They’ll Know We’re Christians by What We Oppose

It was quite the week for the LGBT community, and my emotionally charged newsfeed informed me of the reactions from both affirming and extremely unaffirming crowds. One post boasted a gay couple kissing with their marriage license in hand, while the next offered a detailed list of the signs of the end times and reminded us, time and again, that “the King is still on the throne” (because we all wondered if He’d stepped out for a smoke break).

Friends, the King did take a break from the throne at one point, and it was to become a servant. He stepped into human skin and established the kingdom of Heaven through meals in homes, chats by wells, and long journeys with naysayers on dusty paths. At no point did Christ have a full blown meltdown because of public policies, and at no point did He encourage His followers to express “love” for their neighbors via political conquest.

He talked about a mustard seed: the smallest of seeds that sprouts into a giant tree with large branches, where birds of the air can find rest. Christianity was never intended to be a mass movement that mandated a particular flavor of morality on the world around them. Gay people will be together; straight people will continue to have poor marriages; single people will feel the burden of loneliness—everyone longs for a refuge at some point and the laws of the land have no power to heal the soul. I yearn for the Church to assume our role as a refuge for those seeking a safe place to land. Let’s “take a stand for truth” by inviting our neighbors to home-cooked meals that bleed into late night sharing. Our time would be better spent coming alongside people in the midst of their marriages rather than opposing them ’til our voices turn raspy.

If you’re worried about your children growing up in a community where two fathers walk hand in hand with babies in slings, then consider ways to have conversations about marriages and families with your children. Shunning gay couples, hiding them, acting like they’re invisible because they make you uncomfortable will rob you of a relationship with them and ultimately send a message to your children that gay people are the bad ones and straight ones (however dysfunctional their marriages) are good. Wouldn’t we want to send a message that all of us are both fractured by the fall and infinitely loved by God, and that God is pursuing a man who’s married to a man just as much as a man who’s married to a woman? That means we should pursue a relationship with that man rather than searching for ways to make him invisible. Because the hope of Christ is that He regenerates our hearts and rescues us from the sin that entangles all of us. The hope of Christ isn’t that we’ll live in a society where men only hold hands with women and where gay people are denied hospital visitation rights.

gaymarriageWhen we fuse our faith with our politics, and evangelize the world via our political alliances, we minimize the beauty of a mustard seed movement that serves as a safe place to comfort the hurting. We only inflict more hurt with our unkind words and lose the opportunity to speak into the lives of real people with the hope of Christ. When gay people (or straight people who listen to you rant) hit rough spots in their marriage, will they see you as someone they can come to for solace? Will you have a voice in the lives of these human beings loved by God, or will you have lost it due to your wide sweeping statements about those people taking over the world with their agendas? 

I don’t know what God thinks about the relationship between church and state, but I know what He thinks about the relationship between Christians and our neighbors: I believe it would involve a glass of champagne rather than sighs of remorse, regardless of your convictions. American laws will perish; the institute of marriage will pass away. We would be wise to invest our energy in the lives of people who hold eternity within their hearts.

 

149 thoughts on “They’ll Know We’re Christians by What We Oppose

  1. Julie,
    as much as I admire your way of thinking, we cannot be silent to sin. be it gay couples, ppl living in adultery or living together before marriage, or just living contrary to what the bible teaches, and by that I mean so called Christians. if we are silent to what is going on in our churches we are partakers of that sin. no I don’t believe in going out and killing all evil doers, but I do believe in calling them to repentance, are we doing that when we are silent to sin? when we do not speak up, we are in fact giving them an approving nod. and that is why our countries are where they are now. we were silent to the adulterers and to the fornicators and now the homosexual, we are “afraid” of offending people. I’m sorry but the way I read God’s word He has called me out to speak up. what did Jesus do to those that were selling in the temple. was he silent and just continued to love them, or did he take a whip and drive the animals out, and overturned the tables? (sounds like a meltdown to me! lol) to the woman caught in adultery did he just love her and not condemn her, or did he say: “go and sin no more?” Jesus calls us to repent and be born again, and as believing Christians we must speak up against sin. of course we must first remove the splinter from our own eye……read Matt Moore’s latest post “Can a Gay Person Be a Christian? It Depends On What You Mean”
    I may be wrong, but sometimes I think you are condoning the gay lifestyle, if I am wrong I am sorry, but comparing your posts to Matt’s there is definitely a big difference. You are in a position to say the right things, do not say the wrong things just to please a certain group of people, when we preach only God’s love and not His wrath for us sinners we are deceiving others. praying for you Julie,

    Reply
    • Thank you for this thoughtful comment, Matt. I do believe we should be honest about what we believe God calls us to as Christians, but I think that happens in the context of relationships where we’re walking side by side with people seeking Christ. My concern is that when we rally around opposition and marry the Gospel to a political position, we lose the opportunity to have a relationship with the actual people who are or are not getting married. At the end of the day, I feel Christianity is lived out through relationships rather than a mass movement that controls the state. In other words: keeping gay people from getting married will not draw them into an intimate relationship with Christ, just like keeping straight people from divorcing wouldn’t draw them into a relationship with Christ. I’m saying these are separate issues altogether.

      Wouldn’t we rather walk with people, regardless of their marital state, and point them toward the true Christian hope than lose the opportunity to invest in their lives because we’re so busy opposing large scale movements? I’m continuing to work this out and appreciate your feedback. Let me know if you have more questions!

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      • Julie,
        if I am silent to sin, I am not a true practicing Christian. if we have to “make room” for sinful people in our churches and call them Christians, we are sinning. If I walk with ppl no matter what state of marriage they are in, if they are sinning I must point them to Christ, I cannot not be silent. I am not going to go out and wave signs against homosexuality (or any other sin) but I certainly won’t be silent to an obvious sin that is practically in my face.

        the following is from http://www.thebiblepage.org/biblesays/homosexuality.shtml (this is said so much better than I could have, so I copied/pasted it. you can read more if you go to the link.

        “as Christians, we are called to love homosexuals (this is not romantic love, but true love), just as we would love anyone else. Loving homosexuals does not mean accepting homosexual practices. On the contrary, true love seeks the best for the one who is loved. True love always involves being truthful, even if it hurts, though that “hurtful” truth can be presented in gentle and respectful ways. This leads us to the two facets of the issue of homosexuality that we need to deal with: the non-Christian homosexual, and the Christian homosexual.

        If someone is not a Christian, and is involved in homosexual activity, chances are that no amount of preaching is going to change their mind. Their position is fostered by the sinful nature which dwells within, and from which, without Christ, they have no escape. To them, homosexuality is just a lifestyle, whether they believe it is the way they were born, or it is a choice. Society has accepted this stance as well and just serves to nurture their belief that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing. For this reason, the primary goal should be to reach these people with the gospel of Christ. Until and unless they receive the Lord, they will have no reason to seek to change. So proclaiming the gospel to these people is the most loving thing we can do for them.

        With the homosexual who claims to be a Christian, they should be shown that, from a biblical standpoint, from God’s point of view, homosexuality is a sin. Homosexuality is a sin that destroys their relationship with God, and it is a sin that will destroy their lives. If a Christian who claims to be a homosexual will not respond to our pleas, and to the Bible’s admonitions, then church discipline should be enacted, as with any major sin.

        Let me restate that I do not in any way advocate hating homosexuals (or anyone, for that matter). Only that we must not accept practices opposed to God’s will, just because society has deemed it acceptable. I pray that with a lot of love from Christians, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, God will change the hearts of homosexuals to turn from their “detestable” way, and turn to God instead.”

        have you read Joe Dallas’s books? he has an excellent one called “The Gay Gospel?: How Pro-Gay Advocates Misread the Bible”

      • @Matthew 19:26 – interesting the parable you use, it reads “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” – so it’s the log you have to remove first – It’s actually a parable about judging others, ironic. Do you really think Jesus was using this parable to instruct you to clean up yourself so you can go around telling others what they need to repent of? Isn’t rather, that Jesus, was saying – judging others is a more grievous offense than all of them ? Matt. 7:1-5.

    • Anonymous Bible Verse Dude,
      Julie already answered your comment very nicely and with much grace – but I have to take issue with your two examples of Jesus “speaking up against sin” (driving out the moneychangers in the temple and saving the woman caught in adultery from being stoned to death).

