A pro-LGBT group protests the Anglican Church's stance toward gay marriage.

Recent events have exposed a deep divide in the Anglican Church over the issue of gay marriage. Church leaders are worried it will cause a permanent split.


“Hate has no place in the house of God” – Desmond Tutu

In early 2015, the Episcopal Church (the U.S. branch of the Anglican Church) voted to formally allow same-sex marriage. Few were happier to hear the news than Gene Robinson, a man who knows firsthand how difficult it can be to navigate life as a gay member of the church. Back in 2003, Robinson famously became the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop. His election was not without controversy – many of his fellow clergy members voiced fanatical opposition. To make matters worse, Robinson reportedly received death threats and was forced to wear a bulletproof vest in public.

An Episcopal Church sign promoting marriage equality.Criticism

This latest decision by the Episcopal Church to permit gay marriage has been highly criticized by other branches of the Anglican Church. Although the response has been relatively peaceful in nature, it has not been without drama.  In an unprecedented move, Anglican Church leaders publicly reprimanded the Episcopal Church and suspended its voting rights for three years. This means the Episcopalians will have no say in any decisions regarding Anglican doctrine until at least 2018.

There was also clear pressure on the Episcopal Church to offer an apology for their stance. However, representatives of the church were unwavering in their defense of same-sex marriage and refused to apologize. The now-retired Gene Robinson expressed his sincere appreciation: “thanks for not throwing us under the bus — the LGBT community as well as the Episcopal Church, we’re proud of you.”

An Ongoing Question

This ordeal exposed an existing divide within the larger Anglican Church. Many Anglicans see a fundamental contradiction between traditional Christians beliefs and homosexuality. Due to this belief, most member churches are vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage. However, recent events show that not all branches are in agreement. Just this past summer, the Anglican Church of Canada voted to endorse same-sex marriage.

Passionate feelings on both sides of this argument have generated much hostility, and a compromise seems unlikely anytime soon. Church leadership is in a bind – how can they hope to remain unified if they’re unable to come to a meaningful solution?

Traditional Attitudes in African CountriesAfrican children holding anti-gay signs.

Conflicting opinions over gay marriage have also arisen among Anglicans in Africa, where societal attitudes toward homosexuality are far less progressive. Although feelings there are slowly changing, gay marriage still enjoys little public support. This dynamic was reflected at a meeting of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA), an organization which includes Anglicans from Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Saint Helena, and South Africa. A proposed rule change would have allowed priests to bless same-sex unions, but it was soundly rejected by voting members.

Despite losing the vote, supporters expressed optimism for the future. This was the first time gay marriage had been seriously debated by the church – and will likely not be the last. They see the tide being in their favor, and when the topic of same-sex marriage comes up again, supporters predict that more people will rally to the cause.

Retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu

Among those most disappointed by the outcome of the vote was Desmond Tutu. The famous South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop is renowned for the role he played in the fight against apartheid. Less-known, however, is his continued defense of gay rights – in South Africa, in the Anglican Church, and around the world. Out of all the ACSA member countries, Tutu’s South Africa is the only one that legally permits same-sex marriage.

Demonstrating his strong feelings on this issue, the former bishop once famously said: “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place. I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”

Tutu helped create the Harvey Milk Foundation, an organization that supports LGBTQ rights around the world. He also strongly supports allowing gay and lesbian priests, an issue which has touched him personally. When his daughter – an Anglican priest – married a woman earlier this year, Tutu gave the couple his blessing. However, in accordance with Anglican rules, the marriage resulted in a loss of her priesthood.

Addressing the Issue

To refocus on the bigger picture: one obvious takeaway is that the vocal movement in favor of gay marriage has has grown in strength around the world. Whereas before they could simply ignore the issue, many religious groups that oppose same-sex marriage are now being forced address it. Aided by social media and the information age, the vocal movements championing inclusivity have dramatically expanded their reach and put pressure on church leadership to respond to their demands.

Role of the ChurchA gay rights rainbow flag

In many places around the world, being gay is still looked down upon by society. In certain countries, it’s forbidden by law. Critics point out that much of this animosity toward homosexuality is fueled by traditional religious views. Given the prominent role religion plays in many people’s lives, some think the church alone may have the power to change attitudes. Supporters of gay rights argue that religious groups have an obligation to preach compassion and understanding to counter the existing distrust and hate.

According to come studies, doing so may actually be in the church’s interest. Declining church attendance numbers show that we are living in a changing world, and it’s no secret that the church needs to find new ways to reach out to people. If it hopes to grow its future membership, the church could benefit from taking a more inclusive stance toward gay and lesbian people. What do you think? Should religious groups continue to stick by their deeply held principles, or must they learn to accept people regardless of their sexual orientation?

 

105 comments

  1. shiningwolf9 says:

    I have a daughter who is gay, (transgender maybe? she feels like a man trapped in a woman’s body); from day one, at 18, I have accepted this, since I knew when she was 9. I believe no one can help who they are attracted to. My personal belief system is Witchcraft, but I do wonder why someone would desire a religious belief that states in its’ scriptures how that person is living is wrong. And, why would you fight to have a religion change its’ beliefs to fit you into it?
    Would someone please, without throwing a temper-tantram, explain this?

    Shining Wolf

    1. Daniel says:

      Christianity is a religion of hate misogyny, and irresponsibility.
      We are born the way “god” wanted bad and commanded to be good?
      The mental gymnastics required to justify the cognitive dissonance is indeed impressive

      1. John Owens says:

        There it is. The code-word. Pseudo-intellectualism at its very finest. Gag.

    2. Jim says:

      You must remember that the restrictions of the scriptures for Jews and Christians were written at a time when it was necessary to take a stance that distinguished their sects from the polytheistic societies that surrounded them. Homosexuality, incest, and other practices were condemned because the societies the early Jews and Christians were trying to distinguish themselves from were polyamorous, polymorphous, and morally ambiguous.

    3. Matt Gomez says:

      Simply because the Truth stands regardless of feelings. God’s word is true and it’s not that we should attempt to redefine clear scripture and twist it to our own end, but that we must conform our lives to it. God has spoken clearly on this issue. God doesn’t change, the culture and the world do. Will you believe God or culture?

  2. Clayton Beardmore says:

    While the Bible does address homosexuality, it does not explicitly mention same-sex marriage. It is clear, however, that the Bible condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin. Leviticus 18:22 identifies homosexual sex as an abomination, a detestable sin. Romans 1:26-27 declares homosexual desires and actions to be shameful, unnatural, lustful, and indecent. First Corinthians 6:9 states that homosexuals are unrighteous and will not inherit the kingdom of God. Since both homosexual desires and actions are condemned in the Bible, it is clear that homosexuals “marrying” is not God’s will, and would be, in fact, sinful.

    Whenever the Bible mentions marriage, it is between a male and a female. The first mention of marriage, Genesis 2:24, describes it as a man leaving his parents and being united to his wife. In passages that contain instructions regarding marriage, such as 1 Corinthians 7:2-16 and Ephesians 5:23-33, the Bible clearly identifies marriage as being between a man and a woman. Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family.

    The Bible alone, however, does not have to be used to demonstrate this understanding of marriage. The biblical viewpoint of marriage has been the universal understanding of marriage in every human civilization in world history. History argues against gay marriage. Modern secular psychology recognizes that men and women are psychologically and emotionally designed to complement one another. In regard to the family, psychologists contend that a union between a man and woman in which both spouses serve as good gender role models is the best environment in which to raise well-adjusted children. Psychology argues against gay marriage. In nature/physicality, clearly, men and women were designed to “fit” together sexually. With the “natural” purpose of sexual intercourse being procreation, clearly only a sexual relationship between a man and a woman can fulfill this purpose, so nature argues against gay marriage.

