Margaret Court attacked for expressing opinion on gay marriage

An extraordinary attack on tennis legend Margaret Court by lesbian activist Kerryn Phelps underlines the Christophobia of some gay lobbyists.

Court is also the Senior Pastor of a megachurch in Perth, Western Australia, holds traditional views of marriage, and is opposed to the controversial proposals being put forward by the left of the Labour Party in Australia for gay marriage to be recognised as true marriage.

All homosexuals and lesbians must be aware of traditional Biblical understanding of marriage, and also of the opposition to homosexual and lesbian acts as interpreted by a large section of the world-wide Church, despite the liberal theology which is growing in acceptance even amongst Christians.

Liberal theologians tend to support the notion of reinterpreting scripture to be inclusive of gay relationships and marriage. This is still strongly disputed by many Christians, but the lobbyists seem to be getting through to those who are younger, and nominal Christians, who have been subjected to education and a concerted push which promotes the idea of what is now being termed ‘equal marriage’.

Margaret Court, obviously wearing her Pastor hat and not her tennis cap, has openly rejected the idea of gay marriage, saying it is not in keeping with accepted Biblical principles, and that gay marriage reforms would ‘legitimise what God calls abominable sexual practices’.

Professor Phelps, former President of the AMA, has strongly condemned Court and called for protests at the Margaret Court Arena, named after the tennis great in recognition of her exploits in winning 24 grand slam singles titles amongst other doubles slams.

In so doing, Phelps has taken Court’s religious convictions and brought them into the sporting arena, where Court gained her reputation as one of the greatest sportswomen of all time. Now Phelps wants the arena to be renamed and Court’s name removed.

She has made political mileage out of a Christian theological position held by a person who is highly successful in both the sporting and ecclesiastical realms by using the sporting honour deservedly bestowed on Court as a weapon to attack Court’s Christian perspective on marriage.

But Court’s view should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially a lesbian activist like Phelps, who is purely taking advantage of Court’s sporting fame to promote her cause in the public arena, just as the Australian Open, which Court has said she’ll attend regardless of a proposed gay demonstration against her views, is about to get under way.

Phelps said, ‘Her views on homosexuality are so extreme that they really almost defy comment”, but, of course, there are any number of Christians who hold the same view, and who are opposed to gay marriage for exactly the same reasons Court has given.

In fact, as a Pastor and Christian leader, Court would be expected to both have a Biblical view and to express it publicly, especially from the pulpit, just as Phelps, as a lesbian activist, would be expected to have the opposing view and express it.

But would Phelps be required to lose her professorship, or medical qualifications for having an opposing view? That would be preposterous and unkind, since she earned her credentials and has been recognised for her organisational ability with high office in the medical profession.

Court’s views are neither extreme nor unusual for a Christian leader. This extraordinary attack on Court is an attack on all believers with a traditional understanding of scripture, on the Bible and on the freedom of each individual to have and express a point of view in a free country.

It is expected that some gay and lesbian activists will demonstrate during the Open in the Margaret Court Arena by waving rainbow flags, traditionally, for Christians, a symbol of peace, but hijacked by gay activists as their symbol.

Hopefully both sides can view the rainbow as their own and not allow prejudice to interfere with the recognition of the talent of one Australia’s sporting icons.


227 thoughts on “Margaret Court attacked for expressing opinion on gay marriage

  1. Yeesh! Article author needs to do fact checking.

    Dove = symbol of peace
    Rainbow = symbol to remind people that God will never wipe out the Earth with flood again

    I think I prefer to view the rainbow as a symbol that unicorns will return one day.

  2. In fact, if you need full accuracy, Elwyn, it was a sign of covenant between God and Noah.

    So, as the dove returned to Noah with a fig leaf, as a symbol of the end of the flood, the following rainbow is a sign of the covenant of peace between God and man.

    Unless you don’t consider a covenant to be a peace treaty.

    But why miss the point of the article with semantics over symbolic meanings?

    Let’s hope, then, that Christians at the tennis will see the rainbow flags as a reminder of the covenant God made with man.

    I don’t think Phelps has either peace or covenant in mind!

  3. This very poor form by th homosexual lobby and activists groups,

    The gay lobby group demand ‘tolerance’ but little tolerance is shown for people thar have a different view.

    Tennis is a aport and as such should not be a battle grounf for a politcal/social agenda.

  4. I agree, I think it does the activists no good to be piggy-backing on someone’s fame like this in order to make a point.

    The idea of gay-marriage is a huge change – possibly the largest social change in 50 years, and it is encumbant on people in favour of this change to argue for it in public discourse. They should expect people to argue against it.

    I don’t agree with Margaret’s comment about legitimising sexual acts that God deems ‘abominable’. As we know, the OT mentions a lot of things as being abominations that we now accept, such as dietary and clothing taboos.

    Nevertheless I think she has a right to state her point of view without these stunts.

  5. As a lesbian, Phelps converted to Judaism about 12 years ago and “married” her partner at a Jewish ceremony in the States. Obviously a liberal Jewish ceremony, indicating her own religiosity and prejudices?

  6. Wazza: ‘the OT mentions a lot of things as being abominations that we now accept’. What is it about NT statements on this subject matter that you don’t understand?

  7. Wazza: ‘the OT mentions a lot of things as being abominations that we now accept’,

    Maybe, but don’t think male to male coitus is one of them, nor is homosexual marriage.

    And the other thing is; you may accept them, but does God?

  8. On what basis can you decide that homosexual activity is still an abomination, whilst eating shellfish is not?

  9. Ziebert :
    What is it about NT statements on this subject matter that you don’t understand?

    I don’t understand why people feel it necessary to go back to the OT for an unequivocal statement on homosexuality – if it is also clearly prohibited in the NT.

  10. Aaaah, gotcha. I inferred (obviously incorrectly) that any conclusive evidence of God’s stance on homosexuality drawn from the OT should be over-ridden due to our trashing of the food laws amongst others. We are on the same page (I think) because there is plenty in the NT (Romans) that is perfectly unambiguous on the subject. End of, as far as I can make out.

  11. Jack, the restrictions on food were, I believe, dismissed as relevant for healthy contact with God after Peter’s dream/vision of all things being edible (Acts 10). I do realise that this was the physical law being abolished, and the spiritual equivalent was that the Gentiles were no longer to be viewed as unclean before God – he was to be the Lord of all who believe in Jesus.

  12. Jack, wazza2,

    God gave Peter a vision which made the eating of all foods acceptable, but it also declared that the Gentiles were to be accepted, something which Peter found more repulsive than eaten what were formerly unclean foods for Jewish people.

    In so doing he specifically redefined what was formerly considered unacceptable to Israel.

    Nowhere in scripture is it stated that homosexuality has become acceptable. There is enough in the NT to support God’s stance in the OT that homosexuality is an abomination.

    What has changed is the penalty clause.

    Under the OT people could be stoned for some of these things, including adultery. Under the NT Jesus has made the way for all sin to be forgiven, but he adds the proviso that we sin no more, and he empowers us, through the cross, and through the acceptance of Christ as our Lord, which credits us with righteousness, he empowers us to overcome the sin which formerly condemned us.

    Therefore, whatever was considered sin under the OT, unless clearly redefined under the NT (and Jesus made some offences stricter at the Sermon on the Mount), is also sin under the NT, and homosexual relationships are named amongst them, even f lobbyists and liberals attempt to redefine what scholars clearly and concisely accept as references to them as sin.

  13. So we are under the law unless granted an exemption in the NT. Thanks for explaining that to us.

    So not only homosexual relationships but also wearing garments composed of two types of material and planting fields with two types of seed are abominable sins to God. (Lev 19:19) I dont see anywere these things were clearly allowed in the NT.

    Oh our sinful and fallen society that has taken on these degraded practices of using polyester-cotton blends, and companion plantings. It is a symptom of the creeping moral decay, that even many in the church wear these foul and abominable polyester-cotton clothes.

    I thought we werent under the law, but under grace. Obviously not, but if so – we cant pick and choose our laws according to our own particular preferences.

  14. So you say homosexual acts are acts of grace? Is adultery? Theft? Murder? Hatred? Covetousness?

    What is covered by grace is sin, but not as a license to sin, but to enable the former sinner to be freed from the power of it and to resist it.

    What you wear, eat or drink is not relevant to how you conduct yourself.

    Romans 6
    1* What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
    2* Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
    3* Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
    4* Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    5* For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
    6* knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
    7* For he who has died has been freed from sin.

    So we are admonished to live in newness of life and no longer live in sin.

    I can’t understand your reticence to conforming to sound doctrine.

    Rather you excuse sinners from their sin and allow them to continue in it under the guise of granted grace to do so. This is false teaching.

    Are you following your friend Janis’ seventh suggestion for avoiding ‘groupthink’ on the other thread – ‘At least one group member should be assigned the role of Devil’s advocate’?

  15. Of course, if you walk in the Spirit there is no law against it.

    So do you say you can walk in the Spirit and have a homosexual relationship?

    Can a man be joined to Christ and be joined to a man in a sexual relationship?

    How does your version of grace work?

  16. wazza, I must be tired, but what was your point at 0850? Is it that we can’t live under grace and then pull in various OT rods to beat people with. If so, correct. The law, in its entirety, is done away with and is on our hearts if we have been renewed by faith. That didn’t stop Paul listing homosexual acts as worthy of damnation by God. He lists a series of works of the flesh that no Spirit-filled believer should be practising, or their salvation is then questionable, surely.

    Or, do you sign up to ‘once saved always saved’ and so a homosexual who has said a ‘prayer of salvation’ can now conduct his life how he pleases because he is under grace?

  17. @ zeibart – can you be more clear about the law being done away with? Are any of the 10 commandments irrelevant today? Except for Sabbath keeping, aren’t the other “commandments” applicable i.e. loving neighbour, not harming them, not worshipping idols but loving God etc?

    I do understand we are under “the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2) – fulfilling that in loving the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39)

    The purpose of the OT law was (and always will) show us our inability to keep that law and fully declare our need of Christ…

    Listening to a Matt Chandler sermon on “Law & Gospel” at the Code Orange Revival this week got me thinking about David’s delighting in the law.

    C. S. Lewis, writing in his book, “Reflections on the Psalms”, said “it’s a mystery to him how people could rejoice in the law. He could imagine fearing the law, or respecting the law, but how could they delight in it? He concluded,

    Their delight in the law is the delight in having touched firmness; like the pedestrian delights in feeling the hard road beneath his feet after a false shortcut has long entangled him in muddy fields.”

    Afterthought – “Muddy fields” is a good analogy for homosexual behaviour and gay marriage.

  18. Margot, David delighted in the Torah because it led him into God’s presence. That was where he wanted to be, not following lifeless rituals. He applied faith to his knowledge of the written Laws and so knew God’s heart. He went beyond blind obedience.

    Jesus, in fulfilling the Law, became its cursed nature by being crucified and then in rising nullified that curse, which only brought death because it never dealt with a man’s sin.

    The letter kills but the Spirit brings life, so faith in Christ brings the Holy Spirit to our minds such that the intent behind the Law to draw us nearer to God becomes our heart’s desire. We should want to comply with the 10 commandments, not because they are written down laws, but because we have an unction from within to bless God and men by being holy and obedient.

    But you knew all that didn’t you?

  19. Margaret Court has characterised homosexuality as an abomination. This is a truly hateful way of expressing herself. Her being a Christian does not excuse such viciousness – just as being a Christian is not an excuse for citing Leviticus in order to urge that homosexuals should be put to death.

    It is sad that Christianity is being used to stir hatred.

    Alex

  20. Alex, YOU are the one stirring imagined hatred. Court does not hate homosexual people, she hates the sin expressed in that which GOD calls an abomination. It’s in the NT not Leviticus that she would no doubt go to illustrate her point. You are twisting things to suit your bias. Read Paul’s letters and see how many times he comes across as ‘hateful’ or vicious’ in your eyes – it would number in the tens I’ll bet.

    If she approved of gay marriage she would be accused of hypocrisy by a large section of the Christian public, but she’s not that feeble thankfully.

  21. Where did Margaret urge that homosexuals are put to death, Alex? That’s absolute lie.

    Christians don’t live by the Torah. They live by the New Testament, and we’re not to hate people, let alone kill them.

    But we are told to resist sin.

    God calls homosexuality sin, so why wouldn’t a Christian do so?

    Margaret has said she loves homosexuals but can’t condone homosexual practices. That is reasonable Biblically. She has also rejected the idea of gay marriage.

    Christians are called to love sinners, but not engage in sin. What else would we say about people comp-ared to what they are caught up in?

  22. I NEVER said that Margaret Court urged that homosexuals should be put to death. Please read what I said.

    I drew a parallel between describing homosexuality as an abomination and calling for homosexuals to be killed. (I think that calling for homosexuals to be killed is worse – much worse – than describing homosexuality as an abomination, But I have no hesitation in strongly criticising both actions.)

    In drawing a parallel between two things, I do not imply that someone who does one of the things also does the other thing.

    In describing homosexuality as an abomination, Margaret Court cited the part of the Bible that urges that homosexuals should be put to death.

    I believe that it would be appalling for a Jewish person who lives by the Torah to urge that homosexuals be put to death. I also believe that it would be appalling for a Jewish person who lives by the Torah to describe homosexuality as an abomination. (Many religious Jewish people do neither of these things.)

    I do not believe that Margaret Court loves gay people. If she loved gay people she would not assert (without providing any evidence for it) that homosexuality is (in general) a choice. What she says contradicts the best medical evidence.

    I have no more respect for Margaret Court’s attitude to gay people than I have respect for the attitude of those Christians who hold the Jews in general responsible for the crucifixion of Christ.

    I do not believe that Christianity is a religion of hate.

    (If Margaret Court was so bound by what Paul says, I doubt that she would be preaching at all.)

    Alex

  23. Trying to prove whether homosexuality is a choice or a person has a genetic predisposition is like the science surrounding anthropogenic global warming. The 2 camps can each turn to their ”authoritative” science.

    Did you see the outrage that surrounded a speech given by an actress recently regarding her homosexual relationship? The ‘we can’t help it, it’s in our DNA’ lobby were furious she stated that she had been both straight and gay, and preferred gay. ‘No, no, that’s not how it goes’, they howled. Anyway, she has raised a family within this relationship and was merely stating the facts as they pertain to her.

    Back to the NT – read Romans chapter 1 and how God views homosexual activities. Does being in a loving relationship counter the lust factor in His eyes? You discern that aspect because it’s eternally important.

  24. My understanding of the science is that the issue of homosexuality being a choice, is different in the case of women and men.

    If you consider a scale with totally straight on one side, and totally gay on the other – men tend to be close to one end or the other.
    Women on the other hand tend to be closer to the middle. There are always exceptions of course.

    So in experiments where people are shown pictures of naked people and then measured their excitement response (not whether they said they were sexually excited) – straight men were excited by women only, not by men. Gay men were excited by men only and not by women. Women on the other hand were excited by men, women, and even monkeys having sex.

    In simple terms, for many women there is actually a choice. Thats why you hear stories of women raising a family, batting for the other side for a few years, and then going back to a marriage. For many men there is absolutely no choice. Many men try to turn themselves straight, have a marriage and finally give up the pretence in middle-age. Most male straights would not be able to sustain a gay relationship, and would not even think of it.

    In other words, I think it is difficult for women like Margaret to understand the position of the Gay male. They will assume it is a choice because it has essentially been a choice for them (however remote the option of homosexuality has been).

