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May 09, 2008

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Joe Barone

"One way to describe it is unjust systems throw people into misery and mercy brings us to relieve some of their misery, but until we confront the unjust systems by doing justice we're never going to make a change. ..."

Brian McLaren's idea is not a new idea. It is the central issue the church has faced since Jesus (and long before). Even a parable like Jesus' The Rich Man and Lazarus is about systemic evil. The issue is not just that a particular rich man should feed a particular poor man at his door. It is, instead, that the rich man should help reform the system (go and tell my brothers)so that the poor man comes through the door and sits at the table. And the rich man needs to do that, even though his own status and power is reduced as a result. (Obviously all this applies to rich and poor women too, but after all, one of the systemic evils of Jesus' society is that it was patriarchal.)

Maybe McLaren's contribution is to speak this message to Evangelical churches some of whom are heavily into prosperity preaching.

Joe Barone

To me, the only way for churches to get past discrimination against GLBT people and focus on the ministry is for the denominations themselves to stand up for the rights of GLBT people. One reason I am Unitarian Universalist is that the UU denomination does that. So does the UCC, but in my town, at least, the local groups (which are governed by congregational polity) are much different in their approach to this matter.

To me, the treatment of GLBT people is one of the central civil rights issues the church faces. Of course it helps me that I see the Bible as a human document inspired to the extent it reflects people's faithful struggles to relate to God. That makes it possible for me to answer the question, "What about Paul and the Bible?" by saying: "Paul's not Jesus. Paul has a right to be wrong in what he says about homosexuals and others." That's what I really believe.

Dave Miller

Wow. Lots of thoughtful, informative stuff on the blog again today. Thank you, Bill! And thanks to the readers and commenters, too.

Bill, one of your favorite commentators, Martin Marty, had an informative piece recently in the Chronicle of Higher Ed on his former student at the U of C Divinity School, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

You can read it at http://chronicle.com/free/v54/i30/30b00101.htm
in case anyone's interested. I thought Marty did a great job with it!

Just Thinking

The Methodists are struggling terribly these days with homosexuality and clergy. A person whose sexual orientation is non-Methodist is allowed to be ordained, provided that they will not agree not to engage in that particular sin. I believe that's how it comes down, but who has the time or concern to read the sputum coming out of blow-hard church leadership these days? Their idols are a big collection of made-up denominational rules that consume volumes that stack higher than a full collection of all possible Bibles written in every language.

Almost nobody believes they'll never tell a lie again. A politician might claim that, but nobody else. So it would be a lie to sign a statement that you will not be a practicing liar. I'm sure that's why the Methodists in particular would not make you agree to do something like that. The Methodists will accept that you'll be telling lies until you die.

Sooo ... why don't the clergical candidates just lie about what they're going to do and lie about what they are doing. THAT would be okay because the Methodists would expect their clergy to lie. Problem solved. Self-avowed practicing liars CAN be clergy.

It's sad that the Church of Resurrection, for example, has simply shut down all discussion of these issues because comments on all sides are 'too hurtful.'
http://adamhamilton.cor.org/

Just Thinking

Actually, you know what would be better? There should just be a rule that nobody in the Methodist clergical can be a self-avowed, practicing sinner. That would clear out some room at the top.

Joe Barone

JT, I found the link to Adam Hamilton interesting. Thanks.

Dolores Lear

When are Humans going to realize the Truth, that Brothers/Sisters of God, Kill their Brothers/Sisters of God, as their Enemies?

Religion teaches, that 'the 'World'. 'the Flesh' 'the Devil', are responsible for all the problems. The Heterosexual Pleasure Sex Act, results in All Flesh Lust, All Mis-bred Humans, All our Hate, Divisions, Diseases, Killing, and Death.

Luther's Small Catechism. "The Fifth Commandment" 'Thou shalt not kill'.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need."

This is what Jesus Lived by, Love God and Your Fellow Humans as Yourself. What was Jesus' Movement really about? The Kingdom of GOD on Earth? Equal Sharing of Human Needs, and Asexual/Celibacy of the Male.

