By Tom Gilson Published on February 23, 2017

Some people think they know more about the Bible and Christianity than the people who actually study the Bible and practice the Christian religion. “The Bible is about sex, to judge by America’s public discourse. In my lifetime, it has rarely been invoked except in discussions about gay marriage, contraception or abortion,” claims Benjamin Moser, writing last weekend in the New York Times.

“What did the Bible have to say about issue X or issue Y?” The questions are anachronistic, and the answers known in advance, since the people asking them have almost always been those so obsessed with other people’s sex lives — especially when those other people were gay or female — that this seemed to be the whole point of their religion.

Churchgoing reader, how many sermons does your pastor or priest preach on sex every year? Would you conclude from your church’s teaching that the Bible is about sex and nothing else? Is your church so “obsessed with other people’s sex lives” that it “seems to be the whole point” of your religion?

I know your answer already. The claim is ludicrous. It’s laughable. Could anyone who knows anything about Christianity draw that conclusion?

Public Topics of Discussion Are (Wait For It … ) Public Topics of Discussion

Sure, there’s considerable public discourse about sex. Why wouldn’t there be? There’s a lot of sex everywhere you look! Some sex-related topics are also political topics. Political topics make it into the public discourse more visibly than, say, prayer, the character of Jesus Christ, or even care for the poor, to name a few highly prominent Christian points of discussion. Moser thinks it odd that Christians would speak publicly about sex. I think it odd that he thinks it odd.

My church is hosting homeless people for a week next week. We’re part of a community-wide Interfaith Hospitality Network that shares this ministry. I could say that we spend a whole lot more hours on that than we do on sex, but that would be implying there’s even enough discussion on sex to make it a real comparison.

The same is true for The Stream. This website has one topic, and only one, featured at the top of every page: Inspiration. Christian Inspiration. We feature it because we consider it at least as important as everything else we say here. It’s never about politics. It’s never about sex. It’s about the full panoply of living one’s life in the grace and love of Jesus Christ.

The Bible Does Speak Consistently

Moser ought to listen to people who actually talk about the Bible, in churches where we actually do talk about it

Moser makes the mistake of judging the Bible by America’s political discourse. He ought to listen to people who actually talk about the Bible, in churches where we actually do talk about it. But he wants to view the Bible politically. “since it isn’t a single book but many, it doesn’t offer a consistent view of much of anything,” he says.

Still, though written by different authors, in different languages, in different countries, over the course of different centuries, one political theme nevertheless runs through the whole, at least the Hebrew parts: the many ways a nation can be lost.

Actually, the Bible does offer a consistent view of God’s sovereignty, his goodness, his holiness, his mercy upon those who seek him. That’s in “the Hebrew parts” as well as the New Testament — because God is the final author of all the Scriptures.

Moser doesn’t believe that. But even so, he should see that Scripture affirms a consistent ethic of self-sacrificial love. It teaches the unchanging moral law and how we can live justly and charitably with others. It also affirms that God means what he means, and those who oppose him will experience consequences. Above all it affirms our universal need for God to rescue us from those consequences, and his constant willingness to do so if we’ll ask on his gracious terms.

Rules You Won’t Find In the Bible; Principles You Can Discern

These are all principles found throughout Scripture. I’m not sure Moser cares about principles, though. “Barely a word, if any, about condoms, or abortion, or gay marriage,” says Moser. (And he’s the one who complains about anachronisms. Was he expecting the Bible to talk about condoms?)

I suspect Moser thinks “right-wing” Christians consider the Bible a woodenly literal rule-book, so he wonders how Christians can find anything wrong with abortion or gay marriage, with no specific rules against them in the Bible. But Moser, as a literary scholar, ought to be sensitive to the concept of principles that a text assumes and the serious reader can find. The Bible has many of these, including plenty that speak to marriage and to unborn life.

Does the Bible really need to say, “No gay marriage!” in those terms, when its vision of marriage as man-with-woman is reinforced in every possible way from the very first pages to the very last? Does it need to say “No abortion!” when it teaches so clearly that all persons are created in God’s image, that true human life begins in the womb, and the strong should not oppress the innocent weak?

Moser thinks he understands the Bible and Christianity better than those who study and practice it. He couldn’t be more embarrassingly wrong.

Follow-up February 25: “How the Left Learned To Love Stereotyping

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  • Autrey Windle

    Question: Does this Moser fellow wear a hat to hide his horns or did he get them pierced so he could wear earrings on them?

    • llew jones

      Not sure if it’s been mentioned in the comments or whether it is common knowledge that Benjamin Moser lives in the Netherlands with a male partner: “When he is not traveling to interview his subjects’ acquaintances, Moser
      lives with his partner, the novelist Arthur Japin, in a historic house
      in Utrecht, Netherlands.” (excerpt from the Tablet “The man who loves women”) Don’t know if he is formally “married” however Moser can hardly be an unbiased commentator on the Bible and homosexuality.

      • Autrey Windle

        Thanks for the info. I am not too surprised. I guess the answer to my question is probably ‘both’ depending on whether he is out on the town with his boyfriend or wearing his hat for a spot on an interview show.

  • Skeptical Christian

    ” when its vision of marriage as man-with-woman is reinforced in every possible way from the very first pages to the very last”

    Well, sorta, but we need to be honest that we can’t just invoke “the bible’s view of marriage”, because that includes
    Man + Woman Gen 2:24
    Man + Woman + woman’s slave Gen 16
    Man + Woman + Concubines
    Man + Wife +Wife +Wife etc
    Man + brother’s widow (regardless of consent of either) Gen 38
    Male slave + Female slave (arranged by their owner) Ex 21:4
    Man + Female Prisoner of war (without her consent) Num 31, Deut 21

    “Does it need to say “No abortion!” when it teaches so clearly that all persons are created in God’s image, that true human life begins in the womb”

    Again, Numbers 31 shows that a when a skeptic asks a Christian if abortion is always immoral, we cannot just invoke scripture as defence without honesty with this and other texts. When the text says God commanded abortion as well as infanticide, are we to affirm some kind of Divine Command Theory?

    • davidrev17

      “Skeptical Christian”??? Now that’s some oxymoronic title; of which fully illuminates your utterly scatter-shot, pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey approach to sound biblical hermeneutics and exegesis. One can’t possibly (in reality), or rationally “profess” to be a “Christian,” unless one is actually a “possessor” of His Holy Spirit, thereby “sealed until the day of redemption”; though admittedly, tragically deceived people do this all the time. (Please read: Matthew 7:21-23; 11:25-27; John 1:12-13; 17:1-3; Romans 8:9-11; 2 Timothy 2:19; Galatians 4:8-9)

      Talk about your “twisting and distorting the Scriptures”; or rather, employing hermeneutical gymnastics (or biblical contortionism) in order to arrive at one’s OWN subjective and/or “eisegetically”-contrived interpretation of Holy Writ.

