Friday, February 09, 2007

Who Can Judge Righteously?

Why are we arguing?

For centuries, we’ve been arguing over religion. The same religions argue over what’s right and what’s wrong. Who’s right? Each person believes a differently from one another. Some are slightly varied from another and others are way out of the ballpark from the rest of the ‘same religion’. Christians, Catholics, Protestants, Episcopalians and other trinity-based religions read the same bible. The question is, why are they interpreting different meanings of the passages? Is it because it’s been translated so many times that we’ve lost all meaning of it? Or is it simply that God translates His word into our hearts as we read it?

I find that Christians are constantly battling it out with one another. Didn’t God say in the bible that we are not to judge one another? Didn’t He also say criticism is bad?

In this Scripture found in Romans 14:1-4, is says this:

"Accept Christians who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it is all right to eat anything. But another believer who has a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who think it is all right to eat anything must not look down on those who won’t. And those who won’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn God’s servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord’s power will help them do as they should."

Now, it goes on to talk about the Sabbath day (special day for worshipping) and which “day” it should be. It states that it is different for everyone. People are constantly at war with what they think is right and how “you” should live. Why are they focusing so much on us, when in fact, they should be focusing on God?

No one is ever going to win a religious battle. People are strong-minded when it comes to their beliefs in God. There is no solution and no war that has been won. There have been people who caved into believing what others have preached. For instance, my friend was made to feel guilty about her lifestyle – being a lesbian. The ironic part about it was, it was her own girlfriend who made her feel that way. After a few years of being together, her girlfriend decided that she wanted to remain celibate. That’s fine. No one’s to judge another about what they choose. If they feel less guilt doing it that way – then that’s how they should live. The thing that’s bothersome is, she made my friend feel tons of guilt about expressing her love to her partner. What’s good for someone else may not be good for another. In my beliefs, expressing your love in a non-monogamous and careless way is bad. (This is my beliefs.) But if you are in a loving and monogamous relationship, then I feel it’s blessed.

Most people who believe that they have authority to ‘judge others’ refer to the book of Judges – which is located in the Old Testament. Again, as I said in a previous post, the old law does not apply to Christians any longer. We are not to judge one another and ridicule people just because we think our way is the right way. This can only lead to discouragement of coming to God. The worst sin of all is to have someone draw further from God.

My conscience is clear, but that isn’t what matters. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. ~1 Corinthians 4:4

The Lord himself will decide if we are right with Him. No human, no ‘faithful church goer’, no fundamentalist should ever put the power of guilt upon you. They have dark roots of their own that will eventually be revealed. Not one person is without sin. But if you believe with all your heart that Jesus has washed away the old law and made you clean – then who’s to say you’re going to hell? They hold picket signs and protest against homosexuals who want to marry. “God hates faggots!” They raise them up, as if Jesus is approving of this. Right there, you know this is the work of the devil. Would God approve of such behavior? God loves all His children – including His homosexual children.

The radical extremists claim Christ, yet have the desire to kill those who are different from them. {The desire to kill}---isn’t that sinful? To hurt one another and make them feel horrible about themselves? But yet, they continue to argue and belittle one another with ammunition of the bible’s word. One will scream out one passage, and the other screams out another to back their theory up.

So who’s right? The bible says a lot of things. The bible even states that if you are married to someone who has had a divorce – then you and that person are committing adultery. Unless the other person who they divorced is deceased, then it’s blessed by God.

Again – the old law.

What about the condemnation of eating shellfish? (Shrimp, lobster, oysters, clams, mussels, etc…) Will you go to hell just because you enjoyed a great shrimp scampi dish?

Again – the old law.

What if you sit down next to a woman who is menstruating. That’s it! We’re all going to hell!

Again – the old law.

It is a common misconception that Christians are expected to live within the laws given to Moses in the first few books of the Old Testament. This includes everything from keeping ritual sacrifices, keeping a kosher diet, and sowing a garden in a certain way to wearing blue tassels on our clothes, abstaining from cross-dressing and homosexuality, and so on and so on. This was all well and good for the Israelites, but it was given to them to make their nation prosperous. Because God called them to be his chosen race (for reasons beyond the scope of this node) He provided them with a lengthy guideline on how to grow and stay strong. The Old Testament includes many things: an instruction book on how to build a nation in the ancient world, a foreshadowing of the coming of Christ, some very beautiful poetry, and a remarkable history; but it can never be taken as a binding set of rules for all people and all eternity.

This is hardly a new misconception, in reality it's something the church has been dealing with its entire life. As Paul made his missionary journeys around the ancient world, preaching freedom from the Law of Moses, a group of ex-Pharisees (known loosely as the Judases) would follow a few days behind him, preaching that Gentiles had to become Jews before they could become Christians. This teaching included circumcision, a kosher lifestyle, and generally following Mosaic Law. When Peter heard of this, he came before the Christian sect of the Pharisees, saying:

"...Brothers, you know that in the early days God chose me to be the one among you through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows everyone's heart, showed them he approved by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between them and us, because he cleansed their hearts by faith. 10 So why do you test God by putting on the disciples' neck a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we could carry? 11 We certainly believe that it is through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved, just as they are."--Acts 15:7b-11

The Mosaic law was difficult to follow to the letter. Many times, however, these difficulties arose from how the Pharisees and Sadducees interpreted the law. These men were not only the Clergy, but also the Legislative, Executive, and on occasion the Judicial branches of their entire political system. If someone wanted to know if it was kosher to tie a certain type of knot on a certain day, they'd ask one of them (they're also referred to as Lawyers). If someone had a complaint against his neighbor, they'd bring it up with them. This eventually led to a very large, complex system which (by Peter's own admission) was impossible to follow.

Paul says "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, so that no one may boast". Salvation comes by grace, not by works. If we could somehow earn our way into heaven by doing enough good deeds, shying away from the bad deeds, there wouldn't be any need for Grace. Paul addresses this issue in his letter to the church in Rome: "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God", continuing "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord". Now, don't hear me wrong: works are an important part of faith (James even goes so far as to say 'Faith without works is dead'), but it's the Faith that leads to eternal life. Consequently, anyone preaching salvation by way of works (salvation by Mosaic Law, salvation by indulgences, salvation by baptism, etc) is falling into the same trap many pharisees fell into thousands of years ago.

Paul continues: "If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.", "Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day -- things that are a mere shadow of what is to come", and "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under Law but under grace". Keep in mind who Paul's talking to: young churches, mostly of a Jewish background. When he speaks of "the Law", he's referring to Mosaic Law. When he speaks of "the law", he refers to state law. (I say this so nobody thinks I'm claiming Paul says to disobey all laws.). Jesus clearly states in the the Gospel of Matthew that He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfil it. He didn't destroy the Law of Moses, he completed it. He fulfilled the prophesies of the coming messiah, He became the very essence of the suffering servant, (foreshadowed here, here, and here; reinforced here and here.)

So what laws do apply to Christians?

"37And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."-- Jesus, in Matthew 22:37-40
From Everything2

The base of Christianity is love.

96 comments:

Miranda said...

You know, as of late, I've been questioning the whole religion thing. The fact that I was never brought up religiously, I think doesn't help. It leaves me confused.

How can a thing so wonderful cause so much grief? anger? so many wars? so much hate? bigotry?

In the end...isn't there really only one God? We just worship Him differently?

I've come to the conclusion I think I'm Agnostic. I could be wrong, and maybe who knows, I'd like to believe, that if you follow the basic rules of kindergarten (which is pretty close to the 10 commandments) that you will be ok.

