God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Falwell’s Legacy

posted by gp_intern

I watched much of the cable television coverage of Jerry Falwell’s death and legacy. And I did a lot of grimacing, in response to both the uncritical adulations of his allies (who just passed over the divisive character of much of Falwell’s rhetoric), and also the ugly vitriol from some of Falwell’s enemies (who attacked both his character and his faith). And there were even some who attacked all people of faith. I ended up being glad that I had passed up all the invitations to be on those shows. On the day of Rev. Jerry Falwell’s death, I was content to offer a brief statement, which read:

I was saddened to learn that Rev. Jerry Falwell passed away this morning at age 73. Rev. Falwell and I met many times over the years, as the media often paired us as debate partners on issues of faith and politics. I respected his passionate commitment to his beliefs, and our shared commitment to bringing moral debate to the public square, although we didn’t agree on many things. At this time, however, what matters most is our prayers for comfort and peace for his family and friends.

Two days later, I might add that Falwell, in his own way, did help to teach Christians that their faith should express itself in the public square and I am grateful for that, even if the positions Falwell took were often at great variance with my own. I spent much of my early Christian life fighting the privatizing of faith, characterized by the withdrawal of any concern for the world (so as to not be “worldly”) and an exclusive focus on private matters. If God so loved the world, God must care a great deal about what happens to it and in it. Falwell agreed with that, and blew the trumpet that awakened fundamentalist Christians to engage the world with their faith and moral values. And that commitment is a good thing. Jerry and I debated often about how faith should impact public life and what all the great moral issues of our time really are.

But many conservative Christians are now also embracing poverty, HIV/AIDS, Darfur, sex trafficking, and even the war in Iraq as matters of faith and moral imperatives. It would have been nice to hear on those TV shows that Jerry Falwell, too, had moved to embrace a broader agenda than just abortion and homosexuality. Rev. Falwell, who was admittedly racist during the civil rights movement, was in later years honored by the Lynchburg NAACP for his turn-about on the issue of race, showing the famous founder of the Religious Right’s capacity to grow and change. But two nights ago on television, I saw the pain on the face of gay Christian Mel White, who lamented that despite his and other’s efforts, Falwell never did even moderate his strong and often inflammatory language (even if maintaining his religious convictions) against gay and lesbian people. They still feel the most wounded by the fundamentalist minister’s statements; that healing has yet to be done.

Ralph Reed said that Jerry Falwell presided over the “marriage ceremony” between religious fundamentalists and the Republican Party. That’s still a concern about the Religious Right for many of us, and should be a warning for the relationship of any so-called religious left with the Democrats. But perhaps in the overly partisan mistakes that Jerry Falwell made – and actually pioneered – we can all be instructed in how to forge a faith that is principled but not ideological, political but not partisan, engaged but not used. That’s how the Catholic Bishops put it, and it is a better guide than the direction we got from the Moral Majority. But Falwell proclaimed a public faith, not a private one. And I am with him on that. As I like to say, God is personal, but never private. So let’s pray for Jerry Falwell’s family, the members of his Thomas Road Baptist Church, and all the students at his Liberty University. And let’s learn from his legacy – about how and how not to best apply our faith to politics.



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cs

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:08 pm


Your movement is clearly wedded to the Democratic party, so I don’t think you’ve quite learned the lesson you refer to.



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george

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:21 pm


cs..That is an irrational statement. When have you heard a biblical basis argued for the wealthy-serving policies of the Republican party? SoJO does not serve either party but to bring a gospel driven critque to policy and political discussions. Lighten-up and broaden-up a bit. george



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:23 pm


I think the Sojo movement is wedded to liberal ideology, just as the moral majority was wedded to conservative ideology. These ideologies tend to find a home in the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively, though I think the wedding is rather vicarious.



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Ben Wheaton

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:43 pm


Falwell’s comments on homosexuality were perfectly legitimate expressions of Christian doctrine, even if they were crudely and unkindly stated. It is the duty of Christians to take stands against societal evils; poverty certainly is one, but so is homosexuality. Don’t condemn Falwell for saying these thing.



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JH

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:44 pm


Ignoring the temptation to rebut clearly “ideological” critiques found in the previous posts, I laud Jim Wallis for his diplomatic gesture towards the late Rev. Falwell. And yet, I wonder to what extent the “bringing faith into the public sphere” adulation expressed by Wallis isn’t somewhat of a red herring. For what the Emperor Constantine accomplished at the turn of Christendom was, indeed, wedding the church to politics, yet, as theologians such as Stanley Hauerwas and John Howard Yoder, and even Brain Walsh would put it, this is the “empire” problem that Christianity has struggled with since we wielded the cross on our shields and swords in the first place. I would like to suggest that the privitisation and transcendentalism of Christianity is not an apolitical gesture, but a gesture with certain political effects (that of buying into the Liberal-and I mean Rawlsian-Hobbesian Liberal, here) idea that there is even an apolitical space in the first space. So might we acknowledge, with (gasp!) feminists and the women’s movement, that the personal is political at all times? And perhaps envision a movement in our faith communities that would not just rally and call for the majority to bow to Christendom, to our “moral might”, but to actually take up a life of non-violent, self-giving, cruciform love…as Jesus did.



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:44 pm


“When have you heard a biblical basis argued for the wealthy-serving policies of the Republican party?” This presumes that the policies only serve the wealthy. The counterargument is that taxation stifles job growth, which makes life harder for the poor. You don’t hear a biblical basis for that either. In their opinion, Sojo is simply enacting the will of God. That opinion carries with it the assumptions that they bring to the table, which have nothing to do with scripture.It would be from the purpose of this post to debate which tact is most successful, but there are two sides to this particular coin. Simply saying God is on your side doesn’t make it so.



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:49 pm


“It is the duty of Christians to take stands against societal evils; poverty certainly is one, but so is homosexuality. Don’t condemn Falwell for saying these thing.” It is also the duty of Christians to be civil and winsome. Saying that AIDS is God’s judgment on the homosexual is (in addition to having been proven factually inaccurate) in violation of the way we are called to treat our fellow man. Those would lump anyone who labels homosexuality in with the Jerry Falwell’s of the world does so in error, I think. If that is what you meant to say, then I agree with you.However, one of Falwell’s great sins was to add such inflammatory fire to the discussion of Christian sexual ethics that reasonable conversation on the subject has been nearly impossible since.



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 17, 2007 at 9:47 pm


This presumes that the policies only serve the wealthy. The counterargument is that taxation stifles job growth, which makes life harder for the poor. You don’t hear a biblical basis for that either. In fact, those policies do serve only the wealthy because the poor aren’t often hired in the first place, for too many reasons to mention here. That said, there is one major difference between Sojourners and the Moral Majority (or any other conservative media “ministry”): The conservatives have always kissed up to the economic elites and were thus unable to speak prophetically on a consistent basis when such elites ran afoul of God’s laws governing economics. Indeed, Falwell compromised himself from the word go when he fell in with Nixon-era fundraiser Richard Viguerie (whose spiritual leanings, if he has any, I am ignorant of) and Paul Weyrich (who I believe is nominally Catholic); meanwhile, II Corinthians 6:14 tells us, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” On the other hand, Sojourners, which is older than the Moral Majority, was always doing its ministry without the backing of the Democratic Party. Now, some Democrats may have jumped on the Sojo bandwagon since the 2004 general election, but you best believe that it would keep on doing what it’s been doing no matter how “hot” it is right now. It has never pretended or sought to be in any “majority,” thus freeing it to be what God called it to be, which is why Wallis is here, figurately and literally, and Falwell became a has-been nearly two decades ago.



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moderatelad

posted May 17, 2007 at 9:49 pm


Ben Wheaton | 05.17.07 – 2:48 pm | #Well written – I believe that we do more for the Kingdom when we show the ‘sweeter’ side of the Almighty. But scripture is very direct on many issues and behaviors. They are not the Ten Suggestions… When God talk about murder of the innocent – he said, Thou Shalt Not Kill. When he talked about not lying, He said Thou Shalt Not Bear False Wittness. Yes the New Testement talks about Loving God with all you heart, soul and mind and you neighbor as yourself. But ‘love your neighbor’ was defined as friendship and not sex. It is not ‘me’ that is saying these things it is Holy Scripture. (and not just the red words) We also need to look at the OT through NT eyes. Blessings – .



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 9:58 pm


“The conservatives have always kissed up to the economic elites and were thus unable to speak prophetically on a consistent basis when such elites ran afoul of God’s laws governing economics. ” Well, kissing-up is your term. Wallis was present at Davos, although one could argue that those folks were sucking up to him. “It has never pretended or sought to be in any “majority,” thus freeing it to be what God called it to be, which is why Wallis is here, figurately and literally, and Falwell became a has-been nearly two decades ago.” Really? You don’t think that members of this organization want their ideas to represent the majority? I don’t think the viewpoints of the moral majority were crafted based on what the majority wanted. That’s a bit of a reach.



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Ben Wheaton

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:17 pm


Kevin S., Yes, that’s what I meant. I, too, disapproved of many of Falwell’s less temperate remarks. We must always speak the truth in love–so long as we speak the truth, and when it comes to the choice between speaking the truth cruelly and not speaking the truth at all, I favour the former. Still, it’s best to keep to the middle way.



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:21 pm


You don’t think that members of this organization want their ideas to represent the majority? I don’t think the viewpoints of the moral majority were crafted based on what the majority wanted. That’s a bit of a reach. The original church sought only to be faithful, not to be a majority, and if you’re in ministry to get people to agree with you you have no business there. On the other hand, the idea of a “moral majority” always sounded to me quite arrogant, that “most people think the way we do, and if we just hold to that we’ll have victory.” That, of course, is why it produced a lot of heat but lasted less than a decade.



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:23 pm


“The original church sought only to be faithful, not to be a majority, and if you’re in ministry to get people to agree with you you have no business there.” Sojourners is not the original church.



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HASH(0x11c916c8)

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:26 pm


Thank you Jim for putting partisanship aside in your post on Falwell. I thought you said it with grace



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Jeffrey Holt

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:29 pm


My homosexuality is, as Mel White put it, “a gift from God to be celebrated”. This is not a defect or a choice…it just is. Nowhere in the Ten Commandments does it mention homosexuality…Do you think God just forgot it? Mel also went on to say how saddened he was at all the young, gay men, from Christian families who had killed themselves. Rev. Falwell (and others) has their blood on his hands and his soul.



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Lorraine Beckett

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:38 pm


Shall we agree to be wedded to the gospel?



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Charlotte Fairchild

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:43 pm


There are so many issues Falwell could have made an impact with his voice besides homosexuality. If he had ministered to molested children, infertile/childless couples, and domestic violence think of the impact. Stats at the University of Minnesota state churches have the same ratio of domestic violence as anyone who doesn’t go to church, if not even higher where women have less power!Falwell didn’t help women in ordained ministry. So women who are raped or lose a baby have less choice with talking to a female chaplain or minister. His legacy with women is not one of valuing women as called to ordained ministry and when there is violence to get help or out of the violent situation. There aren’t enough ministers who care about empowerment for women so that they do not need to stay in violence and so that they can minister in churches and hospitals using their whole brain, their whole calling, and feel the honor of the same love men receive.



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John Mitchell

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:50 pm


Jim, I was troubled to see so much public adulation of a person who did so much damage to Christianity. I wanted to criticize Falwell’s ill-conceived legacy, but chose not to because I could not find words to express my disgust with him that would not be misinterpreted as pleasure in his departure. It is curious how criticism of what Falwell stood for when he was living can become taboo at the moment he died. You did an excellent job of respecting the death without whitewashing the life, and I thank you.



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peacelover

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:51 pm


And while you’re busy praying for Jerry’s family and his church, you might throw in a prayer for all of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people to whom Falwell and his cronies in the evangelical and Republican circles have been so abusive and vicious. Of course, it is hard to lose someone you love, and my condolences are with those who loved him as they grieve. On the other hand, there was Jerry Falwell the public figure. Let’s not forget that he was the self-righteous ringleader of horrible hatred. Frankly, his public words belied him as more like a pharisee than a follower. May God have mercy on his soul.



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Erin

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:56 pm


I applaud Jim’s statement, I felt not quite so diplomatic at Falwell’s passing the other day. Anyone who publically blames groups of “sinful” people for things like natural disasters, viril epidemics and being bombed by terrorists does not, in my opinion, speak for the God of Scripture… Truth with vitriol is NOT truth. AT least not God’s truth. Truth is not just an idea or a concept. Truth is HOW you convey such an idea or concept. How did God ultimately convey “truth”? – through his People & Prophets and ultimately through Jesus. Jesus did not talk to “sinners” the way Falwell did and still others enjoy doing. And arrogance and pride, last time I checked, where also grave sins needing to be brought before the Lord. God is looking for a contrite heart, not a mean one to be his witness. What brings people to “repentance”? (supposing that is someone’s “goal” when they use phrases like “speak the truth with love” to justify saying horrible things to other human beings) Oh, that’s right, infallable Scripture says “kindness”… hm…I became a Christian not because a public figure demeaned me or any of my struggles. I came to know Jesus because someone cared enough about me to love me just as I was and trust that GOD changes people & redeems hearts… and He begin my journey of change… to HIS glory. Not MY glory… nor for the benefit of saying mean things to people in the name of God’s truth.Did Jesus tell the women caught in adultery (leaving aside for a second that fact that the man she was having adultery with was never brought before Jesus because Jewish men of that time believed women caused men to sin) the hard truth of “go and sin no more” YES. He did. But he said it when all of those mocking her had LEFT of their own accord and he didn’t need to call her a whore to do it. Would Falwell have been so kind to her? I wonder…



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Doug

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:57 pm


Ben Wheaton… I disagree with your opinion that Fallwell accurately described Christian doctrine regarding homosexuality. Jesus Christ never stated one word against homosexuality. The anti-homosexual belief is based solely on doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church that quoted Paul who quoted Leviticus. Period. Case closed. Jesus, on the other hand, warned about hypocrisy and deceptiveness. He was angered by deception. Adultery is about promiscuousness, monogamy, and DECEPTION, NOT about sex. Jesus Christ’s words have been twisted for centuries.The Ethiopian eunuch (book of Acts), at first, refused baptism because he felt he would not be accepted due to his physical condition. He was re-assured that was not the case and was baptised on the spot. That eunuch was fearful that baptism would put him in a position of denying his physical condition (being deceptive) and therefore would not be able to live up to what Jesus Christ had taught.Paul quoted Leviticus because of the public displays of sex he encountered (in his travels to various congregations) and because he was dealing with a culture that thought it natural for every male to have a male lover. That is NOT what homosexuality means for EVERYONE today.Rather than homosexual stalkers (as fear-ridden people imply), I would argue that there are more right wing fundamentalists who, in a mean-spirited sense, stalk people with their cult-like fear that leads to conformity to their one-sided narrow view of life. Such people DO NOT have all the answers to life and I, for one, am irritated and offended at the constant arrogance that harrasses so many of us – derived from right wing fundamentalism. Any faith that is based totally on fear is no faith at all. No one put the wrath of hell before me if I did not attend church. I freely attended church and LEARNED my faith – as it should be. We have lived for centuries with warped religions that believe that Jesus Christ was a preacher. He was not a preacher, but a teacher. And Jesus Christ was the best teacher ever. And as for political affiliation, it always has puzzled me why it is okay for religious right people to affiliate with Republicans, but those of us who are more progressive and seek like-thinking people through the Democratic Party are treated like we are a bunch of bastards. I am offended by this constant one-sided approach by people whom I consider to be nothing but bullies.



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Barbara

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:57 pm


To Ben Wheaton: How would you like me to call you EVIL. How dare you!!! This is the problem with religion and organized religion and people who say they so call worship and follow Jesus, get real! Stop calling people EVIL just because they don’t fit into your so called mold. May God have mercy on your soul and May he have mercy on Falwell’s soul. I will pray for you!



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Patrick Murray (the Nehemiah C

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:57 pm


I’m grateful for Jim’s thoughtful and edifying piece on the death of Jerry Falwell. As a person who has come out of the fundamentalist side of the Christian faith, I too felt a bit of sadness at the news of Rev. Falwell’s death; a sadness that arises from the fact that Rev. Falwell may have died without seeing more of who Jesus is and who He is asking us to be. My prayers go with the Falwell family, his church and the students at Libery University.



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Michael P. Melendez

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:58 pm


I think that Wallis is more gracious than I could ever be. I find purported alleged Christians like Fawell to be my greatest challenge to remaining Christian. While I could countance his loyalty to his own beliefs what I found offensive was his decision that his view of what Jesus of Narareth taught was the right view and that he had the right to demean people whose views were different and to be willing to limit the civil rights of those that he viewed as “sinners”. I found very little about anything he said to be rooted in the gospel as he always felt as though he began from a premise of self-righteousness and yes despising God’s children. I personally am glad he was never my sherpard. When I think of him I think of the passage of “there will be many who call Lord Lord and do not know me”Michael



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Most Rev. Lou A. Bordisso

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:01 pm


I must confess that the first thing that came to mind upon learning of the passing of the Reverend Falwell s death was a line from the Wizard of Oz Hail Dorothy, the wicked witch is dead. Fawlell was certainly a controversial religious figure, provocative, disruptive, and disturbing. He was not one to seek common ground but seemed to embrace and celebrate division and conflict among the faithful. Jerry Falwell s public comments often reflected a deep-rooted hatred and bigotry rather than deep-rooted love, mercy, and compassion. It seems to me that Christians should be known for their love speech and not for their hate speech . Sadly, his public statements often served to exclude rather than include those who are marginalized, disregarded, and dismissed by society and many churches. Someone once suggested that the trait of healthy ministers is to show up, shut up, and know that it not about you . It is painfully obvious that the Reverend Falwell did not adopt this model of ministry.



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Patrick Murray (the Nehemiah C

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:01 pm


I am grateful for the thoughtful and edifying piece written by Jim on the death of Jerry Falwell. As a Christian recently freed from the more rigid side of our faith, I too was saddened by the news of Rev. Falwell’s death; a sadness that arises from the fact that he may have died without knowing the fulness of Jesus’ love for humankind. My prayers go with the Falwell family, his church and the students at Liberty University.



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Mark Kelly

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:02 pm


During the early years of the Moral Majority a bumper sticker made the statement: “The Christian Right is Neither Christian nor Right.” Truer words were never written.



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Jim Meisner Jr.

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:04 pm


Jim’s healing comments brought tears to my eyes. I would hate to be remembered for just a handful of my views, but that’s all we heard about Rev. Fallwell on the news programs. It seems the evil he did lives after him, the good will be buried with his bones.That’s too bad. Rev. Falwell strengthed the faith of some people, by making victims of others. That’s also too bad. I agree with Jim, Brother Falwell left us many lessons to learn.



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:06 pm


Sojourners is not the original church. And it doesn’t pretend to be. My point is that truth is not determined by majority rule.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:07 pm


Rick Nowlin, Thank you for your well reasoned posts. I think that they are well reasoned and cut to the chase.



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Jim Meisner Jr.

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:07 pm


And to show my commitment to Christ-like love of those with whom I disagree, I’m going to church Sunday morning at Thomas Roads Baptist Church, to show my support for a congregation who has lost the pastor . . . a pastor with whom I disagreed on nearly every issue. But who remains a brother in Christ.



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elsa

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:08 pm


“My homosexuality is, as Mel White put it, “a gift from God to be celebrated”. This is not a defect or a choice…it just is. Nowhere in the Ten Commandments does it mention homosexuality…Do you think God just forgot it? Mel also went on to say how saddened he was at all the young, gay men, from Christian families who had killed themselves. Rev. Falwell (and others) has their blood on his hands and his soul.”Utterly absurd. To suggest for a nano-second that Jerry Falwell or anyone who takes a similar stance as he did against homosexuality either from a moral or political perspective “have blood on their hands” is truly beyond the pale. Suicidal individuals have extreme mental and emotional problems that are not the fault of anyone else. No one can be blamed for someone else’s emotional instability.You arguement is also ridiculous. The 10 Commandments are not the totality of the laws that Christians or Jews are meant to live by, they are part of the foundation.If that is the case, why bother with the rest of scripture? Why as Christians should we bother with the life of Christ and his teachings as a model to live by? Lastly, to suggest that something that “just is” is reason enough to “celebrate” it, is not only completely self-serving, it is dangerous. There are any number of things that “just are” in this world. They surely do not all merit celebration. Many merit condemnation. I think you have summed up one of the principal reasons why the left in the US is seen as being out of touch with reality and lacking in any sound judgement making ability about the differences between right and wrong. It is still an “if it feels good, do it” mentality with the left.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:10 pm


Ah…looking at the OT throught NT eyes. Good idea. Jesus threw out parts of the Old Testament. Like the part on divorce. So how do we do that?



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:15 pm


“Would Falwell have been so kind to her? I wonder…” There was quite a difference between Falwell the public figure and Falwell the private man. Falwell the private man had many friendships across the aisle, even befriending Larry Flynt after their whole brou-ha-ha. That does not wash the incendiary remarks from the public record, but I think it does speak to how he would have treated the adultress on a personal level.



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Jeffrey Holt

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:19 pm


Elsa, Do you have to “try” to be straight? No? Then it just “is”, too. Having your religious and political leaders telling you that you are inherently evil can cause otherwise sane individuals to reconsider life. You are pathetic and closed minded.



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:21 pm


And to show my commitment to Christ-like love of those with whom I disagree, I’m going to church Sunday morning at Thomas Road Baptist Church, to show my support for a congregation who has lost the pastor . . . a pastor with whom I disagreed on nearly every issue. But who remains a brother in Christ. Go for it. Like him or not, we’ll be seeing a lot of him in the next life.



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:23 pm


On the other hand, I don’t think we can simply say that, because Falwell believed something, we needn’t believe it. Contrary to the exegesis on display here, the Bible does indicate homosexuality as a sin. That Jerry Falwell articulated this poorly is a shame, because it has blinded many to this particular truth. It is obviously not THE important truth, and certainly homosexuals need to be approached with love. For some, this declaration puts me in the same boat of intolerance as Falwell. That is unfortunate, but I am unwilling to reject scriptural texts outright because someone might consider me a bigot.



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:26 pm


“Someone once suggested that the trait of healthy ministers is to show up, shut up, and know that it not about you . It is painfully obvious that the Reverend Falwell did not adopt this model of ministry.” And neither does your Wizard of Oz reference reflect this model, Reverend.



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Erin

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:28 pm


Kevin While I don’t know Falwell the private man (did you meet him?). I do know Falwell the public man. And considering the names he was willing to call people in the press and in the pulpit… I find it hard to believe he would have treated her the same way Jesus did. We can agree to disagree (as we do on most points, I have found) and ultimately it is hard to say, which is why I left my point open ended… more importantly to your point: Jesus was the same both public and private… which is what Christians, especially pastors, should strive for… compassion in private when it is safe is not really all that courageous is it? to have compassion in public… to have Jesus NOT condemn her in front of all of those self-righteous men… now that was TRULY COURAGEOUS… so you see, you missed my point and the point of that biblical story… in public Jesus was KIND. In private he spoke truth after PROVING his compassionate love. And, personally, I think we need more courageous, creative and compassionate Christians in the world… for that truly represents Jesus the most powerful way…



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Jeffrey Holt

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:36 pm


Elsa…FYI Jesus also forgot to mention homosexuality. What’s your rub?



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:38 pm


I didn’t meet Falwell the private man, but many did, and told of their experiences. I never met Jesus (take that as I mean it), but I know how HE treated the adultress.But Jesus was consistent. When someone puts themselves in the public eye, they are doubly accountable for their words, and that is where Falwell failed. In remembering the man, we have to hold the good in tension with the bad. I have tired of apologizing for Falwell’s diatribes myself, but I cannot ignore the good he did.



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Payshun

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:38 pm


Elsa said: Lastly, to suggest that something that “just is” is reason enough to “celebrate” it, is not only completely self-serving, it is dangerous. There are any number of things that “just are” in this world. They surely do not all merit celebration. Many merit condemnation. I think you have summed up one of the principal reasons why the left in the US is seen as being out of touch with reality and lacking in any sound judgement making ability about the differences between right and wrong. It is still an “if it feels good, do it” mentality with the left. You don’t know what the hell you are talking about. Have you ever lost someone or counselled someone that was struggling w/ their sexuality? Do you know anyone that listened to those words and felt so condemned so hated so alone that they chose to hide who they were (broken as it may be?)My best friend committed suicide because he internalized those evil and hated words Falwell and others felt. Instead of forgiving, healing and just loving people you folks on the right are more concerned w/ being right than loving people. Talk about delusional Jesus was more concerned w/ loving people or did you all for get the woman at the well. Nowhere did Jesus say or imply stop sinning he just gave her living water. Why can’t you right wing folks do the same? p



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Payshun

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:43 pm


One more thing Elsa if you are not willing to go to the pains of “changing” your broken sexuality into the form that Peter (the apostle) believed then please be quiet. Peter believed that sex should not be used for pleasure but procreation. It’s one of the major reasons he was killed. There were a lot of women converting and he would tell them not to have sex w/ their husbands for pleasure. If that’s how you feel and I am not sure you do then by all means then go around preaching your judgement over Christ’s compassion. p



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elsa

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:50 pm


Jeffrey, “Having your religious and political leaders telling you that you are inherently evil can cause otherwise sane individuals to reconsider life.” Ridiculous!! If you haven’t heard before, the entire human race is called inherintely evil. It’s called “original sin”!!You called me “pathetic and closed minded”. Do you think that I am going to lose a wink of sleep over that or question my beliefs or identity because you are intolerant of me? Hardly! I could only be brought to despair if I questioned them myself.Suicide is not brought on by other people’s comments or beliefs. It is brought on by emotional instability and mental illness. Far deeper and more profound suffering is going on in the mind of the person who is suicidal than can be imagined. No sane individual develops mental illness just by having someone disagree with them.



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Jeffrey Holt

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:54 pm


What?



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Jeffrey Holt

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:56 pm


Your dogmas showing!



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Jeffrey Holt

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:58 pm


…and I’ll bet that the wink of sleep you don’t lose will be in an otherwise empty bed…



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Jeffrey Holt

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:02 am


No sane individual develops mental illness just by having someone disagree with them. That is not what I said…I said having your religous and spiritual leaders telling you that you are inherently evil could lead a young person to reconsider life. I know this angers you, but it is true. oxox



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neuro_nurse

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:04 am


The anti-homosexual belief is based solely on doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church that quoted Paul who quoted Leviticus. Period. Case closed. Doug | 05.17.07 – 5:02 pmThe number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358. http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt2art6.htm



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elsa

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:05 am


Payshun, Jesus told people to “go and sin no more” quite frequently in fact. You are right in that the individual needs to be loved. Absolutely. You love them and want the best for them. However, there is nothing loving about condoning everything a person does. Every parent knows that. Everyone who has sat with a suffering friend knows that. There is a difference between loving a person and agreeing with them. We all love people we do not agree with at all times and if we love them, it is our duty to tell them what we think. So no, I won’t be quiet. I’m sorry for your friend. I too lost someone to suicide and I know first hand that the problems run far deeper than the surface would show.



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Doreen

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:05 am


Funny the Rev. Falwell never preached against those guilty of the sin of gluttony…oh, that’s right, you can’t raise millions off THAT sin.



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Kathleen Green

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:07 am


Why are we not spending more time on Martin Luther Kings’ daughter that died yesterday? A large percentage of this country is racist/homophobic whether it wants to admit it or not.



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Bob W.

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:07 am


Whenever I speak to people who I would categorize along with Rev Falwell as the religious right, especially when they pontificate about homosexuals, I feel as though they skipped over the parable of the Good Samaritan. All the holier than thou’ers passed by the dying traveller and only a despised Samaritan had the Agape to care for him. The great sin of Jerry Falwell and his ilk is to not see that the despised homosexuals are fully capable and often are closer to God than the holy rollers. God’s gift, the capability to love and care for all His creatures, is unbounded by the prejudice of men (including my just stated prejudice toward the religious right). Accepting His grace completly, as the lesson the Teacher gave us through word and example, is to deny our fear of our fellow man.



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Jeffrey Holt

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:08 am


I do not appreciate being considered “objectively disordered”. I would argue that being Catholic is more of a disorder, because your chose it.



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elsa

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:08 am


Jeffrey, …and I’ll bet that the wink of sleep you don’t lose will be in an otherwise empty bed… Nice try, but try again ;-)You would be really jealous if you saw him!!! ;-)))))



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:11 am


Let me tell you what I believe the Scriptures say about homosexuality, and they don’t say much: It represents an outward sign of rebellion against God. Read in their original context, those verses are clear. That said, Falwell’s constant demonization of gays and lesbians went well beyond Biblical warrant. But that happens when you reduce the Scripture into a cultural textbook without the understanding that, without the Holy Spirit, you will want neither to obey God nor understand the Scriptures.



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Bob King

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:14 am


Jesus said; “By their fruits you will know them.”The fruits of Falwell’s ministry have been bitterness, hatred, discord and dissension within the church and well-deserved derision from without. There is no telling how many Falwell has turned away from church and indeed from faith.That is because his ministry was about externals and politics, a mutual-self-congratulation society of the publicly self-righteous who’s faith was based on disapproval of the sins of others, rather than learning from, avoiding and atoning for their own sins.That, and a long con involving rich men, camels and the eyes of needles.Jim, it may seem uncharitable to say this, but I must; if he’s “your brother in Christ,” than I’m afraid you need to re-consider what Christian is. There is room for tolerance of diverse opinions and views – but a man who disparages the Beatitudes with his every word is no more Christian than Fred Phelps, who will also be attending the funeral, I’m given to understand.Elsa:”Utterly absurd. To suggest for a nano-second that Jerry Falwell or anyone who takes a similar stance as he did against homosexuality either from a moral or political perspective “have blood on their hands” is truly beyond the pale. Suicidal individuals have extreme mental and emotional problems that are not the fault of anyone else. No one can be blamed for someone else’s emotional instability.” Oh, and if you are standing on the edge of a precipice, and I throw pebbles at you so that you lose your balance and fall, is it your fault for not being “stable enough” to maintain your footing?Of course he has a blood debt. And if you share and express those views in the way Jerry did, so do you, as does anyone who uses the bible as an instrument of emotional harm or to excuse violence or oppression against others. Self-righteousness may blind you to the consequences of your acts and your guilt for those consequences, but you are accountable, whether you believe or not. Re-read the Bible. Concentrate on the RED letters. And remember, Augustine was neither Disciple nor Apostle.



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Milo

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:17 am


Some of the adulation this guy received at his funeral was totally undeserved. Falwell set Christianity back decades. I agree with Hitchens, this guy was a huckster. I also disagree with Wallis and faith. Falwell did not advance faith at all. Falwell confirmed in me the ralization that using faith as an excuse to do anything is to undermine the human potential, not advance it.