      In fact, space doesn’t even permit one the opportunity to correct your wholly misguided, bull-in-a-china-shop rendering of the Word of God, in strict point-by-point fashion.

      I’m not sure if you’ve ever encountered the following facts before, but ALL 66-books (or 1,189 chapters) of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, are supernaturally inspired, or literally “God breathed” (i.e., the Greek adjective, “theopneustos,” strongly indicating an “attribute” of the Word of the Living God”).

      The rabbinical scholar Sha’ul of Tarsus, or “Apostle Paul,” made this case decidedly clear in 2 Timothy 3:16-17; and one must remember, that when he’d written this, there was NO recognized, inspired New Testament in existence, so Paul was obviously referencing the Hebrew Bible (having been completed some 400-years before Yeshua was born), of which contains no-less-than 2,000 unambiguous statements by its human writers, as to its Divine-inspiration (Re: the “original autographs”).

      This is also the case in the NT, whereby one can easily locate some (40) verses, clearly indicating that what was written, came directly from the “Spirit of God.” (e.g., see 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 3:15-16)

      See also, the Hebrew word “Ruach,” (i.e., breath, wind etc.), as in Psalm 33:6: “By the Word of YHWH were the heavens made, and the starry host by the breath [wind, “Ruach,” Spirit] of His mouth.”

      “Scripture will always interpret Scripture.”

      • Autrey Windle

        David & Michael,
        BRAVO TRUE SCHOLARS! When I grow up I want to be as literate in the word as you both are. Thank you for answering for true believers who have no reason for skepticism and abhor it being espoused as any kind of Christianity.

        • Michael Gore

          Thanks! Much appreciated. God Bless!

      • Skeptical Christian

        “Now that’s some oxymoronic title”

        Skeptic: “a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual”.
        That includes a lot of stuff, don’t you think? A skeptic confronts BS when he discovers it. They don’t lie about the truth when confronted with it, just because a group, even a group of Christians, tells them to.

        I noticed you attacked the fact that I quoted scripture. Interesting. So are you denying that the texts I left were marriages?

        “but ALL 66-books”

        Heh, you do know that no one in the history of the church had a 66 book canon prior to the later Reformation, right?
        And divine inspiration does not entail inerrancy. You will have to go outside scripture to find support for that claim.
        Did all the variants, mistakes, questionable passages, incorrect passage additions come directly from the Spirit of God? Following a proper Christology, the scriptures are both human and divine, I’m ok with that.

      • Skeptical Christian

        I sent a fairly full response that must have been sent to spam. Not sure why.

    • Michael Gore

      The “there was polygamy in the bible so therefore Same Sex marriage is ok” argument falls flat on multiple levels.

      First – You seem to be making a simple yet common mistake of confusing description with proscription. When the historical account says that Abraham had sex with his servant or when there are descriptions of Polygamy in historical books of the bible, this does not equate to God claiming such things are good. The Bible is merely stating what actually happened. At the end of Judges, a man’s daughter is gang raped to death and then cut into pieces and sent out to the tribes of Israel, but only a fool would say in it’s context that God approved of this. In fact, the last line of Judges condemns all the actions of the nation by stating that “every man did what was right in his own eyes” and that “Israel had no king”.

      Second – All of the examples you give either are not examples of marriage or would all still fit the biblical paradigm of marriage. A marriage is a man and a woman being covenantly bonded together for life for the purpose of procreation and companionship. So in examples like the man and his brothers widow (in Gen 38), this is a marriage. However examples like Abraham and Hagar, that is not a marriage, as they were not married. Nowhere does the Bible claim this was a marriage.

      Regarding Polygamy, The question is not has marriage changed, but how many marriages is a man allowed to enter into. The Bible never views polygamy in a positive light. Frequently we are shown in the OT historical accounts the damage to families that occurs because of this practice; in the moral law, God never affirms Polygamy, and marriage is always referred to in the singular; and in the New Testament, once again spouses are always referred to in singular. In fact, Paul writes to Timothy that anyone seeking leadership in the church is prohibited from having multiple wives. Given that there is not a two tiered system of morality in Christianity where the laity is operating under different standards than leadership, there is no reason to believe that it would have been acceptable for someone not in leadership either.

      As for your Numbers 31 point on abortion, I’m not sure what you are referring to. Do you mean Exodus 21:22-23 “And if two men strive together and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow, he shall be surely fined, accordingly as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, though shalt give life for life.”. If so, you should read the text more carefully. If two men are fighting and a pregnant woman is injured (knocked down or something like that) and it causes her to go into labor but the baby survives (her fruit departs and yet no harm follows) then the man has to pay a fine, but if the baby is harmed or killed then he “shalt give life for life” (lex talionis). Hopefully that is the passage you are referring to, if so, a careful reading of the text itself is enough to clear that up.

      • Skeptical Christian

        I sent a fairly full response that must have been sent to spam. Not sure why.

      • Kevin Quillen

        wonderful job. God Bless you brother.

      • Skeptical Christian

        “there was polygamy in the bible so therefore Same Sex marriage is ok”

        Where did I imply this? I don’t affirm same sex marriage. The church has never authorised same sex sacramental marriage.

        “when there are descriptions of Polygamy in historical books of the bible, this does not equate to God claiming such things are good”

        Read Gen 29:31-30:24 shows God opening the wombs of both Leah and Rachel. He is blessing them. Jacob picks up a couple other wives along the way, too.
        Numerous patriarchs, judges and king David had numerous wives and were blessed highly of the Lord. God isn’t turning away and pretending, here.

        “So in examples like the man and his brothers widow (in Gen 38), this is a marriage.”

        Right, so Christians aught not say God has only ever sanctioned monogamy as marriage. Furthermore, consent is irrelevant in these cases, the widow and the brother had no choice in the matter. Do you think that is inherently good, or good because God apparently commands it? Put your daughter in that situation.

        “God never affirms Polygamy”

        This is the kind of dishonesty I’m talking about. Christian tag lines don’t cover up OT reality. Adultery is one of the commandments. Polygamists are not proscribed by the commandment until the new covenant.

        Numbers 31:17-18. First, every adult male is slaughtered…every soldier, aged, weak, handicapped, sickly, newlywed, and teen boy.
        Second, every male toddler and infant is slain. Infanticide. (Wonder if any Israelite got PTSD from that?)
        Third, every mother, grandmother, and every pregnant woman…whether at conception or large with child, was plunged with the sword. Abortion. If a Christian claims the bible always considers abortion and infanticide as wrong, he would be lying. He is left to a form of Divine Command Theory where sin is suddenly good when commanded by God.
        But God is light and in him is no darkness at all. Jesus constantly rebukes every violent impulse that the Jews, and even the disciples, seem so ready to deploy.

