Unfundamentalist Christians

by John Shore on December 16, 2010 · 187 comments

uc

Unfundamentalist BugA while back I became frustrated because I couldn’t find a Christianity that I could really get on board with. To my mind, the Christianity on the left was too tenuous, while the one on the right was too … rabid. I didn’t want a Christ who was essentially an inspired social worker who got jumped by the authorities, and I sure didn’t want the one who had been twisted into serving the craven needs of bigoted, power-crazed, fear-mongering misogynist homophobes.

I was stuck! A Christian without a Christianity!

So I hunkered down for a month and wrote the document below. It expresses the Christianity that I have believed to be true since the moment of my conversion experience.

In February of 2012, I and a small group of people who had read and liked my mini-manifesto quietly started a Facebook page called Unfundamentalist Christians. We put my document under the page’s What We Believe tab, and then just … sat back to see what happened. I personally did almost nothing to promote that page, because I did not want to influence its growth. I didn’t care if it grew; I just wanted the theology available for people like me who might want it. But if it did grow, I wanted to make sure it did so organically.

As of this writing (May 16, 2013) the page has 12,500 members. The admin team of that page has done a phenomenal job with it. I’m as proud of what those guys do over there as I am of anything I’ve ever been part of.

I always had in the back of my mind that if the UC page ever grew to more than 10,000 members, I’d … do something with it, basically—if for no other reason than at that point I knew I’d be essentially morally obliged to. I never had any idea what I’d do, exactly. But I figured that, come the time, I’d know.

And sure enough, last week I thought, “Hey, it’s time for UC to become a group blog!” So I contacted a guy I e-know who works at Patheos.com, and asked him if Patheos would like to host that blog. He said they very much would.

Sweetness! So on June 24, Unfundamentalist Christians will be launching its new group blog on Patheos [update: here it is!], where we will run the best content that we can find about the best Christianity that we can imagine. I will have tons of fun with this endeavor, because it will essentially be an online magazine, with me as its editor. And back when the Internet was just a twitch in Al Gore’s eye, I spent ten years as a magazine editor, which I loved. So for me this work will be like coming home.

If you haven’t yet—or if it’s been a while—I invite you to read the Unfundamentalist Christian tenets below. Following the first version of the tenets are the same fiftteen points written in a style much more informal. If you like what you read (which of course isn’t the same as agreeing with its every point), we’d very much appreciate you “Liking” UC’s Facebook page.

Cool. Love it. Fun. Important. Onward. Upward. Also sometimes sideways, but whaddaya gonna do?

Here are our tenets:

Generally speaking (because do any two people anywhere believe the exact same things?) we here at UC hold that:

  1. Jesus Christ was God incarnate. He performed miracles; as a means of providing for the irrevocable reconciliation of humankind to God he sacrificed himself on the cross; he rose from the dead; he left behind for the benefit of all people the totality of himself in the form of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
  2. Following the word of God means taking into account the entirety of God’s words. The Bible itself tells us that it consists of songs, visions, histories, dreams, parables, commandments. It instructs Christians that New Testament moral directives supersede Old Testament moral directives. It asserts that moral principles supersede moral “rules.” The relevant context of any Bible passage is as integral to its meaning as the passage itself. It may be appropriate to give equal weight to each clause within a business contract or a game rulebook. But the Bible itself tells us that the Bible is not a uniform document, with each passage spelling out something clear and specific, and all passages having equal value. The Bible is not a rulebook for being Christian. Isolating a Bible passage from its context, and then claiming a sort of moral helplessness because “it’s in the Bible,” is failing to take the Bible either literally or seriously.
  3. Christianity is supposed to be all about nothing more (and nothing less!) than living a life of love, compassion, fairness, peace, and humility.
  4. The Biblical scholarship supporting the idea that Paul never wrote a word condemning natural homosexuality is more credible and persuasive than is the scholarship claiming that he did. Moreover, we remain mystified as to how any follower of Jesus could choose damning an entire population over obeying Jesus’ Great Commandment to love God and one’s neighbor as oneself.
  5. God does not want any woman “submitting” to any person.
  6. Using masculine pronouns to refer to God is strictly a matter of convention, a profoundly unfortunate necessity of the English language, which to date offers no satisfactory alternative. But God is neither male or female. God is both. God is all.
  7. The belief that throughout history God chose to introduce himself in different ways into different culture streams is more reasonable, respectful, and compassionate than is the conviction that there is only one correct way to understand and worship God.
  8. There is no support in the Bible for the morally repugnant idea that hell is an actual place to which God sentences people to spend eternity in mortal agony.
  9. God’s will and intention is to forgive and teach us, not to judge and punish us. [Tweet this.]
  10. Anyone desiring to mix Church and State has failed to understand the nature and proper role of either.
  11. God can handle converting people. Our job is to love people.
  12. An all-powerful God and the theory of evolution are not incompatible.
  13. Getting a divorce is painful, and if at all possible should certainly be avoided. But in and of itself divorce is not immoral.
  14. The single most telling indicator of a person’s moral character has nothing to do with how they define or worship God, and everything to do with how they treat others.©

© John Shore

{ 187 comments… read them below or add one }

John Poe May 24, 2015 at 11:35 pm

I left the church and positions of deacon & worship leader and just a few classes shy of an online degree with moody bible institute because i have had to learn over and over again in the last 25 years that God is always waiting to help me when i am ready to ask !

I have greatly struggled with and come to agreement with your 14 tenets over 25 years, i joined face book only a couple of weeks ago and as a result found a common ground that i thought didn’t exist, but it is exactly what i have been searching for a long time.

Reply

GLENN December 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Hurrah for this interesting site. Would someone explain to me why fundamentalists bother having children? Since “narrow is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it” why risk having offspring that may be hellbound? It seems totally selfish to have kids and not have a guarantee of their salvation. Logically it is incredibly stupid too. What would make more sense is for the fundamentalists to embrace sterilization of the entire human race, thus letting mankind die out and thus limit the amount of people bound for hell to the present population. Just think, having kids and risking them going to an eternal Auschwitz. Peace and love everybody.

Reply

lorena October 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I still love this. It is my truth and allows others theirs. So awesome.

Reply

John Shore October 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

THANK YOU!!!

Reply

Tasia July 17, 2013 at 10:24 am

I needed this. Thank you.

Reply

sdparris January 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Warning! Warning! Warning!

Use of words of three or more syllables do not enhance the message you are trying to send, IF you don’t have a clue what they actually mean or the text in which they should be used.

For example, saying: “By scrolling to the gluteus maximus of the page” as which occured in your message, you rendered any seriousness of the nature of your message, null and void. The reader, if they make it that far in, will promptly expire from laughter.

It also helps to avoid using some auto-correct features, when sending important messages, as it has been well established, that using that feature without double checking, could cause your message to end up on the popular website “DamnYouAutocorrect.com”.

Thank you,

Your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nanny.

Reply

Gregg DesElms September 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Excellent!

But if this is the “teen” version, where’s the other version? Just curious.

Reply

Gregg DesElms September 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Oops. My bad: I just realized that it was a “didn’t scroll far enough” problem.

Please just ignore my immediately previous.

Reply

natalie April 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Do you know how much i needed to read this? <:') Thank you! I've been going through a rough patch as of late and just now decided to start volunteering.

Reply

mrl January 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm

God doesn’t get tired, Christine, He’s God.

Reply

Amy January 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm

She didn’t say God got tired. She (more specifically, her pastor) said that God rested. Which even the Bible says.

Reply

no fan January 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Jesus Christ ‘IS’ God incarnate, not ‘WAS’ God incarnate. So from your first statement your ignorance is apparent.

Reply

no fan January 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

So the Christianity that ‘makes sense’ to the author is one that calls teachings that he has trouble embracing, ‘mistaken’. Because if the author can’t understand those teachings or finds them difficult to accept, THEY must be wrong.

So you have fashioned ‘another gospel’. One palatible to you, but not the God-given one.

Reply

Michelle M February 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

I used to think like you, no fan. For example, when I was in my emotionally abusive marriage (and one can’t divorce for emotional abuse, because it’s all in the wife’s mind and he didn’t actually stick his thingy in another woman), my parents would tell me I had to stick it out because “Sometimes God doesn’t make sense,” and “Sometimes God’s ways are hard and difficult to embrace,” and “The people telling you to leave your husband are just tickling your ears.”

This doesn’t just apply to abusive marriages, but to any situation where something horrible is happening and it doesn’t fit into the theology at hand. Like having a gay child and “God” telling you that you can’t love him/her unconditionally. Or a whole host of other painful things.

What I’ve come to realize is that God ALWAYS MAKES SENSE. Sorry to scream that at you. He ALWAYS makes sense, and his ways are NOT hard, and the people who tell me to follow love are NOT just tickling my ears, and his ways are NOT “difficult to embrace”.

I’ll tell you whose laws don’t make sense and are hard and difficult: man’s. And Satan’s, if you believe he exists.

Reply

Christine McQueen January 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

“There were no dinosaurs on Noah’s ark; Jesus didn’t have a pet stegosaurus. An all-powerful God and the theory of evolution are not incompatible.”

Nearly fifty years ago, when I was about 12, the pastor with whom I was studying to become a member of our local church had what I still consider to be the best reply when one of the other students asked how he could believe in God as the Creator and still believe the scientists about evolution. He said, “God made the earth and all the things that were on it at that time, then He created evolution and put it into action so that His creation would change and grow as time went by. Evolution was God’s way of giving Himself time to rest after the work He’d done to create this beautiful planet. After He’d rested, He then created man to continue His work of caring for the earth.”

Reply

Valerie January 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I like that answer! That preacher had a head on his shoulders!

Reply

jennifer February 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm

That is messed up. The whole point of creating Earth is an answer to what’s called “The Angelic Conflict”, Satan’s trial phase…. not evolution, or let the human’s do whatever…. no, we have a purpose and called to witness!

Reply

Christine McQueen February 5, 2012 at 12:41 pm

@jennifer: Are you saying you believe the only reason God created the earth and everything on it as some sort of “test”? To see how badly ‘Satan’ could screw it up? I’d really like to know where you come up with that notion. Could you give scripture verses explaining that?

Reply

Joe bass Jr. August 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Wow! That actually makes sense….Remember many many years ago science and religion were partners…

Reply

Holly January 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I needed to read this today. Thank you for articulating my heart so well. Having just left my ultra-fundamentalist, legalistic church of 7 years, I am on a new path to discover what it really is I’m in search of. What is that “itch” that I just can’t seem to find relief for? This. This is what I’m seeking. Thank you.

Reply

CBlizz January 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I’m rather late to the game, but I’m enjoying this site and all of its content. Thank you SO MUCH, John, for being the voice of exactly how I’ve been feeling for a long, long time. I live in central Virginia and have been without a church home for several years now because I became fed up with the lack of love and the constant harping against homosexuality in the churches here. The ThruWay message is EXACTLY what I’ve been searching for – I just wish there were ANY church in this area that operated with this mindset. I’ll keep praying…

Reply

Avi July 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

CBlizz, I’d love to know where in Va you are and if you have (since Jan 2012) found a church. I live in Central/southwestern Va and am having the same issues. I long for Christian fellowship but just cant find that spot where I fit. One would think with all the “education” I have around me here there would be someone, some group that would be embracing a progressive Christianity. Go figure.

Reply

Sally G. August 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Try your local United Church of Christ (not the same as the Church of Christ that does not use musical instruments in worship). Most UCC’s are “Open and Affirming” to LGBT folks, and endorse marriage equality as well. Whoever you are, Wherever you are on life’s journey, You are welcome here.

Reply

Valerie January 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I wish I had had numbers 8 and 9 yesterday when discussing if there were other paths to heaven than just Christianity! You have a much better way with words than I do John, thank you for this.

Reply

Jarl Jackson December 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Robert, my friend:
“Getting rid of hell would not really change anything, cause the problems with Christians and with every other religion based in the supernatural are…Exclusivity…. Absolute-ism…. Intellectual dishonesty….you add these three things together… I am pretty sure you have fulfilled 3 of the 5 criteria for SCHIZOPHRENIA. ”

Interesting that you leave such a comment on this site. Have you been paying attention? As far as I can tell, that’s not the religion “preached” here. You talk about adhering only to “fact-based” ideas, but your own as expressed above are based on an assumption — on a presumption made before you got here about what ALL Christians believe. Have you met and talked to every Christian? Can you refer me to a poll taken of every Christian who ever lived? If not, please stop displaying those supposed signs of “schizophrenia” – or worse, the CLOSED MIND you accuse all Christians of having….

I’d love to discuss the issues we are interested in here with you, as I’m sure everyone would. Let’s please do that, okay?

Reply

Albert October 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Hi John, a new thread, I just read the article of the pastor being fired related to the DADT policy. It seems with his progressive Christian views, it seems God has close one door, and it seems that He’s going to open another. My guess is with his gift of growing a church, and he is open to having gays in his own church or in a church that already accepts gays as part of the worship body, his talents would be a blessing to that church, and it would most likely grow into a loving and accepting community. Gods Blessings be with him.

Reply

SWD October 13, 2011 at 6:50 am

“It gives me hope that reasonable people, will act reasonably towards each other and will challenge with courage and compassion the “CRAZINESS””
You’ve read history. Religion arose because this has never happened, ever. It’s just as impossible as the resurrection, yet you haven’t abandoned it; that is _your_ faith, Robert.
ps. no one needs insincere good wishes, as yours sounds to me. You just called us all crazy and stupid.

Reply

Scott May 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Now a reply to the article.

Mr. Shore, you wrote that God does not want any woman “submitting” to anyone.

I presume you’d agree that we are all to serve each other, right? I presume you’d agree that we are all to be humble, looking to build up others, right? Even Jesus came among us as one who serves. Can you describe the line you draw between submitting and serving?

And, as a follow-up: I presume you’d agree that we are all to conform to the requirements of our governments and the laws of our societies, right? Excluding civil disobedience, naturally… That would dovetail nicely with how Peter and Paul preach that we’re to obey our leaders and submit to every human institution. But there’s that word again, submit. Are you willing to use “submit” to describe what we should do with respect to our governments? I see that Jesus did that, even when He believed a requirement apply to Him – the temple tax didn’t apply to the Son of God, but He paid it anyway to keep from offending others. Did He, in your terminology, submit?

I suppose, with the way I’ve defined terms in my own mind, it’s ideal for us all to submit to each other.

I’ll now click the “submit” button.

Reply

Kristy May 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Scott,

It may be presumptuous of me to answer for the author, but based on the tone of the article and social context, I think I know what was meant.

