Eavesdropping in on social media conversations

socmed 1

socmed 2

escalated quickly

We all come across conversations while scanning our social media.  Much of which can make us shake our heads in somewhat disbelief.  The above is from a semi-ongoing discussion on Facebook.  At first blush, I see a few things going on and have some questions.

  • Was the Occupy movement started for the right reasons?  Was it really even a protest?
  • Anyone familiar with the actual activities of a large population of the Occupy movement would know it wasn’t just a few bad apples amongst an otherwise gentile crowd.  I’ve kept dozens of links to news articles describing widespread violence, vandalism, assaults on one another, assaults on police, widespread drug use, and much more.
  • Is it unChristian do declare something is a lie, if it is untrue enough as to not be simply a mistake, or say some idea is nonsense? It sounds more like an attempt to divert and shut down a conversation than an assessment.
  • Considering that the bible condemns all kinds of behaviors and Jesus himself called the Pharisees a ‘brood of vipers’ and ‘white washed sepluchres’, both scathing insults of the day, can making moral judgments on behaviors be considered hypocritical?
  • Isn’t saying “it must suck to be you” ridicule, and suggesting the other person do as they do i.e., the person covered by black act more like the person covered by pink, guilty of their own condemnation — another fault they charged — and thus hypocritical?  Especially if the person covered by pink claimed to be an ordained minister and says Jesus is okay with abortion, same-sex marriage, and spirtualism.

What are your thoughts on the discussion thus far?

Comments

  1. (Q1) Was the Occupy movement started for the right reasons?

    Yes and No. I fully understand the anger. Wall St. was bailed out of a jam they helped
    create and folks on Main St. were left to suffer. I understand the anger. Not saying I necessarily agree with that characterization – since people on Main St. must take some of the blame as well – but that’s what many people believed. This resulted in a protest but one without a clear mission or goal.

    (Q2) Is it unChristian do declare something is a lie, if it is untrue enough as to not be simply a mistake, or say some idea is nonsense? It sounds more like an attempt to divert and shut down a conversation than an assessment.

    No, it’s not. Christians have a responsibility to perpetuate righteous behavior and denounce unrighteous behavior.

    (Q3) Considering that the bible condemns all kinds of behaviors and Jesus himself called the Pharisees a ‘brood of vipers’ and ‘white washed sepluchres’, both scathing insults of the day, can making moral judgments on behaviors be considered hypocritical?

    Yes, if the person making moral judgments is unwilling to admit their own sins and faults. However, in this case, the person making moral judgements is fully aware of his own sins and faults and freely admits them. How do I know? Because those comments in black are my own.

    (Q4) Isn’t saying “it must suck to be you” ridicule, and suggesting the other person do as they do i.e., the person covered by black act more like the person covered by pink, guilty of their own condemnation — another fault they charged — and thus hypocritical? Especially if the person covered by pink claimed to be an ordained minister and says Jesus is okay with abortion, same-sex marriage, and spirtualism.

    Yes. This person claims to be an ordained minister and yet believes abortion, same-sex marriage, and spiritualism are totally consistent with the Christian faith. None of them are. She cannot support her pagan views with Scripture so she resorts to petty insults.

  2. paynehollow says:

    If I may try a few of your questions:

    Was the Occupy movement started for the right reasons? Was it really even a protest?

    1. There is some genuine concern for the problems of a hyperconsumptive society, a world with large differences between the haves and have nots. I believe this concern is very genuine – I know it is in some of the people, because I know some of the people involved, at least in Louisville.

    They ask genuine, heart-felt questions like, “Is it right that some people are spending money on two and three very expensive houses when there are others who don’t have a home at all and who are living in desperate poverty?”

    Many of us share this concern. We may not have all the answers as to how to set it right, but it is a very real concern.

    2. In the sense that these gatherings are generally to raise concerns about these problems, then sure, it’s a protest.

    3. But, in my experience, for what it’s worth – and with the stories I’ve heard and read, there are many young, inexperienced and disorganized people involved (and, I’m sure, some more organized ones, as well). Add to that, I’ve seen many of our dear friends with mental challenges drawn to these events.

    On top of that, there have clearly been hangers on and ne’er-do-wells to be attracted to these events, trying to take advantage of people. At least some of the rapes/attempted rapes have been the result not of “protesting liberals” but known sex offenders setting up camp amongst potential targets.

    4. As a result, these Occupy meetings have been – it seems to me – rambling, disorganized and ineffective. They are protests, but not very good ones, in at least my opinion, for what it’s worth.

    Organized, professional community organizers tend to emphasize the importance of having specific, attainable, understandable goals with a clear, workable plan to reach the desired goals. These have not been that. It seems to me.

    And even to the degree they’ve raised awareness of some serious (if rambling, disjointed) concerns, the benefits of that awareness is hampered by the way they have lost credibility for their cause(s).

    ~Dan

  3. paynehollow says:

    You asked…

    Jesus himself called the Pharisees a ‘brood of vipers’ and ‘white washed sepluchres’, both scathing insults of the day, can making moral judgments on behaviors be considered hypocritical?

    It should be noted that Jesus saved his harsh criticisms for the religious pharisees: hypocrites and oppressors. Jesus never once harshly condemned “regular” sinners – prostitutes, heavy drinkers, adulterers, etc. In fact, Jesus literally told the adulterous woman, “Neither do I condemn you…” AFTER saving her from the oppressive, harsh religionists.

    Paul emphasizes this reality by saying, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?”

    So, I think there is room for strong words towards religious hypocrites, especially if their behaviors are haughty, arrogant, oppressive or harmful. But we have no biblical model for doing so for those outside religion… EXCEPT in the case of those causing harm, especially harm to the poor, children, foreigners and otherwise marginalized.

    So, making “moral judgments” and raising concerns is not a problem as far as I’m concerned, but expressing those concerns in a harshly judgmental way, it seems to me, should be saved for those causing harm or otherwise oppressing folks, and for religious hypocrites.

    My opinion, for what it’s worth.

    ~Dan

  4. Dan just can’t let go of his false but routinely corrected misinterpretations of Scripture. He’s worse than any Pharisee.

  5. brycelancaster says:

    I don’t know enough about the Occupy movement to form legitimate opinions on it so I’m not going to get into that.

    Likewise, I don’t know enough about theology to debate what the bible tells us to do, (although being surrounded by people who follow the bible in very different ways from each other, I would say that everybody’s going to find what they’re looking for in it. Those who have a hard line view of the bible insist that it’s not fluid or up to interpretation, but ironically that’s their interpretation of it. Just two cents from someone currently unaffiliated with any religion in particular)

    Although after viewing that conversation, the guy in black seemed pretty rude. Is it moral to try to belittle others for not agreeing with your personal ethical standpoints? It seemed that he was the initial aggressor who simply commented to disagree and voice his opinion in a rather rude way. The person in pink should have handled it better, but she was on the defensive from the beginning. That doesn’t seem a very productive way to spread what you think is right.

    For example, I believe that those who oppose my ability to marry my boyfriend are immoral. On discussions with topics such as, “Am I a bigot for opposing same-sex marriage”, I feel welcome to chip in with my opinion. When I see my old church leader posting an anti-equality message on his Facebook feed, even though I believe it’s hypocritical and immoral of him to have that opinion, I don’t comment because I know that my personal values and ethics aren’t appreciated in that particular circumstances and I respect that.

    Making moral judgements isn’t hypocritical, everybody does it and everybody has a right to do so. Is voicing your judgements to the people your judging okay? I think it’s disrespectful when they aren’t asking for your opinion, so no. It’s not okay in my book. (And this is just on an individual level. We all have a right to vote with our moral judgements, but in situations such as the Facebook comment above, there’s no reason to attack another person because you don’t morally agree with them. If they ask for your opinion, than of course it’s okay to give it. Otherwise, simply commenting with the intent to belittle and offend doesn’t accomplish anything but sate your own superiority).

  6. (although being surrounded by people who follow the bible in very different ways from each other, I would say that everybody’s going to find what they’re looking for in it. Those who have a hard line view of the bible insist that it’s not fluid or up to interpretation, but ironically that’s their interpretation of it. Just two cents from someone currently unaffiliated with any religion in particular)

    By your own admission you don’t know enough about theology to form an opinion – though that’s precisely what you just did. But let’s educate you:

    This comes from Eternity Matters and I use it often to refute arguments such as yours.

    Facts:

    (i) 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.

    (ii)100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.

    (iii) 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).

    (iv) 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions of any kind.

    Now, bryce, tell me more about how the Bible’s view of homosexuality is open to interpretation…

    Although after viewing that conversation, the guy in black seemed pretty rude.

    And calling someone a “bible pushing hypocrite” is what? Endearment. Ugh. The bias is utterly nauseating.

    Is it moral to try to belittle others for not agreeing with your personal ethical standpoints? It seemed that he was the initial aggressor who simply commented to disagree and voice his opinion in a rather rude way. The person in pink should have handled it better, but she was on the defensive from the beginning. That doesn’t seem a very productive way to spread what you think is right.

    No, she wasn’t. I was. This is a carry-over from a conversation that began two-weeks ago and for brevity’s sake we only included the most recent remarks. She referred to me as hateful for opposing same-sex marriage.

    For example, I believe that those who oppose my ability to marry my boyfriend are immoral.

    I don’t oppose your ability to do anything. How do you oppose an ability, exactly?

    Regardless, I don’t oppose the right of two homosexuals to enter a legal contract with one another. But I don’t want it called marriage because it’s not marriage – and we’ve discussed this already.

    On discussions with topics such as, “Am I a bigot for opposing same-sex marriage”, I feel welcome to chip in with my opinion. When I see my old church leader posting an anti-equality message on his Facebook feed, even though I believe it’s hypocritical and immoral of him to have that opinion, I don’t comment because I know that my personal values and ethics aren’t appreciated in that particular circumstances and I respect that.

    …but in situations such as the Facebook comment above, there’s no reason to attack another person because you don’t morally agree with them. If they ask for your opinion, than of course it’s okay to give it. Otherwise, simply commenting with the intent to belittle and offend doesn’t accomplish anything but sate your own superiority).

    Like I said, she started it with me several weeks ago. Secondly, I resent people who try to justify sin through Scriptural abuse. There is no biblical argument for homosexuality, abortion, or spiritualism. None!

  7. brycelancaster says:

    https://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php
    http://www.upworthy.com/every-biblical-argument-against-being-gay-debunked-biblically
    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/02/opinion/la-oe-pearce-christianity-gay-marriage-20121202
    I found three pretty convincing biblical arguments after a five minute google search. Unfortunately for you, not everything is as cut and dry as you make it appear to be. I’d really prefer not to get into that discussion right now, as it’s an entirely different topic all together, but I would like to say that there are many different interpretations of the bible. (Especially if you don’t take it literally, but figuratively instead).

  8. bryce,

    Those arguments are only convincing to people who don’t understand the Bible. Of the 31,173 Bible verses, not one endorses homosexual behavior or treats it as morally benign. And figurative? Um, okay. So, I guess there’s a deeper meaning to the phrase: “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Clearly.

    Face it, bryce, homosexual behavior is indefensible.

  9. paynehollow says:

    Of course, there are many folk who have spent a lifetime studying the Bible, seriously seeking God’s will and striving to do the right thing, lovingly, prayerfully and by God’s grace, seeking to walk in the steps of Jesus, who HAVE found the Bible to be clearly on the side of being supportive of gay rights. In fact, many of us started out believing the traditional views about homosexuality taught by conservatives and were led AWAY from that view by studying the Bible.

    Clearly, Bryce is correct that there are many people who love God and the Bible who do not find the traditional view to be biblically correct. Sure, you can write off all those years of studies (some by great biblical scholars) as “they just don’t understand the Bible,” but I think a more mature and fair assessment is, “Well, we just disagree about how best to interpret the Bible on this point…” At least, until you have spent decades as a Bible scholar/student, that would seem to be the more humble approach to take.

