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Friday, December 01, 2006

Real World's Gay Southern Baptist

Flipping through the channels last night, I caught a couple episodes of MTV's new season of Real World.

Real World is a long running series on MTV in which seven young adults who don’t know each other are placed together in a house and video-taped 24 hours per day. The more dramatic moments are edited into a one-hour broadcast. MTV tries to match people who have differing backgrounds to heighten the drama and have a formula that generally includes at least one gay person.
The token gay guy this season happens to be a Southern Baptist fella from Marietta, Georgia. In an interview, Davis talks about his faith and background...
I'm from a really strong Baptist family. My grandfather is a pastor. My dad and my mom met as youth group leaders. And my parents are both Sunday school teachers on the weekends. I used to work at a Christian bookstore in high school, as well as I went on choir tours and mission tours for spring break.

When he came out a year ago at his small Baptist college in Florida (don't know which one) he was warmly accepted by his classmates, fraternity brothers, and friends back home. He continues..

And I got really great feedback from my Christian friends. The next thing you know, it was like, Wow, my Christian friends aren't really responding the same way I thought they would. They were like, “I love you, Davis. This is an issue I’m starting to change my mind about, and maybe I don’t think that it’s a choice. Maybe I don’t think it’s condemnable to hell”.

While his friends at the Baptist college welcomed Davis, his mother was not accepting of his orientation. In episode one, Davis reveals that in the 6th grade he told his mother that he thought he was gay. She responded by sending him to Christian counseling. Years of ex-gay therapy did not work. He states that his once extremely close relationship with his mother has become "tumultuous" since he came out. His mother reminds him often that he's going to hell.

Also in episode one, Davis shares his faith with his roommate, Steven. Steven is an African-American attending Howard University. He is also a Baptist and not the least bit happy to discover that his roommate is gay. He is befuddled by the idea that a person can be both gay and a Christian. During a heated argument, Steven tells Davis that "there is no room for homosexuals in the Church."

Steven's statement should sadden all Christians.

Unfortunately, there are too many folks with the same attitude as Steven in Baptist Churches throughout America....

64 Comments:

Blogger D.R. said...

I actually saw a snippet from the episode with the roomate. It very much surprised me to hear how his fraternity brothers reacted to him. However, I was unfortunately not surprised to hear professing Christians saying they are "rethinking" their views on the sinfulness of homosexuality. This should be a no-brainer for Christians. It's clear in Scripture that practicing homosexuality is against the will of God.

I know you disagree and I have offered to discuss this subject with you before, but I think we both can agree that it is wrong to be uncharitable toward those with whom you disagree. Thus I am sad to see that his relationship with his mother has deteriorated over the years. Finally, while I think it may be true that Davis has little power over his desires, he is able to control his actions and practicing homosexuality has always been incompatible with the church of Jesus Christ, though that does not mean that we should keep homosexuals from attending services or not build friendships with them. However, I think Church membership is clearly restricted from those who actively participate in homosexual relationships. You might call me an extremist for this, but I am in the company of the apostle Paul and the entirety of the Early Church. You can see my blog post entitled "Homosexuality and The Apostle Paul: A Study on Romans 1:26-27" if you want more information of how I arrived at my conclusions or if you want to discuss my exegesis of Romans 1 or my assessment of the Early Church's position.

6:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

DR: I think her associating with him demonstrates that she is being charitable beyond the bounds of Scripture, don't you think?

10:26 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Colinm,

Who said the Real World guy was guilty of sexual immorality?

He merely came out and told his mother he was gay, attracted to men, and she disowned him more or less. Told him he was going to hell.

Was he "actively participating" in a homosexual relationship? No.

I guess Christians should only associate with other righteous Christians? Last I checked, Jesus made a habit of associating with "sinners"...

10:58 AM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

The operative word in that passage is "do not associate with a BROTHER ..." who is guilty of this sexual sin (or any sexual sin); that is, one who has fallen into the sinful lifestyle, lest your association be misconstrued as condoning the behavior. Disassociation is a form of discipline for one who is ALREADY a part of the body.

Yes, we should be associating with those outside of the body of Christ who need the gospel. Jesus did not come to call the righteous to repentance, but the ungodly.

Paul IS clear that homosexuals won't enter the kingdom of heaven, but he is also clear that neither will drunkards, slanderers, idolaters, etc. The point is the Paul regards the matter in this way: "Some of these things you once were." Following Christ demands change, does it not? And that means changing behaviors to come in line with the Word of God.

With regard to homosexuals, while I was in college I worked for one (who later died of AIDS). I have two in my family, neither of whom are believers. But if they were, they would need to cease the behavior, and I would encourage them in that regard from Scripture. The desires may not go away, but they may in time with obedience to Scripture.

This is a particular problem with the American church. "Come to Jesus ... leave all your sinful baggage ... except that one, homosexuality, cause we know you can't help that." Hogwash.

I have never seen evangelism toward homosexuals as an effort to wave a magic wand and say, "Now you're straight." We should be stressing obedience to Christ in all aspects of life. He or she must remain celibate, as any heterosexual in an immoral relationship should be. A homosexual can become a Christian, but a Christian cannot be a practicing homosexual -- not even in the context of some "same-sex marriage."

GT

1:13 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, now. I know the Scriptures don't seem fair to you guys, but in The Real World, they are exceedingly just.

Now you are going to claim no universal church, right? And the man claims to be a Christian, but is not a member of a local church, therefore you must associate with him? Is this what you're saying?


I am from Austin. I have known dozens of gay men, and not one to date was not "practicing," even those claiming to be Christian. Also, no majic wands there- they don't work. Discipleship, plain and simple. Also, no use in telling them they were born gay so its ok, but we are all born sinners, deal with it and be obedient. Remove temptation, call on God, be filled with the Spirit, and flee sin. Don't see any reason to go biological, and didn't have room for it evangelizing on the streets of Austin and discipling young men who came out of gay lifestyles.

8:03 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

I don't make a habit of disowning friends and family nor am I incredibly picky when making new friends.

Nobody said you MUST associate with him, but how his mother responded was both sad and unfortunate.

Who said he wasn't a member of a local church? From what I read, he IS a member of a SBC church in the Marietta-area, unless that church has taken him off their role in recent months.

Granted, I don't know dozens of gay men. But I have known of gay men and lesbians during both high school and college who were merely OUT but not "practicing." You know not all unmarried heterosexuals are "practicing"....

9:12 PM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

ColinM:

Dude (a term that reveals I went to highschool in the 1980s), if you think I'm saying that, you didn't read what I wrote.

I don't think I've ever agreed with BDW -- I've said I think he often operates in a parallel universe that doesn't really exist. He does, however, have an engaging blog -- even if most of his posts are wrong :-). Props to you, BDW.

I said the passage you referenced was about a "brother" who had fallen into sin. I didn't say anything about the local church. Local church or universal church makes no difference to me. If this young man claims to be a Christ follower and is a PRACTICING homosexual, then neither you nor I, nor any Christian, can associate with him in public. Privately, however, are we not to go to him privately and then with witnesses to bring the words of the gospel and the Christian life to him again?

That's the whole purpose of discipline, to create a desire on the part of the unrepentant to return to the fellowship of believers and obedience to Christ. They cannot partake of the Table, that's for sure. Discipline is meant to be restorative -- and only exclusionary after several attempts.

As for unbelievers who are homosexuals, you'd better associate with them in public. And you'd better associate with drunkards, adulterers, and all other manner of ungodly people -- but never alone. Associating with them doesn't make you one of them (contrary to what you've probably heard). You remain pure (with someone to keep you to account) and they will see that purity and admire it. They will desire it for themselves once you share the gospel with them.

I assume by your comments that you are a conservative. I am a conservative of record. Read any of the 60 editorial columns on Baptist Press I've written (probably six or seven are about the homosexual agenda). But if you're too good to reach down to someone who is lost or to a wayward brother, you may need to take a look at your own pride.

So don't tell me that I must not see the Scriptures as fair. They are exceedingly fair, clear and just. They tell me of a Savior who under no circumstances would have condoned such behavior, condemned by the Apostle Paul, but who would also not have hesitated to have dinner with a homosexual man or woman in order to win their soul --or return them to fellowship.

As for this young man's mother, she needs to be forceful in her rebuke of his lifestyle. She certainly cannot share fellowship with him at the Table (the Lord's supper). But she needs to tell him that she will never stop loving him and praying that he returns to the fold. The only way to do that is to maintain communication parent to child.

ColinM, I have four children -- all under the age of 7. Great kids, and I love them more than life itself. I'd die for them in a minute and we pray daily for the best for them, that God will inhabit their hearts and they will all come to know the Lord. One of them has and the second one is close. With the gospel, I hope they will also learn the biblical concept of a charitable spirit -- one that reaches out to sinners as Christ commanded, forceful in its presentation of truth and bountiful its love towards the lost.

GT

7:42 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made two errors, Greg. First, I thought by emphasizing "BROTHER" you were making a contrary point, emphasizing that this man was somehow outside the requirements of discipline. Second, I did not specifically call out whose comments I was referencing. I commonly read all comments then make a sweeping response, not necessarily directed to one individual. For this I am sorry. I did not question your conservative credentials. Only my second paragraph was a response to your comment.

