Homosexuals for Christ, Yeah!

As you hear more and more in the news, the "body of Christ" as we call it, the modern Churches abroad, are starting to accept homosexuality. For instance, here's a recent article about the United Church of Christ, a large Protestant denomination, endoring same-sex marriages. The article starts with a quote from a United Church of Christ reverend,

"What a joy it brought me to be part of making the church and the world more welcoming to some of my dearest friends who are gay and lesbian," said the Rev. Kim Wells, delegate to the synod and pastor of Lakewood United Church of Christ in St. Petersburg."

The world must be thinking, "hurray! what a day for human rights!", I thought to myself. This article moved me in such a way that I felt compelled to write about this.

Homosexuality is such a touchy, politically correct subject that any comment on it is almost sure to incite a flame war in the ensuing posts, with insinuations of sinful immorality on one side and blatant bigotry on the other, complete with misquotations, false accusations, and out-of-context rants that end up comparing the other side to Nazi Germany or some other fascist organization, as all internet arguments eventually do (see Arguing On the Internet, stategy #3).

Those kinds of discussions are pointless. For the believers in Christ, it's better not to condemn homosexuals, easy as that is, because frankly most of us have done things on par with what we consider as evil: lying, cursing, pornography, pedophilia, promiscuity, adultery, drugs & alcohol addictions, whatever your vice, every one of us has fallen short, myself included.

With that obvious truth, why are we believers in Christ so concerned with homosexuality when we're so busy doing our own sins, keeping our evil ways secret by pointing the finger at everyone else? Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. Who are we to say that someone who practices a certain sin should be shunned in society, let alone banned from houses of God?!

We have no right. Because if we shun people for practicing something we believe to be immoral, by the same rule, the whole world should be shunned and ashamed of its bottomless pleasures.

In the court case of homosexuality and its detractors, this is the opening arguments from the detractors: homosexuals should be shunned in society because of their disgusting, unnatural behavior; they ought to be hidden from the public eye, banned from worshipping God in churches, and condemned to hell because of it.

This argument is on thin ice: the head of the body of believers, Jesus himself, did little 'condemning to hell' sort of preaching, he was more about love and forgiveness. Furthermore, Jesus's own followers were the skim-off-the-top, greedy tax collectors, the prostitutes, the low life and the poor; belief in God has never been limited to an elite moral class, on the contrary, it is usually those who have little pride left, the broken in spirit, the humble hearts, these are keen to hearing and following the ways of God.

So let's just throw that rather bigotted argument out the window right now. Let's assume that homosexuals are just like the rest of us: sure they sin (like us) but hey, they're just normal people. Leave the "sick & disgusting" kind of arguments at the door because we are all guilty.

With petty arguments in the clear, here is the brunt of the argument, folks, for acceptance or rebuke of homosexuality, this is what's at the core of the issue: whether homosexuality is right or wrong.

Think about what that means for a minute, don't just skim over it because you've heard it before. Is homosexuality an immoral practice? I'm not talking about the relativistic, politically correct, always changing version of morality portrayed in the modern media. Our modern, western idea of morality is, "If it feels good, and you want it, go right ahead."

How fortunate that our western ideas are totally wrong!

Just because you want something doesn't make it right. The fact that a pedophile is extremely attracted to small children does not give him the right to molest them. And if everyone who desired to have an extra-marital affair would go ahead - what would our society look like? Don't be confused, I'm not equating pedphilia or adultery with homosexuality, but rather, realize that merely wanting to do something does not make it right.

No, we believers are truely blessed to have a never-changing standard of right and wrong, a 4000-year-tested chunk of pure God-inspired wisdom, which we call Scripture. This Scripture, in particular, the Law (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) lays out for us a righteous, healthy way to live: covering everything from best dietary habits to human sexuality to having a personal relationship with God. The Law is confirmed in the New Testament: the Law affirms sound doctrine, is holy, righteous, good, and is used for recognizing sin, and finally, the Law coincides with love, joy, peace, not giving up, kindness, goodness, having faith, gentleness, and being the master over your own desires.

I am addressing believers here. If you believe that something inspired by God is worth keeping note of, listen carefully. This God-inspired writing which would strut around as our Bibles states quite clearly whether homosexuality is or is not immoral. If we take that God-inspired word seriously, should we not follow it regardless of what the world believes?

Now, I have yet to reveal whether our God-inspired "what is right and wrong" way of living says about homosexuality. Yet as honest believers in the Messiah, we know that it is better to follow God regardless of what the world thinks; even if only a single person knows the truth, it is still the truth regardless of the millions that may oppose him.

What, then, is the truth? Is homosexuality really immoral to our God? Rather than answer with my own prejudices and biases, allow me to point you to the truth itself and let you decide for yourself whether homosexuality is immoral from a Scriptural point of view: Paul talks about this to the Romans, and also in his letter to Timothy. Or how about the code of Law by which we are to live, which states quite clearly whether or not homosexuality is acceptable to God. Finally, Jesus lays out a simple way to determine the best course of action: the world follows evil, few truely follow God; given that truth, we reason that evil is recognizable by what the world follows.

The world doesn't know right from wrong because it follows the law of the world: do whatever feels right. Some churches and many believers don't follow God either despite knowing better, it's easier to follow the world -- fit in and be politically correct -- than it is to follow God and do good. I can't say I blame them, following God is no easy thing! While I can't blame the Church, I can neither excuse them: we can't just say that it's too hard to follow God, so we should just give in to the world and its empty pleasures. Churches like the Church of Christ may excuse their own beliefs for the sake of justifying themselves through human reasoning, yet their scrambling to justify their stance is evidence of the Church's knowledge of its own godless reasoning.

I hope believers who read this come to a clearer understanding of whether homosexuality is immoral to God. For unbelievers, I don't judge homosexuals according to the law of the world; for one, it's hard to judge people against a moving target, but also because it's better not to judge anyone in the first place since we are all equally guilty of our human, bottomless, empty sin-seeking. I'd rather convince unbelievers of the truth of our Messiah before judging and condemning them. When someone finally turns back to God, you can then, at last, start on the right path that naturally diverges from our tired old vices.

Toward the end of the article, a United Church of Christ minister announced the true freedom his church's ruling has set loose:

"If we had put it to a vote of the people in the pews, it would have failed overwhelmingly," he said. "This is truly Independence Day for the UCC: We have declared ourselves independent from the teachings of Jesus and the clear teachings of Scripture."


  1. Love the blog, found your homepage in your /. sig. Refreshing to see there is another Christian techie not obsessed with pr0n on slashdot. I am going to keep your page in my RSS feeds. Keep posting the great stuff! I am glad you took this path with your homosexualtiy argument. Glad you didn't "cast the first stone." Best of luck to you and your wife, my wife and I are newlyweds too. God Bless

    Nick Schmidt
    nick {@} sblug _dot_ org

  2. I'm too tired to read the full article right now. I did read a good portion of it.However, I find your attitude quite refreshing. It amazes me that while the teachings of Jesus are about loving each other, even the non-Christians, that the current mainstream Christian attitude that appears to me to call for hatred against gays, and everybody else that seems to be different (*cough*Muslim*cough*) should be totally out of character. This is the first time that I've read somebody that agrees with me on this.