  25. Well, wazza, I’m a man and I think it’s a choice, and I believe the majority of men would agree, so where are you going to go with that?

    Besides which, ‘my understanding’ of the ‘science’ is that women ovulate, so are sexually aroused in cycles, as oestrogen is produced, whereas men have instantaneous testosterone driven urges throughout their adulthood.

    I am always suspicious when sexual attraction is made into a scientific experiment.

    I think we can be attracted to a person for many reasons other than their naked body, and it is more true of women than men perhaps, but they are attracted to far more than the size of a man’s apparatus, being much more emotionally and socially driven in their attractions, and maternally attracted to a male with paternal tendencies, whereas men are more likely to be aroused by physical attributes, but are occasionally drawn to other attractions in a person.

    So placing naked people before people or sexual images isn’t really all that scientific, or, at best, it is a very base instinct experiment, because sexual attraction is infinitely more complex than pornography… I hope!

  26. Gosh, wazza, doesn’t your wife ever get you to sit through Jane Austin inspired movies with her? You’ve surely picked up a few things about women by now, in regard to what turns them on.

  27. So Steve do you feel that you could be attracted to a man, even sustain a fulfilling sexual relationship with a man if you chose to?

  28. A previous commentator in effect suggested that inasmuch as I was very critical of the statements that Margaret Court had made, I was spreading hatred.

    I believe that it is possible to be very critical of what a person says without hating that person. I do not hate Margaret Court.

    Indeed, I admire her immensely: to be a great sports person involves not just great physical qualities but many great qualities of character. When I watched her on TV when I was a child, she filled me with awe and wonder.

    It is partly because I admire her so much that I am so dismayed by her some of her recent statements.

    I do hope I have said nothing that expresses hatred for her.

    Alex

  29. I do not feel I could, no, wazza.

    I am a man designed for a sexual relationship with a woman.

    God’s creation itself declares this, arranges this and confirms it with children, since the God-created purpose of the sexual organs is to fertilise the seed of human beings, not solely pleasure or emotional release or gratification.

    Sexual pleasure is, of course, a wonderful part of procreation and intimate relationships, but I cannot see a single natural determinant to a homosexual or lesbian sexual relationship, which means, in terms of where you are leading this conversation, it is, in a manner of speaking, a choice, but it could never be a natural choice determined by God’s creation, but an unusual emotional and physical attraction counter to God’s creation.

  30. So it is a choice for other people, but somehow not a choice for you?

    I don’t really understand how you think this works.

  31. Alex, point taken, but Margaret is merely confirming what any evangelical Christian would according to scripture. Her high profile has caused her to be singled out by gay activists. She has done nothing wrong or said anything unusually remarkable in her views, which are standard for Christians, and most gays already know this and shouldn’t be surprised. The activists are users and opportunists.

  32. I knew that was coming, wazza, which is why I worded my response the way I did. This is’t a game of chess. You are being obtuse.

    You think, obviously that God, in his creation, gave a choice to men and women to be gay.

    That doesn’t add up, which is why I explained the answer the way I did. But you either didn’t get it or chose not to, or chose to ignore what I said and how I qualified it.

    All you was throw a haymaker which was duly countered before it arrived.

  33. In fact, you are correct, there is no choice, in God’s mind. Just as there is no choice in regard to sin, yet we sin, because we choose to, but God doesn’t.

    So choice is merely an outlet for those who chose to ignore God’s creation.

    God gives us a choice between life and death, blessing and cursing, but then says ‘choose life’, because that is his choice, which really isn’t a choice at all, but his will.

    So it is for the sexual design o God’s creation, than intercourse is between a man and his wife to the exclusion of all others. In which, to follow God’s will there is, similarly, no choice.

    This, for a Christian, is a no win situation when discussing it with an evolutionist, liberal secularist, because the reason of such a creature is totally earth-bound and devoid of kingdom logic.

  34. From “Sex In The City” actress Cynthia Nixon…

    “I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me. A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out. I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not. As you can tell, I am very annoyed about this issue. Why can’t it be a choice? Why is that any less legitimate? It seems we’re just ceding this point to bigots who are demanding it, and I don’t think that they should define the terms of the debate. I also feel like people think I was walking around in a cloud and didn’t realize I was gay, which I find really offensive. I find it offensive to me, but I also find it offensive to all the men I’ve been out with.”

  35. Steve, I really am not trying to be obtuse or put up straw-men etc.

    You said :
    “Well, wazza, I’m a man and I think it’s a choice, and I believe the majority of men would agree, so where are you going to go with that?”

    I asked you whether you could choose to be attracted to a man and have a fulfilling sexual relationship with him.

    You said, you could not choose to do that.

    Is that because its against your moral beliefs – your understanding of God, or that you really dont think however much you tried you couldnt be attracted enough to a man to have a fulfilling sexual relationship?

  36. Why don’t you address the issue that our natural inclination is to sin, and that homosexual activity falls under that category. Or don’t you believe we inherit Adam’s sin nature?

    If you don’t, then with Christians the discussion is moot.

  37. The Orthodox Church’s view on Original Sin is interesting , given that it was untainted by the reaction against the Pelagian heresy.

    While the Orthodox Church does accord Augustine of Hippo the title “saint” and recognizes the vast number of theological works he produced, Augustine was not as well known in the Christian East. His works were not translated into Greek until the 14th century; as such, he had little or no influence on mainstream Orthodox thought until 17th century Ukraine and 18th century Russia, primarily through the influence of western clergy and the establishment of theological schools which relied on Latin models with respect to curricula, text books, etc.

    With regard to original sin, the difference between Orthodox Christianity and the West may be outlined as follows:

    In the Orthodox Faith, the term “original sin” refers to the “first” sin of Adam and Eve. As a result of this sin, humanity bears the “consequences” of sin, the chief of which is death. Here the word “original” may be seen as synonymous with “first.” Hence, the “original sin” refers to the “first sin” in much the same way as “original chair” refers to the “first chair.”

    In the West, humanity likewise bears the “consequences” of the “original sin” of Adam and Eve. However, the West also understands that humanity is likewise “guilty” of the sin of Adam and Eve. The term “Original Sin” here refers to the condition into which humanity is born, a condition in which guilt as well as consequence is involved.

    In the Orthodox Christian understanding, while humanity does bear the consequences of the original, or first, sin, humanity does not bear the personal guilt associated with this sin. Adam and Eve are guilty of their willful action; we bear the consequences, chief of which is death.

    One might look at all of this in a completely different light. Imagine, if you will, that one of your close relatives was a mass murderer. He committed many serious crimes for which he was found guilty—and perhaps even admitted his guilt publicly. You, as his or her son or brother or cousin, may very well bear the consequences of his action—people may shy away from you or say, “Watch out for him—he comes from a family of mass murderers.” Your name may be tainted, or you may face some other forms of discrimination as a consequence of your relative’s sin. You, however, are not personally guilty of his or her sin.

    There are some within Orthodoxy who approach a westernized view of sin, primarily after the 17th and 18th centuries due to a variety of westernizing influences particularly in Ukraine and Russia after the time of Peter Mohyla. These influences have from time to time colored explanations of the Orthodox Faith which are in many respects lacking.

    http://oca.org/questions/teaching/st.-augustine-original-sin

  38. I dont think we should abstract this into a discussion about original sin.

    Margot is there any reason why we shouldnt inquire into whether there could be such a thing as a sexuality which is not chosen?

  39. I really don’t know Wazza, knowing that some gay people seem to believe they are born that way and others who choose (like Cynthia Nixon). I can’t argue with them, that’s their experience.

    But I do know two men, now Christians, who have walked away from that lifestyle and are happily married. Could they be tempted, of course, isn’t that how Satan works to accuse the Body? Jesus has promised to not allow us to be tempted beyond our capabilities and in that promise, I have no doubt.

  40. Hope this isn’t too long a read but I have been enjoying Greg Koukl and His Stand To Reason site…..

    The first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans contains what most readers consider the Bible’s clearest condemnation of same-sex relations.  Recent scholarship reads the same text and finds just the opposite.  Who is right?
    Paul, Romans and Homosexuality

     by Greg Koukl

          To most readers, the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans contains the Bible’s clearest condemnation of same-sex relations–both male and female.  Recent scholarship, though, reads the same text and finds just the opposite–that homosexuality is innate and therefore normal, moral, and biblical.

    Reconstructing Romans

          In Romans, Paul seems to use homosexuality as indicative of man’s deep seated rebellion against God and God’s proper condemnation of man.  New interpretations cast a different light on the passage. 

          Paul, the religious Jew, is looking across the Mediterranean at life in the capital of Graeco-Roman culture.  Homosexuality in itself is not the focus of condemnation.  Rather, Paul’s opprobrium falls upon paganism’s refusal to acknowledge the true God.

          It’s also possible Paul did not understand the physiological basis of genuine homosexuality.  John Boswell, professor of history at Yale, is among those who differ with the classical interpretation.  In Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality he writes:

    The persons Paul condemns are manifestly not homosexual:  what he derogates are homosexual acts committed by apparently heterosexual persons….It is not clear that Paul distinguished in his thoughts or writings between gay persons (in the sense of permanent sexual preference) and heterosexuals who simply engaged in periodic homosexual behavior.  It is in fact unlikely that many Jews of his day recognized such a distinction, but it is quite apparent that–whether or not he was aware of their existence–Paul did not discuss gay persons but only homosexual acts committed by heterosexual persons.[1]  [emphasis in the original]
          Paul is speaking to those who violate their natural sexual orientation, Boswell contends, those who go against their own natural desire:  “‘Nature’ in Romans 1:26, then, should be understood as the personal nature of the pagans in question.”[2]  [emphasis in the original]  

          Since a homosexual’s natural desire is for the same sex, this verse doesn’t apply to him.  He has not chosen to set aside heterosexuality for homosexuality; the orientation he was born with is homosexual.  Demanding that he forsake his “sin” and become heterosexual is actually the kind of violation of one’s nature Paul condemns here.

    Romans 1:18-27  

         Both views can’t be correct.  Only a close look at the text itself will give us the answer.  The details of this passage show why these new interpretations are impossible:[3] 

          For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
          For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
          Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
          For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
          Let me start by making two observations.  First, this is about God being mad:  “For the wrath of God [orge] is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men….” 

          Second, there is a specific progression that leads to this “orgy” of anger.  Men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18).  They exchanged “the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (v. 25).  Next, “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…” (v. 24).  They “exchanged the natural [sexual] function for that which is unnatural (v. 26).  Therefore, the wrath of God rightly falls on them (v. 18); they are without excuse (v. 20).

          This text is a crystal clear condemnation of homosexuality by the Apostle Paul in the middle of his most brilliant discourse on general revelation.  Paul is not speaking to a localized aberration of pedophilia or temple prostitution that’s part of life in the capital of Graeco-Roman culture.  He is talking about a universal condition of man.

          Regarding the same-sex behavior itself, here are the specific words Paul uses:  a lust of the heart, an impurity and dishonoring to the body (v. 24); a degrading passion that’s unnatural (v. 29); an indecent act and an error (v. 27); not proper and the product of a depraved mind (v. 28).

          There’s only one way the clear sense of this passage can be missed:  if someone is in total revolt against God.  According to Paul, homosexual behavior is evidence of active, persistent rebellion against one’s Creator.  Verse 32 shows it’s rooted in direct, willful, aggressive sedition against God–true of all so-called Christians who are defending their own homosexuality.  God’s response is explicit:  “They are without excuse” (v. 20).

    Born Gay? 

          What if one’s “natural” desire is for the same sex, though.  What if his homosexuality is part of his physical constitution?  There are four different reasons this is a bad argument.  The first three are compelling; the fourth is unassailable.

          First, this rejoinder assumes there is such a thing as innate homosexuality.  The scientific data is far from conclusive, though.  Contrary to the hasty claims of the press, there is no definitive evidence that homosexuality is determined by physiological factors (see “Just Doing What Comes Naturally,” Clear Thinking, Spring, 1997).

          There’s a second problem.  If all who have a desire for the same sex do so “naturally,” then to whom does this verse apply?  If everybody is only following their natural sexual desires, then which particular individuals fall under this ban, those who are not aroused by their own gender, but have sex anyway?  Generally, for men at least, if there is no arousal, there is no sex.  And if there is arousal, according to Boswell et al, then the passion must be natural.

          Third, this interpretation introduces a whole new concept–constitutional homosexuality–that is entirely foreign to the text.  Boswell himself admits that it was “in fact unlikely that many Jews of [Paul’s] day recognized such a distinction,” and that possibly even Paul himself was in the dark. 

          If Paul did not understand genuine homosexuality, though, then how can one say he excepted constitutional homosexuals when he wrote that they “exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural”?  This argument self-destructs.

          Further, if Paul spoke only to those violating their personal sexual orientation, then wouldn’t he also warn that some men burned unnaturally towards women, and some women towards men?  Wouldn’t Paul warn against both types of violation–heterosexuals committing indecent acts with members of the same sex, and homosexuals committing indecent acts with members of the opposite sex?

          What in the text allows us to distinguish between constitutional homosexuals and others?  Only one word:  “natural.”  A close look at this word and what it modifies, though, leads to the most devastating critique of all.

    Natural Desire or Natural Function?

          Paul was not unclear about what he meant by “natural.”  Homosexuals do not abandon natural desires; they abandon natural functions:  “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another…” (1:26-27)

          The Greek word kreesis, translated “function” in this text, is used only these two times in the New Testament, but is found frequently in other literature of the time.  According to the standard Greek language reference A Greek/English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other  Early Christian Literature,[4] the word means “use, relations, function, especially of sexual intercourse.”

          Paul is not talking about natural desires here, but natural functions.  He is not talking about what one wants sexually, but how one is built to operate sexually.  The body is built to function in a specific way.  Men were not built to function sexually with men, but with women.

          This conclusion becomes unmistakable when one notes what men abandon in verse 27, according to Paul.  The modern argument depends on the text teaching that men abandoned their own natural desire for woman and burned toward one another.  Men whose natural desire was for other men would then be exempted from Paul’s condemnation.  Paul says nothing of the kind, though.

          Paul says men forsake not their own natural desire (their constitutional make-up), but rather the “natural function of the woman..”  They abandoned the female, who was built by God to be man’s sexual compliment.

          The error has nothing to do with anything in the male’s own constitution that he’s denying.  It is in the rejection of the proper sexual companion God has made for him–a woman:  “The men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts….” (v. 27)

          Natural desires go with natural functions.  The passion that exchanges the natural function of sex between a man and a woman for the unnatural function of sex between a   man and a man is what Paul calls a degrading passion.

          Jesus clarified the natural, normal relationship:  “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh [sexual intercourse].’?”  (Matthew 19:4-5)

          Homosexual desire is unnatural because it causes a man to abandon the natural sexual compliment God has ordained for him:  a woman.  That was Paul’s view.  If it was Paul’s view recorded in the inspired text, then it is God’s view.  And if it is God’s view, it should be ours if we call ourselves Christian. 

    [1]John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1980), p. 109.

    [2]Ibid., p. 111.

    [3]Citations are from the New American Standard Bible, copyright 1977, The Lockman Foundation.

    [4]Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich (University of Chicago Press).

  41. Thanks Margot, but I tend to discount people who introduce their arguments by saying they are compelling and unassailable.

    Also dont like to listen to people who say their view is God’s view and should also be the view of people who call themselves Christian.

