"I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

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"I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#1

Post by Mariolee » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:43 am

I thought this was an interesting article to share with you all. Would love to get some commentary from you all.
As a Presbyterian minister, I believed it was a sin. Then I met people who really understood the stakes: Gay men.

A recent poll shows a huge shift in American attitudes toward gay marriage, from a 32 percent approval in 2004 to 53 percent today.

I am one of those people who changed their minds.

In 1989 when I was ordained as a minister to serve a small church in North Carolina, homosexuality was an invisible issue. Gay rights were barely on the radar of mainstream churches. The idea of an openly gay pastor was beyond the pale. I knew there were "gay churches," of course, but I did not believe one could be a practicing homosexual and a Christian. The Bible was straightforward on this issue. It all seemed incredibly obvious to me.

But over the next five years, homosexuality not only became an issue -- it became The Issue. Sides were drawn, and those of us in the middle were pulled to either end. I was a biblical Christian, of the "hate the sin, love the sinner" crowd. And so it seemed clear that I could not fully accept, ordain and marry gays. If I was going to be forced to choose a side, that was mine.

The truth is, I was put out that this was an issue. Feeding the hungry, preaching the gospel, comforting the afflicted, standing up to racial intolerance -- these were the struggles I signed up for, not determining the morality of what adults did in their bedrooms.

But the debate would not go away. It came up, again and again, year after year, pushed by activists on either end. Each time, I grudgingly voted to hold the traditional line and limit the role of gays in the church. But I felt increasingly uncomfortable. What I believed was biblically correct began to feel less and less right in my heart.

While the church was fighting it out, I was going through my own battle. I moved to Alaska in 1996, but the debate followed me. And three major things happened which started to crack the wall of my complacency.

First, I had a long, online conversation with a gay Christian man who had wrestled with his sexuality and finally decided, as he put it, that God was more concerned with his pride than his sexuality. He was hesitant to talk about the subject when I first broached it, partially because every other pastor he'd talked to wanted to convert him. But in the end, he's the one who taught me. He surprised me by saying he did not know he was gay until he was in his early 20s. (He just thought he had an extraordinary respect for women.)

Next, a parishioner asked me to do an exorcism for him because he was gay. He had tried everything else he could think of -- therapy, prayer, will power, alcohol, support groups, marriage -- and nothing worked. It was a heartbreaking situation. As a minister I may have questioned the sinfulness of his actions, but I absolutely knew he was not demon-possessed.

Then I met a woman whose husband had left her for another man. They were a clergy couple, serving a small-town church. She had every right to be angry and hurt, but I was awed by her grace. She told me he was the best minister she had ever known. (From his work record, I would agree.) He simply got to the point where he could no longer live the lie of his sexuality. Of course he had to leave the ministry once he came out. It must have been a hideous choice: Pretend to be something he was not, or leave his calling because of the person he loved.

These experiences shook my worldview. It became clear to me that none of these men had chosen to be gay, just as I had never chosen to be heterosexual. How could I condemn someone for something that was really not their fault? Meanwhile, I was experiencing the slow disintegration of my own marriage. Needless to say, it was hard for me to condemn anyone else for their relationships when mine was in such bad shape. I began moving closer to the center. If homosexuality was a "sin," I wanted to add an asterisk to it.

Toward the end of my parish ministry, I was approached by five individuals who demanded that I do a sermon to come out strong against any acceptance of gays and lesbians in the church. They wanted to hear what the Bible said on the issue. The funny thing was, all five of them were divorced and remarried. Had I done a sermon on what the Bible said about divorce, every one of them would have left the church in a huff.

I did that sermon, however, and it was not my best hour as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. In my research, I found that the Bible was more nuanced about the issue than I previously believed, and I tried to convey that, but ultimately I still came out against acceptance of homosexuality. Now, I wish I'd been more upfront about how my own views were transforming, but I took a back-door approach to the subject. I talked about all the sins according to the Bible, and said if we were going to start throwing out sinners from our church, I wanted to start with the gossips.

Looking back, I see how much my own opinions had been formed by the fact that I was representing a split congregation. Our church, like so many, was divided. And while the people who believed it should be accepted were not going to leave if we maintained a position of non-acceptance, those who felt it was a sin would bolt in a heartbeat if we ever allowed gay clergy or gay marriage. If they bolted, half our budget would go out the door. I knew the issue could tear the church apart. What I didn't realize was how it could tear apart the people in the church as well.

