‘You Don’t Hate Us!’ Lesbian Learns Christians ‘Really Do Care’ By Sharing Gospel

Red Letters Born Again pdCHICAGO — A Christian columnist, cultural analyst and attorney specializing in constitutional law recently shared a story about about how a lesbian’s eyes were opened to the fact that Christians are motivated by love and not hate to share the gospel with homosexuals.

Matt Barber, the founder of BarbWire.com, recalled the incident in an article published by Charisma News last Monday. He stated that in 2009, as he was the keynote speaker at a banquet in Chicago for the organization American for Truth About Homosexuality, a number of homosexual protesters stood outside, angered by the event.

One woman that was present at the banquet claimed to be with the press, but it was soon discovered that she was actually among the protesters. Rather than ejecting her from the building, Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, invited her to stay.

“This young woman, who identified as a lesbian, sat at a table with some of the most loving and godly women I know,” Barber recalled. “They showed her the love of Christ.”

The women shared the word of God with the girl, who also listened to Barber’s message shared from the podium during the event.

“After I gave my remarks, this young lady . . . rushed over to me with tears in her eyes,” Barber remembered. “‘They lied!’ she exclaimed of the protest organizers outside. ‘You don’t hate us. You don’t hate me. You really do care.'”

“‘I’ll admit it,’ she continued. ‘What you said was hard to hear. But they lied to me. You don’t hate anyone.'”

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Barber said that he and others began to pray for the woman, who he saw as a “priceless daughter of God the Father.” The woman stayed and talked well after the event was over.

But, when some of the protesters outside saw what had occurred, they were bewildered.

“What are you doing with them?!” one called out.

“To even my surprise, she ignored them, reached over and gave me a big hug,” Barber recalled. “She saw that we loved her. She saw that Christ, in us, loved her. He died for our sins, her sins, and for the sins of each of her fellow protesters.”

Barber concluded his piece reiterating that Christians do not hate homosexuals by sharing the gospel with them, but it is rather out of love that they speak the truth.

“Yes, they lied. We don’t hate you,” he said. “It is truth. And it is love. But sadly, truth is hate to those who hate truth.”

He vowed to continued speaking the truth in love despite opposition.

“To you homosexual activists, I say this: We will not be daunted. We will not be intimidated. We will never quit,” Barber stated. “We do this in obedience to the Holy Spirit. As He did before us, we are going to love you. But, as did He, we are also going to tell you the truth. And we’re going to do it whether you like it or not.”


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  • Church Politics

    Evangelicals distract us with all of their false teaching on love, if the Law was taught across the board, in the first place, the sin of homosexuality would not be so wide spread as it is now. The law is love.

    • Lee Norris

      Jesus came to fullfill the Law. The only purpose of the Law was to show Man that he could never keep it completely and be saved through the Law.
      You attitude is that of the Pharisees whom Jesus condemned.

      • Don Marilyn Cunningham

        Lee is right, no one can ever go to heaven by doing good deeds….it’s only through the gift of God, His Son. He sent Jesus to be the “once and for all blood sacrifice” (on the cross) for the sins of mankind. But you don’t get Eternal Life automatically…it’s a gift that you have to reach out and appropriate for yourself. Jesus says, “I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock, whoever opens the door I will come in to him”. He won’t come in unless he is invited. When you invite Him in at that moment you are born again. Jesus says, “You must be born again, born of the water (your mother) and of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s so simple yet Satan is the father of lies.

      • Lisa McCoy

        Jesus didn’t do away with the law, you can’ just keep sinning in response to Jesus sacrifice. He calls us to repent not become more enslaved to sin.

        • Lee Norris

          Of course not. And that is not what I said. But neither are we any longer in bondage to the Law.
          Jesus gave the perfect sacrifice for all, for all time. He forgave my sins 2000 years before I was even born so of course he covered every sin I will ever commit. But the New TEstament teaches that of course we can’t simply go on sinning. We are to die every day to Christ so that he might live in us. If we do that, we certainly aren’t going to be looking to commit sin but even then each and every one of us will still commit sin.

          • John Manuola

            Romans 7 explains it quite well…smiles

      • Church Politics

        The Bible teaches three uses of the Law, one is to have order in the civil society. Christians are saved by works of the Law, the perfect Law keeping of Jesus Christ. There will not be any gays in Heaven – read the book. The Pharisees perverted the Law. like what the state is doing now in America. Read the Gospel’s (instead of listening to your pastors and teachers) and what Jesus said about the Pharisees. He called them Law breakers, and worse. According to the book – you can’t miss it – if you have no works, your salvation is suspect. Evangelicals are worried about bashing gays and abortion, they’ve been bashing the Law for at least 50 years, and America is going to hell fast because they are confused in what to do about our lawless government.

        • Lee Norris

          Wow. Legalistic much?
          You cannot be saved by the Law. Period. End of story. “I am the way, the truth and the light. No man comes to the Father except by me.”
          James said faith without works is dead. Works come naturally from the changed spirit in a Christian. But you can be Mother Teresa and not be saved if you don’t accept the gift Jesus offers.
          All judgement belongs to God. We are commanded to tell others the good news. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to draw them to God. We categorically are not to judge them.
          I see a lot of judgement in you. If you make it, I suspect you will be quite surprised at who is and who is not in Heaven.

          • Church Politics

            Yes, Mr. self-righteous non-judgmental, we are save by perfect law keeping; that of Jesus Christ, who you hate because you hate his laws/his character. There is no love without Law. The ones that don’t change. you’ve chosen Obama Care over the ten Commandments, or love. You like PC Laws that are imposing pain and misery on all of us. Teach Americans the Ten Laws which are already in our law books in the US and we don’t need your Lois Lerner and the IRS, and Eric Holder and his anti-justice dept. You evangelical progressives need some new material. You can judge me who correctly interprets the Bible, but you wont judge evil or evil doers. Perhaps you should practice nashing your teeth…, just a thought

          • panmer

            We humans have no rights to judge but the Word of God (the Bible) itself judges us

          • Lee Norris

            Wow. You really don’t know me at all.
            So, do your garments have any seams? Have you ever had an itch? Eaten bacon? All violate the Law.
            We are saved by grace, not by works, lest any man should boast.
            You are sadly too full of hate to be any sort of Christian.
            The only people Jesus ever spoke to as harshly as you did here were Pharisees, like you.

    • Don Marilyn Cunningham

      Jesus said, “I come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” When we accept Jesus as our Savior the Holy Spirit puts the love of God in our hearts. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We get to heaven only because of God’s love. “For God so loved the world he gave his only Son, that whosoever believes on Him will never die but will have Eternal Life.” (John 3:16)

  • WorldGoneCrazy

    “Truth is hate to those who hate truth.” I will have to remember that one!

    Now, for the “other” side and their message of “tolerance,” we have this: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/the-gay-bullyboys-want-you-jailed?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8e2fe960ae-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-8e2fe960ae-397685045

  • MattFCharlestonSC

    What a load of crud!

    • Lee Norris

      Why do you say that? Are you gay?

      • Sue Roediger

        so what if he is?

        • Lee Norris

          Nothing. I was inquiring as to the reason for the apparent anger. Sometimes a question is just a question.

          • Sue Roediger

            well he is quite accurate. One doesn’t have to be gay to see the fallacy of this line of thinking.

          • Lee Norris

            And that fallacy is?

          • Sue Roediger

            the fallacy that “Christians” harangue gays out of love. The fallacy that “Christians” have the one true faith. The fallacy that God does not love ALL his children just as he made them.

          • Lee Norris

            This writer didn’t harangue anyone. It is you who are painting a large group with the actions of a few, something you reject when it’s applied to you.
            Do you not realize that all religions claim theirs is the only true faith? The doctrines are mutually exclusive. Islam and Christianity cannot both be true. Same for Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, etc. You seem to blame only Christianity for saying they are the only true religion.
            God does indeed love all his children. That does not mean he loves everything they do, anymore than a parent loves every disobedient action their offspring takes. The Bible teaches that God is not willing that any should perish. If a person ends up in Hell,they sent themselves there by rejecting God’s free offer of salvation, in much the same way a drowning man is to blame for his own death by rejecting a thrown lifeline because he wanted a boat.

          • Sue Roediger

            Believe as you choose ………….I won’t call you names. I believe what I choose ……………

            http://www.upworthy.com/a-bishop-describes-how-the-church-invented-hell-to-control-people

          • Sue Roediger

            In the movie Oh God – which was made as a piece of silliness .. but was actually quite profound……….the clergy from many faiths are questioning God. They ask Him “Is Jesus Christ you son” God (played so well by George Burns) says “Jesus is my son, Mohammed is my son, Buddha is my son.” I believe there are many paths …………………to one end. Many faith traditions have in common the one rule “Love your neighbor as you love your self.”

          • Lee Norris

            I can’t believe you are actually quoting a silly 70’s movie made by people who haven’t the faintest clue about who God is as support for your belief. That’s quite sad.
            As I said, they cannot all be right. Jesus himself stated that he was the only way. Since he remains the only person ever to beat death, (Buddha, Confucius and Mohammed are all dead.) I choose to believe him.
            To believe otherwise is kidding yourself.

          • Sue Roediger

            believe whatever you want – that is your right…you don’t have the right to force anyone else to believe it or to try to make your belief a part od national or state law. The same freedom of religion that protects your right to believe — protect other’s right to believe differently !

          • Lee Norris

            I never said I did, nor did the writer of this article. It’s the Muslims who want to kill you if you don’t agree with them. It’s liberals who want you to shut up if you don’t agree with them.
            If gay people want others to respect their beliefs, they could start by respecting the beliefs of others and stop trying to force everyone to applaud.

          • Sue Roediger

            phew……….someone touched a nerve there. No all Muslims want to kill gays, there are SOME “Christians” who do advocate that gays should be put to death, liberals advocate freedom for everyone – the ACLU is a liberal group, gays do respect others beliefs as long as those beliefs do not impact or restrict our own freedoms – –
            When “Christians” feel compelled to “share the good news” with gays it is usually to tell us how were are not behaving the way God intends, and often includes informing us how we are destined to burn in hell. In the original article, the author is trying to say that his group invited a lesbian, who…. “sat at a table with some of the most loving and godly women I know,” Barber recalled. “They showed her the love of Christ.”,,” Oh yes they treated so sweetly………….and told her God loves her and wants her to stop sinning. Had the woman said to them “I am not a sinner and I don’t believe what you are saying, I don’t believe in your God” ….. how do you think they would have responded?
            you know long ago…. people thought left handed people were demonic …… then we discovered that being left-handed is just how some people are………….. being gay is just like that. It is just they way some people are……………. seriously.

          • Lee Norris

            Everyone is a sinner. You, me, Mother Teresa. Everybody. Sin is sin. Sexual sin is just another sin, no different than adultery, theft or lying. There are no large or small sins, just sin.
            Had the woman said what you suggest, I suspect they would have smiled at her, told her it was alright and that God believed in her.
            If you won’t respect another person’s faith, how can you expect them to respect you? This woman was a protester protesting a Christian conference. They showed her love and respect.
            I very much doubt Christians at a gay event would be shown the same.

