My support of same-sex marriage

equal-marriage

Over the past few months I’ve been increasingly raising my voice in support of same-sex marriage – or “equal marriage” as I’ll call it from here on.

Many of my blog readers are from outside the UK, so in case any of you weren’t aware, on 29th March 2014 England and Wales saw equal marriage become a legal reality. While not possible in the Church of England due to the “quadruple lock” that’s in place, same-sex couples can now legally marry in a variety of settings, including some places of worship.

I first spoke out in support of this during a Radio 2 interview with Clare Balding back in December of last year. My comments were very brief, but I said I believed that Christians didn’t have to choose between respecting the Bible and/or supporting equal marriage.

I spoke about it again during a Sky News paper review last month, answering a direct question about whether Bible-believing Christians could endorse gay relationships. Then, during the weekend of the first same-sex marriages, I tweeted several messages wishing the couples well. Last week I was interviewed on LBC Radio and spoke in favour of equal marriage, related to Archbishop Welby’s LBC phone-in.

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Many of you from a non-religious background will think “Great, so what?”. Many ‘liberal’ Christians will also think “Great, so what?” But for me, since sharing my views, (pardon the pun) all hell has broken loose. My inbox has been overwhelmed with angry messages. I’m now daily called a “heretic”, a “false prophet”, a “massive disappointment to the evangelical church” and many other names too inappropriate to print.

The same happened to evangelical Christian writers/speakers/broadcasters like Rob Bell in the States and Steve Chalke in the UK. So having seen what they went through in the past few years, I was at least somewhat prepared for the responses.

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Why are people writing me these angry letters? Because although I now mainly work in mainstream media, my church and family background is very conservative. And because I spent the past decade living and working in American media, based mainly in the super-conservative “Bible-belt”.

If you know anything about American Christian culture, you’ll know it’s a huge operation/industry with a massive presence. Much of it is great and makes a positive difference to the lives of many people.

I was signed to the label EMI at the age of 23, and moved out to the States to record as a music artist within the Christian wing of their label (now called Capitol Christian). I also wrote for various Christian magazines, and was on many TV and radio stations. If you’re not familiar with USA Christian media, just one of their many radio stations reaches 12 million listeners a week and their religious TV channels reach a vast audience of 80% of homes.

I don’t agree with or endorse all the values of those radio or TV networks. Many of them were a universe away from my theological background at Oxford. But the experience of living and working in the Bible-belt world was a fascinating and formative one, regularly playing my songs to audiences of 15-20 thousand people at live events and contributing to many faith-based TV and radio shows.

It has been an amazing journey. Moving to the States with just a suitcase and a guitar, I’m grateful that today my songs are among the most popular in mega-churches across North America, have charted in Billboard Magazine and featured in the Top 25 ‘most sung per week’ in the USA (measured by a reporting system called CCLI). So I want to take this chance to say “THANK YOU” from the bottom of my heart, to all in the States who support me and my work. It means a great deal.

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I say all of that to give context to why I have been so afraid to stand up for equal marriage; I knew not only my conservative friends and relatives in the UK would be unhappy, but also the large base of people in the States who have followed my work for the past decade. Many of them are dear friends and colleagues.

So speaking up about this has not been without great thought and personal cost. My bills are paid in part by royalties from my songwriting career. As a result of raising my voice to support equal marriage, I’ve received lots of messages from conservative American churches saying they will “boycott my songs”. If they don’t get sung in the mega-churches of North America, my royalties basically stop.

So the cost of me speaking up about equal marriage is, essentially, my salary. Hopefully that emphasises that I am not just ‘appealing to culture’ or ‘trying to be popular’ as many conservative Christians are concluding.

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I take the Bible very seriously – hence returning from the States to the UK to do a PhD in theology at Durham University. My support of same-sex marriage comes from respecting the Bible so much, rather than so little. For me it’s the product of much study, hours of reading, and pages and pages of great scholars’ work.

I’m saddened that many conservative and evangelical Christians have been so quick to write me off, emailing that “this means goodbye – deleting you from my social networks”.

Dialogue is hugely important within faith. So even if you strongly disagree with my stand on this topic, please journey with me and hear why and how I’ve come to these conclusions.

As the Church of England enters a two year discussion period about “human sexuality” based around The Pilling Report, my hope is that those of us on all ‘sides’ can talk with respect and kindness, despite the deeply painful and inflammatory nature of the subject matter.

Hopefully we can reach out beyond the dividing lines of the groups, tribes and sectors of the Church and build relationship and conversation instead of walls. We may disagree – very passionately – on this subject. Yet in our disagreement, love still needs to be the dominant trait. As St Paul put it in 1 Corinthians 13, “If I don’t have love…I am nothing”. However “right” we feel, we still need to have love as our ethos.

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So, while many conservative and evangelical Christians are very angry about my stand for same-sex marriage, please let’s dialogue in love. Journey with me here. I’ll be blogging about this topic, recommending books and resources, and writing about questions that arise from them all.

Thanks to the many people who do support equal marriage and have reached out to me. I’m touched by the way you have gathered around me and rallied to encourage me at this difficult time. Thanks also to those who’ve written to say they disagree with me, but are wanting to do so with kindness and respect.

Feel free to leave a comment below with your reflections on this – I’d love to hear from you.

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  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    If you have specific questions you’d like me to cover in future blogs on the topic, just let me know in your comments and I’ll do my best to address them all over the coming weeks and months.

  • Gareth Milner

    A very informative piece indeed. As a completely not religious person I always find posts like these to be very interesting. I didn’t realise you has such a following in the states, but your music is good and enjoyable to listen to no matter whether someone is religious or not. Some may say that you’ve put your neck on the line in terms of your stance on SSM, but well done for doing so. Tolerance is important and I find that although similarities may bring people together, it is the differences and what we each bring to be table that makes us stronger as a team of people together.

  • eωαη τμε ]οηες

    Thanks for an eloquent ‘formal’ start to this discussion, Vicky. I’m sure many who disagree of your views will firstly be looking to see what your mean when you say that you “take the Bible very seriously” (as opposed to clearly saying one way or another that “the Bible is the inerrant word of God” or “the Bible is fictional” etc.) How we see the Bible functioning will determine everything that comes after I guess.

    Having worked amongst conservative Christians you will know the rigour with which they work at the Bible texts. Perhaps it will not be as exciting for some of your readers, but I feel that it would help for you to show us your working – how have you honestly engaged with the Bible texts to reach your position?

    I can’t see how the discussion will be constructive unless we understand what is/isn’t being “done” with the Bible by Christians who reach such different conclusions. So for starters, given what (particularly) the NT texts say on the surface, I’d love to know what hermeneutical route you have taken in order to come to your conclusions. Sorry for the long post!

  • Gabrielle

    First off, I love your music and the richness that all your songs have. Next, I am so thrilled you are going to be discussing this topic. My husband and I have been struggling with the acceptance of same sex marriage within the church and are more and more in favour of it as well, mainly because of reading first hand accounts from other homosexual Christians and having a deeper understanding of the gospel and what Christ’s main message was: LOVE. I look forward to continue to read about your journey and discussion on this topic!

  • Paul Evans

    Found it very interesting Vicky, I wonder if you could expand further on the idea of being faithfull to the bible but also being able to support same sex marriage? I have over the years come to lean in the direction that being gay is either probably ok or not as big an issue to God as many think but to a certain extent am not entirely sure… (i suppose i havent found either argument conclusive) But have felt that even if it is a “sin” the blessing and/or acceptance of gay relationships (civil partnerships/marriage) is ultimately a healthy thing for (church) society in terms of choosing grace and love whilst still respectfully differing on lifestyle choices. I was wondering if that was somewhat in your thinking or something completely different?

  • Jordan Kay

    I am with you all the way on this journey. As a lesbian living in a state where this topic is mostly burned with fire, seeing this gives me hope. Thank you.

  • mick whitty

    hi … i guess this is you aiming to show more of you. for me i am hoping your blog will help me to understand where the teaching comes in from scripture that same sex or equal.marriage is the way forward. i seem to hear a lot of passioned pleas to accept but not the substance that.a.well read person such as youself can bring… looking forward to your blogs on this .. currently im ok.on civil partnerships as i see that bringung equality, but not marriage …

  • Lou

    Hi Vicky.
    I have a question.
    You are in favor of equal marriage in legal terms (paper/society), or also in “religious” terms (as if also in church)? If yes why?

    As a note.
    I really respect your work and theological background and I’ll be praying that God may guide your path and words, so you can do his will.

    Take care.

  • Razzer (Maddy)

    Hey Vicky! Amazingly enough I have had the exact same topic of same sex marriage on my heart as well <3 I'm in huge favour of it and I'm a Christian too, wanting to reach out to others to show them that no matter our backgrounds, our pasts or our sexual orientation anything we all have the right to be treated as equals, because that was how God made us and he loves us unconditionally regardless of who we are…and we are encouraged to show that love for others! He has the last word… we don't! And I just hate it when other Christians bully others like yourself for standing up for the oppressed, which in this case is the equal marriage couples.
    And I want to stand up too! I just don't know how yet … anyway to cut a long story short I will support you all the way in this Vicky! Don't take any crap from the haters, there will always be haters no matter how good or bad you are. It's amazing how cruel people can be x Don't give up x and I pray for God's strength for you at this time.
    All the best

  • Mouse

    Like mentioned above, would you be able to clarify as to whether you’re suggesting that the church should accept peoples decisions to enter same sex marriages and show them love like Christ would, or are you are also saying that same sex marriage between professing Christians is something that is Biblically correct.

    I can definitely see the Biblical argument for the first bit, love is key, but I’m not sure (from what I’ve read, even if we love and accept those who are in same sex marriages) that this kind of marriage is something that God wants his followers to enter into themselves… At least from my experience, I can’t find anywhere that specifically says that God intended marriage for same sex couples, nor that same sex relations aren’t a sin – I believe that you can still show love towards same sex couples whilst not necessarily agreeing with their actions on moral grounds (hey, even non churchgoers can still show love towards me whilst still disagreeing with 99% of what I believe in and do)…

  • LauraB1186

    Ok Vicky, I’ll join in on the dialogue here. I’ve known Christians who are, or did at one time identify as gay. Some believed it was perfectly ok to be, had open interest in the same gender, and pursued relationships, and others that felt the lifestyle was NOT God’s will for them. Those who felt God was not allowing them to walk in that direction felt they needed to lay their desires down, and present it as a loving sacrifice to Jesus. So as far as questions I have, I’ll list them here.
    Are you for same sex marriage in just non-christian people, or for those who identify as Christians? Or both? I personally believe we can not ask the world to live with purity before God if they don’t follow Jesus. I value highly sexual purity before the Lord, and think ALL (including people who have same sex attractions or who are dating someone of the same gender) who believe should as well. Jesus demanded that He be enough to fill the longing in our hearts, and drew hard lines against sexual outside of marriage. I view same-sex and straight Christian singles both in the wrong if they have sex outside of marriage. I believe that IN marriage sex is blessed by God and highly encouraged as an overflow of a stable, loving partnership. I’m not really siding with same sex relationships as I’ve seen the journey Christian people around me develop. It seems to me those who do not pursue relationships with the same gender tend to be healthier spiritually, and let less compromise enter their lives.
    Did this looking into Scripture and dialogue over the years change any view of sex in a Christian’s life? I’m just wondering. Are you just be support of gay marriage because of the separation of ceremonial law and civil law? I’ll let you read this and then respond when you have the time.

  • C. Quinn-Jones

    Dear Vicky, I’ve read what you’ve written and I can see that this stage in your journey is deeply rooted in your faith, your life experience and your learning. I respect that fully and although I do not share your views on same-sex marriage, I am a great believer in ‘love not war’ :). I have three dear friends who are gay.
    I did consider explaining to you why I just can’t think of a same-sex relationship as a marriage, but that is my story and I’m 70 years old now (and a grandmother!) , and it’s quite a long story so I will not embark on it here.
    I could quote the scriptures at length, but I won’t embark on that here either, other than just one quote :’For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world.’ (John3:16 )
    Thank you for giving us the opportunity of posting her.
    Shalom
    Christine

  • Mike Mahoney

    I’ve written myself about how difficult this is here in the States and in particular how badly the Church is handling it. I cannot reconcile same sex marriage theologically with my reading of the New Testament, but I also understand it should not be an issue that divides the Church.

    I think both viewpoints would benefit from some more tolerance. The same sex marriage advocates need to realize not everyone is going to agree, and that’s OK. The traditional marriage advocates need to stop defining person hood by thus issue, and focus more on the main message of the Gospel.

    I do think, however that the term “equal marriage” serves the same purpose as “pro-choice” – which makes it sound like one is not talking about abortion. Changing the lexicon doesn’t change the issue, and does a disservice to your position.

    No matter what, I’ll still lead your songs on Sundays. Blessings.

  • Dennis

    Vicky since you say this view comes from taking the Bible seriously please point to the verses that have led you to this conclusion.

    I have the same question as Lou. On one hand I think that our governments need to stay out of the marriage business and leave that to the church. If they want to have some form of legal union I am not OK but more OK with that. I feel that rather then codifying homosexual unions/marriages/whatever our governments should just make a ruling about legal partnerships. By doing a partnership it would mean any cohabitating adults regardless of sexual orientation that help each other live, survive.thrive. would be able to share benefits and the like.

  • Lou

    Agree!

  • Marty Lauterbach

    I would like someone to show me from scripture where God changed His mind on this issue? I am saddened that so many have gone from spreading the Gospel of Jesus to spreading the gospel of homosexuality or the gospel of any other topic other than Jesus. Jesus loves all of us, but He does not tolerate sins. He asks is to turn from them just like the woman at the well. Go and sin no more. Obviously we all will and do sin more. Shouldn’t we make an effort to turn from them even if we fail at it?

  • superbri

    Vicky, I fell in love with your songs when you led worship here in the states. They blessed me and so many. It’s sad to see you receive this media platform in the UK and now lead people to a different Jesus, one that tickles their ears and blesses the desires of their flesh. That is not the gospel, and it is a road that ends badly.

    I’m not judging your heart at all, but it’s a concern for many of us that you love people (people we as Christians are called to love, indeed), but you might be loving them a bit more than you love God. Put anything before God, and we will always go off course. Theology is where it starts, which leads to behavior, which leads to consequences.

    The Jesus you once sang of, when asked about marriage, quoted Genesis and said “God made them male and female”. One male, one female. Not two males. Not one male and 3 females (as many men would probably prefer). There should be no more discussion on the point, only obedience. To follow Jesus is to lay your life down… your identity, ambitions, and even desires, and submit them to God. To take up your cross and follow Him. And we’re to call others, lovingly, to come along with us… gay, straight, anyone. You’re called to do this too, Vicky.

    While many people who claim to be Christians have handled this topic poorly and sometimes ungraciously, the vast majority have not. They have simply chosen to walk in obedience to God’s word, support those that do, and try to love those that don’t. But often the most loving thing you can do is call people to repentance, as Jesus did.

    We really hope you’ll check your heart on this and see who you are really trying to please here, God or man. Blessings to you, Vicky.

  • Alastair J Roberts

    Vicky,

    Thanks for this invitation to a dialogue. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject.

    Before I give any reflections or ask any questions, I wanted to say that I saw several of the responses to you on Twitter. I was appalled by the way that many spoke to and of you and was impressed by the character that you showed in your responses.

    I am very strongly opposed to same-sex marriage, for many reasons. I’ve posted lengthy treatments of the subject here and here, for instance. Ironically, even though we hold sharply differing positions on this issue, I am also aware that my convictions on this matter and my willingness to speak up about it will probably come at some personal cost and will close certain possible routes for me in the future.

    One of the issues that I have stressed is the ‘institutional’ character of marriage: that marriage is ordered to ends that transcend and constrain those of the individual couples entering into it. As an institution, for instance, marriage exists, among several other things, as a means to ensure that as many children as possible are welcomed into the world in the context of a secure, loving, committed, and lifelong relationship between their biological parents, and that they will never have to go beyond that context to seek their personal origins. In this way it holds together biological, legal, and social parenthood as a single entity. In order to secure such ends, marriage places limits upon people both within and without marriage. Marriage prohibits adultery and prescribes lifelong sexual exclusivity for marriage partners. A marriage culture typically maintains some measure of disapproval of non-marital sexual relationships. It presents marriage as the norm for all persons who would consider sexual relations. It makes divorce difficult, to ensure that relationships are not lightly dissolved.

    Leaving aside the question of whether same-sex marriages are consistent with the institutional ends of marriage—I don’t believe that they are—I wonder what your thoughts on the institutional dimension of same-sex marriage are. In the public debates surrounding the subject, rather little has been said about this. The Christian understanding of marriage is profoundly shaped by ascetic commitments, which stand in sharp contradistinction from the prevailing emphasis upon ‘rights’, personal fulfilment, expression of love, and the pursuit of happiness.

    So, here are my questions. Do you believe that the LGBT community is prepared to accept marriage as an ascetic commitment or an institutional norm? Is it prepared to resist any ‘hacking’ of the institution of marriage to make it ‘open’, non-monogamous, or monogamish? To expect LGBT persons who seek to be sexually active to resist sexual relations outside of marriage and pursue them only within? To make divorce difficult? To have marriage as the normal practice of the LGBT community?

    Is the tension between marriage as institutional/ascetic practice and marriage as right/lifestyle choice a tension running through the camp of those campaigning for same-sex marriage? How should Christian supporters of same-sex marriage challenge those who, while nominally on the same side, hold to a radically different conception of the sort of thing that marriage is? How can we be assured that marriage, campaigned for as an entitlement and lifestyle choice, will be assumed by the LGBT community as a whole as a institution that curtails, moulds, and directs choices of all of its members, married or not, for goods that transcend their individual self-realization?

    Thanks once again for starting this conversation!

  • Mike Mahoney

    Marty, I’m not sure if you’re referring to my comment or not. I thought I was clear – my reading of the NT only supports man/woman marriage. But I did make an edit.

    But the main message of the Gospel is loving one another and salvation through Christ and the Cross. Not arguing over politics.

  • http://www.jenrowsell.ca/ Jennifer Rowsell

    I’ll be interested to see where this goes! I have not done much study on it myself. At this point I’ve concluded that everyone should be able to be married in the legal sense. But no one should be automatically entitled to a religious ceremony that goes against what that religious group believes in. I think the church should get out of the business of marriage tbh. Let the government marry people. If people then want to come before God to make an eternal covenant based on that faiths understanding of God, then that’s separate. Just my two cents. :)

  • Brooke

    Seconding this question.

  • Kent Kersey

    I posted on fb, but would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this book: http://www.amazon.com/Homosexuality-Christian-Parents-Pastors-Friends/dp/0764207318/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1397103764&sr=8-1

    I think the discussion needs to be fed by walking towards a healthy view of God-centered sexuality.

  • Phil Madeira

    Hey Vicky,
    Glad you’ve taken this stand.
    Always welcome at my table.
    Phil Madeira

    http://www.philmadeira.blogspot.com

  • Nick

    Hi Vicky,

    I hope you are well. Thank you for your honesty and openness to discuss such an issue. Also, I pray that the LORD will sustain you through this testing time. It says in Hebrews 12 ‘consider Him… So that you do not grow weary and loose heart’.

    I just have one question. You say that you’ve studied theology and that it’s because you love the Bible so much that you’ve drawn the conclusion that (in my own terms) same sex marriage is cool with God. I was therefore wondering, from a scriptural and doctrinal point of view, exactly how you came to that conclusion?

    As you can probably tell, I don’t agree with you, but having seen your firm position on such a hot topic, and because I totally respect you as a woman of the faith, I am genuinely interested.

    Blessings in Christ,
    Nick

  • Will Bough

    Hi Vicky,
    I was raised in a strict Catholic setting, I now have no religious affiliations but do have very strong Christian values. My view is that The New Testament advocates strongly for Love. I believe that love is the most important thing ever invented!
    If two people meet and fall in love, no matter the gender, this should be celebrated and not vilified. Who are we to judge or condemn? If we believe what The Bible says we do not have that authority, only One has. So, I say love is the important thing here, if two people are in love they should be able to express that love through marriage, no matter their gender. If it turns out they are wrong then their God will decide that, humankind should have no hand in this and just accept what is. What harm are they doing to anyone?
    Will

  • portia

    Just found your blog via a retweet. I’ll be interested to walk alongside you on this journey.
    Keep strong.

  • Jandws.wordpress.com / @jandws

    Whilst I cannot support same-sex–marriage, for reasons I give here:
    http://jandws.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/i-now-pronounce-you-husband-and-husband-or-wife-and-wife/ , which are not just because of my Christian beliefs, neither do I condone the insults and threats some supporters of same-sex-marriage have suffered.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks. I’m meaning both. But the issue I am facing backlash on is the religious/theological support of same-sex marriage.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks Gareth. As you say, tolerance really matters and differences can be really useful in helping us think things through together. I appreciate your comment.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Grateful for your comment. I agree, the approach to the Bible on this needs to be thorough and respectful of the authority within its pages. Looking forward to hearing your reflections on the posts to come.

  • http://tonychung.ca/ Tony Chung

    Mike, thanks for your well thought out response. I am more along the same lines as you, that homosexuals should have a right to marry, but a church should not be forced to officiate the marriage against the church’s foundational belief that marriage is ordained by God as one man/one woman. I also have questions for true Christians who identify as being homosexual, as this should be as great a contradiction as any other sin, including sex outside of marriage. Are there any Christians without sin? Most likely not. But the point is that a Christian should be defined by our continual discipleship into Christ-likeness, and it’s difficult to do when flaunting our own desires over obedience to God.

  • kerri

    My partner and I have been together 17 years we are loved at our church and was supported when we chose to adopt. We are already in a Civil Partnership and have thought about changing to a marriage once it can be done. We feel very awkward asking our minister’s to do this in case we are rejected. When all is said and done though we couldn’t of got where we are without God’s love, and he called me into his faith without judgement. Love is love……thanks for your voice Vicky x

  • minidvr

    Thanks for high lighting the personal cost to you for openly expressing support for Equal Marriage. I too see nothing wrong in celebrating the love between two individuals in long term committed relationships in the sacrament of marriage and do not accept that those who oppose it have the right to attack and to denigrate those who take the opposite view.

    It’s important to have the conversation as Linda Woodhood has posted on facebook in a civil way, while agreeing not to agree and respecting the positions of those who in good conscience are unable to accept equal marriage.

    The damage done by violent personal attacks is enormous and allows those secular agencies with an agenda to dismiss faith and religious beliefs as something that shouldn’t be in the public arena.

    I applaud your courage in bringing this issue to the forefront and hope to see more as you develop and discuss this theme, here and elsewhere.

  • http://www.timdruhym.cz/ Milan Kramolis

    Hello Vicky,

    I would really like to see where this goes, because I cannot find in the Bible the support for the same-sex marriage. So I am very interested on your conclusions and the reasons why you have decided to support it.

    take care…

  • Michael

    On a phone so will be brief.
    A very bold move to put your livelihood on the line, I certainly respect the boldness.
    I think that such a statement of support obviously needs to be backed up rigorously considering it hasn’t been the general approach of the Church. I will be interested to follow your future blog posts. Is it possible to describe your argument in full rather than over multiple posts, or potentially releasing a full discussion? It would be good to thoroughly assess in a ‘whole’ form.
    An interesting point about ‘love’ also. I think I am most interested about what you will say about this.
    Good luck!

  • Jules

    To those who are ‘disappointed’ and ‘unsupportive’. Isn’t it the way that God always forgives? I think you need to look a little deeper to find your forgiving side and bring out the true nature of your faith.

  • Angelo Gulina

    A guy said before “one is God, one is the state” – expressing a very conservative and legitimate world-view (personally I don’t agree).

    Moving from that, I think it should be clear that no church and no christian believer ever should express their will “against” (or “pro”) anything as a “christian view”, because “one is God, one is the state”. The real issue is how many believers make statements without subsequently following their own premises, saying their god has nothing to do with the state and than wanting people to do or not to do things in the state.

    It’s at least ironic that the ones who preach salvation for the world, separate it from the source of their salvation (god) – giving implicit credit to their opponents who want god out of society and state matters.

    Prior to talk about marriage, homosexuality and all, I suggest to make up your mind.
    Then, to act with as much coherence as you can find in your arguments and the things you say you believe.

  • Marc

    Hi Vicky…A few questions….what exactly is a ‘bible believing Christian’ and why is it an issue for these ‘superior’ Christians?

    I personally think that marriage is between one man and one woman, and see little need for that to change with civil partnerships.

  • Marc

    Hi

    ‘Theology is where it starts, which leads to behavior, which leads to consequences’

    Are you suggesting that we should not study theology?

    ‘Not one male and 3 females (as many men would probably prefer)’ really…I have one wife and that is plenty thanks….lets keep away from ridiculous generalisations!

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    Somewhat disappointed that this is not *the* article on ssm we hoped to see from you, defending your position biblically. But at least a promise of some (one would suffice?) to come. A suggestion would be tha the best place to start is with ‘What is marriage?’ – it could avoid much unnecessary writing. And please be clear and thorough when defining phrases like ‘love’, ‘respect’, etc. Also, are you aware that the term ‘equal marriage’ already has inbuilt assumptions? Sorry if I come accross as condescending but I have read a nauseating amount of articles and opinions surrounding this debate over the past few years and have seen too much dishonesty, with regards to what the debate even is, from the pro-redefinition (my assumption being that ‘marriage’ has a specific definition) side that I’m very sceptical about whether you will truly bring something new and persuasive in any way.

    Let’s dialogue in love but let’s also dialogue to the point – not hovering on emotions and experiences but let’s try and establish the biblical view on gender, sexuality, and marriage.

  • http://dougmullin.ca/ Doug

    thank you from one of your music “fans” from across the pond. i for one will be buying more of your music. thank you for your work, your voice, speaking up. you are blessed in doing so.

  • Daniel W. Robert

    This is a topic that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and have come to realize that I have a lot more questions than I do any concrete opinions. I’m really excited to read more of your posts in the future on this!

  • Grazer #E2H

    It seems underlying the discussions on this topic is how are we to handle the Bible? Is it just a rule book? Which rules are we to follow? (there’s some interesting ones about mixed fabrics and shellfish in there) What about our own experiences? What about other issues the church has wrestled with and have changed their views on? (Slavery, inter-racial marriage, whether the earth moves) It seems the same arguments being made now were being made back then; “the bible clearly says……” until they eventually (after a lot of kicking and screaming) claim it doesn’t say what they say it did and move. The same arguments are being made about women in ministry at the moment. It’s really nothing new

    Standing up against the church/Christians has never been easy, but often it has been necessary. I think this is another one of those times.

  • Paul Preston

    Vicky, very interesting read, i myself have been cut off from many in the church after my support firstly on female Vicars, now same-sex marriage, I practice the teaching that Jesus showed us and pray that in time others see the true teaching that show equality as a main part of a Christian life. Thank you for being the light in a dark place for many that are being isolated.

  • http://phillsacre.me.uk/ Phill Sacre

    One comment Vicky – I would distinguish between being in favour of same-sex relationships and so-called ‘equal’ marriage. I put equal in inverted commas because I think it’s anything but. I’d say the two things were separate issues.

    I hear what you’re saying about not taking the easy route in favouring equal marriage. However, as someone who takes a traditional line on this, I do think Christians who embrace it import many cultural assumptions rather than letting the Bible shape our understanding. I’m not of the opinion that we can legitimately disagree on this (in the same way that we do about baptism, for example) – but I’m open to hearing what you have to say.

    Anyway this is the kind of thing I’m looking forward to reading about and discussing as and when you post, in a respectful manner. I think the abuse you received from people who take a different line on this was terrible :)

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    Grazer, many people use the things you mentined in their arguments for redefinition of marriage. The ‘fabrics and shellfish’ issue is one of law and law for specific reasons while marriage is a design/creation issue related to the proclamation of the gospel. Also, pointing to the fact that the church/parts of the church has/have changed its/their mind on things before is not in itself an argument for the redefinition of marriage – I know this is not directly what you’re implying but many do that in these debates. I think you are weighing up different debates to this issue inaccurately but agree with you that debate should always be welcomed. The question we must ask is whether the bible has always been in favour of marriage as being defined as one man and one woman as God’s ideal, just as we (those who questioned it) had to ask those same questions about slavery, inter-racial marriage, etc.

  • sam

    absolutely disgusting piece of self indulgent, contrived, shameless self promoting journalism I have ever read. She barley mentions her reasons for being for it (gay marriage) …I was looking forward to hearing some deep theological reasoning behind her views but instead I got a sob story of X FACTOR proportions..”look how much I suffered, look at my tweets, my nasty emails, my iphone battery even died and I don’t have a spare ipad to go on Facebook! …” Where is the solid discussion of same sex marriage? I don’t need to know your were signed to EMI at 15 it has NO bearing on same sex marriage other than shameless self promotion, this is why people are probably so angry with you Vicky because you have used a sensitive topic to do nothing but promote yourself…you are worse than the politicians that do just this. If you are going to stand for a particular cause you don’t use it for your own advertising reason, it is because you feel a genuine passion for the topic………I am bitterly disappointed with this article and have to say based on this “sun newspaper” trash, I will not be able to take Vicky seriously again. Give me some solid basis for your decision, and I may be more convinced but while this just remains an except from your no doubt forthcoming biography..”available to buy..etc…..” its is just a publicity stunt.

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    Hi Paul, I share your disappointment with the fact that this is not her long awaited response but in fairness, she did say she will deliver that response in time. The main clarification made above though, which I respect, is that she does do this at a potential cost. I do agree with you though that ultimate point of this discussion, from many of us anyway, is to hear her argument from the Bible in favour of marriage being defined as something between any two (more?) people and this background knowledge will carry know weight in delivering that argument.

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    *no weight (sorry, English second language)

  • Grazer #E2H

    I agree, I think each topic has to be discussed on its own merits, though the similarity to other issues that have been discussed in the past (especially the arguments used) is very interesting me.

    I don’t see how marriage is related to the proclamation of the gospel though.

  • Michael Cayley

    I’m with you all the way. It makes me so sad that the attitude of some Christians means the religion is often associated with hatred, when the religion is really all about love and inclusiveness.

  • Peter

    I’m not a religious man, and I’ve never read the bible. I actually don’t believe in god. Although I’m a bit envious of people that do. I recently watched a film called senna about the formula 1 driver Ayrton senna. His faith in god was quite incredible. I don’t even know any gay people personally but like everyone else I feel I’m entitled to an opinion. What you have done Vicky must’ve took incredible guts and every credit to you. You’ve risked paying your bills to speak up for something you believe in. Not many would do that. I think the beauty of life is we all have different opinions but when some people criticise others because of their views its not on. People are free to live their life however they see fit, within the parameters of the law and as long as their happy then good luck to them. Each to there own. There are more important things going on in the world than two people choosing to spend the rest of their lives together, yet people seem obsessed with good old fashioned gay bashing. If they aren’t doing any harm to others then what difference does it make? I would’ve expected religious people to be more accepting than what they are. I was wrong. Great work Vicky keep it up

  • tlukemoore

    Whilst I support civil gay marriage I oppose gay marriages in Church. Christians by definition should be following Jesus. Now Jesus says in Matthew 19 and Mark 10: “God created them male and female. For this reason a man [1 man] shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife [1 woman]. So they are no longer 2 but 1 flesh.

    He did not say: “God created diverse sexual preferences. Therefore marriage is between two who love each other regardless of gender. ”

    In sum I believe should look towards Jesus on this issue not look towards Peter Tatchell or opinion polls.

  • Tim

    Hi Vicky, thanks for starting the dialogue! I’m just interested in how you got to this conclusion, because I struggle to read this conclusion from the biblical texts… How would you respond to Paul’s condoning of same-sex behaviour in 1 Timothy, 1 Corinthians 6 and Romans 1?
    I would argue that when we read these texts we have only two choices as bible-believing Christians, either to accept them or to suggest that they were contextual and don’t apply to today’s society. What is your take on this?
    I suggest that the sacred picture of Christ and his Church is the divine image of marriage, to redefine marriage in any way is therefore surely a defamation of God’s saving work and brings into question that whole concept…
    Thanks again for putting this on a public platform where people can wrestle with these really important issues :)

  • Keith Mason

    I used to lead worship for my universities CU and Vicky’s songs used to be some of my favourites to play. That same CU was attacked by a member of the LGBT community who tried to have us banned for views we ‘might have’ but hadn’t yet espoused on campus. They brought accusation after accusation to the point where it basically boiled down to “I just don’t like Christians and don’t want them around.” (their words). All I’ve seen since is a progressive development of any sort of ‘dissident’ thinking being increasingly marginalised in wider society.

    I came to this post expecting a decent reason but I didn’t see much beyond what felt to be naval-gazing. I appreciate the ‘personal’ cost Vicky mentions but its a poorly constructed emotional appeal/reverse ad hominem against those who don’t think the same as her. She marketed to a particular platform, she now changes platform and objects when people don’t follow her and keep consuming her products?

    Its interesting as well how she spends a good deal of time talking about how Americans might react but personally I know quite a few people in the UK who whilst they might not be so.. vigorous? In their articulation probably have similar objections to promoting or advocating someone on a platform so different to their own. I don’t buy deepak chopra for exactly that reason.

    If Vicky wanted to be truely equal she wouldn’t remain silent on the ability for multiple people to get married or even blood relations to get married – we see this behaviour in human societies from the dawn of history, in all societies and personally I think its hypocritical to advocate this ‘idea’ of equal marriage so divorced from the reality. The honest truth is you can read not just a good case for monogamous heterosexual marriage as a Christian norm in the Bible but even the early Church fathers themselves – to pretend their understanding of homosexuality was limited to pederasts shows you haven’t read enough Plato for starters.

    I used to look up to Vicky in a lot of ways and I still respect her as an individual but I’ll be honest, I don’t agree with her positions anymore. She may pay the price in declining music sales from the ‘evangelical fold’ she previously banked on. However, I have no doubt wider society will increasing embrace her position and reward her with a book deal, a role as talking head and/or a newspaper column at some point.

  • Garet Key

    Happy to dialogue. Struggle with the theology behind the issue, but ready to listen. Absolutely hate the bad manners, patronising nature, lack of respect and an outright sin of hate and arrogance that is displayed in so many posts towards you on social media!

  • RazBarry

    Just a note of support. God accepts us where we are. It’s the condition of our hearts that matters not the labels that people put on us.

  • LizzieJ

    Vicky, can I first of all just say how moved I am by this blog. As a gay Christian this topic is very close to my heart. I have spent the passed 6 years learning how to be a worship leader and really felt called to worship leading. But since I have come out to be who I am, and met someone I adore, I feel like I can no longer lead as much if at all because of being critised or even being allowed to do so. I still love Jesus but meeting Christians who are so angry about homosexuality really puts a strain on my faith. At the end of the day, I just have to remember that as you said in you blog, Jesus teaches love over all and people need to remember that. Thank you so much for your blog, it has really made my day as I look up to you massively as a worship leader and you were a massive influence in my Christian jounrey. Xx

  • Steve Sparrow

    Wow – I read her Vicky’s post so very differently, as it sounds like most other people have. I read it as someone who is seeking conversation, and is putting her views in context as it starts. I value knowing that, because I think that in any conversation, people are most important thing.

    I’m not sure vicious, personal attacks have any place in a conversation like that?

    Steve

  • http://www.tanyamarlow.com/ Tanya Marlow

    I am interested that your response addresses Vicky in the third person ‘she’ rather than speaking directly to her ‘you’. That makes me wonder if you would be quite so comfortable expressing those things to her, even in person, rather than talking about her. Your tone stands out amongst all these other polite and respectful comments. I don’t think you do any favours to yourself or your cause by choosing the language you do.

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    And sorry sam, I called you Paul by accident.

  • Steve Sparrow

    Thanks Vicky, I love your approach.

    Conversation on this is so important, and it’s sad when people assume that those they disagree with must in some way be in it for themselves.

    I’m also with you in that in taking the bible seriously, I’ve come to a different understanding than the church’s historical one, something the church has done many times on many issues. I’m looking forward to more.

    Steve

  • jo

    Hi Vicky,
    I’m sorry that your brothers and sisters can’t disagree with you in a more loving way.
    You are always very eloquent and I think the phrase journey captures where a lot of people are. This is a journey for most Christians, as it’s easier to go with what we have been told rather than explore the subject from Christ’s perspective. We need to establish if what we believe is “churchology” the traditions
    of church we have grown up with versus how would Jesus respond to people
    wanting equal marriage. I’m with you, His response would be love not judgement.
    Jo@friendlyseagull

  • andymerlino

    Hi Vicky, I’ve been following your blog with excellent theological insights and I’ve been listening to many of your worship songs. I highly value your work both as a musical artist and as a writer. But I’m very, very surprised of your view on the same-sex marriage, I really cannot understand how one can endorse that and still be in line with the authority of the Bible. I’m not leaving your blog or unlike your facebook page, you are such a talented and smart woman of God, I still think you are, even if I think the Bible does not leave room for interpretation on same-sex issues, I respect you highly and I’m still curious on the journey that has led you to your conclusion and how can you reconcile your being a christian with that.

  • sam

    lol, no problems…;)

  • sam

    I haven’t used any bad language thank you, my tone may be harsh but this post of hers had nothing to do with her views on the topic it was just a biography of her achievements, its like when websites use certain key words to up the Google rating but contain totally different content to that which the title suggests. I do actually direct my comments at her if you read my post properly…….also I was writing in the past tense as is the style someone would, having “previously read an article. I don’t have a “cause” either just annoyed at the lack of substance to this original article and I don’t wish to “do myself any favours” I just want to point out my personal opinion which I am entitled to. I will happily speak face to face with anyone on any issue.

  • sam

    It is not a personal or vicious attack thank you. It is simply pointing out that the title matter is not discussed in the manner the reader is lead to believe from the onset, it takes a bad turn into self publication and the subject matter in the article is nothing more than tabloid biographical propaganda. It has no relevance to the subject matter and should not be under the subject heading…as it contains no actual reasoning for her views.

  • http://www.tanyamarlow.com/ Tanya Marlow

    Here’s to dialoguing in love. :-) And I just want to acknowledge the pain and cost of this post for you – I know there are all kinds of costs in this. Much love to you. Xx

  • Jade

    It’s massively patronising and rude to imply that Vicky hasn’t ‘checked her heart’ and given this long and considered thought. She has a freaking PhD in theology, I’m willing to bet my life savings that she knows her Bible quite well! It’s also very rude to suggest that she loves people more than God. The Bible wasn’t written in English as I hope you know, and there is much discussion on context and accurate translations – this makes a huge difference to the real meanings behind the ‘texts of terror’ used to condemn non-straight people. To use your example, the Genesis verse actually more accurately says ‘made them from male to female’, indicating a gender spectrum (which fits in with what we now know about gender, that it is a fluid spectrum and not a binary). It’s talking about gender expression and identity, not about same-gender marriage. So it seems like there needs to be much discussion – I am concerned by you promoting blind obedience to Scripture that people actually barely understand. Jesus blesses gay men (the eunuchs of Matthew’s Gospel – eunuch meant any man who didn’t have sex with women or children, so included castrated men but also gay men) and not once comments on their sexual activity, and the same goes for the eunuchs mentioned in Isaiah 56. Different-gender marriage was the norm in 1st Century Palestine because it was the cultural norm, not because God condemned it. Otherwise, why didn’t God condemn Jacob, David or Solomon for their several wives, or indeed Abraham for having sex with his servants? There is actually no one ‘right’ ideal for marriage in the Bible.

  • Anstice Potts

    I agree that while the Bible may not openly endorse same-sex marriage, it is entirely possible for a ‘true’ Christian to be supportive of it. If the Old Testament was intended as a strict rulebook then there a lot of rules that modern day Christians no longer follow (regarding not eating shellfish, keeping slaves etc). I see the OT more as a product of it’s time that we should re-evaluate in today’s context.

    I do not view the Bible as the literal ‘Word of God’, but rather as a text written by around 40 different men from diverse backgrounds over the course of 1500 years, based on their faith experiences. It’s important for theologians to analyse and interpret this text in the context in which it was written, and to consider the numerous translations it has undergone which would effect the underlying meaning. Therefore, to pick rules from the Bible arbitrarily seems illogical, unless one can justify why one disregards many of the other rules. For this reason, I find a Christian stance which condemns homosexuality hypocritical.

    As others have said, the main message I get from the New Testament is one of love and forgiveness. Jesus broke bread with many people marginalised from society and/or the Jewish and early Christian community (beggars, sinners, prostitutes etc.) So even if a Christian is against same-sex marriage on Biblical grounds, I believe they should follow Christ’s example of acceptance and non-judgement. For me, this means allowing same-sex marriages to go ahead (as they do no harm to others) and leaving the ultimate judgement to God. In my opinion, personal attacks and persecution from either side is unnecessary and contrary to the Christian faith.

  • Mickey

    Vicky,
    Thanks for your post. I have followed you for many years (not in the stalker way), just your music. I believe when we talk about this subject it’s such a gray area that many people are scared to talk about in fear of offending or getting “raked over the coals”. I’m a pastor and worship leader and I believe we can treat anyone as equal and not agree with their lifestyle, after all that’s what Jesus did. After all, He can’t agree with anyone’s “lifestyle” because He is perfect and we are not, that’s why He died for us. I believe if Jesus were walking around on Earth at this current time He would not be hanging out in churches, although they are some of the most lost people around. Christians like to condemn for the things they don’t struggle with, when they forget that of the sins that Paul lists about not inheriting the Kingdom of God in 1 Cor. 6, we fall into 95% of those. But thankfully the verse that follows says we were washed, sanctified, and justified thru Jesus Christ. I think the Church has far too long said things need to be either/or and it would be nice to see them take a both/and stance on a lot of things.
    Since I can’t stand when bloggers are so vague in their stance it was a waste of time reading it, I will say I do believe that homosexuality is sin just like greed, gossip, adultery, lying, etc. It seems I’m seeing a shift in topics about same sex marriage in the church from is it wrong to can they be a Christian. We have homosexual couples in our church, they come every week, they sing and worship just like anyone else. We also have heterosexual couples in our church who are thick in throws of adultery, who don’t come every week, don’t sing and worship when they do. I have never and will never treat either of these couples differently. I hug them when I see them. Both of them understand I don’t agree with either of those lifestyles but I’m not their to condemn them and tell them they are not a Christian.
    The biggest thing I would say is Christians need to learn how to both disagree and love people at the same time. My motto when I look at a person no matter the color of skin, nationality, sexuality, or gender is when I look at someone in the eyes all I see is a person that Jesus would have died for if they were the only human on Earth. It changes your perspective on everything. Thanks

  • http://www.shinyphoto.co.uk/ Tim

    ISTM this is down to that awful phrase you mention, “Bible-believing”, and a matter of education.

    Given half a choice, I would love to spread a message that:
    1) the Bible is a product of the world, not the world of the Bible – it’s a bunch of books written and edited by a bunch of folks, mostly blokes at that; it does not contain all truth in the universe ever
    2) we do not live within the Bible, we do not derive our society from it nor should we try to, but rather use it for where it resonates with real-world experience
    3) Understand exegesis. There are many ways of understanding many of the stories on many scales and levels: what can guide us other than to seek for the most compassionate way of reading, the way that leads to better treatment of our fellow humans?

    I feel this needs to permeate from the pulpits down, otherwise the church simply *WILL* become another faction of society defined by its irrelevance, when it *should* be a shining light of ideal relations open to all.

  • Luke Leadbetter

    Hey Vicky,

    I’m really unsure as to what I believe about equal marriage, I haven’t formed my own opinion yet and so have nothing to say against your own.
    I tweeted a little while ago about the hypocrisy of ‘bible believing Christians’ who in their defence of what the bible says, forget what it says also. We all know that Jesus said that it most important for us to love one another, so abusing people due to their views on what really is not a black and white subject is really just hypocritical and ironic.

    Kudos for sticking up for what you believe Vicky and being very brave about it, good luck with the abuse! Just remember that there are plenty of other people who are willing to start a dialogue without the need for names.

