The Not So Relevant Christian

I stumbled over into the Relevant Christian blog. As I scrolled through I came across a post on Jay Bakker and his involvement with Soulforce, whose mission is to “cut off homophobia at its source — religious bigotry.”

I’ll leave it to you to read what the author wrote, but needless to say I think the “Relevant Christian” blog is grossly misnamed. Here are my comments on his post (along with his reply).

STEVE C says:
I thought the title of this blog was “Relevant Christian”!??

Nope… just another “ignorant one”!

JIMMY says:
Thank you Steve…I needed a good laugh this morning.

Tell me…where am I wrong in what I said? Whay (sic) does what I said make me ‘ignorant’?

I am willing to listen.

STEVE C says:
I would have said “stupid” instead of ignorant, but I didn’t want to appear rude. However, why quibble over semantics.

So where were you wrong?

1) Jay didn’t say that everyone will be saved. I don’t know, maybe that’s what he believes, but you certainly can’t conclude that from this interview.

You completely take a quote out of context from the interview you cite and conclude that Jay Bakker believes certain things theologically. Re-read the interview. What Jay did say when asked about his church was this: “We’re a church just trying to show people how to love Christ. We open the doors of the church and welcome people in. Just loving people as Christ and being inclusive rather than exclusive.”

Then later this: “there are a lot of people who don’t want you to include everybody. They think that you’re either opening the door too wide or you’re condoning sin and that can be a struggle. But we feel convicted to do what we do. It’s what God’s called us to do–love people where they’re at [in life].”

From what I read, Jay seems to be saying that HIS church isn’t wanting to be exclusionary. They made this decision based on their belief that it fulfills a mission they have which is loving people where they are.

2) Where else were you wrong? You write: “Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their acceptance of the ‘alternative lifestyle’.” That’s a theologically inaccurate interpretation. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah certainly speaks to homosexual gang rape but not to an “alternative lifestyle” as you suggest. Actually I find Lot’s actions even more troubling in the story (offering his own daughters to the rapists who came to the door). This act of Lot seems to even suggest that the rapists weren’t interested in sex with men for the pleasure of sex, but were more interested in power and perversion of any sort. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for many reasons that had nothing to do with the “homosexual lifestyle”.

3) You make this statement: “I have no problem with the idea that we are supposed to love all people…even those who choose to be gay or lesbian…”

In typical condescending fashion you suggest that those who are gay and lesbian are making a “choice”. This extremely simplifies the matter. You make it seem like someone chooses their sexuality like a pair of shoes or what they are having for dinner. If things were only that simple. But for irrelevant and ignorant Christians like yourself it is that simple.

4) And finally, you state: “where I start to have issue with the whole Soulforce connection is that it appears to be advocating their chosen lifestyle.”

Wow!! Where to begin. Soulforce’s mission statement is “to cut off homophobia at its source — religious bigotry.” The same type of bigotry you are espousing here. I know you don’t think you are bigoted but you are…and you just don’t get it. But Jay Bakker does… read his comments next to your own and see who might actually be considered relevant as opposed to oppressive and judgmental.

“The more I love God and follow Christ, the more I want to love other people like God accepted and loved me. God has changed me, but I don’t place that same expectation on other people. I allow God to be God in people’s lives…. “Christians aren’t God. Religious people aren’t God. God loves you, just where you’re at… just the way you are, no matter what you’ve done. God loves you whether you love him or not and there’s nothing you can do about it. As far as the negative and judgmental stuff goes, realize that Jesus has a crappy fan club. Just don’t give up!”

29 thoughts on “The Not So Relevant Christian”

