A Dialogue on Homosexuality

I discovered that my brother Elliot had posted on Facebook some statistics he combined and that he believed were interesting. The following dialogue is contained in the comment thread. I have yet to reply to the latest comments.

Elliott (OP)
Suicide (or attempted) rates among heroin addicts : 3-30%.
Suicide (or attempted) rates among meth addicts : 28.7%
Suicide (or attempted) rates among homosexuals : 20-40%
Suicide (or attempted) rates among Americans : 0.012%
(based on many different sources)
So why do we blame two of those stats on lifestyle and choices and the third one is blamed on the smoke-and-mirrors sideshow of “bullying”?

D’Ann
Bullying isn’t a smoke and mirror show.

Stephen
You’re comparing apples and oranges:
1) Homosexuality is a harmless, unchangeable part of who a person is, while drug addiction is an illness or problem that can and should be corrected. Drug addiction is unhealthy, while homosexuality is not. Homosexuality merely involves a specific desire or preference (just like people have preferences for certain colors or foods). Addictions involve dependency and unhealthy behaviors.
2) Drug addiction is a complicated topic, with various contributing factors (homelessness, mental health disorders, etc.). I think we need to be more knowledgeable and compassionate toward addicts and try to understand the problem, instead of making assumptions and blanket statements about their “lifestyle and choices.”

Elliott
It is in that it distracts from the real issues. Our children are now taught to be victims. So the whole thing has been generated for the purpose of furthering an agenda.

Sean
I would like to point out that you are not a heroin or meth addict; neither do you identify as homosexual. If you would be willing to talk to drug addicts and homosexual people, you might then be closer to being in a position to discuss why any one in any of those groups has chosen to attempt suicide.

Sean
You have chosen your own lifestyle of believing whatever you have been told by the “church”. Your lifestyle is one of judgment and belittlment. You have no desire to learn about people’s lives other than what you believe you already know.

Elliott
You’re the one making judgement calls about me.

Sean
Only based on the evidence I see, Elliott. You don’t talk to me, only judge me.

Paul
Elliot, where did you get your statistics from?

Elliott
Paul: A lot of different studies. I spent a lot of time researching and looking at unbiased – in fact all liberal – websites. I used the mean of the statistics I found.

Paul
Thanks. I’m curious to know how the others would define “homosexual” here. Is it mainly defined by the internal feelings, or does it include the sexual acts of homosexuality?

I know it was described as “innocent” already. Hopefully, others can understand why in this generation it’s not been so innocent in the sense of leaving others alone at all. The latest story is Lesbians Claim “Mental Rape” After Christian Family Wouldn’t Bake Them Cake

It goes way, way beyond “We just want to love who we want and live in peace.” That may be true of some, but there is an agenda that is trying to force its morality on the rest of society, especially Christians and Christian businesses.

Sean
There are extremists in any group: Christians, feminists, Muslims, conservatives, transgender people, hedonists, pagans, etc. No one should necessarily judge a whole group based on the extremist actions of a few people. As a gay man, my only agenda is to live my life peacefully and fulfillingly in concord with those around me.

Paul
Hi Sean. You mentioned extreme Islam. Without taking the conversation in a different direction by discussing Muslim theology, I will say that it has often puzzled me that the more moderate or conservative Muslims haven’t risen up in mass and thoroughly denounced the actions of the extreme elements of their faith. Why is that?

I’m not sure there is any one answer, but I do have my opinion. And my opinion is that they remain relatively silent because they don’t want to appear to go against their own religion, even though the extreme elements make their religion abhorrent to the rest of the world.

I apply the same principle to the homosexual agenda and the homosexual populace, in general. Where is the outcry from people who claim to be just like you with regards to these clear set-ups and attempts to shut down Christian businesses that don’t cater to events that violate their religious beliefs?

I think of the recent pizza shop owners in Indiana who were painted as being discriminatory when that was not the case at all.

I visited Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Colorado and talked to him about the persecution he has faced. He is a very quiet humble man who has never turned away a homosexual who has ordered a cake for their own personal use. It was only when a gay man ordered a wedding cake (ironically in a state at that time that did not recognize gay marriage, which tells you that it was a set-up) that he refused based on his religious convictions. Since then, he has faced tremendous persecution in the form of thousands of hate calls and emails threatening his life, as well as government persecution in the form of heavy monetary fines.

So let me ask you, which side are you on?

Sean
Is a wedding cake not a personal use? I would like to add that gay people have been celebrating weddings, though not legally recognized, for decades.

Sean
I do not know much about the case

Philip
Where’s the statistic for heterosexuals? Oh, right, fundamentalists don’t treat them like shit, and they aren’t excluded by their families and harassed by society.

So what actual reason is there to be surprised that people who are abused on account of their orientation are more often depressed and miserable than those who aren’t?

Sean
Bullying is real. 100% absolutely real. My own mother bullies me because I’m gay, or because I have chosen to use a name other than the one she chose for me without my consent.

