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MJP Donating Member (87 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 10:25 AM
Original message
Answer to gay issue lies in Bible
Answer to gay issue lies in Bible
Faith Matters by JAMES EVANS
BIRMINGHAM POST-HERALD
The debate surrounding homosexuality has become one of the most contentious and divisive in the history of the church.
Not since the debate over Jesus' divinity in the fourth century, or the infallibility of the pope in the 16th century, or the issue of slavery in the 19th century has there been so much heat generated by a debate and so little light.

And of course there is no middle ground. The debate quickly falls into two clearly defined positions. You are either for the Bible and against homosexuality, or you are for homosexuality and against the Bible.

Fault lines form around these contours of the debate and tremors generated by the ensuing arguments tear through communities, churches and even families. Even those already part of the church but who accept homosexuality find themselves cast out and forced to invent their own church, or form new churches out of pieces of the old.

Heated debate tends to generate exaggerated rhetoric as each side demonizes the other. Fundamentalists are accused of "stealing Jesus," by denying forgiveness and acceptance to those who would seek him.

Homosexuals are accused of being a part of a vast conspiracy that seeks to infuse homosexuality into every aspect of American life.

Obviously the truth lies somewhere in a murky middle.

Perhaps most frustrating and most dangerous is the way in which the debate has moved outside the church into the wider community. After all, it is the Bible, the sacred text of Christians and Jews, that uses language such as "sinner" and "abomination" to describe homosexual behavior. But these are religious terms and have to do with standards of conduct within the covenant community of faith.

But our society is based on a constitution, not a covenant. So far, there is not a sexual orientation test of citizenship in the U.S. Constitution. If the founders had any opinions about homosexual behavior, they chose not to codify them in our governing document.

As a result, religious sensibilities clash with civic responsibility. There are places in this country where a homosexual person, guilty of no crime or offense other than his or her sexual orientation, would be denied life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is one thing for a faith community, governed by sacred texts to exclude someone from the fold, but it is another matter altogether to use biblical doctrine to determine citizen rights.

But even with that distinction clearly made, the debate still spills over into our political discourse. During the 2004 presidential campaign, no less than 11 states were considering legislation that would block homosexual unions.

If the country follows the church, homosexuality will increasingly become a disruptive issue that will divide not only churches, but our nation as well. Do we really want citizenship tied to sexual orientation?

A hopeful resolution to this thorny issue may actually exist within the confessions of the Christian community. The Bible I read and preach from every Sunday states that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

The Christian church has traditionally taught that God hates the sin but loves the sinner.

If all that is true, then it seems to me that the common ground we seek is available to us in the universal experience of human failure. In other words, we are all just ordinary sinners who are loved by a God of extraordinary grace.

James L. Evans is pastor of Auburn First Baptist Church.

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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. Forgive me, but God might have given up on humanity a long time ago.
God spent some effort in creating Earth. Meanwhile God's creation is treating that very creation like a john would a whore: Exploit it then discard it.

Unless God has a habit of creating and forgetting about things; the Universe is rather a large place...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. can't get with love the sinner and hate the sin.
Edited on Sat Jun-11-05 10:43 AM by xchrom
when it comes to having gay sex -- im not sinning,

btw -- i'm a christian,
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Democrats_win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. Yes. Gay sex is not a sin. Gay Bible versus in the Bible examined: link
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emanymton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. Wrong ...
Within _your_ church/mosque/synagog or what ever you call your group you can debate/discuss/condemn or whatever you want to call it any issue you want. Keep it there. When the mob (for a lack of a better (worse) term) decide they want to force themselves into stopping the rights of others, then the issue becomes one of civil legal rights.

Homosexuality is NOT increasingly becomeing disruptive to the nation. The religious people are trying to use homosexuality as an issue to disrupt society.

