Access to God?

Do Christians feel good about approaching a God they have full access to without any conditions while a gay person has to struggle his way to that throne time in and time out?

I have been wondering that for some time. If meeting God is anything like meeting other Conservative Christians (for gay people) then I think access to God must also be severely strained. Gays cannot hold any real office in a Christian church, lead a ministry, or even get baptized or married.

There is basically nothing legitimate about being gay in Conservative Christian eyes. If this is so, and they represent ‘god-li-ness’ (or god-like-ness)…what chance do gay people really have in a church…or heaven for that matter?

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50 thoughts on “Access to God?

  1. I disagree with your premise.

    Non-gay people have struggles, as well.

    Christians do not flaunt, or advocate their sins…but struggle with them (all of them).

    We had a gay man on our church council. He read the scriptures on Sunday. he was with us for years before he decided to make an issue of his sexuality. he wanted us to affirm his gayness. We would not. He left.

  2. God doesn’t say be perfect and then come to me. We go forward warts and all. If there is an issue in our life that is sinful, we take it before Him without condemnation.

    I can’t say being gay is ok any more than I can say it is ok to lie. I do know that He says to repent and ask forgiveness. How do you repent from something that is a major part of who you are? You just ask for help. If it doesn’t stop right away, maybe there is something else He wants to work on first.

  3. “We had a gay man on our church council. He read the scriptures on Sunday. he was with us for years before he decided to make an issue of his sexuality. he wanted us to affirm his gayness. We would not. He left.”

    can also be read:

    “We had a human man on our church council. He read the scriptures on Sunday. he was with us for years before he decided to make an issue of his humanity. he wanted us to affirm his humanity. We would not. He left.”

    i happy he did. hopefully he found a better home away from ppl who will use him to utilitarian ends and refuse to give him a home… or at best a conditional home where as long as your politics/sexuality/philosophy/biases/ or anything else that MIGHT be offensive is brought up… as long as we stay on the surface, we’ll be great. the moment things get real, we’re out.

    way to go. keep trodding the old ways of the victim.

    • So they are wrong for not saying it was ok to be gay? If he was a pedophile, would it still be ok?

      “We had a pedophile man on our church council. He read the scriptures on Sunday. he was with us for years before he decided to make an issue of his pedophile choices. he wanted us to affirm him being a pedophile. We would not. He left.”

      Yep, I can see it is ok.

  4. “I disagree with your premise. Non-gay people have struggles, as well.” (Steve)

    I’m not saying we don’t, I admit we do…but that’s neither here nor there concerning this issue.

    “Christians do not flaunt, or advocate their sins…but struggle with them (all of them).” (Steve)

    They are pretty open about them though – because what we do wrong is allowed to be talked about and is very common experience for everyone straight in the church…it’s all quite ‘relateable’. From anger, to lust, to drinking, to porn, etc. Second the gay guy starts mentioning his problems – we start to raise our eyebrows a little higher…not a relatable experience.

    “We had a gay man on our church council. He read the scriptures on Sunday. he was with us for years before he decided to make an issue of his sexuality. he wanted us to affirm his gayness. We would not. He left.” (Steve)

    So as long as he was gay (in private) and no one knew anything about it – he was okay? The better he stayed in the closet the better he was in a church setting. The more he tried to leave that closet – the less he was accepted (even stripped of his duties) by the church. Exactly my point to a ‘tee’.

    Don’t you get it Steve, no one here will ever see God – in this human lifetime…however they will meet you, You are God’s representative to others around you – you are the symbol of what it is your believe, study, and think. In essence, they cannot meet God but they can meet His reps – the one’s trying to be ‘Godly’ (or God like in manner and thought). In some ways, and this is a fact, you speak for God.

    Now if you say these things about gay people – which I think is quite unaccepting. What should a gay person think of God?

  5. We’re all sinners and all have secret sins that we don’t share.

    But we don’t promote, advocate, or affirm our sins within the body of Christ, or anywhere else for that matter.

  6. “So if the man lied, the church should have been ok with that? It is ok to lie?” (Xander)

    People lie all the time Xander, it is so commonplace in society (and church) I am not sure anyone even repents about that kind of stuff. An exaggeration is a lie, I am pretty sure we have all heard a preacher/pastor do that?

