news [this] week.

By now I am sure many have heard about, or even read, the current cover story for Newsweek … about gay marriage and the Bible.  Here is the article link, and some feedback links from both sides of the fence.

*Updated:  To read what Christianity Today has to say about Newsweek’s recent article, read this.

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I will comment on this piece, but I’m curious, what do you think about it?

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7 responses to “news [this] week.

  1. I actually have this issue at home but hadn’t read it until just now. I do agree with one person who said that this article drastically oversimplifies the bible and the verses it attempts to quote to prove/disprove homosexuality. Honestly, when can someone not take verses to prove their point – either in or out of context. So for as much as this author used to bible to make a point – I’m not sure that really is an important part of the message. This article will not really even change anyone’s mind on gay marriage. I think as Christians we need to love as Jesus loved – it is interesting the parallel she draws between Christian view on homosexuality and divorce. How many Christians today are divorced – that is spoken very clearly about in the bible – yet most christians don’t bat an eye at filing for one. Where is there a sliding scale on one sin being worse than the other. Christians should love. Period. There are no directions to love these people but not these. It’s rediculous and makes some Christians embarassed to take on the name when the church does things we know are so hurtful and wrong. Is gay marriage wrong – that’s for individuals to decide based on their belief system – that is if people even truly live their lives based fully on a belief system. If so we would treat liers, divorcees, lusters, etc with the hands off approach we think is ok to treat gay people with.
    Ok..rant over – Christian should = love not condemnation. I saw a bumper sticker I want. It said
    The Christian Right is neither!

  2. So I was sitting in the back of the membership sales area at work (I work at LA Fitness) reading the aforementioned article on my laptop during my lunch/dinner break and I was finding myself feeling offended and frustrated and unsure how to even respond. I was starring at a blank screen when a fellow co-worker walked up, reached into another co-workers bag and pulled out Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost for His Highest” turned to today’s date and started reading allowed about today’s devotion on “Individuality” (http://www.rbc.org/utmost/index.php) Mind you this individual is someone I NEVER would’ve thought was a Christian let a lone someone who would actively be reading that book. Anyway, after he read it he just started spilling out details to me about his relationship with his girlfriend, his approach towards God, his distance and immaturity in his walk with the Lord etc… Honestly I couldn’t help but smile – I was proud of him! I was spurred on in his desire to know the Lord and get back on track and that is when it hit me… we all so badly want to belong to something. We all want to be apart of something greater and bigger then ourselves. We want to feel “good” and “happy” and “perfect”. We look to the Bible, to the Lord and and to the Church and its leaders for that and as that article so perfectly shows how we all fall short. We fall short, because ultimately we end up taking a “little of this” and “a little of that” in order to come up with what we feel is a “comfortable” mix for us to be able to live by. But that’s not the point – being a Christian isn’t about being “comfortable”, it is about denying yourself and your desires and the things that make you “happy”. It is about falling on your face, crying out to God asking for forgiveness, guidance and strength in being more like HIM. Putting HIM first. It is about having a real relationship with your sin and making daily changes.
    Jesus was selfless. He was WITHOUT sin! Wow! I know I can’t say that and I never will be able to and that is the issue with Christianity today… we are trying to mold and fit the Bibles teachings into what is comfortable so that we appear and feel less sinful. If we sit here and say ”ok well Jesus was love and therefore gay marriage is OK because the Bible doesn’t come out and straight condemn it as it does divorce and adultery, murder etc” then we can twist and redefine the Bible into anything we’d like it to fit because it isn’t “defined”. The Bible is a guideline, but clearly it is a guideline that makes us uncomfortable and unhappy if we follow it to a “T” and so over the years it has been altered. Honestly, I want to get back to the roots! I long so much for it and I get mad at myself for knowing and actively being a hypocritical sinner. We should be uncomfortable! I remember specifically this time when I was about 12; I was watching a movie on TV with my parents when a sex scene came on. I felt so uncomfortable and awkward because my parents were in the room! And well I can’t help but feel that I need and want to get back to that place… Turning on the TV and seeing blood, guts, sex and such should make us go “wow this is sinful!’ But sadly most of us have become complacent, we have done all we can to become comfortable in our sins so at the end of the day we can lay our heads on our pillow and go- “well I did curse today but at least I’m not gay or and adulterer or getting a divorce.” Or- “I didn’t murder someone today so its ok that I lied and wore clothing that caused those around me to look at me with lust…” Anyway I’m starting to rant… I firmly believe we as a country and a culture and as a religious affiliation have become complacent. We don’t want to be uncomfortable because we simply can’t fathom it. We want to be “happy”. The church has taught us that if we pray, if we are “good” people etc that God will reward us and help us to grow etc… Well, as my fiancé states so well – “what if God’s will for you is to have cancer? What if what He has to teach you can only be achieved through that?” He is right – Christianity isn’t about being “happy” and “comfortable” and making God and the Bible “fit” into our lives. It needs to be completely the other way around and I think that article is a perfect example of many outsiders view of Christians… we take what is “comfortable” and apply it and we take what isn’t “comfortable” and run away from it and condemn it. Anyway as far as my response to the article… I’m not even talking about the “yes or no on gay marriage”; I’m talking about the author’s view of Christianity. We really as a religious affiliation need to take a step back and have a real relationship with our sins. I’m not going to condemn gays and lesbians because I am a sinner just as they are, but I’m also not going to sit here and say its “ok”. I grieve for them and pray for them, yes I love them but I love them just as my Christian friends loved me and continue to love me, even the midst of my sin hoping and praying that one day I’d have an understanding of my sin, fall on my face, crying to God for forgiveness and strive to change and not just strive to change but actually change! What a blessing!
    So yes – marriage is and should only be between a man and a woman … and my heartaches and will continue to ache for those who think otherwise because they are living in sin… And as far as a “guideline for Christian marriage” which the author states is not present in the Bible, I think and believe it is very accurately outlined in Ephesians 5 and I know my fiancé and I are and will strive to live by that in regards to our marriage. There are roles, MALE and FEMALE in regards to marriage that are very much defined in the Bible and those roles simply cannot be accurately or successfully achieved in a marriage that involves a MAN and a MAN or a WOMAN and a WOMAN. Ok rant over… hope I made some kind of sense! : )

