I have to warn you that this is the longest blog post I have ever written. If you make it to the end, you deserve a cookie. It’s about gay marriage, for which I am on the “pro” side, even though I am a Christian. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon with a great recipe for buffalo chicken dip, I promise.
I can’t stay quiet any more. Ever since the Supreme Court ruling there is a viral blog post circulating my Facebook feed daily titled 40 Questions For Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags that I would like to address simply by answering the questions. As one of the “rainbow flag waving Christians” it’s directed towards, frankly, it’s really pissing me off. At first I thought most of these questions were supposed to be snarky and rhetorical, but the author says that is not the case. They really do come off that way, though, and so do some of my answers. I’m going to answer all 40 questions anyway, as honestly as I can. If nothing else it will make me feel better to know it is off my chest when the darn thing gets shared in my feed 80 times a day. (We live in an especially conservative area here in Amish country and it really is infiltrating our culture.) Maybe it will serve to spark an honest discussion.
Look, I went to Catholic school from second grade through graduate school. My junior year of high school I was accepted into a special program at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore and I studied there every week. I was a peer minister and attended all kinds of national Christian retreats and leadership conferences. We are raising our children in the church. I’ve spent a lifetime studying The Word. I did not form my opinions by watching too many episodes of Will and Grace, thankyouverymuch.
And, yes, I do still support the legalization of gay marriage, and I will answer all of these ridiculous holier-than-thou questions and tell you exactly why. I have real friends and real former students whose lives are being affected by these laws and our reactions to them. They deserve to have Christians who will stand up for them.
1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?
For as long as I can remember, but how is this relevant? For the sake of argument, let’s all say that we agree from this point forward that homosexuality is a sin, because clearly that’s where you are going with this. (Even if you don’t believe that as a reader, just try to go with it for a minute and stay with me. Accepting this premise is key to answering these particular pointed questions because it extinguishes the entire argument from the other side, since that is the only thing they have going for them and all they will do is keep repeating it. And, yes. It does say that in the Bible. We know. We can read.) Since our country has always believed in separating church and state and not persecuting people because of their religious beliefs–in fact it’s one of the founding ideals of this country– I believe that we should not use sin as a reason to deny citizens civil rights. Where would that end? To what other sins would we apply this philosophy? Should we start denying health insurance and tax deductions to every man who looks at pornography or to any woman who has ever had an affair? Literally every human being is guilty of sin, and everyone who has gone through puberty is most likely guilty of some type of sexual sin. You cannot possibly be serious about singling out one sin and using it as your only reason to deny an entire group of people civil liberties, can you? Oh, wait. I guess you are because there are still 39 more questions.
2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind?
I never changed my mind, but the idea of separating church and state when necessary is not unbiblical. Jesus says in Matthew 22:21, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
I also believe that Jesus came to pay the price for ALL of our sins. ALL of them. Not just mine, and not just yours, but theirs too. We have all been cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb.
“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” –Acts 10:15
I’m not saying that you have to agree with anyone’s personal sins, but I am saying that when you call them out so publicly and without a trace of empathy or compassion that personally I believe you are in direct violation of that verse and therefore no better than the person you are calling out.
Incidentally, that’s the same verse Christians use to justify why we don’t eat Kosher anymore. It’s the verse to which we point to prove that culture changes over time. Some of us still don’t want to believe that we are now experiencing a cultural shift.
Because God can change his mind about bacon, but not His own children? That makes a lot of sense. Let me ask you, what if the animals in Peter’s vision weren’t just a metaphor for food? What if the fact that the sheet went back up to Heaven three times with things that were previously considered unclean represents three different major cultural shifts presented to the Church as represented by Peter (the rock of the church)? What if this is one of them?
This is not just coming from my own limited perspective. Although I did come up with that philosophy about the verse in Acts, I doubt I’m the first person to do so. Churches have held councils about this very thing. And several denominations are already allowing homosexual marriages after many times in prayer and in the Word. The Lutheran church has allowed same-sex partnerships among their clergy since 2009.
