Are You A Real Christian? (This Is Not A Test)

As I spend more and more time on the internet discussing religion, I realize there are many impressions people hold of what others should believe in order to rightly claim affiliation with any particular faith system.  Specifically when it comes to Christianity, a good many people believe they can spot someone who isn’t acting like a Christian is supposed to; i.e. the Christian is not adhering to “Ideal Christianity”.

I was lucky enough to come across a blog called Whatjordanthinks.com where Jordan opines about the areas where she believes Christians, the church, and implicitly Christianity fails to live up to Ideal Christianity, specifically regarding homosexuals and homosexuality titled “Homosexuality“.

Should it matter what the Bible says?

In today’s society there is a lot of controversy over homosexuality and if it should or should not be accepted in the church. In my opinion, I think homosexuality should be accepted because it’s the way our world is today and we have to get over it. Did Jesus die on the cross just for straight people? Didn’t think so. God is supposed to be forgiving and welcoming to all, but apparently he’s not.

Wouldn’t you think that if a homosexual person wanted to go to church, they should be allowed no matter their sexuality so that God could forgive them and they could get the help they needed? You would think so. Just because someone is homosexual, doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. It’s also not the person’s fault that they are like this, people are born that way. They don’t just wake up one morning and decide to be homosexual.

When I went to church on Sunday I heard an older man saying that homosexuality is a sickness and people needed to be treated for it. Now, that doesn’t sound very Christian, does it? Not at all. I believe that as a Christian, we’re supposed to accept other peoples’ flaws.

If you want my opinion, I think it’s a SIN to judge people like this. Yes, it’s a natural thing for us humans to judge people saying things like, “Oh my gosh, that girl is kind of chunky” or “Whoa, that dude has a big nose”. That’s natural though, but for us to judge someone saying, “Wow, that guy likes other guys.” That’s just wrong.

I think that every church should except [sic] EVERYONE not based on their sexuality or anything else of that matter. Because if homosexuals are judged in the church shouldn’t murderers, thieves, liars, and cheaters be judged as well? It seems as if these people listed (the murderers, thieves, liars, and cheaters) can be forgiven by God, but homosexuals are constantly being hassled about their lives being sins.

I believe that as long as someone lives their life to the fullest and is an overall good person, they’ll make it to heaven. I don’t think just because someone is homosexual, they won’t make it to heaven. Because some of those homosexuals may do greater things than we do. They may go out and help their community while some of us do not.

Though Jordan mentions she–at least at one point in her life–used to attend a church, she seems to have a thorough misunderstanding about what Christianity and the Bible have to say about sin.  I don’t say this disparagingly at all.  But the post is thick with a post-modern un-biblical assessment of Christians and the Bible.

It starts with the first sentence, “Should it matter what the Bible says?”.The answer should come easily to someone who has been associated with Christianity: yes, it does matter.  As far as Christianity is concerned, it matters what the Bible says on any given issue.  The Bible is–for lack of a better term–the handbook for Christianity.

Unfortunately, nearly everything Jordan has said should be the case, is the opposite of what the Bible says should be on the issue.

  • I think homosexuality should be accepted because it’s the way our world is today and we have to get over it. (1 John 2:15, 1 John 4:4-6)
  • God is supposed to be forgiving and welcoming to all. (Psalm 5:4-6.  Moreover, the Bible teaches repentant sinners who seek forgiveness for their sins are welcomed by God.)
  • Just because someone is homosexual, doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. (Romans 3:23, everyone is a sinner.  Romans 3:11-12 No one does good, from God’s perspective)
  • I believe that as a Christian, we’re supposed to accept other peoples’ flaws. (1 Timothy 5:20 We are to rebuke those who sin. Romans 1:18-32, specifically v 32 condemns those who would defend and support sin.)
  • I think it’s a sin to judge people like this. (1 Timothy 5:20, 2 Timothy 4:1-3)
  • I think that every church should accept everyone not based on their sexuality or anything else of that matter. (1 Corinthians 5:11-13. Also, see above citations for approving sin, and being charged with rebuking sin.  Remember Jesus, when someone asked for forgiveness, He told them ‘go and sin no more’.  )
  • if homosexuals are judged in the church shouldn’t murderers, thieves, liars, and cheaters be judged as well? (They are 1 Timothy 1:8-10, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
  • It seems as if these people listed (the murderers, thieves, liars, and cheaters) can be forgiven by God. (They can 1 Corinthians 6:11)
  • I believe that as long as someone lives their life to the fullest and is an overall good person, they’ll make it to heaven. ( Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5. No one is forgiven and saved by doing good.)
  • I don’t think just because someone is homosexual, they won’t make it to heaven. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Romans 1:18-32)
  • Being homosexual may be a sin in God’s eyes, but in my eyes, judging people is an even worse sin. (In whose eyes does it really matter?)

