A perspective I agree with

ŠĒ• Spectrum

Many people question why I, as a christian, can support same-sex marriage, and show tolerance to my gay friends. I have had very heated discussions in recent months with people in the Church who as yet have failed to provide a single bit of evidence to support their bigotry. They point to Leviticus, or other texts from the Bible, and likewise I ask them how come they focus on those texts and not the ones that apply equally to them.

One of my best mates , the one who brought me back to Christianity pointed me to this article, written by a Seventh Day Adventist about why he is pro-Gay. It is pretty much in line with my thinking:

For some in our denomination there seems to be no hard questions. They take the position that, if you are gay, you are not welcome in our church. For me, it is not nearly so easy. There are too many people that I love who are gay. They did not choose to be gay. Most have fought it long and hard, prayed and struggled, wrestled with God, shed tears of despair.

The second stance some Christians take is that gays should just be celibate. Really? In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul tells us that celibacy is best because it allows an individual to put all of one’s time and energy into kingdom activities. He continues, however, to acknowledge that we were born with strong God-given sexual desires and that, for many, perhaps most of us, our desires have the potential to destroy us and so he recommends marriage as the antidote. But, according to some, marriage is apparently not an option either.

The third position is that they can change. Some can and some have, but most have not and cannot. Sexual identity is so deeply embedded in our core that it takes a rare miracle to change it. Could any of us straight people hope or pray our way out of our sexual identity? For reasons that we do not understand, God seems, more often than not, to choose not to reorient this core element.

From that you can easily see why I support same-sex marriage. But there are those who condemn, how should we deal with that:

Exactly how the church should respond to the gay ‚Äúdilemma‚ÄĚ is something about which I am terribly conflicted. I trust Scripture, which seems to condemn homosexual behavior and, yet, even there it seems to be condemned in the context of licentious, hedonistic circumstances. Everyone who walks into a church is a sinner. We have come to a place where we treat sexual sin between men and women with great care and compassion, but somehow homosexuality is seen as a special sin beyond redemption.

This is the dilemma…the ones who scream the loudest about dirty poofs are often hiding sins of their own, they point the finger but there are three pointing back at them if they think closely about the dynamics of finger-pointing.

There are some things I am convinced of:

  • Jesus loves people! In 2 Peter 3:9 it says ‚ÄúThe Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance‚ÄĚ (NIV). I take this seriously. I believe that Jesus loves gays; Jesus demonstrated over and over again that he loved the least of these. I am convinced there is a special place in the heart of Jesus for those who are gay.
  • I am called to love all people. I am called to be a safe place to come to as Jesus was safe for the woman caught in adultery, for demon possessed men, women and children, for cripples, for Gentiles. I must love, in particular, those whom others do not.
  • I am convinced that, as a church, we ought to provide a place where the gay community can come to find Jesus. Currently I have a young-adult friend who is struggling with his identity. He was born into a fine Adventist family, raised in our churches and schools. I believe that, if he is going to find Jesus or stay with Jesus, he will have to do that in a place that is not Adventist. I don‚Äôt want this to be the case, but what else can I do except recommend a more more gay friendly environment? While I want him to remain a part of our Adventist family, I am not sure he will be welcome. More than anything, I want him to be a part of the kingdom of heaven and, if it takes another church, I will rejoice that, at least, I will see him in heaven and not drive him into the arms of Satan.

I too am convinced of those three things and it is why I support same-sex marriage and welcoming all sinners to the church. Building walls and edifices is so catholic…that isn’t what Jesus wanted.

  • TravisPoulson

    I can hear the stampede of pro and anti commenter’s, there’s dust on the horizon…..

  • Stephen

    Cameron, this site is certainly one of my fav and I like your style and openess, I trust your thoughts as posted on here.
    I respect your decision to be a chrstian. It’s your right to be one.
    An an atheist, your posts on religion are to me an eye sore.
    I didn’t think a guy like you would need such guidance?
    By the way same sex marriage and gays do no harm to anyone.agreed
    Keep up the good work on every thing else

  • EpochNZ

    Right on Trav!  :-)

    Leviticus always gets rolled out with the “abomination” tag, but my real beef is way people cherry pick the Bible.

