( this is a forum isn’t it ? if your desire is to influence others that sinning is ” Ok” Isn’t it fair enough to actually Quote The Words that FORMED Christianity ? ( what ” parts” of the Word are you using to support your views? ) anyway. The word will survive and be the Baseline of truth, regardless of anyones feelings… New Living Translation
    And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.

    English Standard Version
    just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

    New American Standard Bible
    just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. ( is that SERIOUS enough for you? )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Jayson, I dealt with the passage in Jude in the following post: http://biblethumpingliberal.com/2011/10/13/clobber-passage-jude/

      As you probably know, Ezekiel specifically identified the sin of Sodom: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:49) Very, very specific definition, Jayson. Not the least bit ambiguous.

      As for the sexual immorality mentioned in Jude, rape is certainly sexually immoral. No one disputes that.

      Jayson, I have dealt with all the passages that people use against homosexuals. I have demonstrated the incredible weakness of the allegedly “Biblical” anti-homosexual case. I have discussed each passage, one-by-one. Please take the time to acquaint yourself with them. The Clobber Passages: http://biblethumpingliberal.com/clobber-passages/

      Take care and God bless!

      Like

  26. Izzy says:

    K. So, I was raised Southern Baptist. I also am gay. Thank you for writing this. It has really helped me to not hate myself so much. Now I am not a religious or spiritual person. I find myself each and every day separating myself from all of the things I learned, in church, growing up. People are arguing that the LAWS in Leviticus are concrete. Ok. But Lev. 18:19: “‘Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.”

    Ovulation is apart of menstration. The only way to reproduce is by having heterosexual sex during menstration. So therefore ANYONE who has conceived a child should be put to death. None of us should exist because “God’s” law says so. Just throwing that out there and sorry I am also not a writer. To that I apologize for grammatical or spelling errors. :) And then again I may have made a huge rear of myself as I am not a biblical scholar, so if I went off the wrong end of the right end of the pool, again I apologize.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Izzy, I’ve had several kids, but I’m not an expert on human reproduction! :) I certainly agree that Leviticus 18:19 is not applicable to us today, and that it certainly fits the label of sexual sin. So it is a concrete example of a sexual sin, forbidden in the OT Law, that we do not apply to one another today.

      I’m glad you’re feeling encouraged here. I hope you will continue to find healing as you disentangle yourself from the belief system that has caused you to hate yourself. Self-hatred really sucks.

      Take care and God bless, Izzy.

      Like

  27. I am relieved to read this article. Too many times I’ve come across non believers and believers using the Levitical Laws, and verses from Deuteronomy to support their claims of discrimination and hatred. Obviously by reading a verse and ignoring others you miss the part where the bible says that we are no longer bound to those Laws of the land as you said so eloquently. Great article. It frustrates me when people use those verses, it really shows their ignorance, unfortunately there are so many ignorant people you can’t tell them anything.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Yes, I also feel frustrated at people’s ignorance, and it is discouraging to realize that there are so many of them. I’ve been nosing around on a Southern Baptist site, and sometimes all I can do is shake my head and sigh.

      Like

  28. dorothy Colleen says:

    the trouble is, it says God “Detests” it. The argument made is that since God doesnt change, he still detests it now, not because of the Law, but because of God’s character.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Dorothy, forgive me, but I have dealt with this objection before. According to the Torah, God “detests” all sorts of things. Eating rabbit, abalone, shrimp are all “detestable” to God. Having sex with your wife during her period is “detestable”, a sin for which the couple is to be cut off from God’s people. That last one is in a long list of sexual sins which includes sex between two men.

      Is it God’s character which makes eating shrimp detestable? Is it God’s character which requires that a married couple be cut off from God’s people if they have during “that time of month”?

      Dorothy my sister, it is God’s character which caused him to tell us that he wants us to relate directly to him, that he wants a PERSONAL relationship, through the his Spirit, through the Image of God within us. It is God who urges us to self-examination, to our conscience, and to consider our relationships to test if we are truly expressing love to people, or are trying to prove that we are right and others are wrong.

      Like

    • xnlover says:

      Dorothy, besides the salient point that Ron makes, have you read Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20 in their completeness? Being sure you have, I have the feeling you’ve missed the forest for the trees. Why would God have to tell some man not to have sex with his father’s wife, his uncle’s wife, his son’s wife, a woman and her daughter, a woman during her period, another man, an animal, to sacrifice his child to a foreign God, etc.? First, it becomes clear (to me, at least) that the man whom God is addressing is the head of a clan or tribe who not only has responsibility for all the persons named (the father and mother being aged and, therefore, unable to bear responsibilities for the clan/tribe as they had in the past) but also has great power, which, of course, is required in order to fulfill his responsibilities to ensure that the needs of the clan/tribe are met. God is telling him, basically, “Don’t let your power go to your head, so that you begin thinking that you can do whatever you want to do with whomever you wish in order to show them who’s boss! And don’t go trying to appease other gods as the Canaanites did.” It is the abuse of others in an attempt to assert one’s power and the turning to other gods that God finds “detestable,” not gay sex per se. When we take individual passages out of context as you – and many others before you – have done, we actually are using our rational powers in a way that often ends up abusing others, and, according to this passage, that is something God finds detestable.

      Like

  29. Matt says:

    Excellent article. This issue arises many a time in my high school. I’m going to keep this under my belt for future reference.

    Like

  30. bubleeshaark says:

    You have missed a major point. Please take the time to hear me out.

    You and I both agree that when Jesus fulfilled the law, it is no longer binding to us. We no longer need to keep the law, for it is by grace we are saved. However, this does not mean we shouldn’t still aim to please God. I’m not saying we need to please God by following the law. The law itself is incomplete! Instead, we need to please God by living a life that is not sinful. Theres a difference between the law and sin. The law points out sin and gives punishment for it, but the law also has other parts to it. My point is this: no longer needing to follow the law does not eliminate the fact that we should attempt to be sinless to the best of our ability. I hope you agree with that, because otherwise you have missed the point to the gospel.

    Now that we have that agreed upon, we need to examine if homosexuality is a moral sin, and not just one of those extra parts of the law. The passage you have hear says that homosexuality is an abomination towards God!! Definition of abomination “something that causes hatred or harm.” in other words, God hates homosexuality, just like he hates all sin. If you do not agree that sin is still something we should avoid, despite it not be binding on us, then that may be a result of a lack of understanding of the gospel. I hope you are not deceived in that such way.

    To summarize, Jesus took the penalty of the law and we no longer need to follow it. But what Paul says in Romans is right on when he says that we should no longer continue sinning just because we are freed from it. As we search out whether homosexuality is a moral sin, and not just a piece of law, we find that it is. Therefore, we should not live a life of homosexuality for it is a sin. This is exactly what the death of Jesus set us free from, sin.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Bubleeshaark, I’ve made a reply to your comment as a post. I read your reply at least four or five times to understand it as fully as I could. While there are many statements that I felt were incorrect, it’s my firm belief that arguing about every other sentence in a paragraph is not the best use of time, and it’s sometimes hard to zero in on central issues. Trust me, I did take the time to hear you out, and I appreciate the time you took to explain yourself on this matter.

      Like

      • Duncan Beach says:

        So what this guy is saying is that so long as we accept Jesus, believe IN Jesus, that we can go out and commit murder? Is that his point? I don’t think so. First of all, John 3:16 reads “believe on”, not “believe in” in about half the versions I’ve read. “Believe on” means “to believe”. In other words, to accept Jesus as telling the truth, and as being factual. Second, Jesus said he was put here to fulfill the law, not to set it aside.

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Straw man, Duncan, straw man. No one says accept Christ then commit murder. That’s called an “abductio absurdum” — reducing someone’s statement to an absurd conclusion.

        Jesus came to fulfill the Law. He did. Now we are under no obligation to do so. That does not mean we go out and rape, murder, and pillage.

        If you are walking in love, filled with the holy spirit, keeping a clear conscience, and obeying human government, you’re not going to do that stuff. You don’t need Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy to keep you from raping, pillaging, and murdering.

        And if a person is determined to rape, murder, and pillage, the fact that there’s a law against it in the Torah won’t keep them from doing it. Any Christian who needs those laws to know the difference between right and wrong has some serious spiritual problems, and is in need of prayer, love, and wholesome fellowship.

        And Paul told us that our Secular Government would keep us safe from people who are intent on doing others harm.

        I suggest looking over some of my posts on the Cancellation of the Law:
        http://biblethumpingliberal.com/paul-abolishes-the-law/

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        1 Corinthians 6:9-10

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      • bubleeshaark says:

        Can you link me please?:)

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Link you? To what?

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  31. Duncan Beach says:

    Bubleeshark, you are full of what makes the corn ’round here grow tall. Jesus made a prayer, and gave it to us to learn. It is called, not coincidentally, the Lords Prayer. In it, we ask that God forgive us our trespasses, AS we forgive those who trespass against us. NOT, mind you, those that apologize, but those who trespass against us. Nor do we need to chase them into corners to tell them “I forgive you”, because that’s a form of torment and self-aggrandizement, NOT forgiveness and humility. You call yourself a Christian, but you’re unwilling to follow the life Christ followed, or to do the things he asked you to do and did do himself. Shame on you.

    Like

    • bubleeshaark says:

      First, it is not a sin against me, and thus I cannot forgive it. The sin is only against God. That is what we’re talking about. (Isaiah 59:2)

      Also, God asks us to repent of our sin before He forgives us. (acts 2:38)

      The accusation you brought against me is a huge one. It is one I have not committed on this forum. Be careful before you do this again.

      Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Bubleeshaark, based on Scripture I’m afraid you’ve overstated your case. First, Jesus told us that we have the authority to forgive sins.

        “And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20: 22-23)

        You are free to disagree, but Jesus does not restrict our authority to forgive sins only to people who have sinned against us personally. The authority to forgive people their sins is, in this context, a direct result of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Anyone can forgive someone a person’s personal offenses against themselves. It doesn’t take the Holy Spirit to do that.

        Also, from the cross Jesus forgave the people who had crucified him, and asked the Father to forgive them as well. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus did not require them to repent or anything before extending forgiveness to them.

        Bubleeshaark, you are obviously free to continue to demand your version of “repentance” from people before you embrace them as brothers and sisters. That version of “Christian love” is practiced by most Christian churches, and I guess is practiced in your church.

        I have published two posts which focus on repentance. The first post is titled, Unsearchable Riches: Authority to Forgive Sin, Kenosis, and Christ my Brother.
        http://biblethumpingliberal.com/2011/09/30/unsearchable-riches-authority-to-forgive-sin-kenosis-and-christ-my-brother/

        The second one is, Revival and the Great Commission: our μετανοια vs our κοσμος.
        http://biblethumpingliberal.com/2011/09/21/revival-and-the-great-commission-our-%ce%bc%ce%b5%cf%84%ce%b1%ce%bd%ce%bf%ce%b9%ce%b1-vs-our-%ce%ba%ce%bf%cf%83%ce%bc%ce%bf%cf%82/

        The whole experience of repentance is far deeper than how it’s taught in the average church. Please look over some of what I’ve written.

        One more thing. Don’t be bothered when you feel like people are accusing you of things. I’ve been accused of being lots of evil stuff (false teacher, wolf in sheep’s clothing, false prophet, etc.). Jesus told us if they abused him, they’ll abuse us. Jesus didn’t bother answering them back, right? Follow his example. Forgive them, whether they “repent” or not. That’s the Jesus way.

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  32. OK lets say we should still strive to abide by the law, thats fine. So you are arguing that we should not commit homosexual acts because it is still wrong and “we wish to do that which is wrong since it is wretched”.
    Then according everyone on here making that argument is defying the LORD openly, RIGHT NOW, by wearing unnatural clothing willingly, everyday, with no effort to change their direct transgression with the law, LEV-19:19

    Or do only some parts of the law matter in affairs concerning affronts to GOD by disobeying his law? or would it be more proper to assume if you slip up anywhere you have sinned, because sin is to DEFY GOD; so disobeying any law (ceremonial or otherwise, if you wish to argue that venue) set by the LORD is a willful act against his majesty.

    If you wish to quote LEV to reveal someone’s shortcomings as a christian, ask yourself why you are so completely ok with wearing polyester which is also an affront to GOD in Leviticus. Did god say one sin is more important than another? or did he say it is all equal? That any violation of a law he has set is a SIN. Or are you going to find ways to justify why its ok to violate some of LEV while quoting it at others?

    It was warned about living and quoting by the law to others, because you also bring the yoke of slavery (sin, not following a law mandated by our LORD) not only upon them, but upon yourself. But when you are free of the law you no longer have a need to quote it, because it no longer applies to.

    Do not be so arrogant as to think you have the right to determine which laws MANDATED BY GOD are ok to follow and which are not, such arrogance connotes that you are on a level with god to make such assumptions, but even worse taking if further to mean that you are on a level above GOD by deeming laws HE MADE irrelevant, meaning you have the power to overrule them. YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE THE POWER TO OVERRULE GOD?. Or you can take the path JESUS spoon fed to you, where you are free of the law, of wearing the right clothes, and eating the wrong foods.

    Like

    • bubleeshaark says:

      This law that you speak of is not of morality, but of obedience. We do not follow what is right and wrong out of law, but out of love for God because He first loved us. The distinction here is that this obedience was directed at the Israelites. When Jesus fulfilled the law, we no longer are required or asked to follow it. However, we must still do what is morally right, as stated in Romans 8. This is where the distinction of the “Moral law” and the “Ceremonial law” comes from. They aren’t distinctly written in the bible, but the concept is there. Morality is what we should still follow, and the ceremonial law we need not.

      This is important: I do not quote the law because it is still binding, but because is shows what is morally wrong. The law no longer applies to me, or you if you have repented and accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life. But I still try to do what is moral because I love God. This is a product of the repenting that is required to be saved.

      Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Bubleeshaark, thousands of people believe in the distiinction between the moral law and the ceremonial law you assert exists, but the Bible makes no such distinction–as you know.

        James the Brother of Jesus specifically says, “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” The Law was an indivisible whole. The Jews did not teach that you could follow this specific law or that one, but break some other one. If you broke a single law or statute, you were guilty of breaking the entire law.

        I’m not going to claim to know the mind of God in all this. I can say that, for the Christian, the Law was replaced by three, even four, things: Love, the Holy Spirit, Human Conscience, and Human Governments. All of these are found in Romans, the same book that cancels the Law in our lives. Through the insights of this bicultural minister, God tossed out the hopelessly complicated and nit-picky Torah, and replaced it with Love, the Spirit, your Conscience, and Human Government.

        Here’s the most elementary school lesson every Christian should have learned by now, “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Bubleeshaark, you have no idea of the mental gymnastics God has delivered us from by reducing the Law to a single command, to love your neighbor as yourself, to love one another.