    So, if the Bible, history, psychology, and nature all argue for marriage being between a man and a woman – why is there such a controversy today? Why are those who are opposed to same-sex marriage labeled as hateful, intolerant bigots, no matter how re-spectfully the opposition is presented? Why is the gay rights movement so aggres-sively pushing for same-sex marriage when most people, religious and non-religious, are supportive of – or at least far less opposed to – gay or lesbian couples having all the same legal rights as married couples with some form of civil union?

    The answer, according to the Bible, is that everyone inherently knows that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural, and the only way to suppress this inherent knowledge is by normalizing homosexuality and attacking any and all opposition to it. The best way to normalize homosexuality is by placing same-sex marriage on an equal plane with traditional opposite-gender marriage. Romans 1:18-32 illustrates this. The truth is known because God has made it plain. The truth is rejected and replaced with a lie. The lie is then promoted and the truth suppressed and attacked. The vehemence and anger expressed by many in the LGBT rights movement to any who oppose them is, in fact, an indication that they know their position is indefensible. Trying to overcome a weak position by raising your voice is the oldest trick in the debating book. There is perhaps no more accurate description of the modern same sex marriage agenda than Romans 1:31, “they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”

    To give sanction to gay marriage/same-sex marriage would be to give approval to the homosexual lifestyle, which the Bible clearly and consistently condemns as sinful. Christians should stand firmly against the idea of gay marriage/same-sex marriage. Further, there are strong and logical arguments against gay marriage/same-sex marriage from contexts completely separated from the Bible. One does not have to be an evangelical Christian to recognize that marriage is between a man and a woman.\

    According to the Bible, marriage is ordained by God to be between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:21-24; Matthew 19:4-6). Gay marriage/same-sex marriage is a perversion of the institution of marriage and an offense to the God who created marriage. As Christians, we are not to condone or ignore sin. Rather, we are to share the love of God and the forgiveness of sins that is available to all, including homosexuals, through Jesus Christ. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and contend for truth with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). As Christians, when we make a stand for truth and the result is personal attacks, insults, and persecution, we should remember the words of Jesus: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).

    1. shiningwolf9 says:

      I will not argue your beliefs, for Witches believe all must seek their own Path to Spirit. Your teachings were only meant for Hebrews and Disciples of your Christ. But, not one time in your scriptures does Yeshua say to force everyone, even though they be not my Disciples, to believe his teachings. Remember, in one day, 300 of his disciples walked away, and the scriptures are silent of anything he might have said about the situation. It is not Christianity people have trouble with, it is so called disciples who want to force your religious teachings on everyone; which Yeshua did not teach.

      Shining Wolf

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        shiningwolf – didn’t teach huh?

        “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
        Matthew 28:19-20

        1. Tom Jaynes says:

          Baptizing those who choose to receive that rite is one thing. Forcing others to be baptized is quite another. You can teach, but there are those who will not learn. Leading a horse to water and making him drink are very different activities.

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            “there are those who will not learn” – interesting.

        2. shiningwolf9 says:

          No, Yeshua did not teach anyone to force others to believe him or his teachings. He told his disciples to spread his teachings, making disciples where they were willing. Teaching them, those who chose to become his disciples, to observe all things he commanded, or taught them. Never once did he proclaim to conquer nations, or villages, forcing people to believe anything. Remember, your own scriptures says not to add to or take away.

        3. xtopher foster says:

          I keep going over this in my head & it keeps coming back the same ~ marriage IS first and foremost a legal institution ~ you can have your ceremony in any venue you so choose ~ church, mosque, field or stream, but if you haven’t been licensed by the state there is no recognized union LEGALLY or SPIRITUALLY! we are talking about civil law not biblical law taking the precedence in this matter ~ so please honor that separation once and for all ~ ~ ~oh & please get my bed outta your head ¿

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            Legally, but not necessarily Spiritually. Just because something is legal (according to man’s law) doesn’t mean it’s right..

    2. Daniel says:

      A ancient book of fairytales that are filled with cherry picked authors.
      If we believed in the old testament we would be in a constantvstsr of war.
      The schizophrenic genocidal god of the bible isn’t an adequete role model

      1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

        I have often said that the Bible is nothing more than the greatest works of fiction ever published. I can take just about any story in the Bible and tell you what’s wrong with it. The bible contains rape, incest, abuse, violence etc. The Bible is filled with stories of an angry, violent god.

        The Bible is not a book of god, but a book written by men to control the masses.

        How many wars have been fought in the name of GOD and Country? All of them!!!

        As written in another post…I believe that GOD is within….WE are in total control of who we are and what we do, whether good or bad….We cannot blame God for being good, anymore than we can blame Satan for being bad.

        Blessed Be!!

    3. Brother John says:

      It looks like Jesus didn’t even encourage marriage between a man and a woman, Clayton.

      “They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.” Luke 20:35

      For those who were married, he encouraged abandonment of family

      And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29-30

      He didn’t always practice the forgiveness and compassion he preached….

      God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. Matthew 15:4

      But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. Luke 19:27

      Do you think all of the Christians who are either homosexual themselves or belong to a church that accepts them and same sex marriage (there are many) will be punished as sinners and sent to Hell?

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        I do.

        1. Brother John says:

          First of all, WOW, but at least you’re being honest about your beliefs, Clayton. To clarify what you believe… Is the Bible inerrant and free from contradictions? Was the God of the OT also Jesus?
          Are the Gospels accurate eyewitness accounts? Where is the “original Bible” upon which all Bibles are based?

          You said, “Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family”, Clayton.

          Doesn’t some of the scripture I posted contradict this? How is forsaking your family, wife and children providing a stable environment? Is it smart to be denied resurrection from the dead by marrying?

          1. shiningwolf9 says:

            Yeshua, himself, taunted the holier than thou in his day with, “Search the scriptures, for in them ‘you think you have life'”.

          2. Brother John says:

            No reply to the scripture about marriage and family (posted Oct. 10), Clayton?

      2. John Owens says:

        Here is where Clayton’s beliefs and my own deviate. I do not believe that those in your last question will all go to Hell, as in the Dante’s Inferno mythical Hell that most religious people believe, nor the Gehenna fire reserved for the incorrigibly wicked AFTER the Judgement. I believe they will be in the second resurrection, and will be shown the truth by God Almighty and Saints who have become spirits, and the greatest percentage of them will be saved, with only a very few being cast into the Gehenna fire (which will consume those thrown into it. There is no eternal suffering for humans who have not been made immortal.) Immortality is a gift, not inherent.

    4. Brother John says:

      “The answer, according to the Bible” “According to the Bible” “…. “which the Bible clearly and consistently condemns as sinful”

      I didn’t count how many times you mentioned the Bible, Clayton, but there are billions of people who do not look to it for answers for good reasons. Amongst them are the following….

      There is no “original Bible”, only copies, of copies, of copies all written by men, not God.

      There are thousands upon thousands of errors, omissions, and contradictions amongst the extant manuscripts, particularly the oldest ones. These errors were then included in future copies and multiplied.

      Much of the Bible is plagiarized from pre-existing myths.

