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CrimsonLine

Sexuality and Christian belief (Was: Homosexuality and the Bible)

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Pity in the guise of "concern" is how the church will handle Ms. Knapp. (she received bad counsel???), followed by more pointed prayers for her soul, followed by the inevitable sodomite shunning. Sad.

My pity and my concern for Jennifer Knapp is no "guise." I have no wish to "shun" her, and I certainly do not condemn her. Though I am not her pastor, I feel love for her as a person, and I know from conversations with gay friends how hard life must be for her right now. I believe Jesus loves her, and died for her sins. It's not my place to judge her salvation. At the same time, the Bible is clear about the sinfulness of homosexual activity, and it is neither loving nor helpful to paper over that.

I know - I know that there are many on A&F who are convinced that homosexuality is just about "who you choose to love." And I know that if you feel that way, you are more or less forced to conclude that anyone who holds to the clear message of Scripture must be secretly hate-filled, or secretly judgmental. I know that nothing I write will convince you differently. But still, I hope.

Edited by SDG

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I know - I know that there are many on A&F who are convinced that homosexuality is just about "who you choose to love." And I know that if you feel that way, you are more or less forced to conclude that anyone who holds to the clear message of Scripture must be secretly hate-filled, or secretly judgmental.

Trying not to derail anything but 1) you have the "choice" element precisely backwards; those of us who affirm diversity in sexual orientation believe it is about who you are created to love, not who you choose to love 2) there's some serious straw-man action going on there. I don't think anyone here actually claims religiously-motivated opposition to homosexuality is always grounded in hate. It can reflect myopia, insularity, insecurity, a general ignorance of what the day-to-day of LGBT folks' lives are actually like, or at the bare minimum, a hermeneutical approach that we find wanting. But none of those things necessarily connote "hate-filled".

Edited by Holy Moly!

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I know - I know that there are many on A&F who are convinced that homosexuality is just about "who you choose to love." And I know that if you feel that way, you are more or less forced to conclude that anyone who holds to the clear message of Scripture must be secretly hate-filled, or secretly judgmental.

Trying not to derail anything but 1) you have the "choice" element precisely backwards; those of us who affirm diversity in sexual orientation believe it is about who you are created to love, not who you choose to love 2) there's some serious straw-man action going on there. I don't think anyone here actually claims religiously-motivated opposition to homosexuality is always grounded in hate. It can reflect myopia, insularity, insecurity, a general ignorance of what the day-to-day of LGBT folks' lives are actually like, or at the bare minimum, a hermeneutical approach that we find wanting. But none of those things necessarily connote "hate-filled".

And those who affirm an intended singularity in sexual orientation also believe that it is about who are you created to love. Affirmation of homosexuality can be grounded in permissiveness, appeasement, fear, and a disregard for, at at the bare minimum, a general misunderstanding of what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Now that we've all been condescending to each-other....

Edited by Cunningham

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Just to be clear, I find it lame when discussions of Scripture's treatment of homosexuality are restriced to OT laws. That's what I was trying to get at. I would've been more engaged if Knapp had cited other passages from other portions of Scripture that mention homosexuality.
But apart from the Romans 1 passage, there are no direct references to the topic in the NT. The Torah has a several laws addressing same-sex relations and the reality is, most conservative slam dunk arguments are based solely on those.

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But apart from the Romans 1 passage, there are no direct references to the topic in the NT. The Torah has a several laws addressing same-sex relations and the reality is, most conservative slam dunk arguments are based solely on those.

Only Romans 1? 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Hold on, I am pretty sure I can find at least four or five more references in Paul's epistles. Not that it matters to me. I personally like the interview.

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Only Romans 1? 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Hold on, I am pretty sure I can find at least four or five more references in Paul's epistles.

I suppose Greg might not think those are "direct" references.

