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ESTABLISHING PEOPLE IN GOD’S WORD SINCE 1970

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A Call To Prayer Concerning Same Sex Marriage

  
  
  
This post is NOT from Kay or David Arthur or any member of the Precept Ministries staff.This  was written by a guest blogger, a lawyer with insight and experience into the issue of civil rights.

This is a call to prayer.

same sex marriage, Bible, Precept MinistriesBut first I need to give you a little backdrop on an issue where I feel the Evangelical church has profoundly failed to be like Jesus Christ in that in John 1:14, He was “full of grace and truth” – this is an issue that we have be lacking on both fronts. By this June, homosexual “marriage” could be forced upon America by the Supreme Court.

On today and Wednesday of this week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear 2 cases:

  • Hollingsworth v. Perry – A challenge to California’s state constitution which defines marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman.
  • United States v. Windsor – A challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, that defines marriage for all federal law purposes as between 1 man and 1 woman.

In both cases, President Obama and his administration are supporting same sex marriage.

The proponents of “homosexual marriage” says that all of these laws defining marriage between one man and one woman violate the United States Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection and should be struck down. The homosexual activists in these cases have won in ALL lower courts.

Implications of the Case

  • First and foremost, this is attack on the institution of marriage that God defined and created – we could talk for days about the grave consequences if the attack succeeds. But one effect, is that this decision will make it the law of the land that children do not have the right to be raised by both their mother and their father.
  • Second, homosexual marriage is the greatest threat to religious liberty in our nation’s history. There have been ongoing attempts to make speaking Biblical truth on homosexuality hate speech. For example, in Alberta, Canada a pastor was fined thousands of dollars and ordered to apologize to any homosexuals he had offended by citing Biblical truth in a letter to a newspaper editor. You are probably thinking "Well, that could never happen here!" Are you sure? If homosexual marriage becomes “the law” then it will be protected under our discrimination laws. This means discrimination suits could be individuals, businesses, & churches who believe homosexuality is wrong.
  • We have seen examples of this already here in the US. Elaine Huguenin, a Christian photographer in New Mexico was fined $7000 for refusing to photograph a homosexual “commitment ceremony”. Last June the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and forced her to pay the fine. United Methodists in New Jersey were sued for not allowing a lesbian “civil union” at their church-owned campground. The court ruled against the Methodists.
  • Adoption laws around the country that limit adoption by couples to married couples would have to permit adoptions by homosexual “spouses”. Catholic Charities of the Boston Archdiocese was forced to stop adoptions after over 80 years of service and close their adoption agency because they refused to do adoptions to same sex couples.
  • Counseling students are being kicked of some graduate programs because they won’t counsel homosexual couples to stay in homosexual relationships.
  • Chick-Fil-A was strongly attacked for defending traditional marriage.
  • Louie Giglio effectively uninvited from praying at the Presidential Inauguration because 20 years ago, he gave a clear, Biblical message on homosexuality and offered the gospel as the remedy for sin. Activists quoted in the New York Times called on him to repent or say whether his views on homosexuality had “evolved” like President Obama’s.

Albert Mohler, President of Southern Seminary said

“This is precisely what biblical Christians cannot do. While seeking to be gentle in spirit and ruthlessly Gospel-centered in speaking of any sin, we cannot cease to speak of sin as sin. To do so is not only to deny the authority of Scripture, not only to reject the moral consensus of the saints, but it undermines the Gospel itself. The Gospel makes no sense, and is robbed of its saving power, if sin is denied as sin…. If you are a Christian, get ready for the question you will now undoubtedly face: “Do you now or have you ever believed that homosexuality is a sin?” There is nowhere to hide.”

What Can YOU DO?

1. Recognized that we are losing freedoms because we have allowed complacency to outweigh the Biblical mandate to be salt and light.

2. VOTE! Approx. 30% of self-described evangelicals didn’t vote in last election. Every single office matters – local, state, and federal.

3. Biblically evaluate your media choices – does your family “entertainment” consist of prime time television shows and certain popular Hollywood movies? If so, then you and your children receive countless pro-homosexual messages. This is in addition to what is promoted by our President, taught in many public schools, and promoted as diversity in major corporations.

4. Get in the Word of God!  Read Genesis 1, Genesis 19, Leviticus 18, Judges 19, I Kings 14, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1, and Jude. The Word of God is not silent on this issue. Find out what it says for yourself.

Prayerfully:

In accordance with 1Timothy 2:1-2, pray for those in authority, specifically Supreme Court Justices, and President Obama.

Pray for yourself. Are you equipped on this issue? Or are you fearful to speak God’s grace and truth on this issue to those involved in it?

Pray for homosexuals. Have you been content to have ill feelings toward homosexuals, or do you desire their salvation and freedom in Christ?

Prayer List:

1. Supreme Court Justices (clerks, etc.) – esp. Justice Kennedy – that they would upheld the law passed by the United States Congress and millions of voters in California who, like those in most other states, voted to affirm the Biblical definition of marriage in their state constitutions

2. Supreme Court advocates – Charles Cooper & Paul Clement – for rest, for clarity of thought, for powerful speech and for cogent answers in response to every question; for their opponents, confusion and stumbling, which is what acceptance of their position would cause

3. President Obama & his administration – Ps. 33:12

4. Christians in our church, city, state, and nation – that they and their children would (1) be Biblically minded on this issue, (2) be equipped to share the hope of the Gospel on this with their co-workers, neighbors, and family members, (3) that we would do this like Christ would, full of grace, but never wavering on truth, without which they don’t know they need grace.

Wrapping it up.

We agree with our guest blogger that the Word of God must be our foundation for all of our responses to any issue we face. In this case you must study the Bible for yourself, becasue we can not depend on what others say the Bible says about sex. 

These two resources will help you determine what the Bible says for yourself. 

  

 

Comments

It is sad that "religion" is still divided on accepting people as God created them and continues to call for division.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:59 AM by April
Praying for our future..and my children's. That God does not turn away from us. Thank you for providing the scriptural references to help me with my prayers.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:00 AM by Desiree
I'm praying in agreement to ur prayers
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:04 AM by christina banda
So often when confronted with gay life style posts on the social network FaceBook I have taken a stand in love to those who are caught in this sin. I have been fiercely attacked, called a bigot, and accused of hatred when in fact I tried to speak the truth in love. If you take a stand on this issue be prepared you WILL be attached and harshly by people you thought were friends. Do not look for support from your Christian friends becuase they are scared to death, you are out there alone!!! We are in the cross hairs of God's judgement, I shudder to think what will happen to us as a nation as a world for the wicked acts we engage in everyday. Yes, we need to pray for our govenment officials, for those caught in this sin, for those trying to fight this. Thank you for taking a stand when churches are becoming more and more permissive and expecting God to meet thier standards instead of praying that they measure up to God's!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:07 AM by Betty M
Praying for our nation and everyone involved in these two court cases.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:11 AM by LT
I so appreciate the call to prayer! The following resources were mentioned in church Sunday: Erwin Lutzer's book "The Truth About Same Sex Marriage," and the Culture Shock DVD "What to say to a gay friend" with Chip Ingram. Praying for our nation and for our response as believers.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:09 AM by Aimee
Thank you for speaking out on this issue.  
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:26 AM by Brenda P
Leviticus 18, assuming that you are referring to verse 22 in regards to the post’s topic, that you prayfully reference reads: “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable’ (NIV). This is one that stood out to me while reading this. If you are going to prayfully reference Leviticus than maybe you should also mention Leviticus 25:44 that states that one may possess slaves, both male and female as long that they are purchased from neighboring nations. Leviticus 11:10 states “But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean.” Is eating shellfish just as ‘sinful’ as same-sex love? Leviticus 21:20 is a good for all of you who wear glasses, which states that one may not approach the alter of God if you have a defect in your sight. According to Leviticus, haircuts must be sinful as well for in Leviticus 19:27 it states “do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” Here’s a good one for all your Monday Night Football fans, for in Leviticus 11:6-8 it forbids the touching of the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. The list goes on— Leviticus 19:19 states that by planting two different crops in the same field, mate two different animals, and do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material. The list can continue so saying homosexuals are a threat to the traditional marriage that God created could equally be balanced by saying that fisherman, hairdressers, eye doctors, and football players are threatening your beliefs as well. The Bible has 31,173 verses and only six of those mention homosexuality. I am a religious man who has a heart that is on fire for the Lord and I also am dating a man who I love very much. I do not appreciate you or anyone else subjecting me as a threat to you or anyone else. I know God loves me and you should to. Prayfully getin the Word of God and read Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:37, Luke 10:27.  
Thank you for you time and God Bless you. Love is Love  
 