      In my understanding, both of these cases show Jesus acting to DEFEND marginalized people whom were being taken advantage of and mistreated. In the case of the temple, the moneychangers were taking advantage of the parishioners by shortchanging them during currency exchange and selling them overpriced goods to be used as sacrifices. The way I read it, Jesus turns over the tables of the powerful because they are using God’s name as vehicle to disenfranchise the powerless.

      In the case of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus does just the opposite of what you’re implying. Instead of joining the religious elites and condemning the sin of a scandalous woman, Jesus (literally) draws a line in the sand and chooses to stand on the side of the outcast. You ask, “Did He just love her and not condemn her?” Yes! He even says “Then neither to I condemn you.”

      So, in short, no I don’t think its your job or the job of any Christian to loudly shout about how bad the sin of other people is. Moreover, legislating your disapproval through a secular government that was founded on principles of religious freedom is a bad idea.

      Reply
      • Steven,

        but you are deliberately omitting what Jesus did tell the woman caught in adultery, “neither do I condemn thee Go and sin no more”

        I don’t believe in going out and shouting loudly as you say, but we are called to rebuke others, once again, making sure the splinter is removed from our own eye.

      • Matthew 19:26 – interesting the parable you use, it reads “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” – so it’s the log you have to remove first – It’s actually a parable about judging others, ironic. Do you really think Jesus was using this parable to instruct you to clean up yourself so you can go around telling others what they need to repent of? Isn’t rather, that Jesus, was saying judging is a more grievous offense than all of them ? Matt. 7:1-5.

    • Matthew: what do you do with Paul’s words: “God’s kindness leads us to repentance” (Romans 2:4) What would that look like for us to practice this biblical teaching of kindness as the inducer of repentance in imitation of God?

      This principle is also illustrated in Titus 3: “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”

      Jesus brings out the same point about kindnes:. “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your father is merciful.”

      And again, Jesus highlights kindness (in real, tangible good deeds) as what transforms: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16)

      The gay community is well-aware of what most Christians *believe* on this issue. They have heard your call to repentance loud and clear. Its not that they haven’t heard your admonition. Its that they choose not to do what you are commanding them to do. Perhaps this is because many Christians are not following biblical teaching as stated above, but have in fact have misunderstood what it is that leads to repentance. I would go so far as to say that those who take your approach are, in fact, working against God.

      But let’s say you did follow the biblical teaching on this and a gay person does not change his views or behavior to accommodate your belief on the matter, how do you believe Christians should respond when the call to repentance is not heeded?

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      • Karen, does this answer your last question?

        Homosexuality is a sexual sin, and can therefore be considered sexual immorality. Paul writes, “I have written to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you’” (1 Corinthians 5:9- 13). On the face, this may look extreme, unloving, and even blatantly hurtful, but let us also see Paul’s reason: “Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter [referring to the chastening of the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians], I do not regret it. Though I did regret it – I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while – yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done…” (2 Corinthians 7:8-11). So this discipline is meant to bring about a godly sorrow which helps in recognizing and turning away from our sins. If it does, and the person turns from their sin, they should be welcomed back into fellowship. This is truly loving, and loving is what we are called to do.

      • Matthew–thanks for your clarification. So your response to gay Christians would be ex-communication. Do you think ex-communication works in our day and age the way it did in Paul’s time? For example there weren’t churches on every corner that one could turn to. So, being ex-communicated definitely had a significant impact. Also there may have been more of a shame based culture (along the line of Asian cultures) where shame was a motivating factor. But America is not a shame based culture. And people can easily go to a different church and so won’t have to face the very reality that Paul hoped would help encourage a person to change. If excommunication does not lead to repentance (Paul’s intention) because of different realities that exist now, how might we fulfill what Paul desired to accomplish?

        Also, can you tell me how you would respond to non-Christian gay people? It would help specifically if you can refer to your own life and how you practice biblical teaching in response to the non-Christian gay community. Your response above only addresses your statements of repentance as it relates to Christians.

        Also, I would be interested to hear more of your response on kindness as an impetus to repentance as you really haven’t engaged with the verses I presented.

      • There is nothing kind or loving in condoning, affirming, celebrating, supporting or remaining silent over sinful behavior. That’s the opposite of love and kindness.

    • Matt,

      You state the following in your above post: “I do believe in calling them to repentance, are we doing that when we are silent to sin? when we do not speak up, we are in fact giving them an approving nod.” Based on your words, I refuse to stay silent to your sin, so here goes. Your comments are self-righteous, judgemental and critical. You come across as if you know everything about this topic and couldn’t possibly be wroing, so, that tells me that you have pride in your heart. I also sense a lack of love in your comments. You may think you are speaking out of love, but since I don’t feel loved by your comments, what was the point in speaking? To speak the truth as you see it? Well, that’s arrogance… So, let’s see, that’s 5 sins.

      Reply
      • it’s hard to feel love if you are the one being spoken to, lol, try asking a child if his parents love him when they punish him. I hardly think you would tell anyone that if they were admonishing you in your sin, that they were being loving.

        so you yourself don’t think you are being prideful and arrogant when you are trying to point out my own? see that is where we have gone, we no longer can point to sin and say that is sin, because we are not being loving? rather we are being loving when someone openly sins and we are quiet? tell me, was Paul being self-righteous, judgmental and critical when he admonished the church in 1 Corinthians 5 about the immoral behavior? tell me what do you think Paul would have said if there had been openly practicing homosexuals in the church then? I for one do not think he would have been silent. rather he says “and such were some of you,” telling us that people then turned from their sinful ways.

      • Jerry Reiter, do you think God would bless the loving marriage of a brother and a sister? or mother and son? after all according to you love is love, so it’s all good. oh and btw Jesus never spoke against incest!

    • Anonymous Bible Verse Dude,
      I did leave out the “go and sin no more” part, for two reasons.

      1) I’m not Jesus. I believe that all Christians have a relationship with God, through the Spirit, that prompts them on how best they can “abide” in the richness of God and best produce good fruit (re: John 15). In this image, the gardener who is tending to the plants (us) is not a pastor, religious leader, protester with a sign, or anonymous internet commenter. God the Father is our caretaker and He removes that which needs to be removed as we go through the (often mysterious) process of sanctification. My job, as a Christian, is to point people towards Christ, not point out the things they need to stop doing in order to be accepted by Christ. This is a pretty remarkable difference.

      2) I don’t distinguish between “sinners” and “Christians”, because — as you point out — we all still have splinters in our own eyes. Christians or not, are we not all born outside of Eden as a result of our fallen nature? So, why separate ourselves?

      Reply
  2. Absolutely beautiful, Julie… you express this so articulately and winsomely. I’ve been looking forward expectantly to what the future holds, and reading things like this REALLY gives me hope!

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  3. Absolutely beautiful and well put. Do not waste your time on feeding the trolls posing as Christians. They are the reason this had to be written in the first place. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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    • Thank you! I know we all come to these conversations with a lot baggage (myself included, for sure). My hope is that we can begin to affirm and/or challenge one another in ways that bring deeper love and understanding.

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  4. Frank–for some reason I couldn’t comment directly under your statement. Your statement is one commonly made. It gets into the question of how we define kindness or love. My concern with this position is that it narrowly defines kindness as telling people they are wrong. Wouldn’t you say there is a lot more to kindness than that? For example, I Corinthians says love is patient, keeps no record of wrongs, gentle. If that is the case, how are you patient with those who are gay? How are you gentle? In what ways are you practicing not keeping a record of wrong?

    Also what do you do with Scripture’s teaching that tangible good deeds and not merely words/admonition are what cause people to turn to God and praise him (Matt 5:16; Luke 6?) Frank, how do you practice this biblical teaching of doing good deeds for people in the gay community so that they might come to glorify God because they see your kind actions? And are you willing to follow Jesus’ teaching?

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    • Of course Karen kindness is more than that. So is love but you cannot have kindness and love while either lying to people, deceiving people or supporting sinful behavior. love requires truth.

      That being said we should be speaking gently to people and finding the right time to speak into someones life but remaining silent is not kind nor loving.

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      • Frank if love and kindness is so much more than just telling people they are wrong, how come that was the only attribute that you mentioned in response to my post–a post primarily quoting Scripture about repentance? Its particularly odd given that the church has been screaming through a megaphone for several years and is far from silent on the matter. I wonder why all the attributes of love in I Corth or the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians– these pivotal and key attributes so clearly defined as what it means to love and exemplify Christ were not the first thing you mentioned?