Every year we send young people to our national meeting as youth delegates. In a year when gay ordination was going to be discussed (again), I sat down with our selected delegate to share some of my own thoughts on the topic. Later, the person declined the position. I was given reasons, but none of them made any real sense until I learned, many years later, that the person had come out of the closet. What had I said back then? I couldn't remember exactly, but I am pretty sure it boiled down to the idea that there was no place for homosexuals in our church.

In 2005 I left the parish ministry to work as a hospital chaplain. Part of the reason for leaving was my separation. But also, I was tired of trying to live up to standards that I did not fully agree with.

With distance, I could see the mean-spirited nature of the anti-gay movement, and the naked way large Christian organizations used the "gay threat" to raise money. Free from the constraints of a congregation, I could spend more time actually looking at the biblical texts that deal with homosexuality, and I was surprised to find they were not as clear as I had supposed they were. At this point, I have done a 180 on the topic. And I believe it's a change for the good.

So why had we singled out homosexuality as a litmus test for True Christianity in the first place? Why had it become such a lightning rod for self-righteousness?

One reason, I think, is that it's easy to condemn homosexuality if you are not gay. It is much harder than condemning pride, or lust or greed, things that most practicing Christians have struggled with. It is all too easy to make homosexuality about "those people," and not me. If I were to judge someone for their inflated sense of pride, or their tendency to worship various cultural idols, I would feel some personal stake, some cringe of self-judgment. Not so with homosexuality.

Now I am wondering why, if two gay people want to commit their lives to one another, they should ever be denied that chance. No church or pastor should be forced to perform those ceremonies, and they can choose not to recognize gay marriage for their adherents. But the constitution of the Presbyterian Church does not explicitly forbid a pastor from being a thief, a murderer, or an egotistical jerk. It is not designed to do these things. It does prohibit a gay person from becoming a pastor. All I can ask is: Why?
http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2011/ ... index.html

What I noticed was he didn't include any scripture references to these nuances he keeps mentioning in the Bible, which is a shame really.
How do some people mess up a message about "love" and "forgiveness" so much?!

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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#2

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:12 am

Christ was quite clear on the whole judgment thing, don't do it, we are not qualified.
Whatever issues we may have with anyone chosen lifestyle, it is between them and God (eventually).
If Homosexuality truly is a "thing of birth" then Gays and lesbians are being true to their nature and if they are not harming anyone, then to each their own.
While I personally don't care much for "gay pride parades", or any parades, I do have a few friends that are Gay and Bi ( and they don't care much for the pride parades either) and they are excellent people, in all aspects.
I will leave their "gayness" between them and God.

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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#3

Post by CeT-To » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:24 am

The problem is the homosexual act of having sex with the same gender, it isn't natural both morally and physically, it especially doesn't take much to understand the physical side of the wrongness of the act. I may understand that some people are attracted to the same sex but like others who are attracted to stealing or having a one night stand or any sinful thing.. they should, like the person who is attracted to the same sex, set their priorities straight and persevere to not commit the sin. I think some people over react when they find out like in the article you provided " he did not know he was gay until he was in his early 20s" but only because they are scared of what others would think since it is seen as taboo by a lot of people but none the less it is a sin like any other that has to be weakened through years of being in Christ and one should remain calm about it.

That's my opinion anyway but i think at the end of the problem lies the question " Can a man love a man the same way a man loves a woman?" which then leads to the question " what is the definition of love?" and here it becomes even more messy.
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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#4

Post by jlay » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:12 am

Christ was quite clear on the whole judgment thing, don't do it, we are not qualified.
totally wrong. We are in fact told often in the scriptures to judge. Matt. 7: 1-5
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

If you read the verse out of context, you would come to that conclusion. But in context we clearly see that this isn't teaching us not to judge, but HOW to judge. In other words, who would I be to judge (confronting) a homosexual for his sin, and yet at the same time I am engaging in immoral sexual behavior. In fact in verse five we are told to 1st deal with our own issue, so that we are able to clearly see to help another deal with theirs. In fact the NT is chock full of situations where we are instructed to make judgments.
I will leave their "gayness" between them and God.
Well, you could say this about nearly any sin. I will leave their pre-marital sex between them and God. I will leave their tax cheating between them and God. Either homosexuality is wrong, or it isn't. The bible doesn't make any bones about where homosexuality and other sexual immorality stands. This is a difficult issue. I have a friend who has been in a gay relationship for 14 years with the same man. He leads an Alpha group, and is very involved in helping others learn about Christ. I can tell you that he is a great guy. I have no doubt that He trusts Christ. But I do believe that he is living in a blantant rebellion to God's will in this situation and compromising his fellowship.
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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#5

