Friday, 11 November 2011

Should ‘gay’ Christians be true to their feelings?

Last Wednesday’s Metro (p35) ran the story of ‘a burly rugby player’ who ‘suffered a stroke in training and woke up to find he was gay’ (See ‘Different strokes - 19st rugby player now gay hairdresser’)

Mr Birch (pictured) was ‘straight’ and engaged to be married when he suffered a freak accident in the gym. The 26-year-old tried to impress his friends with a back flip but broke his neck and suffered the stroke. When he woke up, he underwent a drastic personality change that included an attraction to men.

Claiming that he ‘had to be true to (his) feelings’ he broke off his engagement and found a boyfriend.

The article speculates that ‘the personality change could have been caused by the stroke opening up a different part of his brain’ and quotes Stroke association spokesman Joe Korner as saying, ‘During recovery, the brain makes new neural connections, which can trigger things people weren’t aware of such as accent, language or perhaps a different sexuality.’

The case raises several interesting questions for Christians, not least ‘to what extent should we be “true to our feelings”?’

To answer it we have to appreciate that the issue of homosexuality needs to be understood at a number of levels.

1.Homosexual attraction – feelings of erotic attraction to people of the same sex
2.Homosexual orientation – predominant erotic attraction to people of the same sex
3.Homosexual behaviour – having sexual relations with people of the same sex or engaging in same-sex sexual fantasy, pornography or seduction
4.Homosexual identity – identifying oneself publically as ‘gay’ or lesbian’

In Mr Birch’s case above, it appears a change of sexual orientation occurred as a result of a brain injury. But in the vast majority of cases it arises as a result of a complex interaction between genetics, environment and lifestyle choice. But often there is little or no choice involved.

There is some overlap but also a lot of distinctiveness in these four categories. For example, in certain circumstances (eg prisons, boarding schools), people who have neither a homosexual orientation or identity may participate in homosexual behaviour.

Alternatively people of homosexual orientation might engage secretly in homosexual behaviour but never assume a homosexual identity. Or people who would describe themselves as heterosexual may occasionally experience same sex erotic attraction.

An ONS survey last year suggested that almost three-quarters of a million UK adults in Britain say they are gay, lesbian or bisexual - equivalent to 1.5% of the population.

People aged 16 and over were questioned about their self-perceived sexual identity, and asked to respond with one of four options: heterosexual/straight, gay/lesbian, bisexual or other.

The data showed that 95% said they were heterosexual, 1% gay or lesbian, 0.5% bisexual, 0.5% other, and the remaining 3% either did not know or did not answer.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that on this basis 480,000 (1%) consider themselves gay or lesbian, and 245,000 (0.5%) bisexual.

The Kinsey scale (pictured) classifies people along a six point spectrum from exclusively heterosexual (0) to exclusively homosexual (6).

There are, by this reckoning, many people in church congregations who experience some feelings of same-sex attraction or recognize themselves as having a homosexual orientation. In fact, given that nine million people (15% of Britain’s population) go to church at least once a month, then that may mean that there are 72,000 gay and lesbian and 36,000 bisexual churchgoers in Britain (15% of above figures).

So if this describes us should we ‘be true to our feelings’ by having same-sex sexual relations or indulging in same-sex fantasy?

The Bible is very clear that all sexual relations outside marriage (a life-long exclusive monogamous heterosexual public covenant relationship) are morally wrong (Leviticus 18:6-23, 20:10-21; Romans 1:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Timothy 1:9,10; Revelation 22:15). This includes fornication, adultery, same-sex relations and all other sorts of sex imaginable, even if you are deeply in love with the other person.

Claiming that we are just ‘being true to our feelings’ in this area is just as wrong as claiming that our feelings justify any other form of sin. As Jeremiah put it ‘the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure’ (17:9) It is God’s Word that must guide us, not our feelings.

So people who become Christians, who recognize that they experience same-sex feelings or have a homosexual orientation and/or identity, are in the same category as anyone who has opposite-sex feelings but is unmarried, divorced, widowed or in a marriage relationship where, for physical or psychosexual reasons, sex is not possible.