Even in translations, some of this Truth is still in the Bible, made and translated by Humans, without the 'Supernatural' High Tech Science Knowledge.

All Humans need to Accept, the High Tech Science Knowledge, about the Original Sin, of the Equal Adam and Eve 'Equal Male and Female' Asexual Clone Colony, in Genesis. They were not reproduced by Human Body Birth.

Then Humans can start Equality and Peace on Earth.
Fallen Humans without High Tech Science, could not understand these verses, until Humans again had this High Tech Science, to Know there is another 'God'/High Tech Way to Reproduce Humans.

Either High Tech was possible 'in the beginning', or Humans have Evolved up to this High Tech Science, for the past 100 years.

GOD, the Maker of All Elements of LIFE, does Join the Seed, of Life as we Know it. Either by High Tech Science Cloning Birth, or by Heterosexual Body Birth, it Makes Humans.

Religious Supernatural 'God' Knowledge, Is High Tech Reality Today.


matthewcreath

Bill,
I say all of this respectfully. I guess I'm confused as to what your ultimate source of truth is. Is the bible your source of truth? It doesn't seem like it to be. It seems as if the American Psychological Association is. I also bring into serious question your "exegetical" research you proclaim to have. From your results, it seems that you have performed a great deal of EISEGESIS (putting your own ideas upon scripture) than EXEGESIS (drawing from only what is in the scripture). I know that if you performed basic exegetical principles, you would find a very different result.

Dolores Lear

Bill, if you received two e-mails with the same first sentence, the second one is the one for posting.

I accidentally hit the wrong key and the first one started posting, before I was through, and I hit the red X, but it still may have went through.

Thanks.

PreacherDJ

"I am persuaded, after considerable exegetical work, that the Bible should not be used as a weapon in this debate because it essentially has nothing to say about what, today, we are coming to understand as sexual orientation."

You have said several times, Bill, that you don't believe the Bible condemns homosexuality, despite its repeated and very clear condemnations of homosexual activity for both genders in both Testaments. I have never read you explain how the Bible doesn't say what it clearly says.

Do some people have an inclination towards homosexuality that other people don't have? Absolutely. We all have things that tempt us that may not tempt other people as much. I have never really been tempted to drink alcohol, but others can't pass up the opportunity to get drunk. But to call this inclination towards homosexuality "sexual orientation" and make it something acceptable rather than the dangerous temptation that it is is to lead people astray.

I started to take exception to the characterization of the Bible as a weapon, but that is exactly what it is, according to Ephesians. It is a sword that God uses, that we should use, to fight and destroy evil.

Dolores Lear

Brian McLaren's book "Everything Must Change", is about The 'Emergent Village'.

This Village cannot succeed, until Humans Know what has to be Changed, for Humans to Have Equality, Peace, and Eternal Life After Physical Birth.

McLaren is talking about Jesus' Lifestyle of Equality.
McLaren: What is the Gospel? What was Jesus really trying to do? Absolute truth waters down the Gospel to accommodate modernity.

I do not Know if he says Jesus was Celibate. Humans cannot have very much Change in our Lifestyle, as long as we do not Share Equally of GODs Resources, and Reproduce Asexual Humans by High Tech Science.

Even Reproducing Asexual Human Clones did not work 'in the beginning'. The Adam and Eve Clones were Helpmeets, not Mates. They started reproducing by Body Birth. Why?

Until we Understand, Why they resorted to Body Birth Reproduction, we cannot Solve, the Why of all the Hate, Killing, War, and Our Nuclear Bombs, except to say 'The Original Sin' and Evil Humans and Spirits.

Our High Tech Peace Human Ancestor Gods, and their Pure-bred Adam and Eve Children, has to be Understood, before we blow up our Planet, because of Humans Inheriting Cain's Defective Genetics by Body Birth.

The Truth: GOD does not make Mis-bred Killing Humans. Mis-bred Body Birth Heterosexual Humans do. No One Knows what Mis-bred Defects are in their Genetics.

Eternal Physical Life and Peace, 'Literally' is for Living Humans, not for Dead Humans in 'Heaven', that do not have Physical Life. What does Spirit Life in Heaven mean? The Separation of Body and Soul/Spirit?