Post by Maytan » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:16 am

I'm with Jlay on this.
The truth is, I was put out that this was an issue. Feeding the hungry, preaching the gospel, comforting the afflicted, standing up to racial intolerance -- these were the struggles I signed up for, not determining the morality of what adults did in their bedrooms.
Right here he clearly is choosing to stand up against some sins but pardon the others; or at least overlook them. This article gave me the feeling that this pastor thinks that a homosexual must take part in homosexual acts. That simply isn't true. There's no reason a homosexual person can't be an outspoken Christian, all while fighting against his own sin. (like he appears to have thought)

When it comes down to it, we all have our own sins we struggle with. The desire to engage in homosexual intercourse is no different.

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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#6

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:58 am

jlay wrote:
Christ was quite clear on the whole judgment thing, don't do it, we are not qualified.
totally wrong. We are in fact told often in the scriptures to judge. Matt. 7: 1-5
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

If you read the verse out of context, you would come to that conclusion. But in context we clearly see that this isn't teaching us not to judge, but HOW to judge. In other words, who would I be to judge (confronting) a homosexual for his sin, and yet at the same time I am engaging in immoral sexual behavior. In fact in verse five we are told to 1st deal with our own issue, so that we are able to clearly see to help another deal with theirs. In fact the NT is chock full of situations where we are instructed to make judgments.
I will leave their "gayness" between them and God.
Well, you could say this about nearly any sin. I will leave their pre-marital sex between them and God. I will leave their tax cheating between them and God. Either homosexuality is wrong, or it isn't. The bible doesn't make any bones about where homosexuality and other sexual immorality stands. This is a difficult issue. I have a friend who has been in a gay relationship for 14 years with the same man. He leads an Alpha group, and is very involved in helping others learn about Christ. I can tell you that he is a great guy. I have no doubt that He trusts Christ. But I do believe that he is living in a blantant rebellion to God's will in this situation and compromising his fellowship.

Fair enough, though I believe that being fallen as we are, we are indeed NOT fit to judge others, it is clear to me that only God and Christ can judge.
Though Paul does mention that we "will judge the angels" and that the 12 will judge all of Israel, that is not NOW and not in OUR CURRENT state.
The whole :let he without sin cast the first stone" thing you know?
I know that for myself, I am not equipped to judge anyone and as such, I speak only for myself of course.
And IF Homosexuality is indeed a trait from birth, what exactly are we judging?
As for leaving the leaving the sins of others between them and God, yes, absolutely.
Unless a crime is commited of course.

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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#7

Post by jlay » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:13 pm

Fair enough, though I believe that being fallen as we are, we are indeed NOT fit to judge others, it is clear to me that only God and Christ can judge.
Though Paul does mention that we "will judge the angels" and that the 12 will judge all of Israel, that is not NOW and not in OUR CURRENT state.
The whole :let he without sin cast the first stone" thing you know?
I know that for myself, I am not equipped to judge anyone and as such, I speak only for myself of course.
And IF Homosexuality is indeed a trait from birth, what exactly are we judging?
As for leaving the leaving the sins of others between them and God, yes, absolutely.
Unless a crime is commited of course.
You are contradicting yourself in a couple of ways. First you way 'we are INDEED not fit to judge others." For one, that is a judgment. You are making a judgment on who is not fit to judge. Then you say, "I speak only for myself," which also contradicts when you say we are indeed not fit.
There are many examples where we are given guidelines to judge on and by.
I think perhaps what we are best to say is that God alone is totally fit, worthy and wise to judge justly in all matters. Casting the first stone has again to do with judging rightly and without hypocrisy. God has spoken on homosexuality, and if we are wise we will judge in a way that complies with His will.
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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#8