      Why not spend some time researching the origins and history of the Bible, instead of promoting it as an accurate book of answers, guide to morality and the key to our salvation? Those who have already done so and understand the above and more are not swayed in the least by posts like yours. Here’s a starting point for you and anyone else who routinely quotes the Bible to verify your beliefs. If nothing else, they will explain why billions of people lack belief in the biblical God and the veracity of the Bible. It’s nothing short of pitiful that “believers” chose to shelter themselves from reality and truth when it’s so easily found.

      https://danielmiessler.com/blog/the-bible-is-fiction-a-collection-of-evidence/#gs.=VRHmIk

      https://ashraf62.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/hebrew-bible-plagiarized-mythology-and-defaced-monotheism/

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        Per your suggestion, I researched the origins and history of the Bible…look what I found.

        My approach to Classics is historical. And I tell you that the evidence for the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ is better authenticated than most of the facts of ancient history.
        E. M. Blaiklock
        Professor of Classics
        Auckland University

        There exists no document from the ancient world, witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies . . . skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based upon an irrational bias.
        Clark H. Pinnock
        Professor Emeritus
        Mcmaster University

        If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.
        F. F. Bruce
        Professor of Biblical Criticism
        Manchester University

        For the New Testament of Acts, the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted.
        A. N. Sherwin-White
        Professor and Fellow
        St. Johns College, Oxford

        1. Brother John says:

          For some reason my reply was posted at the bottom of the page, Clayton, and is being moderated.

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            Moderated but not obliterated, I hope. Try reading the second paragraph in my first comment (posted October 7).

            Thanks.

          2. Brother John says:

            I had read it, Clayton. You said……”Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family.”

            This is about marriage between sexes, not same sex. I posed a question to you after the scriptural quote as it clearly encourages abandonment of family. The other one discourages marriage entirely.

            My reply included….”For those who were married, he encouraged abandonment of family

            “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29-30”

            This is about traditional marriage and seems to contradict your statement about family values, doesn’t it?

            And this…. “It looks like Jesus didn’t even encourage marriage between a man and a woman, Clayton.”

            “They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.” Luke 20:35

            I see my Oct. 17 reply has appeared at the bottom, but would like your reply to the above, keeping in mind this is all in response to your original post.

          3. Clayton Beardmore says:

            i believe Jesus is talking about loving Him more than family, etc., and are willing to give up everything (and everyone) to be with Him.

          4. Brother John says:

            I agree that’s what he means, Clayton. This was a reward based encouragement (apparently directed towards men as there’s no mention of forsaking your husband) for men to forsake ( to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert) wives, children and family members. Again, how does this provide a “stable family environment”? What about the advice to avoid marriage altogether?

            This is a discussion forum comprised of many individuals with a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. When we make statements that are questionable or outright wrong we should expect to be challenged, as I have done with you.

            In addition to the above unanswered questions, there’s also a challenge to your statement that homosexuality is unnatural from Oct. 13, the information I provided regarding the Bible plagiarizing earlier myths on the 14th and the Oct. 17 reply, which is at the bottom of this thread. All of them were generated by statements that you chose to make on an open forum. As the initiator, I assume you’re able to back them up with replies that are coherent and complete. Your Oct. 7 post clearly indicates your biblical knowledge and strong faith, which has been challenged. Will you rise to the occasion?

          5. Clayton Beardmore says:

            I answered your question in my post of October 18 (and you agreed),

            I take offense at your statement that some of my statements are “questionable or outright wrong.”
            Just like your statements they are my OPINION.

            What say we agree to disagree? No matter how many times we make comments, neither of us is going to change their mind.

          6. Brother John says:

            Making statements that are not true is offensive, Clayton, and you’ve been called out on them. Your Oct. 7 post does not contain the caveat that you’re only presenting your OPINIONS. That would not have been nearly as offensive. Your pontificating presented your statements as facts with little but the Bible to back them up.

            When challenged, your responses avoid the important details. For example, you focused on the first sentence of my Oct. 19 post (that agreed with you) and ignored all the rest. There’s a statement followed by two simple questions which you chose not to answer.

            “This was a reward based encouragement (apparently directed towards men as there’s no mention of forsaking your husband) for men to forsake ( to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert) wives, children and family members. Again, how does this provide a “stable family environment”? What about the advice to avoid marriage altogether?”

            I then summarized some of the other areas that you’ve avoided and now your response indicates you’re unwilling and/or unable to defend your statements and beliefs. That’s your choice and it’s not surprising.

            My intention wasn’t to change your mind, Clayton. It was to challenge and correct misstatements you’d made, not just for your sake, but for all who are involved in this forum. Virtually all of the statements I’ve made are not my opinions. In most cases, I provide links to verification for those who are interested in truth and reality. I have no control over those who choose to protect their beliefs by avoiding anything that questions them, as you have done. I also have little patience for them.

            Your Oct. 7 post was nothing short of proselytizing. A mini sermon prepared for “Amens” and kudos from fellow believers (which it didn’t garner). You’re not the only one that I’ve challenged on this forum, and you won’t be the last. Many of us are seeking truth and enlightenment, not dogma and myths. Some of us are “non-believers”… Atheists, Pagans, Witches and more. Some of us have studied the Bible extensively (including it’s history and origins) and what we learned is the basis for our lack of belief in the veracity of the Bible and the existence of the god it portrays.

            I’m not agreeing to disagree with you. This isn’t about who’s opinion is right. It’s about who’s statements are factual and accurate. Some of what you stated on Oct. 7 was neither. I have presented facts and evidence to counter them. Either you know you were wrong and refuse to admit it, or your faith and beliefs are so fragile that they need protection from scrutiny.

            The ball remains in your court, Clayton.

            “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic”. John F. Kennedy

            “We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality”. Iris Murdoch

            “Truth exists; only lies are invented”. Georges Braque

          7. Clayton Beardmore says:

            I only need the Bible (and so should everyone else) for my back-up.

            Did we or didn’t we start discussing gay marriage – which I showed you is against nature and immoral.

            My October 14th comment is a list of learned college and university professors, etc., stating that the Bible is correct, historically and otherwise..

            It is not necessary to get testy about our discussion. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely – oh, and I tried to answer your questions to the best of my ability. Many times to be ignored.

            It is not necessary for us as people to question EVERYTHING. We must have faith in something. I’m sure I’ve found the correct thing to be faithful to.

            I hope you find peace.

          8. Brother John says:

            The fact you feel you only need the Bible for back-up speaks volumes, Clayton.
            Have a question about biology, astronomy or history? There’s no need for textbooks, universities or dedicated research. A single ancient book has all the answers!

            “Did we or didn’t we start discussing gay marriage – which I showed you is against nature and immoral.” You did with the Bible as your only reference. I’m guessing you didn’t even look at the link I posted on Oct. 13 (there could have been many more) that proves you (and your source) dead wrong. However, I assume you didn’t read it and just re-checked your Bible to confirm your ignorance.

            “oh, and I tried to answer your questions to the best of my ability.”
            Then your abilities are sadly lacking (which would be the case with only a Bible for reference), Clayton. Would you like an example of your B.S? My third paragraph (Oct. 19) repeated two of the many questions that went unanswered. Do you see them? They have the “?” at the end. Where are your answers?

            Don’t you realize how foolish you’re making yourself look by continuing to make ridiculous statements?

