RHE Has A Few Shots Left…

You may also like...

163 Responses

  1. Well it is quite obvious if they ever build 1st Church of RHE, the architect would not need to concern himself with a confessional or kneeling rails.

  2. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Isaiah Chapter 5

    20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

    21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”

    The above reminds me of Rachel held Evans

  3. David says:

    She does have a habit of calling an end to the “culture war” and then throwing stones, all while playing the martyr and acting like she’s got a higher calling than everyone down here.

    Then a new issues comes up a few weeks later and she starts over. I think she has a wonderfully kind, insightful side. Then she falls into the Internet Trap (outrage, outrage over outrage, rage over outraged outragers, declare the issue over and claim moral high ground, start over) and it gets hard to take her seriously.

  4. Also worth quoting from RHE,

    “But there’s something strangely liberating about standing in the middle of this scorched earth terrain with the resolution to stop fighting, the resolution to give up. I am reminded of the one thing all we Christians have in common, whether we’re Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Greek Orthodox, Seventh-Day Adventist, Anabaptist, Quaker, or something in between: We are Resurrection people.

    Our God is in the business of bringing dead things back to life, so if we want in on God’s business, we better prepare to follow God to all the rock-bottom, scorched-earth, dead-on-arrival corners of this world—including those in our own hearts— because that’s where God works, that’s where God gardens.”

    Right on, Rachel Held Evans

  5. EricL says:

    She pretends to want unity and an end of squabbling, but she really wants those who disagree with her to shut up and yield to her vision of Kumbaya.

    Has anyone verified her age? She is sounding more and more like a teenager instead of an adult. The whole “I have all the answers to life and you old folks are just stupid” approach that so grates teachers and parents who have to face it.

  6. G,
    RHE wants to leave evangelicalism – I think she needs a ride. Will you go pick her up? PLEASE!

  7. Babylon's Dread says:

    In other words G

    She pronounced death in the belief that we can all be raised when we see the light.

  8. Guys, help me here, what’s unclear to you about, “We are Resurrection people“?

    That’s who we all are, whilst on our journey, following Jesus.

    What’s unclear about, “it’s time to focus on finding and creating church among its many refugees—women called to ministry, our LGBTQ brother and sisters, science-lovers, doubters, dreamers, misfits, abuse survivors, those who refuse to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith or their compassion and their religion, those who have, for whatever reason, been “farewelled.”?

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    G-man

    It was clear. She has seen the light and is headed to hang out with resurrection people. When those who threw her out? Whoever they were? See the light they can join her in resurrection. Rachel is the mistress of either/or. She is brilliant at drawing circles of enlightenment where everyone knows who the good guys and bad are without calling names. I have hung out in those circles.

    “We” wasn’t you and I G-man … She and you and them were “we”

    Dust Dread

  10. Those of us who have left evangelicalism are none the less the family of God, His church,
    though we can no longer remain silent when we’re faced with these persons who are our neighbors…

    women called to ministry
    our LGBTQ brother and sisters
    science-lovers
    doubters
    dreamers,
    misfits
    abuse survivors
    those who refuse to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith
    those who refuse to choose between their compassion and their religion
    those who have, for whatever reason, been “farewelled”

  11. Dread,
    She, you, me, and anyone else can be “we” if we’re willing to just keep showing up

  12. Michael says:

    G,

    She’s drawn the lines as clearly as anyone on the opposing side has.
    She is actively demonizing those who think differently…and that’s evil no matter how you cut it.

  13. Babylon's Dread says:

    G-man

    I will keep showing up. No doubt about that. I like to hang out with misfits and fussed up people and rejects and even with orthodox conservatives and such. I like the variety. But I don’t like the either/or-ness of her landing spot.

    You see I have no trouble with gay people being genuine family of God folk. I have trouble with insisting that it hits the mark of God’s intention. I have plenty of kinks in my own flow but none of them hits the mark of God’s intention.

    But I will stay at the table. I love being at the table with dissenters all around… Your deal.

  14. M,
    Do you agree that those of us who have left evangelicalism are none the less the family of God? If so, then Rachel Held Evans is our sister.

  15. Michael says:

    G,

    I’ve made it very clear that the tent is broad.
    By the same token, this is a helluva way to treat family…

  16. Dread,
    I’m not playing cards, so there’s no “deal”, just the commitment to abide, with family.

    As to the “kinks” in your own flow, that is rightly and solely between you and Jesus, so I pray he un-kinks and frees you in ways you cannot yet imagine, which leave you speechless, in awe at His intimate loving kindness and caring craftsmanship.

  17. “this is a helluva way to treat family…”
    well said, that one 😉

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    Ah G-man,

    If only the “soley between you and Jesus” thing pertained to this. It does not. Nowadays we have to know all about what our neighbor does in the privacy of their home. It has become a rule.

    I still muse at the strange insistence of a group who claimed they didn’t want the government in their bedroom doing an about face and asking the government to regulate their affairs.

    I think I have decided to advocate in their behalf so they can have what they want; Government oversight of their problems. God often gives us what we ask for.

  19. G,
    I left evangelicalism long ago – you and I must be in the same camp. Hey camper!

  20. Babylon's Dread says:

    I might also add with MLD

    That I do not count myself an evangelical but I do sit at the table with them and quite a few others.

  21. Dread,
    “…solely between you and Jesus…” IS the norm.

    No, we do not have to know anything more than the reality that our daily walk with Jesus is ultimately a private matter, and that’s what many of us former evangelicals are dog tired and weary of.

  22. Dread,
    Most renewal folk I know would agree with that, being outside of the circles of evangelicalism. Truth be told, the evangelical dialog is about how wayward the renewal folk are with all their signs and wonders, practicing the gifts, and waiting on The Holy Spirit, which is why I’ve remained far more comfortable with those who identify with renewal.

