Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

RELIGION: Cross a bridge and find acceptance

Letter by Chuck Woodstock, Gig Harbor on Nov. 30, 2011 at 11:39 am with 131 Comments »
November 30, 2011 11:39 am

To all those disenfranchised by the recent changes at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church in Gig Harbor (TNT, 11-14), there’s a bridge you can cross.

As a local resident, I would like to report that we are not all of the same cloth. I and many others who have attended churches that would be characterized as exclusionary or that preach one ideology and display another have found spiritual communities that truly practice acceptance, tolerance and love.

I have found such a home. Located a short distance across the Narrows Bridge and in the Stadium District is CSL (Center for Spiritual Living), a church that embraces all with unconditional love and gracious acceptance, celebrating ethnicity, gender, age and sexual orientation, and teaching universal truths such as peace and oneness found in all wisdom traditions.

If attending a church that attracts people from a wide variety of faith traditions, that welcomes all wherever one might be on their spiritual journey, that truly believes that God is available to us all — without exception – I encourage you to come see for yourself.

 

Leave a comment Comments → 131
  1. LarryFine says:

    Chuck, there’s quite a difference between “acceptance/tolerance” and endorsment. Chapel Hill chose not to endorse a certain behaviour…

  2. sandblower says:

    Endorsment is the excuse word the extreme right uses to justify their bigotry.

  3. amen

  4. old_benjamin says:

    Tolerance is the excuse word the left uses to justify it’s moral bankruptcy.

  5. itwasntmethistime says:

    amen

  6. “moral bankrupsy”

    My favorite quote from the Bible –

    “Love one another as you love yourself”

    I contend that “moral bankrupsy” is treating others in a way you wouldn’t find acceptable for yourself.

    Of course, The Bible gets in the way of bigotry.

  7. I wonder how Herman Cain’s behavior measures up in the “moral bankruptcy” category? et al, Newt Gingrich and others of the “moral” right.

  8. I wonder why Mr. Woodstock, you found it necessary to cast aspersions at Chapel Hillrather than simply invite people to visit your newfound church?

    Would you prefer it if the folks at CH chose to say one thing while believing another? Is it possible to respect a body of believers for having the integrity to follow their moral conscience, or would you prefer mendacity in the name of political correctness.

    I am personally sick to death of the tolerance mantra being used to batter those who actually understand that there are actually some things that should NOT be tolerated.

  9. old_benjamin says:

    So if I were Ted Bundy and didn’t like punishment, I should find those who punish me immoral? The immoral are often incapable of self criticism a la Bernie Maddow. We dare not make their standards our own if we wish to live in a civil society.

  10. old_benjamin says:

    Madoff/Maddow, yes a Freudian slip.

  11. aspertions? Compared to the comments directed at homosexuals on newspaper blogs, I find Chuck’s to be rather bland.

    Comparing a homosexual to a serial killer and a financial scam artist?

    hyperbolic hyperbole

  12. old_benjamin says:

    I’m quite sure CHPC would accept neither Cain nor Gingrich as pastors, assuming Cain is guilty as charged. Both would be warmly welcomed to attend worship services. Church membership, of course, implies agreement with the church’s statement of faith. Otherwise, why bother?

  13. Maybe one of our “moral” experts can tell us – without the use of mythology – what is “immoral” about homosexual life.

  14. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Maybe they want “those” people to stay on their side of the bridge.

  15. old_benjamin says:

    The comparison is in your imagination, RW. I merely took your reasoning to it’s logical conclusion to show it’s inadequacy. Less extreme cases would have worked as well. But if you prefer to be offended, so be it.

  16. Ah, yes. There are no homosexuals in Gig Harbor or Iran. Very good, Taxedenoughintacoma. We’ll make sure to keep that in mind.

    Imagination, old benjamin? It’s my contention that imagination is what stops bigoted people from accepting homosexuals. They spend too much time thinking about that which they are supposedly not attracted to. Amazingly, though, female on female sex is marketed to heterosexual males. Case in point, the GOP frequenting a place in LA.

    If your comparison of a serial killer and a homosexual had to do with my question about Herman Cain, let me help. I was really pointing out the hypocrisy concerning “morals”.

  17. LarryFine says:

    It didn’t take long for wallpaper to go off topic with the 2:54 post.

  18. sandblower says:

    “I am personally sick to death of the tolerance mantra being used to batter those who actually understand that there are actually some things that should NOT be tolerated.”
    Do you have an example or two sozo?

  19. RW98512 says:
    Maybe one of our “moral” experts can tell us – without the use of mythology – what is “immoral” about homosexual life.

    Have you ever read about Sodom in the bible RW (Kardnos)? The bible is not mythology although it seems to be in your mind. I will pray for you.

  20. Given that we, in the west, now live in a world of moral relativism, sandblower, there will always be someone who finds fault with virtually any assertion of morality. I would suggest that the genital mutilation of young girls is immoral, how about you?

    I repeat, would those of you criticizing CH prefer they lie about their beliefs or tell the truth and behave accordingly?

  21. took14theteam says:

    RE: RW98512

    A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…..

  22. Big difference between genital mutilation of girls and same sex orientation.

    One is against one’s will.

  23. LarryFine says:

    Big difference between tolerance and endorsement… No doubt, Chapel Hill welcomes all sinners to worship with them… allowing them to sin openly AND serve in a leadership role is an edorsement.

  24. spotted1 says:

    I would rather attend a church that says, “this is not okay behavior for here” than attend a church that said “do anything and it is okay”. At least the first church stands for something and is willing to stick by that belief.

    No church is perfect. They are filled with sinners trying to do better. Find one that you feel God calling you too. He is the final judge and jury anyways.

    And if you don’t like churches who believe this way, real simple, don’t go there. Yet instead, you choose to jump up and down, scream and yell, and claim that what they are doing is wrong. Here is a secret, the church is a group of people who made a decision and you aren’t going to change it. Go somewhere else to complain.

  25. sorry, spotted1, the letter writer has as much right to his opinion and his invitation to others as cause of the freedom that the church is exercising.

    The church made a public issue of their stand and now pays the price of freedom.

    Remember, it wasn’t so long ago that the Mormon church wouldn’t allow black people as part of their leadership, because their belief was that Cain was marked as a black man for killing his brother Able. Only enough protest to the contrary changed that.

  26. oh and I hope everyone that thinks protest is wrong will say the same on the day that pro-lifers come together to protest abortion. Their “freedom of speech” is rather disgusting, but it’s legal.

  27. LarryFine says:

    Oh boy… that last one is jibberish kard… and the one before that ??? Apples and oranges.