I agree with you except for one point, that discipline's "whole" purpose is singular, and that being redemptive. I agree it is a major part, but you also have to contend with the corporate witness of the body, the affect (like leaven) on fellow believers, and the integrity of the bride of Christ.

Again, Greg, sorry for not clarifying, I hate to see you spent so much time responding when it was not necessary. I also hope you see from my comments that I do engage all those you mention, and on a regular basis. I have discipled men out of gay lifestyles, and have witnessed to and associated with them on several occasions, as I have drunkards, slanderers, haters of God... But the issue is of one who calims to be a child of God yet rejects Him by his conduct. I see no exceptions, even those of family, to hand him over that he may return.

Oh, yes BDW has an engaging blog. Thanks BD!

10:08 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to all, I really intend not to be mean spirited in my comments, although they may appear so. I am one of those who cannot accurately communicate my tone, and am frequently misunderstood in that regards. I will continue to work on this.

10:25 AM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

BDW,

I made the logical assumption that he is engaging in sexual immorality from the interview with him in the Advocate. The first question the man asked was why he was in Buenos Aires and he said it was to visit his boyfriend. Later he talks about how he has been with the guy for 9 months. Just to be involved in a romantic relationship with someone of the same-sex would qualify as sexual immorality based upon Ephesians 5:3 ("But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people") if one believes the Biblical view of homosexuality. Of course, I don't think that I am making too much of a jump in today's society that Davis is likely engaging in far more than simply romantic behavior with no goal in mind of sexual intercourse. Wouldn't you agree?

12:42 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

I didn't read that. My quotes came from various blogs that cited an interview and from what he said on the show I watched.

Though I'm not sure a "relationship" of sorts automatically qualifies as sexual immorality. Just because a guy is "seeing" a girl doesn't automatically mean that they are "hooking up."

But I do agree with your conclusion based on what I just read in The Advocate.

1:46 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"It's clear in Scripture that practicing homosexuality is against the will of God."

I'd disagree. As a Christian for 33 years, serious student and lover of the Bible and follower of Christ, I don't think that it is clear at all that homosexuality itself is against the will of God, but then, you know that...

1:54 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Yes, Dan we know your take, but you still fail to prove your point in debate. Romans 1 is clear and so was the Early Church. I am still waiting for you to come up with a credible argument against my exegesis of Romans 1 and my historical analysis of the Early Church and even of intertestimental Roman culture (*hint* - there isn't one and once again Scripture stands loudly against sin).

9:05 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"Romans 1 is clear and so was the Early Church."

I agree Romans 1 is pretty clear. It tells us not to abandon natural relations for unnatural ones. For gays, to abandon natural relations would be to abandon same-gender love.

The problem is that there is a conflict here. Do we take this to mean that we ought not to abandon natural relations (meaning gays should be how God made them and seek committed monogamous gay relationships) or do we take the next line seriously, which suggests that to abandon natural relations is for males to seek after males?

I disagree with your take, I don't know how else to say it. I side with the first notion, that gays should pursue natural relations - which for them is same-gender relations. You disagree.

What else would you have me say? Sometimes in the Bible, we find apparent conflicts - either within the Bible (as in do we consider shrimp an abomination as OT says or do we say it is okay, as NT says?), or within our natural instincts (ought we kill disrespectful children as the OT says or not, which our guts tell us is correct, even though that law is never specifically rescinded in the Bible?).

Sometimes, we have to cipher out one from the other. In the Romans case, you’ve taken one side, I’ve taken the other. I’m not at all saying both are equally valid – I think you’re mistaken – but I’ve already explained my position and you disagree. We’re at a bit of an impasse it seems to me.

6:16 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

What I’m not clear on from DR’s side is, can we disagree about this sin and still be family? Can I think homosexuality is not a sin and still be saved?

I’m not rejecting the Bible, I believe it deeply and hold its Truths as a light on my path. I just have read the Bible on this topic and come to a different conclusion.

Must we agree upon every sin in order to be saved? I would suspect the answer to that would be no. So, a follow-up question would be: Can we disagree on this sin and still be saved?

From my point of view, I’m unwilling to say that you’re hellbound for being wrong (according to what I think God’s Word says) on this issue. I think you sincerely believe what you believe. It’s just that sometimes, we’re sincerely wrong on matters of sin.

It is at those times that I think God’s grace covers us.

You?

Big Daddy, this is still on topic, isn’t it? I don’t want to hijack a post, but this seems to be still in the same vein. Let me know if you think not.

6:59 AM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Dan,

You're just plain wrong. There are multiple other instances where the words "arsenkoi" and "malakos," Greek words referring to unnatural sexual relations are mentioned in the New Testament. It is not only Romans 1.

This is a case where individual autonomy is pitted against the whole of the church's historic interpretation on the matter. The church, and not just the early church, condemned the practice. With regard to a homosexual's natural state, reference Ephesians. We are all, "by nature objects of wrath."

We are all still-born sinners. Sin, however, manifests in different lives in different ways. For some it is rampant heterosexual immorality. For others it is lying, stealing, cheating, murder and idolatry. The point is that when someone meets Christ, the old nature is put to death. What remains is the war between the flesh and the spirit.

The flesh desires to satisfy itself through any number of sinful impulses. Homosexuality is one of those for THOSE individuals. But to follow Christ means they must lay it down, just as an adulterer would be expected to lay his sin down. Just as an alcoholic, just as an abusive spouse, just as a rapist, just as 13-old-year who swipes candy from the store. It is all sin -- and all of it is not longer a viable lifestyle for a follower of Christ.

Again, I think your "take" on this matter is more conditioned by society's changing social positions, rather than a true reading of the text of historical Christianity. As I said before in a previous comment, Jesus welcomes homosexuals into fellowship. So should we. But he demands change ... as well as we should.

GT

7:54 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"I think your "take" on this matter is more conditioned by society's changing social positions, rather than a true reading of the text of historical Christianity"

Thanks for the thoughts, Greg. On this point above, you are mistaken, as I was raised/"conditioned" to think as you do - that the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality. It was only after deeper bible study and prayer that I changed my position to be more in line with what I think the Bible teaches.

We disagree. My church disagrees with your church. My Christian community disagrees with your Christian community on this point.

Of course, this position may well be a fairly new position, but the church hasn't historically been right on every point. We think this is an example of where the church has been historically incorrect in its interpretation of God's Word.

Tradition alone is not enough to stand by a teaching. God is always revealing God's Self to us and we need to be open to that.

As I've said, I'm not trying to change your mind on this, just letting you know that this devoted Christian and lover of God's Word has a different take on the issue, as does my church.

What I'm curious is if we must assume others are not Christians when we disagree with them upon a sin? Or specifically if we disagree with them on this particular sin.

8:16 AM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Dan asked a good question...

"Can we disagree about this sin and still be a family? Can I think homosexuality is not a sin and still be saved?"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the conservative answer is NO?

Whether a church welcomes and affirms or just welcomes, homosexuality is not a deal-breaker with me. I don't believe churches that affirm should be excluded from Baptist Life (as they have been in North Carolina). Admittedly, the homosexuality issue leaves me with mixed feelings. For years, I've been a fan of the Campolos. My views lies somewhere between that of Tony and Peggy (article is worth reading).

I am frustrated by the way Baptists in the pews address homosexuality and how gays are treated. Greg Tomlin and D.R. have articulated what seems to be a compassionate welcome to gays without compromising their strongly held beliefs on the subject. Maybe the difference lies in how the educated and uneducated parishioners treat gays in their community. I don't know. But from my experience, Baptists (not just Southern Baptist) tend to be judgmental, condemning, and often homophobic. My dad, a Baylor religion professor, absolutely DOES NOT affirm. Over the years, I've watched how he treated gay students and the occasional gay colleague. His attitude towards those students differed incredibly from the attitude toward gays that I experienced growing up in Southern Baptist Churches in rural Georgia...

1:23 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Tony and Peggy Campolo speech on homosexuality

1:25 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Dan, the problem with your position on the text is that it doesn't do justice to Romans 1, to the historic understanding of the text (remember all of those church fathers I quoted in the comments of my blog on this - the ones you did not address at all), or to the context of Paul and especially of Plato, where Paul is obviously getting his rhetoric from (so obviously that we can't find a single instance where "natural" in the sense of homosexuality differs with Plato's context). All these things are absolutely damning to your position, and you have failed to adequately deal with them. You simply dismissed my argument on the basis of it being "wordy".

So when you say we disagree, acknowledge that you don't just disagree with me here, but with the entirety of the Early Church and the Medival Church and the Pre-modern church. In fact, you disagree with over 90% of Christianity in the world today. Yours is a minority position based on weak reasoning and no historical contextual support. And bringing up the whole shrimp thing is once again a red herring and those arguments only apply if we are talking about the OT Law (and even then they are weak at best).

And, like always, when you can't make your point legitimate you bring up the issue of whether this disagreement is one that matters ultimately to our salvation. Whether that is true or not, it matters to the glory of God and we should all want to be on the right side of this argument. It might not matter to our salvation (if we are not gay), but if my assessment of the text of Romans 1 (along with that of the entirety of Church History) is true, then it will matter to those who are practicing homosexuals. And that is why this is so important to get right. If you tell someone who is gay that they are fine and Paul says they are not, then you are responsible for keeping that man or woman in his/her sin and ultimately damning them for their inability to truly repent and fully respond to the Lordship of Christ. Our salvation might not be in jeopardy, but surely you care about the salvation of others.

