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Author Topic: Gender ID & Sexuality  (Read 33300 times)
mapleleafsfan84
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« on: February 19, 2009, 03:37:25 pm »


I was a member of a GC in Des Moines, IA and at first everything seemed like a dream so many people wanting to be your friend and state that they would be there for you no matter what felt good at first. Once you got to the point of membership class it was a whole book like of rules and big section on disciplinary action. I felt like a child seeing that. One day I was asked to leave the church because I was not living a godly life. I fully came out as a Gay man and they stated to me that I can overcome it and it is an addiction and I am a horrible person. I was involved with everything before very honest and trustworthy but once that happened the pastors told my friends that they couldn't talk to me because I was living a life of Satan and just a whirlwind life. I was told I couldn't go back to church there again. Then came a time I returned back all went well for several months and then I just got to the point I was like I am sick of always having to do this or that or I will be turned away from the church. My partner and I live very good lives and are very much believers in Christ Jesus. We know some might not agree with our lifestyle but if it is a sin it is no different than any other one that a person commits. I had points where I felt like committing suicide over the loss of friends because pastors and elders in the church telling people not to talk to me because I was GAY. I don't understand the fact of a church that would advise parents to disown their own son part of their flesh and blood and never have nothing to do with him again. I was allowed to go on one mission trip to Germany and then wasn't allowed to go on anymore because I was considered not trustworthy and unstable.

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G_Prince
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009, 04:32:04 pm »

I don't think the church discipline you experienced was uncharacteristic of most evangelical/fundamentalist churches. However, their attempt to ruin your life is shocking. Severing friendships and telling your parents to disown you is deplorable. Once someone in the church has been removed from fellowship, the church should have no say in your life from that point on.

Many of your "friends," however, were probably drones which the church controlled. They used them like social weapons to gain control over you; once you start to misbehave they take away your toys. Like you said, they treat you as a child.

I remember a lot of anti-homosexual sentiments in my old GCM church. Not unexpected of course...but there was something different in it. Homosexuality was the antithesis of what the church was. The church was macho, "warriors for Christ ready to conquer the world, ready to die for each other, a band of brothers!" I remember many testosterone driven sermons like this that pulsed strait from the crotch. Anything "feminine" was often looked down on. Since women didn't have the "balls" to save the world they had to play a supportive role, they were the helpers behind the scene who made sure the men were sexed, fed, and respected. The most important trait a wife could have was "a submissive spirit" (i.e. get out of the way...there is man work to be done)

Homosexual men were not only in sin but were considered feminine meaning they were deliberately compromising Gods design as Chuck Norris for Christ. Being a Gay man was to turn your back on the Great Commission. "How was the world going to be reached if men didn't step up and do something?" "Men had to stop pussy-footing around and step up to the plate." I heard many phrases like this at the men's meetings I attended.

Even if you were not gay, you could still be guilty if you enjoyed "homosexual" things like, wine and good food, classical music, tight clothes, art, cooking, reading poetry, doing laundry etc. I never made it in GCM because I liked to many items on the "gay list" I just wasn't macho enough for the gospel.
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Linda
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009, 06:38:11 pm »

Quote
Even if you were not gay, you could still be guilty if you enjoyed "homosexual" things like, wine and good food, classical music, tight clothes, art, cooking, reading poetry, doing laundry etc.
Sadly, I think you are serious, but this list did make me smile. I know some GC pastors who enjoy a lot of stuff on this list!
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2009, 05:51:58 am »

I remember more than usual empathy for those with those attractions. But to beat the dead horse again, those in unrepentant sin, biblically, we're commanded to disfellowship. If I should say "I'm really tempted to enter an illicit relationship with this woman", or have that relationship, it's no different from someone tempted to enter such a relationship with the same sex. The difference is engaging in that sin, or denying it. Furthermore, there's a difference between falling into some sin and persisting in it, and repenting from it. There's a difference between unending failure, and the Spirit's power over sin. There's a difference between the continuing desires of the old man, and receiving new desires and a new heart (as promised to the believer).