There is a strong perception in society, especially in certain Christian portions of society, that women are somehow “less” than men. This can range from an explicit statement that women should submit to the authority of their husbands and fathers, and that they should not hold positions of authority themselves, all the way to a subconscious assumption that women’s actions should always be judged based on how they affect men. Thankfully, these attitudes are far less common than they once were, but they do persist. And while I don’t have statistics on hand, I do know that there is a strong perception that they persist more amongst Christians (especially fundamentalist Christians) than among other groups. Therefore, I can see why Mr. Shore is addressing that point.

I don’t think it would be accurate or fair to read that statement and conclude that women shouldn’t be subject to their government’s laws, or work to help their families, or serve God (assuming that they believe in God, of course.) I suppose the unspoken second half of that statement would be that women shouldn’t submit to anyone *just because they are women.* Gender shouldn’t affect our status in the eyes of the state, of society, or of God.

Reply

mrl January 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Gender doesn’t affect our status in God’s eyes. Male and female are both created in the image of God, so both are on the same plane, they are equal. But someone has to have final say in the marraige relationship and God gave that duty to the husband.

Reply

Diana A. January 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Baloney. Men gave that duty to themselves, taking the Lord’s name in vain in order to do so.

There is no “final say” in a marital relationship–at least not a good marital relationship. There is only love, respect, and a genuine interest in the well-being of the other person. This “final say” stuff is childish and only children are interested in such things.

Reply

Jill August 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm

But I want the last word, Diana! Or I’m gonna hold my breath!
(see, in my mind I’m still only 6) :)

Reply

Lily August 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I hope you don’t mind if I jump in here. (I know this is an old thread, but I just found it last night and I think the discussion is interesting.)

I ‘m not saying I disagree with you. (Or agree) I’m just honestly curious about how you arrived at your conclusion. Can you back it up with scripture? Or are you just stating your personal view? Which of course you’re entitled to! I’m just wondering. Thanks!

Reply

de la Nae February 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

“But someone has to have final say in the marriage relationship…”

Well yeah. The married people, duh.

Reply

Scott May 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm

To all the Thruway Christians and to all the more conservative Christians who come on here from time to time:

Since this is an internet forum, there is a tendency to be blunt and inconsiderate. There’s a saying that goes, “When fighting the dragon, take care lest you BECOME the dragon.” Or, in the words of Jesus, “Whoever causes one of these little ones of Mine to stumble, it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were tied around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

Speak the truth, yes, but speak it in love. When replying to those who disagree, make sure you’ve forgiven them from your heart for any barbs you suffered before you respond.

Remember, they won’t know we are Christians by our clever comebacks or whether we win the argument. They’ll know we are Christians by our love.

Reply

Robert May 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

It is interesting listening to liberal christians defend/support gay people to other close-minded christians. As a gay person, I thank you for your efforts… and also want to do a little check in.

You all know that you will not change “sara’s” mind? Right? No amount of logic, reason or compassion will sway her from her position. So, there is no real reason to get worked up about it. Laugh at it… yes. Be saddened by it… of course. But worked up… naw…

But it is important to keep on stating your points of view. Because though you won’t change her. You are changing others… you are changing anyone who reads these posts… you are changing all the people sara complains to regarding this site. Her kids… her siblings… her neighbors…. You can be sure they are likely sick and tired of her judgmental rigidness. So keep up the good work…

Also you will change yourselves. Being on the right side of history, supporting the disenfranchised, the underdog, the little guy/gal… is not only the right thing to do… it is also the American thing to do… be proud that you are fighting the good fight… and again I thank you for the support.

Reply

Anakin McFly July 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm

But what if we’re not American? :(

Reply

Jim Cox March 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

What blessing to have found this website with its “rational” approach to God, Jesus, and the treatment of our fellow human beings….

I do have a question to which I could guess your response. I am a Presbyterian, what many would call a theologically liberal Presbyterian. Our governing structure is similar to that of the Federal government… General Assembly, Presbyteries, and Congregations. A huge debate is going on today, not about the sinning/non sinning ways of gays and lesbians, but the ordination/non ordination of gay pastors. In my way of thinking, gay pastors should never be denied ordination. Assuming that’s the position that Thru Way Christians would take, help me with an argument (civil but direct)…My wife and I am very active in the church (Anaheim, CA), and this is the year in which we will be struggling with our position. There is a small (I think, small) possibiltiy that it could split the church at the national level.

Reply

Sara May 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

First off – I’m not the ‘sara’ of the incorrect punctuation and faulty reasoning!

I just found John Shore’s ThruWay ChristianTenets this evening, and I’m THRILLED. He has put voice to the path I know Christ led me through for the past 17 years. Thank you John! This is the first time I’ve known anyone else who believed as I do!

I was raised VERY fundie, and was married to a fundamentalist pastor for 26 years. It’s an incredibly insulated life. In that way, I can understand and relate to the original sara. We are taught from first breath that the pastors and men of the church are God’s representatives and we are to submit to them and to their teachings. Thankfully my mother taught me I was also supposed to think, read and learn for myself.

18 years ago, God slammed me with a “cosmic granite slab” that changed my life forever. God gave me to understand in no uncertain terms that He put no qualifications on the commandment to “Love one another”. No exceptions, no if’s, ands, or buts…Love One Another.

That little quote above is from my first (and beloved) gay friend Mark. His dear friendship led me to others who eventually ended up saving my life from the imminent suicide that was on my horizon. They rescued me from my emotionally, spiritually, verbally abusive spouse and got me into counseling.

That led me into a group of bisexual married men. I listened to them, loved their friendships, offered a non-judgmental shoulder for their tears. In return they loved me back and supported me as I got back on my feet after the divorce.

I truly feel sorry for the ‘sara’s of the world. I know too many of them. One is my older brother who has become more Catholic than the Pope – and is incredibly condemning of gays. We have had some very LOUD confrontations on the subject. You should hear the roof raise when gay marriage comes up!

I stand firm with you John – equal rights for all means equal, not separate.

Today at 55 yrs old, a grandmother and happily remarried, I am taking my first college courses on the path to become a licensed counselor. My goal is to work in the LBGT community, offering hope and God’s love to troubled youth.

Again, I’m thrilled to have found this home on the web!

Reply

JoAnn Mitchell January 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Sarah, Regarding being accountable for witnessing to gay individuals.

This is my personal choice; but, I have to believe that there are other “straight christians” here who would stand up beside me before God and say “I am accountable”.

Sara, know this: I have already prayed to God that any gay person I witness to about His Son, His love, His spirit; I am willing to take all accountablity for each individual. That I am willing to take accountability for EVERY GAY PERSON in Heaven. If there is any repercussion let it be on me as a Christian leader who proclaims the love of Christ.

So that is covered Sarah… I don’t believe God will have any repercussions for offering love, grace and leading anyone to the acceptance and love of His Son.

But, if there is as many Christian like you believe is so; then, let it be on my head. I love Christ soo much that I want all, and I mean all to come into His presence in Heaven.

So, I have already had this discussion with God. The covenant is already in place.

Reply

JoAnn Mitchell January 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah.

I hope you are still reading information placed upon her. Honestly, from what I see alot of people care about your method of thinking and have concern for you. DR has done an amazing job of talking with you.

I am a grandmother, married 35 years to same man, large family, stay-at-home mom , born-again Christian. To this day the church I attend believes gays can be saved as it is a sin no different than others; yet, do not believe gay life style is correct and do not believe it is a birth state. Please look up online “gayness and gestation”. I think you will find some interesting science points. My views after years of study have come to believe being gay occurs at birth. So, the church and I do not stand the same on the statement. But, I continue to attend.

The main reason I am writing to you has to do with the basic position of where your are making your decisions from. Your statement of: if this was not of God; then, I know I would not be able to keep writing here.

Honey, you are wrong. There are excellent books written on decision making in Christ. Go to GFresen@multnomah.edu or look up books by Dr. Garry Friesen. None of his books have to do with gay people and church. But, have everything to do with how we think in God and make decisions in God. Something we all need to learn.

Brief statement here for you to think about:
Decision making and the will of God.

1. God’s commands we must obey; God’s desires. First being to love God and to love our neighbor as our self. It is your inward motivation as to decisions; thoughts, etc.. you will accept as truth.
2. Where there is no command; there is complete freedom. Along with that freedom becomes our personal responsibility to choose! Because in the area of freedom (all those gray area’s) God is equally please with the decision we make. The choices we make in how we treat our fellow man, our love for God, Christ, Spirit.
3. Where there is no command God gives us the wisdom to choose. This is the process. Where as we grow older we learn more about life. In Christianity there are different ways God teaches us. Through nature, through life experiences, through study, prayer, Bible reading, through others. So, none of us; including yourself has reached any completion until death.
4. When we have chosen to know the commandments (which the ten are the most important; we all know that); we than can make wise decisions that teach us to “trust” God in the details to be the Sovereign will of God. Wisdom becomes our safety net in life; commandments become our “equality teacher” in life; Freedom becomes the awareness God leaves much to our personal choice and becomes our direction. Choice is the trusting the details will work in our life with the Spirit of God with us.

Know you are only trusting yourself when you say “I wouldn’t be able to write this; if God was not in it”. You are believing a lie you have told yourself with no basic Biblical passages to back it up. God doesn’t work through our fleece’s; our testing Him; our believing He some how is controlling our thoughts and words. He has given us freedom in Christ. And, it is a beautiful place to be.

Know beyond a shadow of a doubt for you and for each person here; for every person born through out time God’s WILL, THAT WORD WILL FOR OUR LIFE IS OUR SALVATION!

Pure, simple… our salvation. Does it really matter pass those pearly gates what our human lives were? If our heart was pure, loving, kind, following the commandment of loving God and our fellow humans; does that not end up being the only thing “NOT burnt away in Heaven? Love is all that will remained. Pure, simple…. it is only love that will be carried in our soul into Heaven.

From I Corinthians 10:31 think upon this: Is it wise? Which decision will help me to best love God and people? What will best promote the kingdom of God?

Couple more things to think about Sarah: We all look into the well of our own belief system and say we know God. So, all your upbringing; situations of your life bring you to looking into your own belief system. It is hard for us all to step outside this and be willing to risk our security of thought to be willing to listen to other thoughts.

Second, know that FOR ANY TRUTH TO BE A SPIRITUAL TRUTH IT HAS TO BE A TRUTH THAT ENCOMPASSES ALL OF MANKIND THROUGH OUT ALL OF TIME. THAT INCLUDES OUR CAVE MEN ANCESTOR, EVERY NATION, ANY ERA. AS GOD IS THE SAME YESTURDAY AS TODAY AS TOMORROW. SO, HE HAS NOT CHANGED AS MANKIND HAS CHANGED. THAT SORTA TAKES US DOWN TO A FEW BASIC TRUTHS IN THE BIBLE THAT CAN PASS THIS “TEST” OF GOD. YES, THE WHOLE BIBLE CAN BE PROFITABLE FOR LEARNING. BUT, AS WE KNOW PEOPLE PICK AND CHOOSE WHAT VERSES TO STUDY, BELIEVE. AS YOU SPEAK AGAINST GAYS; YOU ARE NOT TELLING PEOPLE THEY MUST ALSO STONE THEIR CHILDREN TO DEATH FOR BACK TALK. IF YOU WANT TO USE VERSE AGAINST GAYS. THEN, BE WILLING TO STONE THAT PRECIOUS BABY OF YOURS TO DEATH FOR BACK TALKING TO YOU SOME DAY. AS THAT PRECIOUS CHILD WILL DO THAT SOME DAY…

Please Sarah study how we are to make decisions from the Bible. There are many, many verses regarding this issue. Plus, Dr Gary Friesen is a excellent teacher on decision making. He is a conservative Christian Pastor also.

I will bless you and that precious baby of yours…. many blessings to you through out your life; but, don’t be afraid to open your heart, read, study and learn to follow the greatest commandments of loving God and mankind.

Reply

JoAnn Mitchell January 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm

What I meant to say about Freedom in number two is once we are following the first commandment of loving God and our fellow human beings. Then, we have complete freedom. God is not “pleased” if we treat our follow human beings hurtfully. So, once we have number one down and follow the basic ten commandments. The rest is freedom in our salvation. So, I don’t need to panic over life decisions. Like where to work? how many kids? what college? etc…

As I am not out of “God’s favor by making choices that enhances my life as to how I desire to walk out the days of existence here on earth.

Following the Ten commandments and loving God and other humans gives us the commands of God. Why Christ came; why He stated He came to fulfill the law (law of love and commandments) and then also said there is freedom in Christ. These verse that seem to compete withone another are actually fullfilling one another.

Reply

Adrian28 January 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

There seems to be a lot of Sara bashing here, and not always in a way that is a discussion or even helpful.

Has anybody read the motto at the top????

“Above all, love.”

I think that motto stands for everyone no matter how much you disagree with them.

Reply

DR January 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Adrian.

Aggressively countering someone on their views – even using them as a symbol of the type of dangerous thinking they are both contributing to and represent is not “bashing”. There are a ton of me’s out there who are sick to death of the sara’s of the church causing harm and we’re saying so directly. Sometimes letting people know just how harmful they are and just how angry you are at the harm they are doing is the type of intervention they need. It’s time for a lot of people to wake up, and some are going to require a louder voice than others (as well as a bit of a thicker skin).

Telling sara how dangerous she is is perhaps, the most loving thing I can do for her. But sara is frankly, not my priority anymore, the vulnerable and the disenfranchised that her behavior has alienated from the source of salvation is.

Reply

Adrian28 January 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm

DR I see your point and definitely reasons for being angry.

However, she not doubt has the same view of damage you are doing by what she believes is falsely telling others that their “sin” is acceptable.

Reply

DR January 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Here’s the difference, Adrian. And how distinctive you’re willing to allow them to be is up to you. ? My beliefs aren’t causing gay kids to kill themselves, or get kicked out of their loving Christian homes. Hers are. So it’s not quite the same side of the aggression coin, it’s not personal with sara. I just want her to stop hurting people using the name of Jesus to do it. She’s only motivated by being able to preserve her current way of believing and came on here (proactively, I’ll add, she came to this forum swinging) to tell us all how horrible we are.

That she got a faceful of the consequences of her belief system back? Good. People like Sara come out swinging and then retreat back into their insular life where they don’t deal with the consequences of their faith on the rest of the world. That’s not as easy as flipping the other side of the aggressive coin, my friend. That is sara being introduced to the damage her way of believing and her careless, thoughtless communication causes.

Reply

DR January 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Actually forget it. With all due respect, this is the kind of “look over there” ping pong match that I’m just simply tired of having with people who are far more focused on how we feel as christians instead of the people that we harm. I am just so weary of the self-absorption of Christians who cannot seem to grasp the importance that there is a *system* of christianity that we choose to perpetuate and when it gets critiqued? It is not PERSONAL. And yes, I’m yelling.

