Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another Battle in the Culture Wars

So our City Council in Racine just approved a LGBT Community Center. You can read the story at the local paper's website here: http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2008/12/17/local_news/doc49488be844b85734395983.txt

Rather than comment and get lost in the string of sniping back and forth that follows the article, I'll share some thoughts here -

I'm glad there was no taxpayer money used to fund this. I think there is an important difference between allowing something and, through use of state or local public funds, actually promoting it. This is what true tolerance is about - allowing something you disagree with.

Still, if I were a local Councilman, I would have voted against it. If you truly believe that an activity is immoral, then wouldn't you oppose it? For instance, if someone wanted to open a community center that helped people learn how to - oh - cheat on their wives. I would oppose that.

I'm sure there are "haters" on both sides of this issue. But I wish that level-headed people who disagree could talk about it without the emotions flying.

Just because I believe something is wrong to do doesn't mean I hate everyone who does it. I know some very nice people who do some things I don't agree with - even some of my closest friends and family. But they know where I stand, and they also know I don't hate them for it.

In fact, everyone I know does a lot of wrong - we call it sin. Nobody is perfect. We all need Christ's forgiveness. But as a Christian and as a pastor, I am especially concerned when sin is normalized, accepted, and even lauded.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Live and let live, this was about rezoning, not pushing a religious agenda. Get over it, it's time that we all come together. Yes, I am straight, a senior and absolutely a believer in the fact that God loves us all.

Preachrboy said...

Anonymous,

This is exactly the kind of emotional comment that doesn't really engage the issue, but basically says, "shut up".

In a way, you've just proven the whole point of my post.

"God loves us all" of course that's true, but it's not the only truth that applies here. Sin is still sin. Our loving God also takes sin seriously, even if you don't.

smallgovsam said...

How is homosexuality a sin when people are born that way? All the scientific evidence we have points to a genetic reason for homosexuality.

Is God cruel for burning sinners in a lake of fire when he himself created the homosexual gene? Why should others suffer for eternity for his Divine Malfeasance?

Or…maybe…God’s a self-hating gay?

busygurl said...

First of all, God did NOT create a homosexual gene. He created the world to be a perfect place. It was the first sin that sent the world into the sinful state we now live in. God wanted perfection, man chose sin.

People like to make the claim that homosexuality is a genetic issue. And since it is a genetic issue it is not sin, but rather simply an “alternative” lifestyle or way of living.

Just because someone is “born” with feelings that are not God pleasing does not excuse the fact that they are sinning.

If you are going to follow the reasoning that homosexuality is not wrong because people are “born” that way, consider this- Some people are born with a predisposition for alcoholism, abuse of drugs, fits of rage, physical/sexual abuse, sexual molestation of children or other deviant behaviors. If they are born “predisposed” to this does that mean that drug driving, using drugs, abusing a spouse, raping a women, or molesting a child are fine and acceptable behavior? After all…they were “born” this way.

OF COURSE NOT!!!!!!!!

All repulsive behaviors should be punished by the earthly authorities and judged by God’s perfect law. Sin is still sin! There is never an excuse to sin!

Perhaps there are some factors that lead some people to live a homosexual lifestyle. Again, this does not excuse the fact that they are sinning. Even if someone is predisposed to have homosexual tendencies (which again are sinful!), they are still loved by God.

Homosexuality is a sin, no worse than any other sin. Our loving and merciful God can and will forgive all sins, when they are repented of. God loves even homosexual’s, however, he HATES sin (which homosexuality is!)

Preachrboy said...

Busygurl,

Well said.

Sam,

Again, your questions smack of disrespect, and that doesn't make me want to answer seriously.

smallgovsam said...

Thanks for proving my point.

You both reacted with disgust and offense at the notion that your God was a homosexual. This can only be explained by a deep-seated animosity for those with a different sexual orientation than you. With nothing but a book of myths and legends to bolster yourself, you brand others that are different from you that are doing you no harm as deviant “sinners.”