  1. <>Lowendaction said:<> <>I really hope I didn’t come across as being old fashioned, nor ignorant and accusitory. I really appreciate the tone and patients with which you expressed yourself, and I wish to show you equal respect in turn.<>No offense was taken, I assure you (although I can’t say so much about the sounding old-fashioned, LOL!)<>what it comes down to, for someone who believes that the Bible is God’s word, is first deciding whether or not homosexuality is a sin. Assuming one has then determined that it is,<>You realize, of course, that not everyone comes to this same conclusion, although many of you are reading the same bible. A thorough study would reveal that “homosexuality” was talked about very minimally in the NT (the basis for most of today’s church’s doctrines and beliefs), and not at all by the big man’s son himself. Even a study of the OT reveals much of the “prohibitions” against same-sex sex had to do with ritualistic purity of the rabbi’s, not necessarily of the Israeli nation as a whole, and even if one were to use those cases as against all of the Hebrews, note also that OT God isn’t expecting the Gentiles to live by these OT standards, just the chosen few (but again, that is stretching it beyond the mostly codified behavior for the tribe of Levi as priests and rabbis…)Be that as it may, let’s just go with the fact that you do find it indeed to fall into the categories of “sin”…<>one must face the following: how do I deal with these “attractions”? We could argue forever whether those urges/feelings are genetic, learned, or abnormalities. Either way you must sooner or later CHOOSE to act on them (or not), as you pointed out.<>True thus far…<>So what vexes me is this idea, that just because we have an urge/feeling/attraction to something, that this equates to greenlighting the persuit of it. I feel attracted to a redhead with a slammin body…does that give me the right to cheat on my wife?<>Well, the first issue I have with the example given is that (a) you have already made vows to your wife (and the state, and if you so believe, to God) that you would be faithful to your wife, and thus it isn’t the having sex with the red-head that is wrong, it is the act of breaking your personal word and trust with your companion. Secondly, or (b) if I’m going to remain consistent, is that you are equating your already fulfilled desire of sex with an opposite sex person (your wife) to the state of celibacy you feel homosexuals need to keep–i.e., homosexuals shouldn’t fulfill their same-sex desires due to the “sin” clause, but you are okay and only have an urge to hit that slammin’ red-head even though your sexual needs are already being fulfilled. Do you see what I’m trying to say? Homosexuals must stay celibate (at the very least) and/or become straight (at the optimum end of the spectrum created by Bible-believing Christians), while you are free to fulfill your sexual urges and needs at the drop of $20 and a judge at the courthouse… Or Elvis in LV, for that matter. I’d venture so far as to say that that a great deal of hetero’s do not have to think about “sexual frustration” beyond the headache being pleaded by their sexual partner–add to this an outright “ban” by the religious persons, the “poo-poo-ing” stance held by the government, the military, and most people who haven’t really given it much thought, as well as the (though not as often) fear of being beat-up simply for walking down the street (or even killed) just for having the same (albeit slightly directionally changed) desires as everyone else, and you begin to get an idea–not of the “urge” necessarily, but of the vast amount of ways that your needs aren’t being met…Now, if you could really for real and for true say that your sexual needs are no more than a passing interest, like say that cool stereo in the window, you may have had a good point, but I’d counter to say that the urges of our sexual needs, indeed, the very fact that we are first and formost sexual creatures, places the need to have sex is right up there with food, water, and oxygen (which is why the church feels it needs to have more laws concerning sex these days than it does coveting your neighbors belongings….) Would you say that never having sex again would be as simple as deciding you didn’t need that new stereo (or new red-head) when you already have a perfectly fine stereo (and wife) at home?<>I believe in a God that created a world with a natural order. In my humble opinion homosexuality is an abnormality.<>Being that I think I’ve rambled enough… Oh, what the heck…First we would need to define “abnormality.” Or even “normal” for that matter. But to take you at face-value, I’m assuming you mean “abnormal” as to what 90% of the other human beings are doing, which is with the opposite sex, correct? We would also need to admit, however, that homosexuality runs the gambit throughout the entire creature-kingdom. We would also need to point out that red-headedness is abnormal in that only about 5% of the human race if born thus! And south-paws? Also an “abnormailty” based on what 83% of the rest of the world is doing… I guess that “natural order” part is where we would have our biggest clashing of ideals, but for now I’ll let this stand as discussed and we’ll see which direction you take us in next, okay?<>This isn’t the “ehww” factor, or “that just ain’t right…spit–ting”. I’m talking about the basic biology, psychology, and sexuality of the way the human body was designed.<>I’m assuming that when you say “designed,” you are appealing to the “special status” of being “created” by God? Correct me if I’m wrong… Basic biology again will show homosexuality present in most animal species that reproduce sexually (disregarding the species that produce asexually), and even some of those creatures that produce sexually have the ability to reproduce asexually (for a single example, you can see < HREF="http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/discoveries/2007-05-22-shark-virgin-birth_N.htm" REL="nofollow">here<>), so biology when it comes to reproduction per se is as vast and varied as hair color. Sure, not all sexual acts result in reproduction–in fact, most acts do not. What we can safely say about biology is while it is geared toward reproduction as optimal, there are many cases throughout our own genetic history which show that biology DOESN’T always do things right. Reproduction is tricky, to say the least, in terms of genetics and replication, which is why we shouldn’t be surprised by mis-wiring such as Downs Syndrome, homosexuals, spontaneous abortions and miscarriages, non-separated Siamese twins, red hair, or any other of a vast amount of environmental and genetic “things” that go wrong (read: “not normal”) with not only our species, but all life! <>We live in a time when pretty much anyone can say: “that’s what I think/say/belief, so I have every right to do/be just that!”<>True to a certain extent–I suppose it depends on your world-view. After all, if it, in all truth and fairness, harms no one (i.e., is victim-less), and the only reason people say “No!” is due to their own sense of decency, it should be okay. After all, we are “the land of the free” and have no such reason, right, or obligation to police people’s thoughts, bedroom lives, or any number of numerous “offenses” which could be thought of as “indecent” but which are in effect simply another’s way of choosing to live. Granted, in democracy, it is supposed to be majority rules with minority rights (indeed, that is how the framer’s of the U.S. Constitution set it up to work!), so it comes down to “Okay, majority, this is why we’re not being treated fairly” and thus freedom and democracy evolve with society…<>I’m not saying we should all live under some kind of Nazi-bible-thumping-totalitarian-like rule book, but this whole “everything goes” way of thinking is very dangerous.<>Slippery-slope arguments are easy to state but hard to support. “Everything goes” isn’t exactly a fair representation of what is happening with the, if I must call it something, “homosexual agenda.” That said, this got MUCH longer than I intended, so I’ll close with a disclaimer of my own, suffice to say I hope you take everything I said as seriously and respectfully as intended, and I appreciate the respect shown to me and others as well here in this forum.And I apologize to Steve for my long-windedness as well…😀

  2. I thought your response was accurate and proffessional to Mr. Non-Relevant. I wonder what he hopes to accomplish by posting stuff like this?So are you really opening the door to the gay-in-church situation? Because I’d love to have that discussion, but I don’t want to be the one to crack Pandoras box when that was not really the direction you were wanting to go with this?