3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same-sex is a blessing to be celebrated?
I think you are getting pretty hung up on the sexual mechanics here and missing the forest through the trees. What I am actually saying is to be celebrated is the fact that the Supreme Court did its job, which is to protect the rights of citizens of this country and uphold the Constitution, which no one can argue is exactly what they did. But, to your question, is sexual activity really what we celebrate when we celebrate a marriage? Because I, for one, have never once gone to a wedding (gay, straight or otherwise) where they toasted the couple for their “sexual activity.” Furthermore, please see my answer to the previous question.
4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same-sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”- Ephesians 5:25”
In any marriage one person gives him or herself up for the other, regardless of gender, just as Christ gave Himself up for the church.
5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?
We’re talking about the outcast who traveled with a band of tax collectors, adulterers, and appeared to a murderer? Same guy who turned over tables and didn’t sit well with Pharisees because hypocrisy and hiding behind the laws of the church while forsaking the people in need right in front of your face were at the top of His “I can’t stand this crap” list? Quite honestly, I think He would have found a way to tell you to shut up and stop throwing stones. Although I think He would have been nicer about it and done it more passive aggressively, probably through a parable. The last time I checked, He took those nails for your sins, too. And for mine. Have you gotten drunk lately? Looked at porn? (Or maybe just a Victoria’s Secret catalogue.) Said the Lord’s name in vain? Skipped church to go on vacation with your family? Did anybody write a blog post with 40 obnoxious questions discussing your worth as a human being and why you don’t deserve to have the same basic rights as other American citizens because of it? Facebook is just another dirt road and our words are our weapons. Do we really want to throw them?
I know what the Bible says. I also know that the only people in the Bible who do nothing but quote scripture and continually try to test the philosophy of Jesus (who, by the way, told His disciples to accept the Gentiles into His church even when they didn’t want to because those people were sinners who didn’t follow ancient Jewish laws and used the Samaritan in His parable to illustrate the same point) are the Pharisees. Even when the Pharisees were correct about what the Scriptures said, Jesus doesn’t seem to like them very much because their way of doing things was not only hypocritical, it was missing something: love. They were so focused on the letter of the law that they missed the miracles happening right in front of them. That is not an example that I care to emulate.
6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?
You should really cite passages when you say things like this. Since you didn’t, I’m going to have to assume you are talking about Matthew 19:4, where it clearly says that the reason Jesus answered that question was because the Pharisees were testing Him about divorce. So, there’s your reason: hardheaded leaders who can’t get past literal interpretation are trying to test the philosophies of Jesus. Sound familiar? Funny though, that just four verses before that it says, “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” Telling, don’t you think? Because I’ll tell you what, I think God knew what he was doing when he put that verse directly in front of the one everyone is now using to condemn gay marriage.
7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?
Again no reference? Sigh. Ok, I’ll do your homework for you. Matthew 19:9: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” This is what you are talking about, yes? I think he was forbidding married people from having sex with people who weren’t their spouses (adultery) and simultaneously telling men to stop divorcing their wives just because they felt like it. It actually seems pretty straightforward, no?
8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1?
*I’m editing this response because there was some discussion that my original response was not fair to the context of the scripture, which I think might be true. Also, people might not have been quite ready to see the words punishment and orgy used in the same sentence.
In Romans 1 God grows angry with people who did not honor Him. They worshiped false idols and He gave them up “in the lust of their heart…dishonoring their bodies.” And that is the reason that they all start having homosexual sex with each other, presumably, if that’s what is meant by “shameful acts,” as a punishment for dishonoring Him.