They must accept that not having sex is their only option. And for those who recognize themselves to be exclusively of homosexual orientation this may well mean that the only course open to them is staying single. Sometimes sexual orientation may change over time, but often it doesn’t.

Jesus of course was unmarried and never had sex yet we know that he ‘was tempted in all ways as we are – yet was without sin’. This must surely have included the temptation to sexual sin.

Is it possible to live a full life without having sex? Well Jesus did just that. And he is able to help any Christian to do the same. Marriage is a great calling but so is singleness, and sex is neither compulsory, nor necessary, in order to live a fulfilled and fruitful life.

Sex is a wonderful gift but like any gift it is not granted to all. If for any reason you can’t have sex, then ask what other good gifts God has given you, and enjoy those instead.

‘For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.’ (Hebrews 2:17, 18)

‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’ (Hebrews 4:15, 16)

‘No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it’ (1 Corinthians 10:13)

31 comments:

  1. What a refreshing read. Even though it is difficult sometimes, singleness is the ONLY path for homosexual Christians. The part where you mentioned about 'being true to your feelings' being a dangerous path is so true. Our instincts are not without sin so as you rightly said if we follow our instincts we are highly likely to sin.

    It is also noteworthy to mention that the apostle, Paul, was single too so we don't have to be perfect like Jesus to live a celibate life.

    The sad case in today's Britain is that people are living selfishly for themselves and acting on these 'sinful' impulses which can only inevitably end up in an equally sad result. The fact that it is deemed 'homophobic' to hold the opinion that homosexuality is not what God wants for his creation also seems to place a lot of Christians under fire even though they haven't done a single thing to harm or go out of their way to insult gay people. Thing to remember is - it is a sin like any other. It shouldn't be treated any differently and as such fellow Christians within the Church should be actively supporting and caring for those who are struggling with same sex feelings to pursue the lifestyle that is consistent with the Bible's teaching.

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  2. Yes, we know what the Bible says - or, more accurately, what some of the biblical authors wrote 2,000 years ago and more. But the world has moved on since then, thank God.

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  3. You may say thank God, but that`s not what you really mean, the fact is, that although the world thinks it has moved on it has only moved itself away from God, God hasn`t changed, His word repeats this over and over.
    In the book of Psalms Ch.119 there are numerous references to Gods Word, ordinances, laws, abiding forever,
    Malachi Ch.3 v,6.I am the Lord I change not,
    This shows that irrespective of what people want to believe or even that that was for long ago the Scriptures tell us that God hasn`t changed His word,not in the past and not even now,it may seem hard hearted for God not to indulge in our personal sinful pleasured but He has set standards that He knows is best for mankind as a whole.
    In Hebrews 13 v.8 it says,"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever", now some would say Jesus had nothing to say on homosexuality so it couldn`t have been that important to Him but what is important to Him is Gods Word, and He always lived by that Word, and to reinforce His observance He stated in John Ch.10 v.30 "I and my Father are one", showing that whatever God said was what He believed.
    Whether it was 2000 years or 5000 years ago, Gods word abides forever and we treat it lightly at our peril.

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  4. When you know that the Lord Jesus lives you have to follow Him in His light. The New Testament has lots to say on the flesh. It is difficult to see that these feelings - which I have experienced myself in the past - are not simply part of the flesh. Nothing in scripture from what I have seen would support actually following these ways. The Christian life is not about being true to your own flesh - but true to the new creation and following the Holy Spirit who follows God's ways. We Christians have the Holy Spirit in us encouraging and indeed moulding us to be and live more Christ-like and be children of the light and follow God's ways which are unchanging.

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  5. True David, we are to mortify the flesh and live unto Christ. Many besetting sins, including homosexuality, need Christ's help to be delivered from. "Ask and it shall be done unto thee". Sometimes we have to keep on asking and keep on having a contrite heart in matters of the lusts of the flesh.

