Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Love Who Truly?

This link is to a video from the Mississippi United Methodist Annual Conference. I got it from OneNewsNow.com, and it shows a lesbian couple giving their testimonial. To me it's quite sad. They appear to be decent people who love the church. But like most trapped in the lie of homosexuality, they believe that God blesses their union. As indicated two posts down from this one, there are many ways in which homosexuals and their enablers seek to support this notion. But their arguments never hold up under scrutiny, though some of those arguing won't own up to that fact, or are too stupid to realize their failure.

One woman made a statement I found most troubling, and even some heterosexuals buy into this one, as do many atheists in their own way. She said, (paraphrasing here) "I know that to be true to God means being true to myself." This is the exact opposite of the truth. Our true selves are rarely the stuff of glory, to say the least. To be true to God means that our old selves die and we are born again, to live a life that conforms with His Will. Even as we try to co-exist with the rest of society, we often have to deny our true selves to conform to the will of our communities in the sense that we must obey laws of those communities. But God's Law and Will takes a back seat to our "true selves"? How does that make any sense?

Conforming to the will of society, as we try to live our lives within the law, can be difficult by itself. We have to abide all sorts of limits, control our behaviors, obey the law. If we were true to our own selves, how many of us would truly drive like we own the road, over indulge in alcohol, take what appeals to us whether it belongs to someone else or not? It might manifest in more subtle ways by only ignoring the laws of common decency and propriety and decorum.

And we would pay the price for such selfishness. We'd be locked up, fined, shunned by the rest of society, or just be considered total jerks.

Yet somehow, we're to believe that God will be just fine with being true to ourselves rather than being true to His Will. Isn't that self-worship? Making ourselves a god who's pleasure is our greatest concern? I think there's a major commandment against that.

Seems to me that the issue isn't only about homosexuality and imagined rights for those so afflicted. The issue is how badly we want to please God. I'd bet that if each of us take a moment, we'd each find within ourselves (and for some of us it might not take much thought or searching) that to which we cling in order to deny ourselves the struggle it would take to deny the fault. We'll say, "That's the way I am. I've always been that way." as if taking that position absolves us of the effort to improve. Indeed, in this way, homosexuals are just like the rest of us. The rest of us just don't organize.

True to ourselves, or true to Him? One way must take priority at the expense of the other.

247 comments:

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4simpsons said...

From the link: "I know that to be true to God means being true to myself."

From Marshall: "This is the exact opposite of the truth."

Well said, Marshall. They have to ignore countless Bible teachings to make that claim, such as Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

It is so sad that the leaders of that conference can't see such a simple truth. It goes beyond the homosexual debate, about which the Bible couldn't be more clear, and demonstrates that they grossly misunderstand the nature of God and the nature of man. Can they be trusted to get anything right?

4simpsons said...

I watched most of the video. Ugh. Just one fallacy after another. Emotional sound bites to elicit cheers and support, but empty underneath. Sad.

Mark said...

By asserting their personal, selfish will over the will of God, they violate at least 5 of the 10 commandments. Perhaps more:

Homosexuals honor their sexual preference above God. By doing so, they violate the first Commandment: "You shall have no other gods before Me" Their sexual perversion is their God, like it or not.

They also violate the second commandment: "You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them" Putting their love of sexual perversion above or beside God is a violation of the second Commandment.

They also violate the 3rd Commandment: "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain" To insist that God blesses homosexuality, as some do, is taking God's name in vain. It attributes to God something that Satan would teach.

It violates the 7th: "“You shall not commit adultery." Having sex with anyone other than your spouse is adultery. A man cannot have another man as his spouse, and a woman cannot have another woman as her spouse, thus, a violation of the 7th Commandment.

And, lastly, it violates the tenth Commandment: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's." The tenth Commandment speaks to desire. Homosexuality is motivated by desires that are unseemly and an abomination to God.

Mark said...

LOL! That blonde guy looks and talks like a woman!

Seriously, though...

That weak effort to draw similarities between their lifestyle and normal people ("We're just like everybody else!") is irrelevant.

That "thing" that makes them different from normal people is the same "thing" that makes them wrong.

4simpsons said...

Re. the "blonde guy" -- that's a good point, Mark. The virtually universal existence of gay partners with traditional "male" and "female" roles in these couples is just one more evidence that there is a natural ideal and that they are violating it.

Dan Trabue said...

If I were to say, "I need to be true to myself," what I would mean by that is NOT that I need to be true to my baser instincts and desire to sin, but rather, to be true to who God made me to be.

To "be perfect, as God is perfect," is not a command that we're given that we can't possibly attain (what kind of cruel joke would that be?), but rather, a command to be perfect in the sense of being Whole - like a perfect dozen eggs would be 12 eggs - to be perfect in the sense of living out who God made us to be.

THAT is what I would mean by being true to myself, if I were to say that. I am fairly sure that is what these folk are talking about. They are not suggesting, "I will be true to my more evil instincts...," that wouldn't make sense in this context.

Doesn't that make more sense?

Feodor said...

Well, maybe Marshall has a point.

When he's true to himself, I'm pretty disgusted.

Feodor said...

I realize my judgment is a fair percentage subjective and biased.

Which serves my point that so is Marshall's and Mark's.

Neil, of course, is a viper, a very committed dark angel.

Edwin Drood said...

Apart from the Lord it is impossible to do anything good. Good works are a product of faith and faith comes from hearing the Word. You cannot engage in behavior that is in direct conflict with the Word of God and claim to be doing something good in the eyes of the Lord.

4simpsons said...

Good point, Edwin.

The couple in the video begs the question and assumes what they should be proving, namely that God lets us decide what is acceptable in being "true" to ourselves and in obedience to him.

It is a transparently ridiculous assertion on their part. The obvious question is, "How do you know God's standards?" and the obvious answer is, "The Bible." But they don't want to submit to that.

Dan Trabue said...

The answer is "From God," and that does not always come easily. We learn of God's ways from the Bible, to be sure, but also from God's Spirit, and also from God's Law which is written upon our hearts, and also from all of God's creation and also from our God-given reasoning.

Those who would opt for ONLY learning of God's ways through a wooden literal reading of the Bible are ignoring an awful lot of revelation and not a bit of God-given reasoning.

Dan Trabue said...

Edwin said:

Apart from the Lord it is impossible to do anything good. Good works are a product of faith and faith comes from hearing the Word. You cannot engage in behavior that is in direct conflict with the Word of God and claim to be doing something good in the eyes of the Lord.

EXCELLENT points, Edwin and your sound reasoning helps make their case. Clearly apart from God, there is no good. And just as clearly, folk like this couple (who I don't know, obviously, but I know plenty of folk like them) CLEARLY do good and that good, by Edwin's sound reasoning, comes from and by God and God alone.

Hallelujah, thanks be to God!

4simpsons said...

[Un-shun]

Just a quick destruction of Deceptive Dan's typical fallacies.

Yes, God's law is written on our hearts and God gave us the ability to reason, but gee, what about when what our hearts say differs from God's word? Which should we follow?

The ladies in the video and the rest of the pro-gay theology folks (who are saved and confused at best) follow their made-up morality.

"Wooden literal reading" = pure strawman. Nobody light a match!

100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.

100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.

100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).

0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

The subject is not that complicated. Even many pro-gay theologians concede what the Bible says, they just say that God changed things or that the Bible is in error -- http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/problems-with-pro-gay-theology/

[Shun]

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"If I were to say, "I need to be true to myself," what I would mean by that is NOT that I need to be true to my baser instincts and desire to sin, but rather, to be true to who God made me to be."

But we know sin because the Bible describes what sinful behavior is. God made us to love, honor and serve Him, and we don't do any of the three when we decide for ourselves what is sinful and what isn't. If what we think is good contradicts Scripture, we're to conform to Scripture.

In the previous post, Feodor is trying to make the same case in his notoriously psuedo-intellectual way. But the bottom line is the same. The both of you think relying on Scripture for our knowledge of right and wrong is antiquated or backwards, and that there is some new revelation that supercedes it. This is nonsense. Scripture and its teachings is timeless. What the both of you seem to be arguing is that we are no longer to reason about new developments in culture and/or technnology (from a bit by Feodor in the previous post) grounded in Scripture, but rather in spite what Scripture says, because, what the heck, those ancients never considered in vitro or automatic weapons or space travel.

This point of view MUST include that which neither of you would ever tolerate. You cannot dismiss anyone else's behavior on any score with an attitude like that because if you cannot support your beliefs with Scripture, you cannot then dismiss the perspectives and points of view of others, no matter what they are, simply because TO YOU they seem unChristian.

"They are not suggesting, "I will be true to my more evil instincts...," that wouldn't make sense in this context."

What they are suggesting first and foremost is that their evil instincts are not evil in the first place. This they cannot justify Biblically, as neither you nor Feodor has been able to, either, and they don't try. We all are tempted with wicked urges, thoughts and instincts and to be true to ourselves would mean acting upon those urges. It would be the most natural thing to do. Indeed there are morally neutral urges as well as morally proper urges. To act on any of them would be natural and true to ourselves.

But we're to be true to God and the way to do that is to understand His Will for us as described in Scripture. Engaging in homosexual activity is not a part of that Will. Indeed, it is forbidden.

"Those who would opt for ONLY learning of God's ways through a wooden literal reading of the Bible are ignoring an awful lot of revelation and not a bit of God-given reasoning."

Again, using God-given reasoning to argue in favor of prohibited behavior is NOT the purpose for which God gave us that reasoning ability. What arguments like yours is doing is giving carte blanche to everyone with their own version of "My Truth" to do as they damn well please. And by your own argument, you cannot be intolerant of their interpretations of what their God-given reasoning and prayer meditation has revealed to them.

Marshall Art said...

"When he's true to himself, I'm pretty disgusted."

Clearly, Feo, God's plainly revealed truth disgusts you. For a repugnant soul such as yourself feeling disgust for me is an indication I'm on the right path. As you cast off your prideful self-love and arrogance and begin to practice a bit of humility, you'll begin to really see the light. Now, you're another enabler of sinful practice. There's still time for you.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

But we know sin because the Bible describes what sinful behavior is. God made us to love, honor and serve Him, and we don't do any of the three when we decide for ourselves what is sinful and what isn't. If what we think is good contradicts Scripture, we're to conform to Scripture.

One quick question, Marshall. I/we HAVE studied the scripture in an attempt to discern God's Will. We prayerfully read what the Bible has to say, we considered context and did research to better learn context. We sought God's will and the best we can discern God's Will on this topic, it is a good and blessed thing to be married - whether you're straight or gay.

We've heard your arguments against where we have landed (or, in my case, had to begin with) and your reading of scripture does not convince us that you are accurately reading the Word of God.

Now, given all of that, who ought we follow - our best understanding of God and God's will on this particular topic or YOUR understanding, even if we think you are wrong from God's perspective?

Ought we obey men or what we believe God's will is? Yes, I understand that YOU don't think gay marriage is God's will and that you think ALL instances of homosexuality are condemned, but WE DON'T believe that's what God is saying in the Bible.

What shall we do?

Edwin Drood said...

Dan when I said that faith comes from the word. I didn't just make that up.

Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ....

Christ through his own human lips defined marriage to be between a man and a woman. It is not faith that compels these poor woman to get married, it is there warped perception of the world and there worship of their own sinful nature.

Edwin Drood said...

forgive my wrong use of "there" up there.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

You asked, "What shall we do?"

It seems that the best answer is that you go back to the drawing board, start from scratch and see if you come up with the same conclusion. I don't think a good wager would be that your perspective is mainstream. That should at least give you pause.

Furthermore, after two or three years of discussion, you've yet to explain how one could possibly arrive at your conclusion without distorting Scripture and relying on extra-Biblical resources, which I'm afraid include prayerful meditations. As I've continued to say, the command of "Thou shalt not..." is without qualification. It speaks to the action of have sex with the same gender and says "don't". It never says, "the way some have done it to oppress" or "the way some have done it as male prostitutes" or any other possible manner of engagement. It only says "DON'T", and that's all. So, as no later verse overturns this, and as Jesus, in reference to other OT laws of behavior make them even more strict and explicit than before, and as no mention of anything other than a traditional marriage is ever referenced as acceptable, to suggest that there is in any way an implication of any kind that homosex marriage could then be seen as permissable is akin to halucination. There is simply NO possible way to support the contention whatsoever, and you've shown that to be the case by your inability to provide anything that does.

And nor, for that matter, has anyone else. You know that I have read all that your friend Michael-with-the-three-names tried to sell in his wasted six-part series. He presented nothing new. He presented nothing that hasn't been expertly rebutted and refuted. And like so many, he only dismisses and disparages theologians and experts who countered his positions. He never explained why they were wrong and why he had it right. Much like Feodor, actually, without the bad attitude (though he did ban me rather than engage my counterpoints).

I tell you again as I've stated so many times before: I stand ready to receive any argument that can support your position. If I can't blow a hole through it, and that really hasn't been all that hard, I'm perfectly willing to concede. If you back the truth, you should be prepared to defend it. Somehow.

I know you don't buy my side of the argument. This isn't the issue. The issue is that you can't counter my arguments with anything substantive, any more than you can support yours.

My personal walk began with a desire to understand how to be true to God. What is His Will? I had a whole trunkful of bad habits and tendencies and wanted to know what I could keep and what I had to reject. I was open to whatever the Word revealed. I rejected everything. That which I still do I do knowing it is wrong and I am not always strong enough to resist. To be true to myself would be to reject His Word and succomb to old ways. These women are NOT being true to God by being true to themselves and they can't even support THAT as a Biblical teaching.

Mark said...

I can't believe Dan is still arguing that homosexuality is blessed by God after the ass-whooping I gave him on the last post!

I proved beyond a doubt that Dan's argument was illogical, baseless, unbiblical, vapid, stupid, idiotic, moronic, and a lie straight from the pit of Hell, and Dan still tries to argue for something God plainly never said.

Need a reminder? Dan says he believes God says Homosexuality is an abomination but God doesn't say homosexuality is an abomination.

I kid you not.

That, after months of trying to get him to make clear exactly what he believes, is a brief but accurate synopsis of Dan's argument.

I have no desire to argue further with him. How does one argue with intentional idiocy?

tugboatcapn said...

Romans 6
"6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
"

Colossians 3
"1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

6For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.
"

Ephesians 2
"1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
"

Mark said...

God does not bless homosexual unions. Even the famous theologians Dan and Feodor can't find support for that particular blasphemous heresy in the Bible.

But they will still argue!

Dan Trabue said...

I'm unsure of what Edwin's last comment meant, but returning to his first comment, where he correctly noted taht "apart from the Lord, it is impossible to do good," Edwin was striking a common chord in the Scriptures.

Remember that when John the Baptist sought to know if Jesus was the one, Jesus told him, ""Go and tell John what you see and hear, the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk. The dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them."

When Jesus described the sheep and the goats (his followers and those who didn't follow him, although some THOUGHT they did) he pointed to what they did (or didn't do) for "the least of these..."

When Jesus was getting ready to leave this world, he told his disciples, "THIS is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

When Paul was writing to the Thessalonians he noted, "We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater..."

When James noted about recognizing TRUE followers of Jesus, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

When Jesus warned his followers of false prophets, he noted, "By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit."

And what ARE these identifying fruit that Jesus speaks of? Well, a likely answer would be the "fruit of the Spirit" spoken of in Galatians, those being...

"love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit."

And in my church and in the Christians I know who happen to be gay, THIS is how we can know that they have been saved by God's grace (alluded to by Mr Captain in his scripture quoted earlier) - because we/they have love one for another; because of their work on behalf and alongside the poor, the widowed, the orphaned; because of their work alongside "the least of these;" because of the fruit of the Spirit that is abundant in their lives, by their LOVE, they are known.

Now, no where in the scriptures does it guarantee us that we will always have "perfect knowledge" of all sin. It is ALWAYS a safe bet that our gay friends, that Dan, that Marshall, that Feodor, that Neil WILL BE WRONG at times. Sometimes, Marshall may think a behavior is a good thing and sometimes MARSHALL WILL BE WRONG. Sometimes Dan may think a certain action is wrong and yet, SOMETIMES DAN WILL BE WRONG.

Nonetheless, by their fruit you will know them. You will be able to tell they are of Christ because of their love for one another. Because of the way they pour out their lives following in Jesus' steps preaching and tending to the poor, the widows, the orphans, the least of these, you will be able to tell Jesus' followers.

NOT by their perfect knowledge of each and every sin.

So, yes, Marshall, I have not answered your questions in a way THAT SUITS YOU. You have not answered my questions in a way that suits me. Clearly one of us is mistaken. I believe it is clearly you. You believe it is clearly me.

Thank God for God's amazing grace that covers a multitude of sins. In the meantime, our job is to show love, one to another, and to the "least of these," for this is how the world will know we are of God.

Anonymous said...

Dan, as the old woman I am, I really want to advise you in love; that for you to continually go from blog to blog defending homosexuality while claiming to be a Christian is going to be something that you come to regret. None of these my friends hates the persons involved in a wrongful lifestyle, but are in fact wanting them to find Christ and know an everlasting life. That is how I see it. mom2

Dan Trabue said...

Mom2 said:

None of these my friends hates the persons involved in a wrongful lifestyle, but are in fact wanting them to find Christ and know an everlasting life

Then you will be glad to know that each and every one of my gay friends at church (and myself, as well) HAVE all found Christ and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior by God's wonderful grace. You can rejoice in that and, if you think they are mistaken on this one behavior, you can pray that these fellow Christians will find the truth on that one behavior and we'll do the same for you.

I will also pray that some would quit intimating that because we disagree with you on one behavior that we are not saved. We may be wrong (just as surely as you may be wrong) on any one behavior, but we are not lost. we are trusting in God's grace through faith in Jesus to save us. Such intimations are lacking in love and respect and, as such, do not demonstrate the love we ought to have for one another that identifies us as Christians.

Anonymous said...

I was not suggesting anything regarding your salvation, Dan. The scriptures do say that whom the Lord loves (His Own for sure), He chastens and also in Romans it speaks about wrongful lifestyles and the guiltiness of those who agree with them. As a parent, I only spanked my own children for their misbehavior. Love compelled me to do that, because I cared about their behavior and their responsibility to others in public and that was part of their learning experience. mom2

Mark said...

I'll hand it to Dan, re:

"if you think they are mistaken on this one behavior, you can pray that these fellow Christians will find the truth on that one behavior and we'll do the same for you."

I'll go along with that, except that we don't THINK you and they are mistaken, we KNOW you and they are mistaken, according to God's Holy Word.

There is no "mistaking" His Word. Leviticus is quite clear.

Bubba said...

Dan, since you're commenting again at Marshall's, I do wonder if you could return to a few issues I raised in the Harvey Milk thread, either here or there. Beginning with my 6/18, 10:09 PM comment, I explained that there were a couple claims that you made that you never did explain clearly and coherently. There are seemingly contradictory claims, such as the idea that the bodily Resurrection is similtaneously inherent to Christianity but not indispensible; there is the odd claim that Christ's commands, e.g., to give to the poor, describe the "process of salvation" which you still insist is by faith and not by works; and there remains the fundamental issue that you claim to respect the Bible's teachings, while you denigrate many of those teachings as atrocity, bigotry, and other errors resulting from mere human speculation.

Once you clarified your beliefs, I did retract my claim that you deny that the Virgin Birth is a biblical doctrine, and I have since offered to apologize for whatever genuine offense may have prompted your cutting the conversation short.

I can't think of any good reason why you did drop the conversation altogether, so I'm asking you to return to it.


In the meantime, you bring up a claim that you've made before, and so I will reiterate my request for support for that claim.

"One quick question, Marshall. I/we HAVE studied the scripture in an attempt to discern God's Will. We prayerfully read what the Bible has to say, we considered context and did research to better learn context. We sought God's will and the best we can discern God's Will on this topic, it is a good and blessed thing to be married - whether you're straight or gay."


What SPECIFIC PASSAGE convinced you that "gay marriage" is a "good and blessed thing"?

If you really did reach your current position through a prayerful and careful study of the Bible, it should be easy to recall what particular passages were crucial in reaching the conclusion you've drawn.

It should be easy to relay this detail, but your continued refusal to provide this detail undermines the credibility of what you claim.

"Ought we obey men or what we believe God's will is?"

"What shall we do?"

You're getting ahead of yourself, presuming precisely the claim that ought to be proven. Show us the details of why you have concluded that God's will includes the commendation of "gay marriage," and then we can move to the obvious point that one should follow God's will rather than man's whim.


To suggest that we can judge what is sin by the fruit of those who claim to follow Christ is presumptuous, Dan. Christ condemned lust as equivalent to adultery, and that's not something you can deduce by considering the good deeds of those who give to the poor. And the Bible is also clear that doctrine matters, that those who deny the Incarnation are anti-Christ, and those who preach a different gospel are accursed.

"Our gay friends give to the poor" is hardly a strong scriptural argument for condoning their sexual behavior.


And if you want to berate mom2 for words that are supposedly "lacking in love and respect," you should really get around to retracting (or, better, apologizing for) your own harsh words against those who read the Bible differently than you do.

"I DON'T think that we ought to spiritualize Jesus' teachings ('well, when he said "Good news to the poor," he didn't mean LITERALLY for the poor, but something more symbolic...') - that to me is anti-Christ, to deny his words and we ought be careful about that sort of thing." (emphasis mine)

By your own standards, this sort of comment hardly demonstrates the love we ought to have for one another that identifies us as Christians, but so far as I know, you stand behind it.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba politely asked...

What SPECIFIC PASSAGE convinced you that "gay marriage" is a "good and blessed thing"?

I believe we have gone around and around on this so I'm not sure what point there is in reiterating what I believe I have already itereated, but...

1. I believe the Bible has an inconsistent message on marriage;

2. It seems to endorse polygamy in the OT, and never condemns polygamy, for instance;

3. Nonetheless, I think the Bible's main thrust on marriage is that it is a good thing, I can provide passages to this end if you want, but I believe that most of us can agree that the Bible endorses committed, loving relationships;

4. To be sure, in the cultures in biblical times, there was no understanding of a committed, loving gay marriage - the VERY FEW times that gay behavior ever appears in the Bible it is connected to idol worship, pagan practices, rape, etc;

5. With that context and not knowing anything of committed loving gay marriage, the cultures of the time disapproved of same sex practices;

6. Nonetheless, we today DO know that such a thing exists as loving, committed gay relationships OUTSIDE of the context of evil practices - we can know this because we can see it in the lives of moral, Godly people;

7. So, since gay marriage is not addressed in the Bible - NOT ONE TIME NOT EVER - and since committed loving monogamous relationships ARE endorsed in the Bible, I have no real reason not to think that loving, committed marriage relationships are a good and blessed thing for either gay or straight folk.

So, the "specific passages" you request are the same ones you would cite for straight marriages, for instance...

31. As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."

This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.

So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

A loving doe, a graceful deer--may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.
Proverbs 5

God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2

etc.

Verses like this indicate to me that marriage can be a good and blessed thing.

The reality that healthy committed relationships can happen between gay folk just as they happen with straight folk suggest to me that gay marriage is also a good and blessed thing.

You may disagree if you wish. I certainly disagree with you. I think clearly you are mistaken on this point. And yet, we are all Christian in this conversation and we ought to handle our disagreements in a respectful, loving manner.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba quoted Dan...

"I DON'T think that we ought to spiritualize Jesus' teachings ('well, when he said "Good news to the poor," he didn't mean LITERALLY for the poor, but something more symbolic...') - that to me is anti-Christ, to deny his words and we ought be careful about that sort of thing."

And then said...

By your own standards, this sort of comment hardly demonstrates the love we ought to have for one another that identifies us as Christians, but so far as I know, you stand behind it.

I believe you misunderstand my standards. It is okay to disagree with people. It is okay to correct people (humbly and in love). It is okay to say, "I THINK that those who deny the direct words of Jesus, are acting in an ANTI-Christ manner (by definition)," if, indeed, that is what you think.

It is okay to disagree and disagree strongly. But we need not demonize the "other" nor suggest they are not Christians. It is okay to point out when they are not acting in a Christ-like manner, but we ought to do so humbly and in a spirit of love.

Seems to me.

Feodor said...

I like how Marshall assumes he embodies God's truth.

That kind of blasphemy just cracks me up.

Bubba said...

Dan, I still don't see how, compared to your own comment, mom2's comment displays an insufficient amount of humilty or love.


Anyway, it sounds like your argument for "gay marriage" is based on two claims, where the first is a biblical claim that no one argues...

"Verses like this indicate to me that marriage can be a good and blessed thing."

...but the second claim has nothing to do with Scripture at all:

"The reality that healthy committed relationships can happen between gay folk just as they happen with straight folk suggest to me that gay marriage is also a good and blessed thing."

This is hardly a persuasive argument from Scripture, Dan.


The second claim is the contentious claim AND it is AT BEST extra-biblical.

Look again at what you wrote.

"I/we HAVE studied the scripture in an attempt to discern God's Will. We prayerfully read what the Bible has to say, we considered context and did research to better learn context. We sought God's will and the best we can discern God's Will on this topic, it is a good and blessed thing to be married - whether you're straight or gay." (emphasis mine)

You make it sound like you looked to Scripture as the authority on this subject and focused on what is written, but the most crucial and most contentious part of your detailed argument -- #6, the observation of loving gay relationships among supposedly godly people -- has nothing to do with the text.

It's dishonest to act like your position on "gay marriage" is strictly the result of careful and prayerful Bible study.


I'll say again that your second claim above is at best "extra-biblical," but I think it's clear that the best-case scenario is implausible, because the Bible is clear about the composition of marriage.