          • Sue Roediger

            Same sex relationships are no more sinful than straight ones.
            At a gay event you will find many Christians….gay ones and their straight allies………

          • Lee Norris

            According to the Bible, that is untrue. I did not make that rule. God did, and He may not be argued with.
            I have no right to judge you or anyone else. While your relationship with God is between you and Him, so is mine. You have absolutely no right to demand that I compromise my faith by applauding or participating in what God clearly defined as sinful activity.
            You and I both know that Christian businesses are being deliberately targeted by gay activists. This serves only to antagonize. If you were truly only interested in the right to marry, you would avoid antagonizing people and simply find a baker, florist or photographer who has no religious objection. There is no shortage of such and doing so shows respect for others. If it continues, expect to see federal legislation specifically granting protection for religious business owners.

          • Sue Roediger

            Many Theologians, who have studied the Bible in its original languages and in in its historical context have concluded that homosexuality is simply the way God has made some of his children.

            Rev Susan Russell writes: ” Reason tells us that the texts we inherit as Holy Scripture must be read in context. And my experience tells me that when someone comes at me with the “But the Bible says …” argument knowing what else the Bible says equips me to neutralize some of the damage done by those who project their own homophobia on texts-out-of-context and “give them the authority of God.”
            At the end of the day it has nothing to do with discounting or ridiculing Scripture and everything to do with using the Bible not as as a weapon of judgement, division and intolerance but as a tool of love, justice and compassion.
            http://inchatatime.blogspot.com/search?q=clobber+passages

            Regarding the business owners. I really don’t think gay couples sought out and targeted “Christian” business with the express purpose of making trouble. I think they were just trying to have a wedding, maybe they heard from a friend that the business did good work. These couples were legitimately distressed by the rejection. Possible the business owners didn’t politely decline. Very likely they expressed their “disgust” quite plainly. adultery At any rate I don’t see how baking a cake means you endorse or approve anything. But do these same bakers withhold their services from a wedding for people who have been married and divorced? (That is in the bible too) Given all the drama over this — I would rather know upfront who I am dealing with. I would never want someone who feels I am a sinner anywhere near my celebration. For this reason Christians with “conscience objections” should just hang a sign that says so. They should also be ready to accept that many people who are LGBTQ will stay away from their store and so will their family and friends and straight allies.
            It seems there are a lot of “Christians” who think homosexuality is not only sin but the “worst” sin there is. I happen think homosexuality is NOT a sin ,,,, , child abuse, pedophilia, theft, extortion, embezzlement, lies, the worship of money, adultery, murder, hatred of one’s neighbor, neglecting the poor or sick, or orphans …….. these are things in need of correction.

          • Lee Norris

            In the cases I cited, not one owner declined in any way that was impolite. They all politely declined on religious grounds. Then they were sued. Some had even done work for these people before. They simply could not be part of a wedding.
            I wish everyone had your attitude, which is also mine. I would not want anyone involved with an important event in my life that did not want to be there.
            The Christian businesses are most certainly being targeted. I think it is going to require legislation or even a target amendment to to stop it, specifying a conscience exemption for those objecting on religious grounds, thereby removing the matter from the purview of the courts. Your side thus far has waged lawfare to get what they could not win at the ballot box. It has to stop. You may change the law but you will never change minds this way. You will only raise the antagonism level.
            I feel sure that any Christian business owner would be more than happy to place a sign declining gay weddings and live with whatever consequences the market decreed.
            Finally, your gay theologians are kidding themselves and deceiving you. The Biblical text could not be more clear and it is in the New Testament in Romans 1 :24-27

            24 Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves:

            25 for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

            26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature:

            27 and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.

            Play with context all you want, that still lays out in detail what it means.

          • Sue Roediger

            Episcopal Priests and Bishops have held that passage as referring to temple prostitutes and Hebrews who went to them.
            I really don’t think gat couples have said “Let’s find a Christina baler (or whatever) and get them to reject us so we can sue them.”
            Where is the “Christian” outrage over adultery? and over second marriages? Jesus was explicit about that ………… Do these same devout Christians ask people buying flowers if they are for their wife or for their mistress? Seriously !

          • Lee Norris

            What Episcopal priests and bishops? It is not the position of the Episcopal Church. You can always find a rogue pastor who will tell people what they want to hear in hopes of building a large following. That is nothing new. Besides, if that was what he was talking about, he would have said so plainly. Paul was not shy about taking on the Temple authorities. He used to be one himself.
            As to targeting, yes, they did.

            http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/10/13/christian-owned-t-shirt-company-likely-to-be-forced-to-attend-diversity-training-after-refusing-to-print-gay-pride-shirts-but-is-the-battle-really-over/

            People buying flowers for a mistress are not asking the shopkeeper to come and decorate the motel room for the adulterous affair. There is no ceremony involved. Besides, you don’t get to tell people which religious convictions they should adhere to and which to skip. They have aright to them, just as you have a right to shop where you wish. There are plenty of oher people willing to take your money. Respect their choice and leave.

          • Sue Roediger

            If you don’t know that there are Priests and Bishops in the Episcopal church it casts doubt on the other things you think you know. I attend an Episcopal church. The Diocese of Los Angeles has openly gay priests, and the gay Bishop retired recently, there is a lesbian assistant Bishop.
            When you make a cake you don’t attend the wedding, when you do the flowers you are out of there before the ceremony, one could sell flowers to an adulterer and be required to deliver them to a hotel room.
            I am one would want to know where the “Objecting Christians” are I would take mu business elsewhere……..all of it. When a list was made of such places — the “Christians” objected – called it an unfair boycott. Yet the AFA (American Family Association) calls for boycotts of Target, JC Penny’s, Home Depot and Cheerios and you all think that is just fine. I would SO welcome a campaign where all y’all put big colorful crosses or those squiggly fish on you shops and internet pages — announce that you want to only do business with people who believe as you do…………….I’ve got no problem with that….but these sneaky folks don’t want everyone to know…….because friends and family – and straight allies – of LGBT people will stay away too. That is not persecution ..that is just consequences. If I open a store and post that I an a lesbian owner — some people will stay away. Actually because I look kind of butch I wouldn’t have to post it. Why are y’all surprised. The law says that public businesses have to serve the public with out discrimination so …………

          • Lee Norris

            Of course I know there are priests and bishops in the Episcopal Church. My point was that acceptance of gay marriage is not the official position of the Episcopal Church. The issue is in fact splitting the Episcopal Church and causing division, just as Satan intended.
            ANYTHING that brings division to the body of Christ is NOT from God.
            So if you advocate for acceptance of behavior clearly condemned in Scripture and bring division and strife to the body, you should consider carefully whom you are really serving.
            I notice that you have dropped the claim that Christians weren’t targeted and seem to have shifted to a stance of defending the practice.
            Mind you, these were people who made it clear on their web site that they were a Christian business catering to Christian clientele.
            Now they find themselves being ordered to a reeducation camp based on their religious belief. Tell me again how it is that a local jurisdiction has the power to override the 1st amendment in such an appalling way? Joe Stalin would be proud.
            How would YOU feel if the shoe were on the other foot? What if gay business were targeted and their owners shipped off to be reeducated? Would that be OK? It is exactly the same principle.

          • Sue Roediger

            The shoe has been on the other foot for a long time. Gays have been – and are still – sent to “reparative therapy”. Not only are gay business targeted but even “gay friendly” business are targeted. Beyond that people who “look gay” are often beaten – just for that. When people come out to their families they are shunned and thrown out of the house, by their “good Christian” families.
            Back in the day…..business tried to “express their first amendment rights” by refusing to serve people of color — the essence of this is the same.
            I don’t know for sure if a gay couple targeted the business you speak of …………. the point is still the same. I wouldn’t have done that, but that is just me.

          • Lee Norris

            Nobody ever got sent to reparative therapy against their will. Nobody ever got sued for being gay. When somebody gets beaten for “looking gay,” it is and always has been a crime and it is prosecuted. What families do in their personal dynamics is not the business of the State unless it becomes violent.
            The conflation of gay marriage and the Civil Rights struggle is offensive. I am not even going to go there. Being black is not defined as a sin in the Bible and the bigots who tried to claim otherwise got their just reward I feel sure.
            It’s easy for you to shrug off what is going on with the harassment of Christian businesses by gay activists with, “Well I wouldn’t have done that.” But failing to speak out about it within the gay community makes you complicit.
            I hope you consider what I said about putting your own sexual desires ahead of God. That’s not good no matter what the thing is that you put before God.

          • Sue Roediger

            you said “Nobody ever got sent to reparative therapy against their will” I have friends who were and they said most of the others who were there with them were forced their by their parents also. People may not have been sued for being gay but they have certainly been fired, shunned, disinherited and harangued just for being gay … not caught doing anything just being!
            You say I am complicit for not speaking out – within the gay community . you are complicit .with the evils of the “Christian” bigots. In Mississippi they passed a law making it ok for business to discriminate. When some Mississippi business started putting sign in their shops saying they served ALL — the “Christians” cried no fair.
            You know noting of my internal life, my sexual desires or behavior. I am not with anyone presently. Should I have a partner in the future it would be a woman. When I think of intimacy with a man it get the same visceral reaction you would if your thought of intimacy with a person of your same gender,
            This is the way I am . I didn’t decide it…….I am not broken. Just as some people are left handed . didn’t choose it, and are not possessed by demons. Some of us are just innately inclined to intimacy with people of our same gender.
            Of you choose to live by what you interpret the bible to so – you – here in America you are free to do so. Since we are in America, others of us are equally free to live as we see fit without judgment and interference from y’all.

          • Lee Norris

            No adult can be forced into any sort of therapy against their will absent a court order. Minors are a different story.
            I have zero problem with businesses posting signs saying they serve all. I seriously doubt most Christians in Mississippi did either.
            I, like 99.9% of straight people have zero interest in who you sleep with. I DO object to people gay or straight making me a party to their sex lives and demanding that I celebrate whatever they choose to do.
            I don’t pretend to have all the answers as to why some people are gay. But I do know that all of us are broken. And I know that God is capable of healing the brokeness inside everyone, no matter the cause.
            I wish you well. I am not your judge. All judgement belongs to God.
            I encourage you to be a voice of tolerance on the other side of this issue. No good can come from continued targeting and baiting of Christians by gay activists.

          • Lee Norris

            I would also encourage you to consider the fact that you are placing your own desires – sexuality – ahead of God.

            Can you point to anywhere in the Bible where it teaches such a thing? On the contrary, it teaches we are to deny ourselves, dying daily to serve Christ.

            As for your gay priests….

            2 Timothy 4:3

            For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts;

          • Sue Roediger

            My quote is not that I believe in the movie as a source – but as a reflection of my belief,

    • John Manuola

      yeah, why would you think that?

    • MC

      This is exactly the “intelligent” arguments I expect from atheists. Good job!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

    As Christians it is imperative we maintain a Christ-like attitude towards ALL. We shouldn’t shun or bully LGBTs or try to “fix” them. Instead, just be a friend. Jesus taught us the right way to carry out His mission, it’s time we do this. Love one another, and let God work on their hearts.