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  6. Good article once again Pete. I would add that this presents quite a challenge to us as Christians. I agree that as fallen humans we do not have complete control over who we find ourselves sexually attracted to, it is only sinful if we act on these impulses and engage in any sexual activity prohibited by scripture. Therefore the doors of our churches should be wide open to those that experience same-sex attraction. We must also be aware that we are asking them to walk a very hard road with no legitimate outlet for their desires. For sure single Christans or Christians in marriages where sex is impossible/difficult walk the same road but at least they can hope their situation is temporary. The same cannot be said for a lot of gay people and therefore we must demonstrate extra-ordinary love and grace for those who that applies to.

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  7. As Guglielmo rightly says, "the world has moved on since then, thank God." The people who wrote the scriptures 2000+ years ago didn't have any scientific understanding of these issues. The weak point for modern fundamentalists is their reliance on the Bible as facts and the literal word of God. What sort of God proscribes death for naughty children and gays?! Only the fictional one proclaimed by religious fundamentalists.

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  8. Origen, As a doctor who has written regularly about the science of these issues may I ask what fresh scientific understanding we have now that has changed everything and caused us to move on? I'd be very interested to know.

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  9. What is the scientific proof that the Bible is the word of God? I'd be very interested to know that! Does God still want gays and naughty children killed or has he changed his mind?

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  10. How much of the Bible have you read and what particular verses are you referring to? And what fresh scientific understanding do we have now that has changed everything?

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  11. "When a man has sexual intercourse with another man as with a woman, both men are doing something disgusting and must be put to death. They deserve to die." Leviticus 20:13

    "If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you." Deuteronomy 21:18-21

    People used to believe in Adam & Eve, now science has shown us evolution.

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  12. Under Old Testament Law (which ceased to apply with Jesus' death and resurrection) most sex outside marriage was punishable by death - this included adultery, incest, bestiality and homosexual sex.

    Murder, witchcraft and rape were also capital crimes as was rebellious delinquency.

    These punishments acted as powerful deterrents but their main purpose was to show us how serious sin is in God's eyes.

    The New Testament tells us that everyone has sinned and falls short of God's glory and that all sinners deserve not only death but judgement (Romans 3:23, 6:23) So we are all equally guilty whether we are guilty of OT capital crimes or not.

    However Jesus Christ has died the death we all deserve in our place and thereby offers us not only forgiveness but also eternal life.

    The offer has been made. But accepting it involves accepting God's view of the seriousness of sin rather than our own.

    What is your own view of sin?

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  13. Origen, these verses from the Old Testament show us how seriously God views these sins, but in accordance with God's message to us in the Bible, the penalty stated here is not to be applied by us today as it was in Israel at that time. This is not a contradiction; there is a consistent flow of God's plan in history which these verses are a part of.

    David Wilson (above) has written of 'knowing the Lord Jesus lives' and following Him in His light - if you were to experience this, your thoughts and attitudes would be radically changed but it would only be for the better. You would not be required to put anyone to death, but you would recognise God's right to be the supreme judge over everyone's life, at the same time that He is love.

    You lay down a challange in relation to science and evolution: I know that Christians do not all tackle this in the same way, but I do believe there are suitable answers - and would recommend you browse creation.com to see what I believe is the right approach.

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  14. Well I certainly don't think that a loving relationship between two people can be called 'sin'!

    What I would call 'sin' is killing people, and if God said to kill people then that is a pretty bad sin whether or not s/he has changed her/his mind.

    I've met some pretty mad christians in my time and most of them believe that the earth was created between 6000 and 12,000 years ago. Barmy! I looked at creation.com but its too advanced for a lay person like me. I think that's why we have people who are experts in their field: if I wanted a medical opinion I would ask a good doctor - I wouldn't ask some mad church person. So in the same way I trust scientists the majority of which believe in evolution. Most of the ones who don't are crackpot religionists who are trying to shoehorn science into their belief that God wrote the Bible and is 100% correct.

    I don't accept God's suicide on the cross either. Why couldn't he just forgive us like we forgive others??

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  15. >> "Ask and it shall be done unto thee".

    Which Bible are you reading Sally?! The quote is "Ask and it shall be given unto you".

    >> For sure Christians in marriages where sex is impossible/difficult walk the same road but at least they can hope their situation is temporary.

