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PostPosted: Fri 21 May , 2010 2:20 pm 
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Lily Rose wrote:
Just because the Apostle Paul has a vendetta against gays doesn't mean that their God does as well.


I've been trying to keep out of this, so I'll just add one comment: If you're going to blame Paul for this, you'll also have to blame Moses. See Leviticus 20:13.

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PostPosted: Sat 22 May , 2010 2:52 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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That is true, ED, and it highlights the extreme difficulty I have with this issue--what the Word of God appears to be saying and what honestly and truly seems right to me. Of course, as a Christian, I know that I should be going, "Oh, okay, well, if there's a conflict, then I need to defer to the Scriptures." Only, in this case, I'm not sure it's that simple. There are decent explanations for the anti-homosexual verses. They are not entirely convincing, no. But they have created a reasonable doubt in my mind.

I am currently existing in this weird space where I have all of this conflict and no clear answers. Perhaps that's why I've just thrown up my hands and gone, "Whatever." God will have to sort it out with me in the end, I guess. In the meantime, I have bigger fish to fry as a believer.

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PostPosted: Sat 22 May , 2010 4:58 am 
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Estel Dúnadan wrote:
Lily Rose wrote:
Just because the Apostle Paul has a vendetta against gays doesn't mean that their God does as well.


I've been trying to keep out of this, so I'll just add one comment: If you're going to blame Paul for this, you'll also have to blame Moses. See Leviticus 20:13.


Except few Christians still regard Leviticus as law.


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PostPosted: Sat 22 May , 2010 10:06 am 
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yovargas wrote:
Except few Christians still regard Leviticus as law.


Maybe not, but Leviticus 20:13 (with the word "abomination" in it!) is the verse most quoted by so-called Christians when they are trying to justify themselves regarding their views on homosexuality.

Both Leviticus and Paul's statements have little to do with actual homosexuality and more to do with 1) propagation and 2) monogamy. The nomadic Hebrews were not very discriminatory in who they shagged and anyone would do after long weeks in the field. Another man or even a sheep or goat. And that wasn't going to make any MORE Hebrews and increase the population. Paul was busy trying to corral the newly-converted Corinthians who were ecstatic about the "love thy neighbor" bit in this new religion and were busily shagging everyone and their table lamp.

But I think Paul was a grouch, too.


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PostPosted: Sun 23 May , 2010 9:56 am 
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I think the fact that so many parts of the Bible are already accepted as merely outdated and impractical customs which have no cause to survive in today's world is a good argument for not justifying everything with 'The Bible says so'. Just the fact that it's ok to eat shrimp...this is an overused argument to counter the abomination one, but it should definitely make one think.

How do we decide which parts are 'just how they did it in the old days in another country' and which transcend space and time? A Catholic (not sure about other Christian cults) should look to the Vatican. But the Vatican is only men. The Pope is the greatest authority on God's word, but he MAY be challenged (for a Catholic the only instance in which the Pope's word is infallible is when he officially speaks ex cathedra, and that is extremely rare.)

So in the end, the original, very special relationship of God with Man remains intact: it is up to each one of us to individually figure out how things work. The clergy can help and advise but they can't do it for us.

I can't claim to know better than the Pope, but I do have to think for myself first.

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PostPosted: Sun 23 May , 2010 12:05 pm 
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The Protestant denomination I was raised in, and I believe this is true of most Protestant denominations, taught that Jesus' sacrifice started a "new covenant" with humanity replacing the old covenant with Israel, outlined in Leviticus and elsewhere. So it's not really a matter of them being "already accepted as merely outdated and impractical customs", so much as Jesus giving believers a new and improved covenant.


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PostPosted: Mon 24 May , 2010 2:31 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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Right, and as such, many of the old laws were done away with. Others were sort of "condensed" (if that's the right word I'm looking for), with the spirit of the laws being summed up in the new rules of the post-Jesus world.

