A Defining Issue for the 21st Century Church

Vantage Point
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In the past several weeks, issues surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons and the church have been at the forefront of my mind.

The topic is important to me because my sister, who is not a Christian, is openly gay. My wife and I have spent a lot of time with her and her partner, Kate, over the past year, and we’ve had several really good conversations about their lives, their relationship, and their experiences at the hands of Christians and the church.

LGBT persons, and the questions surrounding how the church interacts with them, are not going away.

So it pained me to learn that at Synod 2011 several weeks ago, the Christian Reformed Church decided not to “appoint a study committee to consider new biblical and theological resources that have been published since the denomination’s official stance was decided” (“No New Study of Homosexuality,” The Banner, July 2011).

The more I think, read about, and discuss the subject, the more I am convinced that homosexuality will be a, if not the defining theological issue for Christians my age (in their 20s) and younger.

Many young Christians are deeply passionate about their convictions regarding how the church should or should not respond to LGBT people. The recent New York State vote to allow same-sex marriages, for example, filled Facebook and Twitter with strong emotional statements of both support and concern by young adults.

That’s because our beliefs about the nature of homosexuality are drawn from how we see and interpret Scripture and what we believe about the nature of God, sin, justice, and creation itself—many of the core elements of our life of faith.

I believe, therefore, that synod missed an opportunity by not allowing a committee to examine LGBT issues in light of new research. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if synod is not willing to do so soon, it may jeopardize the very future of the CRC. Because LGBT persons, and the questions surrounding how the church interacts with them, are not going away.

The perception by many young adults is that Christians believe God does not love LGBT people. If our denomination cannot say that it continues to remain open to God and has a teachable spirit about how we interact with LGBT people, we’re going to risk alienating many of our young adults—gay and straight alike.

I am not suggesting that synod’s 1973 report on homosexuality is wrong, in part or in whole. I don’t believe I am well educated enough on the topic to make that kind of decision.

But I am suggesting that we as a church need to be open-minded. We need to come together as a community, and with humility and much prayer, examine the fresh scholarship, stories, and perspectives that God has made available to us. That way we can be certain our teaching, preaching, and care regarding LGBT persons is in line with God’s will as best as we understand it.

I know that an honest examination of homosexuality requires time, patience, and a willingness to risk altering beliefs and ideas we have grown up with.

I have found myself on a journey as I know and love my sister and her partner. I feel less sure of my convictions and find myself wrestling deeply with what I believe about God. It has been a beautiful and wonderful experience, and I believe my faith is much better off because of it.

I know I am not the only member of the CRC walking through this. Some are themselves LGBT, while many others care deeply for someone who is. We need wisdom and guidance from a church that we know is leading us with an open mind and an open heart.

It may very well be that after a fresh examination, the church decides nothing needs to change. But denying the CRC an opportunity to study, think, and pray about such a crucial issue as a community denies all of us the chance to continue reforming. And in the end, that will only hamper our witness as we speak to the world, and especially young adults, about homosexuality.

About the Author

A.J. Gretz is a student at Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Mich. He and his wife, Anna, attend Oakdale Park CRC in Grand Rapids.

See comments (38)

Comments

Quite the contrary Mr. "truthmatters."

The Hebrews text is talking about the absurdity of applying Levitical law to contemporary Christian life. The outlandish teachings are yours.

Jesus Christ did not condemn his gay followers.

יש סריסים אשר נולדו כן מבטן אמם ויש סרסים ויש המסרסים על-ידי אדם ויש סרסים אשר סרסו את-עצמם למען מלכות השמים

"For there are some homosexuals, which were born so from their mother's impregnation: and there are some castrated ones, which were made eunuchs by men: and there be celibates by vow, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake" (Matthew 19: 12)

There is an interesting analysis of Leviticus 18: 22; and 20: 13 by Jacob Milgrom, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. This expert on Leviticus says that the prohibition is severely limited. First, it is addressed only to Israel, not to other nations. Second, compliance with this law is a condition for residing in the Holy Land, but is irrelevant outside it (see the closing exhortation, 18: 24-30). Third, it is limited to men; lesbianism is not prohibited.

Moreover, both occurrences of the prohibition (18: 22; 20: 13) contain the phrase "as one lies with a woman" (literally "lyings a woman"), an idiom used only for illicit heterosexual unions. Thus one could argue that same sex relations are forbidden only if their correlated heterosexual unions would be forbidden (such as rape or adultery). The prohibition would not apply to gay men living in committed relationships.

