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Bible and homosexuality. - Page 3

post #41 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
how come so many people treat it like it is somehow worse?
I think it's treated as worse because many churches provide no way for gay couples to have a church-sanctified union. Therefore it's always seen as fornication for gays to fulfill their sexual needs, whereas heterosexual fornicators at least have a way to "make it right."

Even when our country gets it together enough to provide legal protection for gay married couples (yes, I truly believe the day is coming), I'm sure some churches will continue to teach that those marriages aren't recognized by God. So, those churches will essentially still be classing gay married couples with "fornicators."
post #42 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
I think this is one of the biggest problems people have with some christians... they either don't know or don't care that homosexuality is no different then any other sexual sin..
But, again, the only way that it's "no different" is if there's a way for homosexuals to have sex without sinning, and most fundamentalist churches don't allow for that. Heterosexuals aren't expected to "stop acting out their heterosexuality" -- they're just exhorted to get married to another believer and be faithful.

Of course, faithfulness means we refrain from acting on "all" our heterosexual impulses -- but that's a far cry from the demand placed on gays to either conform to a heterosexual marriage, or remain celibate for life.

Quote:
... why does she act like that? why does she do things she knows are wrong without caring and then use the bible to condemn others?
Maybe it makes her feel better to pick on those she perceives as even worse "sinners" than she is. Also, she's probably been brainwashed to see what she's doing (including her stint as a potential homewrecker) as "at least normal."
post #43 of 132
Thread Starter 
So what is the feeling on celibacy? Could a person be openly gay in a church as long as they were celibate? I grew up as a JW and we had a lot of of older "sisters" who had never married and were celibate. Not by personal preference, they wanted to be married, but because sex outside of marriage was a sin.
post #44 of 132
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
....this friend is against gay marriage b/c according to her the bible says its wrong.. ok fine.. but thats not the issue with the legal marriage.

then says that if they get married they should have stricter divorce laws b/c they arent supposed to marry to begin with......
and yet her argument against same sex marriage and same sex relations is that the bible says its wrong.
Yeah, Ive never really gotten why churches are so upset about a legal, government ceremony. I find it akin to saying that gays shoulnt get any other govt service.

And the comment about divorce laws. All I can say is what a dummy Marriage being treated by govt as a sacred institution was badly eroded long before Prop 8. Sanctity of marriage my butt - what about no fault/quickie divorce laws? THAT makes more sense for consv Christians to rally against if they were going to rally about anything.
post #45 of 132
im almost positive actually being gay isn't the sin... acting on it is. so openly gay and celibate would be fine.. though sort of pointless since your celibate and it has the potential to bring you a lot of strife from people who are prejudiced against homosexuals in general.. and just hide behind the bible.
post #46 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
But, to protect them, we do our best to childproof and keep toxic, potentially harmful stuff out of sight and out of reach. We don't set a can of comet on the kitchen table and tell our 2yo, "You can play with everything else in the kitchen, but don't eat this or you'll die."
To continue with that thought, if I meet a parent who says, "My kids don't need to know reasons why, they just need to know 'Mom and Dad said so'" -- I don't see that as very good parenting. I see that as someone who's raising children to always be "yes-men" and never think for themselves -- you know, to just look to the preachers, the doctors, the various "experts" to tell them how to live their lives.

And my experience of my Heavenly Father is that He actually allows lots of room for us to explore, ask questions, and learn things for ourselves. That's why a strictly literal interpretation of the Bible seems contrary to how God wants me to read it and think about it.

Here's an analogy I've shared at MDC before: The Church has a history of shooting down new scientific discoveries when they're first broadcast -- i.e., it was seen as heretical for Galileo to theorize that the earth was round and revolved around the sun, because there's a Psalm where the Psalmist talks about the sun rising at one end of the heavens and setting at the other end (at least, that's the argument as I remember it).

Now I think practically everyone accepts that when God inspired people to write His words down, He allowed for their limited human perspectives to shape what they wrote down. His writers weren't just robots mindlessly writing down the words as He gave them. God has chosen to work through and with us, and human perceptions are sprinkled throughout His Word.

With this in mind, I believe we can look at the scientific and phsychological information that's now available about homosexuality with open minds, rather than dismissing it as being contradictory to God's word.

As was pointed out in "The Bible Tells Me So," in the Pentateuch God was building up the nation of Israel. Many of His commands were for the purpose of setting them apart and creating a distinct culture -- the same word that's used to call male same-sex acts an "abomination" is used to call eating shrimp an "abomination."