This is all not to say that the Bible is correct in its assessment of homosexual sexual relationships, I am not making an apologetic for the immorality of homosexual sexual relationships.  This merely highlights the degree to which some people judge Christians–not on the what the Bible says, but on how they think Christians should be–regardless of what the Bible says.  A large percentage of the population is biblically illiterate, and so they operate from an idea of what Christianity is, and how Christians are supposed to act, then make assessments based on their perceptions.  Assess Christians based on the standards set forth in the New Testament, not how you think Christians ought to act.  Christianity is not in the eye of the beholder.

Comments

  1. Jordan appears to be a teenager, not a representative of post modern Christianity. Her reasons are not the well thought out and rationalized debating points of moral adults, but more of a gut reaction to obvious injustice and immorality in the church.

    Her reasoning may be light (I doubt she would say otherwise). Her moral intuition is right on.

    • She may be, but her outlook on how Christians are supposed to believe and behave is not uncommon; and is not derived from what the Bible says they are to believe and behave. My complaint is there are a number of people who make their determinations on their religious, political, and personal opinions, which is not how you would determine whether someone is being “a good Christian “

    • I may be a teenager (17 to be exact), but just because of my age, doesn’t make me any less wise. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you understand the Bible more, because no one understands the Bible completely. Even though I’m done with school, while I was in school I was surrounded by homosexuality and I saw how it can tear someone apart. I have a whole different outlook on this topic because of what I’ve heard and seen in school, older people just don’t understand because they’re used the “old fashion ways”.

      • Jordan, I don’t say you’re wrong becaude you’re a teenager, I’m saying you’re wrong because your claims about what christians should be does not comport with what the Bible says on the very criticisms you bring forth.

        You may not like what traditional Christianity has to say about homosexuality, and you don’t have to. But lets not suggest that those who claim to be Christians who violate your sensibilities are not behaving like a Christian should.

        That people disagree on some passages in the Bible does not mean that interpretation is up for grabs.

      • “No one understands the Bible completely” is an indefensible statement. How could you possibly be in a possition to know this unless you yourself understood the Bible completely as go know where there was a misunderstanding on someone else’s part.

  2. This is one of the beauties of the way of God’s grace as found in Jesus’ teachings. One need not be a theological genius to “get” that salvation by grace is a wonderful solution even for we who are imperfect and sometimes less than rational/well thought out in our positions. Our salvation is not dependent upon right thinking or even right practice, but wholly upon God’s sweet grace.

  3. I’ll be honest. I got an update in my e-mail, read the post title, and raced here thinking I was going to be reading a very different post.
    The author in question clearly makes a series of mistakes in her argument, most strikingly in the first sentence. Obviously, I think, one cannot make a statement like “Should it matter what the Bible says?” in the same breath as identifying our questioning the identity of others as a Christian.
    I think it really does matter what the bible says, if you want to call yourself Christian.
    I know that attitudes like this one are important to discuss, John, in that they highlight the lazy logic of Christians looking to make Christianity fit their feelings.
    I would have preferred if this had have turned into a more substantive discussion about what really does make someone a “real Christian”. Dan T., for example, holds a view of homosexuality and the bible that seems reasonable (and possibly incorrect) and takes scripture into account. Is he a “real Christian”? What about religions that highlight works? How about Universalists? Anabaptists? JW’s? Catholics?
    I know that wasn’t where you wanted to go with this, but I honestly am fascinated by the question. There are those who disagree with you that have substantive and reasonable arguments, and call themselves “Christian”. It seems to me you chose the low hanging fruit.