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elsa

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:18 am


“Oh, and if you are standing on the edge of a precipice, and I throw pebbles at you so that you lose your balance and fall, is it your fault for not being “stable enough” to maintain your footing?”Why would I be standing at the edge of a precipice? How did I get there? Being on the edge would be my doing, would it not?



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Joy

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:18 am


I find the last paragraph of this blog most interesting. Jim Wallis sees a warning to the “so-called religious left” and their ties to the Democratic party. Yet Sojourners insists on only inviting Senators Clinton, Obama and Edwards to their gathering next month. While there is some talk of perhaps holding a second gathering later in the summer and inviting Republican presidential hopefuls again it is only “top tier” candidates. This seems rather hypocritical to me. Why haven’t invitations been sent to so called “second tier” cadidates as well? I hope Sojourners is not headed down the same sad path the “moral Majority” took-marrying religion to wealthy, powerful political connections.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:31 am


Jeffrey Holt, That post was in response to Doug s claim that anti-homosexual belief is based solely on doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Is that a statement with which you agree? I considered editing that sentence from my previous post. My point was not to present the fact that the Church considers homosexuality a sin, but the Church s teaching that followed: They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.Frankly, I could not care less whether homosexuality is a sin or not. I have my own sins to deal with. The Bible tells me that I m just as much of a sinner as everyone else. If homosexuality is a sin, is it any worse of a sin than those I or anyone else (including elsa) – commit? Peace!



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Payshun

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:33 am


Actually Elsa jesus only said it once in the gospel of John. And in case you have not noticed the LGBTQ community knows that they are sinning. That’s the only message of your warped gospel that has gotten to them. You love w/ conditions the scriptures call us not to do that. p



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Chris Miller

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:36 am


Thank you! A generous and honest statement.



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Payshun

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:36 am


I agree w/ Bob. He has some blood on his hands as does anyone that teaches death over life. That’s exactly what Elsa theology is about. It’s about condemnation and when those that suffer take in that destruction and make it part of their life they die. It’s that simple sometimes it can be quick like in the case of my friend or slower. But either way that is what her theology is about. p



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butch

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:38 am


“Truth with vitriol is NOT truth. AT least not God’s truth.” Your truth, Falwell spoke his “truth” which I think was sick but it was his truth. The problem I address is ever thinking “you” know the truth. Have your faith but don’t try impose it on me which is what Falwell tried successfully to do.



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Dale B

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:38 am


I am not one who can speak so eloquently as many I have seen here so I will let HIM speak for me. And the last part of this I hope will clarify my concerns. I pray the Lord forgives Falwell as I pray he does all of us for the things we have done that are wrong. If anyone may be offended then I apologize but I am unable to ignore these things. Matthew 7: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Luke 15: Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.Luke 18: And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Mark 7: Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.http://www.ctlibrary.com/ct/1998/february9/8t2082.html http://www.iapprovethismessiah.com/ http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6257517709901358188&q=Rev+moon&hl=en http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5858563460160204776&q=Rev+moon&hl=en http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8364826129247149817&q=Rev+moon&hl=en http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04188/342412.stm



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Milo

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:44 am


“Pray for the memebers of Thomas Roads Baptist church and the students at Liberty University.” What? What good will this do? Why not try and educate people so that they don’t become memebers of these citadels of ignorance. Praying for them will only embolden their cause.



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butch

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:50 am


“It is still an “if it feels good, do it” mentality with the left.” elsa If you are not on the left how the hell do you know what I think.



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Karen

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:51 am


Out of curiosity yesterday I read the last sermon Dr. Falwell preached, on Mother’s Day. It is worth a look and offers, I think, somewhat more subtle insight into the man and his worldview. It is ostensibly a piece on godly biblical and other mothers and their willing acceptance of God’s direction in their lives. To a woman, the direction that he perceives God giving them, that they graciously accepted in his view, was to bear, raise, nurture, protect and support a man or men, who then went on to do great things in their own right. Not a single woman he held up as an example gained his regard as anything other than someone who enabled and supported men’s accomplishments. While hateful pronouncements about homosexuality and other “evils” were his public hallmark, a less visible truth about him and about many “godly” men like him is the belief that women’s highest calling and proper role in God’s order are to act as support and servant to men. I read yesterday of his vilification of NOW as “the National Organization of Witches.” In my view, the rigidly limiting view of women that he held is perhaps the most insidious of the ideas that he and his ilk attempt to propagate. In connection with that, a look at the “executive” page on the Liberty University website is also enlightening.



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:51 am


Thank you, Payshun, exactly. What is the Gospel? Is it JUST that we need to believe we are horrible, evil sinners? Or is there something we miss when we just preach a gospel filled with hateful accusations about someone else’s sin?Gospel = Good NewsAnd when Jesus said, once, “go and sin no more” it was in the story of the women caught in adultery… Jesus did NOT condemn her in public or call her a whore in front of the religous men who accused her… he sent THEM away, ashamed. Then, in a more private moment we are told that he says “go and sin no more”… after he had already given her back her humanity, after the religious men had stripped that from her. Was she sleeping with a man out of wedlock? Probably. Is that wrong? Yes, the bible says so. There is no condmenation for the MAN who was with her… I find that extremely telling. So were these relgious men “in truth” when they brought her before Jesus as a caught-red-handed sinner… well, Jesus didn’t applaud their diligent rooting out of evil publically in the community, despite his care for the covenantal committment of marriage… so why do we give ourselves permission to do that to others? It may be our duty to “tell people what we think” but that is NOT the heart of the Gospel message…The point, then, isn’t that the Gospel gives us permission to point out sins, deluding ourself into thinking we are speaking “truth” and bringing people closer to God. Instead, the Gospel gives us permission to let GOD change people’s hearts and lives through his Holy Spirit.



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Kristi

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:51 am


My step-brother was raised in a family that believed that the only thing worse than being gay was being a murdering pedophile—oh wait, I think his dad probably thinks they are the same thing. He fought his orientation up to and through most of college (a Christian BAPTIST college I might add), and because he believed that he was so evil and deviant, and because there were no healthy individuals available in that climate, he experienced his first relationships in an unsafe environment and contracted AID. He grew up in a Christian household- He had Christian friends- He went to a Christan college- and still he could not “escape” the fact of who he is attracted to and who he loves. He tried again-he went into the Navy, he went to therapy to get “cured”, he got married—and then his wife died of colon cancer. He then spent two years in an alcoholic stupor, trying to get over the death of his wife, whom he did love very much, and trying not to be who he was. He is now a happy, healthy, Christian, GAY man with a life partner who loves him, takes care of him, supports him, and accepts him. MY BROTHER IS NOT EVIL!!!! HOW DARE YOU!!!!!



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Payshun

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:53 am


I was wrong he did say stop sinning several times, once to the woman caught in adultery and to the paralytic by the well. There are some massive cultural implications from how he treated his own people compared to how he treated the Roman Centurion, the woman at the well, the Syro-Phoencian Woman, and the Demoniac. You see Jesus called those that were Jews to different standards than those that were not of the tribe. To ignore that is to miss out on the message God gives to those that follow the Torah. We have to see that if we are going to even begin to love those that are different. p



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:56 am


“While hateful pronouncements about homosexuality and other “evils” were his public hallmark, a less visible truth about him and about many “godly” men like him is the belief that women’s highest calling and proper role in God’s order are to act as support and servant to men. I read yesterday of his vilification of NOW as “the National Organization of Witches.” In my view, the rigidly limiting view of women that he held is perhaps the most insidious of the ideas that he and his ilk attempt to propagate.” Karen, Ah, good point! Thanks for saying that!



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Tyler

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:05 am


Most of us are in agreement that Jerry Falwell (the public figure, at least that s another issue) hurt people with his condemnation of others, judgment and thoughtless words. We all agree that we wish the old song They ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love was more true than it is. We all agree that love is the way of Christ and that (at least one of) Falwell s flaw was not displaying this love very well. But read through the comments that we re posting. I m not pointing the finger, because I default to doing the same thing. (I tend to be a real horse s ass.) We ve been calling names and hardly living up to the same standard that we hold for Rev. Falwell. (I m not equating negative words on a comment board to nationally broadcasting bigotry, but you get the point.) While I had mixed reactions to Falwell s passing, I was really struck by one thing more than anything else: The hypocrisy of his critics. I ve read some nasty, hateful things about Falwell in the last few days. Some wrote about how he is surely in hell and made absurdly offensive accusations about him. Are we not catching the irony? The problem that many people had with Falwell is that he was too judgmental and claimed to know who specifically who was going to heaven and who was going to hell. If this is our problem with him, how can we combat it with judgment and condemnation? I guess my point is that we need to combat hatred with love. Hostility begets hostility, and civility begets civility. If we can t treat each other with love on a simple comment page, maybe we all need to take the plank from out own eyes. Our pride will be our downfall. Surely we can have healthy debate without pride and hurtful words. Again, I include myself in this.



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butch

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:06 am


the Bible does indicate homosexuality as a sin.” Kevin S Depends on how you read it and I don’t read it that way. All over Leviticus are references to how to treat slaves. It seems that one method of domination of slaves in that time was to booger them as an act of violence in the same way that prisoners do now or men who rape women. I believe God was addressing how to treat slaves. Oops, a whole new theology from the same words.



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Dale B

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:12 am


Elsa, What is this “the left” stuff. Have you allowed politics to circumvent HIS WORD? Does anybody really believe that the Lord looks down and says things like “This one is a conservative, they can come in” – “This one is a liberal, they cannot come in”? If you want to play the left/right game then I would askAre you aware taxpayer funding (Congression/President’s budget) for pro-abortion organizations has gone up substantially in the past 6 years? Why did the current President say that we “all worship the same God but we have different avenues of getting to Heaven”? Why did the current President pray to allah in a Mosque while in the Middle East and to a Shinto Daemon God while in Japan? Why does the current administration condone torture? Why are Border Patrol agents being sent to prison for doing their job? Why has the current President been working on eliminating the U.S. and making Canada, Mexico and the U.S. virtually one country? It is easy to play the left/right game but all that does is make you a pawn of those using the Hegelian dialectic.



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Payshun

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:22 am


Tyler But most of us have said nothing hateful. Some have expressed outrage, anger and hurt but I have seen none of us call Elsa, Kevin or others that believe as they did evil. p



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:25 am


Butch Good point. Also if you want to use the Levitical laws to condemn homosexuality then you also need to preach that men cannot have sex with their wives during their menstrual cycles with the same fervrency. For God also calls THAT an abomination.



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butch

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:27 am


“and still he could not “escape” the fact of who he is attracted to and who he loves.” Interesting that I don’t seem to be able to “escape” my straightness. I mean I’m crazy about women, have been since I was about 11 and don’t seem to be able to “escape” it.



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kevin s.

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:33 am


“Funny the Rev. Falwell never preached against those guilty of the sin of gluttony…oh, that’s right, you can’t raise millions off THAT sin.” I wish Christians would pay more attention to food issues in general. Not in a condemning way, but in a “let’s care more about our temples” sort of way. And yes, Falwell’s focus on homosexuality was unwarranted.



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butch

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:45 am


“The hypocrisy of his critics. I ve read some nasty, hateful things about Falwell in the last few days.” I have said hateful things about other despots who cause great harm to many, Stalin, Idi Amin, Fulgencio Batista, Francois Duvalier, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, Iran, Pol Pot, Halie Salassie, General Suharto, Saddam Hussian, if you like I can go on.What type of crusade might he lead in another place or time?



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Colin J. Guthrie

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:48 am


Memorial to Reverend Jerry Falwell Loud and Hearty now! (You all know the tune.) First Verse: (And Chorus) Gimme that ol’ Je$u$ Bu$ine$$ It’ll make a pot o’ money for me. Second Verse: Oh! My name is Jerry Falwell; I’m a franchise holder, you see. Third Verse: I’m a rabid bibliolater; It makes good money for me. Fourth Verse: I totally despise all science; Money’s the thing for me. Fifth Verse: Creationism’s my racket; Money, more money, for me. Sixth Verse: I’m Far Right Wing Republican; Politics makes money for me. Seventh Verse: I’m a bigoted anti-homo; More and more money for me. Eighth Verse: I’m an anti-abortion crusader; More money in the pocket for me. Ninth Verse: I’M THE WHOLE MORAL MAJORITY; Fame,and more money for me. All together now! Gimme that ol’ Je$u$ Bu$ine$$! Gimme that ol’ Je$u$ Bu$ine$$! Gimme that ol’ Je$u$ Bu$ine$$! It’s the MONEY MAKER for ME! Good Riddance!



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Kristi

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:51 am


Oh please, STOP! Now people are getting ugly on both sides! Jesus is crying! STOP IT!



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usagi

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:52 am


Great statement, Jim. I really appreciate your sincere and authentically compassionate attitude towards Falwell–I’ve never thought about the relatively positive things he contributed or areas in which he grew, and you’ve caused me to change my discourteous and slightly judgemental attitude towards his passing away. It’s tension in the most literal sense that creates balance for the church, and even though I have a problem with extremism on either end, if even extremists can be willing to engage, there’s sure to be something good that comes of the dialogue. And dialogue/courteous, rational debate is something we Americans suck at for sure. Just visit any message board (including ours, here), and we can see our problem! So thanks for the reminder that we all have something to gain from dialoging with people with whom we disagree greatly.



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Mark P

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:00 am


Well done Jim. You and I don t agree too much, but your graciousness seems to be returning a welcome resurgence after watching you grow more and more vicious and embittered. —- Jeffrey: Do you think God just forgot it? -Jeffrey, the absence from the Ten Commandments is unfortunately irrelevant, as a lot of things I wouldn t expect anyone to defend are absent.Your dogmas showing! -Dogma is not a bad thing; it s necessary, actually, but should be limited to what ought to be dogmatic. Unchecked dogmatism is ideology. — Charlotte, you speak of Church leadership as if it s a privilege or a status symbol or a completion of spiritual life instead of the burden, the scary scary burden that it s generally portrayed as in Scripture Let not many of you become teachers and all. — Erin, Truth is HOW you convey such an idea or concept. -I disagree. Speak the truth in love implies that there is another way to speak truth. Love is how you portray Truth. — Doug, Jesus Christ never stated one word against homosexuality. The anti-homosexual belief is based solely on doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church that quoted Paul who quoted Leviticus. Period. Case closed. -I m pretty sure it was Paul in Scripture not in Roman Catholic doctrine. Additionally, the epistles of Paul and the book of Leviticus are part of Christian doctrine. As nice as it would be to remove Christ from all context In any case, your exegesis is wishful, at best. And I would wager that Jesus was both teacher and preacher, as he did stand in the pulpit at times in the Jewish synagogues. Also note that at times, Jesus did use the threat of hell to get attention. Yes, He taught love, but He didn t overlook hell either. Further, Doug, the progressives (aka this blog) assault the right for aligning with the Republicans just as much as the conservatives assault the left for aligning with the Democrats. The progressive evangelicals gets attacked for pretending neutrality and non-affiliation. — Barbara, How would you like me to call you EVIL. How dare you!!! -I am evil, you are evil, my pops is evil, my brother is evil, his wife is evil. That s why we have a SAVIOR . because we re all a bunch of evil people, broken wounded and twisted by separation from God. If we weren t evil, Jesus should have skipped the Cross. — Sarasota, Jesus threw out parts of the Old Testament. Like the part on divorce. -Bologna. Not one jot or tittle. His point with divorce was more that our gracious God meets us where we are NOT that the divorce ruling was irrelevant. — P, Nowhere did Jesus say or imply stop sinning he just gave her living water. Why can’t you right wing folks do the same? -As stated, Jesus was not reticent to point out sin in the right context. I think the implication in this particular passage is clear: what you re looking for with all those men you will find in Me. I do agree, P, that the answer to sin is not condemnation, but freedom and satisfaction at the Cross.Peter believed that sex should not be used for pleasure but procreation. It’s one of the major reasons he was killed. There were a lot of women converting and he would tell them not to have sex w/ their husbands for pleasure. -Reference?



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Mark P

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:01 am


Doreen, Funny the Rev. Falwell never preached against those guilty of the sin of gluttony…oh, that’s right, you can’t raise millions off THAT sin. -Ha! It does alternately amuse and anger me the way that we Christians often pick-and-choose our pet-peeve sins. — Rick, That said, Falwell’s constant demonization of gays and lesbians went well beyond Biblical warrant. But that happens when you reduce the Scripture into a cultural textbook without the understanding that, without the Holy Spirit, you will want neither to obey God nor understand the Scriptures. -Big amen. Again, the tendency to select sin is a huge problem. — Bob, Re-read the Bible. Concentrate on the RED letters. And remember, Augustine was neither Disciple nor Apostle. -Hmm. My Bible doesn t have any red letters. Apparently somewhere between the original texts and the Vulgate, the red lettering got lost. I m glad NIV was able to rediscover that gem. Oh, and also remember that Augustine is probably more intelligent than anyone alive today. Which is not to say I fully agree with him, but I do think this contemporary snobbishness is silly. — butch, Your truth, Falwell spoke his “truth” which I think was sick but it was his truth. -Unfortunately, your truth, my truth, and Falwell s truth will all be naught in the light of Truth. — Kristi, MY BROTHER IS NOT EVIL!!!! HOW DARE YOU!!!!! -Sure he is. So are you. And me (most definitely, believe you me). And Falwell. And Jim Wallis. You can t come to Christ unless you need Him.



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Scott

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:02 am


It’s funny, I read the article and was pleased to read a piece looking for the strengths of the man (Falwell) from one who could have easily found fault (Sojo). I was pleased with what I read because the author chose to see Christ in the Falwell than the man Falwell. Regardless of opinion, ideology, partisian politics I have just read an article lifting up our connection in Baptism. There was a freshness to the piece because it was not the locked horns of Christian ideology. What makes it funny is that I go from the article to the comments and most of what I read simply misses the point. I read comment after comment seeking to blast the dead or the author for failing to address the readers particular ideological stand…you will know them as Christians by their love. Love is not easy. It is a choice. We are called by the Master to both love and love our enemies. Choose this.



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Alan Barthel

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:06 am


Falwell did not preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a bigot and a charlatan.



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HD Palmer

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:06 am


Falwell preached of his own paranoias and fears. I believe that the Bible was written by men (sic), not God, who had been inspired in their faith to record stories and events. They wrote over 2,000 years ago, a time where an evil eye cast upon another could mean deaath. An ancient time where Jews were feuding tribes. Scripture was written to give reason and order to life. Jerry Fawell took passages from that book and twisted them to suit his purpose. Hate towards other human beings does not belong in the pulpit. Fawell had a lot of hates, and promulgated these feelings to his followers.



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Michael Skarpelos

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:17 am


I pray not only for Rev. Falwell’s family, but for his soul. He twisted the message of the Gospel so much that I tremble with fear when I contemplate how our Lord will judge him. I don’t pretend to know how Jesus will judge anyone, but I suspect that many politically conservative Christians (Falwell among them) will be in for a rude surprise on the final judgment day.



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bennie

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:18 am


I thought that Falwell brought much reproach to the name of Christ and Christianity. However, regardless of what I believe about him, God has the final say on what he said and did while he was here.Jesus said in Matt:7, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”This applies to all professing Christians, including Falwell and Bush. The Sovereign God of the universe knows who are His and who are not – we can only look at their deeds and make a guess. Falwell is now making his case and answering for his deeds while he was here on earth. Our Lord will enact the righteous judgement that eluded Falwell down here.



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shawn olsen

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:29 am


Falwell was a hatemonger and phony. But now he knows that all his hate was for not, period.



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Karen

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:30 am


I hope and trust that God has opened her great, loving arms to Jerry Falwell and has embraced him with the grace and forgiveness that none of us deserve or comprehend. In my mind’s eye, she has proceeded to introduce him to all those “sinners” who also now delight in God’s presence and light for all eternity. What more could even those of us who despised what he represented hope for Brother Jerry, or for ourselves, than to understand at last that our small, petty minds cannot fathom or contain the love of God for all of her children, just as someone once tried in vain and then died to teach us?



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Gary Lee Parker

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:30 am


I am so glad that only Jesus is the judge, but I have seen Rev. Jerry Falwell live a Pharisee life towards people who disagreed with him rather than one filled with Jesus’ grace and love. I pray his profession of faith and repentance of sins sense will gain him access to the Father.



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Mel

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:33 am


I pay my respects to Jerry Falwell for his sincere, passionate and faithful work to make known the gospel of Jesus Christ. The university he was so influential in starting stand as a tribute to decent and diginified education in the tradition of the nation’s early schools deeply committed to having the Bible be at the center of learning. Jim Wallis wrote a fairly good piece. I don” see people trying to be sugary and syruppy about him, but I sure see the mean, sour and bitter responses even on this site that go way over the top.



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:35 am


“We must always speak the truth in love–so long as we speak the truth, and when it comes to the choice between speaking the truth cruelly and not speaking the truth at all, I favour the former.” Ben Wheaton And they want us to believe that only the progressives/liberals twist Scripture to their liking. Puh-leez!



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:45 am


Have you ever lost someone or counselled someone that was struggling w/ their sexuality? Do you know anyone that listened to those words and felt so condemned so hated so alone that they chose to hide who they were (broken as it may be?) My best friend committed suicide because he internalized those evil and hated words Falwell and others felt. Instead of forgiving, healing and just loving people you folks on the right are more concerned w/ being right than loving people. Payshun Payshun, I can feel the pain in those words. I have been very close to someone who was going through that trauma and it hurt him more than he could even put words to. He found support in two ways. First in Exodus Ministry, he found friends who loved and accepted him as he was and helped him get some semblance of order. Second he frequented an open and affirming Christian Church. The common thread between the two groups was that the Exodus Group did not seek to change him (although that is what Exodus many times tries to do). They loved him and provided a sense of community of people who are going through the same thing. The open and affirming church did the same. The common denominator was love. My friend still struggles, sometimes falls into situations he doesn’t want to be in, but he has found the love of Christ in these two disparate groups. Why? Because they loved him. If he had been left to the likes of Falwell, he would have been dead long ago.



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Jon Johnston

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:45 am


What is it you don’t understant about gays? It is a sin, read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11



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HD Palmer

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:47 am


I ask this question. Would Jerry Fawell take a donation for his church/university, of a million dollars if he knew it came from a homosexual? The reason I ask this, is I really don’t know his heart, only God knows.



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:48 am


“…but I sure see the mean, sour and bitter responses even on this site that go way over the top” Mel – you really only respect & admire Falwell? You don’t see ANY reason why someone might be “sour” towards him? Really? You think THIS blog is “way over the top” but some of the things Falwell said, weren’t? I would call that a selective understanding of a complex person and convenient rewriting of the reality of recent history. I have yet to read ANYTHING on this blog that is as disrespectful, sour, bitter or mean-spirited as the things that Falwell said often and in very public venues about a wide variety of fellow human beings created in the image of God. You can respect Falwell, if you see him worthy of it, but allow that many of us see him as someone to be mourned, but not respected. And that in many people’s opinions his rude & disrepectful remarks actually HINDERED the Gospel messagethat he seemed to so love… and that is something that does make some more than a tad upset.



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:51 am


And now for something “Utterly absurd” and “totally beyond the pale.” “Suicidal individuals have extreme mental and emotional problems that are not the fault of anyone else. No one can be blamed for someone else’s emotional instability.” Elsa In your effort to make a point, you have grossly, and I mean, grossly, overstated your case. God help you, Elsa, and us!



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Tom

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:51 am


Fallwell sodomized Chrisitianity for far too long. Bye-Bye dude!



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Charlie

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:53 am


Thanks, Jim, as always for your cogent, clear, fair, charitable and compassionate commnets.



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:55 am


There was quite a difference between Falwell the public figure and Falwell the private man. Falwell the private man had many friendships across the aisle, even befriending Larry Flynt after their whole brou-ha-ha.That does not wash the incendiary remarks from the public record, but I think it does speak to how he would have treated the adultress on a personal level. kevin s. Kevin, most behavioralists I’m familiar with would see that as some form of passive-aggressive dysfunction.



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:00 am


I don’t get it. What’s with all this “Yeah, Falwell said/did this harsh stuff in public, but privately he was really kind/compassionate…etc. etc.” Didn’t we used to call that hypocrisy, albeit a kind of bizarre reversed-hypocrisy?



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:04 am


“Do you think that I am going to lose a wink of sleep over that or question my beliefs or identity because you are intolerant of me? Hardly! I could only be brought to despair if I questioned them myself.” Elsa That last statement is truly scary!



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:10 am


Jon Johnston The word used in that list is the greek word: malakoi. It literally means something like “soft” and since it is in list form it is difficult to derive context for defining it adequately. Often by biblical scholars, however, it is translated as the term “catamite” which was the ancient Roman practice of a man taking a boy apprentice and raping him (like a long term child molester). So what Paul could be condemening is institutional & culturally accepted forms of pedophilia (pedastry). The only compelling biblical argument (other than Adam & Eve) that is fleshed out (and not in a list) is Romans 1, but even that becomes problematic because as anyone who has done any work on biblical hermeneutics will tell you, you can’t hang your hat on ONE or even two biblical passages when creating sound doctrine.



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:11 am


“Funny the Rev. Falwell never preached against those guilty of the sin of gluttony…oh, that’s right, you can’t raise millions off THAT sin.” Doreen | So very, very, perceptive, Doreen. I have hesitated to say anything in this regard but here goes (with all due respect to JF’s memory and his grieving family). I had not seen JF “live” on TV for some time until about a month ago. I was shocked to see how much weight he’d put on. As my wife, who is a nurse, suggested, it may have been due to some medications he was on and I respect that. Nevertheless, can someone explain to me why funda-gelicals gather for their conferences in swanky, decadent hotels and retreat centers where enough food is served to feed sub-Sahara Africa for a month and this is perceived as “okay” even “godly” behavior? Since when and by whose/what criteria is overindulgence, overspending, overeating, overcafeining, in keeping w/ what Scripture teaches about the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit for starters? So how is it we conveniently overlook this clear Biblical teaching to pounce on some prohibition in Leviticus about sexual behavior as we wolf down our third ham sandwich of the day? I overstate to make a point. I don’t get it folks – abortion, homosexuality are heinous sins according to the Bible and self-centred trough-slurping isn’t? What Bible you reading?



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:14 am


“Nevertheless, can someone explain to me why funda-gelicals gather for their conferences in swanky, decadent hotels and retreat centers where enough food is served to feed sub-Sahara Africa for a month and this is perceived as “okay” even “godly” behavior? Since when and by whose/what criteria is overindulgence, overspending, overeating, overcafeining, in keeping w/ what Scripture teaches about the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit for starters?” So true! So true!



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:15 am


Hey folks, did you know Freddie Phelps went to Bible School up here in Canada? He’s about the only theological hero we have left now that Queen Elizabeth II is dead, so stop beating on Freddie!



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:25 am


And in one fell swoop, Mark P completes a drive-by fruiting.



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Kristi

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:29 am


God cannot love evil, therefore WE are not evil, but we many times do evil things and EXACTLY which ones of those are deal breakers for God, ONLY HE GETS TO DECIDE! So stop throwing ill-translated scripture at the argument and LOVE ONE ANOTHER! It is really very simple: go ahead give it a try!



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Ben Wheaton

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:38 am


Ummm…QEII isn’t dead, Canucklehead. Also, I wasn’t quoting scripture back there, just my own reason. As well, what the deuce does Fred Phelps have to do with anything? I think you’re just using him as a straw man; he is incredibly uninfluential–condemned by all. To all you who try to explain away the condemnations of homosexuality in the Bible, not trying to sound Catholic here, but the 2000-year-old tradition of the Church interprets those verses as condemnation of homosexuality; moreover, a fair exegesis would confirm this interpretation.



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Payshun

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:47 am


Mark P, It’s foolish to judge who is condemnable and by that action evil. I think I would stick to judging the acts and words of people and leaving the rest alone. Only God can judge the hearts of men. You truly are not fit. As for the one that quoted the Revelation about who will see the Kingdom or who will go to heaven I think that’s kind of foolish. I mean look Moses will be in Heaven and he was a murderer, Elijah, Samuel, David, Paul were all murderers. Rahab was a whore so again I am not saying that the vision John recieved was wrong I just find the mercy of God to be greater than the judgement meted out in those verses you quoted. If that was not the case none of those people would have even made it to heaven. Sarasotakid, I am mixed on ministries like Exodus. I know what they stand for and I agree w/ their overall message of rooting out idolatry but it’s not for everyone. I guess myt thing let each person decide and leave the rest to God. p



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Julie

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:00 am


I feel like I have to share this. I was saddened to hear of Rev. Falwell’s collapse & feared he had died. I hoped if he had he would be brought back to share his realization that Jesus is and was about love, not fear. I am comforted as a Christian that he now knows that. One sad thing I’ve learned since his death was that he said last year of Rep. Foley of FL & his inappropriate interest in young male pages that it wasn’t as bad as Clinton’s affair w/ a 20 something intern. That saddened me so much, because pedophilia is alive and well in our society & it isn’t because of gays. Pediophiles have an irresistable attraction to children. It’s sick and illegal. Foley is trying to hide it behind his homosexuality & his problem isn’t homosexuality, it is his attraction to children. I wish I hadn’t heard that story. As a Christian I’m trying really hard to have kind thoughts of him. I feel for his family, friends, church and Libery U. They have been in my thoughts and prayers. And, again, he now knows the love of Jesus. 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:10 am


I am mixed on ministries like Exodus. I know what they stand for and I agree w/ their overall message of rooting out idolatry but it’s not for everyone. I guess myt thing let each person decide and leave the rest to God.p PayshunI too am mixed on it. The point that I was making was that this person found the love and support he needed in two ideologically opposed camps. Why? Because they loved him. I also think that the Exodus camp was not following the party line. That would be my guess.



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DML

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:15 am


From the non-evangelical Christian viewpoint, the issue of whether faith is private or public is not an issue as it is, evidently, for Sojourners. We only wish that Rev. Falwell had remained with the traditional evangelical stance that faith only has to do with saving the individual from hell because the problem with Falwell for Christians is not just that he got the issues wrong but that he got God wrong. Falwell’s legacy is that much of the world sees God as mean and vindictive and discriminatory and loving only some while wanting to punish others. That is a damage to the Christian witness which will not be soon overcome. Falwell going public with a God made in the image of white, male prejudice does not contribute to getting Christians involved in the public debate on issues, it only distorts the Christian witness that could be made in such a debate.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:20 am


“One sad thing I’ve learned since his death was that he said last year of Rep. Foley of FL & his inappropriate interest in young male pages that it wasn’t as bad as Clinton’s affair w/ a 20 something intern.” Not surprising for someone who slandered the Clintons on the Vince Foster suicide. But, hey, he was a real nice guy in private and one on one.



