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‘Accepting Evangelicals’ – the new ‘evangelicals’ who back same sex marriage
lsn ^ | 1.16.2013 | Peter Saunders

Posted on 01/15/2013 11:10:24 PM PST by Morgana

With the government set to debate ‘gay marriage’, I am constantly asked on social media why I cannot, like ‘other more loving and tolerant Christians’, accept same sex ‘marriage’ as an expression of love and commitment between two people of the same sex.

Several people have referred me to an article in the Independent last week titled ‘Happy and Clappy and out of the closet: Evangelicals who say gay is OK’.

The implication is that if some evangelicals are welcoming same sex marriage then evangelicalism per se should not be a barrier to others moving in the same direction.

Many of the ‘evangelicals’ featured in the article will be well known names to those who have been following the debate – Jeffrey John, Brian McLaren, Jeremy Marks, Benny Hazlehurst – and are certainly not regarded as ‘mainstream’. In fact many Christians (and non-Christians) I suspect would not consider them to be evangelicals at all.

Peter Ould has done a helpful review of the article on his blog and I won’t say more about it here but the Independent has helped to give a higher profile (at least amongst its liberal readership) to a pressure group called ‘Accepting Evangelicals’ which it describes as the ‘the prime mover in promoting pro-gay evangelicalism’.

‘Accepting Evangelicals’ has in fact been going since 2004 but on a straw poll of fellow Christians this week virtually no one I asked had actually heard of it.

On its website it claims to be an ‘open network of Evangelical Christians who believe the time has come to move towards the acceptance of faithful, loving same-sex partnerships at every level of church life, and the development of a positive Christian ethic for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.’

It claims to have over 540 members of whom 82% are open members whose names are listed on the site. Other members have opted to remain ‘confidential’ because they ‘are concerned that their public support would put them at risk of prejudice or discrimination‘.

Amongst the ‘open members’ are Benny Hazlehurst (pictured), who acts as secretary to the group, former Eden Baptist minister Roy Clements, ‘Courage’ founder Jeremy Marks, Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow, ‘post-evangelical’ Dave Tomlinson and Oasis Trust founder Steve Chalke.

Perhaps the only surprise here to some will be Steve Chalke, although many would argue that he been moving away from an evangelical position on key biblical doctrines for some years.

The group published a position statement in summer 2012 and has a page of ‘resources’ along with four articles on the Bible and homosexuality (accessible here) written by Hazlehurst for his personal blog in 2010 and ‘adapted’ for ‘Accepting Evangelicals’.

The arguments are the usual ones – the sin of Sodom was ‘rape, inhumanity, and breaking the laws of hospitality’ and not ‘principally about homosexuality’. The proscriptions about homosexual relations in Leviticus 18 and 20 applied to ‘idolatry and male prostitution’ and not ‘loving, committed, faithful, exclusive same-sex relationships’. Jesus said nothing about the issue and much of what Paul says in 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians is ‘cultural’ or confusing and hangs on the definitions of disputed Greek words. In Romans 1 Paul ‘saw homosexual activity, alongside all the idolatry of the Greco-Roman world. It was not born out of love, or orientation, but out of pagan practices, greed, lust and abuse of power.’

The wider framework of biblical sexuality and teaching about marriage are ignored.

Hazlehurst’s arguments have been ably refuted in a variety of recent works, and most recently in the Evangelical Alliance’s summer 2012 publication ‘Biblical and pastoral responses to homosexuality’ which is available on the EA website and summarised here.

His whole argument is aimed at creating a case for marriage for those who exhibit ‘the self-giving love that we observe today between people of the same sex who genuinely love each other and want to commit their lives to each other before God’.

These people, we are told, are ‘prayerful, devout, committed Christians, worshipping God faithfully, and giving him the glory’.

To become a member there is no declaration to sign, just an affirmation that the member is ‘happy to be publicly associated with Accepting Evangelicals’.

I suspect we will hear much more of this group over the coming weeks and months and the liberal press will no doubt be only too obliging in making each new high profile ‘member’ into a news story.

I remain unconvinced.

Biblical teaching on homosexuality is very clear and liberal ‘Christians’ and secularists are thankfully much more honest about taking the words as they are written rather than trying to contort them to accommodate the special case.

The Evangelical Alliance’s recent book and another recent CMF publication on ‘Unwanted same sex attraction’ are careful to major on the pastoral issues faced in trying to help those who experience same sex erotic attraction or recognise that they have a homosexual orientation and I have myself written on this before.