  3. Wow, this article is seriously disturbing! I had not even heard about it until i saw your posted note. To hear someone twist the Bible so much makes me ill. Sin is sin to Jesus…i believe that, there is no bigger or smaller sin. However i also believe there is a difference between A SIN (like 1 lie) and a LIFESTYLE OF SIN! Jesus forgives the sins we confess….is a homosexual going to denounce his/her lifestyle everyday?? While i do agree that the Bible teaches love and community, it also teaches morality. And Homosexuality is very clearly condemned. Next they will be saying we should legalize murder, incest, rape, and any other warped thing our sinful bodies feel like doing!
    If Jesus walked the earth today, i do believe he would reach out to homosexuals..but he would not condone their behavior. That is the fine line Christians don’t know how to walk… we need to make it clear that we condemn the sin, not the sinner, and that is exactly what Jesus did! Yes, he reached out to the woman at the well-but he never said she was doing a fine job with her life!

    I think that when they take those polls, like the divorced christians number, a lot of those people are probably not even Christians. That is not for me to judge, but alot of ppl do use it as a label, just like catholic, etc. I have met many “catholics” who are not even close! They just use the label because they grew up catholic, or married catholic, etc.
    The church has not been able to adequately battle society, and more and more Christians are not fighting sin, they are simply committing it. And then society uses that against the church and Christianity. Society also trys to tell us we have to be tolerant…why? Why do we have to tolerate our decaying society? Why do we have to tolerate mad men killing our children in schools, raping our wifes, and praying on our family? Oh wait, we aren’t supposed to tolerate that according to society…but why? Oh because its heinous and wrong! Wrong?? I thought there is no right and wrong! there is no absolute truth! So i guess we all know where we’re headed now!

    ok, that is all for me, and i guess that article really pissed me off cause i don’t usually come out that swinging!

  4. Ashley,

    I thought what you said made sense … thanks for your input.

    You said, “we are trying to mold and fit the Bibles teachings into what is comfortable so that we appear and feel less sinful ” … and I totally agree with this statement. Sadly, the upcoming leaders of this movement are found in the Church. No wonder people – including Christians – are confused about what is truth and what isn’t.