    But do I think it is okay to make a lifestyle of lies…no. In the end, none of it is true.

    However, had the person been a liar (depending on which degree of liar we mean here) and the people found out – they might give him a hard time – even suspend him – but he’d be back to his reading the bible publicly in no time. Why? Because we can all relate to a ‘liar’.

    Problem here is the man is gay – and the church leveled him. It would be like if 3 gay dudes were heading into Bethlehem on the cold Christmas night and there was no room for them at the inn. At least there is a manger area to sleep in (on the street).

    Churches really don’t care about gay people – I think as far as they are concerned they likely wish none of them had been born (no people, no problem). But since they have been born and like religion, they have to treat these people like lepers so they avoid church altogether. Do you think a Christian cares? No. God doesn’t want those people anyways.

    Xander, do you think u ever played with a gay person as a child? Do you think you would of ever noticed as a child?

    ‘We need to learn to go back and play like when we was kids, but hey, that’s just the way it is’ (Changes – 2Pac)

    “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3-4)

    • But the man left because the church did not accept being gay as ok / not sinful. They didn’t kick him out because of it, they just didn’t condone it. There is no requirement to accept a behavior from a person that you do not feel is correct.

      “Xander, do you think u ever played with a gay person as a child? Do you think you would of ever noticed as a child?”
      Yes

  7. “They didn’t kick him out because of it, they just didn’t condone it. There is no requirement to accept a behavior from a person that you do not feel is correct” (Xander)

    It would be nice if we could find this man and hear his side of the story…for a complete sense of what happened.

    So do you think being gay is not a correct behavior for a Christian to have?

    I think it’s poignant to know this – so when I talk to someone gay they know which options are and are not open to them.

  8. Being gay is not a correct behavior for anyone to have.

    Neither is being a gossip.

    Neither is being a glutton.

    Neither is being selfish.

    All these are present in the church.

    None are advocated and affirmed by the church.

    • yet you have to judge what is a sin and what isn’t. thus you are judging. the “hell” notion is what you can’t judge and i think that’s what you’re getting at, but being an LGBTQ person is not a sin, so you can go ahead and affirm away.

  9. “I don’t think it is correct, but I also wont tell them they are going to hell for it.” (Xander)

    What is a gay person supposed to think of that answer…is he coming or going – he cannot be sure. He’s not ‘right’ but he’s not altogether ‘wrong’.

    Should a gay person attend your church or not? Is this an option available for the gay community? Or should they just stay away?

    “Being gay is not a correct behavior for anyone to have. Neither is being a gossip. Neither is being a glutton. Neither is being selfish. All these are present in the church. None are advocated and affirmed by the church” (Steve)

    And yet no one is out picketing gossip – which is absolutely rampant on tv (anyone see TMZ lately?). Gluttony, if we mean fat by this, is the most common problem in the American Health System. Selfishness, there is more money now in the hands of so few – it’s unlike anytime in history.

    Your telling me none of this is affirmed by the church? They don’t care as far as I can tell…or else America would not have a serious weight problem, money would be more evenly distributed in society, and shows like TMZ or Entertainment Tnight would not be on tv. The fact these things all exist while no one cared to say anything is prime example of how much churches actually focus on any of these problems.

    But march out the gay issue – all of a sudden Christians and Mormons and picketing and rioting to stop the legalization of gay marriage…making such a fervor no one can miss it. All the while McDonalds continues to feed less than healthy food that is giving our kids serious health issues younger and younger. The banks rip people off for millions and gossip sells local news.

    You hold up the church like it is some moral agent on this planet…maybe it was…but it’s missed the boat since it hopped in one and came over to America some 400+ years back.

  10. “Christ is their judge..not us. But we cannot affirm sin of ANY KIND in the church” (Steve)

    So really what is meant – Christ is your final judge, but until then we’ll do.

  11. I didn’t say that at all, Jason…you did.

    Gays are welcome in our church as much as anyone.

    The problem seems to be that many, not all, want to have their sin affirmed.

    We won’t do that for anybody. Sorry.

  12. “I didn’t say that at all, Jason…you did. Gays are welcome in our church as much as anyone” (Steve)

    True, I was making a point (must of missed it).