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    I will proceed to wait for the actual article on Vicky’s biblically supported argument for SSM – this is becoming a rant space, much due to the fact that the topic suggests different content to what the post actually contains…and then all the shellfish comment and what not.

  • Jade

    The problem is that lots of people within ‘traditional’ different-gender marriages (lots of bisexual and pansexual people are married to someone of a different gender and are therefore in ‘traditional’ marriages!) go against what you think of as the ‘ideal’. Goodness knows that no straight married person I know thinks of marriage as ‘ascetic’! Many open, non-monogamous and monogamish straight marriages exist, and divorce is easy for straight people. Why hold non-straight people to a different standard? That seems very unfair. Also, why should marriage be the ‘normal practice’ for non-straight people when it isn’t for straight people? Most straight couples I know, including Christian ones, cohabit, either temporarily or permanently. I am a Christian and my understanding of marriage is certainly not ‘profoundly shaped by ascetic committments’, but by love. I find it rather shocking that love isn’t mentioned by you when talking about marriage….! You have made marriage sound about as much fun as a wet weekend in Scunthorpe. The church needs to celebrate marriage, not laden it with doom and gloom! Same-gender couples rejoicing at being able to marry promotes marriage, and declares it to be a good thing, in an age where fewer people choose to get married – this should surely be of enormous benefit to the church.

    Re the ‘LGBT community’ – non-straight people are just people, they’re not a homogenous mass. Individuals approach such an individual matter as marriage differently, across all sexualities (including straight people). It’s massively unfair to expect every single gay person to think the same way about marriage when straight people don’t and are not expected to do so. Marriage is also not equal for all people within the queer community – many trans people are excluded because of the massively unfair Spousal Veto, and there’s also no protection of intersex people, many of whom are literally and legally neither male nor female (eg people with XXY chromosones). And of course, gay Anglicans still cannot marry in the churches they faithfully worship in.

  • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

    Vicky,

    Two points. First, you talk of “equal marriage”, but the law very clearly has produced an un-equal same-sex marriage. Pension rights are different, the law on grounds for divorce and dissolution are different and biological kinship assumptions of offspring of the marriage are different for starters. The two forms of marriage are very clearly unequal.

    Second, you say that you want a respectful dialogue. Very well, but last summer you tweeted the following:

    “I cringe at “of course gay people can change” or any ex-gay/post-gay teaching” (https://twitter.com/vickybeeching/status/354651799212396544)

    I asked you to elaborate on this point but you refused. You seem to be lumping together all forms of discipleship based around a traditional understanding of sexual morality in the same way that some conservatives won’t engage with the subtleties of revisionist thinking (for example, the differences between those who fully promote the notion of same-sex monogamy and would even go as far as not having sex before marriage compared to those who believe open relationships are moral).

    Are you really suggesting that those who commit to a life of celibacy make you cringe? Are you suggesting that those who find satisfaction in a sexual identity constructed beyond sexual orientation make you cringe? How is saying that these kind of things make you cringe any different from the conservative who says she is disgusted by the notion of same-sex activity?

    Surely a proper conversation doesn’t just listen to one side of the anecdotal battle in this area but rather is open to the notion that human sexuality and sexual identity is a far more complicated situation than the nature vs nurture narrative that both sides are guilty of? And if that is so, then post-gay theology should make you curious, not cringe.

  • Jade

    The Bible doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It was written by people (and even people who believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God still believe there were actual authors involved) who inserted their own cultural assumptions. That’s not a criticism of the Bible, just a fact – it happens with all writings and histories. It’s impossible to write something *without* putting in your own cultural assumptions! The Bible is as full of cultural assumptions as anything else – so the idea of a wholly impartial Bible clouded by readers’ cultural input is a fiction, sorry. It was affected by cultural issues to begin with.

  • Jade

    It says ‘initial thoughts’ in the URL, not ‘complete thoughts’. Putting those thoughts into context (as being signed to EMI at 15 does) does not constitute a ‘sob story’. It does have relevance as to why her support for equal marriage has been particularly controversial. I’m not sure why including personal thoughts makes it ‘sun newspaper trash’? Did you expect a totally impartial article, as if it was written by a robot? People have thoughts and feelings and it’s normal for people to refer to them when talking about an issue that personally affects them. Just because you expect her to be a cyborg doesn’t mean anyone else does – and there’s no excuse for the rude tone.

  • Jade

    Actually, it basically does say that God created diverse sexualities! The verse in Genesis is about gender identity, not that marriage should be different-gender. ‘God created them male and female’ is better translated as ‘God created them from male to female’, indicating a gender spectrum not a gender binary. Men at the time Jesus was talking did leave their parents to marry a woman, but this was a cultural norm more than anything else. After all, God honoured Solomon yet he married many women.

    Many gay, bisexual and pansexual Christians exist and they should be able to have a marriage ceremony that reflects their faith.

  • Jade

    Why does the image of Christ and the Church as the divine image of marriage mean that marriage has to be between those of different genders? I agree that it’s important, but Jesus being God includes all genders, and obviously all genders exist in the Church. It’s the behaviour that’s important, not the genders involved, surely?

  • Jade

    You realise that many gay, bisexual and pansexual Christians exist right? Seeing ‘Christians’ and ‘gay people’ as mutually exclusive categories is part of the problem here.

  • Jade

    Being gay is not a lifestyle. It is who a person is.

  • Jade

    Agree with you – lots of people are called to celibacy regardless of their sexuality. Also the massively unfair Spousal Veto makes ‘equal marriage’ very unequal for many trans people.

  • Malome William

    John 10:9-10, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

    If someone’s religion is predicated on control, exclusion, fear, hatred, conflict, breaking people’s spirit, even murder (as it is in many churches), then they are unlikely to be an authentic follower of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ – no matter how cleverly they can debate the word “equal”.

    Go for it Vicky! Just bear in mind that in theological debate, faith, NOT reason, will be the persuasive factor. Few who oppose your position will be persuaded by you today. But the ineluctable revelation of God’s plan is bound to come as a shock to many who believe not in God but in a library of books known as the Bible.

  • tlukemoore

    3 points in reply:

    1. “Actually, it basically does that God created diverse sexualities” – the only comment that comes close to this in the Bible is that some people are born eunuch (i.e. infertile).

    2. Words of Jesus are eternal and do not refer to a specific time period. People still leave their parents to join their spouse, in the sense of starting a new family.

    3. “God honoured Soloman yet he married many woman” – nowhere in the old testament does god say that polygamy is ok. Soloman lived in great wealth but Jesus tells the rich man to give all his money to the poor. God also blessed the slave-owner Abraham and other Patriarchs who got up to reprehensible actions. My point is that God blesses do not neccessarily mean approval for all their actions.

  • Luke

    Is there really a place for disagreement on this issue within the church? If those in favour of same sex marriage are theolocally correct then there is a huge proportion of the church which is ostracising the LGBT community. On the other hand if the conservative theological stance is correct there is an increasing voice within the church which is saying that it is ok to go against God’s design in order make themselves feel more comfortable. I agree open dialogue is needed on this matter. Truth is truth however and we cannot forsake that just because it doesn’t sit comfortably with us.

    You have been brave in voicing your stance on this matter. I’ll be interested to see where the conversation leads.

  • Cyrus

    Sorry to hear about all the backlash coming from the church. Wanted to let you know what I support you and thanks for taking a stance with us to support our equal marriage rights! It really means a lot!

  • grahambc1

    Hmm bit disappointed by this article I was hoping for a Biblical argument about why you support same-sex marriage. I like you’re recent tweets about approaching scripture with an open mind. I came Christianity at the age of 11 through my school CU, my family were not Christians. I did not go to church until 16 by which time I had read the bible cover to cover the only way i knew how. My politics are very firmly on the left. I understand the desire to be inclusive to all people regardless of their sexuality but from my understanding of scripture I cannot see how condoning same-sex relationships is an available option to a Bible believing Christian, as the Archbishop said on his phone in my understanding of sexual intercourse is that it is exclusively for marriage and marriage is between one man and one woman.

  • Tim

    It’s definitely the case that God encompasses all genders, but the language of the bible that Christ is the bride and the church is the bridegroom surely makes it clear that the two sides of the marriage covenant are different?

  • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

    ” ‘God created them male and female’ is better translated as ‘God created them from male to female’, indicating a gender spectrum not a gender binary.”

    This contention is unsupported by the text. In what way does
    זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה
    imply “male to female”. The conjunction is a waw and there is no prefix for “from “.

  • http://phillsacre.me.uk/ Phill Sacre

    I’m not really sure what your point is. I don’t disagree with you in that obviously the Bible was written in a cultural context. And so to an extent some translation has to apply and I guess we may need to talk about that as Vicky blogs about it.

    That doesn’t mean that all our cultural assumptions are good, though, or that because the Bible is written within a cultural context it has nothing to say to ours, or there is nothing trans-cultural about it.

    Of course human authors were involved, but I think we also need to take into account Scripture as the Word of God (which is what I think it claims for itself, the obvious verse 2 Tim 3.16). Some time have a read through Hebrews and notice how it introduces quotes from the Old Testament, for example.

  • Rick

    Hello Vicky,

    I would love to hear how you have come to this position, from your study of scripture I mean.

    Blessings.

  • Paul Robinson

    Sam buddy, Vicky was using her background to show that her decision is based on more than simply pleasing man. If she was only concerned about self publicizing or selling herself she wouldn’t say anything because she will likely lose some fans over this. So actually your argument is wrong. The last thing she is trying to do is sell more records. Also, you don’t know her, (I’m assuming) so how can you be sure where her heart is?

  • Amanda Hite

    Vicky,

    While I’ve loosely tried, I can’t even begin to tell you what your courage means to me and so many others. As you know I had a very strict religious upbringing and while maybe for different reasons than you maniacally led me down a path to study and pray for an understanding of my own when what I had been “taught/told to believe” didn’t seem or feel right or make any sense. That path gave me peace, but also understanding. I still believe that love is the most powerful super power we have. I never understood how something as beautiful as love can be made into such a bad and controversial thing. Without question I believe that our world and lives need more love, not less of it and whatever form that comes in.

    Over the many years that I’ve watched these debates play out at dinner tables, on talk shows, in churches and all over our Facebook feeds it’s frustrated me so bad that more strong Christian voices weren’t speaking out about some of the things that when I took the time to really study this issue from a biblical perspective were so obvious to me. Then you come along…

    I really can’t express to you the impact you are about to have on so many people’s hearts, minds and lives. It will lead to personal transformation for many and for others help them give and receive more of what we need so bad, love. I will read every blog, be following your journey and supporting you every step of the way.. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    “Personal Transformation can and does have global effects. As we go so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will change the world is ultimately a personal one.”
    – Marianne Williamson

  • http://thehumanracehorses.com Michael VanDervort

    Thanks for taking a moral stand, Vicky.

  • Luke Leadbetter

    This is is no way an advertisement, there is no advertising done here at all. It says within the post itself that Vicky wrote about her past as a worship leader in America to provide some context as to why she was so hesitant to announce her opinions on equal marriage.
    The title of this post made no promises to give an in-depth description of Vicky’s thoughts or reasons for believing what she does.
    If all that you see here is self-promotion you might want to give it another read because I certainly do not see how this is an advertisement in any way.

  • http://www.randyelrod.com randyelrod

    Great blog post. Courageous and thoughtful. Oh for more Christians who are not afraid to think instead of follow blindly.

  • Alastair J Roberts

    I was just about to ask this. It would be overly charitable to call such claims tendentious. It is also worth recognizing that Jesus records a similar statement in Matthew 19:4, written in Greek, with which we must also reckon. The fact that Jesus immediately goes on to describe marriage as a ‘man’ leaving his ‘father and mother’ and being joined to his ‘woman/wife’, on the basis of the male/female created order and in direct allusion to the creation account, also rather tells against Jade’s theory.

  • songrtr

    Thankful for you taking a stand for truth even though it might cost you. So in support I am going to purchase 1000 cd’s and pass them out to all of my friends.

  • Jade

    Sorry – I was talking about you saying that Christians who are for same-gender marriage import cultural assumptions, as if Christians who oppose it don’t. The truth is that we all do, and the Bible did to begin with. I haven’t said that all those cultural assumptions are right – I don’t think they are – I was just challenging the idea of neutral/impartial ‘Bible believing’ Christians and culturally tainted liberals.

    There is also the problem of assuming that being a Christian = believing that Scripture is the inerrant word of God (I am a Christian and do not believe that). I have read Hebrews thanks (not sure what the need for the sarcastic tone was). 2 Tim 3.16 by the way is only talking about the Torah – at that point the New Testament canon had not been fully established. Jesus is the Word, not a book written by falliable humans, imo. I believe that the Bible is God-inspired and wouldn’t call myself liberal (I affirm the teaching of the historic Church contained in the Nicene/Apostles Creeds, which by the way don’t mention the Bible!), and as an Anglican use Tradition and Reason in addition to Scripture. I would say that’s still having a healthy respect for Scripture, and that it can be done without believing that it’s the inerrant word of God.

  • Jade

    Eunuch doesn’t mean infertile. Eunuch in this context means a man who doesn’t have sex/children with women. That includes castrated men and some infertile men (many infertile men marry women) but also gay men. God created people of many genders and sexualities, those people existing is rather proof of that.

    Sorry, Jesus was speaking to specific people at a specific time. I don’t think separating Jesus’ words from their context is a Biblically faithful thing to do. Jesus did not exist in a vacuum. Yes, people do still leave their parents to join their spouse because it is culturally seen as good. They wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t culturally seen as good. That has very little to do with Jesus’ words.

    God rather blessed Solomon by giving him his wealth, no? And Jesus doesn’t criticise wealth but what we do with wealth – surely if He did, then God would be contradicting Himself. Blessing = approval, that is what blessing is. Anything else is cognitive dissonance.

  • Jade

    I don’t read Hebrew – you’d have to take that up with the theology dept of Manchester University who taught me that. But since it’s in keeping with what we know about gender existing as a spectrum (the gender binary does not exist and gender is different to sex), I am happy to accept it.

  • Jade

    Jesus describes marriage as a man leaving his parents to go to his wife because that’s how marriage was then. He doesn’t say ‘and all other kinds of marriage are bad’, even though the audience would have been familiar with the many different kinds of marriage listed in the Torah. Jesus affirming one particular cultural norm doesn’t equal Jesus condemning all other cultural norms or possibilities.

  • Gail Whittaker

    I’ve just congratulated a same sex couple on their civil wedding feeling intrepid and a little scared of the verses from Deuteronomy and Leviticus ringing in my ears like Tinitus. But the overall feeling is love and understanding and a gut distaste for anyone behind hurt or condemned because of their choices. I know about moral issues and the block’s and whites of it but about the struggle and the journey to finding acceptance, love and belonging I know more about and at least I can say that empathy isn’t a sin.

  • Jade

    A marriage between two women isn’t functionally any different than that between a man and a woman – and many women marrying another women would describe themselves as ‘the groom’! Why not just see the ‘bride and bridegroom’ as a metaphor? Anything else would surely mean that only women can form the Church!

  • Margaret Becker

    Thank you for your thoughtful approach Vicky. I too have spent the last several decades learning the deeper truths and mysteries of the beautiful document we call the Bible. I’ve never had the opportunity to go to Oxford, but I’ve learned under leading scholars in their respective fields, many of those leaders being Christians.

    While touring with Jennifer Knapp, there was a very disgusting, nasty, ignorant backlash against me, in the name of “Jesus”. Acerbic rhetoric mean to “wound me” into allegiance, it reeked of all that is ugly and that awful part of humanity that acquiesces to “gang” violence. It did not succeed and for every angry hater, a new “Yes!/Thank You!” arose.

    A fan of American history and Christian activism within it, I can say that this was the very same response the Bible Belt Christians had towards the integration of African Americans into their churches in the 1960’s. It is sad. It is wrong. And they had their “bible-based” reasons for that too.

    Thank you for using your beautiful worshipping heart to step out on this and stand up. From someone who is in the mix with you, I can say that people jump ship and slash as they leave, but the ones who come in their place are lovely and grateful for the face of Jesus they see in your life.

  • tlukemoore

    Eunuch means someone without reproductive function. I think your definition is primarily used by liberal apologists.

    Whilst context is necessary, the words of Jesus are eternal. Christians don’t have to stop loving their enemy if it is not in line with the culture their living in. Indeed, most people in our culture vilify their enemies but Christians are called to a higher standard. Jesus even says “the earth will pass away… but my words will never pass away”.

    God blessed Abraham when he was a slaveholder and the Roman Centurian. Under your logical that means imperialism and slavary are a good thing. The Catholic Church blesses people who are in a state of mortal sin. Blessing does not approval. If God blessed only the perfect, he would bless no one.

  • Alastair J Roberts

    Thanks for the response, Jade. In answer to your questions:

    I am trying to make two key points here. First, drawing the institution of marriage around the rights of individuals and couples is a departure from the historic import of the institution, which involves placing limits and expectations upon persons, whether they want to accept them or not. Second, the Christian view of marriage has been even further removed from such a rights-based vision.

    Vicky is claiming to argue for same-sex marriage as a Christian. My suggestion is that both an understanding of same-sex marriage conformable to the historic institutional meaning of marriage and a Christian understanding of same-sex marriage will be in a real and necessary tension with the prevailing accounts of the sort of thing that marriage is among those campaigning for same-sex marriage. My question is whether Vicky recognizes such a tension and, if she does, how she articulates and handles it.

    One of my underlying concerns here is that, with the prevailing arguments on same-sex marriage, what we are seeing is an elevation of a deinstitutionalized, privatized, and expressive account of marriage to the norm. This will eat away at the strength of our marriage culture. Such a marriage culture places expectations on all persons, married or unmarried, of whatever sexuality. Marriage culture is even more pronounced in Christian circles. However, if LGBT persons are not prepared, as a general rule, to submit to the institutional force of marriage, redefining marriage as a gender neutral institution to include them will weaken marriage, not strengthen it. Too often supporters of same-sex marriage proceed by pointing out how degraded marriage already is among male-female couples, as if that were justification to abandon an institutional meaning of marriage altogether.

    Yes, marriage is about love. However, if your understanding of love isn’t ‘profoundly shaped by ascetic commitments’ then, to be frank, it isn’t a very Christian one. Marriage involves two individuals making unilateral promises to each other that will bind them in the future, even when they may no longer ‘feel’ in love with each other. The couple getting married don’t know how they will feel about each other decades down the line, but they commit themselves, even forty years from the time of their wedding, to be faithful and devoted to each other, to the exclusion of all others. The love described in that great wedding text of 1 Corinthians 13 is long-suffering and enduring, bearing great burdens, believing the best of others, resisting anger and bitterness, and putting others before oneself. Such a love is not a mushy feeling, but a difficult lifelong practice of self-denial and commitment—in short, an ascetic practice. In the wedding the couple call a wider body of witnesses to bear testimony to and hold them responsible to the vocation that they have entered. This stands in stark contrast to popular views of the wedding as a hopeful self-expressive act: ‘just look how crazy we are for each other now: join with us in hoping it lasts!’

    Stanley Hauerwas puts all of this very well:

    “When couples come to ministers to talk about their marriage ceremonies, ministers think it’s interesting to ask if they love one another. What a stupid question! How would they know? A Christian marriage isn’t about whether you’re in love. Christian marriage is giving you the practice of fidelity over a lifetime in which you can look back upon the marriage and call it love. It is a hard discipline over many years.

    “The difficulty, therefore, is that Christians, when they approach this issue, no longer know what marriage is. For centuries, Christians married people who didn’t know one another until the marriage ceremony, and we knew they were going to have sex that night. They didn’t know one another. Where does all this love stuff come from? They could have sex because they were married.

    “Now, when marriage becomes a mutually enhancing arrangement until something goes wrong, then it makes no sense at all to oppose homosexual marriages. If marriage is a calling that makes promises of lifelong monogamous fidelity in which children are welcomed, then we’ve got a problem.”

  • Catriona

    Dear Vicky, a very interesting blog. I value your work and the fact that you have very well informed views and can explain them under pressure. I would appreciate a blog about how you used scripture to reach this opinion on equal marriage. I agree with you that love for our neighbour trumps all but struggle when faced with so many, almost homophobic, verses.

  • Keith Mason

    Where did I comment on sexuality? I commented on marriage and how Vicky has properly gone to whole distance with her qualification with the her take on equality.

    The only thing I mention is the first paragraph is an instance where a representative of an LGBT society deliberate sought to try and silence Christians.

  • AndyB

    My take on it all is this.

    Firstly, equal marriage doesn’t affect the sanctity of my marriage to Jo, and nor does it demean it in any possible way. I made promises to her and to God to love her and care for her, and she did the same for me.

    Secondly, this is not hypothetical. This affects my friends. One of my very best friends came out about five years ago, and her being gay has not affected how much Holly loves Jesus.

    Holly was so upset when she and George were planning their civil partnership ceremony and blessing, because they could not legally call themselves married, yet this was the lifelong love covenant they wanted to make before God, as faithful and with the same demands as a heterosexual marriage. I pray for the grace to love my wife as much as Holly and George love each other.

    Thirdly, it deeply offends me when people say that two men or two women should not be able to get married because they can not have children. My wife and I cannot have children for the sake of her health in particular. What about all the couples who cannot have children? Does that make our marriages less valid?

    Fourthly, and this is admittedly whataboutery. Too many churches campaign against equal marriage but fail to tackle other issues with greater impact on society such as greed. You may believe that homosexual sex is sinful, but that should imply that you tackle all sins equally. To do otherwise, and indeed to set sexual sin on a pedastal as a very serious sin (how many people campaigning against equal marriage protest about straight people living together outside marriage?) is hypocrisy when God demands purity in all areas. I am no better than any other sinner – my personal greed and other sins bring me down to the same level in the sight of God.

    I used to be agnostic on the subject of equal marriage. These days I support it, because it’s not about me.

  • AndyB

    I should also add this…

    If we’re not using your songs any more, then we should stop singing “He is the Lord and he reigns on high”, any other song by anyone who has had an affair (that rules out a good number of the Psalms!) or anyone greedy. Church choirs would also have to abandon all music arranged by John Rutter as he’s agnostic, together with anything else written by non-Christians.

    Any comment like that misses the point, that we should choose songs according to whether the words and music are appropriate to the worship of God at that time and in that place, not because of who wrote them.

  • Bruce Armstrong

    I hate to see anybody lose their livelihood due to their religious views on marriage. I would respectfully point out that pro-traditional marriage proponents have been losing their livelihoods and jobs for their positions as well – Brendan Eich at Mozilla, the wedding photographer and wedding cake baker here in the States (both of whom declined to provide their services for a same-sex wedding). All the victim of the same type of intolerance you have fallen victim to.

  • Jade

    Firstly, non-heterosexuality is not limited to homosexuality – bisexual, pansexual and others also exist. Also being LGBTQ+ is who a person is – it’s not something they can change. How can being who you are be a sin?

  • Gerard Kelly

    Hey Vikki, thanks for writing this – you make your journey very clear.. For the record, I’m not where you are on this issue BUT my respect and support for you doesn’t change.. Friendship; dialogue and mutual honouring are not altered by a divergence over biblical or political themes.

    The biggest challenge for our churches right now is not whether they will perform weddings for gay couples… it is whether they are willing to maintain unity when others make a different choice than them. I, for one, am.

    Every Blessing, G

  • Susan

    Thank you for speaking out in support of equal marriage, Vicky. I’m sorry it has cost you so much both financially and personally. It’s time to end the prejudice and recognise love – in all its forms.

  • Jade

    I’m not sure you really answered my main question there (aka why hold gay people to a different standard to straight people). The fact remains that everything you see as harming marriage happens in ‘traditional’ marriage, and it’s neither fair nor accurate to put it all at the door of LGB people (many trans people are prevented from marrying at all due to the Spousal Veto). Looking at the Hauerwas quote, all the married same-gender couples I know are ones of lifelong monogamous fidelity where children are welcomed. What, then, is the problem? And for what its worth, historically marriage was only important in Christian England to the aristocracy, who relied on it to protect inheritances. It was totally about money and annulment was common. The church had no problem with poor people cohabiting – the idea of Christians marrying people who didn’t know each other until the marriage ceremony (which I’m really hoping you’re not endorsing since it would be rife with abuse and forced marriages) is really not the case for historically Christian England and most of Europe. ‘Traditional’ Christian marriage has changed countless times over the centuries. Unless you think that women being property is a good thing, there’s no rational reason to object to that.

  • Jade

    Gay men didn’t have reproductive function in Biblical times, unless you know about an ancient Palestinian surrogacy and sperm bank service hitherto unknown to archaeologists? Hence, gay men being included in eunuchs.

  • Jade

    Yes, in a way suggesting that LGBTQ people are big meanies and harrassing poor, straight Christians. Actually, the two groups overlap and I don’t see what your anecdote has to do with anything – it’s not like gay Christians would be silencing Christians, since they’d, er, be silencing themselves.

    And your take on ‘equality’ is strawman nonsense. A loving marriage between two consenting adults of the same gender is not the same as incest (which is 9 times out of 10 rooted in abuse) and it is horribly offensive to compare the two, both to gay people and victims of abuse. There are equality issues with the equal marriage bill, but only regarding trans and intersex people, and barring gay Anglicans from marrying in the churches where they have faithfully worshipped.

  • http://timfall.wordpress.com/ Tim

    Their decision to forego songs because of a doctrinal stance of the songwriter is interesting. Do they all of a sudden think your words are no longer worth singing because of the words themselves? Of course not. I wonder how closely those churches scrutinize other songwriters’ doctrine, though. Probably not much.

    Tim

    P.S. My look at the misplaced emphasis Christians put on same-sex marriage, in case anyone’s interested. ;-)

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    I did type a lengthy reply but some of my posts dissapeared from the comments section. If this one stay one here, in short: God created male and female and it all culminates into the wedding feast of the Lamb – marriage is to practically portray this story of history and thus is a proclaimer of the gospel. (leaving my office now)

  • Alastair J Roberts

    Gay men have been marrying women and having children with them for millennia. I know a number of gay men who are happily married to women. There are people on this thread who could tell you much more on this front.

    Also, our cultural understanding of what it is to be ‘gay’ is something of a historical novelty. In fact, there are still cultures in the world where, due to the cultural meaning of sex, homosexuality is unknown.

    We ground marriage very heavily upon sexual attraction and companionship. However, in a culture where more emphasis is placed upon procreation and where wider social bonds are deep and enduring sex isn’t so focused upon satisfying and expressing private sexual desires and one’s marriage and sexual relationship within it doesn’t single-handedly have to bear the burden of your entire need for intimate interpersonal relationship. When the satisfaction our entire desire for intimacy becomes so dependent upon a single sexual relationship, it isn’t surprising that same-sex marriage should be expected. However, this situation is unhealthy to begin with.

  • Nicky Gray

    As a mum of a gay son thank you for speaking out. I once had fundamentalist views on homosexuality so it was very hard for him to tell us even though we knew in our hearts the truth. God was very gracious to us by gradually helping us to shed what we thought the Bible was saying and we came to the understanding that it wasn’t a choice but that was how he was made.We now talk very openly about it and I am so glad I changed so that there is not a part of his life he has to keep a secret.

  • Jeremy Dean

    You’ve handled this topic which much thought and grace…I support you Vicky and would like to encourage you because I know the idea of loss of salary can be a scary one…I pray that churches will continue to play your songs because they are so well written and weather or not everyone agrees with your views we should all use love as Christ has instructed.

  • Keith Mason

    Your reading into my experiences your own prejudices – I state explicitly that was the same period in which I first became familiar with Vicky’s work and the backdrop for that – which despite what you feel personally for me is relevant given the context of the post. It was not a statement against LGBT people despite your insinuations. I’ve met good people and bad people from the LGBT demographic – there people just like anyone else. I know what my views are, your ad hominem interpretations don’t.

    Why is a loving marriage between just ‘two’ consenting adults? What if those consenting adults happen to be related? Your definitions are completely arbitrary and absurd. To say ‘all incest’ or ‘all polyamory’ is rooted in abuse (or evil/naughty/shameful) is just a sad case of the ‘no true scotsman’ fallacy. You can call marriage what you want but no not everyone has to agree – theres no correlation between scripture or the perspectives of the early church and SSM which emerged amidst and yet counter to a pagan culture ambivalent to concepts of gender and sexual orientation.

  • http://www.jamesprescott.co.uk/ James Prescott

    Vicky, this is a really bold & well written post. I admire so much your courage in speaking out about your views on this subject, and making them public, and the sacrifices you’ve been willing to make for this. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on this subject from a scriptural and theological perspective. I’m in total agreement with you on this, and I think we need more theological examinations of this issue.

    Keep going Vicky, and don’t let the negative voices get you down. Keep going, we’re behind you.

  • Charlotte Gompertz

    Well said, Vicky. I’m just adding it to the grey areas God has tolerated over the years- polygamy; marrying your relatives; wearing poly cotton.

  • Alastair J Roberts

    Thanks for the response, Jade. This will be my final comment.

    You seem to be missing my point. Everyone should be held to a high marital standard. However, there are two problems here.

    The first problem is that the campaign for same-sex marriage has been accompanied in many quarters by the claim that we should move away from the expectation of lifelong sexual exclusivity. That this should be the case isn’t that surprising when you consider that the campaign for same-sex marriage is largely driven by the idea that marriage should recognize and celebrate people’s right consensually to express their sexual desires and love in whatever form. Why people who want an open marriage should be prevented from having one recognized, affirmed, and protected by society and the law isn’t clear on the basis of the logic commonly employed for same-sex marriage. Why should marriage expect people to be sexually exclusive for the rest of their lives? Shouldn’t this be up to the couple to decide between them? And this is the heart of the issue: those who instinctively answer ‘yes’ to that question hollow out the institutional character of marriage and render it culturally impotent.

    The second problem is that Christians are actively campaigning for same-sex marriage. I can recognize that marriage is cheapened in many quarters of our society and can speak out against that, pointing to such things as the values of sexual exclusivity and lifelong commitment. If I were campaigning for same-sex marriage, however, I would want to make absolutely certain that the people that I was campaigning alongside were championing those values, rather than a profoundly cheapened form focused upon affirming consensual and broadly committed sexual relationships. Jonathan Rauch, a leading proponent of same-sex marriage, has expressed his concern that many straight people are becoming more receptive to same-sex marriage precisely because they have devalued marriage. My question to Vicky is how, in campaigning for same-sex marriage, she upholds the norms of the institution against many people who are supposedly fighting on the same side.

    As for your claim about same-sex marriages welcoming children:

    If we are merely talking about situations of adoption, then two friends in a lifelong committed relationship would be no less equipped to welcome children. The same thing could be said about two siblings (for instance, I know two siblings who have lived together for forty years and shown far more commitment to each other than most married couples). Why must a marriage involve sexual relations at all? Why shouldn’t we extend marriage to include all persons who might want to make a lifelong and exclusive commitment to each other? What is it about the fact that two men or two women are going to be sleeping together that is so worthy of public recognition and celebration? As Bertrand Russell pointed out, ‘it is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution.’

    And here we reach the key issue: sexual relationships between persons of the same sex are not ‘equal’ to sexual relationships that exist between men and women. They are very different sorts of realities. Sexual relationships between men and women are the personal origin for practically every human being walking the planet. Marriage ensures that biological, social, and legal parenthood are held together as a single unity as much as possible. However, every child with same-sex parents has at least one parent who is outside of that union. Sexual relationships between men and women bring together the two halves of the human race, placing the most fundamental anthropological division in the context of a loving union, and employing our sexed bodies for the primary purpose for which they exist. Sexual relationships between men and women bring us into contact with some of the deepest realities of human nature: sexual difference, the one flesh union of male and female, procreation, the family as a naturally grounded reality, preceding economics, technology, law, politics, and the like, the wider bonds of blood, motherhood and fatherhood, and our natural bond to our parents and our origins in the bond that exists between them (this is one reason why there is an intrinsic relationship between the committed and exclusive sexual bond of a man and a woman and their welcoming of children).

    These things simply aren’t true in the same way in a same-sex ‘marriage’. Such unions necessarily involve a separation of the unity between biological, social, and legal parenthood. Unlike in the case of the sexual relationship between a man and a woman, the sexual dimension of such unions has no intrinsic relationship whatsoever to the union between the parents and the children. Children in such a relationship always lack either a mother or a father. Such relationships do not express in miniature the coming together of the two halves of society—male and female—to raise the next generation. Such relationships do not honour and protect the natural sexual union within which we find our origins. Children in such a relationship always find their origins in some transaction occurring outside of the relationship, rather than an intimate and private bond within. Such relationships normalize attempts to circumvent sexual relations as a means of procreation, prioritizing the ‘reproductive rights’ of adults over the rights of children to clear lineage, a mother and a father, and the commitment of their biological parents to the union in which they find their origins. This is very far removed from the sort of ‘welcoming’ of children that marriage has historically envisioned and protected.

    And this doesn’t even start on more specifically Christian objections that could be raised.

  • Adam Gompertz

    Thanks for your honesty. A really difficult thing to do. It’s interesting that those who support gay marriage are labelled as ‘heretic’ and those who do not support are labelled as ‘bigots’. Somewhere in all of this, love is relegated to the scrap heap, in favour of winning the argument…..not a great advert for the kingdom of God, bet the devil is loving it.

    I would be really interested to know your thoughts and reasons, and what led you to the point you are at now. I am perhaps in a different stage of the journey, but am willing to travel…..

  • http://tonychung.ca/ Tony Chung

    I knew I’d get flak about my wording. My post was speaking completely toward those who claim to be Christ’s, and want to reshape the Christian understanding to meet their own human failings. For me, a Christian’s identity should be found in Christ. That’s the essence of what it means to be Christian. If a person “identifies” as any-sexual, then they have not transferred the Lordship over this area, and maybe even all areas, to Christ in all His fullness.

    For that reason alone I believe that a person who truly professes to be Christian cannot act in a way that denies or otherwise refutes the very nature and character of God, regardless of a person’s own sense of identity.

    Does this cause a struggle? Most likely. Humans as a whole have a tendency to cater to their own fleshly desires, when we should be crucifying our desires in order to be an effective witness for the gospel. This does not specifically state that being “who you are” is a sin, only that we sin when we act out our fleshly desires, regardless of what they are.

    Do we fail miserably at this? Yes. If we are not constantly “working out our salvation with fear and trembling”, then we risk falling away. Our culture supports all sorts of
    characteristics against the nature of God. I would go so far even as to doubt the Christ-like nature of some professed Christians.

  • Morny

    I was so surprised and indeed disheartened to read this. Sadly the above blog fails to substantiate her opinion with any theological and biblical backing or insight. God loves. He’s the author of love. Under His umbrella of love we are called to love all but not to love sin. Sin is what is abhorrent to God and His word is extremely clear and not at all wishy washy about what He deigns a holy union between man and wife. It’s as blunt as that. In my mind this blog serves to publicise/advertise your achievements with man.

  • Tegan

    Hi vicky

    I wonder whether the backlash comes from the implication that sex forms an integral part of marriage in many people’s minds and thus by supporting equal marriage you are seen to be accepting of that aspect as well?

    Thoughts?

  • http://phillsacre.me.uk/ Phill Sacre

    Hi Jade,

    Firstly, I’m really sorry if I came across as sarcastic. I didn’t mean to – I was in a bit of a hurry, I had my six month old daughter on my lap and was rushing! I didn’t mean to imply you hadn’t read Hebrews, I’m just saying that Hebrews says a lot about the Scriptures and how we understand them. I don’t know if I’m allowed to link through here but I wrote about this on my blog a few weeks ago.

    I hear what you’re saying about importing cultural assumptions – of course we all do that. There is no neutral ground, but recognising that is a good starting place. I think a lot of pro same sex relationships people don’t acknowledge or admit that. Certainly it doesn’t seem to be talked about in the articles etc I’ve read. I do think our culture makes assumptions about sexuality which the Bible would challenge, and this is something we can maybe talk about at a future date.

    On 2 Tim 3:16 – you’re right that the canon wasn’t complete at that time. However, interestingly Peter in 2 Pet 3.16 refers to Paul’s letters and puts them together with “other Scriptures” (the same Greek word as 2 Tim). I find it strange to claim that God can inspire Old Testament Scripture but not New Testament Scripture. Especially when, as you say, Jesus is the Word of God and you’d think it would be more important for the New Testament to be right!

    It’s becoming increasingly common to drive a wedge in between Jesus and the Scriptures (at least, I’ve seen it a lot on the internet lately), but I don’t think that’s right. Scripture is the Word of God, and Jesus is the Word of God. All Scripture – all of it – testifies to Christ in some way. Jesus quotes Scripture all the time. And in Luke 24:27, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”

    You mention the creeds – the creeds were never meant to define everything you need to believe to be a Christian. They were simply delineating bounds of orthodoxy for the controversies of the day. At the time, the person of Christ and the nature of the Trinity was the issue – that’s why there is a focus on it. They don’t talk about the Bible because pretty much everyone believed it was the word of God. The term inerrancy wasn’t used in those days but if you read the writings of the early church fathers, it seems to me they would have agreed with it – Augustine, for example, wrote a harmony of the gospels.

    I am also an Anglican (currently finishing up three years theological training and being ordained deacon in June). Richard Hooker is often misunderstood; he did talk about the ‘threefold stool’ but of those he would have placed Scripture as the most important.

    I’m sorry for writing you an essay in reply to your post, but you raised a lot of points in a short space of time!

    Phill :)

  • Loren Wilson

    Vicky, I am a evangelical from the Bible Belt and fully support you on your brave stand. It bothers me that so many Christians consider Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church here in Kansas as off base, but basically believe the same thing.

  • tlukemoore

    Most gay men do have reproductive function, Oscar Wilde had children, but they choose not to use it therefore the discussion of eunuch is irrelevant.

  • Peter

    Hi Laura

    Sorry to get into this conversation. I hope to point out that the gay Christian couples in my life also regard sex as a blessed sacrament and blessing from God to them. It symbolizes and embodies the unconditional outpouring of self. I have seen them grow in both faith and service to the community because of their relationship, physical, mental and spiritual. The services and sacrifices they make for each other are representative of the love they have received from Christ and they grow closer to God, taking us It is the opposite for me that my Christian brothers who choose to be celibate for the sole reason of the traditional interpretation of the Bible verses. They tend to make compromises in the way they interact with the community. One of my best friend who eventually said that celibacy in itself is beautiful and fruitful but if the reason is based on a certain interpretation of the Bible that interferes the natural dynamics of relationships, celibacy becomes a stumbling block. He remains happily celibate but he now holds an affirming view on homosexuality. Would it be possible for you to be more specific about what you mean by being ” spiritually healthier”? I think we are at the stage now that we need to flesh out the details in order to enter into a healthy dialogue.

  • atticus finch

    If you “take the Bible very seriously”, do you consider it the authoritative source for Christian faith and doctrine? If so, where within it do you find support for same-sex marriage? I understand the difference of opinion regarding capital punishment, for instance. There are verses that could be read to be in favor or against, but how do you work your way around the specific and numerous prohibitions against homosexuality in scripture? You have to ignore a lot of scripture to accept homosexual behavior.

  • Andrew March

    are you familiar with dr robert gagnon’s work on this topic? if so, what are your responses/refutations to his work ” the bible and homosexual practice” ?

  • JennaDeWitt

    Vicky – One of those Southern US Christian CCM fans here, working at a ministry you used to partner with. :)

    Love your songs, have followed the blog for many years, and have so much respect for how you approach the Bible and hard topics of theology boldly that most “Christian celebrity rock stars” ;) wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. It was your blog’s community aspect that taught me to ask hard theological questions and research the answers.

    I’ve been following this discussion for a while on Rachel Held Evans’ blog. I love what she did on her blog with her mutuality series on women and marriage and what you both (and Sarah Bessey, etc.) have done to show the Bible actually SUPPORTS women in ministry! So awesome.

    The only thing keeping me from jumping on this as well along with you two (and many others) is the verses in the Bible that prohibit it. I want to affirm and accept LGBT Christian marriages, but what do you do with those verses hermeneutically? I trust you and RHE and the other bloggers writing on this topic because I’ve seen y’all do it before: you dig into the Greek and Hebrew and culture and come out with logical, brilliant explanations that reconcile a God of love with His Word in ways I can understand it.

    Please, I know you are busy and have a lot of other important stuff going on (really enjoy your SkyNews videos and love when you post them online for us American fans!) so it may be a big project, but would you consider writing more in depth about the nerdy Bible-research hermeneutical theology stuff for us Bible nerdy followers who want so bad to cheer along with you but are just kind of confused right now?

    (p.s. fellow commenters – this is a question for Vicky alone. If you have something nasty to say or disagree with her, please keep it to yourself. I have read your comments elsewhere and am not interested nor persuaded by them. Thank you.)

  • Brian Jose

    Is your rationale for your stance online somewhere? Can you share the link? Sorry if I missed the obvious somehow in reading this. Thanks.

  • http://aremonstrantsramblings.wordpress.com/ Episcopius

    Sorry to hear you have received hate mail. Not to belittle that fact but it appears all sides of this debate are good at that however. I guess the obvious question is what you do with passages such as Romans 1. Added to that the way the Bible only ever appears to positively promote heterosexual marriage as what God intends. It’s rather odd that if God inspired the Bible he could not have been a bit clearer that he does not denounce homosexual relationships.

  • Becca Ruiz

    Thank you for sharing! I have been very saddened by the way that the Church at large has handled this issue. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog posts. I would love to hear about how you came to this position and the biblical basis for doing so.

  • Tom Mason

    No one is saying simply having same sex attraction is a sin, any more than any other desire is itself sinful. Sin is about deliberate actions or omissions, not desire. However the Bible say we are all sinful from birth and if that were where your argument fails. If we all simply lived the life in surrender to those desires then we would all be living very sinful lives. So no, simply being who you are is not a sin, and God loves you as you are, but the big lie here is that “you just have to be true to yourself”. It sounds so good and right, but the Bible stands in opposition to this statement. Matt 16:24 “For whoever wants to be my disciple must DENY themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

    The danger here is that we’ve fallen into a dangerous trap of the enemy that says we have no choices about our behaviour and that we have the right, nay the duty, to behave in accordance with our desires, whatever they are, forgetting that we are living in a post fall world that is still waiting for the final return of its king.

    Of course no one is sinful (least of all me) so we can thank God for Jesus and his saving work on the cross, but we are saved to be his disciples and to live the lives we have been called upwards into, and leave behind this body that is subject to death.

  • Andrew Collier

    You mentioned that Rob Bell and Steve Chalke also got abuse from the internet. Well these were hardly random uprisings against mainstream teachers; Rob Bell said that people don’t need to be saved from sin, and Steve Chalke denied that Jesus took our punishment. They took a non-Biblical message and presented it as though it were a new gospel.

    I am sad that the internet resorts to name-calling and threats, and I wish nothing against you personally. But I do think you are in error. Or at least, to convince me that your theological position is consistent with Biblical teaching will need a more robust defense than you have presented so far.

    I expect that most Bible-believers would say that same-sex marriages are contrary to instructions in both the New Testament and the Old. Saying that “we do not have to choose” does not, in itself, make it so.

  • Tom Mason

    No, blessing does not mean approval, at least not simply. It means something closer to “give value to”. Gods blessing is a sign of his love as is his forgiveness. God blessed us, loved us and forgave is while we were still sinners, and before our repentance. It says everything about who He is, and nothing about us. Indeed, we are approved of because and only because we are blessed, forgiven and loved, and that therefore he keeps no record of our wrongdoing. It is precisely NOT approval of our prior state.

  • Tom Mason

    Jesus would I think say this to people in gay relationships. Neither do in condemn you. Go and sin no more.
    The confusion you have is the separation of God’s love from His judgement, when in fact His judgement IS his love as experienced by the unrepentant sinner. His response to sin is wrath because love for the victim requires it.