    That’s all I have to say about that.

    ~Dan

  10. paynehollow says:

    No, John. We just interpret it differently. I am not saying the text that says, for instance, “men shall not lie with men. if they do, kill them” means that the text isn’t condemning some sort of male-male sex. We just disagree about how best to interpret the text:

    IS this some sort of universal rule against any and all gay sex?

    We disagree on the answer on how best to interpret that.

    IS this some sort of rule given specifically to Israel and not a condemnation of all gay sex, but of some sort of specific pagan practices.

    We disagree on the answer on how best to interpret that.

    No one in this example is saying, “When this text condemns ‘men who lay with men’ it really means the text is saying ‘it’s GOOD for me to lay with men.'”

    We are both saying, “The text that says, …’IF they do, kill them’ is not in any way a universal command from God.” and we disagree on whether the “men who lay with men” is a universal command against all gay behavior. You interpret it to be, Yes, I interpret it to be NO. But in both cases, we’re talking about taking what the text literally says and how best to interpret it, NOT saying it means the opposite.

    Just to clarify a real world fact and a mistake you made in your comment.

    ~Dan

  11. paynehollow says:

    No, John. I’m just pointing out that when someone reads a text that says “men shall not lie with men. if they do, kill them” and tells another fella who interprets that to mean, “Hey, we should kill the gays…” that No, that does NOT mean that we should kill gay folk…

    When someone interprets that text that way, they are NOT saying that the text means the opposite of what it says, they are just doing the job of interpretation. The text is not a wood rule book to just lift rules and obey. That would be wrong, immoral and unbiblical.

    When you say, John, that “the text that says men should not cut the hair on the side of their heads does not mean that we, today, have to let our hair grow on the sides of our head…” are you saying the text means the opposite of what it says? Or are you just giving an interpretation of the text, and rightly so?

    It would be wrong to say, “John is saying the text means the opposite of what it says” when you do that. You are just striving to rightly interpret the text, rightly understand the text. Just like we are doing in the real world.

    Do you see how, in the real world, you and we are doing the same thing? Interpreting/striving to understand correctly?

    ~Dan

  12. paynehollow says:

    Are you desperately trying to make the text say something it doesn’t when you say we would be wrong to kill guys who have sex today?

    That is literally what the text says (or it is, if you think that “men who lay with men” is a general condemnation of all gay sex, which not everyone believes), but you almost certainly would not only disagree with that interpretation, but you would almost certainly call someone who killed “men who laid with men” immoral and monstrous (at least, I hope you would).

    John, the point is, I and folk like me are simply striving our best do to the Right, to follow God, to walk in the steps of Jesus and to take the Bible seriously as are people like you, dear brother.

    In that process, we all will have disagreements sometimes on how best to interpret texts. That does not make one or the other of us immoral or suggest we’re trying to twist the Bible. It just means we’re fellow humans who are, at worst, sincerely mistaken in our efforts by God’s grace to follow Jesus, our Lord.

    Factually speaking.

    ~Dan

  13. brycelancaster says:

    Dan has it right. When we look at the passage that says not to eat shellfish, we obviously interpret that as being a cultural thing. When we look at all the passages talking about women being property, we interpret that figuratively. When we look at the passage talking about hair growing on the side of your head, we interpret that differently than the literal translation.

    It’s not claiming that they mean the opposite of what they say. It’s claiming that those passages don’t apply to our modern day society. We all pick and choose which ones apply to us.

    And Terrance, did you actually read or listen to any of the links I posted? You literally brushed all those arguments off with, “Those are made by people who don’t understand the bible”. Let’s take a walkthrough and see how much YOU understand the bible as you counter just ONE of those arguments.

    “In the first chapter of his letter to the Romans, Paul talks about a group of people who “knew God” but “neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him.” Their hearts are darkened, and they begin worshipping idols. As a direct result of this idol worship, they begin engaging in homosexual behaviors (which they previously were not doing). Ultimately, they become depraved and God gives them over to a whole list of sins.

    Most Traditionalists read this passage as referring to all humanity, with the idol worship used as a metaphor rather than a specific event. In their reading of the passage, Paul is essentially saying, “People (in general) have turned from God (represented by idol worship) and as a result, have become sinful (including homosexuality).” I don’t think the language of the passage quite supports that interpretation, however.

    Paul begins by talking about all of humanity, to be sure, but he quickly moves to a specific example as a demonstration of humanity’s fallenness. The specific example is one his Roman readers would be immediately familiar with: the fertility cults in Rome, where men and women engaged in sexual orgies that included both heterosexual and homosexual sex rites. Remember, Paul wants a vivid example of fallenness for his audience, something they can all nod their heads in agreement with, because he’s getting ready to turn the tables on them in the next chapter. In ancient Rome, “homosexuality” as a general phenomenon wouldn’t have been the vivid illustration he was looking for (unlike today, when many conservative pastors use it for just that). [3] Roman fertility cults, however, were a great example that served his purpose nicely and required no explanation to his readers.

    Notice that Paul talks about homosexuality in connection with the fertility rites (look for the “therefore” in v. 24 and “because of this” in v. 26), and not in the list of sins at the end of the passage. This is our clue that Paul isn’t bringing it up as “another example of sinful behavior.” Why, then, does Paul make such a big deal about the homosexual aspect of these rites? For two reasons: 1) to highlight the “unnaturalness” of turning from God; and 2) to describe the rites in the most unappealing way he can think of, to unify everyone in saying, “Yes! How disgustingly immoral!”

    Now let there be no mistake; Paul has nothing positive to say about homosexuality in this passage. Clearly he views it as a bad thing, or at the very least, a “shameful” and “unnatural” thing. We must recognize that. At the same time, we must also recognize that homosexuality is not the point of this passage, even though some Christians today try to use it that way. It’s mentioned for a specific reason in connection with specific acts that were familiar to his audience.

    So this passage speaks negatively of homosexual behavior, but on the other hand, it does so in a context which is clearly sinful. Paul does say homosexuality is “shameful” and “unnatural,” but he says the same thing (using the same Greek words) about men with long hair in 1 Corinthians 11:14, and we generally consider that to be cultural. Is this a prohibition for all time, or is it a matter of context, like with the tax collectors? Based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s tough to say. I wouldn’t put too much faith in either reading without something a lot more concrete to back it up.”

    To claim that it’s “indefensible” is utterly simplistic. You don’t have to agree with the interpretation, but to claim it’s any less valid than your interpretation of not eating shellfish is pretty biased.

    • So bryce, you also take the passages saying not to murder or sacrifice children or not to have sex with animals as cultural or figurative too, right?

      Dont get your theology frkm dan just because you like the sound of what he’s saying.

  14. brycelancaster says:

    Also, I’d love to see your statistic for the 31,000 passages that mention homosexual behavior. This statistic I found only mentioned six, (another one mentioned ten, and another mentioned around fifteen. Still, all those are very different than 31,000)

    Oh, also, can you explain how all of these are indefensible?

    http://www.otkenyer.hu/truluck/six_bible_passages.html

    You can interpret the bible any way you want, but to claim that the dozens of arguments represented in the four links I’ve posted are all completely invalid is absurd.

  15. Also, I’d love to see your statistic for the 31,000 passages that mention homosexual behavior. This statistic I found only mentioned six, (another one mentioned ten, and another mentioned around fifteen. Still, all those are very different than 31,000)

    Of the 31,173 verses in the Bible, NOT ONE treats homosexual behavior as acceptable or morally benign. Learn to read.

  16. Most Traditionalists [that would be scholars] read this passage as referring to all humanity, with the idol worship used as a metaphor rather than a specific event. In their reading of the passage, Paul is essentially saying, “People (in general) have turned from God (represented by idol worship) and as a result, have become sinful (including homosexuality).”

    I don’t think the language of the passage quite supports that interpretation, however.

    Such a shocker…

    Paul begins by talking about all of humanity, to be sure, but he quickly moves to a specific example as a demonstration of humanity’s fallenness. blah, blah, balh

    Okay. Does Paul refer to homosexuality in a benign way? Does Paul endorse the behavior? No? Oh, okay.

    Now let there be no mistake; Paul has nothing positive to say about homosexuality in this passage. Clearly he views it as a bad thing, or at the very least, a “shameful” and “unnatural” thing.

    Yes, I know.

    We must recognize that. At the same time, we must also recognize that homosexuality is not the point of this passage, even though some Christians today try to use it that way. It’s mentioned for a specific reason in connection with specific acts that were familiar to his audience.

    And the point of this is – what, exactly? Nothing? You’re just scrambling for an argument? Oh, okay.

    So this passage speaks negatively of homosexual behavior…

    Really? Wow.

    To claim that it’s “indefensible” is utterly simplistic.

    Okay. Do you know what I took from that mess you posted. Can you guess? Paul has nothing positive to say about homosexuality in this passage. Clearly he views it as a bad thing, or at the very least, a “shameful” and “unnatural” thing.

    …but to claim it’s any less valid than your interpretation of not eating shellfish is pretty biased.

    Can you guess what my interpretation is, bryce? Paul has nothing positive to say about homosexuality in this passage. Clearly he views it as a bad thing, or at the very least, a “shameful” and “unnatural” thing.

    Anyway.

  17. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    Of the 31,173 verses in the Bible, NOT ONE treats homosexual behavior as acceptable or morally benign. Learn to read.

    Of the 31,173 verses in the Bible, NOT ONE treats men cutting the hair on the side of their as acceptable or morally benign.

    Of the 31,173 verses in the Bible, NOT ONE treats polygamy as unacceptable or morally bad.

    The thing is, Terrance, things are right or wrong NOT because there is a line in the Bible that we find to endorse (or oppose) those things. They are right or wrong because they either promote the good, noble, loving, healthy, etc, or because they destroy, denigrate, cause harm, oppress, tear down.

    The question we need to ask ourselves is not “Is there a line in the Bible that tells me what to do when…” but, “Is this a morally good thing to do? Is it positive, healthy, promote love, goodwill, peace and understanding?”

    Again, people can and will disagree about how best to interpret these passages and the Bible as a whole. But disagreement does not equal disdain or a lack of understanding. You know what disagreement DOES indicate? Disagreement between two fallible humans (or multiple fallible humans). That’s all.

    So, the question then becomes, “How can I disagree with another in a way that is healthy, promotes love, goodwill, harmony, peace and kindness?” How shall we do this? By denigrating and demonizing people when we disagree with them? That does not seem a moral option.

    ~Dan

  18. Of the 31,173 verses in the Bible, NOT ONE treats men cutting the hair on the side of their as acceptable or morally benign.

    Paul was saying that one should adhere to cultural gender identifies. And why are you bringing this up?

    Of the 31,173 verses in the Bible, NOT ONE treats polygamy as unacceptable or morally bad.

    And you think polygamy and homosexuality are moral equals? Um, no.

    And I’m not about to take character advice from the same guy who said John’s kids should feel ashamed for having a “coward as a father.” You’re a hypocrite, Trabue.

  19. paynehollow says:

    The point, Terrance, is that not everyone treats the Bible the same way you do. Not everyone interprets passages the way you do. That we treat passages differently is not to say that you or I or anyone else are not taking the Bible seriously, or that we’re not striving to do Good or live Right. It just means we disagree.

    The point is, as I’ve already noted, that a behavior is not good or bad because we find a line in the Bible that says it’s good or bad. It’s wrong or bad because it causes harm, it oppresses, it causes unwarranted pain, etc. It’s Right or Good if it promotes health and love and kindness, etc.

    The point is that simply because you read a text and interpret it to mean one thing does not mean people of good will may not disagree with your interpretation or your opinions about these things.

