Perverting Scripture


I am alive and surgery went well, so thanks to all who prayed.  I am making a fast recovery and feel blessed and healed by God.  With my downtime, I am reading and preparing for the next semester of learning while enjoying the quiet.

I have been feeling directionless lately.  I think many have that feeling from time to time, so I do not consider it out of the ordinary.  I started rereading my Spiritual Formation book and getting back to basics.  It is so easy for Christians to get caught up living the secular life that the spiritual life is not supported like it should be.  I am relearning my meditation and devotional practices and expect to return more focused and centered in God.

One of the things I get lost on is what to write.  I have plenty of ideas about what I should say, but I am not sure what the motivations for those are.  John Shore wrote a new book in which he supports homosexuality in the church.  There is supposed to be a great chapter at the end of the book that takes scripture and supports his position, but I have seen similar support from other fronts and they are scripturally lacking.  I wouldn’t mind the push for a more compassionate treatment to those who are homosexual if it was not paired with the attempt to make Christianity support that sexual orientation.  It doesn’t and will not unless you try and change scripture and add current moral viewpoints into your interpretations.

I do not want to attack or make every post about homosexuality in the church since there are so many things that the church actually needs to address, but I feel like I need to defend the position that changing scripture to make people feel good is not what Christianity is about.  I do have compassion for those who are struggling with acceptance, but saying it is not sinful is not doing them any service.  Why lead them astray so the physical life seems better to them but risk the spiritual life which continues on after death?  That is not love.

I guess I will start writing more about the things that just move me as I am researching other areas.  I still feel pushed to write about salvation and what it is, but these other distractions need to be addressed to.  It is out of love that I am concerned about the eternal life and I would rather that people would deny their physical wants if they are contrary to what God wants for people.

Being a Christian and accepting Jesus is not about making our lives better or about giving us moral direction in how we live our lives.  Being saved means that we lay down our old life.  We lay down those old wants and desires and we live the life that God has given us.  We are to live the life that God leads us to live.  This means that there will be times when we are not allowed to do what we want or what we desire doing.  This is the hardest things for those who are Christians to accept, but it is the most basic of principles.  We are actually leading people astray when we pervert the Word of God and tell people that they can do whatever feels good and natural to them.

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21 Comments

Filed under Bible, Christianity, Religion

21 responses to “Perverting Scripture

  1. We are to live the life that God leads us to live. This means that there will be times when we are not allowed to do what we want or what we desire doing.

    The bold on the verb to do is where you faith leads you astray. The sentence should utilize the verb to be, as in the christian faith insists that you not BE who you ARE. And therein lies the difference between the religious attitude that sexual orientation is a life choice about expressing desire versus the actual situation that leads so many youth to suicide: sexual orientation as a life sentence.

  2. The choice is if you act on your orientation or not. i fully believe that some people are born gay, but that does not give us a right to act upon those desires. There is an argument on whether pedophiles are born that way or develop based upon social conditions. if they are truly born that way, should they act upon it?

    Christianity is about doing and and being. When I was saved, my old life was taken away and i was given a new life. By doing and being obedient, I am taking that new life upon myself and being what i was created to do. By not doing, i am rejecting the new life and trying to be what I was.

    • By equating same sex attraction to be similar to pedophilia, you are misrepresenting same sex attraction to be creating victims. This is not true and you know it. There is no evidence that same sex attraction when expressed between two consenting and loving adults is in any way harmful or immoral. You presume on the basis of your religious belief alone that this is a moral issue that god has ruled on for all rather than a personal belief you may hold over your own behaviour. This is ethically wrong of you to do. Your belief has misled you into thinking that you have good cause to have some say over the loving behaviours of others. You don’t. You – not the hypothetical god you choose to believe in – have no basis in fact to deny a segment of the population from living a healthy and normal life available to those with opposite sex attraction. But what you are willing to do pretend that you belief grants you license to make such pronouncements as if they had merit outside of your belief. If you can show this, then you have something to offer other than religious inspired bigotry.

  3. xander

    I think you are stuck on a morality issue when discussing this than I am tildeb. If we put your sense of morality aside, you can see the argument is very similar. Now I am not talking about adults who are preying on young children here, but rather adults who have consensual sex with minors. In this case, there is no difference in your argument for same sex relations than they have for a consensual loving relationship with a minor. There is a stigma attached to it, but you understand having to overcome such obstacles since homosexuals are fighting to overcome it now.
    You should know better by now, but I do not presume that being homosexual is a morality issue. Morality varies based on many things, so why in the world would I fall into that trap of saying it is morally wrong. In the past, I defend the morality of gay couples and I get on to those who try to dismiss homosexuality throughout the ages because it truly demeans what those people felt. I truly believe that a homosexual couple can love each other and be just as committed to each other as a heterosexual couple. Attacking my religion based on that really doesn’t work. I know many Christians who will bring that argument up, but I point out that it is a false religious argument because they cannot simply say that the Bible does not say why it is wrong other than God said so.