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john caruso

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:38 am


Before we get too erudite here and transcendentalise everything remember what the so-called “christian right” has done and I don’t care whether it’s democrat or republican or heinz. Remember the killing of doctors? Remember the bombings in Birmingham? Remember how many christian brainstems support bush because he was “born again” – maybe in a wheel-barrow but no where else. I remember the tely-tub disaster from Fal-well-speak-ill. The little guy with the purple hat is gay? Right? Sure, Jerry – when pigs fly. I honestly don’t care anything about anyone except how they treat others in this human conundrum. You people who drop your uteruses and balls just because somebody is this way or that way are if, anything, judgementalists and that’s the most common religion. Remember God did not create religion – She wouldn’t have been that stupid. Man invented it and has made nothing but a mess of it, to-wit Jerry. When you marginalize any religion or class of people, which he did almost to perfection, you’re not anything least of all christian – remember the crusades, the spanish inquisition, the klan, the Nazis – all good christians. None of us has any business telling anyone about the validity or morality of what they do.Suppose Hitler had only one issue – he was gay. Would the world been better off with him gay or whatever he was? That’s why I don’t care about who or what you sleep with or where you live or what kind of car you drive or how much money you make or if you smell good – all that matters in this life is what you do to others. Jerry Fall-down on that one.



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Weston

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:45 am


“…Jesus Christ never stated one word against homosexuality.” Doug, an argument from silence is not a strong one. Jesus did not mention human/animal, brother/sister, or mother/son sexual relations either. Does that silence mean they are right and good? It seems to me that we must think about the whole tenor of Jesus’ teaching and consider this question: Did Jesus fail to condemn homosexual acts because He saw them as fitting in the order of God’s good creation or because He regarded any sexual relations outside of the marriage covenant between woman and man a sign of disorder and failure?



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mez

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:05 am


I wish I had time to read every comment, and I think I will after saying this one thing. Jerry Falwell did make mistakes; in fact I agree that the right wing is sometimes too far right and does tend to say things that offends others. But Jerry Falwell definitely reached so many people in the conservative circles. I heard that there is a possibility of something like 37 thousand people coming to his funeral. Why would there be that many people? Because God used him to reach them. And I understand that he has said some things toward the gay community that they took offense at, but realize that we as Christians are the body of Christ. Everyone cannot be hands, feet, eyes, or another single member. We are all different for a purpose. Jerry Falwell was one part of the Body. Sojo is another part. We all reach different people. So keep that in mind.



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Holly

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:13 am


Hateful sentiments are not healed with hateful rebuttal.I am still working on ‘love one another.’ It is a huge enough thing to work on. First things first. How deeply I can get distracted from that essential instruction, ‘love one another,’ by reasoned arguments and interpretations. How short a jump from there to an us-v.s.-them mentality. That fruit does not look much like Love. Been there, done that, and recently. Only to be reminded again, by Grace, that my job now is not to pull motes out of others’ eyes, but to learn to love. I must leave the mote-removing to those who have mastered the instruction to ‘love one another.’



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Kristi

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:18 am


Whether or not we think that homosexuality is right or not, just as whether we think that you have to be baptized to get to heaven, or whether we think that you have to believe in a literal fire and brimstone hell to get into heaven, or whether we think that you can’t drink or smoke to get into heaven….it really doesn’t matter because ONLY GOD DECIDES WHO DOES AND DOES NOT GET IN folks! If us “liberals” are willing to admit that in all likelihood a hate monger like Falwell is in heaven getting a good LOVING dressing down from God right now, why can’t you reach out a hand of peace too?



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mez

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:28 am


Good points, kevin s. And Jim Meisner Jr., I’m glad you’ll be at TRBC. For the rest of you who are providing for my evening entertainment with your impassioned debates, you talk of loving people. Why don’t you love each other? Kristi has a good point. God decides who goes to heaven. You are just his tools to point poeple toward Him.



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butch

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:25 am


not trying to sound Catholic here, but the 2000-year-old tradition of the Church interprets those verses as condemnation of homosexuality; moreover, a fair exegesis would confirm this interpretation. Ben Wheaton I’m not trying to sound anti-Catholic here, but I look at the 2000 year history of “the” church and don’t have much respect for “the” church just based on past performance!



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Johanna

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:27 am


it seems to me that the Rev. Mel White summed up a great deal in his remark, “Even when we belive the scritpures are ‘infallible’ or ‘without error,’ it is terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every bibliical text is without error.” For all who insist that scripture is “perfectly clear” in condemning homosexuality,perhaps it is time to remember that we are all fallible and that Jesus said, “Judge not that ye be not judged.” My daily prayer is that i will find the will to not judge those who judge others. The Rev. Falwell, along with countless others over the centuries presumed that his interpretation of scritpure was infallible – leading to further splitting and dismemberment of the body of Christ…leading to heinous crimes against innocent people like Matthew Shepherd…leading to the teaching of hatered and bigotry to our children… is that what Jesus Christ went to the cross for? God have mercy upon us all



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:47 am


“…not trying to sound Catholic here, but the 2000-year-old tradition of the Church interprets those verses as condemnation of homosexuality; moreover, a fair exegesis would confirm this interpretation.” Ben – I don’t discount Catholics at all, personally. Catholicism is the protestant heritage and we have much to learn from that past. However, since the NT came together (it hasn’t been 2,000 years) they also have condemned women in pastoral leadership of the church based on what they concluded as “fair exegesis” and their tradition. AND I (and others) think they are WRONG. You can be wrong for many years with many men all agreeing… and still be WRONG!



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dan

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:52 am


Part of the problem with Falwell’s homophobia is that he was using an English translation of the original Bible that was less than accurate. The actual Bible never referred to “homosexuality,” and, especially for the literalists, never even suggested that there was anything wrong with being a lesbian. It could also be interpreted that only anal intercourse was prohibited and being gay was otherwise ok. On many message boards we see the right wing neocons bent out of shape because everyone else is rejoicing that Falwell is no longer able to spew forth his hate. They wonder how a Christian can be so joyful at the death of another being. I agree, and I submit that Falwell’s joy at the death of over 3,000 people on 9/11 who got what they deserved because they supported a decadent culture of ACLU, feminists, gays, prochoice, nonfundamentalists, etc. is a strong indication that the man was never a Christian. And I have grave doubts about those who follow in his footsteps. The fundies have never explained to my satisfaction the contradiction between a personal god and a god that would kill over 3,000 people as an example of collective punishment.



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dan

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:14 am


Here is a page that you should visit to see just how involved in Christianity Falwell really was, and what it was that motivated him. The fact that Falwell’s god hated all the things that Falwell did make it difficult to take his religion seriously. http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/17/1259/



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Kristi

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:25 am


I hardly think that Falwell was joyful at the deaths from 9/11 though he did use them in a most heinous fashion to strike fear into the hearts of those he wished to vilify. Please lets refrain from hyperbole in voicing our opinions about the actions of those that we disagree with. I know a large number of very conservative evangelicals, and I can tell you that on this point, most do not agree with Mr. Falwell. Simply because the loud and obnoxious with microphones do, doesn’t mean everyone does. And another thing—do you mean by fundies, those that fund Republican candidates, the Moral Majority or what? Because again not all of those people agree that 3000 people DESERVED to die.



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kevin s.

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:50 am


“Charlotte, you speak of Church leadership as if it s a privilege or a status symbol or a completion of spiritual life instead of the burden, the scary scary burden that it s generally portrayed as in Scripture Let not many of you become teachers and all.” I’m sure it’s a discussion for another time, but I do find fault in the Christian understanding of church leadership as a career path. Separating church leadership from scriptural qualification is a product of American consumerism. We simply MUST see a pastor as the CEO. Bologna. We are not entitled to anything. God calls pastors.



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kevin s.

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:55 am


“For all who insist that scripture is “perfectly clear” in condemning homosexuality,perhaps it is time to remember that we are all fallible and that Jesus said, “Judge not that ye be not judged.”” This could be used to discount any biblical passage, including those that reference the existence of Jesus. I am fallible, but there are things I am fully capable of doing. God did not intend his scripture to be some sort of cosmic rubik’s cube. His word was meant for all of us. And yeah, the Bible says that homosexuality is wrong, whether I am fallible or not.



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Kristi

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:08 am


Kevin- Be willing to admit that maybe, just maybe, what you and I as 21st century Americans mean by the word homosexuality, and what Jesus and his followers and the people of his time meant by the word that they used in the original text in its original language may NOT be the same thing. You CANNOT know with absolute certainty that those who wrote the OT and the NT meant what we mean today when we refer to homosexuality. I am willing to admit that maybe God does not think that homosexuality is the ideal mode in which to live ones life, but I don’t presume to speak for Him. For those of us who love God, we must open our hearts to him, and trust that he will open our eyes to the truth of how we should be living our lives—that is the best that any of us can do.



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Mark P

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:12 am


More drive-by fruiting — Canucklehead Didn’t we used to call that hypocrisy, albeit a kind of bizarre reversed-hypocrisy? -Hypocrisy is acting differently than you supposedly believe. What you could call Falwell s action is a difference of venue. In the public eye, he proclaims what he believes homosexuality as sin (and, he very much did so in a very poor an unChristlike manner), but in private he practices loving his neighbor. I think he did a very poor job of balancing the two, but I wouldn t say that he is necessarily a hypocrite for treating kindly in private those he denounces as sinner s in public. Hypocrisy would be if he said, No one should love a homosexual and then loved one privately. — Erin, -Whoever told you the malakoi stuff is full of crap. -According to Strong s (#733), the word translated homosexuals is transliterated arsenokoites, which means, one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual. That is the only definition Strong s offers. -Here s the source of your confusion. The word translated as effeminate earlier in the text in New American Standard or male prostitutes in the NIV is malakos, which does mean soft and metaphorically is used for calamites, and male prostitutes (generally boys). You might be confused because I believe the English Standard Version lumps malakos and arsenokoites together, and the terms are sometimes taken as a collective. -In any case, the point is that there is a word which pretty clearly means homosexuality aside from malakos. Very few Biblical scholars argue that arsenokoites means anything but homosexuality, and those who do argue ambiguity rarely have much reason to prefer a different definition and almost without exception are very obviously agenda-driven (i/e usually working for organizations whose intent is to defend homosexuality from a Christian perspective). Very few outside of the camp of homosexuals argue against the translation as homosexuals. — Kristi, -God assuredly hates the evil in us. I did not say we are synonymous with evil or interchangeable. For example: I cannot love stupidity. I have stupid friends whom I truly love. How is this possible?!?!?!? Because I love those friends despite their stupidity. It s only an example; most of my friends are more intelligent than I am. — P, Only God can judge the hearts of men. You truly are not fit. -Correct. This makes me very pleased that Scripture asserts the evil in men, not Mark Perkins. Moses will be in Heaven and he was a murderer, Elijah, Samuel, David, Paul were all murderers. Rahab was a whore so again I am not saying that the vision John recieved was wrong I just find the mercy of God to be greater than the judgement meted out in those verses you quoted. If that was not the case none of those people would have even made it to heaven. -If Moses was a murderer, he will not be in heaven. I think the point to take away is that God is just and justifier (the righteous-maker) which means that even though I am debauched to the core sexually immoral, a liar, an all-around SOB I am made righteous by God. So, though I have lied and have fallen and continue to do so, that is NOT who I am. I am a child of the living God by His grace. I want this to be very clear: nd the exact same applies for homosexuals in that, someone may struggle with homosexuality, may fail and fail and fail again but if he is in the blood of Christ, he is NOT a homosexual. HE IS A CHILD OF GOD, period. I would add, though, that Scripture seems to suggest that there is no such thing as a chronically unrepentant sinner in the kingdom of God. — butch, -I think you have a very narrow, 20th century understanding of the history of the Catholic Church. — Johanna, Judge not refers to outsiders outside the Church thus we have no business being the junior holy spirit to non-believers. 1 Corinthians 5 makes this very clear: What have I to do with judging outsiders? Expel the wicked man from among you.



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canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:31 am


could someone lift this Strong’s concordance off me, please?



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Payshun

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:36 am


DML, I am not an evangelical either. To my knowledge I am the only practicing contemplative on these boards. So my views mirror yours. Mark P: -If Moses was a murderer, he will not be in heaven. I think the point to take away is that God is just and justifier (the righteous-maker) which means that even though I am debauched to the core sexually immoral, a liar, an all-around SOB I am made righteous by God. So, though I have lied and have fallen and continue to do so, that is NOT who I am. I am a child of the living God by His grace. I want this to be very clear: nd the exact same applies for homosexuals in that, someone may struggle with homosexuality, may fail and fail and fail again but if he is in the blood of Christ, he is NOT a homosexual. HE IS A CHILD OF GOD, period. I would add, though, that Scripture seems to suggest that there is no such thing as a chronically unrepentant sinner in the kingdom of God. Exodus 2:11-12 11Now it came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.Moses committed cold blooded murder to avenge harsh treatment for the forced labor of the Israelites. He never repented for it ever as far as the biblical records go. But I will say this it is foolish for you to say who will and will not go to heaven. Only God knows that so just as a warning from one Christian to another please don’t do that. God doesn’t like it when people usurp his role as judge even in defense of what scripture teaches. He strikes people down for less.You are right your sins don’t define or condemn you. I would argue that the sins of the LGBTQ don’t define them either. I would argue that the way they love doesn’t condemn them to hell. What would condemn anyone to hell, if anything could deals w/ how the person loved in this world. In Luke 10 the man asks Jesus how does one get eternal life. He doesn’t say that that comes thru him. He says Love God and Love other people. I tend to go by that theology in Luke in addition to what was said in the other gospels.Oh and I would also argue that all are children of God for he created all things. So I would argue that all are one w/ God but not everyone believes in him. p



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Payshun

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:40 am


That lack of belief in him does separate some from him on their end but God loves all even the devil. p



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elsa

posted May 18, 2007 at 9:37 am


Are you aware taxpayer funding (Congression/President’s budget) for pro-abortion organizations has gone up substantially in the past 6 years? — which ones please? Can you reference some sources? I would like to read about that. Why did the current President say that we “all worship the same God but we have different avenues of getting to Heaven”? How do we know that isin’t true. Haven’t many people on this board said the same thing that only God decides who gets into heaven? They are right. Only God does decide who gets in. Do you think you are superior to a Jew or Muslim? Why did the current President pray to allah in a Mosque while in the Middle East and to a Shinto Daemon God while in Japan? – Did he???? visiting a Mosque or Shinto shrine or any other non-Christian house of worship is nor forbidden to Christians. Whether he prayed to a “Shinto Daemon God” only he would know that. As far as Allah is concerned…the translation of that word is God if you were not aware of that. It’s the same God Christians worship. Why does the current administration condone torture? they don’t – show me one instance where they have condoned torture. Why are Border Patrol agents being sent to prison for doing their job? — I agree that is horrendous! However, I don’t think that the US legal system is controlled from the Oval office. The courts and judges controll it. Why has the current President been working on eliminating the U.S. and making Canada, Mexico and the U.S. virtually one country? Uummm,what? Canucklehead, you are truly rambling. The current president is working on elimating the US????? Ah, ok! How? This gay debate or any other for that matter like abortion or others seems to always come down to one thing. The Pro- gay lobby does not want to relinquish an inch on the issue of whether homosexual activity is a sin. OK, fine. You won’t acknowledge it. That’s up to you. But you lose a certain credibility when you don’t concede that fact. Your arguement is that Jesus did not specifically condemn it. Well, he did not specifically condone it either. So what? Homosexuality is unversally viewed as a “sin” by the major world religions.If one is not religious, then the concept of sin should not really matter to them. I truly do not care if you engage in gay sex, however I do care how society is impacted by it. Where it begins to matter is in the public square when it comes to legislation on social issues ( i.e gay marriage). If your beef is about whether something is “sin” or not, then follow that strong Protestant tradition and start you own church that preaches the equality of homosexual and heterosexual union. There, done! But that still would not be enough for you. You want traditional values, even religious teachings across the board to be changed forever so that legislation will follow, just to accomodate you, so that you can simply “feel better” about something you do in private.Each and every one of us has the stain of sin on our souls. It can’t be washed away by legislation nor does legislation supporting it make it right. Jerry Falwell was concerned with the impact that gay culture and activity has on society adn on the indivudual. He was right to be concerned. Any behavior or culture that mocks and errodes the basic foundations of the society as gay culture does toward marriage and family, should be viewed with a very critical eye and not be embraced



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Chuck Albrecht

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:31 pm


Hey Jim Wallis thanks for such GREAT and respectful remarks regarding Jerry Falwell’s death and life. Your repsonse was clearly Christlike and reconciliary! It’s what I expected of you but still increases my respect for you and Sojourners! Thanks for the great example you are



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elizabeth

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:41 pm


Does a discussion of Jerry Falwell have to be one of ‘either or’? There were times that Jerry Falwell spoke words that I found thoughtful, comforting and caring. Mostly, this was when he spoke of Jesus’ unending love and unlimited vision for every one of us. There were also times that he spoke words which I found irritating, upsetting and even infuriating. Mostly, this was when he shunned compassion and respect for gay and lesbian children of God. I am glad that he was public in his faith, and encouraged Christian to be public. I am sad that he seemed to use the public forum to promote a feeling of superiority over others. I pray that Reverand Falwell is washed clean of sin . . . that he might be be received into the kingdom of heaven and come to be at peace with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Despite our differences in life, I would hope that he would have offered the same prayer for me. I would offer comfort and empathy to those who mourn the loss of his presence, as well as to those who have been stung or hurt by his words and actions in life on this earth.



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Roger Lier

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:54 pm


Dear Jim, Your expressions of sympathy and your thoughts about Jerry Fallwell are well-said.Public debate about values is a good thing. But the promotion of values in the public square is not good in itself. It all depends on what one’s values are. Hitler promoted his values in the public square. He did not debate his values, though. Perhaps it was the willingness to debate that led Fallwell to moderate his position on race and to admit at times that he was wrong. That ought to stimulate us to keep reaching out to those with whom we disagree, like you apparently did with Fallwell and are doing with James Dobson. I am sure that Jerry Fallwell did much good in his life. And I am sure that many of his values were pleasing to God. But I think he hindered the kingdom of God with some of his rhetoric. That ought to cause us who labor for the biblical vision of justice and peace to guard our tongues. Perhaps this is the most important lesson we should learn from Jerry Fallwell’s life and ministry. Pastor Roger Lier



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Kim Eisler

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:14 pm


I knew Jerry Falwell since he built Thomas Road Church a block from my house, and I helped lay the bricks for the original building as did all the neighborhood kids. He managed to overcome the fact that his origins both of his church and his school were his segregationist beliefs, a private seg academy and an all white church. It has to be considered remarkable that he overcome this dark origin to embrace integration-certainly in his church, and that he managed to become an influential person against all the odds- mainly by supporting Richard Nixon when no one else would and creating the myth of his “silent majority.” He later became a “religious” leader who never saw a war he didn’t like. Truly a self created American original, an extremely unlikely one, I have to say.



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Joe Smongeski

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:26 pm


Where should Christians stand when speaking about their convictions to those who would disagree? First, don’t look at Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson for your example. There is someone called Jesus Christ who gave the best example to follow (remember him?). Jesus only lashed out against the leaders of his church, the Pharisees of his time. He never lashed out at unbelievers,the oppressive Roman legions, etc., though he did make his case to them. He did not quarell with or bring lawsuits against those who maligned him or opposed him. He stated his case, worked countless miracles to back up his message and prove who he was, and died in our place without resistance. So turn off the TV, trash your ‘Christian’ books, and simply go back to the man who started it all.



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Donny

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:05 pm


“Conservtve Christians” have had poverty and the care for the poor at the front of everything they do.Bible-believing Missionaries have been going out into the world since day one of the Church era. Now, they and their message of helping and saving the poor has been outlawed by Jim Wallis and his “progressive” Re-Roman agenda od tolerance for perversion and decadence. The ideology of Wallis is that of a snake oil salesman through and through. “Give the people what they want.” Or, as the Bible says, give itching ears what they want to hear. Jim Wallis does not preach the Gospel of repentance and conversion. He sells “do as thou please . . .” The Left is all about debauchery and evil. Marxism taking over Democracy – as seen by leftists screaming down ANY dissent or opposing voices – abortion for promoscuity unfettered and homosexuality/pederasty pushed and promoted to our children. Christ Jesus. Peter, Paul. Jude, and the other writers in the New Testament dealt with food, slavery marriage and family . . . and not once altered the view that same-gender sex acts and sexual perversion is not degenerate and UNacceptable behavior. “For a Christian.” Obviously Jim Wallis does not preach a Christian message. In fact, the moral condemnation of what we now call “homosexuality” was reaffirmed in many, many ways, from the Gospel of John to the epistle of Jude. The Soulforce attack squads run by Mel White are copies of the crowd in Sodom. Wallis “and his ilk,” sits like the cat that ate the canary thinking he is now in some kind of drivers’ seat. The snug smile of Wallis doesn’t hide the lying theology he peddles once it is tested by scripture and the history of the Church.The GLBT community and its culture of accepting pederastic methods thrives in its quest to indoctrinate children into the evil world of sexual perversion, while Wallis pretends to preach a Christian message. What Jerry Falwell did, was to repeat the message of the Gospel and to consistently preach against a decadent and hedonistic populace, and especially when it infiltrated the Christian body. Moses was a divisive figure. Abraham, was a divisive figure. Elijah and all of the Prohets, were divisivse figures. John the Baptist was a divisive figure.Jesus of Nazareth IS a divisive figure. Look at the date today. Peter was a divisive figure. John, Jude, Luke, James were divisive people. Paul was and still is a diivisive person. None altered the message of salvation and truth and the changing of a person for the good. Jerry Falwell was a divisive person. He also preached the New Testament undefiled by political correctness of his day. \ JIM WALLIS, preaches the same message as the godless secularist agenda embraced by most of western society. It is all inclusive and only divides those that will not submit to the all-inclusive – yet Christian excluding – world of anything goes. Jim Wallis is no divisive figure except to those that want to divide his theological chaff from the wheat of the Gospel. Jim Wallis is nothing more than a Liberal Democrat.



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christopher m. petersen

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:12 pm


Thanks to Jim Wallis for stating clearly that although he had differences with Jerry Falwell, he above all considered him a Christian relative – one who could share a spiritual relationship despite political differences. I think his noble approach is the primary lesson all Christians, especially in the U.S., can learn in reflecting on the death of Rev. Falwell.



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Cheryl

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:26 pm


One needs to look at the example of Jesus when tempted to label homosexuals (or anyone else)as “evil.” Only if one is without evil himself should he cast stones at the “sinner.”I think Jerry did a lot of good, but his intolerance was my problem with him. I feel that his position against gays, feminists and others with whom he disagreed was not appropriate for a Christian leader. It distracted from his good works. The Bible, particularly the New Testament, portrays a God of love and forgiveness. As Christians, we should try to emulate this.I grew up in Lynchburg and worked with some of the Lynchburg Baptist College (now Liberty University) students. Most were wonderful people but I recall a few telling me that I would go to hell for my feminist views! I fear that Jerry’s teachings most likely reinforced that intolerance.



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Tim Remple

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:55 pm


One of the “poster boys” of faux-Christianity is gone! Good riddance!! He, along with Robertson and Dobson, have turned the term “Christian” for just about everybody in America, except the neo-Evangelicals and neo-Fundamentalists into a synonym for: hatred, racism, bigotry, intolerance, war mongering, deliberate genocide, general disregard for *ALL* human life, utter disregard for the environment and natural world and *ALL* of God’s creation, person profiteering, and boundless arrogance. I checked, and Dr. King did indeed say, “Don’t let anyone make you think that God has chosen America as [God's] divine messianic force to be reckoned with.”Once upon a time, being a Christian meant following the teachings of Christ! Now so VERY many so-called Christians have become Rushians. They worship not God, nor Jesus, but politics, and conservative ideologies — IDEAS! — spewed by pundits, and even worse, the dogs of hate like Coulter and Hannity. WAKE UP people! If you think Coulter and Hannity are going to be in Heaven, then I think you have confused up with down, right with wrong, and Heaven with Hell!! You have confused religion and politics! On the one hand that elevates politics, likely in a way it does not deserve. On the other, it degrades religion in a way that basically just destroys its sacred nature. You have confused the work of God with the work of Satan! I rather suspect Satan is VERY pleased with his accomplishments. Jesus came, and died, for ALL of us, and now as a thank-you instead of bothering to follow HIS teachings, we let other fallible, fools like Falwell tell us what Jesus said. Why not just read the text of what are Jesus’ own words, and think for ourselves??!!?? I know, it is not the way of “ditto” and Rushianism, and dominionism and nationalism … it is not the way of submitting mindlessley to those we perceive to be “authorities,” but who are in fact simply authoritarian.God is just as much a black, gay female as white, European-ancestry, heterosexual male!!



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Donny

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:19 pm


Tim, Your ignorance is no excuse. And bull—- is only good for fertilizing dirt. Show where Falwell and Dobson and their “conservatism” is in erro, or is in opposition from the New Testament message? You will need more than good luck. You will need and eraser or the cut button on your word processing program. You have to do what Jim Wallis and his progressive heresy does. It rewrites, and changes the Gospel for the lies of people that resemble Nero Caesar. This generation of people in the western world, the vast majority, are now so lazy and dim-witted, that they literally will only follow what their itching ears want to hear. They follow like lemmings, these mass hordes of swaying liberal bobbleheads while many acquire death unnoticed like the insane to the diseases they give themselves before the final fall. Jim Wallis and his Progressivians, preach what the world wants to hear. Certainly that is in contrast to the “faith delivered ONLY ONCE to the Saints.” It is always about choice. You can willingly follow the lies of the ancient story of hedonism and decadence repackaged in neologism of 21st century political correctness. Now known as Liberal and Progressive ideology, age-old sins are repackaged for modern consumption. Or, you can follow the Truth presented in the Gospel that is the same yesterday, today and forever. Some things don’t change. In fact in studying history many things don’t. We now have computers and the information age to spread the same messages that have existed in mankind since people walked away from Eden. Nothing new under the sun. Progressive evils on one side and the truth of God on the other.Have you ever wondered how the word “progressive” is supposed to mean “modern” when it presents the same old abominations be embraced? Study.



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edward murrey

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:34 pm


Thanks Jim, Your comments were wonderful, wise, and gracious. I appreciate the examples that both you and Rev. Falwell gave to us about faith being personal but not private. You have both done great work for God’s kingdom. And you are dead on that our first allegiance must always be to Christ-not a party. May the Lord continue to grant His church great wisdom in how best to address the moral issues of our time-abortion on demand, poverty, marriage, slavery, genocide, the environment, just war etc. Thanks for taking the conversation public. Much love, affection, and appreciation to you both! Pastor Edward Murrey Valleybrook Church (Evangelical Pres.)



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IF

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:13 pm


QUESTION FOR JIM WALLIS: Jim, what’s your view on homosexuality – is it a sin or isn’t it? Thanks.



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letjusticerolldown

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:23 pm


I too appreciate Jim Wallis’ reflections. It seems to me the starting point for engaging another person and their views is to fully hold on to the dignity of the other person. God’s love embraces the welfare of the other person.To do so says nothing about the level at which Jim Wallis does, or does not, agree with JF.I am amazed at my internal reaction to comments on this blog. I often feel it a complete waste of time. But when I seek to hold each writer with the dignity I desire–I learn. And I think I learn the most not from what each person says–but by watching my own reactions to what each person says. My reactions give me a mirror with which to see myself. Thank you to each person who has given a bit of themselves to contribute.



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canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:30 pm


“Uummm,what? Canucklehead, you are truly rambling. The current president is working on elimating the US????? Ah, ok! How?” Elsa I think if you check back up the thread, I wasn’t the one that made that claim. As Ben notes, I did report that Queen Elizabeth II is no more. It’s a closely guarded secret but the truth is that QEII actually passed away about 14 years ago. But what they found is that it’s cheaper to dress up two or three actors to go around the world gathering flowers from children, waving at people and eating caviar, than it is to maintain the royalty. Besides, it also frustrates the heck out of Prince Charles b/c it means he can’t get into Buckingham and has to keep falling off horses when he plays polo.



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t_r

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:55 pm


Falwall continues to be an emotional lightning rod. Any comments on his passing or legacy reinforces the divide within the Faith and with the Nation, as proven thoughout these comments.



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Ben Wheaton

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:00 pm


Heh heh.



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K.Bitner

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:02 pm


Did I see the word ‘agenda’? You know, it always amuses me that the extremists tend to be overly fond of that word. They use it as a curse against anyone who disagrees with them. ‘Homosexual agenda’, ‘Liberal agenda’, Anti-Christian agenda’, ‘Anti-American’. You get the point. They absolutely refuse to acknowledge that they, too, have an agenda. Politically speaking, We ALL do. Let’s take a look at the definition, shall we? From Merriam-Webster; Main Entry: agen da Pronunciation: &-’jen-d& Function: noun Etymology: Latin, neuter plural of agendum, gerundive of agere 1 : a list or outline of things to be considered or done 2 : an underlying often ideological plan or program – agen da less /-d&-l&s/ adjective From American Heritage; SYLLABICATION: a gen da PRONUNCIATION: -jnd NOUN: Inflected forms: pl. a gen das 1. A list or program of things to be done or consideredWe all have things we would like to see happen in the political arena. Liberals no more than Conservatives, Non-Christians no more than Christians, Homosexuals no more than Heterosexuals. So, maybe we should approach these debates by first acknowledging that we all have political and religious motivations, and not use the word agenda to try to discredit anyone else’s opinions?



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Donny

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:10 pm


Only one “agenda” was birthed in the world of pederasty.



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Joe DiLoreto

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:18 pm


I am amazed at some of the comments from “liberal” thinkers. Sounds like hate speech to me. Educate the people of Falwell’s church but not pray for them..that’s troubling to me. What I am learning as i get older (I’m 50) is that as Christians we need to do a lot less talking and a lot more doing. Jim Wallis is correct in saying that Falwell got people out of their pews and into the public square that’s a good thing. I am against abortion, gay marriage and the war in Iraq. Does that make me liberal or conservative? As Christians we should not be kissing up to the left or the right but we should be loving our neighbor as our self, loving & praying for our enemies and by living a life that is worthy of the gospel of Christ.



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Barbara

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:21 pm


All I can say from reading these comments is that this country has a constitution, are forefathers were brillant. We are not and never have been a christian nation! Some of our forefathers were christians, but that does not make us a christian nation. That is why there is separation of church and state. No matter what lies you are being told, read up on our history. I frankly don’t care what any religious leader or christian thinks about my homosexuality, I am comfortable with it and quite comfortable with MY JESUS, thank you very much!If you want a theocracy go over to the Middle East, you’ll find lots. Comments like these is why I will continue to fight for the separation of church and state. You guys are scary and not at all what Jesus stood for!!!