        Also, what about the good deeds that God commands? You didn’t respond to that. Are you proactively seeking to do good deeds to those who are gay? I would be interested in hearing more about your interactions with actual gay people. Do you know any? What is your relationship with them? How have you personally practiced good deeds toward them? I am genuinely interested in hearing more about your experiences.

      • Hey Karen another good question. I know many gay people and we have discussions and some ended their relationship with me because I believe in Gods created order, others we agree to disagree, others have submitted their sexuality to the Will of God and are celebrate and others ares till working through the issue. I love them and care for them every step of the way.

      • Frank–you still have not answered my question–what specific tangible good deeds do you do for gay people on a regular basis? Do you care for gay people when they are sick? Do you invite them over for a dinner of normal, non-preaching conversation just to appreciate their company? Do you help them out financially when they need it? Do you know any gay people well enough to know what their needs even are so that you can give to them?

        As I mentioned before Titus 3 says: “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”

        How did our Savior kindness appear and save us? By his sacrificial death and his giving of the regenerating Spirit. And it was specifically *not* because we had done any good behavior as Titus says. In fact Christ died for us while we were sinners. Before any kind of repentance

        In other words God took action. He loved us *first* before we loved him and he did so by doing a very profound *action*–dying for us.

        How are you dying for gay people Frank in imitation of our Lord? How are you doing more than words to actually give of yourself sacrificially in tangible actions on behalf of gay people? I am assuming you can’t answer that because you are not yet following biblical teaching on this matter as yet. In that case, I really hope you will consider doing so. You might be amazed at what the positive outcomes would be.

      • These were FANTASTIC questions, Karen. Thank you for contributing to the conversation in such thoughtful ways. You said: “what specific tangible good deeds do you do for gay people on a regular basis? Do you care for gay people when they are sick? Do you invite them over for a dinner of normal, non-preaching conversation just to appreciate their company? Do you help them out financially when they need it? Do you know any gay people well enough to know what their needs even are so that you can give to them?”

        If Christians can begin to walk in this way, the world will be a more beautiful place. Thank you so much for directing the conversation toward practical ways we can demonstrate the Spirit of Christ in our every day lives. I pray future conversations move in the direction of the practical ways we can be more loving and gracious, like you have demonstrated here.

      • that’s true about all sin Frank

        our whole fallen world of broken people who don’t know their right hand from their left who are thirsting for something life giving but they don’t know what it is and they are hungry for something that feeds their soul but they don’t know where to find it and they only know who they are and where they have been and that little ray of light that comes from a believer is a beacon of hope to relieve their burden yet instead we come to the doors of the church and we don’t see anyone like us and we are told to transform and change everything you thought you knew about yourself and it adds more burdens upon the back we all we wanted was something to eat and drink

      • Yes being a follower of Jesus is much more than a feel good time of acceptance. We all must pick up or cross.

      • Why should anyone go to church? To be a part of the Body. Churches are filled with sinners. No surprise there. But if you are going to look for acceptance of sinful behavior no true church will offer that. Nor should you be condemned nor treated different than any other sinner. Its been my experience that it the gay people who reject the church not the other way around although I know churches exist that have completely separated and rejected gay people. They are not a true church either.

        The question I guess is what would you do if you are at a church and the pastor teaches that God created sexuality and marriage to be between a man and a woman?

      • so it comes back to your own personal experience then. If in your opinion gay people have rejected the church that is a sweeping statement against them. It has not been my experience.

      • Not an opinion a fact. Gay people walk out of churches that won’t affirm their sinful behavior.

      • Yes it does but only through repentance. Someone habitual sinning is not repentance its a habitual rejection of God. “Go and sin no more.”

      • Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more. Your math is wrong, Frank. Sorry…

        Also, you COMPLETELY side-stepped Karen’s EXCELLENT questions about your patience, gentleness, record-keeping, and practical good deeds with regards to LGBT people. We all noticed that. It’s pretty clear what your *singular* priority is: stone-throwing.

      • You must accept that grace. Continuing to sin in the same way is a rejection of Gods grace.

        Yes its always easier to shoot the messenger than face up to the truth.

      • I agree about repentance but if someone doesn’t think something is sin then how can they be repentant? They have yet to realize it they aren’t being liars they just see it one way now this happened to Peter and Paul when they had the disagreement about eating unclean food. Peter saw it one way Paul saw it the other and for a time they were in disagreement. Did Paul try to get Peter thrown out of the church? We are at a point in history when we need to show the same grace to believers who are struggling with this question

      • That’s a great question Kathy. That’s why we have Gods Word which is unchanging. What does the bible say? Every instance of homosexual behavior is condemned and there is not one positive thing said about it.

      • that’s true about all sin Frank

        our whole fallen world of broken people who don’t know their right hand from their left who are thirsting for something life giving but they don’t know what it is and they are hungry for something that feeds their soul but they don’t know where to find it and they only know who they are and where they have been and that little ray of light that comes from a believer is a beacon of hope to relieve their burden yet instead we come to the doors of the church and we don’t see anyone like us and we are told to transform and change everything you thought you knew about yourself and it adds more burdens upon the back when all we wanted was something to eat and drink

  5. I think it is fruitless to have a theological debate as we know where Julie stands. I am curious to look at some practical examples. What if a gay person is truly seeking God and has a repentant heart but is still not clear on their sexuality? what if they are coming out of a relationship or if in that relationship there are children? Their life won’t look the same anymore and they have obligations and ties how do we address that complication? How do we welcome them and support them?

    This is not about theological debates it’s about real life and the experiences we are going to go through when seeking Christ.

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    • Thank you for this thoughtful comment, Kathy! You’re right: there are very real questions that we need to wrestle with beyond the ones addressed here. Your questions point to the issue I hope we’ll grapple with: how do we practically walk with, love, and support people as they work out very complex issues that deeply impact their lives. Thank you for contributing here and for wrestling with all of these questions as you seek to love deeply.

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  6. Matthew 19 is actually about Jesus condemning divorce and remarriage, a message widely ignored by the very same people who pretend it was about marriage equality civil statutes for Americans 2,000 years later. Jesus never said a single word against homosexuals. Go, therefore, and do likewise. Julie, beautiful article. Thank you.

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  7. Again, the real Matthew 19 issues challenges evangelicals ignore. Jesus said in that chapter that if you wish to be perfect, go sell all that you have, and give the money to the poor. I have done that. I really wonder if the modern-day Pharisee falsely calling himself Matt19 has.

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    • first of all, if you will look at my “name” you will see it says Matthew 19:26 go and read that particular verse, it has a point.

      second do you really think when it’s all said and done, at the end of it all, Jesus is going to look at the adulterer, homosexual, the sexual immoral, and say to him/her,”come my beloved child, you have suffered much, come into my kingdom?” I hardly think so. now I am not saying I am without sin as you seem to think I am. we have all sinned and fallen far from the grace of God, but there is a difference in having sinned and in continuing to sin. if I throw God’s grace in His face by continuing to sin, I am rejecting His grace and His love. but if I repent and stop sinning, and believe, take up my cross (which can be anything, everybody has a different cross to bear) and follow Him, I will not continue to wallow in sin.

      Now you can dress up your words and make them as pretty as you want, it does not change the fact of what God said then He still says and means it now. but as it is, “we can’t change God’s mind so we change His word.”

      Romans 6:1-23
      What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. …

      that Jesus never directly spoke against homosexuality, does not mean he approved of it. he never mentions incest or bestiality either, are we then to condone those behaviors?

      “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17)

      2 Timothy 4:2-4
      Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

      2 Peter 2:1-3
      But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

      Galatians 5:22-26
      But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

      Ephesians 6:10-18
      Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, …

      anyone who claims to be a Christian and continues to live in his/her sin, eg adultery, homosexuality, immoral sexuality, thieving murdering, is a liar.Why? Because there is no evidence of salvation. Repentance is supposed to bring forth a changed life (1st Corinthians 5:17). This is what James meant when he said in James 2:18: “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” James was speaking about being justified in the eyes of men. With God we are justified by faith alone; but with men we can only be justified by our works because men cannot see our heart (1st Samuel 16:7)

      The Bible instructs us as believers to judge “righteous judgment” (John 7:24). We are to separate from carnal believers who indulge in sinful living, and from those who attempt to justify sin (1st Corinthians 5:11). Romans 16:17 reads, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” Biblicaly, we are supposed to expose false prophets and contend for the faith. Certainly, we are not wrong to question the salvation of those who live contrary to the Scriptures. In 2nd Corinthians 13:5 the Apostle Paul questioned the salvation of certain members of the church at Corinth.

      and you don’t think God will question certain members that are living in sin in our church today?

