Questions Concerning the Possibility of an Openly Gay NFL Player, and Dr. Brown Takes Your Questions

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Dr. Brown shares his thoughts and gets your feedback about the “coming out” of prospective NFL player Michael Sam and then takes your biblical and theological questions. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: We are making a big fuss out of someone saying, “I’m attracted to the same sex.” America wake up.

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Society may hate us, society may mock us, and society may misunderstand us.  Our role is to be like Jesus in the midst of a sinful world.

 

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Other Resources:

Sobering Lessons from the Sex Scandals

Will EPSN Reporter Become a Media Martyr for Sharing His Christian Beliefs?

Update on Rush Limbaugh and the Penn State Scandal; Does God Work Miracles for Tim Tebow?; and Reflections on the Weekend News

98 Comments
  1. 1) It’s a cruel non sequitur to say, “Gays are destroying society and it takes no courage to admit you are one.”

    I can’t imagine how anyone can keep both thoughts in their brain.

    2) If it is a selfish act to “come out” as gay, as Dr. Brown claims, then is it a selfish act to “come out” as a Christian to your co-workers?

    Both gays and Christians make people uncomfortable.

    3) It is very poor biblical scholarship for Dr. Brown to keep claiming that Matthew 19 is about sexual orientation.

    The passage is clearly about (heterosexual!) divorce and possibly about consanguination.

    It’s just an amateurish attempt at proof-texting to claim that Jesus was addressing the issue of homosexuality.

  2. Greg,

    Will the real amateur please stand up…that is you cue Greg.

    You just do not know how to…or actually, you do not want to believe what scripture does say about homosexuality. You are causing people to stumble and will be held accountable for your false comfort.

    Jer 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
    15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
    16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
    17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

    You refuse to listen. The peace that you proclaim is fiction. Homosex will ruin a persons inheritance in the kingdom of heaven. You would rather have people feel good instead of be truly healed. You want those that commit abomination to be proud of it instead of ashamed of it.

    Rest for the homesexual’s soul is in agreeing with YHWH’s ancient paths…or righteousness instead of rebellion. The trumpet is being blown and you refuse to hear.

  3. Homosex will ruin a persons inheritance in the kingdom of heaven

    A God who would send someone to hell for eternity for simply loving another person of the same sex is in my opinion a pretty pathetic and poor excuse for a creator, and hardly a being worthy of any worship. So God creates a world in which people have same-sex attractions. Then when those people act on those inborn desires God then sends them to hell because of it. That’s beyond messed up. But of course people like Dr. Brown and yourself readily believe these things, since you guys are so utterly incapable of moving past the antiquated religious nonsense espoused in parts of the Bible.

  4. What makes you think God created the world intending to have people born with same sex attraction? By this logic he would have created the world for other such sexual deviations to be accepted. Pedophilia, group relations, necrophilia, etc. But no, sin entered the world. Our sin is the cause of all sexual immorality.

    I understand, James, you believe homosexuality begins before birth. I urge you to reconsider your stance on this. Even secular psychologist are learning it begins in early childhood when children are learning to emulate their parents. Sexual attraction seems to be a learned behavior among humans. Homosexuals like adulterers, prostitutes, strippers are captive to sin and they have God’s grace should they accept it.

  5. Greg, 1. Do you believe a man who makes the announcement to the world that he is gay, volunteering the information, believes homosexuality is destructive to a nation?

    I certainly wish he would come to that understanding.

    2. Do you believe it’s a selfish act of the flesh, for a man to say he is a believer in Jesus, in an environment that may be hostile toward him?

    Selfish acts may require some courage at times.(usually if one knows such things to be wrong)

    3. Do you believe that in the beginning, God began humanity with a heterosexual union, and ordained it, as only one of his ways concerning marriage, being only temporary, and only as a matter of populating the earth, but that his higher and greater will would come about later, which would replace his original institution, or at the very least, would make additions to it that would make it very unclear as to his real preference, which way man should go?

    4. Have you been a Christian very long?

  6. James, Be careful what you say about God. Please post things that honor him, and consider if it’s good to consider others as better than ourselves.

  7. James,

    You can take YHWH’s word for truth and accept Him as Elohim (Judge, Ruler, Creator) or you can invent your own god that is in your own image. In that case you are worshiping yourself, your ideas, your sin.

    Just because you or your culture proclaims YHWH’s word as antiquated, does not show that it is not true. I am sorry that you do not like the idea that your attraction is lust to sin. You can repent, relearn, and renew your mind or you can continue to rebel against the truth.

    Eph 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
    10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    Ro 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    26 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:
    27 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.
    28 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;
    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    32 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.

    The above is the truth. You are on the wrong side of it. YHWH will not make you believe it. He will let you continue down the path of rebellion and deception if you are bent on it. You can make up a “god” that approves of your sinful desires and actions, but I doubt that it will end well for you in that case.

    I am sorry that you find yourself and your ideas and your feelings to be contrary to what the scripture describes as righteousness. Please be honest with yourself and either accept the whole book or throw it all out. Please do not pretend to be a “Christian” while rejecting the only book that brings you the story of the true Messiah. You need not try to reconcile your ideas with the Bible. Choose one or the other and sell yourself to do good or to do evil. Sitting on the fence is only giving the fence a bad name. Be a man and choose you this day who you will serve.

    Shalom

  8. James,

    Homosexual desires are not love. There is nothing loving about wanting to tear an area of someone else’s body to shreds because of your own lust.

    Also, if homosexual desires are inborn, then can you please explain why it is that some people begin with heterosexual desires, and then add homosexual desires to that? The reality is that sexual desires probably come about as a result of neuroplasticity, as I wrote on a post in another thread:

    http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2014/01/29/is-there-such-a-thing-as-ex-gay-an-interview-with-anne-paulk/#comment-656192

    Because of the brain’s ability to change, there is no reason to suggest that these desires are innate. Rather, what it suggests is that, when it comes to our sexual desires, there is a real moral element to them. Without the existence of sin, men would have desires for women as naturally as they would believe in an external world, because they understand that this is the way God created them to function, and would base their desires on that. The problem is that man has developed his own lusts for things he was not created for, and thus, degrades himself and others. That is not “love.”

  9. Greg Allen,

    “1) It’s a cruel non sequitur to say, “Gays are destroying society and it takes no courage to admit you are one.”
    I can’t imagine how anyone can keep both thoughts in their brain.”

    Greg, I don’t think Dr Brown is saying that gays are *intending* to ruin our society. I think they just want their own lusts. However, the arguments in favor of homosexuality, are not arguments against the notion that homosexuality is wrong-they are arguments against the notion of morality en toto. “You can’t judge anyone!” Really, does that mean I can’t judge that a murderer should be put away? “You can’t discriminate against me!” Really, does that mean that I can’t discriminate against a person who desires to take human life rather than to preserve it? You see, I can take all of the arguments for the notion that homosexuality is morally acceptable, and use it to prove that anything is morally acceptable, because the arguments are not arguments against the notion that homosexuality is wrong; they are arguments against the concept of morality en toto. And yes, if you destroy morality within a society, you destroy the society.

    “2) If it is a selfish act to “come out” as gay, as Dr. Brown claims, then is it a selfish act to “come out” as a Christian to your co-workers?
    Both gays and Christians make people uncomfortable.”

    It is not a matter of making people “comfortable.” It is a matter of right and wrong. For a person to do something immoral, and then to be willing to shout it out all over the media is very selfish. Again, imagine if an NFL player committed murder, and he made it so he could boast of that murder on all of the major news outlets before he got away. We would all say that he is extremely selfish. Again, I can take all of these arguments, and use it to prove that any immoral action is moral.

    “3) It is very poor biblical scholarship for Dr. Brown to keep claiming that Matthew 19 is about sexual orientation.
    The passage is clearly about (heterosexual!) divorce and possibly about consanguination.
    It’s just an amateurish attempt at proof-texting to claim that Jesus was addressing the issue of homosexuality.”

    It is reductionistic to the core to claim that Matthew 19 has nothing to do with the issue of homosexuality. Yes, Jesus does address the issue of heterosexual divorce, but on what basis? On the basis of the definition of what marriage is-the union of *one* man and *one* woman. The intent of Jesus’ statement is to define what marriage is, and use it to refute his opponents. However, that definition also precludes any notion of homosexual “marriage” as well. If Jesus defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, what makes you think he would accept the definition of two men or two women?

  10. Adam,

    Greg will not engage in an honest discussion. He will not reveal his sources for his supposed research. He only makes assertions and claims to have studied the topic thoroughly. He says that he has found the definitions of Biblical words to be different than the historical translations, but shows us no proof of his findings. I and others have many times shown the proof that Moses, Paul and Messiah agree about what marriage is. We have shown the meanings of the Greek and Hebrew words to not support Greg’s view. He ignores all this and continues to take potshots at Dr. Brown and accuses him of poor scholarship and such without basis. He takes potshots at the truth of scripture by short posts that he does not support with scripture or scholarship.