I'd like to believe that God is an energy...an energy of love. My soul belongs to him, as does yours and everyone elses. And I believe a soul knows no gender.

*shrugs* I could be totally off on all this. But, this is what's keeping me sane. That and trying not to give a crap about those that judge me. Cuz in the end it will be He that will, and I believe that He is forgiving.

~Deb said...

I know Miranda, it can get frustrating when people start "holy wars".

Catch said...

As I get older I tend to judge less harshly. We all tend to judge, whether we want to or not. But its not for us to judge. As far as people judging me...I stopped caring about that long ago. I only need to please one person.

Judge Judy is so full of herself. And she is sooo rude. How did she ever get a tv show?

Leesa said...

You ask, "Who Can Judge Righteously?" Subconsciencely, I thought Judge Judy. Now if God is like her, I think I seriously need to rethink religion.

Seriously, I think God is much more forgiving than we humans can comprehend. People who have committed horific crimes (think crimes against children), I believe, will receive salvation. Blows my mind, but I have such a small mind.

~Deb said...

Catch: The wrath of Judy is a force to be reckoned with!

Leesa: Yeah, if one can judge, it's Judy! People make God out to be some angry and evil man who doesn't have the ability to forgive. And on the contrary - your brain is quite larger than you think! I'm always amazed with your insight.

robin said...

Nicely blogged, Deb. God speaks to people in ways that they can understand. Who are we to judge people that worship God and see him as separate entities in trees, bushes, dead people, one super entity? Whatever.

I find it amusing that you discount half the Bible as a manual for nation building, and quote the other half like its God's law. How do you fundamentally reconcile that?

The fact of the matter is that if people will accept God into their hearts, and recognize that all the evil things we do in the name of God are human failings, then the world will be taking a step in the right direction.

Video X said...

Ugh. I agree that a holy war will not be won by either side, as is proven in many other countries...literally.

That's one reason I am damn glad I live where I live. I have the freedom to choose. Nobody is going to force me out of my home because of my religion.

People who are so judgemental that they think everyone else is wrong and should be following them or think they are justified in their methods of "saving others" scare me.

~Deb said...

Robin, because as Christians, we go by the New Testament - when Jesus came to the earth to save us. We are no longer bound by the law - in my beliefs and from what I interpret through the bible. I'm not discrediting the Old Testament, I'm discrediting the 'old law' that they once lived by.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Deb said...

Video: You're right - they are so busy trying to save the world that they forget the real reason of why Jesus came here in the first place.

Spoke said...

I remember a day when a couple came to my door. They were Jehovha Witnesses.I invited them in as I always had done to anyone that came calling.
Our chat began like this:
me "My favorite colour is green, What's yours?"
JW "blue, why?"
me "Well, no matter how long we talk about colours, I will always like green best...no matter what you say."

They understood straight away, that mere words or even their "experiences" couldn't change my mind/heart about what I believed in.
This on going silliness around Christianity and it's different denominations, is nuts in my mind.
Jesus is the ONLY way to get to our Father in Heaven...PERIOD! If your faith system doesn't agree with this, then you are being sadly mislead. That is as confusing as the Gospel gets!
Enter man...
Baptism, no baptism, submerge, sprinkle, pour, intercessing human Priest, confess to humans, earn salvation, maintain salvation, Sunday worship, Saturday worship...the list is endless, and quite frankly, boring and unneccesarily heavy.
Jesus clearly dealt with all of this following "man-made religious" crap years ago. Anytime you hear "Accept Jesus AND..." run away!
Oh, for the record, there were more than 7000 defined denominations of "christianity" on this planet when I came to Christ in 1990.
Jesus wept....

~Deb said...

Spoke: 7,000 definied denominations of Christianity? Wow. I didn't know that. I knew there were a lot of different beliefs within the religion - but that's a lot. Isn't the book that the Jehovha Witnesses give you alter the word of God - it's different than the bible? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

I believe that homosexuality is a sin! I also believe that because it’s a sin, God hates them. Being gay is a sin according to the bible. (Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-26; 1 Corinthians 6:9

Gay marriage is also very wrong. If God created Adam and Eve, man and woman, then why would he accept men loving each other? And why would they accept gays getting married in a church of God???

~Deb said...

Hi Anonymous: That’s fine that you believe homosexuality is a sin. That’s your right. But to judge others is another thing. God does not hate---period. God is love in my belief.

I’m not even going to tap the passages of Genesis and Leviticus. If I were to, then explain to me why eating shrimp or clams is an abomination to God , or sitting on the same couch as a woman who is menstruating detestable and considered unclean? Why would a divorcee and her new husband be committing adultery if the ex is still alive?

It’s the old law and will remain the old law. It no longer applies to us.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9, it says,

Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshippers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers—none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God.”

Okay, true, that does say that…but read on….

Verse 11
”There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.”

Regarding the passage from Romans- it was referring to homosexuality in a promiscuous manner - not the love between two people of the same gender. It's much different.

I want to venture to say that radical Christians and fundamentalists seem to pick and choose your Scriptures. But, if that’s what your belief system is, that’s okay. Just don’t try to force it down our throats and say we’re going to hell. Only God can judge. I respect your views and I have no right telling you not to be straight or not to love this person or that person…and neither do you.

Spoke said...

Anony-mouse. God HATES Sin. People, He died for. Get it right!
...and leave your identity, unless you can't defend your words.

Deb: Yes, "The New World Translation" which is the "bible" of the JW's is deceptively different than, say...the NIV, NASB, NLB, New English Bible, The Message etc. (The Message is not really a translation. It's more like a street-language, "shopping list"-language type of paraphrase. But I love it!)

Dan said...

Deb! Whew! You sure know a lot! I am duly impressed my sweet friend!

In response to this:
No one is ever going to win a religious battle.

If you chop someone's head off, did you win? :)

GW Mush said...

I like Judge Judy.. odor in the court...odor in the court.
Something stinks to high heaven folks!
Ok, I digress, if any of you ladies have any naughty sexual sins, please confess them to me in detail, and I will grant you resolution or something:)

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

Deb, Thank you for sharing your fine gifts as a teacher with us. Yes, the base of christianity is love, but love is not a sentimental, warm and mushy feeling. To quote my colleague, ethicist Bev Harrision, "The comman to love is not now and never was an order to feel a certain way. Nor does the command to love create the power to feel love, and it was never intended to do so. Action does that."
The call to love our neighbors as ourselves is not a call to feel a particular way about them. It is a call to serve them, not to judge them.
My own personal feelings about the divisions within christianity is that we are all pretty clear on the fact that our call is to serve our neighbor. So let's feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the orphaned and the sick and worry about the doctrinal differences and who is more Godly after that work has been done!

Mark said...

Spoke makes an excellant point!

Jesus is the ONLY way to get to our Father in Heaven...PERIOD!

I would suggest more of us seek what Jesus taught and commanded of his followers. Oh btw, Jesus is God in human flesh, OT revealed and NT fullfilled His teachings and direction for our lives. And if you think about it, the OT law would be much easier to obey than Christ's command of love your enemy. It would be far easier to bring the right animal, to the right place, at the right time, with the right cloth etc.., then to love your enemy. No?

You cannot dismiss the old without dismissing the new. God is eternal folks, He never changes. He does however continue to extend His grace when we reject Him. That is to His glory, and has nothing to do with our worldly or fleshly desires.

God is the creator of the Old and New covetants (OT and NT) He makes with His children. The NT consist of our obligations to the New covetant. We may accept or reject. We are always bound by the law of Christ. The law never changed. The law was fullfilled by Christ, and Christ told us that! The entire NT is Christ telling and revealing to us of our obligations to the new covetant inorder that He may know us! Not that we may speak, act, and live using His name to justify that which is unholy...sin. For those people, Christ will not know.

