Sunday, 7 April 2013

Answering Christians who are unclear about biblical sexual ethics

Anyone who presents a biblical perspective on sexual ethics on the internet will come in for a lot of criticism and be called all manner of things, especially if writing about homosexuality.

This is entirely what we should expect. 

We live in a world that is hostile to Christian faith and values and to many people biblical sexual ethics are antiquated, bizarre, naïve, unrealistic or even unchristian.

But when that criticism comes from fellow Christians it is can be more challenging to handle.

The Evangelical Alliance’s recent survey on the views of evangelical Christians in Britain reveals that there is a wide range of views on sexual morality even amongst those who accept biblical authority.

Only 59% of 17,000 British evangelicals surveyed in 2010, for example, ‘agreed a lot’ that ‘homosexual actions are always wrong’. 14% ‘agreed a little’, 11% were unsure, 8% disagreed a little and 8% disagreed a lot.

And yet the Bible is very clear on this issue and the stance of the Evangelical Alliance has been very strong in recent statements. The Accepting Evangelicals group, who wish to bless gay partnerships, are a very small minority indeed.

So why are so many evangelicals so unclear? There are certainly strong pressures from the prevailing culture to adopt an unbiblical view, but I suspect it really boils down to what they are being taught (or not being taught!) in their churches.

Are evangelical pastors and teachers equally confused, or have they just been intimidated into silence by the fear of what reaction biblical teaching on this issue might generate?

I suspect it is largely the latter. So in this blog I have given some of the usual reactions Christians give when the issue of sexual morality is raised along with some suggested responses.

As always our best guide is the Bible itself, and so I have illustrated (and linked) each point with Scripture:

1.  It’s unloving

It’s increasingly common to be told by Christians that telling people they can’t be true to their feelings is ‘unloving’. Above all we should love one another and that means affirming and building up and not implying that other people’s behaviour is unacceptable.

But Jesus himself said that the commands to love God and love one another are summed up the Old Testament Law (Matthew 22:37-40). The command to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ comes from Leviticus 19:18.

But Leviticus 19 is sandwiched immediately between Leviticus 1820 where most of the explicit OT teaching on sexual morality is found. And these verses are very clear that the only context for sex is within a lifelong marriage between a man and a woman (marriage).

Furthermore all this teaching is upheld in the New Testament.

Leviticus 19:18 is preceded by the command, ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy’ (19:2) and its immediate context is 19:17: ‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbour frankly so you will not share in their guilt’.

Loving God and our neighbour involves being holy, being sexually pure and being concerned enough about our fellow believers to challenge them over sin.  Real love is willing even to risk being rejected for challenging a brother or sister because you care more about their walk with God than you do about what they think of you.

2. We shouldn’t judge

Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you’ (Matthew 7:1,2).

But it is clear from the wider context of Matthew that this is challenging hypocritical and judgmental attitudes and does not excuse Christians from challenging one another about sin. In fact looking out for each other in this way is a Christian duty.

Jesus commands in Matthew 18:15-17:

‘If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that “every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.’

The Apostle Paul is even more explicit about the need for church discipline for sexual sin:

‘ I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you”.’ (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)

3. It is between them and God

The Bible is very clear that sin is not simply between us and God. Sin damages the Christian community because all of us are inseparably linked as members of the body of Christ. In the body of Christ we are responsible for each other and when one falls all suffer. What damages the body is the body’s business. Furthermore sexual sin damages the body of Christ in a way that other sin does not:

‘Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!  Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.’ (1 Corinthians 6:15-20).

4. The Gospel is about grace not law

It is of course true that we are saved by grace through faith through Jesus’ death for our sins (Ephesians 2:8, 9). It is also true that we rely on his grace and power to live holy lives. But once saved we are to imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1), to walk in his footsteps (1 John 2:6), indeed to imitate God himself (Ephesians 5:1).

We are called to ‘the obedience that comes from faith’ (Romans 1:5) and to be sanctified: avoiding sexual immorality; and learning to control our bodies in a way that is holy and honourable (1 Thessalonians 4:3,4). Furthermore God’s grace and patience is intended to lead us to repentance, not to be used as an excuse for continuing in sin (Romans 2:4). Loving God and obeying him are inextricably linked:

‘If you love me, keep my commands… Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me… Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love… You are my friends if you do what I command. ‘ (John 14:15, 21; 15:9,10,14)

5. We shouldn’t be modern day Pharisees

Absolutely not. The Pharisees ignored God’s real commands and substituted their own human traditions and made up laws for them.  They were also obsessed with outward appearances rather than any change of heart . (Matthew 15:1-20) They were hypocrites.

