The New Christians

The New Christians


The Most Important Cartoon of the Year

posted by Tony Jones

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By Steve Breen, San Diego Tribune, October 18, 2009



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jeannette

posted October 25, 2009 at 9:40 am


the world today is not a good place we should all do more to help each other sometimes i think we need God to do another noahs ark to help rid us of all the evil the saddest part is that people are worshiping money not the Almighty try to do at least one good deed a day and see how much your own little piece of your world improves jeannette



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Elliedee

posted October 25, 2009 at 12:16 pm


Where is the World when it comes to Africa? Where is the UN? Money has been spent in the Trillions for years when it comes to helping to feed those in Africa..however corruption rules while people starve. I would rather spend money on supporting women in villiages, or bringing new ways to get water to villiages than just sending them food, and Aids vaccines.. Teach them to fish…give more money to those who are missionarys rather than to Un Peace Keepers who allow women to be raped right in front of them, and do nothing..becuase they can only keep peace!



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Panthera

posted October 25, 2009 at 1:45 pm


Ah, but who cares about Negroes? Better they should all die of Aids or starve to death than that we actually help them.
Jesus, after all, was only talking to white, conservative, Republican fundamentalist Christians – the rest aren’t even, really human.
The first fundamentalist-evangilical-literalistic-conservative-etc. Christian who now attacks gets it right between the eyes with the amount spent by Bush & Co. on war and death versus the amount you oh-go-godly supposedly spend on Africa.
The only thing conservative Christians care about is bashing gays and forcing their agenda down everyone’s throat. This is why things in Africa haven’t improved, nor will they until we rethink our priorities. Fat lot of chance of that happening.



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The Amazing Rando

posted October 25, 2009 at 10:05 pm


Panthera: always the victim aren’t we?



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Jim

posted October 25, 2009 at 10:44 pm


Panthera, I like you, and really appreciate your presence on these boards, so please take this comment as something of a lament, not an attack. And I know you’ve had some awful, totally unjustifiable experiences, so I don’t blame you at all for your position, I just want to shed a little light on my experience, and maybe some others’ here.
I consider myself a “fundamentalist-evangelical-literalistic-conservative-etc.” And Tony’s post here really stirs my conscience, I know I’ve been sinful in my lack of compassion for those in deep, deep, physical need. I admit myself wholly guilty.
But I feel myself accused here, by you, Panthera, of a whole host of sins, via a guilt by association. In fact, I do not like “Bush & Co.,” I strongly dislike war, especially those started for unjust causes, and I have never supported bashing gays or forcing my agenda down everyone’s throat. I have in fact stated on these boards that the government should not restrict marriage, and that Prop 8 sorts of things are unhelpful and unlawful.
I say this in part to vindicate myself, but in part in hopes of showing you that the picture you paint of “fundamentalist-evangelical-literalistic-conservative-etc.,” while true for some of us, surely, is not true for us all. Some of us try our best to walk as Jesus taught, and to love as Jesus loved.
Your comments, while I understand their background, could be personally hurtful to people. The blame, of course, falls on those conservatives “Christians” who cause this picture of us to be drawn. But Panthera, you have an opportunity to stop the spread of that hurt by treating us conservatives who are not your enemies kindly. Sure, condemn evil where you see it, but please don’t paint us all with the same brush. It makes it harder to partner to stop the sorts of evil in Tony’s cartoon.



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Panthera

posted October 26, 2009 at 8:28 am


The Amazing Rando: You do realize, you are playing your political games on the backs of these starving people?
Jim,
You have a valid point – I do feel great anger towards those Christians among us who are only interested in advancing political goals involving oppressing gays and personal financial enrichment. I have traveled widely throughout Africa and I have personally seen the consequences of the decisions made by just these conservative, politically active Christians. They are devastating.
Am I unfairly impugning all Christians? No. I am, myself a Christian, tho’ there’s quite a large number of your fellow conservative, evangelical, etc. fellow-travelers who loudly deny that here. Take a look at the Secularizing the Cross thread over on Steven Waldman’s blog for a good example of that.
And it is undeniable that the Bush period reflected the will of your conservative position in the Christian body – money for an unjust, illegal war. Money for corporate interests. No money for veterans. Cuts in aid to programs which actually do help fight hunger such as human status for women and effective birth control. Condoms against Aids.
So, you tell me – am I being harsh here? Yes, I am. Jim, how much Christian charity has flown from your side of our Christian body over the last eight years? Very, very little. Would it help if I were gentler and kinder? Me, yes, those here who hate me and take Scrooge’s words for gospel (Ebenezer: But have they no refuge, no resource? Spirit of Christmas Present: [quoting Scrooge] Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? …)
I have been told here firmly and frequently that the only real Christians are those who are nationalistic, conservative, Republican supporting, gay-bashing. The rest of us are not really Christian. So, if I happen to point out – and the statistics are appalling – that it is just those people here who deny me Christian status who are most at fault for the lack of funds and efforts to end world hunger, I don’t see what else to do.
My husband and I tithe 10% of our joint income (pre-tax). Sometime, about 1997 or so, we were at a family gathering in the ‘States. My dad was going over the family books with us and I noted that my share of the business was having 10% taken off the top and donated directly to Christian charities as per my orders. My ultra-super-fundi-Christian brother and his (at that time two) kids weren’t setting aside one cent. Asked about it later at dinner. No, subtlety has never been my strong point. His answer – forced by my mother – was that he and his wife felt that their contributions to the Republican party counted as tithing and, again pressed, they had told their kids to do the same.
That, Jim, is what I am talking about. Séan and I went back home feeling pretty disgusted and sick about the whole thing.
Oh, right, our tithe. Well, 100% of mine goes to a small convent down the road from my parents. Yes, a Catholic charity! Heavens, supporting my enemies? No. They run open books and every single cent goes to local needs. No politics, unless you count feeding undernourished children and providing a free health clinic for those who would otherwise go untreated. Truly, this is a symbol of these Catholics’s and my not-really-Christian agenda. Imagine, taking care of the orphans and the widows. Been listening to that long-haired, sandal-wearing Jewish Rabi again, I do confess. Those nuns are going to be in for quite a shock when the Inquisition arrives at their doorstep, you bet’cha.
Jim, I am so under attack here from your side that I very well do tend to cast all conservative Christians in one lump. That’s true. I’m sorry about that, you aren’t all evil monsters. I take the lesson from Paul that we have had serious disagreements from the beginning and we have to work together. Your side takes the lesson that I should be stoned to death. Somehow, we aren’t quite going to come together on that one.
We are putting our money where our mouths are as Christians. Even if your side says we aren’t really Christian because we love each other.



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Mere_Christian

posted October 26, 2009 at 9:27 am


Are there not a BILLION Muslims that could help the starving?
Saudi Arabia has TRILLIONS of doallars at its disposal and it can’t do anything about this?
Unemployed Christians in the United States of America are finally running out of means to help the words less fortunate.
And what about all the money that the New Atheists take in?



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Mere_Christian

posted October 26, 2009 at 9:37 am


OK, I’m going to try that again without anger causing typos:
Are there not a BILLION Muslims that could help the worlds starving?
Saudi Arabia has TRILLIONS of dollars at its disposal and it can’t do anything about this?
Unemployed Christians in the United States of America are finally running out of the means in which to help the world’s less fortunate.
And what about all the money that the New Atheists take in?
You leftist Christians love to rant and rave with mocking tone aplenty about this issue, but it is the Conserviatve Evangelicals actually doing something about it.
We don’t get Hollywood, New York and Washington DC cash flow like you “progressives” do for your leftist political action.
Time for the apathetic that have pretended to care for far too long . . . to stand up and take a turn.
That would mean you Liberals and your allies in the Muslim, Democrats and Atheist “communities.”



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Panthera

posted October 26, 2009 at 9:47 am


Mere_Christian,
I most humbly suggest that we, as fellow Christians, have a responsibility to follow our Lord’s clear position on the matter:
20 The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. (Proverbs 14:20-21)
**************
58:10 And [if] thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness [be] as the noonday:
58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. Isaiah 58:10-11)
*************
And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. Luke 3:10-13)
****************
[15] Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
[16] Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
[17] But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
[18] My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
[19] And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 1 John 3:17)
I read the Bible regularly – admittedly, not the modern American perversions you prefer, but, still, above are some minor illustrations from the KJV. Nowhere in the Bible have I ever found anything which, not even in ‘literal interpretation à la conservative/evangelical/literalistic/fundamentalist/Republican, etc. Christian can be taken to mean, even remotely that we are excused from doing our duty just because others don’t.
Rather the opposite, actually…whoops: Almost quoted that long-haired, sandal-wearing Jewish Rabi again. Just can’t quite seem to get him out of my heart.



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Jim

posted October 26, 2009 at 10:20 am


Thanks for your response, Panthera. The only exception I’d take is that the “Bush period reflected the will of your conservative position.” I don’t think there’s only one, monothilic, evil-empire style conservative position. Conservatism, in my experience, is more varied than that, and Bush certainly does not represent my conservative position.
Other than that, I think we are in accord.
For the same reason, I object to Mere_Christian’s use of “you leftists.” Which leftists? Obviously Panthera, if he’s a “leftist” is doing something about it. So’s Tony. How do you, Mere_Christian, know the hearts of the “leftists” on this blog, or even their bank accounts?
Let’s stop making sweeping generalizations about either side, and start feeding the hungry.



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jestrfyl

posted October 26, 2009 at 10:53 am


Good cartoon – what is sad is that people would think their plight is a hoax, too.



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Panthera

posted October 26, 2009 at 11:04 am


I agree, Jim.
Obviously my impressions are colored by living in rural areas in two very different places: Northern Europe and Georgia.
Mere_Christianity scares me. He is all that I mean when I refer to conservative, etc. Christians. I believe him to be very representative of American conservative Christians.
Frankly, I don’t think the Lord expects those who have very little to give financially to tithe 10% or 1%. We can, so of us it is expected.
What I don’t quite see is why there is no room in American Christianity for gays and the transgendered.



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Panthera

posted October 26, 2009 at 11:37 am


Am I a “Leftist”?
Hmm, politically, the last Republican president I felt comfortable with was Eisenhower.
Given the current requirements for being a Republican, I guess that does make me a far, far leftist. Eisenhower was, obviously, a secret Marxist/Leninist. He even believed in gay rights!
To be honest, I find myself ofttimes missing Richard Nixon. He was a crook, but he sure had brains.
And that, I think, is the major difference between the “left” and the “conservative, etc. Christians” in America versus European Christians. By political standards of our home, I am center-right. Most Christians are. By American standards, we are all ultra-left.
Sad, very, very sad.