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Payshun

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:29 pm


Where it begins to matter is in the public square when it comes to legislation on social issues ( i.e gay marriage). If your beef is about whether something is “sin” or not, Elsa: then follow that strong Protestant tradition and start you own church that preaches the equality of homosexual and heterosexual union. There, done! But that still would not be enough for you. You want traditional values, even religious teachings across the board to be changed forever so that legislation will follow, just to accomodate you, so that you can simply “feel better” about something you do in private. Me: You mean like what you do in private? You see the hypocrisy on the right is staggering. In your own churches and other places you all are already redefining the traditional (joke that it is) ideas of marriage. When you all cheat, have affairs, swing… These things happen in your churches and for you all to focus so much on gay people weakens your argument and loose creditability. Not only that but it makes some of us question how straight some of you all are on the right.The self hatred masking itself as family values is disgusting. It reaks of condemnation, death and the spirit of the destroyer. For some reason you all ignore that and learn nothing about grace, compassion, mercy and hope. Instead of offering it to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered brothers and sisters you offer death and don’t care. That’s not Jesus or his gospel. Oh and they can’t redefine family. That’s a myth that you all on the right love to cling to. Incase you did not notice they are creating their own families w/ the same levels of brokeness and love that exists in yours. It not your place to judge that. If anything even if you Elsa or someone else see their sex lives as sin you should be able to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that they are trying to make the best out of a broken thing. Instead you seek to destroy that’s not Jesus. Donny, Please stop lying about us. I rarely do this but you are a liar and you are lying about us. We don’t preach what the world wants to hear. If anything the world stoned us they killed King, they harrassed his widow, they…How dare you. The Lord rebuke for claiming a lie as falsehood. As a progressive I have stood up against discrimination against the LGBTQ community. You know what the world has not embraced me, if anything I have gained nothing but scorn. As a progressive I have argued for humane treatment of terror suspects and against an unjust war and the world has done nothing but scorn me for it. When I have even seen enemies being beaten up for being a fool I stood in the gap to protect them only to be called the “N” word and treated wrongly by them so don’t you dare say that we progressives preach what the world wants to hear. The only difference about what we preach and what we are about is love for the oppressed from the avenue of the oppressed. I really wish you would do the same. p



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Donny

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:31 pm


It all boils down to the fact that progressive/liberal ideology does not find any support from the writers of the New Testament.Liberalism runs counter to and stands in opposition of the Gospel and “its agenda” and the agenda of the Apostolic Church brought to us by the Saints following Christ Jesus. Jim Wallis is a Democrat trying to fool Christians into believing that the agenda of liberals and progressives is consistent with that of the Apostolic Church founded on the belief in Christ Jesus. Reading the Gospels, we see Jesus openly opposing religious hypocrites first. Lies often come from a sweet faced and smug-smiling false teacher. The message of repentance is now seen as a hate crime and when listened to, the words of repentance from progressives is that the Christians need to apologize for not being like the world and believing in secular values. That runs counter to the words of Christ and the Apostles. The Church that holds to the words of the Apostles on following Christ Jesus needs to start contending for the faith against people like Jim Wallis and his deceptive message of love and care masking a heretical and false doctrine of typical (age-old) hedonism and decadence repackaged in 21st century political correctness. Or, what Jim Wallis calls his god’s politics. Review history and you see Nero supported the same lifestyles and behaviors that the progressive agenda preaches are acceptable.



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Payshun

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:38 pm


You are wrong and right. Religious hypocrits like you are what Jesus opposed. If you study the gospels you will clearly see that what you believe about God, his holiness and love is actually more in line w/ the Pharisees than the early church. Actually if you really want to go there Nero loved torture, he loved punishment, judgement, fear and destruction. He worked the Roman people into a fear based society all while he was mad. You see he scapegoated Christians and burned them at the stake. They let people live and let live. They were not out to change society in the way you hypocrits/pharisees are now. They showed compassion, mercy and holiness and faith. You have shown very little if any of that.Right now I see more of that happening on the right than I do on the left. Let’s look at king George and his abysmmal record of actually standing up for your fellow conservatives. Stop being a legalist Donny and embrace grace. You will be a lot happier when you do. p



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butch

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:43 pm


Butch-I think you have a very narrow, 20th century understanding of the history of the Catholic Church. Mark p Would you care to defend the things “the” church has admitted to?



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mg

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:44 pm


It seems that Jerry Fallwell has created as much controversy in his dying as he did in his living. I am Christian, not a Christian, just Christian…….I pray daily to remove prejudice from my heart against those who think or act differently than I. I beleive there is much truth to be found in scripture to help us more fully understand God’s desire for our life, but I don’t believe it can all be taken literally. It needs to be read keeping in mind its context. The greatest commandment in the bible is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself…….if the world could follow this teaching we would all be able to live together in harmony, but alas…..we all have agenda’s that we are pushing, whether it is homophobia, abortion, or striving for justice for those who are without it. We are all human, we can not know the mind of God or make summations for God, but we can pray for God’s continuation of grace and mercy. Mg.



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butch

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:12 pm


” But when I seek to hold each writer with the dignity I desire–I learn.” Letjustice I want to agree with you but I also read Scott Peck’s book “The People of the Lie”. My take was don’t make deals with the devil. Some are acting like devils if not 100% at least a high percentage of their behavior and to engage them when you believe they are doing the devils work places you in great danger. My simple take on Falwell, et al is they are doing the devils work and I don’t give them a second, in fact this puts me in danger. I can hardly avoid them completely but I turn and shake the dust off my sandles as quick as I can. What happened to some who went to their second sermon by Jim Jones.



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Tom

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:25 pm


I strongly agree with what you say here, mg: “I beleive there is much truth to be found in scripture to help us more fully understand God’s desire for our life, but I don’t believe it can all be taken literally. It needs to be read keeping in mind its context. The greatest commandment in the bible is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself…….” Similarly, Barry Lynn, a guest on Larry King Live, sat alongside Rev. Wallis the other night and said this: people don’t want their politicians acting like they’re resolving these issues on the basis even of the Holy Scripture, which 80 percent of Americans claim is their holy scripture. They want reason, God given or otherwise, to play a role in deciding the most contentious issues of our time.I’m wondering when our various leaders will come to realize that most of us just don’t want to be regularly labeled as anything! Just because you are a Democrat, a Republican or a Christian does not mean you’re more loyal, more devout or more passionate than someone else. It doesn’t mean anything other than to show your respect for authority and tradition.



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Conrad Steinhoff

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:28 pm


A well crafted and eloquent statement, Jim. So many of the angry comments I read on the way to my little box to write in miss the importance of honoring the common ground we have even with those who differ on many issues. It is so important to remember, the other guy is just as convinced he is right as we are. As my clergy friend Ray says of my pro-gay views, with a twinkle in his eye, “I respect your right to be wrong.” Conrad Steinhoff



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Dale B

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:43 pm


To elsa You asked that I prove you sources for the things I said/posed. Here are a few. I hope Beliefnet does not believe these violate its Rule of Conduct. Bush Spending Record for Abortion Providers http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/bushabortion$.html http://www.covenantnews.com/lefemine050208.htm Do I think I am “superior to a Jew or a Muslim”? Read Luke18:9-14 and please understand I am not one to think I am better than anybody. In 2002 when the Lord blessed me beyond anything I have even remotely deserved I began to realize how much the Lord loves all of us. My wife always punches me when I say things like “If anybody should have been put in the elevator, had the basement button pushed and told to have a nice summer when they left this world, it was me”. That being said, I believe that Christ has provided the path we should try (and I emphasize try) to follow and should we choose to veer off the path it is our own decision. “American Christians were both grieved and shocked when President Bush, professing Christian, went to a Mosque and joined in prayer with the Muslims to the Universal God. President Bush evidently assumes that all religions worship the same Universal God under different names. Thus any name of any deity will do. This is, of course, not acceptable to Bible-believing Christians because Allah and all other pagan deities are demon-gods according to I Cor. 10.” http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/bushshintoshrine.html http://www.apfn.net/Messageboard/01-24-05/discussion.cgi.41.html http://www.cephasministry.com/nwo_bush_goes_to_shinto_worship.html And the torture issue: I can’t help but wonder how anybody can not see this. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15361458/ During a debate in Chicago, John Yoo said that presidential powers include the right to order the torture of suspects, including their children. John Yoo, a key architect for post 9/11 legal policy of the Bush Adminstration, has continued to advocate White House policies on torture, wiretapping and unlimited presidential powers. This is a text transcript excerpt of this exchange between International Human Rights expert Doug Cassel and John Yoo:Doug Cassel: If the president deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him? John Yoo: No treaty. Doug Cassel: Also no law by Congress — that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo… John Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that. http://rwor.org/audio/yoo%20excerpt.mp3 Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, was detained at J.F.K. Airport in September 2002 on his way home from a family vacation. He was held in solitary confinement, refused access to a lawyer, and rendered to Syrian intelligence authorities renowned for torture. Mr. Arar spent ten months detained in Syria, where he was interrogated and brutally tortured. Syrian authorities released Mr. Arar, publicly stating that they had found no connection between him and any criminal or terrorist organization or activity. Neither the United States or Canada has ever charged Maher with any crime. http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/nomoresecrets/ And of course all the other things that have been published pretty much refute any denial that torture has not been approved/condoned. You said “I don’t think that the US legal system is controlled from the Oval office” Here read the lies directly from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and a few other sources. http://rohrabacher.house.gov/UploadedFiles/NBPC%20rebuttal_to_sutton.pdf http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/index.html http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53856 And you wanted to see documentation/evidence that the President is working on making the U.S. part of the North American Union. Take some time to read these: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=15497 http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=15809 http://www.eagleforum.org/topics/NAU/ http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/nafta_gatt/community.html And I assume you are aware of the relationship between Rev Moon (the new messiah) and many in politics/government including the Bush family, Orin Hatch and others.



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mg

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:55 pm


I also don’t want our government to be deciding moral issues for anyone…remember that when the founding fathers and mothers came to this country, some did so for religious freedom……but, whose religion?…..we can look to history to see that the ‘Puritans’ saw fit to hang Quakers for their ‘different’ beliefs….I think Thomas Jefferson introduced the idea of separation of ‘church and state’ which is as it should be. We should be responsible for moral lessons in our homes and the churches of our choice. That being said, we should all care enough about our fellow human being, wherever she or he may live to pray and work incessantly for dignity, justice, and humane treatment for each other as ‘children of God.’ We have become calloused in this country to the profound needs of this world…..when we can look at pictures on the news of the slaughtering in Darfur, mothers holding their dying children in their arms, 1.3 billion people living on $1.00 a day (85% of those being women and children.) But, yesterday, I spent $1.85 on an ice cream cone! I am distressed by the bickering over the issues of homosexuality, abortion, feminism instead of the issues of dying people……have we not learned anything from Jesus life and his treatment of people? mg.



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splinterlog

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:05 pm


The only reason to pay any attention to Donny’s posts is to have a good laugh. If he really believes all of the things he says he does, I worry for his mental health!



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canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:12 pm


“Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, was detained at J.F.K. Airport in September 2002 on his way home from a family vacation. He was held in solitary confinement, refused access to a lawyer, and rendered to Syrian intelligence authorities renowned for torture. Mr. Arar spent ten months detained in Syria, where he was interrogated and brutally tortured. Syrian authorities released Mr. Arar, publicly stating that they had found no connection between him and any criminal or terrorist organization or activity. Neither the United States or Canada has ever charged Maher with any crime.” In fact, the Cdn gov’t recently paid a $10 million apology payment to Mr. Mahar and the Commissioner of the RCMP stepped down over how his situation was botched. He remains on the U.S. no-entry list.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:14 pm


Here s irony for you! Normally, I would never post a link to Faux News, but I ll make an exception for this one, mostly because I can t in good conscious post a link to the Westboro Baptist Church website. ANTI-GAY KANSAS CHURCH MEMBERS PLAN TO PICKET FALWELL FUNERAL “Falwell warmly praised Christ-rejecting Jews, pedophile-condoning Catholics, money-grubbing compromisers, practicing f**s like Mel White, and backsliders like Billy Graham and Robert Schuler, etc.,” http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,273313,00.html Billy Graham?! Peace!



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:23 pm


neuro_nurse gosh, I always appreciated your comments – thanks for that link! Billy Graham has been heralded a “sinner” for years by ultra-religous, cultic-type, pseudo-Christian churches/groups. I was always so shocked by that because I think he is actually someone who I think best reflects the heart of Jesus at times in this devisive media culture! I think I googled him the first time looking for a quote for a sermon and was SHOCKED at the horrible things said about him and others. there are many “Christians” who base their faith solely on the wrath of God and take great joy in only that aspect of God. It is so pathetic. But truly, ironic, at Falwell’s funeral, I think!



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mg

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:23 pm


I was just wondering……….do you suppose that sometimes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (if you believe in the trinity) are watching all the stupid, and I mean really, really stupid things we do and say and their mouths are hanging open and they’re thinking, Oh my God! Can you believe this?…..and they just shake their heads?……I mean…do you ever wonder how we’ve managed to make such a mess of things?….especially when the commandment is so simple? mg



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Billy Strain

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:31 pm


Reverend Wallis, I applaud your tactful letter on the death of Reverend Falwell. While Heaven only knows how strenuously we disagree with much of his agenda, it seems only fitting that we should pray for his family at this time. I meet Reverend Falwell’s passing with mixed feelings. On the one hand there is no denying that he made an impact on the American political scene and got many christian involved in politics that, until that point, would not have been involved. But on the other hand, there is much in Reverend Falwell’s theology and political agenda that seemed seriously flawed. Even on those occasions when he was technically right, he could say things so offensively that he would be written off as extremist by most in the broader American community. We should always speak the truth, yes, but we should speak it in a way that draws people to Christ…not repels them. And,as you point, we should learn from this mans legacy, especially by not giving exclusive support to any one party. Although much of what Sojourners stands for is better represented by Democrats than Republicans, they should never hesitate to give both parties a fair hearing and support to any who address their concerns. Once again Reverend, I applaud your graceful letter. God bless you and keep up the good work.



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mg

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:32 pm


I remember when I shared the beliefs of Jerry Fallwell and James Dobson….I was a member of the non-denominational, non-instrumental, only true church, the ‘Church of Christ.’ I thank God, that my faith is bigger than that now……it is also much more complex…..it is human nature to want ‘truth’ and assurance that our beliefs are in keeping with God’s desires for us…..but it is so very difficult for us to accept pure, unadulterated, unvarnished, simple ‘grace’……that’s too easy, it just can’t be that simple, we have to work hard to obtain it! I mean, do you actually believe that God is gracious! C’mon!mg



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:45 pm


“Erin,Whoever told you the malakoi stuff is full of crap. … According to Strong s … and those who do argue ambiguity rarely have much reason to prefer a different definition and almost without exception are very obviously agenda-driven… Very few outside of the camp of homosexuals argue against the translation as homosexuals.My evangelical theology professor will definitely hear that you think he is “full of crap!” :)When was Strongs published? AD 400? What version of the Bible does it come from? The original King James Version, which does not come from the best original language texts of scripture. I use Strong’s sometimes but it has some (not all) fairly biased definitions. James Strong had an “agenda” so did King James 1 when he comissioned his edition of the Bible. You should balance your theologial study with other concordances and other versions of scripture…I realize what I wrote is controversial but my point was this: sometimes we think something is clear but it is not, even if it has been affirmed historically (for instance, theology of the millenium or women in ministry).As for your comment on “agenda” my other point is this: WE ALL HAVE AGENDAS WHEN READING SCRIPTURE. Seriously. We all have cultural bias, church bias, theological bias, etc.I am not saying take at face value anyone’s interpretation of difficult texts. Not that we should be paranoid, but we should challenge and engage while being open to learning new things…My ultimate point is that as Christians who care about theology we should “major in the majors and minor in the minors”…There are many things perfectly clear in scripture because they are repeated, affirmed and in great context… but not every passage is easy to exegete, as church history shows!



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:47 pm


Oops. That above comment was for Mark P, who responded to me! I am not very good with the quotes, sorry!



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neuro_nurse

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:48 pm


Billy Graham has been heralded a “sinner” for years by ultra-religous, cultic-type, pseudo-Christian churches/groups. Erin Thanks Erin. I had no idea. I guess if extremists are willing to go after Billy Graham I shouldn t be concerned when they come after me.do you suppose that sometimes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (if you believe in the trinity) are watching all the stupid, and I mean really, really stupid things we do and[ ] shake their heads?…… mg Yes, I do believe in the Trinity, and yes, sometimes I wonder why God wastes His time on the human race but that s just because I don t have His capacity for love and forgiveness. Peace!



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mg

posted May 18, 2007 at 9:06 pm


I’m grateful that God has wasted time on us…..I pray that someday we will get it right….this life is so short….I hope I don’t waste the time I have by being bogged down by insecurities on whether or not God is merciful…..there is so much to be done…..Fallwell was focused on fear……I’d rather live my life like Mother Teresa…..I think she got it right….I can almost here God saying to her as she returned to God, Well done thy good and faithful servant!. mg



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Lorne Friesen

posted May 18, 2007 at 9:16 pm


Jim, I am grateful for the spirit of compassion and conciliation with which you wrote. I hate the terms liberal and conservative, even though my faith convictions and practice lie in the arena described by many as liberal. But that does not make the conservatives and fundamentalists my enemy. the gospel is about loving people with whom we disagree. The gospel is about Christ as head of the whole church. Jim, thanks for your contribution.



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Mark P

posted May 18, 2007 at 10:38 pm


And yet more fruitage. P, Moses committed cold blooded murder to avenge harsh treatment for the forced labor of the Israelites. He never repented for it ever as far as the biblical records go. But I will say this it is foolish for you to say who will and will not go to heaven God doesn’t like it when people usurp his role as judge even in defense of what scripture teaches. -I don t think defending Scripture constitutes taking God s place. However, rejecting it based on personal feelings probably does. The point I was making is that Moses, though he murdered, was by the grace of God not a murderer, but Abraham s seed, a child of God. I would argue that the sins of the LGBTQ don’t define them either. -As I made very clear, I agree if the LGBTQ are under the blood of Christ. Oh and I would also argue that all are children of God for he created all things. So I would argue that all are one w/ God but not everyone believes in him. -The Gospel of John says otherwise, but far be it from me to take God s place (by defending Scripture, apparently). -You d do well to ignore Donny (and Tim for that matter). Neither speaks with any sense of prudence, love, or discernment. It s like watching Rush Limbaugh and Ted Kennedy go at it. There s a lot of yelling and a lot of talking points, but not much substance. If you spend much time reading their posts, you ll get pissed off. Well, okay, I get pissed off but maybe you have more temperance than me :) — Elsa, How do we know that isin’t true. -Because God said so in John 14:6, assuming you accept Scripture as infallible. If you don t, then this is an irrelevant conversation. Only God does decide who gets in. Do you think you are superior to a Jew or Muslim? -Getting into heaven has everything to do with grace and nothing to do with superiority. Not by personal merit if you try that route, you will fail. God does indeed decide who gets to the Father, and He already told us its only through Christ aka one avenue. Of course, how one gets to the Father through Christ might be debatable that is, one can argue that a pagan could conceivably get to the Father through Christ somehow, but it will still be through that one avenue, Christ. — Bitner, The point of my usage of agenda was that the program or purpose of those arguing against homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is specifically and deliberately to defend homosexuality. *Meaning* they went into the examination with a position, so their arguments are distinctly suspect. Of course, that doesn t mean they are wrong necessarily, but when they are the *only* ones supporting a position and no one without that specific and central goal (to defend homosexuality) holds the same position, it seems a bit questionable. It s akin to Answers in Genesis scientific work not necessarily wrong, but assuredly more suspect than other groups. — Barbara, Some of our forefathers were christians, but that does not make us a christian nation. That is why there is separation of church and state. -Actually, most of the founding fathers were *not* Christians, and today s Republi-Christian Right would probably vehemently despise their religious beliefs. Most were enlightenment thinkers deists and Unitarians of various stripes. -Nonetheless, separation of church and state is largely a mythical creation of the 20th century, advocated by a few founding fathers notably Thomas Jefferson and the Republicans but never explicated till a decade after the formation of the Constitution, and only interpreted the way it is now in the last century. — butch, My point is not and never has been that the Catholic Church is or ever was perfect. And, of course, there are things in their past that are beyond shameful. But we re talking about an organization that is about sixteen centuries old (or, if you agree with the Catholic version of Church history, nearly twenty centuries). There are, always have been, and always will be Mother Theresas, Carol Wojtylas, Maximilian Kolbes. To suppose that the entire Church is morally bankrupt because of the sins of some that the way God has worked mightily through the Church is worthless because of the way Satan has manipulated it would be the utmost of foolishness. — mg, I think Thomas Jefferson introduced the idea of separation of ‘church and state’ -He introduced the term. The concept today is somewhat different. The idea of separating ecclesiastical and civil authority is much older than Jefferson. One might point to the Reformation. — Erin, My evangelical theology professor will definitely hear that you think he is full of crap! -What school do you go to, and what is your professor s name? -I say this not to be creepy, but merely to find out the man s credentials and see if his word (tainted by his fingering the wrong word or at least leaving out a critical word) overcomes the standard Biblical concordance generally accepted for over a century. When was Strongs published? AD 400? What version of the Bible does it come from? The original King James Version, which does not come from the best original language texts of scripture. -I m guessing 400 AD was humorous hyperbole, yes? Original publishing was 1890. It s been revised, revisited, and edited countless times. -The Strong s I was using used NASB as it s English text (NASB and ESV are the most accurate, non-literal translations available in English today though some would argue NKJV, they are a minority). -Strong s defines the original language it does not define the English words, it tells you what the original Greek word was and offers you the possible translations.



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elmer gantry

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:06 pm


thank you fat-head



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:25 pm


help! this big fat(head) Strong’s concordance has fallen on me and I can’t get up!



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:26 pm


My Big, Fat Greek Education?



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Jarred Lawrence

posted May 19, 2007 at 12:08 am


Jerry Falwell, now there s a name that strikes fear, as well as, inspiration into many. In my evolution as a Christian, I have found myself aligning with Falwell, as well as, at odds with the man. Growing up southern Baptist in the late 80 s and 90 s, I learned to embrace Falwell s rhetoric of fear and damnation. But since my time in college, I have grown to learn that Jesus message is a message of hope and love. Because I have accepted this message I have been able to shake off the chains of fear and damnation I used to know. Since embracing this message I feel closer to the Kingdom of God than ever before. I am confident Jerry Falwell is now with Jesus, I am glad he has found the peace he has always been looking for. Jarred Lawrence



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Kristi

posted May 19, 2007 at 2:32 am


Donny- I am becoming very concerned about you. You seem to be very angry, and I’m not so sure it is about us “liberals”. Or maybe you are just afraid—afraid that if you don’t believe every jot and tittle of every single traditional interpretation and exegesis of scripture, that you will be on the fast train to hell. I have “good news” for you–all you have to do is “love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and love thy neighbor as thyself.” But oh wait—maybe that IS the problem—I don’t think you love yourself all that much, so how can you love others properly! I will be praying for you.



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Prescott E. Small

posted May 19, 2007 at 4:24 am


I have to say that Jerry Falwell’s death is too little too late. I hate to sound hateful, but this was a very bad man that did very bad things in the name of God. The worst thing about his death is that his ministry will probably be taken over by his son. From what I can tell Falwell Junior is to Jerry as Uday was to Saddam. The children are far worse than the father. I for one will not miss or mourn this bad person. This Talibabtist has done more harm to American Democracy than the Islamic Terrorist overseas could ever hope to achieve. Larry Flynnt was very accurate in his description of Falwell as A.H.O.T.M., repeatedly. This man has been one of the greatest architects at the conversion of America into a Theocratic State with Christian Laws that are much closer to Islamic Sharia Law than they are to American Traditions and Freedoms as spelled out in the Declaration on Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.. I have to say, Good Riddance.



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Tegan Smith

posted May 19, 2007 at 4:38 am


Personally, I think Jim was far too kind to Falwell. He and the other millionaire preachers of the right (I don’t know of any on the left) who have so enriched themselves in the name of God, helped to unleash the horrible class war and militarism of the Reagan and Bush Administrations–and to a lesser extent, the Clinton administration. The pro-rich, pro-war agenda has nothing to do with the Bible. The condemnation of gays and other sexual sins is a lightening rod, distracting people from the real evil being perpetrated by the corporate elites who support Falwell.



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kevin s.

posted May 19, 2007 at 6:52 am


” I don’t pretend to know how Jesus will judge anyone, but I suspect that many politically conservative Christians (Falwell among them) will be in for a rude surprise on the final judgment day.” So, you pretend to know how Jesus will judge. I think both of the predominant political ideologies (and compromises therein) are sufficiently tenable that they can be reconciled with faithful Christianity. To suggest otherwise is to trivialize the concept of eternal life. Christians live by grace alone, and not by acts. And certainly not by political beliefs.



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kevin s.

posted May 19, 2007 at 6:59 am


“I overstate to make a point. I don’t get it folks – abortion, homosexuality are heinous sins according to the Bible and self-centred trough-slurping isn’t? What Bible you reading?” I agree. When I re-engaged my faith at the age of 22, I immediately repented of my gluttony (I was very overweight). However, I don’t know what you mean by funda-gelicals, (I suppose you consider me to be one) but a lot of Christians I know view eating healthy as a prominent Biblical command. And I live in Minnesota, home of the fattest, drunkest men on earth!



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Canucklehead

posted May 19, 2007 at 8:40 am


Kevin, funda-gelicals is a term I coined for the merging of the fundamentalist/evangelical identities. Sometimes you hear the terms used interchangeably but of course, those w/i these camps are often eager (for a host of reasons) to stress the differences.



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Milo

posted May 19, 2007 at 4:57 pm


It’s amazing what you can get away with if you have the word Reverend in front of your name. Too bad for Don Imus, he wasn’t smart enough to realize this and spend the few dollars to get a piece of paper and the title, then he would still be on the air.



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squeaky

posted May 19, 2007 at 5:20 pm


Kevin S–”And I live in Minnesota, home of the fattest, drunkest men on earth!” Oh, I beg to differ, Kevin S. As a displaced Minnesotan myself, I suggest you visit Indiana!



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genevieve

posted May 19, 2007 at 7:18 pm


this was a well-thought out and well-written reflection on the tension that comes with having a faith that is not “private” and thaat does engage with the world. Some thought provoking warnings about the “wedding” of a moral position with an ideological and political party. Thank you for being thoughtful as we all struggle to come to wisdom as we balance the tensions of a real world.



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Mark P

posted May 19, 2007 at 8:49 pm


Squeaky, “Oh, I beg to differ, Kevin S. As a displaced Minnesotan myself, I suggest you visit Indiana!” And as one who lived six years in Germany in my youth and who recently returned for a visit, I also beg to differ :) (though I would say Indiana is probably the least fit state I’ve ever visited — though can you really blame them, given the absence of anything interesting to do outside there?)



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kevin s.

posted May 19, 2007 at 10:01 pm


I think the ladies help us out here. There are some chubby, ugly dudes running around with women they would have no shot at in, say, California.We are the 2nd drunkest state. Number 1 is Wisconsin.



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squeaky

posted May 19, 2007 at 10:45 pm


Well–I’ve lived in Washington State (west side), too, and that’s probably the healthiest place I have ever lived–but whenever I return to Indiana I am always shocked by the large people there. No matter where I am returning from…even Minnesota. But it is all a relative thing–even Washingtonians would look unhealthy compared to most Europeans. MN is second in drinking? I really would have thought Indiana was up there, too…maybe it’s 3rd…MN has more sports teams, one in particular that routinely drives us to drink (go Vikes). Now that we are way off topic…



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Mark P

posted May 19, 2007 at 11:26 pm


Hey, best discussion of the thread yet :) Colorado is the healthiest state I’ve been acquainted with, especially the Springs, Boulder, and that area. I’m an Arizonan, and we’re not too bad. Our summers are difficult because you can’t easily exercise outside from like 11 AM to 4 PM. Europeans may look healthy, but the high rate of smoking and, in some nations, the alcoholism = bad health. Still, our McD’s and fast food culture is killing us faster.



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mg

posted May 19, 2007 at 11:56 pm


Oh my gosh…..just returned to the blog to read updates and I am amazed at how far we’ve come……from Jerry Fearwell to homophobia and abortion to the Catholic Church and now whose state is the fatest and drunkest! I vote for Indiana as the fatest (because I live there and I’m also fat….don’t drink much though!) Hey! Here comes hubby with the Big Mac now!….Um Yum! mg



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Erin Wyma

posted May 20, 2007 at 1:43 am


Mark P Both malakoi and arsenokoite? are used in that First Corinthians list. Some argue that is means that both “active and passive” homosexual activity is condemned by God. My point only is that both have cultural baggage that Strong’s fails so consider. Arsenokoite was a word that seems to be made up by Paul and it has the tenor of ‘rape’ as often male slaves were raped in order to show domination and ownership (women were also commodoties in that culture… not to be too graphic but you get the idea of “receiving” the sexual act as proving ownership) , not as a simple sexual activity. I guess all I wanted to point out is that these words have traditional meanings that are influenced more by theological tradition than by cultural phonetic understandings. I don’t want to through out all traditional readings of texts, but the question we need to ask ourselves when approaching scripture is “what does the text ACTUALLY say” Again, Strong’s is a great resource but it shouldn’t be your only resource when studying scripture. Enough said. I just really got struck with your whole stance that if I disagree with YOU or STRONGS I or my former professors must be idiots. I have refrained from calling you names, please do the same.As for the issue of weight… I have a different take on it… living around skinny, model-types I see the opposite as also being sinful: obsession with weight loss and obsession with NOT eating. The discussion of that is really funny on this blog and I really appreciate it!



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canucklehead

posted May 20, 2007 at 1:49 am


B-u-u-u-r-r-p. Whooo? Whaaaat? Wher? Hit me again, Hoser!



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canucklehead

posted May 20, 2007 at 1:52 am


‘n lift the Strong’s concordance off me while yer at it! It’s not heavy, you’re my brother.



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canucklehead

posted May 20, 2007 at 1:54 am


A: There is an evangelical theology professor who is “full of crap.” B: I am an evangelical theology professor. C: Therefore, ? Can somebody help me out, please. I flunked logic.



