In this article by Ingrid, she links to this website.

Americans for Truth about Homosexuality

I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the website. I am trying really hard to figure out why Christians are so obsessed with letting the world know the truth behind homosexuality. If I felt like they were doing it because they cared deeply about the people who live the lifestyle, and want desperately for them to experience the life that God designed for them, I would not have a problem with all of it. However, that is certainly not the vibe I am getting from these sites. They are more concerned about winning their debate than facilitating life transformation in the hearts of homosexuals. It’s basically saying “we don’t care about you, but we want you to know that we completely disagree with your lifestyle.”

And why is it just homosexuality. They act as if that is the BIG sin in the scriptures, dismissing all other destructive behaviors and choices. So, I will faithfully be waiting for the following websites to emerge, if these people are really trying to get biblical truth out there

Americans for Truth about Lying
Americans for Truth about Gossip

Americans for Truth about Bitterness
Americans for Truth about Slander

Americans for Truth about Poverty

Americans for Truth about Widows

Or maybe these groups are not at all concerned about people who are far from God connecting to, and living out the life that God dreams for them, but simply condemning those they disagree with. unfortunately we are now warring over truth, and not warring for the hearts of people. I don’t think that’s what God was hoping we would become.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 19th, 2008 at 7:53 pm and is filed under Christian Living, Emergent Church, Ingrid, Linked Articles, ODM Responses, ODM Writers, Theology, What Can You Say?, sexuality. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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303 Comments(+Add)

1   inquisitor    
February 19th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

It would be much easier if we could form a site called Americans for truth about SIN.

That way we could just mention EVERYTHING from homosexuality to lying.

Thus with all the talk about EVERY sin, then perhaps people would begin to see their need for a Savior.

Hey that’s a good idea. Hey Nathan, maybe we could put an end to CRN.info and just concentrate on making the public aware of the enormity of their sin so that they could feel the need to run to Christ for forgiveness.

That’s what we ALL should be concentrating on.

2   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 19th, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Inq,
Your theology is messed up if you really think it is a Christians job to make the public aware of their sin. The fact is that most people know they are sinners. The ones that have had interactions with the church know pretty well what we think about their sin. They already feel condemned, if not by people, then by Satan himself.

The Gospel isn’t about proclaiming what sinners we or others are, it’s about proclaiming how good, just, and loving God is. If we make sin a bigger issue than grace, we are actually making the Gospel more about us than God.

3   inquisitor    
February 19th, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Phil,
I beg to differ. Let’s look at this logically. You claim that EVERYONE knows about their sin and feels condemned,
we also know that everyone knows that Jesus died for their sins (you’ll be hard pressed to find someone that hasn’t ever heard that)

So if everyone feels condemned and everyone knows that Jesus forgives, then why don’t people come to Him for the forgiveness that they “know” they need?

Answer:
because they don’t know about their sin.

NO ONE thinks that they are bad enough to require some great act of forgiveness.

The proof:
http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=dad0ea8b7a5c04eabebd

4   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 19th, 2008 at 9:20 pm

The article by Ingrid had to do with the theology of Wallis and really not homosexuality per se. If the words attributed to Wallis are true then his theology is unbiblical. I do, however, feel we need to preach the gospel to homosexuals and not condemn them.

But this particular article was about Wallis.

5   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 19th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

And as a helping hand, Nathan, it is obsession.

I do not condemn you though, unless you are gay.

6   Nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
February 19th, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Rick,

that is why I did not mention the article. I agree with Ingrid. I don’t think it is her job to be the college nazi, but I agree.

inqu,

I agree with phil. Most people know they are really messed up and live with alot of guilt. I think this is where Kimball’s concept of “they love Jesus but hate the church” comes in. They need the Jesus found in the scriptures, not the Jesus that creates websites entitled “Americans for truth about Homosexuality”

7   inquisitor    
February 19th, 2008 at 9:42 pm

Nathan,

“I think this is where Kimball’s concept of “they love Jesus but hate the church” comes in”

You know that they don’t have to come to a church to be saved. They just have to come to Christ. We are not the saviors. Christ is. If they know that they are sinners and they know that He forgives them they should be bowing before Him. That doesn’t mean that they have to attend a church.

The question still remains, you have made a case for why they don’t come to church, but why don’t they come to Christ for this forgiveness that they “know” they need.

8   inquisitor    
February 19th, 2008 at 9:50 pm

For the record, I do have a lot of gay friends. All of with whom I have shared the truth.
I have stated to them that unless they repent then they shall end up in hell. They cannot continue to live in their sin and think that they are saved.

They ALL go to church. They have ‘asked Jesus into their hearts’ asked for forgiveness for their sins and they think that they can continue in the sin of homosexuality.

I have told them in no uncertain terms that they will end up in hell if they don’t repent. One even hugged me afterward and told me “thank you” for telling him the truth.

He still hasn’t repented. He still lives in his sin, but I’m still praying for him. We’re still friends. I still remind him that scripture states, “those who continue in sin have nothing but the fiery judgment of God to look forward to”

You CAN tell the truth in love and still remain friends.

And NO, he doesn’t love Jesus and hate the church. He loves his sin. (more than Jesus)

9   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 19th, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Inq,
I still don’t buy it. I’ve been to too many events where people are made to feel terrible about their sin, asked to come to an alter to be made right, and told they are Christians. The next day, most of them are back right where they were. When we present the Gospel as some sort of sin management device, I believe it actually lessens the greatness of it.

I think if we tell the whole story of the cross, beginning with what God’s plan was from the beginning and how we can fellowship with him now, it becomes much more compelling. God doesn’t just want to save us from Hell, He wants to give us life now.

10   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
February 19th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

my bad… I didn’t read the whole conversation. I would say they they know they are sinners. I wouldn’t say they know they need Jesus.

11   amy    
February 19th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

The fact is that most people know they are sinners.

I don’t see this in our culture. Don’t many people who feel that they have done or are doing something “wrong” believe that they have are doing so because they are “victims?” Victims of, for example,an abusive upbringing? Also don’t many of those who have some sense that something they are doing may be wrong treat the wrong as relatively okay compared to what other people do? And isn’t much of what is biblically wrong treated as acceptable in our society?

12   merry    
February 20th, 2008 at 12:48 am

Perhaps it’s because of the Genesis 19 story of Soddom and Gomorah, but it seems when a lot of Christians think of homosexuality, they think of fire and brimstone.

—————————————————

For some reason my internet content filter won’t let me on the Americans for Truth about Homosexuality website. It catergorizes it as “R-rated Opinion.”

—————————————————

Sin is all the same. I’ve never struggled with homosexuality, but I think I’ve pretty much committed every other sin, both physically and in my mind. I think everyone has. Who are we to point out the sins of others? I can’t. When I do, I feel awful.

13   JustMe    
February 20th, 2008 at 1:59 am

I have to respectfully disagree with the notion that unsaved people already know they are sinners.

Before I got saved I knew that I had done some stuff that was wrong, hey I might even have vaguely thought of it as sin, but I had no idea of what it (or I) truly was before a Holy God… and what the penalty of all that *wrong stuff* was.

He had to show me that, and He used people in that process, both directly and indirectly.

Dare I say it, people whom He gave the courage and the compassion to sometimes speak the *unspeakable*?

I’m so glad that He did, my life depended on it.

Can I just say too that when I still though I’d done the odd bit of wrong but was basically a decent human being I would have acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God, and said the Bible was true too?

But I never once knew of my true need for Him, not until I was literally shown how filthy I was.

Galatians 3:24. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

14   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 5:55 am

Since homosexuality is not the normal sin it provides a wonderful platform for a self righteous flogging. Of course it is a sin which is spawned through the curse of the fallen nature, and people are sometimes born that way. That doesn’t mean God made them that way and approves, no, the curse of sin is to blame.

There is victory in Christ for that particular sin. However, it is a serious Scriptural departure to insist accepting that sin in the church. We must be prepared to love and minister to believers who struggle with that sin, but we cannot reinterpret the Scriptures to accommodate that lifestyle.

This has often been used as a convenient whipping boy in the church and as a chest pumping proof that one takes an uncompromising stand against sin. This is sometimes received as hate by homosexuals and many times their perception is reality. Although Fred Phelps is hate personified as it pertains to homosexuals, a form of that hate still lives safely under cover in many evangelical circles.

15   jazzact13    http://jazzact13.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 8:08 am

Yes, fellow believers, that’s right. Never stand for or against anything (and I do mean “anything”), because you will be EATEN ALIVE by others who claim to be your brother and sister fellow believers, who without any proof will claim that you (choose all that apply) hypocritical, unloving, self-righteous, patriotic, psychotic, guilt-ridden, mean to puppies, hate puppies, have puppies for dinner.

Not that any of that can be proven, but hey, it’s the seriousness of the accusation, not its truth, that’s important.

(this term and condition does not apply if you go through the proper channels and find out from the non-leading leaders what things you may properly stand against so as not to be castigated by any but the un-post-enlightened, so for example you may speak to your heart’s content against people who drive SUV’s and have our blessing, but cannot speak against sexual perversion because you will be unloving uncharitbable and most of all non-politically-correct)

16   jazzact13    http://jazzact13.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 8:11 am

Seriously, the best you can do is only ‘insinuate’ that the group linked to in the op doesn’t have some kind of proper attitude? Yikes, who’s falling head-long into judgmentalism now!

17   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 20th, 2008 at 8:23 am

(this term and condition does not apply if you go through the proper channels and find out from the non-leading leaders what things you may properly stand against so as not to be castigated by any but the un-post-enlightened, so for example you may speak to your heart’s content against people who drive SUV’s and have our blessing, but cannot speak against sexual perversion because you will be unloving uncharitbable and most of all non-politically-correct)

Jazz you every struggle with anything?

18   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 8:24 am

I do not think that we cannot teach that homosexuality is a sin, my only point was that it seems disproprtionate to many of the sins that abound in the church.

Divorce, greed, hedonism, idolatry, pride, gossip, murmuring, prayerlessness, adultery, evil speaking, and many others that really might rock the boat. Homosexuality is an easy “Amen” because most of us never struggle with that.

By the way, whose eating anyone alive? Well done, that avoids mad human disease!

19   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
February 20th, 2008 at 10:02 am

Oh Jazz,

I never said not to stand for anything. I take a stand against homosexuality with my gay friends…. imagine that. However, I do it in the context of a genuine loving relationship. I do not set up websites and broadcast to the world how evil homosexuality is. There is a HUGE difference.

I can pretty much guarantee that the guys who operate that site have no close friends that are gay. They don’t have to struggle with deeply loving a person, but deeply wanting them to experience the beauty of a life surrendered to Christ. It’s really easy then to talk about “them” and how “they” are the ones responsible for ruining marriage in America.

I am not against taking a stand. I just don’t see why it is always homosexuality, and it is always done in a very institutionalized, non-relational way. It really sickens me.

20   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
February 20th, 2008 at 10:15 am

Nathan,

You wrote:

“And why is it just homosexuality. They act as if that is the BIG sin in the scriptures, dismissing all other destructive behaviors and choices. ”

I think, for one, this is a false comparison. It’s not that homosexuality is *the* BIG sin. It is the one right now that is getting the most press. Back in Martin Luther’s day it was indulgences. In Alex Campbell’s day it was division and disunity. In Paul’s day it was ‘Judaizing.’ No one is dismissing other destructive behaviors. Let me explain my point before I’m dismissed as irrelevant.

I think the reason many in the church reacts against homosexuality is precisely because people, many people (even in the church) don’t think it is a sin. There is an entire theology being built around the idea that homosexuality is not a sin. One can see it in the papers, on the net, in the news, in local churches. Homosexuality is destroying congregations: Just look at the Anglican church. I have a good friend who is an Anglican priest and I see what this issue has done in the local Body of Christ. I see how difficult the struggle is for them (not that you don’t). There is an insidious nature to this particular sin because there is another false idea set up: ‘It’s all about love, how can anyone be against love.’ It’s not about love.

What we don’t see is a theology being built around, say, lying, gossip, or the other things you mentioned. There is no ‘Christians for Equal Rights of Gossips in the Church’ movement as there is for (that’s somewhat hyperbole) for unrepentant, promiscuous homosexuals. Slander isn’t having the impact that homosexuality is on the church. No one is arguing that murder all of a sudden not be a sin.

I am not a Christian who says: “There’s no place in the church for the repentant and forgiven homosexual.” If I said that, then I would have to say, “There’s no place in the church for the repentant and forgiven anybody.” The backlash is because some Christians are attempting, and in many cases have succeeded, in normalizing homosexual practice in the church. But tell me, friend, what room is there in the church for militant, unrepentant, in your face homosexuality? (And please don’t say, ‘well what about those homosexuals who are in loving, committed, monogamous relationships,’ because that is a false analogy. It is still sin. The reaction is against sin. I think homosexuality is a symptom of greater problems, but that’s another post altogether.

Now please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about the repentant homosexual who struggles. In a sense, he or she is no different from the repentant liar or theif who struggles. (I can show you a sermon I preached in November of last year that makes this very point.) I am a huge fan of the grace of God and I think His grace is sufficient enough to include the repentant *sinner*–that is, *all* repentant sinners. What I am talking about, is the generalized movement among churches to normalize behavior that God has called sin. This is where the reaction comes in. We can see how even now it is ravaging the church around the world. This is the reaction. And I for one would lead the charge if the same thing were happening with respect to swingers, liars, thieves, swindlers or what have you. Any attempt to recognize sinful behavior as normal (in the sense of acceptable) is just as sinful.

As Christians, we do not have the right to contradict His Word. You wouldn’t tell a gossip their behavior is right or that they can continue in such behavior after they have repented nor would you tell them they don’t have to repent in the first place. But even the apostle singles out sexual behavior in Corinthians as being especially insidious because it is a sin against the Body, against the body, the Temple of the Holy God. (And the thing with marriage, well read Ephesians 5-6 to grasp that.)

Paul says that we were called out of those lives of sin, he says that we once were that way: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers shall inherit the Kingdom fo God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:9-11 NASB)

Were.

thanks for your time,
jerry

21   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 10:43 am

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers shall inherit the Kingdom fo God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:9-11 NASB)

A washed and sanctified sinner is no longer a homosexual, he is now a son of the living God who struggles with the residue of his sin. Let he who is without struggle cast the first stone. (I am writing in the sand…)

22   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
February 20th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Jerry,

Like I said, I am not against standing up against a sin. i just don’t think creating coalitions with a religious and political agenda is the best way to do so. We have neglected out RESPONSIBILITY to make friends with these people. The rebuke and correction needs to take place in a loving relationship. AFTAH shows little signs of actually caring for the people in the homosexual community. They are concerned about making sure their voice is louder than anyone else’s.

23   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
February 20th, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Jerry,

I would also say that a small minority of churches think homosexuality is a sin. That is the exception, not the norm.

24   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Jerry,

It is the one right now that is getting the most press.

I doubt that homosexual sin outranks murder or rape or war or a rang of other “sin” reported on a daily basis. I think homosexuality is rarely talked about except that gays want rights like health care and tax breaks.

If we allowed those things which have nothing to do with “marriage” but basic privileges for Americans… I think the issue of “gay marriage” would disappear as it has in some European countries that have already legalized gay marriage.

So do we give rights like health care to individuals who live as family units?

Again, I think that this is not even the “big” issue or that it is getting the most press… I see that as not seeing that divorce is rampant as will a pornography and murder and so on are still in the daily news much more than gays promoting their lifestyle.

iggy

25   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 20th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Jerry,

I would beg to differ with your assertion that gossip (or any of the other sins you mentioned) haven’t damaged the church as much as the homosexual issue has.

It may be more in your face (homosexuality) than “other” sins but I think the most damaging sin ever to the church was/is unforgiveness.

Recently in a congregational meeting a member of our church stood up and with tears in his eyes and fierce language lambasted the church for something that happened 17 years ago to his daughter when she was in youth group. Which set off a firestorm within the meeting with all these hurtful, angry, memories of things that happened up to 20 years ago.

26   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

The most damaging sin in the church is unbelief.

27   jazzact13    http://jazzact13.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Jerry Hillyer,

You make far too much sense.

Welcome to being eaten alive.

28   jazzact13    http://jazzact13.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

–Jazz you every struggle with anything?–

What, with my LUV for my SUV? Oh, wait… I don’t have an SUV.

29   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
February 20th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Friends,

The great thing, is that all of us have a point of view and bring something different to the conversation. As the responses to my post demonstrate, each of us is dealing a different ‘big’ issue in our respective congregations. In my congregation, I’m dealing with lazy people who think the preacher should do all the work, and lazy men who won’t step up and assume leadership roles or participate in prayer meetings and the like.

What I’m arguing for is the preservation of the rule of Scripture. I don’t think any of us would deny that there are factions in the church that want to legitimize certain behaviors whether it is homosexuality, division, judgmentalism or whatever. My point is that forgiveness, no matter how free and abundant, is still bound to a repentant heart. All we have to go by is what Scripture says. I suppose this begs the question: Does God forgive unrepentant sinners? Or, maybe, Does God un-forgive repentant sinners?

On the other hand, I do believe that homosexuality (notice, I’m talking practice of not people; although, it is difficult to separate practice from people) is the issue of our day. I understand well the need and desire to be people of compassion, to be friends with the folk of this world (also in Corinthians) and to minister to their needs (what some call ‘doing justice’). Still, no one can deny that this is having a serious, serious impact on the Body of Christ.

There is a lot more to say about this subject. Sexual sin is a difficult thing to deal with in the Church. Again I’ll note that the apostle did make a beig deal out of sexual sin because it is against the body. There must be a disctinction made, I believe, between those unsaved sinners who are not trying to ruin the church by legitimizing sin in the Body and those saved sinners who are trying to legitimize sin in the Body. I’m all for compassion towards the former group, but the latter group, in my judgment, are just plain wrong and are, in fact, seriously damaging the Church.

Nathan, you wrote:

“I would also say that a small minority of churches think homosexuality is a sin. That is the exception, not the norm.”

I confess that I’m not certain what this means. I do apologize.

your friend in the faith of Christ,
jerry

30   M.G.    
February 20th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Inquisitor,

Is Luther in hell for being anti-semitic?

31   nc    
February 20th, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Just because certain biblical ethics are true doesn’t mean that a victorian repressiveness about sexuality, the human body, etc. is godly and in order for a person to be good Christian.

Just because certain biblical ethics are true doesn’t mean that we have to adhere to a certain sub-set of a particular american sub-cultures understanding of middle class social respectability.

Just because we think a minority group of people are engaged in behaviors that are profoundly damaging to their soul does not mean we have the right to beat that drum to exclusion of other issues.

As a pastor, I’ve seen far more churches destroyed by “righteous” monogamous, straight lay men and lay women who were gossips, controlling, anger and fear filled and spiritually abusive.

I’ve never seen a church destroyed because a gay person was in it. (And please spare me the Ted Haggard issue…because it wasn’t about the gender, it was about the betrayal of trust as a spiritual leader…it could’ve been gambling, embezzlement, whatever.)

I just love how people get hyper about this and think they are sooooooo faithful to their god for “taking a stand” when they are principled about not letting a young unmarried cohabiting couple or gays or whatever become members…but if you’re self-righteous, nitpicky, in everyone’s back yard, controlling and show your devotion by your fear and anger to your fear mongering, angry god then…

you’re not just a great candidate for membership…hell! We want you on the elder board!!!!

what.
ever.

32   nc    
February 20th, 2008 at 4:19 pm

BTW,

how is a church “facing” the issue of homosexuality?
Is it because they listen to the dreck of “christian radio” or tv and have gotten riled up?

or is there are real struggling with how to pastorally care for people within that lifestyle?

I think that should be the only “struggle” (wah-wah-waaah) a church should have with this issue.

If God has spoken, then the only thing a church needs to do is figure out how to pastorally reach out to these people, along with everyone else whose sins sent Christ to the cross.

But…I suspect some people’s god has spoken and because it’s just about being right and beating people into submission about how bad they are then that deficient “god” needs followers to defend him, and be angry for him and to spread the fear needed to create religious gatherings that communicate the “good news” of your own righteousness to yourself.

again.
what.
ever.

33   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 20th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

The ironic thing is that what Michael Brown’s article on that site is talking about is based on a strawman for the most part. Jim Wallis himself doesn’t support legalizing gay marriage. He does support legislation that includes homosexuality in the same category as race when it comes to hiring, housing, etc.

The sad thing is that I totally understand where Brown is coming from. I remember actually getting in arguments with people about this very thing, saying that sexual orientation shouldn’t be treated the same as race. I actually believed that people somehow just chose to be gay. So, I can see where a lot of these arguments are coming from.

As far as the whole sin thing, I was actually reading an article by Jim Wallis last night, and he gave an example of something that happened in his parents church. Apparently there were a couple of teenagers who were dating, and the girl got pregnant. Of course some of the elders in the church started saying, “we need to take a stand against this” and “they need to know what they did was wrong”, etc. Wallis’ father was also an elder, and he was angry at the wat the other elders were treating this. His statement was, “don’t you think they know what they did was wrong and regret their decision? If you want to expose sin why don’t you get up front and start confessing?” Of course no one volunteered.

My whole point is this. I’ve heard too many church people maon and wail about homosexuals, and act as if “the gay agenda” was destroying America, but I’ve seen few people actually step up to the plate and acknowledge sin in their own camp. Frankly, that’s why I won’t give any time to arguments about the danger of homosexuality until I see people up in arms about the danger of pride, selfishness, consumerism, etc. Homosexuality is an easy target because it doesn’t directly affect most of us.

34   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 4:59 pm

“Jim Wallis himself doesn’t support legalizing gay marriage. He does support legislation that includes homosexuality in the same category as race when it comes to hiring, housing, etc.”

That supports my point completely. When we mix politics with spirituality we lose our way. If Wallis believes that homosexuality is sin he should leave it at that, because saying it should be treated legislatively the same way we treat race he’s opened himself up to criticism.