    You're getting put on my RSS feed.

    And like Nick, I found you via your /. sig. :)

    And Nick, since when did /. have to do with Christianity and pr0n? It's all about the pr0n! :-P It's just that some of it isn't carnal pr0n. Bring on the PHP code, baby!

    BTW, I don't consider myself to be Christian. I put myself in the agnostic Deist camp, which probably makes me quite the rare bird.

  3. Nick & Bryan, thanks for stopping by and posting, I appreciate the traffic and the feedback.

    Nick, you're about the 8th guy to stop by from /. and say "boy, good to see Christian techies on Slashdot". :-) It seems to me there is quite a few believers on that site.

    I'm with you on the "don't cast the first stone". Like Jesus, we shouldn't be condemning people to hell, but rather, we should forgive them and help them break free from their addictions and sins.

    Bryan, I'm looking at your profile. Me and my wife are big SG1 & Atlantis fans, great show. I'm actually liking Battlestar Galactica right now more than anything though. I find the Landover Baptist thing unfair and mocking, though sadly, some of it isn't far from the truth for some ignorant believers (of which there are far too many).

    An agnostic deist, interesting, you don't get too many of those today! So I know a deist believes in God, though he is unknowable, and has not intervened in his world after setting the natural processes into action. What then is your stance on Jesus; you seem to believe he was about love, but do you believe his claims that he is God, or of God? Or do you believe that was a fabrication of the New Testament writers?

  4. Judah, your /. buddy cavemanf16 here. Read this post and couldn't agree more! My RSS feed from my own blog (caveserv.homelinux.net) will be moving shortly to caveserv.blogsite.org as I am in the process of moving my personal websites to a hosted solution with GoDaddy (which will also free up an old laptop for fiddling with Linux on it. ;)

    But back to the topic at hand. I almost thought you were being sarcastic with that last bit about the end of the article, so I went and read the article for myself. Amazingly, you WEREN'T being sarcastic, and the church leader actually did praise ... the church, I guess... for completely disconnecting themselves "from the teachings of Jesus and the clear teachings of Scripture."! ?!? I don't get how anyone could actually logically think saying such a thing would make any sense! But whatever. I also never thought that my ex-sister-in-law was capable of all the crap she pulled on my family, but alas, that happened too. It's always refreshing to actually read a Christian's perspective on this life and the issues facing us in American society today that doesn't have his head up his butt. I find myself shaking my head at a lot of wrong-headed "Christian teachings" in the US these days. Thanks again for the logical, fresh perspective, bro!

  5. cave, thanks for the comments.

    I think the UCC guy at the end of the article was going against the UCC head, saying how the so-called "indepedence day" was an indepence from God. He makes a good point.

    Yeah, your RSS feed hasn't been working too well; I can read the feed using FireFox's builtin RSS feed reader, but if I click on the actual link to an article from the feed, I get the following error:

    Template Error: filename: file /var/www/html/geeklog/blog/layout/caveserv/archivestorytext.thtml does not exist.

    Anyways, thanks for stopping by! Talk to you again soon.

  6. Good post.
    We shouldn't be condemning gays, but instead we should be converting them. Once they are Christian, they are called to a higher purpose - to be obedient.

  7. Jason, thanks for posting.

    I think it's better to show people, homosexual or not, Christ's love first and foremost, even if we're not actively converting them. It seems to me it's better to show love than condemn to hell.

    I see in your profiler you're from Illinois. Where abouts do you live in Illinois? I used to live there for almost 10 years, in Naperville, Yorkville, South Elgin, Plainfield, among other places.

  8. Hey Judah, just stopped by for the first time in a while. I haven't read the links that explain your opinion, cuz I wanted to post how I felt about the post before reading those. But I just wanted to say that it is great to read the thoughts of someone who doesn't take the extreme stance on either side and who knows how to sift through nonsense and make practical arguments. Whether I will agree or disagree with your opinion won't matter because I have great respect for your way of addressing an issue. Take care!

  9. Not intended to flame. If it comes across as such I apologize now. However, I would view it as a very strong caution:

    Odd that the ancient greeks had words that referred to what we might call homosexuality, as opposed to male prostitutes, yet never actually used them. It's tragic what happens when people treat the English language version as the one true Bible, when clearly it is not.

    While I greatly admire the lack of vilification from devout Christians, you do yourselves a disservice for not researching the matter using the context of source languages and the cultures in which those books were written. Instead, you repackage rhetoric without evaluating it.

    Indeed, taking into account the differences in language and culture, there is strong evidence that the Bible has been in a chronic state of mis-translation for centuries, and that it really has very little to say on what Americans would term homosexuality.

    There are sources out there, and not too difficult to find if you start talking to gay church groups (Dignity, Kinship, etc). I won't bother listing them: either you'll be interested enough to find them yourselves, or you'll not be interested enough to get anything out of the experience.

    It is religion, after all, and therefore beyond rational thought. This isn't in itself a fault: it's merely the nature of religion to give something to stand on when rationality doesn't satisfy. It doesn't mean, unfortunately, that one must abandon rational thought when thinking about religion. You may discover a richer, more fulfilling religious life if you make the effort.

    To jasonh: You fool yourself greatly, given the very devout homosexuals I've known, including one recently ordained in his church, as well as a couple in monastic orders.

    Judah and Nick: congratulations on your marriages.

  10. Michelle, it's been a long time since I've talked to you last. Good to hear from you.

    I think you and I talked about homosexuality a long time ago and we disagreed on the major issue but came down to some common ground eventually on the matter of what person can judge what's right and wrong. I guess what it comes down to is that, as a believer in God, I believe that only God can say what is right and wrong. And from Scripture, which I believe to be God's Word, I can know what is right and wrong.

    Keith, your comment did not come off as a flame. I'm pleasantly surprised that the unbelievers that've posted here haven't resorted to the tired old insults that I've grown accustomed to. I appreciate your keeping things civil.

    I'd like to address some of your points.

    you do yourselves a disservice for not researching the matter using the context of source languages and the cultures in which those books were written.

    Ah, but the particular Scripture I was speaking of, the Torah, or as Christians call it, the Pentateuch, is still in it's original language, Hebrew, and is still interpreted by the same Israeli culture that it originated in. The fact that we have a preserved 3000 year old culture still in existence today is nothing short of miraculous.

    But the argument that the Torah or Paul was not talking about homosexuality due to mistranslations is simply not possible: one *could* argue that in 1 Timothy, "homosexuality" could've been translated wrongly, but later in Romans, Pauls literally states

    "In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed sexual acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."

    That's pretty tough to get around, and we still have Greek manuscripts of Paul's letters, not subject to anglicizing or modern biases.

    Further, the Torah, of which there are 2000+ year old manuscripts available (few chances for mistranslation, and still in the original language) states an equally clear message:

    "'Men, do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable to Me.

    " 'Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations have become defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

    "'Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. Keep My ways and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the LORD your God.'"