"1. I believe the Bible has an inconsistent message on marriage;

"2. It seems to endorse polygamy in the OT, and never condemns polygamy, for instance;
"

Is the Bible ever inconsistent on the relationship between husband and wife? Do men or husbands have husbands, or do women or wives have wives?

It not only doesn't endorse "gay marriage" in a single passage, it precludes such an endorsement when it teaches why we were created male and female in the first place, a reason that you have yourself admitted.

"'For this reason' a man will leave his parents - to be married with a woman."

You quote Genesis 2 about how God made man a helper, but ignore that He made woman.


God does endorse the institution of marriage, but -- as Neil repeatedly pointed out -- the Bible condemns homosexual behavior EVERY TIME it's mentioned, and -- as I point out -- the Bible makes clear the inherent heterosexual composition of marriage, that we were made male and female for marriage, where a man (male) becomes one flesh with his wife (female).

What you're basically doing, Dan, is condoning behavior that the Bible condemns, by taking an insitution that the Bible endorses ("marriage") and applying it to situations that are obviously contrary to the Bible's teachings about that institution.

You don't have a Scriptural argument for doing this, so you shouldn't act as if your position is the result of careful Bible study.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said...

It's dishonest to act like your position on "gay marriage" is strictly the result of careful and prayerful Bible study.

You are free to think so, but you'd be wrong to suggest it's dishonest. I HAVE in fact studied the Bible and the context of the five or so relevant passages. I HAVE in fact done so prayerfully (and indeed, starting from your point of view on the topic).

The facts are, in my case, BEFORE I engaged in Bible study and prayer, I was opposed to gay marriage. AFTER I engaged in Bible study and prayer, I am supportive of gay marriage, believing it to be a good and blessed thing.

Those ARE facts. You can disagree with my conclusions, you can say, "I don't see how you reach that conclusion," but what you can't say honestly is that those are not the facts.

Bubba said...

It not only doesn't endorse "gay marriage" in a single passage, it precludes such an endorsement when it teaches why we were created male and female in the first place, a reason that you have yourself admitted.

I have not "admitted" any such thing. Rather, I quoted what the Bible says. YOU ARE THE ONE WHO PRESUMES that when the Bible says, "for this reason, a man will leave his parents to be married to a woman..." precludes any other arrangements in God's eyes. That is your hunch about what that passage says, but you don't speak for God.

You are offering your opinion about what that passage means. That's all. And you are welcome to your opinion. I won't call you unchristian or dishonest if that is your opinion, I'll just say that it is my opinion that you are mistaken.

And, for what it's worth, THAT's the difference between the way you and Mom2 handle these disagreements and the way I think we ought to handle them. Disagree, but don't presume to speak for God or for the "other."

Bubba said...

Dan:

"The facts are, in my case, BEFORE I engaged in Bible study and prayer, I was opposed to gay marriage. AFTER I engaged in Bible study and prayer, I am supportive of gay marriage, believing it to be a good and blessed thing."

If that were completely true, you would be able to point out the specific passages that convinced you; instead, the most crucial parts of your argument are AT BEST extra-biblical and are most likely contrary to what the Bible teaches.

Your argument comes down to your own personal, present-day observations of supposedly godly homosexuals, and these observations have nothing to do with Bible study.


On the question of my claim that you're being dishonest, let me ask something about this claim:

"AFTER I engaged in Bible study and prayer, I am supportive of gay marriage, believing it to be a good and blessed thing."

I'm guessing that we both know that correlation doesn't imply causation: do you mean to say that your Bible study and prayer is what CAUSED your change of mind, or is it just the case that the it merely PRECEDED the change that was caused by something else -- like your observations of your gay friends?

You don't explicitly assert causation here, but I think most who read in good faith would have good reason to infer causation. If you're implying causation where none exists, you're presenting claims that are strictly true but misleading.


I could summarize and paraphrase your argument this way.

1) Marriage is a good thing that God blesses.

2) "Gay marriage" is marriage.

The first part is certainly rooted in Scripture, but the second part CLEARLY isn't, and you've never been able to generate one shred of evidence to the contrary.

In fact, you act as if you don't have to, appealling to the incomplete and inadequate knowledge of the cultures that existed in biblical times.


And if you disagree with my "opinion" of what the Bible teaches regarding why we were created male and female, BY ALL MEANS, present your own alternative interpretation of Genesis 2:24.

Present an interpretation that affirms the passage's inerrant authority and divine authorship, and present an interpretation that's actually plausible.

THEN you can dismiss my take as mere opinion.

Until you can and do present an alternative interpretation that is as reasonable as mine, and which affirms the Bible's authority, you have no grounds to claim persuasively that my take on the passage's clear meaning is nothing but an "opinion."

Bubba said...

By the way, after prayerfully studying the Bible to discern God's will, I've concluded that God blesses what I call compulsory charity.

It's an act whereby one person takes possession of, and makes use of, property that was previously in someone else's possession, and he does so without the explicit permission of the property's original owner.

The important thing to compulsory charity is that the two people love each other: suppose a son loves his mother, and she loves him. One of them could initiate compulsory charity with the other at any time, and I think God would bless the act since He blesses charity.


Let me walk you through the argument:

1) The Bible has an inconsistent message on charity.

2) For instance, in the Bible, sometimes individuals give (like Zaccheus) and sometimes groups give, as the Gentile churches gave to the Jerusalem congregation in its time of need.

Never mind that the question of whether charity involves individuals or groups has nothing to do with whether charity is voluntary: the Bible is inconsistent about charity.

3) The Bible's main thrust is that charity is a good thing: it's not clear what charity is, but whatever it is, it's good, and we can surely all agree that the Bible endorses the transfer of property to those who are in need of that property.

4) The Bible does sometimes condemn an act called theft, but it's almost certainly the case that those instances of biblical theft involved a lack of love: the thief didn't love his victim.

In the cultures in biblical times, there was no understanding of a loving compulsory transfer of property: the few times that a compulsory transfer of property even appears, it's connected with hatred and murder, etc.

5) With that context and their not knowing anything of loving compulsory transfers of property, the cultures of the time did disapprove of compulsory property transfers.

6) Nevertheless, we today DO know that such loving compulsory transfers of property are possible -- such as between parent and child, or between siblings, or within a congregation -- and we can know this because we see it in the lives of moral, godly people.

In our own churches, we see people who compel their loved ones to participate in loving acts of charity, and we know that they are good people who exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit.


There are numerous passages that indicate to me that charity is a good and blessed thing.

And the reality is that charity can take place voluntarily or through compulsion, in caring relationships where both people clearly love each other, so that suggests to me that compulsory charity is also a good and blessed thing.


If anyone -- especially such great thinkers like Dan -- can find a problem with this argument from Scripture, I'd love to hear it.

blamin said...

Bubba,

Perfect!

Mark said...

Actually, Bubba, your point can be made much more concisely and directly, by simply asking Dan (which I know you've already done) this simple question:

Show me Book, chapter, and verse wherein God blesses same sex marriage.

He won't answer the question because he can't. It isn't in there. He will never admit he is wrong, although he knows he is.

All he really knows for sure is that he has a few friends who are homosexual, and he can't bring himself to admit, because he likes them personally, that their behavior is an abomination to God. So, he feels a compulsion to validate their lifestyle and defend it as if it is blessed by God, which he knows, isn't.

I have friends that are homosexual, too. In fact, I've never met a homosexual that I didn't like personally. The difference is, I recognize the fact that my homosexual friends are an abomination to God, regardless of their personal likability. I accept them as friends, but I do not accept their lifestyle as normal or worse, blessed by God.

Feodor said...

And cite book, chapter, and verse wherein God blesses women leading in the church -- or state -- and abolishes all institutions of slavery, and allows the replacement of wine with Welches.

Or book, chapter and verse that abolishes polygamy after giving Saul's wives to David, or the change in God from directing Hosea to marry a prostitute to Paul's argument in 1 Corinthians 6.

Mark refuses to answer these.

Marty said...

Bottom line:

John 3:16

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba asked...

I'm guessing that we both know that correlation doesn't imply causation: do you mean to say that your Bible study and prayer is what CAUSED your change of mind, or is it just the case that the it merely PRECEDED the change that was caused by something else -- like your observations of your gay friends?

At the time, I HAD no gay friends. That is to say, because of my attitudes about homosexuality ("it's yucky! Gross! man, I love homosexuals because I have to but man! it makes me nauseous to think about their 'lifestyle'...") - because of THOSE sorts of attitudes and expressions, no one would tell me that they're gay. I actually DID have gay friends, I just didn't know it because of my hateful expressions.

Anyway, my change from anti-gay marriage to pro-gay marriage did, in fact, happen as a result of prayer and Bible study. Naught else. There was not a desire to please my gay friends, since I didn't know I had any.

Now, what DID make a difference outside of the bible study and prayer, was that I had beloved friends and Christians who were/are some of the most ideal, upright Christians I have ever known who let me know that THEY believed in gay marriage as a good and blessed thing.

Knowing that there were Christians who thought that way allowed me to at least open up my mind enough to read the Bible again and listen to the other side of the argument with at least a slightly open heart. Regardless, I entered into the study with no intention to change my mind in the least. I was entirely comfortable saying, "Man, I love y'all, but I just think you're wrong on this topic. Still, I'll listen to what you have to say..." As I think most of you all know, I have no problem disagreeing with other Christians IF I think they're wrong. And that was my starting point going into this study.

And so, I think it a fairly safe conclusion to say that it was primarily the Bible study and prayer that changed my mind.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba also said...

Your argument comes down to your own personal, present-day observations of supposedly godly homosexuals, and these observations have nothing to do with Bible study.

What I learned through Bible study DID have an impact and what I learned through Bible study was that gay marriage simply is not covered in the Bible. It is an extrabiblical topic. That being the case, we all have to make our conclusions based mostly upon extrabiblical evidence.

What I learned through Bible study (and I've covered all this before so I won't belabor the point, but just briefly...)

1. That there are only a handful of verses that seem to touch on at least some homosexual behavior - even though I'd studied this fairly thoroughly over the first 30 years of my life (and first 20 years of my Christian life), I was "seeing" LOTS of Bible passages that were about homosexuality that simply weren't there.

2. That is, I was able to see that the Sodom story was NOT about homosexuality. It's simply not there. (That had a big impact upon me because I could have sworn that the Sodom story was EXACTLY about the horrors of homosexuality and it simply isn't).

3. I was able to see that the verses about gay prostitutes were pointing to a behavior (prostitution) that would be wrong whether or not it was gay or straight.

4. I was able to see that the words translated "homosexual" in the NT in a couple of places aren't actual translations (the words translated "homosexual" are "soft" and "male offender," if I'm remembering correctly and translators aren't sure on the meaning of the terms).

5. I was able to see, in fact, that "homosexuality" as a word does not appear in the Bible at all.

6. This left me (again, ALL Bible study and prayer at this point) with two passages in Leviticus and one in Romans that do, in fact, appear to be talking about at least some form of homosexual behavior.

Dan Trabue said...

7. However, the fact that some form of homosexual behavior is condemned does not mean that ALL forms of homosexual behavior are condemned. The fact that heterosexual prostitution is condemned is not evidence that heterosexuality is condemned in all circumstances, for instance.

8. So, having THREE entire passages in the whole Bible - and not one single word from Jesus the Lord on the topic - that seem to touch on homosexuality, well, THAT BIBLE STUDY revealed I was mistaken about how soundly homosexuality is condemned in the Bible. If anything, it is marginally condemned.

9. Further, I learned that the "abomination" referred to in Leviticus was a word that talks about ritual purity, not unlike eating shrimp. I thought (had been taught) that "abomination" in the Bible meant something utterly disgusting and morally reprobate, but that's not the case. More that I learned in Bible study.

10. In this Bible Study, I was able to see the three remaining passages were all set against the context of pagan practices and at least opened the possibility, to me, that these passages WEREN'T condemning any and all forms of homosexuality but some specific practices.

11. Further, I was able to see that Paul, in Romans, condemns behaving in unnatural ways. Well, this was probably the final straw for me in thinking that MAYBE I was wrong to condemn gay marriage. Paul condemns these pagan practices (worshipping false gods, temple prostitution and sexual rites) and he condemns behaving unnaturally. Well, of course, for gays, the NATURAL inclination is towards the same gender.

That is a much shortened version of the process where, through prayer and bible study, I went from being opposed to gay marriage to supporting it. It didn't happen overnight. There were a series of Bible studies over a couple of months and, while I was quite certain that gay marriage could NOT be correct going into this Bible study, I found that most of my "biblical" arguments were built upon shifting sand. I desired my position to be built upon a Rock.

And, as a result of this season of Bible Study and Prayer, I eventually came to where I had to repent for my sinful attitudes and actions towards my gay and lesbian brothers and believe that gay marriage can be a good and holy thing.

Now, you may not see how this Bible study and prayer led to my conclusions. In spite of my efforts for several years now, you may not agree with my conclusion. I'm sorry I have not been able to better present my case so that you can see how this prayer and bible study led to my changed position.

Nonetheless, this is what happened.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said...

I could summarize and paraphrase your argument this way.

1) Marriage is a good thing that God blesses.

2) "Gay marriage" is marriage.

The first part is certainly rooted in Scripture, but the second part CLEARLY isn't, and you've never been able to

generate one shred of evidence to the contrary.


Yes and yes. You are correct. Gay marriage is not mentioned (positively or negatively) at all in the Bible. Not one time.

And, as I've noted and as I'll try to note for the last time, those things which aren't covered in the Bible, we have to strive to discern what's right and good on our own.

Bubba's position on nuclear war might be (I don't know, just guessing) paraphrased this way...

1) Loving your families is a good thing

2) Protecting them from a potentially deadly enemy by using a nuke to destroy them first is good because it protects your family

As in your example, the first part is certainly rooted in Scripture, but the second part CLEARLY isn't, since nuclear devastation of a potential enemy is not covered in the Bible. Bubba would have to form an opinion about this extrabiblical topic extrabiblically, since it is not mentioned in the Bible.

Gay marriage is not mentioned in the Bible. I don't believe ALL gay behaviors is mentioned in the bible at all. Bubba DOES think ALL gay behaviors is referred to in one of the three places that seem to talk about some form of gay behavior. He is welcome to that hunch, but it IS a hunch, an opinion of what the Bible means in three passages with vague intentions. Bubba is free to respond, "But, it is not vague at all!", but that, too is his opinion, his hunch. My opinion is that it IS vague.

After much prayer and bible study, I conclude that God would have me support gay marriage. Might I be wrong? Certainly. Just as Bubba might be wrong. But it is my best, honest position after prayer, bible study and reasoning. So, I will repeat my earlier question to Marshall: IF this is what I think God wants, who ought I listen to? Bubba's best guess about what God wants or my best guess?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said...

Present an interpretation that affirms the passage's inerrant authority and divine authorship, and present an interpretation that's actually plausible.

Why? The Bible does not make the claim that it is "inerrant," or that it has "inerrant authority." Nor does it make the claim that it has "divine authorship."

Why would I make a case for a point the Bible itself (and more importantly, God) doesn't make?

I believe it IS entirely plausible that the bible contains rules and stories that made some sense in the context of the times that are not applicable now.

The Bible makes the case that we ought to kill children who curse their parents. Do you believe that means that we STILL ought to kill cursing children? The Bible, after all, NEVER rejects that teaching. God stated it quite plainly as a rule for God's people. IF we are God's people and IF that is what God said, THEN we must still kill children who curse their parents.

We must, UNLESS, that is, we concede that not every rule and teaching is a universal rule or teaching, applying to all people and all times.

"Be fruitful and multiply," makes sense in a sparsely populated world in which children will work and help the family to survive. It makes less sense (at least on the broad scale) in a world that is approaching (or has passed) a sustainable population level.

For this reason, a man will marry a woman... does not preclude any other arrangements. For this reason a man shall marry a woman and NO OTHER ARRANGEMENT is acceptable, THAT might be a more clear biblical case, but it doesn't say that.

I don't find your position plausible. Feel free to have another opinion, but until you have heard directly from God telling you that gay marriage is wrong, it remains your opinion. I have another.

Edwin Drood said...

Dan what you just described is known as Chronological snobbery. It is a term coined by C.S. Lewis

“A logical fallacy describing the erroneous argument that the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior when compared to that of the present.”

Moving on, the rules you describe were laws to govern the nation of Israel. It is quite clear and un-arguable that God gave nations the right to kill. Israel is a great example of a nation who was commanded by God to kill (not murder) their enemies both foreign and domestic. Homosexuality was against to law in Israel and punishable by death.

This is where I break from my fellow conservative bloggers. I do not believe that the laws laid out in Leviticus or Deuteronomy applies today, these books were given to Israel and were intended to preserve the Jews (both socially and biologically) so they could deliver the Savior. These books are a magnificent proof of the existence of God as the Jews were able to combat bacteria and virus thousands of years before their discovery. The Bible does however condemn homosexuality in the New Testament. So the rule still stands.

I hope that answered your question as to why we cannot kill our cursing children but at the same time homosexuality is still wrong. Your “nuclear” example fall flat as God has never condemned warfare among the nations; just the opposite God has promised us more war in the future.
The be fruitful and multiply argument just doesn’t make any sense, that’s the one command that is key to our existence as a specie.

Dan Trabue said...

Not any more it's not. That is, we don't need to be ESPECIALLY fruitful. In fact, we need to scale back IF we want to survive.

But that's another point...

Dan Trabue said...

Edwin said...

It is quite clear and un-arguable that God gave nations the right to kill. Israel is a great example of a nation who was commanded by God to kill (not murder) their enemies both foreign and domestic.

I certainly agree with the "Chronological snobbery" point. Certainly, just because a practice or trait came from an earlier time does not make it wrong. We agree on that concept. (There are a GREAT number of areas where I'd like to see us return to earlier practices).

BUT, the opposite is true, too. Just because a practice came from an earlier time does not make it correct.

Now, as to your quote above, I'd amend that to say, "It is quite clear and un-arguable that THE BIBLE suggests that God gave nations the right to kill, including to slaughter children."

The problem with mistaking that literal reading of such practices with being a good and perfect representation of God's will (even then) is that it is not internally consistent.

1. The Bible is quite clear that it is WRONG to shed innocent blood.

2. God would not command us (or Israel) to do that which is wrong.

Therefore, we have a problem. When we have a problem like this with biblical teachings, I have frequently suggested some basic criteria for evaluating it and striving to get at Truth.

1. Compare the individual verse to the whole Bible;
2. Evaluate the individual AND whole through the teachings of Jesus;
3. Strive to understand context and language and the nuances these bring to our exegesis;
4. Give consideration to traditional understanding(s) on the topic;
5. Use your own God-given logic to consider the implications of the teaching/point;

For instance...

Bubba said...

For what it's worth, like Edwin, I do not base my belief that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior primarily on Leviticus: for me, the key passage is Matthew 19.

Dan, you wrote, "Bubba DOES think ALL gay behaviors is referred to in one of the three places that seem to talk about some form of gay behavior."

That's not as precise as I would have put it, and you're running the risk of what you criticized just a few hours ago, to "presume to speak for God or for the 'other.'"


About the list of biblical reasons you present for why your position on homosexuality changed, I must say that that doesn't look like the result of an effort to discern what the Bible teaches on marriage or sexuality, or a balanced "dialogue" between the best arguments for both positions.

Instead, it looks like the effort of someone (your "Bible Study" teacher?) who wants to justify a pre-existing position rather than discern what the Bible actually teaches; I say that because even these arguments are quite weak.


To tackle your last point first, it does seem like we agree on the plain meaning of Genesis 2:24. You just demand an explicit "no exceptions," where I do not.

"For this reason, a man will marry a woman... does not preclude any other arrangements. For this reason a man shall marry a woman and NO OTHER ARRANGEMENT is acceptable, THAT might be a more clear biblical case, but it doesn't say that."

I wonder if you would even accept something that emphatic: after all, biblical cultures didn't understand the abiding romantic love that is possible between two men, etc.

But why require something that emphatic when you don't do so elsewhere?

You have repeatedly mentioned that you don't see how the use of lethal force is compatible with the command to love your enemy.

"To suggest that all this 'love your enemy, overcome evil with good,' talk allows for sometimes killing them (and their children and neighbors) is to do damage to our language."

I don't think that it does any such damage, but why try to apply these commands to all situations in the first place?

I mean, the Bible doesn't say, "Love all your enemies, no exceptions," or "always overcome evil with good."

Why not take the plain meaning of Genesis 2:24, which Jesus Christ cites approvingly, with the same attitude that you do Matthew 5?


On another topic, I wonder, do you believe the Bible clearly teaches a monotheistic worldview?

If you do, does it matter that the word "monotheism" isn't explicitly mentioned in the Bible?

Or if you don't, are we tackling more advanced subjects when you really need a remedial education in the Bible?


And, you claim to "deeply respect" the Bible's teachings, but you note that the prohibition of homosexual behavior is found only a "handful" of times.

How many times must the Bible teach something in order for you to take it seriously?

The prohibition of bestiality is less frequently mentioned, but SO TOO is the command to love your enemy. Though it can be inferred from other passages, like Exodus 23:4, the explicit command is found only once, in Matthew 5.

Why do you put so much weight on a command that is mentioned so rarely?


Does the Bible EVER, ANYWHERE treat marriage as a fundamentally androgynous institution? If it doesn't -- if the Bible's conception of marriage is that it is between man and woman, husband and wife -- do we really need an explicit condemnation of a entirely contrary conception?

Do we need some specific verse denouncing "promiscuous chastity," or "deceptive honesty" because, otherwise, we can't possibly conclude that each of these phrases is a contradiction in terms?


And, finally, have you given any thought to my argument that God blesses involuntary charity?

Do you agree? If not, why not?

Dan Trabue said...

Edwin also said...

The Bible does however condemn homosexuality in the New Testament. So the rule still stands.

Well, now, that's the question. DOES the Bible condemn any and all homosexual practices or only oppressive, paganistic, false-god-worshiping types? I don't think a good biblical case can be made for that position. I don't think ANY logical case can be made for that position.

You disagree. That is your opinion and you are welcome to it. I think you are clearly wrong (being able to come up with ANY logical reason to oppose gay marriage might be a step in the right direction). That is my opinion.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said...

That's not as precise as I would have put it, and you're running the risk of what you criticized just a few hours ago, to "presume to speak for God or for the 'other.'"

If I have misspoken, all you have to do is clarify and I will be glad to apologize. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING that you think the Bible condemns ALL homosexual practices. Do you make exceptions of which I'm unfamiliar?

Bubba said...

Dan, I do believe that all homosexual behavior is morally impermissible; the imprecision in your comment was about my reason why.

The foundation of my support for traditional sexual morality isn't the "three places that seem to talk about some form of gay behavior" -- what you wrote earlier as "two passages in Leviticus and one in Romans that do, in fact, appear to be talking about at least some form of homosexual behavior."

The foundation of my argument is Matthew 19 and Genesis 2, not Leviticus and Romans. The implication that my argument is founded on Leviticus and Romans, is where you were imprecise.


About Romans, I believe it's clear that Paul condemned acting against man's natural functions, not an individual's quote-unquote "natural" inclinations.

The latter position means that Paul condemned practically nothing -- only those who engaged in homosexual behavior but had no desire to do so, which is probably a statistical non-entity.


I'm not necessarily interested in discussing the OT's supposed atrocities again, but I will reiterate that the Bible DOESN'T command the shedding of explicitly innocent blood, and (again) you seem eager to invoke this subject in order to justify your position on homosexuality.

If anyone ever warned of your "atrocities" position being a slippery slope, he has been fully vindicated.

Dan Trabue said...

My apologies for my lack of clarity. I meant to suggest that it is your position that the Bible suggests all gay behavior is wrong.

I merely mentioned the three verses because those are the ONLY verses in ALL the Bible that actually appear to talk about homosexual behavior at all.

Bubba said...

They aren't the only passages whose teachings have serious implications on the question of the morality of homosexual behavior.

A gay male is still male, and Genesis 2 is clear about why he was created male and female, and Jesus Christ Himself reaffirmed that reason in Matthew 19.

Again, you don't seem to suggest a different "opinion" about Genesis 2:24.

You just demand that the passage explicitly state something like "no exceptions," even though you do not make a similar demand for passages you like -- like the command to love your enemy, which you find so very important but only appears ONCE.


But on the question of what passages explicitly condemn some or all homosexual behavior, you exclude the story of Sodom, but that begs the question: if Sodom's sin wasn't rampant homosexuality, why did God destroy the city?


And I'm still curious what you think about compulsory charity.

I note that the phrase isn't explicitly mentioned in the Bible. That means it's an open-ended question whether the act is permissible, right?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba asked...

why did God destroy the city?

Actually, God gives an explicit answer to that in Ezekiel (as I'm sure you all know)...

"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."

This lack of concern for the needy and a self-centeredness manifest itself in other ways (attempted rape, for example, and doubtless other perversities). But, according to God (the quote above is from God's mouth to your ears), Sodom was arrogant and wealthy and unconcerned.

But you have heard that before, so why do you ask?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said...

A gay male is still male, and Genesis 2 is clear about why he was created male and female, and Jesus Christ Himself reaffirmed that reason in Matthew 19.

Again, you don't seem to suggest a different "opinion" about Genesis 2:24.


Didn't I already do this??

Matt 19 has nothing to say about homosexuality. You make the leap from...

"Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?"

To, "Therefore gays can't marry..."

Jesus is referencing the creation story set in a time where the world needed to be populated and in a context that knew nothing of committed, loving gay relationships. So, that the Bible says "God made men for women to marry and become one," is certainly not untrue. God DID make most of us that way.