Who cares what the secular, depraved government does about homosexuals. Are they going to offer them redemption? We are the church, period.

35   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 20th, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Rick,
It’s not just a matter of letting government do what it wants. I believe that Christians do have a responsibility to protect people from discrimination when necessary. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking stands against unjust laws. I think the problem become when people think that political action alone can bring about real change.

The fact is that much of the language Jesus and Paul both used was politically subversive. In a culture that proclaimed “Ceasar is Lord!” Christians proclaimed to the Roman Empire that “Jesus is Lord!”, and many of them died for it. The problem today isn’t that Christians are standing up to government, it’s that they’re trying to wield it’s power to bring about change from both the right and left. In a way I agree with a lot of what you say, I just don’t think Christians can be completely detached from politics altogether. Just by serving Christ, we should be making a political statement of sorts, and there is a time when it is acceptable and necessary for Christians to speak prophetically to the powers that be.

36   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 20th, 2008 at 6:17 pm

“I just don’t think Christians can be completely detached from politics altogether.”

Caves, my friend, caves.

37   kenn    
February 20th, 2008 at 6:39 pm

I’m probably going to get beat up over this…Part of me doesn’t understand why the whole homosexuality issue is anyone’s business. My guess is that the core demographic for Slice, or Ingrid’s radio show, or any of the other ODMs, contain very few gays. And since that demo are committed heteros, they probably don’t plan on getting gay anytime in the foreseeable future, so what’s the point of constantly ranting about it.

Do you really think that at some point, someone listening to Ingrid, or Janet Folger, or perusing websites would think to themselves, “You know, I’ve been thinking about giving that gay thing a try, but on second thought, maybe later…got a busy week ahead. Maybe i can get gay when I have some free time on my hands”.

They talk about it as though its a flu bug. Something you might somehow catch if you’re not careful. Or a choice you might make, like stepping up to the window at Wendy’s and trying the chicken sandwich instead of the burger.

I hear the promos on VCY whipping up the faithful with rhetoric about how civil unions will threaten my marriage. Believe me, I’ve been happily married for many years, and of all the things that pose a threat to my marriage, that’s not even on the radar. Needing to play golf every weekend poses a far greater threat.

I don’t even want to tackle the sin issue. If it is, so be it. So I guess, what it comes down to is this…people that aren’t gay aren’t going to wake up some morning and get gay, so stop treating it like something that is going to seize me if I let my guard down. Focus on the people that are, and try to figure out why they are. I can’t imagine it’s an easy path to embark on. Which makes me wonder why, and how, is that path taken, and if you could choose not to be, wouldn’t you?

38   merry    
February 20th, 2008 at 7:17 pm

“so stop treating it like something that is going to seize me if I let my guard down.”

Interesting comment, Kenn. You said, “I don’t even want to tackle the sin issue. If it is, so be it.” Yes, homosexuality is a sin. It falls under the sexual immorality catagory, which many, many people struggle with.

Sin, in general, is something that will seize everyone if they let their guard down. It seizes everyone anyway.

“I can’t imagine it’s an easy path to embark on.”

I can’t imagine that stealing, or murdering, or drug dealing is an easy path to embark on. Why do people do it? Perhaps because they’re sinners.

“and if you could choose not to be, wouldn’t you?”

Think of one sin you constantly struggle with and ask yourself why you choose to do it even though you don’t want to. It’s only by the grace of God that we are able to quit our sinful lifestyles, and even with His help, we will still struggle.

Not beating you up, just trying to figure out your last paragraph. ;)

39   kenn    
February 21st, 2008 at 2:45 am

Merry, thanks or the thoughtful post, but what part of the last paragraph is hard to figure out? You bring up a really good point about struggling with sin, in whatever form it may take. But the core of my question was the issue of sexual preference.
I think it has to considerably more complex than tossing it off with “because we are all sinners”. That sounds too much like Flip Wilson’s old gag line, “The devil made me do it”. No, he didn’t…it (whatever “it” is) was a conscious decision made by the individual. Ultimately, the individual needs to take some responsibility.

Again, I’m just puzzled by the whole issue. How do I best sum this up… I guess it comes back around to my last sentence, “if you could choose not to be, wouldn’t you?” I don’t think you can compare it to other sins in the same way, which takes us back to my original point.

Let me put it this way…If we’re going to calibrate the sin-o-meter. Would I be just a bit uneasy about my family’s safety with a drug dealing murder living down the street? Yes. Could I muster up the same concerns if a couple of the same gender have found in one another, a relationship that makes their lives whole, and happy? Probably not. While it sort of grosses me out, its still none of my business. Besides, I bet the place would be well maintained. (Ok, that was a stereotypical cheap shot)

40   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 2:50 am

merry,

Why do people do it? Perhaps because they’re sinners.

that is basically the argument of St. Augustine…

“People sin, because they are sinners”….

iggy

41   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 7:07 am

Sin is a multi-faceted, multi-pronged, incredibly insidious, and universally pervasive effect with accompanying experience. It is very mercurial, sometimes even representing itself as indignation about itself. Although we seem to rely fully on external evidence, sin lives inside each person complete with all the necessary building blocks to construct any and all varieties of behavioral sin. Jesus of course pulled the carpet out from under the “I don’t do that sin” facade.

The debate over is homosexuality a sin started as a debate concerning the nature of Scripture. But in recent years it has morphed into using the issue as a proof of orthodoxy, and sometimes the stronger the rhetoric the greater the proof of righteous orthodoxy. Everyone is born as a sinner and sometimes people are born with this sin as a stronghold in their lives.

Six year olds sometimes exhibit a same sex attraction, not because they choose it, but because they have a sinful desire. Redeemed sinners, those who have been illuminated more fully to the depth of their own sin and the infinite depth of their gracious forgiveness, should be expected to both empathize with unredeemed sinners and excitedly share the message of redemption and freedom with those still captured by their sin.

Everyone, every heterosexual, has the sin of homosexuality existing in latent form within the clandstine core of internal sin inherant in our old natures. That nature and its entourage of sin affects and influences almost everything we do, including speaking out against other sins with a self righteous tone and that same sin many times disguises itself as the Holy Spirit.

One of the greatest deceptions of sin is its ability to provide us with a magnifying glass for others while successfully removing the inconvenience of any mirrors.

42   jazzact13    http://jazzact13.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 11:19 am

–I can pretty much guarantee that the guys who operate that site have no close friends that are gay. They don’t have to struggle with deeply loving a person, but deeply wanting them to experience the beauty of a life surrendered to Christ. It’s really easy then to talk about “them” and how “they” are the ones responsible for ruining marriage in America.–

I’m struck by how you have no proof for your claim (which even if proven or not would be meaningless anyway), only your assertions, which seem to show more about you then about them–the extent to which you will ‘assume’ the worst about them in order to shunt them aside, one may think so that you don’t have to deal with them.

Curious, you’re doing exactly what you claim they are doing. You’re talking about “them” and “they” being the problem, and that “their” way of doing things sickens you.

43   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 21st, 2008 at 11:33 am

jazz,
You act as if fundamentalists are some sort of endangered species and are as rare as an albino squirrel or something. Many of us have grown up around them and have spent a lot of time interacting with them. Some of us actually were fundamentalists before, so we aren’t just making these things up.

It’s very easy to see how fundamentalists think and feel about different issues, and one doesn’t have to really operate on assumptions when talking about them.

44   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 11:47 am

Phil – Your observation should be limited to the site. I am a fundamentalist and those desriptions do not reflect how I feel or interact with the gay community. (reference my previous comment)

45   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 21st, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Rick,
So it sounds like fundamentalists don’t want to defined by the actions of a small group of people either. That is exactly what we’ve been saying about the EC. You can’t take the expressions of a few to represent the whole.

I will say, though, in my experience, I’ve met a lot more mean-spirited fundamentalists than heretical emergents. Of course not all fundies are mean-spirited. Some of them are just misguided. ;-)

46   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Remember, Phil, fundamentalists are a loosly organized group of believers with no written creed or membership and with no policy of discipline.

Uh-oh.

47   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 21st, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Dear Ingrid (and Nathan), to turn your words around, I wonder if you are concerned at all about us (Americans For Truth and those who share our viewpoint). Perhaps you might have asked us directly why we do what we do — or accurately reported the many articles evincing our Christian care for the homosexual struggler — rather than merely offer your own (distorted) speculations as to our motives.

Yes, we are deeply concerned about people practicing homosexuality, which is why we offer people the loving Gospel of Jesus Christ, Who, we sincerely believe, has helped thousands of people overcome entrenched homosexual sin, just as He has helped people overcome — and be forgiven for — those other besetting sins you mention.

(Incidentally, I believe Christian “born again” conversions, despite being ridiculed by many gay activist and media cynics, are responsible for many more people leaving the homosexual lifestyle than ex-gay “reparative therapy”; however, the latter also has helped many change: see http://www.narth.com)

As to merely castigating gays, I have no basis for pride or a sense of superiority in that I — as one who struggles with my owns sins — am in need of the same grace of Christ as they are. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)

As to why WE focus on homosexuality, the simplest answer is that we are trying to counter (albeit with considerably less resources) the huge pro-homosexual movement, which seeks to normalize and build acceptance for homosexuality in the culture. Here are a few of the gay activist groups, each of which focuses solely on promoting GLBT (gay, lesbian, bi, trans) issues:

Human Rights Campaign
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Lambda Legal
Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network
GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)

The list goes on and on. Now I doubt you would deny that in a democracy, if these groups have a right to promote the acceptance of homosexuality — which we as Christians and adherents of other religious groups, and even many nonreligious people, believe is immoral — then we also have a right to organize and stand up for our point of view. Its called the battle of ideas.

Yes, we put out lots of articles defending historic Judeo-Christian norms on homosexuality, etc., but it pales in comparison to the information — we would call it misinformation — expounded by the overall GLBT movement.

We are simply trying to RESPOND to the other side’s crusade on this issue, just as pro-life groups are responding to Planned Parenthood, NOW, etc. In other words, if we are “obsessed,” then our “gay” and “trans” opponents are all the more so, in that they spend far more time and money — specifically on the homosexual/transgender issue –promoting their ideology than the collective pro-family movement does opposing them. There are many, many more “pro-gay” activists than “anti-gay” activists — although I use that term advisedly in that we are “anti-gay” only with regard to behavior. (We do not believe in “gay” personhood, i.e., as an inborn, natural or intrinsic identity.)

I personally believe that every homosexual “coming out” is a tragedy because it embraces a lie that “being gay” is “who I am.” Conversely, every “ex-gay” testimony is a wonderful sign of God’s goodness, His forgiveness, and His power. The growing “gay christian” movement denies the power of Jesus Christ to change lives, which is tragic in that we all know of people who have overcome terrible sins and addiction through Christ.

Funny how the same “gay” movement that gained such power and cultural acceptance through people communicating personal stories to others of their “gayness” now spends so much time and effort questioning the existence of ex-gays.

To paraphrase Queer Nation (a very aggressive gay group in the 90’s), former homosexuals are “here, they’re no longer ‘queer,’ get used to it.”

As to your comment about “warring over truth, and not warring for the hearts of people. I don’t think that’s what God was hoping we would become” — what does this mean? We battle for truth in America and across the world. Christians seek to convert Muslims to the Truth of Christ’s Gospel, while Muslims seek to convert others to “their” truth. Both religions cannot be true; I believe Christianity and the Bible are true but, sadly, it seems many Muslims are more offended by sexual immorality than “christians.” Our witness is tarnished.

In the same way, both the “gay” side and our side are in a struggle over truth, and how to define it. With the media mostly on the “gay” side these days, groups like ours are in an uphill struggle, to be sure, but we are as convinced of our position as the gay activists are of theirs. And we shouldn’t be condemned for defending truth — God’s truth — in the public square.

The battle for Truth and the battle for men’s and women’s hearts is one and the same. We can do it in a spirit of the love of Christ — and that is what we try to do at Americans For Truth. Are we perfect? Far from it. But we’re trying to get some information out there in a culture where the media glamorizes sexual behaviors (homosexuality, sex outside marriage) that our Lord opposes as sinful. Perhaps we will step aside when the Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the other “gay” organizations fold up shop. Best — pl

Peter LaBarbera
President, Americans For Truth about Homosexuality
http://www.americansfortruth.org

48   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 21st, 2008 at 1:29 pm

My note should have begun: “Dear Nathan” as Ingrid only cited our website (Dr. Michael Brown’s response to Jim Wallis on homosexuality) rather than challenge us as an organization. Thanks, pl

Peter LaBarbera

49   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 21st, 2008 at 1:59 pm

As to why WE focus on homosexuality, the simplest answer is that we are trying to counter (albeit with considerably less resources) the huge pro-homosexual movement, which seeks to normalize and build acceptance for homosexuality in the culture.

See, that’s the problem. I don’t really see how Jesus calls us to worry about what the other people do. Spread the gospel and God changing hearts will win. LOVE WINS. As far as you having “rights” in a democratic society. Go back and re-read your Bible, you’re not called to live in your rights. Just my 2 cents.

50   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Drum roll please. I am in agreement with Joe here. I believe some sections of the church obsesses about homosexuality disproportionately to the dictates of the New Testament. I am encouraged however with Peter’s words and heart, I think there are much greater sins rampant both in the church and in the world.

Of course I believe that attempting to affect America politically or even legislatively is just kicking the can down the road while humming “Aqualung”.

51   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 21st, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Funny how the same “gay” movement that gained such power and cultural acceptance through people communicating personal stories to others of their “gayness” now spends so much time and effort questioning the existence of ex-gays.

Well, that doesn’t really surprise me really. I do believe that God can and does deliver some out of the homosexual lifestyle, but I also think it will be a temptation some people will struggle with it their whole life.

I think the problem is that even if our message isn’t intended to be mean-spirited toward homosexuals, it many times is. I think most people who are openly gay simply would not feel comfortable walking into most evangelical churches. For the most part, we have sent them the message that we don’t want their kind around.

Now we can argue that we love them despite their sin, and that we would accept them, but the fact is we don’t. We are much kinder to drug users and alcoholics, and we are generally willing to work through issues with these people. We don’t expect them to just get zapped and changed instantly, and we have done things to come and walk beside them.

52   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 3:12 pm

At the Brooklyn Tabernacle they had been praying for a particular man who lived as a transvestite and homosexual. When he finally came to the church he sat for weeks and was welcomed in love. One Sunday he believed on Christ and was saved, however he continued to come dressed as a woman.

Everyone still loved him and for several months he worked with the pastor to overcome his problem. In a few months, he began dressing as a man. He now is married, has children, and sings in the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. That is the gospel!

53   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
February 21st, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Joe,

couldn’t have said it better myself. We are not called to “counter” organizations in the world. We are called to love people and share the gospel.

Here’s an interesting figure for you. In the last US census, only 2-3% of the population identified themselves as Gay, Lesbian, Transgender or bisexual. Yet, they have been able to create a movement that is pushing against a population that says it is 80% of the population. How exactly is that? Either they are just more vocal, or the church has become incredibly lethargic, self-centered and irrelvant to the changing world around it. So much so, that a population of 2-3% can threaten its core.

54   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Nathan – we are not called to an anti-anything agenda. Our systematic theologies are for the church, not the world. The epistles were written to us, the gospel of Jesus Christ is our only message. The humanitarian works are to showcase the gospel and they are tangible acts that sinners understand.

Love people and share the gospel – a great point.

Homosexuality is an easy target. We should not allow liberal theologians to teach that God accepts it or made them like that, but those are our issues. We should reach out to the gay community in any way we can while we share the good news that Christ has already reached out to them.

55   jazzact13    http://jazzact13.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Mr. LaBarbera,

Thank you for your posts. Your group seems to be doing things worth doing, and your time is appreciated.

56   merry    
February 21st, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Kenn,

“But the core of my question was the issue of sexual preference.”

All right, I’ll address sin of the sexual nature.

Homosexuality may not be comparable to stealing or murdering, but I really think it is comparable to other sexual immorality.

“if you could choose not to be, wouldn’t you?” I actually think this is a good point, and I also think it applies to all sexual sins. People always say that homosexuals are born the way they are, and Christians always argue against this. I actually somewhat agree with the statement. I’ll be completely honest; I have an extremely good memory. I can remember my life as far back as 8 months old. And I have always, always struggled with sexual sins. I won’t go into too much detail, except that there are particular sins that I was “born with” and that I will always struggle with, even as a Christian.

I think homosexuals will always struggle, even after giving up their lifestyles to follow Christ. God is so gracious. We will never fully recover, but it’s something to strive for. With His help, we can do all things.

57   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Good comment, Merry. Who says “I think I’ll cultivate a sexual desire for the dead”? Who chooses to be attracted to animals? We seeverly underestimate to power of inherant sin. All of us have voluntarily built upon these sins, but we are born with some sinful manifestations.

Thanks for sharing.

58   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 3:43 pm

BTW – You can remebre being 8 months old? I cannot remember 8 minutes ago.

59   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 21st, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Joe, yes, abolutely we are to love (and I’m constantly having to repent for not loving more), but you all are saying that we are to leave the public policy debate to the enemies of truth? How far do we take this? Should all pro-life groups disband? What about groups fighting pornography, or easy divorce or tougher rape laws? Should conservative groups that advocate for judges that interpret — rather than make — the law close down (while ACLU goes on unimpeded)? Where does it end?

Sorry, your position is neither Biblical nor reasonable.

Who was it who said “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty?” What I didn’t mention in my letter is that the same gay activist groups I cited above are fighting for “sexual orientation” “nondiscrimination” laws which, if enacted, will work to constrict the religious rights of Christians and others on this issue. In other countries like Canada and Britain, Christianity is literally becoming criminalized in that it is becoming illegal to speak out against homosexuality. (A Brit pastor was arrested for peacefully passing out Christian tracts at a gay Mardi Gras event; in Sweden, a minister was thrown in jail for giving a sermon on homosexuality.) So the Gospel itself becomes restricted which — I suppose you could argue — might finally get the Church off its duff..,

In Massachusetts, where “gay marriage” was legalized, there is now greater pro-homosexuality instruction in the schools. Sure, Christians can home school or put their kids in private schools, but many parents can’t afford that. So is it a sin for Mass. pro-family groups to oppose such pro-gay lessons (which are now given even to 1st graders) in public schools?

Lastly, why must responsible public policy advocacy and preaching the Gospel be mutually exclusive? Nathan, are you saying we can’t counter evil and show Christian love at the same time? God hates evil. Can’t God use the person who witnesses daily to homosexual strugglers, but also use those who stand for truth in the public square?

Guys, our God is a big God. He can use a lot of different approaches, and nobody has the corner on THE right and ONLY way to address this issue. It would be poor stewardship of the great freedoms He has given us in this blessed nation (which is now abandoning Him…) for us NOT to use our freedoms to defend truth and justice against ungodly forces.

60   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 3:55 pm

” It would be poor stewardship of the great freedoms He has given us in this blessed nation (which is now abandoning Him…) for us NOT to use our freedoms to defend truth and justice against ungodly forces.”

See guys? Behold, the American deception.

61   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Joe,

Interestingly these people who scream for their “rights” are the same people that “scream” when NT Wright or McLaren state Jesus had a political agenda… The Kingdom of God.

They call Brian a heretic over this and twist his teaching to be some “dominion” theology as opposed to see it as Jesus setting the captives free and bringing justice to the world by giving the world His Church.

Now I do not see that we are to align with right wing let alone left wing and that is why I see some groups out there looking for the “biblical” view that is about the Kingdom of God and sharing Love and the message of Christ to others rather than attacking a certain group politically and in the process making them less “human”.

Just my 2 cent worth also
iggy

62   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Rick,

we are not called to an anti-anything agenda.

Amen to that!

BTW: This is not saying one is pro sin… but Pro Christ Jesus who overcame sin for us.

iggy

63   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 21st, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Dear Sir,
You said,

Sorry, your position is neither Biblical nor reasonable.

Actually, I am the one who is sorry, I believe it is both. It may be more libertarian than yours but it is still practical. The other laws you referenced are all harming people who are non-willing participants minus the easy divorce one. Here’s something to consider; I don’t care if they make homosexual marriage legal. How much of the sex police do we want to be. The Bible seems to say masturbation is sin, perhaps we could “fight” for laws to make that illegal. Think of what we’d do for the economy, all those new jobs. It’d be great. I’m not called to make America look like my values, we need to be careful to not confuse the Bible with the constitution.

64   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 21st, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Henry, please explain: “Homosexuality is an easy target.” Seems for some on this list, the “religious right” (a term I do not like) is an easy target. I challenge each of you to answer my question re: whether pro-family public policy groups should shut down… And by the way, I would be ecstatic if all on this list engaged in peaceful Gospel outreach outside gay bars, clubs, etc. We’re doing Christian outreaches at gay bathhouses in Chicago, and I welcome anyone to join: God will heal many more people trapped in homosexuality than any man-made program.

65   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 21st, 2008 at 4:09 pm

Should all pro-life groups disband? What about groups fighting pornography, or easy divorce or tougher rape laws? Should conservative groups that advocate for judges that interpret — rather than make — the law close down (while ACLU goes on unimpeded)?

All these issues, except probably the rape and judges issues which are a different issue altogether, are moral and spiritual issues. We can pass laws making it harder for people to see porn, get divorced, and get abortions, but they won’t change people’s hearts. This is essentially what the Pharisees were chastised for. They wanted to cure the disease by addressing the symptoms rather than the underlying issues.

There is no law or set of laws that can be passed that will improve the spiritual state of the US. It’s like giving an aspirin to someone who has a broken leg that needs set. It might make them feel better for a few hours, but unless their leg is set straight, they’ll continue to get worse.

66   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 4:09 pm

..we need to be careful to not confuse the Bible with the constitution.

Too late.

67   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Peter – I commend your outreach. I just believe that separating a certain sin and attempt to eradicate it or at least its symptoms in society by political means is using the weapons of the flesh. Homosexuality is easy because most do not struggle with it and it is an easy punching bag.

