An Evangelical Pastor’s Apology to the Gay Community

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Hi, my name’s Mark, and I’m an Evangelical.  (all: “Hi Mark”).  Worse, I’m a pastor. Many from my tribe won’t understand why that can often be considered a bad thing.

I’m writing to make an apology.  I can’t do anything about the way my brothers and sisters are failing to reach out to you, interacting in ways that are patently unBiblical, and ultimately causing great harm.

But I can say I’m sorry.

Before I make my (our) apology, let me give some background (and a bit of a rant) that condemns – on very firm Biblical grounds – the way so many Evangelicals interact with Homosexuals.

Jesus said “Do not give dogs what is sacred, and do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Sometimes Jesus used sarcasm when addressing religious people, especially people who believed they were God’s favorite.  This is one of those times.

The “holy” people in his audience were more likely to be addressed by Jesus as dogs than the “dogs” he refers to here.  He’s being sarcastic about how his audience views people who don’t have their religious shit together.  Dogs.  Pigs. People of no significant import.  That’s not how they should be considered.

Take a look at His followers/best friends – all people who were considered to be worthless in the eyes of the holy folk.

He’s being sarcastic about “pearls” as well.    In Jesus’ day, as in ours, religious people had traditions, observances, trinkets, behaviors, etc. that were considered to be clean, shiny, holy.  Sacred.  These people from time ad nauseum have been tempted to hoist their precious beliefs, however true or untrue they might be, upon others who aren’t interested in them.  Their victims, hungry for love and acceptance, usually get angry and “bite back” as Jesus warned they would.

Telling Gay people to stop being Gay, then mistreating them on some level when they don’t respond, is a textbook example of ignoring Jesus’ very sarcastic warning here. We’re not to force our beliefs, traditions, etc (“pearls”) on people who aren’t interested in them (“pigs” as so many Evangelicals treat them today).  If we do, we’ll get our asses kicked, sort of like we are today.

Because “pearls before pigs” is such a popular activity, people who aren’t Evangelical usually don’t get warm feelings in their tummies when they hear the word “Evangelical,” much less “Pastor.”  Its also the predominant reason why the Evangelical church is so quickly losing it’s voice in our world.  We’ve lovingly embraced an activity that Jesus not only condemned, but presented to His audience as a really stupid thing to do (what idiot would feed “Pearls” to “Pigs?”), and something that would ultimately not have a happy ending.

If this makes you grumpy, please don’t post any “You don’t know your Bible” comments below.  I spent 4 years in post graduate studies at one of the most conservative Evangelical seminaries in the country (go DTS!).  Much of that time was spent learning ancient Greek and Hebrew.  I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time studying the Bible, sitting through lectures, sermons, reading countless books, commentaries, etc.

I will say however that the interpretations here are not my own, They’re from the great (Evangelical) Dallas Willard in his book “Divine Conspiracy.” His thoughts on this changed my life.

I know the passages in scripture that you’re thinking about.  I’ve pored over them too.  None of these give you license or freedom to judge, condemn, ostracize, belittle, or otherwise cast shame upon the Gay community.  None.  Shame on anyone who uses the very word of God to make people feel horrible, and to be agents of dissension in our “Christian,” “United” States.

Remember that the people who resisted Jesus were religious.  They believed that their way of life made them better than others.  They looked down on the “sinners” and wouldn’t be seen with them.  It’s easy to be on the wrong side when your focus on God has been supplanted by a focus on Good Behavior.  That’s not what Jesus was about.

Sorry, I’ve digressed.  I’m really angry.  My apology to the Gay community is this:  I’m sorry that so many of us have decided to disregard the Bible’s very clear commandments to love you, serve you, accept you, walk alongside you, and be your friend.  I’m sorry for the way that so many of us look down our noses at you.  I’m sorry for the war that is ramping up against you.  You want love – we’ve responded with stones.

These activities, when compared to Jesus’ commandments in our Bible, are completely ridiculous.  We, like someone trying to feed jewelry to an animal, have lost our minds.  Why would you listen to us?  I’m truly sorry for all the ways that you’ve been hurt by this.

God loves you more than you could possibly understand.  As you are, right now. Have compassion and mercy on those who have burdened themselves with darkness, seeking to change you instead of extending the love that God has cast before them.

If you’re reading this and you’re an Evangelical who judges Gay people, sees them as a threat, holds them at arms length, can’t see past their lifestyle, etc. – welcome brother or sister.  I understand where you’re coming from, and I’m praying for you.  But there is so much more to the Christian life than picking out 1 thing and going to war against it.

This happened in Jesus’ day too.  But the people who were considered to be horrible sinners were befriended by Jesus, then unleashed into the world to forever change the face of religion. Based on this, If He were to return, I’m convinced that there would be hoards of Gay people in his entourage, followed by the “Holy” people condemning the immorality of His followers, just as it was when He came the first time.

For now, you might want to get used to Gay people. God loves them just as much as He loves you.  Make friends with a few – it will help you to not be so disgusted, to see more clearly their humanity, and ultimately get more comfortable with your own.

Either way, get ready, The Bible suggests strongly that heaven will be crawling with them, so much so that the other place might look more like heaven to you than heaven itself.

176 thoughts on “An Evangelical Pastor’s Apology to the Gay Community”

  1. 😀 I have absolutely nothing pithy to say. I just loved it! My bff’s son is gay and we love that kid to death! And one of the guy couples at church just became new daddies! Great post!

  2. As a long-time staff member of a progressive church in a very conservative part of the nation, I thank you for this piece. I’m reluctant to discuss my work and the ministry I do, because the inevitable assumption people make is that I have the kind of attitude you describe here in your fellow evangelicals. I’m curious where you stand though, on the concept of homosexuality being viewed as a sin, as I think it’s fundamental to this issue. However, if that’s a subject you prefer to leave alone in this venue, I understand.

    1. I appreciate your question, and thank you so much for your response, I’m really worried about my folk. However, I don’t think the morality of homosexuality is fundamental to the issue. It is the minds of most, but given the gospel, cross, grace, forgiveness, I think it’s a side issue. That’s why I’d never post my thoughts on a public forum – I think it takes the whole thing in the wrong direction. Shoot me an email and we can discuss if you’d like. Mark

  3. Well said, and well connected to Willard’s insights into scripture. I’ll carry a couple of one liners with me:
    “It’s easy to be on the wrong side when your focus on God has been supplanted by a focus on Good Behavior.” (Sums up one of the messages of Jesus)
    “Shame on anyone who uses the very word of God to make people feel horrible”

  4. Mark. Appreciate the overall point you are making. At the same time it’s been my experience more often than not that acceptance is not interpreted as such by my gay friends if not also accompanied by by my approval. The situation in Canada (in the public sphere) seems less polarized as the gay marriage issue was settled long ago. It’s not a public debate anymore here. But this is not simple when the discipleship question comes up, “I love Jesus, how do I follow Jesus (within the church)?” In Canada, most often, if my answer is not ‘gay sex is approved by God for follower of Jesus’ it is I who gets shouted down.

  5. I agree. I also say that if we ban gay marriage we need to ban heterosexual divorce, too (and it was at one time but, frankly, that was never really the case). Or we should ban pre-marital sex and throw anyone in jail who has it (male or female). Now I’m being a little sarcastic, as I think Jesus would have been on such issues. Jesus was always pointing out that we are equally sinners and equally open to the captivity-freeing influx into our beings of the Holy Spirit, which would free us from being captive to ANY human being, whether it be a nose-down looking priest or minister or a homosexual or heterosexual partner who mistreats us (because we worship them instead of God). The truth is, the Holy Spirit can come into anyone who is a sinner and that’s everyone, not just gays or non-church goers, and the Holy Spirit seems to LOVE going into people who hate Christians (there’s a slew of these stories at Youtube and elsewhere). In other words, it’s not about what sin you are committing but about Jesus freeing you from the sin of this world and the killing guilt it causes us because Satan condemns us to death. We are all under the wrath, but being saved, in Christ, washed clean, means nothing comes between us and God anymore: not even being a “homo,” and not even being a misguided hetero. Jesus is gender-blind, sexual-preference-blind and color blind. Let us never forget that the first curse to be laid upon anyone was on Eve and it was to chase her “husband” (thinking Leah here). Unhappiness can easily be caused by putting all your eggs in one human basket. Jesus is the only human (and basket) who satisfies every time.

  6. I believe this is straight from the throne room. It has been breaking my heart to see this fight, this public war but private struggle for MANY. I too have found comfort and joy in many in the gay community. I pray that they will find comfort in us as well. That any walls will be replaced with gates, gates that we can both come and go. Come and go as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus (YAH, or whatever name you chose to use).

  7. I support love of all humans and neighbors that is the greatest commandment. I also respect the right to choose Because God gave us free will. But I don’t support not telling the truth to anyone either gay or straight if they ask it of you.one thing on this issue the Bible clearly doesn’t stutter on in both the old and New Testament is that sin is sin of any degree and level murder or lies. If also doesn’t hold back on same sex relationships even in the New Testament in Paul’s teachings. Does this mean we should cast them out and make them feel horrible or less than human? No! That’s very wrong because Jesus came and died for such reasons.
    So thank you for this. But in the spirit of a political correct world and liberalism lets not be afraid to be honest when it’s required of us because not everyone has a background in the word of God. They might read this post and assume this supports the life style and has Gods backing and ordination.
    But I know for one that’s not what your saying. Your emphasize the greatest commandment which Christ gave ; Love. God also tells us if we can’t love the men we see how can we say we love Him?

    1. I understand what you’re coming from, and I appreciate the diplomacy you use to make your point. I have a response to this that I hope I can articulate with as much grace as you did yours. We can talk to Gay people about Jesus without bringing up the morality issue. If I mention homosexuality to most Evangelicals I’m expected to talk about morality. The morality of homosexuality is not the reason I wrote this post. I don’t agree that I’m leaving something important out of the conversation.

      1. Oh of course you aren’t that’s not what I meant. If your telling someone about Jesus and raining fire, he’ll and brimstone on them I doubt they’d want to hear a word you’re saying lol. But like I said I support the message of love. The Church needs to remember this great commandment. All I meant was in our out stretching of arms and love, we shouldn’t forget to tell them the whole story.
        But I am happy you are trying in your own way. And I understand that this post isn’t about gay rights, marriage or them leading churches or the Bible being rewritten to favour homosexuality. Just thought to point out how even the message of grace we shouldn’t take it out of context. Thank you for being cordial too. This is an issue where people are too touchy or too volatile treating it as something that will go away which as you stated won’t. I believe like you we have to learn to live with it. We can’t change anyone by condemning them. Love is the only way to correct and teach. Thank you

  8. I am saddened that you state, “Worse, I am a pastor.” I can’t understand these words. If you are sharing the word of God, as Jesus would ask -how can you consider being a pastor -worse?

    Jesus does teach us to love everyone, and we do not make it to Heaven by our acts, but by accepting him as our savior -and speaking this out loud. He also teaches that even the smallest sin, is as bad as the worst -with the exception of denying him.

    I have many homosexual people in my life, I consider family. I believe in your words, but I worry that others take his word and mold it to fit their own needs. I am not judging your words, I am only concerned with how the world is changing the words in the Bible -and creating a new Christ -which can’t be done.

    Let us love one another, without division -as we are all God’s children. Allow a mother, to hold her child against her bosom, without fear another will harm him. But, let us keep the word of God, without change. Let’s study its meaning without manipulation. Let’s hold his sacrifice even closer to our hearts than the nursing mother. Changing the Bible, can’t be done -and still be true.

    Rejecting even one of God’s children -is the same as rejecting Christ. Can we not find love for one another -by accepting his word as gospel?

    I do not write this to condemn your words, only to share my pain. Being a man of Christ, teaching his word -true to its meaning, and offering love to all -this is why you must carry this badge with pride, dignity, and with faith in your studies. If you falter, how will others stay true? If you guide them, what will they follow?

    With so many changes, to the Bible, in ways Christ never intended -how will we make it to Heaven?