Thus, lesbians, are not mentioned. Over ninety-nine percent of the remaining gays, namely non-Jews, are also not addressed. This leaves a small number of promiscuous Jewish gay men subject to this prohibition. To those who argue that the Bible enjoins homosexuality, a careful reading of the source text offers a fundamentally different view.

Likewise, Paul's words in Romans do not apply to the current discussion about LGBT rights in the CRC. The context of Romans is that ancient Romans worshiped a fertility goddess they called Cybele. Cybele's temple was prominently positioned on top of the Palatine Hill overlooking Rome. Heterosexual Roman men worshipped Cybele by going to the temple, paying a fee and engaging in ritualized sex with castrated Galli priests. This is the practice that Paul was objecting to in Romans.

The idol worship practices Paul complained about in Romans has nothing to do with the issues being discussed in the CRC. No-one is suggesting that married straight men should have sex with castrated clergy during Sunday morning worship services.

@John - interesting that you put the Matthew 19 text in Hebrew. Matthew was written in Greek.

The text refers to eunuchs, not homosexuals - a significant difference.

As for the analysis by Milgrom, it's flawed on several points. 1) The Word of God is whole, so it is not correct to say that there are various dispensations - one covenant for Israel, another for this set of Gentiles, another for these other Gentiles, etc. 2)"lies with a woman" is not used only for illicit unions (though that does predominate) 3)Even if it were, that could also be read to mean a man lying with a man is *always* illicit. 4)Lesbians are not mentioned in part because the reigning assumption was that the man always initiates the sexual encounter.

Finally, I go to the context. Verse 22 says don't lie with a man as you would with a woman, verse 23 says don't have sex with animals. If the former doesn't apply, neither does the second. It's absurd to claim the second doesn't apply, therefore the first must apply as well. To take Lev.18:22 in isolation from the text surrounding it is a mistake.

PNR - The term “born eunuchs” in Matthew refers to homosexual males. Ancient literature indicates that various types of eunuchs were recognized in Jesus’ day. There were “man-made eunuchs,” meaning those who had been castrated. But there are also references to so-called “natural” or “born” eunuchs. This category apparently included males who from childhood seemed incapable of or disinterested in intercourse with women. For example, in the Jewish Babylonian Talmud, which was written several hundred years after Christ but is based on an oral tradition that goes back much further, Rabbi Eliezer refers to “eunuchs by nature” and contrasts them with man-made eunuchs. He asserts that natural eunuchs can be “cured,” a statement not unlike those made about gays by evangelical Christians today. In the same Talmud, other rabbis discuss how a natural eunuch can be identified. The ancient stereotype of “natural” or “born” eunuchs sounds hauntingly like the modern stereotype of gay men as effeminate sissy-boys who need to be “cured” because something is wrong with them.
In the ancient literature natural born eunuchs as a class had a reputation for being attracted sexually to men, rather than women. For example, an ancient Summarian myth about the creation of eunuchs says they “do not satisfy the lap of women.” They were specifically created, the myth says, because they can resist the wiles of women. The book of Sirach, found in the Old Testament of the Catholic Bible, says that embracing a girl makes a eunuch groan. (Sirach 30:20) The Roman playwright Juvenal (who lived near the time of Christ) also refers to natural eunuchs as gay men. Lucian, a Greek satirist who lived about one hundred years after Christ, compares a natural eunuch with a concubine to a blind man with a mirror.

@John-
The mythology surrounding eunuchs did include the notion that they were immune to the wiles of women - it's why eunuchs were put in charge of royal/princely harems. In SOME ancient literature (not all or even most) that strayed into an assumption that eunuchs preferred sex with men.

But the word is "eunuchs", not "homosexuals". It is not the case that Matthew 19:12 definitively supports your views regarding the legitimacy of homosexual sex.

Given that the primary meaning of "eunuch" is a man who is incapable of impregnating a woman, it is not even the most plausible reading of the text in Matthew.

But I have no argument with you regarding whether or not the temptation to homosexual sex came to you "naturally" or not. I did not ask to be tempted by women not my wife, either, but such temptations do come. That it is "natural" doesn't make giving in to it right. The same goes for temptations to lie, or to simply take something that doesn't belong to me - also temptations that have come to me unbidden. But then, we assert that apart from the grace of God in the Holy Spirit we are naturally inclined towards evil, so it's not really a surprise.