But I am left wondering how many of this group are actually true evangelicals.

The key evangelical distinctives are the need for personal conversion, a high regard for biblical authority, an emphasis on the saving death and resurrection of Christ and an active obedience to and proclamation of the gospel.

David Bebbington has termed this ‘quadrilateral of priorities’ conversionism, biblicism, crucicentrism, and activism.

‘Accepting Evangelicals’ it seems to me undermine all four.

There is highly suspect exposition of the Bible, selective obedience to biblical teaching, an unwillingness to make sacrifices for the sake of the Gospel and an inadequate understanding of what Jesus’ death and resurrection has achieved in helping believers to die to self, live as redeemed creatures in the power of the Holy Spirit and to resist temptation.

Richard Lovelace wrote in his classic work 'Homosexuality and the Church' in 1978 that he saw the growing acceptance of homosexual practice within the church as due to a ‘false religion’ opposed to biblical revelation and the authority of Scripture, an ‘antinomian ethic’ that undercuts the balance between law and Gospel, a ‘cheap grace’ that ignores repentance and a ‘powerless grace’ that denies the possibility of change.

This remains, in my view, an accurate assessment.


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: evangelicals; homosexualagenda; redemption; religiousleft; sin

1 posted on 01/15/2013 11:10:40 PM PST by Morgana
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To: Morgana

I’ve said in on other threads today- but I’ll say it here too- there’s a very powerful delusion sweeping across thsi nation (and world really), and i’m beginnign to wonder if this is the time that God talked abotu in His word when He said that He would send strong delusions so that the people beleive the lies they are told

Standign back fro mthe fray- and just watchign everythign goign down so rapidly, you have to wonder how we coudl go from such a strong moral nation to an imoral one in a mattyer of a few short years, and watchign all the icnredible assaults on our constitutional rights, you have to wonder how people can fall for the lies- it should be so obvious to them that they vow to take a stand agaisnt the blatant lies, but the people are loving hte lies- and hte left is revelling i nthe fact that the peopel have fallen or these lies-

You really have to wonder if This isn’t the ‘powerful strong delusions the bible speaks of in the end times


2 posted on 01/15/2013 11:16:03 PM PST by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: CottShop

God ain’t allowed in publik skools no more.

Quite frankly, I don’t think he’s allowed in the churches.


3 posted on 01/15/2013 11:21:55 PM PST by Morgana (This space for rent...cheap)
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To: Morgana

The God of the bible isn’t allowed in churches today, but the golden calf sure is


4 posted on 01/15/2013 11:37:06 PM PST by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: Morgana

Christianity in ANY flavor is based on the Old Testament as well as the New. Christ said he came to fulfill the scriptures, not destroy them. And the God of Israel made very clear what he thought of Sodomites and other perverts.

And sexual perversions like homosexuality are totally incompatible with Christianity or orthodox Judaism.


5 posted on 01/15/2013 11:51:55 PM PST by ZULU (See video: http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-first-siege-of-vienna.html)
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To: ZULU

Absolutely.


6 posted on 01/15/2013 11:55:26 PM PST by onedoug
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To: Morgana

Consider the lament of Juvenal, who lived circa 100 AD, but was evidently unaware of the budding religion of Christianity:

O father of our city, whence came such wickedness among thy Latin shepherds? How did such a lust possess thy grandchildren, O Gradivus?

He was “conservative”, and his views are largely discounted on this basis in our day ( well ... he was anti-gay ! ). He further opined, after describing a privately performed “gay marriage”, that “If we live long enough, we shall see these things done openly.” Of course, he was assuming a continuous evolution of Roman culture. Little could he have imagined that this would come true 2000 years in the future.

I’m just waiting for his Satires to be banned and supressed.


7 posted on 01/16/2013 12:06:49 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: dr_lew
He further opined, after describing a privately performed “gay marriage”

Even in all its degeneracy, the Roman Empire did not condone homosexual "marriages".

We are indeed in deep trouble.