  23. MLD,
    It’s a big sky, with lots of stars.
    Perhaps on that we can agree.

  24. G,
    If our walk is a private matter between us and Jesus, why do you give me, but especially Steve such a hard time? Why do you butt into our privacy of what Jesus has shown us?

  25. Babylon's Dread says:

    G- we all love and respect you even when we disagree. Please forgive me but I cannot endorse gay marriage as one flesh unions. I cannot do it for conscience sake. I cannot do it for mercy sake. I cannot do it. I can love gay people, hear their stories, walk with them, break bread, and call them family. I just cannot call good what I believe is not from God. I cannot.

    That was the same recoil that caused thousands to react to World Vision last week. For Rachel those people’s conscience became the end of her endurance. That became the end of the discussion. That became the basis of reviling them and rendering them irrelevant.

    Rachel lost, not a battle, not a war, she will likely win the war. She lost something more essential. She decided that she had to trade one set of souls for another. It is that either/or line that is amiss. Yes, evangelicals are good at it. I have tasted that, but I do not want to be out. I do not wish to be regarded as un-resurrected. That is how she drew the lines. And my first paragraph renders me dust and calcium, bones who have not heard the voice.

    Dust I Am Dread

  26. Reuben says:

    “She is actively demonizing those who think differently…and that’s evil no matter how you cut it.”

    And you are not?

    Oh

    The

    Irony

    Michael, you have, by my count, three people here who differ with you.

  27. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    Evidently you didn’t read the WV thread where I was hammered repeatedly for the views I expressed.
    Evidently you didn’t read the first article on RHE where I clearly stated that I didn’t doubt her heart, sincerity, or salvation.
    There can be disagreement without rancor or misrepresentation.

  28. Xenia says:

    Even Michael’s gentle, thoughtful position is not acceptable. Complete capitulation- that’s what’s required.

  29. “It’s a big sky, with lots of stars.
    Perhaps on that we can agree.”

    …and little else for today

  30. Michael says:

    I used to get ripped for putting her better stuff on Links…now I get ripped here (and elsewhere) for disagreeing with her on this.

  31. Dread,
    you said
    I do not wish to be regarded as un-resurrected.

    Yet she said
    we’re Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Greek Orthodox, Seventh-Day Adventist, Anabaptist, Quaker, or something in between: We are Resurrection people.

    I’m saying
    I regard you as one of the Resurrection people.

    there ya go

  32. For the record, though I might disagree with you on some of these points, I’m not ripping you, Michael.

  33. Bob says:

    #26 BD

    Perfect statement that can neither be taken away from nor added to.

    Thanks you!

  34. Michael says:

    G,

    I know.
    We have real doctrinal differences and have always gotten along very well here and offline.
    Some folks won’t grant me that grace.

  35. Bob says:

    “No, we do not have to know anything more than the reality that our daily walk with Jesus is ultimately a private matter, ”

    While our hearts and minds are an entirely private manner and under the full knowledge of the God who both sees and hears, our daily walk is a very public matter.

    I do not live in a bubble so remote that i affect only myself. Even my most benign and littlest of actions affect something and someone outside my self. No my walk is not private at all and I don’t even have to believe Jesus is Messiah and Lord to know that.

  36. M,
    Thanks.
    Let’s show them how it’s done, and really piss them off 😉

  37. Bob says:

    EricL

    She’s 32 years old, a college grad, married and a successful author and columnist. I don’t know more that her bios on the web, I have not read anything more than her blog recent because of Michael, I do find her reaction typical of this culture of young adults who are struggling to find their place in such.

    In the not to distant past evolution was the debate and it has now evolved into sexuality and the right to decide publicly whom, when and where a person will have sex. It’s not about love at all. Who can blame them when scandal after scandal arise amongst those who are supposed to be in charge of the church institution.

  38. I will bet anything that she is pro abortion – although I am sure she would nuance it to “I wouldn’t ever do it but…”

  39. Bob says:

    MLD:

    That’s unfair to say about her.

  40. Bob,
    That’s where it starts – surely God could not be against … you fill in the blank.
    It is never a Bible issue or a theological issue. It’s experiential.

  41. Jim says:

    I wouldn’t know who she is if not for BrianD’s admitted fascination with her back when he posted links here. She bores me…

  42. Bob says:

    MLD:

    It’s not fair to say something about another even if your experience says it may be true. I would rather think of her in a more positive light.

  43. Bob says:

    MLD:

    OK from her blog, http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/why-progressive-christians-should-care-about-abortion-gosnell

    “And when I was honest with myself, I had to admit that I don’t know exactly when life begins (at fertilization? at the first heartbeat? at the existence of brain waves?). Does the Bible, or Christian tradition, really make this abundantly clear? There is even disagreement among Christians about this, (and historically, even among evangelicals), so was it really my place to deny a woman who has been raped, for example, access to a morning-after pill?

    And so I remained pro-life in my personal conviction, but I began to question my position that all abortions should be criminalized. I could be against abortion personally, but ambivalent about its legality, right? I could have my own convictions about this issue without making a scene. It was as simple as that.

    ….Until it wasn’t.”

    MLD read her article and decide for yourself, is she for or against abortion?

    I do think she makes one thing perfectly clear, she is for the reduction in abortions.

    This will get very tiring so you have at it and demonize her some more. I think she is trying hard to love people, but somewhere forgot about God in the mess.

  44. Bob says:

    Michael I beat you to the blog (and then you beat me to the post), but I’m not sure I totally agree with her meaning of “pro-life.”

  45. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I think that she places such an emphasis on compassion that it puts her at odds with Scriptures and competing places to put that compassion.
    Makes for bad theology, but a very decent person.
    I have much grace for people like that.

  46. Bob says:

    Michael:

    Good comment!

  47. Bob,
    I read the article and you asked “MLD read her article and decide for yourself, is she for or against abortion?”