        This says nothing of the commanded genocide and ethnic cleansing in the OT. We need to be honest with the text and have a reasonable answer for unbelievers. The fathers and many theologians today see through the anthropomorphisms and know that God is unchanging, without passions. Israel projects their heinous actions on God.

        • Michael Gore

          So your argument has shifted now, are we still talking about marriage in the old testament or are you trying to talk about the morality of the judgement on the Canaanites?

          Your claims on OT marriage are still missing the mark:
          “Read Gen 29:31-30:24 shows God opening the wombs of both Leah and Rachel. He is blessing them. Jacob picks up a couple other wives along the way, too. Numerous patriarchs, judges and king David had numerous wives and were blessed highly of the Lord. God isn’t turning away and pretending, here.”
          This means nothing against the points I’m making. Are you saying that God doesn’t allow anyone to become pregnant save those he morally approves of? That wouldn’t seem to hold to reality. There seems to be this assumption that because God dealt mercifully with certain people (such as David and the Patriarchs) that it means they approved of everything they did. All it shows is that in order to enact His sovereign plan, he was willing to use imperfect people.

          “Right, so Christians aught not say God has only ever sanctioned consensual monogamy as marriage. Furthermore, consent is irrelevant in these cases, the widow and the brother had no choice in the matter.”
          If you notice, there is no where in what I said previously where i listed consensual, or even love as a prerequisite for marriage. If that was the case, a vast majority of marriages in human history were not really marriages, as they were arranged. The biblical definition of marriage is something in particular, just as a hammer is something in particular. They each have a particular purpose, and certain features that without which, they are not.

          You talk about the “church not authorizing same-sex marriage”, but also seem rather critical of the bible. You are not a Roman Catholic are you? Those two would seem a bit at odds with each other, at least in a consistent worldview.

          • Skeptical Christian

            “So your argument has shifted now”

            No, my original comment brought up both issues.

            “Are you saying that God doesn’t allow anyone to become pregnant save those he morally approves of?”

            Straw man. The text says he blesses both women with fruitful wombs after both being barren. God has blessed the sexual act in the marriage. Why are you dodging this? David strikingly loses his child of adultery, but is blessed with numerous children from his numerous wives and is a man after God’s own heart. Nathan doesn’t come to him to proscribe his marriages, right?

            I’m not Catholic. I spent decades as an Evangelical and became an Orthodox Christian a few years ago. I am now trying to learn the things my Evangelical subculture didn’t want talk about. The scriptures are not inerrant, they don’t claim to be. That doesn’t mean they are not the inspired and sacred word that points to the Word of God himself.

          • llew jones

            SC, perhaps it is out of the frying pan into the fire. You don’t trust those who hold to the doctrine of scripture alone, which of course in the Protestant understanding limits God’s revelation of himself and the doctrine of salvation, as declared in the New Testament, to those disciples who were eye witnesses, chosen by Christ to be his apostles and to be the unique inspired writers of the NT.

            However you are willing to accept the doctrine of scripture plus Tradition so that the Orthodox hierarchy alone can interpret scripture. That position,among other things, has led to the doctrine of apostolic succession producing inspired “apostles” who, over the history of the church, have introduced all sorts of unbiblical heresies, including idolatry into their communities.

            Here is what in general the Orthodox and R C communities hold, more or less in common, when it comes to the place of scripture in the church and as taught by, for example, Eastern Orthodoxy:

            “The soul of Holy Orthodoxy is prayer, and it is also Holy Scripture since the Christian Church is a Scriptural Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church follows the beliefs of the Old Testament, the New Testament and including several books of the Apocrypha. Since the Eastern Orthodox Church therefore looks to Holy Scripture the Bible as the supreme expression of God’s revelation
            to man, and it must not be regarded as something set up over the Church, but as something that lives and is understood within the Church (that is why one should not separate Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition). It is from the Church that Holy Scripture ultimately derives its authority, for it was the Church, which originally decided which books form a part of Holy Scripture; and it is the Church alone which can interpret Holy Scripture with authority.

            This is the case being that from the many sayings in the Bible which by themselves are far from clear, and the individual reader, however sincere, is in danger of error if he trusts his own personal interpretations. Now we can say that the Orthodox Christian when reading Holy Scripture, accept the guidance of the Church. Therefore who helps us in understanding Holy Scripture and who guides us? First the Holy Spirit and secondly above all we in the Orthodox Church turn to the Holy Fathers over the many centuries which have helped with the interpretations of the Bible or as the Eastern Orthodox Church like to express: Holy Scriptures.”

          • Michael Gore

            “Straw man. The text says he blesses both women with fruitful wombs after both being barren.” What is your reference, I looked up the story in Gen 16 and it made no reference to Hagar being barren. And if you recall, the child that resulted from it (Ishmael) God prophecied would be a lot of trouble for Abraham and his family. The child’s very nature was a judgement upon the immorality of what Abraham, Sarai, and Hagar did. It seems so odd that you would claim to be a Christian of the Orthodox stripe but are so willing to speak poorly of the old testament.

          • Skeptical Christian

            “I looked up the story in Gen 16”.

            I never mention this passage. As I said above, Gen 29:31-30:24.

            “so willing to speak poorly of the old testament”

            How exactly? Not everyone thinks God actually commanded abortion, genocide, non-consensual marriages, slavery with people as property, killing your children for disobedience, burning folks, etc. Many think God let’s Israel, as a sinful Ancient Near Eastern tribal and brutal people, tell their own heinous story, projecting their actions on their own tribal deity similarly to the nations around them.
            Heretical and cultish groups do this all the time, don’t they?
            “God told me this or that….” is a common refrain, even among Evangelical branches, and it always leads to disaster. If you think the holy Trinity commanded these things, then you hold Divine Command Theory where these actions are not inherently morally evil, but can also be goods if commanded by God. Christians need to reckon with this. We tell atheists that abortion is evil in itself. Always. Until they remind you of various times God commands it. We know what God is like, we see it in Christ who never permits this impulse in his followers, and commands the utter opposite. God did not change because Christ is the divine Logos. I think it’s a better answer, more consistent with God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ.

            As I said in a comment that didn’t get through, there are some good theological sources dealing with these issues without the chicken little attitude that Christianity might collapse if we look more deeply at biblical passages than the surface literalism. The church fathers were good at seeing the deeper spiritual meanings behind some of these things.

            There is similar reaction to Christians who don’t accept Young Earth Creationism’s pseudo-science and selective literalism, or those who hold to teleological Evolutionary Creationism. They are told they just don’t believe the bible.