        If you have become perfectly loving, if you walk in the Spirit perfectly, if you have a perfectly clear conscience, and you obey the laws of the government perfectly, then go ahead and use your spare time to think about which verses in the Law comprise the so-called moral law and which ones comprise the so-called ceremonial law.

        But until then, if you really want to please God and be wholly sanctified in love, then focus on loving the people around you. This includes the struggling people in your church, your family members, the people at work.

        Bubleeshaark, what I’ve written is to help people let go of side-issues in order to focus on becoming Christ-like, becoming obedient servants whose ministries flow directly from the fact of the indwelling Spirit of God.

        I’m not sure if you’ve read my various posts on the Law. Many of the issues you raise I have already covered. Click on http://biblethumpingliberal.com/paul-abolishes-the-law/ to find the six posts I’ve already written on the subject of the Law. You will find that I proceed only from the Bible in my rejection of the O.T. Law in favor of Jesus’ Law of Love.

        Like

      • This is asinine, GOD delivered EVERY law to be obeyed. EVERY law had a moral reasoning behind it, and to live morally as according to law is to uphold all the laws not just some of them. Yet, I suppose that through your assertion that there is not a direct statement of law having different forms, that you deem that you may speak on behalf of GOD and make assumptions as to what he meant. RATHER than taking HIM at his word. But then, man has always wanted a way to rationalize his sins over others sins, so as to reassure himself that he is delivered. The fact that you cannot acquiesce that you knowingly break a commandment set by GOD every day, by trying to muddle GOD’s word with distinctions HE never made, only proves my point.

        You want to point out someone else breaking GOD’s law while trying to JUSTIFY how you break it. AND IF YOU DON’T THINK THAT COMING UP WITH SOME VERSION OF TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF LAWS THAT GOD NEVER MADE A DISTINCTION OF THEN YOU ARE JUST AS GUILTY OF JUSTIFICATION AND BLINDNESS THAT YOU ACCUSE HOMOSEXUALS OF

        Like

  33. Melodie says:

    If one part of the bible is irrelevant then the WHOLE bible is irrelevant for Jesus said not one jot of the law will fade away, so we MUST follow the bible in it’s entirety. You want to know why there was no distinction between ceremonial law and moral law? Because there is NONE. Even Jesus said se must follow the laws of the Old Testament.

    Like

    • stephenmcguire says:

      I’ve heard this argument before. It’s BS. It’s like saying to someone that if they ever once lied to you, then they have never told you the truth in your entire life. Read your own words–the Bible and the law are not the same thing.

      Like

      • Duncan Beach says:

        Well, stephenmcguire, I hate to have to break it to you, but that IS in fact what the bible does do claim about God – that God is watching, and waiting for each of us to stumble in a single particular, ANY particular. The decision we have to make as humans reading those words in each section is: Is this for real? Is this what God means to have said about God? Since I believe that NOBODY here, by definition, can know Gods mind, this becomes an unanswerable. I have to follow my own conscience in each case, knowing that God may well, in turn, judge me.

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        I think it’s important to talk about God and life and what’s up with all this. Until you figure out where you came from, and what God thinks of you, you can never have peace. I understand you completely stephen. Searching God is good :)

        Like

  34. Stephen says:

    I am continually astounded that people attribute to God emotions which he could not, by definition, have. God could not possibly hate anything, not does he require us to jump through hoops and discriminate against others in hateful ways just so we can spend some time with him when we die. That is utter absurdity.

    But I don’t take the Bible to be either inerrant or inspired. I take it as a collection of a people’s evolving understanding of God. Where it is wrong, it is wrong, and we ought to by now be spiritually mature enough to know it and stop judging others on the basis of some magical thinking that has no truth, and is only an excuse to feel better about ourselves “Thank God I’m not like THEM–you know, God hates them, says they are an abomination.” Please.

    Like

    • bubleeshaark says:

      Proverbs 6:16 states that God hates 7 things.

      If you do not believe in the integrity of the bible, then you have no common ground with anybody else here, well myself for sure. Without common ground of the bible, we cannot discuss this reasonably.

      Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Bubleeshaark, are you saying you can only have a reasonable discussion with people who accept the Bible as their authority? How are you supposed to have a reasonable conversation with non-Christians?

        Also, the New Testament talks almost exclusively about the love of God, as opposed to the hatred of God. The only N.T. reference to God hating anything is in Romans 9:13, which is that really controversial quotation from the Hebrew Bible, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” That quote is controversial because God’s hatred is so arbitrary and apparently irrational.

        I don’t recommend announcing that you can’t have a reasonable discussion with someone who doesn’t believe the Bible.

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        I take the bible to be the absolute authority. It is completely inspired by God, and Everything in it I hold to be true. Without the Bible there is very little, if any, evidence that homosexuality is wrong. Therefore, I resign to any arguments that do not hold the bible to be the truth.

        Like

      • Duncan Beach says:

        Well, Bubleeshark, I’m assuming that before you read the new testament that you read the old testament, and that therefore, you ARE circumsized, in accordance with Gods command to Abraham to do this, to show that he and his descendants, and all who subscribe to their beliefs, are in fact, Gods people. And of course, you would NEVER eat bacon or shellfish, because of the law against THAT. Or are you picking and choosing the law you will follow? Christ said to remove the beam from your own eye before you attended to the mote in your neighbors eye.

        Like

      • xnlover says:

        Excuse me, bubleeshaark, but you take Your Interpretation of the Bible to be the absolute authority, not the Bible itself. We all pick and choose what we want to emphasize in the Bible and what we want to deemphasize, and you are no exception. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 7, “‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.’” Do you not realize that this means that no one can claim to know the mind of God, not even someone who claims to adhere to “the truth of the whole Bible”? This means that we are all to do the best we can, and to leave the judging to God. That’s why Jesus made the standard for our actions in life to be love rather than “the law.” As we act in love, and as we get feedback from those toward whom we seek to be loving as to whether they find that our actions are truly experienced by them as being loving, we will be doing the best we can in terms of showing love to God. That “feedback loop” is essential, because none of us can even know whether what we do is truly “loving,” or if it is actually “unloving,” without knowing how the object of our loving is being experienced. This, of course, is a sometimes frightening way to live, since we cannot be sure how our actions are being experienced until the one towards whom we are acting tells us that; but that’s why we need to trust that God – and, we hope, the object of our actions – is forgiving, since we will all make mistakes and, we hope, will learn from them, so that our future actions will be more likely to be pleasing to God and others. The more you try to rely on your own ideas of what the Bible says, and the less you rely on the “feedback loop” in terms of others’ experience of your actions, the less you are likely to please God or others, and the more you are likely to become self-righteous and please only yourself, while – because we are all like this – claiming that you are actually pleasing God. That’s why Jesus warns us, “Do not judge.” Take his warning to heart, friend!

        Like

      • stephenmcguire says:

        I know what the Bible says. I’ve read and studied it many times. I’ve also had it quoted to me many other times. But you know, I really like being able to think for myself, and not slavishly adhere to what somebody said God said. Sometimes, you just have to put your Bible down and talk with people from your own freedom, as you are. You might be surprised what you can learn.

        Like

    • Duncan Beach says:

      . Stephen, a human can never know the mind of God. Therefore, we cannot know what or whether God does or does not hate or judge. I therefore tend to leave the judging to God, and go for the forgiving and accepting – that’s what Jesus told me to do.

      Like

      • stephenmcguire says:

        You are making a huge assumption about the truth of the Bible. You can’t, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, know for certain that it is true. You are left with only your opinion about it, which is no more valid than any other opinion.

        I am certain that God is not some large bearded man in the sky. That’s a child’s belief, not a mature adult’s. God is infinite consciousness and love, and he is very much beyond human emotions. He can’t hate, because he doesn’t know hate, and would never wish any harm to come to any of us. That’s what being God means.

        Now, if God is all there is, and that is my belief, then all of his creation–all of it–is also divine. There is nothing to hate. What occurs in the world occurs because we believe, erroneously, that we are separate from God. We aren’t separate at all. We are intimately one with God, and that creation is, as God said, good. Everything else is illusion, and we believe that rather than recognizing God within us.

        I don’t think that Jesus was anything more than we are, except he understood his (our) relationship with God perfectly. That is what we are to do too. In fact, that’s all there is. And when we understand that perfectly, there is the bliss and joy of heaven, not somewhere beyond the sky, but right here where we are. It has always been so, and always will be. There has never been anything else, only that.

        It may help you to know that I am not a Christian. Labels are limiting, and I would not worship a God who is capable of hate. And if he is, as you have said, you ought to run as far as you can to get away from that fraudulent monster who wouldn’t make even a fit human. I now believe and practice nonduality, where love is everything, and there is nothing else. Perfect love, perfect freedom, perfect stillness.

        Like

      • Duncan Beach says:

        stephenmcguire, it’s you who are making assumptions about me. I simply replied to your comment. If my reply set you to thinking, good. If it offended you, that wasn’t my intent, and I apologize. As it happens, I KNOW the old testament is not valid – it in fact, is NOT the original old testament! In 600 bc, Babylon overthrew and sacked Israel, and in the process, destroyed all copies of the bible as it existed at that time – the torah, or first five books combined. They were rewritten by the only survivors of the sack qualified to do so – those women of childbearing age who were not killed in the sack. Do you honestly think they had NO motivation to put an anti-homosexuality clause into the holy book? Of course they did! They had, in their minds, to repopulate Israel, after retaking it – and both tasks are best done by men – in fact, the first task required heterosexual men. The sack of Israel, btw, is supported by both archeological and anthropological evidence, and is recorded in the various histories of the nations surrounding both countries.
        For my part, I make no assumptions about God – not even Gods uniqueness, nor Gods gender. I consider much of the bible, notably the bits detailing the life of Jesus, to be accurate but not complete. That’s because I know that the Catholics underwent some editing sessions at the councils of Nycea, and the Scribes of King James did them likewise centuries later. I am thus a Christian, but not a member in good standing of any organized religion.

        Like

      • stephenmcguire says:

        Sorry, Duncan Beach, I was replying mainly to bubbleeshaark, and just clarifying my own arguments. Nothing really intended toward you.

        Like

    • Melodie says:

      On the subject of homosexuality, Ron and everyone get your bibles and read Romans 1:24-32 and then go to Revelations 22:15. And then tell me that God loves homosexuals.

      Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Okay, I’ve re-read the two passages.

        God loves homosexuals.

        Melodie, God loves gays and lesbians for the same reason that God loves you.

        Tell me why God loves you, and I’ll tell you why God loves them.

        Like

      • Duncan Beach says:

        Melodie, God CREATED homosexuals. Just like God created you, Pastor Ron, and me. For reference, might I point you toward the animal kingdom?

        Like

      • Izzy says:

        I hope that this statement does not offend……
        Overall, it doesn’t matter what the bible says. It doesn’t matter what your god says. This is because not everyone believes that he exists. Not everyone subscribes to your beliefs. Not everyone lives their life to please a god that they don’t believe exists.

        It doesn’t matter what this book has written in it for anyone that is outside of your religion. Especially when it comes to writing laws in any country. You can’t expect for people to adhere to or support a law that is written based upon a book that a lot of people think is a large collection of do good stories and fits of rage by an overbearing god. Why would we not use the Koran or the book of mormon or Wiccan texts to write laws? Because they aren’t accepted by everyone who would be governed by such laws. You have every right to follow the religion of your choice. Just as I have every right to not follow your religion.

        It’s simple. Your religion is just that, yours. Keep it to yourself, your church and those that believe the same as you. Don’t try to push those views on those who don’t care what good you think you are trying to bring their way.

        In other words, stop hating on me because you and I are different. Embrace the fact that we are different and you may find you may learn something new. just as I may learn something from you. But in hating on me you take away not only your opportunities but mine as well.

        Like

  35. stephenmcguire says:

    Thanks, Ron. I appreciate the support.

    Like

  36. storm longhauser says:

    Bubbleshark said: “Without the Bible there is very little, if any, evidence that homosexuality is wrong. Therefore, I resign to any arguments that do not hold the bible to be the truth.”

    So I have been wondering about this. It sounds like you are saying you would not have faith in the Bible if it didn’t tell us that homosexuality is wrong. Or to put it another way, you have a belief that homosexuality is wrong, and use the Bible to buttress that belief. That just seems like it puts blinders on your ability to see the love of God shining through in those very people you seem to dislike so much.

    Like

    • Duncan Beach says:

      That’s what it seems like to me, too, Storm. That way, bubleeshark isn’t doing the judging, oh, no…The BIBLE is. Bad news for bubleeshark – it doesn’t matter if (s)he’s holding a book while (s)he’s doing his/her judging.

      Like

    • bubleeshaark says:

      I’m glad you asked instead of just assuming. Let me clarify my beliefs. I believe the bible is 100% accurate, and that it’s the inspired written word of God. Everything in it I hold to be true. This is not dependent on whether or not it says homosexuality is wrong or not, but it’s independent of that. With that said, the bible does say that homosexuality is a sin.

      I believe homosexuality is wrong because the bible says it. The reason I believe the bible isn’t because it says homosexuality is wrong.

      Does that clarify? :-)

      Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        I also want to say that I love homosexuals. I love everybody because of the amazing love God has shown me. Or at east I try to love everybody; I’m still working at becoming love as God is. I do not hate homosexual people. I simply believe that homosexual acts are a sin, and that it needs to be corrected. But hey, I also have stuff in my life that needs to be corrected: a bunch of stuff!!

        The reason I argue so boldly that homosexuality is a sin is because the world is turning to say that it isn’t wrong. Even Christians are saying it isn’t wrong now. This disgusts me because it is a sin, and for a church to say it isn’t a sin means that church is not giving the truth. This is why I boldly claim that it’s a sin: to uphold the truth at the Bible proclaims.

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Bubleeshaark, a few months I posted I’m not Against Homosexuals, I Love Homosexuals. You might want to read it.

        http://biblethumpingliberal.com/2011/12/04/im-not-against-homosexuals-i-love-homosexuals/

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        I understand way you’re saying in that post. However, the entire argument hinges on whether homosexuality is right or wrong. If homosexuality is right, then I would be a jerk and homophobe for saying they shouldn’t have marriage rights. However, if homosexuality is wrong, then I am simply upholding the truth.

        Now I also would say sex before marriage is wrong. But I don’t hate people who’ve done that. One of my closest 2 friends have done that. And actually I can think of at least 2 more pairs, that I know of.

        Here’s my major question to you. Is proclaiming what is right and wrong, wrong? If you seriously believe it is wrong to proclaim what is right and wrong, then you appear to me to be in deep water.