  • Rob McAndrews

    I don’t disagree with you about equal rights marriage. I also agree with you on having love be first and foremost.
    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
    The bible talks about homosexuality as being wrong. I don’t want to use this as condemnation, and my first reaction is to love (I’ve been contemplating this for 6 or 7 years now, and since then, one of my better friends has come out of the closet and gotten married). I’ve come to the conclusion that what Jesus said stands (as I’ve quoted above) but I am at odds about the sinfulness. I’m guessing you have battled through these thoughts a well. How has your journey gone? How about Jesus saying “Go and sin no more.”?

  • Tom Mason

    Yes Jesus spoke a lot about love and forgiveness, but He also spoke a lot about judgement, because they are ultimately the same thing. Jesus always called people to repent, that is to turn away from sin, not to simply go on sinning, and so no, Jesus was really not into “acceptance and non-judgement.”. Indeed forgiveness requires judgement because to forgive requires a judgement of wrong behaviour, and to repent requires an acknowledgement of guilt, which also cannot come without an accusation. I’m afraid I think you’ve been sold a hollow shell of Christianity.

  • Darrell

    How can you sing yesterday today and forever you are the same you never change…… And yet your saying Gods views have changed? I think you will have to answer for this in later life

  • Tom Mason

    God loves and forgives us where we are, but not so we can stay where we are. He sets us free from sin to walk in the life to which He calls us upwards.

  • Tom Mason

    Careful. Don’t confuse God’s patience with His acceptance. Several times in scripture God allowed sin to continue for a time before bringing judgement because their sinfulness was not yet complete. As people who want to be known as disciples of Jesus we need to be careful to do what He did and say what he said, and not to twist those words and actions to allow us to live more comfortably in a sinful world

  • Michael LionHeart

    The notion of marriage equality was never about marriage or about equality. It’s all about the wrapping paper. It’s been packaged as an end in itself, but it is principally just a means to a deeper end. It is the means by which marriage ext…inction – the true target — can be achieved.
    It was never about equality. It was about abolishing marriage and expanding the power of a state that will not recognize you or your children as a family. You must read this now. http://mariomurilloministries.wordpress.com/

  • Tom Mason

    Interestingly tolerance is never mentioned in the bible, and tolerate is only used in the sense of God saying he will not tolerate some sin. Where then do you get the idea that tolerance really matters? Is it a worldly wisdom, or biblical wisdom?

  • Tom Mason

    Well in English love is love and I think this is where we run into trouble, because in Greek Eros, philo, and agape are three different things

  • XY

    hi vicky,

    i’d rather stay anon to the public (some from my church are following your blog), but i’d be happy to share email contact with you for your research if you comment with your email address.
    thought i’d share a few things with you about framing this debate and background reading/questions from my own experience…
    i confidently identify as a monogamous person exclusively attracted to the same-sex and also a born-again christian – i look forward to marrying in the future now that equal marriage is legal. christianity came later for me in adult life. i would describe my god as loving and i struggle with conventionally ‘traditional’ interpretations of the bible – you could summarise my struggle as reconciling the holy spirit i recognise and know with breadth of biblical interpretation and sin in the church institutions (are these both human sins distinct from god absolute?!). but, getting back to the main point… :)
    i’m well read in gender/ sexuality theories which i find useful in framing the ‘gay christian’ debate: this is nearly always ignored in favour of ‘biblical evidence/ friendly sources’ angle – i find this very unhelpful as one side dominates the agenda. for starters i would recommend ‘history of sexuality’ foucault and even looking at the concept of binary gender, alternative sexualities beyond lgbt identities, the history of feminism and the church has similar lessons for us. yes, many more sexualities and lots of shades of grey, mean more questions for the church to answer – essentially will it legalise against or accommodate changes in society? what does god really think about this all?

    i believe he loves me because he tells me, i know my prayers have changed lives, i believe he’s real because he shows me, the rest… i don’t know! :)

    stay blessed,

    xy

  • Tom Mason

    I don’t see how blessing or approving sinful behaviour can be a healthy thing for the church. Romans 1:32 seems to imply that approving of people who sin is even worse than continuing to sin when you know that those sins deserve death.

  • XY

    oh, just remembered another key critique of classic entrenched positions – thanks for reminding me ‘michael lionheart’, how silly of me to forget… (i’m secure enough in my identity and intellect to honestly enjoy these debates!)

    look at the social constructionism of marriage and this argument falls down. study the politics of a member of the threatened establishment feeling weakened as the minority steps up to their level – even more interesting objectively taken outside of ‘gay christian’ debate here, take your pick: race, class, gender etc… essentially people aren’t ready to sacrifice their privilege for real equality

    stay blessed,

    xy

  • Anstice Potts

    I understand your point, but I do not think it is our place, as sinners ourselves, to judge others. That would be the right of Jesus or God, not us.

    “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbour?” (James 4:11-12)

    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)

    Is this the ‘hollow shell’ you speak of? I have been ‘sold’ nothing-I merely interpret the Bible for myself as I find it.

  • Robin Vestal

    Very happy to hear of your stance. I actually did hear you play in Maryland several years ago. Blessings to you!

  • Andre Harden

    For me personally, I think the church has gone through another “secular conditioning cycle” and what I mean by that is, in 1950’s when the movie Mary Poppin’s came out, Christians were boycotting in front of movie theaters, because of the witchcraft/supernatural “tone” of the movie; now it’s on DVD’s in our children’s department, and we’re escorting groups for the next Harry Potter movie.

    Back then, TV shows were moderately conservative programs with a “lesson” or “message” to ponder, now let’s see just how, Scandalous, or Revengeful our Modern Family’s can push the envelope! (sorry for the puns)..

    All the while, my kids have taken the approach that the Bible is an “outdated”, “out-of-touch”, “uncool” book of rules, that they assume today’s “Jesus” wouldn’t be a part of..
    And herein lies the rub; I know quite a few people in the LGBT community, and I love them dearly, so I certainly don’t want to see them end up in Hell, based on their defensive position of, “I was born this way…” or, “This is God’s will for my life!…”

    Truly, I get it; but we can’t compromise the Word of God for the sake hurting someone’s feelings. The enemy has done a “detailed” job of playing on our heart-strings, and making “us” look like the bad guys – especially, when we are accused of not showing or displaying God’s love towards them because we’re calling what they “do” (and not who they are…) sin…

    As I stated above, me personally, I love everyone regardless, of color, creed or conditioner you use, nor do I “reject” anyone who is LGBT, but there must be a line drawn in the sand, where we show them God’s love without compromising God’s Word..

    And in no way, does showing them God’s love indicate we approve or condone their actions – and that’s OK Vicky, because remember this:
    “If you preach Good, people will love you, if you preach Great, people will hate you!”
    And that’s OK too! Because you told them the truth…

  • Kevin

    Hi, Vicky. My question for people that support same-sex marriage is, why shouldn’t we also support murder? Why shouldn’t we also support rape? Why shouldn’t we support these other things that God regards as sin? The only response I could find from your blog is a short thing about love, “Hopefully we can reach out beyond the dividing lines of the groups, tribes and sectors of the Church and build relationship and conversation instead of walls. We may disagree – very passionately – on this subject. Yet in our disagreement, love still needs to be the dominant trait. As St Paul put it in 1 Corinthians 13, ‘If I don’t have love…I am nothing’ “. I absolutely agree with this! But just because I don’t support the sin of the people I love doesn’t mean I don’t love them. I don’t support same-sex marriage because it is sin and I will never support it, nor will I support murder, or rape, or any other type of sin. But I will always love people. As you have encouraged us to “dialogue in love”, I challenge every Bible believing Christian to back up their beliefs Biblically if indeed we are called by God to support sinful activities.

  • mike smith

    I did not see where you gave one bible verse that supports homosexual behavior. If you are not able to do that then maybe you can give a reason that we should ignore the dozens of verse that condemns homosexual behavior. Maybe start with 1 cor. 6:9 or Romans 1: 24-27.

  • TD

    Vicky I haven’t been a regular visitor to this site for quite some time. For some reason I thought I would check it today. Call it a hunch or a nudge.
    It wouldn’t hurt for you to get around to Hosea 5:8. That would be good and lively discussion I believe.

  • JennaDeWitt

    This is what I wanted to say, but you said it so much more eloquently than I could!

  • Corrin

    Hi vicky… i am honestly not familiar with your work but i came across this on facebook… and i support the bible 100 percent when it says homosexuals and people who accept homosexuality will no enter in the kingdom of God…. however most christians tend to forget it also says drunks and adulterers will not either, and not to mention it also says we cannot judge because we are not Jesus Christ…. i am not going to turn my back on a person who is in need of my help just because they are gay and i am not going to attack them either, but i will let then know what yhe Lord says about their choice of living like i would do to a drunk or someone commiting adultery and hope and pray they repent and turn to God because that is what us christians are suppose to do… we are to spred Gods word and help each other walk in the path of rightousness to satisfy our Lord

  • Mark

    Personally I think most of the Old Testament is the story of God “tolerating” Israel’s constant disobedience. Otherwise he could just have said “sod it, I’ll choose someone else”.

  • Tom Mason

    In the sense that he didn’t destroy them, but He also punished them with exile, which is certainly not the normal understanding of tolerating. The sins of the previous inhabitants of Canaan were left unpunished until their sinfulness was complete and then the Jews were commanded to show them no mercy and to destroy them utterly. God’s righteous judgement is on hold for a time, but it is still coming for those who have not chosen to put their faith in Christ and His cross.

  • Neil Coode

    Hi Vicky,

    Firstly, thanks for raising this issue. I have struggled with the churches attitude to homosexuality for some years, as I have a number of gay friends, and also a number of straight friends whose main reason for not accepting the gospel is our stand on this issue. I am undecided as yet. I cannot find any way to read scripture which doesn’t call homosexuality “sinful” (ie not in accordance with God’s will – sinful does not necessarily mean immoral). However I do feel that many Christians treat it as some kind of special sin, worse than others (it’s an easy target isn’t it). I would therefore like to add my voice to those asking you to explain how you came to your conclusions.
    I would also like to join those who condemn the aggressive and unloving way you have been treated on Twitter etc – that is not the way Christians should dialogue.
    Thanks again
    Neil

  • Stewart

    I don’t class myself as a ‘Bible-Christian’ but I believe that one of the most important messages came when the Pharisees were trying to corner Jesus into heresy by asking him which was the most important of the commandments. He basically said that only two really matter… love God and love each other.
    I think that churches should be allowed to consult their parishioners to decide whether their church should allow equal marriages, as I believe that many would.
    After that we could see some people changing church/parish due to their convictions, but I think that in many cases actual numbers would either stay the same or increase.
    If a Christian then wanted to marry a same sex partner they could choose a church that supported the idea, rather than be pushed into an impersonal civil setting.
    This way all could worship God and celebrate life in a church that supports their views… after all you wouldn’t choose a Mosque for your son’s Bar-mitzvah.
    Love God… love and respect each other.

  • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

    No, I think I’ll take it up with you. You shouldn’t argue a position that you are incapable of defending. I’ve given you the Hebrew, explain how you get “from male to female” out of it. You’ll want to pay particular attention to the start of the Hebrew words as that might give the game away.

  • Alex

    Questions: How do you reconcile this blog post with what the Bible says? How does this point of view make you different from the rest of the world? Will this point of view bring others closer to God?

  • Jim

    Very brave of you, Vicky! Like so many others, I’m looking forward to hearing the basis of your argument and how you came to this conclusion. Over the years, I haven’t heard or read any debate that offers a detailed argument on this subject on either side so I hope that it does just that. And I hope and pray that it can be done in a respectful way.

  • Rich

    Would love to know your theology for ‘Equal Marriage’. Can we really reinterpret “A man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife”, and does it matter whether or not “the wedding of the lamb” with his bride has hetrogenity?

    I’ll agree that love leads us towards embracing everyone, but if the ‘yesterday, today, forever, you never change’ God wrote those bits in Leviticus and inspires Paul to write those bits in the NT, how do we apply those today, as we sit and eat with those who ‘the religious establishment’ rejects?

  • Jane Kindlen

    Hi Vicky, very informative blog as always. Your honesty & willingness to speak up will make a difference, helping to gently challenge & encourage respectful dialogue. I hugely admire you & your work & pray that you will remain well-supported by those around you. I also pray that you will receive financial support as & when. Your faithfulness will see you through; you are certainly ‘stronger than the storm’… Best wishes, Jane Kindlen aka Lilstix x

  • http://beinggodstoddler.WordPress.com/ Paul Brownnutt

    Thanks for a great article, but most of all, thanks for putting the word ‘sides’ in quotation marks, firmly where it belongs in the church. An immensely wise call for us to demonstrate “This is how everyone will know you are my disciples: that you love one another.”

  • Angelika

    I totally understand that we as christians should be tolerant about gay people and love them, but still I don’t believe that God called us to stand for same-sex marriages. He firstly created man and woman to be together and to be able to reproduce themselves. Why would God change his mind and think differently now?

  • Amber

    Does God want you to tolerate sin? Does God want you to support it? God hates sin. I think He hates it so much because it means every person who dies unsaved will be eternally separated from God and not only separated but suffering on a level we can not now fully comprehend. God loves us so much, it makes sense that He would hate sin just as much because He made us to have relationship with Him, and sin messes that up. Scripture is clear about what is sin and what is not. I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded of the scriptures that clearly call homosexuality the sin that it is, just like fornication, adultery, murder, …you know even fear is sin. In Revelation 21:8, the fearful are the first ones listed of those who will suffer the second death.
    Supporting same sex unions is one thing, but for any Christian to support same sex unions and marriage, especially in the church is outright blasphemous. It doesn’t mean we should not love homosexuals. But love does not mean backing down from standing firm for what’s right and speaking up about the things that are wrong. You don’t have to agree with homoesexual’s life style choices in order to show them love and respect. We are all called to treat each other with kindness. Jesus is our example. Whether the sin is sexual or not, Jesus still walked in perfect love to every sinner. The way He responded when challenged over whether or not to stone the woman caught in adultery is a perfect example of this.
    I’m sorry for the way Christians, and the church in general has treated the homosexual crowd over the years. I’m sorry for the anger and abuse that has been directed at them. That was wrong and I pray for healing in this wounds. So much of the gay & lesbian crowd and supports of them, preach tolerance and demand equal rights but at the same time they are some of the most intolerant of others. This too leads to damaging feuds and wounding.

    I’m not writing this to judge or condemn but to stand for the clear standard of God’s word and to encourage you to seek the Lord on these matters. Ask Him to lead you on these matters. If your mind is made up then… consider this just one more respectful “agree to disagree” with your view.

  • Solomon

    Ok its one thing to say that christian should support same sex marriages and totally a different thing to say that its right in the sight of God and the Church without using the Bible to defend that fact. All I am saying is show me that you are right using the Bible if you cant then its worthless having this discussion

  • Lisa Jayne

    Hi Vicky,
    I would love to hear your theological journey to supporting equal marriage. I think to a large extent that a lot of the arguments against it are idealist, rather than realist (gay people can’t conceive naturally so it can’t be right – what about infertile couples? A man shall be united with his wife – is it then a sin to be a man who doesn’t marry?) and that this is a broken world where the family unit looks different (adoption, one parent families), but I don’t feel those things are God’s intention, and I sadly don’t feel that same-sex marriage is either. So I suppose what I want to ask is, do you believe that the practise of homosexuality is not a sin (and if so how did you get there?), or do you believe it is a sin but that it is permissible due to other factors, like life long commitment etc?
    Hope that makes sense!

  • Stuart Clifton

    Christians believe in freedom of choice. Its not up to us to prescribe to others about what they choose to do. That doesn’t mean condoning their choices though. And even when you don’t condone their choices, you should choose to LOVE THEM anyway. We are all sinners, and are all loved by our father. Who are we to throw stones. We all live in glass houses.

  • Loiseesistah

    I seriously don’t understand how you have come to support gay marriage. You ask for us to “journey with you” (I assume that means hear you out)but you have not given me any reasons here how you have come to this conclusion. You claim to know the bible and have studied it deeply yet have you read the actual part in Corinthians where it discusses homosexuality?? And besides just cos I may disagree with someone’s lifestyle doesn’t mean I am not loving them.

  • South African, 27yr old female

    I want to commend you for your integrity and courage in this journey and for standing up for what you believe despite the difficulties as well as for engaging intellectually and thoughtfully with the arguments/ passages etc. This is a topic that has confused me a great deal. I understand why many Christians object to same sex relationships. However, it is also clear to me that many of these people have deep seated prejudices and personal reasons for doing so, besides those they point to, which are Biblical, of course. My own feeling on the issue is that I don’t know the answer. It is not a priority in my life at this point to explore it thoroughly academically. However, I always come back to the fact that I believe that people are homosexual because they are made that way by God and I don’t see why he would not want them to be involved in intimate, loving relationships that honour Him just as he wants for heterosexuals. So in short, I don’t understand it all or why there are things that seem to indicate that homosexuality is a sin. However, I can’t reconcile that with my understanding and experience of God. And I have to put that first, just as many others have done in contexts where the church was telling them that they should believe certain things based on certain Biblical verses but they have gone with what they feel and know about God rather than that. I am thinking about things like racial prejudice and Apartheid in South Africa, which people now generally agree are not Biblical although many people used the Bible to defend their personal prejudices at that time.

  • Zion Marie

    It says in Luke 6:39 “Do NOT judge, and you will not be judged; and do NOT condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned” and in Matthew 7:1+2 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

    Words from Jesus’ mouth, doesn’t that give us all instruction enough to just be accepting
    and loving people, just like he was? He just wants us all to come as we are, right now, in our worst place, so he can fix us and mould us ALL like clay, since He is the potter. We have to grow more with him, to become who we’re supposed to be and by being judgmental, I believe, we’re all just stopping that from happening.

    They are people just as much as we are, with feelings and emotions just like we have, and some are completely lost, in other ways than their sexual orientation, just as we have ALL been, before finding God and God finding us. We need to get past the condemnation, for them, so they don’t feel like outsiders (like the lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes, ect.) and for ourselves if we want to come closer to God.

    Jesus even sat with the people who were the “worst” in that world (like the lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes, ect.) and he continued to love them. He was always the one that could cast the first stone against them, but he didn’t because of his love and grace. We have to all become more like him, be a representation of him, just like most of us are always saying in church. So, why aren’t we getting this?

  • LauraB1186

    Let’s just say I’ve seen a christian guy friend at a Christian gay conference and then in the same trip at what either looked like a male strip club or a gay club where the waiters wore speedos. I speak only from what I’ve seen a select few people do. I can’t speak for a majority.

  • Zion Marie

    This was my verse of the day on my phone, just said I’d share since it’s along the same lines as what I said!

    Proverbs 21:12
    The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them.

    Commentary:
    We must trust God with justice, because it is His to deliver upon the wicked. In Christ Jesus, God has paved the way of salvation for all who would come to Him and believe in Him. That redemption is not to be taken lightly, and it is not our responsibility to judge or condemn others, removing them from the offering of His grace. How could we, who were once dead in our transgressions, condemn to death those who are where we used to be? Should our hope not be for their reconciliation with God? Should our hearts not have concern for the eternal death that approaches them apart from Jesus? Know this, God is able, and will
    certainly deliver those who remain wicked to ruin. He will not pardon the unrepentant heart, and those who do not receive Jesus will not find rest beneath the shadow of His wings.

  • Adrian B

    I agree with all you say about a respective dialogue, learning from one another, and making sure we are open enough about our uncertainties in scripture whilst keeping our theology firmly based on scripture (a great legacy from our shared theological training). Like many Anglican’s, I am wrestling with what God is saying on this issue and in this whole area I struggle to find a way through (round?) the clear teaching traced through Genesis, Jesus (who affirmed marriage as between man and woman in Mark) and then Paul (e.g. Rom 2) that marriage is a union between the two parts of God’s creation (male and female), who are interdependent (hence the need for women in all parts of the church’s leadership), that is not only for love and companionship, but to reunite God’s creation and have the potential to be creative itself. This seems to be the definition of marriage in scripture, and was actually the definition of marriage in all cultures, faith-based and secular, until very recently.

    I actually don’t have a problem if a secular state, wants to depart from a book it doesn’t believe in anyway, to allow those who don’t believe in Christianity, to form life-long convenental partnerships (so I am not opposed to state civil partnerships nor am I a campaigner against SSM), but I struggle to see how this can be seen as marriage in a biblical sense or in the church.

    I’m sure this is all going to be coming in future blogs on the topic. I am keen to hear what you have to say.

  • Paul in Spain

    Although I am by no means on the same page as you on this topic, I really like the way you formulate it. And the fact that you’ve reasoned long and deep and biblically about it. It is sad how some people react… Looking forward to reading you as you elaborate on your reasons.

  • http://adelasteria.blogspot.com/ Kelley Danahy

    Hi Kevin,
    I’m not sure where I stand on this issue right now, but here’s something I have been considering: sins like murder and rape hurt* people. But, does loving someone of the same gender hurt them?

  • Mark

    As a horrible “unbeliever” but with an interest as to how religion affects society and where it fits in, I can’t help think that you have your work cut out. You probably know all this anyway, but the way I see it (from the outside) is:

    Many Christians are far too set in their ways, which supercedes anything anyone might say regarding biblical translations or meanings.
    You are up against the black and white of Leviticus etc. On an off tangent note, it is quite strange that “Leviticus” only shows up twice (on current display) in the replies. But, it’s at the core and I find some Christians are embarrassed to admit to using it as a weapon.
    Looking around in eg The King James version isn’t going to give too much to work with “for equal marriage” apart from the “God’s/Jesus’ love for all” which is quite a weak weapon on your side, given the hard facts of Leviticus.
    There might be mileage in “translation”, eg was the original word in Hebrew actually “marriage”? Are there other things? As an outsider, I’m a bit stumped that hundreds of years of interpretation have not covered this, but it might simply be the accepted social factor all through those years, but now we have a different social acceptance.
    It’s a little hard to think that there might be a “Eureka” moment, in discovering that Jesus didn’t mean “Man and Woman” at all, but something more generally encompassing.
    I wonder if the Anglican church are going by the thinking that it wasn’t that long ago that homosexuality was outlawed in the UK, so this might just be a phase of societal acceptance, and things might change back, so why should we change, because we can’t chop and change on whims.
    Of course, there are the very controversial views of Justin Welby that accepting gay marriage would lead to murder in Africa. How to deal with that, or even believe it?
    Looking through the replies, there are lots of quotations from chapter and verse, some which will contradict others. Again, you are back to interpretation/translation and in many cases, cherry-picking – something that has always annoyed unbelievers.
    Can the book be edited with the current church? – no.
    Can a new church/religion be started with an edited Bible? – yes, but that’s too radical.
    I would hate to be wrong on this final point, but would the church be looking to please the upcoming religion of Islam in the West? That, quite honestly, would be a terrible backwards step and an awful mistake for wider society.

    So adding all that up, you do have your work cut out, and all I can say is good luck to you.

  • Brian Thiessen

    thank you. thanks for your courage to speak up, and not just feel one way yet keep silent. I applaud you and support you all the way. cheers. bt

  • Paul McFadden

    Hi Vicky, I have been a fan of your songs for years, “May I never lose the wonder” being a particular favourite! I’ve followed you online for a number of years also, disagreeing from time to time on secondary issues, but agreeing in the centrality of the Gospel.

    From your background in the evangelical church, I’m sure you recognise that when evangelicals are proclaiming the gospel, to be able to show the true extent of the grace of God (and be faithful to the gospel itself), they must make evidence for, with clarity, the extent of human sin, our depravity. When talking about sin, true evangelicals are not doing this to be condemnatory, but the gospel is preached in love, to save a dying people. As such, the evangelical opposition to same-sex marriage is not an attack on Gay People, and an attempt to push them down, but an attempt to stop the normalisation of a manner of relationship which is contrary to the full sweep of scripture, i.e. both pre- and post-Christ, for their sake, desiring their own holiness with a hope, that under heterosexual marriage the gospel may be seen in Man caring for his wife, just as Christ cares for the Church (clearly in our fallen states this is not perfect, but a glimmer of the reality of the love that Christ has for his Bride, the Church.

    My question, then, with this in mind, is: Do you agree with the orthodox interpretation that any sex outside of heterosexual marriage is rebellion against God? (I don’t think you’ve said publicly whether you believe this or not).

    p.s. I struggle to gauge my tone well in comments like this, I really am meaning this as a polite question.

  • http://philgroom.wordpress.com/ Phil Groom

    One word to start with, Vicky: solidarity!

    I too have emerged from a conservative evangelical background – started out in a Brethren assembly and if you know anything about the Brethren you’ll know it doesn’t get much more conservative than that. But like you, it’s respect for — not rejection of — Scripture that has brought me around to supporting equal marriage.

    Keep your eyes on the Lord, sister — you’ve stepped out of the boat into stormy waters, but even if you do take your eyes off him for a moment, he’s still there to haul you back up.

    Grace and peace to you.

  • Georgia Jernigan

    It does hurt them in that “love” as described as sexual intimacy between those of the same sex is defined in the scriptures as an abomination (see Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, I Corinthians 6:9) to the Lord. God hates sin not people, as we should hate the sin and not the person.

  • Rin

    After all that, who do you actually live for yourself or Jesus God and Holy Spirit?

  • Jade

    Saying no Christian should have a sexuality because they should just identify as Christian is like saying no Christian should have an eye colour because they should just say they have Christian coloured eyes! Our differences are God-created, we should celebrate them. I’m sorry, I still really don’t understand what you mean – what does ‘transferred the Lordship’ mean here? Do you mean that people shouldn’t identify as heterosexual either? And identifying doesn’t mean choosing, it’s just about the description that fits you best – for example, I identify as a brunette because I have dark hair, I haven’t chosen to be born with dark hair! Being LGBTQ is innate and is therefore part of who God created a person to be.

  • Jade

    Actually the Bible doesn’t say we’re all sinful from birth, and there is much disagreement about Original Sin amongst Christians. Orthodox Christians, one of the most ancient and widespread denominations worldwide, does not believe in Original Sin.

    And Matt 16:24 is rather being taken out of context here. Jesus isn’t telling His disciples to get rid of everything that’s innately about them – he’s not telling them to change their hair colour, or gender, or even marital status. He’s telling them that they will have to make sacrifices, yes, but denying who God made you to be isn’t part of that – Jesus came that we might have life to the full. For God to make some people innately straight, and some people innately not-straight, and then to tell the straight people that they’re the way He wants them but the non-straight people are not (even though He made them that way) is deeply cruel and such a God doesn’t deserve worship. Fortunately, the God I worship celebrates everyone’s God-given sexuality, whether that is straight or not. Why do you think God would give LGBTQ people their sexuality but then tell them that celebrating the sexuality He gave them is sinful? It makes zero sense. Why would Jesus be telling the disciples that the way God made them is wrong?

  • http://tonychung.ca/ Tony Chung

    I think you meant “no one is sinLESS” ;-) But I got what you mean.

  • Jade

    There was really no need for the disgustingly and un-Christianly homophobic essay. And you are factually incorrect – many same-gender couples which include a transgender parent can have children without adoption, surrogacy or sperm donation, the children being the biological offspring of both parents. Would you also wish to ban marriage between infertile different-gender couples, IVF and adoption for them too? Unless you do, and also wish to ban divorce, you can have no logical objection to equal marriage. Perhaps you might like to add facts to the solid dose of Christian love and charity you so badly need.

  • Jade

    Er perhaps you’d like to take that up with OT scholars? Because sexual minorities are frequently cited as being part of the group known as eunuchs. Eunuchs just meant men who did not have sex with women – certainly by the time of Roman-occupied Palestine, that included a substantial gay subculture. Like, you know, the centurion and his servant….who was his lover. Who got blessed by Jesus.

  • Jade

    Er, would that be the single sexual relationship that’s been the Christian norm since Christianity started? I’m not sure why you’re recommending we take up practices of pagan tribes. I mean they are just cultural norms and not innate, but it seems rather odd for a Christian to suggest that marriage should be less about companionship. What about infertile people, should they just not marry? Companionship in marriage has been endorsed and promoted by the Church since it began, marriage has never just been about procreation for Christians.

  • Jade

    Jesus blessing gay people and never commenting on their sexuality would certainly suggest approval. If He disapproved of their behaviour, He would say so.

  • Jade

    Er, I already said that I can’t read Hebrew? Can you not read English? And I can defend it perfectly – a gender spectrum exists in nature. Ergo, God created it.

  • Tom Mason

    Err, Yes it does. Psalm 51:5
    5Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
    Are you going to say that’s out of context too, because it sounds like you’re trying to cherry pick the bits that fit so you can make God in your own image.

    I think you’re wrong about Matt 16:24 too. I’m pretty sure Jesus is telling his disciples that to follow Jesus is to submitted to his will entirely

    You might also ask why a few people have a sexual attraction to children, or excessive love of money or any one of a thousand evil desires that our hearts are home to. The truth is that we all live in a world that struggles under the curse of sin, and a consequence of that is that many of our deepest desires are sinful.

    What I’m saying is that I don’t think you can automatically assume that because people are born with desires that God gave them to them as a gift. However, God can still do amazing things with us despite our sinful desires when we hand them over to him and try to be obedient to Him.

  • Alastair J Roberts

    Marriage has always had companionship as an element and has never just been about procreation. However, procreation has always been integral to its purpose and has historically been more prominently emphasized. Same-sex marriage dramatically marginalizes the place of procreation in marriage, treating it as if it were irrelevant to the essential form and purpose of the institution.

  • http://tonychung.ca/ Tony Chung

    I am of the belief that we are all attracted to both sexes by nature. It’s who we are. The choice is whether we choose to obey God’s design, or follow through with our own desires. The bulk of creation has been designed that all life requires male and female components by design to propagate the species. With this pattern in action over centuries (and millennia, if you don’t believe the literal 7-day creation), then it’s easy to see that alternate sexuality identification is really a new discussion.

    I even heard recently that a new term “cisgender” has been used to describe those who self-identify with the attributes and atractions of their own representative gender. I mean, “What?”

    Anyway, Jade, this is not meant to judge you, or others. I only meant to add to the discussion, that we are all guilty of lording our sexuality over Christ. And we need to be sure that Christ has ownership of our selves, rather than elevate our own desires above Christ.

  • Jade

    Inerrancy and literalism are really modern, post-Enlightenment ideas. Yes, the early church fathers believed that Scripture was inspired but allusion, metaphor and additional stories were part of that for them. Their whole idea of historiography was different – Scripture was about storytelling more than literal truth. As an Anglo-Catholic to be more accurate, I take issue with the post-Enlightenment Protestant misunderstanding of ancient methods of history and storytelling. It’s not supposed to be read like a textbook!

  • Tom Mason

    You seem to be ignoring all the verses in which something which is akin to homosexual behaviour within the context of the time was roundly condemned as being deserving of death. It certainly seems to me as if Paul, as a student of a famous rabbi, has come away with that interpretation, and it has consistently been the position of the church for 2000 years. Now you might say that there was no equivalent to modern homosexuality then, and you might have a point, BUT you can’t then jump and say homosexuality is innate and unchangeable since it’s expression is clearly culturally conditioned. Further more, the specific behaviour condemned IS still the same behaviour regardless of the cultural form of exclusively gay relationships, and since exclusive gay relationships did not really exist at the time they can’t really be condemned specifically in scripture.

  • Jade

    Er well, I didn’t say all incest is rooted in abuse (which is quite different from declaring something evil/naughty/shameful) and did not even mention polyamory. Plural marriage is something I’m personally on the fence about but can’t see a huge argument against it. Incest on the other hand usually comes from an unequal power relationship which is almost always abusive – a mother/son relationship (for example) has quite an obvious power inequality. Like a teacher having an affair with a pupil, it’s the power balance that makes it abusive. There are cases where it isn’t abusive, usually when long-lost relatives meet and fall in love, especially siblings. However, the problem of children being born with birth defects is a real risk with any incestuous relationship. I’m not seeing how abuse and the risk of birth defects is a ‘no true scotsman’ argument. All incestuous relationships and even cousin marriages (which are legal) come with the risk of birth defects, that is established scientific fact. Same-gender marriage, er, doesn’t.

  • Tom Mason

    Violence death rape and murder exist in nature, ergo God created them too? No. God allowed the possibility of evil in creation and nature was corrupted as a result, as were we. This is why we need a redeemer, and why not only we, but all of creation yearns for the day when Jesus will return to create a new heaven and a new earth.

  • Tom Mason

    Well at least we know not to study theology at Manchester university now!

  • Jade

    Suggesting that sexual relationships are the only expression of homosexuality is just not correct. A celibate gay person still expresses their sexuality, just not sexually. Paul’s writings are talking about specific sexual activity which was part of pagan worship, not about who people innately are (and straight people took part in this sexual activity!). There would also have been gay people who didn’t take part in this, but they still had a sexuality and would have expressed it in other ways. The specific behaviour condemned is not the same behaviour, unless you’ve found a modern pagan cult requiring temple prostitution I don’t know about. Homosexuality is innate and unchangeable, its expression is culturally conditioned – it works exactly the same way for heterosexuality. A man having many wives would be a good example – his sexual orientation is innate, his expression of that in the form of more than one spouse is not and is culturally conditioned.

    Acting as if gay people are another species is very odd.

  • Jade

    Is that not libelous? It’s certainly very rude. In any case, I didn’t but was attending a workshop.

  • Jade

    If you’re saying that a gender spectrum is evil, that is deeply transphobic and hateful.

  • Jade

    So the disciples had to submit their eye colour or skintone to Jesus’ will? Because that’s about as changeable as sexuality is. Comparing paedophilia to homosexuality is disgusting and you should be ashamed.

  • Jade

    So you do think infertile people shouldn’t marry?

  • http://phillsacre.me.uk/ Phill Sacre

    So how exactly have protestants misunderstood ancient methods of storytelling and history? (And, what’s more, how are Anglo-Catholics any different)? Perhaps you could give an example or two. I genuinely don’t understand what you’re referring to.

    You believe in the historic creeds – as far as I can tell they weren’t derived by storytelling, they were derived through a process of Biblical study and systematic theology.

    Everything I’ve read from the church fathers – people like Irenaeus (c130-202), Athanasius (c. 296-373), Hilary of Poitiers (c. 300-368) – all these I could understand and used Scripture pretty much as I would.

  • Alastair J Roberts

    Jade,

    There was nothing ‘un-Christian’ or ‘homophobic’ about my comment. I just pointed out some unwelcome truths about reality and observed the fact that sexual relations between men and women and sexual relations between two persons of the same sex are quite different realities. While they might look somewhat similar when we myopically focus only upon the immediate reality, when one takes into account the broader contours of their respective realities they are extremely different.

    You talk of *many* ‘same-gender couples which include a transgender parent’ which can have children without adoption, surrogacy, sperm, or egg donation. First of all, I would like to see evidence that there are so many of these. Second, whenever such couples naturally procreate, they do so in the form of a procreative union between a man and a woman. Third, such a union would be impossible after sex change surgery. Fourth, where such unions exist they have almost invariably been entered into as a marriage between a man and a woman.

    As regards infertility, that objection is easily addressed. The objection itself is akin to saying that, since some football games can end in goalless draws, we can make goals and nets optional. The institution of marriage isn’t just the lowest common denominator of all existing individual marriages, but an institution that integrates a variety of greater ends within a single form of union. The rules of football and the football field allow for the possibility of games (even thrilling ones) ending in goalless draws, but they are set up in a manner that makes clear that goal-scoring is a primary purpose of the sport.

    The same is the case with the institution of marriage. The institution of marriage integrates a number of different ends within a single institutional form: uniting the two halves of the human race, encouraging procreative unions to occur in a committed context, tying parents to their natural children, insuring that children enter into the world with a mother and a father, strengthening the bonds of blood, encouraging lifelong commitment and mutual provision within family units, celebrating the importance of and upholding the sexual union within which the human race naturally finds its origins. Even though not every husband and wife will have children, they can still enter into this form of union and maintain the integrity of its various ends. In fact, by entering into such unions men and women strengthen the institution, making clear that certain things should be held together: that men should be united to women, that sex should occur within a context of lifelong exclusive commitment, and that the sexual union between a man and a woman should be celebrated, protected, and morally guided by society. By doing this, they strengthen the institution as a whole, even when they do not individually achieve certain of its ends.

    This isn’t the case when we are dealing with same-sex unions. The very form of such unions is opposed to the integration of the ends of marriage.

    It is also quite different to talk about the practice of something such as adoption and the practice of same-sex marriage. The practice of adoption is an attempt to repair a broken situation, a situation where children cannot be raised by their birth parents for some reason. It recognizes that the ideal and normal situation—children being raised by loving birth parents—hasn’t been achieved in a particular case and that an alternative must be found. The problem with same-sex marriage is that it normalizes and idealizes such broken situations, undermining the ideal of a form of marriage that binds children to their birth parents in a loving and lifelong committed relationship.

    It seems to me that your suggestion that I am motivated by homophobic sentiments probably has a lot more to do with the fact that the natural realities that I am pointing out are so objectionable to your unconsidered prejudices on this matter.

  • Tom Mason

    And a celibate gay person does not sin. I think part of the problem is that as a society we have forgotten how to have non sexual intimate relationships, and that the society we live in is feeding us the message from every side that every emotionally intimate relationship must in fact be a sexual one. The expectation is that if two people are emotionally close then sex must be part of that relationship.

  • Tom Mason

    No, if anything “gender spectrum” is a consequence of evil in the world, but like all things God can redeem it if people submit to His will.
    Using words like transphobic and hateful is a bad debating tactic, partly because it’s browbeating, but mostly because that’s the language of those who are darkened in their understanding and do not know God. It is telling that you’ve adopted it.

  • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

    So to be very clear, you’re telling us that this verse in Hebrew means a certain thing, but you can’t read Hebrew? You know what it says but you can’t read it? It doesn’t matter that you have absolutely no idea about how to translate the text, but you’re still insistent you know exactly how it should be translated?

    And the reason I should give your argument any credibility is?

  • Karen Webb

    I would be interested in Vicky’s answer to your first question. Vicky?

  • Alastair J Roberts

    There are several big differences between two persons of the same sex marrying and a man and woman marrying and one or both being infertile.

    First, and most importantly, a man and woman marrying is consistent with the form that procreative relationships take. Marriage exists to protect such relationships and the many goods that they integrate. The form of sexual relations in which an infertile man and woman consummate their relationship is the same form of sexual relations that produces offspring in countless other couples. The institution of marriage is a social approval of this form of sexual union and a means by which it is ensured that it occurs within a committed and provident context, within which provision is made for the general consequences of such relations.

    Second, while a few male and female couples are infertile, every couple of the same sex is infertile.

    Third, without invasive medical testing there is no way of knowing whether a male and female couple will prove infertile. One doesn’t need to examine anything to know that a same-sex couple will prove infertile.

    Fourth, male and female infertile couples still strengthen the institution of marriage by protecting the connection between copulative relations between the sexes and a lifelong committed relationship.

    Fifth, male and female couples are naturally procreative. Infertility is a result of failure or loss of natural function. Couples of the same sex were never intended to be fertile.

    Sixth, even when not fertile, male and female couples still participate in the only human biological functions that transcend the mere interaction of individuals. In the bodily union of a man and a woman, both persons become part of a greater whole, coordinating their bodies to a greater end. This end may not be achieved, but the bodily union is nonetheless real. Male and female bodies were made for each other. The same is not true of the bodies of two persons of the same sex. Their bodies were not created to collaborate through bodily union in the achieving of some greater end. They may experience a union of minds, wills, affections, or attraction, but true bodily union only occurs between a man and a woman.

    More could be said, but that’s enough to be going on with.

  • Tom Mason

    What an absurd argument! First of all you’re simply repeating gay dogma as if it was fact. There simply is not enough proper research on the supposed immutability of sexual preferences, and it ignores the original Kinsey research which showed that sexual attraction, particularly, but not exclusively in women, was in fact somewhat fluid of the course of someone’s life. Even Jessie J, that well know lesbian now says that it was just a phase for her and now she is exclusively attracted to men.
    Secondly, I’m sorry you find the link between homosexuality and paedophilia icky, but it is undeniable that both are simply attractions to a certain class of person, as indeed is heterosexuality. The only difference is the object of that attraction. Now, rightfully, paedophilia is controlled because the physical expression of it is harmful to people who are unable to consent, but that doesn’t change the nature of it is simply another place on the spectrum of sexual attraction.
    So no, I am not ashamed because I have nothing to be ashamed of despite your attempt at being the thought police.

  • Sarah Harris

    The issue is what “shape” is that love. Love is such a poorly used word today that we take it to mean what makes us happy, what makes us feel comfortable. We think of love as tolerance etc when from a theological perspective “love” is inherently God-shaped. If God is imaged in both men and women and this is tried into the beginnings of “marriage” in Genesis, then how can SSM fit this paradigm. The problem theologically is that you’re trying to change the image of God.

  • Sarah Harris

    there is simply no problem with SS orientation; I would happily employ a gay person in the church. The issue is only when one is in a sexual relationship. Christians are not opposed to gay people. I have many friends who are gay, they come to dinner we hang out, we love each other.

  • tlukemoore

    I do not agree with what you are saying I have seen academic articles disputing whether the centurion and his servant were lovers. Furthermore, I would doubt whether there was scholarly consensus on the meaning of the words Eunuchs.

  • Sarah Harris

    It is not a sin to be gay!! There is no issue with SS orientation; it is people in SS relationships where it is a sexual relationship. Same as for heterosexual people who are not free as Christians to engage in sex outside of marraige. One standard for all. Same love for all.

  • Kamilla Ludwig

    Vicky,

    I can only begin to understand how costly this has been to you. My livelihood did not depend on it in any way (although a group of women did once try to get me fired from a hospital for which they mistakenly thought I worked!), but I did lose a whole host of friends, including my mentor and thesis advisor from seminary, when I rejected religious feminism (sometimes called egalitarianism).

    I’m late to the party here and I’m sure most of what I would have to say has been covered so I’ll just make a comment on one matter. I think there is a case to be made that both religious feminism (seen most obviously in women’s ordination) and same sex “marriage” are modern varieties of the ancient heresy of Gnosticism. So, anyone who supported or espoused either or both would necessarily be a heretic. The real answer to the question that most commentators never approach requires us to be radical, in the original sense of the word. We have to dig down to the root of what things like ordination and marriage actually are. And for that, we cannot rely solely on the Bible. To do so leaves us in the impossible position of dueling proof texts. To answer the question of what marriage and ordination actually are, we have to recognize the authority of the Church — the same church that recognized and preserved the canon of Scripture for us.

  • superbri

    Jade I don’t know what you’ve been smoking but 90% of what you said is nonsense. I wasn’t being rude to Vicky, and if she’s offended by my words she can tell me (you don’t need to be offended for her). So don’t be rude and interject yourself. :) Now just to clarify, when Jesus quoted Genesis he was NOT declaring a “gender spectrum” as you say, he was pointing out the TWO different genders which make up the two parts of marriage: male and female. Go back and re-read it. He said GOD joins the male and female together, and we shouldn’t mess with it. There really isn’t much discussion to be had on the topic, unless you want to play games and rebel against what it clearly says. There are places of discussion and confusion in Scripture, this is not one of them… and it has not been for over 4000 years. At least as far as God’s people go (of course the pagans always have had their devient sexual practices). Please quit stretching Scripture to satisfy people’s worldly flesh, and start trusting God the way He designed sexuality to work in a way that brings him glory.