You want a couple of larger fields? Set up organizations that attack prayerlessness and pride in the church. God isn’t concerned with America, he is concerned with His church.

68   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 4:23 pm

“I challenge each of you to answer my question re: whether pro-family public policy groups should shut down… ”

I will accept your challenge.

Yes, they should shut down and use the money overseas.

We already have a pro-family policy group – the church.

69   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 21st, 2008 at 4:29 pm

I challenge each of you to answer my question re: whether pro-family public policy groups should shut down…

I tend to agree with Rick on this one. We have so many para-church groups in the US with the the apparent goal of keeping America great, that in many ways they have actually sidetracked the Church from it’s mission. Our mission is not to worry about our health primarily, it’s to bless the world and suffer for the world even to the point of dying for our enemies.

70   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 21st, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Joe, I think the problem with libertarianism is that it’s all about ME. It glorifies self above God. Some here have talked about Americanism over Christianity — there it is in spades!…: MY right to an abortion; MY right to buy porn; MY right to same-sex “marriage,” etc. I don’t know about how practical or compassionate that is in the short or long term. There is a place for laws — however imperfect — to protect life and restrain sin but also to draw people to think about God. Pro-life reforms would lesson abortions, to be sure, but the whole (political/cultural) discussion also draws us to reflect on the sanctity of life. The Marriage Protection laws lead to a reflection on WHAT IS marriage. Having said that, I agree that political work FOR ITS OWN SAKE misses the mark.

71   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 21st, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Mr. LaBarbera,
I’m not sure you understand libertarianism. At the very least you and I understand it in vastly different terms. I’m against abortion because it kills someone. You seem to be attempting to assemble a straw man and imply that I don not believe in law and order. I do (besides being a rocking show) I believe that laws are necessary. I believe that laws should stop us from hurting other people. So if two gay people wish to engage in a relationship, that is (constitutionally speaking) their business. If they force someone else to join them that is another issue, the same as it would be if a heterosexual couple forced someone else to join th.em. It’s pretty simple, if you are hurting someone else it should be illegal. I think that is very practical and compassionate. There are many things that I believe are Biblically wrong but I don’t want to see a law passed about them. What about the issue of heterosexual intercourse outside of marriage, the Bible clearly calls this sin, do you believe we should make laws against that?

72   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 21st, 2008 at 5:30 pm

First of all, Joe, how can you say this when the same men who founded our nation and its Constitution supported sodomy laws?

>

Call it what you want, but you are wrong to say that this is “constitutional.” Until recently, sodomy laws were illegal. Lawrence v. Texas is bad law.

I don’t know: the law is a teacher: I understand that anti-narcotics laws are not always rigidly enforced, but I don’t want them taken off the books. I don’t want “anti-adultery” laws taken off the books — even if they’re not enforced because that adds to the further trivialization of adultery.

73   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 21st, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Sorry, here’s Joe’s quote:

So if two gay people wish to engage in a relationship, that is (constitutionally speaking) their business.

74   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 21st, 2008 at 5:46 pm

And of course I meant to say: sodomy laws were legal.

75   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 5:53 pm

The church should pray for the secular leaders and leave it at that. Our calling is not legislative, our calling is redemptive.

“So if two gay people wish to engage in a relationship, that is (constitutionally speaking) their business. ”

Techincally Joe is correct. If the American democracy as set forth by the constitution votes to allow it, then it becomes constitutional. (i.e. abortion). Now we could choose to spend God’s money and His time to change the law, but to what end? In case no one has noticed, this view has some of the same characteristics as the emergent church.

Both groups want to change the social ambiance in the culture, albeit they are on different ends of the spectrum. Wow, emergent #1 and emergent #2. Let’s do lunch!

76   nc    
February 21st, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Actually, that sodomy law applied to all people.
Under that statute oral sex between straight people falls under the technical legal definition of sodomy.

Sorry….

77   nc    
February 21st, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Also,

I don’t see a popular trend of thinking adultery is trivial. It doesn’t need a law for people to see how hurtful it is.

Also, divorce proceedings still take this into consideration without criminalizing the behavior.

78   merry    
February 21st, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Rick,

“BTW – You can remebre being 8 months old? I cannot remember 8 minutes ago.”

Keeping a journal helps, lol! But yes, I can. :)

79   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 21st, 2008 at 8:08 pm

I think Peter has proved the point by commenting here on this and working so hard to convince others on this site that he right. He is more interested in proving to the world he is right about the debate than he is helping anyone.

I have been following Peter’s site for a long time now and I have to say each post he writes about GLBT folks saddens me. GLBT folks have a need to be represented accurately, to be seen in our humanity, not discussed like the hot button issue or the newest threat to society.

Peter has called gays and lesbians a threat to society, diseased and painted us as a threat to children. We all know how people respond when to something they view as a threat. If something is a threat, it is seen as something to fight, fear and loathe. Exactly the way GLBT folks are seen in most of the world. Wonder where people get such pictures?

Peter’s intentions may be true to his heart, but he is doing great harm to folks who are gay. He is helping to feed the picture that young folks would rather be dead than gay. Look how horrible Peter paints those Gay people.

I hope Peter someday sees that he is harming far more people than he is helping. I challenge him to do better, do more and stop creating enemy images of gays and lesbians. We are not a “thing” to fight but people. Please learn to respect out humanity.

80   Steve    
February 21st, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Mr. LaBarbera? I don’t understand why you used your ministry, Americans for Truth, to campaign against Gov. Romney on the MassResistance website, signing a letter there, and then actively campaignd against him in another primary. How is this level of political activity against a particular candidate part of your personal ministry against gays and lesbians?

81   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 21st, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Lastly, if Peter is really serious about his mission being based in love, compassion and empathy. I would urge him to get trained in Nonviolent Communication as developed by Marshal Rosenberg. I would urge him to learn the tactics of King, Gandhi and Chavez. If your mission is to succeed then it must be done without the enemy images or it is nothing but violence of the heart.

When your message is one of empathy, you will be surprised how many will listen to you. When your message is one of moral judgment and moral evaluation of others, you will shut off more than you will open up.

82   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
February 21st, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Peter,

I am not saying what they are doing is WRONG. I am just saying that it is not the most effective (and at times destructive) means to both combating evil and preaching the gospel.

Do you really believe that these websites are the most effective ways to help people come out of homosexuality? Who is going to read about laws that are banning their lifestyle and think… gee, I should change because God is so good. We are not called to change laws, but lives. Sometimes we forget that.

Also, there is LITTLE gospel that is preached at these websites. If I was gay or a non-believer, and went to this site, there is nothing that shows me how to find a relationship with God.

Honestly, I think these sites are more interested in making sure that Christians will always have their “Christian nation” and live comfortably than helping people find Christ (allowing HIM to change them). The real problem: we don’t believe that God can really change people, so we create websites to do it.

83   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 21st, 2008 at 9:00 pm

There were also laws that said Black men weren’t actually men and women didn’t have the right to vote so I’m not sure you’re point is all that valid. I also noticed you didn’t answer my question which was

The Bible clearly calls sex outside of marriage sin, do you believe that we should have laws forbidding it?

I will not move another step in this conversation until you answer this question.

84   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 9:02 pm

“The Bible clearly calls sex outside of marriage sin, do you believe that we should have laws forbidding it?”

No, I believe it should be illegal to talk about it!

85   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 21st, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Yeah, but Rick you’ve checked out of the legal process so what you want is not germane to the conversation.

86   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 21st, 2008 at 9:11 pm

I know, you caught me. But your point is well taken. Where do you draw the line about the moral police? Governmental laws should be to protect us from others intrusion, or to provide fairness for everyone, and to promote peace.

But if we legislate morality whose morality is the litmus test?

87   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 21st, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Drum roll please, I agree with you Rick. If the Muslims get a majority can they dictate how my wife should dress. (Something they believe as fervently as any Christian).

88   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
February 21st, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Two thoughts.

1. Nathan, took a while to catch on, but boy is this post on fire.

2. I think we are more afraid of real persecution and laws that would require us to break them to be obedient to God than actually saving souls. I know nobody would admit that. We have a hard time separating the kingdom of God from the United States of America. We don’t want it to be that way.

89   Dean    
February 21st, 2008 at 10:29 pm

It has seemed Peter Labarbera’s ranting about gays is a case of “me thinks he doth protest too much.” So what is Peter Labarbera’s problem?
It is does seem to be common knowledge, Labarbera has in the past, financed a lot of his operations, by selling homosexual pornography. Furthermore, Labarbera has a track record of attending homosexual bondage, domination, and sadomasochistic (BDSM) events, dressed in BDSM costume. Why?

90   dc    
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:25 am

Peter LaBarbera is only out for the money that he can shake out of people by with hos promotion of Fear of the Homos. That’s Peter’s LifeStyle to support a wife & 5 kids. No respectable employer would give Peter a respectable job. Peter is obsessed and a lost soul.

91   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 5:45 am

no big surprise from me…

“My kingdom is not of this world”

“The world will hate you because of me”

“Bless those who persecute you”

“Turn the other cheek”

“Die to yourselves”

“My strength is made evident in your weakness”

I see little evidence to support huge campaigns against a group of individuals.

To answer Peter’s question “What about all the other agencies”.

SHUT ‘EM DOWN. Get busy preaching/living the gospel.

92   Gabriel Hudson    
February 22nd, 2008 at 7:14 am

As a Christian you can believe many things are wrong and share those beliefs with others to help them live their lives. Peter LaBarbera and Americans for Truth do not do this. They are concerned with harsh political outcomes. A Christian can share their beliefs with others and try to change people’s minds while still believing people should be treated fairly under the law. If AFT was concerned with sin then Peter would run a website explaining why certain behaviors are sinful and why people should not do them. Instead he runs a blog advocating cruel and unfair treatment for people that don’t share his moral beliefs. That is anything but American. You can oppose someone’s sin and behavior without hating them. Peter does not do this. He wants them to be treated differently under the law because he has an animus toward anyone who identifies as gay regardless of their behavior. Misguided men like Peter give all Christians a bad name. They contribute to the misconception in society that Christians are concerned with political victories and discrimination rather than changing lives through sharing the love of Christ.

93   jazzact13    http://jazzact13.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 8:00 am

–See guys? Behold, the American deception.–

Says the man enjoying the rights of being an American to say that.

94   jazzact13    http://jazzact13.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 8:04 am

Wow, I thought I was only hyperbolventilating here…

“Yes, fellow believers, that’s right. Never stand for or against anything (and I do mean “anything”), because you will be EATEN ALIVE by others who claim to be your brother and sister fellow believers, who without any proof will claim that you (choose all that apply) hypocritical, unloving, self-righteous, patriotic, psychotic, guilt-ridden, mean to puppies, hate puppies, have puppies for dinner.”

–but I see I was much closer to reality then I thought. Weak argument, unfounded accusations, judgmentalism.

Ya’ll are becoming the thing you claim to hate.

95   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 8:06 am

Says the man enjoying the rights of being an American to say that.

Out of the 150 plus countries in the world. Most have the freedom that allow people to say what they want. This is a tired argument about how great the U.S. is compared to ___________.

96   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 8:30 am

jazz,
No one has said anything disrespectful here. Peter challenged us with a question, and we answered him. You might not like the answer, but that’s not really our problem.

I don’t believe anyone has called anyone who’s posted in this thread any of the names you list off.

It’s kind of funny to me in some ways. The people who argue the loudest against man’s free will as it pertains to salvation, many times seem to fight the most about protecting our freedoms in America. It seems like a philosophy borne out of expediency more than anything, really. I think Christian P. has a point – many Christians are genuinely afraid of not holding power because they really don’t want to face persecution. I’m not saying that out of judgment, as I can’t honestly say I can look at that prospect without fear as well.

97   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 22nd, 2008 at 8:44 am

Jazz,
It is you who become what you hate. I was never disrespectful to Mr. LaBarbera. I disagreed with him, is that now against the Jazz rules?

98   Daniel Downs    http://thestateofamerica.wordpress.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 8:48 am

If God gives you a gift, do you disregard it? If someone seeks to take that gift given you, you defend your right to it. If some seek to mess it up, you defend your right to it just as given. True, if a person asks to have it or evidences he or she needs it more than yourself, as dedicated Christian, you give it.

If human nature is God’s work, so is human society and human government. Even Thomas Jefferson recognized and acknowledged American political freedom and rights were a gift from God.

Organizations like Americans for Truth are necessary to defend that original of a biblically-based politico-social liberty dating to at least 1215, if not the times of the Second Temple as well as Moses.

The American experiment was one of secular do-your-own-thing, with or without religion, but rather a wedding of God by covenantal agreement to our nationhood witnessed in the Declaration of Independence and carried forward by the first and second Constitutions. Legally, separation of religion from state/public is a myth and a lie. Institutional powers were separated but not the influence of faith in God and biblical principles. The legal basis of both was natural law, which was rooted in the bible and reason.

The reason homosexual was illegal prior to the mid-20th century was it was a behavior contrary to all of the above as well as marriage, family, and the future of society. For if the time comes when every child is raised up and taught that homosexuality is somehow okay it will also become desirable. If desirable, then it should be practiced widely. With modern medical technology, lesbians do have babies and gay men do donate their sperm to the cause, all in defiance of God and nature.

Yes, it is a sin like all others. However, it is a politicized one that if it succeeds society’s future will be threatened in two ways: It will be threatened by the diminishing numbers of births along with further erosion of true freedom and morality, and it will lead to the same end as Sodom and Gomorrah. For biblical Sodom was not merely about the sin of homosexuality but the greater evil of moral relativism and tolerance.

99   Robbie    
February 22nd, 2008 at 8:52 am

Folks,

There are a couple of things we need to consider here. We need to ask ourselves what exactly is it that we are called to evaluate?

People?

No. Clearly not. We are not in a position to judge another persons value or worth. Only God can do that. So what is it then?

Behaviour?

Yes. St Paul makes it clear beyond question, in fact, that we are indeed supposed to address our own actions and the behaviour of others. Now, this is not an optional extra people. It’s a requirement of discipleship. It’s awkward, I know! But we are required by our faith to challenge sin. All sin. Let me be clear so there is no confusion about this…..We are REQUIRED to challenge sin. This not something that we get to squirm out of

The key to this, though, is to speak the truth with love. Our though has always to be to try and lead the person out of the darkness and into the light. “Love” does not excuse sin under the guise of tolerance and compassion. Love doesn’t say “oh its okay if you love each other”. This is not love. Real love can only ever be based on truth. And the truth of the human body is very clear. God did not design us for anal sex or any of the other behaviours of so-called gay sex. We’re just not designed for it. If God is our designer then we need to wake up and join the dots, wouldn’t you say? If it was part of God’s plan for our sexuality He would have designed us accordingly. Also God says, “be friutful and multiply”. Homosexual sex (male and female) is by its very structure sterile. It does not proceed from a genuine and affective complementarity. It is closed off to the gift of life. Under no circumstances can it be tolerated let alone “promoted” or, “celebrated”. All this bluster from so-called “gay” christians about thier “sexual orientation” being a gift fom God is little more than a painful attempt to avoid dealing with the difficult truth about their disordered desires by trying to convince themselves, and others, that, in fact, God approves. It breaks my heart to think of the depth of pain that must bring someone to this state!

What, then, about the people who indulge in this behaviour?

We need to distinguish, between three different types – so to speak – of homosexually incline person. There is firstly, the person who is unhappy with the unwanted sexual confusion he experiences. He is upset and doesn’t want these disturbing desires. He doesn’t identify with the label “gay” and lives a chaste lifestyle. For him/her the condition constitutes a trial. Then there is the person who embraces the lifestyle, the subculture, the sex, the promiscuity with all it’s dangers. This person is, for the time being anyway, happy to indulge their desires. And he does! Frequently! Indeed, as we see, the very people engaged in this lifestyle testify to the wildly elevated levels of promiscuity involved in their behaviour. And while it is true that heterosexual people often like to be promisuous, there is a pathology to the extremes found in the homosexual subculture that is replicated nowhere else.

Finally there is the activist. The person who embraces gay sex as a political ideology. He/she is politically active. Purposely trying to change the very nature and concept of marriage and the family through re-definitions of rights legislation. This person has so embraced the lie of his false personhood that he is driven to destroy anything that gets in the way of his agenda. Such a person is like someone who is trapped on a merry-go-round – speeding faster and faster desperately trying to avoid the awful truth of their own emptiness and pain. These activists seek the extension to themselves, of those rights and privileges afforded to natural marriage. This, in consequence, has the effect of re-writing, so to speak, the very DNA of society, who’s very foundation is the natural family with all the resulting heartache and disorder in hearts and souls.

Americans for truth is quite right to bring this to the public square. The dangers of doing nothing are very grave, both for the well being of the individuals involved in the homosexual lifestyle and for the integrity of western society itself.

It’s time to speak the truth clearly, without fear, without apology, consistently . . . . .and always with love.

100   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 9:59 am

Hmmmm…

When Jesus was confronting sin, was he confronting the religious or the pagans?

When Paul was confronting sin, was he addressing the religious or the pagans?

Perhaps the beginning of the “Great Apostasy” actually occurred around 325 when Christianity was made the “official religion” of the Roman Empirt…

101   Evan Hurst    
February 22nd, 2008 at 10:16 am

no, the authors are totally correct.

It’s people like Peter LaBarbera and his “ministry” (hate group?) that make Christianity so unattractive to growing percentage of the populace.

for what that’s worth.

102   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 10:17 am

Americans for truth is quite right to bring this to the public square. The dangers of doing nothing are very grave, both for the well being of the individuals involved in the homosexual lifestyle and for the integrity of western society itself.

I just don’t see what good bringing this particular sin “into the public square” does. There are many other sins we are content to not make into political issues, but somehow this is treated differently.

I think the person you call the “activist” is quite rare, and most of the majority of homosexual people I’ve met don’t want to make it a political cause. Even if there are activists on one side of the issue, I don’t think it means we respond with our own activism. The Kingdom of God is about responding in the opposite spirit. When confronted with hate, we love. When confronted with greed, we give. The list goes on.

103   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 10:21 am

–See guys? Behold, the American deception.–

Says the man enjoying the rights of being an American to say that.

I firmly believe that America has become an idol in the church because I was once on the other side. It is a deception that erroneously states that America was born as a Christian nation. I am thankful for “rights” but my loyalty is all to Christ. I am not anti-America, but when I speak my views you will see American Christians get very upset. What does that tell us?

And to quote the Christ denying deist Jefferson is just another facet of Americanism permeating the church.

104   Evan Hurst    
February 22nd, 2008 at 10:28 am

Robbie:

You missed the fourth “type,” which constitutes the great majority of gay people: the ones who just live their lives, the same way as anybody else, either single and ready to fall in love and create a life, or already having found that person…going to work everyday, making a living…trying to give something back to society…cutting the grass on Saturday mornings…really, really boring. websites like Peter’s will not show you the great majority of gay people, because it’s easier to vilify gay people when you’re showing pictures of leather sex conventions.

it’s all very strange.

105   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 10:54 am

Americans For the Real Truth

We are a policy organization that lobbies the American government to recognize the sins within the church and provide appropriate legislation that will stand against these outrages. Adultery, pride, hypocrisy, greed, and many other sins are beginning to be widely accepted as “normal” and we strongly want America to reject these ecclesiaistical transgressions.

George Washington would never have put up with these things and neither should we. We want answers to some nagging questions like “If these sins are generally considered as rampant in the church, why is there no discipline?”. The reason is that the adultery and pride lobbies are very strong and we must confront them.

This illustration showcases our hypocrisy when we as the incredibly sin ravaged church attempt to corral the effects of sin in the world through legislation. We can’t even clean up our own house.

106   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 10:57 am

George Washington would never have put up with these things and neither should we. We want answers to some nagging questions like “If these sins are generally considered as rampant in the church, why is there no discipline?”. The reason is that the adultery and pride lobbies are very strong and we must confront them.

Wow, the adultery and pride lobbies? They must have their offices right next to the gluttony and sloth lobbies. I don’t know, I just picture a lobbyist going to a congressman, “sir, I am very disturbed by the lack of adultery in this country. We need more sex on TV, and I’d like you to pass legislation making it mandatory for people to watch pornography everyday”.

107   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 22nd, 2008 at 10:59 am

and for the integrity of western society itself.

Didn’t we lose that when we were selling people into slavery? Or how about when we wouldn’t let women vote because they didn’t have a certain organ? Come on! The integrity of Western Society? Where is that in Scripture?

108   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:04 am

BTW – George Washinton stood against homosexuality both in his own family and among his slaves. He wouldn’t stand for it!

109   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:07 am

Rick,
Your last comment might just be the perfection of ironic humor…

110   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:32 am

I see Mr. Labarbera has responded to the aspects that he wanted to respond to and as of 11:30 on 2/22/08 has still failed to answer my question regarding laws and lobbyist for heterosexual sex outside of marriage. It does make one wonder, no?

111   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:37 am

Here is his quote:

“Many Christians, appropriately desirous of winning souls to Christ, are non-confrontational in public policy (or simply avoid or even abhor it altogether) – while our “gay” activist opponents are aggressive, highly skilled, and often ruthless in the political and cultural campaigns that they wage.”

Question: How do you get a dead man to act morally?

Answer: Get other dead men to pass legislation!

112   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:40 am

Robbie,
The fact that you can box all GLBT folks into three (or four) categories shows me that you don’t see a gay person humanity but instead you seem them for the label you have given them. I feel so frustrated when I see people make these type of statements. They are far from true. I could easily name you dozens of types of gay people, if not more.

You can fit gays into near little categories because it is easy for you to see us that way. It becomes easier for you to justify your remarks when they are against these categories of behavior rather than a person’s humanity.

I am offended when I see that you put people into any other category than human.

113   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:41 am

sorry for the bad typing…..

114   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:43 am

I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from?