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Tom LeGrand

posted October 26, 2009 at 2:32 pm


Mere_Christian:
I apologize for the fact that this is going to sound very arrogant. Perhaps it is. But…
Your argument is one of the weakest and most sophomoric things that I have read on these boards.
Look at the “Taj Mahals” that all Christians (not just conservative ones, BTW) have built for themselves. These buildings sit empty for 80% of the week, and we would not dare let them be used by “other” people. At least not without charging an appropriate fee.
We hear sermons about giving to the Lord, but we continue to make poor choices about how to use this money. We forget that it is the LORD’S money, not our own to use for our own comfort.
We complain that we have no more to give, yet we whine that we are being “pinched” because we can’t have a 4000 sq.ft. house or a $50,000 suv. DAMN that Obama, he just wants to take away my grossly oversized gas-guzzling emission-spitting SUV. COMMUNIST!!!
I do not say this to demean those are are truly suffering in this economy, because they do exist in this country. But for most of us, the definition of “suffering” means that we cook at home rather than eat out. Oh, the humanity!!! We still have plenty to give, we just choose not to give it, at least not to the poor and starving. Face the facts–we all need to repent for this.
As to your point about Muslims or Arab states, you cannot even begin to back that up with scripture or anything that remotely touches the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Read Matthew 25:31-46. It really makes this very simple.



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Panthera

posted October 26, 2009 at 2:48 pm


Ouch.
Matthew 25:31-46 (King James Version)
31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Tom,
I don’t know how often I pass a beggar in the street and drop nothing in their cup. Mea culpa.



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California Conservative

posted October 27, 2009 at 12:09 am


It is quite sad that most of the comments elicited by the political cartoon involve name-calling and attacks.
Without love, your lame political talk is a clanging gong. Nothing eternally worthy.
Panthera is particularly offensive, and I think should be banned from posting.
If the cartoon shown moves you, the go act. Without worrying about what your brother is doing.



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Mere_Christian

posted October 27, 2009 at 12:35 am


Panthera,
Is that a username a nickname, or your first or alst name? If it isn’t your legal name, you must know how incredibly foul it is to use around Christians.
You come across as if you want to portray yourself as learned.
Why the intense insult towards Jesus?
If panthera is part of your real name, then my apology is extended.



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Panthera

posted October 27, 2009 at 7:40 am


California Conservative,
I suspect that Beliefnet could close their comments section entirely if every wish to have this, that or the other commenter banned were to be fulfilled.
May I ask, why, specifically, you find me “particularly offensive”? You can, of course ask Beliefnet themselves or Tony specifically to ban me. Still, I would be interested to know whether you can formulate cogent objections to my behavior.
Mere_Christian,
We go through this several times a year around here, in fact we just had this last week…here’s your statement from last week in the Unbiblical thread here at The New Christians:
Mere+Christian
October 21, 2009 8:02 AM
@Pathera,
The very use of that username shows how unbiblical it is to have the celebration of homosexuality and it’s adherants anywhere near a Church.
How utterly comfortable you are with proclaiming that intense insult. But bashing “Bible-beleiving” people is something that cannot be disconnected from the worldly. It is simply a fruit of it.
///
endquote
I responded to you then and I guess I shall have to here, yet, again. My comments are in ().
Mere_Christian
October 27, 2009 12:35 AM
Panthera,
Is that a username a nickname, or your first or alst name? If it isn’t your legal name, you must know how incredibly foul it is to use around Christians.
(My grandfather and favorite uncle and my mother all called me their ‘little panther’ as a child, so I guess one might characterize it as a nickname. It is one of several of my first names, and I was christened and baptized and married using the name. What’s an “alst” name? OK, teasing, there, I am a big cat.
Your implication that using the name around Christians when it is not one’s legal name is “incredibly foul” necessitates either that I am self-hating for being a Christian or that you do not accept that I am a Christian. Which is it in your view? I am a Christian, regardless of your feelings on the matter, it would, however interest me how you came to either conclusion.)
You come across as if you want to portray yourself as learned.
(Literate, moderately. Well and expensively educated, yes. Learned? I wish! English isn’t my first language, I apologize for the occasional lapses in grammar, syntax and obscure vocabulary. The awkwardness of my English use might account for the “want to portray yourself as learned.”
Why the intense insult towards Jesus?
(I certainly am not aware of ever having uttered any insult to our Lord. What on earth do you mean? Seriously, what are you referencing? He did wear sandals, it is a very reasonable assumption he had long-hair, he was Jewish and he was a Rabi is that the problem? I have noted in these threads that very conservative, etc. Christians frequently object to one’s referencing that Jesus was a Jew).
If panthera is part of your real name, then my apology is extended.
(It is, apology accepted.)
Mere_Christian, Mere+Christian, Mere+Christianity, et al: You posted this last week, I cite from above:
The very use of that username shows how unbiblical it is to have the celebration of homosexuality and it’s adherants anywhere near a Church.
How utterly comfortable you are with proclaiming that intense insult.
end quote
Would you mind terribly explaining to me just exactly why it is unbiblical for homosexuals to be in the vicinity of a church?
I’m not quite sure what you mean by “celebrate”, but it sounds like a good idea. We could all celebrate my homosexuality by donating to a charity which helps starving children. Since I haven’t seen my husband (he’s home taking care of my parents) since I had to fly to Europe for business reasons and since I won’t see him for another week, there’s been precious little celebrating going on. None, to be precise. That is what being monogamous means, you know, the forsaking others part of the marriage vow. Do conservative Christians have that part? Statistics from those states where you dominate do rather raise that question…
Tony, I feel old enough after these discussions to think I might have known Celsus personally. Would you please intercede here? This is turning into a pure hate fest.



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Panthera

posted October 27, 2009 at 7:46 am


California Conservative,
I suspect that Beliefnet could close their comments section entirely if every wish to have this, that or the other commenter banned were to be fulfilled.
May I ask, why, specifically, you find me “particularly offensive”? You can, of course ask Beliefnet themselves or Tony specifically to ban me. Still, I would be interested to know whether you can formulate cogent objections to my behavior.
Mere_Christian,
We go through this several times a year around here, in fact we just had this last week…here’s your statement from last week in the Unbiblical thread here at The New Christians:
Mere+Christian
October 21, 2009 8:02 AM
@Pathera,
The very use of that username shows how unbiblical it is to have the celebration of homosexuality and it’s adherants anywhere near a Church.
How utterly comfortable you are with proclaiming that intense insult. But bashing “Bible-beleiving” people is something that cannot be disconnected from the worldly. It is simply a fruit of it.
///
endquote
I responded to you then and I guess I shall have to here, yet, again. My comments are in ().
Mere_Christian
October 27, 2009 12:35 AM
Panthera,
Is that a username a nickname, or your first or alst name? If it isn’t your legal name, you must know how incredibly foul it is to use around Christians.
(My grandfather and favorite uncle and my mother all called me their ‘little panther’ as a child, so I guess one might characterize it as a nickname. It is one of several of my first names, and I was christened and baptized and married using the name. What’s an “alst” name? OK, teasing, there, I am a big cat.
Your implication that using the name around Christians when it is not one’s legal name is “incredibly foul” necessitates either that I am self-hating for being a Christian or that you do not accept that I am a Christian. Which is it in your view? I am a Christian, regardless of your feelings on the matter, it would, however interest me how you came to either conclusion.)
You come across as if you want to portray yourself as learned.
(Literate, moderately. Well and expensively educated, yes. Learned? I wish! English isn’t my first language, I apologize for the occasional lapses in grammar, syntax and obscure vocabulary. The awkwardness of my English use might account for the “want to portray yourself as learned.”
Why the intense insult towards Jesus?
(I certainly am not aware of ever having uttered any insult to our Lord. What on earth do you mean? Seriously, what are you referencing? He did wear sandals, it is a very reasonable assumption he had long-hair, he was Jewish and he was a Rabi is that the problem? I have noted in these threads that very conservative, etc. Christians frequently object to one’s referencing that Jesus was a Jew).
If panthera is part of your real name, then my apology is extended.
(It is, apology accepted.)
Mere_Christian, Mere+Christian, Mere+Christianity, et al: You posted this last week, I cite from above:
The very use of that username shows how unbiblical it is to have the celebration of homosexuality and it’s adherants anywhere near a Church.
How utterly comfortable you are with proclaiming that intense insult.
end quote
Would you mind terribly explaining to me just exactly why it is unbiblical for homosexuals to be in the vicinity of a church?
I’m not quite sure what you mean by “celebrate”, but it sounds like a good idea. We could all celebrate my homosexuality by donating to a charity which helps starving children. Since I haven’t seen my husband (he’s home taking care of my parents) since I had to fly to Europe for business reasons and since I won’t see him for another week, there’s been precious little celebrating going on. None, to be precise. That is what being monogamous means, you know, the forsaking others part of the marriage vow. Do conservative Christians have that part? Statistics from those states where you dominate do rather raise that question…
Tony, I feel old enough after these discussions to think I might have known Celsus personally. Would you please intercede here? This is turning into a pure hate fest.



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Panthera

posted October 27, 2009 at 7:49 am


Oh, my.
Sorry about the double post.
If anything should be banned here, it is this gotcha! interface.



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kevin s.

posted October 27, 2009 at 12:53 pm


“We still have plenty to give, we just choose not to give it, at least not to the poor and starving. Face the facts–we all need to repent for this.”
Do we? Does the mere fact of going out to eat or spending on entertainment necessitate repentance? What does a mea culpa accomplish?
Given that Christians in America are among the most generous demographics, it would seem that we are, to some degree, taking seriously the scripture you evoke.



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Panthera

posted October 27, 2009 at 2:22 pm


Kevin,
The mea culpa applied exclusively to me.
I find it obscene that we can give so generously to enrich Blackwater and all the friends of Darth Cheney, but when it comes to following God’s clear commands on helping the less fortunate, we aren’t nearly so generous.
There are many things which can only be achieved through efforts on the state level or through the United Nations, individuals alone can’t manage them. This was my lament, not individuals.



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Mr. T

posted October 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm


Why is “panthera” some kind of insult to Christians? I’m a Christian and I have to profess some ignorance here. So I went to the nearest cure for ignorance – Google. “Panthera” is a genus type that includes panthers, naturally, and other big cats. So is the term some kind of reference to Darwin? Again, that wouldn’t insult me one bit. So, could someone explain why I, as a Christian, should be insulted?



