Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Bible doesn't condemn gays. Live with it.

So, I seem to be arguing with professors now. This ought to be exciting.

See, I joined Facebook some time back, because I have children, and that's one of the ways they communicate. (Sorry, Nicole, I'm still not going to follow you on Twitter.)

Now, I mostly use this as a kind of gaming platform. To be honest, I've all but given up on everything but Treasure Madness, which has a bunch of puzzles I enjoy. Once every few days, I might check back on my accounts in some of the other games, but a lot of them are starting to seem like adventures in accounting, so I'm mostly letting them taper off.

But Facebook is, at its black little heart, a social networking site - a hub where people who never leave their apartments can pretend to be interacting with other people. And it has any number of Fan Pages, Causes, Events and other little sites centered around everything from "Gun Control" to "I bet I can find 1,000,000 who HATE Miley Cyrus by 10/10/10."

(Yes, it's there, and as of this writing, it has 583,320 fans. There's also "Don't Worry, If We All Die In 2012, Miley Cyrus Goes With Us," which has 416,709 fans. Which seems like a lot of negative energy to spend on some random pop tart, but go figure.)

I get a lot of page invitations and the like, and I mostly ignore them. But the other night, I got an invitation to join 1 Million Strong For Same-Sex Marriage Throughout The Entire United States. And it was late, I was tired, I'd had a couple of glasses of wine, and, you know, solidarity, brother. So I went there.

I quickly noticed that, although there were a lot of supportive messages under "Reviews," there were also things like some genetic defective named Vince Aguilar writing "DIE GAYS DIE" (punctuation - fail; capitalization - fail; general attitude - fail. Interestingly, he also gave the site a 5-star review. Mixed messages, Vince? Repression is an ugly thing...)

And, as always, somebody mentioning that the bible condemns homosexuality. So, just because it seemed like the right thing to do, I added the following comment: "Sorry, folks, but the Bible does NOT condemn homosexuality. People who mistranslate the Bible condemn homosexuality." I added this link. And I went on my merry way, unaware of the horrors to come.

About an hour or so later, as I'm thinking that maybe it was time for bed, I get that little red pop-up that tells me I've got a message. So, being a fool, I opened it up. It's from some guy I never heard of, saying:
Read Romans 1, I Cor 6:9, Jude, Leviticus and any number of other passages- note: even when Jesus referred to "adultry" Matt. 19, the Gk. translation for that word is "pornea" which means sexual/any sexual offense outside marriage and, given his reference to the Law/Moses, it was also clear, per his mention of Man and Wife, that marriage was contextualized as sacred between only a man and woman. There are plenty of passages, as pointed out, that mitigate against and even condemn homosexuality and none that ever validate homosexual union or activity either civil or religious or in any context within. Yet, there are plenty that offer consequenes for such behavior. Unfortunately, there are many people who would like to excercise a revisionist view of scripture and force their values into a set of texts that hold no place or context for them. You may not like it. I may not like it. But, that's beside the point. You don't have to live by biblical principles or accept what it says as applying to you - you are welcome to run a stop sign, too! But a stop sign in any language still translates STOP - what you decide to do with does not change what it says. Having said that, I concur with Billy Graham who said "It is the Holy Spirit's job to convict, God's job to judge, and my job to love."
Big-assed blocky paragraph, just dripping with moral superiority. So I responded.
Let's look at "homosexuality as sin." The primary sources for this belief are the two mistranslated verses from Leviticus, 18:22 ("Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.") and 20:13 (same as before, plus "we should kill them").

If you go back to the source material, in Ancient Hebrew, you'll find that the verb used for "mankind" is shakab, and the one used for "womankind" is mishkab. And shakab, in its sexual sense, is used when you are talking about forcible sex (such as, say, rape), or any sex against the will of the victim.

For example, shakab is also the word used in Genesis 34:2, when Shechem defiles Hamor the Hivite; and in 2 Samuel 13:14 - "...but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her." And in Isaiah 13:16 - "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished." It's even used in Exodus 22:19, "Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death."