Ginger Barber
Heterosexual are treated like crap too. Especially if you are not Christian enough. Or as open minded as some. Or as racist as some. Or. … whatever. We aren’t welcomed in most churches because my husband wears earrings. Or because I wear pants sometimes, or because my daughter is bi.
But then again I am not tolerant enough of the gay lifestyle because I support the views of the owners of hobby lobby or chik fil la. Or I am not Christian enough because I don’t care that gay people get married in a civil ceremony. So everyone needs to stop and act maybe as Christ did.

Ginger Barber
Sean you can stop the bullying. Stay away.

Elliott
I agree, we should act like Christ. He called things black and white. He said, “Go, and sin no more.” He had righteous anger over sin in God’s house. He had compassion on people who wanted to change. He came to call sinners to repentance. He died for people, not to cover their sin, but to give them freedom from it. He loves us all in spite of the stones people throw at us in ignorance, or the stones we throw in ignorance. He continually calls us all to come a little closer, walk in His light, taste His goodness, receive His mercy, and flee from the wrath to come.

Elliott
BTW, the statistic for heterosexuals is there too. Look harder.

Philip
Chapter and verse, please, where Jesus said anything about gay marriage or homosexuality. Chapter and verse, please, where Jesus shunned or bullied anyone. Clarification, please, as to how fundamentalists differ from the religious jackasses that were apparently the only people Jesus ever was angry with?

Philip
Jesus cleaned house in the Temple because people acting out of self-righteous self-interest were keeping people out of a space where God wanted to meet all people. Remind me how this is any different from the shameful way you treat Seanny.

Elliott
Philip please watch your language. This is a family friendly page!

Paul
Yes, Sean, a wedding cake is for “personal use,” per se. But, remember what the baker does. Every cake he makes is a representation of his craft–his artwork, if you will. As a Christian, he cannot support homosexual marriage. God’s word forbids it. So he must refrain based on his religious convictions.

Now, God’s word does not forbid baking a general cake for any person, gay or straight. So the baker has no issues baking a general cake for anyone in particular. So the issue is the EVENT, not the person, and it is, therefore, not “discrimination” by definition.

Remove the homosexual element from the picture and make it asking the baker to bake a cake for a KKK meeting. Would he be discriminating if he refused? The issue isn’t about homosexuality. It’s about what a person is willing to be associated with, and we have the right, or should, to refrain if we choose.

As for the other comments here, it will be hard to come to any definitive right or wrong answer unless it is generally acknowledged that there is such a thing as absolute moral right and wrong. If there is no such absolute, then we are all just giving our opinion, and right and wrong don’t exist. (And, yes, the ramifications of such a belief are broad and go way, way beyond this discussion.)

I would also be careful about saying “act like Jesus,” when doing so may not give the result expected. Jesus was a Jew. He obeyed the Old Testament Law. (Actually, as God, he WROTE it.) That means that he is against homosexuality. So “acting like Jesus” would mean that we should be kind to all people, but it does not in any way mean that we must accept all people. He did not do that at all.

When people met him they changed from what they were. His invitation in Matthew 11, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden,” implies change. No one that meets Jesus stays the same.

Ginger Barber
Exactly he loves us even if….. we are to love. That was his greatest commandment.
I am tired of “not being Christian enough” or “not being tolerant” enough. I treat each person I cross paths with with respect and love. I try not to sit on a throne and cast stones, though I fail. I almost lost my family because I was too bent on brow beating my family to be more like what I thought was “Christ like”. When in reality, I was acting very un Christ like. We can’t force someone to accept God. But we can show His love.

Paul
Someone said, “People are of equal value, but ideas are not. Not all ideas should be tolerated.”

Jesus Christ would have agreed with that statement, and I believe it is proven in his life. See the story of the woman taken in adultery. Did he show compassion? Yes. Did he tell her to “go and sin no more”? Yes.

He accepted her as a fellow human being, but he did not accept her lifestyle. It had to change if she was going to be right with God.

If there is no God then no one is wrong in anything they do (including people like Hitler). If there is a God, then HE sets the terms and if we fail to follow we cannot be right with him.

That is just the necessary reality, and it’s ok, because God is love, too, and has our best interests in mind EVEN IF WE DON’T SEE IT RIGHT AWAY.

Elliott
As for Chapter and verse, here’s a start: Leviticus 18:22, 1Cor. 6:9-11, Rom 1:26-28, 32, Lev 20:13, 1 Tim. 1:10-11, 1Cor 7:2, Mark 10:6-9, Jude 1:7, Rom. 13:8-10

Artehenis Szafran
Elliott, you might also want to ask, why it is that the same numbers show up in every population of homosexuals no matter how accepting of homosexuality that society is. Clearly we aren’t talking about an issue of bullying when countries in which this doesn’t happen have exactly the same percentage of every negative things associated with the lifestyle.

Elliott
That’s an interesting point Artehenis Szafran. I only looked at stats for America.

Paul
A fish out of water will struggle, even if all the other animals laugh at it for being out of the water. It is trying to live outside of its designed purpose.

So it is when humans live outside of God’s design. It naturally won’t go well with them. Bullying by others only adds to problem they created when the chose to defy design.

Peace of mind and a clear conscience will only come when they admit that God’s way is best, repent of their rebellion against His design, and commit, with his help, to live the way He designed them to live.

Philip
Family friendly? That’s funny. Sean would sure like to have a friendly family.

