Julie Rodgers is a celibate, gay Christian blogger.

Julie Rodgers is a gay Christian blogger who has spent time in ex-gay ministries but has chosen celibacy. Photo courtesy Julie Rodgers


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(RNS) When Julie Rodgers came out as a lesbian at age 17, her mom responded by taking her to an ex-gay ministry in Dallas. Rodgers had grown up in a nondenominational evangelical church where she assumed being gay wasn’t an option.

“With ex-gay ministries, it gave me the space to be honest about my sexuality,” said Rodgers, now 28. Yet that same honesty eventually led her away from ex-gay ministries.

Rodgers spent several years in Exodus, the now-defunct ex-gay ministry, before deciding she couldn’t become straight after trying to date men. Instead, she has chosen celibacy.

When Exodus shut down in 2013, some said it spelled the end of ex-gay ministries that encourage reparative or conversion therapy for gays to become straight. Ex-gay groups such as Restored Hope Network stepped in to the gap, but many religious leaders are now encouraging those with same-sex orientation or attraction to consider a life of celibacy.

For years, those who were gay or struggled with homosexuality felt like they had few good options: leave their faith, ignore their sexuality or try to change. But as groups like Exodus have become increasingly unpopular, Rodgers is among those who embrace a different model: celibate gay Christians, who seek to be true to both their sexuality and their faith.

Straddling one of America’s deepest cultural divides, Vanessa Vitiello Urquhart wrote in a recent piece for Slate that celibate gay Christians present a challenge to the tolerance of both their churches and the secular LGBT community. Those celibate gay Christians often find themselves trying to translate one side for the other.

But frequently, neither side really understands what it’s hearing.

“We can be easily misunderstood, to put it nicely, by both sides of the culture war,” Rodgers said. “For those who have a more affirming position, it’s as if we’re repressed, self-hated homophobes, encouraging the church to stand in its position on sexuality. And conservative Christians think that those who shift on sexuality are being rebellious.”

Moving from ex-gay

Christians’ shift away from ex-gay therapy came amid larger cultural changes, including a wider societal acceptance of homosexuality and a rapid embrace of same-sex civil marriage.

In 2009, the American Psychological Association adopted a resolution that mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation. Since then, California and New Jersey have passed laws banning conversion therapy for minors, and several other states have considered similar measures.

Earlier this year, the 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors amended its code of ethics to eliminate the promotion of reparative therapy, and encouraged celibacy instead.

“Counselors acknowledge the client’s fundamental right to self-determination and further understand that deeply held religious values and beliefs may conflict with same-sex attraction and/or behavior, resulting in anxiety, depression, stress, and inner turmoil,” the revised code says.

A number of leaders of the ex-gay movement have renounced the very teachings they once embraced. John Paulk, who was once a poster boy for the ex-gay movement, apologized in 2013 for the reparative therapy he used to promote. Yvette Schneider, who formerly worked for groups such as the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and Exodus, recently published a “coming out” interview with GLAAD calling for bans on reparative therapy. Last week, nine former ex-gay leaders denounced conversion therapy.

Mark Yarhouse, a Regent University psychology professor who has done research on ex-gay Christians, is just now beginning to study celibate gay Christians. “Evangelicals are so enamored with marriage, it’s been hard for them to value singleness and celibacy,” he said.

Some Christians left ex-gay ministries and eventually began to embrace a position that’s more affirming of gays and lesbians. Josh Wolff, a gay 2009 graduate of Biola University’s Rosemead School of Psychology who is now a licensed clinical psychologist, said he went to reparative therapy for nearly two years before fully embracing his sexuality.

“I’ve seen a real shift away from some of the language (that) you need to go to counseling, you can experience healing that can make you straight,” Wolff said. “When Exodus came forward and said ‘We’re sorry for some of the harm that we’ve done,’ I think it was a wake-up call to many members of faith communities that for the vast majority of people, these treatments don’t work.”

Alan and Leslie Chambers married in January 1998.

Alan and Leslie Chambers married in January 1998. Photo courtesy Alan Chambers


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Rediscovering celibacy

Celibacy is a better trend for Christians than conversion therapy was, said Alan Chambers, who led Exodus before shuttering it last year.

“Celibacy is an age-old concept, so I think it’s a great option for a lot of people. People have been so afraid of it,” said Chambers, who has been married to his wife for 16 years. “The only option before it was to stay completely silent or adopt this ex-gay mentality.”

Some evangelicals mine Catholicism’s centuries-old tradition of celibacy, said Wesley Hill, a professor of New Testament at Trinity School for Ministry, who wrote “Washed and Waiting,” a 2010 book on being gay and celibate.

Wesley Hill is a New Testament professor at the Trinity School for Ministry and author of "Washed and Waiting," a book on being gay and celibate.

Wesley Hill is a New Testament professor at the Trinity School for Ministry and author of “Washed and Waiting,” a book on being gay and celibate. Photo by Rebecca Murden courtesy of Trinity School for Ministry


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“They already have a rich history of celibacy that I had to discover as an evangelical,” Hill said. “Twenty years ago, being gay would be considered irredeemably bad, something to be delivered from or be changed. (Celibacy) leads me to form close bonds with friends, to have self-denial and sacrifice.”

Eve Tushnet, a 35-year-old whose book “Gay and Catholic” comes out in October, is fast emerging as a significant voice on sexuality and Catholic teaching.

“I felt like there’s a lot of things I don’t understand, but I can do my wrestling and doubting from within the church,” she said.

Tushnet grew up somewhere between agnosticism and Judaism, and when she became a Catholic in 1998, she didn’t know of other openly gay Christians who were following the church’s teaching on sexuality.

“Because marriage, the standard American solution to the problem of the human heart, is typically unavailable to gay Christians, we’ve had to confront loneliness earlier and more publicly than many of our peers,” she wrote in The American Conservative.

Eve Tushnet is a conservative, Catholic writer and celibate lesbian.

Eve Tushnet is a conservative, Catholic writer and celibate lesbian. Photo courtesy May Goren


This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

In a 2013 study in the journal Symbolic Interaction, Hollins University sociologist S.J. Creek found that celibate gay Christians tend to prioritize their sexuality differently than others might, unwilling to compromise their Christianity.

For some like Tushnet, the loneliness of celibacy has been tempered by communities such as Spiritual Friendship, a blog for celibate gay Christians. Hill co-founded the blog with Ron Belgau, who grew up Baptist and converted to Catholicism at 24. Belgau said celibacy was one of the things that attracted him to the Catholic Church.

“The ex-gay message was appealing because the problem was solved and we didn’t need to talk about it,” said Belgau, who spent some time in the Catholic Church’s Courage ministry that encourages celibacy for gays and lesbians.

“If you realize that a lot of people will have an ongoing attraction to same-sex and can be kept secret, you have to deal with as a church how we’re going to talk about this. With the ex-gay message, we can farm this out and continue with our nuclear family model.”

Naming and claiming

Matthew Vines is an openly gay, Christian LGBT activist.

Matthew Vines is an openly gay, Christian LGBT activist. Photo courtesy Matthew Vines


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The mere presence of self-identifying celibate gay Christians requires other Christians to wrestle with theological challenges, says Matthew Vines, author of “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.”  Vines doesn’t promote sex outside of marriage but believes gay Christians can make a theological case for same-sex marriage.

“It’s a subtle but significant shift,” said Vines, who is openly gay, of celibate gay Christians. “They’re saying, ‘There’s nothing wrong with being gay in and of itself,’ and that is a big change.”

In fact, that’s the teaching of major religious traditions, including the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Homosexuality only becomes sinful when a person chooses to act on it.

Moody Bible Institute professor Christopher Yuan has been countering progressive messages like Vines’ with a more traditional message of celibacy for those who, like him, are attracted to the same sex. In his book review of Vines’ book for Christianity Today, however, Yuan, too, took a harsh look at conversion therapy.

“Sanctification is not getting rid of our temptations, but pursuing holiness in the midst of them,” Yuan wrote. “If our goal is making people straight, then we are practicing a false gospel.”

Some Christians are less eager to use the term “gay.” After Grady Smith’s widely shared article for the Gospel Coalition about coming out as a Christian while he worked for Entertainment Weekly, he also wrote a post about coming out as gay to other Christians. In an email, he said he regretted identifying as a “gay Christian” because of how it might define him as a person.

“I knew it was writerly and provocative and expressed attractions I’ve felt, and I hoped it was bridge-building,” he wrote. “But it in no way describes the life I am living — and I think most people interpret ‘gay’ to mean the cultural box of the gay, sexually expressed lifestyle.”

Some pastors, like John Piper, a respected Minneapolis preacher and author, still encourage the possibility of change for those who have same-sex attractions. And some Christians are debating over whether identifying as gay or having a same-sex orientation is itself unbiblical.

“My conclusion is that if sexual orientation is one’s enduring pattern of sexual attraction, then the Bible teaches both same-sex behavior and same-sex orientation to be sinful,” Denny Burk, a biblical studies professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote in a blog post for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Rosaria Butterfield is a former lesbian who rejects the ex-gay label.

Rosaria Butterfield is a former lesbian who rejects the ex-gay label. Photo courtesy Rosaria Butterfield


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Rosaria Butterfield, a former lesbian who rejects the “ex-gay” label  and the movement behind it, disputes Burk’s interpretation of sexual orientation. “The Bible doesn’t speak against attraction,” said Butterfield, a mother of four whose conversion story went viral after it was published in Christianity Today. “It speaks against attraction that becomes lust.”

While she affirms celibate gay Christians, she says they should not use “gay” as a descriptive adjective.

“The job of the adjective is to change the noun,” said Butterfield, who will speak at the Southern Baptist convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s fall conference on sexuality. “Our sexuality exists on a continuum, but our Christianity does not.”

KRE/MG END BAILEY

403 Comments

    • Ben in oakalnd

      Not judging others is the only non sinful solution for someone who claims to be a Christian and wants to follow Jesus…

      Who had absolutely nothing to say on the subject.

      • Whenever Jesus spoke of marriage it was a man and a woman, when Jesus referenced the City of Sodom it was not in a positive way and Jesus’ messenger to the Gentiles, St Paul, spoke about the evil of homosexuality.

        As far as judging, judging actions as sinful is acceptable.

        • Ben in Oakland

          Of course it is. Judge not lest ye be judged was simply advisory. And anything about specks and beams is simply metaphorical.

          All of us may be sinners. Only the truly self righteous are entitled to throw stones.

          • Wow Ben, it sure looks like you are judging and throwing stones at Bill for him “judging.”

            So…by your logic, saying that “lying is sinful” and “committing adultery is sinful”…..we are inappropriately judging people?

          • Richard J. Maloney

            No. He’s saying it’s unloving to say “God made you different, so you can’t ever be in love.”

            Are you wearing mixed fabric? ‘Cuz that’s an abomination, too.

          • Ben, is it OK to be a Christian porn star or sex worker? What about Christians in emotionally committed but sexually open relationships? Can you have Christian friends with benefits? Does God care about the occasional Grindr hook-up?

            Is any kind of adult consensual loving sex OK with God? Why privilege monogamous relationships?

          • “Ben, is it OK to be a Christian porn star or sex worker?”

            Probably.

            Since what people do as their day jobs scarcely has been used as cause for excommunication amongst Christians in general. Otherwise you would be doing it for every businessman who works for a company which pollutes, or everyone who has turned a blind eye to the poor, everyone works in cable TV broadcasting, the people who came up with mortgage backed securities….

            Soon there would be nobody left to fill in the pews.

          • C’mon Ben be a little intellectually honest, you know Jesus is talking about hypocrisy not suspending the brains function to make judgments. Jesus told both the woman at the well and the adulterous woman he saved from stoning to go and “sin no more”.

          • Of course if you read the verses you cited in context, Jesus goes on to tell you how to judge others by their actions… He also tells you not to throw your pearls before swine, which requires value judgments about people…

            Too often people chop off the first part of a thought and twist it to fit their agenda, as you have done. Take some time and do something radical. Read the passage in context.

        • Funny, I wouldn’t think if you claimed you loved grapes that means you must hate grapefruit, Bill. Claiming Jesus supported one kind of message means He wanted to attack loving, committed same gender couples just isn’t supported by Scripture–or common sense. Sorry, Paul never actually met Jesus, so we have no reason to believe Paul’s alleged homophobia is of concern here.

          No matter how many times a dwindling minority of Christians shriek, “Jesus Hates F*gs,” it’s hard to reconcile that wild claim with Jesus’ clear statement that “Love your neighbor as yourself” is the second most important Commandment. Attacking those who remind these very poor Christians who are in such a hurry to judge LGBT Americans will not further the anti-gay agenda.

          • Jesus did confirm what God said is the proper arrangement for marriage between humans.

            Jesus was asked by the Pharisees if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife on every sort of ground. He replied:

            “Did you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’ (quoted from Genesis 2:24). So that they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has yoked together let no man put apart.” (Matthew 19:3-6)

            Jesus here indicated the only proper arrangement for marriage was between man and woman, as instituted by God with our first parents, Adam and Eve. That is still applicable in our day.

          • Ezekiel 16:49-50 declares, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…” The Hebrew word translated “detestable” refers to something that is morally disgusting and is the exact same word used in Leviticus 18:22 that refers to homosexuality as an “abomination.” Similarly, Jude 7 declares, “…Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion.” So, again, while homosexuality was not the only sin in which the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah indulged, it does appear to be the primary reason for the destruction of the cities.

          • Frank you are reaching at best. Lying like a cheap rug at worst. Ezekiel was talking about greed, Mammon, indifference.

            “pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

            I don’t see where he is condemning “the love which has no name” here. Neither would anyone honestly reading the text. Of course the interpretations of the Church of Frank will always point to some kind of attack on Gays. That is how your God rolls. :)

      • Um….I have no idea how you think that Franks comment was judging.

        If I say “telling the truth is the only non sinful solution for someone who is compelled to lie” or “remaining faithful is the only non sinful solution for a husband who feels compelled to commit adultery”…..neither of those statements are judging people who lie or commit adultery, they are just stating facts.

      • Calling sin a sin is not judgment. Its reality.

        Jesus defined marriage and sexuality. Stop using that tired old, inaccurate defense as a justification to sin.

        • Attacking LGBT Americans is judging. Jesus did not “define marriage and sexuality,” no matter how many times anti-gays try to put their anti-gay Hate Speech into Jesus’ mouth.

          • “Judge righteous judgment” Jesus said. (John 7;27).

            Gay marriage ain’t righteous. It’s rotten.

          • Every time Christ referred to marriage, it was as a man and a woman and when Christ referred to Sodom it was in negative terms but without correcting the beliefs of what caused Sodom to be destroyed.

            The pro family people are not the ones trying to put words into Jesus’ mouth.

          • Christ calls us all to chastity. Even within marriage, we must be chaste. If your marriage partner becomes ill, you must be celibate.
            God in Genesis calls man and woman to a one flesh union and calls us to be fruitful and multiply. He also speak of some unions as sinful both in the Old and New Testament. See bible verses. http://christianity.about.com/od/Bible-Verses/a/Bible-Verses-Homosexuality.htm

            There is no judgement only love. God calls us to an abundant life and wants the best for us all. We only hurt ourselves when we ignore or rebel against the God who made us. See the article regarding health risks.http://ex-gaytruth.com/gay-politics/cdc-statistics-reveal-male-homosexuals-are-at-150-times-greater-hiv-risk-than-heterosexual-males/

            Our world advertises sex too much in a wealthy selfish world. Instant gratification as well as the birth control pill has played a large part in encouraging sex outside of marriage and ultimately same sex relationships. We are called to live as children of God which entails loving God with our hearts, soul and mind and others as ourselves.
            Out of love, we must educate others that homosexuality is unhealthy physically, mentally and spiritually.

      • Kenneth Tidball

        Ben in oakalnd- The same Spirit that dwelt in Jesus and made Him what He was also lived in His disciples, as He does today. The Word says plenty about this subject, and most of the world is spending time trying to find some way to explain away what the Bible says about sin and about this world. The same Spirit gave the words to the apostles to put down in the Bible, so in effect, they become Jesus’ Words. The apostles were not putting down their opinion, but wrote as God gave them the words and the thoughts to put down on paper. God’s Word is not convenient, it is not popular, but it is the absolute truth. Most men will not receive it, nor believe it, to their eternal damnation. Jesus’ Word not only says to not judge lest ye be judged, but also to judge correctly, according to His Word. Judgement from Christians is to be for the purpose of seeing if someone really is a Christian- you shall know them by their fruits, the Bible says, by what their lives produce. It is to judge so you can discern how to pray for a person, how to love them, maybe how to show them the way to get help. Of course, if a person doesn’t think he or she needs help, then they are beyond help. God sent Jesus to help those who acknowleged they needed His help, not those who think they are okay.

    • No, living a full life as God intended since he gave you life, having a sexual relationship with someone you love, is the way to live a life.

      You are more worried about sin than spreading good in the world. One is fear based (sin) the other is courageous.

      And I would ask you to show me anything Jesus said about same-sex attraction or relationships. Go ahead, start looking…let me know when you find something.

        • How about answering Baker’s reasonable question about just when Jesus attacked same gender couples, Frank? Why don’t you just stop trying to justify your hatred and fear of LGBT Americans, Frank? Why not get some help with this personal problem of yours?

          • Why would Jesus attack same gender couples? He would point out that it was evil as his messenger did in the Letters to the Romans and Corinthians.

      • In Matthew 15 Jesus categorically condemned sexual immorality as one of the things that proceed from the falken heart and make us unclean. And there was no doubt among any of His listeners about what kind of behaviors constituted sexual immorality. They were all listed together in Leviticus 20. If He had wished to add any revisions or footnotes, as He did on the subject of divorce, He had ample opportunity to do so.

        He could also have done so when He specified the male-female duality created by God as the reason for marriage, but again He did not.

        Feel free to repudiate the scriptures honestly–but not to try to manipulate them into something they are not and never have been.

        • Anyone who starts a line thus: “Jesus would have….” has run out of argument. It presumes to know God. It presumes so much about who he was as the man.

          Then also, presuming to know what the Biblical audience would have known or not known. Another easy get out for one side of the argument.

          • Funny how we never hear your argument when someone is claiming that Jesus would have affirmed same-sex behaviors.

