Explaining an accepting evangelical position to gay marriage- any tips?

(66 Posts)

Just trying to think how I can explain an accepting evangelical position with regard to gay marriage.

Does anyone have any tips?

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Fri 10-May-13 20:31:10

Can any reader really see Jesus emerge as someone likely to be a homophobe? If not, job done!

So why so many anti-gay members of the church then?

niminypiminy Fri 10-May-13 20:39:13

We all fall away from living out that ideal -- as I said. But I think you will find there is a diversity of opinion in the church -- and even a good number of gay Christians. That wasn't the point, however.

What I was suggesting was that there is a good scriptural basis for accepting and celebrating gay marriage. I stand by that and would be happy to defend that view in a church context.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Fri 10-May-13 21:51:57

What I was suggesting was that there is a good scriptural basis for accepting and celebrating gay marriage. I stand by that and would be happy to defend that view in a church context.

Well I think that's a good thing.

Do you know why some people claim that the bible suggests that being gay is a sin? Do you understand their position? Can you reconcile their argument with your own? (genuine questions).

niminypiminy Fri 10-May-13 22:09:14

Yes, yes and no.

niminypiminy Fri 10-May-13 22:12:23

(Or, less telegraphically, I think there is a difference of opinion that is profound, but it's important for me to remember that the people I am disagreeing with are my brothers and sisters in Christ. One of the things I pray for is the unity of the Church, but unity doesn't necessarily mean uniformity.)

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Fri 10-May-13 22:13:27

Ok. So how do some people come to interpret the bible differently to others? (and who's to say who is correct?)

Ninny what do you think is behind many Christians concern about gay marriage specifically? Just curious. I have my own thoughts but wanted to hear yours!!

niminypiminy Sat 11-May-13 07:06:43

(Pedro, I'm not biting. Take your spoon elsewhere.)

Italian, I think it's a really interesting question that doesn't have a simple answer.

It seems to me that partly the concern is about the relationship of the church to the culture that surrounds it, and in what ways the church is shaped by that culture and to what extent it stands outside and critiques that culture. Probably it is the case that the church in general, and individual churches and denominations in particular, are more determined by their cultural context than we would care to admit, and more associated with particular strands (dominant, emergent, conservative ways of thinking, for example) than we would like to think.

I think it is interesting that gay marriage has become a popular cause at a time when rates of marriage in general are declining (can gay people save the institution of marriage?), and at a time when people are less likely to identify with any institution. In that sense, I think that church membership and marriage have a good deal in common, because both ask you to sign up to something greater than yourself; both ask you to make a public commitment to that institution for better or worse. There's a good deal to say for the way that both the church and marriage stand in opposition to the prevailing culture of individualism.

It is undeniably true that the church offers a place for those who are frightened and angry at social change; it's also true that where there are more out gay Christians there is more theological inclusiveness. What I think is less remarked upon is that anti-homophobia (to coin a phrase) has suddenly - and this is good news for those of us who campaigned against section 28 and went to Pride when it wasn't fashionable - become an easy position for people to hold. And homophobia has become a soft target -- something that can comfortably be attacked without risk to the attacker. (Of course, this does not change the fact that gay people are sometimes at serious risk - merely that supporting gay marriage has become an easy way to show how right on you are.)

I suspect that for some sections of the church the issue of gay marriage has become a marker of where the church separates from and critiques its surrounding culture (of course, elsewhere in the world, say, in parts of Africa, opposition to homosexuality is seen as a cultural value that the church supports). I do think it is really interesting that evangelical churches, which on the one hand have wanted to adopt worship styles that mimic and incorporate elements of popular entertainment, have on the other hand - by and large - been more conservative on the issue of gay marriage. And vice versa.

Finally I think it is quite likely that the issue of whether to support gay marriage is more important, and more divisive inside the church than it is outside it. I wish, really, we could get on with building the kingdom, but it seems that we'll be tussling over this one for some time yet.

Sorry, that wasn't a very clear answer -- more a digest of the thoughts I've been having. I'd be really interested to hear what you think.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 11-May-13 08:40:46

Pedro, I'm not biting. Take your spoon elsewhere.