I continue to marvel at the lengths anti gay apologists will go to maintain their traditional view. To me the meaning of Matthew 19 is obvious. It shows that Jesus understood and cared about LGBT people. He did not condemn them, he did not tell them they needed to change, he did not call their sexuality a sin. Fortunately for my partner and me, a significant number of CRC people support, affirm and encourage us. This number is growing. More and more, people are rethinking their position and come to understand that there is no valid scriptural basis for the CRC's 1973 position. You are not yet ready to take that step. But to your credit, you are at least willing to engage in thoughtful and respectful dialogue. I appreciate and respect you - even though I disagree with your conclusions. From my experience, it is much easier for people to hold the view that all gay sex is sin if they have no regular contact with gay people. Perhaps God will bless you with a gay acquaintance someday.

@John-
No doubt that reading of Matthew 19 IS obvious to you, John. It shows that Jesus said what you wish he had said. But the word "eunuch" is not, and never has been, a synonym for "homosexual". You argue that it is so on the basis of an occasional metaphorical association. And all I said in regard to that text is that the word there is "eunuch", not "homosexual" and there is a difference. If this were the only relevant text, I might even be inclined to let it pass as, while I don't think the metaphorical use is intended here, it's plausible if Matthew 19:12 is reviewed in isolation of the rest of the Bible.

For my own part, I find it strange how a word that doesn't necessarily mean "homosexual" in Matthew 19 obviously does mean that, but a phrase that rather explicitly means it in Romans 1, or a word that can have very few other possible meanings in 1 Corinthians 6 obviously doesn't mean that. It is strange to me how Leviticus 18:22 is stripped of its immediate context in order to argue the force of that passage away on the basis of the intermediate context that is the book of Leviticus.

But I am not "anti gay" any more than I am "anti" any other sinner - as I believe I mentioned earlier, I do not loathe myself. Nor is it a matter of not having regular contact with gay people. For the most part, I don't think it my business to inquire though some think it essential that I know. In any event, gay or straight, people are people.

I simply cannot see how the Bible supports the claims you make and until I can, I must remain where I am.

The concept of "born eunuch" can only have two meanings. 1) a man born without testicles, or 2) a man born gay. Can we at least agree on that?
If so, then think about the fact that testicular agenesis occurs in about 1 out of every 5 - 6 million male births. Estimates I've seen show a population ranging between 600 to 1 million people (300,00-500,000 males?) in the mid-east during the time of Jesus. Thus it is implausible that Jesus encountered and was referring to this condition. On the other hand, there are numerous examples of the term "born eunuchs" used in reference to gay men during the same time frame as Jesus' ministry. Therefore, it seems obvious that this is the population he was talking about in Matthew. Why is this so troublesome for you? Would it really be that horrible for you to be wrong?

@John,

I'd say it could also mean "impotent" as those unable to bring themselves erect are also at times designated with the word "eunuch". This would broaden the field beyond those merely without testes, too, and whether born or made or chosen, we're talking a relatively small sub-set of the overall population.

Using the word "eunuch" does not preclude your translation. It merely refrains from necessitating it. It leaves the matter open, undecided. As I also said, if I were to look at Matthew 19:12 in isolation, I might be inclined to accept your reasoning.

But it's not isolated, and its ambiguity is insufficient to resolve the question before us. It is better, therefore, to leave the ambiguity in evidence when translating this text.

I love John's way of thinking!

I wholeheartedly agree with Neil (near the bottom of the comments) that many months or years of therapy are necessary to rid oneself of the CRC philosophy that one isn't good enough.

And, I hope to hear more of Future Pastor J in the future!

"Sin is a hideous desease that destroys a person's ability to comprehend its existence. It could be compared to a computer virus that has the ability to hide its presence from the user while it systematically destroys the hard drive. Typically, those who are the most entangled in sin are the very ones who cannot see its presence at work inside them. Sin has the ability to mask itself so well that it can actually make a person who deals with it the least, think he is the most spiritual."-Author Steve Gallagher

Jesus said, "And this is the judgement, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." (John 3:19-21)

"If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth: but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (John 1:6-10)

"For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions"

One of the terrifying realities of God, that the Bible teaches, is that He will give a person what they have shown they desire. The persons mind becomes twisted. No longer is he under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, no longer thinking sanely, because the mind has become depraved. Consumed with lust.