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1 Corinthians 5:9-13 says, "I wrote you in my earlier letter that you shouldn't make yourselves at home among the sexually promiscuous. I didn't mean that you should have nothing at all to do with outsiders of that sort. Or with crooks, whether blue or white-collar. Or with spiritual phonies, for that matter. You'd have to leave the world entirely to do that! But I am saying that you shouldn't act as if everything is just fine when a friend who claims to be a Christian is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God or rude to friends, gets drunk or becomes greedy and predatory. You can't just go along with this, treating it as acceptable behavior. I'm not responsible for what the outsiders do, but don't we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house."

Now, as stated, I am not coming down on Knapp. I don't care what she does, but if one does not have to look to the OT to get resources. The NT is loaded.

Now, while we're at it, I want her to start wear a head covering, because in the 11th chapter of this same letter, Paul said it is shameful for a woman's head to be uncovered.

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I suppose Greg might not think those are "direct" references.
Oh please, guys. Long before this modern cultural debate about sexual orientation, scholars debated the meaning of the ancient Greek word arsenokoitēs. What you are quoting is one modern Bible translations interpretation of that word and that interpretation is rife with problems, as I'm sure even conservatives would acknowledge. Edited by Greg P

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Oh please, guys. Long before this modern cultural debate about sexual orientation, scholars debated the meaning of the ancient Greek word arsenokoitēs. What you are quoting is one modern Bible translations interpretation of that word and that interpretation is rife with problems, as I'm sure even conservatives would acknowledge.

Greg, I just found the claim that there are no "direct" references to homosexuality to be odd. But I get it. I get it! That was then and this is now, and somehow things get lost in translation. We are using then-and-there scriptures to debate here-and-now phenomena. But know this, when I get to heaven, paradise, or whatever comes after this thing I'm living, I'm finding the dude who wrote Ecclesiastes and say, "Um, on a discussion board, Greg P. said you was wrong, there are new things under the sun." So, watch your back in the afterlife, because Solomon was willing to cut a baby in two. Do you know what he'll do to your transfigured hide? :P

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I don't think we have any reason to believe that Ms Knapp is/was "sexually promiscuous", and it's a little weird to imply that, Michael.

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I suppose Greg might not think those are "direct" references.
Oh please, guys. Long before this modern cultural debate about sexual orientation, scholars debated the meaning of the ancient Greek word arsenokoitēs. What you are quoting is one modern Bible translations interpretation of that word and that interpretation is rife with problems, as I'm sure even conservatives would acknowledge.

Even if Rom 1 is the only "direct" reference, what do you have to say about it? Is it less valid just because it's the only one? I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just curious. Despite having a conservative evangelical upbringing (and I still consider myself that), I'm really sitting on the fence on this issue now. I know this thread is about Jennifer Knapp and is not the place for a "is homosexuality a sin or isn't it?" debate. But I'd like to hear your thoughts on this verse in particular.

Incidentally, one of the most cogent arguments I've read that the Bible does NOT condemn homosexuality can be found here: http://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

...And interestingly, Knapp's touring buddy Derek Webb recently performed at a concert in support of the very same group that operates that web site. As far as I know, he's still very Reformed in his theology and very sola scriptura, as someone else noted.

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I don't want to get bogged down in a tug-of-war over the gay issue itself here, but FWIW, if I were still a "sola scriptura" type of evangelical, I would have to face the fact that there is an intense amount of debate over how applicable the OT laws are to Gentiles in general (and to Christians in particular), and I would also have to face the fact that there is an intense amount of debate over the meaning of the words Paul uses in his few passing references to same-sex practices. And I would also have to face the fact that Paul was writing within the context of an aggressively bisexual Greco-Roman culture in which slaveowners often took advantage of both their male and female slaves. (For that matter, I am also curious to know how Paul's original readers would have dealt with his instructions regarding marriage, considering that slaves were legally forbidden to marry in that culture. If it is better to marry than to burn, then what was a slave supposed to do?)