    I took it that she was open to the ’cause’ of abortion and she pretty much said that her article was going to go that way… until the “Kermit Gosnell story blew up.”

    She speaks of it strictly as a public policy issue and not as having any spiritual grounding.

    So, even though it looks like she was borderline pro ;life one year ago, I wonder where she is now?

    But my point was, and I may have been wrong in my stab at the abortion issue, this woman’s theological thoughts are 100& experience based and 0% biblical.

  48. Michael,
    How is placing yourself and then by your actions and influence, putting your friends and blog followers, at odds with scriptures (your words) being compassionate?

    I would think that leading people to truth (the opposite of being at odds with scriptures) would be a better description of compassionate.

    But hey, I am from an older generation.

  49. Monk says:

    Never heard of “RHE” until now.

  50. Bob says:

    MLD:

    I wrote a lot and trashed it.

    I’ve learned one important thing since I was her age, on many things one has to be either “all in” or “all out.” She seems to be neither in almost everything she blogs about.

    oops there is one thing she is “all in,” compassion! Maybe her parents taught her well.

    Night

  51. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Some of the most compassionate and caring people I know are agnostic or liberal.
    Sometimes it’s misguided…but I have more faith in what God can do with a large hearted person with questionable theology than a small hearted person who has it all down.

  52. but you said “at odds with scriptures” – words have meaning. A person like RHE who has a following, then is attempting to lead others to “be at odds with scriptures” Compassionate? I don’t think so.

    I for one do not endorse being “at odds with scripture” and I think that is the totality of these articles the past several days – some will put up with and even endorse “being at odds with scriptures.” Forgive me, but I am not one of them.

  53. Jtk says:

    “refuse to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith”

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

    Someone preach to me this gospel of “intellectual integrity” that is opposed to faith in Jesus and how that works….

  54. brian says:

    I have to agree it is quite easy to characterize those with opposing views. It is easy to forget that there are people on the other end of the keyboard so to speak. Especially on emotional / political / faith issues. To be honest I sort of understand the entire gay marriage disagreement but I really can’t “feel” / “convicted” that it is such a critical issue. I am willing to admit it could be my own moral apathy, pride, etc. I am willing to learn.

  55. Larry says:

    I guess Rachel Held Evans isn’t quite “ready to stop waging war and start washing feet,” as she said in her CNN blog post. I’m frankly not sure how she’s helping her cause by making sweeping generalizations and vilifying her opponents. At the same time, I’m quite aware that plenty on the other side of the argument have been guilty of the same thing.

    The fact of the matter is that we can’t have grace without truth, or truth without grace.

  56. erunner says:

    “MLD,

    Some of the most compassionate and caring people I know are agnostic or liberal.
    Sometimes it’s misguided…but I have more faith in what God can do with a large hearted person with questionable theology than a small hearted person who has it all down.”

    Michael, I recently watched a film titled “Nicky’s Family.” It’s about a man from England who was responsible for saving hundreds of children from Nazi Germany and getting them placed in homes as the inevitable took place in Czechoslovakia just prior to WW 2.

    The man was so humble he never told his future wife of what he had done and it wasn’t until decades later that she found his scrapbooks that the world learned of him. He eventually met many of the children he was responsible for saving and saw how their influence has bettered our world. He lived to be at least 100 years old.

    The movie made no mention of his religious convictions but I sensed he wasn’t a believer.

    So did God use this possible unbeliever who may have died only to enter a Christless eternity? I know in scripture God used godless nations to see his will done with Israel.

    Maybe this man was an agnostic as you referred to above. So does God use Mormons, athiests, Muslims, etc. to do very noble things only to see their fate as eternal separation from Him? Or maybe He doesn’t use them at all?

    These thoughts went through my mind as I watched the movie and then saw your comment. Seeing this humble man in the movie challenged me when the thought that despite the enormous good he had done they may have counted for nothing towards eternity. The movie is free on Netflix.

  57. Andrew says:

    “for one do not endorse being “at odds with scripture” and I think that is the totality of these articles the past several days – some will put up with and even endorse “being at odds with scriptures.” Forgive me, but I am not one of them.”

    MLD, I am with you on this. Maybe that means I am no longer an evangelical as well. I’m not sure.

  58. MLD,

    Jesus was “at odds with scripture,” He healed on the Sabbath.

    King David and his men walked through a field and ate of the harvest on the Sabbath…

    Compassion and necessity, but if you were there?

  59. Mark 3:1-6

    New International Version (NIV)

    Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

    3 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

    4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

    5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

  60. Jesus did it again…

    Matthew 12: 1-4, 6
    At that time Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? … I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”

  61. Andrew says:

    Jesus was “at odds with scripture,” He healed on the Sabbath.

    King David and his men walked through a field and ate of the harvest on the Sabbath…

    Compassion and necessity, but if you were there?
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Odds with scripture or pharisaical rabbinical tradition? Big difference in my estimation.

  62. Erunner @ 58

    Ephesians 2:9
    (New Living Translation)

    Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

  63. David – well you have convinced me… anything goes. I guess I could make a case as to why, even though it is at odds with the scriptures, it is compassionate for me to get a girlfriend on the side.

  64. Xenia says:

    Jesus was most certainly not at odds with the Scriptures. Work could be done on the Sabbath, because babies were circumcised on the Sabbath, oxen were hauled out of pits, babies were delivered by midwives, etc. I personally do not think the King of Kings uttering the phrase “be healed” falls into the category of “work.”

    Regarding the whole “compassion vs. truth” issue, my old CC pastor said this:

    Truth without love is brutality.
    Love without truth is sentimentality.

    I think this is a good saying.

  65. Bob says:

    David

    None of those things you mention are at “odds with scripture”. Jesus did challenge the “oral traditions” and was challenged by others over them. To say Jesus ever violated scripture is not just bordering on but should be considered heretical.