    • You are trying to make it a moral issue by repeatedly bringing in these false analogies about sex with minors. Stop misrepresenting the issue of you deciding same sex behaviours for others is somehow wrong (that’s why I call your position a moral issue).

      I’m not trying to argue that sex with minors is somehow okay. It isn’t. It creates victims. It is illegal. That’s not what you are presenting within the context of the argument that individuals should not express their sexuality to suit your religious beliefs. And the only argument you have to back up your religious beliefs has nothing AT ALL to do with evidence IN REALITY that same sex behaviour is somehow damaging. It isn’t. It’s healthy. It’s normal. Such sexual desires are nothing to be ashamed of… except you choose to believe otherwise. That’s why I keep saying that your belief that this sexual activity between consenting adults is somehow wrong is rooted entirely in religious bigotry and you are going along with this bigotry believing as you do that god has deemed it wrong. If so, then the god you choose to worship is a Class A1 bigot.

  4. Help me out here tildeb

    I start out saying that I am bothered by people wanting to twist scripture to condone actions just so people will not feel like they are in the wrong, but you claim I am making a moral statement based on religious bigotry?
    The argument about older people who have a sexual attraction to younger people is the same as a man who is attracted to a woman or to another man. It feels normal and natural to them, so by denying it, just because you do not support it means you are just as much of a bigot as I am for not supporting homosexuality for religious reasons.

    I understand that in order to defend homosexuality, you have to claim it is normal and healthy otherwise, you would be in the wrong. I am not trying to bash homosexuality, but for some reason, you have to take it to this area so I might as well address it. Your statement that many youths commit suicide because people are not accepting of the homosexual lifestyle is fiction. It has never been more acceptable to be gay or bisexual as it is with this next generation, but neither the CDC nor American Foundation for Suicide Prevention list sexual orientation as a leading cause for suicide among youths or even a substantial reason as to why these kids decide to kill themselves. One suicide it too many, but let’s not go blaming sexual or religious bigotry as the reason why. Homosexuality is perfectly normal, but the percentage among people is less than 5% of the population. By definition, that is not normal as it is the vast minority. Not even close to half, which would constitute a more normal behavior, but in order to sell your stance, it has to be seen as normal. HIV is still leading among gay men, which is strange since as I just stated this is a huge minority of the population.

    Why don’t we stick to the argument at hand then, instead of trying to bring bigotry and other hate labels into this. The bible says it is wrong and if you reject the bible then more power to you. Those who do not though, need to stop twisting scripture in order to make people feel happy.

  5. Yes, I do suggest that you are supporting religiously inspired bigotry. Look at the words you use to describe homosexuality and the words you use to describe those are trying to come to theological terms with it. You confuse accepting with support, treating homosexuality not as it is – an equivalent expression of sexual desire practiced by heterosexuals without religious censure – but as if you have any business at all passing judgements on behalf of your god about it. You think it is wrong to practice. You think god has expressed this. But you don’t hold the same level of concern that women dare to teach men or people wear mixed fibers or men trim the corners of their beards. You don’t care about judging these common behaviours that have scriptural admonishments. You care about homosexuality being practiced. And the only reason you do is rooted in your cherry-picked religious belief for there is no evidence that homosexual behaviour is by itself any different in any qualitative way from heterosexual behaviour… although you try by hook and by crook to make this faux-concern seem plausible. You ignore, for example, the very high rate of transmission in the heterosexual community where condom use if vilified from the pulpits but suggest that within the homosexual community is may be a kind of god-sanctioned virus deserved by those practicing sex outside of scriptural constraints.

    The bigotry issue is CENTRAL to the argument that homosexual expression is anything other than normal and healthy… for homosexuals. Because there is no evidence that it is anything other than normal and healthy, your argument stands on a theological argument divorced from reality. Although you easily reject scripture that is contrary to reality in other ways (the world is not flat, it really does revolve around the sun, we do not descend from two individuals, there was no global flood, and so on) you hold on to this one for dear life. And there is a real cost for doing so, in that homosexual behaviour and expression continues to be demonized solely on religious grounds and that many young people who are gay face these public admonishments and restrictions actual or proposed really do commit suicide in the face of public bullying against same sex attraction. Yes, we’ve made some progress coming to realize that being gay and having sex with others of the same sex makes no one whit of difference in terms of a person’s character. We need to go to the next step and challenge people who believe like you do that there is anything other than bigotry attached to thinking there is a difference to prove it. Your scripture is not enough to determine reality. Your belief in the truth of scripture is no excuse for telling reality what it should and should not be. Your beliefs need to conform to reality rather than stand against it. Someday, you’ll come to appreciate that this change of mind brings about a change in heart that will add to rather than detract from the quality of life for other people. Until then, you and your unreal beliefs remain a central impediment to the equal rights and freedoms of others.