But God did not make all of us that way. That Jesus does not speak to the exception in a culture in which (apparently) the most commonly known context for gay acts were paganistic sex rituals does not surprise me any more than the fact that the Creation story does not describe how the world was created over billions of years, not in six days.

The Bible does not address every possible situation. It does not try to nor does it make the claim that it is the entirety of knowledge. In fact, we all agree that some of the teachings were specific to a time and place but not universal in nature, so we already recognize that concept.

I don't really see much point in repeating myself on this point. You disagree with my opinion about what the Bible has to say (or not) about gay marriage and homosexuality in general. I disagree with your opinion.

Someday, you will find out you were mistaken and you'll have some apologizing to do (or, conceivably, I could be mistaken and have some apologizing to do). In truth, we will ALL find out that we were wrong about this action or that action and we'll be thankful for God's good grace.

In the meantime, I disagree with your hunch.

Dan Trabue said...

Playing catch up, earlier Bubba asked...

And, you claim to "deeply respect" the Bible's teachings, but you note that the prohibition of homosexual behavior is found only a "handful" of times.

How many times must the Bible teach something in order for you to take it seriously?


Well, generally, at least once. This hasn't happened with the topic of gay marriage.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, the problem with your "compulsory charity" analogy (ONE of the problems) is that it is an action someone is doing TO another against their will.

The analog in gay marriage would be IF I were advocating forcing gay marriage upon an unwilling recipient. Since I'm not doing that, your analogy falls apart before it even begins.

Your mock example says...

and I think God would bless the act since He blesses charity.

And yet we know that God is not a God of blunt force.

You DO make the point that it is fairly easy to argue just about anything using the Bible, even arguing points that aren't in the Bible (such as gay marriage).

Again, the difference between your example and my position is that I make it clear that it is MY opinion, my hunch about what God wants. Since God has not voiced an opinion on gay marriage (or "compulsory charity"), all of us are offering our opinions on the topic.

The difference is, you all tend to speak as if you are speaking for God. "It is obvious," you say, and yet I disagree. "God thinks gay marriage is an abomination!" some shrilly yell and yet, God never said that.

If you want to offer YOUR OPINION as to why you're opposed to gay marriage, please do so. Just please don't confuse your voice with the voice of God.

Mark said...

Dan writes, "So, having THREE entire passages in the whole Bible - and not one single word from Jesus the Lord on the topic - that seem to touch on homosexuality, well, THAT BIBLE STUDY revealed I was mistaken about how soundly homosexuality is condemned in the Bible. If anything, it is marginally condemned."

Only three? Dan, how many times must God tell you something before you will believe He means what He says?

One time is all that is needed for me to know He means what He says. I find that in Leviticus 18:22. That is all the affirmation I need. Why do you have so little faith in God, Dan?

Feodor, you're right. I won't answer that question. You are only trying to change the subject, and you haven't responded to my question yet. I will not play that game with you. Stick to the subject. Unless you do, I will continue to ask the question you seem to be afraid of answering for fear you will be proven wrong.

Tell you what, Feodor. I will answer your questions as soon as you give me a satisfactory answer to mine.

Until then, I won't address you or your obfuscating questions. Just let me know when you have that answer.

Just ask for Blue Boy.

Dan Trabue said...

I repeat...

How many times must the Bible teach something in order for you to take it seriously?

Well, generally, AT LEAST ONCE. This hasn't happened with the topic of gay marriage.

Mark said...

Dan, you have crossed the line from "just a wacky guy with odd ideas", to the "sublimely ridiculous".

Dan, you say "IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING that you think the Bible condemns ALL homosexual practices."

I won't commit Bubba to that statement, but that's what I say, Dan. Here. I'll even repeat it for you: God says all homosexual practices are condemned by God.

But, Dan, I will admit, I am a trifle confused now.

Pray tell me, which homosexual practices are forbidden and which ones are blessed?

And please, if you don't mind, show me book, chapter, and verse that bolsters that rather curious opinion.

And while we're on the subject. if God says homosexuality is an abomination, it naturally follows that He condemns homosexual marriage as well.

Dan seems to be saying, "God says homosexuality is an abomination, but really, only some kinds of homosexuality. Other kinds He's fine with." And, "God condemns homosexuality (some kinds) but He's OK with homosexuals getting married."

How incredibly illogical!

Gaaaaa! I don't believe these things have to be explained for you!

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

You continue to hang your hat on the fact that homosexual marriage is never mentioned in the Bible. While this might be true in fact, one must consider that it is because the underlying behavior, that is, the behavior that makes it unique, is forbidden.

You also say that you believe it is our "hunch" that the Bible prohibits ALL forms of homosexual behavior. Considering the Levitical law does not give any allowance for exceptions, it is truer to say that it a hunch on YOUR part to suggest that it doesn't. There is nothing that suggests there could be exceptions. Nothing whatsoever. It has to be a hunch that there might be.

You claim that there is no understanding among the ancients of a committed monogomous homosex relationship. What makes you think so? I would submit that before the Levitical laws were laid down by God to the Hebrews through Moses, it's very possible that there were such relationships. Certainly if there were nasty, oppressive loveless relationships, how can you insist that there were no relationships that were of a more tender type? Just as there can be grand thefts and petty thefts, incredible whoppers and little white lies, savage murder and a simple trip or push, there must have been varieties and degrees of this behavior as well. I think you need to believe there was no such understandings in order to make your case.

Further, to suggest that it was only the nasty forms of the behavior that was restricted means that of the other sexual behaviors prohibited at the same time, only sibling rape is prohibited but not a loving, committed sibling love. Only the rape of a father's wife is prohibited, but not a loving and committed relationship. Only the vioent taking of a goat is forbidden, but not...you get the picture.

But as you know, for each of these behaviors, it is simply said, "Thou shalt not..." without exceptions. It is YOU who is acting on hunches here.

more--

Mark said...

I don't want to offend anyone, especially Art, with graphic language but I really don't see any way around it, for the purposes of showing Dan how ridiculous he is.

In that vein, let me first give a disclaimer: If you are offended by graphic language and imagery, do not read the following:

Dan, which homosexual practices do you think God is OK with? Oral sex? Anal penetration? Mutual masturbation? Group homosexual sex? Licking the anus?

Come on, Dan. You said it. Now provide some idea of just what is fair game with God.

I'm sorry, Art, but I just can't see anyway to get Dan to clarify his points without being crude.

Marshall Art said...

You also begin to bring up old arguments into which many have exhaustively refuted, such as the word "abomination". It is my understanding that there are three places where the English word is used, but regarding homosexual behavior, it is unique and carries a literal death punishment. That contradicts your belief that it is the exact same word.

Then of course is the Romans piece where the word "natural" is used, but that has been addressed. Most sinful behaviors, though, are natural to most human beings. Many are "cultured out" by the time we are adults, but the other behaviors in that verse are also "natural" to some people. So you use an interpretation that twists the meanings to support your cause.

more-

Dan Trabue said...

Marriage is a good and blessed thing, seems to me.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

You say that you believe it is our "hunch" that the Bible prohibits ALL forms of homosexual behavior. Considering the Levitical law does not give any allowance for exceptions, it is truer to say that it a hunch on YOUR part to suggest that it doesn't. There is nothing that suggests there could be exceptions.

I would suggest that you clearly think there ARE exceptions to implementing OT law. You almost certainly don't believe we ought to implement the law that commands (commands!) that we kill children who curse their parents and I would guess that you don't think that we ought to implement the Sabbath or Jubilee laws from the OT.

"But that's different," you say. "That is NOT to be implemented because..." [insert reason here].

You do not believe that each line of the law ought to be fully implemented, you believe in exceptions, and rightly so, at least in some instances.

It remains your hunch that the TWO passages in the OT are talking about any and all homosexual behavior, not just the behavior being talked about (ie, the ritualistic sexual practices of the neighboring lands). I say that it does not cover loving committed relationships, as in gay marriage. That is my hunch on a topic that IS NEVER ADDRESSED in the Bible.

You have a different hunch. I remain convinced that you are mistaken. Good luck with repeating that your "hunch" is somehow not a hunch, but from God's lips to your head. It will remain your hunch.

Dan Trabue said...

That being the case, I will strive to refrain from pointing out the obvious again and again, and will strive not to repeat the same answers that have not changed.

We disagree. I pray that one day we both will come to a more complete understanding, but for now, we see through a glass darkly and must strive the best we can to seek God's will. I can't speak for you, only for myself and those I know personally, that this is exactly what we are striving to do.

Marshall Art said...

Then of course is the idea of homosex relationships as healthy. There's a lot of data to show this is far from the norm. Health organizations show, for example, that over 60% of new syphilis cases are within the tiny percentage of the population that is homosexual. Data shows that the average homosexual has at least 6-7 partners while claiming to be in a committed relationship. Both show that monogamy is defined somewhat differently, that it does not require sex exclusively with one's "spouse". Stats show a higher incidence of domestic violence, disease and shorter lifespans. And of course, the whole notion of homosexuality not being a mental disorder has not been clinically dismissed, but removed through activism within the APA. There's also higher incidence of depression, suicide and drug and alcohol abuse. "Healthy" and "gay relationships" just don't go together.

How anyone can show love to a homosexual by enabling them is hardly Christian in light of this data (easily found through simple research---look them all up yourself---we've been through it all before).

The point is, one has to go through a lot of work and effort in order to justify the behavior and any support for it as benign and likely to be blessed by God.

Keep in mind also that others have shown love to the poor. Al Capone, for instance, ran soup kitchens. To say that your homosexual friends and relations are saintly because they do other things in a saintly way is mere cover for their offenses. Everyone committed to their selfish proclivities will try to deflect criticism through good acts elsewhere in their lives. To some extent, we are all guilty of such justifications.

But pick a saintly lesbian you know. Exchange her lesianism with, say, being a hitwoman for the mob. One behavior that she would justify. All her saintly activities would mean nothing if she clinged to here job, justifying it as apart from the commandment against murder.

Dang! Gotta go!

Marshall Art said...

False alarm.

Dan,

"It remains your hunch that the TWO passages in the OT are talking about any and all homosexual behavior, not just the behavior being talked about (ie, the ritualistic sexual practices of the neighboring lands)." (emphasis mine)

This is what I'm talking about, Dan. There's nothing that depicts those "ritualistic sexual practices" as being the only manner in which homosexuality manifested itself. Nothing. You are making a claim based on a hunch that ONLY homosex was ritualistic in those other lands. At the same time, you don't suppose any of the other sexual practices were practiced in the same manner, but only the homosexual activities. You isolate this one activity as being ONLY done by foreigners in a specific way. If homosexual behavior wasn't done at all within the Hebrew nations, would it be necessary to prohibit it? How about bestiality?

Your position doesn't make any sense. And your belief that there couldn't have existed any "loving" homosex relationships, or that the Hebrews had no awareness that such could exist is in itself a hunch and likely unsupportable.

And as for punishing children, none of the methods for payment of sin are required because of Christ's sacrifice. His was the final death to pay for all sin. The wages of sin being death, you know. Notice, however, that no one tolerates unruly kids and the mandate to honor one's father and mother still stands. You again are trying to mix sin and the punishment for it.

That's it for now. I'm tired.

Jim said...

Mark said, "Oral sex? Anal penetration? Mutual masturbation?...Licking the anus?" I believe these are all quite common heterosexual behaviors. So what?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall misrepresented reality, noting...

And of course, the whole notion of homosexuality not being a mental disorder has not been clinically dismissed, but removed through activism within the APA.

Actually, the APA HAD listed homosexuality as a disorder without any real studies to back it up. When they did the studies, the evidence did not support the diagnosis and so it was removed. Homosexuality is not, by definition, a mental disorder. It WAS considered such earlier only by tradition and misinformation and not by science. Now, Marshall, you know the right story.

Feel free to look it up. You're mistaken on this point.

Marshall also said...

There's also higher incidence of depression, suicide and drug and alcohol abuse. "Healthy" and "gay relationships" just don't go together.

Huh. Imagine that. A group is demonized as having an immoral, ungodly, filthy, disgusting "lifestyle" - often being rejected by their families and churches - and they are often maltreated, abused, bullied growing up and then they have a disproportionate level of depression. How could that possibly be??

In the real world, there are quite a few entirely healthy gay and lesbian folk, and they are often found in loving, committed relationships.

That abusive, inappropriate sexuality in homosexuals and heterosexuals is not evidence that either homosexuality or heterosexuality themselves are unhealthy. Only unhealthy practices.

Funny how that works.

blamin said...

Sorry Dan, but the APA formally considered homosexuality (and I’m paraphrasing here) something you were born into, kind of a DNA/no control/hereditary condition. Due to overwhelming pressure put on them by various groups and the mass media.

They (the APA) actually let science reverse their former position, and have “decided” it’s a choice. That such a sectarian society would do this speaks volumes.

It seems that some in our society wish to do that which is harmful, self-destructive, and detrimental to society as a whole. Some wish to engage minors (“I really love them, and would never do anything to harm them, can’t you see the beauty?”), some wish to elevate animals (“I really love them, and would never do anything to harm them…”) as equal to human relations. And, yes, some wish to elevate same sex relations as natural and beautiful. Some wish to elevate any and all types of behavior because we shouldn’t be “blinded by obscure doctrine”. And it’s all OK, as long as we’re charitable Christians in our actions? As-long-as that’s the ”conclusion we come to after much study and prayer”.

CLARION CALL – The APA actually resisted the call in this case and relied on science. Isn’t it a kick in the pants that some (Christians) will continue to defend the indefensible for fear of alienating the few?

The ability of man, to self-justify that which he wants, never ceases to amaze me.

Dan Trabue said...

"Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, a mental disorder, or an emotional problem.

More than 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and itself, is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems. Homosexuality was once thought to be a mental illness because mental health professionals and society had biased information.

In the past, the studies of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people involved only those in therapy, thus biasing the resulting conclusions. When researchers examined data about such people who were not in therapy, the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness was quickly found to be untrue.

In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association confirmed the importance of the new, better-designed research and removed homosexuality from the official manual that lists mental and emotional disorders. Two years later, the American Psychological Association passed a resolution supporting this removal."


source (APA)

Some psychologists and psychiatrists still hold negative personal attitudes toward homosexuality. However, empirical evidence and professional norms do not support the idea that homosexuality is a form of mental illness or is inherently linked to psychopathology.

source

Mental disorder: a psychological syndrome or behavioral pattern that is associated with subjective distress and/or objective impairment.

source (webmd dictionary)

Homosexuality does not meet the definition of a mental disorder. That being the case, it was removed from the DSM and rightly so. Behavior that does not meet the definition of "mental disorder" ought not be considered a mental disorder. Crazy the way psychiatrists think, huh?

Now, I realize that there are non-psychiatric (usually religious-based) blogs and websites out there that will tell you that, in spite of the evidence and that homosexuality does not meet the definition of a mental disorder, that it is. The experts and those who have actually studied the topic disagree.

Just because you read it on a website don't make it so. So, unless you have some actual evidence (ie a source other than, "this guy who wrote a book..."), shall we agree that this whole myth about the APA being part of a vast conspiracy to de-crazy an actual mental disorder, let's stick to real world arguments, please.

Bubba said...

Dan:

About Sodom and Ezekial, I asked what Sodom's sin was, and you quote Ezekial 16:49 as God's "explicit answer."

"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."

That is part of what Ezekial says on the subject, but I'm not sure why you stopped there, because the very next verse has more about Sodom.

"They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them, when I saw it." - Eze 16:50, emphasis mine

You mention "perversities" in passing:

"This lack of concern for the needy and a self-centeredness manifest itself in other ways (attempted rape, for example, and doubtless other perversities). But, according to God (the quote above is from God's mouth to your ears), Sodom was arrogant and wealthy and unconcerned."

But, FOR ONE THING, there's no causality mentioned here between Sodom's lack of concern for the needy and their abominable actions; you act as if the former was primary and the latter was a secondary side effect -- that the former "manifest itself" in the latter -- and this passage doesn't support that view.

And, FOR ANOTHER THING, you act as if the former is explicitly condemned by God and the latter isn't.

"But, according to God (the quote above is from God's mouth to your ears), Sodom was arrogant and wealthy and unconcerned."

No, Dan. According to God, Sodom was arrogant, prosperous but uncompassionate, haughty, and they "did abominable things before me." The very next verse, which you do not include, is just as much from God's mouth to your ears, so a less misleading answer would include the sins listed in that second verse.

It's worth investigating what Hebrew word was used in that verse for "abomination." Was it sheqets, the word used for things like eating shellfish?

No, it was towebah, the very same word found in Leviticus 18:22.

You provided part of a biblical answer, but not the complete answer.


Moreover, you don't provide a comprehensive biblical answer. Dan, does Jude's epistle say anything about Sodom, and what does it say?


About compulsory charity, I noticed that there are quite a few parallels between my argument for this newly blessed practice and your argument for "gay marriage," but there are differences, too, certainly. I just wonder if the differences matter all that much.

"Bubba, the problem with your 'compulsory charity' analogy (ONE of the problems) is that it is an action someone is doing TO another against their will."

Why does that matter?

Where does the Bible explicitly condemn compulsory charity? The subject's never brought up.

If anything, there may be more biblical support for compulsory charity than "gay marriage."

Consider Mark 11:1-7, where Christ commanded the disciples to retrieve a colt near Bethany. They weren't told to ask the permission of any owner, or the colt's permission, for that matter.


"The analog in gay marriage would be IF I were advocating forcing gay marriage upon an unwilling recipient. Since I'm not doing that, your analogy falls apart before it even begins."

For what it's worth, you haven't persuasively argued that God actually does bless "gay marriage." It remains true that, by all biblical indications, any homosexual behavior is against God's will.

But the analogy is NOT that compulsory charity is compulsory and "gay marriage" is too.

The parallel is this:

You've modified marriage to include homosexuality, adding to the noun an adjective for which there is NO biblical support.

I've done the same thing in modifying charity to include compulsion.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan, to continue on the subject of compulsory charity, you also say, "we know that God is not a God of blunt force."

I'm not sure we know that. Consider Sodom, for instance; it seems to me that you'd have to start dismissing the authority of parts of the Bible to reach this conclusion, but we know that you "deeply respect" its teachings, so you probably wouldn't do that.

But, anyway, compulsory charity doesn't require "blunt force."

I never said nor implied that it did. It doesn't require violence, nor does it require an indiscriminate approach.

Suppose a son needs $40 for some utterly benign reason, and he doesn't have it. He loves his mother, and his mother loves him, so he just gets his mother's purse when she happens to be outside gardening, and he takes possession of two twenties. If the mother originally had $85 in her billfold, he's kind enough and considerate enough to leave the other $45 (most of her cash on-hand) because he only needs $40.

Where in the world is the "blunt force" in that? The only thing missing from the scene is the son's asking and getting his mother's explicit permission. Since she's outside working, she probably wouldn't have gone inside and washed up just to get the cash for him, if she had given her explicit permission: she probably would have told him to get it himself.

And that not-asking could be seen as considerate, because the son might know that his mom is enjoying herself out with her tomatoes and peppers, and he doesn't want to disturb her.

It's a beautiful thing, so I'm wondering if you have a more substantial objection to what I'm actually proposing, rather than a straw-man situation involving blunt force.



It actually doesn't seem like you have a problem with advocacy for compulsory charity, so long as it's presented humbly and provisionally. That's what you indicate in the lengthy quote below.

"You DO make the point that it is fairly easy to argue just about anything using the Bible, even arguing points that aren't in the Bible (such as gay marriage).

"Again, the difference between your example and my position is that I make it clear that it is MY opinion, my hunch about what God wants. Since God has not voiced an opinion on gay marriage (or 'compulsory charity'), all of us are offering our opinions on the topic.

"The difference is, you all tend to speak as if you are speaking for God. 'It is obvious,' you say, and yet I disagree. 'God thinks gay marriage is an abomination!' some shrilly yell and yet, God never said that.

"If you want to offer YOUR OPINION as to why you're opposed to gay marriage, please do so. Just please don't confuse your voice with the voice of God.
"

For what it's worth, I believe this is the first time, at least in this conversation, that you've referred to your own position as a "hunch." You frequently talk about other people's "hunch," but rarely do you use the same term.

Earlier you wrote, "We sought God's will and the best we can discern God's Will on this topic, it is a good and blessed thing to be married - whether you're straight or gay."

This is somewhat provisional, mentioning the best you could discern, but it sounds like a statement that's at least a little more confident than what would be described as a hunch.

And, you wrote, "as a result of this season of Bible Study and Prayer, I eventually came to where I had to repent for my sinful attitudes and actions towards my gay and lesbian brothers and believe that gay marriage can be a good and holy thing."

You "had to repent."

Do people often talk about a moral obligation to repent on the basis of a mere hunch? Do people present lengthy arguments over the course of months and years, for the sake of a mere hunch?

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

But let's put all that aside, Dan, and return to your point that we present our positions with undue confidence.

Let me couch my argument for compulsory charity in sufficient humble terms: let me state right now that my position is a hunch, an opinion, etc.

Do you have other serious problems with the argument, or was that really your biggest objection? Even if you don't share the opinion that God blesses compulsory charity, is it an otherwise acceptible hunch to be drawn from what the Bible says and doesn't say?

Let me ask it this way, and I would appreciate an answer: Given your own arguments for "gay marriage," do you have ANY available recourse to dismantle my argument for compulsory charity as absurd?

If you don't, and if therefore your approach to the Bible regarding "gay marriage" opens the door to arguments for a concept as, well, eccentric as compulsory charity, I think we could consider that fact in evaluating the validity of your approach.


On monotheism. On a somewhat related topic, I'd like to reiterate one question that may have been overlooked in all this.

Do you believe the Bible clearly teaches a monotheistic worldview?

One follow-up question would be, if you do, where is the term "monotheism" explicitly mentioned?


On Genesis and our being created male and female. Let me conclude for the time being by focusing on the most directly important parts of your reply.

I asked, how many times must the Bible teach something in order for you to take it seriously?

Your reply was the following:

"Well, generally, at least once. This hasn't happened with the topic of gay marriage."

That response isn't surprising, but I wonder if this answer is evident in your approach to what the Bible does explicitly teach -- such as why we were created male and female, originally from Genesis 2, which Jesus cites in Matthew 19.

"Jesus is referencing the creation story set in a time where the world needed to be populated and in a context that knew nothing of committed, loving gay relationships. So, that the Bible says 'God made men for women to marry and become one,' is certainly not untrue. God DID make most of us that way."

First of all, "most"?

"God DID make most of us that way"?

That particular qualifier is conjured out of thin air, because it has absolutely no basis in the actual text. The story describes the creation of the first man and the first woman, and it explains why mankind was created male and female, giving a reason ("therefore" in Gen 2, or "for this reason" in Mt 19) that applies to all subsequent generations of men and women: in the absence of any qualifier, no exception could be implied.

You weaken what Scripture teaches without any good textual reason for doing so, and so you show exactly how seriously you take what it teaches.

I'll reiterate that Christ commanded, "love your enemy," and the Bible records this explicit command only once, with only a "handful" of other verses where the command could be implied.

You don't loosen that teaching, to conclude that it teaches, love your enemy sometimes. You assume a universal command here, but not where I believe doing so would irrecovably undermine your support for homosexuality.

Other than the fact that Genesis 2:24 is inconvenient to your position if it's taken as a universal truth, why do you approach that passage differently than "love your enemy"?

You mention "some basic criteria" for evaluating Scripture. Which of these criteria could possibly justify reading "some" into the passage, to conclude that the principle isn't universal?

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Second and more importantly, Dan, you write that Jesus references the creation story which (you say) is "set in a time where the world needed to be populated and in a context that knew nothing of committed, loving gay relationships."

If the Bible is the result of divine revelation, and if God is omniscient, it's simply not the case that its contents are necessarily limited by any deficiencies in the culture at the time of its writing.

Your comment implies either that the Bible is a merely human work, or that it was the product of a deity who isn't all-knowing.

But, more than that, the comment provides an escape hatch that you could use in almost every case.

Earlier you wrote this:

"For this reason, a man will marry a woman... does not preclude any other arrangements. For this reason a man shall marry a woman and NO OTHER ARRANGEMENT is acceptable, THAT might be a more clear biblical case, but it doesn't say that."

But even if it did say that, nothing prevents you from saying that the passage was set "in a context that knew nothing of committed, loving gay relationships."

The Bible says, God made us male and female, so that a man will leave his family and become one flesh with his wife.

You say that the statement is made "in a context that knew nothing of committed, loving gay relationships."

The Bible could say, God made us male and female, so that a man will leave his family and become one flesh with his wife, and no other arrangement is acceptible.

And you could still say the statement is made "in a context that knew nothing of committed, loving gay relationships."

The Bible could say God made us male and female, so that a man will leave his family and become one flesh with his wife, and no other arrangement is acceptible, ever, ever, EVER.

And it's still the case that you could say that the statement was made "in a context that knew nothing of committed, loving gay relationships."

Just about the only statement that would close this escape hatch is if the Bible said, God made us male and female, so that a man will leave his family and become one flesh with his wife, and no other arrangement is acceptible, ever, INCLUDING commited, loving gay relationships.

It doesn't matter how emphatically the principle could be stated and how obvious its conclusions, nothing less than an explicit condemnation of that which you seek to justify, could repudiate this tactic of invoking this context of incomplete knowledge.

You're approaching the text in a way that undermines its divine authorship (or God's omniscience), in order to limit the application of the text's teaching to the barest minimum, and to avoid having to deal with its full implications.

I balk at your claim that you "generally" need to see a teaching only once in the Bible to take it seriously. That may be true in a strictly general sense, but you don't hesitate to bring out the long knives against passages, when it suits you.

And this willingness to shred a passage's authority isn't limited to the "black letters" of the Bible.