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Bubleeshaar, for anti-homosexual Bible-believers, the whole issue of whether homosexuality depends on the individual passages quoted to support their campaign. We must take the passages one by one, and determine if the verse really says what the anti-gay campaigners say they mean.

        You’ve put the cart before the horse. The discussion about the validity of Leviticus does not hinge on whether homosexuality is right or wrong, but rather, the issue of whether homosexuality is right or wrong depends on whether the verses invoked by anti-gay fundamentalists actually say what they think they say.

        One major point of this post is to establish, hopefully once for all, whether it is honest or legitimate to quote Leviticus against gays and lesbians. I have concluded that it is illegitimate to quote the Leviticus verses agains homosexuals.

        Every time a person quotes Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13, or talks about “abominations,” they are misusing the Bible. Their “evidence” has been ruled inadmissable by God. They and their teachers are not rightly dividing the word of truth.

        We wouldn’t know that the Leviticus verses were being wrongly invoked against gays and lesbians if we hadn’t looked at them in context. It is necessary to look at all the Clobber Passages, one at a time, to see if they really mean what anti-homosexual Christians say they mean.

        Proclaim what’s right and wrong? I can tell you what’s wrong, Bubleeshaark. What’s wrong is to use Scriptures against people without first investigating for yourself whether the verses are being misused or not.

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        I intended that post for a different blog, sorry. I believe it was the Dobson one? I don’t remember

        Like

  37. storm longhauser says:

    You cannot tell someone you love them and then in the next breath say that the very fiber of their being is wrong and immoral. That’s not love, it’s pretty close to hatred. Especially when you have nothing on which to base your presumption that it can be “corrected”.. Gay conversion programs have been proven not to work and in fact professionals consider them to do more harm than good. Christians who say that the Bible is wrong on this do so in the wake of scholarly work that definitively proves that to be the case when considering translation errors, context and history. Put another way, it is not the Bible that is wrong- it is our interpretation and understanding of it.

    And here is one major point that I find particularly telling- you’re willing to say that what God created is wrong, imperfect and an abomination even though you are not willing to say that the Bible that was written by man (inspired or not) is never wrong. Do you see the inconsistency in that? You’re trust is more in the people who happened to write some text that you agree with rather than in the love God has for ALL His children. While ignoring other sins pointed out in Leviticus (i.e. eating shellfish, wearing fabric blends, all those things that God at one time did not like). That seems like putting a thumb in God’s eye. That sounds like you are saying you know better than He does. That sounds like you are putting your personal bias above His own will. All for the sake of a book that may or may not be 100% accurate? I don’t buy it. It sounds like you cling to the Bible to justify what you clearly already believe but can’t justify otherwise. Sorry if you don’t like that, but as Ron says in the article he just linked, actions do speak louder than words.

    You’ve posted here vociferously defending your belief that God considers homosexuality a sin while ignoring pleas from others to recognize that iwe are not bound by the law. While you say you love homosexuals, I say it doesn’t feel that way. Attempts to control someone else because you notice what you consider to be a flaw while recognizing that you have flaws to work on seems hypocritical, and it’s not love. How about working on your own self perceived flaws first? Further, it’s a well known fact that many racists said the same type of thing- they had plenty of black friends so they couldn’t be a racist.. But everyone knew it was a red herring- that actions do in fact speak louder than words. I’m not calling you a racist or a homophobe, I’m simply pointing out that the love you claim for homosexuals rings hollow in the light of statements and arguments you are making. And as a Christian that should bother you.

    Like

    • bubleeshaark says:

      That does bother me. There are a few major points I have been arguing.
      1. We are no longer under the law
      2. This doesn’t mean we should not continue in sin
      3. Homosexuality is a sin
      4. I am also sinful
      5. No person can EVER be perfect. So to claim me to be a hypocrit is right. But this does not mean we should not point out sin when we see it. What’s the difference in this: an imperfect person who claims they’re perfect and says everybody else is a sinner, or the same person who openly claims they’re imperfect too. A huge difference.

      I have accepted my state as a sinner, and I continually try to become more like the perfect Jesus Christ. In my opinion, this is much better than living the lie that I’m not a sinner at all.

      Like

      • stephenmcguire says:

        I notice that you do not reply to any of my responses to you, bubleeshaark. Makes me wonder, especially given your initial observation that we can have no basis for conversation since I am not a bible believer, whatever that means. I don’t hold the bible to be the equal of God, if that is what you mean. I once had a man angrily tell me, after some discussion about his beliefs, that the bible IS God, all the while shaking it in my face. Whereupon I took it from him and threw it on the floor, and then asked him how it was that I, a ‘mere’ human, could possibly have enough strength to throw an all-powerful God on the floor. I thought his head would explode. You remind me, by your comments, of that man.

        The truth is that it is that man, and others, including yourself, who finally convinced me that there is something seriously wrong with Christianity if its believers idiotically claim that all one has to do is to believe in Jesus (whatever that means) and heaven is assured. What childish crap that is!! It is based on an opinion from some words in a book that is presumed to be error-free and written by God himself, who proceeds to tell us that all he created was good while he himself commits genocide with impunity, allows that only a very miniscule part of what he created will get into heaven (whatever that is), and that miniscule part holds to the same ideas for 40 or 50 years, never changes, never grows into a more full understanding of who the God is, never admits it is wrong, thinks God wants our worship (God seems to be very egotistical, too), and everyone else be damned. I have–had–a friend like that. We’ve known each other for more than fifty years. He chose the bible over our friendship. He is the only person in my whole life I wished I had never known. And heaven is to be filled only with people like him? God needs to get a grip on who his real friends are.

        Now: how do you talk with people who do not believe the Christian narrative? Do you keep repeating the same nonsense over and over again, as you have done, even when it is shown that there is no truth in what you say? Or do you ignore them, as you have me, and hope they’ll go away? But we aren’t going away. We have something to say, too, and it is very important. Your way, based on ignorance, isn’t the only way. Jesus isn’t the only way. The God of he bible would allow people to roast in hell forever (the worst human father would never even do that, and even if he roasted his kids for only a few minutes, he would rightfully earn our full condemnation), but the God I know, my Beloved, would never harm a single atom of his creation. He isn’t some angry man in the sky–he is us and we are him, and there is nothing else. No Satan, no hell, no condemnation. His creation IS good, including the homosexual part of it. It can’t be anything else.

        Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        I think the hypocrisy part is critical. If you know that you are being a hypocrite, you can just choose to stop being one. If you know that your words and the policies you advocate cause harm to others, you can refrain from doing that. God gives us free will to correct ourselves. You don’t have to wait for Him to tell you to stop once you know that your actions have the potential to cause harm. I would add that perhaps the other voices on this forum are God’s way of telling you that your proclamations are not helpful.. If only you’re mind would be open to what is being expressed here.

        “I have accepted my state as a sinner, and I continually try to become more like the perfect Jesus Christ”

        I don’t think anyone here has even implied that they were perfect. The distinction is on one inherent trait for which you have an unproven belief that it can be changed. . Knowing that the case for that is at best uncertain, but potentially harmful, I am reminded that perhaps Jesus would advise that we first do no harm in our dealings with others.

        “In my opinion, this is much better than living the lie that I’m not a sinner at all.”

        You have no proof that it is a lie. However, you have been given evidence which shows quite clearly that the premise you have begun with is in fact a lie, or at best, erroneous. And for me it is not a question of who is more of a sinner- it is a question of who is actively causing harm to people in the name of God. I just can’t wrap my head around how anyone would consciously choose to do that.

        Like

  38. Ron Goetz says:

    I really appreciate how you’ve all kept a very civil tone here, despite some deep differences that exist. That kind of respect is not always the case.

    Thanks to all of you.

    Like

  39. bubleeshaark says:

    Storm-

    I’m afraid this is where we differ.

    You said “You cannot tell someone you love them and then in the next breath say that the very fiber of their being is wrong and immoral. That’s not love, it’s pretty close to hatred.”

    I disagree with this statement completely. From my perspective, one the greatest ways to show love for somebody is to act in that they might become saved as they turn to accept Jesus. The first “step” in becoming saved is to realize that you are a sinner. (A sinner. Not only a homosexual. But everybody has sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. EVERYBODY!).

    I think this is one key difference that seems to separate me from the rest of the people on this blog.

    Like

    • storm longhauser says:

      No, you’re missing the point. In saying that homosexuality is wrong, you are saying that I must change my sexuality in order to become saved. There is no evidence that this is possible. There is no credible evidence that being gay is not genetic. So what you are saying essentially is the equivalent of telling a person who cannot walk that in order to be saved he must first walk on his own two legs. You call that love? You can understand why people find such assertions hateful instead of loving, right? And when you do this on the basis of a faulty misinterpretation of a text, it is not right. Especially if one has been shown where and how such translations are in error. After that point one can only presume the basis for such claims is hatred, not love.

      Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        I am not saying You have to change your sexuality to be saved. Sin is deserving of death. In order to have eternal life, we have 2 options. 1. Be perfect. But sadly, this option is out of the way because we are all sinners. 2. Have somebody else who is perfect die for us. That’s what Jesus did.

        When you hear you’re a sinner, you should be terrified, distraught and in anguish. But then when you learn what Jesus did for you and how amazing His love is, then you will be overjoyed and ecstatic!!

        Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        That’s just double speak. You can’t say being gay is a sin and then say one doesn’t have to change it. And you’re not saying only that, or there would be no reason to point it out, right? Either the preceding statement is correct, or you’re not being honest. And I note the shift in your response to pretend you’re not associated with any of the things I’ve referenced in other posts that lead to suicides and rejection. Avoidance and denial doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Nor does it absolve one for their role in it. If you choose to associate yourself with people who say that being gay is a sin, or if you say it yourself, then you have blood on your hands. And that should bother you. I think it does since you decline to answer posts which reference the effects of that behavior.

        Like

    • xnlover says:

      Okay, bubleeshaark, when you wrote, “I think this is one key difference that seems to separate me from the rest of the people on this blog,” in reference to the loving thing to do being to help a wrongdoer repent and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, it triggered in me the memory of what Church Lady (played by Dana Carvey) on Saturday Night Live used to say, with a sarcastic tone in “her” voice, “Well, now, aren’t WE speyshul![sic]” That said, now we can return to some adult discussion.

      Like

    • stephenmcguire says:

      A couple of things, bubleeshaark. You’ve mentioned a couple of times that it is your “duty” to point out other people’s sins to them. Where is the authority for that? I don’t recall that the bible commands that. And like Ron said, do that very often and you will soon find that you have no friends to correct.

      I’m trying to imagine if there would ever be a time when I would want you, or anyone else I don’t know, to point out any or all of my mistakes, the ones you call sin. I can’t. The answer is never. Even friends who are not really close best friends have that privilege. Friends I trust intimately and have known for a long time–maybe.

      I think that most people know when they are doing wrong. They don’t need to be told. And most, I think, are really trying to be better people, but sometimes do wrong things. Because homosexual people don’t think that what they are is wrong is kind of a clue that it probably isn’t wrong. And Storm said it very well–” There is no credible evidence that being gay is not genetic. So what you are saying essentially is the equivalent of telling a person who cannot walk that in order to be saved he must first walk on his own two legs.” Who are you to tell them that? By what right does anyone, including pastors, tell them that? There isn’t anything loving about it, and if you think it is, you clearly don’t know what being a loving person is.

      I had a friend when I lived in another city. He was a brilliant and kind and funny man who once wrote the scripts for Sesame Street and The Electric Company. He is also gay. He told me that he had had a very close friend once for 30 years. Out of trust, my friend decided to tell his friend that he was gay. His friend–the man he trusted intimately–pointed out that homosexuality was wrong and that it was a sin. He belabored the point, cutting my friend very deeply. The friendship was over, and my friend said that he found it very difficult to trust anyone’s friendship again. A magnificent human being, full of love and kindness, utterly devastated by a friend who thought he needed correcting.

      Be very, very careful who you decide to wound and maim with your beliefs. No one has that right.

      Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        1 Timothy 4:1-5 tells me to point out sin.

        “When Christ Jesus comes as king, he will be the judge of everyone, whether they are living or dead. So with God and Christ as witnesses, I command you to preach God’s message. Do it willingly, even if it isn’t the popular thing to do. You must correct people and point out their sins. But also cheer them up, and when you instruct them, always be patient. The time is coming when people won’t listen to good teaching. Instead, they will look for teachers who will please them by telling them only what they are itching to hear. They will turn from the truth and eagerly listen to senseless stories. But you must stay calm and be willing to suffer. You must work hard to tell the good news and to do your job well.”

        Like

      • xnlover says:

        So, bubleeshaark, you wrote, “When you hear you’re a sinner, you should be terrified, distraught and in anguish. But then when you learn what Jesus did for you and how amazing His love is, then you will be overjoyed and ecstatic!!”

        When I came to know that I am a sinner, I was terrified, distraught, and in anguish. Then, when I learned what Jesus did for me and how amazing His love is, I became overjoyed and ecstatic!! So, now I’m an overjoyed, ecstatic gay man who knows that my calling in life is, at least in part, to figure out how to be employed by the Holy Spirit to help straight people and self-hating gay people know what wonderful things God can do in, with, and through a Spirit-filled and Christ-serving gay person whom God has graced with a loving, same-sex partner.

        I know that I may suffer as I seek to fulfill my calling, because for thousands of years, people having been misinterpreting scripture to say that same-sex relationships are an “abomination to God,” thereby letting their itching ears lead them to seek out teachers who tell them what they want to hear; but I will remain faithful to my calling nevertheless, knowing that at the final judgment, I will be vindicated by the Christ who is saving me, and those who have wrongly condemned me and others like me will be called to account.

        Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        We had a discussion about this during church today (we are Open and Affirming). One point that we could not wrap our heads around was how the literal translationists stick to the inerrancy of the Bible even in the face of scientific findings that refute the stories- in this case the notion that gay people can change. What was frustrating was hearing stories of people completely turned off from Christianity because they were told God hates them, even though they know the source of that derision is something they cannot change. Even worse when some have tried to “change” and failed. Some had even contemplated suicide. It essentially takes a human child of God who is full of potential and turns them into someone who has persistent feelings of no or low self worth, despondency and abandonment. No wonder gay people have a higher suicide rate. If we could just get some of these “loving” christians to stop loving us, perhaps things could get better. They’ve been literally loving us to death, and it needs to stop.

        Like

      • stephenmcguire says:

        Your quotation of Timothy (You must correct people and point out their sins.) is very interesting, because it appears, at least in part, to directly contradict what Jesus said, you know, the plank and speck thing. How do you reconcile that? And it does seem to me people take vastly more pleasure in pointing out sins than they do in providing cheer and patience.