    Shalom

  11. “However, the arguments in favor of homosexuality, are not arguments against the notion that homosexuality is wrong-they are arguments against the notion of morality en toto. “You can’t judge anyone!” Really, does that mean I can’t judge that a murderer should be put away? “You can’t discriminate against me!” Really, does that mean that I can’t discriminate against a person who desires to take human life rather than to preserve it? You see, I can take all of the arguments for the notion that homosexuality is morally acceptable, and use it to prove that anything is morally acceptable, because the arguments are not arguments against the notion that homosexuality is wrong; they are arguments against the concept of morality en toto. And yes, if you destroy morality within a society, you destroy the society.”

    > This argument fails because murder is illegal and being a homosexual is not. Morality evolves just like everything else. Not long ago people thought corporal punishment was proper discipline for children. Despite what the Bible says we now know that kind of discipline causes a lot more problems down the road than the immediate ones it may seem to solve. Most civilized countries have stopped murdering murderers, this overly religious nation being one of the few exceptions. Again the Bible is found to be wrong about capital punishment. I don’t know why anyone would be worried about modern morals. PETA has made it impossible to find those roach motels because that’s not a humane way to kill roaches. I judge a society, a culture by the way it treats women, children, animals and minorities. Our society goes way past that. We even treat our roaches with respect. We’re not going to destroy morality or society.

  12. Van,

    “Despite what the Bible says we now know that kind of discipline causes a lot more problems down the road than the immediate ones it may seem to solve.”

    And we know this how?

    “Most civilized countries have stopped murdering murderers, this overly religious nation being one of the few exceptions. Again the Bible is found to be wrong about capital punishment.”

    So, if most societies said that it was okay to murder people, would that make it right? The Bible hasn’t been found “wrong” about anything, because society is not the standard of morality. Also, if society is the standard, then how can you distinguish between a “civilized” society and an “uncivilized” society? Also what standard could you ever say that a society as having to be “civilized” if such morality is constantly changing?

    “I don’t know why anyone would be worried about modern morals. PETA has made it impossible to find those roach motels because that’s not a humane way to kill roaches. I judge a society, a culture by the way it treats women, children, animals and minorities. Our society goes way past that. We even treat our roaches with respect. We’re not going to destroy morality or society.”

    Simple, because we have no morals. “Changing morals” is an oxymoron; even someone as committed to freedom as Jean Paul Sartre admitted that. What you have is not morality; it is sociological law. That is, in changes with whatever the society wants. Therefore, if the society says that it is okay to murder the Jews, then I guess it is okay to murder the Jews. In fact, societal opinion can change in a heartbeat.

    Secondly, the question is, if “most civilized countries” say that it is acceptable to mistreat women, children, animals, and minorities, could we not say that your morals have been “found to be wrong” about them? If you use the same standard that you are using for the Bible, then yes. However, that is the problem. You want to say that there are no universal ethics in order to attack the Bible, but even you have to use universal ethics in order to make your case. Therefore, as I said to you before Van, you are borrowing from our worldview in order to even make your argument. You simply cannot live consistently with the notion that morality is constantly changing.

  13. Actually Christians were a violent, intolerant, oppressive bunch until the rise of secular humanism and skepticism force them to act civilized. So it is actually the Christians who have gotten their modern morals from secular humanism. Morals do change just like everything else. There has never been a society in which murder and stealing were permitted nor has there ever been one in which lying and cowardice were acceptable behavior. So all of your alarmist nonsense just reflects your fear of change.

  14. Adam,

    1) Accepting homosexuality does not lead to accepting murder.

    This is classic fear-mongering that I reject. I’ve heard this same argument used against all kinds of common-sense change. If you let women teach Sunday School, then you have to let paedophiles in! You have no standards!

    2) I agree, it is a matter of “right and wrong.” You and I, obviously, have an honest disagreement on that point. And not just us — in the larger church as well.

    My point is that Dr. Brown argued that being truthful about who you are is selfish, if it hurts the team. In that case, it’s a selfish act because it makes the team uncomfortable

    So, does this apply to Christian football who “come out” as born-again Christians?

    Sorry I can’t address your third response… I gotta go.

    No, moral issues can be judged independently of each other.

  15. Bo,

    Please don’t accuse me of dishonestly. I have duscussed htis with you guys for MONTHS and MONTHS.

    Multiple times I have detailed exactly what I believe and why I believe it. The response, on this board, is condemnation of me, rather than honest debate. It rarely goes past, “You are rejecting God!”

    Your diatribe against me today is typical. Personal attack and nothing more.

    As for my sources — they are many, with the bible being the primary source.

    Just yesterday, I finished a very interesting book. “Christian Marriage: A Historical Study” by Glenn W. Olsen

    When people claims, “Gays are re-defining marriage” I always ask myself, “Which definition?”

    This book is a scholarly historical sweep of how marriage has been defined — and argued over — since the oldest Old Testament times until now.

    One thing is for sure — there is nothing new about our arguments over the meaning of marriage!

  16. Van,

    You wrote, “Actually Christians were a violent, intolerant, oppressive bunch until the rise of secular humanism and skepticism force them to act civilized.” Thanks for the unintended comic relief this morning!

  17. Van,

    You wrote:
    “Morals do change just like everything else. There has never been a society in which murder and stealing were permitted nor has there ever been one in which lying and cowardice were acceptable behavior.”

    Let me get this straight…morals change but they have never been different. Are you a politician? Where did these always the same but changing morals come from?

  18. Greg,

    You have offered mostly rhetoric and insults to Dr. Brown’s book. I do not remember any documentation or much if any real engagement of the facts. I remember excuses such as: “Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, so it must not be important.” and “Paul was not speaking against loving committed homosexual relationships, because they had not been invented yet.” You offer no proof, but just arguments from silence and non sequitur assertions.

    You have popped up, spouted a few rhetorical or emotional statements and then refused to address most of the responses to your comments by saying things like: “I prefer to only address the current topic on Dr. Brown’s site.” or, “I do not have time to respond right now.” So you hide in the bushes until you think it is safe to take another potshot and then you disappear once more and avoid any true debate.

    You have been challenged to many a duel and have continued your cowardly guerrilla warfare tactics, hoping to avoid any direct harm for your agenda. You are an intellectual terrorist, setting off emotional and rhetorical bombs and leaving the scene. The rest of us are left with your mess to clean up while you take no personal responsibility to actually engage in the discussion of truth. It is a liberal’s tactic and it is dishonest.

  19. Dr. Brown,
    That’s pretty funny coming from a guy who wrote a book talking about the violent history of Christians and Christianity. Can you tell us why Christians stopped hunting heretics, burning books and witches and forcing their religion on people? Did they all of a sudden get a conscience? It was the rise of secular humanism that gave way to laws that prohibited the Christians from doing what they had done since the dawn of Christianity. Most of the original colonies required public office holders to be Christians. However that was all changed by the Constitution. Are you going to tell me that Christians decided on their own that non-Christians should be able to hold public office? No one would believe that, even you. The reason we have any freedom at all in this country is because it was founded by men who were not Christians.

  20. Van if you are ever going to read just one book- read
    Our hands are stained with blood. I challenge you to prayfully consider your counter position between you and the god you do not think exists. Just take a leap of non sensical faith one time. Before you go to sleep tonight ask, god
    GOD IF YOU EXIST SHOW ME. If you will even do that one little minute test of your god, MY GOD will answer you.

    But since you will not even do a silent prayer, will you continue to lift your hands in defiance against a prayful and faithful man????? It takes much more effort to take your path of defiance, and you only hurt Van. (Also if you would like the book Our hands are stained with Blood I will purchase this for you.

  21. Van, I’m assuming you actually believe what you write (no offense intended, but the posts do seem like they’re put here in jest, as if arguing that aliens created the universe), but to help you get your facts straight, starting with the beginning, read Rodney Stark’s book The Rise of Christianity.

  22. Van, can you name one secular humanist who died on a cross for the sins of the world, then rose again, and ascended into heaven?

  23. Van,

    “Actually Christians were a violent, intolerant, oppressive bunch until the rise of secular humanism and skepticism force them to act civilized. So it is actually the Christians who have gotten their modern morals from secular humanism. Morals do change just like everything else. There has never been a society in which murder and stealing were permitted nor has there ever been one in which lying and cowardice were acceptable behavior. So all of your alarmist nonsense just reflects your fear of change.”

    Lol, Van, any church historian could rip you apart on that. For the first several hundred years, Christians were a persecuted minority. They were *legally* thrown to the lions by the Romans [so much for there never being a society in which murder was permitted], simply for refusing to worship the emperor cult of the state. So, who were the violent ones in the early church? It sure wasn’t the Christians! In fact, the Christians were known for their love of one another, and their love of others.

    Let us also not forget NAZI Germany, which was built on the ideas of Darwinian evolution, and murdered countless number of people simply because they opposed the NAZIs. Let us also not forget the oppression of the Soviet gulag to the point where millions of prisoners were stripped of their civil rights. In fact, if you want to talk about Christian atrocities, take the number of people killed by Christians from the time of Christ the twentieth century, and compare that to the number of people who were killed in the twentieth century. What is the difference? Well, as Doug Wilson said in his debate with Dan Barker “Only a few million.”