The one absolutely CLEAR passage in all of the New Testament is Romans 1, and the REASON it is clear is because Paul is making a cosmic argument and not a moral one. Paul takes it for granted that his readers will accept the idea that same-sex activity is a deviation from the natural order, and he makes the point (whether you accept it or not) that homosexual attraction is a consequence of idolatry. But he THEN goes on to list a lot of other behaviours that are at least equally sinful, and possibly even MORE sinful, given the crescendo in his rhetoric; activities such as gossip, he says, deserve death itself. So the reader who might be nodding along and thinking "Yeah, that same-sex stuff is pretty awful" essentially has to stop in his tracks when he gets to the next verses and sees Paul rattling off a long list of sins, a few of which the reader himself must surely be guilty of. And then Paul launches right into Romans 2, where he tells the reader that he (or she) has no business condemning the non-Christian Gentiles, for in doing so they condemn themselves and show contempt for the riches of God's kindness and patience and tolerance etc.

Given the way Paul ties his description of same-sex activity to a fallen created order and an erroneous human relationship with nature, it seems to me that there is something deeper going on here than a Christian perpetuating a kosher sex law from the Old Testament. And yet, at the same time, the very THRUST of this passage is away from judgmentalism, from the singling out of one sin (especially a sin that "they" do) as though it were worthier of scorn than the others.

So, make of that what you will. All I know is that, in my evangelical days, my heroes in this debate were Tony and Peggy Campolo, who disagreed on this particular issue but were still able to live together and love each other despite their disagreements.

Clint M wrote:

: It's not just that "safety" aspect, there's also the question of "Does the CCM identity require artists to proselytize?" At least in the past (or the 1990's, when I was more or less a "dyed in the wool" CCM devotee), there seemed to be some trade-off with CCM artists performing in churches - either the church ministry would require the band itself to lead an altar call, or the ministers of that church would lead an altar call.

Was that still an issue in the '90s? My favorite CCM artist in the mid-1980s was Steve Taylor, and I remember he made a point of NOT doing altar calls. I don't think Daniel Amos did, either, by the time I discovered them in the late '80s.

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As John Bell once pointed out, Jesus spoke very clearly against divorce but said nothing (that we know of) about homosexuality. So, y'know, beams and motes and all that.

But Jesus talked about divorce in "You have heard it said/But I say to you" mode. I.e., he believed the prevailing Hebrew teachings/practices concerning divorce were wrong, and he wanted to set them straight. Given that, we could easily interpret his silence on homosexuality to indicate that he didn't believe the prevailing Hebrew teaching on that topic was in need of correction. To put it another way, if Jesus thought it was wrong to follow Leviticus on homosexuality, why didn't he say so?

My favorite CCM artist in the mid-1980s was Steve Taylor, and I remember he made a point of NOT doing altar calls. I don't think Daniel Amos did, either, by the time I discovered them in the late '80s.

Steve would preach a bit, but I don't recall him pushing for conversions at any concert I attended.

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Even if Rom 1 is the only "direct" reference, what do you have to say about it? Is it less valid just because it's the only one? I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just curious.
Perhaps the mods can move a chunk of this discussion over to the Faith Matters area...

Romans 1 is "direct" reference as far as most conservatives are concerned. The reality is, I don't believe it's a direct command against same sex orientation at all. Is Paul harshly condemning the type of scenario (innate same-sex orientation) that Knapp and millions of other followers of Christ face? Or is he describing something different? I'm in the group that says Romans 1 was describing the orgiastic, pagan temple prostitution of the day. Philo of Alexandria believed this was also true of the aforementioned laws in Leviticus. And he wasn't some left-wing gay rights activist trying to destroy the fabric of the American family.

Edited by Greg P

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Given the way Paul ties his description of same-sex activity to a fallen created order and an erroneous human relationship with nature, it seems to me that there is something deeper going on here than a Christian perpetuating a kosher sex law from the Old Testament. And yet, at the same time, the very THRUST of this passage is away from judgmentalism, from the singling out of one sin (especially a sin that "they" do) as though it were worthier of scorn than the others.