    To be “at odds with scripture” to me one if two things. First I just disagree with what it says and will either pick and choose or just not do it at all. Second would be I don’t get what it says and will set it aside until I do.

    It seems to me our culture combines them both at many times.

    Also we can’t confuse scripture with doctrines and theologies, they aren’t necessarily the same thing.

  66. Michael says:

    I think compassion starts with a recognition that we’re talking about real people with real lives who were made in the image of God.
    It also understands what we are requiring of those who believe that they are gay.
    We are requiring that they never have the kind of relationship that almost all humans seek…that they forgo the companionship and intimacy that comes with having a partner in life.
    That should give us an unbelievable amount of compassion for people who are gay and seeking to serve Christ.
    I do not deny what the Scriptures teach, neither will I deny that at times a cross seems too much to bear.

  67. Xenia says:

    It also understands what we are requiring of those who believe that they are gay.<<<

    Is this any different than what we are requiring of all single people? I always go back to that group of people that every church has, the hopeful singles, who for whatever reason (personal appearance, social awkwardness, simple mindedness) cannot find a spouse. Some of these people are wonderful women who in the olden days were given the pejorative term "old maid" or "spinster." Many of these women, lacking children of their own, work hard in the Sunday Schools of many churches. We absolutely expect them to be chaste, despite their yearnings. Yet they are not a cause celebre'.

  68. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    The one difference is that a single heterosexual in the church can remain hopeful that someday they will have a companion.
    That door is shut on a gay person from whatever age they are when they enter the church until the end of their lives.
    The second thing I would say is that as a pastor, I know how heartbroken and lonely those single heterosexuals often are.

  69. I’m sorry and I do not want to sound non compassionate, but the alternative being offered by the “progressive” christians is – “heck, my compassion outruns my theology – come on in no changes required.

    You cannot tell me that is not a 100% accurate description of what we have been reading.

  70. Bob says:

    Michael

    One flaw I see in your point is you assume homosexuality is a fixed behavior. Men always have the hope there is a female companion for them and vice versa for women.

    Your statement also continues the idea one’s sexual lust is the driver for love and companionship.

  71. The funny thing is, I do not count people’s sin or their sinful lifestyles against them at all… because Jesus does not. He has dealt with the sin issue.

    My job as a witnessing Christian is to go out and tell as many people as I can that they have won the lottery and all they need to do is believe the promise of scripture. Boom – end of story.

    But what happens, and LBGT and homosexual advocates, along with many other sinners say – well, I can’t be a lottery winner, because the lottery book says my lifestyle is not what the lottery giver wants for me. So, if he were truely a good and gracious lottery giver, he would give to me no matter what. AND HERE IS THE KEY – “so I do not believe myself to be a lottery winner and I reject your announcement that I am.

  72. Michael says:

    Bob,

    Sexuality is part of the human condition and to minimize it is both unwise and irresponsible.
    Most humans long for that sort of intimacy.

  73. Michael says:

    MLD,

    You are mirroring the either/or that they are…just the other side of the coin.
    I’m saying that both need to be held in tension.

  74. Andrew says:

    The one difference is that a single heterosexual in the church can remain hopeful that someday they will have a companion.
    That door is shut on a gay person from whatever age they are when they enter the church until the end of their lives.
    The second thing I would say is that as a pastor, I know how heartbroken and lonely those single heterosexuals often are.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    Part of this problem is the prevailing belief that its “not good” to be alone. I have seen a theology of “not good” from the book of Genesis treated as basically sin to be alone. These vision casting pastors would rather have you in a homosexual relationship or in a cohabitation relationship outside of traditional marriage than be alone. This belief is so central to these visioneers that they rewrite the Bible to fit their paradigm and its no wonder that homosexuality is embraced. How come, you don’t see many programs for the singles anymore in most churches? The answer is because its not part of their VISION.

  75. Xenia says:

    For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. (Matthew 19:12)

    According to Christ, there is a place in the Kingdom for those who do wish to be celibate. Not everyone requires a sexual partner. (I do not think He is referring only to physical eunuchs.)

  76. Bob says:

    Michael:

    “Sexuality is part of the human condition and to minimize it is both unwise and irresponsible.
    Most humans long for that sort of intimacy.”

    I’m not at all. What my comment is about is this, you are dooming these men (it’s mostly men BTW) to a life of sex with other men as the only way to live when it is not. Somehow in their experience the have been imprinted that poking another man is love and to not have that opportunity is a great loss. The answer is God designed men and women to have both companionship and sexual intimacy. However, many of these men (mostly men) refuse.

    Let’s face it the dynamics of companionship and intimacy between men and women (I’ve been married close to 38 years) is complex and requires a lot of both parties. The book “Brain sex” deals with many of these issues, including homosexual sexual relationships and is worth the read.

    Basically my point is you seem to have bought into the idea of homosexuality and therefore doom them to a life of misery and want.

    BTW I’m not saying there’s some easy “cure” to homosexuality any more than there is for the abuser, cheater, adulterer, pervert, or any other aberrant behavior which stimulates the endorphins and all those other things in ones brain. It’s not easy at all.

  77. Andrew says:

    Xenia,
    I agree there is a place in the Kingdom, but I just wish more churches made room for singles. The “single lifestyle” is treated with utter contempt in the church yet its the same hypocritical pastors that seem to endorse the “homosexual lifestyle”. It amazes me with this shift in thinking in just the last couple of decades that has taken place.

  78. Xenia says:

    I know a young man who frequents an Orthodox forum I visit. He spent a few years trying to convince us that it was ok to be a homosexual and that the Church needed to come around to his way of thinking. The forum members spent years patiently refuting his posts but I never saw anyone yell at him. He was rebuked a few times, but always calmly. They warned him of course, but never in anger. Nowadays this young man says he knows he has to be celibate the rest of his life (or try, anyway) and that this is his difficult lot in life but with God’s help, he’s going to try.