    Who said it is temporary for married christians where sex is difficult or impossible, Joe? Many married couples are forced to live celibate lives for various reasons - this is often permanent. Too much is made of sex and sexual gratification in our society. The majority of folk feel obliged to fib about their sex lives as it is so boring, even non-existent.

    I suspect a lot of homosexual couples also end up celibate eventually.

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  16. Origen,

    I agree, it would be pretty silly to ask ‘some mad church person’ to help if you wanted a medical opinion, a doctor is much better informed. Likewise with matters of science. But when it comes to matters of what’s right and what’s wrong, what the meaning of life is and why there is something rather than nothing, scientists’ and doctors’ skills run out. It’s here where we need to look somewhere else for the answers, and Jesus claimed to have solutions to all of them.
    He claimed to be “the way, and the truth, and the life”. If we want to find out what God is like, it’s to Jesus we need to look.
    Who do you think he is?

    Why couldn’t God ‘just forgive’? Because nobody can ‘just forgive’. When somebody wrongs you, you’ve got two options; you can either seek revenge, or you can forgive them. If you seek revenge, you turn the anger back on them. You make them feel the pain that you felt when you were wronged, and in fact you still feel angry at them! What usually happens then is that the anger and pain spirals upwards from both parties, leaving nothing resolved and everyone hurt. Your other option is to forgive. In doing this you say “I’m going to treat you as if you didn’t do that to me.” You absorb the pain and the loss yourself, so that you and the person who wronged you can be reconciled. Forgiveness is costly – it hurts to forgive.
    When Jesus died on the cross, that was the price that had to be paid for God to forgive us. God is just; he punishes sin. But he’s merciful to us, because he chose to punish his own son instead of us, if we put our trust in him. He loves us so much that though we reject him in every aspect of our lives, he chose to die for us so that we could be brought back into a relationship with him.

    I hope this helps,

    Jonno

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  17. Thanks for your reply Jonno! I appreciate you responding especially as you appear to be related to the blogger ;)

    However I feel your argument is rather flawed: I agree that "forgiveness is costly" and you have to "absorb the pain" yourself but I wonder why God could not do this? Why did he have to punish his son (himself) in order to forgive? This is completely different to what we have to do. Although we absorb the pain ourselves we don't have to kill someone else to do it!

    Maybe you should check out alternative views of atonement. Wikipedia contains good articles on atonement and I particularly like the Moral Influence theory of atonement. It is important to realise that the theory of penal substitution has only been around for the last few hundred years and is not what the early church believed. And it is worrying that evangelicals don't know this! At least some evangelicals that is: Steve Chalke who writes in Christianity magazine wrote a book about this a few years ago.

    Hope this helps(!)

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  18. I've just realised, at this late hour, that I've only responded to half of your answer :(

    "If we want to find out what God is like, it’s to Jesus we need to look."

    I completely agree with this, and it is Jesus's teaching and example that I have tried to build my life upon. However after many years of struggle I have come to accept my sexuality and believe that your father, if indeed you are related to the blogger in this way, is profoundly wrong. And his views on homosexuality are actually evil and against God! And in writing the stuff that he does he is abusing God's children and deserves to be punished. I realise that this is heavy stuff and I don't say it lightly, but in persecuting gay Christians in this way I believe he is guilty of a major sin.

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  19. Was reading all the above comments and my heart sank!

    I understand all your anger Origen. I too feel this anger towards the Christian church but I also feel it toward my own homosexuality.
    But I cannot feel this anger towards God. As Jonno wrote "He loves us so much that though we reject him in every aspect of our lives, he chose to die for us so that we could be brought back into a relationship with him."

    But I also know Peter Saunders and know that he loves you more than you can know. He does because God does.
    I do not understand why we have to suffer so much as homosexual children etc. but our lives are not any less worthy or wonderful because of it all.

    Yes, being a homosexual and a Christian is a life of profound conflict. But a lot of suffering does not come from Christianity's rejection of homosexual relationships - it is deeper.

    But there is a love far deeper than homosexual love. This is the sacrificial love of our relationship with God. Yes, it is a nightmare sometimes to live. It was a nighmare for Jesus to live.