  3. nice one steve…jason, I won’t go through line by line, though I really appreciate you doing so.We obviously have some fundamental differences that will always have us looking at this from our individual perspectives.I see mystery and order in this world and have chosen to attribute that to something much bigger than myself.With God as my foundational belief system, everything will be evaluated accordingly (just as you do via scientists and other people…not to say that I don’t respect and learn from scientists, they just first have to pass the God filter). I know that seems so small minded to you, but when you consider that I believe He created EVERYTHING, it’s actually pretty big. In fact, it actually takes a reductionist mindset to NOT believe in God. Not attacking…just pointing it out.The one thing I did want to touch on was this idea of selfishness. If you believe that we are basically just really smart animals, then what possible sense does it make to being a non-reproductive animal? How is that not simply personal gratification? Sure sex is great, but from a biological stand point, it serves primarily to procreate. If a species chooses to no longer procreate, what happens to it? Historically and scientifically we know that it becomes extint. More over, it contributes nothing of REAL value (I’m sorry, but being a good person doesn’t cut it…and please don’t say that’s all Christianity is about) to all other species. The fact that our human population stayed steady at 1 Billion people prior to the 1900’s says something about balance and natural order. We have since manipulated that through technology, and though many good resluts can be cited, overpopulation and the state of our world today speaks clearly to an unbalanced order. Bigger, smarter, more does not equate better.I personally have no ill will or feelings towards any person who is gay (for whatever reason). I just believe that we will see long term effects if current trends continue. Laugh about the children if you like, but they are our future.And lastly I must point out that your parents not being gay does not conclusively lead to a validation of you having been predisposed to genetic homosexuality. In fact, I would argue it streangthens the view that yours might have been a choice born out of rebellion, or neglect…or any number of other non-gene related items.Again, I am not attempting to judge or attack you. You brought it up, so I’m simply sharing my point of view…for the little it’s worth.The absolute bottom line, is that I am called to love you…and I do. Because I choose to. But because I do, I must also share my concerns for you. If you were driving down a road with your best friend, and you knew that the road was headed straight for a cliff, wouldn’t you do anything in your power to convice him of that…even if he didn’t believe you? But wouldn’t you also love him regardless of his ignorance (again…matter of perspective).Stay true to yourself, and never stop seeking for the truth…however it might reveal itself to you.thanks for the chat…it’s been enlightening.and thanks to steve for hosting such a great platform.

  4. jason,what it comes down to, for someone who believes that the Bible is God’s word, is first deciding whether or not homosexuality is a sin. Assuming one has then determined that it is, one must face the following: how do I deal with these “attractions”? We could argue forever whether those urges/feelings are genetic, learned, or abnormalities. Either way you must sooner or later CHOOSE to act on them (or not), as you pointed out.So what vexes me is this idea, that just because we have an urge/feeling/attraction to something, that this equates to greenlighting the persuit of it. I feel attracted to a redhead with a slammin body…does that give me the right to cheat on my wife?I believe in a God that created a world with a natural order. In my humble opinion homosexuality is an abnormality. This isn’t the “ehww” factor, or “that just ain’t right…spit–ting”. I’m talking about the basic biology, psychology, and sexuality of the way the human body was designed.We live in a time when pretty much anyone can say: “that’s what I think/say/belief, so I have every right to do/be just that!”I’m not saying we should all live under some kind of Nazi-bible-thumping-totalitarian-like rule book, but this whole “everything goes” way of thinking is very dangerous.I really hope I didn’t come across as being old fashioned, nor ignorant and accusitory. I really appreciate the tone and patients with which you expressed yourself, and I wish to show you equal respect in turn.

  5. <>I don’t know anybody who is either atheist or Christian or a member of any other religion who actually fears homosexuals or is phobic of them.<>But there are those who think they’re better than gays simply because they’re straight. That’s called heterosexism; and that IS wrong, I say.Meanwhile…There is only one verse that I can see that supports Relevant blog’s take on Sodom and Gomorrah: Jude 7; but even then the verse refers to only “sexual sin”, not “alternative lifestyles”. Yet, the Bible also says S&G were destroyed because they worshipped false gods (Deuteronomy 29:23-28) and didn’t use their great wealth to care for the poor (Isaiah 1:10-17; Ezekiel 16:48-50).Go Steve! 😀

  6. uh oh…the gay issue…the hot button in Christian circles. Here is the difference as I percieve it in the dialogue between Steve and Jimmy. Jimmy: Hate (even judge) the sin love the sinnerSteve: Love is central focus – sin is not – love is to be doneThe problem I have with the ‘hate the sin and love the sinner line’ is it’s bound to be messed up by it’s adherents and hate mingles with love inevitably – skewing what love actually is supposed to look like. Also you cannot seperate sin from the sinner according to most Christian theology anyways – we are born ‘in sin’.So the predisposed position to take with this line of reasoning is a pull towards ‘hate’ and not ‘love’.As for Jim Bakker’s and Steve’s line of thinking is focus on love for the person – regardless of what they label their lifestyle – love is the highest mandate from faith. Now whether being gay is a ‘sin’ (ie: missed the mark/standard) we can all debate that one for a few more years for sure – but it’s not the point…them deserving our acceptance and love is the issue at hand. I think if love is not ‘your call’ – then you are not called to ‘ministry’ at all.