IOW, many of the laws designed to keep the Israelites separate and pure were no longer needed after Jesus' redemptive work on the cross opened up a way for all mankind to draw near to God (as individuals). Others are contained now within the new commandments Jesus gave: Love God with all of your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength (not really a "new" commandment as it comes from the OT), and Love your neighbor as yourself.

The question, with regards to homosexuality, is to determine where it falls under the NT guidelines.

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PostPosted: Mon 24 May , 2010 2:36 am 
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Quote:
Love God with all of your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength (not really a "new" commandment as it comes from the OT), and Love your neighbor as yourself.


And the question of whether an active homosexual can do both those things is pretty cut and dried.


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PostPosted: Mon 24 May , 2010 2:41 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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Absolutely.

One of the Christians I admire the most is Henri Nouwen--a Catholic priest who was a homosexual. He's yet another piece to the puzzle that has brought me to this point.

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PostPosted: Mon 24 May , 2010 3:04 am 

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yovargas wrote:
The Protestant denomination I was raised in, and I believe this is true of most Protestant denominations, taught that Jesus' sacrifice started a "new covenant" with humanity replacing the old covenant with Israel, outlined in Leviticus and elsewhere. So it's not really a matter of them being "already accepted as merely outdated and impractical customs", so much as Jesus giving believers a new and improved covenant.


Nevertheless the Church Fathers accepted that gentile converts to Christianity should follow certain Old Testament standards of behaviour, such as avoiding sexual immorality and the worship of idols (Acts 15).

I’ve never accepted the explanations for the anti-homosexuality verses in the Bible offered by Liberal Christians myself. Yes, you can come up with a reason to doubt each of the passages, but taken together their message is fairly consistent.

And of course, as a non-believer I’m also willing to accept (and happen to believe) that the different authors of the verses had different ideas. As I argued in a long thread on HoF a little while back, I think that the Christianity as established by Paul and his friends is quite different from the Christianity preached by Jesus. Still, while Jesus doesn’t mention homosexuality, both Matthew (5:18-19) and Luke (16:17) quote him as speaking approvingly of the law, and both Matthew (19:17-19) and Luke (18:18-22) have him claiming that following the commandments is necessary for eternal life (or at least some of them).

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PostPosted: Mon 24 May , 2010 6:43 pm 
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I agree, actually. Despite the "Love God and love each other is all that matters" mandate of the NT, taken as a whole, the Bible's views on sex are pretty clear. But it's also clear, as I said earlier, that homosexuality wasn't an especially big deal.


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PostPosted: Sat 29 May , 2010 10:12 pm 
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I'd be skeptical, yov. The Bible's views on many things are clear but they may still be outdated. Speaking as a Christian here. I see more arguments for the religion's strict policies on non-hetero, non-marital sex being a cause of ersthwile thinking and social mechanisms rather than transcendent enlightenment.

No matter how much I think about it, I cannot see a reason why God would be against homosexuality- an act which, by itself, does no more wrong than heterosexuality. We might consider that it poses a threat to the survival of the species, except that homosexuals are a definite minority and I really don't think it's something we need to worry about. So, really, what would God's beef with gays and lesbians* be?

I'll take the risk of being wrong- I have the choice of trusting the religion's traditions and interpretation of the Bible (heavy evidence for a believer) or of trusting my own instinct. Since I am supposed to be made in God's image and have His life within me, I think my instinct has a good chance in that showdown. And the issue matters enough to me to risk it. It's like Doubting Thomas- we shake our heads at him, but what would we do in his place? I am neither enlightened enough to KNOW for certain what is right and what is wrong, nor am I so insecure in my given Free Will to trust completely in the words of others. I must go by what I feel. I must doubt and poke around to figure out where I should stand. It is miles better, I think, than sitting on the fence.

If at the end of things I am proven wrong, well, I will deal with it.

*gays and lesbians and bisexuals and transvestites and transgendered people and those who just don't fit the mould.

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Jun , 2010 4:16 pm 
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Interesting thread, and I've just read (most of) it now.

I'll add my two cents because it seems like everyone here is baing fair and listening, even if not always agreeing with eachother and I respect that.

