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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Pastoral Response: Gay Teenagers in the Heartland
Fish Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by Alogon:
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

(Matthew 18:15-17)
I'm trying to understand what this quote has to do with the topic.

This was a response to the notion that we shouldn't ever challenge people about their behaviour. Jesus says we should.

quote:
Originally posted by Alogon:
If they know full well from your preaching and other general statements that you will just advise them, in effect, not to be themselves, why would they ever voluntarily submit to the embarrassment? I am not impressed by descriptions of how kind and sensitive you would be one-on-one if and when you were ever in that situation, when the entire tenure of your doctrine precludes the likelihood.

I do hope you're not judging me? [Devil]


quote:
Originally posted by Paul Careau:
Ever wondered why there is quite so much promiscuity as there is on gay scene?

I don't beleive promiscuity in the gay scene is, in most cases, because some people outside the gay scene disaprove of the gay lifestyle. But this is a whole dead horse I don't want to go into here.

quote:
Originally posted by Paul Careau:
Could a heterosexual marriage last if, 50% of the time, one of the couple thought their marriage was inherently evil and perverted? Could you even begin any kind of long term heterosexual relationship if you thought like that?

Well, what can I do? I believe the Bible teaches such relationships are wrong. Should I stand by what i believe the Bible says on moral issues, and risk offending those who disagree? Or should I ignore the Bible and then, as it seems to me, ignore what God says?

If I believe that the Bible teaches something to be wrong, I cannot change that. I must live by it and learn how to communicate in a loving pastoral way, but without abandoning the truth as I understand it. Its a tightrope, as I said above.

However, your response seems be to simply ignore what the Bible says on this moral issue because some people cannot live by it. You jump off the tighrope. They story you tell is tragic. I'm sure he could have been treated better in many ways. But I cannot change my morality, or my understanding of what God says, simply because someone has found it difficult.

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ChristinaMarie
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Fish Fish,

Could you say to someone: 'This is what I believe, but there are some who don't agree. You might want to check out what they say too, and seek God's guidance for yourself.'
?

Christina

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HenryT

Canadian Anglican
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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
Well, what can I do? I believe the Bible teaches such relationships are wrong.

There's also this whole thing about the "beam that is in your own eye". In that light, is confronting someone about the wrongness of their relationship the primary thing that you should be doing?

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Fish Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaMarie:
Could you say to someone: 'This is what I believe, but there are some who don't agree. You might want to check out what they say too, and seek God's guidance for yourself.'

Yep, I'd be happy to do that - but I'd make clear why I believe what i do - because of the Bible etc.

quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
Well, what can I do? I believe the Bible teaches such relationships are wrong.

There's also this whole thing about the "beam that is in your own eye". In that light, is confronting someone about the wrongness of their relationship the primary thing that you should be doing?
Well I guess that's where we need to make the distinction between being judgmental and making right judgments. The former is condemned, the latter required, as I have tried to show above.

[ 06. October 2004, 15:14: Message edited by: Fish Fish ]

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Isthmus
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Originally posted by Fish Fish:
quote:
Well I guess that's where we need to make the distinction between being judgmental and making right judgments. The former is condemned, the latter required, as I have tried to show above.
With all due respect, Fish Fish, I think you're splitting hairs. To judge is to judge is to judge. Since you like to cite scripture so much, why don't you fill in the rest of "Judge not..."?

It seems like you're trying too hard to get around the basic idea that God Almighty is the Judge, not you, nor I, nor any other. It's not our place.

Young gay people do just fine judging and condemning themselves without moralising from other folks, thank you very much. Think of the good you could do if you took half the energy you put into trying to convince others that you're right and used it instead to convince others that God loves them fiercely and unconditionally.

Isthmus

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Fish Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
With all due respect, Fish Fish, I think you're splitting hairs. To judge is to judge is to judge. Since you like to cite scripture so much, why don't you fill in the rest of "Judge not..."?

Happily -

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged..." (Luke 6:37)

But does Jesus mean that all and every judgement is wrong (as you seem to be suggesting)? No - since immediately afterwards he tells us about Good trees and bad trees, good fruit and bad fruit, and good and bad men (v43-45) - how are we to recognise these if we do not make a judgement? Indeed, Jesus tells us we must make a judgement - "Each tree is recognized by its own fruit." - how do you recognise a good tree or bad tree (a good person or bad person)? By their fruit. You must judge their fruit to see if its good or bad.

So what is Jesus condemning when he says "Do not judge, and you will not be judged..." - judgementalism. Being holier than thou. Applying a standard of holiness to someone else that you won't apply to yourself. Hypocrisy.

It is right to make a judgement. It is wrong to be judgemental. This is not splitting hairs. Its an important distinction.

quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
It seems like you're trying too hard to get around the basic idea that God Almighty is the Judge, not you, nor I, nor any other. It's not our place.

Of course God is judge. but to say we are never to judge is, I'm afraid, not Biblical. Pastors have to make judgements as to what is right or wrong. How else can we teach?

Are we never to make a judgement of right and wrong? If so, why are you replying to my posts? You've judged that they are wrong, have you not?

quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
...to convince others that God loves them fiercely and unconditionally.

God does love us unconditionally - but his forgiveness and our salvation are conditional on us repenting. So the loving thing to do is to let everyone and anyone know that - straight, gay, celibate, promiscuous. But I guess that's a whole other thread....

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged..." (Luke 6:37)

But does Jesus mean that all and every judgement is wrong (as you seem to be suggesting)? No - since immediately afterwards he tells us about Good trees and bad trees, good fruit and bad fruit, and good and bad men (v43-45) - how are we to recognise these if we do not make a judgement? Indeed, Jesus tells us we must make a judgement - "Each tree is recognized by its own fruit." - how do you recognise a good tree or bad tree (a good person or bad person)? By their fruit. You must judge their fruit to see if its good or bad.

So, you would judge someone who is loving, kind, gentle, faithful etc (ie: producing the fruits of the Spirit as Paul outlines them) to be a good person, and someone who is hateful, selfish etc isn't a good person. A real shame that people of all sexualities can be found among both "good" and "bad" people as judged by the fruits of their lives.