    • alnga

      Your simple words are so right on the mark. Introduce them the the God of Love and let Him through the power of His holy Spirit and the words of Jesus Christ work their power of this love upon them.

    • Steve Clark

      I couldn’t agree more.

    • jmichael39

      First, allow me to say, I couldn’t agree more with your line of thinking…and approach to this issue. There is, however, some serious elements to issues like this that we cannot just gloss over. And, of course, how we address each of them will depend, in no small part, on whether the person involved proclaims their faith in Jesus or not.

      1) we cannot, as a Church (big C…meaning all of us), advocate for the continuation in a position of leadership, anyone who continues unrepentant of any sin…no matter the sin. So how do we love on a brother who is, in this particular case, struggling with the sin of homosexuality while no longer allowing him to remain in a position of authority in any fellowship.

      2) When situations arise in which Christians are forced to decide between supporting/endorsing a sin and remaining firm to their faith…there must never been retribution among Christians for remaining firm to one’s faith. It is NOT unloving to reject sin in its entirety. In fact, if it were unloving to reject sin then what Christ did on the cross would have to be considered the most unloving act ever. It is a difficult line to walk where on one had we must love a sinner no matter their sin…and loving them to the point where their sin goes unresolved. The greatest act of love any one can express is to step forth and help someone walk away from sin into the loving arms of an oh-so-willing-to-forgive Father.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

        You’re totally right. When Jesus forgave the adulterous woman, he didn’t condone her sin…He called it for what it is and said “don’t do it again”. So likewise we have to walk that fine line of love the sinner, hate the sin. I just can’t tolerate stories where fellow Christians will take the attitude of a pharasee (sp?) And act like they’re better than someone else as if one sin was somehow more desirable than another. Also yes, I think it is found in Leviticus and maybe John about the character of those we choose to serve as leaders in the Church…and they cannot be fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, etc… anyone know the exact passages?
        What I like to remember is a story that may or may not be true about Ghandi. He really liked the tenants of the Christian faith and so wanted to be converted. But when he went to visit a church the priest wouldn’t let him in because he wasn’t already a Christian. I would hate to be like that priest. So I feel it’s important to just love people as they are and spread the Gospel message like the sower of seeds. It is God that will do the rest…and believe me, He’ll do a much better job than I ever could! LOL

        • Sha-wei

          The breathless tone, the disingenuous, wide-eyed candour, the lexical barbarisms, the feigned juvenile elan and cheeriness… and thus the highly suspect origination and ultimate thrust of your comments elicits a profound sense of déjà vu in me. Am I not correct, Linda Tannen? Your apparent rectitude is a most
          subtle attempt at destabilizing the firmness of our beliefs.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

            do what now?

          • Sha-wei

            You’re in God’s hands, I’m afraid, not mine. Your subterfuge cannot have a happy ending for you. Repent, while there’s some time yet, and turn those talents to the cause of Truth.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

            I’m not even sure who you think I am, but I know for certain that I’m a born-again believer in the living God. Baptized & saved. It’s the Living Word- Jesus the Messiah who I obey and it’s the KJV I get my marching orders from. If you wanna call me anything else well then let’s go pal! I follow the Gospels and if anyone wants to insinuate otherwise then them’s fighting words!

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

            Ya’ll remember these scriptures and engrave them on your hearts!
            Luke
            18:11-15, Matthew 23: 23-28, Matthew 18: 21-35, Matthew 25: 31-46,
            Matthew 7:21-23, Epheisans 2: 8-9. You don’t go walkin around like
            you’re better than everybody because SALVATION IS A GIFT SO THAT NO MAN
            MAY BOAST! Don’t you know
            your WORKS are like filthy rags to the Righteous Holy Living God?! Not
            everyone who says Lord, Lord will be saved- because you’re so busy
            working at the speck in your brother’s eye, you forget the beam in
            your own! The Gospels are to be used for correction and we are to be as
            iron sharpening iron- NOT casting fiery darts at one-another as the
            enemy does!! SO PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR BUTT AND QUIT PICKING ON YOUR
            FELLOW CHRISTIAN! Especially some of you who gave me NO BACKUP when I
            took on 3 atheists here! What holy relics you are- too doggone holy and righteous you couldn’t help a sister out but hey, let’s jump down her throat at every little jot and tittle. AND THIS IS WHY I LEFT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TO BE BORN AGAIN!! I thought I got away from the ever-righteous holier-than-thou jackbooted thugs- I GUESS NOT! And THAT’S precisely why I OBEY CHRIST ALONE. I keep my KJV close and my Lord closer- YOU CAN KEEP YOUR HYPOCRISY!! YOU MAY HAVE CHASED OTHER PEOPLE AWAY FROM JESUS BUT YOU AIN’T GONNA DO IT TO ME!

        • jmichael39

          Well, you can try to come up with your own solution for your own salvation. But God’s the one you’ll have to convince on that. And I think He pretty created the path to salvation through His Son. But you go right ahead and try.

          As for Ghandi’s comments…your apparent inclination to follow them…you can blame anybody you want for not choosing to follow Jesus…but in the end its your choice, not theirs. And YOU are the one having to accept or reject the message of Christ for your own salvation…..not them.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

            I DON’T WORK OUT MY OWN SALVATION JESUS DOES!!!
            Anything else is an insult!

          • jmichael39

            that was a generic “you” in my previous post, Regina Calm down and stop trying find sleeping Pharisees under every comment posted.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

            Gosh, I’m sorry. I think I took it the wrong way because another poster is accusing me of being some lady named Linda who apparently he doesn’t like. So I lost my temper and I’m like- first I get attacked by 3 atheists (in another comments section) and I get NO back-up, then I’m getting attacked by my fellow Christians. And I don’t even know what I said that was so offensive! Good golly you might as well just slap a burka on me and call it a day!

          • jmichael39

            understood and forgotten…be well.

          • Sue Roediger

            When I look at the words attributed to Jesus, I find them inspiring. It is the ranting of Paul and the barbarism of much of the Old Testament that lead to cognitive dissonance. What I learned about how “the church” came to be makes me doubt the idea of “one true faith” …..God (if there is a God) couldn’t be that narrow-minded.

          • jmichael39

            “inspiring”?

            “ranting”?
            “barbarism”?

            The “church” came into being as a result of one event and one event only…the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Religion may be what you’re referring to in your studies…but it is not the ‘church’.

          • Sue Roediger

            Church and religion are one and the same.
            faith could be independent of those two things .. it usually is not

          • jmichael39

            That’s not true… the church was formed by Christ. Religions are formed by man.

          • Sue Roediger

            How can you have one without the other ?

            Religion – a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, …

            Church – 1. a building for public Christian worship. 2. public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly. 3. (sometimes initial capital letter) the whole body of Christian believers; Christendom. 4. sometimes initial capital letter) any division of this body professing the same creed and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; a Christian denomination: the Methodist Church.
            5. that part of the whole Christian body, or of a particular denomination, belonging to the same city, country, nation, etc.
            6. a body of Christians worshipping in a particular building or constituting one congregation: She is a member of this church.
            7. ecclesiastical organization, power, and affairs, as distinguished from the state: separation of church and state; The missionary went wherever the church sent him.

            AND even if you define it as ===
            The word “church” as rendered in the New Testament comes from the Greek term ekklesia which is formed from two Greek words meaning “an assembly” and “to call out” or “called out ones.” In summary, the New Testament church is a body of believers who have been called out from the world by God to live as his people under the authority of Jesus Christ……
            It is still religion………seriously.
            It is kind of like trying to say jade is not green because grass in green and jade is jade … just rhetorical hair splitting.

          • jmichael39

            You’re trying to define something eternal with temporal ideas.

            Like I said, the “Church” was created when Christ rose from the grave. It has nothing to do with buildings or dogmas established by men creating religions. Does the “Church” meet in building? Yeah. Does the “Church” often become engaged with religious groups? Yeah. But while the buildings and religions will fade away, Christ’s “Church” will be made into His “bride” upon His return. Does that mean members of His “Church” should not be involved in gatherings occur in buildings and often are connected with religions/denominations? No. We are always encouraged to be party to the fellowship of the saints.

          • Sue Roediger

            I feel so sorry for you .you are totally brainwashed

          • jmichael39

            well, now THERE’S logic for you. Why didn’t you tell me at the beginning that you had no skill or interest in an actual intellectually debate. Save your hatred for someone who actually cares.

          • Sue Roediger

            When you start talking about “bride of Christ” and “fellowship with the saints” you are just spouting the indoctrination words I heard in my youth. You are not thinking, reason is put to sleep. One cannot debate with an automaton … like the voice on an iphone .. you can only respond with your programmed phrases. I was once in that place………….which is why I said I feel sorry for you.

          • jmichael39

            “indoctrination words”…they are words right from the Bible. You don’t like ’em…tough. Nobody’s asking you to believe what the Christians on CHRISTIANnews.net believe. You’re the one trolling through a site designed for people who actually believe in the authority of the Bible.

            You can’t debate, because you don’t have a clue HOW to debate. You want to debate anything…go for it. But making blatant logical fallacies doesn’t get you off on the right foot.

          • Sue Roediger

            it is futile, I see, to use logic in discussions with those who “believe” ………………..

          • jmichael39

            Then go away, Sue. No one asked you to bring your rhetoric here. My challenge to you is still there. Paul placed all of Christianity on a thread. If you think you want to try to snip that thread, let me know. You could literally you could literally wipe out all of Christianity. Wanna give it a shot?

          • Sue Roediger

            Hmmm …which is preferred…..the preservation of Christianity or the quest for truth?
            Ok . I’ll go away…may God bless you and open you heart and mind to the knowledge that God loves all his people.

          • jmichael39

            and thus you reveal your prejudice…that Christianity’s preservation and the truth are not the same thing. THank you for acknowledging your close mindedness and true feelings. Oh and He loves all people, not just those who are His.

          • Sue Roediger

            It is not a prejudice – For the entire history of “the Church” anything discovered to conflict with the tradition and teaching of the church was suppressed. At this point in history – when there are so many interpretations of the same document it is impossible to find “truth” even in the interpretation of a passage.– even among professed Christians.
            Yes, God loves ALL people – because ALL are His children even the ones who know nothing about Him. — not just the ones who are within the fold of the “saved”……………

          • jmichael39

            1. “It is not a prejudice ” – sure it is. You have no clue what information I’m going to share . Do you? No. So how in the world would you know anything about its veracity. That’s called prejudice…period.

            2. “For the entire history of “the Church” anything discovered to conflict with the tradition and teaching of the church was suppressed. At this point in history – when there are so many interpretations of the same document it is impossible to find “truth” even in the interpretation of a passage.– even among professed Christians.” – Are you an expert in contextual criticism? Do you have any idea of exactly how wrong you are? Clearly not. Again, a prejudice, based, this time, on ignorance.

