Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sacrifices

Has it reached a full two years since Dani and I have been debating over whether or not I am able to actually be a “Christian lesbian”? Regardless, we always seem to go over this topic. Sometimes, it’s dramatic and heated up. Other times, it can be a civil conversation between two adults who love God. The only difference is, Dani fully believes I don’t love God enough, because I refuse to transform into a heterosexual. Her belief, as many of you know, is that God intended to only join a man and woman for procreation.

I can totally respect that, due to the bible not being so black and white. The gray areas of the good book have been questioned upon, debated over, and also killed for. Over at Dani’s site on her latest attempt, she dedicated another post to me. It had ten steps to come out of the lesbian lifestyle. Dani and I are trying to discuss this with open minds and open hearts. Now, the only thing that makes me cringe with this discussion is that she compares my relationship to those who are pedophiles, wife beaters, child molesters and rapists. I have to tell you that it hurts me to think that people would consider me to be equivalent to these types of horrific beings. Those types of people hurt others.

Many Christians think I should leave the lifestyle and become an ex-lesbian. I can’t imagine being an “ex-lesbian”, however, let’s just say I did become one. Let’s take a look at what I’d be like, or assume what I’d be like.

(Warning- this may be graphic and some men may get offended. Please note, that I do not hate men. I love men, but not in an intimate way. I think men are great, but a relationship or marriage with a man is not in my cards. Just as a straight man trying to be gay- it’s not meant for him.)

1. I’d go through the motions of being with a man. I’d probably try to find a man who had a great sense of humor, someone who could make me think, and someone who’s also a Christian, or believes in God. That’s very important to me in any relationship. I need to relate on a spiritual level. (Mind you, I have male friends who fit the bill on this one!)

2. What man is going to wait for sex until marriage? So right there, it’s going to take me a long, long time to find a man who’s willing to say, “I’ll wait a couple of years and be celibate for you.” I know “love” becomes a factor and if he really loves me, he’ll wait, right? Love isn’t about sex. Sex is just a bonus, I know, but reality hits you and it’s evident that there are hardly any men out there that will wait. {Note to Dani: You didn’t wait until marriage. This you have revealed to me---however, since you repented of premarital sex, you’re okay now, right? So, right there, you’re lucky. (In the belief system that you hold to be true.) Some people aren’t so lucky I guess.}

3. I’m still on the sex topic, so bear with me, okay? I am not attracted to men in that way. I think that there are gorgeous men out there, however, I don’t look at them and say, “Whoaaaa,” and totally drop my jaw in lust. I can appreciate the beauty of a man, all sizes and all races. On our wedding night, while preparing to get deflowered, would I have to close my eyes and pray to the good Lord to get this over with?

It’s not fair to the man if I did this. He would have a wife that didn’t have passion for him, who wasn’t fully attracted to him and that would eventually lead him with negative thoughts about himself. His self-esteem would diminish, leaving him with thoughts of unworthiness. I would never do this to a man. When I was single, I even tried with men. It’s very difficult for me to go there. And, when I have, the men that I have been with were ones I potentially saw myself with. I never did it for just kicks. The men in my life are important to me, so much, that I don’t become their wife. For that, they’re fortunate!

What goes through a woman’s mind while she’s brought up in a Christian household, gets married, has kids, and then years later, admits that she’s now a lesbian? Some Christians will say that the devil got into her, that it’s a message from the “evil one”. Other people will simply feel bad that she suffered many years holding this type of feeling inside.

“Fight it! It’s the demon of homosexuality!”

I’ve heard that one before. A demon of homosexuality? They say that “the demon of homosexuality” is the strongest one of all!

I wrote a comment to Dani on her latest post. I asked her, since I’m unwilling to break up with my loving partner, because of my strong belief that God accepts me, should I sacrifice myself to my God? If it’s already determined that I’m going to hell for continuing my lifestyle as a lesbian who loves her partner, should I say, “I’m sorry God, I repent of being a homosexual,” and then sacrifice myself to God, for the sake of dying without sins? Nowhere in the bible does it say that committing suicide is a sin. Murdering is a sin, but what about sacrificing yourself to God? Isn’t that was Jesus did? Aren’t we supposed to follow what Jesus did? We’re supposed to be “Christ-like”, right? WWJD? (What would Jesus do?)

Stop panicking. I’m not going anywhere folks. I’m making a point though. I proclaim with all my heart that I am a Christian strong in her faith! I am not going to be a closet Christian. I refuse. My love for Jesus is way too strong, and His messages to me, that He loves me as His child, and loves all of his children, regardless of their lifestyles makes me want to spread the word more. It makes me want to spread the word of love more. I firmly believe this is my mission in life- this is my purpose.

Why does the bible have so many gray areas in it? For me, there are no gray areas. For Dani, there are also no gray areas, however, we both see totally different messages.

Why?

For example, this is Dani’s interpretation of the bible in Romans:
“Just as Romans 1:24-26 says, 'Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie...Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.'This verse speaks nothing of promiscuity, but rather God giving people over to their sinful desires to do the things which are unnatural since they believed a LIE in their hearts, instead of the Truth of God's Word.”

Now, read my interpretation of the SAME passage:
” The verse in Romans 1:24-26 does speak of promiscuity. Here’s how “”I”” interpret it. Bear with me. I know you’re trying so hard to be open with me. So hang in there Dani!!! “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires (to me indicates desires which are wrong and unclean)) of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (Totally referring to promiscuity right there in that last sentence. They’re not speaking about love, commitment, friendship and loyalty. These were the times they were giving up their bodies to submit themselves to orgies with many, many partners, regardless of gender.) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie…Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. (Lust is different than love.) Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (Meaning, they were doing it with anyone, anywhere, anyhow, anytime---these people were just completely a mess trapped in a lifestyle of orgies, parties, submitting to every desire with anyone.”

Does this passage sound like sex to you? Does it sound as though it speaks about promiscuous matters, or a loving relationship between two people of the same gender?