            But it’s not much of a stretch to surmise what the biblical audience would have known or not. Since Jesus constantly referred people back to the scriptures for answers to their questions (and of course these were teachers of the scriptures he was talking to in Matt. 15) we can ourselves go back to those scriptures and look up the various forms of sexual uncleanness. They are all grouped together so they’re easy to find. And if that’s not enough, we have the commentariess of Philo, Josephus, the Babylonian Talmud and the Midrash as supplemental evidence what religiously educated 1st century Jews of Jesus’ time would have known.

            And of course the Jerusalem church, many of whom HAD personally known Jesus the man (His own brother was a prominent leader) retained the prohibitions on sexual immorality in all its forms for Gentile converts to christianity while not imposing the ceremonial or civil law (thus in effect retaining the very ancient Noahide law for righteous Gentiles, but that is another subject).

            If you think that is an “easy get out,” by all means present your side of the argument and let’s see what kind of easy get-outs you come up with.

          • Mostly because the other people are more polite and less narcissistic about their interpretations of the Bible. It is only people like yourself who seem to believe they are capable of speaking for all Abrahamic faiths on a given subject with authority.

            Its one thing to say, “it could be read this way”. Its far different to take your approach and say, “All Christians must interpret it as this!”

            It doesn’t mean much when you think some other churches are phony or people are not really Christian.

          • It could be read to mean anything — if you have little background knowledge of scripture, ancient commentary, history and so forth. Once you acquire the necessary background, it becomes a lot clearer.

            “It is only people like yourself who seem to believe they are capable of speaking for all Abrahamic faiths on a given subject with authority.”

            Oh well now, I wouldn’t say that, m’dear. I seem to remember a certain very uninformed but nevertheless very vocal commenter several posts up attempting to reveal to Frank the correct interpretation of Ezekiel, and claiming that there is no other “honest” interpretation, and calling him a liar for having a different one. :-D

            Hypocrisy, thy name is Atheist.

          • “Once you acquire the necessary background, it becomes a lot clearer.”

            By “necessary”, you mean one likely to be in line with your own views and interpretations of the material. Never mind the huge variation in how the text is taken by adherents and the levels of importance attached to given texts on a particular subject.

            Frank WAS incorrect. Or at the very least using a translation that was more self serving, or embellished it. I copied the same passage verbatim earlier that day and the version I used did not have the term he carped upon. If it wasn’t for the fact that I used the same quote, I would have ignored it.

            Its one thing to come up with different interpretations, its another to fudge the text itself as Frank did.

          • Oh nonsense, Larry. Frank didn’t embellish the passage. You only quoted part of it. He finished it for you. It says exactly what he said.

            “Never mind the huge variation in how the text is taken by adherents”

            There was no variation AT ALL in how the text was taken by adherents until just about 35 years ago. So the Torah’s adherents misinterpreted their own laws for nearly 4000 years? Get real.

            “…and the levels of importance attached to given texts on a particular subject.”

            “Then what are our laws of marriage? That law owns no other mixture of sexes but that which nature hath appointed, of a man with his wife, and that this be used for the procreation of children. But it abhors the mixture of a male with a male; and if anyone do that, death is his punishment” — Flavius Josephus, “Against Apion” 2.199

            Sounds like 1st century Jews placed a great deal of importance on the texts in question, indeed.

            Once again…if you’ve got a different interpretation, bring it on and produce your corroborating historical evidence for its plausibility. You’re accomplishing nothing by merely hollering that mine is wrong. Any ignoramus can do that.

      • Solomon was granted wisdom from God and he concluded as follows:

        “The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: “Fear the try God and keep his commandments. For this is the whole obligation of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

        God instituted the marriage arrangement between our first parents, a man and a woman, Adam and Eve, as follows: “That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and stick to his wife and they must become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24).

        Jesus confirmed this marriage arrangement as the only proper course at Matthew 19:1-6 by quoting the above scripture. Jesus is called the Word because he was the spokesperson for his Heavenly Father, God, while on earth.

        God blessed the marriage arrangement of Adam and Eve but he also told them to “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it….” (Genesis 1:28). They were authorized to have sexual relations and given an assignment that would fill their lives with meaning. Same-sex relationships and marriages therefore go against God’s purpose for mankind.

      • John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Bible and Jesus are both referred to as the Word of God, so when you read the ENTIRE Bible, you are reading Jesus’ words. So yes, Jesus DID have plenty to say about many “controversial” sins today. We as sinners have been trying to justify our own sins, not the other way around.

        • Okay – it is a sin to go against the Lord.
          But the Lord commands killing. So what are supposed to do?

          GOD’S COMMANDS
          CUT OFF YOUR WIFE’S HAND IF SHE TOUCHES ANOTHER MAN’S PENIS.

          “If men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and SEIZING HIS GENITALS, you shall cut off her hand; show no pity.” – (DEUT. 25:11)

          Cut off your wife’s hand? Show no pity?
          Jesus agrees and validates The Law: (JOHN 1:17), (Mark 10:19)

        • @Justin,

          If God and Jesus are the same, why do they agree on something so awful as this?

          GOD COMMANDS WOMEN TO MARRY THEIR RAPISTS

          “If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.” (Deut. 22:28)

    • For over 40 years science has explained some people have a lifelong sexual orientation that involves attraction to their own sex, but evangelicals have promised this group could change to heterosexual if they just came to Jesus and prayed and got their inner emotional needs met. When the leaders of the largest and oldest ex-gay ministries admitted this had never worked, evangelicals have not even apologized for their false claims and for bearing false witness against all LGBT people. Instead they have the nerve to demand celibacy from all of the very people they have refused to understand. The gall of this position is disgusting, especially when they use the name of Jesus. Jesus Christ never said a word against homosexuality during His life, but He always warned against one very dangerous group – religious conservatives.

        • Frank, please document God did that. Please be sure the example you provide has had this claimed change confirmed by an independent psychologist. To date, all of the “ex-gays” that have been identified have turned our either to be con artists or bisexuals.

          • If someone wants to be healed and truly believes that God can heal him/her, it seems He will. “Woman, go in peace. Your faith has made you well.”

          • “To date, all of the “ex-gays” that have been identified have turned our either to be con artists or bisexuals.”

            This is indeed a big claim ….. the existence of one such individual would prove it wrong.

            Considering one’s sexuality is can only really be measured on the say so of the individual and/or their behaviour …. and con-artists are experts at saying and behaving in a way that suits their con ….. I suppose your claim in non-falsifiable …. which makes it equivalent to the “God took my gay feelings away” claim …..

        • God has shown little willingness to change people’s attractions. Perhaps because He was okay with same sex attraction and wanted them to be happy. Not much to ask of the rest of humankind but they are usually too busy being Pharisees to care about their plight.

          • He never changed my mom’s attraction to overindulgence in alcohol, but He did expect her to control it and gave her the desire to do so.

            “Perhaps because He was okay with same sex attraction and wanted them to be happy.”

            Now who is presuming to know God, as per your own argument above?

        • @Frank,

          “God can change someone’s attractions”

          Oh, I don’t think so. Otherwise he could have outlawed sex slavery very easily. Instead he built rules around sex slavery.

          God’s RULES FOR SEX SLAVERY:
          “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.” (Exodus 21:7)

      • “For over 40 years science has explained some people have a lifelong sexual orientation that involves attraction to their own sex”

        References????

        How does one measure “sexual orientation” from a scientific stand point?

        Is there a scan that someone has performed on a baby that proves that child has same-sex attraction?

        • This is religious site. There are literally thousands of references at the tip of your fingers regarding etiology of homosexuality.

          There are many measures of sexuality: attraction, behaviours, identity. Researchers tend to use combination of measures and definitions to try to capture the nuances.

          Is there a scan that someone has performed on a baby that proves that child has opposite-sex attraction?

          (If you ask ridiculous questions, you can expect the same back to you).

          • no, but you can ask gay people-almost every one answers that they knew they were gay well before puberty-which proves before sexuality. Go on-ask one-dont be afraid

    • The article mentions Christopher Yuan as an advocate for celibacy. It does not mention that Yuan’s own book makes him out to be a major felon involved in crimes for many years, a big-time drug dealer with a sociopathic personality that allowed him to do horrible things with no remorse, a total lack of concern for others until he was caught and jailed. Nobody has ever investigated his claims since his jailhouse conversion, so don’t be surprised if it comes out that he is living a double-life. He would hardly be the first among the ex-gay crowd. It is the norm by far, which is why the whole ex-gay movement totally crashed and burned. If you are a young LGBT person, read Matthew Vines’ book and go to the Gay Christian Network. You can find encouragement for celibacy or for a marriage to someone you can totally love. At least now the religious conservatives will stop advising gays to marry someone of the opposite sex. That has been a huge disaster, with nearly every such marriage ending in divorce.

      • Vines and members of GCN are nice people but they tend to promote a false message about gay Christian sexual ethics. Like their secular LGBT allies, the gay Christian sexual ethic is based on consent and personal choice rather than a holiness model based on “doing the right thing”. Monogamy for them is an option not a mandate. Yes, they will maintain that committed relationships are “healthier” but again that’s based on a therapeutic ideal that has very little to do with pursing holiness. You won’t hear them referring to any kind of consensual sex or relationship as “sinful”. Only a conservative personality of social background keeps them from straying towards the more hedonistic LGBT mainstream.

          • I didn’t make any link between same sex attraction and promiscuity.

            I said the ethical framework of gay Christians is based on consent (as it is with the secular LGBT mainstream). What that means is some people will choose monogamy and others will say “Hang on a minute, why is that the only moral or ‘healthy’ option?”

          • Vines attempts are an abject failure unless you are desperately looking to somehow someway justify sinful behavior so you can live the way you chose instead of living the life God desires for you.

      • Yes and there is a way that is right as defined by God in his Word. God made them male and female, be fruitful and multiply. Affirmed and confirmed by Jesus. So why do people try and lead people towards death by saying homosexual behavior is not sinful?

    • David McDonough

      I STRUGGLED with same sex attractions for 40 years. The only way I can master bate is looking at gay porn. I desire the youth body and their masculinity that I don’t see in myself, and security. I hate the sin. I never acted it out but crave to. Meaning wanting to be loved andaccepted by other men. This sin cost me my marriage and relationship with my son since he was ten. Pray for me battle is wearing me down. Questioning my own salvation. I am on depression medicines and emotional stabilizers. Some times feel God gave up on me.

      • @David,

        You seem to be punishing yourself for being Gay and/or Bi-sexual.
        But there is nothing wrong with either! Just admit it and make yourself happy. Make another man happy. There are many who feel the same as you.

        You are doing NOTHING wrong.
        It is not your fault that you were born into a culture which is backward and rejects these normal things.

        Even if God exists, he can’t object to the things he put in your head!
        Get out and find a man who feels as you do – and live.
        Don’t waste another day fighting these natural feelings. Reject the claims of the holy rollers.

        I hate what religion does to people. free yourself. You will be fine.

    • The most important thing you can do as a Christian, is to love your neighbor regardless of who they are. That is God’s love, and as Christians, we are responsible for exemplifying that to the best of our human capability. The Holy Spirit exists in us so we can do God’s work on Earth and expand his kingdom. We are not called to be judges, only to be the hands and feet of a loving God.

      Regardless of how we feel, Jesus himself embraced everyone as his own and loved them unconditionally. If we serve as judge and jury, we fail in our responsibilities as Christians and we put ourselves in the role of the judge, which belongs solely to the One True King.

      • @Jason,

        “Jesus himself embraced everyone as his own and loved them unconditionally.”

        LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY?
        WHAT BIBLE ARE YOU READING, SON?
        SOME OF US HAVE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF THIS!

        Believe in Jesus if you want to, but don’t you dare
        rewrite the Bible YOUR WAY while telling me to obey it!

        JESUS – I WILL DISMEMBER PEOPLE WITH A SWORD

        “The master shall cut him to pieces” – Jesus (Luke 12) JESUS describes what he intends to do to his own enemies, whoever they may be.

        JESUS – EXECUTE MY ENEMIES FOR ME

        “..bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King, and execute them in front of me.” (Luke 19:27)

        JESUS – YOU SHOULD DROWN THEM

        “Drown him with a millstone” (Matt 18:6),

        JESUS – KILL YOUR CHILDREN

        “And why do you break the command of God
 for the sake of your tradition? …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ ” (Matthew 15:3)

        JESUS – YOU MUST JUDGE HARSHLY

        “…if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.” (Matt 10:13)

        JESUS – I SHALL BURN THE WORLD

        “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints! I am impatient to bring..DIVISION.” (Luke 12:49-51)

        JESUS – HATE THOSE WHO LOVE YOU

        “Hate your parents…hate your life”(Luke 14:26)

        JESUS – I’M A MAFIA GODFATHER. DO IT OR ELSE.

        “Eat of my body” and “Be baptized and believe” or “Be condemned to Hell” (John 6:53-54) (Mark 16:16).

        .
        “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.”
        (1 Corinthians 5:11)

        DON’T TELL ME THIS IS ‘LOVE’!
        GOOD GRIEF!

    • absurd-no god would create someone with same sex attractions and doom them to a life of cellibay-we are here to experience the flesh. What next? God, at one time ordered women to marry her rapist?? Deutoronomy

  1. A relevant article in light of all the other articles on embracing and finding biblical justification for gay marriage. Outside of catholic circles, rediscovering celibacy may be a new thing. Still, it presents a strong biblical case for this issue that may spread in light of new books on the subject. I will be interested so see how this perspective is received by both sides of the debate.

  2. The new Answer. Conversion therapy has proven to be nonsense. This new Answer won’t last long as people defect to the joys of physical, sexual and spiritual partnership. Check back in in ten years.

    • Within 1 generation those churches will be saying they always supported marriage equality. That the Bible was so clear on the subject that it could not have been interpreted any other way. We have already seen that happen with segregation, anti-semitism and sectarian intra-Christian animosities.

      Or do they would do what the Southern Baptists did about their racist past and quietly dismiss the most virulent rhetoric and issue a very late apology for their attitudes.

          • Still not answering the question. Do you believe in speaking reptiles as illustrated in Genesis, God’s word, God’s truth according to you? :)

          • I believe that God is perfectly capable of making a stone speak if he chooses to. He’s God after all.

            Your attempts at making your point though show how little you understand scripture despite your claims otherwise.

          • Not at all. Just seeing how much silliness you are willing to accept as truth. Rather a lot from the looks of it.

        • Religious conservatives have used bible verses to oppose every civil rights advance since the abolition of slavery. Two generations ago 9 of 10 religious conservatives ‘knew’ it was a sin and a crime for anyone to wed someone of African ancestry, due to bible verses. The “curse of Ham” story was used to build a wildly popular, now forgotten, theology opposing interracial marriages, integration, the end of Jim Crow laws.
          8 of 10 evangelicals under 30 say LGBT people make good parents and nearly half support marriage equality. It’s easy to see that in another generation or two anti-gay “logic” will be as completely forgotten as the curse of Ham bible arguments are today.

          • Homosexuality is not a sin. It’s not a choice. It is a gift from God. Any person’s sexual orientation can be used as a way to express love or not. Where there is love, there is God. God blesses any marriage where love exists. In my church we have 2 warm, wonderful women who have loved the Lord and one another for 60 years. They did a great job of raising their children and spoiling their grandkids. Sad that Sunday morning is always the last time of the week to integrate previously hated minorities. Once a church welcomes the people they used to ban, the entire congregation grows in love.

          • “God blesses any marriage where love exists.”

            Who told you that? So says everybody who walks out on the spouse of their covenant to take up with another that they love more — but Jesus called that adultery. And the Baptist lost his head for truthfully telling an apostate king and queen that their “loving” marriage was not blessed but utterly unlawful.

            Love in the biblical sense does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. 1 Cor. 13:6.

        • Logically it is also be evidence that nobody has interpreted it “correctly” yet. Or that “correctly” is purely subjective and prone to change depending on the situation.

          You have to show me it was “correctly interpreted” in the first place to show it is even possible. Of course it begs the question, “correct” according to whom?

          • The question of whether the Bible is capable of correct interpretation is of course at the heart of the liberal/conservative divide.

            As a conservative evangelical I would stake my life that it is (and actually I have done so).

            What correct interpretation is? Simple enough.

            When you have determined what the intent of the original writer was then you have correctly interpreted. This is what exegesis is all about.

            It requires dedication to the cause but it is always possible where there is good will towards the text. Only those who lack that good will deem it to be impossible.

          • Except you determining the intent of the original writer involves personal interpolation since they did not leave “study notes” and you can’t reference the source directly and unambiguously, being centuries dead from a barely literate era with the majority of all texts lost to time.

            Original intent also works against most conservative interpretations because one can hand-wave certain elements as being intended solely for the concern only to Iron age herdsman and of little value in a modern society. The argument being, it was their intent back then, but not relevant today.

            As for dedication to the cause, again personal interpolation because the text appeals to different people on different levels or for different purposes. What ends are served by a given interpretation determine how it will be done.

            Interpretation by its nature has to be a subjective thing. Since you do not have God or Jesus coming down from heaven and speaking to you directly and setting you straight on the subject, you have to rely on authority you find most appealing.

          • JohnW wrote:

            “As a conservative evangelical I would stake my life that it is (and actually I have done so).

            The problem isJohnW is trying to stake the lives of others to his political goal.

          • Jesus did have something to say about marriage and who it should involve. See Matthew 19:3-6, which quotes Genesis 2:24. Also, same-sex relationships and marriages go against God’s purpose for mankind of filling the earth and subduing it (Genesis 1:28).

          • Its still not there. You are not refuting my statement.

            There is no condemnation of it from Jesus nor of any of the other forms of marriage such as polygamy, taking concubines, wartime abduction, marrying a widowed sister-in law…

          • You are not making statement of value that’s needs to be refuted. No one who reads the word of God seriously is confused about the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. All of the bible are words of God and thus words of Jesus.

            Aside from theology your logic fails you as well. Jesus never mentioned not having sex with children either but no one pretends its ok because he didn’t say those exact words.

          • “Jesus never mentioned not having sex with children either but no one pretends its ok”

            Unless you are a member of the clergy.

          • No. Unless you are a part of a small percentage of clergy, no bigger percentage then the general population.

    • “The new Answer. Conversion therapy has proven to be nonsense. ”

      The British Royal College of Psychiatry was recently asked to provide evidence for holding such a position. They said “It is not the case that sexual orientation is immutable or might not vary to some extent in a person’s life. Nevertheless, sexual orientation for most people seems to be set around a point that is largely heterosexual or homosexual.” – In other words – yes people can and do change their sexual orientation.