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Fish Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
So, you would judge someone who is loving, kind, gentle, faithful etc (ie: producing the fruits of the Spirit as Paul outlines them) to be a good person, and someone who is hateful, selfish etc isn't a good person. A real shame that people of all sexualities can be found among both "good" and "bad" people as judged by the fruits of their lives.

One of the fruits of the Spirit is Self Control. If someone does not exibit self control over their sexual life, as God says that we should, then yes it its true to say "that people of all sexualities can be found among both "good" and "bad" people as judged by the fruits of their lives."

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Isthmus
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Originally posted by Fish Fish:
quote:
Are we never to make a judgement of right and wrong? If so, why are you replying to my posts? You've judged that they are wrong, have you not?
Doubtless I judge some of your positions to be incorrect, but I do not pretend to know the mind of God in judging your actions or your worth as a human being. Therein lies the difference.

It's the difference between saying to a young gay man or woman: "I think this is wrong, but I don't pretend to have all the answers and I take you as you are"

or

"I think you are wrong and I know without a doubt that you will burn in hell."

Your present approach seems to lean towards the latter, but I do not pretend -- even with revelation in the Bible or elsewhere -- to ever know or even be capable of knowing confidently the state of your salvation.

We who live in modern societies do judge people's actions -- our secular system of law is one of the only things we have to prevent utter chaos and provides us with a means for identifying and punishing misdemeanors and crimes. However, sexual expression between two consenting adults is clearly not a violation of the law (unless you were hoping to move to Egypt where sodomy is still punishable by death...?).

The moment when one decides that one is privy to knowing precisely what their conduct in this world translates to in the next places one in a state of being "holier than thou," as you put it.

The Bible does not give either you or me the incentive, license or permission to judge or condemn other people's worth or immortal soul -- that is the province of God and God alone.

The beauty of this situation in a Christian context is that you, Fish Fish, could be the biggest hypocrite on earth (I'm not saying you are), but that still doesn't mean that God has anointed me to judge you in his stead.

Isthmus

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Fish Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
"I think you are wrong and I know without a doubt that you will burn in hell."

Your present approach seems to lean towards the latter, but I do not pretend -- even with revelation in the Bible or elsewhere -- to ever know or even be capable of knowing confidently the state of your salvation.

I struggle to see in anything I have said on this post that I say I have any knowledge of someone's state of salvation. The Bible does not say I have that knowledge. That is God's perogative. I am happy it is his and not mine.

So I totally agree with you when you say
quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
The Bible does not give either you or me the incentive, license or permission to judge or condemn other people's worth or immortal soul -- that is the province of God and God alone.

However, the Bible does frequently tell us what is right and what is wrong. So just as you are clear what is not a violation of the law of the land, we can be certain what is a violation of God's standards. All I am suggesting in this thread is that the pastoral response to a gay Christian is to say, gently and lovingly, what I would say to anyone tempted to engage in sexual activity outside marriage - that's not what God wants you to do.

So you are suggesting I am questioning both a person's worth and salvation - I am doing no such thing. I am valuing their worth, but talking to them about the danger to our salvation if we turn our backs on what God has said.

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Fish Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
...but I do not pretend to know the mind of God in judging ... your worth as a human being.

p.s. I struggle to see in what way the conservative evanglical does this.

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Zwingli
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quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
Well, what can I do? I believe the Bible teaches such relationships are wrong.

There's also this whole thing about the "beam that is in your own eye". In that light, is confronting someone about the wrongness of their relationship the primary thing that you should be doing?
I am aware that Fish Fish has already replied to this, but I would like to comment because this is misapplied so darn often. And it shouldn't be, because it really isn't that hard. The point - first remove the beam in your eye, then you can see clearly to remove the mote in someone else's - is only ever half applied. You are supposed to remove the blatant problems in your own life before trying to correct other people. Yet it is quoted to say that we should never try to correct other people at all. In theory it means that someone must remove the obvious problems in their life so as to be able see clearly to make valid criticisms of others, in practice it is used by those who simply don't want their lives to be criticised.

Whenever I hear someone speak of motes and beams - in any context, I am not trying to enter the discussion on homosexuality - I think 'here we go again, someone saying "put your own house in order before you criticise me" when of course they mean "don't criticise me about this, ever, even after you have put your house in order."'

[ 06. October 2004, 16:47: Message edited by: Zwingli ]

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Isthmus
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Originally posted by Zwingli:
quote:
Whenever I hear someone speak of motes and beams - in any context, I am not trying to enter the discussion on homosexuality - I think 'here we go again, someone saying "put your own house in order before you criticise me" when of course they mean "don't criticise me about this, ever, even after you have put your house in order."'
Have you considered that perhaps the real implication of the passage is that none of us can ever clearly and completely "have our own houses in order" enough to avoid hypocrisy in criticizing others?

Isthmus

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Isthmus
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Originally posted by Fish Fish:
quote:
So just as you are clear what is not a violation of the law of the land, we can be certain what is a violation of God's standards.
Ah, but that is precisely the point -- Christians as the collective body of Christ on earth are not in fact certain that this is a violation of God's standards. We clearly do not agree on many things. But I digress.

quote:
p.s. I struggle to see in what way the conservative evanglical does this.
Then perhaps this is an insurmountable stumbling block between conservative and liberal Christians. I see the failure to admit that you don't know everything that God does about salvation as being distinctly un-Christian.

Isthmus

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Lyda*Rose

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To me the point of motes and beams is that the people who are the most likely to unctiously point out the faults of others are often really just assiduously avoiding their own faults- faults like the sin of failing to love their neighbor as their self. We all have plenty to work on in our own human nature without pointing fingers at others.

As has been said previously in this thread if love has really been established in a relationship, there can actually be some basis to do good in mutually helping one another in our journeys by giving each other a safe place to do some self-examination. But the large majority of people I've seen who make it a habit to helpfully point out others' faults are doing so out of a sense of self-justification not out of any real expectation of actually making a positive difference.

