Imagine, for a minute, that you knew absolutely nothing about Jesus…. That you lived somewhere far away from America, with its hundreds of thousands of churches–Both the omnipresent, small congregations that pepper each block or two of every U.S. town, and the giant mega-churches and their sprawling campuses–and had no preconceptions (positive or negative) when someone told you that they were a “Christian.” Then imagine that one of these Christians tells you about this “Son of God” who died for the sins of the world, but also taught us how to treat each other and showed us what things were REALLY important: Namely, ridding the world of the Blacks and the Jews. Then, this “Christian” tells you that unless you accept this Jesus as your Lord and Savior, God is going to send you to burn in hell for all eternity, and they say, “Do you accept or reject Jesus?” If this was me, I’d be like, “Sorry dude–I completely reject Jesus. That person offends every good thing in me. I guess one of two things is true: Either I’m going to burn in hell, or you are full of shit…. But I’m going to bet on the latter.”
Now, imagine another person–living far from any land with Bibles in every hotel room…. Living far, even, from anything close to a “hotel room”–who lived for a time, and then dies without ever hearing anything about Jesus…. What happens next? Would a just God sentence this person to an eternity in hell for not accepting someone they never heard of? Or does God use a different standard when dealing with people who apparently never had a chance?
People have a lot of different ideas about this theological question–This whole “What happens to people who die who never heard of Jesus?” question. It also encompasses other questions as well–Questions like: What happens when babies die? What about kids who die (and is there such thing as an “age of accountability?”)? Or people who are mentally handicapped in some significant way? And what happened to all the people who died before Jesus? Christians over the years have come up with all kinds of theological explanations to make themselves feel better about these difficult questions, and the way that people have answered has led to many splits in congregations and denominations. As varied as people’s answers to these questions are, most people would agree that handing out a punishment of eternal torture to a person for not accepting someone they have never heard of does not seem like the actions of a just God.
People believe a lot of different things about hell (ME, FOR INSTANCE). Many people believe that hell is a place only for those who actually reject Jesus. So if someone never had an opportunity to reject Jesus (like a baby, or some African teenager living in some remote village) then it wouldn’t make sense for God to send that person to hell…. But what if the “Jesus” that a person rejects is a completely false Jesus? A “Jesus” like the one I rejected at the beginning of this post?
For example, I live in a state where there are actually people who are trying to pass legislation that would make it legal to bully kids who are gay–As long as it’s for religious reasons. This legislation was promoted by something called the Family Action Council of Tennessee, or FACT. They try to promote “Biblical beliefs” in public policy (as I throw up in my mouth a little), and introduced this legislation less than a month after a Tennessee teen took his own life after years of relentless bullying because he was gay. These are the sort of Christians who introduce people to a Jesus whose “important things” are making sure gay people don’t have equal marriage rights, defeating Obamacare, and insuring that kids have the religious freedom to tell gay kids they are going to burn in hell–A false Jesus.
So here are MY Biblical beliefs: If there is a gay kid who grows up being told by all the people he loves that in order follow Jesus he has to be straight, I believe that kid was introduced to a false Jesus. And if some kid was brought up to hate homosexuals so much that he feels like his bullying of gays is justified by the Bible, I believe that kid is following a false Jesus. And if some kid hears that “God hates gays” and “Jesus Christ died so that you don’t have to be gay anymore,” and she rejects that Jesus–She didn’t reject JESUS. I believe she rejected a bullshit, counterfeit version of Jesus. Maybe she never heard anything about the real Jesus anymore than some someone in the third world who has never even heard his name. Maybe, in God’s eyes, she is no more accountable than a child….
I’ve been thinking about it, and if there is a hell (whatever hell is like) for people who reject Jesus, it turns out I’m probably a lot more likely to burn than some poor, gay kid who rejects a hate-filled Jesus that was presented to her. Because the Jesus she rejected SHOULD be rejected. Maybe there are people reading this who have rejected Jesus. Maybe you rejected a hate-filled Jesus. Maybe you rejected a Jesus that tries to change the world through violence and manipulation and war. Maybe you rejected a consumerist, me-first, red, white, & blue Jesus. Maybe you rejected a Jesus who only allows straight people into church or at the table. Maybe you rejected a Jesus who reveals a God who created humans knowing that the vast majority (billions and billions of us) would burn in hell for eternity. Maybe you rejected a Jesus who can’t forgive you…. If this is you, I’ve got some good news for you: That wasn’t Jesus. I reject that Jesus too. I love Jesus, and that is just not him.
Unfortunately, I’ve also got some bad news: If you are one of the many people preaching the Jesus I mentioned above…. Well, that isn’t Jesus either. Cut it out.
Anytime. : )
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Holy crap, Boeskool. That was awesome.
Aww shucks…. Thanks Lauren. YOU’RE awesome.
So what makes your Jesus a true Jesus and a those ‘other folks’ Jesus a false Jesus?
It is a good question that we all must ask ourselves. Also, how might someone else’s perceptions of Jesus relate to, challenge and instruct my own?
Well, I have been wrong plenty before. Proof is hard to come by in matters concerning the almighty. I think that we have been given words for a reason, and if mine sound like a bunch of garbage, feel free to leave them here. : )
That answer might take a whole post to answer, BM. The short answer is love. The long answer involves three things: 1) A right and rational approach to Biblical study (that’s a long one to hash out. There are a lot of parts to this: Acknowledging mystery, culturally relevant interpretation, not applying a starting point of inerrancy that the Bible makes no point of applying to itself, to name a few). 2) Recognizing the continuing work and revelation of The Spirit of God in the world. And 3) Appealing to the conscience that Paul was talking about in Romans 2 when he speaks of people who never heard of Jesus. The natural “right and wrong” inside of all of us…. The stuff the Quakers called “That of God in everyone.”
All three of these things need to be working together–never leaving one out.
Regarding thing #1, aside from acknowledging mystery, none of the parts you mentioned are in any way rational.
Why should “culturally relevant interpretation” have to be applied? Culturally relevant in the sense of understanding the context in which the scripture was written, yes, but in terms of trying to stretch and squeeze it to fit into our modern-day cultural standards, no. At no point does Scripture give any provisions for such a mutilation, and the only reason to do so is to avoid offending some overly-sensitive people or to escape a sense of conviction. God doesn’t change, so why would His Laws change without a change in covenant?