  7. I think the issue is so much greater than homosexuality. The religious right has shown themselves to be very uncomfortable with and often belligerent to any people group or ideology that doesn’t fit their paradigm. Life is static, black and white. The truth has been revealed and found by them – done. Anything outside of this truth structure is a threat and therefore hard, if not impossible for them to deal with. If they allow the possibility that something in their truth structure is wrong, the whole thing falls apart because it’s all based on absolutes. I would agree that there are absolutes, where I differ is my willingness to admit that God may not have revealed all absolutes or the complete nature of His absolutes to us. Because of that, I’m free to love and not judge people I don’t agree with or don’t understand. What a wonderful freedom that is! Getting past what church people are taught to do – be offended and therefore protective of their faith structure – was a big hurdle in my life and can only imagine that it is for many others. What pushed me over the edge was the realisation that my offence and protection of the religious structure I was brought up in was really pride. My insecurity of what I was brought up to believe was brought to light when called into question and that’s really all about me. It has NOTHING to do with God. When I see televangelists and religious right leaders charging against oh so many issues (including homosexuality) I’m struck by the fact that they can’t see past their own fear. In my opinion, fear is what is motivating them. Fear of losing their comfy way of thought and life. Fear that their children will not accept their ways. Fear that they’ll have to do some deep soul searching that can be painfully uncomfortable if you’ve never allowed yourself to do so. But, again, it’s all about them. They try to twist it into love or minimally altruism but most outside the sect see it for what it is. I applaud any church that welcomes and encourages free thought and respectful disagreements. Yes, it can be messy, it’s not the suburban perfectly manicured, conflict free bliss so many aim for, but it is how we learn if we afford ourselves the opportunity.