I will be the first to admit that I do not fully understand this passage, mostly because I don’t really understand the concept of punishing sin by making people even more sinful, but I don’t think I misinterpreted it. Read it for yourself and see if you interpret it the same way. What I don’t understand is why people are choosing to use this passage as an argument against homosexuality when it is supposed to be an argument for honoring and giving thanks to God and following the First Commandment. I think that taking the focus off of the original crime and putting it onto the punishment, once again taking the focus off of God and putting it onto men, is just repeating the same mistake as the people in the passage. I really don’t think homosexuality is supposed to be the focus of this passage at all. Kind of like when my children are in time out and I ask them why they are there. That should be the focus of this passage. Why were people punished in the first place? I think the point of this passage is for us to focus on the original crime, because that is where the lesson lies. Not in the punishment. The punishment could very well be arbitrary. In this passage the homosexuality was not actually the crime. I’m not even saying the Bible doesn’t say homosexuality is a sin. Yes, there are other passages in the Bible that do focus on homosexuality. But I don’t think this is one of them. (P.S. No, I don’t personally believe that homosexuality is currently a punishment for sin, although some people do use this passage to try to support that argument.)
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” –Romans 1:21-27
But I do have another question for you. I think we can all agree that the Bible does say homosexuality is a sin. I’m not here to try to fight with you about that. To me, this is a civil rights issue and I think civil rights are biblical as well. I think we can all agree that in our own country people were and sometimes still are being persecuted for their homosexuality. If we look to a biblical example about what to do in the face of persecution, we can see that Paul calls upon his Roman citizenship. (Acts 22:28) Even though the majority of people there didn’t like Paul or agree with his lifestyle, they still had to grant him his rights, which were equal to every other Roman citizen. How exactly are our homosexual neighbors supposed to follow that biblical example in the face of their own persecution if we don’t think we should allow them equal rights in the first place?
Be that as it may, I still fail to see why personal sins should have any bearing on one’s ability to be granted a legal marriage. Liars and cowards are on that same list in Revelation. Are we going to deny them their marriage licenses as well on the basis that they are sinners? I’m a sinner. Do you want to revoke my marriage license? Where does it end?
10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?
I’m sorry, are you seriously asking me to make an itemized list of every illicit sexual activity I can think of? Yeah…I won’t be doing that.
11. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp?
This question comes across as incredibly arrogant. First let me in turn ask, are you aware of the long history of the church? Are you aware that Martin Luther wrote, “I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter.” Because, judging by some of your other questions, I’m going to have to assume you didn’t know this.
I’d just like to stress “civil authority has nothing to do in the matter.” So Luther was cool with separating church and state, specifically on the marriage issue. Also, are you aware that culture changes over time and that many of the verses written about sodomy were directed towards men who used gang rape as a weapon against the opposing forces when taking over neighboring cities? I really don’t think that’s what we are talking about here. A loving, legal same-sex monogamous relationship wasn’t even on the radar in that culture. We are talking about a culture in which women were property, concubines weren’t unusual, and people had to actually be told in writing more than once not to have sex with the livestock. Don’t put history on a pedestal.
If you are asking why no one in Biblical times got around to having these conversations, maybe it was because they killed the homosexuals before it got that far. (Leviticus 20:13.) But, we don’t do that anymore, do we? Nor should we. No one in their right mind is going to argue for the death penalty for homosexuals right now, even though you can’t deny it’s right there in black and white in the Scripture. Because, as I’ve been trying to tell you, culture changes dramatically over time. There are verses about homosexuality that even you don’t agree with in practice as being applicable in modern day America, no matter how literal your interpretation.
So, what do I understand about the long history of the church? That it is fluid.
12. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned?
First of all, everyone’s views are culturally conditioned, but you clearly don’t know me very well. Why would I even try to argue to someone against his or her own culture? For that matter, I don’t actually have a new biblically incorrect understanding, sorry to disappoint you.
13. Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman?