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Panthera

posted October 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm


Ah, Mr. T, I can’t explain how the mind of a conservative Christian works, but I can tell you my take on this.
For a very great number of conservative American Christians (not all), their definition of Christianity is not inclusive, it is exclusive.
I, for instance, am not a conservative (nor a fundamentalist nor an evangelical nor a biblical innerantist nor yet a literalistic) Christian. I am a Christian because I accept that Christ died for my unpardonable sins and, through his atonement for my sins, gained my pardon through grace from God.
To me, all are Christian who accept their inability to free themselves of sin and pray to Jesus to forgive them and accept his gift of atonement, setting aside justice through mercy. Inclusive, in other words. Many if not most of the conservative, etc. Christians you see getting so very upset here define their Christianity exclusively, by listing all the reasons why someone can’t be a Christian because they aren’t just like them in their political beliefs or their skin color or their sexuality.
A crucial secondary aspect of American conservative Christianity is a firm belief that they are the innocent victims of enormous persecution. Everyone who doesn’t see things just as they do is ‘out to get them’.
To this end, many names and symbols are assigned especially nasty connotations and the assumption is made that anyone who uses the name or symbol, regardless of reason, is doing so to attack them.
In the case of a name which has been in my family for several hundreds of years, the assumption is made that I use my name, not because it is mine, but because Celsus, a historian, once noted (many many hundreds of years ago) the story that Mary was raped by a Roman Centurio, respectively that she was a prostitute who serviced a Roman
Centurio, either named “Panthera”, and bore Jesus from him.
So, on the basis of a silly, made up story, anyone named Panthera, must, by definition, be out to attack ‘real’ Christians.
Three elements accompany this anger.
One, I refuse to back down when they say I can not be a Christian and gay.
Two, since many conservative American Christians are culturally and linguistically isolated, they have no concept that a name ending in “-a” need not be female. When they get run over by the clue bus and figure out that I am a man, married to another man, they have a hissy-fit.
Third, I am perfectly happy being gay, I love my husband and I try (don’t succeed very well) to serve God as a Christian. The ultimate offense, in their lights, as the one unpardonable sin is not to deny God (that silly long-haired, sandal-wearing Jewish Rabi said the stupidest things, didn’t he? I mean who’d ever sum up the prophets with “to love one’s neighbor as oneself and to love God with all one’s heart? What nonsense! Everyone knows the true definition of being a Christian is to define one’s love of God through hatred of the Other) no, the unpardonable sin is to be gay.
That’s why many, like California Conservative, want us banned from this site and many others actually want us banned from christian churches.
So, my good sir, that is why you are to be offended.
Sigh.



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Panthera

posted October 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm


Ah, Mr. T, I can’t explain how the mind of a conservative Christian works, but I can tell you my take on this.
For a very great number of conservative American Christians (not all), their definition of Christianity is not inclusive, it is exclusive.
I, for instance, am not a conservative (nor a fundamentalist nor an evangelical nor a biblical innerantist nor yet a literalistic) Christian. I am a Christian because I accept that Christ died for my unpardonable sins and, through his atonement for my sins, gained my pardon through grace from God.
To me, all are Christian who accept their inability to free themselves of sin and pray to Jesus to forgive them and accept his gift of atonement, setting aside justice through mercy. Inclusive, in other words. Many if not most of the conservative, etc. Christians you see getting so very upset here define their Christianity exclusively, by listing all the reasons why someone can’t be a Christian because they aren’t just like them in their political beliefs or their skin color or their sexuality.
A crucial secondary aspect of American conservative Christianity is a firm belief that they are the innocent victims of enormous persecution. Everyone who doesn’t see things just as they do is ‘out to get them’.
To this end, many names and symbols are assigned especially nasty connotations and the assumption is made that anyone who uses the name or symbol, regardless of reason, is doing so to attack them.
In the case of a name which has been in my family for several hundreds of years, the assumption is made that I use my name, not because it is mine, but because Celsus, a historian, once noted (many many hundreds of years ago) the story that Mary was raped by a Roman Centurio, respectively that she was a prostitute who serviced a Roman
Centurio, either named “Panthera”, and bore Jesus from him.
So, on the basis of a silly, made up story, anyone named Panthera, must, by definition, be out to attack ‘real’ Christians.
Three elements accompany this anger.
One, I refuse to back down when they say I can not be a Christian and gay.
Two, since many conservative American Christians are culturally and linguistically isolated, they have no concept that a name ending in “-a” need not be female. When they get run over by the clue bus and figure out that I am a man, married to another man, they have a hissy-fit.
Third, I am perfectly happy being gay, I love my husband and I try (don’t succeed very well) to serve God as a Christian. The ultimate offense, in their lights, as the one unpardonable sin is not to deny God (that silly long-haired, sandal-wearing Jewish Rabi said the stupidest things, didn’t he? I mean who’d ever sum up the prophets with “to love one’s neighbor as oneself and to love God with all one’s heart? What nonsense! Everyone knows the true definition of being a Christian is to define one’s love of God through hatred of the Other) no, the unpardonable sin is to be gay.
That’s why many, like California Conservative, want us banned from this site and many others actually want us banned from christian churches.
So, my good sir, that is why you are to be offended.
Sigh.



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Tom LeGrand

posted October 27, 2009 at 9:07 pm


Panthera, you overzealous punk!!! Do you have to post everything TWICE??? Are you so brilliant that we must read all of your post TWO TIMES???
(Kidding, of course)
Kevin S. wrote:
“Do we? Does the mere fact of going out to eat or spending on entertainment necessitate repentance? What does a mea culpa accomplish?
Given that Christians in America are among the most generous demographics, it would seem that we are, to some degree, taking seriously the scripture you evoke.”
Kevin, to whom much is given, much is expected.
The question is not how much we give, but how much we waste. Are we truly giving all that we can? And we spend a disproportionate amount of money on things like eating out and entertainment. When we consider those who are suffering and dying in the world, perhaps this does necessitate repentance. By all of us.
Please understand that I am as guilty of this waste and ignoring the poor–with my time, talent, and treasure–as anyone.
You argue that Christians are so generous; however, that includes giving to churches. And I am arguing that much of that giving goes towards our own comfort, entertainment and convenience rather than to the needs of others. I would imagine that you can almost prove that by analyzing most church budgets. Again, I am including myself–guilty as charged.



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Panthera

posted October 27, 2009 at 11:35 pm


Tom,
It’s more a case of being too stupid to prevent double posts… Mere_Christian did helpfully point out that I’m not too bright only a few postings back.
Another reason to look forward to my home, my desktop, my husband, our big bed, my dawgs and the Maine ‘coon….My laptop is still somewhere in Charles de Gaulle, lost and wandering…and this one, from the unusual layout to my exceedingly poor French, is not fond of me.
Yes, many Americans are very generous. Some are both Christians and generous. I don’t recall, however, that long-haired, sandal-wearing Jewish Rabi, good ‘ole what’s His name, starts with a “J” or “C”, one of those old fashioned Jewish names, nothing Christian like Paul…I don’t recall Him having said anything about salvation meaning you get to lie back and let folks starve.
Probably in one of the ‘real’ Bibles, not my Latin or Luther or KJV. Probably explain a lot of things, like my not finding the word ‘homosexual’ in any of the Bibles not written by conservative American Christians…
Of course, those old-testament Jews are always going on about tithing and leaving some grain in the fields, etc. Like they would know anything about the real God, our evangelical, protestant, Republican God, I mean.
First, He’s not a Jew, what an insult! He’s an American. He speaks with a southern drawl, too and the Seraphim fly all around him, getting the very best camera angles for Faux news.
Second, He’s ours, exclusively ours, complete with lapel flag of old glory, with flowing blond curls and blazing blue eyes and a cute little button nose and oh, that six pack…what did people do before day-glo colors on velvet?
We paid for him, just look at that shiny new mega church over there, can’t you see Him?…Only good conservative, Republican values here, you bet’cha.
Why, if God had meant for us to help the widows and orphans, well, He’d have said so, right?
Right.
Sigh.
I am just about done with this place, Tom. There’s little Christian charity to be found among conservative American Christians – it’s all about blind nationalism, hatred of the Other and bashing gays. You are one of the very, very few exceptions.



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kevin s.

posted October 28, 2009 at 11:47 am


“You argue that Christians are so generous; however, that includes giving to churches. And I am arguing that much of that giving goes towards our own comfort, entertainment and convenience rather than to the needs of others.”
In some cases. Many churches meet in public facilities, in people’s homes, or in old buildings left over by defunct churches. Some of the larger church buildings house multiple congregations.
I am not at all a fan of the suburban “church-in-a-mall” type place, but I do know that one of the principal reasons for having such an extravagant building is for the comfort of new (and non-Christian) attendees. That’s part of the seeker-based model.



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Panthera

posted October 28, 2009 at 12:27 pm


Kevin,
I find the seeker based model full of good ideas, but sadly lacking in follow-through.
Too often, when it turns out that the newly-won soul is in a body which has real needs or isn’t a gen-u-whine Republican, they get turned out of their congregation very fast.
I’m thinking specifically of that poor woman who’s son killed himself because he couldn’t reconcile being gay with being a Christian…not only would the church not permit the funeral service for him to be held in their sanctuary, they also kicked her out of the church.
Or how about our fellow brothers here in Christ who want me banned, not only from this site but also want all homosexuals to be kept away from all churches?
My personal conviction is this. My tithe of 10% (pretax, not post) was meant to help those in immediate need in my vicinity. God was very clear about this. The rest of what I am able to contribute through time or money or other resources may neither be subtracted from that 10% nor counted against it. If I give money to a rescue animal society or money to adopt children (my family’s foundation has now helped 10 unwed mothers find homes for their children this year alone, that is our approach to reducing abortion) or the time I donated to working with refugees in Africa or…well that all is what I do ’cause I want to. But that 10% is required of me by God, period. The rest is from me to satisfy me.
Now, there are many, especially right now after eight years of Republican driven financial mis-management who are having trouble putting food on their own tables and keeping a roof over their own heads. I do not doubt for one moment that God did not mean for them to be donating 10%. Frankly, my husband and I could live quite comfortably off 10% of our current income, so it would be obscene to pass judgment on those who are struggling in the US right now.
Yes, those who voted for Bush and those who supported the illegal war and practiced knee-jerk Republican, conservative, etc. bible-thumping aggression against all of us who warned that only value-addition is real capitalism got what they deserved. But the whole point of Christianity and Judaism is that we are not treated by God as we deserve to be treated, rather, He has forgiven us through Christ’s atonement for our sins. The least we can do is to try, at least, to reflect that in our own charity.
I hope I don’t offend, I feel very strongly about this.



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Panthera

posted October 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm


Ha! I’ve figured it out! When someone posts – saw it with Kevin’s and with my last posting just now – the ticker on Tony’s thread goes up one digit immediately. The actual comment, however, does not appear until later.
Tony, is there a technical reason for this?



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Jesse

posted October 28, 2009 at 3:02 pm


Hi everyone,
I’m a little saddened by the fact there seems to be so much vitriol in the comments here, from both sides of the ideological spectrum. That said, there seems to be some real insight and discussion – though not all of it is on topic! :’) Of course, this IS the internet after all.
Anyhow, I just thought that if anyone was interested in doing something practical to help in response to this cartoon/idea, you might want to check out this discussion thread over on wondercafe.ca: http://wondercafe.ca/discussion/global-issues/how-can-i-help
It’s mostly centred around volunteering abroad, but even if you’re not into doing that yourself, you may find something useful (or even just want to donate to the organisations involved).



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Larry

posted October 28, 2009 at 3:26 pm


Tony, is there a technical reason for this?
Technically, the Beliefnet web lizards are what are known as “crappy programmers”. Evidently they have never heard of sole authority data, so the number of comments you get and see depends on which data store/cache lies behind a particular link. I’ve found if you hit “comments” on the main page, then “comments” on the resulting page, you will see all the most recent comments.



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kevin s.

posted October 28, 2009 at 3:47 pm


“I find the seeker based model full of good ideas, but sadly lacking in follow-through.”
I agree, to some extent, and I am not proposing to defend the model in all its various executions.



