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Source: (consider it) Thread: Homosexuality and Christianity
SWAT (aka the former Mr PInk)
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# 2979

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Where does a realtionship begin?

I have a friend who knew he was Gay when he was 12/13 & he used to fancy me but never did anythinf about it @school because as far as he knew I was "straight". If I kissed him or tossed him off would that mean I had sex outside marriage (Blimey I was 13 for all I knew I might of become a monk) Isn't the choices we make (not asin I choose to be gay but I choose to live as a fufilling life as possible with the information I have to hand at that time.

The passage regarding Masturbation is at best vague (spilling the seed) as most men didn't know how babies were made when the bible was transcribed so where did the notion of seed come from?

My personal view is that Christ came to fufil the OT not uphold it.

As to those decry homsexual realtionships what about eating Shell fish, aving sex with a woman during her period ect. If you're gonna live by the rules play by the rules.

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"That's sooooooooooooo"

Posts: 65 | From: Croydon | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
ChristinaMarie
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# 1013

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Dorothy's friend wrote:

"You say 'trite', I say 'condescending' - yours may be the better assessment of the phrase."

about the 'hate the sin, love the sinner' bit of spin, common in Christian circles.

I think it is more serious. It is similar to the Pharisees making the Word of God to no effect through their tradition. This horrible littel catchphrase is not just unscriptural, but leads people to be disobedient to Scipture.

Here's why.

If you think, 'hate the sin, love the sinner' when in a situation where you think another person is sinning, what have you just done? You've judged them! 'Judge not, lest you be judged, with what measure of judgement you measure others with, shall be measured unto you.'

When you judge someone as sinning, in some area, you will be condescending. You may not SAY anything condescending, but we communicate with far more than just our words. You cannot judge someone, without it showing on your face, for example.

It's not just trite, it's not just condescending, it is a traditional phrase which is unscriptural and leads Christians to disobey Jesus. It also has a devastating, negative, effect on evangelism.

To those who point out that Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, to 'go and sin no more', I point out that Jesus DID NOT tell the Samaritan woman to leave her partner, did he?

Christina

Posts: 2333 | From: Oldham | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nightlamp
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# 266

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Interesting ChristinaMarie I would have guessed that Jesus's command for her to sin no more was a command to return to the man to whom she was married. This by definition means a change in her current life style i.e. giving up on one of her partners.

In 1 timothy 3 there is an expectation that people who are leaders of the church will have blameless lives obviously some one has to judge the individual as worthy or not. In Hebrews 12:16 there is an expectation that there will be no immorality in the church so who decides if no judgement is allowed.

Unfortunately judgement is needed in the church do you employ a crooked accountant as your treasurer?

I believe Jesus is condemning judgemental attitudes and warning people when you judge someone then bear in mind you will also be judged.

The church has to live the tension between being legalistic and a free for all.

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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ChristinaMarie
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Nightlamp,

"I believe Jesus is condemning judgemental attitudes and warning people when you judge someone then bear in mind you will also be judged."

Precisely, that's my point. 'hate the sin, love the sinner' leads people to judgementalism.

Evangelicals (I used to be one), come out with this statement all the time, regarding gays. In private, they slag them off rotten. I've seen and heard the venom!

Christina

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Nightlamp
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# 266

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That ChristinaMaria sounds fairly judgemental of all evangelicals. Am I correct in reading it in that way?

I am an Evangelical and quite happy to be one.

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

Posts: 8442 | From: Midlands | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChristinaMarie
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# 1013

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Sorry, that should have been many, if not most, of all the Evangelicals I have met in 15 years of being one, 1982-1997.

Note: Not as an Evangelical Anglican.

I was once asked to visit a gay guy who was dying of AIDS related illnesses, by his mother, in Scotland. I was in London. I was an Evangelical.

I went on behalf of our Evangelical Church, to visit him, quite a few times, and I would update the Elders (2). I found myself dumbstruck, didn't know what to say, but I kept visiting, in hospital and in his apartment.

One day he said, 'I've repented and I trust in Jesus now.' He told me he'd repented of his gay lifestyle too, to which I stated that I'd sinned sexually in the past too, in other ways.

I told the Elders he'd become a Christian, they were pleased.

I then got another phone call from his mother asking if our church would bury him, as she was disabled and infirm, and in Scotland.

When I asked the Elders, they refused! They didn't want gays in the church!

They wouldn't see to his funeral, EVEN THOUGH HE'D BECOME A CHRISTIAN!

Christina

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Merseymike
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I used to be one too, Christina, and I must concur with what you say.

I am certainly aware that , for example, the Evangelical Alliance has stated that gay people, living in relationships should not be welcome in affiliated churches unless they accept their 'line', which is tantamount to saying that they are not Christian. Their view on transgendered people is equally unbending.