All sin is harmful. All sin is deadly. All sin is covered under Jesus' blood for all who trust in Him. Nothing makes homosexual activity different from any other sin, except this: In our society and in the Church there is a concerted effort to declare that it is NOT a sin. And that is why it's an issue of concern, and needs to be discussed from Scripture. It's not a "singling out" of homosexual activity, it's a recognition of the fact that homosexual activity is a sin that has become a lifestyle, and an identity, for those who engage in it.

I have people in my congregation who have struggled/are struggling with same-sex attraction. I love them, eat with them, pray with them, and embrace them as brothers and sisters. I respect the fact that they have struggled hard and long against sin, and have not given in to compromise. But if one of them came to me and said, "I don't believe any more that acting on these desires is sinful," I would be concerned. I would work hard and long to lovingly point them back to Scripture. And if they refused to listen to Scripture, and to the elders of the church, but stubbornly persist in their sin, I would reluctantly exercise spiritual discipline and treat them like an unbeliever. Just like I would for an unrepentant adulterer, swindler, liar, or glutton.

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All sin is harmful. All sin is deadly. All sin is covered under Jesus' blood for all who trust in Him. Nothing makes homosexual activity different from any other sin, except this: In our society and in the Church there is a concerted effort to declare that it is NOT a sin. And that is why it's an issue of concern, and needs to be discussed from Scripture. It's not a "singling out" of homosexual activity, it's a recognition of the fact that homosexual activity is a sin that has become a lifestyle, and an identity, for those who engage in it.

I have people in my congregation who have struggled/are struggling with same-sex attraction. I love them, eat with them, pray with them, and embrace them as brothers and sisters. I respect the fact that they have struggled hard and long against sin, and have not given in to compromise. But if one of them came to me and said, "I don't believe any more that acting on these desires is sinful," I would be concerned. I would work hard and long to lovingly point them back to Scripture. And if they refused to listen to Scripture, and to the elders of the church, but stubbornly persist in their sin, I would reluctantly exercise spiritual discipline and treat them like an unbeliever. Just like I would for an unrepentant adulterer, swindler, liar, or glutton.

Well, I'm two for four. And I don't mean that facetiously, either. I have been an unrepentant liar, repeatedly hiding my true life from others and myself in order to protect an addiction. And I have been a glutton more times than I can count, and typically an unrepentant glutton because I honestly haven't even thought about it many times.

The problem with this position is that it may be enforced in terms of homosexuality, but it won't be enfoced with, for example, lying and gluttony. We say that all sin is deadly, and on one level we mean it, but the reality is that the practical ramifications for some sins in the Church are very different than others. Seriously, do you know of any examples of church discipline for gluttony? That's not meant to question or criticize your approach, by the way. I appreciate it, and I think it's the biblical approach. But I do think that the Church, in general, tends to be highly selective in terms of acceptable/non-acceptable sins. It's not difficult to see on which side of the equation homosexuality falls in the Evangelical Church.

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All sin is harmful. All sin is deadly. All sin is covered under Jesus' blood for all who trust in Him. Nothing makes homosexual activity different from any other sin, except this: In our society and in the Church there is a concerted effort to declare that it is NOT a sin. And that is why it's an issue of concern, and needs to be discussed from Scripture. It's not a "singling out" of homosexual activity, it's a recognition of the fact that homosexual activity is a sin that has become a lifestyle, and an identity, for those who engage in it.
The grand problem is such moral codes are almost never applied thoroughly in Christianity. For example, do you take the same stand with unrepentant gluttons that you do with homosexuals-- seeing that homosexuality is no different than any other sin, by your code? Would you take this conviction to its logical conclusion and treat these rebellious, gluttonous church members as unbelievers? This would be a very easy sin to monitor by the way, since the signs of unrepentant gluttony are obvious, physically.

