Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Why Gays Aren’t Allowed to Be Members of Saddleback

posted by swaldman

Saddleback removed a page on their website that stated: “someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member at Saddleback Church.”
Now they’ve posted a new audio commentary from Pastor Tom Holladay — #22 on this page – that is intended to clarify this point. In it, Pastor Tom confirms that unrepentant gays cannot be members of the church, but he tries to put it in a broader context.
In general, anyone can attend but, to be a member, you have to agree to try to follow God’s law. Being a church member means, “we have decided together to trust Gods’ word.”
I’m told that to be a member of Saddleback, one must 1) profess faith in Christ; 2) undergo Baptism by immersion; 3) attend four hours of “membership 101″ courses and, most interesting 4) sign a ‘membership covenant” that is renewed each year.
Pastor Tom said that some people have been asked to leave church membership for carrying on adulterous relationships or engaging in financial sins. The key seems to be that, to be a member, you have to acknowledge that the behavior is sinful and work to resist it.
So, homosexuality isn’t the only kind of infraction that might exclude you from church membership.
But the church clearly does view homosexuality as a “dangerous sin” that needs to be rejected and overcome. A gay person who accepts that view would be welcome but one who accepts himself or herself as normal and healthy would not be welcome as members.
There is, of course, a logical consistency to the Saddleback position: the Bible says homosexuality is sinful, so they can’t very well carve a loophole saying we have to toil against sin… except for this one.
But I’m thinking this clarification is not going to make gays feel any better about Saddleback. From a gay perspective, it sounds a bit like they’re saying, “All gays may attend but only self-loathing gays may be members.”



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Private

posted December 23, 2008 at 6:06 pm


I wonder if they also bar members who:
are divorced and remarried
women who speak in church
charge or pay interest
don’t give to the poor
Sounds like selective literalism to me.



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Henrietta22

posted December 23, 2008 at 6:14 pm


So divorce is accepted in the Saddleback even though it says it is wrong in the Bible? Since every other couple in America is probably a divorced person remarried once or more times do they accept this because they wouldn’t have many tithing members if they didn’t? Oh, that’s right they think that a majority should be the peoples who choose the laws. If the divorce admonition in the Bible can be explained away so it is acceptable, it only follows that there are many other explanations for the abomination of same sex relationships, as well. Medical Societies say it a natural part of GLBT’s physiology, why carry out this archaic verse in the Bible when science proves otherwise? Do the members of Saddleback Church use modern medicine from our 2008 doctors? If they accept transplants, etc. and have confidence in our medical specialists, why then do they hold on to disbelief about homosexuality? It seems a very defeating ignorant thing to do if you want thinking people to listen to you when you speak of God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.



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David Mertz

posted December 23, 2008 at 7:55 pm


It’s curious that the other prohibitions that share the only anti-gay Biblical source aren’t enforced as bars for membership in Saddleback. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that members are not actually kicked out for eating shellfish; probably not for wearing mixed-fiber clothing; quite possibly members with tattoos are permitted even. Of all the wonderful “ungodly” abominations Leviticus describes, only the one (well, maybe a few) are conditions for church membership… or are even so much as vaguely recommended against.



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TPalmer

posted December 23, 2008 at 11:56 pm


The Bible does NOT say homosexuality is sinful. As I have noted before, Holladay loves to cite the Living Bible, an egregious translation of the text if ever there was one. Those who revere the Bible (or claim to), take note: If your version uses the words “homosexual” or “homosexuality,” it’s a crock. The words did not exist until the late 19th century; there is no equivalent in ancient Hebrew or Greek. There is not a chance in heaven or in hell that the Biblical writers understood sexual orientation; they commented only on certain sexual behaviors. The difference is crucial. Holladay & Co. either don’t understand this, or they won’t admit it.



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GGS

posted December 24, 2008 at 12:30 am


Check out Leviticus 20:13. Clearly homosexuality is not good according to the Bible. In fact according to this verse it is deadly.