You can't really be surprised, then, Nightlamp, that many gay Christians feel that evangelicalism is a prison from which they were only too glad to escape.

In any case, if someone doesn't love who I am, which is a gay man in a partnership - then I fail to see how they can love me in anything more than a perfunctory, partial way. I have always regarded that sort of love as bogus, to be honest. I don't separate my sexuality or my relationship from the rest of me, and thus I don't give others permission to do so either

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

Posts: 3360 | From: Walked the plank | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Brandy Alexander
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# 2792

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I still have friends from my 'past life' in an Evangelical Anglican church.

Some now accept me, new revelations and all. Maintaining those friendships is possible, if a bit of an effort as we no longer catch up with each other at church! [Smile]

Some just can't cope with the 'new me.' (Not that I've really changed - I've just dropped a lot of pretences.) My response is : Fine! Live long and prosper.

Others feel that gay sex is wrong in God's eyes, but don't want to lose me as a friend. I've had 'love the sinner, hate the sin' said to me.

These are the hardest to deal with. We can work on keeping the friendship alive, but some areas of conversation cause them to 'freeze up' - talking about life in the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) I'm now part of, or talking about my partner (who lives at the other end of the country), or any sort of criticism of my old church (though I do try to avoid that anyway). Different people have different tolerances and sensitive spots.

The critical thing, I've found, is whether these friends can be happy for me as my life unfolds. If they can be pleased that I've found a church and pleased that there is someone else in my life and take an interest despite their reservations, then the friendship continues to grow.

If they can't be happy about these things and rejoice with me, then I'm not comfortable around them. I feel more judged than loved.

I'm not trying to get at anyone here. I have my own understanding of where I am and why. Love the sinner, hate the sin is a response to a tension between things that can seem irreconcilable. It can work, but it's hard. I just wanted to comment on how it feels where I am at the moment. [Yipee]

Posts: 52 | From: Oxford | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Degs

Friend of dorothy
# 2824

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I was reminded by one of our shipmate's signature block of words of a fellow Staffordshire man, the great Dr. Samuel Johnson:

"God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you or I?"

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The preest when he hath sayd and red all: he gyueth the benedyccion upon all those that be there present and then he doth tourne hym from the people retournynge thyther from whens he came.

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SWAT (aka the former Mr PInk)
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I've had "friends" who after I came out dropped me like a hot potato. I stopped going to the evangelical church I was a member of because I felt that not only was it wrong to go to a church that did not condone "homosexual love" even though one of their staff was openly gay (though celibate as far I know) but because I felt it was time to move on. As to my friends well lets put it this way it's up to them. They are my daughters godparents & have caerefully avioded me by several coindences. As I said it's their loss.

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"That's sooooooooooooo"

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ChristinaMarie
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Hi Merseymike,

You wrote:

"I used to be one too, Christina, and I must concur with what you say.

I am certainly aware that , for example, the Evangelical Alliance has stated that gay people, living in relationships should not be welcome in affiliated churches unless they accept their 'line', which is tantamount to saying that they are not Christian. Their view on transgendered people is equally unbending.

You can't really be surprised, then, Nightlamp, that many gay Christians feel that evangelicalism is a prison from which they were only too glad to escape. "

Yes, I agree with your last statement, but I haven't become a liberal in my theology, or understanding of Scripture. It annoys the hell out of me, that a theologically conservative guy like Rowan Williams, gets labelled as liberal, because of what he's said about same-sex relationships. My stance on theology and sexual ethics, is, I think the same as mine. I consider mainstream. I appreciate the Liberals for asking the hard questions, but don't agree with their conclusions. I appreciate the Evangelicals for their stress on the importance of Scripture, and a personal trust in Jesus. (I don't normally use the term 'born-again Christian' to describe myself, as I find it divisive, and used in judgemantal ways, but I am a born-again Christian, and Donna, my partner, became a born-again Christian 2.5 weeks ago.)

My views about the Evangelical Alliance are very strong. I think they are a disgrace. The book they wrote on Transsexuality, was farcical. It was obvious that they had only spoken to like-minded people. They claimed intellectual integrity, Press For Change have written a strong critique of the the EA's integrity, at their website. www.pfc.org.uk

How anyone in the UK can write a book about transsexuality, claiming intellectual integrity, without consulting Dr Russell Reid (without having to agree with him), is beyond me. He's the best known Consultant Psychiatrist dealing with transsexual people, and is usually asked by TV (that's television :-) ) companies to attend talk shows on the subject.

The book was very paranoid too. It keeps making references to transsexual lobby groups, making out there's some kind of conspiracy going on.

Fact: There's only ONE TS lobby group in the UK, Press For Change.