Paul
Philip, you claim to be a Christian. Certainly, you don’t object to obeying the scripture that tells us to not let filthy communication proceed from our mouths, right? (Eph. 4:29)

I can’t speak for Sean’s current family situation (even though I’ve known the family for many, many years), but I also know there are two sides to every story. A whole lot of the LGBT “discrimination” going on in this country right now is not discrimination at all.

We certainly do see what we want to see sometimes, and that goes for all people.

“He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.” -Proverbs 18:17

Philip
Ha. You’re a bigoted hypocrite, Paul. There is no worse speech than a family telling one of their own members to get lost. Check out that log in your eye.

Sean
Miller, it’s pretty simple on my side. I’m gay, so they refuse to allow me to associate with the family. On their side, not so simple. However, due to lack of communication, there is no way this can be cleared up.

Paul
Philip, I find it ironic that you’re trying to defend Sean from bullying, while at the same time bullying me. LOL!! Using your logic, I guess because one person (in your opinion) is a hypocrite, then that gives you license to use filthy language. Interesting logic.

So I’m a bigoted hypocrite, eh? How so? What did I even allude to that would make it so? Perhaps the problem is with your ability to comprehend what one says, and not with the hypocrisy of the person you’re bullying? You might want to think about that a little bit. And, you also might want to back off with the hatred on your end.

Philip
So you’re mad at me because I used several PG-words, but you’re cool with Sean being cut off, because we don’t agree with your personal misreading of the Bible? Just making sure I understand.

Paul
//but you’re cool with Sean being cut off//

No doubt I want you to understand, but I don’t think you do that this point. Will you please show me where I even alluded to or even suggested that it’s “cool with Sean being cut off”?

I have probably known him longer than you. I’ve known about him being gay for years. Ask him if I’ve ever attacked him in any way, or even sided with his family (which I said I couldn’t do because I don’t have all the facts–maybe you missed that?).

But you’re attacking me. Who is bullying who here?

Paul
// it’s pretty simple on my side. I’m gay, so they refuse to allow me to associate with the family. On their side, not so simple. However, due to lack of communication, there is no way this can be cleared up.//

Sean, I’ve know this for years. But I don’t know what your family’s response is. I do know from dealing with other people that when parties are strong in their beliefs, words and actions can be made worse than they really are simply because of our perceptions.

In the end, all that really matters is what God thinks. Do you still believe that? I believe that you once did.

Paul
//because we don’t agree with your personal misreading of the Bible?//

I forgot to address that comment.

My reading of the Bible is consistent with centuries old interpretations of the Scriptures by extremely learned theologians. It is only recently that liberal theologians have twisted the Scriptures to suit their lifestyle because they are not content with living what they believe, they want God to approve of it, too.

You have the right in this nation to a homosexual without threat of physical or emotional harm. But you do not have the right to personally twist the Scriptures and try to imply that God is on your side. Do what you want, but the Bible is clearly against homosexuality. It’s not even an issue really.

Philip
You’ve denied and excused bullying of gay people all through this thread and you’ve thrown around the same old misunderstood clobber passages to justify your condemnation of gay people.

What does God think? I don’t think that’s a conclusion you can draw based on your own interpretation of scripture, and then apply to everyone else in the world. I would venture that a God who made Sean who he is, and put him in a specific family, wouldn’t approve of his rejection.

Sean
I will publicly explain that I am now an agnostic.

Philip
Do you know Greek? Have you looked at the actual words Paul used in the passages you cite, and studied what exactly the problems were in his culture that he was addressing? I have. You don’t have the right to make up your own twisting of the Scripture, to force it to address topics and situations unknown in biblical times. I would hope you’d be humble enough to do the hard work of scholarship and challenge the assumptions passed on to us from earlier times, in the same way Christianity has had to evolve from the days it was used to support slavery and segregation.

Paul
//You’ve denied and excused bullying of gay people all through this thread and you’ve thrown around the same old misunderstood clobber passages to justify your condemnation of gay people. //

I have? Quote me.

Paul
//What does God think? I don’t think that’s a conclusion you can draw based on your own interpretation of scripture, and then apply to everyone else in the world. I would venture that a God who made Sean who he is, and put him in a specific family, wouldn’t approve of his rejection.//

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” -Leviticus 18:22

If I show that to a 10 year old kid, will he interpret it as I see or as you see it?

You see, sometimes it’s not about the Greek or Hebrew. Sometimes it’s about taking it at face value. But doesn’t work, does it, when we really, really want God to be on our side. So we just write books and commentaries that tell people it doesn’t say what it plainly says.

Paul
Sean, will you tell me what exactly led you to embrace agnosticism?

Philip
Is the ten-year-old living in a Bronze Age Jewish society? If not, what does it have to do with anything? If you claim that’s a law for everybody, you’d better check your clothes for fabrics made from mixed fibers, and get rid of all the non-kosher food in your fridge. And the intelligence of a ten-year-old is surely a great way to interpret ancient literature and understand the world.

Paul
Philip, you misunderstand the difference in the Old Testament between ceremonial laws and moral laws. Ceremonial laws did not transfer Beyond the ancient Jews. When God proclaims a moral law it is forever to all people. That is logical because God cannot make a moral proclamation that would only apply to one people group and not all humanity.