  • Jeffo

    I went to the Houses of Parliament on two occasions to listen to this debate. The whole issue was one of ” equality”. I never heard any discussion regarding the definition of marriage in the debate. It is noticeable that so many comments from the pro camp offer their own opinions. Our view of love is based on our secular culture ‘s definition. The adjective ” unconditional ” is not used to describe love in Scripture. Amazing grace does not equate to unconditional love . For God so loved the world…………….that WHOSOEVER believes shall….. Google ” Better than unbelievable ” to find a helpful article that unpacks this term. Of course we know why the term is used ie to convey the indescribable sacrifice made by The Lord but unconditional harks back to hippy times. Those proponents of SSM who do try to justify their view from a Biblical perspective are rewriting many major doctrines…in the words of Brian McClaren……a reformulation is taking place. Bell and Chalke concur with his views. Even if we have misinterpreted scripture for centuries ( in the evangelical church ) there is still one “delicate” matter that needs to be addressed and that is the complimentary nature of male and female anatomy. To dare to suggest that alternative activities are less than savoury will results in the charge of “Homophobic”……an oxymoron if ever there was one

  • Alastair J Roberts

    The rhetoric of the pro same-sex marriage camp really is question-begging, especially when they talk of ‘equal marriage’, as Vicky and others do here.

    By itself the term ‘equality’ tends to obscure rather than reveal. ‘Equality’ is only truly meaningful when people or entities are in fact equal and, within the relevant context, interchangeable. When we use ‘equality’ language to speak of complex realities where genuine and significant differences do exist, such as gender and forms of relationships, we start to presume the very things that we need to prove.

    As it functions in contemporary discourse, especially surrounding gender, sexuality, and forms of relationships, egalitarianism tends to be a self-asserting dogma, often making it impervious to reasonable discourse. I firmly agree with egalitarianism on the point that, when things are truly equal relative to a particular end, they should be treated equally. We should never discriminate between persons or entities on the basis of irrelevant criteria. However, when we are trying to have a debate about the natures and ends of particular realities and which criteria are relevant in particular contexts, to speak about equality merely begs the question.

    Instead of the language of equality, I suggest that we adopt the language of ‘equity’. Equity recognizes that people are different and, taking those differences into account and discerning differing natures and ends, is impartial, even-handed, and fair in its administration of justice.

    We all agree that equal things should be treated equally: the challenge for proponents of same-sex marriage is to prove that, relative to the ends and nature of marriage, same-sex pairings are actually equal to opposite sex pairings. ‘Equality’ rhetoric simply dodges this difficult task.

  • Alice Parkes

    Should we now all be for sex before marriage too then? Because many say the bible isn’t clear on that too. Experience shows me that when I have ‘messed’ around I have lost out on something. God still forgives and loves me but there have been consequences for me not following what I knew within me was the wrong thing to do. However, I was still a virgin when I got married and the peace and blessing that I felt the next day was immense, such a deep sense of Gods love and peace. I never once felt that after going ‘too far’ with men prior to this. I have seen so many of my friends lose something (many varying things) because they gave up their virginity. The same arguments that say its ok to have sex before marriage are the same kind of arguments to support homosexuality. I have a friend who used to be gay and is now married to a gorgeous lady and when he was in the think of homosexuality he says he saw hurt and unhappiness in every gay person he met, not because they were oppressed but because they seemed ‘disconnected’. God showed up in his heart, no one told him he needed to be straight, God opened his eyes he knew he was looking in the wrong places to be happy. We can interpret and re interpret the bible but spiritual laws are apparent in everyday life and its very hard to argue with lives that becomes increasingly blessed and people discovering who they are in God more and more, following where God leads them and their hearts supernaturally turning away from these issues that the latest theology has marked as ‘ok’.

  • S_O_T_A

    Well written. I tire of people claiming that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality too. The definition of marriage he gives in Mt 19/Mk 10 leaves no doubt that all other combinations are excluded. This is not a topic a serious Christian needs to ‘debate’ because God has been very clear about it. The mere fact people are open to even discussing this shows their love for God is growing cold.

  • Suzie Best

    As someone who identified as lesbian for a number of years, I can only say bravo Vicky for being so brave as to embrace ALL in Christ… despite their sexuality! I am forever thankful that I never let anyone make me doubt that God made me and loved me and Jesus died for me and believing in Him led to my salvation, no matter what my sexuality.

    When I was openly Lesbian, I had many Bible Scriptures that I believed toally backed up my sexuality and I totally believed that God had no issue with it. I did not for a moment let it affect my understanding of personal salvation, or listen to anyone who suggested it would. For myself personally (and please don’t anyone take this as my meaning that everyone should do this – as we are all different and called to different paths), but I eventually came to believe that this was not actually God’s will for my life, and I sought help from Him to change who I was and what I felt. This was NOT an overnight decision or action, and it came out of fully accepting who I was and what I was and having the support of people who loved and accepted me also as I was – not condemning me for my choices, lifestyle or actions, which I believe is VERY important. I struggled for years, but did not give up asking for change. There was finally a point when I choose to go down a different path and give up women and try men again, which was NOT easy… I always had the longings and the desires did not just go away, BUT I kept close to God and daily asked Jesus to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Him (1 Cor. 10)… and day by day, little by little, the desires waned and I started to find myself being attracted to men. Now I have been happily with my husband for 10 years and the same sex attraction to women has FINALLY gone away. So, I am speaking from my own personal experience.

    My point is, that especially those who believe homosexuality or SSM or attraction are sins, the WORST thing you could do is to inflict your thoughts and judgements on those struggling with this. YOU cannot change a persons sexuality, you cannot save them, you cannot turn them from a lifestyle, whether or not they or you believe it is a sin, or even if God says it is a sin. ONLY God, through His Son Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit has the ability to take someone out of a situation they are in and transform their desires and your judgement and condemnation of them will do nothing to help this, in fact it will only cause them harm. You cannot play God, you cannot save anyone – you cannot bring someone to repentance, you cannot hate someone into stopping sinning; the ONLY way is LOVE – as Vicky has pointed out. For me, I feel totally that God has told me, love them, accept their choices, give them up to me, walk with them, support them in their decisions and NEVER let go… LOVE them into the Kingdom, BRING them into a place where I can call them as I have determined; in other words, leave it up to God and do not try to do HIS job for Him. We were never told to stop others sinning, only to not sin ourselves. The moment we start focusing on other specks, we miss our own planks…

    Yes, homosexuality may be listed as a sin, but so is greed, idolatry, lying, thieving, and other sexual immorality… why is such a fuss not made about them too? Why do we not refuse to marry those who are greedy, or lying or who steal? What about refusing to marry those who make work or money their idol? There has to be a level-playing field and all sins are equal in the sight of God – if you commit one, you commit them all and who among us can say we are without sin? It is truly time, I believe, to love God and love others and leave the salvation up to Jesus, and to really show others how much HE loves them – no matter what state we believe their sinfulness to be in, that is the only way they will be drawn to a God who created them for eternity and a Jesus who died to save them.

    When I prayed about what to do about SSM, God clearly told me – I am God, I take no notice of the laws of men. That coupled with the fact that Romans 1 tells us that God has given over men and women to lust after each other, showed me that it was not up to me to try and stop God doing what He had determined to do, as who am I to fight HIM?! It was therefore up to me to keep loving those that He created, and to share the love of Jesus with everyone; I kept being taken back to Paul telling us – he became all things to all people that some might be saved. This had such an appeal to me as a previously ‘gay’ person, that it was something I could do – love others who were struggling as I had struggled. Not to judge, not to condemn, but to love them, no matter their life choices.

    Bless you all, and thanks Vicky for such a heart-rendering writing of such a subject.

  • S_O_T_A

    A serious Christian knows that this is not a subject for any discussion because God has already been extremely clear about it. Not just with His word, but with His creative power, by creating male and female. Man has not created a single thing that can reproduce, yet is telling the Creator how much better he understands sex! it’s absurd.

    So to even discuss ‘equal marriage’ (a misnomer anyway, since marriage has always been equally available to males and females) is to hate God.

    I’m very disappointed in the shallowness of people’s thinking here. Jesus made it very clear what the created order of sex is (Mt 19/Mk10) and I for one will not be second guessing Him, and I will love Him FIRST by telling the truth. Wake up Vicky – and others here!

  • Suzie Best

    Good to see you contemplating these questions Rob.

    For me, I cannot and will not say any longer that homosexuality is not sin, as I have come to see the Bible is very clear on the matter – as equally clear as any other kind of sexual immorality, including heterosexual immoral sins… which seems to be a point missed out by many.

    However, the Bible does not tell me or anyone else to prevent sinners getting married!! Also, fact that there are many other sins listed with homosexuality in the Bible, shows that it is not alone as a sin – but shared with other sins, equally serious. The fact that we do not prevent other sinners from marrying, means to me, that we have no right to prevent those who are homosexual from marrying either. The rightness or the wrongness of it as a possible or determinable sin is immaterial in this instance as I see it; I am not called to prevent others from not sinning, sin is something personal between myself and God. We are each to give an account of ourselves and our actions, not the actions of others.

    I truly believe that unless we start to treat all sins as being equal in the sight of God, we are trying to play God and pick on one sin as being wrong, when all the others are ok. Seriously, if no-one who was a sinner could get married, there would be no-one who made the grade!

    Your point about Jesus saying go and sin no more resounds with me too, as I have also struggled with how to handle these questions. If you read it carefully, you will note that only after loving, accepting, forgiving and spending time with the woman, did Jesus tell her to go and sin no more,. as all of that led to the woman understanding where her sin was leading her – as love conquers all. This suggests to me that we follow Jesus’ example in loving, forgiving and spending time with sinners or all and any sexuality, and allowing the Spirit to convict them if and when HE will in HIS time, of what they are doing, if it is in God’s plan for their life – and not trying to play God and intervene in that person’s life, but rather just being Jesus to them; showing love no matter what their choices.

    I also note the rich young man who walked away from the gift of eternal life, Jesus did not condemn him, tell him he would go to hell for his choices or anything like that – He just let him go. Should we not do the same? Bless you as you work through all of this hard stuff, in Jesus name.

  • Suzie Best

    Kevin, do you then also refuse to support people who commit other sins from getting married? Liars, thieves, greedy, idolators and heterosexual immoral sinners? Would you allow someone who looked at porn to get married? If so, the issue is that you are picking and choosing which sins you allow and which you do not. Planks & specks come in to play here I believe…

  • Suzie Best

    I find it extremely interesting how Paul determined in the NT that leaders only have 1 wife – if there were not people with more than 1 wife. That being the case, why do people still claim that a “Biblical” marriage or NT marriage is 1 man, 1 woman? Mostly, as there are clearly MANY examples of even Godly men in Scripture who had far more than one wife and who also had concubines… I am not wanting to argue that having more than one wife is ok, but we need to be careful to not put words in the Bible and in Jesus mouth that are not there…

    Specifically, when Jesus spoke about the man and the wife being one, it was in relation to a question on divorce – and how WRONG it was – something that most Christians do not take nearly as seriously as their perceived idea that this scripture is some kind of condemnation of homosexuality, which it was clearly not! Also, can making people male and female exclude them as male and male and female and female? If so, why does Romans 1 tell us clearly that God – yes GOD Himself, has turned the lust of men to men and women to women…

  • Kimberley Watson

    As an older Christian, I cannot say enough how PROUD I AM OF YOU!! I’m also an American living in London, so live in both your worlds. Please know that you are supported by many.

  • Kevin

    Hey, Suzie! Thanks for your reply. I’m not sure you understand my position though. I do not support same-sex marriage because the act of two people of the same gender in a sexual or marital relationship is sinful. If a guy who struggles with lying marries a woman who struggles with stealing, I would not support their decision to continue to lie or steal, but I would support their desire to marry. Marriage is a beautiful godly thing when it is done the way God intended.

  • Suzie Best

    Thanks for your gracious reply Kevin, but I’m still confused as to your position: the Bible clearly has liars, the greedy, idolatrous, thieves and other sexually immoral people (including heterosexual ones) in the same lists as the homosexual – where it says all of these will be outside the Kingdom of God; so you are saying you are accepting of all the other sinners and sins as ok and its fine for those other sinners to get married, just not the homosexual ones?

  • Kevin

    Yes, it is fine for those sinners to get married as long as it is a heterosexual marriage because heterosexual marriages are not sinful. If a homosexual couple desires to marry it is different because they are continuing to involve themselves in a sinful activity. It is a sinful activity just like murder or rape or lying, etc. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23), but that doesn’t mean we should continue to murder or lie or partake in a homosexual relationship.

  • Mark Marotta

    To even discuss this if you believe in the Gospel, the teaching and message of the first church is ridiculous, just read the Book, Jesus was very clear on marriage being between a male and female, the Bride of Christ is made up of His people and is spoken of as a female bride. Either Jesus is your Lord and Saviour or He isn’t, if you support a sin based life than that answers it. Jesus loves all even those in sin but He never supported or loved their sin, the love of God in our hearts is what changes us away from sin and the desires of the flesh, it’s not our works but His love working in us. I pray the Spirit of God fills you with understanding and enables your Christian growth. Without that spiritual filling you will be on the fence when it comes to many questions things like this. It is so easy to be deceived when it comes to relationships because we like to think that if human love is involved it must be a good thing, but we should let God lead the way in all matters and that is a hard thing to do at times.

  • Suzie Best

    The main difficulty in this is that who says all homosexuals who marry are even going to be sexual in their relationship? I know some who choose not to be… And how does a heterosexually married person who goes to prostitutes or who sexually abuses their daughter or rapes their wife, or who does not have sex with their wife but instead spends all their time watching porn movies, make these specific heterosexual immoralities ok, when you say homosexuality is not ok?

    And ultimately if the question is about something being a sin or not for the reason not to do it, it comes back to my initial question: if committing homosexuality is wrong, and therefore so they should not marry then committing any sin is wrong and they should also not marry… especially if two committing the same sin marry as they will just egg each other on into more sin.

    Sin is sin, wrong is wrong. It is not up to us to differentiate, the Bible does not. In fact, the Bible even suggests that forced marriages including that of slaves and of rape victims is ok… I think if you are going to go on a so-called Biblical standard in relation to marriage, you have to tread very carefully… as many men of God in there did not abide by the “Biblical” standard of marriage that many people quote – having more than one wife, many concubines and even sleeping with their wives maids…

  • Kevin

    So you’re saying that homosexuals will get married and then abstain from any sexual interaction with their same-gender partner and will continue a heterosexual life outside of their homosexual marriage?

    This is most definitely not the case, Suzie, and I’m very sorry, but if you believe this then you are deceived.

    A heterosexual person who “goes to prostitutes or who sexually abuses their daughter or rapes their wife…” is not okay. It is sin.

    The Bible does not support the forced marriage of rape victims, and I’m not sure where you got the idea that it does. The Bible condemns rape (Deuteronomy 22:25-27). The Bible only supports monogamous relationships between a man and a woman (cf. Genesis 2:24). The Bible never supports the instances of polygamous relationships like that of Solomon (1 Kings 11:3), and those relationships never turn out very well.

    Look Suzie, I’m not sure this conversation is very edifying at this point. I encourage you to continue to read the Bible and trust that it is very much God’s Word. If you do hold a Biblical worldview then I also hope to encourage you to support all of your positions Biblically, and true to the whole of Scripture. It has been a pleasure talking with you and I pray you remain faithful to Christ in all things.

  • Suzie Best

    I am actually speaking from very deep personal experience, having been homosexual and also been in a VERY sinful heterosexual marriage on all levels… and not many can speak from this kind of experience, but like to simply quote various Scriptures and ignore the whole message of the Gospel of Good News, Grace, Love and Forgiveness and also miss the part about us not judging others – by the way, I am a Christian and a Theological Student, who has done a lot of study in this area in particular, going back to the original Hebrew and Greek, as I sought to understand the historical meanings, (which are not actually as clear cut as many would have us believe.)

    It is obvious you have very different views to me, and seem to maintain that homosexual sinners are in some way far worse than all others, and that is not how I see God’s Word, which lists them with the other kinds of sinners that you appear have no real problem with. However, it is up to you to work this through with God and in prayerful asking for a deeper understanding, I cannot convince you otherwise, that has to come from the Holy Spirit, just as conviction of any sin does – whether homosexual or heterosexual or a sin of no sexual kind at all. All I know is I was not convicted of my homosexual lifestyle by what any human hatred or judgement said of me, it was only by the grace of God, and that is why I seek to extend love to all sinners.

    I was simply asking some questions, to see how thoroughly you had understood the concept of sins being equal in gravity and if you have committed one you have committed them all – as often people can think just one is worse, usually homosexuality. I do also thank you for being kind enough to discuss your thoughts with me and to have done so politely. It is more than many have done. That is the saddest part of all this, hatred from Christians and saying silly things like upholding “Biblical” marriage, which actually included King David – a man God said was after His own heart! committing both murder and adultery, including having many wives. We cannot ignore that these things did happen.

    I continue to pray all of us are always willing to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, as the only way our thinking can ever be changed is if we are open to the fact we may not always be right. It is very pertinent to remember the slavery issue in this matter, as the Church was mostly very vocal about the Biblical “rightness” of keeping slaves, also because of a few Scriptures often quoted, with the spirit of the Good News missed entirely.

    It was a pleasure talking to you too, God Bless you as well. :)

  • Murray

    Quite simply, the Bible shows clearly same gender marriages are 100% WRONG (an abomination), as does Nature show they are WRONG.

    You can not be saved and hold a pro same sex marriage view point. The perspective of this thread as like the snake in the Garden of Eden.

  • Ijabla Raymond

    Not one male and 3 females (as many men would probably prefer).

    Really?
    So, how about the various cases of polygamy endorsed by God? Or even incest? Or how else did Noah and his children populate the world?

  • John Pike

    An excellent and very brave article. Writing as a straight, married evangelical, I absolutely agree with everything you say. I am sorry that you have faced the backlash which you describe.

  • Carley Evans

    Good morning from the Low Country of USA! I am also a born-again ( in US speak ) Christian, hailing not from a conservative background as a child, but finding conservative congregations which teach the Bible better than those that don’t. Still, I also support same sex marriages because I know and love so many homosexual individuals. It’s hard for me to deny them what I myself would want. It’s the old “do unto others” thing, I guess. My question for you is WHAT is it that makes YOU support same-sex marriages? Thanks for the wonderful blog post. I want to know more…

  • Michael Wenham

    Hi Vicky. Thank you for your blog post. As others have commented, it’s brave. Being retired I don’t have as much to lose as you do. Being relatively obscure, I don’t stand to receive the shower of vitriol that you do. However as you know I come from a similarly conservatively Christian background as yourself – and have to confess to having held what might have been regarded as a Biblically-based homophobic stance, of which I now regret and have repented, as I believe I should have much sooner.

    My change of mind and heart has not been an overnight conversion, but has been based on my reexamination of the ‘proof-texts’ (very situation-specific in all cases but one; that one a Biblical hapax legomenon with a much debated meaning), the resounding silence of Jesus on the subject of same-sex attraction, and his resounding condemnation of judging others and his all-encompassing demand of love. It’s also arisen from witnessing the harm inflicted on LGBT young people and their parents by the uncomprehending condemnation of Christians like me, and from an encounter with a couple where I had no doubt that I was to reach out and love and accept them. I had the privilege of celebrating their marriage a week ago on Friday.

    Ironically I had listened to Archbishop Justin’s phone-in on LBC Radio that same morning. And I did understand the awful dilemma that he has as a crucial leader within the Anglican worldwide church, being aware that any ‘liberalisation’ which might take place here would have fatal consequences to fellow Christians in other countries – as well as having the responsibility to uphold the Church’s agreed teaching on marriage. I share your hope that ‘as the Church of England enters a two year discussion period about “human sexuality” based around The Pilling Report,… those of us on all ‘sides’ can talk with respect and kindness, despite the deeply painful and inflammatory nature of the subject matter.’ As mule-headed Oliver Cromwell said to the equally stubborn Scottish Kirk Synod, ‘I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.’ We’re all of us mere humans.

    I suspect you don’t need me to say that I don’t believe you’re a heretic, but on the contrary Valiant for Truth in an era of Vanity Fair. And I for one will be listening to ‘The Wonder of the Cross’ this coming week and being grateful.

  • Phil (Confused Baptist)

    Rich. I am thoughtfully confused on this subject but I felt that your post demanded a reply. Your first point is a good one. If the pattern of the biblical story is this pattern of marriage between a man and women then then we must think very carefully about the idea that same sex marriage is a good pattern for Christians.

    However your second point is not. Has God changed his mind on slavery, patriarchy or pork? I don’t think he has but you must think God has changed his mind if you read the bible in the way you have suggested you read it. If God has changed his mind then he can do it again I guess?

  • Chrissy

    But God is the one who created marriage. Not government. Marriage is so much more than saying vows and a peace of paper. It is a deep spiritual union given to us as a gift from God. :-)

  • Phil (Confused Baptist)

    The Holy Spirit really shook up the first churches!! Women were stepping out of their pre penticost roles, even the dirty, unholy gentiles were being given equal status as Jesus followers. Slaves were becoming christians and so were their masters. What do you do??? The Holy Spirit had shook so many things up that order had to be maintained or nothing would get done and the church would get a bad reputation out there in the community.

    In response, Paul reacted to different contexts with different rules. Sometimes women were to be quiet, sometime breaking of food was was to be done with sensitivity, sometimes slaves were not to use their freedom in Christ to disrespect their earthly master. Taking the bible seriously I would not expect women to be quiet in church, (others would disagree I know), I would not expect churches to accept slavery as OK, and I do not expect bacon to be off the menu when at our churches prayer breakfast.

    So what?? Well I believe the Holy Spirit is working in our midst through some of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. I also believe our ‘biblical’ stance on this is giving us a terrible reputation in our society. In our context today in 2014 can the rules change.? That may be biblical?

  • Phil (confused baptist)

    Here’s a challenge.

    Some questions: Is tithing biblical? Is slavery biblical? Is having authority over your wife biblical? Is soldiers killing babies biblical? Is eating pork biblical? Answers: Yes but no / yes but no / yes but no / no but yes…

    Be careful with the word biblical

    Is same sex marriage biblical? No but …. ??

  • phil (v confused baptist)

    oops sorry! Answers should read:

    Yes but no / yes but no / yes but no / yes but no / no but yes…

  • Phil (Confused Baptist)

    Hi Christine. You have helped me reflect on the idea of friendship. Paul’s Romans 1 depiction of those who sleep with others of the same sex is pretty clear. How can such people be friends unless the depiction in Romans 1 is not about our gay friends? (Of course Jesus ate with Zacchaeus but this led to an complete turn around for him.) How can we have dear gay friends (assuming they are in sexual relationships) if they are the people of Romans 1? If they are Christians (even worse) surely then 1 Corinthians 5 applies?

    But perhaps I am looking at this the wrong way around? If I have dear gay friends then this must make me question my assumptions about the rightness or not of gay relationships. If they are dear friends this is perhaps because they are good Christian people.

    The bigger question is then: “What is Christian friendship?” And what conclusions do the answer to that question lead us too?

  • Phil (Confused Baptist)

    So we sin in the womb?

  • Phil (confused Baptist)

    Surely Tom and Jade the genetics of same sex attraction and indeed sin are a distraction here? We have gay or straight attractions because, of our genes, the conditions in the womb or our environment. (or a mixture) All these arenas are both created good by God and fallen / corrupted. So how does that help either argument?

  • Phil (Confused Baptist)

    Hi Tom. I agree. 1. Tolerant is a pathetic word if it trying to describe the outrageous love Jesus showed for those who were judged as sinners by the religiously faithful. 2. Jesus wasn’t tolerant of those like the Pharisees.
    Like yourself I think Jesus is intolerant but I can only trust in Christ.

  • Phil Warburtton

    Hi Marty. Where did God change his mind on genocide or slavery? Not much gospel in either.

  • Tom Mason

    I agree with everything you say here, including the last bit about a terrible reputation, BUT, Jesus told us to expect to be hated because of his name, and because of our holding to the truth. It would be so much easier if there was a clear cultural reason why prohibition on homosexual activity was in the Bible, but there isn’t and I’m not prepared to make an argument from silence, when the only things in the bible that speak into the question at all are strongly against, describing it as a sin worthy of death. Incidentally that’s at least one reason why it’s not the same as the question of women in the church. For all of the things Paul said about it, it was never described as sinful.

    The confusion over this issue is in part down to the fact that for most sins in the Bible we can clearly understand why they’re sinful, but in the case of homosexual sex the reason why God seems to be against it is hard to work out.

  • Kevin

    I’m at such a loss for words Suzie. As much as I enjoyed our discussion, you say things that are completely irrelevant to my position. You just wrote that I “seem to maintain that homosexual sinners are in some way far worse than all others”. When did I ever say this or say anything to support this?? My original argument is completely the opposite, go look at the original question I asked.

    I very much agree with you that all sin is equal, and that is my point exactly. If homosexual relationships are a sinful act, just like murdering someone is a sinful act, then why should we support homosexual relationships but not support murder? Do you understand what I am saying? I’m sorry, I don’t know how to phrase it any clearer.

    Let me know if you still don’t understand my position but know that I agree with you very much so that all sins are equal. It is because I view all sins as equal that I will not support homosexual relationships the same as not supporting murder or rape or any other sin.

  • C. Quinn-Jones

    Hi Phil,
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments – a quick reply for now because it’s long past my bedtime and I will be playing the keyboard at church at the 9..00am service. I don’t want to say anything that would identify my friends who are gay so I’m sorry if what I write next sounds a bit vague. Re: my three friends who identified themselves as gay, I did not stop loving them after they said they were gay. I think it’s about boundaries and respecting each others’ boundaries – and agreeing to disagree about some things.
    Re the scriptures: Jesus was most angry about hypocrisy and self-righteousness and what I think of as ‘nit-picking’ and ‘hair-splitting’ (tithing a mint etc) So basically with gay friends – they are gay, and that’s the way they are. And I’m not and the idea of gay marriage doesn’t feel right to me – so be it.And what I do more than anything else is to pray – and especially the Lord’s Prayer.
    Not such a quick reply after all, is it? :)

  • MyGoatyBeard

    Vicky, I disagree with you on this and I keep following you on twitter (though with a different id). I hope I don’t come across as angry. Because I’m not. But I’m still looking for a good bible-based argument for SSM? I travelled a long way on the creation/evolution debate and what a complete waste of time that was. But SSM is a far bigger issue for people and for the church (also people!!)

    My main worry is that the ‘equal marriage’ argument originates from identity in ‘feelings’ rather than objective truth. This is surely a modern phenomenon and in conflict with the tone of much biblical thought. Obviously, at face value, the bible is clearly against homosexual behaviour (yes, also hatless women). But I need to see a well thought-out argument which is pro-SSM. Chalke didn’t really manage that.

  • S_O_T_A

    It is simply wrong to have a ‘discussion’ on this, since to do so would be spitting in the face of God. God has plainly stated the order of things, male and female, and we do not love Him when we second-guess Him on something so fundamental.

    The is no valid ‘journey’ here, no valid ‘discussion’, and no love for God FIRST. I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but I will not do anything which compromises my love for God. It is simply as wrong as 2+2=5.

  • S_O_T_A

    This is a ridiculous argument for anybody who knows scripture to entertain. The differences between ceremonial, civil and moral laws from the OT and how they are treated in the NT are well known. Please do some research before repeating long-refuted red herrings that really only broadcast your own lack of scriptural understanding.

  • Phil Warburtton

    Thanks I’ll look it up! I can see how the issue of pork is resolved by your differences between ceremonial, civil and moral law. Help me with patriarchy or slavery? I would say they are both challenged in the new testament but that would mean a theological Jesus centred hermeneutic reading of the scriptures not a static literal interpretation that some call “biblical”.

  • S_O_T_A

    Firstly, there’s a big difference between those who profess to be Christians and those who don’t in terms of who Christians are to correct and teach and, yes, even judge.
    Secondly, there’s a big difference between writing and arranging music.
    Thirdly, David (who I presume you are alluding to) – could even be Moses (murderer, Ps 90) – did not try to justify his sin. See 2 Sam 11-12, Ps 51.

    Finally, you seem to care a great deal about how much things offend people, but not a whit about the fact you are effectively calling God incompetent in reference to creating male and female.

  • S_O_T_A

    A fundamental problem with understanding the word slavery in the modern world is that we don’t consider that long before welfare, it could mean any number of things from the incarceration of people based on race (and that could be black-skinned people from Africa to the Hebrews in Egypt) – which the bible condemns, to people offering themselves as slaves voluntarily in order to survive and/or pay off debts. That’s actually not much different than some modern-day situations.
    People seem to forget that there was no ‘safety-net’ from government in most cases in case of hardship. What do you suggest people in those situations should have done?

    As for patriarchy, that is not an issue I have spent much time on, but I fail to see that the bible in any shape or form demeans women and their roles. There are dozens of examples of important women to the entire narrative of scripture, so I see this kind of accusation as more informed by modern day ideas that women are the exact same as men, when clearly they are not. Women discovered the empty tomb, they are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus, Paul’s letter to the Romans was likely delivered by a woman, Deborah was a prophetess, etc.

    Bottom line, those points seem to have more with sneering at scripture as if it is out of date, when no real attempt is made to find a balance. And it is a long way from discrediting the clear bible teaching on the sexes.

  • S_O_T_A

    Except for loving and including God it seems…

  • S_O_T_A

    I honestly don’t understand where you are coming from Margaret. It grieves me too when people engage in knee-jerk reactions, but at the same time, I cannot accept this is an issue open to ‘thoughtful’ debate without spitting in the face of Jesus.

    Whatever American history and the failure of some churches in the 1960s has to do with this is a mystery to me also. Racism is fundamentally different to accepting the biblical paradigm of male and female as complementary and honouring the roles our parents had in giving us life as a gift from God.

  • S_O_T_A

    …yet you are being judgemental yourself. The only thing I would say to you is that Jesus sought out to ‘worst’ to call them to repentance. Most rejected Him – don’t forget He died almost friendless on the cross. The true gospel is not a popular message for mankind, because it starts with recognition of sin.

  • S_O_T_A

    Well said!

  • Phil Warburtton

    Sorry. I do not intend to sneer at scripture. Far from it. I try and take scripture very seriously. That is why I respond to RIch’s initial post. If we take the Old and Net Testaments seriously we have to ask why the God who I also believe is “the same yesterday today and forever” seems to change his mind on levitical laws ceremonial, moral or otherwise. I am not trying to put down scripture but think more clearly about what the word ‘biblical’ means as it is thrown around so easily in such debates.

    Re slavery and women – you make some very good points. I would say the person and work of Christ (in the forgiveness of debts etc) and the experience of the early church (see Philemon) would eventually bring the apparent biblical underpinning of slavery and bonded labour to an end.

    Unfortunately texts that seem to support slavery were used by ‘biblical’ people to justify the very worst kind of slavery. Is our view of what is ‘biblical’ allowing such injustices still to go on?

  • Phil Warburton

    Hi Christine. Thank you for reply. I suppose friend is such an elastic word. I certainly don’t think we should dump our gay friends. They certainly have the grace to be friends with us when we have in the world’s eyes some pretty prejudiced views. What I am reflecting on is that my gay friends do not conform to Paul’s description in Romans 1. If they are instead good people, producing good fruit, then that must challenge our biblical understanding and our feelings.

    Hope service went well .. – you are certainly a good women if you are doing the 9am service!
    Peace

  • S_O_T_A

    Part of the point I’m trying to make is that slavery and the role of women are more difficult topics to tackle than the fairly obvious complementary of male and female. Jesus didn’t just define it, but God actually *created* it. So it’s not just a matter of ‘interpretation’ of words, but in addition we all carry the testimony of that creative act of God around with us, in our bodies, and by our parents being male and female.
    I just find it incredibly strange to say you love God and respect his word simultaneous to declaring his created order – and therefore your own body – suspect.

  • AndyB

    Rutter also writes and sets original texts, as have many agnostic and atheist composers regularly used in our churches.

    God doesn’t make mistakes. He gave us free will, because he never wanted mindless slaves but rather willing servants, which meant we had the capacity to sin, and led to the Fall. From the Fall I believe arose all imperfection – and part of that is same-sex attraction, something which is a reality – I know girls who find the notion of having sex with a man as disgusting as I would. If anything, everything since the 1960s, and especially since the advent of civil partnerships, has simply brought into the light of day that which was going on anyway in secret.

    Our problem is that we set anything to do with sex, and particularly sexual identity and orientation, on a pedestal as the biggest thing to be judged in a person’s life, while blindly failing to judge – to the extent that we have the right to judge without being found totally hypocritical – for anything else.

    As I’ve said before, how many people campaigning against equal marriage are equally vocal about their children sharing a house and bed with their straight partners without getting married first? How many of the same campaigners are perfectly happy to make lots of money and leave it in the bank while resenting their pastor every time they preach on generosity and giving?

  • Phil Warburton

    1. I do agree that it is the broad sweep of scripture regarding the bringing together of male and female, including references to the church and Christ, are very persuasive and there seems to be something lacking in same sex relationships in that regard.

    2. I do also believe that everyone has a biological mother and father. Indeed my children are a product of mine and my wife’s union and God’s grace. So we are agreed on that!

    3. However – are we defined by our gender or by Jesus Christ? Was he principally defined by gender? He was a man because he took on particular flesh. But his maleness did not define him I don’t think anymore than his Jewishness. (also some people’s genders are not easily assigned at birth – are their bodies suspect?)

    4. My body is very suspect. That’s why there is no picture!

  • C. Quinn-Jones

    Hi Phil,
    Thank you :) Not a peep from anyone at church about the SSM debate, though our intercessor prayed in general for ‘people wounded by division’ & ‘law-makers’.

    Re: St Paul – I love lots of his writing, especially the end of Romans 8 but I can’t make head nor tail of some passages in his epistles. And in 1Cor.5, which you mentioned, I think he’s a bit on the stroppy side – ‘Expel the wicked man from among you’ – that would soon empty the churches, given that we all fall short before God!

    So much though I like Paul, Jesus is the author of my faith & I’m far more interested in what He had to say & especially John 15:15 ‘ I no longer call you servants… instead I have called you friends’ So I look to Jesus for an understanding of friendship – and I keep searching.
    Thank you for sharing your reflections – it’s done me good to read your posts
    Peace

  • Phil Warburton

    Thank for sharing those passages and thoughts.

  • S_O_T_A

    I was unaware that Rutter also wrote, which would obviously be different in respect of him, but doesn’t really change my views. Using songs about the gospel written by people who reject it seems to be rewarding cynical greed at the very least, but maybe that’s just me.

    As for the bulk of your reply, a core failure of it is that it appears to beg the question. You seem to assume the paradigm of gay and straight as sexual identity in opposition to scripture. Employing worldviews outside of God’s created order and plugging that back into scripture for interpretation will not fail to lead to bad doctrine. The simple truth is that there is no gay or straight recognised by God as sexual labels, only male and female. That undermines a great deal of what Christians deceived by the world on this subject try to argue.

    I find other parts of your reply confusing – you admit that homosexual attraction is a consequence of the Fall, yet somehow seem to think that ‘equal marriage’ is a valid concept. I agree with you about the other sins you mention, but redefining marriage away from God’s clear intent – affirmed by Jesus – is not justified by highlighting other problems and the inconsistencies of some teachers, as valid as your points there may be. They are completely different topics. Furthermore, your own logic would seem to indicate – hey, we’re going down this wrong road, instead of turning around, let’s go even further!

    And as far as putting sexual ‘orientation’ on a pedestal – well, I would only ask, who did that? It certainly was not the Church.

    The simple truth is that our bodies are the greatest testimony to God’s creative order that exists. In a sense, they tell us something about God mind here as much as Scripture does; it is illuminating that no-one does not have one mother and one father. 7,200,000,000+ people. And that’s just counting the people alive today. If you agree that God doesn’t make mistakes, which direction does that testimony point?

    Given that this testimony is obvious to people even without access to Scripture, the problem really is – if they cannot accept the most basic truth about human beings – including testimony from their own body that they carry round 100% of the time – then words, ANY words, are unlikely to make a difference.

    At that point, only the Spirit of God will change things.

  • Paul Abeyta

    Vicky,
    I get that we should love others – Jesus even said that “he came not to call the righteous but sinners” (Matthew 9:13). But wouldn’t supporting fornication be unloving. I would like you to prove theologically that homosexual marriage is not sin.

    Your song “may I never lose the wonder of the cross” is great but it would seem to me that you have lost the wonder of the cross. Jesus doesn’t leave people in their in sin. It would seem that you have compromised the cross for the worlds wisdom.

  • jessica page

    God created us to be fruitful and multiple! I have relatives that are openly gay that I love dearly and pray for daily. However I understand how this world is being influenced by demonic & perverse spirits. I would never be nasty or hurtful to any one who thinks they are created to be gay or cusfused I will never rub my bible in there face. I leave those battles to God! But the fact it is it takes a male and a female to multiply the way God intended! I respect your opinion, and I pray God helps us all including myself to understand how to think, feel , and talk about the issue of “SSM”! I pray the holy spirit draws us all that are deceived and revils the truth to our hearts! The family tree stops when you can’t create more life, your bloodline dies with you unless you pass it to your children. The enemy has been trying to destroy the family since the garden. Jesus help us to love, love will fix all broken areas in our society, our body,mind &hearts cover us in your blood. Protect our minds from anything that is not of you Lord!

  • Zion Marie

    I already know all of that. I’m just saying most of us Christians spread this hate and judgement but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want us to, since he is the judge. We’re supposed to be as Jesus was and is, he loves everyone, he just wants us all to know what he did for us and our sin. So, I’m in agreement with you on that. I don’t think those people were the “worst” and neither did Jesus, the Pharisees, the community and world did. That’s why I said that, not because it’s my opinion. I guess I’m just kind of bad at phrasing what I mean and getting my point across, so I apologize for that.

  • Zion Marie

    Also, I don’t second guess anything God has said in the Bible, I am not agreeing or disagreeing with this post one bit, as it is not in my authority or anyone elses, but only Gods. All I was trying to say is for us to look at our own hearts and to love people (not their sins) just as Jesus would. Since we are called to be his representatives. That’s all I was trying to say.

  • Suzie Best

    I am so sorry if I misunderstood you Kevin. I was under the impression by what you said, that you would not support homosexuals getting married, but you would support those who commit heterosexual sins to be married – that to me, made it look like you took issue with one, but not the other. I know you say you treat them all the same, yet I did not see that in what you said. I did not see you say you would also prevent those marrying who were committing or would commit heterosexual sin. In my view, someone who actively views porn, uses sexual force on their partner or who cheats on them is just as sinful – yet we happily allow these kind of people to marry all the time…

    I actually support all humanity that our God created, as I believe He created all of us and that Jesus died for all of us – even the murderers, thieves, prostitutes, homosexuals, the homeless, the destitute, those held in slavery, even those who hold others in slavery; I support those in other faiths, and those of no faith, yes even those who commit sexual crimes or immorality. These are the ones that Jesus said He came to save – the lost. If we don’t support them, how will they ever come to know His love and forgiveness? We all need Jesus – especially the ones who are still currently caught in sin or who don’t know Him.

    I cannot see my way clear to prevent homosexual relationships, as based on Rom 1, God has already determined that HE will make men and women over to lust after those of their own sex and I would not want to try and stand in the way of what God has ordained will happen according to His will. I actually used to feel the same way as you, but through prayer and studying the Word and seeking God’s will in this matter, He has led me to a new understanding. I had to seek Gods leading in this matter and put aside all my pre-conceived notions. God Bless to you.

  • S_O_T_A

    When someone in the world endorses homosexuality compared to when someone who says they are a follower of Jesus says the same thing – they are two different things in respect of how a Christian should respond.

    I further acknowledge that there are also different audiences to which one speaks within the non-Christian realm on this subject – for example you would handle a family member that struggles with homosexual attraction different than the political level of things.

    But I absolutely reject that speaking against this is not being loving. As a Christian, my first priority is to love God, and I consider second-guessing His Word AND creative act a serious misstep of that. People who say they are brethren but totally misrepresent God are doing the devil’s work, it doesn’t matter what the issue is. Even Simon Peter was severely rebuked by Jesus in the very same way when he tempted Jesus away from the work of the cross with just one sentence!

    I suggest you read Mt 23 and also Rev 2 & 3 paying particular attention to what kind of words Jesus has to say to those who undermine people getting to know about the full nature of God, which includes not just His love, but His utterly perfect holiness. Jesus did not mince words for those who distorted who God was. You agree in your other post that we are supposed to represent God, but we cannot offer salvation without first exposing our helplessness in sin and the fullness of its grip on our lives. Without first having the ‘bad news’ of sin, the gospel loses its meaning and power to be good news.

    A Christian endorsing a horrific counterfeit of marriage as if that was OK is clearly hating God, but nobody seems to care about that kind of hate. I maintain, Vicky is on extremely dangerous ground here.

  • Mairi Franks

    Having read this post I think it is important for Christians in the UK and abroad that you have started explaining the journey that has lead you to this conclusion about “SSM”. What I found surprising is how long it took, particularly having now read the content of your post! It seems strange that you didn’t have this sort of response (or your future ones to come) at the announcement of your support. The reason this seems strange is because you are a theologian and academic and, as you have stated above, know well the strength of opinion from conservative backgrounds globally. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t have had this in place before? As a Christian who disagrees with your stance I have interpreted your support as “going with flow” because of the lack of biblical explanation presented to your followers (I think particularly of your twitter feed) despite many requests. I am sorry that you have received abusive messages over your support but I hope that you can understand the frustration from many people who are wanting to engage respectfully in the discussion. Personally, these blog posts would have been helpful weeks ago.

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  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    The discussion actually (is supposed to) centres around ‘what is marriage?’ from the biblical perpsective. Not sure where the judgement etc comes into the picture?

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    Good day my fellow South African. I’m a 30yr old male. Not exactly sure what you’re saying [you admit that you don't know and have not researched the issue, yet have a very definite opinion on the whole topic re people being born gay etc but your gut tells you that homosexuality is a sin?] but I have been following this debate and read as much as I can on it for the past few years and this is one of the more helpful (and concise) info sources on the topic I can suggest: http://www.livingout.org/ I further know a few people personally who fall in all these categories mentioned on the livingout website. Do not be fooled, just because a part of the South African church was wrong regarding Afrikaners being an ‘elected people’ and used the church as a tool for self-preservation while actually being driven by fear, does not mean the church has been wrong on its reading of human sexuality and marriage all along. There is plenty of material out there and it is worth researching the issue as it has been presented as one of the major cultural questions of our time: the broader question of what it means to be human and under that of course the issue of gender. The biblical view proposes humans as social beings, made in the image of God, male and female, also that all have sinned and fall short of His glory and by His grace may be reconciled unto Him, called to live Holy and in obedience to Him; the alternative being the view that we are mere individual creatures and gender is simply a socially constructed concept, we are to live out our own wills in the name of a blind ‘progress’. These may the the two extreme ends of the spectrum but nevertheless very prevalent in so many debates today. I hope my two alternative views do not create a false, limited choice, so feel free to add other worldviews on what humanity is.

  • Zion Marie

    Everyone is always throwing their view around when it comes to this stuff so if you read the rest comments, you’ll see it.

  • Russell

    If evolution is true and God is not, then the process of “natural selection” just selected the homosexual for extinction. Just sayin’

  • Russell

    Gee, it doesn’t look like she answered this question. Go figure.

  • Russell

    A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth.

  • Jarbucs

    Vicky; I want to know by what basis did you come to the conclusion of supporting same sex marriage? I don’t see it in Scripture; I want to know where you’re coming from….Thank you….

  • Gerald White

    >A brother responding to his sister in Christ http://thegospelplant.wordpress.com/
    >Despite not agreeing with the view thank you for sharing and being open to receive feedback. When do you think you will unpack your view?

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    You mean we shouldn’t judge Vicky? It depends to what extent though. Regarding her view on marriage, her error ought to be judged and persuasion and dialogue is necessary I believe. Condemning her to hell or as a heretic? Not so helpful and yes, perhaps overlooking the fact that all of us likely hold on to some form of heresy somewhere.

    I was under the impression however that you meant that those who argue for marriage as presented in the bible are sitting in judgement over same-sex attracted people. Jesus loved people but he never condoned whatever thye were up to but rather challenged them to change where necessary – an act of bold love in itself, an act of love we are often to afraid to engage in.