I'm not trying to do anything with a spoon, I'm just trying to understand and it seems to be a big problem for you because you refuse to discuss it. So by that measure I'm finding less and less value in the bible, which is a shame because I was hoping someone could explain this to me.

Ninny brilliant answer.

My not-quite-so-well-thought-out-thoughts are! It's fear! fear of 'letting God down', fear of conforming to the prevailing culture and most of all fear of being forced to do what they don't want to do (marry gay couples in churches) which is fuelled itself by fear... of letting God down etc.

I mean traditional evangelicals would also disagree with sex before marriage, as would I ... in a kind of it is not for the best (personal opinion here no trying to actively stop anyone else doing it at the moment smile). Yet despite this view (that sex before marriage is wrong) I don't hear the church fearing that Christians need to make a stand and not sell beds or flats or houses or holidays to single couples!

We accept that the culture of the day for some can be quite promiscuous, which many many Christians would disagree with, yet the thing some Christians choose to make a stand on is gay marriage. It has become an 'issue' and is seen (I will never work this one out!!!!) to devalue 'traditional' marriage.

'Traditional' meaning monogamous one male to one female, not traditional as in parts of the Old Testament where there was polygamy!

I think in some ways that certain 'gay activists' have not helped the situation and have created a culture of fear in churches by 'targeting' actively staying in Christian B and Bs and therefore brought legal cases, which I do not think is fair. I do not think it is fair because I think gay people should be allowed to run B and Bs for gay people (or indeed anyone should be allowed to) and there are B and Bs targeted at gay people, and likewise those who wish to should be able to run ones that are for straight married couples or singles. I am not talking about big hotel chains refusing people on the basis of their sexual orientation! Or indeed on any big business refusing anyone at all. But there is a niche market for 'gay' B and Bs and there are quite a few, I looked on line before making the assumption they were for gay people only and some do say they welcome gay people and so I am talking about Christians who wish to only have married straight couple or singles in their home for a B and B.

Because of fear of being prosecuted etc for not complying with these rules about inclusivesim if we do get equal marriage, many Christians are (I think) more opposed to gay marriage than if they genuinely thought they would be allowed to 'follow their conscious' on this matter. This does not mean that I think people who are celebrants should be allowed to turn down marrying gay people but I rather feel they should be allowed to be not forced to do it. It is not a sticking point for me but I think if I were gay and getting married I would not want my wedding officiated at by someone who did not agree with it, so have a list of who agrees and who does not and those who are gay would presumably rather have an agreeing celebrant at their wedding. It would take away the fear for those who don’t agree and would not restrict those who are gay. Or would it?

Like maybe having a list of employees who do not want to work on a Sunday might have been a way in the past for a shop opening on a Sunday! Remember that 'issue' of Sunday opening, it was huge, and it was another example of churches feeling that society was being pressed by the culture around!

Ultimately, I feel sure equal marriage will come in and the church will live with it, but it will make life difficult for some churches and it seems unfair because many will probably end up stopping marriage services to all/ pre-marriage courses etc if they feel threatened and a spirit of fear is unhelpful to all.

I agree totally it was wrong for gay people not to be married but it is not just teh chruch who has stood in the way of that, I think that non-religious public opinion has changed a lot (thankfully).

Also, there are lots of Christians who will want to perform marriage services and provide preparation services to gay couples, not because they are forced to but because they want to.

Would it really hurt gay people not to be able to use the services of any wedding celebrant or church? Genuine question.

Not sure if gay marriage will save marriage, but it might help the wedding industry!

No desire to cause offense to anyone reading this, whether gay or straight, married or single, Christian or no. Smply musing that fear is not helpful but I do understand the law is the law and although we totally have equality we have exceptions which are deemed acceptable - e.g. Brownies and guides for girls, which as a mum to a Bronwie is a good thing 3 even though I totally believe in the equality of the sexes. And even thought I Passionately believe in women bishops I don't want the church to be forced to 'allow' women to become bishops, I want the church to work it out itself. Is that being fair or unfair, genuine question.

Nimmy has made very good points and I agree that churches which hold 'traditional' or conservative views on gay marriage, marriage in general, women in leadership etc are ones that do stuggle with the surrounding culture. They appear to go with a Christ against culture model rather than Christ in or with culture yet they are often the first to use technology to support modern worship music.