  6. “You think god has expressed this. But you don’t hold the same level of concern that women dare to teach men or people wear mixed fibers or men trim the corners of their beards. You don’t care about judging these common behaviours that have scriptural admonishments.”

    Or, I understand the context in which the commands were given. I also speak out against heterosexual behaviors outside of a wedded union, so you are wrong there as well.

    The only bigotry I see is what you display in attacking people who do not conform to your beliefs and way of thinking.

  7. Ah yes, the ‘context’ argument. Good for you, Xander. Your perceptions when it comes to revealing what god really means through interpreting scripture are very reliable, I know. But consider… how would you ever know if you’re wrong… as unlikely that could ever be? More divinely inspired revelation, no doubt.

    It must be difficult to wholeheartedly support gay marriage – where, like in heterosexual unions, this same sex attraction can be joyfully and lovingly expressed within the bounds of matrimony! Difficult, I think, because I doubt very much you agree. I suspect that you do not in fact perceive the context of god’s joy at the union of man and man or woman and woman as being correct. At all. I suspect you still believe it is against god’s blessing so, loathe as I am to even consider the possibility of you not interpreting correctly, you will still insist that marriage is out of bounds for those who are not attracted to the opposite sex. In effect, I think your contextual perception will remain fixed in this matter, thus denying gays and lesbians any means at all, ever, to express their natural sexual desires. In fact, I think you will maintain your contextual perception now and forever that any sexual expression between those who share a same sex attraction will always be displeasing to god, thus denying gays and lesbians the freedom you enjoy to express your sexuality (within the bonds of matrimony, of course) without fear of social and legal repercussions that cast you as twisted and broken and perverted. Lucky you! How fortunate that you were born this way and how unfortunate that others were not. God must have a very twisted and broken and perverted sense of humour to allow you the joys and benefits of sexual expression between committed, loving, consenting adults but disallow that human experience to others for no other reason that the Big Guy says so.

    And note there is no evidence to support your religiously inspired contextual perception that same sex expressions are damaging to one’s physical, moral, or ethical character in any way. You assume that same sex expression is intrinsically wrong in some way because god says it is, but cannot show any good reason for holding that opinion… other than from scripture. You accept that scripture (in this case, anyway) as an acceptable authoritative source for your opinion. If I ask you why you do so, eventually you’ll admit because you choose to believe it is so because there ARE no other reasons. Expressed homosexuality, then, is bad or wrong or displeasing to god or what have you because your contextual perception of scripture tells you that it says it’s so. God says so, you think. Yet here you are able to refute the same god, the same source, insisting the rightness or goodness of genocide regarding the Canaanites because he so commands it to be done. Funny how you are able to turn on and off the switch for what is moral and good and right and proper and allowable for god’s blessing without any other divinely sanctioned blueprint to back up your picking and choosing. Because, Xander, you do cherry pick. Oh, but when it comes to homosexuality, why you are certain you’ve got this one right! Amazing. So astute!

    Of course it’s bigotry (meaning intolerance on the basis of sexual preference) that drives your belief from scripture that supports your notion of something inherently bad or wrong about expressing homosexual behaviour. There are no other reasons than your biblicly inspired bias. Scripture is simply a handy dandy cover for you.

    I see you, Xander. But do you yet see yourself?

  8. Oh, I should mention that you are going to try to argue that you support gay unions so I’m wrong in my assertion about your bigotry. But you will still withhold offering the sanctity of the altar on that homosexual union, won’t you?.

  9. You will have to help me tildeb, as your accusations are all over the place. Not quite sure how I am cherry picking, unless you mean because I do not condemn women for not following what Paul said about him not wanting women to teach, because at that time the women were largely illiterate. With the Bible being written in the past, to not look at the historical nature of what is being said and then looking at the context of what is written, I would be a fool, but then all who follow what is said in the Bible are fools to you.

    The point of Christianity is to deny the desires of the flesh and to instead surrender to the will of God. So yes, homosexual marriage is off. Premarital sex is off for heterosexuals as well and there are many heterosexual marriages I think should never have taken place because the people were trying to follow some physical or emotional desires and not the will of God. That doesn’t matter to you though, because I do not religiously condone gay marriages.

