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The Final Word on This

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  • nyguy_1225
    I think convoluted would be a gross understatement. It
    Message 1 of 44 , Nov 29, 2002
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      <<SORRY IF THAT WAS A RATHER CONVOLUTED REPLY TO WHAT YOU HOPED WAS
      GOING TO BE A YES OR NO ANSWER!>>

      I think "convoluted" would be a gross understatement. It is nothing
      short of a cop out. If you choose to align yourself with a church
      that ascribes to such antigay doctrine then you by default are
      choosing to embrace it as well. (To illustate: I would never align
      myself with a church that believed light-skinned people were
      superior to dark-skinned people; if I did I would be embracing and
      supporting their position simply by virtue of my association with
      that particular church.) Even more revealingly, one need not be a
      rocket scientist to observe that the antigay theology your church
      ascribes to has been the theme of doctrine weaved through each of
      your posts.

      Ken, I understand you've invested many years buying into the antigay
      theology that's been handed down to you and I understand to change
      your mind about it at this point in your life, at almost 60 years of
      age, would be difficult. I also understand you have a bad taste in
      your mouth from the unhealthy promiscuous "gay life" you lived prior
      to embracing this antigay theology. Perhaps this too carries more
      weight than you acknowledge.

      But you and I have already beaten this thing to death. I don't
      expect you to understand this. But what you fail to comprehend (or
      simply choose not to) is that the issue of homosexuality, or "same
      sex acts" as simply refer to it as, is significantly more complex
      than your simplistic and legalistic take on the matter. This is not
      my personal observation but the conclusion of scores of respected
      scholars and theologians -- and this is where you keep getting
      tripped up.

      According to these Bible scholars and theologians, as one looks at
      the Bible verses that allegedly speak against all expressions of
      homosexuality, one should do so in the knowledge that homosexuality
      as we understand it today -- as a sexual orientation -- is not
      addressed anywhere in the Bible, did not exist in Bible times, and
      was beyond the understanding of any ancient people. No biblical
      writer could have had it in mind as he wrote anything we find in the
      Bible that may be taken to refer simply to same-sex acts. This is
      not just something a few gay people came up with to tickle
      their "itching ears" as you have suggested.

      It is why people like Stanford classics Professor John J. Winkler
      warned that in studies of sex in history, one must be very careful
      about "reading contemporary concerns and politics into texts and
      artifacts removed from their social context." Needless to say, this
      is a fundamental principle of biblical hermeneutics.

      To that end, and more importantly, scores of Old and New Testament
      scholars of the highest regard have repeatedly warned against making
      your error. Dr. Bernard Ramm summed it up well in saying: "The
      issues about homosexuality are very complex and are not understood
      by most members of the Christian church." According to this
      evangelical authority on biblical interpretation and former
      professor of Christian theology at American Baptist Seminary of the
      West who is remembered for his many books that defended the
      authority of Scripture: "To them, it is a vile form of sexual
      perversion condemned in both the Old and New Testaments."

      Robin Scroggs, author and Professor of New Testament of Union
      Seminary concurs. He says: "Biblical judgments against
      homosexuality are not relevant to today's debate. They should no
      longer be used ... not because the Bible is not authoritative, but
      simply because it does not address the issues involved."

      Dr. Marten Woudstra, Calvin Theological Seminary Old Testament
      scholar and former chairman of the NIV Old Testament translation
      committee also understood. He said: "There is nothing in the Old
      Testament that corresponds to homosexuality as we understand it
      today."

      Even Dr. Helmut Thielicke, widely recognized as one of the leading
      Christian thinkers of the 20th century, known for his prolific
      writing, sermons and theological prowess, and to this day remains
      one of the most read and most listened to theologians of our time
      began speaking and writing on this subject in the early 1960s. (His
      scholarly works in theology published widely both here and abroad
      still exercise considerable influence today.) He argued that
      behavior on the basis of homosexual orientation can "be discussed at
      all only in the framework of that the freedom which is given to us
      by the insight that even the New Testament does not provide us with
      an evident, normative dictum with regard to this question. Even the
      question we have arrived at ... must for purely historical reasons
      be alien to the New Testament."