  28. I cross a bridge every sunday it’s the one that goes from my bedroom to my living room to enjoy the church of the NFL

  29. muckibr says:

    Okay, not to offend anyone here on this topic, Right, Left or even Center, I would like to ask a serious question, and hope for a serious answer.

    QUESTION: Where in The Bible Books (chapters) of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John does it mention anything about homosexuality?

    Now, please note that I have specifically restricted you to only those four Books of The New Testament, which describe the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Please do not go back into The Old Testament to find anti-homosexual statements, in Deuteronomy or Leviticus or wherever, because The Old Testament of The Bible is NOT about Christianity. The Old Testament is about the history and laws of the Jewish people, not Christians.

    Please do not go beyond Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, because books and letters after The Book of John are essentially interpretations of Christianity and not necessarily consistent or even compatible with the actual teachings of Jesus as described in the first four Books of The New Testament.

    So, if you can find anything in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John where Jesus specifically admonishes homosexuality, please tell me where it is. I am serious. If it’s there I would like to know where it is, because I have never been able to find in in the six versions of The Bible that I have.

    Thanks!

  30. beerBoy says:

    darlin – there are many Biblical scholars who have concluded that the sins of Sodom was that of pride and not providing hospitality in the desert to travelers.

  31. scott0962 says:

    That’s the wonderful thing about the Bible and other holy texts, they’re subject to endless re-interpretation and re-evaluation by those looking for a quote to re-inforce their own opinions or inclinations.

    Oh, and for those say the Old Testament is not about Christianity, does that mean the Ten Commandments do not apply to Christians?

  32. LarryFine says:

    Where in those 4 books does it say that not allowing openly gay people to serve in leadership roles is counter to Christ’s teachings ??? or alcoholics… or theives… or murderers… etc., etc., etc. ?

  33. RW, clearly you missed the point regarding genital mutilation. Sandblower asked me to name something I think people should NOT tolerate, and I did. I was not comparing it to sexual orientation.

    As for homosexuality not being mentioned in the Gospels, there are those who would suggest that it’s not mentioned simply because in that time and culture, the “act” of homosexual intercourse was considered by ALL to be sinful; in other words there was no need to identify it specifically. Mind you I said “the act” because most folks who oppose gay marriage and/or gay ordination in the church are not saying that one’s sexual orientation is the issue. Most of us have demons with regard to our “natural” inclinations…gluttony, substance addiction,money and idol worship for example. Those who have given themselves into the hands of God for transformation have invited God to help them rise above those natural inclinations that are harmful or unholy.

    If you do not see homosexual acts as sinful, you will certainly choose NOT to worship at a church that identifies them as such. Freedom. It’s what God is all about. You’re free to do what you will, but as the Bible says, “everything is permissible, but not everything is good for you.” [my paraphrase]

    Finally, to say that nothing before or after the Gospels is sanctified as God’s word is to go against the essential tenets of the Christian faith, which means that you perhaps believe in God, but do not consider yourself a Christian?

  34. Point of clarification: Those of you who hold the words of Jesus Christ as holy but reject the Old Testament perhaps do not realize that Jesus was a faithful Jew who believed in the laws of God. You can attempt to make him into something other than that, but if you do, you are taking liberties. His coming eliminated the need for us to pay the penalty of sin, but it didn’t jettison the spirit of the law as described in the Old Testament.

  35. LarryFine says:

    Well stated sozo… but you may as well reason with the wallpaper.

  36. beerBoy says:

    sozo – could you explain why some Old Testament laws are to obeyed but some can be safely ignored?

    Where in the New Testament does Jesus say “My Father was just kidding about those dietary restrictions and the rules concerning cleanness and uncleanness but he was serious about homosexuals.”

  37. muckibr says:

    scott0962, to answer your question about the Ten Commandments… CORRECT, they DO NOT apply to Christians. The Ten Commandments are Jewish laws, not Christian. The Ten Commandments were replaced in the New Covenant by Jesus with The Two Commandments.

    The “reinterpretation” of Bible passages from The Old Testament is precisely what is wrong with so-called modern Christian churches and church leaders. There is nothing really “wonderful” about it. That reinterpretation is what allows false religious leaders to create their own cults within the religion and lead them off the cliff to self-destruction.

    If you need quotes to reinforce your faith it is easy to find quote from Jesus himself in the first four gospels of The New Testament.

  38. sozo is into stoning women to death who divorce, too, just like the Old Testament says to do and Jesus affirmed as the punishment. She constantly upholds all of the laws of the Old Testament as being required in modern times.

    Oh, sorry sozo, I forget we’ve had this discussion and that you pick and choose based on your own human choice of what to follow and what not to follow. I agree that you have the right to do that, but please stop using the Bible as a cop out when what you really mean is that you personally do not like something.

    Jesus said he came to make the old laws obsolete and bring a new path of righteousness. He said that Gentiles did not have to obey the old ways, just his teachings. In the “spirit” of his teachings, all persons, the prostitute, women, the cast-offs of society, and all who can teach others are welcome and commanded to do so.

    A church that teaches that some people are worthy of teaching about Christ and others who believe just as strongly can not is, in my opinion, hypocritical and not following Christ’s commandments, especially the Great Commission.

  39. muckibr says:

    sozo, I think you miss the point of The New Testament of The Bible.

    Jesus was born of a Jewish mother, but was and is, if you are truly a faithful Christian, The Son of God, and God is of all people and of all faiths thus Jesus is of all people and all faiths.

    Jesus did not simply come to eliminate “the need for us to pay the penalty of sin”. Mankind still sins, and those individuals who do not ask forgiveness for their sins will still pay the penalty. Jesus did not absolve anyone from paying the price for their sins.

    Jesus was sent by His father, God, to bring to mankind a New Covenant. And in that Covenant is the replacement of all that went before with the Jews, including the Jewish Ten Commandments replaced with Jesus’ new Two Commandments. All who would become the followers of Jesus, would eventually be called by a Greek term, “The Christians.” And the followers of Jesus would be governed by the new laws that Jesus brought to them from The Father, His Father, God.

    When Jesus came of age he taught his followers, who were mostly Jews, but included all others who would listen. And He offered them a new path, a new way to live and serve God. And those who followed Jesus were no longer considered Jews. And Jesus, for His teachings, was no longer considered a Jew. And this angered the Jewish leaders and they sought their Roman governor and Jewish King to do away with Jesus, and Jesus was crucified because of what the Jewish leaders sought. How does that make Jesus a “faithful Jew”?

  40. RW98512 says:

    As usual, the conversation of the “morality” of homosexuality cannot be held without reference to Christian philosophy.

    You’ve made my point.

    I’ll repeat my challenge – cite what is “immoral” about homosexual life without leaning on a religious philosopy.

    True morality doesn’t require religion.