  • Keith Mason

    No because its impossible to beget children, SSA couples can adopt kids – why not incestuous unions who take measure against biological offspring? The only reason incestual or polyamorous union isn’t ok right now is because society hasn’t reached a tolerance point for it yet. But it has done in the past, even Roman Emperor Nero married both men and women (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_unions – not that Wikipedia is the final authority but its useful) and Abraham Lincoln had parents who were related.

    Regardless of what you might feel – it depends on what your measuring stick is for right and wrong – Christian teaching throughout history has seen incest, polyamory and homosexual practice consistently wrong. Let me stress that is the acting on the desire not the desire itself. I appreciate you might disagree with some or all of that but that is the classical Christian position for over 2000 years and the Jewish one before that. Its a misnomer to say homosexuality as we understand today hasn’t existed or been understood before now. A comments section on a blog isn’t the best place to address this. However thats my view and the context for which I base my response to Vicky’s article and statement of belief on the subject.

  • Hannah Lewis

    Thanks for being so brave Vicky! I stand with you. :)

  • Liz Griffiths

    We support you vicky. There are many types of relationships and thank God for that. Happy Easter

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    Hey Vicky. Is there any way in which you can turn the down-vote option on for people who aren’t signed in maybe? Lots of ill-logic occurring in this right here comment section and I, and I guess some others too, would like to give one another the down-vote, in love. Voting against what we believe to be bad logic or exegesis. I know we won’t be able to stop down-votes based on mere emotion but then again, some up-votes are also based on mere emotion. Or, if based on mere emotion, it might actually cut out some of the uglier posts, as readers might opt for an emotion-laden down-vote instead of an actual ugly comment?

  • Alastair J Roberts

    The deactivation of the down-vote is a more general change of commenting policy with Discus, not something that Vicky has done. It does make it harder to gauge levels of dissent—and perhaps also passive aggression—but if it challenges people to produce more reasoned responses, rather than merely emotional reactions, it will probably be for the best.

  • Daneen Akers

    Thanks Vicki. This is my first introduction to your work, and you’ve got a new follower on your social media sites. I also come from a very conservative religious background, and while not as high profile, my journey to affirmation has opened up spirituality and living on alignment with what I feel God calls us to with so much more resonance. I’m sure you are overwhelmed with feedback, but I would love to share a documentary I co-produced and directed about three gay and lesbian members of a conservative church as they wrestle with their faith and sexuality. It has been very well received–from LGBT film festivals to large church screenings. We wanted to make a film that simply shared stories and let the audience journey in the shoes of someone not often allowed to share their perspectives or spiritual journeys in church spaces. I would be happy to send you a copy.

    Thanks so much for what you are doing

    Daneen Akers
    “Seventh-Gay Adventists: A Film About Faith on the Margins”
    http://www.sgamovie.com

  • Zion Marie

    I just mean we are not the judge, God is, so we have no right to be judging anyone. My main comment is only as a generalization about this subject, as a whole and I guess every other discussion that comes about. Reading through a lot of these comments there is just so much judgement and it always makes me feel sad. I myself, was judged a lot for the mistakes I’ve made in my life which drove me out of the church for a very long time (I’m back in the church again.) But people judging me or trying to change some bad habits of mine, didn’t bring me back, God did and he can do the same for any lost sheep//prodigal son/soul/person ect. So really we’re seriously only driving others out with our judgement, not just the LGBT community, instead of accepting them as they are and just letting God do the work in them, us fighting is stopping that from ever happening. Debating about this subject hasn’t been helping anything change for a REALLY long time. And I believe everyone deserves some form of respect since we’ll all have our thing(s) that we’ll be questioned for at the end of it all, thats all I’m trying to say.

  • http://onewaypublishing.co.uk/blog 1WayPublishing

    I, like others, would like to understand your theology of same sex marriage. Please can you explain this. Also: is this a position you have always held or is it a place you have come to? If it is the latter, can you share a bit about how you came to this position?

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    Aah. Ok. I just prefer not to log into blogs and stuff. Also don’t want to be anonymous, think it’s bad etiquette. So I’ll continue like this, sometimes so much to comment on that it takes up loads of time. Guess I’ll just have to be wise in which posts to respond to and which not. cheers.

  • Frank

    What an utter fail in theology and practice.

  • melissia

    Only if you mean that the conservative Christians have failed in theology and Christian practice.

  • melissia

    The genetics and epigenetics for non-heterosexuality is present within you. As you have children, you are continuing to the existence of homosexuality. As your children have children, so do they. Because the genetics and epigenetics code for more than just sexuality, but a wide variety of things.

  • melissia

    “However I understand how this world is being influenced by demonic & perverse spirits”

    This is a dishonest way to live, which does nothing but provide excuses for the evils that people do.

  • melissia

    Your statements are spitting in the face of God, because God is Love.

  • melissia

    There are tons of non-heterosexual sex happening in nature, yet you say that “nature” proves marriage equality wrong?

  • melissia

    By sacrificing her livelihood to help those in need, Vicky shows that she DOES live for Jesus.

    Can you say the same?

  • Darryl

    Hi Vicky,

    Thank you so much for having the courage to share your thoughts, knowing the backlash you would receive from many of your followers. Five years ago our youngest son, who was raised in a strong, loving family, let us know he was gay. As Christians, we were initially shocked and devastated. However, after endless hours of study, research, reading, prayer and reflection, we are now able to celebrate his uniqueness. As a result of the radical change in our own hearts, we continue to enjoy a warm, loving relationship with our son. Our lives have been enriched in so many ways and we are very grateful to God for this life changing chapter in our story.

  • melissia

    “Biblical” marriage was a property transaction, and often involved polygamy– one man, many wives.

    You don’t support “biblical marriage”.

  • melissia

    God is Love. Thank you, for preaching God to us all.

  • S_O_T_A

    You are right about one thing, God is love, but given it is Easter, I wish you would think about how the greatest expression of love looked like. It wasn’t overlooking sin, in fact it stared it in the face and to us it would’ve looked ugly. Happy Easter.

  • melissia

    The greatest expression of love in the bible was Jesus sacrificing himself to save us from our sins. It had nothing to do with insulting us, because an insult is not love. What is love, however, is the bond shared between two men or two women who desire to care for each other throughout the rest of their lives, and wish to declare this to God through the matrimony of marriage.

    Furthermore, your “happy easter” is a lie– you have made it brazenly apparent that you do not wish happiness upon me. Lying is a sin, SOTA. If you wish to talk about overlooking sin, you should look at your own. There is no sin in love, but there is sin in hate.

  • S_O_T_A

    You have twisted what I meant. I never wrote it was about insults, just that it was ugly.

    Something is not the will of God if it departs from the word of God. And in the case of sex, it is not just about the word of God, but the ACT of God creating male and female. Two men and two women can love each other, but sexually – no. Sex is for marriage and Jesus declared what that looked like and a cursory consideration of human physiology confirms that. You spit in Jesus’ face if you endorse ssm, because you are calling HIM a liar and God incompetent.

    And my Happy Easter was sincere. You seem very angry. I wish you would calm down.

  • Razzer (Maddy)

    Admittedly I was being general … and good for you …I know perfectly well a lot of Christians are not like that :) … but I’ve had a fair share of those who are

  • melissia

    “And in the case of sex, it is not just about the word of God, but the ACT of God creating male and female.”

    Homosexuality amongst animals has existed longer than humanity has existed– and continues to exist to this day. And homosexuality amongst humanity has existed as long as humanity existed. Your argument is thus inherently flawed; if heterosexuality is an act of God, then homosexuality is an act of God.

    The more you preach ignorance and hate, the further you are from God. For God is Love. That I am not enough of a fool to believe that the Bible is the unedited, unvarnished word of God is not evidence that I call God a liar. It is simply me accepting the fact that the Bible has been translated, mistranslated, retranslated from the mistranslations, and generally edited constantly over the years. And it has; If the Bible is the word of God, then it is abundantly apparent that the word of God can be changed by the efforts of Humanity.

    Is that your position?

    “And my Happy Easter was sincere. You seem very angry. I wish you would calm down.”

    Jesus did not “calm down” when he found people had turned the temple in to a market place. He tossed stone tables and evicted usurers from the churchgrounds– for he saw injustice, and sought to stamp it out. I see no reason I should be any less angry with the injustice, hate, and malice that you push forth.

  • Kagi Soracia

    Thank you for supporting us. Every voice counts, and yours is a powerful one.

    eta: Have you done, or have you thought about making a video for the NALT Christians project?

  • MarkTemporis

    Wouldn’t doing a PhD in theology lose basically the same audience you lose for supporting equal marriage? Literalism is a big thing in American evangelical circles, and virtually no respected theology program even entertains the thought of accepting biblical literalism.

  • Kristen Rosser

    This is really sad. God never forbids questioning or discussion. If something is the truth, discussion and questioning only strengthen it. If we are misunderstanding something, questioning and discussion can help us see our blindness.

  • SNF

    Does that passage about a man leaving his father and mother also mean that celibacy is immoral, since it’s clearly not mentioned there?

    I don’t see how referring to husband and a wife means that same-sex marriages are immoral. Jesus was talking about divorce there, it seems like a bizarre time to bring up same-sex relationships.

  • SNF

    Countless gay people have also lost their jobs for being gay.

  • Neil Coode

    Hi Murray. I have to disagree with your statement that “you can not be saved and hold a pro same sex marriage view point”. That statement simply denies the gospel. We all sin & we all make mistakes, in life and in Biblical interpretation. I personally cannot find any way to read scripture which doesn’t make same sex sexual relationships sinful (and believe me, I have tried). I am fascinated to hear the arguments of those who disagree with me. However, that has nothing to do with their (or my) salvation. All those who profess the name of Christ as Lord will be saved because He has paid for our sins. No exceptions. That’s the gospel.

  • melissia

    Why is it a far bigger issue? Even if you accept homosexuality as sin (I don’t, but let’s assume it is for the sake of the argument)… so what? Is homosexuality some kind of uber-sin, that is a greater sin than everything else? Is homosexuality a sin that forces you to focus all of your efforts on it, ignoring Jesus’ commands to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome in the stranger, visit the sick and the prisoner? Is homosexuality a sin that forces you to ignore the userers turning the church in to a marketplace, peddling the influence of the church to the highest bidder? Is homosexuality a sin that forces you to ignore the pain and suffering of others, instead to cause pain and spread hate? Is homosexuality a sin that forces you to ignore the vast amount of rape and purity culture within conservative Christiandom, and the harm that it causes so many men and women?

    Being gay or lesbian, even if it is a sin, cannot be greater than and indeed must be less than any of these. Because these violate the commands from Jesus, our Lord and Savior; and furthermore, doing these actively hurts other people, making them sins even to non-religious ethical stances. And yet you and so many other churchgoers do them, allowing the church to focus all of its efforts on the condemnation of homosexuals– including making children starve just so that you can collectively feel self-righteous (another sin, by the way; the sin of pride, declared one of the seven abominations most hated by god) in your hate of others. You are, in your condemnation of homosexuality to the exclusion of all other sins, a sinner far greater than the two men or two women whose only “sin” is declaring their love for one another.

    Do you not see the hypocrisy here?

  • melissia

    “Jesus told us to expect to be hated because of his name, and because of our holding to the truth. ”

    You aren’t hated because of Jesus’ name. You are hated because you fail to follow Jesus’ words, and you fail to love your neighbor. Being hated for failing to do what is right is not the same as being hated for doing what is right.

    If anything, the ones that this line most represents isn’t you. You’re not being oppressed or hated for doing what Jesus commands, or doing what is right. It’s the gay and lesbians themselves, fighting for their loved ones and their families whom, for the longest time, were hated for doing simply what was right– trying to protect and love one another, to keep their families intact, and to lessen the pain one another felt.

    For that they are called sinners, they’re called “the gay mafia”, their desire to be treated as human beings “the gay agenda”. For that, they’re beaten, raped, imprisoned, murdered. And yet they do not give up, and for that the body of Christ’s church comes to see the truth of their struggle’s righteousness.

  • melissia

    “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 8:38-39, KJV

    Yet Murray says that gay marriage is stronger than all of these.

  • melissia

    “When talking about sin, true evangelicals are not doing this to be condemnatory”

    Then I have never seen a “true evangelical”.

  • S_O_T_A

    It seems to me that you have a very odd view of God! You doubt God is competent enough to create sex. You doubt He is competent enough to tell us what not to do. You doubt the word of Jesus. Given that, why would anyone rely on your ‘god’ for salvation, or love or anything else for that matter? Your ‘god’ is not loving – he is a fool, he is a fake, he is malicious and powerless to change lives.

    Again, the ACT of God, backed by the word of God – also affirmed by Jesus – was not to create homosexuality, but homosexuality was a result of the Fall. Where is the homosexuality in this sentence?

    “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,” (Mt 19:4)

    Nowhere.

    Any cursory look at human physiology proves that the sexual makeup of a male and female – the only model endorsed by Jesus – work together so well as complementaries unlike homosexual relations. Not only that, but not a single human is alive except from one mother and father. Perhaps you might also explain why so many diseases carry substantially more risk from homosexual activity?

    And really – animals are your justification for behaviour? Even if every animal had examples of homosexuality (which is not even close to being true) the argument is fallacious since – for example – nobody would justify cannibalism in humans because some animals do it!

    You haven’t even begun to explain why if God created homosexuality He did such a poor job of making two people of the same sex compatible physically.

    All you are doing is projecting your own ignorance and your own hatred for God on others. As it is, I’m actually in a pretty good mood at the moment, so you have little chance of bothering me. I did wish you well, but it seems you just want to rage unreasonably.

    btw, next time you talk about Jesus driving out the moneychangers, you might want to pay attention to the fact He didn’t do it as a first act, but you sure rushed into this discussion all guns blazing. You’re no Jesus, Melissa, not even close, so stop trying to co-opt His name to justify sexual licence outside of the will of God. Homosexuality is not part of God’s Kingdom, and anyone who says it is will be judged just as badly as if they had been involved in it. (Rom 1:32)

  • melissia

    “It seems to me that you have a very odd view of God! You doubt God is competent enough to create sex”

    You doubt that God is competent enough to create more than one kind of sex.

    And really, that’s all I need to say in response to this nonsense.

  • S_O_T_A

    “You doubt that God is competent enough to create more than one kind of sex.”

    Well, I’m actually arguing for two – male and female – you know, what Jesus said?

    “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,” (Mt 19:4)

    Melissa, in an apparent conflict between what you say and what Jesus says, who do you think I should listen to?

  • melissia

    Jesus’ statement indicates nothing to support your claims.

  • S_O_T_A

    Do you seriously expect me to consider that different positions are different forms of sex? Are you remotely serious? You might as well say that sex in the Northern Hemisphere is qualitatively different than sex in the Southern Hemisphere!

    The truth is simple, it’s either Melissa or Jesus, and Jesus wins every time. Male and female, the end. Mt 19:4-6. Mk 10:6-9. Jesus does not refer to acts, but the combination. You only support homosexuality to justify yourself and/or to be trollish, but either way, all your reply does is attempt to cast doubt on God, which proves where you are coming from and I’ve no time for that.

    Interesting you should quote from John’s letter. He also wrote this:

    “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

    And part of how Jesus walked was affirming creation as a simple binary – male and female – not undermining it.

  • melissia

    “Male and female, the end.”

    Your argument is incoherent. The existence of multiple genders doesn’t indicate that God intends for every human being to find love with the opposite gender. That is your assumption, but not one founded upon God’s words.

    Do not mistake your hatred for God’s words. God is Love, and hate is antithetical to Love.

  • Andy

    Hi Vicky, great that you are having this debate. For me there are 3 key issues to address to get to a position where same-sex marriage becomes a social norm:
    1) what is marriage for? A stable base for furthering society and community, or two people expressing their lifelong love for each other?
    2) Can same sex relationships be consumated? Needed for the full expression of love. If so, how then would a same sex couple indicate a marriage had not been consumated?
    3) In the case of, (and to respect) other forms of sexuality bisexuality, transgender, heterosexual where sex may not be part of the normal relationship, the logical extension of the same sex argument should be for heterosexual couples to seek an additional partner ( for the fulfillment of the ‘ missing’ part), for bisexual invividuals to marry 2 or more people, and for various other combinations on the basis of love.

    Our physical creation, and sociatal structure (imperfect as it is this side of heaven), would seem not to be best served by same-sex marriage, and extensions to this. Lineage, legacy, and parental modelling become extremely difficult and complicated.

  • Sixes

    Kevin, I notice that you’ve compared same-sex relationships to the strictures found foremost in the Ten Commandments. While I know that many of you Christians claim that all sins are equal, I notice that you’ve taken the verses against same-sex relationships out of their contexts, and make no mention of the “sins” that they are found in context with. Levitical “sins” such as eating shellfish or pork, wearing mixed fibers, trimming your beard, not standing in the presence of the elderly, planting different seeds in the same field, and so on. What’s your stance on women wearing pants?

    Or, if you want to talk about Paul, who also spoke against same-sex relationships, how do you feel about women going unveiled? Paul clearly said that women should go veiled. He also said that women should be silent in church and dress modestly. Why no modern crusades against women priests and preachers? Why no modern-day attempt to legally outlaw the miniskirt? Why no protest marches against women going around with their hair flowing free?

    I’ve seen many Christians claim grace and nuance for themselves when it comes to ignoring so many Biblical “sins”, while attempting to hold others to the letter of the law. It is foul, and it is why so many of us are increasingly calling out the hypocrisy and the evil with which people like you condemn your neighbors while ignoring your own sins. And if you don’t think you’ve condemned anyone with your words here, you might want to consider the implications of comparing loving adults engaged in committed, consensual relationships with rapists and murderers.

    If you truly feel called by your God to oppose sinful activities, I suggest you get yourself down to your local fishmarket to protest the shellfish or to your local mall to protest the wearing of mixed fibers. After all, your Bible ranks those sins the same as homosexuality. Otherwise, I suggest you treat same-sex marriage in the exact same way that you treat a woman going outside her home with her head uncovered or a man with his beard trimmed.

  • MyGoatyBeard

    Melissa, thanks for your response. I’m sorry but you didn’t read my comment correctly. I said this is a bigger issue than creation/evolution.

  • melissia

    Is it a bigger issue than the direct commands we are given by Jesus, to love one another and help those in need?

  • MyGoatyBeard

    It isn’t in conflict with those commands.

  • melissia

    Supporting gay marriage isn’t, sure.

    Being against it, however, is.

  • MyGoatyBeard

    Well that entirely depends on whether you think the bible says homosexual relations are sinful. If it does then it wouldn’t be loving to tell people to do it would it?

    I may be wrong. This is why I’m listening to Vicky. Sorry if my view offends you.

  • melissia

    “Well that entirely depends on whether you think the bible says homosexual relations are sinful.”

    No. It does not.

    Whether or not you believe that the bible says homosexual relations are sinful, your opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage is hurting real people. YOU are directly responsible for their pain.

    And I am not talking about the pain of not being accepted, though that is certainly real; nor do I mean the pain caused by the hate spewed using your opposition as a justification, though that is likewise real. I am talking about the pain of families torn apart because of lack of legal protection. Children taken away from grieving families because the remaining parent no longer has a legal right to care for the child– and so many more situations that are happening right now, because of you and people like you.

    THIS is the real sin. Your beliefs are pretty much irrelevant. The effects of your actions on other people, however, are not. Even if you view homosexuality as sinful, this opposition is nothing more than people using their beliefs as an excuse to commit more sins. Nothing more than YOU using your belief as an excuse to commit more sin.

    Jesus did not ask us to reject sinners. If He did, no one would be accepted.

  • MyGoatyBeard

    Maybe you have me confused with someone else?

    In the UK SSM is legal.

    I don’t get why thinking that homosexual behaviour is not Gods plan for humanity means that children are removed from families.

  • melissia

    Because you don’t consider that said belief is turned in to action and opposition for the rights of families that have gay parents or children.

  • MyGoatyBeard

    Those things are truly shocking and I hope Vicky’s work will help.

    It doesn’t make me think that homosex is good.

    In the uk people used to take the baby away from a single mother. That was appalling. It didn’t mean we should applaud single motherhood.

  • melissia

    It’s disgusting and hateful that you try to dehumanize homosexuals to the sex that they have with their partners, instead of realizing that they are actually people.

  • MyGoatyBeard

    Melissia. Thanks for the dialogue. It’s time for me to go to bed. As a parting comment I’d just like to say I’m sure God loves and accepts all LGBT people just as they are. I don’t condemn them for who they are. Sorry if I’ve made it sound like I do. I would happily have communion with SSM people. I think our identity is objective in Christ, and not a matter of feelings and certainly not a matter of sin. We are all sinners. Good night.

  • S_O_T_A

    If male and female is “incoherent” to you, that rather obviously says more about you than me.

  • melissia

    You are deliberately and maliciously misreading what I have posted in order to insult me. Doing things like that is an abomination against God:

    “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

    That last post of yours fits all but two of those categories.

  • Kevin

    Hi, Sixes. That is a cool name :)
    I’m going to try and answer all of your questions because I think you’ve brought up some good points!
    First of all, I believe all 613 of the Jewish commandments in the Hebrew Bible are not necessarily additions to the Ten Commandments, but describe more specific examples as to how the Ten Commandments would apply in various situations. Jesus even compiles the Ten Commandments into only two commandments, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37, 39). He then also mentions that, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Mt. 22:40). So I think that when you look at the Ten Commandments, the first 4 dealing with loving God, and 5-10 dealing with loving our neighbor, they are just more specific examples on how we ought to love God and love others.
    In regards to the Levitical sins, I think it is important to recognize why they were given- “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statues and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them; I am the Lord” (Leviticus 18:2-5). So, I think it would be safe to say that these specific commandments are given to set Israel apart as God’s chosen people, and by following these imperatives, they are fulfilling the Law by loving God and loving their neighbor.
    Interestingly, Leviticus does prohibit things like “rounding off the hair on your temples”, and wearing “a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material” and I think these can be understood as directives given in order to separate themselves from Pagan nations. It is important to realize that since Jesus’ death and the tearing of the temple veil (Mt. 27:51), there is no longer a distinction between Jew and Gentile. As Paul explains, “there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him” (Rom. 10:12). So prior to this, God was very much concerned with separating the Jews as a people group. Their righteousness still came through faith (Gen. 15:6), but faith in adhering to the Law that God provided them. The condition of their hearts was seen in how they submitted to Gods word. Now, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, we obtain righteousness not through faith in the Law, but by faith in Christ. God is no longer dealing with one particular people group, but rather, is reaching out to many people groups across many different cultures and backgrounds. This is significant because those laws about separation through outward appearance (trimming beards, garments of multiple material, etc.) are minimized, while sins that reflect the condition of our hearts are emphasized (murder, rape, drunkenness, homosexuality, etc.). God doesn’t desire for us to simply look different, He hopes for us to act different, of which our actions are merely the product of a changed and transformed heart.
    – My position on Deuteronomy 22:5 is not that women are being prohibited from wearing pants, but I think careful study shows that it likely refers to the prohibition of women wearing armor, i.e. being involved in war.
    – Paul clearly states in 1 Corinthians 8:8 that “Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.” His point in this chapter as well as Romans 14 is to honor the “weaker brother” who still struggled with this concept.
    – I also believe that the veiling of women was a cultural thing, but I do know women that have felt convicted of this passage and have chosen to wear head coverings in church. I think if they feel convicted of this, they are not wrong in wearing a head covering, as James writes, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17). The important thing is recognizing the principle, that “the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband…” (1 Corinthians 11:3). I believe head coverings were an outward expression of an inward submission to God’s word and order in creation- an outward expression more commonly recognized in that time period.
    – I believe the directive Paul gave for women to remain silent in churches was because they were not to have spiritual authority over a man (cf. 1 Timothy 2:12), but Paul very much so encouraged them to teach other women, “Older women likewise … are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children…” (Titus 2:3-4).
    – I very very very much have seen men speaking out against women dressing immodestly because it absolutely effects men in a negative lustful way. On the same note, I think men are absolutely failing at demonstrating to women that true beauty is not found in wearing a miniskirt. Guys need to do better at not being so shallow, and I think women need to care more about respecting their bodies and be thoughtful of the fact that dressing immodestly can cause their Christian brothers to stumble and fall into lust.
    I know it’s a lot and I’m sorry, but I thought you brought up some very good points and I wanted to address all of them. I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this!

  • EdinburghEye

    Can you first explain, with reference to chapter and verse from the gospels, how two men or two women getting married in church is wrong?

    Then can you explain, again with reference to chapter and verse, how a married couple making love together is “fornication”?

  • EdinburghEye

    “What in the name of all that is holy is he talking about? What can this
    “holiness” possibly mean if it is something other than love — something
    apparently opposite love?” Fred Clark, American evangelical Christian,

    There is no such thing as ‘holiness’ apart from love

  • EdinburghEye

    Your hatred for me, which leads to your describing my love for my partner as equivalent to murder or rape, is noted. Your hypocrisy in pretending your hatred is “love” is also noted.
    You might want to look up what Jesus said about hypocrites and especially sanctimonious hypocrites who were fond – as you are – of denouncing the sins of others while ignoring your own sins.

  • Kevin

    Hi, EdinburghEye! Dang, all you guys have such cool names, I wish I could change mine into something cooler :)

    First of all, not once did I ever say that I hate you or have hatred for you or anything even remotely like that. I simply said that I will not support same-sex marriages because I believe it is a sinful activity. I also never once said that I was without sin. Shoot, my life is full of sin and praise God for His grace upon my life and all of our lives! May we never take His grace as an opportunity to sin or live in sin.

    It is because I love you that I choose to not support any sinful activity you may be involved in. Do I not love a murderer if I do not support him to continue to murder? Absolutely not, I love him as a sinner just as I am. My all time favorite quote from one of my old professors- “The only difference between sinners who are saved and sinners who are not is the grace of God”

  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    You say you are driven to the position you now take by the Bible. I read the entre post above looking for direction from the Bible toward a postive view of homosexuality, but missed it. Surely you have writtne your rationale somewhere. Can you please give me a link to it. Thank you.

  • EdinburghEye

    Kevin, please don’t lie. This discussion will go better if you’re honest.

    You compared my marriage to murder and rape. That’s a direct expression of hatred for me and for many others. There’s no love in saying something as ugly and crude as that. That’s just pure nastiness. Hate.

    Your arrogance in judging same-sex marriage as a “sinful activity” which you think ought to be banned by law is not tempered by your acknowledging that you too are “full of sin”. Yes, you are; you are full of hate,you lie, you are arrogant and domineering, demanding that other people should be punished and discriminated against for your judgement of their sins.

    I don’t need your “support” for my marriage. Your notion that I do is foolish. You stew in your own hate and hypocrisy: I can’t stop you. I just want to remind you that claiming that your hatred and contempt for gay people is “love” is hypocrisy.

  • EdinburghEye

    Can we really reinterpret “A man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife”

    Well, you appear to have no difficulty in reinterpreting the passage in Matthew 19 in which Jesus explicitly condemns divorce, as if it were an explicit ban on same-sex marriage.

    So I’m not quite sure what your question is. Obviously homophobic Christians can and do pick out a brief phrase from a longer passage in which Jesus discusses Jewish divorce law with the Pharisees and reinterpret that to claim that Jesus was talking about the need to reject two men or two women joined together in marriage. I’ve seen other Christians explicitly or ignorantly reject the context of that single line and talk as if this means same-sex couples deserve to be treated as a good Pharisee would treat a Samaritan.

    As for the notion that the Levitical law against a man having sex with a man is permanently binding on Christians today, you can only claim this if you also obey the other 612 mitzvot. I know of no Christian who campaigns to make bacon cheeseburgers unlawful, even though by Levitical standards these are abominations in several mitzvot…

    If you want to be allowed to sit and eat with gay people, you do need to think this through: you can’t both reinterpret the Bible deliberately to give them less rights than yourself, and claim that you are in any way accepting them as equal human beings and Christians.

  • Kevin

    Hi again! I guess you can say or believe anything you want, but I am not lying and I am being completely honest. I work with a lot of people that go out and get drunk almost every night and I love them just the same despite their sin. I don’t support it at all but that doesn’t stop me from loving them. Their drunkenness is just the same as any other sin, whether it is lying or cheating or murder. Sin is sin.

    I never said that same-sex marriage should be “banned by law”. I simply said I don’t support it.

    I believe we are all deserving of death for our sins and it is only by the grace of God that we have salvation.

    I don’t hate you. Not one bit. I hope and pray you are able to see that.

  • EdinburghEye

    I never said that same-sex marriage should be “banned by law”. I simply said I don’t support it.

    Actually, you went on to express your hate for gay people by comparing gay marriage to murder, rape, and being drunk every night.

    Obviously you’re free to believe what you like, and to spout this kind of hateful nonsense while patting yourself on the back about how loving you are. But you should know that to the target of your hateful abuse, you come across as an aggressive, unpleasant, hateful person to be avoided at all costs: your offer to “hope and pray” that I will understand your hate and insults are “love” comes across as hypocritical sanctimony.

  • Kevin

    Please understand this, I do not hate gay people. Nothing I have said has included hate towards anyone. If my words seemed condemning, then I condemn myself as well. As I said before, sin is sin, and that includes my own. I am in every way a sinful person. There is nothing good in me. There is no inherent value in my life or character that God sees as good or right or honorable. I am disgusting and vile and totally opposite of God. It is only by His grace that I am saved. I am no better than you or any other sinner. If anything, I am worse. But Christ came to seek and to save all of those who are lost, and that most definitely includes me. He desires to save us not so that we may go back to our sinful ways, but so that we may live a life no longer in bondage to sin, a life that brings Him glory.

  • EdinburghEye

    Please understand this, I do not hate gay people.

    Why are you lying about this, Kevin? You’ve repeatedly, consistently, made clear you do hate gay people. You claim our love is like murder or rape or alcoholism. That’s horrific hate. That you hate yourself as well doesn’t surprise me, but why lie about it?

  • Kevin

    I do not hate gay people. I have not once said that I do. I do not hate myself or you or any other human person. The only thing I hate is sin and how it separates us away from a perfect God who loves us more than we could ever understand.

  • EdinburghEye

    You’ve repeatedly said you hate gay people, Kevin – comparing us to rapists and murderers. That’s hate. Why lie about it? Don’t you think lying is a sin? Wouldn’t it be better to be honest?

  • Kevin

    Nope, I not once said I hate gay people. The only thing being repeated here is your argument accusing me of such hate :)

    Sin is sin. That is why I will never support it, but I will always love the sinner because I am a sinner just as well!

  • EdinburghEye

    So, you’re going to keep right on pretending you didn’t hatefully compare gay marriage to rape and murder. Liar AND hypocrite.

    And as I thought: your “religion” is the jollies you get out of telling other people what sinners they are.

  • Kevin

    1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality”

    Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted”

    My perspective is based off of the Bible. The Bible declares homosexuality as a sin just like murder or lying or stealing or anything else contrary to the nature of God. The Bible also gives us the responsibility to hold our brothers and sisters accountable (Galatians 6:1), and that is a mandate I take seriously. I wholeheartedly recognize my own sins and in no way do I consider myself greater or “less sinful” than anyone else, but we are clearly commanded in Scripture to help our brothers and sisters in Christ to help restore those who fall into sin.

  • EdinburghEye

    I see you like misinterpreting Paul’s letters by failing to read the context, Kevin. Why do you do that? Doesn’t it matter to you what Paul meant?

    Here’s what the whole passage says, 1 Corinthians 7-11:

    “The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor malakos, nor arsenokoites, nor thieves will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

    The words modernly interpreted to mean “men who have sex with men”, which I have left untranslated, are in fact very uncertain in translation. It’s presumed that they mean “effeminate men” (malokos means “soft”) and “men who use other men for sex”, but they certainly don’t mean “two men who have pledged to love, honour, and cherish each other lifelong”. That relationship existed and was recognised at the time of Paul’s writing, and there were known words which Paul could have used to write about that.

    But that is not, in any case, what that passage is about.

    It’s Paul angrily condemning Christians using the law against other Christians. Evangelical Christians who use the courts to exclude and discriminate against LGBT Christians are condemned by this letter from Paul. You don’t want to think about that, Kevin, because you don’t want to think about Paul condemning your behaviour in attacking LGBT Christians, do you?

    But he is.

    The Bible declares homosexuality as a sin just like murder or lying or stealing or anything else contrary to the nature of God.

    You don’t seem to know your Bible very well, Kevin. You just seem to have read the texts which mean you get to be hateful to gay people and pat yourself on the back for “calling them to account”.

  • Kevin

    Very uncertain in translation? Here’s a list on how some Bible scholars found the word malakos to mean.

    NKJV- homosexuals
    HCSB- anyone practicing homosexuality
    NASB- homosexuals
    ESV- men who practice homosexuality
    NLT- practice homosexuality
    NIV- men who have sex with men

    No matter how you spin it, this includes both those single and married individuals involving themselves in a same sex relationship.

    A quote from a well respected author on the matter. “God condemns sexual sins; Paul named some of them in 1 Corinthians 6:9. In that day, idolatry and sensuality went together. “Effimate” and “abusers” describe the passive and active partners in a homosexual relationship. (Paul dealt with lesbianism in Rom. 1:26-27.) In 1 Corinthians 6:10, Paul pointed his finger at the members guilty of sins of the spirit, those suing each other because of their covetous attitude.”

  • EdinburghEye

    As you may or may not be aware, Kevin, the word
    arsenokoités is historically a very rare word. It is used twice by Paul in a “vice list” in the New Testament, and it (or a related word) appears in a couple of other unrelated documents where it appears to be used in the sense of an economic sin. While modern Biblical translators, wanting to justify anti-gay prejudice, do try to claim that arsenokoités means “gay men who take the active role”, there is no actual justification for that translation in any of the original documents. Paul may have been referring to male prostitutes. Certainly it’s consistent from the earliest translations into English in the 14th century that arsenokoités meant “men who do lecherie with men”, but that could merely be a traditional interpretation that the text acquired in the centuries upon centuries since Paul wrote the letter.

    (Which, if I can repeat myself: the original letter was to the Christians of the Corinthian church urging them not to break up the church with lawsuits against each other: it was not a message from Paul against gay sex.)

    The other word, malakos, has a much more certain translation: it probably means effeminate men.

    But if you tried to claim in the first century that a man who had sex with men, was therefore “effeminate”, they would laugh at you. The modern stereotype of effeminate gay men literally did not exist in any form. There were words for men who were the receiving partner in gay sex: they were specific and graphic and Paul did not use them.

    So, yes, Kevin: that passage in Corinthians is certainly used by homophobic Christians who (a) ignore the context – it’s a letter angrily condemning Christians in the early church for taking each other to court, and (b) who are not interested in the historical philological meaning of the words in the passage – in Paul’s actual intent when he wrote it.

    All they are interested in – just as all you are interested in – is justifying their hatred and contempt of gay people, pretending we are like rapists or murderers, and misinterpreting the Bible to justify your hate.

  • Kevin

    First of all, if any of what you say is true then I think you should consider providing at least some scholarly or peer-reviewed support for your argument.

    Second of all, Leviticus 18:22 from the KJV to avoid any ‘modern homophobic Christian translators’- “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination”

    Lastly, and for the last time, I do not hate gay people. I do not discriminate against them or bash them or abuse them or speak down to them in any sort of demoralizing or demeaning manner as you have so prevalently spoken to me throughout the entirety of our conversation. I do not hate gay people, I simply choose to not support the sinful acts they involve themselves with. I realize there is nothing I can say to make you change your view or stance on this issue, but I do believe God is always concerned with changing our hearts. And so I pray that we may both be open to accepting and allowing Gods will in our lives and for His truth to be made known to us.

  • http://www.michaeldyaeger.com/ Michael D. Yaeger

    @disqus_BEnlqLDMqG:disqus, thank you for showing Christ’s love in your comments. Too many Christians jump on Fred Phelps’ “God Hates Fags” bandwagon and fail to show others what true love (God’s Love) is. God’s love is evident in your life and I pray he continues to use (and bless) you for great work!

  • EdinburghEye

    First of all, if any of what you say is true then I think you should consider providing at least some scholarly or peer-reviewed support for your argument.

    *shrug* The question about what the rare word arsenokoités really meant in the original Pauline Greek is a tolerably well-debated philological topic, Kevin. If you’ve never run across it, perhaps you’re just not interested in scholarly discussions about discovery of Paul’s original intent? That malakos means “soft, effeminate” you can discover with any good Greek dictionary – and in a non-bowdlerised dictionary you can also find the graphic Greek words used to describe a man who took the “passive” role in gay sex. I cannot provide you with online sources, I don’t have them – but if you’re interested, why aren’t you doing this reading for yourself? Why don’t you care what Paul meant?

    You certainly don’t appear to be interested in what you can discover of Paul’s original intent by just reading the first letter to the Corinthians in any English translation, do you? That’s a genuine question, by the way. Why is it you are not interested in considering what Paul meant when he wrote the letter urging Christians not to break up the church with lawsuits, but only in picking out one phrase in the letter and using it very much out of context?

    Lastly, and for the last time, I do not hate gay people. I do not discriminate against them or bash them or abuse them or speak down to them in any sort of demoralizing or demeaning manner

    Liar. In this thread you have uttered hateful words about us, comparing us to rapists, murderers, and alcoholics. You have justified discriminating against us by denying us marriage. You have spoken down to us in condescending style, assuring us dishonestly that just because you think we’re evil sinners doesn’t mean you don’t “love” us. You are lying, Kevin. Now, of course you have the right to lie about what you believe. But you should know you’re not fooling anyone except yourself.

    as you have so prevalently spoken to me throughout the entirety of our conversation.

    Nonsense, Kevin. I have just called you out for the sins you have committed – hateful speech, arrogance, dishonesty, and hypocrisy. You yourself have advocated doing this – you say you do it yourself to others. Why then do you object when your sins are named to you, and you are invited to repent?

  • Kevin

    Since you don’t believe anything I say, here are multiple scholars on the subject. I would especially read the last bit, it seems very different from what you are saying.

    From Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament:

    -88.280 ἀρσενοκοίτης, ου m: a male partner in homosexual intercourse—‘homosexual.’ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι … οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται … βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν ‘don’t you know that … no adulterers or homosexuals … will receive the kingdom of God’ 1 Cor 6:9–10. It is possible that ἀρσενοκοίτης in certain contexts refers to the active male partner in homosexual intercourse in contrast with μαλακόςb, the passive male partner (88.281).

    -88.281 μαλακόςb, οῦ m: the passive male partner in homosexual intercourse—‘homosexual.’ For a context of μαλακόςb, see 1 Cor 6:9–10 in 88.280. As in Greek, a number of other languages also have entirely distinct terms for the active and passive roles in homosexual intercourse.

    From Strong’s Dictionary of words in the Greek Testament:

    -733. ἀρσενοκοίτης arsĕnŏkŏitēs, ar-sen-ok-oy´-tace; from 730 and 2845; a sodomite:—abuser of (that defile) self with mankind.

    From the New Bible Dictionary:

    “In Rom. 1 Paul condemns homosexual acts, lesbian as well as male, in the same breath as idolatry (vv. 23–27), but his theological canvas is broader than that of Lv. Instead of treating homosexual behaviour as an expression of idolatrous worship, he traces both to the bad ‘exchange’ fallen man has made in departing from his Creator’s intention (vv. 25f.). Seen from this angle, every homosexual act is unnatural (para physin, v. 26), not because it cuts across the individual’s natural sexual orientation (which, of course, it may not) or infringes OT law (contra McNeill), but because it flies in the face of God’s creation scheme for human sexual expression…Paul parallels the 7th commandment (on adultery) with a reference to ‘immoral persons’ (pornoi) and ‘sodomites’ (arsenokoitai), words which cover all sexual intercourse outside marriage, whether heterosexual or homosexual…It has been suggested that the meaning of arsenikoitēs in 1 Cor. 6:9 and 1 Tim. 1:10 may be restricted to that of ‘male prostitute’ (cf. Vulg. masculi concubitores). Linguistic evidence to support this view is lacking, however, though the word itself is certainly rare in literature of the NT period. It seems beyond reasonable doubt that Paul intended to condemn homosexual conduct (but not homosexual people) in the most general and theologically broad terms he knew. His three scattered references fit together in an impressive way as an expression of God’s will as he saw it. As Creator, Law-Giver and King, the Lord’s condemnation of such behaviour was absolutely plain.”

  • EdinburghEye

    Since you don’t believe anything I say

    Why, Kevin. You’re projecting. Again.

    You don’t believe anything I say.

    But I – as I have made repeatedly clear to you – believe that you mean it when you say hateful things about gay people. When you say hateful things about people, Kevin, as you do repeatedly about gay people, you convey accurately and effectively that you hate gay people.

    I have made very specifically clear where you are evidently lying and being hypocritical: when, after you say hateful and condescending things about gay people, you then try to pretend you say them out of “love”.

    So why are you refusing to answer my questions, and why are you projecting your own disbelief of everything I say on to me?

    All the definitions you have cited come from the modern (ie, since the 13th century, Wycliffe’s bible) interpretation of ἀρσενοκοίτης / arsenokoites. As you would be aware had you bothered to look at them more closely.

  • Kevin

    Ahahahaha nice, well at least I have scholarly evidence to support my argument. You, unfortunately, have none.

    Good chatting with you. I love you, and I pray God opens your eyes to the sin of homosexuality :)

  • EdinburghEye

    well at least I have scholarly evidence to support my argument.

    Really? Then you should have posted it.

    You, unfortunately, have none.

    Yes, because obviously no scholarly evidence exists off the Internet.

    I [hate] you, and I pray God opens your eyes to the sin of homosexuality :)

    Fixed that for you. Hope you learn to let go of your homophobic hate, Kevin, but you won’t begin do that until you stop being hypocritical about it.

  • Rob McAndrews

    Good points. I’ve thought about all these points as well. Let me tell you a story to help you see my insight:

    Part One:
    Why does the bible not tell us about Jesus spending time with homosexuals? Do you think that matters? I’m sure he did. The Jewish law was clear about homosexuality: It says a man should not lay with another man and a woman should not lay with another woman. The punishment was to be stoned to death. It also says that a person caught in adultery should also be stoned to death. There is a story of a woman brought before Jesus who was caught in adultery. Jesus message was very clear: Let the person who is without sin cast the first stone. Jesus could have cast the first stone. He was without sin. Everyone left from oldest to youngest. Then Jesus told her he also would not condemn her. But he instructed her to go and sin no more.

    Part Two:
    What happens if she just goes back to that man and ignores Jesus’ instructions? And then goes around and publicly lives this life of adultery over and over. Advertises this sin and shows no remorse for her behaviors?

    Part One is the thoughts my father (who is a pastor) shared with me. Part two is from my friend who wrestles with outright rebellion. I read Romans 6 and see that grace is unending. There is no shortness of grace God gives us. My friend sees living in sin as a rejection of God. He and I don’t see homosexuality as any worse of a sin as lying or stealing or killing, etc. But he sees the constant lifestyle as an outright rebellion and rejection of God. And they are living this sin out loud. Publicly outwardly challenging our view of right and wrong. I see his point but it disagrees with my understanding of grace. This is what I struggle with. It’s easy for me to love and not judge. It’s easy for me to be a true friend. It’s easy for me to turn the other way and not challenge them to search for God’s truth. Is this enough?

    My father and a friend were doing some street corner evangelizing in their college days. They came across a man who stopped and listened to them. When they were finished, he looked at them in astonishment and asked: “If what you are saying is true and there really is a heaven and a hell, how can you sleep at night? I would be out every minute of every day begging people to come and know Jesus! How could you live with yourselves if just one person goes to hell because you didn’t say something?

    I believe in heaven and hell. I believe in the death and resurrection. I believe in salvation and grace. Do I have some false narratives? I’m sure I do but what in this life is worth the risk of eternal damnation from God?

  • EdinburghEye

    I’m sure I do but what in this life is worth the risk of eternal damnation from God?

    Why would anyone want to worship a God who would send someone to eternal damnation?