In my belief, this passage is purely about sex. Promiscuity seems to be confused with love, as I take it from Dani’s view. My relationship with my girlfriend is not all about sex. I have a best friend to confide in, I have a loving woman who supports me in whatever it is that I do, and I love someone who’s apart of my family. Our communication is open, loving and sometimes we debate on issues like any other normal relationship- and sometimes we communicate through love…through intimacy.

Is lust the same thing as love?

Am I equivalent to a pedophile, a violent rapist, a wife beater, a murderer, and someone who distributes child porn?

I have been compared to these types of people, which hurts. I’m human, so when someone tells me that I’m just the same as these other people who intentionally hurt others, it affects me in a negative way. It tears down my spirit and makes me believe that it’s impossible to have faith in people.

I may have lost my faith in Christians, however, my faith in Christ will never fade. She may dwindle my self-esteem and hurt me with words, however, she can’t take away my knowledge that God is true- that God accepts me and everyone else who struggles as a human.

Almost two years now Dani. It’s time to shut the door on this one. If God calls me to be an ex-lesbian, than that’s what I’ll do. He hasn’t told me that- ever. The words in the bible are seen in many various interpretations, translations and conclusions.

My question to you is, how do you know 100%, absolutely without a doubt, that what you’re hearing is the message of God? Put aside the bible, because we both interpret it differently. I believe that your message is negative, not because I want to fulfill my “evil desires”, because I don't feel it's evil.

How do you know that your belief is “truth”? What spiritual experiences have you had to hold this up?

Did you hear a voice from God?

Your interpretation of that passage in Romans clearly states “lust”. Lust = promiscuity. It’s not love.

Is your message coming from love? Or is your message coming from a different source?
Am I on the right "track"?

45 comments:

Matt-Man said...

Hey Deb, How does ANYONE know that they are hearing the voice of God. Sure, we can put our own interpretations upon the Bible, but whose is right?

Dani said...

Good morning, Deb. I'll just post my latest comment to your here are well since it goes over the same things.

I thought about you a lot last night and I prayed for you with a sincere heart that God would reveal Himself to you like never before.

Let me just start by saying that I was not comparing your loving relationship with hurtful matters of this world, such as wife beaters, rape, selling drugs or child porn, I was merely making a point that just because the Bible doesn’t specifically condone certain behaviors, doesn’t mean that those behaviors are approved of by God either. I was using extreme examples so I apologize for hurting your feelings.

About you committing suicide, obviously you shouldn’t do that. I will just look over the sarcasm because you know that is not the answer to your problems, nor did I ever imply that it was. All God wants you to do is love Him with all your heart, mind and soul enough to die to your flesh and live according to His commands.

As for Charlene, I would assume that she is seeking out those who will do exactly what she did so she can help them in the recovery process. But again, I don’t know her personally. Maybe you can email her and ask her yourself? I’m sure she would at least be willing to listen for a little while.

Moving on to the passage in Romans, I already know how “you” interpret that verse, so I don’t think it’s worth beating a dead cat over the head again.

Again I would just urge you to ask yourself this when reading the Bible: Am I trying to interpret Scripture to conform to my lifestyle; or should I interpret my lifestyle to conform to Scripture?

Keep in mind that God is not the author of confusion and it’s only the gay Christian movement that interprets Scripture the way you do. For the rest of the Bible believers, the text is black and white on the issue of same sex relationships. There is no exception clause for monogamous couples.

Let me ask you this: If I was just shacking up with Curtis and having babies together with him, do you think that we be okay? Would God approve of our relationship since we love each other and are committed, even though we weren’t married?

I am trying to understand where you are coming from, but the reality is that I will never fully understand because I have never been in your shoes.

I can’t begin to imagine what goes through your mind when you are faced with the challenge of changing your lifestyle to honor God. I know we see things differently and probably always will, but I was trying to envision myself in your position to gain a greater understanding. I don’t necessarily believe that you are deliberately ignoring Scripture, I just think that if you did follow God completely on this issues, it could be one of the most devastating events in your life…at least at first.

If you stopped being a lesbian this would mean that you would have to end your relationship with your partner who you love dearly and who has provided you with a security blanket of comfort for nearly 1/3 of your life. That would be extremely hard to do. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with love, commitment, friendship and loyalty – all those things are great, but the intimate part of the relationship would be gone.

If you stopped being a lesbian in order to fully commit your life to God, you would have to pull your book off the shelves and most likely you would be ostracized, ridiculed and even hated by your current group of gay friends. Right now they are probably telling you “don’t listen to Dani because she is a hateful, intolerant, judgmental bigot.” That’s okay. But how loving, and tolerant would the LGBT group be towards you if you decided to abandon your lifestyle and live as a heterosexual who serves God? Would they be accepting of your new life choice? Probably not! That would make your decision even more difficult to lose all those who you thought were your friends.

Anyway, I realize that you will probably never change because that would disrupt your entire life, but I just wanted you to know that God will be there for you if you do. When you are at your lowest point, God is there to life you up. When you are all alone with no one to love you, God is there to comfort you and shower you with love. Jesus said that, "you are either for Me or against Me" – Neutrally is impossible with the Lord and if you choose to be for Him, and all for Him, He will never let you down. But if you choose your own path, that will only lead to destruction.

Forgive me for being so persistent with you. I have never devoted so much time to one single person, and the only reason I have not tossed in the towel with you is that deep in my heart I believe God can truly transform you and make you a vessel for His Kingdom.

I will continue to pray for you. Have a good day.

With Love ~ Dani

Dawn said...

“Am I equivalent to a pedophile, a violent rapist, a wife beater, a murderer, and someone who distributes child porn?”

No! You are not like any of those as they hurting other through power over them. In a monogomous relationship it is one of equality and respect.

Unfortunately, many christian fundies only see the sex or ‘twisted’ relationship and don’t look deeper, so they add in homosexuality because they see it as ‘twisted’ and a lot of sex. That, and it adds a good shock value still to those within their sphere of influence to send in money to ‘fight the agenda’.