The touchy nature of Christians today is almost narcissistic. What is it? Are we simply uneducated? Have we been so dulled by our privilege that people like Sara can’t get that I’m sure she is a perfectly lovely girl who is contributing to a system of belief that has caused people to self-harm? And then deal with the adriens who feel a need to rush in and start talking about feelings again when this has absolutely nothing to do with sara herself?

I’m so bewildered by it all. It’s as if Christians feel no need to be accountable to our *unintended* impact. We are almost obsessed with demanding that everyone pay attention to our intent instead, and we have a massive temper tantrum and persecution complex when some simply choose to say “No. I’m really not interested in how you feel or what you meant to do. What I am very interested in doing is you by your words and by your behavior hurting gay men and women or ‘fill in the blanks here’. ” Do we feel absolutely no need to apologize or repair when it is proven to us that our behavior and our attitudes hurt people that we didn’t intend to hurt?

Christianity isn’t dangerous because we collectively hurt the gay and lesbian community. We’re dangerous because we’ve got the persecution pedal down to the metal and an ever-increasing lack of humility and sensitivity as a result to the world around us.

No wonder people are so scared of us. I think they should be.

Reply

Adrian28 January 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Well after that I’m definitely scared of us now, well actually you.

“And then deal with the adriens who feel a need to rush in and start talking about feelings again when this has absolutely nothing to do with sara herself?”

You already have such a strong idea of me as a touchy Christian who cares about how we all feel. If at any point in my posts you can find me talking about how either of you feel then you certainly have better vision than me.

Reply

DR January 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I’m fine if you’re scared of me. I think a lot of Christians should be a little more scared, scared makes us more aware. Again, how you feel is secondary to the larger points I’m making about the system of Christianity to which we both contribute.

You seem to be quite focused on how things *feel*, first for Sara and now for you. And now? How I’m defining you. If you want to focus on all that it’s your choice, you are no victim of what I’m offering you. If I’m wrong? Then just reject it. instead of perhaps, not focusing on how my words feel and instead what I’m really saying? Then we can have a real dialogue. If not, that’s fine too.

Reply

Adrian28 January 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm

And if you look at her views on the consequences of your belief system. The way she see’s they’re are doing equally as much harm, they are preventing people having a true and full relationship with God. So, tell me I care too much about peoples feelings? I don’t. I care about how what we do impacts on other peoples relationships with our maker.

Reply

DR January 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Sara wants to live in the eternal, the eternal that others have created for her. I live in hope of heaven but also the here and now where kids are dying as a result of being told by people who represent a loving God who came to save them that they are fundamentally flawed and if they don’t change? So in her world they lose twice. They have no hope of going to heaven and many hurt themselves as a result of that belief.

So I’m not really sure what point you’re trying to make here. Sara’s intent is to “save” gay people from hell when in fact, the evangelical message that says “change or go to hell” is impossible for someone who is gay to actually do. Despair is their only option. Any parallels you want to make between what I’m saying and what Sara is saying is fine, I guess, but at the end of the day all I really care about is that gay kids stop committing suicide so that – in the very words of the last 13-year old who did? “I can get to hell that much quicker.”

Reply

Adrian28 January 23, 2011 at 8:32 am

Hey DR, I’m not sure that Sara said “change or go to hell”, or that homosexuals go to hell. As far as I’m aware she was saying it was a sin? Not that you go to hell for it, as Jesus died to cleanse us of all our sin. As we are all most definitely sinners.

If I’ve missed her post that says this can you point it out to me?
Thanks

Reply

DR January 23, 2011 at 9:24 am

She wrote a note on her Facebook that was very clear about her position on gay people and their state before God if they don’t “repent”. But again, I’m not going to get into this discussion for the reasons I stated.

There is such a larger point being made here, Adrian. If you haven’t, then realize that this is the message that the Evangelical community is sending to gay men and women, sara will come and go on this forum and there will be someone else who takes her place. Because it’s the same one that Sara sends and it’s the same one that a lot of gay kids go into absolute despair over, as well as adults.

I’m speaking generally here so if you’re at all tempted, don’t make this about you please. This is a ***general**** statement****** about the theology Christians have put out there in the public dialogue, and how many often react when held accountable to the actual damage it does in the gay community and being willing to be responsible for that. It’s not about them or attacking them, etc.

if we intend to say something else as Christians – other than what sara says? What we need to understand is no one is listening anymore. No one cares about our follow up clarifications: “Wait, that’s not what we mean by that, let me explain”. None of that matters to anyone anymore, no one cares about if a group of people think someone is going to hell for falling in love with someone. They are solely focused in preventing the very real damage we are doing. And I’m with them now, I am really not interested in the debate about “What Christians *really* think” because that is about *Christians*. We are prioritizing *kids* , their emotional and physical safety, as well as adults. This momentum needs to turn the other direction.

Perhaps you are different, I hope so, I don’t even know what you believe. And it doesn’t matter, because there are a hundred Christians who will wander on this forum who are pro-homos are going to hell for being homos and will want to justify and defend their position. Who will demand we look at their intent, which is apparently to save gay people from hell. And as they do so, they take absolutely no responsibility for how their message is really hurting a very vulnerable group, they simply refuse to look at it. I’ve seen it probably 10-20 times here. Or they do but claim they have nothing to do with it, “it’s someone else”.

So that’s it.

Reply

Anakin McFly July 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

But if someone is acting out of misinformed intent, the best – and perhaps only – way is to change that intent. Shutting them down will just make them find another easier target. Insisting they change their actions without changing their beliefs is just icky to me in lots of ways because of the deception involved. So the only way is to address intent. If someone believes that being gay is a sin, telling them that their beliefs hurt gay kids isn’t doing anything at all to directly address that root belief, and at best you’ll just end up with that person agreeing to play nice on the outside while continuing to believe what they do, and that’s not success to me; it’s censorship. If people focused directly at intents and causes instead of symptoms and effects, I think minds would be changed much faster, and in a genuine way where people don’t feel censored and unable to express their true beliefs. Heck, I’m gay, have received no shortage of damage from the church and society, and most of the time I would find all of those “but you’re hurting gay people” arguments, while emotionally devastating, utterly unconvincing and completely besides the point if I did believe that homosexuality were a sin.

Reply

Mary January 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

DR, I love you much.

Reply

Robyn Sheppard January 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm

This doesn’t come from Christianity, but it fits:

But, O my brother, when a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in the path leading to the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must, before all else, cleanse and purify his heart . . . from the obscuring dust of all acquired knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments of satanic fancy. He must purge his breast . . . of every defilement, and sanctify his soul from all that pertaineth to water and clay, from all shadowy and ephemeral attachments. He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel him away from the truth. . . . That seeker must at all times put his trust in God, must renounce the peoples of the earth, detach himself from the world of dust, and cleave unto Him Who is the Lord of Lords. He must never seek to exalt himself above any one, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every trace of pride and vainglory, must cling unto patience and resignation, observe silence, and refrain from idle talk . . .

That seeker should also regard backbiting as grievous error, and keep himself aloof from its dominion, inasmuch as backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul. He should be content with little, and be freed from all inordinate desire. He should treasure the companionship of those that have renounced the world, and regard avoidance of boastful and worldly people a precious benefit. At the dawn of every day he should commune with God, and with all his soul persevere in the quest of his Beloved. He should consume every wayward thought with the flame of His loving mention, and, with the swiftness of lightning, pass by all else save Him. He should succour the dispossessed, and never withhold his favour from the destitute. He should show kindness to animals, how much more unto his fellow-man, to him who is endowed with the power of utterance. He should not hesitate to offer up his life for his Beloved, nor allow the censure of the people to turn him away from the Truth. He should not wish for others that which he doth not wish for himself, nor promise that which he doth not fulfill. With all his heart should the seeker avoid fellowship with evil doers, and pray for the remission of their sins. He should forgive the sinful, and never despise his low estate, for none knoweth what his own end shall be . . .

Only when the lamp of search, of earnest striving, of longing desire, of passionate devotion, of fervid love, of rapture, and ecstasy, is kindled within the seeker’s heart, and the breeze of His loving-kindness is wafted upon his soul, will the darkness of error be dispelled, the mists of doubts and misgivings be dissipated, and the lights of knowledge and certitude envelop his being. At that hour will the mystic Herald, bearing the joyful tidings of the Spirit, shine forth from the City of God resplendent as the morn, and, through the trumpet-blast of knowledge, will awaken the heart, the soul, and the spirit from the slumber of negligence. Then will the manifold favours and outpouring grace of the holy and everlasting Spirit confer such new life upon the seeker that he will find himself endowed with a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind. He will contemplate the manifest signs of the universe, and will penetrate the hidden mysteries of the soul. Gazing with the eye of God, he will perceive within every atom a door that leadeth him to the stations of absolute certitude. He will discover in all things the mysteries of divine Revelation and the evidences of an everlasting manifestation.

I swear by God! Were he that treadeth the path of guidance and seeketh to scale the heights of righteousness to attain unto this glorious and supreme station, he would inhale at a distance of a thousand leagues the fragrance of God, and would perceive the resplendent morn of a divine Guidance rising above the dayspring of all things. Each and every thing, however small, would be to him a revelation, leading him to his Beloved, the Object of his quest. So great shall be the discernment of this seeker that he will discriminate between truth and falsehood even as he doth distinguish the sun from shadow . . . He will likewise clearly distinguish all the signs of God–His wondrous utterances, His great works, and mighty deeds–from the doings, words and ways of men, even as the jeweller who knoweth the gem from the stone, or the man who distinguisheth the spring from autumn and heat from cold. When the channel of the human soul is cleansed of all worldly and impeding attachments, it will unfailingly perceive the breath of the Beloved across immeasurable distances, and will, led by its perfume, attain and enter the City of Certitude. Therein he will discern the wonders of His ancient wisdom, and will perceive all the hidden teachings from the rustling leaves of the Tree–which flourisheth in that City. (Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 192-8)

Reply

Melissa Chamberlin January 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Wow, great job folks. I private messaged with Sara this morning. I merely asked her if she had bothered to read and understand the Greek or Hebrew of her posted Bible addresses. Her reply was that she had a busy life and did not have time to be on the internet studying to find loop holes in God’s word…(which I am pretty sure translates not to her Bible, but to her church’s translation of her Bible) Needless to say, I knew right there that she has a long route to travel before she is equiped to handle topics like this. She has fallen into the category of thoughtless, spoon fed, fear mongering conservative Christians’ teachings which don’t require much thinking, other than attending many church services every week, and unscrewing one’s skull to allow the misinformation to soak in. Oh, and unless she seeks any relationships outside of that envionment…she will find no reason to think any differently. It is sad, but sara is just one of millions who are too lazy to seek truth. Churches are making millions on this teaching. It just allows all of the self righteous people to invest in something that they think they they somehow deserve over others because they can fit into that crowd. And, we all know the truth on that…

Thank you, John, for giving us a place to find one another, and thank you everyone else, for taking on this crazy notion that God has made a mistake by creating folks of all orientations. God makes no mistakes…NONE. (Yep, I am screaming…lol) We were all created and knit together in our mother’s wombs, for many various reasons he has chosen us to have he parents we have and the upbring, because he knows your specific abilities in learning and teaching. And lets hope that he did choose sara to be a parent of a really strong and boldly beautiful homosexual child. That truly would be some humorous justice. (whaaat? You know you were thinking that. LOL) Peace out.

Reply

sara January 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm

It’s not that I do not have time to “research”, I said I hadn’t seen the messages YET because I dont live on the internet. It’s not that i’am thoughtless, spoonfed conservative christian because obviously I have a point and I have an opinion and you can say it was force fed down my throat by mainstream christianity but the fact of the matter is I got it out of the bible (which it’s useless arguing with you people about the bible because you all think it’s wrong) and out of what God has revealed to me in my own life. Maybe I do have alot to learn, i’m only 26 years old so I can agree with you there. However, christians follow the bible, and the bible is cut and dry. So all I need to know to know that you guys are off and do not line up with what God says, is what I have read in the bible. If I want to seek the truth I will continue reading my bible. By the way, a conservative christian would be a presbyterian or lutheran and a liberal christian would be a pentecostal, the message is the same the difference is the tone of voice. This belief is not christianity. You do not line up with the word of God. Like I said i’m done arguing it’s just hard to let you think that you’ve damaged my spirit or affected what I believe in any way, because that’s not going to happen.

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm

There it is. The persecution complex of fundamentalist christians. It’s like clockwork, like a four-step process.

Step 1. “You are all horrible evil people! I’m going to pray for you”

Here we have, our lovely Sara joining us proactively here on the John Shore forum attacking, fists swinging right out of the gate that we – in her own words, not mine – “don’t agree with the Bible” because we’re not lining up with her interpretation of God’s Word as it relates to homosexuality. Simply put? Sara is a bully who is righteously calling people out! Sara has the gift of discernment to know when everyone else around her is wrong, how much strangers on the internet love and agree with God’s Word. She can “discern” in mere seconds that if it doesn’t line up to her way of thinking about the gays? Well hay forum members, that means you hate ALL of the Bible! And she is here to tell you who you are and who you aren’t.

Step 2. “What? I’m getting challenged?”

Very reasonable people counter Sara, even in private via message. They ask her for some deeper context about her position. Sara is all of the sudden “much too busy” to come back and waste time on the internet answering their very thoughtful questions.

Step 3. “I’m very busy and just can’t deal with you heathens”

Instead what Sara does spend time on? Being persecuted and telling us that. Now all of the sudden, Sara is a victim of us meanies who are holding her accountable for actually being able to articulate the interpretation of the Bible and she spends another few minutes telling us that. She certainly doesn’t have the time to actually study or read or even explain herself in depth. She’s no real time to actually *entertain* you, people. She’s very busy condemning you. That you are suggesting things she doesn’t understand (and let’s be honest, isn’t motivated enough to, sara doesn’t care about the gay community. Or you, you are her enemy for being mad at her)

Step 4 “Leave Sara alone!”

“it’s just hard to let you think that you’ve damaged my spirit or affected what I believe in any way, because that’s not going to happen”

Sara is now the injured party who is in a holy spiritual battle with the evil false christians. Sure – she stepped into the forum guns a’ blazin, vicious and aggressive, She keeps telling all of us that we don’t agree with the Bible. How wrong we are. She doesn’t have any real time to show us why in any great detail. She’s very busy feeling injured and sorry for herself. She’s the persecuted christian who translates criticism into persecution, there are no distinctions between either.

Sara, I’m never surprised anymore. But I’m always disappointed.

Reply

Robyn Sheppard January 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

And remember, it was Sara who came here and posted her vitriol. We didn’t go looking for her.

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm

The saras ofthe world are void of humility and totally unconscious. She will have a reason for that (they almost always do).

