In yet another sign of the shift within the Christian Church away from Biblical Christianity, Vanderbilt University Divinity School has appointed a married, lesbian Christian as its new dean. Dr. Emilie M. Townes, a former associate dean at Yale University Divinity School, and ordained Baptist clergywoman, is a vocal proponent of the idea that homosexuality should no longer be considered a sin in the Christian faith. The appointment of a dean who professes her Christianity but openly defies God’s Word is a clear indicator of the apostasy – the prophesied falling away in the church from Biblical Christianity, to a modernized, “me-focused” doctrine, that has its own rules and seeks to cater to the worldly lusts.
According to reports:
“I am excited about becoming part of this slice of God’s cloud of witnesses as we shape ourselves into being responsive to holding traditions and the future together,” Townes said during her convocation address, as reported by Christian News.
“Not out of a sense that traditions are static but with an appreciation for the fact that they are dynamic and actually morph and change, though slowly at times. And also not out of a sense that the future is some magic potion that allows us to neglect the work we must do today.”
Townes’ partner, Laurel Schneider, also joined the Vanderbilt Divinity School’s faculty this year. Although Townes’ appointment was announced last December, it has recently stirred up debate within the Christian press. (source).
In an op-ed piece in the Huffington Post, Townes explained her spiritual belief and support for her gay marriage:
We are both clear that we do not to conform to the standard text of marriage, but we want to find ways to breath new air and life into what it means to be married not only by the state, but even more so in the eyes of the Holy Spirit; to be committed for a life time; and to grow old and be those kind of old ladies that we so admired when we were children — truth tellers, wise, independent, but fiercely engaged in the communities they were a part of.
Folks approach gay marriage from a variety of perspectives — moral, theological, social, political. As a Christian social ethicist with womanist leanings, I am clear that the Bible says precious little about same sex relationships, though it appears to have a bit more to say about acts but even that is muddled. (source).
The Bible And Homosexuality
Jesus Christ defined marriage in the Bible as between a man and a woman:
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. – Matthew 19:4-6.
Rather than saying “precious little” about marriage, as Townes put it, the Bible is abundantly clear that God has ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman for life. Additionally, the Bible goes into specific detail about homosexuality being a sin:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. – Romans 1:21-27.
Sexual sin is a by-product of society’s rebellion against God. As humanity continues to deny God and reject His free offer of salvation, God gives people up to our own sinful lusts and a result all sorts of illicit sexual sins, both heterosexual and homosexual, increase. And Scripture is clear that a woman in an intimate relationship with another woman is “against nature” and refers to homosexuality as a vile affection. So there is nothing “muddled” in this passage, as Townes refers to it.
The Movement To Change The Bible
Towne’s viewpoint is becoming more and more common in Christian churches across the United States and the world. More and more pastors and leaders are trying to change the Bible and change the Christian faith to suit the current desires of the unsaved world. In the Divinity School’s “Purposes And Commitments” page, its stated objective is to: “to help persons, both lay and ordained, reenvision and prepare for the practice of Christian ministry in our time..”
This is grave spiritual error. The book of Jude admonishes Bible-believing Christians to hold on to God’s Word and not seek to change or “breathe new life” into it:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. – Jude 1:3-4.
The Bible is God’s Word, not humanity’s. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The word “inspiration”, theopneustos in Greek, literally means “God breathed.” It is God that breathes His Spirit into the Bible, not any person. The Lord Jesus Christ made it clear that changing the words of the Bible was a sin that would not be taken lightly. This is made clear in the stark warning given at the end of the Book of Revelation:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. – Revelation 22:18-19.
Yet despite the clear admonishment of Scripture, many in the church today, like the faculty at the Vanderbilt Divinity School are attempting to “reimagine” and “reinterpret” the Bible to change God’s Word in favor of what society wants today. Further in its Purposes and Commitments page, the Divinity School writes:
“This commitment involves the exploration in the curriculum of lesbian and gay concerns as well as affirmation and support of gay and lesbian people within our community.
The school is committed to a program of theological education that is open to and takes account of the religious pluralism in our world. It seeks to familiarize students with interreligious dialogue and the diverse manifestations of Christianity throughout the world, recognizing that to know one’s own tradition one must know and participate in others as well. This commitment entails the appointment to the faculty of scholars in other religious traditions and from diverse branches of Christianity, as well as the provision of resources for students to study in global contexts.” [Emphasis added].
In addition to affirming the the gay lifestyle as being accepted from a Biblical perspective, the school also encourages its Christian students to actually practice other religions. This is heresy and flagrant sin. Throughout the entire Bible, it is clear that Christians are to worship no other God but the God of the Bible. Nowhere are believers instructed that in order to truly understand Christianity one should practice another religion as well. But this is the goal of the apostasy in the church today – to move Christians away from making the Bible their sole authority and guide for their faith. Satan seduced Eve into sin in the Garden of Eden by getting her to doubt God’s clear Word. And the same tactic is being used today to lure well-meaning Christians from a firm belief in the Bible to a New Age view of the Scripture that says it is a “nice tradition” but leaves the door open for all sorts of new doctrines and person-made ideas. The Bible refutes this notion in Galatians chapter 1:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:8-10.
