Mar 282014
 

Well, we’ve divided again.

We stood on the truth of Scripture and defeated the enemy and the ground we hold is once again pristine, if a tad bit smaller in size.

We may have lost more than we won.

Some of the “enemy” in this case were our own.

Now, we can make the case that they were woefully in error theologically and this was an absolutely necessary battle.

We needed to clarify and defend the Scriptures, because at the end of the day, this was really all about the Scriptures.

Except…it wasn’t…not entirely.

When I read the best of the “progressive” Christian writers I read people who are wrestling with Scripture and tradition they see as being in opposition to compassion and grace for people who are created in the image of God and worthy of both…regardless of sexual orientation.

It’s a dichotomy for many… but for some, compassion and grace trump the Scriptures.

That, of course, is unacceptable to those of us who hold to the inerrancy of Scripture, who believe the whole book was God breathed.

The problem is, (in my opinion) that we haven’t heard their hearts, so they can’t hear ours… and all we can hear is the sound of loading up for another round.

The reality is that it’s a false dichotomy, because the kingdom of God is about both the truth of Scripture and the grace and compassion of God toward those created in His image.

When you divide those, you divide the Body and only have part of the truth and dwell in the outskirts of the Kingdom.

We don’t give the appearance of wrestling with these issues, despite the fact that our convictions (while true) have very real consequences for those our doctrines effect.

Like stern but solid parents, sometimes we forget that people need to see see expressions of love as well as words of discipline.

We can choose to believe that some are squatters in the Kingdom of God and fervently hope for their eviction…or we can try to restart the conversations with the recognition that we’re family.

Maybe they just need to see us sweat.

Make your own application…

  80 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. There is always hope for us all if we stay connected and refuse to dissociate because of difference. Reconciliation is our daily bread. Homosexuality troubles me more than anything I have had to face. I am not sure why. So by pure definition I am homophobic. But those guys are at least as much afraid of my kind. It is just that there is no pungent concise phrase with which I can eliminate them from the conversation.

    Seems to me Christianity does best on the bottom. We get our vision skewed when we are on top. We don’t seem to do dominion very well. Adam didn’t and we don’t.

  2. “Reconciliation is our daily bread.”

    Good word, good post.

    Thank you for being here, Alan.

  3. Why isn’t the other side wrong? Why did they raise the stink they did? Why didn’t they reconcile? Perhaps the progressives don’t show grace and compassion as well as they think they do.

  4. MLD,

    I think we’re all wrong to one degree or the other.
    My heart is to get us to stop yelling, put down the rocks, and listen.
    Some will choose to divide anyway and some division is necessary.
    Still, we can do better.

  5. I am sure we can all do better. Other than my 5 or 6 comments here, I didn’t address a sole on this topic – and surprisingly, no one stopped me in the supermarket o get my view point.

    Tempest in a teapot… 2 weeks from now it will be back to Driscoll and no one will be able to remember which was WV’s initial position.

  6. MLD,

    I don’t see this as being narrowed to the WV issue.
    For me, it’s about how we present ourselves and our wold view to people inside and out of the church and how we deal with the reactions to it.
    I haven’t seen a lot of love on either side toward the other and that is a betrayal of the root of what we claim to believe.

  7. “The problem is, (in my opinion) that we haven’t heard their hearts, so they can’t hear ours… and all we can hear is the sound of loading up for another round.

    The reality is that it’s a false dichotomy, because the kingdom of God is about both the truth of Scripture and the grace and compassion of God toward those created in His image.”
    Yes. Amen. So glad to read this.

    I have precious loved ones on both sides of this issue. I have studied with them both. (not coffee and Bible study–I mean hard core academic work and honest laying all sides out there before God’s Spirit–no matter how much fear of the unknown it drudged up for me) I have listened long to the testimonies of their faith walk–to hear them, understand why they feel the way they do. I went to their church and sat through their worship service:I found nothing I expected to find. I found a fellowship that rocked my world and shattered my already unravelling theology of the “other” in my life.

    None of this has led me to a conclusive stance– but neither has it pulled me down the “slippery slope” I had been warned about since my youth. What it led me to was a surprising and profound love for brothers and sisters who are not like me at all–who have become very difficult to categorize as “off” and throw away in the name of remaining “Biblical” because I am engaged in relationship with them. To do so feels like denying the legitimacy of their brokenness as well as denying God’s ability to redeem something unfamiliar to me (and in a way I might not expect).
    It feels more like hallowed ground now than the playground of the devil that I suspected it was–and that makes it impossible to shrug off as someone else’s problem. And perhaps that is at the heart of it. We have kingdom relatives on the inside of this issue—and that makes it all of ours.