Reply

berkshire January 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

No wait just a doggone minute–she *never* said anything about praying for us!

[unless it was on Facebook or I just missed it]

😉 Just trying to add some levity. I agree with you 100%, DR. Time we all start making these bigots feel every bit as uncomfortable being “out” as they’ve made the gay community.

I think it’s time for a good shunning.

Reply

Erika January 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm

i love you dr,

Reply

Suz January 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Sara, here’s a simple place to start. The Bible is NOT “cut and dry,” as you said. Open it. Read it, page by page, not just the passages you hear in church. The Bible contradicts itself at every turn, and for a very good reason: it was written, edited, interpreted, and translated over many years, by many people. And no human in history (except Jesus) can EVER comprehend the true nature of divinity. Yes, these men may well have been inspired by God, but to believe they could truly understand Him is to take away His divinity and equate Him to us puny humans. If God is in your heart, He’s speaking to you, but He doesn’t need words. Language is a human invention and really a pretty pathetic little tool. But all of out tools are small.

Do you really believe that the prophets could explain God’s will with mere words? If so, try this experiment: Sit in a dark room with someone you don’t know well, maybe an acquaintance from church. Have that person describe the word “red” to you, using as many words as they want. Next, both of you, separately, go to the paint department of your local Wal-Mart and pick out the exact shade of red that was described. Unless you cheat, I guarantee your reds won’t match.

I f words can’t precisely convey something as relatively simple as a color, how can they possibly convey the glory of God? They can’t. If you read the whole Bible, though, God’s message comes through, doesn’t it? It boils down to a very few points, the single most important of which is that HE LOVES US. All of us. He doesn’t want us to hurt each other any more than you want a bully to hurt your child. Anything you do to hurt one of God’s children, hurts God, and is a sin. Your man-made church uses bits and pieces of the Bible as proof that you have permission to hurt God’s children. Don’t think for a minute that permission comes from God.

Nobody’s asking you to drop your faith and buy into someone else’s “religion.” All I ask is that you allow yourself to assume that you might be wrong, that your accepted interpretation of Biblical passages may be inaccurate. Cover your ears, block out the noise, and trust the conscience that God gave you. Admit that “The Bible” might be wrong when it tells you that you must kill your own child after he talks back you you twice. (After thew first offense, you must merely beat him.)

God gave you everything you need to serve Him, and He gave the same gifts to people who have never even heard of the Bible. You have a brain; use it to think critically. You have a conscience; use it to guide your words and actions. You have a mouth; use it to express love. You have two hands; use them to end and prevent suffering EVERYWHERE you see it.

I’ve got big news for you. The leaders of your church may have more experience than you. They have more knowledge, and even more wisdom, than you, but they ARE NOT closer to God than you. They do not know His will better than you. God does not speak to you through them, He speaks directly to your heart. Listen.

Reply

Annie July 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

I am months late to reply to this, Suz, as I have just found this site. (Thank you God!)
But your works perfectly articulate not only what I would like to say to the ‘Sarah’s’ of the world, but to so many others, not just about our friends in the GLBT community, but on dogma in genera. Thank you so much. I am learning so much here on this site, and am finding my voice through others: where I have been standing in silence quietly seething, or leaving to cry, I find strength in these readers, who, like yourself, help me to find the words to protest what I percieve to be the hatefu and hurtful attitudes, actions and words of some of the “Christians” I am encountering lately.
Peace
A

Reply

Matt July 19, 2011 at 8:35 am

Hey Suz. That is a very well put, succinct thought line right there. Kudos to you. That creates the baseline for a mind that is truly open to God’s love and light. The moment we all try to diminish that light with our own thoughts and judgments, we begin to cut off that pipeline to God, which in and of itself opens up our minds to other earthly restraints.

Reply

Robyn Sheppard January 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I’m still looking for this passage in the bible, but I can’t seem to find it. Anyone know where it is?

“And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Unless, of course, he’s gay, or Mexican, or Puerto Rican, or lesbian. Oh, yeah…and you can forget about those Muslims in the desert. Where DO they come up with that head gear? It’s SO last millennium! (oops! I wear the same thing!) Let’s see, who else…anyone who disagrees with your own interpretations of My Words. You don’t have to waste your love on them, because they’re going to hell. Who else? Democrats, Republicans, and anyone who listens to St. Rush and St. Glenn. Those two are the Anti-Me.

“And forget those weird people in that church across the road. I mean, they don’t even wear neckties to worship! Can you imagine? Farmers wearing work clothes to worship Me? That’s an abomination, regardless of how many fibers they mix or don’t mix.

“Any questions? I’ll be down the street having dinner at Red Lobster. All this talk has made me thirsty, and I want to knock back a few beers with my scampi.”

Reply

Erika January 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm

bwhaaaaa!

Reply

sara January 21, 2011 at 11:06 am

i just posted the scripture that says we are to judge those in the church, oh but i forgot you guys dont agree with the bible. so of course quoting scripture (which is the only place christians should get their standpoints and information from) doesn’t mean much to you. i’m sorry if i came off offensive but i was honestly shaking by the things this site stands for in the name of jesus. i’m not a biggot i dont hate gay people and i myself am not above sin. i’am a sinner and there are lots of times that i feel so unworthy of god’s love. none of you know what i’ve been through in my life, i know i’m not perfect. for we all sin and fall short of the glory of god. that doesn’t mean we justify our sin. when we accept christ as our savior we no longer desire the things of the world but the things of god. the bible is clear what it says and there is only one way to heaven. one day you will have to stand before god and explain leading all these people astray, and that’s on your head. but i’m proud that i stood up for what was right, i wish i would’ve calmed down before i wrote because i didn’t mean to be so rude, but i stand by what i said, because i took my information out of the bible and not out of my own opinion.

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 11:40 am

Sara in your world? People who don’t agree with “you” don’t agree with “the Bible”. Do you see how easy you’ve made that for yourself?

For the record, you are simply relying on an interpretation *of* the Bible – just like we are. Just like anyone else is. You’re really no different from anyone else. I suspect that the thought of actually being wrong about this is terrifying for you and that’s because you have way more to lose than any of us do.

Think about it sara. Maybe the person who is leading others astray by claiming loud and proud that as a result of loving someone of the same sex means they don’t get to receive salvation is YOU. I’m not yelling, I’m asking you to really think about that. Everything your note said on your Facebook shuns gays and lesbians, they flee the thought of experiencing Jesus as a result of your words. Not mine. Not ours.

You need to start facing that you are causing some massive harm and I don’t care who you are – sorry, I just don’t, I don’t care that you feel unworthy, I don’t care that you are confused, I don’t care that you got your feelings hurt here. I’m actually glad you got offended, it means that you came back and actually read (which is a brave thing to do, I didn’t think you had it in you).

You are responsible for a lot of people running from God. You just are, and I’m holding your feet to the fire. Someone has to, you don’t get a pass anymore. If you want to accept the consequences of your Facebook note, that you and others saying this kind of thing contributes to gay kids killing themselves? (it’s documented) then do it. I’d respect that, but own your choice. Own your interpretation of the Bible. because it’s your fault when the vulnerable here the message from you and your people that they are not loved by God for being born a particular way they can’t help.

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

P.S. a long time ago? I was you. And someone was just as angry with me as I’m angry with you, and it changed the course of my entire life and my faith for the better.

Be a strong woman, sara. What if one of your children turns out to be gay? What about the baby you’re carrying right now that you undoubtedly adore so much? Imagine your baby reading your note on your Facebook. Imagine they are terrified because they’ve had a same-sex attraction since they were little and kept hearing you and Bubba repeat the principles of that note over and over again.

Imagine they try to change as hard as they can. But it’s not just about sex, your baby keeps dreaming of being in love, of holding hands, of whispering secrets, of just loving someone. But it’s the same sex. But because of the message you and your husband send? It becomes a horrible secret, a festering wound. A secret belief that they really aren’t ever going to be able to accept God’s salvation through Christ. They live with the fact that they can’t ever be adopted because they can’t ever quite fully get rid of who they’re wired to look twice at, to long for.

And now imagine they are a teenager. Your baby has just given up, can’t fight his/her heart anymore. And why even fight it, it’s not like God is ever going to love him/her. So they have a crush on a same sex person. You find out about it and you kick him/her out. You won’t stand for that behavior in your home (it happens in hundreds of Christian homes in our country everyday).

So your baby is on the street. They live in shelters. They get exploited. Or perhaps they stay in your house but they never tell you for fear of being rejected. After all sara – they read the note that you so proudly wrote.

And then at 15 instead of having a relationship? Your baby kills him or herself.

All of the sudden this isn’t so easy, is it.

Reply

Mindy January 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

DR, you take my breath away when you bring it down to the real human level. Because that is exactly what happens. It is so easy to hold on to what we’ve been taught to believe, to insist that what we believe is right (and the ONLY right) because someone long ago translated an ancient text and then that translation was translated and modified and translated again and eventually some group of church elders, who are just as human as you and I and Sara, decided that what it really mean is that God hates homosexuality.

And all the people in the world who want to be good people joined a church that promised salvation for anyone who tries to meet its definition of good. But those good people still live in fear – of themselves, of those who are different – and because they haven’t trusted that God gave them their own good hearts and souls to be conduits for the message of Holy Spirit, they hold doggedly to what someone else tells them – and the bonus is that they get to feel superior to others. I’m not perfect, I’m sinful, ::::lowering voice:::::, but at least I’m not gay! Whew. So all needs are met – someone is telling them how to live and what to believe, eliminating any need to wander into the scary gray areas of life in which they have to make their own choices – and they have sinners who are “worse” on whom they can dump all of their loathing and uncertainty. Bonus!

I vacillate always between feeling disgust and great sympathy, because they are simply missing out on so much that is good and wonderful in life by closing their minds to people who are just a bit different than themselves. So I’ll keep trying not to judge, and admiring your education methods as I go.

Reply

sara January 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I would still love my child, but I would stand firm to what it say’s in the bible. It would be very hard as to how to approach this situation and it is something that i’ve thought about in the past. I know growing up, I wasn’t homosexual but I did alot of stuff that made my parents hang their heads in sadness. As an adult now I can see the sadness i’m sure i caused God as well. My mom handled it by praying me through it, along with my brothers. She always loved me and only occasionally tried to get in debates with me. I would have to say I would handle my own childrens problems the same way. I would love them, I would pray for them and I would tell them that God loves them every day as I do now, while still guiding them in the right direction. The bible say’s teach them in the way that they should go and they will not depart from it Proverbs 22:6. Trust me I tell my daughter to love everyone no matter what. “this” arguement and debate is not something that i’ve gotten into in the past. Im a very loving person and I agree we are to love all. Thats why I know that it is God guiding my words because this isn’t something I would be likely to do. Anyways, to answer your question if it was my child, I wouldn’t lie and tell them it was ok, but I wouldn’t abandon them or make them feel like they couldn’t come to me about it either. There would be alot of prayer!

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Sara trust me. I’ve been a volunteer in a homeless shelter for years, I’ve dealt with dozens of gay kids who were kicked out of their “loving christian homes” as a result of your words here. Or they left on their own volition, scared of what you and your husband will say.

All of what you’ve offered here are just generalities. What are you going to pray for, exactly? That your baby change? Sorry, that doesn’t happen. You believe – if your baby does not change – that your baby will go to hell. That is your “standing firm” in what you believe. And I’m not perverting that, 2+2=4.

You believe that gay people go to hell if they “act out” being gay (being gay is way more than just having sex, just like being straight for us is far more than having sex). Your note said it. And with all due respect, sara, and I know this is going to be hard to hear, I’m absolutely terrified that you’re a parent. And I am praying that you don’t have a child who is gay. Because you will ruin his or her heart forever, I’ve seen it too many times. You will alienate them from any kind of experience with Jesus that is meaningful as a result of your own discomfort with homosexuality.

Before you say it, this “love the sinner hate the sin” just isn’t consistent in this case, being gay is not being an alcoholic, all being gay does is lead someone into the desire to have an exclusive, loving relationship with someone else. It’s not equated to the path that a “sin” leads to. It leads – if we allowed it – to marriage and a partnership. And as a fellow Christian I can’t let you say this stuff anymore without holding you accountable to the very real consequences you’ve created.

Simply put, you are responsible for those kids I had to hold as they absolutely sobbed in my arms because their Christian parents tried to love them but found part of who they were – such a vital part – repugnant. That you would believe a loving God who sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for us and do that to someone? Torture them that way? You are responsible for every single child who has ever ran away from a Christian home or hurt themselves as a result of your confusion. So you’ll forgive me if I’m not indulging your hurt feelings here. You’re just not the priority.

Reply

Meg January 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm

So, Sara, what you’re saying is you’d love your child and expect him or her to change? That’s conditional love, and let me assure you, that does untold damage to gay kids everywhere, everyday.

Also, I am so offended by this mindset people have that “knowing lots of gay people” makes it okay for them to slang off and tell gay people how sinful, depraved and damned we are!

You might be the lovliest, most ‘unjudgingest’ person on earth (though I doubt it, just by reading your statements here) but you don’t get a free pass to condemn me for being gay, just because you’ve got a gay friend, anymore than you’d get a free pass to use the N word if you had an African American friend.

Your attitude makes me angry and I won’t back down. I did that enough growing up, and I did it enough when I was trying to find out if God loves me or not, and you know what? He does love me, no matter how sinful YOU think I am.

Sin is almost always something that does harm to another person. Do you think that loving your husband does him any harm, Sara? Because I love my partner with everything in me and I cannot and will not see that as sin, until you tell me that loving your husband is a sin, and then we might have some common ground. If you don’t think loving him is a sin, then good. Now take one step further and tell me that loving my wife is not a sin, either.

It is my belief that the Bible, where it speaks of men lying with men, is speaking of doing so in ways that either rob God of his glory (idolatry) or do harm to another (pedophilia). It is not speaking of loving, consensual nurturing relationships.

Stop sending messages that kill our children, Sara. I beg of you.

I work with people on a forum for gay christians, and I see, every day the damage, the heartbreak, the pain–no– *agony* that the kind of stuff you have said here causes. If you love God, then feed his lambs and stop sending them to the slaughter.

Blessings,
Meg

Reply

Lily August 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I’m jumping in here again…. For the record, I haven’t read all the comments here, so I don’t know the entire exchange that went on between sara and the rest of you.

I just wanted to add some thoughts. First of all, we ALL fall short – every single one of us. As for me, I miss the mark probably more than most. I am still a work in progress! So I would never say or think that because I’m straight I’m somehow better than you or anyone who is gay. Everyone is equally valuable. And everyone should be loved and treated with respect. That said, it honestly baffles and amazes me that some people (I’m assuming we’re Christians here, but if anyone isn’t, then this wouldn’t apply to them) state that there is nothing sinful at all about homosexuality.