  41. RW98512 says:

    Just so that those who lack reading comprehension don’t have a fit –

    My challenge is based on old_benjamin’s accusation of “moral bankruptcy”.

    I contend that religious bigotry is what makes homosexuality “immoral”.

  42. muckibr says:

    sozo, one final comment on your statement…

    “Finally, to say that nothing before or after the Gospels is sanctified as God’s word is to go against the essential tenets of the Christian faith, which means that you perhaps believe in God, but do not consider yourself a Christian?”

    I am a Christian, as I believe in Jesus Christ as The Son of God, and I try very hard to follow His teachings as described ONLY in the first four gospels of The New Testament o f The Bible.

    I believe that if you, or others like you believe you can pick and choose from The Old and The New Testaments, then you have not fully committed to Jesus and Christianity. You, and those like you want to keep one foot solidly planted in Judaism while the other is planted in Christianity, thus you are straddling the fence. In doing so, you demonstrate your lack of true and full faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

    Back to the QUESTION: Where in the first four gospels is there and admonition of homosexuals? Anybody!

  43. old_benjamin says:

    Nowhere in the four gospels does it say that bestiality is forbidden. Should we therefore conclude that it is condoned?

    Many of the Old Testament rules were for the purpose of keeping the Hebrews separate from their heathen neighbors. For example, they were not to intermarry with non-Hebrews. Jesus taught that there is no difference in Jew and Gentile; hence intermarriage is permissible. It’s necessary to keep in mind the purpose of Hebrew law when asking why this or that was forbidden. It’s also necessary to recognize that some laws reflect unchanging values, i.e. the sanctity of life. Ultimately, we are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as ourself. Then we can do as we choose.

  44. RW98512 says:

    old_benjamin – your question is precisely why I maintain that morality need not be religious.

    Bestiality would be the rape of an innocent animal. Rape is an assault. Assault is illegal.

    No religion required.

  45. RW98512 says:

    As we all know, The Bible speaks of homosexuality as an “abomination”.

    Take a look at the definition of abomination:

    a·bom·i·na·tion   /əˌbɒməˈneɪʃən/ Show Spelled[uh-bom-uh-ney-shuhn] Show IPA
    noun
    1. anything abominable; anything greatly disliked or abhorred.
    2. intense aversion or loathing; detestation: He regarded lying with abomination.
    3. a vile, shameful, or detestable action, condition, habit, etc.: Spitting in public is an abomination.

    Spitting in public? Those that chew would laugh at this, thinking that their habit is nothing harming anyone and yet to some it would be “vile”, “shameful” or “detestable”.

  46. old_benjamin says:

    I agree that morality need not be “religious” in the sense that it must be inculcated by some particular religion. The Apostle Paul speaks about the law that is written on the heart and is known to all, including the heathen. But we can choose to ignore it to the point that it no longer serves as a guide to conduct. That’s very common in America today.

  47. old_benjamin says:

    “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying…”

    The abomination is in the eye of the LORD–not the eye of man.

  48. LarryFine says:

    Talk about lack of comprehension. The thread is about Chapel Hill (a church). It happens to be a religious organization based on religious philosophy… (kooky huh ?.

    … and let us not be confused between tolerance and endorsement.

  49. headedsouth says:

    Chapel Hell should get out of the business of counseling kids, especially teenagers and especially those who have sexual orientation issues.

  50. LarryFine says:

    Does “chew” promote health or is it harmful to it ?

  51. RW… just to clarify, ONLY in The Old Testament of The Bible, the Jewish portion, does it specifically state that homosexuality is an “abomination.”

    old_ben… Where in The New Testament does it say that rape is forbidden? The same place where it says homosexuality is not condemned.

    =====

    Matthew 22:36-40
    One of them, a lawyer, spoke up: ‘Sir, which is the most important command in the laws of Moses?’

    Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart,soul and mind. This is the first and greatest command. Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others.’

    =====

    If you obey the two commandments as Jesus has given them, then you cannot rape another person (or animal for that matter) because you would not yourself want to be raped. If you are homosexual, and prefer the company of the same sex rather than the opposite sex, then what is wrong with that under these two commandments? Nothing, because in a consensual same-sex relationship you would only be doing unto another, that which you would want done to you, and that’s not just sex, but also sharing a loving, caring and supportive relationship with another human being.

    Commandent number 2 from Jesus basically says: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you do that, and Love God, you cannot possibly break any of the Jewish Ten Commandments, as Jesus said.

  52. SandHills says:

    Let’s just take fido out back, knock him in the head, skin him and put him on the grill – some would think that is distasteful, others maybe not.

    So if a church only wants to BBQ pork, it should not be offensive to Jews and Muslims – who have their own religion and are not required to attend anyway

    Now with the Lutherans, Presbyterian, Episcople church’s endorsement of homosexual behavior there are many other religious choices available – and I wouldn’t be surprised to told those churches also have some services preached from the Koran.

    So again, even if not simply a difference in religious doctrine – but also a matter of taste (personally I love pork more than sheep, goats, canines) – what is the big deal among gay activists that some simply will never accept their lifestyle and yet continually want to push for acceptance in every human endeavor?

  53. The original TNT article which prompted Chuck Woodstock to write his letter was this…

    =====

    A Presbyterian exodus over allowing openly gay to be ordained
    STEVE MAYNARD; STAFF WRITER
    Published: 11/14/11 2:51 am | Updated: 11/14/11 12:47 pm

    Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church in Gig Harbor voted Sunday to leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), primarily because the denomination changed its constitution to allow non-celibate gay men and lesbians to be ordained as clergy and lay leaders.

    =====

    (Click on the TNT link in Woodstock’s letter if you’d like to read the entire article.)

    Based on the description Woodstock provides for the CSL (Center for Spiritual Living), it sounds like it he is inviting the bigoted anti-gay former members of Chapel Hill to attend a church that seems to be very much like Chapel Hill Presbyterian, in that CSL is also “a church that embraces all with unconditional love and gracious acceptance, celebrating ethnicity, gender, age and sexual orientation, …”

    Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. Nice job Chuck!

  54. OOPS! The original article is not written very clearly.

    As it turns out the Chapel Hill church prefers to deny the openly gay to be ordained. As is made clear only in this one this one quote attributed to a Margie Doerksen, “We choose not to have them in leadership because we feel that’s scripturally correct,” Doerksen said.

    So, thank you Chuck Woodstock for giving others the opportunity to go where they can practice their religion as they see fit in their belief of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

  55. old_benjamin says:

    So, Muckibr, if you live in accordance with Matthew 22, you are to be commended. The rub, of course, is that God only knows if you do and he’s not saying.