When in GC I knew not a few people very very empathetic towards gays, etc., and not a few such people who were given lots of attention to help them deal with those things. There's a difference, however, between either unbelievers one is trying to persuade to repent, and a Christian tempted by such things who is being encouraged to remain holy, and who is denying those desires, from one who, contrary to the word, on his or her own opinion decides it's just alright, enters such sin unremorsefully, and refuses to repent. That latter category of people is to be thrown-out as those who deny Christ by their actions, irregardless of their words; and though with great heartbreak, it should be done with disdain, truly abhorring what they've done, though with all hope they will repent (whether or not they come back to the same gathering of believers, there should also be hope God will place them into true fellowship with right worship before God). No offense intended, just frankness.

If you have any remorse, any doubt, and knowledge in that conscience left that what you are doing is wrong, stop justifying it, flee that sin, find a solid-teaching Church that will edify you with the pure word, tell the pastor/s there your situation, and fall on Christ's strength. If your conscience is not so seared that these words sink-in, I beg you not to find it, to deny yourself, and obey Christ.

If not, read the NT, particularly 1 John, and stop pretending to yourself: what may be doing is trampling Christ, and I hope the terror of the Lord, which is the beginning of knowledge, will drive you to Him, despite that people denigrate that today as if fear is illegitimate to drive anyone to the God who commands all to fear himself: what's not to fear about the Holy One who in His own word describes Himself as a "terrible" God? At least from the perspective of sinners. I know those are unexpected terms, it's a point worth using them for.



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saved
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2009, 06:20:52 am »

One day I was asked to leave the church because I was not living a godly life. .... if it is a sin it is no different than any other one that a person commits. I had points where I felt like committing suicide over the loss of friends because pastors and elders in the church telling people not to talk to me because I was GAY. I don't understand the fact of a church that would advise parents to disown their own son part of their flesh and blood and never have nothing to do with him again. I was allowed to go on one mission trip to Germany and then wasn't allowed to go on anymore because I was considered not trustworthy and unstable.

That really sucks.  We are all here because of spiritual abuse we received, but it still makes me ache when I read about experiences others have had.  May you find healing.

I overeat.  There are many, many verses about why overeating is a sin.  Yet as much as I desire to be righteous, and as secure as I am in my salvation, yet I remain overweight, my sin visible to everyone around me.  But my sin is somewhat more culturally acceptable... I could never sing onstage, but they won't throw me out of the church, either.

And the leaders and powers-that-be in GC are just as rife as sin as you and I are, but their sins are even more culturally acceptable (or simply hidden) so they rise in power.
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Linda
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2009, 08:01:31 am »

First of all, I don't want to minimize anyone's pain and it is so sad to read that someone would consider suicide. I can't imagine a church advising parents to disown their own son. That's horrible advice.

Some sins are visible or outward sins. Theft, adultery, fornication, murder. Other sins are not visible covetousness, lust, idolatry, lying. All these things are sins. The ones on the second list can not be discerned by anyone other than the person and God. The ones on the first list can be apparent to all.

The Bible teaches in Matthew 18 what should be done when someone is caught in sin. It's a three step process which ends in removal from fellowship of the person who continues in sin. It is not "abuse", it's Biblical and fortunately, it doesn't happen often.

Everyone sins. And by sin, I mean rebellion against God and His Law. (For example, not being able to sing well is NOT a sin.) Christianity is about recognizing our sins, desiring to not sin, asking God for forgiveness which comes only through Jesus Christ, and sinning no more through the help of the Holy Spirit.

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donco6
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009, 05:55:49 pm »