Paul
You also made a false statement when you said that Christianity has evolved. Christianity has never evolved. God does not change and what he said for all people in the early church is meant for all people today.

You never judge a philosophy, religion or worldview by its abuses. You judge it based upon its core beliefs. Those that used Christianity to justify slavery and segregation were abusing Christianity, not applying it correctly.

The proof of that is found in the beliefs of the slaves, like Frederick Douglass, who embraced true Christianity AFTER he was free. If the problem had been Christianity, he would rejected it after seeing how it was used to justify crimes against him and other African people.

Sean
Agnosticism is the simple acknowledgement that one does not know if there is a God. I don’t know. I find it hard to believe in a being who is as petty and angry and destructive as I find the God of the Bible to be. I realized once that I legitimately didn’t know if God was real. I don’t understand your use of the word “embrace”. It is a fact that I acknowledge, and am comfortable with that.

Paul
What is God petty and angry at, Sean?

Philip
I’ll be busy the rest of the day, so I’m going to duck out. Paul, in all sincerity, I pray your mind is opened to the true character of Christianity and you can be freed from the shackles of fundamentalism. God isn’t afraid of truth, and I trust that when you actually start to use your intelligence to read the Bible carefully and deeply, beyond the surface, you’ll give up peddling this toxic, shallow theology that wounds and harms members of the Church.

Sean
Oh, He kills lots of people throughout the Bible.

Paul
Sean, if there is no moral absolute why is killing people wrong? Is there never a justification for putting people to death?

Paul
Yeah, I’m busy, too, Philip. But a word of advice. If you’re going to call names and make accusations, you had better be prepared to back it up. Especially when you’re challenged to quote the accused.

As for my understanding of the Bible, I’ve been studying it perhaps as long or nearly as long as you’ve been alive. I seek truth, even if it goes against my own worldview and desires. That’s because I let God direct me and not the other way around. God is my God. I am not his god.

You might think that through. You must go to him on HIS terms, not your own. If you ever grasp that he will save you and give you new life in Christ.

Paul
//Oh, He kills lots of people throughout the Bible.//

Sean, he also showed a lot of love towards people and a lot of mercy and justice. Right? Are you accusing him of injustice? Based on what moral law?

Sean
Of course you assume that morality comes from God. Which is kinda silly if you realize that you’re giving one being all the power to decide what’s good an what’s bad, but he can do whatever he willy nilly wants.

Maybe morals come from mutual respect of our fellow creatures and for the earth on which w live. We all give and take. Morality is finding the balance and harmony between all things.

Paul
//Maybe morals come from mutual respect of our fellow creatures and for the earth on which w live. We all give and take. Morality is finding the balance and harmony between all things.//

Who decides what is right when parties disagree?

Joseph
I don’t have time to get in a discussion, so I will say this one thing, then I’m done. I am opposed to homosexuality, because God is. I am also against drug abuse. That being said, our whole purpose as Christians is to reach the lost and bring them to Christ. Homosexuality and drug abuse are sin, just like lying, cheating and stealing, etc. are. Just because one person’s sin is more visible on the outside, doesn’t mean we are excused from God’s command to love that person. Don’t forget, Jesus died for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD. By shunning people who are in sin, we are essentially closing the door for God to change their lives, or at least making it much more difficult.

Paul
//Of course you assume that morality comes from God. Which is kinda silly if you realize that you’re giving one being all the power to decide what’s good an what’s bad, but he can do whatever he willy nilly wants. //

Sean, it’s only silly and “willy nilly” if the person is human and flawed. God is not so. He is omniscient and omnipotent and all just and all love. Who would be afraid of the laws from such a Being? Only a fool.

You do realize that you’re admitting that you’d rather give such awesome power and responsibility to fallen and sinful humans, right? What happens when they don’t side with your brand of morality? I’d call THAT silly and willy nilly.

Sean
Naturally you still frame your question with the assumption that your brand of Christianity is correct, that humans are only sinful by nature.

Paul
//Naturally you still frame your question with the assumption that your brand of Christianity is correct, that humans are only sinful by nature.//

Ok, I’ll remove the religious jargon (sin). Humans are not perfect. They are flawed. History is filled with wars and bloodshed of men trying to lord it over other men. Do you deny this?

I’ll ask you again
who decides ultimate right or wrong? The majority? Who?

Paul
Sean, I’d like you to ponder two statements. Both from atheists.

“Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.” -Kai Nielsen

In other words, human reasoning, even with good intentions, will not always get it right, and the results can be tragic.

“If moral imperatives are not commanded by God’s will, and if they are not in some sense, absolute, then ‘what ought to be’ is a matter, simple, of what men and women decide ‘should be’. There is no other source of judgement.” -Richard Rorty

Is that the society you want? Oh, it looks good when the “fittest” in charge are on your side, but what about when they aren’t? Are they only morally right when they agree with your version of morality? Is that logical?

There is a lot to think about, my friend, if you’re really going to accept a moral law without a Moral Law Giver.