      They then go on to say that attempts to change sexual orientation are harmful, yet do not provide any evidence to suggest that such therapy is more harmful than any type of psychological therapies that are common place.

      They are driven by ideology on this, not science.

      • The British Royal College of Psychiatry is not the final word on the science human of sexuality. Given their poor record on dealing with mental illness except through drugs, then I would say this should be taken as just one interpretation of the research.

        In any case, you ignore their next sentence. None of what they state implies that intentional sincere efforts can change your own attractions.

        (Note: Core Issues Trust is a dying cause. Bus ads – another laugable defeat in the courts.).

  3. Stefan Stackhouse

    Single celibacy is a perfectly acceptable lifestyle for any Christian, and in fact is the “default” option for all Christians unless and until they are called to a life of faithful monogamous heterosexual marriage. Anyone who looks down on any celibate Christian or thinks that there is anything weird or wrong about them is so very, very wrong. Jesus Himself through both His words and His personal example made it very clear that some are called to celibacy in singleness, and this is perfectly acceptable.

    Frankly, I think we have a real problem in the American church with idolatry of marriage and sexuality. Jesus made it very clear that marriage was only going to be a transitional state. In the life of the world to come there will be no sex and no marriage; something much better awaits us instead, which the imagery of the Church as the bride of Christ only hints at. Marriage, and the expression of our sexuality, is not the be-all and end-all of human existence. That is what the worldly, godless culture around us thinks, but they couldn’t be more wrong. We have let their thinking and attitudes and values infiltrate and subvert the church, to the point where most Christians think the same way about these things as do the unbelievers. God bless those among us who are faithfully living celibate lives of singleness in visible repudiation and rebuke of the false idol that marriage and sexuality has become. I don’t care if they call themselves straight or gay, or what sort of attractions they do or don’t have; remaining faithful in their celibacy and not acting on those attractions is what matters. Such people I am humbly delighted to call my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I hold them up before the Lord in prayer.

    • 99% of heterosexuals today have had sex before marriage. Heterosexuals are delaying marriage or opting out of it altogether, but they are not living celibate lives. Somewhere between 4 and 5 out of 10 marriages end in divorce. Evangelicals have very high divorce rates – higher than atheists, higher than gays, higher than society at large (google it). Maybe it’s time for evangelicals to get their own house in order before lecturing other people on marriage and morality.

      • “Divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants – and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them, a new study finds.

        The study, slated to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, tackles the “puzzling paradox” of why divorce is more common in religiously conservative “red” states. If religious conservatives believe firmly in the value of marriage, why is divorce especially high in places like Alabama and Arkansas?

        Researchers also discovered that people living in areas with lots of conservative Protestants were at higher risk of getting divorced, even if they weren’t conservative Protestants themselves. Community institutions in such areas might encourage early marriage, affecting divorce rates for everyone who lives there. “Pharmacies might not give out emergency contraception. Schools might only teach abstinence education.” On top of that, “if you live in a marriage market where everybody marries young, you postpone marriage at your own risk. The best catches … are going to go first.”

        http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-sci-sn-red-states-religious-conservative-divorce-20140116,0,7835151.story#axzz2qllXU5CS

      • Stefan Stackhouse

        Or maybe it is just time for a lot of so-called Evangelical Christians to admit that they are not actually living what they say they believe. Jesus said that anyone who would be His disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him daily. That is what a faith that is actually lived (and is thus an actual living faith instead of just a make believe faith) looks like. Given that definition, it is looking like there are a very great number of people who show up at church now and then and call themselves Christian, but are not actually living as His faithful disciples.

        This has always been a problem throughout the history of Christianity. We want to open the doors wide and offer the life-saving and transforming gospel to as many people as possible. In doing so, however, we also open the doors wide to allow in a lot of goats along with the few sheep. Jesus warned us that exactly that would happen. He also promised that He would sort it all out at the end. He also warned us that instead of being focused on the speck in our neighbor’s eye, we need to concern us with the log in our own eye.

  4. It’s important to remember that the idea that loving, same gender couples are somehow “sinners” is rejected by a growing number of denominations. These denominations will marry same gender couples in 20 US States and the District of Columbia, but are being denied their right to practice their religion freely in 30 US States:

    Affirming Pentecostal Church International
    Alliance of Christian Churches
    Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries
    The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Community of Christ
    Conservative Judaism
    Ecumenical Catholic Church
    Ecumenical Catholic Communion
    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Anglican Church In America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
    Inclusive Orthodox Church
    Moravian Church Northern Province
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Old Catholic Church
    Presbyterian Church USA
    Progressive Christian Alliance
    Reconciling Pentecostals International
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reform Judaism
    Reformed Anglican Catholic Church
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ
    Unity Church

    These and many other denominations reject the hate speech inserted in the Bible to hurt LGBT people. Modern Biblical scholars have proven the Bible was intentionally mistranslated relatively recently in order to provide “Biblical cover” for then-rising levels of homophobia. For example, the word “homosexual” didn’t even exist until 1870.

          • Your attacks on the Freedom Of Religion of these and other churches that reject your anti-gay political agenda have already failed to sell them your anti-gay agenda, Frank. Please learn to accept your defeat with at least a minimum of grace.

          • Defeat? Homosexual behavior was, is and always will be sinful. There is no battle thus no defeat.

    • Certainly there was no such English word when Paul wrote I Cor 6 since there was no English language at all!

      The issue rather is this: does the modern English word accurately represent to a modern English speaker the same idea as the Koine Greek word that Paul used?

      The answer is yes, it does.

      • If you chose to interpret it in such a fashion. One has to bear in mind the writers’ perspective and original intent as well. This is especially true for Pauline texts. Accurate representation of facts not being as important as writing for a desired effect on the readers. His works are far more editorializing than giving an account (like the Apostles who actually knew Jesus in life).

        • Paul knew Christ: the road to Damascus? In fact Paul was chosen by Christ to be a messenger and since Paul went to the Romans and Greeks he needed to clear about the evil of homosexual behavior.

          • Paul never met Jesus when he was alive. He saw a vision of Christ. Essentially signs and portents. The best way to put it is that your mileage may vary as to how to treat that.

      • There was no concept of “homosexuality” 2,000 years ago, so Paul would have no idea of sexual orientation, a fact religious conservatives conveniently overlook. “Homosexuality” is a modern medical term derived from scientific evidence. Brain scans since 1991 have shown adults have differences in certain brain areas if they are homosexual or heterosexual. In recent years brain scans of fetuses show those differences form in utero.
        Using the bible to overrule medical findings can be very dangerous. When my son was diagnosed with epilepsy, some religious conservatives told me to throw away my child’s medicine and take him to a demon deliverance service. He could have died within days if I took their advice. A woman from my old church threw away her medicine at a faith healing service and died two days later. Some sects teach it is against the bible to receive a blood transfusion even if it means their own kid will die. Only fanatics demand that we ignore medical science.
        But even if you are that type when it comes to gays, pay attention to what has happened among bible believers this past year. Every major evangelical ex-gay ministry in the English speaking world that had been around for decades has shut down forever. The promise that if you come to Jesus you won’t be gay anymore was a scam. The idea that an entire minority community must now live lonely, loveless lives to satisfy the demands of the same lying bigots who promised they could change from homosexual to heterosexual is worse cruelty. But it was never taught by Jesus. Christ spoke of those who are eunuchs; that practice involved physical castration. Because of that there were castrations done on gay men in times past, but we know that even that does not change a person’s God-given sexual orientation. God never changed a Christian’s sexual orientation because God gave it to them in the first place. God so loves homosexuality that God put some of it into every species studied.

          • ben in oakland

            And no matter how hard oyu try to change it, concerning yourself with the sins of others before you have achieved spiritual and moral perfection yourself– specks and beams– is going against the word of jesus, which is a sin.

            not believing that jesus died for your sins is a sin.

            The whole point of Christianity is that we are all of us, every one, dripping with sin.

            see specks and beams above.

          • And that little remark is based on what?

            You want to equate homosexuality with incest and infanticide somehow? I am sure there is a connection in your head somewhere.

          • I don’t even want to know how you came to consider incest or infanticide as natural. There are some rabbit holes not worth going down.

          • They occur in nature — all the time. If you don’t know that, then you’ve made yet another sad statement about your level of education.

          • Nature is a VERY scary place, Which is why it’s not altogether the best guideline for human morality.

          • Nature is wonderful. An irrational, zealous mind is a scary thing.

            The fact that you are willing to outsource moral thinking is a scary thing. Its the sort of thing that never works well. People who make the argument for religious based morality always come off badly in the process. As barely restrained psychopaths. Without God to keep them on a leash, they would run amok. That is not a good impression to give for a religious person.

          • Nature is only “wonderful” at the Guggenheim museum. In reality it stinks. It’s largely a realm of filth, disease, predation, violence, and heartless pursuit of self-interest. “Zealous” minds created civilization– which is fundamentally a continual battle against nature.

            It’ll take a lot more posturing and trash-talking than you even you can muster to mask that kind of touching naivete, dear.

          • Shawnie-your god murdered millions of babies in egypt and with teh flood-pretty sure he is cool with infanticide

        • No concept of homosexuality 2,000 years ago? The Greeks and Romans were having same sex activities before that, that is why the Letters to Romans and Corinthians were written. Your seem to be ignorant of history.

          • Bill,

            There was no concept of sexual identity – as there is still not in most of the world.

            The idea of being “gay” in the way we see it is an invention of the west from the last 150 years.

            If you classify a behaviour, then it seems, people will identify with that classification.

            The Greeks certainly did participate in same sex behaviour, but there is no evidence that this played out in any form of identity like is does for modern westerners.

      • How can you state that? The words arsenokoite and malakoi were unique to Paul. These have very very different meanings and roots than ‘homosexual’. Very different and it is just ignorance that tries to claim they mean the same thing.

        In the historical context, there was simply no awareness that there could be an innate state of same sex attracted human sexuality. The model was only of behaviours and sin.

        • There is no innate state. Science has not come anywhere near showing that.

          Paul knew exactly what he was talking about since even gay “marriages” existed in his day.

    • Your last paragraph reveals your bias. No scholar with any credibility has concluded that language was added to Scripture in recent years to provide a biblical cover for any anti-GBLT position.

          • Ben in Oakland

            No, the sodom story has been twisted into saying something it certainly does not say. But that is the nature of homohatred. It will twist and pervert everything, even the word o’ god, into it’s twisted and perveretd ways.

            Why, you even have managed to twist my rather boring sex life into something called evil.

          • Frank is trying to justify his own sinful behavior by using that standard anti-gay parlor trick of “projection.”

          • Ezekiel 16:49:

            King James Bible

            “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

            http://biblehub.com/ezekiel/16-49.htm

          • Actually the story of Sodom is a condemnation of treating strangers badly. It is one of the oldest taboos in Western Civilization. Hence the whole point of early verses about marked coins, swindling newcomers and indifference to the needy.

            “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” Ezekial 16:49 (NLT)

          • Ezekiel 16:49-50 declares, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…” The Hebrew word translated “detestable” refers to something that is morally disgusting and is the exact same word used in Leviticus 18:22 that refers to homosexuality as an “abomination.” Similarly, Jude 7 declares, “…Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion.” So, again, while homosexuality was not the only sin in which the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah indulged, it does appear to be the primary reason for the destruction.

          • How has celibacy worked out for the Catholic church? To paraphrase an old saying, “Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers.”

          • Which could easily mean catamite slaves or concubines. A much different situation than how modern people would consider it.

          • Well, where is your corroborating evidence that it was ever understood in that way? I’m still waiting.

          • Where is yours? I am at least trying to give context here. Why wouldn’t “man bedders” refer to catamites? It is a reasonable interpretation that is not disputed by the text.

            Consent is not considered an important element to “proper” sexual relations opens a lot of doors for interpretation that you are unwilling to discuss. [Ex. Biblical marriages include "war prizes", use of concubines, marriage as commercial transaction, marrying one's rapist, I can go on...]

            Your biases appear to be guiding your interpretation.

          • I’ve already given you one extremely direct and plain quote, from a 1st century Jew who was a contemporary of St. Paul and received exactly the same religious education as he did and as did all of the teachers of law that Jesus frequently addressed. Nor is it his only one — he wrote another work called “Antiquities of the Jews” where he spoke of the Torah’s prohibitions on men “lying with a male,” all written in the most general terms possible.

            Philo wrote: “In fact the transformation of the male nature to the female is practiced by them as an art and does not raise a blush. These persons are rightly judged worthy of death by those who obey the law, which ordains that the man-woman who debases the sterling coin of nature should perish unavenged, suffered not to live for a day or even an hour, as a disgrace to himself, his house, his native land and the whole human race. And the lover of such may be assured that he is subject to the same penalty.” — Philo, Volume VII, edited by G. P. Gould, The Loeb Classical Library (LCL 320), Page 499, year 1998. No concerns about “consent” there.

            The Midrash Rabbah Genesis is a writing from the early CE that even went so far as to refer to same-sex marriage: The generation of the Flood was not wiped out until they wrote gemumasi’ot [wedding songs or contracts] for (the union of a man to) a male or to an animal.”

            Likewise the tannaitic midrash to Leviticus: “I say (that the prohibition of the verse applies) only to (their) statutes – the statutes which are theirs and their fathers and their fathers’ fathers. And what did they do? A man got married to a man, and a woman to a woman, a man married a woman and her daughter, and a woman was married to two (men). Therefore it is said, “And you shall not walk in their statutes.”

            The Babylonian Talmud in its written form dates from the early christian era as well: “These are the thirty commandments which the children of Noah (a rabbinic term for non-Jews) accepted upon themselves, but they only keep three (of them) – one, that they do not write a marriage contract for males…” At least, not until now.

            Nor can you find any potential for same-sex approval in the writings of the early church: “[H]aving forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men, he [God] adds: ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for in all these things the nations were defiled, which I will drive out before you. And the land was polluted, and I have recompensed [their] iniquity upon it, and the land is grieved with them that dwell upon it’ [Lev. 18:24–25]” (Proof of the Gospel 4:10 [A.D. 319]). –Eusebius.

            “So, too, whoever enjoys any other than nuptial intercourse, in whatever place, and in the person of whatever woman, makes himself guilty of adultery and fornication. … But all the other frenzies of passions—impious towards both the bodies and the sexes—beyond the laws of nature, we banish not only from the threshold, but from all shelter of the Church, because they are not sins, but monstrosities.” (On Modesty 4) — Tertullian

            The Apostolic Constitution echoed Josephus: “[Christians] abhor all unlawful mixtures, and that which is practiced by some contrary to nature, as wicked and impious” (Apostolic Constitutions 6:11 [A.D. 400]).

            Your turn. Show me some historical evidence that the ancients viewed consent as making same-sex behavior acceptable.

      • The word homosexual was added by men in the 20th century. That is simply the fact of it. Earlier versions referred to sodomites. Or effeminate men. Noe of which properly convey the context of the words Paul used which are impossible to translate directly.

        • They are quite easy to translate directly. Arseno = man. Koite = bed, in the sexual sense. Even more clear in light of ancient Jewish commentary upon the scriptures in question. No mystery whatsoever.

          • Given the fact that Bible never required consent to be a part of sexual relations as a precondition for it to be acceptable, it still leaves the question open as to whether he was referring to use of catamite slaves or what we would call in the modern sense, homosexuality.

            You are more likely to see the latter because of your predisposition towards bigotry towards gays. Others are not so willing to fill in the blank in such a fashion.

          • If what you say is true (not saying it is–we’ve discussed this issue before and there are indeed distinguishing words), then lying with a man as with a woman, as per the relevant passage, would include both consensual AND forcible situations. That doesn’t help your case.

          • You know what I am saying about consent is true, but your pride won’t let you handle that admission
            http://www.upworthy.com/the-top-8-ways-to-be-traditionally-married-according-to-the-bible

            What it means is you can interpret the passages as referring to solely non-consensual situations, in good faith. Ambiguity and uncertainty that you deny, exists.

            I don’t have to know exactly what Paul is thinking when he wrote it, I am honest enough not to pretend to do so either. My point is people like yourself do not have a monopoly on good faith interpretations of the text as you so often pretend. Other interpretations can exist and are as valid as yours.

          • “Other interpretations can exist and are as valid as yours.”

            That means little coming from someone with no knowledge or background on the subject. Sorry.

          • And no, what you are saying about force and consent is NOT true. But we’ve been over this ground before and you deliberately learned nothing the first time around so there is little point in rehashing it.

            The fact remains…the passages prohibit lying with a man as with a woman. You can lie with a woman both consensually and forcibly. Therefore it is wrong to lie with a man either consensually or forcibly. It is the sexual dimension that makes it wrong, not a lack of consent.

            Don’t stop on my account, though. It would be entertaining to watch all the contortions and floundering that this issue elicits were it not so pitiable. You might want to consider, though, that as an atheist you’re kinda sorta trying to bat for the wrong team here. Atheists who are also gay generally have little patience for Boswellian revisionism and apologetics. They’re honest enough to recognize that the scriptures condemn same-sex behavior and they reject them outright for that reason (among others, of course). It is puzzling why you, as an atheist, wish to defend such a patently foolish view that is more or less a badge of a certain variety of theism.

    • I’m Episcopalian who doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage and I’m 31 lest you think I’m old guard. Most Episcopal dioceses marry people regardless of their state’s laws on gay marriage. Even in conservative Tennessee, Episcopal clergy occasionally marry same-sex couples. So no, state laws don’t infringe on the rights of clergy to marry whom they want. And not all Episcopalians are necessarily LGBT-affirming. Some of us are on the fence and we can respect the big-tent approach of the church to love brothers and sisters who do affirm LGBT relationships.

          • Just to clarify your position, then Frank. Brittany Spears got drunk married in Las Vegas and annulled it in 55 hours. That is a real marriage because they are opposite sex, but the ladies in my church who have been together for 60 years and raised four children together and are going to be with one another until death do they part are not a marriage even though they have a marriage license and all the love two people could ever hope to find. Wow, bigotry makes people messed up. Get over your prejudice. Your own grandchildren shall see your views on gays and marriage equality the way most of us see our grandparents’ generation’s views on race and interracial marriage.

          • Poor, poor Frank, no matter how desperately he tries to fool himself, there are already over one million American same gender couples. Judges in over 10 US States have revoked anti-gay Hate Votes, and only temporary stays are delaying the establishment of marriage equality there.

