I've been reading various parts of your web site and have a question for you. I'm wondering how you feel about young people killing themselves when their churches condemn their gayness and, no matter how much they try, they cannot change to straight. You seem to say in one place that homosexuality is mostly a matter of not giving the body the proper education about how to respond. But, be assured, gayness in no more exclusively about sex than heterosexuality is. Just as with heterosexuality, it's about romantic and life-sharing attractions as well.
Kids are dumped out of good Christian homes because they are different. Kids are bullied at school because they are different to the point that they are killing themselves. People spend painful years trying to change, trying to be something they are not, trying to be something other than what God made them. The truth is, there'd be very few gay people if we could change our sexuality. Surely I would have but instead went through years of torture by the church and society until I accepted that God had made me what I am.
So my question is if you think of the kids who are killing themselves over your doctrines? Yours is not the only interpretation of the Bible. How can you know something as awesome and ineffable as God to the point where you are willing to consign young people to death by condemnation? You, like those who you object to who take it upon themselves to decide what is right and wrong -- are deciding what is right and wrong. And it's deadly.
I wish you the best!
Let's start with God's truth, shall we? "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Peter 1:20-21). Private spins on the Bible to claim that God didn't really mean what He said isn't acceptable evidence.
Notice that while you claim that you are homosexual because of God, it is a statement contrary to what God said. God Himself said, "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:24-27). So contrary to your claim, God said the reason behind your choice of homosexuality is your preference of physical desire over serving God. Since you can't admit that even to yourself, you prefer to exchange truth for lies that match your expectations -- lies such as the claim that God made you a sinner. "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (James 1:13).
Notice that you don't take personal responsibility for your choice. You wish to blame God for your preference for homosexuality, even though God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), God said homosexuality is a sin, and that He doesn't make anyone sin. The only correct conclusion is that you are sinning by your own choice contrary to what God desires for you.
This isn't the only lie you have stated. You claim that people cannot change, but even two thousand years ago, God said that homosexuals had changed. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11). There is documented evidence of people who have left homosexuality. I find it odd that you defend what you claim that you don't like, but then playing the victim is one way of refusing to accept responsibility for your choices.
Kids aren't killing themselves over what the Bible teaches. From what I've seen some people think suicide is a way out of what they view is a hopeless situation. Christianity teaches them that they can change. The world wants to claim they can't change. It seems to me that it is the world who has removed hope from their lives.
Homosexuality leads to death -- both a tendency to early death in this life and eternal death if a sin filled life is not left behind. This is the same thing I tell those involved in fornication, adultery, lying or and other sin. Christianity is about rescuing people from death. Christianity proves that suicide is wrong. Like other sins, suicide is a choice that people make -- a bad choice. To claim that Christianity is at fault for people making choices against Christian teaching is both absurd logic and another example of wanting to avoid taking responsibility.
You have chosen to have sex with other men. That choice is contrary to what God says you should do. Because of your choice consequences follow, just like any other sin. It is my hope that you'll leave all such sins behind so that you might please God instead of yourself, but I won't be able to convince you of that against your will. However, your rejection of the gospel doesn't mean everyone will reject the call to leave sin. Thus I will continue to discuss with people both the nature of sin and why God's way makes sense.
That's a sad commentary, Jeffrey. Do you equally condemn people who wear cotton/poly clothing? Eat shellfish and pork? People who do not stone their daughters for disobeying? Women who do not cover their heads in church? There are plenty of different interpretations of the scriptures you cite by honored theologians and scholars. The twisted and sick way that some sects of Christianity hold sexuality has led to horrors. It's my prayer that the Love and Non-judgmentalism Jesus brought to earth will fill your heart and open your mind to Truth. Is it love you are feeling in your heart when you write?
If you really believed in non-judgmentalism, then you have no complaint against me. But then, I know you are being dishonest because you sit in judgment against anyone who holds a view contrary to your own.