    I hope you will impact the hearts of those you serve, through Christ -with the Holy Spirit as your guide, and faith that what you believe in is blessed.
    http://www.fiddledeedeebooks.wordpress.com

      1. I don’t! I was saddened that you wrote “worse, a pastor -as if that was something evil -just by the practice for so doing. I was also, responding to some responses, by others, in hopes they might read my comment. What you said was words all should hear. I hoped I conveyed that message. Apparently, I did not. To which I am sorry.

      1. Actually, I find that a full reading of the gospel has a lot to do with sin management. If not, then why did Jesus say to the woman caught in adultery, “Your sins are forgiven, now go and sin no more.”? Of course, he knew that she wouldn’t be sin-free in this life. But He didn’t just say, you’re forgiven; that is only half of the gospel. He then said, sin no more. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, that is the second half of the gospel – the good news that we don’t have to be stuck in our sin. Yay!

      1. The answer lies within you. I’ll never ever judge you. But just because you asked,( I’m no psychologist), could there be some bottled up emotions you need to sort out?

        Sometimes the issues in the world we are most angry about is a pointer to our God given assignment.

  9. Well said, I totally grasped what you meant by “Worse – a Pastor”. It, I feel was key to what you were about to talk about. It’s a very heavily laden word and it has significant meaning to the person who reads it. The juxtaposition of meaning was very powerful.

    Just as the word Gay has significant meaning. You did an excellent job of reaching across the boundaries and I have to give you praise for that.

    Also your interpretation of “pearls before pigs” was a great piece of hermanutics (I don’t get to write that word often) and very thoughtfully done.

  10. So awesome to see a pastor address this issue. I make videos weekly on the issue and it blows my mind how hurtful and completely against Jesus some of the treatment is that some pastors and their followers engage in. It truly blows my mind. Such a humble and truthful writing here. Jesus is truly touching your heart and I hope many more are saved for Him from the people who read this and take it back to their churches and families. Children are killing themselves because their last resort is Jesus and some of his misguided followers are turning them away from the Mercy that should be afforded to all who seek and need Jesus… NONE of us are worthy… it is only through His Grace and infinite Mercy and Sacrifice that we are saved and can extend that saving mercy to ALL of His image-bearers whether they be LGBT or Q. I am so happy to see a brave pastor address this so humbly and honestly. God Bless you!

    1. Thanx for your thoughts – just heard about two acquaintances who’s 14 year old son has come out. He’s “unexplainably” throwing up, grades are dropping, Christian parents are devastated, don’t know what to do and aren’t getting help. Heartbreaking

  11. very loving peace. extremely well written. I left “buildings” long ago due to the holier than thou attitude from people in the church. I am not gay myself, but the attitude toward the homosexual community generally in the states is sickening, especially in “buildings”.

  12. Well, this surely meets with the world’s standards, I’m sure. Just look at that response! Be warned when the world loves you, for that is how they treated the false prophets. Your interpretation, whether or not it originated from you, of Jesus’ quote is radical and I think, without biblical support where the traditional interpretation is supported throughout the Bible. In Proverbs, Psalms, and in almost every other book in the Bible, it is clear that wisdom and all good things are seen as the Pearl. Jesus even compared Heaven to the Pearl of Great Price that a man found in a field. I highly doubt that God would mix that metaphor. He doesn’t do that. Once he picks a metaphor, like marriage, like the Mustard Seed, like the Temple, he doesn’t go and give it the exact opposite meaning elsewhere in the Bible. God likes and uses repetition ad nauseum (“so that you will know that I am God,” etc) in the Bible. Not only repetition, but layers. Not only layers, but story within story, narrative within meta narrative. Basically, he makes sure that we GET IT. To say that for this one, incredible instance, Jesus was being sarcastic would be amazing. Furthermore, Jesus was almost never sarcastic. He used parables, not to be sarcastic, but …

    ““Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13This is why I speak to them in parables:

    “Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
    14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

    “ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
    15For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
    Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
    and turn, and I would heal them.’a
    16But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

    Jesus never set out to confuse his own believers, but unbelievers. Your thought that Jesus was talking about the false coin of rotten doctrine when referring to ‘pearls’ is .. well.. I believe, quite unfounded and very radical. I’m sorry.

    And, your apology and thus, back handed slap toward your own brothers and sisters is actually against Christ’s command as you, of all people, are to love your brothers and sisters. And by ‘brothers and sisters’ it is clear in the Bible (by reading Paul’s works) that this means your fellow Christians. Your anger and disdain toward us in general almost speaks of hate. It minimum, it is .. yes, it is disdain, bordering on disgust. While reaching out in love toward the gay community is to be applauded, bashing Christians you don’t know is not.

    “11For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,b if the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.” ~ 1John 3

    “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” ~ John 4

    “21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

    Here you are reaching out to the worldly people who forsake Christ (the homosexual community) and bashing imperfect, mistaken Christians who at least love the same King you do. I know that you next response is: how do I know that homosexuals forsake Christ? Because I have blogged long enough to see it. I have talked to enough homosexuals to know it. They know the Bible- or, at least enough of it to know that homosexuality is against God’s wishes. That is enough to make them rebel against God. When someone doesn’t want to give up a sin, they rebel against the Rule-Maker. It’s only logical. While I feel for anyone suffering over a difficult to release sin, I know that God didn’t create a single human being without the strength to choose Him over sin. This is validated by Scripture, which you know.

    In any case, while I agree that it is wrong to hate anyone, I think you are wrong to hate your own people. And, you imply that there will be homosexuals in Heaven. While I think I understand where you are coming from there, you are also using language that is so vague as to be deceitful to those struggling with this sin. You are implying that people can keep this sexual sin in their lives without full repentance and still obtain salvation. And that, my friend, is not so.

    The Old Testament foretold of a man with the Spirit of Elijah who would come and preach Repentance to make the way straight for the Messiah. In other words, he would call on people to FIRST, REPENT, so that their hearts were fertile to receive Christ’s salvation. That is what John the Baptist did. Then, Christ came and said, “Believe in me!”

    17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”~ Matt 4

    14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”~ Mark 1

    I need not go on. I write these only for your readers. You already know. In any case, this is my case. I write it in the hope of giving a counter point to your article. We are brother and sister in Christ. I write a lot about homosexuality because I believe it is the #1 issue that will divide the obedient Christian from the disobedient Christian. The World is exerting incredible pressure upon the Body of Christ to conform. Now, there are political and legal consequences right here in America for just standing up for biblical marriage. It is much, much, much easier to cave into this pressure than it is to stand against it. Standing for it gets you lots of applause as your article has just received. Standing against it gets you tons of hate mail and death wishes- from the homosexual community. And it ain’t pretty, Brother. Again, beware when the world loves you. Susan Shannon

    1. I have a few thoughts in response that I’ll beg you to pray about.
      First, Jesus was clearly being sarcastic about “pigs” and “dogs” as the alternate interpretation would result in a Jesus we can’t accept. It’s highly possible, given basic narrative assumptions, that he was being sarcastic about “pearls” as well.
      Second, some folk read the Bible and come out of it with peace, hope, compassion, and a Holy passion, closer to the heart of God. Others read it and come out with fear, and the belief that they’re tasked with, for example, saving the world from the direction it’s heading. Jesus was clear on your mandate – managing the direction of the culture and the behavior of non-Christians is nowhere near what He called us to do.
      Last, I’d wager you don’t have much of a voice outside of your own camp. You’re supposed to. Jesus did. Paul did. People throughout history who have done heroic things for the Gospel and Kingdom did. You should ask yourself why you don’t. In the meantime, I can assure you that you won’t have much of a voice with my readers. This “world” that you seem so afraid of, is the very thing we’re supposed to reaching.
      In general I would repeat to you – Repent. You’re on the wrong path, fighting for the wrong side.
      Praying for you this morning

      1. I hate to say this, but Jesus is the one who had a problem with ‘the world’ as did all the Apostles. I quotes his words, not mine. The Bible told us to be separate from the world, not to be a part of it. So, like satan, you like to twist the word, but you don’t obey it. You are a false teacher and you will answer to God for it. For every soul you that mislead here, you will carry the weight of their soul when you answer to Christ.

    2. While I don’t agree with this article either, I found your response unkind, untrue and frankly ill-informed. I have gay people following my blog and I follow them. I have been honest on my blog about my feelings and have NEVER received hate mail from any of them. Maybe it’s the author?

      1. Hello Rebecca, I’m sorry you found it ‘unkind’. That truly surprises me as it wasn’t unkind at all! However, I can’t see how it is untrue or ill informed. Every word is true. Most of it is scripture! I I will say this, however, Jesus was hated beyond reason. All the Apostles were hated beyond reason. They hated Jesus so much that they spit on him, threw rocks at him, called him names, beat him up, scratched him with thorny branches and eventually hung him on a cross to die. Perhaps you think that was Jesus’ fault too?

        The fact is this: the world hates someone who tells the truth plainly and they love a liar. This has always been true. The world loves to have their ears tickled. Perhaps you were honest about ‘your feelings’ but were you honest about scripture concerning homosexuals, sexual sin and repentance? I don’t think so since you said my statements above were ‘unkind, ill-informed and untrue.” If Jesus had told the kind of truth that is on this blog or the kind of truth that you clearly write on your blog, do you think anyone would have hated him? No! They would have ‘liked’ his Facebook page!

        Instead, Jesus called them all ‘hypocrites’, ‘dens of vipers’ and ‘white washed tombs!’ His Dad called homosexuals, ‘Abominations’ who are on the same level as murderers. Jesus’ apostles called them ‘abominations’ and said that they would never go to heaven. Jesus said that sexual sinners should be kicked out of the church. That’s the way Jesus talked on HIS blog and Facebook page!

        You and the writer of this blog would have been the first ones to hate on his page, wouldn’t you? You would have called Jesus, his Dad, and his friends all homophobes, ignorant, ill-informed, mean spirited, cruel, etc, etc., etc. AND you would have blamed THEM for every cussing, hateful, death wishing, demon possessed homosexual God hating so-called atheist who left horrid comments on their social media pages, wouldn’t you?

        Some people have lost their way. You people have here. You think you are smarter and better than God himself. You need to return to Jesus and God’s Word. I’m sorry.

    3. Rachel, thank you for expressing your opinion with such articulation. However, I am not in agreement with much of what you have written. The heart of this apology is not to be ‘worldly’ or to condemn other Christians, but to speak grace and love into a group of people that many Christians have only spoken hate and fear towards. I believe Mark has done this well (and prophetically) on behalf of us all and I thank him for his courage and love. And, it is important that you use our sacred text carefully under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As a writer myself, I recognize that our scripture uses many forms of literary device including allergory, parables, sarcasm, and lyrical writing (to name a few). It is also evident that our God is full of paradox. Some see this as contradiction but, the gospel itself, is the most beautiful expression of our God’s loving and sometimes paradoxical nature. We might not like, or understand, this but ultimately God gets to determine truth. Blessings on your journey.

      1. Thanx for bringing some grace into this – I have to admit I don’t so well in these conversations. I find myself giving license to the wrong spirit. Seriously, your response has reminded me what we’re about.

      2. Hello, I assume that although my name isn’t Rachel that you are still addressing this comment to me, Susan Shannon. I do recognize that the Bible can and does contain humor and sarcasm at times (like when Paul says, “Am I insane? But if I am insane, you have made me so.” when he has to give his qualifications to prove his worthiness as an apostle. Or when Jesus asks his apostles if they are so ‘dense’ that they still don’t understand. But that is not the same as completely failing to understand the clear meaning of the Bible, laid out not once, not twice, but many times throughout. God is not full of paradox. He is not contradictory. He is absolutely logical, all the time. If he appears to be paradoxical to you, then it is you at fault. It is your own understanding at fault. You must go back and seek guidance from the Holy Spirit. This must be our understanding when approaching the word or we set ourselves above God. This is my running assumption when I approach the Word. God is the creator of Logic. He loves logic and meaning and purpose. He would never be illogical or meaningless. He would never be contradictory. The Bible is all true all the time. If this weren’t true, then we must throw it all out because it would leave open the question, “Which parts are true and which are false?” And worse, it would leave open the question, “Who should decide this?” At that point, we can’t even know if the part describing God or Jesus is the true part- thus, we have no ‘religion’ at all. No, it is all true or all false. And if all true, then the description of God is correct. And he always makes sense. So, if we don’t understand him, the error in understanding is ours. I have never encountered a time in the Bible where God appears to be mysterious or confusing or contradictory. He is always understandable. I don’t know all that he knows, but what he has laid out for me to know, I understand. As I am meant to. We are meant to understand the Bible. Those who fail to understand it must go back to the drawing board and pray and must grow and must pray again. The Bible is NEVER paradoxical in nature.