    It'd be pretty hard to mistranslate an entire passage like that, don't you agree? I've only listed 2 here, but in fact there are several more; it seems to me that the few people trying to refute the idea that the Bible is against homosexuality are those that either want to fit in with the politically correct world, or those that reject Scripture altogether.

    I'm just following God best I know how, and the best way I know how is too look at Scripture from many angles. Unfortunately for the politically correct folks, on the subject of homosexuality, Scripture is resoundingly clear.

    If you can prove me wrong, and prove to me that the Scripture isn't against homosexuality, I'd not only recant my views, but I'd make several posts dedicated to my newfound insight.

    Until that time, I'll keep publicizing what I believe to be right as loud as I can, because I'm now certain I've found the truth on this topic. If you don't agree, have a look for yourself and discover what is right and wrong according to God.

  11. Actually, the culture os Israel is much different than it was 3000 years ago. If that's a wrong statement, then Israel was Ptolemy's Atlantis, and his source lied about it being an island nation. That's like the neo-Pagans saying their practices are the same as those practiced by the Druidic cultures that more or less died out when Christianity took over. Even there, very few seriously apply their scholarship.

    According to some historians who've studied the culture, in the Middle East of 3000 years ago, the sins of Sodom wouldn't have been buggery -- it would have been inhospitality. This fits with various cultures of the area; Zeus was associated with travellers, for example, for similar reason. To not open your doors to a traveller in those days would be to let them die from exposure in the desert night. This same story is retold in many cultures, and it's always about hospitality to the disguised god/demi-god/messenger. [As an aside, can Lot be called a righteous man who sends his daughters to be raped by a crowd, just for his own peace and quiet? -- sorry, pet peeve with people trying to point to *that* guy as a role model.]

    According to similar sources, the purpose of the Old Testament laws was to give a cultural identity to a wandering people. That is: we've come out of enslavement, by what means can we say to others, "This is what is means to be Hebrew". Is there anything truly wrong with wearing red, or eating shrimp or pork? Should the priesthood be forbidden to marry? Certainly, many Christians would say these are silly questions, and billions of others having nothing to do with Moses, Abraham, Christ, or Mohammad. Who is correct, and by what method do we determine this?

    As you would agree, I think, you can't pick and choose the laws you say you follow. If the Torah is to be taken as law by a non-Jew, or if Paul is to be taken seriously, it must be taken in its entirety or some compelling method must be proffered which will filter the law from the tradition. To do otherwise is hypocritical at best.

    Check out Daniel Helminiak for an interesting read (you can look him up on Amazon). He's closer to the source material than I can be (I went into astrophysics, not theology like he did, though it was a thought). He talks about the specific wording used in the passages and what terms they seemed to go out of their way to avoid using; and in those omissions he finds meaning. That's part of what I was alluding to earlier. As I recall (it's been a while), he specifically covers Ruth and Naomi, David and Saul.

    Remember: are you a wandering Hebrew from three thousand years ago, as well as a two-thousand-year-old Greek, or are you a modern English speaker?

    Even in modern times, language is loose. Cross the US/Mexican border, and the whole label "homosexual" changes meaning, and some activities aren't even seen as anything other than conventional heterosexuality.

    The fact is that translation is a very slippery thing, and very heavily biased toward the culture of those doing the translation. It's a lossy process: either meaning is inserted where meaning was never implied, or subtleties in meaning are completely lost that would have been obvious earlier. It is an unavoidable problem.

    It's problems like transcription and translation that have prompted other religions -- Judaism and Islam for example -- to have very strict traditions regarding the transcription of their texts, if not the outright banning of translation. You may believe the bible to be the Word of God, and that's perfectly fine, but you must remember that the copy of the word you're familiar with is so processed by mere humans that it must be taken with much more skepticism than many practitioners including church leaders care to exercise.

    Anyway, back to work.

  12. Pharisaical Jews, including Hasidic and Orthodox Rabbanite Jews, are very much the same as they were 2000 years ago, but all that is moot: fact is, there is no cross-language translation of Torah! We have Hebrew manuscripts not subject to the "lost in translation" idea.

    I think I made my point clear before; you could against one or two passages whether the word "homosexuality" really means same-sex relations (even though, in context of the passage it is quite clear), but there are other passages (I mentioned 2 in the previous posting) that explicitly talk about same-gender sex, which God says is an abomination! And not just in my anglicized Bible, but in the Hebrew Torah which isn't subject to cross-language translation, but is still in the language it was originally written in!

    Come on. It's time to stop trying squeeze our way around Scripture just so we can fit in better with the world and be all nice and PC. It's nice and all to try and fit in with the PC view and fit in with the rest of the world, but isn't it better to try to follow God's ways than men's ideas?

    I don't know whether you agree, but I believe that Scripture, in its original form, is inspired by God. That means I believe God wanted these writings to survive for a purpose. And if such God-inspired writings are here for people, for a purpose, then that purpose must be so that people can know what is right and wrong. Don't you think so? Or do you believe Scripture is not inspired by God? What's your view on that?

  13. Judah:
    I live in east-central Illinois, Effingham. About 250mi south of Chicago on I-57.

    Hopefully, within the process of conversion Christ's love will be evident. You can't believe the word without hearing about it first right?

    Homosexuals can appear to be devout, but if you are disobedient do you really love God? Sexual immorality and homosexuality are an abomination to God - a sin. All sin is disobedience. Read the epistles of John and you will realize just how important obedience is.

  14. Way on the south side, eh. :-) Cubs or Sox? :-) Go Cubbies (and Twins, my Twins need to catch up with your Sox!)

    Well said on the obedience thing! How can one be in the ministry of God, yet openly deny God, disobey his Word, and continue in rebellion rather than repentance? I can't imagine how a homosexual minister would continue on...when reading Scripture to his congregation, would he skip over Romans, Timothy, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, since those parts of Scripture assert homosexuality is an abomination to God? It would have to be either rebellion or ignorance on the minister's part.

  15. Hello Judah,
    I thought I would drop by and see how things were going. I think that you (and Jason) are right on the money. People have always tried to make scripture conform to their chosen lifestyle by discounting the portions they don't agree with. The feminists tried do discount much of Paul's teaching because he was, in their view, a chauvinist. Some of this is due to Christians misinterpreting Paul's teaching and using it as a club to beat their wives into their notion of submission.

    I have been going back and forth with someone on my blog about God's love. His last post was mostly about trying to convince me of the errancy of the Bible by throwing a few links at me.

    Take care

  16. Judah:
    I'm a St. Louis Cardinals fan so I'm about as anti-Cubs as one can get.

    BTW, ignorance is no excuse for sin. IMO its outright rebellion.

  17. It's difficult to say. If ignorance is outright rebellion, then what about the majority of Christians that ignorantly continue on with Christian-labeled pagan holidays, such as Lent, Easter, or other so-called Christian, yet non-Scriptural, observances?

    I could start listing off several things that we Christians are "ignorant" of; if ignorance is rebellion, then Christians are a rebellious-to-God kind of people, big time!