          • Michael Gore

            Your view of the Old Testament is incoherent. Either the Old Testament is inspired by God, or it is not. If it is just “Sinful Israel telling it’s own heinous story” then it’s just a man-made book, and can tell us nothing authoritative about God. In that case, who cares what happened in the Old Testament because it’s just man’s opinion about what they think God is like. The problem is that Jesus didn’t see the OT in that way. “‘Have you not read that which was spoken to you by God?’ (Matthew 22:31)”

            Characterizing God’s judgement on the Canaanite people as “genocide” only shows that you either don’t understand what genocide is, or you don’t understand anything about what actually happened. The Canaanite people and culture were an example of a culture given over to their depravity, and God had been withholding judgement from them for 400 years. If you see God punishing them as evil, then you have a seriously sub-biblical view on the seriousness of Sin and the character of God as it pertains to his Holiness and Justice.

    • Kevin Quillen

      I used to be skeptical too, until I grew up. Time for meat, little one.

      • Skeptical Christian

        After decades as a Christian, I realized Christians should be far more skeptical. In Christian circles there’s an abundance of dishonesty, promotion of pseudo science, the denial of truth, running after all sorts of garbage.

    • davidrev17

      SC:

      The following extracted quotations, one by world-class New Testament scholar & “Textual Critic” (as well as self-professed “apostate Christian”) Dr. Bart Ehrman, can be easily accessed on Christian Apologist Dr. Frank Turek’s website, “Cross Examined.” The article is entitled “Is the New Testament Reliable? Even Bart Ehrman Says Yes,” (1 September, 2010).

      I’ve already written you a much lengthier response, and sure enough, just like I mentioned yesterday: “space didn’t come close to permitting” what I wrote; as it wound-up exceeding their word-length requirement, and was thus placed in the “pending” category. You can read some of it at least, simply by clicking-on my “davidrev17” ICON.

      ☆ ☆ ☆

      “Bart Ehrman was mentored by Bruce Metzger of Princeton University who was the greatest manuscript scholar of the last century. In 2005, Ehrman helped Metzger update and revise the classic work on the topic– Metzger’s “The Text of the New Testament.”

      “What do Metzger and Ehrman conclude together in that revised work? Melinda Penner of “Stand to Reason” writes,

      “Ehrman and Metzger state in that book that we can have a high degree of confidence that we can reconstruct the original text of the New Testament, the text that is in the Bibles we use, because of the abundance of textual evidence we have to compare. The variations are largely minor and don’t obscure our ability to construct an accurate text. The 4th edition of this work was published in 2005 – the same year Ehrman published Misquoting Jesus, which relies on the same body of information and offers no new or different evidence to state the opposite conclusion.

      Here’s what Ehrman says in an interview found in the appendix of Misquoting Jesus (p. 252):

      ☆ ☆ ☆

      “Bruce Metzger is one of the great scholars of modern times, and I dedicated the book to him because he was both my inspiration for going into textual criticism and the person who trained me in the field. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him. And even though we may disagree on important religious questions – he is a firmly committed Christian and I am not – we are in complete agreement on a number of very important historical and textual questions. If he and I were put in a room and asked to hammer out a consensus statement on what we think the original text of the New Testament probably looked like, there would be very few points of disagreement – maybe one or two dozen places out of many thousands. The position I argue for in ‘Misquoting Jesus’ does not actually stand at odds with Prof. Metzger’s position that the essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.”

      ☆ ☆ ☆

      And the same scholarly conclusions & consensus has long-since been reached through the process of “peer-review,” when it comes to the Old Testament “Masoretic Text.”

      And one last item: How typical of folks like you to omit Jesus’ words Re: the “God-ordained” concept of marriage & divorce, “from [at] the beginning” (Genesis 2:24), in his dialogue with the religious leaders (Pharisees) in Matthew 19:1-9…specifically vv. 4, 5, 8.

    • Gary

      The basic standard for marriage in the Bible is that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. All marriages must consist of a husband and a wife.

      • Skeptical Christian

        Of course. But the above sanctioned marriages are biblicaly historical, brutal, non consensual, tribal. Unbelievers see through our arrogance and cognitive dissonance when we only focus on marriage between man and woman as if that covers for the horrible marriage situations permitted in the OT.

        • Gary

          What arrogance? Is it arrogant to insist that marriage be heterosexual? I don’t think so. But, people have different opinions, and if some people want to regard me as arrogant because I only accept heterosexual marriage, it won’t bother me. If someone wants to criticize God for the rules he gave the Jews, that is their choice. But we don’t have those rules today in the US, so people who bring it up are just trying to justify some immoral arrangement they want.

          • Skeptical Christian

            Nowhere have I endorsed homosexual marriage. Our arrogance comes when we look at the above marriages which I have noted from scripture, and dismiss sincere and genuine unbelievers objections to those marriages by tritely saying something to the effect of “well at least they are all God’s design of hetero”. We need to honestly reckon with the shocking, scandalous, awful nature of some of these sanctioned arrangements. We see this more clearly if we take our modern Christian glasses off, stop glossing the OT texts and put ourselves or our loved ones in the very situations portrayed. Hmmm, seems to me this is exactly what Jesus taught.

          • Billy Chickens

            In the OT it was not God who told Sarah to tell Abraham to take Hagar as a concubine. And who are you that you question God’s ways? Anyway, Christ was born and we have a New Covenant where he made marriage between one man and one woman.

            You evangelicals need to start reading and STUDYING the NEW TESTAMENT, especially Matthew, Mark, Luke and John…then you wouldn’t be so confused.

          • Skeptical Christian

            Heh. I’m not an Evangelical. The NT does not negate what was “biblical” in the Old.

          • Billy Chickens

            Well, the Old Testament is the Old Covenant and the New Testament is the NEW Covenant. …. The OT contains the Torah and is the basis for Judaism. Jesus changed the nature of God’s covenant with man. For instance, hopefully you’re not still looking for the OT Ark of the Covenant which contained the 10 Commandant tables, are you? No one will ever find it because we now have the New Ark of the Covenant which contained/contains the Word of God, that is Jesus, and that Ark is the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the Ark of the New Covenant.

          • Skeptical Christian

            I’m Orthodox. Once again, though, my point is that Christians affirm the holy Trinity. So in the OT, it is Christ, who shares one undivided will with the Father, commanding genocide, abortion, infanticide, forced marriages, etc. I am saying that Christians don’t get away easy by hand waving away the former covenant.
            So here’s the question: Do you think, dear fellow Christian, that the eternal Logos, the 2nd Person of the Trinity, commanded these things? If yes, what will you tell unbelievers when they show you that the bible does not always hold abortion, infanticide, genocide as intrinsically evil?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            The answer is clear.

            When the spiritually dead try to read the Book of Life it’s like a blind man trying to read a road map before hopping in the car to drive. You have to get a heart transplant before you can have eyes to see.

            Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8:47)

            “The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Cor. 2:14)

          • Skeptical Christian

            That’s not an answer to my question but merely a separate assertion. But it’s interesting how some will defend all sorts of biblical interpretations, which of course THEY think are plain and obvious, by invoking the “you are spiritually blind” line. It is arrogant to dismiss questions from unbelievers by ignoring the uncomfortable portions of our own bible.
            My simple question above is an honest one for the “spiritually alive”, so your assertion seems misplaced.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Ah, but it is. Your failure to see it as such does not negate the truth that it is and it is, in fact, THE answer. Though it’s not surprising that “seems” misplaced by you.

            You may continue to rely on your skepticism. I’ll continue to rely on the Word of God and Truth. Which is more arrogant, the one who relies on the Truth of God’s Word or the one who dismisses it as arrogance?
            .
            My simple answer above is an honest one for the “spiritually alive”, so your assertion seems misplaced.

          • Skeptical Christian

            You have said nothing about the texts in question, so it’s not an answer. It’s merely a disallowing and dismissal of the question

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Ah, but it is. Your failure to see it as such does not negate the truth that it is and it is, in fact, THE answer.

            The Biblical answer to a question from a skeptic about the Bible is to allow Scripture to speak.

            All you’ve stated is opinion and I’ll take that for what it’s worth. After all, you’ve already demonstrated your Biblical ignorance, twisting of Scripture, and openly making false claims as to what God has said. Which is nothing new. Satan did it to Jesus in the wilderness and many others attempted it while trying to tempt Christ and trap Him as well.

          • Skeptical Christian

            Which claims have been false? I quoted scripture and you have refused to say anything about them. You have failed to “let them speak” at all.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Well, here’s 2 for starters:

            I quoted scripture and you have refused to say anything about them. You have failed to “let them speak” at all.

  • Fishcicle

    I wonder just how we are supposed to respond to gay people. As I understand it, the concept of gay marriage began because of objections to the “gay lifestyle”, meaning promiscuity. But that doesn’t seem to be it. The objection seems to be to the orientation, which I don’t think individuals can control, at least to any great degree. Ask yourself if you could shut off your sexual desires completely. I don’t believe I could. Saying it’s an abomination, as translated in the Old Testament, seems to invite violent discrimination, despite another quotation from the Old Testament: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.” I don’t mean to say Christians are terrible. Many of them are not, but, as with any large group, there are some who give the majority a bad name.

    • Royce E. Van Blaricome

      You confuse “Orientation” with “Attraction”. There is no such thing as “Sexual Orientation” apart from that which God, the Creator, has set down.

      Whitewashing Sin and making an abomination that much more palatable only serves to lessen the distaste for that which is detestable before God. No different than using the term “gay” to describe the self-condemning act of Homosexuality.
      And that is not in the least a loving thing to do.

      As for Christians being given a bad name, Darkness needs no excuse to do so. John 3:19-20 speaks to that well as does Jesus saying His followers would be hated just like He was for doing nothing that simply following Him.

      • Fishcicle

        I refer to “orientation” as something I have experienced myself, and which I don’t believe I could change. I’m inclined to believe that people who commit homosexual acts in most cases feel the same way: that their orientation is something they can’t change. Would they otherwise choose a life that so many condemn, and which has historically exposed them to harm?

        • Royce E. Van Blaricome

          Well, you’d be mistaken. What you “experienced” was a Same-Sex Attraction. That’s NOT the same as an “orientation”. Look up the definition in a dictionary.

          Now, as an example, let’s look at the needle on a compass. It is “oriented” to point true North. However, if I bring a magnet along side of the compass I can make the needle go in all sorts of directions because it is “attracted” to the magnet.

          You can be inclined to think whatever you want and you can base that inclination on your “experiences” or whatever else you want BUT that will NEVER change the Truth. The Truth is, just like the compass, one must look to the Creator for the Orientation. And God made Man oriented toward Women and Women oriented toward Men.

          I suppose your last question is a credible one to ask and I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you are legitimately asking it and sincerely desiring a good answer.

          So, I’ll point you to John 3:16-20 and Eph. 2:1-4. There’s your answer. I pray that the Holy Spirit will illuminate your mind to the truth of God’s Word as you read it.

          • Fishcicle

            You make one mistake in your answer, sir. The “orientation” I experienced (and still experience) is attraction to the opposite sex. I find that leaves little or no room for attraction to the same gender. Obviously, others have a different experience. I believe the question is whether one should respond to divergence from “normal” sexuality harshly or sympathetically. I think Jesus’s behavior, as portrayed in the New Testament, says we ought not to be judgmental.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I understand. Thanks for the correction. As I stated, there is only ONE “orientation”. Just like the compass analogy. Whatever other “magnets” have come into or near one’s life to move that compass probably depends on a whole host of other factors. No different than the various different things that can cause a human being to look in the mirror and see the obvious evidence that they are a man or woman and yet be mentally disconnected from that fact somehow to be so deceived or deluded into thinking they are the opposite sex.

            Now, however, it is you who have made two mistakes and that is your perception of who Jesus is. For one, if you think that Jesus would show sympathy for someone who engaged in sexually immoral and/or perverted behavior and who not only proudly practiced it without any remorse at all and then went on to herald it as normal and “good” while making every effort to drag others into the Pit of Hell with them, you would not know the real Jesus at all.

            The second mistake is misrepresenting the NT and therefore God. Jesus Himself COMMANDED His followers TO judge. Not only that but much of the NT is devoted instruction on what to judge and how to judge. Matt. 7:1-5 being one of those and Verse 1 being one of, if not the, most often misquoted/misused verses in the Bible.

            You say “we” ought not to be judgmental. Who is the “we” that you refer to? Do you profess to be a Christian? If so, for how long? Are you a member of a local body of Bible-believing, Bible-teaching men who can properly disciple you?

          • Fishcicle

            On checking the verses in Matthew you cite, I found it said about what I remembered, which SEEMS to say that we are NOT to judge. How possible this is, I don’t know. I gather you disagree with that interpretation, and I will be interested in how you see it. My opinion, for whatever it’s worth, is that Jesus meant we should judge ourselves FIRST, though we may not be able to see ourselves clearly enough to judge objectively. I was brought up to be Christian, but don’t often attend church. I do have an interest in the Bible, and have read a number of works about it. I will ask you one question: why is homosexuality more serious than eating shellfish or wearing clothes made of two fabrics, which are also described as being abominations? I understand that sexuality is an issue most people are likely to take personally, but why would the two above issues have been described as abominations?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Well, I don’t doubt you found it to say what you remembered. Unfortunately, your perception is not only skewed, it’s just flatly wrong. And yes, I could not disagree more with your “interpretation”. Let me see if i can help you. Let’s break it down…

            “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” That would on the surface appear to be pretty clear. Problem is that when reading the Bible there are a couple of fundamental, foundational principles that ALWAYS apply. #1 – Scripture NEVER contradicts itself for it is literally the Word of God and God never contradicts Himself. John 7:24 is crystal clear and it is a Present Imperative. Ergo, a continual COMMAND. Matt. 7:1 is not. Which brings us to #2 – ALWAYS interpret the unclear by that which is clear. Which brings us to #3 – CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT.