        You are very wrong, sir.

        You simply need to grow in your understanding.

        You and this supposed pastor simply want to fit into the world easily. People like me don’t hate those who suffer from lust. They hate God. And they hate what the Bible has to say about the need to cease their activities. The vehemence with which this population detests God is palpable. And people like you would like to blame your brothers and sisters for this? That is not right. You are failing, again, to understand the problem. The problem is satan. He has led these people down a dark, dark road. A road where pleasure reigns supreme. Homosexuality, especially male homosexuality, is a very attractive lifestyle if there is no social stigma associated with it. No responsibility, dual income, sex on demand, no emotional attachments… it’s exceedingly lascivious and promiscuous. If you need the stats on how many partners the average gay man sleeps with in a given year, I can get them for you. It is a man’s greatest sex dream without the moderating effect of the female’s influence in their life. Satan has lured these men into this lifestyle and they don’t want to let it go. But on the other hand, they also know it is wrong, they know it is dark and they suffer for the darkness in their hearts. They yearn for the love of God and they yearn for his and believe it or not, our, approval. I know this, and it breaks my heart. But what would you have us do? Lie to them and then curse them to an eternal life in hell? The man who wrote this article is lying and will pay with his soul. ” “heaven would be crawling with them!” No. It won’t be. That is a lie. ““Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” Or is that sarcasm too?

        IF we love people, we tell them the TRUTH. The truth will set them free. If they know where they stand with God, then they can choose wisely in their lives. But if YOU lie to them and give false assurances and they continue down this pathway that leads to death, then God will hold their blood against YOU.

        17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.

        20 “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” Ezekiel 3

        Judge who is kinder- the one who wrote this article, or the one who would tell homosexuals the truth.

    4. Dear Little Rebel,

      What is the Good News of the Kingdom of God? It is a state where things are done differently from the way they are done in “the world”, yes. Did Jesus show great interest in people’s sexual relationships? No he did not. Jesus showed a far greater interest in how people were treated.

      The opening verses of Mark’s Gospel makes it clear that the Kingdom of God that Jesus came to inaugurate was the very same one the prophets had talked about. God’s Kingdom is about social and economic justice, and the poor having all their needs met. In the Kingdom of God people are paid enough to live on whether they did a full day’s work or were only hired for the last hour.

      The Kingdom of God is about the acceptance and inclusion of marginalised people, who were known as “sinners” by respectable wealthy people. Jesus spent a lot of time with morally dubious people like tax collectors and prostitutes, possibly some male prostitutes, and even ate with them.

      When Jesus told men they should not divorce their wives, was his prime concern with sexual purity or that the women and their children should not be left destitute and without the protection of their husband/father?

      When the centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant did Jesus ask him why he was so fond of his servant and what the exact nature of their relationship was? We are not told that this concerned him although a centurion might have had a sexual relationship with a special male servant.

      The gospels tell us that Jesus said the the greatest commandment is to love God with all our being and the second greatest commandment was very similar; to love (have compassion for) all other human beings as we do ourselves. He actually told us to love our neighbour and when asked who our neighbour was he told the parable we know as the “Good Samaritan”. For Jews the Samaritans were people to be distrusted and even hated, like Muslims, Mexicans etc can be today. So Jesus is telling us that we are to love everyone regardless of what our social conditioning might lead us to believe.

      So Mark is spot on when he says that Christians are to love gay people. The word Jesus used meant “to have compassion for”, so in other words we are to treat them just as we would like people to treat us, because after all they are human beings loved by God just like us.

      1. Hi Karin, here’s a question for you: what is more loving? to say to a gay person: “I love you. What you are doing is great and fine with God. Just keep doing it. Welcome to Church and be my friend!” and because you never held them to account, they go to hell over their sin OR you say, “Listen, you and I both know that you are refusing to repent of a grievous sin in our Father’s eyes. You need to do this. If you refuse to repent of such a serious sin, one must call into question your very relationship with Jesus- have you truly given yourself to his authority? If not, then can you call yourself saved? I worry about you and where you will go when you die, friend. In the end, we must choose Christ first. We must die to ourselves and live for Christ- this is how we choose Christ. It isn’t just our lips moving and calling out, ‘Jesus, Jesus!’ Jesus told us that many will call on his name in the end and he will say, “I do not know you, evil servant!” but will only know the ones who obeyed him. Obedience is the sign of those who truly accepted Christ as their savior. My friend, are you truly saved? If so, you must give over to Christ’s authority!” If the person listens to our concern and council, they may be truly saved and without it, they may go to hell for ETERNITY.

        Which is LOVE?

        Your version of love is NOT love. It is HATE. It is completely selfish, Karin, because it allows you to ‘get along’ in this world without anyone getting mad at YOU. You never have to have a difficult conversation or take a risk of being called a bigot or hater. But your words or failure to speak the right words will cause consequences that are eternal. I speak the Words of God, not men. Speaking God’s Words IS to love gay people- unless you are saying that God’s words are hateful??

        Your summary of biblical verses above is so false. It is wrong about gay people and it is wrong about ‘social justice.’ The Bible clearly says that people are to WORK for their upkeep and the New Testament is VERY HARSH concerning charity. Haven’t you read how the Apostles decided how the charity funds would be distributed to the poor in their community?? Unwed mothers got nothing- they were ordered to RE-MARRY to be supported. Orphans were adopted to extended families. Extended families had to take all cripples and old people to support. They got absolutely no money. The only ones to get any money at all are those old people who had zero family living in this world. Otherwise, family took them in and worked to pay for them, women remarried, children were taken by extended family, etc. There was NO SOCIAL JUSTICE as people see it today. You make me laugh when you say that.

        You ask if Jesus concerned himself ‘more’ with sexuality as if ‘more vs. less’ matters. What matters is every word he spoke!! ALL his words matter, no matter how many times he said it! And we know that he said that marriage is between a man and a woman. We also know that adultery is a sin, thus, sex outside of marriage is a sin. Thus, gay sex is a sin since it is outside of marriage. So is sex before marriage for heterosexuals.

        Please note that marriage is implicitly defined as a man and woman? these people had homosexuality too. It was viewed as evil. If God wanted it viewed positively in marriage, don’t you think he would have said so? After all, he had just overturned the entire social order as it was. Slave = Master?? Women = Men?? Commoner = Ruler?? I think of God wanted to equate gay marriage to hetero marriage, he would have just said so. Instead, the New Testament is FULL of verses against it!

        Supporting verses:

        Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.- Genesis (God, the Father)

        “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them MALE AND FEMALE,’ and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”- Matt 19 (Jesus- making it clear that they were made male and female for the specific purpose of marriage. Jesus said this, Karin.

        Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous- Hebrews 13

        But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.- corinthians 7 (note that he doesn’t recommend a homosexual marriage?)

        “But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

        But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matt 5 (note just how strict Jesus is about sexuality?? He says a man can’t even LOOK at a woman and THINK lustful thoughts!! What about a MAN looking and thinking about a MAN with lustful thoughts?? The context is obvious here- this is a woman that is not his wife. Jesus has already said that marriage is between a man and a woman. What do you think Jesus would say to that?)

        ‘Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.’- corinthians 6

        For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. – romans 1

        Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,[b] liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound[c] doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. -1 timothy

        And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.- matt 5 (Karin, like all those who suffer with inappropriate lust, those who lust after their same sex must just abstain like the rest of humanity with aberrant, deviant and sinful sexual desires.)

        There are many more verses dealing with sexuality in the New and Old testaments. Jesus didn’t harp on sexual themes but he DID address them. He made himself extremely clear. He didn’t need to say things twice. He had many things to say in his short ministry. AND we have the whole Word of God. Jesus is the Living Word. Jesus told us that he is the fulfillment of the Law- that he didn’t come to abolish the Law. Not one iota of the Law had been abolished. Thus, the Bible is all true. Short of the verses that have already been fulfilled because Christ has already come in the flesh or the ones that Christ directly changed through clarification while he was here, the Bible’s definition of sin remains. Homosexuality is still a sin, Karin. And we, as Christians, do have to love those who sin in this way. But to LIE to them and never address this sin with them is to hate them and only love ourselves. This is a severe sin on our part. Please think and pray on this, sister. I don’t write in order to hate them. I do love them. I don’t love the gay movement, however. I hate that movement because it is evil and from satan. But I love people who get trapped in the lifestyle. I try to help them as much as I can behind the scenes when they write to me. I hope you read my article, “You are not Gay, You are a Child of God.” There is no such thing as ‘being’ gay. But you can engage in gay behavior. Anyone can control their behavior and thus, repent of their sins. Many blessings, Karin. I hope these verses and my explanation help.

        You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.- Leviticus 18

        1. Jesus summed the Law up as love God, love (have compassion on) yourself and love (be compassionate towards) your neighbour. Jesus never said it was sinful for gay people to marry. I’m sorry you feel the need to make the Gospel so complicated.

          1. Karin, you say you were ‘preparing a sermon’ which implied to me that you are either acting as a pastor or teacher somehow. So, you should know scripture well enough to know that you, more than others, will receive greater condemnation for false teaching and intentional DECEIT. You are trying to mince words and tip toe around like a lawyer, but God knows what is in your heart and mind. And so do I. Jesus most certainly did say that homosexuality was a sin in that he said that all sex outside of marriage was ADULTERY. When questioned about marriage, he made the following statement: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’‘FOR THIS REASON a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

            Now, note that he makes the following point: BECAUSE God made us male and female, we marry and become one FLESH. You can’t become one flesh with two females. There is no other way to see it. IF you are a Christian, then you know that Jesus is the divine Son of God. He knows the future and certainly knew this time would come when people would ask what marriage was. His answer made it absolutely clear. It is a matter of biology as well as spirit. God created us as two biologically separate creatures and BECAUSE of that, we come together as opposite sexes, in marriage, to become ONE FLESH. Please don’t attempt the nonsense that Jesus’ words can only be viewed in the context of divorce. If that were so, then every one of his comments could only be viewed in the context in which they were spoken and that would make the entire Bible very literal indeed. No parable could mean anything other than the parable itself interpreted by the very situation he was in at the time. Complete and utter nonsense. He was describing the VERY NATURE of marriage in order to explain WHY divorce can’t be broken by man. It is because the two people aren’t two people anymore- their literal flesh has become one flesh. It can’t be ripped apart again. THEN, he continues his lesson by saying that IF anyone does try to tear them apart for any reason other than adultery (which does already tear their flesh apart), then they will be committing adultery or causing the other to commit adultery. He doesn’t even say which sex they choose to have sex with because it doesn’t matter. It’s adultery. Thus, all sex OUTSIDE of legal and Godly marriage is adultery, which is SINFUL. this includes, of course, gay sex.

            So, Karin, I have no doubt of your intelligence OR of your ability to read and understand the Gospel. This leaves only your pride, obstinacy and DISOBEDIENCE of the Almighty God and Jesus Christ, his Son. And IF you are teaching others in a pastoral role these falsehoods, then God will condemn you even more than others. If I were you, I would think very deeply about this.

          2. You have a very different way of understanding the gospels from mine. I’ll stick with believing Jesus really meant us to be compassionate to our fellow human beings and wants us to follow his example of hanging out with prostitutes and other “sinners” rejected by “respectable” religious types. We have no record of him criticising these “sinner”, but he had plenty of criticism for holier than thou types and those who mistreat the poor and marginalised.

