The slippery slope: Pedophilia a sexual orientation

When those who oppose same-sex marriage said that in affirming same-sex sexual attraction as a natural, immutable, normal variant of human sexuality it would open the door for other sexual variations — such as pedophilia to claim the same normalcy and therefore, social acceptance they were called crazy.  Well, apparently we were right.

(Toronto Star) — Pedophilia has been widely viewed as a psychological disorder triggered by early childhood trauma.

Now, many experts see it as a biologically rooted condition that does not change — like a sexual orientation — thanks largely to a decade of research by Dr. James Cantor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Cantor’s team has found that pedophiles share a number of physical characteristics, including differences in brain wiring. It’s now thought that about 1 to 5 per cent of men are pedophiles, meaning they are primarily attracted to children.

These findings have been widely accepted among scientists, but have had little impact on social attitudes or law. However, we are left with the alarming question: if some men are born pedophiles, what should society do with them?

Bolstered by this research, pedophiles who have never molested children are seeking social acceptance.

[…]

[Ethan] Edwards says the goal of Virtuous Pedophiles is to prevent child abuse, by reducing the stigma against non-offender pedophiles.

“We do not choose to be attracted to children, and we cannot make that attraction go away,” reads the website, which has about 200 members.

This movement has all the markings that the push for accepting homosexuality had:

  • It’s something you’re born with
  • You can’t change it
  • It feels natural and have always felt that way
  • Disapproval is degrading, dehumanizing, and makes you a second-class citizen

Cantor, an internationally respected clinical psychologist, has also conducted studies with sex offenders using MRIs. He has found they have less white matter — the connective tissue that carries messages to other parts of the brain — than other types of criminal offenders.

The evidence suggests pedophilia results from atypical wiring in the brain. Cantor calls it “cross-wiring”: the stimuli that usually evoke nurturing and protective reactions in adults is instead evoking sexual reactions in pedophiles.

If pedophilia can be shown to be biological and immutable, on what basis can we deny pedophiles special status?  They must be recognized as a protected class in the same way as homosexuals, if we are to be consistent.

If we expect pedophiles to refrain from acting on their desires, why can’t we do the same for homosexuals?  Is it because homosexual relationships are consensual among adults?  So what?  If pedophiles can’t help their attractions, to suggest what they feel is immoral or should be resisted is bigotry and hatred, or so we’re told by gay activists.

How can we make a principled argument against socially accepting and promoting pedophilia the same way as homosexuality without being inconsistent and arbitrary?

Comments

  1. @Dan

    Remember when you said no one wants to normalize pedophilia?

  2. Pedophilia is wrong because of the inability of the child to give informed consent. Children also cannot give informed consent to their being subjected to more than a decade of compulsory education, or to horrific medical procedures ranging from circumcision to amputation to chemotherapy. But that’s okay, somehow.

    In the same way, bestiality is wrong because of the inability of the animal to give informed consent. Animals also cannot consent to being slaughtered, their flesh ground up, cooked, and eaten while their skin is used for clothing. But that’s okay, somehow.

    There are desires that are even more immediately essential to survival than the desire for sex, and there are activities that are more physically harmful or more long lasting, but sex is unique in requiring the informed consent of all involved. Don’t ask why: it’s a dogma that we must accept as true because it’s convenient for making homosexuality mainstream.

    It’s the New Dogma, replacing the outdated notion that, from the beginning, God created us male and female so that a man (a human adult male) would become one flesh with his wife (a human adult female).

  3. paynehollow says:

    John…

    If we expect pedophiles to refrain from acting on their desires, why can’t we do the same for homosexuals? Is it because homosexual relationships are consensual among adults? So what? If pedophiles can’t help their attractions, to suggest what they feel is immoral or should be resisted is bigotry and hatred

    Yes, it is different BECAUSE homosexuality is between consenting adults and pedophilia is NOT. One is abuse and unhealthy/harmful and one is/can be loving and healthy.

    If someone is a pedophile in nature, that just is what it is. We don’t need to hate them for it, I can agree. BUT, we also can’t let them abuse children.

    I am not sure what the problem is, here.

    I don’t hate people who are innately especially greedy, nor those who are innately prone to violence, or those who are innately attracted to children. BUT, I/we do not and will not support any of them acting out their innate desires in ways that cause harm.

    What’s the problem?

    Are you suggesting that we should hate people who have innately harmful traits?

    If someone is innately prone to alcoholism or drug abuse, we do what we can to keep them away from it. If someone is innately prone to cheating/swindling, we keep them away from opportunities to do so. If someone is innately attracted to children, we keep them away from children. End of problem.

    ~Dan

  4. paynehollow says:

    I am to say that it is wrong to PRACTICE it or ACT OUT their desires because doing so would cause harm to innocents and that is wrong. Again, being opposed to someone causing harm to others is not hatred. It’s rational.

    On the other hand, being opposed to two adults choosing to marry and love one another, committing to be there, support, cherish, etc one another because you believe that God wants you to be opposed to it – with no good reason other than your opinion that God thinks so (although God certainly never told you this – it is only your opinion about what God might say if God were to tell you) – that is less than rational.

    ~Dan

  5. paynehollow says:

    No, I believe that causes harm. I believe that comes from harmful, oppressive situations. You find marginalized, fundamentalist Mormons and Muslims thinking this is good and indoctrinating their girls to grow up believing it, but you don’t find such choices in healthy, undoctrinated adults.

    IF it could be demonstrated that healthy consenting adults outside of any oppressive or indoctrinated situations making this choice, perhaps so. But I don’t think you could find it.

    Again, harm and healthy adult consent are the dividing lines.

    ~Dan

    • Homosexuals suffer quite extensively from their sexual lives. Diseases, cancers and whatnot. They suffer from these things that heterosexuals who practice the very same things do not.

      Its safe to say being a sexually active homosexual is very bad for your health.

  6. “I am to say that it is wrong to PRACTICE it or ACT OUT their desires because doing so would cause harm to innocents and that is wrong.”

    Again, I must ask, if that’s the standard, why is it okay to slaughter and butcher animals, but not to make love to them, EVEN if doing so causes less physical harm than sodomy between two humans?

    THINK. THINGS. THROUGH.

  7. paynehollow says:

    No, abusive sexual behavior – gay or straight – is bad for your health. You are letting your prejudices bias the facts. Two elderly lesbian ladies, living in a faithful married bliss for 50 years, have ZERO extra risks than an elderly man/wife might have. ZERO.

    Two responsible gay men, faithfully, lovingly married for 50 years have probably only marginal extra risks.

    Being gay is NOT harmful to your health. Sleeping around – gay or straight – can be, but not responsible sexual behavior in the context of a committed marriage. For this rational reason, we should SUPPORT marriage for gay and lesbian folk, not discourage it.

    ~Dan

  8. Notice how in Trabue’s worldview, it is HIS opinion of what harm is which counts. No matter how many medical professionals write about the physical and medical harm of homosexual behavior, as long as it is consensual then it can’t be harm in Trabue’s world.

    Notice in Trabue’s upside down world all incest between consenting adults causes harm – and this behavior is ONLY in marginalized groups of people. I guess he misses the news articles about father/daughter relationships lasting for years before discovered, and those kinds have never originated in a cult. Only a small sample of the entire incestuous couples are found in such cults. But Trabue knows differently. Oh, wait, he will ask for “proof” of my claim (easy to find with Google, but I don’t do research for fools) while never offering any proof in HIS claims!

    Funny how there is absolutely NO evidence of innate homosexual yet Trabue claims there is based on “gays” he knows who say theirs was innate.

  9. paynehollow says:

    Bubba, the topic here is pedophilia. BUT, if John will allow the off topic distraction:

    Animals eating animals is natural and morally benign, most of us believe (with the note that our vegetarian friends might make a decent case against this belief). Humans need food to survive. Thus, choosing to kill some animals – humanely – for food is not a moral wrong. It is natural and supports survival.

    But, abusing animals for our own sexual pleasure – when such abuse is NOT necessary for survival and is NOT with the animals consent – this is not needed.

    The difference between eating animals and sexually abusing them is the result: eating food keeps us alive and is necessary and it is not outside the norm of the animal kingdom for animals to eat animals. Animals understand this.

    Abusing animals sexually and with no human consent is not necessary.

    I will say that, while not vegetarian, I am sympathetic to some of the arguments and think it is not that irrational an argument to say, “No, we should also not eat animals…” but I’m not there, yet.

    Bubba: If “causing harm” “what is unhealthy” and “what is innately wrong is wrong” are not the lines for what is right and wrong, what do you suggest instead? Bubba’s interpretations of what God thinks? Finding a line in an ancient text and saying it applies to all people and all times?

    ~Dan

  10. paynehollow says:

    Find the studies showing that longterm committed lesbian marriages – and the sex within them – is harmful or admit you have nothing to support your false claim, John.

    • Dan, youre the one who made the claim that they are not harmful. You need to provide evidence for your assertion that goes beyond anecdotal. Then I will refute that with my evidence.

      I suspect you will not back up your statement.

  11. “Two elderly lesbian ladies, living in a faithful married bliss for 50 years, have ZERO extra risks than an elderly man/wife might have. ZERO.”

    Unless those elderly lesbians are sisters, then there’s harm. Somehow.

    Dan, humans need food, yes, but not necessarily MEAT. There are plenty of vegetarians who put the lie to your argument that eating meat is moral because it is necessary.

    “If ‘causing harm’ ‘what is unhealthy’ and ‘what is innately wrong is wrong’ are not the lines for what is right and wrong, what do you suggest instead?”

    The lines YOU suggest are incoherent, because you’re fine with causing massive amounts of harm: slaughtering a cow for food is FAR more harmful to the cow than spending a romantic evening with it. And drawing the line at what is “innately wrong” is sheer question-begging.

    After all, people across the centuries and throughout many cultures have believed that same-sex relationships are “innately wrong.”

  12. Didn’t we already discuss on another blog article that bestiality doesn’t have to be harmful? Get an appropriate-sized animal and there is no harm. Yet Trabue still calls it “abusing animals” because he has to concoct some reason why sex with animals is bad with homosexual sex is good.

  13. paynehollow says:

    Look who’s defending bestiality.

    • Dan, your view defends beastiality. If the bible only condemns homosexual sex in the context of pagan ritual, then it also only condemns beastiality and incest under those conditions because they are all condemned in the same passage. Your view is that no where in the bible is all homosexual sex condemned therefore we should conclude that not all homosexual sex should be condemned. Tjat extends to every sin in the bjble since it never uses exhaustive language.

  14. paynehollow says:

    No, John. You are making the claim that gay behavior – in any context – is harmful. Clearly, two lesbians living in a committed marriage relationship are NOT doing anything that is observably harmful to them.

    The onus is on you to back up your claim and you can’t because it is a false claim with nothing to support it but hateful and irrational prejudice.

    ~Dan

  15. paynehollow says:

    So, let me get this straight: Are you all making the claim that bestiality is wrong because AND ONLY BECAUSE you can find a line in the Bible that lists it as wrong?

    Are you all saying that the ONLY way you have of knowing if something is wrong is if you can find a line in the Bible that says so?

    ~Dan

  16. Trabue –
    I’m not defending bestiality. I’m demonstrating that your claims about why homosexual behavior is okay can be used to support bestiality. In my worldview, a man rutting with another man isn’t any different than a man rutting with an animal. The “gay” man is acting like an animal, humping something to release his sexual tension.

    Two lesbians are causing psychological harm to each other, they suffer spiritual harm by doing what God has forbidden. And it is not bigoted, hateful, or irrational prejudice to speak the truth.

  17. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Your view is that no where in the bible is all homosexual sex condemned therefore we should conclude that not all homosexual sex should be condemned.

    That is not my position. How many times do I need to tell you that this is not my position before you understand that that is not my position, John?

    I DO NOT believe that, “no where in the Bible is all gay behavior condemned, therefore it shouldn’t be condemned.” I don’t believe that for gay behavior, I do not believe that for ANY behavior. Something is NOT wrong or right simply because we find a line in the Bible that supports or opposes it. The Bible has God commanding Israel to kill what you believe to be gay men, but it is IMMORAL to kill gay men. It is wrong. IN SPITE of the fact that the Bible has a line commanding Israel to do it.

    Do you understand? Something is not right or wrong because we find a line in the Bible that supports or condemns it.

    Do YOU think it is morally right to do what God commanded Israel to do with “men who lay with men…”? Or do you think it would be morally wrong to kill two gay guys who slept together?

    You are demonstrating that you still do not understand my actual position, John.

    Something is good when it is observably good, faithful, loving, noble, pure, healthy and true (as the Bible, indeed, teaches). It is wrong when it is observably harmful, damaging, unhealthy, hurtful, hateful, oppressive, mean-spirited, lacking in grace and love…

    Now, sometimes we find lines in the Bible that point to and condemns things that we can agree are, indeed, damaging, hurtful, harmful… wrong. And sometimes the Bible points to and supports things that are good, loving, helpful, pure, true… Good. But finding a line in the Bible that supports or condemns something is NOT evidence in and of itself that it is good or bad.

    THAT is my position, not what you said. What you said, I actively oppose.

    ~Dan

  18. paynehollow says:

    John…

    How many reasons do we need?

    How about at least one valid one?

  19. paynehollow says:

    John…

    My claim is that according to the CDC gay sex is very harmful. Yo

    You speak in ignorance, John. The CDC talks about promiscuous, unprotected sex being harmful. The CDC talks about repeated anal sex (gay or straight) being potentially harmful. But it does not condemn responsible, committed marriage relationships as being harmful, nor the responsible sex within it.

    Presumably, two committed lesbian women in a marriage relationship are not often (or ever?) engaging in anal sex, so there is no risk there, according to the CDC. They are not sleeping around, so there is no risk for harm there. Indeed, there is ZERO risk for harm in any way different than male/female committed married couples.

    The CDC has no studies to support your claim, John. Just admit you misspoke. OR produce the studies that support it.

    Now, to the degree that repeated ANAL sex can be harmful to the body, then it is true that men or women – gay or straight – who engage in this can be at greater risk of harm, even in the context of a committed marriage. Given that, I would hope that gay or straight couples inclined to play with anal sex would do so within safe, healthy parameters. But I am not inclined to decide for them how much or how they should do that. Gay or straight.

    ~Dan

  20. Dan:

    So, let me get this straight: Are you all making the claim that bestiality is wrong because AND ONLY BECAUSE you can find a line in the Bible that lists it as wrong?

    That’s a poor way to describe our position, because the Bible provides more than just one explicit prohibition to justify the belief that bestiality is wrong: unlike animals, we are created in God’s image; no animal was found to be a suitable partner for the first man; and (again) God made man male and female so that a man (human male) would become one flesh with his wife (female).

    I believe that the entirety of the Bible’s teachings paints a very thorough picture of humanity. Between its explicit assertions AND the implicit conclusions that are inexorably drawn, we can find guidance about the vast bulk of human life — and why not? The book wasn’t just written by ancient Jews and early Christians to their contemporaries, it was “breathed out” by God FOR ALL OF US.

    Are the situations that are so novel that the Bible doesn’t cover them? Maybe, but that’s going far from the point that I’ve been trying to make.