            3. “because ALL are His children even the ones who know nothing about Him. — not just the ones who are within the fold of the “saved”…………..” – Do share your reasons for this. Since you don’t accept the authority of the Bible for anything, you must have some other inside knowledge of God that the vast majority of Christians do not. So please, do share. In so explaining…let us know what the “fold” is and what “saved” is?

          • Sue Roediger

            ok . in your mind the “church” is the one truth……..
            and God only loved the “saved”. Fine. In the old Testament that was the Jews and as you read the New Testament it is only the ones who “have accepted Jesus as their Savior or maybe only the Baptized. What ever …………
            Seriously ? Only the “saved” are God’s children? Only the “saved” are loved by God. Seriously?

          • Sue Roediger

            loves. not loved

          • jmichael39

            “ok . in your mind the “church” is the one truth” – I never said that. Never even came close to saying that.

            “and God only loved the “saved”. – Never even remotely said that either.

            “Seriously ? Only the “saved” are God’s children? Only the “saved” are loved by God. Seriously?” – Never said any of that. Now I understand how you come to so many fallacious conclusions in your other studies.
            Convenient of you to ignore my first two points as well.

            You wanna try again, or shall I explain.

          • Sue Roediger

            I think it was you who made the distinction between ALL people and “all His People” I was trying to say …. if one accepts that God is creator then all are God’s people………. There are those many “Christians” who believe and proclaim that only certain people are “God’s chosen” . I am in more than one conversation and may have confused who said what.
            I don’t mean to be so argumentative it is a side effect of my many years in Catholic schools. I am still recovering.
            I really have no issue with anyone’s belief.as long as they don’t use it to bash me. If “Christians” want to believe they are somehow more blessed and closer to God, and that LGBT are the lowest form of sinners…….. well whatever…but the crankiness I project comes from the ostentatious judgment…. that is so prevalent. I apologize if I seem to have deliberately antagonized you.. I have friends who were kicked out by their “Christian” parents for being gay . they slept on my mom’s living room floor
            All this angst over who is right or wrong is just drama when we die God will decide without input from anyone on earth..

          • jmichael39

            “I think it was you who made the distinction between ALL people and “all His People”” – so what? That doesn’t imply that God doesn’t love all people. Nor does the fact that God loves all people imply that all are ‘saved’.

            “If “Christians” want to believe they are somehow more blessed and closer to God, and that LGBT are the lowest form of sinners”

            Blessings from God come from walking in a right relationship with Him. Anyone, including Christians, who choose to reject God’s way in a particular area of life risks not being in a place where they will experience God’s blessings. It doesn’t matter what the sin is. I don’t flying rip what the sin is Nor does God distinguish. I don’t know how you reach these conclusions of yours.

            I do not support the actions of Christians who treat any sinner as less than humane. The one passage that rules my approach towards any Christian living with unrepentant sin is Galatians 6 – “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” There is nothing ostentatious about it. It is all about eternity and that which can come between a person and God. I don’t know of a better expression of love than that. It, to me, is seeing past the temporal.

          • Jeffrey Samuels

            why is it when someone expresses an opinion that differs from the standard line, they are called ‘trolls’. Is this site not about healthy debate on issues effecting modern Christianity?

            Sue sounds like a spiritual person. So do you. Why is she a ‘troll’ just for not agreeing with you?

          • jmichael39

            I use the word “troll” very selectively throughout my years of posting on sites like this. I typically reserve for those whom I perceive to have no interest in a real debate. They throw out a bunch of rhetoric, which Sue has done. Then when they are challenged with facts, they revert to insults (like automaton…as just one example). I have offered her numerous opportunities to engage in a rational debate. She has rejected the overtures with her responses. THAT, to me is how I view a troll. She honestly has no reason to be on a CHristian site like this except to throw around her rhetoric and insults.

          • Sue Roediger

            Thank you for that ………… I am spiritual. A “recovering catholic” an emerging Episcopalian ……….. just trying to figure things out, the best I can.

          • Maggi Esamilla

            you are so right jmichael. Hatred has no logic and it has no faith. It simply seethes against anyone who does,

        • Sue Roediger

          Ghandi said ……something like “I like your Christ ..Christians not so much. This could be because so many “Christians” have become more like Pharisees than like Christ.

          • Maggi Esamilla

            Spoken like a true Pharisee.

          • Sue Roediger

            I am not the one obsessing over detail of the letter of the law, I just try to live by the “love your neighbor as yourself” words of Jesus”.

  • James Grimes

    A very similar experience at my church Labor Day weekend with a young man. He has been attending on a regular basis since.

  • Stephen Peele

    If we did not care we would simply let them do their thing and never ask them to follow GOD, we have enough in our own lives to think about…

  • Sue Roediger

    I am sure you are sincere in your belief that you have discovered “the one true faith”. You may even think it is loving to tell me I am a sinner and beg me to repent. I assure it does not come across as loving.
    God made me. God made me just as I am. The Bible is filled with contradictions, inaccuracies and downright misrepresentations. In the 3rd Century the Council of Nicea, under Constantine … things were voted in or out as was expedient to garner power for the “Holy Roman Empire”. Subsequent translations further corrupted the original words through shades of interpretation.
    AND even if that were not all true (though it is) the law of this country is civil – not religious – – and so I am not bound by your holy book, just as the Torah and the Koran hold no power over me. I will continue to pray that God opens your heart and mind to the knowledge that God Loves ALL God’s children

    • Tara Sorensen

      Sue please tell me what inaccuracies and contradictions you speak of. There are versions of the Bible that have been perverted, yes. But the King James Version (not the new kjv, only the authorized KJV) is perfect and 100% accurate. I assure you that there are no contradictions in it what so ever.

      No matter what the law of the country is, God’s law over rules it all. It is God’s law that we are judged by. But if we have faith in Jesus Christ, we are no longer guilty of our sins, but found to be sinless and righteous through Him.

      • Sue Roediger

        I just finished a 4 year course of study of the bible and church history. I won’t even try to summarize here. In Genesis there are two creation stories, they differ significantly.. Chapter One

        1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
        God said “in OUR own image” God made male and female at the same time — but in Chapter Two He made man then made woman from man.
        2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

        There is more……the sun’s movement in the skies, for example.

        AND Regarding the King James Bible —-“James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy.[6] The translation was done by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_James_Version
        By the way do you live by ALL the rules of Leviticus?

        • Gabriel Pulgar Arctaedius

          Sue Roediger, I am trying to understand what the point of your above posts is. After a 4 year theological study you find the Bible to be ‘innacurate’? What school did you go to? After my study I had a desire for more study. Bible study never leads to blanket statements from the humanist manifesto. The singular nature of the Bible is that is proves itself not to be simply literature just because of its timeless nature. Tell me more.

          • Sue Roediger

            There are words of wisdom, but everything has to be in context…..and parts of it are not applicable in our time.

        • John Manuola

          Again…your lack of understand of ancient Hebrew belittles your vain attempt to try to understand the writings with clear intent to find fault in the writings.

          Belief in the reality of the Heavenly Council is woven throughout the fabric of ancient Israel’s faith, from Genesis to the later writings of the post-Exile period.

          The heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD;
          Your faithfuless also in the assembly of the holy ones.
          For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD?
          Who among the sons of God is like the LORD,
          A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones,
          And awesome above all those who are around Him? (Psalm 89:5-7)

          This belief did not contradict Israel’s worship of Yahveh as the one, unique God. The prophets and theologians of Israel were not burdened by later apologetical demands to articulate a unitarian monotheism. They worshiped the Lord of the Shema (Deut 6:4) who was also “YHVH Tzeva’ot — the LORD of hosts or armies” — the God who commanded and led into battle his divine armies.

          In later history, Israel’s prophets envisioned a “Lord” (Adon) who sat beside God as vice-regent; an image enacted materially by the Davidic kings who sat on God’s throne in Jerusalem. [See The Two Lords.]

          This imagery of God-and-his-Lord comes from two primary Hebrew texts: Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:9-14. And both passages are central to Yeshua’s self-identification as God’s Lord, and to the apostles’ apologetic about Yeshua (Matt 22:41-46; 26:63-65; John 17:3; Acts 7:55-56; Eph 1:20-23; 1 Tim 5:21; 6:13; Heb 1:2-3).

        • Tara Sorensen

          No, once again, you’re incorrect. God said ‘let us make man in our image’ when he made man. Then in chapter 2 is when he makes woman, after man. Chapter 2 further describes creation. First was man, then woman, no contradiction or falseness. (except for your intrepretation of it…)

        • Sheri

          2:21 -23 Sounds like God just did the very first Molecular DNA cloning.

          • Sue Roediger

            no it sounds like a fable,

      • Sue Roediger

        Is it OK to take oaths? Yes.o. Genesis 21:23-24 Now, therefore, swear unto me here by God … And Abraham said, I will swear.

        Genesis 24:2-9 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant … Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: and I will make thee swear by the Lord. (vv.2-3)

        And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter. (v.9)

        Genesis 31:53 And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.

        Genesis 47:31 And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him.

        Leviticus 27:2, 10 When a man shall make a singular vow …. He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good,

        Numbers 30:2 If a man vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

        Deuteronomy 6:13 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

        Deuteronomy 10:20 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him thou shalt serve, and to him thou shalt cleave, and swear by his name.

        Deuteronomy 23:21 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay for it; for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.

        Psalm 63:11 Every one that sweareth by him shall glory.

        Isaiah 45:23 I [God] have sworn by myself.

        Isaiah 48:1 O house of Jacob … which swear by the name of the Lord.

        Isaiah 65:16 He that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth.

        Jeremiah 4:2 And thou shalt swear.

        Jeremiah 12:16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people.

        Daniel 12:7 I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

        Hebrews 6:13 He [God] sware to himself.
        No…
        Rev.10:5-6 And the angel … sware by him that liveth for ever and ever. Matthew 5:34 But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth for it is his footstool.

        James 5:12 But above all things, brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation

        • John Manuola

          For someone who supposedly spent four years studying the bible, you certainly seem to lack understanding of it. Do you even take the time to read the context? Or do you prefer to just take what someone told you and repeat it?

          The point of James 5 is that it is better to make NO oath than to make one and not keep it and thus be held by that oath and judged in accordance with it. James is merely recommending that it is better to just keep your commitments simple…when you say “yes”, mean it. When you say “no” mean it. He, in no way, is telling us that God doesn’t accept or honor oaths. But He would rather us just be honorable and keep things simple rather than putting ourselves into precarious situations because of oaths we’ve taken.

          • Sue Roediger

            see there you are with how you interpret the words….In truth I take the Bible as mostly metaphor, a kind of extended poem

          • jmichael39

            Now…its just “mostly” a metaphor? So then its not all metaphor?

        • Tara Sorensen

          Do you understand the difference between the old testament and the new testament, and that many things changed once we entered the new testament? You should if you studied the Bible. You’re looking for falseness and incorrectly interpreting the Bible.