      Reply
      • of course the church has the right to take a church member to task if they are aware of someone sleeping around, or going to prostitutes or hanging out at the bars every night especially if they have a family at home. I’d be concerned,

        but we are talking about people who have been gay all their life and are seeking Jesus and are repentant and are turning towards God and they want to come in to the church are we going to require them to immediately stop everything they are doing and then have power prayers over them until they break free from homosexuality or are we going to welcome them, eat dinner with them and be an example of Christian love? This is not a new doctrine.

      • Matthew–why have you not responded to my further inquiries about repentance in our above thread? I feel like you are avoiding a real conversation.

      • Hey troll (matt19), you are simply “the accuser of the brethren.” And we know why you hide behind a fake name. You don’t want anyone looking up your criminal record.

  8. So what do people have to repent of to become a Christian. They have to repent of self rule and to accept Christ rule. The kingdom of God is defined as the rule and dominion of God. Christ’s first message to humanity was to repent and to accept the kingdom of God. The non-believer is not so much to repent of individual sins (although God may call each individual to do so) but to repent of sin, ie., unbelief and self rule. On the mission field when a non-believer is reached it can take a long time to leave the forms of culture that are against God’s word. For instance, in a polygamous society, it can take a while for a person to see the Biblical truthfulness of monogamy that is God’s design for today. Baby Christians have to roll over, push up, crawl, stand up and then walk. About the time they learn to walk, they get off milk (baby food) and begin to eat meat (happy meal). Maturity takes time. We have to be more patient with unbelievers today because we really are living near to Babylon and Rome (metaphorically). We need to patiently teach the truth and to teach others how to rightly divide and understand the word of truth before we make so many demands of outward conformity.

    Reply
    • Larry, you said it can take a long time for some Christians to accept God’s design for marriage today. You gave the example of people in polygamous cultures. Most of the biblical era endorsed polygamous marriages. We no longer follow that. Men had concubines (Solomon had 300 of these sex slaves). We no longer follow that. Slavery was common and a master could do as he pleased with his slave. We no longer follow that. In biblical times divorce was near to impossible for women to get (wife-beating was not grounds), and when divorce did come children were the property of the father with the woman having no visitation or custodial rights. We changed that. Today nearly half the couples in any large evangelical church have fornicated and been remarried. Yet, 99% of the finger-pointing is aimed at the 1% of couples who have same-sex spouses. But God is not the church. And God blesses and affirms love in whatever marriage is a loving union of two responsible adults, including the two warm, wonderful women in my church who have loved the Lord and one another for nearly 60 years. Their wedding was a testimony to Love.

      Reply
      • No God does not. Homosexual behavior is any form is sinful and making an institution out of it is even worse.

  9. Actually I am grateful for people like Matthew and Frank. People like this was the reason I started to evaluate why I was a Christian and why I believed. They aren’t the reason I became an atheist but it helped me down the path to it. I love when people like this drive more people to take a harder look at their beliefs.

    Reply
    • Tim,

      This comment makes me sad. I understand that people like “Matthew,” Frank, and now Larry hold a perspective that would make an LGBT person feel unwelcome/unwanted by the Church. I’m deeply sorry for that. But, on the other hand, for every one commenter who has a negative posture, there are at least a half-dozen Christians who comment with grace, love, acceptance, and withhold judgement.
      For every denomination, like the Southern Baptist Convention, that degrades the human worth of LGBT people, there is another, like the UMC, who has a long tradition of being welcoming and affirming. For every youtube video of Fred Phelps vitriol, there’s an incredible guy like Matthew Vines and his hour-plus long exposition called “The Bible and Homosexuality” that goes in to great details on the cultural and linguistic context of all 6 (maybe 8?) Bible verses that discuss homosexuality and how they describe things different than a committed relationship in 2013.
      It frustrates me when folks like “Matthew” and Frank drive people away from the Church with their ignorant, poorly punctuated, ahistorical view of Scripture. But, in any group of people (a religion, church, group of friends, corporate office, family, etc) there are always going to be loud people with opinions that don’t reflect the opinions of the majority. Why listen to those exclusively?

      Reply
      • Stephen sorry I wasn’t totally clear on my post. I am not an atheist because of the hate lobbed by conservative Christians. Their message was a push to really take a hard look at why I considered myself a Christian. The more I looked at it and pondered it I realized I believed was because I had been indoctrinated in to believing. When I took a critical look I could find no reason to support my beliefs in a superior being. That is when I became an atheist. Did the hatred from them turn me into an atheist? No. What it did was motivate me to think why I believed critically. Without that push I may not have ever turned a critical eye to my beliefs. I love my many Christian friends. I just don’t believe what they do.

      • Word. I appreciate this clarification, and looking back I see how I misunderstood your post. Sorry about that. I respect anyone who has taken a critical, honest look at Christianity and themselves and has decided not to believe. Many thoughtful folks have come to different conclusions about the big questions of life. Have a great day!

      • If you believe that my belief is ignorant then certainly you can point us all to the places where God condones and blesses homosexual behavior. We will be waiting.

  10. Thank you for sharing your perspective Julie. I’ve been caught-up in the touching celebration this weekend during my first visit to San Francisco. And yet, in the back of my mind I wonder what do conservative Christians think and what would I think 15 years ago when I was a conservative Christian.

    While I appreciate your post’s overall message, I am pondering your scenario: “….If you’re worried about your children growing up in a community where two fathers walk hand in hand with babies in slings, then consider ways to have conversations about marriages and families with your children. …Wouldn’t we want to send a message that all of us are both fractured by the fall and infinitely loved by God, and that God is pursuing a man who’s married to a man just as much as a man who’s married to a woman? That means we should pursue a relationship with that man rather than searching for ways to make him invisible….”

    As a gay man, my first reaction would be to keep the anti-gay conservative away from my family — period. I would not want to pursue a relationship with someone who would teach their children that my family is inferior or an example of the fall. Any relationship I would have with a person with anti-gay views would have the ulterior motive of hoping to persuade that person to become more enlightened — just as evangelicals have the ulterior motive of recruiting others to the faith.

    Better advice for a conservative Christian to give their child is to teach them that families are diverse — just as many of the families in the were different (i.e. Jesus had two dads).

    Reply
    • And that whatever your differences you shouldn’t enforce them upon others, or meddle needlessly and personally in their lives. Of course, that would be asking many of the commentators on here to forgo a massive part of how they identify themselves as ‘christians’. By what they oppose.

      Reply
      • You gotta admit, it’s ironic how people like Julie will on one hand impress that they define themselves NOT by their sexuality, but yet their whole religious experience is build on the foundation of the repression of her sexuality. Indeed, her volunteer work surrounds the issue of her sexuality, even right down to her personal blogging. She’s more consumed, in that sense, by sex than I am as an honest, mature, well-rounded gay man.

      • No she actually is loving those around her just like Jesus commanded. Jesus wants no one a slave to sinful behavior.

      • Frank, why do I only know if I’m sinning if you YOU or Julie tell me?

        Isn’t that a big flaw in the design?

  11. You are condoning and asking people to be lukewarm on this issue and that in itself is wrong. God clearly explains what his plan for marriage includes. God’s plan for marriage is not confusing.

    Reply
    • Neither is Krishna’s, Shiva’s, the Buddha’s teachings, or Islam, or the Torah unclear on anything.

      Which one should I use to impress upon you and alter your life?

      Reply
  12. Wendy, Is there something in your life, that you have thought, “IF they walked in my shoes, they would act/know different?” You don’t have to see it my way, just feel it for a season. I love my Son, and can’t imagine God loving him more. When I prayed, “God, how can I do this?”, what popped into my thoughts, LOUD and CLEAR, was “He is a child of mine!”
    I see Julie’s post reminding us how Jesus treated those that were looked down on, by the ones who knew the law. I apologize if I have misread your heart.

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your heart here, Grams. I love your question about a place in our lives where we wish others could walk in our shoes to better understand. I pray we can all begin doing that more, regardless of the direction someone else is coming from. Bless you for your encouraging spirit here!