    I think the behavior of the forumites demonstrates the kind of compassion Michael is talking about.

  79. “The “single lifestyle” is treated with utter contempt in the church”

    Well I haven’t been single for over 45 yrs, so perhaps i don’t notice. Can you describe this/

  80. Michael says:

    Bob,

    It’s way beyond my expertise to determine whether it’s “curable” or not.
    I lean toward believing that in a world broken by the Fall that some may be born homosexual and could no more change their sexual identity than I can.

  81. Bob says:

    This move towards a discussion of “celibacy” puzzles me. It seems to me that culture is again directing the norms of the people who love God rather than the design and words of the creator. Why would anyone want to be celibate in the first place? Of course God may “call” him or her to such a life and I know I will get a lot of push back from many here about my thoughts.

    The woman who wrote to article behind this thread was married at 22 years old according to her blog. It seems to me most in our culture would say that was too young and how will she know herself in the years to come.

    How come men and women in our culture today can live together, have children and yet refuse to make the legal commitment of marriage? Are they afraid someone better will come along in the future?

    How many “singles” in churches are having sex after a few dates or less?

    We live in a sick and desperate culture!

    But I forget these are all “private” walks and really shouldn’t affect me or anyone else in the culture at all. But they do! They encourage others to be like them with a siren song far greater than any evangelist can ever muster up a defense to.

    Oh well rambling, struggling and living in the world.

  82. Xenia says:

    If someone is convinced that they are incurably homosexual, the only virtuous path for them is a life of celibacy.

  83. Bob says:

    Michael:

    All I know is this, if God gave them over to depravity he can certainly also bring them back from it. Any other discussion about being “born that way” I believe becomes fruitless on a God loving, Jesus saving basis.

  84. Kevin H says:

    The truth is that there are some who struggle with same sex attraction their whole life. They may not want it. They may try desperately to change their feelings and attractions. And yet they are not able to change. They may yearn for companionship and relationship (including sexual relations), yet they know as long their attractions stay as they are, they will never be able to fulfill those desires if they are to remain obedient to God.

    And yes it is probably God’s will and plan for some to remain single. And God may even use them mightily in that state of singleness. And yes I also know that some people are able to overcome their homosexual attractions and gain solely heterosexual attractions instead. Yet this does not happen for others no matter how much they try. Why for some and not others? I cannot explain. All I can go by is the testimonies of some who say they have been able to completely change and others who testify that they haven’t been able to change. All I know is that for those who have desires for companionship and relationship and are unable to change their homosexual tendencies, it must suck.

  85. Bob says:

    Xenia:

    As I ramble along for these few minutes (my time’s running out), I find your statement very sad to think that someone would reject a women that God designed for him and be celibate because he couldn’t have sex with another man. I also find it a bit of an “up yours” attitude towards God.

    Could the standards of who’s right as a companion for life be driven by the media and culture more than by God?

    BTW I have enjoyed your comments on this subject quite a lot. Please keep them coming because I believe they are a well balanced rebuttal to the opposing views.

  86. Andrew says:

    Well I haven’t been single for over 45 yrs, so perhaps i don’t notice. Can you describe this/
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Its really simple. Pastors from the pulpit will use the words “single lifestyle” when referring to what they considers a “sinful” lifestyle. Single and sinful are being equated.

  87. Bob says:

    Kevin H:

    “All I know is that for those who have desires for companionship and relationship and are unable to change their homosexual tendencies, it must suck.”

    Of course it sucks, so my answer is this, reject Christianity, the scriptures, design and come up with their own religion and godliness. It’s that simple.

    Or they could recognize what they desire is in opposition to God and do something about it, fight the good fight and suffer daily with their female companion/wife (who are generally more compassionate than men). Yeah it will be a fight (and suck, but a lot more thing suck that aren’t homosexual) but we all have to choose whom we will serve!

    Ok I’m starting to be like RiBo and rapid firing too much, so I’ll back off and let the comments flow.

    Thank you all for engaging!

  88. Xenia says:

    Bob, in the Orthodox world, a life of celibacy is not considered to be a bad thing at all. Monastics are celibate and we hold them in the highest regard. Also, when you read stories of the early Church, the lives of the Saints, virginity was something to be cherished, even life-long virginity. Some married couples chose to live together as brother and sister. (How well they succeeded, who knows.) I for one do not believe God has a woman out there for every man. Some men are damaged in various ways (due to the Fall) and can never be married.

    God help the poor woman that marries a homosexual man because he thinks she’s the woman God has designed for him! Now *that’s* going to be one lonely woman!

    If a homosexual man repents of his sins and realizes he has a life-long struggle ahead of him but strives to live a pure life, he will be so strengthened in his faith by his struggle that his virtue and godliness will outshine us all. This would be a case of turning something bad into something very good. Unfortunately, if he follows the advice of today’s culture he will told that he has the right to a fulfilling sexual life, no matter how depraved it might be.

    So it’s not an “up yours” attitude towards God, it more of “because of the fall some people are damaged but if they cooperate with God in overcoming their passions, even this can be redeemed.”

  89. Andrew says:

    You will never hear a pastor talking about the “married lifestyle” when referring to sleeping around, etc.. But plenty of married couples do that so they are no better than singles. Its called the “swinger” lifestyle. Pastor always uses the term “single lifestyle” when referring to a promiscuous lifestyle. But this is cruel to singles and elevates couples to the status of better in the church.

  90. Andrew, I guess I will need to doze off less and listen to what the pastor says. 😉

  91. Kevin H says:

    Bob,

    “Or they could recognize what they desire is in opposition to God and do something about it, fight the good fight and suffer daily with their female companion/wife (who are generally more compassionate than men). Yeah it will be a fight (and suck, but a lot more thing suck that aren’t homosexual) but we all have to choose whom we will serve!”