I was a member of a GC in Des Moines, IA and at first everything seemed like a dream so many people wanting to be your friend and state that they would be there for you no matter what felt good at first. Once you got to the point of membership class it was a whole book like of rules and big section on disciplinary action. I felt like a child seeing that. One day I was asked to leave the church because I was not living a godly life. I fully came out as a Gay man and they stated to me that I can overcome it and it is an addiction and I am a horrible person. I was involved with everything before very honest and trustworthy but once that happened the pastors told my friends that they couldn't talk to me because I was living a life of Satan and just a whirlwind life. I was told I couldn't go back to church there again. Then came a time I returned back all went well for several months and then I just got to the point I was like I am sick of always having to do this or that or I will be turned away from the church. My partner and I live very good lives and are very much believers in Christ Jesus. We know some might not agree with our lifestyle but if it is a sin it is no different than any other one that a person commits. I had points where I felt like committing suicide over the loss of friends because pastors and elders in the church telling people not to talk to me because I was GAY. I don't understand the fact of a church that would advise parents to disown their own son part of their flesh and blood and never have nothing to do with him again. I was allowed to go on one mission trip to Germany and then wasn't allowed to go on anymore because I was considered not trustworthy and unstable.



Yes, In my experience, both in GCI and other churches, once you identify as "struggling with homosexuality" you are relegated to second class, at best.  Even the youngest newbie Christian is seen as more spiritual than you, no matter how much you do.  It's sickening.
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2009, 05:42:36 pm »

Everyone sins. And by sin, I mean rebellion against God and His Law. (For example, not being able to sing well is NOT a sin.) Christianity is about recognizing our sins, desiring to not sin, asking God for forgiveness which comes only through Jesus Christ, and sinning no more through the help of the Holy Spirit.

Just wanted to note: the most common definition thrown-about of 'sin' is still one taken from the KJV: if you've ever seen Kurt Cameron and that other guy (sorry, forget the name) for "Way of the Master", for instance, they'll likely tell you 'sin is the transgression of the law'; trouble is, that's a mis-translation, and everybody who's translated knows it; it also throws a hermeneutical wrench that contorts the views of anyone using the statement for reference; people have been able to catch it, however, when reading Paul's treatment of sin and death without the law, and that the law is to make sin exceedingly sinful: the law amplifies it, blesses or curses for succeeding or failing, which means it's a curse because one point broken is the whole law: a conditional covenant which cannot save at all. That, however, is the point: makes sin exceedingly sinful and the whole outlook absolutely hopeless.

Just wanted to clarify that: it is a point that seems to trip people up, still, and one which I wish translations would not just rectify in their translations, but note in the margin why the change of such a famous verse, so that the thinking would be halted. Breaking the law is sinful, of course, for those under it: true; it is a canon to judge sin and righteousness, definitely; it is still good, and to be used as such for conviction of those without Christ, who under the Holy Spirit's tutelage might be wrought into godly sorrow that worketh repentance (our hope); nevertheless even without law, death reigned...

Yes, In my experience, both in GCI and other churches, once you identify as "struggling with homosexuality" you are relegated to second class, at best.  Even the youngest newbie Christian is seen as more spiritual than you, no matter how much you do.  It's sickening.

No: that such comparisons are made at all is sickening. We're not to look down on one another, but know each others' weaknesses and act accordingly, and there's to be no segregation of the body into inferior and superior classes.
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DrLivingstone
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2009, 08:46:22 pm »

Mapleleafsfan84, I find much of your comment to be very hard to believe, given the lengthy experience (and yes, much of it negative) that I had within the GCM (or whatever it was called in the 70s and 80s). I suspect there is more to the story that you are not telling us. But my response does not address the veracity of your story. Rather, it is to rebuke you.

Homosexuality is a sin and a terribly grievous sin, for it is destroying the biblical designed institution of the family - not to mention the fabric of society. To allow an obviously unrepentant sinner (and it doesn't matter what the sin is, by the way) to fellowship with Christians who are seeking to follow God would be anathema to any God-fearing church.

Homosexuality is making stunning and tragic inroads into society. And there are very, very, very few churches who still regard it as sin and refuse to give it any quarter. In fact, in this day and age, intolerance of homosexuality is a test of a true church.

I am amazed at the amount of sympathy you derived from the responses here, as well as the rebuke that was not forthcoming. It makes me wonder how many of the people who chip away at GCM are truly believers or if they are people who never have received the Spirit of the living God. Homosexuality is the very sin that threatens to take real churches underground and out of mainstream society. If you doubt this, look into what is happening in Europe when pastors speak out against homosexuality. They have been charged with hate crimes. This is the legacy of homosexuals and those who tolerate their sin and sinful lives.