Choose 1:
A) My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
B) My help comes from Washington
C) My help fromes from having the right doctrine on everything, and proving it to everyone else

115   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:45 am

Joe B.,
You bring up a good point. Even if someone is an “activist”, Christ still died for that person, and we need to serve and love him. It’s easy to start to think of people as opponents who need beaten down when we get in political battles with them.

116   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:49 am

Chris L., you are such a political coward. It’s men like you who are to blame for the tsunami of sin drowning our once pristine society. The church of Jesus Christ in America is on fire, and if it were not for the political malaise of men like you, we would see this country revived!

Repent while there is still time!

PS – I’m doing lunch with Barney Frank.

117   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:50 am

“Even if someone is an “activist”, Christ still died for that person, and we need to serve and love him.”

Boy are you doctrinally shallow.

118   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:52 am

Joe,

Just so we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater:

While I can pretty assuredly say that the authors of this site disagree with the hyperfocus of a number of churches/ministries on the issues surrounding homosexuality, I also think that it should be recognized that, just as lying is a sin, so is the practice of (though not the temptation toward) homosexual sex – even within a ‘committed’ partnership. In this regard, just as a mature Christian should not be a habitual liar, so to should a mature Christian not be engaged in homosexual activity.

Yes, there is a hyperfocus on and an incredibly unloving attitude toward those who struggle with homosexuality. Where we must be careful, though, is in swinging the pendulum so far in the opposite direction as to erase even a letter from the words of God.

119   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:57 am

Chris,
I can empathize that it sounds like you are needing me to know where you stand on sin and being gay. It sounds like you are feeling uneasy that religious folks should find a middle ground on how to treat the issue of sexuality and that you would like to be congruent with your beliefs.

Do I have that correct?

120   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 11:58 am

Our spiritual focus is on the souls of the lost, not their sin which is a given. I also believe our behavior and focus must reflect the emphasis in the New Testament writings. That is why I do not agree with the emphasis on sex but do agree with the emphasis on feeding the poor.

I agree that homosexuality is a sin but Paul gives no indication that he dealt with it at all. Unless of course you believe that the Scriptures morph with the culture which most of the hyper-homo-focus crowd would reject. Paul had much more to say about heterosexual sin than he ever said about homosexual sin.

121   Evan Hurst    
February 22nd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Henry (Rick):

perhaps if the Christian church modeled an example of love for all humanity, people would be more attracted to that sort of “revival.” perhaps not.

as it is, the loudest members of the church seem to prefer digging the hole deeper.

what many Evangelical Christians don’t seem to grasp is that their belief systems, statements, and actions are not attractive to a majority of the population. it’s hard to actually want fellowship with people when they post a list of Things You Must Change About Yourself on the door of the church.

people like Peter claim to believe in Christ’s exhortation to make disciples of all nations, yet their actions do more to alienate the general population from the church than anything gays and lesbians (many of whom are, newsflash, Christians) could POSSIBLY ever do.

also, if you’ve been paying attention, you’d realize that evangelicals have had an inordinate amount of influence in the public sphere over the past few decades and society is absolutely burned out and tired of it. that’s why none of the (legitimate) presidential candidates are even bothering to pay lip service anymore. this has nothing to do with the figure of Jesus Christ. it has to do with the actions of those who claim to be His followers.

122   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 12:06 pm

It sounds like you are feeling uneasy that religious folks should find a middle ground on how to treat the issue of sexuality and that you would like to be congruent with your beliefs.

Uneasy is not the right word, no. I do believe that we need to find a middle ground. I don’t believe, though, that the ‘middle ground’ will entail proclaiming that “committed monogamous homosexual” relationships are honoring to God.

123   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 12:08 pm

“it’s hard to actually want fellowship with people when they post a list of Things You Must Change About Yourself on the door of the church.”

I agree.

“also, if you’ve been paying attention, you’d realize that evangelicals have had an inordinate amount of influence in the public sphere over the past few decades and society is absolutely burned out and tired of it.”

I am an anationalistic believer who does not participate in any political process. Everyone who does is an idol worshiper who is deceived and needs to take a walk on the wild side (Lou Reed)! (trivia points to those who can identify the irony of that Lou Reed quote)

124   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Chris,
I think too it’s a tough line to walk on, but I agree with you. I think it makes it even more difficult because there are so many different opinions within the church itself.

Part of the issue is that we’ve presented in such polarizing terms in the past that once someone says that Christians can treat homosexuals with respect and dignity, a lot of people automatically assume you’re agreeing with or condoning everything a homosexual person does.

The truth is that it’s just a messy, difficult issue, and there aren’t really simple answers. I don’t think God designed people to have homosexual relationships, and it is a sin. But just because it’s a sin means that it just goes away. I would like to rid myself of pride, but it doesn’t just happen. I can still feel grace from others in that area, though. I think we can call something a sin, and still show grace to people who struggle with a sin.

125   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 12:30 pm

“I would like to rid myself of pride, but it doesn’t just happen.”

I didn’t want to say anything.

126   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Uneasy is not the right word, no. I do believe that we need to find a middle ground. I don’t believe, though, that the ‘middle ground’ will entail proclaiming that “committed monogamous homosexual” relationships are honoring to God.

I feel grateful that you clarified that for me. I don’t share your beliefs on this but I am happy that you were willing to connect with me about your beliefs and help me to understand them.

127   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:02 pm

I just do not find any spiritual productivity when Ingrid uses words like these:

“Nathan apparently doesn’t have a problem with school children being taught about homoerotic activity or he wouldn’t be attacking men like Peter and his organization.”

What a self serving invective.

“He is sharply intelligent, articulate and has the tenacity of ten guys in standing up against the cultural sewage that is getting worse by the hour.”

Wow, what a guy.

“His whining and petty criticisms, done in Christ’s name, should be treated with the full-throated contempt they deserve.”

I actually like the “full throated contempt” phrase.

Ingrid misses the entire point. No one isn’t concerned with what goes on in our society, many of us just believe that only the gospel will help and that political action committees and words of “full throated contempt” not seasoned with salt and directed at dead sinners is counter productive to the gospel.

And the research about “fisting” is provocative and designed to arouse the emotions, usually anger not compassion, about the behavior of homosexuals. They are in bondage and SOME of us believe Jesus died for them. Jesus’ political action committee concerning homosexuals had its first meeting 2000 years ago in a place called Golgatha.

The sins of homosexuals are repulsive, disgusting, and are in dire need of forgiveness and repentance. Kinda like my sins.

128   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Joe Martino wrote:
Time: February 21, 2008, 9:00 pm

There were also laws that said Black men weren’t actually men and women didn’t have the right to vote so I’m not sure you’re point is all that valid. I also noticed you didn’t answer my question which was: — ‘The Bible clearly calls sex outside of marriage sin, do you believe that we should have laws forbidding it?’ —

OK, Joe, hold on: 1) you’re not comparing skin color to homosexuality, are you? Homosexuality is about changeable behavior — which the Bible calls sinful. There are many ex-homosexuals and ex-lesbians, but not “ex-African Americans.”

As to fornication laws, I don’t know if there are any still on the books, but 2 points: 1) if they ARE on the books (and unenforced), I certainly wouldn’t favor repealing them; and 2) I believe such laws — ditto for anti-sodomy laws — should be allowed to be enacted and enforced according to community standards (the same will likely happen on abortion if and when Roe v Wade is overturned).

In other words, anti-sodomy, anti-fornication laws will not likely be passed in New York City barring a revival, but they might be enacted in a conservative locale where people don’t believe that sodomy, promiscuity and killing unborn children are basic “rights.”

Community standards is where it’s at. The “one-size fits all” approach — often at the hands of the Supreme Court — is not the way it is supposed to be, and has the unfortunate effect of disenfranchising people and creating bogus, national “rights” that cannot be found in the Constitution.

129   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:21 pm

You all should know too that Joe Brummer is a radical pro-homosexual activist who accuses me and others like me of Nazi-like aggression against homosexuals.

130   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:22 pm

according to community standards

As long as you agree with those community standards, right? Otherwise, your entire organization is a fraud. I just want to make sure I understand you here. You believe that communities can set their standards and enforce them when they agree with you but not when they don’t agree with you. So if two teenagers are having sex on their Sr. Prom night we should have a law that can send them to jail or fine them. How about masturbation? Have you ever masturbated? If so, would you turn yourself in, if there were laws against it? How far up the sex tree of your morals should we go?

131   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Would it be a good thing for us to create a country in which the official religion was Christianity, and that all sins, as defined in the Bible, were outlawed?

Where does basic law and order stop and fascism begin? It can come from the left or the right. In either the case of anti-sodomy/anti-fornication laws (the right) or the case of “hate speech” or some “non-descrimination” laws (the left), the government has left its Biblical mandate (provide defense and uphold justice) and moved into a fascist realm.

132   Evan Hurst    
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:29 pm

the research about “fisting” (and the eerie focus on it) is also meant to mislead the general public about what is or is not commonplace among gay people. so basically what happens is a minority of easily-led people become inflamed about issues that don’t exist, mostly out of a need for extra-curricular activities to occupy their time, while the rest of the population is figuring out that gays really aren’t the “menace” Peter thinks they are. why? it’s not Will & Grace. it’s the gay couple across the street. the lesbian partner at the law firm where somebody works, the guy who sits in the next pew up in church.

regardless of what one’s religious beliefs are, people are realizing that they’ve been lied to by people like Peter.

when Jesus Christ said He was the “light of the world,” somehow i don’t think he meant the obnoxious kind of light that shines in your bedroom at night while you’re trying to sleep because your ignorant neighbor feels the need to sit in his car and listen to the new Martina McBride CD on repeat, and forgets to turn his brights off.

Peter and his ilk are that kind of light.

133   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Community standards is where it’s at. The “one-size fits all” approach — often at the hands of the Supreme Court — is not the way it is supposed to be, and has the unfortunate effect of disenfranchising people and creating bogus, national “rights” that cannot be found in the Constitution.

So, if I happen to live in a majority-Muslim community in America, I should be able to set it up as a “Shira-law” zone?

If I happen to live in a Native American community in the SW USA that believes in certain rituals, I should be able to legalize the use of Peyote?

If I live in a state that is majority-Mormon, I should be able to legalize polygamy?

134   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:33 pm

yep

135   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Ya know, here’s an idea; maybe you guys should change the name of your site to “SexTalk.Info” – it’s got a real ring to it. :-)

136   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:37 pm

The Constitution. Another golden calf worshiped in some religious circles.

137   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:40 pm

If I live in a bunkered community as the “messiah”, with a few other families, tens of wives (some in their early teens) and lots (and lots) of guns, should I be able to live with the morality standards set up in my own little community (outside of Waco, TX)?

138   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Sadly, Peter, you spend so much energy trying to prove to everyone that you are right about gay people. That they are the menace of society, the threat to society, they are after the children, they are diseased and into sick sexual behaviors that other people don’t do.

I find debating all that a waste of time as I doubt you will ever change your mind. So, I will again point out how harmful and damaging what you are doing is to society. Did we not just have a young student kill another kid in his school because he was afraid others would think he was gay? Why on earth would this kid believe being gay is horrible that it is worth killing over? Just who gave him this idea that gay people are so bad that someone would rather kill someone than have them lead others to believing they are gay.

I feel sorry for you Peter, I really, really do. I feel sad for the people you hurt in your “just” cause.

139   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:42 pm

” I should be able to legalize the use of Peyote?”

That might be valid.

140   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:45 pm

” I should be able to legalize the use of Peyote?”

That might be valid.

Actually, it’s current practice…

141   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Comment from Peter LaBarbera
Time: February 22, 2008, 1:21 pm

You all should know too that Joe Brummer is a radical pro-homosexual activist who accuses me and others like me of Nazi-like aggression against homosexuals.

Let me reframe this statement as Peter may have meant it:

“You should all know that Joe isn’t human. He is {fill in scary label} that {fill in I am victimed by nonhuman listed above.”

What Peter would like to do is redirect you from seeing me as Joe Brummer and have you see me as “Radical homosexual”.

Sorry Peter, It appears these people prefer to see me as a human not a label you gave me to scare them.

142   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Radicasl homosexual seems a bit redundant, however, let me attempt to shed some Biblical light here.

Rom.5:8 – But God proved His love toward us, in that, while we were yet radical homosexuals, Christ died for us.

Selah.

143   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Joe B.

I may not agree with you on many things, but on this as far as the dehumanization of people… I agree greatly. As a believer in Christ Jesus… who i believe loved mankind enough to lay down his Life for us, lifted us to be human again. I am appalled when I see someone attack another with dehumanizing tactics. On many levels I am in agreement with Peter, yet not in the style he chooses to make another human being less of value than God has made them.

I see homosexuality as a sin… I see all sin was dealt with at the cross and if one comes to Christ they are no longer, male/female, slave/free but a new creation with a new identity and that being a child of the Living God. That is the message I see changing lives not attacking people and devaluing them.

I apologize to you who have been harmed and to all who are gay lesbian or transgender that the message of the Kindness of God and His great mercy is not in the forefront so that all might see God’s Grace.

Blessings,
iggy

144   Joba    
February 22nd, 2008 at 2:04 pm

I am gay, and I am not a Christian. Being gay is not a “lifestyle”, firstly. Most gay people have absolutely nothing in common with each other in terms of a “lifestyle” except their “sin”.

I have been testified to many times over the years, so I would like to testify to you:

I was an effeminate child in a very Christian town. When other children at school began calling me “f—-t” 40 or 50 times a day I didn’t even know what it meant. I never promoted or voiced my homosexuality to anyone in those days. But simply because it was perceived, I endured a daily torture of taunting and beating.
When I was 16, a boy I had never met or spoken to before came up to me in my school and told me he was going to kill me because I was gay. I later learned he belonged to a group of born-again “Christians”. One night a few weeks later I was walking to a friend’s house when this boy and a car-load of his friends tried to run me over in the street, screaming religious things out a window at me. A few days later they tried again, firing a gun at me from a car.
This took place in a small (20,000) mostly white town. It is but a mere taste of what I had to endure from children who were raised with beliefs similar to Mr. LaBarbera. My story is not in the least bit unique. Just last week a 15 year old boy was murdered in cold blood only because he was perceived to be gay. His name was Lawrence King, feel free to google him.
There is a reason that so many people who suffer with this “sin” have a deep mistrust of “Christians”. You can say these perpetrators don’t represent you, Mr. LaBarbera, but they do. And these things happen every day in America. They are the result of your political “war” on homosexuality in culture, and there would be far fewer of them, and many more people willing to listen to you, if you practiced your god’s love instead of taking it upon yourself to be his condemner.

145   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 2:07 pm

Iggy – Amen.

146   Evan Hurst    
February 22nd, 2008 at 2:09 pm

In Peter’s mind, to call someone a “radical homosexual” (which i take using the early 90’s definition of “radical,” because it makes Peter sound more endearing, like a geeky old Dad trying to use the kid’s lingo), is to end the argument.

In Peter’s mind, he has won, but he forgets that “radical homosexuals” have labels for people like him as well.

and wow, that was a crazy rewrite of that Romans verse! can anybody do that? like, just insert words that aren’t there?

isn’t there some kind of admonition against doing that in the book of Revelation?

147   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 2:26 pm

At least with Ingrid and cowardly editor we see their real motivation. While they spend lots of time excoriating Warrent et al. for not presenting the gospel, here they’re busy waging war on behalf of America with absolutely no reference to the gospel (or as their hysterical screeching was summed up by a reader of CRN.info: THE GAYS ARE AFTER US! OH GNOS).

If they were consistent they’d get busy writing a miss-ive about how they’re preaching a man-centered gospel and worship a Jesus they’ve made up in their own mind.

Edit:
Read Joba’s comment a few comments up. Whether or not you agree with his opinion on the connection between the ODM rhetoric on this issue and the news stories he cites, you can’t deny that the view of Joba and those like him are directly shaped by this rhetoric, and their view of Christians looks nothing like Christ.

148   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 2:34 pm

“screeching”

OK, Tim, that is mine, use it at will. But I am still basking in the “full throated contempt” phrase. In another life Ingrid and I could collaborate!

149   mandy reed, owosso mi    
February 22nd, 2008 at 2:51 pm

“the gays are after us! oh gnos!” comment was mine. that’s seriously how I feel after reading ingrid’s posts. she has to step in for God, he surely can’t handle things on his own. I think she lives in a lot of fear about homosexuality, America, Rick Warren, etc.

150   Evan Hurst    
February 22nd, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Of course Peter and people like him fuel people like Joba mentioned!

And remember, when Peter comes in and replies, he’s AT WORK. This is his job. He spends all day, every single day obsessing over gay people.

And Tim, you’re exactly right. That’s why so many people recoil at the term “Christian” these days…even believers feel they have to clarify sometimes! “Well…I’m a follower of Christ…but don’t worry, I’m not like the ‘Christians’.”

Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, isn’t that obscene that such a small group of people could summarily tarnish an ancient faith like that?

151   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Obviously, Joe Brummer, you are a human, but so am I. And your hysterical charges against critics are what is at issue, not your humanity. A wise person once said that the first person to accuse the other in a debate of being a Nazi loses the debate. We can disagree on a host of matters without resorting to invective. You continue to accuse religious conservatives who oppose laws based on homosexuality inc SSM of “violence” — which appears to be a very calculated attempt to distort their views and motives.

152   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Evan,
It is peter’s job. He is also making his living creating fear. It works. I am afraid. I am afraid for GLBT folks. We need like everyone else, to feel safe. Trust me when I say we don’t feel safe. If we did, more of us would be ou living our lives as opposed to hiding in the shadows with a wide stance.

I fear for the safety of every straight man who is so afraid someone will think he is gay that he is willing to kill to prove it. That fear is created by misinformation. True evil isn’t Peter or people like him, but the misinformation that we are all victims of.

I wish with all my heart that Mr. LaBarbera would see this.

153   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Joe Martino, you missed my point: the community decides. There are communities like Cincinnati that that are much more aggressive in using the law and the government to stop the sale and distribution of pornography. That is their right, do you agree? Or would you favor a NATIONAL law that denies them the right as a community to restrict porn? (Or worse, a federal court decision like Roe did for abortion).

So it’s up to the community: if a new city council is elected in Cincinnati on a more libertarian plank, they could vote to legalize porn sales in Cincinnati. In that case, strongly anti-porn citizens could either leave Cincinnati, live with this new reality, or use their freedoms to fight for a reinstatement of the porn ban.

In the same sense, if the tough anti-pornography laws remain, dedicated porn users could leave the city or fight to change the law.

154   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:18 pm

A wise person once said that the first person to accuse the other in a debate of being a Nazi loses the debate.

I have yet to accuse you of being a Nazi, Peter. I have compared your tactics and work to that of Jospeh Gobbels. I also believe your work is similar in tactic to that of the segrgated south when propaganda was used to scare people about blacks. The rhetoric you are using isn’t new. THe damage it does is the same ole same ole thing. Time to change the record.

I have no objection to your religious beliefs, I object to your tactics. Study nonviolence! Do the same thing you are doing but do it nonviolently. Not only will people like me shut up about you, but you may actually be more affective.

Read the book, “Speak Peace”. It will change the way you do things, read Gandhi’s autobiography. Read the sermon on the mount.

As soon as you move your tactics to nonviolence, I will stop writing about you. Until then, I will stand up for what I believe is right and I will do it in peace.

155   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Also for Joe Martino: nice try on masturbation…. I don’t think it’s likely that a town would ban masturbation, but if they did, the committed masturbators there might be inclined to leave, right? And if such a law were actually deliberated and passed, the townspeople might think this was an odd use of councelmen’s time, and vote them out. Better that then crusading for a high court decision granting “masturbators’ rights.”

Many on the Left (not saying that’s you) resort to these extreme diversionary tactics — hence the abortion debate drifts to excessive discussion of “what about rape and incest?” I think it’s telling that candidate Ron Paul, an obstetrician, says he has delivered thousands of babies and never encountered one of the infamous “special cases.” So for the most part in the life debate we are talking about convenience abortions.

156   Evan Hurst    
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Oh, I know. That’s what I was saying.

I’ve always contended that it’s one thing for someone to disagree with homosexuality from a standpoint of belief, but it’s a whole different thing when someone actually eschews being a productive member of society and instead decides to start a public policy organization, i mean hate group, devoted to countering the “gay agenda.”

Luckily, though, I believe people like Peter and his nine followers (the tenth came out of the closet…) are a rapidly shrinking minority.

Part of it, though, is that in all corners of society, people are starting to “get it.”

And no, communities don’t get to decide whether gayness is legal or not. Remember Ray County in Tennessee? What a joke! They became the laughing stock of the nation for a minute there. Once upon a time conservatives believed the government, and by proxy, religious organizations who stick their noses into government, should stay out of peoples’ bedrooms. That’s why their movement is fracturing into little pieces. So many contradictions, so many factions who actually care little for each others’ positions on issues.

Whoa, I just noticed something else….Peter said something about anti-Sodomy laws not being enacted in New York “barring a revival”…how phenomenally offensive to suggest that New Yorkers’ spirituality just isn’t as good as his.

157   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Joe Brummer, the conflation of rhetoric and arguments with “violence” is just plan wrong.

158   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:23 pm

“religious conservatives”

A man made term meant to elevate one’s views as absolute/true based upon the same man made terms. It unaturally pits sections of people against other sections of people usually based upon the conservative/liberal man made terms.

Peter said “We are simply trying to RESPOND to the other side’s crusade on this issue, just as pro-life groups are responding to Planned Parenthood, NOW, etc.”

We are not called to “respond”, we are called to preach the gospel in season and out. By culling out homosexuality we have misrepresented the focus of the gospel. Christ died for them and that is our message. By responding we are returning evil for evil on the earthly territory of the war of words, especially to those who know not Christ.

We are the epistles, read of all men, and sinners need to understand that everthing God does is redemptive. God has not given us the spirit of fear, and we should not be afraid that America will be lost to sinners. That war was lost when the Declaration was signed.