    Anyways, getting back on topic, it seems to me that this ignorance is purposeful. I was watching two homosexual Christian ministers on TV awhile back, and when confronted with the "what do you do about Paul's words in Romans, Timothy, or Moses's teachings in the Law", they responded by chiding the interviewer for throwing "Scriptural hand-grenades" at them. It seems to me that they are purposefully ignoring Scripture, and purposeful ignorance, I would agree with you, is rebellion.

  18. Good post. I followed your link from CP (sorry all you /.-ers :P ). How true it is that we've all fallen short of the glory of God. Very well put.

  19. Thanks for stopping by Nitron. Good to see some CPians in the midst of all these Slashdotters! :-)

  20. I'm a CPian too, in case you didn't know.

    In my previous post, I didn't mean that ignorance was outright rebellion. I was referring to homosexual christians and those that say its ok.

    BTW, there is nothing wrong with celebrating holidays according to Romans 14:5-7. You may be a weak brother for doing it, but it doesn't become wrong until we force it on others.

  21. Ah, I didn't know you were from CodeProject. Well good to have you here in any case.

    As for holidays, I've brought it up before (see this post on Lent, or this one on Easter). The Easter post has some debate in the comments section, good stuff). In Romans, Paul is telling the Romans that if you say one day is holier than another, or one eating habit is better than another, well that's ok, unless you start condemning people because of it; by then, you've lost sight of what's right and cause division.

    Division and condemnation isn't my thing. I do think Scriptural holidays are of God, and our western holidays are made by men. To me, it's difficult to understand Paul, considering he followed the Law yet seemingly taught others not to do so, which goes against Jesus' words in Matthew 5:17-20.

    It seems to me either Paul is refuting Jesus or we have a mistranslation of Romans and Galations on our hands. I could be totally wrong on either count; I don't really know, but it is a good topic for discussion.

  22. How was Paul following the Law and telling others not to do so?

  23. Paul seemingly followed the Law, in that, not only did he say how the Law is beneficial and holy (Timothy 1:8, Romans 7:11, Galations 5:19, to name a few), but he also circumcised Timothy according to the Law, and furthermore, observed the Scriptural feasts such as Pentacost, Passover, and so on. Of course, all this would be natural to Paul, being raised a Law-observant Jew himself by one of the most famous of rabbis, Gamaliel.

    Yet Paul seemingly says, "hey, all food is ok to eat" later on in Romans, encouraging people not to cause division based on dietary habits. Further, he says, "hey, don't get all uptight if somebody observes some different holidays than you", also in Romans & Galatians. Teaching that all food is ok to eat, and that all holidays are ok to observe not only goes against the Law, but is wide open for sinful exploitation & idolatry: an early Roman believer could go to Zeus festivals and celebrate the god of Olympus by drinking blood, or I could go to a gay parade, decked out in drag...you get the idea.

    Here's the crux: if Paul is countering Jesus's words in Matt 5:17, the New Testament is contradictory.

    Or throw it around the other way: maybe Paul isn't saying we should do away with the Law. If that's the case, what the heck are Christians doing by ignoring the Scriptural holidays?

    Or to look at it in yet another different light: what if Paul AND Jesus are saying we should do away with the Law? Well, then, I'd say Jesus is not the Messiah, and Paul's faith was in vain, because the Law and the prophets are the very thing that validates & establishes Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah of Israel.

  24. Jesus came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. He made what was unclean, clean again.

    When you sign a contract to do programming work you are obligated to do the work until the contract is fulfilled. Once it is fulfilled, you are no longer bound by that contract.

    Jesus established a new contract (covenent) with his people. We are not bound by the Law, but that does not mean we cannot practice some things in the Law. For example, when Paul circumcised Timothy, he did so not to abide by the covenent God established with Israel, but to help Timothy in his ministry with Jews. They probably wouldn't listen to someone who wasn't circumcized.

    As Christians we know that God's laws are good, and we want to please the Lord so we obey his laws. We are not bound by a contract, but we are free in love. The love takes away the burden of the law. Now I'm not meaning "the Law," but God's immutable laws. Love God, love one another, etc.

    The other things, like the Jewish feasts, etc. Those were all shadows of Christ. Those were fulfilled and are no longer binding agents. We don't have to sacrifice - Jesus is our lamb now and forever. We don't need Passover - we have the Lord's Supper. Etc, etc. Paul practiced these Jewish customs when he needed to be accpeted by Jews. That doesn't make them binding to all Christians or all Messianic Jews, and it doesn't contradict Christ's teaching or nullify his sacrifice.

  25. I can agree with you on some of the things you said, love in particular. You said,

    The love takes away the burden of the law. Now I'm not meaning "the Law," but God's immutable laws. Love God, love one another, etc.

    You're right. However, you mentioned God's immutable laws (in particular, the ones Jesus mentioned as the 2 most important laws); did you know those 2 laws he mentioned are not new laws that Jesus made up, but are actually found the Law itself? (see Lev. 19:18 and Deut 30:6) In effect, God's immutable laws (at least, the ones you cited) are, in fact, part of the Law.

    I agree with you that we don't need sacrifices; even David came to realization in the Psalms that God is not pleased by sacrifices; I think sacrifice was a way to show God that he meant enough to you that you would give something very valuable (especially in that argicultural society) to him.

    Isaiah further validates this when he comes to realize that the blood of bulls and goats cannot atone for sin. In that sense, the Messiah has truely fulfilled the law by making it complete: the Sacrifice Lamb has been slain once and for all.

    The other things, like the Jewish feasts, etc. Those were all shadows of Christ.

    I think a lot of Christians mistakenly equate Jews with Israel. These are not "Jewish feasts"; in fact, several times in Scripture God calls them "His feasts". What's more, the Jews are not all of Israel. The Jews are about 1/3 of Israel, descending from 4 (Judah, Benjamin, Levi, Simeon) of the 12 sons of Jacob that comprise Israel. What's more, Paul says that those who believe in Jesus are grafted into Israel, receiving the blessings and promises of Abraham.

    Given this bit of knowledge, we know that the Scriptural feasts are God's feasts, and their celebration is meant for all of Israel (not just the Jews).

    That said, I agree that these Scriptural feasts were shadows of the Messiah: Passover is about how the blood of a spotless lamb caused the spirit of God to pass us over for judgement. Jesus fulfilled Passover, the blood of the spotless Lamb of God is now our atonement, our protection from judgment. Or the Feast of First Fruits: this may come as a surprise to some Christians, but Jesus wasn't raised from the dead on Easter, but on the Feast of First Fruits, Jesus being the first fruits from the dead, as Scripture puts it. I could go on about how Jesus is the fulfillment of these feasts, but that is for another post.

    So Jesus fulfilled them. He is the whole point of not only the feasts, but of the whole Law. Does that mean we don't have to follow the Law?

    Christians would like to believe we can throw away the Law. We certainly do not have to follow the Law to be saved (Paul talks about this many times). However, it seems to me Jesus says we shouldn't throw out the Law; he seemingly says, "hey, it's a righteous way to live, so live by it". Take Jesus's words in Matthew 5:19, where he says anyone who teaches you don't have to follow the Law will be considered least in the kingdom of Heaven. Ouch! If we're to take that literally, there will be a lot of lowly people up there. :-)

    What are your thoughts on this, Jason? Do you think following the Law, while apparently not necessary for salvation through Messiah, is a good idea? What are your thoughts on Matthew 5?