    It sounds like you’re on the way to a personal revival … praise GOD.

  5. Daisy,

    Keep swinging Daisy … you made some good points. Why is that Christians need to be tolerant, but society doesn’t have to be towards Christians? It’s a double-standard.

    Interesting stuff …

  6. From the comments left on here, and the comments left on facebook … here are some points (a fuller post will come next week):

    1. Yes, GOD loves all sinners and CHRIST died for all sinners, of which we are all defined as.

    2. The Bible, if we are true followers of CHRIST, is a book that we all adhere our lives to – as CHRIST says, if you love ME you’ll do what I say (John 14:15).

    3. If the Bible is found to be irrelevant / untrue then our Christian faith turns out to be a sham and if that is the case, we mind as well pack it in now and live for ourselves (more so than we do already).

    4. GOD is most glorified when we are most satisfied in HIM – John Piper. This means, to me, that GOD is glorified the most when I am denying myself and seeking after HIS heart. A call we all must take up and strive to live for each day. This includes not only denying ourselves, but teaching others to deny themselves as well. The Christian life is about sacrifice – taking up the sacrifice CHRIST paid for us, and giving back a life of sacrifice to HIM.

    5. Up until 8 years ago, I lived a very open and active gay life – in case anyone didn’t already know that. So trust me when I say, I know it’s hard to daily deny the desires of my flesh – to deny the past cravings of my mind and heart. But then I remind myself, that’s why I became a Christian – to live for something more than what I was previously living for. Yeah, the battle is hard, but let me tell you, living without CHRIST is much harder. What is impossible for man to do, it is possible for GOD to do … if we are willing to allow HIM to lead us through the valley of shadow and death.

    6. This issue isn’t about gay marriage – for me at least. It’s about distorting GOD’S Word. I have just spent four years of my life pouring into scripture and theology, in order to understand it better for my life and for those who GOD is entrusting me with. And it irritates me to no end when HIS Word is smeared by society (and Christians) because what HE says offends how they are living. HIS Word is the standard by which we live – for all Christians … for all who were once dead but now alive … for all who call on the Name of the LORD to be saved … for all who are washed by the blood of CHRIST.

    7. We are called, as Christians, to be imitators of CHRIST – in action and word. Yes, we are called to love … yes, we have no room to judge the heart of man/woman … yes, mercy triumphs over judgment … BUT, we are also testifiers to the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE (JESUS), and to hide anyone from the truth is hiding them from CHRIST. I am not saying that we go and start passing condemnation onto sinners … but I am saying that we shouldn’t ‘pretend’ that everything is fine and dandy either. We have been called to a standard – GOD’S standard. We need to live it out. In the end, GOD is going to ask us what we did with HIS truth.

    8. Truth is: love, righteousness, grace, conviction, judgment, mercy … GOD. To deny truth is to deny part of GOD.

    9. There are no ranks to sin. There are different consequences to sin, but not ranks (to me anyways). Sexual immorality holds the same weight in GOD’S eye as lying or gossiping does. It’s sin.

    10. I agree that Christians have no room to talk when it comes to the marriage issue (of anyone). Divorce is out of control and it’s disgusting, and we (Christians) are seen picking and choosing what we want to adhere to and what we don’t. It’s hypocrisy and I HATE IT! If we’re going to ‘deny’ rights of marriage to those we feel shouldn’t get married, i.e. homosexuals, then we best be denying divorced people the right to divorce too. If marriage is a sacred thing within our Church community then Churches all over need to start doing a better job of ministering to families.

    11. Marriage IS a sacred thing … we who belong to GOD’S standard must uphold that on all fronts. So, since I believe that the practice of homosexuality is wrong, I would have to then also say that for a man and man to marry (woman and woman to marry) is wrong as well. It goes against GOD’S standard – HIS Word. And, for me, if I am going to call myself a follower of CHRIST, then I need to also call myself to follow HIS Truth – all of it, and not only the parts I like.