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Panthera

posted October 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm


Kevin,
I was following the court decisions on campaign contributions and the president signing the hate crime law today and the live debate on Prop1 in Maine this evening, followed by a TV recap of the two speeches by anti/gay marriage activists Peter LaBarbera and Brian Camenker.
It was a busy day. What occurred to me about all these things was that, in each case, Christians on both sides were convinced they were following Jesus’ guidance in the matter.
First, those two court decisions. Both in Washington and Maine (the States), the NOM had refused to obey the accountability rules for campaign donations, arguing that they should be exempt from making public their sources of revenue and in-kind support. In both states, the pro-civil rights groups had complied and laid open their books for all and sundry, on time and without being compelled.
The decisions, both by conservative judges? That NOM must obey the law after all, just as the civil rights groups had already done.
Now, most Christians like to think of ourselves as being law-abiding (render unto Ceaser, etc.) so the reaction on the conservative Christian side surprised me. What am I not seeing here which is clear to conservative Christians? Why is it bad to have to follow the laws on open accounting?
The president signed the hate crimes law today, making gays and transgendered equal now to all other citizens in the US. The Matthew Shepard torture and murder as well as the horrible death of James Byrd, Jr. disturb me greatly as a Christian. I am happy to see that we now have the means for justice to prevail in all of the US, including those places where Negroes are still second class citizens and those judicial districts where the police and justice have, until now, turned a blind eye on the rape, beating, torture and murder of gays and transgendered.
The reaction of the conservative Christian side has been one of universal panic that they will now no longer be permitted to read from their translations of the Bible about stoning gays to death.
Why this panic? Can you explain it to me?
Finally, we had two speeches in Maine from conservative Christians who lead the anti/gay-rights movement which the Catholic church immediately disassociated herself from (no wonder) followed by a live debate (Mary Bonato, civil rights project director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, debating Marc Mutty, chairman of Stand for Marriage Maine) in which the strongest argument offered against gay marriage was that the conservative Christian didn’t see how it would change his marriage, but was sure that it would be bad for straight marriage and lead to our species dying out.
Questions on the subject of separation of church and state he answered, as do conservative Christians here, by stating there was no such intent in the Constitution and thus American law must reflect the views of the Church.
I know I’m asking a lot here, so feel free to answer some, none or all, but, wow! It seemed to me today, as a Christian, like this was a good day for justice. From the conservative side, I heard a lot of gnashing of teeth and wailing.
For better or for worse, I don’t think we can move forward as a body unless we can learn to work together on this.
Thanks!



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Panthera

posted October 29, 2009 at 8:05 am


Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Matthew 7:16
One of those simple statements which really sum things up quite well. I mentioned the profligate ways of the fundamentalist, conservative, etc. Christians here in their construction of mega-churches and support of anti-civil rights’ bills. This is where their money goes, not to helping the starving.
After reading through this thread again, I have to say, Matthew 7 gets it right.



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E. Sutter

posted October 29, 2009 at 11:42 am


I hope, folks, that we realize we’ve simply ‘launched ourselves in another homemade balloon,’ hypothetically speaking. My guess is that Tony’s post was to bring light to the fact that so few pay any attention to the matters of starvation, no matter what their geographical locale, and here we are…once again with our attentiona elsewhere, in posts responding to that exact cartoon! There are too many ‘homemade balloons’ in the world, too many things that grab our attention and pull it away from billions and focus it on a few.
I’m sorry guys, this isn’t a ‘hate fest,’ its pathetic that we have proven the cartoon right.



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Panthera

posted October 29, 2009 at 12:13 pm


E. Sutter,
You’re right – we really need to focus on dong what God called us to do, which is to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
Ah, but bashing gays is so much more fun…



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Mere_Christian

posted October 30, 2009 at 11:23 am


It’s fascinating how GLBT’s can turn anything and everything into Gay activism . . .
But anyway:
Panthera,
Thanks.
I accept that your claims to be a Christian may indeed be valid. I do however, do get to “love you” as a neighbor from a long distance. God though, I do from a closer relationship. Love, in the case of a wayward brother, does not mean supporting them in their behaviors.
No matter your personal opinion sir, there is no such thing as a Christian same-gender marriage. Not, according to Christ Jesus and the very testimony of the New Testament writers. Now does that un-Christian you? THAT is not for me to charge. Does that facilitate I and others to ask you to attend Church services away from those of us that hold to the New Testament witness? That is completely fair and not un-Christian or hateful at all. GLBT culture is not a good example for the body of any well-founded Church of people desiring to be repentant.
Is that an insult?
It shouldn’t be. It is actuality. I wasn’t insulted for being wrong about the use of an insulting name like Panthera by you. You claim that Panthera is not used to insult Jesus and Christians. OK.
But on another very serious note, you are not only promoting same-gender sexuality, you proclaim to be celebrated it in a marriage arrangement. That is to be opposed “in the Church.”
Now, for sure you can get married in a secular world, but that is granted by the “powers and principlaities” at odds with The Church.
You and your legally attached pal should be concerned about being appropriate about what a marriage is, around Christians. It is not appropriate to claim you and another man can be married. That, is an insult to the people you claim to have fellowship with, granted BY the New Testament witness and authority. A testimony that opposes your personal sexual tastes from being proclaimed as something to be celebrated.
Your explanation of your name was gracious and acceptable. Your explanation of what you call a marriage is not.
Treating your views as pagan – or I guess as a tax collector seeing all of the support you GLBT’s have from Democrats – is in keeping with the Gospel sent to the Saints for safekeeping and defending.
You say you are a Christian, but you declare behaviors and actions that are not. And your champions are legion in the anti Christian camps.
I do not claim persecution from you liberals. That is an insult to Christians being persecuted to death by Muslims and other violent people all over the world right now. Being called a “Fundy” by the sexually perverted and the permissiveness crowd is nothing short of laughable. Many, many Christians come from these groups. And Jesus and the first martyrs were called worse.
I do claim this gay rights movement is not in fellowship with the Gospel and Apostolic movement now called Christianity. And it is indeed trying to corrupt The Church and re-corrupt (as it were) those that have attempted to leave a life of sin and want that to be permanent.
Do “I” as a Christian have the right to say this?
Jude did. John, Peter, James and Paul did. Jesus most assuredly taught marriage as man and woman. “I” am only agreeing with the original Christians.
As you have indicated . . . this has been going on for a very, very, very long time.



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Panthera

posted October 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm


I do hope everyone will feel free to respond here, to me as well as to Mere_Christianity.
Frankly, I am so shocked by your standpoint, Mere_Christianity, that I am at a loss for words.
It may take me a while to formulate a response, I may just leave these discussions on Beliefnet permanently.
In any case, I am at a loss as to whether there is any possibility of discourse among us in Christian community at all.
One thing I will assert. In my country and in my Christian church, we are married. Our church considers our marriage a marriage in the eyes of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Now, you are free to your own opinion, obviously, but you do not speak for the entire Christian community nor for our Lord.
Wow.
Tony, this would be a really, really good time for you to make a comment. Or three.



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Ann

posted October 30, 2009 at 3:36 pm


Panthera- I would gladly respond for you.
Mere_Christian: I don’t know what to say. I am disturbed by what I’ve been reading on this and other blogs from Christians who claim to be loving their brothers & sisters in Christ. If you meant to come across as loving Panthera, you failed miserably. If that is what Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin (and yes, I think I’m still in that camp, but I’m questioning those beliefs right now) think it means to love, then it is no wonder that we keep talking past each other on both sides of the issue. I can’t stand alongside Christians who hate the sinner more than they hate the sin. It makes me want to vomit. I have to believe that it is more important for us to love than to be right. Why are we even spending all this energy and attention on one stupid issue. It makes no sense. I wish we could focus on loving one another and let God be the judge. God choose not to give us all the answers…. we are forced to wrestle with these tough issues. What if the test isn’t that we get the answer right, it’s how we go about the journey of finding the right answer. Hatred and name-calling is not from God and it does nothing but hurt the cause. Can’t we all grow up and stop acting like 2 year olds.
Panthera- I am sorry that you have to suffer attacks from other Christians. I can’t stop those attacks. All I can do is offer my sincerest apology.



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Panthera

posted October 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm


Ann, thank you.
I talked to a friend of mine this evening (I’m in Europe, currently) who ministers to students at a large university here.
She offered a few explanations for this singling homosexuality out as the one sin which, for American conservative Christians is unpardonable.
There are enormous conflicts between the world views of those who interpret the Bible and view the church through a rigid patriarchy and those who don’t. For someone who regards the world as being structured in an inflexible structure – God, Pope/Male Priest/Husband/Father as those with authority and Religious Sisters/Wives/Daughters as subservient to them by God’s will. A man loves his father, brother, son out of duty, not out of affection. He forms bonds – but not too close – to other men, based not on emotional nurture, but on standing together as comrades in arms, whether literally or figuratively. The natural state between two men in a culture such as extremely conservative America, is competitive and adversarial, moderated only by the absolute necessity of cooperation.
It is impossible to reconcile a man offering himself to another man in voluntary love with this rigid structure.
Goodness! Wow! I’ve read similar arguments here from transgender women before and agreed. This time, after several weeks of increasingly hostile exchanges with several conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical, etc. Christians here, I have to allow as it would certainly explain the tremendously vitriolic reaction. My love for my husband upends their entire world view?
Ann, I just don’t know. When I was still young and naive, I would counter the arguments here that being gay was a choice with scientific studies which clearly show otherwise. Arguments that we preyed on children with FBI stats that just the opposite was true. That we were somehow mentally ill with long lists of virtually the entire medical and psychiatric community.
Nothing sunk in. Nothing.
Right now, I have the feeling there is nothing to be done, except to just plain serve out our time helping my parents in their last years and, the day after the last funeral, to return to Europe and be done with it.
Sigh. Thank you for your kind words.



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duhsciple

posted October 31, 2009 at 2:33 pm


Why were we drawn into the “balloon boy” drama?
Why were agencies willing to go all out to save the one child?
Why do the millions fail to inspire similar passion & interest?
My crazy thought: I can imagine myself or my child in the “balloon boy situation” more easily than the African child situation.
My sane thought: Perhaps we’ve just grown accustomed to the starving African situation and don’t feel that anything we do can make a difference.
What do you all think?
Duh



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Panthera

posted October 31, 2009 at 3:25 pm


Duh,
I think we are so overwhelmed by the rolling disaster which is Africa that we tend to just give up in despair.
The number of times I have been told that I am:
-an idealist
-a naive Christian
-a dilettante
-throwing good money after bad
-wasting my time
(singly or in combination)
Is beyond counting. No, the 10 women whom my family’s foundation helped place their babies this year (so far) won’t mean an end to abortion. But it certainly is 10 babies fewer who were aborted than would otherwise have been. What, one life means nothing to the Lord?
And that is the approach we have to take with Africa. The culture of many areas is such that nothing we do will effect permanent change, this must come from within. That doesn’t change the need of those starving and dying.
A very dear friend of mine, an ex-pat American used to spend weeks looking for all the right presents to send home to her American family from Europe. She’d spend several thousands of dollars every year finding ‘just the right thing’. With the exception of one nephew (who’s a single, gay father raising an adopted child, by the by) not one of them ever bothered to say ‘thanks’ or wow.
After a few years of this, she switched to donating money in their names to an African charity run by the Church.
You know what she got back? Three requests for where they could help out, too, four requests for the receipt so they could take it off their taxes and the single, gay nephew raising the adopted kid wrote back: Next year, include us in the African donations, please. It was embarrassing to be the only folks getting presents from you under the tree.
She could have been upset about the four ungrateful jerks or seen light in the three positive responses. She saw light in the three and now three people in the family match her donations with ones of their own.
That’s how it works.
Speaking as a man married to another man, I would firmly like to drive a stake through much of the Catholic churches hate filled rhetoric. But, as someone in the happy position of having more money than he needs, I am happy that the Catholic charities to which I tithe/donate have open books and welcome my inquires into their spending. We are about to see the Church get hit, hard, for their lies and cover-ups in Maine – the courts have already made clear that it won’t be long after next Tuesday, regardless of what happens, that there will be serious repercussions for this willful refusal to obey the law. We must not let those hypocritical jerks color our donations to all religious charities.