What I hear often is, “love between 2 people not wrong.” Well, of course! I agree if we’re talking only about love. But when people use the word homosexuality, they’re usually referring to more than love. If God’s standards are so, so, SO high that even LOOKING at someone lustfully (who you’re not married to) is a sin, it’s adultery. Then I’m sincerely baffled at how one can believe that God would not have no problem at all with sex between 2 people of the same sex considering the overwhelming amount of scriptural evidence that it goes against God’s will.

Heck, even a gay guy I knew from a discussion forum (who is not a Christian but knows about the bible) stated flat out, “The bible is clear on it, you can’t change it to try to make homosexuality not a sin. ” (of course in his eyes it’s not, because he’s an atheist, but the point was that even many gay people won’t try to change what many of them already know.)

Is it worse than other sins? In my opinion, no… Heterosexuals are sinning when they go out and get drunk and have sex outside of marriage. As I said before, God’s standard is amazingly high. It’s perfection. Which is exactly why we all need Jesus, because no one can meet that standard on their own.

Also, God calls us to be set apart from the world…. don’t be conformed to the pattern of the world, and to transformation, spiritual growth and sanctification. It’s not “unloving” to want us to change into the person He designed us to be! What WOULD be unloving is to leave us alone in the sorry state that we’re in before we come to God. I’m glad God didn’t want me to stay the same, I would be a mess.

So if the thing that makes you mad is the message (from some Christians) that homosexuals should change – then I would say that gays shouldn’t be singled out. ALL people who make the choice to follow Jesus should be willing to let Him transform us and change not only our actions but our heart, mind, our perspective, everything.

Ok, I hope I’m not going to be tarred and feathered for stating a view that (apparently) is different than most of you here. I’m not trying to be controversial, I just wanted to share my thoughts too, as you all have. Thanks!

Reply

Lily August 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Yikes, sorry for all the typos there. I had to post it fast, because I had to go do something, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like there’s an edit button.

Reply

Elizabeth August 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Oh, and no edit button. I hate that, too. :)

Reply

Elizabeth August 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm

All out of tar and feathers today. Convenient for you, because when I get on a roll, I can throw knives with the best of them. John’s general statements on this issue are here: http://johnshore.com/2012/04/02/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/. And here: http://johnshore.com/2013/04/16/what-todays-evangelicals-are-really-telling-gay-people/. There just isn’t much scriptural backing for homosexuality as a sin. It’s right up there with ladies’ head coverings and shellfish in minutia. We get wound up about it because our country was founded by Puritans; we have a real hang up on sex, especially if it’s ‘other’. The doctrine of loving the sinner and hating the sin has an exponentially devastating effect on the LGBTQ community. The suicide rate confirms that.

Reply

Lily August 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Thanks for the links. I happened to find this blog last night, so I haven’t had a chance to read his writings yet.

I don’t agree but I will take a look at his (and your) position, because I think it’s an important issue. I have some thoughts about it, but I won’t get into all that right now. Who knows, maybe once I get all my thoughts in order, I’ll write a blog post about it. I already want to write a blog post on another issue that came up on this site, about husbands and wives. Not to state my opinion but just to open up dialogue on it, because its another topic that obviously is controversial.

Thanks for not bringing tar to the debate. 😀 blessings!

Reply

Matt August 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Can I just say how tiring…no, *exhausting* it is that you (Lily) treat this as only a philosophical debate on a “controversial topic”?

Might I suggest researching the terms “intellectualization” “deumanisation” and “othering.” They’ll be more enlightening than any Bible verse, if you’re up for it.

Reply

Lily August 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Matt, I wouldn’t presume to know what’s in your head and heart, so please don’t do that to me. Feel free to say you don’t like or agree with my posts, but making accusations on my character is uncool.

Anyway, I’m not going to get into any “philosophical debates”, since this blog isn’t really the place or time (as far as I know). And, with the exception of Elizabeth, I can see that it’s not a very friendly place toward those who disagree with the group. So I’ll leave you to agree amongst yourselves. :) Ciao for now!

Andy August 26, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Lily, running off so quickly because we’re challenging traditional, literal interpretations of the Bible? That’s a shame. Just because we don’t stand for bigotry doesn’t mean we’re not friendly. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the opposite.

Jill June 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm

DR, you’re amazing, and powerful, and wise. I just wanted you to hear that.

Reply

sara January 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I will never accept that people are born gay…people were born gay as much as I was born with an addictive personality and I dont try to justify that. I repent of it and struggle against it. It’s not easy but i’ve been comfortable in my sin and I dont’ want that life. Not because being a christian is easier, because if you think about it rejecting your sin is harder than giving into it, but because God saw fit to redeem my life not out of my own merrit but by his grace and for that I am eternally greatful.
This site is for people that agree with all of this far fetched ideas of what christianity is, so I will not be posting on here any more because I do not agree and arguing is not accomplishing anything for any of us. So really, in the end is all that is going to matter, and for all of your sake, I hope your point is correct. that our translated bible was miswritten as a tool for the government to hurt people, so that you can all be in heaven too. I feel the bible is all we have to go by. If we say this doesn’t really mean this and that’s too outdated and doesn’t apply to nowadays, then we’re going by what we feel, and we’re human and cannot trust our own emotions to guide us.

Reply

John Shore January 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm

“Human can’t trust their own emotions to guide them.” And there it is, in a nutshell: a conception of God born of (learned) self-disdain. Pity the person who can’t even trust their own emotions.

Reply

mrl January 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm

“The heart is deceitful above all things’.

That is from the word of God. We are to trust and be lead by the Word, not our feelings.

Reply

Michelle M February 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

This verse you quote does not mention emotions. You are making the leap that “deceit” and “emotions” are the same thing, and they are not.

Reply

Kim January 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I have to say that I did not choose to be gay. Who would choose to be gay? It’s so much fun being talked about, fingers pointed and sometimes, just sometimes being called despicable names by Xians. I’ve know I was different since I was five. What five year old understands they want a girlfriend?

I’ve been in a very stable monogamous relationship for over 17 years with the SAME woman. We both have grown children from our previous hetero-marriages. I now have two grandkids who are 3 and 4. If one of them realized that they were gay, I would be sad for what they were in for, but I would be there for them. BUT, they would have my unconditional love. I would be there for them when they came home from school heartbroken because of the cruelty of classmates who were simply acting out their parent’s prejudice. This is learned behavior.

There was another suicide. 14 year old boy. He was cyber-bullied on Facebook. I don’t want to see another child in a casket. This Xian intrusion and hysteria over homosexuality MUST end.

I am very passionate about young people NOT being bullied and not being maligned for simply being who they are. Oh – there is a genetic factor to alcoholism. Who are we to say they won’t find one for addiction to drugs OR homosexuality. We’ll just have to wait and see. That’s my 2 cents. Peace.

Reply

Debbie February 27, 2011 at 4:40 am

Kim – may I ask what made you ‘know’ you were different at the age of five? Can you expand on that a little?

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Of course you won’t accept that sara. It’s too scary for you to actually consider that you’re wrong.

God have mercy on you and your babies. That’s all I can offer, you make me sick to my stomach. I can’t talk to you anymore. You’re gross.

But I do want to say something to the gay men and women who had to grow up with parents like sara and bubba (I cannot believe the cliche there):

I cannot imagine what it was like for you to grow up with people like this, I just can’t. I’m actually tearing up thinking about how awful this must have been for you and I feel a little panicked and desperate for those who are in it now. I wish I could just swoop them up and get them out of this kind of home that the saras of the world are building and they are trapped within.

That some of you have SURVIVED this emotionally and physically intact is remarkable to me, it is a testimony to your own strength of character that you’ve been blessed with. And if you have any kind of spiritual identity in Jesus, then I consider that one of His most beautiful miracles, to be able to work through such hateful religiosity that comes from parents like sara. I suspect yours is a faith that is as deep and rich as some of the saints with what you’ve endured, not just from parents like sara but our entire culture. I have more respect for you than almost anyone. I’m sorry for not stepping up and doing my part earlier, I’ll spend a lifetime fighting the saras of the world so you don’t have to.

DR

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Sorry, I apologize for calling you “gross”. That was out of line, regardless of how repugnant I find your words.

I’ll admit, you are kind of dangerous in my experience. And you don’t even know why which is even scarier. I’ve just dealt with the aftermath of parents who have literally said these words of yours verbatim while in the hospital as their gay child OD’d for the millionth time. I’ve been with them in the waiting room as they prayed, “standing firm” in their belief that somehow God is going to deliver their child from “being gay”. When their CHILD is on life support.

I’m just sick to death of those of you who worship your religion and put it in front of your children. My children. Your neighbor’s children. When are you going to wake up? What will it take for you to start caring about this? When will “being gay” stop being “gay sex” in your minds? I think it’s going to take a miracle. I confess I just want there to be another ark and have you all washed away so we can start over, or you can all just go be raptured and leave the rest of us alone. Fine. I’d far prefer to be hanging with an atheist who won’t damn a 10-year old gay child to hell instead of you. It’s just beyond imagination to me.

But. And this is a big one. Christy is right, compassion is what is required – not for you sara because I don’t care about you. But here’s the deal. I want to – I really want to, I want to stop despising you and all of you who keep allowing yourself to be snowed by this movement of people who want to keep us Christians dumb, angry and scared so we’ll vote a certain way. To keep money in their pockets. And I know how scary it is to face that! To take the blue pill, so to speak, I totally get it, somedays I even ask myself if I’m in the wrong. If John is wrong, if we’re all wrong. I still do, it’s a very, very powerful pull.

But compassion is essential I feel it for you because honestly if I don’t, I’ll start hating you and the people like you who do so much damage to the name of Jesus. Who cause those who are curious about Him to run away. I just can’t imagine my life without Him. He gave me a new Name. He saved me. He continues to every single day, from myself, from evil, from temptation – from so many things, everyday is this new resurrection of Love as he helps me live in Truth. And I want others who are curious about that or drawn to it to want that, and to think they won’t have it because people like you have made them some kind of second class citizen in the Word of God land infuriates me. But the Bible does speak very clearly about who the enemy is, and compassion will be the clarity I need to *see* it. And not point my finger the wrong way.

So pray for me sara. And I’ll pray for you.

Reply

Debbie February 27, 2011 at 4:48 am

DR – when you deal with these kids how do you go about setting them free from their parents? I mean listening to you it seems like these kids are killing themselves as some kind of either manipulation thing, blaming the parents etc – like they have no control or power over their own life and identity and can’t move forward until their parents change and accept them or they are killing themselves as some kind of ‘last word’ revenge designed to torment their unloving parents forever.

Seriously the way you are talking makes it sound like these kids are using suicide as a weapon against their parents. How do you help them see differently?

So how do you reach these kids and help them take back the power and control of their own life instead of letting the parents ‘beliefs’ dictate their life or death?

Am I making sense?

Reply

DR February 28, 2011 at 12:10 am

Hi Debbie,

First, welcome to the blog. (I just discovered your question so can answer it now).

I’m honestly at a loss for words here. It’s slightly shocking to suggest that a gay child would commit suicide as some kind of “manipulation thing” or to punish their parents? I’ve never heard of such a thing so if you’re reading that from what I’ve offered here, you’re interpreting it. These are children – at least in my experience – who absolutely believe they have absolutely no chance of being loved by God or to live an eternal life with Him because they can’t “stop being gay”. They go into despair and either attempt suicide or actually do it. They are in despair that their parents don’t love them and according to their parents, neither does God.

So no, you’re not making sense (you asked the question so I’m answering it directly). You’re asserting that I’ve said some things here that I haven’t. In terms of what I tell kids in this scenario? I tell them that they are saved through the blood of Jesus Christ and their being gay or remaining gay has absolutely no impact on whether or not that is true, that as a gay man or woman they can love who they love and still be absolutely loved and wanted by God. Period.

Reply

Debbie February 28, 2011 at 2:21 am

Yes I must of interpreted it wrong – it was coming across to me that these kids were killing themselves because of their parents lack of acceptance therefore these kids had given over the power and control of their lives to the opinion of their parents.

These days I think it is not clear at all what Jesus laid down His life for – no-one seems to know what we need saving for or from. I have no clue either apart from us having some kind of sin nature and that means we are the walking dead and He died to give us His nature and Life because He defeated death and rose from the dead and somehow that applies to us if we believe it and it all was done to show us how much God loves us.

I dunno – it confuses me most days.

Reply

Albert October 15, 2011 at 7:58 am

Hi Debbie, maybe this picture will help you in some way. It has only come to me recently and has helped me become less judgmental of others sins. I see an open bible opened up between the last page of the Old Testament and the New Testament, and on the left, I see a blood soaked part of the bible from the death of Christ. His Blood, His Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter). On the right side of the bible I see a foot of pure driven snow (Isaiah 1:18). With the help of this image I was free from being judgmental and saw how God Loves me. Now I have stopped “paying the dill and cumin”, and have adopted a more justice, mercy, and acceptance type of spirit. It only took 58 years but I finally made it over the hump. Keep going to church and wrestle like Jacob to find how to make the faith to work so that it makes sense to you in a God pleasing way. Best Regards,

Reply

DR October 15, 2011 at 8:39 am

Yes I must of interpreted it wrong – it was coming across to me that these kids were killing themselves because of their parents lack of acceptance therefore these kids had given over the power and control of their lives to the opinion of their parents.>>>

Debbie, you can’t be serious here. Do you know how absolutely devastating it is to have your mommy – your daddy – the two people in the world who are supposed to love you unconditionally, whose womb you grew within tell you that you’re an “abomination”? And you cant’ change it.

It’s like some of you who are anti-homosexuality are profoundly cut off from the way human beings work as a result of your need to be right spiritually.

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Oh one more thing. On your Facebook I didn’t see any pictures of you with head covering in the presence of your husband. That is Biblical.

Reply

Don Rappe January 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm

If you can’t believe people are born gay (or permanently imprinted in the first few years) you haven’t been closely acquainted with many gay people. You and I were very possibly born with our addictive personalities. I can and do avoid alcohol, but no amount of praying over me will make me not an alcoholic, so I can have a few drinks again. But I did not choose to be an alcoholic, I just am. I can no more choose to have a “couple of beers” than a gay man can choose to be in erotic love with a woman. I have a fellow recovering alcoholic friend who has not seduced a woman since he quit drinking. Because he cannot do this without being dishonest and creating the impression that he is capable of loving her. I’m 74 now and have found many things in this world I could not imagine when I was 26.

Reply

berkshire January 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

When did you “choose” to be straight?
Can you tell us something about that process . . . .I mean, if you’re not too busy?