            I’m glad you’ve found our discussion enjoyable. I’ve found it mildly disturbing that anyone could be as closed minded and self-deluded as yourself with factual information literally at our fingertips, including all the links I provided for you. It’s truly amazing what faith can do to otherwise rational minds.

          9. Brother John says:

            I’m not going to apologize for my sharpness, Clayton. I have lived most of my life searching for truth. Like a sculptor chips away what is not necessary to create his vision of truth, chipping away beliefs, indoctrination (state, religious and more), cultural and familial influences, et al reveals that these things are often not true. We just believe they are. We feel the warmth of our pack… and of our tribe when those sharing our beliefs are large in numbers. This allows for more extreme distortions of reality to be accepted.

            My challenges to you were, to an extent, out of frustration. There are some ominous events unfolding before all of us. Some are aware of them and feel anxious or fearful. Some are obvious to them and see a bright future ahead. Some rejoice and celebrate the fulfillment of prophecy. Some are angry and frustrated because there’s never been a more appropriate time to seek the truth than now, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel to peel away long held beliefs if they’re not true.

            Reading comments that are ignorant, bigoted, untrue (or outright lies), without foundation, illogical, immoral and close minded bothers me. Yours are certainly not the only ones that meet this criteria. I’ve left this forum several times due to Christian proselytizing, pronouncements, damnations and more. I’ve returned only to find replacements for those who were unable to defend their TRUTH, THE ONE AND ONLY TRUTH. I’m not here to convert anyone to my beliefs. I’ve shed nearly all of them and there’s little to share. I accept “I don’t know” as a logical explanation for what I find unexplainable. Using unsound beliefs for answers is not something I choose to do. The truth….. reality… is all that’s important. There isn’t enough of it here to make it worthwhile to continue with any regularity.

            I will leave you with this, Clayton. Our whole discussion started when I challenged your statement about homosexuality…. “everyone inherently knows that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural”……

            I provided a link to well documented evidence that proved this wrong on both counts (in nature and morally). I assume you didn’t bother reading it and checking it’s veracity. I also assume you’ll choose not to defend your claim by reading, and absorbing the facts (not opinions) as well as the opinions of others in the comment section and defending your claim.

            To be fair, it was prefaced by the caveat… “The answer, according to the Bible”……. This means the claim is not just your opinion, but “truth” you find in the Bible. You’re wrong. The Bible is wrong. Stop being afraid that the truth may change some of your beliefs. The hour is getting late.

          10. Clayton Beardmore says:

            The Bible is the only truth I need.

            BTW, did you mean oblivious and typed obvious?

          11. Brother John says:

            “The Bible is the only truth I need.
            BTW, did you mean oblivious and typed obvious?”

            Yep, it’s a typo. An unintentional mistake. Your “mistakes” are intentional, ignorant and immoral. I admit I made a mistake. You didn’t when presented with easily found information that proved you, and your Bible, wrong (which you probably avoided to shelter your version of truth from reality).

            With insipid Defenders of the Faith like yourself, it’s only a matter of time before Christianity ends up in the garbage bin of history along with the hundreds of other discredited, myth based religions that have come and gone.

            You’ve chosen to proselytize and present nonsense beliefs as facts on an open forum that includes many “non-believers” then hide under your Bible when challenged. Your god must be more than disappointed in you, Clayton.

            Does the Bible instruct you to avoid any truth and knowledge that it doesn’t contain? If so, how about something from your “only Truth”?

            1 Peter 3:15 but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.

            Psalm 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?

            2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work

            2 Corinthians 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

          12. Brother John says:

            I’ve posted questions similar to those I posed to you in the past, Clayton. They’re simple and to the point. So far, not a single proponent of the Bible has answered them. Not one. Using the Bible as the go to book of truth is self delusion if these foundational questions can’t be answered and verified.

            Is the Bible inerrant and free from contradictions?

            Was the God of the OT also Jesus?

            Who were the authors of the Gospels?

            Are the Gospels accurate eyewitness accounts?

            Where is the “original Bible” upon which all Bibles are based? How old is it?

        2. John R. Goss, III says:

          Scholarship requires the examination of the range of data/analysis on the issue. This list you offer is not representative of sound scholarship. Mart Ehrman. Marcus Borg and Karen Armstrong might be a couple of folks whose work you might want to check out.

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            I beg to differ. I believe a list of college and university professors IS “representative of sound scholarship.”

            There is NO WAY you know these people did or did not examine “the range of data/analysis on the issue.”.

            We must not forget that there are those who will speak for or against any issue.

          2. Brother John says:

            I’ve posted lectures by Dr. Bart Ehrman under a number of different articles, John, and have yet to see a response. The “evidence” Clayton provided wasn’t posted as direct quotes and without links for verification. As we can plainly see here, “believers” chose to avoid anything that contradicts their faith. Even Matt Slick, one of the most popular apologists, agrees that neither Mark nor Luke were eyewitnesses to the events they supposedly chronicled, but even that doesn’t persuade some fervent believers.

            Dr. Ehrman’s advice is not to simply believe specific scholars that bolster our beliefs, but rather to do our own research by taking stories from the Gospels (the heart of Christianity) and comparing them, in detail, between the four books. Are they consistent? If not, how are we to know which ones, if any, are accurate? What a novel approach! Open the Bible and read it yourself, taking notes for comparison. He examines a few of them in the video I posted below on Oct. 17. A search for “bible errors and contradictions” will result in a number of sources that include the contradictory scripture for verification. Those who choose not to search for, and seriously examine evidence, allow prejudice to cloud their opinions and beliefs, sometimes to the point of delusion. This is particularly disturbing when facts and evidence are so easily found.

            Clayton said, “We must not forget that there are those who will speak for or against any issue.” Agreed. But if verifiable facts and evidence are available, one will be right and the other wrong.

            Although I will not be participating in any future discussions, here are some guidelines for meaningful discussion, no matter the subject.

            “When forming personal convictions, we often interpret factual evidence through the filter of our values, feelings, tastes, and past experiences. Hence, most statements we make in speaking and writing are assertions of fact, opinion, belief, or prejudice. The usefulness and acceptability of an assertion can be improved or diminished by the nature of the assertion, depending on which of the following categories it falls into:”

            A fact is verifiable. We can determine whether it is true by researching the evidence.

            An opinion is a judgment based on facts, an honest attempt to draw a reasonable conclusion from factual evidence.

            Unlike an opinion, a belief is a conviction based on cultural or personal faith, morality, or values

            Another kind of assertion that has no place in serious argumentation is prejudice, a half-baked opinion based on insufficient or unexamined evidence.

            “Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.”
            — Frater Ravus

            “‘I refuse to prove that I exist,’ says God, ‘for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'” — Douglas Adams

            “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” — Stephen Henry Roberts

          3. Clayton Beardmore says:

            Brother John,

            One does not have to be an “eye-witness” to verify something. You obviously have opinions and have found (through “research”) articles, etc., to back up what you originally thought.

      2. Clayton Beardmore says:

        1. Biblical inerrancy, as formulated in the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy”, is the doctrine that the Bible “is without error or fault in all its teaching”; or, at least, that “Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact”.I believe that the Bible is inerrant.

        2. The holy trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, insures that the God of the OT is the same as Jesus Christ of the NT.