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Zwingli
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quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
Originally posted by Zwingli:
quote:
Whenever I hear someone speak of motes and beams - in any context, I am not trying to enter the discussion on homosexuality - I think 'here we go again, someone saying "put your own house in order before you criticise me" when of course they mean "don't criticise me about this, ever, even after you have put your house in order."'
Have you considered that perhaps the real implication of the passage is that none of us can ever clearly and completely "have our own houses in order" enough to avoid hypocrisy in criticizing others?

Isthmus

I have, but I on reflection don't think this is what it means. Why not just say, you who would criticise others, look instead at your own errors? Why would Jesus add the "then you can see clearly to remove the mote in your brother's eye" bit if he only meant, don't criticise your brother? I don't think Jesus was trying to be obtuse; the passage reads fairly clearly, saying remove the major blemishes in your own life to enable you to help others remove the blemishes in theirs.
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ChastMastr
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One Q, Fish Fish -- do you really believe that the person won't have already heard that position? Very probably used as a weapon with accusing fingers pointing at them?

Given the present social climate regarding people being treated that way, I take for granted that any fellow gay person I meet has already been told what the "traditional Christian position" is, and that it's based on the Bible, and very probably in some truly nasty ways. In my view, we've already heard it to death. It's old news. Unconditional, non-preachy, non-pressuring caring and real friendship, even if one doesn't agree with what the person does, or how they define themselves, or their political opinions, or subculture -- now that's new, and all too rare.

If the subject of whether you agree with a given aspect of "what gay people do" comes up naturally, say if the person asks, that might be an appropriate time and place to mention that one holds those beliefs, as long as it's not said in a condemning way, and frankly I'd be very careful (heck, I am very careful -- the subject of what I believe and don't believe in doing sexually comes up a lot, given my subculture) to make it clear that even if the person does X, then you're not condemning them. "I don't expect other people to follow the way I believe" is helpful. If they want to discuss it in the form of a real, genuine, give-and-take discussion, then that would be an appropriate time and place for doing so. But otherwise I wouldn't bring it up. To repeat myself, we've already heard it. That the Bible says "X" on the subject is not news to us, whether "X" is the correct interpretation or not. Even if a child were brought up in the MCC church from birth, in our society we run across the perceived "traditional view" often, and often in a very heavy-handed, condemning way; it's inescapable enough that I don't think it's necessary to repeat unless the person really wants to know. In fact, actually discussing other stuff, and just being there with the person in their times of suffering, rejoicing with them in their times of joy, and that kind of thing may be the best Christian witness possible under our societal circumstances.

David

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
One of the fruits of the Spirit is Self Control. If someone does not exibit self control over their sexual life, as God says that we should, then yes it its true to say "that people of all sexualities can be found among both "good" and "bad" people as judged by the fruits of their lives."

And, I'd add, that there are people of all sexualities who exhibit the self-control to keep sex within the context of committed monogomous relationships. And, others of all sexualities don't. Put simply, sexuality per se is not a fruit on which to base judgement. Maybe that's not what you were getting at, but it felt very much like you were.

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Josephine

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There's a story told by one of the desert saints -- I think it was Dorotheos of Gaza, but I don't have the book handy to check, so I could be wrong. In any event, the story is about two women. They were both harlots.

How should we judge them? the saint asked. If we knew the whole story, we would know that they were twins, sold into slavery as infants. One of them was bought by a circus, and was taught from childhood to entertain men. The other grew up as the handmaiden of a pious consecrated virgin.

If we didn't know all that, could we possibly judge with righteous judgment? The saint said no. He said that, unless we know the whole life of another person, the same way God knows it, we cannot judge them. Not even for harlotry.

There's another story from the desert fathers, about St. Moses the Black. He was called upon to judge a brother who had fallen into sexual sin. (Heterosexual? Homosexual? Hard to say -- the desert fathers didn't seem to think it mattered one way or the other). As St. Moses went to the meeting place, he carried a bag of sand on his back. The bag had a hole, and was dribbling sand behind him. When the other monks asked why he did this, he said that some people's sins were out in plain sight in front of them, while the sins of others trail quietly behind.

Zwingli, our Lord didn't say that no one should stone the adulterous woman. He said that the one who was without sin should throw the first stone. Do you not think the story of motes and beams was making the very same point?

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
So, you would judge someone who is loving, kind, gentle, faithful etc (ie: producing the fruits of the Spirit as Paul outlines them) to be a good person, and someone who is hateful, selfish etc isn't a good person. A real shame that people of all sexualities can be found among both "good" and "bad" people as judged by the fruits of their lives.

Unfortunately, Alan, just recently I was informed by a minister that if you are a lesbian there is no way you can display the fruits of the spirit. Being a lesbian overrides all other good one might be evidencing.

It was then that I realised that for this minister and the others of his ilk, lesbian and gay people are ontologically less than other human beings. If it was just the various sexual acts that were ontologically worse, then the good I did would still count in my favour. But no, in his eyes, whatever good I might do was completely negated by the fact that I choose to commit myself to another woman.

That's why I don't believe the "love the sinner, hate the sin" argument.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
Unfortunately, Alan, just recently I was informed by a minister that if you are a lesbian there is no way you can display the fruits of the spirit. Being a lesbian overrides all other good one might be evidencing.

What an ignorant asshole. He needs to find out something about the Christian faith, cos he clearly doesn't at the moment.

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
It was then that I realised that for this minister and the others of his ilk, lesbian and gay people are ontologically less than other human beings. If it was just the various sexual acts that were ontologically worse, then the good I did would still count in my favour. But no, in his eyes, whatever good I might do was completely negated by the fact that I choose to commit myself to another woman.

That's why I don't believe the "love the sinner, hate the sin" argument.

I don't understand -- how does this person's misuse of that idea negate the idea? For instance, could you not reject this minister's attitudes and actions, but also care about him as a person?

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Fish Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
I see the failure to admit that you don't know everything that God does about salvation as being distinctly un-Christian.

I am more than happy to say that I don't know everything that God does about salvation. He is God. I am a puny small brained human. How can I possibly claim to know everything? (I don't belive I even hinted I did!)

