MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

A Candlestick Snuffed Out

June 27th, 2006 Visited 1248 times, 1 so far today

Oil LampThe Book of Revelation in the New Testament starts off with letters from Jesus to the churchs of Asia Minor. Each of these churches has something that the Lord wants to tell it with an admonition to do right or their candlestick will be removed, which is a reference to their testimony for Christ being removed. The Episcopal Church moved one step closer to having its wick extinguished, if it already hasn’t blown out.

The group meeting of the churches began with discussions of whether they would capitulate to the demand of the global Anglican church to stop promoting homosexual leaders and to stop blessing homosexual unions. The plea was not far enough, in my opinion. V Gene Robinson should be no where near a church leader, since he engages in a sin that is against nature and natures God.

Instead of complying, the Episcopalians selected as the highest bishop in the U.S. a woman (I don’t know how she is a husband of one wife) who stands fully behind homosexuality. She endorses the unions and accepts that “they were born that way.” She wants the church to be inclusive– a command that is definitely not in line with the scripture’s comments about separation from the world to Christ.

It’s saddening to watch as once great churches who had testimonies for Christ leave the faith. I would encourage any believers in that denomination to find a church that follows God’s teaching and leave those that have set themselves against Christ.

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  • John C. says on: June 27, 2006 at 1:48 pm

     

    And now for a slightly different outlook on this….

    I think this is more a matter of what different denominations of Christianity choose to accept as their interpretation of the Bible. Arguing the moral grounds of homosexuality is a moot point in this discussion for the most part… at least until a scientist comes along and finds a chromosome with a “homosexuality toggle” or something of that effect to black and white this issue.

    Those who believe it is sin will believe it and and can find examples to justify these believes through the Bible while those who dont can do the same. Its all a matter of how you spin the subject. If you view the Bible as an absolute truth word for word (such as Fundamentalists), are you to believe that slavery, having multiple wives, and mistreating women is something still do be done because it is written of in the Bible without scorn? However, if you do not believe that is the case, as most Christians do, then you have a blurry middle ground as to how much the Bible is up for interpretation. This is where the various denominations of Christianity, and even those within the denominations, become so divided on issues such as this.

    If the Episcopalians choose to believe that the Bible was written in a different time to illustrate certain points and guidelines for how to live ones life and don’t think that homosexuality is a sin, I don’t understand what the problem is with this as long as they believe in Christ and follow the fundamental beliefs of Christianity. They believe that homosexuality is a human condition and not a choice or sinful.

    Its not as if by making a homosexual a bishop that the Episcopalians are trying to force other Episcopalians to become homosexual but rather that they choose to not exclude those whom they believe are equal members of their religious community with mental “defects” causing them to lead an alternate, yet still religious, lifestyle.

  • MInTheGap says on: June 27, 2006 at 2:25 pm

     

    I don\’t know that even finding a chromosone would settle the argument about homosexuality. At its basic tenants, Christians of all stripes believe that we are born with a sin nature and carry that until the day they die. I\’m aware of some that may believe that they can be perfect, but then they also have some caviet about falling from it. I say all this to make this point– Christians believe that they were all born with sin, and for someone to find a chromosone that says that a given person is predisposed to a particular thing, be it homosexuality or kleptomania, that would neither justify the act nor determine whether it was morally correct.

    So, now we\’re left with the moral question of what does Christianity, or more importantly the Bible, have to say about a given action and whether the given action is sin. One would have to rely on Biblical statements in context in order to determine that– granted that different people have different interpretations, but what does a clear reading say, and what is the stress in the Scripture itself?

    Well, if you look at the Old Testament, you first see that God created a man and a woman to be in an intimate relationship that was to produce children. You see no other relationship being created. In fact, it is interesting to note that unlike polygamy or other actions that you mentioned the Bible being silent on, every time homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible it is mentioned in a negative context, and it is not silent on the issue.

    The Levitical law spoke that a man should not lay with another man, and neither should a female approach another female. Skip ahead to the New Testament and Jesus took the Old Testament law and amplified it saying that if one looked another to lust after them (in the specific case, a woman after a man, but it\’s the principle here, not necessarily the example) it was equated to performing the activity.

    Forward ahead to Romans 1 and you see Paul stating that those men and women that \”have given up natural affection\” will have a physical curse placed on them. Read in the other epistles and you will see Paul list this activity as a sin that is not to be listed among you for their end is not salvation but eternal punishment.

    So there is a huge body of comments in the Biblical record that says that God detests the acts– from Creation all the way up to Paul\’s writings. The question that one that subscribes to the changing times argument has to ask themselves is, when did God change his opinion on something He hates when He\’s supposed to be an unchanging God?

    Let me make sure to clarify this– I have no problem with the person, I have a problem with the activity. The activity is wrong, and in God\’s opinion sin just as much as the glutton, the gossip, and the theif. That doesn\’t mean you should love them any less, and seek them to get a right relationship with Christ, but it does mean that they are in open sin and need to get that right.

  • John C. says on: June 27, 2006 at 3:10 pm

     

    I’m still going to have to argue that your examples are interpretations of small passages not strong enough to provide a true stance on the issue.