Reply

berkshire January 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Sorry. That was meant to go under sara’s comment about never accepting that people are born gay. Not sure why t didn’t nest that way.

This is akin to really never being able to accept reality; the world as it presents itself. That explains the black and white thinking and the “no gray area” bit.

So sad.

Reply

Mindy January 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I so love that you “will never accept that people are born gay.” As if this somehow hinges upon her acceptance?! And, Sara, I assume you will never accept this because you are a psychologist, an endocrinologist, a psychiatrist, a neurologist – somehow you’ve obviously spent a great deal of time studying this topic, right? You’ve got all the research available to back this up, of course, because no one totally accepts or rejects an entire segment of the population just . . . because. Right?

People ARE born gay, Sara. I know this because I have had many conversations with gay people who have known who they are since before they cared about relationships or crushes at all. People raised in perfectly functional, normal homes, loved by both parents, both of whom were straight. They have straight siblings. They are normal, functional, monogamous people who happen to be attracted to those of the same sex. They’ve had same-sex crushes, they’ve fallen in love with someone of the same sex, they’ve had their hearts broken – and most of them had all of that happen BEFORE they ever actually HAD sex. No different than teenage me, who pined for my first unrequited love, then fell in love again . . . etc. All before I had sex, even though I felt attraction and affection and all those things just . . . . because. I didn’t “decide” or “choose” to like boys. I just did.

You who say it is a choice act as if there is some moment in life when each of us makes that decision.

Imagine this: today, all 12-yr.-olds will wake and their hormones will have been activated overnight. When they wake up, they will see a switch, right there on their bellies, that they have to click to one side or the other, in order to continue on with their lives. Switch it left, you’re straight. To the right, you’re gay. Now think about it, kids. It’s a big decision. If you choose gay, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of bigots out there in the big world. You’re likely to develop crushes on people who won’t be able to return your feelings, because you’re in the minority. Your family is going to be freaked out – of course that might just be a bonus for 12-yr.-olds – your parents might even wind up kicking you out. Building your own family some day will be more difficult – some places allow you to adopt but some don’t, some places let you marry but some don’t, artificial means are expensive, etc. For the rest of your life, you’ll constantly be wondering how open you can be about who you are, who will accept you and who will inform you, quite knowingly, that you are going straight to hell for who you are. But really, it’s up to you. You get to choose. Go on, choose.

Really, Sara? Do you really think 1 in 10 people would make that choice?

My guess is that what you perceive as “gay” is, in actuality, promiscuity. Which happens with both gay and straight people, as I’m sure you are aware. And since human sexuality exists along a continuum, there are also people who are attracted to both sexes. Bisexual people, who are able to have relationship with either sex, fall on the middle of the continuum. People in your belief paradigm, Sara, assume that gay people are out there seeking out sexual partners at every turn, unable to control their lust. That bisexual people are all out there having simultaneous sexual relationships with men and women. Some might be – but it is the promiscuity that is the “sin” there, not the sex of their partners. There are married men (and women) all over the place having affairs – simultaneous sexual relationships. They are being unfaithful to their vows – THAT is the sin. Not the orientation, but the lack of honesty and faithfulness. They are hurting people with their promiscuity, not their choice of partners.

One of my daughter’s very good friends is a lovely young woman who happens to be bisexual. She had a boyfriend for about a year when she was a freshman. They never had sex, just the typical young teen romance. It ran its course, they broke up, and life went on. Her sophomore year, she fell in love with a girl. They have been together now for over a year, are committed to each other, and they are openly a couple. We are blessed that my daughter goes to a wonderful school in which these girls are accepted for who they are – talented, good students, kind, funny and compassionate kids. One is known for her cooking, one for her singing. One plays soccer, one writes. And they are good friends to everyone they meet.

My daughter has another good friend, a boy, who is gay – he’s the kind of kid you know is gay the first time you meet him. He is also an incredibly sweet kid – my daughter’s been on crutches for several weeks, and he is there every morning, sharing his locker,carrying her backpack, mothering my baby and making sure she is OK. He’s never had a boyfriend. Not yet – but he’s still gay. He’s known it for as long as he can remember. He has tons of girl friends, and guy friends, and he’s cried on my daughter’s shoulder because he’s had a crush on a boy who is not gay. My daughter is not gay, either, but she would no more assume that God loves these friends of hers one tiny bit less than anyone else, or that the girls’ relationship is not as valid and meaningful and BLESSED as any other loving relationship. She has shut her cousins down for using “that’s so gay” as an epithet – and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

My girls also have friends who have two moms. Women who have been together for 15, 20 years. Lovely, wonderful, committed women, raising lovely, compassionate children. Women who attend church, who are active in our school community, and who have been monogamous for longer than my marriage lasted.

I love these people – and for you to talk about them as if they have some sort of addiction first makes me angry and then just makes my heart hurt. For your children, for the friends of your children – for the ones among them who are or will be gay – because someone will. One out of 10 human beings is.

You, Sara, need to educate yourself before you spout your hate. Like DR and Meg and the others, I will not feel sorry for you. I will hold you and your ilk accountable for the pain you cause until something gets through to you, and you CHOOSE to stop causing it.

Reply

Mindy January 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Oops, and Berkshire, that was supposed to go under Sara’s, too!

sorry – –

Reply

Debbie February 27, 2011 at 4:59 am

Where does being ‘born again’ and being a new creation in Christ fit into how we are born in the flesh?

I read Jesus saying we must be born of The Spirit because the flesh cannot inherit the Kingdom of God so for me it really doesn’t matter how you are born in the flesh…it is the spiritual birth that is going to count.

I have only been reading a few of these replies and I am left wondering if Jesus is the kind of God who would curse Sara with a gay child just to teach her something – I personally thought that was a low blow to a pregnant woman. Not Christlike at all. The days of an eye for an eye are over…loving enemies counts too…

Beliefs are always divisive and are usually about ‘us’ whereas faith unites and is always about God. A gay christian and straight christians and bisexual christians ought to unite in Him – we owe our life to Him who raises the dead.

Reply

JoAnn Mitchell January 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Sara, know this. I have already prayed to God that any gay person I witness too about His Son, His love, His spirit I am willing to take all accountablity for. That I am willing to take accountability for EVERY GAY PERSON in Heaven. If there is any repercussion let it be on me as a Christian leader who proclaims the love of Christ.

So that is covered Sarah… I don’t believe God will have any repercussions for offering love, grace and leading anyone to the acceptance and love of His Son.

But, if there is…. then, let it be on my head. I love Christ soo much that I want all, and I mean all to come into His presence in Heaven.

So, I have already had this discussion with God.

Reply

Joan Odom January 20, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I have not been lurking, more like “loitering” on this site. Is that so wrong? Ha. I LIKE IT HERE! The Christian Left facebook page brought me here. I have been reading posts and feeling really good about this “movement.” WE NEED TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!!! I am just kidding. Scared ya, huh? I am really sick and tired of my faith being doubted by hateful, self-righteous, Tea-type people. Rock on, you all! I am rediscovering Christianity, after being raised a fundie. It did not take. Alas… Stay happy and loving.

Reply

Annie July 18, 2011 at 11:18 am

Amen!

Reply

Dennis Gilbert January 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

It saddens me when I see someone strike out with such a vile description of a group of people she knows nothing of. She needs to spend some time examining her own faith and her own heart before she throws her wrath around. The fear in her remarks is palpable, and that’s why I am sad rather than angry for her. I have listened to this group of people and felt empathy and compassion, because I know I’m as broken as anyone. I just prefer to express my faith by welcoming anyone who needs God in their hearts, to express an extravagant welcome to all. That’s what I believe God calls us to, not to judge others. We’re not qualified….

Reply

Suz January 21, 2011 at 3:53 am

” I am sad rather than angry for her.”

Me too.

Oh, the things we do in God’s name. There is so much work to be done.

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

I wish I was as englightened as you both are, but I’m angry. I’m angry at this group of people who are causing such harm. I’m in a turning the tables in God’s house kind of mood these days when I see this kind of stuff written so audaciously, which such arrogance and bravado. I’m shocked by it, and I’m pissed at myself for giving it a pass for so long and try to “”Let’s just give everyone a break because they are learning” kind of thing.

I’m done with that. Anger is an activating agent and from where I’m sitting we are all way too nice to one another, we inadverdently give passes to one another for these things that we say that cause so much harm. I mean, actual death and homelessness with children. Children! When are we going to start getting angry with one another? Anger wakes people up, it stirs us out of our complacency. It holds us accountable for actually being able to defend ourselves.

Sure, it also makes people retreat. But at least they were forced – if not for one or two seconds – to come out into the light and defend themselves. Ourselves. From where I’m standing, we give all of the righteous indignation to the conservative christians of the world toward us and we try to gentle our response. I’m coming to this debate – with them in particular – with some serious guns blazing, I’m ready to do a battle. Not because I’m right, but because I am absolutely in love with the atheists, the gays, the shunned by Christians in my life and they are worth defending. They are worth getting angry about. We have a massive, massive mess in our house to clean up and with all due respect to those of us who are liberal christians? We’ve allowed these people to have this huge, loud voice because we’re quiet. And we’ve become passive as a result.

I want to take my church back. It’s been held hostage by a very small group of powerful people who have manipulated it to make sure it aligns with some political goals. Ghandi changed the world through non-violence, but when it came to land and property, overturning power structures? William Wallace did a fine job as well. We need both.

So Sara? I don’t feel sorry for you. I think you’re choosing a very sheltered, easy way of believing where you do little to no thinking for yourself. I’m angry that you’re hurting such a vulnerable population in our society and I’m enraged at the spiritual abuse you dole out that would suggest they are unable to experience salvation in their current homosexual state. You’re perverting Jesus Christ and what he did on the Cross. I wont’ stand for it anymore, and telling you I feel sorry for you is just a lie.

Reply

Debra January 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I’m right here with you DR! Enough!
A brief history: I am in my 40’s, lesbian born to a southern baptist preacher. Needless to say, years of therapy, running to and fro in search of how I fit with God. I have had it up to here with the Saras of the world! Kids should know from day one….you were knitted in your mother’s womb, beautifully and wonderfully made. It is God who created you in Their image. Own it, children of the world.

Reply

Robyn Sheppard January 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Debra,

Why is it that we “PK’s” (preacher’s kids, to the rest of you) always seem to be the biggest thorn in our parents’ sides? Is it something genetic about us? Or is it that we so often rebel from the outer shell of religion because of what we see in the soft underbelly?

My own father probably did more to turn me off to ALL religion than any other single factor. I just thank God (literally) that I had a mother who showed me by example what it meant to be a Christian.

Reply

Don Rappe January 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Although it’s a separate topic this question about PKs and what they see is a very thought provoking one.

Reply

Debra January 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I have MUCH to say on the topic, anytime…..

Reply

Debra January 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm

My father loved me, and I loved him. He was teaching what he was taught. When I first came out, around 20 yrs old, I did it badly. I wouldn’t tell them, and I mostly just stayed away as much as possible. When I was home for a visit I would avoid one on one time with Dad because I was afraid he would ask me about it, and I didn’t have an argument at the time for what the bible says. Unfortunately he died before we could ever have that talk. I know he would have been loving and listen to me. I did get some education through a gay pastor I know, and a book called What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality. I have some regret that it took me so long to seek these answers. Instead, I just shoved God away and decided hell was suited for me. Now I know with my knower what I know. My mother loves me as much as ever, and she loves my girlfriend. My brother is the one who refuses to meet my gf and to allow us around his kids. I haven’t been to a family function in years.
The things I did as a teenager living at home that my father would be displeased with, I tried my best to keep it under wraps. I never wanted to hurt him or his ministry, but just to live my life. That led to some confusion later in life as I tried to live two lives. It took me a while to really figure out who I am, but I thank God daily for never leaving me, and for pursuing me with His unrelenting love.

Reply

Christy January 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I feel your pain, DR. I feel like giving Sara a little slack because of her age. I was still blinded by certainty at her age too. The ones that make my heart beat like one too many shots of espresso and cause the little vein underneath my right eye twitch annoyingly are say, over 40: old enough to have been exposed to a much wider variety of thought and influence, who have had some time to be curious and read some books…..to wrestle with some questions….meet some people different than themselves – but haven’t changed a bit.

My favorite newly found quote is by Muhammad Ali, “The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” Along with the oft quoted, “The opposite of faith isn’t doubt; it’s certainty.”

I want to be able to talk about spirituality and Christianity without people running for cover too. Let’s keep trying.

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I know I’m so angry that I’m probably not helping to keep this productive. It’s why I stopped posting at this forum for a while. I am too angry and frankly, I don’t believe in the power of kindness anymore when it comes to such willful blindness that creates such unconscious hostility. I loved Martin Luther King, but right now I am identifying far more with Malcolm X ( as much as a white girl can).

Anyway. Thanks.

Reply

Christy January 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm

=) So I’m reading what you wrote and I’m thinking of that scene in Braveheart where Mel Gibson’s character is about to lead all of his awesome radical highland characters into battle against the well armored Britons and the other side has stated their charge and he says, “Hold……Hold…….HOLD……”

You’re not alone in your anger…..but compassion is healing…..even for the anger within us that often drives us to points of despair when we see how much pain is inflicted upon other human beings in the word in the name of God.

Our minister says it this way: No one was ever convinced to change their mind through argument. This is a difficult lesson with which I continue to struggle. How we make each other feel – wisdom gained through experience – this changes us, and we never forget.

There is also a benediction that we hear fairly often where we worship. It is one I love and seems fitting for times when anger overtakes us:

”Go. Be apostles of Peace.”

Reply

Christy January 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

World…..pain in the world.

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Got it. And thank you.

Reply

Debbie February 27, 2011 at 5:06 am

This was awesome my fellow eyetwitching over forty person…

Reply

Mindy January 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

It is a fine line to walk, that one between anger and action. I struggle with it constantly. I’ve just seen so much anger in my life that I am hard-pressed to muster it effectively. I end up just being a smart-ass, tossing about snarky insults and accomplishing very little. Your anger, on the other hand, DR, is directed, purposeful. You call it when you see it, and you call it what it is – bigotry, plain and simple. You’ve no idea how much admiration I hold for you and all that you’ve posted on this subject. You come from a place of real wisdom – because you’ve lived it, seen it, responded to it and understand the complications it weaves around young lives everywhere. Bigotry borne of certainty, certainty based on misunderstandings and lies. It is a very ugly animal, and I will continue to eschew it in my life, embrace the whole of humanity, and emulate your productive anger rather rather than pointless snark and sarcasm.

Not that I’ll abandon my sarcasm. I’ll just try to be a bit more . . . judicious in its usage.

Trudging onward – – – –

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Read Christy’s reply to me, it’s so beautiful and filled with a lot of wisdom. Compassion is really more for our benefit than the other person.