The Vanderbilt Divinity School is preaching a different Gospel in an effort to please the world. And students are being indoctrinated into their way of thinking as the Bible fades to the background. Do not be deceived.
Pray For This School
As explained in our article, “Christian Singer Jennifer Knapp Comes Out: Is It Okay To Be Christian And Gay?”, the challenge for a Christian with homosexual desires or who is in a homosexual relationship is not to conform their faith to their desires. It is to conform themselves to the image of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Galatians 2:20 says “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Jesus Christ took on human flesh, was tempted in all ways and did not sin. And then despite being God in the flesh, willingly gave His life on the cross to take the punishment for all of the sins of all people of the world. By Christ becoming a perfect sacrifice and rising from the grave on the third day after His death, all people, gay or straight, can be forgiven of their sins and receive eternal life in Heaven. Trying to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ but purposely contradict or “re-imagine” the Bible is believing in an idol – a god that you have fashioned for yourself from your imagination. This is sin. Rather than walk in spiritual rebellion. Christians are called to “crucify” their sinful past life of the flesh and live for the Spirit of God in them.
Pray for Dr. Townes and all the Christians who feel they can change the Christian faith to suit their own personal desires. Jesus Christ said: “..If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25). This is the Christian life: a denial of our old self and the sinful desires we have, whether they be sexual or otherwise. And “picking up our cross” by living the way God wants us to live as stated in His bible. All Christians will struggle with sinful desires as long as they are living in their sinful flesh. But God calls us to repent of our sins and build our faith up to resist them and live in conformity with His Holy Word. Lord willing, one day Dr. Townes will learn this and share it with the many students who will come to her school to learn about the Christian faith.
Frank Cruz says
It is very ignorant to think that we’re already made right through the law. And to say that homosexuality is considered a desire is more ignorant then what I said above. For someone to already assume that homosexuality is wrong because the bible told me so is not really taking the time to get know the person at all either which you fall out of respect for people that are that way. The bible I’m sad to say does indeed have mistranslations already. When they were starting to translate it from Greek to old english there were things such as homosexuality that were mistranslated. Some.words from the Greek bible.to the English words didn’t add up. Words were out of context and mistranslationing the bible occured. That’s why it said at the end of revelation that whoever translates God’s words were to be punished. He said that for a reason because it DID happen. Sorry to say that.not everything is black and white there’s actually always.something in between
Frank Cruz says
The term or word homosexuality was even created in English until the early I’m guessing 19th century. So to say that something is.considered a sin when.the rest of the scriptures don’t add up with the English bible ; it’s says alot. That’s why there was the Torah and the Quran that have more information about Christ that we don’t know about and why do you think that we don’t know more about these translations? Hmm… it’s probably in most certainly is caused by not wanting to translate the words because PEOPLE were going to tarnish God’s word. They did not want to translate the word for a reason because of what was already done right now. English is a international language and once they added homosexuality and what was led out of context that’s when the problems occurred because not only was it going to affect the English bible but other following languages as well. It’s good to research this side instead of having false words deceive you right under your eyes.
That was a load of nonsense you wrote. By the way, where do you get your information. Explain to us how 2000 years later, you have the truth, but the men who knew Jesus and were His disciples got it wrong.
Jero Jones says
Prynhawn Da/Good Afternoon and Hi
For myself, I do not see anything perverse about a place of learning appointing a professed lesbian, Dr Emilie M. Townes, as its new dean to its religious faculty. She seems well educated for the task, and has previous tutorial experience at one of the worlds top university’s. I do not think in this day and age, we should bring up someone’s sexual orientation as a bases to prohibit someone from employment, which she has openly disclosed, and not closeted, etc. I am not an advocate for homosexuals or their marriages, however, we do live in a modern western world, where freedom of thought and choice, which can be expressed in his or her lifestyle, etc.
You write about lust, homosexuality, and same sex marriage as a sin against God (Romans 1:21-27)! What hypocrisy, Christianity is blind when it comes to its own sinning! Did not the man Jesus, stand up for an adulteress: …he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her…[John 8:7 KJV] For the last two thousand years, the Christians Church has perpetrated these very same sins against themselves and mankind, and it is still rife to this day. There is not a day that goes by without a headline in the media—dealing with sexual abuses by the clergy—abuses going back to circa 306, are well documented. Church history is full of sexual deviants, from Popes; Cardinals; Bishops; and the common clergy, and it is not just catholicism, Protestant Bishops; Vicars; Ministers, Pastors, etc., have also being found guilty of sex abuses!
Lust (sexual desire) in its proper context is what makes the world go round, it is part of the “laws of nature,” without it, mankind would go into extinction. That said, mankind could also go into decline, as one of the so-called threatened species, if Gays or homosexual where to become the dominant preferred orientation in our society. However, evolution (not God) has safeguarded mankind from extinction by the very make-up of our psyche—a strong desire to reproduce, a trait which is in all animal life on earth, except for the Amoeba or single cell organism, which are true hermaphrodites.