Eternal Human Life is for the Living Humans, on Planets and in Spaceships, not for Dead Humans, whose Physical Bodies return to Dirt.


Dolores Lear

On a High Tech Science Physical Human Planet, they are All Pure-bred Equal Male and Female Clone Helpmeets. No Mates, No Children, or Human Descendants of any Kind.

They All have Eternal Physical Life After Birth, and are the Caretakers of their Planet and their Spaceships.

No Divorce, No Multiple Sex Partners, No other Sexual Categories, No Multiple Gods, Religions, Races, Countries. All Equal Asexual Humans.

There are No Body Birth Ties, except to their Clone Helpmeet, to cause their Allegiance to Anything, but GOD/LIFE's Eternal Physical Life, and Each Other on their Home Planet, and in Spaceships.

There is Exciting, Interesting Work to do, and All Jobs are Equal Stature. All the housekeeping jobs, etc., are done by Robots, not Servants and Slaves.

As Jesus stated, there is No Marriage (Sex Act) or Giving in Marriage in Heaven. All are Pure-bred, like the Adam and Eve Colony, and Jesus was 'regenerated' to Pure-bred, before he left Planet Earth, Alive.

All the degrading Lifestyles, and Sexual Problems, Pollution, Killing and War, on Earth, came after Humans were Mis-bred by Body Birth.

If there is Killing and War in Space, like Science Fiction portrays, I do not think it is participated in by our High Tech Peace Ancestors, that Colonized Earth. Their Rules are About Equality and Love, not Hate and Death.

So Are We Ready To Look Forward To Eternal Physical Life After Birth, On Planets And Spaceships, With Our Equal Helpmeet. And Peace And Bliss Forever?

Or, Does Religious Life After Death, in a Spirit Realm, After Physical Hate, Sorrow, Pain, Inequality, and Death from Body Birth, still sound like Heaven?

Eternal Human Life and Peace, 'Literally' Can Be For the Living Humans, with Everlasting Agape Love, not short lived Sexual Lust.

Patricia

"Do some people have an inclination towards homosexuality that other people don't have? Absolutely. We all have things that tempt us that may not tempt other people as much."

Many of us who see homosexuality as sexual orientation and not a choice of following temptation, believe that there is something, in the vast number of homosexuals, that is in their biological make-up. Nothing else would explain a one or two or three-year-old exhibiting clear signs.

I, personally, believe we will discover that this has much to do with hormone levels during pregnancy. There are already a few studies that address this. I also believe we will find a link between artificial hormones generated by plastics and other items that can impact the fetus.

So my question for you, PDJ and Matthew.....if we were to solidify the fact that this is biological, why would God produce a homosexual person; someone who has no choice but to be attracted to the same sex?

Dolores Lear

GLBT are Genetic defects, just as Drinking, Drugs, Eating, and all Flesh Lust Defects are Genetic defects. All are a Sin Result of Heterosexual Body Birth.

Fallen Body Birth Humans, that wrote the Bible, would have the same problem with that defect, as today, and say it was against God. God did not make Heterosexuals, but made Asexual Human Clones, 'in the beginning'.

It depends on our Genetic makeup, and our Different Environments, if we are Over or Under Sexed with Lust, or, if we Over Eat, Over Drink, do Drugs, be Abusers, Pedophiles, Rapists, Killers, etc.

When Genesis is read with a High Tech Science explanation, God made Adam Asexually, without Body Birth, and make Eve Asexually, without Body Birth from Adam's Rib.

We do have this type of High Tech Science Knowledge today. Humans that wrote all this history down, or Mis-translated it, did not have High Tech Science.

Today we do make a Fetus in the lab, without the sex act, supernaturally, that still makes a Human. We just need a High Tech Womb to reproduce Asexually.

So it is Time for Unity, instead of Blame, for our loss of High Tech Genetics and Balanced Environment.

We are All Mis-bred Humans, and come short of the Glory of the Perfect Pure-bred Bodies of the Adam and Eve Colony.