"For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting" (Romans 1:26-28).
Those scriptures are dead words, Jeffrey, compared to Jesus who lives in my heart. Just considering the distortions of Catholicism over the centuries before the Reformation helps me free myself from them to meet the Living Jesus. No, I don't judge you. I wrote to ask that you consider your words' affects on young people.
Thank you for confirming that you know that Paul condemned homosexuality as sinful. Thus, we established what was apparent from the beginning: you don't believe in the inspiration of the Scriptures. As Jesus told his disciples, "He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me" (Luke 10:16). Your rejection of what Paul recorded, long before the Catholic church was formed -- which is in complete unity with what God said in the past about homosexuality, with Jesus' statements about Sodom, and with the other apostles -- all demonstrates your rejection of God in anything that you don't personally agree with.
I do consider how my words affects other. My job is to pull people out of the flames of sin. "And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh" (Jude 22-23). I know God means what He says; thus, I will continue to try to convince people, like yourself, to give up sin. I know I've made a difference in a number of people's lives and I pray that God grants me the opportunity to continue to do so during my time on earth.
I'm sorry if I said anything that hurt you or angered or frightened you. I don't doubt that you are a good man doing everything you believe is good for others. What I really want to say is this: because of certain beliefs held by some Christians, Jesus is being lost to many as is His Teachings of Love and Compassion and Humility. That is what concerns me most -- along with concerned with the kids being fire-and-brimstoned and bullied into suicide. Do I know I am absolutely right when I turn to my direct relationship with Jesus, what he says directly in my heart rather than let the Bible speak for Him. No. I cannot know for certain. But I know I'm following my conscience, my morality, that is directly connected to my belief in God and Goodness. I was a deeply devout Catholic well into my teens when certain actions by the pope that I saw as immoral that destroyed my faith. I tried my hardest to be an atheist but simply could not. Then I discovered I could throw out the bathwater and keep the Baby. You can interpret the scripture as you will, Jeffrey. Just don't think that we on the other side of this abyss between us aren't considered and thoughtful and following our moral guideposts. Meanwhile, more and more people are being alienated from Jesus' core message.
Regarding knowing whether you are right with God, it isn't a matter of guess work. Nor is a matter of picking what you want to believe. God knows what He is doing and He clearly laid it out. "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6).
Keep in mind that God never approved of people editing His teachings. "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you" (Deuteronomy 4:2). You want a partial gospel taught that leaves out anything that you or someone else dislikes. But a partial teaching is a false teaching. "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:6-10).
I notice you don't answer a number of my questions. You are editing out various portions of the Bible that are juxtaposed next to the very ones you use as a cudgel against those you condemn. Do you or do you not preach against people who wear mixed fiber clothing or eat pork or shellfish? Do you suggest a parent stone a disobedient child? What of divorce? A woman who wears no headcover in church? People who work on Sunday? When you face the fact that you are "editing" scriptures, I can better engage you and we may begin to approach understanding.
Your consistent use of the term homosexuality speaks to what I would guess is a belief that gayness is just about sex. I've been in a partnership with the man I love for over 27 years. Do you think that's just about sex? If you do, then you don't know what happens to "sex" over those many years.
I ignored them because they had nothing to do with the point you were trying to make. To claim that you aren't following X, so therefore I don't have to follow Y is a falsehood. It merely means both X and Y ought to be followed. But if you are interested in the topic, the answer can be found at: If other sins in the Old Testament are no longer sins, then isn't homosexuality also not a sin?
I'm sorry that you don't know how to quote passages, keeping faithful to their context, to prove a point. I would suggest that you avoid a career in law.
I use terms as defined in the Scriptures. Homosexuality is about people having sex with someone of the same gender. Lewd behavior, lust, temptation, and friendships are different topics. I don't mix terms to hide meaning as you would desire to do. See: A Roman Catholic priest attempts to defend homosexuality.