    Origen, there is hope. Hope in the midst of all the things we do no understand. But loving God more than anybody or anything else (like my own homosexuality) is the only way I have found to survive (over many decades).

    Calum

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  20. I think its rather worrying that you feel anger towards an integral part of yourself and do not try and integrate all the parts of your life!

    What angers me is that gay people are in the news headlines every day. We are maybe 2% of the population so why do we deserve such press coverage? And its mainly negative press coverage, or about how we have to fight every day for our human rights. What angers me more is that so-called Christians like Peter Saunders fuel the fire of the hatred that we experience. God is on the side of the down-trodden and broken hearted. His people should be on our side too not fanning the flames of hatred. This is why I believe that anti-gay activists should be punished - birched even!

    Christians disagree about loads of things. Why does Peter Saunders specifically pick out gay people to persecute? Why doesn't he persecute women in leadership or divorcees for example?!

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  21. Origen,

    As I have pointed out in this blog there is a clear difference between, on the one hand, having a homosexual orientation or identity (as a significant number of Christians do) and, on the other hand, participating in same-sex sexual relations. These are off-limits for Christians.

    Not being able to have sex does not however exclude the possibility of strong committed (non-erotic) loving relationships.

    In this regard Christians who recognise themselves as having a homosexual identity or orientation face similar struggles to many Christians with a heterosexual orientation who are unable to have sex because they are single, divorced, separated, bereaved or in a marriage where for whatever reason sex is not possible.

    The struggles and temptations can be immense, as Calum has so eloquently and honestly described, but part of walking in the path of the cross means that we cannot do some things we might desperately desire to do.

    But to all in that situation for whatever reason (ie. facing sexual or any other temptation) God promises that his grace will be sufficient. And I take him at his word on that.

    If you are in fact engaged in same-sex sexual relations then you need to repent (stop doing it) and seek God's forgiveness and grace to change. Same-sex sexual relations are morally wrong. Being an integrated Christian means bringing one's behaviour into line with God's will; it does not mean bringing one's behaviour into line with one's feelings.

    If you wish to birch me for saying that then that is up to you.

    I would say the same thing to you regardless of what sin we were discussing. If I did not, but rather chose to affirm a sinful life-style choice, I would be doing you the gravest disservice.

    As for other sins, there are of course many other sins we might debate but this thread is about same-sex relations.

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  22. "Same-sex sexual relations are morally wrong."

    No they're not! As I've said, there are plenty of things that Christians disagree on. Maybe you should check out www.courage.org.uk a support group for gay evangelical Christians that used to think it was wrong and has now changed its mind.

    I find your attitude and belief morally repugnant but like Nick Griffin I guess you're entitled to your views.

    Jesus never mentions gay people but he does talk about divorce: Mark 10:11-12 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere on this blog! Why? Because you're a homophobic bigot. Repent before God judges you.

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  23. Origen, holidayAs a doctor who has written regularly about the science of these issues may I ask what fresh scientific understanding we have now that has changed everything and caused us to move on? I'd be very interested to know บาคาร่า
    .

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  24. Origen,

    I first had homosexual thoughts towards young adults at the age of three (not children my own age). I remember being completely overpowered by them all (and still am) to the same extent and intensity. Of course many decades ago, society or the church did not help in any way (especially young children) but God did and still does.

    The anger you mention is not towards myself but towards the suffering. The suffering of small children and older adults. But even if the whole world was homosexual and the church accepted it, I would still be suffering. How can I call good something that makes me suffer so much? How can God call good something that makes me suffer so much?

    I do not understand why all this happens. But God suffers with me. He cares. He loves me and you and Peter. The suffering changes us. It can transform us into people who can also suffer for others out of love. And the love for God and others helps us to give up our demands for an easy life. Like Jesus! But it is worth it. It is always worth it! It is not a dark life but one that is full of hope with God.


    Calum

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  25. Origen,
    I don't know if you will check this thread again, but here's hoping you will.

    You are right that a key issue is how we view the Bible. A Christian's faith is built on God's message to us in the Bible, and when we don't like what the Bible clearly teaches, our response should be to ask God's help to align ourselves with Him. I fear you've edited so many things that you don't agree with out of the Bible, that you haven't even retained the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. Whatever you call it in theological terms, the meaning in the Bible is unmistakable...