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Julie

posted December 24, 2008 at 2:13 am


GGS
Find a Bible printed before 1946, it will not contain the word homosexual.
Henrietta22:
Warren believes a wife should be subjective to their husband
Warren says there are only 2 reason to get divorced:
Abandonment
Infidelity
Abuse is not a reason for divorce.
Rachel Maddow show has a good discussion on Warren. Rachel is a lesbian.
http://tinyurl.com/99e9bc



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Your Name

posted December 24, 2008 at 2:37 am


Anyone is Welcomed at Saddleback even Joel Osteen



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dfig

posted December 24, 2008 at 5:59 am


I’m new to this site and trying to figure out if it can serve as a source of information and inspiration.
If the editor in chief makes unbalanced and misleading statements about what the Bible says about homosexuality, this may not be the place for me.



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LutheranChik

posted December 24, 2008 at 8:02 am


My congregation welcomes everyone. I’m not only a member, by virtue of my baptism and affirmation of faith, but I’m also a lay minister. I hope that all the persons reading this who feel deliberately alienated from the Christian faith by homophobic congregations and clergy can similarly find a welcoming, inclusive church home.



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Your Name

posted December 24, 2008 at 9:24 am


dfig aren’t you the wonderful one. I can’t imagine how I ever got through life without your advice. I am amazed , I go on a Christian site and all anyone does is point the finger at the other side and proclaim how right they are. Not one one bit of understanding and compassion for anther thought or opinion.



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jestrfyl

posted December 24, 2008 at 10:37 am


You know, life is too short, the needs are too great, and any efort to limit access to God is plain silly. If there is a congregation that will not accept you as you are – and we are all unrepentant in some way – then look for a United Church of Christ nearby. We are not all the same and some can be fairly conservative, but we do rejoice for every person who comes to us along their journey of faith. Saddleback and some others may not need or want you – we do. Come learn with us, teach us, grow with us, and know we will support you as we hope you will support and encourage us. Make it a Christmas gift to yourself – a church home where you can be as God created you.
MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL.



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methodistsearching

posted December 24, 2008 at 10:49 am


I think it’s about time to give it a rest with all the Rick Warren coverage. He’s clearly established that he thinks he can make more money and become more powerful by throwing in with the right than the left. End of story.
All of these thoughtful, logical and challenging comments mean nothing to him and his church. It’s a business decision pure and simple.
Unfortunately, Obama’s inclusion of this sham artist ledns credibility to him.



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barrys

posted December 24, 2008 at 10:55 am


Yawn, yawn, yawn. There may be a blanket ban on those who refuse to renounce sin, but only [real] enforcement against gays. I am willing to sit down with Rick and take 20 members at random and see if they are so sin-less, and have renounced the sin. As long as Rick resigns if any of them don’t uphold his church’s “rule” and publically denounced in his next televised sermon, I will believe he is sincere. BTW, a complete audit of church affairs should be included. I will even give a pass on the shrimp, but not on divorse, since Jesus did speak about that.



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Your Name

posted December 24, 2008 at 11:03 am


I find it sad that people insist on believing that homosexuality is either a “lifestyle choice”, or that it is inherently sinful. Is heterosexuality a lifestyle choice? I don’t recall making any choice regarding my own sexual identity. As a child it seemed to choose me, if anything. But I think one’s sexual identity is such a small fraction of what constitutes our core identity, which I think is more defined by the things we do choose — our beliefs and our behavior. Which genitalia one prefers seems fairly insignificant to me. By the same token, I believe the same about one’s race. I don’t see how one can consider sinful that which is not governed by choice.
By the way, I have both a gay sister and a gay brother. Being “straight”, I guess you could say I’m the black sheep of the family (lol). In any case, I have nothing but the deepest love and respect for them both, respect which comes out of the genuine integrity with which they conduct their lives. It is my profoundest hope and prayer that the human race overcomes its fear, ignorance and prejudice towards gay people, in the same way that it has gradually overcome its fear, ignorance and prejudice towards those of a different race.



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Your Name

posted December 24, 2008 at 11:10 am


When did Rick Warren “clearly establish” that his professed religious beliefs are a “business decision,” about money and power? I’d love to read about it. Methodistsearching, could you provide me with a link or direct me to another site? You must know what you’re talking about to make such an ugly accusation.



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nikkola

posted December 24, 2008 at 11:45 am


you really want to know what burns me up about xianity? right wingers. people who obviously never lived in the real world. and fair warning, there are plenty like myself who are more than happy to give the children the truth.