          • Sue Roediger

            exactly ……….Jesus said he brought “a new covenant” so just as we have let go of most of Leviticus………….let’s get over the “shall not lie with a man” from Leviticus. What Paul wrote about same sex relations is held to be about Pagan temple prostitutes and the Jewish men and women who cavorted with them. I have found nothing in the words attributed to Jesus that speaks of same sex relationships. I have seen Matt 22:36-40 about the “greatest commandment” and Matt:7:1-5 about the speck in one’s neighbor’s eye

          • Sha-wei

            Exactly. Jesus left that PROHIBITION of sexual immorality, i.e. adultery, bestiality, incest and HOMOSEXUALITY just as it was, a prohibition that the early Church formally ratified and perpetuated less than two decades after Pentecost. It’s still in force (but you may wear mixed fabrics, or eat shellfish now, if you wish).

            And I see “Peter’s Legacy” and co. are resorting to female personas as well, with the usual ackamarackus.

          • MC

            “let’s get over the “shall not lie with a man” from Leviticus. What Paul wrote about same sex relations is held to be about Pagan temple prostitutes and the Jewish men and women who cavorted with them.”

            The “Temple prostitute” argument is a fallacy.

            “I. Fifteen Reasons Why the Temple Prostitution Theory Is a Bad Idea

            I know of no serious biblical scholar, even prohomosex biblical scholar, who argues that Paul had in mind only or primarily temple prostitution—not Nissinen, not Brooten, not Fredrickson, not Schoedel, not Bird, not Martin, etc. There are many reasons why this view has not found a welcome in serious biblical scholarship. I shall limit myself to fifteen such reasons, without making a pretense that the list is exhaustive.

            1. Rogers’s historical anachronism regarding temple prostitution in Corinth. Rogers’s trip to Corinth convinced him that Paul’s views on homosexual behavior were profoundly influenced by the alleged existence of “seven thousand prostitutes, male and female” at the temple of Aphrodite in Corinth in Paul’s day. As it happens, the only ancient account that refers to cult prostitutes at the temple of Aphrodite in Corinth is a brief mention by Strabo in Geography 8.6.20c:

            And the temple of Aphrodite was so rich that it owned more than a thousand temple-slaves, prostitutes, whom both men and women had dedicated to the goddess. And therefore it was on account of these women that the city was crowded with people and grew rich. (Text and commentary in: Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, St. Paul’s Corinth: Texts and Archaeology [GNS 6; Wilmington: M. Glazier, 1983], 55-57)

            Any critical New Testament scholar knows that Strabo’s comments (1) applied only to Greek Corinth in existence several centuries before the time of Paul, not the Roman Corinth of Paul’s day; (2) referred to “more than a thousand prostitutes,” not seven thousand; and (3) mentioned only female (heterosexual) prostitutes, not male (homosexual) prostitutes. Scholars agree that there was no massive business of female cult prostitutes—to say nothing of male homosexual cult prostitutes—operating out of the temple of Aphrodite in Paul’s day; and that there may not have been such a business even in earlier times (i.e., Strabo was confused). This is not particularly new information, which makes it all the more surprising that Rogers was taken in, apparently, by an ill-informed tour guide. For example, Hans Conzelmann made the following remarks in his major commentary on 1 Corinthians written some thirty years ago:

            Incidentally, the often-peddled statement that Corinth was a seat of sacred prostitution (in the service of Aphrodite) is a fable. This realization also disposes of the inference that behind the Aphrodite of Corinth lurks the Phoenician Astarte. [Note 97:] The fable is based on Strabo, Geog. 8.378. . . . Strabo, however, is not speaking of the present, but of the city’s ancient golden period. . . . Incidentally, Strabo’s assertion is not even true of the ancient Corinth. (1 Corinthians[Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1975 [German original, 1969], 12)

            This continues to be the view held by scholars. As Bruce Winter notes in a recent significant work on 1 Corinthians,

            Strabo’s comments about 1,000 religious prostitutes of Aphrodite . . . are unmistakably about Greek and not Roman Corinth. As temple prostitution was not a Greek phenomenon, the veracity of his comments on this point have been rightly questioned. The size of the Roman temple of Aphrodite on the Acrocorinth ruled out such temple prostitution; and by that time she had become Venus—the venerated mother of the imperial family and the highly respected patroness of Corinth—and was no longer a sex symbol (After Paul Left Corinth: The Influence of Secular Ethics and Social Change [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001], 87-88; similarly, Murphy-O’Connor, St. Paul’s Corinth, 55-56)

            The scholarly consensus that there was no homosexual prostitution at the Corinthian temple of Aphrodite in Paul’s day is enough, all by itself, to dispense with Rogers’s theory and show Rogers’s unreliability as an exegete of the biblical text. But we continue anyway.

            2. The plain-sense meaning of Romans 1:24-27. There is nothing in the language of Romans 1:24-27 that keys into the issue of prostitution or indeed the issue of exploitation generally. What Paul expressed as the problem was not the particularly exploitative way in which some homoerotic relationships were conducted in the ancient world but rather same-sex intercourse per se: females exchanging sexual intercourse with males for sexual intercourse with females, and males likewise having sex with males.

            3. The mention of lesbian intercourse in Romans 1:26. The fact that Paul mentions lesbian intercourse in Romans 1:26—which in the ancient world did not take the form of temple prostitution—proves that Paul did not have in view only forms of same-sex intercourse associated with idol worship or commercial transactions.

            4. Mutual gratification and mutual condemnation in Romans 1:24-27. If Paul were condemning only exploitative forms of male-male intercourse, he would hardly have indicted in Romans 1:24-27 both partners in the sexual relationship. Yet he does condemn both partners—“males engaging in indecency with males, receiving back in themselves the recompense which was required of their straying.” This is consistent with the fact that he regards the activity as mutual and consenting: dishonoring “their bodies among themselves” and being “inflamed with their yearning for one another.” Far from painting a picture where one party is being degraded and exploited by the other, Paul portrays both partners as seeking to gratify their urges with one another and together reaping the divine recompense for their mutually degrading conduct.

            5. The Genesis connection. That Paul had the other-sex prerequisite in Genesis in view is obvious from the clear intertextual echoes to Genesis 1:26-27 found in Romans 1:23-27—eight terms of agreement between the two sets of texts, in nearly the same order. It is no accident, too, that the other major Pauline text dealing with same-sex intercourse, 1 Corinthians 6:9, is cited in close proximity to Gen 2:24 (1 Cor 6:16). And it is also no accident that these are the two key creation texts lifted up by Jesus in Mark 10:6-8 as prescriptive norms for defining all human sexual behavior: “male and female he made them” (Gen 1:27) and “For this reason a man will . . . be joined to his woman (wife) and the two shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). The story in Genesis 2:18-24 clearly images marriage as the sexually intimate “re-merger” of the constituent parts, man and woman, split from an originally undifferentiated sexual whole. Same-sex erotic unions are structurally precluded from reconstituting a one-flesh merger because the male and female elements cannot be reconstituted from a male-male or female-female union. Since the only differentiation created by the splitting is the differentiation into the two sexes, the presence of the two sexes is indispensable to a valid sexual rejoining. There is no realistic possibility that Jesus, in citing Gen 1:27 and 2:24 as prescriptive norms, missed this other-sex prerequisite—“male and female,” “man and woman”—so clearly embedded in these verses and their surrounding narrative and so staunchly embraced by Jews everywhere in Jesus’ day. (Many other arguments could also be made for adducing Jesus anti-homosex stance; see ch. 3 [pp. 185-228] of The Bible and Homosexual Practice or pp. 68-74 of Homosexuality and the Bible). And the fact that Paul had the Genesis creation accounts in view when he indicted homosexual practice proves that he recognized their implication for abrogating all forms of same-sex intercourse (The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 289-93).

            6. The parallel between idolatry as an act against creation and same-sex intercourse as an act against nature. Rogers belittles the notion of a parallel between idolatry and same-sex intercourse. Yet the context makes the parallel obvious (see The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 266-69). Paul emphasizes in Romans 1:18-32 that human beings are “without excuse”—even unbelievers who do not know Scripture—because God’s will is evident to them in creation/nature. Exhibit A (on the vertical level) is idolatry and exhibit B (on the horizontal level) is same-sex intercourse. Both alike represent attempts at suppressing the truth about God in creation or nature, transparent to human minds and even visible to human sight. Both acts are spoken of as “exchanges” of clear natural revelation for gratification of distorted desires (1:23, 25 and 1:26 respectively). Both acts are depicted as absurd—foolish or self-dishonoring—denials of natural revelation. The parallel—and not merely consequential—relationship between idolatry and same-sex intercourse is confirmed in Testament of Naphtali 3:3-4, where both idolatry and same-sex intercourse are viewed as exchanging the order of nature:

            Gentiles . . . altered the order of them [viz., either that of the sun, moon, and stars, cited in v. 2, or their own], and have followed after stones and pieces of wood by following after wandering spirits. But you should not act in that way, my children, recognizing [instead] in the firmament, in the earth and in the sea and in all the products of workmanship, the Lord who made all these things, in order that you may not become like Sodom, which exchanged the order of its nature.

            For further discussion of this text, see: The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 88-89n.121, 258n.18; and Homosexuality and the Bible,online note 35.

            In short, the parallel between idolatry and same-sex intercourse in Rom 1:18-27 is evident: Those who had suppressed the truth about God visible in creation were more apt to suppress the truth about their sexual bodies visible in nature.

            7. The other vices in Romans 1:29-31 not dependent on idolatry. Yes, Paul sees idolatry as leading to an increase in same-sex intercourse as well as to an increase in the other vices cited in Rom 1:29-31. But to say that Paul was limiting the indictment in Rom 1:24-27 only to homosexual cult prostitution is like saying that the continuation of the vice list in Rom 1:29-31 had only idolatrous contexts in view. Obviously, persons who reject the clear revelation of a transcendent God in creation are going to be more likely to engage in forms of sexual behavior that suppress the truth about human sexual complementarity accessible in nature. Equally obvious, however, is the fact that Paul recognized that it was not necessary to worship idols to commit any of the immoral behaviors cited in Rom 1:24-31.

            8. Sexual uncleanness in Romans 6:19. Later in Romans 6:19 Paul warns believers not to return to the kind of “sexual uncleanness”—akatharsia, the same Greek term employed in 1:24 of same-sex intercourse and other sexual offenses—that characterized their lives as unbelievers. He certainly was no more restricting the use of the term to sex in the context of temple prostitutes than he was restricting any of the other instances of “lawlessness” to activity conducted in the context of idolatrous worship.

            9. The distinction between idolatry and male-male intercourse in 1 Corinthians 6:9. To say that Paul was limiting the indictment of male-male intercourse in 1 Cor 6:9 to homosexual cult prostitution is like saying that Paul was only opposed to incest (the case under discussion in chs. 5-6) in idolatrous and commercial contexts. In fact, “idolaters” are listed as a separate category of offenders, distinct from those who commit incest, prostitution, fornication, adultery, and male-male intercourse. The case of the incestuous man in ch. 5 involves a self-professed Christian with no linkage to idol worshipping or to prostitution. And the discussion of prostitution in 6:12-20 certainly is not tied only to temple prostitution. The reasons for the proscription of incest and same-sex intercourse are similar: sex with someone who is too much of a same, whether a familial same (incest: sex with the “flesh of one’s flesh,” Lev 18:6) or a sexual same (homosexual behavior: males who have sex with males).