For all the problems and failings that GCM had (and has), they seem to know what sin is and how to deal with it.
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ANobody
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2009, 06:40:00 am »

When Jesus lived on earth those around Him said to Him, "I cannot believe you are going to parties hosted by tax collectors.  They are all thieves, they steal the bread from our childrens' mouths and they corrupt our society!  They empower the Gentile Romans to maintain control over our society.  That is a grievous sin according to the Law of Moses.  Tell those sinners to change before you socialize with them!"

Well, you get the idea.

Yes, homosexuality is a sin.  Lording it over your flock is a sin.  Lying is a sin.  Excommunicating others for holding a different opinion about church polity is a sin.  But we are called into the world to change the world while not participating in the things the world does.  But to change the world we must socialize with the people who are the world.

DrLivingstone said, "intolerance of homosexuality is a test of a true church"

Really?Huh??  What a doctrinally bankrupt and biblically uneducated thing to say. 

A "true church" is always one that professes faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  A "true church" may be soft on dealing with some sins (like the Corinthian church and the son who was having sex with his step-mother), or it may have glaring doctrinal problems (like those Paul warned Timothy to correct in his church), or it may have sinfully authoritarian overlords as pastors (like Diotrephes and many GC pastors were), BUT they are all still "true churches."

A "good church" will find ways to teach its born again members about godly living practices.  It will also find ways to strengthen the knees that are weak and to encourage the doubting without destroying them in condemnation or kicking them out of the church.  If a homosexual comes into a church, particularly because he was invited by a church member, and he/she is looking for help and answers, let us hope the church members have the good sense to provide the tolerance and own the knowledge so as to be able to answer those questions and gently lead that person to the Lord and out of homosexuality.

Yes, homosexuality is a sin.  But a greater sin is unbelief--let us address that in the sinner before we address their sexual preferences. 
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LucyB
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2009, 02:53:16 pm »

Gay and lesbian people are members of most churches. I urge you to rethink your position on homosexuality being a sin. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle or a choice. The book "Stranger at the Gate" by Dr. Mel White is a poignant account of a Christian man's struggle with homosexuality. He now accepts his sexual orientation. He also wrote this article:  http://www.soulforce.org/pdf/whatthebiblesays.pdf
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Linda
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2009, 03:13:52 pm »

Quote from: LucyB
I urge you to rethink your position on homosexuality being a sin.
Just curious, what is your Biblical basis for saying this?
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LucyB
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2009, 04:56:06 pm »

The link above is to an article entitled, "What the Bible Says and Doesn't Say about Homosexuality". I don't really have much to add. Homosexual and lesbian people are not "them", they are "us." They are our children, our coworkers, our friends, and our church members. We should be sensitive to the struggles they face with rejection on all fronts. Many of them struggle with severe depression as a result. To them, homosexuality is not a behavior as much as it is part of the fabric of their being. Sin is a behavior and a choice. Homosexuality is not.
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ANobody
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2009, 05:15:45 pm »

Hi LucyB.  Sorry, I did not take time to read the article.  Some thirty years ago some gay and lesbian acquaintances and I did some very in depth Bible investigation into the topic at their request -- they had extensive "apologetics" for why the Bible supposedly supported homosexuality as a God-honoring alternative lifestyle.  By the conclusion of the study I realized that their position was founded not on legitimate principles of biblical interpretation but on what they wished the Bible had said instead of what it does say.  I doubt that this article brings anything new to the conversation of what the Bible actually says.

Sex, apart from marriage, is a choice.  Sex, apart from marriage, is a sin.  God readily, and repeatedly, defines marriage as one man and one woman in agreement to give themselves solely to each other for life. 

A heterosexual person will admit his sexual preference is to have sexual contact with the opposite sex.  For the heterosexual that is his fabric of being.  However, if the heterosexual chooses to have sex with anyone other than a marriage partner, that heterosexual has chosen to sin.

Homosexuality arguments follow the same line as drinking arguments.  Those who are profound drunks claim it is in the fabric of their being to enjoy intoxication more so than sobriety (and more so than sober persons).  This may be true, but it is not the root problem.  The root problem is that drinking alcohol to excess is sin.  Drinking is always a choice.