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Your Name

posted December 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm


To be a christian is to be christ-like. Now we all fall short and miss the mark at times. Homosexuality and all other sin is not acceptable by God. Thankfully we are allowed the grace to repent and strive to live the best life that we can and receive forgiveness. As far as homosexuals being a member of Saddleback church I agree with their first statement that they removed from their website. To be a member of God’s church is not like club membership. Biblical membership is one who submits walks in agreement to God’s design as the creator of things seen and unseen. Regarding homosexuality, if a person does not want to follow the design of opposite sex holy marriage unions that is so painfully clear in scripture, then this is a red flag of true membership. If a person wants to live their life anyway they choose regardless of what scripture teaches us, then they should not be a member of God’s church. And I am not refering to a church building, but the body of Christ.



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Henrietta22

posted December 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm


Julie thanks for straighting me out on Rick Warrens take on Bibical laws that are acceptable for he and his church. Abandonment and infidelity in a divorce is o.k., but abuse such as bouncing your wife’s head off the homes walls, kicking her, cussing her, screaming vile accusations at her, breaking her nose, raping her, and all this in front of their children is not reason enough for the Pastor and his members of Saddleback church to accept for reason to divorce this loving christian husband? Having been a doaner to our Violence Center in our city and privy to what has happened to these women you’ve just made Warren a bigger nut than he was before and everyone who thinks like him.
I didn’t know Rachel is a lesbian, that’s good, I should have realized that, since she is more intelligent than the average news woman.



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Your Name

posted December 24, 2008 at 12:59 pm


As a gay man, I’m fine with Saddleback’s membership policies. I applaud their good works around the world. I admire their consistency in their beliefs. I simply have no desire to be a member there. Can’t we all just get along?



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Geri

posted December 24, 2008 at 2:04 pm


To those who will not preach the truth regarding homosexuality, check out what God said through Isaiah. This is not new.
Isaiah 30:8-10
Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
That this [is] a rebellious people, lying children, children [that] will not hear the law of the LORD:
Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.NKJV
They tell the prophets, “Shut up! We don’t want any more of your reports.” They say, “Don’t tell us the truth. Tell us nice things. Tell us lies.NLT
They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.NIV
People want lies preached to them. They want the clergy to say homosexuality is acceptable. True loves speaks the truth that will give you eternal life. It is better to give up the homosexual lifestyle here, in this short life, and gain peace in the eternal life. Those clergy that lie to you to make you feel better now do not love you, truly. And they don’t love themselves, because clergy will be judged much harder than you who are not teachers (James 3:1).
There are many ex gay Christians who can testify that God will deliver those who want to be delivered from gay tendencies. God is love. Yes, there are many other sins we all need deliverance from. Being “gay” is one of many, but you must repent and be delivered to miss hell and go to heaven. Hell and heaven both are much, much longer than this short life. Rethink your position, and pray. God will give you the answer Himself. You need not trust man to soothe your conscience, nor to make you feel bad, not understanding. God understands. But He demands obedience. He made the man for the woman, and the woman for the man. Ask Him. Obviously, it is hard to know who to believe, especially when your heart wants to believe one thing above another. It is tempting to believe the “clergy” who preach smooth things and lies.
God is love. He loves you, but it is your choice to get to know Him better or allow man to stand between you and Him.
God bless you.



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kaj129

posted December 24, 2008 at 2:15 pm


Where does the bible say that a committed, loving relationship between two men or two women is sinful? It doesn’t. It does say that certain acts, both heterosexual and homosexual, are contrary to God’s word, but there is a huge distinction between sex and love. I don’t know about you, but people who use the Bible to discriminate against a group of people simply because they love someone of the same gender goes against everything Jesus has taught me.



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Guy Allen

posted December 24, 2008 at 2:17 pm


My Bible says all people are sinners and that the wage of sin are death. By Saddleback’s rules their church should be empty



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creed

posted December 24, 2008 at 2:30 pm


I agree with Saddleback. If you dont loath a sin the church preaches against then dont join. Why do liberals always think it is best to join an organization antithetical to their own beliefs and then feel it is their right to destroy the organization or force it to compromise?