Micah Mills 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 1:25 PM by Micah Mills
While I don't believe in same sex marriage or that being gay is right, I also believe that even IF back in the day when Jesus was around, he would still love them no matter what. I don't have to agree with them, I don't have to like it, I don't have to do it. They will know my views and can take that as they will, but I will not hate them or call them out either as I have no right to judge anyone. For my family, I avoid all shows and references to gays as much as possible. I also think that in society's attempt to be more 'open minded' we have actually made things harder for our kids. Kids in middle school or just starting high school feel the need to label themselves as gay, bi, or straight. There are no need for labels. They are still KIDS and as such do not yet fully know their own minds, but to pigeonhole themselves at such an early age because they feel like they have to is just horrible and I think a big part of this issue.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:23 PM by Summer
I have been trying to memorize the beatitudes and when it comes to "“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." I thought to myself, will we be subject to persecution here in the USA? And now I realize that is exactly what is happening with this issue. If we stand for the Biblical meaning of marriage, we are considered bigots, homophobes and the very people who pride themselves on their "tolerance" refuse to respect those who do believe in the authority of scripture.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:26 PM by Frances Winslow
I remember my mom,a very strong loving woman that loved the lord most deeply. But she struggled with the understanding,the truth and for the love of Gods people. A wise close Pastor friend told her that we were all still Gods children and that we just love and pray for them. My point is that God didnt say let the government take responsibilty and rein over the situation! All of Gods children have responsibilities and we need to get out there and vote! The government has had the right for so long to keep changing human lives and causing more problems that they cant see where they need to draw the line. We have become so corrupt in our thinking that it is now easier to just stay corrupt and give the government more control so we dont have to stand accountable. We need to STOP,VOTE and STAND together!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 3:31 PM by Donja P
Jesus hung out with sinners. He loved them. He called them out and changed them, then told them to go and sin no more. What he didn't say was, "This is how I made you. Stay in your harlotry, your tax-collecting thievery, your drunkenness, your idolatry, your hate, your sexual orientation...". Love has EVERYTHING to do with it. He loves us too much to leave us where we are in relation to the sin in our lives. Are we all sinners? Yes. Does he love us all? Yes. Are we all called to change? Absolutely. I'm praying for our nation. For ALL of us to step up to the holy life the Father has called us to.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 4:18 PM by Lindsey Pearson
I find it funny how you people can call yourselves 'Christians'. Throughout the Bible, not once did Jesus mention homosexuality. (How's that pork, by the way?)  
So quick to judge, yet Jesus spent plenty of time in the company of a prostitute. He never once judged her. 
 
I find it sad how people are devolving. You put your faith in a book that preaches incest and tell tall tales of a big boat containing teo of every animal on this planet, but you don't stop to see that you're about as Christian as a Hindu at a Satanist convention. 
 
Ignorant fools! 'God' damn you or your sin of judging when the Bible clearly states that only God may judge, hen God clearly tells you that you must not do so.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 6:01 PM by Johan
God created male and female for marriage.Are we going to say HE was wrong !
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 6:28 PM by Margaret
The very first family was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 6:55 PM by D. Willis
Lord have mercy on us!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:35 PM by Maria
Micah and Johan, 
Christians are not bound by many of the laws that God gave to the Israelites. In Mark 7 and Acts 10 Jesus and God declare the food laws to be no longer in effect. A good searchable resource that explains many of these questions iswww.gotquestions.org 
 
However, not only did Jesus warn against practicing sexual immorality, he made what was viewed as sexual immorality more strict, not less strict. He said to even look at someone lustfully was to commit adultery, and warned of the severe eternal consequences. Because he was ushering in a period of grace, he ended the harsh punishment of death for adultery in the hopes that people would repent, leaving their sin behind and turning to God. This is what he wants for you and for anyone clinging to their sin - to repent from our sins and to seek God's loving help.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:33 PM by Brenda4Joy
Brenda,  
 
Contrary to popular belief homosexuality is not just sexual intercourse and acts. Maybe you should go read a book or talk to someone. People that cite the Bible as a justification to denying others their legal rights are insane. If you are willing to claim that you stand up for Biblical principles- then stand up for them! But that means stand up for all of them, don't just stand for the ones that give you a person to hate or an easy victim to others... I have no problem with people standing up for their religion, but I have a big problem with people standing up for hate and trying to say it's because of religion. Thank you for your time and God Bless. Love is love.  
 
Micah Mills
Posted @ Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:31 AM by Micah Mills
Micah, 
What did I say that seemed hateful? I don't hate you and I am sure that God loves you. I am also sure that God loves me despite all the wrong things that I do. However, I know that God hates sin and he wants us to get rid of it. You can't get rid of the sin in my life and I can't get rid of your sin; that is between you and God. I wouldn't tell an acquaintance or a stranger that they shouldn't behave a certain way, because that is none of my business. That would be like someone walking up to me and saying, "Hey, you're fat; put down that ice cream cone!" That would be rude. I might counsel a close friend about their sins, but I would hope they would know I'm not saying it because I'm trying to judge them, but because I care about them and want what is best for them. However, the reason we are debating in the public square whether or not people should have homosexual relationships, is because homosexuals are trying to redefine marriage. When government stomps across sacred ground with their muddy boots on, and dares to rewrite one of God's most fundamental laws and dishonor one of God's most honored institutions there is going to be a tremendous outcry over that sort of injustice. 
 
Since hearing God's decrees irritates you, let's try looking at the debate logically. If a group of people wishes to redefine the culture's view of right and wrong behaviors, how do they do that? Could they say, for example, that burglary should no longer be considered a crime, but a legal way to earn an income, and that people who think that burglary is wrong are just bigots? After all, God or nature gave them the desire to steal things in order to make a living. You may say that burglary is wrong because it infringes on other people's rights to their property, but homosexual laws are already infringing on other people's rights, and they are just getting warmed up. A wedding photographer was fined $7,000 for not agreeing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. Why should a citizen who believes that celebrating and encouraging sinful behavior is a sin be forced by their government to participate in a ceremony that they are uncomfortable with or else be deprived of their property by means of a hefty fine? The answer hinges on the argument about whether homosexuality is a behavior or a trait, and if it is a behavior, is it an immoral behavior (sin) or simply an innocuous preference? 
 