    Now that I’ve repeated myself, do you understand the point I’m making?

    ~Dan

  20. paynehollow says:

    About hair cutting rules, you responded…

    Paul was saying that one should adhere to cultural gender identifies. And why are you bringing this up?

    I bring it up because the Bible in the OT clearly tells us about God COMMANDING God’s male followers to NOT cut the hair on the side of their head. It’s a command from God. There are ZERO verses changing that command, there are ZERO verses where God says, “changed my mind, you can cut the hair on the side of your heads now, guys…” But, even though there are zero verses saying that you can cut your hair without breaking God’s command, you still do it. And why do you do it? Because you do not think that command applies to you. And rightly so.

    I repeat: Behaviors are not right or wrong because we find them commended/condemned in the Bible. They are right or wrong because they are either healthy, loving, promote peace and well-being, etc or because they harm, condemn, oppress, etc.

    See? You agree with me, you almost certainly DO cut the hair on the side of your head, breaking God’s commandment (IF it were a commandment that you should follow because the Bible has it as a rule). The point is, even you don’t think that things are right or wrong simply because we find a line in the Bible telling us so. We have to use our head and our innate morality and God-given reasoning to work these things out.

    ~Dan

  21. The point, Terrance, is that not everyone treats the Bible the same way you do.

    Um, okaaay. And that bears on this discussion – how? My argument is that homosexuality cannot be defended with Scripture, and it can’t. That’s simply a fact, Dan.

    Didn’t bother addressing your own hypocrisy, ‘eh Dan?

  22. I bring it up because the Bible in the OT clearly tells us about God COMMANDING God’s male followers to NOT cut the hair on the side of their head. It’s a command from God. There are ZERO verses changing that command, there are ZERO verses where God says, “changed my mind, you can cut the hair on the side of your heads now, guys…” But, even though there are zero verses saying that you can cut your hair without breaking God’s command, you still do it. And why do you do it? Because you do not think that command applies to you. And rightly so.

    It doesn’t, Dan, because it only applied to that particular culture – which is quite obvious from Paul’s writings. Homosexuality isn’t merely a cultural prohibition, Trabue.

  23. brycelancaster says:

    Hah, you say it’s obvious from Pauls writings that it’s only a culture thing. Would it also be safe to say that oppressing women was only a culture thing? What makes homosexuality so different?

    Do you see the hypocrisy that comes from you picking and choosing which commandments were cultural and which commandments were literal?

  24. brycelancaster says:

    And then you have the audacity to say that your’s is the only true interoperation of the church and all others are “indefensible”. Like Dan said, there’s no biblical arguments for cutting hair at the sides of your hair. Out of all the passages, not one condones that practice. But we view as a cultural thing, so it’s okay.

    You’re free to interpret the bible anyway you want, but others see the reality that homosexual relationships are just as pure in God’s eyes as heterosexual relationships, and laws written thousands of years ago don’t give an accurate portrayal of the realities of modern life.

  25. Do you see the hypocrisy that comes from you picking and choosing which commandments were cultural and which commandments were literal?

    No, I don’t. Why? Because of the writings themselves. It spells it right out.

    And then you have the audacity to say that your’s is the only true interoperation [sic] of the church and all others are “indefensible”. [sic]

    Show me a single passage in which homosexuality is treated as morally benign. Got one?

    Like Dan said,,,

    Dan is a heretic.

    … there’s no biblical arguments for cutting hair at the sides of your hair.

    Yes, there is. I explained this already. It was a cultural prohibition, not a general one.

    You’re free to interpret the bible anyway you want..

    Oh, gee, thanks, bryce!

    …but others see the reality that homosexual relationships are just as pure .in God’s eyes as heterosexual relationships…

    And of course you can support this with Scripture, I assume.

    …and laws written thousands of years ago don’t give an accurate portrayal of the realities of modern life.

    Yep. Like laws against murder, and stuff like that.

  26. bryce,

    You can’t defend homosexuality with the Bible, but you can defend the people, the homosexuals themselves. And perhaps that’s the route you should have taken. See, I don’t reckon God would put any good man or woman in hell, whether gay or not. It’s just another sin, and we’re all guilty of sin. Belief in Christ and an understanding, an admittance of sin, is all that’s required. Whatever you’ve done has already been paid for, with Christ’s blood.

  27. brycelancaster says:

    How are laws against eating shellfish, cutting your hair, and women’s rights determined to be cultural, and homosexuality determined to be literal? You haven’t explained how you draw that distinction.

    I refuse to admit that my homosexuality is a sin because I know that God made me this way. And I assume that here is where you argue that God made some alcoholics predisposition to alcoholism, and some pedophiles predisposition to have those feelings, but the difference is that homosexual lifestyles aren’t harmful in any way. Just like eating shellfish, cutting the sides of your hair, and women’s rights aren’t harmful. THAT is where the distinction should be drawn for any true Christian.

  28. brycelancaster says:

    *Predisposed. I don’t know why I put that in present tense.

  29. paynehollow says:

    Bryce…

    You haven’t explained how you draw that distinction.

    This is the question I have repeatedly asked and never had answered:

    What is the criteria by which you can distinguish which rules found in the Bible are, in your estimation, universal and which were temporal?

    For the most part, they just ignore the question, and when they have answered it, I believe the only answer I’ve heard is, “Well, it’s just obvious…” As in, “It’s obvious that hair cut rules are temporal and specific to Israel but rules about gay sex are universal and apply to all, BUT the commandment about killing men having sex with men was also temporal…” Thus, they appeal to what is “obvious” as the criteria for rightly distinguishing universal from temporal. But when I point out that it isn’t obvious to everyone – that, for folk like me, for instance, it is “obviously” not even speaking of all gay sex, but of specific pagan ritual practices – they reject that this is not the “obvious” interpretation. Or something, it’s hard to say.

    So, the only criteria they have offered is no objective criteria, just an appeal to personal opinion. Which I’m fine with IF they would acknowledge that, but they also insist it’s NOT a personal opinion but a “fact” that it is wrong and a “fact” that their subjective interpretation is correct and the one and only “right” opinion to hold.

    Alas.

    ~Dan

  30. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    My argument is that homosexuality cannot be defended with Scripture, and it can’t. That’s simply a fact, Dan.

    “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

    Marriage commitments – commitments to love, cherish, honor, respect a beloved one is an obvious Thing that is true, noble, right, etc. Therefore, marriage is a Good thing to think on/to support, and that is true whether or not it’s between gay folk or straight.

    I JUST defended marriage (gay and straight) with Scripture, Terrance. You can no longer use the argument that it can’t be done, since factually, it can be done. I just did it.

    Similarly you would argue…

    “Men should not lie with men. If they do that, kill them.”

    If two guys get married, they would be engaging in “men lying with men,” therefore, it’s not a good thing. Although, I don’t think we should kill them, we should ignore that part of the commandment from God, as I don’t think it applies any more.

    That is an argument from Scripture, too. We both have taken Scripture, extended their meaning beyond what they said, and argued our points based on Scripture. That’s why I never dismiss your all’s contention as “unbiblical” or that “you can’t argue that from Scripture” because I know you can, just as I know I can defend my position.

    Factually speaking.

    ~Dan

  31. paynehollow says:

    Or, in short, that you disagree with my argument from Scripture does not mean that I can’t or haven’t argued from Scripture.

  32. Lots of Dan stuff to expose as the crap it is. As much as he enjoys spreading heresies, I enjoy exposing them as such.

    “Of course, there are many folk who have spent a lifetime studying the Bible, seriously seeking God’s will and striving to do the right thing, lovingly, prayerfully and by God’s grace, seeking to walk in the steps of Jesus, who HAVE found the Bible to be clearly on the side of being supportive of gay rights.”

    No such people exist, except in Dan’s fantasy world. For that to be true, there would be actual Scripture that supports anything regarding “gay” rights. That is to say, something specific in support of homosexual behaviors and the right to engage in them. One could possibly say that Scripture does indeed allow people to choose sinful behaviors, and thus they are held responsible for their rebellion against God, but I don’t think the imaginary people to whom Dan refers are saying that.

    “In fact, many of us started out believing the traditional views about homosexuality taught by conservatives and were led AWAY from that view by studying the Bible.”

    Also untrue. The “traditional” view about homosexual behavior is taught by Scripture, not conservatives. Conservatives or fundamentalists or traditionalists are people who understand the clear teaching regarding the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. That teaching is quite unambiguous. What Dan is talking about, what he is trying to pretend is true, is that there are people who are led away from the truth by a variety of means, none of which have anything to do with a true, honest and sincere study of Scripture, since nothing in Scripture can serve that purpose with a willful twisting of the meaning of words, verses or passages in Scripture. People like Dan just lie.

    “… I think a more mature and fair assessment is, “Well, we just disagree about how best to interpret the Bible on this point…””

    There’s nothing the least bit mature about that at all. What’s mature and fair is the truth, which is, that people like yourself and Bryce simply don’t like the correct interpretation of Scriptural teaching about homosexual behavior.

    “At least, until you have spent decades as a Bible scholar/student, that would seem to be the more humble approach to take.”

    No. That would be the acquiescing approach for those not convicted in the truth. I have spent decades studying the Bible, though not formally. Only a lying heretic would suggest that one needs a diploma to properly understand something so plain and unambiguous as the Biblical prohibition of homosexual behavior. There’s no mystery there. The “great Biblical scholars” do not say otherwise.

    Dan carries on with his routine lie with the following:

    “I am not saying the text that says, for instance, “men shall not lie with men. if they do, kill them” means that the text isn’t condemning some sort of male-male sex. We just disagree about how best to interpret the text:”

    As always, Dan focuses on Lev 20:13 because he isn’t honest enough to deal with the prohibition itself, which this verse is not. This verse deals with the punishment God mandated for the Hebrews in dealing with those who engage in the prohibited behavior. Dan does this so he can argue against whether or not Christians of today must adhere to this mandate to put homosexuals to death. He believes this is a clever ploy, but it is a testament to his dishonesty. He believes that if Christians balk at this law, then he can run with the dishonest suggestion that the Bible is not a rule book and/or that we cannot determine (as if it is hard) which laws apply to us now and which do not. He does this because he wants and needs Scripture to be as ambiguous so as to provide the loopholes he needs to believe the crap he likes to pretend is the result of “serious” study.

    But Lev18:22 is where the focus should be. It is the prohibition and the reason why the behavior is prohibited. It is prohibited because it is an abomination (or “detestable”). This refers to the act of a man lying with another man as a man would lie with a woman. It says this without regard for what context that behavior might take place. There is NO scenario by which homosexual behavior is NOT an abomination, nor is there any scintilla of a hint in Scripture that there exists any such scenario. Dan merely lies. What it comes down to is this: We can pretend that the prohibition is no longer in effect, but we cannot pretend that the behavior itself (which is what is prohibited without regard to any context in which it might take place) is not an abomination. Nothing whatsoever, and certainly Dan has never produced any evidence otherwise, has changed that.

    Thus, it is clear, and always has been, that Dan does not “interpret” this passage or any other involving the behavior in question.

    “No, John. I’m just pointing out that when someone reads a text that says “men shall not lie with men. if they do, kill them” and tells another fella who interprets that to mean, “Hey, we should kill the gays…” that No, that does NOT mean that we should kill gay folk…”

    No, Dan. Since no one ever says that, you’re not pointing it out. You’re playing games in order to avoid addressing the real issue, which is that God’s description of men having sex with men is an abomination. But then, you so love using hypotheticals that don’t match reality as if it helps your case. In the best spirit of gracious Christian concern, you present yourself as a jackass when you try to run that crap and insult those with whom you debate by trying to pretend its a legitimate angle to play.

    “When you say, John, that “the text that says men should not cut the hair on the side of their heads does not mean that we, today, have to let our hair grow on the sides of our head…” are you saying the text means the opposite of what it says?”

