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Belief Beat


Today’s Headlines: McChrystal Ousted, Rubashkin Appealing, Anti-Gay Pastor Outed

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I’m under the weather today, so here’s a trinity of faith-related news making traditional and blogosphere headlines in round-up form:

1. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, despite warnings from Muslim leaders in Afghanistan, has been removed from command (and replaced by Gen. David Petraeus) after his Rolling Stone interview reveals allegedly insubordinate remarks. For more:  

 

2. Sholom Rubashkin, sentenced to serve 27 years in prison and pay $27 million in restitution for financial fraud related to operations at his family’s now-defunct Agriprocessors kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, will appeal the verdict. For more:

 

3. The Rev. Tom Brock, a conservative pastor whose church left the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America last year after the ELCA voted to allow gay clergy, has been outed by a gay magazine whose reporter found him attending a Catholic support group for gay men struggling with chastity. (It’s still Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, by the way.) For more:

 

Share your thoughts in the Comments section below, as I retire to the couch to nurse myself back to health and finish up Stephen Prothero’s God Is Not One for my upcoming interview with the author.

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Grumpy Old Person

posted June 23, 2010 at 4:32 pm


Just read the two articles about the anti-gay pastor getting outed and – WOW!!!
At first I was giddy with glee at this hypocrite’s downfall, but then I kept reading and discovered he is also racist, anti-women, uncharitable, condescending, and – well – an all-round, nasty piece of work.
It hit me that this man has not one shred of human decency and I wondered how anyone could be so un-sympathetic, so unkind, so NOT Christian to seemingly everyone he encounters in his ministry – women pastors, gypsies, other gay people, well, everyone who wasn’t a fellow opera lover.
And I wondered what could possibly make a man so. His self-loathing is not only evident, it is profoundly, deeply imbedded into his self-image, and this very deeply saddens me.
He epitomizes the very real harm the teachings of his church can wreak on people.
I will keep him in my prayers, but unless and until he not only ceases his gay-bashing but also renounce such vile cant, I cannot truly forgive him.
Sad, too, that he will be yet another example of the ‘do as I say, not do as I do’ moralistic, ‘evangelical’ (fundamentalist, pick yer fave) hypocrites that very much deserve their own public outings and subsequent downfalls. They cause harm – to people and to the message of Christ – and must be stopped.



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Tracy

posted June 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm


The first response to this particular blog reminds me why I hardly ever read the blog – the vile words make my stomach ache. Forgiving others is a grace from God to which we need to be open to. Otherwise…. you figure it out. Me, I’m outta here.



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Cheery Whippersnapper

posted June 23, 2010 at 6:44 pm


I agree with Tracy. Who cares if the man condemned others for feelings he himself understood, making it more difficult for those people to get equal treatment or even basic human rights in our society. The more important issue is Grumpy Old Person recognizing it and not instantly forgiving this obvious liar and con man. I intend to bury my head in the sand if any more vile words or analysis of plain facts should appear before me. Seeya.



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nnmns

posted June 23, 2010 at 9:28 pm


Don’t worry GOM, I’m with you! Not everyone deserves to be forgiven, immediately or perhaps ever. I didn’t read the articles but from your description he sounds like a harmful jerk. The jerk part’s not so bad; we all are sometimes. But if he’s deliberately and regularly harmful to other people I feel no compulsion to forgive him. Which I’m sure doesn’t bother him a bit.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted June 23, 2010 at 10:15 pm