Similarly, one can think they would enjoy sexual contact more with someone of the same gender than with someone of the opposite gender, but that is not the root of the question.  Participating in sexual contact with anyone but a marriage partner is a sin.  Having sex is a choice.

Some single people choose to give up sex entirely for the sake of serving God.  If one feels themself to be homosexual, and if they feel God has called them to faith in Christ, sex is something they will choose to give up entirely for the sake of serving God.
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ANobody
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2009, 10:46:47 pm »

Dear LucyB.  I have now taken the time to read the article to which your link was directed.

The article is heavily polemic, intentionally contorted toward evoking emotions of outrage and sympathy rather than thoughtful and honest discourse.  The author begins by accusing all the world, especially the Christian world, of never having fairly studied their own Scriptures as well as he has studied them. 

To prove his superior knowledge of the Scriptures he first cites several Old Testament laws on sexual conduct that are supposed to shock the Christian audience.  Having previously studied these passages in some depth over the years myself, the only shock I had was how badly the good author misunderstood them and how improperly he interpreted them.  He impugned his own high claim to scholarship from that point forward.  Only then does he launch into his apologetic for homosexuality.

The author's misreading of the Sodom story is indefensible and demonstrates a total lack of reliable scholarship.  The text, in Hebrew and in English, clearly states that all the males of Sodom, old and young, demanded that the "male" visitors (in fact, angels) come out into the street so that they could "have sexual relations with" them.  The Hebrew word for "have sexual relations with" is the same one as used about Adam and Eve in Genesis 4:1, Cain in 4:17, Adam again in 4:25, ... well you get the idea.  The article states that the story of Sodom is not about the evil of homosexual behavior but rather about the evil of gang rape.  And yet, the author misses the point that the rape was initiated by men toward men.  That, by any label, is homosexuality.

He then spins Leviticus 18:6 and 20:13 as having nothing to do with sexual behavior. Yet, he never explains why he thinks these passages do not forbid homosexual sex.  We know that these two laws did not forbid men from lying close to each other in the field to keep warm on a cold night, for that is actually approved of in Ecclessiastes 4:11.  The only thing these two laws do prohibit is homosexual sex.

Similarly, he incorrectly assumes Genesis 38:9-10 is a prohibition against self-pleasing.  This again demonstrates his absolute lack of understanding as to how to read the case law of the Old Testament.  As virtually any seminary student knows, Genesis 38:9-10 speaks to the man's refusal to fulfill the law of offspring to one's deceased brother and has nothing whatsoever to do with some imagined prohibition against self-pleasing.

The rest of the article is the same sort of intentiional (or embarrasingly uneducated) misrepresentation of Scripture and of history.  He even tries the old ploy "the ancient people did not understand the sciences so they could not have known what we would discover about human homosexuality in the future" as if God were not omniscient.

If this article represents the homosexual's "biblical stance" for approving of homosexuality, I am afraid they have been betrayed by the author.  He is neither a Bible scholar in any meaningful sense, and he has misled the gay community on the meaning of several important Scriptures.

There is no war between genuine Christianity and homosexuals.  Christians would love to see gays come to the Lord through regeneration of their hearts, minds, and spirits, and to repent of all their sins (that would include homosexual sex).  All of Christ's disciples had to repent of their treasured sins as well. 

Please do not make the mistake of thinking that God does not mean what He says in His own Book. Salvation is available to all who desire it.  Similarly, eternal death is available to all who do not.  Homosexuals can and do become Christians just as do heterosexuals.  Neither group is permitted to live a life of unregulated sexual pursuits, however, God sets us free from sin and death, if we are willing.
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Linda
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2009, 07:14:27 am »

Quote from: LucyB
They are our children, our coworkers, our friends, and our church members. We should be sensitive to the struggles they face with rejection on all fronts.
I completely agree with this. We should be sensitive to all who struggle with any sin. I have heard/read of churches, groups, and individuals who have a hate filled attitude towards homosexuals. I am happy to say I don't know anyone who feels that way and at my GC church I never heard any thoughts like that expressed.