  8. <>lowendaction:<> <>My personal biblical conclusions come less from singilar sound bytes (verse extractions) and more from context. The more I study the word, the more I learn that it is a work et al, meaning that this practice of finding a few poignant verses to support ones claim does not cut it. The bible is more abstract than it is literal. Many critics use this a talking point, but I embrace it as a virtue. Nowhere does God show us that following/loving/believing Him is easy and straight (no pun intended;) forward. I believe He wants us to digg, question, and search for the truth. So with that in mind I form my understanding of what is natural…by God’s design.<>Well, all things equal, I think the biggest issue I have with your argument comes in the final sentence–what you perceive as design created by God isn’t actually design at all, simply the design you wish to see imposed upon the natural world. The main problem being that you started with a conclusion (i.e., the bible is true, whether allegorical or not) and therefore it colors the way you are seeing the world. Credit where it is due, at least you admit to the many abstracts of Hebrew and Greek culture embedded within its pages, but I’m truly curious as to how you can admit to the allegorical history yet still come to the conclusion that it is still indeed a revelation of a higher power?<>I do not expect EVERYONE to submit to this same truth. I honestly wish that everyone might come to discover it, but I know this will not be. So all I can do is validate my own truth by what I experience daily.<>Of course, and I do hope you know I mean no disrespect, but by saying “validate my own truth,” not only have you made truth “relative” to all (and not just yourself), you’ve admitted it is colored by your preconception of revelation as YOU have judged it to be so… <>Putting God aside for a moment (which is a funny statement to me), when we are referring to natural orders in our world as we know it, I think it is dangerous to use exceptions as the rule.<>But once you remove God (which to me, seems like the logical course of action, no offense), what you have left IS the natural world in all it’s beauty! The reason we need to look at the “abnormalities” is so that we can sit back and figure out how it works! What causes this? Why does this happen? What’s that for, if for anything at all? Is it a left-over? Is it detrimental? The exceptions are what allow us to figure out what’s going on and why, and to see how not only random mutations genetically (and random events environmentally) effect, distort, change, and overall influence not only those very mutations, but the resulting bout of natural selection which effects the lives of those creatures (whether human or not) in positive or negative ways (and not necessarily <>right<> or <>wrong<> ways as such a designation of labels hints at a “direction” or a “purpose” which can only be super-imposed by ourselves and which can never be supported both intellectually nor scientifically). Abnormalities aren’t inherently bad so much as just plain different, and the observation of such will tell us if it is “good” for the species, neutral” for the species, or “bad” only insofar as it effects the ability to survive as a species…<>Of course there are rare phenomenons that one could parallel to homosexuality, but I believe the common form of the word ‘normality’ usually refers to the majority of a subject, does it not?<>Yes, but only as much as can be determined as to what is the normal state for creatures, when does the abnormal become the norm, how did that happen, and so on and so forth…<>I am fully aware that there are those who are born with chromosome combinations that would lead them to have, what most medical experts call, sexual identity disorder. Just as you talked about the many birth defects we are all to aware of, wouldn’t this fall under the same category?<>Why wouldn’t it fall into the same category as left-handedness or red-headedness? Not <>necessarily<> genetic defects, in that, the only affect a cosmetic (hair color) or dominant side (left as opposed the “normal” right) which ultimately is neither here nor there as it neither hinders nor helps the species. It just is one more variation among the ranges of “normal” that can be observed empirically. There is left-handed, right-handed, ambidextrous persons, and none would be considered “abnormal” per se except in how it affects how they hold the paper on their desk, what kind of scissors they purchase… <>How is it then ‘normal’. I would love to see some hard numbers showing, amongst those calling/considering themselves to be gay, what the difference is between those who are born with such a ‘defect’ versus those without (ie. choice vs genetic).<>I’m wondering why that would ultimately matter, however… If purely from a “I wonder” standpoint, yes, it would be interesting to see how often it is influenced <>beyond<> someone’s control, and how often it was “chosen” as preferable to the status quo, but ultimately we aren’t talking about “bad” choices or “good” choices, or even “bad” and “good” genes because either way, it isn’t necessarily a bad or good thing inherently, but an expression of the human creature along a range of “normal,” with the closer you get to the ends being “extreme” versions of normal, and then outright “abnormal” being something you would only hear about on CNN <>(such as baby born with three eyes, or four-legged lamb born in England)<>–these would be decidedly ABnormal, whereas the percentage of adults who sleep with the same-sex, or whom have red-hair, is great enough of a percentage not to be ABnormal due to its being frequent <>enough.<> It’s a matter of scale mostly…<>Here’s where I believe that this can be harmful, as you say it can not: when children are introduced to such an invironment.<>Yes, yes, it’s all about the children, isn’t it? LOL!<>Putting aside for a moment the cause/origin of the parents homosexuality, children are being confronted with a situation that will surely influence them.<>So? Adults influence children ALL the time, what with their choice in wife, home, neighborhood, worship-place of choice–any of which other people could step back and say, “That is a BAD situation.” Thus, we need to judge this very precisely–what is it about children seeing two women or two men in love is BAD as opposed to seeing two opposite sex adults?<>So if homosexuality is not a “free” choice, what freedom do these children have?<>Huh? I’m gay, but I certainly wasn’t raised by gay people–in fact, my parents would be two of the biggest right-wing fundies you would ever meet–parental sexual orientation has no bearing on children’s sexual orientation, and there are vast amounts of studies done in the past two decades that bear that out <>(which actually argues for more of a genetic influence than an environmental one, but whatever…).<><>I’m not saying that there are not gay house holds that try very hard to present their children with every opportunity to find their own sexuality. However, you can not honestly tell me that children raised in a gay household will not be influenced?<>The only “influence” that I can hope would be passed on to the children is a greater understanding of the range of normal of the human species, and a tolerance for those they encounter later that may not fit the “mold” of society at large…<>This of course goes back to my supposition of what is normal.<>Which we’ve covered. 😀<>Ultimately, I believe that much of this boils down to self-centered decision making.<>Not sure why you would say this unless you think any and all sexual desires fall into the “selfish category.”<>My adulterous example was perhaps not perfect, but it was intended to show the selfish aspect. Masturbation doesn’t harm anyone (usually), and it also has no real benefit to anyone, including the individual–short of temporary gratification. What I’m trying to say is, just because something feels good and doesn’t seem to harm anyone doesn’t automatically make it right.<>But why does it make it “wrong”? I don’t understand where you made the leap from the natural desire to release one’s pent-up sexual frustration to it being “bad” simply because it doesn’t do anything “positive” for the person in question. I would actually argue that it did indeed do something VERY positive–it helped that person relieve some tension and stress, get their mind focused back on whatever it is needs done in their lives, and they need not dwell on that “urge” for at least a little while. And indeed, there is no harm and no foul and nothing inherently “wrong” by any standard I can imagine in masturbation, so I guess I’m just wondering why it “isn’t right”?<>I was watching a documentary last night, and one of the things they were talking about was global over population. I honestly believe that we would not be having this discussion if our population was much smaller and relied solely on reproduction to survive. But since we have such an influx of EVERYTHING, it is no longer necessary for every couple to procreate.<>And perhaps (and I’m not saying this is validated in any way shape or form, I’m just throwing this out there), perhaps homosexuals are nature’s way of adding “population checks and balances” into the equation… I know I’m always the first person my siblings call to babysit–why? (a) I have no kids (b) I usually have more free time than they do (c) Having no kids to tie up my own life, I can devote my attention to them and allow my four siblings to relax and take a break! Indeed, if nature were looking for a way to watch after this sudden explosion of people, freeing up some of the population would be ideal. It is a statistical fact that during times of war, more male children are born to women during those years. Why? Not because we can control which sex we give birth to, that’s for sure! But somewhere in the back of our subconscious, the fact that we will soon not have males in great shape around forms and influences that releasing of X and Y sperm–thus, while there’s nothing WE can CONSCIOUSLY do to influence birth sex, UNCONSCIOUSLY our bodies KNOW that soon there will be a shortage of males. All this to say there’s no telling for why some are born gay and some are born left-handed, but it is just one more thing being studied and observed in the hopes of one day recognizing the confluence of events that lead toward this range of “normal,” that range of “normal,” and leads to the outright ABnormal…<>In fact, we have so many orphans, that we would be better off if people had a little less babies for a while. Again though, this is not natural.<>Why is this not natural? Nature is filled with examples of animals dying off when supply becomes scarce–and since nature also deemed through random chance and natural selection, that we should be “conscious” to a higher degree than before seen (that we know of), why would it be unnatural to use our brains to figure out that population control might be the best thing for us?<>What we are doing to this earth isn’t natural. By amplifying everything, the abnormal–by shear numbers–can appear to be normal.<>But we’ve covered this already, so I’ll digress here…<>So if you were a scientist from another planet, and you were studying human behavior, what would your conclusion be regarding homosexual behavior?<>As stated, it is present enough in the human population to be a range of normal (always has been if history is any judge), and therefore it is a variable, not necessarily ABnormal.<>Short of personal gratification, is there any contributing benefit to the species through this behavior?<>Who knows? Perhaps as babysitters to all the rugrats our “normal” counterparts keep shoving out? LOL! What is the appendix for? Is there a benefit to having it? Not that I’m aware of, although I personally know the dangers of it hanging around in our gene codes–almost killed me! Not everything hanging around is “good” or “bad,” and sometimes it’s just “neutral.” Sometimes they are throwbacks, sometimes it’s the beginning of one of the many directions we could end up going in–who knows? Additionally, not every “mutation” or “change” (no matter how it is brought about) will be good for the species, and not everyone will be bad… This isn’t a “progress” insomuch as “we’re going places!” It’s just what happens as life goes along…<>Does free choice/equality trump natural design?<>Why wouldn’t it? “Free choice” is a natural result of eons of time… Design, as we’ve discussed, isn’t so much “design” as it is “what works for now.” <>We all have a legacy to leave our following generations. What does homosexuality leave? I’m not saying that hetro’s are perfect…far from it. I just wonder what there is beyond this whole “me right now” way of living?<>Homosexuals as individuals have made a great many contributions to society (with the added bonus of NOT being tied down to our own procreation), and pepper our past with their writings, paintings, military victories, and on and on–the struggle is figuring out which ones the RCC was able to erase form the history books as they struggled to control the world…The legacy we leave is the same as any other persons of decent and moral virtue–to leave the world a better place for those who follow, and that includes the extreme ends of the spectrum of normal…