      And Dr. Lewis B. Smedes, former ethics professor at Fuller
      Theological Seminary and the author of more than a dozen best-
      selling Christian books who has been quite outspoken on the church's
      attitude toward homosexuality says: "The Church's treatment of
      homosexuality has become the greatest heresy in the history of the
      church." Smedes goes on to say: "It's a living heresy, because it's
      treating God's children as if they're not God's children. The
      church isn't just making a mistake. It's doing a great wrong."

      (Incidentally, in honor to Smedes and his impeccable integrity and
      work, Fuller recently initiated the "Lewis B. Smedes Honorary Chair
      of Christian Ethics." Such an honor is very rarely bestowed upon
      people while they're still alive.)

      But whether you agree or disagree with any of these people is not
      the point. The fact remains there are scores of renowned biblical
      scholars, respected theologians and notable, conservative Christian
      thinkers, significantly more learned than both you and I, who appear
      to have a much firmer grasp on the complexity of this issue than you
      do -- and they vehemently disagree with you.

      I have spent much time on this board patiently and hoinestly
      answering your questions and have shared at great length what I
      believe, why I believe it, and where applicable I have also
      illustrated where my conclusions line up with the conclusions of
      respected scholars and theologians who have examined and re-examined
      this issue. You simply choose to disagree and that's fine.
      However, I must say in closing, judging by the fact that you keep
      coming back here -- to an environment where people have already
      concluded that one CAN integrate Christian faith and sexuality -- I
      can only suspect that you yourself are not all that convinced of
      your handed down doctrine.

      But I do not wish to turn this into an endless circle of debate,
      which is what I fear this is now becoming. I think we've gone as
      far as we can. Consequently, I think at this point we'll just have
      to respectfully agree to disagree.