          • Two people do the same sex cannot make a marriage. It will always be some thing else. The fact that many heterosexuals mess up marriage doesn’t change that fact.

      • Seth-youre brainwashing runs deep-youre stuck in redneck village so no surprise!-when you meet and know a few gays you’ll change yout bigoted thinking-its a big world

        • The many Christian and Jewish denominations I listed–versus an anonymous anti-gay online poster–who are we going to believe? Hint, boys, it isn’t the anonymous online poster, no matter how many sock puppets agree with each other.

          • Big whoop. In the obvious absence of ANY actual knowledge about the issue, of course you go with the one you like. What else is new?

          • Shawnie, how many of these LGBT affirming churches have disappeared based on the arguments and rhetoric of people like yourself?

            You can deny that they aren’t “the real deal” but, so what?
            They identify as believing Christians and Jews. Your opinion of that belief doesn’t change it.

          • What difference does that make? The church is and ever has been full of phonies, and Jesus told us to watch out for them. Nothing new to see here.

            So go spew at Max a little for trying to claim self-identified theists for atheism, and self-identified atheists as theists.

    • Rev. Albert W. Kovacs - UCC

      Calvin Synod – a Conference of the United Church of Christ – reaffirms the biblical view that true marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Its ministers and church officers may not officiate or participate in any way in a same-sex ritual, nor may its churches host or allow use of their property for the same. It calls the UCC to reaffirmation of the biblical teaching about human sexuality and marriage and to reversal of its patently unscriptural position.

      • You should have been a little more upfront about the UCC. Evidently your group represents a conservative subsection of the church, not the entire one. One that recently is considering breaking away
        http://www.biblicalwitness.org/calvin_synod.htm

        The UCC also advertises as having “open and affirming” congregations
        http://www.ucc.org/lgbt/ona.html

        In addition the UCC is at the forefront of marriage equality efforts
        http://www.ucc.org/lgbt/issues/marriage-equality/#Marriage_Equality_and_the_UCC
        “On July 4, 2005, at the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta, delegates voted to adopt the resolution, “Equal Marriage Rights for All”

        Typical conservative Christian. Someone overstepping the bounds of their authority to speak on behalf of people who they don’t necessarily represent.

    • Then they are misrepresenting God and his Word, the Bible (Genesis 2:24; Genesis 1:28: Matthew 19:1-6). It is no wonder that the world empire of false religion, referred to as the harlot, Babylon the Great, will soon meet her demise by the political systems of the world (Revelation 17:1-18; 18:1-24).

    • Stefan Stackhouse

      Modern Biblical scholars have provided us with a critical text of the New Testament that is very reliable, and modern translators have generally done a very good job of their work. In both the original Greek and modern English translations, the relevant New Testament passages make it very clear that ALL sexual activity outside of faithful monogamous heterosexual marriage (not just homosexuality) is sinful and unacceptable for faithful Christian disciples. These passages also make it clear that neither homosexuality nor sexual sin in general is to be singled out as being somehow worse than other sins. It is a long list, and there is plenty of sin to go around for everyone. Just a few verses after the passage about homosexuality in Romans 1, Paul goes on to conclude that ALL have sinned and not one of us is righteous by our own efforts. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for anyone who has not practiced homosexuality (defined broadly, in any of its forms) to think that they are the least bit “better” than those who have. Any “Christian” who thinks otherwise either hasn’t read their Bible at all, or hasn’t been paying attention to it, or grossly misunderstands what it says.

  5. if people want to constrain themselves in such a fashion voluntarily, that is their business.IMO, I think its crazy and probably harmful, but its none of my concern either.

    Its when people advocate that others must do the same, or when they try to force others to do so, that I take issue.

  6. All Christians are obligated to be celibate for at least some of their lives.

    However celibacy as a Christian virtue properly describes only the abstention from marriage and even then it is only a positive virtue if it is done for the purpose of dedicating one’s life to the Kingdom.

    It is never a positive virtue to abstain from homosexual activity, rather it is simply obeying the command not to sin. It is rather like the difference between a voluntary financial gift to the Church and not stealing out of the collection plate.

    One is a virtue. The other is merely an obligation.

        • Church of Jesus?
          There are almost no churches of Jesus anymore.
          They mostly disappeared with the Dark Ages.

          And thank goodness.

          “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints!
          Peace? No…I am impatient to bring DIVISION!.” (Luke 12:49-51)

        • So that is what you call it.

          So John, who made you the sole arbiter of interpretations of the Bible?
          Isn’t it a bit narcissistic to assume in a faith with hundreds of varied sects must conform to your interpretation of the texts?

          We know a significant number of faiths/sects which use the same texts as you do but don’t come to the same conclusions or look at them from a different angle. Of course the stock response is to say “they are all wrong”. But you base that solely on your personal opinion and it carries no inherent weight. No sect or faith will disband on your say so. Your willingness to accept their beliefs are immaterial to the existence of such groups.

    • You are right but the Christian who is also gay has to explain why he or she isn’t likely to get married (to someone of the opposite sex). If they attempt to do that using ordinary conversational language, they usually end up saying something like “I’m gay so I have decided to remain celibate” That makes it sound like they are pursuing celibacy as a vocation rather than just explaining why they aren’t interested in getting married.

      The other option is to tell lies – which isn’t very virtuous either.

          • …if you want to be a member of the Church of Frank. Since he is obviously the sole spokesperson for all of Christendom. Jesus has personally come down from heaven to grant him such authority.

          • Sad to say, Larry is accurate. Frank simply cannot accept that all Americans have Freedom FROM Frank’s peculiar, hateful “church.”

          • since there are 38,000 branches of christianity-includign one of your own, pretty sure most have made up their own god!!

        • They can seek out an ‘affirming’ church Larry but some don’t. Why they don’t do that (according to their own understanding and expressed in their own words) is the whole point of this article.

          • Exactly. I am not disagreeing with you. All I am saying is the option has been there for people willing to take it. Some don’t. That is their decision.

            My point is that the conflict between being gay and being Christian is not an absolute for the entire faith. Those who claim it is are really speaking only for their own churches or POV.

  7. Michael Bussee

    Alan Chambers must have changed his mind about celibacy. In his book he says:

    “This is why I believe that it is so important to clarify that just living a celibate gay life is just as sinful as living a sexually promiscuous one. The sin is in identifying with anything that is contrary to Christ, which homosexuality clearly is.” ~ “God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door”, Page (218)

      • Michael Bussee

        Yes, I agree with you, Larry. The timing is interesting. Some folks in the article are praising this “lifelong celibacy for LGBT people” as a “great option” and a “big change”. It’s not. It’s the same old message that LGBT relationships are psychologically “broken”, morally inferior and less deserving of equality under law. The only thing that has “changed” is that they have given up on “change”.

        • The Christian claim isn’t that “LGBT relationships are psychologically “broken”, morally inferior and less deserving of equality under law”. The Christian claim is that gay sex is sinful. You know that Michael, so why phrase it the other way?

          • It’s no sin to be gay. The only people still making that ridiculous claim are those who live in segregated communities and have never met loving LGBT couples. There are 4 million Christians alive today (2% of 2.1 billion worldwide) who are LGBT. God made them that way and God never condemned them; only prejudiced men did that. Fortunately, more and more churches are repenting of their old human prejudice against God’s Rainbow Children.
            “Being prejudiced against a person for their sexual orientation is every bit as evil as Apartheid ever was.” – Bishop Desmond Tutu

          • Michael Bussee

            You are right, Joe. I should have added that: ” It’s the same old message that LGBT relationships are psychologically “broken”, morally inferior and less deserving of equality under law — and yes, SINFUL” and that you will suffer in Hell for eternity if you don’t “repent”.

            I also could have added — “Not to mention that many Christians support the idea that gayness should be a crime, that it is caused by demons, that LGBT people are a threat to children, that their parents somehow “caused” them to be gay, that they “chose” to be gay, that they can become heterosexual if they really want to, that anti-bullying programs are really just efforts to “promote the homosexual lifestyle”, that “God will judge America”, that you should be able to fire an LGBT person just for being LGBT and that Christians should be allowed to discriminate against LGBT people if their religion says it’s OK.

          • Michael, I do want to point out that many of us at Spiritual Friendship have been speaking out quite explicitly against many of the things you say “many Christians support.” For example, in my own posts, I’ve specifically countered about half of the ideas you mention. Sadly, I have to agree that these are indeed ideas that many Christians support, or there would be no need to speak against them. I just want to make sure it’s clear to people unfamiliar with our movement that we agree with your condemnation of many of these ideas, and we certainly wouldn’t associate ourselves with most of them.

  8. Celibacy is grossly immoral and selfish
    Unless you are determined to live in a bubble.

    To deny sex to yourself is foolish enough,
    But to deny it to the one who loves you is just evil.

    And for what?
    Denying yourself the use of your fully functional left foot would accomplish what, exactly?

    The idea that a God would care about such a thing is one of the most evil
    despicable things ever invented by humanity. Garbage.

  9. The Great God Pan

    ” “For those who have a more affirming position, it’s as if we’re repressed, self-hated homophobes,”

    Well, yeah. It’s your business if you want to live you life that way, but that’s not an inaccurate description.

  10. Michael Bussee

    So Alan Chambers is now endorsing lifelong celibacy as a “great option”? Remarkable. He must have changed his mind since 2006. He used to argue that it was sinful because it denied the hope and reality of “change”.

    “Pro-exgay blogger Disputed Mutability calls the Exodus leaders’ new [2006] book, God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door, “profoundly alienating.”

    DM is especially dismayed at Exodus leaders Alan Chambers and Mike Goeke for their assertion that celibacy is sinful and for their sloppy repudiation of official Roman Catholic policy on both celibacy and the unlikelihood of so-called “change.” ~ Michael Airhart

    http://www.exgaywatch.com/2006/10/new-book-by-exo/

  11. The Great God Pan

    “Rosaria Butterfield, a former lesbian who rejects the “ex-gay” label…”

    What? She prefers “former lesbian” to “ex-gay?” These people sure have to perform a lot of contortions to reconcile their sexuality with their religion… “I’m not ex-gay, I’m formerly lesbian!” OK, lady. Whatever you say.

    • If she does prefer the one over the other it would seem quite odd since the two terms are really synonymous. It would beg the question, “Do they prefer one term over the other term because of negative connotations already associated with ‘ex-gay’ or do they somehow see the two as different terms?”

    • I didn’t get the sense that Ms. Butterfield prefers the term “former lesbian.” It seems like she doesn’t identify her sexuality at all, and the journalist simply had to make a decision for clarity’s sake.

  12. Wonderful article. I have been increasingly moved by the issue of homosexuality and how believers respond not only to mainstream practicing homosexuals, but believers who live with SSA. A question I have never been able to ask is, Why is marriage for companionship never posed? A common thread throughout the celibacy debate is loneliness. If a same sex partnership is unacceptable, then what about finding a very good friend of the opposite gender who is also SS attracted and live together as partners? I am not referring to hetero conversion because both are going in aware of the unique challenges. Sexual longings may still remain for both, but it would be a less lonely existence, would it not? Couldn’t couples even choose to procreate even if they do not have a regular sexual relationship or adopt? There are heterosexual couples who are celibate for a number of reasons, including medical. Their marriages are not invalidated by their lack of sex. SSA couples who marry for companionship would still identify as gay, but they could lean on one another and navigate their struggles together. I find that idea quite beautiful. Perhaps I am demonstrating too much naivety?

    • This is a capitol idea! As an old-timer, I remember such arrangments fondly. If such marriages of conveneince were good enough for the likes of Cole Porter and Rock Hudson, then they are certanly good enough for modern Americans, I say. Let’s go retro for Christ, America!

    • Michael Bussee

      In past articles, Julie Rodgers has written of the loneliness she feels and has expressed a hope that perhaps a nice Christian family would take her in and let her live with them so that she would have someone to share the “every day” moments of life. She says she can toast a lesbian friend’s wedding, but cannot have that for herself.

      Instead, she has to be content with come and go meetings with friends who really can’t be there like a spouse or family can. I find this terribly sad — that she thinks God expects her (and other LGBT Christians) to sacrifice their God-given and healthy desires for romance, love, companionship, sexual intimacy and marriage on some altar of personal holiness.

      Why would a loving God do such a thing? Why would he give us hearts and bodies that yearn for emotional/spiritual/sexual union — and then say “You must not have that”? It would be like God giving us eyes and expecting us to walk about with blindfolds on, or give us ears and expect us to wear earplugs so we can’t hear the music.

      • So what, if any, effect did the fall have on human sexuality? I see the argument that God made me this way as not fully integrating a theology of the fall on humankind. If we think it touches every aspect of life, then at what level are our sexual orientations and inclinations affected by this?

      • She’s also written a lot about the joys and advantages she finds in her particular situation that married couples often do not enjoy. There are also many celibate Christians who live with a partner in some form or another.

      • Stefan Stackhouse

        Something that is not being mentioned at all here is the American way of life and how it contributes to that loneliness. We are all spread out in our separate houses, drive around in our separate cars, and everything else about our society adds up to a profound degree of alienation. It isn’t just celibate Christians who are facing this problem.

        Need I say that there is nothing in the scriptures that particularly ordains or condones the American way of life. There may be more than a few passages that could call into question various elements of it.

        There are other ways that a society could be organized, ways that bring people much more closely together in true and vibrant community. I am convinced that part of my Christian calling is not to accept the way life in America is now uncritically, and to do what little I can to build a stronger and closer local community. Each of us has some things we could do to reach out to and love our neighbors, and to bring us all closer.

        Some Christians might be called to take this a radical step further and try to form and live in some type of intentional community. It is not an easy path to take, but it is by no means a new path, and there are models of both success and failure from which to learn.

        • Excellent points and agreed! I have 5 kids 12 and under and my husband and I feel very isolated from other believers even though we are involved with a local church. People are too busy, live too far apart and are too self-involved. We would love intentional community, but the American way of life like you described is pervasive and strong. We do not know how to foster it or move forward, especially being introverts. I applaud your calling, Stefan. We need more Christians like you willing to remove roadblocks.

      • For that matter, why would God refuse to let three guys or three gals (or just a mix-matched group of consenting adults) practice and celebrate THEIR God-given love for each other too? Why not just “anything goes”?

        • He doesn’t.

          God LOVES polygamy.

          He loves sexual slavery.

          He loves human trafficking.

          He loves crimes against humanity.

          Have you read any part of the Old Testament besides Leviticus?

    • I think the answer to your question is about love. Two opposite sex people who are attracted to the same sex could live together and enjoy each others company, but it would be quite different from a romantic love situation. I think that the main issue people have with the ex-gay vs. celibacy debate is that both situations lead to living your life without someone who loves you (the whole you) for you. I also believe that this is why couples who may be celibate (for emotional, religious, or physical reasons) can still work better than the relationship you suggested, the celibate straight couple still can fall or be in love with each other.

      No matter how good or close a friend is, the relationship with them could never replace the relationship of someone that you are in love with. Both ‘change’ and celibacy block someone from finding someone they could fall in love with.

      • I don’t think “love” is a magical thing. If two people of any gender or sexual orientation commit themselves to one another, enjoy being together, support each other and sacrifice for each other, isn’t that love? Even if they don’t have sex, I don’t think we get to cheapen their relationships by implying that it’s not “real” love. Most straight people will say that the best aspect of being married is that they get to spend all their time with their best friend. The lines between friendship and romantic love are more blurred than we recognize.

      • Frank is lying about the children of same gender parents. Even US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote about how the 2008 California anti-gay H8te Vote was clearly intended to injure the tens of thousands of California children of same gender California parents.

    • Ben in oakalnd

      Why. It sounds to me like you are trying to redefine marriage from “penis into vagina and nothing else” to “man and woman living together with no penis into no vagina, no children, no love, no romance, no family.”

      Why are you people always trying to redefine marriage?

  13. Ex-gay = Bisexual that ignores their same sex attractions.

    Biblical marriage?
    There are NINE different types of marriage in the Bible. (Including Levirate marriage, where a man is obliged to marry his dead brother’s wife, slave marriage, Polygamy,etc.)

  14. I’m a gay Catholic blogger who takes the traditional view (like Eve Tushnet does), and I rather liked this article. Insofar as mixed-orientation marriages do happen on occasion — Alan Chambers and his wife being one example, Melinda Selmys (of “Sexual Authenticity”) and her husband being another — I kind of hesitate to describe dropping the ex-gay approach as a turn to celibacy per se, and for me personally, there’s the further embarrassment that I’m, uh, not exactly well-behaved sexually; but unfortunately everyone seems to have settled on the phrase “gay celibate,” so I guess that’s that for terminology, for now anyway.

    It’s certainly true that celibacy, whether for gay people or anyone else, is not a new option. For that matter, the idea that ex-gay therapies are in some way the traditional approach is a little ahistorical, since such therapies didn’t exist until the twentieth century; whereas Christian teaching on the subject of gay sex has existed for two thousand years (not that it’s specially or solely Christian by any means, but that need not detain us). I don’t see that either newness or oldness affects the question one way or the other. Surely the question is what is right, not what is either progressive or traditional. And, yes, it’s going to be hard if not impossible to find agreement on that question, but better to acknowledge that than to criticize positions we disagree with on totally inconsequential grounds.

    I’m kind of scratching my head over the assertion made by a commenter that it’s evil to withhold sex from someone who loves you, which, to be blunt, sounds (unintentionally I am quite sure) kind of rapey. Even apart from a specifically Christian and sacramental theory of what sex is, I should think we can all agree that it’s perfectly moral to not have sex, on no further grounds than preferring not to? To say otherwise seems like it opens up the idea that being attracted to someone gives you some kind and degree of rights over their body, and that, even if it doesn’t justify rape, strikes me as insanely creepy — and to elevate the importance of sex, as an expression of love or otherwise, in a way that I really don’t understand.

    As far as celibate gay Christians being repressed, self-hating homophobes, well, yes, some of us are. So are some people still involved in the ex-gay movement. For that matter, so are some gay-affirming people: much though we might all wish it could, self-hatred cannot be sexed away. Internalized homophobia is a real problem, but I don’t believe it can be conflated with or blamed on any one set of political or religious beliefs, and I think it’s shallow to assume that a person is psychologically diseased with no further evidence than that they disagree with you. Of course, they might be psychologically diseased; but I think that ought to be evaluated on more objective, and broader, criteria than whether they have an active sex life or not. If you actually know someone personally, then sure, having an opinion on that might make sense, though it might also be a little tasteless to broadcast one’s belief that a personal friend is a headcase. But without knowing someone, it seems virtually impossible to evaluate their mental health on any grounds except ideological ones, and ideology is not medicine.