I’m not sure if that’s hatred but its close…

And of course its genetics! All scientific studies point to it. Homosexuality has been observed in over 1,500 animal species. If I remember Catholic school right, man is the only creature with Original Sin. Are animals committing a sin when they don’t have a soul? Perhaps something is making them homosexual -- a gene perhaps?

Why would someone choose to be gay when they face so much discrimination from intolerant demagogues?

busygurl said...

Explain what you mean by "your God was a homosexual"

smallgovsam said...

I'm sorry. Bad grammar.

What I meant to say was "Your God IS a homosexual."

He's not dead I guess...yet.

busygurl said...

Again, how can you make the claim that God is a homosexual?

smallgovsam said...

Truth is - I can't.

Because God doesn't exist.

What I was trying to show that no doubt you found my comment offensive because you are prejudice against homosexuality, a common and acceptable genetic trait.

busygurl said...

I did not find your comment offensive. No, I did not agree with it, but I did not find it offensive. The whole point of Preachrboy posting that article allowing for discussion was for "level-headed people who disagree could talk about it without the emotions flying."

You say I am "prejudice against homosexuality". You are entitled to your opinion. I would disagree with you. My best friend happens to be a homosexual. I am very close to this person and not a day goes by that I do not pray and ask that he sees that he is living in sin and seeks the Lord for forgiveness. I guess the friendship that exists between my friend and I is what tolerance is all about. He knows that I am against the way that he is living. He respects that I cannot condone his lifestyle based on my beliefs. Just because I do not agree with his lifestyle does not mean that I am a "hater". Quite the opposite. I care very deeply about him. That is why I point out that his lifestyle is a sin.

I don’t think you and I will ever be able to “agree” on this. What it comes down to is belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His Word- the Bible. I pray that some day you will see the Light and that the Holy Spirit will work in your heart that you will have faith in Him.

Preachrboy said...

There is NO proof it is genetic. No proof. None.

I personally believe it is a combination of genetic predisposition, environmental factors and choice. But even if it is an orientation one is born with, that doesn't change what scripture teaches. Fact is, we are all born sinful and in need of salvation. So in a way, it doesn't really matter where it comes from.

Animals do all sorts of things that probably aren't "right" the way God intended it. But the Bible teaches that all creation is fallen because of Adam's sin. So, yeah, it doesn't surprise us to see corruption there too.

I grant that being gay may bring some hardships with it, and the disapproval of many. This is supposed to prove that it's beyond choice? Guess what, people commit all kinds of sins that bring all sorts of unpleasant consequences upon themselves - full well knowing it beforehand. Sin doesn't always (or even usually)make sense. But that doesn't stop people from choosing to do wrong.

Now, Sam, respectful discourse seems to be a challenge for you. I'm trying to be patient. But really, it's wearing thin.

Yes, it is offensive to suggest to Christians that God himself is a homosexual, but not because we are knee-jerk bigots. It would be just as disrespectful to call God a theif or a liar. Because, Sam, these things are sinful and God by his very nature is holy.

We get that you don't believe God exists, but if you'd like to continue conversing with Christians you need to tone it down. I'm not out here throwing around perjorative terms like bigot and hater and such. You could do us the same courtesy.

Preachrboy said...

Busygurl,

Thanks for not being too "busy" to comment. I appreciate your kind and well-measured responses.

busygurl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
smallgovsam said...

10 to 15 percent of female western gulls in some populations in the wild are lesbian. How does a seagull, with a brain the size of a walnut, “choose” to be gay? All seagulls rear their young pretty much the same way, ruling out environmental factors. Homosexuality has been observed in GUT WORMS. It is impossible for them to “choose” to be gay or “turn gay” due to environmental factors. The ONLY possible explanation is a genetic trait. If conscience must be present for sin to occur (as the Bible teaches) how can worms sin when they clearly do not have the brain capacity to understand God’s Divine Arbitrary Edicts?

Thieves and liars harm others. Homosexuality interferes with no one’s liberty.

And of course God’s a thief. The worst kind in fact -- a slaver. Taking away people’s freedom for the rest of their lives is one of the most heinous crimes I can conceive. God clearly condones slavery.