When I meet my maker, it will be up to us (the Big One In The Sky and me) to determine if I am a failure. Let God do the judging. Get back into your church/mosque/synagog or what ever you call your group and let the rest of live happy lives.
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Darth_Kitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
4. Copyright rules
Edited on Sat Jun-11-05 10:47 AM by Darth_Kitten
Please be aware that DU copyright rules require that excerpts of copyrighted material be limited to four paragraphs and must include a link to the original source.

Thank you!
:)
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
5. The middle is definitely "murky" here; but this gent is...
drowning in the murk.

The plain fact is that the bible... specifically, *parts* of the bible ...are just plain *wrong*.

Those parts that suggest H is abomination, that it's a good idea to kill a disrespectful child, that believers should kill not only their non-believing enemies but also the children of their enemies....for example... are just plain wrong from the moral and ethical viewpoint of most reasonable, civilized people.

Why is this such a difficult hill for (some) religionists to climb?
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southlandshari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. I think he is actually attacking those who attack homosexuality
using religious doctrine and for political gain.

The title is misleading, IMO.

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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
7. Love the sinner, hate the sin just doesn't work
at least not when the 'sin' is something as fundamental to ones person as their sexual orientation. A "sin" is something you have willful control over.

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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Either
You believe the bible is sacred and cannot be edited because it is the word of god..(and the bible says god is the word you know)(while you hypocritically edit it yourself by being a liberal christian and try to say you are not while fundies just edit the same book and focus on the hateful parts more when it's convenient,like liberals do..)

Or you can decide

it's not holy writ,it's not of god,in fact it's a bad book and inspires hate in bad people because of what is written in it and the bible excuses bad people.And when you throw out the bible you throw away the bibles demands for obedience to authority , faith and beliefs that cannot be questioned if they are to be christians.

Are you spiritual then why do you need a book a label or a church with such badness in it to tell you that?

Why do decent people cling to the label "christian" for? The label christian implies you believe in the bible. You know belief in the biblical god is a required for being christian,since the god of the bible says in the book, he is the word and the word is him and he claims he never changes.The bible god is jesus the christian god and the word is him too. You cannot separate the word from the legend..unless you break central tenets to the christian faith.

Throw away the book.Throw away the bigotry,in it too..
If god is not a bigot,throw away the book of bigotry dressed up as god,pretending to be love that bears a sword,the book that claims it is him, the bible..Throw it away the book of letters and laws claiming to be god responsible for so much pain..
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. You set that up just like Bush or a fundy would have
Everything in your little world must be one extreme or the other. :dilemma:
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I wouldn't say he set it up as black and white, good book, bad book
There are parts of the Bible that I believe have good lessons, and there are parts of the Bible that I don't believe hold any worth.

I'm not the type of person who is going to believe the Bible is the word of God and that it is infallible just because it says so or because the priest tells me it is so because I'm not the type of person who would willingly surrender God's gift of thought and reason to some church authority, scripture, or holy man.

God gave me the gift of thought and reason, and I don't think it was given just to be tossed away.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. There's a middle ground that many both sides seem to hate
equally well.

My church didn't much care what your sexual orientation was. If it's outside of marriage, it's not ok, regardless of whether John wanted Sue or Jim, or Sue wanted Jim or Ann.

Some of the men considered this to be highly restrictive of their sex lives. They were told that this was, indeed, the case. They could stay or leave.

Since it was a conservative church, the definition of marriage never came up as an issue for discussion.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. I'm confused. Your church provides for same-sex marriage?
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
12. At a democratic club this week, a lovely lady, who happens to
an Episcopal priest said that homosexuality is called an abomintion in the Bible, but that so is eating shellfish.
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Democrats_win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-05 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
14. No middle ground with Dominionists. Did you see Roy Moore on NOW?
Edited on Sat Jun-11-05 07:37 PM by Democrats_win
David interviewed him and he basically said we are a "christian" nation and if you believe in another religion leave.

Dominionists say that the U.S. was founded on the "christian" religion and it should be part of our government.



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