I would argue that homosexuality is a behavior, rather than a trait, because it is the result of a person's desires. Unlike a person who was born with a particular skin color, or hair color and unlike a person who was born with a disability like Down's syndrome or blindness, homosexuality is not a physical trait or set of abilities but a set of desires and choices and actions. I would compare it to the desire to over-eat. Just as over-eating and being sedentary causes obesity and health problems and self-esteem issues, homosexual behavior causes well-known personal natural consequences, like sexual diseases and bowel problems and psychological issues. No one calls people who advertise diet plans and gym memberships bigots, so why are people who logically see homosexual behavior as unhealthy attacked and persecuted? It wouldn't make sense for the government to encourage people to commit themselves to staying fat and it doesn't make sense for the government to encourage people to sign a contract that binds them to a sexually unhealthy behavior either.  
 
Most homosexuals agree that certain sexual behaviors are wrong, like sex with children or with animals. Also most homosexuals think that having more than 2 people in a marriage is wrong. Why? Why stop at 2? If people are going to redefine marriage, why can't it be whatever anybody and their dog wants it to be? Because that is not what it is. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman, for a lifetime. It is the fundamental building block of society, which no earthly government has the right to redefine. Chocolate milk is not chocolate milk if you use 2 parts milk and no chocolate or 2 parts chocolate and no milk. It is only chocolate milk if you combine milk with chocolate. In the same way marriage is not marriage if it is made with 2 men or 2 women, but only a woman and a man are the essential ingredients that make a marriage. It is not rocket science; it is obvious that a man's sexual organs were made to fit with a woman's. Also, a man's strengths and weaknesses tend to compliment a woman's strengths and weaknesses. Just as you can't call burglary a socially acceptable profession and you can't call over-eating a healthy lifestyle, you can't say that homosexual love is the same as heterosexual matrimonial love, because it is not. I'm not saying this to hurt you or to judge you or to put you down, I am simply debating an issue that effects the institution of marriage. 
 
I understand that you probably decided a long time ago to label any view that differs from your's as ignorant, insane or hateful, but I assure you that I am none of the above. I'm one of the sweetest, most empathetic people you'll ever meet. And I have studied this subject for years. I could write a book about it. I do have a bi-sexual acquaintance. I also know several parents of gay adult children who do not support gay marriage. With all of their hearts, these parents grieve over their children's attitude towards their inappropriate sexual/relational behavior. They still love their children; they are far from ignorant; they are kind and gracious, but they don't attempt to redefine words in an attempt to make what is wrong seem like it is right. I can only imagine how extremely difficult it would be to repent of a sin that you've shared with a person that you love, especially when you feel like that behavior defines your personal identity and your relationship. However, I assure you that your identity as a person of worth and as a child of God is the greater essence of who you are, and that you can find a joyful life apart from any sin that tries to keep you captive. 
 
Now, back to the Bible. The effort to justify our wrong behaviors has been around since the first sin ever committed by man (& woman). When God confronted Adam about disobeying his clear instructions, Adam blamed God and Eve: he said, "God, the woman that YOU gave me – she gave me the forbidden fruit". Then, Eve blamed it on the devil. But God held each of them responsible for their disobedience. Because of this curse we are all born "that way" – with some sort of sin in our hearts. However, that is no excuse; God still holds each of us responsible. Thank goodness that Jesus' death paid our way to be reconciled to God and to regain power through the Holy Spirit over our sins. "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:8-9
Posted @ Wednesday, March 27, 2013 2:35 PM by Brenda4Joy
Brenda,  
 
Thank you for your sharing your views. I hope that someday you meet someone is homosexual and that man (or woman) show you the child of God they are. We will obviously not see eye to eye on this subject,so with great restraint for many things I would like to tell you and explain, I am going to hold back. Maybe our paths will cross someday, but if not I hope light is shined in your path of beliefs dealing with homosexuals because I think you have some skewed views on the issue. Thank you for you sweet and precious time, Brenda. Love is love. Matthew 5:44.  
 
Micah Mills
Posted @ Wednesday, March 27, 2013 3:21 PM by Micah Mills
Micah, 
Thank you for your reply. It seems that we have made some progress as you seem to be less angry at me and aware that I don't feel hatred towards you or anyone else on the other side of this issue. Your reply was much more kind than the last one. I appreciate that. Sincerely. 
Posted @ Wednesday, March 27, 2013 3:31 PM by Brenda4Joy
Great dialogue - thank you for being real in your responses. I have been convicted with many others recently that we Christians like to categorize our sins nice and neatly - and of course what WE think is worse and not so bad.  
 
But if the bible calls/defines something as sin - who am I to disagree? What are my credentials, training, intelligence that I can disagree with my CREATOR? with God? I submit to His authoritative word.  
 
He tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all need a rescue - regardless of our sin.  
 
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 That we Christ followers are ambassadors for Him - and God is making His appeal THROUGH us - and our message is to BEG people to be reconciled to God. But how? How can one be reconciled with God if we are in sin? Verse 21 tells us - God made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin ON OUR BEHALF so that we might become the righteousness of God. Wow! 
David Arthur, Precept Ministry
Posted @ Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:16 AM by Precept Team
I have read through most of the posts above and I am inclined to disagree with a lot of you. 
I was raised a Christian, I was convinced that there is only one god and that he created the world. I started to question many things and I have asked numerous people in the church to answer these questions for me. The only real conclusion that I could come to was that the Bible is nothing more than a collection of stories that have no real meaning unless you choose to give them meaning. 
It preaches incest, war, vengeance, mindless murder... 
 
I cannot believe in a god that allows bad things to happen to the people he had created. I cannot believe in a god that allows the innocent to suffer so that the guilty can live happy and free. 
 
Take the witch trials. How many innocent people had to die because "God said so". 
 
Ignorant fools. That is all you are. You believe blindly and are too scared to question. That is pathetic. Faith is a strange thing, but when you blindly put your faith in something without giving it any thought it becomes a dangerous thing. 
 
Jesus kept the company of a prostitute, that was acceptable. I was friends with a prostitute and for that I was condemned. Why? Because I saw good in someone that society would only approve in secret? 
 
So bloody what it two guys want their union legalized? If you can allow members of the same family to marry, why not queers and dykes? I love my gay brother and my lesbian sister. I would have their happiness above anything! So damn you for being relatively UN-CHRISTIAN about the matter. And I thank the proverbial god that I am not an American and that the union my brother and his boyfriend share is legal and binding. 
 
One last thing - Tell me, word for word with page and chapter numbers, where in the Bible did Jesus once mention that it is wrong for a man to be with another man and anywhere in the Bible that it is mentioned that a woman may not have sex with another woman! 
 
No, it won't change my mind about anything, I just want proof. And, maybe if the holier than thou among you can prove to me beyond the benefit of doubt that there is a "God", that will be cool as well. 
 
This matter is selfish and unnecessary. Gay marriage will not destroy your marriage unless you intend to have a gay marriage. 
 
Blessed be the man that can allow another peace and happiness. 
Blessed be the man that will not judge, that will accept and respect the choice of another without condemning him. 
 
Blessed be the world where love is the only religion and hatred holds no place. 
And blessed be the man that can love another man with all his heart and not have hate or fear for those who will rather see him dead than happy!
Posted @ Tuesday, April 09, 2013 7:46 AM by Johan
Hi Johan,  
 
Thanks for joining the conversation. Sorry for not being able to reply sooner, but it took me a long time to respond to all of the topics that you raised. I will try to answer your questions as best I can. I assume that all Christians at some point have questioned the hard parts of the Bible. God doesn't ask us to blindly follow him, but he invites us to come and reason with him. Please let me know if you need any additional Bible references that I may have left out. 
 