      --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Ken" <aus45@h...> wrote:
      > I can only answer for the particular church in which I
      > fellowship. In the case of a person living a sexually actively
      > homosexual life, AND making a public statement to the church that
      he
      > thought his behaviour was right, AND that he intended to continue,
      > the church would be required to invoke the sanctions of 1 Cor 5.
      >
      > A person who is gay and still acting out those feelings in same
      sex
      > encounters, but is seeking to make changes in his life, would be
      > fully accepted by the church.
      >
      > I don't think the church should require anyone to adopt
      an "antigay
      > attitude" (I really dislike that term as it suggests the person,
      > rather than the behaviour, is the target of disapproval).
      > However, approval of same sex acts - even in monogamous
      > relationships - would probably exclude the person from being
      elected
      > to an office in my church.
      >
      > I have no difficulty in going to a "gay church" to fellowship with
      > gay friends, any more than I would have a problem going to a
      Catholic
      > church even though I'm Protestant. It is not my place to say who
      > should or should not be a part of the universal Christian
      Church.
      > As I said in a previous post, I was once on a committee which
      > organised gay church meetings and I believe that was God's place
      for
      > me at that time, and that God met with me there.
      >
      > Sorry if that was a rather convoluted reply to what you
      > hoped was going to be a yes or no answer!
      > .................................................
      >
      > --- In exexgayministry@y..., nyguy_1225 <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > Do you propose that gay people in the church should either (a)
      > adopt
      > > an antigay attitude such as the one you ascribe to (i.e. agree
      that
      > > any and all "same-sex acts" are wrong) or (b) find themselves
      > > excluded from the fellowship?
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Ken" <aussie6112@h...> wrote:
      > > > I agree we need to remain open to "the possibility, if not the
      > > > likelihood, that some of what we've been taught over the years
      > may
      > > > not be biblically sound", both on an individual and communal
      > > level,
      > > > otherwise we close our minds to the leading of the Holy
      Spirit.
      > > > However, when this new understanding is contrary to what has
      been
      > > > generally held to be the truth, you need to be cautious. When
      > > this
      > > > new understanding seems to be a vindication of your own
      > > preferences,
      > > > you need to be extra cautious.
      > > >
      > > > I think you make a great leap when you argue that because
      > external
      > > > customs (such as eating, drinking, clothing, jewellery,
      makeup,
      > > etc)
      > > > are aspects of behaviour that allow for diversity, that sexual
      > > > activity should also be a matter of choice. I would think the
      > > more
      > > > important the issue, the more regulation there ought to be of
      > that
      > > > activity. We can all drive whatever vehicle we like, but we
      > can't
      > > > choose what road rules to obey.
      > > >
      > > > I agree with your assertion that too many Christians are too
      > > involved
      > > > in telling others how to live. Even THAT pasage which many
      > > > Christians feels says same sex acts are wrong (Romans 1) goes
      on
      > > to
      > > > say in the next chapter that judging others is wrong.
      > > >
      > > > Separating behaviour from the person is not easy, and usually
      > > > misunderstood, but as a parent, I know it is an essential
      skill
      > > when
      > > > disciplining children. I believe it IS possible to say you
      think
      > > a
      > > > certain behaviour is wrong without condemning the person. To
      > > > continue the vehicle metaphor, I have often chided my son for
      his
      > > > speeding, although I love him to bits.
      > > >
      > > > You will possibly argue that speeding is irresponsible and
      > > > potentially dangerous. Those who believe that same sex
      behaviour
      > > is
      > > > contrary to God's will would counter that it is "spiritually
      > > > dangerous".
      > > >
      > > > I am having a hard time getting my head around your
      > > > statement: "What part of "NO THING" don't antigay Christians
      > > > understand?" From your previous posts, I know you can't mean
      > that
      > > > literally. As we know, Jesus condemned sexual immorality
      (Mark
      > > 7:21-
      > > > 22). Where we differ, I suspect, is in our understanding of
      what
      > > He
      > > > meant by sexual immorality ... what was in and what was out.
      I
      > > think
      > > > His listeners would have been of the opinion that sexual