Mark said...

My own personal feelings about the divisions within christianity is that we are all pretty clear on the fact that our call is to serve our neighbor. So let's feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the orphaned and the sick and worry about the doctrinal differences and who is more Godly after that work has been done!

Sorry dr. Rev Kate, works are of no concern in the matters of eternal destiny. I suggest you stop relying on your own personal opinion, and start with the word of God. And if your tempted to re-vise that word, make a mental note: Satan know's God's word as well as we do and will use it for evil and sin justification.

Mark said...

spoke said
They understood straight away, that mere words or even their "experiences" couldn't change my mind/heart about what I believed in.

Spoke, you missed an opportunity to let them know why they do more for a lie then most Christians do for the truth. Sharpen your sword man. :) and proclaim His word to the lost. Christ told us to do that, remember?

Casually Me said...

This makes as much to me as people using religion to regulate love between consenting adults....Judge Judy makes more money that than all of the Supreme Court Justices...COMBINED.

Mark said...

Casually me,

Man made Religion should never "regulate" anything. God's word however, provides you an absolute to compare all of life's experiences to. Reject it, or seek it. Money seems to be your 'god' at this moment of your comment. If you continue to 'value' or worship that, you may never know the forgiving Hand that has been extended to you personally.

Bad News, you must die to yourself and worldly values and live for Him....consider your life like a Hotel room stay. Temporary, very temporary....where do you put your investment?

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

Mark - "You will know them by their fruits" (MT 7:16) - and Paul tells us "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentlness and self-control" (Galations 5:22-23). The right to judge others isn't mentioned.
The argument you are raising is an old one in christian thought - faith vs. works righteousness - begining with Augustine and clarified by Martin Luther. Yes, we are "justified by faith alone" as Luther puts it, but faith must bear fruit in order to BE faith. The two are front and back of the same coin.
As for my "personal opinion," I come from a faith tradition which holds scripture, reason and tradition to be the way in which God is fully encountered. The good Lord gave me a brain and I would be dishonoring "him" should I fail to use it.
And, by the way, the command to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc.(to love one's neighbor as oneself) comes directly from Jesus' mouth in holy scripture.

Jaded said...

Unfortunately, Deb, this will be lost on those who need to hear it most. This has been clearly illustrated here already.

Steff said...

You said that the laws and instructions given in the Old Testament were just for Israel and no longer apply to people and situations today. The Ten Commandments were given to Moses...in the Old Testament. Are those no longer relevant today, to the people today?

Sometimes it seems that you make sin (in all its forms) to be something that God will sweep under the rug or simply ignore because He loves us. Do you not believe that God (being a just and perfect God) will allow sinners to suffer the consequences of their sin?

Casually Me said...

MARK, naaahhh...money is not my god. God is MY god. He is different than your GOD. He is my god and mine alone. It is all individual, not a collective. I must live for God and not myself? Harrumphhh I say, harrrumppph. I truly believe that God works for me, not the other way around. I also have a firm belief that no one goes to hell, there is no hell. There is only heaven. So, I have that going for me. You have a nice day, if you can squeeze one into that whole working for God schedule you have going on.

~Deb said...

Question: Why did Jesus die?

If we all were and still are sinners back then and now, then why did God feel the need to sacrifice His only son?

If all of us are sinners, are we all going to hell?

~Deb said...

Let me rephrase that a bit...

If we "believe" and accept that Jesus died for us and we are all sinners - then what was His sacrifice all about?

Mark said...

Deb,
Because God is also perfect Justice, blood must be shed to atone for sin. Christ was perfect / sinlees, therefore it was Him and Him alone that could take our place for punishment for our sins.

dr Rev Kate,
The good Lord gave me a brain and I would be dishonoring "him" should I fail to use it.

Indeed! However, dr, to replace devine revelation with human wisdom has eternal consequences.

The right to judge others isn't mentioned.

Ahh, the old judmental force field. Sorry dr, ascertaining Right from Wrong is a must. Judgeing Holy from Evil is not an option. I have not, nor will I ever Judge a persons heart or eternal destination. I would never usurp God's authority! I will however judge speech and acts using God's word as long as I have a breath. It's called spirtual disecerment. Sin, especially unrepented sin, destroys that gift and leads others away from God's grace and towards human folliness in a lie that ultimately leads to eternal death. You're a dr, can you tell me who spoke more about Hell, than Christ Himself?

~Deb said...

”… Deb, because God is also perfect Justice, blood must be shed to atone for sin. Christ was perfect / sinless, therefore it was Him and Him alone that could take our place for punishment for our sins.

So, let me ask you this. If God is perfect, and knew that humankind couldn’t be 'just that', then what was the entire purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice? If Jesus’ blood was shed, then what was it all for? Was it for “past” sins? That’s what I’m trying to get your views on.

~Deb said...

...Also, we're going to keep on sinning as long as we're still living in our physical bodies. So it had to be for our current and future sins. The "desire" to sin and live a dark life is one thing, but having the sinful nature of a human is already been washed away through Christ. That's how I see it.

~Deb said...

Okay Mark - you rock! I just got an email from him telling me to go to this link so click here to view it!

Thanks Mark!!! We were hysterical watching it!

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

Mark - We obviously come from different schools of thought and I doubt continued conversation is going to help, but . . .
You mention "spiriutal discernment" - who is called to exercise discernment and in what context?
What do you believe about divine revelation? Is it on-going or did it stop when John of Patmos wrote "Amen" at the end of Revelation?
And the notion of "blood atonement" is not the only one in the biblical text. There are many differences of opinion within the text itself (sacrifice, substitution, the christus victor tradition, etc). The notion of "blood sacrifice" is an old testament one.
And about "human" and "divine" revaltion - revelation is ALWAYS and was ALWAYS mediated by humans. From the prophets to Paul and especially through the incarnation, the divine is revealed through human beings (that is the major message of the of the incarnation). There is no reason for the Holy Spirit being given to us if on-going revelation is not the point.
The canon may be closed, but I would not presume to limit what God may choose to do beyond it. Human history contiunes and so does God's presence within in - we are still writing the Acts of the Apostles.

Mark said...

If Jesus’ blood was shed, then what was it all for? Was it for “past” sins? That’s what I’m trying to get your views on.

Past, present and future. Those who lived before Christ's work on the cross, where saved by loving God with all their heart, body and mind. That was indeed evident in keeping God's law, which really was, and is today, a reminder of how desperatly lost in sin we are without Him.

dr Rev Kate,
We do indeed come from different schools. That is why your school will continue to seek a Man made revelation and not the holy text of biblical revelation. Thus what I call and the Bible calls sin, you call a lack of human understanding, compassion and worse yet, a lack of grace.

There is no reason for the Holy Spirit being given to us if on-going revelation is not the point.

Good lord woman! are you kidding me? The Holy Spirit is given to strenghten us, convict us, haul our sorry asses back to God when we ignore His will. revelation ? in the sense we are made aware.

we are still writing the Acts of the Apostles.

we are? who is writing them? or is that a cute way of saying Biblical text is evolving and being improved upon by new events and human history being lived today?

~Deb said...

"...That was indeed evident in keeping God's law, which really was, and is today, a reminder of how desperatly lost in sin we are without Him."

But we not have the Holy Spirit which was given to us after Jesus died on the cross. We are now and still "with Him". So if we believe that Christ died for us and that the Holy Spirit is given to us now that we are born again, then why is the Holy Spirit here?

"I will remain in you and you in me."