Where you say sexual sin is a by-product of society’s rebellion against God! It would be more apt to say ‘sexual sin’ is a by-product of Christianity, through it perverse obsessive narrow mindedness on sexual matters. Christianity has made man’s reproductive cycle a dirty word! It is evolution that has made us what we are, a process that has taken 1.8 million of years, from when man (Homo erectus) first stood on two legs, to evolutions crowning glory of today’s Homo Sapiens (wise man). Who known, man may in the future evolve into Homo sapiens sine deo vel religio (wise man without a god, or religion), that would be an evolution achievement! And it may be sooner than you think, if the prediction of a retired leading churchman, who warns of Christianity crisis in his church, saying: the Church of England is just ‘one generation away from extinction,’ quoted by the former Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday (Tuesday, November 19th 2013.)
Jero Jones, mab Cymru
Beginning and End says
The contention of the article is that the school itself is seeking to redefine the sexual sins of the Bible and is being led by a Dean who is openly advocating the same change. This is the sinful rebellion being highlighted, not the mere hiring of an openly gay dean.
As for the women caught in adultery,you have left out a very key part of that account:
“Then Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” – John 8:10-11.
This passage is often used out of context to make it seem as if Jesus condoned or turned a blind eye to the adultery of this woman. He did not. He specifically instructed her to stop sinning. The tragic and horrific sexual abuse committed by certain leadership in the Catholic Church does not somehow change the Bible’s stance on homosexuality.
Dr. O says
You should know that passage is not found in ANY of the oldest manuscripts except for a side note on a younger manuscript. The passage was added later as a permanent part of the books, so the point is moot. The story never happened….neither did the rest of the bible, but that’s a different conversation.
Beginning and End says
Hi Dr. O,
The Didache (3rd century), Apostolic Constitutions (4thcentury) and Eusebius (3rd century) all make reference to the account of the woman caught in adultery as being a part of the book of John. And all pre-date or are contemporary with the very flawed Vaticanus and Sinaticus manuscripts.
So while your point is correct (the account is not in those manuscripts) it by no means refutes the fact that the earliest codices of the New Testament contained it.
Dr. O says
I agree, not fully as I do think there is ground to at least question the validity of the story given the lack of evidence of itin earlier scrolls, but you are correct in your statement. Now, don’t go thinking we’re buddies now!
I’m only joking, we might disagree in almost everything, but I respect the effort and passion you put into your work.
Beginning and End says
Thanks Dr. O. And I sincerely hope that we can keep a civil tone for future discussions.
The passion and effort B&E puts into this is nothing short of inspired. The tone he sets for civil discourse and detail permeates through every thread. Regardless of the content, I think everyone comes away with a better sense of how to more effectively engage in a public forum of ideas.
I enjoy your posts here, Dr. O. I’ve had quite many a chuckle. Methinks perhaps you have a wee bit too much time on your hands…
Dr. O says
You are right Q, I am retired military and only do lectures occasionally at local Universities so… yep…. too much time on my hands! Great way to keep my blood pressure up.
Jero Jones, it always fascinates me why sodomites trolls like you like to stalk Christian websites like this. If you believe the superstitious dogma of evolution and think that men having sex with men is perfectly fine, why do you hang out here?
Jero Jones says
Bore Da/Good Morning and Hi
I will not say I am not horrified by your HATE MAIL comment, I am! I had no idea the B&E allowed such sick bottom feeder like you on their site. To answer your question, I do not stalk Christian websites, I am not anti-Christian, I like debates on the subject matter, and like to comment on such topics as Christianity, etc. However, your comment are incorrect for the subject matter, which is Lesbianism in a place of learning, not Buggery! As you so fixated on Homosexuality that your are blind to the topic at hand, does that mean that you are a closeted Homosexual yourself?
Please do not reply to my comment, as sick weirdo’s like you are why Christianity has a bad name. You were born out of your time, the crusades and inquisition are long gone, you need psychiatric held.
N.B. To stalk Christian websites, I would have to subscribe to others religious sites, I am not aware that I write on other sites at present, other than B&E.
Jero Jones, Mab Cymru
Jero, sorry for the wake up call, but homosexuality is sin, pure and simple. It’s an abomination before our Lord. I don’t hate gay people, but I hate what they do and I hate the fact that more than any other sin, it’s the one that is forced on society as normal, healthy behaviour. And I especially take exception to it being brought into the Church. If you think I’m a little harsh, wait until God weighs in. It’s naive of you to come to a Christian website with guns blazing, making inflammatory statements and then acting surprised and horrified when you get some return fire.
Jero Jones says
Prynhawn Da/Good Afternoon and Hi
The word ‘Homosexual’ did not appear in the English translations of the Bible till 1946, however, the first use of the word ‘Homosexual’ was in 1892, in an English translation of a German book. So says the Christian Apologetics & research Ministry.
Jero Jones, Mab Cymru
Whether it (homosexual) became a word yesterday or 100 years ago is completely irrelevant to the conversation. Even in the passage quoted, it said men with men is ‘unnatural’. To me, Satan loves to mimic God and then twist it toward his own evil ways. For example, in the last days he will have his own Trifecta of evil (AC, Beast and False Prophet) compared with the Trinity. Similarly, marriage is a taste of what a perfect union with God could be like. No wonder Satan wants to distort and disrupt that process from happening.
It’s clear that Satan is starting his full court press against Christians. Divinity schools around the country are getting defiled with this kind of propaganda.