            10. The expression “contrary to nature” as applied to same-sex intercourse. In all the critiques of same-sex intercourse as “contrary to nature” that can be found in the ancient world, not a single one ever refers to the idolatrous or commercial dimension of same-sex intercourse. For example, the physician Soranus described the desire on the part of “soft men” to be penetrated (cf. 1 Cor 6:9) as “not from nature,” insofar as it “subjugated to obscene uses parts not so intended” and disregarded “the places of our body which divine providence destined for definite functions”(Chronic Diseases 4.9.131). Moreover, numerous cases of same-sex erotic relationships involving neither prostitution nor cultic activity can be documented for the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods.

            11. Early Jewish critiques of same-sex intercourse. When one reads the critique in early Judaism of homoerotic practice—especially in Philo and Josephus—one notices rather quickly that the remarks focus on the compromise of sexual identity, not issues such as exchange of money or idolatrous connections. The same holds for rabbinic literature. See The Bible and Homosexual Practice, ch. 2.

            12. The link between “men who lie with males” in 1 Cor 6:9 and the absolute prohibitions in Leviticus. The term arsenokoitai in 1 Cor 6:9, a distinctly Jewish and Christian term—literally, “men who lie with males”—is derived from the absoluteprohibitions of male-male intercourse in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 (Septuagint: koite = “lying [with],” arsen = “a male”). That these prohibitions have to do, first and foremost, with sexual intercourse and not with idolatry is evident from their sandwiching in the midst of the sex laws in Lev 20:10-21, separate and distinct from the regulation against sacrificing to Molech in 20:2-5. They are no more tied to idolatry or prostitution than are the laws against adultery, incest, and bestiality that surround them. Neither Second Temple Judaism nor rabbinic Judaism (nor Patristic Christianity) restricted the relevance of the Levitical prohibitions to male-male intercourse conducted in the context of idol worship or prostitution.

            13. The main objection to the homosexual cult prostitutes in the Old Testament. The Old Testament—particularly Deuteronomy and the “Deuteronomistic History” (Joshua through 2 Kings)—does condemn “homosexual cult prostitutes” (the so-called qedeshim, “consecrated ones”). But even here, parallel figures in the ancient Near East—the assinnu, kurgarru, and kulu’u—were held in low regard not so much for their prostitution as for their compromise of masculine gender in allowing themselves to be penetrated as though women (The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 48-49). Even Phyllis Bird, a prohomosex Old Testament scholar who has done as much work as anyone on the qedeshim, acknowledges that the writers of Scripture emphasized not the cultic prostitution of these figures but rather their “repugnant associations with male homosexual activity.” On the qedeshim, see The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 100-110.

            14. The meaning of “soft men” in its historical context. The term malakoi in 1 Cor 6:9—literally, “soft men”—was often used in the Greco-Roman world as a description of adult males who feminized their appearances in the hopes of attracting a male partner. Jewish and even some pagan moralists condemned them, not for their role in temple prostitution—most were not temple prostitutes—but for their attempted erasure of the masculine stamp given them in nature. See further The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 306-12; and Homosexuality and the Bible, 82-83 with online notes 96-98.

            15. A Corinthian critique of male-male love. The pseudo-Lucianic text Affairs of the Heart records a debate between Charicles, a Corinthian, who defends the superiority of male love for women, and Callicratidas, who defends the superiority of male love for males. Interestingly, the Corinthian never focuses on the association of male-male love with temple prostitution. Instead, he notes that men who engage in sex with other males “transgress the laws of nature” by looking “with the eyes at the male as (though) at a female,” “one nature [coming] together in one bed.” “Seeing themselves in one another they were ashamed neither of what they were doing nor of what they were having done to them” (cited in The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 165-66 n. 10). What does this critique have to do with temple prostitution? Absolutely nothing. Yet Rogers would have us believe that Paul’s view of same-sex intercourse, and that of Scripture generally—which every historical piece of evidence indicates was more absolutely, consistently, and strongly opposed to same-sex intercourse than anything found in the Greco-Roman world—was actually moreaccepting of homosexual behavior than the cultural milieu out of which emerged.

            Rogers claims that when he learned to read the anti-homosex texts in Scripture in their historical and literary context he discovered that they didn’t condemn homoerotic activity per se. But the truth is that Rogers doesn’t know the historical and literary context well. What he thinks he knows—his allegation about rampant temple prostitution at Corinth in Paul’s day—he in fact does not know. Since Rogers bases the major part of his argument on the premise that the biblical texts had only homosexual cult prostitution in view, the end result of our analysis above is that Rogers has no scriptural case for affirming committed homosexual unions.

            The worst part of all is that Rogers could have deduced all these reasons for why the temple prostitution argument is untenable from a careful reading of The Bible and Homosexual Practice. The idolatry, cult prostitution, and exploitation arguments are treated at several points in the book (e.g., pp. 100-110, 129-32, 284-89, 347-61). Unless Rogers can refute all fifteen arguments given above—an obvious impossibility—he should admit to readers that either he has not read my book for comprehension or he has chosen to ignore the insurmountable problems with his position. The matter is deeply troubling, whether the problem lies with gross incomprehension of clear and repeated discussion in my book or a deliberate cover-up of the aforementioned material for a credulous audience.”—-Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.Associate Professor of New Testament Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA

          • Bortly

            Matthew 19:1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;

            Matthew 19:2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

            Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him,
            tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away
            his wife for every cause?

            Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

            Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a
            man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they
            twain shall be one flesh?

          • jmichael39

            Let Go? I think you have a very warped view of what it means that Jesus fulfilled the Law. He didn’t fulfill it so as to eliminate it. For a woman who is supposedly just interested in the life lessons one can take from this “metaphor”, you have no clue what the message is. The LAW was put in place because of man’s ongoing desire to go it on our own…without God. Man has persistently rejected God since the Garden and yet didn’t want to lose out of God’s blessings. They wanted priests to stand between them and God….they wanted a king when they didn’t need one…they wanted to know EXACTLY what they had to do to appease God…thus the Levitical law. When Jesus came, He didn’t toss out the law…he fulfilled it. The only thing He did end was the ongoing need for ritual sacrifice for the atonement of sin. He became the ultimate and final sacrifice needed. In so doing, He provided the avenue of redemption whereby we could be restored to the relationship status we were intended to have with God…as per the pre-sin Garden. The law was never ended…it just became irrelevant because the relationship with God provides a much higher form of righteousness with God than any ritual sacrifice or any mere compliance with the law would ever provide.

            NOW…as for your bastardization of Koine Greek.

            Clinical psychologist and theologian Stanton L. Jones admits that White effectively invokes “the mystery of arsenokoitai,” the unusual word Paul uses in 1Corinthians6:9 and 1Timothy 1:10 that is commonly translated “homosexual sin.”This, however, is not such a mystery, he argues, and its unraveling reveals a more complex picture of Paul’s use of Leviticus.

            Leviticus18:22and 20:13 forbid a man lying with another man as one would with a woman. Leviticus was originally written in Hebrew, but Paul was a Greek-educated Jew writing to Gentiles in Greek, the common language of the day, and probably was using the Greek translation of the Old Testament available in that day, the Septuagint, or LXX, for his Scripture quotations.

            The Greek translation of these Leviticus passages condemns a man (arseno) lying with (koitai) another man (arseno); these words (excuse the pun) lie side-by-side in these passages in Leviticus. Paul joins these two words together into a neologism, a new word (as we do in saying database or software), and thus he condemns in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy what was condemned in Leviticus.

            Jones believes, then, that the most credible translation of what Paul is condemning in 1Corinthians 6:9 is a person doing exactly what Leviticus condemns: engaging in homosexual sex (a man being a “man-lier”). Far from dismissing the relevance of Leviticus, Paul is implicitly invoking its enduring validity for our understanding of sexual sin, and drawing on it as the foundation of his teaching on homosexual conduct. He is saying, “Remember what it said not to do in Leviticus18:22 and 20:13? Don’t do that!”

            Theologian Robert A.J. Gagnon’s excellent argument presents a thorough analysis of the possible ways of viewing Paul’s words.

            Proposition 1. To broaden the word arsenokoitai to include exploitive heterosexual intercourse appears unlikely in view of the unqualified nature of the Levitical prohibitions.

            Proposition 2. In every instance in which the arsenokoit word group occurs in a context that offers clues as to its meaning (i.e., beyond mere inclusion in a vice list), it denotes homosexual intercourse.

            Proposition 3. The term arsenokoitai itself indicates an inclusive sense: all men who play the active role in homosexual intercourse. Had Paul intended to single out pederasts he could have used the technical term paiderastïs.

            Proposition 4. The meaning that Paul gave to arsenokoitai has to be unpacked in light of Romans1:24-27. When Paul speaks of the sexual intercourse of “males with males” (arsenes en arsenes) in v.27, he obviously has in mind arsenokoitai.

            Based on these propositions and others he explores, Gagnon boldly states that “others would have us believe that it is an open question whether arsenokoitai in Paul’s mind would have applied to all forms of same-sex intercourse, including the kinds of non-exploitative forms allegedly manifested in our contemporary context,” but “this dubious hope has to be maintained in the face of many additional obstacles.”20 Gagnon concludes that 1Corinthians6:9 confirms that Paul’s rejection of homosexual conduct is just as applicable for believers as for unbelievers and that it is self-evident, then, that the combination of terms, malakoi and arsenokoitai, are correctly understood in our contemporary context when they are applied to every conceivable type of same-sex intercourse.

            Having more closely documented the particular use of the word arsenokoitai and its consistent witness in the NT, we have discovered that homosexual sin in 1Corinthians6:9-10 isn’t as culturally relevant as many who support the pro-homosexual agenda to normalize aberrant sexual behavior would have us believe.

            This argument appears in Robert A. J. Gagnon’s The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001), 303-39. Gagnon, Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, is also the author of the following related works: Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views (Minneapolis: Fortress Press 2003), and Does the Bible Regard Same-Sex Intercourse as Intrinsically Sinful?” in Christian Sexuality, ed. R. Saltzman (Minneapolis: Kirk House, 2003).

          • Sue Roediger

            So the rest of Leviticus becomes “irrelevant” (your word) but because Paul address the one thing it is renewed? I have never understood how Paul was so easily accepted by the early church based on the “vision” he claims to have had. I really just try to look at the words ascribed to Jesus.

          • jmichael39

            You certainly know how to misinterpret things, don’t you. “irrelevant” as compared to the RELATIONSHIP. There’s a phrase in James that captures the essence of it…the “law of liberty”. While ancient Hebrews and legalists of any kind focus on the “law” part…God’s more interest in the freedom of the relationship. But that ‘liberty’ is still within the bounds of the law. Its very much like how our country was founded upon the notion of freedom to do whatever you wish within the confines of the law (especially the Constitution).