If we remain in Him and He remains in us, aren't we clean by the grace of God and what He has sacrificed for us?

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

This is an excellent post, Deb. Thank you!

Theologians and sociologists who study religions have found that conflicts regarding religious belief and dogma come about more because of the religious maturity of the opponents (believers) and the type of religious organization (church-type, sect-type, cult-type, etc) to which they belong than the differences in their religious belief.

The less mature in one's faith the believer is, the more dogmatic and prejudiced again others he/she is.

Scott Peck in his book “The Road Less Taken” provides an very understandable outline of these levels of faith.

Mark said...

Deb,
good questions.

But we no(w) have the Holy Spirit which was given to us after Jesus died on the cross. We are now and still "with Him".

Actually, the gift of Holy spirit is only upon those who accept in faith Christ as their savior, that He and He alone being sinless paid their death penalty for their sins. All of us are not living with the that gift. Many reject Christ's work on the cross. Like Jesus said, many will know Him by name etc.., but will Christ know them?

If we remain in Him and He remains in us, aren't we clean by the grace of God and what He has sacrificed for us?

Yes! The Holy Spirit and sin cannot leave in the heart together. Such matters of the heart are God's domain. Unrepented, celebrated, and humanly justified sin, when compared to the eternal light of scripture should make us daily re-examine our lives. Just as Christ told us to do.

Paul in Romans 6 & 7 illustrates this crisis many followers of Christ reach. I may be fully aware of God and His will, but I am still a slave to sin. I may understand Christ
freed me, paid my death penalty price and now live not under the law, but in His (Christ's) rightiousness. However we are warned that this realization excites our very sin nature into action! That is why it is the Spirit of the life in Christ living in us, that sets us free from our human law of sin and death. In other words, the law of sin and death, which are what you call human nature, are conqured by the law of the Spirit, living in His children.

hope that helps.

Tai said...

I'm reluctant to add my 'two bits' but I will...just 'cus I'm a trouble maker and I have no vested interest in religion.

I think that if there was a god that was concerned about people's private sexuality it would be manifested in ways that were much more obvious than what I understand of the current arguments.
Having said that (and stuck my neck out for a bit of a chop I suppose) I can also say that I don't understand what the brouhaha is all about.
As far as I can tell from my acknowledged ignorance and bias, Christianity is based on many different things, including acceptance and the belief that those who seek to be 'right' with their god will be rewarded thusly.

Frankly, it seems that despite everyone calling themselves Christian under the same God, there's quite a lot of confusion!

(Deb, I mean no offense to you in this comment. If I were to 'convert' or 'take the faith or whatever the expression may be, it would be your version that I would hold in my heart, as it's the way I live my life.)

Enemy of the Republic said...

I rely on Jesus for my everything, but he always shows that I need to rely on him more. Thank you for this. It came at a much needed time, my sister.

~Deb said...

By faith and acceptance, we grow a deep relationship with God. People can quote scripture word for word, but will they ever “know” God?

I was just talking to Kate about this. This about it like this… A person can learn to play music by reading the notes. They read the music, play the notes and “sound” good. But can they “hear” the music? Can they play by ear? Do they have the passion for music? Reading the notes is important, but “hearing” the music is much more valuable.

What about those who read scripture, yet don’t interpret the word into their heart? They don’t “hear” the message from God. They choose not to have a personal relationship with God, therefore only spewing out “scripture” instead of spewing out what’s in their hearts.

Mark reminds me of someone who plays music only by reading the notes. In my own opinion, he has no concept of what it’s like to understand the human race. Jesus accepted many sinners and Jesus has died for the sinners of the world. Again, a desire to sin is much different than a sinful nature. We all sin. Are we all going to hell?

So, he dictates the bible. And that’s great. But as you can see, Mark is unable to relate to people like Jesus did, with compassion and a heart for humankind.

Very sad.

The only thing you can do for people like that is pray for them.

Miss 1999 said...

Deb,

What a great post, and once again, I'm sorry a radical had to come and spam your replies here with more "hell fire and damnation".

As for me, I follow the Ten Commandments, which I know you do too. No where in the "Big Ten" does God mention anything about anyone sexuality.

I'm so with Dr. Kate on this one-- it's time we stopped worrying about our differences and started doing His work, by feeding his people, and ministering to the sick.

You know, Mother Teresa was one of my heroes, and a definite inspiration in my life. She went out and did the work of God, without passing judgement on others. The woman ministered to the sick and the hungry of ALL faiths and/or LACK THERE OF. She never once FORCED her religion or beliefs of what is right or wrong. She did NOT pass judgement on others of what SHE BELIEVED was right or wrong. She left the JUDGING UP TO GOD. She loved others as Christ loved us. I think perhaps Mark could learn a lesson from her.

God Bless You, Deb-- *hugs*

Mark said...

WOW!
So, he dictates the bible. And that’s great.

Liar, The last thing you think is great is the Bible being dictated, or proclaimed, or at lest until it offends you. So stop saying "that's great". NO wait a minute sister, I forgot, all opinions and human desires are great as long as no one is physically harmed? right? Rubbish Deb, pure trash.

But as you can see, Mark is unable to relate to people like Jesus did, with compassion and a heart for humankind.

You got that right! Jesus Christ's life makes me look like the sin filled trash I am. The difference between you and I, and dr Kate: I realize that! That very realization makes what Christ did for me burn even stronger to proclaim His word and His grace to others who will mock, ridicule, and spit on the truth. Like I said, I serve Deb. I am not worthy to be served by a Holy God after what Christ has already done for me. To think otherwise, to celebrate and embrace otherwise, are outwardly signs of a heart clinging to a worldy love. and who does the world belong to?

and what message would the prince of lies, the ruler of our world deliver? Does it sound like yours and dr Kate's? I can only tell you what Christ taught us recorded in His holy word. The message that will make people feel better about their sin, is a message from Hell dear. For those who eat it up like heavenly bread falling from the sky and who have heard the truth of Christ...

The only thing you can do for people like that is pray for them.

Amen.

Mark said...

I can just picture Miss 1999 in the crowd as John the Baptist preached to repent, repent!... probably snickering about his clothes, his dirty body, his tone of voice etc..

If proclaiming the word of God is forcing, then so be it Miss.

No where in the "Big Ten" does God mention anything about anyone sexuality.

Really? Review commandment number ONE, then get back to me. Until then, some quiet time in the word would be my suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I think this guy Mark needs to refill his meds! I can hear him screaming this nonsense while he types furiously in anger. He's obsessed with you Deb and you need to just let this mental case go!!

Trust me.

Anonymous said...

(It's LP by the way)

Steve said...

Deb...
you are right and your genuine faith kicks ass girl!

Mark is correct in the sense that his righteousness is like wearing 'filthy rags'...

"I am not worthy to be served by a Holy God after what Christ has already done for me." - says Mark.

But our righteousness is Christ, the Anointed One, Himself, alone,
and not a righteousness of our own at all...
and that is the point that you are making Deb.

It doesn't sound to me like Mark is ready to "come boldly to the throne of grace" at all....
until he feels like he has been made perfect.

When will that day arrive?

After all, he says that he is not worthy..."after what Christ has already done for (him)."

So, that begs the question: after what then???

Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness,
have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.


Rom 10:4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

"It is finished." So, we are to submit to God's righteousness; not establish our own (with "God's help" or not)...
because Christ died for the sake of God's Righteousness, and not ours!!!
Why would Christ die for the sake of God's Righteousness, if God is a holy God?
Because, otherwise, we would all burn in hell and remain separated from God eternally...

For God to do otherwise (and save ANY kind of sinner), would be unjust, unholy, and unrighteous wouldn't it?