We should certainly not be like them, but seeking outward and inward sexual purity so that our thoughts and actions are aligned with God’s will is not being pharisaical. It is rather taking holiness seriously.

6. None of us is pure

This is of course true. Each of us misses the mark and falls short and who can say they have never looked at a man or woman who is not their wife with lust, or had an impure sexual thought? (Matthew 5:27-28)

But nonetheless we are called to a life of holiness and warned about the very real dangers of deliberately keeping on sinning after coming to a knowledge of the truth (Hebrews 10:26-31). We need to be very mindful of our own vulnerabilities but this does not absolve us of the responsibility to correct and restore one another. It is rather part of bearing one another’s burdens and fulfilling the ‘law of Christ’.

‘Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.’ (Galatians 6:1,2)

7. Why don’t you preach about other sins?

Sexual immorality is of course only one sin, and we should remember that true discipleship involves teaching disciples ‘to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:19-20). But as we can see from the above sexual purity is very important which is why so much of Scripture is devoted to it, not just in pure didactic teaching, but through the many narratives of sexual sin put there for our warning:

‘We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died...These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!’ (1 Corinthians 10:10-12

Pastors and teachers must teach the whole counsel of God, but neglecting areas where one is likely to encounter criticism – and this is a prime example – is not being a faithful teacher. And teachers will be judged, we are told, more strictly (James 3:1):

‘For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matthew 5:18,19

‘A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work! A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed!’ (Jeremiah 48:10)

It is essential that the sword of the Spirit, God’s word, is enabled to do its work (Hebrews 4:12).

There is of course more to holiness than sexual purity, but sexual purity is nonetheless an integral and essential part of the whole. 


  1. Thank you Peter, tHat is very encouraging to me, I have been involved in discussions on a forum, and have been disheartened by comments from supposed believers because I refuse to compromise on what the bible teaches

  2. "We live in a world that is hostile to Christian faith and values" --> and for over a thousand years, the rest of humanity lived in a world that is hostile to non-Christian faith and values. People were persecuted, tortured, burned at the stake or killed in other heinous ways just for not believing what you Christians believe.

    Now that the world is advancing and realizing how wrong many of your teachings (as well as the equally ridiculous teachings of other religions) are, you are whining about being called names.

    Blatant tu quoque aside (just to point out that you should stop being such whiny babies for being called names), the main reason you're being 'persecuted' for your teachings about sexuality is your narrow-minded intolerance.

    You call homosexuals sinners. You tell them that they will go to hell because the Bible says so. You call them names, you curse upon them, you passive-aggressively hate on them. Some of your more devout believers even stoop to physical violence against them. Ironically, they are the one who get closest to what the Bible says to do. Shall we encourage that?

    The Bible also says that eating shellfish, wearing clothing made from two different materials and planting two different kinds of crops in the same field are sins. Why not persecute people who commit those sins? The Bible says slavery is acceptable. The Bible says women on their periods should live in a tent outside the house for the duration of their menstruation. The Bible says men should not shave their beards and the sides of their head. Why not persecute people who violate those rules?

    In fact, if any one person followed the Bible literally and to the letter, he/she will be considered psychopathic. If any group did so, they'd be considered a cult.

    I'm not trying to be fallacious here. What I'm pointing out is that if the Bible is wrong in some of its teachings, it may be wrong in many of its teachings. Who's to say that homosexuality isn't one of those wrong teachings?

    In the same way that Christians now decide that "Oh, eating shellfish is not a REAL/MAJOR sin," we can also decide that "Oh, homosexuality is not a REAL/MAJOR sin." How?

    Easy: If it harms no one else, it is not wrong.