@Dutch Release -

"I wholeheartedly agree with Neil (near the bottom of the comments) that many months or years of therapy are necessary to rid oneself of the CRC philosophy that one isn't good enough"

Uh, it's not the CRC philosophy. It's Bible. We aren't good enough. We can't be good enough. By the grace of God in Jesus Christ, we don't have to be good enough. Jesus is good enough for us.

It is somewhat comforting to know that it takes years of effort to purge that truth from you. I rather wish it had taken longer.

Dear PNR,

I quoted Neil's "CRC philosophy", not the Bible's.

Where in the Bible does it say that the only church is the CRC? Where in the Bible does it say CRC'ers aren't allowed to associate with non-CRC family members?

ha ha. I remember those days, PNR. And yes, they existed just a few years ago. Don't go saying "not all CRC's are that way", because--mine was.

Are there any other skeletons we want to pull out of the CRC closet while we're on the subject, PNR???

@Dutch Release-
I know of no place in the Bible that says such a thing. To my knowledge, the Bible does not mention the CRC.

I was responding to your notion that CRC "philosophy" is that one is not good enough.

Nor would I deny that there were (and are) people in the CRC who both think and act the way you describe. Churches are full of sinners, many of whom think that because they're in church, they're not sinners. There are preachers who think ordination confers on them a certain sanctity that lifts them above the common man, too. I am sorry that the church you attended and grew up in was that way. Have a care that you do not repeat the sins of your fathers, only in a different direction. As my father told me once, "You will sin, but at least be original and don't repeat mine."

@PNR - Neither does the Bible say that gay relationships are sin. See: the following excerpt from The Bible is an Empty Closet by Dr. Ralph Blair.

...as Calvin Theological Seminary Old Testament scholar Marten H. Woudstra says: "there is nothing in the Old Testament that corresponds to homosexuality as we understand it today" and as SMU New Testament scholar Victor Paul Furnish says: "There is no 'text on homosexual orientation in the Bible." Says Robin Scroggs of Union Seminary: "Biblical judgments against homosexuality are not relevant to today's debate. They should no longer be used ... not because the Bible is not authoritative, but simply because it does not address the issues involved. ... No single New Testament author considers [homosexuality] important enough to write his own sentence about it."
http://www.ecwr.org/resources/the-bible-and-homosexuality.html

@John-
You're right. There's more to "relationship" than sex, however, and the Bible does say that homosexual sex is an abomination, i.e., a sin (Lev. 18). It also says that it is a shameful lust and that it is a degradation of the body, as are other sexual sins (Rom 1).

As for the "no single NT author...write[s] his own sentence about it", I'd say Paul's statement there in Romans 1 is just such a sentence and therefore Robin Scroggs is inaccurate. I might declare biblical judgments against adultery, or usury, or fraud "not relevant to today's debate" and get rid of the entirety of the law of God. Saying it's not relevant doesn't make it irrelevant. Wishing doesn't make it so.

V. P. Furnish is also inaccurate, since the Rom. 1 text refers to the lust for another of the same sex as "shameful". Unless, of course, like Scroggs you just snip that bit out of the Bible.

Woudstra is correct after a fashion. Then again, there's nothing in the OT that corresponds to adultery as we know it today, war as we know it today, farming as we know it today, finance as we know it today, clothing as we know it today, literature as we know it today... Mayhaps Dr. Wouldstra would prefer to simply excise the OT from the Bible and be done with it then? But "corresponds to" is very different from "applies to", and there is much in the OT that applies to all these things, including Lev. 18.

Except you don't accept that reading of Lev. 18 or Rom. 1. But if you can eliminate the relevant texts as now "irrelevant", it's very easy to say the Bible doesn't say anything on any given topic. Selective memory makes self-justification very easy.

I am sick and tired of your condescending allegations that bible scholarship that does not agree with your narrow view is an attempt at “self justification.” One could just as easily direct such dismissive comments back at you. You are the one trying to justify the exclusion of LGBT Christians from the CRC faith community.

@John-
I'm not trying to exclude LGBT people from the CRC. Not in the least. I make no effort to exclude any sinner from the church or the portion of it that is the CRC. I am only arguing that acts described in the Bible as sinful are still sinful, and that the texts which so describe them are not "irrelevant" just because someone says they are, no matter how many degrees that someone may have.

The fact is, these "scholars" are merely attempting to adjust the evidence to fit their pre-established conclusion. One of the ways they do so is by declaring all texts that might be contrary to that conclusion as "irrelevant". Another way of doing it is by saying the plain meaning isn't what it means.