Without what Christ did to justify God's Righteousness on the Cross, God could not save man at all.

Yes, God "could not" something! LOL!!
But, now, God can do what seems impossible through faith...
and God remains Holy in doing it! And we remain unholy, if we refuse it!

It is faith that pleases God. Peace sister!

Miss 1999 said...

Mark,

You know what, the first Commandment is to "Have NO Other Gods other than Me". Do I have another God? Last time I checked God was God... But, I digress, and thanks for your opinion of me, as you can tell, it means absolutely nothing to me :0) Have a great day :0)


This is EXACTLY what I believe--

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen

I'm guessing you probably don't know, but those are the words of the Nicene Creed.

But, I supposed I'm a hellbound too, for being an Anglican. Doesn't matter, I'm proud of my faith. :0)

ann said...

oh my goodness I am a little behind with blogging and what have I stumbled upon here Deb...

of course I can't offer any Christian views.

In Yeshivot all over the world Jewish talmudic scholars discuss, argue, dissect every word, verse and line; there is always so much more meaning than just the words themselves. For example, everyone throws the eye for an eye line at us Jews, when it is meant as a means of compensation... it is not meant literally at all.

As for the old laws and the chosen people... the Jews were the only people who accepted G-d's laws at the time. It was offered to other tribes, but all refused. It wasn't that we were chosen, we were the ones who chose to accept it.

How can all this mudslinging and name calling be done in the name of religion. Everyone finds their own level to worship, to live their lives, to believe in G-d, and who are we to criticise and condemn them. Each should leave the other in peace and respect.

The basis of all religions, but it should be the basis of life itself, is to treat others as one would wish to be treated oneself.

Of course as long as there are people who thrive on hurling names, abuse, stones and are happy to be hit back by the same, what hope is there in this world?

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

Deb - There is so much to say in response to all of this that I don't know where to begin - This entire conversation reminds me of another passage of my colleague Bev Harrison in a piece called The Power of Anger in the Work of Love:

"We do not yet have a moral theology that teaches us the aweful, awesome truth that we have the power through acts of love or lovelessness literally to create one another . . . Because we do not understand love as the powere-to-act-each-other-into-well-being, we also do not understand the depth of our power to thwart life and to maim each other. The fateful choice is ours, either to set free the the power of God's love in the world or to deprive each other of the very basis of personhood and community."


Jesus unleashed this power of love in the world and the reaction to it led him to the cross. We are called to live in that same radical love - faithful to Christ's work of building up personhood and community, not maiming and destroying one another in the name of a reified, static "love" that is not about love at all, but power over others and destruction of the soul.

Deb, I know that you are doing the work of love Jesus asks of you in sharing your faith and your struggles. Continue to live in the grace of what Jesus says, "I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly."

Enemy of the Republic said...

Well, I am not fond of Mark's words in some respects (I await the attack), but I will credit him with signing his name. To the anonymous writer who chose to condemn Deb due to her lifestyle, shame on you. At least identify yourself when you choose to condemn her. I've written on homosexuality on my own blog--I am a Christian and I also have NO PROBLEM WITH IT in a loving, committed relationship. There are more gay couples that emulate the love of Christ than heterosexuals--I have seen it. I've argued some of my points before; Mark dismissed them, but at least he is willing to stand his ground openly; in that he has my respect. I wish, Mark, that you would not attack Deb's other commenters unless they are taking you on. And if Deb is gay and Christian, why does it matter? If she is wrong, why do so many people care? It is between her and God. Deb has my support, and if we are both wrong, then we will answer for it to the God who knows every secret. Mark, you will not like this, but I will pray for you, not for you to change your mind, but despite our differences, you are my brother in Christ and I wish you well.

Mark said...

Mark, you will not like this, but I will pray for you, not for you to change your mind, but despite our differences, you are my brother in Christ and I wish you well

Thanks Ms. Republic, I need all the prayer I can get and I do like that.

I've written on homosexuality on my own blog--I am a Christian and I also have NO PROBLEM WITH IT in a loving, committed relationship.

I do have a problem with it. Not that it exist, but that it is celebrated and embraced by christians. God was not vague nor unclear, ANY sexual relations outside One Man and One Woman is sin. If you can get on your knees before God and ask Him to bless the act of Two men having sex, you are in dire need of the truth of scripture.


dr Rev kate,
I cannot agree with you because you have made clear, using different approaches abd cute little stories, that you do not believe it is the law of God that prepares the heart for grace. Your desire to build up "personhood and community" has led you to disregard the the very basis for doing so, God's Holiness. That dr, is false doctrine.

Steve,
What's the matter, did the truth offend you? We agree, I have no righteousness but that which is found in Christ. I did nothing nor can I ever earn it. Here is where you are in error...

Without what Christ did to justify God's Righteousness on the Cross, God could not save man at all.

Christ provided a 'way' to live when we deserve to die. God remains all Just and all love fully expressed to us on the Cross. God does not have to do anything to justify Himself, especially to sinfull men, including His diciples. Your confusing God's revelations of Himself as a duty. It is not, it is His will, his love, a love that we humans may never fully understand the absoluteness and humility of until His kingdom.

The more the truth is proclaimed, the more it will stab at the sin embracing hearts of men and women. That's a good thing, a neccessary thing. If anyone thinks they are "good people", including Momma Teresa, then they surley have not examined their life in the blazing light of scripture. I do not have to be perfect nor sinnless to proclaim that to anyone willing to listen.

peace

Mark said...

clarify in Marriage, ANY sexual relations outside One Man and One Woman is sin.

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

Mark - I have not encountered the Jesus you are in relationship with. I have not met your Jesus in scripture, prayer, nor in practing and serving in an ancient faith tradition. You are entitled to your opinion and nothing I can say will change it. Deriding and demeaning me and others who disagree with you isn't going to change my convictions and beliefs either.

Deb -As for the sexual immorality thing which is where I think this whole argument began - Jesus has far more to say about the poor and oppressed in the Gospels than he does about any other topic. I often think the current argument over sexual behavior is the "beam" the faith community needs to take out of our own eyes so that we can see the work to which we are truly called as servants of Christ.
Peace and blessings to you, dear sister in Christ.

~Deb said...

Miss 1999: The fact that Mother Theresa left the judging up to God means that she had complete faith. People who think the ‘works’ of the law will get them into heaven are sadly mistaken in my beliefs. Thank you for bringing that up!

Steve: Thanks for stopping in on the discussion. And I guess a lot of Christians have forgotten about that passage you brought up ---Rom 10:4 – For Christ {is} the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Interesting huh?

Ann: Your views are always welcomed here. Your religion was the first born of Christianity – yet we have different ‘endings’…. The golden rule doesn’t apply to a lot of Christians sadly enough. “Treat others as one would wish to be treated.” There’s way too much stone throwing to even consider that old rule to apply. Thanks for your input!

Rev. Kate: I definitely would love to grab that article from you as we spoke about. It’s interesting that a lot of people ask me, “Why do you even bother with responding to people such as Mark (and other Christians) who seem to belittle other Christians?”
It’s because my faith is so strong, that I not only believe…but I “know”. (In the sense of strong faith.) So they can debate with me all they want, and I will continue to give them my answer and beliefs of how I feel and how God communicates with me. No one can take that away from me…and for you Kate! Your faith is just amazing! I applaud you!