Artehenis
One must understand that all “versions” of Christianity agree: homosexuality is wrong, and incompatible with Christian living. Eastern Orthodox teachings also argue against the idea that homosexuality can ever be a correct lifestyle before God; yet we never believed that man has a sinful, destroyed nature. Trust me, Sean:, I know that it is incompatible and needed to admit that I was wrong: I was an open, practicing homosexual prior to becoming a Christian.

Elliott
Joseph Ville thanks for your comment. I want to clarify once and for all: Sean: was not shunned. But a lifestyle that is an abomination carries with it an evil spirit that neither my mother nor I will tolerate around the younger siblings. He is allowed to communicate with us older ones. He can pick up the phone any time and talk. He was allowed to sit with the family for Nana’s funeral and even stop by the house. 1 Corinthians tells us clearly that public immorality is not to be tolerated. There must be repentance before fellowship can be restored.

Artehenis
Sorry if I stepped out of line in my response, Elliott:.

Elliott
Not at all, Artehenis.

Sean
I am legitimately confused what you think shunning means, Elliott. Also, you have yourself said that you do not want to talk to me. I have asked Mom if we could talk, and she has never even given me an answer. I do not believe for a second that if I called you that you would be interested in talking to me. Reese refused to look at me at the Christmas concert, and Dylan said that he couldn’t even text me for various reasons.

Artehenis
Sean, I’m sorry that you have to go through this. I consider Elliot a brother, and must tell you that I know he’s not doing this because of hate. I think you know that.
Your family didn’t know how to deal with this issue, and will be processing it in a way different than most families. The question: will you accept what love and communication that they will have, for the sake of loving them also? I’ll be praying for you; and know that I love you, too, though we’ve only met once.
I pray that God’s will be done.
Mit herzlichen Grüßen,
Chris

D’Ann
Shun

SHUN, v.t.
1. To avoid; to keep clear of; not to fall on or come in contact with; as, to shun rocks and shoals in navigation. In shunning Scylla, take care to avoid to avoid Charybdis.
2. To avoid; not to mix or associate with; as, to shun evil company.
3. To avoid; not to practice; as, to shun vice.
4. To avoid; to escape; as, to shun a blow.
5. To avoid; to decline; to neglect.

Definitions are good thing.
Can we all agree on the definition? I think so. Can we all agree that this has happened to Seanny? I for one can. Regardless of the reason, biblical or not, this has happened to him.

Paul
D’Ann, is there ever a biblical mandate for shunning? If so, do you know what it is?

I’m not trying to debate you or anything. I’m just trying to bring some balance to the issue. People are throwing out extremes. “It’s wrong to shun!” Is it? All the time it’s wrong? What does God’s word say?

Paul
Question for the group: how do any of know for certain that our thinking and reasoning is right here?

Paul
Here is the latest. Did the court side with moral right or wrong? Who decides?

Court Upholds Right of Christian Company Not to Print T-Shirts With ‘Gay Pride’ Messages

D’Ann
Yes, going by memory only, I believe there are scriptural reasons for shunning. I am thinking there are also different levels of shunning as well. I am recalling one verse about not physically eating with someone. But don’t have time to find it now.

Stephen
Regarding the passage about not eating with certain types of “sinners”—a passage that has been used as justification for shunning behavior—I just have this to say:

I find it very interesting and telling that many Christians today are more intent on following a specific church letter written by a man (the apostle Paul) than following the example of what Jesus Christ himself did (eating with publicans and sinners). Interestingly enough, the religious people of Jesus’ day reacted with chagrin at his actions. Based on some of the religious people I know, I imagine they’d do the same today if he were here.

Paul
Hello Stephen. Why would the Christian need to choose between Paul and Jesus, when the Bible, if God’s word, would not be in contradiction?

Also, when Jesus engaged with any people what was his goal: to change them or accept them?

Elliott
Every publican and sinner life that Jesus touched needed change. Zaccheus, the Samaritan woman, the blind and lepers, were all made aware of their need, and did something about it. Those who know to do good and do evil and want acceptance “the way they are” do not fit into this category.

Stephen
Whatever his goal, he at least ate with them and didn’t shun them. This “shunning sinners to Jesus” method is 1) ineffective, 2) hurtful/damaging, and 3) not very Christlike.

Paul
But logically, Stephen, if the writings of Paul are inspired, which they are, then it stands to reason that Jesus Christ would have approved of them. That means that even he saw circumstances where shunning was necessary.

I have always found it interesting when people put the blame and emphasis on those who shun and not on those who are being shunned and why.

Jesus Christ gave his life because of sin. It is a very serious matter to be a “sinner.” He desires to see them saved and changed. He does not desire to see them remain the same.

Stephen
All I’m saying is that if the son of God himself can eat with sinners, then flawed and human Christians can suck it up and do it too. God is perfectly able of convicting sinners without his followers’ shun tricks.

Alta
A Christian can eat with lost sinners. As the song says, “How can we reach a world we never touch?” And, of couse, Jesus ate with sinners to the end that they might be saved. However, if someone is claiming to be a Christian and living in blatant sin we aren’t to act like it is fine and identify with them. When we do, it sends the world the wrong message about Christ & Christianity. (His holiness & a sinner’s need for repentance – saved & lost alike)
“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother…” I Cor 5:11a

Sean
However, I am not a Christian, so that falls apart. Now what? I’ve always wondered how Christians deal with that.