The Bible talks about incest, personal vengeance and murder, but it does not condone these behaviors. The Bible exposes all of the people that are recorded in its history as being sinners. It is confusing, because some of these people also demonstrate that they love God and often make wise and good decisions, and they are praised for their faith in God; but that does not make them perfect. There was only one perfect man, and that was Jesus. Before God gave the law against incest in Lev. 18:6-18, the people recorded in the Bible's history who married half-sisters or the like, were not breaking the law, because it hadn’t been given yet. More thoughts on this can be seen at http://www.gotquestions.org/incest-in-the-Bible.html 
 
God said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay." Unlike humans, God never enacts vengeance out of unjust motives. His judgments and punishments are righteous. God established governments to punish wrongdoers. We are commanded not to take revenge into our own hands. 
 
Regarding war, sometimes the only way to keep sinful people from doing great harm to the innocent is by going to war. In a world filled with sinful people, sadly sometimes war is inevitable. The people that God commanded Israel to go to war with were guilty of many atrocities toward humanity, as well as being polluted with a pervasive immoral and idolatrous culture, and God didn't want his people to adopt their ways. God was the commander of the Israelite army. No individual should take it upon themselves to 'declare war'; that is the responsibility of their government. Read more at: http://www.gotquestions.org/war-Bible.html#ixzz2Pyaaa98n 
 
About the suffering of the innocent and the reign of evil in this world, Jesus said that his Kingdom is not of this world. What happens on this earth is not the end of the story (Rom. 8:18 & Luke 16:19-31). He will call everyone to account for all that they have done (Mt. 25:31-46 & Romans 2:5-16). The only way to escape his horrifying condemnation is to repent from your sin, and through faith in Jesus, accept his forgiveness and be reconciled to God, which will result in a person turning from much of the evil that they do to do good. Could you imagine how much more evil would triumph if the Bible had never existed? Sure, some people have wrongfully used the Bible as validation for their evil acts, but many, many more have been spurred on to acts of charity and defending the innocent from injustice because of what they have learned from the Bible. God empowers us to help others. 
 
Why does God allow the suffering to go on? Because; he doesn't want anyone to be condemned (2 Peter 3:9). We are all born under a curse because of the sin of man. No one is righteous, and no one seeks God. Someday he will return to create a new heaven and earth where there will be no more suffering, and no more death (Rev. 21:2), but at that time he will judge all of the living and the dead. If he didn't allow us to keep living in the fallen condition that we are in, many who had not been reconciled to him yet would immediately be condemned to an eternal state of suffering. But he is patient, so that many of us can be saved and have the opportunity to share in his eternal joy and glory. Meanwhile, God does not delight in our suffering, but instead he is grieved by it, and he is angered by the evil acts of man (Eph. 4:30, Prov. 17:15, etc.). Certainly, he can and does intervene in many situations, but he is not going to remove all of the evil from the world until the appointed time. 
 
Yes, Jesus was a friend with prostitutes and other sinners. If I were to guess at why a Christian may have made you feel condemned for being a friend with a prostitute, I would have to assume that it was because their faith was weak. There is a clear danger of being friends with sinners – that is that you may be led astray by their notions and tempted to participate with them in their sins. Maybe what you witnessed from the Christian that you knew was an expression of fear rather than judgment, or maybe it was judgment, as self-righteousness is an easy trap to fall into. It takes someone with a strong faith to befriend sinners and keep oneself pure at the same time. However, this is exactly what Jesus calls us to do. He didn't hang out with sinners in order to put a stamp of approval on their behavior, but in order to help them to break free from their sins. In response to the Pharisees, questioning why Jesus ate with sinners, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Learn that 'I desire mercy.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners" Matthew 9:12-13. And, after Jesus dispersed a crowd that wanted to stone a woman caught in adultery, he told her that he didn't condemn her, but to "go and leave her life of sin". Jesus preached to sinners and many were transformed by his loving grace. 
 
Let's be clear – Jesus loves people who have homosexual desires just as much as he loves people who habitually over-eat, have short tempers, or even those who are overly judgmental. But, because he loves those people, he reminds them that all of these things weren't part of his original design and he is here to help us to grow and learn from him and, eventually, to overcome the behaviors that aren't good for us, and our family, and our community. We do not wish to single out homosexual behavior in order to elevate ourselves and put them down. The reason we are debating this behavior is because we are taking a stand in order to protect one of God's most fundamental laws and one of God's most honored institutions – marriage. And, the opinions of our fellow citizens about this matter will very likely have an effect on the laws that our government enacts (we hope).  
 
Jesus not only warned against practicing sexual immorality, he made what was viewed as sexual immorality more strict, not less strict. He said to even look at someone lustfully was to commit adultery, and warned of the severe eternal consequences. Because he was ushering in a period of grace, he ended the harsh punishment of death for adultery in the hopes that people would repent, leaving their sin behind, and turning to God. This is what he wants for anyone clinging to sin – to repent from it, and to seek God's loving and effective help. 
 
Here are a couple of Jesus' quotes from the Gospels: 
 
"For out of the heart come evil thoughts — murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person." Mt. 15:19-20 — The Greek word that Jesus used for "sexual immorality" means indulging in any kind of unlawful sex or lust, which would include incest, sex outside of marriage, and homosexuality. 
 
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 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." Mt. 5:27-29 — Jesus was emphasizing to what extreme we should be willing to go to avoid sin and hell, but in the above quote he clarifies that it is our heart that permits our eyes, hands and mouths to commit sins. He is the only one who can give us a clean heart. 
 
Because Jesus is "The Word", all of the writings in the Bible are Jesus' word. John 1:1, 2, 14 says, "In the beginning was the Word … and the Word was God. Through him all things were made. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth". And, Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" Jn 10:30. He also said, "Truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I Am!" Jn 8:58. In addition, 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness". Jesus is God and God never changes, so: the moral law about homosexual behavior written in the Old Testament was in fact given by Jesus. 
 
Homosexual behavior is also warned against in the New Testament. It is listed among other sins in 1 Cor. 6:9 & 1 Tim. 1:10. Also in the New Testament, in Romans 1:26-28, it says, "because of shameful lusts and the disregard for the knowledge of God, women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones with other women, as did men with men, and they received the penalty for their perversion". 
 
Some people dispute the validity of adhering to the Old Testament law that forbids homosexual behavior because it is listed among other laws that Christians don't follow. Christians are not expected to follow many of the laws that God gave to the Israelites because "these were a shadow of the things to come" (Col. 2:16-17). For example, in Mark 7 and Acts 10, Jesus and God declare the food laws to be no longer in effect. There are also explanations in the New Testament about why Christians don't follow Old Testament laws, like circumcision and the Sabbath on a particular weekday. Many of the laws that Moses instituted were civil property laws, because he was establishing a new divinely directed civil government for the Israelites. We are not citizens of that government. The Jewish festivals and religious ceremonies that the Israelites and Jews were required to perform were observances of God's provision for their nation, as well as portrayals of how the Messiah would fulfill God's plan of salvation and restoration. The sacrificial ceremonies were stopped because Jesus is the Lamb of God – the only pure and worthy sacrifice for man's sins (Heb. 10:1-18 & 1 Pet. 1:19). 
 