        I can tell you that pointing out other people’s sins is probably the rudest, most arrogant, and self-righteous thing a person can do. Who wants somebody like that around? And that leads me to another question: are you just supposed to do what the bible says whether it is welcome to the other person or not? You may think you are being loving–the person may believe you are being an ass. Unfortunately for you, it is the other person’s understanding of the encounter that matters. I am pretty sure that the bible doesn’t say anywhere that God expects you to be an arrogant, self-righteous ass, though many Christians are.

        Aside from all of that, Storm makes the point most eloquently, as does Ron, that homosexuality is not a sin because that’s just the way some people are, probably about 10% of the population. Continuing to insist that it is just makes you seem to be more and more ignorant. And who, after all, wants an ignorant person correcting them?

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        Great question. Here’s my best stab at how I reconcile the two appearance contradictions.

        The plank speck thing does not say not at all to correct another person who has the speck. It says you must First get rid of the plank in your own eye! The way I view this analgy is this: the plank and speck are of similar nature. Yes they’re both sins, but I think they’re closer related than that. I think the point is don’t correct someone of hatred when you suffer with the same (or worse) hatred. However, if you deal with your hatred, or never had it bad in the first place, then you can effectively and successfully correct the other guy. But it’s ineffective if you have hatred issues still. In all of this, it’s important to realize that nobody is perfect, so there’s always gonna be a little speck in every bodies eye.

        I disagree with your last paragraph, however. The one where you said homosexuality isn’t a sin because a big chunk of the population claims to be “born” like that. I can go 2 routes arguing this. One uses the bible, and one uses my own made up logic.

        Logic:
        Many kids grow up in homes of yelling, cursing, hatred and abuse. In turn, they do the same when they grow up. This occurs to a big chunk of the population, and it’s sadly based off of the environment the kid is raised in.
        Alternately, some Muslims are born and raised believing that their would purpose of their lives is to kill others.
        These are bad examples, but think of your own. What I ask is, does what the population does define morality? I sure hope not!!!

        Bible:
        The basic argument I want to extensively lay out is that we are all born sinful (Romans 3:23) and that sin is our very nature. We were born that way (Psalms 51:5). Saying homosexuality is not a sin because certain people are born homosexual is wrong. This reasoning implies that our very nature is born good. This is not the case. Instead, we are all born sinners.

        Let me know what you think of wt I’ve said :)

        Let me add something to randomness. When I’ve declared homosexuality to be a sin, many people point to me and say that I shouldn’t be exposing sin like that because this judgmental. 2 things.
        First. Assuming I’m not supposed to point out sin doesn’t make what I’m pointing out to be sinfull any less sinfull.
        Second. By saying I’m judging people is in fact judging me. You see, what I’ve said about homosexuality I claim to not be out of judgment, but out of love. Now you claim that to be judging. By you’re own criteria, therefore, you are judging me. (this is not by my criteria, but yours. So you cannot come back and say to me that I am doing the same thing against myself. You cannot say that because my criteria is not the same as yours, which claims we are both judge eachother,)

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Regarding what you’ve labeled “Logic,” Bubleeshaark.

        Kids copy the values their parents model at home, that’s your point?

        Gay and lesbian children are born to straight parents. Their parents are liberal, conservative, religious, irreligious, rich, poor, moral, immoral — and somehow the sexual orientation of their children is the result of the parents?

        In “the old days,” gays and lesbians used to enter into traditional marriages, following the advice of their pastors and others who told them that their same-sex attractions would eventually fade, and they would be happily heterosexual. They had straight kids. I personally know such a man.

        His straight kids carried on his “values”? It doesn’t happen that way. (By the way, the gay man I know never became “happily heterosexual.” After many years, both he and his wife were terribly unhappy in their marriage. When he came out to her, she realized why their relationship had always been devoid of romance and intimacy, which she had blamed on herself for not being a “good wife.”)

        You didn’t choose the gender of your first crush, it just happened. That’s how it is for the majority of gays and lesbians.

        Bubleeshaark, you owe it to yourself to become better informed. If you can avoid making a stink, and enter with a desire to really learn something you don’t already know, I would suggest attending a PFLAG meeting. I would suggest going to gaychristian.net and read a bit. I have posted a number of personal coming out stories on my site here. You can read many coming out stories by gays and lesbians raised as fundamentalists if you’ll go to bjunity.org (LGBT alumni of Bob Jones University).

        This self-education may or may not change your mind about things. The least it will do is prevent you from making statements that are at best incorrect, at worst foolish and destructive.

        Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        “Logic:
        Many kids grow up in homes of yelling, cursing, hatred and abuse. In turn, they do the same when they grow up. This occurs to a big chunk of the population, and it’s sadly based off of the environment the kid is raised in.

        Alternately, some Muslims are born and raised believing that their would purpose of their lives is to kill others.
        These are bad examples, but think of your own. What I ask is, does what the population does define morality? I sure hope not!!!”

        I agree, those are poor examples. You have anything with a little more depth? At least something which compares the same thing. Homosexuality is not simply a behavior, despite your belief that it is. Thus, none of these examples are even close to relevant. And as Ron points out, the examples don’t make sense.

        “Bible:
        The basic argument I want to extensively lay out is that we are all born sinful (Romans 3:23) and that sin is our very nature. We were born that way (Psalms 51:5). Saying homosexuality is not a sin because certain people are born homosexual is wrong. This reasoning implies that our very nature is born good. This is not the case. Instead, we are all born sinners.”

        So essentially, because we are all born sinners, homosexuals bear a greater burden of that sin because they were born homosexual? Beyond making no sense, it is in fact highly judgmental. If you agree that we are all sinners- both gay and straight, there is no need to point out the sin of being homosexual unless in fact you are choosing to be judgmental.

        You may think that pointing out the sin of being the way that God created me is something you do out of love. However, I am amazed how anyone could reasonably expect it to be received that way- by me or anyone else. Especially when you have said that God expects us to repent of sin- so you intentionally point it out expecting us to do the impossible. That can’t be love. I also find it incredibly arrogant to question what God has created (one might say sinful, but I fear you will say that is too judgmental). As for the speck in the eye, that’s a convenient methodology you’ve created there, but I think the speck in your eye is more your unwillingness to accept the reality of the world God created. Even though science proves you wrong, you refuse to accept the possibility that God did indeed create gay people. Your mind seems to be closed to any understanding that science can bring to the issue because you give preference to texts that have been translated and interpreted many times over the centuries and are thus very prone to our misunderstanding them. That defies logic. And is perhaps more of a beam in your eye than a speck, lol.

        Like

      • xnlover says:

        Okay, bubleeshaark, I had wondered if you were still following this, or if you had stopped and gone on to other things. Since you’re still following this, I want to go way out on a limb and draw a picture of something I believe is going on with you, and I invite from you whatever response you want to give.

        It seems to me that you are so interested in this topic and in arguing successfully for your point of view that your interest is not just that of a loving Christian who wants to correct errors of thinking and biblical interpretation on the part of other Christians – though it may well be that. Instead, I believe you have a very personal interest in being “right” about this subject in particular. That is to say, I believe you are wrestling with same-sex attraction and have been for quite some time; and that you are in a religious and cultural situation in which being gay is simply not allowed, and one who is gay in your circumstances would be shunned, condemned, sent for ex-gay therapy, and possibly even abused physically. So, in order to avoid the very real and devastating consequences of coming to terms with your homosexuality as a natural part of God’s good creation and as something that can be – and is – lived out in loving and responsible ways by millions of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians, you choose to side with your potential oppressors and abusers by justifying your hatred of the sexual orientation that you experience within yourself, and you do so in the strongest way possible: that is, you enlist God’s Word to uphold you and consider yourself loving and godly, because you are rejecting what you see as “the sin within you” for the sake of being faithful to God and the Gospel, thereby seeking to remain secure in the knowledge that, however painful it may be to deny this part of yourself in this life, the reward you receive in heaven with Christ will more than make up for it.

        I can only say that, if this is where you’re coming from, I understand you completely. I myself was fearful for a long time in just that way. But when I came to realize the truth of the kinds of things Ron has written on this site and many others have written about biblical interpretation and the meaning of the specific contents of scripture – not just the “clobber passages”, but the whole Bible – I came to know more fully the love of God as shown in Jesus Christ and to realize that my homosexuality was something that I could – and desired to – live out in a way that glorified God rather than one that brought shame on the name of Christ. I have been seeking to do that for some time now. I can’t say that I am “secure in my eternal reward,” because, as you have rightly pointed out, our sin is always with us and can lead us to interpret things that are justifications of our own sinful ways rather than “rightly dividing the word of truth” (though this is the case with you as well, since your sin – that includes, in my estimation, believing that homosexuality is inherently sinful – also skews your biblical interpretation to support whatever [mis]interpretation satisfies your own desires, however misguided or rightly guided those desires might be). I can, however, say that I am secure in Christ’s love for me and in my sense of dependency on Him for anything good that comes to me. So, when the final judgment comes, and I stand before the Throne of Grace, I will await God’s judgment; confess that God’s judgment is true, whatever it may be; ask forgiveness for all the sins God points out, knowing that it is Christ’s sacrifice that makes such forgiveness possible and available to me; and trust that I will spend eternity in the place that has been prepared for me since the foundation of the world.

        And right at this moment, for better or worse, I believe that my loving and responsible expression of my same-sex attraction is not one of those sins God will point out to me at that time. Instead, were I to withhold love to a same-sex partner that would be an expression of God’s love for that man, THAT would be a sin of which I will be asked to repent – and I would do so readily!

        Whether I am right or wrong about my assessment of your personal situation, bubleeshaark, may you find blessings for yourself and those you love in the Holy Scriptures, even as I and many others have.

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        None of what you jsut said about me is true.

        Like

  40. storm longhauser says:

    “Here’s my major question to you. Is proclaiming what is right and wrong, wrong? If you seriously believe it is wrong to proclaim what is right and wrong, then you appear to me to be in deep water.”

    No one is saying it is wrong to proclaim what is right and wrong. However, it can be dangerous when you claim that an inherent, unchangeable part of someone is wrong. Especially when there is clear evidence that the source you are using is wrong or has been misused to make that point, and has been proven to be. At the point you become aware of it and still continue to inflict that harm, then one would be worse than a jerk, and most definitely in deep water. Have you considered the ramifications of the various anti gay campaigns that use the Bible as their basis? Have you considered how it has turned many to thoughts of suicide in order to escape the “truth” that you proclaim? Have you seen the recent spate of bullying that has indeed led some to suicide? Much of the bulliers find support in hearing from their pastors that being gay is wrong. It’s a heavy burden,to carry if one is led to believe that God rejects you for the way that HE created you. One that many cannot live with. So if you are wrong in your understanding of the truth you proclaim, there is the potential for serious, irreversible harm. And I’m sure you would rather not be responsible for that.

    Like

    • bubleeshaark says:

      I agree, it is inherent! But it’s still wrong. The bible says that we are all inherently sinful. We’re born that way. It is inherent. Some might sinfully become homosexual. For others, there’s something else. It’s funny you said its inherent, because sin really is. But it’s not unchangable.

      I didn’t ever wish that we would linger talking about whether homosexuality is sinful or not. I wish it was accepted right away, so that I could discuss something more important. I really wished that we could’ve got to the core point of this life. We are sinful and deserve death because of it. God loves us and sent his son to die in place of us. Now if we accept Him, then we will not perish but have everlasting life.

      My friends and I tell eachother when we mess up. It’s part of growing, and we prefer it that way.

      Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        I’m sorry, but this really is one of the most sophomoric and shallow approaches I have ever seen. So you can agree that we are born with it, yet still think it’s feasible to ask someone to change it even in light of clear evidence that such attempts can cause irreparable harm? Wow, I’m a bit flabbergasted at the gall of such a thought. And the hatefulness in accepting such a proposition. You mentioned that you are a pre-med student, right? So I’m sure you’ve heard the premise of first do no harm. And yet you continue with this nonsense? Wow. Jesus surely has to be disappointed because in light of this last comment from you, it is blatantly clear that you do not understand his teachings.

        “I wish it was accepted right away, so that I could discuss something more important.”

        Sorry, but you shouldn’t expect a free pass in causing harm to other people by spreading such hatred. (Yes it is hatred when you have facts that show the harm of what you are advocating and continue to advocate it). I’m curious what you might say is more important than protecting the God given dignity of God’s children instead of maligning them as you do. But then again, I’m not sure I want to know. I pray every day that God would protect my fellow gay friends from spiritual terrorists who misuse the Bible to disenfranchise and denigrate them. That’s what I find important in this discussion.

        “My friends and I tell eachother when we mess up. It’s part of growing, and we prefer it that way.”

        Again, correcting someone for an inherent trait in which there is no need to be corrected is not healthy. It is in fact damaging to the soul. Which is why i call such attempts spiritual terrorism. No one has “messed up” by being born with certain traits. People used to believe that left handed people (who are born that way) are evil. And nuns with rulers were known to slap the knuckles of children who used their left hand to write. But science has shown that they were wrong. I pray that you will one day catch up with the nuns who no longer use that practice and learn that when God gives us a gift we shouldn’t try to second guess him by rejecting it with fabricated and misguided interpretations of the Bible.

        Like

      • stephenmcguire says:

        I notice that you do not reply to any of my responses to you, bubleeshaark. Makes me wonder, especially given your initial observation that we can have no basis for conversation since I am not a bible believer, whatever that means. I don’t hold the bible to be the equal of God, if that is what you mean. I once had a man angrily tell me, after some discussion about his beliefs, that the bible IS God, all the while shaking it in my face. Whereupon I took it from him and threw it on the floor, and then asked him how it was that I, a ‘mere’ human, could possibly have enough strength to throw an all-powerful God on the floor. I thought his head would explode. You remind me, by your comments, of that man.

        The truth is that it is that man, and others, including yourself, who finally convinced me that there is something seriously wrong with Christianity if its believers idiotically claim that all one has to do is to believe in Jesus (whatever that means) and heaven is assured. What childish crap that is!! It is based on an opinion from some words in a book that is presumed to be error-free and written by God himself, who proceeds to tell us that all he created was good while he himself commits genocide with impunity, allows that only a very miniscule part of what he created will get into heaven (whatever that is), and that miniscule part holds to the same ideas for 40 or 50 years, never changes, never grows into a more full understanding of who the God is, never admits it is wrong, thinks God wants our worship (God seems to be very egotistical, too), and everyone else be damned. I have–had–a friend like that. We’ve known each other for more than fifty years. He chose the bible over our friendship. He is the only person in my whole life I wished I had never known. And heaven is to be filled only with people like him? God needs to get a grip on who his real friends are.