    Think of the worst sinner you can imagine. Pol Pot, maybe, who oversaw one of the worst genocides of the 20th century.

  • Rob McAndrews

    Who on earth would want to spend 20 years in prison? It is not the judge and executioner who sends the person to prison but the person’s actions. Had they not murdered/stole/raped etc. they would not go to prison. It is not God’s choice to send someone to hell. He does not want any of His creation to go there. But God cannot be where sin is. That is why the cross is necessary. But it’s still up to us to decide to follow Him. He offers this grace, forgiveness, salvation to whomever accepts it!!! If we hang on to our sin and reject His offer of salvation, we CHOOSE hell over heaven! Just as the person who murders another CHOOSES prison! It is the consequence of your own choices. It is not as if we are blameless. We think of justice as a scale. An eye for an eye. Our model of justice is a blindfolded woman holding a scale! But we base justice on our feelings and we are a selfish people. We don’t really understand justice. I don’t claim I understand it either. But I know that justice required an innocent man to be tortured and hung on a cross for sins I haven’t even committed yet! You say hell makes God unjust? I say the cross was unjust. But it was necessary for their to be reconciliation.

  • Kevin

    Absolutely! Jesus 100% endorsed the creation order for human sexuality, “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”(Matthew 19:4-5; also cf. Mark 10:6-9).

    Additionally, Jesus in the gospel of Luke says, “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.” (v.16:17; cf. Mt. 5:18).

    This is significant because in Leviticus 18:22, the Law that Jesus attests to states, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

    And again, Leviticus 20:13, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be out to death; their blood is upon them.”

    Furthermore, the very first mention of homosexuality in the Bible regards God’s judgment upon it as sin- Gen. 19:1-11. Both Peter and Jude testify of this wrath, Jude stating it was because Sodom and Gomorrah “indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire” and Peter declared that Lot was rescued from the “sensual conduct of the wicked”, conduct clearly demonstrated in their attempt to rape the two angels.

    Also, Paul explains the consequences of both male and female homosexuality as a rejection of the order of creation in Romans 1:18-32. Johnson states, “In addition, homosexuality is included here in a serious list of vices that are deserving of death, not only for those who practice but also for those who approve (1:32)).

    “For this reason God have them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what not ought to be done.” (Romans 1:26-28).

  • paul

    You are wrong. End of.

  • Shep

    First lie is that people are not born gay. No proof whatsoever as this blog below explains
    http://pjsaunders.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/peter-tatchell-comes-clean-that.html?m=1
    This fact changes everything. God never designed this. He speaks clearly in nature. It falls short of Gods best and is a sin. The very act of allowing gay marriage condones a sin. This is unacceptable. M

  • Lewis

    Suzie,
    I agree that sin is sin is sin.
    The difference is that, if we conclude same set relationship is sin, we don’t typically sanction/promote other sin.
    I understand that we should as far as possible give no one cause to reject the Gospel but
    marriage as a concept, and that concept IS man & wife, is God’s. If you want to have set and equal legal rights fine but don’t call it marriage and don’t ask for God’s blessing on it.
    This position can and must be expressed with love.
    Grace & peace.

  • EdinburghEye

    “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”(Matthew 19:4-5; also cf. Mark 10:6-9).

    Yes, he did! But, that doesn’t translate to a condemnation of same-sex marriage, because at no point in either Matthew nor Mark does Jesus then follow up with “And so two men and two women mustn’t marry”. The passages you misquote in Matthew and Mark are in fact a clear condemnation of divorce, not of same-sex marriage.

    You can use that passage – you know, if you care what Jesus actually meant – to argue that Christians shouldn’t get divorced, even though “for their hardness of heart”, they have a legal right to do so. But I’ve noticed that you don’t seem to care much what Jesus or Paul meant…

    You then cite the additional teachings in (Luke 16:17; cf. Mt. 5:18) as proof that Jesus meant all Christians to obey all 613 commandments.

    (Among other things, Kevin, the Levitical law declares McDonalds cheeseburgers, especially with bacon, to be abominations. When was the last time you saw conservative Christians protesting the sale of cheeseburgers…? When was the last time you ate a cheeseburger?)

    But even that goes against another teaching: Mark 2:23-27. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” The law about doing no work on the Sabbath was in the Ten Commandments: Jesus and his disciples broke it, and the Pharisees condemned them for not keeping the law. And Jesus answered that the law was not meant to punish people, but to serve them. Equally your belief that marriage laws were meant to punish people by banning them from marriage, not to serve them by creating marriage, is clearly here condemned. You are a Pharisee, Kevin.

    Furthermore, the very first mention of homosexuality in the Bible regards God’s judgment upon it as sin

    Interesting. So, in your view, when Lot offered his daughters to the mob to be raped, this wasn’t sin? A mob raping young virgin girls isn’t sinful in your eyes, Kevin, only a mob raping men?

    You see, to someone who thinks rape is sinful, as I do, the whole passage in Genesis is disturbing because in Genesis 8 Lot offers his virgin daughters to the mob. To you, who apparently don’t see the rape of women by men as a sin, this isn’t disturbing at all? Or did you just not read that bit?

    Do you read the Bible, Kevin? I’ve read it, beginning to end, more than once, and – as you know from our other discussion – I’ve considered in more depth than you’re interested in – scholarly discussions of the meanings of some translated words.

    You then cite a couple of verses from the first chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Romans, which purport to justify your condemnation and judgementalism of gay people in Jesus’s name.

    In the very next chapter, Paul writes to you, Kevin, or rather to the judgemental Christians of Rome:

    “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearanceand patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”

    Repent your sins of cruelty and abuse to gay people, Kevin. It’s what Paul told you to do…

  • http://www.jbwtucker.com/ J.B.W. Tucker

    Lewis,

    I happen to believe that non-celibate homosexuality is sin, and will until someone is able to present an irrefutable Scriptural argument that shows otherwise. (Dear Lord, how I would love for someone to be able to do that; not having to take this position on this issue would be so much easier and more enjoyable—but none has, yet.)

    However, I disagree with you on gay marriage outside of the Church. I’ve written several pieces on that at my own blog, all of which you can find here:

    Posts on Gay Marriage at JBWTucker.com

    In particular, since you reference the idea that “marriage as a concept … is God’s. If you want to have set and equal legal rights fine but don’t call it marriage,” I’d like to point you to what I call the “Linguistic Argument” in favor of legal (secular) gay marriage:

    Why Christians Should Stop Opposing Gay Marriage: The Linguistic Argument

    I make the case that marriage, as a word, if it ever belonged to Christianity, ceased to have such a meaning long, long ago. And if we’re going to insist that marriage is a Christian sacrament only, and only when it adheres to Christian standards can it be called marriage, then we need to insist that any and all non-Christians also not be allowed to call it “marriage.” Of course, none of the Christians I know who use this argument is willing to do that.

  • EdinburghEye

    Who on earth would want to spend 20 years in prison? It is not the judge and executioner who sends the person to prison but the person’s actions

    Are you seriously comparing “20 years in prison” to eternal damnation and arguing that they are even remotely the same thing?

    Then plainly you’ve never given one iota of serious thought to hell at all, Rob, and perhaps you should, since it’s something that seems to occupy your thoughts…

  • http://www.jbwtucker.com/ J.B.W. Tucker

    Suzie, I agree with many of your points. The idea that God does not call us to legislate sin is one that I developed here, and also here. In that second one, I also point to the fact that God grants us the right to freely choose sin, even while warning us against it—and if God grants us the freedom to sin, who am I to take it away?

    Here’s where I disagree with you. Paul says very clearly that we are not to judge those outside the Church; that is God’s to do. But he also says without hesitation that we are to judge those in the Church. We see this in 1 Corinthians 5, in which chapter we also have an example of Paul doing specifically that.

    I do think it’s important, in looking at 1 Corinthians 5, to discuss what Paul means by “judge.” We are told elsewhere not to judge. I think it’s fairly clear that Paul is not using the word judge to mean “condemn.” Instead, he means that we are not to allow deliberate, willful, unrepentant, continuing sin in the Church. We all sin; we all fall. But there is a difference between sinning (which is something you do in a moment, and we have plenty of those moments) and unrepentantly living in sin. Paul says that that cannot be allowed in the Church.

    Also, I think your point about Jesus and the adulterous woman has some problems. Jesus doesn’t really get to know her. True, he does not condemn her for her past sins. But it is in the very next sentence (the third sentence he has said to her, and she has said only one in return) that he says, “Go and sin no more.” He has not gotten to know her. But you are right that he has first refused to condemn her for her past. But the important balance that Jesus strikes is between past and future. Jesus does not hold onto your past; but he does expect that your future look different.

    Additionally, a distinction that many miss, when applying that exchange to the present day, is that the woman did not need to be told that she had sinned. We live in a society where we all have our ideas about right and wrong—whether it even exists, and if it does, who determines what it is, and then, what does it actually look like? This was not the case in first century Judea. The woman did not need to have her eyes opened to the error of her ways; she knew what the Law said, and no Jew disputed it. So when Jesus says that he does not condemn her, that doesn’t mean she’s under any illusion about what she has done. When he tells her go and sin no more, it’s with the understanding that she knows that what she has been doing is wrong. And he does so immediately. Unlike us, she would not be offended at his saying that she had sinned; she knew that well, and there’s no way she disputed it. Similarly, in his encounter with the woman at the well, when he calls her out for her sin (again, having barely met her), there’s a tone in the way he says it that implies, “You know good and well that what you are doing is wrong.” Somehow, he does so without her feeling rejected, without failing to love her. I wonder if the fact that they already shared a common and undeniable understanding about the fact that she was living in sin, meaning that she would not be offended that he dared to suggest it (but instead marvels at how he could know about it), has anything to do with it.

    With all of this, I don’t see how we can make a sound Scriptural case for the idea that it is not our place to point out sin when we see it—at the very least, within the Church. Rather, the question is how to do so appropriately, without sacrificing love.

    How do you go about following the example of Paul and still being loving? Well, let’s just say that I don’t envy the pastor who is put in that position (unlike many, who would almost seem to relish such an opportunity, taking on that responsibility any time they get the chance). But I think perhaps it’s easier to imagine how we can do as Paul instructs in 1 Corinthians 5 in love if we imagine how we might do so with any other sin—say, for example, stealing, or adultery. Then we try to act the same way with regard to homosexual sin within the Church, which, as you have pointed out, is to treat all sin equally.

    Of course, as I said below, I would love nothing more than for someone to be able to make an actual sound and comprehensive argument from Scripture that would enable me to accept non-celibate homosexuality within the Church, and indeed, to no longer view homosexual activity as sinful. How great would that be! Some have tried, but I have not seen any succeed, as much as I wish that they would. So I am looking forward to this series by Vicky. If there is indeed an understanding of Scripture that can bring a pro-homosexuality theology in harmony with the Bible, perhaps she’s the one who can elucidate it for all of us. I would like nothing more.

  • http://www.jbwtucker.com/ J.B.W. Tucker

    Rob, excellent thoughts. Your thoughtfulness on an issue that many approach with calloused self-righteousness is plain to see.

    I do tend to agree with your friend. There is a difference between sinning, which is something we all do a lot of, and deliberately, unrepentantly, defiantly living in sin. To do so is to be confronted with sin and refuse to repent, instead saying, “Nope, I’m good with this. Gonna keep on doing it.” And refusal to repent of sin is a huge problem, indeed. Check out 1 Corinthians 5 to see what Paul says about this.

    Look also to the very first verse of Romans 6. The fact that grace increases to account for sin (from Romans 5) does not mean that we should go on sinning and allow grace to continue increasing.

    Your friend’s thoughts about “the constant lifestyle [of sin] as an outright rebellion and rejection of God” got me thinking about something. I recently wrote about the nature of sin, pointing out that the nature of sin is not the breaking of arbitrary rules—the nature of sin is rebellion. To piggyback on your friend’s thoughts, it seems to me that if the true nature of sin is rebellion, then refusing to repent of sin and cease sinning (that is, insistence on deliberately continuing in ongoing sin) is to choose to remain in rebellion. This goes against the core narrative of Christian theology—that of a people in rebellion against God, who, through grace that comes through the death and resurrection of Christ, are able to end our rebellion against God and be at peace with him once again. The core of becoming a Christian is ceasing our rebellion against God. So, to go back to your friend’s thought, ongoing, willful, unrepentant sin constitutes a refusal to cease our rebellion against God. To deliberately choose to continue sinning, to refuse to repent, is to choose rebellion over reconciliation with God. This is antithetical to the Christian life.

  • Lewis

    Thanks J.B.W.
    I changed my post shortly after submission as it clearly is not “fine” however that is not germane to this current discussion.

    I agree with your point that it is hypocritical to deny same sex union the name “marriage” while accepting non- Christian heterosexual union.
    If I were a ordained Christian minister I wouldn’t marry people who didn’t profess faith in Christ- there are, after all, plenty of other outlets that would.
    The question you see is what do gay people/non-professing people who want to be married in a church think they are doing/getting or being denied if the minister refuses?
    What we consecrate and celebrate in a Christian church is for believer who are wanting to acknowledge their sin and be changed to hate it not embrace it.
    As I said in my previous post this position can and must be expressed in love.
    Blessings.

  • Lewis

    …just a bit more…
    Secular or same sex union CAN continue to be called marriage. For the union, with all the expectations that go with it, that I am referring to I would adopt the name Christian marriage.
    People who seek that I am sure would feel the same.
    Blessings.
    Lewis.

  • http://www.jbwtucker.com/ J.B.W. Tucker

    In that case, that’s different from what you originally said (which seemed to be the usual thing we hear a lot, i.e., “Get a civil union but you can’t call it marriage”). I certainly don’t think anyone here is arguing that churches or ministers should be forced to marry gay people. I would oppose such a suggestion, since, as I’ve mentioned several times here, I do still see it as a sin (just one I don’t think we should try and legislate).

    Calling the ceremony done in church Christian marriage makes more sense, since marriage is not at all exclusive to Christianity, and this term would be a more accurate reference to the Christian sacrament. But along with this, we have to recognize that marriage no longer belongs to the Church, so we don’t get to refuse people the right to use the word. It is not ours.

  • Rob McAndrews

    Not comparing 20 years in prison to eternity in hell. I’m comparing that, in this life, I don’t know anyone who desires to go to prison, yet people make decisions that lead them to prison. We want to blame God for sending people to hell. But we all have a choice. It’s time to take responsibility for our own decisions.

  • Rob McAndrews

    It’s funny you used the phrase “Nope, I’m good with this. Gonna keep on doing it,” because that was his words precisely. I have a problem with it because I have a friend who loves Jesus. Always has in my whole life. I know she’s a born again believer. But she is married to another woman. I don’t want to see her go to hell. I don’t want to believe that because she is screwing this part up, she won’t be part of the chorus in Heaven singing Holy Holy Holy! Like my friend EdinburghEye, she doesn’t believe what she is doing is sinful. I don’t want to believe that is the reason she won’t spend her time in the next life with God. I understand my friend’s point of rebellion. I believe all sin is an extension of selfishness. I can’t think of any sin that isn’t selfish. And, to add to what you said, selfishness leads to rebellion.

  • Rob McAndrews

    “And if we’re going to insist that marriage is a Christian sacrament only, and only when it adheres to Christian standards can it be called marriage, then we need to insist that any and all non-Christians also not be allowed to call it ‘marriage.'”

    Thank you for saying this. It exposed a bit of bigotry in myself. I often took the stance of call it something else. Your logic blows that argument away. I do believe our government should allow gay marriage. We are not a Christian government. If we were, I would be opposed to it. I do believe homosexuals should have the same rights as any of us do. They should be allowed to have tax benefits of being married and be able to share health insurance. Why, as a Christian who loves others, would I want to deny them those rights that I enjoy? Would Jesus say they don’t deserve to be treated fairly?

  • http://www.jbwtucker.com/ J.B.W. Tucker

    Yeah, I don’t think we really disagree at all. I actually used to view selfishness as the core of sin. But as you say, selfishness is essentially rebellion. Selfishness is putting oneself at the center, which is not our rightful place. Thus, to put ourselves at the center is to rebel against the order of creation, against God (the one who actually belongs at the center of all), and against our place in this life.

    Man… the context with your friend, that’s a really tough one. The times when I have most questioned principles I held true have often been those times when someone I care about is affected. I don’t have the answer to this one.

    However, I do think it might be helpful to recall what we’ve been talking about. So far, for myself at least, this hasn’t been a discussion about salvation. In fact, as I mentioned before, I don’t think 1 Corinthians 5 uses judgment in the sense of “condemnation.” What we’ve been talking about is how we are to respond to the issue of gay marriage both outside and inside the Church.

    Outside the Church, I believe that gay marriage should be legal. Christianity isn’t the rule of law in this country, nor would I want it to be. God gave us free will and allows us to choose to sin, and for us to require by law that non-Christians adhere to a Christian ethic is absurd.

    Inside the Church, I think it’s clear that it is not okay for a member of the church to be deliberately, willfully, unrepentantly living in sin. But that is not the same as condemning a person to hell.

    In addition to which, the example of your friend raises some difficult issues. What is your friend supposed to do, now? What is the right course, were she inclined to take it? Is she supposed to divorce her wife? Or do we say that, since the thing is already done, one sin is not made right by compounding it with another? To be honest, neither option feels all that satisfying to me. In many ways, it’s like a similar question relating to divorce—should divorcées be kept from leadership positions, perhaps even expelled from the church, for something that is now past? I haven’t studied it well enough to answer definitively, but I suspect that the answer is no. It seems similar to the adulterous woman, whom Jesus does not condemn for her past sins, but instead focuses on his expectation for her future. Of course, the one key distinction is that divorce can be seen as something done in a moment, and therefore something that resides wholly in the past… gay marriage, on the other hand, is an ongoing continuation of the actions we deem sinful.

    And of course, as you’ve already mentioned, there’s the fact that she doesn’t believe what she is doing is sinful. To what extent are we judged according to how we respond to what we have understood, according to our hearts rather than the details of our actions, with grace to span the gap between our faithfulness to what we knew and our failures due not to obstinance, but to blindness? I do not know the answer to that question, either, but if one day I do, I should not be surprised if just such a thing is true—that we are judged according to the understanding that is given to us, and how we steward that knowledge in our behavior.

    I have no answers, not yet at least. I simply haven’t gotten that far. But, at the very least, I do think I can be clear on this: For me, at least, what we’ve been talking about applies more to how we as Christians, and how we as the Church, respond to a person deemed to be living unrepentantly in ongoing sin. It’s not about making a pronouncement on her eternal soul.

  • EdinburghEye

    Not comparing 20 years in prison to eternity in hell.

    You just did.

    I’m comparing that, in this life, I don’t know anyone who desires to go to prison, yet people make decisions that lead them to prison

    So, you’re still comparing an eternity in hell, damned because you failed to worship a God who sends people to eternal punishment, with a prison sentence inflicted by a court of law after a proper trial? You make God sound less just than the British legal system.

  • EdinburghEye

    I have a problem with it because I have a friend who loves Jesus. Always has in my whole life. I know she’s a born again believer. But she is married to another woman. I don’t want to see her go to hell.

    But you believe God wants her to go to hell, for loving her wife?

    When I was very young, I was taught that in any situation, if there was a still small voice telling me “this isn’t right” that was the voice of my conscience, and I needed to pay attention to it.

    This is actually orthogonal to beliefs about same-sex marriage: it’s a different discussion. My conscience tells me the whole doctrine of eternal damnation isn’t right. It isn’t just. I reject hell: because even if hell exists, any deity that would condemn anyone to eternal torment for sins committed in a mortal lifetime, is a deity that I reject absolutely: even if it were proved to me this god of hell exists, I defy that god and reject the divine ruling of hell.

    And it sounds to me like your conscience rejects hell, too.

  • Kevin

    Okay, first of all, Jesus did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it (Mt. 5:17).

    Paul clearly explains to you why Christians aren’t protesting down at mcdonalds, “but food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse” (1 Corinthians 8:8).

    The law was given as a tutor to lead us to Christ (Gal. 3:24) for it reveals our sin to us, “What shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin…” (Romans 7:7).

    Your response of genesis 19 only changes the topic, of which you have still provided no answer for, in addition to your silence on the Leviticus 18 and 20 passages against homosexuality. You also do this with Paul’s letter to the Romans. Instead of dealing with the passage that applies to homosexuality, you blaim other people for judging you.

    Jesus told us to judge. John 7:24 “do not judge by appearance, but judge with right judgment”. As well as Matthew 7:5, whereby we are to first remove the plank from our own eye before we go to take the speck from our brothers eye. This passage deals with judging hypocritically, of which I am sure you will condemn me of, but as we are discussing homosexuality, I can assure you I am not a hypocrite and my wife can attest to that ;)

    I think you’re confusing rebuke with what you consider to be hate. We are commanded to rebuke a sinning brother “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” (Luke 17:3; cf. Mt. 18:15-17). As well as Galatians 6:1.

    For the record, you have provided absolutely zero scholarly evidence to support any bit of your argument whatsoever.

  • EdinburghEye

    Interesting, Kevin. So now you’re citing one phrase in Corinthians 1, culled without regard for context from a passage (1 Corinthians 1-13) in which Paul is writing about Christians who eat food sold by pagan priests that had been sacrificed to their gods, to claim that Paul said it was OK to eat bacon-cheeseburgers at McDonalds? You don’t like reading for context, do you?

    Also, interestingly: if you’re taking literally that Jesus said all of the 613 mitzvot have to be obeyed … but Paul gets to overrule Jesus – aren’t you setting Paul up as a greater authority than Jesus?

    Your response of genesis 19 only changes the topic, of which you have still provided no answer for

    I did answer you, Kevin. You just didn’t like the answer.

    In that passage in Genesis, you claim you learn from it that God hates homosexuals. But since in that passage Lot is praised as a good man, and Lot is prepared to push his young daughters outside to be raped, if you’re picking up “God condemns homosexuality” from that passage, you are picking up with it “God says raping young girls is A-OK!” Now, obviously, you’re going to evade that point, because you’re a hypocritical and dishonest person. And you’re going to accuse me of changing the topic. But you brought up this passage in Genesis. Why don’t you want to talk about what it says about mob rape of young girls?

    Jesus told us to judge. John 7:24 “do not judge by appearance, but judge with right judgment”. As well as Matthew 7:5, whereby we are to first remove the plank from our own eye before we go to take the speck from our brothers eye. This passage deals with judging hypocritically, of which I am sure you will condemn me of

    You’re condemned out of your own writing, Kevin, given your squirming away from the point about mob rape of young girls. Do you think Lot was good or evil when he promised his virgin daughters to the mob outside his home to let them be raped? If he was evil, why did God call him good?

    but as we are discussing homosexuality, I can assure you I am not a hypocrite and my wife can attest to that ;)

    Oh, nice one, Kevin! So you’re claiming that you don’t judge homosexuals hypocritically, because you are not homosexual. You are instead judging homosexuals like any Pharisee. Did you know why C.S.Lewis persistently refused to write any condemnation of homosexuality or gambling? He regarded them both as sins, but he said he felt it wrong to write about any sin that he had never been tempted to commit.

    Whereas evangelical Christians like you love best to write about “sins” you are not tempted to commit, don’t you? Because you are Pharisees.

    I think you’re confusing rebuke with what you consider to be hate.

    Oh, are you still trying to pretend that you don’t hate gay people, despite all your enthusiastic hate speech about gay people?

    For the record, you have provided absolutely zero scholarly evidence to support any bit of your argument whatsoever.

    For the record, Kevin, throughout this discussion, you’ve consistently cited bits and pieces of texts from the Bible that demonstrate you have no familiarity with the context in the translated text – you’ve clearly never sat down and read any of the books in the Bible that you have cited from beginning to end. You’ve also made clear that you are at best indifferent to the historical context of the times in which the different books were written.

    And you tried to “prove” that the modern English translation (via Wycliff) of a difficult passage in Paul, was “correct” … by citing multiple similiar modern English translations, all of which clearly derive back to that 14th-century Wycliff translation.

    None of that is very scholarly. You’re clearly not very keen on reading or understanding the Bible. I am.

  • Kevin

    Haha you still provide zero backing whatsoever to any of your argument whatsoever. Zero. Zip. Zilch. You haven’t shown me anything as to why a post-14th century scholar is inadequate, or prove that those scholars are indeed homophobic in any way. Your argument is a joke with absolutely zero support for your argument.

    Nope, I still don’t hate gay people. Never have never will. I don’t hate you, I only hate sin. Homosexuality is sin. Leviticus 18:22. You have absolutely ZERO evidence to support the fact that I do hate gay people other than calling homosexuality a sin, which is not hate at all. It’s Biblical. Once again, I LOVE YOU! (And try not to twist my words this time into anything that they’re not).

  • EdinburghEye

    Kevin, why do you think you can somehow compensate for (this time) 68 words of hateful bile in which you claim the Bible is “Zero Zip Zilch” (sweet!) by then claiming “I love you!” You’re obviously not a very nice or a very well-read person, and you’ve made amply clear throughout your comments that you loathe gay people. You come across like a high school bully who thinks he can get away with calling people names with a deft lie to the teacher “oh but I was ONLY”….

  • Rob McAndrews

    I do not reject hell. If you are reading my words you will see I am afraid that my friend’s decisions for happiness on this earth are putting her in danger of hell. That is as blunt as I can make it. As for your arguments that you choose to reject hell, it is also obvious that you reject enough to make Christianity feel right to you. This is a very dangerous proposition. Therefore, we are at a complete stale mate since you are interpreting scriptures to make it feel right while rejecting things like judgement and condemnation and hell and eternity. These things are real and just saying they are not does not make them go away. Our ground basis are not equal. No argument or scripture I can provide will mean anything to you since you openly admit to defying a God who has created heaven and hell and, based on your choice, will place you in one or the other. I am not saying based on good works. Just because your finite human conscious can’t work out what is just or not (it’s more like what is fair or not) does not change what is real or not. There is so much more to understand in the spiritual realm that as humans we just won’t understand.

  • Rob McAndrews

    Still not comparing prison to eternal damnation. How about this: if someone is hungry and thirsty and decides not to eat or drink they will die. I am just pointing out that we make decisions that put us in places we do not desire to be. I’m not comparing the outcome. But there is a conscious decision to be made. And you compare justice to fairness. I don’t think you can really compare the two. I already talked about why I think that way.

  • Rob McAndrews

    Very nice insights. I hadn’t thought about divorce. Technically the state she lives in does not recognize her marriage. It was more of a ceremony to proclaim their intent to live as a married couple. As far as keeping people from leadership: Paul is probably the most extreme example I can give you. He did intentionally kill many many Christian in the name of God before his conversion. Including Stephen! (well he indirectly was responsible). But if Saul can lead the Christian church to the Gentiles after that… Just saying. I do feel we have many same beliefs. I can only pray for my friend and see what God’s decision is. It’s not like I can argue Him into new philosophies or anything!

  • EdinburghEye

    And you compare justice to fairness. I don’t think you can really compare the two.

    No, I don’t think I did.

    It is not fair that, in the hellish lexicon of your religion, Bishop Gene Robinson is condemned to the same eternal damnation as Pol Pot: the former for loving and marrying Mark Andrews, the later for killing three million people.

    It is not just that anyone, for any sin committed in a mortal lifetime, should be condemned to eternal damnation.

    Worshipping a god who is neither fair nor just strikes me as a very scary and unwise decision to make. If that puts you in a place you don’t desire to be, well, it’s always open to you to reject hell.

  • EdinburghEye

    I happen to believe that non-celibate homosexuality is sin, and will until someone is able to present an irrefutable Scriptural argument that shows otherwise. (Dear Lord, how I would love for someone to be able to do that; not having to take this position on this issue would be so much easier and more enjoyable—but none has, yet.)

    Fred Clark, an American evangelical Christian, says that the answer is the same one God gave to Peter in Acts 10: “God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.”

    I like Fred. It took me some time to realise, while reading his blog because he is entertaining, amusing, informative, cheerfully angry against those who preach cruelty and exclusion – that in doing so, he was being an evangelical Christian – in a way I did not recognise, because I had never before encountered an evangelical Christian whose method of “evangelising” did not begin and end by citing texts to let me know that I and everyone I care about are already damned to hell.

  • Lewis

    Edinburgh eye,
    I think this response was intended to J. B. W. as the extract you quote was his. Why anyone would first preach avoidance of damnation as a product of salvation when eternal life is the offer extended to us is beyond me though.
    Blessings.

  • EdinburghEye

    I happen to believe that non-celibate homosexuality is sin, and will until someone is able to present an irrefutable Scriptural argument that shows otherwise. (Dear Lord, how I would love for someone to be able to do that; not having to take this position on this issue would be so much easier and more enjoyable—but none has, yet.)

    Fred Clark, an American evangelical Christian, says that the answer is the same one God gave to Peter in Acts 10: “God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.”

    I like Fred. It took me some time to realise, while reading his blog because he is entertaining, amusing, informative, cheerfully angry against those who preach cruelty and exclusion – that in doing so, he was being an evangelical Christian – in a way I did not recognise, because I had never before encountered an evangelical Christian whose method of “evangelising” did not begin and end by citing texts to let me know that I and everyone I care about are already damned to hell.

  • EdinburghEye

    Thanks.

  • Lewis

    Thanks Andy,
    You raise good points but to me in this discussion the key point is; is same sex relationship against God’s will? If so then it ends the argument as how can you defend Christians supporting and celebrating something that is against God’s will?
    Notice I haven’t advocated HOW we should lovingly manage the issue but simply stated that a Christian marriage must be out of the question.
    Blessings.

  • EdinburghEye

    If you are reading my words you will see I am afraid that my friend’s decisions for happiness on this earth are putting her in danger of hell. That is as blunt as I can make it.

    And, as blunt as I can make it: If you believe in a God who would send people to hell for being happy, then you believe quite literally in an evil God. Because the concept of hell is wrong enough as it is (as discussed elsewhere): the idea of a God who will condemn people to hell for choosing to love and happy, instead of choosing to be alone and miserable, is evil.

    As for your arguments that you choose to reject hell, it is also obvious that you reject enough to make Christianity feel right to you.

    You’ve said yourself enough that I know you don’t believe your friend deserves hell: how could she, when all she has done is love and be happy? Yet you’re afraid the God you worship is less just – and less kind, and less accepting, and less fair – than you yourself are. Why believe in a God who is less than you are?

    The argument that “as humans we just won’t understand” the spiritual realm is not on, sorry. If justice and fairness “in the spiritual realm” involve being grossly unjust and unfair to people in the world, well, then this “spiritual realm” is unjust and unfair.

    No argument or scripture I can provide will mean anything to you since you openly admit to defying a God who has created heaven and hell and, based on your choice, will place you in one or the other.

    Actually, I’m sorry you got that from what I said.

    More to the point: I do not believe in your hellish God. “Defying” the God of hell is moot: I just plain don’t believe in him.

  • Paul Abeyta

    Wow…this really wen’t on and escalated really fast. I would have approached this from a somewhat different angle than what Kevin did (although I don’t disagree with his response – I only skimmed much of your interaction with him after his initial response).

    Let me quote you so we can get back to the question you posed EE –

    “Can you first explain, with reference to chapter and verse from the gospels, how two men or two women getting married in church is wrong?

    Then can you explain, again with reference to chapter and verse, how a married couple making love together is “fornication”?”

    First off, by “gospels” do you mean Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? If so, then Kevin did a good job explaining from there (although you then went to an argument from silence which is not helpful). I’m not sure why you would limit your authority to just those four books though – I’m not sure that you do actually because you said to Kevin in your reply – “you don’t seem to care what Jesus or Paul meant”.

    Therefore, I’m assuming that you consider Paul’s letters to also be truth and holding authority – that they were inspired. Because of that, I think I can help you to see that even in marriage, homosexual activity is wrong and also that homosexual marriage is wrong because of what takes place in marriage.

    Paul, in writing to the Corinthians said –

    “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:1-5 ESV)

    So here you see quite plainly that Paul instructs those in a marriage to “not deprive” themselves from sexual relations. If sexual temptation is an issue for a person (it is for most), then they should marry. A man should marry a woman. Homosexuality is a perversion of the natural order. It is sin. Just as well as it is sin for a man and a woman to engage in sexual acts outside of marriage. Just as it is for a man or a woman to lust in his heart for another person. Paul’s point is that singleness provides a special devotion to God (1 Cor 7:6-9) but if you can’t be without sin in sexual desire, then get married. The point clearly being from 7:1-5 – so that in marriage will be consummated and people won’t sin.

    So if people were to get married and not have sex, they would be in error. Sex was designed to be enjoyed in marriage. So would a man and man have sex in their marriage – of course they would (you are implying this in your message).

    Of course a married couple having sex isn’t fornication (you said that I needed to prove that it was), but you are asking people to call something marriage that is a perversion of marriage.

    God expects there to be sex in marriage (unless of course something happens to one of them and they physically can’t, but I would guess that they still could be intimate unless one was a severely disabled).

    We only need to look to the preceding chapter to see what Paul knew about sex –

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”(1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)

    You’ll note that he lists a number of different sins that show a person has not been born again and will not be inheriting the Kingdom of God. So if Paul expects there to be sex in marriage, but he also expects that the sexually immoral (as well as a bunch of other indicators as to a lack of regeneration) won’t be saved, then it should be quite clear to you that marriage is for a man and a woman to come together – so that they may glorify God and also in that – prevent themselves from sin (homosexuality being at the far end of a debased mind).

    Hope that helps.

  • EdinburghEye

    I’m not sure why you would limit your authority to just those four books though

    Well, because if you are trying to argue Christian principles, surely you need to be able to argue from what Jesus actually said?

    Now, what Kevin did – repeatedly – was pull single verses completely out of context and give them a twist in meaning that the context did not imply. When I responded, pointing out the actual context of the verses he’d used, he ignored me and refused to discuss the context. It appeared evident that Kevin was not interested in thinking about what Jesus (or Paul) actually meant, and quite clearly that Kevin had no Biblical knowledge and no interest in Bible study.

    If you agree with Kevin’s tactics, it suggests that you too are also uninterested in thinking about what Jesus or Paul actually meant, only in pulling verses out of context and using them to substantiate your arguments.

    Therefore, I’m assuming that you consider Paul’s letters to also be truth and holding authority – that they were inspired.

    Just to say a quick word in context about Paul.

    Paul was writing letters to early Churches in first-century C.E. Whether or not we suppose he was inspired in his writing – he wrote letters, messages which need to be considered in their entirety.

    You note, rightly, that Paul told the Corinthians that if celibacy was impossible for a Christian, Christians should marry.

    But you have failed to show any verse which argues that two men and two women should not marry. That argument appears to rest entirely on your false idea that homosexuality is “against nature”. Self-evidently it is not: the natural spectrum of human sexual orientation ranges from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual. This is not unique to human beings: at least 150 other species of animal show sexual attraction and sexual congress with other animals of the same gender.

    Of course a married couple having sex isn’t fornication (you said that I needed to prove that it was)

    So, clearly, once we clear your vision of the false idea that being gay is against nature, and agree that it’s better for a Christian to marry if they cannot live in celibacy, fairly obviously: if two men or two women marry, they are not fornicating: they are having marital sex.

  • http://www.jbwtucker.com/ J.B.W. Tucker

    Folks, I think we’re well past that point where it’s time to stop feeding the trolls.

  • Lewis

    Suzie
    It is quite clear that God isn’t pleased about same sex union in Rom. 1 and in plenty of other places. While this is the case how can we celebrate same sex marriage?
    To be clear all I am opposing is Christian Union for those of the same sex. In every way we should be loving to each other knowing that all of us fall into sin.
    Blessings.

  • http://tiribulus.net/wordpress Greg Smith

    There has not ever been, nor can there ever be through all eternity any such thing as a God blessed homosexual relationship. Ever. Face that biblical fact, repent and live. http://www.reformation21.org/featured/a-response-to-rod-drehers-sex-after-christianity.php

  • Paul Abeyta

    You can’t argue from silence on specifics (i.e. homosexuality in marriage) on this because the Bible is replete that homosexuality is sin (it is an extreme example of a hardened heart, lost in self fulfillment – worse than other sexual sins, yet just as damning) (Rom 1:26-27).

    You even miss the point of 1 Cor. 7. Paul mentions marriage in the context of man and wife. He didn’t leave it open for your interpretation, nor did any other inspired writer of Scripture.

    Also, I’m of the other understanding that every single word of Scripture is Jesus’ words. All Scripture is God breathed… (2 Tim 3:16)

  • EdinburghEye

    You’ve obviously not read Paul’s letter to the Romans in full: I did.

    Paul goes on to write, to the Christians in Rome:

    “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”

    This is Romans 2, 1-4.

    I’ve noticed that evangelical Christians who love to pull out a two-verse clobber text from Romans 1, loathe to read onward and discover Paul’s condemnation of your contempt for LGBT people: that you, a mere human being, reject the riches of God’s kindness and instead claim that non-celibate LGBT people are one and all showing an “extreme example of a hardened heart, lost in self fulfillment”. Paul condemned you with these words – you and every evangelical Christian like you.

  • EdinburghEye

    You’re right, of course, J.B.W. But it’s almost irresistible to point out the actual Biblical context of these one-line “clobber texts” the homophobic trolls are so fond of quoting.

  • http://www.jbwtucker.com/ J.B.W. Tucker

    EdinburghEye, I was referring to you.

    Literally every single one of the other comments that I have read (and I admittedly have not read them all, but I have read most of the ones that you have responded to and that have responded to you) have stuck to dealing with the issues themselves. It’s really quite remarkable, actually, to have such an overwhelming majority of commenters on such a volatile issue actually sticking to the issues and discussing with respect and integrity. You don’t find that often. You are the only one who has resorted to personal attacks against the others participating in this otherwise civil discussion, and you have done so constantly, excessively, and since the very outset. You have even begun conversations that way!

    You are the only one who has constantly made rampant assumptions about the integrity, thought process, implied beliefs, feelings, and supposed prejudices of anyone who might dare to hold an opinion that disagrees with yours even slightly—assumptions that are all completely baseless, and which you have absolutely no way of really knowing. You are the only one who has resorted to ad hominem attacks, and you have done so constantly. And all the while, those who have banged their heads against the wall that is “debating” with you have, very much to their credit, taken the jabs, turned that cheek, and refused to respond in kind, still sticking to the issues even after you’ve attacked their character and integrity. I admire and applaud them for that.

    You speak of judgment, condemnation, and contempt, but you have acted by far as the most judgmental, condemnatory, and contemptuous person in this discussion.

    A number of people have expressed quite strong opinions on this issue, and I have not agreed with them all, but they have done so while (a) restricting their comments to the issues, and (b) providing Scriptural and theological support for their position. But despite the bigotry that you accuse anyone with the audacity of holding a view that differs from yours of, you have acted as the most closed-minded person here. You speak of clobbering, but most of us (admittedly not all) are here to have a discussion, presenting our current understanding of Scripture and biblical theology and being open to the points made by those who might see things differently. None here has been as unwilling to even entertain the possibility that someone who disagrees with them might have a valid point as you have been.

    You have been the least civil person in this discussion, which is the primary reason that, although you have responded to some of my comments previously, I have refrained from responding and engaging your ideas in discussion—because it is abundantly clear that such a discussion would be fruitless, doomed from the outset.

    You like Fred Clark, “because he is entertaining, amusing, … cheerfully angry against those who preach cruelty and exclusion”—and perhaps that should be seen as informative. Because if that post of his that you linked to is indicative of his tone and content in general, then in addition to not being anything close to the comprehensive Scriptural pro-gay marriage position that I’m still hoping is out there, I find Fred Clark to be bitter, condescending, self-righteous, and arrogant. He is as uncivil in his approach to a topic that demands the utmost civility because of its volatility as anyone I have read on either side of the debate, including those with a disturbingly passionate, hardcore anti-gay agenda that I wholeheartedly oppose—with the single exception of Thabile Anyabwile, whose approach to this difficult issue far exceeds any other in terms of nastiness and reprehensibility.

    And now, I’ve probably done precisely what I said should be avoided, and fed the troll. I’ll no doubt regret it. But at the very least, now you’re aware of why I haven’t responded to any of the points you’ve raised in the past, nor will I be responding to you in the future unless your demeanor changes dramatically.

    And if anyone else reads this and agrees, then I’d urge you to resist the urge to chime in, and instead join me in not giving any of the EdinburghEye attack threads any further traction.

    Don’t feed the trolls.

  • EdinburghEye

    I find Fred Clark to be bitter, condescending, self-righteous, and arrogant.

    And I bet you hated Mister Rogers, too.

  • EdinburghEye

    More seriously, and aware that you will likely dismiss this response unread and unconsidered as you have dismissed the rest of my responses to this thread:

    As far as I can tell, and I have not read every comment on either of these two long threads, the bulk of comments on these threads have been from properly-heterosexual evangelical Christians discussing with each other the correctness or otherwise of excluding people of my sexual orientation from your churches – and most of you have cheerfully ignored Vicky Beeching’s request to begin with the correctness or otherwise of doing so, and plunged right into waving texts taken out of context at each other.

    It appears that most of you – and you certainly above all – have been unable to deal at all with any reaction from one of the people whom you wish to exclude; and, I think in corollary to that – have been unable to deal with the Biblical texts you are fond of quoting, in context.

    Nor have any of you been able to deal with an actual personal reaction to the kind of insults that evangelical Christians are so fond of exchanging with each other about people like me.

    So, you opt to ignore the points I made: refuse to respond to the questions I asked: and accuse me of personal attacks, while ignoring – as evangelical Christians so routinely do – the mound of homophobic abuse heaped up by others responding to this post.

    Well, that’s one way of being a Christian, as I know well: but Fred Clark’s right: it’s a hugely strange way of calling yourself an “evangelical”.

  • Paul Abeyta

    Come on EE. If you feel that I am missing something, you can at least point be cordial about it and not imply that I am proof texting or have not read all of Romans.

    For one, I’m not condemning LGBT people. I’m wanting them to flee from there sin, just as I want all people to flee from their sin and flee to Christ.

    I don’t have contempt for them. I’m more worried about people like Vicky Beeching, who have a seat of influence, claim to be Christian, and then call evil good.

    I don’t loathe to read onward in Romans…Romans is one of my favorite books because of the clarity that it offers on election and predestination and God’s sovereignty even.

    Also, I’m not doing the same thing. I’m not saying that I am without sin, but I am saying that I do not live at peace with it. I hate my sin and I strive to kill it by grace and the strength of the Holy Spirit. That’s a much different thing than a person who wants to justify their sin.

  • EdinburghEye

    If you feel that I am missing something, you can at least point be cordial about it and not imply that I am proof texting or have not read all of Romans.

    I quoted you an example of what you are missing. Romans 2, 1-4. Didn’t you read it, or didn’t you recognise it? It’s the bit in the comment you’re replying to above, in italics.

    For one, I’m not condemning LGBT people. I’m wanting them to flee from there sin

    The problem with that argument is that the “sin” you want LGBT people to “flee from”, is – falling in love, meeting the right person for you, wanting to get married (getting married, where not banned by law), living together, making love, sometimes having children, being together as a married couple – legal or not – for the rest of their lives.

    This is not the kind of “sin” you instruct heterosexual Christians to “flee from their sin”.

    The metaphor that occurred to me was Shakers. Do you know who the Shakers were? Founded about 225 years ago, a sect of Christianity that believed sex with anyone was a sin. To become a Shaker, you had to commit to living a celibate life. Husbands and wives had to separate if they joined as a married couple. There were various other restrictions, but the big one was “no sex, ever”.

    Anyone could join the Shakers. Still can – there’s one community left in the world, with three members last I heard. They were a genuinely cheerful, happy, companionable religious community. But – back before there were as many restrictions on adoption as there are today – they had to adopt orphans to continue as a community, because so few people wanted to join a religion where they had to be celibate and live as unmarried.

    What evangelical Christians like you say LGBT people have to do to “flee from sin”, is lead lives like Shakers, but not in a friendly companionable community where everyone else is celibate too and has been from childhood, but in a mistrustful community where everyone but the other LGBT people are falling in love, meeting the right person, getting married, and so on – all without condemnation from their church for doing so.