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:08 am

jlay wrote:
Fair enough, though I believe that being fallen as we are, we are indeed NOT fit to judge others, it is clear to me that only God and Christ can judge.
Though Paul does mention that we "will judge the angels" and that the 12 will judge all of Israel, that is not NOW and not in OUR CURRENT state.
The whole :let he without sin cast the first stone" thing you know?
I know that for myself, I am not equipped to judge anyone and as such, I speak only for myself of course.
And IF Homosexuality is indeed a trait from birth, what exactly are we judging?
As for leaving the leaving the sins of others between them and God, yes, absolutely.
Unless a crime is commited of course.
You are contradicting yourself in a couple of ways. First you way 'we are INDEED not fit to judge others." For one, that is a judgment. You are making a judgment on who is not fit to judge. Then you say, "I speak only for myself," which also contradicts when you say we are indeed not fit.
There are many examples where we are given guidelines to judge on and by.
I think perhaps what we are best to say is that God alone is totally fit, worthy and wise to judge justly in all matters. Casting the first stone has again to do with judging rightly and without hypocrisy. God has spoken on homosexuality, and if we are wise we will judge in a way that complies with His will.
Yes, I speak only for myself in regards to MY opinion that we are not fir to judge anyone in regards to these matters and that we should leave it to God and Christ.
And while I see your point that I am making a judgment on a judgment ( LOL), I don't see how we can have a discussion without an opinion, or an opinion without making a "judgment" call of some sorts.
Lets not be coy though because Christ does indeed say to NOT judge:
Do NOT judge so that you not be judged.
The rest goes on to show what will happen if you do - that judgment on you will be based on how you judge others, a chilling thought if you ask me.
But Jesus does state to NOT judge anyone.
Of course we do, as you pointed out that is did just that and as such we must be cautious of how we do it, but Jesus does tell us NOT to judge and the consequences of if we do that.

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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#9

Post by jlay » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:54 am

Lets not be coy though because Christ does indeed say to NOT judge:
Do NOT judge so that you not be judged.
The rest goes on to show what will happen if you do - that judgment on you will be based on how you judge others, a chilling thought if you ask me.
But Jesus does state to NOT judge anyone.
Of course we do, as you pointed out that is did just that and as such we must be cautious of how we do it, but Jesus does tell us NOT to judge and the consequences of if we do that.
Paul, You are substracting from the text in order to make it fit your position. What you need to understand is what you are doing is exactly what the atheist does with this verse. It is not a matter of being coy but being contextual, consistent and obedient. I'm not saying these things to try and one up you or win a war of words, but because I genuinely believe you are in error, and I want to present that evidence to you. The reality is that we are both believers, but we are arriving at very different conclusions regarding this verse. So we need to ask, why? I think it is fairly obvious that you are taking this out of the context. And thus you are missing the essential truth contained within. Not to mention who this teaching was for.
It is a very serious thing. Would his audience be better off to ignore Jesus' instructions to help one's brother remove the spec in his eye? If we follow your method to its logical conclusions, let's see what happens. Don't judge. Don't deal with your own sin issues and self examination. Fail to help your brother deal with his. I don't think that is what Jesus is teaching. And, honestly I don't think this is really what you are saying either.
Jesus is instructing his audience to judge in a way that promotes consistency and purity among His people. That is, don't judge in a hypocritical way. We should not take the verse out of context and shape it in a way that absolves one from fullfilling the essence of the instruction.

How do you reconcile this to 1 Cor 5, in which Paul instructs the church of Cornith to deal with sexual immorality and judge those within the church?
Here are the questions we are to ask.
Are we to judge?
How?
Who?

This issue makes me think of this verse.
"I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead,? preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For a time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. 2 Timothy 4:2-4?

I think also one needs to ask why they would hold to this position, when Paul instructs believers that we HAVE to make tough judgments for those within the church who are engaged in sexual immorality. Maybe because our personal beliefs do not line up with God's. We have an article here from a preacher that is obviously trying to dance around the truth. Giving his own reasons why someone blatantly engaing in sexual sin is not being dealt with. He clearly in in contradiction with what Paul instucts to the church at Corinth.
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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#10

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:17 am

Jlay,
you make an excellent and compelling argument.
I don't think I am saying not to judge, but to not judge others in regards to things that WE CAN'T be judges of.
And IF homosexuality is indeed "from birth" what exactly are you judging and what gives you that right?
I think you are making a case for judging in general and I am focusing more on the issue at hand- homosexuality.
Paul's issues with sexual immorality are clear and in his view, they lead to going against Christ, whether he was right or wrong is another issue, but he genuienly felt he was and certainly Paul had the spirit ( usually if not always).
Hoe does one condem a homosexual who has the other core and key attributes of Christs teachings in abundence?
WE can't, we have to leave this to Christ.