Thanks for posting that link, and thank you ANobody for reading it and commenting. I have only skimmed it (the link), but found it lacking. I'll try to read it more carefully.

I do know a tiny bit about Soulforce. Just two weeks ago at a family wedding, I was walking into the reception hall at Northwestern College in St. Paul. I was walking down the hall with my nephew who has struggled with issues involving homosexuality and he said to me, "Oh, man, do I have bad feelings about this place. I was part of a group that debated Soulforce here and I haven't been here since." He was having a floating moment and expressed very "dark" (I think that was the word he used) feelings. I will ask him if his group has literature in response to the Soulforce literature. I'm also going to ask him more about the debate.

Oddly enough, I have a memory of the only Rick Whitney talk we ever heard personally. It was the Memorial Weekend of 1996 (quick tape people, destroy that tape before someone orders it!). Most couples were at the couple's conference (I'm so glad I never went to one). We were among a handful of couples left behind. Most of the audience was composed of college students or at least high schoolers who could drive since the parents were gone.

The talk was on grace. The take away message that my husband and I got was (obviously not an exact quote but what I heard in his words), "Hey college kids. It's the beginning of summer. Summer is a time to have fun. You are going to be spending time together. Guys and gals are going to party, you'll be at the beach and you know what, you are going to sin. Just remember when Fall comes around that God is merciful and he forgives." One of the worst talks ever and troublesome because dad and mom probably never heard what he told their kids. I always felt my church was a little "loose" at times in the area of sexuality.

Then, there was the time at small group when the question was, "When it comes to sex, who initiates?" Okay, now I'm remembering some things....Smiley



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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2009, 08:14:45 am »


To prove his superior knowledge of the Scriptures he first cites several Old Testament laws on sexual conduct that are supposed to shock the Christian audience.  Having previously studied these passages in some depth over the years myself, the only shock I had was how badly the good author misunderstood them and how improperly he interpreted them.  He impugned his own high claim to scholarship from that point forward.  Only then does he launch into his apologetic for homosexuality.

My first contact with Dr. White was in the late 70's when I was a student at Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz, California. At the time, he was a professor of communications at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena where he had earned his doctorate in religious studies. He had made a film called "Deceived" about the tragedy in Jonestown, and shared the film with the student body during our daily chapel services. He is a gifted communicator. At the time, of course, none of us knew he was gay or even friendly toward gays. I call "ad hominem". The article is intended to be polemic. You have to be willing to honestly look the issue and see the other side.


The author's misreading of the Sodom story is indefensible and demonstrates a total lack of reliable scholarship.  The text, in Hebrew and in English, clearly states that all the males of Sodom, old and young, demanded that the "male" visitors (in fact, angels) come out into the street so that they could "have sexual relations with" them.  The Hebrew word for "have sexual relations with" is the same one as used about Adam and Eve in Genesis 4:1, Cain in 4:17, Adam again in 4:25, ... well you get the idea.  The article states that the story of Sodom is not about the evil of homosexual behavior but rather about the evil of gang rape.  And yet, the author misses the point that the rape was initiated by men toward men.  That, by any label, is homosexuality.

No. Homosexuality is a sexual preference for people of the same gender. One does not need to be a homosexual to commit homosexual rape, or abuse. The scripture says that "all" of the men of Sodom participated in the gang rape. It is unlikely that they were all homosexual.


He then spins Leviticus 18:6 and 20:13 as having nothing to do with sexual behavior. Yet, he never explains why he thinks these passages do not forbid homosexual sex.  We know that these two laws did not forbid men from lying close to each other in the field to keep warm on a cold night, for that is actually approved of in Ecclessiastes 4:11.  The only thing these two laws do prohibit is homosexual sex.

I think you may have misunderstood some of the points of the article. He does not say that these verses do not prohibit homosexual sex. His argument is that the levitical code was not intended for all people of all times and that we do not observe the levitical code in the church. It's the same argument why it is acceptable to eat ham. After making his point, he says he is convinced that the levitical laws have nothing to do with homosexuality as we understand it today.