I've got two partially formed ideas to add to this.

Firstly churches which are traditional/conservative seem from the outside to be very boundaried and want black and white answers to life's grey and confusing questions and my experience is that this reflects the personalities of the people in those churches. I know the leadership of a number of these churches in my town and before they were ministers they were policmen, lawyers, soldiers, accountants etc so people who operate best within rules and boundaries. Good and faithful Christians all, but not personality types are comfortable in these sorts of churches.

Secondly stages of faith. People in the more conservative/traditional churches may be in the earlier stages of faith as marked out by James Fowler and others. When people are new Christians there is a desire to get answers but as a person matures in discipleship and encounters the paradox and mystery of God then the simple answers (it is in the Bible and I believe it, there is one model of the atonement only etc) are not satisfactory. Moving between stages of faith is painful. One writer talks about this as being like the catapillar that moves to the chrysalis stage and that is the painful bit where the questions and uncertainties are faced and ultimately Christians emerge as the butterflies but not without a stuggle. Butterflies have insight into the the catapillars and chrysalis but butterflies look like aposate heretics to some catapillars!!!

So my take on the Bible is that it is a complex document. It is not a rule book. It was not faxed directly from heaven (to quote my college principal) but it can speak to the human condition in the present day as it records humanities interaction with the divine and insight from previous ages and thinkers. I'm looking for wisdom rather than answers I think.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 11-May-13 20:04:05

My not-quite-so-well-thought-out-thoughts are! It's fear! fear of 'letting God down', fear of conforming to the prevailing culture and most of all fear of being forced to do what they don't want to do (marry gay couples in churches) which is fuelled itself by fear... of letting God down etc.

I have no issue with the church not performing gay marriages, that's entirely up to the church, but when the church suggests that it has the final say on marriage and tries to stop it being legal full stop, that's when I take issue.

I mean traditional evangelicals would also disagree with sex before marriage, as would I ... in a kind of it is not for the best (personal opinion here no trying to actively stop anyone else doing it at the moment ). Yet despite this view (that sex before marriage is wrong) I don't hear the church fearing that Christians need to make a stand and not sell beds or flats or houses or holidays to single couples!

Quite right too! Personally I think not having sex before marriage (and presumably living together before marriage) is dangerous because you don't really know if you can live together properly.

We accept that the culture of the day for some can be quite promiscuous, which many many Christians would disagree with, yet the thing some Christians choose to make a stand on is gay marriage. It has become an 'issue' and is seen (I will never work this one out!!!!) to devalue 'traditional' marriage.

Yes, I agree, this a bizarre concept.

I think in some ways that certain 'gay activists' have not helped the situation and have created a culture of fear in churches by 'targeting' actively staying in Christian B and Bs and therefore brought legal cases, which I do not think is fair.

They wouldn't bother if the b&bs didn't discriminate against them, they're just trying to demonstrate a point.

I do not think it is fair because I think gay people should be allowed to run B and Bs for gay people (or indeed anyone should be allowed to)

They can.

and there are B and Bs targeted at gay people

Do they prevent straight people staying?

and likewise those who wish to should be able to run ones that are for straight married couples or singles.

But not allow gays? Why? What about single people who are gay? What about, say a man who is actually gay but happens to be married to a woman?

I am not talking about big hotel chains refusing people on the basis of their sexual orientation! Or indeed on any big business refusing anyone at all.

But it's ok for small companies to discriminate?

But there is a niche market for 'gay' B and Bs and there are quite a few, I looked on line before making the assumption they were for gay people only

Are they only for gay people?

and some do say they welcome gay people and so I am talking about Christians who wish to only have married straight couple or singles in their home for a B and B.

If you discriminate in this way then you shouldn't be running a b&b. Do you think it would be acceptable to run a b&b and not allow women to stay?

Because of fear of being prosecuted etc for not complying with these rules about inclusivesim if we do get equal marriage, many Christians are (I think) more opposed to gay marriage than if they genuinely thought they would be allowed to 'follow their conscious' on this matter. This does not mean that I think people who are celebrants should be allowed to turn down marrying gay people but I rather feel they should be allowed to be not forced to do it.

No one's forcing the church to change. Except perhaps its own members.