It also stated that these lobby groups keep arguing that transsexuality be explained using the 'brainsex model'. (That it is caused by hormonal development going wrong, while in the womb)

Fact: Press For Change argue AGAINST using aetiology! They see it as dangerous.

It also stated that there was a HQ in Northen England for one of these lobby groups. (PFC)

Fact: PFC don't have a HQ! PFC is run by people using their spare rooms!

What is inexcusable, for people claiming integrity, is that these facts are readily available publicly, at the Press For Change website.

What is worse, is that the EA made a statement that they were going to do this study, they were going to do it with integrity and that they would be consulting transsexuals.

Fact: Press For Change offered to talk with the EA, to give them their informed point of view. The EA refused to talk to them! Furthermore, PFC checked with every TS support group in the country, and NONE of them were consulted.

Fact: One of the leaders of PFC told me on the telephone, that she had spoken to Don Horrocks of the EA, and asked why they hadn't consulted transsexual groups, etc. It took a long time, but in the end he said, 'We only speak to like-minded people.'

I know that there are thinking Evangelicals out there, I really do, but many just claim to be thinking Evangelicals. The EA is the case in point.

From my viewpoint, the EA say it is not okay to seek treatment as a transsexual person, but it is okay to lie.

Christina

Posts: 2333 | From: Oldham | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChristinaMarie
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# 1013

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In response to Mr Pink's post,

To all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and transgendered Christians, who have been rejected by people:

Remember, Jesus was rejected by religious people too. He was labelled a 'sinner' too. He was misunderstood too, sometimes genuinely, sometimes deliberately. He was hated too. He was despised too.

If you meditate on this, you may find, as I have done, that you can empathise more with our Beautiful Lord and Saviour.

Many Christians who 'fit in', don't experience these things.

Every 'curse' can be turned into a blessing, if you belong to God through Christ. As the Scripture says: 'All things work together for good, to those who love God.'

If you find this hard to accept, go to your Father with it, and tell Him. He'll answer you.

Christina

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dolphy

Lady of Perpetual Responsiblity
# 862

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Well said and bless you Christina.

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Looking forward to my rock moving closer again.

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Merseymike
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# 3022

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I suppose this does come down to definition again - what do we mean when we say liberal or conservative ?
I mean, if one equaltes 'liberal' with the 'Sea of Faith', then I'm not liberal. If one says 'well, the core of Christianity is the Resurrection and the personhood of Jesus, but liberal Christians, whilst working within these orthodoxies, believe the Bible is not literal truth or inerrant or a 'fax from Heaven', but requires interpretation in the light of culture, history, knowledge, reason and experience ....then I am a liberal.

Does that help ?

Put it like this, I think most conservatives regard me as a liberal! But, then, conservatism appears to be largely about what you think about seven-day-literal-creation and your views on gay people these days.

I certainly feelmore comfortable with liberals, but perhaps thats because they don't begin with condemnation.
Liberal catholic is the best way to describe me.

Mike

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

Posts: 3360 | From: Walked the plank | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
ChristinaMarie
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Thank you Dolphy, and may god richly bless you too. [Smile]

Christina

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ChristinaMarie
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quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
I suppose this does come down to definition again - what do we mean when we say liberal or conservative ?
I mean, if one equaltes 'liberal' with the 'Sea of Faith', then I'm not liberal. If one says 'well, the core of Christianity is the Resurrection and the personhood of Jesus, but liberal Christians, whilst working within these orthodoxies, believe the Bible is not literal truth or inerrant or a 'fax from Heaven', but requires interpretation in the light of culture, history, knowledge, reason and experience ....then I am a liberal.

Does that help ?

Put it like this, I think most conservatives regard me as a liberal! But, then, conservatism appears to be largely about what you think about seven-day-literal-creation and your views on gay people these days.

I certainly feel more comfortable with liberals, but perhaps thats because they don't begin with condemnation.
Liberal catholic is the best way to describe me.

Mike

Hi Merseymike,

Your descriptions of conservative beliefs certainly fit Fundamentalism, and some Conservative Evangelicals.

I fit into your own self-description, but don't consider myself liberal.

To me, a liberal would argue that the miracles in the gospels, were not really miracles, because miracles cannot happen, we know that from science.

Fundamentalism and liberalism of this kind, are 2 sides of the same coin. The coin is modernity. Modernity is dogmatic, either in a scientific way (liberals) or a biblical literalistic way. (fundamentalists)

Post-modernity is much less certain about things, and that underlies my reasoning. I seek balance between Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience. They are like 4 legs of a chair. The seat, is conscience.

I have shifted from a Sola Scriptura position, because it is does not work in reality. Baptists and those who believe in Infant Baptism, argue from Scripture to 'prove' their positions.

When I learned that Infant Baptism was practised by the Early Church, I shifted my Baptist position. Same with Communion, I know longer see it as merely symbolic.