  9. I wish more Christians were like Jay Bakker.Anybody want to place odds on how long it will take him to get so fed up with church that he leaves ministry? To be clear, I’m not hoping that he’ll fail… I’m suggesting that I think it’s inevitable that he’ll come to an appreciation of the falseness of Christianity.

  10. “I hope Steve doesn’t censor me ;)” (Lowend)Steve, blacklist him! LOL“I think the most effective litmus test for dealing with this, is simply replacing “gay” with “adulterer”, or “alcoholic”, or “gambling addict”.” (Lowend)See this is problematic in it’s own right – since being a drunk and being gay are very different (or an adulterer or gambling addict). Fact is, a gay person is a sexual orientation – and they – like anyone else – can become a adulterer or addict of some sort – so the term is not quite the same. The big question is – is being gay a sin? If sin does mean to ‘miss the mark’ – according to most of our standards they are not hitting a bullseye (lol). In the same breath, are we judging this from a too straight perspective? The real question becomes – is being gay a legitmate lifestyle – equal to being straight?“In other words, you would never let a school teacher near your kids if you knew they had an issue in their life that might affect your child and they were not willing/able to deal with it.” (lowend)I am kind of hoping I misunderstood this – but this isn’t in refernce to someone being gay is it? If so, I would say it’s along the line of bigotry that Steve mentions happens in Christian circles. I am not sure the church has this issue figured out by a long shot – and there is a lot of confusion over terms and contexts used in the bible in general – concerning this very issue. I tend to see God as giving commandmnets to deal with immorality and to develop morality…is homesexuality a question of immorality – is the question I ask myself periodically. There are prohibitions in the bible about this certain act – but only when used in a very immoral way (ie: orgies or prostitution). Nothing is ever directly dealing with mutual relationships. That leaves many wondering what Paul and others mean when they talk about the immorality of homosexuality – as one would wonder about the immorality of drinking alcohol – which many Christians do. I don’t think there is a blanket statement about homosexuality to be made.

  11. svs, thanks for voting me off the island…;)Obviously this is a super sticky issue that can get extremely personal for many. thanks for being civil on not jumping to conclusions on account of my poor attempts at verbalizing my take o on this mess.The teacher thing had absolotuely nothing to do with gays in the classroom. As I mentioned, one must first come to terms with this question of gay vs sin, both for the individual as well as the community that person wishes to be a part of. Then assuming that it has been determined to be a sin, the gay factor can essentially be removed, and we now deal with that sin as we would any other.I hope that clears that up a little.Thanks for the assist shelly.I do not think we will ever find a convienient biblical sound byte condeming homosexuality as a sin. What I do believe, is that the greater nature of Gods character will shed light on this. As I try to better understand Him, I hope to find an answer that works with the God I believe in. Since this is an individual effort, my answer may be nowhere near that of a fellow brother/sister in Christ.Who is right and who is wrong is essentially irrelevant as long as both are striving for truth and understanding. The more we learn about who God is, the more we start acting like Him.As to the whole gay lifestyle thing. I think the real question is question of priority and purpose. Is being gay truly someones identity? Do I want to sum of my life…my legacy to be that I gay? As I study our rolemodel, I see Christ trying to show us which things REALLY matter while were here on this brittle rock. I think I would like to be identified as the guy who loved alot (not the shagging type of love!), or the one who was Christ-like……not that I’m really known for any of that mind you, but I’m working on it.Read Rob Bell’s Sex.God. His whole book deals with this question of identity.

  12. Were my last two comments offensive? One from this post and the one from the previous? Or did some technical gliche get them? Because you’ve been pretty decent in handling everything we’ve ever discussed with openness. I’d hate to feel that was broken.