However, where God has said he will do something or act in a certain way, or calls people to repent and believe in his son, then I will stand by what he says and proclaim it with assurance that he means what he says. What he says with clarity, we too can say with clarity.

quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
One Q, Fish Fish -- do you really believe that the person won't have already heard that position? Very probably used as a weapon with accusing fingers pointing at them?

You make a good point ChastMastr - some people may well know the Biblical arguments, and banging the Bible on their heads may not help. That's why I said we have to walk the tightrope of being both sensitive to the individual and being obedient to what God has said.

quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
Unfortunately, Alan, just recently I was informed by a minister that if you are a lesbian there is no way you can display the fruits of the spirit. Being a lesbian overrides all other good one might be evidencing.

What an ignorant asshole. He needs to find out something about the Christian faith, cos he clearly doesn't at the moment.
Amen to that, Alan.

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John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
# 158

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quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
quote:
Well I guess that's where we need to make the distinction between being judgmental and making right judgments. The former is condemned, the latter required, as I have tried to show above.
With all due respect, Fish Fish, I think you're splitting hairs. To judge is to judge is to judge. Since you like to cite scripture so much, why don't you fill in the rest of "Judge not..."?

Isthmus

Both with respect to this and to what happened later in the discussion -- in this context, I have always been told, "judge" does not mean "come to a conclusion about" but "condemn" or "convict". If true, that rather changes the debate.

John

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
You make a good point ChastMastr - some people may well know the Biblical arguments, and banging the Bible on their heads may not help.

My apologies for being vague in any way in my post -- my intended point was actually that everybody has heard the Biblical arguments, often (in the case of gay people) in a hurtful, destructive way, and that banging the Bible on their heads will not only not help, it will in many cases do harm.

[ 06. October 2004, 21:09: Message edited by: ChastMastr ]

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Isthmus
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quote:

Originally posted by Isthmus:
quote:

I see the failure to admit that you don't know everything that God does about salvation as being distinctly un-Christian.

I am more than happy to say that I don't know everything that God does about salvation. He is God. I am a puny small brained human. How can I possibly claim to know everything? (I don't belive I even hinted I did!)
You wrote:

quote:
I am valuing their worth, but talking to them about the danger to our salvation if we turn our backs on what God has said.
I'm sure I don't have to remind you that the topic in question on this thread never comes up once -- not once from Jesus recorded words -- in the Gospels. Given that God in Christ Jesus never "said" a single word about it, how do you claim absolute truth in your assertion that gay sex poses a "danger to their salvation"? You would be accusing someone of turning their backs on something God -- and neither Paul nor the old testament prophets were God --didn't say.

Like I wrote earlier, this may just be an insurmountable one for you. I respect you as a person, and acknowledge I've never met you, but based on what you've written I would definitely not trust you to give good counsel to someone in crisis about both their faith and sexuality.

Isthmus

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PataLeBon
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# 5452

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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
Given the present social climate regarding people being treated that way, I take for granted that any fellow gay person I meet has already been told what the "traditional Christian position" is, and that it's based on the Bible, and very probably in some truly nasty ways. In my view, we've already heard it to death. It's old news. Unconditional, non-preachy, non-pressuring caring and real friendship, even if one doesn't agree with what the person does, or how they define themselves, or their political opinions, or subculture -- now that's new, and all too rare.

Which is where I find some problems in my life.

In some unusual way, I have found my self to end up befriending some gay teens online. Most of them are from the south. When they found out that I was a Christian (which didn't take them long actually) they reacted that I would no longer want to be their friend since Christians weren't friends with gay people. They find it odd that I tell him that their sexuality is between them and God and that I'm not going to talk or harass them about it unless they want my opinion. We've had alot of discussion over what the Bible says and doesn't say in that way.

But I still don't judge the conclusions they come to, I just give them the information they need. That is something that I find is lacking in what they hear. They simply don't know the whole story of Jesus, just what the Bible says about homosexuality according to some people. That I find to not be a good way to evangelize anybody.

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That's between you and your god. Oh, wait a minute. You are your god. That's a problem. - Jack O'Neill (Stargate SG1)

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Ilkku
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I don't know anything muchabout anything .. but I will say that this thread is starting to sound like it should be in hell!

God loves us. He hates our sin. Whatever our sin is. I don't think he judges the sins as worse than others. We all fall short of the glory of God and we are all healed by the stripes of Jesus. That's how I see it.

If somone repents of their way of life (whatever it is) we - as a church - are to love them, and help them not to sin in that area anymore. The sinful situations that they aren't repenting of (yet) are between them and God. He's the one who enables and His presence is what convicts.

Or have I misunderstood entirely?

[ 06. October 2004, 21:27: Message edited by: Ilkku ]

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Oh, and PS: It shouldn't be hard to spell my name right. It's on everything I post. (Mousethief)

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ChastMastr
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[Overused] Seraphim [Overused] Ikku [Overused]

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Alogon
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Fish-Fish wrote:
quote:
I do hope you're not judging me?

No, I was just speaking in general terms. But since you ask, I don't think that it is judgmental to say, if the shoe fits, put it on. You can be your own judge:

On Sept. 30, You wrote:

quote:
Does any conservative evangelical suggest that anyone should live without hugs or cuddles? Or say that a deep bond (friendship) with another person is sinful? I've never heard such a suggestion. Close friendships are a God given gift - and commended in the Bible. To say such friendships were wrong would be cruel. We need intimacy and relationships. To deny people this would no doubt "cripple them that they have nothing else to offer God or their fellow human beings."
I commend you for this concession, which I wasn't expecting. Are you prepared to stand by it? Perhaps you haven't considered the implications.

Now I'll make a concession. If I discovered that any young protege(e) of mine were inordinately fond of performing oral or especially anal intercourse, in such circumstances that it were any of my business to comment at all, I might opine that I was disappointed in their taste, or perhaps disappointed in myself for failing to inculcate it better. While I'm not disgusted by the thought, it seems quite foolish to indulge in anything so unsanitary just for the sake of sensuality. But that's just an opinion, obviously. I must admit that plenty of people have much better taste than I in many ways, who also don't find such activities beneath them. (Some of these have paid the price of a long, slow, horrible death, too.) Furthermore, I can't think of very many situations, other than family or loco parentis where it would be in order even to mention it except as a general observation.