8 posted on 01/16/2013 12:14:04 AM PST by ZULU (See video: http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-first-siege-of-vienna.html)
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To: ZULU; Morgana

“The arguments are the usual ones – the sin of Sodom was ‘rape, inhumanity, and breaking the laws of hospitality’ and not ‘principally about homosexuality’. The proscriptions about homosexual relations in Leviticus 18 and 20 applied to ‘idolatry and male prostitution’ and not ‘loving, committed, faithful, exclusive same-sex relationships’. Jesus said nothing about the issue and much of what Paul says in 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians is ‘cultural’ or confusing and hangs on the definitions of disputed Greek words. In Romans 1 Paul ‘saw homosexual activity, alongside all the idolatry of the Greco-Roman world. It was not born out of love, or orientation, but out of pagan practices, greed, lust and abuse of power.’”

I’ve seen some so-called evangelicals argue that the Old Testament (and New Testament) commandments against the (heterosexual) use of prostitutes were “cultural” and that the prostitutes (I’ve seen this in some translations) were “cult prostitutes” and were a product of their era like a bug trapped in amber, therefore (it was implied but not stated openly) modern use of prostitutes was wink-wink not as bad if not OK. This is part of that same slippery slope.


9 posted on 01/16/2013 12:37:58 AM PST by thecodont
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To: Morgana; lightman; madison10; Belteshazzar; CottShop
This is a continuous attack on all Christian groups. They want us to believe that "accepting homosexuality" is the new "progressive" thing

As I said in another thread, our mistake was sitting back and letting the ECUSA, ELCA, PCUSA get ensnared -- we thought it wouldn't affect us, but now the media goes "oh, they accept homosexuality, why don't you?"

10 posted on 01/16/2013 1:13:16 AM PST by Cronos (Middle English prest, priest, Old English pruost, Late Latin presbyter, Latin presbuteros)
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To: thecodont; ZULU; Morgana
One pastor I know who claims he's an Evangelical leading an Evangelical flock says that there's no difference between queers marrying one another and the restrictions on food that no longer apply. Someone on FR had told me there were people who used that argument with regard to queers, but I never thought anyone who claims to be Evangelical would be that far off track.

Those totally ignore so-called, non-SBC Baptists, so-called Methodists, so-called Lutherans, so-called Independents, so-called Presbyterians, and a ton of others who claim to be Christian and who preach, "go along to get along", but who attack Catholics for speaking against queers and communists are a transparent lot.

They're either committed fifth-columnists or they've swallowed the same lies Rev. Wright preached to King Barry for two decades. They attack the same people King Barry attacks so they're a part of Barry's band of fascists no matter what they say to the contrary. They're dedicated to spreading divisions among Christians to fragment Christian resistance to the totalitarian anti-Constitution agenda the same way RINOs work to divide fiscal conservatives and social conservatives.

11 posted on 01/16/2013 1:35:25 AM PST by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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To: Morgana
"Loving and tolerant Christians"
Loving and tolerant = liberal

Liberal Christians = those Christians who bend God's laws

Christians who bend God's laws are no longer Christians

So....there is no such thing. I'm tired of having the "loving and tolerant" thing beating me over the head. I'm not a loving and tolerant Christian, I'm a PO'd Christian. And I believe Christ himself would be a little PO'd at what is going on now. Money changers are nothing compared to he would encounter in the "temple" today. If he was angry then, He would be furious now! I don't picture a loving and tolerant Christ today, I picture a furious Christ.

12 posted on 01/16/2013 6:09:46 AM PST by ThePatriotsFlag (...and to the Republic for which it STOOD...)
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To: Morgana

“With the government set to debate ‘gay marriage’...”

If you agree that there can be a ‘debate’ about gay marriage, I think you are ceding the point that the state has the power to create something called ‘gay marriage’ if it wanted to. This is an indication that many have been conditioned to think that marriage comes from and is defined by the state.

The definition of marriage the state uses to recognize the institution is whatever judges, pols, or 51% of the voting public think it can be at any one time. That’s it, that’s all it will ever be in the modern era. It was always a danger that it woud depart from the actual definition, indeed some faiths will never accept remarriage after civil divorce, while the state has already done so for many, many years.

‘Now, since the family and human society at large spring from marriage, these men will on no account allow matrimony to be the subject of the jurisdiction of the Church. Nay, they endeavor to deprive it of all holiness, and so bring it within the contracted sphere of those rights which, having been instituted by man, are ruled and administered by the civil jurisprudence of the community. Wherefore it necessarily follows that they attribute all power over marriage to civil rulers, and allow none whatever to the Church; and, when the Church exercises any such power, they think that she acts either by favor of the civil authority or to its injury. Now is the time, they say, for the heads of the State to vindicate their rights unflinchingly, and to do their best to settle all that relates to marriage according as to them seems good.’