My shift in understanding regarding homosexual relationships, was based on hermeneutics, and the fact that every reference in the Bible, is about cultic activity. Furthermore, I checked out a website AGAINST gays, which had a lot of extracts from Early Christian Writings, and it too, was all about pagan cultic activity and pederasty.

I've met and fellowshipped with a lesbian Evangelical couple, and could not deny they belonged to the Lord, and there relationship was a good one, and their children were happy. (from a previous marriage)

My partner, Donna, was born again, in the Evangelical sense, 2.5 weeks ago, after knowing her for 2.5 years. Was it a coincidence, that it happened the same Sunday that I returned to the Anglican Church, in a committed way, and took Communion for the first time since September?

Anyways, I consider myself mainstream. I feel a lot closer to God now, than I did when I was a 'male' open air preacher, an evangelical of evangelicals.

I do not consider Genesis 1-11, to be literal, I believe it is a polemic against the Gilgamesh Epic and other myths, but it is full of theological truths. A literal approach, obscures these sometimes. It's a genre thing.

God bless,
Christina

Posts: 2333 | From: Oldham | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
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# 716

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Does anyone else here (I suppose mainly gay males) find being gay a help in approaching Jesus as Lover/Bridegroom?

David

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

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iGeek.*

Resident alien
# 3207

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I recall (though my memory may not be entirely trustworthy) a couple of years ago during the hotter periods of the renewal a worship chorus describing how we would dance on the streets of heaven and one verse involved embracing and kissing the bridegroom.

I thought at the time, as I sang the words, "I wonder how the Kinsey 0's are dealing with this?"

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.sig on holiday

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iGeek.*

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# 3207

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Ok. I mis-remembered that song. I described the David Ruis song but it doesn't have the line in it I recall. Some other song. Anyway, sentiment remains.

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.sig on holiday

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iGeek.*

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not intending to do a double post (it's been a few days, anyway).

Just adding a link to an article in the Telegraph describing Carey's warning of an impending schism in the Anglican communion over homosexuality.

Blessings,

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.sig on holiday

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Merseymike
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# 3022

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Trust Carey to go out as homophobic as the day he arrived.
Thank God he is going. Bye George. You won't be missed

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

Posts: 3360 | From: Walked the plank | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Inanna

Ship's redhead
# 538

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I think I've reached a point where I just want to scream.

Why the hell do you care? Why does it matter to you who I love? I'm not hurting anyone, I'm doing my very best to be a faithful follower of Jesus, and I am living and growing in love with my partner, who is my soulmate and my best friend, and who shares my faith and journeys with me.

Why are you officials and bishops so concerned with what genital equipment she has??????

When there are injustices happening across the globe, and children dying, and abuse going on and on, and poverty, and war, and all those other things that seemed to bother Jesus so much more than sex.

[Flaming] [Flaming] [Flaming] [Flaming]

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All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well.

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Alaric the Goth
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Posted by Inanna:
quote:
and children dying, and abuse going on and on, and poverty, and war, and all those other things that seemed to bother Jesus so much more than sex
I'm sorry, but a huge amount of poverty and death in Africa and parts of Asia at the moment is due to a sexually-transmitted disease (HIV/AIDS) which is killing huge percentages of the populations of some countries, and leaving millions of orphans. Yes, I know that the transmission is nearly all heterosexual, but it's largely due to people ignoring (or being unaware of) the Biblical ideal of faithful marriage to one partner. I think Jesus is rather concerned about sex in this context.

I also see that He would be rather concerned about an issue which seems set to divide the Anglican Communion, which George Carey does not want to see torn apart because of the refusal of certain individuals (bishops, etc.) to accept what was agreed by a majority of Anglicans (or their representatives at Synod), and what he, as Archbishop of Canterbury, has authority to support.

Posts: 3322 | From: West Thriding | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Inanna

Ship's redhead
# 538

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quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
Yes, I know that the transmission is nearly all heterosexual, but it's largely due to people ignoring (or being unaware of) the Biblical ideal of faithful marriage to one partner. I think Jesus is rather concerned about sex in this context.

OK. Fine. Talk about promiscuous sex, talk about sex outside of marriage. But do not equate that with homosexuality. The VAST majority of same-sex people I know are not promiscious. Are looking for, or are in, commited, monogomous, faithful, stable relationships. I imagine that the same-sex couples seeking to have their relationships blessed in church will be couples who hold Christian beliefs. And who have absolutely nothing to do with the situation you mention above.

quote:
I also see that He would be rather concerned about an issue which seems set to divide the Anglican Communion, which George Carey does not want to see torn apart because of the refusal of certain individuals (bishops, etc.) to accept what was agreed by a majority of Anglicans (or their representatives at Synod), and what he, as Archbishop of Canterbury, has authority to support.
Sure. But what my rant was about is that, on one level, I don't understand why it's an issue. Why should anglican priests be concerned with the gender of the person I'm having sex with, when that sex is taking place in the context of a committed faithful relationship? Why is the church threatening to split over this, and not, say, the fact that many Anglican clergy and theologians will deny the bodily resurection of Christ? Or that many sections of the Anglican church hold very different views as to the authority and literal-ness of Scripture? Or the expectations of how the Holy Spirit will manifest? If the Anglican church is going to split, why the ^$^$"$ is it over something about which Jesus never said a single word?