    Also, Van, you are confusing issues. The issue is not whether atheists *can* act in a moral fashion, or whether Christians *can* act in an immoral fashion. The issue is which worldview can account for the notion of morality en toto! To put it another way, when Christians murder, they are acting inconsistently with their worldview; when atheists murder, they are simply being consistent with their worldview.

    And it is not “alarmist;” there is documentary historical evidence for it. Go back and read the history of the Roman empire and how its humanism collapsed into an authoritarian government that was even willing to murder Christians as a result of their own carelessness and selfishness. Go look at the Darwinian roots of the NAZI movement. Go look at the hard core orthodox communist party in Russia and Eastern Europe. If you want to go back even further, then go look at the Assyrian empire which had much the same problems. Humanism must lead in this direction, because there are no universals by which to judge anything. It simply “changes” with society. Therefore, even murder will be justifiable in order for any given group to get what they want.

    I would also go so far as to say that it is already happening in our society under terms like “euthanasia,” “choice,” “embryonic stem cell research” and the like. Totalitarianism is manifesting itself in phrases such as “gay rights” and defining any criticism of the government as “sedition.” If anything is cause for alarm, these things are!

  24. Dr. Brown,
    Every Christian should read “Myths of Persecution” by Candida Moss. This books shows that stories of Christian martyrdom and persecution are complete fictions invented by the Church to justify its own actions as the mother of all persecutors. As it is with the stories in the Bible none of these persecutions can be verified using any sources independent of the Church. The Christian Church is the world’s largest fabrication factory besides being the worst tragedy to ever come upon this planet.

  25. Greg Allen,

    “1) Accepting homosexuality does not lead to accepting murder.
    This is classic fear-mongering that I reject. I’ve heard this same argument used against all kinds of common-sense change. If you let women teach Sunday School, then you have to let paedophiles in! You have no standards!”

    As I said to Van, it is not fear mongering; it is what happens when secularism takes over, because there is no foundation for ethics within humanism. Also, I have dealt with people who take such a strict view of gender roles in the church that they will not even allow women to teach Sunday School. Go read their “exegetical” arguments; they are pathetic. However, even liberals like Rob Gagnon are willing to say that we are right that homosexuality is condemned in scripture. The point is that we have a foundation for ethics and morality in scripture. Once you abandon the foundation of scripture, there is no ethical foundation, and it is shown in that these arguments in favor of gay “marriage” can be used to justify murder too. They are, as I have said, anti-morality arguments, not arguments against the notion that being a homosexual is wrong.

    “2) I agree, it is a matter of “right and wrong.” You and I, obviously, have an honest disagreement on that point. And not just us — in the larger church as well.”

    Actually, no, I don’t believe that any church that allows its members to believe that homosexuality is morally acceptable is a true church. Any true church must exercise church discipline, and be willing to excommunicate members who hold to the notion that homosexuality is moral. So, to put it bluntly, there is no church where people are allowed to believe that homosexuality is not sinful.

    “My point is that Dr. Brown argued that being truthful about who you are is selfish, if it hurts the team. In that case, it’s a selfish act because it makes the team uncomfortable
    So, does this apply to Christian football who “come out” as born-again Christians?”

    Of course, I deny that this man is being truthful to himself; I believe he is self-deceived into believing his is a homosexual, as I stated above. I think it is the result of neuroplasticity, and the changing of the brain to desire the same sex. Furthermore, the reason it is selfish, is because of the very fact that homosexuality *is* immoral. You can’t just say you are something because you desire it. If someone desires to murder someone, they are not going to sit there and say that they must be allowed to be an open murderer, because they are simply being true to themselves by being an open murderer. Trying to define yourself in accordance with your own sin is wicked-pure and simple. There is nothing “sinful” about being an evangelical Christian, and, in fact, as I have argued, it is the only way to make sense out of morality.

    “Sorry I can’t address your third response… I gotta go.
    No, moral issues can be judged independently of each other.”

    Really, so, we can be arbitrary in how we handle our ethics? We don’t have to be logically consistent? Sounds to me like, with Van arguing that morality is culturally relative, and you saying that we can be arbitrary in our ethics, that what I am saying is exactly true. Orthodox evangelical Christianity is the only way to make sense out of ethics.

  26. Van,

    Really? “Myths of Persecution?” You do realize that most scholars say that work is deeply flawed. And, if I remember correctly, even she doesn’t go so far as to argue that there was *no* persecution in the early church. She just wants to argue that it was not as wide spread as we once thought. So, it is a deeply flawed book that, itself, is against you. So, why bring it up?

  27. Josh,

    “What makes you think God created the world intending to have people born with same sex attraction? By this logic he would have created the world for other such sexual deviations to be accepted. Pedophilia, group relations, necrophilia, etc. But no, sin entered the world. Our sin is the cause of all sexual immorality”

    An omniscient God clearly knew that his creation would result in many people having same-sex attractions, through no fault of their own. Your example list is ridiculous. It highlights one of the major problems with your side in this whole debate over homosexuality. You guys always compare like with unlike. Homosexuality in and of itself implies no more harm or abuse of sexuality than heterosexuality does in and of itself. This is not the case for pedophilia and group relations. A desire to have romantic and sexual relationships with children clearly has harmful consequences for children. Group relations is excessive in that it demands too much out of one’s sexuality. Necrophilia is not even remotely comparable since it involves attractions to corpses that can’t reciprocate romantic and sexual affections toward the other person at the other end. You just can’t compare homosexuality to these other conditions since I’m not talking about particular instances or abuses within one’s sexual orientation. I’m simply referring to the general attractions that people might have toward one sex or the other.

    Your view of sin doesn’t capture the difficulty of your position. What your view entails is that the sin of other people causes other unrelated people to be inclined toward certain types of sin while others not. In this case, other peoples sin causes a small minority of people such as myself to have same sex attractions. Then you condemn the people who act out in any way on that inclination to hell, even if the acts are completely harmless. Does that not seem unfair and cruel to you?

    I understand, James, you believe homosexuality begins before birth. I urge you to reconsider your stance on this. Even secular psychologist are learning it begins in early childhood when children are learning to emulate their parents.Sexual attraction seems to be a learned behavior among humans.”

    I never gave my views on this matter so how would you know what my beliefs are here? In any case, your stated view on the matter seems very misguided. The fact of the matter is, the large majority of researchers on this question believe that biology plays a significant role in the development of one’s sexual orientation. Moreover, sexual orientation is not chosen in the overwhelming majority of cases, nor is it affected by the learning environment of their parents. There’s simply no evidence for the claims that you make here.

  28. I believe alcoholism isn’t likely chosen by many who became one, they just, you know…started liking to drink a lot. But I don’t think they were born that way.

    It seems to me that even if they were, if they would have resisted the temptation to drink during their pre-school years, they could certainly have overcome it, maybe even before the third grade.

  29. Bo,

    “You can take YHWH’s word for truth and accept Him as Elohim (Judge, Ruler, Creator) or you can invent your own god that is in your own image. In that case you are worshiping yourself, your ideas, your sin.”

    At what point do reason and science ever inform your worldview Bo? Or do religious beliefs always trump everything? You can claim that I’m inventing god in my own image all you like, but I choose to let reason, scripture and experience work together to form my beliefs. I don’t just uncritically stop at scripture and follow it like a blind sheep. Chances are, you probably do the exact same thing on at least certain matters, which I believe I will demonstrate below.

    “Please be honest with yourself and either accept the whole book or throw it all out. Please do not pretend to be a “Christian” while rejecting the only book that brings you the story of the true Messiah. You need not try to reconcile your ideas with the Bible. Choose one or the other and sell yourself to do good or to do evil. Sitting on the fence is only giving the fence a bad name. Be a man and choose you this day who you will serve.”

    This is such an amazing statement! It shows just how incredibly hypocritical you yourself are. Why don’t you say this to Dr. Michael Brown and all the other Christians here who don’t share your strict views on scripture? Aren’t these other Christians not accepting the “whole book” according to you? Be consistent and tell the other Christians here to also “choose one or the other” rather than “sitting on the fence…giving the fence a bad name”. Let me guess, you’re not going to do that to your fellow believers here are you? Why? Oh, because they share your views on homosexuality. I guess as long as they do that then that makes them OK and acceptable right?