      > > immorality
      > > > included same sex activity.
      > >
      > .................................................................
      > > >
      > > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., nyguy_1225 <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > > > Ken said: <<YOU ARE SUGGESTING, I THINK, THAT THOSE WHO
      ARGUE
      > > THAT
      > > > > SAME SEX ACTS ARE WRONG ARE BEING AS LEGALISTIC AS THOSE WHO
      > > > > SUPPORTED THE DIET AND DAYS NOTIONS OF ROMANS 14.>>
      > > > >
      > > > > There are two distinct issues here and if we're going to
      > discuss
      > > > > them (since you like to paraphrase me), they need to be
      > > separated.
      > > > > The first issue has to do with those people who themselves
      are
      > > gay
      > > > > and need to come to terms with what that means for them as
      > Bible-
      > > > > believing Christians who wish to walk honorably with their
      > > Savior.
      > > > > Be reminded I said in my last post I don't think it
      spiritually
      > > or
      > > > > psychologically healthy for people to violate their own
      > > > > consciences. However, I do think we all need to remain
      > > teachable
      > > > > and open to the possibility, if not the likelihood, that
      some
      > of
      > > > > what we've been taught over the years may not be biblically
      > > > sound.
      > > > >
      > > > > The second issue concerns other people who may think it
      their
      > > > > business to convict gay people of their "sin." Convicting
      > > > believers
      > > > > of sin is the job of the Holy Spirit. I don't have a
      problem
      > > with
      > > > > those who may believe Christians (a) should not drink wine,
      or
      > > (b)
      > > > > should not wear makeup and jewelry, or (c) must wear suits
      and
      > > ties
      > > > > to church on Sunday, to cite just a few examples. If they
      > > choose
      > > > to
      > > > > refrain from these things or do these things to honor God,
      > > that's
      > > > > fine with me, and with Paul. However, I have a very big
      > problem
      > > > > with those who believe everyone else must follow suit (no
      pun
      > > > > intended) because in their eyes the Bible is unequivocally
      > clear
      > > > > that this, that or the other thing, is required for all
      > > believers.
      > > > >
      > > > > The church has lived through scores of controversies. There
      > > have
      > > > > been controversies over Scripture and usury, Scripture and
      > > slavery,
      > > > > Scripture and race, Scripture and Sunday-closings, Scripture
      > and
      > > > > dancing, Scripture and this and Scripture and that. Every
      one
      > > of
      > > > > these controversies divided Christians who, in many cases,
      > > > butchered
      > > > > each other for "the truth" of Scripture -- even as late as
      the
      > > 19th
      > > > > and 20th centuries.
      > > > >
      > > > > Most of these controversies have since been resolved. But
      not
      > > one
      > > > > of these earlier controversies went to a core psychological
      > > > > experience of self in everyday personal life. The
      > homosexuality
      > > > > controversy does go to such a core experience. Even "race"
      is
      > > but
      > > > > skin-deep. Sexual orientation goes to the very heart of the
      > > most
      > > > > intimate of personal human experience. For us these days,
      > > > > homosexuality is indeed a bigger and a deeper issue because,
      > > unlike
      > > > > all other controversies in the history of the church, a
      > person's
      > > > > self-awareness of his or her need for an intimate
      psychosexual
      > > > > connection of profound love and intimacy with another human
      > > being
      > > > is
      > > > > one of the very strongest needs anyone has.
      > > > >
      > > > > And Paul's view is that the liberty of the Christian
      assembly
      > > > should
      > > > > be able to embrace divergent views and practices without a
      > > feeling
      > > > > that they must be resolved or that a common mind must be
      > > achieved
      > > > on
      > > > > every point of disagreement. If, as Paul urges, integrity
      of
      > > > > Christian fellowship requires the shelving of all disputes
      over
      > > > > external customs (albeit based in the Law), how much more
      must
      > > all
      > > > > disputes be shelved when it comes to a homosexual brother's
      or
      > > > > sister's ingrained, intractable, and internally experienced
      > need
      > > > for
      > > > > intimacy? Paul's advice is clear. It is a Christian duty
      to
      > > think
      > > > > of everything, not as it affects ourselves only, but also as
      it
      > > > > affects others.
      > > > >
      > > > > Paul cautions both the "weak-in-faith" and the "strong"
      against
      > > > > succumbing to their typical temptations to condemn the
      other.