  13. Lowend…<>In other words, you would never let a school teacher near your kids if you knew they had an issue in their life that might affect your child and they were not willing/able to deal with it.<>SVS…<>I am kind of hoping I misunderstood this – but this isn’t in refernce to someone being gay is it? If so, I would say it’s along the line of bigotry that Steve mentions happens in Christian circles.<>Somehow, I don’t think so. I’m thinking lowend was referring to those with a history of pedophilia, or child molestation, or child abuse (not necessarily sexual).SVS again…<>That leaves many wondering what Paul and others mean when they talk about the immorality of homosexuality – as one would wonder about the immorality of drinking alcohol – which many Christians do. I don’t think there is a blanket statement about homosexuality to be made.<>It’s made even worse when you consider that various translations use different terms there (is it safe to say you’re referring to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 here?) in place of the Greek words “arsenokoites” (“male beds”) and “malakoi” (“soft” = effeminate?).

  14. I think the most effective litmus test for dealing with this, is simply replacing “gay” with “adulterer”, or “alcoholic”, or “gambling addict”. How would the church deal with someone either already in their midst, or wishing to join with one or more of these known issues (sin)?I think it’s fairly clear that we are called to love them unconditionally and not close our doors to them. I think the only real tricky area comes when that person wishes to take on a leadership position within that community.Obviously that church would have to be in unison as to what they considered sin, and then that person would probably want to share if a) he/she admits that the “thing” is in fact a sin according to what they believe/know, and then b) once they’ve admitted their sin, that they are working it out (through God, counselor, friend, family, whatever).In other words, you would never let a school teacher near your kids if you knew they had an issue in their life that might affect your child and they were not willing/able to deal with it.To me this is another example that solidifies God to me. If this and other such situations were easy cookie cutter type deals, there would be no struggle and thus no real gain. I believe that God is interested in a very select few who are willing to prove their love to Him by jumping through the hoops and wading through the swamp.I can not understand were this false idea came from which portrays the church and Christians as being this extra-lite-decaff-half-assed-effortless pony ride through life. The bible is chalk full of trials, anger, frustration, and deep mysteries. The reward will only be there for those who were willing to stick it out.Sorry…I didn’t mean to drop in to sermon mode…I hope Steve doesn’t censor me 😉

  15. Dorsey –Yes I am currently moderating comments. Just trying to keep some dickheads at bay. By dickheads I don’t mean people that don’t agree with me, I mean those that just want to bombard our site with BS. Trust me… I will always post every comment (positive or negative) that is directly related to this site. As for Jimmy from Relevant Christian being open to the idea that he could be wrong?? I read his comments and I honestly didn’t come away with much warmth of sincerity in that sentiment. But I could be wrong. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  16. Steve, what makes Jimmy irrelevant and a bigot?Those terms are key words intended to quickly shut down dialogue and dismiss a person based on their expressed opinions on a matter. But, what do those terms truly mean here?On another matter, why is it condescending to suggest that people can choose to be gay or lesbian? That mindset in itself sounds condescending…like there would be judgment against a person that chose it, rather than being a “naturally born” homosexual.Personally, I think we choose most every desire we have in life, based 90-95% on our environment and abilities. Just my general observation.In my personal experience, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a homosexual that didn’t choose that lifestyle (by their own admission) before coming to the conclusion that they were born that way.Getting to the nitty gritty, the gay and lesbian issue boils down to sex and sexual attraction. If sex weren’t involved, we’d only be talking about friendships, which is what most people want and need. Sex gets in the way.Is it okay for a woman to have sex with a woman or a man to have sex with a man?If I don’t think so (because I think it’s unnatural), and my religious text books line up with my thoughts, does that make me irrelevant and a bigot?

  17. Thanks, Steve. I’ll have to go listen to more of his stuff. I think he’s onto something!My daughter told me about him a while back, and said that he seemed to think much the same about God as I do. I didn’t check him out then (my bad), but it looks like the time has come.

  18. <>Jimmybob said:<> <>I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a homosexual that didn’t choose that lifestyle (by their own admission) before coming to the conclusion that they were born that way.<>Perhaps I can clarify what you feel seems to be a contradiction. Most of us <>(homosexuals)<> are born inherently attracted to the same sex. What <>I chose<> is to be open, honest, and embracing of my sexual attractions after years of trying to hide, change, or pretend didn’t exist, that very same-sex attraction. I can’t speak for all homosexuals <>(much like you could never pretend to speak for all hetero’s)<>, but what I can tell you is that I <>(and what I suspect are many others)<> know we are different pretty early on… To make a long, <>long<> story short, it is all part of the coming to terms with our “same-sex-attraction” nature. We initially “choose” to no longer ignore, and indeed embrace, this need and want in our lives. Eventually, those of us who can learn to be completely honest with ourselves realize it was there all along. Sometimes we didn’t know what to call it, sometimes we didn’t even know <>why<> it was so, but there it was…I know I say I “chose” to be gay, only insofar as I decided to stop trying to delude myself, lying to others, and make the most of the life I was given. My husband not only completes me in the bedroom, but emotionally, psychologically, and in a wealth of other ways. I was born gay <>(perhaps semantically, we can say I was born with a “predilection” to be gay, and let the myth stand that ex-gay therapy works, eh?)<>. I didn’t choose to be attracted to the same sex, much like any person never chooses to be THAT DIFFERENT from their fellow man, but what I did choose was the right to live my life openly, honestly, unmiserably…I hope this helps explain what you may see as a contradiction in what you’ve heard…

  19. I have not read the interview but here are my thoughts based upon what Steve has provided. I wonder how Jay Bakker was able to conclude that the cause of Homophobia is religious bigotry. It seems to me that whenever anybody objects to gay sex or people being gay the objectors are automatically labelled Homophobic. I don’t think being religious has anything to do with it and is probably just a way for Jay Bakker to separate himself from those Christians he doesn’t like or doesn’t agree with. Plus, from Soulforce’s mission statement one could conclude that there are no atheists who object to gay sex, since Homnophobia is, at least according to them, a condition suffered by those who are religious. I don’t know anybody who is either atheist or Christian or a member of any other religion who actually fears homosexuals or is phobic of them. The accusation of being Homophobic seems to me to be a knee-jerk reaction from people who don’t like hearing that people who engage in homosexual sex are sinners. So Soulforce’s position seems to be to love only those who agree with them. If you disagree with them about homosexuality, then you’re Homophobic and a part of the problem.