Dr. O says
I honestly hate the way some christians treat homosexuals. Are you aware of how many suicides you cause every year? it is a shame on anyone who points a finger at another human to denounce their flaws without first seeing their own. As an atheist we see and understand that humans are all inherently different from each other, yet you would have us believe that we all have to be the same to gain acceptance into a make believe world or avoid eternal punishment. writing an article of this caliber, so low and undignified shows your true colors and exposes you as the hating, bigoted people you really are inside. Go ahead and use the words of the bible to condemn people for the way they were born, those words were once used to keep black men and women shackled, to prevent interracial marriages, to kill entire nations. The fact is there will never be real justice in this world until we all learn to treat and respect each other as equals. Listen to the song, the message might do you good. Shame on you
Beginning and End says
Hi Dr. O,
After such an impassioned plea, does this mean you will no longer be judgmental or mean to Christians but instead accept our difference in a spirit of love, tolerance and unity as you do for gays?
Dr. O says
Will you do the same for all of humanity, regardless of their beliefs, gender, race or sexual inclination? Will you concede that it is not your place to pass judgement on a man or woman for the way nature made them (replace nature with god if you must) just as every species has a percentage of its members born homosexual, will you concede they have equal rights to live, love and worship (or not) as you do and that they are no lesser of a person because of who or how they are? Will you accept that the use of OT scripture to condemn their actions is laughable considering all the surrounding commandments that are no longer enforced by the church? will you admit that if you are a follower of christ and believe in salvation only through him, any human, gay, straight, murderer, pedophile, ANYONE can and will achieve salvation by accepting “the savior” Jesus Christ into their hearts?
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Will you accept that in the eyes of the god you so lovingly cling to, you are as much a sinner as any homosexual you dare point a finger to?
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
You stand in a slippery slope asking me that question and honestly I find it contradictory of your character, which I have come to know. Although I disagree with much of what you write, I respect the passion for research you put into it, but this is a disgrace of an article for any person that dares call himself a christian.
and as far as accepting christians… I do sir. I only reject the actions of some. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have no problems with Jesus… it’s some of his followers that piss me off.
Beginning and End says
You didn’t answer my question.
Dr. O says
I believe I did.
“and as far as accepting christians… I do sir. I only reject the actions of some.”
I’ll detail my answer so you can follow. I accept everyone equally the reason I debate christian or any other religious view is when they contradict common sense and when I am attacked by mu own views. That is a long ways away from telling christians what they can and cannot do, who they can love, where they can and can not work or try to pass laws that treat them like they are any less than myself.Now you on the other hand really did not answer my question. If you believe as you say you do, why not accept everyone as equal, gay or not? it’s not your job to pass judgement or make assumptions about will a god accept or reject a person…so why do you do it? why not live and let live, after all your assumed god will have a line of linebackers ready to tackle all the atheists and homosexuals down to hell right? or is it that you preach one thing but practice another? where is the love and acceptance you talk about while you write complete vile against a fully educated woman just because she’s gay? I bet she could dance circles around you when it comes to theology and divinity studies, why should she not have that position? how are you better? I can only see the hate and air of superiority in your article, and it’s nothing less than ignorance with the occasional arrogance bowtie around its neck. Now, will you answer my question? I will take a leap and say, you will… but will still justify such a hateful and unfair article, so I’ll be ready with a prompt reply, there is no excuse for hatred… especially when you hide it behind a message of love.
Good morning to you Dr. O. I appreciate your service in the military, which must have required some degree of discipline, and I appreciate your desire to discuss differing opinions. However, I must disagree with you on the topic of love and acceptance. My son usually spends most of his time discussing video games or the latest toy, at times to his own detriment (i.e., not doing homework, fighting over the television, etc), because that is his passion and what makes him happy. I love him no less when I discipline him and let him know that his focus is not balanced when it keeps him from taking care of his room, leads him to be rude/disrespectful if he cannot get what he wants, keeps him from following simple instructions like brushing his teeth which if well protected can lead to a long and healthy life as he is able to chew his own food, etc. The point is, if he is so preoccupied with getting his way and doing what he wants that he cannot concern himself with what will bless him in later years, then his passion is wrong.
I accept that my son loves what he loves/enjoys what he enjoys, but I don’t allow him to be overcome by it or think that this is the essence of life. Our GOD (only for those who confess him as LORD, submit to his Lordship over their lives to include believing everything that the Bible says about HIM and follow HIS teachings/WORD) cares for more than just healthy teeth/dentition and oral diet, more than just about us getting along with our fellow man, but the very existence of our souls, and desires to save us from the wrath that all of humanity has been racking up for more than several millennia (John 3:16-18; 3:36; Romans 1:18-32; 5:6-8).
I concede that there have been atrocities committed under the guise of GOD, but this is selfish people trying to justify themselves, much as a military member who unjustly kills a non-combatant during clear non-fighting/non-combat conditions in a foreign land would try to say that they’re just following orders. That military member is only following their own desire, brings discredit upon his fellow Soldiers/Airmen/Sailors/Marines, his command, LOAC, Geneva Conventions, his country and whether he believes in HIM or not, GOD. But this doesn’t suddenly invalidate all of the heroic acts of servicemen/servicewomen who have served before him. This doesn’t invalidate the military as a whole and mean that we must disband all militaries forever because they’re evil, it only makes that individual’s testimony/witness invalid and not to be trusted.