So let's get this one right. I'll err (although I know I am not here) on the side of salvation, but I think you should reconsider erring on the side of damnation.

2:01 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"Dan, the problem with your position on the text is that it doesn't do justice to Romans 1"

Okay. I disagree. I think your position doesn't do justice to God.

This is why I go on to the question of, what now? We disagree. You don't like my reasoning. I understand that.

I further understand that my church and I are in the minority.

Nonetheless, I am a Christian that loves the Bible and is seeking God and have managed to come to a different conclusion than you or the majority of the church - today or throughout history. I understand that and did not come to this position lightly, but only after much bible study and prayer.

The reason I bring up the salvation issue is because so many amongst the church at large have made this a salvation issue. They have singled out this "sin" and made it a cornerstone of their sermons and examples of what's wrong with the world.

And that is why I ask you: Must we agree upon this sin? And, if this sin, must we agree upon others? How many others?

Or, asked another way: Will unknown sin damn us? If we are sinning in a way of which we're unaware, are we hellbound? If you or I are wrong about the war issue, or the gay issue, or the tipping issue (how well ought we tip our waiters?), are we hellbound? Or, does God's grace cover our failures?

I side on the side of grace and that is why this question - at least to me - is an even greater question than the issue of homosexuality itself. It's not a dodge of the question - after all, we've spent a good deal of time discussing it - but rather seeking the answer to a greater issue.

6:16 PM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Dan,

Does your acceptance and your church's acceptance of homosexuality as a natural practice rule me out of fellowship with you? To be honest, probably so -- if your church's position is as you say. I couldn't attend a church where it was condoned. But I also couldn't attend a church where people were getting away with adultery either.

So while you are still my brother in Christ, you are in fact teaching and practicing false doctrine. Let's just call it what it is. I don't say that to be mean, or uncharitable, but beating around the bush does everyone a disservice in this particular matter.

The central fault in your thinking is your pitting God against Scripture. You said that D.R. chooses the side of Scripture, while you choose the side of God (I paraphrased here). This is, of course, a remnant of the neo-orthodox theology that infected Baptist life about fifty years ago.

Unfortunately, it's still out there and we'll probably be feeling the effects of it until the Lord comes.

God's justice and mercy are two sides of the same coin, and they never contradict one another.

GT

8:24 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Greg, you're welcome at our church any time. We probably wouldn't welcome you to preach, but you could certainly attend.

We have had folk come to church who didn't agree with us on this (including myself, at one point) and they are/I was very welcome.

As to pitting "God vs Scripture," I don't look at it that way, since God is the God of scripture. We have read the Bible and don't find endorsement of the position that God finds homosexuality itself to be any more wrong than heterosexuality.

But if one were to pit God against Scripture, I'd always take God. One of my problems with religious folk is that they seem to nearly worship the Bible rather than the God of the Bible.

Next time you're in Louisville, stop on by.

3:54 AM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Dan:

I appreciate the comment. I'm sure I'd be welcome, but here is where we would diverge.

If I knew in advance that a church accepted practicing homosexuals, and had drawn from Scripture that this practice somehow was equal to God's created order of heterosexual relationships (which are only godly in the context of marriage), I couldn't fellowship with you or that church (especially at the Lord's supper).

This is where ColinM earlier had a valid point, "Do not associate with a brother ..." And hopefully, enough of the sister churches around you would withdraw fellowship that it would drive the church members at your church back to Scripture to reassess their thoughts on the matter. Then, if the discipline among sister churches worked, and the church repented of teaching false doctrine, fellowship could be restored at many levels.

As far as worshipping the Bible, I don't know a single Southern Baptist who does that (liberal, moderate, or even "fundamentalist" as many say). According to BDW's definition of fundamentalist, for example, I am one, I guess. But I don't worship the Bible. Scripture does not contain all that there is to know about God. It contains what he wants us to know about him, and what is necessary for salvation and a God-honoring life.

Since the Bible teaches that God is the same yesterday, today and and forever, and "God is not a man that he should change his mind," and that he is righteous, it is both unscriptural and illogical to assume that a behavior he condemned as sinful in the Old Testament he finds acceptable in the New Testament. Or that he has given his church the freedom to depart from his Word.

As I said before, you are in error in this matter, as is your church. My prayer is that you return to a true reading of God's Word. Then it would be possible for us to fellowship.

GT

7:31 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"it is both unscriptural and illogical to assume that a behavior he condemned as sinful in the Old Testament he finds acceptable in the New Testament."

I don't know how you think it's unscriptural to assume that a behavior God condemned as sinful - even an abomination - would not be found acceptable in the NT, when we have a clear example of that happening exactly.

What do you do with the abomination of eating shrimp and pork being found "un-abominable" by Peter?

8:42 PM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

"Do not call anything impure that God has made clean" was NOT about food, my friend. It was about Peter's unwillingness to "lower" himself to enter the house of a Gentile. It was God's effort to deal with his prejudice toward the Romans, and all other manner of Gentiles.

Second, it WAS a dream or a vision. There is no reference to Peter actually eating. It says three times he was told to do it, but he responded that he had never taken anything impure. Then he was told the Lord had "cleansed" it each time. Finally, the vision was removed from before him, and he got the point.

If you really wanted to make your point, you should have chosen another passage (there are a couple more about food). Paul, for example, says that "food doesn't bring us closer to God" in 1 Corinthians 8:8. In these cases, you have Jesus, and Paul, and even the Jerusalem council clarifying the reason for divine law, as Jesus said, "You have heard it said... but I say."

There is no such reference to the sin of homosexuality. It is condemned in the Old Testament; it is condemned in the New.

8:44 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I repeat (and clarify):

I don't know how you think it's unscriptural to assume that a behavior God condemned as sinful in the OT - even an abomination - would not be found acceptable in the NT, when we have a clear example of that happening exactly.

God clearly calls eating shrimp and pork an abomination in the OT (I believe we may even be called to kill those who do such). We no longer think of pork as an abomination or - except for some relatively valid reasoning by some vegetarians - as "sinful."

God continues to reveal God's Self to us. Clarifying what were either misstaken assumptions (did God NOT consider eating shrimpork an abomination?) or changed positions (eating shrimpork WAS an abomination by God has since changed God's Mind) or some other reasoning why our ideas about God are wrong.

This is a biblical reality, that's all I'm saying. Nothing you've just said changes that. Praise be to God.

4:01 AM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Dan, again you seem to only want to deal with the "shrimpork" (a term that you seem to have coined here) only in the sense that the commands dealing with it were changed, not the circumstances involving that change. First, the issue of eating banned food was NOT a sin that brought a punishment of death. We have no indication (other than the use of the word "abomination" - a term that was used widely in a language that was very, very limited). We cannot thus conclude from this that eating "shrimpork" was on the same level as committing homosexual acts. If the punishment were the same, then you might be able to identify them in a 1-to-1 relationship. As it is, you cannot.

Second, you continue to ignore the vision of Peter as being the catalyst for the change in the view of these foods. Notice first that Peter was keeping this law post-resurrection. Note also that changing his mind was not easy. Peter was convinced that the Law was to be upheld. Also note that in the vision only the food laws were overturned. We have no precedent here that allows us to overturn ANY other aspect of the law. And then note that Paul echoes this in the Scriptures that Greg has already highlighted. So again the correlation between the food laws and homosexuality falls way short.

Finally, we have a couple of direct passages that deal with homosexuality. First, there is the Romans 1 passage that you have absolutely no context by which you can interpret it your way. The Early Church, who certainly understanded this passage better than you or I, disagree heartily with, yet you ignore their unanimity on the subject. You favor a reading that not only is contextually and historically inconsistant, but internally as well. Your simplistic reading of this passage ignores the historical context of Paul's audience, his reliance on Plato, and his obvious condemnation of a great sin (the implications of your view go against all we know of God's plan for humanity in marriage and His metaphor of Christ and the Church - who is the wife? who is the husband?).

One more thing. You continue to ignore the implications of your view. You seem to only care about your salvation and not the salvation of those who actively engage in homosexuality. Even if you are secure, what of those who are not if the traditional view is true? Do you not care that the traditional view indicts homosexuals and your view releases them from the possibility of judgement? If you are wrong, Dan, your position is of much greater consequence to your friends than my position is. Does that not matter to you - do you only care about your own salvation (that is what it seems with how you always want to steer this conversation), or is it you are unwilling to deal with this argument because it is so damning to your view?

9:36 AM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

You don't have an example of that in Acts.

Peter didn't eat, and it WAS a vision with a very different point than food. Do you think Peter just all of a sudden dug in to the pig on the barbie when he got to Cornelius' house? There is no indication of that -- and there is no indication that any of the disciples abandoned observances of ceremonial law in life. You have an explanation of the law in Galatians -- that it was a tutor for righteousness. It was there to train toward holiness until the professor came. In other words, the law could make nothing perfect. It only pointed out sin.

After Jesus came, what had been misunderstood or corrupted was replaced, and the tent of the church broadened to include Gentiles, who did have some dietary requirements from the Jerusalem council, but nothing like what the Jews had.