  42. Of course you wouldn’t! But I tend to be troubled by people who don’t take take God’s Word seriously – then remind myself He’s totally in control.

    You seem to like/ make things far more complicated than God ever intended them to be.

  43. Well the translation I have refers to the “natural use” of a woman.

    Whatever your view on the sinfulness or otherwise of homosexuality, it dosent have a bearing on whether it is a choice or not. You seem to indicate that the two men you knew would still be tempted, so it would appear they still do not have a choice in how they are attracted.

    Steve said he thought it was a choice, but then said he did not have that choice.

    So how exactly do people make that choice?

  44. Interesting article, margot. He is basically articulating (better than I did) what I was saying earlier, that God did not create us for homosexual sex, which is easily witnessed in our physiology.

    This is, of course, best illustrated in women where literal physical sexual intercourse with another woman is not possible, but also apparent in men where it is perverted (in the sense of being distorted from the original design) by anal penetration as a substitute for vaginal penetration. Contrary to the vagina, the anal muscles were never designed to receive but to eject.

    Anyone who refuses to see the witness of nature in this and other related respects is deliberately ignoring the truth, as is brilliantly born out in the Romans 1 passage.

    If God had intended women to be lesbians together and men to be homosexuals together he would surely have anticipated their sexual needs in the creation and provided for them a means to cement their relationship in a consummate way without having to resort to unnatural compromises.

    And on the subject of choice, which, again, I have adequately covered twice now, wazza, you cannot discount the doctrine of original sin, because it comes down to the battle of wills between men and God, whereby God had created us to function in a certain way, but the fall has led us functioning in a way which is either opposed to his will or obedient to his will, which choice he recommends, nay, commands, that we choose life, or in other words, choose his way.

    Choice, as I have said, in regard to homosexuality is only choice where unbelievers choose to ignore God and his creation.

    In reality there is no choice, only God’s will.

  45. Their temptation is not unique to being homosexual – as Christians we would be lying to say we’re never tempted by old “habits”. It’s that tension that Paul describes in Romans 7:14-25.

    As much as some here may not like/believe, there are gay men and women whose lives have really been transformed by their Christian conversion, who have gone on to have happy lives, marriages and children.

    But it seems people want to reduce the amazing grace they experience to some hidden desire to “revert to type”.

  46. The key to overcoming Romans 7 is to be in Romans 6 and enter Romans 8, but, yes, margot, there is a tension, and we all have choices in that regard, whether we’re heterosexual or not.

    I know men who have come out from their gay former lives through a relationship with Christ. I’ve heard of others who haven’t.

    This isn’t a judgment, more of a perplexity, and I know it’s not as simple as it sounds, but I don’t understand Christian men, some in leadership, who leave their wives and children to become single gay men. It seems they are putting their personal sexuality before their vows and their children.

    Sometimes choices are hard to sustain. That is where a relationship with Christ, who gets us through hardships, is essential, especially when the challenges are long-term.

  47. There are some people who claim to be born again, pray, read their bibles, go to church, do “everything”, but still after 3 years or more feel a deep intrinsic natural desire to have sex with someone other than their spouse. Some others don’t “feel ” forgiven. Some have problems with anger. The fact that some people who felt that they wanted to have sex with their own gender still felt that way after becoming Christians doesn’t prove to me that we need to “deem” same gender sex natural or beautiful.

  48. You can indeed call a sin an abomination, but also love the people who engage or have engaged in the practice.

    Margaret probably thinks premarital/extramarital heterosexual sex, group sex, pornography, prostitution are all abominations, but still loves the people who are involved in them.

  49. I’m pretty sure Jesus’s message was ‘love the sinner – hate your own sin’.

    We not long ago had a thread about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Enforced celibacy simply doesn’t work. Some are called into celibacy and I really think it is a gift, but you can’t force someone through laws to be celibate.

    I remember as a single depressed lonely guy talking with my celibate Anglican priest, who was a fantastic man of God about marriage.

    I said “How do you know, if God is calling you to be celibate?”. He said “Do you want to be?” I said “no.” Then he said “You won’t be”.

  50. I am not interested in arguing or scoring points or playing theological chess with anyone. What scientists say about homosexuality doesn’t concern me. If I listened to scientists, I as a male could feel quite okay about having sex with lots of females.

    But, we are Christians. We aren’t to walk like the gentiles in the futility and vanity of their minds.

    Be honest Christian…. when you love God, are filled with the Spirit, have communion with Him, you simply can’t look at pornography, fantasize, engage in fornication, adultery, or homosexual sex and not feel condemned. Regardless of how natural it may feel at the time.

    So, someone could write a million page book about it, but it’s very simple. There were always Godly – very Godly people who loved God who believed that slavery was wrong, racism was wrong, that it wasn’t wrong etc, but there is no significant group of people who are great examples of Godliness who are advocating for homosexual marriage, or the right of Christians to have homosexual sex.

    Love the Lord with all your heart, cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit. To me this is like debating whether teenage Christians can have oral sex or not.

    Yeah, you could say that the bible doesn’t say anything about it, that they aren’t hurting anyone, that we shouldn’t judge, that it can be an expression of love, and you could find 1000 molecular biologists, evolutionary scientists, and psychiatrists who would happily give a lecture saying that parents shouldn’t necessarily freak out about it …but come on.

    But, it’s obvious.

    (I realize that some people here will argue this point with me too – but, that’s my point. Some people have lost all common sense when it comes to sin and Christian behavior)

    We need to repent.

  51. “I said “How do you know, if God is calling you to be celibate?”. He said “Do you want to be?” I said “no.” Then he said “You won’t be”.”

    Wise Anglican priest. And hopefully he explained that following god would mean that you would flee youthful lusts and keep yourself pure until you married.

    I think deep down everyone knows whats right. You can try to justify anything. Doesn’t the Spirit within bear witness to the truth in things this basic?

  52. but there is no significant group of people who are great examples of Godliness who are advocating for homosexual marriage, or the right of Christians to have homosexual sex.

    Desmond Tutu does and I consider him Godly.

  53. What we have here is a couple of liberals attempting to justify issues through humanist logic, secular rationalism and scientific assumption which cannot by confirmed by scripture because it isn’t justified by scripture.

    Not once do they appeal to scripture, and when it is brought up they attempt to water it down or dismiss it in some way.

    The Biblical and theological evidence has been amply demonstrated. All that’s left is obfuscation by those who want their own way and not God’s will.

  54. @ bones – Tutu long ago succumbed to the argument that somehow homosexual behaviour and and someone’s colour fall under the same category.

    He is a liberal who champions gay marriage because he doesn’t adhere to the bible, just a broad social gospel which has no standards, just love. A “gospel” sadly overtaking the true message of repentance and the forgiveness of sins found in Christ.

    He was emergent before it became fashionable. As is well said of him, he tries too hard to make a wrong, right.

  55. Steve and Margot. Exactly.

    Everyone of us has to decide whether to follow God and his Ways or not.

    Bones, there are many people who you admire who simply aren’t following God in truth. Because a man is famous for his social action doesn’t mean that he is filled with the Holy Spirit and communing with God.

    On the contrary, you talked about how much you admired Martin Luther King Jr in the tithing debate. I admire him for what he did in social causes, but that doesn’t mean he was truly abiding by biblical principles.

    If a religious figure fought for human rights, championed the cause of the poor and became famous, maybe you would consider him Godly, and would throw his name around.

    I’m talking about true Godliness. You have to follow God Bones. Not the people whom the world loves and acknowledges.

    A man can be loved by the world, get a Nobel prize, give great speeches, be considered Godly etc etc, but still have a heart that is closed to God.

    The bible even suggests that it’s possible to give everything away to the poor and not have love. Think about that. The richest man in the world could give away all his money, set up a charity with it, and say that we should all love the poor etc, and be lauded by the world – but it could be possible that in reality the man has no love.

    My conclusion after spending time with liberal Christians is simply this. They desperately want to the secular world’s approval.
    Be a professor of religion or theology in a famous University, and it’s embarrassing to simply say the truth.

    But in the end, you end up with a watered down, powerless religion that is easily replaceable by humanist ranting.

    Which is why the liberal churches in the US can be lauded for being so advanced, intellectual, open-minded, and embracing of gays, but nobody goes there anymore.

    Yes, the world will love you if you preach that fornication, homosexuality, abortion is okay. they will stop attacking you, and they may even say that you’re a good person. But in fact, they aren’t interested in you or your God. Because if all you have left is “let’s all love each other, be kind and respectful”, well any fool can say that. You may as well just get a Dalai Lama,Tony Robbins or Wiggles DVD.

    But, God’s ways lead to life.

    I repeat, you can not be truly filled with God’s Spirit, have a clean conscious before Him and fornicate, commit adultery, sex with someone of your own sex, enjoy looking at pornography and not feel bad.

    If you don’t feel bad, then you’re in trouble.

    Yeah, you could argue all you like, attack the Charismatics for their shortcomings, the Calvinists for being mean, and do the old shellfish, slavery routine – but God is not impressed.

  56. What we have here is a couple of liberals attempting to justify issues through humanist logic, secular rationalism and scientific assumption which cannot by confirmed by scripture because it isn’t justified by scripture.

    But surely we need to take into account Science and common-sense. – otherwise we will end up like these guys : http://www.fixedearth.com/

    But does this Biblical Fact prove that Jesus created a non-moving Earth?! If you say you believe the whole Bible it does. Why? Because over three score Scriptures plainly teach that it is the sun that moves and not the earth.[2]. Could Jesus have violated all those plain Scriptures and their observed fulfillment and still be trusted to be Who He says He Is?? You know He couldn’t do that lest He destroy the Bible’s credibility and His own credibility along with it! Without 100% Bible Truthfulness, no teaching about Jesus or anything else is certain.[3] Satan knows this and that is why he launched the Copernican Revolution, the keystone of all False Science.[4]

    They have a point don’t they. The Bible seems to teach that the Sun goes round the earth, and nowhere in the Bible can anyone who believes the opposite – point to scripture which supports their case.

  57. I was listening to a radio national program on Copernicus and the speaker said that she gave a lecture in the US, and afterwards there was anti-copernican literature under the windscreen-wipers of cars. It was distributed by an anti-copernican Christian group.

  58. “Yet, all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are persecuted, writes Archbishop Tutu. “We treat them as pariahs and push them outside our communities. We make them doubt that they too are children of God – and this must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy. We blame them for what they are,” he adds.

    He also regrets the dominant view among his church colleagues. “Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical, the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act – the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reason have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?”

    Okay, put those two statements together and take the to their logical conclusion.

    So Is Tutu saying that if I’m a bisexual I can have genital sex in the morning with a woman, and then at night with a man.
    How about at the sometime?

    Surely he can’t blame a bisexual “for what they are”? Can he? Would he deny them the chance to become “increasingly doglike and compassionate” through a threesome?

    Will bisexuals who want a three way marriage attack him for a form of apartheid in a few years?

    How would he answer them.

    I think Tutu and Bones need to start a worldwide movement standing up to he horrible homosexuals and heterosexuals who deny basic rights to those wonderful bisexuals who had no choice in their sexuality, and who are still treated like second class citizens.

    After all ….those who deny bisexual three-way marriage are just like those horrible people who justified slavery and don’t realize that if you want to not allow bisexual three way marriage, and threesomes after church that you have to go the whole way and stone people for sabbath breaking right.

    Come on Bones and Tutu, put your anger where your mouth is.

    No, instead of that. Just come back to God.

  59. Multiple marriage is supported by the Bible, and nowhere is it prohibited. Why do you treat it like its some sort of sin?

  60. Didn’t say it was sin for those whose culture’s laws permit it. It would be in Australia though.

    But a man having more than one wife is not God’s original intention, and it isn’t what he wants for us now.

    If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand the heart of God,
    men and women, life, universe or anything.

  61. Once again Wazza you come up with an amazing example. Anti-conpernicus Christians distribution literature.

    Does that mean anything?

    Can I talk about gays who want to have sex on trains because I could probably find a few who believe in that too.

  62. “But surely we need to take into account Science and common-sense.”

    Yeah, and probably if you went to many countries centuries ago, the leading scientists and the common man would have said that to refute copernicus.

    300 years ago “science and common sense” would tell you that you can send you voice or pictures from Sydney to Melbourne.

    You have never proved that science and “common sense” weighs in the favor of arguing for the benefit to society for allowing gay marriage, and bisexual-three way marriage etc.

    Actually, I believe in science and common sense. Take a world wide vote on gay marriage today, and see what the results of common sense is. The “common man” doesn’t support it.

    When it come to behavioral science, we don’t know if allowing gay marriage will be good or not.

    But the increase in the acceptability of sex outside of marriage hasn’t led to a better society.

    There was a time when it was considered wrong for people to have multiple sex partners before marriage. We changed that 50 years ago. Do you think we have a better society?

    We allowed Playboy then increasingly worse pornography.
    Do you think women are safer now? More respected? Happier?

    Some people would argue that pornography produced with consenting adults should be able to be used by adolescent males.
    Nothing biologically wrong with that is there.
    But do you think society is better?

    No it isn’t. And the people who argue that boys should be able to learn about sex and express their curiosity about sex through pornogrpahy are just idiotic. Now we have sexual crimes in elementary schools. Often it will take behavioral scientists DECADES to decide whether something if beneficial or not, because there was no existing data.

    On the other hand, the religious person would have just known that it was wrong and sinful to make the pornography, and wrong to look at it.

    Professing to be wise they have become fools.
    Gentiles had their minds darkened -alienated from the life of God.

    Don’t you get that? We must read different bibles or something.
    Or is it that liberal Christians don’t read the Bible….?

    Repent.

  63. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor.4:17-18

    Common sense and science have their place, but they are subject to human understanding. Science is the art of human reason discovering the world we live in. Common sense is a reaction to surroundings based on known earthly understanding. They are temporal. They are seen. We need what is seen because we live in flesh bodies and navigate through the senses.

    But God is calling us to a higher place than this. He wants us to enter the eternal, not when we die, but now, in the Spirit.

    So we are almost in limbo. Stuck on this earth in these flesh and blood earthly bodies subject to sensual bombardment and surrounded by a tempting natural environment whilst being admonished to consider ourselves dead to the world and alive to Christ, putting of the old man, mortifying the flesh and focusing our attention heavenward.

    How are we to live in the Spirit if all we do is attempt to piece together the anomalies of the flesh? Why are we bickering over whether an earthly existence can include something, anything, which clearly prevents us from entering the eternal.

    I don’t think we should be fighting over these things, nor fighting for them. They are vanities.

    We are, when we are born again, spirit beings as much as flesh beings. We have been given a new heart and new spirit, renewed after Christ. The spirit of a man should overcome the flesh of a man.

    We are joined to Christ. We are filled with the Spirit. God dwells with us. We are children of God. We re led by the Spirit if we are his sons.

    We are called to bring change, to introduce the kingdom to earthbound lost people.

    To this end we must be different.

    William Barclay translated holiness as being different to the world. We are sanctified. We are justified. We are not the same as the unsaved world. So why are we spending so much time trying to look like, sound like and be liked by the fallen?

    We are not here to imitate the fallen, but to imitate God and represent God to the fallen.

    Coupling earthly reason, science and human philosophy with godly principles produces a hybrid. We create a clay and iron footed statue which must crumble and crash down.

    We need the Word and Spirit, which are greater than human reason. Then all things will be made plain.