Enemy of the Republic: Did you ever notice how a lot of radical Christians will totally focus on the homosexuals. It’s their prime target. In fact, they focus so much on it that it takes away from worshipping their own God! So whenever I see that, it makes me wonder if they have any underlying feelings of being gay themselves. I don’t sit here continually bashing those who are adulterers. Is it a sin? It says so in the bible? Does God forgive? He sure does. The main question is: Does Deb have a right to judge? No. I trust that God will do it because my faith in Him is great. Without faith – people try to fix others – thinking God isn’t capable of handling the issue.

Mark: ”…I do have a problem with it. Not that it exist, but that it is celebrated and embraced by christians. God was not vague nor unclear, ANY sexual relations outside One Man and One Woman is sin. If you can get on your knees before God and ask Him to bless the act of Two men having sex, you are in dire need of the truth of scripture.”

God was not vague nor unclear, however, God spoke of homosexuality in the terms of promiscuity in Romans. The first Corinthians he spoke of idol worshippers, adulterers, murderers and thieves – and yes – homosexuals. Then he said that we were “once like that and now have been washed clean through Christ, Jesus.” It has been washed away – all of our sins. Don’t even go to Leviticus while you sit there eating shrimp scampi. OLD LAW! You cannot give me a ‘clear answer’ of when JESUS said that homosexuality was a detestable sin. Who is going to bless the act of sex? Is that where your mind automatically goes when you think of two gay people who love each other? But if you think of a heterosexual couple, your mind doesn’t go to the sexual aspects of the relationship. What if I were to tell you my relationship with my partner is celibate? You ‘assume’ that we’re sexual. Even though we share intimacy with one another, it’s out of love. It isn’t promiscuous and ‘dirty’, because we are monogamous. Big difference. I would dare to call you ignorant, however I respect your beliefs (and wish you would respect mine) and all I can do is pray for you. The only one that judges me is God. You have no authority to do any of His work.

~Deb said...

Also Mark, can you explain why Jesus accepted this immoral woman?

“Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman”

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home for a meal, so Jesus accepted the invitation and sat down to eat. A certain immoral woman heard he was there and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, “This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!” Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.” “All right. Teacher,” Simon replied, “go ahead.” Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—five hundred pieces of silver to one and fifty pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.” “That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love. Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” The men at the table said among themselves, “Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins?” And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” ~Luke 7:36-50

~Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Deb,
There is an obvious difference between Biblical enduring moral principles regarding homosexuality and temporary civil and ceremonial laws like eating shrimp with a wooden spoon at 4:30pm on marble table.

God of our Bible does not condemn homosexuality in any arbitrary nor capricious fashion. God has cerefully defined the boundaries of human sexuality, not to hurt us, but that our joy may be complete. Jesus never said a lot of things Deb. You're not suggesting we discount all the 'no red words' are you? ;)

It does not require an advanced degree in physiology to understand nor appreciate the fact that the human body is not designed for homosexual relationships. Little slogans and clever sound bites do not change the scientific, nor Biblical teachings that homosexual relationships are devastating not only to our spirit, but damage our physical body as well. All sin seperates us from God, I cannot endorce doing that. It does not mean I hate you or consider you any less the affection of God's eye than I am.


What if I were to tell you my relationship with my partner is celibate?

I would not be surprised at all. Loving another woman is not wrong. Expressing that love sexually is. I am not judging you by telling you the truth in scripture. In addition, the fact that one has "monogamous relations" does not make it blessed by God's design. You should know that.

Mark said...

Also Mark, can you explain why Jesus accepted this immoral woman?.

Because this woman, like all the broken hearted over their sins, expressed her gratitude, her offer of repentence, in Christ's mercy! God is ready to forgive! always ready!

~Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Deb said...

Mark,

I was speaking in terms of when Christians constantly use Leviticus to fight their battle against homosexuality. So are you going to say back then, when eating shellfish was an abomination, it’s no longer applicable now? Are you saying that sitting next to a woman who is menstruating is still unclean? Do you think if a divorcee remarries and “annuls” his/her vows that it’s okay while the other husband or wife remains alive? Homosexuality was among those things in Leviticus. Old.

You said,

”…It does not require an advanced degree in physiology to understand nor appreciate the fact that the human body is not designed for homosexual relationships. Little slogans and clever sound bites do not change the scientific, nor Biblical teachings that homosexual relationships are devastating not only to our spirit, but damage our physical body as well.”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there can be love between two people of the same gender. What if a man was disabled and couldn’t perform for his wife? Does this mean that they can’t be intimate any longer? Does this mean she should dump him and move on to a next mate? Love is love. Regardless of what kind of ‘body’ you have, loving someone has nothing to do with the physical make up of your body. And believe me, my partner and I have the physical make up to enjoy our intimacy as much as a man and woman. (Amen to that!)

You said,

”…Loving another woman is not wrong. Expressing that love sexually is. I am not judging you by telling you the truth in scripture. In addition, the fact that one has "monogamous relations" does not make it blessed by God's design.”

No, it’s not. Expressing my love sexually with my partner is not wrong either, Mark. We love one another unconditionally with genuine affection as a husband and wife do. We cannot get married due to “people” in our government. If we were able to get married, we would.

You are judging me by telling me ‘bits and pieces that you choose’ from the Scripture. You ‘read’ the words, but you don’t ‘hear’ the message. You take bits from the old law and apply them to today. You take portions of promiscuous stories from the bible and make them out to be about loving couples. There’s a huge difference.

You still haven’t answered my question Mark. What about the immoral woman that Jesus accepted? What’s your take on that story? He accepted her. And don’t even go there with the woman who was caught in adultery. This is a different story. Believe me Mark, I study the Scripture too. The difference between you and me is, I study it with my heart…and you study it in the literal context filled with condemnation and feel you have the authority to judge those who are different from you.

Why did Jesus accept the immoral woman?

Why?

Because Jesus said that her sins were forgiven due to her faith! Read it. I dare you!

Mark said...

Because this woman, like all the broken hearted over their sins, expressed her gratitude, her offer of repentence, in Christ's mercy! God is ready to forgive! always ready!

how many times do I need to answer Deb?

And don’t even go there with the woman who was caught in adultery. This is a different story

That tickles me! thanks

~Deb said...

Read it over Mark. There is not one mention of her repentance, for she treated Jesus with love and she had "faith" in Him. He knew her heart even though she was an immoral woman. Do you even know Jesus' works? I'm surprised that you say you read Scriptures.

Mark said...

The difference between you and me is, I study it with my heart…

One should not trust their heart enough to rely solely on that, and neither should you. A proper understanding of our sin, our love of sin, was clearly exposed by Christ, Deb.

and you study it in the literal context filled with condemnation and feel you have the authority to judge those who are different from you..

Actually, I study the text in many ways. I see you're back to defending certain behaviors you enjoy (sin) with the Judgemental Force Field again.

Mark said...

The woman's kissing of His feet, she anointed Christ's feet with perfume, are tokens of repetence Deb. but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. NASB

Pure repetence from a woman who has sinned much! Pure forgivness from God who gave us all!

I'm surprised that you say you read Scriptures.

ditto Deb!

~Deb said...

No Mark, in my interpretation of the story about the immoral woman, she was showing him love and faith.

Not ONE word of repentance. She annointed him with oils and treated him better than the Pharisee who invited Jesus to his home. You can only be saved with faith and love for Jesus. Nothing else will get you into the Kingdom in Heaven in my beliefs as a Christian who believes that Jesus died for all of us on the cross.

I think we should agree to disagree at this point. I will never, ever see your views as truth...neither will you see mine.

I wish you well!

~Deb said...

You can't even read the scripture as truth because you're adding words to it now.

Doesn't it say that the words of the bible shouldn't be added nor taken away?

Hmm.

Mark said...

Not ONE word of repentance


44Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you (E)gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

Can't get any clearer than that Deb.