    A few posts ago I praised you for your stance on strictly following the Bible. I said it was admirable for its consistency. It seems I may have been too quick to give you credit though, because I think even you would have to disavow or repudiate some of the things found in the Bible. And now I’m going to directly challenge you in this regard to live up to your own standard. Recall that this comment from you here almost got you banned from using the forum:

    YHWH’s law is perfect…with the statutes and judgments. Biblical laws that enacted the death penalty are righteous. It is the correct and loving way to deal with terrible situations. If all murderers and adulterers and Homosexuals and wicked teen gang members were put to death, we would live in a better society

    As you clearly would approve of laws that would essentially put people like me to death, I wonder how far you would really like to go with the whole “YHWH’s law is perfect” concept. Consider the following verse from the Bible:

    “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.”
    -Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (NIV)

    Now Bo, I want you to be brutally honest with me. Do not attempt to re-interpret this verse or spin your answer to me. If you do, it will tell me with complete clarity how dishonest and hypocritical you are in approaching certain parts of the Bible while condemning others for the very same thing. As someone who thinks “YHWH’s law is perfect”, I want you to tell me and everyone here whether or not you agree with the above verse. If you do, I then want you to read this story and tell me and again everyone here whether you think it would be “loving”, “perfect”, and “righteous” (to use your very words on the Biblical statutes and judgments) to force the woman in the picture to marry Jimmy Savile.

    Your answer to these questions will reveal powerfully either one of two things: 1) That you are indeed completely hypocritical yourself in what you choose to believe and follow from the Bible or 2) how disgustingly immoral you are as a person.

    Hope you have the courage to honestly answer these questions. Thanks

  30. Van, can you name one secular humanist who died on a cross for the sins of the world, then rose again, and ascended into heaven?

    > I don’t think that’s ever happened or that the sins of the world needed anything done on their behalf or that anyone has ever come back to life after being dead for a few days or that anyone could ascend to heaven because no one can give a reasonable explanation as to where that place might be – other than people’s imaginations.

    “Lol, Van, any church historian could rip you apart on that. For the first several hundred years, Christians were a persecuted minority. They were *legally* thrown to the lions by the Romans [so much for there never being a society in which murder was permitted], simply for refusing to worship the emperor cult of the state. ”

    > If this is true then you should have no trouble describing exactly what tactics the Roman government used to make sure all the citizens actually worshiped the emperor cult, what the worship of the emperor actually consisted of including the outward signs of worship and its requirements. I need non-Christian sources to verify your claims. Of course I’ll get nothing because you will ignore this challenge.

    “Let us also not forget NAZI Germany, which was built on the ideas of Darwinian evolution, and murdered countless number of people simply because they opposed the NAZIs.”

    > Evolution by natural selection is the foundation of modern biology. It has nothing to do with any kind of belief system. The Nazis were Christians as was their leader who by the way claimed to have completely stamped out atheism in Germany. The Nazis taught biblical creationism as science in their public schools so it’s ludicrous to claim that they founded anything on Darwinian evolution while indoctrinating their young with Christian creationism.

    “Let us also not forget the oppression of the Soviet gulag to the point where millions of prisoners were stripped of their civil rights.”

    > Speaking of Darwinian Evolution, the Soviets rejected evolution because Joseph Stalin thought it was some kind of Western philosophy. So the Russians adopted a form of pseudo-science called Lysenkoism that convinced them they could do a lot of things that were not possible like grow wheat on the frozen tundra. Did you ever actually study anything about the first half of the 20th Century that wasn’t written by one Christian apologist or another? The story of Lysenkosim is common knowledge, look it up, and it’s the reason so many people starved to death in Russia.

    ” In fact, if you want to talk about Christian atrocities, take the number of people killed by Christians from the time of Christ the twentieth century, and compare that to the number of people who were killed in the twentieth century. What is the difference? Well, as Doug Wilson said in his debate with Dan Barker “Only a few million.”

    > That’s only because the Christian leaders of the previous centuries didn’t have access to automatic weapons, gas chambers and other weapons of mass destruction. However the Military Channel has shown in many episodes, that during the era that Christians controlled Europe the only science or technology that did advance was in weaponry. Anything else that tried to put Nature to use was considered witchcraft.

    “Also, Van, you are confusing issues. The issue is not whether atheists *can* act in a moral fashion, or whether Christians *can* act in an immoral fashion. The issue is which worldview can account for the notion of morality en toto! To put it another way, when Christians murder, they are acting inconsistently with their worldview; when atheists murder, they are simply being consistent with their worldview.”

    > Not only is that ridiculously unfounded and untrue, it’s offensive. Plus it’s a poorly disguised version of the No True Scotsman Fallacy, one of the many logical fallacies Christians love to present in arguments. Atheism is not a worldview anyway. Christians believe in a God that commanded the murder of not only soldiers but women, children, prisoners of war and even animals and condoned the rape of young women. I’ve never heard of an atheist that would condone any of those things yet to the mind of the Bible believer all of those crimes were permissible simply because God commanded them. Clearly the atheists hold the moral high ground – forever. So if there was no God how would you behave differently? I predict that you will duck the question once you realize how ridiculous your claim is.

    “I would also go so far as to say that it is already happening in our society under terms like “euthanasia,” “choice,” “embryonic stem cell research” and the like. Totalitarianism is manifesting itself in phrases such as “gay rights” and defining any criticism of the government as “sedition.” If anything is cause for alarm, these things are!”

    > This coming from a member of a religion that considers the questioning of its doctrines and dogmas and absurd “truth” claims to be immoral and cause for eternal torment, a fate worse than death. This is meant to be a cause for alarm, but it just isn’t alarming anyone but the Bible believers themselves, Many believers never sure that the things other people have convinced them to believe are the exact correct set of things one must believe to avoid the flames of hell.

    “As I said to Van, it is not fear mongering; it is what happens when secularism takes over, because there is no foundation for ethics within humanism. ”

    > I already demonstrated that under Divine Command Morality any atrocity and hideous crime can be excused because God supposedly commanded it. In fact the Bible gives several examples of rape not only being permitted but commanded. Even worse the God that permits the rapes makes a law that the rape victim must marry her attacker. I know that may be the stance of the American Family Association and the Bible but the rest of us find that to be immoral. If humans find the acts of God described in the Bible to be immoral and even unthinkable then that is proof enough that morality was not magically instilled into people by the God of your particular religion. In secular societies there is far less crime than there is here in this gun-happy overly religious nation. That’s what happens when secularism takes over.

    “Of course, I deny that this man is being truthful to himself; I believe he is self-deceived into believing his is a homosexual, as I stated above. ”

    > That statement itself reflects an enormous amount of self-deception.

    “I think it is the result of neuroplasticity, and the changing of the brain to desire the same sex. ”

    > Who would do such a thing in world where homosexuals are widely discriminated against? Not to mention the fact that there is no evidence that this is even possible.

    Furthermore, the reason it is selfish, is because of the very fact that homosexuality *is* immoral.

    > That’s nothing more than your opinion. You are welcome to it but it is not a fact, never was, never will be.

    There is nothing “sinful” about being an evangelical Christian, and, in fact, as I have argued, it is the only way to make sense out of morality.

    > It is certainly wrong to indoctrinate children with Christian beliefs. If this religion were really true then parents would just insist that their children always seek the truth with logic, skepticism, rationality and an open mind. However Christian children are taught to reject all of those notions and keep their thoughts under control and in captivity. In the age of information this is simply not working anymore, children can see right through this and hence we have the most massive flight from Christianity we have ever seen in history.

    “Really? “Myths of Persecution?” You do realize that most scholars say that work is deeply flawed.”

    > I would expect nothing else from people who make a nice living promoting their religion. Would you?

    “What makes you think God created the world intending to have people born with same sex attraction? By this logic he would have created the world for other such sexual deviations to be accepted. Pedophilia, group relations, necrophilia, etc. But no, sin entered the world. Our sin is the cause of all sexual immorality”

    > Science has a much more comprehensive explanation for those things and the facts to back those explanations up. You have Bronze Age superstitions and no facts. And you wonder why you are losing the culture war.

    “In this case, other peoples sin causes a small minority of people such as myself to have same sex attractions. Then you condemn the people who act out in any way on that inclination to hell, even if the acts are completely harmless.”

    > In the Christian worldview sin is blamed for everything Christians think is wrong with the world. Anything they think is right is with the world is credited exclusively to their God. It’s a about as narrow a worldview as you can get.

    “Does that not seem unfair and cruel to you?”

    > Nothing seems unfair and/or cruel to Bible believer or a Muslim as long as it is ordained by God. There isn’t a more glaring example of moral relativism than Divine Command Morality based on the Bible and the Koran. As long as believers get it in their head that God wants something done, no matter how horrible a crime it seems to be at the time, that crime suddenly becomes permissible. With God anything is truly permissible.

    ” The fact of the matter is, the large majority of researchers on this question believe that biology plays a significant role in the development of one’s sexual orientation.”

    > The findings of biology is largely rejected on this blog. You should know that.

    > In the sports world things like what this football player did are talked about all day from every angle possible until there’s nothing more to say and then reporters and athletes just move on. I think this thing will be like that weird story about Manti Te’o and his imaginary dead girlfriend that dominated the sports media last year. Everybody thought that whole crazy thing was going to be an issue but Te’o showed up for camp, played for the Chargers and although he was hurt a lot we never heard a word about his Internet romance with a girl that never existed but had inspired him to play so well anyway. Proof that things don’t have to actually exist, they don’t have to be real to provide inspiration. I can’t wait until someone’s sexual orientation isn’t interesting enough to be a topic of conversation anymore.