    Humans ARE capable of deciding what is good and bad. Granted, people DO make mistakes in their deliberation and some people CHOOSE to do bad even if they know it is bad, this happens even among devout Christians who know the Bible inside and out. Why do we need a millennium-old, outdated manual that was written by semi-literate desert dwellers who believed the Earth was flat and in the center of the universe? (side note: if God "enlightened" them, why didn't he tell them the Earth was NOT flat and NOT in the center of the universe? It could have saved us a lot of confusion centuries later.)

    Seven hundred years ago, Saracens were tortured and killed for not believing in Christianity. Three hundred years ago, women were nothing but the property of men. Fifty years ago, black men and women were nothing but slaves for the white. Today, religious intolerance, sexism and racism are some of the most heinous ideologies in existence.

    Imagine what tomorrow will say about homosexuality and homophobia.

    1. I've put up a post on the shellfish question here -

    2. Some points not necessarily directly answering the ones above.

      1. In my teens I went abroad to stay with a French family; my knowledge of French was limited. I remember thinking “ How should I say thank you for the meal?”. I knew the French for full “plein” and so stated, “Je suis plein!”. The family smiled and told me that plein in this context meant pregnant. I learnt a lot about interpretation from that experience.

      2. The inspiration of the Bible is talked of in a book "Know the Truth" by Bruce Milne, with a forward by J I Packer. On page 37 it states:

      "In the process of inspiration God sovereignly supervised and ordered the background, heredity and circumstances of the individual writers; as a result, when they recorded events, meditations or sermons in writing, the words used were consciously the free composition of the authors at the same time the very word of God"

      There are many responses to the reliability of the Bible.

      "Yes, BUT the Bible needs to be interpreted…and therefore cannot be relied upon".

      But for Christians the statement that the Bible needs to be interpreted is not a threat. The Bible is the very word of God but there are common sense rules of interpretation that can assist all of us in our attempts to understand and apply it properly to our lives. Or to put it more technically, it is important to employ a correct hermeneutic.

      In Peter's second letter Chapter 3: verses 15, and 16 we are told of how Paul in his letters, according to the wisdom that God gave him, contains

      " … some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do other Scriptures to their own destruction."

      Attempts have been made in the course of Christian history to use such words and others in the Bible to persuade people that it is too difficult for the common man to appreciate. The natural intellect cannot grasp the Bible. It's subject is so deep,its language so difficult to understand and ambiguous that it is not for you and I, not for the common man to be let loose on its meaning. Only those specially commissioned or trained can and should have meaningful access to it and its true meaning. It is a dangerous book.

      And yet when you examine these verses carefully it is far from a justification for such reasoning. We are not here stopped from reading the Bible because it is difficult to understand. It only says "some things" and not "many" and although they are hard not incapable of being understood. The difficulties in the Bible relate not to the words themselves but to that nature within us which is opposed to what God wants, and that pride which does not wish to seek his enlightenment from what He has written. The word "ignorant" here is not referring to illiteracy but to those "who have not been and are not themselves being taught by God" and the word unstable, is referring to those with no stable well thought through convictions who turn to whatever doctrine suits them.

      This argument that there is a need for correct interpretation is not to state therefore that the Bible should be the preserve of the few or to suggest some weakness in it, it is just sensible as an aid to understanding and applying properly what is said. Such an approach will help us to arrive at the truth of what is said and, provide assistance in helping us not to go to extremes or off on a tangent.

      3. An alternative secular heaven, the state has a lot to answer for.

      "The state had proved itself an insatiable spender, an unrivalled waster. It had also proved itself the greatest killer of all time. By the 1990s, state action had been responsible for the violent or unnatural deaths of some 125 million people during the century, more perhaps than it had succeeded in destroying during the whole of human history up to 1900. Its inhuman malevolence had more than kept pace with its growing size and expanding means."
      Page 783, " Modern Times. The world from the twenties to the nineties," by Paul Johnson.

  3. This blogpost reminds me a little of a recent story on lifesitenews, something along the lines of "Do we love the homosexually-inclined enough to defend marriage?"

    In other words, do we love others enough to tell them the truth? If not, what is the truth for? Does it exist in order to make us feel good about ourselves? No. We tell people the truth for their sake, not ours.

    The equal and opposite is "Do we love ourselves enough to accept the truth when we hear it?"

