Morality in nature is animalism, not morality

The tendency for advocates of same-sex marriage to sometimes point to some species in the animal kingdom that engages in same-sex sexual relations has always struck me as suspiciously selective.  They offer this observation in an effort to justify homosexual desires and behaviors as a natural — and therefore normal — variation in sexual identification.  I’m not picking on homosexuality in particular, it’s just that I’ve never heard this suggestion that we look to the animals for our acceptable behavior in any other context.

Presuming for a moment that our moral cues can be legitimately culled from the animal kingdom, how could we possibly disqualify any behavior without doing so arbitrarily?  If for example, same-sex sexual coupling is morally neutral or benign because we find instances of it in the animal kingdom, why do we limit our scope of acceptable behavior to non-human animals?  We too are a part of nature, why aren’t our behaviors therefore considered natural?  Racism, “homophobia”, dishonesty, selfishness, and misogyny are just a few traits found in nature if we include ourselves as a part of nature.

We humans have unique qualities which markedly separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom.  Not the least of which is our ability to not operate solely on instinct.  We’re able to recognize that certain feelings and urges (which some may call instinct) must be suppressed.  Human beings have something no other animals have: moral intuition.  We have the ability to recognize right from wrong.  We know lying, cheating, stealing, murder, rape, and infidelity to one’s spouse are immoral, but animals commit these acts routinely and instinctually.  Even people who commit these behaviors know they’re wrong but choose to engage in them regardless of their conscience informing them to the contrary.

Most animals engage in behaviors on a regular basis which we would be quick to condemn a fellow human.  There are animals that:

  • Kill their offspring, some even cannibalize them
  • Force copulation
  • Have hundreds, even thousands of sexual partners
  • Kill to acquire territory

Should we really be looking to the animal kingdom for behavioral guidance?  I think activists know better than to use animals as a guide on how we should behave, but must grasp at any straw available.  If humans engaged in the acts above, we would never accept “it’s done in the animal kingdom” as a valid defense.  So why does observing same-sex sexual behavior in a minute fraction of a given species population which is only a minute percentage of the overall animal kingdom become validation for their sexual proclivities?

Comments

  1. I wonder if “homosexual” acts by animals ever includes penetration? What I’ve observed with dogs is just “humping” – rubbing against, just like do with your leg if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Animals are just getting their sexual urges released – not making a “romance” out of it.

  2. Glenn, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Homosexuality is “good” because it’s a “natural” urge that must be given into. Abortion is necessary because, while the result may not be desired, the urge to act is natural and must be naturally good.

    All urges and feelings are natural and therefore must be “good”.

    I suppose a case may be made for men rubbing on random women on the street, since it occurs in the animal kingdom.

  3. paynehollow says:

    I’m not picking on homosexuality in particular, it’s just that I’ve never heard this suggestion that we look to the animals for our acceptable behavior in any other context.

    The argument is repeatedly (endlessly, mistakenly) made that homosexuality is wrong because “it’s not natural…” When this argument is pointed out (about animals), we are just demonstrating that it is natural. It happens in the natural world. It is a normally occurring behavior in the human and natural world. It is just a way of demonstrating observably that the “it’s not natural” argument against homosexuality does not hold up on its own.

    You can go on to make other arguments (“It is my opinion that my god or goddess disapproves of it,” or “I find it icky,” or, “It’s gross…”) against gay behavior, but clearly, the “it’s not natural” argument fails, and its failure is easily demonstrated. Observably. In the real world.

    That’s all there is to that.

    The thing is, you don’t mean so much “it’s not natural” as “I don’t think it’s moral or good behavior…” but that is a separate argument. We should argue the actual arguments we want to make, not other, disprovable arguments.

    ~Dan

    • Im not even making the argument that homosexuality is wrong because its not natural. Im saying that taking our moral inclinations from what we see in the animal kindgom is a horrible way to determine what is right or wrong.

    • Even in the animal kingdom, one male rutting against another male is not “natural,” in that it is not what God created them to do. Homosexual behavior is not “natural” in that it is not what God created for human sexuality.

      But you refuse to accept that because you do not agree with the real God of the Bible, rather you’d rather make a god of your own image.

  4. paynehollow says:

    In other words, there is a list of arguments against homosexuality. One of them is “It’s not natural.” As it turns out, THAT argument fails.

    No real need to debate it, it’s just observable that the argument fails. Move on.

    From there, we can go on to debate, “It is my opinion that my god or goddess or favorite moral leprechaun opposes any and all gay behavior…” and we could debate THAT point (or, if someone does not believe in our god, goddess or favorite moral leprechaun, they may well choose to dismiss that argument as irrelevant and ask you to move on to some other argument based in the observable world…)

    The problem on your side is that, for those who do not hold to your particular flavor of religious opinion about God’s opinion, there simply are no great real world arguments for your position. Hence, your losing position on this point.

    ~Dan

  5. paynehollow says:

    C2C…

    All urges and feelings are natural and therefore must be “good”.

    So, in case you all aren’t getting my point, we’re noting that the argument “gay behavior is wrong because it’s not natural…” is not a logically, factually sound argument because it is, in fact, natural.

    We are NOT arguing “all things ‘natural’ are ‘good,'” just noting that “it’s not natural” is not a valid argument.

    Thus, a man humping a random woman is NOT morally valid simply because it’s natural, but rather it’s wrong because it violates another human’s rights and violating another human’s rights is not morally valid (ie, it’s wrong).

    But the argument against “men humping random women in the street” is not “it’s not natural,” but “it violates another human’s rights.” IF we argued against men humping random women in the street based on the “it’s not natural” argument, we’d also fail. But that is not the argument used.

    See the difference?

    ~Dan

  6. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Im saying that taking our moral inclinations from what we see in the animal kindgom is a horrible way to determine what is right or wrong.

    Well, then, it’s a good thing that I’m not making that argument (nor is anyone I know of). We are merely responding to those who DO make the “it’s not natural” argument by pointing out its invalidity.

    See the point?

    ~Dan

  7. Oh, and Trabue,

    Yes homosexuality IS “unnatural,” due to it violating God’s design, and therefore from a theological and REAL Christian viewpoint, a reason that it is wrong because it IS unnatural. That argument doesn’t fail at all – it’s just marginalized and ignored by heretics such as you.

  8. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, by definition, homosexuality is natural. It occurs in nature. Natural.

    I fully understand that you have a wide number of opinions about what your god’s opinion is about gay behavior, but that you hold that opinion about God’s opinion does not constitute evidence that is observable and demonstrable. Watch:

    You say…

    one male rutting against another male is not “natural,” in that it is not what God created them to do.

    Okay, prove it.

    You can’t. Poof. You lose.

    It’s simply an opinion of a grumpy conservative with more confidence in his own opinions than the evidence supports, naught else.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,
      I explained by defining what “natural’ means – i.e., the way God created animals and people to be by design.

      I do NOT “have a wide number of opinions about what” GOD’s opinion is concerning homosexual behavior. I have ONE understanding about what GOD really, truly feels about homosexual behavior as plainly stated in HIS Word.

      How about YOU prove that God DIDN’T make the natural sexuality of animals to reject “humping” anything they get close to just to relieve their sexual tensions. How about YOU prove that GOD did NOT make human beings to naturally reject homosexual behavior.

      You can’t. Poof – YOU lose. And you are indeed a LOSER!

  9. paynehollow says:

    And your proof for your hunches…?

  10. paynehollow says:

    The very definition of “natural.” IF it happens in nature, it IS natural. It simply is, Glenn, there’s nothing much to debate on that point.

    I’ve already made my case and it is solid and irrefutable.

    Your turn.

    • “Natural” is not a univocal term.

    • Trabue,

      Originally the term “natural” (in regards to what humans do) had to do with our innate nature – the way God made us and all the rest of Creation. Just because man has denigrated the term and reduced what is “natural” to what the evolutionist mindset thinks what is supposed to be, that doesn’t make it so.

      “Happening in nature” is not the only meaning of the word. Try looking at a dictionary sometime.

  11. paynehollow says:

    Okay, then let me clarify, IN THE Merriam Webster definition of NATURAL, it has as its first definition:

    existing in nature and not made or caused by people : coming from nature

    Homosexual and heterosexual behavior, therefore, are BOTH “natural” in THIS sense of the definition of “natural,” which I would argue is the most basic and clear definition of “natural…”

    MW also lists this definition…

    based on an inherent sense of right and wrong

    And if THAT is the definition you want to argue, then I would suggest you make that clear.

    Are you saying, then, that homosexual behavior is not “based on an inherent sense of right and wrong…”? If so, I would ask, where is your support for that? Inherent to whom?

    ~Dan

    • Dan

      This is now the third time im asking. If gay activists and apologists introdicing “found in nature” is not supposed to mean “therefore good or benign”, what is the point of introducing it?

    • Oh, and Trabue, modern dictionaries pander to the Left, PC, and homosexual agenda, which is why they will define “gay” as including perversion instead of meaning “cheerful, happy,” etc. Try looking at the first Webster’s dictionary of 1828 – you know, the first dictionary of the English language which told us what words meant before the PC perverts began mangling the language.

  12. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Im still curious why gay activists and apoligists introduce “found in nature” into the argument if they arent suggesting found in nature=moral good or benignity?

    I already answered that question. They introduce “Found in nature” WHEN people say “it isn’t natural.” By pointing out the reality that homosexuality IS indeed, “natural,” they destroy the “it isn’t natural” argument.

    THAT is why.

    Again, if you want to argue, “homosexual behaviors are not a moral good” then you should argue THAT, not “it isn’t natural…”

    ~Dan

  13. When animals act against their nature, it is unnatural, and it is biologically unnatural for a bi-gender species to try and mate with the same gender, another species or objects. There’s nothing natural about dolphins trying to mate with humans or drain pipes, for example. But they do. The only reason humans have started to see this abberant behaviour as “natural” is because they are trying to defend the same behaviour in humans. At least with mammals. For another example, scientists are increasingly finding fish in certain areas that have deformed sex organs, both gender’s sex organs or males trying to mate with males, they are able to point to the water as the cause of this aberrant behaviour. It turns out it’s because of humans. These fish live near where our sewage drains into the water system and the cocktail of hormone contraceptives and abortificiants in our urine, which cannot be filtered out, ends up in the water system. They can even pinpoint the type of contraceptive hormone or “morning after pill” that has caused the damage in some cases.

    Personally, when I observed “homosexual” behaviour among our farm animals, it had nothing to do with trying to have sex and everything to do with dominance. The agressor – the “rapist”, if you will – is asserting its place in the animal heirarchy.

    The use of animals to justify that homosexuality is “natural” actually contradicts one of the biggest arguements used to defend acceptance of homosexual behaviour; that it is about love. Animals don’t “love” the way humans do. Humans have a strong tendancy to project human qualities onto animals, which can be quite harmful to the animals themselves. As much as I adore our cats, and as much as I recognise they “love” us in return, treating them as anything other than cats is harmful to them. From experience, it’s harmful the other way around, too. I find it very disturbing the number of people – dog breeders, in particular – who transfer their animal training skills to their own children; in other words, they treated their kids like puppies.

    Sex for animals is about procreation or dominance. They don’t “love” as humans do, because THEY ARE NOT HUMAN. So when people use animals to justify human behaviour, they are doing two things; one, they are devaluing our humanity completely and two, they are exposing the lie of “it’s about who you love” for what it really is about; lust and dominance.

    When it comes to humans, in our modern attempts to ensure no one ever feeeeelllllsss baaaaadddd about themselves, we seek to remove personal autonomy from all sorts of behaviour, from alcoholism and drug abuse to lying and stealing. This worship of self esteem is having terrible consequences on our children. The damage it’s doing is on multiple levels, but one of them is that, by brushing something off as “natural” or “normal”, we are not looking at the *why* that may be causing it. For example, more and more children are identifying as LGBTTQQ2PPetc. In large part, it’s because they are being *told* that their sexual identity is defined by their feelings, and that gender is in the mind, rather than of the body. So if a child develops strong feelings for a friend of the same gender, that means they are homosexual. If they like both boys and girls, that means they are bisexual. This at ages when children typically aren’t thinking about sex at all. This leads to all sorts of psychological damage that I won’t go into now, because I’m already going on for too long.

    The other way it’s damaging people is that we are not looking for physiological causes for aberrant behaviour. When some fish suddenly start trying to mate with the same gender, scientists recognised that this was unusual and looked for a cause, which turned out to be things like high levels of estrogen in the water. When humans suddenly start developing intense desires to mate with the same gender, we’re not looking to find out why. That’s not politically correct. That might hurt someone’s self esteem. It’s bizarre that we live in a world that has seen body size defined as a disease, but we don’t dare suggest that biologically unnatural sexual desires might be a disease. Interestingly, unnatural body size and unnatural sexual urges may actually have the same cause in humans as fish. We have innundated ourselves with estrogen, mostly from soy (the phytoestrogens in soy are almost identical to human estrogens), which is being touted as a health food. We already have evidence of damage in children born to women who ate large amounts of soy during pregnancy. These include things like 9 month old girls showing signs of breast development and menstruation, boys with improperly developed sexual organs requiring surgical repair, etc. Even post birth, there is evidence of damage; one case example involved identical twin boys, one of whom developed an allergy to milk, so one was fed milk formula, the other soy formula. The twin fed soy formula gained more weight and had significant breast development.

    It’s entirely possible that many of those “born that way” were, in reality, “damaged that way.” By refusing to even look at the possibility of homosexual desires as signs of damage, we are not helping anyone at all, but instead adding to the harm.

  14. John, it seems to me that one reason people focus on the occurrence, in the animal kingdom, of same-sex simulacra of the reproductive act is to undermine the Apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans 1, about unnatural desires that sinners have for members of the same sex.

    It’s not all at clear that Paul’s conception of what is natural matches Dan’s definition — “IF it happens in nature, it IS natural. It simply is, Glenn, there’s nothing much to debate on that point.”

    Paul seems to point more to a concept of “natural” that means what conforms to the original plans of nature’s Designer, NOT what happens to occur in fallen nature now.

    After all, Paul doesn’t write that death was a part of the natural order as created by God: death “came into the world” through sin (Rom 5:12), and subsequently all creation was subjected to futility, groans to be freed from the bondage of corruption, and longs for the revelation of God’s children (Rom 8:18-23).

    Look at fallen nature as it now exists, and you’d have to conclude that death is one of the most natural things there is — it’s ubiquitous, everything that lives ultimately dies. With the authority of a hand-picked Apostle of Christ and through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, Paul evidently rejects that view.

    Death isn’t an event to be accepted as natural, it’s an evil that Christ has conquered. Quoting Isaiah 25:8, Paul affirms that God will swallow up death forever; quoting Hosea 13:14, he crows that death has lost its victory (I Cor 15:54-55).

    On the other hand, Dan Trabue has, across the years and in several contexts, written that death is just “a natural part of life.”

    Dan’s worldview seems much more informed by his politically progressive, post-modern humanism than the theology and cosmology of the Bible: he emphasizes only those teachings of the Bible that can be made to fit his politics, and he disregards even essential teachings — such as the causal relationship between Christ’s death and our salvation, or the absolute necessity of the bodily resurrection — if such teachings are both superfluous to his agenda and distasteful to the modern, sophisticated secularist.

  15. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, according to the 1828 Websters, Natural is defined:

    Pertaining to nature; produced or effected by nature, or by the laws of growth, formation or motion impressed on bodies or beings by divine power.

    Pertaining to nature. Produced by nature.

    I don’t see how this helps your case. In either case, NATURal is clearly meaning “as found in nature…” Regardless, this is how we are using it – as the normal, rational meaning of the word.

    IF you want to argue, “homosexuality is wrong because I think it is what God thinks about it” then argue that. The point remains rock solid: “Homosexuality is not natural” is a losing argument, as it is natural/found in nature.

    If you want to make some OTHER argument, make that, but that argument does not help you.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,
      You pulled one of many definitions from the 1828 to bolster your case, but all it did was show your dishonesty. I’m not going to take the time to type all the other definitions, because I’m about to head out the door for the day.

      But you are a liar, just like your father the devil. It is a LIE to give one definition out of many and claim that is what the 1828 book says.

  16. paynehollow says:

    Kunoichi…

    When animals act against their nature, it is unnatural, and it is biologically unnatural for a bi-gender species to try and mate with the same gender, another species or objects.

    ? WHAT definition of “natural” are you using? IF something is found or occurs in nature, it IS natural. By the normal definition. “Unnatural,” says who?

    Do you mean “not normative…”? Then make that argument.

    Do you mean, “not helpful for evolutionary reasons…”? then make that argument.

    But, by definition, if something happens in nature, it IS natural.

    Words have meanings, friends.

  17. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Ive had it introduced as a stand alone argument. Why would they do that?

    I don’t know. You’d have to ask someone who has made that argument. My guess would be that you are misunderstanding their point, which is just what I’ve been telling you. But that’s just my guess. I don’t know anyone who makes the argument outside of the context of responding to “it’s not natural…”

    BUT, I could also guess that maybe they might be thinking something along the lines of, “Natural, as a general rule, is a good thing, and a homosexual orientation, as a general rule, is itself a good thing…” That is, “all natural,” “clean as found in nature…” “pure as natural spring water,” “fresh as a natural mountain breeze…,” “Natural, beautiful, fresh fruit… as opposed to poisoned, toxic, processed biofood…” etc… that many of us believe that Natural is generally a good state, as opposed to processed, polluted, stained, fouled.

    What I’m sure no one means is that ALL things that happen in nature are evidence that the same things done by humans would be acceptable. Yes, some animals abandon their babies. No one is advocating that as a moral action. Yes, some animals eat their own kind. No one is advocating cannibalism.

    When you rule out the impossible, all that remains, no matter how improbable, is the Truth. People do not mean “Everything in nature is good…” They mean, “Those things that are pure, fresh, good, noble, natural… they are obviously and observably Good.”

    ~Dan

  18. Dan, YOU’RE EQUIVOCATING!!! YOUR argument fails!

    “Not natural” doesn’t ALWAYS mean “doesn’t ever occur in the natural world”. Gunshot wounds are not considered to be “natural” causes of death. I suppose YOU would say “That’s ridiculous! They occur in the natural world!” You would be right IF we all just agree to use the meaning of the word “natural” that you choose to hang your hat on as regards homosexual behavior. But there’s another meaning, AND YOU KNOW IT!

    Also, “it occurs in nature” IS used by gay people to justify their own behavior. It is NOT only a response to “it’s not natural”, AND YOU KNOW IT!

    You do not act in good faith when you equivocate. You are disingenuous. You always want to insist that we use very narrow definitions and act surprised when we refuse to. You are the worst kind of debater because you lie! And WE KNOW IT!

  19. paynehollow says:

    C2C…

    It is NOT only a response to “it’s not natural”, AND YOU KNOW IT!

    ? I “know it…”?? Says who? When I and my friends respond to “it ain’t natural” arguments by pointing out, “it IS natural, it happens in the natural world,” we ARE responding to the “it ain’t natural” argument and it IS for that reason.

    Who are you to tell me what I do and don’t know? What I have and haven’t encountered?

    I am telling you, I do not know gay folk who offer the “it’s natural” argument out of the blue, but only in response to that “it ain’t natural” argument. That IS the case. You do not know me, you anonymous blog person. You can’t even begin to tell me what I do and don’t know.

    Now, if you know of people who DO make that argument, and they think that everything that happens in the natural world is by default, good for humans to do, you can take that up with them. I know of no such people and you have produced no such people.

    Making up stuff about people you do not know does nothing to advance your position, it only undermines it, anonymous friend.

    As to this…

    You always want to insist that we use very narrow definitions and act surprised when we refuse to.

    I began my point here by saying, IF you want to argue the position “it’s not good,” or “it’s not what I think my god or goddess thinks…” then argue that. Or at least explain what definition of “natural” you are using. I have told you what definition I’m using and, with THAT definition (ie, the main, normal definition), your argument loses objectively and demonstrably.

    ~Dan

  20. “But, by definition, if something happens in nature, it IS natural.

    Words have meanings, friends.”