There are references to consensual sex in the Bible, but none of them, if you look at the source material (before the translation errors crept in) use the word shakab. So the correct translation of the passages from Leviticus is an exhortation against homosexual rape: "Thou shalt not force sexual congress on a man, as (or instead of) with a woman."

Personally, I prefer the Word of God over the Mistranslation of God. Simply because you happen to disapprove of homosexuality, you shouldn't push your own prejudices as the teachings of the Lord.

"But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men." (Matthew 15:9).
(That might look vaguely familiar to my two long-time readers - hey, it's not like I haven't had this argument before.) But he wrote me back.

(A warning: you thought that last one was a big-assed, blocky paragraph? This one is ridiculous. And he's trying his hardest to bludgeon me to death with the weight of his verbiage. I recommend scanning until you reach the next paragraph break - you'll be fine, and you won't waste that ten-to-fifteen minutes of your life - depending on your reading speed, of course - trying to puzzle out what he's saying. Here's the short form - "I'm a very smart man. I don't agree with you. The way I was taught the Bible is the only way that it can be. Anything else is heresy. Oh, and I used to be gay, until I fell in love with Jesus.")
Dear Bill,
Let’s look at the reality of authentic bibliology and historicity. I am not certain of where you received your theological training in either Hebrew or hermeneutics, but your statements are in error due to your faulty translations and applications of the texts, since the gender forms you cite are in reference to gender case with regard to nouns/pronouns, not verbs, and only in address and delivery, not as qualification for non-violent sexual impropriety, otherwise we could posit the notion that unforced sex with our siblings (of any gender) is acceptable to God (and, in fact, could treat Abram and Sarai as an argument in favor of such a notion). But the gender case of nouns is evident in even many modern languages as well the ancient Hebrew and Aramaic, Latin Vulgate, Koine Gk., and the most ancient Codexs of the scriptures, and this is done, as it is here, in order to denote gender specific references, not to militate against violence but against sin or transgression. The "source material," about which you seem (unintentionally, I hope) to double speak, can be found in both the Septuagint and even the more generous modern renderings of the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible and to concur with the fidelity of the most ancient, available renderings in the reproduced codexs of the Hebrew. The more recent liberal, deconstructionist and revisionist renderings are attempts at imposing synthetic contrivances in translation upon centuries old sets of texts, indeed, upon the entirety of faithful biblical textual renderings and, also, an attempt to bypass the full consensus of valid, blood-bought confidence of many centuries of both Eastern and Western scholarship which have produced legitimate translations of the Bible. The only errors in to have crept into more recent biblical interpretation, are those manufactured by modernistic retranslations of scripture, such as that which you present here, and which are very laughable attempts at an agenda-based corruption of the fidelity of texts which have stood the test of time, translation and interpretation, without yielding to cultural mandates or special interests. Even the most rudimentary study of bibliogy would give you the translations, actual timelines, availability of extant text materials (and just as important, the lack of original texts), and show you how the Bible was rendered in a multiplicity of languages dating from 3500 years ago in oral tradition, right up to the present day through written history and scholarly consensus. I invite you to take the time to study further. Again, because I came out of a lifestyle which included same sex relationships into my early adult years, I've a great deal of empathy for what it means to need to experience intimacy and to want to give and receive, love. But, I cannot change the facts and context of
history and biblical literature in a selfish endeavor to achieve what I desire at the cost of real truth. "Shakab" and "Mishkab" made that mistake in the Garden by attempting to force their will on God, too, and so we have suffered the marring of even our ability to be appropriately intimate with God or one another, apart from the reorientation of our will and nature by Jesus Christ. I, too, made the mistake of embracing and exercising faulty notions and emotions about what loving relationships were, and made some of the same mistakes in my later relationships with women as well, which is why I believe, again, that it is the Holy Spirit's job to convict, the Father's job to judge, and my job to love. I pray you will find the love and intimacy that God truly desires for you as you strive to work out your salvation in Him.