I won't get into the strictly religeous aspect of the debate, or the biblical fraction. I was definately raised Christian with a heavy focus on what the Bible really says. The bible is not to be taken out of context and there are often some things that were they to stand alone are confusing. That being said the way I grew up was really "love sinner/hate act", with everything, not just sexual preferences. But I feel the distinction of the way I grew up versus the way some other religeons/sects, etc. are is that no one ever dwelt upon homosexuality and certainly never preached that we should ever make what people do our business. Yes, the bible's anti-homosexual relationship scriptures were quoted from time to time but there was no emphasis that it was anywhere near the main concern. There was never an "ok today we're going to talk all about sexual preferences" day. In other words gay sex was a sin, yes, so are drugs, so is infidelity, so is loving violence. So what's often emphasized the most in the world are often drugs, violence etc. I don't believe I've ever heard any stories about kids in the deserted part of the playground whipping out their junk like it were a cigarette and going, hey try this! Therefore the emphasis was where it was due. Kids are going to get you to try drugs, they're going to get you to do the sex before marriage (heck, before puberty these days) and so on.

So I believe the manner in which I grew up helped me to have a healthy view and tolerance on the opinions I formed and now posess. In other words, if you're a Christian (and I'm not addressing anyone here!) you're perfectly entitled to opine that homosexuality is wrong, but put it where it deserves to be on your list of wrongs. Being gay is usually (and by usually I mean almost always) quite personal and its not something that needs to or can be fixed. I also have known gay people and call some friends. Even if you think its wrong you can't go around with "God hates homos" picket signs or even that attitude when you could be spending time actually helping people.

Please don't misquote me. I'm trying to cleverly conceal my exact stance on homosexuality here, not because it's excessivly negative or positive. I just want to say what I believe is fair. I do think that understanding what I do about the lifestyle this Knapp person nailed it on the head. When it comes to something as fundemental as love, you can't tell someone that its wrong, even if you believe it is. She didn't burst out of the closet and go, 'hey! boy was jesus wrong, screw all you bible people i'm gay!' She was as respectful about her current persuasion as everyone of the other persuasion should be towards them.

I think that's all I wanted to say. :) That and, Yovargas is gay??? :shock: :uhoh:

and maybe:

:drool:


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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun , 2010 3:24 pm 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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Thanks for your thoughts, TWT. :)

(And, of course, thank you, Ro, and everyone else.)

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PostPosted: Thu 10 Jun , 2010 8:54 am 
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Quote:
Even if you think its wrong you can't go around with "God hates homos" picket signs or even that attitude when you could be spending time actually helping people.


Yesssss....Everything you said.

I think I grew up in a similar environment, TWT. My parents do think (as far as I know because we don't talk about it much, I purposely avoid the subject) homosexuality is sinful and unnatural to the point of being wrong, but that doesn't keep them from having gay friends. They just mind their own business. They mind it about other sins, too.

I think this whole anti-gay craze is maybe a reaction to...ha, this sounds paradoxical, but it's probably a reaction to homosexuality being less of a stigma! It used to be very hush hush and shameful, and EVERYONE knew you shouldn't even talk about it, and 'tolerance' was the right word because if you were very open-minded you tolerated the sin, instead of simply accepting the difference. Now (in the more Western parts of the world I circle in anyway) we're all allowed to stand up and say 'Actually I am not entirely traditional' and not fear our lives being instantly and unquestionably ruined. Even with haters and repression, it's so much better. To those who consider homosexuality to be a depravity, such a state of being is terrifying. Think of something you consider immoral and imagine it becoming more and more commonly accepted...

And then they fall into the trap of thinking persecution is the answer.

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PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct , 2012 12:02 pm 
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Ara-anna wrote:
'Jesus, save me from your followers, their trying to kill me, Amen'

Yeah, rings true.
I don't know Jennifer Knapp, but this interview makes me want to find out more about her.

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PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct , 2012 2:28 pm 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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She's a really good singer. I like her music. :)

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