    1. Gentlemind, the sixty thousand civil partnered couples in our society today are hearing the message that the Church will not accept them unless they render their partnerships non-sexual or even dissolve those partnerships. We justify this approach on the basis of six verses in the Bible that we extract - with tweezers - to bolster our bronze-age view of sexuality. Do you not consider that there is the possibility that this strategy undermines God's wider Kingdom purposes to see gay people come to faith?

    2. Hello Jane.

      There is the truth, and then there are assumptions-based-on-the-truth. There are assumptions, and then there are assumptions-based-on-assumptions.

      The sixty thousand couples are hearing (from man-made law) the message that their partnerships are sexual. This is an assumption. God has in fact ordained the truth that their partnerships are not sexual. He justifies this through having made two sexes - male and female - and therefore having made a sexual relationship betweeen them.

      The sixty thousand couples are also hearing (from man-made law) the message that they are comprised of "gay people". Again, this is an assumption. God has in fact ordained the truth that they are male and female. There are two sexes, not four.

    3. Gentlemind, you do me a great honour.
      Surely if the sixty thousand couples' partnerships are not sexual, they would find no difficulty in being welcomed into our churches? The civil partnered couples don't just 'assume' but actually 'know' that they are committed to people of the same-sex in gay relationships in the same way that you 'know' that you are married to someone of the opposite sex (if you are, my apologies if not). Gay people are still male and female - the two sexes remain.
      I take your point about the message / assumptions implied by man-made law but we are being asked to consider the message gay people are hearing from our churches - everyone else hears 'come as you are' whereas gay people hear 'repent and change'.

    4. Imagine a man who "earns a living" as a shoplifter. Man A tells him "that's a bad way to earn a living". Man B says "that's no way to earn a living". The shoplifter says "if it's no way, it can't be a bad way". Earning and stealing are mutually exclusive concepts. Stealing is wrong precisely because the gains have not been earned. You are saying "If gay sex is not sex, it cannot be wrong sex". But "gay sex" is wrong precisely because it is not sex.

      "come as you are" vs "repent and change". Good point. If i walk into a room with muddy shoes on, i will spoil the carpet. We all need to clean our shoes! But... our body is very special. I never leave home without mine :) It will be our constant companion, supporting us through everything life throws at us. So we need to have a good relationship with it. And part of that involves living in harmony with our sexual capacity. If there is no harmony, we take that disharmony everywhere with us. I hope that makes sense. It is not a question of being puritanical. If we point an axe at a tree, it does a wonderful job. If we point that same axe at our foot...Sex is very powerful, and we need to point it in the right direction.

    5. Hmm...we may have to agree to disagree on point one...
      As for the muddy shoes....the whole Big Debate might really be about keeping the church carpet clean, and this doesn't surprise me a bit. I have been a Christian for thirty years but I have never been called to repentance for a personal sin...however, if in a parallel universe I found myself in a civil partnership, I might be called to repentance three times by a week on Thursday. I do wonder what that's about. Thankfully there are plenty of inclusive churches where civil partnered couples are accorded the same privacy, autonomy and respect as married couples. At the end of the day, it's Gods job to sort out the muddy shoes, our attempts to make everyone spickety-span make some peoples' experience of church untenable.

  4. It never ceases to amaze me when people come out with comments like 'the Bible states the earth is flat' etc. I've studied the Bible for a few years now and am utterly astounded at the range of scientific knowledge contained within it, a lot of which has only been discovered in the past 50 years and with research investment of billions of dollars.

    As for being written by 'semi-literate desert dwellers', really? Some of the greatest mathematical minds on the planet have been baffled by how succinctly the Bible fits together (I could go into detail but every letter in the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical number and the amazing and beautiful way these numbers fit together couldn't be replicated by all the computer power on the planet and still be readable).

    It was written by 66 authors over thousands of years and told in advance the most astounding and accurate information which came to pass. Jesus himself fulfulled over 180 prophecies, 26 of which happened in the last day of his life. It would probably be similar to you or I winning the lottery every single week for many years.

    I'm a former athiest, I hated Christians with a passion and all they stood for, I championed homosexual rights etc. and didn't understand the Bible at all, and one day I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to reveal it to me (yes I know how utterly ridiculous that sounds to a non-Christian). I've been studying it ever since and a hundred lifetimes wouldn't be enough to fully grasp it's beauty.