“that the Bible makes no point of applying to itself”? Brush up on your Bible knowledge a bit. First, Jesus affirmed Scripture as the Word of God, and if you’re going to discount anything He said, then you might as well throw Him out the window altogether, because it would imply He lied, and we’re all doomed. To give a more concise example, 2 Timothy 3:16, (“all Scripture is God-breathed…”) for instance. If you don’t apply a starting point of inerrancy, then you’re just picking out statements that you like or don’t like, and are not following Jesus, but rather are trying to form God in your own image and in effect carrying out a form of self-worship.
Anything to add, BM?
I spent a year in Africa with Missionaries that were trying to convert prople there to “white-amercan-texan-southernbaptist-their personal viewpoint-christianity” they weren’t as bad as some of the things you were describing … but all the other stuff they were adding to JESUS made the whole package a hard pill to swallow. I believe heaven is a place where Jesus is in all of the truth of His goodness … and Hell is a place absent of his love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control … both are entered by people with various self applied labels.. I’ve met the real deal Jesus and I can say confidantly : to know Him is to Love Him. So sorry that there are all sorts of people out there misrepresenting Him. Amazingly, He died for their sins too.
That’s good stuff, Jennifer. Thanks. : )
Need a like button for this comment
Boy if people get the facts about the Bible, that is God’s Word, God Breathed and many people take it out of context. Jesus died for all of our sins, however, He does love all of us but hates the sin that people are committing. He died for us to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, but it is up to people to live as Christ lived….He didn’t live as a sinner, a scoffer, a drunkard, a sexist, a gay or lesbian lifestyle….He lived a holy, righteous, loving, giving and ultimately died for all of us as sinners. He died so that we may live with Him in eternity. Jesus got angry, and defended the Word of God, because the Word IS GOD. Everyone wants a “feel good religion”…..Jesus isn’t a religion…..He is meant to be accepted or rejected by us. Choose you this day who you will serve, Christ as the Savior of your life and have eternal life or Satan, the Prince of Death, and dying and living in hell for all of eternity. If we deny Christ, then we reject Him.
The fact is, Jesus did make people feel good. Encounter after encounter after encounter, people felt better after they met him; except for, well, the well-meaning religious folks. They felt pretty crappy because he called them out on their crap.
The fact is, the ‘Word of God’ isn’t the Bible; it’s Jesus. Never once does the Bible allude or plainly state it’s the Word of God.
The fact is, Jesus lived as a human. If he wasn’t a sinner or drunkard, he couldn’t have been accused of being a drunkard or a friend of sinners, which he was openly accused of by the same religious folk he so thoroughly and so regularly pissed off.
The fact is, Jesus didn’t get angry and defend the ‘word of god’. He got angry because certain people made YHWH out to be something YHWH wasn’t. Certain people required people do things YHWH didn’t require.
The fact is, the Bible never says “Choose you this day who you will serve, Christ as the Savior of your life and have eternal life or Satan, the Prince of Death, and dying and living in hell for all of eternity.” It also never neither plainly states nor alludes to that statement.
The fact is, Jesus denied himself.
With every fiber of my being, I reject the Jesus for which you seem to be advocating, Sharon.
You have spent very limited time (if any) reading the Bible.
I yield my time to the gentleman from West Virginia.
July 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm
You have spent very limited time (if any) reading the Bible.
Eh, in my years as a believer, a student of the scripture, and a pastor, I guess I’ve paged through the Bible a few times.
Shame on you Brandon. Sharon expressed her faith in very Biblical terms. Who are you to think your version of things has more authority than Holy Scripture. I think a review of 2 Timothy 3 is in order, especially verses 16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
I definitely don’t see any yada, yada, yadas in there. Show some respect.
Jimmy–Technically, what Brandon just wrote is “scripture” too then, right?
If you’re going to attempt to publicly shame me, you’re going to have to try harder then that, Jimmy. As it stands, I’m less than inclined to accept your attempted shaming of me.
Now to your accusations: 1) “My version of things”? What about ‘sharon’s’ “version of things”? What makes her’s more valid than mine? What makes her version ‘more scriptural’, as it were? 2) The ‘scripture’ to which 2 Timothy is referring almost certainly does not include any of the NT writings, as they were either not yet written or not yet in circulation. 3) That being the case, and you wanting to play the proof-texting game, you have, in effect, rendered Sharon’s argument moot because she drew every point of her argument from proof-texts in the NT.
Right, Sharon. Let us not think about this Christ we must accept or burn, let us just accept him without asking any questions at all! For Christ himself never associated or went near any sinner, but rather led a completely holy life up on a mountain top praying and singing praises to God all the days of his perfect life on earth. That is what the gospels tell us, right?
She didn’t say don’t go near sinners, she said try not to be a sinner. Some people only like certain parts of the bible, what part of the bible do you use to justify your position?
A good friend of mine left this post on his Facebook wall, in support of your post. Being a Christian myself, I found the title intriguing and gave it a good read. I am always apprehensive about responding to posts like these because tone is so hard to capture in a post. No matter how hard you try to wordsmith your post, because of the sensitive nature of the subject matter and pre-conceived notions about the poster, some context is unavoidably lost. Still, I go in with high hopes that at least some of what I will say will spark further investigation and meditation.
I agree, and I’m certain that you’ll find nowhere in any translation of The Bible where Jesus teaches “ridding the world of the Blacks and the Jews”. I could get lost down a rabbit hole expanding on this, so suffice to say that there are millions of black and Jewish Christians in the world today that would disagree with this assessment as well. ‘Nuff said.
We could also get lost down the “What happens to people who die who never heard of Jesus?” rabbit hole. To keep on track I’ll do my best to summarize my thoughts on this. 1) God is just. … That’s it. I don’t have to worry about it (Psalm 9:8, Psalm 98:9). And I don’t have to be privy to His plan/system for dealing with it either. That’s the main hang-up with us intellectual-types – we want to know why. Why everything. Nothing worse to us than a simple “because I said so”. But with God, sometimes that’s all we’re left with, and it can be totally aggravating. Sometimes it’s just about obedience. Blind obedience to any man I’ll agree with you should be suspect, but as you know it is the Christian’s contention that Jesus is way more than a man. He is pure God, pure man, all at once and therefore completely trustworthy. So when He says “because I said so” we can trust it. It’s probably out of the realm of understanding for us on this plane anyway. No time for this rabbit hole either. Plus we’re looming dangerously close to other rabbit holes such as “why do bad things happen to innocent people”, “is The Bible really God-breathed and divine”, etc., so I’ll move on. Again, not central to your over-arching theme. But know that I do believe the Bible is divine. And I’ve added references from it so that you’ll know where I’m coming from.