    • I’ve already written on that, “Essentials of Christianity” parts 1 & 2, George. I wasn’t trying to paint Jordan’s position as one she reasoned to from the Bible, but it is at least not uncommon to judge how much Christians conform to Christianity on a standard other than the Bible.

      This particular practice most often surfaces when discussing homosexual sexual relationships and Christian’s failure to embrace it.

      • Well then, look forward to me resurrecting and then beating an old post to death.

        I agree with a substantial portion of your critique, John, but I will ask you a question that seems relevant:
        Why are quotes in the bible concerning homosexuality so clearly black and white-not subject to any context or exegesis- and yet the more than one time Jesus talks about the dangers of judging others, we have to keep those quotes in context and take a broader or less literal interpretation of them?
        I know you might decry that as entirely off topic, but I think it is important to this discussion- if only because she seems willing to be literal about the judging passages and “Should it matter what the Bible says?” about homosexuality.

        • There’s a differdnce between keeping a passage in context and imposing a context that is not derived from the text. In the case of homosexual sexual relationships, Dan prefers to say that every condemnation is contextualized with a culture that was doing so in some pagan context and therefore does not apply to “loving partners” so to speak. Not only is there no distinction like that made in the texts in question, it assumes that the biblical authors could not have been or would not have been using the implied context as a reason to bring it up.

          But yeah, I’m not going to allow this to turn into a defense or condemnation of homosexual relationships.

        • Good point about her convenient literalism. Btw, in her comment section she actually goes so far as to say if homosexuality is a sin, God made a mistake.

        • I respectfully disagree about how you interpret Dan’s defense of his interpretation of scripture.
          That is an argument for another day.

        • I got involved the moment i saw him post his response to Jordan’s post. She’s my girlfriend.

  4. Here’s what i think. Regardless what religion you come from, there is usually an afterlife. To say one religion is better than the other is elitist. People are born homosexual. Humans aren’t the only creatures to exhibit homosexuality. Google it sometime, you might learn a few things. Even though I’m Christian, i question the Bible. Judge me if you want I don’t care, it’s what i think and no body is going to change it. The bible wasn’t written by god, it was written by people. You can call it “God Breathed” for all i care. Things we’re different back in their day. The bible say’s homosexuality is a sin, not god. You want to talk about it in person, come find me and we’ll talk about it, personally. You’re no better than anyone else when it comes to god. No one knows what he’s like or what he thinks. Who say’s god’s a he anyways? Women didn’t have as many rights as men did back in that time. You want to follow the bible why don’t you say that women are lesser than men? Like i said, all of the religions usually point to an afterlife, regardless if they call the “supreme king” god or not. If you really follow the bible, do you condemn all the other religions? Do you condemn billions of people who do nothing wrong in their life and live to server others in a different religion to hell? My answer is No, you don’t. You respect their religion and their look on life after death. Just because you believe someone is wrong doesn’t mean their wrong. You just fail to understand how people think. You interest me, we should talk more.

    • And this post is pointing at the comments I’ve read so far Jordan is a teenager and has experienced apparently much more than this John guy. Live life a little before you try to break it down. Go to a different country and see how their religion and culture is different than ours. Go to college and learn about philosophy and theology. Find out what other people think before you go and judge them. Because when you talk about something like this you are questioning the very existence of people and the reason to live.

    • I think it is a big mistake trying to take our moral cues from the animal kingdom. There are many species who copulate in a way we classify as rape. There are some species which eat their young. There are some species that kill their siblings, etc. So unless we are ready to accept an an abundance of animalistic behaviors, you ought to abandon your justification from natural analogy.

      Second, Christians do not judge those who do not place their trust in Christ to hell, God does. I always find it suspect when someone claims go be a Christian in one breath, and in the next they condemn the Bible.

      Where do you get your Christianity from? How do you justify calling yourself a Christian if you don’t like what it teaches? If you don’t like the Bible, why are you a christian?