    Yes, often many meanings.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/natural
    nat·u·ral (nchr-l, nchrl)
    adj.
    1. Present in or produced by nature: a natural pearl.
    2. Of, relating to, or concerning nature: a natural environment.
    3. Conforming to the usual or ordinary course of nature: a natural death.
    4.
    a. Not acquired; inherent: Love of power is natural to some people.
    b. Having a particular character by nature: a natural leader.
    c. Biology Not produced or changed artificially; not conditioned: natural immunity; a natural reflex.
    5. Characterized by spontaneity and freedom from artificiality, affectation, or inhibitions. See Synonyms at naive.
    6. Not altered, treated, or disguised: natural coloring; natural produce.
    7. Faithfully representing nature or life.
    8. Expected and accepted: “In Willie’s mind marriage remained the natural and logical sequence to love” (Duff Cooper).
    9. Established by moral certainty or conviction: natural rights.
    10. Being in a state regarded as primitive, uncivilized, or unregenerate.
    11.
    a. Related by blood: the natural parents of the child.
    b. Born of unwed parents: a natural child.
    12. Mathematics Of or relating to positive integers, sometimes including zero.
    13. Music
    a. Not sharped or flatted.
    b. Having no sharps or flats.
    n.
    1.
    a. One having all the qualifications necessary for success: You are a natural for this job.
    b. One suited by nature for a certain purpose or function: She is a natural at mathematics.
    2. Music
    a. The sign () placed before a note to cancel a preceding sharp or flat.
    b. A note so affected.
    3. A yellowish gray to pale orange yellow.
    4. Games A combination in certain card and dice games that wins immediately.
    5. An Afro hairstyle.

    You may notice that none of these definitions, as demonstrated by their examples, are equal to your statement that “if it happens in nature, it’s natural.”

  21. OF course pro-marriage people say that homosexual behavior is unnatural. That’s because it isn’t. The pro-homosexual points to nature and says, “See? It happens there. It is natural because it happens in nature!”

    But the pro-marriage person isn’t saying “unnatural” in that way. When St Paul uses the word, he’s referring to natural function. As mentioned above, it is not the natural function of a man to have sex with a man.

    But now, Dan Trabue Webster has denied us the right to say “unnatural” and “not normal” in reference to homosexuals, despite what accurate descriptors they might be.

  22. paynehollow says:

    Fellas, I’m AWARE that there are multiple definitions of the word. But the one most known, most commonly used is the one I am referring to. IF you want to use some OTHER definition of the word other than the common one, then it is on you to make that clear.

    So, if you are STILL failing to understand, here is the point one more time:

    IN THE SENSE THAT gay behavior occurs in nature, gay behavior IS NATURAL. It is a NATURALLY OCCURRING behavior. THUS, that undermines the argument that “gay behavior is not natural.”

    THAT is my point. That is my entire point. It is a self-contained and complete argument that undermines completely the argument “gay behavior ain’t natural…” Now, as I have stated and re-stated:

    IF. YOU. WANT. TO. ARGUE. THAT. GAY. BEHAVIOR. IS. WRONG. IN. SOME. OTHER. SENSE. OTHER. THAN. “NOT FOUND IN NATURE.”, THEN. MAKE. THAT. POINT.

    John asked why people make that argument, I’ve answered that question and demonstrated clearly WHY people make that argument.

    I’ve also clearly and repeatedly clarified that people are NOT making that argument because they think every behavior found in nature is good for human’s to do. So now you know, it is NOT for that reason.

    IF you want to make some other argument, IF you want to use some definition of “natural” other than the common one, then MAKE THAT ARGUMENT. But the argument “gay behavior isn’t natural – it does not occur in nature…” is not a valid argument.

    Gee, guys, this really is not any huge deal. John asked. I answered. It is QUITE clear.

    So, acknowledging that, YES, Dan is correct using the COMMON definition of “natural,” what is your argument against gay behavior?

    Almost without fail, it comes back to this one:

    It is MY OPINION that my god or goddess or my religion that our god or goddess does not approve of it, that’s why it’s wrong. It’s against nature as I THINK my god created nature to be.

    If that is your argument, make it. Just move on.

    ~Danm

    • Trabue,

      One of the most common uses of the word “natural” is to describe what is innate, what is designed in humanity. The way things are to begin with (e.g. “natural” hair color vs. dyed). I have explained the definition people use when saying homosexual behavior is “unnatural” in that it is not natural biologically or by God’s design. Then you and your perverted ilk deceitfully respond with equivocation – changing the meaning – in your retort, in that you change it to mean “occurring in nature.” That type of debate, retort, discussion, etc is dishonest. But when people throw one set of moral values out the window, others, such as honesty, go out the window soon afterwards.

      Homosexual behavior was not programmed into man when God made man. That is very plain from Scripture – yes, the Scripture heretics like you and you ilk twist to your own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16)
      Then you have the hubris to tell us that the understanding Christians and Jews have had for over 4000 years in reference to what GOD actually SAYS is nothing but our “opinion.” That is what proves you to be a fool, as well as a heretic.

  23. Dan,

    It is a normally occurring behavior in the human and natural world. It is just a way of demonstrating observably that the “it’s not natural” argument against homosexuality does not hold up on its own.

    If by “natural,” you mean the strictest definition, i.e., “existing in or formed by nature,” then all manner of psychotic, gross, and goofy behavior may be considered “natural,” including – but not limited to – eating one’s feces, drinking one’s urine, shoving bananas up one’s rectum, and slicing off one’s penis. All of this behavior is, technically, “natural,” but it is definitely not normal.

    Looking at the male and female body, the two compliment one another. The two joining is a normal and biologically natural behavior. And by “natural,” I simply mean the organs are used for their intended purpose. I don’t think anyone could argue that a male penis is intended to enter a male rectum, or any rectum for that matter. It wouldn’t be a convincing argument, given the knowledge we have of evolutionary biology.

    I believe homosexuality is a mental illness or imbalance of some kind. It hasn’t been proven definitively, but I’ve read many studies which indicate that it may be an illness. And so these people need help, not encouragement from the likes of you or any other liberal.

  24. paynehollow says:

    So tell me this, fellas: PICK the ONE definition of “natural” you ARE using so we can talk about the same thing. Looking at C2C’s extensive list, are you suggesting gay behavior is “not natural” in the sense that it isn’t…

    1. Present in or produced by nature: a natural pearl.

    Of course, it IS present in nature, so that one fails.

    2. Of, relating to, or concerning nature: a natural environment.

    Don’t see how this relates to your argument or mine, particularly.

    3. Conforming to the usual or ordinary course of nature: a natural death.

    This comes closest to what might be your position: NOT normative, not usual.

    Are you suggesting gay behavior is “bad” because it is not normative, not usual?

    Of course, left-handedness and red-headedness are not normative, but simply being non-normative is in no way “bad…” (Well, very religious/superstitious people HAVE in the past, considered “lefthanders” evil, and may have even killed them for it, but hopefully you’re not that sort of superstitious in your reasoning).

    4.
    a. Not acquired; inherent: Love of power is natural to some people.

    Gay behavior is not something that anyone “acquires,” it just is inherent. So this one does not support your argument.

    b. Having a particular character by nature: a natural leader.

    Again, a homosexual orientation is a particular character by nature, so this one does not help your argument.

    c. Biology Not produced or changed artificially; not conditioned: natural immunity; a natural reflex.

    Again, for those who’d want to CHANGE someone’s orientation, that would be “against nature,” since it was changed artificially, but that would undermine your argument…

    You get my point, I hope. WHICH definition are you using that you think helps your case?

    Other than “not normative,” I don’t see one.

    I think you all are using the non-dictionary definition: MY God decides what is natural and I don’t think that my God intended this to be natural…

    Is THAT your definition you’re wanting to use? Then make that clear so people know what you’re talking about.

    If you’re going to use a non-normative definition of a word in an English conversation, the onus is on you to make clear your meaning.

    ~Dan

  25. I used to think homosexuality was odd, then I tried dividing it by 2 and seeing if the remainder was 1. It wasn’t, so my old math book tells me it’s not odd at all.

    Equivocating is an old technique of Dan’s. Some of the subsequent links are dead since he changed the name of his blog — the old URLs can help one find the post’s new locations — but I was critical of the practice more than four years ago.

    On more than one occasion, Dan had approvingly quoted people who said the worst things about capitalism — that the system is “totalitarian” and its adherents are “oppressors” — but how did defend Barack Obama against the charge of being an economic radical? By calling him a capitalist! In doing so, he went from a broad definition of a system he loathes to the extreme minimalist definition of a belief in the private ownership of property.

    He chooses definitions, not out of a need for consistency or clarity, but out of convenience. Just as inconvenient criticisms are denigrated as ad hominem attacks, and just as inconvenient questions are dismissed as off-topic, inconvenient definitions are dismissed as eccentricities EVEN when it’s clear that those definitions are quite conventional.

    And you don’t have to go far to see Dan acting inconsistently.

    In his very first comment here, just after insisting that the behavior is “natural,” Dan goes on to claim that homosexuality “is a normally occurring behavior in the human and natural world.”

    It’s certainly not, at least not by any reasonable definition of “normal.”

    Homosexual behavior occurs quite rarely in human society and in the natural world. By definition, the behavior is ABNORMAL, but Dan doesn’t take great pains to use the right word when it’s advantageous to use the wrong word.

  26. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    And by “natural,” I simply mean the organs are used for their intended purpose.

    “Intended” by whom? Nature?? Where is your evidence that nature does not “intend” for body parts to be used in certain ways?

    The penis, the rectum and many other body parts have pleasure sensors that help them function biologically. The human psyche (natural part of a human) enjoys sexuality in a variety of ways. Who gets to decide which ones are “intended” by nature? Where has nature written a book explaining nature’s intentions?

    Again, I THINK what you all are trying to say is that it is YOUR OPINION that this is contrary to God’s opinion of what God wants. And if that is your argument, make it. No problem. We could then discuss that belief or not, but we’d be talking about your actual argument, but clearly, in the sense that it happens in nature, the “it’s not natural” argument fails.

    Terrance…

    I believe homosexuality is a mental illness or imbalance of some kind. It hasn’t been proven definitively, but I’ve read many studies which indicate that it may be an illness.

    You are welcome to believe anything you want. But the experts do not share that belief.

    For instance, you are free to believe that eating apples causes people to grow claws and fangs and become basically a monster, but no medical expert will agree with you and you will be considered a bit odd. There is no evidence in the real world that homosexuality is a mental illness, so, while you’re welcome to believe that as a non-expert with nothing to support it, but you can’t be expected to speak in an authoritative voice on the matter.

    Shall we leave the medical and mental diagnoses to experts and acknowledge that, if we have something against a behavior, it is based on our own non-expert opinion, for what that’s worth?

    ~Dan

    • You are welcome to believe anything you want. But the experts do not share that belief.

      The appeal to ghostly authority.

      Well, Trabue, the MAJORITY of all medical experts say that homosexual behavior is harmful. The MAJORITY of people on the street say homosexual behavior is abnormal (that is, until they’ve been brainwashed by the leftist, homosexualist media).

      The parts of the human body were designed for compatibility. You say “by who” while you know darned well it was by God in his creation of opposite-sex persons for companionship. This is NOT an “opinion,” rather it is a FACT which everyone for over 4000 years has known and accepted, but lying heretics like you promote the demonic promotion of same-sex faux “marriage.”

  27. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    He chooses definitions, not out of a need for consistency or clarity, but out of convenience.

    I “choose” definitions because WORDS HAVE MEANINGS. When we communicate, it is essential that we KNOW the meanings of the words the Other is using, IF we want to communicate.

    So, rather than this rather boring and old hat ad hom attack, Bubba, why not just TELL us the definition of “natural” that you are using?

    Same for “normal” Marshall. I have ALWAYS been quite clear that homosexuality is not NORMATIVE. It is NOT THE NORM, it is rather rare. But I avoid “normal” in this sense because the definition of “normal” has a negative connotation that “normative” does not.

    And gay behavior DOES normally (usual or ordinary : not strange) happen in the real world. In the human world, it regularly occurs in 2-10% – probably closer to 2-3% – of the population. That is not strange, it always happens, it regularly (not unusually) happens in any human population at about that rate.

    See how that works?

    2-3% is NOT normative as a sexual orientation. BUT, ALWAYS, regularly, consistently happening at 2-3%, this is a normal and natural occurrence in the world.

    Now, what definition of “natural” are YOU using?

    ~Dan

  28. Dan:

    I ‘choose’ definitions because WORDS HAVE MEANINGS. When we communicate, it is essential that we KNOW the meanings of the words the Other is using, IF we want to communicate.

    And yet, you oscillate between vastly different definitions of capitalism, depending on whether you want to denounce the system as oppressive or defend Obama as an economic moderate.

    The purpose of communication is to clarify, but you seek to obfuscate, which is why it took literally months to extract from you a clear and unambiguous statement denying the causal relationship between Christ’s death and our salvation — and your dishonesty is obvious when you repeatedly portray yourself as politically moderate and theologically orthodox when it’s clear you’re anything but.

  29. No, John, something in 3% of a population IS normal, because Dan says so.

  30. paynehollow says:

    “normal” has judgmental overtones that are generally unflattering. “He ain’t normal!” might fit a fellow with a mental disorder, but it is also offensive. “He has this mental condition that is not normative.” also describes someone outside the same guy, but it doesn’t have the ugly connotations that “he ain’t normal” does.

    SO, if your intent is to offend and push people away, I suggest using “he ain’t normal…” If your intent is to describe in a polite conversation, then “normative” is a more precise and respectful word to use. It still communicates, “This is not statistically normative” without the baggage.

    Do you see the difference between me describing your opinions on homosexual orientation as “not normative” as opposed to “that ain’t normal!”

    The question becomes: DO you wish to converse with respect and hope to reach people with your position, or do you wish to insult? Or, put another way: If you want to reach people with your position, do you understand that “it ain’t normal” is insulting and will push people away and against your position, rather than shore up support your position?

    That is up to you. I would hope you’d want to reach people with your argument rather than push them away with offensive words.

    ~Dan

    • Youre imposing moral overtones just like you say we’re imposing moral overtones in using the term unnatural.

      I guess we should be clear and unequivocal and not pretend someone is saying something they arent.

    • “normal” has judgmental overtones that are generally unflattering. “He ain’t normal!” might fit a fellow with a mental disorder, but it is also offensive. “He has this mental condition that is not normative.” also describes someone outside the same guy, but it doesn’t have the ugly connotations that “he ain’t normal” does.

      OH!! So now Dan is claiming that by saying homosexual behavior is not normal, we are causing offense! Guess what, Trabue = “gays” and their enablers like you cause grave offense every time you use the force of law to force people to participate in fake wedding. You remind me of Joel Osteen – he doesn’t preach about sin because it makes people uncomfortable. Guess what – Sin is SUPPOSED to make you feel uncomfortable.

      You heretics are all alike. Homosexual behavior is always abnormal, always unnatural, always perverse, and ALWAYS an abomination before God. Any people like you who blaspheme God with your claims that He approves of homosexual behavior are partnering with Satan to lead people to Hell.

  31. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    you seek to obfuscate

    AND YET, on THIS post, I have been quite clear what I mean. So, rather than your ad hom nonsense (which only undermines your “argument,” which does not even exist on topic yet), why not get to your point and answer: What definition of “natural” are you speaking of that makes any sense or somehow supports your position?

    Because, ON TOPIC, clearly, the normal definition of “natural” totally destroys the claim “it ain’t natural…”

    ~Dan

  32. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Youre imposing moral overtones

    Are you saying that, in the real world, you do not recognize that “he ain’t normal” is considered offensive? Do you not recognize that “this behavior is not normative” SAYS the same thing without the offensive moral overtone?

    I’m honestly curious to the answers of those questions. It could be that you’re unfamiliar with how offensive/insulting this phrase (he ain’t normal) is usually.

    Regardless, in the real world, I am not “imposing” moral overtones. They just exist. Observably, demonstrably.

    Also: What definition of “natural” are you using, John?

    You all are trying to make a case (“it ain’t natural”), but I’ve already demonstrated how, with the normal, standard definition of natural, your argument must fail. Demonstrably. So, you all appear to be wanting to use another definition. Choose one from C2C’s list and communicate your idea.

  33. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    something in 3% of a population IS normal, because Dan says so.

    Not what I said. I said: something that occurs regularly in 3% of the population IS normally occurring. It regularly happens in the real, natural world. There is nothing unnatural or abnormal about its regular occurrence. Within a population, that 2-3% (or whatever) is not normative of the spectrum of sexual orientation, but it IS normally, regularly occurring.

    And JUST LIKE being red-headed or left-handed is not normative of the population, there is nothing abnormal about people who are red-headed or left-handed or with a homosexual orientation.

    The trait is NON-normative. The people are Normal.

    See the difference.

    English. It’s a great thing, when used correctly.

    Communicate, fellas, communicate.

    ~Dan

  34. paynehollow says:

    John…

    you saying that in the real world you dont recognize that when someone says something is unnatural they dont mean that it isnt seen in nature?

    I don’t know WHAT you mean because you have not defined your usage of the word. In the real world, people usually say, “That ain’t natural!” in the same way they usually use “That ain’t normal!” – to make a moral judgment. That is, they do not mean “That does not occur in the natural world,” they mean, “That is not a moral, good behavior!” They do not mean, “That trait is not normative!” They mean, “That’s just wrong!”

    But YOU TELL ME: What do you mean by the word? Which definition of “natural” are you using?

    Communicate, friend John.

  35. Not only does Dan equivocate, he outright lies. It has NEVER been proven that homosexual predilections are innate or inherent.

  36. Dan:

    You’re evidently not using a conventional definition for “normal” or “normative,” and I see that your issues with the word “normal” have nothing to do with dictionary definitions but with whether the mere connotations strike you as “unflattering” or “offensive.”

    …why not get to your point and answer: What definition of ‘natural’ are you speaking of that makes any sense or somehow supports your position?

    Yes, Dan, whatever point I’ve been trying to make — including in my first comment, which you’ve skipped over entirely — is tied inexorably to the question you’re asking. Everything else is irrelevant.

    Even in your own blog, it’s odious for you to act as the Supreme Arbiter of Relevance when it’s entirely possible for relevant criticism to question the assumptions that you think cannot be questioned, but what are you doing playing this game here?

    Who the hell made you judge over what’s germane at other people’s blogs?

    And if you’re going to insist on answers to your questions, I shall insist that you answer the questions I had in the earlier thread, about how you justify eating meat but not zoophilia, about how you justify your claim that the Bible’s historical and ethical claims aren’t authoritative, and how your position on homosexuality deals with the Bible’s (and Christ’s!) “truth and wisdom” that, from the beginning, God made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

  37. “Intended” by whom? Nature?? Where is your evidence that nature does not “intend” for body parts to be used in certain ways?

    A desired result according to evolutionary biology.

    You are welcome to believe anything you want. But the experts do not share that belief.

    Hence the reason I said it hasn’t been proven. But some experts do share my belief. Not enough for the belief to be considered “proven,” but neither are there enough experts who believe homosexuality is an inherent characteristic for you to go about saying it.

    There is no evidence in the real world that homosexuality is a mental illness…

    Yes, there is.

    Shall we leave the medical and mental diagnoses to experts and acknowledge that, if we have something against a behavior, it is based on our own non-expert opinion, for what that’s worth?

    I am not an expert, true. But I’ve read the opinion of many experts – and that is what I said. So, is this tangent you’ve gone off on another way to distract from your hopelessly pathetic argument?

  38. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    You’re evidently not using a conventional definition for “normal” or “normative,” and I see that your issues with the word “normal” have nothing to do with dictionary definitions but with whether the mere connotations strike you as “unflattering” or “offensive.”

    YES! Exactly! Very good, Bubba!

    This is the point, exactly. BECAUSE the word “normal” has taken on connotations beyond the dictionary definition, I MADE CLEAR why I am not using that strict definition, I explained the difference between how and why I am using “normal” vs “normative” and, given that explanation and clarification, my usage makes perfect sense.

    We are waiting for you all to do the same for “natural” and your non-normative usage of the term.

    ~Dan

  39. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    It has NEVER been proven that homosexual predilections are innate or inherent.