Alta
Now that you are a professing atheist they can get close enough to try to reach you for Christ. If you don’t want to hear it, then stay away. That’s how biblical separation works.

Paul
Then that particular scripture, Sean, wouldn’t apply to you. But your confession kicks other scripture into gear. Namely, that you’re lost and on your way to hell. Not because you’re a homosexual. But because you’re a lost sinner in need of a savior. You’ve heard enough sermons in your life to know that, if they are true, you stand right now under the judgment of God and will give an account of your life when you die. What will you say to God?

Is my speaking this way “shunning” to you? If you say yes, then it will reveal to me that perhaps your perception of shunning and the real definition of shunning are not the same. I am not shunning you. I’m trying to speak plain truth to you. I have not disrespected your mocked you. You are a lost man and I expect you to act lost. But as a Christian who understands the judgement of God in the future, I warn you. I don’t say those things with hatred towards you.

As for your agnosticism, I wonder if you’ve considered the depths of what you’re embracing if you reject the existence of God and the Bible as his word. Are you now an evolutionist? As we’ve already discussed, how do you arrive at true right and wrong without an absolute moral code? How can you condemn anyone–Hitler, the slave owners in the 18th century–anyone–who has ever lived, when you have no moral basis to judge right or wrong?

There are a lot of ramifications to rejecting God. Most atheists and agnostics are not so because of the evidence. It’s not an intellectual issue, but rather a moral one. They simply want to live the way they want to live without accountability to their Creator? Does that describe you, Sean?

Paul
You here who claim to be homosexuals, please read this new news:
Former Lesbian: Ministries That Help People Leave Homosexuality Could Soon Become Illegal

Elliott
I just need to reiterate: This post is not a bigoted, narrow-minded hate-filled thing. It is a list of statistics that should open our mind and be a warning, or at least a question mark in our mind: are there perhaps psychological, socioeconomic, health, and emotional repercussions to our lifestyle choices?

Stephen
Those are perfectly valid questions to ask, Elliott. But it is important to understand that homosexuality is not a single lifestyle any more than there is a single heterosexual lifestyle. There are married straight couples; there are married gay couples. There are divorced straight people; there are divorced gay people. There are promiscuous straight people. There are promiscuous gay people. There are straight drug abusers. There are gay drug abusers. There are straight people dying of AIDS. There are gay people dying of AIDS. For every orientation, there are many different lifestyles. Just being gay doesn’t make you part of a lifestyle any more than liking ice cream makes me diabetic.

The other question to ask when comparing the differences between heterosexuality and homosexuality is this: are any differences I’m seeing (suicide rates, drug use, disease prevalence, etc.) innately caused by the issue itself or does society’s handling of the issue play a role (e.g. gays may have a higher rate of suicide, but homosexuality as an orientation is bullied more than heterosexuality is, which can lead to depression)? When comparing aspects of two issues, are all other factors equal before you assign causation? Remember, correlation does not equal causation. A higher incidence of XYZ in homosexuality may not necessarily mean that homosexuality causes XYZ.

Elliott
I’ve already dealt with the broken record of “bullying” but I’d like to remind you that that Christians were bullied, arrested, shunned, imprisoned, tortured, burned alive all through history to the present day….and their suicide rates and drug use didn’t go up because of it. One more thing: the question was never answered, are gay bullies withing their rights? Are they a select few extremists? Why aren’t gay people standing up for the freedoms of business owners that are being singled out? Where is all the tolerance?

Paul
//Remember, correlation does not equal causation. A higher incidence of XYZ in homosexuality may not necessarily mean that homosexuality causes XYZ.//

You’re right, Stephen, but you’ll also have to admit that correlation CAN equal causation. Are you prepared to accept that possibility regarding the homosexual lifestyle, and if so, what would that tell you about original design and the consequences of violating it?

Paul
For anyone interested in the issue of bullying by the gay rights side, I’d encourage you to read the following book.

We know Sally Rogers Kern and she is a very sweet-hearted Christian woman who has respect for all people. (She is a pastor’s wife.) What happened to her was despicable. It’s the same type of bullying that we hear about weekly in the news today.

Where’s the outcry from the so-called “tolerant” homosexuals who “just want to live in peace by themselves and not hurt anyone”?

EDIT I just noticed that the Amazon reviews for this book were hijacked by the homosexual haters. It’s amazing to me that they accuse of us hate, then then turn around and hate themselves. What hypocrisy! For the record, I don’t hate anyone. But I do hate an agenda of hate, which is what the LGBT agenda is.

The Stoning of Sally Kern: The Liberal Attack on Christian Conservatism–and Why We Must Take a Stand

Vicki
Whichever side, I appreciate those who have respectfully and intelligently discussed their case here: Paul, Elliott, Sean (Allen), and Stephen. Without profanity. Sean…you know what my thoughts and stand are, but you also know I care about you and pray for you. Stephen, praying for you as well. I would hope that people who are concerned about sin in my life would be respectfully honest and pray for me, as well.
Paul: thank you for always being thorough, respectful and bold for Christ.