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emergent pillage

posted November 1, 2009 at 5:11 pm


http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2007/June/200706261522251CJsamohT0.8012354.html
Washington — Americans increased their charitable donations significantly in 2006 to more than $295 billion — a record, according to a study released June 25 by the Giving USA Foundation, which reports on charitable contributions.
The overwhelming majority of this money was donated by individuals, not corporations or foundations, according to the chairman of Giving USA, Richard Jolly. Donations from individuals, including bequests, accounted for 83.3 percent of total giving last year, or $245.8 billion, he told USINFO.
http://www.america.gov/st/educ-english/2009/June/200906171016181CJsamohT0.6031.html&distid=ucs
Washington — Each year, the Giving USA Foundation publishes a report on charitable giving researched and written by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Some experts expected a critical decline in giving in 2008, noting the struggling economy. However, while charitable giving declined 5.7 percent in 2008 after adjustment for inflation, it remained almost as high as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) as the previous year (2.2 percent in 2008 versus 2.3 percent in 2007), according to the report.
“With the United States mired in a recession throughout 2008, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that charitable giving would be down,” said Del Martin, chair of Giving USA Foundation. “However, what we find remarkable is that individuals, corporations and foundations still provided more than $307 billion to causes they support, despite the economic conditions.”
U.S. religious organizations are an important source of development aid and disaster relief in the developing world, providing more than 1.5 times more aid ($36.9 billion in 2007) than the U.S. government, according to the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity (CGP), a Washington research organization. (See “A New Assistance Landscape.”)
In Zimbabwe and Zambia, for example, the charity Forgotten Voices helps local communities care for AIDS orphans, while Engineering Ministries International provides volunteer designers, engineers and architects to work on infrastructure projects around the world.
So, Jones, while you and others seem to want to insinuate that we don’t give, the truth is far otherwise. Eat crow.



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Ann

posted November 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm


Yet, people are still starving. Millions and millions of people are still starving. Right now, someone is dying of starvation.



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Panthera

posted November 1, 2009 at 5:32 pm


emergent pillage,
I congratulate you. It isn’t easy to take charity and turn it into hate, you, however, have succeeded.
Brilliantly.



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Panthera

posted November 1, 2009 at 8:40 pm


Ann,
You’re right. I know no answers. Suggestions, yes, answers, no.
One thing I have learned over the last half-century. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force him to drink. Were the world truly desirous of a solution to hunger, we would have long since had it.
All we can do is to continue to approach this as a problem requiring numerous solutions – some short term: feed them (it’s silly to teach someone how to fish when they are too weak with hunger to hold the pole, there are no fish in the pond nearby and the pond dried up several years ago).
Some mid-range: Women who are educated and treated as human beings with equal rights to men under the law have fewer children and those they do have survive more often to adulthood. The women also do better, tho’ that seems a minor point, if articulated at all, in many of our discussions. wonder why, it’s an established fact that gay men and women get along very well, maybe we see something in you which we like, but which scares conservative Christian men to death?
Some long-range: There was and is nothing wrong with Malthus’ equations. Either we come to terms with it or people will continue to die. I suggest we work on the cultural levels as well as the technological. Where we probably differ is on the subject of birth control. Perhaps I have no standing to discuss the matter as a gay man, but I firmly believe that providing women with the means to control fertility will free them from much of the horror of abject poverty.



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Ann

posted November 2, 2009 at 9:48 am


Panthera- I was responding to emergent pillage’s post where I think you hit the nail on the head (turning charity into hate). I agree, if we really wanted to stop hunger, we would.
Even I walk by the homeless everyday on my way to get lunch, and I wonder if I should drop some money in their cup. I wonder what the right thing is to do. I think “what will they really spend that money on?”…. which lets me off the hook. But then I think… do I spend my own money so wisely? Who am I to judge what they do with the little I give them?
It’s just so easy to get caught up in your own life and forget about the problems in the world and think that if I just give my tithe to my church, then that is all that God requires. There are no easy answers.



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Panthera

posted November 2, 2009 at 11:11 am


Ann,
That is one of the toughest I face and, all too often, I do just walk buy. Considering my clothes cost more than the poverty level allowance for a family of four/month in the US, that is pretty low of me.
My husband has a policy which makes sense. When he passes a beggar on the streets in America, he gives them a McDonald’s gift card. Not much on it, but enough for a few meals.
Now, here in Europe, nobody needs to beg, but there is a hard core of a few hundred thousand who are mentally ill or just plain can’t integrate even enough into society to live in homeless housing. When I pass one of them, and see their begging permit (Europe and the US are very, very different!) then I have no problem with tossing them a coin or two. When someone is just sitting there and I see them day in and day out, well, I usually just walk on by.
Now that we have those gift cards here, too, I think I’ll start doing that. Won’t for every beggar, I’m sorry, I sometimes feel like they’re playing me. Lot’s in my soul not in order there, I’m afraid.
What puzzles me (among many things) about Right-Wing American Christians is their tendency to equate the good works they do (what they consider to be good works) with pleasing God.
I thought the Moses made the point way back when that God is not there to be propitiated (oh, right, those first two Commandments are soooo Old Testament, they, together with the prohibitions against adultery and false witness don’t apply to Right-Wing American Christians, sorry, forgot.)
We take care of the weak among us for the good of our own souls, not for God’s sake – but for our own. O! Dear, there I go listening to that long-haired, sandal-wearing, Jewish Rabi, good ole’ what’s-his-name again. Instead of focusing on the true gospel of prosperity for the deserving…



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emergent pillage

posted November 2, 2009 at 11:34 am


–I congratulate you. It isn’t easy to take charity and turn it into hate, you, however, have succeeded.
The only hate you see from me is in your own mind.
And you don’t even bother to answer the claim, only make a personal attack against me, trying to spin my refutation as “hate”. Typical liberal spin–when the truth refutes you, label the messenger.



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emergent pillage

posted November 2, 2009 at 11:39 am


If you want hate, Panthera, how about this statement.
–Ah, but who cares about Negroes? Better they should all die of Aids or starve to death than that we actually help them.
–Jesus, after all, was only talking to white, conservative, Republican fundamentalist Christians – the rest aren’t even, really human.
–The first fundamentalist-evangilical-literalistic-conservative-etc. Christian who now attacks gets it right between the eyes with the amount spent by Bush & Co. on war and death versus the amount you oh-go-godly supposedly spend on Africa.
–The only thing conservative Christians care about is bashing gays and forcing their agenda down everyone’s throat. This is why things in Africa haven’t improved, nor will they until we rethink our priorities. Fat lot of chance of that happening
That absolutely seethes with hate. Even more so, because it’s all lies and misrepresentations, a typical unthinking hate-filled screed from someone who spends too much time a DailyKos. Or at BeliefNet, take your pick.



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Panthera

posted November 2, 2009 at 12:16 pm


emergent pillage,
Your seething rage at Christians who resist being oppressed by you is frightening.
Why, exactly do you feel that we somehow have ‘done our fair-shair?’ when people are still dying?



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nathan

posted November 2, 2009 at 12:37 pm


it is kind of funny that someone with a comment handle about “pillaging” would be lecturing anyone about “hate”….
it’s nice how you return insults for insults Mr/Mrs/Ms/whoever you are Pillage…
no one will get any sense of your true Christian identity by the strength of your arguments or condescension.



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Ann

posted November 2, 2009 at 8:25 pm


I don’t understand what we are fighting about. There are people starving in the world…. we in the U.S. have so much food we let it rot in our fridges. We are not doing enough until at least no one starves anymore. I am not doing enough, my church isn’t doing enough, Christians around the world aren’t doing enough. What are we arguing about? Why is it hard for conservatives to admit that are trying, but not hard enough.



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Jim

posted November 2, 2009 at 9:22 pm


I think what’s hard for conservatives is bearing the majority of the blame, while at the same time making the majority of the effort. Conservative Christians, if we can trust statistics, give the most away, and in return are called hate-mongers, and are told “The only thing conservative Christians care about is bashing gays and forcing their agenda down everyone’s throat.”
In perfect charity, they really ought to just meekly take it, and give more. But I hope you understand that it’s really hard. Probably a better way of approaching them would be to say, “You guys give a lot to charity, praise God for your faith in this matter! Now perhaps we can take the next steps in this together, how can we partner even more to end hunger?”
So…
How can we partner even more to end hunger? What are some ways people here are acquainted with that have proved effective? What else can we do together?



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Panthera

posted November 3, 2009 at 4:11 am


Jim,
As always, you raise good points. I’m taking some time off right now, so won’t be posting much the next few days.
Please take a look at the link – this helps explain much of the fury on the non-conservative Christian side.
What can we do? Beat’s me.
I do know that, despite my enormous differences of opinion with the Catholic church, those Sisters around the corner from my parents welcome my visits, show me their books and talk to me earnestly, not about how horrible my husband and I are, but about how my parents’ health is doing and just exactly what they are doing for the widows/widowers(esp. in Dixie, a group much in need of help) and orphans. We work together. Yes, I limit my tithing to local matters. Those 10% pretax dollars go where I can keep a very close eye on them and know they’re doing good.
The rest of the time I donate, the money I chose to spend, goes to those projects which enjoy good ratings with independent oversight panels. I prioritize, what else is there to do?
First, projects which are aimed at feeding people directly.
Second, projects which are aimed at raising the status of women to human levels.
Third, projects which target village infrastructure.
Maybe this is the wrong way to go, but it’s the best I have ever been able to do, largely based on personal observation.
And no, even if that law passes I won’t restrict donations for #1. I am being obtuse here to show deference to you and Ann for your attempts to re-direct this conversation. Do, please, read the link.