As to your central issue of what’s happening in TN, I humbly disagree. I am not a homosexual, so I won’t pretend like I know what it’s like or to truly know what kind of hatred is spat their way. I do have several gay friends. I have gay relatives. Gay co-workers. Don’t think for a second that I haven’t agonized over this subject matter for some time, because it’s been just that: agony. In the end all I can do is go to His word on the subject. Several specific sexual relationships are forbidden in the Bible. Among these are homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9, Romans 1:24-27) bestiality (Exodus 22:19, Deuteronomy 27:21) incest (Leviticus 18:6-18, Deuteronomy 27:22-23) Sexual relations outside of marriage (Acts 15:20, Hebrews 13:4) adultery (Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 18:20) and rape (Deuteronomy 22:25). Are homosexuals still my friends? OF COURSE THEY ARE. Do I associate with my gay relatives? OF COURSE I DO. I am NOBODY’S judge I’ve got my own pile of sin and craziness to sort through without taking on theirs, AND THEIRS IS NO BETTER/WORSE THAN MINE (Matthew 7:1-5). There will be homosexuals in Heaven. But I won’t be a hypocrite and say that I don’t think its a sin. He says so, so it must be so. I am thankful it is not my sin to wrestle with. Very thankful. I’m sorry that this conflicts with your beliefs. But these are mine, and I think we should be able to discuss it amongst ourselves in a rational setting like this one.
So, would you consider my post as “bullying” you on the issue of homosexuality? Current anti-bullying legislation in TN might (see http://state.tn.us/tccy/tnchild/49/49-6-1016.htm). The FACT organization wants to ensure that anti-bullying policies currently on the books are not used to infringe student’s First Amendment religious rights and that the focus of the law is on what constitutes a bully, not what constitutes a victim. That’s it. It’s not a repeal. It doesn’t condone bullying of any kind. It just ensures that we can talk about the issue without compromising each other’s beliefs about it. If Billy calls Tommy a dirty euphemism or taunts Tommy because of his sexual orientation, then Billy is a bully and should be punished and educated. If Tommy asks Billy about his homosexuality and Billy respectfully says “I think homosexuality is wrong” then that’s not bullying, it’s the sharing of an opinion. But under current legislation in TN it could be considered bullying as well. FYI I’m not from TN, nor do I endorse FACT as I know nothing about them. All I did was a little investigation legwork on this 1 issue and came to my own conclusions. I didn’t take Huffington’s word for it. Or FOX News. I see another rabbit hole coming down the pike…
If anyone is still reading to this point, what I think (and I could be wrong) the ultimate point you’re trying to make is that there are Christians out there not living up to the faith that they so adamantly profess. They’re presenting “a hate-filled Jesus” to the world that focuses on persecution. I agree that’s true. If we had a nickel for every time Jesus is miscommunicated to further some human agenda, we’d have enough to pay off the national debt and buy everyone a Mazarati. The Crusades, the Dark Ages, Hitler, etc. all revolved around perverting the message of Jesus for personal agenda and gain. Atrocities like these are also almost always connected to the control of information: the authority controls it and keeps it from the general populous. Their mantra: “Take my word for it “. It is when people are able to absorb the Bible for themselves where we get Martin Luther nailing manifestos to church doors, and hundreds of years later another Martin Luther marching the streets of D.C. as just a few examples. DANGER! Another rabbit hole approaches…
I would submit that you have the freedom to share your thoughts, and I have the freedom to share mine. Simple. Just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, and doesn’t mean I am bullying you or vise versa. Man, we’ve become so hyper-sensitive nowadays, don’t you think? Myself included – I mean could I BE more long-winded? I’m sure I could have made the same point with far fewer paragraphs. Anyway, I believe in Jesus. I believe in The Bible. The Bible says that homosexualism is wrong. I should be free to discuss this with whom I choose. If they choose to ask me to take a hike I should respect that too. And I should not be free to unload hate bombs in your direction. Proselytizing with the sword is wrong, and doesn’t work. Proselytizing with the love of Jesus transforms hearts and minds. And no, proselytizing is not a dirty word. I don’t happen to think this thing in TN is a sword issue. It’s your right to disagree. Peace out.
Nope, Ken, no-one is allowed to share their thoughts. I am pretty sure you are pretty close to getting arrested for what you have shared here. Maybe if you had used more CAPS LOCK, it would have made a stronger point?
I kid. In all honesty, where do you find it threatening to your freedom of speech? Of course, you can view homosexuality as wrong according to your interpretation of scripture. In light of your words, just know that there are many who find the thought of one presuming to decide on behalf of God who is in and who is out of the accepted list as preposterous. If any disagrees with this, well let them just go ahead and disagree then.
May we become better listeners, though and hear the spirit of the words that are spoken.
Wow, Thank you so much for putting such thought into this.
A lot of what I believe about this is in my post titled Gay Marriage and Green Eggs & Ham: https://theboeskool.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/gay-marriage-and-green-eggs-ham/ A few things: I don’t mean to imply that the Bible says to rid the world of blacks and Jews–only that the Bible has been used before to make both of those cases. Wrongly, as I believe it is being used today to insist that all homosexuality is sinful and any homosexual expression of love should be illegal. People made a lot of Biblical cases for why their kids shouldn’t have to go to school with black kids too….