Jesus Christ Himself -- God Incarnate, the Crucified and Risen Lord and Savior, the Living Word through whom all things were made, and the Judge before whom all men will stand -- explained why we were created male and female, and you still diminish the authority of His teaching by saying that the passage He quotes (and, implicitly, His teaching too?) was made "in a context that knew nothing of committed, loving gay relationships."

That Jesus: what an ignorant peasant, such a product of his environment, limited as he was to the backward writings of his ancestors.

Bubba said...

It's worth noting in passing that Jesus' command to love your enemy was set in a context that knew nothing of enemies that could commandeer flying machines (no such machine existed) and kill thousands of civilians in one attack.


Dan, you write that the "nuclear devastation of a potential enemy is not covered in the Bible," while neither is the nuclear devastation BY a potential enemy.

Is there really any doubt about whether we're supposed to love an enemy even if he has nukes?

Or any sort of bombs? Or tanks? Or machine guns? Or any sort of guns?

How about longbows and crossbows, the latter of which was outlawed in 1097 by Pope Urban II, because the new weapon was so devastating?

About the use of nuclear weapons, you write, "Bubba would have to form an opinion about this extrabiblical topic extrabiblically, since it is not mentioned in the Bible."

But the same is true about the command to love enemies who use such weapons, or really any weapon that was developed after the second century or in a culture not found in the Bible.

(Ninjas? Are we supposed to love ninjas, too?)

And yet you still treat the command to love your enemy as universal, without exception.


I have NEVER seen you argue that the Bible teaches us only to love enemies who use biblical weaponry -- because that's the context in which the command was given -- only to present a lengthy explanation of how, after "a season of Bible Study," you concluded that the command should be extended even to enemies who possess modern weaponry.

When it comes to THAT command, you're not obtuse.

Feodor said...

Bubba!!!! I found you... I thought you were lost.

"It's worth noting in passing that Jesus' command to love your enemy was set in a context that knew nothing of enemies that could commandeer flying machines (no such machine existed) and kill thousands of civilians in one attack."

You've succeeded in making a historical-critical exegesis of the scripture, and of Jesus' himself, no less!!!

I congratulate you.

Now, if you could just keep going and recognize how completely different our world is to that of the Graeco-Roman milieu, and how different Roman antiquity is from pre-Roman Israel, you've got miles and miles of interpretive biblical territory now in which to run anew.

I.e., totally different understanding of gender equality, racial equality, and...

Mark said...

Regarding Feodors comment, "You've succeeded in making a historical-critical exegesis of the scripture, and of Jesus' himself, no less!!!"

There goes Feodor, not recognizing sarcasm yet again.

Remind me again, Feodor, how smart are you?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, I'll have to be quite honest. I don't have time or energy to read all you wrote. Sorry.

I will note a couple things. In glancing through your thesis, I saw this...

No, Dan. According to God, Sodom was arrogant, prosperous but uncompassionate, haughty, and they "did abominable things before me." The very next verse, which you do not include, is just as much from God's mouth to your ears,

I merely left that out because "abominable things" is undefined. We have no idea what it is referring to there. Sorry about that.

On the other hand, you make a fair point no my writing that suggests causality between the first actions and the abominable things, whatever those are.

Dan Trabue said...

One other thing, Bubba, you asked about Jude and homosexuality. The passage to which you refer...



Jude 1:6-7 (ASV)

“And angels that kept not their own principality, but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, having in like manner with these given themselves over to fornication and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.”

Jude 1:6-7 (NIV)

"And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home - these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire."


Let's see... how many times is gay marriage or even homosexuality mentioned here? Let me count... umm... Zero? Yes, that's right. Zero mentions of homosexuality.

Although, there ARE references to "perversion" and "sexual immorality" to which I referred earlier. Now, it is worth noting that this verse is not as crystal clear as Ezekiel, where God's own self defines the reason for Sodom's destruction...

arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy, they were haughty and did abominable things.

Other than "abominable things," God is quite clear that it appears to be mainly their wealth, arrogance and lack of concern for the poor. Now, GIVEN WHAT WE KNOW from the Bible, I would tend to assume (just a guess) that the "abominable things" referred to might be some of the self-same "perversions" and "sexual immorality" mentioned in Jude.

I would further assume that these may be referring to attempted rape, as we had in Sodom's story in Genesis. Now, of course, this angel story happened after Sodom was already marked for destruction, but it seems to be characteristic of Sodom that they might well have done this sort of thing before, given their lack of charity and their attempted rape in the story we DO know.

So, given what we know in the actual text, there are zero mentions of gay marriage and homosexuality, but a quite clear word from God that being fat and uncaring for the poor and arrogant (and yes, "abominable") is what WAS the cause of their downfall.

This would be consistent with the Biblical message from Genesis to Revelation and also consistent with the teachings of Jesus. Finding references to gay marriage or homosexuality where none exist is not consistent.

Mark said...

I agree with Dan! "Abominable things" is undefined!

However, if one reads the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, it seems pretty plain that many of the men of Sodom, if not homosexuals per se, certainly intended to commit homosexual acts.

Inserting my own "hunch" in this story, I'm guessing that God didn't destroy Sodom and Gommorrah only because all the citizens were homosexuals, but I'm fairly certain the toleration of homosexuality by those who didn't engage in such acts was equally egregious to God.

Just like Dan.

Dan Trabue said...

If one reads the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, it seems pretty plain that ALL of the men of Sodom (according to the text) intended to forcibly have gang sex with visitors.

It's called rape.

That would be wrong whether or not the visitors were male or female.

Bubba said...

Dan, I do wish you would take the time to read all that I wrote, because what I wrote was in direct response to your claims, and because the time you spend reading is almost certainly less than the time I spent writing it.


About Sodom, indeed it's not clear what precise sexual perversions they committed.

(If it were clear, and if it did clearly condemn homosexual behavior in Sodom, I'm guessing we'd hear more about how the condemnation was made "in a context that knew nothing of committed, loving gay relationships." We'd hear how there only four clear condemnations of homosexuality instead of three. At least when it comes to your approach to the Bible on the subject of sexual sin, I'm not sure it really matters that the passage isn't precise.)

I brought up Jude, not because the epistle clearly condemns homosexuality, but because it condemns Sodom for its more general sexual misbehavior.

You write:

"Other than 'abominable things,' God is quite clear that it appears to be mainly their wealth, arrogance and lack of concern for the poor."

How are you drawing that conclusion, that the problem was "mainly" their apathy toward the poor when Jude doesn't mention that? Is Ezekial authoritative on God's reasons for wiping out Sodom, but Jude is not? Even within the passage in Ezekial, is the mere fact that apathy for the poor precedes the "abominable acts," really proof enough that God's judgment was "mainly" for the former?

(For that matter, why do you trust what either passage says about God's reasons for destroying Sodom, when -- going by your position about the historical accuracy of THE PASSOVER -- you almost certainly reject the account of its destruction as an atrocity, ahistorical, and inaccurate? If the Bible is wrong in its claim that God utterly destroyed those two cities, why in the world would you think the Bible is right about God's priorities and motivations for an act you deny He actually committed?)

If Ezekial and Jude list different reasons for God's wrath, I would think that -- if anything -- the areas of overlap are the more important offenses, not the areas in which one or the other is silent.

It seems to me that you emphasize those passages that encourage giving to the poor, and de-emphasize those passages that teach sexual purity -- or have I missed your 15-part series on "The Bible and Sexuality"?

Political progressive that you are, you emphasize issues of "economic justice" and other topics that can be invoked in an effort to expand social welfare, regulations such as price controls, and other means by which the state grows to become all-encompassing; and you de-emphasize traditional institutions including those sexual mores that accompany a rigorous defense of the traditional family.

But those are your priorities. They might not be God's, and what you told me applies to you as well.

You don't speak for God.

Bubba said...

This is something of a digression, but I believe it's worth discussing. Dan essentially makes the following two claims about the Bible, ancient culture, and our culture.

1) What the Bible teaches sometimes aligns with what is prevalent in the sounding culture in which Scripture was written.

2) That same teaching can sometimes contradict what is prevalent in our own culture.

Point #1 doesn't imply causation: the Bible could have been influenced by the culture, sure, but the culture could have been influenced by the Bible and its authors (like Moses, Joshua, and the prophets), or the alignment could even be coincidence.

Regardless, from those two facts which I do not deny, it appears that Dan draws a conclusion that does not necessarily follow, a conclusion I'm compelled to reject.

3) The teaching that aligns with the biblical culture and contradicts our culture, must have been the result of that ancient culture and can be discarded.

This conclusion ignores another possibility: that modern culture has gone astray on this issue, and that it should fall in line with Scripture and the ancient culture in which it was written. After all, if you're on the wrong path, real progress only begins when you turn around and head back.

By ignoring that possibility, Dan appears to be evaluating the Bible's claims by the prevelant (or, more precisely, the politically progressive) views of the modern culture. As a professing Christian who claims to "deeply respect" the Bible's teachings, his approach has it exactly backwards. He should judge our culture by the Bible, not the Bible by our culture.


To give a concrete example, Jesus Christ chose twelve Jewish men to be His closest followers during His earthly ministry.

Arguably, the number 12 is important because it echoes the twelve tribes of Israel, but the modern progressive culture would find some facts about the Twelve to be very important and some to be unimportant.

- Their professions are important. Among the Twelve are four ("blue-collar") fisherman, a tax collector whose profession was despised, and a Zealot, and here -- it is now argued -- Jesus showed His lack of concern for distinctions of class.

- But their sex isn't important. They were all men. All of them. Though Jesus showed concern and compassion for women, and even though the first witnesses to His Resurrection were women, the Twelve were all men. Because the modern progressive culture rejects the notion that there are fundamental differences in the roles of men and women (at least in the family and arguably the church), they reject this fact as the detritus of the first-century culture.

Even though Jesus was wise, courageous, and bold in breaking from the contemporary culture -- by talking with prostitutes and the Samaritan woman, for instance, and by routinely criticizing the Jewish leadership quite harshly -- those times He didn't break from the culture cannot POSSIBLY be the deliberate act of the incarnate God Almighty, all-knowing and all-wise, or so it's theorized. No, it is said, Jesus was just bending to the pressure of the surrounding culture.

There's no way that that could be known or proven from our vantage point, and the safer thing to do -- the frankly biblical thing to do -- is trust that Jesus' acts and teachings and that the Bible's teachings are authoritative in all matters.


To be clear, theological liberals aren't the only ones who make this mistake. Theologically conservative inerrantists sometimes chalk up passages like I Timothy 2:12 to the cultural mores of the time.

There may be good reasons to believe that that verse doesn't literally apply in all circumstances, but that theory doesn't fly and shouldn't be accepted. The better approach entails using Scripture to interpret Scripture.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

We shouldn't compare the Bible against its immediate cultural background to discard teachings that happen to overlap when they don't overlap with modern culture. Instead, we should compare one teaching to other teachings.

Norman Geisler and T.A. Howe's When Critics Ask presents just a biblical approach to I Timothy, which I'll reprint below, at length.

--------------------

PROBLEM: Paul said here that he did not “permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” Likewise, in 1 Corinthians 14:34 he added, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak” (cf. 1 Peter 3:5–6). Doesn’t this deny women a ministry and degrade their personality?

SOLUTION: Not at all. When properly understood in context, these and many other passages in the Bible exalt the role of women and give them a tremendous ministry in the body of Christ. Several things should be kept in mind on the topic of the role of women in the church.

First, the Bible declares that women, like men, are in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). That is, they are equal with men by nature. There is no essential difference—both male and female are equally human by creation.

Second, both women and men are equal by redemption. They both have the same Lord and both share equally in exactly the same salvation. For in Christ “there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).

Third, there are no sex symbols on the ministry gifts listed in the Bible. It does not say, "gift of teaching—male; gift of helps—female." In other words, women have the same gifts for ministry to the body of Christ that men do.

Fourth, throughout the Bible, God gifted, blessed, and greatly used women in the ministry. This includes Miriam, the first minister of music (Ex. 15:20), Deborah (Jud. 4:4), Huldah the prophetess (2 Chron. 34:22), Anna the prophetess (Luke 2:36), Priscilla the Bible teacher (Acts 18:26), and Phoebe the deaconess (Rom. 16:1).

Fifth, Jesus had many women who assisted Him in the ministry (cf. Luke 23:49; John 11). Indeed, it is very significant that in a patriarchal culture that Jesus chose women for His first two resurrection appearances (Matt. 28:1–10; John 20:10–18). St. Peter did not make it until the third round (1 Cor. 15:5)!

Sixth, whatever Paul may have meant by the "women be silent" passages, he certainly did not mean that they should have no ministry in the church. This is clear for several reasons. For one thing, in the same book (of 1 Corinthians), Paul instructed women on how they should pray and prophesy in the church, namely, in a decent and orderly way (cf. 11:5). Further, there were also times when all the men were to be "silent" as well, namely, when someone else was giving an utterance from God (cf. 14:28). Finally, Paul did not hesitate to use women to assist him in the ministry, as is indicated by the crucial role he gave to Phoebe in delivering to its destination the great epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16:1).

[excerpt to be continued]

Bubba said...

[excerpt continued]

Seventh, when understood in context, the "silence" passages are not negating the ministry of women, but are limiting the authority of women. Paul asserts that women were not permitted "to have authority over a man" (1 Tim. 2:12). Likewise, he follows his exhortation to "keep silent" by reminding them to be "submissive" (1 Cor. 14:34). Of course, men too were under authority and needed to submit to the headship of Christ over them (1 Cor. 11:3). Indeed, the ultimate proof that there is nothing degrading about being submissive is that Christ, who was God in human flesh, is always submissive to the Father, both on earth (Phil. 2:5–8) and even in heaven (1 Cor. 15:28). That male headship and leadership is not simply a cultural matter is evident by the fact that it is based on the very order of creation (1 Cor. 11:9; 1 Tim. 2:13). Thus, elders are to be men, "the husband of one wife" (1 Tim. 3:2). This, however, in no way demeans or diminishes the role of women, either in the family or in the church. The fact that men cannot have babies is not demeaning to their humanity or their role in the family. It is simply that God has not granted them this function, but a different one.

Eighth, God has given women an exalted role both by order of creation and redemption. First of all, Eve was not created from Adam’s feet to be walked on by him, nor from his head to rule over him, but from his side to be equal to him and companion of him (cf. Gen. 2:19–25). Furthermore, every man ever born was carried in a woman’s womb (1 Cor. 11:12) and then, the vast majority were nurtured by her through infancy, childhood, and youth until they grew up. In addition, when God chose the vessel by which He Himself would become manifest in human flesh (John 1:14), it was not by direct creation of a body (as Adam), or in assuming a visible form (as the angel of the Lord), nor was it by cloning a male human being. Rather, it was by being miraculously conceived and carried to full term in a woman’s womb, the blessed virgin Mary (Matt. 1:20–21; Gal. 4:4). What is more, God has, through the birth and nurturing process, endowed woman with the most marvelous role in forming all human beings, including every man, at the most tender and impressionable time in their lives, both prenatal (cf. Ps. 139:13–18) and postnatal. Finally, in the church, God has made women "one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28) and bestowed upon them the gifts of the spirit (1 Cor. 12; 14; Rom. 12) whereby they can edify the body of Christ, including prophecy (cf. Acts 2:17–18; 21:9) and teaching (Acts 18:26; Titus 2:4).

--------------------

I have no problem researching the cultures of biblical times to understand better what is taught, but not to undermine the authority of what is taught.

Ultimately, we should trust the Bible's own claims about its ultimately divine authority, which transcends any single culture.

An understanding of I Timothy that concludes that women aren't literally forbidden from speaking in church, I have no problem with, so long as the argument is rooted in what the Bible says (see above) rather than a gainsaying appeal to the epistle's contemporary culture.

Dan claims that the Bible's prohibition of homosexual behavior was written "in a context that knew nothing of committed, loving gay relationships."

Even supposing that this claim is true, that the "context" of the surrounding culture didn't conceive of committed and loving romantic relationships between gays, that surrounding context IS NOT responsible for the contents of the Bible.

Ultimately, God is responsible. It's His book, which He authored.

The surrounding culture certainly influenced the contents, especially regarding the original intended audience, but we cannot pretend to be adequately equipped to discern what is a mere cultural artifact to be discarded or minimized.

Dan Trabue said...

How are you drawing that conclusion, that the problem was "mainly" their apathy toward the poor when Jude doesn't mention that?

It's when it goes...

"As I live," declares the Lord GOD..., "Behold, this was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.

Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore [ie, "for this reason" -Dan] I removed them when I saw it..."


Here in this passage, you have God speaking in God's own voice saying specifically, "FOR THESE REASONS, Sodom was destroyed..." and then a list of reasons.

Conversely, over in Jude, you have the author (not speaking in God's own voice, for what it's worth) saying...

"...just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality ["sexual immorality" in the NIV, this is the NASB] and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire."

Here, there are a few differences...

1. The author is not saying "FOR THIS REASON, Sodom was destroyed..."

2. The author speaks vaguely of "gross immorality" [or perhaps "sexual immorality"] and chasing "strange flesh," with the first being a generic term and the second being an obscure term.

3. Since specific sins AREN'T mentioned here, we get the notion that they misbehaved but we don't know specifics. The specifics ARE supplied in the story itself (in Genesis) and directly from God in Ezekiel.

For these reasons, I find Ezekiel to be speaking from a more authoritative and specific POV than Jude. Which is not to say that Jude is wrong, just that it is vague.

Two of the criterion I use for reading the Bible are to...

1. Read the obscure through the clear and,

2. Compare the individual passage with the whole of the Bible.

When I do this, I find that Ezekiel gives a clear reason and helps me understand Jude. Jude possibly gives a hint that sexual immorality was part of the problem, although I'm not sure on the translation of the Jude terms off hand.

Now, I'm not saying their problem was "mainly" the first reasons listed, just that those are the most clearly stated. Specifically, there were apparently serious problems with the trappings of wealth and a lack of concern for the poor. Generally, there appear to have been sexual misbehavior, too, although what that behavior is, we're not told, EXCEPT the example of attempted gang rape shown in Genesis.

Beyond that, Bubba, if you'd like to have a conversation with me, I'd suggest you take small snippets of opinion/topics at a time. (ie, "here's what I think about Jude...") rather than the shotgun approach of giving thousands of words in several topics at once.

I honestly appreciate your thoroughness, but I also honestly have a job and life and simply can't spend (more) hours reading, considering and responding to thousand+ word essays, only to be met with another thousand+ word essay.

In a perfect world, perhaps I would have more time to wade through your thoughts (or maybe not, I don't know), but in this world, I have limited time and energy. Especially for a topic we've been discussing for literally years.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

A few comments:

First, regarding your sources, I would have to say that I only looked at the first two. The first, from the APA is suspect due to the fact that you've shown me, by the last sources you've presented in a previous post, that the APA has a significant number of homosexuals presently among their membership. This does not give them much credibility on the issue. In addition, the APA's own archives show that at the time of their removing this condition from their list of mental illnesses (or however they titled it), less than half of the membership even voted, and the vote was a result of homosexual activism. I've presented sources for this in the past. You simply choose to dismiss it in the usual way, by denegrating the source, rather than by providing valid counter sources of your own.

In addition, further down from where you got your quote, it states that homosexuals publicize their orientation for reasons of mental health. That hardly speaks well for their mental health if they MUST reveal their orientations. I mean I've never felt such a need to publicize my hetero orientation.

Your next source refers to Kinsley. Right off we see they are either unaware, or don't care about what a deviant and twisted bastard he was. His entire research on homosexuality is worthless. Thus, the source is suspect.

Naturally I went no further. Your quote from the third source is meaningless. That some can't see a problem with a man desiring sex with a man suggests a problem with their perception as well, and likely their own mental state.

Dan Trabue said...

I did catch this...

It seems to me that you emphasize those passages that encourage giving to the poor, and de-emphasize those passages that teach sexual purity -- or have I missed your 15-part series on "The Bible and Sexuality"?

It is my opinion (my opinion, for what it's worth) that much of the modern, evangelical (and probably other) church has GROSSLY over-concentrated on the "sins" of sexuality and grossly neglected the sins and problems of wealth and poverty.

Clearly, I think sexuality can be and is abused. I am a faithfully married fella for nearly 24 years and have a daughter and a son whom we are raising to be chaste, respectful, loving, non-sexist, "non-libertine" types of people. The model for sexuality as found in much of pop culture is less than healthy and at our church, we strive for a more healthy, wholesome model.

On the other hand, too much of the church has reacted with a knee jerk response that is negatively puritanical and too often sexist and vaguely "anti-sex," it seems to me.

Further, I just don't see the Bible offering nearly the sense of urgency and importance to matters of sexuality that it does to matters of economic justice.

(As I have noted, in terms of sheer volume, the Bible talks about economic matters probably nearly twice as often as it talks about sexuality matters, and the sexuality opinions in the Bible are of a rather scattered nature, whereas the economic opinions offered are fairly constant and clear.)

So, yes, I do talk about economic justice more than sexuality. Someone needs to strive to give some balance to the voice of the church.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

Naturally I went no further. Your quote from the third source is meaningless. That some can't see a problem with a man desiring sex with a man suggests a problem with their perception as well, and likely their own mental state.

Okay, we have thousands (tens of thousands?) of mental health experts who have spent years studying and researching the topic and their conclusion is that homosexuality simply does not fit the definition of a mental disorder and that there are no significant reasons to consider homosexuality itself a mental disorder.

Then we have Marshall and Blamin who have studied psychology HOW many years? Your diploma is in WHAT field of psychiatry/psychology? You have conducted HOW many studies on human sexuality? HOW many years have you spent doing these studies?

That is to say, we have two fellas who probably have very little education in the field and who almost certainly have never conducted studies in human sexuality. It is their hunch (not based on anything beyond their feelings and hunches) that homosexuality is a mental disorder (never mind that it does not fit the definition of "mental disorder," we should probably change it so it fits better...).

You are certainly welcome to your feelings and hunches, but please tell me why any serious adult ought to take your feelings seriously on a topic you are (probably) wholly ignorant of?

When you fly a plane, do you build your own and fly it or do you go on a plane built by experts and flown by someone with actual knowledge about how to do so? Are you opposed to all experts or only mental health experts?

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Furthermore, this idea of context and the times during which God's Will was revealed is truly tough to swallow. If you truly respect the Bible, what do you do with the fact, according to it, that Moses spent so much time in the presence of the Lord? If there were any exceptions in mind for Lev 18:22, don't you think God would say so, or that Moses would accurately record it? And if we buy into the nonsense about what the people of the times would or wouldn't understand about human sexuality, don't you think that God would be more explicit so as to leave no doubt?

Again, without any other insight into the intent behind Lev 18:22, it is far more logical to assume that any relationship defined by sinful behavior would be prohibited. Indeed, it would a moot issue. That is, homosex marriage just couldn't be sanctioned or blessed by God due to the underlying sinful behavior that defines it. You run with the fact that the Bible doesn't explicit mention homosex marriage, when it the more logical assumption has to be that if homosex marriage wasn't specifically given a pass, then ANY homosexual behavior would be prohibited, whether between "loving couples" or otherwise.

Your defense that it somehow refers to other nearby cultures doesn't wash either, because you make a similar assumption, equally unsupported, that no "loving and committed" homosex relationships ever took place.

Of course, just as with Feodor's goofy assumptions, you NEED to read the Bible that way in order to make your perceptions work. Those who "opened your mind" to how to read the Bible in a new way, also need to make these assumptions in order to support their point of view on the issue. A lot of reality and logic MUST be ignored in order to justify such perspectives. In doing so, it is not love and respect being shown for these unfortunate individuals.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall asked...

If there were any exceptions in mind for Lev 18:22, don't you think God would say so, or that Moses would accurately record it?

No. Not necessarily.

It is not my opinion that the Bible offers an opinion on every topic and on every possible permutation of every topic in a manner that would explain the topic to all people in all places for all times. Do you think this?

When God commands Israel to kill disrespectful children, God does not spend the time to point out to Moses that the death penalty was only for Israeli children and only in that time and place and that, years from now, we would not have to kill disrespectful children. It is simply and clearly stated: If a child curses a parent, kill 'em.

Why do you not think that we ought not kill cursing children? What? You think circumstances have changed? But don't you think God would have revealed to Moses that circumstances might change and what to do in that case?

Do you see the problem I'm having with your reasoning?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

That is, homosex marriage just couldn't be sanctioned or blessed by God due to the underlying sinful behavior that defines it.

Perhaps, IF IF IF you make that assumption that those few words were referring to all possible homosexual behaviors and situations. But that is an assumption you make that I don't think the text supports, and I sure don't think reason supports it.

Once again, why don't you kill cursing children? The text is obvious, it is never disputed in the Bible anywhere. IF a child curses a parent, you should kill the child.

You set aside the penalty part of that command NOT based upon the Bible, but upon a reasonable conclusion that such a command cannot possibly be valid throughout all of history, including today. You make an extrabiblical assumption (I'm guessing) and rightly so, in that case.

In the case of "men laying with men," you make an extrabiblical assumption that I don't believe the text or logic supports. You disagree. I disagree with you.

And so it goes.

Mark said...

There you go again, Dan. You say, "IF you make that assumption that those few words were referring to all possible homosexual behaviors and situations"

Why don't you answer my question? Exactly which homosexual behaviors are condemned by God and which ones does He think are OK?

Or, here's an idea...Why don't you make it easy on yourself and admit you don't have a clue what you are talking about?

Speaking of not knowing what you're talking about, Why haven't you explained what you meant when you said "God says laying with mankind as you would with a man is an abomination, but God doesn't say Homosexuality is an abomination"?