Now that we have each conceded something that the other might find rather extraordinary, let's please consider how I replied on Oct. 5 to Magic Wand's invitation to describe a church environment free of "heterosexist assumptions." As a writer, I don't much care for ungainly PC neologisms like "heterosexism", even if this one happens to describe a certain problem very precisely. I'd much rather call it simply an environment of civility, justice, and respect for personhood; but some people wouldn't know what I was getting at, and others for some reason would actually disagree.

Anyway, I proposed:

quote:

Teachers would not make anti-gay statements or jokes.

At events where young people bring dates, a same-sex date would be just as welcome as an opposite-sex date. They could even dance together. Didn't Fish-Fish proclaim that same-sex hugging and cuddling are o.k.?...

Clergy would not advise parents to send their young "sodomite" bound and gagged against his will in the dead of night to an out of state boot camp to straighten him out (yes, this has happened in our "free country").

Adult leaders will promptly step in and stop all incidents of bullying, and will pray for and counsel the bully even more than the bullyee.

If the pillars of the church hear of a witch-hunt, they will go after the witch-hunter, not the 'witch.'

A openly gay adult or two could occupy a leadership position and be a role model.

Now, not only would the above go far to address the discomfort of gay youth in the church. They are perfectly consistent, I submit, with civility, justice, respect for personhood, my concession, and your concession.

Yet we don't find them very often. And why not? That's the great question. You and others run to the Bible and trot out some writer's horror of sodomy. But none of the above are about anyone having sex! The young homosexuals are not supposed to be having sex. Neither are the young heterosexuals. Yet often, while catering to the social needs of one group, we do everything we can to thwart those of the other.

So I'm not convinced at this point that you're talking about what you purport to be talking about. I want to know, is this state of affairs satisfactory to you? And if so, how do you justify it biblically or doctrinally without resorting to red herrings?

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Patriarchy (n.): A belief in original sin unaccompanied by a belief in God.

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Fish Fish
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# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
My apologies for being vague in any way in my post -- my intended point was actually that everybody has heard the Biblical arguments, often in a destructive way, and that banging the Bible on their heads will not only not help, it will in many cases do harm.

I beg to differ. People need to hear what God has to say. I'm sure the way that is communicated could be improved in many cases - but the message needs to be heard. Any harm that comes is not the fault of the message, its either the fault of the communicator for bashing with it, or the recipient for not accepting God's word.

quote:
Originally posted by Ilkku:
The sinful situations that they aren't repenting of (yet) are between them and God. He's the one who enables and His presence is what convicts.
Or have I misunderstood entirely?

No - I almost completely agree. The one point I would differ on is that we are not just answerable to God, we are answerable to God's church. God's church has a role in encouraging us in our faith, and rebuking us when we are in error. No one on this thread seems to like that role of the church - but its a God given role, and so I won't apologise for it. Of course the church and its leaders need humility and love in applying that role.


quote:
Originally posted by St. Seraphim of Sarov:
give them the information they need. That is something that I find is lacking in what they hear. They simply don't know the whole story of Jesus, just what the Bible says about homosexuality according to some people. That I find to not be a good way to evangelize anybody.

That's why we need to walk the tightrope between loving and gentleness, and also being faithful to the truth of God's word. We must try our best not to lose either the truth or the love.

quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
I'm sure I don't have to remind you that the topic in question on this thread never comes up once -- not once from Jesus recorded words -- in the Gospels. Given that God in Christ Jesus never "said" a single word about it, how do you claim absolute truth in your assertion that gay sex poses a "danger to their salvation"? You would be accusing someone of turning their backs on something God -- and neither Paul nor the old testament prophets were God --didn't say.

This is SO dead horse, that I shouldn't respond. But...

Jesus spoke mainly to Jews who knew the OT law, and accepted homosexual sex as sinful. If Jesus accepts homosexual sex as not being sinful, then what is suprising is that he doesn't say anything to change their minds! When he challenges so many of their assumptions, his silence on this issue is deafening.

Paul, however, wrote mainly to gentiles, who thought homosexual sex was fine. And so he has to correct their thinking. It is Paul who links homosexual sex with salvation (1 Cor 6:9).

And since all scripture is God breathed, I refuse to make a distinction between the gospels and epistles as authoritative scripture. And I'll stand by what they teach - both in my life, and in my teaching and pastoral care of others. To ignore what God says is to give false hope...

But this is so dead horse, I shouldn't have responded. I'll shut up on the biblical arguments of the rightness or wrongness of homosexual sex - and in future stick to the topic - the pastoral care of those for whom this is an issue.

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Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

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Isthmus
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Originally posted by Fish Fish:
quote:
And since all scripture is God breathed, I refuse to make a distinction between the gospels and epistles as authoritative scripture. And I'll stand by what they teach - both in my life, and in my teaching and pastoral care of others. To ignore what God says is to give false hope...
I don't think you have either heard anything I was saying or are really open to any other ways of looking at this, so I will just bless you and go my own way.

Best,

Isthmus

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Heresy is back in style!

Posts: 187 | From: Proudly sporting a vehicle without a "W" sticker in Houston | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
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# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by Alogon:
On Sept. 30, You wrote:

quote:
Does any conservative evangelical suggest that anyone should live without hugs or cuddles? Or say that a deep bond (friendship) with another person is sinful? I've never heard such a suggestion. Close friendships are a God given gift - and commended in the Bible. To say such friendships were wrong would be cruel. We need intimacy and relationships. To deny people this would no doubt "cripple them that they have nothing else to offer God or their fellow human beings."
I commend you for this concession, which I wasn't expecting. Are you prepared to stand by it? Perhaps you haven't considered the implications.
Yes I do stand by this. With one clarification. I think touch is important, and most people value (and often need) a hug etc. However, it would seem common sense to me that if one finds that hugging a particular person sexually arounsing, I'd suggest that hugging that person was inadvisable. Basically, I'm advocating non-sexual human contact as very important. But sexual physical contact seems unwise, because of the temptation to go further...