      • How do you know god judges people who put’s their trust in him? Are you his best friend? Like I said, god didn’t write the Bible, people did. In the bible, it say’s men who are with men and women who are with women will be put to death? I doubt God would do that but then again, i don’t know him personally, he’s not my friend on facebook and we don’t send emails back and forth to each other.

        I believe every religion points to an afterlife. Regardless how they may differ. And who knows, maybe god isn’t a person. He could be on a higher level of existence, like a force. We can’t see air yet we know it’s there. We don’t see evil, we experience it through people and their impact around them. I wouldn’t call myself a Christian. I’m more of a hybrid. I look at the other religions and try to stay neutral.

        Think about this. What if Christianity is the wrong religion. If you live your entire life following a religion you’ve been brought up with, do you deserve to be condemned?

        • How do you know your particular view on religion is true?

          I also found it amusing that in order for my opinion on religion to hold any weight I first need to attend college and study religion, theology and philosophy. Does the same apply to you and your girlfriend?

          Let me just get this out of the way, I hope you are not under the impression that I will countenance you rushing the the rescue of your beloved with rude comments. If she is online posting publicly her opinions, they are up for scrutiny, just like mine. She is not sheltered from criticism becaude she is your girlfriend. Hopefully, your demeanor is different the next time you comment.

        • you’re saying to believe what the bible says. Why should we believe it? Because “God” wrote it and tells us to? And you’re saying you haven’t attended college? You ever hear about how the catholic church took advantage of the people because they were illiterate. I don’t know how the story goes, but don’t they manipulate and control the people because they are weak and uneducated. Of course you’re going to defend Christianity because you have no idea how the other religions work. I read somewhere in an article that the more smarter you are the less likely you are to believe in God. Why is that Mr. Know It All? I want to know what do you think about the other religions, seriously. Do you think their views are wrong? And if not, what do you think is going to happen to them when they die? Are they going to rot in hell because they didn’t believe in the Bible and what you say god thinks?

          • Why are you so defensive? If you read my post in its entirety you will read that I am not arguing that what the Bible says is true, rather what Jordan has to say about what constitutes a good Christian is false according to what the Bible says regardless of whether its true.

            Second I have years invested in religious studies of the worlds religions, theology, and philosophy of religion. By my credentials are not the topic, Jordan’s blog post is. Now if you would like to discuss the issue at hand, I’d be glad to, otherwise we are going to have to part ways.

        • But just because the Bible talks about what a good Christian is, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. That’s what I’m trying to say.

        • Which in the end comes back to what Jordan was talking about. The bible condemns Homosexuality, and that’s wrong. Which makes me even question the legitimacy of the bible itself.

  5. Freedom of Choice? Everyone should be allowed to love whoever they want, however they want. And people condoning them should themselves be put do death. People who are homosexual can’t help they are. They are “Born this way” as lady gaga’s song would put it. To say their wrong is to say their very existence itself is false and should be condemned. I can bet you my life that if “god” was here right now, he would say that he made each and every person in his image, including homosexuals. I think if “God” didn’t want homosexuals to be made, he wouldn’t have made them. And you as well as every other person in that matter should accept that it’s just they way we are.

    • By that reasoning you couldn’t say anyone is wrong for any behavior they believe they are born with. Attraction to children, animals, objects, nothing. If God created sexual desires, then He created every desire, which means no ones desires regardless of what they are are wrong to act on.

      I’m going to have to insist that you keep your comments to where you think the flaws in my post are, or a defense of the content of Jordan’s post, namely that disobeying they Bible is what makes one a good Christian. I had recently decided to loosen up on the off topic comments, you you are begining to stray a bit far for my liking.

      I’d rather not moderate comments if I don’t have to.

  6. Alright, I’ll go. I suggest you leave her topics alone then, read them but not post anything about them. There are plenty of people you can pick on. If not, I’ll be back.

    • You see, that’s where you’re wrong. If she wants to participate in the blogosphere whatever is posted is fair game. I suggest if she is too sensitive then perhaps blogging is not for her.