The only laws that Jesus and his apostles adamantly insist that Christians continue to obey are those that have to do with morality and love. In addition to these laws, Jesus instructed us to participate in the ceremonies of baptism and communion. The Apostle Paul would contend for propriety as a Christian discipline, as well. Homosexual behavior is one of the vices that we are still to avoid, as The New Testament confirms in three places that it breaks a moral law. 
 
The Bible's perspective is not isolated in it's view of sexuality; when looking at our anatomy, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that a man and a woman where made to be sexually intimate with each other – this should be obvious to everyone, whether or not they subscribe to any religion. I understand that homosexual attraction is about more than sex – it is also about love and companionship, but the Bible also cautions us not to pick companions or mates that will tempt us to sin. 
 
In regards to marriage; after God made the first man, God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper SUITABLE for him." Then, God made a woman, Eve, and brought her to the man. The definition that God gives of marriage is that "a man and a woman become one" (Genesis 2:24), and Jesus affirmed this. In Matthew 19:4-5 Jesus affirms that he created us male and female for the purpose of marriage – "so a man shall be united to his wife". 
 
In today's culture there is a widespread misunderstanding of what marriage is. Because many have reduced marriage to a form of self-expression that is easily disposed of, we have left the institution of marriage wide open for further corruption. God never said, "Here; I give you marriage for your own self-gratification". No, but he did say, "Rejoice in the wife of your youth; The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife; Has not the Lord made them one? And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring... I hate divorce and violence; Haven't you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and for this reason a man will be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?...so, they are no longer two, but one, therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate; Husband, love your wife, just as Christ loved the church, and be considerate as you live with her; and wife, respect your husband and bring him good and not harm all the days of your life". Proverbs 5:18, 1 Cor. 7:4, Malachi 2:13-16, Matthew 19:4-6, Eph. 5:25, 1 Peter 3:7, Eph. 5:33, Proverbs 31:10-12. - Notice that there are no directions about how husbands should treat their husbands, but only how husbands should treat their wife, and vice versa. 
 
Marriage is a covenant, which is a solemn promise before God, carrying with it great responsibility. And within this bond, which draws on the uniqueness of each gender, marriage is a model of a holy self-sacrificing unity, for the purpose of raising children to be responsible citizens whose concern is for the common good. Even if a man and a woman do not recognize God as the overseer of their marriage vows, they and their family and their community still reap the blessings of God's design. 
 
God's one-man/one-woman marriage design does not exclude couples that can't procreate. A child's parents are not the only examples that they will see in their community. In addition, for a married couple to make love when they are unable to procreate is not condemned in the Bible. On the contrary, the Bible encourages sexual pleasure between a husband and a wife, as an ongoing responsibility to one another. (see Proverbs 5:15-23, Song of Solomon 5:1 & 1 Corinthians 7:5)  
 
God also designed marriage to be a reflection of who He is. Both the man and woman who are joined together in unity are an integral part of this image. Marriage was intended to be a sort of self-portrait of God portraying God's attribute of oneness. God also uses marriage as an example of the loving and faithful relationship that God keeps with his people. For people to redefine marriage is to defame God, himself. 
 
"Marriage should be honored by ALL, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer AND all the sexually immoral." Heb. 13:4. 
 
Some Christians who are homosexual assume that any Christians who believe homosexual behavior is a sin are making a judgment against them that they aren't real Christians. This isn't necessarily true. Romans 5:8-9 says, "God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" When I was adopted into God's family, by faith in Jesus' atoning sacrifice, I wasn't aware of many behaviors that I was doing that God considered to be sinful; I was only aware that I was a sinner in need of his mercy. If we obey God and learn from his word, he reveals our sins to us, and through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit gives us the will, wisdom and strength to resist the things that tempt us. This is an ongoing process that continues until we pass from this life. 
 
"Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" 1 Cor. 6:9-11. That they will "not inherit the kingdom of God" either means that these sinners may be saved Christians, but that their inheritance (Heavenly treasure/responsibilities), once they get to Heaven, will be effected by their disobedience, or it could mean that they have not been saved and won't be admitted into Heaven. Either way, these verses confirm that, as a saved Christian, the process that you go through, with the help of the Holy Spirit can set you free from these sins. The phrase "men who have sex with men" is from the NIV translation. It is usually translated "homosexuals" or "the effeminate, and abusers of themselves with mankind". There are two Greek words being translated here – the "yanakoi", the man who plays the part of the woman in the homosexual sex act, and the "arsenokoites", the man who plays the part of the man in the homosexual sex act. 
 
Why do I care if same-sex unions are legally binding? 
 
Are we talking about "same-sex civil unions" that afford similar legal standing to that of traditional married couples or are we talking about "same-sex marriage"? I’ll address both. 
 
In regards to the civil unions, in the USA, "We the People" are largely responsible for our laws, and immoral laws are a disgrace to a nation. No one questions that laws should be inherently moral. We believe that Christ's teachings are universally good for everyone. We encourage our fellow countrymen, whether by law or common sense, to follow moral behaviors, in the best interests of each individual and the community. We are not trying to force a religion on anyone. We are simply exercising our rights as citizens to ensure that our country's laws are based on morality. We have the freedom to decide what we view as being moral and right, just the same as any other citizen. Our views are not less valid or less intelligent, simply because God's word affirms them. God doesn't ask us to set aside our intellectual process in order to believe him. The function of the government is to set up boundaries to protect the society. Any law that legally binds someone to a damaging behavior is not in the interest of any of that country's citizens. 
 
There is no denying that Jesus was a man who greatly influenced history, including many religions and governments. It is obvious that our government was founded on common-sense laws, many of which were influenced by Christian and other religious and moral beliefs. I'm not trying to argue that laws should be made solely based on religious beliefs, but that it should be assumed that religious beliefs are likely to have an impact. 
 
Dennis Teti wrote in "The Weekly Standard", "Governments' purpose is not to dispense rights but to secure rights created by nature and nature's God." 
 
In regards to same-sex marriage, in our society, those who choose to live together in a homosexual relationship have the freedom to do so. Those who choose to drink themselves into a stupor, have the freedom to do so, as well. However, when an intoxicated person gets behind the wheel of an automobile and drives, they have become a menace to society and are breaking the law. Allowing homosexuals to get behind the wheel of marriage should not be legalized either, because it would do damage to our society. I am not worried that gay marriage will hurt my marriage; I am worried that it will hurt our society and our future descendants' marriages. 
 
In the USA, the majority of our children are educated by the public school system. Legalizing gay marriage would open the floodgates for gay marriage propaganda in our children's educational materials. Already, there are too many instances of this being promoted at all grade levels in some cities. If the Federal government were to force all of the states to recognize gay marriage as legal, people who support this type of behavior would take that as a license to wrongfully promote this immoral behavior to our children at school, and undermine parental authority. 
 
Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come." Luke 17:1. — If we sit by idly and let our representatives enact laws that encourage immoral behavior, we will be responsible for leading future generations to accept a wrong behavior as if it were right, and, in so doing, we will cause an untold number of them to stumble. 
 
Alan Chambers, a former homosexual, said, "Had same-sex marriage been legal in 1990, I am certain that I would have tested that option. The law kept me from making one, if not many, life-altering mistakes. The current laws saved my life and continue to save the lives of other young people like me who need life saving boundaries." 
 