          3. Karin, you like to believe that ENCOURAGING, lying, and IGNORING your Lord’s commands and definitions of sin is ‘compassionate’ and ‘loving’ and ‘kind’ and that telling the mere truth is ‘holier than thou’ and ‘religious’. But you are very wrong. I DO ‘hang out’ with sinners every day. Probably more than you do. Especially as I count myself among them. I certainly ‘hang around’ those experiencing homosexual desires. But I will never, ever lie to them as you do. I know that God will punish me if I do and that my friend will suffer if I do. Instead, I am there for my friend who suffers. I encourage my friend who suffers. I have people write to me all the time, right here on my page, who suffer from this type of lust all the time. And I pray with them all the time. But I pray properly with them. I help them in the way that God would want me to. I don’t encourage them to sin as you do. It is not compassionate to lie. It doesn’t make their lives easier to lie to them. If you are gay, which it seems like you might be (hence, your passionate defense), then you aren’t obeying God yourself. I have found that men and women follow in this lifestyle for many, many reasons. I am here to hear all their reasons and to commiserate for as long as they want to talk to me. I am kind to them- but I am not kind to those who would lead hundreds of young people into sin. For you teachers, I am harsh. And I should be. You are far worse than any one of those who are struggling with this sin. Susan

        2. I’m busy preparing my sermon for Sunday, hence the brevity of my response. I’m basing it on Galatians. I think you’ll find that letter from Paul an interesting read. My conclusion after reading it would be God loves you, me & everyone so let us just sit and enjoy God’s warm embrace. Listen to God telling you he loves you. Love yourself, forgive yourself for being human, God does, but while your sitting there all cosy with God ask him to help you get that plank out of your eye. You can trust he will do so very tenderly and carefully, so it won’t hurt if you don’t resist. When our eyes are free from planks we’ll be able to focus on other people’s needs and be compassionate towards them rather than getting hung up on any specks we might see in their eyes.

          God loves you. Have confidence in God’s love for you.

          1. I’m sorry Galatians feels like a slap in the face to you. I wasn’t expecting you to have such a reaction to Paul’s letter. My sermon will let you see what I made of it. In my January sermon I gave my reasons for thinking gay people should be allowed to marry in church.
            After what has happened in Orlando we need to follow Jesus’ Rule of love more than ever and do all we can to avoid encouraging homophobia.

          2. Galatians is never a slap in my face- but you most certainly used it that way.

            Please don’t bring up the Orlando shooting in this discussion. It has no relevance. Of course that was a monstrous atrocity. But loving each human being has nothing to do with acknowledging what is sin and what is not. I love everyone as best as I can. I acknowledge that I am a sinner. But I can’t say that a sin is not a sin just because a group of people who engage in that sin were killed. While I grieve for the terror they suffered and are still suffering, how can that change the fact that their choice concerning sexuality is a sin? It doesn’t. So, please don’t attempt to emotionally blackmail people like that.

          3. I do note, also, that you utterly fail to answer my biblical points entirely. When false prophets are faced with biblical truths, they always attack with human logic and cruelty. Thank you demonstrating that satan has no armament against Christ’s truth.

          4. (This is a comment on the whole discussion, not just addressed to Short Little Rebel)

            Hey good people, I know you’re better than this 🙂 We’re all Christians here of one form or another – we can surely disagree graciously, without attacking, name-calling or questioning each others’ salvation.

            Seems that we’re coming down to a debate between ‘God is love (and accepts everyone whatever they’re doing)’ vs ‘God is holy (and rejects those who continue to sin)’.

            But surely God is both Holy *and* Love. He welcomes all of us sinners, and also calls us all to ‘go and sin no more’ (while accepting that this isn’t fully going to happen in our lifetimes).

            So the question is whether or not God views committed, monogamous, faithful but non-celibate homosexual relationships as sinful or not. And that’s something I think we can agree to disagree on.

            For some (like Short Little Rebel) there is no debate of course – the Bible says homosexuality is sinful, full stop. For many others like myself it’s far less simple and certain.

            My own conclusion is that this has to be a matter of conscience for the individual. We have to follow what we believe to be right, but be prepared to change our position in the light of fresh evidence or argument. Scripture is not all set in stone for all time, and we have to work out for ourselves (in community and in prayer) which laws and truths are universal and which aren’t. The apostle Peter had to change his mind about unclean meat, clearly prohibited in Old Testament law.

            So those who do believe that homosexual practice is a deadly sin must indeed follow their conscience, but must do so compassionately, lovingly and graciously, and with the understanding that they may just possibly not be right. And those like me who believe that homosexual practice is not a sin must also be gracious and understanding of our ‘opponents’, and prepared to change our minds.

          5. After Orlando I’m not sure we can agree to disagree, Evangelical Liberal. Too many lives are at stake. Too many people are suffering for an accident of birth.

          6. I hear you. For myself, I simply believe we all have to follow our own consciences, and that we cannot force others to adopt our viewpoint. We can debate and educate, but I think if we start to attack each other we have already lost.

            For myself, I’m not sure that bringing Orlando into this discussion is helpful. It was a terrible and evil act carried out by a deeply disturbed person, and I’m sure that no-one in this discussion thread would in way endorse or celebrate it, whatever their views on homosexuality.

          7. From what I’m hearing the Orlando killer seems to have bee gay and his self-loathing may well have caused him to open fire in the night club. He was a Muslim but there are some strong anti-gay feelings in cultural Christianity as evidenced by Pat Robinson and others. So I see it as extremely relevant. To my mind the only way forward is to accept gay people as equal to straight people, to offer them all the support we can and to stop using obscure verses of the Bible as to bolster our own prejudices and intolerance. As far as I’m aware I’ve not attacked anyone. I always do my best to stay polite and respectful.

          8. Yes, fair points.

            Anti-gay (or anti-anyone) sentiment is always toxic, but I do believe there is a subtle distinction between genuine homophobia and the position of those evangelicals (and others) who are deeply convinced in their conscience that homosexual behaviour (rather than orientation) is immoral, based on their reading of the Bible and their church’s teaching.

            And good on you for remaining polite and respectful – it is difficult.

          9. Hello Evangelical, thank you for your comments. I would agree with you about following your conscience except for one thing- that only applies when the problem has not been clearly defined one way or the other by God already. Paul made this very good recommendation to the church (and, of course, to all mankind) for all other matters not addressed in the Bible- eating meat sacrificed to pagan idols was just the cited example in the story. He was giving us a way to deal with weaker Christians and teaching us that we must always bow to their weaker consciences rather than exercise our complete freedom in Christ rather than endanger their salvation. But this by NO MEANS mean we can do with with all God’s clearly outlined laws. You are very wrong about homosexuality not being clearly outlined as a sin in the Bible. First, Jesus knew he was only with us for a few, short years. I believe this is why he made the blanket statement, “17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” That should make EVERYONE shake in their boots!

            He did this to ensure that no one could make a mistake about his intentions. Every one of God’s laws were still laws. His purpose was to give us a means of SALVATION from them. Paul explained later that all these laws, (he called them The Law), are to DAMN US by defining Sin because they teach us that no man, alone, can possibly do them all AND no man can even sacrifice enough animals or do all the types of rituals outlined to repent of all his sins. He would have to be at the temple day in and day out! The Law was given to CONVICT mankind so that he knew he was hopeless and hopefully, would seek out Christ for salvation.

            That being said, Evangelical, God’s opinion of homosexuality, like adultery, did not change. Both are still a sin. God is very strict concerning sexual sin. Nothing in Jesus’ life would suggest he became less strict on human sexuality. In fact, he showed himself to be MORE strict. The Law allowed for divorce- he changed that to be NO divorce except for cases of adultery in your spouse. The Law said to not commit adultery but Jesus said that even to THINK about someone lustfully equaled adultery and therefore a sin. And he most certainly re-confirmed the definition of marriage as being biologically driven. While you say it isn’t clear, it is. The only people with ‘misgivings’ or doubts are those who want to stay popular with their friends or those who actually want to practice this sin in their lives.

            Do you know how much I WISH I could go along with this?? It pains me to be against the entire culture!! It is HARD to obey God in this matter. It is a complete cop out on the part of some who claim to worship God to support homosexuality. They do it because they are terrified of the backlash if they don’t. I can confirm that the backlash is painful. But Jesus already warned us that following him meant being separate from the world and that the world would hate us- just as it hated him. This is the price we pay.

          10. I have a very different understanding of the Bible from you, Little Rebel. Possibly a totally different understanding of Christianity, too. I see being a Christian as trying to follow Jesus and believe that the gospels give me the best idea of what Jesus did and said. I don’t follow Moses or St Augustine. The Church has muddled it all up over the millennia. It started when the Church abandoned Jesus’ message about being on the side of the poor and marginalised and agreed to support the Roman Empire that crucified him. Who can blame them after centuries of persecution & rejection. I don’t think your Bible verses are relevant to loving, faithful relationships between to homosexual people. I believe God affirms all truly loving relationships but is troubled by much that happens in unloving relationships, straight or gay.

          11. You don’t agree with “MY” bible verses? All Bible verses are from God, Karin. You say that the Church supported the Roman Empire and crucified Jesus??? Karin, you really need to go read history. It wasn’t the CHURCH that helped to crucify Jesus- it didn’t even EXIST yet. I have to truly wonder at your education level now. The Christian Church wasn’t even born until AFTER Jesus died, was resurrected and ascended into heaven again. In fact, it wasn’t truly born until after Pentecost described in the Book of Acts. How in the world could it have supported the crucifixion of Jesus???

            I hate to tell you this, but the Roman Empire, along with Jewish leadership and their army, killed almost all the apostles for following Jesus. They also killed regular Christians whose names we will never know. They demolishes all the early churches they could find. I’m not sure which churches you feel ‘supported’ the Roman Empire!

            Now, you sound like someone who doesn’t believe in the Bible. Am I right? You are one of those people who claim to be a Christian, but also reject whole books of the Bible? Or pick and choose which ones you happen to agree with? Let me tell you, Karin, that means you have made yourself wiser than God. You have just said that God is so weak that he doesn’t or can’t make a book about himself that is wholly true. But YOU, a human woman can. Congratulations, you are one smart cookie. Me? I acknowledge my complete ignorance before God. I acknowledge that if God can create DNA, all the life on earth, the entire wonder of the universe, the periodic chart and all the rules of space and time to go with it, he can also write a perfect, true book to describe himself, his Son and his Will. But that’s just me. I don’t try to change his Word, nor do I try to say which parts of HIS Word are right or wrong.

          12. Again, you didn’t and refuse to answer my point. That is because you can’t. The only answer is that you are DISOBEDIENT to God’s Word. That speaks to the spirit within you. The Spirit of God is always in full agreement with his Law. The spirit of satan is always in disagreement with it. You have the spirit of satan within you or you would love the law of God. That is the reality. If Christ were your Lord, you would love his Law. If God were your Lord, you would Obey him. Instead, you choose your own way because you believe you are superior to them. The only person who believes that is satan. Do you think satan speaks in an ugly voice or a tempting voice? It is so easy to hide behind words of love and kindness while actually doing great harm to another person’s soul. How many evil people in the world have injured others in the name of ‘goodness’ and ‘kindness’? “It’s for their own good” has been used so many times by evil people. Just because you ‘say’ nice words like love and acceptance doesn’t mean you are loving. And because you ‘accept’ doesn’t mean you are helping anyone obtain God’s acceptance, forgiveness and salvation. So what good was your love and acceptance? What people need is GOD’S love and acceptance, not yours. And they need to know what HE said, not what YOU said. You don’t know what is wise or good because you are a sinful being, Karin. Let God make that determination. HE knows what is wise and good for people. Apparently, homosexual sex isn’t one of them.

