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Legimate question for my Christian friends.

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Pagan, Apr 16, 2009.

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  1. Pagan

    Pagan Metal & a Mustang

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    I was reading the paper this morning about the new Archbishop Nolan in NY, and one of the first things out of his mouth was that he would oppose in any way shape or form any attempt to legalize gay marriage in NY.

    Now, I know that being gay is against the Christian beliefs, so I know why you'd oppose it. My question is this....

    If a person is gay, doesn't it stand to figure that the person is no longer a Christian? I've heard it said many times, "you can't be gay and be Christian."

    If this is true, then why does the church have a problem with gay marriage? It's not Christians who are gay and trying to marry, so isn't this in the strictest sense imposing their will upon those of other faiths?

    I've heard the argument that marriage is a Christian ritual, but isn't that a tad presumptuous? Couples have been uniting LONG before there was Christianity, so when did it become strictly a Christian notion?

    I'm not being condescending, I'm just curious as to why Christians feel they own the patent on marriage.
     
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  2. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box




    First of all good questions, well asked, thank you.

    BEING Gay is not strictly against the beliefs of Christianity for most Christians. Some would (and will here I am sure) disagree with me but the self understanding of sexual identity is not intrinsically a sin. ACTING on the behavior is where the sin happens. So if your are unmarried (gay or straight) the Church's official position is you are to be chaste



    While that does get said a lot, the folks who say it, in my opinion, are wrong. Let me step back a moment and give a little background. Within my tradition and I believe for most of Christianity we understand Christians to be "simul eustis est peccator" that is we are at the same time saint and sinner. It is a mistake to assume, either inside or outside the Christian faith, that because a person is a Christian they are sinless.

    One is a Christian by a free gift of God in Christ worked out in us by the presence and work of the Holy Spirit; not by what one does or does not do. Conversely our sin does not exclude us from God's love and forgiveness.

    Thus there are many gay folks who still see themselves as Christians and who I at least would recognize as such.

    Where the rub happens is we are taught that repentance involves turning from repetitive sin and especailly away from public sin which would bring disrepute upon the Church and another's relationship with God. It is here in the public nature and unrepentant nature of some sins that more emphasis gets laid.

    Personally I am amazed regularly how sins involving sexuality get such big play when sins of greed, etc. get a lot more play in the Bible and are often ignored in the public.


    There are two issues in play here, one religious and the other political/historical. On the religious side, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and some few Protestant groups view marriage sacrementally. That is to say that God is at work within the marriage service in special, grace giving ways. Anything that is seen as diminishing that will be opposed.

    On the historical/political side is a nuance of this country. In Europe all marriages are a product of the state. Everyone is married at "the court house". Then those who chose (and for many years that was nearly everyone) would cross the town square and have their marriages blessed in a ceremony in the church.

    In America those functions have been merged. I am actually licensed by the Secretary of State in Ohio to perform marriages on behalf of the state. In other states the law reads that ordained clergy are authorized (and in some places required) to sign licenses issued by the county courts.

    The church has been brought into the civil realm of doing the state's job. It makes for a testy issue where by virtue of being in the state's "employ" the church is being asked to do things it does not want to do.

    Pastors in Ohio who would support gay marriage have stopped signing the licenses and are demanding a move towards a European model. Frankly for lots of reasons I would support that attempt.

    I have practiced civil disobediance of the marriage laws in the past, performing religious services for folks without a state license when getting married legally would radivcally diminish a person's income (speciafically loss iof retirement income among the elderly).

    I hope this answers some of your questions.
     
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  3. Pagan

    Pagan Metal & a Mustang

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    Yes you did...thanx bro. One thing strikes me though.

    Maybe I'm getting this wrong...but what it comes across to me is that you'd marry people and cheat the government, but you wouldn't marry people if they were gay?

    I'm confused.

    That and this one:

    So they can remain Christian so long as they spend their entire lives alone and suppress their feelings?
     
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  4. maynard

    maynard Who, whom?

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    of course one can be gay and be a christian. we are all sinners
     
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  5. Stitches

    Stitches ThePhin's Biggest Killjoy Luxury Box

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    Why haven't I seen things about the church opposing atheists getting married?