Best Regards,
Jeff Avants, MA, English (Summa Cum Laude), Northern Arizona University; MA Theology, Fuller Theologcial Seminary; MA, Ministry, Simpson University; BA, Liberal Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Which sounded like a challenge to me. So, I waded in; the following is my response. Let's see how he does.

Hi, Jeff.

I have to say at the outset that, although I find your arguments syllabically-rich (if a bit short on paragraph breaks), I don't find them particularly compelling. But, you know, I appreciate you including your CV; in my studies, I've had some experience in any number of languages. For example, there's a Latin phrase I've run across once or twice: "argumentum ad verecundiam." Are you familiar with it?

Editors note: that means "arguing from respect" - it's a logical fallacy, that just because he's got a few degrees behind his name, he must be correct. It's also called ipse dixit (Latin for "He Himself said it")

Now, we'll get back to what you refer to as "gender forms" in just a moment, since that is the weakest part of your argument. So pardon me if I skip around a bit (no double entendre intended, incidentally).

"not as qualification for non-violent sexual impropriety, otherwise we could posit the notion that unforced sex with our siblings (of any gender) is acceptable to God "

Well, that depends on whether you're taking one verse out of context, or applying it to the Bible as a whole. Since you brought it up, though, let's talk about incest for a moment.

The "Holiness Code" of Leviticus (chapter 18) elaborates in detail the relationships which it regards as incestuous, and two chapters later specifies punishments for specific incestuous unions. Oddly, the second list is much shorter than the first; some scholars regard these two lists as having originally been independent documents, which were bound together at a later point.

Deuteronomy gives an even simpler list of forbidden relationships - just your parent's daughter (including your sister), your father's wife (which, obviously, includes Mom) and your mother-in-law. These lists only mention relationships with female relatives, so unless you wish to extend this to lesbianism, this implies that the list is addressed to men.

One of the most glaring omissions of these lists is sex between a man and his own daughter. The Talmud argues that this is because the prohibition was obvious, especially given the proscription against a relationship with a granddaughter. However, wouldn't that qualify as "deconstructionist and revisionist renderings... attempts at imposing synthetic contrivances in translation upon centuries old sets of texts," which you seem opposed to?

I suppose it would only be polite at this point to ignore Abraham marrying his half-sister Sara (Genesis 20); or, buried in amongst the generations of the Chosen People in Genesis 11, we find that Nachor married Melcha, his niece; Lot laying with his daughters (or technically, his daughters laying with him) to preserve the family line; or Moses being the son of Amram and his aunt Jochabed; they were all very holy men, blessed by God. But not only would it be rude, but completely off the subject. So let's move on.

I note in your picture that you have two children. I assume that if one of them mouths off to you, you'll have them put to death? (Leviticus 20:9 - "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.") It's only fair to apply that equally to both your son and daughter, of course. Gender equality and all. (Or am I being deconstructionist and revisionist again?)

That also looks like a cotton-polyesther blend shirt you're wearing there. You need to avoid mixing your threads; better check out Leviticus 19:19. It's good that you have a beard, but it's trimmed, and your hair is just a little too short to be considered uncut (you'll find that in Leviticus 19:27).

I mean, after all, you're the one who doesn't want to impose "synthetic contrivances in translation." We've got to follow all the rules, not just the ones we like, right?

But let's get back to that pesky Hebrew issue of yours.

Only, just to make things interesting, let’s take two different words from another language, and replace them. What that means is, Leviticus 18:22 now reads, "Thou shalt not eat apples, as thou do oranges: it is abomination."

See, the ancient Hebrew word shakab doesn’t translate directly. And neither does mishkab, if you want to be totally honest about it. They are (let’s be real) two totally different words.