  64. He is a liberal who champions gay marriage because he doesn’t adhere to the bible, just a broad social gospel which has no standards, just love. A “gospel” sadly overtaking the true message of repentance and the forgiveness of sins found in Christ.

    Rubbish. His whole life has been about the call to repentance from injustice and inequality and the need to forgive.

  65. This from someone who would rather listen to Joyce Meyer/JOel Osteen.

    Everyone of us has to decide whether to follow God and his Ways or not.

    Bones, there are many people who you admire who simply aren’t following God in truth. Because a man is famous for his social action doesn’t mean that he is filled with the Holy Spirit and communing with God.

    On the contrary, you talked about how much you admired Martin Luther King Jr in the tithing debate. I admire him for what he did in social causes, but that doesn’t mean he was truly abiding by biblical principles.

    If a religious figure fought for human rights, championed the cause of the poor and became famous, maybe you would consider him Godly, and would throw his name around.

    I’m talking about true Godliness. You have to follow God Bones. Not the people whom the world loves and acknowledges.

    A man can be loved by the world, get a Nobel prize, give great speeches, be considered Godly etc etc, but still have a heart that is closed to God.

    Well done, you’ve slated two Christians who have done more for their communities than anyone else. You see when I consider Godliness I think about being like Jesus. Advocating for the poor, living the life of Jesus. Not on the amount of bling you own.

    You don’t obviously know what it means to follow God,

  66. Yes – the epitome of the social gospel – he’s a liberal, no doubt about it, very ecumenical as well

    “His whole life has been about the call to repentance from injustice and inequality and the need to forgive.”

    “Repentance from injustice” (your words) – where does repentance from sin enter into the equation you’re submitting?

    “The need to forgive” first must read “need to be forgiven”.

  67. Bones – why are you so interested in representing what people have done for their communities as some sort of pass for biblical credibilty?

    George Soros is just one good example of dealing with communities in a “Christ-lke” manner with his philanthropy yet, though Jewish by birth, he identifies himself as an atheist.

  68. Of course it was churches like the Dutch Reformed Church wth their individualistic interpretation of the Gospel that encouraged Apartheid. It doesn’t really matter how I treat others because I’m with God. God created you black, so you arent part of the elite.

  69. Bones – why are you so interested in representing what people have done for their communities as some sort of pass for biblical credibilty?

    Yep sorry. Got a bit carried away. I thought Christians actually could impact their society for the better by following Jesus. Obviously if I was a black living in Apartheid South Africa or Chicago in the the 60s I’d have been better off reading John McArthur or about the total depravity of man.

  70. So we are all called to “impact” (like Tutu?) on our society? I thought we were called make disciples, be ambassadors for Christ in our every day world, be “missionaries” for the gospel.

    So if I serve and love my neighbour in some small way as a wife/mother, is that any less impacting than Tutu?

    That is, if I’m not representing a false view of the bible by saying God approves gay marriage, sex etc? What do you want us to say?

  71. Given that the Bible mentions caring for the poor well over 300 times, I would say it’s a requirement of being a disciple. Now does caring for the poor mean just feeding them or helping them live with some sort of dignity and changing something about the way they live and why they are like that.

    Actually this is an excellent discussion on

    Social justice and the poor – and the Calvinist.

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f71/social-justice-poor-calvinist-26073/

  72. Well, are we caring for the poor if we provide home-cooked frozen meals for the church to distribute to those in need in the congregation? Support/help run holiday kids club into the local community as an outreach? Support missionaries in their endeavours to reach the lost? Won’t win any Nobel prizes but maybe, just maybe, a “well done, good and faithful servant” award. Know which one I prefer.

    Is that enough to convince you that we are working out our faith in Godly practical ways? Or would you prefer we hand out leaflets at Gay Mardi Gras, telling them how much we support their apparently God-blessed right to have sex and marry?

  73. Seriously, the Calvinist/Macarhur digs are shallow. I’m not mentioning either (until now). You are the ones bringing them up, get over it, move on!

  74. Tutu will most definitely burn (of course, so will Osteen, Meyer, and any number of other WOF/prosperity heretics who prefer temporal rewards to eternal life…)

    As an aside to Steve: if you need “full accuracy” it was actually an olive leaf that the dove brought back to Noah, not a fig leaf (keep reading that Bible).

  75. Heh heh… I love how the greatest indicator of righteousness for the conservative is not how many people you have helped.

    Someone could feed the entire country of India and then move on to China and the Conservative would just go “…Meh”

    You could bring about world peace and ensure no-one would be without food, water and medical help and the conservative would just say “So… social gospel huh?”

    You could eradicate all sins, be the most righteous people on earth and the conservative would just say “… big deal.”

    You could worship all day and all night, and reach millions of people and the conservative would just say “Its not about the numbers”

    No, to be truly first class you have to know every little jot and tittle of the Bible and be able to match up with correct doctrine with anyone. If you can do that, it dosent matter if you are a rapist and murder … you will have impecable conservative credentials.

  76. And what is your contribution Wazza2?

    Angry diatribe against bible -believing folk who just get on doing whatever they do in the situations they find themselves in daily?

    Worse than Nazis, we spit in their general direction!! 🙂

  77. “[…] I love how the greatest indicator of righteousness for the conservative is not how many people you have helped.”

    Interestingly it’s not the greatest indicator for God either – in fact, it’s not an indicator for Him at all. You know what it says:

    “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

    This is an elementary principle in God’s Kingdom that also happens to be of central importance. Those who have not grasped it have grasped nothing at all.

  78. sm nailed this whole thing way back when he said that if a person was a believer, the Holy Spirit would be in-dwelling and should have authority over the mind of that person who is submitted to Christ. If that person commits all the fruits of the flesh/world (and acts of homosexual intercourse are included here), there should be a good deal of conviction coming through to prompt repentance. If that conviction (of sin) is ignored, so they are in danger of their very salvation.

    The sad fact is that today there is an ever more vocal Christian community who want to say to those living sinful (inc homosexual) lives that ‘it’s all right because God loves them anyway’, especially if they are ‘good people living in a loving relationship’. Well, there are plenty of Hindus, Buddhists, atheists etc living ‘good’ lives, being nice neighbours, helping their communities who are not saved from God’s judgement. That is the thorn in the liberal Christian’s flesh.

  79. I was delighted to see that at last a Christian voice has called Margaret Court to account for her disrepect for gay people. Neil Rosengren is to be congratulated. He recognises in Margaret Court’s words disrespect for fellow human beings and contempt for the truth.

    You can quote Scripture all you like, but it avails nought if you do not respect your fellow human being.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/wimbledon-champion-margaret-court-says-being-gay-result-of-sexual-abuse/story-fn7x8me2-1226256232706

    “Peter Rosengren, editor of the Catholic Church’s The Record newspaper, batted away her latest claims, saying he had “never heard of any scientific study” linking abuse and homosexuality, and that “everyone has to be respected”.

  80. @ zeibart – in the past few years blogging on this site, one should assume that the majority posting here, understand the biblical concepts of the indwelling and conviction of the Holy Spirit for those who are His.

    Lately, with the push towards doubting the inerrancy of scripture and the constant question “did God really say that?” – makes one wonder who really are His and who are those having a “god” of their own making.

  81. Bones, you slate most of the Body of Christ everyday on this board.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with helping the poor. I do it.

    You can feed the poor, love people of other races and know that sin is sin.

    Sin doesn’t help anyone.

    And I’m not interested in talking about whether Meyers is better than Tutu, or King is better than Luther.

    Bones, sin is sin.

    I think King David was pretty good. Probably will be remembered more than me. I don’t go around telling everyone that he was bad because of the woman on the roof thing – he sinned, he repented.

    But, if King David went around saying that because he’d killed some giants in his time, it was okay for him to get married to a man, sleep with other people’s wives, the current prophet would know that’s wrong and so would the next generation of shepherd boys.
    This is not rocket science.

    This whole idea of saying feeding the poor is important so nobody has the right to say that sin is sin is crazy.

    If a man feed all the world’s poor I’d say thanks, great job, praise God, but then if he said adultery, fornication or group sex was okay, I’d say…eh..no it isn’t. Doesn’t take away from any good that he’s done.

    The real question is why do Christians hate God’s ways so much.

    Okay Bones, Mother Theresa – do you like her? Do you think she fed some poor in her time? Is SHE allowed to say that she doesn’t agree with gay marriage ..or not.

    If we do some tallying and it’s found that I’ve helped more poor than you, will you let me have an opinion?

    As for me liking Osteen and Meyers, heck I like just about everyone!
    Don’t agree with everyone though. The other day I heard Joyce Meyers say that we should be kind to our spouses. I agreed. If she said after that that if I gave her a million dollars I would get a trillion before Christmas, I would say, no thanks. And if she said that after the sermon she was going to marry two men, or have a threesome, I’d say “Joyce, that’s wrong”.

    I’m not a Calvinist, and don’t agree with Mcarthur on everything. And he’d probably chew me out if I preached in his church, but I don’t hate him either. I think he loves God, has integrity, and is faithful to what he’s doing. But…….if he said that because he was chosen that he was going to get married to John Piper next month, I’d say..”John, that’s wrong”. even though I don’t think I’m better than him.

    I really don’t get how Christians can get so crazy!?!?!?!?
    Is there something in the communion wine these days???
    Someone spiked it?
    Are the additives in communion bread frying Christian’s brains?

    Or, maybe we are in last days and the hordes of hell are out deceiving everyone.

    Even the Mormons understand about sin….And the JW’s. Weird….

  82. Its a wierd by-product of the doctrine of salvation by faith alone – especially the calvinist doctrine of total depravity – that Christians don’t judge themselves by what they do.

    They judge others by what they do, but themselves they judge only by their knowledge of the Bible and whether they have the correct doctrines.

    I could have sworn there was something in the BIble about faith without works being dead, but being liberal I’ve never read it of course.

  83. Wazza2 – where are you going with this? So you’re saying we haven’t read or understood the text of James?

    What is your contribution to the “problem” since apparently we don’t do enough?

  84. ”@ zeibart – in the past few years blogging on this site, one should assume that the majority posting here, understand the biblical concepts of the indwelling and conviction of the Holy Spirit for those who are His”

    I hope that what I wrote is clearly understood by most here. So Margot, what is it, deep down in certain folk’s hearts that causes them to airbrush these obvious biblical truths out to accommodate some alternative conclusion (I’m calling out wazza and Alex primarily on this). BTW Alex, I know a fair few homosexual people and always regard them with the utmost respect. Court speaking biblical truth is not disrespecting their humanity Also, her benchmark for truth may be different to yours, but the one God declares is the only relevant one..

  85. ”We are, when we are born again, spirit beings as much as flesh beings. We have been given a new heart and new spirit, renewed after Christ. The spirit of a man should overcome the flesh of a man. ”

    I know this is not part of the discussion, but please could I just establish a bit of clarity here Steve. By ‘spirit of a man’ are you suggesting that we have a distinct entity within us called a spirit that is waging war with our worldly nature? I feel these concepts are important since they affect much of how we interpret the bible, act on those understandings and speak to others about salvation.

    if that is how you think, I would disagree. We need to de-Greece the body of Christ whenever possible, I believe.

  86. Galatians 5
    16* I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
    17* For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
    18* But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

    Romans 8
    1* There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
    2* For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
    3* For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
    4* that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
    5* For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
    6* For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
    7* Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
    8* So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    9* But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

    10* And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
    11* But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
    12* Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
    13* For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
    14* For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

  87. John 3
    5* Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
    6* “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    7* “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
    8* “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    We are born of God, who is a Spirit, born of the Spirit.

    To qualify to be born of the Spirit we must first be born of the flesh. The indwelling of the Spirit is only accessible by those who are human, born of a woman, which is why Jesus had to be born of a woman to fulfil all righteousness, and dwell amongst us as a man, as flesh and blood.

    Galatians 4
    But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
    5* to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
    6* And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

    God gives us a new heart, which is after his own, fleshy and receptive to his statutes, and a new spirit, as prophesied and promised.

    Ezekiel 36
    26* “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
    27* “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

    We are told to mortify the deeds of the flesh because they are hostile to the Spirit. If hostile to God’s Spirit, who dwells with us and is in us, then hostile to our regenerated spirit, which is born of the Spirit of God.

    Romans 8
    13* For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
    14* For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
    15* For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
    16* The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…

    Etc…

  88. You are clearly saying, wazza that you believe in salvation by works and faith, yet that is not what the Bibel says, either to the Arminians or the Calvinists.

    We are not saved by works, the Bible tells us, in case any man boasts that his works saved him. No we are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    We are UNTO good works, not BY good works.

    James is not saying that our good works save us, but that our good works demonstrate our faith once we are saved. The two things are entirely different in scope.

    The works we are saved UNTO cannot begin until we are first saved, because, as Paul points out, all of our own works fall short and are as filthy rags.

    They do not qualify us for salvation, nor could they ever grant us entry into the kingdom of God, otherwise, what would be the point of the cross, of the death and blood of Christ, and of the resurrection, or even of faith in the propitiation, or faith in Christ?

    Indeed, there would be no point in faith or grace if works had the power to save us.

    That is why pointing out the good deeds of certain human beings, and the good thoughts or philosophies of men is futile when it comes to determining who can be saved.

    Bill Gates comes to mind, who has a history of good works and is a great ambassador for giving, but even he cannot be saved unless he receives Jesus as Lord, and his works will not count on judgement day however worthy they are, and however great they are.

    That is what Paul is telling us, clearly, in Romans 3 and in Ephesians 2. And I d not think James contradicts anything Paul says if he is taken in the correct context.

  89. wazza,
    They judge others by what they do, but themselves they judge only by their knowledge of the Bible and whether they have the correct doctrines.

    I think, in terms of the issue on this thread, there has been no Calvinistic judgement of people by those who oppose gay marriage.

    if you want to take the source article as a judgement, Margaret would, in no way, consider herself a reformist. She has called homosexual acts an abomination, but that is a judgement of the sin itself, which we do have to do. If we don’t know what sin is how can we resist it?

    You have judged others with that very remark, and others, but erroneously, since margot hasn’t actually pleaded a reformed position on sin, but an orthodox position, and, although there are different ways of interpreting original sin, it is an issue, and she qualified it as the first sin.

    You have also made several remarks which could only be considered judgement, including your infamous rant at 2.05, which is so ill-considered that it is hardly worth a direct response. You’ve had a chance to put it right, but not yet done anything about it, so I assume you consider it still your position. Ridiculous.

    Correct doctrine and knowledge of the Bible are essentials for Christian living. Your point is that science and common sense are enough to make an assessment, but without the Word and Spirit, they cannot always be enough, because, as anyone who has studied any history knows, science sometimes gets it wrong, and science isn’t always a good judge of character or a great provider of correct procedures to bring about change. It does get things right from time to time, but we can’t hang our eternity on it. Science and common sense are temporal, They affect the secular and the human, but not the heavenly.

    Doctrine can be harsh and judgmental in the wrong environment, but we have to live our lives by the Word at least as much as by our senses. In fact Paul tells us we do not walk by sight but by faith. How will you walk by faith and walk by science? They are not always mutually compatible.

    Faith sees things which are not yet existent. Science can never accept this as ‘common sense’.

    Faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ. You can’t live by faith without the Word.

    We may be discouraged from judging people, but we must certainly judge sin. But how will you identify sin without a reference point, and what has science of common sense to do with sin?

    According to you gay marriage is common sense, as is gay sex, but the Word clearly denies this. Where will you go with this in your world view?