        Now: how do you talk with people who do not believe the Christian narrative? Do you keep repeating the same nonsense over and over again, as you have done, even when it is shown that there is no truth in what you say? Or do you ignore them, as you have me, and hope they’ll go away? But we aren’t going away. We have something to say, too, and it is very important. Your way, based on ignorance, isn’t the only way. Jesus isn’t the only way. The God of he bible would allow people to roast in hell forever (the worst human father would never even do that, and even if he roasted his kids for only a few minutes, he would rightfully earn our full condemnation), but the God I know, my Beloved, would never harm a single atom of his creation. He isn’t some angry man in the sky–he is us and we are him, and there is nothing else. No Satan, no hell, no condemnation. His creation IS good, including the homosexual part of it. It can’t be anything else.

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Stephen, Bublee announced that he will no longer be reading this blog.

        Also, I sometimes postpone approving comments in order to let the heat die down a bit. Things get to a fever pitch sometimes, and I feel uncomfortable when I see people “coming to blows” with one another. I’m not applying this to you personally, just in general.

        I’ve only heard one man say, “The Bible is God.” He was practicing a talk for a youth retreat. When I questioned him on it, he said he based it on John 1:1. I understood the faulty reasoning, but was still amazed to see one of these folks in the flesh.

        There are limits to what our words can do, limits to argumentation and debate, especially on the net. With people like Bubleeshaark and Varon, we need to give them space and give them time. I suspect they’re both pretty young. I was a fiery fundamentalist as a young man, and at times it seemed like the more outrageous a belief was the more I liked it. I’m sure there are people who would say it’s still true!

        Like

      • xnlover says:

        In terms of bublee withdrawing from this thread, I’d say it’s a case of, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Though I’m guessing that for him, it’s justified as I justified my own refusal to go on trying to argue with him, by saying I was going to “shake the dust off of my feet as a witness against” the one who would not receive the gospel that I had to offer nor respond to the call to repentance. May God be with him – and us.

        Like

  41. storm longhauser says:

    Just wondering, if you have a post that for some reason needed to be reviewed by the moderators, how long does that take? I posted a comment Saturday but haven’t seen a rejection or posting of those comments. Not sure what was up with that in the first place- no negativity in the post, and none of my other posts needed to be moderated.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Storm, I’ve checked my email notifications of replies against the posted replies and as far as I can tell all your replies were posted. For Saturday I have replies starting with “double speak,” a discussion in church, “No, you’re missing the point,” and a reply to someone else’s reply that begins “here’s my major question.”

      I save my email notifications for situations where I may have to re-post something that didn’t get posted for one reason or another.

      I also checked all your recent replies (a couple of times) to see whether they were approved or not. I’m not sure what happened to your reply. Sorry! :-(

      Like

  42. bubleeshaark says:

    I would like to add also an argument to “born homosexual.” Homosexuals claim this because it will win them equality through the same way black people did in the USA. However, I have a great summary for all of this.

    “Gender, race and impairment all relate to what a person is, whereas homosexuality relates to what a person does.”

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Bubleeshaark, do you remember your first crush? I do. I was eight years old, and used to walk a mile home from school every day. Across the street from me a little girl walked a parallel path. She was my first crush–third grade. There was no lust involved, no lasciviousness, I didn’t even know her name.

      Countless gays and lesbians report the same experience. Maybe they were 7 or 8, maybe 11. The point is their first crush was another little boy, or another little girl, not someone of the opposite sex. No lust, no lasciviousness, no descent into sin, nothing any ordinary child experiences.

      My son experienced that. Monique experienced that.

      But you view their personal stories as fabricated lies, part of a huge conspiracy.

      Bubleeshaark, you bear false witness against Christians you don’t even know, believers you’ve never met.

      Shame on you.

      Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        Ron,

        Is this how you deal with people you actually know? By shaming them whenever you disagree?

        You’re assuming that at the age of 8 there is no environmental factors in the “first crush.” Its perfect,y logical that an 8 year old could have learned such behavior to be okay. Maybe they mistook a simple friend-like attraction for a gay one since they learned that it’s okay. Point is, that an 8 year old “crush” is in no way a proof for the innocence and “God-intended” plan of homosexuality. This disgusts me.

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        This is the second time you’ve announced that something disgusted you. I believe the first time was the fact that people don’t realize that homosexuality is a sin.

        There is nothing in what I wrote that disallowed environmental factors in childhood crushes.

        Bubleeshaark, a crush is not “behavior.” The crush of an eight-year-old is not considered shameful by most people.

        I’m sorry childhood crushes disgust you.

        Like

    • storm longhauser says:

      Homosexuality refers to what a person IS Bubbleshark. There is absolutely no credible science which confirms it is a choice. And some credible studies do indicate there is a hereditary component. You have yet to address the impact of science on your faith. I have a hunch it is because you know it shatters the myths and distortions you prefer. And that’s fine for you if you want to choose myth over reality. I would just ask that you not impose that mindset on others via laws or other social constructs.

      Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        I would add that I find it incredibly arrogant that you presume to know that it is a choice, even though you have absolutely no basis to make such a claim. As Ron says, you bear false witness against children of God whom you don’t even know. Please don’t try to peddle your actions as loving. Lying about someone is not loving, and it’s not Christian.

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        First off, those scientific studies are completely biased and uses really bad science.

        Science has only confirmed my faith. I’m a premedical student, graduating next year. I LOVVE science! The amazingness of just the human body is so incredible it only points to a creator and conforms my faith. Science has done nothing but affirm my faith.

        We keep dodging the fact that God said in the bible several times that homosexuality is wrong. What more do you need?

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Bubleeshaark, I have discussed the Clobber Passages, one-by-one, under that heading. Click here:

        http://biblethumpingliberal.com/clobber-passages/

        You will find that the anti-homosexual case is not nearly as air tight as people want you to believe.

        Please move this discussion to one of the other Clobber Passages. Shortly I will be closing this thread temporarily.

        Thanks!

        Like

  43. Tom says:

    What a great forum! I’ve learned so much reading intelligent and thoughtful (and emotional at times) perspectives from everyone. I’m jumping in to say, for me, the most inspiring view comes from James Fitzpatrick in his paragraph above,

    For those of you hung up on whether to honor the Old Testament or apply the Levitical law in your lives or to the lives of others, I have news for you: The rest of this tired, old hurting world needs you to get off your collective asses and quit arguing and start with the basics of loving EVERY person. Otherwise, your faith and theology mean nothing. (And don’t give me any crap about trying to save souls here. The hungry in Africa, the ill in Haiti, the suicidal gay teen, the depressed Lesbian, the poor Fundamentalist preacher living a lie – they all need some real and daily expressions of love from you. You can start with basic charity and work your way up to civil rights for all, but please get started.

    I stumbled on to this page in a search for some enlightenment on the debate so I might communicate with a “poor Fundamentalist preacher” who has become a very good friend of mine. I’m hetero with three grown kids, one of whom is transgengered. I can see he is seriously hung up on even talking about it on a personal level because I think, it might challenge his comforting position with the Bible as a fundamentalist. This man and his family suffer (poor in the very physical sense) as he goes throughout the country seeking a flock to shepherd. On his website he unleashes a preaching wrath upon those living the “alternative” lifestyle. Sad, because there is so much inspiration in everything else he preaches. Please join me in prayers for him and his family.

    Thanks again everyone. I love it!

    Like

    • bubleeshaark says:

      Accusatory. You assume we don’t serve God as He asks us to. I do this often, although I’d definitely like to do it more.

      We’re not questioning whether the law still applies!!!! We’re questioning whether homosexuality is wrong or not.

      I will pray that the people around the world will continue strong in his faith and not cave into the pressure of the world to accept the sin of homosexuality. The bible warned this would happen, and it’s obvious to me right now. Transgendering is obviously wrong, but we won’t go there. :)

      Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Bubleeshaark, you say we’re not talking about whether or not the law still applies, but whether homosexualitiy is wrong or not.

        1) In a scripture-based discussion, the only way to determine if something is wrong or not is to cite scripture.

        2) To determine what the scripture teaches, it is necessary to analyze the passages cited.

        3) If it is determined that a passage is for some reason, not relevant to the topic, then that passage cannot be used to establish the wrongness or rightness of something.

        4) Homosexuality is the something under discussion, and if it is determined that the Levitical passages cannot legitimately be used to establish the wrongness of homosexuality, then they simply can’t be used for that.

        5) If you can’t cite Leviticus to establish the wrongness of Leviticus, then the five Clobber Passages have been reduced to four.

        6) I have found anti-homosexual Christians uniformly unwilling to let go of their Levitical law, despite God’s abrogation of the law through Paul.

        7) Anti-homosexual Christians are unwilling to lose even one verse of their case against homosexuals, no matter how irrelevant or illegitimate it is to invoke that verse.

        Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Tom, I’m glad you found the blog. Sorry to hear about the fundamentalist preacher you speak of. It’s sad (terrible?) that there is so much mis-information out there. Reminds me of the warning in James against being a teacher, that teachers carry greater responsibility. (sigh) If we remain faithful, and don’t grow weary with well-doing, we can make a difference. God bless.

      Like

  44. bubleeshaark says:

    You’re close, Ron. 1-3 are good. 4 incorrectly states that the law does not apply to a sin or not. The law helps defines sin. God does not merely say homosexuality is against the law, but he says he hates it. This means it’s more than just obedience, and it’s an inherent sin. Do not be so foolish (and I use the word foolish carefully. I didn’t call you foolish, but merely asked you to not be as you consider what I say) as to say that we should permit ourselves/others to go on sinning because we are no longer held under the penalty of sin.

    5. I’ve never heard it called clobber before but okay. I also could find a list of clobber passages abut murder, if you like. I’m not sure if you’re trying to throw a connotation on these verses.

    6. as I wrote in number 4, the law is still applicable, even thoug it is not binding. You might come back at me by quoting Paul in romans when he says that to keep any part of the law is to put yourself under the whole law and it’s penalty. I’d rebuttle by saying that this is a salvational issue. For obvious reasons Paul is not implying that we should go murder since Not murdering is under the law.

    7. You’re asking me to deny the truth? “Just deny one verses meaning, it’s okay.”

    Like

    • xnlover says:

      Sorry, bubleeshaark, but you keep triggering my memories of funny stuff with your convoluted justification for the “rightness” of your own opinion and biblical interpretation.

      This story involves a little girl, who asked her fundamentalist grandmother about the passage in in the Bible in which Jesus said that bad people would be sent to the place where there was “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.” She asked, “Grandma, what about people who have lost all their teeth?” The grandmother replied, “Teeth will be provided!” In other words, “If the Word of God says that the people will gnash their teeth, and they’ve lost all the ones God gave them in this life, God will provide them with teeth in the next life, so that the Word of God can be completely fulfilled.”

      In other words, we humans can come up with the silliest justifications as to why our subjective interpretations are “God’s Truth,” but the reality is that we’re all always sinful, and we all need to be more humble about that of which we claim to be certain. Otherwise, claiming to know the Mind of God, we risk claiming equality WITH God, which is a dangerous claim to make!

      Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Best one I’ve heard for some time! I’m going to post that joke immediately!

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        You are correct!! Great point.

        I would like to clarify that what I believe is clearly stated in the bible. You may disagree with my interpretation of it, though. Can you please point out a specific topic where I have not had a correct backup of my statement with the bible?

        Like

      • stephenmcguire says:

        It is quite apparent that you are not interested in really thinking about what is being said here to you. All of your responses have lacked a quality of thoughtfulness or mindfulness of others, which is the first clue, for me, that you absolutely don’t get who Jesus was or why he was here. You have not once admitted that you may be wrong about some things, that maybe you really hadn’t thought about the Clobber Passages in Leviticus in the ways that are being expressed to you, or that maybe, just maybe, there might be some things you don’t know and couldn’t know because you are too busy being right. Here is a standard which might help you as a Christian–if anything you say or do hurts another person–and believing that gays are sinners and telling them that most assuredly hurts them, as they have been hurt and rejected repeatedly by the Church–then you are being decidedly unChristian and deeply insensitive.

        For the rest of your so-called faith orientation, I’d recommend this, as a starter: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christianpiatt/2012/07/ten-antidotes-to-christian-cliches/

        Like

  45. bubleeshaark says:

    Ron, I’m afraid that I see a very important thing that can be easily missed done so by you. It’s the concept of being saved, no longer under the law, yet still not sinning. From your countless arguments I hear you believing that since we are no longer under the law, we are free to do what our flesh desires. However, I see a different picture. We no longer live to our flesh but to our spirit now. So we should continually reject our flesh and it’s sinful desires to put on the spirit. The law is no longer binding, and that’s what 1. Saved us and 2. Allows us to live by the spirit in this life instead of the flesh. Number 2 is not a gimme, and we need to work at that one. Do you admit that you are still sinful? And do you agree that you should be growing by becoming more like the perfect, sinless God and Savior? If both are yes’s then you should realize that although we are saved from the penalty of sin, we should till strive to not do sin all the more. All the more because we have realized Gods incredible love and that should be our natural motivation to put off (our old self) sin. Does the sin of homosexuality as described in Leviticus not apply as a sin today? Is that true with murder? Thievery? Disrespecting your authorities?

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Bubleeshaark, please read this carefully to the end.

      I have never said that since we are no longer under the Law that we are free to do what our flesh desires. Never. Not once, my friend.

      What I have said, over and over, repeatedly, is this: for guidance in the believer’s life, the Law was replaced by 1) the Law of Love, 2) the Holy Spirit, 3) human conscience, and 4) human government. This list (love, holy spirit, human conscience, and human government) list should ring a bell.

      I read the book of Galatians, more than once, between 1970 and 1973. I learned that we are to walk after the spirit, and not fulfill the desires of the flesh.

      Dear Bubleeshaark, I wrote a post on this titled, “So What Replaced the Law.” Please follow this link and read what I’ve written so far on the new way of life in Christ.

      http://biblethumpingliberal.com/2011/06/23/what-did-replace-the-law/

      We must begin here. All of the objections in your reply above are based on a faulty understanding of what I’ve written. When you have read it, I will reply to you there. Remember, the post is titled, “So What Replaced the Law.”

      Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Bublee, yes, I’m sinful. The root of the Greek word for sin is hamartia, which literally means “to miss the mark.” And I do indeed miss the mark.

      People who say they are without sin deceive themselves. People who can’t recognize that they miss the mark are self-deceived.

      And all my sin is forgiven. Christ carried that burden on the cross. And if I still carry a burden for sin, I need to give that burden back to my Master.

      Sanctification, the process of becoming more like Jesus Christ, is a process where God and I are both at work to make me more perfectly loving. Love itself is the sum total of the Law. Love is doing what’s best for others. Love is not following rules.

