The bible is a mirror – You may hold it up to yourself and see whatever fulfils your own beliefs or biases.
And this is exactly why no faith has any place in law, politics or social policy – the believers cannot believe amongst themselves what it actually means, so how can it be seen to have any credibility, weight or influence?
Absolutely, also picking and choosing the the parts that suit you.
Religious people contradict themselves on a daily basis.
The Bible says it crystal clear….no homosexual will enter the kingdom. What is there to discuss? You can do and believe what you want but it stops when you die. To have a relationship with your creator and savior Jesus is not a religion it is a relationship; GOD wants to have it with you!
Religion is trying to go to heaven with works which is never good enough for God. Don’t mix up religion with faith relationship.
All Religion Is False!
It’s like watching someone really stupid getting a joke ten minutes after everyone else.
As if anyone needs his approval.
And yet you will STILL be a cherry-picking hypocrite because the thing os so utterly contradictory and full of nonsense that it is impossible NOT to be.
Most of the ‘evangelical’ gay people in London already go to Steve’s church. The pews are about 10% full on a busy day.
I have not just read the Bible, I have studied it, in it’s various translations, its semantics, eschatology, historicity, its authorship, etc.
That is why I can say, with some authority, that it is YOU who are wrong!
About time they started debating and questioning their dogma rather than just blindly accepting what they’ve been told. As Valksy posts the Bible is a test. It contains good and bad, which you either identify or not. Following it without critical thought negates what it is supposed to represent.
This is fantastic news! Proof that not all Christians are anti-gay.
Most of them are anti-gay and bigots, it goes with the dogma.
He’s not exactly pro-gay either. He said stuff like “Promiscuity is always damaging and dehumanising.”
Promiscuity and being gay aren’t the same thing at all.
True. But he’s saying any kind of non-monogamy is damaging and dehumanising. I guess everyone will have to log off from grindr to be accepted in his more “inclusive” church.
If Christians want to save their churches from falling congregations and the withdrawing of funding their community projects, then they should start gay youth groups with independent youth workers and organisations managing the groups and if the youngsters want to become Christians at the end of the day, than that will be up to them.
So, according to Greg Downes…“Those who say the Bible does not teach homosexual practice is wrong are simply engaging in hermeneutical gymnastics, in which they embrace a revisionist interpretation which is completely alien to the original meaning of the text.”
By his deduction, then stoning women to death for adultery should also be upheld, among many other things the bible is quite clear about?
He’s also wrong. The original text (and I suspect in saying that he’s actually talking about his translated version of the Bible and not the original text at all) isn’t as straightforward as he claims it to be. Just one example, what is meant by the qualifier in Leviticus? Why doesn’t ‘God’ just say – no sex with men? Why does he qualify that by saying no sex with men as you would have sex with a woman – what does that actually mean? None of the other prohibitions in that chapter have qualifications, why does this one? And is it even talking to the general populace, many actually believe it’s telling priests no sex with rent boys in church or telling men not to cheat on their wives with other men since adultery is solely about opposite gender sex.
And even if it was as clear as he proclaims so what? Christianity has changed and adapted over the years. Parts of the Bible are ignored to a greater or lesser degree because they don’t fit in with today’s society. The idea that you can
only be a Christian if you condemn gay sex is becoming more and more outdated just as the insistence that women cannot be priests and bishops is.
Oh and Jesus never mentioned gay people at all. Aren’t Christians supposed to follow him, not St Paul?
“Why does he qualify that by saying no sex with men as you would have sex with a woman – what does that actually mean?”
Just a reflection of the lower regard in which women were held at the time, I’ve read – ie being the passive partner is being like a woman and thus demeaning for any ‘real’ man. Other ancient cultures also had similar ideas.
I’ve read that too which by my reckoning brings us up to three possible interpretations of that passage. And yet this guy claims that the Bible is clear cut.
As well as the ambiguity you refer to, even more undermining for the homophobic interpretation of Leviticus is the fact that adjacent passages equally condemn as ‘abominations’ the eating of shellfish and men cutting their hair….Anyone enjoying oysters and lobster and regular trips to the barber without guilt might in fact interpret this as an encouragement to engage in gay sex….
My personal favourite is the Book of Kings where it clearly states the value of π as 3. Good luck landing a man on the Moon following that one :-D
Good on this Baptist. When will this nonsense, this inane fear regarding sexual orientation end!
Poor old Greg Downes, if he seriously believes the scriptures are ‘crystal clear.’ They might be in the modern US publication he relies on, somehow I seriously doubt he’s well-versed enough in Hebrew and ancient Greek to be able to speak of their clarity in these matters.
How many angels can dance of the head of a pin? Are animals allowed into Heaven? If not, what happens to my dog? Surely God wouldn’t just have my dog wink into non-existence like a popped soap bubble? If dogs are allowed, what other animal? Fish? The chickens I had in my KFC bucket? The fly I swatted in the kitchen? What about the worms in my dog that the worming tablet got rid of? Can I interpret religion or the Bible or the Koran any way I want. Of course you can – which is why any attempt to enforce what is written in the Bible, Koran, etc. is invalid. It’s all down to your interpretation and – as this shows – that interpretation is subject to change.
How refreshing he is very far from being alone in thinking this, even among evangelicals. But the evangelical leadership has until lagged behind.
The fact that many ‘evangelicals’ are nominal/cultural Christians would be no surprise to anyone who visited their churches.
““The sobering fact is that out of all the Bible references to homosexuality, every one is negative regarding its practice,” he writes.”
Not true…The story of David and Jonathan being a case in point
Really guys…there are plenty of Christians who are gay….don’t knock it…you may be surprised….go on a Pilgrimage it will change your views on faith…regardless of what faith….you may have…
“Furthermore, many see this as a primary issue, not a secondary one”
And this is why the Church is in serious trouble; they concentrate on entirely the wrong things. You don’t fix the world through fighting corruption and poverty, you apparently fix it through fighting tooth and nail against (same sex) love.
Go re-read the New Testament – Jesus says nothing on homosexuality. He does harp on about loving and tolerating all people though. How can these evangelicals get the true message of Christianity SO wrong. It’s very sad.
I think you mean “Paul of Tarsus says nothing about homosexuality”; he is the guy who stole bits of the Mithra cult and invented the jesus mythology.
He’s actually right. The word homosexuality (and heterosexuality) was invented in the 19th c. Close scriptural analysis and careful translation indicates that the practices (and people) condemned in the Old Testament had to do with visiting male priests of competing Mesopotamian gods who had sex with worshippers as part of their rituals. Wiki the “whore of Babylon” for comparison. It was all about religious competition and ritual cleanliness, not homosexuality as we understand it now.
So, the evangelists are changing their public tune as the rational/compassionate public turns more & more against the evangelists’ witch-hunts. Big whoop.
My Opinion Only God lead Jesus and other prohets to be All Inclusive. If you believe Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, you are right. No exception
Including gays, blacks and foreign and even some Yankees