  8. Ps40,

    That was gold.
    Thank you!

  9. “We can choose to believe that some are squatters in the Kingdom of God and fervently hope for their eviction”

    I’m trying to get a handle on this statement from my own heart.

    When I look at those Kansas people who chase others down and such I think I get what you are saying, but I rarely read commentators to your blog who feel the same as them.

    Michael states, “We needed to clarify and defend the Scriptures, because at the end of the day, this was really all about the Scriptures.”

    So how come I feel like we really don’t ever “defend the scriptures,” but really defend our favorite doctrinal and theological tradition?

    MLD consistently defends being a Missouri Synod Lutheran, others defend Calvinism/Reform theology (I know they are not the same and have many varieties) and Xenia represents the EO side of the debate; so where are the scriptures in all this?

    I personally dumped most of it years ago and decided to try and understand Jesus from the perspective of a Second Temple Period Rabbi. Ironically I learned more about Jesus from a Jewish Professor than my Bible School Profs. And such learning It hasn’t changed most of my Orthodox Christian views; what it is has done is explained much of what the NT teaches (including Paul) in a more clear an understandably way. It has also made me far more aware of my sin than in the past and clarified much of my life where I lived in fear.

    Dichotomy? Of course there is! We (at least I do) want to sin and do things which fill our (my) bubble. There are times I would love to do some unspeakable things and just live in depravity and then God’s Spirit hauls me back in and reminds me He isn’t sending me to Hell.

    Well I’ve finished my free morning and now lunch.

    Michael thanks for building a place where this interaction can take place and that includes the RiBo rants (God uses him to bring something out of us all).

  10. What I hear in so many of the conversations, and what makes me hesitant to enter the debate, is this desire to win the debate rather than to hear.

    I have such a broad range of friends on my fb friends, and I spend most of my time listening. I am very picky about what I post on there, and i spend most of my time engaging through messages rather than through broad posts. My friends know me and know what I believe. I speak mostly through my blog, although it has been neglected of late.

    What I read is a lot of ranting, and very little dialog. Maybe that is still the shortcoming of the internet. It takes some face-to-face time…as Ps40 said. It takes some work and some patience and the desire to hear. It also takes grace and knowing that we are going to misunderstand each other, and we are going to disagree.

    And humility…it takes loads of humility to have the conversation progress at all.

  11. Bob,

    Good word…we do mostly defend our traditions, but we all think Scripture supports the one we chose. 🙂
    Thank you for your contributions here as well.

  12. Sarah,

    As usual, you have completed and clarified what I was thinking. 🙂
    Well said..

  13. scripture, like statistics, can be made to say what one wants when approached with presuppositions or an agenda.

    perhaps using the Bible as ‘prooftext’ for everything from financial guidelines for investing to unraveling the homosexual ‘conflict’ is missing the point of what scripture was given to accomplish–reveal Christ.

    perhaps the Church today has set impossibly high expectations for itself to have the answer for everything, and instead we have incomplete opinions, incorrect conclusions, and errant dogmas on which few share complete, unqualified agreement.

    perhaps we could hold our conclusions looser than our conscience. perhaps we could rely on the Spirit of God more than our ‘systems.’ perhaps grace could characterize us more than law. perhaps we could invest in a different methodology in loving our neighbors as ourselves, one which doesn’t alienate but instead creates thirst and hunger.

    perhaps I’m out to lunch.

  14. fil,

    “Perhaps we could invest in a different methodology in loving our neighbors as ourselves, one which doesn’t alienate but instead creates thirst and hunger.”

    That appears to me to be the methodology Jesus used…but that was a long time ago…

  15. Michael,
    “…but that was a long time ago…” Yes, people were so different then. 😉

    Obviously, I’m not Jesus either. I guess I wonder where our true allegiance is. Are we staying true to Christ and following Him or are we protecting our turf?

  16. Bob,
    “MLD consistently defends being a Missouri Synod Lutheran, others defend Calvinism/Reform theology (I know they are not the same and have many varieties) and Xenia represents the EO side of the debate; so where are the scriptures in all this?”

    Bob, I make no bones about the fact that the LCMS best represents the truth of the scriptures. The Book of Concord (our Confessions) next to the Bible itself is the best representation and interpretation of the scriptures.