      We are to 1) love God with all our being and our neighbors as ourselves, 2) walk in the Spirit, not fulfilling the desires of the flesh, 3) walk with clear consciences lest we shipwreck our walks with God, 4) obey human governments so that we don’t have to be busy enforcing laws against people, and 5) evaluate the utility of our actions: utility = usefulness and profitability.

      These five things are what have replaced the Law.

      Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        Good. I may have jumped the gun on you. I still have a question though. Don’t you see that the law still helps to define sin? The law was out of 1. Obedience, such as sacrificing and 2. Defining inherent sin, such as murder or yes, homosexuality.

        Like

      • anRon Goetz says:

        If you have the Law of Love to focus your caring attention on people, the Holy Spirit to give you discernment and insight and convict you of sin, a clear conscience to remove impediments to immediate action, human government to coerce people to behave toward one another, and the principle of utility to evaluate various options, then why do you need the Law to define sin?

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        You don’t need it then. But those things should all match up with the law, since the law is good. You don’t need the law to define sin, but it does it anyways. Let’s not dismiss it just because we have other ways to know what is sinful.

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        I don’t dismiss it for those reasons, Bublee. The books of Romans and Galatians have cancelled the Law. I dismiss the Law for all the reasons Paul gives in those two letters.

        Bublee, “Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” (II Timothy 2:7)

        Like

      • xnlover says:

        Bublee, I’m going to piggyback on what Ron wrote here, because he mentions “sins of the flesh.” The reality is that one sin of the flesh is actually insisting that we are “right” in our interpretation of scripture. That is also why Jesus warns us in Matthew 7 against judging others. Our sin invariably clouds our understanding, even of the Word of God itself, but especially when we believe we understand something in scripture that applies to others but not to ourselves. Therefore, it is one thing to have and to share varying opinions about the nature and specific fact of sin; it is an entirely different thing to insist that OUR interpretation – mine as well as yours – is GOD’S MEANING, and that our interpretation needs to be the controlling one in the life of another, even if it doesn’t apply to us.

        Thus, “do not murder”, which applies to everyone, is readily enforceable on everyone, whereas “don’t lie with a man the lyings of a woman,” which seems to apply only to men, and then only to men who might actually desire to lie with a man the lyings of a woman [whatever THAT means], is not readily interpretable by someone who has no such desires, and therefore it should be left to the Holy Spirit to convict such a person of the fact of sin or the interpretation that shows the true and full meaning of such an obscure passage that indicates the actual nature of the acts being forbidden and what circumstances would be in effect for such actions to be a sin that is to be foresworn.

        That’s also why Ron stresses the Law of Love over the legalistic adherence to some subjective interpretation of scripture – and ALL interpretations of scripture are subjective, just as all content of scripture is the subjective musings of the writers, however “inspired” they each might have been by the Holy Spirit. (How do you feel about the psalmist’s delight in the thought of Babylonian children being “dashed against the rocks” (Psalm 137.9)? Is that “inspired” by the Holy Spirit, who also caused the following to be written, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God;* for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” – Romans 12.19?)

        So, let us not continue to be guilty of the sin of the flesh of insisting that any of our interpretations of scripture is “God’s Absolute Truth,” especially for another whose experience of life we don’t share; but admit that each of us, from our various subjectivities, is doing the best we can, and in the face of it all, we’re called to love one another as Christ has loved us. John Wesley put it nicely, when, according to Methodist Bishop Rueben Job, he said we are to do no harm, do all the good we can, and stay in love with God through participation in the sacraments and the fellowship of believers.
        Blessings to you, bubleeshaark.

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        Ron:
        Sin is still sin though, whether the law is canceled or not. I also believe in the fact that the law is no longer binding, no longer something we need to keep. But I also believe (as you do too) that we are to not go out and sin just because the law is no longer binding. Jesus gave us a better understanding of sin when he said “if you even hate your brother that is murder,” and when he summarized the law by saying “love God and love others.” If God ever said He hates a sin then that will be true forever. No matter if that sin was defined in the law or not.

        Xnlover:
        You bring up great points. I am intending to discuss thinveigh openness. I do come from a believe (brought about by studying the bible) that homosexuality is a sin even today. I have heard people’s arguments. I disagree with many, and agree with many too. However, I believe that my core finding of homosexuality to still hold up through those valid arguments. Please challenge me. Give me a reason that homosexuality is not a sin. Leviticus clearly defines it as such. Even with the law fulfilled, we can still see that it’s a sin. So where have I been unreasonable in my understanding of scripture?

        Like

      • xnlover says:

        I will no longer seek to prove you wrong, bubleeshaark, because no matter what evidence I present, you will find some way to refute it, discount it, or simply ignore it. As I have said in several earlier posts, you refuse to recognize that all scripture is a subjective account of various people’s experience of an encounter with the divine, some more, some less “inspired”, and further, all interpretation – yours, mine, everyone’s – is also a subjective appropriation of scripture that is read through our various experiential and rational lenses. In his recent book “The Righteous Mind,” Jonathan Haidt rightly posits that we humans all intuit what we believe to be right, and then we use our rational faculties to assemble evidence that will bolster our intuitions, rejecting at the same time any evidence to the contrary of our intuitions, so that we can claim to have a valid and irrefutable rational foundation for what we believe. Thus, until you have a change of heart about homosexuality, there is no use arguing with you about how you are wrong and I or Ron or someone else is right. You simply won’t buy it. It’s useless to argue with you on that point.

        I don’t know if you read my previous post in which I posited that you are arguing this so strenuously because you are hard at work fighting the gay impulses that are alive within you. If you have not read that post, please scroll up and do so. (By my count, it’s 34 posts – short and long – above this one.) I will not repeat my argument here. I admit that I could be wrong in my “intuition” about you; but if I am, I know that there is at least something at work in you that causes you to need to condemn homosexuality vigorously (perhaps you are a victim of sexual abuse or sexual harassment by a man, or any contact you’ve had with gay men has been offensive to you, or something else), and until you come to terms with whatever that is, you will continue to justify your anti-gay ideology and rhetoric.

        Blessings to you, bubleeshaark.

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        Actually, the bible is absolute truth. It is 100% inspired by God.

        Like

      • stephenmcguire says:

        Where is your proof of that? Why would anyone believe that? Muslims say the same thing about the Quran. So how do you know who is right? When I asked my Muslim students that, they couldn’t answer except as you will, that the book says so.

        Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        “Give me a reason that homosexuality is not a sin”
        Science proves it is not a choice.

        “So where have I been unreasonable in my understanding of scripture?”

        Gee, you still really need to ask? Asking such an unreasonable thing as suggesting one change their innate sexual attraction despite the fact there is no scientific proof it can be done is not reasonable. You wouldn’t ask a lame person to walk (I hope). When it is clear that such attempts cause harm to the subject individual it is reasonable to call it hateful and unreasonable. Knowing such implications of the scripture you cite yet refusing to question whether a loving God would really create someone to be gay and then call them an abomination to be shunned and even put to death makes no sense.

        A loving, God-centered person should be able to see the inconsistency and at least begin to question the validity of the texts in question, which were in fact written and translated by humans, not God. Further, perhaps one wouldn’t happily throw God under the bus by fostering the impression that he created gay people and then hung them out to dry for all of society to lambaste and ostracize.

        You seem to avoid answering in any substantive way my points about how science contradicts your fanciful notions of human sexuality. I think you do so because you understand the flaw in your arguments and you know you can’t substantiate your claims in the face of solid science. To acknowledge that one could be born gay throws your whole case out the window, and you know it. Pretending that isn’t so doesn’t convince us or anyone else. It only makes you seem like a close-minded homophobe. Why should anyone believe otherwise? Because you say you’re not? The positions you fight for don’t give credence to that notion.

        Like

    • Izzy says:

      Bubbleshark, or as I will affectionately refer to you, BS,

      Again you have referred to leviticus and failed to mention the horrific sin of wearing those tacky polyester blend as a sin punishable by death. K enough of that. Where are all the “Christians” picketing premarital sex, divorce and the whole other list of “sins of the flesh”. I suggest to not only you but all the other people out there that claim to be of god to get your house right before coming carrying torches to burn my house down. Take a moment and look at the FACT that people are very well aware of what you and countless other followers have already said to be the law of god and take note that we heard you but just don’t care to follow the same line of thinking. Now with that said you have made your point. You can go back to living your life YOUR WAY and since you have already pointed out that YOU believe homosexuality is wrong and move on to something else more productive. Like teaching your fellow Christians that divorce is a sin or that child abuse is a sin or that not remarrying is punishable by stoning or……………… That is all. Have a wonderful and fabulously gay day. :D

      Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        Izzy,

        The thing about those tassels is something that was put in the law purely for obedience. There is a distinction between that and something like murder/homosexuality.

        I do oppose sex before marriage, child abuse, and even chainsaw murders. I even oppose cursing. But I also oppose those who try to put the part of the law that is not based off of morality on others.

        Like

      • Izzy says:

        BS,

        So we have established that Jesus apparently on stated the new law, which part of this states that we should follow the laws of human government. K. So with that knowledge once it becomes law that homosexuals can legally wed, we will be able to get over this issue because at that point we will be following the governmental law. So the people of god can move on to terrorizing a new minority. With that being said there are laws on the books of governments within the states of the USA that protect the LGBT community. Therefore the followers of god should give it up because we are following what law Jesus inacted. Now that this is settled who are u guys gonna hate on next?

        Like

    • storm longhauser says:

      “….you should realize that although we are saved from the penalty of sin, we should still strive to not do sin all the more. All the more because we have realized Gods incredible love and that should be our natural motivation to put off (our old self) sin. Does the sin of homosexuality as described in Leviticus not apply as a sin today?

      O, to put it another way, this is the same as suggesting that if you are lame, you should get up and walk in order to please God. I don’t see why anyone should give you a pass for such a hateful sentiment. And if you love God, I can’t fathom why you would present Him as a being who would ask such a thing of people He created. It’s just not loving to ask what you suggest here. In fact it is simply hateful. A man having sex with a man is that person simply doing what is natural to them. It would in fact be unnatural for that person to have sex with a woman, or commit themselves in a relationship to a woman (ends in divorce, and is not fair to the woman in this example). You claim not to hate homosexuals, yet everything you suggest is like offering poison.

      Let’s put the show on the other foot. If someone were to tell you that in order to be accepted by God you had to give up attraction to women in favor of attraction to men, would you do it, or would you be offended? Would you even think it was possible? Again, science is not on your side. And if you believe, as I do, that God created the universe, then how can you not believe that science affirms God’s plan instead of contradicting it? It’s not a question you can just brush aside as you do and then expect to maintain credibility

      Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        Nobody is born homosexual. There is TONS of scientific proof to proove that statement is true. Nobody is born homosexual. Rather, homosexuality results from environment, mostly parents.

        Like

      • xnlover says:

        bubleeshaark, for you to believe that is for you to believe a lie that has been promulgated for years by anti-gay people and organizations. If you truly value science, as you say you do, then you will take heed of the following, taken from the website of the American Psychological Association: “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.” The kind of thing you have repeated is a claim made by such scientifically questionable organizations such as NARTH, the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, and other pseudo-scientific organizations that begin with the kind of anti-gay bias you have and seek evidence to support their spurious claims (cf. Jonathan Haidt, “The Righteous Mind”). If you wish to continue believing lie-based information in relation to science, that is your prerogative; but don’t claim to value “science” when you, at the same time, ignore and discredit true scientific inquiry and its results. You bring shame on the name of Christ when you do so.

        Like

      • stephenmcguire says:

        What scientific proof? Most all of what there is has been debunked. Name some reliable, peer-reviewed studies. I don’t believe there are any.

        Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        Correct Stephen, there are none.

        Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        There are no credible studies which conclusively say it is not genetic I’d like to see your proof. I’d like to know the basis by which they KNOW for certain.

        Like

  46. storm longhauser says:

    If you don’t believe in the peer reviewed studies that have been done, then you really shouldn’t say you love science. Sounds like a lie made in the spirit of protecting your precious crystal palace of anti-gay theology But don’t worry- I have no doubt God sees it for the lie that it is also. Ron and others have clearly made a compelling case that being gay is not a sin, yet you cling to your stance that it is sinful and wrong. Thus one can only conclude that the root of your homophobia is a deep seated bigotry, and not simply that scriptures say so. You have even cited passages about the end times being near because of the presence of false prophets. I say you are one of them. Earlier you cited 1 Timothy 4:1-5:

    “When Christ Jesus comes as king, he will be the judge of everyone, whether they are living or dead. So with God and Christ as witnesses, I command you to preach God’s message. Do it willingly, even if it isn’t the popular thing to do. You must correct people and point out their sins. But also cheer them up, and when you instruct them, always be patient. The time is coming when people won’t listen to good teaching. Instead, they will look for teachers who will please them by telling them only what they are itching to hear. They will turn from the truth and eagerly listen to senseless stories. But you must stay calm and be willing to suffer. You must work hard to tell the good news and to do your job well.”

    You might guess I view this passage much differently than you. I preach God’s message that being gay is not a sin, based on solid theology and scholarship, as Ron has presented here. It’s not popular among fundamentalists or rigid homophobes, but it must be done. Most folks know that it is a sin to engage in behaviors that have been shown to utterly destroy people’s lives- to disenfranchise them, to harass and bully them, to undermine the value of their life, yet some are in denial about their role in that. So of course I do point out that asking someone to change their innate sexual orientation is indeed a sin. Calling someone an abomination for living their life the way that God and nature created them to be is a sin. Asking the lame to walk as you seem to do is a sin. And you are proof that the time has come when people won’t listen to good teaching, You’ve listened to senseless stories suggesting that people can simply change what gender they are attracted to or that they can simply pray away their gay. So I’ve encountered many people like you, but God has given me the strength to stay calm and continue spreading His news even in spite of the pain and suffering that many like you inflict. True, because of the pain that has been inflicted on me by the anti gay religious element, I struggle with cheering them up and being patient, but I’m a work in progress. But with God’s help, I’ll get there one day.

    I pray that one day God will be able to reach into that hardened heart of yours and open your eyes to the truth you are choosing to deny at the moment. Or perhaps more relevant to this conversation- to remove the beam from your eye. I pray that this happens before you cause harm in the lives of others (yes, hearing that one is rejected by God, an abomination and immoral is harmful to one’s well-being). Peace to you Bubbleshark, as I think we have covered this issue with you as much as possible- the rest is up to you as to whether you want to accept God’s word or not.

    Like

    • bubleeshaark says:

      I view that passage the same way you do!! I love that passage!! The difference is this: you view homosexuality as okay, and I view it as wrong. Think from my perspective when you read that passage. I think if you try that, then you will agree that I have been doing a decent shot at trying to follow what that passage says. Think from my perspective, as I attempt to think from yours.