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Tom

posted December 24, 2008 at 3:52 pm


Do not assume, as Warren and his followers have done, that the Bible condemns “homosexuals.” In specific contexts, scripture admonishes against same-sex acts but not “homosexual” acts. There is no mention of being gay (i.e. sexual orientation) in all of scripture. It never dawned on the writers that human beings possessed a sexual orientation. Therefore, to avoid inaccurate and unfair reading of the Bible, it is best to read the ancient Word of God as condemning same-sex acts between “heterosexual” folks (i.e. as unnatural). If you assume that every human being is straight, then the handful of condemnations work beautifully. But if you do not read scripture as a book of science (as Warren and his ilk do), and you accept the findings of modern psychology along with your faith in a loving and faithful God (which Warren does not), then you (we) must re-examine your beliefs in light of the new place you find yourself and trust in God to guide you in your judgments and ethical decisions.



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Geri

posted December 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm


To some, it may be confusing that some that advocate homosexuality say it is not preached against in the Bible, and others say it is preached against but is obsolete or archaic. There are two sites I thought spoke to the former view. This way people can be more informed in order to make such an important decision. May God bless you.



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Greg

posted December 24, 2008 at 5:41 pm


“Homosexual” is an obsolete, Victorian era sexology theory. Obsolete because it doesn’t acknowledge the concept of “identity.” People don’t do “homosexuality,” as we invest identity in our sexuality, in most everything we do. Animals, which apparently don’t do identity, on the other hand, do do homosexuality. The religious right loves to use “homosexual” because it wants to strip the identity, the humanity, dignity, and most everything else, from Gay/MSM people. And why? Greed, a need to bully, to dominate, a want for scapegoats, a conspiracy theory view of the world, a need to fear the “other?” Maybe there’s such a thing as APS, authoritarian personality syndrome?
People with respect for human dignity try to use the names and labels that a community chooses for itself. They use “Gay,” an almost universal consensus. Scientists studying the sexuality of men who have sex with men, but don’t identify with the Gay community, use MSM.
I’ve read the Bible and I don’t see it forbidding MSM activity or marriage by same sex couples (antipathy isn’t the same as prohibition(, but it does proclaim that men who treat other men like women were treated back then, are abominations.
But, at least in my world, we don’t treat women like women were treated back then. They wouldn’t stand for it, for starters. Slavery is strongly frowned upon as well, though condone by the Bible, even in the Ten Commandments. Obviously, these are proof that the world is getting progressively more evil, right? As I remember John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute writing once, God can condone most any form of government except democracy. The concept of the basic equality of all adults, is foreign in the Bible.
To lie with a man as with a woman, was to make him your property, your slave, in a state of submission like women. Men raped men to enslave them. Equality had no place in a man’s home. Fortunately, most MSM/Gay men today don’t want to lie with a man as with a woman, except maybe in extreme situations like prison…otherwise they would lie with a woman.



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nathan

posted December 24, 2008 at 6:11 pm


I personally believe that it is too early for me to weigh in on this issue. There are many Christians on both sides of this issue who have valid arguments. I just pray that we can move forward in a way that shows the world (not to mention our kids), just how to disagree in a Christ like vocation. The only place where the New Testament speaks specifically on male to male, female to female relationships is found in Romans 1 (The passage in 1 Cor. speaks of pedophilia not homosexuality). Paul is explicit in his condemnation for the giving up of natural desires for the unnatural. However, what is most often missed, is Paul reserves his most damning condemnation in the next chapter for hypocrites and those who judge.
Now in a culture where 51% of the church is divorced, I just don’t see how we can be so presumptive in taking the lead on this. Why don’t we concentrate on taking the camels out of our own cup (Matt. 23), then we can worry about the gnats in other people’s cups.
And another question that I have is how or why are the eunuchs, sexually “abnormal” works of creation (Matt. 19:12), who were originally banned from the place of worship (Deut 23:1), included in Isaiah’s vision of a New Jerusalem (Isa 56:3,4), and furthermore one of the original carriers of this new Kingdom of God (Acts 8:26-40), rarely contextualized in this 21st century debate? Is it fair to make that parallel? If so, how would they fit into Paul’s condemnation of trading a natural sexual desire for an unnatural one?
Also, read what Desmond Tutu, who knows a thing or two about oppression, has to say on this issue.



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Greg

posted December 24, 2008 at 6:44 pm


“Gay” isn’t an “unnatural” lust, or “Abnormal.” It’s to be expected in a very social, usually lusting, species. Sixty plus years of sociological and psychological studies have shown that quite conclusively. Gays in general, are “normal” people.
In any case, if it’s “unnatural,” it’s simply impossible, forbidden by the laws of physics.