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All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well.

Posts: 1495 | From: Royal Oak, MI | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Paul Careau
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# 2904

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I am afraid that the answer to your question, Inanna, as to why the church might split over this issue is because many people within it are still largely homophobic. The same is true of most mainstream Christian churches.

By extending the concept of marriage to the gay community the church would, in effect, be taking positive steps to discourage promiscuity in the community and encourage people to be more positive about long term relationships. That can only be a good thing. But somehow I feel the church is too concerned about satisfying all of the people all of the time and, in particular, with its image with the "blue rinse" lobby.

In order to ever be truly relevant to the gay community the church will have to ditch the Lambeth position. This agreement was only ever a fudge in the first place in my opinion.

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Bye for now. Paul.

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Nicolemr
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quote:
I also see that He would be rather concerned about an issue which seems set to divide the Anglican Communion,
i doubt he cares much about that at all. all these divisions are man-made, not god made, and i can't see the divine giving a darn, except for as it affects the well-being of each individual member.

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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But whether relevant or not, is position A, B or C true?

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

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Royal Peculiar
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# 3159

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Churches are funny places. The vicar of the church I used to attend preached (and wrote in the magazine) that all homosexual acts are wrong. Yet he couldn't have been more welcoming to me and my then partner.

Nowt so odd as folks

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Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

Oscar Wilde

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iGeek.*

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# 3207

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More anguish.

"Reform" have thrown down the gauntlet.
[Disappointed]

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Brandy Alexander
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# 2792

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Well, that was predictable.

How does an Anglican church declare itself to be 'out of communion' (the usual response of sufficiently wealthy Reform churches to the appointment of a non-anti-gay bishop) with the ABC without leaving the denomination? Hmmmmm, tricky.

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Royal Peculiar
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# 3159

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Reform menbers have 4 options
1. form a new denomination
2. change to another denomination
3. seek alternative episcopal oversight within the C of E
4. continue to work with thier diocesan bishops and remind tehmselves that ++ABC is not

I hope tehy chose 4 but somehow doubt they all will.
infallible.

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Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

Oscar Wilde

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Royal Peculiar
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# 3159

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sorry, should have read"remind themselves ++ABC is not infallible"

This will teach me to post in a hurry

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Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

Oscar Wilde

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SWAT (aka the former Mr PInk)
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# 2979

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Can someone explain to me why groups like reform don't actually practise what they preach.. As in if you are going to apply the book of life then why aren't people catisgated for using diary products after eating, eating shell fish , pork products or having sex with your wife during her period to name but three. These are perfectly normal everyday sins carried out by perfectly "normal" Christians so why aren't they speaking out about these important sins against the one true faith. After all one sin is just the same as another is it not?

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"That's sooooooooooooo"

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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Well, actually, for some of us (me, at least), the book of Acts deals with the minutae of the Hebrew law pretty well -- God tells Peter to "kill and eat" when showing him all sorts of unclean animals, and tells him not to call unclean what God has made clean -- which of course applies to the Gentiles as well (er, that Peter should consider them clean now, not that he should kill and eat them); and later when the young Church is resolving what to do about those pesky Gentiles who never got circumcised, never learned the Mosaic Law, etc. but have become Christians, it is decided ("it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us...") not to lay any further burden on them but to avoid idolatry and sexual immorality. (What the whole deal is with women and menstruation and sex, I've never been quite sure.) But I think the "avoid sexual immorality" part of the "rules for the Gentiles" would apply here; and I don't follow sola scriptura anyway, but Christian Tradition as the correct way to understand Scripture.

Just my own two cents, pence or milli-Euros,

David
openly and proudly gay, strangely kinky, sexually celibate, cute'n'cuddly orthodox guy

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

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Royal Peculiar
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# 3159

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I have just heard the Church sSociety on the radi and repeat my previous postings about Reform.
I'm not leaving the C of E-it's as much my church as anyone else's. I accept not everyone agrees with me, but I don't go around demanding thier resignation.

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Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

Oscar Wilde

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SWAT (aka the former Mr PInk)
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# 2979

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Blimey hasn't even started the job & there's grief.

The archbishop in waiting has actually issued a statement in reply to Reform saying it is a private matter and that he has never made his postion public.