    I stand on the scriptures 100%

  17. I think that the WV thing is an internet event. Did anyone have a personal conversation about the subject? Did anyone over hear another couple talking about it?

    I didn’t.

  18. fil,

    As someone who has mattered the art of getting hate mail from both sides of any issue, I can tell you that defending turf is far easier than trying to follow Christ where He may go.

  19. MLD,

    In your world, you never hear anything but Issues Etc. and Dodger games.

  20. Michael,
    Not so – I am talking about outside in the 3 D world. I am in my office all day, I go out to other offices, into stores and shops – no one talks of these things – I didn’t even hear anyone snort under their breath in the grocery line “that damn World Vision, look what they are doing now!!” … but people do say “hey, what about those Dodgers?”

  21. Michael,
    perhaps that is the crux of the issue–dividers vs. disciples.

  22. “that damn World Vision, look what they are doing now!!”

  23. fil,
    My side will be the Disciples — do we get jerseys? 🙂

    Grocery Shopper LOL 🙂

  24. I opened a place where people could express themselves and people appeared there on both sides of the issue. Here is the results that came about in this market place of ideas:
    http://www.quicktopic.com/39/H/LLn3p9VeCH5Sp

    If you were to read backwards eventually it gets interesting. Admittedly most of us don’t have the patience to read through it all. Since I opened the quick topic I have read the entire discourse or dialog. Very insightful. You truly get to see others hearts…

  25. How can two walk together unless they are in agreement? As Christians who believe practicing homosexual behavior is a sin, on what grounds are we to find agreement?

    The chief hallmark and foundation of life in Christ is repentance. John the Baptist came preaching repentance, Jesus preached repentance as did the Apostles and Prophets. Repentance from what? Our sins, of course. Why else would we even need the gospel unless we were and are lawbreakers?

    When we allow the culture the define what sin is and isn’t, instead the word of God itself, we’ve already lost the battle.

    The so-called “progressive christians” have hijacked and attached certain definitions to words in order to justify their sins. Not only justify them, but to say that God himself is not only unoffended by those sins, but approves of them.

    Jesus said “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” John 3:19

    My opinion is that you are barking up the wrong tree.

  26. Scott,

    I’m actually sitting in the tree I’m barking at…
    I have no issue with letting the Scriptures define sin.
    I have an issue with how we deal with sinners and how we institutionalize our own sins…the one’s we’ve defined, but cover.
    Perhaps I’m a horrible compromiser on the slippery slope to hell, but I can and do find fellowship with those who I have vast theological differences with… around the Gospel and in Christ.
    If my fellowship was limited to only those I’m in complete agreement with, it’s down to me and Miss Kitty…before I feed her.

  27. #10 is sort of what I was trying to say on another thread. Thank you. Very well stated. Especially the humility part. So often we argue to win rather than argue to become enlightened.

    Maybe that’s the key thing that has changed in America today or has gone wrong in modern times. Many lack humility. That goes for people, churches, beliefs, and even nations. Not a false modesty, but a genuine humble nature.

  28. yes, MLD, we get jerseys, but’ll have to give them away regularly. 😉

  29. …along with the warm-ups…

  30. Bob,
    “and decided to try and understand Jesus from the perspective of a Second Temple Period ”

    I for one (me not necessarily a Lutheran position) do not think that God came back Israel with Ezra & Nehemiah, so 2nd Temple Judaism was all fake and no God. I don’t know what you can learn about Jesus in that venue – other than to look at a man in his times.

    What did the rabbi teach you that was different?

  31. “How can two walk together unless they are in agreement? ”

    I do not doubt that this statement is true; but I find myself needing to ask “HOW is this true” in order to consider these more complicated cultural issues.

    Agreement?
    Like in matters of eschatology? women in ministry? atonement? Hell? spiritual gifts? baptism? denominationalism? communion? liturgy? drums in worship? rock n roll? slavery? (Oh, wait–that was last centuries issue–not this one’s)
    Name two, just two Christians who agree on every Scriptural interpretation concerning just these few items in my list.
    We do not agree.
    Interpretive pluralism exists, and we deny it constantly. Honestly! How many new denominations have sprung up from the events surrounding the Reformation?

    As far as I can see, GOD WITH US IN CHRIST is nearly all we have been able to agree upon throughout the church’s history, and that warrants a loving and thankful response more than a “need to be right” one. IMO
    Humility may be warranted here?
    I wonder how a lost world would respond to huge doses of that stuff mixed with rivers of integrity and love for those who do not look like us or share our story?
    Just a thought.

