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Re: [ExExGayMinistry] An Evangelical but not a Fundamentalist

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  • BearJER@juno.com
    REPLY: You bring some very interesting points and I agree with many. However, there are a few things you don t cover. For example: 1. Either the Bible IS or
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 16, 2002
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      REPLY: You bring some very interesting points and I agree with many.
      However, there are a few things you don't cover. For example:

      1. Either the Bible IS or IS NOT the inspired Word of God. The authors
      were either inspired or they were not. Of course, I will concede that
      there is very definitely the human element woven throughout scripture and
      if God himself had written the text directly, I'm sure it would have been
      far different and more easily understood. On the other hand, it has been
      well said that God did not create humankind to be robots, but to have
      inborne desire to seek for God, etc.

      2. The Bible mentions slavery as a fact for the time in which it was
      written, true enough. But nowhere is slavery upheld to be moral. Even
      under the old covenant, slaves could not be mis-treated. In fact, the
      entire teaching of the new covenant is to bring us freedom from slavery -
      freedom from the curse of the law. And look at the history of the
      children of Israel being delivered from slavery in Egypt! There are very
      few black Christians today who would agree with you. On the contrary,
      the Christ brings freedom, not bondage, and it can easily be said that
      slavery was a part of the curse of the law like so much of the previous
      dispensation of law that Christ came to do away with. "Christ is the end
      of the law to everyone who believes," the Bible says, etc.

      3. You cite a great many things in Leviticus which are not taught in
      Christianity at all because they were under the law and the new testament
      makes it plain that we as believers are under grace today, not under the
      law. So, even though there may have been good purposes in some of the
      laws, they are not binding on us as Christians today. For example, the
      law of the clean and unclean was clearly done away with by Christ (not
      eating certain foods like pork), but it also included a man and woman
      being unclean when they had sex, when a woman had a period and a child,
      etc. Thy law of the unclean was clearly explained in the new testament
      to be a type of the unclean gentile, who at that time was a worshipper of
      many gods and led Israel away from their one true God, Yahweh. So, what
      we need to get an understanding on is what elements contained in the law
      did Christ bring into the new convenant and what elements did he
      abbrogate. If you believe that he is the son of God (God manifest in the
      flesh) as the Bible teaches, then Christ has the final word.

      4. If we believe that other new testament authors had an understanding
      on what Christ taught, then we should be able to look to their writings
      for guidance, as well, as long as they harmonize with Christ's teachings.

      Thanks for listening.

      Jerry in Michigan

      On Sat, 15 Jun 2002 16:10:54 -0000 nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
      writes:
      > Although I don't have time to review the entire thread I see there
      > have been a number of posts as to why one would or could consider
      > themselves an evangelical Christian but not a fundamentalist. Let
      > me share a few thoughts and when I have more time I'll review the
      > numerous posts in greater detail.
      >
      > Fundamentalism gets (and often should get!) bad press because it too
      >
      > often connotes a literal translation of Scripture with little or no
      >
      > concern for basic hermeneutical principles, i.e. (1) Who was the
      > writer and to whom was he writing? (2) What was the cultural-
      > historical setting of the writer? (3) What was the meaning of the
      > words in the writer's day? (4) What was the intended meaning of the
      >
      > author and why was he saying it? (5) What should this mean to me in
      >
      > my situation today, etc.
      >
      > The Bible is often made to say things it was never meant to.
      > Reading and interpreting Scripture is not quite as simple as some
      > would like to believe. A text does not simply "say what it says"
      > despite the rational good intentions of some readers. For reading
      > Scripture is not only a matter of what is written there, but also
      > what we expect to find there, what we bring to the text, and what we
      >
      > take away from it. When one reads the Bible, one must be very
      > careful of what one thinks they know for what you think you know
      > powerfully influences what you read. We all think the text says
      > more than what it says.
      >
      > On the other hand, the Bible assumes a lot of things about living
      > that we don't. For example, the Bible assumes a positive stand on
      > slavery. Do we? The Bible also assumes stoning to be a proper
      > punishment for sexual offenses. Do we? And of course people are
      > often quick to single out a literal or fundamentalist translation of
      >
      > Leviticus 18:22 ("You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a
      > female; it is an abomination") but scoot right on by the
      > other "abominations" listed alongside of it, such as: cross breeding
      >
      > of cattle, clothing woven of two different kinds of fabrics,
      > planting different kinds of seed in same field, lending money at an
      >
      > interest and the death penalty for cursing your mother or father, to
      >
      > cite just a few examples.
      >
      > It becomes clear that properly interpreting the Bible is not an easy
      >
      > or flippant task. Only the Pharisees think it is easy. And it's a
      >
      > Pharisaic distortion to turn the Bible into a series of absolute and
      >
      > unchanging moral rules. They have always been determined in part by
      >
      > culture, customs, etc. That is not to say that there isn't a sexual
      >
      > ethic in the Bible. There is. But to interpret your Bible you've
      > got to do far more than fundamentalist "proof texting" to get to
      > it.
      >
      > It's unrealistic for fundamentalists or anyone to think they can
      > approach or interpret the Bible in a rational, objective and/or
      > detached way and then sort it all out. We all come to the Bible
      > with loads and loads of experience. We bring what we've been taught
      >
      > by our society, by our culture, our parents, what we've learned from
      >
      > our experience, etc. And we destroy our credibility when we make
      > the text say more than it does. For these and other reasons I
      > believe it is quite rational for someone to take a very high view of
      >
      > Scripture, be evangelical -- but not fundamentalist.
      >
      >
      >
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      >