    I think I can say without too much risk that, like me, John would say that Scripture provides reasons why Christians would not have to follow rules such as how to cut our hair. And whether John would agree with me or not, I say again that you, Dan, are lying by suggesting there is no legitimate way to determine which rules apply and which don’t. Homosexual activists and enablers need such ambiguity in order for their heresies to play in Peoria.

    “Do you see how, in the real world, you and we are doing the same thing?”

    Who could see what doesn’t exist? You are without a doubt NOT doing the same thing as honest Christians are doing in “interpreting” Biblical teaching regarding sexuality. We’re acknowledging what it clearly teaches, and you’re clearly lying about what it teaches. That’s the mature and fair measure of the situation.

    “Are you desperately trying to make the text say something it doesn’t when you say we would be wrong to kill guys who have sex today?”

    No. We’re calmly telling the truth that while homosexual behavior is still an abomination and thus still prohibited for Christians, the punishment for the crime were it to have been perpetrated by any of the ancient Hebrews does not apply to Christians today.

    “The point is, as I’ve already noted, that a behavior is not good or bad because we find a line in the Bible that says it’s good or bad. It’s wrong or bad because it causes harm, it oppresses, it causes unwarranted pain, etc. It’s Right or Good if it promotes health and love and kindness, etc.”

    So all those passages where either God the Father or God the Son speaks against any given behavior do not matter if one believes those behaviors spoken against by God are, to him, moral or beneficial. Got it. “God? It ain’t up to you no more.”

    “The point is that simply because you read a text and interpret it to mean one thing does not mean people of good will may not disagree with your interpretation or your opinions about these things.

    Now that I’ve repeated myself, do you understand the point I’m making?”

    Yes. As long as you insist you’re a person “of good will”, you can have sex with farm animals and use babies for target practice. Got it.

    “I bring it up because the Bible in the OT clearly tells us about God COMMANDING God’s male followers to NOT cut the hair on the side of their head. It’s a command from God. There are ZERO verses changing that command,”

    Not specifically. But ceremonial and purity laws were indeed overturned. Dietary laws were overturned when Jesus said nothing we put into our bodies (food, that is) makes us impure, but what comes out of us (our thoughts, desires and intentions). Paul speaks of circumcision no longer being a law that determines our salvation. If cutting our johnsons won’t condemn us, certainly cutting our hair won’t. But again, Dan needs the ambiguity regarding which Levitical laws apply and which don’t in order to continue defending behavior that God called an abomination, but is a practice of so many of Dan’s friends.

    “This is the question I have repeatedly asked and never had answered:”

    What. A. Freakin’. LIAR!!!! The very first post of my blog answered this question in great detail. I’ve also referenced people like Rob’t Gagnon, who also addresses the question in detail. You have offered NOTHING in rebuttal except that you “don’t buy it”. Do you really think we just forget our past discussions?

    “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

    So, again, we see here that the criteria is what Dan thinks is “true, noble, right, pure, lovely…etc”. Let’s ignore the crystal clear truth that God called homosexual behavior an abomination. How can anything God called an abomination, or any relationship that is based on engaging in an abomination be “true, noble, right, pure, lovely…etc”? How does something go from abomination to pure and lovely without any Scriptural reference to any transition from one to the other?

    “Marriage commitments – commitments to love, cherish, honor, respect a beloved one is an obvious Thing that is true, noble, right, etc.”

    NOWHERE in Scripture is marriage ever depicted as ANYTHING BUT the union of one man and one woman. NOWHERE. Thus, marriage commitments can only be true, noble, etc when that commitment is between one man and one woman. No honest person (sit down Dan. I’m obviously not talking about you.) can argue about Biblical references to marriage and suggest it can possibly be something other than the union of one man and one woman.

    “I JUST defended marriage (gay and straight) with Scripture, Terrance. You can no longer use the argument that it can’t be done, since factually, it can be done. I just did it.”

    No. You didn’t. You twisted Scripture and forced YOUR meaning of marriage into the verses in order to make it work. Scripture does not, cannot, and never will legitimize your bastardizations, because marriage in Scripture means one thing only: the union of one man and one woman. This is true even if you want to bring up the polygamous situations in Scripture because not one of those situations were anything other than one man/one woman unions. Each wife a guy took was another one man/one woman union, regardless of how many times that one guy took another wife. You’re a liar.

    “Similarly you would argue…

    “Men should not lie with men. If they do that, kill them.””

    No. We wouldn’t argue that at all. Scripture does not teach US to kill homosexuals. Thus, we would not make that argument, we COULD not make that argument. You lie again.

    “Or, in short, that you disagree with my argument from Scripture does not mean that I can’t or haven’t argued from Scripture.”

    But we CAN say truthfully, since it is indeed the truth, that you did not honestly and legitimately argue from Scripture. You distorted, twisted and misrepresented the meaning of passages and verses to defend what Scripture clearly and unambiguously does not teach. In short, you’re a liar. And not a good one.

  33. How are laws against eating shellfish, cutting your hair, and women’s rights determined to be cultural, and homosexuality determined to be literal? You haven’t explained how you draw that distinction.

    Those other things exist within a certain time period in the Bible, bryce. Homosexuality spans the entire thing. It’s condemned in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

    I refuse to admit that my homosexuality is a sin because I know that God made me this way.

    Why do you care what the Bible says, bryce? You don’t believe in it, remember? Why are you so hellbent on proving that homosexuality is biblically acceptable when you don’t accept the book as truth in the first place?

    And I assume that here is where you argue that God made some alcoholics predisposition to alcoholism, and some pedophiles predisposition to have those feelings, but the difference is that homosexual lifestyles aren’t harmful in any way.

    I have no intention of making that argument because I don’t believe God makes anyone sin. People don’t need help in that area.

    Just like eating shellfish, cutting the sides of your hair, and women’s rights aren’t harmful. THAT is where the distinction should be drawn for any true Christian.

    Those things were thought to be harmful in that time period, bryce, and that’s why they were condemned. And I’m sorry but homosexuality is harmful. We have a litany of studies on this website to prove it, and there’s also a blogger by the name of Wintry Knight who does a fantastic job of laying out this information on his blog.

    Like I said, you aren’t any worse than anyone else. We’re all sinners. And the only reason Christians spend so much time battling homosexuality and abortion – as opposed to all other sins – is because those things are watershed issues. How our society handles them is crucial to understanding the role Christianity will have in the new century. It doesn’t look good, I might. But ya never know. People get hungry for faith every so often and the culture shifts a little.

    • Eating shellfish was a dietary law intended to separate the jews from surrounding nations. It was for them to keep in mind that tjey are to not intermarry with them.

      Sexual laws were moral laws meant for everyone. With the new covenant the dietary, priestly, and cerimonial laws are no longer in effect because israel no longer needs separation. The moral laws are still in effect but the punishments are not because with the new covenant there is no more theocracy. The things are still wrong but no one gets stoned.

      This is basic theology. Not picking and choosing.

      @Bryce

      Why do you seem so invested in making sure the bible (God) doesnt condemn homosexuality, even loving homosexuality, when you believe neither in the Christian God nor the Christian holy writ? If youre right, Do you think it would require Christians, those you perceive rejects you most, to accept your sexuality?

      For example, I dont care what the Book of Mormon says about much because I believe its a false revelation.

    • But by your logic no behavior is at all is sin because logically anything a person wants to do is technically the way God made them, on your view. Nothing is sin includjng hating gay people or beating them because thats how God made them

  34. brycelancaster says:

    No, sin is what causes harm to yourself or to society John. Treating women as property harms them, that’s why it’s not a sin to treat them fairly in modern day society. Stoning people to death causes harm to them, that’s why it’s not a sin to forgive them. Certain aspects of “sexual immorality” don’t cause harm to people though. Marrying somebody who’s not a virgin is no longer considered a sin, because it’s not harmful. Likewise, homosexual relations are NOT harmful. You say that you have studies but I do as well. (And mine have been held up in every court ruling dealing with homosexuality since Windsor).

    http://www.gottman.com/research/published-research-abstracts-articles/gay-lesbian-research/

    http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/general/2010/10/27/amicus29.pdf

    http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/LGBT-Families-Lit-Review.pdf

    http://www.cpa.ca/cpasite/userfiles/Documents/Marriage%20of%20Same-Sex%20Couples%20Position%20Statement%20-%20October%202006%20(1).pdf

    http://www.bilerico.com/2014/01/same-sex_couples_happier_than_straight_couples_stu.php

    ^ All that literally took a five minute google search, and there were a lot more where that came from. Case in point: If the homosexual lifestyle was harmful, we’d see more anti-equality opponents losing in court. Fact is, actual studies showing happy living for same-sex couples and their children vastly outnumber studies showing that they don’t make good parents or aren’t happy in relationships.

    I believe in the principles of love and acceptance I interpret in the bible Terrance. So when I see people using the same book to promote ignorance, my interest is peaked. Also, are you implying that you believe that people aren’t born gay? Maybe you should, oh I don’t know, ask an actual gay person? There are a few people out there who choose to have gay relationships, but the vast majority of identified homosexuals will tell you that they were born that way. And ex-gay therapies have been WIDELY denounced by every major psychological group as incredibly harmful. I can tell you, I have never been attracted to a woman. Ever. The thought of actually doing anything sexual with a woman DISGUSTS me. I imagine it’s how you feel when you think about doing anything sexual with a man. You can call it a mental illness if you want, but it’s an illness which can’t be cured and which doesn’t do you harm if you accept it. So it really isn’t an illness at all, just a quirk.

    I’m fine with you guys interpreting the bible to say that homosexuality is wrong. I disagree but that’s your right. But you all refuse to admit that you’re referencing subjective opinion without an objective criteria. If you can acknowledge the fact that you’re cherry-picking what to believe, that’s fine. We all do that. There are legitimate arguments out there that the passages about homosexuality were talking about instances of gang rape, orgy’s, and pagan rituals. You don’t have to believe in those interpretations but to say that they aren’t as valid as your cherry-pickings is incredulously biased. I admit that I interpret the bible to better help me live my life, can you admit that every interpretation is subjective?

  35. Bryce,

    We don’t “interpret” the Bible referring to homosexual behavior as sinful. It’s what it says. The teaching isn’t unclear at all. It’s quite straightforward. It calls it an abomination. Dishonest people, like Dan, enjoy pretending it speaks of the behavior within particular contexts or scenarios. But it never makes mention of how or when the behavior takes place. Ever. It only says that the behavior itself is an abomination. Because it is an abomination, it is prohibited. That’s the long and short of it.

    This is a very detailed look at the studies done, pro AND con, on the issue of homosexual marriage and parenting.

    This one is of a recent study based on Canadian census numbers.

    I don’t believe that one who, like you, insists he is not the least bit attracted to the opposite sex is fixed in that condition. Indeed, the notion is ridiculous considering what is known of the human condition. Regardless, to craft laws and dispense with logic just to appease those who so insist as you do makes no sense. Also, if I was to concede the point, it would not make logical the idea that we treat you as we treat those who are normally “oriented”.

    As to Scripture, all your “interpretations” have been dealt with by scholars not influenced by political correctness, but by an objective study of the text and the original languages. There is no cherry picking on our side. There is on yours as you seek to force into the text, meanings the text itself does not possess.

    The fact is that there is on Biblical interpretation too stupid to be supported by those intent on furthering the homosexual cause, no study to lame and subjective, no political argument so devoid of fact and basis. Those like yourself are clearly unwilling to defer to truth, logic and reason. That’s bad enough. But to work determinedly to alter our culture for your benefit is going too far. That does indeed cause harm.