I mean, seriously, Rogers argued in his book that the compound word in I Cor 6:9 couldn't mean what it has always been understood to mean because "understand" doesn't mean we stand under something. Boswell says that "unnatural relations" can't mean gay sex because for gays it's natural, so Paul is only talking about heterosexuals who have gay sex in Romans 1. That kind of reasoning might win points with 7th graders, but it ain't scholarship no matter how many $64 words they use. It is an effort at self-justification. People have been doing this kind of thing ever since Saul offered the burnt offering himself at Gilgal (I Sam 13).

Well, I can prove anything I want if I can declare any counter-evidence "irrelevant" or just re-write it to suit me. If you find it condescending to point that out, I can't help that.

@PNR

You made some excellent points. Jesus upped the ante even more when He said, 'whoever looks at a person to lust after them has committed adultery with that person in their heart'. Not only are the acts of sex sinful, but the Bible says our heart condition is desperately wicked. I believe the CRC's position on sex and homosexuality is weak. Jesus stated further that we should despise the value of our eyes and even our hands more than the value of our soul, He said, 'If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell'. Mt. 5:29-30

Well, truthmatters must be perfect if he can type with all ten fingers and see the computer screen with his two eyes, cuz....if he took that approach literally........

FYI, guys...most of us grew up in the church...we can quote the Bible with the best of 'em. You're not impressing us when you use Scripture to attempt to prove a (your) point.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

(when you use Scripture out of context)

@Dutch Release-

The issue in question is, in part, whether or not we ARE taking the Bible out of context. Mere assertion is insufficient to resolve that issue, I'm afraid.

I have repeatedly offered in these comments my reasons for believing both the text and the context require a reading that homosexual sex is sin. I have received in response largely arguments from expertise ("so-and-so with umpty-squat degrees at big-name university says..."), argumentum ad hominem ("if you disagree with me, you're a wicked pharisee who hates gays!"), non-sequiturs ("loving people means approving of what people do"), argument by fiat ("any text that might justify your hateful position is irrelevant"), and so on.

What I have NOT seen, either in the books to which I have been referred by those arguing for accepting homosexual sex, or by the posters here, a cogent, well-reasoned argument from the biblical texts. Indeed, the arguments put forward by folks like John Boswell and Jack Rogers (as well as the fragments of other arguments put forward by John below) are remarkably juvenile, inconsistent, and implausible. Frankly, were I to argue for your position I could do better.

I do not claim perfection. Nor do I hate you or anyone else. I say only that I am bound to the Bible as divine revelation, and that I cannot see a way clear to read it such that homosexual sex is not a sin. I make no effort to exclude sinners of any sort from the Church or from the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

I'm not "arguing" any position.
I will, however, point out flaws in yours.
Do you exclude divorcees from remarrying in your church?
Doubtful.
Now you know how silly your argument looks to gays.
Pick and choose--that's a job well-done by the CRC.

@Dutch Release-

You would rather we did exclude divorcees from remarrying then? You think we should be so unforgiving?

It is not picking and choosing. The divorcee acknowledges the sin entailed in the divorce, repents, seeks forgiveness, and receives grace and the Church participates in that - sin, repentance, forgiveness, and grace. What you ask is that we deny the sin, and thus deny the need for repenting, forgiveness, or grace.

It may seem silly to you, but forgiveness of sin is very different from denial of sin in the first place.

I guess you're not too familiar with the biblical perspective of divorced people remarrying.

The Bible forbids it in most circumstances.

The CRC allows it.

You look like a joke to gay people, sir.

PICKING AND CHOOSING!

@Dutch Release-

I am quite familiar with what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage.

"Most" is not "all", nor is "forgiveness and restoration" the same as "it is not sin". That these simple distinctions are lost on you is likely a result of the bitterness you harbor in your heart towards the CRC. I can do nothing about that bitterness, so I can do nothing to help your comprehension.

I am glad my appearance offers you some amusement, however. Cold comfort is, I suppose, better than no comfort at all.

Why do some Reformed denominations refuse to allow ANY remarrying after divorce? Because of their interpretation of the Scriptures.

Again, the CRC has "faltered" from the "infallible" truths of the Word. (They pick and choose which "sins" to attack).

You are the epitome of this picking and choosing, sir. A joke. And it's a joke no one's laughing at.

@Dutch Release-

As I say, your bitterness blinds you.