    Gays are not as welcome in your church as someone straight and I can prove it (and I think I already have to any honest reader).

    Can a gay person get baptized in your church? Can a gay person be a lay minister of some sort in your church? Can the gay person be a pastor? Can the gay person play on the music/dance team (if stereotypes are accurate – he’d rock)? Can a gay person be married in your church?

    The fact that they cannot be affirmed for being born ‘gay’ (which is very possibly the case) says they are not an equal to everyone in that church.

  13. No, my church doesn’t allow gay marriages. In order to do that, it would have to say that the Bible was wrong when it says that homosexuality is wrong. Of course, might as well chuck the rest of it since according to your logic it will all be out of date as soon as it conflicts what a segment of society thinks.

    McDonalds is not telling me they are healthy and demanding that I believe their claims. There are other options and they don’t get their feelings hurt when I don’t follow their logic of being a healthy alternative. Plus, there are alternatives. I am not being forced to accept McDonalds. The same cannot be said for the gay movement.

    Your stance is that I cannot follow my religious beliefs that being gay is wrong. I can say God loves the person regardless, but that is not enough. I have to say that God approves of that lifestyle so they don’t feel shunned. I am not shunning anyone, but they don’t like to feel judged by what I believe. If I say being a liar is wrong, that is ok, because liars are not demanding that I accept them for what they are.

    “You hold up the church like it is some moral agent on this planet…maybe it was…but it’s missed the boat since it hopped in one and came over to America some 400+ years back.”

    No, I hold the Bible to be the moral agent.

    Anyone is welcome to attend my church. It is open to all. Come and listen to what is being said, but don’t demand that we change if you don’t like what you hear.

  14. “You are absolutely wrong. A gay person can get baptized, serve on the church council, and be a worship assistant to the pastor, if he or she so desires.” (Steve)

    Well I see that as a step in the right direction. They cannot marry of course, still making them partly ‘less than’ the majority of straight people around them (who can get married, divorce, re-marry, and pretty much do this as many times as they want). However, if what you say is true, I think more gay people should attend your church.

    “The gentleman that I referred to early (in our congregation) did all those things…for years…until HE DECIDED to make an issue of his sexuality” (Steve)

    That gentlemen was just affirming who he actually was – too bad the church could not agree with him – and saw his affirmation of his true self as problematic.

  15. The affimation of our true (sinful) selves is always problematic. We just refuse to live the way that God intends us to live.

    That’s our problem (all of us)in a nutshell.

    That’s why Jesus had to die on a cross for us. There was no other way.

    • yet the problems still persist and thus Jesus’ death wasn’t all that powerful in that rubric because there are still naturally occuring same-sex preferences in nature, not just the human species. so either Jesus’ death was not all that powerful and didn’t overcome sin in the least bit or your metaphor is off.

      • I saw a neat article about two lesbian birds. They lived with each other and took care of each other as if normal partners, but they did not try to have sex with each other. Those are friends, not lovers. There are several occasions of male animals exerting their dominance over another by having sex with them. I am not sure if they can determine if this is a consensual act or not.

        In nature, weaker animals are killed off without legal repercussions. Nature is not always the best example of how humans should live.

  16. “No, my church doesn’t allow gay marriages. In order to do that, it would have to say that the Bible was wrong when it says that homosexuality is wrong. Of course, might as well chuck the rest of it since according to your logic it will all be out of date as soon as it conflicts what a segment of society thinks.” (Xander)

    So you see the bible sayinh homosexuality is ‘wrong’ and I can see where you are coming from. There are counter-arguments to those scriptures – but you wouldn’t want to hear those I am pretty sure (might disturb the good thing you got going there; all neat and orderly).

    I will say this though, for as big as a ‘sin’ people are making this now, how come there is nothing on it throughout the whole Tanakh? I hear people mention 2 passages in Leviticus, 2 passages? That’s it? All this fervor for 2 passages that we do not completely know what was meant because there are no other Tanakh sources or stories clearing this law up.

    As for changing the bible to suit society…I don’t believe this is what is being done. I do believe the question about homosexuality has not been asked as much as it is today so this is the call to look into this matter.