  36. brycelancaster says:

    Marshall, if the bible is what it says, why do you cut the hair on the sides of your head and eat shellfish? Why do you not stone the neighbor girl next door if she has sex before marriage? You interpret the bible many different ways other than literal translations, the same logic can be applied to homosexuality. You say those other commandments were merely cultural, but what is the distinction between what is cultural and what isn’t? Why is marrying a woman who’s previously had sex before okay, but kissing another man is not? That distinction is where you cherry pick, and if you don’t want to acknowledge that than you need a reality check.

    Also, please don’t try to argue that homosexual’s aren’t born that way. You only make yourself look even more deranged. You’re only point against it is that it is ridiculous considering “human condition”, but when kids literally KILL THEMSELVES because they can’t change, I’d say it’s a pretty good indicator of human condition. I grew up mormon, I was going to go on a mission. I prayed every day for YEARS to be straight. I went through years of depression and anxiety trying to be straight. Nothing changed. Please, don’t presume to speak for people whom you don’t understand at all. [REMOVED]

  37. brycelancaster says:

    And yes, for you to tell someone who went through what I’ve gone through in my search to become straight that I wasn’t trying hard enough, is very offensive. I’ve had friends who’ve been kicked out their homes, and one guy I dated ended up killing himself a year later because he had nowhere to stay and thought life was hopeless, (his housing kicked him out for being gay, and he couldn’t go back to his parents). Just realize that the viewpoint that somehow homosexuality can be cured is completely disrespectful to an entire community who have gone through things that you haven’t comprehended yet. I’ve heard horror stories of persecution and depression from friends I meet at pride rallies every year. I personally had a razor blade to my wrist because I believed that if I wasn’t worthy enough to follow the religious path my parents set out for me, I wasn’t worthy enough to live. This wasn’t bullying or anybody being mean to me that brought me to that state, it was the fact that I wanted to be straight more than ANYTHING and I couldn’t. I could not bring myself to be attracted to girls, and for you to insinuate that I wasn’t trying hard enough or that I actually could and just didn’t is a slap to the face.

    It’s more than a slap to the face. It’s a stab to the heart, because it makes all those years of depression and anxiety completely invalidated in your eyes. You don’t know what we’ve gone through, and to say that we can all be straight anyways is beyond offensive.

    Again, educate yourself.

  38. Marshall, if the bible is what it says, why do you cut the hair on the sides of your head and eat shellfish?

    Already been explained.

    Why do you not stone the neighbor girl next door if she has sex before marriage?

    Already explained.

    You interpret the bible many different ways other than literal translations, the same logic can be applied to homosexuality.

    No, it doesn’t. Homosexuality is condemned throughout the Bible and not just in a specific era, at a specific time.

    You say those other commandments were merely cultural, but what is the distinction between what is cultural and what isn’t?

    An understanding of the Bible – which you don’t have because you’ve probably never bothered studying it. Like most liberals, you quote mine from websites like Evil Bible.

    Why is marrying a woman who’s previously had sex before okay, but kissing another man is not?

    It’s unnatural.

    That distinction is where you cherry pick, and if you don’t want to acknowledge that than you need a reality check.

    Not really, no. It’s simply what the Bible says.

    Also, please don’t try to argue that homosexual’s aren’t born that way. You only make yourself look even more deranged.

    Do you have proof that homosexuals are “born that way,.” No? Oh, okay then.

    You’re only point against it is that it is ridiculous considering “human condition”, but when kids literally KILL THEMSELVES because they can’t change, I’d say it’s a pretty good indicator of human condition.

    So, we’re not allowed to believe in the Bible and “interpret” it the correct way because of weak-willed, thin-skinned homosexuals?

    I grew up mormon, I was going to go on a mission. I prayed every day for YEARS to be straight. I went through years of depression and anxiety trying to be straight. Nothing changed.

    Hence the reason you don’t understand the Bible worth a damn.

  39. paynehollow says:

    Bryce…

    I personally had a razor blade to my wrist because I believed that if I wasn’t worthy enough to follow the religious path my parents set out for me, I wasn’t worthy enough to live.

    You sound like you’ve got yourself together pretty well, but just to say what you may know to be obvious: God loves you just as you are. Those who hold opinions different than your opinions are not “god” of you and can’t rationally presume to speak for God. I am sorry that so many of us religious types (myself included) have given the gay community and individuals grief.

    All I can say is that I’m sorry for my part in this in the past and while I am just another fallible guy, there is one thing I’m sure of: God loves you just as you are. If you’re ever in Louisville, please stop by at my home or church. You’d be loved and cherished and welcome.

    Peace,

    Dan

  40. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    we’re not allowed to believe in the Bible and “interpret” it the correct way because of weak-willed, thin-skinned homosexuals?

    In my experience, bullies like you wouldn’t last ten months with the sort of oppression and hatred that has been experienced by our gay brothers and sisters for millenia. I pray that you or your loved ones never have to experience that sort of oppression.

    And God have mercy on those who do the oppressing.

    ~Dan

  41. You’d be loved…

    I’ll bet.

  42. In my experience, bullies like you wouldn’t last ten months with the sort of oppression and hatred that has been experienced by our gay brothers and sisters for millenia. I pray that you or your loved ones never have to experience that sort of oppression.

    I’m a bully? LOL.I’m the most “liberal” of all the conservatives on this blog. I bully nobody. But I don’t stand for utter untruths like the nonsense you and bryce have been spreading. Homosexuality is a sin, plain and simple. It’s no worse than any other sin, but it’s still a sin. I have no problem with homosexuals who at least acknowledge that fact. But when they try to rationalize their perversions with fanciful interpretations and scriptural abuse, I’ve got a big problem.

  43. Ya wanna try that again, bryce, without the insults and curse words?

  44. brycelancaster says:

    Oh and thanks Dan. :) Religious institutions which support us as humans are gods greatest gift to this world. They saved my life. I’m now looking at attending this non-denominational Christian church my sister goes too. I’ve gone a handful of times, I think they’re a bit too literal on some passages but I like them. And they said they would welcome me with open arms. I love spirituality, I’ve just had a hard time finding a denomination which I like.

    But thank you. :) I’m much better put together now. My parents accepted me, which played a BIG part in that. Once my worst fears were out of the way, I lost a ton of weight and got my life together. Starting dating around, going to social gatherings, and gained a lot of confidence. I don’t know where I’d be without my parents though.

  45. brycelancaster says:

    Terrance, when you call my friend who killed himself for being gay “weak willed”, what do you expect?

    My opinion of you as a human being dropped dramatically. Do you care to stand up for that comment?

  46. brycelancaster says:

    Likewise, you called me thin skinned for wanting to kill myself because I believed I was going to spend an entirety in hell for something I couldn’t change no matter how hard I tried.

    You really are an outstanding Christian

  47. bryce,

    Are you that dense you can’t understand why suicide is a weak willed thing to do, especially for homosexuals? They end their lives because of someone’s opinion? That’s ridiculous and weak willed. I’m sorry the fellow is dead, but it was a weak willed thing to do.

  48. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    But when they try to rationalize their perversions with fanciful interpretations and scriptural abuse, I’ve got a big problem.

    But in the real world, you have to realize that people of good faith are going to disagree with your opinions. Men accept that and say, “Well, you have to do what you have to do, but I disagree with your opinion.” Bullies say, “You SO wrong! God says so! I’m speaking for God and I can’t be mistaken on this point! But you ARE mistaken and you can’t really believe what you say you believe! Even if you think you believe it, you don’t!”

    By all means, politely and humbly offer your opinions all you want, but make it clear that they are your own humble opinions. Don’t insist that you speak for God, that you can’t be mistaken or that those who disagree with you are liars because they disagree with you.

    That is what is arrogant and bullying.

    ~Dan

  49. bryce,

    If you believed you were going to spend entirety in hell for being gay then you don’t understand the BIble. And even if that were true, killing yourself would only add more fuel to the fire. You can’t recognize that?

    You really are an outstanding logician.

  50. brycelancaster says:

    They end their lives because their parents won’t talk to them, their schools kick them out, they lose their housing, and they end up on the streets. It’s not because of “somebodies opinion”

    And then you have the gall to say that they can just choose not to be gay? That’s were it gets offensive. You, a straight man, telling people who have tried for their entire lives that they just aren’t trying hard enough.

  51. Dan,

    Like I said, not going to take character advice from you after what you said to John. You should have been banned for that.

    It’s not my opinion that homosexuality is a sin; it’s fact.

  52. They end their lives because their parents won’t talk to them, their schools kick them out, they lose their housing, and they end up on the streets. It’s not because of “somebodies opinion”

    And why are they rejected? Because of someone’s opinion. Instead of killing themselves they should tell those people to go to hell and go about pulling themselves back up.

    And then you have the gall to say that they can just choose not to be gay?

    I never said that.

  53. brycelancaster says:

    And to repost my other valid points which our white night removed….

    Don’t presume to tell me how much I understand scripture. I went to church for three hours a week for my entire adolescence and I was preparing to go on a two year mission to preach gospel. I don’t pretend to have an entire understanding of the bible, but I know enough to garner a valid opinion.

    When I asked where you drew a distinction between what was cultural and what wasn’t, you cited, “understanding of the bible”. I assume you meant interpretation. You said that because homosexuality was mentioned in both testaments, it wasn’t cultural. But I cited legitimate interpretations which led to a rational understanding that in the cases of the new testament, the bible was talking about pagan rituals, orgy’s, and gang rapes when mentioning homosexuality. You don’t have to agree with that interpretation, but it’s just as valid as your interpretation that it WASN’T talking about those things.

    And as for having proof that homosexuals are born that way…. aside from the fact that kids are killing themselves because they see no way to be straight, sexual attractions are preferences which are encoded in human nature. There is no biological proofs for them. There’s no basis which determines if you like big tits or big asses. Or whether you prefer darker or lighter skinned partners. Or whether you’re attracted to shorter or taller partners. But those attractions are considered valid, even though there are not biological evidences for them existing. And attraction to gender is so strong that it can override the natural procreation instinct, (which can happen, ever heard of asexuals?).

  54. brycelancaster says:

    Terrance, you said that Homosexuality is a sin and they should repent. How do they repent if they can’t choose not be gay? be celibate for life? How realistic is that? Priests and nuns even struggle with it!

  55. And to repost my other valid points which our white night removed….

    And I’ll keep doing it if you keep being an asshole.

    Don’t presume to tell me how much I understand scripture. I went to church for three hours a week for my entire adolescence and I was preparing to go on a two year mission to preach gospel. I don’t pretend to have an entire understanding of the bible, but I know enough to garner a valid opinion.

    I WILL PRESUME to tell you because of your ignorance.

    When I asked where you drew a distinction between what was cultural and what wasn’t, you cited, “understanding of the bible”. I assume you meant interpretation.

    It’s not an interpretation; it plainly says it.

    You said that because homosexuality was mentioned in both testaments, it wasn’t cultural. But I cited legitimate interpretations which led to a rational understanding that in the cases of the new testament, the bible was talking about pagan rituals, orgy’s, and gang rapes when mentioning homosexuality.

    No, you interpretation wasn’t rational. And you admitted that Paul detested the behavior.

    You don’t have to agree with that interpretation, but it’s just as valid as your interpretation that it WASN’T talking about those things.

    No, it isn’t.

    …There is no biological proofs…

    Exactly.

  56. I said they should recognize their sin; I never said they should change their preference.

  57. paynehollow says:

    What, Terrance? You can call people fools, demons, idiots, dense and 100 other abusive names because you disagree with their opinions, but I can’t call John a coward for deleting my on-topic non-abusive comments?

    We’ve already seen that you have no criteria for when an bible “rule” is universal and when it’s temporal, do you also have no criteria for when it’s okay to call someone out strongly and when it’s not okay?