    As a fan of The West Wing, I can only quote Aaron Sorkin when he wrote these lines for President Bartlett (or at least quoted them from an anonymous email they couldnt find the author for):

    A talk show host defends calling homosexuality an “abomination” by saying that that is what the Bible says in Leviticus 18:22 (That verse, by the way, reads: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such thing is an abomination.”) This annoys President Bartlet who proceeds to ask a few pointed questions about just what one should accept from the Bible.

    ¬†¬†¬† “I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleaned the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be?”

    ¬†¬†¬† “My chief of staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police?”

    ¬†¬†¬† “Here’s one that’s really important cause we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7 If they promise to wear gloves can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point?

    ¬†¬†¬† “Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother, John, for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?

    ¬†¬†¬† “Think about those questions, would you?”

    BTW, I’m not anti-christian (I’m married to a Methodist Minister, for gawds sake) and definitely not anti-gay, but I am anti-hypocrisy.

    • Le Sphincter

      Talking about working on the sabbath
      people were prosecuted in NZ ¬†for doing just that”But, the campaign against the Chinese working on Sundays at Avondale campaign didn‚Äôt stop there. Eight of Ah Chee‚Äôs workers appeared at the Police Court in November 1907 to answer charges. Mr Napier, once again defending, told the court that Ah Chee¬†‚Äúhad something like 50 contracts to fill every Monday morning to various steamers and clubs‚ÄĚ, so the men had to work on Sunday to pull the vegetables fresh from the ground.”http://timespanner.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/ah-chee-family-in-20th-century.html¬†

      • James Jenkins

        We still persecute people now for wanting to freely trade on public holidays……how far have we really come?

    • Andrei

      Well profound wisdom from a second rate Hollywood script writer. 

      GOSH

      • Le Sphincter

        so its Hollywoods fault that they use a storyline based on scripture ? 
        Even giving the  verse referencesisn that what pastors do every sabbath, give  modern  everyday situations and refer it back to scripture ?

      • Rodger T

        And yet it is still more profound than anything attributed to your second rate god.

  • Polishpride

    Wow, print it, frame it and put it on the wall of every church. Beautifully said.  

    • Roy

      “Many people question why I, as a christian, can support same-sex marriage, and show tolerance to my gay friends.”

      Crikey, imagine what they’d say if they realised you went further than tolerating your gay friends?¬† Imagine if they knew you had gay friends you actually liked or were particularly fond of?¬† I think their brains would explode.

      • Le Sphincter

        are you worried being gay is something you can ‘catch’ from knowing gay people

  • Guest

    There is no evidence that “being gay” is anything other than a choice. Not unlike alcoholism.

    • James jenkins

      Don’t be a fuckwit…¬†there¬†are screeds of evidence that it isn’t a choice at all..its hard wired into us from birth. All¬†those¬†ex gay frauds fall over long ago…the admins used them too find fuck buddies…it was a con.

      • Guest

        Show us your evidence then. Peer reviewed journals with an impact factor over 10 reporting quantitative data will do. Should be easy given the screeds of “evidence” generated by a few decades of social engineering.

  • Mediaan

    Delusionals, who have allowed themselves to be persuaded that homosexuality is inborn and unavoidable.

    It is the product of crimes against young children, and crimes by poisoning against foeti.

    Stop the crime, don’t just wring your hands and say Jesus loves the victims of it.

    • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz Whaleoil

      Oh bullshit. Bigots like you just want me to want to punch you in the face.

  • Michael Ward

    The logic presented here is very muddled (at best). He points out that the Bible does condemn homosexual actions. Any honest reader can see that. As a Christian, that should be all that matters.

    As a Christian, I agree with the three points that you ended with. We should love all people and the church should welcome all people as all are indeed sinners. I am ashamed to say that homosexuality does appear to be singled out, although that probably has more to do with the homosexual lobby groups intolerant attitude toward religion than it does about Christians going out of their way to condemn it.

    However, it does not follow that by loving someone you therefore must agree with all of their ideas (total non sequitur).

    I don’t agree that the loving thing to do is to leave homosexual’s to their sin. The loving thing to do is to warn them that unrepentant sinners are going to be judged. That includes all sinners regardless of sexual orientation. The bible is very clear on this. In order to be saved you must turn from your sin and accept Christ as your saviour.