I think cultural perspectives are changing and many people in that generation, on both sides of the political agenda, began with one opinion and have swayed in another direction after actually meeting and interacting with the real people and real families that these laws affect. In another 20 years this entire argument is going to seem ridiculous and be revealed to be as bigoted as it actually is. I see it as our generation’s version of Jim Crow. We have already established in all other areas of the law that separate but equal is not actually equal, why would gay marriage be any different from a legal perspective?
14. Do you think children do best with a mother and a father?
That depends. Is the mother an alcoholic? Is the father abusive? Are they both on meth? I think children do best with responsible adults who love and care for them and I think that is a much smoother process when there is more than one adult in the house because single parenting is hard. I think men are an important influence on a child’s life and I saw a lot of fatherless children when I worked in low-income schools who could have really benefitted from that male influence. But I’ve also seen several higher-income same-sex couples raising extremely well-adjusted children. By that token, I think socioeconomic status has more to do with a child’s well-being than the practices in their parents’ bedroom.
15. If not, what research would you point to in support of that conclusion?
I’d start by pointing to this academic paper. It’s called “Child Well-Being in Same-Sex Parent Families.” http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11113-014-9329-6
From its abstract: “We conclude that there is a clear consensus in the social science literature indicating that American children living within same-sex parent households fare just as well as those children residing within different-sex parent households over a wide array of well-being measures: academic performance, cognitive development, social development, psychological health, early sexual activity, and substance abuse. Our assessment of the literature is based on credible and methodologically sound studies that compare well-being outcomes of children residing within same-sex and different- sex parent families. Differences that exist in child well-being are largely due to socioeconomic circumstances and family stability.” – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/gender-society/same-sex-marriage-children-well-being-research-roundup#sthash.XYw9HGIv.dpuf
16. If yes, does the church or the state have any role to play in promoting or privileging the arrangement that puts children with a mom and a dad? N/A
17. Does the end and purpose of marriage point to something more than an adult’s emotional and sexual fulfillment?
Well, yeah. Otherwise we would never get beyond our high school romance phase, would we?
18. How would you define marriage?
As a union of two consenting adults: emotionally, physically, spiritually, and legally.
19. Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married?
Are you seriously going there and implying that gay marriage is just a gateway drug to allowing fathers to marry their young daughters or for brothers and sisters to get married? This isn’t Game of Thrones. Not to mention that Leviticus chapters 18 & 20 are much more detailed about prohibiting incest than any verse about homosexuality. Although disturbingly, they do not seem to mention anything about preventing biological father/daughter sexual relationships, I’m still going with a big fat NO! But don’t mind me, that’s just my cultural conditioning talking. (And most scholars believe that the daughter relationship isn’t specifically mentioned in most translations because it would have been obvious during the time in which it was written as well.)
20. Should marriage be limited to only two people?
I personally don’t love the idea of polygamy because it has a pretty historically awful track record for women and it could potentially put employers and the government in a position of having to provide health care and other benefits for multiple spouses and dependents. But we can’t entirely say it’s unbiblical, can we? (Well, you might. But if you do you have your facts seriously skewed and you might have forgotten to actually read your Bible, where polygamy is tolerated and never expressly forbidden. Don’t let a pesky little thing like facts get in your way, though.)
21. On what basis, if any, would you prevent consenting adults of any relation and of any number from getting married?
Me personally? I’m not stopping anybody because *I* don’t sit on any court. Why exactly do I need to prevent any consenting adults from getting married? I can’t believe this is even a serious question. Did I not just answer the incest and polygamy questions? Meh, I guess let’s keep it at second cousins and you have to show your latest tax return before the Powers That Be will approve a second marriage license. ::rolls eyes::
22. Should there be an age requirement in this country for obtaining a marriage license?
Seriously, what is wrong with everyone who assumes gay marriage means we’re going to be marrying off the toddlers next? I honestly don’t understand how we are making this leap. Yes, of course there should be an age requirement for a marriage license. There is an age requirement for a driver’s license and a liquor license, why wouldn’t there be?
23. Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage?
24. If not, why not?
Because you didn’t put any parameters on the question.