How do you explain such an apparent dichotomy?

Also, why haven't you explained your statement that God says Homosexuality is an abomination, but God blesses Homosexuality?

You are contradicting yourself at every turn, Dan.

Look, I understand that you can't defend your positions which are wholly un-biblical and, as a matter of fact, ridiculous. And I sympathize with you. I really do.

What I don't understand is why you continue to defend an utterly indefensible position?

Dan Trabue said...

How are you drawing that conclusion, that the problem was "mainly" their apathy toward the poor when Jude doesn't mention that?

It's when it goes...

"As I live," declares the Lord GOD..., "Behold, this was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.

Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore [ie, "for this reason" -Dan] I removed them when I saw it..."


Here in this passage, you have God speaking in God's own voice saying specifically, "FOR THESE REASONS, Sodom was destroyed..." and then a list of reasons.

Conversely, over in Jude, you have the author (not speaking in God's own voice, for what it's worth) saying...

"...just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality ["sexual immorality" in the NIV, this is the NASB] and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire."

Here, there are a few differences...

1. The author is not saying "FOR THIS REASON, Sodom was destroyed..."

2. The author speaks vaguely of "gross immorality" [or perhaps "sexual immorality"] and chasing "strange flesh," with the first being a generic term and the second being an obscure term.

3. Since specific sins AREN'T mentioned here, we get the notion that they misbehaved but we don't know specifics. The specifics ARE supplied in the story itself (in Genesis) and directly from God in Ezekiel.

For these reasons, I find Ezekiel to be speaking from a more authoritative and specific POV than Jude. Which is not to say that Jude is wrong, just that it is vague.

Two of the criterion I use for reading the Bible are to...

1. Read the obscure through the clear and,

2. Compare the individual passage with the whole of the Bible.

When I do this, I find that Ezekiel gives a clear reason and helps me understand Jude. Jude possibly gives a hint that sexual immorality was part of the problem, although I'm not sure on the translation of the Jude terms off hand.

Now, I'm not saying their problem was "mainly" the first reasons listed, just that those are the most clearly stated. Specifically, there were apparently serious problems with the trappings of wealth and a lack of concern for the poor. Generally, there appear to have been sexual misbehavior, too, although what that behavior is, we're not told, EXCEPT the example of attempted gang rape shown in Genesis.

Beyond that, Bubba, if you'd like to have a conversation with me, I'd suggest you take small snippets of opinion/topics at a time. (ie, "here's what I think about Jude...") rather than the shotgun approach of giving thousands of words in several topics at once.

I honestly appreciate your thoroughness, but I also honestly have a job and life and simply can't spend (more) hours reading, considering and responding to thousand+ word essays, only to be met with another thousand+ word essay.

In a perfect world, perhaps I would have more time to wade through your thoughts (or maybe not, I don't know), but in this world, I have limited time and energy. Especially for a topic we've been discussing for literally years.

Bubba said...

Dan, I'll try to make myself more brief, and to focus on fewer topics at a time; when you write lengthy chains of comments addressing multiple issues, it seems to send a clear signal that you have the time and opportunity to tackle substantive responses on everything that you bring up.

I'll try not to make that inference from here on.

I do recall a significant digression in our previous discussion, about a hypothetical test of my moral reasoning skills, but again, I shouldn't infer that such digressions actually suggest that you have plenty of time for our discussions.


So, let me focus on Ezekial.

I notice that, the first time you quoted Ezekial 16:49, it was apparently the NIV.

"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."

Now, you're apparently quoting the NASB of verses 48-50, as is clear from a comparison of translations for verse 50:

"Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore [ie, "for this reason" -Dan] I removed them when I saw it..."

Funny that you switched translations to one where 16:50 begins with a "thus," from one that didn't: what you quote implies causality, that Sodom "thus" committed abominations because of their arrogance and apathy toward the poor.

Check out that second link, comparing translations of 16:50. The NASB is the only one that begins with a causal adverb like "thus" or "therefore."

The NIV doesn't, and neither does the KJV or the ASB or the ESB or Young's literal translation. You can look elsewhere to see that the RSV and NRSV doesn't either.

Funny how you switch to the one major translation that supports the view that Sodom's arrogance caused their abominations.


In comparing Ezekial and Jude, you write that Jude is "not speaking in God's own voice, for what it's worth."

Well, what is that worth?

I was under the impression that you "deeply respect" all the Bible's teachings, not just those directly attributed to God. Is Jude's espistle part of the canon of Scripture, or not?

[continued]

Mark said...

Jim said...

"Mark said, "Oral sex? Anal penetration? Mutual masturbation?...Licking the anus?" I believe these are all quite common heterosexual behaviors. So what?

So, I want Dan to explain which of these homosexual behaviors does Dan think God approves of and which does He condemn. He said, and I quote, "Yes, I understand that YOU don't think gay marriage is God's will and that you think ALL instances of homosexuality are condemned, but WE DON'T believe that's what God is saying in the Bible.

Dan brought the subject up, so now I think it's only fair to allow Dan to explain what he said, cause it makes no sense to me (or anyone else, for that matter).

Bubba said...

[continued]

Really, Dan, the commands given to ancient Israel to wage wars of annihilation were, as you say of Ezekial, "directly from God." They were speaking from a pretty "authoritative and specific POV," and yet you dismiss those commands as human speculation.


Anyway, you also claim:

"The author is not saying 'FOR THIS REASON, Sodom was destroyed...'"

He didn't write those particular words, but let's look again at the passage, the complete sentence and the prior sentence from the translation you're (now) using, the NASB.

"Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

"And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
"

Now, you quoted the important part, and my point is valid in either context.

If you diagram the sentence -- or even the last half of the sentence -- you will find a causal relationship asserted between Sodom's sins and its punishment.

What's the subject of that half which you quote?

"Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them..."

What's the verb phrase?

"...are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire."

Why are Sodom et al. exhibited as an example in undergoing that punishment?

"...since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh..."

The eternal punishment and the demonstration of their punishment was the result of their indulging in gross immorality and persuing strange flesh.

"The author is not saying 'FOR THIS REASON, Sodom was destroyed...'"?

The hell he isn't. Either you're not reading the sentence carefully enough, or you're being fatuous.

Mark said...

Dan what, in your opinion, did God mean when He referred to "strange flesh"?

Alien monsters? Animals? Perhaps flesh of females (Or males depending on what sex you are)? Flesh of other races? Maybe He just meant flesh that doesn't belong to anyone we know.

Or just maybe....just maybe, He was referring to the flesh of the same sex. Hmmmm?

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"But that is an assumption you make that I don't think the text supports, and I sure don't think reason supports it."

This is ridiculous, Dan. The text says simply, "Thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman." As there is absolutely NOTHING to which you can point that in any way elaborates on this command, the only logical assumption MUST be ALL manifestations of homosexual behavior. You can only CLAIM that surrounding cultures only practiced some forms of the behavior you supposedly abhor and not those you enable. Just as you pretend there is an allowance for "loving monogomous" unions, you pretend none ever existed in ancient times. Basically, you suppose what you need to suppose in order to justify that which you have been taught by your heretical homosexual enabling co-congregants. Which was your first mistake, listening to them rather than to the true Word of God as plainly revealed in Scripture.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"Once again, why don't you kill cursing children?"

For the same reason I don't kill homosexuals for engaging in homosexual behavior, or any number of sinners who've committed sins for which death was the proscribed punishment. As was stated, but dismissed without the slightest counter argument, the wages of sin has always been death. Either death for the sinner or his surrogate (lamb, goat or other animal), and this was the law for all until Christ died on the cross as the final perfect sacrifice. Didn't those people who schooled you in homosexual enabling teach you this basic Biblical truth?

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"Okay, we have thousands (tens of thousands?) of mental health experts who have spent years studying and researching the topic and their conclusion is...etc"

Closer to a couple hundred I'd wager. But here's the punch line: many of these "experts" are themselves homosexuals and lesbians. As I said, this was pointed out in a previous post where your own linked source provided this fact. Thus, it could indeed be hundreds of millions, but if there are homosexuals among them, why would I give such a statement the time of day? Have you forgotten how you railed against the practice of having oil men involved with oil industry regulations during the Bush years? Seems such practices don't bother you when they are supporting your position.

But more importantly, what "expert" is required to know there is a problem with someone born a man getting horny for other men? The problem lies in the whole industry of sexual studies, as if passion and lust is a big freakin' mystery. Small children, short of indoctrination by lefty nutjobs, know there's something wrong with two men kissing each other or two women marrying each other. It's obvious. However, like all of your arguments and poor Biblical reasonings, you NEED sexuality to be complicated and you NEED people with letters after their names and agendas behind their conclusions, to support your twisted beliefs about homosexuals.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

Closer to a couple hundred I'd wager. But here's the punch line: many of these "experts" are themselves homosexuals and lesbians.

Where'd you gather your hunch? (A source, please?)

You're suggesting a conspiracy of fairly epic size and I think rational people would need a study, something to back your wild claim.

And, as I have said, whatever you may think, homosexuality DOES NOT MEET THE DEFINITION OF "MENTAL ILLNESS."

Have you even had so much as a high school psychology class? Read a book by an actual psychologist? A magazine article?

Bubba said...

Dan, if you're going to insist on making an issue out of Marshall's sources, I would like to remind you of your own very recent history regarding contentious claims and the sources that are used to substantiate them.


The last time you were here at Marshall's, you questioned the research of an article by Daniel J. Flynn about the homosexual politician Harvey Milk.

"I know nothing about Milk, but I'd have to wonder what the source is for this author's data, since the only thing I see cited is one biographer who refers to his information coming from 'friends' of Milk."

Marshall actually asked for and received documentary sources from Mr. Flynn, and he posted that info, but you only acknowledged his doing so after I repeatedly pointed it out, which isn't the sort of behavior I would expect from someone who was genuinely concerned about the journalistic standards of that City Journal article.

In the very same comment where you first questioned Flynn's sources, you made your own contentious claim without any evidence, that "too often right wing writers make up crap and otherwise twist stuff to tell a story."

When you were prompted for evidence, you first did nothing more than engage in ad hominem attacks against me and others with whom you were discussing, making the ultimately unpersuasive claim that I personally am "paradigm [sic] of dishonest conservatives."

After claiming to be wary of overly partisan news articles...

"Articles on the other hand [compared to entertainment] - whoever they're written by - I generally hold to higher standards and when something smells of partisanship and overly one-sided, red flags fly."

...you finally provided some substance to your claim about dishonest conservatives, but the substance belied your claim of even-handed non-partisanship. You cited nothing but articles from Media Matters, an organization that is explicitly partisan.

I noted that the group describes itself in explicitly partisan terms, as a "progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media." (emphasis mine)

So far as I can tell, you never explained why Media Matters is nevertheless a trustworthy source that doesn't set off red flags for its "partisanship and [being] overly one-sided." Alternatively, you never provided other sources to substantiate your claim about dishonest conservatives, sources that actually meet your "higher standards." In fact, I don't believe you acknowledged my observation about Media Matters at all, which I stated at least three times, or anyone else's criticism of the one source you cited to justify your smear of conservative pundits.


Instead, in a span of less than a fortnight, you continued to demonstrate on your own blog just how much you care about the thorough and trustworthy documentation of contentious claims.

Though you never refer to the site by its actual name, only by pejorative riffs on the name, it appears that you're dismissing World Net Daily as completely untrustworthy.

(You also smear the site, writing that "they are to 'News' what the 'KKK' is to 'Civic Organizations.'" But never let it be said that civility isn't a top concern for you.)

Your criticism of the site focused on one specific article, but so far as I can tell, you never linked to the article (or even the site's homepage) so others could more easily evaluate the article's credibility.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Your criticism of the site focused on one specific article, but so far as I can tell, you never linked to the article (or even the site's homepage) so others could more easily evaluate the article's credibility.

You wrote that the story is "all over the interwebs, but mostly in the form of Right Wing blogs foaming at the mouth." I note the dehumanizing language only in passing, while noting that I could not find a link to even one right-wing blogger who was ranting about a story that I personally haven't heard about, except for at your blog.

Most importantly in regards to the question of sources, you provide not one shred of evidence to substantiate your skepticism of that specific article or WND in general.

You write, "of course, there is probably very little in terms of 'Reality' attached to the story. If you're unfamiliar with them, WND - in my experience - tends to have SOME nugget of an actual story in their stories, but then they twist it and otherwise make up stuff."

You conclude this way:

"The upside of this is that perhaps some on the Right will begin to come out against profiling, now that the shoe is on the other foot.

"Even though it is most likely an imaginary shoe."


You write that "of course" the story "probably" has very little correlation to reality and is "most likely" a fabrication.

In your original blog entry you provide nothing resembling any real substance to support this conclusion, only that it is "in [your] experience" that WND takes a kernal of truth and distorts.

That's extremely underwhelming, the barest fig leaf, apparently intended not to begin a substantive discussion of whether WND is dishonest in general or in this particular case, but to elicit amen's from those with whom you already agree. At least before Marshall had the temerity to question your ex cathedra proclamations, you got what you apparently wanted: one asserted that it's not news that the "far right lies," and another wrote (without evidence) that the story is "pure piffle" to which the Right will cling just because it's "out there."

For agreeing with you but adding nothing of substance, they received your explicit thanks.


In a response to Marshall about WND, you later restate your claim, writing, "They do not strike me as an ethical, responsible or 'newsy' news organization."

But you do not substantiate the claim except by alluding to a half-dozen other stories that you distrust -- only one of which is given the smallest mention -- by asserting your own journalistic background, and by encouraging Marshall to do his own research.

About the specific story you're discussing you write, "I went out and researched the story and found not a single bit of reporting to suggest the story was true."

You acknowledge the difficulty of proving a negative, but you still don't have any trouble asserting what you find so difficult to substantiate, and just as you didn't provide a link to WND's story, you provided no links at all to the results of what we can only take on faith was your thorough investigation into the story.

You write a lot to suggest that you could produce substance to back up your claim, but you never get around to doing just that.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Now, Dan, it seems to me that someone who cites sources based on the deeply flawed research of Alfred Kinsey doesn't have much room to insist on trustworthy sources from others, but I don't even have to look at this particular conversation to draw some conclusions, Dan.

Just looking at those last two, very recent conversations -- one here, one at your own blog -- a double standard becomes immediately apparent.

You're not very concerned about substantiating even those contentious claims that are critical of others, and when pressed for evidence, it seems that any evidence will do.

But when you deal with those with whom you disagree, it suddenly becomes very important that they substantiate what they say, and your standard for their evidence is high, if it exists at all.

As I believe it to be the case on so many other issues -- slander, civility, principles of conservatism, dictionary definitions, the writings of the Founding Fathers, and even the teachings of the Bible -- you care about reliable documentary evidence ONLY when doing so advances your position. When it can be used a weapon, you use it, but when it becomes an hindrance, you try to discard it.

I think there could be an interesting discussion to be had about the APA's decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders, but not for one second do I think you're sincere about an honest and even-handed evaluation of the evidence from both sides of the argument.

Dan Trabue said...

You can believe what you want. You would be mistaken but you can think what you want.

In fact, "homosexuality" does not meet the definition of mental illness and it, therefore, is NOT a mental illness, by definition.

Provide a source to suggest otherwise or just be quiet, seems to me to be the most reasonable, responsible position to take.

Bubba said...

My point has nothing to do with whether homosexuality meets the dictionary definition of a mental illness, Dan.

My point is that you're inconsistent about whether the dictionary definition matters.

Two examples come immediately to mind.


First, you repeatedly introduce the subject of literalism in our discussions of the difficult passages in the Old Testament. You insist that you don't take those passages "literally," but your statement is quite misleading if we're sticking to strict dictionary definitions.

As best as I can determine, what you really mean to say is that you don't take those passages seriously, not "literally."

It is not as if you reject a literal interpretation of the passage, in favor of a figurative interpretation: you have never offered a figurative alternative, much less a plausible one, and it's clear you don't see the need to.

Instead of arguing for a figurative interpretation over a literal interpretation, you argue against the passage's veracity, authority, and authorship. You write that it is a "less than perfect" representation of God's will, and you theorize that the passage is the result of human speculation rather than divine revelation.

You seem to take for granted that the passage where God seems to command wars of annihilation can be read no other way. You don't reject the reader's literalism, you reject the text's authority.


Second, there is capitalism, a subject to which I have already returned just a few months back.

You invoke the strict, minimalist definition of capitalism -- i.e., the belief in the private ownership of property -- in order to claim that Obama's a capitalist and is thereby not an economic extremeist.

But you have a history of repeatedly denouncing capitalism, of approvingly quoting people who denounce the ideology as "totalitarian" and its practitioners or adherents as "oppressors."

You tried to explain that away by saying that you were referencing "extreme" forms of capitalism, but if capitalism is nothing more than the belief in the private ownership of property, then it's not clear what could possibly be meant by an "extreme" form of the belief.

As I pointed out in a comment that I believe you still haven't addressed substantively, it seems that you finally explained that capitalism can exist along a continuum by conceding that the term is not just about ownership: IT'S ABOUT CONTROL.

Up until the point that Obama needed cover, you seemed to use the unadorned term "capitalism" in the sense that it's most commonly (and I would say, correctly) understood -- in the sense that it involves both the private ownership AND the private control of property.

But the moment Obama needed to be portrayed as a centrist, you went to the strict, minimalist definition, dropped the bit about private control, and emphasized the bit about private ownership to the exclusion of EVERYTHING ELSE.

You are inconsistent when it comes to this minimalist definition.

As I wrote before, you have never kept to the definition when denouncing capitalism; you use it only when it's convenient for providing cover for Obama.


Now, you invoke dictionary definitions to defend your position that homosexuality is not a mental illness.

Whether you're right on this particular point -- you could be; I don't know -- really isn't relevant to the point I'm making, which is simply that it's obvious that you don't really care about sticking to the dictionary as a consistent and general princple.

You'll use the dictionary if it advances your argument and ignore it if it doesn't, because your concern isn't fidelity to principles, it's advancing your agenda.

Bubba said...

And before you say it, Dan, I'll say it first: this is just my opinion, I'm not God enough to read your mind, offer not valid in all states, consult your physician, etc.

I don't know with metaphysical certainty that you're a lying, hypocritical weasel.

But the evidence is pretty overwhelming.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said...

As best as I can determine, what you really mean to say is that you don't take those passages seriously, not "literally."

It is not as if you reject a literal interpretation of the passage, in favor of a figurative interpretation: you have never offered a figurative alternative, much less a plausible one, and it's clear you don't see the need to.


Finally, you have something right about my position. I feel no great compulsion to explain what the point is when a passage contains a command from God to kill children. My MAIN point, when I read a verse like that, is that we need to take the Bible seriously and read the individual through the whole and through the teaching of Jesus and when we do this, we can know (as well as we can know anything) that God does not command people to do wrong and we can know that it is wrong to kill children so therefore we can know that God did not command people to kill children.

I don't feel any great need to explain beyond that. I'm fine with mystery and acknowledging that my knowledge is not endless.

HOWEVER, I HAVE offered explanations for such passages and the explanation is that I take the BIBLE as a whole seriously and that sometimes requires not reading each line as literal or historically accurate. Taking the Bible as a whole requires that we not take literally a passage that says, "God says, 'kill children.'"

So, how OUGHT we take such passages?

First, let us remember that the Bible is a Book of Truths (as opposed to a book of facts). We go to the Bible to learn about God's Truths, not about science or history.

The Truths behind a story such as the ones where children are commanded to be killed would include...

That sin has consequences, that God watches out for the oppressed and downtrodden, that God watches over God's people, that we ought not take sin casually, etc. Truths like that.

Just as in the story of Creation, the Truth is that God created the world, the world is God's. The facts in the story are not factually correct, but they don't need to be to convey the Truths.

Similarly, the facts in the "kill children" stories can't be factually, historically true if we take the Bible as a whole seriously. So, we can presume that they are there as warnings to beware sin and its consequences, or as a reminder that God is on our side.

The Truth remains True. The facts need not be taken literally and, in fact, must be taken NON-literally unless we want to abandon the Truths. I'm concerned about the Truths, not the facts.

But we've had that discussion. You don't buy my understanding and instead, insist upon standing by the facts that God sometimes commands people to kill children (in spite of the fact that God also commands us not to shed innocent blood). I don't buy that.

You're welcome to your hunch though. I just don't think it holds water if you take the Bible seriously.

Dan Trabue said...

The point remains: Homosexuality is, not a mental disorder by the very definition of the term, "mental disorder." If you have some evidence somehow that our language is "wrong," and you have a new and improved way of using language, by all means, share it.

The rest of us will stick to the language as it exists, thank you.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba wrongly slandered...

I don't know with metaphysical certainty that you're a lying, hypocritical weasel.

But the evidence is pretty overwhelming.


And yet, you provide nothing but endless words that mean not much. Not the first proof of a single lie by me. Just YOUR OPINION that, "when Dan says X, he really means Y, therefore he is lying."

Piffle!

Bubba said...

Dan, I encourage you to prove that I have slandered you, with evidence that would meet the same high, vague standards you invoke to dismiss my substantial evidence that you're a liar.

I don't know why you didn't produce this proof immediately, as much as we're supposed to believe that you care about substantiating critical claims about others, but I request your proof.

No, I demand it.

Prove that I'm guilty of slander.

Dan Trabue said...

You accuse me of lying. I have not lied. Therefore, you slander.

Do you want me to PROVE that I have not lied? How about if I PROVE that I have not beaten my wife or PROVE that I fly on brooms and cast spells? How shall I prove this?

Perhaps you'd like to attach a carrot to my nose and thereby "prove" that I'm a witch?

In fact, I have not lied. The burden is on you to prove it or to apologize for the mischaracterization.

You have not proven it.

Is that how you think the church should behave? Go around and, when someone has a different opinion, hound them constantly demanding answer after answer and accusing them of lying when the answers don't satisfy the almighty Bubba?

I don't think that is how the church ought to behave.

Anonymous said...

Dan, you need to just ride off into the sunset. You are no match for Bubba. mom2

Dan Trabue said...

Ha!

Speaking of the Wordy One, earlier, Bubba gave me an idea when he raised the question as to whether I treated sexual sins too lightly on my blog while I dwelled on economic justice issues too much. That got me to thinking and I have just begun a little research, which I may enter as a new topic at my blog soon...

In the four gospels, there are eight mentions of "adultery" in the NIV, "sexual" two times (included in the same passages as in adultery), "homosexual" zero times, "homosexuality" zero times, "divorce" five times, "marriage" seven times... Some 22 mentions of these words (not all having to do with sexual sin, of course).

On the other hand, the Gospels mention "money" in 21 passages, "wealth" in 11 passages, "poor" in 18 passages, "poverty" in two passages, "rich" in 13 passages... Some 65 mentions of these words.

Now, do you suspect that if I were to get down and look at each of those two broad topics and how often Jesus actually addressed them, do you suspect that Jesus spent more time talking about money or sex?

And, to Bubba, do you think Jesus treated sexual sins too lightly, if it turned out that there is something like a 3:1 ratio?

hmmmm....

Bubba said...

Dan, I have accused you of lying.

I agree that I have the burden of proving that you're a liar. I think I've provided extensive and persuasive evidence that points to just that conclusion.

But you have accused me of slander.

For that accusation, the burden of proof is yours.


I say that you lie. You dismiss this claim as an opinion supported by piffle, words that don't mean much.

You say that you don't lie. But you don't dismiss your own opposite claim as an opinion, you champion it as a fact, even though you provide NOTHING to persuade anyone that the claim is true.

"Dan Trabue has lied."

"Dan Trabue has not lied."

These are equally valid but opposite claims -- X and NOT X. If X is a mere opinion, I don't see why we should accept that NOT X is a fact.

Is it because YOU said it? That's circular reasoning, as persuasive as saying, the Truth Machine never tells a lie, because it tells you that it never tells a lie.

You say you haven't lied? Is there even one good reason why we should believe you?


You dispute the conclusions I've drawn about you, but your behavior isn't helping, because you're heaping one unproven accusation on top of another.

You seem to think that what I'm doing is to "Go around and, when someone has a different opinion, hound them constantly demanding answer after answer and accusing them of lying when the answers don't satisfy the almighty Bubba."

There's quite a bit wrong with that statement -- have you never considered the possibility that your answers don't satisfy me, because they're NOT SATISFACTORY? -- but I need only to focus on one.

You suggest that my behavior towards you is because you have "a different opinion."

Prove that that's the reason for my behavior, Dan, because I most certainly dispute it.

I don't think I "hound" you. I'm just reminding you of inconvenient conversations that you frequently abandoned, providing the context that is necessary to see how -- for instance -- your requests for documentary proof for others' claims are disingenuous. I'm holding you accountable for your past behavior; I'm making it hard for you to shove your past down the Memory Hole so you can pretend to discuss things in good faith.

Regardless, my main problem isn't with the positions you hold, but with the manner in which you advance those positions. You're EXTREMELY inconsistent about what matters, and you're positively passive-aggressive.

But you're welcome to try to prove that my motives are what you claim, rather than what I say they are. You've made a claim about my motives, and you have the burden of proving that claim -- using the same standards with which you dismiss my evidence as "piffle."


I understated my case when I said you over-emphasize the Bible's teachings on wealth and under-emphasize its teachings on sexuality: you positively undermine the teachings on sex. You find yourself just completely unable to draw even the most obvious conclusion about Christ's claim about why we were created male and female, and you've even written that it's "doubtless" that Paul's writings were the result of his bigotry and/or mysoginy.

It's not about ratios of what passages you write about, it's what you do with those passages. You actually do write a bit about the Bible's teachings on sex, but it's usually to denigrate those teachings you don't like.