      You csn come back any time you want, but you don’t get to filibuster. I will moderate your comments if necessary.

  7. And this is why I’d suggest you’d do better to pick on adults, if you want to pick on someone.

    As a matter of good taste, I’d suggest leaving teenagers off limits, otherwise you come across as a bully and belligerent. Just sayin…

    (No offense to teenagers, anywhere. I have a couple myself whom I dearly love and who are wise beyond their years. And I certainly wouldn’t appreciate any adult coming along and mocking or critiquing their web presence. It’s just poor form and unseemly, seems to me.)

    • Here’s where both of you are off. I was not picking on a teenager. I was addressing an argument that a large population of people share which happened to be made by a teenager.

      This just goes to show how society has equated ideas with people. Somehow I must lay off addressing an idea because some teenage girls boyfriend can’t handle it.

  8. No, you ought not use a child (no offense to teenagers) as your example of bad reasoning, NOT because someone can’t handle it, but because it makes you look like a bully and lacking in social graces and engaging in behavior not becoming to a gentleman, much less a Christian.

    In defense of the original argument, I’d say that one of the truly great things about teenagers and young adults is their strong stands for justice and righteousness. Her argument, while it may have lacked in some areas, was an appeal to moral rectitude, it seems to me.

    Not unlike Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were told, “DO THE RIGHT THING, BOW DOWN TO THE KING,” and who responded, “No, we won’t do so because it ISN’T RIGHT, and our God will deliver us. BUT,” they continued, “EVEN IF we’re mistaken and God does not deliver us, we won’t bow down to the king, because it’s the wrong thing to do!”

    Likewise, Jordan was taking a stand against the self-evidently wrong behavior of condemning folk who merely wish to be allowed to be who they were created to be, in a way that causes no harm to anyone else; taking a stand FOR the self-evidently righteous behavior of committed, loving, respectful, faithful adult relationship. These are innately good and moral behaviors and IF it is true that a god is condemning this (which they appear to doubt seriously), then they would take a stand against that god, because that god is not endorsing good.

    Her stand is a stand for moral rectitude and justice. Even if she does not explain her position in a manner that you feel satisfied with, she is appealing to self-evidently righteous behavior. It’s also not unlike someone saying, “IF it’s true that a GOD would come to me and command me to kill my enemy’s baby, I would not do so, because it is self-evidently wrong. SINCE it’s self-evidently wrong, all I can imagine is that IF IT APPEARED that ‘a god’ was telling me to do so, that can’t be the REAL God, because a REAL, good and loving God would not command us to do what is self-evidently wrong.”

    So I applaud young Jordan and her boyfriend for their stand for righteousness and I suggest you’d do better by at least recognizing that as their starting place, and even better still, by apologizing for using her as an example in the first place.

    • First, when I posted on this, I did not investigate the author’s age or identity. It was completely irrelevant to me and my post. I addressed the arguments offered, not her character. Spare me the “poor children” nonsense. 17 is not a child and should be able to handle criticisms of ideas. One does not get to pontificate with immunity because they are 17 years old.

      Second, This post was not about whether the Bible is right or wrong in its teachings about homosexuality. It was about the method an on-looker uses to determine whether a professing Christian is acting like a good Christian. Jordan’s view is not uncommon to people who use their political ideology to guide their religious ideology. I was addressing this idea, not the morality or immorality of homosexual sexual relationships.

      Third, I have always found the way you argue in favor of homosexuality very disingenuous and self-serving, so keep it off a post that doesn’t even warrant it. I lose a little more patience with you every time you sneak it in a post that it has nothing to do with it. I’m near finished with it.

      • As a side note–

        Jordan,
        I do not want you walking away thinking I was attacking you personally. It was your view on this issue–which you happen to share with a lot of people that motivated me to write this. I had actually had this topic in mind for some time now but did not have anyting to reference until you put your idea in print. I have no reason to believe you are anything but a kind, generous, compassionate, fun-loving person. Hopefully you understand.