  31. James, I hold to what I wrote. People are affected by the sins of others. It’s evident to me, it sounds like you don’t understand sin or refuse to accept what scripture says in regards to sin. You’re saying why would God create us knowing some of us would be homosexual. He created us to walk side by side with him. We sinned and now we are separated from God unless we accept his method for dealing with our sin which is Christ. Clearly we are still dealing with sin today even though Satan has been defeated. We deal with the consequences of sin when we live outside God’s will. When we live outside God’s will Satan has legal right to invade. The delusions Satan has created in his rebellion are everywhere in our society. It’s getting much worse by the year. You’ll hear things like, “porn is healthy for a marriage.” or “All religions lead to the same place.” In addition to the argument which is another lie in order to ensnare people, “There’s nothing wrong with two monogamous consenting adults getting involved in a same sex marriage.” Just these three lies have millions of Americans held captive. I don’t think any of us are spending time typing these things for our own egos. We genuinely care and want people to feel true freedom in Christ. But today it seems people are choosing a false freedom in sin. I will say pride seems to be a greater obstacle to knowing God than anything else.

  32. >> Adam
    >> Really? “Myths of Persecution?” You do realize that most scholars say that work is deeply flawed.

    You’ve read most scholars on the subject? 😉

    Moss cites her sources and makes a very strong, academic, case for what most informed people already know — that early Christian history is agenda-driven story telling rather than fact gathering.

    >> And, if I remember correctly, even she doesn’t go so far as to argue that there was *no* persecution in the early church.

    She explicitly says that there was real persecution from then until now.

    That’s not her point and I think she was poorly served by the title of her book.

    A less interesting title would be more accurate, like: “Deconstructing Christian mythology about persecution.”

    She’s mostly a historian but does draw a conclusion which I think is valid and very common among Christians:

    Conservative Christians have a persecution complex which they use to rationalize their mistreatment of others.

    (my summary, not hers)

  33. >> Josh
    >> People are affected by the sins of others.

    I could not agree more. We liberals tend to call this “social contract” and “it takes a village” but we get mocked for it.

    This is one reason I find fewer contradictions in being both a liberal and an Evangelical.

    The conservatives I grew up with have a very strong independent streak that borders on social Darwinism. The main impulse of that that kind of conservatism bears little resplendence to how I understand the bible and the life of Jesus Christ.

    For example, my very-devout Christian friends think is it hilarious when Rush Limbaugh calls the poor “walking shreds of human debris” when I think Jesus would be horrified by that view of them. I do not understand how they can reconcile the that kind of conservative worldview with the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

  34. We are told to work in scripture and “If you don’t work you don’t eat.” The sluggard makes a conscious decision to sit around. I went through that when I was younger. I lived off my parents too long. I felt conviction in the spirit and now I would be very upset if I couldn’t work, especially with a baby on the way.

    Recently, I setup a food drive at work for a local food bank that delivers meals to those in need. I’m praying it will catch on. My company is doing very well and I know plenty of people can easily help out. The liberal ideal of taking care of the needy and alien is definitely in line with scripture, but if you ask me, both world views are out to lunch. We have to seek the Kingdom of God.

  35. Van, what would I get if I was to go along with the idea that nobody came from heaven into this world, born into it, in order to save mankind from his sins, and to teach him the right way to live for God?

    What would I get if I said I believed the world doesn’t need redemption for it’s sins, or that it can have no hope for an eternal future in heaven, or upon a new earth?

    What would I get if I was to go along with an idea that said that there was no punishment for sin, and no reward for following Jesus?

    What can take away any burden of sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me free again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole, more than I’ve ever been? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

  36. James,

    You wrote:
    “This is such an amazing statement! It shows just how incredibly hypocritical you yourself are. Why don’t you say this to Dr. Michael Brown and all the other Christians here who don’t share your strict views on scripture?”

    You are wrong. I have done this.

    Shalom

  37. Josh,

    >> The liberal ideal of taking care of the needy and alien is definitely in line with scripture, but if you ask me, both world views are out to lunch.

    Although I identify with being a liberal, I think I agree with you.

    “Liberal” and “conservative” are not biblical.

    IMHO, the great heresy of the American church is that we overlay scripture with out bipolar political debate.

  38. James,

    Here is how I see it:

    Paul was not condemning modern gay marriage.

    He was condemning homosexuality as it was practiced back then — temple prostitution and paedophilia.

    The notion of sexual orientation was completely inconceivable back then. There is no possible way that Paul was addressing that issue.

  39. Van,

    “If this is true then you should have no trouble describing exactly what tactics the Roman government used to make sure all the citizens actually worshiped the emperor cult, what the worship of the emperor actually consisted of including the outward signs of worship and its requirements. I need non-Christian sources to verify your claims. Of course I’ll get nothing because you will ignore this challenge.”

    Simple. Christians worship one God only, and will refuse to say that Caesar is Lord. You just simply demand that the person say “Caesar is Lord,” and they will refuse to do it. Now, I find it hilarious that you want to say that *we* are the ones who are indoctrinated, when it is you who is demanding non-Christian sources here. Why should we have non-Christian sources? Because Christian sources are biased. Really, and non-Christian ones, especially in today’s society, are not????????? Oh please! That is why I have said many times that you are a fundamentalist atheist. You are far more indoctrinated than all of us put together. However, if you want a source that is secular that says the same thing I am saying, and actually gives primary sources, here you go:

    http://www.unrv.com/culture/christian-persecution.php

    ” Evolution by natural selection is the foundation of modern biology. It has nothing to do with any kind of belief system. The Nazis were Christians as was their leader who by the way claimed to have completely stamped out atheism in Germany. The Nazis taught biblical creationism as science in their public schools so it’s ludicrous to claim that they founded anything on Darwinian evolution while indoctrinating their young with Christian creationism.”

    I’ll tell you what’s ludicrous is your revisionism of the NAZI movement. Any cursory search of the internet will find quotes from Hitler like these here:

    http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2009/06/lewis-vs-wood-peace-and-violence-in.html?showComment=1244067465514#c464440060487371341

    “Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

    National Socialism and religion cannot exist together…. The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity…. Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7)

    10th October, 1941, midday:

    Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)

    14th October, 1941, midday:

    The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death…. When understanding of the universe has become widespread… Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity…. Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity…. And that’s why someday its structure will collapse…. …the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little…. Christianity the liar…. We’ll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. (p 49-52)

    19th October, 1941, night:

    The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.

    13th December, 1941, midnight:

    Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery…. …. When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let’s be the only people who are immunised against the disease. (p 118 & 119)

    14th December, 1941, midday:

    Kerrl, with noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don’t believe the thing’s possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself…. Pure Christianity– the Christianity of the catacombs– is concerned with translating Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole-hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics. (p 119 & 120)

    9th April, 1942, dinner:

    There is something very unhealthy about Christianity (p 339)

    27th February, 1942, midday:

    It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realize that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors– but to devote myself deliberately to errors, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. Our epoch in the next 200 years will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity…. My regret will have been that I couldn’t… behold it .” (p 278)”

    Ya, he wanted to teach “Biblical Creationism” in the schools, and wanted to stamp out atheism. Worse than that, have you ever read Mein Kampf? The references to the “survival of the fittest” and natural selection, and his indebtedness to Darwin are acknowledged even by secular sources such as “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” You simply have no historical leg to stand on here, Van. Atheism and Darwinian evolution were the very foundation of NAZI Germany, and any fair reading of Hitler which distinguishes between Hitler the politician and real source of Hitler’s goals will come to this conclusion.

    “Speaking of Darwinian Evolution, the Soviets rejected evolution because Joseph Stalin thought it was some kind of Western philosophy. So the Russians adopted a form of pseudo-science called Lysenkoism that convinced them they could do a lot of things that were not possible like grow wheat on the frozen tundra. Did you ever actually study anything about the first half of the 20th Century that wasn’t written by one Christian apologist or another? The story of Lysenkosim is common knowledge, look it up, and it’s the reason so many people starved to death in Russia.”

    Van, not only do I study these things, unlike you who uncritically accept this garbage, I actually check this stuff out. Of course, my point in bringing up the Soviet Gulag is to point out that this is what happens when materialist Philosophy such as Communism actually takes over. Whether they believed in Darwinian evolution or not [especially in the light of Marx’s acceptance of it] is totally irrelevant. The point was that, when all you have is the material, you have no right whatsoever to say anything is wrong, because moral obligations are not material. You can go out and play catch with a baseball, but you can’t go out and play catch with some moral obligations. Thus, they have to be imposed with brute force, and that is exactly what the Soviets did.

    “That’s only because the Christian leaders of the previous centuries didn’t have access to automatic weapons, gas chambers and other weapons of mass destruction. However the Military Channel has shown in many episodes, that during the era that Christians controlled Europe the only science or technology that did advance was in weaponry. Anything else that tried to put Nature to use was considered witchcraft.”