I know for me, she’s absolutely right. I’m going to pray for that Grace, I am. I don’t have it but looking back at my life just five years ago when I was a self-absorbed twit much like our dear Sara (and sara if you’re reading this, I was probably worse than you are so take that with a grain of salt),

I was able to finally see it but it took such a long time and my injured feelings were such a huge brick wall. A man I adored told me that as a more liberal christian (who would juuuuuuust stop short in how I felt about the gays) was even more to blame than the saras of the world. That at least to the atheists, they know what sara stands for. There’s some integrity in that. But for those of us liberal christians? We just seemed interested in making sure that our hands stay clean, that we get to be everyone’s friend. So we don’t engage in the conflict to stop the damaging rhetoric of sara (used collectively, she’s obviously a young girl from rural Washington state) from actually hurting people, but we want to make sure that all the atheists know we would never think such things!

I was completely convicted. He was right, at least about me. So I totally let go of my need for Christianity to love me back as much as I’d needed it to. And then it’s like the scales fell from my eyes, I realized what I’d let myself believe for so long and why. The character flaws that kept me focused on me looking good at all costs.

So the one great thing about the saras that come on this forum? They are here to do a little battle and there’s something I respect about that. But how to handle them now without calling them gross is my goal. Baby steps. :)

Reply

John Shore January 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm

You do a wonderful job, DR.

Reply

Christy January 22, 2011 at 6:08 am

DR, The last time I went off on my fundy upbringing my dearest friend and spiritual mentor, who is wicked smart and so insightful, asked if it helped at all to remember that they can’t teach what they don’t know.

“Not yet” was my reply.

Forgiveness is the gift we give ourselves…..I keep reminding myself of this. And yes, the showing of compassion changes us as well. Once the scales fall off, we so very much want to help others lose the scales. I’m still trying to figure out how this is best accomplished. Mother Teresa reminded us that often it is done one person at a time. We want it to be fast. Usually it’s not….it takes a long time to grow into it.

We can preach or we can show. Showing is harder.

Blessings on your journey, my friend. ~ C

Reply

Jill August 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I seriously don’t know where I’d be without this space right now in my life. Had NO clue how much wrath, misery, and rage I’m still hiding up in my cells still, after so many years out of the ‘cult’, out of my personal hell.

Christy, I take many cues from you out here on this subject (you know this already!). It is slowly helping me to remember that they couldn’t teach what they didn’t know, but also that because they didn’t know it–I made sure to learn it, and to never do that again. It has made all the difference.

Truth burns sometimes, but it burns through the detritus upon our souls, so at last light can shine through.

I just need to be all soppy right now and thank this brilliant group of writers, bloggers, and activists here who HEAL up brokenness in peoples’ lives. You might not ever know this if someone never told you what your words mean. And you know who you are up in here.

Reply

Debbie February 27, 2011 at 5:12 am

Is being a reformed fundie or liberal like being a reformed smoker? My ex has just given up smoking and man he is a pain in the arse everytime I light up, I look at him incredulous as he gives off an air of superiority like he has never smoked a day in his life…it is so weird.

Reply

Suz January 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Don’t apologize for your anger; it IS productive. Use it for good, so it doesn’t eat you up and make you bitter. I’m not enlightened, I’m tired. I’m not as strong ans I once was, and anger wears me out. I don’t see cruelty in your anger, only true righteousness. That’s not a bad thing, and it has a place in this discussion. Besides, you’re witty and articulate; I like reading what you have to say. Just don’t let your anger hurt YOU.

Reply

S January 21, 2011 at 7:58 pm

DR, I wish there were more people like you in the world.

Reply

JoAnn Mitchell January 20, 2011 at 8:08 pm

As we recognize that God is all knowing; all powerful; all seeing. We also know He never changes. To study any spiritual truth this basic information has to be present. The greatest Bible teachers through out the history of Christianity have stated:

For a Bibical/Spiritual truth to be a Bibical/spiritual truth; it has to be a truth that fits all of mankind through all history. From the poorest person to the richest person. Every nationality; all of humanity; in any era.

God/Spirit/Jesus is the same today as He has been all of eternity. In all of mankind; through out all time! So, what fits that message: a message of love… as Christ stated the greatest of these is love.

Are there guidelines to enhance our personal lives? yes, of course. But, the SIN NATURE in each human is the same; never changes; is a sin seed; from the fall of Adam and Eve. WE ARE ALL SEEN THE SAME IN GOD’S EYES. From the cave man to the most advance person alive today. SAME SIN NATURE/SEED IN EACH ONE OF US. It is not a list of human actions. It is the same seed in me as in each person. This is why Christ kept it simple regarding faith and told us: that it is a personal relationship. Each person to Him.

Reply

Kara January 20, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Wow, it’s been a while! (Again. School, I tell you.)

Absolutely *love* TWC, John. I’m amused how some people feel the best insult they can levy against the group is that it’s “not really Christian,” as if by their saying so, it were automatically somehow true. As you said on Facebook, when you start preaching radical love, it sure doesn’t take long before fundamentalists start coming out of the woodworks…

Reply

Jill July 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Radical love is my very favorite kind. 😉

Reply

Lee Walker January 20, 2011 at 7:08 pm

re: Sara and all the stereotypical fundies she represents so well: how loud and long can I

Reply

Lee Walker January 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

well, poop! apparently the long siiiggggggghhhhhhhhh I put in didn’t show up when enclosed by those pointy bracket thingys….hate it when that happens!

Reply

kenleonard January 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm

So, Sara isn’t particularly likely to sign up as a lifetime booster?

Oh, well …

Reply

sara January 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm

to address that we shouldn’t condemn homosexuals and we should have love for all…the bible says in romans that, “i have written you in my letter not to associate with immoral people-not at all meaning the people of the world who are immoral…in that case you would have to leave the world. But now i am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother (christian) but is sexually immoral, with such a man do not even eat! what business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? are you not to judge those inside? god will judge those outside. expel the wicked man from among you. this is saying the the “love for all” can be with the people who don’t understand the wicked they’re doing but you who call yourselves christians and continue to live immoral lives should not be tolerated by christians. that’s what the bible says not mans opinion!

Reply

DR January 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm

The gay kids who kill themselves as a result of the message you – sara – are sending them? About being unholy and “against God’s plan” because at the age of 4 they realized they liked the same sex and couldn’t stop?

I think you’re kind of a fool and am thankful that people like you are a dying breed and this kind of thing won’t be around in a decade because we’re getting educated. Most reasonable Christians are waking up the fact that it’s juuuuuuust not this easy anymore.

But in all seriousness Sara? Those kids lives that are gone now? Their despair at believing at their last breath that God fundamentally rejected them? All of that is your fault. It’s on your shoulders, their blood is on your hands. It’s not on mine, I’d never pervert the God’s Holy Word in the way that you and your ilk have. You’re a a victim of a group of very powerful people a few decades ago who wanted to keep you dumb, ignorant and scared so you would vote a particular way (study up on Nixon).

But you’ve gone along with it, despite being snowed and manipulated. You keep yourself in the dark. And now as a result, kids are dying because of the “gospel message” you send as you obsessively pick out a few verses in the Bible written thousands of years ago that you don’t even understand very well.

Good luck on the Last Day with that one. I’m serious. God have mercy on you, you truly have no idea what you’ve done. You may not even care. I hope that’s not the case, I hope you’re not that far gone.

Reply

John Shore January 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

There’s some preachin’ goin’ on up in here TONIGHT!

Reply

Mindy January 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

Never stop saying what you say, DR. Never. You are so right, so eloquent – and while I am not at all sure the Saras of the world even bother to return to scene of their rants in order to read the responses and see the damage they’ve wrought, I know that others hear clearly what you say. I have no doubt that your writing has been the “lightbulb moment” for more than one TRUE Christian.

Reply

Debbie February 27, 2011 at 5:15 am

How does guilt tripping her help?

Reply

DR February 27, 2011 at 8:09 pm

If one reads mine or anyone else’s words and feels guilt? As with any guilty emotion it would be wise to pay attention to why their heart is being stirred in that particular way instead of getting defensive.

We are here to sharpen one another and continue to keep one another “awake”. If any part of our message is causing children who are gay to hurt themselves? To hate themselves? To kill themselves? Then I’d suggest allowing the guilt of that to move us swiftly towards awareness, regret, remorse and repentance is the holiest thing we could do.

Reply

Debbie February 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I didn’t say she felt guilty…I was asking why you were guilt tripping her and threatening her with a vision of God tearing her apart on Judgement day because gay kids killed themselves suggesting that it is her fault that the kids do this.

Is God going to tear all us believers apart because we got some stuff wrong and brought harm to people instead of healing? Is this what Grace is about?

Are terrible christians the only reason gay kids kill themselves? I asked you some question further up about how you minister to gay kids, I’d appreciate a response.

Reply

DR February 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Is God going to tear all us believers apart because we got some stuff wrong and brought harm to people instead of healing? Is this what Grace is about?>>>

God doesn’t appear to be a wild animal, so “tearing believers apart” is your use of language. Not my own. If you want to make a point feel free to do that, but please don’t insert words and claim they are mine when they are actually yours. Thank you.

“Grace” is about repentance. The christian message of gay kids being intrinsically evil is absolutely contributing to gay kids killing themselves, I’ve spent a number of years in this community with gay kids who have been kicked out of their loving Christian homes. Though personal testimony isn’t enough, if you’re genuinely curious please do some research, the data is plentiful (even conservative Christian groups like Focus on the Family agree it’s a problem).

I missed your question, feel free to pose it again. In short, the way I’ve ministered to gay children in the past is to volunteer at a teen homeless shelter where at least a hundred kids in the ten years I was there were gay and were kicked out of their “loving christian homes” for being someone contrary to God’s plan. So I’d hold them while they’d sob, asking me why God created them in a way that would make their parents hate them. I’d try to convince them otherwise, but most of the time I just prayed. When a child hears from their parents that the parents find the child unloveable and unacceptable because God feels that way about them? There’s really nothing more to say.

It seems like you’re awfully defensive about this issue. I hope I’m wrong. If you are, know prior to engaging me that I’ve dealt with hundreds of people like you and just like with them, I’ll take absolutely no responsibility for your anger (if that’s what you’re experiencing).

If I’ve touched a nerve then I’m glad for that. Not that I enjoy provoking anyone for the sake of provocation, but because gay children are killing themselves in part due to the message that they are not able to be loved and accepted and sanctified by God through the saving Grace of Jesus Christ if they “remain gay”. If hearing that makes you angry? Then cool, be angry. If you’re someone who is responsible for communicating that message, endorsing that message or tolerating that message in any way shape or form, you are accountable for the impact and it’s important that someone tells you the truth. Hearing that truth makes some people very angry (at first). Some choose to push through that and listen, some don’t. Your call either way for your sake I hope and pray it is the former. That’s all I’ve got, welcome to the blog.

Reply

Debbie February 28, 2011 at 1:44 am

I have never come across anyone who has called gay children evil or come across kids who have been kicked out of home by their christian parents – my son has a few friends who have been kicked out by their parents with no religious affiliation and it is a toss whether it is the sexual orientation or the drug taking or the violent disrespect in the parents home, the kids seem to have one story to tell and the parents another.

I don’t go to church so my experience is very limited when it comes to what christians do. I also hang out at a few forums that talk about left wing right wing liberal conservative etc yet to me none of that is relatable to me as I am Australian – we don’t really have all that going on here though I do try and understand the conversations when i am in them.

I wasn’t angry at your response to sara – I was just very surprised at how cutting some of the ‘personal attacks’ toward her were. It is a whole new world to me these kinds of conversations.

Reply

sara January 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Where did you guys pull your information from? it certainly wasn’t the bible! It makes me so sick that you think you can call yourselves christians when nothing you wrote has anything to do with what it says in the bible!!!‎1. he left behind for the benefit of all people (all people that accept jesus christ as their saviour and repent of their sins) 2. living a life of love (to lead people to christ and help people turn from their sin, not accept it) 3. god i…s inerrant (agreed but that doesn’t mean he created people to be justified in sin)6. God is a mixing of male and female (i couldn’t say whether he is male or female i guess the bible doesn’t address that but that’s pretty far out to be one of their view points) 7. Paul is the supposed author of Romans and he denounces homosexuality for sure! Romans 1:24! 8. IAM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE NO ONE GETS TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH THE SON!!! you also make a joke about hell in this statement and i think as christians we agree hell exists!9. says you dont have to be christian to get to heaven I really dont think i even need to go on addressing how WRONG you people are. it makes me so sick to my stomach that people around the world think this is ok. it’s not like you’re making your own religion, you’re perverting one that already exists! IF YOU WANT THE TRUTH AND YOU WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN READ THE BIBLE!! there is no gray area

Reply

DR January 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm

thanks for clearing that up!

Reply

John Shore January 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm

DR: Your reply, right here, made me laugh harder than I think I’ve ever laughed at any blog comment, ever. I died!

Reply

DR January 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I was laughing when I wrote that, not gonna lie.

xoxo

Reply

mrl January 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm

one of your thruway doctrines is about treating all others with love–so is that why you laughed at DRs insult directed at Sara?

Reply

DR January 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Look, you’re obviously here gunning for a fight – it’s pathetic. But what you don’t seem to have the capacity to grasp is that people like you and Sarah use Christianity to manage your hostility and your own lack of emotional maturity – it’s an escape hatch so you can use it to avoid facing your lives – so you can stop thinking, stop feeling and interacting with anyone who makes you uncomfortable or challenges you.

You doing so is all about you and has absolutely nothing to do with the horrific sacrifice Jesus made for us on the Cross. Nothing. So be here and try to be contrary – who cares. No one cares about your righteous indignation anymore – at most it’s just embarrassing as a fellow Christian and at worst, the damage you do as you *use* the Gospel as a way to not actually *think* is what the rest of us who don’t do it have to clean up.

Reply

Robert May 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm

This is what happens when people believe they and their religion are (1) the sole source of the godhead’s wisdom and (2) the spokes-person for the godhead. I personally can not comprehend the level of arrogance it takes to believe that the entirety of wisdom of the infinite universe is found in any one source or religion. And the people who seem the most vocal in claiming the authority of the godhead almost always seem to be (1) not too bright or (2) have some financial or political gain at stake. (got to keep those collection plates full and sell my next book/CD/movie/fashion statement – yikey Erwin McManus).

I love the message of Jesus (not to sure about the whole christ thing and definitely not keen on Paul). He taught about love and kindness. So, I find it ironic when most “christians” seem to act more like his roman oppressors than like him.

Maybe the truism, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is coming into play. Maybe christians might want to consider doing away with the idea that they are the sole source of anything… and begin to contemplate the idea that the godhead has been speaking to humanity from multiple sources and continues to speak to humanity even today. Now that would be interesting… maybe god is right now speaking to some mathematicians at Berkley.