(Andy types a lot faster than me)

Edited by Greg P

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Is there an element of idolatry that occurs when one over-identifies with one's sexual orientation? I've heard that argued recently that that is the sin of homosexuals - they are idolatrous. Then again, I guess from that reasoning, over-identification with anything other than one's spiritual identity as a God's child could be called idolatry, like, let's say over-identifying with a particular brand of temporal politics.

Edited by Michael Todd

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I suppose Greg might not think those are "direct" references.
Oh please, guys. Long before this modern cultural debate about sexual orientation, scholars debated the meaning of the ancient Greek word arsenokoitēs. What you are quoting is one modern Bible translations interpretation of that word and that interpretation is rife with problems, as I'm sure even conservatives would acknowledge.

I was trying to defend you. I regret the use of quotes, which, in retrospect, looks snarky but wasn't intended to be read in such a way.

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The problem with this position is that it may be enforced in terms of homosexuality, but it won't be enfoced with, for example, lying and gluttony. We say that all sin is deadly, and on one level we mean it, but the reality is that the practical ramifications for some sins in the Church are very different than others. Seriously, do you know of any examples of church discipline for gluttony? That's not meant to question or criticize your approach, by the way. I appreciate it, and I think it's the biblical approach. But I do think that the Church, in general, tends to be highly selective in terms of acceptable/non-acceptable sins. It's not difficult to see on which side of the equation homosexuality falls in the Evangelical Church.

I'm all for this line of argumentation. I think the church should NOT be selective in terms of acceptable/non-acceptable sins. Here's the rub: when you proffer this argument, it's from the perspective of someone who believes that lying, gluttony, and homosexual activity are all sinful. I come from the same perspective. You and I believe these things are all sinful, and that there should be no hierarchy of sins, and that all sinners should be lovingly guided to an understanding of our sins, challenged to leave our lives of sin, supported in the struggle against sin, and shepherded to repentance, forgiveness, and restoration when we choose to sin.

When Greg P simultaneously types in the SAME argument, it's from the perspective of someone who does NOT believe that lying, gluttony, and homosexual activity are all sinful. Or am I wrong? Greg P, that makes Andy's argument sincere, and yours (forgive me, or point out where I'm wrong, but) seem disingenuous. Let me put it this way: if you saw a church where lying, gluttony, and homosexuality were all treated equally as sins, would you then be satisfied that all was well?

Edited by CrimsonLine

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mrmando wrote:

: To put it another way, if Jesus thought it was wrong to follow Leviticus on homosexuality, why didn't he say so?

Well, who's to say he didn't? The gospels don't record EVERYthing he said. (That might sound facetious, but it's pretty much the exact same reply that pro-gay Christians have made to those who ask "If Jesus thought homosexuality was bad, why didn't he say so?" Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and all that.)

: : My favorite CCM artist in the mid-1980s was Steve Taylor, and I remember he made a point of NOT doing altar calls. I don't think Daniel Amos did, either, by the time I discovered them in the late '80s.

:

: Steve would preach a bit, but I don't recall him pushing for conversions at any concert I attended.

FWIW, I specifically remember an interview he gave to The Wittenburg Door in the mid-'80s in which he said he didn't do altar calls because he didn't feel it was right to blow into town, get the kids emotionally stirred up for a night, manipulate some of them into coming forward, and then skip out of town without knowing if there was any decent "follow-up" there.

Greg P wrote:

: I think this is true of many musicians, particularly those who grew up in the evangelical church in the 80's and early 90's. If you were a musician you had only two options: Become a professional Music Minister and lead worship on sunday morning and/or join the ranks of those preaching the word to the youth of the world through CCM.

More and more, I value the separation between "sacred" and "secular" music, which is NOT the same thing as the division between CCM and "real" music. When you worship in a traditional setting, the music is what it is and you don't get hung up on the personalities or egos of the people who "lead" the music, let alone those who write it; and then you are free to enjoy whatever individualistic creativity you can find outside of the sanctuary, whether it is made by Christians or not.