    Still not sure where I refute God, but I have never proclaimed a moral superiority because of my faith, as morals reflect society and are always changing. It used to be morally wrong to be gay, but now it is fashionable and everyone should do it at least once. My stance has always been the same. I can love those who are gay, even if they are practicing it, but I do not condone or give my blessings to the unions. I can love people without them having to accept my point of view. I know that is a novel concept, but I like it.

    If I am a bigot to you because I do not give into the bullying to accept your lifestyle, then so be it. I can live with the label.

  10. Brad

    Because of your willingness to accept bits of scripture as if it were a legitimate authority, you choose to condemn that which is cannot be changed: same sex attraction. It would be one thing if you held yourself to this standard; you have every right to do so. But to hold others to this standard is exercising bigotry. That makes you a theological bully.

  11. What about those people who are no longer attracted to members of the same sex? Are you calling them liars when they claim to be no longer gay? There is no condemnation then, as those who desire to change have actually changed. All it does is weaken the argument that they cannot change because we have seen proof that it can happen. Now I know that not all people are willing or able to make the change, but what do you call those people who mock and bully the ones who make the choice to change?

    I do not hold anyone to my standard except myself and those who claim Christianity. My standard doesn’t apply to anyone else. Now I am claimed to be a bully because I tell people what my standard is and claim that God set it, but I am not forcing you to follow it.

  12. Stories are rife of gays and lesbians who have ‘reverted’ to heterosexuality. Quelle surprise! Not. I have no doubt that there are many who fervently use faith to insist that they are no longer gay. The problem is that the evidence from reality is starkly different. There are just as many reports from older people who say they pretended that they were straight, even convinced themselves that they were at the time, but knew all along that they were gay. Why, then, would anyone say as much? Well, for a ll kinds of very good reasons. Does that make them liars? I think it makes them just as easily seduced by their wishful thinking as anyone else.

    Let’s revist what you wrote: We are to live the life that God leads us to live. This means that there will be times when we are not allowed to do what we want or what we desire doing. You claim that homosexual acts are doing what some folk want to do; I argue that your reasoning is astray here, that these acts are not expressions of what people DO but expressions of who someone IS. This is the point you are attempting to defeat by suggesting that god leads us to your corner. I point out that your choice to believe as much leads you into bigotry. Furthermore, you call on all christians to be supportive of this bigotry. I have pointed out that you easily discard other conclusions to which ‘god has lead you’ that are in error, so you should be able to do the same in this regard. You remain steadfast, however.

    One thing I did want to leave you with was this CBC video journal from last night that seems to be contrary to your assertion that being gay has never been more popular. If this is what popularity looks like these days, then thankfully I’m glad I’m not popular. Here in Ontario, we’ve just gone through another handful of teen suicides over the past few months attributed to teens being gay and bullied and without any hope of being freed from this life sentence of widespread christian love.

    • “You claim that homosexual acts are doing what some folk want to do; I argue that your reasoning is astray here, that these acts are not expressions of what people DO but expressions of who someone IS.”

      I understand your logic here, but it is not like you are black or some other minority. You cannot hide your gender and you cannot hide your skin color. Being homosexual can be about having same sex thoughts, but it is not something you must act upon. I know several heterosexual people who have not acted upon thoughts and desires as they feel it is not what God wants them to do. They still experience love, but it does not need a physical act. They all claim that God has taken away those desires, so I do not see why it cannot be the same with someone who is attracted to someone of the same sex.

      I know people many types of gay people. Some of them chose the homosexual lifestyle after many bad relationships with the opposite gender. I have seen some who developed an attraction due to psychological factors in their childhoods and I know some that have always had an attraction. My bigotry, as you like to call it, is that people who want to claim Christianity as their faith need to live by what it says. You pointed out that I have “easily discarded” things before, but nothing has ever been easily discarded for me. After study and prayer, I felt led to a conclusion, but I never just chuck any thoughts. You think it is so easy for me to tell people I love and care about that I feel like their lifestyle is wrong? You must be a fool to think it was ever easy for me. I didn’t grow up in Christianity. I grew up with gay friends as they were always accepting. I came to Christianity later in life and my conclusions on homosexuality even later.

      I do not have hard scientific proof of any side effects of gay couples raising children or being in long term relationships as it is a new thing. We will see if anything comes out, but I am not making my judgment based on that. My feeling about God is probably just as strong as your feeling that you are gay.