    The Military Channel?????? Again, Van, you are expecting us to believe that you are somehow fair and unbiased in your reasoning?????? I might ask you what you have read other than these hard leftest communists? Are you aware that this channel is owned by the Discovery Channel who published the whole Talpiot Tomb nonsense? Again, you are every bit as indoctrinated as me. The difference is, I am willing to admit that I have presuppositions, and I am willing to examine this material through the lens of those presuppositions. You simply are not.

    Secondly, the notion that Christians were always building weapons in order to attack other people is absurd. Yes, sometimes they did that, and it was totally inconsistent with their worldview. However, especially after the collapse of the Roman Empire, you lived in a time when any tribe from anywhere could attack at any time, because the Roman Empire was no longer there to keep the society together. Therefore, one also has to take into account the possibility of weapons used in self-defense against invading tribes.

    And finally, does the fact that Christians did not have these modern means of killing people mean that they still could not have done so effectively? Poisoning someone to death is pretty effective. Hanging someone is pretty effective. Shooting someone with a bow and arrow is pretty effective. Hence, the observation is entirely irrelevant.

    “Not only is that ridiculously unfounded and untrue, it’s offensive. Plus it’s a poorly disguised version of the No True Scotsman Fallacy, one of the many logical fallacies Christians love to present in arguments. Atheism is not a worldview anyway. ”

    No, because I went on to provide proof for it, which you continue to ignore. We as Christians have some foundation for ethics. I know you don’t accept it, but we base our ethics on the nature and character of God which is unchanging. Now, you want to deny that, and say that there is no God. All I am saying is that the only logical conclusion you can come to is that universals such as law, morality, logic, must be then imposed, because you have no eternal and unchanging basis for them. You seem to have already proved my point that, if a society starts to say that murder of the Jews is okay, and if it becomes universally acceptable that the murder of the Jews is okay, then it will be okay, because the original view that murder is wrong has been proven wrong. You simply cannot live consistently with that worldview, and your continued ignoring of this challenge is merely proving to everyone that this is true. More than that, I think you need to be offended with the truth. You need to be knocked off your throne whereby you think that you can play judge over God, when all the while, you are using God in order to make your arguments. Yes, that is insulting to you, I know. However, it is the truth. You have no right to be on that throne, and if it is insulting for me to say so, then so be it.

    “Christians believe in a God that commanded the murder of not only soldiers but women, children, prisoners of war and even animals and condoned the rape of young women. I’ve never heard of an atheist that would condone any of those things yet to the mind of the Bible believer all of those crimes were permissible simply because God commanded them. Clearly the atheists hold the moral high ground – forever. So if there was no God how would you behave differently? I predict that you will duck the question once you realize how ridiculous your claim is.”

    No, I will just correct your abuse of the OT text, seeing as how my main area is the study of the OT and its history, and how your abuse of the OT text shows that being a scientist does not necessarily make you a historian [that fact should be obvious so far], nor does it make you a good exegete of the Biblical text.

    1. The claim that this is “murder” is absurd when you consider the context of the Canaanite wars. For example, clear back in the book of Genesis you have, during a prophecy of the return of the Israelites to Canaan:

    Genesis 15:16 “Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”

    Notice how, even this far back, the iniquity and sin of the Canaanites was there, and was not yet full even then. Leviticus 18 says that these children engaged in child sacrifice, incest, bestiality, and all kinds of murderous grievous wickedness. Recognize that, for four hundred years, children were born, grew up, and committed these murderous treacherous acts; Children were born to this next generation, and they grew up to commit these same murderous and treacherous acts; Children were born to this next generation, and they grew up to commit these same murderous and treacherous acts; Children were born to this next generation, and they grew up to commit these same murderous and treacherous acts; Children were born to this next generation, and they grew up to commit these same murderous and treacherous acts. This goes on for four hundred years! You don’t think that God has a right to stop the madness right there, and say that this cycle will not continue?

    We have already talked about Adolf Hitler. Do you not believe it would have been right of God to take the life of Hitler as a baby to prevent him from doing all of the evil he did? Why do you somehow believe that God does not have the right to do that with these children, especially in light of the fact that this very thing was going on for four hundred years? I find it amazing that, when atrocities happen, everyone asks “Where is God?” Then, when God, in his providence, stops this vicious cycle of atrocities, they blame him for doing so! If I am God, I am thinking, “I can’t win!” And, that is exactly the point. You will come up with a way to blame God, because you are a criminal in his universe, and criminals never think the police have done well by them. That is why you want to make God look like a real meanie, so you don’t have to submit to him.

    As far as the rape of young women, it was certainly not rape if you understand the culture of the time. Remember that, in this culture, children were your 401K. If women did not have children, they would be doomed to an early death. Hence, allowing the Hebrew men to take women who were prisoners of war was actually a benefit to the women, because it meant that she would not be all alone in her old age. Hence, again Van, your abuse of scripture is typical of atheists who have an ax to grind. You have simply taken the hard-leftest atheist propaganda, never read any scholarly commentaries on the topic, badly misrepresent the scriptures, and then claim that you hold the “moral high ground.”

    Also, I know that there are atheists who believe murder and rape are wrong. The point is, they are inconsistent in so doing. Their worldview gives them no way of saying that these things *are* wrong. It is just them arbitrarily saying what they prefer-that people not do these things. Exactly how is that the “moral high ground????”

    “This coming from a member of a religion that considers the questioning of its doctrines and dogmas and absurd “truth” claims to be immoral and cause for eternal torment, a fate worse than death. This is meant to be a cause for alarm, but it just isn’t alarming anyone but the Bible believers themselves, Many believers never sure that the things other people have convinced them to believe are the exact correct set of things one must believe to avoid the flames of hell.”

    No, actually Van, a follower of Van Til and Calvin, I would say that there are no atheists, and no one who questions the Christian faith. There are people who *profess* atheism, but the apostle Paul, clearly teaches that all men know this God, and yet, the suppress this truth in unrighteousness:

    Romans 1:18-23 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

    The problem is, Van, that all men know this God I am talking about. It is in light of this God, that they condemn rape as immoral, they believe that we should use things called the laws of logic, they believe that it is possible to think about things, and they believe in the principle of induction so they can do science. It is not a matter of “questioning” these things; it is a matter of recognizing that you need to rely upon the Christian God in order to be able to even ask the questions in the first place! Hence, unbelieving belief systems are self-contradictory in character.

    “I already demonstrated that under Divine Command Morality any atrocity and hideous crime can be excused because God supposedly commanded it. In fact the Bible gives several examples of rape not only being permitted but commanded. Even worse the God that permits the rapes makes a law that the rape victim must marry her attacker. I know that may be the stance of the American Family Association and the Bible but the rest of us find that to be immoral. If humans find the acts of God described in the Bible to be immoral and even unthinkable then that is proof enough that morality was not magically instilled into people by the God of your particular religion. In secular societies there is far less crime than there is here in this gun-happy overly religious nation. That’s what happens when secularism takes over.”

    Again, I am amazed that you call *us* the indoctrinated ones, when you are using some of the most biased, atheist propaganda that I have ever read. Again, you are not an OT scholar, so I will thank you to not act as though you are. First of all, scholars such as Meredith Kline and Greg Bahnsen have argued that the phrase “seizes her” in that law is not referring to rape, but to normal sexual relations. In other words, this law is talking about a man who lies with a woman outside of marriage. Whether that is true or not, you have to remember what the taking of a woman’s virginity did to a woman in the Ancient Near East. It not only emotionally violated her, but economically violated her. Virginity was so highly prized in the ANE that a woman who was not a virgin probably would never marry, the father would not get a dowry, and the woman would be doomed to an early death, because she had no children to take care of her in her old age. Thus, whether we are talking about premarital sexual relations or rape here, you have to understand that the option of marriage given [it is not a command, and the father would have say over whether this marriage could happen] would simply be to provide a way out of this for the woman, and to force the man to take responsibility for what he has done in basically sentencing this woman to an early death. Again, a little culture and background of the text shows that, just because you are an atheist, that does not make you a Biblical scholar, and you should stop pretending that you are one.

    “That statement itself reflects an enormous amount of self-deception.”

    Then, Van, explain to me, if you reject the Bible as revelation from God, how does someone know that they are a homosexual? What is the difference between doing a psychoanalysis of yourself, and finding out that you are a homosexual, and training yourself to believe that you are a homosexual? Not only that, I am not saying it is true because I said it, I am referring back to Romans 1, where Paul specifically says that unbelievers suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

    “That’s nothing more than your opinion. You are welcome to it but it is not a fact, never was, never will be.”

    Talk about your own opinion! Again, for a man who hates dogma, you sure do have a lot of it! My point is, from the Christian worldview, it is selfish for someone to do this.

    “It is certainly wrong to indoctrinate children with Christian beliefs. If this religion were really true then parents would just insist that their children always seek the truth with logic, skepticism, rationality and an open mind. However Christian children are taught to reject all of those notions and keep their thoughts under control and in captivity. In the age of information this is simply not working anymore, children can see right through this and hence we have the most massive flight from Christianity we have ever seen in history.”