    I am not a Biblical scholar and I cannot quote Bible passages to attempt to defend my stance as well. However, I have attended a Catholic school for 12 years, was raised in a Catholic home, and I do know a lot about the Bible. I know that it also has many stranger blurbs and passages on a variety of subjects that, taken out of context to make an argument, can be quite contrary and odd.

    One can easily pick and choose passages from a book so large to support a large range of ideals, much like you can fool around with seemingly related numbers to come up with combinations of 911 to show that it was a phophecy.

    To take one of your examples, you state that God created one relationship in the story of creation (which again is highly up for debate depending on your interpretation of the Bible). Then are we also to take from the story that women are more easily tempted by evil and responsible for mans fall from grace? It is all a matter of interpretation.

    Was the story written to inform the Israelites of homosexuality or to explain how the world has come to be? It clearly is not meant to be a word-for-word story seeing as men and women do not have a different number of ribs… and it sure wasn’t right about evolution and Earth’s creation. I dont believe that the creation story is something that can be used to take a stance on homosexuality unless you “see” it as such.

    There are very clear fallancies and contradictions in the Bible and doing just a modest amount of searching will bring you towards many individuals who have spent a lot of time finding them. There are even people out there who attempt to use the Bible to advocate marijuana usage. Its all about how you spin it or what you personally take as the meaning of the Bible’s passages.

    My point in all of this is that your arguments are based upon interpretations of the Bible and homosexuality is certainly not a strong, overlying theme in the Bible where an absolute stance is taken (such as murder or the worship of false gods).

    Until then, this subject will continue to be something that you simply cannot black or white.

  • MInTheGap says on: June 27, 2006 at 3:27 pm

     

    Let me try to stay on topic, because we could get off on a number of rabbit trails (and maybe we will in time).

    I agree that there has to be some ground rules, as you pointed out Fundamentalists will hold a specific set of beliefs about the Bible and thereby direct their moral compass from those beliefs.

    A clear reading of the text will not find any instances where there is any equivocation on the matter at hand. There are no instances where a homosexual person or coupling was declared to be used by God. There are very clear statements regarding that the action that homosexuals are involved in is immoral (should your morality spring from the Bible).

    Some of them I’ve mentioned– direct prohibition in the Old Testament:

    Leviticus 20:13 – “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.”

    Paul’s statements:

    Romans 1:26-32 – “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

    These are just two examples. Notice the end of the last passage– Paul is commenting on the Levitical passage because those things that he lists as breaking the law were punishable by death, and he makes the statement that people do these things that awer worthy of death don’t just do them, but have pleasure in doing them. And therein lies my point– this discussion isn’t really about what we think of a given thing, it’s about whether it is right or wrong. These statements from the Bible are not grey in that one has to wonder what it means. The Bible authors clearly didn’t think the activity was right– to the contrary, they believe that it warranted death. That’s pretty clear. I don’t know how you could go from death to celebration.

  • Matt K. says on: June 28, 2006 at 8:47 am

     

    As far as the taking the Genesis literally and Adam’s rib bone I give you the following:

    “Surprisingly, some Christians have grown up believing that men have one less rib than women. They have the same number, of course. Some anti-creationists have used the fact that men don’t have any missing ribs today to mock a literal Genesis.”

    “…this information about rib regrowth adds a new and fascinating dimension. God designed the rib, along with the periosteum. He would certainly have known how to remove the rib in such a way that it would later grow back, just as ribs still do today — without requiring any sort of special miracle.5”

    These quotes were taken from:
    AnswersinGenesis.org
    Feel free to read the entire link.

    As for Homosexuality I don’t even have to go to a Spiritual level to prove it is wrong. Regardless of how you believe the world came into existence you agree that there exist certain laws in Nature like the Law of Thermodynamics. Another law in Nature is how to reproduce. Its takes one female element and one male element to create a baby. Since we were all made to reproduce it is against our nature to try such with male + male or female + female. It is in our natural reproductive nature for male + female.

    Homosexuals are a dying group of people. They do not have any natural offspring in which to impart their beliefs. Also, inherent in homosexuality is the disease Aids. Most people that get Aids even with treatment have much shortened life spans. Homosexuals are on a continual quest to enlist as many people as they can before the inevitable.

  • John C. says on: June 28, 2006 at 11:21 am

     

    I want to make it clear that i’m not saying homosexuality is something natural. Mental retardation isn’t natural either, but it doesnt make the disabled sinners. Its quite apparent that homosexuals cannot reproduce, but that doesnt do anything for or against the argument that its either a human condition or a choice.

  • Matt K. says on: June 28, 2006 at 2:10 pm

     

    God created nature. Homosexual acts are against nature and the natural order set. Either you are for God or against God. You cannot be on the fence. Sin is anything against God and His Laws. I fail to see how homosexuality cannot be a sin.

    It is time to digress. One’s view of homosexuality stems from that person’s world view. Their world view is either based on relative truth or absolute truth. If you beleive in Evolution as the basis for the world everything is relative. Homosexuality would be a part of this relative nature. If you believe in an ultimate Creator who made the universe then your view will be an absolute one. Homosexuality is wrong and everything we do is a choice whether good or bad.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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