I have listened to many ministries of former gay people who are reaching unsaved gays and I do not see the same legislative spirit as I see in Peter’s ministry. The government of America is a pluralistic amalgum that denies the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit brings life, the letter kills.

159   Evan Hurst    
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Who’s diverting? It’s the same subject. What two consenting people (or three or five…or one in the case of masturbation) people do in their bedrooms is not Peter’s business, unless it’s Peter’s bedroom!

And actually the abortion debate is completely different. Adults advocate systems that ACTUALLY reduce the number of abortions, rather than being moralistic and playing on people’s emotions. But this is what the far right does: they HAVE to deliberately mischaracterize their opponents’ positions, in order to scare up irrational fear in the population; otherwise, more people would see that their arguments don’t carry water.

Thus, pro-choice people (who want to reduce abortions as much as anyone else) become “abortionists” and “baby-killers” and normal decent gay people are equated with pedophiles and other predators, intent on converting peoples’ children.

The only ones trying to indoctrinate children are people like Peter, who is trying to ensure that the next generation is as whacked out about gay people as he is.

160   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Comment from Peter LaBarbera
Time: February 22, 2008, 3:21 pm

Joe Brummer, the conflation of rhetoric and arguments with “violence” is just plan wrong.

When I hear you say this Peter, I feel sad. What you are doing is feeding violence. I understand it is hard for you to see, but you are feeding violence. What do you need from me to see this?

161   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Joe B and Peter – can we take the personal back-and-forth offline?

162   Evan Hurst    
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:46 pm

He won’t see it.

But I can explain it for him, futile though it might be. It’s been proven in studies that those with the strongest homophobic feelings are those who, themselves, have what Peter might call “unwanted same-sex attractions.” It’s something they would never admit, but biology betrays the subjects in said studies. SO! When you have someone, perhaps the person who killed that kid in California last week, who hates himself so deeply because of these feelings, they become threatened by gay people who don’t hate themselves for the way they are. Sometimes, this can lead to violence. Now…what could possibly make someone like hate themselves so much? Possibly a religious machine that condemns them as less than people on a daily basis, which feeds down from their churches into their families, making them outcasts in their own lives.

And then they see a gay person…the hatred they have for themselves extends to that gay person.

163   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:48 pm

The church should not conduct abortions. The church should not practice homosexuality. The church should not engage in drugs. The church should not be drunk. The church should not commit adultery.

Get it? The church shouldn’t do those things. The world DOES those things and CANNOT STOP unless they by faith in Christ become a part of the church. Telling the world to STOP SINNING is without merit or productivity, somewhat akin to telling a corpse to straighten his tie.

Jn.12:32 – And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all radical homosexuals unto me.

Jn.3:17 – For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn radical homosexuals, but that radical homosexuals through Him might be saved.

The sufferings of Christ, the bloodletting at Calvary, the agony of the cross, and the breathtaking atonement of the Lamb of God was God reaching out in a crimson spectacle of love to all sinners including homosexuals. It certainly was not some political statement meant to protect society from impact of certain sins.

The gospel of Christ is extremely uncomfortable and many times requires a self denial that is personally and theologically painful. What seems like defeat abounds to the glory of God! (see “the cross” unabridged edition)

164   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:48 pm

I am done Chris.

Thanks for the soapbox!

165   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Get it? The church shouldn’t do those things. The world DOES those things and CANNOT STOP unless they by faith in Christ become a part of the church. Telling the world to STOP SINNING is without merit or productivity, somewhat akin to telling a corpse to straighten his tie.

Well said, Rick –

I think this is why, so often, the world sees the church as little more than a “sin management program”, and many of those within the church community act accordingly…

166   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Peter,

In Joe B’s own words you are creating “fear”:

It is peter’s job. He is also making his living creating fear. It works. I am afraid. I am afraid for GLBT folks. We need like everyone else, to feel safe. Trust me when I say we don’t feel safe. If we did, more of us would be ou living our lives as opposed to hiding in the shadows with a wide stance.

I fear for the safety of every straight man who is so afraid someone will think he is gay that he is willing to kill to prove it. That fear is created by misinformation. True evil isn’t Peter or people like him, but the misinformation that we are all victims of.

Fear has to do with punishment and by his own words he is not fearing “God” as you are presenting Him… but you… a “Christian” who represents Jesus…

If you cannot see what is wrong in that…

One that fears cannot be perfected in Love. If one cannot see the kindness of God, they cannot see what they are saved from! Most people have if backwards that if they can’t see their sins then they cannot see God’s kindness… but if you read Romans closely you might see that Paul in chapter 2 is point out all mankind is wrong… so no one has a right to judge anyone else. In fact, to do so is to have contempt for the Kindness of God.

It is in this Kindness we see what we are saved from. Before this, we are blind to our sins, as we do not even realize we are wrong. When confronted with Jesus who died for are sins we should then see that this act of kindness, the sacrifice of Jesus, has freed us from sin and lead us to repentance. In that we now can see that very sin and know how true forgiveness is.

Too many try to make people feel guilty… and quite frankly that is a waste of time as most will not, and most cannot as they are blind and have hardened hearts. God shows His love and kindness and in that we should take note that something was different about Him… and in that He is lifted up and the Father draws all men to Him.

It is too often we just get in the way with out attack of another. It is often that we block the way of salveaton through Christ Jesus by our attempts to “help” God save people.

I am not saying do nothing… in fact I have talked to a few gay people and told them about Jesus. Most the time I see that they are just hung up o two things.

1. Past abuse of people who claim to love God.
2. A lack of understanding of their identity in Christ and that God does have a way that is best for them than what they choose for themselves.

Be blessed,
iggy

167   Kate    
February 22nd, 2008 at 4:17 pm

“There are communities like Cincinnati that that are much more aggressive in using the law and the government to stop the sale and distribution of pornography. That is their right, do you agree? Or would you favor a NATIONAL law that denies them the right as a community to restrict porn? (Or worse, a federal court decision like Roe did for abortion).”

I’m commenting for the first time here… but wasn’t this *exact* justification used by Jim Crow? And we all know how well that played out for the ‘unwanted’ members of the community.

I believe that the church is responsible to and for the whole of the community and that when we distance ourselves from the widows and orphand and tax collectors and whores and beggars and homeless by saying that we are more righteous than they are that we have ABSOLUTELY FAILED in the mission that Christ passed onto us from the cross.

(apologies in advance for the paraphrases here, I can’t recall chapter and verse to look these up) ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged’ is an oft repeated verse that should be said over and over by those who feel it is their right and their duty to pass judgement and pass laws that set the moral standard. Also to be remembered is ‘do not worry about the speck in your neighbour’s eye before you have dealt with the log in your own’.

On the original topic of the post, I feel it’s interesting that 95-97% of the population is not homosexual, and something like 50% of the hetero population will get married at some point. If 50% of those marriages (or more) end in divorce, that’s 25% of the population who are corrupting the sanctity of marriage. why the hue and cry over the 3% and not the 25%? Is their sin not as great? They took vows in the presence of God to love honour and respect for the rest of their lives and cast that off…. but they get a free pass… is it because the people doing the complaining about homosexuals are totally sure that they will never end up in the position of ’sinner’ in this case, but are afraid that others shouldn’t look too closely in the case of ’sins’ that affect a wider population?

168   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Democracy = the rule of the flesh majority.

People only like it when it mirrors their views, otherwise they try and change it. And so, people elect presidents, presidents appoint Supreme Court judges, people elect congress, congress approves Supreme Court judges, Supreme Court judges make abortion legal.

Democracy – I love this game!!

169   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Kate – I’m not detracting from your argument or supporting it (or the relative %’s), but one of the fallacies about marriage/divorce is the correlating assumption that 50% of all FIRST marriages will end in divorce – the statistics (not in hand, my apologies) suggest that the % is much lower for first marriages ending in divorce, whereas it is much higher than 50% for 2nd+ marriages ending in divorce, with the total combined = 50%….

The basic conclusion, apart from sin, being that people who get divorced once most often do not every address the root problem(s) of the first marriage before marrying again, setting themselves up for failure…

Both homosexual practice and divorce are sins, and yes – divorce is much more prevalent but much less addressed in recent memory (though much more compassionately) than those dealing with the temptations of homosexual practice.

170   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Question:

A honosexual marries another homosexual. Is divorce an option?

171   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Question:

If two married homosexuals divorce it that a sin?

172   Iggy    
February 22nd, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Peter Labarbera is the sadest of men. There is no use debating him because he will never change his mind. Imagine for a moment that all he does all day long is read about and talk about gays/lesbians. He never allows comments on his blog and so he will not engage in debate. This is disgusting, and I resent that he will come on to someone else’s humble blog and make comments yet prohibit it at his own. Even when he writes about others, he still does not give them the opportunity to respond publicly. You have to write him a private email so he is not humiliated my the hundreds that despise him.

He is nothing but a coward, a bully. and a mean spirited man who in my opinion will have to answer for his sins against humanity. He thinks he is very clever and pride is his sin although he will never know it because his ego is in charge, not his conscience/sprit. He does not have joy in his heart because if he did, that would shine through. That is what Nathan feels.

Over the years his attacks of the GLBT community have grown darker and darker. He has nothing, and is nothing without the gays. He cannot work in a normal corporate environment due to his extreme right wing views. He struggles to fit into society and therefore hides behind a website.

173   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Rick,

I think the answer to both is “Mark 10: 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

I will just let that sink in a bit for some…

iggy

174   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 5:08 pm

The answer is that everything an unredeemed sinner does is unrighteous. When two unsaved heterosexuals marry it is still two enemies of God receiving governmental approval of their union. Mirrored morality does not equal the approval of God. That is reducing the atonement to outward behavior.

Man looks upon the outward appearance but God ponders the heart. Their is NO RIGHTEOUSNESS outside of Christ.

175   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Rick,

that is why I state that there are some heterosexual marriages that are just a much in sin as a homosexual marriage… they are abusive or see it as a convenience… but not a lifelong commitment.

Yet, saying that, God states that it is a man and woman that makes a marriage (ok some of the patriarchs had a few more “women” as wives yet Jesus makes it clear it is “man and woman”)

To say that God is joining two same sex people in holy matrimony misses that is it no “holy matrimony”… as god is not sanctioning that marriage no matter what the gov’t says.

What should humble all is that god granted divorce because of the “hardness of man’s heart”… and states He “hates divorce” yet many Christians see it as an acceptable alternative… and not that ’sinful’…

Yep a thing God hates yet is not as bad as” them homo’s”…

I know that some ODM’s are divorced… and what amazes me is that they seem to lack the most in the mercy and grace department.

iggy

176   Private    
February 22nd, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Myself having incurred in homosexual behaviour, and having been saved by the mercy and grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, I remind to you what Scripture says plainly:

Isa 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Homosexuality is a sin, and so far it has not been a sin that enslaves a big part of the population. But the evil homosexual rights agenda is pushing to make it socially acceptable, and you can expect the future result: the young will indulge in such evil things, as all restrain is taken away. This Scripture says it of the greeks, but is given for all mankind and for those that claim to be christian but they aren’t (see Rev 3:9):

Romans 1:24-28
(24) Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
(25) because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
(26) For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
(27) and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
(28) And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

And you dare to attack those who expose sin! And call them obsessive? If you obeyed the Word of God, you would hate sin, all sin, including homosexuality. Post like this one don’t help anyone to leave that lifestyle (you criticize those who denounce those evil deeds), while critical websites of homosexuality may help to convict people of their sin, and led them to true repentance.

Isa 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

177   Kate    
February 22nd, 2008 at 8:18 pm

“The answer is that everything an unredeemed sinner does is unrighteous. When two unsaved heterosexuals marry it is still two enemies of God receiving governmental approval of their union. Mirrored morality does not equal the approval of God. That is reducing the atonement to outward behavior.”

Rick, I’m more than a little concerned that you call unredeemed persons “enemies of God” there. It’s like there’s no other possible options in that statement. Totally binary, you either love God with all your strength or you are against Him with equal strength? That’s not how life works. What if you turn from the church and then later turn back? Were you the lost lamb or the devil when you had turned? I know the answer that the Gospel gives… and it’s not door B. to take the passage a little further, by declaring those people enemies of God are you loving your neighbour as you love yourself? Or judging them and finding them unworthy?

Chris L, ya, I was being fairly gerneric and not considering things like remarriage and whatnot, but even the numbers for failed first marriages are enough to consider it a larger chunk of the population than the entire GLBT community. And a far bigger threat to marriage as an institution since they are actively destroying it, one little piece at a time…

178   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Rom.5:9, 10 – Much more then, being now justifeid by His blood, we shall be saved from WRATH through Him. For if, when WE WERE ENEMIES, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

I was just using the Spirit’s terminology.

179   Nathan    
February 22nd, 2008 at 9:26 pm

From my time traveling with various ministries, and my work with the leaders at Mosaic, I have seen that most people who target a specific sin all the time are usually dealing with it in their own life. i know it sounds weird, but it is almost a coping mechanism. Erwin has said that you can almost guarantee a person is personally struggling with an issue if it is their personal rant.

Ted Haggard is a prime example.

180   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 22nd, 2008 at 9:39 pm

I have seen that most people who target a specific sin all the time are usually dealing with it in their own life.

Nathan – not really a universal truth. But when people do target a particular sin it always means they are dealing with self righteousness.

181   Evan Hurst    
February 22nd, 2008 at 10:20 pm

it does tend to be true with homosexuality.

secular studies have been done, which i mentioned before.

the basic methodology has been thus: assorted self-declared heterosexual men are asked to complete a survey and from the results of that survey are ranked on a scale according to their aversion to homosexuality…and this is not saying “well, i believe it’s a sin like any other.” we’re talking about, to paraphrase, “how much doth he protest?”

the second phase is that the men are wired up in a contraption that basically measures arousal, and then shown explicit gay imagery.

it’s been done several times, with little variations, but the results have consistently shown that the self-declared heterosexuals with the strongest aversion to homosexuality also were the ones who biologically showed the highest levels of arousal.

it’s just science.

182   Coram Deo    http://www.absolutedominion.blogspot.com
February 22nd, 2008 at 10:47 pm

The Eternal Gospel is the singular solution to culture.

183   Dean    
February 23rd, 2008 at 12:27 am

There are ways to verify someone , who is always ranting about homosexuals, has homosexual urges themselves. Expose them to the probable pheromones derived from testosterone and estradiol, and use PET scanning to observe the metabolic activity of the hypothalamus.

If they are latent homosexual, the exposure to the pheromone, derived from testosterone, will cause their hypothalamus to light up like a Christmas tree. It is also very likely, they will show no response to the pheromone derived from estradiol.

It would be most interesting to see the results of this kind of study on Peter Labarbera.

184   Evan Hurst    
February 23rd, 2008 at 1:14 am

i’m not aware of that science, but i’m tempted to write a one-act play about it, wherein Peter is cajoled into a science lab by a flirty yet authentic male scientist…

i do know that gay men have been shown to have a higher baseline when it comes to testosterone levels.

185   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 6:09 am

OK Dean, you are now an official mad scientist. I want it known, I refuse to take that test. I have no latent tendencies, none. Ever. Not even close. Only girls, fluffy and hyper-feminine.

Men are repulsive and they disgust me. I hate being near them or even looking at them. I wore a blindfold after gym class in the shower. I’ll sign any affidavid to this effect.

I am married for 30 years and I can prove it! I have three children, all mine. So whatever you’re thinking you are wrong. I like footbal and I get my hair cut in a barber shop by a woman. I have always worn pants and makeup scares me. I am 55 years old and I will never need a mansiere.

PS – I spit on the ground in public.

186   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 6:22 am

I will not hold hands in a prayer circle if another man is next to me, so please don’t get the absolute wrong idea. I never paint pictures and I hate antiques. My wife does all the interior decorating and I eat with my hands. I walk like a gorilla and look away when strange men pass me. When I am going in a public restroom I always hum the Volga Boat men song and if a man enters the stall next to me I inform him I am armed.

I was born with a beard shadow and it took the doctor three hours to perform my circumcism. I grew hair under my armpits at age four and I melted my GI Joe dolls to show my dominance. I was dating women at age six and would not let my father hug me.

Oh yea, I am a man’s man and I refuse to take Dean’s test. Why should I, I am free from any latent viruses, I’ve done my own sweep. Clean and hyper-masculine. Alright now, let’s move to another subject, you guys are freaking me out.

187   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 23rd, 2008 at 12:29 pm

I was born with a beard shadow and it took the doctor three hours to perform my circumcism. I grew hair under my armpits at age four and I melted my GI Joe dolls to show my dominance. I was dating women at age six and would not let my father hug me.

You played with dolls?

188   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Poor choice of words. Wanna fight!

=)

189   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 1:25 pm

I wnated to say that the comment:

Comment from Iggy
Time: February 22, 2008, 4:58 pm
Peter Labarbera is the sadest of men. There is no use debating him because he will never change his mind. Imagine for a moment that all he ….

Is not THIS iggy…

Just letting you all know… that there is the slim possibility that there is more than one iggy…

i always try to leave my link…

iggy

190   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
February 23rd, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Hey There Private, way to be bold and put your name out there Friend. We’re not saying something isn’t sin. We’re saying that we don’t want a land that runs around trying to make every sin illegal. So take a deep breath, get some courage and sign your name next time.

191   Evan Hurst    
February 23rd, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Rick, that was perfect.

192   Evan Hurst    
February 23rd, 2008 at 2:39 pm

No, everything would be groovy if you agreed with ME!

get it right.

193   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 2:46 pm

The Eternal Gospel is the singular solution to culture.

I agree. So you seriously disagree with Ingrid, Ken, Peter, and all who would politically push an agenda of legislative morality that denies that gospel? And I agree with you CD that the New Testament never mentions homosexuality alone and apart from other sins and in fact it is in the context of sin in general. Because if it did that would require a different gospel than liars or the prideful would need, right?

I agree with you that homosexuals need the same eternal gospel that unsaved moral church members need and that society and culture can only change by people coming to Christ through the etrnal gospel and surely not the mixture of political activism. I wholeheartedly agree!

194   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 23rd, 2008 at 3:03 pm

How does it change your thinking that the understanding we have about homosexuality now is greatly different from what we knew even 50 years ago let alone 3000 years ago.

If people are born (not necessarily genetic but inborn) gay and with no attraction to the opposite sex, is it not a bit cruel to deny them happiness and companionship?

195   Evan Hurst    
February 23rd, 2008 at 3:32 pm

of course…

i’m also of the belief that when science, sociology, or just plain observation start to conflict with an interpretation of a scripture (any scripture), then it’s possibly time to reevaluate our interpretation of that scripture.

scientific inquiry, is, after all, only the study of God’s universe.

196   kenn    
February 23rd, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Joe Brummer and Evan, I agree with so much of what you’ve posted. Especially the post regarding day to day life. Cut the grass, clean the gutters, pay the bills. They look pretty much like you’re average Republican. I don’t ever recall my old neighbor cutting the grass in heels and a feather boa.

It gets back to something I posted way, way, above…I just can’t get my head around why its anybody’s business. And that’s why guys like Peter LaBarbara are so toxic. And the degrees of separation between him and the Fred Phelps wackjobs just seems to get smaller.

I’ve never understood the mindset of people who feel its there role in life to decide what’s right for somebody else. LaBarbara seems fixated on anti-sodomy laws. Does he understand that in its literal interpretation, it is all about mouth-to-genital contact. Gender has nothing to do with it. So, in Pete’s perfect world, there should be laws against what my wife and I do in the privacy of our home?

I’ve listened to him on VCY recently, and man, he’s one scary piece of work. He’s the epitome of why the average person, and I’ll say Christian, since that definition is as wide as the Grand Canyon, is no more willing to embrace his narrow-minded rants as they are willing to line up behind Phelps. They give good, committed, and loving Christians a bad name.

I can only hope that he continues to operate on the fringe, and at no time will he ever be considered the face of concerned Christians.

197   Evan Hurst    
February 23rd, 2008 at 4:29 pm

the degrees of separation ARE getting smaller.

you’ll notice on the AFT website that when they mention something Phelps has done, their “disagreement” is almost an afterthought.

of course, it’s not easy to walk the thin line where you condemn someone’s tactics while at the same time embracing their ideology.

it’s like saying “well, of course she’s a witch and we should drown her, but we shouldn’t be so mean about it…

i think the actual reason they don’t like Phelps & Co. is that they make garden variety hatred look so unseemly.

198   Steve    
February 23rd, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Can’t we compare the church’s understanding of homosexuality with the church’s understanding of human slavery? Both the Old and the New Testament are chock full of chapters and verses that fully support the idea of human slavery. Yet, cilivization grew to understand that human slavery was morally wrong to God … even if the Bible said slavery was OK! Today we have scietist and doctors and psychiatrists and psychologists explaining that homosexulaity is a normal sexual orientation. Many of us know gays and lesbian and can see the love in their families. We can can sense the committment of the faith. I tell you the truth, I am starting to read the prohibitions on homosexuality the same way I read the glorification of human slavery (and polygamy) in the Holy Scripture. As God leads us along, we grow in our understanding. Because He wills it.

199   Steve    
February 23rd, 2008 at 4:37 pm

And I have to take offense at how Peter LaBarbera used this discussion his Americans for Truth website. One little intro this his first lenghty response … none of the great discussion that opposed his viewpoint, You will never find anything on his website that opposes his point of view. He is out to win debate, not proclain the Good News of Christ. Tht is what makes him seem like such a Pharisee to me, sucha sad man.

200   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 23rd, 2008 at 4:39 pm

It gets back to something I posted way, way, above…I just can’t get my head around why its anybody’s business.

I have spent lots of time really trying to empathize with how others (like Peter) feel about this, another way of saying, “why is it anyone’s business?”