    As for homosexuality, it saddens me when people are called homophobic, bigotted, prejudiced etc. who call it a sin or defend marriage. I don't doubt that people who struggle with these feelings go through tremendous pressure in their lives. Thankfully there is a way out, and I don't say that lightly - I'm coming from the many testimonies from people who have gotten saved and left that life behind. There's a great biography from a university lecturer who was a staunch, Christian-hating lesbian who got saved and come out of that lifestyle.

    Anyway, the marriage debate will rage on and it seems that no matter what, the government will force it through against a lot of people's wishes. It will never, and can never, be a marriage though but people can be set free from it and I praise God for that.

    Don't get me wrong, everyone has a choice in life and that should never, ever be taken away from them. Its a shame that the government is slowly stripping the choice of the Christian away when all any Christian should be doing is pointing people towards a God who loves them very deeply and wants the best for them.

    1. The university professor DM refers to in the above post is Rosaria Butterfield. For those who would like to know more there is already a blog about her on this site - link below

      'Rosaria Butterfield – fascinating new autobiography of a lesbian English professor who finds Christian faith' -

    2. The only thing the government is stripping Christians of is the "right" to control how the government governs other people. It should never have been given to them in the first place. If Christians are opposed to gay marriage, then by all means, don't get marriage to a person of your same gender. However, don't preach to others, especially those of a different faith or no faith at all, that they should believe the same thing that you believe.

      "It never ceases to amaze me when people come out with comments like 'the Bible states the earth is flat' etc." --> I didn't say the Bible said the Earth was flat, I said the people who wrote the Bible thought it was flat.

      I'm pretty interested in that recently discovered scientific knowledge that you mentioned, though. Care to give some examples? I mean the Bible was sure to have had some pretty creative and observant authors somewhere along the line, hence an explanation for that. I mean if ancient Greeks were able to make startingly accurate observations, such as Eratosthenes who predicted the earth's size with about a 7% error rate, then I'm sure the Bible had its intelligent writers.

      Nevertheless, though, the Bible has a lot of shortcomings. You make it sound as if the Bible has *nothing* but accurate information, but come on. Let's be realistic. A talking snake? A talking donkey?

      These 'miracles' you speak of, these were all mentioned in the Bible right? Do you have any third-party, non-partisan sources that can corroborate them? I'm interested in knowing what these non-partisan bodies have to say.

      Besides, after all that, I still didn't see you denying that many of the rules in the Bible are ridiculous. No eating shellfish? No shaving beards? No wearing of clothes made from two different materials? No planting of two different crops in one field?

      Ridiculous they may be, it would have been fine if those were the only things mentioned, but the Bible also condones:

      Slavery (When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB))
      Rape (Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB))
      Ritual Human Sacrifice (her father kept his vow [to kill her], and she died a virgin (Judges 11:29-40 NLT) and of course that of your dear lord Jesus Christ)
      The Killing of Children (So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. (2 Kings 2:23-24))
      Murder (Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB) among so, so many other examples)

      In fact, for most sins, death is the punishment. Let me ask, how many homosexuals have you put to death lately? How many women who engaged in premarital sex have you put to death? How many people who have cursed their parents have you put to death? Why are you not doing the word of your lord?

      I have no doubt that there are some good teachings in the Bible in the same way that there are good teachings in Harry Potter and in the Lord of the Rings.

      Nevertheless, the Bible was never meant to be taken as anything more than stories.

    3. I've put a post on the shellfish question here -

      Mixed cropping, wearing polyester and the trimming of beards is covered by the same principles - it's all about covenants!

  5. I think that we need to be tolerant, sensitive and compassionate towards those who find it difficult to let go of outdated and even abusive attitudes to gays and gay relationships, while still maintaining a firmly enlightened stance on the issue and making it clear that their retarded views cannot be allowed to determine public policy.

  6. The government is trying to enforce legislation upon the country that could make it a jailable offence for Christians to rightly express their views. For example how will a Christian teacher who cannot in all conscience teach that homosexual marriage is ok, be allowed to do his or her job if they are forced to teach these ideas? What about Christian churches who could be forced to marry homosexuals?

    I know this hasn't come into force yet but it is heading that way. It doesn't overly concern me because it is all written about anyway and the end for Christians is already known.