  90. “According to you gay marriage is common sense, as is gay sex, but the Word clearly denies this. ”

    This is what I don’t understand. do people understand that if you leave Australia’s crazy shores and go overseas, that you can arrive at countries where there is no slavery, women vote etc, but they still don’t have gay marriage and HAVEN’T EVEN THOUGHT about it.
    Can people like Wazza even concede that the people who say gay marriage is common sense are a very small minority?

    Don’t misunderstand this but forget the bible for a minute and the intricacies of theology. Russia, China, Singapore, Japan – people think that it’s common sense to NOT have gay marriage.

    You can say they’re wrong and nasty and scientific. But, just don’t paint those who aren’t willing to accept gay marriage as some strange minority without common sense. At least admit you are in the minority.

    Take Japan. They don’t care about sin per se. No Christian heritage at all. But gay marriage isn’t on the cards. And a Christian gay may as well be someone from Mars.

  91. Yes, good point, SM.

    Whose common sense are we to go by in a global sense?

    What about Iranian or Saudi Arabian common sense on gay marriage?

  92. “They judge others by what they do, but themselves they judge only by their knowledge of the Bible and whether they have the correct doctrines.”

    Now that was the most judgmental, critical statement I’ve read on the internet for a long time.

    All-knowing Wazza, how on earth can you judge the hearts of people like that..

    That is a despicable attack of people’s character.
    It’s one thing to simply say that a certain behavior is unacceptable, which is what we are saying. But your statement is off the radar.

    The only thing you can say is that most people judge others more harshly than themselves, but that goes for the 4yr old in Tibet too.

  93. I have a nephew, a very cool, very clever guy, so “smart” that atheism is his total focus, and his answer to Christians just posted today……

    “Really the mechanism of how sexual identity eventuates is irrelevant to the social naysayers. They’re the same ones who have or would deny the humanity of people based on skin colour or (apparent) ethnicity, who will cherry-pick their religious texts to support any argument.

    These are people who either cannot be reasoned with or who have made political choices to take a particular stance. If they are not forced to confront their beliefs through personal stories, perhaps of people in their own families then they will not change. For many who have been rejected (or murdered) by their own families for their sexual identity, it is clear that there is no possibility of debate.

    For those whose identity is bound in rejection of others, and in rejection of modernity, we can only feel sorrow, yet stand steadfast against their wish to project this internal torment onto society.”

    He is in our prayers whether he cares or not.

  94. And, yes he is gay, living on a farm in France with his Swedish partner. There will be probably always be acceptance for him in many more countries now, more than ever before, Sweden being one of them.

    Can we say the same of committed Christians in many more countries? No…

  95. Just read Wazza at 2:05 again.

    Maybe we can just calm down and stop talking about conservatives, liberals etc.

    I think all anyone is trying to say is….we are talking about whether a specific action is right or wrong. Many people have different ideas about what is right or wrong. And when they discuss this, they don’t usually talk about the numbers of poor people fed, or scientific discoveries. That isn’t the topic.

    ……………

    sigh

    Wazza, if my kid spent there pocket money on feeding the poor, did all the housework, was kind to everyone, I wouldn’t say “meh”.
    I’d say, wow that’s great! Super! What a loving kid you are.

    But if I found out they were stealing lollipops, I wouldn’t beat them up, but I’d convey to them somehow “Don’t steal lollipops”.

    Now you might say that by talking about lollipops I am a judgmental conservative nasty man, and that I am judging my kid etc etc.

    OH i don’t know.. I give up Wazza. I think you just hate Christians sometimes.

    What happened? Seriously.

    I’m out of this conversation. (The discussion about spirit and flesh, the old man etc is something that I can learn from).

    But its crazy that we are criticized for being judgmental. It’s the other way around.

    Just say that a behavior is wrong biblically, and you are subjected to every accusation of character they can come up with.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m talking with the Serpent here …
    So, I think I’ll go till the ground.

  96. In the meantime, Christians are being slaughtered around the world.

    Gays in Australia and live together, have sex all day if they want and nobody stops them.

    Christians are now in jail, getting beaten, killed, raped, made homeless.

    But…Wazza is outraged and will lead the fight for gay marriage.
    Wazza, do you think you could wait until the poor are fed and the innocent people are free from persecution, and then work on marriage licenses?

    People these days have strange priorities.

    People need to just turn it back and stop being on the defensive. Kids are dying, and starving but the gay community is fighting for the right for rich gays to get marriage licenses.

  97. I believe that concerning issues such as whether homosexuality is a choice or whether homosexuality is caused by child abuse one should take account of the evidence – evidence gathered by scientific research (and that to fail to do so – given the sensitive nature of the topic – is to show a lack of respect for homosexual people).

    Contrary to what a previous commentator accuses me of, I do not believe that by respecting evidence, by respecting truth, I am airbrushing ‘biblical truths out to accommodate some alternative conclusion’. On the contrary, I believe that Christians should respect truth in general, including that which is supported by scientific evidence; and that in showing such respect, they do not betray biblical truth.

    I understand that many people on this blog will strongly disagree with my position here – and that of course is your right. But I am a little surprised by all the things I have been accused of here.

    I do hope that in stating my views, I do not myself display disrespect for (or appear to display disrespect for) the other people on this blog. If I have been uncivil or impolite, I am truly sorry for it.

  98. @ Alex – some reasonable thoughts from “Stand To Reason”…

    “Is there a gay gene and should it change our view of homosexual behaviour if it did?”

    To many people, saying that homosexuals are born that way is as axiomatic as saying the earth revolves around the sun. No rational reason exists to reject this claim. The only hold-outs, it is said, are those who are either ignorant of scientific facts, homophobic, or bigots (read: Christians). But this claim is beset with problems. Before we consider them, let me make a tactical suggestion.

    Many Christians get defensive when someone says that homosexuality is inborn. They try to respond with reasons why the claim is false. But that’s a mistake. There’s no need to answer the challenge since the claim is just that – a claim. And a claim without evidence is just an opinion. There’s no reason to think it’s true.

    Instead of defending your convictions, make them defend their claim. Since they’re the ones trying to make a point, it’s their job to prove it. Ask, “What evidence do you have that homosexuals are born that way?” Many times they won’t have an answer. They’re repeating what they’ve heard others say, but don’t have evidence to back it up.

    Instead, they sometimes punt to experience. They’ll say that homosexuals often report feeling different from their peers at a very early age, suggesting they were born that way. But personal experience is rarely an indicator of scientific truth and can’t count as evidence that homosexuality is biologically determined. So before you discuss the merits of the claim, remember that they shoulder the responsibility of providing evidence for their view.

    With that tactic in mind, let’s look at three problems to this claim. The first is the most egregious. A simple scientific fact-check demonstrates that no study has proven that homosexuality is biologically determined.

    Decades of research to discover a “gay gene” have come up empty. In fact, it’s uncommon for researchers to think that a gene can determine any behavior. And research that correlates brain anatomy and physiology with homosexual behavior doesn’t prove causation. In other words, even if part of the brain in homosexuals is different from that of heterosexuals, that might suggest that their behavior changes their brain, not necessarily the other way around. This is possible due to neuroplasticity– the lifelong ability of the brain to change in response to the environment, brain injury, behavior, or simply acquiring knowledge. The blind, for example, use their fingers to read braille and consequently have different brain morphology simply because their behavior differs from sighted people.

    What’s surprising is that this is acknowledged by pro-gay researchers and organizations. The American Psychological Association (APA), for example, once held the position in 1998 that, “There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality.” However, a decade of scientific research debunked this idea and caused the APA to revise their position in 2009: “Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors” [emphasis mine]. A pro-gay group like the APA would revise their statement only if there was overwhelming evidence that necessitated a position change.

    A second problem with the claim that homosexuality is biologically determined is that even if true, it wouldn’t prove that the behavior is moral. Consider that researchers have discovered genes they believe contribute to alcoholism, unfaithfulness, and violence. Are we to believe that because there is a genetic contribution to these behaviors (or even if they are genetically determined) that they should be regarded as morally appropriate? Of course not. So, proving homosexual behavior is appropriate by appealing to a genetic determinant is equally spurious.

    Indeed, finding a genetic cause to homosexuality worries many gay rights advocates. Why? Because not all genetically induced characteristics are normal or healthy. Abnormalities in an individual’s DNA, whether by mutation or the addition/subtraction of a chromosome, lead to genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, or cancer. If a genetic origin to homosexuality is discovered, the next obvious question that arises is whether it is abnormal, a mutation, or represents a disease process.

    Moreover, if a cause can be identified, then it can also be targeted by genetic therapy or other methods that “cure” the condition. And testing that can detect homosexuality in utero could lead to abortion of “gay fetuses.” As a result, many pro-gay researchers have toned down their attempts to discover a biological cause.

    A third problem stems from the mere existence of an “ex-gay” community. If homosexuality is, as many pro-gay advocates state, as inescapable as eye color, then how do they explain former homosexuals? Eye color is genetic, something that one is born with and can’t change. But sexual orientation is fluid, as evidenced by the changed lives of thousands of men and women.

    There are women who spend years in long-term, sexually committed relationships with other women and then change and become attracted to males. There are also men who have been sexually attracted to other men since puberty, spend a decade in gay relationships, and then develop attractions to the opposite sex. Many of these people have gone through some form of therapy or counseling, but some spontaneously change without any professional intervention.

    The fact that even one person has changed is evidence that homosexuality is not hard-wired. But that there are thousands of individuals who have changed is significant counter-evidence against the born-that-way theory. I know many of them. They can’t all be lying.

    It seems the Christian hold-outs were right. Homosexuals are not born that way. But now that we hold this truth with greater conviction, we need to – more than ever – reach out with compassion to the people who were not born that way

  99. Alex,
    How do you scientifically research whether a person chooses to be gay or not? I think you can put together demographics, psychological theories or philosophical positions, but gayness isn’t scientifically defined, only speculated about.

    When people talk about the science of gayness, I guess they mean some kind of survey.

    I know they’re searching for a gay gene,but the only gay jeans they’ll find will be walking down street at the next Mardi Gras.

    Christians are supposed to refer to their Bibles, Alex. It’s what we do.

  100. There are many scientific studies that can and have been done. Bones linked to a video which discussed studies of twins. This is standard practice for investigating whether there is a hereditary or genetic component.

    I also mentioned a research methodology, but whatever we suggest, you will just discount or say that it must be incomplete. You even suggested last time I mentioned research that I didnt understand women’s sexuality or romantic needs. My wife is thinking about commenting to disabuse you of that notion which was just a cheap shot.

    The video also dealt with this argument about the “gay gene”
    Go back and have a look at it and comment from an informed position.

  101. To refute my belief that concerning the issue of whether homosexuality is caused by child abuse one should take account of the evidence (evidence gathered by scientific research), Steve says that ‘Christians are supposed to refer to their Bibles, Alex. It’s what we do.’

    So I take it that Steve is implying that with respect to the issue of whether homosexuality is caused by child abuse Christians should ignore any evidence that is not found in the Bible.

    I think that this is a very surprising view of Christianity indeed. All I can say is that it is not my view of Christianity, and that I hope (for the future of Christianity) that it is not a widespread view of Christianity.

    I believe that many wonderful Christians have a genuine respect for science – and that this does not undermine their Christian belief.

    Alex

  102. “However, a decade of scientific research debunked this idea and caused the APA to revise their position in 2009: “Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors” [emphasis mine]. A pro-gay group like the APA would revise their statement only if there was overwhelming evidence that necessitated a position change.”

    So I guess they (APA) are not “informed” because???

  103. @ Alex – With respect, having posted a reasonable and fair article from a VERY fair Apologetics site, can you provide scientific data or research to prove your point?

    I wholeheartedly agree with the statement – “Since they’re the ones trying to make a point, it’s their job to prove it.”

    If pro-gay organisations have problems defending the argument, and you say there is evidence, why aren’t they also using it?

    As I said earlier on, in regards to my beloved gay nephew’s statement, the ones being persecuted and without a voice around the world, are christians, not gays.

    Try practicing your faith openly in Egypt or Iran right now, or for that matter, even some parts of Canada…

  104. Try being gay in Uganda or in Iran.

    As for science

    Genetic research is fun.
    Most of it is the poke-it-with-a-stick-and-see-what-happens kind of research.
    Korean scientists wanted to find out what the function of a certain gene in the mouse genome was by deleting it. The mice looked no different than usual, although maybe a bit less fat. To everyone’s surprise though, the female mice lost interest in males. They even tried to seduce and mate with other female mice.

    They named the gene… FucM. (It stands for fucose mutarotase, but it’s just a funny coincidence.)

    How does this work then?
    After dissecting the mice (poor little things), the scientists found out that part of the hypothalamus (a part of the brain that controls lots of important hormones, sexual and not sexual) had changed. In normal mice, this part is 2 to 4 times bigger in females than in males. In the female mice with the deleted gene, this part of the brain is just as small as in the males. Apparently this gene regulates the effect of the female hormone oestrogen on the brain. If the gene is working, the brain will develop as a normal female, if not, whether because it has been deleted or by natural mutation, the mouse will be born lesbian.

    And now the interesting part:
    “Other researchers have shown that the neural circuits underlying male behaviours are likely to exist in the normal female mouse brain, and the reverse is probably true. It is also likely that the embryonic human brain has the capacity to differentiate along both the male and female pathways, depending upon exposure to sex hormones during the early stages of development.”

    The FucM gene is also in the human genome, but it’s unlikely that it causes women to be gay. Just like in mice, the hypothalamus of gay people is different than in straight people, but this time, that change is caused by the hormone progesterone, and not by oestrogen. It is though only a matter of time before the actual human ‘Gay Gene’ (or even Gay Genes, which I think is more likely) will be found.

    Edit: Oh and I forgot the discussion part.
    I’ve noticed how many people (even here) are convinced that homosexuality can’t be genetic.
    If a gay gene would be found, would you think people would be more acceptive towards not-straight people, or wouldn’t that change a thing because nobody knows a thing about genetics

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.216611-Scientists-create-lesbian-mice-has-the-Gay-Gene-been-found?page=1

  105. Margot, you missed a bit at the end of the quote from the APA :

    “Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”

  106. If you’re going to use the Levitcal account to condemn homosexuality, like Mrs Court, then at least read the rest of the verse.

    Lev 20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

    At least these guys take their holy book seriously.

  107. I didn’t miss it. And I don’t have a problem with that statement. I’m quite sure my nephew (and his brother was involved in the gay lifestyle until becoming a Christian) are the product of their environment. Children from a broken marriage, sexual abuse by an outsider. It was awful for them growing up. We had no idea as they lived a great distance away from family.

    So we have one now a Christian, the other an outspoken atheist
    I’m entirely sympathetic and can still hold to the bible saying that it’s not blessed or condoned by God.

    My nephew is condemned ultimately not just by his lifestyle but by his rejection of Christ.

  108. @ Bones – great! So let’s play games with YouTube and post some abortions, execution of women by stoning in Iran, maybe some grainy photos of the Armenian genocide. Have at it – what’s your point?

    Show us where committed faithful true christians (not people who think they are) murdering gays, beheading, stoning, hanging, them in public.

    So what you’re saying is the God of the OT, who is the God of the NT, didn’t have a reason or purpose for what He was doing/saying in the bible. I didn’t realise that God had ceded His position to you as spokesperson?