  26. Oh, I almost forgot, in that last post I meant to ask you something: what is this "Lord's supper" you speak of -- I can't find it in Scripture anywhere! :-)

    (sorry, couldn't resist! :-) )

    Yeah, if you look at the Scripture that inspired the famous "Lord's Supper" painting, you'll notice that the phrase "Lord's supper" isn't mentioned anywhere. It is, however, mentioned 4 times that they are, in actuality, celebrating Passover.

  27. Hello Judah,
    I don’t believe that there are any differences between the teachings of Jesus and Paul. It all comes down to who does what. Most of us have no problem stating that our salvation is a gift of God’s grace, all from Him and none of us. Yet, we try to live the Christian life as if God has lowered a big rope, that represents or Christian walk, and expects us to climb it through our own effort. So we start climbing the rope only to come back down in failure. We try to climb if again and again, until in utter exhaustion (spiritual) we realize that God’s grace isn’t a rope that He dangles in front of us.

    The Christian life is totally grace. God initiated it, God fulfills it, and God will complete it. God doesn’t provide 50% and expect the other 50% from us. It is either all of grace or none of grace. Hundreds of years before Christ came; Ezekiel foretold that God would do it all. Look at the I will’s in Ezekiel 36:26-27:

    “I will give you a new heart.”
    “I will put a new spirit within you.”
    “I will remove the heart of stone.”
    “I will give you a heart of flesh.”
    “I will put My Spirit with in you.”
    “I will cause you to walk in My statutes.”

    Paul wrote, we have died to the law (Romans 7:4-6). We no longer have any relationship to it, nor do we look to it in an effort to fulfill it. Bu the law does reveal the character of God, and God’s intent is to manifest His life through us. As He does that, He will Himself fulfill the law through us. Or, in other words, He will reflect His own character. So He says to us, “I will cause you to walk in them.” After all, I’m the Lawgiver and the Lawkeeper, so I can cause you to walk in them.

    Nothing of God has its point of origin with us. But everything of God will be manifested as us in our world. On the outside, it’s going to look like us. But it won’t have its point of origin within us. The point of origin is God’s "I will" in you. There is something that we do have to do. We have to be willing for God to work in our hearts to “cut out” the areas that don’t look like Him…so to speak. We have to surrender our lives to Him and trust that He is working in our hearts (Philippians 2:13).

    Before I was saved, I drank, I had a bad temper, I was into other bad things that will remain nameless, I wasn’t very generous, I was untrusting and unforgiving…the list goes on. I didn’t stop drinking because I read in the Bible that it was wrong, He simply took away my desire to drink. It was nothing I did or thought about doing, He simply changed the desire of my heart. How does someone resolve to stop having a bad temper? Yet, with no effort or resolution on my part, my outbursts of temper have become few and far between…getting fewer all the time. That can only be God. How do you truly forgive someone apart from God? Simply saying the words because you read them in the law is not forgiveness. Forgiveness comes in the form of a changed heart. Again, only God can do that. Not the keeping of the “forgive others” law.

    We can try to keep the law in our own effort, but we have to keep them all. If we break one, we have broken them all. How is that going to work out in someone’s life? It will bring guilt and condemnation, which is exactly what it was intended to do. Jesus died to free us from the law and to remove the condemnation, when we trust Him as our Savior. The law was a tutor to bring us to Him, now we no longer need the tutor, because the law is fulfilled by Him through us.

  28. Gary, as always, excellent post. Seems to me you're always filled with the love and understanding of Christ, God bless you for that, man. The apparent love of God in you far outweighs any differences I might have with you over the Law, praise God for that!

    You know, if someone is truely following Jesus, it makes sense their fruit -- the person's actions and way of living -- will automatically begin to fall in line with God's ways. It seems to me this is what happened to you, Gary, at least from the way you described it. You followed God and naturally your fruits starting showing it. I believe these kinds of transformations are living proof of Scripture prophecy in Isaiah and Hebrews, where this new messianic covenent would write the Law on our hearts. The Law of God on our hearts, so we're not just physically saying "I forgive you" because it says so in the Law, but "I forgive you" because you actually forgive that person from your heart.

    As far as grace goes, I've seen something for a long time now that I haven't made known to anyone. It appears to me that while God's grace is there without us having to do anything, if we walk away from the ways of God, then we aren't really in grace. Full acceptance of grace & salvation means you will automatically, almost without effort, be walking according to God's ways, the Law.

    Here's a real world example. Say a man says he accepts Jesus as his covering for sin. Right after, he goes to Vegas, sleeps with a prostitute, gambles away his life savings, robs the casino, then shoots a cop on the way out, all without remorse. With an unrepentant heart, it is apparent by his fruits that he didn't really accept grace! If he had, he would've known that theft, murder, prostitution, and so on are sin (defined in the Law, no less!). In other words, if he had truely been saved by grace through faith in Messiah, he would've walked closer in the ways of God (the Law), giving up his old ways and following the way of God.

    That isn't to say that no one sins and no one breaks the Law. On the contrary, we all break the Law, but it is apparent by our fruit that we are striving to keep it, trying to live in a closer relationship with God. And when I sin, it seems to me that I should have a repentant heart, not a hardened "who cares, God forgives me anyways" attitude.

    I see the Law as the physical "here is what's right and wrong" writings. I agree with Paul's thought that the Law defines sin (thus condemning us, knowing we've sinned), which brings us to the fact that we need atonement of sin. Jesus is that atonement, and in that sense, the Law points to the Messiah.

    What I'm having a hard time rationalizing -- and maybe you can elaborate more on what you believe -- is if Jesus "freed us from the Law", does that mean we don't have to follow what's written in the Law? If that's true, how can that be reconciled with Jesus's own words in Matthew 5, where he says teaching others to follow the Law == great in heaven, whereas teaching others not to follow the Law == least in heaven.

    I think we're not far apart on this, really; we're all fine and dandy on the basics: the Law clearly does not bring salvation or atonement for sin, as I'm sure you would agree. I can't be saved by doing the works of the Law. Messiah is the only way, brother. :-) The problem is reconciling a "throw away the Law because Jesus is here" mentality, I don't see that in Jesus' words or actions, nor those in the words or actions of the apostles. Do you? Paul, on the other hand, seems to side with a "throw away the Law" thinking, judging by his words in Romans and Galatians, yet his actions seem contrary to what he's saying.

    Let me ask you and Jason something. For clarity's sake, a short question. Should a believer in Christ try to follow the Law best he can?

    See the problem? If the answer is yes, then why are believers ignorning, for instance, God's celebrations and observances and instead following those of the western world? Or, if the answer is no, then was Jesus just blowing smoke when he said people teaching disobedience to the Law would make them least in His kingdom? It seems to me those 2 forces -- modern believers' actions and Jesus' words -- are not quite in line with each other.