    It certainly has in the life of people whose orientation has been innate/inherent. I NEVER ONE TIME “chose” to “embrace heterosexuality.” It was/is innate. It’s just there. You couldn’t “make” me “be homosexual” if you wanted to. It simply is an innate part of who I am. Same is true for my gay and lesbian friends. It just is.

    You have no proof otherwise, do you?

    Was your heterosexuality chosen, Terrance, or was it innate? Does that need to be “proven” to you or do you just know it is?

    ~Dan

  40. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    Who the hell made you judge over what’s germane at other people’s blogs?

    John has repeatedly asked me and others to stick to the topic. I’m doing so, or striving to do so. If the topic is “is it natural?” then the question, “What definition of “natural” are you using?” is germane to the topic.

    Do you disagree?

    ~Dan

  41. paynehollow says:

    John…

    It shows a sever lack of intellectual honesty to not grant that our sexual organs have a complementary purpose – male to female.

    IF we want to discuss STRICTLY “How do humans procreate?” then, yes, male to female body parts are important. But our God-given, natural sexuality is not limited strictly to procreation.

    Are you going to come out against any and all sexual/physical touching that does not lead to procreation? Are you coming out against oral sex, touching breasts, french kissing or any of a large number of pleasurable body contacts that humans take part in as they enjoy their sexuality for all people, gay, straight, married?

    If so, do you care if no one listens to you?

    Our body is a wonderfully created package, full of all sorts of experiences and sensations. Nature has NOT told us, “You must limit your sensations and experiences to these few items.” Nor has “Biology.”

    Do you agree with this observable reality?

    Now, some people have opinions about what their god or goddesses might think about a variety of human touches and sensations, and if you want to argue that with those who agree with your opinions about what gods/goddesses think, that’s fine. But you can’t really expect people who disagree with your opinions about gods/goddesses opinions to place too much weight on those opinions of yours, can you?

    ~Dan

    • We were talking about what the intentions of sexual organs are, their natural ams unnatural use, not what I might object or consent to sexually. Why steer the topic?

      Whether people misuse their bodies isnt up for debate, wouldnt you AGREE?

  42. paynehollow says:

    John…

    We were talking about what the intentions of sexual organs are, their natural ams unnatural use, not what I might object or consent to sexually. Why steer the topic?

    You are making an unsupported in the real world claim: That “nature” or “biology” “INTENDS” our bodies to be used a certain way. Is that correct? If so, I am simply responding “nature” has not “told” us that “nature” “Intends” for our penises and vaginas to be used ONLY in certain ways. Again, this is just a simple, observable fact.

    Do you disagree? Do you think “nature” HAS told us “nature’s” “intentions…” If so, where and when? I missed the memo.

    You appear to be, interestingly, making “nature” into a being with reason and intent. But I doubt that this is your intent, is it? DO you recognize that nature has no “intentions,” as nature is not a sentient being?

    As to “their natural and unnatural use…” I don’t know that you can come up with an “unnatural” use for a body part. IF it happens in nature, it is natural, if we’re using the common definition. IF you’re NOT using the common definition, what definition of the word “natural” are you using?

    We could certainly come up with “uncommon” uses. We could probably debate about “unhealthy” uses. But “Unnatural…” what IS an unnatural use of a body part?

    Is it “unnatural” for a hand to touch a breast? Is it “unnatural” for other body parts to touch a breast? Is it unnatural for two loves to touch one another’s bottoms? I can’t think of what would be “unnatural” in the common English meaning of that word. And who would decide what is and isn’t natural? It sounds like you are speaking of cultural value judgments about various sexual practices, moreso than “natural” and “unnatural…”

    John…

    Whether people misuse their bodies isnt up for debate, wouldnt you AGREE?

    IF you’re asking do I think some people misuse/abuse/cause harm to their own bodies, yes, I agree. I’m not sure how that is salient to anything here, but yes, I agree. It happens.

    ~Dan

  43. Dan, John hasn’t yet asked me to avoid any subjects I’ve raised, and I haven’t seen where he’s deputized you to enforce his request that comments be off-topic. Until he does, I think you should back off at least a little.

    Y’know, in the spirit of civil conversation.

    You mention “our God-given, natural sexuality.”

    According to God Incarnate, why did God make us male and female? Hmm?

  44. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    According to God Incarnate, why did God make us male and female? Hmm?

    God has not told us all exclusively all the reasons God has made us male and female. Certainly, though, companionship is included. And producing offspring. And, I think, for enjoying and reinforcing/supporting/strengthening the love and companionship and commitment that married folk make.

    At least, for those of us who respect biblical teachings, we can conclude this.

    What of it?

    ~Dan

    • Dan

      You are such a weasel. You Jesus said “for this reason, tjey were made male and female…”. Why do you need the word “only” to be present?

      By your standard not all murder, rape, theft, beastiality, or incest is wrong because the bible doesnt say they are wrong in all cases. Give me a friggin break. Just be honest for a change.

  45. “God has not told us all exclusively all the reasons God has made us male and female.”

    Even assuming that, what IS the reason God Incarnate provided for why He made us male and female? Love, companionship, and even procreation don’t get at the central claim.

    You say you know and love and revere Christ’s teachings, so quote His answer. Go to Matthew 19 if you don’t know it by heart.

    According to God Incarnate, for what reason did God make us male and female?

  46. paynehollow says:

    John…

    You Jesus said “for this reason, tjey were made male and female…”. Why do you need the word “only” to be present?

    By your standard not all murder, rape, theft, beastiality, or incest is wrong because the bible doesnt say they are wrong in all cases.

    ? Sorry, I’m not at all sure what you’re talking about here. I’m not the one who treats the Bible as a rulebook and says, “If it’s found here, it’s wrong…” Murder, rape, etc, are wrong because they cause harm. They should ALWAYS be opposed. THAT is why they are wrong, not because we find a line in the Bible that says, “this is wrong…”

    Are YOU saying that things are wrong only when they are called wrong in the Bible? Because that certainly is not my position.

    ~Dan

  47. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    I have explained the definition people use when saying homosexual behavior is “unnatural” in that it is not natural biologically or by God’s design.

    OKAY! So, look WAY back to my first statements. You will find this:

    The thing is, you don’t mean so much “it’s not natural” as “I don’t think it’s moral or good behavior…” but that is a separate argument. We should argue the actual arguments we want to make, not other, disprovable arguments.

    Glenn, you are NOT arguing “it isn’t natural, meaning it isn’t found in the natural world…”

    YOU are arguing, “It is my opinion that God’s opinion that it isn’t good or as God designed it…”

    IF you want to make that argument, make it clearly. But when you refer to “ain’t natural,” most people are looking to nature and seeing that it is, indeed, natural, and thus, your argument loses by definition.

    You are making this second, separate argument about your opinion about what you think God’s opinion might be.

    Other people don’t buy into your opinions on the point. So, that one is a winning argument ONLY for those who agree with your opinions about what God thinks. For most of us, not so much.

    See? It isn’t hard to clarify what your actual argument is, rather than spending all this time going back and forth about definitions. Just be clear up front what you are actually saying, that’s the way to communicate!

    Yay, Glenn!

    ~Dan

    • The thing is, you don’t mean so much “it’s not natural” as “I don’t think it’s moral or good behavior…” but that is a separate argument. We should argue the actual arguments we want to make, not other, disprovable arguments.

      Trabue, you dishonest little ass. You can’t sit there and tell me what I mean. I MEAN that homosexual behavior is NOT NATURAL. Period. Natural is how God made us – male and female. Unnatural is going against God’s design – just like what Paul meant in Romans 1.

      YOU are arguing, “It is my opinion that God’s opinion that it isn’t good or as God designed it…”

      No, you dishonest ass, I am NOT arguing an “opinion,” I’m telling you the factual evidence from the Bible. The factual evidence that everyone for thousands of year understood but that DAN in his hubris claims is merely an “opinion.”

      MOST people KNOW what we mean when we say homosexual behavior is unnatural. Only homosexualists equivocate the meaning so as to deceive themselves that they have won the argument.

  48. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    You say you know and love and revere Christ’s teachings, so quote His answer. Go to Matthew 19 if you don’t know it by heart.

    The Matt 19 teaching from Jesus is a teaching about divorce. The point Jesus is making, (in response to the pharisaical question, “is it lawful to divorce?”) is that the point of marriage is to stay together. Forever. Do NOT separate what has been joined.

    What of it? What does that have to do with the question of “is it natural?”

    What definition of “natural” are you using?

    I’ve answered and re-answered your questions, Bubba. To be fair, I’ll await your answers to my questions before answering any more from you.

    Another great thing about good communication is that it is two-way.

    ~Dan

  49. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Youve said homosexuality is ok because it isnt stated that its wrong in all contexts ay all times. Well, neither are these. Be consistent.

    No, John, that is specifically NOT what I have stated. You have missed my point. Sorry.

    To remind you of my actual points on this line, for your sake:

    1. Homosexuality and heterosexuality are innate, part of who we are, not chosen (at least as a general rule). They are natural (ie, part of the nature of a person) human orientations. Thus, the orientation is not in and of itself wrong. Why would it be?

    2. Those who argue that the Bible says all gay behavior is wrong are mistaken. They get this from reading into the biblical texts something that isn’t there. I believe this is a human cultural tradition – a flawed and mistaken one – not a teaching from God.

    3. Love, commitment, shared lives, loving expression of sexuality within a committed marriage relationship… these are INNATELY, obviously good, moral, noble, loving things and thus, they are Good and Right for their own goodness’ sake. As the Bible teaches, whatsoever things are good, noble, true, pure… these ARE the things to think on and support and pursue.

    Murder, bestiality, rape, etc, these are wrong because they are innately wrong, they cause harm and are NOT pure, noble, good, loving. They are the opposite of good, by nature, and should be opposed.

    Thus, I am consistent. How exactly is this related to your topic, though?

    What definition of “natural” are you using, John? I think it would help clarify if you could point to it.

    Thanks,

    Dan

  50. paynehollow says:

    And we understand that this is your opinion about what “god” wants, or at least, your image of “god.” And, IF that is what you think “god” wants, I encourage you not to marry a gay guy.

    But your arguments rely entirely upon your cultural, human traditions and opinions and you can’t expect people who disagree with your opinions to say, “Oh, well, Glenn thinks so, so I guess we should all agree…” You have to have something more compelling than, “Thus saith Glenn…” if you want to make your case.

    ~Dan

  51. Matthew 19 is about divorce, and there’s no other obvious applications to the principle that Jesus gave in verses 4-5, verses that we can omit without doing any damage to the passage. Likewise, the parable of the Good Samaritan is ONLY about helping strangers on the side of the road, and Christ’s criticism of abusing the concept of corban (in Mark 7) has no wider application regarding the general principle of honoring one’s parents.

    The point Jesus is making, (in response to the pharisaical question, “is it lawful to divorce?”) is that the point of marriage is to stay together. Forever. Do NOT separate what has been joined.

    And what has God joined? What He has joined is directly connected to Christ’s stated reason for why God made us male and female: THE UNION OF MAN AND WIFE.

    You cannot bring yourself to simply restate what Christ taught, because you obviously reject that teaching.

  52. “I’ve answered and re-answered your questions, Bubba. To be fair, I’ll await your answers to my questions before answering any more from you.”

    No, you haven’t. You’ve tried to dismiss the questions, first with question-begging non-answers such as how bestiality is obviously wrong while eating meat is obviously okay, then with the false and idiotic claim that the questions were off-topic.

    If you insist on being the arbiter of whether I’ve answered your questions, why do you also insist on deciding whether you’ve answered mine?

  53. paynehollow says:

    Yes, Bubba, in that passage, he is speaking about men and women who are married. WHAT OF IT?

    Does Jesus say, “AND THIS and ONLY this is what I mean by ‘marriage…’?” No. What of it?

    How does it relate to what is and isn’t natural? What is and isn’t good and healthy and moral?

    What definition of “natural” are you using?

    And I do NOT reject the teaching. I embrace it! MARRIAGE IS A GOOD AND BLESSED THING! Don’t tell me what I reject and don’t reject. I believe marriage to be a good, healthy thing, the best and right place to express one’s sexuality. Whether one is gay or straight.

    YOU are the one rejecting that teaching, at least when it comes to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. You do so perhaps because you read INTO that passage something that the passage does not say, “… and when I say this, I mean ONLY men and ONLY women marrying…” That is NOT in the text. That is an add-on by you.

    You all seek to say that the Bible “defines” marriage when it doesn’t, and that this biblical “definition” (which isn’t there) is “God’s opinion” about what marriage should be when God DOES NOT SAY THAT. And here on this post, you all appear to be saying “nature” “Intends” for guys not to have sex, when “nature” has not said this. At all.

    You all keep conflating your human traditions and opinions with “nature” and “God,” and that is where you err. You’re welcome to your opinions but if you can’t make them outside of “Well, this is what I think God thinks…” you can’t really expect others to be swooned by that reasoning.

    ~Dan

  54. Dan, I bring up Matthew 19 because you mentioned “our God-given, natural sexuality.”

    You not only describe our sexuality as natural, but as the gift of God. By introducing that claim, you making it ENTIRELY relevant to ask the obvious question, to what end did God provide that gift?

    Why did God give us sexuality? God Himself, incarnate in Jesus Christ, actually answers that question, and you don’t seem the least bit interested in that answer.

    I asked you what God’s own answer was to the reason we were made male and female.

    You first provided OTHER answers, involving companionship and procreation — good reasons, but NOT the one Christ Himself gave.

    You now act as if His answer doesn’t matter, because the answer was given in the context of a question regarding divorce — as if Christ’s teachings are limited to the initial context in which they were given.

    You evidently don’t care at all what God has to say about His own gift of sexuality. It couldn’t be that your indifference to His revelation has something to do with a rebellion against His revealed will, could it?

  55. Yes, Bubba, in that passage, he is speaking about men and women who are married. WHAT OF IT?

    Christ also told us why God created us male and female. What was that reason?

    And I do NOT reject the teaching. I embrace it! MARRIAGE IS A GOOD AND BLESSED THING! Don’t tell me what I reject and don’t reject. I believe marriage to be a good, healthy thing, the best and right place to express one’s sexuality. Whether one is gay or straight.

    An androgynous conception of marriage — a conception that includes both gay and straight couples — is one that DOES reject Christ’s stated reason for why God created us male and female.

    Jesus Christ didn’t endorse marriage as a label that we can apply to whatever we wish: He endorsed marriage in the context of God’s will that a man be joined to his wife.

    YOU are the one rejecting that teaching, at least when it comes to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. You do so perhaps because you read INTO that passage something that the passage does not say, ‘… and when I say this, I mean ONLY men and ONLY women marrying…’ That is NOT in the text. That is an add-on by you.

    According to Jesus Christ, why did God make us male and female?

    That gay brother of ours, according to Jesus Christ, why did God make him male?

    That lesbian sister of ours, according to Jesus Christ, why did God make her female?

    You know the answer, but you cannot bring yourself to say it because it so obviously flies in the face of your embrace of sin — not even you with all your distortions and manipulations can attempt to argue this:

    “God made that gay man male so that he would become one flesh with his wife, and therefore it’s ALSO okay for him to become one flesh with another man, so long as he calls that man his husband.”

  56. paynehollow says:

    What definition of “natural” are you using, Bubba?

    I’m saying that our orientation is innate, and natural. Clearly, demonstrably so.

    I’m saying that there is no evidence that the orientation itself is in any way unhealthy or “bad.” Zero evidence.

    I’m saying that, for those of us who believe in God, we have reasons to believe that those things that are good, noble, true, pure, loving… that these things ARE good in and of themselves.

    I’m saying that the Bible does NOT “define” marriage. It simply does not. That is a human eisegeis – a reading into the text something that isn’t there.

    I’m saying that God has not TOLD any of us why God made Bubba a male, or Dan a male. We just are.

    Nor has God told any of us why Bubba has a presumably heterosexual orientation, it’s just God’s gift to Bubba, God’s way of making Bubba. Similarly, Dan has Dan’s orientation and our gay and lesbian friends and family have their sexual orientation. It’s just the way we were born and God has not told us why we were born that way. It simply has not happened.

    I’m saying trying to treat the Bible like a rulebook is unbiblical and irrational. Additionally, I’m saying trying to treat it like a rulebook but only part of the time – when we can say, “Here are some rules that YOU should be following…” but not so much when the rules apply to our personal behavior – is hypocritical and foolish.

    On the topic of this post, I’m stating what is obviously, observably factual: The “it ain’t natural” argument demonstrably fails BY DEFINITION, when “natural” is defined in the English language’s most common definitions. “It ain’t natural” is demonstrably false when it happens in nature.

    I’m saying, IF you’re defining “natural” to mean some non-standard definition (ie, “natural = my belief about how god or ‘nature’ intends us to be…”) then you are making a separate argument and you should make THAT argument, for clarity’s sake.

    That is what I’m saying, quite clearly and on topic.

    ~Dan

    • What Trabue is saying is one lie after another, self-deceived so as to justify his heresy, perversion, and enablement of queers.

      Wait, it’s just Trabue’s OPINION that we are all wrong, because he has no evidence to support his claims. None, nada, zip.

  57. paynehollow says:

    The difference, Glenn, is that I gladly acknowledge my opinion as being my opinion. I do not delude myself in presuming I am speaking for God.

    But factually speaking “it ain’t natural” is demonstrably false, factually, since it DOES happen naturally, in the natural world.

    Now, once we move from the demonstrable and factual (my point on this post) to the opinion about God’s opinion (YOUR hunch about what God thinks), THEN we move from fact to opinion.

    Neither of us can factually demonstrate that we are speaking for God. Only one of us deludes himself into thinking he does and that his words = God’s Words.

    Who do you think is more reliable? Someone who is CONVINCED that he – a mere mortal – can NOT be mistaken on this point and that he speaks for God – or someone who recognizes opinions as opinions?

    Fact is, you have nothing to support your position but your opinion, Glenn. None. Nada. Zip.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,
      There you go again with equivocating with the word “natural”. You did just as I said you and your ilk do. I gave the definition of “natural” as I – and Paul in Romans – used the word and you turned it right back what YOU want to mean by it.

      No, you don’t say it is your “opinion,” you state factually that God has said nothing in Scripture about “committed” same-sex coupling.
      
We have demonstrated FACTUALLY what the Bible says about what God thinks of homosexual behavior. You continue to make a truth claim (i.e. fact) that we are wrong.

      The more reliable person is the one who accepts what Scripture REALLY says – and as has been understood by Jews and Christians for 4000 years. The unreliable one is the proven heretic with hubris who says 4000 years of belief is wrong.

  58. THERE IT IS.

    I’m saying that God has not TOLD any of us why God made Bubba a male, or Dan a male. We just are.

    Dan, you’re saying so is in direct defiance to Christ’s explicit explanation for why God created us male and female.

    Jesus Christ pointed to our very creation, “from the beginning,” to explain to a bunch of first-century Jews why they were created male and female: surely that reason applies just as strongly to twenty-first-century Americans. We are, to use the Narnian titles, sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, and so God has indeed told ALL OF US why He made me a male, why He made you a male, and why He made our wives female.

    Jesus Christ’s stated reason for why God made us male and female was so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female), and that divinely revealed reason for our being created male and female IS NOT TRUMPED by mere human speculation about orientation.

    “I’m saying trying to treat the Bible like a rulebook is unbiblical and irrational.”

    Yes, yes: never mind the fact that the Bible itself makes no distinction regarding the authority of its historical claims, its ethical instructions, or its doctrinal principles, you think that the Bible is a book ONLY of “truth and wisdom.”

    Well, that’s what we have in Matthew 19: truth about why God made us male and female. But you outright deny that God has revealed His purpose for human sexuality.

    You’re in no position to berate anyone for a hypocritical and self-serving approach to Scripture.

    You say that sexuality is a gift from God, but you deny that God has revealed His intention for that gift, even though Jesus Christ Himself has done exactly that.

    You’re plugging your ears to pretend that God mumbles. You’re asking, “Has God really said this?” and that’s a question with a very long and literally demonic pedigree.