    “Plus, there are alternatives. I am not being forced to accept McDonalds. The same cannot be said for the gay movement” (Xander)

    Your question is not the same. Suppose Mcdonalds was being blamed for using cancer causing agents and people started to say that about the organization. I am guessing you would quickly move against this organization (for them to change) and at the least go to another fast food joint.

    Your calling gay people point blank ‘sinners’ and need to ‘repent’ (change). This is a movement against a whole set of people to paint them as a sort of ‘outcast’. Like McDonalds, Christians are not really making a choice – since once they have ‘sin’ slapped on them (like a cancer) – then it’s game over.

    The reason this is not a choice issue is because this is human rights violation IMO. I think you need to study your country’s own history with minority groups to see how the bible has been used to justify this exact behavior for centuries. First the Indians, then the Blacks, then women, and now the gays. And each time there were people like you Xander that supported each cause with great biblical claims.

    “If I say being a liar is wrong, that is ok, because liars are not demanding that I accept them for what they are” (Xander)

    Liars can change Xander. Cheaters can change Xander. Murderers can change Xander. Can a gay person actually change from gay to straight?

    “No, I hold the Bible to be the moral agent” (Xander)

    I think it holds a strong moral code to live by – but even lots of this is at the discretion of the individual. For example, the command is to love your neighbor. How? That’s something we all need to figure out for ourselves (via self reflection and observation).

    “Anyone is welcome to attend my church. It is open to all. Come and listen to what is being said, but don’t demand that we change if you don’t like what you hear” (Xander)

    Thats remains to be seen, it’s a grand claim, but certain sectors of society would likely not feel welcome there…namely people of the gay sexual orientation.

  17. “There are counter-arguments to those scriptures – but you wouldn’t want to hear those I am pretty sure (might disturb the good thing you got going there; all neat and orderly).”

    I welcome it. If I am wrong, then I am wrong and I can admit that.

    You are trying to reconcile the Bible and the World views to coexist and they never will unless you compromise the Bible in what it says. Yes, I will go back to the two verses in Leviticus which are the premise that homosexuality is an abomination. So, it is wrong / sinful to practice a homosexual relationship. Several of the more liberal Jewish groups have compromised their stance saying that it was for that day and age. The orthodox Jews haven’t changed though.

    “All this fervor for 2 passages that we do not completely know what was meant because there are no other Tanakh sources or stories clearing this law up.”

    How many verses are there that say it is wrong to have sex with a child? Is that act not wrong then?

    “The reason this is not a choice issue is because this is human rights violation IMO”

    No one can prove one way or another that a person might be born with the inclination compared to it having been developed do to environment conditions. It is not like someone is born black. Yep, they are black. No denying it. They can’t change skin color, so it is not even the same comparison. You can see where the Bible has been misused in the past. Not going to disagree with that, but you can also see where they picked and chose which ones to follow. I can love someone who is gay and still think what they are doing is wrong. Love allows that.

    “Thats remains to be seen, it’s a grand claim, but certain sectors of society would likely not feel welcome there…namely people of the gay sexual orientation.”

    Actually I have gay friends who attend church with me. There are several people who don’t feel welcome in churches. These are usually people who know that some aspect of their lifestyle is contradictory to what that church believes is right. Is the church wrong for saying that something is wrong? Should the church change the message to everything is acceptable if you think it is? I am confused as to what your ideal outcome is? From what I gather, it is everyone should embrace humanity and let that be their guide.

  18. “The orthodox Jews haven’t changed though” (Xander)

    Not true. I am reading a book an orthodox rabbi right now (rabbi Steven Greenberg) that is writing about the inclusion of homosexuals into the religious circle (circa 2004 or something). He examines all the scriptures, stories, and rabbinical writings on the subject from an Orthodox perspective.

    The big question coming from Jewish circles on this issue is the issue of ‘choice’. This is why changes are being made to include the gay community in Reform and Conservative circles. The orthodox is also looking into this since it is unjust to make someone follow laws they obviously cannot .

    “How many verses are there that say it is wrong to have sex with a child? Is that act not wrong then?” (Xander)

    And that’s where you and I agree on interpretation Xander. You can straight out admit there are no rules against pedophilia (although I would need to check this closer) nor against abortion. However, we both modernize the texts to fit our current mainstream ideas about these issues and how they may not sit right with us (concerning ‘life’). I just went a step further and saw the equality of gays as on that agenda.