            By purposely misleading so many people and ‘tickling their ears’, you will be punished severely by the Almighty God. Why you don’t fear him is beyond me. I can only think that satan has truly blinded you. Or, you don’t really believe in God. It’s one or the other. I will pray for you. I get the most angry with false teachers and pastors because people trust them. They are the worst sorts because they do the worst and most permanent harm to people. But I will pray that you change your ways soon so that your damage is quickly ended. I will also pray for you for your own sake. It will help me to not be angry with you, which will help me. Even as I speak of it, I feel better. But Karin, you need to read the Bible and OBEY it. “If you love me, keep my commands…Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them…..Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”- John 14:15-24
            ————
            “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.- 1 John 2

          13. Jesus said the most important commandment was to love God by loving our neighbour as we love ourselves and our neighbour includes people we might have been taught to hate, like Samaritans. He said that was the fulfilment of the Law.

            I try to obey Jesus as far as I am able. Are you trying to obey what Jesus said was his first and foremost commandments?

          14. Indeed it isn’t, so I don’t lie. I interpret the Bible through the lens ofJesus’ Rule of Love. I start by believing God is good and loving as Jesus taught. I see nothing in Scripture that mentions loving, commited relationships between gay people, so there is nothing to lie about.

            There are some interesting books being published on the subject over here. It’s very clear that the verses you like to quote about same sex sex are open to interpretation and it’s not at all obvious they are relevant to homosexual people in faithful, loving relationships.

          15. lol – you say, ” I interpret the Bible through the lens ofJesus’ Rule of Love” Wow. Find THAT in the Bible. You say you don’t lie, yet you say, ” I see nothing in Scripture that mentions loving, committed relationships between gay people, so there is nothing to lie about.”

            To prove you are lying, I will list some verses to prove you are. These are ALL Scripture from the Holy Bible.

            “18:22 You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is a detestable act…. ” Lev. 18:22

            ” If a man has sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman, the two of them have committed an abomination.” Lev. 20:13

            9Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with mena 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.- 1 Corinthians 6

            Romans 1- 18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

            21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

            24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

            26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

            28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29They 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, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

            These are just a few, Karin. And don’t try to say that these are speaking to prostitutes or gang rape or other nonsense. The context in which they are set make their meaning extremely clear. Homosexuality is UNnatural and UNintended by God. He considers it an abomination to his will and UNhealthy to mankind. Furthermore, in many other verses, God compares the MARRIAGE of a man and a woman to:

            CHRIST & the CHURCH
            The BRIDE GROOM and the BRIDE
            The Great Wedding Feast and the Guests

            All of these ideas and metaphors must have the bride and groom. The very notion of homosexuality ruins these ideas and thus, destroy the perfect parallel imagery that God purposely set forth for mankind. God always sets forth an earthly example for heavenly ideals in order for mankind to better understand them. He gave us Jesus, his own Son, to show us exactly what a human being’s true life really is: we are born, we live, we are tempted, we can suffer, we can have joy, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, we work in our ministry by submitting to the Will of God, we choose God, we are Saved, We are persecuted by the world and even by our own brethren, we die, we are resurrected into new, powerful bodies and live forever with God in a new heaven. There are too many other ways that God sets up earthly examples for heavenly realities. Just the many parables Jesus told are examples. Homosexualy makes a complete mockery of the Bride and Groom imagery of the Church’s relationship with Christ. And guess what? I KNOW that God did not intend that. Add that to all the verses that are so CLEARLY against homosexuality and you can give me links for all the MAN WRITTEN books you want, Karin, and they can’t ever erase the concrete proof of God’s will that is right here in front of your nose. YOU CHOOSE to ignore what you see because you have a stubborn, deceitful and lying spirit. If you are teaching others this same lie, then you will be severely condemned by God. I give you this warning, not in anger, but in an attempt to 1) stop you from harming others, especially young people 2) an attempt to save you. You will either listen or you won’t. But I can’t say any more to prove my point. It has been proven ten times over.

          16. Hi Karin, Oh, I have no doubt that there are MANY books written by MAN that love to reevaluate what the Bible ‘actually’ said. But, IF you are a Christian, then you know that all you need is the Holy Spirit and the Bible to understand the truth of God. Why in the world do I need to read what a MAN said, pray tell? That is just as bad as reading this false article from Mark? Or your false views as a woman? The two of you haven’t answered a single question or point from me even though I have supported every point of mine with sound biblical scripture that clearly backs what I say! All you can say in response is your opinion and attacks on my character and personality! You have a Bible in front of you, I hope? IF you are a pastor, Karin, why can’t you use biblical VERSE to support your opinion instead of a man-made book????

          17. You are clearly deaf to any idea that doesn’t match your own way thinking. The Bible was written by human beings and not in any form of English. Holy Spirit continues to inspire and speak to people today. Some of those people write books worth reading.

          18. Yes, I am! But you don’t seem to understand what that first command means! TRUTH is the best way to love someone, Karin. When someone is about to fall off a cliff, what is the best way to love them? You think it is to be polite and never raise your voice in warning. I think it is better to say, “Hey! You are about to die!” Your version of loving is actually hating. You are very, very, mistaken. My way might hurt someone’s feelings for a little while- but it will lead to trillions of years of LIFE. Your way will lead to perhaps 40 years of earthly ‘pleasure’, yet filled with inner guilt and angst- and DEATH and suffering for trillions of years. Nice way to love, Karin!

          19. again, no scriptures from you, just comments on my personality. If your viewpoint had any validity at all, you could find it in scripture or you could answer the scripture I left you. The fact that you can’t tells the whole story. What you mean to say is that the BIBLE is toxic, right?

    5. Hi Susan,
      Sorry it’s taken so long to post another thought.

      You’re right regarding our need to be “in the world but not of the world.” I’d like to unpack a bit what the word “world” means, from a Biblical standpoint at least.

      Jesus interfaced with two “worlds.”

      One world was made up of a group of people who were poor, sinful, marginalized, and generally looked down upon by the other world that Jesus dealt with.

      This second world was made up of people who felt that God liked them more than the people from the other world – people who believed themselves to be more righteous than everyone else, people who judged others – people who Jesus had such a problem with He actually threatened them on a couple of occasions.

      These two worlds, that existed long ago, exist today. The question for us is which world are we to be a part of and which one should we avoid like the plague. Based on your posts to this point, I would put you in the second world. You know your Bible, like they did. You worship God, like they did. You’re seeking to live a moral life, like they did. You are, to be sure, part of “a” world – of it and in it, but it’s the wrong one. Ultimately it’s world of fear, shame, self-righteousness, and general ineffectiveness. There’s too much fear in the way you articulate yourself and not enough peace/humility.

      So I’ll repeat myself – repent. Turn form the world that you’ve given yourself heart and soul to (I know that’s hard) and be a part of the other world, the one that Jesus used to change the entire world.

      1. RealMark, please give me scriptural evidence of that definition of two worlds. That is the most absurd definition of the two worlds I have ever heard. The two worlds of which Jesus spoke had absolutely nothing to do with how much money you had (a wealthy roman and his entire household were saved) It has nothing to do with how much one group of people sinned, judged more than any other group. All human beings sin- Christian or non Christian. It has nothing to do with how much we THINK God loves us! you make me laugh. There are two worlds- the Heavenly Realm and the earthly realm. That’s it. God owns both of them. The earthly realm has been given over to satan to temporarily reign to tempt man and wreak havoc. Mankind is left with a choice- to align himself with satan and his ‘world’ OR with God and the heavenly realm, or world. Christians, who choose the salvation of Christ, are said to be ‘of’ the heavenly realm. But, this does not make us good or pure in ANY WAY. We are not less judgemental, less sinful or less bad. I like to believe that when the Holy Spirit indwells a true Christian, that he/she WANTS to be moral from that point on and so, as a reflection of their love of Christ, their behavior does improve. But it doesn’t save them from the consequences of their continuing sin- ie, death. ONLY a mere faith in Christ can do that. I re-iterate: Christians can’t and shouldn’t claim to be any more ‘good’ than anyone else. So, your two world definition above is pure nonsense. You CLEARLY have no idea who Christ is, what salvation is and what a Christian is. This fully explains your disobedience to God’s Word, which is clear in the Bible. You don’t read it or understand it. geeze.

          1. What a silly thing to say. Certainly I never said it, nor do I think such a thing. We are all sinners. I am simply saying that homosexual sex is a sin. All sex outside of marriage is a sin. And marriage is between a man and woman. Both of those statements are clearly understood in the Bible- both are understood from Jesus’ own mouth. Both are understood clearly from the Old and New Testaments. THAT is what I said and meant. You can’t extrapolate from these statements that I find myself superior in any way. Now, just because people are sinning in this way doesn’t mean they are automatically going to hell any more than my sins will send me to hell. But everyone must begin with the truth of their sins. Without first acknowledging your sins, you can’t repent of them, can you? Without repentance, there can be no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there can be no salvation. So, who cares more about people who are caught in this particular sin trap- you or me? You would keep people from acknowledging, repenting, obtaining forgiveness and obtaining salvation and I would do the opposite. You would give about 60 years of ease at MAXIMUM while I would try to give trillions of years of the ultimate joy and pleasure. Which, do you think, is the more valuable gift? Who loves people more? You or me?

            It’s tempting to say you care, but you really don’t. You are a selfish, selfish Christian. Or not one. You just want to fit into the world. But Jesus said you were not to be OF the world at all. He said you should be hated BY the world. But the world just loves you, doesn’t it? And that is because you condone its sins. You ignore the Bible and deny its truths. You give your own truth instead, which insults the Lord Christ whom you claim to follow. But Mark, Jesus is real. And he is more than you. You will face him, the same as me. I am not worried, but look forward to it. I haven’t gambled by changing his Word. And I don’t feel I have been ‘hateful’ merely by speaking HIS truth about the sin. It isn’t hateful to speak the truth. It isn’t ‘homophobia’ to say homosexual sex is a sin because God thinks it is. I love people who commit this sin- enough to risk their anger by telling them the truth so that they can at least have time to change and repent before they die. I’m willing to be hated for their sake. It is a sacrifice that hurts in a very real way. I’ve never been cruel to any person hurting with this sin- rather, I’ve always been there to speak very tenderly to them. In any case, I think I have spoken enough on this topic here on your page. You know all there is to know. The rest is up to you. It is your life and your relationship with Jesus. The more people you mislead, the more condemnation you will pile upon your head. I do hope you will reconsider before that. Susan

          2. I’m sorry, I think you think I’m asking these questions to be snarky. In one of your comments you said Gay people are going to hell. I know why you think that, and I realize that you think I’m going to hell as well. Can I ask you another question, and would you be willing to take it easy on the insults?

            Can a person be Gay and Christian? I know this question will threaten you and make you angry, that’s not what I’m trying to do…

          3. Ah, I see, Mark, you CHOOSE to mock God. When you say that ‘I’ said that gay people are ‘going to hell’ (nice paraphrase, by the way), what you deceptively were referencing was God’s Words in the following verse, which I quoted directly from the Bible: ” Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians.

            Mark, answer me this: don’t you believe in that verse in the bible? ie, 1 Corinthians 9-11?

            When people start to be deceiving in a discussion, the discussion comes to a close. I was wondering why you kept saying ‘I’ said gay people were going to hell. Only deceitful people twist words and paraphrase so deceitfully, Mark. It’s because you know that you have lost the argument and in full disobedience to God, his Word (which is completely clear on the subject) and to the truth that is in your heart. You don’t need to answer to me. You will answer to him. And every person on this page who agrees with you and then teaches others in the same way (especially children) will be punished even more severely than those who have merely sinned as homosexuals who do. This is because those who teach actually encourage young people to engage in this sin. I hope you take this warning, Mark. Susan

          4. Let me answer the question, though, now that we’ve established that it was GOD to whom you were referring and not me. And he didn’t say ‘gays were going to hell’, YOU did in your deceitful paraphrase of his glorious words. What you missed were the final words of that scripture:

            “11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

            So, ALL of us were once sinners- even murderers- but IF we come to God in repentance and in a spirit of submission and service, then we will be sons and daughters of the Most High and will be saved by the Blood of the Lamb.