Reply

Don Rappe July 25, 2011 at 3:11 am

I think God did do some serious speaking to me when I was studying math at Cal.

Reply

cat rennolds January 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Hey sara.

thank you for reminding us all exactly why we had to start Thruway Christians in the first place.

I’m sorry you’re so scared you have to scream at us. Maybe you should pray, and then listen to the answer. We ALL read the Bible here. Some of us have memorized several versions.

Have you read it in the Spirit in which it was written?

With great love,
Cat

Reply

berkshire January 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I don’t quite get what you’re so angry and “sickened” about. What is so threatening to you about this, about “Above all, Love”? Have you actually taken your own advice and read the Bible . . you know, that New Testament part . . .the part with Jesus?

If you are so completely right, and “[those] people” are so completely wrong, I suspect that wouldn’t affect *you* at all. You are completely right and your faith is unshakable, so why the frothing at the mouth and the compulsive caps-lock?

Examine that–that ‘sick’ feeling is you feeling threatened. You’re feeling deep down, not so sure. You’re living in that very gray zone you want to deny. You know, the gray zone won’t kill you. It’s really OK. That sick feeling is coming from hearing the ring of truth in what you read here, and that’s scary, especially if it doesn’t fit what you’ve been told to believe is the truth. If another ‘truth’ makes inroads, that will feel really uncomfortable and require you to think, and to feel uncertainty. Don’t you trust Jesus to deliver you through all of that, to the light, and to a state of peace with the divergent views of others?

Perhaps it would be more Christ-like to at least feel compassion for what you see as poor, deluded souls, rather than rage or condemnation–after all, God doesn’t need your help with judgment. God is inerrant. He can handle that on His own, thanks very much.
Of course, perhaps it would display less arrogance and pride to consider they might not be deluded at all.

Nowhere in this world, in this life is it accurate to say “There is no gray area”. You would have to be truly and deeply unconscious to believe that. I would imagine such a view would cause you to suffer a great deal, and that’s unfortunate. I mean, to my thinking, someone that angry must be suffering, no?

Reply

John Shore January 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

This is wonderful. Thanks, Berkshire. (And you too, Cat.)

Reply

DR January 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm

PS Sara,

You know what also makes me sick to my stomach? Gay kids from Christian homes are 4x as likely to get kicked out of their “loving Christian homes” as well as commit suicide because of the messages that some – maybe even you – say that “the Bible says”.

I think you’ve got a few other things to worry about than some dude on the Internet who wants to love people in the name of Jesus Christ.

Reply

John Shore January 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

“Some dude”? The NOIVE!

Reply

DR January 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I thought you’d like that.

This is…”uncharitable”, but what it is about the saras of the internet when they’re such cowards? It’s like they are drive-by posters, they spew a little, scream a lot, and then they never come back to actually counter what is said in response.

It’s a little like how a cockroach acts when the lights get turned on. So creepy. Aren’t these people supposed to be filled with the zeal of the Holy Spirit? Maybe sara is too busy feeling persecuted now because she was effectively countered. Who knows.

Reply

berkshire January 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Not “some dude”, rather “The Dude”, and he abides. 😉

I get what you’re saying DR, here and further up on the page. But for my part, I’ll be happy for her (and her ilk) to disappear from the forum and public discourse altogether. Pretty toxic stuff. Very sad.

My impression was of someone very, very young, btw. Might have been good to explain who Nixon was. 😉

Reply

DR January 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Well, those who believe this are actually undergoing a massive persecution complex now that they are being held accountable so I suspect they won’t participate as a result of that.

But I’ve been sara and I’ve been spoken to as harshly as I’ve spoken to her. And I do so because I’m just as angry now as the person who was angry with me was (for good reason). And if she’s not totally marinating in her self and her injured feelings, if she’s really committed to loving Jesus (and she very well might be) then I’d love for her to come back and talk. We all bring one another into the light one way or the other.

Reply

A'isha January 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Ok, Sara here’s my response. I know I replied on FB, but it bears repeating here. I’ll address each point you made and disagreed with.
1) he left behind the holy spirit for everyone. Who do you think it is that convicts people that they even need Christ? The holy spirit is who prompts us to even want to seek God before we even know we need a saviour.
2) I’ll quote Billy Graham in response to this “it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and it’s my job to love.”
3) I don’t get where you disagree here. God is inerrant, people aren’t. Pretty straight forward.
7)What John said here is that there is equal “proof” for each interpretation—that Paul was speaking of homosexuality and that he wasn’t. FYI, the words Paul used weren’t even translated as “homosexual” until the 1950s. Many, many people (myself included) think he was talking about pagan rituals and worshiping creature rather than Creator. That’s an entire study in itself. Further, John also said if you think Paul’s words “prove” homosexuality is a sin then you’ve chosen one proof over the other or haven’t studied it. Have you studied it, Sara? I have. Countless hours of intense study and prayer. 8)Even in the Bible God presented himself to people differently. It’s not my place, or yours, to judge whether someone is worshiping God in the “correct” way. I’m going to leave that to God because, well, that’s part of his job…not mine.
9)Again, God’s the judge not any human. Many people follow Christ but would not call themselves a “Christian.” Personally, I’m reluctant to because then so many people automatically assume I’m a judgmental hypocrite. I think that addresses all of the points you made.

Reply

mzklever January 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Love it. I love when logic counters irrationalism. As someone said above, it tends to send the roaches scurrying back towards the safety of the darkness.

Reply

DR January 21, 2011 at 7:54 am

Of course sara isn’t going to come back here, people. She’s scared., all of this represents a huge change for her and most people in the cult of fundamentalism are there because life is easy. Others have done their thinking for them and told them what the Bible *really* says. So sara gets to live a very easy, sheltered life within her Christian privilege in this country (which has nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with politics imo).

It’s only the really brave people who come back and face themselves. And some don’t change entirely, nor should they, I think there are some great things offered in Evangelistic churches. But sara and people like her are going to have to start getting used to the fact that their country is changing, their church is changing and the expectation of her to actually start thinking critically for herself is present. And for a long time, I bet she’s never had to do it.

I think you are wonderful but I wouldn’t waste any of your very beautiful heart on sara or her friends. She will seek what she finds. If sara is being pulled by the Holy Spirit to open up, if she’s ready to change? She will come back on her own. But this opposition (we violently oppose what is often the truest) may be the only thing she can handle right now.

Reply

Meg January 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Sara,

1. Jesus Christ didn’t write the Bible. Men (inspired by God) wrote the Bible.

2. The only thing Christ speaks of ‘leaving’ for ALL people (not just those who repent) is “Another comforter” the Holy Spirit.

3. The most common complaint the religious leaders of his time had against Christ was that He taught a “new way” that was not set forth ‘in their Scriptures’ (The Law).

4. The people who screamed and railed against Christ were the scribes and the pharisees, the ones HE called hypocrites, liars and serpents. Be careful who you scream and rail at, won’t you?

Blessings,
Meg

Reply

S January 20, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Maybe if I add enough exclamation points, it’ll make my ideas valid!

Reply

John Shore January 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Man, I do have some funny people on my side …. !

Reply

Don Rappe January 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I can feel a little uneasy about choosing “sides” but I think I know what you mean.

Reply

mrl January 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm

your side, not God’s

Reply

Mindy January 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Sara? While we’re all off reading the Bible so we know exactly what to think (you know, because no one here has, ever), why don’t you take some time and read a handy little book by Strunk & White, all about grammar, punctuation and spelling. If you want to rant and rave on the Internet and be taken seriously, gaining some control over those things and using them correctly will help you on your way. Perhaps, while you’re reading it, all that emotional froth you whipped up in your very judgy little episode here will subside a bit, and you’ll find yourself able to formulate your own thoughts, rather than simply regurgitate what you’ve been told since you were a little bitty girl.

See, your written/typed word is all anyone has to go on here in the big, wild Internets, and you present yourself as not-very-bright when you cram all your paragraphs together and don’t capitalize your sentences OR the name of your holy book we’re supposed to go read, but do capitalize your REALLY EMPHATIC POINTS and use so many exclamation points that they cease to have meaning.

Oh, and when you get a minute, can you point me toward the Bible passage that recommends insulting, judgmental rants?

Reply

peet January 20, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Amen, Sister. Thanks be to God for the infallible revelation of Mr. Strunk and Mr. White.

Reply

Meg January 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Hear hear!

Reply

Susan in NY January 21, 2011 at 6:59 am

Amen, sista friend!

Reply

Debbie February 27, 2011 at 5:24 am

Sara – I read the Bible when I was pregnant, homeless and also had a four year old. I now have four children to three different father’s – still unmarried yet no longer with the last two children’s dad. Reading this blog I could start saying I was born sexually immoral yet that would just be crap. I am just glad that my sin is pretty cut and dried.

To me my lifestyle was only a symptom of my true sin – unbelief.

Anyway – what I got out of reading the bible was the truth that I was dead in my trangressions and Jesus can make dead people live – it was the best news I had ever heard in my life. From death to life – my deepest need and He met that need and birthed some love in me. The rest is just white noise.

Reply

Donald Rappe March 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Yes, just white noise.

Reply

Michael Rowe May 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Sara, wouldn’t it have been AWESOME if you’d had some actual words from Christ on the topic of homosexuality, let alone some sort of denunciation of homosexuality from Him? The you wouldn’t have to rely on the words of someone like Paul who never knew Him, never heard Him preach, and had no actual contact with Him. Think of how much less of a fool you people would look if you had something else besides Romans to work with. :-(

Reply

Annie July 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

wow! Thanks Sara! Now I know that when I want to say something really unfounded in reason, faith, or scripture, I should write it in ALL CAPS!!!

Reply

Debra January 20, 2011 at 10:52 am

I have been hanging out at IMonk for quite some time, and was invited here by Michelle. Thanks for the invite; i like what I see so far. It will take a while to get caught up on topics, but it sure is good to have options. My head hurts from that brick wall I continually bang into.

Reply

John Shore January 20, 2011 at 10:56 am

I’ve always been indebted to Michael Spencer (the iMonk), because once upon a time he wrote a truly glowing review of my book, “I’m OK–You’re Not: The Message We’re Sending Nonbelievers, and Why We Should Stop. (You can read that review here: it’s the first one.) Anyway, welcome. (And I’m sorry: who’s Michelle?)

Reply

Debra January 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

Don’t know exactly who Michelle may be. She replied to a string of comments in which I was involved and invited me directly by name to check out this blog.
I too loved Michael Spencer. He was always direct, but full of love and humility when addressing me in the comments. His heart was true, even as he struggled with his beliefs re: glbt issues. He never doubted my faith and love for God, and I saw Christ in him.

Reply

Michelle M February 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

Wow, I know I’m a year late, but I believe that was me. I am one of the early members of the Thruway Christians. (Is the forum gone? I can’t seem to find it.) Anyway, I generally lurk more than I post! =)

I miss Michael Spencer. IMonk isn’t the same anymore under the new leadership.

And Mr. Shore . . . thank you for your life’s work. You have had a immeasurable impact on me.

Reply

Susan January 18, 2011 at 7:06 pm

THANK YOU!!!
You have articulated exactly what I have felt for years, but got caught somewhere between The Nician Creed, and C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape passage on “Christianity…AND”. :-)

Reply

Mindy December 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm

John, this is lovely. I have settled into reading as my way of curing my own cold, and this was a nice start to the day. As always, you say it so very well.

Reply

Anna December 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm

HUZZAH! Thank you for posting this off Facebook for the sake of those of us who got so disgusted when our Facebook accounts were hacked into, that we just abandoned the whole enterprise because we do not need one more IT-related thing to monitor.

Thank you for posting this here.

I would consider myself a Thruway Christian.

Reply

John C December 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Dang well I just had a nice comment here and went to sign in and post it but it seems to have gotten deleted. I agree with most of this like Jeff said and am just assuming that you understand and trust in the trinity. It is rather obvious that no one has see the true form of god in all his glory or even spoken with that form, as christ has said. I see that god chose Christ to be his son and gave him his holy spirit after he fulfilled a life of sinlessness so that he could atone for sin once and for all. I wish I had the previous comment because everything was much more fluent then and there was a bit more I had to say but now I dont wanna get into that whole thing again. I just wanna briefly say that I agree with what you said about lust in another post, but want to state that I believe there to be a line between attraction and appreciation of another’s godly features and that of lusting after them, mentally wanting to commit adultery with them in that it would be fornication as well. Anyway good job overall in trying to find a much needed middle ground. I like what you’ve said about showing love towards all and not condemning homosexuals because out of love we shouldnt do so to anyone, regardless of beliefs or lifestyles. But that like the unrighteous and immoral lifestyles, they should also become aware of the law and their need for salvation from sin and that their ways may be right in their eyes but are still considered wrong in gods eyes. Probably because prosperity in procreation cannot be obtained by same sex relationships because of the inability to create life. Anyway, thanks for your insight because this is a needed topic address, since how can christs church become his bride if his people cant agree on half of what they say.
Much love, JC II

Reply

Anonymous December 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm
DR January 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Probably because prosperity in procreation cannot be obtained by same sex relationships because of the inability to create life. >>>

I guess all of the infertile straight couples are screwed too.

As for the gay men and women in my life who are married and have adopted the throw-away kids that no one wants? Including those of us Christians who have an even lower adoption rate than straight married couples that are non-religious (we like our own babies)? I’d say gay and lesbian partners t are “creating life” in their families just fine. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for taking on the children in our society who are special needs, who are of color, who sit and sit in foster care with no families at all who get loved well by these couples. God calls us to take care of the widows and the orphans. Guess who is taking care of the orphans? It’s not those of us in the Christian tent, my friend. Sure we send them a little bit of money every month and feel good about building a few houses through our church groups, but we’re not doing the heavy-lifting.

So perhaps instead of floating in the middle here, you might want to take a second and thank the GLBT community for doing the job of taking care of the orphans that we aren’t.

Reply

Jeff Brady December 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Hi John. This is my first comment on your site, though I’ve been lurking for awhile. I’m a youth pastor in Indiana, and I like what you’re saying. I agree without hesitation on 90% of this, although I need to think on a couple of them.

At any rate, I a starting document like this is not really able to encompass all of the BIG issues from 2,000 years of Christian history, but I was wondering what the Thruway Christians’ position would be on the Trinity and the roles of God/Jesus/HS. Some of your points are very specifically worded towards God or Jesus, while #9 even says Jesus/God, all of which indicate at least a sub-conscious attitude towards this idea. Just thought I’d pick your brain to see what you thought. Thanks.

Go with GOD,
Jeff Brady

Reply

Leave a Comment