  32. A few weeks ago, someone I love dearly came to me admitting they might be inclined other than God would have them be.

    They stated their knowledge of my stance according to Scripture and then waited for me to kick them out of my life.

    I said that was right: they knew what I believed and that was not going to change. What then, was I going to do?

    Love them. Nothing they could do would ever change that.

    We have not discussed it since.

  33. I know people who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture who interpret the NT “gay” verses differently. Is everyone 100% sure that their interpretation is correct? This issue isn’t Christ’s divinity or His bodily resurrection. Are we 100%, no room for “I might be wrong” sure about this?

    I’m certainly not.

  34. Scott said, “The chief hallmark and foundation of life in Christ is repentance. ”

    King David died in his sin of Polygamy and Concubines (sex slaves)…or are those things not sin?

    You will die in many sins you don’t acknowledge as sin in your life as well.

  35. Laura,

    Well said…well done, my friend.

  36. Jim,

    That’s why I extend “fellowship” to those who affirm the “kerygma” and creeds.
    I know I’m wrong about some stuff, I’m just not sure where.
    I will debate according to my best understandings, but hopefully do so with some measure of humility.

  37. Does anyone on here think they will not die “in sin” and committing sins they know are sins and committing sins they don’t acknowledge as sins until the day they die?

    Anyone who says otherwise is a liar or delusional.

  38. I think some are just trying to play hardball. No one is kicking the homosexual out of Christianity etc. To stand up for a principle does not mean that you take a similar action.

    I speak very forcefully against illegal aliens and the fact that they break the law and that we should do something. That does not mean that i advocate gathering them up in a bus and drive them back to their land.

    By the same token sin is sin and must be addressed – and because there are 2 dozen CC pastors who are rogue womanizers, I will not let that stifle my voice for right. But I do not advocate keeping these folks out of church – that is exactly where they need to be.

    I don’t care who is sitting in the pew, I want the pastor to point at all of us.

  39. Jim, why do you not think that the “gay” verses are as clear as the divinity of Christ verses?

  40. “I don’t care who is sitting in the pew, I want the pastor to point at all of us.”

    Ya, and at themselves…which doesn’t happen in certain non-denominations and most evangelical churches.

  41. MLD,

    Despite you and Steve’s protestations to the contrary, I didn’t ask anyone to stifle their voices.
    I simply think it’s hypocritical to make one sin a hill to die on while co-existing with others.

  42. Michael,
    You are being absolutely dishonest. No one is making one sin a hill to die on. All we ask is that all sinners repent of their sin. So we can go down the list –
    Gossip
    Adultery
    Gluttony
    Lying
    Cheating Stealing
    Fornication
    Homosexuality
    Coveting
    Etc.

    Even including the etc – I think, and I think I am right, that most Christians in huge numbers, when confronted with their sin, even after some foot dragging, will confess and repent. On that list which one would get close to zero confession and repentance?

    Take a minute to think about it and get back to me. That is what make the homosexual different.

    Now, if they are not claiming to be a Christian, I don’t care – just as I don’t care about the glutton or adulterer.

  43. RB,
    “Ya, and at themselves…which doesn’t happen in certain non-denominations and most evangelical churches.”

    Here is an example of how it is done. Matthew Harrison’s acceptance speech 5 yrs ago when he became head of the LCMS – 7 min.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5W6OCHL1Yw

  44. MLD,

    “You are being absolutely dishonest.”

    I’m tired of insults that accomplish nothing more than hard feelings and strife.
    I may be wrong as hell as I try to work through these matters in front of an audience, both it’s not because I’m being dishonest.

  45. I apologize for the overstatement

  46. But do you see my point why the homosexual is different than the adulterer – at least in the church?

  47. I simply think it’s hypocritical to make one sin a hill to die on while co-existing with others.
    ————————————————————————————–
    I was staying away from this thread but since my name is attached to this slander I will respond.

    If there is anyone who does not see the unique nature of this particular sin, one must not be paying attention. It is a unique hill. And while not all hills are to die on, sometimes there is a hill to die on. A pinch of incense? A state license to preach. Seem pretty trivial and after all, is there anything in the Bible about preaching licenses? Aren’t we to obey the laws of the land? Hey, maybe you can love the bureaucrat who is working on your license application!

