April 05, 2006

Visiting the "Other Side"

I mentioned in a recent post that I had visited a message board tied in with "Charisma Magazine" after they had published a strongly anti-gay column. After six days, 159 replies, and almost 2,000 views (some of whom then visited this blog), the discussion finally seems to be winding down. The experience has been illuminating and I think worth sharing some thoughts here.

Fellow blogger Bill Ware jumped in and helped me carry the debate about the place of homosexuality in Christianity. Bill and I both believe a person can be both homosexual and a christian who can have an active fellowship with God. We both feel the bible speaks very strongly about the sinfullness of promiscuity and that some of those scriptures have been interpreted in a way that makes many Christians believe the practice of homosexuality is an abomination (among other things) under any and all circumstances.

As you can imagine, Bill and I got beat up pretty badly over there. Bill shares some of his posts on his blog if you are curious, but not enough so to plow through that entire thread. I believe we had the same intent about participating, and that's what I want to share here.

When I posted my objections to the key points in the Charisma Magazine column, I did so with no realistic hope of changing minds of the hard-core members of that message board. Several of them, while staying civil for the most part, still hammered at their points to prove the sinfullness of homosexuality, and rejected out of hand the mere consideration that there could be another vaild interpretation of scripture. Bill and I have several of the regulars over there praying our salvation, since we obviously can't be saved in their eyes with our beliefs, so at least we've got that going for us.

I suspect that many Internet sites and message boards that lean to the left or the right, as most of them I've seen do, also attract vistors who have not put a stake in the ground on either side. If this issue was polled, they would be undecided. That's the group every politician campaigns to, and those are the people I was taking a verbal lashing for.

I am not a preacher, nor do I play one on TV. I only hope with my writing here and the work I do through my church to reach someone enough to get them to say "hmmm, that is worth considering." Whether I help them consider the ideas I have put out there, which I believe with my heart and mind are inspired by God, or they hear them and go off on their own to ponder and investigate them doesn't matter to me.

If I can help people just stop and think, I'm already shaking the "fundamentalists" up because it is painfully obvious to me they don't want anyone to do that.

Instead of wanting people to follow me like sheep, I want to direct them to the love of Jesus so they can follow him and be fed by the Holy Spirit. If I can help get them pointed in that directions, the next step is between them and Jesus.

I would encourage any of you who can stomach it to participate in forums that may be hostile to your viewpoints, and even to you personally. In order to spread the enlightenment that can only come from opening your heart and mind to the love of Jesus, sometimes we need to go and meet people where they are, then see if they will follow us back to where we are.


  1. I actually just came here from the Charisma threadm which I found via Ware Farms.I noticed it is a very, very long thread and won't catch most of it but I thought I would stop and ofer my appreciationfor your going through the lashing. I'm not gay but have spent years now refusing to be labeled "straight" because I am in solidarity with my brothers and sisters who choose realtions with those of their own sex. I also spent many years (nearly 15 - I'm 30) not wishing to be labeled Christian, because of what many who call themselves that do - often in the name of God.

    I recently was brought back into a deep and beautiful relationship with Jesus and I sometimes feel like a man apart. I have many friends, both Christian and not who completely and fully accept me for who I am and what I believe. I do not however have very many who agree with me about certain beliefs, whether it be my faith, or my belief in many "liberal" causes - including my absolute support of equality for LGBTs. Of course I have also lost friends, libs who figure I might as well have just become a republican't.

    It is very nice to find folks with whom I can share common cause. You will join Bill on my prayer list, I look forward to reading more of what you have to say. Feel free to visit my blog but I fear I post very sporadicly. I'm the single dad of a four year old, I work, I am very active in church, I mentor a 9 yr old and I love to hike - I also like to read others. . .

  2. Jim, I know exactly what you're talking about. Got the t-shirt :)

    A much smaller microcosm, of the "furry" fandom/community, but the same sort of thing between the the two sides, and trying to build those bridges to blur the edges of those sides can be a long, laborious process. But you're fighting the good fight of faith, not waging war against the people whom Jesus died, but against the fear and ignorance that so easily gets handed from one to the next. You're awesome, and I'm happy you're my friend.

  3. Marriage is biblically defined as being between 1 man and 1 woman (according to Gen 2:24 and then further reiterated by Jesus in Matthew 19:3-10). The only sexual intimacy that is pure before the sight of God is within marriage (according to Hebrews 13:4), anything else is sin according to God.
    Now since fornication is defined as "unlawful sexual intercourse", since it's outside of the union of marriage, then the question is:
    How is homosexual sex not the sin of fornication?

  4. Throne,

    Thanks for dropping by. There have been entire books written to answer your question which I referred to on the Charisma thread. As I have repeatedly said over there, you are taking some traditional, narrow interpreations and using them to make your point.

    Do you know any homosexuals in a monogomous relationship that are faithful Christians? They do exist and I am proud to worship with them and know I will spend eternity with them in heaven.

  5. At the risk of flaring something up again, but I'll keep this as brief as possible: 1 man, 1 woman does not constitute the "Biblical" model for marriage. 1M,1W is a modern western idea. Socially acceptible/God sanctioned Biblical versions of marriage, include 1M,2+wives;
    1M,several wives +concubines;
    marrying to quell hostilities between two warring factions;
    marrying to give a woman a place in society since women were always regarded as property (the reason why throughout both old and new testament there are dozens of reminders to 'take care of your widows' since they often died otherwise, AND was one of the sins of sodom listed);
    often the brother married the wife if the first was killed (this was the origin of the 'best man';
    the man marrying his cousin - common;
    an older man marrying a female as young as 12 to 13 - again, common;
    if a man only had one wife, it more often spoke of his poor financial status than desire to be monogamous - only rarely was "love" ever mentioned as a reason for marrying in an act which was more transaction than ceremony.

    So if we're going to talk 'Biblical' marriage, this is what it describes.

    If we're to construct a Genesis model out of Adam and Eve as what is for all men and women, then single people are not following the example, neither are people who marry too old for child bearing since they are not able to be 'fruitful', neither are those who choose not to have children because they may not have the financial means to properly raise a child.