      At the end you said “the rest is up to you as to whether you want to accept God’s word or not.” Doing this inferred that what you think about the bible is 100% what God thinks about it. Did it ever occur to you that you could be wrong? Perhaps it’s your heart that’s hardened? I sure hope it’s not my heart that’s hardened, and I have been praying that God would unharden me and show me the truth. Have you been doing the same? Or have you just been pointing the finger at the person that disagrees with you as if you have the authority to say your view is better than mine?

      You also claim that I sin when I suggest that gays should change their sexual-orientation. I totally agree with you that this is wrong, if in fact the homosexuality orientation is not wrong. (Don’t let my short comment on this fool you. In fact, I am thinking from your perspective here. This is something that’s very powerful. I do understand how this could hurt you. I’m sorry.) But have you ever considered this from my point of view? That if I view the bible as saying that homosexuality is wrong, then declaring it as such is actually a good thing for me to do?

      It’s obvious that everybody on this forum is very rock-solid in their views, as I know Stephen and I are. Let us all pray not just for others, but also for ourselves with an openness to the possibility that we are wrong. Let us pray that God would unharden our own hearts, as He softens others’ hearts also.

      I would say that I am stubborn in my view of the bible. But I do this because I say have not heard a better interpretation of it. Maybe you are the same as me in that regard. Do you understand what I’m saying? I’m saying that we view the bible differently, and one of us is right (or it may be a mix? though I don’t see a possible compromise between us). This is important that you understand this before I go into the next paragraph. Please understand that I believe I am right just as much as you believe you are right. Now, please take a step out of what you think is right and view me from my perspective. Just for a few more paragraphs.

      Many of you have told me that I do not understand what Jesus did, or the teachings He has given to us. You say that as you assume that you are right. But you view my actions as if I was right. Perhaps we both view what Jesus did and what His teachings were the exact same, but our application is completely different in this instance because we differ in views of homosexuality. Let’s view this from something we have common ground on. I’m going to assume we all agree that sex before marriage is wrong. (If you don’t agree, then try murder or theft or saying God’s name in vain as an example). If we came across a forum saying that sex before marriage is not a sin and that it is totally permitted by the bible, then would you act the same way as I am? Would you boldly counter their view? Perhaps you would also be sure to put in the salvation/gospel message, as I have tried to do. (And I have. Nobody ever comments on that though. They seem too busy pointing the finger at me).

      As much as I don’t really enjoy it, I do believe that correction is wonderful!! So I ask you, please correct me. But don’t do it from the perspective that homosexuality is right, do it from my perspective that it is wrong. Because it is not you or I to say whether our interpretation is better than the others.

      Do you understand what I have tried to say in this (longggg) comment? (non-rhetorical question, please answer it if you choose to reply at all).

      [I may add that I don't dismiss arguing/discussing about something in the bible. As long as we are both honestly viewing the bible without any of our precognitive thoughts, then we should both be in the right boat. Take a careful look at yourself to make sure that you are clearing your mind and feelings before studying a specific topic in the bible. If we both do this, then a disagreement and argument may still arise. Don't dismiss the other person as not honestly trying to let the bible impact them as they try to use it to justify their beliefs. Maybe they are doing the same thing you are. So as I try to view the bible from a clean perspective I ask you to do the same. Do not point the finger at me for saying that I am not following Jesus' commandments because of a disagreement in our views of another passage, which influences the application of Jesus' commandments. When I don't apply Jesus' commandments the same as you do because of our differing views of that specific application, don't discount me for misapplying all of Jesus' teachings. Don't say that I have completely misunderstood Jesus' commandments. Perhaps I understand them perfectly, but the example you look at makes it seem as if I was wrong because you disagree with information we bring in as we apply it.

      Here's that last paragraph said with specifics. You say homosexuality is right and I say it is wrong. When I apply what I believe about homosexuality with Jesus's teachings, you say that I am applying it wrong. But maybe we would both apply it the same way, only to different beliefs about homosexuality. Therefore, do not claim that I have misunderstood Jesus's teachings completely. At most, you may say that my application is wrong BECAUSE my belief about homosexuality is wrong. Do you understand (non-rhetorical)?]

      Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        “I view that passage the same way you do!! I love that passage!! The difference is this: you view homosexuality as okay, and I view it as wrong”

        Sorry, if you view that passage the same way I do, you wouldn’t make the statements that you do. . Even if you believed being gay was wrong, you would refrain from causing others pain. But you don’t.

        “You also claim that I sin when I suggest that gays should change their sexual-orientation. I totally agree with you that this is wrong, if in fact the homosexuality orientation is not wrong. (Don’t let my short comment on this fool you. In fact, I am thinking from your perspective here. This is something that’s very powerful. I do understand how this could hurt you. I’m sorry.) But have you ever considered this from my point of view? That if I view the bible as saying that homosexuality is wrong, then declaring it as such is actually a good thing for me to do?”

        Something that one is born with cannot be wrong. Most people wouldn’t say to a person who cannot walk that it is wrong for him to not walk and therefore he should walk. Though I have a sense that you might. That is simply hateful. No ifs, ands or buts. Hateful. I don’t need to try to see it from your point of view to know that. For many years I’ve struggled with whether I am wrong on this or if God is wrong. And that is the quandary.

        If you are right, then God is a hateful, mean spirited God who created a group of people for the sole purpose of rejecting them and allowing people to ostracize and hate them. I won’t believe in such a god. Fortunately, the broad spectrum of scholarly work that has been done to counter the narrow-minded views like yours that put me in this position shows that, the answer is neither- I am not wrong and God is not wrong for creating me the way that he did. So no, my heart is not hardened, it is open to broader concepts than you seem to be willing to fathom.

        “I would say that I am stubborn in my view of the bible. But I do this because I say have not heard a better interpretation of it. Maybe you are the same as me in that regard. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

        If through this entire thread you have not seen value in the scholarly work that truly does disprove your contention, your heart is without a doubt hardened against homosexuality to the point that nothing will change that. That’s the mark of a homophobe. And that is sad, because it tells me your mind is not open to new ideas or really even to the idea that God can be greater than we imagine. You’re letting your homophobia get in the way of understanding God ‘s word on a deeper level. And your causing pain to children of God whom He loves as you do it. That’s even worse

        “If we came across a forum saying that sex before marriage is not a sin and that it is totally permitted by the bible, then would you act the same way as I am? Would you boldly counter their view? Perhaps you would also be sure to put in the salvation/gospel message, as I have tried to do. (And I have. Nobody ever comments on that though. They seem too busy pointing the finger at me)”

        But that’s a bait and switch. This forum thread is debating one specific topic. In fact I think Ton has pointed out that he agrees with you on sex before marriage, and so do I. Now, if you disenfranchise people form the institution of marriage and then say one shouldn’t have sex outside of that institution, I’d call that mean spirited. But that’s another discussion entirely.

        Folks point the finger at you because the policies you advocate cause harm to people. You surely wouldn’t expect a pass on that would you? No matter how much good you might do, it is all negated by the harm caused.

        “Here’s that last paragraph said with specifics. You say homosexuality is right and I say it is wrong. When I apply what I believe about homosexuality with Jesus’s teachings, you say that I am applying it wrong. But maybe we would both apply it the same way, only to different beliefs about homosexuality. Therefore, do not claim that I have misunderstood Jesus’s teachings completely. At most, you may say that my application is wrong BECAUSE my belief about homosexuality is wrong. Do you understand (non-rhetorical)?]”

        Again, it has been shown here how the policies you advocate cause harm to people. That’s worse than simply being guilty of wrong application of scripture. Far worse. It has been shown clearly how the scripture you base your belief that homosexuality is wrong is in error. So yes, if your belief about homosexuality is based on a faulty and disproven understanding of scripture and you know it and continue to advocate it, then it does imply that you do not understand Jesus’s teachings. If you did, you would not continue to cause harm to people.

        Like

      • xnlover says:

        @Storm – and others – last week’s lectionary Gospel reading (Mark 6.1-13) included the instruction of Jesus to the Twelve who went out to call on people “to change their hearts and lives” that “if a place doesn’t welcome you or listen to you, as you leave, shake the dust off your feet as a witness against them” (Mk 6.11, CEB).

        I think we’ve given bubleeshaark every argument in the book to persuade him of the wrongness of his ideas regarding the Bible and homosexuality, and he persists in seeking to refute everything we offer and to argue for his own rightness/righteousness. A couple of times I have challenged him to reveal the reason for his passionate defense of his position, since I believe it comes either from his fighting his own internal sense of being gay – which scares him to death, as it causes him to fear being cast into hell if he acts upon it – or from his having had a disturbing life experience that he relates to homosexuality or to the person from whom he experienced harm being gay. He has yet to respond with anything that is self-revealing, in contrast to the quite extensive self-revelation of many others of us on this thread.

        All that said, I have come to the point personally of deciding to shake the dust off my feet in terms of trying to persuade bubleeshaark of the error of his ways or the truth of the fact that God created some of us humans gay as an additional relational avenue through which God’s love could flow into the world.

        If bubleeshaark is not even moved by your reminders, Storm, that
        the position he holds brings harm to others, even to the point of sparking fatalities, then I believe there is no hope for him at this point, and there won’t be until Christ himself changes bubleeshaark’s heart and mind – probably through some mechanism other than our arguments on this blog. Unless and until such a change occurs, his justification will continue to be that he’d rather people be hurt by his Message of God’s Truth in this life, for the sake of the possibility of their changing their “sinful ways,” than to allow them to go on in their “sin” and be damned to the fires of hell for eternity. We aren’t likely to change that interpretive pattern through anything more we write.

        So I invite you (all) to join me in shaking the dust off our collective feet as a witness against bubleeshaark and to spend our time and energy responding to people who are searching for answers rather than those who think they have them already and that they need to beat us – whom they consider to be deluded and self-serving misinterpreters of God’s clear word as expressed in the Bible – over the head with the Truth As They Know It.

        Blessings to you all.

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Change is difficult. It’s common knowledge that we put off real change until tolerating the pain, dissonance, or dysfunction is unbearable. We don’t change until it hurts too much to not change. And change comes slowly. Real change takes years, even decades.

        I’m sure most of you have tales of how long it took for you to arrive at where you are today.

        And I’m sure many of you understand that we are different temperamentally. Personality types are biologically hard-wired into our physical brains. Diversity includes having patience with people who are dissimilar to ourselves.

        I think we need to leave this conversation, and leave bubleeshaark alone. He’s read everything, and we’ve read what he’s written. He needs to incorporate the input in his unique way, in his own time, just as we incorporate what he has written in our unique ways.

        Let’s leave this thread for a while.

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        I’m sorry I have caused you pain. I intended that people would realize homosexuality is wrong. Then they would repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ and have eternal hope and joy. That was my primary wish coming into this blog.

        Nobody is born homosexual. (I just got done saying this). There is tons of scientific proof about this.

        God did not create us to to reject us. He created us to love us, and for us to praise and worship Him. Sadly, mankind fell into sin, and God had to get us back somehow. He has done that with Jesus Christ. All we need to do is repent and accept Jesus Christ to be saved.

        God is much greater than we can ever comprehend.

        Like

      • stephenmcguire says:

        And yet God needs praise and worship? Really? Is He that insecure? Well, if I’d murdered thousands like He did, I might be just a little insecure. I don’t really think God needs anything, and did not create us to love Him. That’s a children’s story, not a mature adult truth. You really seem to confuse the two, and substitute magical thinking for reality.

        Like

      • Izzy says:

        BS,

        I am gay. I was not turned gay. I did not choose to be gay. I was raised southern baptist by two loving parents. I had no homosexual influences in my life growing up. Yet I am gay. I will ask you this question as it seems that you believe that being gay is a choice……….When did you choose to be straight? And you have to have an answer to this question other than there was never a choice. Because if I had a choice then so did everyone else on this planet. So please…….answer my question. Thank you.

        Like

      • storm longhauser says:

        There is no science which says being gay is a choice. I’d like to see the sources you seem to believe which indicate that it is. If it’s anything from Focus on the Family or any of their affiliated groups, it’s junk science

        Like

      • xnlover says:

        Yes, bubleeshaark, your application is wrong because your belief about homosexuality is wrong. And your belief about homosexuality is wrong, because you do not recognize how your life experience impacts that belief. Until you assess the relationship of your life experience to the way you interpret the Bible, you will never get the “homosexuality thing” nor the “Bible thing” right, since all interpretation is subjective, even when it is supported by millions of other subjective interpretations. The “rightness” of biblical interpretation is not determined by majority vote.
        Blessings to you, bubleeshaark.

        Like

      • bubleeshaark says:

        Wait. “your application is wrong because your belief about homosexuality is wrong.” That’s exactly waht I just got done explaining. If homosexuality is wrong (as I believe) THEN my application is correct. However, if homosexuality is right (as you believe) THEN my application is incorrect. Therefore, my application hinges on whether homosexuality is right or wrong. So do not say “my application is incorrect,” but instead simply say that I am wrong about homosexuality, and nothing about application.

        I have the bible thing right and the homosexuality thing right. How can you judge my entire interpretation of the bible on one part of it?

        The rightness of biblical interpretation is not determined by majority vote. Correct as you put it.

        Like

      • xnlover says:

        I stand by my statement. Someday I hope you’ll come to acknowledge the truth of it for yourself. On such a day, you will show that you truly know something more of the salvation of the Lord, since you will have been freed from error, at least in terms of your thinking about homosexuality.
        Blessings to you, bubleeshaark.

        Like

  47. bubleeshaark says:

    Izzy,
    The bible states that we are to obey God above all men, even governing authorities. One example of this in the bible is Daniel, who disobeyed and was thrown into the lions den as punishment.

    I do not hate homosexuals!!! A man having sex with a man (or girl sex with girl) is a sin. That is what I am speaking out against.

    Like

    • xnlover says:

      So, to put it more correctly, you hate homosexuality itself. You hate same-sex loving, same-sex love-making, same-sex partnering, same-sex physical intimacy, same-sex proclivities, same-sex orientation, same-sex erotic demonstrations of affection, same-sex uniting in covenant civilly, same-sex marrying, but you do not hate the persons who experience and act in these ways. Them, you love.

      Like

  48. bubleeshaark says:

    Ron,

    I just posted a really big comment that had a lot of stuff where I really liked what I said. I think it got deleted…. Or at least im worried it did cause its not here right now.