Now on to the case of love, true love that isn’t just a feeling but causes a woman to run into a burning building with no training on how to fight fires to rescue her crying child; that sends a fellow brother in arms into the midst of enemy fire to provide medical care to the fallen/wounded at the risk of his own life (flying in the face of the instinct that the evolutionary hypothesis states is survival of the fittest); that leads a man who believes in GOD to tell a lost and dying soul caught in the grip of a homosexuality (and would also invalidate evolutionary hypothesis as homosexuality is not improvement but regression in the species) about the wrath that their sin is building for them despite being hated by society or called a bigoted judge. True love isn’t guided by emotions, but a sense of caring/desire for the well-being of others despite how it affects the one loving (1 Corinthians 4:4-8a). Love, on the contrary, isn’t watching your child die in a fire because you don’t know the first thing about ducking, rolling and taking cover or staying low in a smoke-filled room. Love isn’t watching someone crippled by an addiction to alcohol and telling them that you only want them to be happy despite the effect the chemical is having on their brains/body. Love isn’t saving yourself when you can possibly save someone else at the cost of your own life/reputation. If you hate someone, you woudn’t even take the time to spit in their mouth if their teeth were on fire, let alone acknowledge that they’re in distress. Hatred is to go out of your way to harm someone or to withhold help when they’re in need of it. As Christians, we are commanded to tell others about their sin and the only way to salvation (Ezekiel 33:7-9; Matthew 28:18-20; John 3:16-18, 36; Acts 1:8, 2:38, 4:12; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 Peter 3:15,16). As mentioned earlier, if others have done maliciously hurt someone/killed someone/encouraged someone to commit suicide “in the name of GOD,” it wasn’t at HIS command, but at their own desire, misguided and misinterpreted as it may have been (2 Peter 3:15,16). And those who commit crimes in the name of GOD are guilty of breaking the third commandment and will be judged accordingly (Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD your GOD in vain – Exodus 20:7). I pray for you as I pray for all, to include myself, that GOD’s light shine into our hearts.
As a parting thought, as an atheist who believes in evolution or no GOD, why should it matter if supposed Christians (those who call themselves such, but don’t live the life) hate? If there is no GOD, there is no standard of right and wrong. If we’re all just evolving, then nothing I do is wrong if it ensures my success. Might makes right, for only the strong survive and the weak are wiped off the face of existence. Why defend the rights of individuals who can’t defend themselves? You’re expending energy on someone who, in the viewpoint of evolutionary hypothesis really doesn’t (or soon via evolutionary processes won’t) matter. Morality has no place in atheism or evolution because there is nothing universal to judge everyone against. But if you believe there is a universal right and wrong, then you must also concede that it occurred before your existence, is outside of your control to interpret as you wish, and therefore is beyond your comprehension as to why or how it was instituted. That sounds greater than a mindless (without conscience or concern for the processes), but something with purpose and care for the little stuff. Just a parting thought. Please forgive me for any errors in logic and feel free to peaceful and cordially/respectful list your objections. Be blessed, may you know the peace (not in the absence of chaos, but in the midst of a storm having assurance that everything has a purpose designed by GOD and not random processes) of a GOD that loved you so much that HE didn’t make you a one-celled organism, a fly, or goat, but instead a human who could reason, understand and question your own existence and purpose as well as HIS. Bye 4 now, and again, thank you for your service.
Thank you for such a civil and passionate reply and for detailing your point of view the way you did. I will not go into much detail regarding your answer as I find myself in the middle of a very busy time at the university where I teach and my minutes are counted these days.
I will however say that your reply follows a line very similar to millions before, that is confusing philosophies and making claims from ignorance (please, know I am not calling you ignorant but stating the name given to this debate mistake). Overall, I understand your point, but your logic is flawed in several ways, such as;
rolling atheism, morality, evolution, abiogenesis, etc., all in one
Making claims based on this mashed philosophy
misunderstanding of scripture (understandable, 99% of people do) by using your english bible and making your interpretations based on the interpretations of the translations of the people who interpreted previous translations, etc.
I will limit myself to saying that atheism makes no claims on morality, love, evolution… on anything! atheism is only rejecting the proposition that there is a god. we make no assertions or claims, have no dogma or world view. Personally I am an agnostic atheist, meaning: regarding the assertion that there is a god, I reject it. Based on my experience, evidence, and studies I cannot accept this statement. On the question, does god exist? i must say, I don’t know, no one does. people either believe he exists or they don’t, but no one alive has that answer.
Regarding punishment, love, rules, morality, evolution, etc. I must say that you should dive into each of those subjects separately as they are individual from one another rather than implicate them all in your statement, I believe you would see the mistake in your reply without the need for me to attempt to show you.
Pardon my brief reply, if you wish to discuss this further or know exactly where I see your mistakes, email me directly. [email protected] I am at your service.
Dr. Manuel Ortiz
Jero Jones says
Bore da/Good Afternoon and Hi to all
Reference: Redefining the Faith? Vanderbilt Divinity School Appoints Lesbian Dean.
I cannot profess that I am a godly man, I am not, however, I know my place in society is to respect the view and religions of all, but that is not to say, I believe their religious view—as my philosophy is to be tolerant!