    • The Great God Pan

      ” Of course, they might be psychologically diseased; but I think that ought to be evaluated on more objective, and broader, criteria than whether they have an active sex life or not.”

      The criterion in question is the reason for their lack of a sexual and romantic life, not the mere fact of its absence. They aren’t stoics or enlightened zen masters who have freed themselves from worldly desires, and presumably most of them aren’t too physically deformed or socially inept to attract anyone. They just think same-sex attraction is dirty and sinful.

    • Gabriel: “I’m kind of scratching my head over the assertion made by a commenter that it’s evil to withhold sex from someone who loves you, which, to be blunt, sounds (unintentionally I am quite sure) kind of rapey. ”

      LOL – he’s been watching too much Game of Thrones

  15. To continue to argue with Larry is to wallow with the pigs… You not only get dirty but the pigs like it. He doesn’t believe in any absolute truth. To him every thing is relative and open to interpretation. From that position he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Anything he claims to believe can only be his personal opinion and should have no impact or relevance to anyone else…

    • You just hate the fact that I won’t take your authority to speak on behalf of all Christianity seriously. Maybe you should avoid canned arguments and invoking phony authority.

      Nobody is actually arguing with me here. I am just representing things in the most honest way possible. Free of euphemism, canned statements and assumptions. I can’t help it if you intentionally ignore the elephant in the room. A myriad of Christian sects who purposefully do not ascribe to the same ideas as you and others. Of course you know better than them because of ….why?

      “Anything he claims to believe can only be his personal opinion and should have no impact or relevance to anyone else…”

      It doesn’t. It never did. How many “Affirming Christian” sects have disappeared because of the stirring interpretations and arguments posed by people like yourself? None. Obviously fellow Christians don’t even take your interpretations seriously as the only ones available.

      The facts speak for themselves. If you consider that wallowing in the mud, then you have a lot of trouble dealing with things in an honest, straightforward manner.

  16. This makes me so sad. We have one life to live and these people are allowing this nonsense to interfere with their enjoyment of it. Connecting to another person sexually is one of the great joys of our existence. I deeply regret my years of celibacy and I am angry at the institution that imposed it upon me with guilt and shame, not to mention the lies they believe. But at least as a single heterosexual woman I had reason to hopeful. Gay Christians are given no such hope other than someday you’re going to be with Jesus and that will make all the sacrifices on Earth pale in comparison.

    That’s not going to happen. You are going to die having dedicated your only life to a folly. And there is an inverse to Pascal’s wager–When you die, you will in fact have lost something, the only chance to live fully the only life you have.

    The only mercy is that you will not be conscious and therefore will not know what you have sacrificed for nothing.

    • It is true that when we die, we are not conscious of anything at all, or sleeping in death (Ecclesiastes 9:5,10); however, the good news is that those we have lost to death, for whatever reason, have the hope of being resurrected back to life on a cleansed earth (John 5:28,29; Acts. 24:15).

      This will come about through God’s kingdom or heavenly government (Daniel 2:44), with Jesus as King, and his 144,000 co-rulers or born-again Christians, during their upcoming 1,000-year rule (Revelation 14:1-3).

      All the miracles that Jesus performed in the Gospel accounts, including curing the sick, lame and blind, and resurrecting the dead are a preview of what God’s kingdom will soon do for mankind on a worldwide basis during those 1,000 years. :-D

        • Alex,
          These are promises from God and everything he foretells or purposes comes to pass; besides that, he cannot lie.

          When all of these promises are fulfilled in the near future, and after the preaching of the “good news of God’s kingdom is preached worldwide” (Matthew 24:14 before the end of this era) and is completed to God’s satisfaction, you will get your proof that it is true.

          This will be done according to God’s timeframe and at the best and most beneficial time for mankind. I have peace of mind and feel serene in this crazy world we live in because I have something to look forward to.

          What do you have to look forward to?

          • These are not ‘promises’ from god.
            they are claims being made by you, based on scraps of texts found in an incoherent pile of books called the Bible; a blood-spattered story about a conflicted, rape-loving, slave-loving, killer god who turned himself into his own son for the purpose of committing suicide as a way to impress his creation with his peculiar sense of justice.

            Wish-thinking is not good for people.

          • Carolyn Hyppolite

            I have this life to look forward to. I am looking forward to watching a good comedy tonight, solving some problems for my employer, having dinner with a good friend tomorrow, meeting up with other good friends on Sunday.

            I am looking forward to many years of life of Earth that is productive, that contributes to the well-being of others and that is filled with loving relationships.

            Yes, this world is sometimes crazy but it is also wonderful and it is worth living and it is of course the only world we already know we have.

            This is not a dress rehearsal and there is no do over. Now is the most precious moment we have. Here is the most important place.

            It is tragic to waste it on a fantasy.

          • @Carolyn,

            Exactly how I feel too. What a wonderful life – so sad to waste the good stuff thinking it is ‘sinful’.
            Religion spreads misery while denying real joys.

    • Stefan Stackhouse

      The Christian faith is that this life and this world isn’t all there is, and isn’t even the main thing that is. The Christian hope is that there is something much better to come, something worth waiting for and something worth giving up things now – even our present life, if it comes to that – for the sake of reaching the better things that are to come.

      You are completely free to disbelieve and reject this. But this IS at the heart of the Christian faith, and faithful Christians are going to believe this and live it, whether or not people like you are in approval.

      And as for Pascal’s wager: If we are wrong, then one second after we lose consciousness forever we’ll never know that we were wrong, we’ll never care about what we missed out on, none of that will matter. As far as that goes, the very same thing will apply to you. On the other hand, however, if our faith proves to be correct, then our death is by no means the end of the story, and both what has happened in our past and what is to come will matter very much, and we will be very much aware of it all.

      • The problem with Pascal’s wager is it posits disingenuous belief based solely on self-interest. If God exists, your belief in him is immaterial to the situation.

        If God is so venal and vain that he would damn people simply for failing to praise him sufficiently, then is this a being worthy of respect and fealty?

        If instead you live as sterling example to others, a God worthy of respect would not damn them for dilatory things such not giving him the hosannas and praises for the public to see.

        Who should be more likely to get into heaven?

        A selfish, hateful, dishonest person who goes to church every Sunday or

        An Atheist who is generous, loving, and lives a decent moral life

        • Let me guess. You see YOURSELF as that noble “generous decent and loving” Atheist, don’t you?

          You don’t even see yourself as a fellow human sinner, needing God’s salvation from your own sins and mess, do you?

          You don’t even see Atheism as one of those sins, (despite the clear words of Psalm 14:1 and Romans 1:20), do you?

          Yet you say you’re more likely to go to that very same God’s heaven, or else that God is not worthy of YOUR almighty respect. Is that correct, Larry?

          • Doc, you are a perfect example of what I am talking about!
            Thank you for demonstrating my point.

            I never called your church phony or any others.

            I never advocated attacks on others.

            I don’t look for excuses to deny charity to children.

            I never was so blinded by zealotry as to deny the fruits of studied observations and accumulated knowledge.

            I don’t look for excuses to ostracize others or seek legalized discrimination.

            So compared to an ignorant, hateful Bible wielding frothing at the mouth Christian like yourself, I AM a better person. :)

        • According to JESUS
          Paul Newman is in Hell,

          Paul Newman, Founder of the charity “Newman’s Own” which raised $370 Million for sick children …

          And founder of the charity …”The Hole in the Wall” Summer Camp for Children with TERMINAL CANCER.

          And husband of Joanne Woodward for 50 years….

          Is in ETERNAL HELL – BECAUSE HE WAS AN ATHEIST!

  17. First off, this isn’t exactly a “new approach” to the issue of being ex-gay. For YEARS ex-gays have been shouting “change is possible” from the pulpit and whispering “… a change in behavior, not orientation” in the pews. That they’re now shouting “change in behavior!” from the pews shows that they’re being more forthright. Please also note that “Side B” Gay Christians have existed for years and I believe were looked down upon by ex-gays as not having tried hard enough to “change.”

    And jeesh, what IS it with Frank and commenting on every single religious article having to do with gays. He’s obsessed. Why acceptance of gay people in certain religions is such a threat to him personal I’ll never know, although I’m sure plenty can speculate the reasons.

      • Except he attacks other Christians who do not share his hate.

        Its funny that I am showing more respect to people who identify as Christians (although I am atheist) than some people here who identify as Christians. I am not calling churches phony it denying their belief, but frank and others are. Christians don’t need outsiders to oppose. They attack each other rather freely.

          • What about this lie?

            “Bats are a kind of Bird” – God

            “These are the BIRDS you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, any kind of heron…THE BAT..” – (Leviticus 11:13-19)

          • Robert Thompson

            Frank – Atheist Max’s comments are not falling on deaf ears.
            Religion is weaved into society in many positive and negative ways.
            But Max is sometimes original and he does occasionally surprise me with a good zinger. Seems you like the power religion gives you more than anything else.

    • Michael Bussee

      “For YEARS ex-gays have been shouting “change is possible” from the pulpit and whispering “… a change in behavior, not orientation” in the pews.”

      Yes. Truer words were never spoken. It’s called “bait and switch”.

      “Oh, you thought we meant that you could become heterosexual if you had enough faith? Sorry, it’s not really that. Our bad. Let us clarify: You can leave the lifestyle and become celibate, but you’ll always have the affliction of same-sex attraction. Learn to live with it.”

      (Or as Alan Chambers wrote: “We wish we had been a lot more honest about change”.)

      Us too, Alan. Us too.

  18. Here’s the thing that I want to point out … other than priests, monks, nuns, gays and lesbians I never hear anyone talk about being “celibate”.

    I have NEVER heard of a straight Christian talk about being celibate or having the gift of celibacy.

    Yes, I know people who are waiting to have sex until they get married …. although I think most people who say that don’t end up doing it… or they do everything except have intercourse which isn’t really waiting at all … but celibacy only seems to be embraced by some specific people in ministry (like priests, nuns and monks).

    Celibacy became mandatory for priests so the church could protect it’s financial interests (no heirs), monks practice celibacy in the same spirit that they deny themselves other cultural norms and comforts in order to focus more on the spirituality of life, and as far as nuns go some people say that the commitment to celibacy and joining a nunnery actually allowed women from another time to pursue leadership and interests such as medicine, teaching, science etc that they could not have pursued otherwise.

    I don’t know about monks but we all know priests have sex and I’ve heard there is a fair amount of sex between nuns.

    Celibacy for lesbians and gays is not a gift or a calling – it’s a curse, a punishment, a restriction – and having people write and talk about it sends a toxic and damaging message because the only reason I’ve ever heard any LGBT person give for being celibate is because they believe sex between two people of the same sex is a sin and the only way to please God is to have sex and marriage be only between a man and a woman or else not have sex or marry at all.

    That is a message that often leads to feelings of despair, depression and shame that can lead to self-hate which often results in self destructive behavior including suicide.

    • The gifts of singleness and marriage (one man and one woman) are mentioned in the Bible. They are honored ways of life – gifts from God to us. There is also the “gift of suffering” (for Christ) but few people would choose suffering as a vocation.

      The “gifts of the Spirit” are something different and some people tend to conflate the two ideas – as if one needs a special ability to be either single or married (although we are promised that God will not let us be tempted beyond our ability in either situation).

  19. It is so sad to read these posts following onto the original article. To think that the greatest gift of physical self expression available to humans should be, for any reason, relegated to impropriety when expressed in a loving and caring way is so very, very sad. It makes me think that those who do not relate to this real bereavement must be physical and emotional eunuchs of some sort. I’m quite certain that those who inveigh for chastity for GLBTQ persons are quite free, themselves, to express themselves sexually, but would like to hold their self-righteousness up as superiority. They are, by god, living according to the Levitical law, and so should everyone else. The Roman church still maintains a flat Earth mentality–witness the fact that Galileo was just allowed out of hell in 1994–so why would anyone decide to make such an ignorant institution the arbiter of morality? Jesus made it quite simple: Love God with your heart, soul, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. He specified nothing about sexual orientation. The Roman church’s vendetta against LGBTQ persons is emotional Gulag. I know what I would tell anyone to told me that for moral reason I was not to express the most satisfying and self-expressive potential my physical body could enjoy in union with a lover. I would tell them that they could enjoy that hell if it was their choice. It is not mine!

    • @James Fitz,

      Saddest of all, you are still not realizing that religion is what causes the inhumanity you are bemoaning.

      “Judge [them] unworthy…remove your blessings of PEACE” (Matt 10:13)
      “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints! I am impatient to bring..DIVISION.” (Luke 12:49-51)
      “Hate your parents…hate your life”(Luke 14:26)

      Morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told.
      Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right.

      “bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

      Religion is the source of the problem. Jesus is garbage.

  20. Thank you for writing this article Sarah. It’s fascinating. People on all sides of this discussion need to listen to these voices and respect the stories they have to tell.

  21. Why not mention Courage*? Take Courage, and don’t ‘throw the bath out with the baby water,’ as ministries helping youth out of sexual identity confusion do have value! In today’s sex-saturated, anything goes societies, many children struggle with the myriad of ideologies imposed on them. Many will have passing thoughts of homosexual acts in reaction to exposure at younger ages to homosexual acts, pornography, and/or abuse by adults. For those who aren’t ‘indelibly gay’, they should receive deliverance from sex addiction/ confusion. For those individuals who identify with homosexuality and who choose celibacy, (as a heterosexual who had struggled with adolescent sex abuse through failed relationships into years of abstinence bordering on a permanent celibate religious vocation and ultimately married family life) I see your path as commendable! Human beings can learn to not require sex to lead a content happy and full life! h* ttp://couragerc. org

  22. I see some comments that amount to either “the Bible condemns ALL homosexuality. Period.” OR “All sex is wrong except for sex between one man and one woman in heterosexual marriage.” Most of the time, folks cite New Testament scriptures that condemn sexual sin in general to support these specific claims.

    The problem with this approach is that New Testament writers (and Jesus) cited Old Testament scripture as their authority on moral issues. Jesus upheld every last partial letter of the Law (Matt. 5:17-19). The Law specifically forbade adding commands to it (Deut. 4:2), and Jesus scolded religious leaders for adding commands God had not given. Ironically, many people today interpret Jesus as making morality stricter with new commands.

    Paul too, cited OT scripture (the only scripture available at the time) as useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16) – a completely incorrect statement if Paul actually changed morality such that non-forbidden acts suddenly became sinful. Acts 17:11 also praises the Bereans for verifying Paul’s teaching through searching the scriptures. Again, they were searching the OT because that was the only scripture available at the time.

    Why do I emphasize that Jesus, Paul, and other NT teachers got their ideas about sexual sin from the OT?

    Because the OT doesn’t condemn nearly as many sex acts as many modern conservative churches do.

    Read Leviticus 18 for yourself. It’s incredibly specific. Ask yourself whether God failed to adequately forbid things that were sexually sinful. What’s NOT forbidden in this chapter or elsewhere in the OT? Things like polygamy, female homosexuality, masturbation, and sex between unmarried non-virgins in general.

    “Oh, but God MEANT lots of other prohibitions he did not state,” some will say. NO, look at the specific things God SAID.” Do not put words in God’s mouth. He went to the trouble of specifically forbidding some sex acts but not others, so do not make His commands moot by adding additional prohibitions He did not make. He knew what He was doing. If God’s specific commands were not sufficient, then they were not a reliable way to know right from wrong, and they did not actually help God’s people know what God expected of them.

    If you’re reluctant to believe that God only forbade the sex acts He meant to forbid, leaving other sex acts as morally innocent, please consider the following scenarios:

    Pretend you are Moses. You learn that a couple Israelite women are having sex with each other. Do you confront them and tell them they are sinning? If so, what scripture do you use? What command do you tell them they are breaking, using scripture available to you under the Law?

    Pretend you are the apostle Paul. Some of the Christians you teach are concerned because there are a couple women who claim Christ yet have sex with each other. Do you confront those women and tell them they are sinning? If so, what scripture do you use? What command do you tell them they are breaking, using scripture available to you in the first century?

    How about with polygamy – You believe that God only approves a sexual relationship between one man and one woman in marriage, so you are troubled when you find out that someone in your church has two wives and personally facilitated another man having several wives. What scriptures would you cite to confront him? What would you say when you realize that the one you are confronting is God Himself (2 Sam 12:8 and Jer. 3:8, 31:32)?

    Folks often cite Genesis 2:24 as a command against things like polygamy or homosexuality, even though the verse does not mention either of those things. What folks typically do NOT do, though, is consider what the verse actually DOES mention. If Gen. 2:24 is indeed a command, not simply a statement of what will happen in history, then a man sins if he remains in the same house as his aging parents to care for them (“a man SHALL LEAVE his father and mother”). A man also sins if he remains single (“a man SHALL… cleave to his wife). Obviously, neither of those conclusions is true, so the verse cannot be taken as a command, much less a prohibition of things it doesn’t even mention.

    From my perspective, lots of folks point NT scriptures condemning sexual sin in general, saying that those general condemnations apply to whatever they think is sinful. A far better approach would be to look at the scriptures available to Jesus, Paul, and other NT writers, noting specifically what those scriptures forbade by command, what they condemned in life examples, AND specifically what they did not forbid or condemn.

    • @Jamie,

      “A far better approach would be to look at the scriptures available to Jesus, Paul, and other NT writers”

      Jesus was not a ‘writer’. And nobody knows who wrote the New Testament.
      There is nothing in this empty box.

      JUST LOOK AT THE GOD PARADOX:

      “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

      But, god, what is the alternative? When there’s only one God?

      Or are there more gods? But we must not aknowledge them?
      OR (and this is the funny part) there is no god per se, but the others are made – by whom? – Not God? – of course not!

      This god is saying ‘don’t invent other gods the way you invented ME!
      “God” is acknowledging that the gods are all made by us, humans!
      Because God didn’t make the other gods!

      Your god is an invention of human minds – believe what you want,
      but without evidence of its existence, you should not try to act like some wise moral arbiter or center of knowledge!

      Cause you are in the same position,
      as some other human claiming Elvis is alive…or someone who says they just saw a UFO.

      That is where you stand,
      pointing to an empty air pocket and claiming something exists in there!

      Even God admits his existence vanishes with US!

      • Max, I did not say Jesus was a writer. Please read what I wrote.