    I don't preach to others (at least I hope this doesn't come across as 'preachy'), but I do fail to see how many people just accept homosexuality as something set in stone that cannot be changed. That does baffle me, even down to the fundamental basics of biology. Somewhere along the line things like sexuality have gotten twisted, people I've read about who have left behind the homosexual lifestyle have repeatedly said that they were looking for acceptance deep down from the male sex.

    Everyone is free to make their own choices and I for one would never force any choice onto people. What I take issue with is the government trying to redefine the most basic building block of life on the planet (every single person alive has been the product of both male and female) and forcing it on a population. Its fascism in its worst form.

    I hope this doesn't offend but to compare the Bible to lord of the rings or harry potter does show a tremendous lack of Biblical knowledge.

    As for me not stoning sinners today. I don't claim to know why the Old Testament law was so harsh, the people cried out for law and God gave them one which was impossible to keep. Thankfully Jesus fulfilled this law in a staggering display of love, otherwise I'd be sacrificing animals every day. It is Jesus that the whole Bible is about, He is found on every page, it's not to do with beards and cloth, Christians put their faith in Him. One sacrifice.

    You were asking about talking donkeys etc. I can't explain it any more than I can explain a preacher friend of mine praying for a woman with throat trouble who was healed. The woman returned to him astonish and then said she only had one kidney. He prayed again for a miracle, she returned to the doctor and now has two. The only explanation I have for this is that the Bible is true. Can you offer any?

    As regards the science stuff, there are some good resources here if you are interested -

    Dr Ivan Panin is also worth looking into - here's a small introduction -

  7. Jesus himself said that the old testament should be obeyed.

    For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)

    Jesus himself said children who curse their parents should be killed.

    "Whoever curses father or mother shall die" (Mark 7:10 NAB)

    So again, how many homosexuals have you put to death lately? How many disobedient/disrespectful children have you put to death lately?

    "I can't explain it any more than I can explain a preacher friend of mine praying for a woman with throat trouble who was healed. The woman returned to him astonish and then said she only had one kidney." --> I can explain this, or at least offer alternative explanations:

    1. the woman was lying and/or the preacher was lying
    2. there is a suitable medical explanation that neither of them bothered looking for in favor of saying "God did it"

    The idea that "There is no explanation/proof. Therefore, God did it" is a classic example of Argumentum ad Ignorantium making your rebuttal laughable at best. I said present third-party, non-partisan evidence, not an anecdote that is most likely either untrue, ignorant or both.

    But that is not the point of this argument. My point is that if some part of the Bible are wrong/ridiculous, who's to say other points are not wrong/ridiculous?

    The Bible is being interpreted by Christians how they see fit. "Oh eating shellfish is okay, but homosexuality is not." I say if you believe and enforce one thing, believe and enforce all of it.

    "Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy or scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God." (2 Peter 20-21 NAB)"

    If you admit that eating shellfish, planting only one type of crop per land and killing disrespectful children are "open to interpretation" at best or "incorrect" at worst, concede that the rest of the Bible is open to interpretation, in which case the argument that it is "divinely inspired" and therefore infallible is incorrect.

    1. You do seem to have a thing about shellfish. Your question has to do with covenants - see

    2. Oh this is so freaking hilarious!

      I picked on eating shellfish specifically to focus my argument and show you how ridiculous many of the Biblical rules are, but I do not have a fixation on shellfish! I'm laughing so hard right now.

      What made it even better is that you took one part of my argument out of context and made a whole new post comparing eating shellfish to homosexuality!

      LMFAO this made my day so much more hilarious! Thank you.

      Okay, let me list down some of the Biblical rules that I find ridiculous (note that this list is not all-encompassing) and you start working on excuses for them. I'll wait.