"Thy bond-men and thy bond-maids which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you: of them shall ye buy bond-men and bond-maids. Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land. And they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession, they shall be your bond-man forever."
—Leviticus 25:44-46

"The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes."
—Luke 12:46-47

"Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit."
—1 Timothy 6:1-2

And God is a liar, too.

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” - 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (New International Version)

In1 Kings 22:12-23, God puts “lying spirits” in his prophets. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

Does it bother you that your Lord is a tyrant that rules arbitrarily AND hypocritically? Does it surprise that an atheist’s moral code is less savage than that of the Heavenly Father’s?

For it is God who has sinned against the world! Throw off your shackles of faith!

busygurl said...

Sam,

You said:
10 to 15 percent of female western gulls in some populations in the wild are lesbian. How does a seagull, with a brain the size of a walnut, “choose” to be gay? All seagulls rear their young pretty much the same way, ruling out environmental factors. Homosexuality has been observed in GUT WORMS. It is impossible for them to “choose” to be gay or “turn gay” due to environmental factors. The ONLY possible explanation is a genetic trait.

Reply:
It all comes down to the first sin. God created a perfect world. There was no sin. NONE! God is perfect! Everything he created was perfect! God did not put sin in the world. “Sin entered the world through one man (Adam) and death through sin” Adam sinned sending the world into a spiral of sin and devastation. Whether it be a western gull, a gut worm or a human being, if they are homosexual it is sinful!

You said:
If conscience must be present for sin to occur (as the Bible teaches) how can worms sin when they clearly do not have the brain capacity to understand God’s Divine Arbitrary Edicts?

Reply:
It does not take brain capacity to sin. Quite the contrary, it is easy to sin. It is natural to sin. People as well as animals sin, many times with no thought going into it.

You said:
Thieves and liars harm others. Homosexuality interferes with no one’s liberty.

Reply:
The problem with homosexuality is that it is not a liberty that any person or animal has. It may be acceptable and even lauded in society but that does not make it a liberty. No one has a free ticket to sin. Sin is sin. Sin WILL be punished by God if it is not repented of with a sincere heart that approached the Lord in faith.

You said:
And of course God’s a thief. The worst kind in fact -- a slaver. Taking away people’s freedom for the rest of their lives is one of the most heinous crimes I can conceive. God clearly condones slavery.

Reply:
My patience is running short with you…you have NO right to call the Holy and Perfect God a thief or a slaver. God does NOT take away people’s freedom. He sets us free. From the bondage of sin and slavery.

Consider this…parents make rules for their children. Why? Not to make their children’s lives miserable. On the contrary, the rules parents make are for their children’s own good. “Don’t cross the street without an adult.” Benefit-child will not get hit and get killed. God makes rules. “Don’t have sex outside of marriage” Benefit-sex will be that much more of a special gift within the context of a loving marriage and there is no chance of a pregnancy. “You shall not engage in homosexuality” Benefit-contracting AIDS will not be an issue.

God does not take away any freedom from his people. He forbids certain activities for their own good and happiness. Consider that.

You said:
"Thy bond-men and thy bond-maids which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you: of them shall ye buy bond-men and bond-maids. Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land. And they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession, they shall be your bond-man forever."
—Leviticus 25:44-46

Reply:
I prefer to answer based on the NIV translation: 44 " 'Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

All that this passage is talking about is the commands the Israelites were being given. They were to acquire slaves from the nations around them rather than enslaving their own people. You also have to understand what slavery was all about. This slavery is not like the slavery Americans have come to know (example: whites enslaving blacks during the civil war period.). No. Slavery was much like an employee-employer relationship. God-fearing people were to treat their slaves with honesty and respect, much like an employer is to treat an employee. Did some people take advantage and treat their slaves poorly? Sadly, I am sure there were some. This would have been a sin and anger God the same way that all sins anger Him.

You said:
"The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes."
—Luke 12:46-47

Reply:
NIV translation: 41Peter asked, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?" 42The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers”.