Now, there are three distinct versions of Hebrew in the Bible, usually called "Archaic Biblical Hebrew" (10th to 6th century - Exodus 15 through Judges 5), Biblical Hebrew (most of the Old Testament), and "Late Biblical Hebrew" (Ezra, Nehemiah - mostly the same as Biblical Hebrew, with a few adapted words from other cultures). There’s other forms - Dead Sea Scroll Hebrew (from about 300 BC through about 100 AD) and Mishnaic Hebrew (from about 100 AD through 300 or 400 AD) come to mind, but we’ll ignore them.

Each of these versions of ancient Hebrew only had a few thousand words. In comparison, the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (pub. 1989) contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use, and 47,156 obsolete words. This doesn’t count 10,000 sub-entries (derivative words), or medical and scientific terms, Latin words used in law and religion, French words used in cooking, German words used in academic writing, Japanese words used by martial artists and anime fans, or any slang or computer terms (like, say, iPod or email).

With that difference in the depth of the language, why would the Biblical writers use two different words for one thing? Why would you not eat apples, as you do oranges? Unless we were talking about two different acts.

If the Hebrew word shakab is used in the Old Testament to refer to the act of sex 53 times, and in 52 of those times, we’re talking a forcible act, what does that say? (And, to be honest, since the woman in ancient times was a piece of property, the single other instance could be a forcible sex act as well.)

If you'd like, I'll be happy to begin listing the specific uses of "shakab," all of which show it to be "rape" as opposed to "sex" (at least one of these examples involves animals, which breaks down your claim that "the gender forms you cite are in reference to gender case with regard to nouns/pronouns, not verbs, and only in address and delivery").

Perhaps you should worship the Word of God, not the Mistranslation of God.

Best regards,

Update - 2/21: Well, I gave him a week, and no answer. Oh, well.


capriciousButterfly said...

Hahaha, that was hilarious and awesome!! Good job!!

Rene said...

Interesting article and a take on Leviticus I had not considered. However this is a tad pointless no? As a Christian and not a Jew I am not bound by the Old Testament anyways. I do like that you pointed out some of the other rules from Leviticus that we no longer feel oblige to follow.

The fact is there are several hundred rules the church has wipe away under the grace of Christ from the old testament and I do believe rightfully so. Christ Cleary indicate we are no longer to be bound by law simply to love God and love each other (so it does not permit people to hurt others or themselves everything else is ok) it is unfortunate however that they have chosen a few to keep to justify their own hatred.

If it once was forbidden that is no longer relevant the New Testament is the path to salvation the Old Testament was written either as a guide to prosperity at that time or to prove to man that he could not save himself either way its purpose has been served.

I find these kinds of argument on what we can or cannot do quoting the bible in whichever translation you please miss the whole point of the bible. It is far more difficult than the church make it out to be to anger God and fall in disfavor even the whole hell argument barely stands and truly looks to me like something they added in later to keep their control over the population. (When was hell created? There was no mention of it in the Old Testament until they decided to translate the word grave as hell for the bad people and leave it as grave for the good ones and this hundreds of years after the New Testament came along… Foolish)

So the only thing that matters is that God loves you, he desires to be with you in your heart and soul. There is nothing you can do with your body (short of hurting yourself or others which is a reflection of your heart really) that will cause God to be angry with you ^_^ God is not an old hateful preacher nor is he commanded by them so no stress smile be light of burden and know that you are loved :D

Nameless Cynic said...

Well, you do have a healthier form of Christianity than many people do. I could argue, but it hardly seems polite at this point. So, enjoy it.

alexr65 said...

What about 1 Corinthians 6:9-11?

Nameless Cynic said...

Well, there's two ways to answer that: one is a little more complicated than the other.

The original word under contention here is "arsenokoites" - it's a compound word, generally assumed to have come from "arsen" meaning "male," and "koites" meaning "bed," generally with a sexual connotation. Unfortunately, this word only occurs two times in all of recorded history, and both are in the Bible: 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10.