    Does the news not report that (because that would indeed make sense if that is the case)?
     
  6. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I will perform a marriage that meets with the spiritual beliefs of my tradition whether the state likes it or not. I used that example though as an example of why many clergy are upset with acting as the state's agent.


    It can appear that way and frankly some gay people hear our position as that. In truth many of us have impulses to do things which are wrong either in the eyes of God or the state. We are called to rein those impulses in for our good and the good of the community. If a gay person acts on their feelings they are not excluded from the faith but like everyone else we are asked to rein in those things which are sinful.

    Atheists don't ask to get married in the church so we don't have anything to say about them. The gay issue comes because many people from many religious persuasions (Christian, Jewish, Islamic) see same sex, genital, sexual behavior as intrinsically wrong and harmful to society and the individual.

    Now this may seem shocking to all of you but I don't have a problem with some form of civil union for same sex couples. I would not perform one but there is a legitimate civil rights issue on estate transferal etc. that gay couples should be entitled to. I may disagree with them but I think they should be treated fairly.
     
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  7. emeraldfin

    emeraldfin All I've got is insane

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    Have to say, its greatly re-freshing to hear a person with a strong belief in Christianity say that. That type of attitude has sadly been lost on many Christians, but its good to hear that some dont adopt a narrow minded attitude towards homosexuals, they may not share the same values but they should not be condemned either.

    Something worth mentioning also is that, according to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus is that sex is A) for procreation and B) a gift for married couples and a sign of love between a man and a women. So from what I have been lead to believe is that if a couple do not tick those two boxes, but yet act out on their desires they are commiting a sin. So basically sex before marriage is as great a sin as homosexuality. Unfortunetly I do not know my Bible as well as I could but I'm sure Ohio or someone else with a good command of scripture could rattle off verses from Genesis that outline Gods intention for man and woman regarding sexual ehtics and behaviour.

    For homosexuals that means a life of celibacy, as it goes against Gods plan for humans according to the Bible. If they do not act out on their urges then they do not commit a sin. That unfortunetly has to be the way. Its the same for a straight person. If they do not get married then they must remain celibate until they do.
     
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  8. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    I disagree with your premise Ohiophin, when a council of men decided to overthrow any sense of what "Hath God said..." then Christianity is reduced to opinion only, the "next" council can then overturn the previous one and so on and so forth and thusly reduce any idea of the possibility of a separation from God via one's own actions.

    Then such a sanction is of no effect, if there is no impetus to change the behaviour, what would it matter if the behavour occurs or not? What is being proposed is a terrible vista of action=guilt=repentence=start cycle over again instead of renewed mind and spirit a existence ridden with guilt seems preferable?

    As for "can a homosexual be a Christian"?

    Scripture would say "no", personally, and I'm thankful for it, we are not to judge another's Salvation, that is between the individual and the Lord, actions do speak, but we look at things through human eyes, not through the Lord's eyes, he knows hearts far better then "we" ever could so perhaps the Lord will say "yes", that is my hope anyway.

    As for Civil Unions, I can't support them from a Christian worldview as that is a sort of endorsement of behaviour, that said, Caeser will do what Caeser will do, "our" battle as it were is with powers and principalities and not with the local courthouse clerk or state legislature.
     
  9. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    I want to know exactly how being gay is bad for the community or hurts the community in any way....thats my question for this thread.

    Isn't gluttony a sin? How come you dont fight to limit the amount of chocolate bars a person can buy? Why is being gay such a bad sin you are willing to fight against it, but not others?
     
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  10. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I'm not sure I fully understand what part of what I said that you are disagreeing with in your first paragraph so I would have a little trouble responding and keeping the conversation going.

    Regarding the question of whether you can be gay and Christian we seem to disagree somewhat. I guess in that regard I would ask a couple of questions; do you accept the concept of "saint and sinner" for Christians? If so, then would you say a greedy person can be a Christian? or a fat person? or???? Are there certain behaviors you would identify as beyond the pall?

    If you don't accept "saint and sinner" then are you contending that salvation is ultimately in our hands or God's hands? Do we have to add something to the cross for it to become effective in our lives?