  59. “Who do you think is more reliable? Someone who is CONVINCED that he – a mere mortal – can NOT be mistaken on this point and that he speaks for God – or someone who recognizes opinions as opinions?”

    The Apostles presumed to speak authoritatively — and while it is wrong to presume to speak for God without such authorization, it’s also wrong to pretend that God hasn’t clearly revealed His will, to such a degree that people are powerless to rebuke others for their flagrant approval of sin.

    Dan, considering how often you presume to condemn us for breaking God’s law through slander and bearing false witness — even though the Bible NEVER condemns ALL instances of such behavior — perhaps you shouldn’t accuse others of speaking for God.

    That’s hypocrisy, and God forbids hypocrisy — at least, I think He does. We can never be sure about what God has revealed, other than the obvious stuff like the beauty of sodomy.

  60. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    The Apostles presumed to speak authoritatively — and while it is wrong to presume to speak for God without such authorization, it’s also wrong to pretend that God hasn’t clearly revealed His will

    Glenn ain’t an apostle. And the apostles, I will note, were wrong and disagreed amongst themselves, so that self-confidence is not always justified.

    Has God revealed God’s will? Sure. We are to live lives of grace and love and forgiveness, speaking out for and siding with the oppressed and marginalized. Love God and love people. This much is clear.

    But has God offered God’s opinion about marriage between gay folk? About nuclear war? About dropping bombs on the enemy and their children? About the morality of cars and pollution? No, not directly. Christians and people of good faith can and do disagree about these topics and only a fool would presume to say, “I am speaking for God on this point and on this point, I CAN NOT BE MISTAKEN…”

    A fool would think this because Paul has taught us, “NOW, we only see as through a glass, darkly… NOW, we only know in part…” And beyond what Paul has said, we routinely recognize that delusions of grandeur (and believing you speak for God on esoteric topics certainly fits that category) as disordered thinking at worst and Pharisee-level arrogance at best.

    For my part, I gladly admit that I do not know all of God’s ways, I do NOT speak for God – especially on topics that God has not told me God’s opinion. I just know what makes sense to me, what seems obviously moral and good to me/what seems obvious wrong and immoral to me. And one thing that seems immoral and irrational is presuming to speak for God something that God has not told you.

    Seems reasonable to me.

    Peace.

    Dan

  61. It certainly has in the life of people whose orientation has been innate/inherent.

    Yes, like heterosexuals. Any sort of deviation from intended purpose is not innate/inherent.

    I NEVER ONE TIME “chose” to “embrace heterosexuality.” It was/is innate.

    Heterosexuality is an example of intended purpose. You use your sexual organ the way nature intended it be used.

    Same is true for my gay and lesbian friends. It just is.

    No, it isn’t.

    You have no proof otherwise, do you?

    I have several studies I could show you. Will you ignore them? No doubt.

  62. For my part, I gladly admit that I do not know all of God’s ways, I do NOT speak for God – especially on topics that God has not told me God’s opinion.

    LOL. “God’s opinion” — Dan thinks that even God has mere opinions! Next thing we know, we’ll be discussing God’s hunches versus Dan’s facts!

    …and, beyond that, it’s laughable for you to cite Paul when he’s pretty clear in his teachings against homosexuality and when you’ve denigrated his teachings by accusing them of containing bigotry.

    The Apostles did self-consciously teach with the authority of being the hand-picked apostles of Jesus Christ Himself, even self-consciously writing scripture. That Paul confronted Peter about his backsliding regarding Gentile-Jewish unity simply doesn’t detract from the authority from which both of them taught in their letters.

    I just know what makes sense to me, what seems obviously moral and good to me/what seems obvious wrong and immoral to me. And one thing that seems immoral and irrational is presuming to speak for God something that God has not told you.

    I agree that it is wrong to presume to speak for God when He hasn’t spoken, but it is EQUALLY presumptuous to pretend that He hasn’t spoken when He has.

    God Incarnate has clearly affirmed that, from the beginning, God made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

    Yet you deny that teaching.

    “I’m saying that God has not TOLD any of us why God made Bubba a male, or Dan a male. We just are.

    You do so to your discredit.

  63. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    Yet you deny that teaching.

    I deny that you are understanding the teaching aright. There is a difference.

    I think YOU are mistaken, not the text.

    Embrace that difference, Bubba.

  64. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    I have several studies I could show you.

    You have studies that demonstrate that our orientation – gay or straight – is NOT innate? I rather doubt it. Or, if you do have studies that are legitimate, I rather doubt you are understanding them correctly. But by all means, show us some study that says we are NOT born with a certain orientation.

    Just to be clear: Are you seriously suggesting that all people are born with a heterosexual orientation, but that some 2-3% choose to be NOT heterosexual? And you think you have a study to support that?

    Show away.

    • Dan, you realize that the APA admits that there is no evidence showing why people are gay. Also, twin studies prove homosexuality is not genetic. If it were, there could be no sets of twins that had 1 gay twin and 1 straight one.

  65. Dan:

    I deny that you are understanding the teaching aright. There is a difference.

    I think YOU are mistaken, not the text.

    Embrace that difference, Bubba.

    Without your enlightening us on the correct interpretation of the teaching? Absolutely not.

    Show me a plausible understanding that goes from the text’s claim — that, from the beginning, God made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife — to your position:

    I’m saying that God has not TOLD any of us why God made Bubba a male, or Dan a male. We just are.

    It’s funny that you don’t show your work. Maybe it’s just “obvious” like every other oddball statement that you make.

  66. paynehollow says:

    John…

    you realize that the APA admits that there is no evidence showing why people are gay.

    I know there are no studies that demonstrate scientifically “THIS is the gay gene…” I’m just talking about common sense science, now.

    I was NEVER “made” to be straight. I NEVER “chose” to be straight. It was just there. Innate. Natural. Part of me. Is the same true for you? For EVERYONE you’ve ever met?

    Well, the same is true for anyone I’ve ever met, gay or straight. I’ve never heard of people saying, “Yeah, I was attracted to girls – still am! – but I decided to ‘go gay,’ cause that sounded like fun…” It was and is just part of who we are.

    I do know that there are some few examples of people out there who have claimed that and, okay, so perhaps there are a few examples of people choosing to embrace an orientation that they don’t really have (although I suspect that they were probably bisexual and just opted towards one direction, would be a more likely explanation). But just think about it: What would it TAKE to make you want to make out with a guy? Is there ANYTHING that could make you want to do that, if not something innate? Not me. It just isn’t in me to want to make out with guys. Same is true for anyone else I’ve ever met, with the possible exception of some bisexual people – but then, they would be bisexual, not “gay” or “straight…”

    If you have zero evidence to make me think, “Huh, there ARE people out there who all the time embrace an orientation contrary to their own natural, God-given orientation…,” well, then this anecdotal but universal (in my experience) real world evidence is pretty compelling to me.

    ~Dan

  67. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    “I’m saying that God has not TOLD any of us why God made Bubba a male, or Dan a male. We just are.”

    It’s funny that you don’t show your work. Maybe it’s just “obvious” like every other oddball statement that you make.

    I don’t know what to tell you, Bubba. IN THE REAL WORLD, God has not walked up to me or to you and said, “Bubba, it is for THIS reason that I made you a male: Because I wanted you to marry a woman…”

    Yes, there IS a biblical text that says all that we find in Matt 19. And you, Bubba, interpret that to mean that God is telling us that the one and only reason God made us male and female is to marry someone of the opposite text. But the text does not say that. It does not demand that. It does not imply that.

    In response to questions about divorce, the text has Jesus saying…

    ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    WHY? So that they who were two, could be one. That this man and this woman would be married and stay married. The CLEAR point of this teaching, in context, is that Jesus is answering them, NO, you should not get divorces, that was not the intention of people marrying. The intention is that they stay together.

    But it is not specifically demanding this additional teaching: AND it is ONLY for straight men and straight women, to marry each other. NO OTHER possible combinations need apply…

    The text does not say that, the context does not demand it.

    It simply is not there.

    You are reading extra stuff into the passage that simply is not there.

    And Bubba, if you read this passage and somehow find that God is also insisting that married couples adopt purple unicorns, well, that’s fine, but that is not in the text, either. It just isn’t there.

    ~Dan

  68. Dan:

    About Matthew 19, you say that I “interpret that to mean that God is telling us that the one and only reason God made us male and female is to marry someone of the opposite text [sic].”

    No, I don’t, but it IS the only reason given: sure, there may be ADDITIONAL reasons, but in the absence of any actual revelation, it’s presumptuous to conclude that there are CONTRADICTORY reasons.

    But it is not specifically demanding this additional teaching: AND it is ONLY for straight men and straight women, to marry each other. NO OTHER possible combinations need apply…

    I’m not demanding that teaching, either. I don’t believe Matthew 19 applies only to straight people.

    Why did God make a specific person male? Biblically, the answer is, to become one flesh with his wife, and other characteristics about the man are irrelevant: it doesn’t matter if he’s right-handed or left-handed, blind or with sight, OR STRAIGHT OR GAY.

    If a gay man were to ask me, “why did God make me male?” I could still tell him what the Bible says: to become one flesh with his wife. What matters is the person’s sex, not his orientation.

    I don’t know what to tell you, Bubba. IN THE REAL WORLD, God has not walked up to me or to you and said, ‘Bubba, it is for THIS reason that I made you a male: Because I wanted you to marry a woman…’

    You’re being a complete hypocrite, Dan, because earlier in this same conversation you wrote this:

    “Has God revealed God’s will? Sure. We are to live lives of grace and love and forgiveness, speaking out for and siding with the oppressed and marginalized. Love God and love people. This much is clear.”

    IN THE REAL WORLD, has God “walked up to you” and said, Love Me and love people?

    Probably not, but you don’t hesitate to say that “this much is clear” as being God’s revealed will.

    You DON’T object to having a list of beliefs regarding God’s revealed will. You just object to the specifics of what’s on the list of orthodox Christians, but you sneer with bullshit about purple unicorns or demands about receiving direct revelation.

    When you want to reject the plain teaching of Scripture, you sound far too much like a petulant atheist. If you were ever the least bit consistent, you would probably abandon any pretense to Christianity, and I suspect that God would show more honor to your honest agnosticism than to your false-flag invocation of His name.

    I know I’d hold you in higher esteem.

  69. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    IN THE REAL WORLD, has God “walked up to you” and said, Love Me and love people?

    Yes, in a thousand ways, God confirms to me that loving one another is a great and glorious good. Not outright speaking to me, no, but it is clear nonetheless.

    Do you disagree that in thousands of ways, God does not make it clear that loving is a great and glorious good?

    I doubt that you disagree.

    But when it comes down to this behavior or that behavior, this permutation of response to that behavior… has God “told me” that this is wrong, that is right? No. I recognize a wide spectrum of certainty on what is and isn’t good.

    Loving people, Loving God? I’m certain that it’s good. For a thousand reasons, including biblical teaching, but validated in thousands of other ways.

    Is it good to kill our enemies? I’m pretty certain that this is a bad thing, for 500 reasons, including Jesus’ clear teachings. But does that mean I would condemn the person who killed a terrorist in order to save the 100 lives he was getting ready to kill? No, I just recognize it as a problem in a flawed world.

    Is it acceptable/advisable to drive polluting vehicles? I’m fairly certain, for 100s of reasons, that this is a bad idea, something to avoid. Am I saying “God will punish drivers for their sins?” No, I just think it’s a wrong to be avoided.

    Is it good to support marriage for loving couples, gay or straight? I’m pretty certain, for 100s of reasons, that this is a good thing. It would be my guess that God supports it, because it seems to fall clearly in that category of things that are good, noble, pure, loving, etc. Will I condemn you if you’re convinced you shouldn’t marry a guy? No, that’s up to you. Will I condemn you for giving grief to gay folk who simply want to marry and love another person? Yes, because I believe it’s none of your business and your giving grief is harmful…

    Am I saying I’m perfectly correct in any or all of this? No, I’m a flawed human with flawed reasoning, flawed moral ethics and a less-than-perfect understanding of God. Just as you are.

    But between you and me, I have to go with what seems most Right, most Godly, most moral, TO ME, whether you agree or not.

    The point is, we don’t know perfectly what God wants. We are certain that we are correct, more or less, on a spectrum of certainty and that just is as it is. God has not confirmed to us that we will know perfectly. Paul teaches us that we WILL NOT know perfectly and I think he has the right of it.

    Do you disagree?

    • The point is, that Trabue is just like every other non-believer and atheist. He determines good/bad, right/wrong based on HIS feelings, and HIS reasoning. Which is why he cherry-picks Scripture and re-interprets it to fit his beliefs, which is why he relegates much of it to myths and stories which teach lessons, and which is why he just KNOWS that God is speaking to him about being loving, etc.

      And he wonders why I say he is not a Christian. He makes a god in his own image, and a Jesus in his own image, and worships them as he enables those practicing sins which God called an abomination – as he helps these people to Hell by being “loving” towards their perversion. Trabue is no more a Christian than Benny Hinn, Fred Phelps, or Adolf Hitler.

  70. paynehollow says:

    Wow, dropping the Hitler bomb on me, Glenn? Gotta love your tenacity and consistency, if not your idiocy, little brother.

    ~Dan

    • Oh, so now you are using an ad hominem attack by saying that I am using idiocy? You are a sorry jackass who refuses to cease calling me “brother” no matter how many times you proclaim the importance of “love” (is it really love to continue to offend someone?), and now you’ve even condescended me by calling me a “little” brother. IF we were real brothers, I wouldn’t be your “little brother” in any meaning of the word.

      I noticed you are horrified that I put you with Hitler, but not when I put you with other rank hypocrite, heretical, unbelievers. You kill me. The point I was making is that you are no more a Christian than the most evil person anyone could think of.

      God hates liars (oh, wait a minute – hate would probably be immoral in your worldview, so therefore if Scripture said God hates, it must be wrong), and you are one of the worst kind of liars by pretending to be a Christian while denouncing large sections of Scripture, blaspheming God on a regular basis, and pretending that God is okay with sexual perversion. You are disgusting.

  71. You have studies that demonstrate that our orientation – gay or straight – is NOT innate?

    You’re coming dangerously close to committing the strawman fallacy. I have been clear in that heterosexuality is innate/inherent and any deviation from the intended purpose of sex organs is abnormal. Indeed, studies indicate that homosexuality qualifies as abnormal behavior.

    I rather doubt it.

    I don’t care.

    Or, if you do have studies that are legitimate, I rather doubt you are understanding them correctly.

    And I rather doubt you have at least as much sense as God gave a goose.

    But by all means, show us some study that says we are NOT born with a certain orientation.

    Give me some time to gather them. I’m busy at the moment but I’ll have them before the night is over.

    And, BTW, I never said homosexuality was a choice.

    • But by all means, show us some study that says we are NOT born with a certain orientation.

      Um, common sense, observation – ALL humans are born with heterosexual orientation. Homosexual orientation is learned from environment during upbringing, as too many studies have shown. And, if it could be proven that some are born with homosexual orientation, it would have to be due to genetic defect or damage to the brain, but everyone who engages in ANY sexual behavior CHOOSES to do so.

  72. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    ALL humans are born with heterosexual orientation.

    Proof? No, of course not. It’s all “proven” inside your mighty mind, am I right? That is, you are speaking it into reality, right? It’s a “fact” because you say it is?

    Glenn, you are welcome to your own opinions, not your own facts. You can’t just make stuff up and be taken seriously.

    And my apologies for calling your crazy-sounding opinions “idiocy,” and dared to call you my “little brother…” Given your repeated “you are satan, you are a liar, you are the son of the devil…” I didn’t think you’d mind these pretty mild recriminations. Hypocrisy, much?

    Terrance, whenever you have “proof” that says we all are born with a heterosexual orientation? but some “choose” to be gay, provide it.

    Oh, but you’re saying homosexuality isn’t a choice. What IS your position, then? If it isn’t a choice and it isn’t innate, what is it? Forced on us? We’re not born with it, but “chemical imbalances” make it happen?

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,
      I gave you the “proof” that everyone is born heterosexual oriented. Biology, God’s design, and the fact that no one – NO ONE – has found anything medically or scientifically to say other wise. And I could snow you with studies showing the orientation to same sex is due to environment during upbringing, and I also have testimonies of too many queers to tell you the same, including a friend who was “gay” for a couple decades due to molestation as a child, etc, and he became a Christian and walked away from it. But such evidence isn’t good enough for you because you are a homosexualist and must continue to enable perverts.

      I don’t make up anything. I actually study the issues I discuss, and don’t pander to perverts.

      By the way, the names I label you with are the same name Jesus and the Apostles labeled false teachers with.

  73. Dan,

    Your penchant for utter dishonesty indicates a fruitless endeavor if this discussion were continued. You damn well know I never once claimed that homosexuals choose to be that way. I’ve said that homosexuality is an ailment of some kind, be it genetic defect, neurological damage, hormonal imbalance, or psychological illness. Experts simply don’t know – nor will they anytime soon, it seems, because of leftist PC Nazi’s like yourself. Experts are supposed to forgo all academic discussion for fear of offending people.

  74. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    You damn well know I never once claimed that homosexuals choose to be that way.

    No, Terrance, I do not know that. I’m working at home today, taking some time every once in a while to see what’s being posted here. I have not followed and taken notes about what all three or four of you have said and who said what. There is no dishonesty involved, young man. I don’t know that I said you claimed homosexuals chose to be that way. I asked the question. But if I did misstate something, it was not dishonesty, it was a simple mistake. I don’t know about you, young man, but I am not perfect and am perfectly able to make mistakes. But I certainly have not been dishonest with you.

    A bit of grace, please.

    Terrance…

    I’ve said that homosexuality is an ailment of some kind, be it genetic defect, neurological damage, hormonal imbalance, or psychological illness. Experts simply don’t know

    Those are all possibilities, I suppose. But why is “it is innate” not also a possibility? When people ask me when I chose to be straight, I just have to laugh and say I never chose and that is the truth. Same for every gay person I’ve ever known. They never chose. It was something they were born with, like me, by all evidence.

    On what basis would you doubt the most obvious answer?

    ~Dan

  75. No, Terrance, I do not know that.

    Then you have comprehension problems.

    I’m working at home today, taking some time every once in a while to see what’s being posted here. I have not followed and taken notes about what all three or four of you have said and who said what.

    My only remarks have been addressed to you and you’ve responded to all of them. Clearly, then, you have comprehension problems.

    There is no dishonesty involved, young man.

    I believe you are intellectually dishonest and choose to set up straw men rather than address the actual arguments people make.

    I don’t know that I said you claimed homosexuals chose to be that way.

    You continually ask questions that assume it.

    But I certainly have not been dishonest with you.

    Either you’re being dishonest or stupid.

    Those are all possibilities, I suppose. But why is “it is innate” not also a possibility?

    Because identical twin studies effectively disprove the possibility.

  76. Dan, I sometimes find that my experience confirms Scripture’s teachings about God, but I also sometimes find that my experience casts doubt about those teachings — did God really say that? I believe I should subordinate my subjective experience to the objective, written word — and that subordination is consistent with both the explicit teachings and the lived-out example of Christ and His hand-picked Apostles.

    Is it good to support marriage for loving couples, gay or straight? I’m pretty certain, for 100s of reasons, that this is a good thing. It would be my guess that God supports it, because it seems to fall clearly in that category of things that are good, noble, pure, loving, etc.

    Nowhere does the Bible even condone homosexual relationships; instead, it consistently condemns them.

    Nowhere does the Bible treat marriage as an androgynous institution; instead, it consistently presents it as the union of man and wife.

    And Christ Himself affirmed that the reason God made us male and female, from the beginning, is so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female).

    Your “guess” that God supports homosexuality is in the teeth of the clear teachings in His written revelation: your placing it in the category of “good and pure” is placing Scripture’s authority below your own proclamations.

    Will I condemn you for giving grief to gay folk who simply want to marry and love another person? Yes, because I believe it’s none of your business and your giving grief is harmful…

    I’d be interested in what you consider “giving grief.” As easily as you denounced Robertson’s comments as evil, even though he was just answering a GQ interviewer’s questions and harassing no one, I’m willing to bet that your calls to agree to disagree are, well, not entirely sincere.