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nathan

posted December 24, 2008 at 7:58 pm


Greg,
You make completely valid points. But how do you didactically convey this in a Biblical context that speaks to someone such as Geri?



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Rev. Joshua Ellis

posted December 24, 2008 at 11:20 pm


About a year ago I saw a Christian woman being interviewed on television, defending God’s word in the Bible. The interviewer asked her what Bible she read. Her reply: “The King James version. The one that God wrote.” Her words made me wonder: how many ideas and briefs spring from inaccurate translations and culturally-informed interpretations of centuries-old texts? The question for me is how to find love for Rev. Rick Warren and his followers when their views so differ from mine? My Inner Loving Voice tells me they are doing the best they can with the knowledge that they accept as Truth at the present time. I pray that I remain open-minded and open-hearted to them.



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Julie

posted December 25, 2008 at 12:03 am


A Non-Evangelical interpretation of the Bible
http://www.christchapel.com/corinth_inter.html
Original Language
Malakos and Arsenokoites
Paul used two Greek terms which we should examine. The first is malakos. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible defines malakos as: “of uncertain affinity; soft, i.e. fine (clothing); figuratively, a catamite: KJV– effeminate, soft.” It appears that the Bible translators interpreted effeminate to mean homosexual. But the definition does not suggest which gender it is referring to. The definition simply indicates a state of effeminacy. Are these effeminate men or women?
To help us further understand this term we can go to the Latin term catamite seen in the definition.
cat*a*mite (noun) [Latin catamitus, from Catamitus Ganymede, from Etruscan Catmite, from Greek Ganymedes] First appeared 1593 : a boy kept by a pederast [Greek paiderastes, literally, lover of boys]
The second Greek term which the Apostle Paul used is arsenokoites. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible defines this as:
733 arsenokoites (ar-sen-ok-oy’-tace); from 730 [arrhen – male] and 2845 [koite – a couch, by implication, the male sperm] ; a sodomite: KJV– abuser of (that defile) self with mankind.
And like malakos where the Greek is unclear the Latin (sodomite) gives us a clearer picture of its meaning.
(From Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible) 6945 qadesh (kaw-dashe’); from 6942; a (quasi) sacred person, i.e. (technically) a (male) devotee (by prostitution) to licentious idolatry: KJV– sodomite, unclean
Excerpts from The Bible is an Empty Closet by Dr. Ralph Blair
Paul’s reference to malakoi and arsenokoitai.
Evangelical New Testament scholar Gordon D. Fee of Regent College says that these two terms are “difficult.” The Fundamentalist journal admits: “These words are difficult to translate.” Of arsenokoitai, Fee says: “This is its first appearance in preserved literature, and subsequent authors are reluctant to use it, especially when describing homosexual activity.” Scroggs explains that “Paul is thinking only about pederasty, . . . There was no other form of male Homosexuality in the Greco-Roman world which could come to mind.” Ancient sources indicate that the malakoi were “effeminate call boys.” Though Paul seems to have coined arsenokoitai, it refers, perhaps, to the call boys’ customers, although nobody knows for sure. Paul’s main point, however, is clear: Christians who slander and sue each other in pagan courts are just as shameful as robbers, drunkards, the greedy, and the malakoi and arsenokoitai (whatever they were). The other kind of pederasty in Paul’s day was that of the slave “pet boys” who were sexually exploited by adult male owners. The desired boys were prepubescent or at least without beards so that they seemed like females. These men had wives for dowries, procreation and the rearing of heirs. They had “pet boys” for sex – hardly the picture of gay relationships today.
Scripture confirms in several places that sodomites were shrine prostitutes.
I King 14:24
24 And there were also sodomites (qadesh) in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.(KJV)
I King 15:12
12 And he took away the sodomites (qadesh) out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.(KJV)
If Paul meant to say homosexuals he would have used the Greek term for homosexual — arrhenokoites. He would not have used arsenokoites (shown above to mean sodomites). Paul never used the term arrhenokoites in any of his writings.
Excerpt from Today’s Handbook of Bible Times & Customs, by William L. Coleman
The pagan religions that surrounded and contaminated Israel’s history frequently practiced some form of cult prostitution, usually centered on the theme of fertility….
One means of pleasing the fertility gods was to engage in sex with the female or male prostitutes available at the temple. As bizarre as this may sound, the practice was common; it endured into New Testament times and frequently was assimilated into the worship of Jehovah….
The degenerate religion of the Canaanites was one of the reasons why God wanted them annihilated. Because Israel did not carry out God’s mandate, the religion persisted and repeatedly infiltrated the religious life of the Jews. They were continuously plagued by prostitution in their own religion despite the fact that the law strictly prohibited it (Deut. 23:17,18). . . Not everyone participated in the pagan worship, but everyone would have been aware of its presence. . .
The translations of the original Greek that lead us to an understanding of the common presence during the time, of shrine prostitutes, is consistent with other scriptural references.
We have already seen that shrine prostitution was a widespread and common practice. We have seen that the people were aware of them and scripture mentions many times Israel’s attempt to rid itself of this practice.
It is clear that the Apostle Paul was not talking about homosexuals, but he was including the pedophiles and temple shrine prostitutes in his list of those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 22:37 and Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27? Not familiar? ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’