  56. headedsouth says:

    Chapel Hell is an elitist group that believes that if you worship their way, you will be healthy, wealthy and wise. Give me a break This right from their website – Our God is gracious. Giving is an act of worship – an opportunity for us to express our thankfulness and devotion to God for His generosity to us. It is also an act of obedience. God has asked us to give. By obeying Him we show our willingness to rely upon Him to meet all our needs. God also promises to bless us through our giving. We are part of His church and part of making an eternal difference.
    Scripture references: 2 Corinthians 8:7-9; Matthew 6:24-31; Malachi 3:8-10

  57. old_ben,,, Let’s just say, I try as hard as I can to live by the Two Commandments. But, I am not a saint. I am only human, and sometimes mess up, and when I do I pray for His forgiveness. And that’s really the best I can do. And you are right… “only God knows…”

    Take care my friend!

  58. SandHills, the difference is that we have a Constitution for secular laws. People can say what they want to about Chapel Hill’s decision, for or against. It is their right to make a decision about who gets to teach to the congregation based on their own beliefs. The letter writer is saying people have a choice if they disagree with Chapel Hill’s decision.

    In the secular world in the USA, where we supposedly have equality under the law, gays are trying to claim the rights under those laws that others have, nothing more. The right to work, have families, live free, travel, receive the tax, inheritance, ownership and other benefits of marriage, as well as the right to call their relationship a marriage and a family under the law. Religious beliefs should have nothing to do with whether or not people are equal under the law. We already have a Constitution that says they are.

  59. Sandhills, I could go along with your line of reasoning regards people who like dog meat, pork of whatever and being entitled to their beliefs except…

    Any church that claims to be Christian, but that does NOT indeed follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, is, in point of fact, practicing open hypocrisy. Jesus never admonished homosexuals. He never excluded them as far as we know. Why should a church be allowed to under His name?

    Why shouldn’t devout Christian homosexuals be allowed to practice their religion like anyone else, as leaders and layperson of their church? That’s not pushing their lifestyle on anyone, it’s just them wanting to participate in something that has really very little to do with their sexual orientation, but much more to do with their faith orientation.

  60. Muckibr – your last paragraph is the real issue and is ignored by those wishing to use religion to exclude.

  61. Rw… I know.

  62. sandblower says:

    They ignore anything rational.

  63. sandblower says:

    “Now with the Lutherans, Presbyterian, Episcople church’s endorsement of homosexual behavior ……”
    Anyone beside me see the difficulty with that statement? It does provide a window through which one can view where the author’s emphasis lies. Instead of viewing the homosexual as a person he sees only a certain small aspect of that entire person and focusing on that aspect alone is another sign. It is not any different from viewing a person narrowly as black or Asian instead of simply as a whole person.
    It is the basis of bigotry.

  64. If you read the entire Bible, including a careful study of the OT laws and the context in which they were written, you will find what Old Benjamin says to be true:

    “It’s also necessary to recognize that some laws reflect unchanging values, i.e. the sanctity of life. Ultimately, we are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as ourself. Then we can do as we choose.”

    I suggest a careful reading of Leviticus 18. You will find that in that litany of detestable behaviors, we still adhere to most of them. Why? In that list, there is the mandate that says a man shall not lie down with a man as a woman. It seems to me that “the culture” has decided that while the rest of those things remain basically unthinkable, we are now being asked to make exception of the one.

    Please don’t respond to this if you don’t bother reading these passages with an open mind.

    Tuddo’s nastiness notwithstanding, I do not deny that I am able to adhere to the spirit of the law rather than the particulars, given that a contextual reading reveals that some of these things were time and culture-sensitive.

    I do not pretend to have this figured out. I am engaged with both scripture and other Christians whose understanding of scripture differ from my own. On the other hand, I am not interested in what appears in this thread to be a lot of amateur, cherry-picked theolgy.

    I’m curious Muck, to whom is Jesus referring when he speaks of the ones who will suffer an eternal hell?

  65. RW98512 says:

    Leviticus speaks of being “unclean” No morality unless you subscribe to archaic Jewish beliefs about which cloth to wear and how to store food in your kitchen (what was a “kitchen” 2,000 plus years ago?)

    What was the difference between men’s and women’s clothing in the times of Leviticus laws? Due to the weather, both probably wore robes.

    All of Leviticus would make more sense if it was written in the more contemporary moralistic times of Europe. Of course, that would make it mythology, wouldn’t it?

    I am openminded. Thus I don’t accept ancient script without some knowledge of the historical accuracy.

  66. RW98512 says:

    Under the category of “in context”:

    44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    Kinda interesting what preceeds the old “eternal punishment” deal.

    Now that’s IF you take The Bible as gospel truth.

  67. LarryFine says:

    So by now most of us understand the difference between “tolerance” and “endorsement”.
    Let’s see if we can discern the difference between amount of “melanonin” and “behaviour”.

  68. beerBoy says:

    Again sozo….why not these?

    Don’t let cattle graze with other kinds of Cattle (Leviticus 19:19)

    Don’t have a variety of crops on the same field. (Leviticus 19:19)

    Don’t wear clothes made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19)

    Don’t cut your hair nor shave. (Leviticus 19:27)

    Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed. (Leviticus 20:9) Have you ever done that?

    If a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die. (Leviticus 20:10). I wonder if Dr. Laura would like that one to be enforced?

    If a man sleeps with his father’s wife… both him and his father’s wife is to be put to death. (Leviticus 20:11)

    If a man sleeps with his wife and her mother they are all to be burnt to death. (Leviticus 20:14)

    If a man or woman has sex with an animal, both human and animal must be killed. (Leviticus 20:15-16). Kill the animal!!???

    If a man has sex with a woman on her period, they are both to be “cut off from their people” (Leviticus 20:18)

    Psychics, wizards, and so on are to be stoned to death. (Leviticus 20:27)

    If a priest’s daughter is a whore, she is to be burnt at the stake. (Leviticus 21:9)

    People who have flat noses, or is blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God (Leviticus 21:17-18)

    Anyone who curses or blasphemes God, should be stoned to death by the community. (Leviticus 24:14-16)

    Don’t let cattle graze with other kinds of Cattle (Leviticus 19:19)

  69. muckibr says:

    sozo, In answer two your question, “I’m curious Muck, to whom is Jesus referring when he speaks of the ones who will suffer an eternal hell?”

    The answer is: Anyone you breaks one of the Two Commandments and does not ask for God’s forgiveness.

    Oh! And also, anyone who refers to me as Muck, instead of muckibr! That means you! (Just kidding suzi!)

  70. muckibr says:

    to your question, not “two”. Darn autspell!!!

  71. muckibr says:

    autospell!!!

  72. muckibr says:

    Here are some questions I would ask you Old Testament believers to answer for me if you can.

    Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my neighbor, farmer John, for planting different crops side by side?

    Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as stated in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24). The problem is, how can I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

    I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. But, Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police and have them do it?

    A friend of mine says that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t see how. I mean, an abomination is an abomination right? Can you settle this?

    Leviticus 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
    defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    Here’s one that’s really important, because we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this blog who have commented on the WSU topic about the new coach’s 2.5 million salary: The Old Testament says touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7 If they promise to wear gloves can the WSU Cougers still play football? Can the Huskies? Can the Seahawks? (Okay, I was just joking about the Seahawks. They can’t play football period, with or without gloves!)

    Think about those questions, would you? How do they apply to today’s Christians?

    Or, doesn’t it make far more sense to simply admit that Jesus gave us two new commandments when He brought The New Covenant to mankind, and those two new commandments are totally relevant to today’s Christian?

  73. RW98512 says:

    muckibr – according to the scripture I posted, those doomed to eternal “punishment” (aka Hell) are those who would not tend to the sick, hungry or imprisoned.

  74. muckibr says:

    And as Jesus said RW…,

    Matthew 19:24 “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    (For all the rich, or even moderately well off, who choose NOT to emulate the good acts of The Good Samaritan, I fear they have condemned themselves to eternal damnation.)

    And Jesus also said…

    Luke 6:24-26 “What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now. What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now, for a time of awful hunger awaits you. What sorrow awaits you who laugh now, for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow. What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets.

    Luke 6:27-30 But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.

    Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

  75. sozo, so you agree that you would ignore or at least modify God’s list and “pick and choose” based on your own private decisions of which activities are in the spirit of your law and which are not.

    Would you also agree that you are every bit as off the deep end into moral relativism as anyone else you criticize for doing the same as you do. I point that out and you call me “nasty? Well done for expanding the definition of “nasty” to mean someone who agrees with you about yourself.

    My definition of immoral are things that people do to each other that demean or harm them, not things like gay marriage which exalts a relationship and causes no harm to any one.

    For you to put gay marriage and genital mutilation together (just girls, you say, not boys? – Oh, that’s right, God told us to mutilate boys)is truly a nasty thing to believe in the “spirit” of God’s love for all of us.

  76. This theological debate is pointless.

    Arguing exclusivity and claiming “my salvation is better than your salvation” has been going on since Martin Luther and before, do you think you are going to solve it on this message board?

    In my opinion, a church is a Christian Fellowship…of like-minded people. Find a church that shares your values. We go to praise and glorify Him…not ourselves or our theology.

  77. You know, when it gets right down to it….If you dont attend this church, then who cares?

    There are a heck of a lot of experts and busybodies here in Tacoma with a heck of a lot of glass houses, and a big pile of rocks!

  78. Accept Christ into your heart…recognize His Diety, His life, Death, and Resurrection. Confess your sins, pray and glorify Him by works.

    Do that first, then as far as whether or not your theology was correct I say this…ask Him when you see Him.

  79. RW98512 says:

    sd396 – the concept of “Christian fellowship” can be misconstrued in many directions. Proof positive beerBoy’s comment above. As a society, we don’t ignore that which possibly harms another – in the name of “Christ”

    Not being a follower of faith any longer doesn’t disqualify my knowledge of Christianity and its philosophy. That being said, I’d find it hard to accept that a spiritual leader whose word was “love one another as you’d love yourself” would endorse the praises of any group that seeks to single out a parishioner or group of parishioners for adult consentual acts of a private nature.

  80. RW98512 says:

    make that “consensual”

  81. Old Ben…you’ve hit on probably the key issue here:

    “The abomination is in the eye of the LORD–not the eye of man”

    Most people, and I include myself here, cannot comprehend HOLINESS. For some this is a deal breaker. For people of faith, it means that God is taken at his word even if we can’t comprehend it always.

    Just as a small child cooperates with mom or dad even when the child thinks they are being weird or unfair, so too do believers co-operate with God to the best of their ability because they understand that he is perfectly loving and perfectly just.

    The common error among many folks, in my opinion, is that they define love as sanctioning every choice and action of the loved one. I do not define love this way, and based on a careful reading of scripture, neither does God.

  82. spotted1 says:

    When did we become so focused on “accepting” everyone and everything that is was no longer okay to say, “I don’t agree with that and don’t support it”?

    Just because I don’t accept a behavior as normal, doesn’t mean that I have become intolerant of everything and thump the Bible to prove my point. Yet, when I say I am a Christian and don’t accept the behavior, vast generalizations are instantly made about me. Not to mention the abuse that is heaped on those who choose to take a stand against certain behaviors.

    And yes beerboy, you can find examples of churches or groups who are fringe groups as examples on both sides of the equation. However, those who are of African – American descent do not take kindly to the use of their plight, due to an obvious skin color, compared to that of the homosexual community. As a matter of fact, most people I have spoken to are quite offended when they hear that comparison.

  83. Sozo I could not agree more, well said.

    To those who would claim that the Old Testament is irrelevent to Christianity I would like to remind you that if you are indeed a Christian you need to acknowledge that the Canon of Scripture is the Divine Word of God…each Testament, every book, every chapter, every verse, every word. The Spirit is un-changed and perfect. If you don’t then I question your Christianity.

    We run into problems when we take scripture and apply it to today’s world without the process of looking at it’s context and properly applying it’s timeless principals. All blasphemy is result of poorly interpreted scripture.

  84. This will not satisfy any of you who’ve already made up your mind about this, and I will leave each of you to believe what you will after this post…but it is my opinion that the references to homosexual conduct in the New Testament, though not words of Jesus himself, reflect the fact that it was considered wrong in the eyes of God.

    In this post-Christian culture, the words of Paul have been reduced to just the words of another man, but for most Christians, the entire Bible is considered the inspired word of God. Paul was appointed to teach and preach; to provide the fundamentals for the early church.

    So yes, while we were freed from the restrictions of the temporary laws given to Jews after the exodus…the penalty paid at the cross…we are still called to adhere to the fundamentals of right conduct, and, though frankly I wish it were otherwise, this does not include the act of homosexual sex. No one has explained to me yet why we still adhere to all of Lev. 18 w/ the exception of man lying with man…and maybe one other which discretion prohibits me from mentioning here.

    I wish it were otherwise because then I could go along with the ways of the world with ease. But I can’t. And until God shows me the error of my ways, which he has not done based on the comments here, I will remain true to my understanding of scripture at this moment in time.

    God has changed me in many ways. Perhaps he will change my mind about this. I wonder if those of you so eager to show me the error of my ways are open to having your minds changed by God? (I’m sure many of you will presume that I am very rigid and unchangable on this subject, but I assure you I am not). Believe as you wish.

  85. “those doomed to eternal “punishment” (aka Hell) are those who would not tend to the sick, hungry or imprisoned.”