I have no real problem with the problem of evil, or “why bad things happen to good people.” That one doesn’t trip me up at all anymore. And as far as the Bible being “divine,” that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Inerrancy and God-inspired are two very different things as well. Here are some of my thoughts on Biblical Inerrancy: https://theboeskool.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/perfection-truth-and-finding-your-porpoise/
As far as the bullying thing, the law is a horrible piece of crap. There is nothing right or good about it. It is legalizing and legitimatizing discrimination of gay kids, and these poor kids would TOTALLY be the ones Jesus would be hanging out with and loving if he were walking around today–Among others. I am certain that the Jesus Christ of the Bible is on their side even today. And it’s not on their side to turn them straight–it’s on their side to let them know they are LOVED. And since we are the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus today, that is now OUR job. It’s a job that I have done a shitty job at up until very recently, but I’m getting better.
Thanks again for reading, Ken. Peace.
I don’t think we should be the mouth of Jesus, but I do agree with being the hands and feet
That’s the trick. Too many folks presuming to be the mouth of Jesus and act on his behalf. It’s the complexity of faith vs. fact. If Jesus swung by my place on his way home from work and we chatted about what he wanted me to say and do, the whole thing would be a done deal. “DUDE! He was JUST here. He said to go buy the neighborhood kids some ice cream. Yup every kid. Even the little shit that blows up frogs. Yeah. I know. Every one. Yup. The gay one, too.” But that doesn’t happen. We take guidance from scripture, but it leaves a lot of interpretation in there. My own opinion – by design. I act on faith based on what I choose to believe is true. Some other guy down the way does the same. Hilarity ensues.
Why do people always use the word “obediance” when referring to Jesus Christ? He used the word Faith. He said “Blessed are those who have not seen me and still believe”. Faith will get you into Heaven, only faith. There are a lot of people out there who “obey” their preachers but, when push comes to shove, they lose faith. I follow no man, I have faith that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, was born of woman, and died on the cross to save us–all of us. Jesus also said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. God judges us—ALL of us. Man has no power to judge that which God has claimed for His own and that, my friends, is us.
You lost me….
What version of the bible is currently en vogue? I want to make sure I’m referencing properly.
No you’re never gonna get it…. Never, never going to get it. Mmmmm BOP!
Depends on who you’re talking to, but with me–Any one will do, Travis. Pick one and go with it.
Just my two cents, but try reading Romans 9 through and deciding that his justice is the same justice you are describing. I agree with Ken that we are not operating on the same plane as our creator. This means any of our arguments are pointless and feeble, like Amilie arguing with you about ethics. I’m not sayin that Christ is well represented in the world because He is most certainly not, I’m just saying that the issue of “who” is not a clear one and we cannot assume we are all innocent until AFTER we’ve made a reasoned and rational decision regarding Jesus. The Bible consistently portrays man as fallen, already fallen. That would mean it is not up to us to make a bad choice and go to hell. Separation from Christ is a given; union with Him is the gift that Jesus brought and offered to all people who will accept it. I sincerely believe that without the understanding of man’s fallen state (this means we already deserve Hell, even at birth) we cannot honestly ask for the forgiveness and grace which Jesus offers.
Whether he gives passes for people who can’t grasp that concept is outside of my personal logic and feelings on the matter. If I designed God, or could just teach him the ethical way to use His power, the world would be very different. The version of God who lets everybody in to Heaven would probably be very similar to the version of God that doesn’t allow bad things to happen to good people. That sounds great to me, but that’s clearly not the God we have. His opinion is different than mine, and HE is the one who defines right/wrong. So again(just like Monday night), my opinion doesn’t matter.
It matters to me. : )
We have logic for a reason (no pun intended), and if you start with “We are all fallen from the very beginning and deserve eternal punishment,” then that belief informs other beliefs as well–Infant baptism becomes a must, and baptism brings salvation. You get these views because of an interpretation of scripture that is not as clearly set in stone as you believe it is. I know that I am not God, and I don’t claim to know the mind of God…. But if our ideas of justice/right and wrong are so completely polar opposites with God’s and a foundational issue like this, doesn’t that bring up some problems? Problems that don’t HAVE TO BE solved with an overly-simple “That’s what the Bible says, and the Bible’s always true.”
Either way, I value your wisdom and point of view, Dave. Let’s hug it out….
cf Luke 6:37 and Romans 2:1
What does cf mean?
cf means Cross reference.
Ahhh. Thank you! SMS….
(You probably didn’t even know that means “Showing My Stupidity.” And that’s probably because I just made SMS up.)
I found this post confusing. I thought you were trying to make some valid points about accepting the true Jesus, but it also made me question whether you know who Jesus really is.
Based on that post I think it would be beneficial for you to do a study on the terms Mercy and Justice in their biblical contexts. God does not owe us (His creation) anything except justice being that we are all equally sinful and accountable for that sin however that sin manifests. One lie is treated with the same severity as one murder in Scripture. We are all also accountable for how we interpret Scripture. If I hate a people group because I think the Bible told me so, I’m not only wrong, I will also be judged for it.
Ultimately Jesus is The Judge. His time on earth as the Son of Man wasn’t necessarily the time for judgement, but that does not mean that he will in any way excuse sin when He returns. Be very careful encouraging people to love their sin and to think God doesn’t care. If a particular sin is difficult to live with (i.e. homosexuality) we are doing no one any favors by down playing that sin to the category of non-sin. If we truly love our neighbor as Scripture commands, we would come along side them and help them to be strong, say no, and turn to Christ in faith. Forgiveness comes with true repentance. If you love your sin, God does not have to give you anything but justice. The wages of sin is death. That’s the sad reality. But in the end when we are in paradise with Jesus and some aren’t there with us, we will not morn them. We will celebrate that sin is no more.
I think in an attempt to fight a fictional American cultural view of Jesus (rightly) you still got sucked into that way of thinking. Jesus loves those who abide in Him. A homosexual, murderer, thief, adulterer, hater, etc. – is forgiven if they abide in Him and turn from their sin. Otherwise they are dead in their sin and bound for ultimate judgement.
“Forgiven if” or just forgiven? Here’s a post I wrote about hell: https://theboeskool.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/rob-bell-and-puppies-in-hell/
It might surprise you, Jimmey, but I’ve heard your argument many times before. Our job is lo love people. If, in their pressing into Jesus, his Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin, then great. I believe that God is still speaking today. He spoke about women in places of leadership (and we were able to reconcile that word with what we read in the Bible that seems to contradict it). The Bible is not as clear (in the NT especially) about the issue of committed, monogamous homosexual relationships as you might think.