  109. Show us where committed faithful true christians

    It depends on your definition of committed true faithful Christians. Throughout history there have been religious sanctioned murders and tortures. These wouldn’t have been considered sinful and I’m sure more than a few were the result of ‘committed true faithful Christians’.

    You don’t have to be defensive of scripture, Margot. What is written is written. I mean if you can slaughter a civilisation in the Old Testament, then why not the New.

  110. As for what the science is saying. At the moment this is a fair summary atm.

    Biology and sexual orientation is the subject of research into the role of biology in the development of human sexual orientation. No simple, single cause for sexual orientation has been conclusively demonstrated, but it is generally accepted by scientists to be caused by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences, with biological factors involving a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Biological factors which may be related to the development of a heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual orientation include genes, prenatal hormones, and brain structure.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

  111. @ bones – in Ps 138:2 we read that God elevates His Word above His name. At times you give the impression that you don’t particularly care for His Word or believe it to be authoritative.

    So as a Christian, where do you go to allow Him to speak into your world? That has the authority I believe the bible has.

  112. If I wanted something authoritative on Science, I would go to wikipedia rather than the Bible. The Bible is not the final authority on scientific theory.

    The Bible is not even the Word, Jesus is. It is not Biblical to raise the Bible to such a status.

  113. That’s not quite what Psalm 138 says but that’s by the by

    “I will bow down toward Your holy temple
    And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your [a]truth;
    For You have magnified Your [b]word [c]according to all Your name. ”

    I’m bound by truth actually.

    But it wouldn’t be the first time that scientific evidence has been dismissed because the Bible disagrees with it or it doesn’t fit my theology.

  114. @ wazza2 – ????? Seriously. Are you a Christian? If you are, how do you know? Because you have faith in the finished work of Christ for your life? That He took your sin upon Himself and paid your penalty. If so, where did you get that information? From the Bible? Or do you rely on a “burning in the bosom” in a Mormon-like way?

  115. http://www.truthortradition.com/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=1029

    There are different translations Bones – even if you read it as your Name and your Word, doesn’t change it’s authority.

    Bones, you and wazza2 treat Christians like pariahs if they hold to that authority. More power to you, I’ll stick to what He managed, quite wonderfully and supernaturally to preserve for all generations.

    One would be better off gay to receive respect here it seems. As much as Steve and I disagree, I have absolutely no doubt that he’s my brother in Christ. Some others, not so sure anymore…the strength of my faith, I hope, will encourage readers here, not cause them to start doubting and starting on that slippery slope “did God really say that?”

    Mindless, no, thoughtful, yes. Study and show yourself approved? How? Where do you send seekers, Bones and Wazza2 – to wiki? You’re certainly not giving them any reason to trust God’s Word.

  116. Well we get the information from the Bible. That dosent mean that I get all my information from the Bible.

    I get some info from Science, some from tradition, some from culture, literature, some from reasoning from all of this. This goes for areas of faith as well as any area of life.

    God speaks to the world through General as well as Specific revelation. The reformers said that the Bible was the final authority in deciding matters of faith – they did not say that it was to be the final authority in matters of science, and they didnt say that there couldnt be matters of faith that are not in the Bible.

  117. Or else you force people to make a choice: The Bible or science. They accept the one and reject the other.

    That is not what the Author had intended.

  118. Hi guys. Interesting reading.
    Bones, re your post about Leviticus and beheading of gays in Iran –

    There are sins that are clearly listed in the Old Testament as sins. I can agree that something is sin, but not be promoting the OT punishment for it. i.e I think adultery is wrong, I am not advocating stoning to death as punishment.

    But, beheading videos and stuff like that isn’t really saying anything.

    I think incest is evil and should be illegal. But I think while some people would revel in it, a lot of people would be squeamish and not want to watch a beheading, stoning, or death by electric chair.

  119. Wazza, I like Wikipedia, but I’ll make a prediction for you.
    Leviticus, and Romans will still have the same content in 30 years.
    Not sure about Wikipedia articles on behavioral or medical science.

    Go review the position of the American psychological Association re homosexuality. They change their minds. Do you realize that?

    It’s still early days.

    Wazza, why do you think non-Christian, non-religious countries haven’t legalized gay marriage yet.

  120. I would suggest that while during in-house discussions (among Christians), biblical references are necessary, but if I talked in the secular arena, I wouldn’t talk about the bible and use words like abomination. That’s the cool thing about God’s truth. I can be defended among Christians by just quoting the Bible.

    But when it comes to fornication, adultery, abortion, you don’t even need to reference the Bible.

    The pagan, non-judeao Christian, don’t have a clue about the Bible people around me understand the simply truth that it’s good to keep marriage vows, that men have sex with women, that it isn’t good to kill babies before they’re born.

    This is the thing that baffles me the most. How can it be that non-christian people who have never been to church admit to God’s truth more than Wazza and Bones who have claim to be Christians who read the Word, pray and attend church.

    Okay theologians, answer me that one.

  121. What’s really funny when you “google” wikipedia.

    “WIKIPEDIA, the free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit”

    And I do use it – to read story lines for books, movies. 🙂

  122. @ SM – that question, worded in various ways, has often been asked here. Never had a satisfactory response.

    Been thinking about this scripture this afternoon,

    Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone around his neck, he had been cast into the sea”

    A very serious matter, it seems, that God cares that no one entices, traps, or encourages a believer to sin. So, here on this blog we have Alex.

    Who is Alex, man or woman, gay or straight, believer/unbeliever. What encouragement are they getting here? To sin? To consider what God says and allows the Holy Spirit to convince/convict?

    Well, Alex? Are you encouraged or discouraged here? Are you more confused? Or are you willing to maybe investigate the Truth more? Do you think believers like Bones and Wazza2 have helped you (if you’re gay) to stay that way? Has Steve, SM and Margot confused you because we are such literalists? Or maybe caused you to study more and see what God really has said?

    Love to know…

  123. The pagan, non-judeao Christian, don’t have a clue about the Bible people around me understand the simply truth that it’s good to keep marriage vows, that men have sex with women, that it isn’t good to kill babies before they’re born.

    This is the thing that baffles me the most. How can it be that non-christian people who have never been to church admit to God’s truth more than Wazza and Bones who have claim to be Christians who read the Word, pray and attend church.

    That’s a downright lie. For starters I’m antiabortion. Where have I said it is Ok to break your marriage vows. Show me one post.

    A clear misrepresentation of the truth designed to smear and attack the other side.

    The argument against homosexuality is:

    Old Testament Law – which many believe Christ abolished but you can argue that if you want

    New Testament – where Paul says it is unnatural and we can go into arsenokoites but that’s been done to death.

    Now I’ve posted some scientific articles which automatically has me labelled as some sort of pariah. Why because if true then that argument of Paul’s has to be seriously questioned.

    You need to come to terms with the fact that science has found biological/genetic links to homosexuality. If you choose to ignore that like the rest of the population than that’s your problem.

  124. Not that I’m surprised. Christians can do all sorts of stuff like lie, be dishonest, cheat, even hate the odd race, so long as it’s for a good cause.

    Just don’t be gay.

  125. “A clear misrepresentation of the truth designed to smear and attack the other side.”

    Believe it or not, that wasn’t my intention Bones.

    I probably put a few people’s posts together.

    I’ve been dismayed to see defenses of abortion, homosexuality, fornication, saying that a prostitute servicing a handicapped man was a beautiful thing, and that a Christian woman could consider that line of work, and statements like doesn’t care what we do with our genitals etc…

    So, sorry if the abortion line doesn’t apply to you.

    My bad.

    Strangely enough, recently on these issues it’s seemed like Margot, Steve and I against the liberal Christians – so I over simplified it.
    Funny, given that Margot, Steve and I are poles apart in some ways.

  126. sorry, couldn’t pass this up.

    “Obviously if I was a black living in Apartheid South Africa or Chicago in the the 60s I’d have been better off reading John McArthur”

    I don’t think there would have been anything wrong with a black in South Africa or Chicago reading John McCarthur.

    Do you think it was useless for black people to read Paul’s letters in Greece way back? I don’t. The gospel is for everyone. For the rich, the slave, the oppressed, the oppressor. And once the light of the gospel shines in the heart, the view of the world changes.

  127. “Christians can do all sorts of stuff like lie, be dishonest, cheat, even hate the odd race, so long as it’s for a good cause.”

    Nobody said that at all? Who said that? Wow, then you talk about misrepresentation of the truth.

    “rather bewildered”

    The weird arguments and vicious attacks on the Bible, Christians makes me realize….this is not about flesh and blood.

  128. Bones – do you accept that some gay folk leave that lifestyle, go on to have happy lives in heterosexual marriages, having children, and happy to share their testimony that, though they thought they were “born that way”, their conversion to Christianity brought conviction and repentance?

    Or would you rather think they are lying to themselves and Christ is powerless to transform lives?

  129. Or are you just as a liberal Christian who believes God doesn’t care and He celebrates and condones their gay lifestyle?

    Yes, I can just picture that now. Visual picture forming….

    No, I’m sorry, I can’t.

  130. Bones, experiments with mice are interesting, but not conclusive evidence that there is or isn’t a gay gene.

    What it says is that if the gene is missing things go WRONG, not right, and strange things occur. It is not evidence of an evolving genetic change.

    What would be the use of a gay gene to the human race? it would be self-destructive to the entire race.

    Besides which the genetic make-up of the mice was manipulated by humans. There still isn’t conclusive evidence of a gene being present, only of a balanced gene being removed.

    It actually declares any potential gay lack of normal genetic structure to be unnatural.

    I don’t think you can successfully add that to a convincing scientific argument for gayness being part of a person’s genetic make-up.

  131. SM,

    “Strangely enough, recently on these issues it’s seemed like Margot, Steve and I against the liberal Christians […]”

    Actually SM, it’s you, Margot, Steve, and God as revealed in His word. (That, of course, puts the three of you squarely in the majority on this issue).

  132. Take it further, do you think there is a lying gene in people, and that it is not sin after all?

    Back to science. If evolution, and the survival of the fittest theory were true, as you hold, would you perceive, from a purely scientific perspective, in the cold light of day, that a gay gene was helpful to the development of the human race, or a potential risk?

  133. I personally find the whole study of genes vs environment fascinating. And I truly think some people from birth are more inclined to risky behavior, violence, addictions etc. I have no problem with that. Some people have a higher chance of getting cancer too. But not everyone with those genes become alcoholics or get cancer.

    And in the final analysis, I don’t think there’s any doctor who can examine a person’s brain or genes and say they are gay.

  134. If we listened to scientists, we’d be telling young men that it’s perfectly natural to go out and have sex with as many women as possible.

    Do you guys think monogamy is natural? Wait, I’ll go look it up in Wikipedia (Wazza’s Bible).

    Turn with me saints to Wikipedia chapter ….I’m reading from the English (UK)version on Firefox. If you don’t have a browser, raise your hand and an usher will bring you an iPad.

    I’ll be continuing this series tonight, but please remember to refresh your browsers because there’s been a lot of editing lately. We’re a cutting edge church here. Remember saints man shall not live by bread alone, but by every update that proceeds from the editors of wikipedia…

    And all the Wazza disciples said “Amen!”

    “sigh”, I just can’t help myself. I have a mischief gene…

  135. So, a scenario to consider – scientists determine there really is a gay gene. Women fall pregnant, and with a pro-choice worldview, can doctors now conduct tests (rather like amniocentesis) to determine whether the child carries the gay gene?

    Should society allow them to abort that child, (rather like Denmark, at this point of time, trying to eradicate Downs Syndrome)?

  136. I took issue with Margaret Court’s statement that homosexuals choose to be homosexual. Her statement appears to me to be at odds with the current scientific consensus. If I am right about this, then I think she should provide evidence to refute the current scientific consensus, given that the view that homosexuality is chosen is often used as a basis for attacking homosexual people. She did not provide this evidence – a failure which is indicative of her contempt for gay people.

    Here are statements that are indicative of the current scientific consensus.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2004 stated:[7]

    The mechanisms for the development of a particular sexual orientation remain unclear, but the current literature and most scholars in the field state that one’s sexual orientation is not a choice; that is, individuals do not choose to be homosexual or heterosexual. A variety of theories about the influences on sexual orientation have been proposed. Sexual orientation probably is not determined by any one factor but by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences. In recent decades, biologically based theories have been favored by experts. Although there continues to be controversy and uncertainty as to the genesis of the variety of human sexual orientations, there is no scientific evidence that abnormal parenting, sexual abuse, or other adverse life events influence sexual orientation. Current knowledge suggests that sexual orientation is usually established during early childhood.

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2007:[8]

    Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice.

    The American Psychiatric Association:[59]

    No one knows what causes heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality. Homosexuality was once thought to be the result of troubled family dynamics or faulty psychological development. Those assumptions are now understood to have been based on misinformation and prejudice.

    Francis Collins, Genome Project Director:

    The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are hereditary factors in male homosexuality — the observation that an identical twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides DNA must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other undefined factors are inherently alterable.

  137. Hi Steve, thanks for the scriptures you posted in the wee small hours. I wasn’t trying to challenge whether or not the fleshly desires are to be ‘put to death’ by the Spirit; it was more that you seemed to say that we have this separate entity called a spirit that is the thing that does the warring against the flesh.

    I would suggest that all the verses you kindly took the trouble to post back up that a born-again person is filled with the Holy Spirit who changes our minds and thinking so that our actions are spiritual and not fleshly. I don’t believe the bible says we have a discrete ‘spirit’ that takes some responsibility for the Christian life. It is simply Christ in us the hope of glory, not anything within me. That’s why I think it is a total distortion of man’s condition to say he is a spiritual being having a physical experience. Dualism – pfft.

    Apologies for the aside – normal service can resume. 🙂

  138. @ Alex – From Cynthia Nixon’s perspective, she says she chose to be gay.

    I would ask you the same question I asked Bones on my 6:06 pm comment.

  139. I cant believe I’m getting flack for saying that wikipedia is a reasonable source of scientific information. And for saying that science is one source of information that we should take into account when forming our view of the world.

    And I cant believe people are starting sentences with “If we listened to scientists … “ . If you dont at least listen to science then you are not engaging with society as it stands today – you will not only be anti-postmodern, you wont even be modern. You will be back in the pre-enlightenment period of the 1600’s and previous.

    It is irresponsible not to listen to and take into account scientific consensus and theory on any issue. That is why I brought up the anti-Copernican Christian group. They refuse to accept the scientific consensus that the earth revolves around the sun, on the perfectly plain Biblical evidence that the earth is fixed. They have over 70 verses to prove it. But you dismiss them as cranks — well why are they cranks and not you? Both of you ignore science and believe your Bibles.

  140. If they could find a gene for fundamentalism, I’d not only support abortion for it – but I’d make it retrospective.

  141. If we listened to scientists, we’d be telling young men that it’s perfectly natural to go out and have sex with as many women as possible.

    Source?!

  142. I believe that there are probably people with both heterosexual desires and homosexual desires – and that probably some of these people choose to act only on their homosexual desires. In this sense, I think that some people choose to be homosexual.

    But I suspect (though I am not sure) that there are very few people who fall into this category. Cynthia Nixon may be one of them.

    In no way does this contradict the scientific consensus that in general gay people to do not choose to be gay.

    I have heard that there are, to quote Margot, ‘some gay folk [who] leave that lifestyle, go on to have happy lives in heterosexual marriages, having children, and happy to share their testimony that, though they thought they were “born that way”, their conversion to Christianity brought conviction and repentance’.