Paul
I just want to say to Sean and Stephen, and anyone else reading, that if there comes a time of personal depression or desperation, you can look to Jesus Christ and find purpose and meaning to life. Don’t ever think you have gone too far to be reconciled to him. He came for sinners. Sinners like ALL of us.

You have extolled His virtues. He is the central Figure of human history. His story is considered, even by secularists, to be the most influential ever told. Don’t forget about Jesus: even in your darkest hour.

“Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” -Jesus Christ

Carl
Cognitive Dissonance.

Paul
Carl, who are you aiming at with your comment?

Ross
English, Brother, english

Elliott
Individuals seek consistency between expectations and reality. This is done in one of four ways:
1: Change behavior
2: Justify behavior by changing the rule or cognition
3: Justify behavior by adding another cognition that will counteract the consequences
4: Ignore or deny facts that conflict with current beliefs. That’s my attempt at Cognitive Dissonance 101.

Gregory
I pray that GOD would not give Sean: no peace, or joy. I pray that God would trouble him during the dreams at night, until he repents and submits to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The reason why people reject Jesus Christ, is because they do not want a God in heaven to tell them how to live. They Love their sin more than the Saviour. God said that you cannot have 2 masters. Hopefully it is not too late, lest God gives you over to your reprobate mind.

Sean, choose you this day whom you are going to serve.

Carl
Elliot looked it up and explained. It isn’t aimed at anyone. If there was another statistic, you would be amazed at the percentage of two other groups, those that are “famous” and American children 12-14 years old.

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“You really don’t like me!” ~ guest post by Amy M. Leibowitz

My good friend Amy is not only a fellow blogger and a wonderful person… she is also a published author! Her recently-released novel Lower Education (purchase links below) deals heavily with same-sex relationships, as well as other controversial topics. I asked her to discuss a rather sore topic: what about those who don’t like what you’re writing? Amy graciously shared her feelings in my first ever guest post. Thank you, Amy!

Does the question, “What if they stop liking me?” ever get any easier to answer? I’ve reached an age where I think I ought to stop asking that, yet somehow, it still niggles.

I write novels. Specifically, I write fiction with gay-themed romantic overtones. There’s a lot not to like about that, actually. We can start with all my conservative Christian friends who think I’m skating on the edge of hell and continue with anyone who believes female-identified persons should not write about gay or bisexual men.

On a daily basis, I worry. My novel Lower Education came out November 1, and I have spent countless hours stressing over the hate mail I think I might receive. In truth, my real fear isn’t that people will hate me—it’s that I might deserve it.

My own self-loathing leads me to accept others’ negative view of me as absolute truth. It’s hard to let go of the fear that at the core of my being, I am an unworthy soul. Maybe this is a condition of fundamentalist thinking; maybe it’s just a struggle all creative people have. Throw in a healthy dose of being a particularly sensitive person who fears hurting others—even inadvertently—and you have a recipe for emotional nuclear disaster.

There’s no doubt that people will hate what I write and not just because they think I’m a hack. It’s also true that some of it will be personal—I won’t live up to their expectations of me as a human being. The question is, what am I going to do about that?

Answer: absolutely nothing. There isn’t anything I can do. I can’t make them like me or like my work.

What I can do is stop justifying myself in my own head. I know why I write what I do, and I’m open to explaining it to anyone who cares to ask. Far more important is that I stop feeling guilty and ashamed in my own mind. I can choose to be proud of who I am and what I write, and I can refuse to give my power to hate—real or imagined.

And for those times when it’s overwhelming, when I feel the sting of hurtful words? That’s when I trust the people who love me to care for me and remind me that I am not defined by the cruel assessments. I don’t have to do this by myself, pulling up by my bootstraps and pretending it never gets to me.

We are not alone. It’s okay to want approval. First, let’s give it to ourselves and each other. Then we’ll take on the rest of the world together.

 

Author bio:
A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.

Purchase Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lower-Education-M-Leibowitz-ebook/dp/B00NCA48TE/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/473664

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lower-education-a-m-leibowitz/1120325979?ean=2940046149760

Find Amy on the Internet:
Web site: http://amleibowitz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amymitchell29 (personal profile); https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith (author page)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyunchained (@amyunchained)

Posted in Being Real, From the Heart, Guest Post, Sexuality and Gender | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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Lower Education by A. M. Liebowitz – Cover Reveal!

Lower Education
By A. M. Leibowitz

Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC
Publication date: November 1, 2014

Synopsis:

Phin Patterson is an educational consultant dissatisfied with his job and his life. On a mission to complete one last assignment before escaping his unfulfilling career and figure out what he wants, he accepts a commission from Donald Murdock at the New York State Education Department. Suddenly, he finds himself on his way to evaluate a tiny school in New York’s Southern Tier, not far from the town where he grew up. Now his only goal is to get in, do his job, and get out before anyone from his past remembers him.

That turns out to be easier said than done. Dani Sloane, the sharp-witted administrative assistant to the principal, learns the truth about why Phin is really there. With the help of her friends, she sets out to unmask him and force the local board of education to stop the plans that could ruin their school. Discovering that her sometime-lover is an old business associate of Phin’s only complicates both the situation and their relationship.