      Reply
  13. @ Jerry: The only marriage that is authorized in the New Testament is a heterosexual monogamous one. Our culture may recognize and affirm other types of marriages (homosexual, polygamous, polyandrous, open,) or even recognize couples who co-habitate without marriage but if the church wants to be a New Testament one, then it must only affirm marriage between one male and one female. Divorce in the New Testament is explicitly allowed for fornication (sexual immorality—Matthew 19:9) and implied for desertion (I Corinthians 15). Physical abuse is a form of desertion, that is, the abusing spouse has deserted loving and caring for the abused spouse or not providing is economic desertion. No fault divorce is not acceptable or just because one says they don’t love the person anymore—love is more of an action than a feeling anyway. The highest love is agape love—romantic love (eros) or friendship love (phileo) may not always be possible but agape love is. We have to be very couple whom we affirm because that sends a message to our little children and the children we may influence. II Thessalonians 3:6 tells those in the church to ‘withdraw from every brother that walks disordely,’ and 3:14 says ‘if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy but admonish him as a brother.’ To me, this teaches church discipline which we rarely see in American churches. This opens up many questions as to whom we should discipline, although in the parents or even in a public school setting, parents and teachers know when and whom to discipline and for what. Certainly treating God’s design for marriage shabbily would be a reason for discipline. Let’s say a 12 year old child went and received a tattoo. The tattoo might not be able to be removed, but certainly discipline from a parent in a effort to produce humility, confession of the wrong, repentance and understanding the consequences of doing wrong would be in order. The church must teach homosexuals that there are but two options for adults as regarding marriage: hetereosexual monogamous marriage or celibancy. That’s it. God’s grace will see us through if we throw ourselves upon his mercy and receive his strength to obey him.

    Reply
    • Larry, you have never read the bible if you make that claim. Throughout most of the bible’s time periods, men could have as many wives and concubines (sex slaves) as they wished. Some of God’s greatest heroes had polygamous arrangements, from Abraham on. Most notably, King Solomon the wise, had 700 wives and 300 concubines. We have changed much more about marriage than that. Wives were the property of their fathers until given in marriage to the husband. Women had no rights of their own. Wife-beating and alcoholism were no grounds for divorce. A man could beat his children as much as he wished and had biblical justification (spare the rod and spoil the child). The bible has been used to oppose every civil rights advance since abolition of slavery. Slave owners had far more verses in their corner than anti-gays have. And civil statutes in America are not created from isolated scripture verses; that practice is known as Sharia.

      Reply
  14. The New Testament knew two embodiments of the truth —the kerygma (the presentation of the essential elements of the death, burial and ressurection of Jesus Christ) and the didache (teaching the whole counsel of God.) Evangelism tells good news, discipleship tells the whole news. People don’t even have to know what particular things are sin to accept Jesus but they are to be taught what particular things are sin after becoming a Christian.

    Reply
  15. Larry, just because marriage equality was not yet an issue in the New Testament does not mean Christ is against it. For that matter, your church does not follow the original New Testament model. When the followers of Christ were totally filled with the Holy Spirit, they sold all that they had and held all things in common. Do that and you will have some credibility in claiming you live like the New Testament believers did. But the truth is you don’t and neither does the church at large today. So, stop going all backwards on one tiny minority group you hate.

    Reply
  16. Julie, you mentioned Christ had a chat by a well. In that chat He points out the woman’s immoral lifestyle, along with the lie of “no husband”, all while rejecting a probable come on from her. Indeed it was the supernatural aspect of the conversation that made her take notice. However Jesus could have used any number of miracles to demonstrate that, instead he chose to use the knowledge of her SIN. Please reexamine your position on this matter. You do not walk in the footsteps of our mutual Lord.

    Reply
      • Sorry Jerry you are right. I did what I tell others never to do and wrote a reply without reading the entire post. I did not respond properly. Very silly on my part. To answer Julie’s post correctly I should have said, as americans there is a unique responsibility in that we have a representative form of Government. Therefore the direction our government takes should represent proper morals and behavior, of which homosexuality does not. Of course if we were truly doing what was right, marriage would not be in the political arena at all. Through the “marriage license” we have allowed the state to solemnize our unions. This was for the purpose of divorce so that a judge could divide the assets of that union… including the children. Look it up.

      • Marriage is good and moral when lived with love, regardless of a person’s sexual orientation. True religious liberty is when each church can wed the couples it wishes to wed, and the government protects the civil rights and liberties of all. All that has happened this past week is that I can now marry the person I love. You and your marriage were not hurt one bit.

  17. Matthew -

    It makes me truly sad to see the word of God taken so out of context. Many others have already pointed out the truth about the parables you referred to. Also it’s important not to forget that Paul was writing those things to the Corinthians because (1) he had spent so much time with them teaching them the word of God and (2) because they were actually participating themselves in what we call today (being a Sunday Christian) – saying yes yes and falling down at the alter on Sunday during church and then going about their regular lives without thought or care to sin during the week – plus getting involved in lots of sin with no thought of repentence. He was rebuking them because they were participating in “lukewarm” Christianity. He was NOT rebuking them because they were in relationships with people who were homosexual. And if you don’t believe me, then simply look to Jesus as an example of how He treated those who’s lifestyles were less than perfect – tax collector, prostitute, betrayer (Judas), etc. After all – that is the reason why Jesus came to us in the flesh right? To show us God’s will for us. Jesus said come follow me and then he loved them. And yes He did say sin no more – HE said it. He said it because He is God. And He did not condemn her or anyone else. He never made anyone feel shame for their sin or feel less than. He made them feel wanted, loved, cared for – in their most broken places.

    However, the most concerning part about what you said was this “if I am silent to sin, I am not a true practicing Christian. if we have to “make room” for sinful people in our churches and call them Christians, we are sinning.” Seriously? You aren’t a true Christian if you have to “make room for sinful people in the church and call them Christians?” Let’s break this down:

    One – We are saved by grace and we are true Christians by what is in our heart. No one else can judge that from the outside and only God is worthy of judging that.

    Two – The ENTIRE church is made up of sinful people because every person in the church is just that – human. ALL humans sin and remember God does not judge one sin above the other.

    Three – Because all people sin, all Christian’s sin. Therefore, to say that because you are a Christian you are not a sinner is ludicrous and borderline blasphemy in my book. Because you are not God, you will never be God and therefore will always be a sinner.

    I guess I would just ask you to think about the fact that you don’t have to agree with someone’s homosexuality in order to love them. But I would say that we all have sin to deal with and sins we’ve dealt with that only by the grace of God and sometimes by one or two or a community of relationships have we been able to work through and begin to heal the wounds of. . ..And the more and more I live life the the more and more I realize that Satan will continue to use those strongholds in your life to try to lure you again into sin. But I am truly grateful to know a Lord and Savior who loves me and asks me to allow Him to be the center of my life, even in my messiness. Also, kindly remember pride is also a sin, judgment is a sin, condemnations of others when you have your own plank to deal with is a sin, lying (even the little white ones) is a sin, BUT most of all NOT coming to and treating others in love is a sin. Jesus held loving others above all other things besides loving God.

    Reply
    • Your kindness came through the tone of your comment here, Jaci! I couldn’t agree with you more about the need for community and close relationships if we’re going to speak into one another’s lives. Those who have loved me best have had a good 27 conversations with me about all the complexities of life before they dive into challenging me on very sensitive and delicate matters. From the sound of your comment, I imagine you’re that kind of friend to those in your life.

      Reply
  18. Julie, I appreciate your sentiments, but I wouldn’t share a glass of champagne with you, or you invite to my wedding if I had one. The only people who have something wrong are the one’s who self-deprecate themselves, and cut off and stigmatize a part of oneself as an exchange for a cheap numinous experience.

    As for conservative christians? They need to start realizing they are moving into a minority viewpoint, it’s not the 90′s anymore, the times are changing. Our relationships will NOT in any way affect, change, or alter your life except for the fact that they exist. We exist. That’s what you need to come to terms and peace with. People like me far outnumber the gay antigays some of the people on here feel comfortable with, and I suspect there will be less and less people like Julie as time goes on.

    Thank God for that.

    Reply
    • …separating the wheat from the chaff.

      Gods truth will never change but people will certainly continue to reject it.