Hebrews 7 explains all of that. A new order of the priesthood leads to a new order of law. This law, the perfect law of loving God and one's neighbor in a faith relationship, leads to perfection and closeness to God. Obedience to the new laws of the High Priest is what matters. This makes sense of Mark 7 where Jesus declares all foods clean.

Oh, and there is scriptural evidence to undercut your position of the unfolding revelation of God to modern believers. That's just bunk:

"God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of a man that he should change his mind." Numbers 23:19

"He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man that he should change his mind." 1 Samuel 15:29

"The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." Psalm 110:4 (a messianic psalm repeated in Hebrews 7)

There was a reason for Old Testament dietary laws; actually there were many reasons, among them that many of the animals God declared unclean were scavangers and carried disease. But you'll notice that God allowed aliens in the land to eat what was "unclean" to the Jews, so it is about setting a pattern of obedience and holiness for the people (again, tutoring). And many of the foods were center pieces in pagan rituals (a goat cooked in its mother's milk, for example). But the point of Deuteronomy 14 is not what you're looking for.

You're simply looking for some excuse to condone sinful behavior. And if you keep teaching as much, then you are teaching heresy. And this is not the kind of Martin Luther "rediscovering" and teaching the gospel heresy, as the Roman church saw it. You have not a single leg, nor toe, nor toenail to stand on -- not in the Bible, not in the history of the church, not in the whole realm of heaven.

As I a said before, I believe we should welcome all people to Christ. But if the Holy Spirit works in their heart and they accept the message of his forgiveness and grace, they must submit to his Lordship and change. That again may not mean their desires for the same sex stop, but it does mean that they must be celibate and begin being obedient to the teachings of Scripture.

GT

10:08 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"You seem to only care about your salvation and not the salvation of those who actively engage in homosexuality."

Could that not also be said about the position you advocate - that your harsh treatment of homosexuals who only want to be the people God made them to be and you're saying they can't be part of your church - if that drives them away from your church, might they never find salvation?

"If you are wrong, Dan, your position is of much greater consequence to your friends than my position is."

Unless you drive them away, which is pretty millstone-around-the-necjk territory. That's why I keep saying that I think the greater issue is, what is the Truth about those who sin in ignorance?

I have read the Bible and come to one conclusion. You have read it and come to another. But we're both sincerely trying to follow God's Word, as are my gay Christian friends. Do you think we're hellbound if we sin in ignorance? If you're wrong, are you hellbound for your ignorance?

I don't think that's how God works, according to the Bible.

3:55 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Greg said:

"You're simply looking for some excuse to condone sinful behavior."

Greg, that's simply wrong. I have no desire to condone sinful behavior. If that were the case, I wouldn't care what you have to say about gays, even though I think you're wrong. But instead of being silent, I'm discussing it here with you. Why? Because I'm NOT seeking to condone your behavior.

As to the food discussion: Are you honestly saying you think eating shrimpork is an abomination still? OR, do you think the rules have changed? You say:

"There was a reason for Old Testament dietary laws"

Oh? And where does the Bible outline those reasons that lets us know this?

No, the idea changed: What was clearly called an abomination in the OT is NO LONGER an abomination. Or how about this one:

"Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death."

Exodus 35:2

Shall we begin to kill all those who are working on Saturday - have YOU worked on a Saturday?

Things change. Whether it was actually a rule that God wanted or a misunderstanding of what God wanted, we are clearly not to kill those who work on the Sabbath, or disrespectful children, and shrimpork is not an abomination.

4:11 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Dan, first, you have no idea whether I treat homosexuals harshly or not, so your comment if based on suspect evidence and weak evaluation. As for not allowing homosexuals to come to my church - where did you get that idea from? Certainly Greg even noted that homosexuals should be welcomed into the door as any other sinner should be welcomed. Church membership is a different issue. One cannot be involved in blatant sin and be a baptized believer in good standing with their local church. That is where Church discipline comes in. But we welcome homosexuals so they can hear truth. And part of that truth is that they cannot continue in sin and be saved. Salvation requires repentence, which surely you know is not only acceptance of the truth regarding their sin, but regret and a sincere attempt to turn from that sin. When someone is changed by the Holy Spirit they will know the truth and that truth will set them free. But if they are lied to, being told they can continue in sin, and they continue in such, it reveals they are not truly saved. Thus, when you supress the truth in unrighteousness, you keep these friends in their sin and away from the truth that will set them free, not only spiritually, but emotionally and psychologically as well.

And so when you concentrate on whether YOUR belief is problematic to YOU and not to your friends, then I can come along and ask if you only care about your own salvation. My belief is related to the glory of God and to the spiritual well-being of the individual, not to my own salvation. Why are you so concerned with that aspect, even when we have already dealt with it? I contend that you want to ignore the evidence and reassure yourself that you are O.K., rather than actually dealing with the unsurmountable evidence that makes up the traditional view. You can't simply turn this critique on me without answering the charge yourself. I won't let you bob and weave like you did for the 100+ comments on my site a few months ago. You can't win the fight unless you actually land a punch and so far, you haven't even taken a swing at any of the arguments I have leveled against your position.

4:47 PM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Dan --

This is actually getting pretty comical -- the lengths you're going to in order to run away from what Scripture actually says. I don't want to beat a dead horse, so I'm going to say it one more time.

In the context of the pagan neighbors and people in the ancient near east, dietary laws distinguished the people of Israel from the pagans around them. A good study of Scripture, archaeology, history and rabbinical literature let us know this. As for those rules you mentioned, killing for a violation of the sabbath, etc., I answered that:

Jesus came fulfilling the law in all respects, answering for every sin and abolishing the sins of those who believed. Hebrews 7 says his covenant is the better way. He is the high priest who gives a new law -- that of loving God and neighbor supremely. The old law led only to imperfection, though it was a guide or tutor. No, I'm not advocating killing anyone for such infractions. The Jews still kept their law after Jesus came and still do.

Christians, however, don't keep ceremonial law because they know it is impossible to keep. Only Christ can purify. A relationship with him leads to perfection. It's really a very simple concept.

So, eat all the shrimpork you want if you can do it in good conscience. Jesus said it isn't what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out of him (his words and his behavior).

What's funniest (tragically funny) is that your logic about reading Scripture is just the same as any believing Muslim. God continues to reveal himself, and what is contradictory to the Bible in the Koran should be believed above the Bible. The only difference is here it is your personal opinion that contradicts Scripture.

GT

5:38 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

DR, I am sure you would welcome homosexuals in your church building. You wouldn't welcome them in to your fold, however, unless they repented of what they don't consider to be a sin, but that you do.

Therefore, YOUR church would indeed keep homosexuals away from God. That is my point. "No," you would tell them, "You may not join the church until you give up this desire to marry a member of the same sex. If you do that, we shall kick you out and you will have no hope of salvation."

Am I correct?

I've yet to see a direct answer to my question: Are we damned for committing sins of which we're unaware?

It appears, according to DR, that we are ("But if they are lied to, being told they can continue in sin, and they continue in such, it reveals they are not truly saved.")

Does this mean then, DR, that you think that if you're mistaken about something's nature as a sin - say support for war or being a bad tipper - that you think you yourself are doomed? Or am I misreading you?

And Greg, you are correct that it is no longer an abomination to eat shrimpork. Meaning either the OT writers were mistaken, or that God changed the definition or that it was an abomination but is no longer, something along those lines. That's all I was getting at.

It was rather comical that you didn't seem able to directly say that - rather that you feel a need to explain away extrabiblically the short and simple fact that it did appear to be wrong but now is obviously not.

6:56 PM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Boy, you just don't get it. You just don't get it. But that's the way heresy is. It blinds the spiritual eye and dulls the conscience.

I think you have to ask yourself what the hermeneutical lense is through which you read through Scripture? Obviously it isn't Christological or covenantal, a reading that points back to Christ.

Just from your comments, it appears that the interpretive lense you use is your own conscience. I support with every fiber of my being your right to believe what you wish, but it is heresy nonetheless.

I hope that you will someday see this for the error that it is.

GT

2:04 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

In what way am I being heretical? Because I dare to disagree with you or tradition?

I interpret the Bible through the lens of Jesus Christ my Lord. You?

My larger question remains unanswered by you, Greg: Are we damned for sins committed unawares?

2:35 PM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Dan,

Your not being heretical on this point because you disagree with me or tradition. That's not how you define heresy. Heresy is defined in relation to Scripture.

You are openly espousing a teaching that clearly violates Scripture, in regard to homosexual relationships being acceptable in the eyes of God. Your position runs counter to God's created order and Paul's teachings in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6, not to mention Leviticus 18:22.

Let's take your thought to its logical conclusion. In the New Testament, Paul wrote that a young man had his father's wife. In the same passage where homosexuality is referenced in the Old Testament, it says that this is a detestable thing in the eyes of the Lord -- a young man having his father's wife. It brings dishonor on him.

So, according to your logic, that is now permissable, because even though Paul wrote that it was wrong, God must have changed his mind. Right? So I guess that now is okay. Oh, and wait. Perhaps the Lord has changed his mind about sex with animals. Hyperbole, to be sure, but you get the drift. There is no stopping the slippery slop you're on.

As for how you interpret Scripture, from all I've read, I can't believe your answer. I don't question your personal faith, but I question how sincerely committed you are to knowing what God's Word actually says about the issue. It seems you give preference to your personal assumptions about God before you do to Scripture.