The only answer I have ever found is fear. I believe and think that Peter and those like him are concerned and afraid that god will come down like Sodom on us if we as a society allow homosexuality to be accepted. I have also questioned the idea of the fear of god. If there is a god, why would he want us to fear him? I know that I don’t ever really want people to do things for me because they are afraid of me. I don’t like that energy. I want people to do things because they want to do it. I also don’t want people to do things for me because they will “get” something like a reward. I find that worse than the fear factor. So, If I don’t want people to do things out of the energy of reward or punishment, why would god?

Either way, I do believe that is the motivation of people like Peter. Fear is powerful.

201   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 23rd, 2008 at 4:41 pm

I tell you the truth, I am starting to read the prohibitions on homosexuality the same way I read the glorification of human slavery (and polygamy) in the Holy Scripture. As God leads us along, we grow in our understanding. Because He wills it.

and how do we pick and choose what scripture to follow and what to ignore. What is the test for that?

202   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Can’t we compare the church’s understanding of homosexuality with the church’s understanding of human slavery?

Steve,

Actually, no we can’t – it is rather clear from multiple biblical hermeneutics (and even the more liberal ‘trajectory hermeneutic’ you are suggesting here, developed by William Webb) that the commands on how to act in a slave/master relationship were culture-specific, whereas definitions of sexual sin (including homosexual practice) are cross-cultural.

In trying to treat one (homosexuality) like the other (slavery), you have to throw out any biblical basic of interpretation.

203   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 4:53 pm

and how do we pick and choose what scripture to follow and what to ignore. What is the test for that?

One place to start is Acts 15, which defines the basic orthopraxy of gentile Christians, which includes avoiding “sexual immorality”, which is the common short-hand for the whole of Leviticus 18, as understood by all biblical teachers (including Paul and the other Apostles) during the first century…

204   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Let’s see, the devil has hammered his deception on both ends. One group displays little love or grace toward homosexuals and because of their tone the other group starts to move toward acceptance of homosexuality as a viable Christian lifestyle which causes the other group to step up their rhetoric which causes the other group to more rapidly move toward acceptance which causes…well, you get the picture.

Multi-level deception marketing. Stop the madness, I want to get off!

205   Evan Hurst    
February 23rd, 2008 at 5:25 pm

I would suggest that it all depends on how one looks at the Bible.

But some of the biblical “condemnations” of homosexuality are easily debunked: Sodom & Gomorrah – the Bible itself points out, in Ezekiel, that the sin of Sodom had nary a thing to do with sex. It’s a misreading (probably deliberate) that has grown into an artform, even lending a ridiculous word to the English language.

Also, the New Testament “condemnations” have gotten less and less accurate with each newfangled translation of the Bible. When Paul was writing, they didn’t really understand sexuality per se, but Paul had a thing about promiscuity, and you’ll notice that where newer translations say “homosexual,” older translations say something quite different, in fact seeming to refer to a certain kind of prostitution prevalent in Rome at the time.

And i summarily disagree with the contention that the Old Testament laws on sex were in any way elevated above all of the other picky Levitical laws.

But again, I think this is one of things where Christians can legitmately disagree, and that’s fine.

Some believe in inerrancy, some do not.

And for non-believers, and sort-of-believers, it’s kind of irrelevant from a societal standpoint.

206   Dean    
February 23rd, 2008 at 5:55 pm

I think Henry Frueh proved my point about Peter Labarbera.

207   Karen Murphy    
February 23rd, 2008 at 6:05 pm

I had some further questions to go with the below comments…..

“Peter Labarbera is the sadest of men. There is no use debating him because he will never change his mind. Imagine for a moment that all he does all day long is read about and talk about gays/lesbians. He never allows comments on his blog and so he will not engage in debate. This is disgusting, and I resent that he will come on to someone else’s humble blog and make comments yet prohibit it at his own. Even when he writes about others, he still does not give them the opportunity to respond publicly. You have to write him a private email so he is not humiliated my the hundreds that despise him.

He is nothing but a coward, a bully. and a mean spirited man who in my opinion will have to answer for his sins against humanity. He thinks he is very clever and pride is his sin although he will never know it because his ego is in charge, not his conscience/sprit. He does not have joy in his heart because if he did, that would shine through. That is what Nathan feels.

Over the years his attacks of the GLBT community have grown darker and darker. He has nothing, and is nothing without the gays. He cannot work in a normal corporate environment due to his extreme right wing views. He struggles to fit into society and therefore hides behind a website”

Does anyone know who Peter Labarbera is and how he came to be the voice of anti-gay christians? Is he a formal homosexual? I’m curious if he does have a job and how he makes a living? I looked at his website and I was shocked at all of the writing he does on the subject of gay people. It seems that this is almost the only thing he writes about. There is really nothing personal about him, like his life in general, what does he do all day, is he married, single, children, interests. I can’t find any content to tell us how he became this way, or what this man is all about. Does anyone have any insight on this man?

208   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 23rd, 2008 at 6:55 pm

One place to start is Acts 15, which defines the basic orthopraxy of gentile Christians, which includes avoiding “sexual immorality”, which is the common short-hand for the whole of Leviticus 18, as understood by all biblical teachers (including Paul and the other Apostles) during the first century…

Chris,
I am feeling a little curious and needed some clarification that we are both coming from the same place. The question at hand was do we disregard some thing in the bible and keep other things and how do we know what to keep and what not to keep from the bible. You suggest we start by looking at another place in the bible.

Of course the next obvious question would be what should I use to keep or ignore the versus you suggest will tell me what to keep or ignore. It is like a cat chasing its tail.

????

209   Coram Deo    http://www.absolutedominion.blogspot.com
February 23rd, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Henry (Rick) Frueh said: So you seriously disagree with Ingrid, Ken, Peter, and all who would politically push an agenda of legislative morality that denies that gospel?

Yes. Absolutely. Morality cannot be legislated anymore than saying the so-called “sinners prayer” can save one’s eternal soul. On the surface we’re full agreement on this point, Rick. In fact I have somewhat more to say on this very subject and would be happy to send you my expanded on the matter thoughts should you be interested.

Tim Reed said: Translation: everything would be groovy if you agreed with me.

Frankly speaking I’m not concerned whether or not you agree with me personally Tim Reed, but I do pray that you and I might find agreement on the absolute necessity of the Eternal Gospel which according to the Holy Bible is God’s chosen method for bringing about REAL change.

Grace and peace to you!

210   Coram Deo    http://www.absolutedominion.blogspot.com
February 23rd, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Egads, Rick! That should have read “I have somewhat more to say on this very subject and would be happy to send you my expanded thoughts on the matter should you be interested.”

FFS

211   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Well CD, we ride the same anationalistic bus? Great! Morality without Vhrist is nothing more than a lie. It is the height of works and must be rejected.

Send me your thoughts.

spcrick@msn.com

212   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 9:03 pm

I am feeling a little curious and needed some clarification that we are both coming from the same place. The question at hand was do we disregard some thing in the bible and keep other things and how do we know what to keep and what not to keep from the bible. You suggest we start by looking at another place in the bible.

I’m not suggesting that we disregard ANYTHING in the Bible. Jesus said that not one letter would be removed until his return.

However, when you read the Hebrew Scriptures (sometimes referred to as the “Old Testament”), you will note that there are commands which are aimed specifically at only one group of people or another (Jews, Priests, Gentiles, etc.). The New Testament has Jesus giving us the way in which to interpret the Torah so as to live it, rather than to live by religious rituals.

In the book of Acts, the Jerusalem Council makes clear which of the Hebrew Scriptures in Torah apply to Gentile Christians – sometimes referred to as the Noaic (or Noahide) Law.

What we tend to miss out on is that, particularly in the New Testament epistles, there are both absolute commands (which are denoted by their connection to the Torah), such as “abstain from idolatry” and there are cultural exhortations (”greet one another with a holy kiss”). The cultural exhortations must be examined in their context to see the principal being taught (hospitality, in the case of “greeting with a holy kiss”) rather than the literal instruction.

In the case of “avoid sexual immorality”, this refers specifically to what is recorded in Leviticus 18 and later reiterated by Paul, thus being an absolute command, regardless of culture.

Paul also tells women not to braid their hair, which has no reference in Torah. In this case, those who he is advising are living in Ephesus, where braided hair is a symbol of temple prostitution. So, his instruction in this case is to not dress as if you are sexually available.

Regardless of all of this, we are not saved by our adherence to the law. Rather, we strive to follow what was taught to us because we are saved – even if it is inconvenient.

213   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Karen, Joe, and others – please abstain from the personal attacks against Peter. Rather, let us focus on the actions and not the person.

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood…

214   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Not to belabor the point, Evan, but you wrote:

But some of the biblical “condemnations” of homosexuality are easily debunked: Sodom & Gomorrah – the Bible itself points out, in Ezekiel, that the sin of Sodom had nary a thing to do with sex. It’s a misreading (probably deliberate) that has grown into an artform, even lending a ridiculous word to the English language.

Actually, you are incorrect here. The passage in Ezekiel IS quite clear that homosexual sin was part of Sodom’s downfall.

From Ezekiel:

” ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (emphasis mine)

From Leviticus 18:

” ‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. (emphasis mine)

This fits in with the actual account of Sodom & Gomorrah from Genesis.

215   Evan Hurst    
February 23rd, 2008 at 9:38 pm

“arrogant, overfed, unconcerned…did not help the poor and needy…”

the word “detestable” was used all over that book.

don’t you think if the central point was gay sex that the author would have been a little bit more specific?

as in, calling it out by name like he did in the verse that came directly before? arrogant, overfed, unconcerned, did not help the poor and needy…

but let’s everybody skip directly over that and focus on a word that if we dig deeply MIGHT have something to do with gayness.

please.

216   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Actually, no, Evan – most sexual sins in the OT were euphamized to some degree, as the entire text was shared and memorized in community (even the children). This is evidenced in Ruth, Jeremiah and elsewhere.

The account in Genesis makes clear that there was a same-sex element to the wickedness of Sodom. This is later codified in Leviticus, affirmed in Ezekiel and reiterated by Paul… The Bible is pretty consistent on this – only when we try to make it say what we wished it said do we try to whitewash it…

Rick described the current situation perfectly:

Let’s see, the devil has hammered his deception on both ends. One group displays little love or grace toward homosexuals and because of their tone the other group starts to move toward acceptance of homosexuality as a viable Christian lifestyle which causes the other group to step up their rhetoric which causes the other group to more rapidly move toward acceptance which causes…well, you get the picture.

In this case, the ‘middle ground’ is that indeed, the Bible affirms that any sexual activity outside of a man and a woman in marriage is sinful. ANY activity (including adultery, which is FAR more common than homosexuality).

When Christians raise this issue as somehow being worse than other sins, and treat those who struggle with it in loveless fashion, they are clanging cymbals, sinning in pride as well.

When those who sin homosexually (or overly sympathize with those who do) try to nullify part of scripture, they compound the sin with that of pride, thinking that they know better than God what is right.

The middle ground, though, recognizes the sin, but does not treat it differently than other sins, loving all sinners and calling all to repent and follow Jesus.

217   Evan Hurst    
February 23rd, 2008 at 10:02 pm

well, as i said before, this is one of those things that Christians can disagree on, and is absolutely irrelevant to non-believers.

i’ve also seen some study that concludes that the idea of “knowing someone biblically” actually doesn’t have any basis in the Sodom account, either. i’d have to find it again, but the word used for “know” in that passage is used like 900 other times in the old testament, and it doesn’t have a sexual connotation.

regardless, it seems like the over-arching sin is rudeness and inhospitality, regardless of what kind of “knowing” they wanted to do with the visitors.

(but, if it were sexual, wouldn’t you find it strange that the daughters were immediately offered up as an alternative? bad parenting…)

here’s another thought: even if it were sexual, the Bible seems to be pretty consistent on promiscuity, so it wouldn’t necessarily be saying anything about homosexuality, as the authors didn’t understand sexuality as we do today.

and i know, i know, Levitical law, but, again, i disagree that those sexual laws had any bearing beyond any of the other laws.

218   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 10:14 pm

We all were conceived and born in sin. The entire world lies in the wicked One. One thing that I strongly object to is Inrgid and others compaining about the world’s sin and especially how it affects their social environment. These are examples of that view:

You want this sort of thing our nation’s streets, Nathan?

He is sharply intelligent, articulate and has the tenacity of ten guys in standing up against the cultural sewage that is getting worse by the hour.

Who is our example? Jesus. He was concerned with the sinners, not just their sin. And what was His response? He loved and gave as He came from the holiness of heaven and dwelt among us. Wow, that is a far cry from caterwauling about people’s sin and calling it “cultural sewage”.

I’m pretty sure that what Jesus spoke against was religious pride. He seemed pretty forgiving to the woman caught adding to the cultural sewage through adultery. Our view of sin in the church should be corrective, our view of sin in the world must be redemptive.

People are born many times with same sex attraction. They don’t choose it and some commit suicide because they hate themselves. Our hearts should go out to them with love and the message of the gospel. To call them part of cultural sewage is not Christian by any standards. And by the way, there are people in the world who live in real sewage, and everyone agrees you can’t legislate that away.

How dare we stand on the personal platform of grace and spew hatred and unkindness because they infringe upon our western experience. God knows the church over the decades has found smug satisfaction in lambasting the homosexuals with effervescence and publican pride.

Absolutely repulsive.

Americans for Truth.

YOU CAN”T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!

219   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 23rd, 2008 at 10:23 pm

What makes me sad and angry is that when Ingrid refers to Cultural Sewage, she refers to people like me. Yes, Ingrid, I am hurt by your words. I guess “cultural sewage” is about them same as radical homo or homo agenda or whatever term you choose. My argument has always remained the same, would you be willing to refer to gays and lesbians with terms that are less dehumanizing than “cultural sewage”?

220   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Without Christ we are all cultural sewage. What an earthly condescending tag. Is Ingrid a dominionist, believing things will get better.

Phil.2:14-16 – Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That you may be the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, AMONG WHOM YOU SHINE AS LIGHTS. Holding for the WORD OF LIFE

The worse the cultural sewage, the brighter we should shine as we hold forth the same Word of Life that rescued us. Remember, that culturalsewage was once our “crib”. No wonder God resists the proud but is drawn to the humble.

221   Evan Hurst    
February 23rd, 2008 at 10:35 pm

which reminds me of something i said 400 posts ago or so (or so it seems…)

people who use tactics that are Ingrilicious “shine” like headlights in your bedroom window at 4 AM.

and that’s not my impression of Christ.

222   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 23rd, 2008 at 10:37 pm

Chris L writes:

I’m not suggesting that we disregard ANYTHING in the Bible. Jesus said that not one letter would be removed until his return.

Chris, I have to say this statement has me feeling baffled. So, are you saying that you are okay with every word and message in to the bible? That is one major claim since it would mean you support slavery, hating your parents, support selling your daughter, and murder since large portions of the OT call for people to be stoned (murdered) and their blood shall be upon them.

Please clarify for me, are you really in support of every letter till Jesus returns? Or were you just wanting to sound dedicated to the bible? I would understand either but I would need some clarity as to what you are really saying.

Also, can you do it without any reference to the bible. I want to hear this from you, not the book. I want to connect with your thoughts and feelings. I would love to hear what is in your head. I have already studied the good book. I want to connect with you and where you are really coming from.

223   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Joe – those issues with your understanding with the written Scriptures mirrors my experience in 1975 when I became a follower of Jesus Christ. I did not want to believe but I was drawn to Him and my entire life and eternity was changed.

I know, it sounds like foolishness that a dead Jew on a cross would be the atonement for sins and that He resurrected from the dead. Unspohisticated, unscholarly, and exclusive. Yes, but true.

224   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Chris, I have to say this statement has me feeling baffled. So, are you saying that you are okay with every word and message in to the bible? That is one major claim since it would mean you support slavery, hating your parents, support selling your daughter, and murder since large portions of the OT call for people to be stoned (murdered) and their blood shall be upon them.

I would say that a number of the things you’ve listed are either a) taken out of context, b) literalist interpretations , or c) misinterpretations of scripture.

For example – slavery is not condoned by the Bible – rather, instructions are given for those who are in slavery or those who are masters in a culture in which slavery is a part. The Bible itself, like God, is relevatory – in which things unfold as God’s people move closer to Him.

Another example – “hating your parents” – this is common Hebraism which is used to compare one’s love for God being so great that one’s love for his/her parents seems to be ‘hate’ in comparison. Just as the admonition to pluck your eye out to prevent it leading you into sin is figurative, so is this…

Stoning is not murder – it is just punishment in some cases. One other item to note is that the punishments in Leviticus, etc., are generally given as maximum allowable sentences under Mosaic Law. “An eye for an eye”, for instance, was laid out so that the injured party could not escalate by taking more than an eye for an eye.

I would also note that a number of the items you reference are in Mosaic Law (applicable to the Jews), but not in Noaic Law (applicable to Gentiles).

There are a good number of passages in the Bible which are meant to be taken literally, and others where it is clearly figurative when read in context, particularly when you examine the original language of the text…

Please clarify for me, are you really in support of every letter till Jesus returns? Or were you just wanting to sound dedicated to the bible? I would understand either but I would need some clarity as to what you are really saying.

I am in support of every letter, in context, as interpreted through Jesus’ yoke – his method of interpretation – expressed in “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (in that order), from which all other commands spring. You can read a number of my articles here (or on my own blog) dealing with the Hebrew roots of scripture and proper interpretation (which would not teach selling your daughters, murdering, etc.).

225   Evan Hurst    
February 23rd, 2008 at 11:17 pm

i think there’s a greater point here, though.

slavery isn’t condoned by the Bible…but it sort of is!

the mere fact that it gives out instructions for those kinds of arrangements where that’s part of the culture is a tacit nod of approval, leading me to believe that the writers of the Bible were a lot more culturally influenced than some would have us believe.

as we’ve grown as a species, we’ve figured out that “hey, slavery is NOT okay!” doesn’t matter if it’s in the Bible.

likewise, we’re learning that sexuality is far more complex than we’ve ever understood…scientists have observed it as a natural variation in over 1,500 species on Earth! and that’s just what they’ve found so far!

i said this a while back, but when scientific discovery seems to conflict with our interpretation of the scriptures, we have to re-examine our interpretation of the scriptures.

another example. people seem so focused on the one man-woman marriage model, yet the old testament model features a lot of bigamy, and a heck of a lot of chattel marriage. again, with instructions. so…but we’re not big on bigamy/polygamy/rhombus-gamy or any of that, and at least in the Western world, we’ve evolved beyond chattel marriage. (hopefully. usually when it does happen, the chattel is willing.)

stoning, er, capital punishment is all over the Bible. yet the only difference between that and regular murder is that it’s government-sanctioned killing. some of us in the Western world have reached the point where, despite its prevalence in the Bible, we’ve reached the point where we don’t see a conflict between the message of Christ and also being against state-sanctioned murder…

do you see what i’m saying?

226   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 11:21 pm

In reality the New Testament gives instruction on how a slave who becomes a believer can most effectively reflect Christ even in his present situation. No where does it give approval of slavery. The slave should receive strength from God to endure slavery with patience.

This kind of exhortation is exactly why the Revolutionary War was unsriptural.

227   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 23rd, 2008 at 11:30 pm

For example – slavery is not condoned by the Bible – rather, instructions are given for those who are in slavery or those who are masters in a culture in which slavery is a part.

Your kidding right?

228   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Rick hit the nail on the head here – giving instructions on how to properly live in a society that condones things like slavery is NOT tacit approval of those societies, but rather instructions to individuals on how to best live out and reflect Jesus in such a society.

Sexuality, for humans, really is not that complex, though we strive to make it so.

As for marriage, Jesus makes it clear that the instructions in Genesis are for a monogamous relationship between man and woman, whereas some of the patriarchs were polygamous, in each case ending in strife as a direct result.

This is where we again speak of the Bible as being relevatory – where the situation in Genesis unfolds and God continues to make His will and His desires clear over time – only as fast as can be taken in by His people. Thus, you have the events of the downfall of the ten northern tribes and the Babylonian captivity – finally eliminating the cultural practice of idol worship – cementing the need to “Love the Lord your God”, prior to Jesus’ emphasis on loving your neighbor as yourself.

The bible does allow for capital punishment, though the way it is practiced today is often at odds with the basic biblical requirement – two witnesses. When the state enacts just punishment, it is not “state sanctioned murder” – it is justice. When an individual enacts personal justice w/o the benefit of the state, it is a case of murder, because he has taken the responsibility of the state – as decreed by God – into his own hands.

However, just because society decides that it wants to sanction sin as being acceptable, in the same manner that the Romans sanctioned idol worship, does not make an individual’s participation in state-sanctioned sin unsinful.

229   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 11:43 pm
For example – slavery is not condoned by the Bible – rather, instructions are given for those who are in slavery or those who are masters in a culture in which slavery is a part.

Your kidding right?

I’m not kidding – as pointed out by Rick, giving instructions to individuals living in a culture which condones slavery does not, by extension, condone that culture.

230   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 23rd, 2008 at 11:48 pm

If you would like to explore the whole slave/women thing as compared to homosexuality, I would recommend William Webb’s “Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis“. A good number of fundamentalists disagree with Webb’s use of Biblical interpretation because it takes the position you have taken – that God’s rules have sharpened over time as society has changed. However, in his analysis – using a number of hermeneutical methods, he still comes to the conclusion that homosexual practice is a cross-cultural prohibition throughout scripture, but that the cultural issues around slaves and women’s roles in the church are on a trajectory.

231   Evan Hurst    
February 24th, 2008 at 12:12 am

well, first of all, you’re not going to convince me that capital punishment is ever okay. i call it “state-sanctioned murder” because i don’t believe God has given “authority” to any state, nor do i believe any state has the right to kill its citizens.

and it’s not humans “striving” to make sexuality complex. it’s scientific research discovering how complex it actually is. one’s interpretation of sexuality as described by religion may be simple, but that doesn’t mean that it’s backed by science.

oh, and idol worship never ended. it just takes different forms these days.

i just don’t buy the idea that it’s all so interconnected, that God revealed himself over time and whatnot. as i said before, it seems to me that the writers were extremely culturally influenced…and i’m including the NT writers here too.

that’s why i’m not as concerned with this prohibition or that prohibition…people can disagree until the end of time about what each one may or may not mean.

i’m more into the “big picture” so to speak. for instance, i don’t believe the creation story literally, but i take a lesson from it: that God’s behind it all, and that He loves his creation.