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mg

posted May 20, 2007 at 2:09 am


Dearest Canucklehead, The Big Mac was delish!….Are you really an evangelical theology professor who is full of crap? I am in seminary with a young man who considers himself evangelical in the Baptist tradition. He does not believe homosexuality is a sin because of the fallibility in translation. I also believe that. Most of the time we do just an okay job at figuring out scripture. The rest of the time we suck because we can only perceive it with 20-21st century eyes, no matter how much study ancient history…..mg



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Reflecting

posted May 20, 2007 at 2:24 am


Jerry Falwell was callous, insensitive, judgmental,and divisive in almost every aspect of his religious message. He (and others that carry a similar message) are extraordinarily unChristlike in their treatment of people. In the last few days, I could not help but wonder where Jerry’s soul is now. I wonder what is required morally of those with the most influence and how those who misuse their power are judged by our Maker?



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Mark P

posted May 20, 2007 at 2:25 am


Erin, I didn’t call him an idiot, I said whoever told you the malakoi stuff is full of crap. There’s a difference. And, in any case, dismissing the “homosexuality” issue by saying “malakoi=soft” is groundless because, as I pointed out, the apparently more important term is arsenokoites. In any case, perhaps there was a miscommunication and the malakoi=soft was only part of the problem. In any case, as I pointed out, the general concensus on arsenokoites is homosexuality. No serious translation offers an alternate translation that I’m aware of… that doesn’t *necessarily* mean that the translation is 100% correct, buuuuut you’re going to have to do more to overturn the weight of Biblical scholarship. -I fully agree with you that there are two sides to gluttonous sin, BTW.



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Erin

posted May 20, 2007 at 2:39 am


Thanks for that slight concession Mark P! :) I am definitely still in process with all of this.Also… I am on my home computer and did not intend my last name to come up. So, needless to say, please noone be creepy!I just love these kinds of discussions though…some here are also so wonderfully humorous (both intenionally and unintentionally) so thanks! Also, mg, I totally agree with you on the 20/21 st Century lense stuff. I hope we all are in processs and none of us think we know it all. Learning curve. HUGE learning curve for studying scripture.Canucklhead – you totally crack me up (of the intentional variety) and by the by there is an an electronic version of Strong’s if the book format is getting a little heavy for you… :)



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canucklehead

posted May 20, 2007 at 6:05 am


Erin – one of the things I like to remind students is that in the 20 years that I was a pastor, I never ever had anybody call me up at 2 a.m. to tell me they couldn’t sleep b/c they were agonizing over eschatology – you know, whether it’s all gonna turn out pre-mil, post-mil or old-mill; or that they were kept awake trying to figure out whether Matthew recorded Jesus ipsissima verba or ipsissima vox are these things important? – yes, to some extent, to a large extent, to a great extent, okay (Donny) to a great, great extent, but are they most important, I don’t think so What I did have in 20 years of pastoral life was people call me up at weird hours b/c their kids were on drugs, pregnant, running away from home, their marriage was falling apart or they’d just been diagnosed with cancer all that to say that, as with most things in life, perspective is soooo important in how we approach/determine/apply/interpret Scripture, theology, et al even if one is completely convinced (as Mark P appears to be – WARNING: drive-by fruiting upcoming!!) that the Greek word for homosexuality in the disputed text is arse. (abbrev!!! – who says God doesn’t have a sense of Hummer?), IMHO, I’m not going to allow the gay community to dictate to me that, in keeping w/ their aggressive agenda, I’ve got to preach or bang the drum against homosexuality louder, more frequently or w/ more vehemence than I preach against any of the other wrongs identified in that text. living in Canada where the gay marriage issue has been front and centre for a long time (legal for two years now), I don’t share the concerns of those Christians who see it as the thin edge of the wedge in bringing society to destruction, completely destroying the traditional family as we’ve known it, etc, etc frankly, I’m more concerned w/ what the materialistic agenda is doing to North American society than anything else including the homosexual agenda; I think more of us are born w/ a materialistic orientation than a gay orientation – materialism and gluttony will kill us off b4 anything else in my view Are you gonna be addicted? Are you give it up? This world is gonna run you over If you never have enough



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canucklehead

posted May 20, 2007 at 6:06 am


Woops Are you gonna be addicted? Are you gonna give it up? This world is gonna run you over If you never have enough-Bob Seger in “Are You”



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Mark P

posted May 20, 2007 at 6:34 am


I said “in any case” three times in my last post. I should be shot. No really. “I never ever had anybody call me up at 2 a.m. to tell me they couldn’t sleep b/c they were agonizing over eschatology.” -Hahaha. Too true. “I’ve got to preach or bang the drum against homosexuality louder, more frequently or w/ more vehemence than I preach against any of the other wrongs identified in that text.” -Agreed. Note that I addressed the issue only because it was brought up :). I do believe that the Biblical position on homosexuality is clear, but I don’t believe it’s issue #1 in American, or even particularly close to the top. A dead culture won’t be revitalized by a stupid amendment, and you can’t save our nation by laws. “They will know us by the laws we pass” and all. “frankly, I’m more concerned w/ what the materialistic agenda is doing to North American society than anything else” -Abortion aside (sorry, I do put this as #1…), I think I agree. Every American employer should read the first five verses of the fifth chapter of James regularly. -Thank God for delivering me from wealth lust, and I pray He never lays the burden of wealth upon my shoulders.



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mg

posted May 20, 2007 at 6:35 am


Canucklehead, right on! I’m more concerned with the materialism and the ‘idols’ that young parents worship nowadays – sports…..carting thier children all over God’s creation so they can play some sort of sport someplace in hopes that they’ll be a star athlete….win at all cost… Sports and materialism…all of these things that become our gods need to be put in perspective…..we need to be teaching our children (and each other) about caring for our world, contentment, and especially about learning to sacrifice a little to save our fellow human beings who don’t have enough food, clean water or shelter. My son was killed 5 1/2 years ago and at times I wondered how I would get through it all, but I did……I remember thinking, after the Tsunami disaster, about all of the parents who lost children, but they didn’t have the security of shelter or the other necessities of life to help lessen their grief………how have we in this country become so complacent? Why do we need a t.v. in every room and 2 or 3 cars……Jesus didn’t have a pillow to lay his head on…….mg



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kevin s.

posted May 20, 2007 at 9:02 am


“MN is second in drinking? I really would have thought Indiana was up there, too…maybe it’s 3rd…MN has more sports teams, one in particular that routinely drives us to drink (go Vikes).” You are MInnesotan? I had no idea. That explains your reasonableness. Do you live in MN presently?”Europeans may look healthy, but the high rate of smoking and, in some nations, the alcoholism = bad health. Still, our McD’s and fast food culture is killing us faster.” Europeans are healthy. We look to booze and cigs to exonerate us from our general unwillingness to abstain from anything. Germany swims in beer. I believe our sister church serves beer at their weekend services. What is the diabetes rate in Germany?



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kevin s.

posted May 20, 2007 at 9:12 am


” I wonder what is required morally of those with the most influence and how those who misuse their power are judged by our Maker?” On what scriptural basis? There have been a lot of folks “wondering” about Falwell’s eternal status on this blog. i think this sense of “wonder” is code for the idea that God has condemned him. So, I ask, do you have scripture to back this up?Curious.



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Mark P

posted May 20, 2007 at 9:51 am


kevin, did a little research. You’re right, I’m full of crap. Germany’s average lifespan is practically identical — a little bit higher, according to the CIA factbook.



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Dave S

posted May 20, 2007 at 12:05 pm


Jim I appreciate your ability to both stand strong on the issues and values that God has place in your heart as well as step back far enough to value the contributions that Mr. Falwell has given throughout his life. Well done!



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Wolverine

posted May 20, 2007 at 4:15 pm


Tegan Smith wrote: Personally, I think Jim was far too kind to Falwell. He and the other millionaire preachers of the right (I don’t know of any on the left) Well, there’s Jesse Jackson for starters… Wolverine



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squeaky

posted May 20, 2007 at 5:47 pm


Kevin S.– “You are MInnesotan? I had no idea. That explains your reasonableness. Do you live in MN presently?”Thanks–sadly, I don’t live in MN, although I am here right now. I live in Indiana, hence my understanding of their weight issues, not to mention smoking (hooboy). (nice weather we’re having, eh?) “There have been a lot of folks “wondering” about Falwell’s eternal status on this blog. i think this sense of “wonder” is code for the idea that God has condemned him. ” I agree with your consternation here. As many have already said, none of us can judge a man’s heart. Just as many wished he hadn’t done that so often, we should not also fall into the trap of playng judge…



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Annie (UK)

posted May 20, 2007 at 6:19 pm


Colorado is the healthiest state I’ve been acquainted with, especially the Springs, Boulder, and that area.Europeans may look healthy, but the high rate of smoking and, in some nations, the alcoholism = bad health. Still, our McD’s and fast food culture is killing us faster. Mark P | Homepage | 05.19.07 – 5:31 pm | #The middle-aged alcoholics and mentally ill people I saw on the streets and public transport of Denver Colorado didn’t look too healthy to me. I guess many of the men were ex- Vietnam vets who had fallen through the healthcare system.McD, Pizza Hut, KFC etc are a blot on every European and Asian City. With all their own fantastic food culture I can’t understand why these places want or need US style junk food? Coca Cola in Rajestan is committing apalling enviromental crimes which affect the day to day health of ordinary Indians.



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Mick Sheldon

posted May 20, 2007 at 8:56 pm


Right On Dave . I know Falwell was responsible for helping many single Moms , also his ministry helped Foster Care and Adoptions . They do have eternal rewards in Heaven .His use of scriptures to target certain groups bothered and united people . The more secular our culture is becomming also added to his popularity from both sides I believe also .I read he was credited with helping Reagan get elected , I did not realize the Moral Majority was that influential , but I guess I am wrong. I am quite conservative , and attend an Evangelical Church and always thought his manner was a little on the arrogant side .



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Reflecting

posted May 20, 2007 at 9:05 pm


There was no code meant in my comments re wondering about Falwell current status; it was as simple as having thoughts about it speculating. I think we all need to consider what God expects of us individually; we, personally, need to explore that and not just do what a preacher or religious leader or church tells us God wants us to do. Scripture guides us by using our own good sense, talents and resources as to how God can best use us.I am not a Biblical scholar (nor do I want to be) but I have a strong belief in God and the hereafter. I was in church from birth (Nazarene and then Baptist as an older adult) but I was fortunate that my mother did not stop me from thinking . She did not force me to adhere to rules , i.e. long sleeved clothing, uncut hair, no makeup, no mixed swimming, no movies, no playing outside on Sunday etc., that have changed over the years and had nothing to do with God s requirements; these were man s interpretation of scripture. Too much time was spent trying to control people with fear and guilt in my opinion. I have recently been so turned by the religious right with their judgmental attitudes and restrictive ideology that I began to think the group was becoming something of a cult. The group had many of the characteristics of such an organization. For political purposes, the entire focus is/was on abortion and homosexuality; if we woke up tomorrow and abortion and homosexuality were illegal, would that cure the problems we face as a nation? I wish the followers of Falwell and similar religious groups were as concerned for babies once they leave the womb as they are before. In the last few years, I can no longer bear to be in church or attend church functions because of the judgmental nature of most of the people. None of us has all the answers; none of us knows how every other person should live their lives. I need to take care of me and others that God places in my path; I cannot tell the rest of the world what they should or should not be doing. I do not know whether we are judged by our actions, our works, our beliefs, our giving, witnessing, preaching, teaching, proselytizing, etc. Scripture addresses all of them in one way or another and there are churches that focus on specific ones. And so I continue wonder without making judgments.



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Erin

posted May 20, 2007 at 10:16 pm


canucklehead my roommate is canadian and is gay with a father who is a pastor… he has “come out” to them but it has been rough… I guess pastoral care (of which you brought up) is ultimately my main concern with all of this… I enjoy discussing some of the greek, etc with others… but I find so many church’s with “statements on homosexuality” (ie: get your act together BEFORE you come to our church) but in the same vein they don’t have any statements on their beliefs about “greed” or “gluttony” or any other topic that is brought up in scripture…I agree with the whole agenda thing on both sides. When I read that Jesus asks that we “turn the other cheek” – I don’t think that simply means an activity that we emmulate without thought (as to be walked upon) or as a verse that condmens all war (but may some)… I think it is Jesus saying “we are free to respond DIFFERENTLY than the way someone has responded to us” … we are NOT bound by someone’s agenda or someone’s unhelpful response to us (slapping is NOT the best way to communicate something) we are free to be creative and brave as Christians. The gay community can “slap us” with their agenda (as many have alluded to on this blog) but I don’t think that means that we need to “slap back” with verses or mean words or an agressive agenda (which we call God’s agenda – so if GOD’s agenda is “against gays”… why would they ever come to church?)… we can choose to be more creative, redeeming and courageous in a way that brings health and healing to the communities we live in. I want all to know Jesus, not just people like me or people who share my convictions. Jesus didn’t ask any of the disciples their views on Levitical Law before he asked them to follow him… Jesus just said “follow me” and the DID… experience happened before theology… “belonging before believing” but if we don’t let people BELONG then maybe they won’t believe…



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Kristi

posted May 20, 2007 at 11:48 pm


Erin- Brilliant Post!!! I have been looking for a way to express how I feel about the gay community, and how they do seem to want to “force” alot of ideas down peoples throats (as do many feminists AND fundamentalists by the way), but making sure that they still know that I love and support them as human beings. They ARE “slapping” the public with their rhetoric, and though I do understand that they are coming from alot of pain from being marginalized and treated so badly, I do think it is a bad way to motivate people to see your side of things. That is the way I have ALWAYS felt about the Christian Right and their agenda—that they are far too vehement and downright nasty towards those they don’t agree with—”how will we ever get them inside a church” EXACTLY!(not an exact quote) “Belonging before believing”—that really hits the nail on the head. We have to open our arms, our hearts, and our doors and say, “Come on in, we accept you as you are, and then hope that our witness of who Christ is and what he expects of us shines through.



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elsa

posted May 20, 2007 at 11:49 pm


Where it begins to matter is in the public square when it comes to legislation on social issues ( i.e gay marriage). If your beef is about whether something is “sin” or not, Elsa: then follow that strong Protestant tradition and start you own church that preaches the equality of homosexual and heterosexual union. There, done! But that still would not be enough for you. You want traditional values, even religious teachings across the board to be changed forever so that legislation will follow, just to accomodate you, so that you can simply “feel better” about something you do in private. Me: You mean like what you do in private? You see the hypocrisy on the right is staggering. In your own churches and other places you all are already redefining the traditional (joke that it is) ideas of marriage. When you all cheat, have affairs, swing… These things happen in your churches and for you all to focus so much on gay people weakens your argument and loose creditability. Not only that but it makes some of us question how straight some of you all are on the right.Payshun, for one, we all do not cheat, have affairs and swing as you put it. Understand that for one. But, let’s assume that many straight people do engage in that activity, which undoubtedly they do and more! People are sinners!! The difference here, I mean the BIG difference here, is that you don’t here those same people asking for THEIR sins to be legitimized just to make themselves feel better! What part of this are you still not getting?



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elsa

posted May 21, 2007 at 12:22 am


Mark- Elsa, How do we know that isin’t true. -Because God said so in John 14:6, assuming you accept Scripture as infallible. If you don t, then this is an irrelevant conversation. Only God does decide who gets in. Do you think you are superior to a Jew or Muslim? -Getting into heaven has everything to do with grace and nothing to do with superiority. Not by personal merit if you try that route, you will fail. God does indeed decide who gets to the Father, and He already told us its only through Christ aka one avenue. Of course, how one gets to the Father through Christ might be debatable that is, one can argue that a pagan could conceivably get to the Father through Christ somehow, but it will still be through that one avenue, Christ. We can play dueling Bible verses all you like :-) matthew 19:24 – virtually eliminates wealthy Christians from entering heaven John 1:19- the need for repentence John 3:9 – everyone Peter 1:15- salvation to be revealed to everyone at the end times. “Getting into heaven has everything to do with grace and nothing to do with superiority.” Exactly!”that is, one can argue that a pagan could conceivably get to the Father through Christ somehow, but it will still be through that one avenue, Christ.” Just remember, Christ comes from the Jews and is a Jew. Jews are not pagens. I highly doubt Christ would reject his own people. As for Muslims, they too are not pagens. Allah is God. And they revere Jesus and Mary. So I guess they’re in too ;-)



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K.Bitner

posted May 21, 2007 at 12:58 am


“*Meaning* they went into the examination with a position, so their arguments are distinctly suspect.” Well, Mark, didn’t you come into this discussion with a position? I believe we all did, and I believe you just made my point about agendas. We all have one, so let’s just stop pretending we don’t and the other side is evil simply because they do.



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Mark P

posted May 21, 2007 at 1:51 am


Elsa, -I’m gonna go Berean on you and try to figure out how any of the verses you provided cast doubt on the necessity of going through Christ for salvation. Your verses are confusingly irrelevant to the issue: -Matthew 19 makes that ever-so-clear because it is impossible without God the whole point of v 24 and the verses afterwards is that God does impossibilities, like saving the rich. -I m not sure what John 1:19 (This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”) has to do with repentance, though I don t deny your position, and am still wondering how that duels with my proposition that there is only one path to the Father, via Christ. John 1 makes that eminently clear. -Confused again about John 3:9 and everyone (Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?”). Verse 15 says whoever believes in Christ will have eternal life, more support for John 14:6. Oh, and verse 36 says that if you believe in Him, you have eternal life, but if you do not obey Him, you get the wrath of God instead. -I m not sure which Peter you are referencing, or what that has to do with the revelation of salvation. (1 Peter 1:15 – but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 2 Peter 1:15 – And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.) -Basically, I missed your overall point with your verses, which generally seem to affirm in their context that salvation is only through Christ, the Son of God. -I didn t say Jews were pagans it was an unrelated example. Pagans are polytheistic worshippers of ancient deities. -Scripture makes it very clear that most of Israel will be rejected. Read Paul, read Jeremiah -As for Muslims, perhaps some will be in heaven, but Allah is most assuredly not the God of Scripture, and I find it offensive to conflate the two given their differences. Further, I think you use revere a bit too loosely. They revere their false version of Jesus. — K, “Well, Mark, didn’t you come into this discussion with a position? I believe we all did, and I believe you just made my point about agendas. We all have one, so let’s just stop pretending we don’t and the other side is evil simply because they do.” -I never said anyone was evil b/c of their agenda. Not my words. -Obviously there’s no such thing as true objectivity in the human realm. However, there’s a difference between a group whose entire purpose is to validate homosexuality from a Biblical standpoint… and someone like myself, who has no real vested interest in 1 Corinthians 6:9 = homosexuality. If it turned out that arse. didn’t equal homosexuality, it wouldn’t particularly change my life or how I viewed myself or how I viewed my God. -So, yes, I’m biased, but my interest in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is not such that I am bound-and-determined for it to be read a certain way. Not so with most of the groups who deny the accepted translation.



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mg

posted May 21, 2007 at 4:22 am


I believe very much that Jesus is the way to God, but probably not the way some of you do. The scriptures that say no one comes to the Father except through Jesus are true, but I don’t believe every person has to kneel and ask Jesus for that reconciliation. Jesus reconciled every human being on this planet before and after his death for all eternity whether we believe in Jesus, God, Allah, and/or Budda. I’m really not in to the blood atonement of Jesus for our sins……I believe the authors of scripture were heavily influenced by the sacrificial atonement to God because of the influence of pagan religions when the children of Israel were captured in Babylon. I don’t believe God relishes blood sacrifice…..we just have a difficult time excepting God’ grace……we just can’t except that God just loves us. mg



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canucklehead

posted May 21, 2007 at 4:39 am


should we sing a verse or two of Kum Ba Yuh at this point?



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mg

posted May 21, 2007 at 4:45 am


As for agendas……I believe the authors of NT scripture had agendas….after all by the time they all got around to writing things down the church was started, there were power struggles beginning, they were all influenced by the culture of their times…..for instance, just the difference in the way women were treated by the early church leaders compared to the way Jesus treated women. The nit picking of scripture and the difficulty in determing what was really meant in each passage…..do you all really believe that God meant it to be so difficult? If you were illiterate and unintelligent, and you had to depend on someone to tell you what it meant……you would be subject to their agenda……..The apostle Paul was filled with his own agenda and he and Peter were constantly struggling with each other. When the ‘great’ scholastic minds haggle over what they believe to be true according to scripture……how can anyone say they know for sure the path to salvation?! Once again, I say…the bible helps us in trying to understand God, but we also need to think about how Jesus treated all people and when we find ourselves in situtations of no clear understanding we must ask ourselves how Jesus might have handled the situation.



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mg

posted May 21, 2007 at 4:54 am


canucklehead….why are you making fun of me? Am I too much like a child?….I think someone said that unless we become as little children?



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mg

posted May 21, 2007 at 5:17 am


I think I’ve had enough of this game….I don’t much like grown up games anyway…….I’m going to go sit in my back yard by my fire pit and sing Kum Ba Ya by myself….then maybe a little Balm in Gilead….I think I’ll finish up with….oh, I don’t know……I’m in the Lord’s Army….that’s a good one to teach children…….we can give them a little flag with a cross on it and teach them to go on a crusade!



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Mark P

posted May 21, 2007 at 5:28 am


mg, I don’t think we have too much of a foundation to discuss upon. I don’t mean that as an offense, but if we can’t stand on the common ground of Scripture, then we’re just pitting emotion against emotion, and free-floating argument against free-floating argument.



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mg

posted May 21, 2007 at 6:21 am


Well, by the time I’ve finished all of my theology classes and written my credo and have graduated from seminary, I will probably leave emotion out of it……..I hope, pray, however that I don’t become intirely unemotional about my beliefs, I don’t want my beliefs to be a matter of constantly proving them based on scripture and documentation………I was created in the image of God, with lots of emotion, mostly love for my fellow human beings, otherwise we become too much like the Pharisees who were very well versed in the law. I’ll probably need to take some Hebrew and Greek also….that way I can argue with the best of them about the true meaning of “catamite”,malakoi and arsenokoite………yes in about 3 years, I’ll be able to give a well versed arguement using scripture for scripture, but………nothing will be solved.



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mg

posted May 21, 2007 at 6:29 am


Nothing will be solved because….even standing on the common ground of scripture we each have our own interpretation of that scripture and can probably not meet on common ground.



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squeaky

posted May 21, 2007 at 7:26 am


mg–I think I agree in part with your argument, if I understand it. I asked a very similar question to my pastor earlier this year–how is it fair for someone who has never ever even heard of Christ that they should be condemned? The scripture we discussed at that point was Romans. Jesus’ sacrifice was once for all. It is enough to cover us all, including those who don’t fully understand they are being covered. Passages in Romans (sorry I can’t be more specific–I don’t have a Bible with me) suggest that some are judged based on their response to the light that was revealed to them through God’s creation–”so that no on is without excuse”. Do they specifically confess Christ? Probably not–but Christ’s sacrifice has still made the way for them.



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squeaky

posted May 21, 2007 at 7:41 am


Reflecting– I very much resonate with you here: “In the last few years, I can no longer bear to be in church or attend church functions because of the judgmental nature of most of the people. None of us has all the answers; none of us knows how every other person should live their lives. I need to take care of me and others that God places in my path; I cannot tell the rest of the world what they should or should not be doing. I do not know whether we are judged by our actions, our works, our beliefs, our giving, witnessing, preaching, teaching, proselytizing, etc. Scripture addresses all of them in one way or another and there are churches that focus on specific ones. And so I continue wonder without making judgments” Someone else way up the thread (was it Payshun?) commented similarly by saying that he’s got enough trouble dealing with his own sin let alone worrying about someone else’s. I’ve been reflecting on that sentiment over the last couple of years–if we really took Jesus seriously when He said to take care of the plank in our eye before looking for motes in other’s (note how much bigger a plank is than a mote–yet, we have such a hard time seeing it when it is ours), we would stop judging. Better yet, we would deal with our planks, and if everyone started doing that, rather than pointing to each other’s problems, think how much better the world would be! As far as judgemental churches–I was fortunate four years ago to land in a church that wasn’t like you describe, and in fact, a church where many other people had landed because they were burned out on the judgemental attitude they saw in the churches they came out of. Unfortunately, I had to move across country, so I am no longer in that church, and since have had a difficult time connecting anywhere near my new home for the reasons you describe. What I have learned however, as I have stayed in contact with my old church, is that sometimes God uses these dry seasons to really dig in and teach us. I encourage you to keep digging into God, go deep with Him, but I also encourage you to find a like-minded person who can encourage you and who you can discuss deep stuff with, if you don’t already have someone like that in your journey. It makes all the difference in the world. I’d hate to think where I’d be without people like that. Hang in there!



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canucklehead

posted May 21, 2007 at 7:58 am


canucklehead….why are you making fun of me? Am I too much like a child?….I think someone said that unless we become as little children? mg | 05.20.07 – 10:59 pm |No, no, my Kum Ba Yah was directed to Mark P (he of the fruitage of the loomage fame) and the ongoing debate over which Greek word is used in 1 Cor 6. But if you’d like, I can still get my accordian so we can sing??



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canucklehead

posted May 21, 2007 at 8:01 am


I’m going to go sit in my back yard by my fire pit and sing Kum Ba Ya by myself….then maybe a little Balm in Gilead….I think I’ll finish up with….oh, I don’t know…” mg Don’t forget How Did Moses Cross the Red Sea!



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Mike B

posted May 21, 2007 at 2:14 pm


Thanks, Jim, for a balanced assessment of Falwell’s strengths and weaknesses; his good contributions and his not so good ones; his successes and his failures. Like each of us, he had feet of clay but was able to make some positive contributions to life despite his shortcomings.It is evident from your article that you respected the man even if you and he came from different sides of many issues. I think most of us need more of this spirit in relation to those who differ from us.



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moderatelad

posted May 21, 2007 at 4:45 pm


Knowing that Fawell is no longer with us here on earth – I took the time to watch “Live from Liberty” just to see if they would say anything. I know that these programs are taped and edited in advance and I missed the opening and sorry – fell asleep at before the end. There was wonderful music – the traditional informercial about what Liberty U. has to offer. Fawell spoke on the need to fulfill our calling on our life for God whatever that calling might be. Missions – education – research – medicine – etc. Offering a good ‘defence’ of the Gospel to all who would question. Challenging the people to lead a moral life, one that would bear wittness of what a powerful and loving God has done for us. No talk about gays on any issue. No talk about abortion or a related issue. I wonder how much time Fawell did give these issues and his first and formost topic has submitting to a loving God.Blessings on all – .



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mg

posted May 21, 2007 at 4:45 pm


Oh how a good night of sleep refreshes the mind……before I forget, I want to say that I too appreciated Jim’s kind treatment of Jerry Fallwell. He displayed the ‘grace’ that we should extend to each other. Before I went to my nest for the night I watched a little late night tv. and who did I see? Jack Van Impe and his wife. They were praising Fallwell to the hilt. Their program is interesting….they read a compiled list of headlines about doomsday and terrorists and the Jack expounds on the prophesy in the bible that he correlates with the end times……hey he even uses the book of Isaiah to show the prediction of the invention of jets! I am amazed that people actually buy in to his garbage….yes, I know I’m being judgemental about him, but it’s just more of the use of scriptures to instill fear.



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moderatelad

posted May 21, 2007 at 5:39 pm


mg | 05.21.07 – 10:50 am | #I am sorry that you see fear in what Jack Van Impe says. I listen to him and his wife on ocassion and find what he has to say interesting. Not that he is the final inturpretation of scripture. We do ‘see through a glass dimmly’ and if is interesting to see how scripture is coming to light. My understanding as believers that to see prophesy fulfilled should give us hope and joy.Have a joyful day – .



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kevin s.

posted May 21, 2007 at 7:47 pm


“She did not force me to adhere to rules , i.e. long sleeved clothing… that have changed over the years and had nothing to do with God s requirements; these were man s interpretation of scripture.” Part of this was cultural as well. The Bible does ask us to respect culture. But I agree that some churches enforce their own set of moral codes. “I wish the followers of Falwell and similar religious groups were as concerned for babies once they leave the womb as they are before.” Falwell was also fiscally conservative. He advocated cutting taxes, promoting business, and other elements that he believed helped children by helping everyone. You can agree or disagree with whether his policy preferences were correct, however.”I can no longer bear to be in church or attend church functions because of the judgmental nature of most of the people.” Most of the people I attend church with could care less about what Falwell thought. I wouldn’t throw the baby with the bathwater here. Remember, you aren’t perfect either.”I cannot tell the rest of the world what they should or should not be doing. I do not know whether we are judged by our actions, our works, our beliefs, our giving, witnessing, preaching, teaching, proselytizing, etc.” In Christ, we escape judgment, which is the point I was making above. We are all guilty, and none deserves a place in heaven. It is through Christ that we are justified. Falwell never said otherwise, and he did believe that homosexuality could be forgiven.



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kevin s.

posted May 21, 2007 at 7:56 pm


“(ie: get your act together BEFORE you come to our church) but in the same vein they don’t have any statements on their beliefs about “greed” or “gluttony” or any other topic that is brought up in scripture…” Which churches have statements that suggest you should get your act together before you come to church? I can understand where Falwell’s public statements might foster such an environment, but did even he ever say it outright? But there is more to this question than whether homosexuals are allowed in the church. If they are encouraged to change their behavior, or denied certain leadership positions because they continue to engage in it, is that the same thing? There are those here who think that it is.



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Erin

posted May 21, 2007 at 9:39 pm


Kevin I know lots of churches that have specific statements on homosexuality but no statements on any other issue like greed, etc. So GREEDY people are not “encouraged to change their behavior” BEFORE they even step foot in a church nor are they “denied certain leadership positions” despite the fact that this particular sin of how one spends money is much more emphasized in scripture… That is my issue.



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mg

posted May 21, 2007 at 9:45 pm


I don’t fear Van Impe because I don’t believe his interpretations and predictions are biblically sound….I firmly believe his type of theology is harmful and distructive and does nothing to help bring about peace that is so badly needed. I believe him to be one of the ‘false prophets’ we are to be wary of.



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mg

posted May 21, 2007 at 9:48 pm


Groups such as ‘Seventh Day Adventist’, Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example have been predicting the end times and picking dates for decades, to no avail. I don’t believe Van Impe is any closer to that knowledge than they were.



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Mark P

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:14 pm


I do believe good churches, in fact, deny leadership positions to those who are unrepentantly greedy. The problem is not the sin or the struggle… it’s the decision to accept and defend your sin that becomes a problem in a Church environment; i/e 1 Corinthians 5. A thought: doesn’t judging the judgemental make you judgemental? If you say someone is too judgemental to be tolerated, how is that any different from someone saying a homosexual is too sinful to be tolerated? Is it not the heart of hypocrisy to condemn judgemental Christians in the exact same way they condemn homosexuality? And are you, a follower of Christ, not called to love and serve and rebuke those who sin with judging as well as those who struggle with homosexuality? Just a thought to those who have found churches intolerable because of the intolerance.