    I have REPEATEDLY said, in no uncertain terms, that homosexual behavior is the one sin that our world is pushing the Church to accept – at least our world in America (Following Mohammed for example is pushed on brothers and sisters in other countries – but they tend to have a Spiritual backbone)

    Key word – accept. The world may shrug at fornication, drunkenness, greed, anger, and a host of other sins. The world may legalize, market, and rejoice in many of these sins. And some churches may do so as well. A pox on them all.

    And the world may mock at the Christian beliefs in these areas as well. That is nothing new in America..being laughed at for Christ.

    But while they will laugh at your for thinking you should stay a virgin until marriage, they will seek your destruction for thinking that homosexual behavior is always sinful. Laugh turned to hate. Ironically while accusing the Christian of being the hater and in violation of some progressive “hate-crime” legislation.

    If pastors in America one day are arrested. If churches one day are shut down by the government (or more likely first – lose their tax-exempt status) it will be because of this one sin. Nothing else. I challenge anyone to think of something else that is even in the same zip code as the risk for the freedom of conscience for the American pastor.

    (although I will grant an asterisk when it comes to Obamacare and abortion inducing prescription drugs. Churches are exempt there but other ministries and Christian businesses of course are not)

    We already are seeing Christian businesses sued out of existence on this issue of homosexual acceptance. TODAY. That has happened. It is not scare tactics. It is history. Activists destroyed the livelihood of your brothers and sisters – what they do to feed their children. And rather than the Church universally joining in defense of their brothers and sisters, we see a muted and mixed message about “the loving thing for the Christian businessman is to take those wedding photos or bake that cake” – Said of course by people with no skin in the game..no risk to their own lives.

    Anyway, I continue to minister to homosexuals battling their same-sex attractions in love and grace. We have more than one at our church. I continue to speak against all sin when I preach with no special emphasis on this one.

    But I also intend to be easy to find when told my speech in teaching through the Bible is a hate crime violation and I will have to remove and destroy the old messages and cease and desist.

  48. I lack MLD’s brevity but he and I seem to be on the same page as to why this hill is “different”

  49. Stepped back in for a moment.

    MLD

    He wasn’t a rabbi, he was a University Professor who had access to the Dead Sea Scrolls and whose expertise was 2 Temple period culture and teaching. What did he reveal? Well for one how Jesus taught as a typical Rabbi of the era. But do you really care or are you just baiting me for a brawl?

    BTW the man’s name is, Professor David Flusser, Professor of early Christianity and Second Temple Period Judaism, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before you get your pants all wadded up, this man was not a professing Christian.

    MLD sometimes I think it’s good and sometimes I think it’s too bad you see all doctrinal things in light of your Missouri Lutheran Glasses. And I understand those doctrines to you are the “best” interpretation of the scriptures. I would never try to take that away from you.

    You might notice we are in agreement on man things, not to mention Jesus’ death, resurrection and Lordship.

    Oh well back to work.

  50. I will take my lying, slanderous, leave from this and hope that we have offered some amount of a different perspective for those who wish to think through the mess a bit more.

  51. Could you imagine adulterers or live in couples protesting in front of a church demanding that they be taken off the “sin list.”

  52. Bob,
    ” But do you really care or are you just baiting me for a brawl?”

    I really did care. You indicated that he presented a different view of Jesus, but did not say what that view was or why it was significant … so I asked.

    There are many things that I see through non Lutheran lenses. I even said my view on God not returning to the rebuilt temple (Nehemiah) was my view and not a Lutheran view.

    You seem defensive, have you and I ever done battle? I know I am old and forgetful, but I don’t remember that we have.

  53. MLD’s #20 is the truth.
    This is an internet discussion.
    There are no news stories on it that I have seen.
    Right now the news is focusing on floating bits of something in the Indian Ocean.
    No one in real life has even suggested it’s existence.
    This is like some closed discussion on the Internet.

    Do we have to struggle and wrestle with every issue?
    I say no.
    There has been too much give on this issue already.

    I don’t see progressives saying they need to wrestle with this issue.
    As usual, they think they have the intellectual and moral high ground and sit “preaching” from their thrones.
    Guilt is their currency and a gospel of works is their club.
    I haven’t seen a progressive Christian yet that actually thinks well of Christians on the conservative side of the spectrum.
    Josh got mad because of that last week.
    They will never admit any wrong and are usually so snobbish and mocking that it is insulting.

  54. Agree with SW and MLD.

    We are not singling out this sin. It is forces outside the church that are singling out this one sin as the one that the church must accept.