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The problem with this position is that it may be enforced in terms of homosexuality, but it won't be enfoced with, for example, lying and gluttony. We say that all sin is deadly, and on one level we mean it, but the reality is that the practical ramifications for some sins in the Church are very different than others. Seriously, do you know of any examples of church discipline for gluttony? That's not meant to question or criticize your approach, by the way. I appreciate it, and I think it's the biblical approach. But I do think that the Church, in general, tends to be highly selective in terms of acceptable/non-acceptable sins. It's not difficult to see on which side of the equation homosexuality falls in the Evangelical Church.

I'm all for this line of argumentation. I think the church should NOT be selective in terms of acceptable/non-acceptable sins. Here's the rub: when you proffer this argument, it's from the perspective of someone who believes that lying, gluttony, and homosexual activity are all sinful. I come from the same perspective. You and I believe these things are all sinful, and that there should be no hierarchy of sins, and that all sinners should be lovingly guided to an understanding of our sins, challenged to leave our lives of sin, supported in the struggle against sin, and shepherded to repentance, forgiveness, and restoration when we choose to sin.

When Greg P simultaneously types in the SAME argument, it's from the perspective of someone who does NOT believe that lying, gluttony, and homosexual activity are all sinful. Or am I wrong? Greg P, that makes Andy's argument sincere, and yours disingenuous. Let me put it this way: if you saw a church where lying, gluttony, and homosexuality were all treated equally as sins, would you then be satisfied that all was well?

Yes, but ...

I don't really want to be rebuked, however lovingly, when I belly up to the Chinese buffet for second helpings. I'm being honest here. I really don't. There is a part of me that responds, "Yes, this is sin, and it's bad for me, and the excess MSG may, in fact, lead to premature death." And there is another part of me that says, "Damn it, I've already given up the obvious vices except for the occasional swear word; let me enjoy my f*&#$ General Tso's Chicken."

The issue is that we don't really believe -- I don't really believe -- that all sins are equally bad. We are all in various stages of denial/acquiescence/repentance in terms of our favorite or least favorite besetting sins, including the fact that we may vigorously deny that those besetting sins are even sins at all. I know I've been there before. And I want to be able to account for that as I relate with those with whom I disagree about homosexuality. I also want to admit that I just might be plain wrong, and that according to my lights this is where I currently come down on the issue, but that my lights have been known to shine fairly dimly. In other words, I want to extend a lot of grace, because that's certainly what I need myself.

Knowing you, I'm fairly certain that you'd agree with that, Denes. I think this is very challenging indeed. None of it changes the fact that I look forward to hearing Jennifer Knapp's new album.

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mrmando wrote:

: To put it another way, if Jesus thought it was wrong to follow Leviticus on homosexuality, why didn't he say so?

Well, who's to say he didn't? The gospels don't record EVERYthing he said. (That might sound facetious, but it's pretty much the exact same reply that pro-gay Christians have made to those who ask "If Jesus thought homosexuality was bad, why didn't he say so?" Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and all that.)

Well, precisely. I am merely observing that it's illogical to assume that Jesus' silence on homosexuality is an argument in favor of homosexuality. It could just as well argue the opposite. We wouldn't assume that slavery and bigamy are OK just because Jesus didn't say anything about them.

But, just to try to get maximum juice out of this line of thinking: If Jesus thought homosexuality was bad, he didn't have to say so, because Leviticus had already said so. Given that Jesus went out of his way to correct many of what he saw as errors in first-century Jewish teaching, what should we infer from the fact that he made no such corrections to the existing teaching on homosexuality? We know Jesus was familiar with Leviticus; he quoted from it. Isn't his silence on this particular topic, then, somewhat more likely to be an endorsement of the Levitical teaching, rather than a refutation of it?