  29. The Law given by Moses (by God through Moses) was a shadow of Christ - fulfilled in his death and resurrection. We have been given a new covenant.

    Paul was the most educated of all the apostles, the one who knew and loved the Law. I think he realized that all things in the Law are made fully known in Christ. And he wasn't telling people to stop doing the traditional things, but he was telling them to stop saying you have to do those things to be saved.

    Look at circumcision for example. The practice was a sign of obedience but if you had an uncircumcized heart, you were no better off than a Gentile. The same applies to today, if we have uncircumcized hearts, we are no better off than the pagans. God preferred mercy and obedience over sacrifice in Moses' day as well as today. But today we have a way to attain God's full measure of grace, through Christ Jesus.

    Should a Christian try to follow the Law? If we try to follow parts of the Law, then we are obligated to follow the whole thing. If we do that, what was the point of Christ's death? We might as well all become prosthelite Jews. What we should do as Christians is relish our freedom in Christ and forget about trying to put the yoke of burden back around our necks.

    In Matthew 5, Jesus is not contradicting or adding to the Law, but rather he is saying your heart is what God looks at, not if you have kept the Law or not. If we are no more righteous than the Pharisees (who kept the Law to a T) then we will not see the Kingdom of God.

    By the way, the "Lord's supper" is mentioned by name in 1 Cor. 11:20. :)

  30. The Law was a shadow of things to come - check.

    We've been given a new covenent - check.

    Paul stopped any "you have to be circumcized/follow the Law to be saved" kind of thinking - check.

    See, we are in agreement on these, I don't think we're so far apart. As far as your summary of Matthew 5 goes, certainly it appears Jesus was more concerned with the hearts of men than the outwardly actions of men, I agree with that. I'm just not so sure that this gets us past the "hey, if you break any of the commandments and teach others to do the same, you'll be considered least in heaven" statement.

    Well, Jason, even though we differ a bit on this, I hope I haven't scared you off or put you in a defensive position with me. The point of bringing some of this up isn't to say, "hahah, look, you're wrong!", but really more to hear your thoughts on what I see as some conflicts in Christian thought. In any case, I appreciate your insights, good to hear your thoughts on these things. God bless you man.

  31. Not at all, I don't offend that easily.

    Could Jesus be referring to his beattitudes as "these commandments" in Matt. 5? It seems like it fits, but I'm not going to preach it.

  32. I doubt it. It is true the beatitudes are outlined earlier in Matthew 5, before the whole thing on the Law and Prophets. In reality, the beatitudes aren't commandments, they're blessings: "blessed are the poor in spirit", "blessed are those thirsty for righteousness", etc, but one could argue that it is a command to be poor in spirit, thirsty for righteousness, and so on.

    But it doesn't seem like Jesus is talking about the beatitudes in v 17, when he says "the Law and the Prophets". For anyone with a knowledge of Judaism, you'll know that the Old Testament isn't called "Old Testament", but rather, "Tenakh", which is an acronym for "Law", "Prophets", and "Writings"; or in Hebrew "Torah, Nevi'im, Khetuvim". In other words, when Jesus says "Law and Prophets", he is almost certainly talking about the Tenakh (Old Testament).

    What's more, if Jesus was talking about the beatitudes, it would be silly of him to say in v 17, "I haven't come to abolish them", since he just created them.

  33. Oh, I forgot to mention this; but I'm not too proud to admit when I'm wrong. You were right about one thing, and I stand corrected, "the Lord's supper" is mentioned in once in Scripture by Paul, though I'm not sure what exactly he's talking about there in that piece of Scripture. In any case, you got me on that one. :-)

  34. Swamii, Thanks for your support. I just added you to me

  35. woops, cut off the post. I just added you to my friends on Slashdot (volcimaster there too).

  36. Alright, glad to see another Slashdotter! I likewise added you to the /. friends list.

    Talk you later, God bless.

  37. Judah,

    It is particularly foolish for you to describe homosexuality as an "abomination" because you probably know as well as I that eating shellfish and eating pork are also "abominations". Would a person who eats ham be doing so in willful disobedience?

    Or are you arguing that it doesn't matter what the Bible says in some cases?

    I maintain that it does not matter what the Bible says in ALL cases.

    I'm from Slashdot too! And I'm also gay. But I'm not a Christian. In fact, I'm an ex-Christian. I'll come by and visit your blog and try to leave thoughtful comments.

  38. Jimmy, thanks for stopping by.

    I'm different from most Christians in that I try to eat only what's prescribed by Scripture as healthy, edible food. For all I know, the author of the universe knows full well what is good for people to eat.

    That said, Christians will tell you that the "don't eat ham, shellfish, scavengers, birds of prey", etc. laws are no longer applicable. I disagree, but that's the argument because it's found in the Law, which, according to Paul, Christians are not "under".

    However, homosexuality, on the other hand, is not found only in the Law. In actuality, it is found both in the Law and in the New Testament writings as sinful according to God. It's sin, I know that's not PC to say. If you believe in Scripture, then there is little doubt; the few that are trying to push acceptance of homosexuality into Christianity are those who are trying to fit in with the world.

    I have no prejudices or hatred for you because you're homosexual. I've probably sinned far worse than you ever have, seriously, I've been down the bad road more than once. But I know that God is a God of forgiveness. If one is to believe that Scripture is inspired by God, then you've just gotta try to follow it best you can, and have a repentant heart that wants God more than it wants the empty pleasures the world has to offer us.

    God bless.

  39. Actually, if you read what Paul has said, he says "Sexually Confused." Most homosexuals were confused, but have found themselves and are no longer. Interpretation would lead you to read that as heterosexuals practicing homosexuality, not homosexuals practicing it.

    As for Leviticus, this has been discounted numerous, numerous times and should not be repeated here.

    Here's a quick blurb.

    "For example, they consider the original Hebrew in Leviticus to be ambiguous as to whether "male" means adult man or little boy. They also point out that Leviticus also condemns many other things that modern Christians do, including getting haircuts, eating shellfish, wearing fabrics made from two different fibers (e.g., wool/cotton blends), and planting two crops in a single field."

    As far as what men shall eat, God said this in the very beginning.

    "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be food for you. And to the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food. And it was so."

    Eating meat of any kind was clearly not allowed.

  40. I'm interested to see which translation you get "sexually confused" from. I'm looking at more than 10 translations over at BibleGateway, I've yet to find one that translates as you say. Take for instance Romans 1:25-30:

    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents...

    The whole passage is about the evil generation and their deeds. Included in the deeds of this evil generation is none other than homosexuality.

    The 1 Timothy bits is equally clear.

    As far as eating meats, yeah, it's probably true that vegan was the planned way to live. Unfortunately for everyone, sin entered the world and men were commanded to live by work and their produce. We see later in the Law how God OKs meat eating, though only certain kinds of meat; other kinds aren't necessarily healthy or beneficial (most of the prohibited meats are scavengers, carrion-eaters, bottom-feeders, etc)

    You are right about one thing. Christians don't follow everything in the Old Testament (not even all 10 Commandments!). True and stinging as that is, it doesn't erase the fact that the law defines what is sin, what is a healthy lifestyle, what is what God designed. A lot of Christians ignore some things there or try to explain away their behavior, it's true, the less for them in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:17-18). Homosexuals also choose to ignore some things or try to explain away their behavior, likewise, the less for them.