    “No one can prove one way or another that a person might be born with the inclination compared to it having been developed do to environment conditions” (Xander)

    If this is the case (environmental conditioning) then how do we de-condition those same people from this ‘behavior’? I have met and talked with many gay people – about a variety of things and their personal choices. I am having a tougher and tougher time believing it’s ‘environmental’ since not all cases of people being gay have the same set of circumstances that drove them to this notion. It seems to me some people are biologically engendered to this orientation.

    I can’t actually prove any of that – unless personal stories are given weight…and I think in Christian circles they are. No one can prove they are ‘born again’ for example – but we accept that notion based on personal story and behavior.

    “Is the church wrong for saying that something is wrong? Should the church change the message to everything is acceptable if you think it is? I am confused as to what your ideal outcome is? From what I gather, it is everyone should embrace humanity and let that be their guide.” (Xander)

    My goal is simple ‘treat others how you want to be treated’. I want every single gay woman and man to have as much rights as I have and enjoy as a straight person in Canada.

    Should the church remain in the morality business – absolutely. It does not need to change it’s morals to accept gay people. Sins are still sins IMO…theft, lust, murder, greed, pride, envy, drunken abuse, etc are all still cruddy and have their obvious problems associated with them. We are in the morality biz.

    However, whether gay or straight – all the problems aforementioned effect both sides the same. All things being equal (Ockham’s Razor) the easiest answer is always the best solution…they have to be equal.

  19. “for the bible tells me so” is an excellent movie. i suggest both theoldadam and xander check it out. until then, i’m out. for me this conversation is akin to trying argue the “mullet” is a great and viable hairstyle choice. bigotry is awful regardless of the reasons. i love how you cherry-pick the bible and make it mean what you want it to mean without any viable scriptural exegesis. i’ve done my work, why haven’t you?

  20. Eating non-kosher meat is also an abomination, so is having sex with your wife if she didn’t go to the mikveh after her period ended. Yet, how many Christians are bothered by these abominations from Tanakh? Next time you see someone eating chicken at a church dinner you’d best be kicking them out for flaunting their abominable behavior. Such things should not be tolerated. No siree.

    What else was an abomination? Having sex with two sisters, having sex with your aunt, having sex with your sister. For all these abominations God kicked the Canaanites out of the land. Cool. Only horrible people would do these things anyway, right? Horrible people like Abraham, Moses’ parents, Jacob. I guess there are just abominations and then there are ‘abominations’ that must be taken really, really seriously…

    I’m with Luke on this one.

  21. Just a thought, since I think this would help to see where our own personal biases are clouding the issue.

    Suppose the world just all of a sudden came to an end today and everyone died. Lets also suppose that there is a heaven. Who is there? Are homosexuals there?

    If homosexuals are in heaven, then what’s the big problem with homosexuals being in church and being open about there homosexuality?

  22. When someone declared that a certain color was red, we knew that it was red. It was defined as red and given the name red. It was red and there was no argument about that. When someone comes up later and says that person was wrong and that it wasn’t really red since there was not the proper understanding of what red was, does that mean it is no longer red? How can the person who first defined it not have understood it? If it is defined as sin, who am I to change it?

    If you don’t think homosexuality is wrong, that is fine. It is not upon me to change your mind. I have voiced my feelings and that is the limit of my responsibility. The difference is I am ok with you not agreeing with me. I can still love a person who is gay. If they need help, I will be there to help. The only thing between us is I do not agree with the lifestyle. Why is that wrong?

    • Xander,
      All through Torah we Jews are told to live lives of mitzvot which include, among many other things, us not eating certain animals, fish and sea creatures. Christianity came along and said: no more of this, mitzvot are meaningless, you can eat whatever it is you want, you Jews’ understanding of what Tanakh says is wrong. So, not only is the color not red anymore, it’s not even a color! Yet, you, Xander, seem to live with that change of definition just fine. Churches have pig roasts, people eat ham for Easter, Christian women don’t go to the mikveh, men don’t go either. Who in the church is bothered by such things? I have read of no outcry.