It is not a sticking point for me but I think if I were gay and getting married I would not want my wedding officiated at by someone who did not agree with it

I completely agree, if I were gay, there's no way I'd get married in a church (even if it was allowed).

so have a list of who agrees and who does not and those who are gay would presumably rather have an agreeing celebrant at their wedding.

Or we could just let the church decide to not do gay weddings and leave it to other licensed organisations.

Like maybe having a list of employees who do not want to work on a Sunday might have been a way in the past for a shop opening on a Sunday! Remember that 'issue' of Sunday opening, it was huge, and it was another example of churches feeling that society was being pressed by the culture around!

If the church can't move on with the times then fine, as long as it keeps it to itself. In my job, occasionally I am required to work on a Sunday, I have a choice, but it wouldn't look great if I refused on religious grounds (mostly because I'm not religious, but you get my point!).

Ultimately, I feel sure equal marriage will come in and the church will live with it, but it will make life difficult for some churches and it seems unfair because many will probably end up stopping marriage services to all

Would that be a bad thing? If the church stopped doing weddings at all, the rest of society could just get on with things without the church continually butting in and suggesting it has some kind of ownership of marriage.

I agree totally it was wrong for gay people not to be married but it is not just teh chruch who has stood in the way of that

Mostly it is though. Gay people have fought for their rights more recently than other oppressed groups, but as usual, it's the church which has lagged behind and predictably, it will be the last institution to accept gay rights and only because it kind of has to.

Would it really hurt gay people not to be able to use the services of any wedding celebrant or church? Genuine question.

If they are religious it would probably be a bit miffing.

Brownies and guides for girls, which as a mum to a Bronwie is a good thing 3 even though I totally believe in the equality of the sexes.

It's a bit different when you are dealing with children. It's not really comparable. But incidentally, girls can join the Scouts.

And even thought I Passionately believe in women bishops I don't want the church to be forced to 'allow' women to become bishops, I want the church to work it out itself. Is that being fair or unfair, genuine question.

I think that until the church allows this equality, it's going to be seen as a backward institution.

Greenheart great answers.

Yes, Pedro I agree with the church not having the final say on marriage, marriage pre-dates the church.

The divorce rate of people who marry having not lived together before-hand has traditionally been lower than for those who divorce having lived together. Now, according to the Huffington Post, those things have levelled out, although it still makes a difference if the couple were committted (as in engaged) when they lived together, so it seems living together before getting married is no assurance you will be able to stay married.

www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/movein-before-marriage-no_n_1372687.html

I would guess the Christian B and Bs are not at all worried about people who are gay and staying alone, they don't want gay couples to stay. I don't agree with them, I am just explaining it from what I think may be their viewpoint. Don't 'gay' B and Bs want to attract gay couples or singles? I would think that was what they wanted. I looked and certainly they wanted to attract gay people. All I am asking is if some people want to attract gay people to their b and bs could some others want to attract married couples. Please hear me, this is not my view, I have no problem with whomever is staying at the hotel gay or straight, I am asking if it is wrong. I would certainly say it is wrong to disciminate but there are for want of a word special interest groups where they do have restrictions - Brownies are for girls etc. I totally believe in equality but think it is OK to have girls or boys only clubs. But I don't want those boys (or girls) only clubs running the country.

Do you think it would be OK to run a B and B and not let women stay? Yes. I do and I would be very happy for men who wanted to stay in a male only B and B do so and I would be equally happy for there to be a cab company or b and b that was women only. I don't think most people want to run this type of business because most want to make as much money as they can and limiting your customers would be unhelpful probably! And I would not want the only b and b or hotel or cab company in town to be men or women only! But as a niche market I can see that as woman, maybe travelling alone, I might well want to stay in a female only B and B or travel by female only mini cab or may wish my child to go to a girls' school (I do not want my daughter to go to a female only school, but we do have them in this country and I have heard they are quite good for girls achieving well).

I would see these minor niche areas where limited discriminations are allowed to acceptable, just as I am very happy to use women only toilets in public and I would feel quite uncomfortable using unisex toilets.

I don't see why it is different for children. Are you saying it is OK to discriminate for children but not for adults?