The accepted meaning is homosexual, but there isn't really a particularly compelling reason to assume that - it could just as easily refer to pederasty, or male rape. The problem is that the concept of sexual orientation, and of same-sex orientation in particular, didn't exist in the ancient world. The English term "homosexual" was not even coined until the end of the 19th century. Or it could be entirely non-sexual - "koites" translates to "bed," generally with a sexual connotation. Not invariably. Perhaps it simply means someone who stays in bed and refuses to work - maybe God hates the lazy.

You're assuming a translation that we can't verify is correct, and for some reason, God hasn't seen fit to explain.

But let's take the simpler approach: if you're a Christian, it doesn't matter what it means.

Jesus has made atonement for mankind, once and for all, making all people one with the Father, by dying on the cross for our sins.

By bringing a new covenant, Christ has transformed the law. The same underlying law still exists—the law of love. Jesus did not change that law at all. Rather, he fulfilled it. The old covenant, including the sacrifices, tassels and Jubilee years, had specific, physical applications of the underlying law of love. But those specifics are, in many cases, now obsolete. The spirit of the law remains, but the letter does not. The old covenant way is not the way to apply the purpose of the law. There are other ways to express our devotion to God and our love for our neighbors.

After all, if He did not, why are priests no longer sacrificing animals to God? Why are people no longer required to be circumcised? (Actually, that one is a longer discussion, but still related.)

The Old Testament clearly commanded the Israelites to wear blue threads in tassels on their garments (Numbers 15:38-39). Was this law inspired by God? Of course it was. So how is this law outdated? Who has the authority to declare a God-given law obsolete? Only God.

Did the New Testament specifically rescind this law? No. It says nothing about blue tassles. But the New Testament declares the entire old covenant obsolete (Hebrews 8:13). As a la source of laws, it is no longer valid.

And yet there are some people who insist on picking and choosing a few items to venerate, merely because those specific requirements allow them to hate somebody and still feel good about themselves.

But there are others they ignore: Leviticus 19:19 clearly tells them "Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material." And yet, there they stand in their cotton-polyester clothes.

So who's right?

alexr65 said...

I find it hard to believe that all these scholars translated this verse of the bible the wrong way, plus there are many other passages that condemn homosexuality. You can't prove your right, I can't prove your wrong, so well just have to disagree. Your mostly right it the last part of your argument. Jesus did revoke many if the OT laws because we are no longer under the law but surely Jesus didnt revoke a law that was written after his death by a man he appointed to share the gospel. Wouldn't God want him to only spread the current laws, not the ones revoked by Jesus's death? What about Romans 1:26-32?

Nameless Cynic said...

You are correct. I left out Romans 1:26-32 as one of the places you can find Paul's brand new word, arsenokoitai/arsenokoites. My mistake.

Most historians agree that the use in that context was not specifically homosexuality, but temple prostitutes. If Paul had wanted to condemn gays, he wouldn't have needed to coin a new term. There were plenty of Greek words he could have used: arrenomanes, erastes, eromenos, kinaidos, paiderastïs, pathikos, and many others, covering several flavors of homosexual relationships.

But he didn't. And why not? Because taken in context, Romans 1 is specifically referring to idolatry, and in the process of condemning it, he referred to one of its related side-issues, temple prostitutes.

Remember, in the Ten Commandments, while there's no mention of homosexuality (I'm trying really hard not to make a joke about coveting thy neighbor's ass), there is a specific reference to "thou shalt have no other gods but me."

Not "there ARE no other gods but me," just that you can't worship any of them. And one of the ways that a Canaanite or Roman fertility god(dess) was worshipped was through the use of temple prostitutes.

So, if Paul wasn't referring to gays in general, we're back to the problem that the Old Testament was made obsolete. Which means that anybody who chooses to use it to condemn homosexuals is just picking and choosing among OT verses to see which ones they like and which ones they don't.

Is that what God wants you to do?

alexr65 said...