    This is why Christians are questioning your stance, Cam.

    I would also note that your definition of tolerance needs work. Tolerance is not rubber stamping everything that a person or group stands for. Tolerance is in fact allowing people to hold differing opinions and not forcing them to change that opinion. Agreeing to disagree.

    • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz Whaleoil

      Michael, with respect but that is bullshit…the very same people who want gays to stop being gay are also the serial adulterer, the profaner, the gossiper, the thief…they don’t stop their sin but expect gays to stop theirs.

      Here is the thing that I think you missed….if they must stop being what they are being…essentially by praying the gay away…the reverse should be able to hold true, that a person orientation can be changed from hetereosexual to gay in just the same way…i can hear the howls of outrage from here….but that is precisely what the finger pointers are trying to say should happen with homosexuals.

      • Guest

        How many people get up in church and say I am a serial adulterer, profaner, gossiper,  thief etc and I WANT YOU TO TELL ME THIS IS OK.

      • Bob

        Is sexual identity really about *being*? I think it’s more about *doing* (excuse the pun).

      • Michael Ward

        More non sequitur’s Cam. It is not relevant that these people are being hypocrites (they will face judgement), all that matters is that unrepentant sinners will go to hell.

        You didn’t address any of my points directly. Do you agree or disagree that unrepentant sinners will be judged?

        As for “stoping being what they are”, again, it’s not relevant. struggling with sin is what every Christian is called to do, not give into it and then try to rationalise it.

      • Guest

        ¬†Sorry, quite wrong. Never been in a church where this is the case. Second point, yes churches should allow people who are gay to come along, like people with other types of sin. What isn’t tolerated is people continuing their sin in the church. Allowing gays to marry other gays in that context is as abhorrent as allowing heterosexual couples to live together without getting married and that is not inconsistent or hypocritical at all.

    • Groans

      In order to be saved you must accept Jesus as your savior, it’s not a works trip.¬† Lots of homosexuals will be in heaven if they accept Jesus.¬† Your ‘Christian’ view Michael is not the Good News.¬† Are you trying to tell me you haven’t sinned today?¬† Of course you have; but if we’ve allowed Jesus to pay for our sins past, present and future we will be saved.¬†

      • Michael Ward

         Did you miss the bit where I posted that?

        I think you are missing the first step though which is repentance which is not works. Jesus and the disciples called all sinners to repentance.

        Matthew 4:17
        From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‚ÄúRepent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.‚ÄĚ

        Mark 1:15
        and saying, ‚ÄúThe time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.‚ÄĚ

        Mark 6:12
        So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.

        Luke 3:3
        And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

        Luke 5:32
        I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

        Luke 13:3
        No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

        Luke 13:5
        No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.‚ÄĚ

        Luke 15:7
        Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

        Luke 15:10
        Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.‚ÄĚ

      • Paul

        ¬†Maybe the “repenting” here is understanding that Christ has done it all for us and we need to “repent” from thinking we have stopped sinning (our best effort is as filthy rags).
        The parable where Christs tells of the kingdom of heaven is like a wedding feast all but put on the garment supplied but 1, I dont want to be the only one relying on my own repentance or the work I have done trying not to sin. Michael, How do you know if you have repented enough (their is none good no not one. Romans 3:10)
        I think a relationship with God is where it is at. The more I have a relationship with Him, He fixes the sin problem.  I seem to need less help from well meaning Christians who want to judge me, then I guess ask for forgiveness for their own sin of judging (Judge not lest ye be judged. Matt 7:1)

  • Rick Rowling

    “GUEST” said “There is no evidence that “being gay” is anything other than a choice.”

    Well, I guess “GUEST” must be bisexual then.

    I certainly don’t have the choice to be gay. I find girls attactive and guys repellent.

    I assume gays also don’t have a choice.

    But I can see that a bisexual could choose one or the other.

    • Guest

      Your logic is stunning

      • Alloytoo

        Did you choose to be straight?

        As Rick said, you’re either Bi-sexual or a liar.