      Reply
      • Right, truth never changes- which is why we’re still doing the same slavery allowed and condoned in your Bible, and treating women like property, where marriages still follow the precepts laid out in your book.

        Oh… Wait, now… We don’t do that, do we? I’ll let you figure out how to twist that into sense.

      • Well I am not sure displaying your need to learn more about biblical slavery and the roles of gender helps your position. It only exposes your need to do more study.

    • No, Frank, put your thinking cap on- it shows the myriad of cultural beliefs your religion accepted, until a little over 200 years ago, and how those beliefs changed not because of your religious scripture but in spite of it. We are where we are now on the issue of women’s rights, and through the horror of slavery, because judged that both of those infractions didn’t hold against the totality of the human experience.

      Are you going to defend Biblical slavery to me, now? How is owning people *not* wrong?

      Reply
      • The bible does not support slavery. Do some research first before you spout off nonsense. Of course some nonsense is a widely held belief. Its simply about lack of education.

      • Frank, this is simple. You can disprove this right here on the internet.

        Open me up your scripture, which can’t contradict yourself, and find me a piece of scripture from a biblical prophet, or YHWH itself, that says “Slavery is wrong, you shall not chain a human being and force them into labor.”

        That doesn’t exist, in the new or old testament. At most, ambivalence, most likely a platonic acceptance of the practice. Find me a definitive, rejective statement.

        If your answer is that I have to go read articles to learn about it, then the eggs on your face. I’ve read your bible, we both know what it says.

      • Oh dear. Your deception goes deeper than I thought.

        I am happy to discuss slavery both in the bible and in modern times. I am happy to discuss the role of women. Those discussions of course do not invalidate Gods created order for marriage and sexuality to be between a man and a woman in marriage.

        Its a common technique when on the losing side of an argument to change the subject. The problem for you is we all notice what you are doing.

      • No, again Frank, you’re wrong. Way off. I’m not deflecting the conversation, you actually just changed the subject when you couldn’t defend your statement about the Bible’s supposed concrete infallibility, As for marriage or sexuality, I hold to a historical interpretation of sexuality that takes account the Bible’s recognition of sexual minorities in antiquity, often they would be described as eunuchs and by any historical account would have been synonymous with same gender sex. Except their romantic lives, or sexual lives, and the behavior that in someways defined them, was NOT condemned in the bible. Those were the “gay” people then, not some mythical Neil Patrick Harris in antiquity- there was no condemnation of them, none at all. Because they, like in many other cultures, were a sexual minority in the margins of society and much of what else went on didn’t take them into account, because they weren’t the focus. Not completely ignored, but not entirely integrated, and not rejected. They weren’t talking about the eunuchs in the verses condemning male/male sexual behavior- and yet they don’t acknowledge the one group that would have been completely understood to be doing those things?

        It’s not a whimsical interpretation, Frank, it’s the application of critical thinking. Try it sometime.

        And I feel radiant christian love coming from you, for what it’s worth.

      • Thanks for so clearly demonstrating how people often just simply see what they want to see. You have done a better job at exposing yourself than I could ever do. Well done and thank you!

      • It is jaw dropping, you inability to intellectually engage me.

        But, it’s an internet blog. Peace out.

  19. If I pray that I will be conformed to the image of Christ, then I pray that I would respond the way Christ would respond in any situation. In my thoughts and in my words and in my deeds I wish to behave the way HE did or would. He accepted no sin with a tolerant heart, and demanded repentance from sin. We are not to accept a sinful life and call it righteous and we are not to hate those who accept sin as they call it righteous. We are to judge situations and without condemnation. We have to love our neighbor as ourselves. One of the best displays of love in my life was as a boy when my dad spanked me with tears in his eye. We do not hate sodomites but we hope to love them the way Christ loved them. But that biblical love does not dictate acceptance but it does dictate a stance against sin.

    Reply
    • Christ never spoke a word against homosexuals. Christ hung out with sinners and never demanded they change before he would continue to break bread with them. The Pharisees did as you suggest.

      Reply
      • But He eventually did tell them to change. You don’t seem willing to change so Jesus advises to dust off our feet and move on.

    • Okay, that part where you started talking about crying dad spanking you made it weird. Real weird.

      If homosexuality was wrong by default then I’d know, by default. I don’t need your vile soul crushing attempt at religion, and I’m not going to let you or Julie pretend it’s loving, and can be dished out in a gentile or responsible manner.

      Reply
      • You didn’t answer my question.

        Why build me so I’m naturally inclined to be the way I am, but damn me because I don’t believe I’m made wrong when my own nature doesn’t confirm it? If your a pedophile, your hurting someone, a rapist, hurting someone, a thief, still taking something that doesn’t belong to you, etc. Me loving someone? I don’t know that’s wrong until you, Frank, through your Bronze Age scripture TELL me it’s wrong.

        How is that a fair shake at the human experience? If your ‘god’ wanted me to be straight, to only like chicks, why make it so I’m probably 99% likely to ignore that message because my human experience naturally steers me to a different conclusion?

        I’m not trading love and happiness for a mostly wrong interpretation of 2,000 year old concepts of human sexuality.

      • God did not make anyone gay. Our sinful fallen world does.

        Once again you have the free will to reject God and follwo your own god.

      • And there we have it- I’m a liar. You know me better than I, I am actually a heterosexual somehow pretending.

        Thanks, Frank, you must be real insightful in the real world.

        Nice friends, Julie.

      • Wha?

        I am absolutely sure that you identity yourself as gay and therein lies your biggest problem..

      • No, I was born with a fixed orientation, like heterosexual people are born with a fixed orientation. Gay is a marker and a identifier we humans use to group things. I’m a human, I happen to be gay, that’s how nature works. Some people come out like me. It’s how the diversity of the human experience goes, and that societies haven’t taken us into account and integrated us is because there were fewer of us, more of them, and we were treated as abnormal or wrong.

        I’m not. If I were, I’d know. If I were really straight, I’d know Frank. But then again, you and Julie must know better.

      • Anonymous,

        There are loads of Christians (Methodists, Episcopals, Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, others) that don’t believe homosexuality is “wrong by default” or sinful. Just because people like Frank feel that way, doesn’t mean we all feel that way.

        I’m sorry that we’ve let their voices be louder than ours.

        And, as a side note, just because Julie doesn’t block people from commenting doesn’t mean that these people are her “friends”. It would be hypocritical of her to block people that she disagrees with, as one of her central tenants (as I understand) is that everyone has (1) the right to their own opinion and (2) the responsibility to respect other people’s opinions. Frank’s definitely not doing the second one, but just because he’s a jerk doesn’t mean that Julie has to respond in kind.

        Peace,

      • Considering that Julie’s actions in her own life, and her own activism, actually enforces what Frank says- I stand behind that grouping. I admit that I don’t believe she is in any way malicious, but I’m not going to pretend that I accept or validate her implausible mock neutrality and love. But I know she’s not a “bad” person, in the traditional villainous sense. Even if I think she’s doing something that is ultimately harmful to our human spirit.

        And thanks, for not being an antigay christian who believes I’m a broken person. I’d like to think more of you exist, but where I live I don’t think I get to see many of them.

      • As I said you identify yourself as gay and that’s your biggest problem.

        There is no consensus that people are fixed in their orientation. The prevailing research is that sexual preference is much more fluid than previously thought. No clear genetic or biological causes.

        But even if there were a “gay genes” or something like that it does not matter. Even our genes and our biology are fallen due to sin and our behavior is always a choice unless we are mentally disabled in some way.

      • No, that’s wrong, and not reflecting modern understanding of sexuality. Kinsey may have measured it on a scale, and that has some validity, but the consensus is that you are fixed to prefer what you prefer. Are some people a little more fluid, and change over time? They are in a straight relationship one day, a gay one the next, not expecting it but okay with it? Sure, the difference between them and people like Josh Weed or Chambers is that what their doing is NATURAL to them, even if it’s changing over time. And the people who experience natural changes, or natural relationships that they do or don’t repeat in the future, are few and far between.

        So stop telling me I can change, Frank. Wouldn’t I know??