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"That's sooooooooooooo"

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Merseymike
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# 3022

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This is a reply to Vague's post on the closed thread. I will also send to him privately

Hi. I think that I would first, direct you to former discussions. Then to George Hopper's book, Reluctant Journey, which you will find on www.gseh65.freeserve.co.uk .

What I am actually interested in is your view that 'being gay is not a sin' but 'being in a gay relationship is'. I'm using my own terminolgy there because I don't want to be associated with what was once considered a medical condition, and I don't 'practice', any more than heterosexuals do.
The reason I ask that is that there is absolutely no Biblical basis for that statement. Sexual orientation, as we now understand it, does not exist in the Bible. There is no description of anyone as beiong gay or lesbian by orientation :indeed, in terms of the way we understand it, it is a relatively recent revelation and insight. There are still cultures where the concept is unclear.
What does exist in the Bible are a number of references which all link particular types of same sex activity ie temple prostitution, various rites, with idolatry, and the passage which suggests that men and women 'abandoned their natural inclinations', which can either charitably be interpreted as referring only to those naturally orientated towards heterosexuality, which I think is a bit unconvincing, frankly, or can be read as assuming that the natural state is heterosexual for everyone, hence gay orientation again doesn't even come into the picture.

Using the old adage 'love the sinner, hate the sin' , in the case of this topic, simply doesn't work, because the Bible doesn't clearly distinguish any such thing as gay sexual orientation. I have always felt that a more appropriate conservative interpretation is that it simply isn't a concept which should exist in God's order, if we assume that is what the Bible describes. The Bible doesn't actually clearly distinguish between 'being' and 'doing', because those concepts were not available for them to do so. This is the basis of thinking behind the exgay movement and those who seek to change what they view as a flawed orientation. However, I do recognise that few British evangelicals hold that view.

Now, many people who use the argument that, to quote the tired old slogan, we should 'love the sinner and hate the sin', use contemporary concepts of sexual orientation to separate the doing from the being. The Bible doesn't. The concept of sexual orientation is now widely accepted as a reality, as you do here, Vague, but if you are to do so, you are already accepting that the Biblical vision of sexuality as universally heterosexual in design is flawed - and if you wish to accept it, then the logical position is to condemn both being and practice, for there is no gay sexual orientation in the Bible.

If, however, you do accept that the Bible doesn't have this concept within it, but it is one you now accept, the final crossing of the Rubicon to see loving, faithful partnerships within the values of Christian relationship as something which would be acceptable taking on board the knowledge we now have, and very largely accept.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

Posts: 3360 | From: Walked the plank | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gracious rebel

Rainbow warrior
# 3523

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quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
This is a reply to Vague's post on the closed thread. I will also send to him privately

Hi. I think that I would first, direct you to former discussions. Then to George Hopper's book, Reluctant Journey, which you will find on www.gseh65.freeserve.co.uk .


Oh good, someone else who has discovered George Hopper's work. I stumbled upon his book a couple of years ago while I was searching on the Web for references to Simon Harvey's suicide, alluded to by George. Simon was a very close friend to me at one time, who committed suicide in his mid twenties, and only years later did I learn (via a TV programme about him of all things) that he had been gay, and it was his failure to reconcile this with his evangelical faith that had ultimately caused him to take his life.

George Hopper's work was the first thing I read about the subject that seemed to make some sense of the conundrum, and yet as a conservative evangelical myself, I still find myself unable to accept it fully. Here is a quote from some correspondence I had with George Hopper at the time:
quote:

It was most thought provoking to read your booklet on the WWW. It is interesting to see how the various biblical passages may not necessarily mean what we think they do. The fact that your approach is firmly based on scripture, gives it much more credibility to me than much of the 'liberal' pro-gay lobby.
Nevertheless I cannot agree with your conclusions. If God accepts loving intimate relations for gay people, why did he not institute a form of marriage for these to be exercised in? In the heterosexual community, for our sexuality to be expressed within the will of God it can only be within marriage. I realise that people fail to meet these ideals, but I see gay sex in the same light as heterosexual sex outside marriage (ie fornication adultery etc). Heterosexual people who are not married are required by God to remain celibate, and the same goes for homosexuals. I agree that its tough for them, and we need to accept them in the church etc, but not to condone a physical relationship. So I guess my basic position has not been changed by my quick reading of your publication, but nevertheless I found it most informative to see how others can come to a different position by careful study of the scripture. Certainly something I will bear in mind in the future when I come to look at theses passages again.

Merseymike, your comments that in Scripture there was no such thing as homosexual orientation add further light to this area for me. I'm still not convinced, but I'd be rather slower to condemn than I might have been before. Having known someone like Simon Harvey, who was one of the finest Christians I've ever known, and to see what this did to him, really does make me think.