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Geri

posted December 25, 2008 at 2:27 am


Julie said:
>>>>>“Paul used two Greek terms which we should examine. The first is malakos. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible defines malakos as: “of uncertain affinity; soft, i.e. fine (clothing); figuratively, a catamite: KJV– effeminate, soft.” It appears that the Bible translators interpreted effeminate to mean homosexual. But the definition does not suggest which gender it is referring to.The definition simply indicates a state of effeminacy. Are these effeminate men or women?” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex-gay you can find information about the ex-gay support groups in existence, and accounts of those who have been delivered form the gay lifestyle, those who have gone on to marry and live a heterosexual lifestyle, those who have relapsed, those who have become celibate, etc. As with any addiction, it is extremely hard to overcome alone. With God’s help you can do it. A healthy relationship with Him will more than replace the immodest, imaginary fulfillment of a same sex relationship.
May God bless your reading.



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nathan

posted December 26, 2008 at 2:30 am


Geri,
“Sex with children is not the only definition, but is the definition of choice when one wants to get around God’s word and His will. It cannot be the definition of choice when one is truly attempting to get to know God’s word.”
It sounds as if you are the one too eager to place your own definition into Paul’s use of language in the words “Malakos and Arsenokoites.” By all means, an attempt to produce the original meaning of what the original writer was attempting to convey has been a subject of debate even among the most formidable Bible translators. The NRSV no longer even uses “homosexuality” in this 1 Cor. 6:9 passage.
My Bible tells me that God will deal harshly with those who judge (Romans 2), and that He requires mercy, not sacrifice (Hosea 6). When people talk about loving someone so much that they want to set them straight now so they won’t suffer through eternal damnation, it only sounds like a cop out, to avoid working through the tension of “the other.”
Jesus was not hated by religious folk because He loved sinners for their potential. He was hated because He liked (phileo) them in the present and spent time with them (And I have reason to believe that He even enjoyed their company). Instead of reading about ex-gay support groups on wikipedia, maybe it would be beneficial for you to engage in this practice of liking “the other.” Find a gay person and go play Hungry Hungry Hippo together or something. Thanks and Merry Christmas.



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Geri

posted December 26, 2008 at 4:25 am


Jesus was not copping out. He did not shun the sinners. What Jesus did was to love the publicans and sinners so much He set them straight so they would not suffer through eternal damnation.
Jesus did not sit with publicans and sinners and play games with them and hug them and tell them they were just fine in their sin and let them go to hell. He loved, counseled and healed them, He set them straight, then He told them to go and sin no more.
Jesus empowered some followers who had been delivered to go and tell their stories to others so they could also be set straight and follow Him, and receive eternal salvation. Some were angry at Him and His followers for doing that–angry to the point of murder. Some received salvation and spread the word, the healing, the truth, and the power to others. Some continue to this day to spread the word and the truth. Some hate the truth and say they hate it, honestly.
Some attempt to twist the truth to fit their definitions of choice, because they are more concerned with their addictions in this short, temporal life than with living for the purpose God has called them to, which calls for overcoming in order to receive eternal life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. He said to lay down your burdens, to give them to Him.
Being gay is a burden, as with any sin. The joy is in deliverance, not in accpetance of sin as “natural.” An addiction is a burden. Because He cares, He can cure it. He does have all power. The first thing to do is to admit, repent, and submit to Him. Let Him come to your home, sup with you, counsel you, heal and set you straight. The Holy Spirit is Jesus gift to His believers, those who receive Him. Through the Holy Spirit He counsels, communicates with you. The power of the Holy Spirit heals and empowers you to overcome the addictions of the temporal world. He is able to reach you at any time, in any place. Let Him in today. The truth separates you (John 17:17). You are not born to live a life twisted in sin and misery. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came they you may have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). May God empower you to see and receive the truth today.