    All of the above have a place under the big tent that is Christianity so I am trying to get a sense of what your positions are before I try to make a logical answer.

    Finally on the civil union issue, our positions aren't that different. As I said, I would not perform a service for a same sex couple and would agree that chastity is the only Biblical answer outside of marriage. Given that there are gay coiuples trying to be faithful, they should be accorded the same protections under the law that everyone else has. In the Kingdom of the left hand (the realm of the world) justice is the key Christian virtue.
     
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  11. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I'll answer the second question first; yes gluttony is a sin and part of my problem with this topic is that both the church and society spend far too much time and effort on sins regarding sexuality and far too little time on the rest of things which are more harmful, such as greed, gluttony, avarice, etc.

    Regarding the harm issue, this becomes more of an answer for the church. Others will have different opinions but my answer would be that anything which concentrates that much energy on something other than our relationship with God and others is harmful to society and ultimately to a person's own relationships. The commercialization of sex, rampant promiscuity, and the rest of the sexual sins would be things that in my opinion and I believe in the opinion of the church woulkd draw people away from "loftier" pursuits.
     
  12. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thanks for your note and addition to this topic. Regarding the bolded "and". I think that should read "and/or". There has never been a sanction, to my knowledge, against a couple too old for procreation from continuing to be intimate.

    Regarding the second bolded sentence, thank you. The vast majority of the world is straight and it becomes very easy for that majority to point their fingers at gays and say, "be chaste" while not heeding the sanctions on their own behavior.
     
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  13. Pagan

    Pagan Metal & a Mustang

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    Okay...now I KNOW I'm going to hell. Fifteen years playing in rock bands before I was married....

    I'm doomed. :lol:
     
  14. emeraldfin

    emeraldfin All I've got is insane

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    :lol: :sidelol:

    Bet it was totally worth it though dude!!!
     
  15. Pagan

    Pagan Metal & a Mustang

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    You betcha. :tongue2:
     
  16. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Oh thanks!

    Come on, ol' buddy, I knew your were doomed long before you put that image (which I will now need counseling to remove) in my brain!



    :wink2:
     
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  17. Pagan

    Pagan Metal & a Mustang

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    Bro...you have NO idea. Ever see "Behind the Music" on VH1? :D
     
  18. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    No I haven't and my guess is the little devil on my shoulder would like to. I think I'll just take a cold shower and let it go at that! :yes:
     
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  19. Pagan

    Pagan Metal & a Mustang

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    Smart move, bro. :wink2:
     
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  20. DrAstroZoom

    DrAstroZoom Canary in a Coal Mine Luxury Box

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    Once again, Pagan raises the bar on civil discourse. :up:

    I know what I believe on gay marriage, but I wish the church would spend more time bringing people to Christ and less time convicting of sin: that's the Holy Spirit's job.
     
  21. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    What part of the post?



    Are we to be renewed day by day in increasing closeness with God, or is there is no effect in our Faith it being merely ritual and tradition?

    Why ask a question then answer it for oneself? If one relies on Romans, then why not ALL of Romans and not just the shiney happy predesitinated portion while not taking into consideration the less then PC portions?

    Narrow is the gate Ohiophin.

    Justice or Obedience? Are the two separate concepts, hostile to one another?

    Or does Justice require Obedience first?

    If I had my way, a Eusebian Universalism would be outstanding, alas, it's not so Ohiophin and that being the case, I must speak.
     
  22. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Padre, I must be especially dense today because I simply can not follow what you are trying to say to me, I am sorry.
     
  23. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    No worries Ohiophinphan.
     
  24. RickyNeverInhaled

    RickyNeverInhaled Well-Known Member

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    christians are against gay marriage b/c they don't want God's wrath to hit the nation they live in. There's several biblical stories about God's wrath hitting an entire group of people due to sin. The wages of sin is death (physically and spiritually) God would be justified in destroying all of us due to sin, the only thing that's stopping him from doing that is his mercy. But there's plenty of reasons for God to judge this country. Gay marriage might be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
     
  25. Stitches

    Stitches ThePhin's Biggest Killjoy Luxury Box

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    I'm sorry for being so ignorant about this, but does the bible say anything about divorce? Like is divorce a sin, or not allowed? (because of the whole "til death do you part" thing)

    Because I would think that'd be a far bigger straw than gay marriage if divorce is indeed a sin or whatever.
     