            The irony of ‘ascribing’ just to the Red Letter words in the Bible is that even Jesus identified marriage as between a man and a woman….not a man and a man or a woman and a woman. And then, I suppose, if you just ascribe to the words of Jesus then you accept the Old Testament as well, since He clearly quoted in often.

            ‘Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished’ (Matthew 5:18)

            Throughout the Gospels, we find Jesus confirming many of the accounts in the Old Testament, such as the destruction of Sodom and the death of Lot’s wife (Luke 17:29, 32) the murder of Abel by his brother Cain (Luke 11:51), the calling of Moses (Mark 12:26), and the manna given in the wilderness (John 6:31–51) just to name a few.

      • Sue Roediger

        Did Lot’s daughters think God had killed every man except Lot?No, they knew that God spared the town of Zoar. Yes. Genesis 19:21-22, 30 I will not overthrow this city for the which thou hast spoken. Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. … And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him. Genesis 19:31 Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us.

        • Tara Sorensen

          If a person writes a biography about someone and states something they once said that was false, does that mean the biography is false? No, it doesn’t. Just because someone in the Bible said something that wasn’t true, doesn’t mean that the Bible itself isn’t true.

          • Sue Roediger

            but ………..they were not quoting Paul –they were giving their ideas…and claiming it came from Paul.

          • Tara Sorensen

            What are you talking about? Paul didn’t write Genesis.

          • Sue Roediger

            Tara …….I reread your comment — you are trying to defend the inaccuracies in the bible and somehow conclude that just because some of it is not true it does not change its alleged inerrancy. Your two sentences actually made my head hurt. At the time of the earliest bible stories the people were rather primitive…..not just the Jews all people in the world. Every culture that we know about has a “creation story” – Africans, Eskimos, American Indians, Australian Aborigines, Indians, Asians, Celts, Greeks, Romans – it is a part of human nature. There is no reason to believe that the old Testament is anything different. The books in the order they appear are not in the order they were “written”.. Seriously .. the bible is a poem, an extended metaphor — there are valuable lessons, but it is not an history book or a science text. Too many people just pick out the passages they want to use to “clobber” other people with.

          • Tara Sorensen

            Sue you are lost. Yes there are many stories of creation, but all except the Bible are just that, stories. There is so much historical proof of the validity of the Bible that there is no way for it to be false.
            And no, I am not trying to defend an inaccuracy, There are no inaccuracies to defend.
            You may have studied the Bible and been taught it of men, but I, who have done nothing of it except for read it and ask the Lord

            for understanding, understand it much more than you. There is a reason why the Bible says that those of us that have the spirit of the Lord in us need not that any man teach us.
            I will pray for you.

          • Sue Roediger

            So God literally created two individuals Adam and Eve? and those two had children who coupled with each other and bore offspring unlit there were thousands, and there were the only humans on earth? Later they became so sinful that God sent a flood and destroyed all except Lot and his daughters…….who then coupled and repopulated the earth? Literally ?

          • Tara Sorensen

            It was Noah’s time when the flood happened, not Lot’s. Having studied the Bible for 4 years, I would assume you would have known such a major thing…

          • Sue Roediger

            oh …. oops ya got me. Yes I telescoped two stories on my mind.

            my question is about the literalness of the stories.- Noah and his family after the flood and Lot and daughters after Sodom. My point is the danger of taking things so literally.

            Here is a sermon from earlier this year at my church ….http://www.allsaints-pas.org/modules/toc/mediaplayer.php?embedt=youtube&embedw=480&embedh=360&embedu=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPZomQ9YdTk&feature=youtu.be

          • Tara Sorensen

            Yes I believe that story of the flood is literal, and the story of sodom being destroyed is literal.

            Your church is not a biblical church. Women are not to be preachers to men. Sorry I’m not going to watch that video. Thank you anyways.

          • Sue Roediger

            well ok then …… I guess there is no point in continuing to converse.

      • panmer

        Amen, we have to know the truth and the truth shall set us free

    • John Manuola

      Your understanding of the counsel of nicea is deeply flawed. The decisions about which books should go into the canon were decided many years early at another council. And the documented reasons for their choices of books were directly related to them being well known documents from the original believers in the 1st century. They understood there were dozens of other writings and were perfectly okay with those writings per se, but decided that they needed to keep the canon to those writings of the original followers.

      • Sue Roediger

        but did they? Much of what is attributed to Paul .has been identified as NOT being his work.

        • jmichael39

          This is hilarious…you make such claims and provide not one iota of evidence to substantiate such a claim. I can do the very same thing…and even more…the vast majority of contextual critics and Bible scholars unequivocally accept Paul as the author of Romans, I & II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus and Philemon.

          Now if you’d like to provide your evidence as to the contrary, please do. Otherwise, spare us your rhetoric.

          • Sue Roediger

            So .. about half is “accepted” — I said “much” of it was not so what’s the big deal? Paul did not know Jesus, or hear him speak. We are left with being expected to believe his story of his mystical experience with God on the road to Damascus. I don’t understand why the early church put so much stock in him. I look at the words that the Bible says Jesus said. The rest is suspect.

          • jmichael39

            About half of what? Those are the letters Paul wrote. Peter wrote 2. John wrote 3, the Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John…and Luke wrote Acts and John wrote the Revelations of Jesus Christ. Despite some vain attempts by a few to ascribe these to different authors, the preponderance of evidence supports these as the authors. The only NT book which has any semblance of controversy over authorship is Hebrews. Though the majority of scholars ascribe this to Paul as well, the evidence is not as strong as the others.

      • Sue Roediger

        Do you know which books were rejected? Do you really know what they were thinking?

        • jmichael39

          Do you make a habit out of asking ridiculously illogical questions?

          No one knows what YOU think, except you. And last I knew the Councils (three of them, btw) are not a single individual so as to have an individual thought.

          But as a group, their discussions and decisions were definitely recorded. And we do have that. Will that suffice?

          Would you like to research that yourself, being such astute church history scholar and contextual critic that you are, or would you like me to do your leg work for you?

  • Gregory Peterson

    Now get busy with the other 200-300 million or so worldwide dubious anecdotes you need to cook up.

    Not to mention that I’m old enough to hear similar about “liberals” who saw the light and became staunch segregationists as the Lord demanded (the lord apparently being Jim Crow).

    And some of them actually did…but…they sold out their integrity and morality for white privilege. As “ex-gays” have sold out theirs for heterosexual privilege.

  • Steve Clark

    I have to admire christiannews.net for publishing this article. I’m a fan of Matt Barber and I have a lot of respect for his message.

    We don’t reach unbelievers by tossing scripture grenades at them. They don’t accept the authority of the Bible anyway, and we just confirm their prejudices when we beat them with it. It is my sincere belief that the most effective way to reach the unsaved is by having a dialog. And you simply can’t have a dialog if you can’t or won’t find common ground.

    So what do homosexual activists and I have in common? We’re both sinners but we have radically different ideas of what that means, so there’s not much common ground to be found there. What I do know is that in the heart of every man or woman is a longing for love. That we have found a love that surpasses all understanding does not qualify us to demean the love they have found, however distorted it may be. Rather, it compels us to show Christ to them, to love them with the Father’s love.

    Recall that Jesus reserved His wrath for those who burdened the people with the Law while omitting the weightier matters. The Pharisees were the “bible-thumpers” of His time. But when He encountered sinners, He spoke to them in the place they were, with infinite love. It is a challenge for us, when confronted with flagrant sin, to put aside our own visceral reactions. When I am in that situation, I try to remember that God’s heart is broken and He weeps for them, just as He weeps for me.

    There will no doubt be some who see my attitude as compromising with sin, and I’m sure there will be truth-bombs hurled at me. So be it. But I would rather have a conversation than a confrontation. Which do you suppose is a better way to carry the Gospel?

    • Sue Roediger

      the crux of the matter is the definition of sin. Long ago left-handed people were considered demonic, They were shunned, beaten forced to act right-handed. The nuns in 1960 tried to change my sister. We now know that being left-handed is just the way some people are. Being gay is like that – an innate part of a person. It is not a choice, or a giving into temptation – it is just how some people are. Just as the bible was used to “validate” slavery and keeping women from voting it is still being used to ostracize gays and lesbians…..and that is wrong.

      • Steve Clark

        Sue,

        I tried to reply a few days ago but was unable to finish, thus the delay.

        I think I failed to make my point clearly enough. In no way did I imply that being “gay” is a sin per se. Whether or not it is an innate part of a person is irrelevant to this discussion. A “gay” person profoundly experiences his or her sexual orientation as being innate and we will make no headway if we begin by initially trying to convince them otherwise.

        The attributes of personality we have in common with a “gay” person vastly outweigh our sexual differences. We can certainly relate on a human level and can learn to love one another as God loves us. In time, it will be the Holy Spirit alone who reveals their need for a Savior, and I pray that a loving Christian is there to receive them.

        As we both know, there are “gays” who have an insane hatred of Christians and it is very difficult to be charitable in the face of behavior calculated to be blasphemous and grossly offensive. Yet we must at all times remember that we are seeing an evil spirit not an evil person.

        One of my children identifies as gay. That in no way lessens my belief that his lifestyle is sinful, but it is inconceivable to me that I would ever shun my own flesh on that basis alone.

        The real sin of homosexual intercourse is that it violates the very first commandment God gave us at the moment of our creation: ” And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth..” (Gen 1:2). “Gay” sex spurns the God-given generative function of intercourse and replaces it with sexual gratification as a selfish end in itself. (So, in a similar fashion, do masturbation and the use of artificial birth control within marriage. Yet I don’t see too many heated discussions on those issues.)

        We are told to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. Is that the way the world perceives us, as doves? Or do we come off like the nests of vipers that Jesus condemned? He told us that we would be hated for His sake so we ought to expect and accept that hatred and derision. But He also expects us to be like Him, lowly and meek of heart. It’s time we stopped preaching to the choir and started engaging the lost. After all, Jesus kept company with publicans and prostitutes. Are we up to it?

        • Sue Roediger

          You say “A gay person profoundly experiences his or her sexual orientation as being innate” ………… I am sure you experience your sexual orientation as innate. It is just something one comes to “know” as one grows up. I doubt very much you “decided” to be straight.. I’ll bet you feel it is you natural inclination. The experience of gays and lesbians is similar – realization of who triggers that “certain” reaction. The angst that follows is due to the cultural judgments placed on such people.

          You say” there are gays who have an insane hatred of Christians” …. I offer that their animosity is due to the way they have been treated by “Christians” who harangue them, judge them – “charitably” say things like “we see an evil spirit not an evil person. Oh that is so “kind” so we are not evil – just possessed. No surprise then that they respond with anger to others of the same group.

          Regarding “non-procreative sex” and things like masturbation and birth-control……your comments sound like the Catholic teachings. I spent 14 years in Catholic education. Little by little those teachings and many others led me to stop going and when I figured out I am a lesbian….that was the last piece.

          The Catholic church teaches that only Baptized Catholics will go to heaven. I had an Aunt… who went to no church, never Baptized, who was on of the most “Christ-like” people I have ever known…….. surely she is in Heaven. If not- theer is something really wrong with religion.
          I really don’t object to you believing whatever works for you. The first amendment guarantees you that right. It also guarantees others the right to believe as they choose.
          I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. May God open your heart and mind…….. to the knowledge that God love all His children.