Either way, I appreciate your thoughts and your taking the time to read.
We are called to love people. No doubt. But if you deny the authority of Scripture I don’t know how you can expect anyone to agree with your interpretation of what love is. My point from before was that real love involves truth. If you deny truth you deny love. Comforting my brother while he embraces sin is not loving him. It’s hatred. These aren’t emotions we’re talking about. Love and hatred are courses of action. Scripture defines love in strict terms. Jesus on the cross. This is not warm fuzzy feelings. It’s a decisive and sacrificial action for His bride the church. We are to love others by Jesus example. Why did Jesus have to die? Because sin is serious business. There are concepts surrounding law and justice and holiness that can’t be ignored. Otherwise the cross makes no sense. If God just gives blanket forgiveness to all what does Jesus even matter? This is what I hear you alluding to.
If you’re so committed to loving others, which we all should be, denying sin and the existence of hell is not doing anybody any favors. Embrace the truth of Scripture however difficult it seems. Because there are people in the world that may never hear of Christ this does not mean hell must not exist because God is love. That’s just plain old bad logic. Define love.
Romans 1:20 defines for us natural revelation: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” We are all completely without excuse. The fact that some of us will hear of Jesus and respond in faith is all by the grace of God. I suggest that we all surrender to that fact. That God is sovereign over all creation. We are utterly at His mercy whether we like it or not. You can try to redefine Him, deny inerrancy, reinvent Jesus or claim ignorance, but when we stand before Holy God none of the excuses will matter.
I do deny the “authority” of scripture–at least as you define it. Scripture is important to me, but I confess the authority of Jesus Christ. Not Scripture. You should probably remember that “Scripture” to the people who wrote the Bible was a very different list of book (scrolls) than what we have in our Bibles today.
Pharisees knew and followed scripture very well, and Jesus was definitely hardest on them. I believe (as you do) that there will be a judgment some day (though we probably have differing ideas of what comes next), and if things turn out to be as harsh as you believe they are going to be, you had better not be putting your faith in the “Authority of Scripture.” That, I believe, would be a far bigger mistake than me turning out to be wrong in my view that we should love and accept homosexuals into the church just as they are, and leave any changing that God wants to perform in them up to the Holy Spirit.
But I appreciate your concern. : )
In addition, I would like to caution you again. Because I may not have been clear and i’m having trouble falling asleep so I’m still up. I think the NT is very clear about sexual immorality and “men who practice homosexuality.” Scripture warns that they have “no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” Do you really want to be responsible for helping believe that monogamous homosexual relationship is all God is concerned about when inheritance in the kingdom of Christ is at stake? Don’t you think that at least should cause you to more carefully choose your words and blogging subjects?
I don’t understand how my loving (without judgment) of a homosexual brother or sister in Christ would make me “responsible” for their actions. Also, I do not believe that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to be nearly as concerned with the “inheritance in the Kingdom of God” as we should be with BUILDING the Kingdom of God. It’s a lie that following Jesus is all about what happens when we die. It’s about what we do right now. Today. That “evacuationist” mentality is KILLING the church. IMPNAHAISBO (In my probably not as humble as it should be opinion, of course). cf IMHO
“Homosexuality” didn’t exist as a word in the Bible until the 1946 in the NRSV, i think. Before this change, they translated the the greek word ‘arsenokoites’ as pederasty, which is older men forcing boys to have sex with them and then ‘malakos’. Malakos has many meaning, but none of them are ever connected with same-sex attraction or activity. Paul’s contextual use of the word malakos might best be translated as those who lack self control.
Sometimes what is so clear is actually quite opaque.
You and your “Biblical literary criticism” are arrogantly creating a God in your own image, Brandon. Let’s not cloud this debate with things like “facts.”
Dude. Do you receive special revelation directly from Jesus himself? What do you mean you confess the authority of Jesus Christ, but you reject His word? How is this rational? To reject the authority of Scripture is to reject Christ himself. There is no other way to know and be governed by Him. Any yahoo can claim the “Spirit” spoke to him, but what good is it if not weighed against the truth of Holy Spirit inspired Scripture. The inspired Word of God is the means of grace by which the church should be governed until Jesus’ return. Jesus cherished Old Testament Scripture and so should you. And he inspired New Testament Scripture so that we could know Him. We should be absolutely grateful to God that He is trustworthy and preserves His word for us in the Bible, so that we can be sure of the truth. What are you sure of? And how can you be sure of it?
I think I’m done with this topic, which I’m sure you’ll be glad of. But here’s my final statement: I find it very irrational to start a conversation on the topic of the REAL Jesus when you offer no trustworthy sources for your claims. To claim the Bible has not been preserved, has errors and no authority leaves you with nothing to stand on. You’re completely winging it and hoping for the best. That is the definition of The American Religion you claim to despise.
Bridging the gap between believers like yourself and believers like me is one of the calls on my life. Although, how I could know that without it being written in the Bible is beyond me. : )
If you want to be done, that’s your decision. I’m not trying to piss you off here, Jimmey. Here are some more detailed thoughts I have written about Inerrancy, if you’re interested: https://theboeskool.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/perfection-truth-and-finding-your-porpoise/
The first disciples used the words ‘it seemed good to us an the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 15:28).
Your Bible also says “The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth necessary for faith and obedience”. (Acts 20:21)
The first followers of YHWH were led by the spirit. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all through the OT.
I’d say there’s a fairly solid, sound, contextual precident that it’s specifically the Spirit who leads us, not the scriptures, though the scriptures do say they are usefull for teaching, yada yada yada.
I’m not done because I’m pissed off. I just don’t want to be annoying. Please don’t misunderstand me either. I made no claim of judging anyone. I pointed out the Jesus is the Judge and that we should come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ no matter what sin they’re dealing with and encourage them to stay strong in the Lord. BUT also not making excuses for their sin either. That’s my rub with what you wrote. Making excuses for sin hurts the church. Not being afraid to call sin sin is not the same as be judgmental and unloving toward people.
Nor did I make any claim about being preoccupied with the afterlife. We should focus on building the Kingdom. It is here and now. But what are you building it with? What truth? You claim you want true truth, but where are you getting it from? You seem to reject God’s gift of true truth.
I’ll read your inerrancy post, but I suspect I won’t like it.