Does that answer your question?

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Fish Fish
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quote:
Originally posted by Isthmus:
I don't think you have either heard anything I was saying or are really open to any other ways of looking at this, so I will just bless you and go my own way.

I have heard - and disagree! Do I have to change my opinion to yours to show that I listen?!

Sorry you're leaving!

And sorry I'm cross posting so much!

Off to bed...

[ 06. October 2004, 22:09: Message edited by: Fish Fish ]

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Custard
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# 5402

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I think that as conservative evangelicals, we sometimes need to be much clearer that no-one goes to hell for being gay.

[I've never heard a cons evo say that, but I know a lot of people think we do.]

People go to hell for rejecting Jesus. One way in which a rejection of Jesus may manifest itself is extra-marital sex (homo- or hetero-sexual). Another way is lying. Another is gossipping.

We all deserve to go to hell, but God graciously forgives those he has chosen. Our response to that, out of gratitude, will be to stop rejecting Jesus and live in a way that pleases him. All in God's strength, and we're not going to be perfect in this life, but it is something we are to be doing more and more.

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blog
Adam's likeness, Lord, efface;
Stamp thine image in its place.


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Josephine

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quote:
Originally posted by Custard.:
I think that as conservative evangelicals, we sometimes need to be much clearer that no-one goes to hell for being gay.

[I've never heard a cons evo say that, but I know a lot of people think we do.]

A former very close friend of mine said exactly that. She's evangelical charismatic. We are no longer close friends because I refused to tell someone whom I am very close to was going to hell because she's gay. We had a long and impassioned correspondence about it. She couldn't get over the fact that I did not tell this other person that she was going to go to hell if she didn't change her ways. I told her that, when the other person had asked what the Orthodox Church teaches about homosexuality, I had told her, and we were both satisfied with the discussion. What more needed to be said?

quote:
People go to hell for rejecting Jesus.
Yeah, that's what I told her. But she wasn't having any of it. Even if you're a Christian, even if you've accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, if you're gay, you're going to hell.

It may be that her position is a minority position, but you don't have to be in the majority to drown out every other voice.

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Alogon
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# 5513

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
touch is important, and most people value (and often need) a hug etc. However, it would seem common sense to me that if one finds that hugging a particular person sexually arounsing, I'd suggest that hugging that person was inadvisable. Basically, I'm advocating non-sexual human contact as very important. But sexual physical contact seems unwise, because of the temptation to go further...


Does that answer your question?

It answers part of it, provided that you are prepared to apply it consistently across the board.

You would, therefore, advise heterosexual teenagers to go on dates, dance with, hug, kiss, and become close friends with only those of the opposite sex to whom they are not attracted. Or maybe, just to be sure, they should go out only with members of the same sex.

Sounds like a recipe for absurdity.

If you apply your rule only to gay youth, then you are still making an uncalled-for distinction.

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Patriarchy (n.): A belief in original sin unaccompanied by a belief in God.

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PataLeBon
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# 5452

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
quote:
Originally posted by St. Seraphim of Sarov:
give them the information they need. That is something that I find is lacking in what they hear. They simply don't know the whole story of Jesus, just what the Bible says about homosexuality according to some people. That I find to not be a good way to evangelize anybody.

That's why we need to walk the tightrope between loving and gentleness, and also being faithful to the truth of God's word. We must try our best not to lose either the truth or the love.
I'm not sure that you got my point.

One cannot get into heaven by following all of the rules in the Bible. I can keep all of the rules in the OT and NT and not get into heaven without knowing and having a relationship with Jesus. When our relationships with people outside of the Christian faith revovle around telling them the rules and not the person of Jesus, we are failing.

All of the rules and regulations of the Christian faith must procede from the life of Jesus and his love for us. We unfortuneatly tend to go the other way. Follow all of the rules, and then you will know Jesus.

Jesus went to people who weren't following the rules and didn't have any intention of doing so in the future. By having a relationship with those people, they came to follow the rules. He didn't say, "If you want to know me, then follow these rules." He said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and The Life, no one can come to the Father except through me." Not rules, regulations, or the letters of St. Paul.

Until gay youth are presented with the person of Jesus and who he is, they will not understand or except what they see as rules and regulations as coming from people who do not understand them or what they are going through. And to be quite honest, I don't always completely understand them either. But I know that Jesus does. And if they come into relationship with Him, then He will lead them to eternal life with or without my understanding of the rules and regulations in the Bible.

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That's between you and your god. Oh, wait a minute. You are your god. That's a problem. - Jack O'Neill (Stargate SG1)

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Alogon
Cabin boy emeritus
# 5513

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quote:
Originally posted by St. Seraphim of Sarov:
I don't always completely understand them either.

This is not a criticism. I think that you're on the right track, and that those gay teenagers who have fortuitously appeared under your wing are in good hands. But I feel that we need a cri de coeur.

I could hope that my experience a full forty years ago is not very relevant. On the surface, gay youth today have it much better than when I was one. Some do, clearly. But on the other hand, I had, through no merit of my own, the sheer good fortune to grow up Anglican, in a parish, diocese, camp, etc. where the subject of homosexuality simply never came up. I would assume, at times, in my late teens, that this was because the whole subject was simply too horrible as to be unspeakable. But my parish in those day was dedicated to All Saints; and my honor of that feast has, in retrospect, deepened ever since.

When I sing, "Ye watchers and ye holy ones," I now think of those several gay and Lesbian churchmen in my upbringing, my church, even my own parish, although I didn't know it at the time, some very formative, who were watching. I'd guess now that they had me figured out before I had even figured myself out. When I was only eleven-- heck, when I was only eight-- They knew; and they supported, they smiled, they counted me in, they quietly made the rough places plain. Unlike some, I never had an observable crisis or went berserk over my situation. But if that had happened, I like to think that they would have jumped into the water with a life preserver.