    Like

  49. bubleeshaark says:

    Hey guys. I found a lot of answerson the web. First, there’s Exodus Internatinal. They do a really great job of loving homosexuals

    I have some other websites that rebuttals gays being “born that way” and they write a lot better than I do. I can show them to you if you ask.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Bublee, you may not be aware of this, but Exodus International now believes that it is impossible to make gay people straight. Alan Chambers is the current president of Exodus International, and he has renounced the belief in a “Gay Cure.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/07/us/a-leaders-renunciation-of-ex-gay-tenets-causes-a-schism.html?pagewanted=all

      Three major figures in the ex-gay movement have issued a public apology for the damage they did to gay and lesbian believers”: Michael Busse (co-founder of Exodus), Darlene Bogle (a former Exodus ministries leader), and Jeremy Marks (former UK ex-gay leader).

      “Former Ex-Gay Leaders Apologize”

      Two Of Exodus’ Founders Come Out As ‘Ex-Ex-Gay’

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2PLPyKmtas

      John Paulk was a major ex-gay leader employed at Focus on the Family. Even while preaching the gay cure message, he was discovered in a gay bar hitting on another gay man. After that, James Dobson cut him loose.

      “Ex-Gay” caught in the act

      Bublee, these men and women were all personally in the ex-gay movement. They have more experience working with gay and lesbian believers than anyone. And they have seen first hand the suicides and self-mutilation that has resulted from the cruel lies of deliverance promised by anti-homosexual Christians.

      These Christians aren’t researchers. They’re not theologians. They’re not academics. These are actual gay and lesbian believers who sincerely believed that deliverance from same-sex attractions was possible for every homosexual.

      Hard, cruel experience taught them this was a lie, a lie that cost lives.

      Bublee, don’t blow off the experience of people who were actually committed to freeing homosexuals from their sexual orientation, and learned it was not possible.

      The leaders of Exodus International all know the real truth.

      You’re right on this: the people at Exodus International do love gay and lesbian believers. Because they love them, they do not lie to them and hold out false hopes.

      Like

  50. Joe Scott says:

    Quick question- by saying that if Christians follow the ‘law’ (which I am inferring as the OT) they are cursed, does that mean that St Paul is saying that the Old Testament is irrelevant and unneeded? And if so, why is it still included in copies of the Bible?

    By the way, I am not a believer, but don’t hate on me. I don’t hate or disrespect Christians, I simply try to see things from every perspective.

    Peace out.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Joe, whole books have been devoted to your questions. Because of the complexity of the problem, it will never be conclusively settled.

      First, what is commonly called the Old Testament is also commonly divided into the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. What I’ve written about the Law (the Torah) does not negate the relevance of the Law to Christians. There are many good concepts and principles in the Law. As a book of binding rules and regulations, however, the Law has been cancelled. You could compare it to an American law being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

      Why is it included in the Bible? That would require an account of how the Christian canon of scripture was formed, which goes back to the first few centuries of church history. Fascinating stuff–I’ve read a lot about it–but highly controversial. Much of the debate centers on the Catholic vs. Protestant views of authority. Protestants who emphasize this are committed to “proving” the absolute value of all the Bible.

      A teacher in the early church teacher named Marcion wanted to jettison the Old Testament completely. Most subsequent theologians and churchmen consider him a heretic or a false teacher. Marcion wanted eliminate the O.T. from the Christian canon. I understand where he “was coming from,” and have a lot of sympathy for his position. There is an awful lot of really great stuff in the Hebrew Bible, but some questionable stuff, too.

      If you’ll look at the banner area you’ll see “Foundations of Biblical Mysticism,” much of which relates to a destructive devotion to the Letter, instead of the Spirit, who gives life.

      The emphasis in the Greek scriptures is inward, to listen to our inner voice, which the N.T. describes in numerous ways. One way to say it is that the new emphasis is on the inner witness instead of focusing on a written document external to ourselves.

      “Listen to your gut.”

      Like

      • xnlover says:

        You should add, though, Ron, that – as George W. Bush said that he made many decisions as president by ‘listening to his gut’”, and ended up making some serious mistakes – the “listen to your gut” of the New Testament relies upon the foundational awareness that, 1) we were created in the image of God and have that image at the core of our personhood; 2) we have all tended to go our own way and to think that our way of thinking and doing things should be the touchstone for everyone, so that what we want, we get; 3) on account of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and intercession for us, we are forgiven our self-centeredness and called to newness of life that would allow the Holy Spirit to restore the image in which we were created, a consequence of which would be our actually living out God’s specific purpose for our unique self in this world; and 4) were we to allow the Spirit to guide us, we would feel the Spirit’s power reminding us “that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8.16b-17). In such a case, “listening to our gut” would more and more be equated with “listening to the voice of God within,” as the Holy Spirit transforms our hearts and minds ever more fully in the image of Christ. Otherwise, in our natural selves, to “listen to your gut” without this transformation by the Holy Spirit would fulfill the proverb, “Do you see persons wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for fools than for them” (Proverbs 26.12 NRSV).

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Yup — that’s why I directed him to the section on Foundations for a Biblical Mysticism, which is where I cover the different ways the Greek scriptures describe the intwardness of God’s voice. Thanks!

        Like

      • Izzy says:

        Um. Bush was a retarded monkey who escaped from the lab where they were running secret government tests on him. We probably shouldn’t use him to prove any points, good or bad, right or wrong. Just saying. Maybe use someone else, like……..Charlie Sheen. LOL Sorry I couldn’t help myself. :-)

        Like

  51. Ron Goetz says… “However, the Law has been cancelled.”

    Are you sure, brother?

    Do you remember Jesus’ words about the Law?

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Samuel, I do remember Jesus’ words about the Law:

      “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18)

      As I read scripture, Jesus announced that all was accomplished from the cross, just before he died.

      “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “ It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30)

      So, yes, I am sure, brother, as sure as I need to be.

      Like

    • Duncan Beach says:

      Samuel, Jesus during his life seemed to disregard certain “commandments” because either to him they made no sense in the way they were applied, or because he knew that they weren’t really commandments. If you’ve read the Old Testament all the way through, then you know there was a period between 600 bc and 535 bc when Jerusalem had been sacked, and the Jewish people enslaved.

      What you might NOT know, is that according to archaeologists working the site as we write back and forth, Jerusalem was not the only place in Israel that got sacked, nor was enslaving the Jewish people the end of Babylons actions in the area. They tore down temples, burned the Bible everywhere they found it, and killed every Jewish male over at least the age of 8 and maybe down to birth. There were no priests or teachers left, and little known scripture from before that time survives.

      We really DON’T know today what the Bible’s first five books originally said. What we use today is a rewrite – and nobody ever rewrites something completely faithfully. Jesus knew that had happened, and so did the scribes and Pharisees. That’s why they kept challenging him, and why he kept challenging THEM in return. Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality or question people about with whom they slept when he met them. Perhaps that’s our biggest clue about how, if anywise, he felt about the issue.

      Like

      • Samuel says:

        Duncan, I doubt any versed jew scribe would agree with your statement…”We really DON’T know today what the Bible’s first five books originally said.” You probably would be put to shame on that one. I strongly doubt every single copy/manucript would be reduced to ashes at any time in jewish history… and in Babilon jews were allowed to built Sinagoges and meet there and read their traditions and scrolls.

        Also, not easy to reconcile your words with Jesus’s references to Scriptures… He mentioned them as a source of Authority (read them, learn of Me in them), and not something like “we do not really know what God said to Moses.” It seems Jesus missed the opportunity (and the wit) to use such an argument as yours against Pharisees! “Ey, look, your scrolls have been rebuilt from ashes by memory by 5th grade boys… so let’s not pay much haste to them!!”
        :)

        Jesus did not disregard ANY commandment. He came to fulfill each one of them, remember?

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Samuel, I agree that it is unlikely that every copy of the Hebrew scriptures was destroyed.

        But I have strong objections to your language, “jew scribe.” Your general tone is mocking, sarcastic, and offensive.

        Like

      • Duncan Beach says:

        And yet… look at the EVIDENCE. Not just the archaelogical, but the biblical. Jesus, though he was entitled to do so, refusing even to accuse the adulteress, asking the Pharisees “Is it lawful to do a good work on the Sabbath?” On and on through his life, and yes, I strongly believe that the bible is a rewrite through the first five books. There’s repetition galore. Do I believe that five year old boys rewrote it? No. I believe that their MOTHERS rewrote it, and with a strong bent toward getting their new sons married – early, often, and to fertile women, plural, who would give them big families. Gay men don’t reproduce normally. That meant that the acts of sexuality between men HAD to be suppressed – otherwise they’d influence others to do likewise, and the Jewish race wouldn’t grow again. Essentially, Samuel, I know that I’m probably not going to change your mind, because I think you’ve closed your mind on the subjects of history and the Bible. You don’t appear to want to learn new things. How unfortunate for you.

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      • Samuel says:

        [Edited for language]

        Ron, you see how it is not difficult to come to same ground? We agree!!

        Duncan, the Spirit makes your Scripture anew… but the old mind not. You don’t appear to want to learn from Him, but from your old mind only. And this is not a pity, it is a shame for you and your “new man.” You miss the mark, sir! If you hold such a esteem for you Bible, it is likely you have the same regard for any other book…

        [Samuel, anymore dismissive, negative "jew" language and I will simply delete your comments. No more warnings.]

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  52. Samuel says:

    Again…

    What’s your interpretation of Jesus words when He talked about the Scriptures?

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  53. Samuel says:

    Ok, I didn’t see your answer. Sorry for repeating.

    Ok, good answer. Well, that’s an interpretation. But it kinda grinds, for the simple reason there are many things not acomplished.

    Those “earth and heaven” have not passed away, for instance. My Salvation has not been acomplished (otherwise, why should I work intensly for it?). Powers and dominions are not yet under His feet. The coming of the Lord is not acomplished. His reign of Justice on earth has not been acomplished… etc.

    So, you may use that verse of Jesus to tell us that when He told us about the Law He was just speaking the Law would only good until He would be crucified some months later, but I doubt He was meaning that.

    What I believe He was saying is that He would not allow us to get our way. :)

    I just wonder if all has been acomplished on the earth (the spiritual context of His words), and your interpretation is faithful to the spirit of the Scripture.

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  54. james says:

    According to romans chapter 1 god condems homosexuality. God is not liberal why are you

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    • Ron Goetz says:

      James, to understand the purpose of Romans 1 you have to continue reading to Romans 2:1-5. You see, you and I and Melodie all have a depraved or useless mind (Romans 1:28). If you read that list honestly, like I have, you will realize that you are guilty of many of these sins, even though you may not admit or acknowledge it.

      “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, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 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.”

      Romans 2:1-5 tells us that those of us who have depraved and useless minds must refrain from looking down on other sinners.

      “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

      But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”

      James, please read these passages aloud to yourself and see if God speaks to you. I know that I am guilty of about half of the sins of the depraved and useless mind, so I refrain from judging people as much as I can, with God’s assistance.

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    • Duncan Beach says:

      Furthermore, James, there is no ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ in the bible. And we’re not NOT talking about what God would do, since there is NO telling for us mortals what God would do. We are talking about what Jesus would do. There IS a distinction there. Mayhaps you ought to look into it.

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      • Melodie says:

        If you would read the bible you would know what god would do the bible are the thoughts of god. Sodom and gomorrah was destroyed by god because of homosexuality

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      • Duncan Beach says:

        Melodie, I’ve read the bible through at least once a year, every year, since I was eight years old. I’m now 52. I’ve read numerous translations, and had others translated for me by people who read the original languages in which the bible was written. Other than the Pastor who hosts this forum, you are probably NOT going to find a person better versed in the bible than me.Therefore listen to me when I say to you that you are wrong. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were disobedience, rape, and pedophelia. If you read the sections of Genesis where the judging of Sodom took place, you’ll see that the Angels who visited Lot took the forms of YOUTHS, not of men. Lot offered the rape gangs who gathered outside his door his wife, his daughters, his servants male and female – even himself. But because the Angels looked like young boys, the rape gangs preferred them – probably because part of what they enjoyed was the torture associated with first-time rape.

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  55. Ron Goetz says:

    Melodie, I respect your desire to base your beliefs and statements on what the Bible says. I do that myself. What I have found is that my teachers haven’t always read the Bible as well as they should have.

    The Bible does not say that Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality. It has an explanation, but it’s not because of homosexuality. The explanation of what Sodom’s sin was is in the book of Ezekiel.

    “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:49)

    So here we are. The sins of Sodom were 1) arrogance, 2) gluttony and overeating, and 3) no concern for the poor and needy.

    Please, base your beliefs on what the Bible actually teaches. Be like the Bereans. “The Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    Don’t just believe what people tell you. Search the scriptures for yourself.

    Someone told you that God destroyed Sodom because of homosexuality, but that’s not what the Bible says. The Bible says the sin of Sodom was arrogance, gluttony, and lack of concern for the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49)

    Who are you going to believe about this, Melodie, one of your teachers or the Bible itself? Be like the noble Bereans and check this out for yourself.

    Like

    • xnlover says:

      It’s really sad there’s so much ignorance of what’s in the Bible among those who claim the Bible as the source of their understanding of life! Thanks for your continued effort to teach what’s there, Ron.

      Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        There’s a little ditty I learned when my kids were youngsters.

        Be patient, be patient, don’t be in such a hurry.
        When you are impatient, you only start to worry.
        Remember, remember, that God is patient, too.
        Just think of all the times when others had to wait for you!

        I don’t usually think about it in these terms, but I am glad to know that God is using me in all this.

        Like

  56. Sarah says:

    Great essay Ron – but another point regarding the Leviticus passage is that this is another poorly interpreted passage when it was brought over into the English language. First, this passage condemns gay ritual sex in a Pagan temple, but the misinterpretation is stating simply that “a man should not lie with another woman” when a more accurate translation of the original text is “males having sex in a woman’s bed.” Also “abomination” or “enormous sin” is also a poor translation of the Hebrew word, which actually means “”ritually unclean”.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      There are a lot of ways to approach the passages in Leviticus, and different approaches work for different people. The problem of translation is pretty technical. For example, my understanding of toeba, the word translated “abomination,” is that it is better rendered “taboo,” although “ritually unclean” is also appropriate.

      My response to the passages in Leviticus is more like the solution to the Gordian Knot, which was a large, hopelessly tangled knot, impossible to unravel. Alexander the Great solved the knot, not by disentangling it, but by cutting it in two with his sword.

      Declaring the cancellation of the Law (from Romans and Galatians) is not only the truth that Paul taught, it also prevents us from getting bogged down in endless discussions of word meanings, culture, etc.

      These are two different approaches, the linguistic approach that deals with words and translating, and the theological approach that says there are Biblical and spiritual reasons for jettisoning the Torah as a guide we’re obliged to follow.

      Our goal is to be Biblically sound as we combat scapegoating and marginalizing gay and lesbian believes, and there are a number of different ways to go about it. A lot of it depends on the particular misstatements of the folks arguing in favor of bigotry and falsehood.

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