On a completely different tack, I'd like to respond to a quote from Erin in the closed thread in Purgatory
quote:
I guess my question is this: are you concerned about "condemned" (sodomy, oral sex, masturbation, etc.) sexual practices in the bedrooms of married heterosexuals?
Excuse me Erin, but where are these things condemned? (really getting worried now! [Embarrassed] [Wink] )

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Fancy a break beside the sea in Suffolk? Visit my website

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
Using the old adage 'love the sinner, hate the sin' , in the case of this topic, simply doesn't work, because the Bible doesn't clearly distinguish any such thing as gay sexual orientation. I have always felt that a more appropriate conservative interpretation is that it simply isn't a concept which should exist in God's order, if we assume that is what the Bible describes. The Bible doesn't actually clearly distinguish between 'being' and 'doing', because those concepts were not available for them to do so. This is the basis of thinking behind the exgay movement and those who seek to change what they view as a flawed orientation. However, I do recognise that few British evangelicals hold that view.

MM I only noticed this thread was live again after starting "is Frodo gay?".

I think (he said choosing his words carefully!) I identify with the position you outline in this paragraph.

And thanks for the rest of the post. Even if we don't look like agreeing, I think it's a really constructive contribution to the debate [Smile] .

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Paul Careau
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# 2904

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I would urge anyone who wishes to understand more from the perspective of gay christians who have struggled with their sexuality & religion - and who have actually tried hard (and failed) to change their orientation to read the following series of testimonies:

http://www.hrc.org/newsreleases/2000/000724.asp

(It's a link to a downloadable acrobat file.)

It is fairly long, but if you'd like to see more of the "gay" side of the story I think it is well worth the read.

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Bye for now. Paul.

Posts: 92 | From: London | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Midge
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# 2398

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*Long post warning*

Dear Mersey Mike
I said that your reply required due consideration before I replied and I'm sorry it has taken me so long to do so. As you suggested I have been reading previous discussions, but have yet to do more than scratch the surface of the link that you provided (Plying through this thread took a least 4 hours). It was never my intention to engage in the debate regarding whether homosexual sexual acts are right or wrong. The reason why this debate ping-pongs back and forth is because the two sides of the argument have a different world view.

Your terminology slightly twists what I originally said, because I think it is possible to have a relationship without consummating it. However apologies if 'practice' was offensive in anyway. My main intention was to state my position, knowing full well that it does not agree with the stance taken by many on the board. I would also like to say it does not bother me if any shipmate, church worker or person in the next seat on Sunday Morning is gay or not. They are a wonderful human being made in the image of God.

In general my personnel opinions agree with the those expressed by John Stott, Issues facing Christians Today (second edition) Marshall Pickering 1990. (Chapter 16 Homosexual Partnerships?). This is a good a statement of the Evangelical view that I know as it outlines and critiques most of the arguments contained within the proceeding posts to date. I would add a qualification that I would hope that the more recent editions of this work have updated the section about aids and 'healing' of gays. Although I consider Stott to be a fine theologian, he does not convince me when he strays into the field of medicine. This may simply be a result of his references being at least 12 years old. To summarise, I feel that a case can still be argued that sex between two people of the same sex to be wrong.

I freely concede that I will not be able to convince you or others, so will not even attempt to try. Since we approach the subject from different starting points and hold to different standards of proof we are simply going to have to agree to disagree if we are to discuss a more substantive topic of how Evangelicals are to accept LGBT or be in fellowship with them whilst considering what they may do to be a sin. Similarly how are LGBT to come to terms with Evangelical or other traditions of the Church when they consider them to be bigoted and judgmental for insisting that they believe that something is wrong.

The experiences related by Paul carau (as I quoted in the post to which you refer) and Christina Maria are, in my view, a canker on the vine that is the church. How can someone who has confessed Christ not be a Christian? What sin could ever undo salvation? Therefore, how can anyone judge another and disown them as a brother or sister before God? The problem is how to overcome and heal the pain felt by those who feel they are rejected and demonised without a complete denial of either the Evangelical's convictions, or dehumanising the LGBT person because of what maybe a fundamental building block to their sense of identity.
Reviewing this post one more time, I may not have answered this point:
quote:
Now, many people who use the argument that, to quote the tired old slogan, we should 'love the sinner and hate the sin', use contemporary concepts of sexual orientation to separate the doing from the being. The Bible doesn't. The concept of sexual orientation is now widely accepted as a reality, as you do here, Vague, but if you are to do so, you are already accepting that the Biblical vision of sexuality as universally heterosexual in design is flawed - and if you wish to accept it, then the logical position is to condemn both being and practice, for there is no gay sexual orientation in the Bible.
Perhaps I may venture to say that the bible has no concept of the Copernican theory of the motion of the planets nor does it provide a scientific understanding of sexual orientation. This does not negate the claim that God created the universe and the very laws of physics that we use to describe creation. The bible could be said to lay down laws and guidelines how we should live and treat each other. It is not unreasonable to believe that the bible only sanctions monogamous heterosexual lifelong partnerships. For all we know Jesus could have been Bi or Gay and could have chosen to be celibate for that reason. There is no evidence one way or another because the Bible, as you said, has no understanding or sexual orientation.