            I don’t believe I am ‘insulting’ you. If I call you deceitful or a liar, it is because that it what you are. If you don’t like those names, then you will have to begin telling the truth.
            You can have homosexual lusts and be a Christian. But you can’t say you ARE a homosexual and also say you are a Christian, no. Nor can you practice homosexuality and be a Christian. You can suffer from lust of any kind and from time to time in your life, relaspe, repent and apologize to God, and be a Christian (same as any sin) and be a Christian. But no, you can’t be a married gay person and be a Christian. The very mindset precludes you from being a Christian as it is a rebellious one that refuses to obey the Word of God. It choses your own wisdom above Gods. It is proud and stubborn. So, no, that literally can’t be.

            As to you, I have no idea, Mark. I don’t believe you are a Christian, no. You are full of rebellion and cunning. You are deceitful in your language and you teach others to sin in one of the most grievous sins. Not because it, in itself is so grievous, but because it severs a person so quickly from God. When the Temple is repeatedly invaded by sexual impurity, the Spirit is coupled with satan and it can’t endure the Spirit of God for long. This is why so many in the homosexual community either hate God or do what you and Karin are doing: attempt to cut out parts of the Bible you don’t like. Yet you don’t see that when you do this, you have made yourselves into mini-gods. Once you take part of the Bible out, you have invalidated all of it. Why believe any of it, then? Why believe the Jesus part? The salvation part? The part that describes God? Who gets to decide which parts are valid? Who is right, who is wrong? Is there even a universal truth anymore? You lose all logic when you do that- but when you have the spirit of satan within you, you begin to hate all logic and you begin to love and crave the darkness of confusion. When someone points out how illogical you are being, you just turn off your minds and repeat what you just said. Mark, based on everything you have said here, I don’t believe you have submitted to Christ. Just because you ‘believe’ in Christ doesn’t mean you are saved. Remember that satan believes in Christ too. More than most Christians do! He has more faith than almost all Christians! It is not only faith that saves a person. It is also SUBMITTING yourself to Jesus. Remember, the Bible says that you must confess that Jesus is your LORD. Not just with your mouth- but in your HEART- and only God can see that. But so can those with discernment. I have discernment. If your heart was right, you would crave the Word and the Law. You, like Paul, would agree with the entire Law, but like Paul, be completely unable to fulfill it and thus, be so grateful for Christ who can save you from it. That is not how you sound. You hate the words of the Bible. So does Karin.

            I hope you GIVE your life to Christ. Not just try to TAKE salvation from him. It doesn’t work that way. You must SACRIFICE your life to find it. That means being HATED by this world. That means sacrificing what you want. It means being unpopular. It means obeying God even if you don’t agree. It means understanding that IF you don’t agree with God, then something is wrong with YOU, not Him. It means that YOU must grow in understanding, not that HE must grow in understanding. You are no where near this level of maturity.

            You asked my opinion on you. There it is. I hope it doesn’t hurt your feelings. All I can hope is that you take the next step. Don’t be one that only calls, “Lord, Lord” Many do this because they want to be saved. But there is a price YOU must pay: that price is your entire life.

          5. First, I answered the question in the clearest way possible. The fact that you can’t understand it amazes me. The problem with you is that you ask the question incorrectly. It can’t be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The answer is this: “No one is gay.” That implies that ‘gay’ is the essence of one’s being. It isn’t. It is a choice for one’s behavior. It is a choice one person makes about their sex partner (s). Thus, your question is actually the problem and can’t be answered in the parameters you wish to set. There is improper sexual lust. That doesn’t denote the essence of a person’s very being. One isn’t stuck forever with the sin as his or her identity. For example, one can steal and yet, not be a thief as their identity. This notion that people ARE gay is a modern term. People have been having homosexual sex since man left the garden of eden. And no one considered it an essential condition of that person’s makeup. It was a choice, a sin. Only today has it become this way in order to gain political power. Romans and other wealthy societies had homosexuality in rich male circles and yet, they also supported wives and families. They had no problem with this idea. Again, no thought about this being an integral part of a man’s essence. This is a completely new notion born of satan to tear apart the Christian church. It is being used in the LAW now to not only tear apart our constitution, but to legally weaken our church and the definition of marriage. You can check your history books if you want- I don’t mind a bit. I encourage you to.

            Thus, you ask a question that is illogical because you make an assumption within it that is false: ie, that a person IS gay or not. I work on the assumption that a person can choose whom they wish to have sex with regardless of whom they lust after. That is what I call self control. People exercise self control in sexual matters everyday. It’s called ‘morality’. And heterosexuals do this as a matter of course. They aren’t free to have sex with whomever turns them on either.

            So, as I answered before, those who have sex outside of God’s laws and repent CAN be Christians. Those who have sex REPEATED and refuse to repent can NOT be Christians. Now, if you wish me to use YOUR vernacular and use your definition of ‘gay’, I will try. If you mean, by ‘gay’, that a person has repeated sex with the same sex and feels that it is fine even though they know that the Bible says it is wrong, then no, they can’t be a Christian.

          6. Ok, thanx, that was clear. Another question if you don’t mind, and please don’t take this the wrong way – are there sins that you do on a regular basis and haven’t repented of? A better way to ask is – do you have unrepentant sin in your life?

          7. Like the Pharisees and the Sadducees who tried to trick Jesus, you try to trick me, is that it, Mark? But when we stand with Jesus and his Word, the Holy Spirit will stand with us. Every person has unknown sins that they live with. With unknown sins, they can’t ‘repent’, per se, and must count on the blood of Jesus to cover those. So, yes, I have unknown sins that I have not repented of, but I count on the promise of Jesus to cover those. But I certainly don’t have a blatant sin that I know of, one that is named boldly in the Bible as an ‘abomination’ many times and is condemned by God in the Old Testament and also by Jesus in the New Testament; one that is discussed in the entire Christian community as a sin; one that mocks Christ’s relationship with his church (ie, the Groom and his Bride); one that mocks the final Resurrection (the Great Wedding Celebration); or one that is dividing the universal church in two. No, I don’t have such an unrepented sin in my life today. For the sins I know of, I beg forgiveness and try everyday to better myself. I hate my sins and love the law just as Paul described so well in Romans 7:13-24. It is all a question of knowledge. If you know you sin, then you must repent and ask forgiveness. Then, you must strive to not do them anymore. It’s that simple. Without repentance, there is no salvation. John called on people to REPENT before baptism. Remember that.

          8. In other words your sin is better than someone else’s sin? To my knowledge, Jesus mentioned only one thing that could be translated “abomination.” I think you’re guilty of it.
            You’re also guilty of placing a barrier (“stumbling block”) in front of people that might otherwise be on their way to Him, ie., “you have to stop being gay to be Christian.” To people who were guilty of this, Jesus threatened physical violence. Again, repent friend, like you said, repentance is powerful. You’re travelling down a dangerous road.

          9. I am not placing any barrier before people. They place their own barrier. I am simply pointing it out. I am warning them. You are lying to them. That is the difference between them. Please show me the verse that shows how I am ‘putting a stumbling block’ before someone because I tell them the scripture that outlines the sin that prevents them from entering into the kingdom of God? Thus far, neither you nor your friend Karin McDonald have been able to provide a single bit of scripture to defend your man-driven ideals. I have provided scripture to back everything I have said. Everything you have said is your opinion, as is Karin’s. Again, show me how I have sinned against God here. Bring me the verses in Scripture. Show how I have put the stumbling block before any person who is having sex with the same sex person and refuses to stop even though they know that the Lord calls it a sin. Show me the verse that says it is a sin for me to tell them that someone who refuses to repent of their sins can not enter into the kingdom of God. That is the Truth.

            2 Corinthians says:

            “10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

            John the Baptist said it himself. In Matt 3 (and Luke 3:8), it says:

            “1In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

            “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
            ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
            make straight paths for him.’ ”a
            John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

            7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matt 3

            and in Acts 11:

            “18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”(Note: ‘Life’ here is exactly the same as ‘salvation’)

            and in 2 Peter 3:

            “9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (note: ‘repentance’ here is used interchangeably with ‘salvation’)

            and in 2 Timothy 2:

            25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (note: without repentance, you can’t be led to the truth and you will fall into the trap of satan and will go to hell. ie, you won’t be saved.)

            and in Acts 20:

            21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

            The Bible also tells us that not everyone who calls on the Lord will be recognized by the Lord. Only those who do the will of his Father in Heaven will Jesus recognize. In other words, there will be many on earth who will call themselves Christians but whom Jesus will reject BECAUSE they refused to OBEY God’s laws and edicts. Not just in simple sin, but in things like repentance. Here are the verses for that:

            21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

            Now, I am telling you and those who read your articles the simple truth of what God and Jesus have to say in Scripture. I tell you, Karin and them the truth because I don’t want them to perish due to the lack of information. You and Karin are lying to people who truly need the Truth from God’s lips. That truth is in the Bible. You two are here sharing your own opinion, not the truth of the Bible. I have shown you the scripture. Now, if you please, show me the scripture that shows I have sinned or lied here. For those of you who are suffering from lust for the same sex- or any other kind of inappropriate lust- there is an answer- and that is self control. You aren’t the only people on earth to have lust issues. Most people do. Welcome to the human race. But there is more joy in Christ than there can ever be in fulfilling the temporary lust you feel on earth. That much I can attest. Don’t believe human beings about what God says. If you want to have salvation from Jesus and want to live forever in the greatest joy (even here on earth), then read the bible. All the joy, truth and happiness you can ever wish for is there. Susan

          10. Sorry all, I think the way comments work on wordpress can be a bit confusing.
            To Short Little Rebel – I’m not asking these questions because I’m confused, I’m trying to figure out what you actually believe.
            Can you answer this question for me? As simply as you can? Can a person be Gay and Christian? Yes or no? It’s a very important question in my opinion.

      2. To answer your question above- If I am a sinner, will I go to hell? Answer: I AM a sinner but I will not go to hell. The very fact that you profess to be a Christian and yet, ask that question tells me that you are not a Christian at all. You truly don’t understand the nature of salvation or the work of Christ at all. I don’t think you have read the Bible or if you have, you don’t understand it. My salvation doesn’t rest on my actions. My salvation rests 100% on my belief and faith in Christ. My REWARDS in heaven, however, depend on my works on earth. My works are defined by the Bible, the Word of God. The Bible defines exactly what I am supposed to believe and do in order to ‘store up’ rewards in heaven where neither thieves nor moth may destroy. The BIBLE is where homosexuality is expressly forbidden as a terrible sin. It is forbidden in the Old and New Testament. It is forbidden by Jesus himself, by definition, when Jesus told us that BECAUSE we were made male and female, we leave our parents to be married. He also told us that all other sex outside the bounds of marriage is SIN. So, While you Mark, and Karin, profess to obey Christ, you are liars. You hate on me, your sister in Christ, for merely stating the truth spoken directly from the mouth of the One you profess to worship. But you say things here (like your nonsense about the two worlds) that you made up entirely out of the blue based on zero scripture. You speak in complete ignorance of the Bible and try to tell others as if it were the truth. Jesus specifically cursed teachers like you to hell- so you had better be afraid. ME? I am not afraid because I stick with the Bible. I don’t try and change it one bit. I am safe and snug, in Jesus’ hand. I fear nothing and no one. I know where I am going, sins and all. I am not good and never will be. Like Paul said, “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

  13. Thank you for following me on my blog. I come from a conservative Christian upbringing attached with cultural beliefs too. The issue of being gay has been something of divided discussion among my own church too. I trained to be an Anglican Priest, but I found that God has taken me into another direction. There are obviously varied discussions on your blog about what you have written. To me first and foremost God is love. The bible has various stories relating to homosexuality and there are many interpretations but I think the fact that Jesus was a person who associated himself with people on the periphery of society showed where his faith and understand of God should have been. He was human too and I’m sure he made mistakes too but he was very much a man who loved homosexual people also and didn’t judge as harsh as the church has in the past.

      1. Thank you for writing a good reflection. I think it will definitely challenge us and get us thinking especially to many who are seeking to work as pastors in their own churches who struggle with this issue.