    The thing is some do know their desire is not what God wants and they do try to fight it. But no matter how much they try, they are unable to get rid of the desires. Yes, there are plenty of other things in life, some even worse than struggling with homosexuality. But the thing is, there needs to be a generous dose of compassion and sensitivity given towards those who struggle with this and are left with the choice of either staying true to God and never being able to fulfill their desires or to give into their desires and somehow trying to justify this before God. Telling them they just need to suffer daily with their female companion/wife (which they may not even want) I don’t think helps matters much.

  92. Bob says:

    Xenia:

    Thank you so much. When I say the “woman designed for him” I mean that in the general sense and I agree with you about the damaged people due to the fall. I would never recommend a woman marry a man who refuses to change (or redirect) from his homosexual habits or desires any more than I would force a woman to stay with an abuser of a husband. You are correct in all these areas.

    As far as monastic life that is another trail, but in general my feeling is it is a result of the remnants of gnostic thought and practice.

    Marriage and relations are extremely difficult, challenging and rewarding all at the same time. My complaint is our culture says it isn’t worth the risk, unless you’re homosexual. As one person I know said (and I’m sure many others have), “isn’t it amazing; heterosexual people are running from marriage while homosexual people are embracing it.”

    Oh what an evil and wicked culture we live in.

  93. Andrew says:

    Compassion needs to be given to ALL people regardless of who they are. I’m tired of hearing that homosexuals some how need more generous doses of compassion than the average heterosexual. That is baloney and what the LBGT activists would like us to believe. I like that song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuDjuCY7aYo

  94. Bob says:

    Kevin H:

    “the choice of either staying true to God and never being able to fulfill their desires or to give into their desires and somehow trying to justify this before God. ”

    Do you think it is only homosexuals who have to deal with this? Look around you, we live in a culture which “gives in” to all our most base desires. We are guilty of the same sin and that’s where compassion begins, but to justify it? Never.

    The only difference is I can hide my struggles and desires from others a whole lot easier than a homosexual can.

    OK I’m guilty I’d said I’d let the comments flow, sorry. I am stealing from my required work by posting too much.

  95. Andrew says:

    The only difference is I can hide my struggles and desires from others a whole lot easier than a homosexual can.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    Well, I am all for the “Don’t ask Don’t tell” method, but I learned my lesson to never say that to a homosexual coming out of the closet ever again. They don’t want to hide it. They are being told to flaunt it. This is the problem.

  96. Xenia says:

    Michael, that is a very good article.

  97. Kevin H says:

    Bob,

    I’m not saying that justifying homosexual behavior before God is the right choice. Same as it is not right to try to justify any sinful behavior before God. All I’m saying is that compassion and sensitivity needs to be shown to those who struggle with homosexual desires. Too often this hasn’t been done by the evangelical community. (And I’m not saying it hasn’t been done at all, just not enough).

    And yes we all have different desires that we struggle with. There should be compassion and sensitivity given to all in their particular areas of struggle. When it comes to those who struggle with homosexual desires, we need to be compassionate and sensitive to the specific ways that these desires affect their lives.

  98. Xenia says:

    You know, we are not all Wesboro Baptist “Church.” I’m getting on to being an old lady and I have always attended some kind of church in many parts of the country and I have never seen anything other than this attitude: Homosexuality is one sin among many, it needs to be repented of, it’s going to be a difficult struggle and we are here to help you.

  99. Xenia says:

    I’ve also been to a church where, after all the compassionate counseling failed, the unrepentant homosexual was excommunicated.

  100. Andrew says:

    All I’m saying is that compassion and sensitivity needs to be shown to those who struggle with homosexual desires. Too often this hasn’t been done by the evangelical community. (And I’m not saying it hasn’t been done at all, just not enough).
    ______________________________________________________________________
    I lived with a homosexual for over 5 years with a guy I met in men’s group at church. We shared a house. He was a regular there and was part of the leadership. After many years, I had to go out of my way to explain that I wasn’t gay,. Since at men’s group I was treated as if I was his partner. Why should I have to do that as a single man? That was not an easy task for me and quite frankly I was shown the door making it sound like I was the one not being compassionate. No, we don’t need to keep showing homosexuals more and more compassion than anyone else.

  101. RiBo says:

    “Homosexuality is one sin among many, it needs to be repented of, it’s going to be a difficult struggle and we are here to help you.”

    Any fat people at the EO? Do they need to repent? Any been excommunicated?

  102. Kevin H says:

    Andrew,

    Since you copied my quote directly, I am wondering where you are getting that I am saying we need to show homosexuals ” more and more compassion than anyone else.”

  103. Andrew says:

    Kevin, I think its when you said this, “Too often this hasn’t been done by the evangelical community. (And I’m not saying it hasn’t been done at all, just not enough)”.

    I think more compassion has been shown to the sin of homosexuality and those that commit it than any other sin in the entire world. This is why we are having this discussion in the first place because some in the evangelical community want to celebrate the sin. This is more than enough compassion for a life time. Why are we treating homosexuals as a discriminated minority saying that the church hasn’t loved them?

  104. Jim says:

    Around Christmas there were some comments about emotional scars that remain from childhood years.

    Ask a gay friend what their childhood was like. Ask them what their parents said to them when they “came out”.

  105. “Ask them what their parents said to them when they “came out”’

    Probably not much different than what some of my family said when I left Judaism..

  106. Andrew says:

    Ask a gay friend what their childhood was like. Ask them what their parents said to them when they “came out”.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Every single man I have talked too said they were sexually molested by man when they were a kid. Not saying this is the case with all gays, but I think there is a high percentage. Its heart breaking but all the more reason that I want to separate from the sin of homosexuality as much as I want to love the gay person.