        -John

      • I find myself on the other side of the fence on this issue. Normally, I am standing firm with Dan on these issues, but I cannot help but side with John here.
        I don’t care how correct a conclusion is. I think carrying even the right opinion for the wrong reasons is dangerous. I agree with Jordan’s conclusion, that there is nothing about homosexuality that is inherently sinful- but entirely disagree with how she gets there.
        I don’t think horrible arguments should stand merely because we like the result of poor logic and reasoning.

        People who blog do not get a right to privacy. If they wish, they have the power to set up an invitation only blog- but if you put yourself out there, you don’t get a pass because you are young or because you’re a girl or because it is none of our business. You will note that John is being diplomatic given the circumstances, and I don’t think he is doing anything wrong.
        I would, if it was me, break the link in the post- if only to respect the author’s wishes. Otherwise, nothing unseemly is being done by John in this case.

        • Thanks George. If Jordan emails or comments that she’d like the link broken I will be happy to oblige her request. Otherwise I will leave it for reference purposes.

  9. I’ve made my point on how distasteful I personally find it to choose a child and cite that young person as an example of bad thinking. I stand by my thoughts, there.

    Beyond that, John offered a bit of ad hom thinking…

    I have always found the way you argue in favor of homosexuality very disingenuous and self-serving, so keep it off a post that doesn’t even warrant it. I lose a little more patience with you every time you sneak it in a post that it has nothing to do with it. I’m near finished with it.

    “Disingenuous?” “Self-serving?” HOW SO?

    As always, whatever it is that I’m doing that disturbs you so, to the degree that it is my fault, I apologize. As often is the case, I’m not real sure what your complaint is here, but you are free to address it with me (privately or here) if you so desire, rather than make vague allusions to unknown “sins.”

    As to “sneaking” something in, I was responding to the post that YOU made.

    You referred to a child’s online post, which you cited as an example of poor reasoning that is common out there and referred to her thoughts (incorrectly) as being “thick with a post-modern” sort of thinking.

    I agreed with you that the reasoning on the post in question was lightweight, something that could be expected from a teenager, as was the case.

    I then went on to defend the young person in question, saying, in short, “Yes, it’s lightweight reasoning, but her DESIRE is obviously for righteousness and, in her zeal to appeal to the good and right, she has resorted to a rant on those who’d oppose what is self-evidently good.”

    In short, these sorts of comments, even if they were to come from an adult instead of a child, ARE common all over the place, left, right, traditional and non-traditional. They are, as the blog itself says, just the thoughts of someone who is offering their opinion for what it’s worth. It’s NOT a theological treatise and should not be treated as such. It is a lightweight rant offering some off-the-cuff notions of, in this case, a teenager.

    This is not dissimilar, it seems to me, from the imprecatory psalms (“O God, break the teeth in their mouths,” “How blessed will be the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks,” etc), which are more akin to emotional rants, not theological or rational treatises. Sometimes, you just feel like yelling at those who you perceive to be doing injustice. Doing so is not a rational explanation of the problems of their thinking, it’s just a rant. That’s what I’m finding at the post in question.

    It is what it is and it’s not right to treat a rant as a theological treatise, seems to me.

    All of which to say is, I don’t see how my responding to your post by first agreeing in part and then offering a defense of the comments made is in any way disingenuous or self-serving. It seemed to me to be merely responding to the words you posted. You seem to have a bone to pick with much of what I say and for what reason, I can’t tell. Nonetheless, to the degree that I’m offending you, I apologize. Let me know exactly what it is I’m doing and I could apologize (or clarify) even better, as it is hard to apologize to vague and unsupported charges.

    • 17 is not a child. Ideas do not have an age. I addressed ideas. If you think 17 is too young to have their ideas challenged, while their worldview is still forming, then you think teens are too fragile. If by chance a 17 year old wrote on the merits of rape, or forced abortion, or advocating slavery, would you object to someone challenging those ideas? Apparently.

      I have heard what you said on this, so I expect any further comments on this post to be on the topic of the method people use to determine if a professing Christian is a good Christian.