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moderatelad

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:15 pm


mg | 05.21.07 – 3:50 pm | #I don’t know that I would call JVE a false prophet – little harsh don’t you think. I have never heard him talk about a “date certain” when it comes to what is going to happen. I know that he has put things on a timeline (with no future dates) as “his needs to happen first and then this should happen”. He has the right to speak what he believes to be correct and many of us that listen to him take him with a grain of salt. No one knows the future but it has been a topic of conversation for 1000′s of years. Have a great day – .



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mg

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:42 pm


moderatelad It has been a topic for close to 2000 years…….the apostle Paul was certain that he was living in the last days…..my point is, JVI’s prophesies are dependent on disruptive events around the globe (according to his interpretation of scripture)….as if he finds some of the horrific events necessary for Jesus to return. Jesus himself said that there would always be war and rumors of war, but we are still to strive for peace. JVI almost seems happy about the events!….Let them come….we are in the end times is his proclamation……We have been in the end times since Jesus’ assention (sp)……the prophesy in the bible has been fulfilled……..my belief also is that the book of Revelation was written for the early Christians being persecuted in Rome and can and should not try to be interpreted as speaking to us today.



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Kristi

posted May 22, 2007 at 12:15 am


I think that many of the people on this blog feel that Jesus stated that being unkind (and many times judgemental people are downright nasty) to our fellow man is the greatest of sins, so that is why we all “judge” the judgers, though I myself try not to be nasty about it (though I do admit, sometimes a few of you can get my hackles up! We are all free to have our opinion, but it is about how you act on it that many of us are concerned about. If you know someone who is homosexual, how do you treat them? With compassion or disdain? I think that some of the posters can give the impression that they would be unkind, if they ever encountered a homosexual person. So I think that many of us are hoping that we are doing more “rebuking” than judging. Some ARE being very sarcastic about it though, I will admit!



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mg

posted May 22, 2007 at 1:04 am


My nephew came out of the proverbial closet about 5 years ago. It was a traumatic time for his parents and him. I worried about him because he was doing a lot of experimenting, but what he really wanted was a relationship. I prayed constantly that he would find a life partner that would be worthy of him. God answers prayers even when it concerns homosexuals. He is now in a committed relationship with a wonderful man whom we have all embraced and consider a member of our family. I believe with my whole heart that God has blessed this partnership. I have many friends who are gay who I love dearly. I have also had a couple of profs in seminary who are gay and some of the finest people I’ve ever met. I consider their friendships a gift from God.



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elsa

posted May 22, 2007 at 1:10 am


I didn t say Jews were pagans it was an unrelated example. Pagans are polytheistic worshippers of ancient deities. -Scripture makes it very clear that most of Israel will be rejected. Read Paul, read Jeremiah -As for Muslims, perhaps some will be in heaven, but Allah is most assuredly not the God of Scripture, and I find it offensive to conflate the two given their differences. Further, I think you use revere a bit too loosely. They revere their false version of Jesus. Mark, everyone has a somewhat “false” version of Jesus. We can only imagine and wonder until we meet Him. You claim a knowledge of Scripture, however you should educate yourself on God. The God the Jews worship is the God Christians worship is the God Muslims worship. What ‘god’ do you think Muslims worship anyway? You need to read the other great religious texts like the Torah and the Koran and you will find that we all worship the same God in these three faiths.As for the issue of reverence, no, Muslims are actually obligated based on true Islamic teaching ( not political Islam) to revere Jesus. They do not accept him as Christ, but they revere him as a prophet. “Scripture makes it very clear that most of Israel will be rejected. Read Paul, read Jeremiah ” Jeremiah is an Old Testament prophet and a Jew…I guess he isn’t in heaven either.Scripture dueling can make for a fun debate…I for one have enjoyed it immensely and I know I have gotten under the skin of a lot of people on this board. But here is a shocker for you: God transcends religion. He created the Universe. He is the great I AM. Jew, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, pagen, sinner, saint, gay, straight, Shinto, Taoist, and on and on to the ends of the Earth, all! All! have the same chance of getting into Heaven if God wills it.I for one believe Jesus is the Christ. He is my road to heaven and makes my mortal life better. But do we pretend on this meaningless board the know the mind of God? Ridiculous! We are grains of sand. Scripture was provided to mankind to give us an example to live by and comfort.”Know this: if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and take you to be there with me; so that where I am, there you may be also. Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I must go away, but I will come again to you. If you truly loved me, you would rejoice, because I return to the Father. Bye all….now get back to work..you people do have jobs don’t you?



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mg

posted May 22, 2007 at 1:50 am


No……I’m a full time seminarian and loving it after working for 30 years.



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Mark P

posted May 22, 2007 at 2:21 am


Kristi, “If you know someone who is homosexual, how do you treat them? With compassion or disdain? I think that some of the posters can give the impression that they would be unkind, if they ever encountered a homosexual person.” I have two friends who are gay, one of whom I’ve talked about what I believe and the other I haven’t. I feel pretty confident that they both know I care about them, and that their homosexuality has not in ANY reduced that. At all. — Elsa, “They do not accept him as Christ, but they revere him as a prophet.” -That’s my point. If, Elsa, I revere you as a five-year-old — that is, treat you the same way as I would treat a child I respected… is that reverence? Jesus Christ is the Son of God and God Himself. Either you revere Him as such, or you reject Him. By “revering” Christ as something infinitely less than He is, they are showing the utmost disrespect. “The God the Jews worship is the God Christians worship is the God Muslims worship. What ‘god’ do you think Muslims worship anyway?” -Well, for starters, the God Christians worship is a Triunity. The God the Christians worship asks His children to delight in Him and wait on Him while He works for us, while the God of Islam and most of orthodox Judaism requires a people to work for Him. The God Christians worship saves us by grace through faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, while the God of Islam and contemporary Judaism judges us based on our merits. Pretty hard to be worshipping the same God. We may use the same words, but we’re not talking about the same Being. “Jeremiah is an Old Testament prophet and a Jew…I guess he isn’t in heaven either. ” -Jeremiah was saved by the blood of Christ. “God transcends religion….all!” -True. But God is also bound by His Own Word, in the sense that if He is self-bound by the promises He makes, or else He is a liar. “you people do have jobs don’t you?” -I start working Thursday, at which point I will not post here again till August.



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mg

posted May 22, 2007 at 3:40 am


Mark P…….you really seem to have a narrow view of God…….



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Mark P

posted May 22, 2007 at 4:37 am


Not to be offensive… but you don’t seem to have any view of God at all. Mystery is good, powerfully good. But your God seems like a soup of nothingness. The allure of mystery is plumbing further into the depths of an Infinite Being who is personal and yet uncontainable. It’s not stepping into a smoky haze of meaninglessness. God’s revelation is not narrowing; His Self-revelation is a window into His infinite glory. If you can’t take Him at His Word…



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mg

posted May 22, 2007 at 5:09 am


Mark P………I have a wonderful view of God….a God who is very personal, who has sustained me through some very tragic times in my life…….without God’s loving care and sustainance, I would not know God’s power of grace, mercy and forgiveness………I am thankful that I know that about God.



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mg

posted May 22, 2007 at 5:14 am


I also know that my son has returned to God and is in his loving embrace as is everyone who has been reconciled to him. God is a mystery to all of us, God is so much more than we can comprehend……who can know the mind of God? I can’t know all of God, but I know that God is with me, all around me…..and I don’t limit God.



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mg

posted May 22, 2007 at 5:20 am


Mark P….how old are you?….if I may ask…….?



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Amazon Creek

posted May 22, 2007 at 7:36 am


The irony here in this thread is that who Jerry Falwell WAS is no longer who he IS NOW And I certainly had my disagreements with the type of Christianity “the-Jerry-Falwell-that-WAS” presented. I found the Lord during the 70′s – just as Jerry Falwell was coming into his hey-day. And I suffered in secret – because I could never reconcile the Christianity I read about and saw daily in the New Testament with the Christianity I saw portrayed by Falwell and people like him. Believe me, I’ve cried hours of tears at the hands of those kind of people – from the ’70′s – on. But here is the irony – whoever Jerry Falwell WAS, he is not now. To guote the words written to the Corinthians: “Though we see through a mirror dimly now, THEN we shall see clearly, face to face.” Now, he sees his mistakes. Now he sees how incompletely he saw. Perfect 20/20 vision – without any distortions. As will we all, when we die and see Christ face to face. Finally, at long last, we will all each see COMPLETELY – and in perfect perspective! No distortions whatsoever. Won’t it be grand?



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Mark P

posted May 22, 2007 at 11:01 am


mg, “I don’t limit God.” -Nor do I, but I take Him at His Word when He limits Himself. -I’m twenty. Process and use that information as you will.



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moderatelad

posted May 22, 2007 at 2:17 pm


mg | 05.21.07 – 4:47 pm | #my belief also is that the book of Revelation was written for the early Christians being persecuted in Rome and can and should not try to be interpreted as speaking to us today. Why is it not speaking to us today? We are living in some of the most exciting times of history. Since 1947 – biblical prophecy has been coming to light and to life before our very eyes. As a believer – I find these times exciting and motivating. To be able to sit with a friend and show them what I believe God is reveiling to us almost daily and that it was talked about in the bible in the NT or in the OT – too cool. The book of Revelation speaks to me as much as the story of the prodical son. We understand the prodigal sons’ story much better and it is directly applicable to all of us daily. But it is fun to talk about the fulfillment of bible prophecy with the understanding that what we talk about today might now be the actual fulfillment that the Almighty had in mind.Blessings – .



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mg

posted May 22, 2007 at 5:32 pm


Mark P……I was just wondering about your age because you sound so much like I did at your age. Dealing with the harshness and reality of living day to day on this earth has honed the sharp edges of my thoughts. I have had to and am still coming to terms with the ‘God of wrath’ that I was brought up to believe in and the ‘God of mercy and compassion’ that I’ve learned to love because he first love me…he knows me, Psalm 139. God is a living spirit who is not limited by what I can try and understand. I am also aware that ‘the scriptures’ were written by men who were trying to capture God’s spirit and put it into words, but the ‘scriptures’ are limited by men and women’s inability to fully comprehend God’s magnitude. I was created in God’s image…through prayer and openess of my heart, I’ve come to understand and believe that God’s great commandment given to us by Jesus the Christ, ‘To love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself’ is and should be our main focus…..all the rest is ‘looking through a mirror dimly’….when we start trying to be specific on what and who God is, we start establishing specifics and boundaries that lead to more specifics and boundaries……before you know it….we have limited God’s grace……..dependant on rules that are ultimately man made. No matter how hard we try, we are influenced by those rules and agendas and eventually we can not tell God’s truth and revelation to us from the scriptures that have been interpretated for us by men. I say again…….the scriptures viewed with openness can help us form some sort of belief, but God’s truth for each of us must be gained by constant, fervent, discerning prayer….listenting to the spirit of God through our hearts. Amen



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Mark P

posted May 22, 2007 at 10:01 pm


Believe me when I say that my parents raised me with grace at the forefront, to the point that sometimes I have to remind them that hell does exist and God is very much concerned for His Name and His glory. I’m sure you don’t mean to be condescending, but I’ve heard the old “when you’re older you’ll understand” before, except that what everyone thinks I’ll understand is different. Fundie’s say it, liberals say, conservatives say it (a lot), progressives say it, Calvinists say it, Lutherans say it, Catholics say it… It’s a great way of dismissing a conversation. You think I limit God’s grace; I think you have elimitated entirely God’s just and fully righteous wrath. Believe me when I say I know and love a good, good God who “is full of compassion and is merciful,” as James said. And it’s notable that James is saying that we can know this because we’ve “heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings.” It amazes me that James can look at the story of Job and see that as proof that God is compassionate and merciful. I also note that subjective individualism and a rejection of the centrality of Scripture has often led to some very scary and weird branches of Christianity. Orthodoxy, dogma, and doctrine rightly understood are very good things, things that have helped to hold the Church together for two millenia.



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elsa

posted May 22, 2007 at 11:07 pm


Hi Mark…I’m back ;-) “They do not accept him as Christ, but they revere him as a prophet.” -That’s my point. If, Elsa, I revere you as a five-year-old — that is, treat you the same way as I would treat a child I respected… is that reverence? Jesus Christ is the Son of God and God Himself. Either you revere Him as such, or you reject Him. By “revering” Christ as something infinitely less than He is, they are showing the utmost disrespect. Mark, that’s ridiculous. Your 5 year old example is not correct. Revere means to show respect. I don’t think you can say that Muslims treat Jesus as a “5 year old” or in any other demeaning way as you would like to believe. To revere is to respect. You can’t put your own mortal sensibilities onto Christ, the same Christ who said, “Forgive them, they know not what they do”. That’s not what he is about. He is about bringing people unto him. Question: Have you ever read the Koran?”The God the Jews worship is the God Christians worship is the God Muslims worship. What ‘god’ do you think Muslims worship anyway?” -Well, for starters, the God Christians worship is a Triunity. The God the Christians worship asks His children to delight in Him and wait on Him while He works for us, while the God of Islam and most of orthodox Judaism requires a people to work for Him. The God Christians worship saves us by grace through faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, while the God of Islam and contemporary Judaism judges us based on our merits. Pretty hard to be worshipping the same God. We may use the same words, but we’re not talking about the same Being. Mark, you are speaking from a very rigid Protestant viewpoint. Catholicism, the original Church, teaches that works are also part of the equation. All true faith must yield works. Faith without works is arrogant. It is not a country club we belong to, it is the Body of Christ of which we are all members. When you go down the “faith only” road, you leave a dangerous door open for no personal or collective responsibility toward God. Remember: 31″When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. “Jeremiah is an Old Testament prophet and a Jew…I guess he isn’t in heaven either. ” -Jeremiah was saved by the blood of Christ. Mark, how can that be? He lived centuries before Christ and never knew him? He never proclaimed him as Lord. Yet, you say, a Jew who never claimed Jesus as the Christ is in heaven? Explain please. “God transcends religion….all!” -True. But God is also bound by His Own Word, in the sense that if He is self-bound by the promises He makes, or else He is a liar. Mark, man has created the concept you state there, not God. Human, mortal men wrote the Scriptures on parchment scrolls with quills. God did not write the Scriptures. Instead, he inspired the writers of the Scripture, as he continues to inspire people today.In their human and very limited way, they did their best to record the inspired thought. Is God bound then by what these very good but very imperfect men wrote? I don’t think so. Unless those men themselves were gods, and they were not, we can not expect even their best efforts to have been perfect. Only God is perfect. God is not a liar- but people are imperfect translators of his word an intentions- they were then and they continue to be. “you people do have jobs don’t you?” -I start working Thursday, at which point I will not post here again till August. Best of luck at your new job.



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quaaludes

posted May 22, 2007 at 11:51 pm


-I’m twenty. Process and use that information as you will. Mark PI figured



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mg

posted May 23, 2007 at 12:04 am


Hi Mark, I certainly did not mean to be condescending…….just saying that there is a difference in how you view God at 20 and they way I view God with 56 year old eyes……even if you don’t like to hear it….it is true that age and life experience brings wisdom in most cases. Elsa seems to echo my thoughts closely. I thank God for the strong conviction you feel in your heart and soul….it is a wonderful thing to have strong convictions…….it is also a wonderful think to question your convictions every now and then to see if they are still holding up.



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Payshun

posted May 23, 2007 at 12:39 am


Elsa: Payshun, for one, we all do not cheat, have affairs and swing as you put it. Understand that for one. But, let’s assume that many straight people do engage in that activity, which undoubtedly they do and more! People are sinners!! The difference here, I mean the BIG difference here, is that you don’t here those same people asking for THEIR sins to be legitimized just to make themselves feel better! You really don’t get it. They do it all the time, all those hypocritical straight people that sleep around, masterbate… legimitize their sin all the time. If you doubt that then why is the Bachelor popular or reality television or…? The point is that we all seek to legitmize our particular sins so that we can feel better. Why is that the gay folks can’t? Why is discrimination ok against them when we accept all manner of sin from people that sleep w/ the different gender? Don’t even get me started w/ mercy sex and how bad sex is for many couples in marriage and how sinful that whole thing is. It’s ridiculous to think that somehow we can ignore the issues in our own bedrooms, our churches, our schools and focus solely on a minority that just want’s to be left alone. Yah I am a caterer so I do have jobs. And am getting another, I just have a really flexible schedule.p



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Erin

posted May 23, 2007 at 12:57 am


Such interesting discussion…Elsa – good clarity on the idea of faith vs. works above. I totally agree. We protestants have that Martin Luther heritage which is good but also reactionary to the extreme against Catholicism and any “work” – but as we all know… faith without works is dead… But I will challenge you on one point: “… Yet, you say, a Jew who never claimed Jesus as the Christ is in heaven? Explain please.” Well, first let me say that deciding whether or not someone is in heaven or hell is not really our job nor our decision, either way.However, I will share my convication about God’s chosen people (I am not Jewish, by the way). When Jesus came he came to the JEWS FIRST. His disciples were Jewish… Paul’s main struggle is how to incorporate his Jewish faith history as he follows Jesus in this “new way”… God made his first promise with Israel. His people. No matter what they did he still sent prophets to challenge them and he still took them back (Hosea and Gomer is a perfect illustration of this). I think it is dangerous to say that once God makes a promise he takes it away based SOLEY on our behavior (not that there are not consequences but that doesn’t seem appropriate for US to determine). Because if that is true than maybe the Church will be next… I mean we do a TERRIBLE job, at times, of showing Jesus to this world. Shouldn’t God just kick us to the curb for our faithlessness? If God is bound by our fickleness than his promises must be fickle… and therefore he is a fickle God. BUT I think God is faithful because it is in his character and so he cannot be unfaithful to his people, ever. Now, do I absolutely know what that means practically, no. But nor can I discount all of those faithful people in the Old Testament, who clung to the promises of God (Jesus was around then, as well, just not in his incarnational form, yet)… nor do I think we can for certain say that God will do THIS or DO THAT with the Jews…I also think much of Revelation leaves some open-ended stuff for how God will wrap up this whole human history thing…



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Payshun

posted May 23, 2007 at 2:37 am


Mark P, I am quite aware of God’s wrath I just don’t really focus on his judgement as that is his business and his alone. I can see why you think that she eliminated God’s judgement but I need some clarification from you. Are we talking condemnation as in God sending some to hell? Or are we talking about the discipline and hardship that comes from obeying or disobeying the spirit’s prompting in our lives? They are not the same thing. p



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Payshun

posted May 23, 2007 at 2:41 am


Why is it not speaking to us today? We are living in some of the most exciting times of history. Since 1947 – biblical prophecy has been coming to light and to life before our very eyes. As a believer – I find these times exciting and motivating. To be able to sit with a friend and show them what I believe God is reveiling to us almost daily and that it was talked about in the bible in the NT or in the OT – too cool. The book of Revelation speaks to me as much as the story of the prodical son. We understand the prodigal sons’ story much better and it is directly applicable to all of us daily. But it is fun to talk about the fulfillment of bible prophecy with the understanding that what we talk about today might now be the actual fulfillment that the Almighty had in mind.Blessings – moderatelad I don’t understand how that can be fun or exciting. To me it speaks of hurt, hardship, suffering and death. I don’t believe that revelation is a book directed at us or any future generation but the churches to which John was writing to. that doesn’t mean that it is irrelevant it just means that if we are going to really study it then it should be from that perspective or else it can get twisted to mean any number of things that make absolutely no sense and are not what the writer (infused w/ the spirit) meant. p



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Mark P

posted May 23, 2007 at 2:48 am


Elsa, I don’t think you can say that Muslims treat Jesus as a “5 year old” or in any other demeaning way as you would like to believe. -The difference between you and a five-year-old is nothing compared to the difference between GOD and a prophet. That is, me treating you with reverence as a five-year-old is far closer to truly respecting you than treating Jesus Christ, the Son of God and God Himself, as a prophet. Treating a person as inferior to what they really are is disrespect. I wouldn t be respecting Mozart if I revered him as a decent composer because he is so much more than that. Similarly, reverence for Jesus as a prophet is a slap in the face. -I am defending Scripture by saying that God is jealous for His own Name and His glory. It s not my mortal sensibilities; it s God s self-revelation with Scripture. So your beef is with Scripture, not me.Mark, you are speaking from a very rigid Protestant viewpoint. Catholicism, the original Church, teaches that works are also part of the equation. -I am not, actually. I basically quoting Scripture with by grace through faith, so, again, your beef is with Scripture. Further, Catholicism rightly understood is entirely about grace. *Yes* works are important as part of sanctification according to Catholicism, but NOT as justification. Further, I would argue that orthodox Catholicism understands works to be an overflow of God s grace flowing into your life it s only a misunderstanding (a prevalent one, at that) of Tradition that make works about doing something for God. Let s remember that God is not served by human hands. We perform good works, Catholics and Protestants alike, not to merit heaven or win on some balance sheet, but as the proper overflow of God s grace into the life of a believer. -When you push through the misperceptions, the difference between orthodox Catholicism and (most) Protestantism is less about works v faith than it is about how grace is dispensed into the world, and about the security of salvation. The Catholic rightly understanding dogma does not serve God in a sort of employee-employer relationship, but performs good works by grace as the proper response of the believer. -You made a lot of assumptions about what I believe, inserting a faith alone into my statement that wasn t there. I put more emphasis on gratia than fide myself, and I do not subscribe to antinomianism (cheap grace).Mark, how can that be? He lived centuries before Christ and never knew him? He never proclaimed him as Lord. Yet, you say, a Jew who never claimed Jesus as the Christ is in heaven? Explain please. -Gladly. Faith is a future hope in God s promises based on past evidence. Jeremiah hoped in the Promise and promises of God based on past evidence of God s faithfulness. -Today, a Jew who rejects the past evidence of Jesus Christ s redemptive work on the Cross cannot possibly have faith in God s promises through the Christ. If you don t stand on past evidence to put faith in God s future promises, than you are outside faith.Mark, man has created the concept -In other words, we can t have a serious conversation about theology because you ll pick the parts of Scripture you like and discard the parts you don t like as human flaw. I can offer you the unified message of Scripture, but if you don t accept Scripture s unity and infallibility, you, exercising your apparently limitless authority as an individual, can toss out the bad parts (hell, divine wrath, None come to the Father except by me, etc.) and keep the parts that sound warm and fuzzy. — mg, just saying that there is a difference in how you view God at 20 and they way I view God with 56 year old eyes……even if you don’t like to hear it….it is true that age and life experience brings wisdom in most cases. -True. Except that my 60-year-old father, with the experience of 30-years in full-time ministry, views God differently than you I have seen these eyes grow and mature in love for God and commune with God. Or a 65-year-old mentor of mine, John O Hair, who spent a decade in Kenya in ministry and will probably return there in the not-too-distant future. Or, one might argue, the 2000-year-old eyes of Church history and tradition. Or the 3000-year-old collective wisdom of the West. it is a wonderful thing to have strong convictions…….it is also a wonderful think to question your convictions every now and then to see if they are still holding up. -Recently John Piper changed the way I view my relationship with God, from a plodding task to be faithful to a joyful endeavor to delight in the Lord. Shane Claiborne has changed the way I see love, challenging my American presumptions, materialism, and love of comfort. NT Wright has recently challenged some of my core suppositions about faith and righteousness. Russell Kirk has destroyed my pragmatic utilitarianism, in the process removing me from the ranks of libertarianism., and Bradley Birzer has shown me what it is to a human, and how to be humane. -I think you have mistaken my dogma for blind ideology. — Erin, If God is bound by our fickleness than his promises must be fickle… and therefore he is a fickle God. BUT I think God is faithful because it is in his character and so he cannot be unfaithful to his people, ever. -Amen, and amen.



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canucklehead

posted May 23, 2007 at 3:00 am


-Jeremiah was saved by the blood of Christ. Mark, defend that Sola Scriptura.



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Mark P

posted May 23, 2007 at 4:16 am


Good thing I’m prima Scriptura ;)



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mg

posted May 23, 2007 at 4:18 am


Mark……..I am impressed with your convictions and knowledge of scripture….even though we see things differently…….what is your faith tradition?



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Payshun

posted May 23, 2007 at 4:21 am


Actually if I may be bold to defend Elsa’s viewpoint or your understanding of it I would say that: -I am defending Scripture by saying that God is jealous for His own Name and His glory. It s not my mortal sensibilities; it s God s self-revelation with Scripture. So your beef is with Scripture, not me. She doesn’t fully agree w/ a your understanding of scripture. It’s your understanding of scripture that is problematic not the scripture itself. They are not the same thing. Not only that, but it can be construed as a little arrogant to think your definition of theology is scripture when it’s not. The fact is not all of scripture is infallible. Check out this post and let me know what you think. There are errors in the bible, there are myths (Rahab and Leviathan(Psalms, Genesis), the Assumption of Moses (Jude)) I am looking for the post but once I find it I will post a link to it. But it really challenges the notion of biblical infallibility and points out that we are called to trust the living person Jesus and not merely everything that’s written in the bible. If did obey everything in there I would be following all 600 plus Hebrew Laws. I don’t, I am guessing neither do you. p



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mg

posted May 23, 2007 at 4:29 am


I think it is also important to remember that when the early church leaders were called together by Constantine to argue the point of the Holy Trinity and start the process of compiling the canonical texts they were heavily influenced by culture (Roman.) What might have been left that is just as valuable as what we have? Also, Payshun, are you gay? If I may ask?



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Payshun

posted May 23, 2007 at 6:21 am


No I am not gay Mg, but some of my friends and ex girlfriends are bisexual. p



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Kristi

posted May 23, 2007 at 6:39 am


Even if you agree that the original writers of scripture were quoting God directly and exactly, I cannot see how it is possible to believe that every single translator, and every single church authority in the last two thousand years NEVER were influenced by their own agendas, as far as their language and canon choices, which resulted in the Bible that we all have today. I guess I just have more faith in the incarnational Christ and the Holy Spirit than I do in man!



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Payshun

posted May 23, 2007 at 6:54 am


Here is a post about why biblical innerancy doesn’t matter when it comes to faith.http://www.xanga.com/freethinker777/439803640/item.html Also please remember that the woman at the well was not even in the original manuscripts, neither was the ending of Mark that was an additional add in. Please remember that Paul even makes a distinction between what his personal opinions are at times and when he is writing prophetically. Regardless of where we stand on the issue our faith is not decided on that. It’s just something that we can waste time arguing about for no apparent reason and then meet up for beers and laugh. It really is not that important in matters of salvation, grace or love.p



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Payshun

posted May 23, 2007 at 6:55 am


Correction not the woman at the well but the woman caught in adultery.p



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canucklehead

posted May 23, 2007 at 7:07 am


Kristi, I think you’d find Bruce Metzger’s old work titled something like The Text and Transmission of the New Testament fascinating reading regarding the human element in Scripture



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Mark P

posted May 23, 2007 at 10:31 am


I’m tired. A couple things now, hopefully more tomorrow. Have not read link but plan to. P, -There is one verse in the last chapter of Mark that was added (some have it at the end of the chapter, and some after verse 8… most modern translations do not have the verse at all, if I’m not mistaken). The verse reads as follows: “And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.” -The earliest manuscripts do indeed lack the adulterous woman passage. The principles exhibited in the passage are enunciated very clearly elsewhere. If you take it out, you lose a clear explication of a point, but I don’t think you lose the point itself. -Paul’s very clear pronouncement that “THIS IS MY OPINION” seems to imply that it was understood that it was from the Lord unless he said otherwise. That is, the fact that he had to clarify when it wasn’t from the Lord implies that it was otherwise. Which has a lot to say about everything Paul said outside of the passage on remaining single. -My point is that I have Scriptural support for my point, while she does not. She can argue the validity of the Scripture in question, and you can say that the Scripture falls outside of the range of authority or what-not, but the fact remains that Scripture, New Testament and Old, makes it VERY clear that God is concerned for His glory and His Name. That’s what I’m saying. Your beef is with the passages in question, though you may argue that you are not arguing with Scripture as a whole. -You say “myth” like it implies falsehood. — mg, -Hard to say what the faith tradition is. My pops works with military folks so we’ve moved around a lot. He’s not in the military; he’s basically a discipler of military men (and my mom is of women, and they both are of couples). I’ve been mainly in non-denominational churches. -He works for the Navigators, and if you know anything about them, it explains why I have a decent grasp of Scripture, at least for my age. The Navs were once the epitome of legalism. They’re better now. Really :) -The best I can tell you is that I am a Christian hedonist and a Christian humanist. Or better put, I strive to be so. — canuckle, -As far as the Jeremiah thing goes… He’s under the blood because he was living by grace through faith, placing his hope in God’s future promises by looking at the evidence of God’s faithfulness and hesed. -I can get specific if you want, but I’ll start with a sketch: -Jeremiah was believing on God’s promises and God’s Promise (w/ Scripture from Jeremiah to prove if you like, but I’m tired tonight). -That faith is salvation by the blood of Christ (w/ Scripture from Romans and Hebrews and James) -Again, I’m prima scriptura. I believe Jeremiah’s saving faith can be demonstrated using Scripture.