        3. The authors of the Gospels are: Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

        4. Gospels are accurate accounts – see my comment of October 14.

        5. For centuries, Bible scholars examined two ancient texts to elucidate the original language of the Bible: the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint. The Masoretic Text is a traditional Hebrew text finalized by Jewish scholars around 1000 C.E. The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Torah created by the Jews of Alexandria in the third century B.C.E. (The other books of the Hebrew Bible were translated over the course of the following century.) According to Septuagint tradition, at least 70 isolated ancient scholars came up with identical Greek translations of the Torah.

        Which is the “original” Bible? How do we decide which of these two ancient texts is more authoritative? In “Searching for the ‘Original’ Bible” in the July/August 2014 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Hebrew University of Jerusalem scholar and long-time editor-in-chief of the Dead Sea Scrolls publication team Emanuel Tov suggests we turn to the Dead Sea Scrolls to help us compare the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint.

        In other words there is no “original” Bible – it is a combination of the three documents mentioned above.

        BTW, I can read and copy from Google too. I thought you were “done” – you said you were. Personally, I’ve got more important things to spend my time on. I’ve answered all your questions (at least all I’m going to). Believe what you want, and so will I.

        Nighty night.

        1. Brother John says:

          I’m surprised to see your response, Clayton. Although you totally sidestepped my original challenge (“everyone knows….”) at least you’ve made an effort with these. You’ve made it clear that you choose to maintain your beliefs, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be doing any research that might prove them incorrect, but perhaps others, who aren’t so close minded, will.

          1. “In other words there is no “original” Bible” and “or, at least, that “Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact” seem contradictory. Here are a few contradictions in the NT…. http://infidels.org/library/modern/paul_carlson/nt_contradictions.html

          2. There are many clear indications that Jesus and God are not one in the same…..

          Matthew 6:9
          Our Father, which art in Heaven.
          He didn’t pray, Our Father, which art standing right here!”

          John 14:28
          The Father is greater than I.
          This is another strong statement that makes a distinction between Jesus and God.

          Matthew 27:46
          My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
          Inconceivable if he is God the Creator.

          3 & 4 To provide a good overview of the majority opinion about the Gospels, the Oxford Annotated Bible (a compilation of multiple scholars summarizing dominant scholarly trends for the last 150 years) states (pg. 1744):
          “Neither the evangelists nor their first readers engaged in historical analysis. Their aim was to confirm Christian faith (Lk. 1.4; Jn. 20.31). Scholars generally agree that the Gospels were written forty to sixty years after the death of Jesus. They thus do not present eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings.”

          Matt Slick’s CARM is one of the most popular apoligetics website.
          https://carm.org/when-were-gospels-written-and-whom

          “The various dates most widely held as possible writing dates of the Gospel are between A.D. 40 – 140.”
           
          “Mark was not an eyewitness to the events of Jesus’ life.”
          “Generally, Mark is said to be the earliest gospel with an authorship of between A.D. 55 to A.D. 70.”

           “Luke was not an eyewitness of the life of Christ.”
          Therefore, we can conclude that Luke was written before A.D. 62.”

          Source for below……..http://www.humanreligions.info/gospels.html

          “None of the gospels are eye-witness accounts of Jesus’ life, and, they are all written in Greek and not in the native tongues of anyone who met and followed Jesus. Many of the stories in the Gospels are copied from Greek god-man legends, especially those of Dionysus and Osiris. Although we now know them by the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, they are all originally anonymous.”

          “Of all the writers of the New Testament, only Matthew and Luke mention the virgin birth. Had something as miraculous as the virgin birth actually occurred, one would expect that Mark and John would have at least mentioned it in their efforts to convince the world that Jesus was who they were claiming him to be. The apostle Paul never mentions the virgin birth”

          5. Oldest complete bible… http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/en/codex/

          Discovered in a monastery in the Sinai desert in Egypt more than 160 years ago, the handwritten Codex Sinaiticus includes two books that are not part of the official New Testament and at least seven books that are not in the Old Testament.
          The New Testament books are in a different order, and include numerous handwritten corrections — some made as much as 800 years after the texts were written, according to scholars who worked on the project of putting the Bible online. The changes range from the alteration of a single letter to the insertion of whole sentences.
          And some familiar — very important — passages are missing, including verses dealing with the resurrection of Jesus, they said.

          You’ll notice I’m not participating in any new posts, Clayton. This was unfinished business.

          Make sure to write down any prophetic dreams and visions you have and share them with all of humanity.

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            In hindsight, I can see many ways in which God had been calling to me and asking me to change the direction of my life. Because I didn’t listen, He had to shout. I can’t believe you can’t hear Him.

          2. Truth seeker says:

            Thanks for the infidels link brother john !
            very interesting.
            would love to see some faithfull actually read it and respond to what it points out.

            I my self was raised to belive as many that bible was the literal word of god. As though it was written all at once and free from earthly influence.

            After having much mental, emotional and spiritual damage done by the beliefs I held. I finally did what you’re always told to do……read the bible.

            And yes I had read a lot of it already..but alway in a context that was given from someone or a dogma.
            I am blessed with very good reading comprehension (have perfect test scores to prove it)
            And couldn’t believe how different what it actually says is from what churches teach with their twisted contexts.

            (This one blew my mind)
            I was taught of the deceitful serpent who was the devil in disguise. But in the context and true reading was just a lizard or something…..no a snake with legs:) (if it was the devil why would god curse a whole species for one being used ) who told the truth of the lie that God told of in that day they would surely die if they ate the fruit.
            Them not dieing and God confirm the the serpent. God is fearful of them eating of the tree of life and being as him and apairntly his equally powerful friends having knowledge and immortality as them……just what the serpent said.

            And just to get a little on topic………animals have homosexual relations so all the people who think it is unatural are just plain wrong.

          3. Brother John says:

            Here are a couple of other research sources, Truth seeker. Regardless of how much fact and evidence you provide, most “Christians” will choose not to respond to anything that contradicts their beliefs. We can clearly see this in Clayton’s lack of response to my Oct. 31 post (which included a number of verifying links)

            https://thechurchoftruth.org

            http://skepticsannotatedbible.com

            http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

          4. Clayton Beardmore says:

            To “Brother John”‘s comments on November 11.Links – yes, verifying – no.

        2. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

          Clayton? Does your Bible not teach us that WE are made in God’s image? Does it not also say that God created everything, including man?

          Well, if GOD created man, and man turns out to be gay, who are YOU to judge GOD?

          GOD creates ALL things…..therefore their are no such things as un-natural or an abomination….for GOD created us in his image! Everything and everyone is therefore born PERFECT and as it should be!!!

          You cannot profess to love your GOD, then judge him/her so harshly!

          GOD is NOT the Bible….for the Bible was written by man, not God and for the strict purpose of controlling the masses.

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            “Born” is different than “turned out.” All men ARE created perfect – how they turn out later is not the same (obviously).

            I do not judge God, He is the ultimate judge and He had the people who wrote the Bible write what they wrote, so man DID NOT write the Bible – they just put down the words God gave them.

      3. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

        Well said Brother John…..Well Said!!!

        1. Clayton Beardmore says:

          “Well said” doesn’t count! “Well done” does! Remember, actions speak louder than words. All this ridiculous babble is making me crazy. You people are nuttier than I ever imagined.

    5. John Owens says:

      Astute commentary, Clayton. I appreciate what you have written here. All of it. Glad someone else believes and knows the scripture.