    Nobody has accused me of being hateful for believing shoplifting is unhealthy behavior.

  55. FYI, I am also against torturing puppies. But nobody is saying that makes me hateful.

  56. MLD:

    “You seem defensive, have you and I ever done battle? I know I am old and forgetful, but I don’t remember that we have.”

    Your reputation is long and wide. It doesn’t take a scholar to observe a few pages of PP and see how you go after what people say. I’m never really sure if you just enjoy the sarcasm and pursuit rather than really rooted out what people believe.

    BTW Flusser holds the Synoptic Gospels as probably being a good representation of Jesus as a Rabbi but not John. Too much messianic stuff and proofing Jesus is the Word for Flusser.

    One of the most interesting things Flusser brings out is the teachings in Parables and how it was common and Jesus did it very well.

    More work, day’s not over.

  57. (Possible threepeat)

    Actually, there is one other belief that is hateful and intolerant: Hell.

    I believe those who do not accept Christ go to hell.

  58. MLD (and others):

    I often find it is worth stepping back and listening to the din about modern Christianity. I find I got very myopic when I stuck to my former denomination. It seemed to me at least much of the effort was the preservation of the denomination, its doctrines and theology over loving God, following Jesus and being a light.

    When I talk to practicing Jews I find they have a low view of Christianity, and not just because of their persecution. They often say how Biblical ignorant Christians are with the very bible we say is the “word of God.” Muslims say the same thing and of course most agnostics and atheist in the USA and Europe spend their time mocking the bible and those who believe it.

    Boy you can’t win, either in the world or here at PP.

    😉

    Tine to finish my work and enjoy the evening with my grandson.

    Thank you, all the comments today are worthy of the read and consideration.

  59. Bob,
    Have a good evening – I am leaving work soon to go watch my 10 yr old grandson play football (who plays football in March???)

    My 6 yr old granddaughter is a cheerleader – this should be good.

  60. I read in Corinthians how known, unrepentant sexual sin was not to be celebrated within the local church. Paul did not need to dialogue. He judged without even being present to hear any sides because the sinful behavior spoke for itself. The goal of the excommunication was to bring repentance – it came with a stern rebuke that to coddle and entertain such sin amongst professing believers would end up affecting the entire church.

    Again, not someone struggling with a sin, seeking victory but coming up short on occasion. Not private confession with the pastor about their shortcomings. Someone flaunting sexual sinful behavior. A church knowing and approving of the behavior.

    The passage could not be any more clear – the goal of repentance likewise as clear.

    In response today we have some who diminish Paul of course. Not really looking at anything he wrote as authoritative (this is the “well Jesus never spoke about it’ crowd)

    But more significantly, we note that THIS sexual sin in Corinthians was not homosexual. And that is really the key issue before us today. Is homosexual activity sinful behavior by definition – yes or no. If yes, what possible dialogue is there when it comes to a church openly receiving and accepting unrepentant sexual sinners.

    Not whether people have attractions, are orientated or born that way, nature versus nurture…and not what the state should or should not do as to certain rights. This WV was about a group that will fire you if you deny the Trinity, but was going to hire you if you were in unrepentant sexual sin. What is there to dialog about? This is not Disney or Starbucks giving same-sex partners health benefits. This is World Vision

    Even Jim, who I respect as much as anyone here, and who I find myself aligning with on many topics ponders if maybe the church is wrong on whether this behavior is proper in God’s sight or not. If man actually can lie with man, or woman with woman, and all the abomination, unseemly, vile lust, unnatural – (Scripture words) are to be meant differently.

    Frankly, I am dumbfounded.

    But let’s not obfuscate the issue with the idea of trying to preach the gospel to the lost, loving those who need Jesus. Nobody is even remotely speaking on that being the focus of the discussion here.

  61. Steve, well said. I am dumbfounded as well. Why does there need to be more and more discussions about this? It seems pretty cut and dry. Maybe I an not getting something and I’m willing to listen but so far nothing makes sense. I grew up in the Presbyterian church when they went thru the split forming the U.S.A. church. I was just a little kid but I have seen the devastation that has caused even to this day. It has affected me deeply.

  62. Here is a pretty good article I read about the situation in the United Methodist Church.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2014/03/20/a-response-to-bishop-sanos-call-to-biblical-obedience-part-four/

    Sometime there is nothing to do but divide.

  63. It seems like all the major denominations (Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans) all have their progressive wing trying to push the envelop of what is biblical.