  • Bob

    Why do God botherers get tangled up in ancient Jewish rules and regs? I would have thought the more *recent* and enlightened post-Christ writings of St Paul to be more relevant. Still the conclusion seems essentially the same.

    “Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either-women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men-all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it-emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches. (Romans 1:26, 27 MSG)

  • Random66

     
    I think it is fair to say some Christians are very good at pointing the finger and condemning those who struggle in areas of sin that they themselves are strong in and the hypocrisy is that these same Christians appear to be very tolerant of sin in areas they do struggle with. For example a person can be outraged at homosexuality yet they have no problem with drunkeness and unfaithfulness.

    The truth is we are all sinners – absolutely everyone, however the good news is Gods love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation is available to everyone through faith in Jesus (Jn:3:16). And no church should ever turn away any soul looking for this.

    I think the danger in today’s times is that we want to call sin by any other name that what it is, and infact we want to go further by re-defining what sin actually is. In doing this we will buy into the lie that we don’t need a saviour because we will wrongly believe we are doing nothing wrong.

  • Greg M

    I don’t care what the Bible says. I don’t care what the bigots and haters say. I have gay and lesbian friends who my daughter and I love to bits, and I don’t want them to “change”

  • Roy

     Le Sphincter, you are an idiot.

  • Pukakidon

    Judging people by their sexual persuasion is ridiculous.  Who are we to say who people can love?

    People are judged good or bad by their actions not their sexuality.  If religion is about controlling who I can respect or befriend then it is not for me.    That is the problem with religion there are just too many judgmental bigots that flock to it so they can spout their divisive desires.

    It may be the reason it is dying out, it certainly is why I have no time for it any longer.  

    • Random66

      Oh Pukakidon, don’t be throwing the towel in just yet. I can completely understand the disillusionment in the church given some who would represent it but their behaviour is in no way an example of the truth. It may be that you don’t find God in some churches, but you will find him in His word and you will find, unlike some¬†humans, he didn’t come to condemn but to save. I smiled when you said you have no time for ‘it’ any longer. Perhaps you might still find some time for ‘Him’, because I know he’s still got time for you :)

      • la la land

        Puka – I agree with you – reading the comments on this and the other religious posts just makes me feel ill. So many judgemental people wanting to live their life in fear and force others to as well. You obviously all have way too much time on your hands – you don’t need old writings from some ancient bible to show others love, compassion and respect – it usually comes from the heart I’ve found.

  • George

    I once fell in with a good crowd of blokes. They were fun, witty, good company.¬† Naive as they come I never thought about them being gay [or camp as it was then]¬† One day I got hit on. I was blown away and told the bloke I wasn’t a homo.¬† He then blew me away further by telling me I was.¬† He said he could tell.¬† I was devastated.¬† I cut off associating with them but couldn’t shake the fear that somehow I was gay but didn’t know it¬†but everyone else of that persuasion could see it.¬† I was unaware of another invisible world — the spiritual one. One that has only one aim, that of destruction. The one that whispers deceit and lies that you’re different even if you don’t want to be. Evil has a very charming voice at times.¬† I thank God that a Christian friend put me straight simply by explaining there are no homosexuals breeding other homosexuals, they have to recruit and they have plenty of satanic help to lead other men to destruction.

    • Andrei

      Make no mistake this is satanic in origin – my sons and his friends were given condoms with a website address on it, directing them to this website.

      It masquerades a promoting public health but it is promoting gay anal sex – if you went there you would throw up.

      They put people like Louisa Wall as the front, she seems harmless and hide the deviancy from public view while surreptiously trying to corrupt the young with it

      • Pukakidon

         Probably like the swinger community who have orgies with each others partners and such.   Same thing, there are deviants driven by their small brains on both sides of the sexual divide.  It is not about their sexuality it is that they are sexual deviants.

        But that is their choice and so long as they all agree and they are not raping someone  then it is fine with me.

        As for the internet there is all sorts of filth on there and often you will mistakenly be taken to them.   You just click away, no one is forcing you to watch.