I think you are bringing up some very good points, but I also think you're ignoring some facts that must be taken into consideration. Just because we are no longer under the law doesn't mean we have the right to not follow any of the OT laws. Jesus never mentioned murder and yet murder is still wrong. So, many of the OT laws we still should follow even though we are freed from the law because of the Holy Spirit. I'd also like to point out that there are dozens of Biblical translation and all of them I have encountered openly say Homosexuality is wrong. To argue that each and every one of these translations are wrong on these particular verses is a little far fetched. And if the translators could make so many mistakes, how do you know that any part of the Bible wasn't mistranslated at some point and the entire book is now meaningless?

What about Sodom and Gomorrah?

Or Jesus's description of Marriage?

Or Revelation 21:27? This verse then connects to Leviticus which would then make that verse relevant regardless of the freedom from the law.

Nameless Cynic said...

"Jesus never mentioned murder and yet murder is still wrong." Excuse me?

Matthew 19:17-22, which includes: “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

There are damned few of the OT laws you should follow, because they're the ravings of a bronze-age madman. Seriously - read it some time, with an open mind. It condones rape, murder, slavery and genocide. You try to live by it, you end up in jail.

And, technically, it isn't that all the translations are wrong, it's that they all made the same errors, over and over again.

And as for your last sentence in the first paragraph, I can only answer with, "Indeed. Think about it."

Sodom and Gomorrah was about rape. In a number of ways. Most of the story is covered here, with a little more on it here.

Yes, I've had these arguments before.

But what about Jesus' teachings on marriage. He was pretty clear: don't get married, but if you do, don't get divorced. (Matthew 19:1-12) Your point?

And Revelations? The whole damned thing reads like the babbling of a lotus-eater, but "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."

Sure, you can connect that to Leviticus, if you try. On the other hand, Leviticus was written in Ancient (or Classical) Hebrew, and translated to the English through Latin. Revelations, on the other hand, was written in Koine Greek, and translated to the English through Latin (often by the same people). So if you find a few foolish consistencies, well, I don't know what to tell you.

alexr65 said...

I've learned in life that if you don't want something to be proven to you, then you'll never let yourself. You can't just blame each and every verse that condemns homosexuality on mistranslation. You need to realize that the chances that thousands of biblical scholars who know a lot more about translating and languages than you do, made the same mistake over and over again over hundreds of years are very very low. I could feed you all the proof that homosexuality is wrong and you could swear at me and make me sound like an idiot, but that doesn't make me wrong and you right. You clearly have not studied any of the Leviticus laws because if you had you'd be able to answer your questions very easily. Telling me that Revelation is just a bunch of gibberish, just shows me that you don't have avery good understanding of the Bible. So I'm not going to debate someone who clearly will never change their mind. If your open to accepting that homosexuality is wrong, and open to accepting my arguments instead of throwing them out the window, please let me know.

Nameless Cynic said...

Actually, if you look into it, you'll find that the "temple prostitute" explanation is fairly widely accepted in the scholarly community. But it's never been accepted in the evangelical crowd because it doesn't meet up with their preconceptions.

And, sorry, but I know the bible pretty well. At least I didn't try to claim that murder was OK with Jesus.

And if you don't accept that John of Patmos was prophetic, then Revelations reads like an extended hallucination. You should probably come to terms with that if you sincerely want to discuss the subject.

alexr65 said...

Are you a Christian?

Nameless Cynic said...

I didn't realize that was a requirement. If it helps, I was raised in a religious household; both grandfathers and one sisters are (or were) ministers, and my wife is a choir director at the base chapel. So I have years of study and all the resources I can use.

alexr65 said...

Just because your family was a Christian doesn't mean you are too. So are you a Christian?

Nameless Cynic said...

Oh, sorry. Thought I was clear, but, looking back, I didn't actually come out and say, did I?

No, I am not. I support the quote attributed to Gandhi - "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

alexr65 said...

Well now we have a much more urgent issue to address. So what do you believe?

Nameless Cynic said...