      > > He
      > > > > warns that the "weak-in-faith" should not condemn
      > the "strong."
      > > > > That means they should not claim that the "strong"
      > > > are "unacceptable
      > > > > to God."
      > > > >
      > > > > Using social assumptions of relationships between slaves and
      > > > > masters, and addressing the "weak-in-faith," Paul asks
      > > > rhetorically:
      > > > > Who do you think you are to give orders to those who are
      > > answerable
      > > > > only to their own master and not to you? It's explained
      that
      > > the
      > > > > point is that whereas `the other' thinks some particular
      > conduct
      > > > > constitutes a `fall,' the master regards it as acceptable
      and
      > > not
      > > > as
      > > > > a fall.
      > > > >
      > > > > And furthermore, Paul sees this criticized slave as
      SUSTAINED
      > in
      > > > his
      > > > > behavior rather than RESTORED for misbehaving. Paul says
      that
      > > the
      > > > > master to whom the slave reports keeps his own slave
      standing.
      > > > It's
      > > > > as though Paul said: Even if YOU can't stand them, their
      Lord
      > > can
      > > > > and does. Even if you won't UNDERSTAND them, the Lord
      > > understands
      > > > > them and the Lord UNDERGIRDS them.
      > > > >
      > > > > So Paul concludes by advising that each Christian should be
      > > fully
      > > > > convinced in his or her own mind when it comes to the
      rightness
      > > of
      > > > > one's own lifestyle. Each individual is responsible for his
      or
      > > her
      > > > > own conscience before the Lord. Paul affirms that he
      himself
      > is
      > > > > convinced in the Lord that NOTHING, as such, is out-of-
      bounds.
      > > > > NOTHING is unclean or every-day common. NOTHING! NO
      THING!
      > > What
      > > > > part of "NO THING" don't antigay Christians understand?
      > > > >
      > > > > In fact, Paul warns that the preaching of the weak can drive
      > > others
      > > > > who are weak into such distress that they might even abandon
      > > their
      > > > > Christian faith. And that has certainly been the case with
      far
      > > too
      > > > > many gay people who were told by "change" ministries that to
      be
      > > > > acceptable to God, acceptable to themselves, and acceptable
      to
      > > > those
      > > > > around them, that they must "change." And this does not
      even
      > > > begin
      > > > > to address the thousands who are no longer with us because
      they
      > > > > committed suicide. We've already spoken at length about the
      > > > > devastating affect shame can have on a person.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Ken" <aussie6112@h...> wrote:
      > > > > > My apologies for misunderstanding your comments
      about "rules
      > > and
      > > > > > regulations". I have heard it argued that love is all
      that
      > > > > matters,
      > > > > > and therefore we are free to do whatever we feel is right
      for
      > > > us.
      > > > > I
      > > > > > can see now that you do not concur with that attititude...
      > > > neither
      > > > > do
      > > > > > I. You are suggesting, I think, that those who argue that
      > > same
      > > > > sex
      > > > > > acts are wrong are being as legalistic as those who
      supported
      > > the
      > > > > > diet and days notions of Romans 14.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > That, of course, depends upon your interpretation of the
      > > passages
      > > > > > which refer to same sex acts. You argue that "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". It will be obvious to you that
      I
      > do
      > > > not
      > > > > > agree with that view. I am familar with the ideas of
      > Boswell,
      > > > > > Truluck, and others, but don't believe they stand up to
      close
      > > > > > scrutiny. My opinions are not based solely on the
      specific
      > > > > verses,
      > > > > > but the 4 areas I noted previously. However, I am no
      man's
      > > > > > judge ... except for Paul's injuctions in 1 Cor 5
      concerning
      > > the
      > > > > > members of my own church.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > My concern has not been so much about homosexuality in the
      > > Bible,
      > > > > as
      > > > > > the attitude to homosexuals who for whatever reason may
      wish
      > > to
      > > > > seek
      > > > > > change ...whether that is a reversal of their orientation,
      or
      > > a
      > > > > > Kinsey scale shift in feelings and/or behaviour. There
      are
      > > > > numerous
      > > > > > options, and yes, mistakes have been made in some very
      > > dogmatic
      > > > > > programs. Scepticism can be healthy, but blanket
      opposition
      > > is
      > > > > > rarely helpful.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > PS: The last Scriptural passage you quoted was "Woe to