  64. Steve, the issue is you judge a community outside of your church…but not the pastor inside your church whose son says molested him.

  65. Steve, why do so many of your fellow CC pastors publicly decry gay marriage that is occurring outside their church…but none step forward publicly and condemn the abuse and corruption in their own CC Church Association?

    It’s a clear answer IMO: You guys don’t take 1 Corinthians 5:12 as literal and authoritative. You also don’t take Paul’s example in 1 Corinthians of removing the person from among your Association as exampled many times over in CC’s sketchy history.

    Calvary Chapel seems to do the opposite…you guys don’t judge within…you don’t remove guys from your leadership in CC Association…you do publicly lobby against perceived evils outside of your church…and you do call for action against those issues outside your church on a regular basis. I can pull online articles of tons of CC pastors taking public stands against all the sins perceived outside of Calvary Chapel…but I cannot find ONE CC pastor in any searching who has taken a public stand rebuking the sins inside of Calvary Chapel.

    Why is that? Isn’t 1 Corinthians 5:12 clear? Is the bible not to be followed on everything, just what you pick and choose?

  66. Truly enjoyed the discussion, PhxPr peeps.

    As a a family, we agree on what the scripture says is healthy behavior, and we agree that as a family we fall short.

    Those on the outside will claim that our imperfections forbid us from holding to a standard.

    Well, our imperfections may cost us the authority to be judgmental.

    Butt they do not cost us the right to maintain that there is a truth to which all will be held accountable.

  67. Most Christian homosexuals I know think the act is sin…but they can no more shake it than all the fat Christians on here and elsewhere can keep the gluttony off for good…or no more than the jerks on here and elsewhere can keep from being a jerk for good etc etc.

  68. The truth is, most of Christianity* has created some taboo sins. Those sins are usually the ones the other guy or gal is doing.

  69. I guess when I see scores of Calvary Chapel pastors in the media decrying gluttony, child abuse, lying, pride, financial corruption, spousal abuse, adultery, etc…I’ll be more inclined to think there isn’t some sort of special hierarchy of sin in CC and other similar evangelical groups.

    Right now, the evidence from the public actions is overwhelming supportive of a thesis that states Calvary Chapel and other similar evangelical churches are pre-occupied with a couple of sins…while not nearly as passionate or concerned with all the others…many of which are prevalent in their ranks.

  70. Just google “calvary chapel and gay marriage” and you’ll see what a major issue publicly it is for them.

    Google some other sins…and see if you can find any of the pastors in the media decrying those.

    Google “calvary chapel pastor speaks out about abuse in calvary chapel”….you won’t find one…just a ton of stories of abuse in calvary chapel.

  71. “. . . Smith didn’t let his protege entirely off the hook. Sabolick showed “perhaps a carelessness in finances,” Smith said. He cited two examples: In one, Sabolick used a church credit card to buy boots and clothes for a visiting Australian singer whose shoes were held together with duct tape.

    In another, while trying to help a young girl, he “gave her things and it was misinterpreted as a romantic gesture. Joe is a very giving person, but you’ve got to keep better records on spending.”

    Sabolick’s touchy-feely manner didn’t help, Smith said. When asked if he advised Sabolick to curb displays of physical affection, Smith replied: “Oh my, yes. Billy Graham says don’t touch the money and don’t touch the girls.”

    But Smith saw no reason to bar Sabolick from the ministry. In recent weeks, the Calvary patriarch has tried to broker a settlement of the lawsuit. The only sticking point Smith sees is calculating how much the Laguna church owes Sabolick for severance pay and unreturned personal items versus how much Joe owes the church for funds borrowed for “some projects,” Smith said.

    But hammering out a compromise might not be so simple, despite Smith’s hopes.”–Patheos article by Terry Mattingly who directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

    …Lying is supposedly a sin “god hates”.

    Chuck Smith told me to my face he’s never gotten involved in other “independent” Calvary Chapel affairs. Clearly Chuck was lying as there are too many examples of his active participation to ignore.

    Why no public outcry from CC pastors about Chuck’s habitual lying? Why no public outcries of corruption and abuse and adultery in CC’s ranks? Not one CC pastor that I can find in the media, ever, that has been publicly critical of sins in CC…unless it’s anonymously…and even that is extremely rare.