Fairly simple. I believe that homosexuals should be treated fairly and not discriminated against. Particularly not for a long-standing mistranslation.

alexr65 said...

I understand that, but what do you believe about Jesus and religion? Evolutionism? Because whether or not your saved is a much greater issue than how you believe homosexuals should be treated.

Nameless Cynic said...

Really? I've always wondered about that. How is it that you justify that somebody is going to go to heaven, despite spending their entire life denigrating other people and making them feel like crap?

You're saying that the worst, most self-important human beings are going to end up in heaven because they go to church on Sundays and prostrate themselves? But meanwhile, the entire half of the world raised in a different religion, even if they spend their entire lives helping other people and feeding the poor, are doomed to hell?

You're saying that God, who created the entire universe and everything in it, needs you to drop to your knees and tell Him what an awesome dude He is? That His self-confidence is so low that if you don't spend all your time mouthing meaningless words about how He is "worthy" and "great," He's going to make you suffer for all eternity? No matter how you spend your life otherwise?

Your god is a little petty, isn't He?

alexr65 said...

I think you have a very skewed perspective of Christians and God. If Christians are the most self-important humans beings and only go to church on Sundays and Prostrate themselves, then we as Christians have failed. I don't know which Christians you have met, but you can't categorize an entire people like that. And if you have such a good understanding of the Bible you know very well that people half way around the world raised in a different religion will still hear about God and have the chance to come to know him.

Now I don't spend my entire life denigrating other people and making them feel like crap, I spend my life building people up, following out my Lords laws and trying to bring people to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Perhaps you should reread the Bible, meet some Christians, because Jesus and his followers are here to help you and everyone else, not hurt you. And thats what I intend to do with my life and I hope you come to realize this too.

Nameless Cynic said...

Wow. You are one self-important son of a bitch, aren't you?

"you can't categorize an entire people like that." I can't? Google "homosexuals turn their backs on christ," and go explain to each of those 65 million hits you get that they're wrong. See where it gets you.

"if you have such a good understanding of the Bible you know very well that people half way around the world raised in a different religion will still hear about God and have the chance to come to know him."
Really? You know how Muslims are treated in the English-speaking world? Yeah, that gives them a good impression of "Christian love," doesn't it? So what's their incentive to convert again?

"Perhaps you should... meet some Christians" - whoops, hang on. Let me scroll back up about 5 or 6 comments... yeah, mentioned my relatives... mentioned the wife, and my time in military chapels... See, I think I've found your problem. Your reading comprehension really sucks.

"Perhaps you should reread the Bible" - or perhaps you should, since you don't seem to really know that much about it. Does this go back to that "reading comprehension" problem?

Here. Let me see if I can help out with a little light reading to start you off.

Nameless Cynic said...

Sorry, Alex. Accidentally deleted your self-important "well, I'm done here." Not a great loss, to be honest: you're still filtering everything through your tiny little lens.

No, you didn't piss me off. I talk like that to everyone. In real life, they take it in the spirit it's intended. But you can't see the humor, and it's hitting a little too close to home, so you choose to interpret it as anger.

Nope. Sorry, bucko. I just don't choose to respect your beliefs, any more than you choose to respect my lack thereof. Because until your beliefs allow you to treat people equally, why should I grant you the same dignity?

alexr65 said...

This is Alex again. I'd like to apologize for the comments I wrote on this site. Partly because I can't believe I actually got into a comment war with somebody and partly because, reading back over mine, I realize how self-righteous and naive I sounded. I definitely done a lot of research and thinking into this issue, partly due to some of the points you brought up and I've come to grips with he fact that this issue is far greater and more complex than I first thought. Although I'm not still not 100% on what a Christian perspective should be on this, I'm leaning towards the fact that homosexuality was simply condemned due to various reasons that applied to Biblical times, for example temple prostitution like you mentioned. I would just like to say I'm extremely sorry for the way I represented Christians and Christ as well as the way I treated you.