    The point is, we don’t know perfectly what God wants. We are certain that we are correct, more or less, on a spectrum of certainty and that just is as it is. God has not confirmed to us that we will know perfectly. Paul teaches us that we WILL NOT know perfectly and I think he has the right of it.

    Would this be the same Paul who condemned homosexuality, pronounced a solemn curse on those who preached a different gospel, and taught that all scripture is God-breathed? The very same Paul whose teaching you believe contains bigotry?

    Would this be from the same letter — I Corinthians — that Robertson got in hot water for paraphrasing?

    Funny how selective you are in thinking Paul’s right, how selective you are in thinking that Paul’s writing is clear, and how selective you are in thinking that we correctly understand him.

    And it’s funny how selective you are in affirming passages of the Bible: if someone else affirms ALL that the Bible teaches, you’re liable to accuse him of bibliolatry, pharasaism, or (now) treating the Bible as a rule book.

    • I find it odd that if God blesses all marriages because the institution is more than its particular participants, why are there exactly ZERO examples of same sex marriage recorded in the bible which covers approximately 4000 years of history? Is it a coincidence? Or did the Israelites understand there to be a prohibition?

  77. paynehollow says:

    How so? Cite the studies and research involved, please.

    And Terrance, as strange as it may sound to you, many people ask questions to gather answers, not to imply assumptions. Questions are not accusations. You are much too hostile a conversationalist.

    While you’re looking for your sources, I googled “twin studies homosexuality” and hit this Harvard graduate research report that says…

    Caveats notwithstanding, there is a loose consensus among geneticists, if not social scientists (Butler 1990; Kitzinger 1995), that there is some evidence for a genetic predisposition to homosexuality (Kallmann 1952; Bailey et al. 1993; Risch et al. 1993; Ferveur et al. 1995; Hamer 1999; Rice et al. 1999a).

    I am no scientist, I just know what is reasonable. If every gay/lesbian person I know of and nearly all I’ve heard about report that it was just always that way (just as with me), on what basis would I think it isn’t from birth, just as it is with me? I have no evidence to think it is any different for them than for me.

    Do you?

    It all comes down to evidence, for me, and I see no evidence to say their orientation is any different than mine, in this regards.

    ~Dan

    • A lot has happened in the 20 years since what you cite. Noteworthy terms from your citation: “loose consensus”, “some evidence”.

      Yet the very pro-gay American Psychological Association says this about the origins of homosexuality: “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation.” http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx

      And a peer reviewed study found that children of gay parents were far more likely to be gay themselves: “Despite numerous attempts to bias the results in favour of the null hypothesis and allowing for up to 20 (of 63, 32%) coding errors, Cameron’s (2006) hypothesis that gay and lesbian parents would be more likely to have gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure (of sexual orientation) sons and daughters was confirmed.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20642872

  78. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I believe I should subordinate my subjective experience to the objective, written word

    Bubba, no one is saying that the text does not say what it says. What is in question is, what does it mean? No one is saying, “If a man lies with a man, it is wrong. You should kill them…” isn’t in the text. The questions are:

    What does that mean?
    Is that indicating any and all behavior or some specific subset of behaviors?
    Are rules in Leviticus universal in nature or time and people specific?

    etc, etc, etc.

    No one is saying that text is not there. The question is, IS YOUR INTERPRETATION a valid, rational, biblical or moral one?

    ~Dan

  79. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    Nowhere does the Bible even condone homosexual relationships; instead, it consistently condemns them.

    You’re begging the question. No one is saying the Bible does not say, “men should not lie with men.” The question is: What does it mean by that? Is it a condemnation of all gay behavior or just some subset? By saying, “it consistently condemns them… you’re begging the question. You’re presuming that these few passages are a condemnation of all gay behavior, but that is the question.

    Bubba…

    Nowhere does the Bible treat marriage as an androgynous institution; instead, it consistently presents it as the union of man and wife.

    No where does the Bible talk about nuclear bombs, women’s rights or automobiles or any other things that didn’t exist in that time. So?

    ~Dan

  80. paynehollow says:

    John…

    if God blesses all marriages because the institution is more than its particular participants, why are there exactly ZERO examples of same sex marriage recorded in the bible

    The Bible does not speak of women’s rights, an end to slavery, pollution issues or many other notions that were not in existence back then. Why WOULD the Bible have spoken of any of these issues that didn’t exist as topics/ideas back then? It’s also not written in English and you know, Gosh darnit, it seems like if God WANTED to communicate an idea to us today, God could just as easily have written in English.

    But no, the Bible does not tackle any ideas that were not in existence at the time.

    Bubba…

    And Christ Himself affirmed that the reason God made us male and female, from the beginning, is so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female).</I

    Says you. That is your interpretation of that passage, what you are reading into it. Others have other opinions.

    Bubba…

    Your “guess” that God supports homosexuality is in the teeth of the clear teachings in His written revelation: your placing it in the category of “good and pure” is placing Scripture’s authority below your own proclamations.

    No, Bubba. I’m not. I’m putting YOUR authority below my understanding. YOU are not the Gospel. YOUR word is NOT Scripture. This is the point that you consistently fail to get. I have a HIGH value I place on Scripture. TOO high to say, “Okay, whatever Bubba thinks is Scripture is Scripture. However Bubba interprets it must be okay…”

    NO, YOUR word is NOT God’s Word. Stop conflating the two.

    What I’m doing is looking at all of Scripture and finding no support for the idea that all gay behavior is condemned. Ever. Not one time. It just ain’t there. That is a human interpretation. In seeing no condemnation of all gay behavior, I DO find repeated support for the Good, the noble, the pure, the right, the wholesome… and thus believe marriage is a good and right place to express our sexuality, gay or straight.

    I HELD your position. I accepted the (what now seems) rather shallow view of “oh, that must be talking about all gay behavior…” in those 3-5 passages that seem to be discussing some sort of gay behavior. But a deeper study did not support that shallow view. I don’t want a shallow view of Scripture, I want a deeper one. Because of that, I now hold the position I do.

    NOT because I place my “proclamations” above Scripture – I reached my position when my “proclamations”/my ideas were similar to yours but had to abandon them when I found no scriptural support for them.

    Do you get that, now?

    Bubba…

    Would this be the same Paul who condemned homosexuality

    Again, you’re begging the question. We want DEEP study, Bubba, not shallow. Serious consideration, not casual glances.

  81. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    And it’s funny how selective you are in affirming passages of the Bible: if someone else affirms ALL that the Bible teaches, you’re liable to accuse him of bibliolatry, pharasaism, or (now) treating the Bible as a rule book.

    Just to repeat the obvious: I affirm EVERY passage in the Bible. I just don’t affirm every interpretation of every passage. Nor do I affirm every approach to Bible interpretation.

    That I don’t approve of your particular eisegesis is not evidence that I don’t affirm the Bible or its passages.

    ~Dan

  82. Dan:

    Just to repeat the obvious: I affirm EVERY passage in the Bible.

    That’s very good to know, but surely you must know why I didn’t assume that to be obvious: I remember your attributing some passages to “revenge fantasies” rather than divine revelation.

    “One can love the Bible’s teachings and yet not accept every teaching as representative of God’s Will. It just is a reality that this can happen. I DO love the Bible, but I DON’T accept that every line is a perfect representation of God’s Will.” – Dan Trabue, April 23, 2009, from your 4/21/09 post, “What’s Up with the Constant Criticism?”

    “God will NOT sometimes ask us to commit atrocities. So, in those passages, I think we have a less than perfect representation of God… Those of us who reject an atrocity-commanding God are rejecting those passages as less than entirely accurate. – Dan Trabue, October 31, 2007, from your 10/29/07 post, “Thy Word”

    In the past, you have repeatedly rejected, NOT particular interpretations, but the “lines” and “passages” themselves. If you’ve renounced that view, I must have missed it.

    I just don’t affirm every interpretation of every passage. Nor do I affirm every approach to Bible interpretation.

    You have no problem citing SOME passages where the teaching is pretty clear: love God, love your neighbor, and now we see through a mirror darkly.

    I think other passages are just as clear, but if you disagree with my interpretation, why don’t you present a plausible alternative.

    ONCE AGAIN: Jesus taught that, from the beginning, God made man male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

    I believe that, since Jesus applied this Genesis 2 teaching to his first-century Jewish contemporaries, it just as strongly applies to us today. You don’t agree, and you don’t believe that God has revealed anything about why, for instance, he made you male.

    Okay: when did this principle stop applying to us? Was it with the invention of the atom bomb or the automobile? Or was it with the cotton gin or the movable-type printing press? Or did this principle, which Christ seemed to believe was in-force from creation to His day, suddenly annulled when His last Apostle drew his last breath?

    You also seem to think the principle is relevant to divorce but has no bearing on any other issue.

    Okay: was Paul wrong in I Corinthians 6 to cite the very same passage in Genesis in making the broader point to flee a more general category of sexual immorality?

    Christ makes the following two claims:

    1) From the beginning, God made man male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

    2) What God has joined, no man should separate.

    Why, exactly, is #2 the ONLY conclusion we should draw from #1? It’s the only conclusion that directly addresses divorce, the subject at hand, but why should we conclude that God is concerned about the permanence of marriage but NOT its composition?

    A few months ago, you balked at my saying that my conclusions are “good enough” for me. You said that wasn’t an “especially compelling” place to stand.

    But you missed a key phrase, which I highlighted then and which I once again highlight now.

    “In reading recipes and furniture instructions, at some point I accept as an unproven (and unprovable) assertion that my interpretation is — in the absence of a better alternative — good enough, and I act on my interpretation.”

    I’m willing to concede, in the general case, that my interpretation is provisional and subject to revision in light of a more plausible alternative.

    But in any SPECIFIC case, I demand to see that alternative before I will consider my position to be anything other than the only obvious position.

    You sneer:

    YOU are not the Gospel. YOUR word is NOT Scripture. This is the point that you consistently fail to get. I have a HIGH value I place on Scripture. TOO high to say, ‘Okay, whatever Bubba thinks is Scripture is Scripture. However Bubba interprets it must be okay…’

    You disagree with my interpretation? Fine, but put up or shut up: show me a more plausible alternative or stand down.

    “NO, YOUR word is NOT God’s Word. Stop conflating the two.”

    I’m not conflating the two, asshole. If you’re so sure there are other reasonable interpretations of Christ’s stated reason for why God made us male and female, SHOW ME ONE OF THOSE INTERPRETATIONS.

    If you can’t, my interpretation certainly isn’t itself God’s word, but it’ll remain the only viable interpretation actually found in the wild — and, faithful Christian that you claim to be, you should then feel some sort of moral obligation to reckon with that interpretation, NOT because it’s Bubba’s, but because it’s the only one out there.

  83. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I remember your attributing some passages to “revenge fantasies” rather than divine revelation.

    IF I think that a text most likely is written in an epic style, then that is simple biblical exegesis. The first thing you should do when studying a text is try to understand what literary styles and traditions and tools are being used. We all do this. It would be a mistake to read a hyperbolic passage as if it were a literal command. It is a mistake to read an epic passage as if it were a modern history lesson.

    That we disagree on the textual style is not a sign that I do not affirm that passage, any more than when those who treat Jesus’ sermon on the mount as figurative lessons when they appear quite literal.

    So, where you quote me saying..

    Those of us who reject an atrocity-commanding God are rejecting those passages as less than entirely accurate.

    That is THE SAME thing as YOU “rejecting” Jesus’ command to rip out our eyes as hyperbolic. We MUST understand the literary devices first if we want to understand a text aright. This is something that YOU do, too. We ALL do, if we are serious students of the Bible.

    Do you understand this?

    Shall I start saying that you don’t affirm the Bible because you don’t take every line literally? Are you like Marshall who “rejects” the literal reading of Jesus’ words, “Woe to you who are rich… Blessed are you who are poor…”? Should I start saying that people like Marshall (and you, if you reject that literal reading) don’t affirm the Bible because you don’t treat the text the same way as I do?

    OR, should I be more mature and adult about it and realize people of good faith reach different conclusions about textual styles and disagree and that is okay?

    Come on fellas, this isn’t third grade.

    Bubba…

    I think other passages are just as clear, but if you disagree with my interpretation, why don’t you present a plausible alternative.

    I do. That you don’t find my interpretations plausible is no evidence that I don’t.

    Bubba…

    ONCE AGAIN: Jesus taught that, from the beginning, God made man male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

    ONCE AGAIN: No. He didn’t. That is YOUR interpretation. YOU are reading that meaning into those words.

    Do you understand that or are you unable to see that you have extrapolated that meaning out of the text, not that the meaning is demanded by the text?

    ~Dan

  84. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    Christ makes the following two claims:

    1) From the beginning, God made man male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

    2) What God has joined, no man should separate.

    Why, exactly, is #2 the ONLY conclusion we should draw from #1? It’s the only conclusion that directly addresses divorce, the subject at hand, but why should we conclude that God is concerned about the permanence of marriage but NOT its composition?

    1. Because it is not all inconclusive. Jesus did not say, “For this reason and this reason alone did God create male and female.”

    2. Because it is obvious it is not all inconclusive. God made us for a variety of reasons. To praise God. To do for and with our neighbors. To love our enemies. Male and female.

    3. Because it is not a claim that this and only this is the arrangement for marriage.

    4. Because the concept of two guys marrying didn’t exist.

    When Jesus talked about slavery, he never once said, “YOU know what? People really shouldn’t OWN OTHER PEOPLE.” And of course this is a great moral wrong that we recognize today. But it was part of the culture then, accepted and normalized. Jesus didn’t condemn it. I’m sure back in slavery days, people would point to Jesus or the apostles talking about slavery and say, “IF Jesus didn’t approve of slavery, why didn’t he condemn it then and there? PROOF! Why should we conclude anything else???” not unlike you’re doing here.

    5. The Bible is not a rule book. That we find a line that hints at one thing is not evidence that this is a hard and fast rule. The Bible is not a rule book. See the last paragraph.

    Slavers no doubt used many of these same arguments, Bubba. The text does not demand your sole interpretation.

    6. Also, Jesus often uses poetic language. Consider the lilies of the field, does not mean that we are commanded ONLY to consider lilies – no other flowers – ONLY in fields – not on mountains or in yards… For this reason, God created man and woman… Is similarly flowery, poetic language, NOT A DEFINITION. NOT A COMMAND. It just isn’t.

    Answered, re-answered.

    Do you need more reasons before you can accept that not every who values Scripture must agree with your interpretation to REALLY value Scripture?

    Geezlouise, guys, people of good faith disagree on interpretations. DO you REALLY want to know what that is a sign of?

    It’s a sign of disagreement. Naught else. And certainly not a sign of lack of respect for the text.

    ~Dan

    • Dan

      Arent sound arguments not made from silence?

      And secondly, if arguments from silence are appropriate, why didnt Jesus say …and one reason God made them…

      Instead he said for THIS REASON. That is virtually explicit that it is THE reason.

  85. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    If you’re so sure there are other reasonable interpretations of Christ’s stated reason for why God made us male and female, SHOW ME ONE OF THOSE INTERPRETATIONS.

    I’ve stayed on this off topic trail long enough to give you six to reach your demand, sire. Does that suffice? Must I do more to “prove” that I honestly disagree with your interpretation?

    Is it not enough that one fella of good faith tells another, “I disagree with that interpretation…” on a post that is not your own on a topic that is NOT the topic being discussed?

    Embrace grace, my good man. Start the year afresh with a bit of humility and less bossiness and demanding to get your own way.

    ~Dan

  86. Dan:

    [I wrote:] ONCE AGAIN: Jesus taught that, from the beginning, God made man male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

    “[You reply:] ONCE AGAIN: No. He didn’t. That is YOUR interpretation. YOU are reading that meaning into those words.

    What I wrote above isn’t my interpretation: IT’S WHAT JESUS SAID.

    “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:4-6, ESV, emphasis mine

    You just accused me of conflating my words with God’s words, which is hilarious for a variety of reasons — from your mock-outrage at slander to the fact that YOU refer to your own fallible conscience as “God’s word written on my heart” — but it seems you’re intent on doing that very thing: I present God’s words, and you dismiss them as my own.

  87. Dan,

    I’m willing to concede that sexuality is not always chosen. I think that some of us would be able to switch if we found some advantage in doing so. But, in general, we are who we are.

    BUT… What does that have to do with morality? Some people are born with a cruel streak. Some are natural born liars. Some are kleptomaniacs. Some genetic or brain abnormality makes them more inclined to do things that even you would consider bad. So what? God made them that way?

    How is that a defense of sinning?

    The truth is that the only thing that is innate is our ABILITY to sin. That is to say that we all have urges (some stronger than others) to sin. We also have the ability to choose not to act on the urges.

    • The majority of “actors” in gay pornography are straight and only do it for the money. Theres even a term for it: gay for pay. Apparently people can choose their sexual partners.

  88. paynehollow says:

    Bubba, what you said was this, and I quote:

    “Jesus taught that, from the beginning, God made man male and female SO THAT a man would become one flesh with his wife.” [emphasis mine]

    Jesus, on the other hand, said…

    He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”?

    You keep editorializing SO THAT… FOR THIS REASON, or FOR THIS PRIMARY REASON AND NO OTHER POSSIBILITIES ARE ALLOWED… or AND THUS, THIS IS HOW JESUS DEFINES MARRIAGE.

    Those are your editorializing interpretations, NOT Jesus’ words. Do you get that, now?

    John…

    why didnt Jesus say …and one reason God made them…

    I don’t know, you’d have to ask Jesus. Why didn’t Jesus make clear that slavery was wrong? Why didn’t Jesus make clear that polygamy was wrong? OR why didn’t the translators to a better job, maybe?

    The thing is, fellas, IT ISN’T A RULE BOOK TO SCRAPE OVER LIKE GARBAGE TO FIND JUST THE RIGHT WORDS SO WE CAN “KNOW” WHAT IS THE ONE RIGHT ANSWER AND RULE TO FOLLOW… Treating the Words of Jesus like a magic 8 ball is disrespectful to the text, at least to me. (“OH, mighty Jesus book, what is the Right Definition of marriage?” shake, shake, shake… “FOR THIS REASON, shall a man and woman be married…” oooh, magic jesusbook! It’s FUN!!”)

    John…

    Instead he said for THIS REASON. That is virtually explicit that it is THE reason.

    The FOR THIS REASON in the text is pretty clearly referring to STAYING TOGETHER, to stay together is what marriage is for, Jesus is telling the Pharisees. NOT “For a man and woman alone to be married is the reason they get married…” contextually, that would be twisting of the text to reach that conclusion. The Pharisees asked, “Is it okay for us to divorce our wives” Jesus responds, “FOR THIS REASON – staying together, joined… – you are married.” You are attaching the “for this reason” to the wrong argument, John. Textually speaking.

    ~Dan

  89. Dan:

    People who grouse at being compared to Hilter on Friday shouldn’t compare their opponents to slave-owners on Saturday. Just sayin’.

    And narcissists who presume to moderate other people’s blogs about what’s off-topic, who insist that ONLY their questions are important enough that they must be answered lest the conversation be halted, and who fancy themselves as the arbiter of all definitions, probably shouldn’t make passive-aggressive recommendations about “bossiness and demanding to get your own way.”

    Anyway, you haven’t given me six alternative interpretations of what Jesus taught: I believe your double-counting in a couple places, but even if you’re not, at most you’ve made six claims about why my interpretation is wrong — and you haven’t even really argued those claims.

    You speculate that the reason Jesus gave for why we were made male and female doesn’t preclude other reasons — not just ADDITIONAL reasons, but CONTRADICTORY reasons. The reason X might not preclude Y and Z, but if it doesn’t preclude NOT X, what’s it there for?

    You note that gay marriage wasn’t a thing back then, but how does that affect this principle AT ALL, when it originated “from the beginning,” even prior to the Fall, and AT LEAST extends thousands of years to the time of Christ?

    You say the Bible’s not a rulebook, but Mt 19:4-6 isn’t an ethical rule, it’s a theological principle, which you presumably affirm as “truth and wisdom” if you held that principle in any esteem. Is “that’s just a rule” just shorthand for saying that it’s a teaching you want t ignore?