    The key here isn't to condemn one group or the other, you or me. I don't want to turn this into a righteous pissing contest. The key is to try to find the truth as to what God defines as right and wrong. From the sources I see, homosexuality is wrong according to God; this judging solely by the Scriptures I'm reading in these FireFox tabs. :-) If I found real evidence pointing otherwise, I might sing a different tune; but the best I see is "oh, each and every one of these verses is translated wrong". Is there more?

  41. Judah,

    Thanks for your comments.

    It's nice of you to point out that Paul contradicts Jesus about whether or not we are under the law. Jesus said that the law applies, Paul says it does not. I can't tell where you stand on the issue. Do you agree with Jesus that the law still stands and disagree with Christians who argue (along with Paul) that we are not "under" the law?

    And, yes, I'm well aware that homosexuality is condemned in both the OT and in the NT. I'd venture to say that I know scripture better than most Christians do. My question is, what does it matter if homosexuality is condemned by the OT and the NT if it doesn't matter what the Bible says? Chrisians regularly gloss over Jesus's statement "do not resist evil" along with God's direct ordering of the murder of babies and the ripping open of pregnant women. Apparently, those verses don't matter at all. Why should some verses matter and others not matter if the Bible certainly is NOT some kind of validation for your cultural beliefs?

    I hear you claim that you have no prejudices or hatred for me. Do you then support adoption rights for homosexuals? Do you think that a homosexual can be just as moral as any heterosexual? Do you think it's perfectly acceptable to be homosexual and there is nothing wrong in telling children that some people are homosexual and that there's nothing wrong with it? Talk is cheap, and Christians will readily like like rugs when it's expedient to do so. As a gay parent, I am well-aware that one of the threats to my son are gay-hating Christians.

    I reject the notion of "sin", so please withhold your guilt-preaching of "I've probably sinned far worse than you ever have". Christianity is a guilt-based religion, and for that reason (and many other reasons) I do not regard it as a moral way to live life.

    Furthermore, your god's blessings are probably the last thing I want. Go re-read the book of Job to see how your god treats his most faithful. Are you so sure that the god who "loves" you won't decide to kill all your children, take all your property, and make you sick and miserable for the sole purpose of winning a bet with the devil? It's not like god promised he would never again do such a thing (like he did after the flood).


  42. Jimmy, it's sad and true that there are Christians that hate homosexuals. Simply put, they see it as different for the most part. That is bigotry; hating something or someone out of differnces. Nothing new here, human history is littered with persecution of people with differences, especially done by zealous people who are often fueled by religion.

    You go back and forth on the issue of whether Scripture is right and useful. On one hand, if its right and useful: you say, take Job, what horrific things happened to him (though you conveniently omitted the ending of the story)! Yet on the other hand, you brush off God's blessings, and say Scripture doesn't matter.

    If Scripture doesn't matter to you, right now, then this argument is over. This whole post was on the acceptance of homosexuality in Christianity. The whole crux of the argument was to point out what Scripture had to say about homosexuality.

    Everything else is a red herring: what about homosexual rights, what about hatred of homosexuals by Christians, what about guilt-tripping idea of sin in Christianity, all those things, while they may have merit and some are certainly true, have zero to do with the blog posting and are red herrings. We can talk about those things seperately if you want, but they have nothing to do with homosexuality's acceptance in Christianity.

    What does matter here is what God thinks of homosexuality. I take Scripture as God-inspired, so that's my best source of information about what God thinks. Judging by that source of information, homosexuality is apparently wrong, according to God. You can disagree with me that it is wrong according to God, but if we differ on whether Scripture is God-inspired, then the argument will have no end.

  43. Dear Judah,

    I'm not going back-and-forth on whether or not scripture is useful. It certainly *is* useful to me in showing you and others why it is not a good guide for morality and why it is not the perfect word of a divine being. The point you are confusing that with is my claim that it does not matter what scriptures says. You agree with that statement in part because you know as well as I that you ignore some of the uglier, more inconvenient parts of scripture.

    I do not brush off your god's blessings, nor do I brush off his horrible wrath that he enacted on helpless children and infants. Furthermore, I'm completely capable of debating even your precious ending to the book of Job. Job gets 7 "new" sons and 3 "new" daughters, as if that makes up for the slaughter and deaths of his children. Are children just commodities, like the new oxen and donkeys that Job received? If god killed your children to win a bet with the devil, would you feel like everything was "okay" if he gave you some "new" ones? I find the end of Job to be probably the most disgusting part of it in how god completely debases the lives of children as if they were merely livestock. Then again, that episode of god-mandated child murder resulted in only a few child deaths (unlike others which resulted in thousands), so, comparitively, it was merely very evil.

    Back to the main point. (I'm not going to let you get in any "digs" that go unchallenged, sorry.) What I am arguing here is certainly NOT a red herring, as you claim. By your admission, you base your belief about homosexualiy in what "god thinks about homosexuality", but you also admit that your entire understanding of what "god thinks" comes solely from scripture. (That means you do NOT have a "personal relationship" with god, because, if you did, you could just ask him was his opinion was rather than having to rely on scripture.) If I can destroy your faith in scripture by asking direct, relevant questions, then I can likewise remove your belief that I'm somehow immoral trash becuase I happened to be turned on my men instead of by women. Don't you think that's relevant to this discussion about whether Christians should accept homosexuals? After all, Christians ignore the "do not resist evil" commandment that Christ gave as well as the love-your-enemies commandment that Christ gave. Why not also ignore the gay-bashing verses?

    I want an answer to that question, Judah. You *already* ignore some verses. Why not also ignore the gay-bashing verses?

    Furthermore, homosexuality is definately wrong according to scripture. Slavery, on the other hand, is definately right. Furthermore, we can see what god thinks of children and the sanctity of life by seeing how frequently he orders the wanton murder of children and infants. If you're going to base your opinion on homosexuality on what scripture says about it, then don't you think you should be honest about what scripture says about the murderous, vicious actions of your bloodthirsty god in the Old Testament? Or do those verses not matter?

  44. "I want an answer to that question, Judah."

    Ack! I'm being ordered around on my own blog! :-) Give me a minute to assemble my answers! ;-)

    Let me see here. Why not ignore the gay bashing verses, like I do the other verses, the question is. Before I answer that, let me say that question sounds similar to the question, "How often do you beat your wife", implying that I beat my wife. Likewise, I see no gay bashing verses, I see verses defining homosexuality as wrong. The question also implies I ignore verses, which I do not, at least not knowingly.

    A better posed question would be, how do I know which verses are still applicable today? Well, the verses Christians have in question are those found in the Mosaic Law (Gen. Ex. Lev. Num. Deut.) Christians generally believe these laws are not binding any longer, because a new and better covenant is in place. I disagree that the laws are not applicable any longer, but even that point is moot.