            Now, let’s move along to Verse 2:

            “For in the way you judge, you will be judged” – right there is your Qualifying and is evidence it is NOT a command to not judge but rather a “When You Do” statement. Now let’s finish the verse… “and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” This is more of the “When” and now adds the “What”. What measure or standard is being used.

            Moving on to Verse 3 & 4:

            “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?” This is the “How To” statement. Which is a call TO judge in itself. A call to judge yourself FIRST, just as you said, but how is it that you didn’t recognize what the word “FIRST” means?

            And now the clincher. Verse 5:

            “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” The “first take” is an Aorist Imperative focusing in on the “first” which is an indication that something is to follow and that is evidently seen with the “AND THEN”. Every single person I’ve interacted with that is quick to tout the “God says don’t judge” and “judge not lest you be judged” has completely missed the “AND THEN”!! The majority really have no clue as to what the Bible says but rather simply regurgitating what they’e heard innumerable times.

            Furthermore, when one looks at the very next verse following this passage it is readily apparent that one must judge in order to exercise what is said. Just as it is again starting in Verse 15.

            And now we get to the crux of the matter. Now things come into MUCH clearer view. You say, “I was brought up to be Christian”. Whoever did that failed you terribly. For God does not have any grandchildren. No one is Christian. One is either a Christian or not. While it is certainly understandable how a Believer would have no desire to attend a church, for the Believer not attending a church and being part of a local body is disobedience and rebellion.

            Moreover, there are many Unbelievers who have “an interest in the Bible” as well. Many of those exercising that interest to do all they can to prove the Bible isn’t what God says it is. You may recall that Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus. He is well-versed in the Bible and I have no doubt his demons are well-schooled in it as well.

            So, before I go any further, let me explain why it is you can read Scripture and not understand it.
            And that explanation is best given my two Scriptures. I pray that God will illuminate your mind to the truth of these:

            “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” (John 8:47)

            “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (1st Cor. 2:14)

            Hopefully that’ll answer your question as well. Otherwise, I’d just refer you back up to #3 above.

          • Fishcicle

            You seem to be agreeing with my opinion that we are being told to judge ourselves first, and I’m certainly imperfect at that, though it’s something I’m concerned about. I don’t think I’m alone in that either. I think many, if not most of us, adore the logs in our eyes because they’re OURS. Not what we’re being told to do, for certain. I’m afraid I must disagree when you say the Bible is LITERALLY the word of God. Especially if you mean that we are to take it literally. Hebrew words were written in consonants only, so if you happen to guess wrong about vowels, the meaning is distorted. Greek was written without the words being separated, and quite a few of the scribes who copied books of the Bible seem to have been little better than illiterate. All those things mean many mistakes have been passed down. On top of that, things have been added and subtracted which change the meaning. One teacher, who certainly was Christian (but didn’t have a lot of use for organized religion–a pearls before swine problem) said that the Bible tells us what Jesus commanded, but that as most of us are, we can’t follow his commandments without becoming transformed, and the Bible doesn’t instruct us on how that is to be achieved. Studying the Bible may help, but isn’t enough in itself. I expect I’ve given you enough to disagree with here, so I’ll stop at this point.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Yes, I’m agreeing that we are TO judge starting with ourselves FIRST. But that totally disagrees with what you said above and I quote, “which SEEMS to say that we are NOT to judge.” You seem to be very confused. Which is it? Are we to judge as God says or not judge as you say?

            “I’m afraid I must disagree when you say the Bible is LITERALLY the word of God.”

            Disagree all you like. God says it is. That’s your problem. Not mine or His.

            Now, you’ve already admitted to not being saved so that is no surprise. Nor is it a surprise that you would try to undermine the Authority of God’s Word. It’s as old as Satan saying, “Did God really say?” in the Garden. What you may not realize is the reason behind that. When you deny the Word of God as the final Authority by which you govern your life, you not only reject the Gospel, but you set yourself up as your own Final Authority and thereby go to the oldest sin in the Book. You get to be your own god and your own Final Authority.

            “All those things mean many mistakes have been passed down.”

            Another attempt to undermine God’s Word. It also reflects a terrible misunderstanding and lack of faith in Almighty God being able to preserve His Word. No wonder you struggle so much. Your god and your perception of God is pretty anemic.

            You would suspect right.

          • Fishcicle

            “God says it is.” In the Bible? That’s circular reasoning.
            “Are we to judge as God says or not judge as you say?” Your point then is that we are to judge others AS WELL AS ourselves? Is that what the passage says?
            You also didn’t answer the question I asked previously, which is actually two questions, so let me restate them: what makes homosexuality an abomination, and why do I not see Christians denouncing eating pork and shellfish, and garments made of two fabrics? Those are said to be abominations too.
            You may say I’m setting myself up as judge. I would rephrase that to say that God gave me a brain, and must expect me to use it. I think it’s interesting where judgment has taken Christianity historically. Not only has it led to forcible conversions, but to persecution of people who didn’t believe what was officially acceptable.
            I’ll close by telling you what my mother said when someone asked her if she was saved. That that was up to God, not her.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Call it whatever you like. What it is, is going back to the Final Authority which is the source for ALL Truth. Here’s another verse in Matt. 7 for you to look at. It is the very next verse after the passage you initially referred to and that’s Verse 6.

            Thus far we’ve established that you don’t understand simple allegorical examples of Sexual Orientation and that there is ONLY one. We’ve established that you don’t understand what God has said in His Word. We’ve established that you call God a Liar and that the Word of God not to be trusted according to you. That it’s not inerrant, infallible, timeless, and exactly what God says in 2nd Tim. 3:16. And we’ve established that you are not a Christian.

            So, with all that being established, there’s really only one way to answer your questions.

            Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8:47)

            “The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Cor. 2:14)

            Beyond that, if you REALLY wanna know the Truth and hear more Biblical responses to your questions, I suggest a simple Google search. You’ll get a bazillion results in a nanosecond. I know they’re out there.

            Or you could just do what really needs to be done anyways. You can surrender as a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ as Master. You can confess your sins before Him and beg Him to save you from them so that you can pick up your cross, follow Him, serve Him, and glorify Him all the remaining days of your life. If you do that, He will not only save you from your sins, He will make you a New Creation and give you a new heart that desires to do all those things and as a New Creation you will have new eyes to see and new ears to hear with.

            And I’ll close by telling you that your mother was only half right. And being half right can be totally wrong. Just lie a half-truth is a whole lie.