    It sounds all rather whimsical and emotion-based, your reasoning. As if you’re saying, “If I think it, then it’s a fact, but if I disagree with it, it’s not a fact. If it hurts my feelings, then it’s wrong, but if it hurts other people’s feelings, I don’t care.”

    I’d suggest you’d do better in your Christian walk if you could embrace a bunch of grace and a bit of consistency.

    ~Dan

  58. paynehollow says:

    John…

    You repent by abstinence.

    And what if they disagree with your opinion that homosexuality is a sin? Should we repent of things we don’t even think are sins?

    For instance, I think the way you and Terrance speak to others clearly betrays and arrogance and presumption to a sinful degree. Are you condemned for not repenting of this behavior, even if you didn’t think you were sinful? What if you’re mistaken? Are you in trouble with God because you misbehaved while sincerely thinking you were in the Right? Or do you believe in a grace that covers not only our sin, but our imperfect knowledge?

    ~Dan

  59. What, Terrance? You can call people fools, demons, idiots, dense and 100 other abusive names because you disagree with their opinions, but I can’t call John a coward for deleting my on-topic non-abusive comments?

    I DON’T BRING PEOPLE’S FAMILIES INTO IT! John’s kids had nothing to do with the discussion but you brought them up anyway.

    Second, the only people I ever attack first are anti-lifers. I despise them and I admit that. It’s right in the About section of the website. I admit that I don’t play nice with them. They disgust me, literally.

    We’ve already seen that you have no criteria for when an bible “rule” is universal and when it’s temporal, do you also have no criteria for when it’s okay to call someone out strongly and when it’s not okay?

    Yes, I do, Dan. It’s cultural. And I said that.

    It sounds all rather whimsical and emotion-based, your reasoning.

    And what’s your reasoning? None at all? Oh, okay…

    I’d suggest you’d do better in your Christian walk if you could embrace a bunch of grace and a bit of consistency.

    Yeah, well, at least I’m not a heretic.

  60. Ya know, Dan, you’re much more likeable on Facebook. WordPress is bad for you, I think. It turns you into a cretin.

  61. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    I DON’T BRING PEOPLE’S FAMILIES INTO IT!

    Fair enough. That’s a good point. I was wrong. You’re correct on this point.

    John, I am sorry for bringing your family into it. My apologies, I shan’t do it again.

    ~Dan

  62. brycelancaster says:

    They repent by abstinence John? I’m severely, severely disappointed in you. if that’s your logic, I think I’m going to second guess my presence on here.

    It’s not LOGICAL to require ANYBODY to live a life of celibacy in order to get into heaven. It goes against the very fabric of human nature. Would anybody here be willing to never have any romantic relations with anybody EVER? (And look at it from the viewpoint of young twenty year olds, not from the perspectives of people already in married relationships). I’m not asking you to put yourself into a literal hypothetical of being gay, but simply ask yourselves whether you’d be able to be celibate for your entire lives with no romantic relationships with anybody ever.

    God would not make people gay, give them the sex instinct which is one of the most powerful instincts in our human psyche, and then expect them to ignore those instincts for their entire lives. THAT is one of the only wrong interpretations here.

  63. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    And what’s your reasoning? None at all? Oh, okay…

    My reasoning is that I don’t treat the Bible the same way as you all do. I don’t believe the Bible is a rule book. I don’t believe in saying, “Oh, look here in Matthew, Jesus tells his followers directly NOT to store up treasures on Earth. That’s a clear commandment, therefore, we should not do that…” The Bible is a book of Truth, not a rule book. If we’re going through the Bible finding rules given to different people in different times and cultures and trying to lift those rules out and say, “This rule applies to us today,” we’re treating it as a rule book, in a manner not dissimilar to exactly what got the Pharisees in the Bible. If we treat the bible thusly, we are missing the point of the Bible.

    That is my reasoning. So, since the Bible isn’t a rule book, it does not matter that there is a rule in it against cutting the hair on the side of your or a rule that appears to condemn some form of male-male sex or a rule to sell our stuff and give it to the poor, we err in trying to lift up those rules and apply them to us directly. That’s my reasoning, I base it on the Bible’s principles (ie, there’s not a rule in the Bible telling us to take the Bible as a rule book or to NOT take it as a rule book) and it’s not an unreasonable position to take. We may disagree on the reasoning, but you can’t say I haven’t reasoned my way through it or given it some reasonable thought. You also can’t say it’s “none at all” reasoning, clearly there is a great deal of reasoning.

    In fact, I used to treat it the same way as you do. But I kept reading the Bible, kept seeing the mistake of the Pharisees and others in abusing Scripture in a graceless, rule-based manner and I reasoned my way away from that way. And I’m consistent in my reasoning. I don’t say “The Bible is not a rule book, BUT you should not invest money because the Bible tells us not to store up treasures…” but rather, consistently argue against treating it as a rule book, even when the rules agree with my reasoning.

    Do you see?

    As to Facebook, you’re no doubt right. I don’t get involved in political discussions hardly at all there, or religious ones. I stick to positive news and sharing fun stuff. Not my place for serious discussions, which makes me a nicer guy, no doubt.

    Thanks, I guess, for that much.

    ~Dan

  64. paynehollow says:

    Bryce…

    THAT is one of the only wrong interpretations here.

    Excellent point. Very moral, very rational, very biblical.

    ~Dan

  65. bryce,

    If you decide to “second guess your presence on here,” then you better heed the advice I sent to you on FB and stop using your real name if you find another right-wing blog. And I say that because when I was younger (and liberal), some crazy right-winger took it upon herself to find my phone number, address, and all sorts of other personal details and spread them around the web. Just lucky nobody decided to knock on my door…

    I don’t care now because I’m an adult and most of my details are completely private, and by design. I don’t publish my number, address, or anything else.

    Just giving you some advice based on personal experience.

  66. Dan,

    I can appreciate such a view, but it appears to be inconsistent. If you don’t think the Bible is a “rulebook,” then how can you believe in sin? If homosexuality isn’t a sin, according to your view, then what is? Nothing? Don’t make sense to me.

    Thanks, I guess, for that much.

    I like it when you post your drawings. I think they’re pretty good.

  67. paynehollow says:

    Thank you, Terrance, I appreciate that. I’m just starting out in art and am enjoying the experience.

    You asked…

    If you don’t think the Bible is a “rulebook,” then how can you believe in sin? If homosexuality isn’t a sin, according to your view, then what is? Nothing? Don’t make sense to me.

    I think “sin” as a notion is obvious and we don’t need a Bible to tell us that there are some things that are wrong. We can see an abused child and know immediately, in our hearts and heads, that this is wrong. Regardless of whether the Bible tells us “beating children is a sin…” (which the Bible does not tell us, by the way). We can see a family kick out their own children, turn them away and wish that they were dead all because they are gay or lesbian and know, intuitively, “This is wrong, no parent should treat their child like this.” We don’t need the bible to tell us this, we can just know.

    The Bible teaches us principles and wisdom, including the wisdom that God’s Word is written upon our hearts and minds, that all of Creation testifies to us of God, that God’s Spirit is amongst us in a million ways. We can see all this in the world and the Bible helps us to see that, but we don’t need the Bible to tell us “This is a sin” and “that is a moral good…” The Bible itself never one time tells us to treat the Bible as a rule book and offers plenty of examples of people striving to live “by the law” and how that leads them down a wrong path, a path of deadly legalism, not life-giving grace and love.

    So, what is a sin? That which disrespects, that which harms, that which oppresses, that which represses, that which deliberately is abusive or disruptive or which tends to tear down rather than build up.

    This all makes abundant sense to this boy, raised conservatively to love the Bible and treat it as a rule book of sorts. I still love it, but because I love it, I don’t buy into the idea of treating it like a mere rule book. To me, that seems to denigrate the Bible and just make it fodder for mean-spirited debates. Too much heat and not enough light down that path for my tastes.

    One man’s opinion.

    Do you think we are unable to recognize the “wrong” when we see it without the Bible? You are able, aren’t you, to recognize that slavery or child abuse or dumping toxic waste or torture are all wrong, even none of those are condemned in the Bible, aren’t you?

    I believe the Bible to be a book of wisdom that, ultimately, teaches us about a path of Grace, Love, Forgiveness and Acceptance, this is what makes sense to me and mine.

    Peace, and thanks again, about the art,

    ~Dan

  68. Of course I know right from wrong. But I don’t “know” that it’s wrong to reject Jesus Christ. It’s not inherent, and so therefore, by your logic, it’s not a sin.

  69. brycelancaster says:

    I didn’t get a message on Facebook. :x (I’m glad though, I need to change my current profile picture. I look way too ugly in it, I don’t want you to see me like that)

  70. I saw your profile, bryce, and I sent you a message. But I’m guessing that because we have absolutely no affiliation with each other (don’t live in same city, state, attend same school, mutual friends, etc..) that it went into your “Other” Inbox.

  71. “It’s not LOGICAL to require ANYBODY to live a life of celibacy in order to get into heaven.”

    A. Since when is your definition of what seems logical determinantive of anything.
    B. Paul seemed to think it might be worthwhile.

    “It goes against the very fabric of human nature.”

    Really? Yet people live celibate lives all the time.

    “Would anybody here be willing to never have any romantic relations with anybody EVER?”

    Sure, for the right reasons. I’m pretty sure there some Biblical precedent for sacrificing our own desires for God.

    “God would not make people gay, give them the sex instinct which is one of the most powerful instincts in our human psyche, and then expect them to ignore those instincts for their entire lives.”

    Let’s replace the word gay with “sexually attracted to children” or “with a desire to rape” or “a desire to have indiscriminate sex” or any other sexual proclivity and see how that works.

    Here’s a hypothetical. A woman’s husband dies while she is still in her mid 40’s. I would presume that she still has this powerful sexual instinct which she was given by God, would you encourage her to act on said instinct?

  72. brycelancaster says:

    If she fell in love with another man, than yes. There’s nothing wrong with marrying a widower. Relationships are even more worthwhile in the later years, as you face retirement and old age. It’s a complete case by case basis. If a woman is incapable of ever loving another man, than of course it wouldn’t make sense for her to be married. But if a woman’s husband dies and she later finds another man who makes her happy, there’s nothing wrong with her deciding to re-marry. I know that if I married somebody and died, I wouldn’t want them to spend the rest of their lives alone. But maybe that’s just my soft liberal heart talking.

    Also, your correlation between pedophelia and rape is ludicrous. Both of those things harms another party. It’s not consensual. There’s no correlation. That’s like saying that attractions to children are the same as attractions to opposite gender. Mutual attraction harms NOBODY. It’s true that they might struggle with those feelings, but those aren’t acceptable not due to any biblical reasons, but due to ethical ones set up by nearly every modern day society. I can make arguments that rape and pedophelia is bad without using the bible. It seems that arguments against homosexuality being moral can only be made with arguments from the bible. There’s the biggest distinction, and where I think that the bible should be taken culturally there, much the same as shellfish, women’s rights, and cutting the hair at the sides of your head.

    And it’s absurd that you expect people to live their lives completely chaste. If you’re convinced enough to believe that you could, great. But when even priests and nuns who were raised in strict religion struggle with oaths of chastity, there comes a point where we have to ask ourselves how realistic it is to expect an entire group of people to adhere. Unfortunately, if that was the case God would be setting up an entire group of his children for failure. I noticed that nobody else spoke up and said that they would be willing to have never had romance in their lives. Never being able to hold hands with someone else, kiss them, hold them, and yes, have sexual relations. We spend so much time talking about biology here, and the point that homosexuality is not biologically proven has been brought up. But what HAS been biologically proven is that we are PROGRAMMED to be sexual creatures. And this programming is one of the strongest inherent characteristics of human beings. To say that God would wire a group of people this way and then expect them to ignore a very basic human need, almost as strong as the need to socialize or belong, is a very cruel statement. There’s no way any loving god would do that to his children.