As for your last question, I must have missed that one directed to me. Paul is clear in Romans 2:12. Those who sin apart from the law will perish apart from it. Those who sin under it will be judged by it. The point Paul is making is all men need Christ. And Christ changes men. Otherwise, he was crucified for nothing.

6:22 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Over the last few days, I've been reading Tony Campolo's new book, Letters To A Young Evangelical. In his chapter on gay marriage (which Campolo opposes), he offers his wife's perspective on homosexuality - specifically in Romans. I'm interested in your thoughts and comments...

"Not all Evangelical Christians, however, agree with me or with church tradition when it comes to gay marriage. My wife, Peggy, opposes my conservative point of view. She reads the same passage from Romans as a tirade against idolatry. She believes that what Paul was really condemning in this passage were the abominable sexual practices often connected with idolatrous worship. Peggy points out that Paul was in the city of Corinth when he wrote these words, and that the prevailing religion of that city included homosexual orgies as part of its idolatrous worship. The deity that was worshipped in Corinth was Aphrodite, and in the worship of Aphrodite, all men, heterosexual as well as homosexual, were required to engage in same-sex erotic activities, and women were required to do the same with other women. peggy claims that a fair reading of Romans 1:23-27 will show that Paul was condemning the licentious practices that went on in pagan temples, not the loving commitment of same-sex couples.

It wouldn't take much for me to buy into Peggy's argument, except that it flies in the face of how saints through the ages have understood this passage. I think it might be a bit arrogant for her to say, "I'm right, and 2,000 years of church tradition are wrong." Peggy responds to that accusation by pointing out that church tradition has been wrong before, such as in its handling of slavery and the role of women. And yet, despite all of Peggy's arguments, I continue to hold a more conservative interpretation of these verses from Romans. I believe that my stance is backed by church tradition.."

6:57 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I'm with Peggy. And it is not heresy when I simply disagree with those who are opposed to gay marriage - to their interpretation of the Bible. It's not a matter of "trying" to set aside what the Bible says, it's that I disagree with those opposed to gay marriage about what the Bible says.

Greg, let me guess that you're not a pacifist. Am I correct? I think that, given Jesus' clear command to Love our Enemies, I find it hard to imagine being anything other than a pacifist.

Shall I condemn those who support wars at times as heretics? Because they disagree with me and the teachings of Jesus and of the early church for the first ~300 years of her existence?

Well, I don't. I don't think we need to divide over every disagreement (which is one thing that the church has unfortunately been quite adept at). We can sincerely disagree and not go about saying that the other is a heretic or can't possibly be saved.

Wouldn't you think? Or ought we divide over every disagreement about every sin? Since I doubt that you think that, which sin-disagreements are ones that are worthy of splitting over - calling the other a heretic over?

Ones that appear to be mentioned five times in all of the Bible and go unmentioned by Jesus? I'd think that would be a poor idea.

7:34 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Dan, you continue to do just as you did in our debate on my website - bob and weave around the issues. The central issue here is not YOUR salvation! It is the question, "is the practice of homosexuality a sin?" You say "NO", but have absolutely no evidence to contradict centuries of historic teaching and a very well developed argument by myself, Dr. Robert Gagnon, Dr. James R. White, or any other the other countless scholars I cited in my critique of your position and my exegesis of Romans 1. You have not answered one single argument I have laid out regarding Romans 1. You simply want to ignore evidence so that you can continue to believe what you want to without it spurring your conscience. And if that is the case, then fine, but don't come on to another website and take on my statement about homosexuality by simply saying, "As a Christian for 33 years, serious student and lover of the Bible and follower of Christ, I don't think that it is clear at all that homosexuality itself is against the will of God." It's an insult to billions of Christians who today and throughout history have believed the traditional view. It is an insult to St. Tertullian, St. Ambriosiaster, Severian, and John Chrysostom (who is regarded by EVERY Patristic scholar as the greatest exegete of his time). You can't simply overturn 2000 years of history by saying, "I disagree" and then attempting to assert your own opinion, which has absolutely no merit academically. Further, you opinion has only been around since the sexual revolution - hardly a historical reading or an unbiased position.


But, let's move on to explaining the Gospel because you don't seem to get it. Salvation is not given or taken away on the basis of individual sin. The mark of salvation is a changed life. It is a life free from bondage from sin. One cannot be in bondage to sin and be a Christian. Yes, there is struggle, but one cannot fully embrace a lifestyle of sin and be assured of eternal life. And one certainly cannot be assured of such if they die, having never repented of that sin. Such is the case with homosexuality. It is a lifestyle, not a individual sin and therein is the rub. Even homosexuals claim that it is a part of who they are. Now consider this passage - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality or thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Now, a simplistic reading would say what you are trying to make us say here - that one sin, whether one knows it is a sin or not, is enough to send to Hell. Then you can indict all of us of sin and no one can claim they are going to inherit the kingdom of God. But is that what Paul is saying here? Is Paul claiming that if one lies, he is bound for Hell? Or if one steals, he is bound for Hell? Of course, not! That would be an ignorant reading of the text and a view that does not correspond to the rest of Scripture or historic Church teaching. What Paul is saying is that those whose lifestyles are defined by those sins are those who will not inherit the Kingdom. Now, wouldn't you say that those who desire to marry another of the same sex are living a lifestyle of homosexuality? Of course, they are. The same would be true of an adulterer who refuses to stop his affairs or a liar who doesn't know how to tell the truth. But notice also that there is nothing in this text that suggest that because the people are ignorant of their sin, they are somehow not accountable. Notice also the passage in Romans 1, as Paul explains that:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Wake up Dan, Scripture is clear on this. The Early Church is clear on this. The only people who are not clear on this are those who either refuse to believe Scripture or have had their hearts darkened. Do not be like those who darken their hearts, but repent and turn from your views and tell your friends so that they might also repent and be saved from the wrath of God.

8:13 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

BDW,

I have multiple problems with Dr. Campolo's wife's position - the biggest being that it doesn't do justice to the text. It is a minority reading that Campolo is correct in saying that it flies in the face of loads of historical evidence. Mrs. Campolo resorts to a rather weak argument when she tries to compare it to slavery or women. First, both issues are much more complicated that that of homosexuality and neither has the universality of the homosexuality argument. First, in regard to slavery, we find no text in Scripture that outright endorses the practice, nor do we find a condemnation for all forms of slavery. Second, slavery in the ancient world was not all the same. Much of it was closer akin to indentured servanthood and that is unfortunately very closely akin to what we see today in modern America in our workforce. Third, a key argument among homosexual advocates in the Church (and one I find considerably weak) is that Jesus never condemned homosexuality, but one would have to also note that He didn't condemn slavery either (or aggressive paternalism, for that matter). As for the issues regarding women, that is much more complex than either slavery or homosexuality combined, for one must establish what the Church was wrong about. If you hold to Complementarianism, as I do, you might not see the Church being so far out there regarding gender roles, but only the perversion of the Biblical teaching, which one can certainly not heap upon the entirety of the Church, painting wiht a broad brush, like you could with homosexuality. And if you hold to Egalitarianism, then you certainly would note exceptions throughout history that would argue against strict Paternalism (which for me don't translate to a rejection of true Complementarianism, only again, the perversion of it). So again, you are in a situation where the two issues don't form a one-to-one relationship with homosexuality.

Finally, if Paul wanted to only condemn the practice of homosexuality in regards to idolatry, why did he employ language that was so universally identifyable (especially to the Corinthians) with Plato's arguments in his Symposium. Certainly the Corinthians would have recognized his use of the term "natural" and his argumentation following in the line of Plato, whose characters in the Symposium where not making an argument in the slightest against idolatry, but rather only against (or for) "love" between two men or two women. It just seems too clear here when you examine the evidence, as well as the documents of the Early Church.

8:30 PM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

BDW,

I obviously also disagree with Mrs. Campolo. In this case, she's just flat wrong, and choosing to side with Walter Winkle and the like. When DR said it was a minority reading, he was on the money. It is, especially among evangelical scholars.

This is a clever bait and switch on her part. "Not all evangelicals agree" she construes as "there is significant dissent of opinion on this matter," when really there isn't. I've seen this "trick" a hundred times in papers at conferences.

The evidence also doesn't support her position. For example, there is no documentary or archaeological evidence that men at Corinth were "required" to participate in same-sex acts as part of pagan worship (a central point in her argument). "Hey, everybody was doing it, so it must be a universally recognized part of pagan religion," so to speak. This is a new presupposition in that camp.

Doubtless, many did participate, as many united with temple prostitutes in the cult of Artemis in Ephesus. That being said, so what?

Is that the only time it occured? NO.

Second, Paul doesn't locate the sin specifically to Corinth, and notice that he mentions women first. This is good evidence that the cult of Aphrodite was not THE ONE SINGLE phenomenon he wrote about. Their were also high rates of homosexuality in the Mithras cult and in the Roman army. It was a part of ancient life for many (in both religious, pagan circles and elsewhere).

What is interesting here is that Paul's concern is the rejection of the worship of God ... not homosexuality. Homosexuality is the by-product, along with murder, strife, envy, slander, etc., of rejecting God. And the more they did it, that is, turn from God and practice these things, the more he "gave them over" to it. The behavior is a punishment in and of itself which degrades their bodies and their humanity.