          • Steve Clark

            Sue,

            I thought your misunderstanding of my first post was due to my lack of clarity. This reply has given me more insight into what you are saying to me.

            Your first paragraph just restates exactly what I said. And your comment about the “angst” they feel is the whole point of my reply. It’s Bible-thumping judgmental Christians that engender those feelings.

            Yes, we are all evil, irredeemably so without a Savior. And once again, I agree that it is the judgmentalism that some gay people experience AS A GROUP that makes them feel safe and justified in such hostile behavior. I never implied that they were “possessed.”

            Your sexual orientation has no bearing on what I said. I wasn’t even aware of it until you brought it up. I realize that the Catholic teaching on human sexuality is difficult, but I’ll bet you aren’t acquainted with John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” either. Debates about the Catholic teachings on salvation are a red herring and don’t add any light to this discussion. Sorry you left the Catholic Church. À chacun son goût. I was drawn to it in my quest for Truth. I hope you won’t let that harden you to what I am trying to say.

            Now that I know you are a lesbian, let me take pains to say that much of what I said was directed at the hateful things I read on this site. It was MY way of trying to find common ground with THEM. I assumed you were coming from the same place. My apologies.

            I accept you and love you for who you are. I don’t think you’re going to Hell. It’s not my call anyway. I won’t be dividing the sheep from the goats. If you are a Christian I think you’re as likely to make it as I am. I think that there are many kinds of sexual sin: adultery, premarital and extramarital sex, even marital sex devoid of love. For some people to focus so intently on gay sex is probably a pretty good way to avoid looking at their own.

            And sexual sin isn’t even worse than others. What about greed and gluttony, what about lying and theft? What about envy and jealousy? Better that I should beat my breast and pray “God, be merciful to me, a sinner,” than to proclaim how good it is that I am not like other men.

            Sue, I do care about you. It would give me no greater joy than to know that you are trying to spread the Gospel to LGBTs who have been alienated by the ignorance of some Christians. A time may come (and it’s not for us to say) when the issue of sexual orientation will come up in our outreach. Until it does, let’s focus on the things that really matter instead of ferreting out excuses to condemn.

            May God richly bless you.

          • Sue Roediger

            I spent a long time being “unchurched” — I felt sure there was no place in any church for me. One day a woman came to my door canvassing for a political candidate……….We quickly agree that I would be voting for him. It was a hot day and she looked like she was suffering. I asked her in and got her a glass of ice water. We chatted while she rested and cooled down.. The talk got around to her church and she invited me to attend. I said ,”Oh no as I lesbian I know there is no church for me.” She said, “oh no this church is welcoming – not just tolerant or accepting – but actually welcoming. There are women priest, even a lesbian priest.” We exchanged e-mail info and began a dialog. Eventually I did attend. the sermon was about how God is a “stubborn kind of God – who not only waits for you to come home, but reaches out to bring you home” It was like he was speaking to me. The church is an Episcopal church in Pasadena CA. The teaching is that being gay is not a sin, not “intrinsically disordered” and when two homosexuals are dating they are counseled the same as any regarding their relationship………. respect for each other. Same sex unions have been blessed in that church for over twenty years and indeed they have a lesbian priests and in our Dioceses there is a lesbian Bishop. As wonderful as it is to see LGBT welcomed — it is absolutely thrilling to see women at the altar. As a child I wanted to be a priest ….. but was so disappointed to find out I could not. At All Saints — they say “Who ever you are and wherever you are on your journey – there is a place at the table here for you.” So I have found a kind of sanctuary where I can be loved – beloved as a child of God…….. not as “the sinner”. Of course in a sense we all are…. our Pastor say “the church is not a mansion for saints – but a hospital for sinners. But being gay and in a relationship is not a sin at my church ………… there is a strong LGBT group and a celebration of us…….not a ministry .. to try to change us.

          • Steve Clark

            I’m quite honored that you told me your story. The willingness to be that publicly vulnerable takes some courage, especially in this particular forum. I’m not sure why you chose it but I’m glad you did.

            We do differ theologically but I think we have the same heart for those who feel marginalized and rejected. In my eyes, that’s far more important. I’ve worked with alcoholics and drug addicts for decades so I know.

            I am very glad you found a welcoming church. Episcopalians are very positive in that regard. Churches really are hospitals for sinners and no one should ever be turned away from the ER. Ironically, with a few exceptions you’re more doctrinally Catholic than most of the readers of this page.

            You have helped soften my heart a little more. I gladly call you my friend and sister in Christ. Thank you for sharing your story.

          • Sue Roediger

            Thank you so much. Thank you too for your patience in this ongoing dialog. I am very sincere, and as a child I was a most devout Catholic.. the poster-child for a catholic school girl. Two books have been very healing. Made For Goodness by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and 8 Habits of Love by Rev. Ed Bacon.

            It is a risk to share, using my real name in a forum like this but…… I am in my late 60 and it is time I hold up my head and be myself. My mother was also a convert to Catholicism and she eventually came to understand that I would NOT choose to be something that cause me such grief.

            I just told my neighbor how much I like to have this kind of discussion. We both have come a few steps closer and found a but of common ground.

            I will also gladly call you my friend and brother in Christ.

          • Steve Clark
          • Sue Roediger
  • robertzaccour

    It is impossible to love people and sin at the same time. As Christians when we’re loving people we will always do what’s right.

  • DisqusBurner1983

    Yeah this never happened.

    • John Manuola

      yeah, well, unless you have to some evidence to refute the incident as expressed in the article, we’re just gonna take the writer’s word over yours. But thanks for being a poor sport.

  • Sha-wei

    In this world of conflicting attitudes and nuanced approaches towards society at large, it would be expected that Christians, of all people – having the Bible as a Life Manual – would have a clear understanding of what constitute proper interpersonal relations with the world. But this is evidently not the case.

    Christian attitudes towards “those of the world” (i.e. unbelievers), run the range from a grudging and guarded acknowledgment of those outside the fold, with a view to avoiding being corrupted by them, to cheerful, unconditional acceptance of any and all
    idiosyncrasies, in the name of “love” and friendship. Many of us subscribe to an ethos somewhere along this continuum.

    The principal reason for this confusion of approaches has to do with our concept of the terms that underlie social relations, e.g. “love” and “friendship”, but, even more
    essentially, with our understanding of God’s CHARACTER. We read in the Bible that God is love, that he is merciful, that he is just. But – others will adduce – the Almighty is also “a consuming fire”. All this is true.

    The problem lies in attributing to God humanly-devised codes of ethics and legislated norms of conduct, as if our Maker were a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or had to subscribe to national Constitutions or to ANY of our rules implicit in our “Social Contracts”. It seems that humanity is ignorant of its place in the overarching scheme of things, and of the SOVEREIGNTY of its Ruler.

    The Lord, the Deity, is just – yes – and merciful – indeed – and he is, above all, LOVE… but from HIS perspective, not ours. “What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says…, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy… Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” (Rom. 9:14-16,18)

    “One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?’ But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” (Rom. 9:19-21) Adonai is eminently fair, and it is our problem, not his, if our lexicon is at variance with the divine definition, “for my
    thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways,” declares the Lord.

    Therefore, if God says, “Jump”, our answer as Christians must be – not “Why, Lord?” – but “How high, Lord?” And if he further instructs us in his Word on how to relate to the World, we comply according to HIS view on how to “win friends and influence people”, and not according to the humanistic values of a self-seeking society that, at its core, is hostile to the Message of his love for us. That message will be dealt with
    shortly. Blessings.

    • Sha-wei

      Perhaps the most-repeated Bible passage for evangelistic purposes is: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” However, the world often prefers to dwell solely on the love God must “feel” for him to present his holy Son as a sacrifice in our stead, so “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And it glosses over the other facet of God that is intrinsic to that loving intent: his holiness.

      And that is where we as Christians begin to run into problems with the world when we try to befriend it. We are told plainly in Scripture: “You are not the same as those who don’t believe. So don’t join yourselves to them. Good and evil don’t belong together”. “Are light and darkness the same? Is Christ a friend of Satan?” “What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Cor. 6:14-15)

      Now, several well-meaning Christians will expostulate: “But how, then, are we supposed to reach out with L-O-V-E to those in need of the Gospel for salvation? And what about Jesus? HE continually associated with sinners and outcasts, the dregs of society! You’re just being judgmental and self-righteous. Quite Pharisaical!” Well, be that as it may, consider the following:

      The Master was often in the company of sinners, that is true; for after all, it was THEY who needed a doctor, and he was their (and our) prophesied Saviour and Redeemer, “anointed…to proclaim good news to the poor…freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…” Yahshua’s steadfast integrity and overt kindness, as well as his miracle-working powers, made his a magnetic presence, and ordinary folk, sinners (like you and me), religious hypocrites, political activists, the merely curious, the freeloaders…everybody…gravitate towards him with differing hopes for their lives.

      Yes, the Son of God was Love in Action, healing, teaching, preaching, CHANGING LIVES by his sterling example, by the inspiration of an innate holiness of character, by giving people opportunity to REPENT. He embodied LOVE, as “a giving of oneself in outgoing concern for others…” BUT, was he their FRIEND? Well, HIS DETRACTORS accused him (behind his back) of so being – but in the same breath – also of being a sot and a glutton.

      The Master nonetheless reached out in loving concern to all “honest” sinners who came to him to be healed in body or spirit, or both. He thus withheld judgment and rather, forgave a repentant prostitute, an adulteress about to be stoned, a tax-collector who was ripe for renewal, a thief dying on a cross alongside his… He likewise spoke benignly to a promiscuous Samaritan woman, influencing her deeply, and, of course, he turned the lives of at least eleven very imperfect men completely around.

      On one occasion, these disciples asked Jesus why he used so many parables when speaking to the multitudes, and his (somewhat disquieting) answer was: “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given…because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand”. “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.” Does that sound like a friend to you?

      Oh, but Jesus did indeed have friends, selectively and PRAYERFULLY chosen: “Father,…(y)ou have given me some followers from this world…I am praying FOR THEM, but NOT for those who belong to this world. (And) I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will SAY about me”. Moreover: “You are my friends when you DO the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants… No, I’ve named you FRIENDS…”

      But, after all this verbiage, HOW is the Church supposed to relate to an unbelieving world? Actually, all the preceding has been building up to that denouement, which should follow in the very near future. Good night, and God bless.

  • MC

    Finally someone from the LGBT community is not afraid to tell the truth.

  • Tim

    This story sounds as made up as the rest of the crap Peter LaBarbera says. I don’t believe it actually happened. It doesn’t even sound realistic. Was anyone there who can actually speak to the incident?

  • http://www.remnantofgod.org John1429dotorg

    Matthew 18:15, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”

    Well done sisters. This video portrays what the “Christian” should do when approached by a homosexual:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTkFkzhwlG0&list=UUpITe256E0HOmw-KqWYWDhw