    My position is NOT that, without the Bible, man cannot argue against bestiality — that actually may be true, but it’s far more than what I’m trying to argue.

    My position is this: without the Bible, YOU, DAN TRABUE, cannot argue against bestiality in light of your arguments for homosexuality AND your support for eating meat.

    My point is that the arguments YOU have already used to defend homosexuality undercut the arguments against bestiality — mostly by undercutting the authority of Scripture, from which we have most of arguments against bestiality — and your only possible recourse is a call to radically change society by abandoning animal husbandry altogether.

    Praise consistency and coherency all you want, but you’ve painted yourself into a corner where the inconsistencies and incoherency of your position are becoming obvious.

  21. Dan, you say your position is this:

    Something is good when it is observably good, faithful, loving, noble, pure, healthy and true (as the Bible, indeed, teaches). It is wrong when it is observably harmful, damaging, unhealthy, hurtful, hateful, oppressive, mean-spirited, lacking in grace and love…

    Funny: you don’t say something is wrong the Bible simply forbids it. I wonder, do you permit God to forbid something even if He doesn’t provide a rationale for doing so, or His revealed rationale isn’t tied to things like obvious harm?

    Half of the Ten Commandments don’t seem concerned with direct harm: is it okay to worship God through idols? If not, why not?

    But you say an act is wrong “when it is observably harmful, damaging,” etc., and I can think of few things that are more harmful to an animal than ending its life, draining its blood, cutting to pieces, burning its flesh for food, and wearing its skin for clothing.

    That’s CERTAINLY more harmful than a sex act with an animal, especially with a larger species of mammal where little or no physical harm can be caused.

  22. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    YOU, DAN TRABUE, cannot argue against bestiality in light of your arguments for homosexuality AND your support for eating meat.

    I disagree. Clearly, engaging in sex with animals is neither noble, nor good, nor pure, nor loving. You don’t have to find that text in the Bible to say, “This is wrong.” The animal can not give consent and there is no good reason to do it.

    On the other hand, eating IS a good reason to kill animals. Now, it may be a morally inferior reason – vegetarianism may be more morally pure, that argument can be made, but I think eating is a legitimate reason to act without an animal’s consent.

    I think – obviously, observably – that any moral halfwit can SEE that there is no rational reason for forcing an animal into coitus, but there is a rational reason to eat an animal.

    And I don’t need your interpretations of the Bible to tell me this is right or wrong.

    So, I and millions of others who disagree with your hunches about what God likes do, in fact, argue against bestiality. This is nonsense, Bubba and not getting your argument against “the gays” anywhere.

    1. A homosexual orientation is NOT in any reasonable sense, immoral in and of itself.

    2. Expression of one’s sexuality – gay or straight – within the context of a faithful loving marriage relationship IS observably a good, noble, pure and loving thing.

    3. That some people have the opinion that a handful of verses in the Bible hint at the notion that God might disapprove of such an expression in gay folk is not any evidence that is especially compelling except to people who already agree with those cultural, human traditions and biases.

    4. One can oppose bestiality without needing to find support for that opposition in the Bible, even meat-eaters.

    But, back to the point of this post: so what if pedophilia is innate? We can support the person who has this orientation WITHOUT supporting them causing harm to innocent bystanders, especially and particularly children.

    There is no problem with that.

    ~Dan

    • By fiat decision, Trabue has decided that engaging in sex with animals is neither noble, nor good, nor pure, nor loving. So those who regularly participate in such activities (even in at public brothels in Europe) are wrong if they disagree with Trabue by finding they have a very good reason to have sex with an animal. Trabue only has a “hunch” that having sex with animals is wrong. He demands consent of the animal for sex, but not for slavery as a pet, not for stealing its milk, etc. He makes a fiat decision that GOOD comes out of eating animals – even though he has no moral foundation to decide what is good or bad except his own “hunches.”
      A homosexual orientation ACTED upon is immoral by God’s standards, as understood by 4000 years of Jews and Christians, who were apparently wrong by Trabue’s “hunches.”
      Trabue makes a truth claim that Expression of one’s sexuality – gay or straight – within the context of a faithful loving marriage relationship IS observably a good, noble, pure and loving thing.. While this statement is true of real marriages, it is FALSE – and demonstrably so for same-sex fake marriages. It is wrong because God said it is wrong, but Trabue denies that the Bible is clear on this – “hath god really said?” With same-sex unions, study after study have shown that “faithful” same-sex unions are extremely rare. They can’t be “loving” because real love doesn’t seek harm, and harm is in EVERY same-sex relationship, even if it is just spiritual harm. And there is nothing “good” or “noble” about that which God has condemned as an abomination. But Trabue makes that fiat declaration that God doe NOT find it to be an abomination.
      Trabue says it is only an “opinion” that the MANY passages of scripture dealing with homosexual behavior show it is wrong – Notice he doesn’t say it is his OPINION that the 4000 years of Biblical understanding is wrong; he says such is “not any evidence” against his fiat declarations.
      Then Trabue makes the fiat declaration that if pedophilia is innate, that’s tough bananas because he, Trabue, has decided that pedophilia is wrong. And he bases it on “consent” and “harm,” yet many cases of pedophilia have show no harm was involved and that the young person did consent. So then he moves the goal post to say that someone under age can’t consent – another fiat claim with no evidence.
      Trabue doesn’t seem to understand that once you leave out the Bible as the basis for one’s moral code, then one’s morality is simply arbitrary based on whether a person thinks there is “harm” involved.
      Trabue goes from blog post to blog post preaching Satan’s morality.

  23. Something is good when it is observably good, faithful, loving, noble, pure, healthy and true (as the Bible, indeed, teaches). It is wrong when it is observably harmful, damaging, unhealthy, hurtful, hateful, oppressive, mean-spirited, lacking in grace and love…

    “Now, sometimes we find lines in the Bible that point to and condemns things that we can agree are, indeed, damaging, hurtful, harmful… wrong. And sometimes the Bible points to and supports things that are good, loving, helpful, pure, true… Good. But finding a line in the Bible that supports or condemns something is NOT evidence in and of itself that it is good or bad.

    Using a graven image to worship God: it’s not observably harmful, oppressive, mean-spirited, lacking in grace, etc., and all we have to recommend against it is “a line in the Bible” that condemns it — or two or MANY more, but the numbers shouldn’t matter.

    So, Dan:

    Is idol worship good? Is it bad? Is it a practice about which mature Christians can disagree in good faith?

    Your philosophizing seems reasonable at first, but it doesn’t take long to see how superficial it is. It’s glib and ultimately insufficient, as any number of counter-examples can demonstrate.

    Your approach simply doesn’t explain why bestiality is wrong but eating meat is okay: it’s not enough to make question-begging claims about inherent immorality, and it’s simply absurd to conflate the human need for FOOD with a need for MEAT, as if vegetarianism isn’t a viable option.

    And your approach likewise doesn’t explain why idolatry is wrong — at least, I don’t think it explains it, and you’re now welcome to prove me wrong.

    But rather than demonstrate the coherence of your approach to moral matters by addressing these sorts of counter-examples, you glide by them with the most trite responses — or, you claim that these questions are irrelevant even though they get to a very serious question about your approach: CAN IT WITHSTAND THE SLIGHTEST SCRUTINY?

    It’s not off-topic to attempt to answer that question.

  24. Dan, what are your arguments again?

    Clearly, engaging in sex with animals is neither noble, nor good, nor pure, nor loving…

    “Expression of one’s sexuality – gay or straight – within the context of a faithful loving marriage relationship IS observably a good, noble, pure and loving thing….

    Why is bestiality bad? Is it’s “clearly” not good.

    Why is homosexuality good? Because it’s “observably” good.

    You’re just making claims, as if they’re an adequate substitute for an actual argument.

  25. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    Is idol worship good? Is it bad? Is it a practice about which mature Christians can disagree in good faith?

    “Worshiping” a hunk of wood because you believe that hunk of wood is a god is a bit silly and pointless. It is irrational and irrationality is not a good or healthy thing. And WHY would you worship this hunk of wood? Worshiping “money,” because you value all the stuff you can get, this too, would seem to me to be a bad sort of idol worship. Or worshiping an actor, or a sports star – thinking they are more than mere men, when observably, that’s all they are, this too seems irrational and unhealthy. For reasons like this, idol worship would seem to me to be a bad thing to do.

    I can think of reasons outside of a line in the Bible to say this is a bad idea, unhealthy, unwise.

    Do you think idol worship is only bad because you find a line in the Bible that says don’t do it?

    Bubba…

    Your philosophizing seems reasonable at first, but it doesn’t take long to see how superficial it is. It’s glib and ultimately insufficient, as any number of counter-examples can demonstrate.

    It IS reasonable, Bubba. You have not demonstrated that it is superficial. It’s certainly not as superficial as, “There’s a line in this ancient text that says it’s wrong, and I think that ancient text is God’s Rule Book, therefore, it’s wrong…” Agreed?

    To value a behavior’s moral status based on real world observations, HOW is that superficial?

    I look to the elderly married lesbian couple, I see them take care of one another in sickness and in health, I see how they have grown in love and faithfulness over the years, how their combined strength has helped nurture children and grandchildren, how they’ve been demonstrably helpful neighbors and citizens, making a more wholesome, more healthy, loving and strong community, and I can SEE that their lives together have been to the good. And if the sex between them (and no, I don’t ask them about it) has helped contribute to their observable sweetness and goodness and the strength of this marriage, HOW can that be called “bad…”? WHAT SPECIFICALLY is “bad” about it? Because there is nothing observably bad that I can see.

    On the other hand, hearing a irrational, horny guy trying to make it with a dog – against the dog’s will and with no human consent given by the dog… WHY do I need a line in the Bible to be able to say, “NO, that is not a moral good…”? Is it not enough to say, “This is not good, there is no mutual consent involved and nothing gained by it…”?

    And no, Bubba, eating food is NOT comparable to forcing sex upon a dog. They are not of the same type.

    ~Dan

    • Guys,
      The discussion with Trabue is pointless and a waste of time, because he will never admit that he is wrong, he will never accept that 4000 years of Jews and Christians knew better than he does about homosexuality, he will never accept Biblical morality if it doesn’t agree with him.

      HE has proven himself to be a fake “Christian” (i.e., and unbeliever) who denigrates the Bible, preaches heresy, and blasphemes God. He is a fool, which means he will never be corrected.

  26. Dan::

    I think – obviously, observably – that any moral halfwit can SEE that there is no rational reason for forcing an animal into coitus, but there is a rational reason to eat an animal.

    What is that reason?

    It cannot be survival, because one doesn’t need to eat meat to survive. It cannot be satisfying a strong biological impulse, because the sex drive is just as real as hunger.

    How odd that you would denounce as moral halfwits those who don’t see the obvious, observable reason for eating meat, but you don’t actually provide that reason.

    What’s the difference between the two acts? it’s not harm, because oh-so-rational meat-eating is MUCH more harmful to the victim; it’s not necessity, because neither act is necessary — and you’re not arguing for meat-eating just in a Donner-Family type situation where there’s no option.

    You say that eating “IS a good reason to kill animals” and “a legitimate reason to act without an animal’s consent.”

    But why is satisfying the sex drive NOT a good reason, not to KILL an animal, but merely to have sex with it? When, in certain cases, no harm causes and it’s at least arguable that the act is enjoyable for all involved?

    It looks like you’ve decided that one of these two acts belongs in the “Good” category and the other belongs in the “Bad” category — and is, in fact, so bad that it’s wrong to even mention it in the same sentence with other acts — but you cannot really explain why. Your arguments are paper-thin and OBVIOUS ex post facto rationalizations.

    If we’re going around in too many circles on that subject, maybe we should turn to idolatry.

    If the Bible’s prohibition of idolatry is insufficient to determine its immorality, do you still think it’s wrong? If so, why?

    …or if you think it’s wrong because the Bible prohibits it, do you also support the draconian punishments that Israel was commanded to use against idolaters?

    I’d love to know which of the Ten Commandments you affirm — IF ANY — simply on the basis of their being biblical commands attributed to God. Do you heed God’s revealed word at all, or do you ultimately insist that you must see the rationale for His commands before you obey them?

    • Between the last two posts, Dan has got twisted up pretty good. I have nevet seen more dishonest, special pleading in all my time writing here. A less willfully deluded person would reexamine their views.

  27. Dan:

    You say you look to the elderly lesbian couple, you see the good they’ve done — never mind how they had to children to care for — and you write, “I can SEE that their lives together have been to the good.”

    And if their lives together began as sisters rather than lovers, how does that change the care they had for each other, in sickness and in health, etc.?

    Or suppose these women were 95 and 80 years old, and their relationship began when the older woman was 25: how does THAT change the care they had for each other as they grew old?

    On the other hand, you disparage the “irrational, horny guy trying to make it with a dog,” but what about the guy whose care for his beloved dog or horse is beyond question, except that his love is romantic rather than a more traditional companionship? You’re comparing the best-case scenario of homosexuality against the worst-case scenario of zoophilia, and that’s unfair.

    About idol worship, you write:

    ‘Worshiping’ a hunk of wood because you believe that hunk of wood is a god is a bit silly and pointless. It is irrational and irrationality is not a good or healthy thing.

    That’s a little tepid compared to the very strong, emphatic, repeated, and nearly ubiquitous condemnation of idol worship that you find in the Bible, but notice I ALSO included the notion of worshipping God through an idol. By that, I do NOT mean the belief that the graven image is a deity, but rather I mean the activity of venerating that image and prostrating yourself before it as an act of worshipping the deity that the image represents.

    I don’t see how you would condemn that particular activity as wrong.

    “I can think of reasons outside of a line in the Bible to say this is a bad idea, unhealthy, unwise.

    “Do you think idol worship is only bad because you find a line in the Bible that says don’t do it?

    It’s not just “a” line: one can hardly read the Bible at all without finding the strongest prohibition against the act.

    But I don’t need extrabiblical reasons to believe what the Bible says. Why do you?

    • I forgot a very important point about bestiality and Trabue’s claim of harm. Tell me, Trabue, when a woman lies down for a dog, how is she harming that dog? The dog will get his urges satisfied. A friend of my dad, who was in WWII, said he knew of places in France where women would put on shows for the GIs by letting small donkey’s mount them – so how did that harm the donkey?

  28. paynehollow says:

    Again, Bubba, things are wrong because they are wrong, because they cause harm, they hurt, the denigrate, they burn, they pollute, they foul, they are unhealthy and cause damage… Things are wrong because they are hurtful. Things are NOT wrong simply because there is a text in the Bible that says they are wrong.

    IS your entire moral thinking tied to the Bible and you are incapable of forming a ethical/moral opinion without a text from the Bible?

    Clearly not. You almost certainly agree with me that it IS wrong to kill adulterers, to kill disrespectful children, to kill men who lay with men. Even though God endorses that to ancient Israel in the text found in the Bible, you don’t think it’s a moral good, I’m sure.

    You almost certainly agree that it is NOT a moral bad to cut the hair on the side of your head even though the Bible commands it in a line and no where does that line get dismissed as not universal.

    You DO form opinions outside of biblical teaching because the Bible no where condemns gay or lesbian folk marrying and yet you have decided that it is immoral and wrong. You have taken a handful of passages and extrapolated a defense for it, but it’s not biblical in and of itself.