    And you say that the passage includes “flowery” language, but you don’t offer the first hint at what that language might mean. Is “flower language” really enough of an answer that you don’t need to provide an actual interpretation?

    I just quoted the relevant passage from Matthew 19, and you HAVE NOT offered any sort of alternative interpretation for what it might mean. In the absence of a credible alternative, an intellectually honest man must reckon with the conventional interpretation, even if he doesn’t like it: mere gainsaying is simply not enough.

  90. paynehollow says:

    C2C…

    I’m willing to concede that sexuality is not always chosen.

    Okay, agreed. I certainly have heard that there are those who choose outside of their orientation, but that would seem to HAVE to be the rarity. WHO would do that? Why? What would it take for YOU to choose outside of your orientation? It just couldn’t happen for me. Again, my suspicion is that, where this happens, the people involved must have leaned towards a bisexual orientation in the orientation spectrum to begin with. Which is fine, no judgment, there. I’m just saying that for solidly “straight” or “gay” people, choosing to be otherwise would just be incredibly, impossibly difficult. Seems to me…

    C2C…

    What does that have to do with morality? Some people are born with a cruel streak. Some are natural born liars… So what? God made them that way?

    How is that a defense of sinning?

    All I’m saying is that the “it’s not natural” argument fails as soon as we see that it IS found in nature (defining “natural” in the common way). I’m NOT saying that all things that are natural are good models for humans. NO one is saying, “Some birds eat their young, which is natural, therefore it’s good for humans to do so…” No one.

    On the other hand, most of us recognize that “natural, fresh, from nature, as God created it, pure, undefiled…” that these words associated with natural are good or good-ish. We generally have a positive image of the Natural Creation, and I don’t think without good cause. GOD looked at God’s creation and called it Good. Generally speaking, most of us probably think that natural is a good way to be. NOT that everything found somewhere in nature is good for humans to mimic, but that, generally speaking, natural is a good thing.

    With me so far?

    So, the point is, where do we find the “natural” good in us and how do we sort it out from the innate bad in us? Some of us are (seem to be, anyway) more talented or more kind-hearted, or more generous or more compassionate naturally. It just comes naturally for some people to be more artistic, more willing to share, more creative in problem solving. And these are good things we should encourage where they exist and promote where they don’t.

    On the other hand, all of us recognize the more negative traits that we might find in ourselves sometimes – the selfishness that comes so easy for some of us, the mean-spiritedness or snarkiness or impatience. We need to work to discourage that where it exists.

    The question, then, is which of our natural traits are good and healthy and helpful and positive – and in what contexts! – and which aren’t. For many of us, we think our sexual desires in and of themselves are not in anyway, bad. They are part of God’s gift to us.

    On the other hand, many of us recognize that this desire can be so strong that it can erupt in less than wholesome, helpful ways. We need a healthy, responsible outlet for the beautiful sexuality that is part of God’s nature God has given us.

    I think the most beautiful, healthy, helpful, wonderful and appropriate place for expressing that God given sexuality is in the context of a committed, loving, faithful marriage. And I think this is true for those of us gifted with heterosexuality as well as those gifted with homosexuality.

    I see no reason to think otherwise.

    On the other hand, those whose sexuality – even from birth, perhaps – is tied to abuse – child abuse, promiscuity, etc – that there IS no appropriate place to express that and that sexual nature becomes a cross for those people to deal with. It may be the way they were born, but because of the harmful nature of those desires, we can not support their acting it out, we must support the repression of those desires. Because of the harm, it is clearly wrong.

    I see no reason to think otherwise.

    ~Dan

  91. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    but how does that affect this principle AT ALL, when it originated “from the beginning,”

    It is NOT a principle. YOU are calling it a principle, but the text does not call it that. The text in Genesis seems to be saying (making the “principle” if you will) that “For this reason” to populate the earth, God made them male and female… in that Wonderful Creation Myth, that is the principle being made, if there is one.

    In the Matt 19 text, the principle being expounded upon is STAY TOGETHER, “FOR THIS REASON – to stay together – God made them…” THAT is the textual reasons being offered in those two places. And yes, it happens to be speaking about man/woman, but it isn’t a Principle being created by God that ONLY for Men and Women pairings… that simply is not in the text.

    Bubba…

    mere gainsaying is simply not enough.

    Bubba, if someone says, “CLEARLY that text is about unicorns of a purplish nature…” responding, “That is not in the text” IS enough.

    ~Dan

  92. Dan:

    “You keep editorializing SO THAT… FOR THIS REASON, or FOR THIS PRIMARY REASON AND NO OTHER POSSIBILITIES ARE ALLOWED… or AND THUS, THIS IS HOW JESUS DEFINES MARRIAGE.”

    I’ve never precluded the possibility of ADDITIONAL reasons, just CONTRADICTORY reasons — and that “so that” isn’t improper because the text itself has the “therefore” or “for this reason.”

    If I said, “God gave us the ability to speak in order to praise Him,” I’m not precluding ADDITIONAL reasons He gave us the ability — such as communicating truth and love to others, or maybe entertaining ourselves with jokes or helping ourselves think by “talking things through.”

    But I AM precluding **CONTRADICTORY** reasons, like blaspheming God, and I think it’s reasonable for listeners to reach that conclusion.

    But let’s set that aside.

    I also think that you’ve been providing alternative reasons for why God made us AT ALL, or why God ordained marriage, but NOT why God made us male and female.

    But let’s set that aside, too.

    Let me concede that there may be a HUGE number of reasons that God made us male and female.

    Okay. Fine.

    Let me ask you a question — a bit of Bible trivia, NOT a question about your personal opinions and interpretations.

    QUESTION: In the Bible, what is the only reason THAT CHRIST EXPLICITLY GAVE for why God made us male and female?

    Let me ask you another question, a follow-up to that.

    QUESTION: In light of that answer, what is the one explicitly scriptural and dominical reason God made YOU male?

    There may be loads of other reasons, fine, but what’s the one reason the Bible gives? What’s the one reason the Bible records as having come from the mouth of Christ Himself?

    It seems to me that you cannot answer this — “I’m saying that God has not TOLD any of us why God made Bubba a male, or Dan a male. We just are.” — because the answer is simply devastating to your apologia for sin.

  93. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    People who grouse at being compared to Hilter on Friday shouldn’t compare their opponents to slave-owners on Saturday.

    Glenn is calling ME a son of the devil, a liar and “no more a Christian.. than Hitler…”

    It really is literally an ad hom attack and literal demonization.

    On the other hand, I noted that your ARGUMENT is not dissimilar to the argument used by slave-owners to justify slavery. Thus, I’m NOT “comparing your to slave-owners” (and thus, not an ad hom attack), I’m speaking of YOUR ARGUMENT and, on that point, I am not mistaken, as I’m sure you could agree, yes?

    See the difference between reasonable adult conversations about IDEAS and goofy, grade-school demonization and attacks on PEOPLE?

    Critical stuff to learn the difference between.

    ~Dan

    • Yeah, and Jesus, and the Apostles, were all making ad hominem attacks when they labeled people as who they were so as to warn the sheep about such wolves. Jesus and the Apostles can do it, but if Glenn does it, it becomes an ad hominem attack.

      Trabue is still so stupid as to not understand what an ad hominem attack is. HEY, Mr. know-it-all, if you give me an argument and I respond without an argument but a personal attack, THAT is an ad hominem attack. But I’ve responded to all your arguments, as have everyone else here, and yet you continue to dismiss them, continue to obfuscate, misrepresent, lie, etc, so there is no longer a need to address your arguments, rather the need becomes to label you as for the wolf that you are so that sheep will be driven away from your poison.

  94. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    In the Bible, what is the only reason THAT CHRIST EXPLICITLY GAVE for why God made us male and female?

    In the Bible, there IS NO SUCH explicit reason given. Never happened.

    Nor are there any mentions of purple unicorns.

    Just sayin’…

    ~Dan

  95. Dan:

    The text in Genesis seems to be saying (making the ‘principle’ if you will) that ‘For this reason’ to populate the earth, God made them male and female… in that Wonderful Creation Myth, that is the principle being made, if there is one.

    The command to be fruitful and multiply is found in Genesis 1:28, nowhere in Genesis 2, from which Christ quotes verse 24. Now you’re just fabricating things as if you’re dealing with people who don’t know the text in any detail.

    In the Matt 19 text, the principle being expounded upon is STAY TOGETHER, ‘FOR THIS REASON – to stay together – God made them…’

    But Jesus didn’t just affirm that God made us, He affirmed that God made us MALE AND FEMALE, and He tied our being made male and female to the pattern of marriage.

    And yes, it happens to be speaking about man/woman, but it isn’t a Principle being created by God that ONLY for Men and Women pairings… that simply is not in the text.

    He didn’t just mention man/woman pairings in passing — and your trying to say that He did tells us how much you esteem what He said: He mentioned why God made us male and female from the beginning.

    Bubba, if someone says, ‘CLEARLY that text is about unicorns of a purplish nature…’ responding, ‘That is not in the text’ IS enough.

    But that’s not what I’m doing, and that’s obvious enough when you’re having to cry HERESY at the fact that I switched a “therefore” with a functionally equivalent “so that.”

    I don’t think the passage is talking about purple unicorns.

    I believe the passage is talking about the claim that, from the beginning, God made us male and female, so that — or therefore, or for this reason — a man will become one flesh with his wife.

    Every word in my position is in the text itself or is functionally equivalent.

    And so I ask again:

    QUESTION: In the Bible, what is the only reason THAT CHRIST EXPLICITLY GAVE for why God made us male and female?

    QUESTION: In light of that answer, what is the one explicitly scriptural and dominical reason God made YOU male?

    • In the end there would be no need to create 2 different sexes if they werent intended to act in sexual concert. God could easily have created a self-reproducing being. The fact that there are two different sexes who require eachothers sexual reproductive systems is evidence they are intended to work together sexually, because in essentially every other way, they are the same.

      Theres a reason you dont use either nuts OR bolts.

  96. “In the Bible, there IS NO SUCH explicit reason given. Never happened.”

    Bullshit, Dan.

  97. And, Dan, about that oh-so-critical difference “between reasonable adult conversations about IDEAS and goofy, grade-school demonization and attacks on PEOPLE.”

    Just more than an hour before you wrote so eloquently in distinguishing between attacks on people and criticisms of their arguments, you implied that I was being “ignorant and insufferably arrogant.”

    Sure, that was in the sister thread to this conversation, but it wasn’t from some alternate-dimension Dan Trabue, and so I see just how much care you take to avoid attacks on PEOPLE.

    You hypocritical ass.

  98. But let’s review.

    ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, JESUS SAID THIS:

    “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” [Mt 19:4-6, ESV]

    I ASKED DAN:

    “In the Bible, what is the only reason THAT CHRIST EXPLICITLY GAVE for why God made us male and female?”

    DAN ANSWERED:

    “In the Bible, there IS NO SUCH explicit reason given. Never happened.”

    Dan even compares the belief to the contrary with the notion that the Bible mentions purple unicorns.

    The dishonesty speaks for itself.

  99. “IN THE SENSE THAT gay behavior occurs in nature, gay behavior IS NATURAL.”

    As has been pointed out numerous times, yet ignored, is that “gay behavior” as it is trumpeted by the pro gay marriage folks DOES NOT occur in nature.

    When a bull mounts another bull in the barnyard, it is not engaging in loving, monogamous, faithful, mutually pleasurable sexual behavior. He’s attempting to use force to impose dominance on what he sees as a threat. So, if the “gay behavior” that is being validated is forcible rape, then yes it does occur in nature, but it is certainly not the idealized propaganda version presented by the “gay marriage” advocates.

  100. paynehollow says:

    In Genesis 2, we read:

    But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

    The man said,

    “This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

    That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

    Here we have a classic tale told in a mythic style of how woman came to be. Consider it this way:

    “FOR MAN, there was no helper…” And God created a woman, to be a helper and partner for man. And this, dear reader is how men living with women (“marriage,” as we eventually called it) began.

    This is not a story of God saying, “HERE is the reason I created men and women,” it’s part of the beautiful mythic-style creation story told twice in Genesis. (And my apologies, Bubba. I was indeed mixing the chapter one version of the story with the chapter two – which does not mention being fruitful – my fault. As you can see, I am not perfect…) It’s the story of the First Joining (what we would call “marriage,” although it is more of the first coupling…)

    But to try to say this story is God’s Creation, Ordination and Defining of Marriage is going further than the text is. So, too, is it to say this is a story saying WHY men and women were created.

    If you want to say this story suggests, in its mythic style, at WHY we are to be together – to be helpers, one for another, I think that’s fair. But to insist that it is insisting it is to say that this is a definition of how and only how marriage can be, I don’t find that in the text.

    In Matt 19, we read…

    Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    This passage is ALL specifically about divorce. Jesus cites the Genesis passage to prop up the the DO NOT SEPARATE point that he made to the Pharisees. This is NOT a passage that touches on “why did God make men… (to be specifically and only with women in marriage, right? Right?)” theme. It is specifically in response to Pharisees who were seeking an out of marriages.

    [And as a side note about the context: Jesus can be noted here to be speaking of women’s rights. Women in that society who were divorced became virtually no ones – no money, no resources, family only if their family took them back in… Women in that culture generally became destitute once divorced, shamed outcasts, cast to the margins. The way that men too often used divorce resulted in an oppressed, impoverished life to these women. A great injustice. I think contextually and reasonably speaking, this is what Jesus’ primary point is and why the emphasis on NOT casting women aside like this…]

    Neither of these texts are pushing the point “Why did God create men and women… with an eye towards defining marriage, right…?” That is a reading into the text, something that is not there.

    Now, if you find meaning in your own life in reading that into it, that is fine with me. I fully support people finding meaning where they may. Just don’t insist that this is the one and only meaning that should be read into it and if anyone disagrees with your take, they don’t respect the Bible… That is just narcissism and I bet we can agree we should not go down that path.

    ~Dan

  101. Huh.

    You think, “contextually and reasonably speaking,” Jesus’ primary point was about the admittedly great injustice of the oppressed, impoverished life that women would endure at that time upon becoming the victims of divorce.

    Never mind that Jesus didn’t mention that injustice.

    Never mind that, instead, Jesus pointed to a claim about what took place “at the beginning,” and so we are given a universal principle and not a context-sensitive judgment call.

    And never mind that your spin on this passage undermines the contemporary importance of Christ’s teaching: since divorce no longer causes gross deprivation for women in most cases in the industrialized world, presumably you think that it’s not so bad in a modern context.

    (That’s worth highlighting. I used to presume that we agreed, in most cases, marriage should be permanent because God says so, even though we disagreed about whether marriage must also be complementary. But no, you seem to think marriage should be permanent only when there’s social harm that would result from its dissolution. You say you follow a deity whose commands forbade mere thoughts — coveting, lust, and hatred — but evidently not even idolatry and divorce are out-of-bounds JUST because God said so. You have to check His work by evaluating the social harm yourself.)

    Your position here is based on nothing in the actual text, and it’s at least arguably contrary to what’s in the text, i.e., Christ’s appeal to what took place “at the beginning” to address a contemporary issue.

    At the same time, the text actually explicitly states that Christ taught this: God made us male and female so that such-and-such would occur.

    But you say that this is “NOT a passage that touches on” why God made us male and female.

    Jesus pointed to the story in Genesis 2 to explain that God made us male and female so that such-and-such would occur.

    But you say that, because of its literary style (to hell with how your supposed Lord invoked the text), it simply goes too far “to say this is a story saying WHY men and women were created.”

    You really cannot possibly believe that anyone finds this to be a credible interpretation of Scripture.

    I can see why political and theological radicals would find your take to be attractive, but it’s unmoored from the text, and so it wouldn’t have any pull with people who care more about fidelity to the written word than they do pushing a progressive agenda.

  102. paynehollow says:

    You keep appealing to this mythically demonic “political and theological liberalism” as to why I hold my beliefs, but I will remind you again that I started out as a conservative, reading the Bible as a conservative, with only traditional teachings in mind and NO (zero, none, not any) “liberal” influences (unless you count CS Lewis as liberal). I was influenced only by traditional teachings including the serious concern for taking the Bible seriously. Thank God for those conservative teachers who taught me that.

    Face it, Bubba: The only “liberal” influence I had WAS THE BIBLE (or, the Bible and the Holy Spirit, as I believe). It was Biblical teaching and wanting to take those teachings seriously that led me to my positions. Even today, I’ve had almost no exposure to “liberal theologians” – beyond some few people at my church who might identify themselves that way. I don’t read liberal theologians, never have with only a few exceptions. Most of my Christian friends are coming from a more anabaptist (ie, generally speaking MORE conservative) background, not a “liberal” one.

    We take the bible seriously, trying EXACTLY to moor it to the text and the context and, most importantly, to God’s Holy Will. Believe it or not, we DO find our understanding biblical and credibly so.

    As I’ve tried to note lately: I think that this is what unhinges you all so in your conversations with me and people like me, we just don’t make sense and you have a hard time we really exist. People who AREN’T coming at the Bible with an especially liberal bent, but who are trying to take the Bible and God’s Word VERY seriously and who are obviously familiar with the Bible and yet, who seriously disagree with you on some of these passages. It just does not compute for you, does it?

    You see, I have the advantage, by starting from your current position, of being able to understand you, at least a bit. Where you’re coming from, I’ve been. What you believe, I have believed and know how you can get to that point. I do not doubt your sincerity, or that it really seems the way you are expressing it.

    You just seem unable to wrap your minds around the inverse: That I am taking the Bible seriously, am seriously striving by God’s grace to walk in Jesus’ steps and I seriously, honestly believe what I’m telling you that does not even begin to compute to you. I just wish I was better able to convey my reality to you.

    So, where you say…

    You really cannot possibly believe that anyone finds this to be a credible interpretation of Scripture.

    I don’t care what you believe, I’m telling you that, for me and mine, YES, this is an incredibly credible, obvious, direct reading of the Bible. How could anyone come to any other conclusion?

    The point of Matt 19 IS the importance of staying together, NOT some imagined, extrapolated, “Here is why God made men and women…” idea. Do you really not understand that the MAIN, CENTRAL, obvious point of this passage is that men should not divorce women?

    ~Dan

  103. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    marriage should be permanent because God says so

    Ethicists will tell you that there is a spectrum of moral behavior. On the lowest end of the spectrum, there is obeying rules simply because some external force told you to, and you will be punished if you disobey that external force.

    On the higher end are those who recognize why and how one should behave morally, ethically. These don’t behave “’cause the boogeyman will get you if you don’t…” They behave because they have internalized that moral behavior. Behaving well makes sense and is only rational and you couldn’t convince them to behave otherwise NOT because of some sort of threat, but because it is wrong.

    It is my belief that Christians and ethical people should aspire to be walking the Path of a greater enlightenment. Not being good out of fear, Not being good out of gratitude, but being good for its own sake, because it is right and sensible.

    In 1 John, we read…

    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love…

    This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And God’s commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.

    The salvation we have in grace helps ground us in following God for morality’s own sake, not out of fear of God, seems to me. It’s part of what makes God’s grace not only so amazing, but so rational.

    Could we not agree, at the least, that this is higher ideal of morality than mere fear-based or obedience-based morality?

    ~Dan

  104. “Do you really not understand that the MAIN, CENTRAL, obvious point of this passage is that men should not divorce women?”

    I understand that the primary teaching is about the general impermissibility of divorce — regardless of whether men or women initiate the divorce — but nothing in the text points solely to a context where divorce results in gross social injustice.

    Jesus doesn’t ground his teaching on the harm that divorce may cause in certain circumstances, but rather He invokes God’s will for marriage, His intention “from the beginning” that transcends any particular context.

    Most relevant to the question He was asked, God’s will is that marriage be permanent, but the principle He gave tells us more than that about God’s will.

    Deny it all you want, and deny even that Jesus taught any greater principle in that passage (now we see your commitment to the Bible’s “truth and wisdom”), but Jesus Christ DID teach that God made us male and female for a particular purpose.

    This passage tells us about God’s will regarding the permanence of marriage, but it ALSO tells us about God’s will regarding the composition of marriage.