  20. JB – Sorry about the comments… it was purely an honest mistake on my end.As you would expect, I disagree with you. Calling him irrelevant was based on the fact that his blog claims to be relevant and I find his position quite the opposite. And from what I read I believed that his post was somewhat prejudicial and claimed a superiority of his position – which in fact was based on a misquoting and interview with Jay Bakker and a blatant misinterpretation of the scripture regarding the destruction of Sodom.Also, it’s not condescending to “suggest” that people choose to be gay, but that’s not what he did. He stated it as a fact for all gay people. I think there are many, many, many gay people that would disagree with that conclusion… just like you didn’t choose to be straight. I “suggest” you believe you have always been.And to your final argument… you (not specifically you JB but all of us) can make your religious text books line up with usually most things you want them to. I am sure there is poor scholarship going on many sides of every issue. But to think someone is wrong or a sinner for being a homosexual doesn’t make one a bigot. What makes one a bigot is to be, as the definition says, “obstinately convinced of the superiority or correctness of one’s own opinions and prejudiced against those who hold different opinions”.So if the religious text books and your interpretation of them are proven wrong, my question is, would you change your thoughts?

  21. jason,thanks for that great response. I’ll go ahead and get my retort in before our gracious host tires of us.You obviously gave me quite a bit to chew on, but allow me to touch on just a few.My personal biblical conclusions come less from singilar sound bytes (verse extractions) and more from context. The more I study the word, the more I learn that it is a work et al, meaning that this practice of finding a few poignant verses to support ones claim does not cut it. The bible is more abstract than it is literal. Many critics use this a talking point, but I embrace it as a virtue. Nowhere does God show us that following/loving/believing Him is easy and straight (no pun intended;) forward. I believe He wants us to digg, question, and search for the truth. So with that in mind I form my understanding of what is natural…by God’s design.I do not expect EVERYONE to submit to this same truth. I honestly wish that everyone might come to discover it, but I know this will not be. So all I can do is validate my own truth by what I experience daily.Putting God aside for a moment (which is a funny statement to me), when we are referring to natural orders in our world as we know it, I think it is dangerous to use exceptions as the rule. Of course there are rare phenomenons that one could parallel to homosexuality, but I believe the common form of the word ‘normality’ usually refers to the majority of a subject, does it not?I am fully aware that there are those who are born with chromosome combinations that would lead them to have, what most medical experts call, sexual identity disorder. Just as you talked about the many birth defects we are all to aware of, wouldn’t this fall under the same category? How is it then ‘normal’. I would love to see some hard numbers showing, amongst those calling/considering themselves to be gay, what the difference is between those who are born with such a ‘defect’ versus those without (ie. choice vs genetic).Here’s where I believe that this can be harmful, as you say it can not: when children are introduced to such an invironment. Putting aside for a moment the cause/origin of the parents homosexuality, children are being confronted with a situation that will surely influence them. So if homosexuality is not a “free” choice, what freedom do these children have? I’m not saying that there are not gay house holds that try very hard to present their children with every opportunity to find their own sexuality. However, you can not honestly tell me that children raised in a gay household will not be influenced? This of course goes back to my supposition of what is normal.Ultimately, I believe that much of this boils down to self-centered decision making.My adulterous example was perhaps not perfect, but it was intended to show the selfish aspect. Masturbation doesn’t harm anyone (usually), and it also has no real benefit to anyone, including the individual–short of temporary gratification. What I’m trying to say is, just because something feels good and doesn’t seem to harm anyone doesn’t automatically make it right.I was watching a documentary last night, and one of the things they were talking about was global over population. I honestly believe that we would not be having this discussion if our population was much smaller and relied solely on reproduction to survive. But since we have such an influx of EVERYTHING, it is no longer necessary for every couple to procreate. In fact, we have so many orphans, that we would be better off if people had a little less babies for a while. Again though, this is not natural. What we are doing to this earth isn’t natural. By amplifying everything, the abnormal–by shear numbers–can appear to be normal.So if you were a scientist from another planet, and you were studying human behavior, what would your conclusion be regarding homosexual behavior? Short of personal gratification, is there any contributing benefit to the species through this behavior? Does free choice/equality trump natural design?We all have a legacy to leave our following generations. What does homosexuality leave? I’m not saying that hetro’s are perfect…far from it. I just wonder what there is beyond this whole “me right now” way of living?

  22. Good post, Steve. And I was heartened to see that, in his subsequent comment, Jimmy is open to the idea that he could be wrong.

  23. I am red-headed and left-handed…so I am effing abnormal as they come I guess.Thank God I am not gay right?? Right?? Or at least I haven’t chosen to be gay yet??🙂

Leave a Reply