Deb, you are on the right track. In Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

In those days the scriptures weren’t bound in the form we have, they had to go to all kinds of sources to get the information they needed. That may have also been checking out other ‘versions’ of Jesus’ time on earth that some may not have approved of. So if the Bereans were noble and searched for the truth, you are as well.

Grace to you.

Pittchick said...

I tried to read that article over on Dani's site, but I just couldn't work my way through it.

I'm a Christian and I don't think the Bible is black and white. I see it as a collection of stories. I also don't read it as often as you and Dani appear to, and that's fine with me. I don't wish to be a Bible scholar.

I don't understand why some people [Dani] seem to take pleasure in making you feel bad or telling you that you're less of a person because of the way that you live your life. The way I see it, no one is perfect. You seem like a very strong, caring and thoughtful individual. I'm sorry you have to put up with ignorant, bigoted people on what seems like a daily basis.
Maybe you should comprise a list of the "top 10 ways to mind your own damn business and stay out of my life!"

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

Matt-man: We can only believe. Faith is the answer to that one.

Dani: Thank you for praying for me. I know you pray for me with a sincere heart, because you have faith in what you believe in. That’s respected, it truly is.

My apologies if I took your statement of which the bible doesn’t speak about pedophiles, rapists, wife beaters and murderers, as comparison to my relationship with my partner. Thank you for clearing that up. I honestly thought you had visions of me being on the same scale.

The suicide remark is a hypothetical question. I don’t mean to alarm anyone with thoughts of taking my own life, I meant that to be a question- should I take my own life, to sacrifice myself to God, if I will go to hell if I continue “living” my life as I do?

Scripture to us – let’s duck that cigarette out. We’re both on different belief systems and interpretations.

” Am I trying to interpret Scripture to conform to my lifestyle; or should I interpret my lifestyle to conform to Scripture?”

HONESTLY, no. I really mean this with all my heart Dani. I see and read the scripture, meditate on it, and listen for God to give me more messages, or elaborate upon what’s been read, and then come to that interpretation. I really believe that God has spoken to me. I don’t feel “confused”. I am however, confused over Christian followers. That’s what I meant.

You asked: ” If I was just shacking up with Curtis and having babies together with him, do you think that we be okay? Would God approve of our relationship since we love each other and are committed, even though we weren’t married?”

I think God knows everyone’s heart. You’re not doing anything evil or hurting anyone, however, think of it like this. I would have married my partner, if it were legal. I definitely would have waited. But, since “people” haven’t legalized it, we can’t. And, I’m not willing to relocate to Canada, or another state just to be in a loving union legally.

And yes, if I stopped being a lesbian (which to me seems impossible, that’s just like some straight guy trying to stop himself from being a heterosexual), then yes, my relationship would end. She’s not a “security blanket”, she’s my best friend, an equal, a person who loves me and cares for me.

Since I don’t feel that homosexuality in terms of a loving relationship is a sin, I would never give up my partner, nor take my book off the shelves. I still stand firm in my beliefs, but my faith in Christian people has faded.

My gay and lesbian friends would never abandon me due to a lifestyle choice. My friendships with them are based on just that----friendship. They’re understanding and would be there for me if I made a major lifestyle change. The difference is, I wouldn’t judge them for being gay, if I were to become a heterosexual. But, that’s not going to happen. And, I don’t base my actions upon what other people think. I go to the own beat of my drum, and my own personal relationship with God, as well as my own interpretation that I feel God has given me a gift of.

I thank you for being persistent with me, and inquiring about my life, as well as making good-hearted suggestions. I read everything you write, I take it in, and I see if it works for me. If it doesn’t, then I just take in what’s meant for you.

I pray for you, I know that maybe my prayers don’t seem valid, but I do wish you all the happiness and everything good in your life. I hope you know how much I appreciate your attempt, because I truly believe that your faith stands firmly behind your words and actions.

So thank you for commenting back, and I will leave this on your blog as well.

Always with love,
Deb

Dawn: That’s just it, I’m always trying to seek for “truth”, and every time I search for it, the message is still the same. So who do I believe? God, or people? The book of Galatians clearly speaks about the old law and how we’re no longer bound to it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every sin should be put aside though. But love isn’t a sin. Thanks Dawn!

Pittchick: I really believe that Dani has gone out of her way, because this is “truth” for her. I respect that, and there are times when I get depressed, because I feel, hmm, maybe God doesn’t love me? And then, I pray, meditate, and realize how much God does love me, and accept me, and accepts those who also struggle with other Christian followers. We just have to be strong in our faith and know that God is there. Thanks!

Lisa said...

Dani - I don't necessarily agree with everything you have to say, but I just wanted to say that your sincerity touches me deeply. I really mean that. After the tone of some previous comments, I now find myself enjoying reading your comments and very willing to ponder what you have to say. Kudos to you and Deb both as you share.

Dani said...

Deb - You know that I am not trying to hurt you or make you feel bad. To say so is being disingenuous to your readers. If I didn't love your sincerely and care about your eternal salvation, I wouldn't waste nearly two years on you.

To answer your question: How do you know that your belief is “truth”? What spiritual experiences have you had to hold this up?

I know that God is clear on the issue of sexual immorality (all sex outside of marriage) because since the beginning God created male and female to be united as one flesh. God’s Word is the Truth because God is not a liar and He would not approve of something which is clearly forbidden throughout the Bible. When I was living in sin (having sex before marriage) I could have easily interpreted Scripture to fit my life since we loved each other and were committed - after all, God wants me to be happy, right? Obeying God by stopping what I was doing with my husband (boyfriend at the time) didn't feel very good at first. In fact, it was painful to stop our loving relationship and put God first. But once we did decide to honor God in our relationship, He has poured out His blessings upon us. I know it’s true because even though I was offended by what the Bible said, I humbled myself and conformed my life to Scripture, instead of twisting Scripture to fit my life. Since then God has confirmed without at doubt that His Word is the Truth and there is no room for compromise. We are called to do what is right according to God and risk the consequences, even if it’s not what we believe to be true in our hearts.