    About how your positions came from simple, honest, good faith Bible study, well, the proof is in the pudding — your explanations for your positions are consistently question-begging arguments from silence and even arguments against the text’s plain meaning.

    “I just wish I was better able to convey my reality to you.”

    I doubt that, and I know it’s just awful of me to conclude that you’re not communicating in good faith, but I’ve had more than enough time to judge the tree of your theology by its fruits.

    I know the Bible quite well, and — sometimes despite your obfuscation — I know your beliefs well enough to know that your faith deviates wildly from the plain teachings of Scripture.

    That your beliefs line up so nicely with political radicalism is a coincidence, I’m sure.

  105. It is NOT narcissim. It is truth telling.

    But I see what Dan is doing with Matt 19:4-6. He’s reversing the point. Jesus is defending the notion that marriage was meant to be forever. This is the point upon which Dan hangs his floppy hat, and I don’t think anyone disagrees with Dan that this is the aim of Jesus’ response to the Pharisees. But there is a method for arriving at that conclusion that begins with God creating us male and female. My NIV puts it this way:

    “”Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two wilil bcome one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.””

    The passage to which Jesus refers is not saying, “God made them male and female for this reason: so they will become one.” He is saying, “They will become one. For this reason He made them male and female.”

    Dan then wants to dismiss this by virtue of regarding Genesis as a “beautiful mythic-style creation story”. OK. Let’s concede that creation did not occur as Scripture says it did. So what? How does that negate or alter the point of the reason why God created them male and female? John Gill puts it this way:

    “This may be read in ( Genesis 1:27 ) and from thence this sense of things collected; that God, who in the beginning of time, or of the creation, as Mark expresses it, made all things, the heavens, and the earth, and all that is therein, and particularly “man”, as the Vulgate Latin, and Munster’s Hebrew Gospel supply it here, made the first parents of mankind, male and female; not male and females, but one male, and one female; first, one male, and then, of him one female, who, upon her creation, was brought and married to him; so that in this original constitution, no provision was made for divorce, or polygamy. Adam could not marry more wives than one, nor could he put away Eve for every cause, and marry another: now either the Pharisees had read this account, or they had not; if they had not, they were guilty of great negligence and sloth; if they had, they either understood it or not; if they did not understand it, it was greatly to their reproach, who pretended to great knowledge of the Scriptures, and to be able to explain them to others; and if they did understand it, there was no need for this question, which therefore must be put with an evil design.”

    But again, even conceding for the sake of this discussion that the account is merely concocted to explain what they ancients had no scientific evidence to prove, it shows that woman came from man and their uniting again for procreation is based on the reason they were created two opposite, but complimentary and compatible genders. They were made male and female so that they could reproduce, could come together, could be suitable partners. There’s no honest way to look at any of this and not conclude that the two genders were designed for the purpose of being together. That they are supposed to be together and that any other alternative arrangement is contrary to God’s will.

    Anything can be asserted. Dan does not support his assertions with anything akin to the reason he claims God has given him. Reason will supply reasonable explanations and alternatives. None have been forthcoming.

  106. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    That your beliefs line up so nicely with political radicalism is a coincidence, I’m sure.

    No, that’s the point, Bubba. There is no coincidence. The Bible LED me to my positions. Starting from a conservative traditional view and approach to the Bible, I reached this point that you consider “political radicalism.” I consider it Christianity. You know, love the poor and the least of these, live simply, do not hoard wealth, love your enemy. Radical stuff, indeed, but not so much solely belonging to modern liberal thought.

    You really don’t know what to do with the reality that I started as a conservative and reached my positions only through the Bible, do you?

    ~Dan

  107. “Could we not agree, at the least, that this is higher ideal of morality than mere fear-based or obedience-based morality?”

    It’s not about fear of punishment, it’s about trust in God — not merely obeying Him “for morality’s sake” when you DO understand the rationale, but obeying Him FOR HIS SAKE even when you DON’T understand the rationale.

    You yourself quote John, but you missed a key statement even though you quote it.

    “This is love for God: to obey his commands.”

    To obey, not necessarily to understand — and, implicitly, to obey even when we don’t understand.

    Indeed, as we grow in spiritual maturity, we may understand more and more of why God’s commands are the way they are, but He is infinite and we are still limited in our understanding — there’s something about our seeing through a glass darkly.

    “Take that donkey and colt that are tied up in the next town.” “Throw your nets over the other side.” Following Jesus has been about FOLLOWING HIM, not simply understanding some “Path of a greater enlightenment” where God’s commands are always transparent.

    God isn’t a guru leading us to personal enlightenment: He is the Lord who commands and deserves our immediate obedience even in areas where enlightenment has not yet come.

    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5

    God will certainly reveal what we NEED to know, but we don’t need to know everything in order to follow Him; we don’t even need always to know His rationale in order to obey His commands. And in areas where we don’t need to know, God can strengthen our trust in Him.

  108. “You really don’t know what to do with the reality that I started as a conservative and reached my positions only through the Bible, do you?”

    If a person tells me he walked from Manhattan to London, I wouldn’t accept his claim at face value, either. And he wouldn’t help his case if he couldn’t persuasively show me the walking route he took, and if he insisted that I should trust him without verifying.

    The Bible brought you to where you are? I don’t think you can get there from here, but I’ve given you ample opportunities to show me how. Since you haven’t done so, my skepticism remains entirely reasonable.

    Your approach in this one passage is instructive.

    Jesus said nothing about the particular social injustices in His contemporary context, instead He grounded His teaching on God’s creation of man from “in the beginning,” and yet you believe that oppression of women is the driving motivation for His teaching.

    Jesus DID say that God made us male and female for a particular reason, and you outright deny that He did so.

    Sorry: can’t get from the text to where you’re standing.

  109. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    yet you believe that oppression of women is the driving motivation for His teaching.

    That was an add-on, to be clear. I’m not saying that this is DEFINITIVELY the “driving motivation,” just that, once one knows a bit of the history and context, it helps one understand better. Just basic biblical criticism hermeneutics. Given what we read of Jesus’ teachings throughout the Bible, this certainly is fitting and makes sense.

    But that was an aside, an extra. Not my central point. AS I SAID.

    And whether you believe it or not, I literally did get from there to here. It happened in the real world.

    Your inability to understand reality is not evidence that reality isn’t real.

    So, I guess that does answer my question: You really don’t know what to do with it. Reality in what happened with me is melting your brain and causing some dysfunction, it seems. You can’t accept reality because it is too foreign to your worldview.

    I always suggest that when reality conflicts with our worldview, it’s our worldview that needs to change…

    Something to consider.

    ~Dan

  110. That’s something to consider only if you’re a trustworthy person about what’s real.

    I know, I know, you know your own history, but asking us to trust you is like a man accused of perjury offering himself as his own character witness.

  111. paynehollow says:

    Except that I’ve never once perjured myself in our communications. When I have made errors (and I HAVE made errors), I have quickly acknowledged them and apologized for my own lack of perfection. You have no reason to suspect me of being untrustworthy… except for your own inability to accept the reality of my experience. But your inability to accept reality is not evidence of that reality is not real.

    Indeed, if you took the time to visit here, ask my still-conservative friends and family if I am entirely reliable and trustworthy, they would be the first to tell you I am. They would shake their heads in their own bewilderment in HOW I got to my position, but they would affirm for you that I am not lying about anything.

    ~Dan

  112. “So, I guess that does answer my question: You really don’t know what to do with it.”

    This is untrue. We know exactly what to do: scoff, mock, pity, cast out…in short, disbelieve. That disbelief is based on the facts as YOU present them. Those “facts” don’t jibe with the reality YOU dismiss and deny, which is that your conclusions cannot be reached by a true and serious study of Scripture, whether accompanied by prayer or not. If your still-conservative friends shake their heads in disbelief as well, I would wager it is because THEY don’t buy your weak explanations for your “conversion”, either.

    Nor would the seven pro-homosexual scholars (including a lesbian) that can be found at the end of this link, (a source I’ve cited on at least one or two other occasions) none of whom find any evidence that God was NOT prohibiting ALL forms of homosexual behavior. In fact, some, if not all of them, are quite emphatic on the point. One of them, Walter Wink, has been cited by Dan at his blog on one or two occasions for the support of other wacky interpretations of Scripture on other issues.

    Further, any opportunity Dan has used to critique conservatism has demonstrated that he could not have truly been a conservative except in a most superficial way. More to the point, a caricature of a conservative rather than an accurate representation of one. For him to say he was once as we are now is insulting.

    One other thing that I find amazing is the suggestion that we interpret Scripture in light of cultural biases. But the fact is that our culture is based upon Scripture, even allowing for the depth of moral decline to this point in our history. In other words, this supposed cultural bias is not the indictment Dan thinks it is, since the culture is based on the same Scripture that informs us on moral sexual behavior vs what Dan believes in moral sexual behavior. Whether we are informed by the culture or Scripture, the result is the same: there is NO context in which homosexual behavior is not an abomination to God.

  113. Except that I’ve never once perjured myself in our communications.

    Dan, at least in your online interactions, you constantly mislead people about what you believe. At best, you do so only with material omissions — so that what you say isn’t untrue but is still woefully incomplete — but the result is still the same.

    In the other thread, you list the numerous beliefs that justify your presenting yourself as orthodox, but the beliefs you omitted put the lie to that claim, especially your denial of the biblical claim that we’re saved by Christ’s death and your denial of the biblical claim that the resurrection is indispensable.

    Politically, you present yourself as a moderate who cares deeply about opposing both violence and demagoguery, but it’s obvious you loathe capitalism, you defended Bill Ayers by lying that he targeted only “stuff,” and you defended Jeremiah Wright as a “man of God” despite his accusing the U.S. government of creating AIDS as an act of attempted genocide.

    In our arguments, your only consistency is your self-serving inconsistency: our arguments must meet the most absurdly high standards of evidence, but you not only refuse to show how your position meets the same standard, you’ll build your case using arguments from sheer silence.

    Obfuscation, hypocrisy, subversion, and outright deception: it’s not a one-time slip for which you will apologize, it’s your basic m.o.

    Even in these threads you can’t be honest. You deny what’s right in front of you in terms of the biblical text, perhaps deluding even yourself into thinking that somebody, somewhere, might buy your preposterous claims when they can check the Bible for themselves.

    I outright quote the Bible’s repeated claim that we’re saved through Christ’s death, and you dismiss the position as extra-biblical(!) — that “of course” the claim is a medieval innovation unmoored from the biblical text.

    And again:

    ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, JESUS SAID THIS:

    “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” [Mt 19:4-6, ESV]

    I ASKED YOU:

    “In the Bible, what is the only reason THAT CHRIST EXPLICITLY GAVE for why God made us male and female?”

    YOU ANSWERED:

    “In the Bible, there IS NO SUCH explicit reason given. Never happened.”

    You even compared the belief to the contrary with the notion that the Bible mentions purple unicorns.

    You now say that you’ve never once perjured yourself? You did with that “never happened” claim, and you do so again with your pretending to be an honest man.

  114. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Those “facts” don’t jibe with the reality YOU dismiss and deny, which is that your conclusions cannot be reached by a true and serious study of Scripture, whether accompanied by prayer or not.

    Again, your inability to understand reality is NO sign that reality doesn’t exist.

    I know it would be difficult for you, but you COULD find the truth, it would be easy enough. You could visit my conservative friends and family, people who were around at the time, ask them about it and find out, Yes, Dan was extremely conservative on this point (and many others). Yes, he started reading the Bible seeking to find more evidence to disprove gay claims. Yes, FOR SOME REASON, he honestly believes it, he honestly moved from the one position to the other based on his Bible study…

    This all happened in the real world. It’s demonstrable. I’m evidence (as are many others). We’re not making up the facts of the case (why would we?). The facts are just the facts.

    You all just can’t wrap your minds around the reality, so you deny reality, but in so doing, you look both arrogant and crazed. Anyone who denies reality in order to maintain their belief system has a faulty belief system.

    ~Dan

  115. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    Jesus DID say that God made us male and female for a particular reason, and you outright deny that He did so.

    Again, I would just point to reality, friends. Open the doors, slide up the windows, let the fresh air and sunlight of the real world shine in! Don’t be afraid of reality, it’s not going to hurt you.

    That I disagree with your interpretation is not, in the real world of humans and God’s creation, a sign that I have lied. DISAGREEMENT is not lying. I think you are reading into the passage something that isn’t there. But IF I am mistaken, then it is a mistake, not a perjure.

    So again, all of this is demonstrable in the real world. That you all can’t understand it or disagree is not evidence that the real world doesn’t exist. Break out of that cocoon of Self-Certainty – even against reality. It’s only hurtful to you.

    Embrace reality.

    ~Dan

  116. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    the beliefs you omitted put the lie to that claim, especially your denial of the biblical claim that we’re saved by Christ’s death

    It is entirely true that I do not ascribe to the 10th (?) Century Theory of Atonement called Penal Substitutionary Atonement. But neither did the early church, since that THEORY of atonement did not EXIST for hundreds of years. By your rather graceless and arrogant measure, then, no one in the church was actually saved for nearly a millenia! Too bad the Apostles did not have you there to enlighten them.

    But no where does the Bible insist that we must hold to the 10th Century Theory of Atonement put forth by Anselm and others. It just hasn’t happened.

    Come, fellas, there is no joy in all this bitter gracelessness.

    Embrace Grace and thank GOD for that grace, by which you and I are saved. Do not denigrate it or add on to it. It’s a bad idea.

    Regardless, that I disagree about theories of atonement is not a sign that I’ve lied.

    Disagreement is not lying, friend Bubba.

    Embrace grace on this Good Lord’s Morning.

    ~Dan

  117. Dan:

    You deny that you’re dishonest, and I stand by the conclusion I’ve drawn from literal years of online conversations with you. You say to do so is a denial of reality and grace.

    And yet, I would just as vigorously deny the charges you level against me: that I’m in a “cocoon of Self-Certainty,” scared of reality, that I’m bitter and graceless and arrogant.

    That I’ve drawn conclusions from your writing with which you disagree isn’t a sign of arrogant self-certainty — at least, it isn’t here in the real world of flowers and trees and bumblebees.

    But that doesn’t prevent you from making the charge.

    It’s funny how “reality” and “grace” end up meaning, that we must believe all the nice things friend Dan says about himself, but he can still say simply terrible things about us.

  118. “Anyone who denies reality in order to maintain their belief system has a faulty belief system.”

    Wow. Dan, lover of irony, has never before made a remark that rises to so perfect a self-condemnation while trying to accuse someone else. The above quote perfectly describes his own state of mind.

    We do not deny reality regarding Dan’s tales of conversion. We are incredulous at the absurdity of them. We find them incongruent. He reads verses that describe dog and finds cat. Serious study? Such does not lead to that which is clearly and blatantly untrue.

  119. Dan has made the claim that the early church did not believe in the Penal Substitution theory of atonement. In the sense that this particular theory wasn’t codified and named he is correct. Yet it is clear from the writings of (among others) Paul, that the early church did hold the belief(s) that were later labeled Penal Substitution theory. In much the same way as the term Trinity does not appear in scripture, yet scripture clearly teaches the triune nature of God. It would be incorrect to say that the early church didn’t believe in the Trinity, simply because they didn’t formulate and label their beliefs that way.

    I also find it problematic that one of Dan’s problems with Penal Substitution is that it is a 10th century invention, (actually 16th century). His objection chooses to ignore the fact that the Penal Sub. theory was derived from the Satisfaction Theory (500 or so years earlier), which was an extension of the Ransom theory which traces back to Mark 10. So to simply dismiss the Penal Sub theory because it comes late to the party is to deny the history of the theory. Strangely he doesn’t seem to find the fact that his pet view (Moral Example) is also a relative latecomer and was not held by the early Church either. It seems that if the passage of time is a key factor in accepting or rejecting one of the atonement theories, then one would be consistent in rejecting any of the later theories and holding to the one that actually traces back to the Gospel of Mark.

  120. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    You say to do so is a denial of reality and grace.

    No, I don’t “say” it. It is so. It is, at the very least, factually a denial of reality. I know reality and it is as I’ve passed on. I have no reason to make things up. They are all verifiable, if you took the time to investigate.

    That you place your confidence in your uninformed opinions over reality, that SEEMS to me to come from a place of arrogance and out of a lack of grace. But I don’t know your motives, so I can’t say for sure.

    Unlike you, I do not presume to say that I can speak with authority and without error about things I can not prove. This is how it seems.

    Maybe your self-confidence is not from arrogance, but ignorance. Maybe you have not been taught not to make pronouncements of “fact” when you have insufficient grounds Perhaps you have had bad role models and you just are ignorantly making these claims from a place of poor upbringing or poor role models or poor associates and mentors.

    Or maybe you are just so sure of your correctness and you want to be pleasing to God that you just can’t see any other possibility. I just don’t know and wouldn’t presume to say with authority, as if I know your motives and what led you to this place.

    All I know for a fact, is that you are factually mistaken. Demonstrably so.

    Bubba…

    And yet, I would just as vigorously deny the charges you level against me: that I’m in a “cocoon of Self-Certainty,” scared of reality, that I’m bitter and graceless and arrogant.

    Again, just guesses on my part. It’s how it seems to me. Given your repeated harsh and mistaken condemnations of me and factually false conclusions about me, it comes across as rather arrogant – as if you know me better than I do, or as if you can “know” reality when you don’t really know any of the specifics of my life. Where does one get that sort of presumption and certainty?

    I don’t find it in Christian Grace. But maybe that’s just me.

    The point remains, you are demonstrably mistaken. That you all are unable to understand reality remains no evidence that reality isn’t real. Claiming reality isn’t real just undermines you and hurts you, I’d go easy on that.

    In Christ,

    Dan

  121. Yes, Dan, that’s what I’ve been doing, “claiming reality isn’t real.”

    Your shoveling shit like that really doesn’t prompt me to rethink my conclusion that you have an issue with being honest.

  122. paynehollow says:

    Uh huh. I repeat:

    That I disagree with your interpretation is not, in the real world of humans and God’s creation, a sign that I have lied. DISAGREEMENT is not lying. I think you are reading into the passage something that isn’t there. But IF I am mistaken, then it is a mistake, not a perjure.

    We disagree, Bubba. That I disagree with you is NOT lying. In the real world, it is NOT “shit” to say that disagreement is not lying. It is pointing to reality.

    Is it the case that you think reality is “shit…”? Of course not.

    Why the hostility, Bubba?

    People of good faith disagree. It has happened forever. There is no shame in disagreement. The only shame is in hateful falsehoods and demonizations in response to that disagreement.

    There is no shame in admitting the reality: Bubba and I disagree about the best interpretation of this passage.

    There IS shame in saying (IF I were to say): Bubba disagrees with me and that is just crazy, no one could possibly agree with my conclusion, it is BIBLICAL! The only possible conclusion is that Bubba is a liar, he never really believes anything he says…” or whatever.

    Do you see and understand the difference between what I’m doing (merely disagreeing) and what you’re doing (disagreeing AND saying that I’m lying by disagreeing, that no reasonable person could disagree with you, etc)?

    Embrace grace.

    Love you, Brother, despite our disagreements.

    Dan

  123. It’s not “that” you disagree, Dan, but HOW you disagree: in my comment early this morning, I didn’t simply list where we hold different positions, but how you present your often-radical positions as moderate, and how you argue for your positions using two sets of standards — e.g., our evidence can never be clear enough while you can argue from sheer silence.

    It’s not really that inconceivable that literal years of this routine from you might generate a little bit of hostility toward you.

  124. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    how you present your often-radical positions as moderate,

    My positions ARE quite traditional (with the noted exception of my position on support for marriage for gay folk), at least in the anabaptist world. That you disagree with that is not a sign of dishonesty. Disagreement is not lying.

    Bubba…

    and how you argue for your positions using two sets of standards e.g., our evidence can never be clear enough while you can argue from sheer silence.

    I don’t know what you mean. I DO disagree with your “evidence” (that is, your opinion) and I am NOT arguing from silence. That you might think I am is only evidence that you are not understanding my position, not that I am lying.

    Come brother, be reasonable. You have no “evidence” that I am lying. What you have is evidence that we disagree and you can’t understand my position so you are assuming (with NO evidence) that I am lying. But as I repeatedly point out: Your not understanding reality is not evidence that reality isn’t real.