    6. Minister Carey says:

      So why would any homosexual person choose to worship this god (of many gods) and embrace these writings (called holy scriptures)? Lack of knowledge? Lack of common spiritual sense? What sense does it make to want to become a part of this madness when mad religious people don’t want homosexuals to be included? Considering what “traditional marriage” represents (ownership between a man and a woman with the man as ‘head of the woman’), why would any homosexual couple want to be a part of this? AND, where in those “holy scriptures” does it say one must get permission from a state to “know” another person? Did “Adam and Eve” get a marriage license before they “knew” each other? WTF (F=fuss).

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        Leviticus 18:22 says that homosexuality is a sin so I guess no homosexual couple would want to be a part of this.

      2. Truth seeker says:

        For the most part it is because, their parents brainwash them with the religion their parents brainwashed them with. It can be really hard to deprogram yourself.

      3. Clayton Beardmore says:

        for the rest of your questions, get your information from the ONLY truthful book out there – the Bible. You’ll find that homosexuality is a sin!

        1. Brother John says:

          Clayton said…“Well said” doesn’t count! “Well done” does! Remember, actions speak louder than words. All this ridiculous babble is making me crazy. You people are nuttier than I ever imagined.”

          I don’t know what “actions” you mean, but I hope they don’t involve stoning those you consider sinners, Clayton. It’s the confusion of bible babble that’s making you crazy along with the “you people” who have read books in addition to the bible. This is clearly evidenced by your repeated insistence that the bible is “the ONLY truthful book out there” with an estimated 29 millions books published.

          You set the “nuttier” bar beyond reach with that ridiculous statement.

          As there was no response to my Oct. 31 post, other than you can’t believe I can’t hear god shouting, you’ve once again failed to defend your beliefs/statements.

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            How does the old saying go? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but……..”

            BTW, I have read MANY books besides the Bible, and believe me, the Bible’s words are NOT babble.

            Listen – hear Him – that’s all the evidence I or anybody else needs.

          2. Brother John says:

            I think it goes “sticks and stones may break my bones, but I deserved it because I’m a sinner” or something like that…

            Why would you choose to read MANY books while believing they all contain untruths?

            Are the untruths in all books (except the bible of course), demonstrably not true, or just contrary to your beliefs?

            I provided links for verification in my Oct. 31 post. Did you read any of them or chose to ignore them knowing in advance that they’d be untrue? If some of them are untrue, don’t you feel any responsibility to correct them as a true believer?

            Do you believe that all textbooks contain untruths? Did your instructors agree when you corrected the untruths you found?

            Sorry Clayton, but after your claim that the bible is “the ONLY truthful book out there”, and continuing to use it to justify your homophobia in spite of facts to the contrary, I, for one, do not believe you.

            Here’s hoping that the voice in your head you believe to be God doesn’t think of you as a modern day Moses and instruct you to have your blasphemous neighbours slaughtered (keeping their virgin daughters for yourself).

        2. Clayton Beardmore says:

          Ramble on all you want – I never said all other books contained untruths. I’m sure there are many things I’m supposed to have said (according to you) that I didn’t, as well as questions answered that you claim weren’t.

          Everyone was warned about “false prophets,” and I believe I’ve found one.

          1. Brother John says:

            “I never said all other books contained untruths.”

            Clayton Nov. 8…”for the rest of your questions, get your information from the ONLY truthful book out there – the Bible.”

            You even capitalized ONLY for emphasis (def: without others or anything further; alone; solely; exclusively)

            There’s no questions about what you’ve “said” and what remains unanswered as it’s here in print for everyone to read.

            “Everyone” wasn’t warned about false prophets, just as everyone doesn’t know that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural (another of your bigoted opinions). You seem to be operating under the delusion that “everyone” has read, and accepts, the bible.
            The majority of the world’s population haven’t read the bible, and many of those who have read it, and more importantly, studied it’s origins, do not believe it’s the word of God or a guide to morality, history or truth.

            You wrote…. “He is the ultimate judge and He had the people who wrote the Bible write what they wrote, so man DID NOT write the Bible – they just put down the words God gave them.”

            OK dude, that makes sense…. Carry on with your delusions and don’t forget to “put down the words” that god gives you to share with EVERYONE.

  3. Minister Norman says:

    I beleive this Blog began with the best statement of all: “Hate has no place in the house of God” – Desmond Tutu
    Amen!

    1. Tom Jaynes says:

      Loving one another, as we are commanded to do, is not easy. We do not naturally love those who are different than ourselves. After all, birds of a feather flock together is quite a valid idea. Perhaps this is why there are almost 40,000 recognized Christian denominations on this earth today. Sadly they are focused on dogma differences rather than the command of Jesus to love one another. 40,000 is not a testament to the spread of Christianty as much as it is an indictment on their inability to love as they were commanded to do.

    2. Brother John says:

      More importantly, Tutu is quoted as having said, “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place. I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”

      **ATTN: Christian believers** Are his beliefs justified biblically? Are they contrary to yours? Do you consider him a Christian?

    3. John Owens says:

      I believe we should love the person, and hate the sin. We all have sin. That does not mean we should stop trying to eliminate sin. Mankind is not able to decide what is sin and what is not, because all the ways of a person are right in their own eyes. Our heart is deceitful, and on its own, desperately wicked. It is not hate against people to teach that certain acts are sinful. It is freedom. They are free to ignore, free to disagree, free to preach otherwise, but not free to suppress. If Desmond Tutu does not hate sin, he is no priest. If a church does not welcome people who have sin, that church will have no people in it. At the same time, if those people do not wish to hear from the word of God, they should not be in church. If the word of God makes them uncomfortable, they should try to conform to the word of God, and not to the church. The word of God can separate the marrow of your character from your bones, and reflects back at you the things you secretly hate about yourself but are unwilling or unable to change. I know that makes people uncomfortable, even sad. That does not mean we should not preach the Word. Unbelievers have always existed. Believers have debated details for millennia. We must continue to teach the Word.

      1. Truth seeker says:

        Then don’t be gay or don’t act on it if you are.
        But you are not loving you are hurting when you shame someone else.
        That is the main reason suicide is so rampant in the LGBT community.

        Freewill is not free if someone else is imposing their will on them

      2. Truth seeker says:

        And it has been demonstrated though out history that the claim Christians are somehow more moral than anybody else is not true.
        Sexual abuse happens more among churches (not just catholic) Even more porn is watched on the Internet in the bible belt:) sexual repression equals more acting out.
        So much evil has been done in the name of God. What meaningful good have Christians done in the world. Something that made history.
        I am sure you think saving souls is good enough reason. That was the reason given for people all over the world have been taken over and countless killed and tortured (and by saving their souls we deserve all their land and resources……..oh yeah instead of dealing with the curse my god imposed on everyone that makes growing in the soil so hard they should do it:)
        And the focus on heven, hell and that the earth is just here for man to subdue and will just be burnt anyway.( a church in my town even has a burning earth as it icon) Has not been kind to us or anything on the earth.

        They were the dominant force for a long time and look at the state of the world.

  4. David says:

    The heart of anyone who loves GOD and his Children, (the two golden rules) , should love the one no matter what! We all know by the order of nature it’s not right, but love should always overcome, prayer is needed, keep an open heart. Don’t let your desire cloud your heart and overcome you. God will put what is right. Love no matter what.

  5. Pastor P. says:

    Yes. If we call ourselves Christians, then, we are by reason, followers of Christ. To deny a fellow the welcoming to worship is to be against the Great Commandment What the problem is, is moral prejudice, based on an old testament prohibition. When we impose our morality on others, who aren’t imposing theirs on us, we fail to be what we profess to be.