Same-sex marriage, civil-union laws and sexual orientation non-discrimination laws are inevitably at odds with freedom of religion laws. We are treading in dangerous territory when we let new coercive laws trump constitutionally affirmed freedoms. One example was the wedding photographer who was fined $7,000 for not agreeing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. Why should a citizen who believes that celebrating and encouraging sinful behavior is a sin be forced by her government to participate in a ceremony that she is uncomfortable with, or else be deprived of her property by means of a hefty fine? In addition to this, people have been denied jobs in a fire department, had to sue for their college degree because a professor disagreed with their religious views, and a church was even found in the wrong by a court for not renting their facilities for a gay commitment ceremony. So, now we are going beyond being permissive to this immoral behavior, in some states, to encouraging it via governmental sanction, while punishing those people whose conscience won't allow them to accept and facilitate homosexual behavior as their government dictates that they should. 
 
You may ask, "Why is it wrong for two consenting adults to love each other romantically, regardless of whether they are the same sex or the opposite sex?" You could also ask, "Why is it wrong to lust over pornography, to be a prostitute, to divorce (except for the reason of adultery), to have sex before marriage or to cheat on a spouse?" You could also ask, "Why is it wrong to vent your rage, to hate people, to envy, to habitually over-eat or to be arrogant or greedy?" Most people correctly judge that these behaviors are wrong, but some people don't have any problem with some of these behaviors. Our moral compasses are generally right, but all of our moral compasses have flaws. When what the Bible teaches doesn't line up with the blind spots on our compass, we question the truth of the Bible. Any time you hold to a minority view of right and wrong that doesn't match up with the Bible, that is a fairly good indication that this particular view is a blind spot on your compass. That'’s a good rule of thumb, but even if you are in the minority view on an issue that does agree with the Bible, you can still trust the Bible over the majority's view. The more you let God repair these blind spots, the more you experience how he was wiser than you, and the more you can trust him in all things. Most people are instinctively aware that homosexual behavior is wrong. The fact that there are physical and emotional consequences to this behavior is another indicator that it is not a healthy practice. 
 
If I share a Bible verse with you about a sin that you approve of &/or engage in, don't think that I am judging you, because I'm not. I struggle with desires to sin too. If the Bible verse makes you feel like someone is convicting you – it's not me – it's the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart, calling you to accept his grace and follow him. I believe that even though someone may still be entrenched in a sin, if they are saved, God no longer views them as a homosexual sinner, or a gluttonous sinner, or a greedy sinner, etc.; He views them as His son or daughter now. I simply urge all Christians not to let your love for your old ways allow you to coddle your pet sins, and so dishonor your Heavenly Father. If God tells you something is a sin and your mind argues against it, saying "Did God really say that? That can't be true. Surely it is good and not bad." – that is the oldest trick in "The Book" – that is how Adam and Eve were deceived into eating the forbidden fruit. (Gen. 3:1-13) 
 
One might ask themselves, "If I don't have to be transformed in order to be saved, why should I bother trying to give up my sins?" How do you think God would answer that? I think God's simple answer would be, "Because I love you and I know what is best for you." Not only this, but we are obligated to lead better lives; not because it's required, but because we are grateful to Jesus for paying our debt. Jesus was beaten, whipped, mocked and hung on a cross to die for your sins. Do you believe that he thinks that any of your sins are inconsequential? Also, though God forgives your sins, he may cause hardships for you when you are going down a wrong path in order to make you examine your course and change directions: Hebrews 12:7 & 10 says, "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? …God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness." 
 
People who are chasing after immoral or unhealthy desires, in the pursuit of happiness, are always going to sense an emptiness that nothing in this world can fill. Jesus told us to seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness in order to be holy and then the result will be peace and happiness. 
 
Does Jesus admonition not to judge mean that you can only judge anything that anyone else does to be okay and you can't judge anything someone else does to be wrong? The answer is obviously, "No". If so, then we couldn’t judge stealing or murdering to be wrong. Does it mean that Christians shouldn't warn people about the consequences of sin? This one may be partly true – we shouldn't warn them of the consequences of sin without also sharing with them the Good News that Jesus offers to pay their debt. Does it mean that Christians don't have the right to speak their views? Certainly we have the same rights as other citizens, but we should be careful about when and how we speak, always remembering that we are representatives of Christ. 
 
The following verses are normally used in an attempt to prevent Christians from sharing God's view of homosexual behavior, but notice how the last sentence actually gives instructions of how we should help our fellow Christians to be aware of their sin, and to help them to get rid of it. I interpret it to mean that: first, we need to make sure that we're not harboring an unrepentant sin in our own life, then we can "see clearly" to help our brother. Also, if we humbly share with "our brother" about our personal struggle with sin, before we talk to them about their sin, it will help them to understand that we are not judging them as an unworthy Christian or a lesser person because of their errors or struggles. We just want to help. 
 
Jesus said, "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. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Matthew 7:1-5 
 
We are not to judge others in order to puff up our own ego (Luke 18:9-14) or to show favoritism (James 2:1-9), but we are called to judge whether or not someone is a false teacher (Mt. 7:15-20 & 1 Jn 4:1-6) and whether or not a fellow Christian's immoral behavior is disgracing the church (1 Cor. 5). There is a difference between judging sin for sin (Isa. 5:20) and condemning a person who is entrenched in sin (Rom. 2:1-4). If we condemn a fellow believer we become like the servant who was forgiven a great debt yet failed to extend the same mercy to a lesser debtor (Mt. 18:21-35). The Bible does tell us, in some situations, to call fellow believers out if they are caught in sin, so that they may repent and be restored to the church fellowship (Mt. 18:15-17), and in some situations it is better to overlook an offense (Prov. 19:11). It also calls us to instruct and encourage and rebuke each other, and to contend for sound doctrine. However, all of this should be done with a spirit of brotherly love and not a spirit of condemnation. "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins" 1 Peter 4:8. 
 
"Christ himself gave … teachers to equip his people (to build them up with the knowledge of Christ). Then we will no longer be blown here and there by every wind of teaching … Instead, SPEAKING the truth in LOVE, we will grow to become the mature body of Christ." Ephesians 4:11-15 
 
"I urge you to contend for the faith that was entrusted to God's holy people. For certain individuals have slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality. But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said, 'In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.' These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with caution – hating every vestige of the sin that entangles them." Jude 1:3-4, 17-19, 22-23 
 
Some Christians say that you can't call homosexual behavior a sin, because that is being too judgmental, and we should be more welcoming to homosexuals and allow homosexual marriage because love is love. Some Christians say that homosexuals are lost because of their behavior, and sometimes go so far as to claim that God hates them. I believe that our focus as Christians should lie somewhere between these two extremes. God does tell us to be careful how we judge because he will judge us in the same way that we've judged others; on the other hand, God does hate sin; and, homosexual behavior is a sin. He also warns that if we sew to please the sinful nature that it will lead to death, but that is why he sent his son to pay our debt and to teach us how to gain freedom from our slavery to sin. The gift of salvation is a package deal – with it you get a free personal trainer who will help you to consume and understand a healthy diet of God's word. He'll help you recognize and avoid the empty energy that comes from consuming the philosophies of men. He'll be right beside you as you follow you're work-out plan of loving others through humble service and avoiding temptation to shed off those unwanted pounds of sin. As Christians, of course we should welcome homosexuals with kindness, humbleness, and respect, but we should not compromise God's values in order to protect homosexuals from feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit for their sins. When they become Christians, we should encourage them as they struggle with their sins just the same way we encourage other brothers and sisters with their sins, always helping, hoping and praying for each other and never forgetting the awesome richness of God's grace. 
 