Male-male sex seems to have been classed as ceremonial impurity -- whereas there was a stonger word used to describe the abomination of sacrificing children to Molech -- and of course child-sacrifice is a sin that transcends time and culture.

And as for the "building up" part, it seems there was a big focus on not wasting male seed, and this focus also made it wicked for men to spill their sperm out on the ground.

If you study the laws regarding the length of time couples abstained from sex after women's periods (and presumably the males were abstinent and didn't even masturbate during this time, which raises the man's sperm count when he finally does have sex) -- it has couples coming back together at the height of the woman's fertility ...

Also for most (28-day cycle) women this time would coincide with the time in their ovulatory cycle when the egg is lower down and more likely to get fertilized by a male sperm (y sperm swim faster but don't live as long, x sperm are slower but live longer), so this increased the likelihood of male children, and males were the ones who stayed in the family-group after marriage, and also the ones who fought the battles, so this made for a stronger military.

And when Paul condemned same-sex acts in the New Testament, I think he was operating from his Jewish disdain of Gentile practices, and also from the exploitation he'd seen among the Gentiles who openly practiced these acts. In New Testament times, homosexuality was linked with prostitution, and also with unequal relationships wherein slaveowners felt free to sexually use their slaves, and adults used children --

(Of course, the adult use of children wasn't at all unique to same-sex acts: girls were often married off at very young ages -- I've heard that a "virgin" was usually a girl under about 12 years of age.)

Anyhow, I don't believe Paul had opportunity to get to know same-sex couples in loving, respectful, committed relationships between equals. I have no doubt that this, as well as his devout Jewish background, colored his view of the subject.
post #47 of 132
Thread Starter 
Mammal-Mama - You make really good points but then you run into the problem of saying the bible is outdated. Obviously mandates that served the purpose of increasing population in general are void in today's overpopulated world. But what if it is a mandate to increase the "believing" (jews originally and christians later) population? So things that God considered "sin" because they ran counter to his purpose then would still be counter to his purpose now.
post #48 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
So what is the feeling on celibacy? Could a person be openly gay in a church as long as they were celibate?
Just curious, how do you be "openly gay" and celibate? You mean it's okay for gay couples to pair up and be open about their attraction to one another, just so long as they never "act on it" by going "all the way?" Or are you talking about openly telling everyone, "Hey, I'm gay!"?

I think most fundemantalists would say that it's only a sin if you act on it (but I think they'd also see open flirtation and dating as "acting on it" to a degree) -- but that's where I see it as being treated differently from heterosexuality, because heterosexuals at least have the option of marriage.

See, to me, the discrimination comes in this way:

Heterosexual sex is classed as fornication when it happens outside marriage; homosexual sex is classed as fornication no matter what.

And that's simply unfair.
post #49 of 132
the thing i sort of wonder about the whole believing population thing is this. Jews and Christians believe in the same God. not jesus.. i get that.. but God in general.. how are their beliefs on proselytizing so different? Jews believe Judaism is only right for Jews.. but Christians (i suppose not all) believe it is right for everyone.... where did the different conclusions comes from?
post #50 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
Mammal-Mama - You make really good points but then you run into the problem of saying the bible is outdated. Obviously mandates that served the purpose of increasing population in general are void in today's overpopulated world. But what if it is a mandate to increase the "believing" (jews originally and christians later) population? So things that God considered "sin" because they ran counter to his purpose then would still be counter to his purpose now.
Except that the Kingdom of God is now open to all who hear and believe, so growth is not limited to being biologically born into the Church.

I realize that God also allowed an option for foreigners to join the Israelite community if they so desired, and were willing to submit to all the laws -- but the Israelites didn't have the same evangelistic call that we do as Christians.
post #51 of 132
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
the thing i sort of wonder about the whole believing population thing is this. Jews and Christians believe in the same God. not jesus.. i get that.. but God in general.. how are their beliefs on proselytizing so different? Jews believe Judaism is only right for Jews.. but Christians (i suppose not all) believe it is right for everyone.... where did the different conclusions comes from?
Because without Jesus as the messiah the covenant is for Jews only.
post #52 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
the thing i sort of wonder about the whole believing population thing is this. Jews and Christians believe in the same God. not jesus.. i get that.. but God in general.. how are their beliefs on proselytizing so different? Jews believe Judaism is only right for Jews.. but Christians (i suppose not all) believe it is right for everyone.... where did the different conclusions comes from?

Well, God didn't call everyone to be a Jew. He set apart this special people to live a life that greatly contrasted with the surrounding communities, and I think this contrast was actually a huge part of His purpose at that time. But God always had a greater purpose of blessing all peoples through Abraham.