  10. Rape, forced abortion, slavery and other atrocious behavior towards others are dangerous ideas not in any way comparable to the notion of marriage equity. I’m fine any time that a child is advocating DANGEROUS behavior with dealing with that, preferably with their parents.

    And yes, 17 IS a child, legally, emotionally, really. It is true that 17 is ALSO on the cusp of young adulthood, but that does not make 17 “not a child.”

    Here’s an idea: If you truly want to deal with an ideal, rather than a specific person’s thoughts, reference the ideal, not the person. And if you want to address an actual person’s position, then make sure that person is an adult. Just a suggestion.

    ON topic, I’ll stand by my suggestion that looking at someone’s rant and/or imprecatory prayers to see if they’re a Christian is not a good idea.

  11. Two things:
    What if the original author had put replaced “homosexual” with “adulterer”? The logic would be the same and the argument just as flawed.

    As for the 17-year-old being a child, that is pure rubbish. It is only in the past 100 years that we’ve kept teenagers as children. A 17-year-old is in every way an adult except for legal definitions. And we all know how accurate legal definitions are, don’t we? A slave isn’t a real person – does that ring a bell? A fetus isn’t a real person – does that ring a bell? Same-sex unions are real marriages – does that ring a bell? None of those definitions are accurate either.

  12. Apologizing in advance for my off topic response to Glenn’s off topic response…

    Well, according to those who study childhood development, there is the recognition that children move from infancy to childhood to adolescence to adulthood in stages. I believe the main gist of modern thinking is that adolescence is roughly 12-18 years old, and adulthood roughly 19 +. In the adolescent stage, such youths are at a point in life where there reasoning tends to be egocentric. Which is not to say there’s anything wrong with that, any more than a babe demanding food. We develop in stages and don’t reach maturity until a certain point in our lives and that’s just the way it goes.

    We don’t teach five year old physics or calculus because they’re not developmentally prepared for that. We do well to recognize the very real developmental status of folk and take that into consideration when dealing with them.

    So, no, a 17 year old is NOT in every way an adult. Not if you look at the evidence. They are BECOMING an adult, transitioning into that stage of life, and in SOME WAYS can be expected to behave more adult-like, but no, they do not tend to reason nor act like a fully mature adult. They are not an adult by definition (ie, “fully developed and mature”).

    • Well, Dan, during the revolutionary war, there were 13 and 14 year olds commanding soldiers and sailors who were considerably older. And a peek back at text books during that era, you’d see elementary school students learning modern highschool level math. So the idea that children need go be coddled for as long as we do now, regardless of what psychotherapists today say is nonsense. Get over it. 17 year olds are not children.

  13. To what do you appeal as your source for taking you credibly, if not the experts?

    Does God have an opinion on the proper age to consider a child an adult?

    Do you have some expert source that supports your hunch?

    Or should we rely upon just your word because you say so?

    If you are just saying, “Well, it doesn’t SEEM TO ME, JOHN BARRON, that we ought to consider 17 year olds to be children,” then you are right. You are certainly the master of your own hunches and opinions and you are free to think that. But if you wish others to agree with you, does it not seem reasonable that you’d offer some sort of reason why we ought to do so?

    I mean, in some times and places, 8 year olds – 5 year olds! – have had to work to stay alive. Does that mean that a five year old is an adult? In some places in third world nations today, they force 12 year olds to carry guns and shoot people. Does that make them an adult?

    Not hardly.

    I’m saying that legally and by definition, 17 year olds are not adults. They are transitioning TO adulthood, but no, they are not adults. I see no reason to change my view unless you have something more weighty than “Cause I say so…”

    Fair enough?

    • This diatribe posted just after I posted my comment. These people are not “experts” on anything Dan, other than unscientific Darwinist psychobabble. Biology states otherwise.

    • Dan, what do you call a legally emancipated 15 or 16 yearold? I went to school with both. The 15 yo lived with an older cousin but was financially responsible for himself. The 16 yo lived on his own, worked and went to school. So were they children or adults? Your argument would have them as adults, but Jordan, who is older as a child.