232   craig    
February 24th, 2008 at 7:01 am

Wow.
I have read through all of these emails and have a few thoughts.

One-I’m pleased to see some christians who actually think outside their box and understand the opportunity they have to help the world rather than change it. A good use of your organized thought process actually.

Two. It’s great that your having this debate, but I question the wisdom of becoming fractious in your beliefs. History shows that this is the tends to be the beginning of a scism that is cannot be healed except through the elimination of the original intent. Your religion is suffering a serious challenge to it’s organization.

Three. I would question peter’s drive. Does this supposedly bring him closer to god at some point? Does that make him more of a christian? Isn’t that a recipe for disaster as well? Sounds like it to me.

Four. Did anyone notice how you turned the discussion about homosexuality to the a discussion about the death penalty? Does anyone else see the slim line that you crossed when you began talking about putting people to death in the same realm as how to treat the homosexual?

Just some thoughts, but also one last one….you guys have lot’s of time on your hands….how come your sitting online having this discussion instead of being out serving hot food to the homeless, or maybe visiting the hospital and holding motherless babies with HIV, or perhaps somewhere building homes for those who have lost them?

Your evangelism online is another symptom of a decline in your effectiveness. peter L is a prime example.

Oh and by the way, not all gay men and women fit in one box. Believe me, some gay men CANNOT decorate at all.

craig

233   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2008 at 7:19 am

The Scriptures do point out that the government will execute some lawbreakers, however consistent with what I believe should be the church’s position we should have no position. We pray for the govenment and leave them in God’s hands, participation only leads to divertion and a distorted view of its effectiveness and place our mission.

Evan – It is not necessary to believe the Bible literally to be saved. I am a lieteralist but I do not believe in the six day creation story. God was the Creator but His methodolgy seems hidden at this point. But to be saved one must believe that Jesus was God in the flesh, that He died as a sacrifice for our sins, and that He resurrected from the dead.

But issues such as homosexuality, capital punishment, and six day creation theories many times are used to divert someone’s spiritual attention away from Jesus the Christ. Jesus said, “Who do you say that I am?”. That is the core issue.

Horizontally speaking, the capital punishment system is flawed and execution can be avoided when the accused is wealthy but the opposite is true when the accused is poor. It is unfair but accurately reflects our capitalist society and how it opperates overall.

234   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 24th, 2008 at 8:49 am

It’s great that your having this debate, but I question the wisdom of becoming fractious in your beliefs. History shows that this is the tends to be the beginning of a scism that is cannot be healed except through the elimination of the original intent. Your religion is suffering a serious challenge to it’s organization.

There will always be disagreement, unless you want to devolve to a ’system’ of “I’m OK and you’re OK no matter how we live”. Sin, by its very nature is a schism. If the source of the schism is sin, defining it away does not heal anything, but rather leads down the road to death.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (Pr. 14:12)

Four. Did anyone notice how you turned the discussion about homosexuality to the a discussion about the death penalty? Does anyone else see the slim line that you crossed when you began talking about putting people to death in the same realm as how to treat the homosexual?

Actually, it was someone who was arguing against the nature of homosexual practice as being sinful who brought up the death penalty as something supposedly anti-biblical (or anti-Christian) – which primarily springs from a misunderstanding of what “murder” actually is. I do not see that the two topics are related, other than both being items of modern debate.

Just some thoughts, but also one last one….you guys have lot’s of time on your hands….how come your sitting online having this discussion instead of being out serving hot food to the homeless, or maybe visiting the hospital and holding motherless babies with HIV, or perhaps somewhere building homes for those who have lost them?

I would suggest that most of us do do these things, though circumstance and responsibility place us in a position here during bits of ‘free time’. Rick, for instance, is often medically constrained and cannot be as active. Myself – I am constrained by the responsibility of being a father in the evenings (when the kids are in bed asleep), or being in my place of work during lunch-time – both of which offer opportunity to write here.

Also, I would note that, per Paul’s illustration, we are all parts of the body, each with a different function. Some have the gift of teaching, which we often do here. Some have the gift of wisdom, which is why some of the writers here deal with issues of such. Some have the gift of physical service, which is why many of the writers here are gone for weeks at a time on extended missions, or as part of regular missions in which they serve.

To every thing there is a season…

235   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2008 at 8:59 am

Just some thoughts, but also one last one….you guys have lot’s of time on your hands….how come your sitting online having this discussion instead of being out serving hot food to the homeless, or maybe visiting the hospital and holding motherless babies with HIV, or perhaps somewhere building homes for those who have lost them?

Wow, we’ve never heard that one. Some of us blog at night and some of us have health issues that preclude us from doing things like that personally, however we support those things financially. Just remember, all of us have no flaws and while I am serving hot soup I am also nailing up drywall inside a hospital as I hold an HIV baby in my other hand. See, nothing to criticize.

Yea, right.

236   Dean    
February 24th, 2008 at 9:41 am

Now, that we are discussing Sodom and Gomorah, it would be appropriate to ask if Lot was really a virtuous man. When the towns people were bugging him to have the opportunity to meet the important visitors: Lot offered to let them have his two young daughters, if the townspeople would just go away and leave him alone.

That sounds as if Lot was offering his two young daughters up for child prostitution. That is not what I would call an example of virtue.

237   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
February 24th, 2008 at 9:44 am

Henry (Rick)– you stated: “I am a lieteralist but I do not believe in the six day creation story. God was the Creator but His methodolgy seems hidden at this point.”

Just so we don’t hi-jack an already lengthy thread, could you email me, expanding that thought, also reconciling Exodus 20:8-11? (Email: keithwhitfield at cox dot net) I just finished teaching through the creation passages in Genesis. Thanks. Looking forward to hearing from you.

238   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2008 at 10:08 am

Dean – Lot was only righteous as it was designated by God. At his core, as it is with all of us, he was a self serving and sinful man who made many unrighteous decisions. Much of this is a mystery since our perceptive is three dimensional and not eternal and divine.

239   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 24th, 2008 at 10:32 am

Comment from Henry (Rick) Frueh
Time: February 23, 2008, 10:49 pm

Joe – those issues with your understanding with the written Scriptures mirrors my experience in 1975 when I became a follower of Jesus Christ. I did not want to believe but I was drawn to Him and my entire life and eternity was changed.

I know, it sounds like foolishness that a dead Jew on a cross would be the atonement for sins and that He resurrected from the dead. Unspohisticated, unscholarly, and exclusive. Yes, but true.

Rick, how do you know my experience or understanding of the scriptures? That sounds like you have made some big assumptions about me.

240   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2008 at 10:37 am

My comment was in reference to your 10:39 PM comment which seemed to ask some questions about Biblical authority. If you believe in literally interpreting the written Scriptures then my assumption was innaccurate.

Sorry.

241   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 24th, 2008 at 10:47 am

Well, I guess I should clarify that I do not believe in God at all. I am an atheist. I did grow up in a very religious upbringing and went to Catholic schools my whole life. I slowly stopped believing in god over a 5 to 10 year period from around 1990 to 2000. I have since then refined my thinking about god or gods by continuously questioning the probability and likelyhood there is a god. So far, I have got nothing.

It is not lack of understanding of the bible that has lead my where I am, but the fact I do understand that has lead me where I am.

242   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 24th, 2008 at 10:53 am

To not even believe in God takes much mental discipline. Many people, intellects and uneducated and from many religious perspectives, believe in God. But the most serious implication of all is that your view not only rejects the teacings of Jesus, it rejects Him as well.

I do respectyour honesty especially on a blog such as this, and your call for civility is admirable as well.

243   Dean    
February 24th, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Frueh has said, “Dean – Lot was only righteous as it was designated by God. At his core, as it is with all of us, he was a self serving and sinful man who made many unrighteous decisions. Much of this is a mystery since our perceptive is three dimensional and not eternal and divine.”

Why would God designate someone, as corrupt as Lot, as being righteous? After all, Lot offered to sell his own daughters into prostitution.

244   Evan Hurst    
February 24th, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Tim said: “The government has the right to take life.” (as per the scriptures)

yeah, that’s fine. still think it’s totally wrong. plus, as we’ve seen, sometimes innocent people are executed/on death row. ex: The West Memphis Three. don’t know how familiar you all are with that case, but it’s in my backyard, and they didn’t do it. a redneck prosecutor decided to ignore other evidence and focus on the idea that these three kids were “Satanists.” it’s the “Boo!” factor, which goes over extremely well in the dirty south.

plus, and i’ve thought about this a lot. state sanctioned killing allows us to cater to our basest emotions without getting our hands dirty, and in my opinion, hands the person to God prematurely. let them rot in jail for the rest of their natural lives. who pays for it? well, if you get all the nonviolent drug offenders out of prison, since they didn’t belong there in the first place, you’d have lots of space and extra cash.

Craig said: “Did anyone notice how you turned the discussion about homosexuality to the a discussion about the death penalty? Does anyone else see the slim line that you crossed when you began talking about putting people to death in the same realm as how to treat the homosexual?”

yeah, i did that. i wasn’t intending to conflate the two at all. i’m gay. believe me, it wasn’t intended that way.

Rick said: “Horizontally speaking, the capital punishment system is flawed and execution can be avoided when the accused is wealthy but the opposite is true when the accused is poor. It is unfair but accurately reflects our capitalist society and how it opperates overall.”

oh, hear hear. you can really indict our entire criminal justice system over this one, when you also consider the fact that blacks are many many times more likely to be stopped, arrested, incarcerated, etc., than whites, and no, for whomever might respond this way, the numbers do not correspond when it comes actual crimes committed.

Chris L: “which primarily springs from a misunderstanding of what ‘murder’ actually is.”

some of us believe that ALL killing is wrong, and don’t have a semantic system for when it is and isn’t justified to take another’s life.

245   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 24th, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Rick,
It actually doesn’t take any discipline or effort for me at all. I don’t reject Jesus anyone than you reject Allah or Ganesh. I went slowly from believing Jesus was “with me” to just not believing anymore. It wasn’t a discipline as much as an awakening for me.

I respect that others believe in god whichever the do, but I have learned that no one can make themselves believe either. I just don’t believe anymore. Sometimes, I wish that I did, but I don’t.

As for civility, that comes from studying peace, nonviolence and mediation for years. As Gandhi once said, the only reason kids can read is because we taught them. They fight because….

246   Coram Deo    http://www.absolutedominion.blogspot.com
February 24th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

They fight because….they’re desparately corrupted by their inborn sin which they inherited from the first Adam and they are in dire need of a Savior in order that they might be translated from spiritual death unto spiritual life by the Son of God which is possible only because of His perfect atoning blood sacrifice on a rugged Roman cross.

Soli Deo Gloria!

247   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 24th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

That may be your belief CD, but Gandhi actual said that kids can read because we taught them to read. They fight because we have not taught them peace. When have failed to teach them the art of peace, only the art of war.

248   Evan Hurst    
February 25th, 2008 at 12:12 am

yeah. what Joe said.

people aren’t “born fighting.”

in fact, kids are some of the wisest creatures in the universe until we corrupt them.

249   Evan Hurst    
February 25th, 2008 at 12:16 am

which…

you know, if i were 5 or 7 or 11 right now…and i was looking around me, i’d be learning that when we don’t like something another country does (or doesn’t do, for that matter), we go and drop bombs on them.

that is, if i were lucky enough to be 5 or 7 or 11 in the United States where we tend to watch the bomb-dropping on TV rather than dealing with the annoyance of having the wars in our own backyard.

9/11 taught us a few lessons, but humility sure wasn’t one of them.

250   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2008 at 7:31 am

mandy,

First and most RELEVANT, I will be in prayer for the man and his family Tim has been spending time with… and for Tim and you also.

Secondly, I think it must more of a chore to carry the burden of being irrelevant and doing nothing about it.

Be blessed,
iggy

251   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2008 at 8:43 am

Coram Deo : Agree!
Joe Brummer and Evan Hurst : Disagree. We’re going to equate the ability to read with FIGHTING?! (Joe’s comment). I guess if the kids were throwing the books at each other…but that’s probably a different thread. Gandhi knew as much about raising children in a modern world as Bill Gothard.

One of the first things a child says is “NO!” Where do they learn that? Take a child, give them only the bare necesseties (i.e. food, water) and at 10 to 13 years old, unleash them on society…what you will have is a career criminal! The prisons are full of them.

I’d be curious as to how much experience Joe and Evan have in child-rearing.

252   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 25th, 2008 at 9:07 am

Keith,

Thank you for showing me that you didn’t understand my comment. Perhaps I didn’t make them clear enough.

We are not equating fighting to reading, although I can see how you might have taken it that way. I was making the point that the only reason kids can read is because we teach them to read. We don’t, as a society, teach our kids conflict mangement skills.

Sorry, if I didn’t make that clear enough.

253   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2008 at 9:17 am

Joe, I think, is suggesting the bad behavior is learned from adults. That begs the question where did all this “bad behavior” begin and if you believe in evolution why did it evolve? Even nature suggests an inborn violence. Raise a tiger as a cub, never let is see other tigers, and you can domesticate it.

However, there is always the chance that the inward wild tiger will emerge and show aggression. That mirrors the fall and the Bible says that one day God will rectify that and the lion will lay down with the lamb. Right now if a lion lays down with a lamb only one will get up later.

254   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 25th, 2008 at 9:23 am

Actually Rick, I see you mentioned that I suggested kids learn bad stuff from adults. I might agree or disagree with that. BUT, I was really talking bout what we don’t teach our kids that has as much impact as what we do teach our kids…..and we don’t teach kids how to deal with conflict.

255   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2008 at 9:28 am

Joe – that is a good point, however it does not address why we have to teach them conflict resolution because conflict comes so naturally.

256   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 25th, 2008 at 9:41 am

Conflict is a part of life. It helps us grow. It is also nuetral. Conflict is nether bad or good, it just is. How we deal with conflict is completely different.

Humans are the only animals with a frontal cortex in the brain. Brain scans show that when we use conflict skills to solve problems the highest amount of activity is in our frontal cortex (Our LImbic System). Our higher thinking brain light up like Christmas. On the flipside, when we use violence to solve conflict our reptilian brain is what lights up. The oldest and most animalistic part of our brain.

THe short version is….when we are violent, we use our animal brain. When we use thinking skills we are using the part of the brain the separates us from animals.

257   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2008 at 9:51 am

Conflict is a part of life.

Again, why? Christians suggest it is because of sin but the secular world accepts it as a normal part of life. And the violent and conflict nature of human community has only increased and become much mor sophisticated and technologically self destructive. Even with the ability to communicate instantly, and with the United Nations, the world wide conflict continues to be resolved through violence.

I contend that the reason some lies is because they are a liar. The reason man commits violence, abuses children, rapes, envisions immorality, and commits all kinds of creative behavior that destroys others is because that is who we are. The physiological mechanics are symtomatic of the core motivation.

Teaching only goes so far in alleviating destructive behavior, it can never eradicate it or even contain it indefinitely.

258   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2008 at 10:22 am

Tim said:

Honestly, the scriptures are fairly clear on this. The government has the right to take life. Genesis 9 in the Noahic covenant is the first instance, and this is generally referred to as a “creation command”, ie, its not a part of the Mosaic Law, but rather is a command given for all time. Then it is re-stated by Paul in Romans 13. Additionally you have John the Baptist in Luke… 3 (I think) telling Roman soldiers who have repented and been baptized to go back to their work as soldiers, only to not extort money and to work honorably, with no mention of not carrying out capital offenses, which they would have a good chance of having to do.

I know was kind of a tangent to this conversation, but I wanted to reply to this. I think there is a difference between God permitting something to be done and Him ordaining or blessing something. It seems that God works with human beings where they are at. I don’t think violence was ever His first choice, but He’s use it as corrective measure when necessary. Actually it seems that as Biblical history progressed, God used it less and less.

As far as the soldier that John is talking to, these were Roman soldiers who were in a role similar to a U.N. peacekeeper. They were known to be corrupt and to basically almost have free reign over the regions they were overseeing. It seems by telling the soldiers to “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”, he is stopping just short of telling them to defect. It would seem that much like tax collectors in those days, being dishonest was almost part of the job description.

Also as time went on, it really became unheard of for Christians to remain in the military. There are stories of whole legions of soldiers converting and laying down their weapons. To serve Jesus was to not serve Caesar. It was a way of undermining the Empire.

I think the fact that Christians have confused the power of the Empire as a blessing that is bestowed by God to His people is why things are so muddled today. (By the way, I’m not accusing Tim of this. I am just using his comment as a jumping-off point.) How this relates to to the homosexual issue is this. Many Christians want to use their power over people to force them to change. This is directly against the principles of the Kingdom. Jesus did not force people to change. He died for them.

259   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2008 at 10:28 am

A great comment, Phil. I encourage you not to participate in the corrupt system you have outlined so clearly and with factual articulation!

Jesus did not force people to change.

May the force be with you!

260   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 25th, 2008 at 10:59 am

Rick,
I have three thoughts on your comment.
1) Wow, this conversation is so much more fun then me doing my boring project, but after this comment I gotta book on doing “minutes of a meeting”. ABout as painful as could be….

2) Your thoughts seem to stay with the idea that conflict is bad, but we need conflict in our lives. Conflict isn’t a bad thing and at times can really help us grow. It is how we handle conflict that can disconnect us from what is life serving.

3) I disagree on many levels with the idea that it “who we are” that causes us to rape, kill, steal, lie. I would contend that the reason we do everything and anything we do is to meet needs. Every action we take is about meeting a need for something. It is our stategies (rape, muder, lieing, etc…) that can disconnect us from what is life serving.

Lastly, I don’t much like the idea that we chalk up our downfalls in the world to sin, or being fallen or calling it nature. It takes the responsibility at lays it on something or someone other than us. We need to take the responsibility. We own it, its ours.

261   Thomas Peck    http://www.achristianresponse.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2008 at 11:35 am

Nathan,
I looked through these comments and didn’t find any that really responded to your initial inquiry: I am trying really hard to figure out why Christians are so obsessed with letting the world know the truth behind homosexuality.”

There are two issues here: first, do people really see themselves as sinners who need a savior, and second, what are the impacts of allowing very visible sin to be seen as “normal” or “usual”.

To the first: In order to receive Christ, one needs to first see ones need for a savior, which means one needs to see oneself as hopeless in terms of their eternal existence. On the personal level, I was not raised in a church and did not see my self as a sinner nor in need of a savior – don’t believe most people do. The non-religious or quasi-religious people view themselves as balanced on a scale – some good balancing out some bad and that a “loving” God will not hold them responsible for the bad while rewarding them for the good. Clearly most people do see a need for a savior or a Lord, especially if they have been exposed to a distorted definition of who is God (one who is all one thing instead of a complex being which extols perfect love and perfect justice, perfect truth and perfect grace, perfect mercy and perfect wrath).

Since repentance of sin and receiving Christ is the only way to salvation, in order to share our faith with others it is imperative these elements be present. If we only offer one or the other, we are doing a disservice and offering “another gospel” that will not bring salvation nor the changed lives we all hope for.

To the second point is that our current cultural climate is rapidly rejecting the Christian/Biblical views of what is sin and is redefining what are sins even to the point that if one points out a sin, that is a greater sin than the sin being pointed out. This approach has been used very effectively by the sinner to divert attention from his own sin by focusing on the sins of those who are telling him he is a sinner! So, pointing out sin becomes “hate” speech because it makes the one committing the sin “feel bad” (rather than the original definition of hate speech which was inciting action to bring harm).

In regards to homosexual behavior, how the culture views the behavior has moved from criminalization to ignoring to tolerance to acceptance to promotion and special status, event to the point that private sexual acts can not only be committed in public but is even protected by public dollars. The consequences to society when the moral foundations are undermined can be see through history, and that is where websites like Americans for Truth are coming from.

I do see one point, though, and that is we can become so focused on the sins of others that we can see their sins as larger than my own, and this can lead to pride and self-righteousness. As Christians we are called to dwell on that which is pure and righteous and lovely and holy, rejecting our attention on that which is coarse, debased, degenerate, and ungodly.
Hence, we need to approach everything with discernment, humility, unselfish love, and mainly with a desire for God to be glorified. A pox on all our houses if we don’t do that.

262   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2008 at 11:50 am

Let us be Christians, followers of Christ, and reject the badge of moral police and cleaners of the “cultural sewage” that includes sinners for whom Jesus died. Should we all not hold ourselves accountable and remember we have no righteousness of our own and that many of us would still be part of the “moral morass” were it not for God’s redemptive love? We should not hold tightly and exclusively to the elephant’s tail ,of God’s justice and claim we are representing Christ in all His fullness. People have desperate needs, many homosexuals will become so desperate they will this very year take their own lives. “Well let them die and decrease the surplus population”. (Ebenezer Scrooge)

Our mission isn’t about cleaning up society or improving cultural standards, and it isn’t about legislating morality or condemning sinners, and it surely isn’t about culling out certain sins as extraordinary and in need of a deeper gospel that that which God used to save us. No, we are called to spread the life saving gospel of Jesus Christ accompanied by works of compassion that authentically reflect the Father’s heart and substantiate the words we share. We are the church, the living body of Jesus Christ and we must hold out the lifeline to the group of friends we were once a part of and not speak in such a way as to act as if we would never think of being such people. We were them and God loves them. So should we.

263   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Thomas,
I don’t disagree that people need to see the severity of their sin in order to come to Christ, but I just don’t see that it’s necessarily our job to make them realize it. In fact I would say it is impossible for us to really do it. Only the Holy Spirit can truly convict a person.