    Van, if *anyone* in this post has been shown to not have an open mind, being logical, and skeptical of the atheistic sources upon which you are relying, it is you. Secondly, as Descartes showed, if you are skeptical of everything, how do you even know that you exist? His answer to that question “I doubt, therefore I am” was shown by Bertrand Russell to be a circular argument, for how does Descartes know that *he* is the one who is doubting? He can’t say “I doubt,” because that assumes that he exists, which is his conclusion. All he can say is that there is a lot of doubting going on.

    Furthermore, atheism destroys rationality, because it can provide no basis for universals such as the laws of logic, anymore than it can provide a foundation for universals such as laws of morality.

    Again, Van, Christians are willing to admit that we have our presuppositions, and I have even read works from your side working through them on the basis of Christian presuppositions, and have actually learned a lot. However, once you start getting out into the real world, you find that atheism simply cannot withstand the pressures of every day life. It is a system that is inherently nihilistic, and reduces to absurdity rather quickly in the light of reality. So, no, what I find wrong is that children are force-fed this nonsense by public schools, and then expected to be able to build a society on this basis, when atheism is the very antithesis to society. It is simply wrong.

    “I would expect nothing else from people who make a nice living promoting their religion. Would you?”

    Would you also not expect any less from a humanistic liberal at the University of Notre Dame promoting their humanistic, anti-Christian religion in the form of a historical treatise? Again, Van, it is amazing how blind you are to your indoctrination. You are extremely biased and bigoted, and you cannot even see it. You cannot see that the sources upon which you are relying don’t even agree with your own conclusions! Aside from the utter absurdity of thinking that you can approach issues like this without presuppositions, it is statements like these that demonstrate how thoroughly religious your commitment to atheism really is?

    “Science has a much more comprehensive explanation for those things and the facts to back those explanations up. You have Bronze Age superstitions and no facts. And you wonder why you are losing the culture war.”

    Loosing the culture war? The acceptance of homosexuality and abortion, which is leading to plummeting birth rates in all of the west? Crime rates extremely high? Government debt up to our ears, with the possibility of economic collapse very real? No, the pressures right now are squarely on your worldview, and, as we have seen, your worldview simply has no answer for the tough questions of ethics and logic. Furthermore, science has no answers to ethical questions. Ethical laws are not material, and hence, cannot be measured in a test tube, or looked at under a microscope. Hence, when it comes to secular ethical demands, all they are left with is the modern superstition of secular humanism, which is collapsing under its own weight. It can try to deny that what God has said is true because of its own hatred of God, but, eventually, as with all humanistic systems of the past, it will collapse. You see, I don’t measure success by how many people accept something. I measure success by whether I am grounded in the truth, and I find it very hard to believe that a “scientific” system that must logically get rid of the laws of logic, get rid of ethics, destroys the ability to think about things as we saw in the previous thread, destroys our ability to know things, and leads to authoritarianism in society can ever “win” at any culture war, because it is self-defeating.

    “In the Christian worldview sin is blamed for everything Christians think is wrong with the world. Anything they think is right is with the world is credited exclusively to their God. It’s a about as narrow a worldview as you can get.”

    And Atheism isn’t? No universal ethical norms, and yet atheists want to blame God using universal ethical norms. The mind is finite, and hence there is no way it can ever come up with universals, and yet we must use reason which presupposes universals such as the laws of logic. Talk about a narrow worldview! So narrow, it can’t even account for itself.

    ” Nothing seems unfair and/or cruel to Bible believer or a Muslim as long as it is ordained by God. There isn’t a more glaring example of moral relativism than Divine Command Morality based on the Bible and the Koran. As long as believers get it in their head that God wants something done, no matter how horrible a crime it seems to be at the time, that crime suddenly becomes permissible. With God anything is truly permissible.”

    Of course, if atheists believe that doing something will result in “progress,” what evils can be done, and have been done? Nothing seems cruel to them if it is in the name of “progress.” More than that, Van, Christians hold to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, that the scriptures alone must be the foundation of our ethics, and that this scripture must be interpreted in a fair and honest fashion making use of the proper rules of human language. No one who holds to a divine command theory would *ever* argue that atheists with an ax to grind such as yourself have a right to go to the scriptures, and abuse them on the basis of your own bias and ignorance. Yes, that is the recipe for disaster. However, if you let the scriptures speak for themselves, which is something you refuse to do, then there is a standard that is unchanging, because what is found in the scriptures reflects the nature and character of God which is unchanging. However, as you have already admitted, given an atheist worldview, morality is influx. And yet, you want to speak of these “horrors.” That is why Greg Bahnsen one time rightly said that, although atheists want to call Christianity superstition, atheism is nothing more than superstitious nonsense all dressed up in the costume of rationality.

    ” The findings of biology is largely rejected on this blog. You should know that.”

    Of course, that is untrue, and I am still waiting for a response to the notion that neuroplasticity plays a role in the development of homosexuality. What we reject is not biology, but biological determinism. There are many factors that go into someone’s behavior, and yes, biology can play a role. We believe that man is fallen in both his body and his soul. Hence, we should see signs of that even in the biological world. However, determinism is quite another issue. I think the question must be rightly asked, if our behaviors can be biologically determined, then what about pedophilia or bestiality? Why are these things wrong? Might these things also be “biologically determined?”

    “Proof that things don’t have to actually exist, they don’t have to be real to provide inspiration. I can’t wait until someone’s sexual orientation isn’t interesting enough to be a topic of conversation anymore.”

    “Proof?????” Again, Van, please recognize your own presuppositions here. This entire post is a bunch of atheistic propaganda that has nothing whatsoever to do with the truth. It is a bunch of dogma and beliefs with which you have clearly been indoctrinated. You haven’t proven anything, other than the fact that atheism is a mess of contradictions, and cannot even get off the ground to argue, and that it is laughable to say that you are not religious. Please, come clean, and admit that you have presuppositions, and that you bring those presuppositions in to how you even interpret what goes on in these discussions. Until you do, I will keep pointing out these examples of your bias.

  40. Greg,

    You are so wrong. Paul and Moses and Messiah and Solomon and Jeremiah knew that men had wrong desires that would ultimately surface in sinful actions and lifestyles.

    Ec 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Mt 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

    Ro 1:26 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:
    27 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.
    28 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;
    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

    It is ludicrous to even say that Paul was only speaking of “temple prostitution and paedophilia” because Paul used his terms as Moses did in condemning any homosexual action and especially committed homosexual practices. That is what the Greek indicates. There is nothing new under the sun. You are falling into the same justification of sin that those of Paul’s day did and will be judged along with those that do such abomination.

    Ro 1:32 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.

  41. Greg,

    I didn’t say that Moss’ book did not have some valid points; only that her views are very unusual within scholarship. Just go to the local library, and pick up a book on Christian persecution even written by a secular scholar, look at the bibliography and you will see that her views are quite odd. However, my larger point is that Van has quoted someone who rejects his conclusions as well-a point he never addressed.

    Also, a “well informed” person??? Oh please! So, you cannot reject her conclusions and be “well informed????” Is that why Phds in Church History reject them? Again, I am sensing some presuppositions about the Bible and Christianity from the folks on the other side of this issue that it would be good that they come clean about.

  42. Greg,

    “Here is how I see it:
    Paul was not condemning modern gay marriage.
    He was condemning homosexuality as it was practiced back then — temple prostitution and paedophilia.”

    Then why does he say “men with men” committing indecent acts? He doesn’t say boys with men, or anything of the sort. Also, if it is merely religious, why are these men “burning in their desire for one another” with “degrading passions?” Sounds to me like this is something these people desire; not some religious ritual. And if you want to point out the context of idolatry and four footed animals, then I would simply say that that is the point: namely, that homosexuality is idolatry. It is taking the creature, and making him out to be the creator, as if he can decide how he will function and not God.

    “The notion of sexual orientation was completely inconceivable back then. There is no possible way that Paul was addressing that issue.”

    If it was so inconceivable, then why was it mentioned clear back in Plato’s Symposium?

  43. Van,

    You idiotically claim that the Bible says that believers are to keep our thoughts captive (not think). You use the phrase out of context and the thought that Paul is relating is that the apostle’s ministry is to show false ideas for what they are. You are probably just regurgitating from your sour stomach what you have read and swallowed hook line and sinker from unprincipled and untruthful men. You have done this before with scripture. You blindly refuse to treat the literature of the Bible as it is intended for the purpose of deceiving yourself and others. Get real!

    2Co 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
    2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
    3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
    4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
    5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
    6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

    Paul is speaking of how he shows false ideas and philosphies to be contrary to YHWH by expounding the truth of Messiah and His word. He is renouncing disobedience to the faith, not telling us not to think.