On a High Tech Science Planet there are No Genetic Defects and Diseases, Handed down through Children. There are Only Equal Male and Female Caretaker helpmeets, no Mates or Defective Humans.

It is Time to Understand Heterosexuals are the Original Sinners, Not all the Mis-bred Humans born since, with other Mis-bred Genetic Sexual Needs, or any of the Other Sins, the Result of Body Birth Genetic Physical Mis-breeding, and different Environments.

Just Thinking

Please note, PreacherDJ and Matthew that Bill seems to be discussing sexual orientation, not sexual activity.

Is that the case, Bill?

PreacherDJ

Patricia,

Without conceding (nor disputing) the idea that homosexual desire has a biological component to it, let's say that it does. Let's say that homosexuality is a sin, and also that the temptation to sin is biological. We cannot blame God for our falling to sin, for we make the choice in response to the temptation, and further, God does not tempt. So the question "why would God produce a homosexual person" is not valid because that person made a choice to become homosexual. But it is also similar to asking "why would God produce a person with such-and-such a birth defect?" The birth defect, and the temptation towards homosexuality, come as the result of living in a fallen/sinful world.

Further, although we do seem to have inclinations not of our choosing, it is a lie to ourselves and others to say "I can't help how I feel." We are in control of our feelings, and we can change them if we want to. Just ask someone whose marriage was on the brink of destruction, and then remembered that love is a choice, and worked on loving their spouse again, maybe just in action at first but eventually in attitude as well.

a theist

There is a lot of discussion here about religion and pov.

What then, is the purpose of religion? Why would Patricia want a Presbyterian presence on campus?

Bye the bye Delores, you're still totally wrong.

a theist

To provide a background, Joe, the following is from the Shawnee Mission UU Church Website. I ask is this a faith or a social club?

Some of us understand God in very personal ways, as the source of love or hopefulness, or as the creative force in our universe. Others find that the notion of a god has little meaning for them.

God means different things to each of us. Few of us would say we believe in a grandfather-god who would save some people and condemn others or intercede in our lives or in the world. Many of us believe in a god who is more of a universal spirit or who is in each of us. Others do not believe in a god.

The Bible is one of many sources of inspiration for us. We are also inspired by poetry, literature, other religious texts, and music. None of these are the final authority for us, but we learn from all of them. We believe that Truth is not absolute. It changes over time. We take more inspiration from Jesus’ life than from his death. We regard Jesus as one of several important moral and ethical teachers who have shown humans how to live a life of love, service, and compassion.

Children in our religious education classes learn about the beliefs and practices of the world’s major religions. They learn Bible stories and how to think for themselves about religion, ethics, and living responsibly in the world.

"We believe that Truth is not absolute. It changes over time."

Say what?

Dolores Lear

Since we are back to High Tech Colonization and Reproduction, what is so Supernatural about the Gods that started Life on Earth and reproduced Clone Male and Female Human Helpmeets, in their Image. They were not just A Male He God. The Hebrew Eliohim was a group.

The Kingdom of Heaven/Space is not After Death, but when Humans are Alive like Jesus, and the Father of Life on Earth, that left Earth together, visibally.

Everyone has had some experience of Knowing someone that lost a child before it matured, or was born with many medical Genetic or Physical problems.

GOD does not do this, Human Body Birth does. There is No Control without High Tech as to how a Child matures and is born. And sometimes the child and mother die in the Birth. This is Not God's Way.

The same Way all the Mis-bred Humans cannot control their Genetic Lusts they are born with. They can change their Lifestyle with the Right Environment, but not their Genetics.

Also we can see the Genetic likes and dislikes of each generation, that is different from their parents. So there are all types of Cycles in Body Birth.

One Eternal Cycle for Pure-bred Perfect Humans that Never Die, and with High Tech Regeneration, can and do Live Forever on their Home Planet and in Spaceships.

God's Fiery chariots, and Gods sitting up in the air on thrones, are discariptive language for Humans without High Tech Science.

High Tech Science and Genesis, can Prove, Eternal Physical Life is for the Living Humans, not Dead Humans.