      I have no problem with you disagreeing about anything, but when you make claims from Torah you should be able to back them up; you should have read all of Torah and made sure you took into consideration not just the pieces you agree with, but also those pieces that contradict your verses of choice, those pieces that add other nuances to your verses of choice. I don’t see this happening. I will echo Luke, where is your exegesis?

      Plus, even if the verses you like so much were actually what God commanded at one time, Torah also has God saying God would destroy cities, yet Abraham didn’t just stand there and say, too bad, this is what God said so it must be so. Torah also has God saying God would destroy all the people of Israel except for Moses, yet Moses didn’t stand there and say, too bad, this is what God said so it must be this way. Torah also has God saying only males could inherit land, yet Zelophehad’s daughters didn’t just meekly accept this decree; they used their reasoning and got the rule changed. As late as the prophets, Amos is arguing against what God has in mind. This tradition continues in Judaism right up to this day. I have to wonder why this theme in Torah of arguing with God is ignored in churches? When is the last time someone stood up in church and said to God, this is not right, this is not just?

      Next: Somewhere in one of your comments you claimed that Conservative and Reform Judaism just change things when they feel like it, which leads me to believe you have never heard of, much less read, the Teshuvot of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism. Just as there is a process that must be followed to change the laws in the United States, there is also a process that must be followed to make Hallakhic rulings. To date I see 19 Teshuvot on Homosexuality, hundreds of pages of legal arguments from all sides, arguments backed up by texts, reasoning, real live people. Sometimes these are tough to wade through sine they are hardly the workings of people just following a whim. Once more you speak without doing your homework.

      Oh and BTW, did you know that in Torah there is no prohibition against women having sex with each other?

      • Abraham negotiated with God and the town would be spared if enough righteous people were found within it. Yet even due to Abraham’s negotiating skills the town was destroyed. Interestingly enough, the men of the town wanted to have sex with the two angels sent to destroy it. This story predates the law as well. Moses intervened numerous times on behalf of Israel so the whole nation would not be destroyed, yet those who did wrong were killed. Zelophehad’s daughters did go before Moses so the family land would not be lost, but you fail to mention that the men from the Manasseh tribe also went before Moses because the land would have gone to other tribes if the daughters would have married outside of their own tribe. Male children would have taken over the ownership of the land. You see this in Ruth as well. People negotiate with God all the time, and people are spared from judgment, but judgment still comes. These people also inquired of God and the ephod was used.

        “Somewhere in one of your comments you claimed that Conservative and Reform Judaism just change things when they feel like it, which leads me to believe you have never heard of, much less read, the Teshuvot of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism.”

        You got my statement wrong. I said several of the more liberal Jewish groups have compromised their stance on the Torah. I do not think they did it on a whim. I feel like it developed over time as they tried to reconcile the changing world views to their own beliefs. From the Teshuvot:

        The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of The Rabbinical Assembly affirms the following policies:
        1. We will not perform commitment ceremonies for gays or lesbians.
        2. We will not knowingly admit avowed homosexuals to our rabbinical or cantorial schools or to the Rabbinical Assembly or the Cantors’ Assembly. At the same time, we will not instigate witch hunts against those who are already members or students.

        I wonder why the orthodox Jews consider lesbians as being wrong since there is not a specific law against them. They must be misinterpreting too.

        “What else was an abomination? Having sex with two sisters, having sex with your aunt, having sex with your sister. For all these abominations God kicked the Canaanites out of the land. Cool. Only horrible people would do these things anyway, right? Horrible people like Abraham, Moses’ parents, Jacob. I guess there are just abominations and then there are ‘abominations’ that must be taken really, really seriously…”

        Did not all of this happen before the law was given? The law that God put in place to separate His people so they would not be like the rest of the world. That by their actions, the rest of the world could see what was right in the sight of God? Maybe not; I am not always aware of what is said in the Torah.

      • Yes, the towns were destroyed, but if there had been enough righteous people within them, God would have relented, according to the story. And about pre-dating the law, what does this have to do with anything? If there was no law, there could not have been any wrongdoing either. So, I guess now God is really unjust, requiring people to live by rules they don’t even know and then punishing them for disobeying these unknown laws.