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Brett Tilford

posted November 3, 2009 at 8:48 am


Such an intense cartoon and some intense debate in the comments. I pray this continues to stir people to action.
If you want to support a great organization building homes for orphans in South Africa check out http://tenthousandhomes.org/



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Ann

posted November 3, 2009 at 10:05 am


Jim,
I agree… I would love to hear some good ideas of what we can do to effectively help feed the poor. It’s easy to find ways to help those around you, but when it comes to people starving across the world, it becomes a little more difficult. And I, like Panthera, like to know how my money is being spent, so it’s easier to give to my church or local charities so I know my money is being used wisely.
What I don’t understand is why conservatives look at the cartoon that Tony posted and feel like they are being attacked. I didn’t think that conservatives were being singled out, but they seemed to feel that way. The cartoon points at all of us and shows us our shortcomings. I agree that conservatives do A LOT and give A LOT. That’s great, but there is work that still needs to be done.
Panthera- I checked out that link. That is some very scary stuff. I had no idea that there are actually places in the world where your life is in danger for just being gay. I’m sickened. What can we do to change this?



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Mere_Christian

posted November 3, 2009 at 10:29 am


Panthera
October 29, 2009 8:05 AM
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Matthew 7:16
///
One piece of fruit of false doctrine and false believers is same gender sexual relationships being called a marriage.
my email is justasking@yahoo.com
You misuse scripture with the best of them. I’ll have my copy of the Peshitta standing by if you want to show me where gay culture has a place in The Church. I am a fundamentalist, so, I obviously have an open mind and ear to what you want to tell me. I am 100% opposed to gay culture right now. Since I can set aside my nasty little white man westernized copies of the New Testament (I have several different versions), I’ll use whatever printing you want me to.
Read what I say to Ann and show me where I err.
Ann,
Gay activism is all about getting to the youth market of fresh bodies. The hate crimes bill was NOT about a homosexual being murdered. Matthew Shepeard already had rights that were violated. Adding favorite sex acts to the list of what constitutes a minority person is sickening. It was and IS designed to shutup Christians and others that find homosexuality repugnant. And the rights we used to have to keep our children away from the influence and recruitment of homosexuals AND BI-SEXUALS and transgendered people were just eliminated by liberals and progressives and Gay Rights activists.
You need to study the history of pederasty and see what is going on here.
There is no way gay activism and gay culture can be allowed in a Church that holds the Gospel and the writings of the disciples as important in the soundness of a “church body.”
Anyone can call themselves a Christian. Jesus, Peter, John, Jude and Paul ALL deal with that and warned us that false teachers and inappropriate people would cruise our congregations. Jude nails this down to 21st century effectiveness.
But the fruit of gay and progressive culture is perversion, lasciviousness, of course licentiousness, and a refutation of the Gospel point by point.
To force the word LOVE into permissiveness is just as inappropriate a thing to do as calling the sexual relationship between two people of the same gender a marriage. That may be OK for Romans, err, I mean liberal/progressive humanistic Westerners, but not for Christians.
Jesus DID preach on marriage. It is, according to Him, the reason a MAN gets his life in order to MARRY a WOMAN. And the consistent message of the New Testament writers is that there IS no such thing as a same-gender marriage. And Ann, this was dut=ring the time NERO had a man for a wife.
If it is now a hate crime to desire to follow the words of Christ and oppose same-gender marriage (and it now is thanks to Democrats), then I’ll go peacefully into your jail. Or I guess, live unemployed if I ever open my Christian mouth at work.
But I am NOT going to sellout Christ and the testimony of the disciples and Apostles so I can be in some kind of humanism club held in a Church somewhere.
You need to study as was advised by the disciples. Test ALL things and you’ll see same-gender marriage is NOT a Christian culture according TO the original Christians.
Now feeding the starving all over the world? Gays are too busy forcing homosexuality on all of those of us with jobs and children to notice unattractive scrawny youth. It appears from the testing of it, all GLBT’s care about are healthy well-bodied children in schools.
“Use a condom.”
That’s “love?”
That is what the evidence shows. Is it not?



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Mere_Christian

posted November 3, 2009 at 10:47 am


Here’s what just one conservative Christian group* is doing about the cartoon here:
The Need for Water
_______ are providing clean, safe water in Jesus’ name to suffering communities throughout the world. The United Nations and World Health Organization estimate that 1.7 million deaths each year from water-borne diseases such as diarrhea are preventable through clean water, safe hygiene practices, and adequate sanitation.
What We Do
_______ are dealing with this challenge head-on by drilling bore wells to provide clean water and maximizing the benefits of these water sources by providing hygiene education and sanitation facilities. Each bore well can provide clean drinking water for several hundred villagers. In some areas individual family wells are provided. Since 1999, the Living Water program has provided clean water for over 3 million people through more than 6,600 bore wells in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
When the terrain makes drilling impossible, cisterns are built to collect rainwater and provide for an extended family of up to 10 people. Although the rainwater must be purified by boiling, an accessible water supply greatly improves the quality of life for villagers and saves several hours a day fetching water from sources that are usually polluted. To date, more than 6,000 cisterns have been completed in China.
Sponsoring a water project is easy. All it takes is a donation to ___. A gift of $1,800 will sponsor one well or four cisterns and a plaque will be placed at the site of the water supply with your unique well number. After completion of the project, you will receive an information packet about your well or cisterns and the villagers served, and a photograph suitable for framing. A project usually takes six to nine months to complete. Please become a part of this life-changing ministry and call 1-877-34-WELLS or 1-877-349-3557 or make an online donation.
///
*The name was withheld for obvious reasons . . .



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Larry

posted November 3, 2009 at 11:47 am


Why would you think it necessary to withhold the name of the organization: http://www.cbn.com/worldreach/worldreach_projects_living_water_wells .aspx . Other than the fact that your project is associated with the well known loon Pat Robertson. (you also need to learn about a website called “Google”)



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Larry

posted November 3, 2009 at 11:49 am

E. Sutter

posted November 3, 2009 at 2:05 pm


I say again…aren’t we just missing the point. Let’s quit arguing for the argument’s sake, and let’s quit telling people that we think they hate us because of their posts, and lets focus on what we agree on. Christ died for my sin and yours. You’re a sinner, so am I, and it all weighs out in the end. Jesus wins always, hate, real or assumed, never does



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Ann

posted November 3, 2009 at 2:55 pm


Mere_Christian,
I would like to propose a new way of looking at the issue of homosexuality. It doesn’t matter what you think regarding the issue and whether it is right or wrong in God’s eyes. Isn’t that for God and God alone to judge? We, as Christians, don’t have to worry about the judging. We need to love God, love ourselves, and love our neighbors. These 3 things shouldn’t stand in conflict with one another. When we are not loving our neighbors, then we are not loving God. And we are definitely not loving our neighbors when we tell the homosexual community that they can’t be Christian(or that their sins are worse than our sin…and that they prey on children…and that their marriage is the same as polygamy and bestiality.) None of this is even our decision to make, so please, just let God decide who gets to be a Christian. Try to imagine yourself saying all the things you have said about homosexuals to someone who has gone through divorce. I think we can all agree that God does not condone divorce… it is a sin. But we would never try to rid the church of divorced people. That doesn’t even make sense. The church is a body of sinners… we all fall short in the end. That is the beauty of grace. God loves us in spite of our sin. Even if homosexuality is a sin, that doesn’t give anyone the right to throw that sin in the sinner’s face and stand in judgment over that person. You surely don’t believe that is what God would want of you. I’m not asking you to change your position on the morality of homosexuality, but I am pleading with you to realize that these are real people. They are just like me and you. And Jesus never once spoke on the issue. He spoke about a lot of sins, but never on this issue. If he wanted us to have all the answers, he could have given them to us. He would have left us a book with all the answers in it. But instead he left us to struggle with these issues. I can’t say it enough. It’s not enough to just be right. You can be right all day long, but if you lack charity, then what good is it.
I just don’t understand the hatred. And I can not align myself on the side of hatred. That is one thing that I know for sure.



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duhsciple

posted November 3, 2009 at 4:25 pm


Pillage…
–verb (used with object)
1. to strip ruthlessly of money or goods by open violence, as in war; plunder: The barbarians pillaged every conquered city.
2. to take as booty.
–verb (used without object)
3. to rob with open violence; take booty: Soldiers roamed the countryside, pillaging and killing.
–noun
4. the act of plundering, esp. in war.
5. booty or spoil.
One can disagree with folks in the emergent conversation, but I don’t think it is truthful, loving, or fair to slam them as “pillage”
Duh



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duhsciple

posted November 3, 2009 at 4:28 pm


Pillage…
–verb (used with object)
1. to strip ruthlessly of money or goods by open violence, as in war; plunder: The barbarians pillaged every conquered city.
2. to take as booty.
–verb (used without object)
3. to rob with open violence; take booty: Soldiers roamed the countryside, pillaging and killing.
–noun
4. the act of plundering, esp. in war.
5. booty or spoil.
In what way are folks involved in the emergent conversation “pillage”? According to the definition, I don’t get it. Maybe that’s why I’m a…
Duh



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hlvanburen

posted November 4, 2009 at 6:58 pm


*Unemployed Christians in the United States of America are finally running out of the means in which to help the world’s less fortunate.*
Did you ever think that this situation arose as those same Christians took more of an interest in conservative politics than the mission they were given in the Bible? Perhaps God is trying to get someone’s attention here. eh?



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Ann

posted November 4, 2009 at 9:59 pm


hlvanburen- Wow, way to miss the point. It’s so much easier to blame someone else than to take any responsibility yourself. Unbelievable.



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Panthera

posted November 5, 2009 at 7:04 am


The more time I spend with conservative Christians here, the less charity and the more self-serving hatred I see.
With few exceptions (Ann, a shining example of actually trying to follow God’s will), what we are seeing here is precisely the reason gays and the transgendered in America need legal protections, need legal secular marriage.
It is frightening to see how much more relevant gay bashing is to the Christianity of many here than is the question of how we go about helping starving children.
Despite the shameful behavior of the Catholic church these past weeks in Maine and Washington and Kalamazoo (truly embarrassing), I shall continue to tithe my 10%, pre-tax, to those hard-working Sisters down the road. That money goes to the poor directly.
Since it was my comments which got the ball rolling in this thread, I can’t walk away from it. I would ask, tho’, if those maintaining that God is responsible for so many Americans now not having a roof over their heads and not enough food for their children to eat really, truly believe that such evil is from God? If so, which god are you worshiping?



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Ann

posted November 5, 2009 at 10:04 am


Panthera- Did you call me conservative? I’ll try to take that as the compliment is was meant to be!
Don’t lose heart about what happened in Maine. Your foes may have won the battle, but they fail to see that their war is long lost. It is only a matter of time. Just think how close that vote was. Think about how close that vote would have been 20, 10, even 5 years ago? Two of my best friends live in Maine, and they both voted “No” (“conservative” Christians like myself) and were very disappointed with how it went down. I guess the ads were just revolting.