    Unfortunately for those pushing for acceptance of homosexuality in Christianity, even if you totally erase all the Law of Moses, you still have several passages in the New Testament condemning the act of homosexuality. In other words, if you're to ignore the Scripture's message on homosexuality, you're gonna have to throw out most of Scripture! Might as well not stop there and assume the whole thing is unimportant, and forget God altogether. Some people, maybe yourself, have chosen this route.

    From a Scriptural standpoint, ignoring certain Scriptures that doesn't fit my way of life isn't the right solution for anyone with an honest belief in Scripture. That puts an end to the argument right there; there are zero Scriptures that should be ignored if one is to believe Scripture is inspired by God.

    Let me summarize to make sure I've given you a satisfactory answer. How do I know which Scriptures to ignore? Easy: none of them. I don't know if all of Scripture is applicable in modern day. It seems to me that some of the Laws of Moses might not be applicable (e.g., not shaving beard or head in honor of the dead, seems rather silly in modern day), yet the underlying principle of all of the laws seem to be still applicable (e.g. don't integrate into ungodly cultures/the world).

  45. Dear Judah,

    Thank you for your reply. The reason I demanded an answer to that one question is because you have an irritating penchant to merely ignore relevant questions. Christians do this often; they're much more comfortable preaching than they are discussing. They're not used to being challenged -- rather, they're used to being right and not being questioned.

    You deny that you ignore some questions, and you spin it as stating that some mandates are "no longer applicable in a modern world". This is ridiculous. Are god's laws not eternal and universal? If god says, "X is sin" and the culture changes, is X no longer a sin? That is exactly what you are arguing: that god's laws are dependant on your culture. If the culture changes, then some of god's laws don't apply any more.

    And if that's what you're arguing, then I totally agree with you. You do NOT get your lifestyle or your religion from scrtipture. Rather, you get those things from your culture, and then you find scripture to defend it. For example, slavery used to be a big part of culture in the South. At that time, Christians used many verses from scripture to defend their promotion of slavery (as slavery is upheld in both the OT and the NT, which you have made no effort to deny). Now that slavery is no longer part of our culture, those verses are ignored because they're "no longer applicable".

    That said, here are some of Jesus's mandates that you ignore:

    "But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person." Mat 5:39, words of Christ.

    If a person comes to rape you, should you resist him? Answer me!

    "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26, words of Christ.

    Do you hate your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and your own life? Answer me! ("Hate" does not merely mean "love less", it also means "do not love at all, and, in fact, wish ill upon".)

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." Mat 6:19-20

    Do you have any money or property stored anywhere that can be accessed by a thief? Answer me!

    By the way, you worship an evil baby-killing god, and murdering a baby is about a million times more immoral than gay anal sex could ever hope to be. You've made no attempt to counter my claim that your god is a baby-killing god and is evil because of it.

  46. I answer the questions I have answers to. Likewise, in the other thread, you failed to answer some of my questions until I brought them up again.

    I'm not a Biblical scholar, I don't have all the answers. But the questions you pose I do have answers to, and are quite reasonable if you would, for a minute, let go of your bias.

    Are God's laws eternal? From what I can tell in Scripture, yes. Are they all applicable? You could go on the safe side and assume yes. Otherwise you'd have to pick and choose, which is a slippery slope, as you mention. Either way, the underlying principle of each law can easily be applied.

    You don't have to take your culture from Scripture. As someone who honestly tries to follow God best he can, I will say that one's culture shouldn't break God's laws and their underlying principles; from there, you're doing things God recommended against. Sin? Maybe you could call it that, I don't know.

    Your argument is on thin ice as well: party #1 breaks law X, so party #2 is free to break law Y. Imagine if our culture, which casually breaks the safety belt and speed limit laws, was then free to break rob the local market? Chaos!

    What you are suggesting -- that since most Christians break some of the less laws in O.T. (dietary laws, for instance), you are free to break more serious laws (such as the laws that Sodom & Gomorrah broke, inciting vengence from God himself).

    But arguments stink. If I could, I'd follow every law perfectly, but I know I cannot, no one can. However, that doesn't give us freedom to go about breaking them as we choose.

    And again, all these Laws are particular to the Torah! We're completely ignoring the New Testament, which Christians clearly follow (or at least, attempt to).

    Slavery in the Bible. A penny for everytime I've heard that one, I could retire at 21! American secularists love this argument, because it incites that horrible "oh God what were we doing?!" emotion when we think of the U.S. Civil War.

    The problem is, is that in the Old Testament, servants in Scripture were not like the slaves in the old south; it wansn't based on skin color or race or anything else. It wasn't "get out the whip and teach that slave a lesson!", as you want slavery in Scripture to imply. On the contrary, if someone wasn't powerful or wealthy enough to have their own agricultural land, they would work for someone who did. Kind of like the employer/employee system of today! Servants lived alongside everyone else. A better word here is servant.

    You conveniently say leave out the fact that both Old and New Testaments require one to treat his servants kindly; Paul goes as far to say that servants and masters are all the same in Gods eyes! Funny, I didn't hear you mention that in your last post!

    Scripture doesn't say you should have slaves. Scripture says little about servants, other than the fact that many people throughout history have had servants, and it wasn't condemned or condoned by God. I reason that servants were part of the agricultural lifestyle at that time; having little to do with human rights. Would you agree, Jimmy?

    Oh, the 'resist' phrase. Poorly translated, but hey, easy to defend nonetheless when you look at the whole verse instead of just the first half. Here's the whole bit:

    "Do not resist evil, but return good for evil."

    He's contrasting the first part of the sentence with the second part, agreed? Resisting an evil person would be to go on offense and return the evil. Jesus is clearly saying don't return evil for evil, but instead return good for evil. Such an understanding of this passage would make sense -- fit in -- with the latter half of the sentence.

    Luke 14: do you honestly believe Jesus preached hate? Really?! Tell you what, answer my question and I'll follow up with the meaning of Luke 14.

    Matthew 6. What do you think Jesus is saying? Have no possessions and don't provide for your family? Jesus is clearly saying that it's better to have wealth in righteousness that worldly wealth. And you know what? I agree with him!

    I've already addressed killings in Scripture. Go read my post in the other thread and get back to me with your answers. Sorry, homosexuality is still a sin according to Scripture. At least you can agree with that!

  47. It was your link that has the words "Sexually confused".


    Again, your link:

    "28Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn't know how to be human either--women didn't know how to be women, men didn't know how to be men. 27Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men--all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it--emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches."

    Sexually confused, 27.

    Leviticus was quite distant from homosexuality, and calling it such is really silly.


    No, I don't want religious pissing contest either, but to say "Gays can't marry" and go get a haircut, or not throw your wife out of the city when she is having her period, is irony in the truest form.

  48. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another -- women with women, men with men -- all lust, no love.

    The 'women with women' and 'men with men' bit is describing homosexuality, wouldn't you agree?

    That liberated Christian website is great: a site for Christians liberated from God and Scripture. I love how the article starts off with all these laws that Christians don't follow (thus making it OK to break other laws, assumingly), then goes on to say how Jesus praised homosexual love! Ha! What people will do to justify their sin has no end, it seems.