Re - women Bishops - I agree...wink.

pedro you are being very gentle on me! Are you getting soft in your old age!

best wishes,

Actually, Pedro I think you are maybe kinder to me than I deserve! I don't want to sound bigoted at all.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 12-May-13 09:48:34

The divorce rate of people who marry having not lived together before-hand has traditionally been lower than for those who divorce having lived together. Now, according to the Huffington Post, those things have levelled out, although it still makes a difference if the couple were committted (as in engaged) when they lived together, so it seems living together before getting married is no assurance you will be able to stay married.

Ok, well firstly, correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation. Couples are notoriously bad at staying together. But have you looked at the rate of couples not yet married who lived together but split up because they couldn't live together and managed to avoid getting married because of it?

I would guess the Christian B and Bs are not at all worried about people who are gay and staying alone, they don't want gay couples to stay. I don't agree with them, I am just explaining it from what I think may be their viewpoint. Don't 'gay' B and Bs want to attract gay couples or singles? I would think that was what they wanted. I looked and certainly they wanted to attract gay people.

There's certainly nothing wrong with attracting a certain clientele, but actually discriminating against those who are not your target market is breaking the rules.

All I am asking is if some people want to attract gay people to their b and bs could some others want to attract married couples.

As above, attracting is fine. Discriminating is not.

Please hear me, this is not my view, I have no problem with whomever is staying at the hotel gay or straight

I hear you!

I am asking if it is wrong. I would certainly say it is wrong to disciminate but there are for want of a word special interest groups where they do have restrictions - Brownies are for girls etc. I totally believe in equality but think it is OK to have girls or boys only clubs. But I don't want those boys (or girls) only clubs running the country.

I agree!

Do you think it would be OK to run a B and B and not let women stay? Yes. I do and I would be very happy for men who wanted to stay in a male only B and B do so and I would be equally happy for there to be a cab company or b and b that was women only.

Ok, you make a valid point and perhaps gender issues are a slightly different beast now I think about it. But these companies would say "women only" as part of their advertising. These b&bs don't seem to say "no gays".

as a niche market I can see that as woman, maybe travelling alone, I might well want to stay in a female only B and B or travel by female only mini cab

That is fair enough. However, you presumably wouldn't have any problem with a lesbian couple staying in the women only b&b?

or may wish my child to go to a girls' school (I do not want my daughter to go to a female only school, but we do have them in this country and I have heard they are quite good for girls achieving well).

Actually this is something I disagree with, but that's perhaps for another discussion sometime!

I would see these minor niche areas where limited discriminations are allowed to acceptable, just as I am very happy to use women only toilets in public and I would feel quite uncomfortable using unisex toilets.

Yes you're right, I think in terms of men vs women there are sensible occasions when this is necessary. But sexual orientation should not be an issue.

I don't see why it is different for children. Are you saying it is OK to discriminate for children but not for adults?

There are protection issues with children. So I do think it's different. Although not with very young children, more the 6-16 range (slightly arbitrary ages, but I think very young children don't have much of a problem with genders, but as you approach puberty, this can become an issue)

pedro you are being very gentle on me! Are you getting soft in your old age!

I've always been soft (opinionated perhaps, but soft) smile

correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation - is this case what (do you think) is the reason then? No I have no idea who split up without getting married. But I think living with someone and then splitting up could be just as devastating to some as getting divorced.

There's certainly nothing wrong with attracting a certain clientele, but actually discriminating against those who are not your target market is breaking the rules. Wouldn’t a gay person or a gay couple running a b and b wanting to attract other gay singles or couples be rather disappointed to find their rooms filled up with single straight Christian couples? At what point would they say, actually this b and b is for gay people? Just wondering.

That is fair enough. However, you presumably wouldn't have any problem with a lesbian couple staying in the women only b&b? Well my B and B doesn't exist and it isn't for women only confused if it did and if it were then no, I wouldn't have a problem with a lesbian couple staying.

In some ways it doesn't really bother me if Christians are allowed to run a b and b and turn away a gay couple or not but in another way I think that for people running a b and b like that it is their home and their business and as far as I understand they may well not allow unmarried straight people to stay there together either. It seems hard to understand in the moral climate of this day but why should they not be allowed to say this. Does it really hurt people to have one less place to stay in this world? I think it is about the bigger picture and maybe there is a lot of hurt felt by 'the gay community', hurt they received from the church, and for that I am very sorry. I kind of feel this sort of lawsuit and this kind of ruling about a b and b does not remove he hurt or make up for it, it simply may add to perpetuating the hurt.