Meanwhile, Phin, who has committed himself to keeping his emotional distance, can’t resist the charm of the town and its residents—especially the school psychologist, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn’t seen in over twenty years. While Dani works to take him down and save her school, Phin wrestles with learning how to do the right thing, including telling the truth to the man with whom he’s already falling in love.

 

Cover:

Lower Education Cover

Excerpt 1:

Alex spun around and threw his hands in the air. “Why are you still here? Go find someone else to bother.”

“What if I think the information you have is more valuable?” Phin crossed his arms and tilted his head, jutting out his chin.

“And what if I think you’re wasting your time? I have nothing here that would be of interest to you.”

The corner of Phin’s mouth curled upward. “I would say you’re mistaken. There’s plenty here for me to take interest in.” His gaze traveled downward slowly, making Alex feel exposed. Heat spread across his face, followed by a surge of anger. Placing his hands on the table and leaning toward Phin, Alex replied, “I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but it won’t work on me. Is this how you’ve handled your other clients?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Yes, you do.”

“All right, you got me.” Phin chuckled softly. He moved in closer and lowered his voice. “I once signed an entire multi-year textbook contract on my appeal alone.” His smile faltered, and he looked away briefly. He snapped his attention back to Alex and narrowed his eyes. “You’re not the most difficult client I’ve ever worked with, though it’s close.”

“I’m not your client. There’s no reason for your behavior.”

Phin licked his lips. “I didn’t make a mistake in the bar the other night.”

Excerpt 2:

He pulled out his phone and glanced at it. “Listen, I need to go. Dani, what time do you want me to come over to help Jake draw his display board?”

“Is nine okay? We need to be at the school by eleven to set up, and the fair starts at noon.”

“Sure thing.” He grinned at the group. “Good night, ladies. Alex.” Once again, his face colored just a little when his eyes flicked to Alex. With that, he was off.

Dani watched him go, shaking her head. “Pied piper,” she muttered.

“What?” Eunice asked.

“You know—the pied piper. He got everyone to follow after him, thinking he was solving the town’s rat problem, only then he stole the children.” She laughed. “I’m just being paranoid. Where are the kids? We should get going—long day tomorrow.”

Teasers:

Phin got out of the car...

Get in a fight with a feather duster?

Elegant and sensual dance

Phin closed the gap and kissed him

Make US feel good steamy

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lower-Education-M-Leibowitz-ebook/dp/B00NCA48TE/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/473664

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lower-education-a-m-leibowitz/1120325979?ean=2940046149760

Author bio:

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.

Find me on the Internet:

Web site: http://amleibowitz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amymitchell29 (personal profile); https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith (author page)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyunchained (@amyunchained)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Life – a Poem

Life

Sometimes I can’t.
I can’t even.
I don’t even know what’s going on
but it hurts.
I don’t know why it hurts
except I do
but I don’t.

Ugh, why?
Why can’t life be easy?
Why do I feel
angry and
sad and
hurt and
Ugh.

Sometimes it’s really great
and I feel like I’m floating.
Floating.
The sun is shining, and it’s actually me!
I’m shining! I feel awesome!
Life is good.
I can do anything or be anything I want.
I help people see their beauty
and their greatness.
That makes me feel good.

And then I get down.
And I hurt.
Inside.
It aches
but I don’t even know why.

Something is lost.
Something I loved very much.
It’s gone
but I’m the one who threw it away.
And that hurts.
The tears roll down my insides
and over my aching heart
and I feel like I’m going to burst.

I know where it is. But
I know something better is coming.
I think.
Oh g-d, why?
Why?

I love myself, and
I accept myself,
even though I don’t understand myself.
And I forgive myself.

I do.

I am sad, but I have love.
I have love.
And I will give that love away.
My aching, bursting heart
needs to share the love
so it will not burst.
And I will be OK.

I will really be OK.
In fact, I will be better than OK.
I will be good!
I will be GREAT!

I can.
I will.
I am.
I am love.

Love.

I.
Love.

Love.

~Sean-Allen Douglass Parfitt
~Tuesday, September 2nd, about 1:50 AM

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Recollections of Nail-Biting

I was reading results of a study on folks put through ex-gay therapy, and it reminded me of this interesting tidbit from my past.

Around my 22nd or 23rd year, I developed a theory about my “homosexual tendencies” and nail biting. See, I had been biting my nails for as long as I could remember, and I had also been attracted to men since I recognized attraction. In my Christian upbringing, addictions were often treated as a spiritual thing. Older men, first-generation Christians*, would often give testimony that when they got saved their drinking/drug/gamboling addictions would immediately disappear. Many other things, when done in excess, were also considered addictions, including nail biting, video gaming, and looking at pornography. Continue reading

Posted in Being Gay, Being Real, Coming Out, From the Heart, Fundamentalism, Thoughts on Religion | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Little Stories #One

Today I’m going to share four short stories that I’ve written. The come randomly to me in different circumstances, usually from something I’ve read or a comment a friend has made. I would call them more Scenes than Stories, actually, but here they are. Hope you like them. Continue reading

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