  14. This actually made me want to stand up and take a long standing ovation for you! this is amazing written and I commend you for saying what has needed to be said for such a long time. People are always so quick to throw stones and it sickens me I pray for them as well because they need love too). Gay people are still human and desire love in it’s many forms and it’s unfair to say they are incapable of such merely because they are gay.

  15. Thank you! I’ve been a Christian for several years now and recently, my daughter came out to me. I told her NOTHING could ever stop me from loving her. I had a feeling long before she ever told me and had taken it already to God in prayer. His answer was clear. Love her the way God instructs us to love. He will take care of the rest. I love not only her but I love her gay friends whose parents have turned them away. And nothing can ever stop me from loving her. And I won’t apologize to anyone who thinks I should.

    1. That’s really powerful. We have some friends who’s 14 year old son came out – he’s really struggling, and they have no idea what to do. It’s so sad how people of the book can get so lost when we’ve been clearly commanded to do what you did. Thanx for your thoughts.

      1. I’m a human with love to share, pure love. I share it with a man and am a man myself. This is where I find my love can be shared most beautifully. This is a spiritual experience.

        My father is a deacon in the Catholic Church and I was brought up in a very catholic background. It was hell.

        That said, through what I learnt from coming close to death and back, I now know only love and through this perspective have opened my fathers mind.

        It remains a struggle, but he has learnt a lot about acceptance, love and faith.. Through me.

        In a peculiar way, I am healing my father.

        Eli.

  16. Mark!!! Thanks for the post… i see not only do we need to apply this to the gay community, but also the Muslims. I have such a heart for both groups – as they are people… people who God loves and cares about and wants a relationship with! I know too many gays and Muslims that don’t even want to TALK to someone who says they are a “Christian” b/c of the bad taste it now leaves in their mouths. As my husband and I begin conversations with them, we say we are “Jesus Followers” – which not only helps break the stereotype, but also humbles us to what we are. Thank you again! I am SO blessed to have had you as my youth pastor (MANY moons ago). You and Paul have had such a wonderful influence in my life! you always had fun while ALWAYS pointing back to what Scripture tells us!

    1. Hey! Great to hear from you. Yes! Amen to reaching out to the Muslim community – there’s a big movement of Christians doing that now. You’ll chuckle at my last blog post as you know the kids who I’m referring to 🙂

  17. We should never mistreat anyone, gays are no exception. However, in our love we can still feel homosexuality is not right. Just because we don’t agree, doesn’t mean we mistreat anyone. . Most of the people who have commented have been in agreement with you. There probably have been others who would like to have responded but were worried they would be called a “homophobe”. I know my heart and have no problem with taking a contrary view.

    One of my best friends was a homosexual and I never treated him any differently. But had the discussion come up, I would’ve honestly and kindly shared my views.

    Also, I’ve read all of Dallard’s books as well and do not see where you feel he is in agreement with you.

    Were one of my children to confess they were gay that would not change my love for them one iota. But love doesn’t have to mean we need to change our beliefs. I’ve done my homework as well. Just because I believe the homosexual lifestyle is wrong doesn’t mean I’m stupid or uneducated or haven’t done my deep study of the subject. I have.

    I think we sometimes confuse loving people, being fair to people, etc, with having to change our beliefs as well. Jesus had hard words as well for the church in revelation that was “neither hot nor cold”.

    I have gay people who follow my blog and I follow blogs of gay people. I’m honest in my posts and so far no one has been offended. It’s called communication and that means different views, especially religious one, are encourage and appreciated as well as others, without labels.

    We can love those who make different choices without compromising our own beliefs.
    Thanks for the follow.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts. I don’t think I’m being dishonest in not posting any thoughts about the morality of homosexuality. This post isn’t about that. It really bothers me that some folk think you can’t have a discussion about H without discussing whether it’s right or wrong.

  18. It would be great to find more Evangelical pastors as ‘worse’ as you are. You don´t need to beware if the world loves you becouse love (all kind of love) is exactly what will save this world. Thanks for stop at my site.

  19. I am reading this as a bisexual in a committed relationship with a member of the same gender. I appreciate your thoughts and feelings. I have found that not many self-labeled evangelical Christians are able to get past what they have been taught and show love to people who are different than they are/wish to be. My partner and I have been approached by several Christian organizations, when wandering local street fairs, but as soon as they see that we are a couple (holding hands or using loving terms like “honey”) they quickly back off. We are not wandering local fairs to challenge anyone’s belief systems. We are just enjoying nice weather and local artists and businesses.

    Even when we are openly welcomed, I have found that the welcome is short lived. Usually a means to an end of getting us to renounce our sinful ways, accept Jesus, etc.. Now, when I am accepted / loved / welcomed by a self identified evangelical, I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have learned that this love comes with strings attached, and it is unfortunate.

    All of this is not to say that I have no friends who are evangelical Christians, but the ones I do, have built up a trusting relationship over years, sometimes decades. I trust that they love me for being me, not for being a potential notch on their belt of people they personally saved.

  20. Great article.

    I have always found it interesting that those who are so quick to quote the Bible’s ‘condemnation’ of homosexuality fail to point out that nowhere in the 10 Commandments is there one word against homosexuality.

    However, contained in what has to be considered God’s “Top Ten List” of things you do NOT want to do (lest you run the risk of REALLY upsetting Him) are behaviors which are ‘acceptable’ to us all as facts of today’s life: adultery, covetousness, not honoring our mother and father (after all, how can we honor someone we don’t even know?), stealing, worshiping false gods (money, sex, cars, houses, jobs….and on and on ad infinitum).

    Maybe “Thou shalt not be a homosexual” was #11, but didn’t fit.

  21. This was so lovely to read. I don’t know much about Evangelicals and their stance on social issues like homosexuality, women priests, etc in general but this was so genuine and thought-provoking I just had to comment and say thank you for making the day brighter.

  22. Amen! Three more points that seem important to me for America:
    1. Freedom for religion and from religion are the same thing. And as a born again Christian I want to protect that freedom.
    2. Homosexuality is not a choice: I had a great-great aunt born in the 1800’s that managed to become a pediatrician and start a clinic for the poor. She was the best kept secret in our family because she lived with the same woman all her life. My very spiritual brother has lived with and now is legally married to his partner of 25 years. One of my sons and his partner of over 15 years, now married, teach at an orphan village for children born HIV positive in Cambodia.
    3. I believe marriage is the institution God created to not only populate the earth (which we have accomplished), but to challenge, teach and enable us through grace to learn to love unconditionally by living up close and personal long enough to know and love another flawed human being enough to lay down your life (likes,needs,wants,addictions)for them. I do not want to have laws that deny people that right. I do not want to force people to do that by deceit or deny them the challenge and opportunity to legally outgrow promiscuity.

  23. Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. (Galatians 1:10)

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you.

    But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, ESV).

    Apparently, practitioners of homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God. What leads you to say that heaven would be crawling with them?

      1. We all sin and in need of forgiveness. But we endeavor to avoid doing so knowingly (willfully) against the stated prohibition of God. When we realize our error, we immediately confess it to Him and beg His forgiveness.

        Homosexuality is an abomination to God. You know the passages where this is stated. While we can make allowances for those who don’t know this, what can we say about those who know it and yet continue therein?

        “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,” (Hebrews 11:26).

        I don’t judge anyone. Everyone stands or falls before the Lord. He is the judge. It is very easy to be drawn into liking another human being if we allow our imagination to wander,whether male or female or it (eunuch/transgender) (it is a great struggle). I have wondered as to who put this ability in us. It is such a weakness, but we have to deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily, and follow Jesus. Self-denial to the point of despair is the key here. Only then can we appeal to the Lord for strength. Not indulgence.

        I will overlook your sarcasm laden question because, I am sure, you have the answer.

        1. Please don’t take offense at my question, just trying to figure out the language I need to use here. Clearly you and I aren’t on the same page but we can dialogue yes? I think asking you a question that gets at your soteriology is fair – but I know people get defensive here.

          From the same chapter in Hebrews:
          Their sins and lawless acts
          I will remember no more
          And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin (ie the “old system” that he’ll refer to your passage) is no longer necessary

          You have to reconcile this with Paul’s statement about sacrifices that don’t count. There are ton of scholars from our camp who interpret this, since Paul was talking to Hebrews turned Christian, is a statement about how much trouble you’re in if you deliberately sin but trust in the “old” system. Either way, your application of Paul doesn’t reconcile well with the quote above.

          Also remember that there is no greater abomination in the Bible than idolatry, which you and I are guilty of, knowingly (willfully) or not – although we could make an argument that alot of us go willingly. And you and I both believe we’re going to heaven.

          Worse, remember Jesus’ words about what happens if you turn someone away from coming to Him – big trouble. You need to ask some very painful questions about what God thinks when His people, who were saved at great cost to Him, tell others they can’t come in.

    1. I don’t mean to goad you, I write the following more for my readers. I think you’ve made your decisions about what you believe, as I have. I’ll say here, again, that the doors to heaven have been blown off of their hinges, and that at great cost to God. To choose a group of people and say something akin to “you can’t get into to heaven as long as you’re gay” is to do the very thing that Jesus said would result in something worse than having a very large stone tied around your neck and thrown into the ocean. I really do, honestly, feel that you need to repent.

  24. I discovered this blog because you liked mine and followed my blog. Being a queer person, living in a country where the strong evangelical anti gay movement has taken a foothold, I was delighted to see this blog by someone who had just popped up and felt compelled to read it. As an apatheist and someone totally faithless, I accept your apology. At first I thought you might be one of my brother’s buddies as he’s also a biblical scholar and minister and rather cool. It’s nice to make your acquaintance. I shall be following your blog and thank you very much for following mine.

  25. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this apology. I stand with you on behalf of Australian Christians and affirm every word you have written. Blessings and kindness on each and every gay person in this country (and everyone else also)!!!

  26. I saw that you read my blog so I thought I would reciprocate, I appreciate your words here, although I’m not sure how much good they will do. Here is a bit of my story. I was raised in the Methodist church my entire life. I sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, attended our youth group. While not quite as strident the Methodists I knew always seemed to be generally a very judgmental group. I stayed because it was expected of me, the entire time I struggled with the truth that I was transgender. I stayed in the closet my whole life, afraid to face the scorn from people like those I had seen in the church pews growing up. I finally found the courage to live as the person I have always been and am happier than I ever knew was possible. That said the constant barrage of hate from the likes of Franklin Graham or any one of the Republican candidates has convinced me that putting as much distance as possible between myself and any Christian church was the right decision. I am firmly convinced that there are Christians that would murder me for being trans if they could just figure out how to get away with it. I have joked although it is becoming less of a joke each day that I need to get a gun permit to protect myself from the Christians, and to all of the Christians that say,”I’m not that kind of Christian” I say this, if that is true you should be standing on a rooftop shouting about how unchristian all of this hate is. Their silence makes them complicit in the hate, hate which in the case of LBGT youth pushes many to consider or attempt suicide. I hope that all these hateful self righteous Christians meet Jesus when they die. He will say, ” How did you manage to get everything I taught so completely wrong.”

    1. Amen to alot of what you’re saying, and I don’t think that my apology will really do much in the end, although more people will hear me here than if I shout from my rooftop 🙂 I just needed to get it off my chest. I do want you to know that I’m on your side, and that there are so many others who are. Things are changing in the church, more and more people are moving away from worshipping morality and focusing more on what God wants us to be up to. Thanx so much for posting your thoughts here – it’s very helpful for me. btw, I have two gay friends who gave me the same “thanx, but so what” response – really makes me think about what my role is here.

  27. You presume quite a bit…

    Your inferences to the non-named subjects which you, yourself, would call “dogs” (because you’re attributing something which actually didn’t occur at all, right?)…

    The people you presume to have a “holier-than-thou” attitude (the non-named…) don’t interpret it as being superior as human beings. We (if you mean “The Jews”) are considered ” stiff-necked” people. The whole OT goes on to show how fallible we, and the rest of humanity, are. He just chose us to show to the world that he exists. It’s your interpretation (and book) which says otherwise. I never held myself to some kind of snobbiness — it is what it is.