    Things are wrong when they are unhealthy, bad for us and/or harmful.

    NOT because there is a line in the Bible that says “don’t do this.”

    Things are good when they promote the good, the healthy, the wholesome, love, charity, grace, kindness.

    NOT because there is a line in the Bible that says “do this.”

    The Sabbath was made for Humanity, Jesus taught us, NOT humanity for the Sabbath. These rules we DO find in the Bible are not a god to be followed. They are reminders for OUR good, but the point is not the rule, the point is the Good.

    There is a biblical teaching worth understanding.

    ~Dan

  29. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    That’s a little tepid compared to the very strong, emphatic, repeated, and nearly ubiquitous condemnation of idol worship that you find in the Bible

    IN CONTEXT, those condemnations of idol worship had to do with the neighboring people who were embracing that Way of life. And that way included causing harm to innocents, included boy prostitution, included harmful sexual temple rituals, included child sacrifice. And yes, we are STRONGLY not to go in that way because of all the awful harm that happens in that context.

    But it is strongly condemned because of the context of harm, not because of a line in the Scripture.

    ~Dan

  30. paynehollow says:

    Ahh, Now HERE is a good question (as long as we’re wallowing in offtopicry)…

    I don’t need extrabiblical reasons to believe what the Bible says. Why do you?

    Precisely because of all the potential harm that can come from blind allegiance to an ancient text, rather than attempts at moral living or attempts to follow God.

    The Bible teaches how, over and over, people who insisted upon textual adherence (or what they SAID was textual adherence) were missing the point. They were insisting on following what THEY THOUGHT the text was saying. They substituted themselves for God and that is a grave serious error, capable of great harm.

    Throughout history, we can see the harm that comes from blind allegiance to what people say is “god’s word” but is their own interpretations. From the Pharisees and their attempts to FOLLOW GOD’S DIRECT command and kill the adulterous lady (but to whom, JESUS said, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more…”) and who repeatedly placed themselves in god’s place to their own great shame… from those pharisees and religious zealots of Jesus’ day, right down to the Crusaders and “Muslim Warriors” and others who think “god’s will” is to kill the infidel, to the KKK and others of their ilk who thought God wanted them to stop the miscegenationists, to the extremists and fundamentalists of today… Great harm is often done in God’s name by people who are sure their interpretations of these ancient texts are equivalent to God’s will, and thus, they are justified in all manners of oppression and unkindness and harm in the defense of the good.

    WE NEED to not merely rely on “the Bible says so…” because almost without fail, what we are really saying is “This is MY OPINION about what God wants…” but we are justified in strong and harmful actions because “the Bible tells me so…” We NEED to be able to morally and rationally justify our positions exactly because (as the Bible teaches/confirms) we are fallible humans capable of error and too much harm/wrong has been done by those convinced by a line in the Bible that god was on their side…

    Thanks for asking. Good question.

    ~Dan

  31. This was sadly predictable. It was made possible by the wolves in sheep’s clothing and the useful idiots who believed them, because thinking is hard work and people are too cowardly to say unpopular things.

  32. The consent argument is laughable. Using that logic, any underage sex would be illegal because if a 14 yr. old can’t consent with a 28 yr. old then she can’t consent with another 14 yr. old. Yet Planned Parenthood and the immoral Left, including boatloads of fake Christians and the aforementioned useful idiots, tell kids to have sex whenever they think they are ready. And oddly enough, they think they are ready as soon as they want to have it.

  33. Oh, I see: the Bible strongly condemns idolatry, not because idolatry is wrong IN ITSELF as an inappropriate form of worshipping God who has the right to dictate the methods in which we worship Him, but because idolatry was associated with things like child prostitution and child sacrifice.

    So I guess that, when idolatry can be separated from those evil ancient practices, it’s not that bad. Good to know.

    The Bible teaches how, over and over, people who insisted upon textual adherence (or what they SAID was textual adherence) were missing the point.

    Where, exactly? You don’t mention these numerous examples. In terms of the Bible’s own teaching, you ONLY allude to the adulteress in John 8, when:

    A) It’s not a passage that is found in the oldest manuscripts.

    B) It’s not a case where the Pharisees were following the strict letter of the law, which requires stoning BOTH participants.

    C) Jesus didn’t condemn them for their strict obedience to the law, but for their hypocrisy, since they too were law-breakers: it may not be too big a stretch to believe that they were equally guilty of capital crimes, perhaps even adultery itself.

    Again I turn to John Stott’s argument about Matthew 5. There, Jesus criticized misinterpretations of the law that loosened its restrictions, and He wasn’t arguing that they were “missing the point.” Instead, He affirmed the law’s prohibition of adultery and murder by EXTENDING that prohibition to sins of the heart, like lust and hatred.

    Great harm is often done in God’s name by people who are sure their interpretations of these ancient texts are equivalent to God’s will, and thus, they are justified in all manners of oppression and unkindness and harm in the defense of the good.

    Those are two separate issues, confidence in one’s interpretation and the subsequent justification of oppression. I know some people on your side who feel quite justified in bullying people who dare even mention homosexuality and bestiality in the same sentence.

    You almost certainly agree with me that it IS wrong to kill adulterers, to kill disrespectful children, to kill men who lay with men. Even though God endorses that to ancient Israel in the text found in the Bible, you don’t think it’s a moral good, I’m sure.

    I do so, NOT on my own, but because the Bible teaches that vengeance belongs to God, and while He did authorize ancient Israel to punish such sins with execution, He requires His church to practice non-retaliation. An NT book that teaches non-retaliation ALSO teaches that such sins still deserve death (Rom 12:19, 6:23, 1:32).

    You almost certainly agree that it is NOT a moral bad to cut the hair on the side of your head even though the Bible commands it in a line and no where does that line get dismissed as not universal.

    Hebrews explains in detail how the rituals of the old covenant were mere shadows of what Christ accomplished, and the NT teaches that the ceremonial regulations regarding food and calendars do not constrain the Christian (Heb 13:9, Gal 4:10). I think it’s entirely reasonable to put the OT regulations concerning hair and fabric in the same category, as doing otherwise seems quite contrary to the gist of the New Testament.

    You DO form opinions outside of biblical teaching because the Bible no where condemns gay or lesbian folk marrying and yet you have decided that it is immoral and wrong. You have taken a handful of passages and extrapolated a defense for it, but it’s not biblical in and of itself.

    We both know this is crap, Dan.

    Christ Himself taught why God made us male and female, and you can’t even bring yourself to affirm that teaching. Instead, you mention other reasons like companionship, you fixate on the original context of divorce in which He gave the principle — as if I Cor 6:16 doesn’t cite the very same OT verse for a wider application — and you deny outright the idea that God has revealed why He created you male.

    The Bible consistently treats marriage as a heterosexual union, the Bible consistently condemns homosexual behavior, and you reach your position by rejecting the Bible’s clear teachings.

  34. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I don’t need extrabiblical reasons to believe what the Bible says. Why do you?

    In addition to the first, very good reason I gave for having reasons to support your position besides, “I think this line in the Bible says so…” is this: IF you want to make the case to more people than just those who think like you, you have to have some support. Yes, yes, we KNOW you think the Bible teaches this and that. But what of the people who don’t accept the Bible? What of the people who don’t find your particular interpretations and explanations biblically plausible?

    If you want to make a case for a position to a wide variety of people, you’re going to need more than, “I found this line in the Bible and I think that line says it’s wrong, therefore, it’s wrong…”

    ~Dan

  35. If you want to make a case for a position to a wide variety of people, you’re going to need more than, ‘I found this line in the Bible and I think that line says it’s wrong, therefore, it’s wrong…’

    …says the guy who can’t explain why bestiality is bad while eating meat is good, except to say that the former is “clearly” bad while the other isn’t.

    Apparently he doesn’t think to ask himself, what do I do with people who aren’t impressed with my ex cathedra declarations?

    It’s enough for Dan that he finds something to be clearly, obviously, observable, and objectively wrong. I guess he thinks his observations ought to be enough for us — but God forbid the presumption of the biblical inerrantist!

  36. Yep, John:

    “Dans first reason idolatry was condemned was because its irrational and irrationality is unhealthy.”

    Not even the Ten Commandments are safe. Apparently God cannot be trusted to reveal His will without also making His rationale obvious; we cannot merely trust His commands, we must see why each one is trustworthy.

    It gets even worse when he starts contextualizing the prohibition of idolatry in the pagan practices of child sacrifice and child prostitution: the graven image isn’t IN ITSELF immoral, it was just attached to other bad practices.

    In the other thread, Dan admits that one of God’s clear teachings is that we’re to love God, but I get the distinct impression that he doesn’t see any duties to God beyond our duties to society.

    In other discussions, Dan has made clear that he would oppose church membership for those who would cause harm to others, but he cannot seem to bring himself to acknowledge that theism — the basic belief in God Himself — is a doctrinal requirement for membership.

    On too many subjects, Dan seems to treat God as — at best — an advisor who must justify His suggestions (and “opinions”!), not the Sovereign who ought to be obeyed implicitly and immediately. At worst, he treats God as a useful tool to advance his own agenda.

    There’s very little reverence, and there’s very little evidence of a belief in the transcendent Creator who deserves our obedience for His own sake.

    All his warnings about presuming to speak for God are funny in light of how often Dan pretends his controversial positions are obvious, but those warnings also miss the presumption that an infinite and omniscient God could reveal things to us that aren’t mere confirmations of beliefs we already hold.

  37. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    His rationale obvious; we cannot merely trust His commands

    Again, you fail to understand or repeat my point. The point is NOT that God is untrustworthy, but WE HUMANS are. You may well think that God wants us to kill the enemy’s children sometimes and that it is morally good to stone gay people to death or that it’s good to force a woman to marry the guy that rapes her… you may think all kinds of crazy about what God commands, but I don’t trust your opinions about what God’s will is.

    God’s Word is perfect. God is trustworthy. This isn’t about not trusting God. it’s about not trusting you. Or me. We are fallible human beings, capable of being mistaken. So, BEFORE I say, “huh, the text says we should kill the enemy’s children along with the enemy,” I can ALSO just look at the basic innate morality of it all (God’s Word, written upon our hearts), and if it SEEMS obviously wrong to kill the enemy’s children… well, maybe I’m misunderstanding “God’s Will,” or “God’s commands…” in the text.

    The Bible NEVER tells us, “Adhere to what this text says blindly, even if it seems wrong to you…” It ain’t there. That is a rather shallow approach to Bible study that is potentially dangerous.

    My rationale is NOT what you claim. You can’t even read MY words and understand them correctly. Why should I trust your opinions about God’s Words?

    ~Dan

  38. This isn’t about not trusting God. it’s about not trusting you. Or me. We are fallible human beings, capable of being mistaken. So, BEFORE I say, ‘huh, the text says we should kill the enemy’s children along with the enemy,’ I can ALSO just look at the basic innate morality of it all (God’s Word, written upon our hearts), and if it SEEMS obviously wrong to kill the enemy’s children… well, maybe I’m misunderstanding ‘God’s Will,’ or ‘God’s commands…’ in the text.

    Or maybe your understanding of “basic innate morality” is wrong.

    You’re subordinating God’s written word to your own conscience, and you justify that by elevating your conscience to divine revelation — “God’s Word, written upon [your] heart.”

    So much for your warnings about presuming to speak for God. So much for your humility about human fallibility.

    You say one can produce “all kinds of crazy about what God commands,” and yet it seems that that’s exactly what we have throughout Scripture, at least from your presumptuous and limited point of view. Not only do Moses and Samuel record the divine command to wage wars of annihilation, the Psalmist condemns Israel for not obeying that command; not only does Moses record God telling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, the author of Hebrews celebrates Abraham for his faithful willingness to obey.

    In order to disregard these passages, you have to elevate your own understanding over the written word.

  39. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    You’re subordinating God’s written word to your own conscience, and you justify that by elevating your conscience to divine revelation — “God’s Word, written upon [your] heart.”

    No moreso than you are/do, I doubt.

    I’m looking at Scripture AND I’m evaluating it with my God-given reasoning, praying for the Spirit’s guidance, meditating upon God’s Word writ upon my heart, considering tradition and the teachings of those who’ve gone before. All of the above.

    Do you do something different? Do you find a text that says, “When you invade the enemy, kill them all, even the babies and children…” and decide, “Well, I guess that is what God wants us all to do when we have enemies…”?

    Or when you find texts that speak of good biblical characters and how they had many wives and sometimes concubines and, finding no condemnation, consider OTHER texts and see where God even says to David, “I GAVE you your many wives and if you had wanted, I’d have given you MORE…” and, finding no condemnation of polygamy ANYWHERE in the Bible, decided, “Well, I guess God is cool with polygamy…”?

    Or do you weigh all of scripture, looking for reasonable conclusions (using YOUR God-given reasoning, not literally wooden text) and considered what else you might know, or think you know, beyond the text?

    If your entire scope of moral reasoning comes from the Bible (and clearly, it doesn’t – it comes much more from modern conservative values rather than biblical teaching), then you are denying what Scripture teaches. Because the bible TELLS us that we have God’s Word written upon our hearts, The bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will guide us. The bible TELLS us that we can use our reasoning. The Bible NEVER tells us, “Only use the 66 books of the Bible that were settled upon in the medieval period of Christianity, and only use the Latin translation, for deciding your moral positions.”

    That is not a rational, nor a biblical place to hang your hat.

    Don’t be afraid of your own reasoning, Bubba. It may be flawed, but it is there for a reason.

    Bubba…

    In order to disregard these passages, you have to elevate your own understanding over the written word.

    As always, I do NOT disregard these passages, any more than you “disregard” passages about plucking out your eyes because you treat them as hyperbole, or others that you treat as metaphor when it seems a literal interpretation would be more textually appropriate. I interpret them as best I can in their context, through the teachings of Jesus, using my God given reasoning.

    Probably no different than you, in theory. We just have different conclusions. Regardless, interpreting something differently than you is no more “disregarding” when I do it than it is the other way around.

    ~Dan

  40. According to God Incarnate, why did God create us male and female?

    You don’t want to answer that question, and when you are forced to acknowledge the answer that’s recorded in Scripture, you don’t think the answer applies to us, nor do you think that it applies to us as individuals.

    For that reason and numerous others — including your denigrating passages as “less than perfect” revelation, as revenge fantasies, or as literal atrocity or bigotry — I stand by my conclusion that you disregard passages you don’t like.

  41. AS well you should, Bubba, because the evidence of Dan’s doing so is plentiful. I also think you nailed when you described him as acting stupid or ignorant, as if it is truly difficult to determine when to take a passage literally and when not to. It is also quite clear that Dan’s tactic must employ deceitfulness in his constant use of “literal” understandings that no one here has ever put forth as something believed. (This would be illustrated in his constant use of “killing the children of our enemies in war” or “raping the orphaned girls of our enemies”, as if anyone has ever gone that far around the bend. IF there exists anyone who believes such things, of what value is such to these discussions which seek to understand the motives, beliefs and understandings of those who visit here, and not some mythical person who is hoping to take some girl prisoner?