I'm not surprised Dan agreed with her. Again, he has no evidence to support his opinion, but evidence really doesn't matter when you're more interested in bolstering radical individualism, rather than respecting the rights of an individual within the community of the faithful.

Dan, I wish I could sit down with you face to face so you could hear the inflexion in my words and see that when I say you have espoused heresy, I'm not being an accuser in a courtroom. I was raised to call it a spade a spade -- and an error and error.

Is war the best example you can come up with? Jesus clearly loved his enemies, but he will one day make war against them -- divine war -- and sit in judgment on them. In our world, war hasn't ever accomplished anything -- except, oh, defeating nazism, Japanese imperialism, communism, and hopefully, soon, islamo-fascism. Pretty useless tool, I'd say.

NOTE: Sarcasm Alert!

It's not as simple as you make it in the case of war. BDW and I (and a few others) had a lengthy discussion about that some time ago. It was fun. You interpret Jesus' words to "turn the other cheek" as a call to pacifism. I don't based on a number of things:

The Sermon on the Mount is a personal ethic, and a kingdom ethic. It is not a political manifesto. Jesus recognized government authorities, and commended the faith of a soldier. Notice he didn't tell him to leave his post and be a pacifist. Nor did John the Baptist tell the soldiers that. Soldiers kill, Dan. That's their job. Yet there is no condemnation of them in Scripture. In war, you don't murder, you kill. Sometimes it is necessary to protect your neighbor. That isn't situational ethics -- it's called VIRTUE when practiced with correct motives.

Also, as for loving my enemies, I do my best to try to do that. But if the choice is my neighbor or some degenerate terrorist, I'll do my best to dispatch the terrorist post-haste with extreme prejudice. There is a theology of political power in Romans, about government restraining evil. Perhaps you've read the passage.

And Christians did participate in the military prior to A.D. 300. It is well documented (reference the "thundering legion"). It wasn't until after Augustine's City of God that things changed, however, with military service being declared universally acceptable. That much I'll grant to you.

Dan, I don't want to divide over any sin, but it is not about what I want. It is about what Christ wants for his church. And it doesn't matter if it is homosexuality, adultery, murder, theft, arson, grand larsony, counterfeiting, prostitution, or idol worship. Where sins are known and the people are unrepentant, or even advocate it, I cannot be there.

GT

10:44 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

WHERE SINS ARE KNOWN, being the key words there, Greg. What of the unknown sins?

Right now, you are not allowing gays to join your church. That is doubtless contributing to holding some folk away from God.

What if I'm right and you're wrong? What if what you are advocating is, in fact, a gross sin - in fact, a "lifestyle" of sin of which you and DR are unrepentant?

DR says:

"One cannot be in bondage to sin and be a Christian. Yes, there is struggle, but one cannot fully embrace a lifestyle of sin and be assured of eternal life. And one certainly cannot be assured of such if they die, having never repented of that sin."

So, if you're mistaken and you and DR believe this, then, according to your own beliefs you are hellbound. Is that the sort of God you serve? One who condemns the ignorant? Folk whose very nature of not being omniscient guarantees that we will be wrong sometimes on some issues?

DR, as to your earlier complaints against me - that I haven't answered your Romans arguments to your satisfaction, I apologize. I've answered them as well as I can. Perhaps it is your great genius that allows you to see what points you're making and my own stupidity that doesn't allow me to answer well enough to satisfy you.

For that, I apologize for my ignorance and lack of erudition. But I HAVE answered as well as I am able and we still disagree. AGAIN, this is why I've moved on to the larger issue of the meaning of salvation.

We are not going to agree on the homosexuality issue and I am unable to supply an answer to satisfy you. All I know to do is to reason it out the best I can in my own limited brain by God's grace and with prayer and trembling.

So, according to you, then: YOU are hellbound (if you're correct) for embracing a lifestyle of sin - in ignorance - if you are mistaken about this condemnation of gays issue, or your support of wars issue (if you are mistaken about that and your "lifestyle of sin" in the matter condemns you) or bad tipping or any of a world of lifestyle choices that exists?

By all means, we must argue for/support our understanding of God the best we can. That is why I'm here, after all. I'm not saying we should lay aside all beliefs as irrelevant because we may be mistaken about them. But we must do so with a spirit of Grace and humility, it seems to me.

The world has had enough of the damning church and is in need of a church of Good news to the poor, freedom for the captives, health for the ill and the Day of Jubilee.

4:02 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Greg mocked:

“Is war the best example you can come up with?”

My point is not to get into a side debate about pacifism, war or peacemaking – matters about which Jesus actually spoke – but rather to ask the question: WHAT IF you are wrong on some sin? Are you hellbound because of your mistaken acceptance of a lifestyle of sin about which you are unaware?

It appears your answer is yes.

That to me seems to be a scary, paralyzing position – “Omigawd! What if I’m wrong about activity X? What if a 15% tip is a sin – it should be 20% - and I’ve been engaged in this cheap lifestyle all this time? I’m sunk! But, but, what if 20% would be the greed of consumerism… I’ve got to make the right choice or I’m doomed! Doomed!!”

I suspect what you’re saying is that you AREN’T wrong about any of your actions – that you know for a fact that you don’t engage in any lifestyle choices that are sinful.

If so, I’d caution against the lifestyle sin of Hubris.

6:05 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Put yet another way: Have you never changed your mind on a position? Were the actions that you once thought were okay when you were a younger Christian, but after maturing, you've changed your mind - you think they're sinful now?

Anything at all? Or were you born again with a full and complete knowledge of all sins and their variations?

Assuming that you were mistaken in at least one way in your life and had to eventually repent of that - do you think God would have burned ya if you had died in your ignorance of that sin?

6:52 AM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

I really find your interpretation of what DR and I have written baseless, logically. You must not be reading the same things we wrote. I see in your analysis of DR's comments (and mine) only a search for the cosmic loophole that everyone else searches for with God. But it isn't there.

Where did I say that I condemned homosexuals to hell? I don't have the perogative or the power to do such a thing. I said I welcomed them in church, but that they must submit to the Word of God and change if they make a decision for Him. Plain and simple.

Second, I didn't mock. If I wanted to mock you, believe me, everyone would now it. But I didn't do that. That doesn't serve any purpose is this kind of discussion.

Dan, you wrote:

"WHAT IF you are wrong on some sin? Are you hellbound because of your mistaken acceptance of a lifestyle of sin about which you are unaware?"

I'M NOT hellbound, thankfully, because I have a relationship with Christ, and follow what Scripture says, or at least try in every respect to do so. I am like Paul, as we all are. I am a sinner. What I want to do, I don't. What I don't want to do, I do. But that doesn't mean I don't know what God regards as sin. The only way to know that is according to what Scripture says.

If it is anger, I know the Scripture says not to let the sun go down on it, and that anger is an evil thing. If it is pride, I know that the Scripture teaches that pride will be destroyed, and it should be repented of. Upholding what Scripture says, however, is hardly a matter of hubris. Nor is it hypocrisy.

Ravi Zacharias once said,
"The accusation of hypocrisy is the greatest compliment that vice can pay to virtue." The same can be said for this accusation of hubris. I am boasting only in Christ and His Word -- and in his ability to change sinners.

So, I'm not sure where you're going with this "unknown" sin. Am I responsible for it? You bet. God will reveal it through Scripture or through a brother, or through the church. Then it is my responsibility to deal with it.

For those who are on the periphery of the church, those who have not entered, they fall under Paul's teachings: "All who sin apart from the law will perish apart from the law; those who sin under the law will be judged by the law." Either way, they die without Christ.

The point is to bring them Christ--not some wimpy, milque toast Christ who doesn't demand anything. No, He is the king of heaven whose grace is not cheap (a reference to Bonhoeffer). It cost Him His life. Because it is costly, He demands change. And those who refuse to change might do some serious soul searching as to whether they are actually His disciples at all.

GT

7:01 AM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Dan wrote:

"Assuming that you were mistaken in at least one way in your life and had to eventually repent of that - do you think God would have burned ya if you had died in your ignorance of that sin?"

Dan, no I haven't changed my mind on any sin. Sin is sin is sin is sin. I was taught right from wrong, and I have not departed from what I was taught because it is Truth.

You're asking the wrong question anyway. Did I do things when I was younger that were sinful in spite of the fact I knew they were sinful? Sure. I had to repent of that. When I was taught that something I didn't know was a sin was a sin, I repented of that.

Some of what I was always taught, I never agreed with. I came from very traditional Southern churches. I heard from the pulpit, for example, that black people shouldn't marry white people. Why?

Because the preacher said not to be unequally yoked and that God forbade the Israelites from marrying their neighbors. That didn't sit well with me. Why was it wrong? I had to find out for myself. There is no such teaching in Scripture. And the Israelite's neighbors were semitic just as they. It was about holiness and purity in the camp of Israel. So to be unequally yoked has nothing to do with race -- it has everything to do with faith, or the lack thereof. I also always found it ironic that the same people who condemned black-white marriages didn't have a problem with hispanic-white or asian-white marriages. But this is all beside the point.