As far as the old slogan is concerned, it is simply a reminder to attempt to see others how God sees them as it says in Ephesians 5:1-2
quote:

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of Love. Just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

I would also point to the passage starting at 1 John 4:16. (God is Love). John shows us what we should all aspire to.

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Some days you are the fly.
On other days you are the windscreen.

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Merseymike
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# 3022

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No, its not unreasonable - if you accept that the Bible is a work which reflects the attitudes of the people who wrote it, and the age in which it was written.
I honestly feel, if it has the message you say, and that I am thus not included, that it really would make Christianity worth rejecting. I honestly find it difficult to handle those who believe that something so important in my own life is 'wrong'

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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Tiffer
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# 3073

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MerseyMike I have not read any of the above except for your most recent post, and a reply which you made to a post of mine recently made me feel I wanted to say my bit.

I believe that homosexuality is wrong, as I believe that not giving to beggars is wrong, or spending too much money on sweets. Bear in mind that I sin by the latter two frequently, and I know I could do the first quite easily.

Right now that is out of the way, the more serious problem I think you may have. Pride. None of us know it all. You have already expressed that your ways are higher than those in the bible, which is a bit silly, and I find it hard to believe that Jesus really is at the center of your life if you can discredit anything you like from the gospels. How must that feel, each time you find something in the gospels you dont understand or find tough and you just say that it is wrong and you are right? Come on, wake up, homosexuality is not what keeps you from Jesus, pride is!

In love,

Tiffer xx

PS Ok well pride is a bigger fish to fry anyway.

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"All the Fat belongs to the Lord"
-Leviticus 3:16b

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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Tiffer, dear, while I'm more doctrinally on your side (even including, if I read you right, on slavery) than on MerseyMike's, I've got to say ... accusing someone of spiritual Pride based on their beliefs about the Bible? [Projectile]

Honestly I think an approach like that (spiritual finger-pointing, digging out other people's splinters rather than one's own planks, etc.) keeps far, far more people from Jesus than either homosexuality or someone's approach to the Bible!

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

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TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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Host Mode <ACTIVATE>

Tiffer - much as I hate to to criticise anyone (especially an apprentice) I feel that your response to Merseymike trangresses both the 1st and 3rd of our 10Cs and is likely to be considered as a personal attack.

As such, under the 4th C it belongs in Hell if it belongs anywhere.

Could I suggest that you reread the 10 Commandments. A link is to be found in the panel on the left.

As this thread either originated in Hell, or transferred through that board on its way here, it may contain such material - however it is not acceptable in new posts on threads here in Dead Horses.

An apology would be appreciated. If you wish to challenge MM on these points (and he wishes to respond) I suggest a new thread in Hell.

But watch out for the Hell Hosts who wield big toasting forks as the least of their enforcers [Big Grin]

Host Mode <DEACTIVATE>

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Yours aye ... TonyK

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Tiffer
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# 3073

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I submit to the kind words of ChastMaster and TonyK, I apologise to MM if it sounded like a personal attack, I apologise. I have had a bad day and am feeling rather emotionless at the moment, and thought I would take it out on anyone I could.

Sorry to be so petty, delete my post as appopriate.

Tiffer xx

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"All the Fat belongs to the Lord"
-Leviticus 3:16b

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TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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Thanks Tiffer - rapid response much appreciated. We all have to learn - and most of us have to do it the hard way!

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Yours aye ... TonyK

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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[Not worthy!] Tiffer [Not worthy!]

So, back to gay stuff.

Has anyone here ever found homosexuality (in one form or another, whether sublimated or not) to be a help in their Christian walk?

David

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

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rowen
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# 1194

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I thi8nk 2 of my Spiritual Directors have been gay- from things they mentioned about themselves, and the general knowledge of the small town we lived in..
They were remarkably open and inclusive people, and heard the pain of a woman who often felt excluded from the Church because of gender. Maybe they spoke from some sort of fellow-feeling of pain?

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"May I live this day… compassionate of heart" (John O’Donoghue)...

Posts: 4897 | From: Somewhere cold in Victoria, Australia | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
Has anyone here ever found homosexuality (in one form or another, whether sublimated or not) to be a help in their Christian walk?

Has anyone ever found heterosexuality to be a help in their Christian walk?

Straight people who have found a fabulous spouse with whom to walk might say yes. And it can work the same way for gay people.

Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged



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