    (Also, I still have a hard time believing that if you were eighteen, you’d be willing to resign yourself to never having any romantic encounter with anybody for your entire life. I have a hard time believing that as a old man you wouldn’t regret your decision to find a partner to be with you in old age. I have a hard time believing that you would volunteer to never have or adopt children, to live a life with friends who all around you would be slowly starting their own families. If you legitimately believe you could do all that, than kudos. But I think your understating reality. Anybody else want to back him up that they’d be willing to do all that?)

  73. Bryce,

    “Marshall, if the bible is what it says, why do you cut the hair on the sides of your head and eat shellfish? Why do you not stone the neighbor girl next door if she has sex before marriage?”

    My very first post of my own blog contains an explanation and can be found here. It is an explanation for which people like Dan have never given a response, if they are even honest enough to acknowledge was put forth for all to see. It explains differences between what is a behavioral law still applicable today, and what was a ceremonial ritual/purity law that is not. It isn’t exhaustive, but it is a good first step in understanding.

    “Also, please don’t try to argue that homosexual’s aren’t born that way.”

    It is a legitimate statement given there is no evidence to support the notion. “That’s just the way I am” is not evidence. That anyone tried to eliminate their homosexual desires, but failed, is not evidence. I can’t seem to shake lusting after hot babes who are not my wife. But I don’t act on the compulsions that lusting provokes. If we concede God made us one way or another, and thus we have are not required to alter ourselves to align with His Will, then there is no point to any teaching of God/Jesus as we are then worshiping ourselves. There is no one who cannot use “God made me this way” as an excuse to forsake the effort and duty to live one’s life on God’s terms.

    “I went through years of depression and anxiety trying to be straight.”

    Trying to be straight was, and is, the wrong focus. Living according to God’s terms rather than our own does not necessarily result in our temptations dissipating totally. More often it is a lifelong struggle. If you like, I will try to find a story, on which I may have done a post, of another Mormon homosexual who also does not get turned on by women. Yet, because of his devotion to God, and his understanding of the God’s clearly revealed will regarding human sexuality and marriage, married a girl whom he had known his whole life (and had always wanted to be his wife) and lives a good life with her and enjoys the proper expression of human sexuality with her. He put God first, which is what we’re to do. Scripture teaches that the path is narrow, but it also teaches that we are all capable of following it. That doesn’t mean we wont’ stumble now and then. It doesn’t mean that it won’t require conscious effort more often than not.

    Gotta go.

  74. brycelancaster says:

    Would you be willing to marry another man if that’s what the lord asked you? Even though you aren’t attracted to other men at all? Would you be willing to sleep with another man, be with him sexually, and share your life with somebody for whom you cannot be attracted to? It’s not an unrealistic hypothetical, because that’s exactly what you’re asking me to do. If you think you could, than good for you. But as for me, I refuse to believe that any loving God would expect any child to live a life without love. And I could never love a woman on the same level that I could a man. To expect that of an entire group of people is unrealistic and sets them up for failure. You cite an example of one man who chose to live his life that way. I can cite hundreds of examples of gay men who married women and then ended up cheating on their wives with other men because they found that existence to be miserable.

    • Bryce

      You ask:

      “Would you be willing to sleep with another man, be with him sexually, and share your life with somebody for whom you cannot be attracted to? It’s not an unrealistic hypothetical, because that’s exactly what you’re asking me to do.”

      No one is suggesting this, and no one is asking you to do this. What has been said is no one is required to act on their sexual desires. No one. People choose to indulge because sexual pleasure is particularly satisfying. I get that. But it doesn’t mean every sexual desire is a morally acceptable or legitimate desire. People suppress desires all the time. Just because it’s something you enjoy doesn’t make it automatically moral.

    • Remember the movie Chuck and Larry? It post a realistic hypothetical scenario where two men might want to get married who have no attraction.

  75. brycelancaster says:

    John, I was responding to Marshall with that. He cited an example of a gay mormon choosing to marry a woman, which implied that I should be able to do that as well. I posed that hypothetical to him.

    And John, you still haven’t answered my question. Would you personally be able, if you were a young man, to resign yourself to a life with NO romantic partners? Not being able to hold hands, hold another person, kiss another person, or have any sexual encounters at all? It’s not just a single “desire” that you’re asking people to repress. It’s their entire sexual identity. If I have a Chains and Whips fetish, it’s easy to repress that. If my sexual partner isn’t into that, it’s more than possible for us to still have happiness in our relationship. It’s not just a single desire and please don’t paint it that way. It’s EVERY part of our sexual identities which you’re asking us to repress, and it shows a severe lack of understanding of the human psyche. If that sole desire was for children or for animals, it’s realistic to ask that. The moral consequences of having sex without consent are just as strong as the sexual instinct itself. But what moral consequence of homosexuality exists outside of biblical interpretation? There isn’t one. Again, it’s not repressing a single desire. It’s repressing our entire sexual instincts which time and time again has proven ineffective for even the most religious people. It’s true, some people live chaste lives. But should we use the microscopic minority to set expectations on the majority? The majority of people go through depression, anxiety, and misery trying to live chaste lives because it’s simply not in our nature.

    • Bryce,

      you’re missing the point. Your or my being able to go through life abstinent is irrelevant to whether our particular sexual desires are moral or immoral. Even if I couldnt bring myself to do it doesnt somehow make my desires (or yours) morally good or benign.

      You’re basically saying “because I have these feelings, and they feel natural to me, they can’t be immoral because I’m not an immoral person.” You’ve also said that because you have these particular sexual desires, God must have made you that way. But that line of reasoning excuses any action and desire sexual or otherwise.

  76. bryce,

    Fact is, people have all sorts of sexual desires that none of us here would dare argue in favor of. Pedophilia, zoophilia, incestuous couples, among others. Now homosexuality may not be comparable to these things, but neither is it comparable to heterosexuality. Why is okay for you to hide behind “God made me this way” but not okay for other people?

  77. brycelancaster says:

    WHY would God give people sexual desires which are moral in every sense other than biblical and then set up them up to be unable to deny those desires? (And please, don’t give me the “god works in mysterious ways” statement). Why would God set up his children for failure? This is where I can’t understand your interpretation. Why would he set up his children to be UNABLE to repent? Everybody here has told me that it would be all right if I just repented, but when repentance is unattainable, the theory of God falls.

  78. brycelancaster says:

    Terrance, I already addressed that.

    We can say why pedophelia, rape, and bestiality is bad using non-biblical arguments. Lack of consent being key. The only way to argue that homosexuality is morally wrong is through the bible.

  79. bryce,

    You haven’t addressed it sufficiently. And I can say homosexuality is bad without using biblical arguments.

    NAMBLA has members who were 12 or 13 years old during their first sexual encounter with older men and support the practice themselves today, as adults. So, it seems clear to me that pedophilia isn’t always harmful. So, if it’s not harmful, if there’s genuine consent among the two individuals, what’s the problem? God made them that way.

    And what’s the problem with incestuous couples? If they’re both adults, why not?

    Besides “bad” is a completely different argument. You’re arguing that God made you a certain way and so it’s not wrong. Well, God made these other people a certain way – yet you say they’re wrong. Sounds like a double standard to me.

  80. brycelancaster says:

    ……..

    John, I understand why you don’t want to see what I’m saying. But I have shown MULTIPLE times that it isn’t realistic to expect people to be chaste in order to get into heaven. Just because it’s physically possible does not mean it’s plausible. Repentance in the form of complete chastity for life is NOT attainable for most people. if even Catholic priests and nuns struggle with it, the most religiously devout people there are in a lot of cases, you know that if a God asked the everyday congregation to do it for life he’d be setting them up for failure.

    Do you think you could do it? And if you couldn’t, would you deserve to be punished in the afterlife for it?

    • Bryce

      you mean it isnt realistic…to you. And again, no one said it’s easy, no one said you’d be 100% successful, but the aim is to do the right thing.

      I don’t know if I could do it, probably not, but that doesn’t make it not wrong. The “everyone does it” argument isn’t a very good argument.

      If a certain behavior of mine was sinful, it wouldnt matter if I didnt, or couldnt restrain myself, it would still be sinful and I’ll still have to answer for it. I lust, for example. I’ve tried to keep my gaze from attractive women’s bodies, I’ve yet to be able to do it for any length of time. Did God make me that way? Is that an excuse? I’m married, and it’s a sin for me to lust.

      The difference between you and me, and the difference between our final destinations is my recognition that I’m sinning and have trusted my forgiveness in Christ. I still, every day struggle with it, I try to not look, not leer, not say to myself “holy cow that’s a cute rear-end”. You have embraced your sin, you’ve convinced yourself that it’s not sin, and you’ve rejected (thus far in life) the one avenue that will keep us from rejoicing in eternity together.

  81. Bryce my hypothetical was not regarding marriage, it was in relation to your point regarding human sex drive. I know that a widow can remarry, that’s not the issue. It’s whether or not it is reasonable to expect her to control her desire for sex while she is not married. I’d suggest that as a Christian that control of the sexual impulse is completely reasonable in that circumstance. In the real world people exert varying degrees of control over their sexual impulses on a daily basis. While you may or may not be able to do this or understand this, it is a reality for the vast majority of humanity.

    My point in referencing the various other types of sexual expression was not to draw an equivalency between those and homosexuality, but to point out that even you expect that people who have certain types of sexual desires to exert control over those desires. Yet, they make the exact same “born with it” argument you so.

    As to my ability to exert control over my sexual desires. I am completely positive that under the right circumstances I would be able (not without difficulty) abstain from sexual activity for whatever period of time was necessary. In Fact, over the past 25 years of marriage, I’ve had to do exactly that for various extended lengths of time (mainly for health reasons). So, the fact that you choose to make unwarranted assumptions about someone you don’t know is really not germane.

    In closing, we expect people to exert control over their sexual impulses to various degrees and for various lengths of time regularly, why would you even begin to argue that homosexuals are incapable of exerting the same levels of self control as people of any other “orientation”?

    “Why would God set up his children for failure?”

    By what standard is exerting self control over ones sexual urges failure?

    “But I have shown MULTIPLE times…”

    Really, where”

    “… that it isn’t realistic to expect people to be chaste in order to get into heaven.”

    I’m not aware of any scriptural support for chastity being a requirement to get into heaven, could you please provide some sort of Biblical support for this position?

    “Just because it’s physically possible does not mean it’s plausible.”

    Really, why not. It seems plausible that we expect people not to do a multitude of things every single day why is gay sex different?

    “… if even Catholic priests and nuns struggle with it”

    By what standard is struggle considered a sin? Who said that living a Christian life was going to be free from struggle? Why would you presume that it’s going to be easy?

    “…you know that if a God asked the everyday congregation to do it for life he’d be setting them up for failure.”

    Unfortunately Paul disagrees with you. Why do you have such a low expectation of people? Just because you don’t think you can exercise self control, why do you assume that others are as incapable as you?

    “Do you think you could do it?”

    Yes.

    ” And if you couldn’t, would you deserve to be punished in the afterlife for it?”

    One of the great things about Christianity is that God sent His son to die for our sins and provide forgiveness for us when we fail. So, as a believer, I believe that I’m not expected to be perfect and that when I sin I can be forgiven. The problem with your entire premise is that you are setting sexual sin apart as a different class of sin. We all sin, and we all can be forgiven. Just because you struggle with one type of sin while I struggle with another is immaterial. Sin is sin, forgiveness is is available.

  82. brycelancaster says:

    Shame, I would think that on a board with the words, “sifting reality”, the people writing for it would be more adept at looking at actual reality. It is unjust for Christ to give people active sex drives and then expect them to ignore it for their ENTIRE lives. This is where your interpretations are cruel, and I don’t believe in a cruel God.