Edited by mrmando

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When Greg P simultaneously types in the SAME argument, it's from the perspective of someone who does NOT believe that lying, gluttony, and homosexual activity are all sinful. Or am I wrong? Greg P, that makes Andy's argument sincere, and yours disingenuous. Let me put it this way: if you saw a church where lying, gluttony, and homosexuality were all treated equally as sins, would you then be satisfied that all was well?

First let me say that I dont believe all sin is equal, but I believe gluttony is a far more egregious sin than say swearing, rage or vain babbling. Gluttony guarantees that you will leave this earth before your time. It also insures a greatly diminished quality of life. It wrecks everything from sex to sleep to creativity and the innate desire for adventure. I could never understand how a man could stand in the pulpit and preach to others about the gravity of divine judgment on homosexuals in the world to come, while wheezing with a giant gut hanging over the beltline of his Hagar slacks. That man of God will head straight for the Shoney's buffet and pile it on, plate after plate. So yeah, I think it's a sin. But it's also a pet peeve and even though I exercise self-discipline and habitually eat 1500-1800 calories a day, i try not to ascend my high horse and confront people on the matter. i don't see gluttons as trying to destroy America or usher in some last great apostasy.

To answer your other question, there is no mainstream evangelical church, that i know of, that expels people from fellowship based on gluttony or other similar sins. Despite the fact that they say "sin is sin" and that they don't single out homosexuality. They-- and you-- absolutely do single it out and I think it's disingenuous to the max to say otherwise. Denes, you said earlier that if a homosexual brother or sister told you that they felt it was not wrong to act on their desires in a monogamous way, that you would eventually treat them like an unbeliever. Would you do the same for over-eaters and overweight people? (How long would you give a fat brother or sister to repent of their dietary dissipation before you placed them--lovingly of course-- outside the fellowship of the saints??? 8O ) The answer is obviously "no" and "i wouldn't"-- if i can be so bold-- so my opinion is that you do single out gays for the harshest ecclesiastical judgment.

Edited by Greg P

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So yeah, I think [gluttony's] a sin. But it's also a pet peeve and even though I exercise self-discipline and habitually eat 1500-1800 calories a day, i try not to ascend my high horse and confront people on the matter. i don't see gluttons as trying to destroy America or usher in some last great apostasy.

Is there no difference, in your mind, between Biblical concern for each others' spiritual welfare, expressed in following Jesus' guidelines for confronting sin, and "ascending your high horse"? And if you've seen me - ever - say that homosexuals are out "to destroy America or usher in some last great apostasy," let me know.

To answer your other question, there is no mainstream evangelical church, that i know of, that expels people from fellowship based on gluttony or other similar sins. Despite the fact that they say "sin is sin" and that they don't single out homosexuality. They-- and you-- absolutely do single it out and I think it's disingenuous to the max to say otherwise.

I'll just say that if you look at the number of times I've preached against gluttony from the pulpit and compared it to the number of times I've preached against homosexuality, you'd think the opposite.

Denes, you said earlier that if a homosexual brother or sister told you that they felt it was not wrong to act on their desires in a monogamous way, that you would eventually treat them like an unbeliever. Would you do the same for over-eaters and overweight people? (How long would you give a fat brother or sister to repent of their dietary dissipation before you placed them--lovingly of course-- outside the fellowship of the saints??? 8O ) The answer is obviously "no" and "i wouldn't"-- if i can be so bold-- so my opinion is that you do single out gays for the harshest ecclesiastical judgment.

A major quibble is that it's not me that's placing them outside the fellowship of the saints, it's the Scriptures, and it's based on the person's refusal to acknowledge the authority of Scripture over their lives. But again, given that you do not believe homosexual activity is in any way sinful, it doesn't really matter to you what my answer to this question might be. If I treated gluttony as a disfellowship-worthy sin, that would not in any way make a difference to your view, would it? Your concern is not with the spiritual health of gluttons, or with my consistency of discipline, but with legitimizing homosexual behavior. And that's what I don't believe Scripture will allow you to do.

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