Actually this is something I disagree with, but that's perhaps for another discussion sometime! What single sex schools?

I am not sure this is asexual orientation question in the case of the b and b; I think it was two people staying together and having sex together in the b and b, that was the concern, not their orientation. But I could be wrong.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 12-May-13 16:02:33

correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation - is this case what (do you think) is the reason then? No I have no idea who split up without getting married. But I think living with someone and then splitting up could be just as devastating to some as getting divorced.

I think people break up for all kinds of reasons. But my point here was that just looking at divorce rates of living together before marriage and not doesn't show the whole picture because the key thing about living together first is finding out whether you are compatible. And there's a lot of people who manage to avoid marriage precisely because they have lived together first.

Wouldn’t a gay person or a gay couple running a b and b wanting to attract other gay singles or couples be rather disappointed to find their rooms filled up with single straight Christian couples? At what point would they say, actually this b and b is for gay people? Just wondering.

Firstly, I'm not really sure why you'd run a b&b specifically for gay people unless there's was some other agenda there or you were making a point against discrimination from christians. But I really I don't think it would be an issue. Besides there's plenty of ways you can put certain demographics off staying with you. Pictures of Satan in the hallway perhaps.....

In some ways it doesn't really bother me if Christians are allowed to run a b and b and turn away a gay couple or not but in another way I think that for people running a b and b like that it is their home and their business and as far as I understand they may well not allow unmarried straight people to stay there together either.

If you didn't like driving people you didn't know around in your car you wouldn't be a taxi driver, so why run a b&b if you don't want certain people staying in your house, especially when it's a topic like. Fair enough if you don't want an escaped convict, but just because someone is gay? You would clearly be in the wrong business.

It seems hard to understand in the moral climate of this day but why should they not be allowed to say this. Does it really hurt people to have one less place to stay in this world?

In the case of the couple who were turned away, it did hurt them because they'd explained the situation to the owners at the point of booking, but weren't turned away until the arrived. There was nowhere else to stay and it cost them additional travel costs and I think they lost money from something they'd booked to do which they were unable to go to.

Actually this is something I disagree with, but that's perhaps for another discussion sometime! What single sex schools?

Yes. Don't agree with them. Don't agree with faith schools either. Personal opinion though.

I am not sure this is asexual orientation question in the case of the b and b; I think it was two people staying together and having sex together in the b and b, that was the concern, not their orientation. But I could be wrong.

Well, that's what they said, but it's hard to tell. If you are that prejudiced against a gay couple that you stop them staying at your b&b then there's likely to be some deeper feeling against it than just having sex in your house.

shockers Sun 12-May-13 16:27:37

I have been giving this a lot of thought today. I didn't go to church last week or this week as I am pondering a response to a request for prayer for the 'right' decision to be taken on this matter.

This is what I've jotted down so far...

Love your neighbour as yourself... I have a secure and loving relationship with someone who understands me and whom I wish to spend the rest of my life with. Is it my decision to allow or deny others that? Not if I'm loving them as I love myself.

If my child came to me and said that they were gay, would I want him/her to be alone and unhappy, serving the Lord, but struggling with feelings of resentment toward an entity who is loving and compassionate and yet punishes them for being 'different'?

I have always thought of God as the ultimate parent... in my mind he would act with fairness, love and compassion, as would I.

It suits me fine if more Christians come to the conclusion that homophobia is wrong, but I wondered if the bible was really that ambiguous. Much as I dislike the religious position on homosexulality they were basing it on a real quote that I'd read for myself.

Leviticus 20:13 KJV seems pretty straightforward.
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death

I've just been reading that the literal translation says something like.

"a man who will lie down with a male in beds of a woman."

Or more comfortably in english:

"a man who will lie down with a male in a woman’s bed"

This suggests several things to me.

#1 That god thought it was ok to have same sex, but if you did it in a bed which belonged to a woman you must be killed. A bit harsh?

#2 If this is what the mainstream church has been using as justification of homophobia then they have been extremely dishonest.