        The Canaanites were never given the law. If it was ok for Abraham, Jacob, and Moses’ parents to break these laws pre-Sinai, why wasn’t it OK for the Canaanites to break them as well? Were the Canaanites also to be set aside as a special people?

        With Moses not all who did wrong were killed. Aaron made the Golden Calf yet he lived a good long while afterward. He didn’t enter the land, but it wasn’t because of the Golden Calf.

        Not getting your point about Zelophehad’s daughters. The law was changed to accommodate them after they protested. That someone else protested as well so that the law didn’t go too far in another direction is relevant how?

        OK. So, you want a change in the law that postdates the law. Since you mentioned Ruth…no Moabite shall enter the congregation. Yet Ruth did enter and not only did she enter, she was the grandmother of King David. There is no record of when this law was changed, but obviously somewhere between when it was given and when Ruth arrived in the land, it was no longer followed.

        What other laws changed? More than one it seems. For example: a rebellious son is to be stoned, yet David never stoned his sons and the prophet, Nathan, never got on him for not doing so. But, I suppose you’ll claim God hung Absolom in a tree as punishment even though that is totally different than the whole community coming out and throwing stones beginning with the father and mother, which is what the law requires.

        How do you know liberal Jews have compromised their stance on Torah? Do you know what that stance was to begin with? Do you know that Orthodox Judaism is no older than Reform Judaism, but instead came into existence as a reaction to Reform, a reaction that tried to set Judaism in stone, something that had never been done before? Judaism has changed much through the ages, one need only read our writings to see that yet you would claim it never changed from Sinai? Not even the Orthodox claim that, their end point is the 1700’s. BTW, I know Christians like to think Orthodox Judaism is the real deal but you might want to read up a bit. A teacher I once had made the suggestion that Jesus sounded like the first Reform Jew. None of us agreed, but there could be some merit to his point; certainly Jesus did not follow Orthodoxy. Imagine that, I have something in common with that person. Yikes. I may have to become frum.

        Your information on CJLS is out of date. (As an aside, Teshuvot is plural; if you only quote from one it is Teshuvah.) Times change, rulings change. In Conservative Judaism Commitment ceremonies do take place, gays and lesbians are ordained at our rabbinical schools. I told you there were 19 Teshuvot that are 100’s of pages long altogether. That should have clued you in that a one paragraph summary probably should probably be verified. NYT Article on the 2006 ruling which came long after my synagogue had already begun doing commitment ceremonies. The local rabbi is the final authority on such things.

        Orthodox Jews consider lesbianism to be wrong based on a ruling by the rabbis in Talmud. Torah is our foundational text, Talmud is what teaches us how to live as Jews.

        I will let you have the last response, unless you have questions for me. Because speaking of teaching, I have a lesson I need to prepare to teach on Erev Shavuot and need to stop stalling. Thanks for the conversation.

  23. “No, my church doesn’t allow gay marriages. In order to do that, it would have to say that the Bible was wrong when it says that homosexuality is wrong.”

    This argument just proves that your Church (and your entire faith-basis) is not only above the rule of law but your church is also highly undemocratic (which most christian churches are). We must understand that gay people(s) make up a significant number of citizens in every society and it is no longer against the law to be gay in all progressive liberal-democratic societies.

    The real question is this: why does your particular church refuse to change with the times? Is it the leadership, is it the congregation, etc.? It is certainly not the civil society and/or the rule of the law that are holding you back; everyday different areas of society are progressing in the area of gay rights.

    In Canada, all gay people can be married legally and they can serve in political office and they can even be your boss at work, but still they cannot be leaders in most Christian churches (we won’t even attempt to talk about Islam mosques). So then, who is the laggard and who is the leader? The answer is obvious. The church is living in the past and is repressing the inherent rights of the citizen.

  24. The suggestion that gay people are pedophiles is beyond ridiculous and demonstrates a mentality that is openly looking for deficiencies in the character of all gay people (mass generalization); this is blatant slander and ignorance.

    Pedophilia is a sexual perversion that attracts an adult towards children in a sexual manner (children are not ready for sexual activity). Gayness is nothing of the sort and is no way connected to pedophilia.

    Gay adolescents come of age in the exact same manner as heterosexual adolescents, through puberty.