But I know that nothing I say will change your mind, so sorry if I am being redundant and annoying. I will let you be and I'm sure our paths will cross again, but as you requested: It’s time to shut the door on this one.

I still think you are a special person with great potential, and I hope and pray that God will lead you towards a path of righteousness so you can really be used to advance His Kingdom.

Take Care & God Bless.

Jessie said...

I really dont see a problem with your relationship, I mean you function, you arent just doing it to be cool or hot (like some people do) and youre not hurting anyone. If anything, you could be hurting yourself, but I dont think you are. See, pedophilia has victims. Rapists have victims. Victims dont ask to be violated, it just happens and its awful and often times it ruins their lives. Where as in your situation, there are two concenting adults who understand that "its not just sex." Do you know how many straight couples dont get that?

My point is that its not like youre up here on the internet recruiting people, or using your lesbian mind rays to lure people from the street to have sex with you. Its ridiculous to put you in the same box as a victimizer, and this person who said that should be ashamed.

~Deb said...

Lisa: I feel the same. Dani’s comments are out of sincerity, I feel it. She has spent much time on me and I really appreciate that.

Dani: I truly respect your beliefs and thank you for praying for me. And again, if God calls me to take a different direction, you my dear, will be the first to know! I promise! Even though our beliefs are different, I admire your passion and willingness to further your faith.

God bless!

Jessie: Yeah, I hear ya… But Dani cleared that up. She was just saying how the bible doesn’t speak about those who commit other sins. She wasn’t making me equivalent to them. It can be seen that way, but in her comments, she fully explained what she meant.
Thanks for stopping by!

Marc said...

Quote: "Again I would just urge you to ask yourself this when reading the Bible: Am I trying to interpret Scripture to conform to my lifestyle; or should I interpret my lifestyle to conform to Scripture?"

We re-interpret scripture all the time. We have to - the book is thousands of years old. The languages we speak today are incredibly different, our vocabulary is 2-3 times larger than it was. And quite simply - we know a lot more now than they did back then.

Take for example, the word "homosexual".

Please, do your own research on this, because I think it unlikely that you'd trust my sources offhand. I don't want you to have to take my word for it.

The word never appears in the original Bible text, *ever*.

This is a recent addition which has been placed in our newer "easier to read" versions of the Bible.

"Homosexual" was put in place of an obscure word for which we no longer know the meaning. This was done by the translators. Translators, historically speaking, *always* add their own biases to the process.

I'm sure you'd find a Bible printed over a hundred years ago to be an interesting read.

-----

Regardless, of all things for you to fixate on Biblically speaking, why latch on to an issue like gay relationships? Even with twists in translation, there's still zero evidence that God looks unfavorably on loving, monogamous same-sex unions.

True, just because the Bible doesn't directly say it's wrong doesn't mean it isn't. However, the Bible doesn't say eating peanut butter is ok either.

For some things, we're forced to figure it out on our own.

I take the overwhelming happiness I feel when I'm with my partner as indication that I've made a good choice.

The Bible never flatly states that Ruth and Naomi were a "lesbian" couple.. but the words they say to each other are quoted at weddings across the globe as words of true love and devotion from one spouse to another.

For me, that's clear enough.

~Deb said...

All I can say is, thank you Marc! Excellent comment to fully express what I'm trying to get across!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Irisi said...

Dani, you remind me very very heavily of a friend I had years ago. She was a very dear friend, but spent three years gently and lovingly trying to convince me to come back to God, and stop trying to practice Paganism. She had the same style: Her comments were genuinely well intentioned, she spent a lot of time writing me very long letters and put a lot of thought and prayer into me, into helping me "save my soul."

The unfortunate thing is that all it really ended up doing was cause me to suffer a lot of guilt for who I was, and struggle harder with finding *any* divine, not just the Pagan or Christian Gods. In the end, I broke down in front of her and said I was tired of how I was never good enough for her to care about as I was, and how I wasn't really sure that I wanted her as a friend anymore if she was going to forever be telling me how wrong my beliefs were.

At that point, she realized that in her attempts to lovingly help me, she was only hurting me.

Dani, it looks like that is what is happening here. I can see that you really care for Deb, and have very kind intentions. You want to help her, in the way that you know how. But look at this post, it obviously hurts her, that you, as her friend, cannot love her for who she truly is. Will she ever be enough for you to love?

I think it's important to know that at some point, you have to stop trying to change people, and accept and love them as the beautiful humans that they are. We all come with flaws. What I perceive as a flaw, and you perceive as a flaw, and deb perceives as a flaw are all very very different things, because we all perceive based on our personal histories and experiences. Nobody will ever be perfect.

So what is better? Continue with unasked for help, that may eventually drive away a friend or cause her to attempt to "change," potentially leading to years of unrest and upset, or step away, stop trying to change her, and love her for who she is right now?

Pick your battles. Is this one worth a friendship and another person's happiness?


Just my 3 cents. :D

Deb - I support you! ::big hugs:: I support your strength for being true to yourself and what brings you happiness and love. I wish you and your partner the best of luck :)

Anonymously Saying said...

We continue to observe hatred and bigotry spouted from every fundamentalist Christian pulpit across the country. Bigotry against blacks, women, homosexuals, Mexicans, atheists, and even other brand names of Christianity are all favorite targets for these purveyors of hatred. Using the rhetoric of "Hate the sin, not the sinner," these people manage to convince themselves they can hate with justification. Using the rhetoric of," Jews were created out of mud" and "blacks are the result of Eve copulating with animals," these purveyors of hatred manage to convince themselves they can hate with justification -- all of it fully sanction by gods and the Christian mythologies, of course.

I’ve seen this woman Dani debate with you. She’s all of the sudden coming out “IN LOVE”? Think about it. The devil is clever enough to sprinkle on a bit of kindness, in order for you to change your ways. She even admits that she doesn’t even wholeheartedly agree with this woman, Charlene. Charlene doesn’t even want to deal with people that are different, which goes against what Jesus stood for.