           

    • TravisPoulson

      This debate just got interesting, too bad I’ve just had dinner, no room for popcorn.¬†

      But I can’t help thinking the gay side of the argument will be slightly underpowered without the rabid frothing emotionally unstable kosh103 here to give his angry incoherent abusive perspective.¬†

  • Rodger T

    To be honest ,I don`t know whether to laugh or cry.
    Here we are at the  beginning of the second decade of the 21st century and we`ve got two commenters banging on about *gasp* satanic influences.
    Seriously? 
    Your church has had  its shot, thats why it was called the dark ages, it held humanity back for the best part of 1500 years.
     Who knows where we would be  now if the Copernicus`,Gallileo`s ,Keplers and untold unknown polymaths in science and medical professions were not muzzled by the backward church.
    Even the ancient Greeks knew the world was round ,and yet even today there are christians( in the US ,to be fair) who still refuse to believe it because their idiot manual tells them it is flat.

    Faith has no answers it only stops you asking questions

    The rule of Reciprocity ( the golden rule ) is really all humanity needs.The problem is human nature,something religion has never understood.

    And before all you christians tell me your Jesus said it,it has been around for centuries before he was dreamt up.It can be traced back as far as Babylon 1780bce, Egypt ,even Confucious wrote it down.

    • Gues

       Put your head in the sand if it suits you. We live in a sick evil society growing more so by the day. The amount of violence and crime constantly on the increase. Corresponding to a decrease in religious adherence and the point at which people are prepared to be accountable for their misdemeanours or following any kind of moral belief.

      • la la land

        The church is responsible for more hatred, death and destruction than any other organisation on earth 

      • Rodger T

        LoL , the ultimate irony, being told by a believer of fairy tales  I have my head in the sand.

    • Azza

      I don’t want to involve myself in this thread but couldn’t leave without saying: Well said Rodger

  • Rufus

    Cam, you are such a theological lightweight. 

    Your argument boils down to “I don’t like what the Bible says about condemning homosexuality, so I’ll ignore it.”¬†

    Love the sinner, ignore the sin.

    As for “ones who scream the loudest about marriage equality are hiding sins of
    their own, they point the finger but there are three pointing back at
    them if they think closely about the dynamics of finger-pointing.

    Fixed that for you.  WWJS?  (What Would Jackie Say?)

  • ban_everything

    For once I find myself dead-set centre of a debate.

    I so dislike the human defect that necessitated the invention of religion, but I equally dislike the human defect that demands that I have to follow the current fashion of liking poofs and dykes.

    That’s puts me midpoint of the current debate doesn’t it?

  • Leata

    This all maks me laugh. Once apon a time it was a sin to marry other then your own colour. It was a sin to enjoy the company of those not of your race in public. I recall travelling through south australia on a bus trip from Dubbo to Three springs. On the trip we stopped in no mans land for food and my maori friend and i (samoan) were asked to please eat in the other room where the darks were to eat. 50 years today my people celebrate our independance yet still, bigotry, racism, sexism and common human intolerance seems to get more social coverage then triplets dying in a tragic fire. Hey how about all you that today say gayism is bad, the same ones that said blackism and jewdism were bad start thinking about what you are going to say to GOD on your judgement day because you were too busy judging the rest of us to check your smoke alarm????

    • ban_everything

       I think you might be the one doing the judging in that comment, Leata.

    • la la land

      Nasty Leata – you sound almost glad that tarjedy occured – not sure how the parents checking their smoke alarm could have helped though… And why do you think they were racist? Don’t get the point really.

  • Bunswalla

    “Many people question why I, as a christian, can support same-sex marriage, and show tolerance to my gay friends. I have had very heated discussions in recent months with people in the Church who as yet have failed to provide a single bit of evidence to support their bigotry. They point to Leviticus, or other texts from the Bible, and likewise I ask them how come they focus on those texts and not the ones that apply equally to them.”

    Many people question why I, as an intelligent person, can support¬†those who choose to worship ‘gods’, and show tolerance to¬†their equally misguided¬†friends. I have had very heated discussions in recent months with people in the Church who as yet have failed to provide a single bit of evidence to support their laughable beliefs. They point to¬†texts from the Bible, and likewise I ask them how come they focus on those texts and not the ones that demonstrably prove that the entire series of novels and morality tales was made up, centuries after the acts they purport to witness took place..

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