—Pope Leo XIII, 1880

Freegards


13 posted on 01/16/2013 6:33:12 AM PST by Ransomed
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To: Cronos
This is a continuous attack on all Christian groups. They want us to believe that "accepting homosexuality" is the new "progressive" thing

I blame the Lutheran theologians and seminary professors of the 1960's and 1970's for planting the seed of "Gospel reductionismm", meaning that all Scripture is to be filtered through the lens of the Gospel.

That was fine until they and others began preaching "another gospel"--this "FULL INCLUSION" evil.

14 posted on 01/16/2013 7:09:17 AM PST by lightman (If the Patriarchate of the East held a state like the Vatican I would apply for political asylum.)
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To: Morgana

A true Evangelical will NOT except what is NOT in the BIBLE.

Assembly of God Evangelical CHRISTian!


15 posted on 01/16/2013 7:13:42 AM PST by GailA ( those who do not keep promises to the Military, won't keep them to U)
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To: Morgana
Jesus said nothing about the issue

Really? What about Matthew 19:4-5 (emphasis added)? And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? Does he call this "nothing"?

16 posted on 01/16/2013 7:14:51 AM PST by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: Morgana

Also known as the “Emergent Church Movement” heresy.


17 posted on 01/16/2013 7:46:34 AM PST by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: lightman
lightman -- it's not just a Lutheran problem. it's not even just an Anglican problem

To me it's clear that it's a wider problem affecting every single one of us.

I as a Catholic cannot just say it is a Lutheran/Anglican/whatever problem

Even Baptists shouldn't do that -- we are all affected

Each time the ECUSA wins against a traditional anglican parish, it's one more "hit" by the leftists against us all.

18 posted on 01/16/2013 7:49:12 AM PST by Cronos (Middle English prest, priest, Old English pruost, Late Latin presbyter, Latin presbuteros)
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To: fwdude

it’s not a heresy. It’s not aiming to reinterpret a standard doctrine. What this is doing is negating a central belief — pretty core if you think that this is asking us to celebrate sin.


19 posted on 01/16/2013 7:54:23 AM PST by Cronos (Middle English prest, priest, Old English pruost, Late Latin presbyter, Latin presbuteros)
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To: Former Fetus

The argument is that He doesn’t explicitly say “its not good” — I’ve been arguing with libs on Huffingtonpost and first they will say “Jesus didn’t condemn it”, and when you point out +Paul and the OT, they will say “that is man made tradition, Jesus came to promote just love, not the law”


20 posted on 01/16/2013 7:56:10 AM PST by Cronos (Middle English prest, priest, Old English pruost, Late Latin presbyter, Latin presbuteros)
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To: Cronos
I’ve been arguing with libs on Huffingtonpost

You might be better off taking the same approach Paul did in his day.

And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” acts 18:4-7

The Jews in this case were people that were not open to hearing the truth or engaging in logical arguments. They had a position, and simply interpreting any scripture in a way that would support their argument (much as your friends at the HuffPo are doing). Paul's response was to wash his hands of them and move on to someone else who was open minded (and make no mistake, your friends at the HuffPo have closed minds when it comes to the truth).

We as Christians are only responsible to present the truth. We're not responsible to convince someone of the truth. They are responsible for accepting or rejecting the truth that has been presented to them.

Sometimes the best you can do is present the truth and pray God will open their eyes.

21 posted on 01/16/2013 8:56:47 AM PST by Brookhaven
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To: ZULU

Amen.


22 posted on 01/16/2013 12:08:58 PM PST by left that other site (Worry is the darkroom that developes negatives.)
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To: Morgana

God is allowed, front and center, in the Catholic Church.

Liturgy of the Word
Liturgy of the Eucharist

that make up the Mass.


23 posted on 01/16/2013 12:22:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: GailA

**A true Evangelical will NOT except what is NOT in the BIBLE.**

But will they ACCEPT it?


24 posted on 01/16/2013 12:24:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Morgana

The left and the libertarians have the voting block of the Evangelicals standing in the way of their total victory over Christian opposition.


25 posted on 01/16/2013 2:32:54 PM PST by ansel12 (Cruz said "conservatives trust Sarah Palin that if she says this guy is a conservative, that he is")
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To: Salvation

I try to tell the protestants that.

In one ear...