          • Fishcicle

            Just as I can call things what I like, so can you. Thus far WE have established that you believe there is only one orientation. Can you prove that? I don’t think you can. You also believe I don’t understand what is said in the Bible, but not that I do not. You admitted that I understood that we are supposed to judge ourselves first, however poorly I practice that myself. One thing we did NOT establish is that I called God a liar. Doubting that the Bible is the literal word of God is not the same thing. I would grant that the Bible would be a better guide than power-seeking humans if that were really the choice, but I think it rarely is. However inspired the Bible is, it came through humans, and humans almost always have their own agendas. Have you actually judged yourself before judging me? You certainly seem to be judging me, no matter what you want to call it. As someone said, the truth really does set you free–once you have eradicated all egoism from yourself. I admit I haven’t done that. Have you?

          • Fishcicle

            Let me add that my reading of the New Testament tells me we humans are supposed to treat each other compassionately. Not all people who call themselves Christians seem to advocate compassion. Would you disagree with that?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            As I said above, here’s the problem with your reading the NT now..

            “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8:47)

            “The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Cor. 2:14)

            It is for that reason that the spiritually-dead, like yourself, call things that are actually hatred and death “love”. And condemn actual acts of Love as hatred.

          • Fishcicle

            I’m glad you’ve managed to eradicate your egoism. Otherwise I would take your words as severe egoistic upset at MY words. I’m glad that, appearances to the contrary, my words don’t disturb you. Perhaps we’ll each have occasion to change our minds about one thing or another.

          • Fishcicle

            And that, appearances to the contrary, you’re actually judging yourself, and not me.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Now who’s judging! LOL

            A wise man once said it is better to keep your mouth shut and not show your ignorance than open it and remove all doubt. You should work on your wisdom a bit.

            “Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something” – Plato

          • Fishcicle

            My, what a loving way to put that. I just came across an interesting book by Dan Merchant, who identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. The title of the book is, Lord, Save Us From Your Followers. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but so far I can strongly recommend it. He quotes Dr. Tony Campolo (who quotes someone else) as saying that “A movement can exist without a God, but never without a devil,” and that many people who aren’t necessarily Christian can understand (at least to some extent) where Christians are coming from, but have difficulty with the distance between what Christ taught and the rhetoric of some of his more public followers. The author also quotes someone else he interviewed: “I’m thinking of the people who the world calls fundamentalists; I call them exclusivists. The fundamentals of Christianity are full of love and compassion. And, similarly, the fundamentals of Islam are love and compassion…But this phenomena of using religion to amplify pride rather than humility, to seek power rather than service, and to laud selfish love rather than selfless love….” There’s more to it, of course. The people quoted are articulating my concerns better than I am. I don’t mind you calling me stupid. I know I am. I don’t think that means I shouldn’t try to have a conversation. Is it really necessary that one of us convert the other? Or is it possible that one or both might actually learn something?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Until you know God you really have no way of knowing what true Love is. But hey, you’re in good company. Most folks have no clue what Love is and most of those who think they do are sorely mistaken.

            No surprise that you’d be reading a book that quotes Tony Campolo. I’ll leave it at that.

            As for what Christ taught, again, you simply have no clue and like most create a Jesus in your own image according to your own will and ways.

            Additionally, before you get on here and start preaching about “Love” you might wanna take the Giant Sequoia Tree outta your eye socket and stop insulting others first.

            Wrt to “Fundamentalists”, you’re not gonna find anyone that was and is more of a Fundamentalist that Jesus Christ Himself.

            For the record I never called you stupid.

            Is it really necessary that one of us convert the other? Absolutely!! But if you wanna hold on to your falsehoods, Unbelief, and cling to your sin, that’s your choice. If you would rather spend Eternity in torment in the Lake of Fire rather than with God that’s your choice.

            You’re free to choose whatever you wish but you aren’t free from the consequences and one of them will be knowing what you passed up and existing (won’t be “living”) with that FOREVER.

          • Fishcicle

            I just KNEW you were going to take what I said personally. Okay, you said ignorant, not stupid. I call myself stupid because I often am. You may agree or not.
            Was Jesus being a Fundamentalist when he saved the adultress from being stoned to death? Or when he told his disciples to gather food on the Sabbath? I’m sure you’ll be able to find some excuse for that. If you no longer have an ego, how can you be insulted?
            It may be stupid of me to try to have a conversation with someone I disagree with, or at least in the way I’m doing it, but I think the effort is important, as we have a whole lot of people in this country who can’t talk to or listen to each other. I think that’s a shame, but evidently I’ve done a bad job of communicating that. But live and learn. Maybe I’ll be able to learn something from this and apply it more effectively elsewhere.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            The answer to your first question is yes. Second question is yes. Answer to third question is in the same way as Jesus was and the very question shows an ignorance of what the very word even means. No Bible needed for that. Just try a dictionary.

            Whether or not you ever learn is up to you. The Bible speaks to this in numerous places. Perhaps one of, if not the, most applicable is here:

            “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. (2Ti 3:1-7)

          • Fishcicle

            But stoning was the usual punishment for adulterers at the time. Why did Jesus stop that? And why tell his apostles to gather food on the Sabbath, which was to be a day when no work was done? Doesn’t sound very fundamentalist to me. So far I’ve insulted you (as you say), and you’ve stated your displeasure, while you’ve called me spiritually dead, which I gather I’m not supposed to take personally. Humility is supposed to be a characteristic of a Christian. No specks in your eyes?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Why do you care to know? And who says Jesus stopped stoning? And your reference to working on the Sabbath just continues to show your ignorance of Scripture and “Fundamentalism” for that matter.

            As for calling you spiritually-dead, that’s not an insult. That’s a fact. However, you need not take it personally because ALL Unbelievers are spiritually-dead. Eph. 2:1-3.

            Perhaps you find this little bantering back and forth somehow pleasing or intellectually stimulating or something else but it doesn’t change the fact that you are inching ever so more closely to Eternity and where you will spend it.

          • Fishcicle

            I guess you’re getting tired of this conversation. I’m interested in hearing your explanation to the questions I ask, but I can’t force you to tell me. You may, of course, consign me to hell, but that’s not your call. You can also judge me as spiritually dead, just as I can judge you as narrow-minded and unloving. Doesn’t matter if YOU disagree either. I’ve shared some of my judgments about myself, but you haven’t done the same. As long as you’re willing to judge me, I’m willing to judge you too. If you don’t want to respect my thoughts, I don’t have to respect yours either. I’m willing to continue the conversation if you are, but there’s no great necessity. You’ll continue to be judgmental, so I might as well be too.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Ah yes, we can all see just how interested you are in having a conversation. Completely ignored my questions and then whine about me not answering yours. Ignore the Sequoia Tree in your eye and wanna talk about the specks in mine.

            I’m not here so you can be my psychiatrist. I’m here to point you to the The One you need and to shine light on your lights. I didn’t consign you to Hell. You’ve done that yourself.