I have to agree with Dr O, where he argues on common sense (being used when religious views contradict), on equality, and that B&E does not have the right to judge the lives of any man or woman. Of all the gods that I have read about, the monotheist Christian god (if one can call it monotheism, as there are some Christians that believe in a duel god, and others who believe in a trinity), can be so malevolent to his supposed own creation, that he would allow such hatred, and bigotry to be administered his name!
As aforementioned, I gained my beliefs through knowledge, reading the works of early writers, from Pagan, Jewish, Greek, and Christian, etc. None of the faith mentioned, bar-one, felt animosity to one another! The great school and library of Alexandria, Egypt, taught the classic of the ancient world to all creeds and faiths. Some of the greatest mind of the ancient world, became students or teachers at the great learning establishment. Being tolerant of one another was gained through a philosophy or a quest for truth, found through seeking knowledge, which brought harmony and the spirit of fellowship. However, tolerance was overcome by the “hate group,” zealot Christian fundamentalist, who through their small mindedness destroyed, burnt and killed the very essence of peace and learning. Everywhere this “hate group” ventured, death and destruction followed in its wake as well as the burning of the fruits of knowledge. A barbarity they took in the following centuries to the New world (Yr Amerig/the Americas) and to the Far Fast in the form of their heinous Inquisitions. Today the “hate group” is still alive and kicking, spreading their hate and sickness to all who do not believe in their particular retched cause. The heretical wars are back! That said, not all Christians follow this path of hate, bigotry and destruction, the majority have become tolerant of other faith and creeds, and live in harmony with their fellow man! Would it be presumptuous of me to take the words of one great Christian humanitarian, who fought for the rights of his people, and for me to use his words to saying “I Have a Dream” that one day Christians fundamentalist will join the rest of human family, and put aside their hatred, lies and delusions and become citizens of the world with love in their hearts, and “peace and goodwill towards [all] men [and women]?” My words are said not in malice, but in truth, and if I have offended anyone, I am sorry, however, I do not apologize for the Truth!
N.B. Definition of Hate Groups:
A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or any other designated sector of society. According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a hate groups’ “primary purpose is to promote animosity, hostility, and malice against persons belonging to a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin which differs from that of the members of the organization.” The Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) definition of a “hate group” includes those having beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_group%5D
Jero Jones, Mab Cymru
Dr. O says
I apologize for the double post. Don’t really know why it happened, but I didn’t mean to make a double statement.
The “word” homosexual didn’t exist before… Big whoop. A duck by any other name is still a duck. Rejection against the word of God is precisely the reason why this world is headed straight to hell and everyone headed there is doing it with a smile on their face because they’re feeling oh so superior because they get to do whatever they want to. At the end of the day we all have free will. I choose to hold fast to the Word of God and believe in the birth, death and resurrection of His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ as my Saviour. And to those individuals who post on Christian websites that use a lot of words but don’t really say anything… The only thing that you’re accomplishing is to give validity to the word of God by “reviling” those who are attempting to live their lives according to God’s will and not man’s… So thank you for that, eternal life is so much better than anything that this world can possibly offer.ps. Why is it whenever a Christian raises an opinion, they can be called any (and everything) under the sun and not an eyebrow is raised. Why is that not considered hate speech? Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…
Pps. The parents of the students at that school should have removed said children from that institution. You send your child to a Christian school because you expect Christian values and standards to be adhered to. What are the parents doing about this?
Jero Jones says
Bore da/Good morning
You have a beautiful name, it derives from my wife’s name, Jeanne, which is French by the way, however, it saddens me to see young people think the way you do against another human being. I do not condone homosexuality, however I am tolerant of them, my parents who were religious, brought me up to respect other humans, a trait I installed into my children, that we are all equal. You are correct in saying that the world is heading for disaster (I do not believe in a heaven and Hell), a disaster created by religion! 99% of the worlds ail today can be traced to one or more of the worlds religions, and in the last 2,000 years Christianity has been in the forefront of the mayhem. Your attack on the new Dean of the Vanderbilt Divinity school, is no different to the Witch-Hunt, that ravage Europe at the end of the medieval period right up until the mid 18th century, which also hit the Americas in 1692, with the Salem Which-Hunt. The majority of Christian faiths read the Bible, but do not live it! You are in the minority of world Christians, known as Fundamentalism, a mixture of New Earth Creationist, Evangelicals, and the Hate Groups. They are no different to the Islamic fundamentalist, Al Qaeda, Hamas, etc. If you read your Bible, you will see that Jesus was not the ‘Only begotten Son.’ Jesus had brothers and sisters, and if we are to believe another sect of Christianity, Mary, the mother of Jesus was a perpetual virgin! So who was the father of Jesus’ and his siblings?
On validity the word of God, again read your Bible. You will find that the Christian Bible or New Testament (NT) has between 300,000 to 400,000 variations or errors between the known extant Greek manuscripts (5,500 off), compare this to the 181,253 words written in the NT. The NT was written by zealot Christian scribes, not a God! You can see why the consensus of New Testament scholars say that the bible is unreliable, and should be read with caution.
There is no original manuscript to any of the NT books, the oldest extant manuscripts only goes back to 220 CE. The resurrection verses 9-20 in Mark 16, are not part of the original book of Mark, verses 9-20 are forgeries, added at a later date, with the consensus of scholars stating that Mark chapter 16, finished on verse 8! Ehrman, states: the belief in the resurrection is a theological assertion. It is not, and cannot be, based on historical proof.[Dr Bart D. Ehrman, who is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is a leading authority on the Bible and the life of Jesus.] Although a large number of variants are spelling mistakes, one would need many volumes to list the inaccuracies, and a long time, which I do not have!