      • Hey guys! I have not had the opportunity to get on the blog since I posted because of work, church activities with friends, and various other things. I’m saddened by the tone of this conversation though, and I ask you both to stop commenting for the time being. It’s my aim to see people value and respect one another, and I do not see that occurring here. Also Anon, please do not associate me with Frank. I do not know him and, based on the comments made on this blog, would not be involved in close community with either of you. I hate that because I know both of you have stories that have shaped you, and if I could see more of the complexities of those stories here, and more empathy in your tone, I imagine I would have a much better understanding of where you’re both coming from. I would really like that and hope to see more of that in the future so I can better understanding what’s driving you. For the time being, please stop commenting if it’s going to continue in this manner.

      • After further thought: I apologize for saying I wouldn’t be in close community with either of you. A better way of expressing my feelings would be: based on what’s been shared here, I don’t align with either of you. Part of my point was that I know there is so much more to both of you than what is displayed through your words here, and I want to see that so we can better understand the whole of who you are. I tend to like most people I meet, and I imagine if we sat down for coffee we would get on well. These comments cannot be reflective of the whole of your heart, stories, and experiences, and I want everyone to be able to see a more full picture of you.

      • Like what, Julie? What would you want to know about a person that you condemn, however sweetly you manage to express that message of condemnation?

        Aren’t we just at a stalemate? Me, the gay activist fighting for inclusion and integration. You, the antigay activist fighting for the right to hold a minority viewpoint about LGBT morality and to be accepted even by the greater LGBT community in spite of it.

        What more could you possibly want from me? Where could you and I go, Julie?

  20. Christians to live by the tenets of the God they claim to serve. It is ridiculous to expect followers of Christ to silent on an issue as important as this one. The homosexual act is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus quoted Genesis with regard to marriage being between a man and a woman. Some folks may not like hearing that, but that’s what the Word says.
    Any people who claim to be following the bible are in gross error if they endorse same sex marriages. If one is not in the Kingdom, than anything goes. But a child of the Kingdom should at least no better than that even if they do choose to sin anyway.
    Every time we break one of God’s moral laws someone gets hurt. The most unloving thing we can do is to ignore or endorse open rebellion to God’s moral laws especially among God’s people.

    Reply
    • Jerry, Christ followers should eat with the sodomites. Right there at the same table as adulterer, thieves, and murderers and all the rest of the world. None of us shall escape the title, “sinner” not one, not until one enters into the Kingdom of heaven. And while we eat at the feet of the creator we should speak of what our KING demands from His own and how we can help each other as live under those demands while we walk this earth.

      I am merely saying that the discipline of a child is sometimes hard. When my Dad had to execute a loving discipline, such as spanking me, it hurt him and he showed the pain with a tear.

      Reply
      • Hey Jerry, I deleted your comment because it had personal information about other people who aren’t here to defend themselves. I’ve never met either of them and have no idea whether or not your statements are true, but I imagined what it would feel like if I stumbled on someone else’s blog and found information like that, and it made me hurt for them. I’ve really appreciated your kind tone throughout the comment section here though and I do hope you’re well! It’s not your perspective I seek to silence at all, but the personal comments about others that I was discouraging.

        Also Scott, please refrain from referring to gay people as “sodomites” here. That is in no way a kind or loving term (never mind all the assumptions it makes about gay people, who have varying sexual ethics). It makes me sad that you would reduce gay people to such a derogatory term that comes with so much painful baggage.

      • Sorry Julie, Sodomite is a word that describes sexual activity between two men. It is a biblical term that is appropriate for biblical discussions. Perhaps, and I am just saying maybe your view of Christ is a cloudy view. Maybe you see HIM as someone who is He is not. Maybe you should try to understand the Christ, the messiah, as some of us see Him. He is not someone who walked through life with a live and let live message. He said if we love HIM we will follow His commands. I think it is best to take me off your list to “notify me of new posts” Perhaps the truth of the scripture is not what people want to hear. By God’s grace, and I have a long way to go, but I believe I have a deep understanding of the scripture and have a realistic view of how the old testament flowed into the new one. The new covenant is an expansion of the old. The grace of God as seen in Jesus jumping into the skin of man and giving His life in order for people, through faith to obtain the power of the Holy Spirit or the power of Gods grace to repent from sin is the message for His followers. Jesus did not mean for us to redefine sin so that we all tolerate sin in order for us to just get along. The Love of Christ and His ministry of reconciliation goes way beyond that shallow thinking. The second command love your neighbors as you love your self follows the greatest command to love God with all your heart mind and soul. We can not love our selves with out first loving God. I will pray for you and your ministry–please try to learn the Bible in a new light. Read some John Piper and some other theologians who have dedicated their life to knowing the scripture for the sake of being true disciples of Christ. Your young and have a tender heart. That is good. Let Jesus show you His truths and then take that truth to the world. It is very hard to run a blog without people throwing stones. Perhaps you thought I was throwing some. I am sorry for that. I was throwing truth which is sometimes hurts more than stones. Scott

      • Scott, what do you mean you deleted my comment. Are you an admin? If so, I am deeply disappointed that Julie chose someone with such absurd views to represent her.

      • Jerry I think you misread that Julie deleted your comment about John and Frank. Since many of us are friends with John on Facebook and Julie is also friends with John she knows most of his story.

      • For what it’s worth, John Paulk is gone from the antigay religious cult, regrets it, has apologized for it, and has a boyfriend he’s happy living with. His ex is still knee deep in her repression, but John himself is otherwise out, happy, proud, and remorseful.

  21. For those who believe “homosexuality” is a sin, you need not fear that people don’t know you think that. 9 of 10 young people outside the church say the first thing they think of when they hear the word “evangelicals” is ‘those who hate gay people.’ But remember that “homosexuality” is a lifelong sexual orientation. It is not a choice. It is simply an innate part of a person’s identity (not their whole identity), a trait they did not choose. For those who commit to the Lord, He gives you a new identity in Christ, but God does not change anyone’s sexual orientation. God has created homosexual love in over 1,500 species, but there is homosexual hate in only one species. Praise God the new generation is rejecting the culture war and the nasty personal attacks and giving love to their friends and family members who are gay or lesbian. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. Love will change hearts and minds, but ranting will not. Give love a chance. “God is love” – the bible

    Reply
    • Jerry – You appear to understand that Jesus is the LORD. However, do you understand that the homosexual lifestyle in unequivocally condemned as not just sin, but as an abomination in the sight of the LORD in both the OT and NT. How do you give that a pass and yet appear to claim to be a follower of God’s Word?

      We can love anyone regardless of their choices or lifestyle. However we are not to gloss over anyone’s sin, including our own. That is simply a putrid compromise. Sin need to be repented of, not celebrated and endorsed.

      Reply
  22. This is very well put and I agree.

    There are those that believe that as christians we will be persecuted they they must go out and be persecuted to be righteous. By this I mean people profess what they believe and say what they want all the while believing God is blessing them when people tell them they are wrong. It goes to the extent of deviating from the true message of the gospel. And this leads many to argue about how to treat others outside of the faith, and even to some brutal mistreatment.

    Many agree it is important to love our neighbors, but its the showing part that everyone has a different opinion on.

    I love what you said about pursuing a relationship rather than treating them like they don’t exist. God did not call us to ignore or condemn, but to love our neighbors, and love God.

    Reply
  23. DB = There is no such thing as “THE homosexual lifestyle.” Such terms were designed to demean and demonize those viewed as “the other” among us. I am blessed to know many fine Christian folks. Some happen to be homosexual. Sorry you can’t see that. But your grandkids will see your views the way we see our grandparent’s generation’s views on interracial marriage.

    Reply
  24. Julie I am truly confused. Here is my understanding you agree with that gay relations are sinful. You believe that gay people to please God should lead a celibate life. So let me ask you isn’t this is the same thing Linda Robertson spoke out about in our presentation. So is that the message that should be sent tobgay teens? Could you please clarify because there seems to be a disconnect in message.

    Reply
  25. I do not know any Christians that hate anybody. Understand,accept us, tolerate us as you want to be tolerated and accepted . We believe our views come from the Bible. Many of us have spent hours upon hours in the Bible and reading from other sources both pro and con, searching out this topic and praying for truth and understanding as we know the Spirit of God teaches all truth. And we conclude that the choices made by the homosexual person is sinful. So we for the love of Christ have to agree to disagree. We both can not be right. It will be shown to us, when our souls move on to glory, who was wrong and who was right. Until then we should all pray for one another that the light of Christ will reveal in ours hearts what to do, how to behave when it comes our showing the love of Christ.