Jesus is Alive in a Human Body, out in Space, and is 2033 years Old. I call that High Tech Eternal Physical Life After Birth, not Supernatural.

Dolores Lear

a theist.

Why do you say I am 'totally' wrong?

Do you think we have Evolved up from Algae on Earth, to our High Tech Science today?

Do you not allow, that since we have the High Tech Knowledge. of Colonizing a Planet, supernaturally with our High Tech today, that it was not done 'supernaturally' before on our Planet?

Do you think that since we can start making a Human Being Fetus in the Lab, and Clone animals, that it was not done before on our Planet?

All Life on Earth either had to Evolve from nothing, or was Colonized as we would do today?

If we did not put all our resources, into Hate and Death of our Body Birth Brothers/Sisters we have made for 6000 years, and Nuclear Bombs, that will cause the Last Days 'Arm'ageddon War, Today We would be Colonizing Planets also.

All this High Tech Science Knowledge came into Being, for the past 100 years, and we can see from all our High Tech Weapons and Pollution, what we have done to our Home Planet.

Human Physical Life can be Eternal, with High Tech Reproduction and Space Travel.

There is Only One GOD of the Universes, not all the Gods on Planet Earth for Life After Death Religions.

Eternal Physical Life is for the Living Humans, not for Dead Humans in a Religious Heaven.

Quad Kings

Bill,

Good to see you at STMAA. I am especially confident in Gail's ability to lead us to new (higher) levels.

What's your take on the Archbishop's (Roman) statement to Governor Sebelius [as reported here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/breaking_news/story/613336.html#recent_comm]?

Don't need to post this (unless you want to).

Patricia

Thanks for the link to the article on Sebelius, Quad Kings. I had missed it.
-----------
I think PDJ, that we could blame God for our falling into sin, if we were given a biological IMPERATIVE to fall into sin, without the capacity for acting righteously. In other words, if a person was genetically born not being able to do anything but lie, without even the ability to perceive the truth, then there would be no choice involved. That's not the case. We are born with both potentials: lying and truth.

Homosexuals are born with a biological imperative to have sex with people of their own sex. Most don't have the ability to have sex with people in the opposite sex. I mean they will tell you that they are not capable of enough attraction to perform, although many work hard to try to manufacture attraction.

I find no similarity between what they experience and what those of us who work to resurrect a marriage may go through. In the latter instance, there was once attraction and we operate off our our biological heterosexuality to re-stimulate what still exists on a deep level.

Incidentally, I am VERY uncomfortable with you and Dolores comparing homosexuality to a birth defect. Firstly, using that term imposes the onus of limitations on people who are often able lead un-limited lives, which may simply be different than our own.

PreacherDJ

Patricia,

I believe you brought up the "born with" idea first. But, to be truthful, we are all born with the birth defect of the sinful nature. We all have a predisposition to want to sin. I really see homosexuality as generally no different than the sins I (or anyone else) struggle with. In fact, I see an important similarity between homosexuality and things like pedophilia and serial killing. That the participants in a homosexual act mutually consent isn't significant - sin is not defined by how many humans agree, but whether God disagrees.

I didn't quite follow your middle paragraph. But I find the idea of a "biological imperative to have sex" a little strange. However strong our sex drive, we always have the choice, and it very well may be a morally significant choice. As a now-unmarried person, despite whatever biological drives I have, I have a moral imperative to not have sex.

a theist

Dolores,

You wrong in so many places, it is not possible to answer you in 5 entries of 300 words each. Every statement you made above is wrong.

Patricia,

Homoesexuality, is a choice. It may not be a simple choice, but it is a choice. Much of what is attributed to genetics or inherented behaviour is more likely environment, the environment from birth which has influenced the choice. This influence causes the person to believe they have no choice.

There are far too many emotions and hidden agendas to ever get any objective data.

a theist

While Adam Hamilton may be wealthy minister with a huge following, he is a wimp. His position on homosexuality is whatever you want it to be. Well it's bad but not to bad etc.

He has a book on the great questions of the day, homosexuality among them and expresses no clear opinion. (Lest he offend someone and turn off the money machine.)

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