        Please also consider that this is a discussion of homosexuality and the Bible. Whether the Bible is worth considering at all is a separate discussion. I believe it IS worth considering, which is why I wrote an appeal to others who come from that perspective.

        • @Jamie,

          I understand. But I am responding to your claims. Your claims about the supposed word of god and the supposed ‘authority’ inherent in it.

          If one is to give the bible credibility on any of these matters, one should justify that reasoning. And you have not done that.

          Also, the only contribution the bible offers regarding human sexuality
          Is NEGATIVE; to renounce it, disparage it, forbid it, control it even when the people are married!

          “Kill homosexuals” (Lev 20:13)

          The truth is far better – Nothing justifies the ‘authority’ of this ancient nonsense.

          Throw out the Bible and all of its negative proclamations
          and everyone is instantly happier.

          • Max,

            Please understand whom I am addressing. I am speaking to people who already believe the Bible has authority. Some of them are misusing the Bible to mistreat people, and I desire for them to stop.

            You wrote, “If one is to give the bible credibility on any of these matters, one should justify that reasoning. And you have not done that.”

            Agreed, and I will not attempt to justify it in this discussion. This discussion is not about whether the Bible deserves credibility. There are forums where people will be glad to debate that issue with you.

            Also consider: If you discuss things on atheist forums, surely you do not feel the need to first disprove the existence of God every time you want to debate a moral issue. His non-existence simply would be assumed except in discussions that are aimed at proving it.

            I disagree that the Bible is sex-negative. Gnostic misinterpretations of scripture are sex-negative. If you want to see how positive the Bible treats sex, I recommend the book Divine Sex by Philo Thelos. It’s not the crap theology you’re likely to hear on a Sunday morning. Also read God Is Not A Homophobe by the same author.

          • @Jamie,

            I resent being told that your claims about God
            Are more important than my question about those claims!

            You are the one promoting a book – which you refer to as AN AUTHORITY – which calls for the killing of homosexuals.

            Explain yourself!

        • Even if you believe the bible is a work of fiction, as Max does, it seems strange that it took approx 1960 years for anyone to discover the “truth” about what the “clobber passages” really say.

          All those scholars, critics and heretics down the ages didn’t notice anything until John Boswell was right on the money. And the fact that Boswell was a gay man living in America just after the sexual revolution is pure coincidence.

  23. There’s a superb uk – based website that speaks to this celibate gay issue: www.livingout.org

    A group of celibate evangelical christians with same – sex attraction put it together as a resource.

  24. Kenneth Tidball

    facebook decided to play God and not let me share comments that are germain and spiritually crucial to the conversation not only because they think they know more, but because they have become part of the problem and not the solution. Such is the nature of the liberal spiritual beast that comes from the enemy of our souls.

  25. I honestly can’t applaud these people enough. They really are witnessing to the truth that, while homosexual sexual acts are sinful, the homosexual attraction isn’t. The celibate homosexual is not guilty of sin, and I imagine it must take a purity bordering on saintly to remain abstinent in a world where it would be so easy to deny the truth and give in. I really hope churches realize this and hold them up as role models of serving God faithfully whatever their circumstances.

  26. There are several problems with the ideas in this article. If people are born gay, then it would be a cruel trick for God to require them to be celibate, which would be against their inner God-given nature.

    If people are not born gay, then being celibate doesn’t help them at all.

    If people are born gay and are intended to be intimate with same-sex partners, then what a cruel God to demand heterosexuality in His scriptures. What purpose would that serve?

    I am a born-again Christian, and I struggling with homosexuality. It’s awful in many ways, and in many ways, it’s no big deal. Several years ago, I picked up James Dobson’s book Bringing Up Boys, and I read the chapter on homosexuality, and I felt like I was a reading a biography of my childhood. And the realities of my childhood are eerily parallel with many other gay men I’ve met, if not most of them. It can’t be a coincidence. Sorry, it just can’t.

    The reality is that brokenness is written all over the gay community. They/We hide it behind phrases of “authentic self” and blaming Christians who told them they weren’t born gay. But the proof is in the pudding. Non-monogamous relationships far outnumber monogamous relationships in the gay community, which I can attest to statistically and anecdotally. In the gay community, monogamy is not assumed. Most gay men have addictions to gay porn. Gay sexuality is heavily filled with paternal imagery–daddies and sons, aggressive and subordinate, muscle and thin and younger. For many gay men, sexuality is simply a way to connect with others.

    Reparative therapy probably works for some and not for others. Homosexuality is probably like other mental health issues that are brought on by events early in life, such as bipolar disorder. There is no perfect treatment, but when we deny that people are not born gay, then we lose the ability to research and learn in order to help others.

    When I see Christians on Facebook supporting the gay life, I am deeply saddened. I am very closeted, and I want to seek professional help but financially cannot. I feel like these well-intentioned Christians are condemning me to a life of unhealthy relationships and addictions. And if I “come out” to them, then I won’t receive the support I want and will be forever labeled gay.

    • Dan,

      We are all born imperfect, and many times even babies are born with defects because of that. My twin brother was born with a severe case of Down Syndrome and has never uttered a word. So, I don’t count this as against God at all but due to the fact that something can go wrong in most early stages of our life (maybe in the chromosomes?) before birth due to imperfection we inherited from Adam and Eve.

      I firmly believe that those who are homosexual can change their lives around by studying the Bible, applying the principles it outlines, and asking for God’s help in the matter. There is one man I know about who accomplished this, married a woman and they are happily married and teaching others about God. With God, all things are possible.

      As the apostle Paul brought out, when advising what type of persons would not inherit God’s kingdom at 1Corinthians 6:9, including “men who lie with men “, verse 10 shows that there is hope because it says, “And yet , that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean, you have been sanctified, you have been declared righteous in the name of The Lord, Jesus Christ…” So it can be done!!

      Also, under the upcoming 1,000 year rule by Jesus, King of God’s kingdom or heavenly government, the benefits of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice will be applied to mankind and we will gradually achieve the perfection that Adam and Eve lost for us!!! This will no longer be a problem and I can look forward to my twin brother being restored to perfect health as well!! :-D :-D :-D

      • Replying to Fran’s comment:

        I agree that studying the Bible is important and very helpful on this topic. By studying the Bible, I do NOT mean simply reading an English rendering of scripture. That can be helpful at times, but it can also be very misleading because no English rendering is perfect or completely without bias. One must do some digging to understand what the original Greek / Hebrew words meant to the original audiences of scripture.

        With that in mind, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 cannot correctly be cited as a verse against ALL male-with-male sex (or against ANY female homosexuality). Consensual adult sex is not what Paul was talking about, nor is it what his original audience understood him to say. Arsenokoités (or arsenokoitai in the verse in question) was a specifically male act, and it was primarily an act of injustice / oppression, not of sex, as indicated by the way the word was used by other writers of the time.

        For example, the “Sibylline Oracle” and Theophilus of Antioch’s work “To Autolychus” contain lists of vices. When sexual vices are listed, Arsenokoités is not among them, but it IS listed with economic / social injustices such as theft, murder, betraying information, and swindling. These writings are not scripture, and I do not suggest they are a moral guide, but they can help us understand what people in biblical times understood Arsenokoités to mean. It is unlikely that the word in Paul’s writings meant something very different from its usage in other writings.

        • Paul knew exactly what he was talking about no matter how many times people try to explain the obvious away. Gay “marriages” existed in his day.

          Embarrassing that people still try and pass off this nonsense as any kind of refutation that all homosexual behavior is sinful

          • @ Frank – Thinking readers will notice that when someone shows you hard, verifiable facts that conflict with what you believe, you consistently respond with condescension and insults but NOT with verifiable evidence to support your viewpoint.

            I do not plan to discuss this topic with you any more. You are abusive, and I see no reason to continue tolerating it when there are plenty of folks out there willing to discuss the Bible without hurling insults.

            For those who might be willing to read verifiable evidence and a thorough examination of scripture including Greek word studies, please consider the book “God Is Not A Homophobe” by Philo Thelos.

          • Jamie you have provided zero evidence that all homosexual behavior is not sinful. It is best for you to divorce yourself from this losing debate. You cannot change the truth.

      • And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Thanks for the words of affirmation. Self love is at the core of well-being, joy, self-esteem, and your ability to enjoy life. Let me tell you a secret my awful judgemental disciples don’t want you to know; God is happy with you just the way you are.”

        And his disciples scoffed at his words and started following homophobic misogynist Paul instead.

  27. Courage member

    Chaste celibacy is probably the best approach. It’s the one taken by Courage, the Catholic ministry for those struggling with same-sex attraction, of which I am member.

    I think there are theological reasons why Protestants have difficulty with chaste celibacy. I believe it’s a reaction that goes directly back to Martin Luther against the Catholic priesthood, and since then it has been deeply ingrained over many generations. At some point, a Protestant has to admit that it is indeed possible to be a eunuch for the Kingdom, though he did not choose it. (Matthew 19:12)

    Having said that, I nevertheless don’t think it’s a good idea to throw away reparative therapy merely because it doesn’t work in 2/3rds of the cases. A significant change does occur in some, and this becomes hope for many. Much depends on how young a person is and/or how deeply they have been involved in the lifestyle.

    There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

  28. Honestly I think they are looking at it the right way, but with the wrong focus. We all have sins, my sins are no greater or less than any “gay” persons. I still am attracted to my vast variety of sins, and I always will be, because I am a fallen sinner in desperate need of God’s Mercy and Grace. I am not going to wake up tomorrow no matter how much I pray and find out that my wrongful fetishes (immoral not illegal) and their portrayal in pornography etc… is no longer attractive to me.
    But I do not identify with my sins I do not identify myself as a lustful, wrathful gluttonous, slothful etc… Christian. I may crave them at times, I may beg God to purge them from me, I may fail at times to resist. But I identify with my better nature in Christ what I am in Christ, not what I am without Christ.
    A sin is something we do, a sinner is something we were until Christ took our sins upon the cross in a sacrifice so great that I can not fathom it.
    So I do not focus on what I am, but what I am become through Christ. A broken sinner who’s flesh was weak, but in Christ has been made whole and brought into the fellowship of Christ.
    So to those who are “gay/ex-gay” Christians. Do not identify with your sins, Christ has died for them, you are a normal Christian, not a member of a specific subset of Christians. Your sins are not unique, they are the same in God’s eyes. You are a child of God and my fellow in Christ. He has called us to a better nature, let us strive to be more like Christ and strive to purge the sin from our lives, and when we fail as we often will, let us not get complacent with the idea that some sin is ok, but let us strive all the more until that day when Christ returns and all is made whole.

  29. Here’s something to think about —

    Jesus seldom mentions the word sin and almost never refers to it.

    About a dozen times or so.

    What a great role-model-example for all to follow.

    If he seldom used the word, then shouldn’t we do the same ?

    Why should there ever be an emphasis on using the word sin to bring about harm and hatred upon others ?

    Why so much enthusiasm to use the word sin to —

    1. Condemn ?
    2. Judge ?
    3. Engage in all manner of fault finding ?
    4. Be constantly accusatory of others ?

    Aren’t there enough bible based faults in any life that should keep everyone busy with removing what’s in their own eyes before they see enough to remove what they don’t like in someone else’s eyes ?

    Cheer…

    • @Billysees,

      You know it is unfair to chastise gays and other ‘sinners’ so you reach to the Bible for help. I understand why you do this. As a non-believer I simply do not want to hurt ANYONE or cause pain to ANYONE. I see the unfairness and I hate it.

      But reaching for the Bible is a dead end.
      THE NEW TESTAMENT (never mind the OT) is completely against decent behavior, fairness and civilized conversation.

      SHUN THEM, DISCARD THEM, PUNISH THEM, AVOID THEM:

      “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

      “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

      “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting” (2 John 1:10)

      “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)

      “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)

      “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” (Matthew 18:15)

      “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:9-11)

      “Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)

      “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

      “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

      and on
      and on
      and on…

      You won’t find anything more absolutist, divisive, judgmental and self-righteous until you read the Quran.

      Religion is a blunder. A complete fiasco.

    • @Billysees,

      Think about this:

      “..we command you…in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…keep away from anyone who is…not in accord with the tradition you received from us.”
      (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

      Breath in the full implications of being commanded ‘in the name of the Lord’ to judge people harshly.

      The next step is easy:

      “execute them” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

  30. We should understand — 1 Cor 4:20 plus Rom 14:17

    “The ‘Kingdom of God’ is not in “word” (scripture verse), but “power” (Spirit of God in us)……..….it’s not food and drink but “righteousness” (good works and deeds) and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”.

    That helps us realize the simplicity in believing. It simplifies what we should expect from our Christian faith.

    And we shouldn’t forget —
    Paul, the major NT contributor, expressed his knowledge and understanding in the following way —

    1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…

    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

    So when and how will we know things completely? When and how will we see things perfectly?

    The answers will come in time, as we allow the Spirit of God, which makes things happen, to show us more and more.

    LGBT acceptance and the meaningful relationships associated with this acceptance are one of the things we are being shown today.

    • You really haven’t looked deeply into this have you? God doesn’t see people as gay. God needs no stereotype or group to generalize. He is omnipotent omnipresent and omniscient. He treats everyone as individuals with individual sins. He knows every individuals condition and soul personally better than a parent knows a child or a person knows themselves.

      Gay is just an act you commit, to God you are his child (rebellious children that we all are) and that how he sees you.

      God has a perfect plan for your life, it may not be the plan you want.

      When I was a child, a diet of Doritos sounded amazing, I was convinced if I could eat Doritos every day I would be happy. My parents disagreed. Now years later I see their wisdom was greater than mine at the time.

      If you believe in Christ, you accept that his wisdom is greater than yours. That his plan for your life is greater than your wants and desires.

      Where did God ever say he wants us to do whatever makes us happy? He said follow him and all things will work together for good. We deny ourselves in order to be more like Christ. Early Christians debated complete celibacy over heterosexual marriage it is a interesting thought about what it takes to be like Christ.

      You can do whatever you want, you can believe whatever you want, but the only way to true happiness is through Christ. When we submit to Christ, we become subservient slaves to his will.

      I am willingly a slave of Christ, yet I rebel often, I often think that money or status would be good for me and something that I need, and because I need it, it must be God’s will.

      But that is my own flesh that tells me that. My own inability to understand the will of God and the plan that he has for my life. But there have been times that I have truly denied myself and been fully submerged into the will of God, and I may have not gone there skipping for joy initially, but the peace and joy and happiness that comes from it is far greater than any I could have imagined, or have gained through my own efforts at self attained happiness.

      Just to repeat, the master of the universe who can create any pleasure he desires was born in a stinky manger, lived in a region with no plumbing, associated and healed the lowest of sinners, and died the most horrid death imaginable.

      Just for you.

      It’s not about condemnation. The only one who can condemn you is yourself. The only one who can forgive you is Christ.

      The question is will we die to ourselves and break our pride upon the alter of God to be broken before him wretched that we are and accept him as our lord and master and to receive the gift that he has bought with such a price.

      That is the question.

  31. Here’s a few expressions that can make homosexuality a good and meaningful situation —

    1. Man’s ways are of the Lord, how can we really understand our own ways………….Proverbs 20:24

    2. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing or how you feel about yourself, so keep it between yourself and God.
    “BLESSED” are those who don’t feel guilty of thinking of themselves and doing the things they know are best……..Romans 14:22

    3. Paul describes an interesting ‘reality’ about the scriptures, especially what he has written —

    1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…

    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

    To fill in the “blanks” that ‘partial’, ‘incomplete’ and ‘imperfection’ create, we’ll probably need to do what he recommended, and that is to “work out our own salvation”.

    When that happens, things become allowable, lawful and permissible on a personal level.

    The moral here is that LGBT folk should be happy campers about themselves.

      • @Frank,

        YES.
        As a Christian you are correct that YOU MUST be cruel toward the sinners.
        Your Bible commands your harsh judgement of the sinners.

        “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)
        “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)
        “Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)
        “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)
        “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is… not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

        This makes the next step rather easy:

        “EXECUTE THEM IN FRONT OF ME.” – JESUS (LUKE 19:27)

        • Frank,

          “silly”?

          Shame on you.
          Tell that to the murdered homosexuals:

          Nivacil Dias de Godoy, 55,
          in Salvador, Brazil, Sept. 20, 2013.
          “the cause of death was stabbing — with a piece of wood inside a condom that pierced the victim through his anus.”

          Frank,
          Your cruelty and your inhumanity is bitter cold.
          As cold as Jesus himself:

          “Execute them” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

          • And people wonder why atheists are angry?
            Christians are duped
            into thinking they are doing good – while they support hate and slaughter with every word from every preacher.

            “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you KEEP AWAY FROM ANY BROTHER who is not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

            JUDGE NOT? HARDLY!

          • @Max, Come on now, can I blame every thing that an atheist has ever done on your beliefs?
            Evil people will use every thing they can to justify evil acts. Marx commented on the necessity of violence. Not to mention Jesus was speaking in parable, or according to your belief, some religious nut in 200 AD made a copy of a not much older manuscript and added his own nutty texts.

          • @MikeB,

            At issue is a command from God.
            If one believes a god is behind his actions he will find permission to do worse things
            Than if he believes it is merely a latest fad (Marx).

            And besides, you agree with Marx’s comment and so do I.

            YES! Violence is sometimes necessary. How else can the psychopaths and sociopaths be contained?
            Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, General Patton and Osama Bin Laden’s executioners would all agree.

          • @max But wait, its a parable about a king declaring the death penalty for those who do not acknowledge his rule… Isn’t that similar to Marx?

  32. It’s not religion at a whole that matters, yes it matters that everyone can be saved, but being a follower of Jesus – as we’re called to be in the New Testemant (Covenant) – doesn’t mean persecuting other Christians. If a Christian is struggling, you help them with scripture & prayer. Being a follower of Jesus means walking alone most of the time, and that’s what an intimate relationship is – a relationship between two people alone, where the love is never ending. People know the shiver in their spine when God’s moving in their life, they know his comfort and his great blessings! If they’re happy and following Jesus – as the Beatles sang – “Let it be.” Jesus wants us to Love everyone, gay, strait, black, white. People that manipulate the bible’s word, know the book holds power, and they’re evil; and I promise you, those are not Christians, they’re false prophets, or as the bible tells us, the Anti-Christs.

      • @Frank – True. Please do not support those whose sin is falsely accusing all practicing homosexuals of sin. Please do the homework necessary to understand what scripture says about this topic in its original languages.