    From an outside viewpoint – I have never been a member of a church like that, and for obvious reasons never would want to be part of such an unwelcoming bunch – it’s no wonder that LGBT children growing up in that kind of church end up leaving. (From my personal experience, they leave as angry atheists: since the church where they grew up told them that God hated them: they conclude there is no God, and quit. But that’s anecdata: as far as I’m aware, no one’s studied it.)

    You can argue – Evangelical Christians do – that no one ever says “God hates you” to an LGBT child. But certainly before an LGBT teenager comes out – and often after – what they hear from adults in their church is not “God loves you and wants you to be happy” but “You, as an LGBT person, need to flee from the sin of falling in love and having a happy life with the person you love'”. Or worse, getting into the gay cure business – a semi-medical derangement that has driven more gay teenagers to suicide by convincing them their normal, natural sexual feelings are something that needs to be fixed.

    I don’t loathe to read onward in Romans

    Yet you didn’t recognise Romans 2, verses 1-4, as applying to you and your condemnation of LGBT people?

    Because, don’t be hypocritical. Either you accept LGBT people as Christians like yourself, not “extreme example of a hardened heart, lost in self fulfillment – worse than other sexual sins” or you are condemning them. Which means Paul was writing Romans 2, 1-4, to you, as much as to anyone else.

    I hate my sin and I strive to kill it by grace and the strength of the Holy Spirit.

    Does this mean you strive to stop being judgemental and condemnatory of LGBT Christians, recognising that as your sin?

  • bubbathegreat

    Vicky, I don’t think you’re called by God to be speaking in favor of same sex marriage. If you have feelings for a woman those feelings don’t come from God, they come from your enemy.
    Jesus can help you overcome your sinful nature that your enemy has placed in you. Ask Jesus to forgive you & follow him closely.

  • Zion Marie

    As I’ve said in maybe another message, I’m speaking generally, not for this subject alone. All I’m trying to say is try not to judge anyone, since we are not the judge. He is!!

    Everyone will find the error of their ways through God.
    I totally agree that he never condoned what they were up to, I never said that he did, I meant he loved the people, as people, his children, he made us all, and he will save us all when or if we accept him.

    All those who are lost or misinformed or whatever it is, will have to talk to God about it, just like we all had to at one point or another. It’s not for us to throw judgement, we’re just supposed to show love to the lost and accept them in as just people and let God do the work, in everyone who has sinned!
    We’ve ALL sinned, and God has loved us and kept us in the palm of his hand anyways. He’s brought people back, including me only very recently, back to life and worked on their and my bad ways.

    We’re all here to learn the error of our ways, and will continue to learn until our dying day or until he comes again, with his guidance Sine he is the truth, he is the judge and he is love itself. I think all he wants is us to show love as much as we can!

    That is all I’m TRYING to say, I apologize again if I’m not coming across fully.. I’m not the best at getting my point across sometimes, I’m working on it.

  • http://tiribulus.net/wordpress Greg Smith

    THIS is what the bible actually says about judging. Can we get it straight soon please?

  • Zion Marie

    I agree with what that post said! I don’t know how to reply to all of that. I was talking about a lot more than judgement in my first post, I know about judging the righteous and non righteous people to keep yourself safe from the wolf in sheep’s clothing and all of that. I just think everyone deserves a chance. I’m sure all Christians have been given many chances, including myself.

  • Zion Marie

    I was basically more or less trying to say what Mark Marotta another commenter said:

    To even discuss this if you believe in the Gospel, the teaching and message of the first church is ridiculous, just read the Book, Jesus was very clear on marriage being between a male and female, the Bride of Christ is made up of His people and is spoken of as a female bride. Either Jesus is your Lord and Saviour or He isn’t, if you support a sin based life than that answers it. Jesus loves all even those in sin but He never supported or loved their sin, the love of God in our hearts is what changes us away from sin and the desires of the flesh, it’s not our works but His love working in us. I pray the Spirit of God fills you with understanding and enables your Christian growth. Without that spiritual filling you will be on the fence when it comes to many questions things like this. It is so easy to be deceived when it comes to relationships because we like to think that if human love is involvedit must be a good thing, but we should let God lead the way in all matters and that is a hard thing to do at times.

  • http://tiribulus.net/wordpress Greg Smith

    In the passage in 1st Corinthians 5, Paul prescribes what that chance looks like. He commands that they both judge AND excommunicate the moral heretic so the church is not polluted AND so that hopefully this chance will induce repentance in the flagrant rebel.

    Toleration of damnable moral degeneration and theological heresies IS NOT LOVE!! Do you hear me? It is grotesque sentimentalism in the guise of compassion and it is damning people. ETERNALLY. This young lady who wrote this article hasn’t the first flickering clue how to handle the word of God. I don’t care what school she goes to. She’s an emotional basket case making life decisions based on her own corrupt standards of fairness and right.

    I pray (I actually really do) that she be retrieved before this perversion has claimed her forever. It is my experience however that once this vampire gets it’s fangs in somebody’s neck they VERY rarely are given grace to return from that particular pigs trough to the Father’s house.

    I love all people and would risk my life to save Matthew Vine’s, but I will never EVER lie to him by butchering the word of almighty God to make him FEEL good about being lost. Whatever that is, it is not love.

  • Andrew Bartram

    More power to your elbow vicky
    Bless you
    Jesus said how we love each other reflects how we love God. .paraphrased but you know what I mean.

  • Jim C

    I disagree with your stance, I don’t understand how reading the Bible you come to the conclusions you do. But I like reading your tweets and blogposts. Your staying on my social media feeds! Jim

  • Servaas Hofmeyr

    Is this not a more apt example of #equalmarriage, as opposed to ‘redefinition’ popularly referred to as such? http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/muslims-can-wed-legally-1.1681781

  • Martin Hill

    Hi Vicky, qualifying my background I am a convert through Charismatic renewal from a very liberal religious family. I attended a Pentecostal Bible College and a mainstream University doing Theology and Religious Studies to Master’s level. I don’t count myself a liberal nor do I count myself as conservative but I do count myself as Biblical, Jesus loving and missional. I am sure that some of those I have and do journey with may take my position as hard as they do yours but I am convinced that God loves and accepts gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered people with grace and without exception. The Christian Church seems to have placed a greater emphasis on sexual sin than it has on violence, injustice, poverty, inequality of opportunity, global hunger and death through economic neglect by others, among other things. The real problem is the Christendom paradigm that makes the churches as institutions believe they have to have a Christianized society in order to promote the values they see as kingdom values. It is a bit radical to say this but the question arises did Jesus ever intend for any geographic area to be designated as Christian or did he intend the universal kingdom of peace and reconciliation with God should pervade all aspects of society without legislation or control? I have been personally challenged by the issues of equal marriage and the pressures of groups other than Christians to make it illegal for churches not to marry same sex couples. I believe that the choice to and not to should remain open but that none that call themselves followers of Christ should demand that none should be allowed to call their pair bonding ‘marriage’. I love my gay and lesbian friends and colleagues (you will tell that I do not at present work in a church) but I also hear the voice of my more conservative Christian friends who do not wish to entertain equal marriage in their communities. I would hope that the lbgt groups and couples who have received legal and societal equal rights would accept this too as I would hope that my conservative Christian brothers and sisters would become more Christ like in their love for all people (including you) in Jesus’ name.

  • Jay

    I agree Kevin. You have given scriptural evidence to support that God DOES NOT condone sin, including homosexuality. It’s sad that we even have to have this conversation with our fellow Christians. I would fully expect the world to take a staunch stand against us, but supposed Bible-believing Christians? Never thought I would see that! :-(

  • Michael Joiner

    My gosh, how utterly blind and foolish…This is exactly the mindset that is bringing our nation, the UK, and the world down….spineless “Christianity”….God and real Christians love people enough to warn them when their lifestyle is headed toward eternal destruction….your idea of “lovey dovey” Christianity is not Gods love…

  • Neil Thorburn

    Vicky,

    I will come straight to the point. For me, marriage is supposed to be a key component of a naturally functioning society whereby, the coupling of a man and woman in to marriage to form a good strong family unit that underpins that society, will be recognised, rewarded and protected by that society. The key point here being that marriage has a recognised and revered function within normal society and for it to function naturally (produce good, strong, well behaved and motivated offspring), it has to be the coupling of a man and woman and given the support of society.

    Same sex marriage has no real function or otherwise within a naturally occurring society and as such, those of the same sex who choose to couple, should not be regarded, rewarded or protected by that society as though they were married. Although I fully respect their right in a tolerant society to engage in same sex relations, I firmly believe that on the topic of marriage, their case is something else. However, If it can be argued by some that same sex couples can and do provide an important natural function to a naturally occurring society, then I would suggest we throw the towel in, throw ethics out of the back door and donate our eggs and sperm to the State to let them selectively breed the next generations in naturally occurring pods…Over My Dead Body!

    I understand that there is a firm view within biblical texts that forbids same sex relations. I can only assume that such texts were written for a reason and possibly based on the experiences of that earlier society and the profound effect that same sex relations had on the writer of such texts before and in their time of writing. In my mind’s eye, I can see the rationale that the Christian Faith applies to same sex relations and I empathise with it somewhat. However, in a tolerant society, unless of course the Monarch is held to their Coronation Oath and the people get back to the Common Law, I don’t think that there is much we can do or say about it, so it becomes a pointless exercise debating it.

    I would also like to add that being tolerant but not in approval of such relations does not in my view, amount to homophobia (whatever that is) and I am getting quite sick and tired of the gay brigade and Owen Jones getting nasty and labelling decent members of society as such if they provide a view not consistent with theirs.

    I hope this reply provides you with some insight in to my thoughts on the matter and I do not envy the position you now find yourself in.

    Take care and regards, Neil

  • Neil Thorburn

    Vicky,

    I will come straight to the point. For me, marriage is supposed to be a key component of a naturally functioning society whereby, the coupling of a man and woman in to marriage to form a good strong family unit that underpins that society, will be recognised, rewarded and protected by that society. My view may not be held by all but the key point here being that marriage is a recognised and revered crucial function within normal society and for it to function naturally (produce good, strong, well behaved and motivated offspring), it has to be the coupling of a man and woman to form the “family unit” and given the appropriate support from that society.

    As I see it, same sex marriage has no real function or otherwise within a naturally occurring society and as such, those of the same sex who choose to couple, should not be regarded, rewarded or protected by that society as though they were married. Although I fully respect their right in a tolerant society to engage in same sex relations, I firmly believe that on the topic of marriage, their case is something different. However, If it can be argued by some that same sex couples can and do provide an important function to a naturally occurring society, then I would suggest we have thrown the towel in, thrown our ethics out of the back door and quite frankly, it does not make much sense.

    I understand that there is a firm view within biblical texts that forbids same sex relations. I can only assume that such texts were written for a reason and possibly based on the experiences of that earlier society and the profound effect that same sex relations had on the writer of such texts before and in their time of writing. In my mind’s eye, I can see the rationale that the Christian Faith applies to same sex relations and I empathise with it
    somewhat. However, in a tolerant society, unless of course the Monarch is held to their Coronation Oath and the people get back to the Common Law, I don’t think that there is much we can do or say about it, so it becomes a pointless exercise debating it.

    I would also like to add that being tolerant but not in approval of such relations does not in my view, amount to homophobia (whatever that is) and I am getting quite sick and tired of the gay brigade and Owen Jones getting nasty and labelling decent members of society as such if they provide a view not consistent with theirs. I am all for equal rights, especially for those who choose not to get married but live as couples in a civil partnership but this is not marriage and should never be.

    Short and sweet but I hope this reply provides you with some insight in to my thoughts on the matter and I do not envy the position you now find yourself in.

    Take care and regards, Neil

  • Rob Tennant

    I am a pastor in North Carolina. My reading of scriptures leads me to believe equal marriage is not something God-honoring. I believe marriage is a man and women.

    However, I also believe the hate-filled rhetoric around this is far more evil than equal marriage. Ironically, even though you and read the same scriptures and arrive at different conclusions regarding this issue, your thoughtfulness has drawn me to your blog. I’d rather have meaningful dialogue with a sister in Christ like yourself than hear the rantings of someone whose beliefs on this issue might be closer to my own, but who express those beliefs in anger.

    My question is how can I find space to express my views and at the same time love people who see things differently than me? Recently on twitter someone in favor of equal marriage started following me. He read one of my sermons on the topic (on my blog) and immediately stopped following me. In the sermon, I said I could not perform (as a pastor) a same sex wedding. But if one of those being married were a friend, I would attend the wedding as a friend to support my friend. This is not entirely hypothetical. I have friends who are in monogamous same sex relationships. They have not yet gotten married, so I haven’t been invited to a wedding. But I suspect that is coming. And if the invitation comes, I’ll go and support my friends whom I love.

    But my reading of scripture does not permit me to affirm in principle a same sex union. So how do I, who like you desire meaningful, humble dialogue express my views of scripture in a way that does not completely offend my gay friends? I don’t see how it is possible.

  • Jim Drew

    Hi Vicky,
    I don’t put anyone down for exploring this issue. What I struggle with is the fear of being automatically dismissed by folks I love and care about because I don’t agree with this or the lifestyle it accompany’s. People don’t seem to think we can love folks and have compassion while still disagreeing on something of this level. I would hope someone could still love me if they totally disagreed with something I feel strong about in my life.

  • Matt romero

    Got your back! I’ve been on this train for many years and happy to contribute where I can in this discussion. Good on ya!

  • christopherclause

    Vicky, I am looking forward to reading your writings on this topic. It is my hope that I continue to read comments here that are rooted in God’s love. It is discouraging to see the body tearing itself apart in ways that it does not have to. Why is it that when Christians have conflict it usually ends in separation and departure, as opposed to resolution, inclusion and developing community? At this time in the church’s history we need to unite in His love more than ever. Blessings to you, friend!!!

  • Fraser Henney

    Vicky, I first want to say well done for stepping out with this view especially when there is so much aggression towards it from many christian/religious groups! I don’t agree with you but that doesn’t mean that one day you will prove to be right. I hope that overall through your studies God will reveal truth to you and that it would be received in a gratious way by others.
    Its people like you who deal with the difficult topics in our faith that make the biggest and profound differences to christianity and how we live out our faith and share it with others.
    Bless you and all the best.
    Fraser

  • Flor

    Miss Becching ,
    First of all I want to say that I respect your work and really strange to Vicky
    before, she used her talents, her music to glorify GOD and make famous JESUS ​​and
    although not in jobs outside the Christian environment , still had influence
    over them . It’s sad, but we will choose our own paths .
    I do not know a single verse in the Bible where GOD this match or accept
    homosexuality. Absolutely none , but the opposite. I do not have studies in theology , just believe every word of the Bible in its purest form and if it says it’s red, for me is red, no need to look up ( I like to read people who have studied theology and adhere strongly to Scripture, is the best) .
    GOD loves people (I love people, including them them too), so JESUS came to save us and cleanse us from our sins, and we need to repent of our sins and for be free, by HIM. Homosexuals also need to repent of their sin. God is against homosexuality because it is sin.
    Nobody, absolutely nobody we are good people. No one who seeks to do good . Nobody here is a victim. There is only one victim and that was JESUS CHRIST who suffered in our place and paid the debt that we should pay and suffered the wrath of GOD. This is real love.
    Finally, and I tell you with all respect that you deserve, you are not suffering persecution for the Truth. So do not feel persecuted, or who are paying a great price for agreeing with the world.
    Sorry for my bad English but I speak Spanish, and I used the translator.

  • Joshua Luke

    How ridiculous ‘Edinburgh Eye’… You’ve gotten that defensive over someone quoting scripture that you’re actually accusing them of ‘cruelty and abuse to gay people’. Kevin merely quoted scripture that let’s be honest, does pretty much suggest that love between the same sex is unusual and therefore a sin but didn’t actually say anything himself. He posted a good set of opposing scripture which most christian people use to oppose ‘equal marriage’. You’ve gone off on one like some sort of LGBT Hitler who opposes anyone who has the slight view against gay marriage in church and passes them off as a homophobe.

    I bet Kevin isn’t a homophobe and for you to turn around and tell him to ‘repent of his sins’ has effectively made you contradict your argument about Christians judging each other. Don’t use scripture if you don’t support it yourself. You yourself are judging Kevin by telling him to repent- so effectively your points aren’t valid. Furthermore it appears that you’re effectively suggesting that Jesus told us not to follow the Ten Commandments and that we don’t get punished for not keeping to them.

    Furthermore, I know this is personal but it does matter as to whether you’re one sided on the argument for a reason… But Vicky, what sexual orientation are you? To fight for something that so many Christians oppose, probably for a particular reason- you must have a particular drive to your passionate argument.

  • Joshua Luke

    You can hardly call Anal sex between two males ‘making love’ it’s biologically wrong. God designed us like that for a reason. He gave humans free will but gave man one hole and that is for passing waste not for ‘making love’. Such a ridiculous argument. As for women, it’s impossible for them to make love like a man and woman as well. Let’s be honest, we were made to love each other, but biologically men and women are designed for each other to make love to one and other. It’s kinda obvious that two men committing such a filthy act is a sin, it’s definitely not ‘making love’ as you put it. It’s wrong and it’s not how we’re designed. Marriage is quite different, I appreciate that two gay men that have been together for 10 years or so want to express their love for each other and make each other feel more secure by getting married. But it’s wrong for that to be in the eyes of God- most Christians agree therefore democracy would suggest that it shouldn’t happen in any ‘proper’ church, and if they want to do it in a church then they can do it in churches that should be renamed and put across like some sort of cult. Because the scripture does suggest that it’s wrong, if you wish to interpret it as something else like the Jehovah Witness faith do, then you can do what they did and be another ‘Nuevo American Christian Faith’. I’m fed up of this argument and too many Christians say it’s wrong for it to be properly accepted. I can only speak on behalf of the majority and say that it isn’t going to happen unless you create a new faith where you can misinterpret the bible for yourselves. LGBT is biologically unfitting and therefore socially unfitting and forever will be.

  • EdinburghEye

    You clearly spend a lot of time thinking about sex between men, Joshua. A lot.

    http://gayhomophobe.com/

  • EdinburghEye

    You’ve gotten that defensive over someone quoting scripture

    Joshua, you obviously haven’t read the discussion, or you’d have noticed that I’m quoting Scripture – and quoting more accurately and in context, unlike Kevin’s randomly homophobic claims that a single line out of a discussion about Jewish divorce laws is supposed to prove that Jesus was against same-sex marriage.

  • Joshua Luke

    Well when homosexuality is thrusted into your face by the media, it’s pretty difficult not to find the process biologically wrong. Your reply to that was simply pathetic, calling me gay and a homophobe at once. The fact that you have to offend someone for posting their views and a good well thought argument clearly shows that you have lost control of the situation and it’s probably best that everyone ignores your comments on this page because you’re just a bitter person standing up for something that a minority want. Your defensiveness has made your arguments weak and pointless, no one wants to listen to someone that calls another person a homophobe or gay for making a valid point on why they don’t think that same sex couples should get married in a church.

  • EdinburghEye

    Well when homosexuality is thrusted into your face by the media

    Joshua, if you are reading the kind of “media” that thrusts graphic depictions of anal sex into your face – and anal sex seems to be what you are complaining about as “biologically wrong” – then it’s really hard to feel sorry for you – because you don’t actually have to read those gay pr0n stories which tell you aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallll about anal sex thrusting into your face.

    You’ve obviously not been reading much or any of my comments on this page, since you seem to think I’ve been attacking people or that I’m a bitter person. I assure you: it’s not as common as you evidently think for people who oppose same-sex marriage or think homosexuality is a sin to clearly be so interested in anal sex between men. That is reserved for the small and rather interesting subset of men who are outed at regular intervals by their own proclivities.

    http://gayhomophobe.com/

  • Joshua Luke

    I’m beginning to hate you EE but not because of your sexuality, which is quite clear in this discussion because you’re on your own fighting a loosing battle. You’re stubborn and you’re arguing for something that is wrong. Men and Women are meant to love each other, in the sense that we were designed to do so and most normal men find women attractive- it’s not our nurture that causes that, it’s the way we are wired. I believe that God does love the gay community and I also believe that God would accept a man for loving another man. We shouldn’t judge other Christians, but when it comes to something this controversial happening in our churches, we have a right to put our views across on the matter and judging what is right and wrong. I believe that the only sin caused by homosexuals isn’t the love they have for one another but their way of practising that love. Gay sexual practise is physically wrong and it must be viewed as sexually immoral if we aren’t biologically designed to commit that sort of thing. It must be difficult for many homosexuals in today’s society, however the modern society welcomes them with open arms and recently it’s been thrusted so much by the media it is seen as a normality- this isn’t the case because it’s a minority of people that are gay. TV shows like Hollyoaks provide an artificial representation of gay people in society and that is why they risk causing the tables to turn the other way and causing more homophobia in the world. Nowadays it is seen as bad to be a homophobe, 30 years ago it was seen as a good thing because most people were. This change is positive for the gay community and I am pleased for this… However, homosexual practise and marriage in the Christian church definitely seems wrong.

  • Joshua Luke

    ARGHHH! EE, you make such RIDICULOUS and IGNORANT points!!! You’re making yourself sound so bitter!!! The fact that even if Kevin says he loves you, you then turn around and say he hates you is annoying in itself. But the way you try and twist his words and twist the scripture to suit yourself and your sinful practises is so wrong!!! I hope the people reading the tosh you are coming out with and your invalid argument strategy aren’t seriously believing you because they’d have to be very gullible! Because to everyone else you look bitter and ignorant. You won’t accept anyone’s points but your own and when they make a good point, your way of reacting to it is by saying that hate gays and then doing so by twisting their words!!! You are a vile person, not because of your sexuality but because of the strategy in which you argue- it makes no valid point if you can’t refrain from making the matter personal by claiming that someone hates you. It’s like a black person calling a white person racist for preferring white chocolate and then making the point that they only like white chocolate because it’s white!?! Like seriously man, grow up and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Your argument is terrible and you’ve done nothing but put christian people off the gay community. I’m glad Kevin argued back with calm and well thought out criticism, most people wouldn’t tolerate your blind and narrow minded ignorance.

  • Joshua Luke

    Well you are obviously not living in the same century as I am where on the TV you are watching something perfectly normal and then suddenly a big gay scene appears as if to say ‘hey guys, remember- we can do it too!’

    And my point is that homosexual love is not wrong but the practise most definitely is.

    My other point is that you twist peoples arguments and the scripture to try and get it to suit yourself.

    I see no point in trying to argue with you on this matter anymore, because you’re clearly that immature that when someone starts talking about the logistics of gay marriage you get defensive and start calling them ‘interesting’ (gay) and say that they fantasise over that imagery. Which is a ridiculous point and a cheap way of arguing. I pity you and hope that you’ll soon see on your day of judgement how you are wrong.

  • EdinburghEye

    Well you are obviously not living in the same century as I am where on the TV you are watching something perfectly normal and then suddenly a big gay scene appears as if to say ‘hey guys, remember- we can do it too!’

    Hm. No, the problem here is not the century, but the TV channels. I do not watch the kind of TV channels where they show big gay sex scenes. Or big straight sex scenes. I’m just not interested in watching that. But, from what little I know about the kind of TV channels where they show those “perfectly normal” sex scenes you watch, they don’t break into their comfort market and start showing gay scenes. You’re channel-hopping, Joshua. Admit it.

    And my point is that homosexual love is not wrong but the practise most definitely is.

    Your point is that you think, obsessively, about gay sex. I got that.

    t when someone starts talking about the logistics of gay marriage

    Someone who isn’t you? You aren’t talking about the “logistics of marriage”, gay or straight. You’re talking about your obsession with gay sex. You are the first person in this discussion (that I’m aware of) to do so: the first person I have engaged with in this blog-discussion who appears so obsessed about gay sex that it’s fairly clear where your desires lie.

    You’re now getting defensive about this, and therefore accusing me randomly, which is understandable, but more than a bit absurd: as closeted gay homophobes do tend to be.

  • EdinburghEye

    Joshua, I love you, care about you, and want only the best for you.

    That’s why I’m pointing out to you that you’re a closety gay homophobe. It’s done out of purest love and respect for you, so that you can live a more honest and better life.

  • Matthew N Renee

    I am glad I take the Bible literally. When I get to Heaven and stand face to face with Jesus, He won’t have to say why’d you misinterpret what it said. It clearly says don’t do this and that and don’t encourage little ones to do it either. He will say. Well done good and faithful servant.

  • Cory

    Vicky, I don’t believe the Bible can in any ay provide justification for an alternative view of marriage. But I for one am one of those ‘evangelical’ and ‘conservative’ Christians who is happy to engage in this debate in a spirit of tolerance – in the proper meaning of the word and above all the love ethic shown to us by the Apostle in the scripture cited.

  • ViconLife Maisha

    I am a Theology student and I dont think she will discover much from theological studies. Perhaps personal reflection.

  • Leigh Ann Moore

    As a Christian who happens to be a lesbian, the reactions you faced after you publicly declared your support of equal marriage is one of the reasons I am really scared to come completely out. People can be really mean and harsh with their reactions to this subject which makes me wonder why this particularly subject causes such extreme responses. I also fear for my future because I know that I am called into some form of full-time ministry. I am afraid that people’s reactions will cause my witness to be damaged. I, like you Vicky, have come to my beliefs based on careful study and trying to allow myself to listen to the Spirit of God. This is not something I come to lightly because I do value the Bible greatly in my life and I value honoring God with my life. So to have someone make judgement about this without really knowing me is in some ways offensive. Thank you for being brave Vicky and I look forward to seeing dialogue grow concerning this topic. =)

  • michael

    who ever is reading this testimony today should please celebrate with me
    and my family because it all started like a joke to some people and others
    said it was impossible. my name is Michael i live in Chicago i am happily
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  • http://www.growchurch.net Simon

    I think it’s a shame you’ve taken this stance but I think you’re a wonderful woman. I would be very interested in hearing your reasons behind your decision as I think the Bible is very clear. Now following you on Twitter. Simon, Leeds

  • taylor

    SO sudden Dr.kizzekpe love spell brought my lover back just within 48 hours, I never knew anything could be as this fast but here i am writing today as a living witness to testify to the powers of Dr.kizzekpe. SO you don’t have to be sorrowful when you have someone like Dr.kizzekpe who can restore your happiness within 48 hours, The contact details of Dr.kizzekpe are kizzekpespells@outlook.com

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    That depends on how you define sin. I don’t see same-sex relationships as sin, so on that basis I haven’t downgraded my view of sin or of redepmtion, thus I have not lost “the wonder of the cross” :)

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    A great book and one I’ll be referring to on here.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks Maddy :)

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks Mike

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Marty, that all depends on whether you think same-sex relationships are ‘sin’. I don’t, whereas you do, so we would differ on that.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Well said jade. Agreed.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks Jade.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks Paul

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks Steve

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks Paul

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Sam – feel free to drop me a line via the contact page on my website should you wish to talk about this. I feel the post I published was very relevant to my own decision to speak out in favour of same-sex marriage. If you don’t agree, then you’re welcome to your own opinion clearly, but I struggle to see how someone is not allowed to bring their own story into a blog series about their own theological journey.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thank you so much Lizzie. That comment really made my day. Cheering you on in what you’re doing and the bravery you’re displaying. Feel free to email me via the contact page on my website if you want to know good places to find support.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thank you so much Margaret

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thank you Nicky, it means so much to hear your story.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks Jenna…let me know if my future posts answer your questions. And do stay in touch – I read all these comments, so you can always message me via them.

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks Suzie

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Michael, you are brilliant :)

  • http://vickybeeching.com/ Vicky Beeching

    Thanks so much Leigh Ann

  • Paul Abeyta

    Well it’s obvious that you don’t see same sex (monogamous I assume – I figure you draw the line there, but maybe I”m wrong about that even) relationships as sin. Anyway, I haven’t checked your blog in a while. I know the article you posted after this initial one didn’t address any Biblical or Theological angles. Perhaps you have one now? I”ll check.

    I just checked and your most recent article is “LGBT Theology #1″ from over a month ago. That article wasn’t very helpful to the discussion I thought. It didn’t address any theology even – but it did go after the emotions with all the video’s. I understand that people are at stake in this – but I’m more concerned with a person’s eternal state than them having what they perceive as happiness now (this is applied much broader than just homosexual relationships).

  • Leigh Ann Moore

    Lizzie, I definitely can relate to what you are writing as I am in a similar situation. I live in constant fear of coming out because of the rejection I could face from the Christian community and how it could affect my future in ministry. I always think it is such a BRAVE thing to see someone like yourself coming out in the midst of that rejection. Even though I don’t know you or know everything about your situation, I want you to know that as your sister in Christ, I stand by you and urge you to keep following your dreams that God has placed in you. He put those dreams in you and no person can take them away. Don’t give up hope. You have others out there who will fight for you, whether in person or in prayer.

  • Dith

    Not sure what I think about this topic myself, but am impressed by the courage you show in stepping out and saying what you believe. I also agree that the hateful attitudes which can emerge in response to this type of controversial issue very far from the way Christ would have us be.

    God bless you on your continued journey of faith, in this and in all things.

  • Brent Vermillion

    Vicky, you paint yourself as having been victimized. I am sorry for anyone who would write you hurtful things. However, you can’t expect to support sexual practices and so-called marriage equality that goes against clear biblical teaching and not expect people to comment about your position. Frankly, I don’t believe there can ever be equal marriage. For example, the consummation of historical, biblical marriage was based on the breaking of the hymen membrane (a blood covenant). It is based on men having vaginal sex with their wives. There is no possible way that this can be replaced by men having annal sex with other men. Any heterosexual man is totally put off by the thought of it. The gay practitioners’ expected life span is only into his 50’s while the heterosexual lives into his 70’s according to all the studies that have been done. Sadly, homosexual practice is detrimental on so many levels including spiritual and psychological. It definitely is a recipe for shortening a man’s life-span through std’s. I could go on but I think it is fairly obvious why conservative christians who literally believe Scripture will never be in agreement with you radically liberal position. In my case, it certainly isn’t anything personal because you seem like a very nice person and I would never attack you. It is just impossible for me to maintain any level of integrity in my study and practice of Scripture if i were to support a behavior and a kind of marriage that are so obviously against the clear teachings of both the old and new testaments. These teachings are certainly not obscure verses taken out of context.

  • Dumez Gracy

    Hello every one i am a German citizen but with my family here i Canada, i had some problems in my marriage because thought i keep some secrets from him before we get married and i was unable to get pregnant because my husband hate it to sex with me that again develop to my filter problem but before we get married he so much love me and i love him as much so i decide to search for a solution on marriage site and from friends and i find so many spiritual doctors then i contacted three of them one after the other but they all disappointed me till my family seeks for divorce and he happily divorce me because he already find another lady. so while i was alone with pains i still look for solution every where till a meet with a friend of mine that just came from Germany then she direct me to this site where i read about great oshogumspelltemple@live.com on how he solve marriage, relationships, family , healing and so many testimony about him then me and my friend decide to contact despite i he told me about the materials that i must provide i just have to do all that he told me because of what other persons said about him. three days after we have done all he ask me to do, he said he have done everything i did not know how it will work because i could even contact my husband again he already block but i was so sup-rice Hashberg call our home line to ask of me. well we are happily married now with one kids but expecting another one soon. My dear contact oshogumspelltemple@live.com if you have any problem that give you pain. contact oshogumspelltemple@live.com today he is helpful and excellent

  • kenmcbii

    Vicky, you’re welcome to support same-sex and LGBT relationships, but not to say that you’re an Evangelical who maintains a ‘high view of scripture’ unless you are prepared to explain how that could be so. It’s like the magician who brags that she has a rabbit in her hat and talks-down about those who don’t believer her, but won’t even attempt to produce the bunny. I you need to knock it off – quit claiming to be an Evangelical – till you grab a set of ears in public and give a yank. You can’t have it both ways.

  • http://www.exclusivechurch.com/ Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente

    He was not asked to define marriage, he made a point about the impossibility of Jewish divorce/repudiation (get, in Hebrew)

  • nikky

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  • Phil Mitchell

    thank you for your support and its people like you that let people like me do what i did thi sweekend

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_pBBeZSK3Y&list=UU8eCTfX7i92C7xi-i5sgNdQ

  • lexi

    i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady who en charm him with her beauty, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don’t know what to do until I complained to my friend and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Dr Saibaba. who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 2days. she ask me to contact Dr Saibaba. I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by two days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After two days my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness and that he never knew what came upon him that he will never leave me again or the kids. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr Saibaba on any problem, he is very nice, here is his contact templesaibaba@yahoo.com

    .

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  • Tim Parfitt

    The reason why I am against gay “marriage” as a Christian, is simply that what we embarked on is a changed of definition of the word “marriage”. The word “marriage” has always hitherto meant the union of one man to one woman. The fact of the matter is that there also always a small minority of people who enter into gay relationships. That however doesn’t necessarily mean it is morally right. Neither is it morally right to say that an adulterous couple are in love. They may be in love. But it doesn’t make it morally right. Should we therefore be advocating bigamy, perversion of all types, etc? I think not.
    Vicky, I’m very sorry that you have sided with supporting what is called equal marriage. It’s an aberration of the truth.

  • Darren Mitchell

    Dear Vicky,
    I do understand that there is much confusion throughout the church to do with same sex marriage. Much of the confusion comes out of miscommunication and fear. So many people in the church find it difficult to communicate with people from same gender relationships. I do know that as the church some can be quick to tell people that it is wrong and unless they repent then you are going to hell. This again almost always comes out of a place of fear. For me whether same sex marriages are right or wrong if we want to reach the world for Christ then we need to learn to love all people unconditionally. We need to become Christ to all people and not judge them from how they are living there lives. Christ came to save the world not reject the world.

    Personally I know of many stories where homosexuals have become Christians and Christ has transformed them leading them into to happy and fulfilled heterosexual marriages. I guess this question I ask is if homosexuality is right then why would Christ be transforming people in this way? I do believe that as human beings before coming to know Christ we pick up many wounds and much damage in our souls. I believe that this can cause us to make wrong choices and decisions based out of hurt, pain and fear because lies have been believed through satans deception and lies. So much people just follow patterns of behaviour because others are doing it and because they feel it’s this right thing to do. I love God with all my heart, I know Him and I know what He did upon the cross. If homosexuality was not against God or was not of God then as I said God would not be setting so many people free from if.

    I know that you have not come up with your findings out of the blue but you have taken much time and consideration over this subject matter. I’m not saying that you are right or wrong because this is an area that I will continue to explore. I guess my last point is this I have never once come across someone who has be utterly transformed by Christ, who has a deep and intimate loving relationship with God gone from being a heterosexual to a homosexual. Yes I have heard of many Christians who have believed in God but not really followed Jesus go from being a heterosexual to homosexuality. I believe the key is in the depth of the relationship the person has with Christ to know who they are in Christ. There is no homosexuality in heaven. We can only take from Christ was is in him. So if we know who we are in Christ we become like Him. So if there is no homosexuality in heaven and we are in Christ how can we be something that is against who God is? I know same sex relationships are the discussion here and much of this will apply to those outside of the church, however at the end of the day this comes down to a persons eternal destination. If someone is living outside of Gods design for there life, surely that is sin which is against God. It’s the opposite to who God is. So I come back to my first point we are to go out into all the world and love everyone, to meet them where they are and to love them through the power of Holy Spirit and to pray that we will see there lives transformed into the complete likeness of Christ. Whether drug dealer, prostitute, gangster, wife beater, common thief or compulsive liar we are called to love the lost, to love the unloveable and to recognise that Christ in us is the hope of glory to bring restoration to the broken soul

  • Dawn Holt Lenz

    I believe in the Bible too. God is the same God yesterday, today and forever. This law of God still stands. Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    It’s your choice what you support. I believe it’s an abomination, therefore I will not support it. It goes against scripture, so it will not be in Heaven.

    That’s my take on it.

  • Dawn Holt Lenz

    She must have forgot the laws of Leviticus. God has not changed:) peer pressure won’t work on him. It’s her choice I guess.

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  • vincestead

    My name is Vince Stead and I just got done looking at your site and really liked it. We make lesbian books in Paperback, Digital and Audio too. You can see them at http://www.Fun2ReadBooks.com and the audio books are very fun to listen to. Thank you very much and I really enjoyed visiting your site!

  • steve B

    Hi Vicky!

    I used to watch many of your segments from worshiptogether, while learning to play guitar for my church. Really enjoyed listening to you.

    I do have a question for you on this issue: I would like to know if you believe that God supports “equal marriage”? And if so what makes you believe this?

    Steve

  • Julie

    Can you tell me where in the bible that same sex marriage is ok??

  • http://twitter.com AnG

    Hey girl! My name is Angela. First of all i want to say i love your music!! I listen to ‘Deliverer’ a lot! You don’t know how many times a day i sing it. lol. I love and respect you so much. Second, i am so grateful and amazed how you stand up for what you believe. I’m right there with you. I come from a community who is against it.(I’m sure a lot communities are). Truthfully, I was also against it when i was younger, because that was what i was taught. As i grew older, i saw how much hate homosexuals had to go through. And it broke my heart. I love them dearly. And i stand up for them. Even though my church is against it, and most likely i will be kicked out for admitting my support for them, i don’t care. They need to know that God loves everyone. :) I hope to meet you one day!! :) God bless you girl!!

  • Steven

    I agree with you. The Bible is very clear Love people hate the sin.

  • A friend

    I just read the article in the independent about you coming out as gay yourself. I just wanted to say how much I respect you for making that decision. I completely understand how difficult it is to make such a decision with the social and financial consequences being so high but I also understand how liberated you must feel now that you’ve accepted who you are. I hope the church changes its ways and embraces love instead of doing what it unfortunately does very well: arguing semantics.

  • Jos Moons SJ

    Dear Vicky, did you read this? May be encouraging. http://americamagazine.org/issue/simply-loving. Jos Moons SJ

  • Annie

    Hi Vicky! Have you read this?: http://126df895942e26f6b8a0-6b5d65e17b10129dda21364daca4e1f0.r8.cf1.rackcdn.com/GGC-Book.pdf
    Please read it prayerfully.
    What you just said about “I don’t see same sex-relationship as sin” doesn’t hold any water because God defines what sin is not us. I’m not saying this out of hatred but out of concern for you and others who believe in this very recent interpretation of biblical texts when the Church as a whole has understood homosexuality to be wrong in the last two thousand years. Also, this isn’t the only argument for believing it’s wrong, most scholars would agree that Matt Vines exegesis is wrong.

  • Julie Reid

    Vicky I don’t know if you remember me I was the editor of Worship Leader Magazine, Julie Reid. I just wanted to ring in and say that I am super excited to see what you’ve been writing and as an Episcopalian I am 100% in alignment with your stance. Your recent announcements have shown me your personal courage and integrity. You are truly amazing, I always knew that.

  • Pastor E

    Hi Vicky, After seeing your interview on the news I felt the need to respond on this medium. We so much forget and misinterpret John 3:16 but lets be clear from a biblical perspective that same sex marriage is wrong and it goes against God’s Word. God loves us all including the sinners. Remember Jesus said to the lady caught in adultery your sins are forgiven, sin no more. That does not mean that one continues to abuse grace by continuing to sin or even going as far as to make it OK to live in sin. You cant serve two masters, you will love one and hate the other. God defined marriage in Genesis 2:24 now bear in mind satan has always been trying to ruin God’s creation. God creates whilst satan destroys. God does not change! He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Remember also that God cannot make a mistake.

    Same sex marriage is also stubbornness and rebellion against God (1st Samuel 15:23) and God will reject those who reject Him. Feminism can be very dangerous even to Christians especially when the spirit behind it is not from God. Anyone can read the Bible but its the Holy Spirit that gives the understanding and revelations. Its possible to be caught up in religion thinking you are doing God’s work and yet be so far from Him just like the Pharisees and Sadducees were in those days when they rejected Jesus. See what the scripture says concerning Jezebel in Revelations 2:20. Jezebel is a spirit and when this spirit is behind feminism, it encourages and promotes lesbianism, bisexuality and homosexuality. The true Church of God cannot accept this because it is against God’s Word. Any church tolerating same sex marriage is just like that described in Revelations 2, as the compromising and corrupt church. God does not want any of His children to perish so He gives them time to return to Him but the stubborn and rebellious who reject Him will be rejected. Do not compromise on the Word of God and do not mislead His children because there will be consequences (Romans 6:23, Matt 18:6).

    Soften your heart to the Word of the Lord, don’t harden it like Pharoah did. May God open your spiritual eyes and ears to give you deeper understanding of His Word. May He bestow upon you a Spirit of obedience and a Spirit of persevering in being obedient to Him. His grace is sufficient. At the end of your race you will only want to hear this from God “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matt 25:23). Do not compromise on His Word!

  • John Holme

    Vicky, you say that you respect the bible a great deal, that’s admirable. Please can you therefore provide this forum with a biblical case for same-sex marriage? thank you.

  • Christina

    But it’s not the same standard for all. Heterosexuals Christians have the option, and permission, to marry and then have sex with the person they love and are sexually attracted to. Homosexuals who marry the person they love and are sexually attracted to and then have sex inside the confines of marriage are wrong, according to you. So no, that’s not the same.

    Also, if you want to believe it’s a sin, that’s your right. But to try and push that belief into secular government laws is wrong,and it’s hypocritical if you’re not also trying to outlaw sex outside of marriage, divorce, etc. Either you believe in the freedom of the individual to determine their own religious and spiritual beliefs, or you don’t.

  • Matt

    Has anyone who doesn’t think homosexuality is a sin posted any clear biblical position of it not being a sin or any example in Scripture of God allowing it, condoning it, supporting it, or in any way say that it is pleasing to Him? We were created for His glory and can anyone try to produce any Scriptural support of that being behavior that glorifies God? Instead of people accusing each other of taking Scripture out of context and trying to “catch” each other, taking time to tear each others arguments apart, I would like to hear one person clearly lay out a Biblical answer in support of homosexuality. Lay aside the lawyer-type arguments and persuasive speech and just site Scripture. If you want your voice to be heard in the Christian community, you’ve got to do more than say you’ve read Scripture and come to the conclusion that God doesn’t think it’s a sin. God is the author and Scripture is the standard. Show your proof.

  • Les Mcc

    since homosexual relationships are not a sin then neither is adultery or fornication. I should be able to have relations with my girlfriend (as long as it is “committed and love and we both consent”) and not have to beat myself up over it and worry that I’m sinning. correct?

  • Raj Sahota

    I’m shocked that she’s gay and supports same sex marriage. Of course
    the mainstream media has jumped at the chance to use this against the
    Church, and justify that God finds being gay ok.

    It’s funny in her above blog ^ where she
    reveals her stance for same sex marriage, she refers to certain
    Christians as ‘Bible believing Christians’, this almost made me laugh,
    as if you’re a Christian and made a real decision for Christ you
    naturally believe his Word.

    She’s
    an incredibly gifted singer/musician, and we must pray that God shows
    her his will for her life in sexuality from his Word. To quote Vicky
    Beeching song – ‘yesterday today and forever’ – ‘You are Yaweh, God
    unchanging’ – from her lyrics she surely knows that God is unchanging,
    therefore she surely knows his Word is also unchanging.

    Beeching
    says (on the above blog) and I quote: ‘My support of same-sex marriage
    comes from respecting the Bible so much, rather than so little’. This is
    an obvious contradiction as if she respects the Bible she would believe
    the teaching to be true and wholeheartedly follow it.

    When
    the Apostle Paul addressed believers in Rome, one of his objectives
    through writing his letters to them was to help spread the Gospel in the
    Western world. At the same time he knew in order for that to happen he
    knew the Church had to be spiritually strong: Romans 1:11 – ‘I long to
    see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you
    strong’.