Are we to judge? Yes, those things we are qualified to judge on.
How are we to judge? With Christ in our hearts ( love, compassion, justice and righteousness).
Who are we to judge? Those that Our Lord gives us to judge.

As you mention and I agree, we DO judge, its our human nature and if that judgment helps another then we are doing good, but what happens when thet judgment Hurts another?


Great discussion by the way :)
Thanks for testing and questioning my views.

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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#11

Post by Canuckster1127 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:18 am

Many of the elements noted in the article are not mutually exclusive with the scriptural admonitions. There is clearly an element of evangelical and fundamentalist culture that focuses upon the homosexual community (all of it, not just the militant elements) and elevates homosexuality to a sin above all others and further inculcates a culture of fear against any who are gay based not just upon their behavior, but also their identity. The message received is that if you're gay, you're not welcome in our church, nor is your presence in our community welcome and we're prepared to use our communal and political influence, not only to stand against your behavior but also to personally target you and make your ability to live and work in our community more difficult than it is for others. Organizations in the name of Christ have used the specter of "gayness" as a means to raise funds and get the vote out. It's one thing to note it as sin, on par with every other sin, including those that are socially acceptable within Church cultures. It's another thing to elevate it to the unpardonable sin, shun even nominal contact and practically deny the humanity and worth of anyone who dares to identify as gay regardless of what their behavior in that context may or may not be.
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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#12

Post by Seraph » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:01 am

Canuckster1127 wrote:Many of the elements noted in the article are not mutually exclusive with the scriptural admonitions. There is clearly an element of evangelical and fundamentalist culture that focuses upon the homosexual community (all of it, not just the militant elements) and elevates homosexuality to a sin above all others and further inculcates a culture of fear against any who are gay based not just upon their behavior, but also their identity. The message received is that if you're gay, you're not welcome in our church, nor is your presence in our community welcome and we're prepared to use our communal and political influence, not only to stand against your behavior but also to personally target you and make your ability to live and work in our community more difficult than it is for others. Organizations in the name of Christ have used the specter of "gayness" as a means to raise funds and get the vote out. It's one thing to note it as sin, on par with every other sin, including those that are socially acceptable within Church cultures. It's another thing to elevate it to the unpardonable sin, shun even nominal contact and practically deny the humanity and worth of anyone who dares to identify as gay regardless of what their behavior in that context may or may not be.
:amen:

On top of that, far too many gay people have rejected and attacked Christianity out of the (sadly accurate) knowledge that there is a good chance they would be rejected and demonized if they attempted to join a church while being a known homosexual. Whether or not you believe that militant condemnation of homosexuals is righteous, there is no question that it causes a severe reduction in the number of Christians (both straight and gay) in the world and does more harm than good. I really think the line between righteous judgement out of love and outright hatred starts to blur when it comes to many Christians attitudes of gay people.
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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#13

Post by jlay » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:14 am

Jlay,
you make an excellent and compelling argument.
I don't think I am saying not to judge, but to not judge others in regards to things that WE CAN'T be judges of.
And IF homosexuality is indeed "from birth" what exactly are you judging and what gives you that right?
I think you are making a case for judging in general and I am focusing more on the issue at hand- homosexuality.
Paul's issues with sexual immorality are clear and in his view, they lead to going against Christ, whether he was right or wrong is another issue, but he genuienly felt he was and certainly Paul had the spirit ( usually if not always).
Hoe does one condem a homosexual who has the other core and key attributes of Christs teachings in abundence?
WE can't, we have to leave this to Christ.
1st of all. Judging is not condemning. Proper judgment is simply recognizing what God has already condemned. Proper judgment is coming into agreement with God on a matter. It would be improper to judge something as unclean if God has in fact made it clean. For example, before the fall of man, it would be improper judgment to condemn someone for their nakedness.

When you say "homosexual since birth," this brings up a lot of issues. For one, there is no genetic evidence to indicate one is homosexual from birth. Except for extreme rare instances, all people are born obviously male or female. It is a scientific fact that homosexual activity is wholly unnatural. So, does a 'genetic' disposition does validate behavior? We do not excuse drunk driver's who might have a genetic predisposition towards being an alcoholic. Everyone, and I repeat everyone is born with the propensity to sin. You, me, Mother Theresa, etc.
So, let's say that someone is dealing with attraction to the same sex. They don't understand why and they are confused about the matter. Are they obligated to follow these desires? Let me ask you. Do you think it is right to give in to every desire you 'naturally' have. I don't know about you, but I have had the desire to lie, steal, and cheat in addition to myriad of other reprehensible actions. And most of these before I reached the age of five. Couldn't I argue that these are all natural? Couldn't the rapist argue that he is merely responding to his natural desire to procreate? Why is his natural desire any different than a woman's desire to resist his advances? Are we wrong to 'judge' rapists?