Don’t be fooled by their kindness. It’s also very evident that she was comparing you to those filthy pedophiles and rapists, she just chooses her words very carefully. Read her comment again and you’ll see for yourself.

"OHHHH she's coming to you in love! She's speaking to you out of her heart!"

Deb, let this be the end of your debates. That's what it is. It isn't healthy to enforce feelings of guilt, shame and depression. She is not a Christian.

Find someone else to seek answers from, or you'll be sitting home, schooling your children and being totally submissive to your husband who doesn't treat you as an equal.

Run, Debbie Run!

Gary Baker said...

Marc,

I hesitate to jump in here. Deb knows my stance. I know hers. That's cool. I do have a thing for truth and accuracy in the scriptures, however, so:

While it may or may not be true that homosexual is used in the Bible, the activity is mentioned clearly enough.

As for Naomi and Ruth, if they were in a lesbian relationship, I doubt that Naomi would have gone looking for a husband for Ruth. I also should point out that the reason the two were together to begin with is that Ruth was married to one of Naomi's sons. The reason that Naomi encouraged Ruth to go back to her own people was that she had no more sons for her daughters in law to marry.

If you disagree with the scriptures or have a different interpretation, so be it. People can get different interpretations of scripture in good faith. That kind of interpretation of the book of Ruth seems to stretch a little beyond "good faith" to me.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Listen to Anonymously Speaking, Deb, who speaks forth great wisdom. Dani: you scare me--you and your Christian love. I don't buy it for a second.

Nomad said...

Gen 19, Lev 18, Lev 20, Rom 1, 1 Cor 6, 1 Tim 1...............

These Bible verses are frequently referred to as the"Clobber Passages" because they have been used by some members of the church to condemn gay and lesbian people.

Biblical scholars have examined these passages for many years and have arrived at differing interpretations of the actual meanings. It is little wonder then that many Christians feel a sense of confusion or frustration when it comes to the subject of homosexuality and the church.

Does God condemn all gays & lesbians within these few passages? Or are the passages referring to something that is directly related to homosexual acts, such as pagan idolatry, but unrelated to the loving same-sex relationships we are familiar with in our day?

There are many opinions on this issue today and it will take work to examine each of them in order to arrive at a credible conclusion. There are many questions to ask when studying these passages- Something is being condemned very strongly, can we say with absolute certainty what it is? Do we have any preconceived biases which could affect our judgement or are we willing to look at each passage objectively? Are the meanings of the texts clear or obscure? Is there enough biblical evidence to base a doctrine on? Do we understand the context of each passage and the historical setting in which it was written? After making a serious attempt to understand these passages, are we willing to accept a conclusion if it differs from what we presently believe?

These questions are important for those on both sides of this issue. If it can be demonstrated that these passages do in fact condemn homosexuality in all forms, then God no doubt would stand ready and willing to heal all those who ask to be free of it. Change in sexual orientation would be the norm as ex-gays converted to heterosexuality.

If however, convincing evidence that these passages condemn homosexual relationships cannot be substantiated, then the condemnation of gays and lesbians based on the bible is unjustified. To dismiss, condemn or even hate a group of people (or hating ourselves for being gay) based on the indistinct meanings of a few passages is contrary to the nature of the gospels.

Jesus loved and accepted all who came to Him for salvation. He never demanded that His followers conform to a set of rules in order to gain His grace. In fact He condemned the Pharisees for doing just that to their followers. Those who demand that gays change their orientation in order to gain salvation, demonstrate not only a questionable view of the salvation of the gospels, but also a disconcerting lack of love for the gay Christian. Sexual orientation is not chosen, and the heartbreaking struggles gay & lesbian Christians have endured in trying to change are in vain if God’s word does not clearly condemn loving same-sex relationships.

Fluffie Bunnie said...

I wonder what God would say, and not what people THINK he would say.

GW Mush said...

Lets pretend I said something really intelligent and wise that makes people sit back and say... that guy really made sense!

Ok, start pretending, hehehe

Hi Deb:)

Irisi said...

I think I'm too much of an optimist that I believe Dani's intentions are good, just misguided..

I guess time and her next few "moves" will tell if she's loving and misguided, or minipulative and mean spirited.

I, personally, like to hope for the best in people.

:)

Sandalina said...

I agree...Dani is being sincere. It's nice to see a softer side to her and yet she is not compromising her stand on the issue. Bravo, Dani! :)

...and Bravo Deb for seeing the sincerity. :) It shows your genuine and compassionate nature.

These exchanges between the two of you have been like a breath of fresh air.

Jo said...

I love the fact that the bible is full of gray areas. It challenges us on every level, emotionally, physically, mentally, with one another. If it were black and white we would just be robots following rules and our lives would be boring. I find it disheartening that people take advantage of these gray areas to cause such hurt with “their interpretations”. I wish people would stop using Gods word to justify their hatred and to compare one sin to another.

There is not just one interpretation of truth. What I know in my heart to be true with unwavering certainty will be dismissed as ridiculous by my own mother. And although there is no definitive truth, that doesn’t stop me from finding MY truth. I have opinions about thousands of things. Do those opinions really amount to an informed decision, or are am I basing my assumptions on what others have said. I am a free thinking spiritual entity, developing a PERSONAL relationship with God. I look at my morals, my behavior, my hopes and my dreams. I ask myself if these are my mine or were they borrowed?

Until you have truly asked yourself this question I don‘t think you can answer the question, “Am I on the right "track"?”

genexs said...

Lots of good comments, but Irisi and Marc hit the nail so firmly on the head, what can I add?

No matter how "well intentioned", people like Dani (who perceive the world as waring "black and white" issues)scare the heebeejeebies out of me--especially when they take such an absolutist view of things. The people running the Salem Witch Trials were well intentioned.(And it really helped that they felt bad after they killed all those people.)