    1. Truth seeker says:

      Agree with you.
      I am not a Christian but…….a lot of the things jesus is to have said is spot on to me. Like love everbody.

      At least they aren’t stoning people.

      Picking and choose can be fun

      “I’m not gay cool ! Yeah they’re bad………what!! Bacon! No no no…that was just for them way back then……….”

      “been married 3 times but I just won’t think about the fact that I’ve been committing adultery ever since I started the second one becuse realy love this one. God will understand………but gays can’t get married….they don’t really love each other they just want lots of evil gay sex”
      🙂 lol!

  6. Clayton Beardmore says:

    Hate the sin, not the sinners.

    1. Daniel says:

      Its kinda difficult to accept moral law from a immoral source

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        Who are you to tell someone they’re immoral?

        1. Brother John says:

          Who are you to say “everyone inherently knows that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural”, Clayton? That is only your Bible based opinion and far from factual. I suggest you read the comments as well as the article and realize your statement is false.

          https://www.quora.com/Is-being-gay-is-unnatural-a-valid-argument-against-homosexuality

          1. Brother John says:

            It took me less than half an hour to read the article I linked plus the comments. You’ve had 10 days and still no valid response. But there’s a qualification to the quote of yours I stated…

            You said, “The answer, according to the Bible, is that everyone inherently knows that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural”……..

            So it’s not just your opinion/belief that’s wrong, it’s the Bible as well, which is the source and basis for much immorality itself. Examples?

            Misogyny and the subjugation of women
            Condoning slavery
            Death sentences for minor offences
            Genocide and mass slaughter of innocent people including women and children

            But let’s stick with your proclamation about homosexuality.

            FACT: Everyone does not know, inherently or otherwise, that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural. There are many who believe this, often based on an ancient “holy book” and little else, but there are many others who prefer truth, evidence and proof to unsubstantiated beliefs (AKA “non-believers”).

            I provided evidence that your statement (and correspondingly, the Bible, as your source) is wrong. It’s a lie that promotes misunderstandings, division and even hatred.
            That is immoral.

            The link I posted on Oct. 13 is excellent as it addresses both the “unnatural” and “immoral” accusations. Here are two more sources for confirmation. Surely you’ve read something other than the Bible during your lifetime in the pursuit of knowledge and truth.

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2014/04/top-7-claims-for-same-sex-relationships-being-unnatural/

            http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2007/03/seven_reasons_w.html

  7. shiningwolf9 says:

    No, the word “make” does not equal the word “force”. A forced belief is not a true belief. I observe you left out my piece where 300 disciples left him in one day, and not a word about it is said. Funny how christians pick and choose what they want to hear, read and believe in their own scriptures; and trying to make words mean something else they the words really mean.

    I was only wanting to understand, from someone in the situation this article was speaking of, why anyone would want to stay, or enter into relationship with those in a religion whose beliefs are not their own. My belief system encourages open, honest, adult communication; we are to allow others their opinions, and beliefs because we all have free will and different life lessons to learn. We all need to try and understand each other, without forcing another person to follow a teaching or belief they do not, or can not ascribe to. Only by these types of dialog will true Peace come to pass.

    Shining Wolf

  8. Tom Jaynes says:

    Let us not start telling religious organizations what they can and/or cannot believe, or whom to accept and/or not accept. They do have that autonomy and it is guaranteed by our Constitution. The problem is not what they choose to believe. The problem is what they want everyone else to believe, especially those who are not members of their organization. I have my own beliefs, but I refuse to impose those beliefs on my neighbors, friends, or even my family.
    My religion tells me to focus on my relationship with a Supreme Being. What others do is not going to change that relationship. If churches wish to impose certain rules, regulations, theologies, dogmas and tenets on those who are within their membership, so be it. As long as they stay within their own backyard, their acceptance is not meaningful to me nor has it any affect on me and my relationship with the Supreme as I see it.

    1. Brother John says:

      Tom said, “The problem is not what they choose to believe. The problem is what they want everyone else to believe, especially those who are not members of their organization.”

      This problem is magnified when beliefs are presented as facts with nothing to back them up other than the Bible.

    2. Donald Vick says:

      Well said however behavior is the outward action of thought the (perhaps) unquestioned dogma can lead others to do,in my opinion, terrible things that do effect my life nice to read none bible quotes comments

  9. Clayton Beardmore says:

    All of us have sinned – some of us have been forgiven.

    1. Dark Gray says:

      Do you have any idea how insufferably smug that sounds?

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        Before or after the hyphen? I hope you realize EVERYBODY is eligible to be to forgiven.

        1. Dark Gray says:

          The smugness comes from what’s implied: “I have been forgiven; others have not.”

          Why you and not others? Presumably because you’ve jumped through some hoops that others have not, so God loves you more. And if those others would only listen to you, they could jump through those hoops so God could love them and they could be forgiven as well. Smugness or self-righteousness or Pharisee Syndrome, take your pick.

          What I would hope you’d realize is that God loves everyone equally and without limit, and nothing can ever, *ever* change that. Didn’t they teach you that in Sunday school? He loves each and every one of us so much that something as inconsequential as who you stick your dick in doesn’t matter in the slightest.

          God loves us so much that hearing someone declare so confidently that *some* people aren’t forgiven in God’s eyes — well, I think that makes God cry just a little.

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            to “imply” to me means the same as “assume” – you know what that makes out of u and me.

            I believe God does love everybody, but all have not asked for forgiveness and attempted to live according to God’s Word. Those, I believe, are lost, regardless if they’re loved or not.

          2. Dark Gray says:

            Yeah, here’s what makes the standard Christian conception of God sound so schizophrenic.

            “God really, *really* loves you, but — well, I’m afraid you just haven’t jumped through the correct hoops, so you’re toast. Sorry. God would really, *really* like to help you, but God won’t let him.”

            So, what do you mean by “lost”? Do you believe that God sends unforgiven sinners to hell when they die or are they simply obliterated or what?

        2. Truth seeker says:

          Yeah that’s why so many Christians do so much evil. They believe you say you’re sorry and your slate is wiped clean…….nope sorry you are responsible spiritually for every thing you’ve ever done. no easy way out of it.

          I don’t talk to my mom about religion much after I cast off the chains she helped create….but one time I asked her….
          if a man that had done horrible things in his life but later found Jesus would be saved and a man who had lived his life morally and done good for others but not believed would be condemned…….she said yes.

          If the god of the bible is real. I can’t worship such an unjust god.
          If you don’t believe you will be punished and the only proof is a bunch of power and money hungry people, their brainwashed followers and a collection of books written by “men” from long ago.

          It is my opinion that the Romans noticed a cult that had very devoted followers and used it to try and control the world as their empire was declining. History shows that it worked…..kings answered to them for hundreds of years

  10. Rev james michael ( gay pro-activist ) says:

    Lets stop all of the bullshit now! Leave the gays alone. Quit criticizing them and just leave them alone. Americans cannot pass up
    the opportunity to criticize anything or anyone for anything at all. Criticize yourselves before casting the first stones. Just leave it all
    alone. There are more important necessary issues to address in this society. Forget about discrimination once and for all time!

    1. Truth seeker says:

      I agree… ecept tell this to all(most) people that follow a religion (mostly the ones based on the god of Abraham) that condemns it.
      not just Americans

  11. James Williams says:

    Evaluation of the motivation for marriage first. If two people just want to use the marriage for taxes, visas and not love then the church shouldn’t have to perform a ceremony and the courts can legal bind the two parties.