A 9-year-old shouldn’t be able to get married, nor should someone be able to marry a paper bag or their favorite childhood stuffed animal and reap all of the legal benefits. But two legal, sane, consenting adults who are preferably not from the same family unit? Um, yeah. Because this is America and people have rights here. It’s kind of our thing.
25. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion?
Again, yes. Because this is America. No one is going to stop you from being a Christian. But what exactly are you asking for the right to do? If you are saying you are going to go all Westboro Baptist or KKK on me, then nope, sorry. You can exercise your beliefs all you want, but you can’t necessarily do that without fear of retribution. In other words, don’t be a jackass. Karma is only a peach if you are.
26. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?
What the @*%^ are you talking about? I’m amazed we made it this long before I swore at you. You do realize that most other first world countries have had this policy in place for quite some time and “the gays” have not taken over the world, right? Gay marriage has been legal in Canada for a decade. But sure, hypothetically, if for some bizarre reason giving your neighbor the right to take a tax deduction and make a relationship they were having anyway legal now suddenly turns against you and your “freedoms are threatened,” I’ll speak up. Which would be ironic, wouldn’t it? Seeing as how I assume you did not speak up when their freedoms, their jobs, their reputations, and their families actually were threatened over the span of your entire life up until last month.
27. Will you speak out against shaming and bullying of all kinds, whether against gays and lesbians or against Evangelicals and Catholics?
Um, yeah, I will, actually. I’ve done it before and I’m doing it again right now. Will you?
28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles?
How’s the air up there on your high horse? Do you even understand this question? I’ll do the same thing I do for my straight friends, which is to say virtually nothing other than checking in every now and again and being there for them if there is ever a problem and they need to talk. What else do you want? I’m not a marriage counselor.
29. Should gay couples in open relationships be subject to church discipline?
I’m going with no. Look, my husband and I lived together before we got married and no one said “boo” to us about it. Everyone in your church over the age of 13 is dealing with some sort of sexual indiscretion from impure thoughts, to premarital sex, all the way to extramarital affairs. If you are fortunate enough to have an openly gay couple attending your church, then they are actively seeking a relationship with God and I’m quite sure they are already wrestling with what they know the Bible says. It is not your job to discipline them about that, especially if you are under the (what I believe to be false) impression that their homosexuality itself is a punishment for sin. Why would you further punish someone for enduring a punishment? That’s like putting a child in time-out for being in time-out. We all have our own sins and we will all account for them one day. I feel confident in saying they have most likely been through a great deal of grief and personal struggle before they got to a place where they were able to be in an openly gay relationship in the first place.
Does this couple have children? What do you think your discipline is going to do to that family dynamic? Are they married? Many states have allowed gay marriage for quite a while. How does what God says about divorce apply? What if they got married before joining the church? Are you saying you recommend those happy same-sex marriages with children divorce? Or are you only talking about disciplining gay couples who are not married? Do you discipline straight couples who are not married in your church for any sexual sins they may have committed with each other?
30. Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage?
What kind of question is this? Is it a sin for straight people? Why are you so obsessed with the sex itself? Is it because that is the only thing that you think is sinful? Would you consent to a sexless gay marriage? Because, this might be news to you, but I know a lot of straight married couples who don’t have sex all that often anyway. Sex is only a fraction of what makes a marriage.
31. What will open and affirming churches do to speak prophetically against divorce, fornication, pornography, and adultery wherever they are found?
I guess they will speak against it, won’t they? Why don’t you ask any of the major denominations that have already allowed gay marriage into their congregations? Honestly, these questions are growing pretty tiresome.
32. If “love wins,” how would you define love?
Um…As the thing that won.
Love is the strongest force in the universe and it will overcome evil every time.
33. What verses would you use to establish that definition?
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” –Corinthians 13:13
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”- 1 Peter 4:8.
34. How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love?
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”-Matthew 22:36-40.