Those teachings on wealth that can be made useful to your political agenda, you champion. Those teachings on sexuality that are inconvenient to that agenda, you don't simply ignore: you undermine them.


Finally, on how the church should behave, what I don't think the church should do is engage in willful, deliberate, and systematic acts of treason.

Dan, I believe the most plausible explanation for what you write is that it is an effort to undermine and subvert things like language and forensics in order to subvert Christianity itself, to make the faith both more palatable to modern pluralists and especially more useful to your political Progressivism.

Bubba said...

To be clear to everyone, I don't believe that Dan's standards for what qualifies as conclusive or even persuasive proof are reasonable.

I think my evidence of Dan's consistent inconsistentcy -- he's inconsistent, but it's consistently in favor of his own position and against his opponents' -- is overwhelming.

My evidence does not meet what appears to be Dan's impossible standards, but I'm not trying to meet those standards.

It's worth noting as another instance of hypocrisy that, neither is Dan.

He doesn't try to meet his own difficult standards for proving his claims -- claims that WND distorts the truth, that conservatives are frequently dishonest, that I am guilty of slander, and that my motives are rooted in the mere fact that we disagree.

He HARDLY tries to prove these claims at all.

Mark said...

"You'll use the dictionary if it advances your argument and ignore it if it doesn't, because your concern isn't fidelity to principles, it's advancing your agenda."

Bubba, the same is true of Dan's interpretation of the Bible.

Mark said...

Dan, Bubba doesn't hound you. I hound you, and I will continue to hound you when you make stupid statements that you can't back up, like the very offensive words you put into God's mouth when you said He blesses same sex marriage.

Or, that God never ordered the killing of children. I'm not even looking up the passage and I distinctly remember that God sent the Angel of Death to Egypt with explicit orders to kill every first born male child of the Egyptians, including that of Pharoah's.

Tell me Dan, What caused Pharoah to change his mind and release the Hebrew Children from captivity?

Did the Angel of Death simply give the first born male children of the Egyptians too much candy and cause a belly-ache? Tell us, Oh wise one!

I know you won't answer this question, Dan, because you never answer questions that make you uncomfortable or cause you to admit you might be wrong about things.

And, since I'm on the subject, Dan, I repeat, exactly which homosexual behaviors does God condemn and which ones is He OK with?

I'm sure you must know the answers since you say He doesn't condemn ALL Homosexual behaviors.

Oh, and I'm sure by now, that you've found Book, chapter and verse where God says He blesses homosexuality. I mean, you've had enough time to read the entire Bible twice since I first asked you that question.

So, let's have your answers, please. We're all waiting with bated breath, and I don't mean we've been eating worms, either.

Or maybe, when you said that, you were lying! Hmmmmm?

Art, may I call him an idiot yet?

tugboatcapn said...

The truth about Dan is that he spends more of his time on the internet defending himself against charges of lying or accusing others of slander or bearing false witness against him than anything else.

He never once stops to consider the possibility that maybe the problem is DAN.

Either he is so inept at making the case for his own opinions and positions that everyone constantly misunderstands him, or he is so misguided that he really is wrong, and honestly and completely believes he is right.

Or he's dishonest and hypocritical.

Or some combination of the three.

One thing that is absolutely certain about him ( and I've been watching him for years now...) is that for all his proclaimed devotion to pacifism and peace, something way down deep in him needs confrontation and strife to the point that he will seek it out, drum it up, participate in it or cause it wherever and whenever he possibly can.

Especially with other Christians.

tugboatcapn said...

On the internet, that is...

I cannot imagine that he goes around his neighborhood picking fights with other Christians face to face.

I feel sure that his tactics would change drastically in a face to face conversation with another grown man.

They would have to.

tugboatcapn said...

One more qualifier...

That's the truth about dan as I see it.

(Wouldn't want to be accused of bearing false witness or slander...)

Marshall Art said...

Mental Illness

From Anwers.com:

"Any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma. Also called emotional illness, mental disease; Also called mental disorder."

From TheFreeDictionary.com:

"Any of various psychiatric conditions, usually characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by physiological or psychosocial factors. Also called mental disease, mental disorder."

From Wikipedia:

"A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture."

From surgeongeneral.gov:

"Mental illness is the term that refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders. Mental disorders are health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning."

Also from Wiki that I’m throwing in just for fun;

"The DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), the American Psychiatric Association's standard reference for psychiatry, includes over 400 different definitions of mental disorders."

continued--

Dan Trabue said...

Tug said...

He never once stops to consider the possibility that maybe the problem is DAN.

Either

1. he is so inept at making the case for his own opinions and positions that everyone constantly misunderstands him, or

2. he is so misguided that he really is wrong, and honestly and completely believes he is right.

3. Or he's dishonest and hypocritical.


1. It is entirely possible that I'm not as adept at making my case as I'd like. On the other hand, not all people have trouble understanding me. Those from a similar background and even some conservatives read my writings and don't think I'm lying, and they understand my points.

What are we to gather from that? Is it possible that there are SOME on the sort of Right-ish side of things who are either trolling for trouble, unable to understand those with whom they disagree or just not that adept at reading and comprehending (or possibly some other explanation)?

I'd tend to agree with you, Tug, if NO ONE understood my writings. But that is not the case. Rarely do I find a more progressive sort who misunderstands what I have written.

So, if only SOME misunderstand, but not all, whose fault is that?

2. Misguided? Mistaken? That's always a possibility. I'm human. I could be wrong. So could you. What of it?

Dan Trabue said...

3. Dishonest? No. I can attest to that personally since it is my opinions we're talking about. I'm not saying I'm a perfectly honest person, but I can say that I have never knowingly lied on the internets. I know that to be true, because it is me we're talking about.

You, of course, can't know my thoughts. I'm telling you I'm representing myself as truthfully and honestly as I know how. You can believe it or not.

But if you lean towards not believing it, I'd have to wonder: WHY do you think I'd deliberately say things that I think aren't true? WHY would I spend hours typing responses and opinions that I don't actually hold? To what end?

I would have nothing to gain by doing so. I'm not mentally ill. I DO have better things to do with my time.

I'm telling you the truth, as I always have. My name IS Dan Trabue. With the exception of a few months when I was 18, I have always lived in Louisville, KY where I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church (Victory Memorial, near Churchill Downs).

I was saved and baptized at the age of ten in the baptistry at Victory. I re-dedicated my life to Christ at the age of 16 at Ridgecrest Christian camp in North Carolina, where I'd gone for a youth retreat.

I played in a (VERY bad) Christian band from the ages of 18-28(ish), traveling around the southeast singing and preaching the good news of Jesus as best we understood it.

I have read the Bible for all of my 46 years (except the first five or so, where my parents read it to me) and I've read/studied Dobson, Swindoll, CS Lewis, Ravenhill, ten Boom, Billy Graham, Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Bunyan, etc, etc, etc.

I married my sweet wife, Donna (a seminary graduate in Church Social Work), 24 years ago and we are raising two beautiful Christian children. I have worked in cabinet-making, teaching, mental health and, now, GIS (computer mapping). I have attended my blessed church, Jeff St Baptist, for 13 years now and am thankful to God for my fellow believers in my church family who are, to a person, the best friends and Christians a person could hope to know.

In short, I am who I say I am. You could stop by Louisville any time and find this to be true.

So you raise a good question, Tug: WHY does someone who is who he says he is, a Christian saved by God's grace and humbly and prayerfully seeking to follow in Jesus' steps as best as this frail frame can, WHY would I have spent so much of my time defending myself (more importantly, those believers who think as I do) from OTHER believers? From charges of dishonesty, hatred, evil, etc over and over?

That's a question y'all would have to answer, I reckon.

Marshall Art said...

What we find in the various definitions for mental illness/disorder is characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning... as stated in the first definition. Well. This certainly covers homosexuality. Normal cognitive, emotional or (and obviously specifically) behavioral functioning is without a doubt awry. Normal men are attracted to women. It is the normal function of men to be so attracted. A normal man thinks of himself in this way (cognitive). A normal man feels this way (emotional). And a normal man acts this way (behavioral).

In addition, as has been pointed out, there is without a doubt higher instances of mental, emotional and physical problems experienced within the homosexual population. Regarding mental and emotional problems, YOU like to think it stems from various manifestations of cultural perpspective towards homosexuality. This point of view is necessary and needs to be true for those who wish to support and enable homosexuals. But many feel homosexuality is a symptom of their mental and emotional disorder.

That men with men and women with women is an abberation is something even small children can easily recognize. It takes a grownup wishing to please the world to come up with all the weak arguments that support homosexual behavior. I no longer care to pretend that there is any logic or sense in such weak arguments. It's unbecoming a responsible adult and woefully unChristian to deal with lies so charitably.

Regarding the charge of homosexual influence within the APA, that was pointed out in a previous post using your own sources. So that charge is beyond debate.

All in all, psychiatry is not what one would call the most reliable science. Several schools of thought can exist at the same time regarding any number of conditions. This isn't news in the least.

So it's a simple thing. Men are made to be with women. Men who want to be with men have something wrong with them. What sheepskin is necessary for so obvious a truth?

Marshall Art said...

"Rarely do I find a more progressive sort who misunderstands what I have written." -Dan

This is because progressives typically don't worry about the details of that which supports their position. And this is so very true regarding the issue of homsexuality.

I make this statement with confidence as I have heard all the arguments in favor of homoseuxality, be they secular or religious. The "con" side is routinely dismissed without discussion or consideration, while the "pro" side is to taken as gospel truth and opponents are labeled and demonized with all sorts of negative and hateful rhetoric.

So it's no surprise if progressives run with your arugments, Dan. They aren't likely to question anything that supports what they want to hear.

Dan Trabue said...

And now, Marshall, you have spoken for Psychologists and Progressives. Want to speak for Muslims and Women, too, while you're at it? And perhaps Black folk and others you know nothing about?

Seriously, why ought we trust a fella who knows nothing about mental health with what is and isn't a mental disorder. You provided the definitions and either were too ignorant to see or blindly just chose to ignore that being gay does not FIT the definition.

Gay folk aren't impaired by being gay, brother. Thanks for confirming that homosexuality does not fit the definition.

Now, unless you have some reality based commentary rather than wild ignorant hunches to better display your idiocy, adieu.

Bubba said...

On the assumption that you have not bowed out, Dan, I would like to say that, if you would prefer "reality based commentary rather than wild ignorant hunches," you should keep in mind that reform begins at home.

You say that you have come to believe that God blesses homosexuality, but you cannot point to a single passage of the Bible that actually justifies this position. Instead, you have what might be generously described as a hunch: an argument from silence about the explicit and specific subject of homosexual marriage, coupled with an argument that positively defies what the Bible teaches about homosexual behavior, about marriage and even about why we were created male and female.

(To use another quick example from math, imagine a textbook that defines prime numbers and defines even numbers. The claim that there is an infinite number of even primes isn't simply an argument from silence about the specific subject, it's an argument that defies how the book presumably defines terms like "prime" and "even.")

In a previous discussion, you asserted that conservatives are routinely dishonest, and the only substantive evidence you presented to justify the claim was evidence that YOUR OWN supposed non-partisanship should be wary of, stories from the explicitly partisan Media Matters.

On your own blog, you accused World Net Daily of routinely twisting facts, and you didn't substantiate this claim, either.

Here in this discussion, you have accused me of slander, and you haven't even attempted to prove the accusation.

And you've even made claims about my motives for criticizing you, that I do so simply because I've encountered "someone [who] has a different opinion," but this claim too goes unsupported.

Heck, even though I've tried to stick to one topic at a time -- as YOU requested; note that I haven't reiterated my questions regarding compulsory charity -- you have most recently responded to Marshall, to Tug, but not to me.

I can't imagine why.

Regardless, you don't seem eager to make quite sure your own claims aren't "wild ignorant hunches," and they're certainly not claims that meet those exacting standards you impose on everyone else.


About your supposed honesty, I think it goes without saying that, just because a human being is honest about his name, age, and location, it doesn't follow that he's honest about everything.

You say you don't have a reason to be dishonest, and I think it's clear that you have quite the motivation.

If you claim to care about thorough evidence -- or dictionary definitions, or the Bible's teachings, or the need for civility -- you can invoke this concern to attack the positions of your opponents, as appropriate.

But if you don't REALLY care about such things, you can denounce conservative news sites as propaganda without a shred of evidence; you can denounce capitalism as totalitarian, and then move to defend Obama for his capitalist economics; you can speculate that God's written word contains atrocity, bigotry, and other error; and you can defend a racist leftist preacher who slandered this country, and defend him by slandering his critics, all in the name of opposing slander.

You have a lot to gain by employing a dishonest, passive-aggressive style where you feign concern for things ONLY when it's convenient: in the absence of careful opponents with long memories, you can advance your political agenda.

Dan, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world, but for his political agenda?


But, I say again, that invoking your own authority involves a circular argument.

You say you're honest, and you WOULD know, but if we question your honesty, you're asking us to assume precisely what it is we question. Instead, you should tell us why we should trust you. Telling us you have nothing to gain is a good place to start, but since that claim isn't credible (see above), you need to do better.

If a man's word were always reliable, then every trial would end with the plea.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan, about your progressive friends supposedly understanding your arguments, it is entirely possible that they wouldn't examine your argument too closely, simply because they agree with you. That's not a special insight into progressives, it's simple human nature: I admit that I don't scrutinize Mark or Marshall's comments as closely as I could, though I'd be willing to put our self-examination as a group up to comparison against the same examination of your group.

But you say that there aren't just leftists who understand you.

If there are conservatives who know your arguments at least as well as we do, and who understand your arguments, you have -- and have HAD -- a way to resolve our misunderstandings quickly and easily.

Point him out, or send him our way. Let him explain those positions you hold which we find so preposterous, and those arguments you put forward that we find so incoherent.

I'd be glad to be proven wrong about your behavior, as it would be something of a relief that a professing Christian isn't really as subversive as you seem to be.


Either way, I wish you wouldn't keep bowing out of these conversations at inconvenient times.

I know things can get busy for you -- that happens to us all -- but I think that, barring any serious changes in your lifestyle, it's clear you have time enough to answer some serious questions.

Last time, you derailed the conversation with what you said was a quite necessary test of my moral reasoning skills. I answered your questions absolutely thoroughly, and after I did so, you STILL cut the conversation short, having claimed that you were tired of re-explaining your explanations, when it remains clear that your supposed explanations were unsatisfactory.

How is it that the bodily. historical Resurrection is inherent to Christianity but not indispensible?

(I wonder, is this an instance of your sticking to the English language "as it exists"?)

If the bodily, historical Resurrection is essential, how can it be that you could theoretically deny the doctrine yet not abandon Christianity?

If salvation is by God's grace and not man's works, how do Christ's commands, e.g., to give to the poor, describe the "process of salvation"?

These questions all relate to two simple two-part questions about your beliefs regarding the historical, bodily Resurrection and the Atonement -- questions that were at the root of my main contention that your claim to "deeply respect" the Bible's teachings is belied by the details of what you yourself believe. Your beliefs on these two subjects remain clear as mud.

My questions continue to want for clear and coherent responses.


Now, you've asked me not to hit you with too many topics at once, and, though my responses remain lengthy, I have tried to comply. If I need to focus further, I will try to do so.

But good faith on your part would preclude you from offering, suddenly, another regrettable but not-unpredictable "farewell."

You know you don't win any arguments by picking up your ball and going home when you're behind at the half.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, you are boring me. Bad form in the blogworld.

I am who I am, I believe just as I have explained what I believe.

I don't care if you believe me or not. It does concern me the way some folk like you malign people, especially when you do it in the name of Jesus supposedly, but go with your strengths.

Peace.

tugboatcapn said...

And Dan, that shining example of good form in the blogworld, has apparently picked up his ball and gone home, since he was behind at the half.

Dan, it's bad form in the blogworld to state "This is the truth because I believe it", and then offer no support for your position when challenged.

It's bad form to tell someone who has researched your positions and how they relate to the scriptures and to society as thoroughly as Bubba obviously has that they are boring you, and the attempt to disengage without answering their questions.

This is the type of thing that makes me believe that you may be less than honest in your tactics, and in the way that you say you have arrived at your positions.

If your opinions are Biblical, then you should be able to support them in a clear and concise manner using the actual Bible.

Bubba can...

Marshall can...

You haven't done so yet.

When challenged, you proclaim that whoever you are struggling against does not understand what they are reading, or that they are attacking you personally in some way.

But if you want to concede and admit that Bubba's questions are too much for you, then take your ball and go home.

We don't care if you ever admit the truth or not.

Just don't claim it's because of someone else's "bad form".

You wrote the book on that.

Mark said...

In an e-mail sent to me, Dan wrote:

"Perhaps you're not understanding, Mark. I'm writing here so as not to further
call you out in public.

I'm not responding to you. I believe you are minimally able to understand moral
issues and are, in fact, a moral deviate in many ugly and reprehensible ways.

I think you bring dishonor to Jesus' name most of the time when you write and I
pray for your sad, sick soul.

You seem to have a hard time understanding words and it may be that you're just
not that bright, I don't know. Regardless, I have shaken the dust from my feet
and will leave your comments alone.

I have nothing more good or helpful to say to you and so I am saying nothing to
you at all.

So, now you know that I'm not answering your questions, you can save your time
typing them. Or type them and just let them lay there, but I'm not answering you
directly any more. If you have any sense of morality at all, I would ask that
you just leave my name out of your hateful, little words.

God be with you as you seek to follow Jesus,

Dan
"

Now. Here's what I find funny:

He says he believes me to be a moral deviate, yet he's the one that supports deviate behavior, and in his church, no less!

That, and the fact that he is lying when he explains why he isn't answering my questions. The fact is, he doesn't answer my questions because he can't answer them without showing himself to be the lying deviate little reprobate that he is.

And since when is asking some questions that seek to clarify his positions hateful?

Dan, Book, chapter and verse, please. See? I said please.

Dan, which homosexual behaviors does God approve of and which ones does He condemn? You said it, Dan. I only ask for clarification. How is that hateful?

I even promised you I'd apologize to whomever you want me to apologize if you could prove your assertion that God blesses homosexuality. So far, you haven't proved anything other than you are a liar and a heretic.

blamin said...

Dan says:

I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam. Don’t you dare try to de-construct what Iyam. I feel like a yam therefore I’m a yam. I can prove I’ma yam, just don’t question my yamness!

My yams are pure and righteous, because I’ve studied yams for friggin ever. I’ll occasionally offer up some yam proof as I see it, but if you question my yam proof, I’ll label you as a counter-yam; how dare you question my yamyness? I say I’m de-yam proof!!! I’ve cultured my yams with loving care and much soul-searching, don’t make me face my yamlessness, because I’ll stick yams in my ears and sing blayam blayam blayam.

It all comes down to this: ”I know what yamness means.” We all seek our own truths, don’t question my yamness, because I don’t wish to, and shouldn’t have to, justify my Shaman-Yamness.

Dan Trabue said...

Tug said...

It's bad form to tell someone who has researched your positions and how they relate to the scriptures and to society as thoroughly as Bubba obviously has that they are boring you, and the attempt to disengage without answering their questions.

Tug, I have answered Bubba's questions for literally years now and he STILL tends to get my position wrong. How long shall I repeat, "No, I did not say that nor do I think that. HERE'S what I think..." only to have that followed up with a barrage of questions and quotes which he tends to misinterpret? To what end?

I am entirely capable of being wrong and frequently am. But, one thing that I'm an expert on is what I think. I know what I think. When I explain my thoughts and people with no axe to grind read it, they tend to understand exactly what I mean. Bubba apparently doesn't. His repeated mischaracterizations of my positions and demands for more answers is, at this point, just boring and generally off topic, to boot, as it is here.

My points on topic remain quite clear and undisputed by anything reasonable...

1. Gay Christian folk tend to be serious about following God and they/we just don't buy your hunch about what those handful of verses say.

2. Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. It does not meet the definition of a mental disorder and no serious psychologists (ie, psychologists without an agenda) consider it such.

3. [marginally on topic] God defined the "sin of Sodom" as being that they were "arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me..."

4. There is nothing in the Bible to connect Sodom to homosexuality. There just isn't. You can have guesses that go unsupported that "maybe when it said, 'abominable,' it MEANT homosexual," but that is just wild conjecture.

Those are my points on topic. The topic is not about me, that is what I tire of - Bubba's constant chasing of straw rabbits and beating of his red herring. I'm glad to remain for a bit more talk ON the topic, although you all haven't really offered anything new so, what else is there to say?

tugboatcapn said...

If by "you all haven't really offered anything new", you mean we haven't offered anything that isn't in the Bible, then you are right, Dan.

"they/we just don't buy your hunch about what those handful of verses say."

The problem with your hunch about our hunch about those handful of verses being just a hunch is that ours has been the position of the Church since the Church was established.

The Bible clearly states, in the strongest possible terms that Homosexual behavior is a sin.

Period.

There are no qualifiers, there are no circumstantial exceptions, there are no beautifully described homosexual love stories, no incidence of openly gay prophets or disciples, no nothin'.

Only the command not to do it, and subsequent commands not to associate with it within the Church.

You ask us to not only believe that we are wrong about this, but that every Christian who has come before us, all the way back to the Apostle Paul, has been wrong about it, and only now, at this late date, has Dan and his church finally come along to enlighten us on the matter.



There are also only "a handful" of verses against pedophilia in the Bible, but so far I haven't seen you lobby for the inclusion of that in the Church, Dan.

But why not?

Everything I've seen you write in defense of homosexual christianity could be used to defend that as well...

Is it simply because you personally haven't yet met a christian pedophile who is in a loving, committed relationship, and who does enough good things for others that he passes your "Fruits" test?

I'm inclined to join with Mark here, because I really don't want to be wrong about this Dan.

Chapter and Verse, please.

If God blesses Homosexuality, there should be a scriptural refernce to it.

Not just your, or your pastor's "hunch".

Bubba said...

Dan:

You say, "I have answered Bubba's questions for literally years now and he STILL tends to get my position wrong."

First, I will repeat that, if there really is a conservative who has followed you at least as closely online (or who knows you personally), and he doesn't tend to misunderstand you, you should send him our way so he can straighten me out, and your problems would be solved.

If it turns out that no such conservative exists, and thus it's really the case that there is no one who understands you, among those who critically study what you write, rather than simply agree with you, maybe the problem ISN'T with us.

And second, I think your statement isn't precisely right. You have spent literally years RESPONDING to my questions, but I don't think you have frequently ANSWERED them, much less provided clear and coherent answers.


Our most recent exchanges are par for the course.

You accused me of slander, and I have asked you to prove that accusation, with evidence that meets your own ridiculous standards. You haven't begun to provide proof, and in the absence of proof, you haven't retracted the accusation, but you HAVE responded, in part by adding another unproven accusation, that I "hound" you simply because you're "someone [who] has a different opinion."

My position is that you're a hypocritical liar. My specific position is NOT that literally everything you write is a lie, but that you lie about those broad claims that you often make quite explicitly, about your concern for such things like documentary evidence, dictionary definitions, Christian civility, and the teachings of the Bible.

Those broad claims are useful, either in making you appear to be a quite moderate and sensible Christian, or in undermining the arguments of those with whom you disagree, but those broad claims are contradicted by the specific details of your own arguments.

The most serious deception is your stated love and deep respect for the Bible's teachings, when you routinely denigrate those teachings you don't like, by concluding that what the text ITSELF claims to be the perfect revelation of God, is really the erroneous speculation of man -- that it contains atrocity, bigotry, or other errors.

That is why I think you're a liar.

"I really am Dan Trabue, and I really am from Kentucky" is hardly a substantive response.

I didn't say you lied about your own name, nor did I say that you lie about literally everything, so your "I'm Sparticus" routine is a response that isn't an answer -- "piffle" and words that don't mean much, as you would put it, because your willingness to be honest about some things IS NOT PROOF that you're honest about everything.

You remind us that you know yourself very well...

(Has it never been the case that people have successfully deceived even themselves? You've written that you would still believe in mathematics even if you rejected 1+1=2, in a statement that eerily echoes Orwell's own primary example of doublethink; I don't think self-deception is entirely out of the realm of possibility.)

...and it's true that you are in a unique position to know whether you're lying, but I have now TWICE pointed out that you're engaging in a circular bit of question-begging.

We question whether your word is worth anything; you don't provide persuasive proof that it is by insisting that we take your word for it.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Will have to continue later...

Dan Trabue said...

Tug said...

You ask us to not only believe that we are wrong about this, but that every Christian who has come before us, all the way back to the Apostle Paul, has been wrong about it

Actually, no. I'm not asking you to believe that you are wrong about it. I DO sorta hope that God will open your heart and you will come to accept your gay brothers and sisters, but I'm not trying to convince you of it. That's the Holy Spirit's job.

All I'm trying to do is let you know that we disagree with you. We don't hate you, we don't think you're not a Christian for disagreeing with us, we don't think you are a heretic or evil or anything of the sort. We just think you are wrong.

We'd just like to be treated with the same Christian respect. Sometimes in the church, we WILL disagree over this sin or that behavior. We, as the body of Christ, have our greatest obligation to be able to do so in love and with respect.

I'm not trying to change your mind. I'm just asking for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba asked...

I will repeat that, if there really is a conservative who has followed you at least as closely online (or who knows you personally), and he doesn't tend to misunderstand you, you should send him our way so he can straighten me out, and your problems would be solved.

I'd suggest you might try the fella named "Chance" (There's a link on my blog to "Zoo Station") or "John" (from Zeray Gazette"), they both seem like very reasonable fellas to me who self-identify as "conservatives."