  12. Angel says:

    The way I see it is like this. Anytime you join a specific religious organization,you usually join because you agree mostly with the doctrines and teaching they teach, which is why you join to begin with. These organizations have leaders and these leaders are in charge, so by joining this organization, you agree to follow the rules set in place by the leader’s. If this changes, you are free to leave and find a different organization. It suck’s, but the reality is, the leader’s are in charge and the followers are not! So, if the leader’s make a decision, it’s not about what individuals think, it’s about what they want to do, and that’s the bottomline.

    1. Brother John says:

      Many people have not “chosen” their religion, Angel. They adopted it from family and culture without much thought.

      1. Dark Gray says:

        Well, that may be true, but thank God *I* was born into the *correct* religion! 🙂

  13. Brother John says:

    I assume these are “direct quotes”, although you didn’t post them as such, or include links to the original for verification, Clayton. Stating that the Gospels are “authentic” (meaning genuine, not copied) is preposterous considering there are no extant original manuscripts. None. There are only copies, (of copies, of copies), riddled with errors and contradictions amongst them. This is an indisputable fact.

    Here’s a lecture by Dr. Bart Ehrman, a respected New Testament scholar who has access to, and can read, ancient Greek manuscripts. Unlike you or I, he has devoted decades of his life to the study of the extant Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Dr. Ehrman does not ask us to believe what he’s saying. He challenges us to do our own research by simply taking any story from the Gospels and comparing it in detail in each of the four books. This video is probably no longer than the time it took you to provide the research you’ve posted.

    I stand by the statements I made on the 14th and add a few…..

    The Gospels writers were not disciples of Jesus. They are separated from the life of Jesus by 35-65 years and are not eyewitness accounts. They’re written in Greek, not Aramaic.

    Would you care to comment about the information about the plagiarization of pre-existing myths I linked as well? Many Ehrman lectures and those of others will appear in the YouTube sidebar if you’re truly interested in facts, accuracy and the origins of the Bible.

  14. Brother John says:

    I’ve just spent an hour playing with my dog. He loves me. I love him. It was more worthwhile playing with him than time spent here on the whole. I’ve been here, mostly challenging some of the beliefs people have chosen to accept with questionable histories. This certainly includes religion. I need no beliefs to live my life. No one does. Reality is twisted and shaped by our beliefs. If any of our beliefs are not true then a portion of our reality is illusion, sometimes a delusion. Without those beliefs our reality could be very different. Common beliefs are a great comfort. I don’t mind not knowing things for certain. Many myths have profound proofs in them, including the Bible.But there are thousands of other “guides to Reality and Truth”

    Just deleted four paragraphs after playing with the dog again keep it short.

    Most of us don’t want illusion or delusion warping our perceptions… our reality.

    Understand what they are, then begin purging your Mind….. Don’t call them beliefs. They’re thought of as important and something to cherish. Something to give our lives meaning and purpose. But most, if not all, beliefs are either illusions or delusions We may have lived with them for many years and don’t want them disturbed. Illusions and delusions hide the truth. They can control our lives if we let them. This is a well written, short article describing illusions and delusions and the differences between them.

    We all have them. Some more than others. They rob of us of truth and reality

    http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-delusion-and-illusion/

    Look for truth, no matter how disturbing it may be. It’s the only way out of the “web of life”. Don’t be afraid of change and the lifting of the veil. I’m done here. Carry on Bravely.

  15. K says:

    You love your dog. Your dog loves you. Would you consider having sex with your dog? If all things are considered equal, then having sex with whatever your mind chooses to be attracted to should be all that matters, right? Including children?

    God created this? Lol. What imbeciles.

    Your long-winded pontificatations (I loved how this word is tossed around) prove nothing more than an attempt at justifying any actions that humans can devise.

    I have only been associated with this “church” for a very short period and from what I read here this is a place for the self-righteous to preach their own version of what is right and wrong.

    It truly is laughable.

    And so, for my first and last post I do hereby hit “unsubscribe” because, folks, there are so many things to do in life besides listen to you people puke spiritual vomit.

    1. ronald freeman says:

      to jim and others,iam anglican and gay but i do not agree with gay marriage.THE CHURCH IS WRONG…i am also an ex monk,so i do and also read and say my office each day and do hold few degrees on the faith and yes also a REV….GOG BLESS and keep…ron

  16. Rev. Joe says:

    I am so grateful that the Universal Life Church is not a christian organization. And I am happy that the articles on this thread are not the official opinions of the ULC.

  17. pastorrichard13 says:

    I personally am against Gay Marriage, I am also Christian, that being said, if gays choose to live their lives together in civil unions I have no issue with that. If the Government ( which is supposed to be separate from religion) *Gag* wishes to allow them to marry civilly I have no issue with that either. I do have an issue with either the Government or the LGBT community trying to force religion to accept their lifestyle choices. If a religious organization decides within its ranks to not choose to unite gays into Holy Matrimony than so be it, and should not be forced to. I am also against citizens of any country to be forced to accept the LGBT lifestyle, and there should be no ramifications to those who do not. If the LGBT community wish to be Christian, so be it. If the LGBT community wishes to be married in (A Christian Church) so be it, Start your own Church! Look it up, you can do just that. Leave mainstream Christianity alone and leave the Church. If I were a member of an organization that suddenly changed its stripes and allowed something I was firmly against, I would leave. We were created Man and Woman for a reason, I believe it was by design, of God, for a purpose, be it reproduction, pleasure, etc, Our anatomies were created as they were for a reason and I shouldn’t need to explain that to grown adults. Bottom line, if you don’t like the Church …leave it!

    1. Clayton Beardmore says:

      Great comment! The Church you choose is just like the U.S. – if you don’t like it here, leave!

  18. Shane Lowrey says:

    Homophobia is not an African value. It was imposed on them by missionaries and colonial occupation.

    1. Clayton Beardmore says:

      I suppose the missionaries and colonials chased the monkeys too.

  19. Rev. Joe says:

    If you don’t like your wife leave her, if you don’t like your children leave them, if you don’t like your race leave it, if you don’t like your gender leave it, if you don’t like your life leave it. Thank you for your insightful and very christian viewpoint. Your commentary is instructive to everyone who reads your words. You are everything we expect from a good christian.

    1. pastorrichard13 says:

      We all have choices, Would you advocate staying in something or somewhere one is unhappy? Being a good Christian does not mean we have to accept that which we believe to be immoral.

  20. C.Brown says:

    If one truly believe’s in the Bible then it’s no question… marriages are between one man and one woman becoming one in unity as life partners …not one man and one man or one woman and one woman…if you think that this is right or you support this life style then you really don’t believe in what the Bible stands for or teaches us…it’s not our job to judge but it is our job to teach and guide our fellow man…show these people the ways of the Bible this is what we are to do…

  21. Truth seeker says:

    The church should split. People have religious freedom. They should associate with people of like minded for worship. No since in fighting.

    But they only have a right to preach their hatred to their flock.
    And save the judging to their god as it is written in their book.

    Everyone has a right live their life the way they see fit as long as it does not hurt any non consenting.

    Publicly shaming a group of people hurts them emotional and spiritually and sometimes physically.

    And don’t forget all those good Christians who pillaged and inslaved people all around the world in the name of God. Or the ones that owned and dehumanized people and justified it biblically.

    As with racism……homophobia will hopefully decline enough to make most keep it to themselves

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