By all means read your Bible as the majority of Christians do, it is a free world, which was not the case in earlier times, the hierarchy of the Christian church made it a crime for any lay person to read the bible, the punishment was death! It was also a crime to translate the Bible into any language other than Latin, or to own a translated Bible, again the punishment was Death! This was all done in the name of the Christian God!
Christianity did not bring morality into being, morality has always been in the hearts and minds of good people, weather religious or not.
There will never be peace in the world until religious fundamentalism ceases with their bigotry, hate, and narrow mindedness with its wholesale destruction of mankind, through their lack of tolerance to humanity.
Cofion a cael diwrnod da (Regards and have a good day)
Jero Jones, Mab Cymru
What I find absolutely “amazing” is that you read or hear the phrase “Married, Lesbian, Christian as if it’s a “matter of fact”. That’s the part that blows me away………….it’s like it simply rolls off the tongue with no regard to the blasphemy it truly means. It’s possible to be married, it’s possible to be a Christian but it is IMPOSSIBLE SCRIPTURALLY to be a married lesbian Christian. Otherwise you have to start throwing out pretty much all of Ephesians and IF you’re gonna start doing that, you might as well throw the entire book away. You just can’t “pick and choose” what YOU think is GODLY and ignore what GOD says about it. That’s playing GOD and that is one job NOBODY wants………trust me on that.
Message to Dr. O:
So, according to your belief, GOD created homosexuals and then turned right around and said in scripture that a man shall leave his parents and cling to his wife..and the two shall be as one. GOD says that he made them one man and one woman and saw that it was good. You’re asking us to accept and believe that GOD created homosexuality along with heterosexuality. If that’s true, why would he then turn around and “specifically” address what happens when a man turns from his natural affection and commits homosexual acts. That’s like asking GOD to cast out GOD. The BIG LIE is that homosexuality is a gift from GOD (yes, some actually have said this) when in reality homosexuality is a choice that is made somewhere down the road in a person’s life. Are murderers and adulterers simply born that way or have they chosen to be like this at some point in their lives? GOD LOVES the sinner………….GOD CANNOT STAND SIN, but that is why he brought the lamb of GOD into the world to redeem us from what is rightfully ours………….. spiritual death. GOD is the one who can change a person thru the fire and holy spirit………….homosexuals, murderers, thieves, adulterers, liars, on and on and on set them free of that particular bondage (and it is bondage) and bring them into wholeness again..in him. Another BIG LIE is people mistake GOD’s love for his “condoning of sin”. He does NOT condone it. You ever hear anyone go around saying…………well, I’m just a murderer and will keep doing that but praise GOD, I’m saved by grace. How ludacrist is that? Homosexuals who continue to practice that lifestyle are gonna have a hard time convincing almighty GOD that he thinks it’s just fine to live that way and don’t worry about it. If it’s against his word…it’s absolutely against his will. And there is NO DOUBT that the homosexual lifestyle is against his word…..just like a person who practices adultery or murder or anything else one can think of that hurts his fellow man. Dr. O…………..you are a person who is being blinded by religion. Religion has done a masterful job of distorting who GOD really is.
Next time you want to comment to me, do it under my post so I can actually receive it and answer it. I do answer for only one reason and that is the overly exposed ignorance of your post. First you talk of my belief… ??? really? Sir, how can you say –“So, according to your belief, GOD created homosexuals”?, I do not believe in any gods, so no, I don’t believe that. Oversimplifying but, nature, evolution and other natural processes of which I’m sure you have no knowledge of, create life with its infinite diversity, not a god. Regarding your reference to scripture, I have found through many years of study (something I honestly recommend for you) that the bible holds as much truth as the koran, or the torah or the tales of perseus, zeus or spider-man. So, unless you are fully informed on what my actual opinion is, which you most certainly are not, hold your ignorant and hateful comments, you just sound like a child crying for his favorite toy. Now I leave the floor open for what I’m sure will be an outpour of intellectual garbage…. see the post you just read for the answer to any replies you might have 🙂
You apparently don’t lack formal education but many have that but don’t have wisdom. The one common theme in your comments to me is that you felt the need to get personal while I did not. That’s ok though because the certain result of our bantering back and forth is that ONE of us is right and ONE of us will ultimately be wrong. The one that is wrong will have much more to think about however than just being wrong about this. best of luck on all your endeavors Dr. O.
How Can you all spread so much hate to one another I still might be young but i do know the words Jesus used to preach that you should love everyone and be kind to one another that is all that god would ask for to be civilized and nice All i see in these comments is how every gay person ruins your religion and how god should smite them in all reality this world will never be his image because of the hate you preach in his name Nobody SHOULD EVER be treated like trash and hated because they are different we all change and that’s how we grow how do you think we grew in to this society it was with change Everybody Should love and be loved The only thing that should be preached by gods followers is love never hate
Honestly as Christians, I think we go about this the wrong way. Many who are gay have been abused at some point. What we need to do us push for legislators to make molesting and sexually abusing children an offense that is punishable by life in prison.