I haven't asked them to be my "witnesses," and don't know what they'd say (or what you would ask them), but that would be a starting point.

What WOULD you ask someone? In a paragraph, what ONE or TWO questions would you ask?

Dan Trabue said...

Tug said...

Everything I've seen you write in defense of homosexual christianity could be used to defend that as well...

No. I have clearly pointed out that the Bible is strongly against shedding innocent blood/hurting children and other marginalized or vulnerable populations. Clearly pedophilia is a behavior imposed upon another vulnerable person against their will (or a person not adult yet to make their own decision as an adult).

Clearly, there is no biblical nor logical defense for pedophilia and my arguments do not support such behavior. But then, that's obvious to anyone who has read what I have said (instead of trying to find evil where none exists).

Dan Trabue said...

Tug asked...

Chapter and Verse, please.

If God blesses Homosexuality, there should be a scriptural refernce to it.


Tug, have you NEVER seen the many, many times where I have pointed out the FACT that gay marriage is never mentioned in the Bible? God blesses PEOPLE and sexuality is a GIFT (to be used properly), but gay marriage is NOT in the Bible any more than NOT POLLUTING is in the Bible.

Just because NOT POLLUTING isn't in the Bible, do you think it isn't a good thing to NOT POLLUTE?

Or how about heterosexuality? Where does God bless heterosexuality? Chapter and verse. Where does God bless all heterosexuality?

What's that? God doesn't bless all heterosexuality? That's right. Heterosexuality is simply an orientation. A way that we are made. It's what you DO with heterosexuality that makes it right or wrong.

How about Left-handedness? Where does God bless it? Chapter and verse.

If Left-handedness is NOT blessed by God in the Bible, by your reasoning, then those who are Left-handed (being outside the norm) MUST be evil. It's an inescapable conclusion (using this sort of logic).

One's State of Being is not a sin. Being Male, Female, Straight, Gay, Black, White, Wheelchair-bound, Walking... these are all States of being and NONE of them are "blessed" in the Bible, but all of us are still beloved children of God, who wants only the best for them.

It's behavior that's the question. And certain sexual behavior IS covered in the Bible. Marriage = good. Licentiousness = bad. To these points, I agree.

Now when the Bible was written, the topic of gay marriage did not ever appear in it. So, that being the case, you can NOT give "chapter and verse" to suggest that gay marriage is wrong. Since it is not in there, it is, by definition, an extrabiblical topic. One can't give chapter and verse for an extrabiblical topic.

What you CAN do in those situations is sometimes find related verses. In ALL of the Bible, there are about a handful of verses that SEEM TO YOU to be related to gay marriage. "Man shall not lay with man and if they do, kill 'em" is one of those verses. You don't believe the WHOLE verse applies to gay marriage (ie, you reject God's direct command to "kill 'em," and good for you on that), but you think the first half would include gay marriage. THAT is your hunch.

My hunch is that it is NOT talking about gay marriage, but rather, about oppressive, paganistic sexual rites. THAT is what those passages (and Paul's Roman passage) are dealing with. Look it up, it's all right there if you read it.

Now, YOU DON'T AGREE with me. That's fine. I don't agree with you. But, that is my biblical reason for rejecting the notion that gay marriage is wrong and not at all included in the Bible.

The verses that I find relevant are the ones that talk approvingly of marriage. I think marriage is a good and blessed thing when it is engaged in by committed, loving, consensual adults.

Now you may disagree with me, but THESE are some of the reasons behind my thinking. Don't be ignorant and keep asking for "chapter and verse," when I have provided repeatedly a detailed biblical and logical reason why I think gay marriage is a good thing. I HAVE provided my defense. It's not as if I haven't repeatedly.

You disagree. That's fine, we disagree. I pray that God opens your eyes one day and you'll quit this sinful, damnable behavior. But let's move on, brother. If you have some specific question THAT HASN'T been answered repeatedly, then ask it.

If you merely want to cast stones, then find the fella without sin to begin.

Dan Trabue said...

Happy Fourth of July, fellas. I'm off to spend the day with my beloved daughter.

Dan Trabue said...

Silly me. I started to say, "I'm going to spend the day with my beloved daughter. What a good and blessed thing to do!"

But then I realized that the Bible never specifically says that, meaning two things...

1. Clearly since "spending the day with my daughter" has no chapter and verse to back it up, it must be NOT be true. In fact, it must be an awful thing to do, since the Bible has no Chapter and Verse to support it;

2. I MUST be lying when I say, "It is a good and blessed thing." Clearly, since I can't provide "chapter and verse," I must be out to deceive people. There's NO WAY I could think spending the day with my daughter is anything of the sort.

I'm a liar! egad!

Imagine my surprise.

Lighten up, Franceses.

Les said...

Unless I read it wrong, he wasn't asking for a specific Biblical blessing of gay marriage, Dan. He was asking for a specific blessing of homosexuality. Marriage and sexual orientation ain't the same thing.

Dan Trabue said...

Then the answer is clear, Les: There is no biblical blessing on either heterosexuality OR homosexuality.

Mark said...

Dan sanctimoniously repeats, ad nauseum, "I DO sorta hope that God will open your heart and you will come to accept your gay brothers and sisters"

Dan, for the umpteenth time, NOBODY--I repeat, NOBODY---has ever said we don't accept homosexual people!!

We said we don't accept homosexual behavior as blessed by God, and you STILL haven't provided Biblical support for that asinine observation.

I think I speak for all of us when I say we welcome homosexuals into our churches for the purpose of convincing them that they should repent from their wicked lifestyle and change their attitude, their minds, and their hearts, according to God's instructions to us.

Honestly, Dan, I'm beginning to think you have more at stake in continuing this unreasonable argument than you admit. Perhaps you are just a wee bit gay yourself? Hmmmm?

tugboatcapn said...

"Then the answer is clear, Les: There is no biblical blessing on either heterosexuality OR homosexuality."

Maybe not, but as far as I know, there is no verse which prohibits heterosexuality.

Oh, and there is also nothing in the Bible that prohibits you from spending time with your daughter, nor does that activity require you to do anything which is against the natural use of your bodily members.

Have fun.

Les said...

Not to put words in Dan's mouth, but I think he essentially conceded the specific "blessing" point in the comment right above yours, Mark. Is this correct, Dan?

I personally believe the Bible does support, or "bless", heterosexuality, even if there's not a verse that says, "God blesseth boy/girl sex." You don't have to read too deeply between the lines to pick up on this, in my opinion. It's right there in the language. On the flip side, the Bible clearly condemns homosexual acts on numerous occasions, so I'm not entirely sure how the Biblical position can be interpreted differently. On this point I side with the righties.

Marshall Art said...

Well, at least for our side, we now have at least one liberal who appears to see problems with Dan's Biblical interpretations. But then, Les isn't like your ordinary bear. He's a lib with more to offer.

Always good to hear from you, Les.

Marshall Art said...

If I haven't already, I also want to say hi to Blamin, who's visits have been few of late. Always nice to hear from you as well. I enjoy hearing your perspectives.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

As stated, there is no argument over whether heterosexuality is blessed. I would also argue against any claim that sexuality in any case is a "gift". By that, I mean that I don't know of anything that would suggest that God concerns Himself too much with whether or not any of us ever avails ourselves of regular episodes of sexual involvement.

In fact, the only real revelations we have in regards to sexual behavior at all is pretty much the restrictions on it as listed in Leviticus. All NT references either support or further strengthen these codes, such as Jesus describing lusting after another woman as a form of adultery. "Gay" marriage doesn't need to be mentioned in the Bible any more than incestuous marriage needs to be. Both behaviors, which underly the "marriage', are forbidden and clearly so in no uncertain terms and without exceptions. If the behavior is forbidden only for certain manifestations of it, there must be some Biblical examples, some means by which anyone can easily see that a specific manifestation is excluded from the command. There is none and you've never offered any. You've only made assumptions that in surrounding cultures, "loving and committed" manifestations never took place. You do this when you say that Lev 18:22 is referring to vague pagan practices or abusive behaviors. That's a pretty bold and giant leap for which you have never even attempted to support. It's just one way your argument falls apart and why we keep asking for concrete support for your positions.

As far as polluting, this would be covered under mandates to love one's neighbor, wouldn't it? Polluting, on purpose or carelessly, harms everyone. This would be like the "no snacks before dinner" angle, where like choosing a snack not listed would still constitute a breech, polluting would constitute a breech of the code of loving one's neighbors as one's self. Poor example on your part.

God may not bless heterosexuality, and I don't think He does necessarily, but He does describe all sex outside the bounds of matrimony to be forbidden and He does sanction hetero marriage. One COULD say He blesses heterosexuality when Jesus reiterates the reason why we were created male and female. But an actual blessing is not required to see His clear intentions for one union and not another.

So what you've failed to do is to show how your perspectives can be easily seen in Scripture to support your arguments. You even speak of your "hunch" that certain passages have a specific meaning without really showing how any reasonable person could arrive at that "hunch" without extra-Biblical pressure forcing it. In other words, my position is that all arguments supporting "gay marriage" result from a concerted effort to put meaning where none exists, to make Scripture say what it never intended to say, to persuade everyone else to see what they ordinarily couldn't see through an objective study of the Book. You've said as much yourself in your statements describing your "conversion" from anti-homosex to pro-homosex. Your anti- position may have been flawed and hateful (as is, for example, Fred Phelps'), but at least it was on the proper side of the issue. (Perhaps your "prayerful meditations" were trying to push you toward a better attitude toward the sinner, and you've gone overboard and now support the sin as well. This seems quite likely to be the case. It's why I, for one, continue to engage you and others on this issue.)

Now, thanks to influence by other enablers, you now abide their willfully twisted interpretations.

continued-

Marshall Art said...

To continue, I want to reiterate one thing:

"you reject God's direct command to "kill 'em," and good for you on that"

God had His chosen administer captial punishment for certain sins. As I've stated before, since Christ paid for all sin with His own death, no other deaths are required for atonement of sin. THAT'S why we don't "kill 'em". If Christ had not made that sacrifice, that method of atonement would still be in effect, whether society approved or not. Your constant attempt to suggest that we are inconsistent because we no longer mete out such punishments for sins is invalid. But the sin for which that punishment was once the rule still stands as being sinful.

Mark said...

Whoa-ho-ho! Dan, you'd better rethink your positions when even hard core Lefties like Les agree with us.

Mark said...

Les, possibly you missed the thread wherein Dan stated categorically that God blesses same sex marriage. I have been trying to get him to provide Biblical support for that position ever since, which he hasn't done.

He's the one who said it. All I want him to do is provide some evidence that supports that idea.

Marshall Art said...

to continue,

"you reject God's direct command to "kill 'em," and good for you on that"

As stated repeatedly, Christ's sacrifice was the final death required, the final shedding of blood required for all sin. THAT is why we don't "kill 'em". If Christ had not died for our sins on the cross, the mandate that we put to death all those who commit sins for which that penalty was attached would still be in effect, whether society approved or not. So your attempts to suggest we are not being consistent because we do not administer such punishments while still abiding God's Will regarding the sin for which the punishment was established is invalid. You can save yourself some time by not trying to use that lame argument henceforth.

"The verses that I find relevant are the ones that talk approvingly of marriage."

Which are THOSE actually? Any verses that refer to marriage at all are based on the notion of one man/one woman. This is supported by the entire Book when speaking on the subject at all. We have been asking for proof that it somehow includes other arrangements. It is here where you've failed to comply in the least.

"Don't be ignorant and keep asking for "chapter and verse," when I have provided repeatedly a detailed biblical and logical reason why I think gay marriage is a good thing."

It is bad form to call us ignorant because YOU have failed to provide support for your position. The argument from this side is that you have NOT provided either Biblical OR (and definitely not...) logical reasons for supporting marriages based on sinful behavior. What you HAVE given us is the slimmest of glimmers and arguments that demand we ignore clearly stated commands or teachings. But nothing a reasonable person would call "logical".

"...I pray that God opens your eyes one day and you'll quit this sinful, damnable behavior."

Now you slander US. What is it about insisting on support for positions we perceive as unBiblical is either sinful or damnable? That has been the thrust (even when including comments like Mark's which you seem to equate as the worst sin perpetrated by one upon another) of all our inquiries. So strip away any ad hominems, any labels placed upon you as a result of what you think is misrepresentation of your comments, and what then is sinful or damnable about our persistence.

People die young as a result of homosexual behavior.

People suffer from disease as a result of homosexual behavior.

People are demonized as bigots as a result of homosexual behavior.

People are going to spend more money in health care costs as a result of homosexual behavior.

What is sinful and damnable about demanding real reasons why we should enable the behavior as you do? Where's the R-E-S-P-E-C-T in that?

Marty said...

Still...no matter what...

The bottom line is John 3:16.

Marshall Art said...

And where's the respect in denegrating my take on the psychology of the situation? I have attempted to track down the post where your own links showed the bias within the psychiatric community to which I referred. I'm beginning to think it was in a discussion at another blog, perhaps Eric's or our team blog. I will continue the search so as to end THAT piece of willful forgetfulness on your part.

But where does it say that I need years of psychiatric training to sknow mental disorder when I see it? Are you arguing that this is a field where there is never a lack of consensus? If so, you are not being honest, or you are indeed far more ignorant of the science than I. For there are indeed serious professsionals that totally disagree that homosexuality is NOT a mental disorder or a condition that is treatable. Using the AlGore approach that the debate is over is childish and quite frankly, a lie.

There are two sexes. There are two sexes for the purpose of procreation. Everything regarding our biological design points to the intent of one sex to be with the other. It is therefor NORMAL that each sex has some attraction for the other. Therefor, there is a problem should a person have no attraction for the opposite sex or have an attraction for the same sex. This requires no degree to understand, though it requires a degree to satisfy those who enable improper behavior. It requires a degree for those who are satisfied with the least and slimmest argument in favor of that which they already agree or choose to support. For thinking people, the degree is worthless if the obvious is ignored because of it.

As to harm caused, harm is meaningless when the obvious occurs. A man who believes himself to be Napoleon can live a seemingly normal life if he determines that hiding his belief about himself helps maintain his freedom. But the lie still exists and hurts him nonetheless. The hurt for homosexuals will always be manifested in society's knowledge of the abnormal behavior and attractions, the fact that it will likely never be universally accepted as normal and equal to those in line with the intent of God and nature. It will always be manifested in the physical harm doen to each other as a result of the misuse of the organs designed for other things.

So homosexuality certainly DOES fit the definition of mental illness/disorder. You simply deny it and point to those within the industry who themselves are homosexual or friendly to them in order to support your perspective. I prefer those professionals who look at things more objectively. You know them. They're the ones demonized as crackpots and scientific reactionaries by the left.

Dan Trabue said...

That's right, Marshall. 95% of the Mental Health industry formed an axis of evil to demonize the 1-2% who disagree with them as crackpots. It had nothing to do with the fact that they had an agenda and came up with reports that support their agenda.

It's all part of a vast leftwing conspiracy and you've found them out.

Run. Your life is in danger!!! AAAAGGGGGHHHHhhhl....

sigh.

Dan Trabue said...

Les said...

On the flip side, the Bible clearly condemns homosexual acts on numerous occasions, so I'm not entirely sure how the Biblical position can be interpreted differently.

Actually, Les, in ALL of the Bible, what can be legitimately described as "homosexual behavior" is condemned in 3 places (twice in Leviticus, referring to the same behavior and once in Romans). So, essentially, twice in all of Scripture it is fairly clear that at least SOME sort of homosexual behavior is being condemned.

That is not in question.

What IS in question is WHAT homosexual actions are being condemned? What is the context? Is it talking about any and all gay behavior or some specific context.

In both Leviticus and Romans, the context is pagan sex rituals. My "side" agrees completely that pagan sex rituals are not a good thing.

Beyond that, the Bible is silent on homosexuality and especially on gay marriage. It is an absent topic.

So, we all use our reason/logic to decide what to do with gay marriage and/or homosexuality in general.

It is my contention that a loving, committed relationship (marriage) is the proper context for sexuality, gay or straight. The others here believe that those three passages are condemning any and all contexts, including marriage between gays (the context, Marshall, where it is the healthiest, least disease-prone, most mentally sound for people to express their sexuality).

I think they are wrongly interpreting those three passages and wrongly applying verses about marriage to an exclusively straight club. They disagree with my opinion, and I, theirs.

End of story.

Marshall Art said...

"In both Leviticus and Romans, the context is pagan sex rituals."

Another "hunch" for which Dan has offered no concrete evidence. Even within the "context" of pagan ritual, he offers nothing to suggest that such rituals aren't "loving". More to the point, the Bible offers no such rationale. It simply says, "thou shalt not do it". Dan simply NEEDS to believe these unsupported assumptions in order to justify his arguments. He NEEDS to believe that two homosexuals attempting to live quiet lives together were unheard of in those days. He NEEDS to believe that the people of those ancient days had absolutely no knowledge that a person of one sex could simply be attracted to one of the same sex without wanting to oppress that person. He NEEDS to believe that a people, led by a man who had regular meetings with the Almighty, would be handed mandates from the Almighty that would leave them wondering about details of those mandates, thereby misleading His Chosen People about those mandates. He NEEDS to believe that such laws as recorded in Leviticus are merely the impressions of a people about their God, regardless of the fact that at the time, the Almighty dwelt among them and would certainly correct any misconceptions, if He allowed them to have any in the first place.

So Dan can disagree with us all he wants. This isn't the point at all and it's only the end of the story because he hasn't the ability or evidence to support his premises. The real end of the story will come at such time as he recognizes his beliefs are fantasy not Biblically based or the least bit Christian. OR, it will come when he finally brings forth the support that will persuade us of his wacky perspective regarding what Scripture says or doesn't say.

Marshall Art said...

Regarding Dan's comment from 7/3 @ 11:18PM,

There are a lot of comedians looking for work. How dare you try to be funny and fail so badly.

How can you support your contention that 95% of the psychiatric community agrees with your claim that homosex isn't a mental disorder? How can you presume that even total agreement would mean there is no doubt? This is a field where alternative ideas are commonplace and changes in thinking routine. I have very little doubt that you know one way or the other regarding just how firmly or loosely this idea is within the psych community, nor do I believe for an instant that you would give them the time of day if they switched positions tomorrow.

How perfect of you to suppose that the "1-2%" have an agenda other than caring for the mentally ill. Do you draw a salary from GSA or other homosex groups? You are the perfect sucker/spokesman for their cause.

Mark said...

Hey! I think Dan just answered one of my questions! Will wonders never cease?

I asked him which homosexual behaviors he believes God approves of and which does God condemn, and--I may be wrong---But, it appears Dan thinks homosexuality is condemned by God unless two homosexuals are married to each other.

Of course, that takes us back to the "God blesses same sex marriage" again, and he still hasn't provided any Biblical support for that offensive and outlandish statement.

Mark said...

My question is why does Dan NEED to believe God blesses same sex marriage?

I don't know, but I suspect his friends are more important to him than God. He's afraid if he agrees that homosexuality is an abomination he will lose friends.

I know that seems like weak reasoning, but it's the only thing that I can think of as to why he so stubbornly sticks to his extremely weak argument.

Mark said...

Art, you say, "You are the perfect sucker/spokesman for their cause."

Nobody's perfect. Least of all, Dan.

Marty said...

"The real end of the story will come at such time as he recognizes his beliefs are fantasy not Biblically based or the least bit Christian."

No.

The real end of the story is John 3:16.

The qualifier being "who-so-ever".

End of story.

Marshall Art said...

"No.

The real end of the story is John 3:16."


Different story, Marty. Unless in YOUR Bible is states:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life whether they follow God's will or just make up their own rules."

Is THAT what you're trying to say? It is a legitimate discussion and debate for Christians to determine the Will of God, and it is equally legitimate to defend His Will against those who put their own above It.

Bubba said...

It's going to be a day or two or so before I have time to comment again at length. I'm stopping by just to note that I'm out-of-pocket, not deliberately evading any questions or responses.


While I'm here, I do wonder if we would hear the same stuff from Marty if other issues were being discussed.

So far as I know, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE who has supported Bush's decision to invade Iraq believes that he deliberately lied to rally support for that war. But suppose someone did, and suppose further that this hypothetical individual was a self-described Christian who believed that lying to start a war is within the bounds of Christian ethics.

Would Marty repeatedly interrupt the very interesting conversation that would result from that Machiavellian claim, in order to tell the crowd that the bottom line is John 3:16?

I can think of any number of morally repellant positions that a self-decribed Christian could implausibly claim: he could suggest that homosexuals should be lynched -- or that Christians should not only accept homosexual behavior, that they have a duty to be bisexual since there is neither male nor female in Christ (Gal 3:28). Or he could say that Christians actually don't have a duty to love our enemies, at least not those with weapons more advanced than first-century artillery, since the New Testament writers couldn't have conceived of nukes, tanks, landmines, or probably even the crossbow which was developed a millennium later.

Or this self-described Christian could express really bizarre theological views, such as the idea that, each time we gather for church, we have a duty to bring six stone jars of water, each holding 20 or so gallons, in obedience to John 2:6-7. Or, he could express a bizarre view which has more serious implications, such as the notion that Jesus and His closest followers were psychotic.

(I'm not sure the latter is really that far of a stretch from Dan's idea that Paul's teachings contain bigotry and/or mysoginy; Paul claimed to teach with Christ's authority, so if he was wrong, his error is significant, similar to the "trilemma" that CS Lewis presented about Christ Himself.)

I can't imagine that Marty would interrupt the resulting conversation in each of these scenarios to assert repeatedly that the bottom line is John 3:16.

If she would, I stand corrected, but if I'm right, I wonder why Marty is selective about when she tells us that John 3:16 is the bottom line.


More in a few, when I can.

Marty said...

"Would Marty repeatedly interrupt the very interesting conversation that would result from that Machiavellian claim, in order to tell the crowd that the bottom line is John 3:16?"

Maybe. If the conversation was as obsessive and damning to hell as this one.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

Just so there is no confusion, you are not required to participate in or even read any of these posts or comments.

As to being obsessive, would that all should be as obsessive about seeking God's truth. Then, fewer would damn themselves to hell by following the perspectives of my opponents. It's all about caring for one's fellow man.

Marty said...

"It's all about caring for one's fellow man."

No it isn't. It's about being so homophobic that you've become blinded by it and unable to see the "who-so-ever".

tugboatcapn said...

Marty, I would remind you that no one here has made the assertion that homosexuals cannot be saved.

We absolutely have not.

The point being discussed is whether or not it is Biblical to redefine a practice which has been labled "Sin" each and every time it is mentioned in the scriptures, and to declare, without Biblical support, that it is no longer sin.

Whosoever will may come.

Absolutely.

But part and parcel to believing in Him is laying down your sin, and following Christ.

If you insist that you hold back any part of yourself when giving your life to Christ, then you have not given yourself to Him.

This includes your sexuality.

When I came to Christ, had I made the case to myself and to others that I could be a Christian and still retain my fornication and promiscuity, do you believe that anyone engaged in this discussion (on either side) would come to my defense for that assertion?

Would you?

If I found a church that accepted the practice of promiscous fornication and declared that, via a new revelation from the Holy Spirit, we are now commanded to "welcome our promiscous fornicating brothers and sisters, because God has wondrously increased the size of our own small hearts!"...

Do you think that Dan and Feodor would point to all of our good works as evidence that God now blesses promiscuity and fornication?

Would you?

No.

You would (rightly) point to my continuing sinful lifestyle as evidence of my hypocrisy and/or misguided theology.

Even John 3:16 does not say that whosoever clingeth to their sin will have eternal life.

Bubba said...

A few days away from the computer has given me the opportunity to reflect on this, the continuation of the most entry in a lengthy discussion, and to see that my frustration really isn't out of place.


Dan:

I appreciate those two names. If I have the time, I will probably ask one or both conservatives to verify your claim that they understand you better than we do here.

What I would ask would be something like the following:

"I believe that Dan Trabue denies the traditional understanding of the Bible's veracity, authority, and divine authorship. I believe that, for instance, what the Old Testament claims are commands from God to wage wars of annihlation, Dan dismisses as atrocity and the result of human speculation and even revenge fantasies. And what Paul commands regarding men and women, invoking his authority as an Apostle of Jesus Christ, Dan dismisses as bigotry and/or mysoginy.

"Do you good reason to believe that I have drawn inaccurate or unfair conclusions about what Dan believes regarding these teachings? If I have come to the wrong conclusions, what is it that you think Dan believes regarding these passages? Or, if you think my conclusions are reasonable, do you believe that -- given these positions -- it is unreasonable to therefore question Dan Trabue's stated love for the Bible and deep respect for its teachings?"

I can certainly think of many other topics I could ask about, but I would probably do so in the same way. I would present what I believe is your position, substantiating my conclusion as necessary and if possible, and I would ask my fellow conservative if my position is unreasonable. If he thinks it is, I would ask for evidence that you really believe something else; if it isn't, I would ask if it's unfair of me to question your claims of respect for the Bible, skepticism toward partisan news sources, disdain for slander, etc.

Notice that I WOULD NOT have to ask any of these questions, Dan, if you proved to be both willing and able A) to clarify what you believe and B) to explain why it's not inconsistent to claim (for instance) to deeply respect teachings that denigrate as atrocity and bigotry.


In later comments, you've written quite a bit that others have already addressed, but there are two points worth mentioning.

First, you write that the Bible is silent "especially on gay marriage." If the Bible is clear -- and it's ABSOLUTELY CLEAR -- about what marriage is, and this essential nature of marriage excludes same-sex coupling, then the Bible is not silent on the subject. It can be read as silent ONLY if one willfully chooses to turn off his higher cognitive functions to demands that the subject be explicitly condemned.