    Meanwhile, I’ll never forget a similar conversation I had with a Christian man, when I told him the same thing. And he said that he DOES believe we’re the Chosen ones. I never looked at it the same way, again. He meant it in the right way, and he’s right. It is not meant in a negative way. Perhaps you’ll come away with a better understanding of it now.

    Speaking of pigs, the man had a pig, and it was going to be for supper. I don’t know how that pig even had one inkling that that was the intention, but it surely did, and was freaking out horribly. It was an extremely intelligent creature. I feel bad for the poor thing. It suffered even before meeting its fate.

    Anyways, the contrarian on your site will take her leave now. Thanks for following my site, although I’m not sure why you are — but you’re welcome to it. Oh, yeah – and Shalom.

    1. I’m a little sick today so please forgive the short, not-so-comprehensive reply… Are you hearing me say that all Jewish people would be considered “dogs” by Jesus? When I mention “holier-than-thou” folk are you hearing me accusing all Jewish people of being so?

      1. It’s not like I’m totally ignorant, Mark. The collective assumption seems to extend across all in your broad “accusation”, given that no singular entity is named. That would, in itself, make more of a case implying a general consensus. The context of your wording doesn’t seem to point to the Evil One (Satan), but rather to the people of the time and day. Well, who were they, Mark? Jews? Whether Pharisees, Sadducees, attendees, atheists, or pagans, the non-named you seem to be referencing are those people of Jewish origin (whether by birth or choice) who are our people, the Jews, of today. Non-believers? Yes, well, those are the Jews. We believe in G-d the way it was presented, without trying to deviate to the left or to the right (that, in itself, is a generality, as well). “Ad nauseum?” Do you think you could be more kind? How about the persecution, ad nauseum, of Jews for millennia? You’re entitled to your beliefs, but Jews don’t need to be killed because of theirs. Just because it took the Catholic Church two millennia to declare that Jews did not “kill Jesus” doesn’t mean that two thousand years to the contrary have suddenly evaporated from everyone’s mind. Not yours, and certainly not ours! Sure, I’m hypocritical, with lots of specks in my own eyes. I surmise I’m not alone in this and that most of us are. Despite our words now, and maybe ongoing, I see us both angered individuals but maybe with a chance of working it out. I do see that. Don’t lose faith, or sleep, over it. I see your love for your kids, also, which demonstrates your nature. Maybe you could restrain yourself in the language department… Referring in your way to religious rituals as “s**t” disrespects Judaism (and by extension, “The Jews”) and desensitizes your kids to using that language in normal conversation (it’s a fault for me, as well, but in frustration or anger) as well as setting the stage for their thoughts, perhaps about Jews and Judaism, in their futures. So, the Nicaea conference and the Vatican Council (II), while ” absolving” Jews for crimes never committed, and for which we have had to pay the price, have just been subverted Underground. While none will openly state as much, or as such, we can now see the broad tactic used across most of Christendom. Whether referring to Jews, or whether it’s the Jews as an embodiment of Satan as inferred by our status as “non-believers” in the Christian messiah, is what is said (but not). Two thousand years won’t convert us, so two thousand years of Church stubbornness has persisted. Yup, that makes us stubborn, too… So leave us alone, for Pete’s sake (I just realized where that expression must have originated, so sorry if offense…). So, whether you mean “some” Jews, or just “specific” Jews, or “non-believers (who are Jews)”, or “Satan (who is a non-believer, and so is, by inference, “the Jews”)” or Pharisees, or money-changers, or Sadducees, does imply the people who were there practicing what you call their religious “s**t” — so, yeah, that seems to cover it pretty broadly and thoroughly. We’re pretty logical and can reason a linear argument (we’ve kind of honed that skill over the years). So, based on the statements you’ve already put forth, I’ve heard, both in what you’ve said, as well as in what you haven’t, very clearly, your arguments. I haven’t really shaken this cold I’ve kept contracting for like two months now. Take some Jewish advice for your ills, as well — it really does help: Chicken soup and prayer (not necessarily in that order).

  28. I really appreciate your post modern interpretation of the Bible. I from your article understand that the fundamental premise of Jesus is love. The “fallness” was treated with wrath and retribution in the Old Testament but in the the new, Jesus established the covenant of love and grace ( unmerited favor of God). Your attitude reconcile gay with theology is laudatory. Anand Bose from Kerala.

  29. Thanks so much for your post and the follow! As a gay christian woman myself in a Southern Baptist world I am trying to bring light and understanding to those around me. Thank you so much for your words!

  30. Absolutely fantastic post – thank you. Gives me real hope for evangelicals, which isn’t something I can often say (and I’ll confess isn’t something I even *want* to say very often these days!). Bless you.

    Willard’s “Divine Conspiracy” has been sitting unread on my bookshelf for over a year – this post might just have given me the impetus to blow the dust off it and give it a try despite my slight reluctance…

  31. Thank you, Mark for recently visiting and following my blogsite. It is always wonderful to meet ‘real’ Christians on Word Press. (Those who walk in love, as Jesus did, and choose to love those who are viewed with disdain by ones who say they love all men/women, yet do not, because they would rather be critical of one’s lifestyle. If we are truly walking in Jesus’s steps we begin to better understand what 1 Corinthians 13 is talking about.) 🙂

  32. Not certain I can add anything to this conversation, but am glad you tackled the issue. I have never understood the argument that Christians make that being gay is a sin, but, I’m not a Bible scholar. And it is not terribly important to me. As long as I am free to marry/love/associate with whomever I want, then everyone else should have that same right/freedom.

  33. Following on from our discussion on Twitter, Mark, I’m wondering why you talked about idolatrous people as if gay relationships were in some way like idolatry, which as far as I understand it is putting someone or something in God’s place. Have I misunderstood your meaning? Could you please explain.

    I was also puzzled as to why you said, “you don’t think marginalizing people for their views is narrow minded? I do” Perhaps you could explain who you thought was marginalising anyone for their views and who was being marginalised and for which views.

    1. Hey, thanx for migrating from Twitter – no way to discuss this in 140 word snippets 🙂

      Re Idolatry… A knee-jerk reaction from me, sorry. I get tired of the way most Evangelicals approach Homosexuality. It’s not just seen as “a” sin, but “the” sin, on par with something like child abuse. Evangelicals feel like the first order of business when they meet a Gay person is to tell them that God doesn’t approve of the way they’re living. So ironic that Evangelicals are so comfortable with idolatry which a) we’re all guilty of, especially in America and b) is “the” sin, the biggest one listed in the Bible. It’s a classic case of “straining out a gnat to swallow a camel.” To my point (previously on twitter @realmarklandry), if I can approve of two idolaters getting married, why can’t I approve of two gay people getting married, even if my view of Homosexuality is not an affirming one? It’s a really smart ass way to respond to your question. Again, apologies.

      Re marginalization. If you say that the Bible prohibits Homosexuality, one camp will brand you a hero, the other a narrow-minded bigot. If you say the Bible doesn’t prohibit Homosexuality, one camp will label you a heretic, the other an ally. There are too many people that will discern your worth as a person if you post an opinion about all of this (marginalization). This issue has become a shit show and betrays intolerance on both sides – shame on both sides for judging people based on what they believe. As immature as it might sound, I don’t step into the shit show on a public forum. The idea that so many will judge me pisses me off, so I don’t play.

      Ultimately, there are bigger fish to fry with regards to the Gospel in my opinion. If I thought that sharing my opinions about the issue would help anyone, I’d do it.

      Does that make sense?

      Thanx also for checking in on other posts, laying down some thoughts – great to have you stop by.

      Mark

  34. I see, I think. So this is your stock answer to Evangelicals, but if people aren’t saying they disapprove of gay people or the way they are living it makes it seem that you are saying you disapprove.

    As to marginalisation, I can’t agree. If I say the Bible doesn’t say that loving, committed same-sex relationships are sinful I don’t have to judge those who think it does as inferior human beings. I’m not saying I won’t be tempted at times, but I can remember I was persuaded the Bible might say something like that for a while. Remembering that right at the start that the Bible tells us that every human being is made in God’s image helps me to remember that however unpleasant I find someone’s opinion they are still human beings. The Bible also tells me that they are also fundamentally good and that God loves them as much as God loves me.

    Does this issue matter? I wish it didn’t, but while people use the Bible as an excuse to abuse and shun gay people and make their lives a misery I think it matters a great deal. If loving and having compassion for our neighbours (aka all our fellow human beings) is the way we express our love for God then I think this matter is of huge importance where the Gospel is concerned. If people who claim to believe this Good News don’t love their fellow human beings what does that say about the Gospel to the average non-believer and those who are wrestling with their faith?

    1. Right, agreed. I don’t think everyone reacts with judgment. I have plenty of friends that don’t agree with me who still love me. My point is that there are alot of people who deal with this issue with nothing but judgment. But I hope you didn’t hear me accusing you of that. You seem really nice.

    2. Forgot to answer this”

      I see, I think. So this is your stock answer to Evangelicals, but if people aren’t saying they disapprove of gay people or the way they are living it makes it seem that you are saying you disapprove.

      This is my stock answer to anyone on social media, on either side, not my stock answer to people I trust. I’m not sure how you conclude that I disapprove. Again, folks should be allowed to believe what they believe, as long as they’re not forcing their opinions or hurting others with it. I see how people conclude that the Bible doesn’t condemn H, and I see how people see that it does. I see how people believe that folks are born Gay, and I see how they don’t. There are no slam dunks here in my opinion. Both sides are vilifying the other for their beliefs about a moral issue. Not cool.

  35. A wonderful, hopeful piece. Thank you Mark. Is it okay to call you Mark?

    I used to get really bent out of shape about opinions and hate speech that were born of *any* religious context. And where Christianity is concerned, I’ve been of the opinion for many years that if Jesus could see today how people treated each other, he would post a selfie to his Facebook page slapping his own forehead. Facepalm! Good lord people are missing the point! 😀 One of my closest friends is the epitome of Christianity as it should be. She accepts the complexity of life and treats all people with love and respect. So though her, I’ve come to feel a sadness for those that are missing out on some of the wonder of this world. Our time here is too short for hate, anger and fear towards others.

    Let me just say that the people you’re trying to apologize for, really… I feel they owe God the apology.

    Thank you again. This was a really nice read. And than you so much for the follow! Yay for my new blog! 😀

      1. Yes. But from the perspective on this side. Even my best friends say things that they don’t even know are hurtful. Even they have major biases they don’t even realize they have. Life is a constant game of forgiveness, and so the line between devout and fanatic blurs considerably. I could choose to foster anger, instead I don’t even hear the voices of the misguided religious any more. And an apology from someone who obviously doesn’t need to be making it, doesn’t actually make an apology. Right? It’s makes a reassurance that not all evangelicals are ‘like that.’ You know? The greatest apology is change of behavior. Don’t get me wrong, I love what you’ve said here. I gives me hope that more people of all kinds of faiths will stand up like this. In defense of their own faith, and in defense of their fellow human beings.

  36. I’d like to add that God made us in his image… All of us. I look back over the historical gay community. We have homosexuals that contributed wonderful works of art, scientific discoveries, and musical gifts. These people are wonderful talented creations of love as are you or me. It is my opinion that we should not judge. Thank You!

    1. If we’re sticking with the Bible, and I know lots of people interpret the Bible differently re this topic, let’s say for the sake of argument that homosexual sex is a sin. There are lots of sins listed in the Bible, but getting your act together isn’t the prerequisite – trusting Jesus to forgive your sins, whether you deserve it or not is the main message.

      So, if you believe that you have to stop being gay to get in, you also have to stop doing alot of other things as well, to the point of perfection, which is impossible and takes away from the message of “humanity can’t save itself, only God can” that’s so prevalent in the Bible.

      Does that make sense? So glad to get a question that doesn’t begin with some kind of snarkiness – thank you.

      Can I also ask – are you Evangelical? Catholic? Jewish?

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