  107. Jim says:

    Sad that young Mr Wax leaves no room for revisionists or moderates who genuinely question exactly what Paul was referring to in the “gay verses”.

  108. Michael says:

    RiBo,

    I’m not moderating your comment out of “cowardice” but because you’re insulting a friend of mine and there have been physical things going on there that you know nothing about.
    I see more insults and obscenities so we’re done now.

  109. Xenia says:

    RiBo, every church I have ever attended had its share of overweight people and every single one of them felt it was a personal failure and tried to control their eating by going on various diets, etc.

    They were all what you might call repentant gluttons.

    The excommunication example I gave was at a Baptist church, btw.

  110. Jim says:

    MLD- something like, “you’re an abomination. You’re dead to me. You’re not my son. Leave my house.” ?

    I know people who were kicked out of their Christian homes-RIGHT NOW-GO!-with ears full of the worst possible, soul crushing insults.

  111. Kevin H says:

    Andrew,

    Well we disagree on how much compassion has been shown towards homosexuals. But I’m not saying homosexuals should be shown more compassion than anyone else. In the discussion today, I have not once given a quantitative descriptor in regards to the level of compassion to be shown towards any one group compared to another.

  112. Jim says:

    Andrew-our experience differs.

  113. RiBo says:

    X, if a fat person stays fat…how is that “unrepentant”?

    Why don’t you excommunicate gluttons, but you think it’s OK to excommunicate homosexuals?

    How many glutton pastors in the pulpits in conservative church circles? How many homosexuals?

    It’s a taboo sin as evidenced by reality.

  114. Jim,
    “MLD- something like, “you’re an abomination. You’re dead to me. You’re not my son. Leave my house.” ”

    Well I was an adult so they couldn’t kick me out and although they didn’t say those very words it was clear that I was a disappointment.

    But to the point, no family rejection is good – but now days, it’s pretty cool to be homosexual – watch the late night talk shows. 🙂

  115. Andrew says:

    Andrew-our experience differs
    ______________________________________________________________________
    I can appreciate that. I do think sexual identity is developed early on and if there is any kind of sexual abuse happening early on, its bound to have an affect. Its quite sad and I have heard testimony after testimony with this.

  116. RiBo says:

    How is that “repentant” and not “unrepentant” above.

  117. “They were all what you might call repentant gluttons”

    A homosexual can come to my church every week for the rest of his life. A repentant homosexual can become a member and partake of the Lord’s Supper..

  118. RiBo says:

    There is an obvious double-standard and what ticks off homosexuals and liberal christians is the fact the conservatives are dishonest about the double-standard that is evident in how you all treat different sins by your actions and inactions and what you do with regards to how you treat different sinners.

    Gluttons are a privileged “sinner” class. Homosexuals are taboo. It’s fact.

  119. RiBo says:

    “A repentant homosexual can become a member and partake of the Lord’s Supper..”

    What about a glutton who is still fat?

    I see a lot of fat Lutherans…are they non-members?

  120. RiBo says:

    How does one “repent” from Gluttony…while still remaining obese?

  121. Michael says:

    Not all obesity is the result of gluttony.
    Repentance means to agree with God that a given act is sinful and to try to change in the power of the Spirit.
    It doesn’t always guarantee victory in this life.

  122. Not all gluttons are over weight

  123. Xenia says:

    # 124 True
    # 125 True

  124. RiBo says:

    “Not all obesity is the result of gluttony.”

    Not all gluttons are overweight but all those who are overweight is because they eat and drink too much. There is no other way to get overweight.

    “I was born with it!”

    So were homosexuals according to them (and some in science).

  125. RiBo says:

    When I see the conservative evangelicals excommunicating Gluttons, kicking out all the fat pastors and leaders and their wives, and calling for law against Gluttony or calling for fat people not to marry etc, then I’ll believe there is no double-standard.

    Right now, I go to church and I see a lot of fatties, many are way overweight and most say “I was born with it! I can’t help that i eat too much!”

    Well, according to the same strict standard you lay out for homosexuals, too bad. Lose the weight or you’re going to hell!!!!!!

  126. Neo says:

    Just curious, where does the New Testament condemn gluttony?

  127. RiBo says:

    Neo, Jesus affirmed all of the Old Testament…which is what is used to overcome the fact Jesus never mentions homosexuality as sin.

    huzzah!

  128. RiBo says:

    Gluttons, you are on notice! Jesus says turn or burn!

  129. RiBo says:

    I think I’m going start a culture war in the church against Gluttony. If you are fat and reading here, you need to give it God and stop living in sin and repent. Repent today. You could die today and if you are in the sin of being fat and living the Fat Lifestyle, you will go to hell.

  130. RiBo says:

    If we care so much about “sinners” living in sin and going to hell…how many Gluttons are currently in sin and going to hell sitting in Evangelical pews and pulpits…vs. practicing homosexuals?

    I’d guess it’s about 10 Gluttons per 1 Homosexual.

    Yet you’d never know that by how the church focuses on the homosexuals and not a word of rebuke or constant pressure on the Gluttons to repent or burn.

  131. No one goes to hell for their sin – Jesus died to absolve everyone from their sin. Sinners go to heaven and sinners go to hell.

    I guess you need to figure out what the difference is.

  132. RiBo says:

    The sad fact is, most evangelical Christians don’t consider Gluttony to be a sin and could care less about it b/c many are Gluttons themselves and/or have family members in the church who are Gluttons or their pastors are Gluttons etc.

    Homosexuality is an easy target b/c it’s not nearly as common, maybe 1 in 20 or 30…and it is easier to stigmatize…yet, technically speaking from the jot-and-tittle bible as god fundamentalist position…if you are “living in sin” of Gluttony you have not repented and you are in unrepentant know sin and going to hell.