I don’t hate you or anything. I trust you have the best of intentions. It’s not wrong to question the world around us. But man, I am concerned for you and Lillian. I have seen other brothers get sucked into this same way of thinking and they abandon reason and compromise on truth for supposed unity and a false peace. It’s wrong.
Jimmey; Dude, I think you’ve made some good points. But OF COURSE Chris receives revelation(s) directly from Jesus/HolySpirit/The Father. That’s one of his many promises to us. And yes of course, the Scripture is still relevant and important and “God-breathed”, and still incredibly vital in modern life.
But to live without either the Bible (Words of God) or Revelation (Words of God delivered through the Holy Spirit or the Angelic) is like running a marathon with one leg. Sure it can be done, you can limp through life on one leg… but it’s not how things were designed. Abram (Abraham) didn’t have anything written down, neither did Moses. Almost every person in the early Church was illiterate. To say that “ONLY” the Bible is to be taken as His Living word(s)/revelation is silly considering the Billions who’ve lived without the ability to read one.
Now, the danger you feel at the weird people claiming they hear God, is that anyone can claim to hear God and make up any malarky they want.. The Scripture is the Filter through which we need to pass our revelatory conversations with Holy Spirit. If we have a revelation that does contradicts Scripture, well then one of those things is off. And let’s be sure it’s not the Bible.
However, interpretation of the Bible is best done when consulting with the author. So trying to figure out what He meant without actually asking Him, well massive error can happen there too.
In regards to Homosexuality. I totally believe it is sin. I do not condone the act/lifestyle. Will happily tell everyone. However, I’m also friends with several gay/lesbian people, some of whom I love. They know what I believe. But I don’t judge or condemn them, In fact I treat them no differently than my “single” friends who sleep around, OR live with their boyfriend/girlfriend outside of a Covenant relationship. Nor do I treat Homosexuals any differently than I do thieves, adulterers, gossips, drunkards, I have been a thief a gossip, a drunkard, and adulterer (sex before I got married). I was all of those things before Jesus… some of that fruit stayed on the tree after I met Him. Some lingers 16 years later.
In regards to “Judging” Homosexuals, or any other “Sinner”. I think that Judgement has two definitions. One of those is something we should do. The other. Something we should dread doing.
The first “judging” would refer to discerning what something is. In respect we should judge correctly…discern Good from Bad. ie know the difference.
The other is condemning or passing a verdict/judgement/sentence. We should really really really avoid condemning people. Jesus doesn’t like that.
As for you Jim, I don’t know you, so I can’t discern a lot about who you are. I certainly don’t judge.
In regards to Homosexuality. Yep, it’s Sin. Yep we should tell the people we love that there are consequences for Sin. But I think we should tell people we love. In love. Like the way I tell my kids, “don’t run around the pool…” I know something they don’t know. Running around the pool leads to slipping, falling and pain. Sin leads to death.
What I don’t do, is go to the public pool and yell at strangers kids. Why? ‘Cause I’m not an asshole. I might caution them, because I don’t want them to have the consequence, but I don’t tell the kid he is a bad person.
Anyway… that’s it.
Wow. I just have one question… Where can I get those rainbow Oreos?
lol. you can’t buy them, yet. Oreo made that in support of marriage equality. 🙂
so, after reading this, i have a question … if people were to get a free pass for not having heard about Jesus, then the absolute worst thing someone could do for them would be to actually tell them about the Jesus of the gospels. doesn’t that create a bit of a problem considering Jesus’ Great Commission ?
That argument presumes that the only benefit one could gain from hearing about Jesus is escaping hell and getting into heaven. If that were the case then yes, we should not tell anyone and they’d all get in for free. But that would be robbing people of the kind of life that Christ offers us now on Earth. That is what is meant by “eternal” life. Eternal does not only imply a length of time, but also a type of life we can have. I’ll paraphrase C.S. Lewis (because I’m too tired to look it up) …”People who accept Christ will find that “Heaven” will have begun for them from the time they accepted him. People who Reject him will find that “hell” will have begun from the time they rejected him.”
I think the point he is trying to make is the the logic in the blog is flawed Evan…
i was in the midst of trying to say something to the same effect, Evan, but much less eloquently than what you wrote, so i deleted mine and will just say ditto.
Solid question. Any takers on this one?
i’m pretty sure that Evan was a taker, there.
What Evan said….
I posted that before I refreshed to see that he had commented BJ 🙂
haha! sorry. i sometimes feel the need to be post-police. my apologies. as you were.
humans are finite creatures attempting to understand an infinite intelligence. we would no more expect an ant to fully understand our logic and motivations. humans are so uncomfortable with the concept of hell that we think we can rationalize our way around it. It makes people sad to think a teenager might die tragically and spend eternity apart from God.
And that’s what hell is. Eternal separation from God. He doesn’t send them there so much as them choose it. God requires us to make a choice. Does he reveal himself to everyone? I believe he does. But I’m not him either. And my concept of justice isn’t his. And thank goodness.
No offense intended, but I’m tired of people who are saying “we can’t possibly understand” trying to explain why they are right.
I’m sure we are able to understand a significant amount of what God wanted. But any God you could completely understand is no God at all.
Right…. So if we start out at a place of We Can Know Things, then we move into a place of Let’s Find Out What We Can Know. We all, as we read through the Bible, read through a lens of “Does this make sense?” And that’s okay. To act like we don’t use our logic as we try to decipher and make sense of scripture is to not be very self aware. Some folks act like everything in the Bible is crystal clear, but we do (and should) use our brains where we can. Ironically, the point when people start using “how can the clay hope to understand the Potter?” talk is about issues to which there actually is some mystery. People are CERTAIN that hell is eternal torture, and that God is the sort of being who sends a 17 year old kid who dies rejecting Jesus to that hell. Which means that 17 million years from now, our loving Father will be extending the life of that kid in order to keep on burning and torturing him. THEN, when someone like me comes along and questions that certainty, I’m hit with all the “ants can’t understand our logic” talk. Do you not see the rhetorical inconsistency and inherent contradiction in what you’re saying?
And is it alright for me to even ask you that question? Or is that more “His ways are above our ways” stuff? Do you see what I’m saying?