      1. Children who talk bad about their parents or are rebellious should be put to death (usually by their parents themselves).
      2. Eating fat or blood is prohibited.
      3. Planting two (or more) kinds of crops in one field is prohibited.
      4. Wearing clothes made out of two (or more) kinds of material is prohibited.
      5. A man who beats his slave will not be punished if the slave does not die (pro-slavery?).
      6. Girls who are not virgins on their wedding day should be killed.
      7. Women on their menstrual periods should live outside the home in a tent.
      8. Rapists must pay the father and marry the girls they rape (funnily (or not. Not really) the girls have no choice in the matter).
      9. Men with flaws (e.g. blind, disabled, short, scarred, etc.) cannot approach the altar.
      10. Anybody who works on the Sabbath day should be put to death.
      11. After menstruation, women should offer the lord a burnt and a sin offering for the "sin of having menstruation."
      12. Women, after childbirth, will be unclean for 7 days after giving birth to a baby boy and 2 weeks after giving birth to a baby girl (sexist much?) and after 33 and 66 days respectively, she must offer a burnt and sin offering to be purified from the "sin of giving birth."
      13. Men should not cut off the hair on the sides of their head or trim their beards.
      14. People of other faiths should be killed.
      15. And after all God's instructions to kill sinners? Thou shalt not kill (Except of course if God instructed it through the Bible laws because of course God wouldn't want to do his own dirty work).

      So, what's your excuse? I'm waiting.

    3. Hello Renai,

      I'll address your previous email as it was in response to the last one I had written.

      'So again, how many homosexuals have you put to death lately?'

      None, I live in Northern Ireland and would be referred to as a gentile. The law was for Israel, the Jews, so I need not worry about putting anyone to death. Secondly, Jesus died as a sacrifice for ALL of our sins, that was the entire point of the Bible and God's plan. Therefore nobody need put anybody to death, Jesus has borne all this on the cross, completely, in full. It is a gift to us all.

      As Paul himself says (who started his life by rounding up and persecuting Christians)-

      "for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."

      For your next point about the healing which I told you of, you stated -

      '1. the woman was lying and/or the preacher was lying
      2. there is a suitable medical explanation that neither of them bothered looking for in favor of saying "God did it"

      The idea that "There is no explanation/proof. Therefore, God did it" is a classic example of Argumentum ad Ignorantium making your rebuttal laughable at best. I said present third-party, non-partisan evidence, not an anecdote that is most likely either untrue, ignorant or both.'

      The man which I spoke of has lived his entire life by faith, he gave away all of his money as a young man and God has looked after him since. He is now 80 years of age and is still doing the same thing. What would it profit him to lie? As for evidence, the lump in the woman's throat disappeared and when she went back to hospital it couldn't be explained - she still has the kidney by the way. If you live in this part of the world I'll gladly take you to meet him - he has had many, many more miracles and healings than this one. Another preacher I can put you in touch with prayed for a man in hospital who had stage five cancer and was a bag of bones. He was given a few hours to live yet was completely healed inside the hospital - full of third party, unbiased obervers.

      You say that it is laughable to say that God did it when there is no explanation? If I read a book claiming that there is a God who can do miracles and heal (however mad it may sound) in His name, I then put my hands on someone and pray that they be healed in His name - and they are, what then? Surely to come up with any OTHER conclusion is laughable? Now take that one step further to two people, three, four, thousands all laying their hands on people and healing and the odds certainly stack up. Are they ALL lying? That would be more improbable surely.

      For your next point-

      'But that is not the point of this argument. My point is that if some part of the Bible are wrong/ridiculous, who's to say other points are not wrong/ridiculous?'

      I didn't say any part of the Bible was wrong or ridiculous. I believe every single word of the Bible to be 100% true, what would be the point of it otherwise? You are right, if any part of the Bible is wrong or false then there is no point believing in any of it. Loads of people from archaeologists, historians etc. have set out to disprove it, some most of their lives and have ended up getting saved. It has been studied for thousands of years by much greater minds than ours, indeed there are warehouses all over the world filled with hundreds of thousands of books written about it (some books about one verse alone). So it surely would have been discredited a long time ago if it had any flaws.

      As for your point on homosexuality, the law of sex was laid with Adam and so pre-dates the law of Moses, therefore comparing the eating of shellfish (or planting crops or any of the Mosaic laws at all) to it etc. is not comparing like with like and has no meaning.

      I'd be interested in hearing more about you if you don't mind?


  8. It isn't people like Renai we should be concerned about I think looking at his posts he s an atheist but those inside the church who want to make the sin of the flesh natural and not sinful these are the deceivers we were warned about in the last days.If you notice its the one sin that unifies atheists and some Christians and for me it proves this is the great lie one that will be the beginning of society's descent into immorality as in the days of Sodom and Gomorah


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