            “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (Jn 3:19-20)

            I didn’t judge you ask spiritually-dead. I simply stated a fact.

            “And you are dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them you live in the lusts of your flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and are by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:1-3)

            As for being “unloving”, well, I’ll just consider the source. You don’t know God so you can’t know love and we’ll leave it at that.

            “As long as you’re willing to judge me, I’m willing to judge you too.”

            Ah, a little tit for tat. Figures.

            “If you don’t want to respect my thoughts, I don’t have to respect yours either. ”

            For by the same standard you judge others, you will be judged. Let’s see how that works for you and God.

            You just hang on to that and we’ll see where that gets you. As for continuing the conversation, I started exercising Matt. 7:6 quite some time ago.

          • Fishcicle

            In other words, you like to judge but not be judged. Like most people. There’s plenty of precedent for that, of course. Christians have been doing that a long time. They’re not different from most people in that way.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            There’s that faux omniscience and god-complex again. I’m pretty sure my statements speak for themselves and are quite clear. At least except for all those who don’t violate Murray’s Rule, Alexander’s Rule, and Gillespie’s Rule A & B.

            Just more Deception & Distraction. You just keep doing whatever assuages your guilty conscience for the time being. The day is coming will you’ll be faced with the undeniable Truth.

          • Fishcicle

            Of course you know. I’m your mirror.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            “Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something” – Plato

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Typical. You turn it into personal. I hope you do change your mind (repent).

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Since you answered your own question, I don’t need to. And no, you do not understand what is said in the Bible for God says so.,

            “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8:47)

            “The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Cor. 2:14)

            You say, “However inspired the Bible is, it came through humans…”

            That only goes to prove the above and that again you call God a Liar because God says His Word is actually from Him and is “God-breathed”.

            Whoever that source is that you’re listening to and following, I’d suggest dumping him/her, surrendering as a slave to Christ as your Master, and then listen and follow Him.

            Lastly, to answer your question…”Yep. Sure have.” And if you back up and look at the comments you made about “judging”, you’ll see lied about that too. You started off speaking falsely for God there too.

            Just to save you some time and to show anyone else who may have just come in on the conversation and not caught the whole thing, you started with:

            “I think Jesus’s behavior, as portrayed in the New Testament, says we ought not to be judgmental” and “On checking the verses in Matthew you cite, I found it said about what I remembered, which SEEMS to say that we are NOT to judge.”

    • Dorothy Bowerman Fleischhauer

      The sex drive is part of heterosexual life, too. Having it is not a sin, but using it outside the bounds of heterosexual marriage is. Unmarried people are supposed to be celibate, and married folks are to be faithful. The orientation isn’t a sin, any more that male-female orientation is. Acting on it outside of marriage is what’s sinful-for everyone.

      • Fishcicle

        I think that means that homosexual marriage should be an acceptable way for gay people to express their sexual desires. Why do many people object to it?

        • Skeptical Christian

          Think of it this way. If one has the desire for the same sex, it may be real and feel natural. But we are broken people and our desires aught not all be satisfied. Some have attraction to minors. Some to animals. Some hetero’s have desire for plural wives/partners. If a man desires unlimited sex with either gender, should they be affirmed? Should anyone resist their desires?

          Should the white woman who desires to be considered black have her desires accepted?

          • Fishcicle

            I don’t think there’s any perfect answer to the questions you raise, but homosexuality has been practiced for thousands of years at least. Attempts to “fix” it haven’t worked, as far as anyone can tell. The Bible says it’s an abomination. It doesn’t produce offspring, but heterosexual sex doesn’t every time either, which suggests that reproduction isn’t its only purpose. No doubt sexuality is influenced by trauma, among other things, but how should we approach sexuality that diverges from the “normal”? Should we punish it harshly? Jesus’s behavior, as portrayed in the New Testament, suggests that’s not the best way.

          • Skeptical Christian

            Sex is not a personal biological necessity. We don’t need it to live. Those with same sex attraction, like those with super charged attraction to those of the opposite sex or those attracted to minors should come into the church, live in communion and repentance, take up their crosses which will be different from their neighbors cross. Some are compelled by desires for drunkenness, gluttony, pornography, etc. We encourage one another toward the control of desires and submission to Christ.

          • Dorothy Bowerman Fleischhauer

            We could start by not pretending it’s normal and therefore doesn’t need changing. There’s a reason the suicide rate is higher among homosexuals. What % of them were sexually abused molested as children? How many were hurt deeply in relationships with the opposite sex? What’s the average lifespan for gay males? If you dug deep I’m betting you’d find some seriously hurting people, but who among them would dare admit it when society demands that we all admire and celebrate their way of life? It’s even wrong to call it a disorder or suggest change. Jesus himself never mentioned homosexuality, but he affirmed marriage, and thus the proper use of sex, as between man and woman. He didn’t agree to harse punishment of sexual sin, but he did say go and sin no more. The apostle Paul was graphic about the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, so we’re left without excuse even in the NT.

          • Fishcicle

            I’d be willing to bet that a lot of people, heterosexuals too, have been abused as children. My wife’s parents were abusive without either being gay, and she retains the marks of that abuse, though she has become a fine person, in my estimation. Child abuse is one of the shames of our culture, and I don’t know that it’s possible to say that it occurs more with homosexual parents than with heterosexual. Nor do I think we know just how far it goes back. I also don’t believe that society demands we celebrate the gay way of life. Attitudes have changed to some degree about homosexuality, but I think it remains something a lot of people are very uncomfortable with. For a long time gay people just accepted the abuse they were given by many; that changed less than fifty years ago when some people resisted being abused by police at a gay bar. I think it’s rather interesting that gay people were organizing and making their point of view known at the same time conservatives were. The two movements seem to have grown in parallel.

        • Dorothy Bowerman Fleischhauer

          Probably because it’s been considered abnormal behavior through most of human history. When a society becomes old, self indulgent and decadent, sexual perversion can become common or accepted. It’s part of the decline before the end. Think Greece and Rome.

          • Fishcicle

            In the case of the Greeks and Romans homosexuality was generally accepted well before either culture became old or decadent. Alexander the Great was bisexual. So were a number of prominent Greeks who came before him. Julius Caesar was said to have been “every woman’s husband, every man’s wife”. Those were men who accomplished things, and Caesar was certainly around well before the collapse of the western Roman empire (more than four hundred years before). I don’t think we can blame homosexuality for that collapse. I think a lot of people find the idea of homosexuality uncomfortable, though they don’t have to engage in it.

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    I’m not sue why Mr. Gilson, or anyone else, would think that the NYT is a credible source for information on the Bible but as for Moser thinking he understands the Bible and Christianity better than those who study and practice it, one only needs to read 1st Cor. 2:14.

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