And we wonder why people think that faith is the opposite of logic…. That they have to chose one or the other. Like some gay kid who is told he or she has to chose their innate sexual attraction or Jesus. Insisting that people give up their logic to join the church keeps the pews filled with the stupidest sort of people–Not a great model for growth.
You’re right to ask questions, and I have no problem with that. I don’t subscribe your beliefs, however I’ll clarify what I think.
With respect to hell, I do not believe it is a fiery place where God sends people. Hell is the absence of God’s presence, an existence so terrifying that a burning trash heap was the only appropriate way Jesus had to describe it. I don’t believe God sends anyone there. We all have a choice. God set down principles and standards for us to live by and breaking those rules brings death.
Jesus’ redemptive actions make it possible for us to live in God’s presence, if we choose it. Not choosing that existence leaves only one other option. Maybe human conceptions of fairness don’t see that as being just or right, but humans are depraved creatures. And we also presume that a 17 year old kid dying of leukemia is innocent. They aren’t. Sin is present in our lives, and we willfully break God’s law. Didn’t know you were breaking the law? Since when did ignorance of the law become an excuse anywhere? Also, as humans, we are all going to die. Is it any less tragic when a 40 year old single mom dies?
Does God reveal himself to all nations and peoples? I believe in some way he does. Just because we can’t imagine that doesn’t mean God can’t do it. If people want to believe God is some sadistic figure for setting up the universe that way, I can’t stop them.
We all have sinful desires that we want to engage in, but that doesn’t give us license to do them. Is it any more difficult for a homosexual to refrain from sex than a glutton to refrain from eating? Should God overlook that innate desire? Heterosexuals have innate desires for sex before marriage. Do we condone that?
Before you hammer away at the stupid people in pews of church, you ought to realize they are are logical people too. Do you truly believe you’re the only one seeking to answer questions logically? Even so, if you believe you’ll logically understand everything about God, you’re on a fool’s errand, a prideful trip that will only end in disappointment.
Since there were several references to Rob Bell’s book in this article as well…
I always thought Francis comes off as very insincere in this video. I’ve never heard him speak, though. Maybe that’s just how he is. Idk. Having said that, I did read his book, as well as Love Wins, and on their own merits, I enjoyed Rob’s far more than Francis’.
Bell’s book wasn’t anything new to me, as I’ve held similar views for quite a while. He just tells the story far better than I could ever hope to.
Francis’ book frames how I used to believe. I left that behind long ago, so I guess that’s why it was less enjoyable for me.
But don’t you see, CZBZ, the things FC takes for granted in this video–That “what we are talking about is people’s eternal destinies.” When we say things like “God wouldn’t do this, would he?” we are challenging long held (and I believe errant) beliefs based on an interpretation of scripture that has historically been to manipulate and fill people with fear. FC acts like to question those interpretations is the height of arrogance…. all the while, fervently (and I suppose arrogantly, based on his definition) making his own case (using the logic of his own clay-brain about what the potter thinks). Theology, as well as doctrine, are important things. Trying to get them right involves using our brain and our rationality that God gave us. It is not arrogance against God to question the things we have been told BY OTHER PEOPLE.
Paul himself distinguishes between what he is saying and what God tells us “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer….” 1 Corinthians 7:10-12. Is it arrogance to ask the question if Paul (who clearly thought that Jesus was going to return before he died) thought that he was writing a letter to a church (a letter that has ALL KINDS of value) or if he thought he was writing the infallible, inerrant word of God? Is that too arrogant for me to ask? And if so, who is the arrogance against? God, or the leaders of the church–Under whose direction the church has come to be a punchline to a joke about hypocrisy.
I like Francis Chan, but if Francis Chan sat down with Rob Bell and debated why they believe what they do–using a Biblical basis for their beliefs–Rob Bell would win that argument every time. But it’s not about winning–It’s about us looking for truth, leaving behind the stuff that’s wrong, and getting closer to the heart of the Father who was revealed through Jesus Christ.
This is about an hour long, but it is worth watching: http://www.premier.tv/index.php/show/unbelievable%3f_debate_-_heaven_%26amp%3b_hell?id=1_qkhmbyby
There is an enjoyable book I once read, titled, At Least in Hell the Christians Won’t Harass Me. It goes through some elementary calculus, differential equations, and set theory to refute the notion of god. Using mathematics as logic is pretty standard in the bag of tricks for apologetics. As far as being a handbook of atheism, it is no where close to the gold standard (See Michael Martin’s Atheism: A Philosophical Justification if that is what you seek).
However, the reason I bring up the book is that I am becoming more and more convinced that the title is clearly not true. Based upon the chatter following Boeskool’s post it strikes me that people who claim to be Christians can’t agree on what that word means… Let alone we atheists who use the word broadly to mean those who believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Straight up, I do not believe there is anything special about Jesus. He was probably a swell (not swollen) man. I just can’t buy the divinity (and not Jesus but any similar story). With any sort of critical thinking the story would not stand up to the scrutiny of a 3rd grader. A child was conceived to an unmarried woman but her soon to be husband is not the father of the baby (I saw this on Maury once). The baby was “created” out of thin air. (Why the marriage was never consummated is an excellent question but is momentarily past the scope do this blog.) This baby would grow into a man (believed to be illiterate by some), a carpenter by trade, who just happens to be the son of god (who is in some way the same as god). Due to a minor misunderstanding with some Romans he was killed via the gruesome art of crucifixion (which makes death in the Saw movies look like a Disney special). However, his death was not in vain… As he died he cleansed the sins of anyone who believes that he really is the son of god. Of course, not believing this cockamamie story is a sin…so it completes a vicious cycle.
Believing this child, conceived of a virgin, is the son of god and died via crucifixion to cleanse the sins of anyone who sincerely asks for forgiveness and believes this man, Jesus, is the son of god is the crux of Christianity.
The best part, to me, is that Christians can’t even agree on whoChristians are, let alone the come to an agreement on rules to live by. What sects are Christian? Most would have little trouble acknowledging that most protestant views (Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutherans, etc) are Christian. Sure, there is a squabble over some minor details but they all agree in the divinity of Christ and the notion of sin.
To someone such as myself, I have no problem calling a Catholic individual Christian… After all, there is no doubt that Jesus is the focal point of the religion. Sure, they have a few privileged people (like the Pope) but they still believe in the divinity of Jesus and his ‘sins-be-gone’ ability.