  44. You don’t have to say another thing. I rest my case. Your entire case just collapsed absolutely. Only a Christian or a Muslim could ever argue that rape is a good thing. You just did that. Thanks. An atheist or humanist could never find grounds to legitimize rape. Only the Bible gives warrant for such an atrocity, such a crime against humanity. This is proof that humanist morals are vastly superior than the troubling and very dangerous moral teachings that come from the Bronze Age fairy tale book called the Bible. Humanist morals are based solidly and objectively on the value of human life itself. That which protects and promotes life is termed “good” and that which harms or destroys life is “bad” or “evil.” This is a much more rational system than one based on the whims of a deity that commands people don’t murder and then orders the murder of women, children, prisoners of war and even animals and the rape of your women. Your views on morals are extremely subjective because they are based on the commands of a deity for which there is no evidence of its existence and who is not constrained in any manner as to the commands he gives. If and when God commands believers to murder, rape and steal all of those crimes instantly become permissible. With God ANYTHING, ANY CRIME is permissible and the Bible gives ample proof of this in story after story after story. Don’t bother answering Bo. My moral compass requires that I do not associate with people who make excuses for the rape of young women. I have an objective basis for morality and you have proved beyond any doubt that you do not.

  45. Van,

    What are you taking about? I never addressed the subject that you are speaking of. James is the only one that addressed the subject of rape here. His quotation from whatever translation he used is a poor translation. The vast majority of the English versions do not use the word “rape” and the context shows that it was consensual fornication and not rape. But we already know that you do not care about context and language styles. So your accusation is false against me. It is false against the Bible. It is false against Christianity. Your statements are a rhetorical ploy that hopes to use a lie to damage the above three’s reputation…that is all. If, on the outside chance, you really believe what you wrote above, it proves beyond doubt that you do not know how to read…or rather that you read what you want to into the text of scripture and my posts. You just regurgitated upon yourself.

    For the record. I do not condone any kind of sexual sin, consensual or otherwise. Neither does the Bible.

    As for you not associating with those that you consider to be lower than yourself…you just proved that your the bigot on this thread. So be it.

  46. Adam,

    >>Then why does he say “men with men” committing indecent acts? He doesn’t say boys with men, or anything of the sort.

    Fair question.

    The ancients didn’t make the same clear distinctions between children and adults that we do.

    For example, people often call Muhammed a paedophile — and he would be by today’s standards. But he was just doing the normal practice of the day.

    The also thought of and practised homosexuality radically different back then. For that matter — it was the same for heterosexuality.

    There wasn’t even that distinction, as we think of it today.

    I had the very interesting experience of living among a highly conservative Middle Eastern tribal culture that, by all accounts, had remained unchanged for at least a couple thousand years.

    It was fairly common for married men with wives and children who had a “boy” on the side. Stunningly, to me, these men had no self-awareness that they were gay.

    They considered themselves fully heterosexual because they had a wife and children. They would have put a bullet through my head had I accused them of being gay!

    From my study of ancient Near East, this is pretty close to how they viewed it back then.

    Well, that practice is so racially different from modern gay marriage that it is misapplying the scripture to pull those small handful of verses out, un-interpreted, and apply them to all gay people.

    My fellow believers, here, think I’m trashing the bible or being in rebellion from God for believing that. But, I assure you, that is not the case.

    It is just an honest, prayerful, in-the-faith, bible-respecting disagreement.

  47. >>If it was so inconceivable, then why was it mentioned clear back in Plato’s Symposium?

    Another fair question.

    I was aware of that but my memory is pretty sketchy on the subject. I’d have re-read it to re-familiarize myself with exactly what he believed.

    I do know that Plato’s world would be radically different, in their understanding of human nature and psychology, than with the Hebrews of the same era.

    A bigger gap than, let’s say, the University of Berkeley and Dr. Brown’s School of Fire!

    So, even if Plato understood homosexuality psychologically it doesn’t mean that most people of that time did.

  48. Greg Allen,

    “James,
    Here is how I see it:

    Paul was not condemning modern gay marriage.”

    Agreed! That goes without saying. Paul clearly never had the modern concept of same-sex marriage in mind when he wrote Romans 1 or 1 Corinthians 6.

    “He was condemning homosexuality as it was practiced back then — temple prostitution and paedophilia.”

    In the interest of being objective, here is where I would have to somewhat dispute the above statement of yours. While Paul may have had some form of cultic prostitution in mind when he wrote Romans 1:24-28, I think it’s probable that he was condemning homosexual behavior more broadly. Paul’s focus here isn’t just on acts but also attitude and mind, which implies a wider application of his condemnation. The behavior is condemned as degrading and unnatural, along with the mind that is given over to “degrading passions”. It would be highly unlikely that Paul would use this kind of language if he’s only condemning a particular kind of setting in which same-sex behavior is performed. On top of that, when you include the fact that Paul condemns even basic deviations from gender roles elsewhere using the creation account (ie. 1 Corinthians 11) it would then seem virtually undeniable that Paul is condemning homosexual behavior more generally.

    Also, I don’t think pedophilia is in reference here because Romans 1:27 speaks of having passion for one another, which implies that for Paul consenting adults are included in his judgement. Adam’s misguided objection that “why does he [then] say ‘men with men’ committing indecent acts” rather than boys with men shows his unfamiliarity with the Greek. The Greek “ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν” literally means “male in male”. The Greek neither says “boys with men” or “men with men”. These are simply the product of our modern translations. Again though, for the reason I stated above, I think Paul has in view consenting adults rather than pederasty.

    My current view towards this is that the Bible condemns same-sex behavior generally but under circumstances where the behavior is condemned by the authors in view of particularly situational settings of same-sex conduct. The difference here between myself and other Christians is how I take to the authority of scripture. I see Paul’s condemnation of same-sex acts in the same light I see Paul’s view towards gender roles. In other words, in the same way that so many Christians today brush off his statements toward women and gender roles, I also brush off his statements in regards to homosexuality. Paul for me is wrong in his views on both accounts.

    “The notion of sexual orientation was completely inconceivable back then. There is no possible way that Paul was addressing that issue.”

    I agree insofar as Paul almost certainly did not understand that there were some people who had genuinely homosexual orientations. It appears Paul, like the vast majority of Jews back then, believed that all people were heterosexual, and that because of certain circumstances (ie. idolatry), they became perverted.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your view. Despite some academic disagreements we may have, I still very much appreciate your consistency in standing up for gay rights here on this website, both from a Biblical standpoint and a secular standpoint. Keep up the good fight!

  49. Greg Allen,
    Edit: Here’s my post 49 above with fixed HTML:

    “James,
    Here is how I see it:

    Paul was not condemning modern gay marriage.”

    Agreed! That goes without saying. Paul clearly never had the modern concept of same-sex marriage in mind when he wrote Romans 1 or 1 Corinthians 6.

    “He was condemning homosexuality as it was practiced back then — temple prostitution and paedophilia.”

    In the interest of being objective, here is where I would have to somewhat dispute the above statement of yours. While Paul may have had some form of cultic prostitution in mind when he wrote Romans 1:24-28, I think it’s probable that he was condemning homosexual behavior more broadly. Paul’s focus here isn’t just on acts but also attitude and mind, which implies a wider application of his condemnation. The behavior is condemned as degrading and unnatural, along with the mind that is given over to “degrading passions”. It would be highly unlikely that Paul would use this kind of language if he’s only condemning a particular kind of setting in which same-sex behavior is performed. On top of that, when you include the fact that Paul condemns even basic deviations from gender roles elsewhere using the creation account (ie. 1 Corinthians 11) it would then seem virtually undeniable that Paul is condemning homosexual behavior more generally.

    Also, I don’t think pedophilia is in reference here because Romans 1:27 speaks of having passion for one another, which implies that for Paul consenting adults are included in his judgement. Adam’s misguided objection that “why does he [then] say ‘men with men’ committing indecent acts” rather than boys with men shows his unfamiliarity with the Greek. The Greek “ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν” literally means “male in male”. The Greek neither says “boys with men” or “men with men”. These are simply the product of our modern translations. Again though, for the reason I stated above, I think Paul has in view consenting adults rather than pederasty.

    My current view towards this is that the Bible condemns same-sex behavior generally but under circumstances where the behavior is condemned by the authors in view of particularly situational settings of same-sex conduct. The difference here between myself and other Christians is how I take to the authority of scripture. I see Paul’s condemnation of same-sex acts in the same light I see Paul’s view towards gender roles. In other words, in the same way that so many Christians today brush off his statements toward women and gender roles, I also brush off his statements in regards to homosexuality. Paul for me is wrong in his views on both accounts.

    “The notion of sexual orientation was completely inconceivable back then. There is no possible way that Paul was addressing that issue.”

    I agree insofar as Paul almost certainly did not understand that there were some people who had genuinely homosexual orientations. It appears Paul, like the vast majority of Jews back then, believed that all people were heterosexual, and that because of certain circumstances (ie. idolatry), they became perverted.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your view. Despite some academic disagreements we may have, I still very much appreciate your consistency in standing up for gay rights here on this website, both from a Biblical standpoint and a secular standpoint. Keep up the good fight!

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