    Anyway, getting back to the post’s topic, Judith Levine wrote the book, “Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex” which speaks of children as sexual beings, too. Of course I disagree. The very premise that God created any of us as “sexual beings” is to put a spin on the reality, that we are carnal beings. particularly self-worshiping beings. The word “carnal” most often refers to sexuality, but in a very selfish sense, a sense of gratification. It is only in this way can homosexuals, pedophiles, the polygamous, etc., honestly claim to be just like the rest of us. All sexual behavior is based on the pleasure it brings to the individual, that is, to ourselves. We seek to legitimize this self-worship with terms like “love”, but that’s not the type of love one commonly finds referenced in Scripture.

    Judith Levine believes kids are more harmed by the protections against sexual contact and believes kids would benefit by some level of it. Pedophiles are lined up to prove such a theory if only they’d be allowed the chance. In the same way Dan believes safe and loving sexual practices produce no harm for consenting homosexuals, some believe the same is true for sex with children. If this can be accomplished, then there is no harm and if there is no harm, what complaint could anyone have? What justification, therefore, could be used to deny a pedophile? If harm is the measure by which we “reason” something is good or evil, then avoiding harm successfully pretty much leads to any behavior. Tie that together with “orientation”, and adult/child relationships are a go.

    However, our culture is still based on Christian notions of right and wrong, regardless of the whining of atheists and secularists. While there has existed pedophile-like organizations for some time, it will be a still longer time before most would like to introduce a Louisville Slugger to the skull of a pedophile by way of a Frank Thomas swing. On this behavior, there is NO mention of pedophilia in Scripture and if such relationships can appear to some that they promote the good, the healthy, the wholesome, love, charity, grace, kindness, THEN what do we do?

  42. Marshall, it seems the strongest arguments against pedophilia are harm and lack of consent, and you’re right, we are beginning to see writers arguing against the presence of harm.

    About lack of consent, I believe it’s Neil who has pointed out that plenty of leftists oppose laws that require parental consent or even notification before a minor can have an abortion: if people like Dan think that a minor can give informed consent to an abortion, just what makes them think a minor cannot give such consent to the act that led to the pregnancy?

  43. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I stand by my conclusion that you disregard passages you don’t like.

    And I could be ignorant and insufferably arrogant, too, and create a conclusion that you disregard passages you don’t like because you don’t interpret them the same way I do.

    But that would be childish of me and I shan’t do it. I am quite sure you are striving to interpret passages aright to the best of your ability.

    I just wish you’d work on that passage about loving your enemy a bit more and some of those passages about all that grace stuff, too.

    Life is too short and love is too much in need for us not to treat one another with the respect and love and grace that has been shown us.

    ~Dan

  44. People who think that we’re nothing but animals never cease to amaze me with their attempt to form “moral” guidelines. They want us to be animals so bad but they don’t want us to act like animals!? They say nature is an acceptable guideline until nature does something they don’t like, then nature is no longer the guideline!? They are “a part of nature” but they think it’s wrong to act like nature. It’s all leads to a natural mess!

    Homosexuality, bestiality, pedophilia, incest and polygamy all come down to one thing – people acting on their feelings. Feelings are not meant to be our guide. It doesn’t matter how we feel. If how we felt was meant to be the guideline then there would be no common guideline! All of the above examples are more than “just” examples of sexuality – they’re examples of out of control sexuality. It’s out of control lust no matter how one tries to spin it with feelings as the justification (Romans 1:24-27).

    Just because something happens in nature does not mean it’s normal. People are attempting the change the definition of words to justify their actions. That’s why they speak of the new normal. Two people of the same sex having sexual relationships with each other is not normal. It never will be no matter how much definitions get changed.

    People believe we’re nothing but animals but then try to set rules and guidelines that they deem to be right, good, pure, noble and loving. It makes no sense. And anyone who believes that the Spirit of God will guide them while they try to use the scriptures to justify sexual perversions has a spirit guiding them alright – but it’s not the Spirit (1 Timothy 4:1).

    Feelings are not meant to guide people through life – this an acceptable biblical teaching, an acceptable social teaching and an acceptable moral teaching, and whether or not people should allow feelings to guide them is the crux of the matter (Proverbs 3:5-6). If feelings can justify homosexuality then how do feelings not justify everything (which was one of the underlying points of John’s post) – because after all who is a person to judge the feelings of another, so says the homosexual activist.

  45. paynehollow says:

    Marriage rights for Gay folk IS a showing of restraint. It is a way of saying, “HERE is a safe, reasonable, beautiful place to express your natural sexuality…” just like for straight folk.

    ~Dan

  46. “observably harmful”

    Notice the goal post move here. First, the standard is “harm(ful), now it moves to “observably harmful”. While seemingly a small insignificant change it is actually not. It is quite possible to have actual harm, that is not observable harm.

  47. paynehollow says:

    Like, “My opinion is gay folk most likely won’t make it to heaven, and instead will burn forever in hell – in my opinion – and therefore, there is harm, but it isn’t observable…”?

    Noted. You all may have opinions that people who disagree with your opinions about what God thinks about a certain behavior HAVE to eventually agree with you before they can be saved from that eternal torment and IF your opinions are right, there is a potential for eternal torment by a God that tortures people forever for being sincerely mistaken.

    On the other hand, it is possible that we are correct in our opinions and your voicing your opinions is tantamount to keeping people away from God, which has its own promise of punishment.

    The question is: Who is right? Which is more rational?

    We doubt that your opinions are right. We could be mistaken and God DOES punish people for being sincerely mistaken, in which case, we might be in trouble.

    I shall rest on God’s grace, just the same.

    ~Dan

  48. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, if you’re reading, here is a textbook ad hom attack demonstration.

    Dan:

    Marriage rights for Gay folk IS a showing of restraint. It is a way of saying, “HERE is a safe, reasonable, beautiful place to express your natural sexuality…” just like for straight folk.

    John:

    Youre so full of crap your eyes are brown.

    No discussion or rebuttal of my argument. Just a rather silly attack on my eyes and excrement.

    See the difference?

    ~Dan

  49. paynehollow says:

    Factually, friends, THIS has not once been “refuted…”

    Marriage rights for Gay folk IS a showing of restraint. It is a way of saying, “HERE is a safe, reasonable, beautiful place to express your natural sexuality…” just like for straight folk.

    Factually speaking, YES, withholding and encouraging expression of one’s sexuality IS restraint, as opposed to just sleeping around with anyone and everyone. Facts win over innuendo. No need to ask if you agree, a fact is a fact and this IS a fact. Never refuted.

    Rationally speaking, YES, marriage IS a safe, reasonable and beautiful place to express one’s sexuality. Gay or straight. It is SAFE because you remove the threat of passing on diseases by having sex with only one person. FACT.

    Marriage is a reasonable place to express one’s sexuality – gay or straight – because of the safety factor, for one thing. A reasonable case can be made against promiscuity because of disease and repeated heartbreak and harm to a healthy community (I think) and thus, marriage is an entirely reasonable place to express one’s sexuality instead of doing it through promiscuity. Never refuted.

    As to the Beauty of sexuality in a healthy marriage (gay or straight), I’ll admit that this is a matter of opinion. I find our God-given sexuality to be a great and wondrous blessing, properly used. And in the confines of a loving, healthy committed marriage, I find it beautiful. Feel free to disagree, but that will be just an aesthetic difference, not one you can refute in any way I can think of.

    Not refuted, not refuted, not refuted.

    You all are free to your opinions and your huffy, prissy attitudes, you are not free to your own facts.

    ~Dan

  50. paynehollow says:

    You wrote all about little old me?? Why Brother Glenn, how the people will talk!

    • Trabue Jackass,
      I didn’t mention your name because, while you were the origin of the idea, it is applicable to multitudes of other false teachers just like you.

      And you are still being the as who calls me his brother. An ass who loves to offend.

  51. @ Dan

    If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.” (Colossians 3:1-7)

    Dan, you speak of God, but you have no knowledge of him. Your knowledge is based upon what you want to know and not what he has revealed. You speak with the “wisdom” of man and not with the wisdom of God, and therefore you’re like an empty well and the shallow clouds who make promises of things that can never be delivered; offering hope to those who are living in sin while all the while denying the sin itself (2 Peter 2:17-22).

    “Marriage rights” for homosexuals is not a showing of restraint. It’s a casting off of it. It’s a showing of rebellion that’s driven by emotional feelings and confused lust disguised as a “good and moral love” to which leads to a lack of shame (Jeremiah 6:15). The same feelings that lead to bestiality, pedophilia, incest and polygamy. No shame win it comes to sin is a sham, and you should be ashamed of your self.

    You said: “Noted. You all may have opinions that people who disagree with your opinions about what God thinks about a certain behavior HAVE to eventually agree with you before they can be saved from that eternal torment and IF your opinions are right, there is a potential for eternal torment by a God that tortures people forever for being sincerely mistaken.”

    Sincerely wrong is still wrong! And besides that – the word of God has shown beyond a shadow of doubt how God feels and how he will judge illicit sex. Read the scriptures that I referenced above and you’ll find that little word called “fornication” which comes from the Greek word “porneia” meaning: “illicit sexual intercourse; including adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals, etc.” They can be no sincere mistake because there is a clear warning given about the behavior. Now if a person doesn’t want to believe that – then that’s on them. But sincerity has nothing to do with it.

    John’s point in his post is irrefutable. That doesn’t mean that everybody will agree with it. But it does mean that people who are able to follow logic and who are able to understand where true morality comes from will see that the excuse of “Well, I can’t help the way I feel” is nothing but garbage, and it’s just that – an excuse; an excuse to try and justify behavior that is driven by unbridled lust.

  52. paynehollow says:

    Eugene…

    Dan, you speak of God, but you have no knowledge of him. Your knowledge is based upon what you want to know and not what he has revealed.

    Dear brother, factually speaking, you do not know me. You do not know my life, you do not know my Christian history, you do not know me. Do not presume to tell me what I do not know. That is an exercise in arrogance and presumption and you know (giving you the benefit of the doubt) that these are not Christian traits.

    In fact, in the real world, I have been raised in church for all my 50 years. In fact, in the real world, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior at the age of 10 in a traditional Baptist church, and later rededicated my life to Jesus again at the age of 16 (making a sanctification commitment, in the terminology of the Church of the Nazarene, or “committing myself fully and without reservation to the Lordship of Jesus” in the language of Southern Baptists). I have repented of my sins and asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life, accepting salvation by God’s sweet Grace through faith in Jesus, the risen son of God. By God’s grace, I strive to follow my Lord Jesus wholly and without regards to the opinions of men.

    Where is my knowledge of God lacking, Eugene? Was I mistaken in believing in and trusting in Salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus? Is it a mistake to strive by God’s grace to walk in the paths and teachings of Jesus? WHERE SPECIFICALLY in my salvation and discipleship path have I failed so much that you dare to presume that I do not know God?

    Is it the case that you MEAN to say, merely, “Dan you disagree with me and I think you are mistaken…” as opposed to “Dan, you disagree with me and you MUST AGREE WITH EUGENE in order to know God…”?

    Surely, not the latter, brother Eugene?

    Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

    James 4

    Now, I know that sometimes, we get so tied to our opinions that we can get ourselves lost in them and think that those who disagree with our opinions are disagreeing with God and Church and all that is Good. But keep in mind, dear brother, that wisdom does not end and begin with any one of us, but with God. Keep in mind that Jesus taught his own disciples (when they worried about an unknown person speaking in Jesus’ name) that “those who are not against us are for us.” I am not against you, friend. I just disagree with some of the opinions being offered here. But disagreement is not the same as not being part of the family, is it?

    Thank God that we are not saved by our perfect opinions or some sectarian doctrine and religious opinions, but by God’s grace. Let us rest in that, friend Eugene, and not our own opinions. Okay?

    In Christ,

    Dan

    • OH MY,
      Trabue takes the moral high ground again with “autobiography” about what a fundamentalist Christian he used to be! What a farce

      Trabue could NEVER have been a Christian, fundamental or otherwise, because a true Christian doesn’t leave the faith. Trabue’s faith has been demonstrated over and over on every blog he visits, and his faith disparages the Bible when it doesn’t agree with him, relegating it to myths and just-so stories, etc. Trabue’s god and jesus are homosexualists. Trabue’s gospel is what Paul called “another gospel.” As has been proven over and over again, Trabue is a rank heretic and a savage wolf. BEWARE OF THE DANGER OF HIS POISON!

  53. paynehollow says:

    Eugene…

    And besides that – the word of God has shown beyond a shadow of doubt how God feels and how he will judge illicit sex.

    And yet, Eugene, in the real world, Christians of good faith, saved by God’s grace and seeking God’s will with all sincerity, disagree with that human opinion. YOU may think that God “has shown beyond a shadow of doubt” that gay folk wedding one another, committing to love, honor and cherish one another is equal to “illicit sex…” but not every Christian agrees with that human opinion. Many of us sincerely think that people marrying and cherishing and loving one another in a marriage relationship – gay or straight people – is OBVIOUSLY and observably a great moral good and that great moral goods are NEVER condemned by God.

    I imagine you can agree that we should not say that people MUST agree with us on all topics in order to be “really” saved, right? I hope you can agree that Christians of Good Will sometimes DO disagree and, while not ideal, disagreeing is no sin. But how we handle disagreement, that can be wrong, yes? I beg you, friend, Let us disagree with all of God’s respect, love and grace, not with pettiness or ungodly arrogance.

    ~Dan

    • Ungodly arrogance and blasphemy comes from Trabue’s teachings which claims that 4000 years of Jews and Christians got God’s attitude about ALL homosexuality wrong, and that only Trabue and his ilk have discovered the new revelations that God loves homosexual behavior when it is between two “loving and committed” queers.

  54. @ Dan

    You’re a false teacher and your words show this to be true. I don’t have to know you personally – I just have to look at the fruit of your teachings; teachings which put light for darkness and darkness for light, and bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20). You have condemned yourself and others with your false witness to God’s will. You can’t speak with God’s word because God’s word speaks against you.

    You rest in your “church credentials” and I’ll rest upon the word of God that delivers people from their sin instead of condoning it. The human opinion of “church credentials” are as worthless and empty as your teachings.

    Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

    Learn to take verses in their context, for the word of God cannot and will not be used for a cloak to cover the outright promotion of sin: “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

    You’re nothing but an old fashioned Jehudi who keeps the parts of the Bible that they like while cutting out the parts that they don’t like by belittling it as “human opinion” (Jeremiah 36). You sit in willful ignorance while spouting foolishness such as, “Many of us sincerely think that people marrying and cherishing and loving one another in a marriage relationship – gay or straight people – is OBVIOUSLY and observably a great moral good and that great moral goods are NEVER condemned by God.” You’re blind and sitting in a ditch condemned to Hell pulling others down with you on your way there.

    If it wasn’t for the fact that you have incessantly made comments on this blog for years I would almost say that you’re just a character sitting behind a computer screen pretending to be someone that you’re not and saying things that so plainly false and ridiculous but nonetheless said just to get a reaction, but that would be too easy. You truly are a person living with a seared spiritual conscience seemingly incapable of the discernment that belongs to a five-year-old child (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

    The conclusion: it doesn’t matter what our feelings say – it doesn’t matter whether a person is a heterosexual or homosexual – if a person abuses the role of sex given by God in our lives, then that person will face an unmerciful judgment (Hebrews 13:4).