Then again, some of it strikes me as kind of funny. I mean, all you gotta do Deb is go hetero! It's so easy! You are acting like this requires a transporter accident, or something! Then you gotta retract your book. I know, I know, it supposedly helped some people; but think long term Deb: those people are going to hell anyway! As Dani is an expert on the LGBT communities, she knows your greatest fear--all your friends will split the second they suspect your desire for a sweating, belching, flatulent MAN! I'm sure Dani is an expert on alternative lifestyles,so you should take her word for this. I mean, just imagine the things she must read about us!

Come on, Deb, join the Dominionist revolution. Is it really to much to ask to be able to love God more???

Heh,
Gene

Irisi said...

Sandalina - I don't think not compromising is something to applaud.

We all have to make compromises, and if we run around all day damning others or gently telling them they're wrong, we leave in our wake confused and hurt individuals.

I think it's important to know when to stop belaboring a point, and compromise for the sake of the other people involved. -- Not to compromise your opinions, but to compromise on the idea that you must "save" others all the time.

Irisi said...

PS Sandalina,

I think deb also deserves bravos not just for seeing the sincerity, but (more importantly) for standing firm in her beliefs, and for knowing herself well enough to not be easily swayed by people thinking they know how to run her life better. Bravo Deb, for being strong.

Tony said...

I'M GLAD TO SEE SUCH A QUESTION. WHAT I SAY IS STRICTLY MY OPINION AND USUALLY MY OPINION DON'T MATTER TO MUCH THESE DAYS. FIRST LETS TALK ABOUT GOD AND GAYS. FIRST YOU HAVE TO ASK YOURSELF IF BEING HOMOSEXUAL IS A SIN. AND IF THE ANSWER IN YOUR HEART AND MIND IS YES WELL THEN THERE IS NO MORE REASON FOR ME TO WRITE, STOP SINNING. BECAUSE THE ONLY PERSON THAT CAN STOP A PERSON FROM SINNING IS THE SINNER. IF THE ANSWER IS I'M NOT SURE WELL THEN I CAN GO ON. I AM A BELIEVER IN GOD AND I ALSO LOVE MY FELLOW HUMANS. SEE RELIGION IS HERE FOR ONE REASON WELL ACTUALLY TWO, MONEY AND TO PROTECT THE HUMAN RACE FROM DESTROYING ITSELF. PLEASE ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN THE MONEY PART EVERYONE KNOWS BUT THE DESTROYING PART WELL. HERE'S WHAT I THINK. NATURE AND GOD HAD DESIGNED HUMANS WITH WELL LETS SAY DIFFERENT PARTS. AND GOD MADE SOME OF THOSE PARTS TO FIT A CERTAIN WAY, I THINK WE ALL UNDERSTAND. HOWEVER THAT BEING SAID HE ALSO DESIGNED US TO BE ABLE TO LOVE WITH OR WITHOUT THOSE PARTS SO AT THIS POINT IT WAS CLEARLY IN THE DESIGN PLANS FOR TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE TO FALL IN LOVE. HUMANS ARE CAPABLE OF SO MUCH, AND YET WE ARE ALWAYS CONFUSED ABOUT LOVE. BEING GAY CERTAINLY DON'T HELP HUMANS FROM BECOMING EXTINCT BECAUSE IF WE ALL WERE TO BE GAY THAN AFTER SO MANY YEARS WE WOULD PERISH SO TO THAT ASPECT I THINK GOD WOULDN'T WANT IT TO BE THAT WAY. NOW NOT ALL OF US ARE GAY, SO THAT FIXES THAT SITUATION, THE POINT I'M TRYING TO MAKE IS THIS DISCUSSION ABOUT GAYS AND GOD IS ALL OVER THE PLACE AND ALWAYS WILL BE. ONE CLEAR PROBLEM IN THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY IS THAT THEY ALWAYS PUSH SO HARD AT TRYING TO MAKE THEM SELFS EXCEPTED AND I THINK THAT IF THEY DIDN'T THEY WOULD SEE THAT THEY ARE MORE EXCEPTED THAN THEY THOUGHT. MOST PEOPLE COULDN'T CARE EITHER WAY ABOUT WHO'S GAY AND WHO'S NOT. IN FACT I'M SURE THAT THERE REALLY IS MORE GAYS THEN WE COULD EVER IMAGINE BUT THEY ARE QUITE ABOUT IT. NOW THE CHRISTIANS THEY ALSO PUSH TO HARD TO BE EXCEPTED. THE ONLY DIFFRENECE IS THEY DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT WHAT THERE FELLOW MANKIND THINKS OF THEM. ONLY WHAT GOD THINKS OF THEM I KNOW THIS FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCES.. TRUST ME ON THIS. ALL RELIGION IS HIPACRITICAL IN ITS VERY NATURE BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY THEY CUT YOU LOOSE AND SOMEHOW I DON'T THINK GOD WANTED THAT WAY DON'T SEEM RIGHT YOU KNOW THE PIECES DON'T FIT. BUT IF YOU ARE GAY AND YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR CROSSING GOD THEN I WOULD SAY, BY BEING GAY AND CROSSING GOD ARE YOU GOING TO THE SAME HELL AS HITLER OR A RAPIST OR A MUDERER AND SO ON. THINK ABOUT IT.. IT DON'T SEEM RIGHT.. WHEN A HOMOSEXUAL FACES GOD AND SAY'S GOD PLEASE LOVE ME FOR WHO I AM. I THINK HE'S GOING TO SAY I DO I MADE YOU THAT WAY SO WHY WOULDN'T I. THE FACT IS YOU HAVE TO LOVE YOURSELF AND YOUR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS THAT IS WHAT ANYONES GOD WOULD WANT. MAYBE THE CHURCH MAY HAVE I'LL FEELINGS TO HOMOSEXUALS, BUT DO THEY REALLY SPEAK FOR GOD AND IF THEY SAY THEY DO, THEN ASK THEM WHAT WOULD JESUS DO. LETS SEE GOD MADE YOU THE WAY YOU ARE NOW CHANGE. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE, OR WAIT THEY MIGHT SAY ITS A CHOICE YOU MADE (YES IT IS) BUT HE LETS US MAKE CHOICES ALL THE TIME SO EVEN IF YOU MESSED THIS ONE UP OR YOU THINK YOU DID IS GOD GOING TO PUNISH YOU FOR THAT. WHY BECAUSE YOU LOVE SOMEONE AND CARED FOR THEM AND WERE HAPPY AND FAITHFUL TO GOD AND THAT PERSON. FOR THIS YOU MUST NOW PAY.. AH NO IT DON'T MAKE NO SENSE, AND I KNOW ONE THING IF IT DON'T SEEM RIGHT IT USUALLY ISN'T. I MEAN UNTIL JESUS CHRIST COMES DOWN HERE AND TELLS US ALL WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON ITS JUST HERE SAY. IF YOU ARE GAY AND YOU LOVE YOUR CREATOR GOOD FOR YOU. JESUS SAID HE LIVES INSIDE OF ALL OF US. HE WILL LET YOU KNOW IF HE WANTS TO GET OUT. UNTIL THEN GOD BLESS.