26 posted on 01/16/2013 6:11:41 PM PST by Morgana (This space for rent...cheap)
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To: Cronos

Just point them to these words of Christ-

‘“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.’

Matthew 5:17-19

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205:17-19&version=NKJV

Also, the words of Christ from this passage-

‘And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”’

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=%20Mark%207:20-23&version=NKJV

The word fornications is translated from the Greek word porneia which means:

1)illicit sexual intercourse

a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.

b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18

c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12

2) metaph. the worship of idols

a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4202&t=KJV


27 posted on 01/16/2013 7:56:45 PM PST by ReformationFan
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To: Brookhaven

oh, the huffpo loons are no friends of mine. I just felt a few months ago that we conservatives discussing abortion on FR is not enough — we need to take the war to the enemy


28 posted on 01/17/2013 12:01:29 AM PST by Cronos (Middle English prest, priest, Old English pruost, Late Latin presbyter, Latin presbuteros)
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To: Morgana

“It claims to have over 540 members of whom 82% are open members whose names are listed on the site. Other members have opted to remain ‘confidential’ because they ‘are concerned that their public support would put them at risk of prejudice or discrimination‘. “

Or of not getting tithing donations from folks who (SHOCK! GASP!) that the Holy Bible actually means what it says it means.

“Amongst the ‘open members’ are Benny Hazlehurst (pictured), who acts as secretary to the group, former Eden Baptist minister Roy Clements, ‘Courage’ founder Jeremy Marks, Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow, ‘post-evangelical’ Dave Tomlinson and Oasis Trust founder Steve Chalke.”

I can honestly say I have no memory of ever hearing of anyone of them. That’s why I stick to the likes of R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Douglas Wilson and John Piper. Unless the preacher proudly and openly declares and preaches his belief in the inerrancy of the Bible in its original manuscripts, I do not have time for his preaching. This life is just too short.


29 posted on 01/17/2013 5:33:01 AM PST by ReformationFan
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To: Morgana

Ok, can someone answer me this then:

Evangelicals teach that all you have to do to be “saved” is to believe in Jesus. Works don’t mean anything.

So, to the Evangelicals, why does being gay matter at all since you teach it’s just all about believing?? If these people “believe”, what’s the issue?

I could see this being an issue to religions that teach that works make a difference.


30 posted on 01/17/2013 8:50:28 AM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: MeOnTheBeach

You got me, me.

Got tired of arguing with them years ago


31 posted on 01/17/2013 9:48:06 AM PST by Morgana (This space for rent...cheap)
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To: Morgana; All
And sexual perversions like homosexuality are totally incompatible with Christianity or orthodox Judaism.

This by far understates the issue. Homosexuality is incompatible with humanity.

I'm talking about homosexual activity, not how someone labels themselves. Homosexual activity is just a sign of a greater ill in society.

Homosexuality at it's base is selfish and a weakness. There's a whole list of attributes that go with this behavior.

I do not believe God destroyed Sodom because He lost His temper. But because like a cancer that behavior ate away at that city till there was no chance anyone would come back. Therefore to save future generations from that fate, He destroyed Sodom.

What you're seeing is a sign of the times. The whole world is going down that path. And once it gets there, it will be lost.
32 posted on 01/17/2013 11:16:46 AM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: MeOnTheBeach
all you have to do to be “saved” is to believe in Jesus

Question: what do you understand that "believing in Jesus" means? Remember, the demons believe in God and tremble (James 2:19) but they most certainly are NOT saved. A person can believe many things about Jesus, that He existed, was a great preacher, was crucified by the Romans... and none of those things will save that person. On the other hand, when someone believes that Jesus is the Son of God, died for all sins, rose again and is coming back... that is saving belief. And that belief is incompatible with a homosexual lifestyle. If someone really believes, that person has become a new person, and will not live a sinful lifestyle. He or she may sin, but will not dwell in that sin. The idea of a believer living a gay lifestyle makes as much sense as claiming that turning on a light does not eliminate the darkness. It just doesn't happen!

33 posted on 01/17/2013 2:38:59 PM PST by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: MeOnTheBeach

I think(especially since the time of Charles Finney) an “easy-believism” has infiltrated evangelical circles, resulting in(among other things), groups like the topic of this thread.

Many have forgotten these words of Martin Luther: “We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone”.

You might like this video by Reformed Baptist pastor Paul Washer-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9hd3pV2VxU


34 posted on 01/17/2013 8:37:10 PM PST by ReformationFan
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