Even with today's more enlightened societal and school attitudes, I certainly don't envy any gay child growing up now whose church or home environment is as dramatically otherwise as some stories reveal.

One autobiography of a gay man published in the 1970s is entitled The Best Little Boy in the World. That was me; at least, that was what I tried to be. I brought home good grades at school. I was a faithful chorister at church. I was a Boy Scout. I practiced the piano an hour a day. Prob'ly nary a dirty little kid in the back alley would give me the time of day before beating me to a pulp, but adults, especially grandmothers and other little old ladies, adored me. Wasn't I heading for the side of the angels?

Then one Sunday afternoon when I was all of fifteen, I read, in the newspaper, a chapter of "Ann Landers Talks to Teenagers about Sex". I'd read all the chapters thus far, but this was the first one that I could relate to. She was describing the feelings I had always had, as far back as I could remember. And then she said that this was the way HOMOSEXUALS were. I had never done anything sexual with anyone, nothing that would cause the slightest flinch on the smile of a dear little old lady. But I concluded that, because of what I was, I would never be a success at anything and was destined to spend my life in the gutter.

I went outside and just walked around aimlessly the rest of that day, in probably the blackest haze of my life ever before or since.

May I suggest that a gay teenager is not just wondering where his next orgasm is going to come from. Even in our day, his self-confidence and all his dreams may suddenly have been totally shattered into a thousand shards around his feet, and for no reason that he can comprehend. It's not about sex as much as about what is in store for his or her whole life.

I recall a later casual conversation between two gay friends I had recently made, about the rector of a certain prominent parish in New York City. "I suppose he's gay", said one. "Yup!" said the other (a priest). I stood speechless with amazement. So a homosexual can become a success at something admirable and beautiful. I was 22.

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Patriarchy (n.): A belief in original sin unaccompanied by a belief in God.

Posts: 7808 | From: West Chester PA | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Zwingli
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# 4438

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quote:
Originally posted by josephine:

<Big Snip>

Zwingli, our Lord didn't say that no one should stone the adulterous woman. He said that the one who was without sin should throw the first stone. Do you not think the story of motes and beams was making the very same point?

No, I don't, similar point but not identical. We need to distinguish between judging someone's actions and punishing them for those actions. "Judging" can I think can mean either. Jesus says he does not judge the woman caught in adultery, yet he clearly tells her not to sin again, so such judging (or condemning my translation has) must mean not punishing, not not criticising the actions. The point of this incident is Jesus saying not to punish others, aswe will always have some sin in us, the point of the story of motes and beams is to rectify our own blatant errors before we criticise or correct (not punish) others.
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Fish Fish
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# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by Alogon:
You would, therefore, advise heterosexual teenagers to go on dates, dance with, hug, kiss, and become close friends with only those of the opposite sex to whom they are not attracted. Or maybe, just to be sure, they should go out only with members of the same sex.

Yes I would be consistant. I think it unwise for anyone outside marriage to be involved in physical contact that is sexually arousing. That strikes me as common sense if we want to avoid falling into sin. You may think I'm prudish for thinking this - so be it. But I would say so consistenatly to gay and straight alike.

quote:
Originally posted by St. Seraphim of Sarov:
One cannot get into heaven by following all of the rules in the Bible. I can keep all of the rules in the OT and NT and not get into heaven without knowing and having a relationship with Jesus. When our relationships with people outside of the Christian faith revovle around telling them the rules and not the person of Jesus, we are failing.

I absolutely agree. We are only saved by trusting the death of Jesus on the cross, repenting and following him. And if we explain the gospel in any iother terms, we are indeed failing.

However, the context of this debate is how to pastorally care for a teenager from church - presumably within the Christian faith. As such, it is entirely apropriate to talk about the holy life Jesus calls us to lead - the life of repentance. So it is firmly within the Christian faith context that I am having this conversation.

quote:
Originally posted by St. Seraphim of Sarov:
And if they come into relationship with Him, then He will lead them to eternal life with or without my understanding of the rules and regulations in the Bible.

Well, since we are saved by grace, you are right. But one must still ask, if someone wilfully disobeys what they know Jesus teaches them, in what sense is he Lord of their life?

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Josephine

Orthodox Belle
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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
Well, since we are saved by grace, you are right. But one must still ask, if someone wilfully disobeys what they know Jesus teaches them, in what sense is he Lord of their life?

In the same sense that Jesus is Lord of my life, since, of all sinners, I am chief.

I hardly think "well, yes, but" is an appropriate response to the grace of God. It's not "well, yes, but" for serious sins, and "thanks be to God for his mercy and grace!" for trivial ones. Nor is it "well, yes, but" for your sins and "thanks be to God for his grace" for mine.

Even if my sins, by society's standards, are trivial, God doesn't judge the same way we do. He doesn't judge all fornication the same, or all stealing, or all murder. He sees the heart, he sees the body, he sees the pain, he sees the desires, he sees the needs, he sees the temptation, he sees the effort, he sees it all.

While I haven't been guilty of fornication with someone of my own sex, I am guilty of many other sins. I am in fact guilty of wilfully disobeying what I know our Lord teaches every single day. Because of all the advantages I have had, I am utterly without excuse.

It may not be the same for you. You may be without sin. You may have already achieved theosis. If that is so, you must be patient with the weaknesses of those of us who are still in the flesh. We will, by God's mercy and grace, find our way, and will become by grace what he is by nature, because he is faithful and will get us there.

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HenryT

Canadian Anglican
# 3722

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
However, the context of this debate is how to pastorally care for a teenager from church - presumably within the Christian faith. As such, it is entirely apropriate to talk about the holy life Jesus calls us to lead - the life of repentance. So it is firmly within the Christian faith context that I am having this conversation.

So, can you make it concrete? Michael and Janice are in your congregation. It's after service, at coffee hour and Janice looks like the world fell on her and she's on the verge of tears. What do you do and say?

You happen to be at the bus station and Michael comes over to you to say Hi. He has a ticket in his hand. What do you do and say?