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elsa

posted May 23, 2007 at 1:47 pm


Hi Erin, Yes, we are on the same side I think on the Jewish question. ( I was deabting with Mark that point and I think you and I are on the same side) You can scroll up beyond the post you saow of mine to see the orignal one between me and Mark . ;-) Best, Elsa



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elsa

posted May 23, 2007 at 3:03 pm


Mark, On the Islam question you wrote: “Similarly, reverence for Jesus as a prophet is a slap in the face.” …A slap in the face to who? Mark, you should “turn the other cheek”. You still have not answered my question- Have you ever read the Koran? #2 you wrote- “I basically quoting Scripture with by grace through faith, so, again, your beef is with Scripture. Further, Catholicism rightly understood is entirely about grace. *Yes* works are important as part of sanctification according to Catholicism, but NOT as justification…We perform good works, Catholics and Protestants alike, not to merit heaven or win on some balance sheet, but as the proper overflow of God s grace into the life of a believer”Nicely phrased, but your tone is off. The problem I find with your viewpoint here ( and on a few other topics) is that I get the sense that you approach this from a strictly “student’s” point of view. I can tell you are a philosophy or theology student, but not someone who can really relate to a life lived. Mark, knowing scripture line by line is a nice excercise and as I have said before, it makes for a fun debate. But… it doesn’t get you very far in life. So again, I challenge you to address not Scriptural verse that you want to use here( although you have not ben precise as to what Scripture you are referring to yet), but, the words of Christ himself in my previous post. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. I read this text and walk away with the message that even those who did not do good works in order to please God or Christ or to follow a religious path, but simply did so out of love, will be viewed by Christ as the truly righteous of God.#3- you wrote: “In other words, we can t have a serious conversation about theology because you ll pick the parts of Scripture you like and discard the parts you don t like as human flaw. I can offer you the unified message of Scripture, but if you don t accept Scripture s unity and infallibility, you, exercising your apparently limitless authority as an individual, can toss out the bad parts (hell, divine wrath, None come to the Father except by me, etc.) and keep the parts that sound warm and fuzzy.” Mark, this is what a serious dicussion on theology is all about- what do you think there are so many Christian denominations today? Because group after group has decided to redefine its interpretation of Scripture from the next. If not, then there would still only be one church today, the Roman Catholic one.It is funny that you talk about offering me ” the unified message of scripture”. Let me gently remind you, that of all the Sripture passages I have seen you reference in your defense, not one of them contained the words of Christ himself. Those you seem to have some difficulty addressing. Concentrate on those, not on Thesselonians or Colossians or other. Try first to unify His word with the passages you cite and you may find yourself debating you. On the Jewish question, you stated,”Faith is a future hope in God s promises based on past evidence.” I disagree with your definition of faith. Faith is believing in that which can not be seen or for which no past evidence exits. In other words,to have “faith” is to trust or to believe without tangible reasons to do so. And lastly…you said in a different post to mg: “Except that my 60-year-old father, with the experience of 30-years in full-time ministry, views God differently than you ” of course, Mark, everyone has a different viewpoint on God. But that was not MG’s point. Ask you father if he views life and God at 60 the same as he did at 20? That is the point! I dare say that the 2000 year old Church has changed some too since her younger days! Someone said, “the person who views life the same at 50 as he did as 20 has wasted the last 30 years of his life.” Ciao!



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mg

posted May 23, 2007 at 3:36 pm


Elsa……thank you……you are right on about faith….and looking to the words of Jesus. I am will be doing a funeral tomorrow for a 24 year old young man who died of an overdose. My first concern is to bring comfort to his mother and father. I have experienced the devestation and guilt a parent feels when they lose a child. My task will not be to use scripture to determine whether or not this ‘child of God’ has indeed returned to God, but I will probably be using the story of the ‘The Prodigal Son’ to show that God welcomes us home with out stretched arms and unconditional love; rejoicing in our return. I have attended funerals, my father’s for one, where the preacher felt it was his duty to tell everyone that they are in danger of losing their souls unless they except Jesus and are baptized. It offers very little comfort to those left behind……



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elsa

posted May 23, 2007 at 4:56 pm


Mark, One other point…I like the one Christ citation you did chose. You mentioned the citation “None come to the Father except by me”. I don’t disagree with that. But think of it this way..that the way one gets to Christ and thus to the Father is unique to each individual. He is in control of that,(I believe He is)and I see a truly divine path to the Christ. My interpretation is =Jews = His people ( whom he loves) Christians = His disciples ( whom he loves) Muslims = His close friends ( whom he loves) Everyone else = children of God and His future people, disciples, friends ( whom he loves) Christ was born in a country on the cusp of Europe, Asia and Africa. Essentially, touching the regions that account for almost the whole of humanity. I see a divine plan in that geographic ‘coincidence’ as well. If Christ is coming back to seperate the “sheep” from the “goats”, it will matter little which above group one belongs too, because he loves them equally. What willl matter is what He tells you about the life you lived. Nothing “warm and fuzzy” about that. In fact, it is all quite intimidating.



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Payshun

posted May 23, 2007 at 5:44 pm


Mark: -You say “myth” like it implies falsehood. No you interpret the word myth as falsehood. I say myth as it was intended when the word was written. The legend of two chaos sea beasts known as Rahab and Leviathan are ancient stories told to the Jews and were the myths of their day like much of the book of Enoch, the creation story (ancient Hebrew poetry, the story of the Nephilim in Genesis 6…) some myths are true like CS Lewis said. Some are merely just myths and that’s ok. A myth is not a falsehood, it’s a story to explain something and a gateway to learning about values of the people.p



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Mark P

posted May 23, 2007 at 7:32 pm


Elsa, …A slap in the face to who? Mark, you should “turn the other cheek”. -A slap in the face to God, who is jealous for His name. If they were attacking me, it would be different.Have you ever read the Koran? -Not in its entirety, never in the original language, and not in significant portions.I can tell you are a philosophy or theology student, but not someone who can really relate to a life lived. -I m a history student, which is all about lives lived :).knowing scripture line by line is a nice excercise -I think Scripture itself explicitly states that knowing the Word of God is more than a nice exercise, but I d be wrong to quote it, eh?But… it doesn’t get you very far in life. -Knowing the Word of God is essential in life. Alone, it won t get you anywhere, of course.I read this text and walk away with the message that even those who did not do good works in order to please God or Christ or to follow a religious path, but simply did so out of love, will be viewed by Christ as the truly righteous of God. -I partly agree. The passage says nothing about what makes them righteous, though. It says they will be in heaven, but is it their good works that get them there? I don t think so. It s not meritorious. Note that Christ precedes everything with you who are blessed by my Father which suggests to me that God acts first, and we act in response. I/e the good works are a response of blessing, not an active initiation on the believer s part. -I agree that we do not do good works in order to gain favor or justify ourselves; it is God who is just and the justifier (oops, that s Scripture. My bad). -Your own passage makes incredibly that the works we do are valuable because they are unto Christ, not mere man whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. They matter because of Christ. -I find it odd that you want me to address truth and Christianity without Scripture, that you are so pleased to remove Christ s words from the entire context into which God placed them not one of them contained the words of Christ himself -This is what scares me about the so called Red Letter Christian movement it creates a divide in Scripture that was never there, a human decision to ignore the context of Christ s own words in favor of your own context. In any case, I still fail to see where the contradiction between Christ and Scripture is. -Also, do the Father s words matter less than Christ s? Obviously some publisher at some Bible company decided so, because the Father s words aren t in red :). So my challenge to you: YOU rectify your version of Christ s words with the words of HIS FATHER, and see what happens.Faith is believing in that which can not be seen or for which no past evidence exits. In other words,to have “faith” is to trust or to believe without tangible reasons to do so. -So you re saying faith is believing in opposition reality? I m pretty sure that s insanity, not faith. – Read Matthew 6:25-34 (in your NIV, these will be RED, which means they matter, right?). Christ says that the reason you need not be worried (the reason you can have faith) is because of the plentiful evidence of the Father s faithfulness. It s not that there s no reason, but persevere anyway it s that God the Father is so evidently and evidentially faithful that we need not doubt that He will take care of us. It s faith based on evidence, right there in the text. Further, examine the life of Christ and the interaction with the disciples. Is it not a constant offering of more evidence by the Christ, more reason to believe? -Other Scripture (aka worthless stuff because the NIV publishers didn t put it in red). James (uh oh, quoting Scripture) exhorts us to faith because we have seen the outcome of the Lord s dealings. It is precisely the evidence that compels us to faith. According to Hebrews (uh oh, more Scripture), faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Nothing in there implies a contradiction of reality. It makes it very clear that it is the hope of a future promise that is the substance of faith, and that people acted on faith because God is faithful not because of nihil, nothing, zilch. The stepping out on faith says, You are and have been faithful, so I will continue to rest in Your hesed.-Elsa, your universalist interpretation of salvation leaves out the very Scripture you quoted earlier, in which Christ sends away some. Who were they? And why are they sent away? And why does Christ Himself speak parables in which there is weeping and gnashing of teeth and an outer darkness ? -You seem to imply nothing different happens to the goats than the sheep, except that this denies the words of Christ Himself. — P, My mistake. I read something into your words that wasn t there. We agree on what myth is, at least on a basic definition.



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Erin

posted May 23, 2007 at 7:54 pm


Elsa – sorry, I just read that one post by you…Canucklhead – ahh Metzger… good stuff! Was anyone else glad that Apolo won dancing with the stars last night? I was! :)



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Erin

posted May 23, 2007 at 8:03 pm


Also we seem to now be in on Revelation…That book seems so crazy! Wild. I studied it in my Greek exegetical class last year and was fascinated to find it a beautiful if not frightening book at times!I agree that it is set in a certain context (the church still forming under Roman rule at around the turn of the first century)… written by a guy in exile (John the EVANGELIST not apostle). And he is speaking into some very specific culture issues. This book is not unlike others written about the coming of the MEssiah in Judaism. In fact the style is almost identical to other texts before Jesus came.That being said, I still believe it has some great things to teach us about personal perserverance, God’s justice and the churchs’ faithfulness in light of world circumstances. It isn’t just a book about future events (the Left Behind Series are books that are mostly fictionaly extrapolations). I don’t think we will KNOW when the end comes… Jesus didn’t while he was on earth. We are merely given a picture that God will vindicate and God will wrap all of this up in his timing and in his way. Not OUR way, nor our timing.



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elsa

posted May 23, 2007 at 8:39 pm


Mark, Where do I start? So let’s begin as we only have one more day until you start your summer job. 1- …A slap in the face to who? Mark, you should “turn the other cheek”. -A slap in the face to God, who is jealous for His name. If they were attacking me, it would be different. Mark, you are angrier than the Savior would ever be. Turn the other cheek and take the concept that the Muslims revere Christ as being just one step closer to knowing him fully!What part of that eludes you? Is your heart so closed. People and peoples come to Christ in their own time. That is part of the human condition in which we live. 2-I think Scripture itself explicitly states that knowing the Word of God is more than a nice exercise, but I d be wrong to quote it, eh? Mark, never once did I say you would be wrong to quote it. But don’t leave it there. Absorb it and think about it. Apply it to life and to the concept of mercy. 3-But… it doesn’t get you very far in life. -Knowing the Word of God is essential in life. Alone, it won t get you anywhere, of course.Mark, again, knowing the word of God is not enough…read about Christ rebuking the Pharisees to get that message. 4-”The passage says nothing about what makes them righteous, though”. Mark, if you don’t understand the clarity of that passage, talk to your pastor. 5- Your own passage makes incredibly that the works we do are valuable because they are unto Christ, not mere man whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. They matter because of Christ. Mark, you are right and wrong- the fact that Christ refers the “the least of these” refers to the fact that the good works were directed at our fellow human beings and that in and of itself is good. The point there is to treat you neighbor, whoever they are, as yourself. A radical concept in Roman times. 5–I find it odd that you want me to address truth and Christianity without Scripture, that you are so pleased to remove Christ s words from the entire context into which God placed themMark, the words of Christ are Scripture, so how is it that I was not using Scripture? In terms of context, again, you need to re-read and then we can have a dicussion on the definition of context ( i.e. historical circumstances, geo-political history, ethnicity, …). 6- not one of them contained the words of Christ himself -This is what scares me about the so called Red Letter Christian movement it creates a divide in Scripture that was never there, a human decision to ignore the context of Christ s own words in favor of your own context. In any case, I still fail to see where the contradiction between Christ and Scripture is. Mark, I have never considered myself to be a Red Letter Christian as you call it. In fact, I quite enjoy reading other texts like the Christian mystics and find God speaking thru them as well. However, I have to balance their words with an understanding of the “context” in which they were written. Again, that encompasses many issues not least of which is historical period and human circumstances. In terms of contradictions, I have no problem with Scripture in and of itself. It is your interpretation of it that I have a problem with. You are not the pure interpretor of Scripture, Mark. What makes you think that your “take” on it is correct? It seems that you interpret it much like an attorney would a contract. You know the “letter of the law, but the spirit illudes you. That may be an age thing so it is forgiveable ;-) 7-So my challenge to you: YOU rectify your version of Christ s words with the words of HIS FATHER, and see what happens. I happen to believe in the Trinity so Christs words are in fact the words of the Father. Not sure what you believe.Faith is believing in that which can not be seen or for which no past evidence exits. In other words,to have “faith” is to trust or to believe without tangible reasons to do so. -So you re saying faith is believing in opposition reality? I m pretty sure that s insanity, not faith.Mark, on this one, you REALLY need to talk to your pastor. Or of there is not time for that, a dictionary will suffice. 9- Matthew 6:24-36– You have chosen one of the most beautiful passages. I commend you. That passage is speaking to the integrity of God’s creation. And yes, that is evidence of God. Yet, Christ also said, John 20:1-9…Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Christ wants, I believe, for us to have a pure faith as children…as you quoted, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 10-Elsa, your universalist interpretation of salvation leaves out the very Scripture you quoted earlier, in which Christ sends away some. Who were they? And why are they sent away? And why does Christ Himself speak parables in which there is weeping and gnashing of teeth and an outer darkness ? -You seem to imply nothing different happens to the goats than the sheep, except that this denies the words of ChristMark, Not at all! I believe that what is implied by the passage I cite, was that Christ will divide those who put his Word into practice and those who did not, irrespective of what religious or non-religious camp they fall in, Remember: 21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Ciao



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Payshun

posted May 23, 2007 at 11:11 pm


Elsa, Your words were so full of grace to Mark and yet you showed so little to your LGBTQ brothers and sisters. I love the mystics. I am a contemplative Christian because of their testimony, particularly the Catholics even though the orthodox church informed some of my early involvement in Christianity. I really wish you would show as much grace to the least of our society as you would Mark. p



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Mark P

posted May 23, 2007 at 11:19 pm


Elsa, Mark, you are angrier than the Savior would ever be. -There are some things that anger me; this isn t one of them. The point was never oh those Muslims they re so stupid it was that they do not worship the same God, nor do they revere Christ as they ought to. I am perfectly comfortable appealing to the similarities between our faiths, and using the truths in Islam to point to the Gospel. That s following a precedent established long ago by Adonai, and explicated by Paul at Mars Hill. -What I m not comfortable with is glossing over the differences and pretending that Allah is the same as the God of Scripture.But don’t leave it there. Absorb it and think about it. Apply it to life and to the concept of mercy. -Of course. No offense, but it s a bit presumptuous for you to assume that I don t already do so simply because I engage Scripture on an academic level in order to understand how to apply it in my life.Mark, again, knowing the word of God is not enough… -I agree, and said so.Mark, if you don’t understand the clarity of that passage, talk to your pastor. -I ve talked with my pastor on numerous occasions regarding how to synthesize that passage and Romans, Ephesians, and James.The point there is to treat you neighbor, whoever they are, as yourself. -Of course, note that this command (love your neighbor as yourself) is preceded by one about loving God, and, again, the *reason* why those good works are inherently good, as stated within the passage itself, is that your good works are ultimately directed upward.Mark, the words of Christ are Scripture, so how is it that I was not using Scripture? -You seem against the idea of using the parts of Scripture that the nifty 20th-century American publishers decided not to make red.I have no problem with Scripture in and of itself. It is your interpretation of it that I have a problem with. -It seems that the difference is more about my decision to treat the sixty-six books in the canon as Scripture, and your decision to pick what you like.I happen to believe in the Trinity so Christs words are in fact the words of the Father. Not sure what you believe. -Then the Father s are Christ s? That makes things more simple for me in terms of quoting Christ to make my point. I believe in a Triune God, but as a Trinitarian, there is something significant to the Three Persons. Thus, when Christ says something, God is speaking, but it s the Son specifically.Mark, on this one, you REALLY need to talk to your pastor. Or of there is not time for that, a dictionary will suffice. -Webster s is not a reliable source for theology, unfortunately. The definition offered is one accepted by Jonathan Edwards, Drew Woods (my pastor), Donald Westblade (a former theology professor of mine), Daniel Fuller, and John Piper, among others.



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elsa

posted May 23, 2007 at 11:23 pm


Hi Payshun, I appreciate your comments. In fact, to coin a phrase, some of my best friends are gay. I have no animosity toward gays. The homosexual issue is one of those lightening rod issues that people will always debate. Personally, it makes no difference to me if someone is gay. Way back when, when this board was talking about Jerry Falwell, the issue was something abot whether homosexuality was or was not a sin. That I did agree with. But in no way do I believe homosexuals should be ill treated over it. Listen, I’m straight, and I have my share of sin on my record. Its no different. At the end of the day, disagreement is not the same as not showing love and grace and mercy to someone. Its just disagreement. I hope you see my point.



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elsa

posted May 23, 2007 at 11:51 pm


Hi Mark, Its just too much fun to stop isn’t it? :-) 1-Mark, you are angrier than the Savior would ever be. -There are some things that anger me; this isn t one of them. The point was never oh those Muslims they re so stupid it was that they do not worship the same God, nor do they revere Christ as they ought to. I am perfectly comfortable appealing to the similarities between our faiths, and using the truths in Islam to point to the Gospel. That s following a precedent established long ago by Adonai, and explicated by Paul at Mars Hill. -What I m not comfortable with is glossing over the differences and pretending that Allah is the same as the God of Scripture. we will never agree on this. the three great monotheistic faiths have always been reckognized, at least in my lifetime, as acknowledging the same God. The I Am. For my own curiosity, what are you basing your arugument on this issue on? Text, pastoral advice…? But don’t leave it there. Absorb it and think about it. Apply it to life and to the concept of mercy. -Of course. No offense, but it s a bit presumptuous for you to assume that I don t already do so simply because I engage Scripture on an academic level in order to understand how to apply it in my life. was not my intention to offend you- but when you admit that you approach these discussions from an academic viewpoint, this is the what someone may be lead to beleive, that you have not absorbed it on a personal level. Mark, the words of Christ are Scripture, so how is it that I was not using Scripture? -You seem against the idea of using the parts of Scripture that the nifty 20th-century American publishers decided not to make red. Again, I am not against using other parts of Scripture. But as someone who believes in having a personal relationship with Christ, my natural inclination is to focus on the words that came out of His mouth, not someone else’s. My feeling is that those words “in red” as you put it, are first in order of importance, but not the totality of what one should turn to. As I said, I believe God has inspired many and their words are valuable. But if I quoted John of the Cross, would that be of any value to you?I happen to believe in the Trinity so Christs words are in fact the words of the Father. Not sure what you believe. -Then the Father s are Christ s? That makes things more simple for me in terms of quoting Christ to make my point. I believe in a Triune God, but as a Trinitarian, there is something significant to the Three Persons. Thus, when Christ says something, God is speaking, but it s the Son specifically. Mark, yes, but this is why it is called “the mystery of the Trinity”. Forgive me for turning to the Red print again, I hear the words immedialty of …” But who do YOU say that I am?”Mark, on this one, you REALLY need to talk to your pastor. Or of there is not time for that, a dictionary will suffice. -Webster s is not a reliable source for theology, unfortunately. The definition offered is one accepted by Jonathan Edwards, Drew Woods (my pastor), Donald Westblade (a former theology professor of mine), Daniel Fuller, and John Piper, among others. It is great that you have sound guidance on theological issues. However, faith is not a concept confined to theology. And as much as I am sure the people you list are excellent theologians, they are still only men. Analysis of theological questions is fascinating, as we who love to discuss it can profess, but you yourself need to come to your own conslusions. Professors are only guides, they are not gods.I wonder how the people you cite came up with their definitions of faith?



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Mark P

posted May 24, 2007 at 12:57 am


the three great monotheistic faiths have always been reckognized, at least in my lifetime, as acknowledging the same God. The I Am. For my own curiosity, what are you basing your arugument on this issue on? -The only person I ve known personally who advocated that position is my friend s Muslim father. She rejected her dad s position, and so do I. -The presentation of God in Scripture.you admit that you approach these discussions from an academic viewpoint, this is the what someone may be lead to beleive, that you have not absorbed it on a personal level. -Sure. But I think that s a silly assumption that because I ve intellectually wrestled with the meaning of a passage means I don t live it out or wrestle with it on an emotional level?But if I quoted John of the Cross, would that be of any value to you? -Limited, certainly. John of the Cross is not Scripture, last I checked.I wonder how the people you cite came up with their definitions of faith? -Careful study of Scripture. And believe me, I believe in the Berean tradition. Again, you re making a very interesting assumption that I believe it because Daniel Fuller says so. You re point was I NEED to talk to my pastor about it or consult a dictionary. My point was that I HAVE talked to my pastor about it, and done more (and I think the dictionary is usually worthless with words of any depth like faith, justification, or dogma). -Good conversation, though I think it s become just you and me :)



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elsa

posted May 24, 2007 at 11:13 am


-Good conversation, though I think it s become just you and meThat’s ok ;-) Maybe others are reading. the three great monotheistic faiths have always been reckognized, at least in my lifetime, as acknowledging the same God. The I Am. For my own curiosity, what are you basing your arugument on this issue on? -The only person I ve known personally who advocated that position is my friend s Muslim father. She rejected her dad s position, and so do I. -The presentation of God in Scripture. ok, but again, I am just curious to know from where you base the assumption that Allah is not the God of Abraham? Mecca, afterall is believed to have been constructed by Abraham. So, as a Abrahamic faith, Islam recognizes the God of Abraham. So, really, I am still confused as to where you are coming from on this? I really am not trying to be pushy. I am sincerely curious what you base your rejection of that on If you can elaborate, that would be great. But if I quoted John of the Cross, would that be of any value to you? -Limited, certainly. John of the Cross is not Scripture, last I checked. No, he is not Scripture. My point is I don’t believe that Scripture is the end of it all. No Sola Scriptura here ;-) So therefore, I can turn to John of the Cross for spiritual truths as much as I can Scripture. I don’t view it as so limited as you may. I believe that mystics, many of whom are regarded as saints both with a big and little “s” sense, can be as valuable as the Bible. And just to reiterate, as you put Scripture before, say, John of the Cross, I put the words of the Savior himself, before those of his followers who Sat down to pen the Scriptures. Everyone has their priotities I guess. I wonder how the people you cite came up with their definitions of faith? -Careful study of Scripture. And believe me, I believe in the Berean tradition. Again, you re making a very interesting assumption that I believe it because Daniel Fuller says so. You re point was I NEED to talk to my pastor about it or consult a dictionary. My point was that I HAVE talked to my pastor about it, and done more (and I think the dictionary is usually worthless with words of any depth like faith, justification, or dogma). Yes, but the concept of faith began before theological studies did ;-) At any rate, my point it, that these gentlemen you cite have gone thru a personal experience of processing the information they have absorbed in their study of Scripture. They bring to that study their own cultural influences, familial experiences, worldly experiences and other to arrive at the conclusion that they agree on that definition. So , as I said before, you and everyone will go thru a similar process, but not necessarily walk away with the same definition based on the multitude of diverse “other” things they bring consciously or unsconsciously to that process of reflexion. you admit that you approach these discussions from an academic viewpoint, this is the what someone may be lead to beleive, that you have not absorbed it on a personal level. -Sure. But I think that s a silly assumption that because I ve intellectually wrestled with the meaning of a passage means I don t live it out or wrestle with it on an emotional level? True. But many readers of your posts, (and again I am not saying this to be difficult) may feel mre that they are reading the rough draft of a college thesis more than they are encountering someone who has indeed experienced and absorbed these Scriptural points on a personal level. Please don’t take that personally as it simply may be a question of writing style. I hope you can make it back to the board again. If not, best of luck and it has been a pleasure :-) Ciao



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Payshun

posted May 24, 2007 at 7:53 pm


Elsa, I can completely see your point but you can also understand mine. That by pointing out it’s sinfulness you end up hurting people. That’s not loving. I have heard the same arguments said about my people (I am black.) I have heard some say some of my best friends are black and yet show very little compassion to a young black man walking the street.I see that you are a compassionate human being, I just wish you took it a step further and stopped condemning gay people because believe me when gay folks read your posts they are not going to feel your compassion. p



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Payshun

posted May 24, 2007 at 7:58 pm


One more thing Elsa brings up a good point and so does Mark. For Elsa to bring up John of the Cross, Catherine of Sienna or any of the desert fathers it would be like casting pearls before swine. Mark is an evangelical Elsa is not. It doesn’t make sense to try and explain both faith approaches because they can only meet under Christ.p



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elsa

posted May 24, 2007 at 8:40 pm


Hello Payshun, I appreciate your feedback. I guess we view the issue of what is loving and what isn’t very differently. I don’t think it is “unloving” to state an opinion, even if others may take offense. Everyone has issues they are sensitive to, but if everyone had to tippy-toe around them in fear of hurting someone’s feelings, then there would never be any discussion.As well, I am sure you have had this experience, everyone does at one time or another..but do you think it is loving to refrain from telling a friend the truth about anything, even if the truth hurts? I can certainly understand that someone who is gay may react to hearing someone else say that homosexual acts are sins. But so do heterosexuals react when someone says heterosexual acts are sinful outside of marriage. The question is, are they sinful outside of marriage? Further, what is my reaction to that going to be? Accept it and change? Accept it and do nothing? Deny it? Deny it and try to change the answer to correspond better to my life? Here is my “red letter” addition :-) Jesus said, “‘You have heard that it was said,’Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” That’s pretty harsh!! Their is a great text by John Paul II called The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan. It’s worth a read, or at least a quick scan. Cheers



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Payshun

posted May 24, 2007 at 9:19 pm


But that’s thing, stating an opinion is all fine and good. I come from a very strong prophetic tradition and I have no problem saying the hard things. (As you can tell by my earlier posts.) But sometimes just sometimes the opinions we state can cause people to choose death or self destructive practices. I don’t want anything out of my mouth to cause that. I see the verses where Isaiah is describing the Messiah as mending a reed as very important. Not only that but that’s all the LGBTQ hear about Christianity and I don’t want that to be the message of who Christ is at the expense learning to love oneself. I also have a ton of issues w/ a majority inflicting it’s sexual laws on other people. I just don’t see that as just (even if it is considered sin.) I don’t think of it that way but I can see how others might.After seeing various people come away feeling like their lives don’t matter I can’t cause something like that. It’s cruel. That’s where you and I disagree. You see standing up for the scriptures on matters of behavior as of absolute importance. I don’t. Behavior no matter how bad can’t stop someone from being loved. That’s my goal, my goal is to make sure they leave loved and restored, not condemned and hurt.I know you don’t mean to do that but I will tell you that most will be hurt by talking to you. That may not matter to you but it does matter to me. I don’t want to see anyone else die needlessly or hate themselves for something they can’t change.p



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Payshun

posted May 25, 2007 at 12:31 am


Oh and I forgot to answer your questions. I don’t worry about it. Unless someone is getting hurt I leave sexual sin alone. Chances are I am the hypocrit that has not dealt w/ his own issues first so instead of saying what is and is not sin, my goal is to love.p



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squeaky

posted May 25, 2007 at 6:06 am


Elsa and Mark, you have such a great discussion going–I only wish I had enough time to really read it closely… Elsa, what Payshun is trying to say is “speak the truth in love.” He commented up the thread a ways about how patient you discussed issues with Mark. In your response, you mentioned that you have several gay friends. I can’t imagine you haven’t heard the stories of the pain they have experienced in their lives. I understand your passion for righteousness, but as Payshun says, when that passion runs over people, the passion itself loses its righteousness. In our passion, we can’t forget COMpassion. We can argue all night long over the actual meaning of the words that have been interpreted as homosexuality, but we must never forget how incredibly difficult and painful life can be for these individuals, and that acknowledgment must always be part of any conversation concerning whether or not it is a sin. I still, however, think so much focus on just this one sin is completely unbalanced and unhealthy. I also think that other’s sin is not my business. My job is not to convict people of sin. My commission is to lead people to Christ, and I (we) need to trust the Holy Spirit that He will do His job and open their hearts and start convicting people of their sin from there. It’s not our job, it’s God’s. Let Him do His job, because He can do it far more effectively and compassionately than any one of us.



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elsa

posted May 25, 2007 at 4:44 pm


“I still, however, think so much focus on just this one sin is completely unbalanced and unhealthy. I also think that other’s sin is not my business.” Squeaky,I agree with you 100% on the above. I have to believe that as much as our sexuality is a serious part of the divine plan, it is not the whole of it. So many other issues drive the human condition that boiling it down to sex is almost trivializing. I also agree that someone else’s sin is none of my business and totally private. Where is becomes public is when it goes political, runs counter to the public good or risks harming the individual.



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Payshun

posted May 25, 2007 at 6:19 pm


That last part is debatable. How does gay marriage affect your life? Even if it is a sin (I am not saying it is) it is not in your bedroom dictating your behavior or controlling your family. So again what do to committed people choosing to celebrate their love have to do w/ you? p



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elsa

posted May 25, 2007 at 7:07 pm


Hi Payshun, I didn’t say it affected me personally. I said it becomes a public issues when it becomes political, runs counter to the public good or risks harming the individual. In other words when the gay lobby suggests a change in social or economic structure it becomes a public issues. They themselves make it public( i.e. from extending insurance coverage to partners, to gay marriage to gay adoption).There are a lot of things in our society that don’t affect me personally, like say, a woman’s right to chose. Yet, I don’t have to support abortion rights simply because someone else’s abortion has nothing to do with me. There is a greater good at play that I feel compelled to support. In the case of gay marriage for instance, the debate is more complicated because it is primarily centered around the concepts of individual rights or privacy. I agree, to a point, that we should not try to legislate what goes on in the bedroom. However, we have to be sure to not make that a slippery slope either because a lot of issues exist within that concept that we should legislate( underage sex, child abuse, incest…).But going back to gay marriage, the gay lobby wants to center the arguement, as far as I understand it, on individual rights. Why shouldn’t gays be allowed to marry, after all they are two concenting adults right?The answer ultimately comes down to what the society values at an intrinsic, even transcendant level. To paraphrase someone much wiser that I could ever hope to be,… when forces within society manage to separate marriage from its mission on behalf of life, they attack humanity itself, depriving it of the essential guarantees for its future. I’ll even give you an example- I have a friend from Burkina Faso. She is about 30 and now lives in France. Burkina is one of many African nations ravaged by AIDS. The primary carriers of AIDS in Burkina, according to her, are men. So, in fear of the HIV, many young Burkina women are abandoning the notion that marriage is even a possibility for them as they are terrified of contracting AIDS. Instead, many of these same women are turning to lesbian relationships for comfort. What do we imagine the future is for Burkina Faso with that scenario to have to deal with? Her words, not mine..”It’s a disaster.” So, what does it matter to me that gay marriage become a reality? It doesn’t. It matters to the future of the human race.