But for the sake of those reading this who are not so blinded, I repeat: I do not say divorce is not a sin, or that there are no consequences for it. So I am not "picking and choosing which sins to attack". I am only saying that homosexual sex is also sin.

And I respond to penitent sinners of all stripes with the grace of Jesus Christ.

You're not too familiar with Jesus' commands on remarrying! Read up on it. The CRC allows remarried individuals to be members NO-MATTER-WHAT, no matter what/how/why the divorce happened! We all know it! Why would they be any different with gays? Because they pick and choose. PICK-AND-CHOOSE.

And no, I'm not bitter. I've defended the CRC mannnny times to outsiders who've heard things about the church (as of late, I've often wondered why). Because you call me bitter, doesn't make it so. Perhaps you wish I were; then I would disappear. Sorry, pal, ain't happening.

@Dutch Release-
Your language and tone certainly bespeak bitterness and resentment, but I'll let that pass.

The CRC allows all manner of sinners to be members - liars, cheats, thieves, adulterers, even child-molesters, murderers and blasphemers. We have never made being sinless a condition of membership. Not officially. To that end, we do not forbid homosexuals from being members, either.

Like many churches, there have been (and are) instances and congregations where the appearence of sinlessness is a requirement, but that's not what we're talking about. Neither is this a stance held in high esteem within the CRC. We recognize that no church, no human being, no human institution, fully lives up to its ideals - at least, not if its ideals are worth having.

What you - and others here - have been trying to argue is that homosexual sex is not sin. I find those arguments unpersuasive.

Your latest effort - pointing out that somebody else sins in a different way - is a very juvenile argument, like a grade-schooler trying to get out of trouble by pointing out that Johnny is much worse. Even if I concede your point and agree, for the sake of argument, that the CRC is full of hypocrites and judgmental heathens straining out gnats while swallowing camels, it would have no bearing on the question of whether or not homosexual sex is sin. Someone might get away with murder, but a lie is still sin. Someone might get away with adultery, divorce, and remarriage, but homosexual sex is still sin.

The issue at hand (read "A Defining Issue for the 21st Century Church") is the CRC's (and your) obsession with ostracizing the homosexual compared to other sinners.

And yeah, I've pointed that out. You've proven my point.

@Dutch Release-

But I don't ostracize homosexuals compared to other sinners, nor am I obsessed with homosexuals, heterosexuals, homosexuality, or ostracizing people.

It seems many choose to feel ostracized by the insistence that the actions they choose are sinful. That is regrettable - and it's not just homosexuals. Sinners of all sorts in this day and age seem to define "grace" as not needing it, since grace seems to mean nothing they do is really a sin.

So I don't know what you think you've proven.

All one has to do is count the number of comments you make on homosexual articles compared to any other articles. My point is proven.

@Dutch Release-

Count away. It proves nothing.

Firstly, you may recall a request made by the editor of the BANNER to restrict one's self to particular areas so as not to monopolize the discussion on the site as a whole. I thought it a valid request.

Secondly, many of the other articles result in a string of "amens", either for the article, or for various comments posted in response to it. There is no need to repeat myself there. In regards to this particular topic, the discussion is more often worth continuing as there is, in fact, a discussion and not merely "What he said, Yeah!" kind of cheerleading.

Thirdly, defamation and argumentum ad hominem are too often the argument of choice (on both sides of this question), as your own "argument" makes clear. A greater effort is required to pull us back to the Scriptures which are supposed to be the source of what we believe and teach.

This last, by the way, could more legitimately be called an obsession for me. As long as we're both trying to figure out what the Bible says, we've got some common ground. That is the foundation laid by the Apostles. Get away from that, and you're building on clouds.

Here are some websites that may help LGBT CRC members:

Evangelicals Concerned
http://www.ecwr.org/

The Gay Christian Network
http://www.gaychristian.net/index.php?

Gay Christian 101
http://www.gaychristian101.com/index.html

Soul Force
http://www.soulforce.org/

Would Jesus Discriminate?
http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.com/

Christian Gays
http://www.christiangays.com/

Gay Christian Survival Group
http://gaychristiansurvivors.com/

Gay Christian Online
http://www.gaychristianonline.org/

If we should consider changing the CRC’s position on homosexuals and homosexualism via a new study, what would be a logical, biblical possible result of that study? What is your hypothesis?

For quick reference on CRC’s current position: http://www.crcna.org/pages/positions_homosexuality.cfm

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