    I do not deny that there may be such people. But my impression is that they are very rare; and that reparation therapy in general inflicts a great deal of misery on those who seek to avail themselves of it. For an account of the misery inflicted, you may wish to look at:

    http://www.truthwinsout.org/tag/chaim-levin/

  143. Hey Alex, re the APA..

    ” psychologist Nicholas Cummings, former president of the American Psychological Association (APA), observed, “Homophobia as intimidation is one of the most pervasive techniques used to silence anyone who would disagree with the gay activist agenda.” As an example of such fear within the APA, in addressing 100 fellow professionals Cummings related that while writing “Destructive Trends in Mental Health,” with psychologist Rogers Wright, a number of fellow psychologists were invited to participate. However, these flatly turned them down, as they feared loss of tenure, loss of promotion, and other forms of professional retaliation. “We were bombarded by horror stories,” Dr. Cummings said. “Their greatest fear was of the gay lobby, which is very strong in the APA.

  144. okay Wazza, it should have been obvious that I meant “if we take what some scientists say as being absolute truth always”.

    is that better. I listen to scientists.

  145. Bones,
    Source?

    Tell people that the biblical norm is that a man should not have sex until he marries and then be faithful to one woman, and see what the reaction is and what people quote about males, evolution, sexual behavior.

  146. Yeah Margaret, that’s an interesting question. It’s won’t happen because there is no “gay” gene as such, but I suspect that if people did start aborting fetuses which doctors told them would be gay, then suddenly there would be a movement to stop the inhumane genocide of gay “babies”.

    Alex, Freud was once held to be authoritative. His ideas re homosexuality are dismissed now. Kinsey was once heavily quoted, but his statistics on the prevalence of homosexuality are not held to now, the APA until about 1973 held homosexuality to be a disorder. So if I were living then and dared to disagree, Wazza would have attacked me for “daring” to disagree with scientists. But then they changed their minds…

    Our understand of homosexuality is not conclusive. Scientists can not say conclusively what “makes” a person homosexual. Look at the wording they use again.

    If a person is black they are black, or if white they are white. It has nothing to do with behavior.
    That’s why we have laws against racism. Because it’s not about behavior.

    But, what makes a person homosexual? You can’t look at them and tell. You can’t look at their genes and tell. There can be no medical certificate. The only way a person can be “deemed” homosexual is by their actions (which are a choice), or if they say “I am homosexual”. Mind you, some people say “I am bisexual”.

    So, how do you prove a person is a homosexual in the first place?

    There is no medical test. No genetic test. And at what age can a person conclusively say they are homosexual? 18? 15? 12? 9?

    as an aside, the fact that those who are opposed to homosexuality are defined as “homophobic ” is a very subtle but powerful semantic tool.

  147. Bones,
    Source?

    Tell people that the biblical norm is that a man should not have sex until he marries and then be faithful to one woman, and see what the reaction is and what people quote about males, evolution, sexual behavior

    Yep, I thought you were making it up.

  148. No I’m not.

    Okay, let’s ask Wazza.

    Wazza, it’s sin for a man to have sex before he gets married right?
    And then once married it’s sin to have sex with another woman right?

    You too Bones. It’s sin right?

    And yeah, for sure, if I asked this on a secular website or asked a psychologist, I know what they’d say.

    So, what say you? Having sex before marriage is wrong isn’t it? And God wants a man to be the husband of one wife.

    Waiting……. (with glee actually)

  149. So, a scenario to consider – scientists determine there really is a gay gene. Women fall pregnant, and with a pro-choice worldview, can doctors now conduct tests (rather like amniocentesis) to determine whether the child carries the gay gene?

    Should society allow them to abort that child, (rather like Denmark, at this point of time, trying to eradicate Downs Syndrome)?

    Well some Christians might say ‘yes’. May as well send it straight to Jesus then actually have it grow up and have gay sex and go to hell. Personally it’s no different to aborting a foetus because it’s black. Which is evil.

  150. So, what say you? Having sex before marriage is wrong isn’t it? And God wants a man to be the husband of one wife.

    Q1 Depends.

    Q2. Yes. (So long as we ignore the Old Testament where God had a different agenda vis-a-vis polygamy and concubinage)

  151. So, how do you prove a person is a homosexual in the first place?

    Yeah that’s a problem. How about they wear a yellow star?

  152. Our understand of homosexuality is not conclusive. Scientists can not say conclusively what “makes” a person homosexual. Look at the wording they use again.

    What are you going to say when they conclusively can?

    Hint: do what the creationists do and ignore it and make up your own ‘science’.

  153. I’m not trying to be rude to you Alex, because you seem a genuine sort of person, but your scientific consensus, if represented by the selection you put up at 7.38, could not be called scientific at all.

    It was fundamentally speculation. It was so littered with suppositions that I found it difficult to itemise a few for discussion without actually relating the entire comment.

    It may have been a loose consensus of opinion by scientists, but it cannot be said to be scientific.

    In fact, my conclusion on reading through it was that there are similar results recorded when searching for the abominable snowman or Loch Ness monster.

    The discipline of science deals with facts. Even scientific theory assumes something to be very likely and reliably consistent with known understanding even if the absolute facts cannot be conclusively established.

    There is nothing in the comment you made which gives any kind of factual evidence which could be termed science.

  154. Bones, some of your comments are coming very close to Godwin’s law, especially the yellow star remark.

    I think, since this thread is deteriorating towards hate speech I may have to seal it off and bring it to an end whilst we’re still reasonably friendly.

    I’ll give it a few more comments to see if it picks up and becomes less personal.

  155. @ Alex – thanks for your response to my question at 6:06 pm.

    You go on to say “But my impression is that they are very rare; and that reparation therapy in general inflicts a great deal of misery on those who seek to avail themselves of it.”

    Who said anything about reparative therapy? This has come up before on past threads. The people I’m talking had profound Christian conversions – the “ultimate reparative therapy.” It was their acknowledgment of their sinful condition (as human beings not just homosexuality).

    Will they be tempted? Probably? I’m tempted every day to do or say things I shouldn’t. We are all in the same boat, as sinners in need of a Saviour.

    Also reminds me of a young man attending bible college (knowing he was gay and struggling). Finally he said he prayed that if he was not meant to be gay, then God has to tell him (audible voice scenario). God didn’t.

    But God has already – it’s in His Word.

  156. Obviously I Corinthians 6: 9 – 11 being one of them….

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

  157. Steve seems to liken the statements from scientific organisations and scientists I quoted to affirmations of the existence of the abominable snowman.

    The way he makes this comparison suggests that he thinks it is obvious.

    All I can say is that I do not see any similarity between the two kinds of statements at all. I find the comparison so incomprehensible that I am inclined now to think that dialogue between myself and Steve serves little purpose. Our ways of thinking are so radically different that conversation on these topics does not really take place.

    Having read some of the recent postings, I realise that the things I have said must have seemed utterly incomprehensible to some of you. I am grateful that you did not abuse me and that your response to me was gracious and polite.

    Best wishes to everyone on the blog. This is my last posting.

  158. Bones, some of your comments are coming very close to Godwin’s law, especially the yellow star remark.

    I think, since this thread is deteriorating towards hate speech I may have to seal it off and bring it to an end whilst we’re still reasonably friendly.

    I’ll give it a few more comments to see if it picks up and becomes less personal.

    Perhaps you have a better suggestion for SM’s ridiculous rant of how to identify homosexuals.

    As for hate speech. Well where do you want to start. Hate speech is fine when you can coat it in religious jargon eg you’re going to burn, you’re a stumbling block (ie leading others away from Christ)

  159. Well, Alex, I’m sorry you feel that way, but I point you to the consensus you displayed and phrases like, no substantive evidence’, ‘it appears’, ‘remain unclear’, ‘appears to be controversy’, ‘current knowledge suggests’, ‘no one knows what causes’, ‘assumptions, ‘suggest’, and the like do not make the consensus scientific.

    That is my point, and it cannot be disputed.

    That I used the abominable snowman (perhaps he was a gay polar bear!) (joke!), and Loch Ness monster was a merely a lighthearted attempt at saying there is just the same degree of supposition and maybe about it from those who desperately want it to be true, but it isn[t science, and can never be said to be until conclusive evidence is given.

    Since you used this non-scientific data to rebuke Margaret Court publicly, I suggest your argument is in need of something rather more substantial.

    Apart from that you need to lighten up and toughen up at the same time.

  160. Besides which, Alex, having a reputation with one of the gib universities or organisations isn’t a guarantee of being right about something.

    In fact recognition in scientific circles comes with a greater degree of responsibility for giving accurate facts rather than assumptions.

    However, it was you who called it the science. Do they? Or are they searching for answers? In which case they have to right to an educated opinion, and I have a right to disagree if I think it falls short of scientific evidence.

  161. I also think Steve’s comment at 5:26 was quite bizarre.

    He seems to reject all the science off hand and with no reason, and can judge good science far better than can the heads of scientific and medical organisations.

    This and the equally bizarre moment when he put forward Barnaby Joyce as an authority on the GFC makes me doubt his seriousness and even his sanity.

    Dialogue after this point is futile.

  162. A statement on consensus of necessity wont detail the evidence!

    I would have thought that was obvious.

  163. Show me just one thing which was science. There wasn’t any.

    It was opinion and supposition.

    Calling it science isn’t accurate.

    I am great believer in science. It has helped countless people and saved millions of lives. I am more of the Faraday school than the Darwin school, but I love what science has done to improve the world and make a difference in our lives.

    I enjoy new discoveries and ideas.

    I do not deny or refute genuine scientific evidence.

    But I challenge the claim on this being science, because it isn’t.

  164. Alex, despite what you say, wazza, called it the science as if it was conclusive in its consensus. It isn’t.

  165. Do you really think that four heads of scientific / medical organisations would make prepared statements that weren’t based on science?

    That they would just make up stuff based on what they thought was about right – like SM does on this thread?

    Do you think you as a layman can just say that they arent being scientific and are just using supposition and wishful thinking?

    Do you really think that?

  166. If there is evidence I am ready for Alex to put it up and we can look at it, but I don’t read any evidence into the consensus provided.

    If, as you say, evidence is not necessary to a statement on consensus I’ll go along with it, but it doesn’t demonstrate anything I have to agree with since the consensus reads like assumption.

    Assumption isn’t science. It may lead to a scientific discovery of fact, but until the assumption is demonstrated it is, be necessity, subject to counter assumptions.

    It can only become a scientific fact when it has fully refuted all counter assumptions.

  167. I didn’t say they weren’t being scientific. I am certain they are. That is what they do, and all power to them. Making assumptions is the starting point for discovery, as I have said.

    But it is not ‘science’ or scientific until it is backed up with reasonable fact and evidence.

    Can you show me the evidence for a gay gene? No.

    Can you show me evidence for homosexuality being part of person’s makeup before birth? No.

    Can you show me anything similar? Not so far.

    All I have been shown is that you can remove a gene from mice and the females are no longer interested in the males. All this shows is that you can remove a gene and it warps nature.

    Is it beneficial? No.

    Would it assist with the evolutionary processes of mice? No.

    Is it a good thing for mice to have the gene removed so that all the females are no longer interested in the males? No.

    Would a gay gene be a useful development for human kind?

  168. You dont understand how science works at all. Science works by hypothesis, experiment and then the development of scientific theory.

    A scientific fact is just one observation.

  169. But, look, wazza, Alex, they don’t even agree with their own conclusions, so how is it consensus:

    The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2004 stated:[7]

    ‘Current knowledge suggests that sexual orientation is usually established during early childhood.’

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2007:[8]

    ‘Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation.’

    I don’t fault that disagreement. It is a symptom of assumption and searching for answers. But it is not science.

    Is it?

  170. Steve, I dont think you have the educational background or knowledge to be making the statements you are making.

    There is plenty of evidence for genetic and pre-birth environments having an effect on homosexuality.

  171. It seems the divide between liberal and orthodox posters is getting wider and wider. And as Anon pointed out (thankyou for reminding us 🙂 ), having God on our side puts us in the “majority”. Love it!

    Clearly Romans addresses the issue head on ….

    “The wrath of God is not in response to vice, but rather vice is a consequence of God’s wrath.

    IN OTHER WORDS, GOD’S PUNISHMENT TOWARDS MANKIND IS IN ALLOWING HIM TO FOLLOW HIS OWN DEVICES.

    Mankind’s unchecked desires are “para physin” or “contrary to nature.” Therefore God’s punishment is essentially letting mankind’s “unnatural” desires run their course. That both women and men would exchange natural (kata physin) relationships for those contrary to nature (para physin) is ample evidence for Paul that “God’s wrath is revealed.” (1:18)

    Paul does not single out homosexual behavior as the only evidence of God’s wrath, but uses it to demonstrate the extent of God’s wrath upon the human race.”

  172. “That they would just make up stuff based on what they thought was about right – like SM does on this thread?”

    1.Wazza, sometimes I just say what I think on a number of topics. Whether that be football, the weather or whatever. It’s called having an opinion. Everyone does that.

    2. What I have tried to explain is what YOU say scientists have said , and what they are actually saying is different. Saying that genetic and pre-birth environments can have “an effect on homosexuality” is an incredibly vague and unhelpful statement.

    What does that mean exactly? That regardless of what the bible, and godly people say, that homosexual behavior is GOOD? ACCEPTABLE? A foregone conclusion?
    No
    No..

    Lastly, whether pre-brith environments have an effect on orientations, tendencies of anything means very little to me.

    Prebirth environments may have some (remember it is unmeasurable) effect on behavior, but that says NOTHING about the morality of the behavior. Do you understand that concept. Or do I have to come up with example after example?

    Scientists could and probably would say tomorrow, that from all the research in behavioral, and evolutionary science that humans that there is no harm whatsoever in engaging in premarital sex.

    I don’t think you’ll find a secular scientist anywhere (and especially not on your Holy Writings -wikipedia) who will publicly state that premarital sex is harmful in anyway.

    But, I believe that it is. The bible teaches it. It’s in many cultures.
    And you’ll find that if two people fell in love – absolute wonderful glorious fairy story love, nobody is going to be angry that the other is a virgin.

    Okay, I’ll stop there because you’ll argue about that too.

    Let me say this. If you asked differing scientific bodies to make statements regarding pre-marital sex, the bible position would not be supported (at this point in time).

    I don’t care! I just don’t care!.

    Wazza. life is short. Our life is but a vapor. You can argue on behalf of the hordes of hell all you like, but the day is coming when you will stand before God. Life is short. Seek the Lord. Put of all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit and make sure that you are in no way encouraging and endorsing sin and becoming a stumbling block.

    There is no scientific evidence for heaven, sin or the harm to the human soul of fornication or homosexual behavior. I don’t care.
    And neither does God.

    Wazza, just like now people look back at the level of scientific knowledge of 100 years ago, or 50 years ago as being quaint, if not dangerous, in 50 years people will laugh at the levels of 2012.

    I’ll come back here in a few years. The bible won’t have changed, but the conclusions and tentative statements of scientists and the liberal Christians who are led by the nose around by them will no doubt have been all over the page. Except that the tendency will be to justify sin, and attack God.

    I can no longer debate and discuss here without getting irritated.

    Instead of spending precious time here arguing with one or two people who should no better, I will go to the ones who are open.

    Steve, you are a saint.

  173. “Alex, despite what you say, wazza, called it the science as if it was conclusive in its consensus. It isn’t.”