  7. We need to have a grasp on the eternal. If we are to believe the Bible we must believe all of it and have our minds transformed. The bible was given to instruct humanity on right living. The voice of the world’s wisdom has always been “no one [can know these, make the right judgment etc.] except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” Yet it is the glory of the redeemed to answer and say, there is a God who makes himself known and he reveals wisdom to those who seek Him. Therefore I can read the scripture and do not have to be at the mercy of a varied opinion.
    I strongly believe that the traditional ecumenical consensus supporting a historical-grammatical interpretation of scripture is valid, tested and tried. Furthermore, i strongly question the position that ‘the bible can be interpreted many different ways and it is anyone’s best guess and everyone is equally qualified to interpret it rightly.” While i think that there are points to be made for this (in that the bible was written to be understood by laity, yet it is not mostly laity which is purporting these varied opinions and interpretation methods and it is only later that these ideas trickle down from scholastic and higher-criticism to the average person), I think mostly it is a smoke screen that breaks down under scrutiny. while the Bible has been interpreted many different ways throughout history, the majority of Christians from all streams (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant, including the Apostles), throughout the majority of history have agreed on the majority of main doctrines and have supported and historical-grammatical interpretation (understanding the Bible in its plain meaning, taking in account grammatical, syntactical, historical, literary and theological context).
    God’s word (and Son, the word made flesh) are given to make God known and there is a truth and mere men are (as seen time and time again in scripture) called to stand up with an unpopular message to an unrepentant and immoral generation and declare what it is the divine says. God has made himself known.
    Sin rages in my members, that is true, yet, there is a big difference with struggling with sin, living a sinful lifestyle and claiming that it is not sin. That is condemnable, and I don’t care what sin we are talking about, your lying, gossiping, adultery, divorce, hatred, etc. they will all be judged by God and it is only by admitting they are sin, pleading the blood of Christ (and setting ourselves to root them out of our lives [more explanation of that might be needed, yet I do not have time or space for that here]) that there is forgiveness of sins and salvation from Hell and Judgment. The answer to the sin of others along side of our sin in not to accept and overlook their sin, but is instead to become ruthless with our own sin while proclaiming the truth of their sin (Allison: Matt 7:1-5}
    So back to the eternal. The issue at stake is an eternal one. We have to get an apostolic perspective that understand that men will stand before the Lord Almighty on a Day and will be asked to answer for what they did. And if they stand without the covering of the blood of Christ they will suffer judgment for it. And if I today stand and allow others to sin and do not proclaim that their lifestyle will condemn them, then I have their blood on my head, the word of God makes this abundantly clear.
    The issue is one of Love. Love proclaims the truth and allows itself to he hurt (tortured and nailed to a tree) in the name of the good of someone else. And as such, for you to allow your friends to go to hell forever and be tormented in the fire of everlasting burnings of billions upon billions of years because you were afraid they would dislike or feel hurt by what you said is in fact the exact opposite of Love. It is closer to selfishness, arrogance fear and hate than anything that resembles love.
    This is really not a call for Hell and Brimstone preaching, though if it comes to that (and I would say there are some times and places for it, though that is neither here nor there), the Lord is more than gracious to use it. What it is to is having an eternal perspective concerning what is really at stake. This in not about living in a peaceable nation where all have equal rights (not to disqualify that). This is about eternal consequences, and the are very real, (and if you find yourself balking at that reality or claiming it is not that easy or simple, then perhaps our conversation is not so much about an issue of morality but instead on of a lack of any true apostolic revelation of the truth of the revelation of God) not only for those who practice wickedness and scorn the blood of Christ, but also for those so sit idly by and are consolatory and peaceable when immorality is legalized in their nation. For when the land of Israel was judged by the Babylonian invasion, the righteous were taken as well as the idolatrous, for they sat by an allowed wickedness in the land instead of standing for the law of the Lord.
    I will end with this, and allow the irony of quoting an abolitionist on an issue which has been so wrongly labeled as one of ‘civil rights’. “There is a principle above everything that is political. And when I reflect on the command that says, ‘Thou shalt do no murder [or I will add, that any sin is sin and must be treated as such],’ believing the authority to be divine, how can I dare set up any reasonings of my own against it?” –William Wilberforce, speech in the House of Commons, May 12, 1789

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