      you
      > > > > > Pharisees, you hypocrites" from Mat 23. My response
      is
      > > found
      > > > > in
      > > > > > 2 Tim 4:3-4.
      > > > >
      > > ...............................................................
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., nyguy_1225 <no_reply@y...>
      wrote:
      > > > > > > Ken: <<IN YOUR COMMENTS ON ROMANS 14, YOU EXPRESSED THE
      > > OPINION
      > > > > > THAT
      > > > > > > CHRISTIANS DO NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW RULES AND REGULATIONS.>>
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Your paraphrasing of my post is not at all accurate. I
      > > never
      > > > > made
      > > > > > > such a hard and fast generalization. As I've said here
      > many
      > > > > times,
      > > > > > > I have a very high view of Scripture and take it quite
      > > > > seriously.
      > > > > > > Consequently, what the Bible has to say about
      > homosexuality -
      > > -
      > > > > or
      > > > > > > any other issue for that matter -- is of high importance
      to
      > > > me.
      > > > > I
      > > > > > > do not believe nor have I ever stated that all rules,
      > > > > regulations
      > > > > > > and principles governing the Christian faith are simply
      to
      > > be
      > > > > > > discarded. However, I do believe legalism should be.
      And
      > > > > > > apparently so did Paul, as that is exactly what his
      > > discourse
      > > > in
      > > > > > and
      > > > > > > around Romans 14 centered on.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Ken: <<BUT THERE ARE "RULES" ABOUT SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR
      WHICH
      > > > > INCLUDES
      > > > > > > CHASTITY, ADULTERY, AND SAME SEX ACTS.>>
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Yes, there are very definitely "rules" (if you like that
      > > word)
      > > > > > > concerning sexual behavior, adultery and the like.
      > > Throughout
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > Bible we find many instructions to shun sexual
      immorality
      > > and
      > > > > seek
      > > > > > > the highest moral standard that reflects the Spirit of
      > > Christ
      > > > > (e.g.
      > > > > > > Rom. 13:11-14; 1 Cor. 6:13-20 and 7:1-3; Eph. 5:1-5; Col
      > 3:5-
      > > > 17,
      > > > > to
      > > > > > > cite a few examples). 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.
      > As
      > > > > I've
      > > > > > > said before 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. (We can examine and discuss the requisite
      > > > passages
      > > > > > one
      > > > > > > by one, if you like.)
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Sexual immorality is never defined in the Bible in terms
      of
      > > > > genital
      > > > > > > acts -- a particularly redactionist way of thinking that
      > > > > divorces
      > > > > > > sex from its relational context in our modern sex-
      obsessed
      > > > > world.
      > > > > > > On the contrary, the term "sexual immorality" as used in
      > > > > Scripture
      > > > > > > always is associated with adultery, reckless self-
      > indulgence
      > > or
      > > > > > > social and personal irresponsibility. It should also be
      > > noted
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > the Bible's teaching on sexual immorality was also given
      to
      > > a
      > > > > > people
      > > > > > > who saw nothing wrong with polygamy -- a practice we
      would
      > > > > consider
      > > > > > > grossly immoral today.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > And concerning chastity, nowhere in Scripture is
      celibacy
      > > > > demanded
      > > > > > > for those who are unable to marry. In fact the word is
      > > never
      > > > > used
      > > > > > > in Scripture. The only references to the concept of
      > > celibacy
      > > > > come
      > > > > > > from Jesus and Paul, who refer to the "renunciation" of
      > > > marriage
      > > > > as
      > > > > > > a free choice (Matthew 19:12 and 1 Corinthians 7:1,7).
      > > Indeed,
      > > > > it
      > > > > > > would seem that the requirement of celibacy for the
      > > unmarried
      > > > > (as
      > > > > > > opposed to the wisdom of abstinence) is not God's law,
      but
      > a
      > > > > > > doctrine of man. Let us heed the warning of Jesus (see
      > > Matthew
      > > > > > > passage further down) when he confronted the Pharisees
      for
      > > > > > > nullifying God's law.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Despite repeated claims of the "change" ministries,
      God's
      > > > > primary
      > > > > > > concern is not to change the sexual orientation of gay
      > > people,
      > > > > to
      > > > > > > bring them in line with social norms, but to help them
      > > become
      > > > > > secure
      > > > > > > in Him, assured of His love and acceptance and set apart
      to
      > > > > follow