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"Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old-fashioned" P. Henry, 1788

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Gracious rebel

Rainbow warrior
# 3523

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
quote:
Originally posted by Alogon:
You would, therefore, advise heterosexual teenagers to go on dates, dance with, hug, kiss, and become close friends with only those of the opposite sex to whom they are not attracted. Or maybe, just to be sure, they should go out only with members of the same sex.

Yes I would be consistant. I think it unwise for anyone outside marriage to be involved in physical contact that is sexually arousing. That strikes me as common sense if we want to avoid falling into sin. You may think I'm prudish for thinking this - so be it. But I would say so consistenatly to gay and straight alike.


Have you really thought this one through Fish Fish? Have you ever had a girlfriend? (assuming you are male of course!! [Biased] ) Are you really saying that if you find someone attractive, you should wait until you are married to them before any hugging kissing holding hands etc? That strikes me as plainly ludicrous and unworkable.

According to your rules you are allowed to hug anyone, in a friendly manner, as long as it is not someone who you might see as a potential life partner. Does this not strike you as rather strange?

I'm not trying to ridicule you, just pointing out what seems to me to be something that you may have not thought through very consistentlyy.

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Fish Fish
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# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
Even if my sins, by society's standards, are trivial, God doesn't judge the same way we do. He doesn't judge all fornication the same, or all stealing, or all murder. He sees the heart, he sees the body, he sees the pain, he sees the desires, he sees the needs, he sees the temptation, he sees the effort, he sees it all.

Again, I agree Josephine. We will never be perfect. I am far from perfect. but that does not mean we should not persue perfection and holiness - "Be holy becuase I am holy". Yes we will fail - and God graciously forgives. But when we know we are sinning, our aim should always be to repent, and start again.

If I am struggling with a sin, such as giving into sexual sin, I have two options.

1. I can say "Oh woah is me - I am sinful - but always will be sinful - and its no worse than any other sin - so I'll just let it ride, knowing God will forgive in then end."

2. I can say "Lord, I am sinful. I persistently sin. Please Lord change my heart so I can break this sin."

The first seems to be your view, and plays down repentance and denies the power of God. The second seems to me to be more honouring to God, and more in line with the Bible - achnowledging sin - but casting ourselves on God for his mercy and his power to change. The results may look similar to the outside - I may still sin in this persistant way. But in the latter way, I am seeking God and his power to change - never accepting my sin to be inevitable.

Apologies if I have misreperesented your view.


quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
So, can you make it concrete? Michael and Janice are in your congregation. It's after service, at coffee hour and Janice looks like the world fell on her and she's on the verge of tears. What do you do and say?

You happen to be at the bus station and Michael comes over to you to say Hi. He has a ticket in his hand. What do you do and say?

I'd ask if we could go and sit somewhere and have a chat. Would I give them a dman good talking to? no. I'd give them a damn good listening to. And when the time was right, which may be weeks or months later, we'd hopefully talk about the Bible and we might make progress to living in line with it. The whole time I'd be trying to walk the ightrope I've been talking about - between gentleness with the person, and faithfulness to God's word.

Do I pass your test? I do hope so, otherwise I might lose sleep! [Biased]

quote:
Originally posted by Gracious rebel:
Have you really thought this one through Fish Fish? Have you ever had a girlfriend? (assuming you are male of course!! [Biased] ) Are you really saying that if you find someone attractive, you should wait until you are married to them before any hugging kissing holding hands etc? That strikes me as plainly ludicrous and unworkable.

I have thought this out over a number of years. It strikes me as sensible and workable - and obviously crazy, radical, pointless and puritanical in our sex mad permissive society (and churches). There are no explicit Biblical guidelines to having a girlfriend or boyfriend - but sexual expression seems to me to be soley designed for marriage, so this seems the best plan to me.

I've been seeing a girl for the last 4 months, and we're putting this into practice. Its working just fine at the moment thanks. Fortunately she agrees with me on this. But then if she didn't, I guess we'd question the suitability of each other.

[ 07. October 2004, 15:23: Message edited by: Fish Fish ]

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HenryT

Canadian Anglican
# 3722

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
...I'd give them a damn good listening to....

Mark 12:34 "You are not far from the kingdom of God."

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"Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old-fashioned" P. Henry, 1788

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Fish Fish
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# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by Henry Troup:
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
...I'd give them a damn good listening to....

Mark 12:34 "You are not far from the kingdom of God."
Thank you - I actually think I'm not just close, but in the Kingdom of God cos Jesus is my saviour, lord and king - but thats another thread!!

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
I beg to differ. People need to hear what God has to say. I'm sure the way that is communicated could be improved in many cases - but the message needs to be heard.

But my point is that the message that "homosexuality is sinful" has been heard over and over and over again. I'm sorry if I'm being in any way vague or unclear. Are you seriously arguing that is has not been heard?

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Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
I beg to differ. People need to hear what God has to say. I'm sure the way that is communicated could be improved in many cases - but the message needs to be heard.

But my point is that the message that "homosexuality is sinful" has been heard over and over and over again. I'm sorry if I'm being in any way vague or unclear. Are you seriously arguing that is has not been heard?
No, I'm sure the message "homosexuality is sinful" has been heard many times. But that message is wrong. Homosexuality is not sinful - but homosexual sex is. So, to be pastoral, it is important to make that distinction - so the person knows, as a homosexual they are dearly loved and cherished by God, but that sexual activity is not loved by God.

Even when a message is well known, if a person is not applying the truth in thier life, then it needs to be discussed / explained again.

[ 07. October 2004, 16:53: Message edited by: Fish Fish ]

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
Even when a message is well known, if a person is not applying the truth in thier life, then it needs to be discussed / explained again.

Ah. This may be where (on the pastoral principle, anyway, apart from questions of sexual morality) we disagree on this topic. Several questions come to mind:

  • 1. Why does it need to be discussed or explained again, rather than the other things discussed on this thread?
  • 2. If it does, who is the person who should discuss it with the person again? Does it have to be the responsibility of every Christian who believes this way to do so?
  • 3. Won't this have the net effect of making someone feel even more pressured, rather than attracted to Jesus?
  • 4. How (this is a real, serious question, in light of everything which has been said) -- how will this not drive people away?

David

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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