No, I was not filled with complete knowledge at salvation. No one was, not even Paul. He studied in the desert for three years. Obedience is a process by which we are made aware of the improper behaviors in our lives. Where the Holy Spirit, your brothers or sisters in Christ, or the church point out sin, Christians confess it and correct behavior. Learning the Scriptures is about moving from infancy to maturity. Maturity doesn't mean abandoning what you learned was sin as a child. Those are the elementary doctrines of the faith that serve as a foundation for mature doctrine.

GT

7:16 AM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

One big problem with you "ignorance" defense Dan is that you assume that your friends are ignorant of their sin. How can this be? Are you saying that your homosexual friends don't know the traditional interpretation? Are you saying that they don't have Bibles that they can read and Church Fathers to interact with? They don't have the universal witness of the Church? Please ... you know as well as I do that this argument doesn't work in a 21st century world. And even then it is our job as Christians to tell men to repent - to show them Scriptures and call them to repent. As Paul said, "Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." These friends know God's decree - they've read Romans 1 and they have been presented with the evidence. But they choose to disobey in order to satisfy their own conscience and so they can continue in their sin. There is no ignorace there.

And please Dan, don't again turn to sarcasm in an attempt to paint me as the bad guy here. It is beneath you. Deal with the arguments or go home. But please don't whine when you are losing. Everytime I go to Scripture you want to go elsewhere and I am sick of it. Deal with the passage or quit telling people like myself that I am simply wrong and somehow based on your "experience" you and trump Scripture and 2000 years of Church history. I don't buy it and playing the martyr and bobbing and weaving just isn't making your case any better.

8:15 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I've offered no sarcasm, DR, for what it's worth. My acknowledging of your superior intellect was sincere. I have been unable to explain myself to you and that is no doubt due to my own shortcomings.

"Are you saying that your homosexual friends don't know the traditional interpretation?"

No.

"Are you saying that they don't have Bibles that they can read and Church Fathers to interact with?"

No.

"They don't have the universal witness of the Church?"

No. I'm saying that they/we have the moral obligation to sort out God’s Word for ourselves.

Did Greg merely accept the then-commonplace teaching of his pastor and church when he was a child who taught that it was wrong to “inter-marry” between races? OR, did he rightly seek out God’s Word in the Bible for himself?

Greg – as I understand what he was saying – sought out the answer for himself.

Why wouldn’t he merely rely upon the common teaching of the day? Why did he buck tradition and the “obvious” teaching of the Bible that God’s people shouldn’t inter-marry, that we should not be unequally yoked?

Why?

Because, in Greg’s words, “That didn't sit well with me. Why was it wrong? I had to find out for myself. There is no such teaching in Scripture.”

On that point, I agree fully with Greg.

We believe in the priesthood of believers, that we have a moral duty to humbly seek out God’s will for ourselves. And when we do that, sometimes we find that “there is no such teaching in scripture.”

There are no – zero – scriptures that ban gay marriage. None.

I fully understand that we disagree upon that point, but then, I am responsible for seeking out God’s Word for myself, just as Greg rightly did.

9:45 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Greg said:

“Maturity doesn't mean abandoning what you learned was sin as a child.”

But this is exactly what you did, by your own testimony. Your preacher told you clearly that the Bible says clearly that intermarriage is a sin. You abandoned that teaching.

Why? As I read you, because YOUR Bible study and prayers led you to a different interpretation of God’s Word.

Greg, MY Bible study and prayers have led me to a different interpretation of God’s Word.

I must say that I’m not clear on your position. Again, forgive my obtuseness.

You said:
“No, I was not filled with complete knowledge at salvation…”

But you also said:

“But that doesn't mean I don't know what God regards as sin. The only way to know that is according to what Scripture says.”

So, are you filled with complete knowledge (including knowing what God regards as sin in every case) or are you not? Or is it that you think that you are not filled with complete knowledge, but you are able to fully understand what God thinks is a sin in every case?

I’m thinking you’re saying that you’re able to know what God regards as a sin because of what the scriptures say, but does that mean that you are completely able to discern the scriptures in regards to sin? I mean, I say the same thing, that I’m getting my doctrine from the scriptures. Most Christians would say that.

And yet we disagree on a multitude of sins. Are all those who disagree with you on any sin hell-bound? I’m not being sarcastic, I just can’t fathom your point.

Your pastor, for instance, who taught against intermarriage: Is he hell-bound because he is mistaken in that sin (and not just mistaken but engaged in a lifestyle choice of condemning those who’d intermarry racially)?

I and my friends accepted Christ’s Grace, by faith in Jesus, the Son of God and have made him Lord of our lives. We read the scriptures to learn how to live and, when we find God speaking to us through the Word, telling us that we’re living a-wrong, then we repent and change.

Just the same as you’re saying you do.

The only difference is that we didn’t come to the same conclusion that you have on this one particular action. If we thought gay marriage was wrong, we’d repent of our support of it, we’d quit holding marriages in our church and encourage our beloved gay brothers and sisters to adapt.

But we don’t find support for doing thusly in the Bible – in fact, we find the opposite.

But are we not obligated to follow what we believe God’s Word says – even if you disagree with us? Were you not obligated to go against your preacher’s teaching and go instead with God’s Word?

10:09 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Or, to put it into biblical context:

“Maturity doesn't mean abandoning what you learned was sin as a child.”

But this is exactly what you did, by your own testimony. You didn't abandon all you were taught, but you followed Paul's suggestion: "Test everything; hold on to what is good." And, by implication, leave behind the Bad.

I commend you for doing so in the case of your racist pastor. This is what I'm attempting to do, as well.

10:14 AM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Dude -- this is pointless, apparently. The two issues are apples and oranges.

My rejection of that teaching wasn't based on my opinion, it was based on Scripture. There is absolutely nothing in Scripture that speaks to the issue of interracial marriage. There is, however, ample evidence that homosexuality is sinful. You don't see it because you're a syncretist, and you've allowed society's views to influence your reading of Scripture. If you're not teaching all of the Scripture, you might as well hang it up.

God will not bless your efforts in teaching that this lifestyle is acceptable in his sight.

Now, you have been warned by both DR and me. I think it's time we stop discussing this issue. We both have stated what Scripture says, based on sound hermeneutics and history. You have only your wayward personal opinion.

I'll say no more on the matter, other than that your stubborness against correction from the Word of God is sad. I hope that you will correct your understanding so you can acheive the fullest possible fellowship with Christ and His church. Otherwise, you will not hear from me again. I hope you will repent of this false teaching. Again, I'm calling a spade a spade.

GT

11:09 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Fine.

A spade:

A person who says that we can know perfectly what is and isn't a sin everytime - even while acknowledging their fallen, fallible humanity - is not making much sense.

Is a spade:

Such a person is sinfully narcissistic. Such a person is advocating a works-based Christianity, saying, NOT that we are saved by God's grace by faith, but rather by close adherence to a set of rules that said Spade is able to define.

So, while it is a lifestyle sin to want to enter gay marriage and that person can't be saved, it is just a goof if a preacher sets racist standards for marriage and that preacher can probably be saved.

"Further," the Spade says, "I, myself (and those who agree with me), would never be wrong about a sin and therefore I'm safe and everyone should adhere to the list of sins that I define."

====

This is doubtless a misrepresentation of the position held by some here but they've not answered in a manner that can penetrate this poor skull of mine and that's the best I can make of what this particular spade has said.

11:41 AM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Didn't say it was a goof if the preacher was racist. That is a sin, as well. And I don't advocate a works based salvation. That's just silly. Read anything I've ever written and you'll see that's not the case.

Sola Christus, Sola Fides, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura. That is what Scripture teaches.

Perhaps you should undertake a serious study of what Scripture itself says about the matter of homosexuality. From your lack of knowledge on the subject, it appears as if you've never done so.

Leave your presuppositions at the door, lay aside Campolo and Winkle, and your other liberal books, and exegete the text. If you don't know Greek, find a good computer program that will help you. Likewise with Hebrew. Then you'll find that all of these efforts to explain away God's prohibition of the behavior in both the Old and New Testament is only your ill-formed opinion, and not the Word of God. Not only was it prohibited in both, it was punished in both.

I have enough confidence in the Word of God that it itself will show you your error if you approach it with a contrite heart.

And as Forrest Gump said, "That's all I've got to say bout that."

GT

5:41 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"Perhaps you should undertake a serious study of what Scripture itself says about the matter of homosexuality. From your lack of knowledge on the subject, it appears as if you've never done so.

Leave your presuppositions at the door, lay aside Campolo and Winkle, and your other liberal books, and exegete the text"

Have you listened to what I've been saying? Doing all of the above is how I came to disagree with you. I used to believe as you did until I prayed (you left that out) and read the scriptures.

And I approached the task with no intention of changing my mind. It is clear, after all, that the Bible says homosexuality is wrong, right? That's the attitude I went in to the study and prayer with.

What do you do when God leads you in directions you don't intend to go?

I think that I would do just as you did - follow God nonetheless.

"And I don't advocate a works based salvation. That's just silly. Read anything I've ever written and you'll see that's not the case."

Well, I didn't think so on the one hand, but then you keep saying that people who have trusted in God and repented of their sins and have committed their lives to following Jesus MUST ALSO accept the dominant interpretation of the gay issue. There doesn't seem to be any room for disagreement there on your part.

Am I wrong? Are my gay brothers and sisters who are married and have repented of every sin which they know about truly saved in your book?