    He
    writes this just after he talks about how ‘Gay sin’ is exchanging the
    truth about God for a lie (Romans 1:25). But one of the key scriptures
    that leapt out at me was this one: In Romans 1:28 he writes:
    ‘Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the
    knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they
    do what ought not to be done’.

    Jesus
    makes it clear regarding false prophets in Matthew 24:24 – ‘For false
    messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and
    wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect’. – Meaning Beeching has
    great musical gifts, but yet was she an authentic carrier of the true
    Gospel?

    I
    don’t think Jesus was just referring to preachers, as we know Christian
    musicians have just as much influence. Beeching says on her blog: ‘I’m
    saddened that many conservative and evangelical Christians have been so
    quick to write me off, emailing that “this means goodbye – deleting you
    from my social networks”.

    But what does she expect? How can we endorse anything she ever does as representing our Lord Jesus?

    To
    finish the Apostle Paul says in Romans 6:17 – ‘But thanks be to God
    that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from
    your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your
    allegiance’. – This is clearly self explanatory, but in reference to
    Vicky Beeching this is the flip side, and reveals that for a very long
    time she may have been living in secret sin and struggling with her
    relationship with God.

    The
    truth has clearly come out. And what’s worse is she has millions of
    Christian fans around the world and is not being quiet about her views
    on sexuality and marriage.

    Just
    to conclude I am saddened by this news as I was a big fan of the
    worship music she produced, and obviously we sang her songs at Church. I can no longer sing worship songs produced by her, and will
    delete any worship I have from her.

    But she is someone we should keep in our prayers and hope that she can turn to Christ in spirit and in truth.

  • Raj Sahota

    EdinburghEye please go and read Genesis 1-3 and Romans 1-3. Don’t take mine or Kevin’s word for it. Take God’s word for it.

  • Raj Sahota

    Vicky if you ‘take the Bible very seriously’ and ‘respect it so much’ why not only are you ignoring it’s clarity on the sanctity of marriage and gay relations, but yet you’re promoting something contrary to the Bible’s teachings?

  • kalhan

    I am reminded of judge not least you be judge. We are called to love our Lord God, our neighbour/enemies as our self. That is the focus of the role model Jesus gave throughout his life. More specifically when he sat with the low life, couldn’t possibly be a “Christian”, of his time. A much harder route. Please stop lasting the first stone, lay it down.

  • Onion

    Hello Vicky. First I must say congratulations and good luck- I was educated by the evangelical wing of the Church of England so I have some idea of the attitudes you’re up against. I’ve been an atheist for the past ten years, so I don’t have any mythical baggage about sexuality, but I do understand the type of preaching you grew up with. What I do wonder though is how you reconciled your own emerging belief in the creation by god of you as a gay woman rather than a perverted straight one with your support of church groups who are of the ‘take them to the edge of town and stone them’ variety. I know you were engaged to play, not speak, but performing on someone else’s stage does imply your endorsement of their views.

  • Raj Sahota

    Hi Vicky, I know you don’t see same sex marriage/relations as sin but what does the God’s word say in Romans 1 regarding it? Furthermore since when do we rely on our judgment instead of God’s ?

  • Raj Sahota

    Hi Vicky why did you delete my posts?

  • Raj Sahota

    I agree Jay. It’s sad that Vicky has deleted my posts pointing to the Apostle Paul’s letters, especially in Romans 1 – where he talks about people exchanging God’s truth for a lie when they feel it’s okay to be gay and have gay relations.

  • Pastor Michael Salman

    As a Pastor I want you to know that I believe no one is perfect. Yet, there is a difference between understanding that and living that. I have desires also that are contrary to God. Heterosexual desires and such yet I do not accept them or submit to them as you have. If you have children who are dating and they have a desire to have sex prior to marriage what do you tell them now? Do you say don’t do it? You can’t. They will be unhappy, they will struggle because their flesh wants to be satisfied. Yet because of your actions and submission and support for what God has already deemed and continues to deem a sin no matter what the majority of society may think, you promote sex before marriage and your children or any person’s desire to fornicate or any other sin. You can not tell them no matter how unhappy you may feel or how much of a struggle you may have, God’s way is peace and true. I would rather pluck my eye and be in heaven then have both in hell. Remember that text? I am one who will be boycotting and removing you also from our network. I will also be announcing as others have that openly accepting and living in sin as you and boltz and knapp have decided to do is a defiance to God. I would expect this from people who do not know the bible or believe in Christ. They can are not obligated to live anyway because they do not know Christ. Yet, those who believe and know Christ are called to a different life and walk. Remember this story, All of Israel chased after the Idol and Golden Calf and they felt justified in doing it. Just because they felt that way and they felt justified they were still wrong and God made sure they knew it. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. You do not have to live this way, you do not have to support it and you do not have to accept it as right.

  • Paul Abeyta

    Kalhan,

    Letting people know that God abhors homosexuality is loving – it’s calling them to repentance and that is also loving. It would not be loving to be silent and let them perish in their sin, or even worse – to call evil, good and affirm them in their sin.

    By calling her to repentance (even more now – how I hope that the Lord softens her heart since she now revealed herself as a lesbian), I am loving her as I love myself – I spend a lot of time with my own sin in view – asking that God would cleanse me from all my transgressions – knowing that I am forgiven in Christ, yet not taking pleasure in my sin (when I realize that I am committing sin).

    Please note though how Vicky has hardened her heart. Only a year ago, she was in favor of homosexual marriage. Now, after not repenting, here she is not only championing the sin of others, but lost in the same sin herself.

    Lord have mercy.

  • Aaron White

    No one should have a problem with you feeling a certain way bc the prob is introduced wen that sin is conceived (james 1:15). The prob comes wen u succumb to it and become a proponent for same-sex marriage.
    idk if ur aware of where God, many times, says that being gay is wrong: Genesis 18, 19, Judges 19, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Thessalonians 4:5. In order to understand what the last passage, Thessalonians, reads one needs to also read one of the previous passages, Romans 1:26 for the “lustful passion” and John 17:3 for the “do not know God”. This therefore means that He would never condone “marriage-equality” or “equal-marriage”.
    I hope this helps some.

  • http://tiribulus.net/wordpress Greg Smith

    Trust me. They have an answer for everything. Showing them sound exegesis and exposition with literal unanimity in the whole of the Judeo Christian world for 4000 years, is like firing spitballs at an aircraft carrier.

  • Nathan Woods

    Hey Vicki,

    My wife and I met you in Clearwater Florida several years ago at Countryside Christian Center. We enjoyed your music and found you to be a really sweet person. We just heard the news of your ‘coming out’ and just want to say that we love you and it is not our place or any ones job to judge you. I am proud of you for coming forward about your feelings and not having to live a lie. I know that millions of Christians struggle with homosexuality in private and it is refreshing that you don’t have to struggle privately any more. Please don’t allow condemning Christians cause you to loose your faith. It is not our job as Christians to condemn it is our job to love one another. I’m sorry about that people may be saying against you and know that I will commit to pray that God gives you strength for what lies ahead in your life.

    Much love from Clearwater Florida!
    Nathan Woods

  • http://tiribulus.net/wordpress Greg Smith

    What does the bible really say about JUDGING

  • John Holme

    Dear Nathan, If you are a Christian (as you suggest), then how can you say that it is not anyone’s job to judge Vicky? The Epistles were given to the Church to provide us with a doctrinal framework for life and Godliness. Paul when writing to the Church in Corinth (1 Corinthians Chapter 5) clearly instructs them to judge the person who has been committing sexual sin, incest in this case to expel the immoral believer from their midst. He also goes on later in the chapter to instruct them to not even spend time in the company of fellow believers committing various acts.

    He also writes in 1 Corinthians 2:15 that the spiritual man makes judgments about ALL things and yet he is judged of no man.

    The situation in Corinth was resolved once the person in question was ‘handed over to Satan’ for the destruction of their flesh in order that their spirit might be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus, this may sound tough but it is better than Vicky not only being lost herself (if she finds a place or repentance) but also being a stumbling block / rock of offence to those over whom she has sway.

  • Teresa

    Kevin, I grow weary of people asking questions, but refusing the answer. You must accept someone’s answer whether it’s the one you want or not.
    Now, I have a question for you: If homosexuality is a sin, how does God go about choosing which baby will be born a homosexual? Why does God put his creation on earth already set up to fail? Please don’t say that homosexuals are not born that way but choose to be homosexual, because it’s not true. Unless you are a homosexual yourself, you cannot know the answer, so please take my word for it.

  • Teresa

    As a Christian, I have a problem with someone like you speaking for me. You keep saying the majority of Christians…again, wrong. It’s an area of the US that basically believes it’s wrong. The same area that perpetuated Jim Crow laws, which was a disgrace to the rest of the US. You say that if certain churches disagree with you, they aren’t real churches….omg, I hear the lightening striking outside your door now! How dare you say my love for someone is not valid? Who made you God? Where is your Christian kindness? I don’t see it or feel it. Discussing with someone like you is purely maddening. I’d rather just pray for you and let God get through to you hopefully. I’m done discussing with you, and I hope God’s love will touch your heart.

  • Teresa

    Which of the many translations of Bible shall I select to read this? I wonder what the books that were left out of the “Bible” most of us use today has to say on these issues? The version that was directly translated from original text is the one I choose to read. The Christian college I went to taught me that Jesus healed a man’s lover… I may not be a perfect Christian, but I certainly believe in what Jesus said and did. There’s no proof that He said and did it, but that’s where faith comes in. I love my faith and no one will take it from me.
    Would it be so terribly wrong or threatening for you to listen to Christians who are also gay? Or, should we all just kill ourselves now since we are damned in your eyes? I would also watch who is being called a false prophet… they said that about Jesus too. Be careful about what you say about Vicky too. At least she is being honest. Her heart is true and is kind. If Jesus was sitting in this blog, who do you think he would be drawn to? Jesus went through all of this himself, so he knows what it is like to be condenmed falsely by those who feel they have the only answer. The falsely pious. Here’s a haiku for you: “Throw not the first stone for fear it be made of rubber”. (Read: it will come back on you). Simple philosophy perhaps on my part, but Jesus is real in my life so I must not be doing too poorly in His estimation.
    Sometimes in religion, you have to agree to disagree. It’s a matter of faith. Each individual will have their personal relationship with God. Do not condemn that.

  • Teresa

    Raj, when have YOU seen or heard or felt God’s judgment? Just asking in case I missed something.
    Why do you persist in asking the same questions over and over again? Open ended questions like “what does God’s word say in Romans 1″? Obviously there are those among us that don’t agree with what it says. If we all agreed on the translation, this blog nor the issue would exist. The fact is that there can be infinity times two translations of what it says. Personal faith translates it for our personal hearts and our personal relationship with God cements it.
    There are radical religious thinkers in many countries that would rather murder someone (read: the multitudes) than have them disagree with their interpretation of what He said. This is America that I live in, and by the goodness and mercy of Jesus, no one is going to try to belittle my faith, especially because it doesn’t agree with theirs.
    I am a Christian and I happen to agree with Vicky. So, should we arm wrestle now to determine this otherwise millineal question? Humor aside, I would appreciate it if people would stop the personal attacks on Vicky. It is totally not necessary or appropriate for this medium.

  • Teresa

    May I please jump in here, although I’m sure Vicky would have a more educated answer. First, thank you for your kind words. I get the feeling that you do care about the true answer. As Vicky and many others have pointed out, the Bible finds fault with excess and meanness.
    There are many things pointed out in the OT and elsewhere as sins, when we no longer consider them sins today. I like cutting my hair. I eat all animals regardless of what kind of feet they have. I don’t believe I should lust after someone else’s spouse or belongings, and I think I should be charitable to others. My God gave me my head and my heart and I am in constant communication with God on how I’m doing with both of them. God works miracles in my life and I am prosperous. I love God and He loves me. So what if I also happen to love another woman. This is how I was made and God looked at me and was pleased with His creation (although I could have done without the red hair).
    All I can tell you is what is…it’s real and it’s true. I fully expect to see heaven when I expire. As far as symatics over how each and every word is translated from the historic texts and the level of understanding the disciples had when trying to convey their thoughts, I just don’t know. I wasn’t there :)
    Perhaps it will give you some comfort to know that many of us gay folks feel quite right with our Lord and savior. Perhaps it’s an issue of faith that we must continue to have these discussions, never fully knowing the truth. After all, Jesus could have waved His hand and everyone would have understood the truth, but He chose not to do it that way. Having faith and belief is the real key, not who I choose to take out my trash and mow my yard (it’s me anyway).
    All levity aside, I really appreciate the thought and care that you are investing on gay peoples’ behalf. I can tell you are a kind person. :)

  • Teresa

    …firing spitballs at an aircraft carrier….that’s hysterical! I am a Navy disabled veteran (Corpsman, Surgical Technician) honorably discharged. Back in the day, women were not allowed on ships of any kind. The Navy finally wised up on that one, and now there are female fighter pilots and everything. Just as our views on some outdated opinions of what women are capable of, so are our views on some situations from Biblical times. I am not a sinner because I cut my hair. I eat all kinds of animals whenever they are available and I’m not a sinner for that. Times are different now. We recognize what it is to be humans in 2014.

    The fact is that for me, there isn’t “sound exegesis and exposition with literal unanimity in the whole of the Judeo Christian world for 4000 years”. I mean, the smart people of the world also thought the earth was flat, but were proved they were thinking only with the information they had at the time. So therein lies the problem…. we disagree. If you show me a stone stuck inside another stone, I will call it that, a stone in a stone. But no, there is no definative proof that my sexual orientation (or yours for that matter) is going to send me or you anyplace but straight to heaven. I might be a sinner, but it’s not because of that.

    I will repeat your phrase and say “they have an answer for everything”. So tell me, why would a loving God made someone homosexual if they are sinners?

    Thanks for the laugh. You seem like a really nice guy :)

  • http://tiribulus.net/wordpress Greg Smith

    (this is copied and pasted from another site to save me some typing)
    Biblical interpretations regarding homosexuality are so clear and manifestly obvious as to have enjoyed literally unanimous singularity among those calling themselves Christians throughout the whole of the history of earth. Not even the doctrines of God, Christ and salvation were nearly as universally agreed upon. Until The United States and Europe turned themselves into whorehouses. Then the church followed. On this and a list of other issues.

    Watch closely please. God creates a man and a woman. He tells them (now follow me):

    “You can eat from ALLLLLLLL these trees. EVERY last one. EXCEPT that one.”

    Did ya see that? It is not possible, by any reasonable standard ever devised to get that wrong. The serpent comes and questions that hysterically simple principle. There was no need for discussion, or interpretation, or context even. The ONLY correct response is rejection and flight. “YES, God DID say that. Adios” >>>–ZOOOM!!!!–>

    Homosexuality in any form and for all time, IS THAT clearly and unassailably condemned as damnable perversion in the ancient Christian scriptures. To the point where the still unparalleled unanimity described above has been the case for thousands of years. (ya still with me?)

    Now. ANY challenge to that, 2000 years after the last tittle in John’s writings, does not pass the snicker test.

    If you are still unable to grasp this, I am afraid that I must confess myself unequipped to help you further.

    I would simply leave you with my outstretched hand always ready to take yours in welcoming you to repentance and new life in Christ. Upon which time the scales of self will and self exaltation will have fallen from your eyes and this will no longer be a question for you though it may certainly still be a war.

    There has never ever been, nor can there ever be, a practicing “gay christian”. EVER. From the moment God breathed into man the breath of life until the last trump. Accept that or find a different religion without these pesky scriptures in your way. OR, you WILL answer, as will Miss Beeching for your unrepentant declaration of good upon that which the King of the Universe has with crystal clarity condemned as evil.

  • Carrie Mack

    Teresa. Coming from a science background I can tell you emphatically that there is not one shred of proof/evidence that a person is born homosexual. There is no medical or scientific evidence for homosexuality. There has been (and still is) much research done on this topic and no proof or evidence has been found. People may not ‘choose’ homosexuality, there are many suggested factors though, such as environmental factors into which a child is born. Please also be aware, that many people leave the homosexual lifestyle (of which I personally know two). They weren’t coerced in any way and they didn’t do it because of any kind of extrinsic pressure either. God is a God of love and He most definitely does NOT set people up to fail “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever would believe on Him should not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16.

  • Phil Hicks

    I read that prayerfully….. just the same way I listened to Vines, and looked at the texts themselves. When I look at the texts (and I revisit this subject fresh after several years of having no personal reason for a particular view) they just look too thin as a base for a blanket condemnation of gay physical relationship. If the subject is such a big deal then there should be more, but there is only a tiny number of verses in contexts where the main emphasis is not on homosexuality but on degenerate character. The automatic connection claimed between immorality and gay physical activity is not explicit in the text. Yes it can be read in if you assign certain interpretations to certain words, but those interpretations are not automatically compelling, a case which Vines puts together very well. The most important texts, in Genesis and Romans, are both mainly focussed on out of control sexual lust. The lack of clarity of the texts application is clear when you look at the variety of emphases placed on them by commentators. Especially in Genesis the historic interpretation often focusses on Sodoms lack of hospitality and lustfulness. Some of the counterarguments to Vines are strong, but just as many feel stretched (as some of Vines points also do).

    On balance, for me this is one of many debates that the text itself doesnt settle, just the same as long hair for men, or womens roles in church leadership. In that case its important to look at other clues, such as the impact of the church’s teaching on the subject. Thats the context in which Vines’ argument about fruit, and Vicky’s story start to be relevant. If people who visibly love God and live Godly lives spend decades trying to ignore their orientation and get nowhere, and the solutions proposed by their church leaders do not bear fruit, then the text interpretation needs to be looked at again. If other people enter into gay partnerships and continue to bear fruit in their lives, then that suggests that they are not exhibiting penalties for their error. In that situation caution is required before judging, if what is happening is not of God, then He is quite big enough to show us.

    On the subject of 2000 years of church history, the view of church history is useful to inform us, but we have to review the traditions we inherit and constantly reexamine their meaning. Otherwise we may end up calling unclean, what God had decided to declare clean. I’m sure the historical view of the church is not as uniform as you suggest, but after several hundred years of inquisitions in Europe evidence of other historical views is not likely to have survived. I’m not happy to let the inquisitions settle any moral issues for me.

  • Bailey

    I just wanted to know your thoughts. If people have sex outside of marriage we call that fornication.So I am just wondering if we are supporting Gay marriage are we saying if these people profess Christ that the same rule will apply no sex before marriage?

    I am a 41 year old women who has been brought up in church her whole life in fact I went their in my mothers womb I became a Christian when I was 16 and although there have been struggles I still love Jesus and his word. I have gone round and round in circles when it comes to the fact that I love Jesus and his word but I just don’t feel what I am meant to feel when it comes to men. There has been points in my life when my faith has been solid as a rock but of late I have began to question myself. All my friends are married with families and children but here are am living a single and a bit lonely life. I did have a Lesbian relationship 14 years ago but that only lasted 6 months because of the guilt and shame I felt. I enjoy the company of men and I can even say that this man is handsome but I don’t have a passion for them. I am in the middle years of my life and I haven’t even been kissed that much.

    Yet even though I have those struggles God is always near sometimes it does not feel like sometimes when the thought that someone will never love me and I will never love rears its ugly head and temptation wants to grip me. I think throw caution to the wind and just go out and find someone. I now have moved back to my home town I left the church their because I was fed up of hiding as I want to be honest about who I am. I decided that when I started this job I would be honest and if someone asked me just tell that I am a Lesbian and yes I love Jesus but I am not practising.

    my real question is this How comes this beautiful women was in faith that would not allow her to be honest and how comes after all these years that the Christian church as a whole still can’t get its head around homosexuality. I come from a black pentecostal background they don’t have room for homosexuals. I moved away from that type of church when I was in my early 20’s but there was still the preaching from the pulpit that put it this way didn’t have grace in it. The Church in most cases not all has done nothing for people who are struggling within it walls. if their is to be shame that the real shame.

  • gateroad

    I noticed that in your blog supporting same sex marriage, you didn’t give any Bible passages that support your conclusion. Please give us Scripture that supports your position. You should be more than able and willing to do this, since you are a theologian .

  • Martarose

    You are absolutely ridiculous with way too much time on your hands to be condemning every person who comments something you don’t agree with. Get a life!!!

  • OLA ILORI

    Fighting against the sin of homosexuality in the flesh is no different from a single person having to fight against the sin of fornication or a married person having to fight against the sin of adultery!

    What you have chosen to do Vicky, is give up the fight against the homosexual tendencies in your flesh. This is the wrong thing to do.

    For you are, as a consequence, choosing NOT to inherit the kingdom of God and instead become part of the Apostate Church, which is now ripe to be destroyed in God’s wrath!

    http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message2620719/pg1

    I know you’ve read the following words many times. It’s now time to heed them before it’s too late!

    “Don’t you know that unrighteous people will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t delude yourselves — people who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols, who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse, WHO ENGAGE IN ACTIVE OR PASSIVE HOMOSEXUALITY, who steal, who are greedy, who get drunk, who assail people with contemptuous language, who rob — NONE OF THEM WILL SHARE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD: Some of you USED TO DO THESE THINGS. But YOU HAVE CLEANSED YOURSELVES, you have been set apart for God, you HAVE COME TO BE COUNTED RIGHTEOUS THROUGH THE POWER OF THE LORD Yeshua the Messiah and the Spirit of our God.” [1Cor.6:9-11]

    The homosexual tendencies you have originates ONLY in your flesh, they’re not from your reborn spirit, which has the love for marriage with a man in it.

    It’s true that you have to fight to identify with your reborn spirit against your flesh!

    The Apostate Church wants you to identify with your flesh against your spirit!

    DON’T DO IT!!!

    Don’t give up the fight!

    The Lord is Coming soon!

    Much sooner than you think!

    Don’t let Him find you living in the sin of homosexuality!

    http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message2567353/pg1

    God bless,

  • Danny Knight

    Vicky could you show me in the bible where God is ok with Gay marriage? I love your honesty, but as a mere layperson I would love for you to give me a biblical account from your academic theological background. Is God cool with you living this lifestyle? God bless

  • Danny Knight

    Julie could you justify your stance from a biblical position? I’m sure you know God is a God of pure love. So he must purely hate sin. This inset situ has to be equal to that of his love for Holiness.

  • Kevin O’Neill

    Hi, Teresa. I agree with what Carrie Mack said below. What evidence (something a little more convincing than than your word) proves that homosexuals are born that way? It would seem to me that this is very much not the case.

    I believe homosexuality is a sin, and like all sins it is a struggle. We struggle with whether or not we will continue to indulge in that sin, or surrender it to God knowing that our involvement in that particular activity is not His desire for our lives. Just as a heterosexual person may struggle with the issue of premarital sex.

    I would suggest that you learn to place your faith as well as your research into intelligent sources. Saying, “take my word for it” has absolutely zero intrinsic value within a discussion of truth. Is your word the standard of truth? I don’t think so, and I would never expect for you to ever simply “take my word” for anything either.

  • Angelica

    Hello Vicky. I was reading your article, and I don’t want to argue or judge you (because I’m not able to do it, only God can) but I want to ask you something.. What kind of Bible are you reading? Because in mine says clearly that God made man and woman to be a couple, and anything that makes it different is sin, either homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality or any sexual aberration out of God’s plan. If you support your idea saying that it was in the Old Testament I invite you to read Romans 1: 26.27: “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
    I really desire that God will open your eyes, and then you will see that not only homosexuality is sin, anger, lying, fornication and a lot of things more are not pleasant to the Lord, because is true that He is love, but also he is HOLY and he call us holies as him.

    Don’t forget that Jesus loves you so much and He died on the cross for you.

  • Guest

    Hi Vicky
    If that kind of relationship is not sin, way God asked people (man who lies with man as men lie women) to be killed? Lev.20:13

  • Yordan Yordanidis

    Hi Vicky
    If that kind of relationship is not sin, way God asked people (man who lies with man as men lie with women) to be killed? Lev.20:13

  • Teresa

    I agree with your quote “…whoever would believe on Him should not perish but have eternal life”. I believe that means if you believe in Jesus, you are going to join Him and God. Well, that’s me, gay or not.
    As for leaving the gay lifestyle, anyone can leave any lifestyle. It doesn’t mean they are happy. You could leave the Christian lifestyle, but will that make you happy and healthy? You could choose to leave the heterosexual lifestyle…would that make you happy, or would you be lonely for all of your life?
    I don’t know what “scientific” knowledge you feel you have, but a simple search of the internet will reveal many thoughts and experiments on this subject, not your or my beliefs. And actually, hormones play a significant part in forming everything about a fetus, so it wouldn’t take much knowledge to understand how this might affect one’s sexuality. Believing in “environmental” factors is very much old school, as identical twins reared together and one is gay and one is straight might simply point out. It would have to be something else. Something internal. And yes, DNA studies have pointed out there might be a difference on one marker on one section, but I can’t remember which one. I’m sure that’s somewhere to be found to, should you care to investigate it. I too have had scientific instruction and I also am from the city where the Kinsey Institute is located. The Kinseys did extensive research on sexuality. I think it is important to understand that if you were to ask a homosexual if they have felt that way all of their life, a large percentage would say yes. I always knew I was different from other girls in my way of thinking. I didn’t know anything about homosexuality until I went looking for an explanation of why I was the way I was when I began to mature. I was very much involved with the church and I prayed earnestly to have this removed from me. It has taken me many years to come to understand that God loves me too, just the way I am, because He is the one who made me this way.
    The Bible obviously can be interpreted in many ways. I understand that and I wish you would (all of you) too. I read an interpretation translated by scholars from all walks of life, who understand the original languages and the differences in the words that were used then and the words that are used now. They are not totally the same. I attended a Christian college who understood that theirs was not to judge, but to educate and treat others with respect and love, just as Jesus did. It was in one of my NT classes that I learned Jesus healed a man’s male partner. The centurion and his slave, although knowledge of language and lifestyle in those times now understands it was a man and his male lover. Jesus healed the man. He didn’t then say, “now go and sin no more”.
    Those of us that are Christians and homosexuals have probably done a lot of studying over the years to come to understand how we fit in. And we do. So perhaps those of you that think you completely know and understand all of the words expressed in the Bible might do everyone a favor and sit down with them one more time and try to see if you might be wrong. What do you have to lose? What if you are wrong? What if someone educated you wrong? As much as you all would like to save us from ignorance, so then do we want to save you.
    Either way, one must be careful about being judgemental. That is not for us, but only for God. So in your attempt to do what you think is right, don’t sin yourselves for judging your brothers and sisters.
    Probably, we won’t have this issue settled between us until each one of us finds out face to face with God if we are a sinner or not. What I do know however, if you judge people for what YOU believe are their sins, why would they want to join your church? Now, there is the sin. Bring people in, not force them out.
    And make sure you are reading a reputable copy of the Bible.

  • Teresa

    Many straight people support education regarding homosexuality, equal rights, and Christian beliefs. There are many churches that probably use the same Bible as you do that welcome gay people in. The U.S. is beginning to see the light and be enlightened to the truth. This is why gay people are starting to have their rights upheld by governing bodies of all types: government, colleges, towns, cities, the medical community, etc.

  • Teresa

    Raj, can you not understand that if it were that simple, we wouldn’t be in this blog? It’s like being a witness: everyone sees it a little bit differently.
    Just as you argue the same passages over and over, the folks on the other side of the argument think it says something else. Until the authors tell us which is which, it will remain open to speculation.
    Just because someone’s interpretation is different from yours, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong. It means that YOU think they are wrong. If we could understand that, perhaps we could save a lot of time by typing over and over “go read the scriptures”. It’s just not that simple. This is not Iraq or Syria and you must allow people to have their faith, just as you are allowed to have yours.
    I would however, like to see us all remain civil.

  • Teresa

    Amen!

  • Teresa

    Raj, with all respect, it certainly sounds like to me that you are relying on YOUR judgement.
    Also we were warned in the Bible about Christians who acted as children, meaning they weren’t mature in their way of thinking about what Christianity is all about.
    Jesus said to “believe in Me”. I think that’s what I am doing, so I think I’m a fine Christian. There are so many different “types” of Christians in this world, so I think there must be room for a lot of different types of personal faith. This is why Jesus clarified to believe in Him and everything would be alright.
    We all sin in one way or another. Those of you who think being gay is a sin probably also think that greed is and lust is. The only difference is that greed and lust where written down as commandments. So which sins are you guilty of? And if you are a sinner, why don’t you just stop it! What does the Bible say about it?

  • Teresa

    JBW, you are refreshing in your honesty and in your love for your fellow man. Your approach to this very confoluted situation is one that can be discussed and thoughtfully dissected. I appreciate the fact that you have the courage to say you don’t know.
    I only disagree on one fundamental point which is gay = sin.
    I simply can’t get over the fact that my loving God would put someone on this earth, someone that has the basic instinct to love and be loved, only to tell them they must not love someone that their heart has allowed them to fall in love with. The love that “feels” the natural way to them. Why would God single out certain (babies) souls to inflict with homosexuality? “Don’t follow your natural instincts or you will be wrong in my eyes” sort of situation? Why would he do that? Why should one group of people be tested more than another group of people?
    The only thing I can say for sure is I know God loves me and I know He is working in my life. I know I have been blessed with many miracles. I have not felt Him tell me to go against what feels natural to me. So really, I just don’t believe it can be a sin.
    Thank you for your kind sharing of your thoughts.

  • Teresa

    Thank you Rob.

  • Teresa

    Tony, if no one acted on their “fleshy” desires, you would not be in this world to start with. God gave us sexuality, just as he created the body to climax. Jesus did not say for us to BE HIM, He said for us to BELIEVE in Him. Faith, hope, and love… and the greatest of these is love.

  • Teresa

    And hence the need for gay marriage so that two people may be joined as one for their lives. Gay folks just want to be treated like everybody else…. a chance to find their soul mate and settle down. Having sex is really just a biproduct of that emotion, devotion, and love.

  • Teresa

    “The first problem is that the campaign for same-sex marriage has been accompanied in many quarters by the claim that we should move away from the expectation of lifelong sexual exclusivity.”

    Alastair, that is what straight people say about gays. Gays themselves don’t say that. If they don’t want to be exclusive with each other, why get married?

    It’s these types of ridiculous and inaccurate responses by “Christians” that are driving hoards and masses away from the “Church”. You all have the idea that you have exclusive hold on the truth. I’m sorry to tell you, but you don’t. The majority of the population in the United States don’t agree with you, and there are MANY Church families that don’t either.

    I just have to wonder how “you all” would handle waking up one day and realizing you are gay. Or your child is gay. Then I imagine it would not be so easy to be “holier-than-thou”, take the high road, etc. etc. I wonder how you would feel when your life is threatened for just walking down the street due to the falasies perpetuated by Christians who think they are in a place where they can judge God’s children.

    Continued judgmental behavior is not only incredibly willful and sinful, it also perpetuates hate. Oh you can say “hate the sin not the sinner” but do you really mean it? I think some of the folks posting on here really do hate and are judgmental. Period.

    I grow weary trying to educate straight people. I have found however, those who do have an open mind and heart to the will of God will not judge. They will spend time cleaning their own house first. All I can say in closing is yes, please pray for my salvation, just as I will pray for yours. I just have to wonder how many would act so high and mighty if Jesus were sitting in the room with us…..

  • Teresa

    “…adoption is an attempt to repair a broken situation… and that an alternative must be found. The problem with same-sex marriage is that it normalizes and idealizes such broken situations, undermining the ideal of a form of marriage that binds children to their birth parents in a loving and lifelong committed relationship.”

    Now you are calling adopted kids broken…. thank goodness there are couples willing to bring them into a home. You surely cannot blame this on gay couples. Actually, I can’t believe you actually made those comments… You sir, are venonmous, inaccurate, short-sighted, etc.etc. Surely you must be blogging in jest as you surely cannot believe such ridiculous, fabricated thoughts you suggest are facts.

    This will be the last comment I make on any poison you choose to spew. Actually, if we had many more people like you, it would be much easier for gays to achieve equal rights and rights to religion, as pointing out your ridiculous views would be all the ammo we would need to show other people how ridiculous this type of mindset is. OMG, for real????

  • Teresa

    Jade, I came to this blog for education. I want to thank you for the way you are able to sum up ideas and share them in a straight-forward (no pun intended) manner that is easy to read, clear, and factual.
    I take the Bible as a personal faith tool. I cannot say what is true or false, but only what I can wrap my head and heart around and believe. Like you, I believe it is also critical to go to the original manuscripts for translation into modern Bibles. I honestly believe that God will help someone to “know” what is their truth.
    Thank you for having the energy and the will to debate this issue with a sometimes very rigid audience. I find that as the years advance my age, I am more willing to sit back knowing what I know is the truth, and only giving so much of my time to folks who refuse to even consider they might have been taught hearsay or that they may take something very literal when that is not how it was meant. Keep the faith lady and God bless you. :)

  • Teresa

    Sam, you make this sound as if this blog was started just for you. I think if you don’t find it satisfactory, you may leave the discussion. This is Vicky’s blog and I believe she may run it in any manner she she’s fit.
    After all of the venom that has been pitched at her, mostly by men I’ve noticed, I wouldn’t blame her if she took a breather. Being exposed to this negative and often hateful language is not very inviting and I would have a hard time taking anyone saying it seriously.

  • Teresa

    Hi Peter: “I actually don’t believe in god. Although I’m a bit envious of people that do.” Man, I just can’t let that comment go by :) I started going to a little country church when I was a young teen because my boyfriend went there and it would mean we could sit together (ah, young love). Somehow the message started sinking in and suddenly I felt a warmth come over me whenever I was there. So, I asked God if He wanted me. I felt like He said “yes”, so here I am.
    Peter, you don’t have to go to a church to talk with God. Actually, I’ve talked to God lots from a jail cell. He always helped me when I’ve asked for it. I have had absolute miracles worked on my behalf. And I mean concrete miracles you can put your hands on and be amazed by. Yes, having God in your life is something to yearn for, but don’t be envious. It’s yours Peter. Just ask.
    Some churches are little more than people getting dressed up and meeting up with each other every Sunday. The truth is that you don’t need a building and God will come to you wherever you are. I believe that God does like for us to gather together to be happy and joyous, but also to show others what loving God is. It’s not just a thought or an ancient ritual that still finds a place in our communities. God is alive and He’s right there, waiting for you to reach out to Him. Just ask Him Peter. Ask Him and open your heart. He will come to you, absolutely. I don’t know you Peter, but I’m going to pray to God to help you find Him. And honestly, you don’t have to be a religious nut to have God in your life, if that is what you are worried about. God wants you just the way you are right now. God loves you because He made you.
    My heart feels very filled with love for you and I’m very excited for you. He’s right there in the room with you Peter. Just reach out and ask Him to take your hand. You will be so happy that you did. God bless you Peter…. Teresa :)

  • Teresa

    Yes, I keep bringing up the centurion and his lover, who Jesus healed when he sick. No one wants to talk about that. Actually, my NT class (in a Christian college) said it was an accepted practice for men to take male lovers, which were called servants, but actually were lovers. More like someone to care for the house while the centurion types were out being soldiers. It was not uncommon nor criticized.

  • Teresa

    OMG! Now you are saying who knows God and who doesn’t???

    Also, I don’t think one must be versed in debating tactics to have a say in this blog. Is this just a game to you???

  • Teresa

    The availability of higher education (so that we don’t have to rely on just anybody in a blog who presumes to be the only one who knows anything)

  • Shane 2

    Hi Angelica,

    I am an agnostic so I come to things with a sceptical perspective. I looked up NIV Leviticus 20:13. -> “If a man has sexual relations with another male as he would with a woman, both have committed a repulsive act. They are certainly to be put to death.”
    Angelica, do you think that Christians have a duty to put men who have had sex with men to death?

  • Shane 2

    Danny Knight: “The Intensity against sin has to be equal to that of his love.”
    This is not a law of nature. It is more fundamental than that. I is a law of God. I known that because I am the great Danny Knight who is all knowing.

  • Shane 2

    Brent Vermillion ” historical, biblical marriage was based on the breaking of the hymen membrane ”
    Hello Brent, is a marriage where there is no hymen breaking a lesser marriage than one with hymen breaking? For example, if a woman has had her hymen broken from non-sexual physical activity is she damaged goods, incapable of having a proper marriage? Can women become undamaged goods by getting hymen reconstructive surgery?

  • AnnyL

    OMG! You are just so ridiculosly stupid, maybe you are bitter and have homosexual frustrated feelings! The Bible also commands us not to argue with people like you! It is just wrong, and you repeating over and over that it is won’t make it right!

  • Sally

    I cannot believe so many people have rejected you… Jesus would never, has never and will never do that. I am so sorry for the hurts caused to you, and I admire your courage and grace in the face of this. Regardless of what you or I or others believe, we are sisters in Christ, and I look forward to seeing you in Glory. xxxxxxx

  • Shane 2

    Danny Knight is the Protestant Pope and that is why he is all knowing. What is the word I’m grasping for? Oh yeah, Danny Knight is infallible. We can add another book the New Testament: The Revelation of Danny. Ch1 Verse1 The Lord’s Intensity against sin has to be equal to that of his love.
    This is of course worth more than The Golden Rule. This is The Diamond Rule.

  • Shane 2

    Are you the famous Pastor Michael Salman of Phoenix Ariz. who went to prison in 2012?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/16/michael-salman-phoenix-pastor-jailed-bible-study-video_n_1677943.html
    If you are, I just want to say I’m a big fan. You stuck to your guns.

  • Jenny Reid

    Teresa, It is simply not fair to misquote people in this way and you immediately lose my sympathy by doing so. You reduce “…adoption is an attempt to repair a broken situation” to “you are calling adopted kids broken” which is just plain dishonest, and then go off on an unpleasant rant: “You sir, are venomous, inaccurate, short-sighted, etc.etc. You surely cannot believe such ridiculous, fabricated thoughts you suggest are facts”. No, It was you who suggested that yourself by misrepresenting what had been said! The original statement is perfectly true in any case. Anyone who knows anything at all about adoption knows just how broken are the situations from which adopted children very often come. I see no evidence of “poison” being “spewed” except by you and it does your case no good at all to respond in this manner.

  • stephanie

    stephanie

    Good day, my name is stephanie and i would love to share a wonderful testimony. I was happily married for about Four years before me and my husband started having problems haven tried some spell casters i thought all hope were lost and i cried for a long time before i was introduced to a prophet called Brian Carn by a friend of mine that helped put everything back in order by his special prayers and today we are still happily married so i want to use this media to challenge anyone of you who is passing through difficulties to contact this man, we were created to have the best of life not to cry every night and day i know how it hurts because have been there so if you know you are passing through any challenge contact him on his email prophet Dr,kokotemple@mail.com this is the best spell caster that has ever lived am so sure of that because he has also helped some of my friends.again his email is Dr,kokotemple@mail.com

  • Shane 2

    Hi Ola, I love ALL CAPS. Are the ALL CAPS in your quote from Corinthians from Paul’s original Koine Greek text or are they your innovation?

  • Kevin

    Lets start with the very last thing you said. Please show me one reputable Bible translation that translates ‘servant’ in Matthew 8 or Luke 7 as homosexual lover….

  • Kevin

    You seem to be silent on this matter, so I will provide a more than sufficient answer: there are absolutely ZERO reputable Bible translations that see the words ‘pais’ and ‘duolos entimos’ as meaning homosexual lover. In no way whatsoever do any of the foremost Bible translations agree with you or your schools’ interpretation of these verses. I would not in any way recommend adhering to a view that is not even remotely held in any reliable Bible translation.

    I would seriously suggest you look into this for yourself, Teresa! Be like the Bereans and “look at the Scriptures for yourself”! Study God’s word, and study the words that are being used to support your current position. Use concordances and Bible dictionaries to get accurate definitions of those words. And use the logic God gave you and the Spirit to rightly understand the Scriptures. Don’t just use this one feeble argument to support a lifestyle of sin. Consider all the other passages that shed light on homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10).

    Pray over this. Keep in mind that you are in no way the first person to struggle with a sin. In no way are you the only one who has faced a sin that God calls evil, but at the present moment feels so right. Pray, and truly seek God’s heart on this. If there is even the slightest chance that homosexuality is wrong and God calls it sin, then don’t trample the blood of Christ who died for your sins by continuing in this lifestyle! Yes, it is a challenge, yes it is trying, but trust God’s word more than anything else in this world! Trust it and believe that it is true!

  • Tanya

    My name is Tanya i live in USA where Divorce seems to be the order of the day,i was married to my husband Lawson for 18 years and we were living happily together with our 3 kids and all of a sudden their came this sad moment for the first time in my life i curt my husband having an affair with a lady outside our marriage before this time i have already started noticing strange behavior like he used to spend some time with us, comes home early after work but since he started having an affair with this lady all his love for his wife gone and he now treats me badly and will not always make me happy.I had to keep on moving with my life never knowing that our marriage was now leading to divorce which i can not take because i love Lawson my husband so much and i can’t afford to loose him to this strange Lady,i had to seek a friends advice on how i could resolve my marriage problem and make the divorce case not to take place and my husband live this Lady and come back to me again having heard my story my friend decided to help me at all cost she then referred me to A spell caster named Priest Ajigar, my friend also told me that Priest Ajigar have helped so many people that were going through divorce, and also finding possible ways to amend their broken relationship. To cut my story short i contacted Priest Ajigar and in just four days after the spell was done my husband left the other lady and withdrew the divorce case all till now my husband is with me and he now treats me well and we are living happily together again all appreciation goes to Priest Ajigar i never could have done this my self, so to whom it may concern if you are finding difficulty in your relationship or having problems in your marriage just contact Priest Ajigar he is Powerful and his spell works perfectly,i am somebody who never believed or heard about spell but i gave it a try with Priest Ajigar and today every thing is working well for me and if you need his help his email is (priestajigarspells@live.com),

  • Shane 2

    SPAM

  • Shane 2

    SPAM.

  • Shane 2

    SPAM..

  • Shane 2

    SPAM…

  • Shane 2

    SPAM….

  • Lisa Cuellar

    I am not angry with you or here to write hateful comments. However, I am really sad to hear about your life and to hear you believe homosexuality is a good practice. I believe that your position can only hurt the church. I’m sorry to say I cannot support you in your journey when I believe that you’ve placed your feelings above the word of God and the power of God to transform. The scriptures are what we have to determine also what is loving. Without truth, there is no love. It’s never loving to call something sinful good. I’m not picking on this issue of ‘homosexuality’ but any sin. If suddenly everyone was saying the practice of gossiping was ok and good, I would be writing about that.

    I have two questions for you. It sounds like you have lived quite a secretive life concerning your homosexual feelings. What I mean by that…is that it doesn’t sound like you shared your homosexual feelings with many people. If that is true, do you think if you had been more open that God could have done a process of transformation of your sexual desires? If God is really God– isn’t He able to do this? Or would you even want to change?

    And secondly, my question is related to living a celibate life. Although not at all easy, I am a 45 year old single woman and know it is possible to live without being sexually active–and to live life to the full. Have you considered this a valid option?

  • GUEST

    Well they are many others in the christian industry practicing homosexulaity standing in the shawdows and itching to “come out” its whos next

  • Shane 2

    A celibate life often comes with negative consequences. For example a lack of companionship, emotional intimacy, and cuddles. Yes cuddles, one of the most important things in the world. Sex is fab with the right person, but it is not the major part of a sexual relationship. The other stuff is more important. You might be able to obtain the other stuff without having a committed sexual relationship, but it will be less likely that you have the other stuff in abundance if you are not in a committed sexual relationship. Lisa, when was the last time you cuddled with someone for more than an hour?

  • Shane 2

    Lisa Cuellar “… do you think if you had been more open that God could have done a process of transformation of your sexual desires? If God is really God– isn’t He able to do this?”
    Yes God could do this just as God could return limbs to amputees. If God doesn’t turn you into a heterosexual, it could be a signal she wants you to find a nice homosexual partner to share your life with.

  • Bob

    I’m assuming then that if you are for “equal marriage” you are then for poligamous, and incestual marriages as well correct? this is the only way for you to be consistent in your arguments.

  • Cruise