    Consider these words from Hebrews 9: "He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many."
    Or these from 1 Peter 3: "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."
    Or these from Romans : "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
    Or words of Jesus: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." and "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you." and "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

    If you justify your rejection of large parts of the Bible on the grounds that it isn't reliable in Genesis, then that's where creation.com can help. The majority of scientists have made a philosophical commitment to materialism and you would already have to disagree with them if you seek to worship Jesus as Lord. I agree it makes sense to trust scientists on their expert opinion when they deal with experimental science which we use for technology, but when we discuss origins, the scientist's starting assumptions are not neutral. The majority of scientists will 'shoehorn' the evidence into an evolutionary framework simply because they will permit no other alternative. Why don't you ignore the articles marked 'technical' and dig a bit deeper in creation.com: there's plenty of stuff which only needs plain logic. If it can help you see that all of the Bible is to be trusted, it would be well worth the effort.

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  26. Well you can thank Anglican Mainstream for pointing me to this blog again!

    I don't think that "the meaning in the Bible is unmistakable."

    Lets consider what Jesus says to the rich young ruler:“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    Nowhere does he say "Trust in my vicarious death upon the cross and you will be saved!"

    And what about the jews? Weren't they saved without Jesus dying for them??

    I'm not sure where this high view of the bible comes from? All I can see is that a lot of people believe it to be the Word of God therefore it is. I think God still speaks today. Why would he stop 2000 years ago??

    I work in IT and I have a hard enough job doing that without trying to spend precious brain cells trying to understand evolution-deniers. I guess that I'm trying to say that I'd rather trust the majority of scientists in the world rather than a few who have a religious axe to grind. I'm also not sure of your claim that the majority of scientists support materialism, I wouldn't have thought that would be a defining principle of science.

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  27. Why would you think that the Bible is true if you don't want to repent of your sins? As an ummarried man I want to have sex before I am married. However I read that this is wrong. God has convicted me that it is wrong. If we do not accept the truth of God's word then we are in denial. We are "slaves to sin" as Paul puts it in Romans. He also states we should be "slaves to righteousness". Part of being a slave is doing things you don't want to. However, if you let the Lord be your master He will do what's best for you and in fact help you. Just because you want something to be a certain way doesn’t mean it is.

    If God is all powerful then surely He can defend His own book. If we are to be followers of Christ shouldn’t we be able to find the truth in a document that is supposed to be our source of knowledge? Or are you saying we should throw out that tatty piece of fiction and try it on instinct? I do not believe we would get very far. In fact, I know we wouldn’t.

    You seem to want to aggravate someone into commenting on evolution. Well, I will say this: Genesis was written a long time ago. It was not written as a scientific document. It does not talk about neutrons and protons, quarks and electrons. It says nothing about the sun being a burning gas fire full of hydrogen and helium or that other stars went supernova spitting heavy elements everywhere forming interstellar dust which could form a planet such as our own. It does not mention dinosaurs, the enormous meteor that wiped them out or an ice age. In fact, it’s not very comprehensive from a scientific viewpoint. But then again, Genesis does not try to be from a scientific viewpoint. Genesis sets out to tell us what we need to know. God created everything. He created life. And not only that, but His Son and the Spirit were there. God’s word is powerful. He created us in His image. We then turned from Him, i.e. sinned. The Bible as a whole explains this very well. We sin and that separates us from God, therefore He sent His one and only Son to save us and bring us back to Him should we choose.

    It always makes me sad when people take Bible passages out of context. When Jesus is confronting the young rich ruler it is to point out his deep sin. The young man idolises his wealth. He puts money before God. That is a sin. Pure and simple. Selling everything he has is not the full answer. He has to turn to God. The Jews also were to follow God. They were to foresee the great act of sacrifice of Jesus and His subsequent resurrection and know that it would cover all of time.