    Hope Hell is a big place.

  86. LarryFine says:

    “Why shouldn’t devout Christian homosexuals be allowed to practice their religion like anyone else”
    .
    They can… but there are a host of choices and behaviour that will disqualify a person from holding a leadership position.

  87. muckibr says:

    sozo, You wrote: “in my opinion” and “based on a careful reading of scripture”

    Those are two telling and extremely important qualifiers. You are entitled to your opinion, for your own beliefs, but you opinion does not have any validity over my or anyone else’s beliefs in God, Jesus or religion.

    And, what scripture are you referring to? The Old Testament? Because if you base your beliefs and opinions on the words of The Old Testament and still claim to be a Christian, then in my opinion I think you are really missing the boat.

    The Old Testament is the original Covenant between God and The Chosen People, as delivered by God through various acts to Abraham through Moses. But, The New Testament is The New Covenant as delivered to all people by Jesus. The one replaces the other, just as a new contract would replace an old contract.

    When a union negotiates a new contract with a business owner, and that contract is ratified and signed by all, is there ever a time when the business owner or the union worker can go back to the old contract and say }I don’t like what is says in the new contract, so we’ll just use what it said in the old.” No, that doesn’t happen, because the old contract is null and void.

    What I am saying is that logically, anyone who claims to be a Christian, but still hold The Old Testament as in force, then that person is really, truly, and logically not a fully committed or complete Christian, he or she is a Judeo-Christian, because he/she is keeping one theological foot in the past and one in the present. And, before anyone gets all up in arms about that, if that’s what you prefer then that’s fine. You have the right to be a Judeo-Christian, and I would not take that away from you.

    However, if you believe yourself to be a true Christian, then logically that means you believe in the Truth of the Message of Jesus Christ as it is told through the recording of His teachings in the first four gospels of The New Testament, which embodies The New Covenant between God and all mankind. It’s really as simple as that.

  88. LarryFine says:

    beerBoy, I’m thinking your 7:08 am post is a bit off topic… but since you went there…

    Do you suppose an openly conservative clergyperson would be allowed to serve in a leadership role in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s (Obama’s former longtime mentor minister) former church ?

  89. muckibr says:

    sozo, ALL of Leviticus 18 can be and has been replaced by the second commandment of Jesus, as it was written in Luke 6:31 “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” In the case of Leviticus 18, the old law which specifically enumerates forbidden sex acts, obedience to Luke 6:31 prevents any non-consensual acts to man, woman, child or beast.

  90. Muckibr…funny you would close with “it’s really as simple as that”. So you are implying that your statement is a definite fact, the absolute truth. It was so simple that you could easily discern the answer while everyone else struggles with it.

    Tell me then…is truth objective or subjective?

  91. redneckbuck says:

    Luke warm will not get the job done!

  92. muckibr says:

    sd396, To clarify, I am NOT implying that MY statement is a definite fact. I am saying that the statements made by Jesus, as recorded in The New Testament, are the definite facts. Jesus brought The New Covenant, the new contract. I’m going with that one, not the old one. Simple.

    A great example of where and why this issue gets confused for some is the example beerBoy brought up in his 7:08 am post concerning the Kentucky church that has banned inter-racial marriage, not based on anything but a decision made by the church’s former retired minister Melvin Thompson. When a man decides to make rules, based on his own personal prejudices, that is no longer a church of Christ, but instead it is a cult of Melvin.

    Instead of following the teachings of Jesus Christ, apparently many, if not most, of the members of the Kentucky church are happy to willingly go along with their cult leader. In my case, I listen to what other people say as regards religion, and I evaluate that based on what Jesus taught, but Jesus always overrules man, in every case. Simple!

  93. muckibr says:

    sozo, you also wrote…

    “I wonder if those of you so eager to show me the error of my ways are open to having your minds changed by God?”

    I used to think as you do. I was raised in a Catholic household. But, I opened my mind and heart and was changed, by Jesus, and thus by God. I hope the same for you.

  94. muckibr says:

    sd396, So sorry, but I see that I did not answer your specific question: “Tell me then…is truth objective or subjective?”

    The answer is, with regard to Christianity, the truth is Jesus.

  95. LarryFine says:

    How is a 40 member church in Kentucky related to Chapel Hill and this discussion ?

    Again, based on the attempted rabbithole post…

    Would an openly conservative clergyperson would be allowed to serve in a leadership role in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s (Obama’s former longtime mentor minister) former church ?

  96. Muckibr…the New Testament was written by the same one who wrote the Old Testament. The men who put pen to parchment did not author the books. His laws are unchanged. I don’t know how to articualte it any better than that.

  97. As much as I believe that your are right that the Truth is in Jesus…as it must also be in God and the Spirit…which is precisely why you cannot disregard the Old Testament.

  98. muckibr says:

    sd396, you are terribly wrong about who wrote The New and Old Testament. I know that many say they believe that The Bible is the “literal Word of God given to man.” But, how can that be true? God is infallible is He not?

    If The Bible, all of The Bible is the literal word of God, the we must ask again why people who profess to believe such a thing do not to this day sell their daughters into slavery, stone people for wearing different fabrics, kill farmers who plant different crops together, burn sacrifices to God on alters, etc…

    If you truly believe that The Bible was written by God, is the literal word of God, and all that is found in The Bible is the present law of God, then I would suggest you are probably breaking many of those laws everyday in your own life. If so, how do you justify that?

    The books, chapters and letters in The Bible were written by men, and possibly some women if you accept that there is a Book of Mary Magdalene. They were complied into The Bible by groups of men at various times in history for various purposes. If you truly believe that The Bible is the “literal Word of God” then please tell me, which version of The Bible is that? The King James, The Catholic Liturgical, The Gideons, The New International Version? They are not all the same you know.

  99. One book cannot be lies while the other is truth. New adds to Old and Old justifies New. The spirit does not lie, or deceive, or change it’s mind for our convenience so we don’t seem “intolerant”. What happens to those who don’t trust the spirit? Ask Zechariah

  100. Muckibr…we have two opposing viewpoints. Can we both be Christian? Who is more saved…you or I? Brings me back to my original point…

    Accept Christ into your heart…recognize His Diety, His life, Death, and Resurrection. Confess your sins, pray and glorify Him by works.

    Do that first, then as far as whether or not your theology was correct I say this…ask Him when you see Him.

  101. sd396, in The Old Testament, Book of Jeremiah, beginning at 31:31 it reads that The Lord God said…

    31 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.”

    32 “It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.

    33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

    34 “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

    And God did make a New Covenant with Israel, by sending His Son Jesus. And the people of Israel (some of them) knew God and they knew Jesus who was and is God the Son, and Jesus forgave them their wickedness and sins. And those who knew God through Jesus accepted The New Covenant, and became Christians. And those who did not accept Jesus as God rejected Him, and remained steadfast to The Old Covenant as described in The Old Testament.