Sandalina said...

Irisi...

Thank you for your comment...but honestly, Dani is making her position known in a much better way than before. There is nothing wrong with her firmly standing by her stance that homosexuality is a sin.

I think the compromise here is her approach. If she "gives in" and says Deb is "right" then she is not compromising, she's changing her stance on a position she firmly believes in.

Deb has consistently been sincere and strong in her approach and her beliefs. I have always admired the way Deb handled herself against criticism. The problems I saw was how a select few--Dani included-- were attacking Deb with hate filled comments and utter sarcasm.

Perhaps Dani will stop trying to "sway" Deb, but she doesn't feel led to do so at this time apparently.

So if they are going to "battle it out", I'd rather see it done as has been done in the recent exchanges between them.

Matthew 12:34 For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

~Deb said...

Dani says in another blog (not worth mentioning) this comment:

”- I just posted this too and I dedicated it to Deb with love! Go check out her comments. At first I thought there was hope, but unfortunately it turned out to be the SOS. Too bad. Guess we'll just have to keep praying that God will show her the Truth.”

Between Dani and "this person" she was speaking to, both of them constantly use profanity to get their words across. Interesting.

What does she want me to do? I thought it was “out of love”, but now I’m starting to wonder about her motives. She's playing the "I'm all about love" card.

The “SOS” (same old shit)??? Nice Dani.

Let me ask you this… What if find out in the afterlife that you were wrong? How do you know for sure? It’s so clear that your interpretation of the passage I wrote out in my post was out of promiscuity. Anyone can tell you that.

I’m not going to be like Maxime, who is going to live with you and your husband until she gets married and join your church. (From what you told me.) I will not conform to the ways of a cult-like life.

If you’re going to send me a message out of love, be consistent. Your lack of consistency is alarming. It’s as though you have this warm personality, and then you snap.

Why?

And yes, it’s going to be the "SOS" if you keep talking with me, because God is the one who tells me I’m okay. Not you. That my friend, will never change.

Jim Johnson said...

Deb,

As a straight man who has become deeply involved with the GLBT community through meeting some wonderful, godly, GLBT Christians two and half years ago, I learned the importance of studying the Bible, yet instead of relying on my interpretation or that of someone else, to turn to God himself and ask for his revelation. It is unrealistic to think that God revealed everything in black and white in His word. I've learned that the Bible mainly exists to point us to God and accepting His gift of the Holy Spirit. We need to use his word to seek Him and use the Holy Spirit to discern His will for our lives. If you are doing that and are true to His revelation to you, it doesn't matter if you are straight or gay. God will love you and accept you as your are, and so should we all.

Jim Johnson
www.straightnotnarrow.org

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I want to comment with a long theological statement. I suppose I’ll save it for a future blog post except for two comments: (1) homosexuality and Christianity are NOT mutually excluding and (2) the debate regarding #1 is a relatively recent one so far as theology is concerned.

Anonymous said...

I love how two faced these Christians can be. Just be grateful Dani didn't puke up split pea soup!!!



(dl)

Catch said...

Wow, I have read all these comments....all I have to say is....none of this is for us to judge. Both if you have valid points. But I think your relationship should be between you and God. I think you are a great friend Deb, how you live your life is just none of my business. I would never presume to judge you. We all only have 1 judge....and none of us are without sin. Just keep your relationship with God...he will show you the way.

Gary Baker said...

Irisi,

"I don't think not compromising is something to applaud."

In matters of spiritual conviction, I do believe that not compromising is something to applaud. Move away from this particular discussion. What is it that a lot of Christians get the most criticism for? I believe it would be "hypocrisy." And in this case, hypocrisy tends to mean that the Christian tends to act, or is perceived to act, in a way contrary to their stated beliefs. Or, put another way, they compromised their moral stance in a situation. Modern culture tends to dislike people that an unpopular stance on an issue. But if you waiver once you take that stance, more than likely you'll be destroyed. Larry Summers, ex-president of Harvard comes to mind.

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

This is the kind of "love" I get from Dani's friend Mark on her website in the comment section.
They both use profanity to get their message across, like all Christians should...hmm...

Messages "of love" from Dani’s site:

"'I thought we were talking without belittling here. You disappoint me, as all Christians who are closed minded do.'

Deb, you dear are the 'closed minded' one. The second anyone one disagrees with you even in true concern and love, the hate and bigotry bottled up in YOU sweats from your skin and lips like a sickness! You dear are the SOS everyday. It does not take a scholar to realize as much. You're like a very clean glass window...transparent.

I love you Deb, that's why I and folks like Dani are the first to say you're full of crap with your God loves any opinion bullshit.

hugs and kisses!
....as I wash my hands before I boil and eat this lobster...ms hyprocrite who knows it. :)
Do you have ADLGD?

...of course you do, that's why we have Rx's to help. No need for Christ when one worships at the alter of 'cause I feel like it.

