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Re: The Final Word on This

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  • Ken
    nyguy, thank you for your courtesy and your patience. As you have requested, I will make this my last post on this board. My aim was not to condemn
    Message 1 of 44 , Dec 2, 2002
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      nyguy, thank you for your courtesy and your patience. As you have
      requested, I will make this my last post on this board. My aim was
      not to condemn homosexuality, it was to suggest that there are
      alternatives, and I know this from my own experience. (BTW, my gay
      life was not all promiscuous, I had two meaningful, monogamous
      LTRs.) I think by branding all "change ministries" as bogus you make
      the same mistake as those who make assumptions about all gay people.
      I pray that God will lead and guide you as you seek to follow Him.
      Ken
      http://www.loveinaction.org/testimonies.html

      --- In exexgayministry@y..., nyguy_1225 <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > <<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
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        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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