#3 if the rest of the translations are like that then Christianity is based on soap bubbles and wishful thinking.

I always knew there were subtle differences of opinion over certain words. I never used translation as an argument because I felt it would just be pointless nit-picking, but that doesn't say anything like what the KJV says. Can I expect the rest of the translations to be just as loose?

Back hi grin, will let someone wiser 'enlighten' you, there are more passages but not tons.

Some fabulous Christian accepting websites, like this one.

canyonwalkerconnections.com/ten-things-i-wish-i-knew-ten-years-ago-about-gay-people/

If you really want to look at the argument against and for 'gay' relationships presented in an evangelical way with references this long but fascinating sermon actually manages to present both sides of the 'arguement'.

www.upworthy.com/every-biblical-argument-against-being-gay-debunked-biblically?g=2&c=go1

Back I would certainly not call those who I know and love for are Christians and who feel the Bible forbids gay relationships are 'homophobic'.

My dear old friend Wickipedia says of homophobia it is "Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, and may be based on irrational fear.... Homophobia is observable in critical and hostile behavior such as discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientations that are non-heterosexual."

As I said before many evangelical Christians would feel living together without being married is wrong but would not act in a non-loving way to those who do.

But I am aware the evangelical part of the church has for the most part seemed (I know there are exceptions) to take a very strong stand against equal marriage and this is part of a feeling I think of making a stand and a fear of negative repercussions that they then may be required to marry gay couples in church or employ gay married clergy. I think these fears are understandable which is why I said upthread that I think fear is a factor. Clearly fear is mentioned in the description of homophobia above but the fear that I think is mentioned in the wickipedia description is fear of gay people or homosexuality in general. I wonder if in certain parts of the church it is more a fear of repercussions about what will happen to churches, which is a different thing.

God Bless everyone, perhaps a note to any atheists and Christians reading this who do not agree with me, it is only because I and those like me who are thinking all this through, because we are passionate about God and passionate about people that we who are struggling to make sense of these 'issues' bother. It would be easier to say no to everything or yes to everything but of course we are all working through what we believe and I hope we can do it with love and compassion for all.

Back I would certainly not call those who I know and love for are Christians and who feel the Bible forbids gay relationships are 'homophobic'.

sorry that should read ...

Back I would certainly not call those who I know and love WHO are Christians (AND who feel the Bible forbids gay relationships) 'homophobic'.

Shockers I hope you find the answers you are searching for.

Pedro thought I had replied to you but it seems to have gone astray!

I think people break up for all kinds of reasons. I agree, but the evidence seems to be that living to gether first doesn't stop you breaking up, or make it less likely, which you 'seemed' be suggesting up thread.

living together first is finding out whether you are compatible. Compatible to get married? And there's a lot of people who manage to avoid marriage precisely because they have lived together first. But there may be a lot of people who lived together and then broke up, maybe many years later. This may well have been devastating for one or other of them and the lack of legal clarity around kids/property/money etc may have made it worse.

Firstly, I'm not really sure why you'd run a b&b specifically for gay people unless there's was some other agenda I meant gay people running a b and b for other gay people and being unhappy to find it being used by hetrosexual couples. I mean they would want to run it for the benefit of gay people....

No I am not making a point against discrimination from Christians.

If you didn't like driving people you didn't know around in your car you wouldn't be a taxi driver, so why run a b&b if you don't want certain people staying in your house...

Of course they want people staying but that is not the same as renting out rooms to people who they would feel uncomfortable having stay. You can say no smoking in your hotel room, for example.

In the case of the couple who were turned away, it did hurt them because they'd explained the situation to the owners at the point of booking, but weren't turned away until the arrived. There was nowhere else to stay and it cost them additional travel costs and I think they lost money from something they'd booked to do which they were unable to go to.

I don't know which case you are talking about, specifically. Can you supply a link. I was just talking about it in general.

Well, that's what they said, but it's hard to tell. If you are that prejudiced against a gay couple that you stop them staying at your b&b then there's likely to be some deeper feeling against it than just having sex in your house. I don't know the case you are refering to so could not really say about that.

Can you think of any situations where it is OK to discriminate (you personally think not you personally descriminate)?

Good night Pedro. wink

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