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Panthera

posted November 5, 2009 at 11:18 am


Hi Ann,
Thank you. I am guessing you are (in the positive sense of the word) a relatively conservative Christian.
Just as I am a strict constitutionalist – a term which the wing-nut right has, sadly, so twisted that it no longer means what it should.
It’s very true. The outcome in Kalamazoo and Washington State are much more positive, but Maine is also a net win, in the sense you very clearly put it.
It is becoming increasingly clear that gays and transgender are under attack in a mean-spirited, hateful way which misuses the Bible as an excuse to be abusive and spiteful. The fact that the best the “yes on 1″ folks could do was a narrow defeat – 53-48 at best – despite false witness and breaking the law (refusing to open their finances as prescribed was a crime and will be prosecuted) shows us just how low they have to go to win.
We aren’t asking for anything but that which the Constitution has already granted us. It’s ultimately a question of whether America recognizes secular marriage or is determined to let the Right-Wing Christian view of marriage be the law of the land.
I was rather nastily attacked in another thread here at beliefnet a while back for mentioning that I tithe 10% pre-tax to orphans, widows and widowers. I didn’t then and I don’t now mention it for any other reason that to make clear that, as Christians, we have responsibilities which brook no exception simply because we happen to be caught up in a particularly nasty war on my status as a human being. No, there is no church close to my parents’ house in Georgia where I am welcome with my husband. Yes, the Catholic church behaved illegally and extremely hatefully in Maine. My tithing continues to go to those Sisters because they have open books and do with the money what our Lord has commanded.
Should that Order change and the new Mother want those funds invested, even one penny, in discriminating against me, I will no longer tithe to them. As long as they focus on our Christian responsibilities, I will work with them. Why can’t the conservative Christians here see things that way and work with those of us who aren’t exactly, 100% of their opinion on everything? Why must it always be “my way or the highway”. All too often, we have seen that the breaking point is something like being gay or a Negroes, not on following Jesus’ clear guidelines: Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.



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Ann

posted November 5, 2009 at 3:46 pm


Panthera- I’m so glad to hear you aren’t taking the vote in Maine too hard. I hope you know that the hatred (and indifference) both come from a place of fear. Fear is contagious and fear is often blinding, I’m afraid.
I happen to agree with you…. you do need to have legal status to protect yourself from those whose hatred is blinding. And we will get there as a country, and I have to believe that the Christians will lead us there (I have total faith that underneath all that fear is love just waiting to be uncovered).
I have another question. What are you referring to when you spoke of someone/something not opening their books? I asked my friend in Maine and he didn’t know anything about it. And what of the Catholic Church in Maine…. did they run some of those ads? Very sad indeed.
It amazes me that with the Catholic Church’s stand on homosexuality, that you are willing to donate to their causes. I’ve seen how furious you get with those to disagree with you, but somehow you can look past their shortcomings in this instance. I’m impressed and encouraged by you.



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Panthera

posted November 5, 2009 at 6:40 pm


Ann, your friend is quite right, the ads were anything but charitable. They were composed of false witness, fear-mongering and all the worst dirty tricks opponents of equal rights could find.
The link is not the most current, the Attorney General’s office has, in the meantime, received more court support. Interestingly enough, although No on 1 fulfilled the disclosure laws to the letter, our opponents actually started a letter writing campaign to the press claiming No on 1 hadn’t disclosed, so why should Yes on 1?
And yes, the Church has not complied as of today.
I do become angry with those who deny me my rights. Yes, I am furious with the Catholic church for her actions in Maine, Kalamazoo and Washington State. It is a plain lie for the Church to say in Maine that they are open for civil rights for us and then, in Kalamazoo and Washington State to oppose them. But – and it is a big but:
Jesus was very clear on our responsibilities. In the area around my parents, this House is the only religious body which actually is accountable and whom I can trust. The Babtists pick and choose whom them help, the snake handlers (not joking) make the nut-cases around beliefnet look like models of mental hygiene…there is no one else I can trust. It has to be local, it has to be trustworthy and it must be Christian or Jewish.
Now, in my personal business dealings, yes, I am very strict. Obviously, my parents’ money doesn’t come from farming, so there are quite a few computers in use throughout the firms they own or have controlling interests in. My dad backed me up last year, when Dell donated to strip us of our constitutional right of marriage in California, I wrote every single company we controlled and directed that never, ever again was a Dell anything to be purchased, current systems not replaced with Dell and all further IT purchases to be sent in copy to Dell with the notation that we did not purchase from them because we don’t support people who strip our rights. It’s not much, so far, but well over $100,000 and growing…
Same with Cadillac and Chevy. I, personally, am no fan of American cars, they are poorly built and break down at every opportunity. (Maybe the only thing Rod Dreher and I agree on). Ever since the attack on GM by the far-right Christians for supporting gay rights, all company cars and trucks are either GMC, Chevy or Cadillac. No exceptions. The Caddy/GMC dealer in the next town knows my feelings and grinds his teeth every time when he sees that nameplate from Et’lanah…where the dealer is gay friendly. Oh, yes, you bet I make sure he gets copies of what we spend there.
I do the same in analogue whenever and where ever possible. Gay friendly, supportive of transgender people? I’m your customer. Gay bashing? No way.
Well, we did win Washington State and Kalamazoo, this is important. Those Christians capable of charity understand the need for civil marriage. The others are on losing ground.
Probably not be here much the next days, my husband is in Europe for a bit and between wanting to be with him and business, not to mention what is left of my academic career, I’ll be busy.
Thank you for you efforts – and those of others here to keep this focused on the needs of the starving. No, I am not happy with the Catholic church – but that doesn’t mean those Sisters are not doing the Lord’s work, and not euphemistically.
God bless.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 6, 2009 at 1:17 pm


The caption for the cartoon should read:
When Bible-affirming Christianity and family values were not considred hate crimes, we were being cared for. Now all the Leftist Americans care about is promoting sodomy.
We need food not KY and condoms.



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Panthera

posted November 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm


Ann, Jim, the other decent Christians here, I’m sorry the comment from Mere_Christian tore it for me. It’s at:
Mere_Christian
November 6, 2009 1:17 PM
If that is the level of charity conservative Christians experience when confronted with such hunger, then I am obviously not associating with Christians as I understand my Lord to have meant us to be.
Ann, especially, I really appreciate your work to bridge the gulfs between us brothers and sisters in Christ.
Tony, your hands-off policy has much to recommend it, but this is going too far.
I’m off this thread.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 6, 2009 at 10:19 pm


As well you should be.
Turning this thread and the issue of starving children into a gay activist platform was unbelievably inappropriate.



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Ann

posted November 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm


Oh Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing. Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
(BCP, 216)



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Mere_Christian

posted November 9, 2009 at 12:26 am


Ann,
Where is the love in those that celebrate their sin, promote sin and encourage others to embrace it? As a civil right.



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Ann

posted November 9, 2009 at 9:39 am


Mere_Christian,
I will answer your question if you will show me where the love is in your remarks….. I have posted a few below:
“Does that facilitate I and others to ask you to attend Church services away from those of us that hold to the New Testament witness?”
“Now feeding the starving all over the world? Gays are too busy forcing homosexuality on all of those of us with jobs and children to notice unattractive scrawny youth. It appears from the testing of it, all GLBT’s care about are healthy well-bodied children in schools.”
“When Bible-affirming Christianity and family values were not considred hate crimes, we were being cared for. Now all the Leftist Americans care about is promoting sodomy.”
To clarify- I posted that prayer because I thought it might change the tone of where this thread was heading. I was accusing you no more than I was accusing myself and everyone else. If you want to blame someone for driving the conversation away from those starving in the world and on to unrelated topics, please blame me, not Panthera. I was asking him questions and he was kind enough to answer. I apologize to you for leading the conversation away from the topic at hand.
On a related note, I was very excited when the topic of our adult forum at church yesterday was about a foundation that my church started to help the starving in Africa (Kenya to be exact). A woman from Ziwa Kenya, Mama Ada, came and visited some of her family that lived in Minnetonka about 5 years back and ended up at our church. She asked our priest if there was anything we could do to help her church family and Kenya. From that conversation, the Mama Ada Foundation was birthed.
http://www.mamaadafoundation.org
I for one plan to get involved in this foundation and commit to give annually from now on. Thank you Tony for reminding me that I can make a difference.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm


Ann,
What led me to embracing the Evangelical conservative way of life is that it represents the words of the New Testament in context. I saw what they did with their words. What is called right-wing today, has been feeding and clothing the poor and destitute all over the world. It is Christian culture the way it is presented in the Gospel and the letters.
In fact, it is not even appropriate to hold up what you do for the poor and needy. Using this cartoon for secular political goals is sinful.
My statements I hold to. Especially the goals of gay activism. Massachusetts and California prove my statements and those of the New Testament writers are correct. I follow the Apostles’ timeless message, not political correctness 21st century.
Jude posted a blog a millenia-plus years ago about the kinds of people that would sneak their way into The Church and preach a sexually inappropriate message. And, what kind of people they would be. He used Sodom and Gomorrah and its sexually licentious as his example. His description is to the point about what to look at for in the false teachers department.
Love does not mean supporting sin. In fact, Jesus says it is a worse sin to encourage people to sin. And he taught, there is a time to let go of the proud sinner and treat tham as you would a pagan or tax collector. I’ve been around the internet for years. It seems that everywhere Christians interact there is some gay activist there to accuse of us being meanies for not celebrating gay sex and gay culture.
Now Ann, asking them to go to a religious place far away from Christians that want to follow the Gospel, is not mean or bigotry or a phobia. It is civility. Far more civility than gay activists and liberal-progressives are showing to us.
Now, the poor and starving in Africa, the subject of the cartoon, right-wingers have been caring for these people long before we were called homophobes and bigots by gays and their supporters (liberals and progressives and marxists). And we are still caring for them as we are being called homophobes and bigots today.
You need to look at the gays and the liberals and the progressives and the way they are treating us as the inappropriate behavior.
Marriage is a man and a woman according to Jesus. Feeding and clothing the poor we are to do as well. According to Jesus. Now, if we can alter marriage . . . can we alter caring for the poor and needy?
Maranatha



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Crisjunfan

posted November 10, 2009 at 3:26 pm


A thoughtful blog on the topic from one of your favorite people, Tony.
http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2009/11/10/the-futility-of-good-intentions/



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Mark

posted November 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm


Mere_Christian,
You write: “Marriage is a man and a woman according to Jesus.”
Please direct me to where he says this.
Thanks.



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John Mulholland

posted November 10, 2009 at 6:44 pm


Mark–
Try Matthew 19:5.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 10, 2009 at 7:55 pm


Gospel of Mark the tenth chapter.
Jesus on “divorce.” Divorce breaks up a “marriage.”
FROM THE BEGINNING
It (the reason) is man and woman.
Per God. Per Jesus.
There is no such thing as same-gender marriage in the Bible.
And David and Jonathan married women.



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Mark

posted November 10, 2009 at 9:57 pm


Thank you for your clarification. Even though in both those examples (which seem to disagree on whether divorce is permissible by the way), Jesus is merely responding to a trap set by the Pharisees over the meaning of the law (which they were interpreting rigidly and he was understanding through the love and grace of God), (still)I can certainly see how you would infer that what Jesus really meant is that marriage is only between a man and a woman. It is obviously right there in the text, isn’t it? Clear as day. And if it says it, who are we to question it? Still, some other parts of God’s law as presented plainly in Scripture are less clear for me in their application, however. Perhaps you could help.
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21.7. What is a fair price these days?
Also, I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is menstruating. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women seem to take offense.
Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the surrounding nations. My friend says this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. The fool. Can you please help me set him straight?
Also, I have a neighbor who works on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him? I have another friend who feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, it is less so than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
Leviticus 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I wear glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20 or is there some wiggle room?
Again, I want to thank you for reminding us that God’s law is eternal and unchanging irrespective of culture. There is really no question that it should all be taken literally and applied universally, without any exceptions whatsoever.
P.S. I found a loophole to the marriage between one man and one woman. There seem to be a lot of examples, a whole lot of examples, of God condoning a man having more than one wife in the Bible. I told my wife about my discovery and stated that perhaps in order to live more Biblically I should get a few more wives. She didn’t seem too pleased with that suggestion? Should I stone her?