Tracy,
I’m sorry that you’ve decided to leave and that my words made your “stomach ache.” This pastor’s words – and actions – made my stomache ache. His self-loathing is very evident in the article, and I found that sad, especially because it was his church that taught him God’s grace did not – does not – extend to people like him, and that’s simply a lie of the devil.
The man lead his Church out of the ECLA because of its teachings that people like him do not/can not/are not worthy of love – of God OR another person who is of the same sex. He perpetuates those lies, and the injustices they cause, and it is for that that I cannot forgive him.
Besides, it’s God’s job to forgive him, not mine. He, his words and his actions not-so-indirectly affect MY life (I’m a gay man).
Frankly, I’m glad he was outed. Perhaps it will help him deal with his delusion.
As Cheery Whippersnapper points out, “the man condemned others for feelings he himself understood” he made/makes it “more difficult for those people to get equal treatment or even basic human rights in our society” He IS an “obvious liar and con man”, and my words were “analysis of plain facts”.
IOW, he promotes intolerance, and injustice. All like him equally deserve exposure.



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LutheranChik

posted June 24, 2010 at 10:08 am


I am a Lutheran and an “out” lesbian. Generally speaking, I don’t condone “outing” closeted gay folks…but in the case of this multi-bigoted individual, who has also been an outspoken contributor to the schism happening in my denomination, I can’t help but feel a tinge of Schadenfreude; “Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”:P But at the same time I hope that his situation will eventually lead him to a place where he can confront and get genuine counseling for his self-hatred and address the anger and other issues that are obviously harming his relationship with God and with other human beings.



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Robert C

posted June 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm


Speaking of getting outed. I find it delicious that the Enquirer has decided to ‘out’ Al Gore on the reason he and Tipper have called it quits. Sued for sexual harrassment? Didn’t he learn anything from Lewinsky? With a $500.00 massage therapist? In Portland? Sounds like more oscar material.



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Apuleius Platonicus

posted June 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm


Obviously there is a potential ethical issue with violating the confidentiality of 12-step program. On the other hand, maybe all 12-step programs are not created equal. This one (“Courage”. Meh.) appears to fair game to me because it is designed to “cure” people of the “disease” of homosexuality.



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Robert C

posted June 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm


So is NAMBLA a twelve step program?



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Your Name

posted June 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm


No more than str8 Anabolic videos is for you betterosexuals.
Seek help Rocert. It is out there.



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Your Name

posted June 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm


I completely disagree with this pastors teaching in alot of ways, and I do believe that God loves everyone, and I mean everyone. He doesnt care if you are white, black, gay, straight, or anything. But.. He also gives us guidelines on how to live our lives and one of those is not to be Gay, or Homo sexual as it is called in the book of Romans. Even if you think you were born Gay, you have a choice to say no to those devilish, sinful thoughts and just dont do it. I was born and alchoholic, I love alcohol, but i choose not to drink.



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Christian? Really?

posted June 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm


First of all, I pray that no one ever presumes to judge your character as you are judging Pastor Tom Brock’s. I am curious where you are getting your information to make such judgments. I hope you dig deeper than the stories others contrive. Again, I pray you are never subject to the words your are speaking in this regard.
I have personally heard Pastor Brock’s messages. If you listen to what Pastor Tom Brock is saying when he is “critical” of homosexuality, you will actually hear he is critical of the churches and leadership that condone the behavior without identifying is as impenitent sin. If you have listened beyond the words homosexual you will hear that he is condemning the church’s disregard for the word of God and not individuals. If you ever hear Pastor Brock talk about salvation you will hear him say that without Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for the sins of EVERYONE including himself, he too would be condemned to hell.
Critics of Pastor Tom Brock please read this: What you are criticizing and chastising is NOT Pastor Tom Brock. What you are actually fighting is the Bible, which many believe is the inspired word of God. THE BIBLE SAYS participating in homosexuality is a sin and that you risk spending eternity in hell by living in sin and not accepting Jesus as the begotten son of God. You can choose to believe the Bible or not believe the Bible. That is your choice, but you must also live with the consequences of that decision – good or bad.
Pastor Brock, a minister of the Gospel. chooses to believe in the word of God and to fight for the salvation of souls. When he is speaking out to the church (NOT individuals) he is fighting for souls. He has stated that he at no time has engaged in homosexual behavior despite his temptations. Being tempted is not a sin. Again, remember you have a choice-Christ’s resurrection gives Christians that option (see 1 Corinthians). If this is your struggle, how could Pastor Brock not not have compassion on you. As humans we are all tempted. Who hasn’t been tempted in some area or another. We are human, we live in a fallen world and Satan is actively prowling the earth seeking to pull us away from the loving arms of Jesus.
Please listen to what Pastor Brock is really saying. If you are a homosexual, know that God loves you and Pastor Brock is fighting for your soul because he believes that your salvation could be in jeopardy. We all have choices on what we believe, what we fight for and the actions we take. You have a right and so does Pastor Tom Brock. Pastor Brock just wants you to know you have a choice to choose Christ and the Bible and not succumb to temptation, no matter what that temptation is.
The bottom line is that the admonitions of Pastor Tom Brock are not his original ideas, they are taken from the Bible. If you have an issue with the principles he stands for, take it up with God and not Tom Brock. Did you say you were a Christian?
I pray you are embraced, named and claimed by Jesus and one day we will be side by side praising our awesome, gracious, loving God.