See, you're ok! be yourself dear. It's all good in your god's sight, all good! All good! and don't you let anyone tell you different. God's word is only in each person's heart! just like those who flew planes into buildings on Sept 11, 2001. My God is Your God and their God. Who can Judge ?? Not me! I love all gods and so does God!
Yep, it's in the Bible."



How many people would listen to someone who curses while they preach, as well as make fun of mental illnesses?

Can you imagine if your pastor or rabi did this?

Gary Baker said...

Kind of another side comment about the nature of the discussion. From the tone of the comments, it sounds like a few involved in the discussion are judging Dani based on her actions and words. This is an observation, not a criticism. I believe that it is fair for people to form judgments about the nature of a person's relationship with Christ based on their words and actions. But if don't, and you are doing it in this case with regards to Dani, I would think very carefully before criticizing another with the statement "Jesus never judged anyone."

~Deb said...

But how can I take another person seriously, if they’re preaching with profanity and hurtful words, Gary?

I'm willing to listen, but when they make fun of my depression and anxiety, it makes it hard to have open ears and hear them out.

These people hurt me. I'm observing the way they are treating me, of course, but you have to really wonder how Jesus would have handled this.

Would Jesus tell me "I'm the same old shit"? Would Jesus poke fun at my depression?

I can totally respect not judging another person by their actions, however, how do you not point someone's actions out if they hurt you personally?

Gary Baker said...

Deb,

I'm not defending any of the things that you mention. I think that the nicest thing that can be said about a Christian that regularly uses profanity is that they are very immature in aspects of their faith, and anyone who says that a particular person is going to hell is seriously intruding on God's perogatives. And I empathize very much with your feelings about debpression and anxiety. I've gone through a goodly number of anti-depressants in my lifetime, and I haven't seen the end of the prescription list yet. I don't think that's the point here.

I've always approached these kind of discussions that it is perfectly valid to at least have opinions about someone's Christian walk based on words and actions. I have also been regularly labelled judgmental (and no, that is not a reference to you or anyone else in particular, though some reading this may see themselves). You say very correctly that Jesus accepted prostitutes and adulterers. I also believe that he accepted people who were bigots and mean and royal pains in the butt as long as they turned to him. If you say that it's wrong to judge one group, how can you in good conscience judge the other? A person's words and actions come from the same place - what is inside of them. As far as I can see, if you can form an opinion about a person, or their Christian walk, based on one, can you give me a reason why you cannot for the other?

~Deb said...

Hmm, good point. You’re right. I guess, through their words, profanity and the way they poke fun at critical issues of my life, makes me a bit discouraged about all Christians. Should I label and generalize ‘all Christians’? Probably not. I guess my main focus should be on God and myself. I would do that, however, there are people who read me that need to hear the word of God, to draw closer to God, due to what others have said against them. I’m here for them for encouragement, to develop a closer relationship with God, and whatever it is that God wants them to do, it will be revealed.

I guess Dani and Mark can say anything about me. The character that they display will be made public. People can observe for themselves. Judging? Probably.

My point is, hurtful words aren’t productive in helping someone. In the bible, it says (I believe in Proverbs), but it states that if you have an argument with your friend, you won’t lose them. But if you insult them, you’ll end the friendship.

Gary Baker said...

Your point about hurtful words is very well taken, but it's so hard to sort out sometimes. Some words not put forth to hurt, do hurt. People bring so much baggage and their own perspective to each discussion. I love my wife dearly, and I've hurt her with words before. At times, not only has the hurt been unintentional, but I've had no clue as to why she felt hurt at all. From my standpoint, I was just stating an observation. (Engineers have notoriously lousy social skills.)

Once again, this is not defending anyone who hurts others. I just think that if people are making a principled stand, it should be consistent. As I've said before, I don't think it's wrong to develop opinions about people based on words or actions (though it is easy enough to proceed to other wrongs, like gossip, from there). But if I did consider those types of opinions as "judging others," I would strive for consistency as I matured. Is it hurtful and hateful, what some people do? You bet. That's part of what Christ promised us. That's their attitude and level of maturity. Our attitude and level of maturity shows up in how we respond. Christ called the Pharisees a "brood of vipers." He also promised that Sodom and Gommorah would be better off on the judgment day than some of the Jewish cities because they refused to repent. Judgment, hate, or the simple truth?

Maxime said...

I’m not going to be like Maxime, who is going to live with you and your husband until she gets married and join your church. (From what you told me.) I will not conform to the ways of a cult-like life.

How did I get mixed into this? :) I don't see it as cult-like, but that's not the point of my comment, or your post.

Dani is one of my best friends and I love her dearly. That being said, I can understand some of her comments can be hurtful. I'm sure she doesn't mean it that way, but she's as frustrated wit this debate as you (probably) are.

The point is, she is trying to show you God's Word, black on white. All Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore all the moral laws should be taken seriously.

I also know that she doesn't hate you, she loves you. I know for a fact that she always puts a lot of prayer and time into her responses.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that she does have your beste interest in heart and she is just showing you what God has said.

Through Jesus Christ we can all be saved!

In Christ,

~Maxime

Leesa said...

You asked: "Am I equivalent to a pedophile, a violent rapist, a wife beater, a murderer, and someone who distributes child porn?"

You know, I wonder if the people you mentioned will be embrassed more than any of us. God's ways are not our ways. And I bet it hurts to be compared to those types of folks.

Big hug!

~Deb said...
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Anonymous said...

Or ... you could be celibate. It's not impossible. I am, and have been for 30+ years, despite my high sex drive.

Unless, of course, you're too weak to say no to sex, which in that case your flesh owns your spirit, which is contrary to what we read in I John.

~Deb said...

Sorry to hear that. I guess when you're in love with someone, it's different. For me, I love my partner, therefore I share with her an intimacy that's deeper than "just sex". So, it's not a weakness, it's a strength that I choose to act upon, due to my love for her.

Thanks for sharing!