You are not supporting your position AT ALL! First of all, you cannot take a passage out of context! The section where this passage comes from is a parable. A parable is a story that Jesus would use to teach his disciples or the people around him a lesson or truth. That is what he is doing in this section. Jesus is teaching the people that they need to be watchful and prepared at any time, as they do not know the time or the hour. Take a look at the whole context of the passage. It commends the servant who is tending to his duties and is doing everything he has been commanded. Then it goes on to talk about the servant who takes advantage of his position and mistreats the man and maidservants. Then it says that the master of the servant who is mistreating the others will “cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers”. The servant who was not being watchful and not doing what he was suppose to was severely dealt with by the master for not doing what he was supposed to. This did not, nor should really happen. It is again, a parable, a lesson was being taught.

Someone once told me that Jesus taught in parables because the believers understood what he was saying while the unbelievers were left in a state of confusion because they were “blind to the truth”. I guess this is supported by the fact that you did NOT understand this, when the meaning is clearly evident when the Word is read in faith.

You said:
"Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit."
—1 Timothy 6:1-2

Reply:
NIV: 1All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them."

Take note of the portion that I underlined. They are good words for you to take a look at! Again, this passage in no way supports that God is a slaver or condones slavery in the sense that you are trying to say.

You said:
And God is a liar, too.

Reply:
No! God is NOT a liar. I will not tolerate ignorance at this level. I am trying to be civilized, but it is difficult when you seem to have a problem returning the favor!

You said:
“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” - 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (New International Version)

Reply:
How does this in any way say that God is a liar? That is such foolishness! This passage is saying that the devil or evil will come and display counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, to deceive those who are lost. They are going to perish because they do not believe (would this apply to you-perishing sue to unbelief?) This is not saying that God is a liar. This is putting the truth out there that those who follow the “lawless one” or the “devil” will perish in hell.

You said:
In 1 Kings 22:12-23, God puts “lying spirits” in his prophets. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

Reply:
This passage is simply showing that God gave people over to the devil because they chose that path. It is called free will. He is not going to stop someone from doing the evil they choose. Hmmm…is this not also applicable perhaps to you?

You said:
Does it bother you that your Lord is a tyrant that rules arbitrarily AND hypocritically?

Reply:
How could it bother me when the Lord is NOT a tyrant who rules arbitrarily or hypocritically? You are so wrong! You are also crossing a line that you have NO right to be doing!

You said:
Does it surprise that an atheist’s moral code is less savage than that of the Heavenly Father’s?

Reply:
An atheist’s moral code holds no weight for me. Anything that comes from ignorance (Yes, atheism is ignorance!) I will give no thought to.

You said:
For it is God who has sinned against the world! Throw off your shackles of faith!

Reply:
Again, foolishness! God cannot “sin against the world”. Rather the world has sinned against a Holy and Perfect God.

I have no “shackles of faith”. I have a loving God who sent his one and only Son into the world to save all people. All people who have sincere faith in him.

I am appalled by your ignorance and misunderstanding!

busygurl said...

Preachrboy,

I apologize if I am putting too much of my own thoughts on here. Tell me if you would prefer to answer Sam's comments.

smallgovsam said...

Addressing the “can animals sin” question, you response explains very nicely that animals CAN “sin” but not WHY. The obvious scientific answer is a genetic trait. As you believe that there was a Creation and God created all the animals and their DNA in one day, he MUST have created the gay gene, as the environmental and choice theories do not make any sense. There is no other reasonable explanation. Your God screwed up and is punishing others for it.

As for the “homosexuality is a liberty” question, homosexuality is indeed a freedom. Just because it is label with a discredited book, doesn’t make it true. Because it does not interfere with anyone else’s life liberty or the pursuit of happiness, homosexuality is indeed a freedom, just like religion.

Regarding Leviticus 25:44-46 , if I am understanding you correctly, I can own slaves as long as they aren’t “my people” (sounds like petty tribalism/racism to me) and I treat them well.