I'm horrified that you would think that just because someone thinks that homosexual behavior is a sin, that they would "rather see a homosexual couple dead than happy". That's not at all true. I don't doubt that there may be a few people in the world who are so self-righteous and evil that they may have this attitude, but I would hope that you realize that that is not the case with the majority of people. However, I believe that homosexuals can be happy without having same-sex marriage legalized. On the contrary, I believe that legalizing same-sex marriage would add to their illusion that homosexual behavior is virtuous and praise-worthy, and would continue to encourage them to burry the signals that their conscience is trying to send them that this is a behavior that they should quit. 
 
In regards to religion, I think these verses pretty much sum up the Biblical perspective on it: 
 
The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet," and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13:9-10 
 
"Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil." 1 Thes. 5:13-22 
 
James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." 
 
Jesus said: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Mat. 22:37-40 
 
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. But whoever does not believe in him stands condemned already." John 3:16-18 
 
Johan, only God can prove to you beyond the benefit of doubt that he exists. If I paraphrase Romans 1:19-20, it says, "God's eternal power and divine nature have been made clear to all people, through their simple observation of all that he has created." I suppose that is why there are so many religions and myths about God, gods and spirits; because it was always obvious to people that God existed in some form. That you have found the revelation of God's true will and plan and love in the Bible may be evidenced by the fulfillment of the prophetic texts. Seven centuries before Christ came in the flesh, Isaiah 53 (& 52:13-15) describes Christ's mission and sacrificial atonement that he suffered on our behalf. Psalm 22 also describes Jesus' crucifixion in vivid detail. If you are familiar with the accounts of Jesus' crucifixion, in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, this Psalm provides a prophetic and chilling perspective of it. There are hundreds of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. I would also recommend the book, "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel, which contains a lot of archeological and analytical evidences to back up the credibility of the Bible. Here is a link for a philosophical perspective on the existence of God: http://www.gotquestions.org/argument-existence-God.html . Ultimately, once you put your faith in God, the most convincing proof that you’ll cling to is when his spirit testifies to you that you are his son. If you cultivate your fellowship with God, you will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he not only exists, but that he loves and fulfills you deeply. 
 
"Love is patient, love is kind…. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth" 1 Cor. 13:4, 6 
 
"GOD is LOVE." – 1 John 4:16 
Posted @ Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:29 AM by Brenda4Joy
Brenda4Joy 
 
I have read your post and the link that you gave me to look at. Though the argument made has merit, the proof still seems to elude me. Out of all the religions in this world, starting from the Pagan faith and even before that... they all speak of a creator god(s) and or goddess(es). The Sumerians had their beliefs and they are an ancient race of people pre-dating Christianity with thousands of years. 
Looking at Christian mythology, I find it rather unnerving that every detail of it corresponds with a Pagan myth. The birth of Jesus, the great flood, the crucifixion and the resurrection... to name just a few. 
Christmas, its rituals and traditions are based on the rebirth of the Roman sun god and other Pagan traditions. Easter, taken from the Sumerian celebration of Ishtar, the goddess of sex and fertility. 
 
Emperor Constantine also said "The myth of Christ has served us well." after he orchestrated the production of the book you hold most dear. Why is it that you think the Roman Empire still holds such power? Sure, now it's called the Roman Catholic Church, but the fact still remains... 
 
So, solid proof can not be given to the existence of God. The earth is billions of years old, fossils millions of years old have been found all around the planet, yet according to the Christian faith, the world was only created a couple of thousand years ago. 
 
Also, it only speaks of the creation of Adam and Eve and no other humans... two people could not have populated a planet with such a vast variety of races. And with the "great flood" one family could not have repopulated the entire planet. Even the animals on the arc, they should be found all over the world and not just in some selective places... (that last bit did not come out as intended, but I am finding it difficult to find the right words to describe to you what I am trying to say. 
 
To the people I have spoken to regarding Christian beliefs, I do make a valid point. Though my faith in God may be non-existent, my questions are quite honest. 
 
My beliefs are based on observation and what I found more believable. As a man who believes that people should not be denied their love, nor should they be judged for it. Would you judge your son if he came to you and tell you that he wants to marry another man? Not only makes it you a bad mother to deny him his happiness, it makes you selfish to deny him the blessing of his god on his union with his partner. Love and lust are two distinct things. I may lust after someone, but I wouldn't want to spend the rest of my life in holy union with that person.  
 
I am sorry if I offend, it is not my intention. Though I will not ask forgiveness for this. 
Even King James didn't agree with the text, so he had it changed. 
 
Right, I am abandoning this site. My beliefs do not mix well with your faith. And clearly being Christian and being right are two sides of two distinctly different coins. 
 
Unconditional love means different things to god than it does me. Te me it means acceptance and to him it means to deny yourself. 
 
With this, I bid you farewell. May your god aid you in your quest, but may he also forgive for denying your gay brothers and sisters their share of "heaven". 
 
Blessed be 
 
Posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 2:25 PM by Johan
I have explanations for most of these issues that Johan has brought up, but I really need to work on my income taxes now, so I won't be able to reply for several days.
Posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 2:57 PM by Brenda4Joy
I can't help it; I have to say something. There is a good explanation regarding the claim that the historical accounts of Jesus' life are not copies of myths at http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-myth.html 
 
and the Bible is not myth: 
http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-mythology.html 
 
and the flood: 
http://www.gotquestions.org/Flood-accounts.html 
 
I'm sure you can find explanations to most of the questions you may have atwww.gotquestions.org . I think this website is a very helpful resource. 
 
I'll try to address the other issues at a later date, but now I must get back to taxes. :)
Posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 3:57 PM by Brenda4Joy
Johan (or anyone else following this conversation, as I’m not sure if Johan will see this), 
 
Constantine and the Council of Nicea had nothing to do with the forming of the canon (the Christian Bible). It was not even discussed at Nicea. The council that formed an undisputed decision on the canon took place at Carthage in 397, sixty years after Constantine's death. However, long before Constantine, 21 books/letters were acknowledged by all Christians. There were 10 disputed books and several that most all considered heretical. Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Constantine-Bible.html#ixzz2RW8nhG00 
 
It is debated whether or not Constantine was actually a believer (according to his confessions and understanding of the faith) or just someone trying to use the church and the faith to his own advantage. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, if Constantine did arrange the meeting where the church leaders voted on the books and letters that should be included in the Bible, because God has used people who were not of the faith to orchestrate his will before. Whether Constantine was a Christian or not doesn’t change anything about who God and Jesus are.  
 
In regards to the age of the earth, the Biblical genealogies would date it around 6,000 years old. It has been a little over 2,000 years since Jesus was born. All the years before that were dated as “B.C.”, meaning “before Christ”, and all the years after his birth are indicated as “A.D.”, using the Latin word “Anno Domini”, which means “in the year of our Lord”. This is really a small difference, compared to billions of years, but I just wanted to clarify that. 
 