As Bart pointed out, homosexual sin shouldn't be singled out amongst other sexual sins. Sadly, the church has opened the door for this debate. Why? Because it refused to act according to biblical standards when it came to other sexual immorality within the church. Adultery, pornography, etc. Although, when someone in authority in the church is exposed in one of these, discipline is usually handed down. It just isn't applied to the body of believers at large. That is not consistent. So, it isn't surprising to see the infiltration of the homosexual (lifestyle) agenda within the church. And to see it getting a footing. Such as openly active homosexuals in the pastorate.

What Bart says is correct. People do single it out. People do politicize it. But, Bart is simply pointing out a symptom reaction of a much deeper matter. I think there is a danger in how we present this. In our attempt to compensate, we do not want it to lead to this. "not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." (Rom. 1:32) I am only state this to balance out what Bart says. As far as I know, no one here has said that homosexual sin is unpardonable. I think what Bart points out is the fact that the church is viewed as unloving and hypocritical in this matter.
But, should the failures of the church deter it from dealing with the reality that homosexual sin (acting upon it) is wrong behavior that needs to be dealt with? The reality is that the homosexual agenda is succeeding in forcing its views and lifestyle into the church. I'm sure many believers would rather not have to single it out, or deal with it. So, should we do nothing because we are not being consistent? The issue is being forced by homosexuals. Is the church's response to roll over and play dead? Oddly, I've heard similar statements that can often be taken as either supporting a do nothing approach, or an acceptance within the church.
Jesus' instructions in Matt 7 might be sound medicine. The church needs to deal with its plank as to better address the spec. It's failure to do so has made the spec into a giant beam. The church today, although justified to stand up against homosexual behavior, is crippled and failing to do in love. It is impotent because of the beam in its own eye.

Regardless of how it is politicized today, it doesn't change what the bible says regarding homosexuality. Just as divorce and adultery being common today doesn't change what the bible says.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#14

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:03 am

When you say "homosexual since birth," this brings up a lot of issues. For one, there is no genetic evidence to indicate one is homosexual from birth. Except for extreme rare instances, all people are born obviously male or female. It is a scientific fact that homosexual activity is wholly unnatural. So, does a 'genetic' disposition does validate behavior? We do not excuse drunk driver's who might have a genetic predisposition towards being an alcoholic. Everyone, and I repeat everyone is born with the propensity to sin. You, me, Mother Theresa, etc.
So, let's say that someone is dealing with attraction to the same sex. They don't understand why and they are confused about the matter. Are they obligated to follow these desires? Let me ask you. Do you think it is right to give in to every desire you 'naturally' have. I don't know about you, but I have had the desire to lie, steal, and cheat in addition to myriad of other reprehensible actions. And most of these before I reached the age of five. Couldn't I argue that these are all natural? Couldn't the rapist argue that he is merely responding to his natural desire to procreate? Why is his natural desire any different than a woman's desire to resist his advances? Are we wrong to 'judge' rapists?
Actually, the jury is out in regards to homosexuality so that is why I say "if".
Natural? Unnatural? Scientific fact? I was not aware of any study done, can you link that study that shows homosexuality as unnatural?
Does genetic disposition validate behaviour? no, absolutely not, it may explain it, but not validate it.
I don't agree with the rapist analogy since rape is NOT about sex but I do understand the point you are trying to make.
We are judging that a homosexual person is immoral because the OT levitical laws say so and because Paul condems that behaviour.
Jesus and the gospels are silent on the matter, but Jesus was a Jew and while he put certain laws in their proper context, one can assume the he viewed homosexulaity as incorrect.
And I think that we all can agree that, in terms of nature and theology, it is incorrect.
BUt I do think that we tend to make it a far greater sin than it possibly is.

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Re: "I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong"

#15

Post by Byblos » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:30 am

The most compelling argument against the genetic link for homosexuality is that of identical twins where one is a heterosexual and the other homosexual. Genetics cannot explain this.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

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