    Chuck died holding onto a lie…a known sin. Is he in hell? Yet, you would say a practicing homosexual has no chance for heaven…

  72. If Joe Sabolick was gay, Chuck Smith would have thrown him under the bus and out of Calvary Chapel faster than you can say “don’t touch god’s anointed”…and that is a fact you cannot deny.

  73. “Yet, you would say a practicing homosexual has no chance for heaven…”

    This is where RB is so full of crap that Pampers won’t even touch him. Not once has anyone here today spoken of homosexuals not going to heaven. The discussion has been about why homosexuals don’t think their acts should count as sin and why the church should just accept them in the middle of their acts..

    RB, go back and read my #42 @2:44 – answer that question – and not with a bunch of your BS questions – just answer it straight.

    And I told you on your blog, you don’t know anything about the meaning of that 1 Cor passage.

  74. MLD, I am speaking against the common evangelical apologetic and defense for rationalizing making gay marriage and the issue of homosexuality taboo: That rationale is that “practicing” homosexuals cannot go to heaven.

    If you dispute that above, then you haven’t dialogued with very many evangelicals and you don’t know their position.

  75. Your disagreement with the 1 Corinthians 5:12 interpretation just further illustrates how the real meaning of “the bible says!” is relative and based upon your particular interpretation as even a straightforward verse like that illicits broad disagreement as to what it really means.

  76. MLD, in response to your #42 since you pressed and want a response:

    I disagree (shocker I know).

    Here’s why:

    In the conservative evangelical church you can be a practicing Liar and be a pastor, no problem. You can be a practicing Glutton and be a pastor, in spades. You can be a practicing Prideful jerk and be a pastor…seems to nearly be a requirement to be on, you can be a Fornicator or Adulterer or Divorced and be a pastor in many cases.

    You cannot be Gay.

    There is a hierarchy of sins in the conservative evangelical (and other) churches. This belief is demonstrated not in words…but in practice…and what you do and don’t do is a profession of true belief…not the rhetoric.

  77. We all have our biases.

    Mine? While I am not fond of many CC pastors, I have a special disdain for pastors or anyone for that matter who abuses kids either physically or sexually or both.

    To me, those are the most evil scum amongst the sinning masses.

    Gays? While I personally disagree with it and don’t see it normative or desirable…for the small percentage of humans who claim to be born with that predisposition…I have no beef…assuming it is consenting adults.

    If they want to get a Govt. sanctioned “marriage” contract…I’m not going to lose any sleep.

    If the Govt. tells us we cannot hold a moral opinion that calls it “sin” or “wrong”…then I’ve got a big problem…just as we need to protect the right for others to hold a moral opinion that says it isn’t “sin” or “wrong” if the person was born that way.

    We really don’t know. If folks are born that way, then that predisposition would be “natural” for them…just as you are born heterosexual (I assume, though you are from SoCal and you are kind of emotional).

    Science has observed some interesting differences which suggest a possible biological physiological reality that isn’t a “choice”…while not discounting the fact there are some who choose the lifestyle (many bisexuals as well who will hump either sex).

    Is homosexual sex “sin” according to the bible? Yep, seems pretty clearly listed as “sin”.

    Are churches and pulpits full of sinners who continue to sin…some recognizing they are sinning, some in denial that their sins are sin? Yep, in spades. I can’t think of one person who is not currently sinning and “living in sin” nor one person who doesn’t have a sin (or many) they don’t see and don’t think is sin (Gluttony is one big Denial sin for many Christians*).

    Most Gluttons I know don’t believe they are “in sin”…and they are practicing that sin…and they will live and die in that sin.

    Why no massive outcry and political activism from the “church” over all the Gluttons who are in sin, in the pulpits and pews and in denial that their Gluttony is not sin?

    Why? B/c that’s how humans roll. Gluttons don’t think their sin is sin. They were “born with it” or have a “slow metabolism” or some other bullspit. Same goes for many homosexuals and their rationale.

  78. We already are seeing Christian businesses sued out of existence on this issue of homosexual acceptance. TODAY. That has happened.”

    So then why not just give up your tax exempt status so you can preach the truth uncompromised? You don’t need a license to preach the word of God, the Apostles didn’t and they got arrested, so much for obeying the laws od the land. Why be yoked with Caesar anyways for some tax exempt status=$$$?

  79. Churches cannot lose their “tax exempt” status. The constitution / bill of rights forbids taxing churches.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    Which part of “NO LAW” do people not understand? That includes tax law.

  80. Nothing wrong with the Church going underground anyways, maybe it’s time to prune the faithful from the compromising

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