    I won’t spend anymore time speaking about this subject to someone like you. The scriptures are clear, and your heart is corrupt.

    There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)

  55. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    Trabue’s gospel is what Paul called “another gospel.”

    And again, I would point to the Gospel I preach and ask WHERE SPECIFICALLY am I mistaken? And again, no response will come other than, YA JUST ARE, you fool! But, to do my part…

    I believe that we are sinners, separated from God and humanity by our sin.

    Is that wrong?

    I believe in a Creator God, perfectly loving, perfectly just, perfect in every way.

    Is that wrong?

    I believe that God SO loved this world and we people, that God came to earth in the form of Jesus of Nazarene, who taught us God’s Ways, ultimately, the way of God’s Grace and Love and Forgiveness.

    Is that wrong?

    I believe that Jesus poured out his life for us on this earth, and ultimately died for us, demonstrating in his life, death and resurrection, the amazing power of God’s love and grace and how far God goes for us in seeking us.

    Is that wrong?

    I believe that we sinners are saved by God’s grace, through faith in this Jesus, the risen son of God.

    Is that wrong?

    I believe that we who repent and turn from our own desires and make God and God’s Ways our desire are SAVED by God’s glorious grace.

    Is that wrong?

    I believe the bible to be God’s Word, God’s revelation to us of God’s Ways. I believe God’s WORD and God’s WAYS to be without error (although, our interpretations – being human – are not without error), and that it is useful for instruction, correction and leading us on the Way.

    Is that wrong?

    I believe that God’s Spirit is with us now, guiding us, pulling us, teaching us, helping us.

    Is that wrong?

    On point after point, I offer the orthodox view of Christianity. On point after point, I ask you to show me specifically where you think I am mistaken. And time after time, you do not do so – indeed, you can’t do so without being unorthodox yourself. Instead, you stick to your ad hom attacks and call me “like Mormons” and say I worship my “own god” but don’t say how OTHER THAN, “You disagree with ME, GLENN on this point and I, GLENN, CAN NOT BE MISTAKEN ON THIS POINT…” But as I always point out, one need not agree with Glenn in order to be saved. Glenn does not equal God and only an actual fool would want to make that claim. And as I point out, one need not have perfect knowledge (in orthodox Christianity) in order to be saved. So EVEN IF Glenn happened to be right and I was mistaken on any of the 8 points or so we disagree on, my salvation is not dependent on my perfect knowledge.

    Insisting that someone either 1. Agree with Glenn or 2. Have perfect knowledge in order to be saved is NOT an orthodox understanding of Christianity.

    But Dear Glenn, if you can point to any point where I am mistaken (and of course, we are WAY off topic here, but no one seems to care), by all means do so and help me out. IF I am mistaken in my beliefs and you can show me how, then you’ll be doing me a favor.

    But you HAVE to show me first. You have not done so.

    The ball, dear brother, is in your court.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      Everything you typed could be typed by a Mormon. The whole issue is the identity of your God and of Your Christ, neither of which fit the identity of the Biblical God and Christ. We have all demonstrated to you over and over where your teachings do not line up with Scripture. I am not required to spend more of my time repeating what has been stated over and over to you by numerous commenters on this and other blog.

      And you continue proving that you don’t practice what you preach about being “loving” as you continue to call me “brother” regardless of the numerous times I have told you that I am offended by your calling me that.

      You have proven yourself to be a first class arrogant ass, proclaiming in extreme hubris that the teachings of Jews and Christians for over 4000 years have been in error and only you and your ilk have “discovered” the true meaning of Scripture. I’m shaking the dust of you off my boots.

  56. Dan is indeed given over to his sinfulness. He accuses us of misunderstanding his position, but his every attempt to elucidate only serves to confirm our conclusions. He asks Eugene: “Was I mistaken in believing in and trusting in Salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus? Is it a mistake to strive by God’s grace to walk in the paths and teachings of Jesus?”

    But it is not what one says or claims to profess, but how that profession is manifested that tells the tale, or what those claims of faith look like. Though I doubt observing an monitoring his actions would reveal anything more than an outward appearance of Christianity in most cases, those actions that mirror his printed position on homosexual behavior would cement the conclusion that the god he claims to worship is more than a little distinct from the God of the Holy Bible.

    He defends such disparity by accusations that we intend to “speak for God”. This is a slander more obvious than any of which he accuses us for questioning his level of devotion to the God of the Bible and the revelations therein. To “speak for God” is to render an opinion not supported by Scriptural teaching. We don’t do that without acknowledging we are rendering an opinion when there is no clear teaching. But in our discussion of the Biblical teachings on human sexuality, we have no need to wonder or guess or unravel a mystery. Rather than “speak for God”, we merely repeat what HE HAS SAID. We do not seek to add anything that the text itself does not. What’s more, we stand ready, willing and quite easily able to defend our contention of what God has said because it has been so plainly and clearly revealed with regards to the topics on which we’ve spent the most time.

    Thus, when we see “thou shalt not” in Scripture, we do not and we regard dismissals as rebellion at worst, and contrary to God’s will at best. There can be no “mistaking” what that will is when preceded by “thou shalt not”. One must find something in Scripture that mitigates the edict in some way. An example would be David taking the food reserved for the priests to feed his starving troops. Technically, David’s actions were contrary to God’s law regarding that food. But he did not sin in taking it for that purpose. It is Scripture providing an example of when disregarding a particular law of God is not sinning, but instead pleasing to God.

    Dan has never provided any such example in his tiresome defense of homosexual behavior. Instead, he has made assertions about various passages and verses, related and unrelated, that he cannot back up without going outside Scripture. He will speak of what is “good” or “noble” or “pure” or some such words, but good, noble and pure to whom? Clearly to Dan, but to God? How could anything God calls an abomination be good, noble or pure? Dan never has explained this, because he can’t. He provides anecdotal examples of old lesbians to show how holy they are apart from their rebellious sexual behaviors (assuming their lesbianism manifests in sexual contact between). This is the Capone defense. “Well, he opened soup kitchens, so he was a nice guy.” But nobody is judging behaviors other than those sinful behaviors to which homosexuals admit to perpetrating.

    I will putting the above to the test over at Dan’s blog if anyone cares to witness it.

  57. Anyone who is interested in whether Dan’s beliefs qualify as orthodox is welcome to see, esp., a summary of mine that Neil posted a while back.

    Dan denies the causal connection between Christ’s death and our salvation — notice here how carefully he points to Jesus’ demonstrating “the amazing power of God’s love and grace” but not unambiguously affirming that it is through His death that we’re saved.

    Dan also denies the necessity of the bodily resurrection, and he has even denied that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ and isn’t just a long-standing church tradition.

    In these two conversations, we’ve seen Dan directly deny that Christ has taught anything about why we were created male and female, and he doesn’t even reflexively submit to the entirety of the Decalogue: it’s not enough that God explicitly forbids idolatry, Dan has to reason about the irrationality of worshipping a wooden icon as a deity, and he insists on connecting the practice to the child sacrifices in Canaan, as if (like homosexuality) idolatry isn’t so bad if it’s unmoored from those atrocious pagan practices that surrounded ancient Israel.

    When put in the most vague terms possible, Dan’s beliefs can seem very orthodox indeed, but the closer one examines them, the clearer it becomes that his beliefs deviate significantly from even the essential doctrines of the faith — and Dan doesn’t help his own case with how vigorously he works to keep the details of his beliefs obscured in platitudes.

    “I’m shaking the dust of you off my boots.”

    An excellent suggestion, Glenn. I think I finally realize why that has proven to be a more difficult task than I would have ever expected.

    Dust is easy to shake off. Slime isn’t.

  58. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    notice here how carefully he points to Jesus’ demonstrating “the amazing power of God’s love and grace” but not unambiguously affirming that it is through His death that we’re saved.

    Yeah, forget all that “for it is by GRACE that we are saved…” stuff. This blood sacrifice stuff is a much better substitute for that other Grace-based Gospel… Is that what you’re saying?

    For me and mine, YES, we humbly rest on God’s grace, that amazing GRACE by which we are saved. God’s grace led God to come and lay down his life sacrificially, in the person of Jesus, but it is GRACE which saves us, not a blood sacrifice. Blood sacrifice rituals are what early Hebrews and pagans put their faith in. Christians rest on Grace.

    Orthodox, traditional ones, anyway.

    Now, if you’re only saying that Jesus’ laying down his life for us is a SYMBOL of that grace, by which we are saved, you and I can agree with all of orthodoxy, but I fear that you all are dismissing grace in favor of the symbol, missing the great wonder of actual Christianity.

    Embrace the Grace, dear brothers. Don’t denigrate it or wipe your feet on it sneeringly.

    ~Dan

  59. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    The whole issue is the identity of your God and of Your Christ, neither of which fit the identity of the Biblical God and Christ.

    Then SHOW ME where do I not understand God. Is it that I think God is almighty? That I think God is all-knowing? Is it that I think God is Love, perfect, pure Love?

    Is it that I think God loved us so much that God came to live with us humbly, in the life and body of Jesus of Nazareth?? WHERE do I misunderstand God?

    Invariably, the only answers to this question lead back to where I disagree with Glenn and his comrades on a few behaviors. As if the Bible teaches, “IF you JUST agree with Glenn on the gay issue, and on war, and on ten other behaviors, THEN YOU CAN BE SAVED…”

    But the Bible does not teach a demand to agree with Glenn. Even Glenn could admit that.

    NOR does the Bible teach that we must be “right” on each behavior’s sin status. That is an extrabiblical hoop that some would add to the requirements for salvation.

    But you tell me, Glenn, WHAT aspect of God’s nature or the nature of Jesus am I misunderstanding in such a way as to prevent me from being saved by God’s Grace? Be specific.

    Never gets answered with any substance, but I will offer the chance again, anyway.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      You are being deliberately obtuse and denying that you have been provided with the information hundreds of times. Even Bubba demonstrates from your own writings that you do not believe orthodox, historical Christian beliefs which identify what a Christian is.
      You refuse to acknowledge that the true God and Jesus find homosexual behavior to be an abomination, so you can’t be worshiping the God and Jesus of the Bible. It’s not about agreeing with me, it’s about what the Bible says. The Bible DOES SAY that you have to worship the TRUE God to be saved. You worship a false god, ergo you are unsaved.

  60. paynehollow says:

    Bubba besmirched…

    Dan doesn’t help his own case with how vigorously he works to keep the details of his beliefs obscured in platitudes.

    Then ask for a clarification, Bubba. If “I believe in salvation by Grace through faith in Jesus” is not clear enough for you (although that is just a literal quote from the Bible, you know), then ask me to explain. TELL me what SPECIFICALLY I have wrong that I must correct in order to be saved.

    How many hoops would you like me to jump through in addition to what the Bible teaches and do you really think it is wise to add extra-biblical requirements for salvation? Do you think that is biblical? Do you think that is rational?

    Apparently only those can be saved who agree with Bubba and Glenn on some unspecified number of behavioral opinions and adhere to a 13th century theory of atonement. Am I mistaken?

    ~Dan

  61. paynehollow says:

    You’re begging the question and pointing to a behavior, to boot, Glenn. Are you saying only those who agree with you on behaviors can be saved? Which behaviors must we agree with you on? Can you provide a list?

    ~Dan

    • Glenn. Are you saying only those who agree with you on behaviors can be saved? Which behaviors must we agree with you on? Can you provide a list?

      Trabue, I never even intimated such a thing. You are such a deceitful pawn of Satan. Show me where I even suggested this lie.

      What I say is that salvation is only through Christ, but when one’s Christ is not recognizable as the Christ of Scripture, then there is no salvation in their “christ.” One of the reasons Mormons and JWs aren’t saved even though they say they place their faith in Christ and his atonement – they have a Christ not identifiable in the Bible, i.e., just like you they have a Christ of their own making – in their own image.

  62. paynehollow says:

    Let me clarify: Are you saying that one can not be mistaken on the sin status of homosexual behavior and be saved? What is your rational and biblical support for this, because it sounds like you are contradicting basic orthodox notion of salvation by grace. It sounds like you’re adding to grace the requirement that one must have the Right Belief about at least one behavior’s sin status in order to be saved. Is that right? What other beliefs can one not be mistaken and be saved?

  63. Dan, about asking for clarifications, I’ll remind you that I spent literally months trying to get you to be clear about what you believe on quite a few issues — the causal connection between Christ’s death and our salvation, the necessity of the bodily resurrection, and the historicity of the Passover come immediately to mind.

    Here, you’re clear in your denial about the former, but for a very long time you weren’t clear at all.

    For myself, I do not think that a truly honest, good-faith misunderstanding about some particular command from God would preclude one from being saved, but we shouldn’t allow His grace to become a cover for willful ignorance.

    A good-faith misunderstanding would still entail both an effort to understand God’s will as He has revealed it AND a willingness to obey it, and I don’t often see that from all quarters.

    Even supposing that, in His grace, God overlooks misunderstandings, it’s still true that in His grace, God has revealed His will, often quite unambiguously. He doesn’t just cover our mistakes, He’s provided a means to correct those mistakes, and we have a duty to avail ourselves of those corrections.

    Going back to that issue of Christ’s death and our salvation, you write:

    Yeah, forget all that ‘for it is by GRACE that we are saved…’ stuff. This blood sacrifice stuff is a much better substitute for that other Grace-based Gospel… Is that what you’re saying?

    No, I’m not talking about salvation through Christ’s death apart from grace: I’m saying that both are essential, we’re saved BY grace THROUGH Christ’s death.

    Grace is the source of our justification, the cross is the ground of our justification, and faith is the means of our justification. Put another way, these three components answer three different questions, which is why the Protestant solas can affirm each of them “alone.”

    – Why does God provide salvation? His grace — His love.

    – HOW does God provide that salvation? The cross.

    – How do WE appropriate that salvation? The response of faith.

    Even if this were some 13th-century theory, I think its provenance would hold up quite well against your beliefs, BUT IT’S NOT MEDIEVAL, IT’S BIBLICAL.

    Look again at the passage you reference. Ephesians 2:8 says we’re saved by grace, in contrast with OUR works — “so that no one may boast” — not Christ’s work on the cross, and it doesn’t take long (five verses, to 2:13) for Paul to write that we’ve been “brought near by the blood of Christ” and then to write that we have been reconciled “through the cross” (2:16). And if you look back to the first chapter of that same letter, Paul writes that we have redemption “through his blood” (1:7).

    A few years ago, I surveyed the New Testament to show how everyone emphasized the cross, from Jesus Himself to John the Baptist, and from the Evangelists to the Apostles, and mine was by no means an exhaustive list.

    In Romans 3:24-25, Paul teaches that we are “justified by [God’s] grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”

    In Galatians 2:21, Paul denies that we are justified through the law, because such a belief would BOTH nullify God’s grace AND mean that Christ died in vain.

    You separate the two when the Bible does not, and we’ve been around the block on this issue more times than I can remember.

  64. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I’m saying that both are essential, we’re saved BY grace THROUGH Christ’s death.

    Grace is the source of our justification, the cross is the ground of our justification, and faith is the means of our justification.