    Since we are debunking myths, here is another one: it is also a christian-propaganda lie that ALL gay people were sexually abused as children. This is a lie.

    • No one actually suggested gay people were pedophiles. Luke wanted to remove the word gay from describing the man because the man is a human. If we looked at the humanity of the man and not the label, then we couldn’t judge. I was just trying to show that pedophiles are humans as well, but we don’t like looking past that label.

      I have never heard the claim that all gay people were abused as children. I have seen that most gay people come from a broken home or a home with an absent father, but that might just be coincidence.

  25. “The difference is I am ok with you not agreeing with me. I can still love a person who is gay. If they need help, I will be there to help. The only thing between us is I do not agree with the lifestyle. Why is that wrong?” (Xander)

    Let’s at least clarify this a bit. You cannot actually truly love someone you are not willing to give the same rights that you have, deserve, and enjoy – at least that love would be a bit tainted. I am not sure how you define ‘love’ but I am pretty sure this is not how you would love your children, wife, or parents.

    For example, I love my wife completely. I don’t hold anything back from her and I let her enjoy as much (or even more) rights as I have in this society/household. We make joint decisions on pretty much everything – we are co-equals.

    In the case with gay people and the view that they are ‘wrong’ means that they are already in a class of people on the outside looking in. Love would open the door for them and invite them in as co-equals. I think at that point they could reciprocate that same feeling (which makes love what it is). But as it stands in most churches they actually do not really love these people. It sounds harsh but it’s also realistic.

    I believe the problem is churches are not willing to be accepting of this class of people, unless they can do the miraculous and ‘change’. I think that’s where I think the treatment of these people is really discouraging. We have good men and women ‘of God’ holding the keys to the kingdom in their hand causing an affront to a whole batch of people that didn’t request to be ‘gay’ in the first place. That’s why this is a question of ‘access to God’…which anyone straight can enjoy while a gay person is excluded. That troubles me.

    • So if your wife decided she wanted to start sleeping with other men, you would be ok with that as “you don’t want to hold anything back from her”?

      I like how you reference it being a kingdom. Man doesn’t make the rules to the kingdom of God, God does. If we say that we think the rule is antiquated and that it is no longer in force, we don’t have the authority to actually make it true. It isn’t a democracy. There are no votes or polls for public opinion. Most people don’t seem to get that part of it.

  26. “So then, who is the laggard and who is the leader? The answer is obvious. The church is living in the past and is repressing the inherent rights of the citizen” (Johnny)

    I couldn’t agree more. The wonderful church that holds itself as ‘good news’ and an ‘ethical leader’ is becoming neither. It makes me wonder what is the actual role of the church in society when it is lagging in morality compared to societies it exists in? It’s no wonder why churches are becoming more and more empty – they play no role in society anymore…something needs to change.

  27. “So if your wife decided she wanted to start sleeping with other men, you would be ok with that as “you don’t want to hold anything back from her”?” (Xander)

    Within the restrictions of monogamous love obviously. We made committments to one another – and that was a right we both accepted as an oath (equal – for me and for her). To break that is to break the committment we signed up for. So no, I wouldn’t – based on the committment factor we had set in place.

    However, let’s say it’s another more vague right – like having her mother live with us or something. We would discuss and work out a compromise on something we made no vows about. That’s equality.

    “Man doesn’t make the rules to the kingdom of God, God does. If we say that we think the rule is antiquated and that it is no longer in force, we don’t have the authority to actually make it true. It isn’t a democracy. There are no votes or polls for public opinion. Most people don’t seem to get that part of it.” (Xander)

    Is the kingdom made for man or is man made for the kingdom?

  28. “The only thing between us is I do not agree with the lifestyle. Why is that wrong?” -Xander

    this sounds like a colonial mindset. if the savages/blacks/gays/rest of the world would only adopt our lifestyle and mindset, then the world would be a much better place.

  29. Pardon my bluntness, but here goes… you are all arguing about what your mutual imaginary friend wants concerning a behavior that is nobody’s business.

  30. “you are all arguing about what your mutual imaginary friend wants concerning a behavior that is nobody’s business.” (Ed)

    I think that’s fine, but someone’s got to defend the little guy?

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