  26. RickyNeverInhaled

    RickyNeverInhaled Well-Known Member

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    thanks for picking a complicated subject.

    The bible says that God hates divorce.(Malachi 2:16)
    It also says, what God has joined together, let man not seperate.
    It also says (Matthew 19:9) Jesus said, "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." What most people don't know is that the the bible uses different words in greek and hebrew but when its translated into english it only uses one word...divorce.
    in one instance the bible uses the word divorce meaning separation.
    In another instance the bible uses the word divorce meaning a separation with papers (legally binding divorce). in the verse that says "if a man or woman divorces their spouse and remarries another person, they have committed adultery", it's using the word meaning "separates". In other words its saying if a man or woman separates with their spouse and then marries someone else, they've committed adultery b/c they're still married to the person they seperated with. Because it wasn't a legal divorce with papers!

    it should also be noted that the "sexual immorality" in this verse....
    (Matthew 19:9) Jesus said, "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." ..... is the greek word pornea which means a long list of things that have to do with marrital unfaithfulness. there's no mistake that the root word for the greek word is the word porn aka pornography. Jesus gives this "sexual immorality/pornea" as a reason for divorce being permissable.

    ICorinthians 7:15 also gives another reason for divorce. It talks about trying to save a marriage if possible, but it says .."But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace."

    The bible states that God had a divorce (with papers) with Isreal. you can find references to this in jer 3:8 Isiah 50:1 and Hosea 2:2. Of course God did this under the principle found in I Cor 7:15 and Matthew 19:9. Isreal was unfaithul to God and Isreal (the unbeliever) left God, there for God divorced Isreal with papers (legally binding divorce). Then God made himself available to anyone, that's why salvation is available to anyone.


    So to sum it all up. God doesn't like divorce. He doesn't want it to happen, he wants us to work it out if at all possible, but he does give us a few reasons where divorce is permissable. But i would say if you have a divorce for any reason other than the exceptions that God gives us, than in that case divorce is a sin. But it's also not a sin if you try to work it out but your spouse wants to leave anyway and/or if your spouse is unfaithful or commits sexual immorality.


    i hope i didn't confuse you. feel free to ask questions.
     
  27. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Why isn't heterosexuality one of the 10 Commandments?
     
  28. emeraldfin

    emeraldfin All I've got is insane

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    Its an interesting, yet very confusing issue. You take opposing views for example. The Protestan Church deem divorce as being tragic but permissable. Yet the Catholic Church condemn it out-right. So its pretty much down to interpretation of the Bible.

    You pretty much sum it up with the answer you gave, that there is hugely conflicting verses in the Bible about divorce. This for me is a reason why I have very little faith in Sacred Scripture. Its amazing how different the NT accounts dealing with divorce are. Heres an example.

    Matthew 5:31-32:
    "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."

    Yet another account of the Sermon on the Mount and based on the same conversation states..........

    Mark 10:2-12:
    "And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him...And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

    Its very clear to me that one of these authors has changed what Jesus actually said to suit his beliefs. For me that is a very scary prospect that we could be adopting what we think are the words of Jesus, yet are the views of someone else.
     
  29. DrAstroZoom

    DrAstroZoom Canary in a Coal Mine Luxury Box

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    Because it's covered under "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
     
  30. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Thanks for that.

    I think the one thing that is clear is that the bible we see was subject to the interpretations of previous authors and translators. And that the Roman Catholic church and other denominations have further made their own interpretations, many arriving at different conclusions.

    Obviously, people and churches can have their own opinions, but the claim that anything is absolutely God's law is questionable at best.
     
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  31. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    I thought adultery was cheating on a spouse. Is that the modern definition, while there was an older meaning?
     
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  32. DrAstroZoom

    DrAstroZoom Canary in a Coal Mine Luxury Box

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    I thought it was sex outside of marriage.
     