    This is, of course, all extrabiblical. Mostly notions that arose perhaps in the middle ages, not in the roots of Christianity and not biblical. It’s something people read INTO the Bible, but isn’t on its pages.

    What the BIBLE teaches is, “You are saved by GRACE, through faith IN JESUS…”

    So, if the BIBLE does not say “You must believe in the cross as the grounds of our justification,” why do I need to affirm your theory?

    Myself, I believe what is rational and fits with Biblical teaching is that we are saved BY God’s grace, BECAUSE it is God’s WILL and desire that we be saved, God extends the offer of salvation BY GOD’S GRACE. It is God’s sacrificial pouring out God’s self that is a demonstration and modeling of that grace. It is GRACE that saves us, and that through faith in Jesus…

    There is GREAT and rich symbolism in the ancient blood sacrifice rituals found in pagan and Hebrew traditions, but we must not confuse the symbolism for that which does the saving, which is God by God’s Grace.

    ~Dan

  65. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    A good-faith misunderstanding would still entail both an effort to understand God’s will as He has revealed it AND a willingness to obey it, and I don’t often see that from all quarters.

    But you have seen it from me, given all you’ve read over the years. How I started from a position firmly entrenched AGAINST any and all gay behavior… how ONLY through prayer and Bible study – and study intended to strengthen my argument against “the gays…” – I had to abandon that position, even though it was the comfortable one for me, because I just did not believe it to be biblical.

    Clearly, I struggled with a comfortable position to one that was not comfortable for me ONLY because I thought that was what the Bible taught, what God’s will is. WHY would I abandon the comfortable and traditional position and put up with grief from my friends and family UNLESS I truly thought I was walking in the right biblical direction?

    I obeyed what I thought God’s will was in spite of grief given by loved ones (people who believe like you, like I formerly believed)… Interestingly, my newer friends who believe as I do now, they gave me no grief at all over my disagreeing with them. They accepted me as a brother in spite of this strong disagreement and my sometimes offensive words to them.

    No, clearly, I have sought to follow God’s will as I believe God has revealed it, in spite of persecution, name-calling and rejection by fellow believers and in spite of my own discomfort with abandoning the human traditions I was comfortable with. The evidence is plainly there.

  66. Henceforth, Dan shall be known as D.T.D….

    Double-Talking Dan.

    You are so full of it you must squish when you walk. In NO SENSE can anyone – ANYONE – reasonably claim that homosexual behavior is treated as acceptable or benign. You have nothing to offer but a bunch of double-talk, a bunch of jive, my brother in Christ.

  67. I especially enjoy how Dan can say/type (presumably with a straight face and without the decency to be ashamed) that after Bubba quotes Scripture regarding the causal relation of Christ’s death and our salvation, and does so more than once (along with that reference to past citations of numerous verses that concur), that the concept is
    somehow extra-Biblical.

  68. The same thought crossed my mind, Marshall.

    This is, of course, all extrabiblical… What the BIBLE teaches is, ‘You are saved by GRACE, through faith IN JESUS…’

    OF COURSE it’s extra-biblical, except for Romans 3, which teaches that we’re saved by grace “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood,” to be received by faith.

    And except for the numerous other passages that affirm that we’re saved through Christ’s death, including three passages from the same letter Dan cited: Ephesians 1:7, 2:13, and 2:16.

    And except for Christ’s own teaching on the night He was betrayed, that His blood was being shed for the forgiveness of sins.

    Which passage convinced Dan that all these teachings were symbolic, and that Christ’s death was merely a demonstration of grace, superfluous to our actual salvation, and not the ground on which grace saves?

    He doesn’t say, and knowing the Bible as I do, I’m quite confident about the reason why: he doesn’t say because he can’t, because no such passage exists.

    Instead of appealing to an autobiography THAT NONE OF US CAN CONFIRM, he could walk us through the passages that changed his mind on so many of these issues. He doesn’t because he can’t.

  69. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    In NO SENSE can anyone – ANYONE – reasonably claim that homosexual behavior is treated as acceptable or benign. You have nothing to offer but a bunch of double-talk, a bunch of jive, my brother in Christ.

    Terrance, I have always been quite clear that the very few times that gay behavior is discussed in the Bible, THOSE PARTICULAR gay behaviors being discussed are criticized. Gay rape, for instance, is criticized as wrong. Gay sex rituals are listed as wrong. BUT, what is ENTIRELY missing from the Bible is a criticism of all gay behaviors in all times and places, or of a homosexual orientation. That is a simple fact (unless you want to push that some of the texts ARE speaking of all gay behavior, but the burden to prove that is on you.) None of the texts APPEAR to be a blanket condemnation of all gay behavior, unless you just go with a shallow glance.

    Rather than saying, “nu uh, you are stupidhead, doodybrain… no one thinks that…” How about responding to my actual points?

    ~Dan

  70. paynehollow says:

    Yes, yes, I know there are passages that point to the symbolic “purchase” of our forgiveness by Jesus’ “buying” our salvation with a “blood payment…” And these are all helpful, interesting imagery, BUT CLEARLY, they are imagery that refer about our ACTUAL, REAL salvation through God’s GRACE.

    Again, Salvation by Grace, we can understand, it is logical, it is biblical, it makes sense. God WANTS to save us and, despite our sin, CAN save us by God’s act of GRACE.

    But as soon as we try to make a “blood purchase of forgiveness” literal, instead of metaphorical, the rich symbology dries up into a dead business deal, NOT grace.

    “Here, God,” you want us to believe that Jesus literally says? “Here is my blood, I’d like to pay for Bubba’s sins. Do you have change for 1 gallon?”

    HOW does that work? WHAT does a literal “blood payment” look like? Is Jesus paying God because God (despite God’s grace and omnipotence??? what a weak god!) is unable to forgive unless SOMEBODY pays him some blood…? Or is Jesus paying the devil to purchase us from hell (as some of the earliest THEORIES of atonement pondered)? No one has ever explained how a literal “blood payment” actually works and how it isn’t a denying of God’s grace.

    Yes, I believe that Jesus sacrificed his life for us as an acting out of God’s grace. Yes, there is rich (if sometimes disturbing, to modern ears) imagery in the ancient tribal traditions of blood sacrifices and human sacrifices. But we MUST remember that this is imagery, NOT the actual Thing that saves us. The Thing that saves us IS God’s grace.

    Straightup, tell me: DOES God’s grace save us? IS God’s grace sufficient to save us? OR, is God powerless to save us IN SPITE of God’s grace and omnipotence, without somebody “paying” him some blood?

    You all confuse imagery for the reality, and insist upon it as a hoop to jump through and in so doing, miss the very point of Grace. Or at least that is what it seems like from this side.

    ~Dan

  71. Dan, which passages did I cite use the language of a financial transaction?

    Purchasing, buying, and a blood payment: is this language found in Romans 3, Ephesians 1 or 2, or Galatians 2? If not, why not focus on what those passages actually claim instead of introducing language that isn’t there?

  72. paynehollow says:

    Because those are part of the PS Theory you are trying to get me to agree with literally. Am I mistaken? Do you also reject a literal interpretation of the PS Theory as being counter to salvation by grace and just not very rational?

    ~Dan

  73. paynehollow says:

    Beyond that, you cited this passage…

    “justified by [God’s] grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”

    “Propitiation” is a business or payment term, indicating a purchase, an “offering” made to “appease” an angry God. In this language, taken literally, people are generally speaking of a God so consumed by anger and hatred of our sin, that God is entirely unable or unwilling to forgive UNLESS an offering is made – this God demands BLOOD to “pay” for the sin.

    Do you think God’s grace is insufficient to save us unless someone “pays” somehow for our sin? Either us, or Jesus?

    ~Dan

  74. paynehollow says:

    In reviewing Galatians 2 that you cited, we find this from Paul…

    For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

    Paul says that he has been crucified with Christ, but clearly, he is speaking symbolically, not literally (just to be clear – ya know, sometimes the Bible uses imagery). And so, Paul does not set aside the grace of God, because righteousness is NOT gained through the law (ie, by requirements that there are things we need to do/rules we need to follow to be saved, not grace), but BY GRACE. If it were works that saves us, then Jesus life, death, resurrection… Jesus’ embodiment of God’s grace means nothing. But it isn’t adhering to a series of hoops to jump through that saves us, it is Grace.

    Agreed?

    Or are you saying I need to jump through some more theological hoops first?

    ~Dan

  75. ‘Propitiation’ is a business or payment term, indicating a purchase, an ‘offering’ made to ‘appease’ an angry God.

    The last phrase is correct, the rest of the sentence is inaccurate: propitiation is a religious term that belongs in the temple, not a business term that belongs in the marketplace.

    I agree that the Bible uses a few recurring images of salvation:

    1) Propitiation, involving rituals at the temple
    2) Redemption, involving financial transactions in the marketplace
    3) Justification, involving legal proceedings in the courthouse
    4) Reconciliation, involving personal relationships at home

    You were fixating on #2, when what I quoted uses a variety of images, and ALL THESE IMAGES point to an underlying claim of substitution — a literal claim that isn’t just another image, as the claim itself explains all four of these images above.

    That Christ’s blood was a propitiation for our sins, that it redeemed us from the slavery of sin; that Christ’s death justified us in God’s court of law, and it reconciled us to God. ALL OF THESE IMAGES point to the claim that Christ’s death is what accomplished our salvation.

    Your position, that His death was superfluous to our salvation, a mere demonstration of saving grace and not the ground on which that grace saves, is NOT an explanation of the truth that these images symbolize: it’s an outright DENIAL of that truth.

    DOES God’s grace save us? IS God’s grace sufficient to save us?

    The New Testament consistently affirms both God’s saving grace AND Christ’s saving death. Paul, Peter, John the Apostle, John the Baptist, and even Jesus Himself point to His death being necessary for our salvation.

    Why is His death necessary? You ask, is God not omnipotent and loving? He is, but he has one other quality that you almost never mention: GOD IS HOLY, perfectly just, and His holiness requires that sin not go unpunished.

    The Bible DOES NOT teach salvation by grace apart from Christ’s death.

    Such a salvation may make sense to you, but it’s not what the Bible teaches, and so your problem isn’t with me or some medieval concept, but with the direct teaching of Christ and His hand-picked Apostles.

  76. Dan:

    About Galatians 2, you say, “If it were works that saves us, then Jesus life, death, resurrection… Jesus’ embodiment of God’s grace means nothing.”

    But Paul didn’t mention Jesus’ life or resurrection, only His death — not because it merely embodied God’s grace, but because it actually accomplished our salvation.

    In the same letter, Paul praises Christ “who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age” (1:4).

    He writes, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (3:13).

    He writes that “God sent forth his Son,” for what reason? “To redeem those who were under the law,” not merely to demonstrate the grace that would have redeemed us in any case (4:4-5).

    He writes about being persecuted for not requiring circumcision, instead preaching what? The offense of grace? No, “the offense of the cross” (5:11).

    And he concludes by writing that he boasts in nothing “except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (6:14).

    The saving, substitutionary death of Jesus Christ is emphasized in literally every chapter of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, and in truth it is foundational to the good news Paul preaches throughout Acts and his epistles. The cross is crucial to Paul’s theology: His gospel is grace-centered AND cross-centered.

    To be clear, I’m not certain that one must articulate or even understand Christ’s saving death in order to be saved, but the New Testament is perfectly clear that our salvation was the result of that death.

    And I don’t see why affirming THIS biblical truth that we’re saved through the cross is any more a “hoop to jump through” than affirming the complementary biblical truths that we’re saved by grace, received through faith.

    I don’t see what’s so graceless and burdensome in affirming ALL of Romans 3:24-25, and not just the two bookends of that passage that you like and understand.

    That you find it more logical, to affirm salvation by grace through faith WITHOUT the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, just means that you favor your own understanding over the clear teaching of Scripture.

    But as with God’s commands, so it is with God’s good news: the important thing is NOT believing only that which we thoroughly understand, but believing ALL that God has clearly revealed.

  77. Lets just go back to the beginning and describe pedophilia – it is molestation and that is morally reprehensible, it is against human dignity if not human nature as suggested when saying “born with it,” in the end as with all things you can say “no” and if you can’t say no someone has to do it for you, otherwise we will all pay for it, and the next generation will be even more demoralized than this one…The next will be “i was born a killer”, “because i feel like killing i should be able to kill” and yes that does apply. There are good people, with good morals who may not believe in God, so it is not just a faith moral, its a basic human moral.

    • Another reason given by the “gay” agenda for their disapproval of pedophilia is lack of consent, that young people don’t have the ability to consent for sexual relations. (Of course the same ages are permitted to consent to an abortion!) However, if we go by legal age of consent, they you will notice there are countries were a 12-year-old can consent to sex. Since most of us would consider sex with a 12-yr-old to be wrong, using the “gay” claim about consent, having sex with a 12-yr-old would be okay!

  78. “WHAT does a literal “blood payment” look like?”

    It looks like death. For the wages of sin IS death. What could be more clear? (Asking this of Dan is pointless. What was I thinking?) The sacrifices of the OT were symbolic, all right, but symbolic of the Ultimate Sacrifice that was to come. This is all very basic Bible 101 stuff. The expression of God’s grace WAS the death of Christ and we have access to that saving grace because we Christ died as our sacrifice for our sins.

  79. @Crystaldelarm—I don’t know that anyone here is defending pedophilia. The point is that if it is also an orientation, then much of the homosexual argument works as well for the homosexual, or at least must be given the same level of credibility. Some of us commenting here do not find the arguments of either group valid, or find them identically invalid.

    Further, there is a disagreement as to what constitutes harm and whether or not harm is an important measure of immorality. If it is, then showing that one can engage in sex with a child without harming the child means harm-free sex with a child is morally benign or even a beautiful thing. This is the position of the pedophile and it is an angle employed by the homosexual to defend acting in accordance with his orientation. If the advances are pleasing to the “victim”, then there is no molestation. It is no harm no foul.

    It’s hard to argue against such reasoning should a victim of the sexual advances of either the pedophile or the homosexual enjoy and seek out the experience. That is, it is hard to argue against the secular and those who define morality based on tangible harm.

    But a Christian doesn’t reason that way. A Christian relies on God’s will for our behavior in determining what is or isn’t acceptable or harmful. A Christian does not equate physical harm with spiritual harm and understands the latter can exist without the former.

  80. I forgot to include the link showing age of consent for sex around the world:
    http://www.ageofconsent.com/ageofconsent.htm

  81. Not having read the entire comment thread I wonder if anyone questioned why a child’s consent matters. Who said consent is required? If there is no God to make the rules any rule is permissible and is arbitrary. Might is the only moral authority then. As I said before, atheists cannot bear the consequences of their philosophy so they have to borrow a moral code from a superior one.

  82. paynehollow says:

    Let me begin these next few thoughts by backing up with an apology.

    Earlier, Bubba had said…

    Grace is the source of our justification, the cross is the ground of our justification, and faith is the means of our justification.

    And I responded…

    This is, of course, all extrabiblical. Mostly notions that arose perhaps in the middle ages, not in the roots of Christianity and not biblical. It’s something people read INTO the Bible, but isn’t on its pages.