    • I understand your logic here, but it is not like you are black or some other minority. You cannot hide your gender and you cannot hide your skin color. Being homosexual can be about having same sex thoughts, but it is not something you must act upon.

      Now I think we’re getting somewhere. It is exactly like being a different skin colour or gender or some other inherent aspect of your being (hence my repeated use of the term ‘bigot’). You believe differently, which I will grant you. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with your personal choices but I have to draw the line when you attempt to extend them into the public domain to reduce them for others. But in return, you have to grant me that same right. That means your beliefs hold sway over how you exercise your own life, including your own religious beliefs and conclusions, and I will be in full support of your right to do so. All I ask is that you grant me exactly the same. In other words, I can be as christian as you yet disagree with your religious conclusions, and this is exactly what John Shore and his legions of disaffected christian commentators have done. You may disagree freely with their conclusions. But by trying to export your beliefs and impose them on the world you deny me rights and freedoms of expression that you yourself enjoy.

      By the way, I’ve been banned from commenting on Shore’s site so I hardly hold him in high regard. Also, I am not gay but my primary allegiance is to your rights and freedoms regardless of your sexuality, ethnicity, race, gender, age, nationality, religion, or blood ties. That’s what being a gnu atheist is all about. I’m actually on your side whether you realize or not!

      • But it is not the same. No one just walks in to a room and people say Oh, they are gay. You can’t hide the fact that you are black. You can’t hide the fact that you are a woman. These are physical differences that people discriminate against. Now people who are gay do encounter some discrimination as well as people who demonstrate what are seen as “signs” of gaydom. Women who act more manly and effeminate men will receive discrimination towards them because people are fools and rush to judge based on stereotypical behaviors. I agree that is wrong and I know that happens in the church. I have spoken out about that before though.

        I am not trying to make the country Christian nor am I trying to make everyone act like I think they should. I want to protect the rights that Christians have, but more than that I want people who are Christian to start living the life they want to proclaim. You will always have the right to disagree with me, which is why I do not ban people here, unless it just becomes too hostile or the profanity gets carried away. I understand there is a lot of bitterness towards Christians, especially from those who are fundamentalist. I understand were John Shore and his minions are coming from. No one wants to hurt someone else’s feelings and tell them that what they are doing or thinking is wrong. But Christianity is not about pleasing people and I feel like I must say something. For me, it is more than just having a good life or feeling accepted into a group. For me, I honestly feel like there is an eternal factor that is far more important than the limited physical time we walk the earth.

        Just read up on gnu atheist and it is interesting although I don’t agree with parts of it. What always got me was the way some atheist refuse to see the nature of man and how that conflicts with scientific reasoning. As a former atheist, you are always welcome to comment here.

  13. this makes me sick..christians calling what is bad good and what is good bad..this is truly the last days..homosexuality is an abomination according to the new testament..period..and there are other scriptures as well that speak of how sinful homosexual acts are..it makes me sick that so many christians today have decided to not follow any of the morality laws ..today more than ever ,so called christians ‘okay’ pot smoking,drinking,sexual deviance ,premarital sex and more..it’s as if ,accepting christ is nothing more than ‘accepting christ’ and then do whatever you feel afterward.we’re in the last days when many christians will be straying from the truth and following the doctrine of devils.it’s a complete shame that so many can be so easily fooled and so easily led..the main laws that are being broken it seems,are the laws of sexual morality and fleshly entertainment.and these christians make excuses as to why they feel justified in breaking these laws..there IS no excuse!!they seem to be more ‘of the world’ than of spirit and holiness.like i said,it’s a complete shame!

    • Fortunately, my legal rights are not determined based on your ‘ick’ factor or religious zealotry. Picking up sticks on the wrong day is just as much a scriptural ‘abomination’ as homosexuality yet I don’t hear you condemning your neighbours for failing to put these devilish folk to death. I hardly think scriptural abominations is reasonable argument to deny marriage rights to certain people or enforce indefensible immoral religious laws.

      Some Christians actually recognize this and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s like equality rights to marriage – yet are damned by people like you too rigidly fundamentalist in your religious moral straightjacket to be able to think critically and arrive at reasonable and defensible conclusions on merit. Your claims of supporting ‘spirit’ and ‘holiness’ by condemning the equality rights of others is a banner why and how religion poisons everything and causes so much harm to so many people by the pernicious effects of the certitude in which you hold fast to your polluted sense of righteousness.

  14. btw,here’s a link that takes you to an article that explains the mentality and method of those who would want to twist scripture on this topic to make it sounds so ‘acceptable’>>http://christianadc.org/news-and-articles/337-a-running-commentary-on-newsweek

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