If a math book is quite clear on what a triangle is, then it's not silent on "four-sided triangles" even if the phrase is never explicitly introduced.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

You write, further:

"It is my contention that a loving, committed relationship (marriage) is the proper context for sexuality, gay or straight. The others here believe that those three passages are condemning any and all contexts, including marriage between gays (the context, Marshall, where it is the healthiest, least disease-prone, most mentally sound for people to express their sexuality)."

I will say again that my argument for the moral impermissibility of homosexual behavior is NOT based exclusively -- or even primarily -- on "those three passages."

My argument is grounded on Matthew 19 and its invocation of Genesis 2, against which your current claim here is opposed.

You write that "a loving, committed relationship (marriage) is the proper context for sexuality, gay or straight."

But Jesus taught that we were made male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

It's not just that marriage is the proper context for sexuality -- and it is -- it's that the Bible is clear that marriage is strictly heterosexual.

To claim otherwise requires more than even a specious argument from silence; it requires active defiance against what the Bible clearly teaches regarding marriage, why we were made male and female, and the connection between the two.


Now, having said all that, I'm frustrated that you have apparently abandoned so many subjects that have been brought up in these last two threads alone.

I know you have a life outside of the Internet; we all do, and so we must account for delays and postponements and such.

I do still believe that you write -- often at length -- in order to obfuscate rather than clarify, and you would save us both untold hours if you were clear, coherent, and on-point.

But even accounting for that and outside obligations in the real world, it still rankles me that claim not to have enough time for serious discussions. After all, your other commitments certainly don't preclude you from frivolous and uncharitable discussions.

On the subject of Sarah Palin, I will say that your most recent thread highlights just how disingenuous is your stated concern for substance in political discourse, civility toward all, and charity toward your fellow Christians: you didn't just raise the topic of her resignation as a pretext for cheap shots, you made "cracks" at the woman the explicit point of the discussion. You stay classy, Dan.

And, while we're discussing Palin, I will remind you that you questioned her expertise on energy, because of her apparent belief in young-earth creationism.

"If you believe that oil can be generated in a few thousand years, that demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of basic scientific principles related to energy and that, my brother, does tend to nullify her expertise in energy...

"So, that wasn't really an implication on my part. It was an outright statement: If she thinks the world is ~6000 years old, she is not especially qualified to be an 'energy expert.'
"

I observed that the same logic would disqualify orthodox Christians from medical expertise, since we believe the bodily and historical Resurrection which, some would (wrongly) argue, shows "a profound misunderstanding of basic scientific principles." By the same logic, those who affirm the Nicene Creed have no business taking the Hippocratic Oath.

You argued, very weakly, that somehow young-earth creationism "requires a rejection of the laws of science," but the Resurrection doesn't. You never provided a persuasive explanation of the difference between your earlier claim about Palin and using the same argument against all orthodoxy.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan, that brings us back to our more recent discussions, where we see other threads left dangling. As busy as you claim to be, you can still write volumes when it suits you, but you have left to rot serious questions about what you have written.


1. Accusations about me. Here, most recently, you have accused me first of slander and then of "hounding" you just because we hold different opinions.

You haven't retracted those accusations, but you haven't offered evidence to substantiate them, either, much less evidence that meets your own ridiculous standards.


2. "Compulsory charity." Before that, we were discussing your claim that a season of careful Bible study is what led you to embrace homosexuality as morally permissible. I've demonstrated how vacuous your argument is by making a parallel argument for an absurdity I've called "compulsory charity."

You haven't really tackled that subject, to show how you would argue against someone who defends the practice, who uses the very same tactics you use to defend "gay marriage."

If the methodology you employ can be used to justify behavior as absurd as compulsory charity, the methodology is deeply flawed: it's so careless with what the Bible teaches, it can be used to justify practically anything. You haven't wrestled with this point, ostensibly because you don't have the time to multi-task.


3. The bodily, historical Resurrection as an essential doctrine. Going to the prior discussion, you still haven't clarified your beliefs regarding the bodily and historical Resurrection of Christ, and whether the doctrine is essential to Christianity.

You say the doctrine is "inherent" to Christianity, but you somehow deny that it's "indispensible."

You agree that it's essential, but you say that, if you were ever to deny the doctrine, you would not only still "believe in Jesus," you wouldn't even abandon your Christian faith.

Since the sum total of what you have written on the subject is an incoherent mess, what you believe on the subject remains a mystery.


4. The Atonement. At the same time, we discussed your beliefs regarding the causal connection between Christ's death and our salvation. It's (relatively) clear that you deny any such connection, that the doctrine of the Atonement is only "imagery", one of several "descriptions of the salvation process."

You still haven't justified that claim with a thorough and convincing appeal to Scripture, without which your claim to "deeply respect" the Bible's teachings remains suspect.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

For each of these subjects, Dan, I believe I have made points that are devastating to your position.


1. It's obvious that, if what I've pointed to as evidence of your dishonesty is mere "piffle," you cannot possibly meet your own standards in proving that I'm guilty of slander or in proving your uncharitable claim about my motives.

It's also true that you're question begging by telling us that you know whether you're being honest: since we're calling into question your word, it's circular to expect us to take your word that you really are honest.


2. Though the concepts aren't identical and wouldn't be identical in ANY case, my satirical argument for the biblical sanction of "compulsory charity" highlights the absurdity of your real argument for the biblical sanction of "gay marriage." There is no place where I deviated significantly and crucially from the tactics you've employed.


3. About the bodily Resurrection, I pointed out that Mormons and Muslims also "believe in Jesus" in some sense while remaining decisively outside the bounds of Christianity. That sort of vague appeal wouldn't fly with them, and so it doesn't fly with you.


4. Finally, you did actually cite some passages in your argument that the Atonement is mere imagery, but you were very careless about it. You cited I Peter 2:21 as an alternative description of the "process of salvation," but even that passage's IMMEDIATE context puts the lie to that claim.

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." - I Peter 2:24

Even in one of the passages you cited, it's clear that the Atonement was taught as the reality, that Christ really did bear our sins on the cross.


It's really hard not to draw unflattering conclusions that you seem to ignore these issues the moment that you're presented with arguments that I find very hard to rebut.


Dan, I insist that you prove or retract your claim that I slandered you and your claim about my motivations.

Regarding these other issues, I call on you to address my questions and responses substantively. If that takes time, so be it, but let's not have any more delays.

If you need to tackle these subjects separately, or even in series rather than simultaneously, that's fine. If you would prefer to return to these subjects in one or more threads at your own blog, that's fine, too.

But I will not be silent if you continue to ignore difficult questions, only to accuse me of hounding you for daring to expect you to take some responsibility for what you write.

Bubba said...

As an aside from all that, Dan, there's one more point to make about your use of I Peter 2, which you invoked in an effort to show the Atonement is mere imagery.

This isn't the first time you've cited something that actually disproves what you think it proves.


First, in a discussion about the "welfare clause" in the Constitution, you cited a document that supposedly proved Jefferson thought the Constitution permitted the funding for education without that express power granted to Congress; I pointed out that YOUR OWN REFERENCE proved the opposite, that Jefferson worked for federal funding for schools by supporting a constitutional amendment to grant Congress that power.

Incidentally, in your very next comment after I pointed all this out, you relayed, "I find myself out of time to effectively discuss things."


Second, in a discussion at Neil's -- a thread which also demonstrates that your schtick regarding "gay marriage" isn't new and has never been convincing -- you claimed to have googled an essay that confirms your position that, "'Progressive Revelation' has been held in disdain by those on the Right."

As I pointed out later that day, the very short essay seems to affirm the doctrine quite clearly, writing, among other things, "God progressively revealed what He wanted and allowed man to change his culture slowly over a long period of time. That is why it is called progressive revelation."

You offered no other evidence to substantiate your claim about theologically conservative Christians.


You don't do this often enough for it to be called a consistent or even a frequent practice, but it is true that you have, on more than one occasion, appealed to a source whose clear meaning quite obviously contradicts what you say it means.

If that doesn't call into question your skills at reading comprehension, it makes me wonder if you simply do not always read what you cite. If that's the case, it lends creedence to my conclusion that you're looking for arguments to justify your position, rather than looking for TRUTH to EVALUATE your position.

Anonymous said...

Bubba, I have thought for a long time that Dan is seeking validation for his views instead of seeking truth to validate his views. That suggests to me that he is very insecure in those beliefs, plus if he is so sure that he is right he should feel that his views will hold up under scrutiny and be willing to allow others the time and right to study them without his continual blog hopping and the same old, same old that we have to endure from him. I fear he does not seek to promote truth, but deceit. Keep up the good work, Bubba! mom2

Marty said...

"Even John 3:16 does not say that whosoever clingeth to their sin will have eternal life."

No... it simply states who-so-ever believes in Jesus will have eternal life.

I don't see any exceptions in there.

Will a fornicator get into heaven? I have no reason to think they won't, if they believe in Jesus.

tugboatcapn said...

Nor, do I, Marty, if they truly believe...

And if John 3:16 were the only verse in the whole Bible, I could go along with your overly-simplistic assertion that belief absent repentance will get a sinner, sin and all, into Heaven.

But branch out a little, and the rest of the New Testament, even the rest of the book of John, and you will find Jesus telling people to "Go, and sin no more".

Not "Go and do whatever you want, you have been saved."

And I will remind you again that none of us here have said that homosexuals cannot be saved.

But what good is salvation if it has no power to release us from bondage to our sinful desires and lifestyles?

This is the very reason that Marshall, Bubba, and I speak out against enablers like Dan and Feodor.

We have read the Bible.

2 Peter 2
"18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped[d] from those who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
"

The same Bible that contains John 3:16 also contains warnings against false teachers who promote the idea that sins are no longer Sin, and that repentance is not necessary for salvation.

Marty said...

"This is the very reason that Marshall, Bubba, and I speak out against enablers like Dan and Feodor.

We have read the Bible."

Now, now.

Pride goeth before the fall. You ought not to think so highly of your self.

tugboatcapn said...

"The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not
seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts."

Psalms 10:4, KJV

Did you read Marshall's post, Marty?

Mark said...

Actually, Marty, The Bible says, "A haughty spirit goeth before a fall, and pride before destruction".

Which better describes Geoff, Feodor, and Dan than it does Art.

They are the ones trying to subvert and pervert what the Bible clearly teaches.

Mark said...

Sorry, I got that backwards.

The Bible says, "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" ~ Proverbs 16:18

Mark said...

You have to be literal when referencing Bible verses in this thread. Dan, Geoff, and especially Feodor take great pride in pointing out errors, except when they are twisting the words of scripture to justify their heretical ideas about what the Bible says.

Bubba said...

Marty:

"Pride goeth before the fall. You ought not to think so highly of your self."

That's a real funny comment coming from someone who thinks others here need to be reminded (repeatedly) of the contents of John 3:16.

We HAVE NOT suggested here -- and I suspect that none of us believe (and I certainly don't) -- that the offer of salvation does not extend to any homosexual.

You're mistaken to suggest that we have taken that position, Marty, as you are to suggest that we're homophobes simply for standing up, firmly and at length, against Dan's ridiculous argument that "gay marriage" is biblically permissible.

The Bible is absolutely clear that faith alone saves.

But the Bible is equally clear that saving faith is never alone, that it produces good works.

To emphasize John 3:16 to the exclusion of other parts of Scripture, to set it AGAINST other parts of Scripture as if it is the only authoritative teaching in the entire book, is spiritually dangerous. It is dangerous because it is easy to abuse that one verse to provide cover for sin, and it appears that you're doing just that here.


Tug's suggestion that we've read the Bible and y'all haven't, I assume was made partially tongue-in-cheek.

But what I think can be said very earnestly is that you guys apparently tend to search Scripture for a pretext for your radicalism, rather than submit to the entire text -- the ENTIRE text -- as the written revelation of God.

Everybody wrestles with Scripture; no one alive is entirely innocent of ignoring the clear meaning of its teachings when it's convenient to do so.

But there's a huge difference between an inconsistent effort to conform to God's will and a consistent effort to subvert God's will.

Seriously, the only other people I can think of who pay the Bible so much superficial lip service while ignoring so much of what it actually teaches are Muslims and Mormons.

Marty said...

Well, disagree with my simplistic reading of Scripture if you want. I don't really care.

You all get way over the top in analyzing it.

Alan gave some really good advice over at Dan's. I'm taking it.

tugboatcapn said...

"You all get way over the top in analyzing it."

As opposed to... What?

Just taking Dan's or Feodor's, or even your word for what it says?

"Love your neighbors! John 3:16! John 3:16!"

Well, what about 1 Corinthians 6:8-10?

"Uh... John 3:16!"

What about 2 Timothy 2:24-26?

"Well, pride cometh before a fall, or something like that. John 3:16!

You people think too much!
"

If I over-analyze the scriptures, it is simply because I have a genuine thirst for what they actually say.

I cannot understand why some feel compelled to scour over the Bible looking for contradictions and loopholes so that they can claim to be followers of Christ and still hang on to their old, sinful lifestyles.

You do not gain anything by doing that.

And you certainly do not gain anything by telling others who may be searching for deliverance from the bondage of sin and confusion that cannot be released from it, and that it is only called "sin" just three little times in the whole Bible...

Nor do you help them.

But if John 3:16 and Proverbs 16:18 are all of the Bible that you need, then by all means, take Alan's advice.

tugboatcapn said...

...That they cannot be released from it... I should have said.

Bubba said...

I have no idea what advice Alan gave elsewhere, so if someone could point me to it, I'd appreciate it.


Marty, re: "You all get way over the top in analyzing it."

If you read through Paul's epistles and Hebrews, you will find quite a bit of detailed exposition from Jewish Scripture.

Even more importantly, Jesus Christ Himself did not take the casual, non-chalant view of Scripture that you think is so very healthy. He not only affirmed Scripture to the smallest penstroke and repeatedly appealed to Scripture as the final authority -- not only in teaching others, but in resisting temptation in the wilderness -- His analysis of Scripture is very careful indeed.

Consider Matthew 22:31-32.

"And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is God not of the dead, but of the living."

From the fact that the Bible records that God reveals Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Jesus Christ deduced the reality of the resurrection.

That's only one example, and I cannot see why your criticism of over-the-top analysis would not apply equally to Christ as it would to us.

In carefully reading all of Scripture, we are following the footsteps of our risen Savior and Lord.

Feel free to criticize the substance of our analysis, Marty, but don't harp about the mere fact of our analysis. If you do, I suspect you're adding sin on top of sin: in order to justify your condoning homosexual behavior, you seem eager first to deny the authority of all but a handful of verses in the Bible, and now to criticize a careful study of what the Bible teaches.

tugboatcapn said...

Bubba, I assumed she was talking about this, which appeared on the comment thread on Dan's post "Open Season...", where he invited his Amen Chorus to relieve themselves on what they percieve to be the political grave of Sarah Palin. (In the spirit of Christian Brotherly Love, I'm sure...)

"No one forces anyone to come here, or my blog, or Geoffrey's, etc. So what the heck? I don't intentionally pound my hand with a hammer because it hurts and it's not much fun. So why would I spend my free time going to blogs that just irritate me? If I did spend time intentionally pounding my hand with a hammer, wouldn't someone rightly assume that I had some sort of a mental problem? And if people intentionally visit blogs just to get ticked off, well doesn't it seem like they have a similar sort of problem?

That's why I don't visit the Amerikkkan Descenter's blogs (and at least a zillion other blogs on the internet.) Either they're stupid, uninteresting, unfunny, or all 3. Why waste my time? I have no doubt they feel the same about my blog, so they don't visit (thankfully!). Great!
"

If I'm wrong, Marty, please correct me. (I know you will read this, even though you claim you are going to take Alan's advice and stay away from here.)

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I'm dissappointed that you would take Alan's advice. Not because of his persuasion, but because of his attitude. If he no longer wishes to try to defend his beliefs or, if he no longer feels it's worth his time to preach what he feels is the truth in order to bring others to what he thinks is the light, that's one thing. But the reality is that like so many on his side of this fence, he runs out of ammo quickly, which is natural considering how indefensible his position is, and rather than perservere like the good Christians/human beings they claim to be, he is reduced to looking upon his opponents as bigoted rubes and haters. I hope that's not where YOU'RE going. That would make me sad.

Feodor said...

I'm not into pointing out errors in the Bible. I've simply pointed out how the way Bubba, Marshall, and Marshall's hobby Bible scholars read the Bible forces the definition of error onto the Bible unwillingly and then has to spin all kinds of twisted and torn logic in an effort to deny the same errors that their way of reading precipitates.

There is a way of reading the Bible as sacred scripture that does not make it into a seventeenth century wish for inerrant historiography.

But one would have to get past the seventeenth century anxiety of Christian faith to read it again as a living document rather than a dead letter.

tugboatcapn said...

Okay Feodor...

Can you direct me to the Chapter and Verse where we are told to read the Bible as a "living document"?

My Bible is not a "dead letter", but rather a guide for my life which adresses the issues that I face in real time.

And I do not have to engage in any sort of mental gymnastics or disregard any part of it in order for that to happen.

I only wish that you could have the faith to read it the same way.

We are in no way trapped in the "seventeenth century". (No matter how useful to you it may be to paint us that way.)

We are trying to follow the inspired word of God, as it is presented to us, even if it means we may have to turn from our favorite sin and turn to righteousness.

You have obviously studied the Scriptures, Feodor, and nonetheless you have failed to support your positions from a Biblical standpoint.

Marshall and Bubba seem to have no such trouble.

I feel it is a tragic thing that there are those like Marty who may buy your not-very-well-thought-out arguments simply because they fit more conveniently with their own political beliefs than do the idea of absolutes.

But, if one is to claim to follow the Scriptures, and respect them as the inspired word of God, then one cannot simply disregard those passages which may be politically inconvenient to him. (Or her.)

We are commanded to love everyone.

But we are also commanded to turn from our sin.

Nowhere in the Scriptures are we given the authority to revise what is written there to fit our personal whim, or the direction of popular culture.

If we were, then there would be absolutely no need for forgiveness, no need for salvation, no need for Jesus.

I do not want to spend hours arguing with you about these things, Feodor...

But you are wrong.

And you, and those with which you agree are leading people away from God, rather than to Him.

And by doing so, you are cheating them out of a life-changing blessing that those who have not experienced it cannot possibly understand.

Defiance of God's commands is not the path to Peace, Feodor.

And you are not helping anyone by telling them that it is.

Marshall Art said...

"I'm not into pointing out errors in the Bible."

As if you had the skill and ability to know any if they exist. If you've pointed out anything, it's your inability to understand Scripture. You've taught us nothing, because you bring nothing of value. Well...that's not totally true. You've brought a few laughs as you've tried to pretend you have real insights (whereas your attempts at cleverness provoke only yawns). Your recent rendering of Nathan and David, for example, was good for a chortle or two as you tried so hard to cram meaning into the story that didn't belong. But hey, if such hallucinations warm the cockles of your black heart, then by all means, keep the bowl packed. But your greatest fantasy is the one which says that God Will changes with the world, when real believers know that we all are supposed to change for Him.

Feodor said...

Your interest in the anus consistently appears when you know your shit doesn't measure up. You're so locked into such a purely Freudian anal phase, that I'm going to have to rethink keeping more of Freud thn I though possible.

And, again for the remedial anal phase host, from the position of the thinking modern Biblical reader, the Bible is living scripture for a living community of faith which is summed up in a living Christ. So the category of "errors" do not exist for those of us who believe in inspiration, only for those who kill the Spirit of inspiration by replacing it with "inerrancy." Ancient Israel lived in greater or lesser faith. The early church lived in greater or lesser faith. Holy Scripture gives us this picture as a model for our own, thereby doing its work: as the best, inspired guide to life under God.

"Errors" in the Bible are the result of the anxiety of the seventeenth century and the failure of the church to pay attention to its scripture in a full way so that it made up a system of rules for reading the Bible that did not exist before.

You are just an unthinking child, psychologically speaking, of this decayed time in Christian history. You are like the hair cells on a dead body: still accumulating but not growing, and very time limited.

Your paragraph would read thusly:

"...the Bible is a dead letter set in stone for a remnant community of a past movement which is summed up in a dead Christ."

(See what I did there, Marshall? In a tone of pretentious elitism, I nonetheless presented historical critical, literary critical, and theological understandings to marshal a few points into a directional thesis. All you marshaled were your interest in feces.)

Feodor said...

Tug, your comments, paragraph by paragraph:

"Can you direct me to the Chapter and Verse where we are told to read the Bible as a 'living document'?"

Tug, how do you build a church without Chapter and Verse? How do you worship God in community without Chapter and Verse that communicates the method? Or do you get a plan for worship -- a pretty important thing according to Chapter and Verse -- in a way that was crafted 1500 years ago? 300 years ago? 100 years ago?

Is worshipping the living God in a body where Christ is present less important than the Bible? Or more? Or neither? And yet there is not Chapter and Verse for church architecture which has a huge impact on how one worships God, the order of worship which has a huge impact on how one worships God, or even communion, in which Christ is present, and yet we leave it up to each age and each community.

You look for chapter and verse because you were taught to treat the Bible as a code of moral law (so you can ignore architecture, order of worship, and communion).

However, it may be that you ignore chapter and verse on some things, like women being silent, slaves obeying masters. Or you do indeed do what I characterized and what Bubba et al do: twist and tear logic.

But what if that's not what sacred scripture operates as most fully? What if the manner in which you taught to read the Bible is only three hundred and some odd years old?
______________

"My Bible is not a "dead letter", but rather a guide for my life which adresses the issues that I face in real time."

Where do you stand on women in ministry/leadership, on slavery, on elders never having been divorced, on wine only for communion? Do chapter and verse guide you completely here? All of them? Or only some of them? And where is chapter and verse telling you how to choose between Galations or Ephesians on slavery?

How about sharing your income and your food and your housing with your church? Are you square with chapter and verse in Acts?

"And I do not have to engage in any sort of mental gymnastics or disregard any part of it in order for that to happen."

That depends on your answer to the above questions.

"I only wish that you could have the faith to read it the same way."

I left that kind of faith in my twenties, when time ran out on any effort to make holistic, rational, spiritual, biblical sense of such how that kind of faith makes sense of the Bible and stands in suspicion of the world -- the very one that God made.

"We are in no way trapped in the "seventeenth century". (No matter how useful to you it may be to paint us that way.).... We are trying to follow the inspired word of God, as it is presented to us, even if it means we may have to turn from our favorite sin and turn to righteousness."

Do you know how the "word of God" was "presented"? Or are you just using a euphemistic phrase for a study that you have never gotten around to? Do you know the sinaiticus codex and what it contains? Do you know the Septuagint and the council of seventy or seventy-two, the story of the "Council of Jamnia"?

If not, then you are not receiving the Bible "as presented." You don't understand the history or the process.

Unless you prefer blind faith -- but then there would be no reason to engage in a discussion. What can be discussed with "reason" when one party claims only blind faith.

"You have obviously studied the Scriptures, Feodor, and nonetheless you have failed to support your positions from a Biblical standpoint.... Marshall and Bubba seem to have no such trouble."

'A prophet is not honored in his home town, or received well by his own.' I read something like that somewhere.

My other thought is that you're not willing to start learning... the lack of motivation resulting from no desire to hear probably has something to do with it. Marshall and Bubba are in the same boat you are in. If you haven't seen land, yet, it's going to be hard to believe me.

Feodor said...

"I feel it is a tragic thing that there are those like Marty who may buy your not-very-well-thought-out arguments simply because they fit more conveniently with their own political beliefs than do the idea of absolutes."

Your absolutes were handed to you. A not very honest way to live ("the unexamined life" and all that).

Marty, however, seems to be examining his/hers. And I doubt he/she is paying me much attention.
____________

"But, if one is to claim to follow the Scriptures, and respect them as the inspired word of God, then one cannot simply disregard those passages which may be politically inconvenient to him. (Or her.)"

That depends on what one means by inspiration, doesn't it? Whether one carries a seventeenth century radical protestant view of it or a reformed orthodox view of it.
___________

"We are commanded to love everyone."

Yep.

"But we are also commanded to turn from our sin."

Our own, yep.

"Nowhere in the Scriptures are we given the authority to revise what is written there to fit our personal whim, or the direction of popular culture."

Well, except that it does it within its own covers. Remember they are individual books composed separately over hundreds of years. Things change between them, which for me is not "error" but for you has to be... because of the legalistic and naive way you read it (not really knowing how it came to be and has been "presented").

"If we were, then there would be absolutely no need for forgiveness, no need for salvation, no need for Jesus."

If scripture is inerrant and perfectly clear, why DO we need Jesus?
___________

"And you, and those with which you agree are leading people away from God, rather than to Him."

I don't think you know in what direction "He" exists. I know I don't.

I meet Jesus as Christ in the Eucharist, where he said he would be, and it wasn't in the Bible, which puts perspective on your next line:

"And by doing so, you are cheating them out of a life-changing blessing that those who have not experienced it cannot possibly understand."
_______________

"Defiance of God's commands is not the path to Peace, Feodor.... And you are not helping anyone by telling them that it is."

What I am telling anyone is that you guys kill God in ink and paper to sooth an anti-intellectual, body suspicious, anxiety that erupted centuries ago in old European religious wars and gained a life of its own that is not faith, is not church, is not worship, is not communion, is not reading scripture, but does make one feel certain, for those, at least, who believe themselves to live in a depraved world.

C.S. Lewis: in faith nothing is certain, but everything is safe.

Meaning you don't have to sweat the judgment stuff. 1) you're not good enough to do it (chapter and verse), and 2) somebody else is designated to do it and he chose to do it out of love and in a method of love, and 3) it takes you away from living your life in love - which would be blasphemy.

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