Or must they know every single action that is a sin and not be in the habit of taking those actions and ask for forgiveness when they break those rules and not be mistaken on any point?

I hear you saying "by faith, through God's grace," but then I also hear you saying that one has to "get" every sin right and that God's grace won't cover any sins committed in ignorance.

So maybe that isn't a works-based salvation - maybe it's a perfection-based salvation: One must have a perfect knowledge of all sins.

Understand, I'm not mocking you, I'm just not seeing the logic of your ways.

6:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, this discussion was taking place in the context of fellowship. My point is that fellowship should be withdrawn from someone who sins knowingly and refuses to repent. If they sin unknowingly, it is the church's job (they are the people who are supposed to be able to rightly divide the word of truth), and the job of brothers and sisters to point it out, after which they should repent. If they are gay and are saved (again I said gays should be welcomed), there begins the process of obedience to Christ.

"Be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect." Of course, I believe in justification by faith alone; but how is faith expressed? By conforming to the pattern of the life of Christ. Loving? Yes. Compassionate? Yes. Hungry for righteousness? Yes, as much as we can strive for it. Uncompromising on truth? Yes. Condoning of sin? No.

If you have gay friends who are "married" (they are not in God's eyes), this is what should happen. The church should declare that this "lifestyle choice" is contrary to the Word of God, as roughly 99.99 percent of your brothers and sisters in Christ around the world have done for two millenia.

Then, they should repent, get "divorced" in the eyes of the state and live a celibate lifestyle of obedience to Christ.

Can we know what sin is? ABSOLUTELY. Because God's Word says it is. Of course, I've prayed when reading the Word of God. But I approach it as if I am a subordinate to its authority. I am not its equal.

You can attempt to defend your point based on your prayer and leading argument. But I will guarantee you this: The HOLY SPIRIT does not breed disunity. He did NOT lead you to an understanding that homosexual marriage or the practice is acceptable in the eyes of God.

Again, your radical individualism has reared its head. You are not your own. You are bought with a price. Therefore, you should conform to the teachings of Scripture on this matter.

We are saved by grace, through faith, through no effort of our own. But we are supposed to become conformed to the image of Christ --striving for righteousness in order to point people to Christ. This doesn't save us, but behavior on par with the gospel is expected of us.

GT

8:59 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"Therefore, you should conform to the teachings of Scripture on this matter."

I really don't think you are understanding where I'm coming from on this, Greg. I AM trying to conform to the teachings of the scripture. Supporting gay marriage is what I think God would have us do as I've read the scripture.

Do you understand this? I DO repent every time I learn that I'm in the wrong, or at least I try to by God's grace. But in reading the scripture, I have come to embrace gay marriage as a Godly notion.

You keep insisting that truly christian folk will repent when confronted with scripture, but seem to be missing the point that we don't all interpret scriptures the same way.

You said:
"Can we know what sin is? ABSOLUTELY. Because God's Word says it is."

So then, all of Christendom is united on every sin? We all agree on the death penalty, war, abortion, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol?

Obviously, you don't think this is true (I'm guessing). So, what does that mean for those who are on the "wrong side" of those issues? Is everyone who disagrees with you (since you know perfectly what every sin is, according to your testimony) on the issue of drinking doomed to hell?

I'm not at all clear that you are understanding my point at all.

Help me out here: Is anyone reading besides DR, Greg and me? Does all of Christendom know perfectly what every sin is? If not: Are those who are mistaken on a particular sin hell-bound?

10:47 AM

 
Blogger mom2 said...

Dan, If you are right, you should have scripture to back up what you believe and please don't use that fractured self description of natural and un-natural that you manufactured from Romans l. There are scriptures of blessing to the marriage of a man and a woman, but I do not even read any favorable description of homosexuality. If God favored the homosexual relationships, He would have made it plain and easily understood.
We have already heard you on the shrimp, pork, polyester thing, so just give us the scriptures.

1:56 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"If you are right, you should have scripture to back up what you believe"

Do you think every topic is covered by biblical verses? Show me the scripture condemning slavery and supporting freeing slaves. Show me the scripture supporting an abortion ban. You get my point: Not every topic we believe or support has a direct biblical citation.

In general, I believe that God supports healthy, loving, committed relationships and you are aware of those verses, I suppose. In general, God wants us to be the the people God made us to be, including our sexually in the right context.

If you truly want a specific citation, I'll be glad to provide it as soon as you provide a specific citation where God says "Gays shouldn't marry."

2:07 PM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Mom2:

Nice post. He doesn't have any Scripture to back up his position. You've brought an interesting angle to this discussion -- the divine blessing of two people (a man and a woman) in a one flesh relationship, a marriage. "What God has joined together, let no man separate." Interesting words from the Savior; a blessing, and at the same time a statement that the alternative, divorce, is something the Lord hates. He says as much in Scripture.

Also in Genesis, the couple is commanded to "be fruitful and multiply." Pretty hard for two men or two women to do. They need surrogates, which again proves that their relationships are unnatural, and therefore, unbiblical. Nature itself testifies to God's truth -- and against the sinful.

Dan:

Death Penalty a sin? Nope. No prohibition against it, even in the New Testament. Now if you want to united the church and state, I suppose then we might be able to outlaw it according to your personal reading of the New Testament. But I don't think you want to do that. "Murder" and retributive justice are entirely two different categories, which I suspect you know in the back of your mind. One is sin, the other is a method of restraining evil by goverment (again, read Romans). The church has always recognized the state's right to it. We don't do it ourselves, so I can't say that many Christians I know have committed that "sin" as you call it.

War? Nope. Not in all cases. Wars of aggression, yes; wars of defense, no. Sometimes it is necessary to protect the innocent or alleviate suffering on a greater scale than war itself causes. In war, you kill. You don't murder. You may say that's hair splitting; but it isn't. Again, it is virtue at work for the men who have to do it to protect your rights. And let's not get into an, "Aha! The Iraq war ..." kind of discussion. You'd get creamed. :-)

Abortion? Yep. That is murder of the innocent. No matter the case.

Smoking? Yep. Harming the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Drinking? Nope. Not if done in moderation, though I myself never have. Get drunk and that's a whole other matter. Paul told Timothy to do it for his health, but there were others who made a vow never to do it. I don't buy some people's arguments that New Testament wine was more like Grape-aid or anything like that. You just can't really make a case for a prohibition in the New Testament. There is no explicit statement. And it, unlike smoking, doesn't harm the body if done right.


Lastly, I keep stressing this with you but you're not getting it. This is not a discussion about being hellbound. This is a discussion about fellowship. If you are sinning and refusing to repent, you deserve the discipline of the church. If you committed to false teaching, you deserve the same.

GT

2:23 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"This is a discussion about fellowship. If you are sinning and refusing to repent, you deserve the discipline of the church."

I can come closer to agreeing with this statement. Your church is responsible for the discipleship of your community. If you think a member is sinning - even if they don't think so - you have an obligation to act on that.

At your church, they may act on a member who is in a gay relationship and choose to disciple them in some loving way. It is your responsibilty.

At my church, if someone were not accepting of our married gay brothers and sisters, we would be responsible for lovingly discipling them.

We have to follow God's teaching the best we know it and pray for God's grace should we be in error about a sin - which sometimes happens, unfortunately.

6:37 PM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Greg said:

"Death Penalty a sin? Nope."

I wasn't asking your opinion on that list of sins (or not). I was asking Must and Do all Christians agree on these topics?

I'm glad to hear you say that this isn't an issue of salvation but of disclipine. What I'm hearing you say then, is that Christians can disagree on these and other topics and not be an indication that they aren't saved.

If so, then I'm okay with that. What I hear from many on this topic, though, is that someone's disagreeing with them on a sin is an indication that they are not truly saved to begin with.

Not that they say "They must agree with me," but rather, "They must agree with God and God definitely thinks X is a sin and I couldn't possibly be wrong in my assessment of God on this point, therefore, that person is not saved..."

That sort of arrogance is a turn-off driving folk from Christianity, seems to me, and contrary to our faith.

6:13 AM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

No, I didn't say if you disagreed with me you weren't saved. That's not my job to determine. Again, I neither have the perogative or power to determine that. But what kind of Christian you are may be apparent to others around you. Are you lacking understanding of key doctrines of the faith? I believe so.

You may be saved, but you're wrong here on the issue of homosexuality. And advocating your viewpoint, as I said, is openly espousing heresy. And I didn't say that was okay. It's wrong.

What I said was that you would never experience the fellowship of a great many (most) Christians by advocating false doctrine. Some people don't see it as sin, but they're wrong -- again, not because they are disagreeing with me. But because they believe what is contrary to God's Word in its most plain and simple sense. I know you think it is hubris, the height of arrogance, but I'M NOT wrong here. And neither is DR. We have the testimony of Scripture and the church to back us up.

Holding a "different opinion" also may mean that God will not bless your work. As I said, I don't think he will. If you advocate this teaching, you are advocating something different from what God ordained for humanity.

Hopefully, there will be a divine counterbalance to this false teaching in the lives of the people who practice it. By that, I mean someone who actually is aware of the truth and will do their best to convince them of it.

4:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are all part of the Body of Christ. But we are all different body parts. We ought not to argue with the intention of seperating the body of Christ.

Different body parts means different view points.

3:10 AM

 

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