      Please start making sense

  14. I have been saying for decades that adolescence is a modern invention, citing exactly what John stated, and the fact that many young teens were placed on the throne. People always raised their children to be adults and it was common for late teen men to be marrying younger teen women and managing farms, etc. From onset of puberty there is not biological reason why these young men and women can’t leave their families and marry and have their own families.

    Well, last week I came across an article which proved my conclusions (I always enjoy that!) and I’d suggest Dan review the article to see where the whole Darwinist idea he cites came from:
    http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2011/07/invention-of-adolescence.html

    Oh, and by the way, it was not off-topic. The topic was including whether a 17-year-old should be treated as a child and leave her ideas as off-limits. There are those here who claimed 17 is a child and my response was refuting that claim.

  15. I’ll read it when I have a chance, Glenn.

    John, I AM making sense. I see no rational, biblical, legal or psychological reason to agree with your hunch. If you have nothing other than “Cause I say so,” why do YOU think I should agree with you?

    I do not dispute that teenagers can be legally emancipated. I do not dispute that there have been child laborers or child soldiers in the past. I’m saying that research and observation shows that children tend to grow from infants to adults in stages.

    You agree, I’m quite sure. After all, you don’t think a two year old is an adult, do you? You don’t think a ten year old is an adult, do you? And what of the ten year old girl who has developed breasts and started menstruating, is she now an adult simply because biologically she can function somewhat as an adult?

    Start making sense. Appeal to something other than hunches. What is your support for your position? A paper? An expert? The bible? Anything at all?

    • No, Dan, you are not making sense. You appeal only to modern “scholarship” by a bunch of psychobabblers who are wrong in just about everything they come up with because their worldview is against God. Puberty is the onset of adulthood, but it isn’t the defining moment. It seems odd, doesn’t it, that for thousands of years young teens were considered adults, yet suddenly in the late 19th century we have a new idea and that is that these young adults are still children? As with anything else that comes about this way, “If if is new, it isn’t true.”
      Common sense over-rules your psychobabblers any day of the week.

  16. Glenn, I would ask you the same question: Why would I accept your hunches about “common sense” (hunches that make not so much sense to me, common or otherwise) over what those who’ve studied the issue on a more scholarly basis have said?

    On what basis should I listen to your hunches?

    • “Scholarly” is a misnomer. Anyone with some psychobabble degree can come up with something they call “scholarly” but competes with other “scholarly” studies. Which “scholars” do you accept? I know you accept those with your worldview because you’ve demonstrated that in the past. Liberal “scholars” are some of the most non-objective “scholars” out there. Everything must be studied from a materialistic/naturalistic worldview, which is the origin of the whole idea of adolescence. Read the article. That is also a scholarly study.

  17. And Glenn, what is YOUR hunch about what the “defining moment” of adulthood is?

    • My basis is thousands of years of civilization and even currently in many countries they still adhere to the non-Darwinist-psychobabble approach.

      Adulthood is certainly not fixed, due to varying mental capabilities, but completion of puberty is a good indication. Why do you think God made mankind that way?

  18. So, in summation: You have NO reason for me to abandon expert scholarly research, nor go against what seems rational to me based upon observation, to go along with your hunch? It’s just your hunch and for that reason, you think people ought to agree with you?

    I hope you can appreciate that, while I’m sure you have some lovely hunches, that I’ll have to go with what makes most sense and is most supportable to me, rather than just going along with the hunch of a stranger on the internets.

    As to your one “source” of “thousands of years of civilization,” do you have any source to support your thus far un-supported claim that “thousands of years of civilization” have considered 17 an adult?

    Additionally, I suppose you are aware that throughout much of history, life expectancy was ~30 years old. And, in a civilization with a life expectancy of about 30, an individual might reasonably be expected to be “an adult” at a younger age? I’ll have to admit that I don’t know what the psychological development of a 17 year old would have tended to be in, say 800 BC.

    But speaking for today and based upon research and just plain common sense, I see no rational or moral reason to go along with your hunch.

    Another question: Do you have any rational reason to reject the studies of experts today on child development?

    And, in general, do you think we ought to tend to rely upon our hunches for making decisions or at least consider what research and rational observation teaches us?

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