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  28. Hi Origen,
    Just to clear up a misunderstanding - materialism in this sense doesn't mean materialistic: the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter. Most scientists dealing with origins will assume that there is nothing in the universe except the physical processes we can measure, or at least will present their work in this way even if they hold different views in their private lives. You want to listen to these scientists when they reject the Bible, but then ignore the same scientists by believing there is a God. In practice, both issues are dominated by philosophical assumptions and not by the scientific facts.

    The organisation behind creation.com "accepts the authority of Scripture as an axiom or presupposition: i.e. as a starting point or assumption that requires no proof, and is the basis for all reasoning. All philosophical systems start with axioms. So it’s not a question of a religious system starting from prior assumptions vs. a ‘scientific’ system without any prior assumptions, but which axioms are self-consistent and provide a consistent framework in which to fit the evidence." But this isn't blind faith, because the Bible stands up incredibly well to an examination of it's claims.

    Yes, it would take some effort to work through an article like http://creation.com/the-authority-of-scripture (which the above quote comes from). But it would help you to consider the claim that it's fully logical to believe the Bible is true, and that's such an important subject that it's worth some study.

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  29. Hi Peter

    “Marriage is a great calling but so is singleness, and sex is neither compulsory, nor necessary, in order to live a fulfilled and fruitful life.

    Sex is a wonderful gift but like any gift it is not granted to all”.

    This is very true, and thank you for reminding us of this. I was also reading your post on “The Blessings of Marriage” which create some tension with what you say here. I say tension, not contradiction.

    “Marriage is a virtually universal human institution because it was originally God's idea. It was God who first said that it was not good for man to be alone and who created the unique complementarity of the marriage relationship for companionship, pleasure, procreation and the raising of children – one man, one woman, united for life”

    “Marriage leads to better family relationships, less economic dependence, better physical health and longevity, improved mental health and emotional well-being and reduced crime and domestic violence”.

    So does this mean that those who are not granted marriage are doomed to a lack of companionship and poor health? I do appreciate that your comments are intended to encourage married people and to foster a positive approach to marriage which is good, but these comments have effectively alienated people – like those above – who are single through no choice of their own (along with widows, divorcees and people with mental or physical disabilities). Telling them that they are doomed to misery is not really what they need to hear.

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  30. nice article dude, seems many of us know what bible says about it, the time has passed and more now people can't accept what people pretend about gay people should be, noone knows exactly what homosexual is, only GOD, what people psychologists have found are just theories, only theories, but if we really believe in GOD we should know we can really wanna do anything in JESUS name, more of what people say about GOD, let me tell you one thing buddies:
    men can really make changes, exist 2 kind of men,those who want to and those who can.
    THE CHANGES ARE IMPORTANT IN OUR LIVES, ARE THE CONSECUENCE OF WHO WE ARE, AND WHO ARE WE GONNA BE.
    greetings and GOD bless you all

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  31. Dear Peter

    You wrote:

    "The Bible is very clear that all sexual relations outside marriage (a life-long exclusive monogamous heterosexual public covenant relationship) are morally wrong (Leviticus 18:6-23, 20:10-21; Romans 1:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Timothy 1:9,10; Revelation 22:15)."

    Well, I read all the bible passages, and could not find any clear statement that "all sexual relations outside marriage (a life-long exclusive monogamous heterosexual public covenant relationship) are morally wrong."

    What many Christian people have been saying is that the only people allowed to engage in any sexual love-making whatsoever, and only then with one another, are pairs of people who have satisfied the requirements of statute law that would have enabled them to claim the married tax allowance, before it was abolished.

    Since two people have to be of the opposite sex to be married in the eyes of the British government, there is nothing discriminatory about being against "gay" sex in practice, but not, it is claimed, on principle. It is simply a particular outworking of the general rule against sex outside marriage. Gays cannot marry one another (yet!), and THAT is the only reason they cannot have sex.

    The B&B owners Mr & Mrs Bull argued exactly this way, that they weren't discriminating against the two men in a civil partnership. Oh no! They consistently apply the same rule to opposite sex couples who aren't married in the eyes of the government either.

    Redefining marriage to demolish THAT ill thought-out position is going to make Christians think harder, and read their bibles more carefully, that's for sure.

    Love in Christ,

    John

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