What about our good friends, the Anglicans? While the concept of Anglican communion is unique to these folks, it is similar to Catholicism in a number of meaningful ways… Namely placing the divinity of Jesus at the front and center.
Controversy always abounds when I mention our next guests at the Christianity party… The Mormons. Certainly these freaks from Utah aren’t Christian, they don’t even read the right book. However, Earth is a fairly large planet and it does sort of makes sense that Jesus would not only reveal himself in the middle east, but that he might just do the exact same thing half a world away. Why not? I don’t believe that it is true but I do find it plausible (I would be a horrible juror… Reasonable, doubt is so very easy to achieve). The important part is that Joseph Smith and his band of merry men believed in the sanctity of Christ. Boeskool may state that this was a false Jesus but I think the Mormons could make the same case about his Jesus and the argument would end up boiling down to the ‘Neener-Neener’ stage.
I could continue going but my hand is much starting to hurt too much to ramble without purpose. Just remember David Koresh’s followers did believe that Jesus Christ was the path to salvation. Sadly for them, no where in any of their religious text did it mention the ATF or they would have been better prepared.
There are two key features that need to be examined here. First, is there something special about Jesus. Are my sins forgiven because he died and was resurrected (I forgot to mention that part earlier… Mostly because it seems ridiculous to me.) This is the point at which Lucy is pulling out the football… Sorry, Charlie Brown.
Often the bible is used as a method of justifying this belief… But something being written in a book doesn’t make it true. It doesn’t make it false either. However, there is enough separation in principles of each of the sects that if one is true then the others must all be false. Every faction is unique and ultimately, at most, one may be correct in the end. That, too, must be a hard pill to swallow.
I notice that many modern Christians are becoming increasingly talented at cherry picking the bible. We’re going to ignore the part that condones slavey but cherish the part about Jesus granting eternal life if we give ourselves to him.
The Jesus that Boeskool presents seems like a decent guy… But different from the one in the bible. Being worthy of worship is an important trait for a god. I’m just not sure I can jive with the one in any of the texts mentioned today.
I do apologize for the brevity of some arguments. I’ve had three hand surgeries in the past five months on my dominant hand and still host two infections. Typing is difficult… This discussion has been fun and today was the first day I’ve had a solid chance. Again a few arguments are lacking and I will be happy to clear them up soon.
John 14:6- Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
That verse is one of the major reasons I have denounced Christianity. I refuse to philosophically (I don’t believe in hell) damn anyone. Christianity according to that one verse proclaims that all other people in the world who practice other religions are going to hell. It is the justification used to allow the rise of antisemitism in Europe and the systematic extermination of entire races throughout the world.
I don’t reject Jesus but I reject Christianity. If I am a Christian I probably will to go to hell because most Christians worships to the Bible and Christian things instead of Jesus. I had heard that many church pastors will not go to heaven. The devil will try to tempt me to believe that only the Bible, the Church and Christian things will save me, not Jesus. I had been warned, do not listen to the lies from the devil. I am Ex Christian.
You wrote a lot about what people say about Jesus. Anyone who wants to know who Jesus is, what he commands, what he did and how to respond to him, should read the Bible. The Bible is the place to go, to learn about Jesus. People telling you about Jesus, should only lead you to the Bible, so you can confirm what was said about Jesus or learn that what was said was inaccurate.
The bible tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, as I’m sure you already know. For this reason, we should not be surprised when people who are telling you about Jesus, are sinners themselves.
You should consider why Christians take marriage so seriously though. Marriage was the first relationship between to people, that God displayed for us in the book of Genesis:
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”. Adam declared that “a man leaves his father and mother and be united to his wife and they become one flesh”.
Furthermore, Jesus performed his first miracle at a wedding. Jesus compared relationship between himself and his church to a bride and bride groom.
I could go on, but I hope you get he point. Marriage is sacred. It should be said that there is a lot of sinful behavior among Christians and marriage, but that doesn’t make God’s instructions about marriage any less true or important.
People are so often offended when confronted with the declaration of sin. Your problem should not be with the people who spread the word, but with God himself. If people stop saying that being gay is sinful behavior, gay people with still have to stand before God. And what is saying homosexual behavior is a sin? Isn’t is just a statement of fact? (to be accepted or rejected)
People get offended by this, because they are being confronted by God. All the rest of it is conversation. I don’t believe that the state of TN has attempted to pass legislation that actually allows for bullying of gay people. I think your words distorted the law. I think you added your own interpretation of bullying. I am just assuming though, as I have not read the law, nor do I know how you are defining bullying.
Jesus declared many things to be sin and as he did this, many people were offended. This Duck Dynasty guy made a generalized statement about sin. He stated several behaviors and said that they are sinful behaviors. Homosexuality was just one of them. He did not say anything about whose going to hell. In fact, this man knows a lot about sin, as he has sinned quite a bit. He told his story of being drunk and sending his family away. He also told how he turned to Jesus, begged forgiveness from his family and they returned. He himself has seen consequences from sin and forgiveness from sin.
We could debate A&E’s legal rights or potential violations of expressed opinions. One cannot simply be fired from their job at Starbucks for stating that they believe Muhammad was a prophet. Maybe A&E was justified, maybe they were not.
Read about Jesus in the bible. Then decide if you want to reject him or accept him. I would like to encourage ALL to not be led astray from somebody who protests a funeral with signs about how the Lord feels toward gay people. They do not know the God they claim to represent.
All people sin. I sin, you sin, gay people sin, straight people sin, plumbers sin, alter boys sin. the disciples sinned. Jesus said go forth and sin no more. Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Gay people have a choice. They can have sexual encounters with people of the same sex, or resist temptation. Married men and women have a choice. They can have sex with other people or only have sex with each other. Gay is not a special kind of sin. Jealousy in sin. Steeling is a sin. If this Duck guy said – “It’s a sin to steel my duck calls”, would he be suspended indefinitely? He should be, if he is suspended for saying homosexuality is a sin. It’s the fact that he said gay is sin (paraphrase). If he had said the Westboro Baptist Church members behavior against gays is sin, he would not be facing consequences. Quite the contrary; he would likely be praised!
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