    Also John, looking at somebody is very different than denying yourself ANYBODY for your entire life. We are talking about a whole new extreme here.

    If you think that it’s reasonable to expect people to live their entire lives without any romantic partner. than you are ABSURD. But then you say, “Oh no, it’s not an expectation, you can sin and still be forgiven!” So God is setting us up to sin? Am I to deny myself a sexual partner for the first twenty five years of my life, slip up, go back to denying myself, slip up again, go back to denying myself, and then slip up again? It’s simply not PRACTICAL. It’s not just a struggle for most people, it’s an impossibility. What ends up happening is the scenario I just described. They remain chaste for a time, and the inevitability comes back to them. God would not create a sin which is impossible to ignore. And no, it’s not like the sin of lust. The correlation doesn’t exist, it’s a whole new extreme.

    Goodbye, I see you aren’t capable of actually responding to my arguments. I don’t have time to adequately pick apart any more of this nonsense. I just sincerely pray that none of your children end up gay, because they might turn “weak-willed’ and kill themselves as Terrance suggested. But expecting them to never find love and remain alone for their entire lives would be what a good parent does, right?

  83. bryce,

    I never suggested homosexuals kill themselves; I said those who do are clearly “weak willed” and they are.

    Running away from another argument? Yeah. I’ve noticed you do that after having your ass handed to you,

  84. ” It is unjust for Christ to give people active sex drives and then expect them to ignore it for their ENTIRE lives”

    Says who? Based on what?

    Based on people I actually know I would say that it is quite reasonable to believe that people can live a happy fulfilling life without sex. It seems as though you are suggesting that your sexual urges are the most powerful drives in your life, that seems strange to me.

    “So God is setting us up to sin?”

    No, no one is saying this.

    “It’s simply not PRACTICAL. It’s not just a struggle for most people, it’s an impossibility. ”

    Again, says who? On what are you basing this? Simply because you can’t or won”t?

    “Goodbye, I see you aren’t capable of actually responding to my arguments.”

    If you were actually making arguments based beyond your own experience it would help.

    “But expecting them to never find love and remain alone for their entire lives would be what a good parent does, right?”

    So now are you equating love and companionship with sex? On what basis would you do this?

    You’ve really never addressed the actual point I’ve made, which is we (society) expect people to control their sexual urges in a variety of ways on a regular basis, why would gays be held to a lower standard than the rest of society?

  85. brycelancaster says:

    Craig, the point that you aren’t getting is that sexual urges are different than sexual identity. It’s one thing to ask somebody not to look at another woman, or to control an urge for kink. It’s a VASTLY different thing to ask them to abstain from romance. And yes, love and compassion on a romantic level are very different from love and compassion on a non-romantic level. The intimacy you feel with a wife, for instance, is unique to that relationship. You can get love and compassion from friends and family members but not on the same level.

    We aren’t expecting gays to be held to a lower standard than the rest of society. We aren’t expecting the rest of society to be chaste for their entire lives. To say that gay’s should do this would be inherently unequal when the only reasoning behind this is because of biblical ones. (For example, we can ask that for those attracted to children or animals, because consent is essential for healthy relationships. There’s a moral reasoning behind why asking these people to repress their sexual identities is good for society outside of a handful of passages from the bible).

    I’m not saying that gay’s should be held to a lower standard. I expect gays to look away in locker rooms, I expect that gays practice fidelity with each other, I think every sexual standard applied to straight couples should apply to Gay’s. What I DON’T expect is that they practice chastity when our straight brethren don’t have to.

    And Terrance, I don’t run from arguments. I work and go to school full time. When three people come at my with different arguments, it can take twenty to thirty minutes to type up accurate responses. I cannot spend all my time on this site refuting asinine claims made by you.

  86. “..the point that you aren’t getting is that sexual urges are different than sexual identity.”

    Are you suggesting that people of one “sexual identity” have a different sort of urge that those of others?

    “… It’s a VASTLY different thing to ask them to abstain from romance.”

    So now you are equating romance with sex. Can you please explain this?

    “And yes, love and compassion on a romantic level are very different from love and compassion on a non-romantic level.”

    But you haven’t demonstrated that said love and companionship require sex. Unless you can do that, you simply are expressing personal preference.

    “The intimacy you feel with a wife, for instance, is unique to that relationship.”

    No question, that the level of intimacy is unique It is not however completely dependent on sex. For example, the unique intimacy we have exists whether we are sexually active or not. I suspect that, if one of us was to lose the capability for sex, that we would retain our unique intimacy. You can’t just continue to assert that sex is necessary for every aspect of a successful relationship.

    ” You can get love and compassion from friends and family members but not on the same level.”

    Again, that’s true. But that’s not what is being talked about. It is possible to ;live a happy and fulfilling life without sex. It is also possible to have a happy and fulfilling marriage without sex. To deny that these ;relationships exist is to deny reality.

    “We aren’t expecting gays to be held to a lower standard than the rest of society.”

    yet you are clearly arguing that homosexuals should not be expected to control their sexual urges in the same fashion people of other predilections do.

    “We aren’t expecting the rest of society to be chaste for their entire lives.”

    Yet you do expect two adult siblings who are sexually attracted to each other to be chaste. We expect all sorts of people be engage in chaste behavior under varying circumstances.

    “To say that gay’s should do this would be inherently unequal when the only reasoning behind this is because of biblical ones.”

    The problem with this statement is that it is demonstrably wrong. No one is expecting random gays to be celibate. The expectation is that if one claims to follow a particular belief system, then that person should actually adhere to the standards of said belief system. I personally have no real issue with what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom. However, when it leaves the bedroom, then I feel that I have the right to an opinion. IN this case, it is impossible to make a positive Biblical case for engaging in homosexual sex. It can’t be done. Even Dan, who thinks its all good, has admitted that there is no positive Biblical case for homosexual sex in the Bible. But no one is attempting to mandate that everyone must accept the same lifestyle limitations that Christians do.

    I hate to be the one to break this to you, but life is inherently unequal. But, to indulge your point, why do you get to define unequal or unfair?

    ” I expect that gays practice fidelity with each other, …”

    Unfortunately you are in a minority in the gay community.

  87. bryce,

    You do run from them because you can’t refute our arguments because your position on a number of issues is inherently illogical. And the proof is your utter reliance on ad hominem attacks that you think can discredit people. You’ve referred to be as an “extremist homophobe” for what, the past week now? And then cry like a sissy when I return the favor. You should be thanking us for not banning your ass like liberal blogs do to conservatives. Fortunately, we believe in free speech around here – and not just speech we agree with.

    Now, regarding same-sex marriage.

    Fact of the matter is, homosexual relationships are not equal to heterosexual relationships and cannot accomplish any of the goals government originally had in mind, and therefore they should not be recognized. Second, you cannot change the definition of marriage for one group of people and then deny a change to another group, not in a nation of laws and legal precedent anyway.

  88. brycelancaster says:

    One hundredth comment! I win!

    Right Terrance, you cannot change the definition of marriage for one group of people and then deny a chance to another group. That’s why you lost the same-sex marriage debate with the legalization of racial marriages. You say that changing our definition of race is different than changing our definition of gender, but then how is changing the definition of gender different than changing the definition of numbers?

    I’m sorry you’re so angry. :( I don’t know what your home situation is like. I shouldn’t be insensitive and for that I apologize. I won’t call you names anymore, it’s not nice and I don’t want to make you even angrier. I’m sincerely sorry.

  89. brycelancaster says:

    Craig, are you saying it’s okay for me to hold hands with a boy, to kiss a boy, to hold a boy, and to tell a boy I love him, but it’s not okay to have sexual relations with that boy EVER? I can understand why couples who are older together choose to abstain from sex. Don’t try to compare those couples to those who are young and courting each other. The circumstances are different.

    Sexual urges are not the same as an entire sexual identity. This is what you don’t understand, and until you do this argument is going to keep going on in circles. Nobody else with morally healthy sexual identities is expected to withhold their urges like that. And the only moral argument against homosexuality is made under the same doctrine which makes moral arguments against women having rights. When we see the passages talking about women being property, we ignore them because in our culture, there’s no moral argument against women having rights without doctrine. Likewise, there’s no moral argument against homosexuality without the context of the bible. For a God to say that is a REQUIREMENT for a single group of people to be celibate for their entire lives does hold under the image of a God who loves his children. So please don’t pretend to worship a God which loves all of his children.

  90. Right Terrance, you cannot change the definition of marriage for one group of people and then deny a chance to another group. That’s why you lost the same-sex marriage debate with the legalization of racial marriages.

    Not really, no. Why? Oh, because like I PROVED on the other thread, interracial marriage never changed the definition of marriage.

    …then how is changing the definition of gender different than changing the definition of numbers?

    It wouldn’t be. You’d have to change the numbers as well. You’d have to allow all manner of sexual perverts to marry.

    I’m sorry you’re so angry.

    Not angry at all.

  91. “Nobody else with morally healthy sexual identities is expected to withhold their urges like that. ”

    Sure they are, it happens all the time. Of course, you are presuming that homosexual sex is “morally healthy”, which is certainly not indisputable. In fact you haven’t even made a non circular argument to support this.

    “…are you saying it’s okay for me to hold hands with a boy, to kiss a boy, to hold a boy, and to tell a boy I love him, but it’s not okay to have sexual relations with that boy EVER?”

    Not at all. I’m saying that such behavior is inconsistent with what the Bible tells us regarding appropriate sexual expression. So, as I said earlier, feel free to do whatever you want to, just don’t suggest that you can find support in the Bible, or try to force anyone else to approve of your choices.

    “Sexual urges are not the same as an entire sexual identity.”

    i never said they were.

  92. “For a God to say that is a REQUIREMENT for a single group of people to be celibate for their entire lives does hold under the image of a God who loves his children.”

    Since when are you empowered to speak for God?

  93. Bryce,

    You’re perspective is skewed. You prefer to believe it begins with you and ends with you. It doesn’t. Your focus should be on pleasing God despite how hard it might seem with the pressure of your particular temptation bearing down upon you. Then, you pretend that somehow, YOUR temptation is harder to resist, that it is particularly oppressive because of “how God made” you. Further, you add to your lament by lumping yourself in with others who are homosexual, as if what others have or have not, do or don’t do, must resist or not resist, rather than focusing on whether or not YOU are doing God’s Will. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to believe your situation is more difficult than what others must go through. It doesn’t matter if others experience the same as you. You take the position that you are being picked on by God in a manner no one who isn’t homosexual is. If you truly care about pleasing God, He will help you. But you obviously seem to care most about your own sensual pleasures. Not good, regardless of whether or not God exists.

  94. paynehollow says:

    I’ve not heard Bryce say the first thing about doing things for his own sensual pleasure. It’s simply not there in his words. I’ve heard him speaking of justice and standing against oppression, but not for personal pleasure.

    Perhaps you have been blinded by your cultural biases?

    ~Dan

  95. “I can understand why couples who are older together choose to abstain from sex.”

    Who said anything about being older? Not I. I’ve had to practice self control in my sexual life at various times in my life.

    “Don’t try to compare those couples to those who are young and courting each other. ”

    yeah, because we want to encourage couples who are courting to have lots of sex, that’s got some Biblical support too, right?

    Nice try.

    • Let’s all realize this is a very touchy subject. It’s even moreso given that a participant here is personally effected by this subject.

      How about everyone take some deep breaths and relax.

      There’s lots of name-calling and insults and I think we can all be grown-ups and take a step back.

      We can disagree without personally attacking anyone. I want everyone who comments here to feel like they can express a view without being personally attacked.

      If anyone is reading this and immediately sees this applying to the other guy, it probably applies to you too.

      Maybe everyone reread the comments from the beginning and think about how you could have worded something differently regardless of how the other guy responded.

      This all includes me too.

      Everyone have a good night.

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