    Reply
  26. Jerry – the bible has a lot to say about this issue. Obviously you have not done your homework or you just have your mind made up and don’t care what God’s Word says.

    OT
    Leviticus 18:22
    “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

    NT
    Romans 1:26-27: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

    Those verses are so clear folks would need help to misunderstand it. There are others, but I’m not going to bother because they will probably just fall on deaf ears.

    Dr. Tony Evans does an excellent job here of articulating the Christian perspective on this issue.

    Homosexuality should no more be seen as the norm and acceptable for professing Christians than adultery or fornication. All three are birds of the same feather.

    The world relishes those sins too. The moral bankruptcy and compromise or morally relativistic and heretical churches have gone a long way in attempting to legitimize and accept those sins as well.

    If someone does not care about what the Bible says, that’s one thing. It’s quite another to pretend that it does not speak to the issue when it clearly does.

    Scott – hang in there buddy. What you are posting needs to be heard.

    Reply
    • DB, You say I never read the bible because I do not agree with your selective reading of it. In fact I have read the bible daily since I was 14, studied the bible both in prayerful reflection on my own and in bible studies, Christian college and seminary. I have read the bible in the original languages and I have examined the issues raised on the topic of homosexuality for 4 decades. I have prayed and been prayed over, gone through humiliating demon deliverance nonsense, and every therapy and ex-gay ministry available. What I have learned is that not only did I not change, but nobody did. The ex-gay ministries that worked with gays for decades now either admitted that, or they watched their leaders fall in scandals. There is no such thing as an ex-gay. Sexual orientation is a gift from God, not a choice. Every scientific medical authority now knows that sexual orientation is not a choice. The only people who can’t accept that are those who made simplistic assumptions such as yours and stubbornly refuse to face facts. We have wonderful Christian ministers, musicians and members who are gay. God never changes sexual orientation. And the bible was written thousands of years before that was understood. But the same God who gave us the bible gave us science and medicine. Leviticus is not followed by anyone in the church today except when a verse or two is misused to promote prejudice. Nothing new there. Happens every time a civil rights advance is attempted. Slave owners used the bible to fight abolition of slavery. Conservative men used the bible to fight women’s rights to vote and own property in their own names. Whites used the bible to justify fighting civil rights for African-Americans (biblical curse of Ham) and to fight interracial marriage. But those who try to make a single line here or there in the bible override what Christ said the Gospel message is do not win in the long run: Love God…love your neighbor as yourself. Your cruel and ignorant way of thinking is what gives Christ a bad name in this world as you run around like a Pharisee on steroids.

      Reply
  27. The bible can be used to support love and understanding or condemnation and misunderstanding. Nobody would want to live in a nation where isolated scripture verses are plucked out of ancient texts and turned into civil statutes for modern people. The name for that practice is Sharia. And DB would turn America into a Christian fundie version of Iran.

    Reply
  28. Jerry – Ok – So then can adultery and fornication get a pass as well? Are those acceptable lifestyles for a Christian?

    You may be a very sincere person, but you are sincerely wrong on this issue.

    Reply
    • Donnie is a perfect example. He is one of the tiny handful of Christians still claiming a change of sexual orientation. But if you look online you can see him with his boyfriends over the years. Stories, pictures and many, many eye witnesses contradict the claim he must cointinue to make to be “ex-gay” so he does not lose his money. I have asked the hard Right leaders like Michael Brown to give me the name of one man who is “ex-gay” and not facing a financial loss if he admits being homosexual after all.

      Reply
  29. The greater sin is not with those who practice sin, but with those who refuse to warn them of the coming wrath because of a faulty view of grace and love. This was Paul’s rebuke of the Corinthians, who in their own wisdom, decided that acceptance, rather than rebuke and discipline, was the right course of love and grace. The sinner may die, but his blood is on your hands. This conversation, therefore, should not be about whether we should rebuke homosexuals as much as it should be about whether you are in need of church discipline for rebelling against the Lord’s loving work reflected in the preaching of law and gospel.

    Reply
  30. Finally, people know we are disciples by our love FOR ONE ANOTHER. And that love is in the context of seeking holiness and obeying His commandments. It is our love for Christ that is evidenced in our loving those who represent Christ. That isn’t the world or those who rebelliously walk into His presence and defy holiness in order to feed their own self worship. Our love is for Christ, and that means we love Christ by exalting Him in the world by preaching law and gospel and we exalt Him among ourselves in seeking His likeness in one another in holiness. Hence, we are told to rebuke, reprove, correct, etc. because that is what real love looks like when our brothers are in sin. Love turns the brother from sin. Matthew 19 and 1 Cor 5-6 tells us what that looks like when one refuses to turn away from sin. If you would coddle rebellion and provide time for it to take deep roots, like a cancer, in your brothers and sisters, then what you are arguing for is not God’s love, but the devil’s.

    Reply
  31. Julie I am wondering if you might consider holding the posting of comments until you know they are appropriate some of the condemning voices are quite hateful and don’t reflect good fruit and aren’t adding anything to the discussion. Especially the horrible things that were said about Jerry that really bothered me. just wondering.

    Reply
  32. James is calling hate love, insults his ministry and vicious gossip the gospel truth. I have many faults, but as my relative who hates gays put it, “Jerry, you are the most loving and patient person I know. You are great to our family. You make the kids laugh and the old people feel included. You are incredibly generous to the poor and handicapped. It’s a shame you’re gonna’ burn in hell.”

    Reply
  33. To call someone a child of hell is hateful? So you think Jesus is hateful then? You don’t know what love is because you have been brainwashed into thinking that your hate is love.

    Reply
  34. Nelson Mandela’s greatest ally, Bishop Desmond Tutu, said, “We struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about — our very skin. It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given. I could not have fought against the discrimination of apartheid and not also fight against the discrimination that homosexuals endure, even in our churches and faith groups.”

    Reply
  35. The loving Spirit of Christ is clear. Those how practice homosexuality have the wrath of God abiding on them and will not enter the kingdom of God. They argue in favor of hell because they are children of hell and prevent others from moving into God’s kingdom. Jerry is a child of hell by definition.

    Reply
  36. James – what are you trying to do here? Are you really attempting to communicate the gospel or are you just attacking Jerry for the sake of attacking him?

    Reply
  37. Jerry, you have to quote other people and bad arguments because you don’t have the Word of God on your side. You are in unrepentant sin, and refuse to let Christ be Lord over you in order to accomplish His purpose of making His people holy and blameless. You stand condemned. Repent and become a child of God, or you will perish.

    Reply
  38. “Opposing apartheid was a matter of justice. Opposing discrimination against women is a matter of justice. Opposing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a matter of justice.

    It is also a matter of love. Every human being is precious. We are all — all of us — part of God’s family. We all must be allowed to love each other with honor. Yet all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are persecuted. We treat them as pariahs and push them outside our communities. We make them doubt that they too are children of God. This must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy. We blame them for what they are.

    Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical — the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act; the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reasons have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?
    The Jesus I worship is not likely to collaborate with those who vilify and persecute an already oppressed minority.” – Bishop Desmond Tutu

    Reply
  39. DB, are you kidding me? Was Peter’s purpose in telling the magician that his silver would perish with him, gospel or personal attack? Was Jesus’ purpose in telling the Jews that they were children of hell and the devil, gospel or attack? My purpose is only to exalt Christ, and Jerry wants to stand in His place and dictate that his evil is good. There is no response to that but to tell others and Jerry who he really is in God’s eyes in order for him to repent and become a true child of God. Unless that occurs, he will be deceived into thinking this is merely a minor disagreement that does not affect his position with Christ.

    Reply
  40. Who would Jesus discriminate against? He spent His time with those the religious conservatives of His day looked down upon. Today’s Pharisees don’t see they are part of the anti-Christ thinking of those who opposed Jesus and forced His execution. Jesus did not ever speak a word against homosexuals. But Jesus did affirm the love a same-sex couple had, bringing them miraculous healing, but not of their sexual orientation. http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence/gay_couple.html

    Reply
  41. Justice is the exaltation of God in right order. It sets right order in one’s life and seeks in the life of a neighbor. Hence, seeking right order in sex is to exalt God in what He views as right order in sex. You are not seeking right order, but disorder. Hence, you are not seeking justice, but injustice.

    Reply
  42. Pingback: When Serving and Speaking Hold Hands | Julie Rodgers

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