    I was getting ahead of myself and you, jumping to a point further in the argument without laying some groundwork first. In other words, I misspoke and was less than clear, being in a rush and careless with my response. For that, I apologize.

    Of course, the literal WORDS that some can and do take to conclude “the cross/Jesus’ crucifixion is the grounds of our justification…” Not those words, of course, but words that some could take that way, IF taken in isolation.

    The thing is, there are many passages that speak about some aspect of salvation and God’s Way. If we take any one of them out of context, we could reach varying conclusions.

    Jesus was asked directly what must be done to be saved. He answered. Twice.

    His responses:

    1. In order to be saved, you must sell all you own and give it to the poor and follow me.

    2. Obey the commandments (and when asked, “Which ones?” He responds with these six – not even the Ten… You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.)

    Jesus also said…

    3. Whoever believes AND is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. [emphasis, mine]

    Peter, for his part, answered that question this way:

    4. Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.

    Paul never directly answers a direct question like that, but he states some pretty compelling things about salvation, including…

    5. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…

    6. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

    Speaking of justification (not salvation), Paul says…

    7. and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.

    8. We know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.

    So, there we have it. What MUST we do to be saved? We must obey the commands (specifically, six related to how we treat fellow humans).

    AND/OR, we must sell our stuff, give it to the poor and then follow Jesus.

    AND/OR, we must believe in the Lord Jesus and we will be saved.

    AND/OR, we must believe AND be baptized.

    AND/OR, we must work out our own salvation, obeying the rules.

    AND/OR, it is GRACE by which we are saved, through faith in Jesus.

    AND/OR, we are saved by that, but there is a “justification” phase apart (??) from salvation and THAT justification comes by grace. Or it comes by faith in Jesus.

    More…

  83. paynehollow says:

    The thing is, there are many phrases and terminologies being used, some may even seem contradictory. Salvation by works? By Grace? Justification? By grace? By faith in Jesus?? Atonement? etc, etc, etc.

    Now, IF this were a text book with specific rules and steps on the HOW TO BE SAVED topic, we might need to try to sort out these many messages, find some combination that is not contradictory, something that makes sense given ALL the “clues” and phrases and ideas and concepts.

    But it comes down to this: The Bible does NOT say that we must believe in some particular theory of atonement in order to be saved. Christians have disagreed about what that means since the beginning. And we have decided that it ISN’T our perfect knowledge or works that saves us (or that justifies us) it is God’s grace, through faith in Jesus. Over the years, orthodox Christianity has, I think rightly, come to boil it down to the basics: God’s grace, through faith in Jesus.

    The Bible has not told us specifically what order and emphasis and understanding is necessary of all the answers and hints about salvation, but it has seemed obvious enough to most of Christendom that it boils down to that: Salvation By God’s’ Grace alone, through faith in Jesus alone.

    No attachment to one or the other theory of atonement is not necessary. It’s NOT about our ability to rightly understand perfectly atonement or justification or grace. We rest on God’s grace, through faith in Jesus alone.

    Now, if you want to add I must also agree with Anselm alone or Bubba alone or this theory or that theory, you are adding to the Gospel and that is your error, not mine.

    The Bible is not a rulebook. Salvation is not a matter of perfect understanding.

    It is grace, sweet grace through Jesus our Lord.

    You have no evidence, thus far presented, that I am doing anything contrary to the Gospel. Indeed, I am trusting in the Grace of Jesus our wonderful Lord. I can do naught else, no matter how much you want me to confess something that is not soundly founded on Grace.

    I ask you again: IS God’s Grace insufficient to save us? Your answer seems to be, “Yes, God’s grace alone is insufficient…” Is that really where you want to stand?

    ~Dan

  84. The Bible does NOT say that we must believe in some particular theory of atonement in order to be saved.

    No one has said otherwise, but the Bible does clearly teach the causal connection between Christ’s death and our salvation: I’ve pointed to just a few of the passages that make that connection, as has John Barron.

    Over the years, orthodox Christianity has, I think rightly, come to boil it down to the basics: God’s grace, through faith in Jesus.

    Why isn’t the cross included as part of “the basics”? Didn’t Paul say that he preached Christ crucified and that he boasted only in the cross?

    What is it we commemorate in that one repeated Christian observance that Christ Himself ordained? Oh, that’s right, He didn’t ordain the Lord’s Supper, it’s just an ancient church tradition; never mind I Corinthians.

    I ask you again: IS God’s Grace insufficient to save us?

    It seems to me that you have no business asking that question, Dan.

    You haven’t been insisting on grace alone: you’ve been insisting on grace through faith.

  85. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    the Bible does clearly teach the causal connection between Christ’s death and our salvation:

    You’re begging the question. Yes, there are words that sound as if there is a causal connection between Christ’s death and justification/maybe salvation. BUT, there are also words that suggest (pretty directly and clearly) a causal definition between our works and salvation. (“WHat must I do to be saved?” “Obey the commands.” – that is pretty causal. “Sell all you have and give to the poor and follow me” that is pretty causal).

    The question isn’t “Are there passages that suggest a connection between grace and salvation; between works and salvation; between a blood sacrifice and salvation..”? The question is, HOW are we saved, literally? Some of those texts are possibly (likely) symbolic or metaphoric or otherwise not insisting on a literal causal connection.

    I rest on salvation by grace through faith in Jesus.

    Do you think that is insufficient for salvation?

    ~Dan

  86. I rest on salvation by grace through faith in Jesus.

    “Do you think that is insufficient for salvation?

    By “that,” do you mean just grace? If so, why do you keep bringing up faith? IS God’s Grace insufficient to save us? Your answer seems to be, “Yes, God’s grace alone is insufficient…” Is that really where you want to stand?

    About your resting on salvation by grace through faith, why should you? There are words that suggest we should do so, BUT, there are also words that suggest (pretty directly and clearly) a causal definition between our works and salvation.

    What makes you so certain that this stuff about grace and faith isn’t just symbolic and metaphoric, and in the end we really are saved by our own works?

    Or why is it your position is never subject to the same scrutiny and accusations of question-begging that you apply to our position? Why is it that the methods you attempt to use to cast doubt on salvation through Christ’s death NEVER cast the slightest hint of doubt on salvation by grace through faith?

  87. paynehollow says:

    By all means, ask the questions. I REST on God’s grace through faith in Christ. This is what I have always said. Now, sometimes, I have shortened it to just “God’s part…” that is, what God does is Salvation by Grace. It is BY GOD’S Grace that we ARE saved.

    Our part is the “through faith in Christ…” If we accept Jesus and agree with his teachings and repent from our sins, God’s GRACE saves us.

    You seem to be wanting to add another hoop (or two) on God’s part and another hoop (or two) on our part.

    God’s Grace saves us ONLY if God can accept a literal payment from God in the form of a literal blood payment from a literal God/human sacrifice (Jesus). Thus, it is NOT God’s grace alone, but God’s Grace PLUS a blood sacrifice and payment of literal blood.

    On our part, you seem to be adding not only repenting of our sin and accepting that grace through our faith in Christ, but you would add that we must believe something akin to the PS theory of atonement (ie, the literal blood payment for sin in addition to Grace)… and perhaps you might add (it seems less than clear to me) that one can’t disagree about some behavior’s sin status, as well, in order to be saved.

    There. Questions answered. I rest on God’s grace to save us. Through our faith in Jesus/acceptance of that grace. You know, orthodox Christianity.

    Is that Grace through faith in sufficient for salvation?

    ~Dan

  88. On our part, you seem to be adding not only repenting of our sin and accepting that grace through our faith in Christ, but you would add that we must believe something akin to the PS theory of atonement (ie, the literal blood payment for sin in addition to Grace)… and perhaps you might add (it seems less than clear to me) that one can’t disagree about some behavior’s sin status, as well, in order to be saved.

    Me, late yesterday: For myself, I do not think that a truly honest, good-faith misunderstanding about some particular command from God would preclude one from being saved, but we shouldn’t allow His grace to become a cover for willful ignorance.

    Me, early this morning: To be clear, I’m not certain that one must articulate or even understand Christ’s saving death in order to be saved…

    Me, less than an hour ago, in response to your stating that the Bible doesn’t condition salvation on the belief in a particular theory of atonement: No one has said otherwise…

    Not only have I written NOTHING that would justify your thinking that I’m adding to the human side of the equation of what’s necessary for salvation, I’ve written much to the contrary, especially in the last 24 hours or so.

    More in a moment.

  89. Dan, about “adding” to God’s side of what’s necessary for salvation, it’s not that I “want” to say that Christ’s death is necessary for our salvation, it’s that I believe the Bible leaves us no other plausible alternative.

    It’s not just the numerous passages that tie His death and our salvation — not just those we’ve already cited, but even going as far back as Isaiah, whose book teaches that the Suffering Servant was to be wounded for our transgressions, and that we were to be healed through His wounds.

    (Remember, of first importance is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.)

    There’s the theological matter of God’s holiness: a truly holy and truly just deity would NOT let sin go unpunished.

    There’s the emphasis on the cross: John the Baptist’s “behold the Lamb of God,” all four Gospels devoting an inordinate amount of space to the last week of Christ’s three-year ministry, Christ’s ordination of the Lord’s Supper being explicitly designed to commemorate His death, and the specific and repeated praise and gratitude that the Apostles have for Christ’s shed blood.

    And, there’s the matter of Gethsemane.

    I’ve mentioned this a few times, and I don’t think you’ve ever addressed it, much less have you ever done so with any substance.

    The account of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane makes no sense AT ALL unless the cross really did entail His suffering the penalty of our sins.

    Historically, Christian martyrs are at peace facing death, even joyful to some degree, but Jesus was in anguish knowing what was ahead of Him. Was it because He was less brave than the martyrs who would subsequently die for His sake? Of course not.

    Why do Christian martyrs face death without fear? Because our sins were on His cross, not ours.

    And why did Jesus face death with such anguish? For the very same reason: because our sins were on His cross, not ours.

    In His anguish, Jesus asked that the cup would pass, the cup of God’s vengeance being poured out.

    “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” — BUT, CLEARLY, THE FATHER DENIED THE REQUEST.

    Why? Why would God the Father deny this request from His beloved Son? The only obvious reason is that it WASN’T possible for the cup to pass, because that cup — Christ’s death on the cross — was absolutely indispensable to God’s plan.

    I’ve pretty consistently seen you give two reasons to reject the idea that Christ’s death was necessary for our salvation.

    Here, you say it adds to grace, but if a man saves his brother from drowning, it doesn’t detract from our esteem for that man’s brotherly love to point out that throwing him a lifeline was how he did it. It may have been only love that motivated him to save his brother, but it was only that rope that enabled him to save his brother.

    If a reckless teenager totals his father’s only car, and (as you might put it) he “simply” forgives his son, it’s still worth noting that there WAS a cost for that forgiveness, which the father paid — either his now having to walk everywhere he went, or his paying out-of-pocket for a replacement vehicle. Forgiveness is free to the penitent, but even in our earthly affairs, it is always costly to the one doing the forgiving, sometimes very costly indeed.

    The other reason you’ve expressed before is simple revulsion at the idea that God requires death as the penalty of sin — as its “wages,” as Paul would put it.

    Well, that’s the clear, emphatic, repeated, and unavoidable teaching of Scripture. As with the clear ethical teachings you may not like and understand (like God’s stated reason for creating us male and female), you have a responsibility to submit to what God has clearly revealed regarding the cost He paid for our salvation, a cost He paid indeed ONLY out of His love for us and not because of any merit on our part.

    It’s not about walking a “Path of Greater Enlightenment” where we believe ONLY what we ourselves understand to be right and sensible and rational: it’s about trusting a transcendent deity even when His clearly revealed message confounds our expectations and our eludes our understanding.

  90. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    it’s that I believe the Bible leaves us no other plausible alternative.

    I get that this is your belief. Does everyone have to agree with your belief on that point to be saved. Again, CLEARLY there are many passages in the Bible that say “Do this to be saved…” “Do THAT to be saved…” that point to or seem to hint at a variety of things that one must do to be saved.

    WHY are these particular subset of passages the only ones that not only must be believed, but must be taken literally and not only literally, but in the same understanding as a medieval theory of atonement?

    Bubba…

    it’s about trusting a transcendent deity even when His clearly revealed message confounds our expectations and our eludes our understanding.

    Okay, so, MY understanding of salvation by Grace alone, not affirming a literal blood sacrifice that literally pays off our literal sin debt… this does not make sense to you, but it IS biblical, clearly. Literally. So, what if THAT passage is the “right” “clearly revealed message” and it just eludes your understanding. Why don’t you trust THAT message, are you a liar and don’t really care about God, and you’re just making up all your history about trying to follow God? OR, do you just disagree with that particular take on it?

    Who has said THESE passages and ONLY these passages are the ones that are “clearly revealed message,” and all those other passages, well, they shouldn’t be taken literally, THESE should, though…?

    Why those? Says who? Who gets to decide? What if those who have decided are mistaken? What if any of us are mistaken? Is our lack of understanding an indication that we are lying or that we are not saved?

    And yes, I DO know that you affirm “I’m not certain that one must articulate or even understand Christ’s saving death in order to be saved…” But at the same time, you are calling me a liar because I honestly disagree with your opinions and you are saying that either I’m not a Christian because of these disagreements are at best, it LOOKS like I’m not a Christian because of these disagreements. So, I hope you can see how you seem to be saying both yes and no.

    As to this…

    Not only have I written NOTHING that would justify your thinking that I’m adding to the human side of the equation of what’s necessary for salvation, I’ve written much to the contrary, especially in the last 24 hours or so.

    You have also said I am a liar because my position does not make sense to you, and you have questioned my faith because I disagree with these various opinions of yours. Which is it: Can I be simply mistaken and still saved, or MUST I be a liar if you can’t make sense of my position, a liar who isn’t saved?

    ~Dan

  91. “You have also said I am a liar because my position does not make sense to you…”

    Where the hell have I said that?

    You want to prove that you’re a honest man? Don’t start by being so dishonest in addressing my position.

    I question the orthodoxy of your faith, not just because you “disagree with this various opinions” of mine, but because I believe you deny the clear, emphatic, repeated, and essential teachings of the Apostles. It’s not me who said that Christ died for our sins and that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins: it’s Paul, Peter, and even the Lord who authorized them to expound on His teachings.

    “Who says?” Who says what the Bible did and didn’t teach as clear and essential doctrines? I’m not presuming to assert my own authority, Dan, I’ve been basing my position only on the strength of the arguments. In the arena of ideas, it doesn’t matter who presents an argument, all that matters is how that argument holds up against alternatives.

    Going to the question of “Yeah, who says so?” reeks of desperation.

    More on the subject of our actual arguments, in a moment.

  92. Dan, you mention six teachings from the Bible that supposedly point to different, contradictory answers to the question of salvation.

    #1 and #2 come from the same passage about the rich young ruler, found in Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 18. We’ve discussed this encounter numerous times, going as far back as nearly five years ago, when I pointed out three salient facts that all three synoptic accounts mention, ALL of which undercut the conclusion that Christ was teaching salvation through works.

    1) Christ asserts that there is only one who is good, in Mt 19:17 which Dan omits; and in Mark and Luke He is explicit in stating that only God is good.

    2) After the young man left, those who remained asked, “Who can be saved?”