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non-metaphysical stephen

posted December 28, 2008 at 6:58 pm


> At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex-gay you can find information about the ex-gay support groups in existence, and accounts of those who have been delivered form the gay lifestyle, those who have gone on to marry and live a heterosexual lifestyle, those who have relapsed, those who have become celibate, etc.
Or you can go to http://gaychristian.net and learn how to accept your sexuality as part of your Christian identity. We have several ex-ex-gays on that site (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex-ex-gay ) who can explain to you just how damaging the ex-gay movement is. In my experience, God simply is not making gay people straight; instead, God is using gay people to minister to the outcast and to call our attention to the continued presence of social injustice.



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Husband

posted December 28, 2008 at 10:11 pm


I don’t care what rules Saddleback sets. I’m not a member of that church and they should be free to set their own rules. They should likewise permit the same grace to those who believe otherwise.
Also, they should stop disparaging God’s gay and lesbian children. Cease with the defammatory, untrue comparisons to incest and adult/child marriage. Bearing false witness is a sin too, and Mr. Warren seems quite unrepentant about that.



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Greg Scott

posted December 31, 2008 at 4:35 pm


“All gays may attend but only self-loathing gays may be members.”
What a perversion of the church policy and of the Scripture to which the church is faithful. You need not be “self-loathing” to align yourself with what your faith teaches about human sexual behavior. Characterizing anyone who willingly rejects a sexual proclivity (whether one is “born that way” or whether life events led to such a preference) in favor of something far more important, (faith in God and adherence to well-known, black-and-white Biblical principles) as “self-loathing” is cheap rhetoric unworthy of someone who is typically more thoughtful.
Would you say that someone who fought his adulterous tendencies is “self-loathing” or would you say that it is good an honorable for such a man to make such a choice, especially if the choice was made after prayer and reflection on the Word? Wouldn’t it be a blessing for his Brothers and Sisters in the church to pray for him and practice discipleship in helping him overcome this desire? Would it not be a stain on the church to allow adulterous behavior to continue among its flock?
Why the double standard? Saddleback certainly isn’t isn’t playing the double standard game, so what was that closing comment all about?



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Dismas

posted January 22, 2009 at 12:13 am


I’ve come to the conclusion that homosexuality makes an individual incapable of discerning the difference between right and wrong, moral and immoral, sin and repentance.
2 Thessalonians 2_10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Keep on arguing about how Rick Warren or some other individual is homophobic or bigoted, while you perish in your sins. Go ahead and argue that comparing homosexuality to incest, pedophilia, and adultery is unfair, while you perish in your sin. Go ahead and deceive yourself, and revel in your delusions of homosexuality’s righteousness, and naturalness.
Wake up and smell the coffee. You are perishing in your sins, and are unwilling to even attempt to love God, more than you love your own narcissistic lifestyle. Homosexuality is hyper-narcissism. Look outside of your own genitals and find real love with the opposite gender, like God intended. Or, perish in unrighteousness!



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come on

posted February 1, 2009 at 2:53 am


so gays don’t know right from wrong? wouldn’t that make 5% of the population sociopaths? give me a break dismas.



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Your Name

posted April 5, 2009 at 11:49 am


synonymous with atheism nor agnosticism.



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not carin

posted December 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm


Saddleback church is like any other organization defing itself both by what it does and does not tolerate and/or teach. This is much ado about nothing. These folks make rules – no matter what anyone thinks about the logic or rightness of those rules. If you want to be a member, accept the rules or leave. You don’t like Catholicism because of its teachings about women, celibacy, and homosexuality? Don’t be a Catholic. You don’t like Mormonism? Don’t be a Mormon. It ain’t rocket science.



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