Good luck with that whole No Repentance False Doctrine thing. Your False teachings will indeed be more popular in a fallen world, than God's.

~Deb said...

She showed her "LOVE" for Jesus and her faith in Him that He was the Son of God.

Can't get clearer than that Mark!

The problem with your type of teaching is, you scare people away from God. You make God out to be this hateful God. You add words to Scripture and you twist the Scripture around to suit you and the rest of your 'hating followers'.

So, with that, I think our discussion should end due to the false doctrine that you're preaching.

It's not being heard due to the amount of hatred that's mixed into the ingredients.

God is all about love. I wish you would get that part.

Natalia said...

You know how I feel about religion. I just saw this documentary called "Friends of God" and it made me sad and very angry at what gets down in the name of religion. I think we'd all be far happier if we were more spiritual and less religious.

-N

~Deb said...

Unfortunately, the radical Christians don't believe in "spirituality", they refer to it as our "kumbaya God". They believe that a God who loves is a God who is too easy on humans - making him a pseudo God.

Jack Miles said...

Were Jesus to return to Earth, he might be excused for guessing that the "Defense of Marriage Act" that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996 had something to do with the prohibition of divorce.

Back in Galilee, Jesus had been fierce in his condemnation of divorce. "What God has joined together," he said, "let no man put asunder" (Mark 10:9). And he allowed for no exceptions to his rule. A man could divorce his wife if she committed adultery, but he could not remarry without committing adultery himself, nor could his ex-wife remarry without repeating her sin. His disciples objected, "If that's the way it is, then it's better not to marry at all" (Matt. 19:10), but Jesus would not back down.
How disappointed, then, Jesus would be to discover that the "Defense of Marriage Act" has nothing at all to do with the prohibition of divorce but is, instead, a law that prevents the creation of new marriages--namely, gay marriages. The Savior, who never spoke a word about homosexuality, would need to have a young conservative activist explain to him that though this law does not prevent civil unions between gays, it has succeeded rather well, until just recently, in barring the path to gay marriage.

What has now happened, though, the earnest young fellow would explain, is that the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has ruled that only marriage, called by that name, can guarantee gay couples their civil rights under that state's constitution. Though Massachusetts may still block gay marriage by constitutional amendment, the amendment process could take years. In the interim, the Massachusetts decision has given new momentum to the "Federal Marriage Amendment Act," a House bill with more than one hundred sponsors that aims, in effect, to enshrine the earlier "Defense of Marriage Act" in the federal constitution.

A Christian conservative group wrote the "Federal Marriage Amendment," but other Christian conservatives now oppose it. Why?

The young activist would patiently explain to the Lord that merely banning gay marriage is not enough for some of the largest and wealthiest Christian conservative groups. They want a more sweeping amendment that would block not just gay marriage, but also all forms of legally recognized sexual partnership other than heterosexual marriage. The Constitutional language they propose is: "Neither the federal government nor any state shall predicate benefits, privileges, rights or immunities on the existence, recognition or presumption of non-marital sexual relationships."

robin said...

I wasn't being judgemental of you, Deb. Just curious! Anyone who thinks God hates anyone is ludicrous. They are just using that as an excuse for their own failings. You have a good head on your shoulders! Soldier on!!

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

Deb - you hit on the right element by naming it as "hatred." The commandment reads "love your neighbor as yourself. It presumes that to truly love one's neighbor as God does, one must begin by loving oneself - not in a sappy, sentimental "I'm ok - you're ok" thing, but rather accepting ourselves as humans made in the image and likeness of God who have fallen short and for whom Christ makes it possible for us to do better trhough faith in him. So much of the conservative christian "gospel" is about hatred of neighbor, but that hatred stems from hatred of self.
Another piece of wisdom from the writier Ann Lamott, "You can assume you have created God in your own image when God hates the same people you do!"

kathi said...

Geeze. I've got life so easy, well...compared to many. I never feel like I have to defend my way of life. It's gotta be tough and I can't imagine all the energy it must take.

We can't judge a person, only One can judge. We are to judge one's fruits (actions), but to love and pray for one another, regardless of their fruits. I wonder if all those who are being so judgemental have forgotten that. It's impossible to love and pray for someone and have hateful feelings, thoughts or actions against them at the same time.

~Deb said...
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~Deb said...

Jack: You’re right. Jesus didn’t say one word about homosexuality. He has given His life to us – to take away all sins in the human nature type of way. Thank you for sharing all you did.

Robin: No, I never said you were judging me. You asked me a question and I was more than happy to answer you.

You said, “I find it amusing that you discount half the Bible as a manual for nation building, and quote the other half like its God's law. How do you fundamentally reconcile that?

The fact of the matter is that if people will accept God into their hearts, and recognize that all the evil things we do in the name of God are human failings, then the world will be taking a step in the right direction.”


I am in the right direction. Just because you believe differently doesn’t mean I am in the wrong direction.

I replied to you, “…because as Christians, we go by the New Testament - when Jesus came to the earth to save us. We are no longer bound by the law - in my beliefs and from what I interpret through the bible. I'm not discrediting the Old Testament, I'm discrediting the 'old law' that they once lived by.”

Thanks for stopping back again.

Rev. Kate: ”…You can assume you have created God in your own image when God hates the same people you do!"

Couldn’t have said that better! Their religion is based on ‘hate’ and ‘righteous judgments’. They focus too much on what others do when they should be focusing on the Lord. Thank you Kate!

Kathi: Exactly. And when you speak about them judging you, they say, “Oh no, not the old ‘judgmental argument’!” Because they can’t argue it. We are not to judge. They’re not GODS! And it’s funny when they think they are. God will judge us accordingly. Thanks for your input Kath!

Miss 1999 said...

Deb,

I found this little "nugget of joy" in my e-mail, and thought it would be more than appropriate to share-- it just proves, even those in Jesus' time were FAR from perfect as well :0)

Enjoy! *hugs*

The next time you feel like GOD can't use
you, just remember...

Noah was a drunk

Abraham was too old

Isaac was a daydreamer

Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly

Joseph was abused

Moses had a stuttering problem

Gideon was afraid

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

Rahab was a prostitute

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

David had an affair and was a murderer

Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

Naomi was a widow

Job went bankrupt

Peter denied Christ

Thomas doubted Christ

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

Mary Magdalene was, well you know

The Samaritan woman was divorced,
more than once

Zaccheus was too small

Paul was too religious

Timothy had an ulcer..AND

Lazarus was dead!

Now! No more excuses!

God can use you to your full potential. God can use us ALL!

Julie said...

Deb - a person could become very disheartened by the process of trying to reconcile what some Christians say and believe with what their own hearts and minds tell them about the love of God. The new commandment is to 'love one another as I have loved you' - which doesn't mean a person can't ever judge others or be angry; there is such a thing as righteous anger as evidenced by Jesus overturning the tables in the temple, cursing the fig-tree, and just now, by you sounding off about unloving Christians!

It's sad that people keep on making God in their own image - we all do it up to a point, of course, but it's so denying of God's immeasurable love.

Some Christians enjoy nothing more than trying to impose law upon law on each other and in trying to entangle others in their own personal versions of hell - the higher simpler knowledge is that 'God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself'. That's far too simple a gospel for some people to want or be able to embrace. They have to make God like themselves - never a good idea!

God is not owned, and his ways are not our ways,despite anyone's best efforts to own and define him. Even 'him' is a definition that could be better done without, or 'her' - but some terms are necessary to being able to discuss God.