    3) Jesus answered their question by stating that what is impossible for man is possible for God.

    As I wrote then and reemphasized in another conversation on your blog — June 19, 2011, “Grace Enough?” — these three facts point to salvation through God’s grace, not man’s obedience. Christ’s teaching wasn’t that salvation was possible through human efforts: it was that salvation is possible through God alone.

    For #3, you quote Mark 16:16, about whoever believes and is baptized is saved, whoever doesn’t believe will condemned, but what specifically must be believed? The previous verse tells us: people must believe what the eleven were authorized to proclaim to the whole world, explicitly the gospel.

    The contents of that good news is what we’re arguing. This passage doesn’t point to a different answer to the question of salvation, only to an answer that is, in itself, too vague to settle the issue.

    You bolded belief and baptism, but since the contrary statement focuses on unbelief and not the absence of baptism, it’s at least plausible to conclude that baptism is a sign of saving faith, not an additional requirement for salvation.

    For #4, you quote Acts 16:31, and Paul’s call to “believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Again, that may just be a vague reference to the same answer regarding salvation — no one believes that the Bible has comprehensive records of every word of a conversation, so presumably Paul told the jailer more about what that means. Paul’s sermons in Acts and his teachings in his letters MUST NOT be seen as contradicting this simple claim, but expounding on it.

    For #5, if you’re going to quote Philippians 2:12, you ought to quote the rest of the sentence: verse 13 teaches that “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure,” as if salvation comes from God and not our own works, which ought to be the result of His saving work and not a contributing cause to our salvation.

    You ought to give Paul enough credit for consistency that he’s NOT preaching a gospel of works that he so strongly rejects elsewhere.

    And it’s worth noticing that, in 3:18 of the same letter, Paul mentions “enemies of the cross of Christ.” I wonder, why would people be opposed to Christ’s cross — which, elsewhere, Paul says it what he preaches and what is the only thing he boasts in — if that cross is superfluous to salvation?

    For #6, you again quote Ephesians 2:8, and again I note the context: 1:7, 2:13, and 2:16 all teach that we are redeemed and reconciled through Christ’s death, which is an odd thing to claim if it had nothing to do with it.

    The Bible doesn’t unambiguously affirm the role of Christ’s death in every mention of salvation, but it doesn’t mention grace or faith everywhere either.

    But, throughout, the Bible DOES NOT teach different answers to the question of salvation: all it does is provide varying views on the SAME answer. Some views are general, some are detailed; some focus on the fact that God saves us because of His grace and not our merit; some focus on the fact that it’s received by faith to result in good works; and some do clearly teach that it is Christ’s death through which forgiveness and salvation were made available.

    Dan, you distinguish between justification and salvation: can one be saved without having been justified? Can one be justified but not be saved?

    Of course not. Our justification is — along with other things like our sanctification and glorification — an indispensable part of our salvation, not some other topic entirely.

    But let’s get back to grousing about who has the authority to argue about the plain meaning of Scripture. That’s so much more productive.

  93. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    “You have also said I am a liar because my position does not make sense to you…”

    Where the hell have I said that?

    You have said, as you know, that I am a liar because I “couldn’t have” reached my positions in the way I have told you. AND YET, in the real world, I did. Therefore, it isn’t a matter of me not being able to reach my position – obviously, I have – but that you do not understand HOW I reached my position. Thus, you think I am a liar because how I reached my position does not make sense to you.

    But that you can’t understand reality is not evidence that reality isn’t real.

    Bubba…

    Don’t start by being so dishonest in addressing my position.

    What is dishonest? That you don’t understand how I got to my position? But obviously, you don’t. That you called me a liar rather than say, simply, “Huh, I don’t understand how anyone could get there…” obviously, you did. What is dishonest? That I’m not ignoring reality and saying, “Yeah, Bubba, you’re right, I lied…”? Is that the only answer that will satisfy you? One that denies reality?

    Sorry, can’t do that.

    I can explain it TO you, but I can’t understand it FOR you. That’s up to you. Me pointing out reality is not being dishonest.

    ~Dan

  94. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    you mention six teachings from the Bible that supposedly point to different, contradictory answers to the question of salvation.

    To be clear: I pointed to six examples that COULD BE TAKEN to be contradictory. On the face of them, if someone were to pick any one out by itself, it could be taken as contradictory to the others. I don’t believe there are contradictory messages over all, just one: We are saved by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus.

    Bubba…

    We’ve discussed this encounter numerous times, going as far back as nearly five years ago, when I pointed out three salient facts that all three synoptic accounts mention, ALL of which undercut the conclusion

    And I AGREE that, looking at all texts – and even this text in further examination – we need not come to the conclusion that these are contradictory. Indeed, I believe they all point to ONE message: Salvation by Grace through faith in Jesus.

    TO that message, you appear to want to add, “BUT, not “grace alone!” we also need to add a blood sacrifice as a secondary – PRIMARY over grace!- point…”

    Bubba…

    The contents of that good news is what we’re arguing.

    Indeed, Jesus sent his disciples out preaching the good news. Interestingly, the Gospels never say specifically WHAT that good news message was. A couple of points, here…

    Presumably, it was something that was specifically good news for the poor and marginalized. When John the Baptist sent his followers to ask Jesus about it, Jesus said, “Go tell John that the sick and marginalized are being healed, tell him that good news is being preached TO THE POOR…” and, as you know, when Jesus began his ministry, he said “For God has sent me to preach good news TO THE POOR…”

    Secondly, since Jesus sent his disciples out to preach the good news WHILE Jesus was still here, we HAVE to conclude that this Good News did NOT include the line, “and Jesus died as a blood sacrifice to pay for your sins to an angry God…” Since Jesus hadn’t died, how could he have preached that? Beyond that, there is zero evidence in the Gospels that this was the message.

    Instead, what we have are messages like the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus speaks of the Way – of love of neighbor, love of enemy, turning the other cheek, overcoming evil with good, that the poor are blessed and the hungry will be filled, or living a non-wrongfully-judgmental life… what we can now easily identify as a Gospel of Salvation by GRACE, through faith in Jesus (ie, not mere assent that Jesus lived, died and raised again, but faith in Jesus and the WAY that he taught… this Way of love, forgiveness and grace…)

    So, given that Jesus disciples could not have been including the PS theory of atonement or of Jesus’ blood sacrifice for sins, we can reasonably assume that this was not an essential part of the Gospel they preached…

    Can we not?

    Is it not possible (likely) that the more biblically and rationally correct way of understanding those texts about our justification by Jesus’ blood sacrifice to “pay” for our sins in a metaphorical sense? That it isn’t some separate SECOND step of salvation, but that it is all tied up in the Gospel of God’s Grace, through faith in Jesus?

    As often asked: HOW does a literal Jesus’ paying for a sin “debt” with literal blood even make sense? Does Jesus literally hand over to God a given amount of his blood and, at that point, God can finally sigh and say, “Phew, because I have your blood paying for their sin debt, NOW I can forgive them by grace…”?

    I just don’t see how you can make any sense of that literally…

    ~Dan

  95. your arguments tire me out…have you saved each other yet, from the “wrongs” of your beliefs? if i could throw a wrench in i would just say that to forget in all of this that there is a Trinity, and my faith is nothing without all Three, if you wanted to “know” the real meaning of the scripture it is simple, listen to the Holy Spirit and follow Him, He is God also, just as Christ is, just as Jehovah is

    apparently you have all argued for a very long time about this same or similar element of faith, if you haven’t changed each other’s minds by now or improved on their life what good has it done the Kingdom? Jesus couldn’t stand the Pharisees and Sadducees and their constant bickering over this or that, He wanted them out doing the work of God

    the ultimate goal is to bring the fold back to God, and He gave us all of Himself to do it, your bickering only profits yourself, it does nothing to lift up God

    i speak to you as the voice of a woman, once a child who was “physically” betrayed (yes it hurt very much and there are lasting repercussions 30 years later) and “spiritually” betrayed (claiming that what happened was okay, and God said i had to obey, and that i didn’t love if i didn’t), from all the workings spiritual and physical of those encounters, came a faith rooted in the undeniable fact that God is love and doesn’t want anyone using His word to edify themselves

    its my opinion that your arguments are no longer about Him, but about yourself

  96. Crystal, I appreciate the input: I certainly hope that it’s become all about myself in these disagreements — what I’ve tried to do is follow, e.g., Paul’s example in preaching Christ crucified — but it’s probably true that the diminishing utility of these arguments is past the point that it’s worth continuing.

    Dan, I might just say these few things briefly.

    You write, “Interestingly, the Gospels never say specifically WHAT that good news message was,” but I think it’s just as interesting that each book spends almost half its text focusing on Jesus’ last week, as if something uniquely important took place in (as John reported) what Jesus called His “hour.”

    You write “there is zero evidence in the Gospels that this was the message,” that Christ died for our sins, but setting aside your misstatement about an angry God, that claim simply isn’t true.

    In Matthew, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper telling His closest followers that His blood was about to be shed for the forgiveness of sins (26:28). In Mark, Jesus claims to have come to give His life as a ransom for many (10:45). In Luke, immediately after Peter recognizes that Jesus is the Christ, He teaches that He “must” suffer and be killed (9:21-22). And in John, the Apostle records the Baptist declaring that Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (1:29).

    I find it interesting that your summary of the Sermon on the Mount omits so much that is about our relationship with God — our praying to Him, our trusting in Him — and so much about Christ’s self-awareness of His central role in all existence, that we’re blessed if we’re persecuted specifically for His sake and that He is the supreme judge at the end of history. But just because you like and understand (parts of) the sermon, it simply doesn’t follow that it’s central to the Gospel, that the sermon is “what we can now easily identify as a Gospel of Salvation by GRACE, through faith in Jesus (ie, not mere assent that Jesus lived, died and raised again, but faith in Jesus and the WAY that he taught… this Way of love, forgiveness and grace…).”

    It’s amazing how quickly you can add Jesus’ “Way” to the Gospel of “GRACE” and it doesn’t bother you at all, even though your doing so *IS* quite close to teaching salvation by works. You find it easier to add (some of) what Jesus taught us to do than “adding” what Jesus did for us on the cross.

    “As often asked: HOW does a literal Jesus’ paying for a sin ‘debt’ with literal blood even make sense?”

    As I’ve often tried to answer (see yesterday, 8:22 am), that imagery and all the other images “point to the claim that Christ’s death is what accomplished our salvation.”

    You’re invoking what is to you the least pleasant imagery, not merely to insist that it’s imagery (it is), but to deny the literal meaning behind that imagery, that Jesus died in our place and that His doing so was somehow necessary for our forgiveness.

    Because this confounds and even repulses you, and because you insist on a Way of Enlightenment where we’re not asked to trust God’s revelation beyond what we ourselves can see, you focus on what you DO like in the Gospels to the exclusion of what challenges you — and what challenges you is the cross.

    In I Corinthians 1, Paul writes, “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1:18)

    “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1:22-24)

    We too preach Christ crucified, and you clearly think it’s folly — and probably worse, that it’s barbaric. For that reason among others, it’s really, really hard to hope that you’re among those who are called and are being saved, as opposed to those who demand wisdom (or Enlightenment) and are perishing.

  97. paynehollow says:

    Bubba, I too, preach Christ crucified, as an acting out of God’s grace by literally pouring out his life in a sacrificial manner – in his coming, his life, his teaching, his death and his resurrection. Not simply his death.

    Crystal, thanks for something to consider. For my part, I have no problem with disagreement. It is to be expected, we are all fallen humanity with an imperfect understanding. I get this and know that, therefore, we WILL have misunderstandings.

    I just happen to think that, for the sake of the Gospel of grace, that we understand that disagreements of opinion are not equal to “lies” or to say that one “side” is of the devil and one side “speaks for God…”

    To be honest, I’m not clear on how to do that with a smile and love and NOT keep going back and forth, apparently never getting much of anywhere. Maybe it’s just that this format is not the ideal place for such conversations, maybe in person with people you actually know is the only way for such a conversation to make sense. I don’t know.

    But I do think that there isn’t a whole lot of point in continuing here. I will just say I love each of you with the love of Christ. May our disagreements not interfere with the Way of Christ in our lives or in our witness.

    I suspect that the more we can disagree with an obvious and abundant love for the Other, the less repulsive such disagreements can be to witness.

    Happy and blessed new year, all.

    ~Dan

  98. “Bubba, I too, preach Christ crucified, as an acting out of God’s grace by literally pouring out his life in a sacrificial manner…”

    How does one “literally” pour out one’s life? Is it in a jug? Where does it go, down a drain?

    I may come across as snarky for pointing this line out, but I would think that, after a person has written so much about how he doesn’t understand how we can “literally” believe that Christ’s death caused our salvation, and after he has made this question of literalism so important to his denial that we’re saved through Christ’s death, he would not so quickly and so obviously use the word incorrectly.

  99. might i just end this by saying God bless us all on our journey to the center of faith and may we all come out in victory at the reaping, at which time our questions probably won’t even be remembered but surely will be answered

  100. Something occurred to me whilst trying to keep up here.

    Dan said:

    “You have said, as you know, that I am a liar because I “couldn’t have” reached my positions in the way I have told you. AND YET, in the real world, I did. Therefore, it isn’t a matter of me not being able to reach my position – obviously, I have – but that you do not understand HOW I reached my position. Thus, you think I am a liar because how I reached my position does not make sense to you.”

    First, I’m not sure if it was Bubba’s position that you lied, Dan. But I’m more than happy to cop to doing so. The reasons are many, but the sheer ludicrous of saying that you took the road from Chicago to New York but ended up in L.A., which is analogous to your “conversion”, is enough in itself. I point to seven pro-homosexual scholars who each ended up in New York, including one who is a lesbian, but YOU end up on the West Coast. It’s the same place all the activists who think they can use Scripture to justify their wickedness ended up as well. Imagine that.

    But here’s what occurred to me. When you insist that your explanation for how you got from what you think was conservatism to your present immoral position, you claim you are telling the truth. But as your every attempt to convince only confirms the conclusions all previous attempts provoke, Bubba’s latest comments draws attention to another common practice of yours that serves to further cement our conclusions. Bubba spoke of your leaving out parts of passages that change the nature of the point your offering hoped to get across. It has been shown to you that it is far more common for Scripture to mention Christ’s sacrifice when it speaks of salvation by grace. You always leave that out as if it is superfluous or an aside or unnecessary.

    My guess is that you do this as well with your autobiography. While what you say about your conversion may be true (I will only go as far as to say “may be true”), I’m betting, based on how you argue in general and how you’ve argued this point of salvation in particular, that you leave out aspects of your “journey” that would expose more than “prayerful study” that got you to L.A.

    So maybe “lie” wasn’t accurate after all, though to say what you’ve provided is truth cannot be either. What is certain is that Scripture did not get you to your position.

  101. http://www.breitbart.com/system/wire/1f3f01b5-988a-4d03-9fd7-19eca73ea060

    The highest Italian court just overturned a man’s conviction for having sex with an 11-year-old because the verdict did not sufficiently consider “the ‘consensus’, the existence of an amorous relationship, the absence of physical force, the girl’s feelings of love”.

    Well, well, well. Apparently our world’s march to Sodom continues in haste.

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