        • I have done all the homework. I have looked at every attempt to say some homosexual behavior is not sinful. They all fail miserably.

          Stop trying to justify sin and lead others into sin.

          • @Frank,

            You are correct 100%

            “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)

            I don’t know why you believe in such unfairness.
            I don’t know why Christianity appeals to anyone. It is sick.
            But as Jesus would say, “you have your reward”

          • @ Frank,

            If you have truly done your homework, please consider the following two scenarios:

            Pretend you are Moses. You learn that a couple Israelite women are having sex with each other. Do you confront them and tell them they are sinning? If so, what scripture do you use? What command do you tell them they are breaking, using scripture available to you under the Law?

            Pretend you are the apostle Paul. Some of the Christians you teach are concerned because there are a couple women who claim Christ yet have sex with each other. Do you confront those women and tell them they are sinning? If so, what scripture do you use? What command do you tell them they are breaking, using scripture available to you in the first century?

          • Jamie we are in the 21st century and homosexual behavior is sinful now as it was the very first time someone experimented with it.

            Stop trying to justify sin with fallacious information and silly hypotheticals. You can’t talk your way our of it no matter how hard you try. The reality that all homosexual behavior is sinful will never, ever change. Even if every single person on this planet agrees with you. Gods truth does not need your approval or affirmation to be true.

          • @Frank – How would two women under God’s Law have known they were sinning by having sex with each other? Seems like a pretty basic question to me. Surely this was a real situation, not a silly hypothetical.

          • God made them male and female be fruitful and multiply. It’s not complicated, unclear or hard to understand.

          • Oh no not another foolish argument that’s been refuted ad nauseum.

            Having children is not a commandment it’s is how sexuality and marriage was designed. Two people of the same sex cannot reproduce, ever.

            So sad people trot out not only these types of fallacious theological arguments but also completely illogical.

            There is no theological justification at all for non sinful homosexual behavior.

        • @Jamie There are none righteous no not one. That would include you and me. The question is, what do you value more, your pride or your relationship with Christ. You may try to justify your lust I may try to justify my sloth or visa versa. The question is can we truly come before Christ on Judgement day and justify anything. No we can not.

          Max is right, one either has to assume the bible is accurate as passed down “The product of the will of God in getting his message across to mankind”. Or that it is just a pile of bunk.
          Assuming that God let his guidance to the world get corrupted to the point where there is only a slight secret meaning that can be gleamed that would somehow turn the thousands of other pages on their heads… Is not logical or realistic.
          I do not read ancient Greek, nor have I read the original manuscripts. But I have read Strong’s though not on this topic in particular, and what I’ve come to understand which Paul alludes to is that Many of the Apolstles wrote and spoke Syric-Greek which was considered a less educated version of proper Greek.
          I do know this, God gives denotation not connotation on the important things he wishes us to know. If you believe the word is inspired by God, then his direct meaning is able to survive in multiple languages.
          Also I wouldn’t quote any second century sources with out a detailed research into them. Some of them were very… Strange…

          • @Mike B,

            You said, “what do you value more, your pride or your relationship with Christ.”

            But that means:

            “if you deem them unworthy…remove your blessings of peace.” (Matthew 10:13)

            “Avoid them” (Romans 16:17)

            “..in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…KEEP AWAY from any brother not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

            THIS IS NOT LOVE!
            It is dangerous, primitive nonsense.

          • @MikeB,

            Follow Jesus?

            “Hate them” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)

            “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)

            This is disgraceful, inexcusable nonsense.
            Toss it into a dustbin where it belongs.

          • @ MikeB – Thank you for your reply.

            While I do see the original language texts as inspired, I do not see translations into other languages as completely accurate or as carrying the same weight / authority.

            The topic of hell is a great example: Do we trust the original KJV that renders the word “hell” in the OT 31 times? Or is 19 occurrences of “hell” correct, as in the NKJV? Or is the word “hell” not in the OT at all, as in the ASV, NAS, RSV, NRSV, NLT, NIV, NCV, etc.? At some point, I believe the responsible Bible student should do some homework for themselves to figure out which translations (if any) are accurate.

            For more information on that topic, please see:
            http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/Hell_is_Leaving_the_Bible_Forever.html

            Back to the topic of homosexuality, do you believe that God succeeded in forbidding all sexual sins in the Law? If YES, then why would you want to condemn lots of things He didn’t forbid? If NO, then by what standard would God’s people have known His moral expectations or known whether they had sinned? And why did God forbid them from adding additional commands (Deut. 4:2)? (Wouldn’t additional commands have been a *good* thing, especially to forbid things God failed to prohibit like female homosexuality, masturbation, and polygamy?)

          • @Jamie
            Lord of the Rings translated into 2 different French Versions may contain the word courage a different number of times. But the overall story of the courage of ordinary folk in the face of evil shines through in any translation.

            He who has ears let him hear. God will not force you into truth. When my boss tells me something I am expected to make a solid try at understanding the desires of my boss. Same with when if I was young my parents told me not to hit dogs, and I started hitting a cat and tell my parents that they didn’t tell me not to hit the cat. My parents would not have been happy with me.

            But in good news, (and bad) all sins are equal and equally forgiven. I feel like I sin deeply more than any man alive and I really cant stop. But just because it is in my nature to sin and I enjoy sinning does not mean that I do not struggle against it. But yes when it comes down to it, Christ died so that people that have gay sex and little old ladies who lie to their neighbor can all be forgiven.

            You could have sex every day with 45 people of the same sex for years, and still go to heaven. Because God loves you and died for you, and all that he asks is that you acknowledge that for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

            Gay sex, lying, tax evasion (render unto Caesar), Bag of dog poop on neighbors doorstep, none of those are comparable with Christ’s death.

            Its really a question of Lord save me I can not save myself, when we stop trying to justify our actions and start truly seeking his will that we open the door for him to make us truly happy.

            I’m just saying that the more loopholes I try to fit through the more I tangle myself. God is real and his word and its meaning are inspired. And sin will not keep us from God, I know many Christians who suffer from gluttony, they would like to stop, they may have a problem admitting their sins, but Christ loves them none the less.

            God knows we will sin, what is sin but just us not following God’s will in our life. Every time we pass a beggar on the street and don’t show him God’s love we sin. Nothing special about sin. Only our pride keeps us from acknowledging it.

            So don’t worry that its a sin, Christ died for it, and the fact that I don’t give 10% to the poor.

          • @Jamie,
            I was thinking over the conundrum about why the wording of the Old Testament specifies stoning homosexual males as opposed to females.
            Obviously Romans 1:26-27 is hard to read as anything other than a full report on the topic, so I think the real question is why is only the male version mentioned with a punishment.

            Well consider that until the Romans took over the books of the law were the criminal code of the Kingdom of Israel while it was independent. This was an extremely male dominated society. Who is to say how many men who wished to leave their wives would have accused their wives of lesbianism to get her stoned. It could be that God was protecting the innocent women of Israel as well as the guilty. I mean how would a priest pass sentence in this case? The husband beat the wife, she ran away to her female friends house to hide, the husband says she’s a lesbian stone her? The priest says we can’t its not prescribed as punishment.

            God knew everything that would follow I don’t say that this is exactly why it does not appear in the same way, but that is where my train of logic runs.

  33. Rosaria Butterfield says one should not use “gay” as a descriptive adjective. So what word would she like to describe – Lesbian? Homosexual? Queer? Same-Sex Attracted? How about bisexuals – what other adjective(s) could Butterfield use – Opposite/Same Sex Attracted Persons or Persons-With-Opposite-and-Same-Sex Attractions??

    • Ben, yes that verse is important. Paul says “And yet that is what some of you were” (verse 11). So it is evident that changes, with God’s help, need to be made.

  34. While celibacy is definitely a choice, one thing missing from this conversation is the Apostle Paul’s ordination of same sex marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9:

    Jesus taught LGBT people are born naturally from our mother’s womb in Matthew 19:11-12, as he delineates 3 types of eunuchs:

    Celibates

    castrated men

    and BORN eunuchs.

    Jesus exempts all 3 types from hetero marriage.

    If Born Eunuchs are not celibate, nor castrated, nor entering into heterosexual marriage, that means BORN EUNUCHS must include LGBT people.

    Then Paul ordains same sex marriage for these very same born eunuchs in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, after ordaining marriage for heterosexual couples in 1 Corinthians 7:1-7…

    …and even goes so far as to recognize same sex divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:15

    Jesus said to them, Not all men can accept this saying, but it is for those to whom the capacity to receive it has been given.

    For there are eunuchs who have been born incapable of marriage; and there are eunuchs who have been made so by men; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves incapable of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

    Let him who is able to accept this accept it. Matthew 19:11-12

    In doing so, Jesus leaves two questions unanswered:

    1. Is it better to engage in sexual relations without ever marrying in order to avoid the act and penalty of adultery?

    2. Who are the born eunuchs Jesus exempted from heterosexual marriage, and why did He exempt them?

    It’s important to pause here and recognize that Jesus was teaching Jewish people living under the Old Covenant, and not Christians who now live under the New Covenant. While recognizing this distinction, the Apostle Paul is confronted with these same questions in a letter he received from the Christian Church in Corinth. We will see him answer the 1st question in 1 Corinthians 7:1-7, and see him answer the 2nd question in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 as he addresses two distinctly separate groups of unmarried people:

    1 Now as to the matters of which you wrote me. It is well [and by that I mean advantageous, expedient, profitable, and wholesome] for a man not to touch a woman [to cohabit with her] but to remain unmarried.

    2 But because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2

    We see in verse 1 that the people Paul begins speaking of are unmarried, and recognize that indeed some people in the early Church believed Jesus’ Disciples were correct in deciding not to marry in order to prevent adultery. Recognizing the sexual immorality the Disciples’ approach of not marrying could lead to, Paul specifically says in verse 2 to let each man have his own wife and each woman have her own husband. He goes on to add very specific reasoning for his conclusion:

    3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband.

    4 For the wife does not have [exclusive] authority and control over her own body, but the husband [has his rights]; likewise also the husband does not have [exclusive] authority and control over his body, but the wife [has her rights].

    5 Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire.

    So that answers the 1st question. At first glance, Paul’s answer seems to overlook Jesus’ teaching that not all men could accept marrying heterosexually, but when we read verses 6-7 we see Paul recognize that Jesus indeed exempted some men (eunuchs) from heterosexual marriage. He first addresses celibate eunuchs saying:

    6 But I am saying this more as a matter of permission and concession, not as a command or regulation.

    7 I wish that all men were like I myself am [in this matter of self-control]. But each has his own special gift from God, one of this kind and one of another. 1 Corinthians 7:6-7

    Here we see the Apostle Paul make the same exemption from heterosexual marriage for one of the three types of eunuchs Jesus mentioned in Matthew 19:12; (those who choose to not marry and remain celibate). Paul clarifies in verses 6-7 that his teaching “each man” and “each woman” to marry in verse 2 is not a command or regulation for every man, but instead is a matter of permission and concession to anyone so choosing to refrain from sexual relations. He further verifies he is speaking here of the celibate eunuchs as he only speaks of men, and does not mention women in verses 6-7, just as Jesus did in Matthew 19:11-12. Paul emphasizes here that his statement on marriage in verses 1-2 are focused on preventing sexual immorality for those who are not gifted with God given celibacy. It’s also important to notice that Paul considers celibacy only one gift from God while recognizing there is yet another God given gift pertaining to marriage as well, and that every man has either one or the other kind of these God given gifts.

    In verses 8-9, we will now see Paul recognize Jesus’ teaching on marriage in relation to another of the three types of eunuchs Jesus exempted from heterosexual marriage (the born eunuchs) whom Paul refers to as “unmarried people.” In doing so, Paul recognizes that if Jesus had specifically exempted eunuchs from heterosexual marriage, they were obviously “unmarried” at the time Paul wrote this letter. But it’s important to recognize that in verses 8-9, Paul addresses these “unmarried people” separately and apart from the unmarried people he addressed in verses 1-2, and separately and apart from the celibate eunuchs whom he addressed in verses 6-7, and now says:

    8 But to the unmarried people and to the widows, I declare that it is well (good, advantageous, expedient, and wholesome) for them to remain [single] even as I do.

    9 But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame [with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire]. 1 Corinthians 7:8-9

    For the first time since verses 1-2 we see Paul once again address women. We saw Paul had already clarified in verses 6-7 that his teaching “each man” to marry a person of the opposite gender in verses 1-2 was not intended to include every human being, but only those men who were so inclined to engage in relations with women. We further already saw he went on to clarify he did not intend his teaching to be a command or regulation toward celibate eunuchs being forced to marry contrary to their will and gifting. So far, Paul has addressed the same men and women inclined toward heterosexual marriage that Jesus taught on in Matthew 19:3-10, as well as the celibate eunuchs Jesus taught on in Matthew 19:11-12. Which leaves now only the castrated eunuchs, and the born eunuchs for Paul to address.

    Paul clearly predicates his ordination of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 on “it is better to marry than burn.” This means the eunuchs he is addressing here does not apply to castrated eunuchs (who would have had no sexual capacity or desire), but instead is addressing the born eunuchs (some of which must have had both sexual capacity and desire, based on Paul’s predication of marriage for them).

    Full exposition with Scripture flow charts that color code and track Jesus’ and Paul’s teaching on heterosexual and same sex marriage here: http://brianbowenministries.com/ch-2-eunuch-marriages.html

    • I find it amazing how one can twist the most plain sentences into something that makes no logical sense. Honestly the most simple explination is the correct one. That Paul wasn’t giving wink wink. You absolutly missed Human Biology on what it means to be born eunuch. There are many health issues that happen where people are born with problems. It is very wrong of you to try to twist those people’s physical ailments into some sad version of your self justification.

      Paul termed gay as those lacking natural affections. Don’t degrade those with serious health issues.

  35. @ Atheist Max

    As usual, you have brought up writings that I haven’t read in some time. And quite frankly, they stand out to me now as ‘super’ unfriendly, unattainable, and undesirable from any ‘mature’ point of view unless you’re a fundamentalist. Many love those kinds of verses and that’s why they speak ‘unloving’ about so many people and things.

    Some samples of your choice of verses are —

    – “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)
    – “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)
    – “Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)
    – “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)
    – “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is… not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

    I must admit the sadness of these NT writings is stunning.

    That’s all the more reason to amplify Paul’s ‘better’ writings —
    1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…

    That’s all we need to know to ‘realize’ how utterly inapplicable so many NT verses are.

    Also….we can now easily see that many many verses he and others write are just not good enough for the environment we live in. In certain churches they’ll do just fine, but not in the ‘workplace’ or ‘school’ where we interact with all kinds of folks.

    We “must” be friendly in those environments at all times.

    • @Billysees,

      “We “must” be friendly in those environments at all times.”

      You are so, so, so, so correct.
      Here I am. An Atheist.
      And I cannot bring myself to like these verses or to ‘love its author’

      The Bible says “Love thy neighbor” while it also says “But not those neighbors!”

      Yes, isn’t it stunning how divisive the bible really is? How it demands judgement?

      And isn’t it also shocking that it demands “in the name of Jesus” that people be judgmental against each other!?

      I agree with you 100%.
      And that is why I would rather listen to Billysees than open the bible.
      I do not even know you – and yet I WOULD TRUST YOU before I would ever trust Jesus ! He is way too incoherent and fickle.

      I reject the Bible as an Authority and as the word of a god. Because it is contradictory and it is too obvious that this stuff was invented by bands of hooligans.

      Right now my god is Billysees (not really) But I do agree with you.
      And I agree with YOUR yearning to hold the Bible in high esteem, to save it from itself!

      I discovered I was an Atheist when I could no longer apologize for these verses in the Bible – I DID NOT WANT TO BE AN ATHEIST!
      But, you know what Billysees? I really didn’t have a choice.

      My morality was kinder than these verses.
      My vision of humanity was nicer than these verses.
      I didn’t want to shun people – and I didn’t want to shun myself.

      In the name of love, I had to give up Jesus.
      And what did the word of god say to me after that discovery?

      “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

      And the profound cruelty of all of this stuff came to me in a rush.

      • @ Atheist Max (8/9 1:07 am)

        Your comment here says many things I don’t know where to begin.

        I feel very confident when I say that the school or the workplace are special places where peace and good manners should prevail and not be interrupted by the teachings and attitudes expressed in any holy book because it would be nearly impossible to separate the nice sounding stuff from the not so nice sounding stuff.

        Example —

        From an earlier post of yours in this article……
        — For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 1:11)
        — Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is… not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

        Here’s a couple from one of my posts from another article……
        — Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…..Ephesians 4:2
        — Be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone…….Titus 3:2

        Now I like mine cause they sound pretty good. But your selection would create confusion cause few would even understand what the heck is being said or taught.

        How strange it is that the Bible is full of “opposite talk”…..stuff that’s polar opposite from one another. What confusion that is.

        And then there are those verses that somebody would bring up that’ll accuse Jews of being Christ killers even knowing that the Jewish folk of today and most of the Jewish folk of his day had nothing to do with that.

        The Bible belongs in churches where the folks there can work out their understanding as they see fit. Or it belongs on the ‘table of reasoning’ where it can be discussed like what we’re doing here. But I’m troubled by some who think that any or all scripture belongs everywhere. Not so. Too divisive as you’ve said.

        But on the other hand, I feel that my selection of verses sound pretty good and would be good enough to be put up on billboards all over as a reminder of ‘good things’ but then again there are others who’d like to see the other side of things represented and then a battle would begin…..and then confusion and so on.

        Thanks for the compliment of listening and trusting in me, but I doubt that I’d even trust in myself for very long…..hehehe. I can think of better role models. Jesus does not always give good advice as I see it. There was an instance where he said that if you get divorced then you shouldn’t remarry. But for goodness sakes, if you can’t get along with the first wife then find another one who you can. It would make no sense to live alone because of what he said. He didn’t know everything. In a certain way, he’s overrated. But his excellencies are amazingly impressive.

        Also, when he started out his ministry, he use to say what cousin John would always say — repent for the end is near. But he outgrew that kind of talk and began to speak some new and better things.

        But here’s something that can’t be taken away from him — he was obedient unto death…the death on the cross. That’s his glory and his glory alone.

        I accept the Bible as inspiration from dedicated folks who did the best they could but with many imperfections. Don’t forget what Paul said about his own writings —
        1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
        2. …we see things imperfectly…
        3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…

        I’m glad you agree with my yearning to hold the Bible in high esteem. It’s worthy of it when the good things are exalted.