    Consider it this way, Bubba: IF someone were to be exasperated by your “crazy” and “radical” position on Christians going to war and they said, “There is simply NO WAY that someone can reach that position in good faith by a simple reading of Christ’s words…” and you responded (because you knew the reality)… “??? but of course it is my actual position. I honestly DID get there by reading God’s Word… why would I make that up??” and they kept insisting it wasn’t a disagreement, it was a falsehood or series of falsehoods on your part.

    Would it be unreasonable for you to think that this person was being arrogant in ignoring reality simply because they couldn’t understand it? That they were being presumptuous and perhaps blinded by their worldview?

    What would YOU do with such a person (after years of explaining or trying to explain your position to him in a way that he could understand)?

    ~Dan

  125. Dan, there’s nothing traditional in denying the historicity of the Passover, denying that the Virgin Birth is a clear teaching of Scripture, denying that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ and not just a long-standing church tradition, denying the causal relationship between Christ’s death and our salvation, and denying the necessity of the bodily Resurrection.

    There’s nothing traditional in looking at the Old Testament and finding repeated claims that God commanded atrocities, in looking at the New Testament epistles and concluding that it is “doubtless” that Paul was a sexist and/or bigot, and in looking at the Gospels and finding them more concerned with political reform and wealth redistribution than with personal discipleship and holiness.

    There’s nothing traditional in seeing the second commandment’s prohibition of idolatry only in terms of irrationally believing that an idol is a deity or in the context of the wicked practices that accompanied idolatry among the pagans surrounding ancient Israel: the traditional approach is to avoid idol worship simply because God said so.

    And there’s nothing traditional in being unable to clearly articulate that at least basic theism — belief in God — is a prerequisite to church membership: the traditional approach is to welcome outspoken atheists as visitors but not as members unless they renounce their atheism in favor of the God of the Bible.

    I mention your inconsistent standards, and you write, “I don’t know what you mean.”

    Well, it matters very greatly to you that the Bible doesn’t forbid ALL homosexual acts across all times and cultures in a manner that is explicit enough for your demands, but it’s quite alright that the Bible doesn’t explicitly condone even ONE homosexual act.

    You routinely tell us that the Bible doesn’t make the claims we make about the book — that it’s inerrant, that it’s inspired throughout — and you point out that the Bible doesn’t claim to be a rulebook, even though NONE OF US have said that it is. But you make LOTS of claims about the Bible that it doesn’t make for itself, that it’s a book of Truths but not facts, that it’s a book whose “epic” style renders its historical claims either untrustworthy or irrelevant, AND IT NEVER OCCURS TO YOU TO POINT TO WHERE THE BIBLE MAKES THESE CLAIMS. And when I ask where it does, you don’t answer.

    You say I have “no evidence” for your dishonesty, but this isn’t the first time I’m cataloging just a fraction of the evidence that I have: invariably, you inadequately address the reasons why my issue is far more than the fact of our mere disagreement, and you eventually go back to saying that I have no evidence for my criticism.

    That tactic, repeated as often as you have done, is further proof of your less-than-honest dealings with me.

    And if someone accused me of lying about my belief that the Bible doesn’t require strict pacifism, I wouldn’t just insist that “I honestly DID get there by God’s word,” and I wouldn’t just ask, “why would I make that up?”

    (For what it’s worth, a motive is obvious regarding why you would lie or embellish about the importance of the text of the Bible in reaching your conclusions: your radical beliefs are more persuasive if you can convince people that you reached them just by studying the book all by your lonesome, rather than — for instance — being lead by a one-sided “conversation” organized by your radical, apostate “church.”)

    No, I wouldn’t expect online strangers to accept my word at face value, and I wouldn’t insist on the unprovable claim that I have no motives to be nothing other than honest.

    I’d walk them through the passages that led me to that position, such as Romans 13, where Paul teaches that the government is an agent of God’s righteous wrath that does not bear the sword in vain.

    See, Dan, I have no direct access to your life history, just as you have no direct access to mine.

    But we both have direct access to at least modern translations of the Bible.

    And if you’re claiming that your life history is that studying the Bible lead you to your beliefs, you’re NOT limited to telling us to take your word for it. You could walk us through the process.

    You never have done this, despite our numerous calls to do so.

    At some point, it becomes quite reasonable to conclude that you don’t because you can’t.

  126. paynehollow says:

    Bubba, regarding your lists of “there’s nothing traditional…” suffice to say in general, you misunderstand and misrepresent my position. For some examples…

    there’s nothing traditional in denying the historicity of the Passover,

    I do not deny the historicity of the passover. I deny that there is any rational or biblical demand that we must take it as a literal exact history. The text reads more of an epic nature in that part and this was before the advent of the Age of Modern History. We have no reason to think or demand that this is written in a style that WAS NOT IN USE at the time, any more than we have any reason to think it was written in English, a language that was not in use at the time. I deny your insistence that it must have been written (passed on orally) in a manner that just didn’t exist at the time, by all evidence. That I take your interpretation is lacking is not in any sense a suggestion that I “deny” the text, any more than your interpretation of a teaching of Jesus’ being different than mine is evidence that YOU deny the text.

    Are you unwilling to extend the same grace to others that we extend to you?

    Disagreement is not evidence of denial, or of rejection or of disrespect to a passage. It just isn’t.

    denying that the Virgin Birth is a clear teaching of Scripture

    Again, I don’t deny that the text speaks of Jesus being born of a virgin. I happen to BELIEVE that Jesus was born of a virgin, in a miraculous manner. What I deny is that the Bible teaches this as a central Christian tenet.

    There’s nothing traditional in looking at the Old Testament and finding repeated claims that God commanded atrocities…

    Again, it is NOT that I believe that God commanded atrocities. I do NOT. I am saying that your interpretation has God commanding people to sin, which is irrational and unbiblical. I disagree with your approach to the text, insisting (even though the Bible does not insist this and ration argues against it) that this was written in a style that did not exist at the time – a modern history convention. That I disagree with YOUR approach to the text is not evidence that I disagree with the text or think that God ordered atrocities, it is evidence of a disagreement over interpretation. There is no “lying” in simple disagreements over interpretation. There simply isn’t.

    in looking at the New Testament epistles and concluding that it is “doubtless” that Paul was a sexist and/or bigot,

    It’s worse than that, Bubba: I happen to believe that ALL of the disciples were flawed, imperfect humans, just as I think is true for you and me. Do we have any reason to think otherwise? Paul lived in a patriarchal society that devalued women. Why would I not think that he was a product of his society? I also don’t think that Paul came out against slavery. (Indeed, if you take the text for what it says, neither do you, since he clearly never did and he spoke directly of slavery without condemning it, only telling the slaves how to be “good” slaves…) EGAD! Does that mean that YOU think Paul supported slavery!! You monster!

    Bubba, for all your “it’s not traditional…” you either misunderstand my position or it isn’t all that odd and certainly not unbiblical or untraditional. And where you disagree with my opinions, that is not evidence of you “lying” or being dishonest. It just means you disagree, same as with me.

    Disagreement happens. There is no sin in disagreement, nor is it evidence that you are a liar.

    ~Dan

    • there’s nothing traditional in denying the historicity of the Passover,

      I do not deny the historicity of the passover. I deny that there is any rational or biblical demand that we must take it as a literal exact history.

      This is the sort of double-talk which makes pinning Trabue down like nailing Jello to a wall.

      It’s history, but it isn’t literal history. What is that suppose to mean? History is either literally true or it isn’t really history. Only an irrational mind would come up with this sort of nonsense.

  127. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    if you’re claiming that your life history is that studying the Bible lead you to your beliefs, you’re NOT limited to telling us to take your word for it. You could walk us through the process.

    You never have done this, despite our numerous calls to do so.

    !!?? Bubba, our WHOLE HISTORY has been a process of me walking you through my positions and how I got to them. I have done this literally for years and for books’-worth of words.

    I can point you to here…

    http://throughthesewoods.blogspot.com/2011/08/marriage-equity-my-journey-i.html

    Where you see the first of two parts where I specifically and directly walk you through how I got from here to there. I won’t post the second one because John’s blog doesn’t like two links. But you can easily find the second on that link.

    The point is, FACTUALLY speaking, I have done this exactly, specifically.

    Now you can say you did not find it convincing, or that you just don’t get it, but you can’t say I haven’t done it.

    Again, that you don’t understand a reality is not evidence that reality doesn’t exist. And that you disagree with my conclusions or find the reasoning lacking is not evidence that I didn’t sincerely and honestly reach those conclusions for exactly those reasons.

    Again, the real world evidence is there. I know it wouldn’t be easy, but you COULD find out that everything I’ve told you is factual. You could affirm it with conversations with my conservative friends who, like you, don’t understand my conclusions, but they know that I did reach them and just the way I have said happened.

    Because it is reality. I ain’t making it up, it happened, in the real world.

    It takes some kind of crazy arrogance to insist that, just because you don’t understand it, that it couldn’t have happened. Seems to me.

    ~Dan

  128. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    it matters very greatly to you that the Bible doesn’t forbid ALL homosexual acts across all times and cultures in a manner that is explicit enough for your demands, but it’s quite alright that the Bible doesn’t explicitly condone even ONE homosexual act.

    Well, I don’t approach ethics and morality the way you do. I do not believe it is biblical or rational to say, “Where is the line in the Bible that condemns or supports this behavior so that I can know what my position is?” Instead, I happen to think that things are wrong when they are bad, unhealthy, not productive, cause harm, oppress, or are otherwise not a good idea. I happen to think that things are right when they are good, healthy, productive, help, cause joy, bring relief, support, or are otherwise are obviously Good, Noble, Pure and Loving.

    If I find a line in a holy text that claims that killing babies is good, I don’t need a Bible to tell me, no, that isn’t a moral good. If I find a line in the Bible that tells me that people committing in love and fidelity to a married life is bad, I don’t need a Bible to tell me that this isn’t a moral good. It is innately and obviously good.

    Contrariwise, if there are NO lines in the Bible condemning the dropping of nuclear bombs on a city of civilians, it doesn’t matter, I don’t NEED a Bible to recognize the wrong nature of such a behavior.

    So, that the Bible does not one time “condone even ONE homosexual act…” that is no more impressive to me that the fact that the Bible does not condemn EVEN ONE polygamous marriage (nor, apparently, does that matter to you, since you and I agree that polygamy is not a good thing – an extrabiblical conclusion we both have reached). It is no more impressive to me than the fact that the Bible does not condemn slavery or racism. These things are good or bad NOT because there is a line in the Bible that tells us, because of their good or bad nature.

    That I approach morality differently than you is not evidence that I am lying or that I have not actually reached my positions or that I value the Bible less than you do. Indeed, you are the one who SEEMS TO ME to be devaluing the Bible because you are insisting that it must be taken only in the way that you believe right, even if the Bible doesn’t directly endorse your claim.

    Bubba…

    But you make LOTS of claims about the Bible that it doesn’t make for itself, that it’s a book of Truths but not facts, that it’s a book whose “epic” style renders its historical claims either untrustworthy or irrelevant, AND IT NEVER OCCURS TO YOU TO POINT TO WHERE THE BIBLE MAKES THESE CLAIMS.

    Because I am quite clear in saying that this is my opinion, not the One True Opinion From God Through the Bible. I am stating what seems obvious and observably true to me.

    I can’t “point to” the places where the Bible doesn’t say what you say, they just aren’t there. As to the Epic thing, all I can point to is reality. In the scholarly real world, there is general agreement that the Age of “Modern History” did not begin until ~500 BC – 500 AD, and even then, it was the beginning, a rough beginning of moving towards the more literal, linear style of explicitly factual history. That is what the real world experts note. There is no evidence so far as I know of any ancient “modern history” style stories. On the other hand, there are multiple instances of stories consistently told in a mythic and epic style and that style matches that which is found in the Bible.

    The Bible never uses that term to describe its ancient stories, but then, neither does Gilgamesh or other ancient stories. It’s how we describe them today, in English.

    Further, as I continually point out, that they are told in an apparently mythic or epic style is NOT to say that the stories are untrustworthy or irrelevant. That is a modern chauvinism against ancient peoples, not solid scholarly consideration of a text. You are trying (it appears) to evaluate ancient texts based on modern beliefs and that is a poor approach to literary studies. Jesus’ parables are NOT unreliable simply because they are not factual. Neither are myths or epic stories. You get that in the case of Jesus’ parables, why do you not get that for other styles that you apparently find problematic? I’m talking about the principle here:

    DO YOU UNDERSTAND that a story, written in a particular style, is not in and of itself of necessity “bad” or untrustworthy or irrelevant, simply because it is written in a particular style?

    ~Dan

  129. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    What is that suppose to mean? History is either literally true or it isn’t really history.

    It’s actually quite simple, Glenn. Follow closely:

    1. There are ALL manner of ways of telling history, of passing on historic stories.
    2. A history of the creation of the world, for instance, could be told in a mythic manner, it could be told in a scientifically historic manner, it could be told in a modern historic manner, with an emphasis on linear storytelling with explicitly factual historic points, with a heavy emphasis on factuality.
    3. ALL of these are “really history stories…” but not all of them are literally accurate and factual. They are not all TOLD with that purpose in mind. There is nothing wrong a creation myth in and of itself, it’s only if you try to use it to teach a science class that you run into problems. There is nothing wrong with a literal modern history in and of itself, it’s only if you try to pass that on to prehistoric peoples for whom the literal facts may make no sense that you run into troubles.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      You are such a weasel. The Passover is literal history and you have no legitimate, rational reason for denying it. You like to play so much with how history is told rather than what history IS.

      You use the Bible like toilet paper. You crap all over it while maintaining that you follow its teachings.

      Bubba, you are doing excellently, but you will never win with the spawn of satan.

  130. Apologies, Dan: I shouldn’t have said that you never walk us through the process of how you became a theological radical; I should have acknowledged that you sometimes do go through the process, where you asked just the right questions that get the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality written off because of their defunct cultural context, and you NEVER did ask the tough questions, like why did God make us male and female after all?

    Yesireebob, it’s sheer coincidence that your careful and prayerful Bible study ended up resembling the gay lobby’s most lopsided case for their position.

    About the details of your untraditional beliefs, you haven’t always affirmed that the Bible teaches the Virgin Birth: in our very first encounter, you referred to it as an extrabiblical doctrine, and that wasn’t the only time.

    And I misspoke, it’s not just that you’ve acknowledged that the Apostles were flawed humans, you’ve written that Paul’s apostolic teachings themselves contain bigotry. You even claimed that Christ Himself limited the twelve to men out because of the sexism of the contemporary culture.

    You now do focus on genre, but in the past you’ve speculated that the OT contains “less than perfect” revelation; you’ve undermined its divine authorship and authority, and now you just assert that our interpretation is wrong without ever offering a credible counter interpretation — and ultimately, your approach to Scripture flies in the face of the explicit teachings and implicit example of Christ and His Apostles.

    I stand by my conclusion that you’re simply not an honest man, and why shouldn’t I? Grace and reality doesn’t keep you from accusing me of arrogance.

  131. About the Passover, that central event of Judaism, which God commanded the Jews commemorate annually and through which we understand the Crucifixion:

    Did God kill the firstborn of Egypt? Any answer other than yes is a denial of the historicity of the Passover, no matter how much one pretties it up.

    But, fine, whatever.

    “I deny that there is any rational or biblical demand that we must take it as a literal exact history.”

    Dan, would you say the same thing about the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth? In the past you’ve prided yourself on how you and your group doesn’t insist on a literal resurrection.

  132. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    would you say the same thing about the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth? In the past you’ve prided yourself on how you and your group doesn’t insist on a literal resurrection.

    But there IS rational and biblical reason to take Jesus’ resurrection literally. There were multiple independent witnesses. It was reported within the era of (albeit at the beginning) Modern History telling. I DO take the resurrection as literal.

    Different times, different story telling genres. On what basis would I think that ancient texts MUST be considered to have been written in a style that didn’t exist in the day?

    MUST the Creation story be taken as literal history, Bubba? Are those who disagree with a literal interpretation “liars…”?

    DO YOU recognize that believing a text is a certain literary style is NOT the same as lying?

    ~Dan

  133. Dan, you may not realize it, but appeals to the era of Modern History telling is a bit of a circular argument, because quite a few people distinguish modern history by its lack of miraculous claims. These people would dismiss both Exodus AND Luke because both contain clear claims that miracles occurred.

    Because it doesn’t contain claims of the miraculous, Ruth strikes some readers as quite modern, but it can’t be that the small-scale story is actual history, seeing as it fits between divine commands to wage wars of annihilation. God’s word on our hearts tells us (somehow) that God would never do such thing, so the entire narrative from Moses to David isn’t trustworthy as history, QED.

    And as for a biblical reason for why the Resurrection must have occurred, I find it striking that you appeal to questions of genre rather than Paul’s straight-forward claim that, if Christ wasn’t raised, we’re dead in our sins and our faith is in vain.

    But, whatever. I’m quite glad to see you that you say that there are reasons to believe in the literal resurrection, but not too long ago, you prided yourself in not insisting in such a belief.

    You had written, “I and my company are not of the sort that insist upon a literal interpretation of the Creation or even the Resurrection story. I believe in faith the resurrection story, but it is not the sum total of my belief. IF someone could somehow prove that Jesus was never resurrected, it would not mean the end of my following the teachings of Jesus.”

    If Jesus were a long-decayed corpse, you said you’d still follow the man’s teachings, even those though teachings included the prediction of his own resurrection. If your position has changed, great!

  134. paynehollow says:

    And if you only follow Jesus because of the miracles and without them, you have no use for Jesus’ teachings, well, I’d just remind you of Jesus’ words:

    A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!

    I do believe in Jesus’ resurrection, but I am a follower of Jesus because of the Way he taught, not because of magic tricks.

    Interestingly, in the way that you read the Bible, the devil exists and can do miracles and signs.

    If Jesus taught what he taught but did no miracles, does that mean you’d opt for a magic devil rather than a miracle-less Jesus? Something to consider.

    I’m done. Peace and grace to you all.

    ~Dan

  135. “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!”

    “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” – Mt 12:39-40, cf. Mt 16:4, Lk 11:29-30

    Now, Jesus doesn’t mention the sign of Jonah in Mark 8:12, but in the very same chapter He taught that the Son of Man “must” suffer and be killed and rise again three days later — “And he said this plainly.” (8:31-32)

    Since Jesus plainly taught His resurrection, it’s not that we’d have “no use” for His teachings without that little “magic trick” (which you say you believe!), it’s that He would be a false teacher.

    Jesus’ teachings weren’t limited to His “Way” or His ethical commands for His followers, or, rather, those commands that you emphasize as consistent with your politics. No, His teachings include claims of His deity, warnings about Hell, doctrine about forgiveness being provided through His death, AND REPEATED PROMISES OF THE RESURRECTION.

    A true follower of Jesus would believe Him in all that He taught.

    I think just about the worst thing about you is this: you not only disbelieve some of what He taught, you pride yourself on it.

  136. The resurrection is a magic trick. That’s perfect. There’s no reason to believe in Jesus without the signs, great and small, that He is God, that He conquered death and acted as the perfect sacrifice by which God the Father absolves us of our sins. Without the “magic tricks”, Buddha is every bit as worthy, for Jesus is just another dude.

  137. I’m coming back to this article because of the claim as to what “nature” and “natural” is.
    Well, I have been reading a lengthy article on an entirely different topic, but the author explains what the Greek word translated “nature” or “natural” in the N.T. means. You know, such as when Paul says homosexual behavior is against nature or unnatural, or similar wording depending on your translation.

    The word “nature” (physis) is used 13 times in the N.T. Each time, it refers to facts related to God’s Creation rather than to the norms of a particular culture.
    The author further clarifies the meanings: The Greek word translated “nature” (physis) is defined as order, laws, innateness, or instinct. This word is the source of English words such as physics & physiology. It is derived from a Greek term that means to be born or to grow.

    Seems to me, this is the exact context I was using when Trabue refused to accept it.

    So, by “nature” and in the “natural realm,” homosexual behavior is indeed “unnatural.”

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