Kudos, Deb.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Well, I go away to do some work and come back to...more fighting! It reminds me of my job! Deb, you are patient and loving to answer these questions. Mark: I gave you my reasons before--I won't do it again. It isn't to be rude to you; I just don't like arguing over and over again. I think you won't be convinced and well, I have no power over that. God bless and keep you, Mark. I am praying for you right now, my brother.

Sandalina said...

She is patient to answer all those questions. I think Deb has a very beautiful spirit and is genuinely kind hearted, well spoken and intelligent.

That being said...

The only thing I agree with out of all the 77, 000 comments is that Jesus loves everyone.

Mark has taken the same beating that all Christians who are steadfast in their belief that homosexuality is a sin. I've been there myself--and have no idea why I'm expressing my thoughts on the subject yet again.

I don't like causing arguments and agree with Deb that sometimes you have to agree to disagree. I think even Jesus once said that if someone doesn't listen to you, shake the sand from your feet/sandals (whatever) and move on.

In regards to sin, I liken it to a child though...my child will disobey me and do things I don't like, but I will never stop loving him.

However, that does not make all of his behavior acceptable.

My father was and still is very verbally abusive. I don't accept that behavior, but I still love him too.

Love for a person has nothing to do with how they behave.

God's love for us has nothing to do with how we behave either. But there are consequences for our behavior--no matter what the "sin" is.

GW Mush said...
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GW Mush said...

I always take Deb's side cuz she is a cutie pie. Other than that, I dont really have an opinion!

Amy said...

Ok, I'm just catching up on all these comments...

MARK, works are too a concern in "matters of eternal destiny"...how can you deny that? I can't quote Scriptures or yell at people and insult them like you do, but I certainly know that The Golden Rule is called that for a reason. If we all believed that philanthropy has no impact on our eternal destiny, this world would be in serious trouble. Since you obviously need a reminder about exactly what "works" mean to The Trinity, remember these people:

Mother Teresa
Mahatma Ghandi
Harriet Tubman

One of my favorites: Saint Basil, a Russian Orthodox who was came from a family of near Moscow. Saint Basil is considered a holy fool. He became an apprentice shoemaker who shoplifted and gave to the poor. He went naked and weighed himself down with chains. He rebuked Ivan the Terrible for not paying attention in church.

Instead of insulting the good works and opinions of people who differ from you, perhaps you should celebrate them. You might feel a mighty weight lifted and love and light pour in.

And your Rottweiler that is growlling on your profile picture. That's a Roman war dog. Why THAT picture? Why not one of your pup that can spread good feelings, instead of tension and fear?

You also said: Blood must be shed to atone for sin?
So are you promoting a return to sacrifices?

Why is it that you deny a person's love for God? Isn't that the worst sin of all?

One should not trust their heart enough to rely solely on that, and neither should you...

Love thy neighbor. Jesus trusted his heart and showed love to all for his entire life. That is one lesson you haven't gotten out of all your studies Mark.

Deb is right when she says that you scare people away from Christ. People know in their hearts when something feels "off". That's the Holy Spirit talking to them.

Mark said...

If we all believed that philanthropy has no impact on our eternal destiny, this world would be in serious trouble.

This world is in serious trouble. Especially with that kind of thinking.

Mother Teresa Sinner
Mahatma Ghandi Sinner
Harriet Tubman Sinner

Your point?

And your Rottweiler that is growlling on your profile picture. That's a Roman war dog. Why THAT picture? Why not one of your pup that can spread good feelings, instead of tension and fear?

The dog is sneezing, and my 'pup' is all love, no fear or tension, unless some fool thinks they are quicker then he is.

So are you promoting a return to sacrifices?

No dear, I am 'promoting' the need for repentance, just as Christ told us to do.

Love thy neighbor. Jesus trusted his heart and showed love to all for his entire life. That is one lesson you haven't gotten out of all your studies Mark.

I have over 100 'neighbors' and I bet all, not most, but all would disagree with you.

People know in their hearts when something feels "off". That's the Holy Spirit talking to them.

I agree 100%! That is why when one's 'heart' begins to think unrepented sin, the celebration of sin is ok, the Holy Spirit has been silenced and numbed. That Amy, results in eternal death. That should indeed scare people, right to the cross of Christ in Repentance!

Mark said...

oh Love you!

~Deb said...

Mark,

Sadly enough, you claim to love, but your words speak differently. You’re not taken seriously and you come across with fury and hatred – and then you could come across as this loving person full of ‘concern’. I can see the person you are when we speak through emails. You come across concerned and a genuine care for my well being as well as others. But sometimes, when you write in your frantic-mode, I sometimes get curious about your motives.

The “Oh by the way, love you” bit was sarcastic towards Amy. Or at least, that’s how I viewed it. Do you see what I’m saying here? Or are you going to simply blast the “word of God” and tell me I’m a huge sinner and need to repent?

We’re all in this together. Again, Jesus paid the full price. If you truly believe that, take relief in it. Know that you’re salvation was given to you by Christ.

And, I do love you, and the rest of the people on my site and in my life. That, I say with a genuine heart.

Mark said...

Again, Jesus paid the full price. If you truly believe that, take relief in it. Know that you’re salvation was given to you by Christ.

Deb, #1 I am not mad, angry, or frantic. I am 97.7% of the time, smiling. I have but one motive regarding your post, to offer a counter claim, one based on scripture and Christ, that Repentence is necessary. You cannont dismiss some sins no matter how you feel.

And, I do love you, and the rest of the people on my site and in my life. That, I say with a genuine heart.

Thank you. I care enough about people to speak the truth found in God's word, not just the parts I like. I compare all of life to the Light of scripture. I offer that others do the same. That is my love. It is not 'spiritual', relative, or proud. It is absolute, God defined, and Christ fullfilled.

~Deb said...

Okay, I can totally respect that. You sounded genuine in your last comment, Mark. Sometimes words can be tricky when reading the text. Thank you for explaining that.

God bless!

Spoke said...

Mark:

Spoke, you missed an opportunity to let them know why they do more for a lie then most Christians do for the truth. Sharpen your sword man. :) and proclaim His word to the lost. Christ told us to do that, remember?

Grow up you works/law monger. You have no idea what I said to them.The whole story had no context for my comment! You assume that you are the only one on tract (sic) here! Jesus opposes the proud! Search your heart, get off the computor and stop preaching to the choir.

Mark said...

Spoke,
Go change your panties man. When I ask for your dumb ass advice, you will see clearly these words..Spoke, what do you think?

Search your pants Spoke, your wet noodle doctrine helps no one! well, other than you of course.

oh, I Love you! ;)

Anonymous said...

And Mark's a CHRISTIAN? HA! Nice Mark. Totally rude and evil of you.

You're disgusting!!!!!!!!

Mark said...

I can be rude, I can be evil, and I can be disgusting.

Do you have a point? or are you claiming you cannot be any of these things?

Do you totally get it? Get an idenity you foolish child of folly.

Anonymous said...

Gross.

~Deb said...

Mark, let me repeat what you wrote:

"...Spoke,
Go change your panties man. When I ask for your dumb ass advice, you will see clearly these words..Spoke, what do you think?

Search your pants Spoke, your wet noodle doctrine helps no one! well, other than you of course.

oh, I Love you!" ;)



How can I put this in a tactful way? You're insulting, rude, sarcastic and yes, I agree with anonymous - "gross".

Nothing you say here will be taken seriously - by me and many people.

You're not creditable as a loving Christian in my opinion.

If you do not like what I write about and what my readers believe, then please, by all means, go to another blog and harass people.

You've lost my interest.

Spoke said...

Mark, your off track friend. Be careful...for God's sake if not for yours.

Anonymous said...

Amen.