        You say — I DID NOT WANT TO BE AN ATHEIST!. You then say that your morality and vision of humanity was kinder than those ugly verses you focus too much on. Your probably correct. It probably is as far as I can see. And I say of myself that I think similarly and with the same attitude. But I also see challenges to my sense of contentment. Here’s a few of those challenges —

        1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way……….Romans 14:13
        2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God…..Romans 15:7
        3. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…..Ephesians 4:2
        4. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble…..1 Peter 3:8
        5. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…………Philippians 2:3
        6. Be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone…….Titus 3:2
        7. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven………..Luke 6:37
        8. ABOVE ALL, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, because love covers over a multitude of sins………..1 Peter 4:8
        9. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near……….Philippians 4:5

        I need to work at those and others all the time.

        You may have given up on Jesus at this point in time, but don’t forget that he said that whoever the Father has given me I will in no way cast out.

        I’m sure you are just such a person as that, regardless of what you now say.

        • @Billysees,

          I appreciate your thoughts.
          But I no longer see what good comes from religion:

          “Go forth and follow the Lord”

          translates into this…

          “go out and do whatever you think you believe you understand the Lord might mean by following the Lord’s will.”

          Everything rests entirely
          on the person who gets the instruction. Not the instructions themselves.
          Think of how flawed such a philosophy is.

          As we have demonstrated, the Lord does not preach ‘the golden rule’ without also preaching against it for ‘sinners’ whom you are largely invited to war against.

          #1. “Be nice, because God says so – it is to follow Jesus’ instructions absolutely or he will send you to Hell.”

          Or simply…

          #2 “Be nice.”

          The latter usually leads to better results
          and it works demonstrably better without Jesus.
          “You will know a tree by its fruit”
          But what does that say about Jesus?

          • @ Atheist Max (8/12 1:32 pm)

            You say — “But I no longer see what good comes from religion:….”

            I think about the same things also, especially when some representatives of the Christian faith go off and talk like insensitive and uncaring people, with words and attitudes quite contrary to other “far better loving words and attitudes” that are prevalent throughout all of scripture.

            You’re on to something important —
            “Everything rests entirely on the person who gets the instruction. Not the instructions themselves.”

            That asks the question — why is there so much variation in interpretation when we are all basically the same kind of human beings looking for the best possible advice and other good things that are available?

            I think it is because though we are all the same kinds of people, we are also very different in the way we like or dislike things. Some of us like pepperoni on our pizza and some don’t. Why? Why can’t we all agree that pepperoni pizza tastes better? Now….here I am suggesting that we all agree with me cause I happen to think that kind of pizza is the best. But others simply don’t like pepperoni on their pizza. That example may not be the best kind of illustration, but it shows a simple truth….we’re all different.

            But what’s at stake here as you point out in your comment is far more serious. In fact, it can be a life or death situation for those not on the correct side of prevailing attitudes.

            THEREFORE — We, that’s you and I, whether we’re a believer or not, need to strive to make ‘prevailing attitudes’ that promote peace and love and acceptance the social standard.

            I’ve copied some of your previous comments cause I like the way you said things. Here’s a good one —

            ” I believe in the power of Love. But I also understand the disciples and the authors of the Bible were grappling with multiple issues – many of which were primitive and ignorant. They simply couldn’t know very much about anything. ”

            The last sentence should be corrected to read something like — They simply didn’t have the best understanding of issues like we do today because many more “positives” are known about folks that the culture of their day didn’t reveal to them.

            Finally, #2 “Be Nice”. That’s good. And “You will know a tree by its fruit”.

            But I strongly disagree here — “it works demonstrably better without Jesus.” Not so. Jesus is so famous and popular beyond imagination that we should be quoting him as often as possible because we can use his words to promote the best of loving “prevailing attitudes”.

    • @Billysees,

      “Many love those kinds of verses and that’s why they speak ‘unloving’ about so many people and things.”

      But why did god allow these verses into ‘His Word’? Why does a loving God grant them such a blessing?

      That is the riddle.
      My only answer: God didn’t. Because he isn’t.

      • @ Atheist Max (8/9 1:36 am)

        “Many love those kinds of verses and that’s why they speak ‘unloving’ about so many people and things.”

        “But why did god allow these verses into ‘His Word’? Why does a loving God grant them such a blessing?”

        Perfect questions. I can only guess that those kinds of verses entered into something considered “His Word” because the writers of those verses believed in their value. The thing here is that their sense of ‘value’ is different than ours. We are more civilized than they are, certainly for example that we wouldn’t walk down the street and have to watch someone being stoned to death, if such an event was happening. Their culture was brutal and callous. Those times, Bible times, nobody would be happy going back there….not even for a while.

        That is the riddle.
        My only answer: God didn’t. Because he isn’t.”

        There is sort of a riddle here. But what if there WAS a God and we are just having a hard time figuring who and what he is and what does he want or expect from us?

        A possible answer to the riddle is that there IS some kind of guiding or leading force in the world and we need to “learn” as much as we can about it.

  36. @ Atheist Max

    Check out these neat verses….they’re some of my favorites —

    I think you’ll like them too and I personally think you implement them here in these comment sections already.

    The point I’m trying to make is that there are some scriptural goodies that can make big changes in the way we interact with one another if we can get many people to get on board with them.

    1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way……….Romans 14:13

    2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God…..Romans 15:7

    3. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…..Ephesians 4:2

    4. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble…..1 Peter 3:8

    5. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…………Philippians 2:3

    6. Be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone…….Titus 3:2

    7. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven………..Luke 6:37

    8. Above all, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, because love covers over a multitude of sins………..1 Peter 4:8

    9. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near……….Philippians 4:5

    Cheer…

    • @Billysees,

      I hear you. I will never deny that there are some very kind and wonderful preachments in the bible.

      I happen to love the book of Ecclesiastes and many of the proverbs – as art.
      As a Catholic I only saw the love verses – i sort of forced myself to look away from 90% of the bible.

      Here’s a verse I always loved:

      “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
      (Paul to the Philippians 4:8)

      But the truth is this is a violent contradiction from the God of the Bible.
      As soon as you explore “whatsoever things are just” you must discard the bible! There is almost nothing fair about god or Jesus.

      “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)

      Human beings are ‘Dogs’? They are ‘Pigs’?
      Something isn’t right – the claims are not adding up.
      This doesn’t sound like he believes humans are wonderful – he supposedly said ‘behold the lilies of the valley’ as a way to elevate humanity.

      Yet they are ‘dogs’? pigs?

      A word of love followed by a word of hate is nothing to trust.

      • Athieist Max

        http://bookofconcord.org/heidelberg.php

        4.Although the works of God are always unattractive and appear evil, they are nevertheless really eternal merits.

        That the works of God are unattractive is clear from what is said in Isa. 53:2, »He had no form of comeliness«, and in 1 Sam. 2:6, »The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.« This is understood to mean that the Lord humbles and frightens us by means of the law and the sight of our sins so that we seem in the eyes of men, as in our own, as nothing, foolish, and wicked, for we are in truth that. Insofar as we acknowledge and confess this, there is »no form or beauty« in us, but our life is hidden in God (i.e. in the bare confidence in his mercy), finding in ourselves nothing but sin, foolishness, death, and hell, according to that verse of the Apostle in 2 Cor. 6:9-10, »As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as dying, and behold we live.« And that it is which Isa. 28:21 calls the »alien work« of God »that he may do his work« (that is, he humbles us thoroughly, making us despair, so that he may exalt us in his mercy, giving us hope), just as Hab. 3:2 states, »In wrath remember mercy.« Such a man therefore is displeased with all his works; he sees no beauty, but only his depravity. Indeed, he also does those things which appear foolish and disgusting to others.

        This depravity, however, comes into being in us either when God punishes us or when we accuse ourselves, as 1 Cor. 11:31 says, »If we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged by the Lord«. Deut. 32:36 also states, »The Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.« In this way, consequently, the unattractive works which God does in us, that is, those which are humble and devout, are really eternal, for humility and fear of God are our entire merit.

      • @ Atheist Max 8/9 1:27 am

        “I happen to love the book of Ecclesiastes and many of the proverbs – as art.
        As a Catholic I only saw the love verses – i sort of forced myself to look away from 90% of the bible.”

        I do to.
        As a Methodist, I don’t recall very well what I heard in my active church days. I do recall coming away with some good attitudes I can only now realize must have come from ‘rubbing elbows’ within that kind of environment. The love verses are amazingly impressive and I think that’s why I’m inclined in that direction to this day.

        “Here’s a verse I always loved:
        “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
        (Paul to the Philippians 4:8)”

        I love it too. It’s a really neat one, full of what to do with our thoughts.

        “But the truth is this is a violent contradiction from the God of the Bible.
        As soon as you explore “whatsoever things are just” you must discard the bible! There is almost nothing fair about god or Jesus.”

        Don’t get carried away with everything or anything that’s written down in the Bible. You’ve already expressed an intelligent (or spiritual) ability to choose good scripture verses….so continue to allow them to encourage your good attitudes and behavior.

      • sin entered the world through Adam MAX.. God did not make robots Adam chose to sin .. yes God knew what would happen and he lets us know right in Gen 3 :15 About a savior from sin that savior Jesus max that you reject because God chose not to make his grace irresistible.

        • “God did not make robots”

          He certainly did.
          If God exists and if God is all-knowing
          He already knows whether you will go to Hell or Heaven

          And he is just waiting for you to go through all the motions
          He already laid out for you.

          If God exists, and if God is all-knowing…You ARE a robot.
          God already created you and wound you up like a toy soldier
          And he aimed you at either the cliff or the stairwell upward.

          You have no say in altering the direction.
          You are a robot.

          • Gods will is that every one arrives in heaven through faith in Jesus .Gods permissive will is that he allows people to reject Jesus and the heaven he won for them .. verses

            God wants every one in heaven

            1 timothy 2:4
            2 peter3:9

            its peoples own fault if they reject jesus and the heaven he won for them

            Matthew 23:37
            Acts7:57

          • @Rob,

            How do you know what god wants?
            I thought god “was unknowable” – yet you have all this information.

            Frankly I’m Confused. And even then, God says, ‘blame me’.

            “Who makes a person dumb or deaf, gives sight or makes blind?
            IT IS I, Yahweh!” (Exodus 4:11)

            however:

            “God is not the author of confusion” – (1 Corinthians 14:33)

            Now I’m even more confused.

      • @ Atheist Max (8/9 1:37 am)

        “Why would a loving god plant a cherry tree so full of bad cherries
        that you have to hunt for the good ones?”

        I don’t really know. Maybe this is the way to realize many things —

        Man’s ways are of the Lord, so how can we understand our own ways?…………Proverbs 20:24

  37. @-AM- Still a few degrees off. You are a great mechanic but lack the Spirit. Don’t resist Him; He will help you. Abuse has a way closing the mind – but as long as we are alive there is hope!

  38. Jesus talking to straight married guys says if you even have lust for a women
    you have committed adultery in your heart..

    This lets us know one must be perfectly sinless in thought word or deed.
    just as God is perfectly sinless.

    there is only one way to be saved having trust that Jesus was perfect for a person.. and out of thanks to Jesus a person does not even want the sin of
    bad thoughts or attraction to what they are not to be attracted to..
    And once that happens they would not want to be considered in any way shape or form what they once were.

    just because a murder’s stops murdering yet still has murder in his or her heart .That’s not what God wants .. he wants even the thought of murder to be so totally sinful to the person they would not even want that..

    I think one needs to read romans on a Christians struggle with sin..

    its all about not wanting any part of the former sin at all ..

    and there maybe days our sinful nature gets the upper hand yet we now are dead to sin not wanting any part of it ..out of thanks to Jesus for living perfect for us and dying for our Sin.s.. For those who are still sin in there sin of thought or word..

    I highly recommend

    www.whataboutjesus.com

  39. I am a Wheaton College grad who grew up in the evangelical world and I’m so exhausted by your secretly titillated obsession with this “taboo” topic as you all see it. I’ve formally studied enough of your theology (with your “top” theologians) to be ordained as your minister (if I believed as you do).

    You all seriously need to find something more useful– let’s say more “Christ-like” to do with your time. If you’re so concerned about biblical conduct, take up the greatest commandments of loving God and loving your neighbor. Feed some people. Create something useful. And please, please, for the love of your God and your gay neighbors, shut up about this. If you’re hellbent on interpreting your Bible to mean homosexuality is a sin, then at least follow the rules of your own mythology. A sin is a sin, no greater or lesser. You are not to touch a pigskin on Monday night, but I doubt you’ll give up your Monday night NFL. You’re not to look with lust in your eye. And if you believe you never do that, then there’s a bridge I’d love to sell you. And you’re not to judge. Let you without sin cast the first stone. Remove the plank from your own eye and that should keep you busy the rest of your natural life so please stop bothering with what you see as the speck in mine.

    You’re trying to hold back a tsunami. But it’s already here. WE are already here. We’re queer. We can marry. And for some peculiar reason, some gay people can even choose your mythology. Get used to it. Get over yourselves. And go do something Christlike. You can start by getting out of my bed.

    • @ David

      “I’m so exhausted by your secretly titillated obsession with this ‘taboo’ topic as you all see it”

      Fifty years ago, when I was eleven years old, my parents’ and teachers had not educated me at all, to be prepared for what happened to me and to three of my friends next. As a consequence of those events, I had a thoroughly miserable adolescence, one of my three friends committed suicide, and another was murdered.

      Fifty years on, I have four adult children and eight grandchildren, and a fifth child who is only four. My adult children grew up in a period of history when children were educated about homosexuality, and they therefore did not face the horrendous problems that I faced. But my youngest soon, the four year-old, is in an even worse situation than I was in.

      Nobody warned me about homosexuality when I was of an age of innocence. I resolved that nothing like what happened to me would happen to any of my children. But I am disempowered. Whenever people like me refuse to be bullied into silence, we face terrible consequences.

      I have a true-life, ex-gay testimony myself. I naturally want to spread the good news of hope to youngsters, and even to older people trapped in homosexuality who want out, that it *is* possible to break free from that vice, and that it is possible to avoid becoming entangled in that vice in the first place. I especially want to be able to share that good news with my little boy.

      However, I never see my little boy. A social worker read my blog, and told his mother that unless she excluded his “homophobic” father from our son’s life, social services would have to take our son away from both of us. She caved in under that pressure.

      So, you see, we are not “in your bed”. We have a legitimate and righteous concern for the welfare of the children we love and are responsible for bringing up to know right from wrong.

      We know that, whatever you say, “queer” isn’t an innate and immutable biological characteristic. We know that it is more like an addiction. We know that because some of us have been healed of that addiction ourselves.

      We have children whom we care about. We don’t like your “tsunami”, because we know – from some of us having lived through homosexuality and recovered from it – that homosexuality s something evil and perverted and destructive.

      Your “tsunami”, above all, places the children we love at greater risk of misery that some of us had the wisdom to flee from at first encounter, and from which others of us escaped only after much trial and self-discipline, than did the ignorance I was languishing in when I was first recruited into homosexuality.

      We want, for our children’s sake, to learn exactly how skilfully to deconstruct and counter the endless torrent of mindless propaganda pumped out to our beloved children, by people who mistakenly believe that there are “queer people”, and that two people of the same sex can “marry” as *we* understand the word “marry”.

      This isn’t a “secretly titillated obsession” on our part, as you put it. It is our duty. Pro-homosexuality propaganda, including the lie that people cannot change, poses a threat not to *us*, but to our beloved children.

      No, we will not, because that is what *you* insist would be “christ-like”, concern ourselves exclusively with feeding the hungry from now on, throwing in the towel, leaving our beloved children to be indoctrinated with pro-homosexuality propaganda, by people who hate us, hate themselves, and who apparently hate children too.

      We won’t “shut up”. It did enough harm that my parents generation “shut up” about homosexuality in more civilised days when recruiting children into homosexuality and presenting to them the perverted as a new type of normality morally equal to normal sexuality was entirely a clandestine activity that we couldn’t see was happening.

      It would do even more harm if we shut up about homosexuality nowadays, when their is so much pro-homosexuality propaganda about that your calling it a “tsunami” is quite an apt metaphor, in my opinion.

      If you wish to quarrel with me here, David, feel free. However, you also have the option of quarreling with me on my blog, where you will probably find plenty of thought-provoking content.

      I am 61. Homosexuality no longer poses much threat to me personally nowadays, as a *temptation* I have trouble resisting. It only took me about six years to get to that point of repentance and healing, not long in a lifetime, and worth the effort, although I wish it had not been necessary. But that I am more-or-less immune to homosexual temptation myself nowadays does not mean that I have no legitimate interest in countering pro-homosexuality propaganda in society, deconstructing the lies, fallacies, circular arguments etc, and robustly defending hetero-normativity as a rational moral position to adopt.

      Perhaps you have not thought about wider society. Perhaps you don’t have any children in your your life, in whose upbringing you play a part. Perhaps your horizon ends where your own bed ends, and you have never given a moments thought to the possibility that opposition to pro-homosexual propaganda has nothing to do with any supposed interest on what goes on in YOUR bed.

      Perhaps you have just never considered that those most vulnerable to the propagation of homosexuality to each new generation, which nowadays has infiltrated its propaganda into our schools, are children and adolescents, who are at risk of being recruited into homosexuality by older children and adolescents, or by adults stuck in that particular warped rut. That it is for *their* sakes that *we* are talking about a subject on which you are no more an expert than any of us.

      Our motive for talking about these things is love, pure and simple. Not love for you (although we don’t hate you, we were simply not thinking about you at all), but for our children, and the kind of society that we shall bequeath to them.

      My blog is http://JohnAllmanUK.Wordpress.com.

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    […] This article talks about how after the ex-gay movement (which tried to “turn” homosexuals into heterosexuals – something that even the leaders of the movement eventually admitted was impossible) fell apart, some gay Christians are making the choice to remain celibate rather than engage in same-sex relations – something they believe is not God’s will for them. […]

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    […] Gay, Christian and … celibate: The changing face of the homosexuality debate: For years, those who were gay or struggled with homosexuality felt like they had few good options: leave their faith, ignore their sexuality or try to change. But as groups like Exodus have become increasingly unpopular, Rodgers is among those who embrace a different model: celibate gay Christians, who seek to be true to both their sexuality and their faith. (Sarah Pulliam Bailey) […]

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