Similarly, he incorrectly assumes Genesis 38:9-10 is a prohibition against self-pleasing.  This again demonstrates his absolute lack of understanding as to how to read the case law of the Old Testament.  As virtually any seminary student knows, Genesis 38:9-10 speaks to the man's refusal to fulfill the law of offspring to one's deceased brother and has nothing whatsoever to do with some imagined prohibition against self-pleasing.

Again, you have misunderstood the article. He does not assume that Genesis 38:9-10 is a prohibition against self-pleasing. He is using this erroneous assumption to strengthen his premise that people misuse scripture. The problem was not self-pleasing, as you have pointed out, but refusal to produce a child. He is saying that the levitical prohibition of homosexual sex also has much to do with the idea that the semen is sacred and should be used to produce a child.

The rest of the article is the same sort of intentiional (or embarrasingly uneducated) misrepresentation of Scripture and of history.  He even tries the old ploy "the ancient people did not understand the sciences so they could not have known what we would discover about human homosexuality in the future" as if God were not omniscient.

 In what way did he misrepresent history?


There is no war between genuine Christianity and homosexuals.
  


Seriously? Apparently, you don't live in Iowa or California.

I started speaking out when Christians were protesting hate crime legislation in the name of Christ. When my friend and history teacher was murdered because he was gay, Christian friends were either silent or took the attitude that he got what he deserved. In Iowa, Christians loudly opposed the legalization of civil marriage for same sex couples. Shameful. Unloving. This church belongs to Jesus, and we must not hate. Don't say these are not genuine Christians. I'm not talking about Fred Phelps. I'm talking about genuine Christians who take the Bible seriously, but don't recognize the hatred in their hearts, because they think the Bible justifies it.lgt5f4r


 
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ANobody
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2009, 01:30:20 pm »

Dear LucyB.  Thanks for the thoughtfilled responses and clarifications.

Quote from: LucyB
Dr. White ... was a professor of communications at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena where he had earned his doctorate in religious studies.

This would help explain much of his lack of understanding regarding the Hebraic Law.  Fuller's doctrinal bent (and subsequently how those in their seminary choose to interpret Scripture) is not in the mainstream of traditional, historical, Calvinist, Lutheran, Reformed, Puritan, and evangelical Christianity.  Without that belief base the OT Law is made to become everything from allegory to mythology or the human musings of philosophically unenlightened and bigoted men.

I submit that my basis for understanding the OT Law is that it was delivered from God to prophets without error via revelation.

Quote from: LucyB
Homosexuality is a sexual preference for people of the same gender.

I agree that that is part of homosexuality, but not the entire thing.  The physical intimacy of male to male or female to female is the fuller expression of homosexuality, without which homosexuality loses much, if not all, of its distinction.  For example, two heterosexual singles (one male one femaile) can have a close lifelong relationship that involves no intimate touching (regardless of their unrequited desire to touch) and the relationship not be inappropriate (so long as one is not persistently lusting after the other)  Similarly, same gender folks can have lifelong relaionships that involve no intimate touching (regardless of their desire to do so) and it not be inappropriate (so long as one is not persistently lusting after the other).  Without the sex, the label of homosexuality simply loses any real meaning.

Quote from: LucyB
One does not need to be a homosexual to commit homosexual rape [of the same sex], or abuse [of the same sex]. The scripture says that "all" of the men of Sodom participated in the gang rape.

This I must disagree with.  In ordinary city life heterosexual males just do not get together to go about raping other males.  Those males that do stalk and rape other males on the city street are homosexual.

Quote from: LucyB
I think you may have misunderstood some of the points of the article. He does not say that these verses do not prohibit homosexual sex. His argument is that the levitical code was not intended for all people of all times and that we do not observe the levitical code in the church. It's the same argument why it is acceptable to eat ham. After making his point, he says he is convinced that the levitical laws have nothing to do with homosexuality as we understand it today. ... He is saying that the levitical prohibition of homosexual sex also has much to do with the idea that the semen is sacred and should be used to produce a child.

I did find this set of comments confusing.  