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Payshun

posted May 25, 2007 at 8:34 pm


So fear driven foolishness is your response? Umm last I checked there are plenty of straight couples out there that will continue to propagate the species. Contrary to your irrational fears we are not about to die and neither will the people of Burkina. If those folks in Burkina find some sense of comfort and love in a society that has allowed their men to go wild, I say go for it. Their society won’t end because of lesbianism. It will end because the older generation would have died off and the continuing generations are not taught to value themselves. I would rather lesbian couples exist and that society keep going then the other option which would be a lot worse. Look at South Africa if you doubt that. p



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Payshun

posted May 25, 2007 at 8:39 pm


Do you recommend creating laws that curtail the amount of straight infertile couples? They can’t contribute to the “transendant” need to continue humanity and yet you do nothing to stop that. That’s a little hypocritcal don’t you think? p



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elsa

posted May 25, 2007 at 9:01 pm


“Umm last I checked there are plenty of straight couples out there that will continue to propagate the species.” Payshun, we could have said that about Burkina Faso 25 years ago too. Guess what? That is not that case anymore there. The point is that Burkina Faso, like many countries on the continent, are being decimated by issues that revolve around human sexuality. It is a nightmare scenario that is being, basically, kept at bay in the US by a societal attitudes about sexuality and education. Do you want what is sadly happening there to happen in the US? I highly doubt it. “Contrary to your irrational fears we are not about to die and neither will the people of Burkina.” Payshun, if you don’t beleive me then check the UN’s stats on AIDS deaths and the birth rates on the continent. “It will end because the older generation would have died off and the continuing generations are not taught to value themselves” What does that mean?! The older generation is to blame for the younger generations ‘indiscretions’? And why have they died off? Where does personal and collective responsability kick in in your scenario ? “I would rather lesbian couples exist and that society keep going then the other option which would be a lot worse. “Payshun, please explain the biology in your scenario? How is the society going to “keep going” with just a generation of dead men and lesbian couples? Really, please explain. And please explain what you mean by “the other option which would be a lot worse”. What are you referring to?And again, I am not countering what you say to be pushy. I really want to know what you think. thanks



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Payshun

posted May 25, 2007 at 9:20 pm


Payshun, we could have said that about Burkina Faso 25 years ago too. Guess what? That is not that case anymore there. The point is that Burkina Faso, like many countries on the continent, are being decimated by issues that revolve around human sexuality. It is a nightmare scenario that is being, basically, kept at bay in the US by a societal attitudes about sexuality and education. Do you want what is sadly happening there to happen in the US? I highly doubt it. This is just silly, I mean really. What’s keeping this at bay is the fact that surprise, surprise the majority are not gay!!! Considering HIV numbers in the US and what is going on here your scenario can’t work.You: Payshun, if you don’t beleive me then check the UN’s stats on AIDS deaths and the birth rates on the continent. No I am quite aware of the Aids pandemic in Africa. What you are not taking into account is that while the middle generations are dying off children are now left to raise children. I have not done the research into the orphan population in Burkina but assuming from other places in Africa where AIDS is a big killer there are a lot of children.Those children need guidance and to be raised by loving couples. If Lesbian couples in the region can adopt these children then that would be a good thing. The alternative of children raising children is much worse. What does that mean?! The older generation is to blame for the younger generations ‘indiscretions’? And why have they died off? Where does personal and collective responsability kick in in your scenario ? The Older generations are to blame for teaching their men to not care about themselves or their women in ways that continue to grow and develop their culture. If you are taught that prostitution is ok then that value comes from older generations and that is something they are responsible for. Does that answer your question? As for personal responsibility I guess dealing w/ fatal illness helps there.Elsa: Payshun, please explain the biology in your scenario? How is the society going to “keep going” with just a generation of dead men and lesbian couples? Really, please explain. The Lesbian couples adopt the children and raise them. Most of these orphans turn out to not be gay and slowly but surely the society grows again.And please explain what you mean by “the other option which would be a lot worse”. What are you referring to?Child slavery (sex and otherwise,) children having to raise children, absolute poverty, a lack of education. All of those are far worse than having a household run by lesbians. Not only that but the men should be required to provide HIV tests that determine their status before they are married and continued testing during long trips.p



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elsa

posted May 25, 2007 at 9:30 pm


Hi Payshun, I just saw your second post… “Do you recommend creating laws that curtail the amount of straight infertile couples? They can’t contribute to the “transendant” need to continue humanity and yet you do nothing to stop that. That’s a little hypocritcal don’t you think?” First of all, I don’t subscribe to “laws limiting the amount of” couples. I assume you mean marriage. Even if a heterosexual couple cannot produce children due to infertility, their union is still “life affirming” due to the nature of the union, ( i.e. a man and a woman). it takes man and woman to create a child. So any semblance of that union, whether is produces offspring or not, is life affirming.By the way, most heterosexual couples only find out about infertility issues after they are married and begin to plan a family. Please give to me any example of a gay couple who have produced a baby? Or , a lesbian couple that has produced a baby? The transcendant aspect that matters here is that, even in a heterosexual couple who are infertile, the union between man and woman, even if just in theory, can product a child. A gay couple, neither in life nor in theory can produce a child together.Therefore it can’t be considered life affirmirming.



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elsa

posted May 25, 2007 at 9:49 pm


Hi Payshun, Here we go ;-)You are a great debater so I have to keep going ;-) ok This is just silly, I mean really. What’s keeping this at bay is the fact that surprise, surprise the majority are not gay!!! Ok, so, are you saying that if hte majority were gay, that would be devastating to society? “No I am quite aware of the Aids pandemic in Africa. What you are not taking into account is that while the middle generations are dying off children are now left to raise children. I have not done the research into the orphan population in Burkina but assuming from other places in Africa where AIDS is a big killer there are a lot of children.Those children need guidance and to be raised by loving couples. If Lesbian couples in the region can adopt these children then that would be a good thing. The alternative of children raising children is much worse.” But Payshun, you make my point for me, they need guidance. I’m sorry, as much as I believe in my abilities as a woman, I can not replace the guidance that a good man can give to a young boy OR girl for that matter. The sexes are unique in that they each bring to the equation something valuable to the rearing of children. Where will this new generation of orphaned children (particularly the boys) learn what it means to be a good man? Where will the girls learn what a good man can offer to a woman? “The Lesbian couples adopt the children and raise them. Most of these orphans turn out to not be gay and slowly but surely the society grows again.” Payshun, where are the men your scenario?Personally, I don’t believe that young African men who are the main carriers of AIDS are mostly “gay” in the sense we understand it in the US. I think it has more to do with what’s available. At any rate, what is to deter these young men from practicing the same sexual patterns as their parents? That is if they survive long enough.Child slavery (sex and otherwise,) children having to raise children, absolute poverty, a lack of education. All of those are far worse than having a household run by lesbians.” Agreed!!! But Payshun, where do those nighmare scenarios you cite stem from? How did they come into being? Please tell me what you think here. “Not only that but the men should be required to provide HIV tests that determine their status before they are married and continued testing during long trips.” Payshun, its too late. The women don’t want them. They are too frightened. Now what?



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elsa

posted May 25, 2007 at 10:31 pm


I forgot one: “The Older generations are to blame for teaching their men to not care about themselves or their women in ways that continue to grow and develop their culture.”So you mean, that if the older generations fail to teach the young the “life affirming” values, ( i.e. the embracing of heterosexual monogomous union and the rejection of homosexual union) that the society is doomed?



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Payshun

posted May 25, 2007 at 11:40 pm


Me: This is not really that hard. Mellissa Ethridge and her wife have used donors to produce kids. There are plenty of gay couples that adopt and that furthers life. You: Ok, so, are you saying that if hte majority were gay, that would be devastating to society? No that’s what you are saying. You are saying that all these women in Burika are going to become gay and that’s going to destroy their society. I am saying that’s bs. I am saying that even if a majority of lesbian couples decide to adopt or remain together that will not destroy their society. You are saying the opposite all the while ignoring the fact that their society is already destroyed because the men destroyed it. Personally, I don’t believe that young African men who are the main carriers of AIDS are mostly “gay” in the sense we understand it in the US. I think it has more to do with what’s available. At any rate, what is to deter these young men from practicing the same sexual patterns as their parents? That is if they survive long enough.Child slavery (sex and otherwise,) children having to raise children, absolute poverty, a lack of education. All of those are far worse than having a household run by lesbians.” Elsa: Agreed!!! But Payshun, where do those nighmare scenarios you cite stem from? How did they come into being? Please tell me what you think here. Power hungry men, generations of poverty, racism… These are not nightmare scenariors. They are happening all over Africa right now. But you know that so let’s get to the heart of your main point.Elsa said: So you mean, that if the older generations fail to teach the young the “life affirming” values, ( i.e. the embracing of heterosexual monogomous union and the rejection of homosexual union) that the society is doomed? Look I am trying really hard to be nice here but this is really starting to try my patience. Your homophobia is disgusting and vile. Your fears are ridiculous to the extreme and they don’t exist. But to answer your questions… Monogamy is a value that all couples should have regardless of orientation and when that breaks down really bad things happen so if there are gay couples in Africa that are promiscious then there is a problem. Not only that but the reason African men are getting HIV has nothing to do w/ them being gay. Those numbers are few and far between. They are mainly getting the virus from mainly heterosexual relationships while sleeping w/ prostitutes, not HIV infected gay men. It’s so insulting that you would even insinuate that.Elsa: Payshun, its too late. The women don’t want them. They are too frightened. Now what? You tell me. p



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Payshun

posted May 25, 2007 at 11:45 pm


Elsa said: But Payshun, you make my point for me, they need guidance. I’m sorry, as much as I believe in my abilities as a woman, I can not replace the guidance that a good man can give to a young boy OR girl for that matter. The sexes are unique in that they each bring to the equation something valuable to the rearing of children. Where will this new generation of orphaned children (particularly the boys) learn what it means to be a good man? Where will the girls learn what a good man can offer to a woman? Me: I think a lot of single mother households in the states would take offense to this. I was raised in one even though my father was alive and still married to my mother. He was in the military so he was gone for 9 years of my life. I found really good father substitutes but I admit I was blessed and fortunate. That’s not true for everyone and you know what that’s the world we live in. More men need to step up and be positive role models in the lives of children bu in today’s culture there is a culture of hypermasculinity and a worship of the gangster so it is going to take a lot to combat that but that’s a whole other discussion.We don’t live an idealic world. We live in a world w/ a lot of grey where even if you have the one man, one woman scenario boys and girls are still be raised w/ all sorts of defiencies and if you doubt that look at the divorce rate in the church. p



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elsa

posted May 26, 2007 at 12:16 am


“This is not really that hard. Mellissa Ethridge and her wife have used donors to produce kids.” I’m pretty sure the donors were men ;-) “There are plenty of gay couples that adopt and that furthers life.” But how were those children produced? “No that’s what you are saying. You are saying that all these women in Burika are going to become gay and that’s going to destroy their society. I am saying that’s bs. I am saying that even if a majority of lesbian couples decide to adopt or remain together that will not destroy their society. You are saying the opposite all the while ignoring the fact that their society is already destroyed because the men destroyed it.” Paychun, how did the men destroy it? Child slavery (sex and otherwise,) children having to raise children, absolute poverty, a lack of education. All of those are far worse than having a household run by lesbians.” “So you mean, that if the older generations fail to teach the young the “life affirming” values, ( i.e. the embracing of heterosexual monogomous union and the rejection of homosexual union) that the society is doomed? Look I am trying really hard to be nice here but this is really starting to try my patience. Your homophobia is disgusting and vile. Your fears are ridiculous to the extreme and they don’t exist.” Paychun, this is not about homophobia. I am not making these arguements to ridicule anyone. As I said previously, I think that the rise in homosexual or lesbian relationships in Burkina Faso, for instance, don’t really correlate all that much to the gay community in the US. I think they are driven by very different factors. And you are right that prostitution plays a big part. THE POINT IS that human sexuality plays a part in the construction and the health of our society. If the male/female bond breaks down and deteriorates, then we pay the price as a society, as is being demonstrated tragically in Africa. That’s not homophobia. That’s fact. “Not only that but the reason African men are getting HIV has nothing to do w/ them being gay. Those numbers are few and far between. They are mainly getting the virus from mainly heterosexual relationships while sleeping w/ prostitutes, not HIV infected gay men. It’s so insulting that you would even insinuate that” Why is it insulting to suggest that African men might be gay? Elsa: Payshun, its too late. The women don’t want them. They are too frightened. Now what? You tell me.” God help them and us. “I think a lot of single mother households in the states would take offense to this.” Hmmm, not so sure. As a woman I can speak to the beauty of the man/woman relationship and I can appreciate what it means to not have that. Life is better and easier with a man on many levels. “I was raised in one even though my father was alive and still married to my mother. He was in the military so he was gone for 9 years of my life. I found really good father substitutes but I admit I was blessed and fortunate. That’s not true for everyone and you know what that’s the world we live in. More men need to step up and be positive role models in the lives of children bu in today’s culture there is a culture of hypermasculinity and a worship of the gangster so it is going to take a lot to combat that but that’s a whole other discussion.” I agree with you- and really, you agree with me on this. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to raise a child alone. That’s part of the point too.



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Payshun

posted May 26, 2007 at 1:01 am


Elsa: Why is it insulting to suggest that African men might be gay? Me: Did you not read what you wrote earlier? You: Personally, I don’t believe that young African men who are the main carriers of AIDS are mostly “gay” in the sense we understand it in the US. I think it has more to do with what’s available. At any rate, what is to deter these young men from practicing the same sexual patterns as their parents? That is if they survive long enough.ME: You assumed that they were getting the virus from gay sex when that could not be further from the case. It was never about them being gay but the way that the virus was transmitted and surprise surprise it was not by gay sex but by heterosexual sex. What’s offensive is that you assumed that they were having gay sex and that’s what brought it back to their homes. That’s not true. They are mainly getting it from prostitutes that have unprotective sex. That’s the problem we really need to talk about instead of the stereotype that HIV is a gay disease.You: Hmmm, not so sure. As a woman I can speak to the beauty of the man/woman relationship and I can appreciate what it means to not have that. Life is better and easier with a man on many levels. Me: As a man I can affirm that but the difference between our views is that I can also affirm the beauty of having two people together regardless of their genitalia. That’s the difference. You: THE POINT IS that human sexuality plays a part in the construction and the health of our society. If the male/female bond breaks down and deteriorates, then we pay the price as a society, as is being demonstrated tragically in Africa. That’s not homophobia. That’s fact. Me: Delusion on top of delusion. The male and female bond has already broken down and has since the fall, so again what are you talking about? In case you have not noticed men and women are not relating all that healthfully and have not since the fanciful fall.You: Payshun, this is not about homophobia. I am not making these arguements to ridicule anyone. As I said previously, I think that the rise in homosexual or lesbian relationships in Burkina Faso, for instance, don’t really correlate all that much to the gay community in the US. I think they are driven by very different factors. And you are right that prostitution plays a big part. Me: Yes it does. You are afraid that what happened there could happen here and that’s fear. The subject of your fear are gay couples. That fear is called homophobia and that’s gross.Prostitution doesn’t just play a big part, it’s the majority of the problem. These men feel like it’s ok to cheat on their wives because they are the men and can. Your precious heterosexual union could not stop that and guess what it won’t. It was not designed to. People are broken and they will screw up. But we both know that. That breakdown between man and woman has been a part of every society on earth since the time mankind brought him their first kill. Men learned that they had to work for sex and you know what they have been doing it ever since. The problem there is that healthy sex has never really been shown in our culture or most world cultures for any length of time and then we had the puritanical values that only made extramarital affairs worse, and then there was slavery and that destroyed the black family and then… My point is that we agree that heterosexual union should be preserved. I just think the LGBTQ community should decide for themselves and we should leave it alone. It’s not like they can marry in your church or mine but they should be allowed to do what they want. p



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squeaky

posted May 26, 2007 at 3:10 am


Hi Payshun and Elsa– Just been listening in on your discussion.I really think the Burkina Faso example is a bit of a red herring. There really isn’t much that their dealings with HIV has in common with the U.S. experience with HIV. I think it is a comparison of apples to oranges. Yes, if all people in the U.S. turned to lesbian or gay relationships, our society would die out. But you are projecting an extreme issue in this African nation on the United States. The majority of people here are heterosexual (true in Africa, too), the majority in the U.S. aren’t HIV positive (and it won’t reach the status it does in Africa for cultural reasons that Payshun has discussed, and because we have a stronger educational system at this point). So what does Burkino Faso really have to do with homosexual union in the United States? I’m really not sure how homosexual marriage would cause the breakdown of family. As Payshun said, our families are breaking down just fine on their own, thank you very much. If anything, gay marriage looks like it is being used as a scapegoat to blame the breakdown of the family on. this ignores the real reasons families breakdown. Could you give a plausible scenario that actually applies to the United States that would illustrate how gay marriage would cause the breakdown of American society?



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elsa

posted May 26, 2007 at 2:09 pm


HI Squeky, ” As Payshun said, our families are breaking down just fine on their own,” Yes, you are right. Because society is rejecting, dare I say it, traditional values! If anything, gay marriage looks like it is being used as a scapegoat to blame the breakdown of the family on. this ignores the real reasons families breakdown. Could you give a plausible scenario that actually applies to the United States that would illustrate how gay marriage would cause the breakdown of American society?” As I have stated before, “when forces within society manage to separate marriage from its mission on behalf of life, they attack humanity itself, depriving it of the essential guarantees for its future.” This is my point. Why is it so shocking? Gay marriage is about changing the mission of marriage. That mission of marriage, and we are talking here about this from a religious context, not a secular one, is about the continuation of life. When you embrace or support gay marriage, you are essentially saying that the mission of marriage( i.e. children) is no longer the central mission of marriage. Instead, gay marriage says that the central mission of marriage is, as Payshun put it, “to celebrate their love”. So, gay marriage’s mission is centrally focused on the pleasure of the two individuals involved. Ok, fine. But heterosexual marriage’s mission is about affirming new life. It not not just about the two individauls involved. It is not just about ME. It therefore “trancends” the self. This is waht I am talking about when I speak of transcendance. My actions have consequences, both for me and for those around me, even for those I don’t know. Pushing the envelope with gay marriage, can only add to the erosion of how marriage is viewed. What is the point of marriage then? Why consider it as something sacred if no one respects its mission? If the society no longer considers it sacred, then why respect it? Treat it like dating, change it definion, change its mission. If the evidence in how this is already playing in the US is not enough for you, what would it take for that point to get your attention? So, how would this harm our soociety. We are seeing it already. We see a society already rejecting that concept. as Payshun said, heterosexual marriage is also in dissaray. No doubt!!! Because people are not embracing what marriage is truly meant to be for. People marry other as if its just dating. “Well, if it doesn’t work out there is always divorce court.” Great! And people partilcularly children, pay the price emotionally, psychologically, spiritualy and on.So I ask you, is changing the mission and definition of marriage, good for America? Is it good for people?Payshun and I have already discussed that above. So can you counter with any viable response to what I previously expressed? Really , I would like to know. “The majority of people here are heterosexual (true in Africa, too), the majority in the U.S. aren’t HIV positive (and it won’t reach the status it does in Africa for cultural reasons that Payshun has discussed, and because we have a stronger educational system at this point). “That is what I stated above too. The reason it is being kept at bay in US is because of societal attitudes and education. Continue to try to change those attitudes, and you will change the outcome to tragic ends. Reinforce the attitudes that are holding together and the outcomes will improve. ” So what does Burkino Faso really have to do with homosexual union in the United States? ” Just a small point, but why is just about America? We have to look at these issues from a global perspective as well. “I’m really not sure how homosexual marriage would cause the breakdown of family.” And directly to that point…gay marriage would breakdown family beacuse it dilutes the definition. Your arguement is centered on moral relativism. My arguement is centered on the concept that things are not all relative or equal. This always makes me laugh a little, because I end up asking myself, “would those people who support gay marriage also support unions between a brother and a sister, a parent and grown child or polygamy? And if not, why not? It is the same argument that could be made afterall. They too are concenting adults, so why not?The heart of this again, I feel, goes back to what Payshun and I discussed before. I feel, that there is a trancendant basis for supporting heterosexual marriage and the rejection of other unions being legitimized or equalized with heterosexual marriage. And frankly, the Burkina example is not a red herring. I wish it were. Too many are people are dying needlessly. ”



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elsa

posted May 26, 2007 at 2:53 pm


Hi Payshun, “Why is it insulting to suggest that African men might be gay? Payshun: Did you not read what you wrote earlier? Payshun, I know what I think. I want to to know what you think. ” You assumed that they were getting the virus from gay sex when that could not be further from the case. It was never about them being gay but the way that the virus was transmitted and surprise surprise it was not by gay sex but by heterosexual sex. What’s offensive is that you assumed that they were having gay sex and that’s what brought it back to their homes. That’s not true.” I assumed they are getitng it from gay sex and other- I made the poitn that I agreed with you on the prostitution point. However, you have bypassed the other half of my arguement. The Burkina example is not just about the men. It is also about the women making a dramatic change in their sexual practices. “Delusion on top of delusion. The male and female bond has already broken down and has since the fall, so again what are you talking about? In case you have not noticed men and women are not relating all that healthfully and have not since the fanciful fall. ” Payshun, you make my point for me. We should be reinforcing the male/female bond. Not erroding it further. “Yes it does. You are afraid that what happened there could happen here and that’s fear. The subject of your fear are gay couples. That fear is called homophobia and that’s gross. ” Payshun, how many times do i have to state it. This is about human sexuality. We have already agreed that things are not rosy in the heterosexual camp either. And yes, I certainly do not want to see what is tragically happening in Africa to happen in the US. Of course i dont’t. My point AGAIN is that as a society, in order to avoid that scenario, we have to collectively denounce behaviors that could get us there and support those that will guaranty the health of society. So, I do not agree with your stance that,”If those folks in Burkina find some sense of comfort and love in a society that has allowed their men to go wild, I say go for it.” How do you honestly support that statement knowing what you know about the conditions people are subjected to there? This is where collective responsability seems to find no home with you. In that statement you might as well replace Burkina with USA. Aferter all, why not? “That breakdown between man and woman has been a part of every society on earth since the time mankind brought him their first kill.” What?! Men learned that they had to work for sex and you know what they have been doing it ever since. Explain that please The problem there is that healthy sex has never really been shown in our culture or most world cultures for any length of time…” Speak for yourself on that one. And really, how do you justfy that statement? And then we had the puritanical values that only made extramarital affairs worse. – Take a look at the divorce rate amongst say, the Amish, and tell me about puritanical values and how many affairs they have. ” and then there was slavery and that destroyed the black family and then…” Yes, man’s inhumanity to man has done immeasurable damage. But you don’t heal a damaged society by embracing that which will cause more damage for the sake of being politically correct. “My point is that we agree that heterosexual union should be preserved. I just think the LGBTQ community should decide for themselves and we should leave it alone. It’s not like they can marry in your church or mine but they should be allowed to do what they want.” Payshun, they WANT to get married in my church. So should they be allowed to? You keep saying they should and at the same time you say we agree on the preservation of heterosexual union. Around and around we go! bye



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squeaky

posted May 26, 2007 at 6:20 pm


“changing the mission and definition of marriage” You seem to be blaming gays on this trend. The changing definition of marriage has part to do with that, but to put it all on gays is ignoring what is going on in the heterosexual community. Marriage is about having children and that’s it is what you are saying. Well, it’s not, and the reason it’s not isn’t because gays want to be married. I want to get married, but not because I want children. I simply don’t want to be alone all my life, and there are a lot of people who wish to marry for that reason. My bio clock is ticking, and when the alarm goes off, are you telling me I might as well forget getting married because I won’t be able to have children? There are a lot of heterosexual couples who simply don’t want children. Is this a change? Perhaps–you would have to show me the stats over the years, and if it is a change, I counter that the change began long before the gay marriage issue has been on the scene. I would be interested in seeing some studies of how the attitudes of marriage has changed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a large part of that change started to come about when women began to assert more independence. We don’t have to be married to complete ourselves. We don’t have to have children to complete ourselves. Men have started to view women not just as objects or baby making machines, and marriages have turned into equal partnerships, rather than male-dominated unions. You can like those reasons or not (and there are others), but to put the change in marriage all on the shoulders of the homosexual community is short-sighted, and completely unfair. To be honest, I have never really viewed marriage as an end to having children, but rather a commitment between people who love each other–and ultimately, any marriage had better start with that. In fact, I have seen marriages break down for the simple fact the couple married to have children, or they had a child to “save the marriage.” Marriage must always start with the commitment between the couple–if kids happen, great. If not, then fine. What if heterosexual couples marry, stay married the rest of their lives, but never have children, either as a conscious decision or any other reason? Is that a failed marriage? On the other hand, a gay couple marries, stays married the rest of their lives, and produces children through many of the means that medical science now makes available to them. Is that a successful marriage by your definition? If not–consider–they produced children. In short, maybe homosexual union has a minor role to play in the changing views on marriage in this country. But I would counter it is a VERY minor role, and there are much bigger fish to fry. Focusing on gay marriage ignores the actual causes of the breakdown of the American family. I personally think a huge part of the breakdown is materialism and people marrying for the wrong reasons in the first place (too young, lust instead of true love, the promiscuity in our society). Domestic violence is also a huge issue that needs addressing–FAR more important than gay marriage. I’m rambling, though…



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Payshun

posted May 26, 2007 at 7:46 pm


Elsa: I assumed they are getitng it from gay sex and other- I made the poitn that I agreed with you on the prostitution point. However, you have bypassed the other half of my arguement. The Burkina example is not just about the men. It is also about the women making a dramatic change in their sexual practices. Me: That reflects a human need to connect, be safe and loved. There is nothing wrong w/ that. I have addressed this most central point in various arguments but let’s continue. Elsa: Payshun, you make my point for me. We should be reinforcing the male/female bond. Not erroding it further. Me: Have you not read the bible? Look at Adam and Eve, Sarah and Abraham… The point is that the bond you speak of is already broken. What’s so hard about that? It can’t be fixed? Not by you, not by me and gay people don’t erode it. That’s a myth. You believe that based off of biology when biology has allowed for homosexuality since the animals evolved.You take my central point which is that the bond cannot be fixed (saved by some grace of God) and seek to discriminate based on nothing more than people sharing the same genitalia. The argument you are using is the same argument used by some to deny race mixing. It’s ridiculous.You: Payshun, how many times do i have to state it. This is about human sexuality. We have already agreed that things are not rosy in the heterosexual camp either. And yes, I certainly do not want to see what is tragically happening in Africa to happen in the US. Of course i dont’t. My point AGAIN is that as a society, in order to avoid that scenario, we have to collectively denounce behaviors that could get us there and support those that will guaranty the health of society. So, I do not agree with your stance that,”If those folks in Burkina find some sense of comfort and love in a society that has allowed their men to go wild, I say go for it.” How do you honestly support that statement knowing what you know about the conditions people are subjected to there? This is where collective responsability seems to find no home with you. In that statement you might as well replace Burkina with USA. Aferter all, why not? Me: I have no problem w/ that. Unlike you I am not afraid of homosexual couples. They can’t do anything to harm my union or the union of heterosexual couples. Collective responsibility as you define is nothing more than discrimination. The race won’t die out. NOt when 4% of the population are gay or what not. Since when does collective responsibility mean discrimination? These couples have the innate right to decide how they will live w/o you or I or a society determining that for them.Elsa: Explain that please Me: Not a problem. Let’s look at American culture now and see examine how some men seek sex in this culture. We ask women out on dates, look up sites that promise immediate gratification… all in the hopes that some of us will get laid. As conventional culture goes (the world and the church) have this thing in common. Many men seek sex. I don’t understand why I needed to explain this.Not only that but let’s really examine the state of sex in marriage. Dateline had a fascinating series come out last year that examined the brokeness of mercy sex. Mercy sex happens when men (and sometimes women) have to beg for sex and their wives and some cases husbands only do it out of obligation and not love. They have sex rarely and don’t recieve any joy out of it. Unfortunately I don’t have the stats for the number of couples that actually went thru this but we are talking millions of people here. That’s just one aspect of brokeness in marriage. My point (and this is something you really don’t take seriously) is that gay marriage can’t erode heterosexual marriage because they are not in relationship w/ heterosexual people. You don’t even allow the couples that destroy their relationships to have any responsibility instead you point to the red herring of gay marriage.My point is that gay marriage can’t make heterosexual marriage worse or further destabilize something that is already tragically flawed. YOu say it will make it worse. That’s called fear and paranoia. You show no faith in humanity to continue itself, none whatsoever. That’s sad. You naively think a gay marriage pandemic will arise if we don’t crush it right away. That’s ridiculous, pathetic and sad. You are smarter than that. Elsa: Yes, man’s inhumanity to man has done immeasurable damage. But you don’t heal a damaged society by embracing that which will cause more damage for the sake of being politically correct. Me: That’s ridiculous. This has nothing to do w/ being politically correct. This has to do w/ equal rights and that’s it. You are living in this fantasy world that the male female union is some mythical thing, when it is not. I don’t know if you are married but I am willing to bet when you do get married (I am mercifully single right now) your hubby or you might masterbate w/o you being there or some other sexual dysfunction might take place. Gay people won’t be in the room w/ you when you do these things so how is that going to erode the union in general. How does it do that? You have never really explained how and have not based any of your argument on anything execept for a small nation (that doesn’t reflect anything in the US) and irrational fear. I trust humanity to continue itself a little more than you.Elsa: Payshun, they WANT to get married in my church. So should they be allowed to? You keep saying they should and at the same time you say we agree on the preservation of heterosexual union. Around and around we go! Me: No they should not. But then I honestly think most couples in this country should not be married in the church either. But they do and are despite the fact that many couples are having sex outside of marriage, moving into together… The church can discriminate against any one they want. I would not want to get married at a KKK rally either so I don’t understand why gay people would want to get married in an environment that is hostile to them. They can get married in another church. p



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Payshun

posted May 26, 2007 at 8:02 pm


The only people that can reinforce the union between man and woman is man and woman. They have to do that in their own relationships and not in trying to legislate discrimination against people that don’t fit that. That is all. p



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mg

posted May 27, 2007 at 3:28 am


Wow…….alot of discussion has been going on!…..I didn’t have time to read through everything, but I have some comments. Whether you believe homosexuality is a sin or not (I don’t), the bible mentions it maybe 10 times…..it never made it in the ‘Big 10′ commandments, but the bible mentions over, I believe, 1000 times about our responsibility of carring for the poor and oppressed women and children. That seems to be more important. As for women not being able to teach men how to be good fathers and husbands……women have been doing that forever….it seems when men have been charged with the responsibility…it hasn’t turned out well. In Africa, there are over 8 million orphans because their parents have dies of Aids. The Aids pandemic, which is devestating has caused in part because of the ignorance of the men….one of their beliefs is that if they have sex with a virgin they will be cured of Aids. The President of the country also refuses to allow condoms to be distributed by the government because of his evangelical religious beliefs………ignorance again!



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mg

posted May 30, 2007 at 10:20 pm


I haven’t seen anything posted for a long time……has anyone else tried to post replies?



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mg

posted May 31, 2007 at 4:57 am


I have a question for you all……..are any of you old enough to remember how Jane Fonda received her nickname, ‘Hanoi Jane?’



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Payshun

posted June 1, 2007 at 7:51 am


Yes. I know the story but was not old enough to have been there. That’s a few years before my time. p



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