Beginning and End says
Thanks for your comments. Are you basing your suggestions on Scripture or your own opinion? I only ask because during His Earthly ministry, The Lord Jesus Christ never got involved in politics. He showed no concern for the laws of the day. Instead He was focused on saving souls. Today many churches have gone the political route, lobbying for politicians to make good laws. While there is nothing wrong it, it is not the mandate for the church. The church’s mandate and clear mission from The Lord is to preach His Gospel. Just something to consider. God bless.
He Calls Me Friend says
The “nature” of God must be understood throughout the entire scriptures. God created male and female for procreation. God destroyed cities and flooded the earth due to “unnatural sexual sins”. God made it abundantly clear throughout all scripture that unnatural acts between the same sexes was sin. God gave examples of destruction for sinful behavior. Jesus did not have to explicitly condemn sexual behavior between same sexes. He didn’t have to as Jesus is God and He made it abundantly clear in earlier scripture the punishment for sexual sins. Are all sins equal in the eyes of God?… yes. If my pastor stood in the pulpit and told me he committed an ax murder, but he considered murder ok, because our culture is beginning to tolerate ax murderers, and as a result he was going to continue being an ax murderer, I for one would get up out of the pew and look for another pastor. Sin by any other definition is still sin. If my bible says it’s sin, then that’s what it is. I don’t condemn homosexual behavior, our Almighty Heavenly Father has, and will continue to do so whether I am here or not. Thank you Holy Spirit…
Jero Jones says
Bore da/ Good morning and Hi
Hi, He Calls Me Friend.
Before I comment on your post, I would like to inform you that from the second half of the first century to the third and fourth centuries and onwards, many if not hundreds of gospels were written. From this plethora of gospels, four were chosen as canonical (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), the rest were deemed non-canonical, and destroyed or burnt by the proto-orthodox church. However, posterity has been blessed that over the centuries many of these so-called non-canonical gospels treasures have rediscovered. I mean textual treasures, although the consensus between scholars is that they were all forgeries of antiquity. In 1945 the Nag Hammadi Library was rediscovered, which has a wealth of information for present day scholarship. Between 1941 and 1945, Morton Smith a then young graduate student of Harvard Divinity School, discovered (?) a lost letter (manuscript) in the 5th cent. monastery of Mar Saba, in Palestine, of what is termed the Secret Gospel of Mark. Scholarship is divided on whether the manuscript (letter) is a forgery of the 17th century or modern, or is a copy 17th century copy of an ancient manuscript.
My comments above and the comment to come are written without bias or malice, and are factual, in the sense that the evidence is there for all to see. Unlike you, I do not believe that any of the gospels, canonical or non-canonical where the Inspiration of God, but are inspired by men, and that all the lost manuscripts, including the Secret Gospel of Mark are forgeries, However, the question is: are they ancient or modern forgeries?
Back to your comments, you write as a pious person, and you’re belief is admirable, however, you are not well informed or have taken the time to check your findings of the scriptures, both canonical and non-canonical, etc. You say that unnatural sex is a biblical sin, or a sin against God! I to believe that unnatural sex in any form is unwarranted, however, this is the modern world and we are supposed to love one another, etc. Scholars are unanimous, in that the Secret Gospel of Mark, pertains to a homosexial act between Jesus and a young man. The gospel of Mark goes on to say: And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me.’ But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan.[extract from the Secret Gospel of Mark]
You can check on what I write and say by going on the internet, as you have a computer or some form of modern technology to write your comments, etc.
Jero Jones, Mab Cymru
He Calls Me Friend says
Your intellectual references are vile. Why don’t you just quote other fictional references? Dan Brown, script from Hair, Book of the Dead, etc. The problem with your reasoning is not academic…it is spiritual. The Words of Jesus are troubling to you. The truth angers you and disturbs your reasoning. Jesus’ Word has been troubling non-believers and sinners since the beginning of time. Modern technology, although it can carry the Word, also carries apostate and sinful discussion. When I accepted Jesus as my Savior, baptized in His Name, blessed with the Holy Spirit, blessed with the faith in His Holy Word, nourished by like minded believers, I am comforted and at the same time reprimanded of my own transgressions that I need to pray for forgiveness. I don’t need you or any other intellectual references that you care to spew or attempt to misdirect my faith. I know where that comes from. It is not truthful nor scriptural. To that end, I will not reply to you. In His Holy Name….
Humble Peasant says
If homosexuality was such a grave sin, I think it would have been mentioned much more often in the bible. Doesn’t it fascinate anyone besides me that child abuse is never mentioned even once in the bible? Do you not think that God’s enemies have gotten their hands on scripture and revised a few things to promote an agenda?
The truth is that God has much more important enemies to fight than men marrying men and women marrying women. My point is that anti-homosexuality is a distraction from what we should be paying attention to: the black mass that targets the innocent.
God is not anti-gay. God is anti-abuse. And his enemies are all about abuse.
God loves the sinner but hates the sin. The bible is clear on the fate of the homosexual. The bible is clear on what constitutes a marriage. The bible is clear on obedience. There is such a thing called abstinence through prayer. Enjoy here and now ( temporal ) or eternity. God can help these people overcome. They prefer the lust of the flesh.
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