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    • nyguy_1225
      ... I wholeheartedly believe that the Bible is indeed the inspired Word of God. But as R.C.
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 16, 2002
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        --- In exexgayministry@y..., BearJER@j... wrote:

        <<1. Either the Bible IS or IS NOT the inspired Word of God.>>

        I wholeheartedly believe that the Bible is indeed the inspired Word
        of God. But as R.C. Sproul so beautifully put it: If God speaks, he
        must use words to do so. Words express thoughts, commands,
        descriptions, and the like. The problem is that words and sentences
        must be interpreted if they are to be understood. It is far more
        than a matter of translation, for while translation gets at what God
        says, we are still left with the question of what God means.

        <<2. The Bible mentions slavery as a fact for the time in which it
        was written, true enough. But nowhere is slavery upheld to be moral.
        Even under the old covenant, slaves could not be mistreated.>>

        After eighteen centuries of Christian history that found traditional
        biblical support for slavery, a man who knew what is was to have his
        heart "strangely warmed" by unheard-of interpretations of Scripture,
        fought with his dying strength for a reinterpretation of Scripture
        in obedience to the love commandment. The very last letter that
        John Wesley ever wrote was to urge William Wilberforce to, "Go in
        the name of God and in the power of his might till even American
        slavery, the vilest that ever saw the sun, shall vanish before it."
        Let's not forget than even over half a century later, American
        Methodists split their church, north and south, because many
        Methodists were still using Bible verses to defend a system of
        slavery that Wesley had called "that execrable villainy which is the
        scandal of religion." I think we have a parallel situation today in
        the use of Bible verses to continue the oppression to gay people.

        <<3. If you believe that he is the son of God (God manifest in the
        flesh) as the Bible teaches, then Christ has the final word.>>

        I certainly do believe that. But it is also fact that: (1) that
        Jesus never uttered one single word about homosexuality, and (2)
        there is not one single word in the Bible, OT or NT, on homosexual
        orientation. There are only a few verses, and very few at that,
        that deal with same sex acts. However, the fact that the violation
        of others is strongly condemned does not mean that all homosexual
        behavior warrants such censure any more than all heterosexuals are
        to be condemned for their sexual behavior by association with the
        sins of pedophilia, lust, rape, fornication or adultery. The few
        verses in Scripture that proscribe sexual union between men all seek
        to address sins of idolatry, rebellion, self-indulgence, abuse, or
        grossly irresponsible behavior. None refer to gay or straight
        people, who love their partners, are faithful to them and who
        shun "sexual immorality," according to biblical definitions.

        <<4. If we believe that other NT authors had an understanding on
        what Christ taught, then we should be able to look to their writings
        for guidance, as well, as long as they harmonize with Christ's
        teachings.>>

        I am in total agreement with this statement.
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