    Do you see how that makes sense?

    (A more mundane example might be to equate to the history of our own country. At the start of the Revolutionary War the 13 colonies drafted The Articles of Confederation as the agreement that would bind them together. However, the Articles were replaces in 18781 by The Constitution of the United Staes of America, which is still in force today. Is there ever a time when we, as Americans, ignore The Constitution in favor of the original rules contained in The Articles? No. The same is true of The New Testament replacing The Old Testament.)

  102. the Articles were replaces in 18781

    s/b the Articles were replaced in 1781

    Sorry for the typo. It was a last minute add, and I should have proofed it better.

  103. O the hypocracy is hurting my head…I thought the Old Testament had been replaced by the New yet now you quote Jeremiah to prove your claim. Who gets to decide what verses are true and which are lies? Which were replaced and which are not? Is it you?

  104. No hypocrisy sd396. Just saying that God said He would create a New Covenant, and He did. By His own words, the Old Covenant is null and void, as The New Covenant tales its place, like The Constitution replaced The Articles of Confederation. By virtue of the fact that you feel the need to accuse me of being a hypocrite tells me that your faith is weak. I’m sorry for you.

    Here’s another example: I can write up a contract between me and another party that says, in six months we will renegotiate the agreement and draw up a new contract the will replace this one. In six months we do as I had written. The new contract replaces the old one. The old contract is now completely null and void, but the statement in it that predicted a new contract would be written is still true. Simple! Not hypocritical in the least.

  105. I was wondering when you would attack my faith and take away my salvation…thats pretty much how those with poor theology raise the white flag. I should not expect you to recognize the hypocracy of your comments, we are all sinners.

    Don’t be sorry for me. I’m going to be fine.

  106. okay, sorry again for the typos. I’m in too much of a hurry to reply to you sd396.

    The New Covenant tales its place – should be – “takes itsplace”

    and

    a new contract the will replace this one – should be – that will replace this one

    I want you to know sd396, that I respect your opinion and really do appreciate your replies, but hope that you will not make this personal by accusing me of being a hypocrite or anything like that. You have a right to your opinion and I respect that without accusing you. Now I have to go back to work, so will not be able to respond for quite some time. Please don’t take my lack of response as anything personal against you or your future comments, okay? Take care.

  107. redneckbuck says:

    Jesus came to to explain the law not create new laws. Man corrupted the law in the old testament.

  108. Unity is not essential to salvation. There are thousands of Protestant Denominations, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox; more than a billion Christians worldwide. We will not see eye to eye on all issues but we must unify around the essentials. When we raise the non-essentials to the level of the essentials we will create dis-unity every time.

    Luther knew this would happen when he started the reformation, but it was his opinion that scripture should be available to everyone even if it would cause people to think freely as was warned by the Church. There are things we simply will not know…the “secret things of God”. But God loves that we theorize, and that we search for Him, and even when we are wrong He accepts us because our convictions were pure.

  109. LarryFine says:

    Would an openly conservative clergyperson be allowed to serve in a leadership role in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s (Obama’s former longtime mentor/minister) former church ?

  110. muckibr…as I respect yours however strongly rebuke them.

    (2 Timothy 3:16) – The Old Testament is still good for doctrine, reproof, and training in Righteousness.

    Jesus said that he did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it.

  111. sandblower says:

    “Would an openly conservative clergyperson be allowed to serve in a leadership role in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s (Obama’s former longtime mentor/minister) former church ?”
    As long as he wasn’t stupid and behaved reasonably well they would probably accept him or her with open arms.

  112. LarryFine says:

    Wrrrriiiight. ;)

  113. Civilian says:

    Although my precise knowledge of scripture is limited, the teachings within indicate that a sin is a sin. Meaning, one sin is no less or greater than the other, just like hell is “hell,” and heaven is heaven; a spoken profanity is no more or less evil than the worst atrocities. I believe God calls us to the house to be healed from our sins, not to blatantly disregard them. That is the difference between accepting we are all equally sinners,and from willfully choosing to disregard God. The first and ongoing step to recovery is repentance of sins, meaning we are sorry. Is sorry ” sorry” when we have no desire or intentions to change? Even in our earthly societies, we cannot legally choose to honor and obey one law, and completely disregard another without being subject to a final judgement. – Just thoughts.

  114. God has to remain faithful to his covenants in the Old Testament, just as He must to His word in the New Testament, or He would be denying Himself as being faithful, truthful and perfect. What God says is everlasting, and it would seem incongruous for Him to rescind His covenants and devise new ones.

    The Apostle Peter frequently quotes the Old Testament. Most frequently Peter quotes Isaiah. Peter said as Isaiah did, “The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” Peter uses the passage while speaking about new life in Jesus, while Isaiah used those words in the Old Testament.

    Also, Psalm 119:89 “Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”

    It seems both Testaments remain valid.

  115. Civilian says:

    Can any confirm or deny?

  116. beerBoy says:

    So….the writers of the Bible were all divinely inspired….and the clerics who voted on which of the books would be included in the canon were all divinely inspired…..and Luther, when he decided to include the Revelations in the Bible along with a political cartoon showing the Pope as the Anti-Christ was divinely inspired…..and King James was divinely inspired when he identified and commissioned biblical scholars who were all divinely inspired to create and English translation…..Right?

    What I wonder is, was Luther divinely inspired when he threw ink pots at demons in his study?

  117. bBoy it appears that you find this all very amusing, and who knows, perhaps you and all the other cynics are right; perhaps the millions of people whose lives have been changed for the better by Christ are all just fools. I think Jesus, himself, said those considered foolish by the world are in fact the wise and vice versa.

    I don’t see where anyone here or elsewhere has declared clerics and Luther divinely inspired. And yes, there has been human error to consider throughout the history of the church, but the essential canon has remain unchanged for generations. Yes, there was the great schism in the church…Orthodox, Roman Catholic and eventually Protestant, and yes that leaves room for debate. Just as the people “in” the Bible narrative were imperfect, so too are those who came after, including you and me. None of this would suggest, however, that we would do well to toss the baby out with the bathwater and rely on the wisdom, and I use the word loosely, of the world.

    As for you Sandblower, you blew more than sand with this remark:

    “As long as he wasn’t stupid and behaved reasonably well they would probably accept him or her with open arms” when asked by LF if conservative clergy would be invited to serve in Jeremiah Wright’s church.

    So it’s okay to exclude “stupid” people from leadership, but openly embrace all others?

    A lotta empty pews if you start excluding the stupid.