    Steve you can say everything I want to say, and say it better.
    Keep up the good work.

  174. wazza2,
    Steve, I dont think you have the educational background or knowledge to be making the statements you are making.

    I can read however, and my cognisance isn’t too bad. I can grasp when someone is giving facts and when they’re giving an opinion, or making an assumption. In short, I’m not stupid.

    My comments were entirely on the claim Alex made that these assumptions were science. They weren’t. I put it to you that the writers weren’t claiming them as science, either.

    I think they were summarising where they thought scientists were going with their interpretation so far, according to the criteria they were using for investigating the various forms of data they were gathering.

    This may be the scientific method, and I have said it may be the beginning phase of a gathered set of notions which add up to a consideration. But it is still well short of conclusive.

    You didn’t respond to the solid evidence I gave you that they actually contradicted one another in their consensus.

    How do you account for this?

    There is plenty of evidence for genetic and pre-birth environments having an effect on homosexuality.

    Then why have you failed to show any?

  175. I can guarantee you that in 50 years the Bible will not have changed, but what the church deems important in the Bible definately will. Doctrines will change and the issues we are fighting now will have become non-issues.

    50 years ago many churches did not accept divorced people, they did not accept mixed-race marriages, they did not accept women in ministry. Now if you raise any of these issues, even with so-called scriptural support, people will just stare and blink at you. You will be thought of as some kind of dinosaur who is trying to bring back the bad old days. They wont even try to debate with you.

    And in 50 years time if you try to bring up the homosexuality issue that is precisely the reaction you will get. It wont even be an issue any more if the current trends for young evangelicals are anything to go by.

    Get over it, there has been more written and discussed in this blog on this one particular topic, than all of the sins and moral quandaries of the whole world combined. Even stranger because it is the one “sin” that we are not tempted by.

    Or just maybe, thats why we like to condemn it so much.

  176. I can read however, and my cognisance isn’t too bad. I can grasp when someone is giving facts and when they’re giving an opinion, or making an assumption. In short, I’m not stupid.

    I think if you are seriously making the assertion that these people are making assumptions and giving opinions, then you are acting stupidly in this case.

  177. wazza2,
    Do you think you as a layman can just say that they arent being scientific and are just using supposition and wishful thinking? Do you really think that?

    Do you think you as a layman can just say that a theologian isn’t being Biblical and is just using supposition and wishful thinking? Do you really think that?

    Of course not, because God gave you a brain and a moral compass and a conscience and you’re going to flaming well use it to the best of your ability to come against anything and everything that opposes the very things you stand for and believe in with every fibre of your being.

    That doesn’t make you right. It doesn’t make you wrong either.

    But wherever you sniff error of judgment based on your perception of justice you will do your utmost to defend the truth as you understand it.

    So it is with scientifically trained experts with doctorates in the field they specialise in. They will present their case as if their life depends on it, because, certainly their career does, and the way they are perceived by their peers.

    But there are those of us who will examine every part of a supposition to detect flaws, because scientific fact, like the gospel, cannot have a single flaw in it or it is not proof and not truth.

    The whole purpose of scientific method is to push the boundaries and test theory. The point of theology is to seek accuracy in a complex environment of the Word and Spirit.

    When the two collide over an issue and it becomes emotive there will be fireworks. But it is in the dimension of friction where truth is sharpened.

    Rather than questioning my credentials to comment, why not demonstrate with fact that my defence of what I see to be God’s Word is indeed flawed, because science, where it is accurate, will never deny God’s creation. It will prove it.

    And if God truly intended men to marry men and women to marry men, it will be evidenced in the creation as well as in the scriptures.

    My reading of the creation, as I have already stated, tells me that God’s intention for marriage remains the man with the woman to the exclusion of all others.

  178. The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2004 stated:[7]

    ‘Current knowledge suggests that sexual orientation is usually established during early childhood.’

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2007:[8]

    ‘Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation.’

    Orientation is established during early childhood but no evidence that experiences or parenting during childhood play a role.

    Where is the contradiction?

  179. wazza2, ‘And in 50 years time if you try to bring up the homosexuality issue that is precisely the reaction you will get. It wont even be an issue any more if the current trends for young evangelicals are anything to go by.’

    Young American evangelicals maybe, but young evangelicals are either being liberalised or switching over to the Pentecostal/Charismatic/Contemporary churches, so they are a diminishing majority. Apart from his, young people mature and their values shift when they start dealing with families and adult issues of their own.

    I think this debate has a long way to go, and will create a divide, but it won’t be the only issue to do this. In the end it will be between true believers and those who have fallen away and compromised truth, because without the substance of the Word and Spirit in Christ Jesus believers have nothing to anchor their souls to.

  180. …or early childhood experiences, wazza. You missed that part. It is the opposite to what the other fella says.

    Look, I’ll just take it that you don’t actually believe it’s wrong for men to marry me and women to marry women. Fine. Let the secular world defy God.

    I don’t think you’ll change on this. Neither will I. There is no science. It is not proved.

    There is gospel. That’s where I’ll go.I se God’s aversion to the prospect of gay marriage. You don’t agree.

    That’s not my problem.

    I don’t love you any less, or Bones, or Alex.

    I just think you’ve missed it on this one.

    Time for me to let go.

  181. I personally wouldn’t claim that a trained Theologian was using supposition and wishful thinking, even if I disagreed with him/her.

    I think it would be extremely arrogant to do that.

  182. …or early childhood experiences, wazza. You missed that part. It is the opposite to what the other fella says.

    No its not.

  183. Interesting to see that the Australian Press Council have reprimanded Margaret for having an opinion. Well, not her exactly but her article in the Herald Sun, and not the newspaper print version, but the online version, for not having a contrary piece alongside as in the print version.

    I mean, how ludicrous can you get and still claim to have a brain!

    I guess this is the new regulatory standard. For every opinion piece you put up you must have a response, or the opposing voice! Since when?

    Since we became a litigant nation with nanny state regulators to tell us how to live.

    We don’t want to offend the poor little minority groups now do we?

    So a Pastor speaks out according to her beliefs and is told by the Press Council that her opinion is wrong! I beg your pardon! Who says? Who are these faceless Press Council decision makers? Who voted for them? Who says they know better than everyone else what is right and what is wrong, what we can say and what we can’t?

    So Margaret opines that homosexuality is a choice, and suddenly we have the ‘science’ to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt she is wrong? Oh yeah! Where? What studies? What tests? Where is the evidence?

    So we go online and have an opinion and write it up, and the Press Council has the nerve to say we can’t do that? What?

    I hereby give every gay man or woman the right to say Christians are wrong and publicly display their opinions wherever they want without fear of sanction or reprimand from some faceless Press Council representative or the Government or the thought police or whoever, even though what they say might offend me or my family or Christ himself.

    But I also claim the right to respond, or to have my own opinion about their sexuality, their practices, whether I think their lifestyle is a choice or in their dna, or God wills it or whatever I think, as long as I don’t incite anyone to violence against them.

    But I certainly don’t need some opinionated, officious controller to tell me what is right or wrong or acceptable opinion.

    I dont think it will affect margaret, though. She’s faced the best on the tennis court and won through. But what a time we live in! Things are changing fast!

    What is happening to this country?

  184. Errr… Calm down Steve, it was a bit of a slap on the wrist from the Press council.

    I think it is important to have balanced coverage, particularly on controversial issues that affect minorities, or our opinion of minorities.

    The scientific evidence is the homosexuality is not a choice. We covered it in this thread. You dont accept it, but importantly scientists do.

    And before you say that you dont mind criticsm of Christianity, imagine a situation where the Dawkins brigade are dominating the debate. Saying that the evil Christians are secretly working to undermine our society, and bring down the moral standard and leave us in a quagmire of delusion. We would be in a situation rather like the Jews were before ww2. The next target for the Nazis, after the Jews, gypsys and homosexuals was the Christians. In that case you would be arguing for balanced reporting.

    Is Christianity a choice?

  185. Godwins law was intended to stop people arguing by comparing their opponents point to something Hitler would have done.

    I dont think I’ve done that here, and it dosent mean you cant mention the war.

  186. “imagine a situation where the Dawkins brigade are dominating the debate.”

    I thought they were.

  187. wazza2, And before you say that you dont mind criticsm of Christianity, imagine a situation where the Dawkins brigade are dominating the debate. Saying that the evil Christians are secretly working to undermine our society, and bring down the moral standard and leave us in a quagmire of delusion.

    Dawkins has written at least three best sellers saying exactly that! He is dominating the debate. Why else does the Australian atheist mob spend so much to bring him, now their main spokesperson after the death of the very articulate Hitchins, out to Australia to head up their conferences?

    It is precisely because he is ruling the roost that people like Margaret are in danger of being censored by vocal minority groups.

    I include in those minority groups the homosexual and lesbian lobby, who, in a purely secular sense, have had a cause, but now, after years of conciliatory changes in their favour, do not, and the atheists, whose only ironic cause is to try to shout down people who worship God, because, after all, they don’t believe in anything, do they? What a nagging godless sham they are!

    They are petulant and demanding. They have the ear of much of the media. They are supported by academia. They have changed the social landscape and created a politically correct environment which stifles debate.

    Currently we are fortunate to be able to have this discussion, but there may come a time when written and verbal conservative discussion is effectively removed from the equation if we do not make a noise about being able to have an opposing opinion, and even be wrong about it, without fear of sanction by some overarching body which strangles freedom of speech.

  188. What I mean by atheists being a godless sham is that, if they truly are atheistic, why do they bother turning up to debate Christians and Muslims about God or Allah, and why write books attempting to decry the influence of religion, and why make such a noise about other people believing whatever they want to believe?

    Surely the faith of a person who believes should man nothing to someone who doesn’t believe in any deity.

    No. They’re not actually atheists in the true sense of the word. They are godless contrarians.

    But where would the traction be in merely being atheistic, eh?

  189. Hilarious demonstration outside Victory Life Church last week. Wonderful publicity for the church and I predict it will actually grow by a few hundred as a result.

    Not that I’m against protests. Go for it! But they should realise that this actually heightens awareness of the Church, and not the reverse. People in WA will applaud Margaret for her stand for marriage.

    She is an iconic figure with a point of view, that is all. The gay lobbyists should have left her alone, because the church will gain, not lose.

    I consider this to be persecution.

    But he big question is, why shouldn’t a Pastor tell their congregation what the Bible says?

    OK. I know that actually preaching or teaching from the Bible is almost a no-no amongst the liberal theologians, and there are even people on this blog who frown on the actual use of a Bible in a church of all places.

    But why wouldn’t a pastor say what they see God says and expect people to respect them for holding to the values espoused by their very own code of conduct?

    And do they really think Margaret is going to back down? Tis is the world’s greatest ever tennis player, folks. She didn’t win all those Wimbledon crowns and Grand Slams by backing down when some pip-squeaks decided to try and stop her!

    And they’ll be calling her ‘homophobic’! Ha-ha! I don’t think she’s phobic about much.

    Theophobic! Yes, that’s what she is. Theophobic.

    And that is why she won’t be backing down in a hurry from her stance on marriage.

    God bless her!

  190. Good to see the church speaking out on social issues

    A gay rights group has labelled comments made at an anti-gay marriage rally as “offensive” and “derogative” after a speaker suggested that homosexual people could only reproduce by molesting children.

    Addressing the National Marriage Day rally outside Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday, Pastor Peter Walker said homosexual relationships only led to destructive and self-centred acts.

    “I’m convinced that homosexuals (re)produces themselves by molesting children,” he told the 200-strong crowd.

    But Alex Greenwich, national convenor of Australian Marriage Equality, said the language used at the rally created unwarranted alarm.

    “I would ask that opponents of reform engage in a mature and respectful discussion rather than using such offensive language continuously,” Mr Greenwich told ninemsn.

    “This is the type of language that opponents to marriage equality continue to use.”

    Mr Greenwich said a number of Australians were now rejecting these views and politicians should be taking notice to decide which side of the debate they would take.

    “Do they want to be on the side of the debate that uses such offensive and derogative language or the side that wants equality for all Australians?” he asked.

    At the Canberra rally yesterday, Pastor Walker said marriage should be a strong institution between a man and a woman, with the purpose of bearing children.

    “In the absence of this biological principle, sex becomes very instrumental, the satisfaction of pleasure and, I’ll say it straight out, lust,” he said.

    The National Marriage Coalition’s Peter Madden said the rally was not about “having a go at the poor homosexual”, but putting family values first.

    “This rally has not been talking against homosexuals or speaking negatively, it’s about promoting family,” he said.

    Pretty funny that last line.

    “This rally has not been talking against homosexuals or speaking negatively, it’s about promoting family,” he said.

    Nothing against homosexuals.

    Except they abuse kids.

    (Christians talking to the world about child abuse seems a lot like throwing stones in glass houses.)

  191. So who here has tried to pray the gay away?

    Could find yourself in court one day if you have. You better write it up now if you have in case you’re called.

    Is this an example of religious discrimination?

    Or preventing spiritual and emotional abuse?

    Or both?

    ‘Degrading and humiliating’: gay men sue therapy group who claim they could be turned straight

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/degrading-and-humiliating-gay-men-sue-therapy-group-who-claim-they-could-be-turned-straight-20121128-2acz5.html#ixzz2DVDOv7OF

    (btw why do ex-gays run gay conversion programs. Seems to me it’s like leaving ex-alcoholics alone in the bar. No wonder they’re so unsuccessful)

  192. “Christians talking to the world about child abuse seems a lot like throwing stones in glass houses.”

    I’ve realized the problem here. It’s Satan’s old tactic from ancient days.

    Here’s what Satan does. He tries to convince Christians that because they aren’t perfect or because they have sinned, they have no right to proclaim truth. It’s the “Who are you” Who do you think you are?” condemnation tactic.

    And it’s being used all the time now by any group that wants to justify itself.

    It goes like this. You Christians sinned. Or some Christian somewhere in the world at sometimes has sinned – so shut up! You don’t have the right to speak.

    Which is why the media and certain websites do everything they can to publicize the failings of Christians and ministers.

    But people have to stop and realize – that there will always be someone somewhere who sins. That doesn’t make or break an argument.

    It would be like saying teachers have no right to teach kids about ethics because of the latest female teacher preying on a boy, or a teacher quoting from anti-semitic hate sites full of distortion and lies.

  193. Oh dear, lost the moral high ground haven’t we.

    You’ve got the distortion and lies dude and made you completely blind to history and injustice.

    Just that your hate is acceptable.

    Neither of you answered the question: I posted above re that article of suing antigay therapies.

    So is it religious persecution to prevent spiritual and emotional abuse?

    But my religious conviction says that gays are evil and need ‘therapy’.

    But psychological agencies say ‘therapy’ doesn’t work.

    Sounds familiar to some of the old mental health cases who were thought to be demonic.

  194. Do you think the sex that gays engage in is evil Bones? Yes or no.

    If yes….

    Go down to your local gay bar and tell the gays there that you love them, want them to have rights, and be able to get married but then tell them that the sex they do is sinful. Be a man and be honest.

    You wouldn’t and couldn’t do it.

  195. Did you ask a question? I thought you were being rhetorical.

    Anyway, since when did complaints procedures morph into suing people?

    Next Christians will be sued for supplying food and clothing to the poor, or for offering healing, or marriage counselling, or opposing abortion.

    I mean, no one is forced to go to any of these clinics, and usually a person signs a disclaimer of some sort.

    There’s always more to the answer than the question requires.

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