I think the Church is supposed to be like a mirror in a sense. We, first and foremost, are to reflect the glory and character of God. When people look at the Church, they’ll see the beauty of the Kingdom, and either they’ll be drawn in and see the true ugliness of their sin, or they’ll feel angered because they like their sin. In either case, I don’t think we have to actively point out others sin.

In some cases, I think we should take proactive roles, like when someone’s sin is oppressing another person. In cases of personal holiness, though, I don’t see that it’s our job to police everyone.

264   Evan Hurst    
February 25th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

oh, Keith, i haven’t personally reared children, nor do i want to.

but, and there is a but.

sometimes childless people are the greatest observers of OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN. in my job, in particular, i can watch the parents and see which ones can control their children, which ones are likely to say “OH, those are just boys bein’ boys!” when one has the younger screaming one in a headlock on the floor over something ridiculous. the syndrome i see most often with my upper-middle class/upper-class customers is the “my child is perfect” syndrome, when in reality their child is a disgusting heathen who probably should be caged to protect the population.

and then there are nice kids. yes, good parents have “problem” children, and bad parents sometimes get lucky, but so much behavior is learned…

265   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
February 25th, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Evan: Using your logic and lack of first-hand knowledge, I would be qualified to make judgments/assements re: gay men, right?

266   Evan Hurst    
February 25th, 2008 at 1:56 pm

if you were around gay men every day, not in captivity, but in the wild, then you’d probably be qualified to point out things that you observe, i would think.

as i said, i’m around parents with children constantly, and several of my closest friends have children, some have *ugh* teenagers…

so. i’m not claiming the authority of someone with “firsthand” knowledge, but i’m just saying that there are things i notice.

267   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 25th, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Thomas, I tried to answer Nathan’s question, and look where it got me… I have to chuckle: those who excoriate me and AFTAH for “judging” gays certainly have no problems judging me or Americans For Truth! Judge away, guys, have at it! (Of course, your judgments are pure….)

Regarding your point of pride, Thomas, absolutely, we all have to be wary of that, but I focused my point mainly on the public policy side of this issue, which is where AFTAH is mostly focused (although, as I said, we testify to the Biblical truth that Christ helps people trapped in homosexuality to overcome and leave the lifestyle; see http://www.sbministries.org). I said in my reply to Nathan that I have no basis to think I’m better than the homosexual; I just struggle with different sins (please note the hack psychoanalysis of those who say that because I actively oppose homosexual activism, then I must be gay or struggle with that sin; Freud would be proud).

It seems that a lot of people on this discussion subscribe to a kind of Unilateral Moral Disarmament: the Left and the various sin-based movements get to use the tools of American democracy (or any nation’s democracy) to spread their values and ideology, but if Christians counter them or — God forbid — fight for laws that, say, ban abortion or preserve a Biblical/historic definition of marriage, then they are deviating horribly from the true Gospel mission.

So William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, the abolitionists, foes of child labor laws, pro-life Christians who try to save innocent unborn babies outside abortion clinics — all were/are failed or misled Christians? (Easy for you to say, Rick: I would guess you are and always have been a free white guy — and ALL of us survived abortion…)

What gives? What sort of utopian nightmare is this? Oh, the guilt, the shame! Give me a break: this very blog testifies to the freedom we ALL share in the United States, which does not exist in a vacuum — citizens have defended it from the beginning (notwithstanding that horribly sinful/chauvinistic Declaration, Rick), and will have to go on defending lest we lapse into tyranny.

And what’s with the nastiness, Iggy? Do you hate us (in the name of Christ, of course)? I count on the Evan Hurst’s of the world to hate us — and the Joe Brummers with their own version of bigotry (the anti-Christian kind) to call us Nazi-like — because ultimately they hate God’s righteous standard on sexuality — to their own peril — but the venom from Christians is a bit stunning.

You know what’s funny? You guys see me and AFTAH as the Pharisees! Looks to me like you’ve got self-righteous judging down to a science.

268   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Looks to me like you’ve got self-righteous judging down to a science.

I continue to contend that politics is unbiblical and democracy reflects the humanistic Greeks who invented it. I do not hate you nor anyone, but labeling an opposing opinion as “self-righteous” diverts the issue. That distilled issue is that some of us believe the political action groups against certain sins are counter-productive and do not accurately reflect the ministry of Christ.

Additionally the church should not promote itself as Americans because that creates a false amalgam. Jesus said “I am the truth” and it is He who should be trumpeted and lifted up not the sins of the lost.

269   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 25th, 2008 at 6:26 pm

And what’s with the nastiness, Iggy? Do you hate us (in the name of Christ, of course)? I count on the Evan Hurst’s of the world to hate us — and the Joe Brummers with their own version of bigotry (the anti-Christian kind) to call us Nazi-like — because ultimately they hate God’s righteous standard on sexuality — to their own peril — but the venom from Christians is a bit stunning.

Peter, at the same time you wish I find god, I hope you find peace.

270   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 25th, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Joe, that’s just it: I don’t want a Christ-less peace. I hope you find Christ, because that is true peace, eternal peace. You’re rebelling against God; it’s a false peace you promote.

271   Peter LaBarbera    http://www.americansfortruth.org
February 25th, 2008 at 6:48 pm

OK, Tim, be more specific: so Christians should abstain from any political involvement? Can/should they vote? What about running for office? Is that allowed? Rick?

272   Ingrid    http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com
February 25th, 2008 at 6:51 pm

I’m amazed at those who make the statement that you can’t legislate morality. Someone’s morality is always legislated, the question is always, whose? Right now the morality of the child-killers has been codified into law. We have 50 million dead babies because of this. Chattel slavery was the morality codified into law here in the United States and in Great Britain. It took a William Wilberforce, a Christian, to spearheaded moral opposition that changed the law (politics, Henry) to free blacks in England and a civil war to end it here in America where Christians had made peace with slavery. Are you saying Henry, all, that we should never raise our voice on moral issues? That we should follow the example of the German Christians in Nazi Germany and stay silent when moral evil is going on? Is indoctrinating young children on homo-erotic practices not evil? Someone’s morality will always be legislated. In a democratic republic, it’s up to us as to what that will be. God calls some to war in the public square on behalf of the innocent and on behalf of religious freedom so that our churches can function without jackboots kicking in the door. Thank you, Peter, for your tireless work on behalf of truth and on behalf of our families. As a mother of five children, public morality affects me and my kids every time we head to the grocery store and see the magazine racks. It hits us in the face every time we turn on television, each time we get stuck downtown during Gay Pride Week here in Milwaukee. In short, it is all our business what our country looks like. External morality will never save souls, that is why we share the Gospel as I did at an ACT-UP event. But the blessings of social order that governments provide (Romans 13) are only there when evil is punished and good is upheld. Any nation that respects God’s moral law will enjoy the external (not the eternal) blessings of peace and the Gospel can then be proclaimed without undue interference. We all should want that.

273   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 25th, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Peter, I read from your comments that you are angry and need more understanding about your work from those on this board. Would you be willing to tell me if I have that correct?

-J

274   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 25th, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Peter,
I ask you again. The question may sound new to these folk, but it isn’t new to you and you have yet to answer the question.

What does the world look like when you reach your goal?

You are working hard at this mission of exposing, fighting and holding back gays and lesbians, but please tell me what the world looks like for gay people when you reach your goal. Is homosexuality legal? Where are the gay youth knowing the non-success rate of ex-gay therapy?

Please tell us all what the world will look like for gay people when you reach the goal Americans for Truth is working so hard to achieve.

275   Evan Hurst    
February 25th, 2008 at 7:49 pm

oh yeah, Peter i’m totally hating these people?

can’t you tell?

that’s how i hate people…i chit-chat with them.

it’s so sinister. wait ’til i lull them into complacency and reveal my motives.

boo.

276   Evan Hurst    
February 25th, 2008 at 7:55 pm

okay, since Tim said it, i’ll address scare tactics:

no one is “indoctrinated” into “homoerotic practice,” Ingrid.

ask any heterosexual man here if he could be effectively “indoctrinated” into being sexually attracted to something he’s not. i think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of sexuality here (regardless of your moral stance). just like a straight person doesn’t need to be “taught” to have “those kinds of thoughts” about the opposite sex, neither does a gay person.

as for Milwaukee Gay Pride and “getting stuck downtown,” Gay Pride parades aren’t like some big surprise that just happens. as if some code phrase is uttered and gays’ original programming demands them to go downtown and line up on floats…

if you don’t want your kids to be exposed to the gay pride parade, don’t take them downtown that day.

hint: it’s in June.

277   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2008 at 8:05 pm

so Christians should abstain from any political involvement? Can/should they vote? What about running for office? Is that allowed? Rick?

I believe Christians are “allowed” as you put it to be involved in politics, but I believe they should not. I do not vote, I do not say the pledge of Allegience, I do not sing the national anthem, and I also do not make a spectacle about it. Those of us who abstain from politics and consider the American government as an enemy of God must also be humble and pray for these leaders.

It is a fine line to walk, but morality without Christ is legalism and anti-christ at its core. The reason that abortion is legal, Ingid, is not due to politic lethargy of Christians, it is due in part to the hedonistic and backslidden church in spiritual matters.

Why are there no all night prayer meetings every week? Why are their no calls for fasting? Why are Christians saving up massive amount of money? Why are the church doors closed during the week except for “activities”. If these problems are so deep why is the church talking and not in crisis mode among ourselves?

Should we speak out against slavery, abortion, Nazis, gays, etc.? Yes, to believers only. And for every word of teaching about those sins we should speak 100 in intercessory prayer for those lost sinners because in the end, if they do not come to Christ, their eternity is beyond our ability to comprehend. That should consistently bring us to tears for them, not words against them.

I understand Peter’s well intentioned and energetic labor, but I believe it is notthe answer and on many levels is counter productive to the gospel. I do admire his willingness to comment in an environment that is generally unsympathetic to his methods. However in the end, I agree with his gospel.

278   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 25th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Ingrid – the argument about environmental inconvenience remains unconvincing and ill advised. Look at it this way, if America had never heard the gospel and it was like a sophisticated Borneo (in the 50s), then missionaries would come here and expect the moral climate to be as it is.

People in darkness need the light and people with the light should not complain about darkness.

279   Disgusted American    
February 26th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

As a X-Catholic….I decided to JOIN the HUMAN RACE….and as an American who respects ALL peoples RIGHTS..to LIFE,LIBERTY and the PURSUIT of HAPPINESS. ( that includes so-called believers,and Non-Believers) gays.straights, whatever….I am NOT put on this earth to judge anyone,nor is anyone else….also, as a person who Beleives in Science..I honestly don’t think, that some GOD,HE,SHE,IT,ENTITY…would gives a rats behind what people do physcially with thier bodies (the buy-Bull) is a Man made,Manwritten book..passed down the line from generation to generation…written and re-written to fit societys hopes and FEARS! In our Galaxy with over a Billion suns/stars…100,000 light yrs across..in a Universe with Billions of Galaxys…that some SKY GOD gives a Hoot who does what with thier penis/vagina…..I beleive on being a decent,loving,good person on the planet earth while Im alive …ie: Treat others as You yourself wish to be Treated…period!

280   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

“In our Galaxy with over a Billion suns/stars”

Actually hundreds of billions.

“..in a Universe with Billions of Galaxys”

Actually hundreds of billions.

“Treat others as You yourself wish to be Treated…period! ”

A quote from the One (Jesus) who disagreed with the rest of your premise.

281   jazzact13    http://jazzact13.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

–Out of the 150 plus countries in the world. Most have the freedom that allow people to say what they want. This is a tired argument about how great the U.S. is compared to ___________.–

Yawn. Is Rick American? If he were, say, British, or Canadian, the argument would still apply, with the lable being different.

All Rick, whom I still have some respect for, has shown is a desire to want to chop off the hand that has given him so much. I hardly see the problem with pointing that out.

Take a moment to find out what I’m really saying, and you may not come off like a fifth-rate interpreter.

–No one has said anything disrespectful here. –

And what alternate universe are you reading this is, phil? Really, a man comes on here to answer attacks against his organization, and from the first he’s been attack and insulted.

282   Evan Hurst    
February 26th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

perhaps the attacks are justified.

283   Evan Hurst    
February 26th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

i mean look:

from the perspective of the Christians here, these kinds of organizations contribute to making Christianity look completely undesirable to the general population, thus hurting the kingdom.

from the perspective of gay people, organizations like that merely hurt people.

so…ya know…

yeah.

284   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

All Rick, whom I still have some respect for, has shown is a desire to want to chop off the hand that has given him so much.

Not chop off, just be gratefully separated and realize that in the end every good and perfect gift comes from my Father. I try not to murmur or complain about the government, I do though present my view to other brothers and sisters as it pertains to spiritual separation and being unequally yoked with unbelievers especially as it pertains to morality.

I am an American, not by choice, but by birth. I am not a revolutionary anarchist, but I believe God has shown me the futility and unbiblical nature of being involved with the ever changing political theatre. My entire allegience is to the Lord Jesus so I have none for anyone or anything esle.

285   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Disgusted American said:

(the buy-Bull) is a Man made,Manwritten book

Ths line of reasoning that would lead people to this conclusion has always perplexed me. If the Bible were truly just a man-written book, why would it portray the people who actually claim to have written it in such a bad light? Seriously, the Bible tells the story of Israel being chosen by God to be His people and bless the world, but they fail miserably at it. What would be the Jewish motivation for writing such stories if they were just made up?

I know this is off-topic, and I probably shouldn’t bother responding to such tripe, but just sayin’…

286   Evan Hurst    
February 26th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

wait…

“made-up” isn’t the same thing as “man-made.”

the poster didn’t say “made-up.”

some people consider it a historical account, at least certain parts of it.

i mean, we’re not arguing that the Bible wasn’t cobbled together over centuries, are we?

the line of reasoning is thus, at least with the old testament: a history, recorded by certain people, along with the way they interpreted their world from a religious perspective.

i believe the actual argument would be whether the Bible is actually divinely inspired, and how we could go about knowing the answer to that question.

i posit no opinions right now, as i have to run an errand.

287   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Look, Joseph Smith discovered the Bible, everbody know that. Afetr he cleaned the dirt from it he read it to us all. It’s called “shovel research”.

288   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 26th, 2008 at 2:30 pm

i believe the actual argument would be whether the Bible is actually divinely inspired, and how we could go about knowing the answer to that question.

Keep in mind, the bible is a book created from hundreds of scrolls along with pieces of the Torah (also put together from a bunch of scrolls). THis is no different than the Quoran which is from a bunch of scrolls and writings.

If your evidence, that these writings (any of them) are inspired by god, is the writings themselves. I would wonder about that.

289   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

I don’t want to get this any further off track, so I’ll only post once again on this particular subject. Disgusted American said:

“(the buy-Bull) is a Man made,Manwritten book..passed down the line from generation to generation…written and re-written to fit societys hopes and FEARS!”

It’s pretty clear he’s saying it’s entirely man-made and not inspired. My point is that if it is not inspired, and completely borne out of man’s imagination, it would seem to be a very odd thing compared to other historical works. Societies generally leave out the embarrassing parts of their histories, unlike the Bible which seems to portray the Jewish people in the worst light much of the time.

290   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 26th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Phil,
Are you saying the bible is inspired because it has embarrassing stuff for jews?

-J

291   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 26th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

I saw this and really wanted to share it with each of you.

IN the above comments, Peter LaBarbera and Rick refer to people they claim to have met who have changed their sexuality or “ex-gays”. This is post from the new group called “beyond ex-gay”. I found the picture of the girl holding the sign that read “change, at what cost” to be the most telling and eye openning.

you can read it here: http://a_musing.blogspot.com/2008/02/more-memphis.html

292   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
February 26th, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Joe,
That’s just one of many reasons. I’m not going to get into them all right now, though. This thread is already crazy enough.

293   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Joe – we can find a human example to substantiate any and all positions. In the end it is a matter of personal and profound faith. My knowledge of “ex-gays” has no bearing on my belief, only Scripture. I am glad to see you are not going to be coerced into a false profession of faith, but hopefully at some point you will consider the claims of Christ outside the confines of a gay perspective.

I did not consider Christ as a heterosexual, just a sinner who sensed there was some legitimacy to Jesus even if His representatives were flawed.

294   Joe Brummer    http://www.joebrummer.com
February 26th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

My reasons for no longer believing, not just in Christ, but a god in general go long and far beyond being gay. I feel a bit stressed if anyone thinks I am that shallow that my world and thoughts on god all revolve around sexuality. My sexuality is one of the smaller issues on my life and has zero to do with my thoughts about god.

295   Evan Hurst    
February 26th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

aw, that’s Peterson’s site. he’s awesome.

and the blog entry, of course, about my lil’ hometown.

(if “my lil’ hometown” sounds endearing, you should know i’m rolling my eyes as i type…)

yeah. i found out about all that stuff from the past weekend far, far too late, but i’ve seen Peterson speak before.

296   Karen    
February 26th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Peter Labarbera writes to Joe….

“Joe, that’s just it: I don’t want a Christ-less peace. I hope you find Christ, because that is true peace, eternal peace. You’re rebelling against God; it’s a false peace you promote.”

Peter you certainly don’t seem like you have found peace! Reading all of these posts, it seems that you really drive people away from you, even Christians. If your purpose is to get people saved, this is a terrible way to go about it. Why would anyone want to listen to you? You seem to purposely alienate yourself from others and I guess I cannot understand this behavior. Why are you targeting gay people? Why won’t you allow others to understand what is driving this behavior? Can you allow others to see into your mind so we can “get” you.

Before you urge Joe to find your same “peace”, you should look how you come across to people. You seem like the “peace-less” one.

297   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 26th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Ingrid calls the beginning of “Christian” America as “Sacred Foundations” in her piece on some national pastor’s conference. Sacred foundations which never mention the Lord Jesus who I thought was the Chief Cornerstone.

Man, I sure wasn’t paying attention in American history.

298   Evan Hurst    
February 26th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

watch out, Karen, or you’ll be accused of hating Christians.

and yeah, it doesn’t seem like “peace” to devote one’s life and livelihood to marginalizing a minority in the name of one’s ideals.

299   Dean    
February 27th, 2008 at 8:13 pm

A lot of mental health professionals consider NARTH to be an extreme splinter group. Why? The APA (American Psychological Association) has about 400,000 members. The APA is the professional body for mental health professionals.

However, NARTH has less than 1000 members. What that means is less than 1/4 of one percent of mental health professionals belong to NARTH. NARTH has not been able to convince the vast majority of mental health professionals that ‘reparative therapy’ works. In fact, the APA considers ‘reparative therapy’ to be of questionable value, and possibly dangerous to the mental health of the subjects.

An example,of ‘reparative therapy’ going horribly wrong, is the incident of the shooter at the New Life Church in Colorado. The individual was involved in ‘reparative therapy’, but it failed (like it does in the vast majority of cases). The practitioners convinced the individual he was evil and going to Hell, because he was bisexual. So, he went berserk, killing innocent people.

Of course, the killing was wrong. However, the practitioners, of ‘reparative therapy’, were also at fault. Why? They put the shooter in the position of having no hope, feeling all was lost, and in a rage born of total despair.

300   Evan Hurst    
February 27th, 2008 at 8:26 pm

very true…the success of rates of “reparative therapies” are largely made up, and their history is chock-full of former “success stories.” sure, there are a couple of people with big testimonial websites and “ministries” devoted to “you can change, you can change, you can change!” but to a ‘t’ they come off as brainwashed.

what’s his name…Richard Cohen? i think so. his appearance on The Daily Show tells the entire story.

301   Dean    
February 28th, 2008 at 12:22 am

Karen writes:
“Peter you certainly don’t seem like you have found peace! Reading all of these posts, it seems that you really drive people away from you, even Christians. If your purpose is to get people saved, this is a terrible way to go about it. Why would anyone want to listen to you? You seem to purposely alienate yourself from others and I guess I cannot understand this behavior. Why are you targeting gay people? Why won’t you allow others to understand what is driving this behavior? Can you allow others to see into your mind so we can “get” you.”

“Before you urge Joe to find your same “peace”, you should look how you come across to people. You seem like the “peace-less” one.”

That is an interesting observation. Peter’s rants do seem to be a case of “Me thinks he doth protest too much.” The quote is from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’.

302   Evan Hurst    
March 2nd, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Ya know…I was content to let this conversation die.

But Peter’s at it again, and it’s worse than usual.

In the first link, Peter proclaims that gay people can’t have Christ.

In the second link, some guest “writer” classifies gay people as having a disease called “SADism,” and conflates gay people with SERIAL KILLERS.

i would propose that for every person you all show the love of Christ to, Peter slams the door on five. it would be different if you all and he weren’t supposedly on the same team.

(for the record, i don’t believe that you are.)

http://americansfortruth.com/news/jim-wallis-calls-homosexual-activist-mel-white-a-gay-christian.html

http://americansfortruth.com/news/genetic-disorders-like-sad-deserve-treatment-not-acceptance.html

303   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 2nd, 2008 at 4:34 pm

I would also question someone’s standing before God if they continued unmoved in a sin that the Scriptures prohibit. Many professing believers practice forms of sin with no seeming remorse that are not homosexuality, and they too might well examine themselves.

The second article that labels gays as SAD (sodomy attraction disorder) is provocative and unproductive as well as unredemptive. Some of these guys are obsessed with homosexuality and yet attend a church permeated with praylessness and pride. (just a guess based upon my subjective observation of MOST American churches, even ones that are “for truth”) Many meet in buildings whose mortgage payment interest goes to help gay causes.

The whole thing is just sad (and I mean sad as depressing!)

One Trackback/Ping

  1. “replace the lies with truth” » Blog Archive » The Last Weeks of Winter    Feb 23 2008 / 8pm:

    [...] It all started with a post supporting Peter LaBarbera and his organization, AFTAH. Then a post questioning the effectiveness of groups like Peter’s AFTAH. Then a rebuttal to the post questioning Peter’s tactics from the original commenter who supported Peter. [...]