      > > > > > > Him faithfully and responsibly. On the contrary, Jesus
      > > gave a
      > > > > > very
      > > > > > > severe warning of the dangers of adopting a Pharisaic
      > > attitude
      > > > > in
      > > > > > > our ministry to others. Perhaps some of the change
      > > ministries
      > > > > need
      > > > > > > to take it to heart.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > In Matthew 23, Jesus warned:
      > > > > > > "Woe to you Pharisees, you hypocrites! ... You load
      men's
      > > backs
      > > > > > with
      > > > > > > burdens that are impossible to bear and do not lift a
      > finger
      > > to
      > > > > > help
      > > > > > > them ... Woe to you Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut
      the
      > > > > kingdom
      > > > > > > of heaven to men's faces. You yourselves do not enter,
      nor
      > > > will
      > > > > > you
      > > > > > > let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers
      of
      > > the
      > > > > law
      > > > > > > and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and
      > sea
      > > to
      > > > > win
      > > > > > > a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him
      > > twice
      > > > as
      > > > > > > much a son of hell as you are. Woe to you blind
      > guides! ...
      > > > You
      > > > > > > strain out a gnat but swallow a camel."
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > My experience and personal testimony is that God meets
      us
      > as
      > > we
      > > > > are
      > > > > > > now. When we come to Him, He takes our needs seriously
      > (our
      > > > > > > relational needs as well as all others) in a very down-
      to-
      > > earth
      > > > > and
      > > > > > > practical way. Jesus did not offer long-term
      counseling.
      > > He
      > > > > > called
      > > > > > > people to follow Him, to trust Him, to receive the Holy
      > > Spirit,
      > > > > and
      > > > > > > to learn to love one another.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > And this human longing and God's very own given need for
      > > > > intimacy
      > > > > > > has been recognized and recorded from the beginning of
      time
      > > > when
      > > > > > God
      > > > > > > expressed his concern for Adam, because it was not good
      for
      > > man
      > > > > to
      > > > > > > be alone -- and that was even in paradise in unbroken
      > > > > relationship
      > > > > > > with God! I think our sin today is that we have failed
      to
      > > show
      > > > > > > Christ's compassion for those unable to marry -- for the
      > > sake
      > > > of
      > > > > > > man's traditions. Let us also remember Jesus was not
      > > > crucified
      > > > > > for
      > > > > > > maintaining the religious status quo. Quite the
      opposite,
      > > as a
      > > > > > > matter of fact.
      > > > > > >
    • ncrentacop <rentacopnc@aol.com>
      Something you said in this post stuck out to me and I wanted to give my belief on the statement. Now mind you this is just how I view scripture and since I am
      Message 44 of 44 , Dec 11, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Something you said in this post stuck out to me and I wanted to
        give my belief on the statement. Now mind you this is just how I
        view scripture and since I am not canonized it is just that a view.
        The passage in Jeremiah 17:9 Does say that the heart is deceitful and
        desperately wicked and this is true of the person who has not
        experienced the new birth in Christ. However, I believe that once a
        person is reborn, spiritually of course, then they receive a new
        heart. Although we have to contend with the flesh we are new
        creations in Christ.

        Peace and Love,
        David

        --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, BearJER@J... wrote:
        >
        > On Sun, 24 Nov 2002 07:42:28 -0000 calldon2k
        <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
        > writes:
        >
        > They believe the Bible is literal when it is convenient and
        figurative
        > when THAT is convenient for them! After all, many have never held
        a REAL
        > job.
        >
        > MY COMMENT: Sorry, but I don't believe that is a true or fair
        statement.
        > The ex-gay ministry I went through only had one paid minister on
        its
        > staff after it got large enough. All the other leaders and
        assistants
        > had regular jobs. The first part of your statement could be said of
        > almost any of us. Unfortunately, we get blinders on with respect
        to our
        > position and everything we read in the Bible or elsewhere, we slant
        to
        > that position. Our hearts are desperately wicked, said Jeremiah in
        the
        > Bible. That's you and that's me, like it or not.
        >
        > Jerry
        >
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