The OT Law was binding on all who would have followed God until 33 AD.  If one wanted to "be saved" before 33AD his faith in God as Savior led him to adhere to Judaism and so followed the OT Law.  In that sense, the Law was binding on all people until 33AD.  After that time, Christ being the fulfillment of the Law, the Law became obsolete.  

But, as Jesus pointed out, the morality of the Law is reflected in what Christ taught and in what the apostles taught.  In no case did Christ or the apostles actively endorse homosexuality (i.e. they never said, "it is ok to have sex one male to another and one woman to another").  When they did speak about sex, it was always to condemn sex in all forms except within the confines of "a woman leaving her family and a man leaving his family to be joined as one flesh."  That is all the sexual activity they ever endorsed.  Even Dr. White does not deny that, does he?

It did confuse me that you said that Dr. Wite teaches that the Law has "nothing to do with homosexuality as we know it today" but that the Law does "prohibit homosexual sex."  I find that self-contradictory and confusing.

In fact, the Law did prohibit homosexual sexual contact. Dr. White offers nothing to disprove that.

Quote from: LucyB
Again, you have misunderstood the article. He does not assume that Genesis 38:9-10 is a prohibition against self-pleasing. He is using this erroneous assumption to strengthen his premise that people misuse scripture. The problem was not self-pleasing, as you have pointed out, but refusal to produce a child. He is saying that the levitical prohibition of homosexual sex also has much to do with the idea that the semen is sacred and should be used to produce a child.

Semen, per se, was not considered "sacred" by the Jews.  Baal worshippers and other false fertility cults considered semen sacred.  

The Jewish Law required that if a married man died, without having had children, then his brother (if he had one) was to raise up children in his name to carry on the family name and keep the family land in the family AND to ensure the widow was taken care of and could stay in her house and on her property.  When Onan refused to do this, by dropping, his sin was not in sullying the semen but in violating the tradition of raising up the next generation for his brother and also not taking care of his brother's widow.

That is the difference of interpretation that results between those who view the Law as a collection of human mores and superstitions (as Fuller would seem to view it) instead of as God's revelation for human society.

Quote from: LucyB
I started speaking out when Christians were protesting hate crime legislation in the name of Christ.

Christians have been trying for some time to get religious speech explictly protected from "hate crimes legislation" because as it is presently worded if a preacher calls homosexuality a sin he is open to having his "tax exempt" status summarily withdrawn and thus the church seized or shut down.  This law is as foolish and against the constitution as the present IRS regulation which forbids preachers from talking about politicians from the pulpit.  

At present, it is already against the US law to commit murder or commit assault and battery against anyone else.  The hate crimes law does nothing except to make it illegal to call homosexuality a sin.  Which is the real point, isn't it?  That way, all Christians by virtue of obeying Christ automatically become criminals.  Simply by being Christians they will lose their freedom, their livlihoods, and ultimately their churches.  That law deserves to be defeated.

Thank you for the discussion Lucy.  But, just as it was not possible for the Jews to serve Baal and YHWH, it is not possible for Christians to go on serving homosexuality and Christ, for He will require you to choose between them at some point.










« Last Edit: August 17, 2009, 01:33:19 pm by ANobody » Logged
LucyB
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2009, 03:12:33 pm »

ANobody:

Clearly, we don't see eye to eye on this issue and will not be able to resolve our differences on this venue. Thank you for taking the time to participate in this dialogue and for reading the article I posted. Blessings to you.
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2009, 08:19:27 pm »

Thought those who had been reading this thread would like to see the law itself:

Quote
"When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her.  It shall be that the firstborn whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel. 

But if the man does not desire to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, 'My husband's brother refuses to establish a name for his brother in Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.'  Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him. And if he persists and says, 'I do not desire to take her,' then his brother's wife shall come to him in the sight of the elders, and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face; and she shall declare, 'Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.'

In Israel his name shall be called, 'The house of him whose sandal is removed.' (Deuteronomy 25:5-10)

God was angry with the brother who said he would do this, but lied, and backed out of his obligations.  There is nothing in this law upholding superstition, extolling semen as sacred, or commending homosexuality. 
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