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Ann

posted November 10, 2009 at 11:24 pm


I’ve seen this whole argument play out before… maybe we can put a stop to it? It goes no where. I feel like neither side even wants to hear what the other is saying. I realize that both sides fervently believe themselves to be right, so maybe we just stop hashing it out. I don’t know. I will just continue to pray “thy will be done”… not “my will be done”.
I do not understand the hang-up on sexual sins. Why don’t we spend even 5% of the time we do on sexual sins on sins involving money. Why don’t we try to run all the people who cheat on their taxes every year out of our churches. Now there is a sin that Jesus actually commented on…. quite a bit if I remember correctly.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 11, 2009 at 8:04 am


Mark,
Didn’t Satan use scripture to try to get Jesus to change the immutable aspects of it too.
The consistent message of marriage is man and woman. Same-gender sexual behavior is condemned from beginning to end. You need to show ANYWHERE where it is “condoned.” It is just the opposite.
Next?



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Mark

posted November 11, 2009 at 10:23 am


Actually you are accusing me of the very thing that you yourself are guilty of: using Scripture as a tool for your own agenda and using it as a weapon against others. I, admittedly, am guilty of that too in the way I was using it against you.
My point really isn’t about same sex marriage at all. It is curious that you keep bringing the matter back to that. I was merely exposing the fact that 1. you are picking and choosing to suit your own belief system and 2. you conveniently ignore passages of Scripture (and in my comments) that you don’t want to deal with, while simultaneously lifting passages out to prove your point. I did the same thing in my last post, although it was intended sarcastically. Nevertheless, I am actually just as guilty. Shame on me. I let my anger as well as my need to be right get the better of me.
Ann is right on. You will no doubt continue with your view that Scripture defines marriage as between one man and one woman. You will surely find plenty of passages to support that view. I could continue to point out that there are many other types of marriage in the Bible that do not fit that model and that today most would claim are immoral (polygamy and levirate marriage for example), which would hardly change your mind. The bottom line is that I oppose your use of Scripture. In this sense your linking me to Satan is quite accurate, since “satan” means one who opposes.
So regretting that I ever decided to engage and that I did so in the fashion that I did, I will repent and join in Ann’s prayer for God’s love and will to continue to shape us. And may God have mercy on us all for arguing over whose love we will recognize as legitimate while we all fail so miserably to act in love toward each other and toward those children in our world who truly need our attention.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 12, 2009 at 10:51 am


Love is the issue Mark.
What is at stake is the infiltration of homosexuals into our Churches to seduce and recruit our children and to force us to obey them.
It is love to expose the attackers in this gay rights movement desiring our people.
The entire witness of gay rights testifies as to what it (they) desire above all else. “Gay” means same-gender sex. “Lesbian” means lusting after your female students. Sappho after all. “Bi-Sexual” declares itself in no uncertain terms as pure sexuality with no restraints.
You can list all of the do’s and don’ts you want to from scripture, but opposing the gay movement is about as loving as it gets.
We are, as it (the Gospel witness) says, to love one another in The Church. GLBT’s DEMAND that everyone bow to their sexual tastes. And they want our children to embrace them and their sexual propensities.
Exposing the enemies that desire nothing more than the the corruption of my brothers and sisters is love in action. Jude, John, Peter, James, Paul AND Jesus, show this to be the case. That a permissive person decries a curbing of permissivness is one place to stand up and notice the “adversary” within The Church.
You failed to prove that marriage can be anything but a man and a woman in all of your scripture offerings. Multiple wives and Levites only show the immutability of man and woman in marriage. The writers of the New Testament define a good marriage and that IS only man/woman in reality.
You do prove that “the world” and its ways are something you allow to be setup as equal to Christian truth. That has come to define liberal and progressive behavior.
And as we see, schism results.
Precisely what “The Adversary” desires.
Is it unloving to point out disease?
Obviously you think not.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 12, 2009 at 10:55 am


Dear Lefties . . .
Soulforce, a maaaaaajjjjjoorrrrrrrrr “Christian” organization, filled with gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered “Christians,”
How many missionaries is this “Christian” outreach program sending out into the starving and poor places on earth?
Last time I checked, they were busy ranting at Christians in their private places of worship and study, but seem to neglect the poor and needy.
Any info please?



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Ann

posted November 12, 2009 at 11:27 am


Some days I wonder why God didn’t wipe us all out with the flood and start over. If I ever get the chance to ask God a question and have Him answer, that would be in my top 3. We really are a vile and hate-filled bunch of followers. It’s like we are all trying so hard to have God notice us and say “well done, my good and faithful servant”, that we don’t care who we destroy in the process of getting there.
Sigh.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm


Ann,
Look up the term: turn someone out
Hopefully you are not eating a twinkie when you do. I wouldn’t want you to attract any bears.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to search gay slang and cruise through gay life and its ways.
Gay culture and Christian culture are not compatible. “It” is what the Apostles and NT writers warn us about.
In what other sin behavior than homosexuality, does the sinner have the right to demand the Church to celebrate it?
This isn’t about gaining points with God, it is about protecting the Church body from attackers.
As in Jude’s warnings. Etc., etc., disciples et al.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Ann

posted November 12, 2009 at 9:23 pm


Sorry, Mere_Christian, I really have no idea what you are talking about.



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Ann

posted November 13, 2009 at 10:22 am


Mere_Christian,
I’m not sure you were looking for actual answer for your questions, but since you asked (and I still don’t understand what Twinkies have to do with anything).
“Gay culture and Christian culture are not compatible. “It” is what the Apostles and NT writers warn us about.”
I would like to know where this “Christian culture” is that you talk about. Christians are sinners and often hypocrites. It is impossible for anyone, other than Christ, to lead a sinless life. So Christian culture is always going to have sinfulness in it. You can rid the church of gays, but your church is still full of sinners (think divorce, gossip, lying, cheating, fornicating). If you through out all the sinners in hope of finding some ideal “Christian culture” you will have an empty church.
“In what other sin behavior than homosexuality, does the sinner have the right to demand the Church to celebrate it?”
That’s easy: DIVORCE. The church will re-marry more divorced people than they ever will marry same-sex couples.



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Panthera

posted November 14, 2009 at 2:38 pm


Well, before anybody says “but you left this thread”, I’m posting here because it’s the top thread on Tony’s old site.
Since Steven left, I’ve noticed that complaints to beliefnet about violations of terms of agreement (people advocating physical violence against gays is not covered by the “it’s ok to hate gays clause) and the tolerance for racists has risen enormously.
Perhaps, and I hope this is the case, this is simply because the new leadership is not yet fully up to speed. More likely, I fear, is that the new leadership is more in keeping with the other members of their corporate group and we are seeing beliefnet now drift in directions which are antithetical to pro-choice, pro-civil-rights for gays directions.
I’ll monitor the situation, but for those here who have genuinely shown Christian charity to me over the last years, thank you. I didn’t want to just vanish into thin air – all the other pantherae on the net aren’t me so when the Panthera goes off-line here, there’s no where else I post under my real third name. We’ve seen folks like Old_Susan disappear over the years and worried about her.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 16, 2009 at 11:18 am


Ann,
I do not attend Church services anywhere where adultery is celebrated.
Nor do I find fellowship with those that demand celebration of it.
That would be going back to my old days of being a liberal and further to my atheist life.
Like to Jesus, Sodom is no myth to me either.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 16, 2009 at 11:21 am


And Ann:
Ann
November 12, 2009 9:23 PM
“Sorry, Mere_Christian, I really have no idea what you are talking about.”
GLBT’s do though. And I pray you stay ignorant of that. But then again, GLBT reality may be a good thing for you to see.



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Ann

posted November 16, 2009 at 1:25 pm


Mere_Christian,
Sorry, I don’t believe you.



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Mere_Christian

posted November 19, 2009 at 8:07 am


Ann,
I’ll make it through somehow.
But certainly you can see that Sodom was no metaphor. You interact with the 21st century version of its citizens (progressives and liberals) here on this blog. And last time I looked, Obama was put into office by these same people.



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A108

posted November 22, 2009 at 7:59 pm


Mere_Christian,
I am a liberal, progressive Christian. I see it as my duty to evidence the fruits of the spirit and, by working hard on reducing my sins and showing mercy and compassion towards others, to demonstrate why Christianity stands for life.
Reading through your exchanges with both conservative Christians such as Ann and gay Christians such as Panthera, I get the impression that you don’t see evangelism (in the Greek sense of the word, that is: spreading the joyful word of our salvation through Christ) as your responsibility.
What, if you don’t want Christians who don’t agree 100% with you in your church and you very clearly have no desire to show mercy or compassion to those whom you consider sinners, is your definition of our mission as Christians?
Please don’t take this as an attack, the question is genuine: Do you subscribe to the belief that some folks are just plain bound for Hell, so it is not our problem, as Christians, to work with them? Do you have any knowledge of your approach of total isolation and condemnation (and, in your position, you are hardly alone in many churches) has any success in bringing people to salvation?
I’d be surprised, to be honest, if that were the case. But, then, as I am asking, maybe that is not your goal.



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A108

posted November 22, 2009 at 8:01 pm


…knowledge if (whether) not knowledge of. Sorry, I shouldn’t even try to beat the captcha…



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Anonymous

posted November 23, 2009 at 12:57 am


To Panthera:
Leviticus 18:22 – You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
Just because our liberal, paganistic, secular society accepts homosexuals doesn’t mean it is right.



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Anonymous

posted November 23, 2009 at 12:58 am


To Panthera:
Leviticus 18:22 – You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
Just because our liberal, pagan, secular society accepts homosexuals doesn’t mean it is right.



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A108

posted November 24, 2009 at 1:31 pm


Anonymous,
I got the impression Panthera left this forum? Well, regardless, I have to ask you a question. If you apply the proscriptions from Leviticus to homosexuality between men, how do you stand on women loving other women?
As long as we are on the topic, how do you feel about the other prohibitions in the Old Testatment – not wearing mixed fibers, etc. I can list several of them here, but I think we all are aware of them.
Just curious, these drive-by-out-of-context-quotings seem more an attempt at rationalizing hatred towards a class of people than actual interest in engaging with them.



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dsi r4

posted November 24, 2009 at 10:53 pm


Well this is the situation where nobody can help it and this is not gonna change.Somebody or somebody is gonna be there who are facing this problem. if not here then in any other part of the country or this universe.
dsi r4



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brandon andress

posted September 22, 2011 at 10:07 am


still relevant in 2011…



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