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  33. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    The Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh or Old Testament) prohibits adultery in the seventh of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14). It should be noted though that during biblical times marriage was seen as a property transaction and the definition of adultery was quite narrow. During biblical times adultery was defined as a married woman having sex with someone other than her husband. The definition did not, however, forbid a married man from having sex with a woman other than his wife provided she was not married to someone else. (Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22).

    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adultery[/ame]

    There have been many other interpretations both legal and cultural throughout history. It just goes back to the point that any of these absolute positions are really just individual interpretations and opinions.
     
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  34. RickyNeverInhaled

    RickyNeverInhaled Well-Known Member

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    In the NIV translation this verse is confusing b/c it uses the same word divorce, but with different meanings.

    31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'[a] 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

    The first time the word divorce appears it means "put away" (seperated) and certificated of divorce (legal divorce) but the second time the word divorce appears it only means "put away" (seperated).

    So Jesus is just saying if you and your wife get seperated and you marry someone else, you've committed adultery b/c you're really still married to the person you seperated with b/c it wasn't a legal divorce with papers.

    But back to your point about the 2 verses sounding different, i see them as the same thing. one of the verses throws in an explanation for which word "divorce" was being used.....with papers. I believe matthew was written to the jews thats why it says it has been said that if you have a divorce you must give a wriiten document for the divorce b/c that was the law given to them by moses. the other scripture from mark leaves that out b/c his audience doesn't know the law of moses. i believe mark was writting to the gentiles. the gentiles had a common practice of "putting away" thier spouse without papers.

    the 2 verses were on 2 different occassions. the one in matthew was a teaching of jesus' from the sermon on the mount. the one from mark was when jesus was being questioned by the pharisee's then later the dicsciples asked him questions about the same thing. the pharisee's were trying to trap him by saying is it lawful for a man to divorce "put away" his wife. jesus answered by telling them the law of moses which was to "put away" and have papers (divorce). later on jesus was explaining this to the disciples by going further into detail about if you just divorce "put away" your wife, you're really still married to her, therefor if you marry someone else you're committing adultery.

     
  35. anlgp

    anlgp ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A

    so if i'm reading this correctly if you marry someone who has been divorced that's commiting adultery?

    also; i'm going to hell.
     
  36. RickyNeverInhaled

    RickyNeverInhaled Well-Known Member

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    i don't know. some might say that he covers that in forbidding idolatry b/c romans 1 talks about the root of homosexuality being idolatry.

    but one things for sure, God's against it in the old testament and the new testament. he says its an abomination.

    maybe that wasn't a problem at the time and he never addressed it until it was a problem. just like we create new laws anytime someone does something wrong that the law doesn't cover. it's clear from the beggining (genesis) that God intended man to be with a woman. romans 1 also points out that God makes his view on this subject clear through creation. have you seen any gay animals? lol. well some animals will hump anything. lol
     
  37. RickyNeverInhaled

    RickyNeverInhaled Well-Known Member

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    that's why the Holy Spirit is my teacher! you can burn all the bibles in the world and the Holy Spirit will end up teaching me everything in the Bible with the true intent that it was written if i allow Him to.
     
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  38. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Before someone chimes in on the trouble with translations, let me say something. Among the world's major religions only Christianity strives to put the sacred texts into the language of the people. An observant Jew still needs to learn Hebrew. a Moslem Arabic, and so on. Christianity from its inception (Jesus spoke Aramaic but the NT is written in koine Greek) sought to bring God's word to people in their everyday tounge.

    Yes it has trouble as language evolves but the alternative is saying you can not speak to God in your own language and that to me would be worse.
     
  39. RickyNeverInhaled

    RickyNeverInhaled Well-Known Member

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    i would have to bring out my study books to give you the greek/hebrew meaning of the word adultery in whatever verse we want to discuss with that word in it.

    One things for sure, jesus always took things to the next level. he's said things like (paraphrased)"you've heard it said, don't commit adultery. But i tell you that anyone who has lusted after another woman has committed adultery in his heart."
     
  40. anlgp

    anlgp ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A

    oh damn.

    i'm definitely going to hell.
     
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