  118. bBoy, I understand your logic. Even if you believe the Bible is divinely inspired, what version of the Bible are you talking about? Many of the fundamentalists cling to their King James, a translation that has pretty words, but some horrible translation errors. People who say that version is “infallible” should look at what modern translaters say about it, especially in the subtle ways it changed meanings to exalt earthly kings and how it changed the view on homosexuality from original texts.

    If you believe a particular translation is “inspired” then you must believe anyone who authored any of the words in the Bible or who allowed which books to be included or excluded were divinely inspired, and yes, that included Luther, (and King James and many others) whose translation still forms the basis of most European Protestant denominations.

  119. RW98512 says:

    Reading much of this reminds me of why I don’t buy into the whole “salvation” bit.

  120. For the record, muckibr, your continued insistence on how Christ interacted with “the law” is, IMO, a flawed understanding, as others have attempted to point out here. Your repetition of it starts to feel like a nerf-bat beating after awhile.

    And, tuddo, a thoughtful, learned exegete takes all these things into consideration. Having done so, many still find scriptural support for the position they take on gay marriage and the ordination of gays in the church. Please do not presume superiority as a student of scripture.

  121. muckibr says:

    This will be quick, but think about this with an open mind okay.

    Think of The Bible as a history of contracts.

    1st there was Adam & Eve who took out a Rental Agreement with God. Pay the Rent, which was “don’t eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge” and you can stay. They ate the fruit and got kicked out.

    Next there was Abraham, and God said, give me a down payment (by sacrificing his son on the alter) and God would make a contract with him for the lands of The Chosen People. Abraham was about to slay Isaac and God intervened, giving him an ARM on the land, that basically says from time to time the rates will change, or God will give Abraham’s people new laws now and then. If they screw up, He sends a punishment like a global flood or the raising of Sodom & Gomorra for example.

    Eventually The Chosen People screw-up enough to end up as slaves of Egypt, so God sends Moses. And to Moses He says, I’m giving your people a second chance, like a second mortgage. And in this second mortgage you all have to obey these Ten Rule (Commandments).

    And many many years later God finally decides that the first and the second mortgage need to be complete replace by a new Fixed Mortgage with only two rules. And He sends Jesus to bring it to the people, all the people, and that is the New Covenant, of new mortgage which replaces all the previous mortgages or as you see it The Old Testament and The Old Covenants.

  122. LarryFine says:

    You said it would be quick. At a glance it closely resembled wallpaper… wallpaper is soooo yeaterday.

  123. Sorry, still no cigar muckibr. As I suggested earlier, I think many “religious” people don’t fully grasp the holiness of God.

  124. muckibr says:

    sozo: I think many “religious” people don’t fully grasp the holiness of God.

    What the hell does that mean?

  125. Scholars have struggled with the 66 books, what should be there, what should not. The books have been translated hundreds of times, if not thousands…and yes there are some differing viewpoints regarding specific words and how/where/when they are used. There is no way to be 100% sure that it is right and precise using the postmodern scale of truth. We always want difinitive, solid, scientifically proven answers because this society lacks faith in God.

    I can’t “prove” to your standards that the Bible as we read it is the inspired word of God…but I believe it with all my heart because as a Christian believer I am quite sure He would not have it any other way.

  126. Muckibr…not sure what Sozo was implying. I believe you love Jesus very much and have greeat faith. I also believe your theology is terribly flawed.

  127. muckibr says:

    sd396, I think maybe you and sozo and others have completely missed my point.

    I am not trying to define a “theology” about Christianity. All I am trying to do, and say here is that: I have found a way to make the meaning of Christianity make sense to me by simply focusing on the One who Christianity is all about … Jesus. For me, to understand Christianity, and my way in it, I only need the 4 Books of The New Testament and the words He is credited to have spoken.

    There is no way to resolve the inconsistencies found in Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and other OT Books, so I let them stand as history. They are not, to me, a part of the current Covenant, thus they do not conflict with what I believe is the true Word, and that is the Word of God through His Son Jesus Christ.

    In my way of believing, I can look at what is being said and done by such as Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, and know that if Jesus were here to judge him, Jesus would condemn him for his evil message. But, as you know Fred uses passages in The Old Testament to justify his anti-Christian actions in the name of Christ. How do you or anyone else explain that? How can a Fred Phelps be allowed to use The Bible, the whole Old and New Bible to justify his sins against God and man?

    Regarding the 66 Books, as a Catholic I was taught there are 73 Books inThe Bible. How do we resolve that difference? How do we resolve the perception that Catholics believe their interpretation is above all others, almost to the point where in their own minds they would think of non-Catholics as possibly being heretics.

    How do we resolve the fact that there are over a dozen different versions of The Holy Bible. I have six of them myself. Is each and every word in each version, all the divinely inspired “literal” word of God? How can it be, as they differ in substantial ways.

    Bottom line for me is that what I am saying is; If you want to be a Good Christian, and do the right things, all you really need to do is obey the Two Commandments that Jesus gave to us with His New Covenant. If you do that, then you can never break any of the 10 Commandments of The Old Testament. And, isn’t the point of all this simply to be as good a person as God would want you to be?

  128. Muckibr…theology is merely “how do you know what you know”. Your argument that all of the books besides Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are not relevant today is, well, a hard one to wrap my mind around.

    I’m not sure you could ever convince me of that…especially not comparing scripture to a mortgage agreement.

  129. I was not going for cryptic with my comment about holiness. All I mean is that a human notion of perfect falls far short of the purity of God who is perfect love and perfect justice, combined.

    We tend to think of love as unquestioning support of a person, but God demands rightness and justice, perfect justice. We can hardly wrap our minds around it. That’s why Christians rely so heavily on the Bible, and why our abiding by scripture is an act of faith.

    There is much in the Bible I do not understand; much that is cloaked in mystery, but there are basic tenets of right and wrong that are threaded throughout the narrative from beginning to end. Sexual conduct matters to God, perhaps because it is, in the end a spiritual act, or was intended as such. We live in such a hedonistic, self-serving culture, that such an idea seems beyond our comprehension.

    Why are sexual crimes considered more heinous than others? Because it is a violation of something sacred, perhaps?

  130. muckibr says:

    Thanks sd396 and sozo. We see things a bit differently, but I do appreciate you both, and all the others here, for sharing your thoughts.

    Thank you!

  131. muckibr, from the earliest days of the church there have been disputes among believers about how it should look. This is just the human factor, I presume, and it is what it is. In my opinion, the important thing is that people acknowledge God and have a desire to do what is right. Your understanding that love and compassion trump “the rules” is right on. I think the real difference is just in how we define and describe love.

    When all is said and done, some of us will be proven mistaken in our understanding, but at that moment in time, none of our human disputes will matter any more.

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0