  133. RiBo says:

    MLD, do unrepentant practicing sinners go to heaven?

    Can a practicing homosexual who acknowledges the sexual act as sin go to heaven?

  134. RiBo says:

    Can a practicing Glutton living the Glutton Lifestyle…knowing it’s sin…acknowledging it as sin…but not doing anything about it…go to heaven?

  135. RiBo says:

    Does “knowing” or “not knowing” something is sin make a difference? Does “agreeing” or “not agreeing” that something is sin make a difference?

  136. Actually, I just realized I can’t talk to you any longer or Michael will never take me out of moderation limbo. 🙂

    But I wioll say that I am not a practicing glutton – I have it down pretty good and am thinking of going professional. 🙂

  137. RiBo says:

    Is Gluttony a sin or not?

    If it is, then how else does one become obese if not for eating too much?

    Eating more food than you require to live is the ONLY way you become obese…and the definition of Gluttony includes excessive eating and drinking.

    Whether one was “Born with it!” or not doesn’t seem to matter for homosexual sin…so the same standard should apply to Gluttons.

    How many Gluttons in your church? How many sermons on Gluttony have you heard preached? How many Gluttons are “in sin” this moment in pews and pulpits?

    By the same standard you apply to homosexuals, there are a lot of Gluttons who are going to hell today…despite their profession of faith….if “practicing and living in sin” is the standard.

  138. RiBo says:

    If you can “live the Glutton Lifestyle” and “live” and practice that sin w/o fear of hell…why can’t homosexuals who appeal to Jesus even though they stay in that lifestyle?

  139. Michael says:

    No, it’s not the only way you become obese.
    I have a friend with a medical condition that will make her obese the rest of her life .
    The greater question is how many times will you repeat the same thing?
    How many posts on one thread until you’re satisfied?
    You’ve made your point…the exact same point I made on a previous thread without sandblasting the whole thread.

  140. RiBo says:

    “The greater question is how many times will you repeat the same thing?”

    I’ve got to catch up to how many times homosexuality is hammered on…so maybe a few hundred million more times…

  141. RiBo says:

    How many times will evangelicals repeat the same things over and over…and over, and over and over and over….and over about homosexuality?

  142. RiBo says:

    I guarantee you if evangelicals hammered on fat people like they do homosexuals….fat folks would get p***ed off too.

  143. Michael says:

    We believe it’s sin.
    We’ll keep believing that.

  144. RiBo says:

    Michael, do you believe a practicing homosexual can go to heaven?

  145. You know it’s funny. I have been at my church 8 yrs and i don’t think I have heard one sermon about homosexuality – so who keeps “hammering” the homosexuals in church.

  146. Xenia says:

    MLD, I’ve only heard one mention of it and that was when the Archbishop came for our parish’s feast day. He said, during the homily “Marriage is between a man and a woman.” He repeated it, and looked intently at us all as he said it. He didn’t hammer on it, he just wanted to use his teaching authority to make sure we were all clear on the subject, that the Orthodox Church was not going to waffle.

  147. Xenia says:

    Ignore that comma. The homily was not entitled “Marriage is between a man and a woman,” as my lousy punctuation suggests.

  148. Michael says:

    It’s not my call who goes to heaven.
    I only know what the book I believe says.
    Any sinner who acknowledges their sin as sin and seeks the Savior will be saved.

  149. Andrew says:

    RiBo, Homosexuality is really gluttony. Its indulging in an appetite that God never intended.

  150. RiBo says:

    Michael, can a practicing homosexual be a pastor at your church? Can a practicing Glutton who eats too much be a pastor or elder? Can both sinners who are practicing receive the Lord’s Table?

  151. Michael says:

    A homosexual who did not believe that the practice of such was sinful could not be an elder in my church.
    A struggling, celibate one could be.
    As I have no way of knowing who is a glutton, who has thyroid issues, who has conditions that prevent hem from exercise, etc…i wouldn’t worry too much about it.

  152. Andrew says:

    I think their is a difference between practicing and struggling. Struggling means you know its wrong, are tempted but do the repenting the best you can. Practicing is celebrating, honoring and calling something good that is not.

  153. RiBo says:

    “A struggling, celibate one could be.”

    But you have excuses a mile long for why fat/obese people were born with it and have some sort of condition and excuse for their Gluttony…

  154. Michael says:

    I’ve already said that it’s possible that some people are born gay.
    Others have been abused or other issues have taken place.
    The issue is still that the behavior is sinful.
    How that’s dealt with makes the difference.

  155. RiBo says:

    Eating in excess is sinful, but you excuse that as some sort of inherent medical condition and OK in many cases.

  156. Going back to the original topic of the WV deal – those engaged in homosexual marriage obviously do not recognize this as sin and are actually celebrating their act.

    I said early on, this is no different than the 50 yr old married man who shows up to church with his 25 yr old girlfriend.

  157. RiBo says:

    If God is judging ‘Merica for any overt and prevalent sin…it’s for Gluttony.

    Ever been to Wal-Mart?

    Heathen Gluttons living the Glutton Lifestyle everywhere.

    God’s going to judge ‘Merica b/c of the Gluttons!

  158. Xenia says:

    RiBo is not interested in the topic of repentant gluttons and homosexuals. He is only interested in sowing discord. And what does the Scripture say? Mark out the divisive ones and ignore them.

    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    That’s Romans 16:17, folks.

  159. RiBo says:

    X, that is a lie straight from the pit of hell.

    I am interested in pointing out the Double Standard and driving the point home as conservatives do to homosexuals.

    Truth is like a sword.

    “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”–Jesus Christ.

    Jesus sowed discord by your definition.

  160. One thing we know for an absolute fact – I was born to be promiscuous, and the very opposite of monogamous. I was created to spread my seed wherever I go and with whoever I want. this is the real me … unless I serve a holy God.