Love is the greatest commandment.
If you are writing and sharing blog posts and Facebook statuses about how wrong homosexuality is, you are most certainly not loving your neighbor as yourself. I should not have to ask you how you think it makes our homosexual friends and neighbors feel to think that many members of the church, the one organization in the world that is founded on the basis of accepting all people exactly as they are and welcoming them warts and all, are currently publicly condemning them. This is our chance to open our arms to an entire culture of people in America and we are using this pivotal time to embitter them against the church instead. How many gay teenagers are crying themselves to sleep because they can’t talk to anyone, not even their youth pastors, without knowing that they will be met with nothing but more harsh criticism? How many families are afraid to come to church because two moms or two dads don’t know what the reaction will be when they sign their daughter or their son into the nursery on Sunday? It is not our job to guilt people into feeling bad about themselves. It is our job to lift them up, especially when they are down, and to tell them that God knows that we are sinners and Jesus paid that price for all of us. That is the message of an evangelizing church. It is not, nor has it ever been, “You are not welcome here until you can sin no more.” Nor is it, “It is my job to judge your sins as greater than my own and therefore should I have more rights than you do, even though I sin just as much and my sins are just as condemned in the scripture.” So why are we sending that message?
Homosexuality is referenced 6 times in the Bible. In the New International Version, love is mentioned 551 times. So, yes, I do think #lovewins. By a landslide.
I made this handy visual for those of us who are having trouble seeing that it actually is a biblical philosophy.
35. Do you believe it is possible to love someone and disagree with important decisions they make?
Absolutely, as a matter of fact, I think it’s a requirement. Ask any three-year-old if she loves her mom. Now ask if she always likes what her mom tells her. Now ask the mom the same questions about her daughter. However, I do not believe that love looks like criticizing a person’s entire life across all of your social media platforms and speaking out against his or her right to have health insurance or collect Social Security or life insurance for a spouse, which is exactly what many Christians are doing under the guise of “loving the sinner, but not the sin.” That is complete and total bull. Every one of us is a sinner, and will continue to be until the day we die. Telling someone they can’t have the same rights as everyone else until they can no longer be a “sinner” sets up an impossible goal and does nothing but push people away from the church when they most need to be loved.
36. If supporting gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith?
It’s not a change for me, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to see Christians, particularly church leaders, tear down their fellow human beings in the name of the church. (The person who created these questions is apparently a senior pastor.)
37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctives like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost?
Geez. I’ll take “The Most Pretentious Question On Earth” for 300, Alex. It has helped me stand up for those who are being oppressed and recognize that sometimes those who are the most lost are the ones giving directions the loudest. And, hey, look at that, now there are a whole bunch of scripture passages on my blog today.
38. What open and affirming churches would you point to where people are being converted to orthodox Christianity, sinners are being warned of judgment and called to repentance, and missionaries are being sent out to plant churches among unreached peoples?
There are actually quite a few.
The Lutheran Church, for one.
“The 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis passed “Human Sexuality, Gift and Trust,” which approved more positive assessments of same-gender partnerships in the church. On 21 August 2009, the same body passed four ministry policy resolutions that opened the way for congregations to recognize and support such partnerships and for those in committed same-gender partnerships to be rostered leaders within the ELCA.”
ELCA= Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Episcopal Church, The United Church of Christ, and the Presbyterian Church all now allow gay marriage in all of their congregations. Look it up.
39. Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead?
40. When Paul at the end of Romans 1 rebukes “those who practice such things” and those who “give approval to those who practice them,” what sins do you think he has in mind?
Gee wiz, I just couldn’t say. But I would be willing to bet Paul of all people knew a thing or two about forgiveness.
This is the passage you are talking about, right?
“ They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” –Romans 1: 29-32
Hmmm….so God is pro understanding, pro love, and pro mercy here. He’s also against gossip, slander, arrogance, and malice.
Which side of that rainbow flag are you on again?