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Rob the Rev

posted June 29, 2010 at 10:01 am


To Christian? Really? Go stuff it!!
“Pastor” Brock needs to come to terms with his orientation, accept himself, and live openly and proudly, repudiating his homophobic bigotry.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted June 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm


“First of all, I pray that no one ever presumes to judge your character as you are judging Pastor Tom Brock’s.”
But Christian? Really?, self-described “Christians” judge others (especially God’s gay and lesbian children) all the time already, so your ‘prayer’ is not only too late, it is in vain.
“I have personally heard Pastor Brock’s messages.”
Bully for you. I’ve heard enough of his hate-messages as to make me want to puke. I find so much hate, misogyny, racism and mean-spritiedness in nearly everything he says.
“Critics of Pastor Tom Brock please read this: What you are criticizing and chastising is NOT Pastor Tom Brock.”
Sorry, but you are utterly wrong. It is him and his message that is our target – for it is filled to overflowinng with false witness about God’s gay and lesbian children. It is most definitely NOT against ‘what the Buybull sez’ (TM, all rights reserved), for the world is not of one accord about exactly what it is that the Bible actually DOES say – about a lot of things. I certainly do not accept his/your version of Its contents. I have far more learned scholars to rely on than his/your interpretation. (And, of course, we would all need to know which version of the Bible you cite, since there are so very many versions out there to begin with.)
“Pastor Brock … chooses to believe in the word of God”
No, he chooses to believe in selected parts, selectively interpreted, taken out-of-context (and with little to no undertanding of the conntext to boot) to fit his anti-gay, anti-women, anti-foreigner, anti-human worldview. The man is same-sex attracted (i.e. GAY!) himmself and chooses to ‘believe’ that somehow God made a mistake.
I’m with Rob the Rev – you and your ilk can go stuff it. You literally make me sick with your holier-than-thou, sanctimonious attitudes and platitudes. You have strange ideas about “choice”.
I pray both you and Brock will be healed of your self-deception and (for him) of his self loathing.



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Bible Reader

posted July 4, 2010 at 7:45 pm


1 Cor 6:9-10
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
NASU
How do you interpret that?



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Bible Reader

posted July 4, 2010 at 10:25 pm


Jesus said if you look with lust, you commit adultery of the heart. So since I from time to time have adulterous thoughts, that means I should embrace and celebrate who I am and go out and be an adulterer. Also some times when I see a young lady with her little hot pants on that say “Juicy” across her bum I am shocked at the thoughts that my mind is capable. So that must mean I’m a pedophil as well and I should just give into those urges and be happy rather than fight them.
Wouldn’t this world be a wonderful place if we all gave into our urges.
My conscience constantly reminds me of my need for a Savior.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted July 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm


I find it odd, “Bible Reader” that a pull-quote from the Bible needs to be “interpreted” at all. Shouldn’t the Inerrant Word o’ God (TM, all rights reserved) be, ahem, clear?
Besides, I just looked those Corinthian verses up and the word “homosexual” does not even appear in the good old Queen James version (it uses “effeminate” – look out Ted Haggard, eh?), nor in the Revised Standard (which uses “sexual perverts” – look out Catholic priests, eh? Oh heck, loookout “Bible Reader”, what with your “young lady with her little hot pants on that say “Juicy” across her bum I am shocked at the thoughts that my mind is capable” perversion, eh?), nor in the Phillips Modern English, nor in the Jerusalem Bible, nor in the NEW Revised Standard Version.
In fact, since the very word “homosexual” was only coined about 100 years ago, it doesn’t appear in many versions at all.
Odder still that the Inerrant Word o’ God needs to have so many ‘versions’ in the first place, but I’m sure it is of some comfort to you to find at least one or two that agree with your “interpretation”.
Meanwhile, if I recall correctly, the only two commandments Christ left us were to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I see no love at all in your post. Seems you can pull-quote (out of context too) with the best of them. Too bad you missed the Bible’s actual message.
)



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Bible Reader

posted July 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm


Not only are you grumpy, your judgmental.



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Bible Reader

posted July 8, 2010 at 7:20 am


No, I think I actually have a pretty good handle on the message of the Bible. It is this, we are all sinners. We have all broken God’s laws. We have lied, and the Bible says all liars will have there part in the lake of fire. We have all lusted, and Jesus said if you look with lust you have committed adultery of the heart. We have all been unjustly angry with some one, we have called them a fool, a moron, we have flipped them off, and Jesus said if you do that, you are a murderer at heart. We have all stolen, have wasted our employers time, we have downloaded music illegally, we have borrowed stuff and never returned it, or we have out and out just took something we knew wasn’t ours. We have not loved God with our whole heart, we have not been satisfied with what we have and we have coveted what others have. We have all broken God’s laws and we will stand before him and give an account for our lives and we will be guilty, every one of us. And if God were to give us what we deserve, we would be all sent to hell. God is a good judge, and good judges uphold justice, he will punish law breakers.
But God is also loving and merciful and he doesn’t desire anyone to go to hell, so he has provided a way of escape. Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God in human flesh came to Earth, to live the life none of us could. He lived a perfect life, kept every command, and then suffered terribly at the hands of man, and as if that wasn’t enough God the Father poured out His wrath on His son while hanging on the cross. We sinned, but Jesus the Son of God, took our punishment so that if we would repent and put out trust totally in Him for our salvation, that God could declare us not guilty. We broke the law, and Christ paid our fine.
When we repent and put our trust in him, then he can declare us not guilty, but still uphold justice and righteousness and not violate His holiness. Then we live the rest of our lives seeing Jesus as precious, because we understand what we have been saved from. We still battle our flesh as long as we live, but as we read the scriptures we see and understand what God loves, we also see and understand what grieves him. As we live our lives we always strive to please him, not in some legalistic sense thinking that by anything we do or don’t do will save us, but because we esteem the sacrifice of the one who paid such a high price to redeem us. This is the Scarlet Thread that runs cover to cover in our Bibles.
That’s the message of the Bible.
Jesus gave way more than two commands, He commanded, “Enter by the narrow gate, for the way is wide that leads to destruction, and the way is narrow that leads to life and few there are that find it.” He commanded, “If you would be my disciple, take up your cross daily and follow me.” He commanded, “Repent and believe the Gospel” He commanded, “Repent or perish.”
The church is not for the righteous, but for sinners and those with perversions (your words) men and women like myself and Tom Brock who have seen their sin and have fled to Jesus for His infinite mercy. We then spend the rest of their days battling our flesh and the devil until we are glorified with Him at our death. As Jesus said, “What does it profit a grumpy old person if he gain the whole world and loose his soul?”



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