And, of course, as a Christian I believe that purpose was/is fulfilled through Jesus Christ. So Christianity is open to all.
post #53 of 132
Thread Starter 
Its all so interesting. So it would seem that the main argument is that the restrictions/mandates about procreation were valid at the time but no longer. Which makes a lot of sense.

How do you reconcile with the doctrine that god's word is unchanging, finite, that he cant be moved from his course...
post #54 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
how come so many people treat it like it is somehow worse?
I don't know. I wish I did. 'Cause it sure isn't right. I can promise that the pastor in MY specific congregation never will, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
So what is the feeling on celibacy? Could a person be openly gay in a church as long as they were celibate?
In my church they'd be fully received in this case.
post #55 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
Mammal-Mama - You make really good points but then you run into the problem of saying the bible is outdated
Well, lots of fundamentalist Christians feel okay about eating shrimp (I felt okay eating shrimp as a fundie and I still feel okay about it as a liberal -- well, I do have concerns about the mercury).

Yet I've never seen the Bible as outdated -- not as a fundy, and certainly not now.
post #56 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
How do you reconcile with the doctrine that god's word is unchanging, finite, that he cant be moved from his course...
Well, how did Paul reconcile with it when he stopped adhering so strictly to all the Jewish rules and regulations? When he, for instance, decided that it was okay to start eating with Gentiles?

If you'll read the verses in Acts where God gave Peter the vision before he was called to the home of Cornelius ... In the vision a blanket was lowered from heaven, containing all kinds of animals, and God told Peter to kill and eat; Peter refused because he wasn't willing to let anything unclean pass his lips. He was essentially telling God, "You're contradicting Your unchanging Word, Lord!"

But when Peter was called to preach to Cornelius (a Gentile), he realized the significance of the vision. I think the difference between what you've said above, and what I believe, is that I see God and His Word as infinite, and us as (previously) finite beings, who've been reborn and called into His infinite life and grace. He never moves from His course, but we humans can't really chart His course.

Our puny, finite minds see contradictions in what really is part of God's continuous, seamless whole -- but His love is ever calling us into the infinte.
post #57 of 132
Like others have stated for me its an issue of Old Testament thinking and the teachings are based on cultural advice.

I believe Jesus was in fact the son of God and that his teachings were just and true. Jesus' teachings were about charity, forgiveness, peace, and kindness for all people not just Anglo, hetero, Christians. Jesus took into his circle all sorts of people and he accepted them as they were and truly saw their hearts.
post #58 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
He never moves from His course, but we humans can't really chart His course.
It's occurred to me that someone will probaby quote this back at me and say, "So how can you claim to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God's heart?"

And my answer is that I can't. No one can. Just as one of you can't claim to know God's heart on who I should marry, or even whether I should marry or be celibate, so I don't claim to know God's heart regarding how anyone else should live. The wonderful thing is, God knows and loves every one of us, and is ever ready to guide each of us into all truth.

This other statement I've made (quoted below) helps me to know how to chart my individual course --

Quote:
Our puny, finite minds see contradictions in what really is part of God's continuous, seamless whole -- but His love is ever calling us into the infinte.
I'm learning to ask myself, which trains of thought lead me into the infinite -- which ones open up my life more, and give me a greater sense of the grandeur, wonder, complexity, and total surprising-ness of God and His love. This is where I feel led to go.

Not back into the box. As a fundamentalist, I felt this urge to explore and learn, but kept feeling held back by this sense of, "Oh be careful! You don't want to lose your faith!"

But now I know that God and His love are way bigger than me and my faith.: And the faith God has given me has roots -- it doesn't topple like a house of cards when I grow and open myself up to other points of view.
post #59 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
yay! i knew you were here somewhere.

oo and real quick... i know this has nothing to do with whether or not its a sin... but pedophilia takes advantage of, exploits, and causes great harm to the victims. which is why someone is required to suppress the urge to do so. also i don't really think pedophilia is about sex. its about dominance, exploitation, and control.

homosexuality does none of those things... i would hesitate to talk about them as if they are similar things to suppress.
maybe i missed something but I don't believe anyone here was comparing homosexuality with child molestation.... just for the record. (maybe I missed something). but those are two VERY different categories. a molester could be hetero just as easily and homo or bisexual... molestation is molestation... it's not sex. it's a sexual act forced on someone which becomes dominance and fear based. not sexual but carnal in every way.
post #60 of 132
yeah i agree.. i don't think it was a comparison... it was just the post that talked about the guy suppressing the urge to molest little boys.... like i said i don't think it was comparing per se... but it is not really relevant and can be kind of offensive on a thread about homosexuality being a sin.
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