Here is the difference, as I see it, between what atheists believe and what most Christians believe about the dating of the earth: Christians believe in miracles; and atheists don’t. I believe that God created the earth just as it is indicated in the book of Genesis – in 6 days’ time. If you can trust the accuracy of carbon dating going back thousands to billions of years, then the only logical explanation that seems plausible to me would be that God fast-forwarded the maturation of the earth during the creation process. When he created Adam, he did not create an infant, he created a full-grown, mature adult man. Why could he not also create a mature earth? The age of the earth really has no significance, in my opinion, to whether or not God exists or the Bible is accurate, but if you would like some scientific arguments that back up the 6,000 year estimation, here is a link for that: http://www.compellingtruth.org/how-old-is-the-earth.html 
 
I don’t know why you think that one family could not have repopulated the entire planet. With the current world population being around 7 billion, Noah’s 3 sons, if they only had 4 children each, and each of the next generation’s couples had 4 children each, doubling the population every generation, they would have only needed 30 generations (or 1,800 years) to bring the world to its current population, and people typically had larger families than that, but we also need to factor in pre-mature deaths. To calculate the number of generations to populate the world with the doubling population per 20-year generation assumption, starting with Noah’s 3 sons and their wives, I used Microsoft Excel, putting the formula =SUM(6*2) into the “A1” cell, then I put the formula =SUM(2*A1) into the “A2” cell. Then I copied the formula from A2 into the next 33 cells, under A2, which automatically updates the formula to multiply the sum above it by 2. This showed that in only 30 generations 6 billion 442 million 450 thousand and 944 people could have been begotten in 1,800 years; and twice that number in 1,820 years, and they had around 2,500 years in which to do it. 
 
I’m not a geneticist, but it seems to me that the different skin colors could be explained by Adam and Eve having been of differing skin colors, or at least having the recessive gene that allowed for their children to have differing skin colors. 
 
Regarding how the animals from Noah’s ark were able to migrate to different continents and even islands, they had lots of time over several generations to do so, with changes in the water level there could have been land bridges, and there is also the theory of continental shift. Also, Noah wasn’t the last person to build a boat capable of carrying animals on it. More and better explanations can be found at http://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c006.html 
 
If I were to disapprove of a son’s hypothetical gay relationship, it would be because I love him and want what is best for him. I want him to live a happy and healthy life. Not that I could control the decisions that my adult son makes. If he were to see the value in my wisdom, it would be to his advantage, in my opinion. Would I be a good mother if my son told me that doing heroine makes him happy, and I went along with it? A good mother sees what is healthy and tries to direct her children towards that. Homosexual love is based on sinfully twisted desires. It is not a healthy type of love. So, yes, I would advise my sons (and daughters) against it. I would not attend or bless a homosexual wedding of one of my children any sooner than I would inject their arm with heroine. This sort of sexual immorality is very much like an addiction – a craving for something that is unhealthy. Feeding these types of desires is a false road to happiness that ends in regret. There is love for recovered homosexuals, and many have found it. Self-control is not a bad thing; it is a good thing. Some people crave shoplifting. Some people crave arson. Should everyone just do whatever pleases them at any moment, regardless of their knowledge that it is wrong? 
 
If you only knew God, you would understand that he has no malice towards anyone. He is magnificently loving and merciful. Our faults are not his fault. We are our own worst enemies. 
 
As I’m doing my best to convince you that God does exist (and is trustworthy), I feel as if you’re trying to convince me that God doesn’t exist (or is untrustworthy). Maybe that was not your intention. However, I want you to understand that if you were to try to convince me that God doesn’t exist, it would be like me trying to convince you that your parents don’t exist, or that your siblings or your closest friends don’t exist. I’ve known my Heavenly Father (God) for many, many years. He has encouraged me, and comforted me, and guided me through most of my life. He is real; this I know; and, I have no doubt about it. My beliefs are also supported by observation. The only reason I want you to know that God is real, is not because I care about your opinion of me; it’s because I hope that you (and everyone) can have this wonderfully good thing too – a loving relationship with their Heavenly Father. 
 
God does accept everyone as they are, but he loves them too much to abandon them to the way that they are. In order to be saved, you’ve got to believe that all of God’s ways are right and many of your ways are wrong. You’ve got to want what he offers – an escape from your bondage to sin. Nothing you have done and nothing that you do (or don’t do) can earn (or prevent) God’s acceptance of you, once you’ve accepted him and Jesus. At that point he adopts you as his son (or daughter) and gives you his Holy Spirit as a seal guaranteeing your eternal security with him. God accepts everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, and who accepts Jesus as his or her savior, and who will love, trust, and learn from Him. It’s not our own righteousness that makes us acceptable to God, but Jesus’ righteousness that is attributed to us, on account of Jesus’ death, that was and is the only worthy payment to cover our eternal debt to God. As God’s children we are equipped with a wisdom and a strength for self-control and loving kindness that we did not have access to before (through the power of the Holy Spirit); and we have a true friend in Jesus, who will walk with us through all of life’s trials, and blessings, and sufferings; and we have a unique joy from the love of God that goes beyond anything that this world can offer. 
 
I hope you understand that I wish no harm or bad feelings towards you or anyone who struggles with homosexual desires. I hope you and yours are blessed, as well. That doesn’t mean that I can say that a behavior that I believe is wrong is anything but wrong. I don’t say that to hurt anyone’s feelings or to anger anyone; I’m just standing up for what I believe.
Posted @ Friday, April 26, 2013 10:37 AM by Brenda4Joy
I want to clarify that even though I couldn't bless or approve of a homosexual marriage or union of one of my children, I would still treat my child and their friend with love and respect as individuals. I would treat my child's homosexual partner the same as I treat any of their platonic friends. As long as they respect my boundaries and don't flaunt their immoral behavior in front of me, they would always be welcomed joyfully.
Posted @ Friday, April 26, 2013 11:39 AM by Brenda4Joy
You're all stupid. Read "God is Not a Great" religion was made up so certain humans could have power. Don't be dumb. Go to school. Love everyone no matter who they are. You "Christians" really suck at being " Christian". Just stop trying.
Posted @ Wednesday, August 14, 2013 7:41 PM by ProphetOfTruth
ProphetOfTruth, 
When you call all Christians stupid, you yourself are being prejudice and unloving. You are lashing out with insults instead of using intelligent arguments. If you wish to influence someone's opinion it is better to rationalize with them than to insult them. Just because we believe that homosexual behavior is a sin doesn't mean that we can't love someone who is entrapped in that lifestyle. Saying that homosexual behavior is a sin (or that it is a wrong behavior) is not unloving. We all sin. Trying to call something morally right that is wrong is just confusion. It won't help anyone. If a person has an addiction to any bad behavior, the first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem. God loves people with homosexual desires and he longs to help them to overcome those personally harmful behaviors. I don't expect you to believe in God. Because that actually does take a bit of a child-like faith to begin with, in most cases, but if you like to read, Lee Strobel's "The Case For Christ" is a very logical read, written by an atheist lawyer who discovered that God was real when he was trying his hardest to prove otherwise. Irregardless of whether or not God is real, homosexual behavior is unhealthy, and that is a well-known fact among homosexuals themselves. There are many websites marketed to homosexuals that specialize in treating the medical and psychological issues caused by homosexual behavior. Do you wish to discuss theology or debate the homosexual issue or both, or did you simply want to lash out in anger to somehow make yourself feel superior? Having a different opinion on an issue does not make someone stupid or evil and that goes both ways. I hope that you can tone down your hostility towards Christians who are usually innocently just trying to help make the world a better place for all; even for homosexuals; we just have a different opinion of what that looks like. Our opinion is backed up not only by God's word, but by logical observations, credible research and sound reasoning. Please practice what you preach and demonstrate a loving, respectful tone when addressing everyone no matter who they are.
Posted @ Wednesday, August 14, 2013 9:59 PM by Brenda4Joy
You are like a robot Brenda4"joy"
Posted @ Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:01 PM by Mike
How am I like a robot? LOL 
 
I can assure you that I am very human.
Posted @ Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:13 PM by Brenda4Joy
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