I have a proposition for you. You can be my slave. I will treat you with “honesty and respect” and have an “employee-employer relationship.” But I still own you and you must obey me. How’s that sound? Does that sound moral? If it doesn’t how can you defend it back then when it clearly wrong now? If you believe that the law was only for the ancient Hebrew people, at what point in history did slavery become wrong? Was it April 23, 1375 A.D. at 3:14 pm?

Addressing your reasoning that “God sets one free,” what if I demanded that you must worship me even though the only proof of my existence is a ancient scroll filled with contradictions, lies, rape, murder, and genocide. If you didn’t, I would throw you in pit of fire for the rest of eternity. You would not only question my sanity but call me the biggest tyrant in history. If the Biblical God exists, He would be the most evil, immoral, wicked, vindictive, and cruel thing in the Universe! Worse than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot combined! At least dictators left you alone when you died or allowed you freedom of your thoughts.

I enjoyed your “child” analogy. If a child misbehaves, would you throw him in the fireplace for a few moments? That is what God is doing, only the pain never subsides. If God loved us, he wouldn’t send anyone to burn in hell forever. I don’t like Christians but I wouldn’t doom them to Hell like they want to do to me.

Burning in hell for rest of eternity. Your right, maybe God isn’t a slaver -- He’s much worse. He’s a sick, genocidal, egomaniac.

Regarding 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, of course God is liar. He “sends them a powerful delusion.” That’s lying.

As to 19 Kings 22:12-23:
Micaiah continued, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD : I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?'
"One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.'
22 " 'By what means?' the LORD asked.
" 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said.
" 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the LORD. 'Go and do it.'
23 "So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you."

God sent an angel to lie to a person. Period. That makes God a liar. (And yes, that is the New International Version)

I will not address the rest of the passages for reasons I will explain. Tricky how you used New International Versions for your verses. Does that mean that the King James Bible is inaccurate…in other words, untrue? How could God allow an untrue translation to be interpreted as his Word? If God wanted us to use the New International Version for our study, why didn’t he just send us a sign? Perhaps he can comment on this very blog which translation we should use.

What exactly makes a translation the true “Word of God?” The opinion of clergy? (fallacy of authority) The sheer numbers of people that believe a certain translation? (fallacy of numbers)

But I grow weary of this. The whole post is like asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. As many as you want I suppose. Kinda like the number of abortions my friend can have or how many times my friend can sodomize his boyfriend.

busygurl said...

Again, all of your responses show that you are picking at petty, pathetic, irrelevant things to try to disprove everything that is said.

At least you realize that unbelief is going to send you to the fire and pain that will never subside. If a person believes-all glory to God! If you choose not to believe that is your own ignorant choice-shame on you!

smallgovsam said...

Let me get this straight...If I don't believe that little man in the sky created the Earth in seven days, had a son who somehow had to died for my sins, and don't take an ancient book of myths and legends literally written by pastoral nomads that didn't even have a word for "science", and go to a building every Sunday to perform senseless rituals, I will burn in pit of fire and brimstone forever?

Why I do believe that is the very definition of insanity. But its not. It's called faith. I find it disturbing that it is "normalized, accepted, and even lauded."

Preachrboy said...

Thanks, Sam, for your caricature of Christianity.

When you are interested in serious discussion and not just grenade lobbing, and maybe in learning something, you are welcome back.

Until then, the Bible also says something about "throwing our pearls before swine" - which is, of course, a metaphor for fruitless debate with the stubborn unbeliever. So please take your Richard Dawkins schtick elsewhere.

The Busygurl and this busy guy have lots to do before we celebrate the Lord's birth. Merry Christmas.

smallgovsam said...

Very well.

Although blind faith is the apex of ignorance, I do respect your right to believe whatever you want to believe. For most of human history, atheists, questioners and other free thinkers have not been extend this most gracious of rights. Rather they have been silenced, tortured, imprisoned, and murdered for their purely scientific inquiries.

As long as there are irrational people who are enamored with their Heavenly Constructs whether those be Ra, Zeus, Quetzalcoatl, Allah, Yahweh, or God, I will be there. Questioning. Asking. THINKING.

Have a great winter solstice.