Becoming Free (1 Viewer)

Isaac

Lifelong Learner
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I would call home to my wife, and I'd get a serenade. No, not from her. From our canary. We had only had him about a couple of weeks, and man, I found out he could sing up a storm! The whole time I was talking to my wife, the yellow bird symphony was going on in the background. It was hard to hear that canary sing and stay gloomy very long let me tell you. Every night we would put this cloth over Cherokee's cage - that was his name. And all the singing stopped. The next morning I would go into the living room and there wasn't a sound coming from under that cloth. But as soon as I took the cover off, the canary started jumping all over the cage and singing his wakeup song.

Becoming Free

Each day with that canary was like life began when the cover came off that cage. In a way, that's like you and me. Your cage? That might be some painful memories, or a broken heart, or maybe a broken dream. Maybe you're caged in by some addiction or a habit, or anger that's eating you up inside. For some of us it's depression or even suicidal thoughts that have held us in. There's a cover on that cage, whatever it is. And as you listen today, it's dark in there isn't it? And maybe there's nothing to sing about.

Well, good news for you from the Word of God in Psalm 40. King David said, "The Lord turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth." King David's imagery is a little different, but in canary terms, the cover came off his dark cage and gave him a reason to sing.

The same Lord that did that for King David wants to do that for you. In fact, that's why Jesus Christ came. He says in the Bible, "The Lord has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners." Did you notice that, "release from darkness?"

Now, that little bird of ours was stuck in a dark world that he couldn't change until someone bigger and more powerful came along to remove that cover and release him from his darkness. The Savior, Jesus, came to do that for you and me. He came to die for our darkness, our sin, to remove the death sentence you and I have on our head because of our sins. And when you tell Jesus that you're trusting Him completely for a relationship with God, the cover finally comes off. All the guilt, all the shame, all of that stuff in the past is gone; it's forgiven.

So many people have told me right after they've reached out and put their trust in Christ, and they've said, "I feel like 100 pounds has just been lifted off my shoulders." And the pain is suddenly lightened because God himself is picking it up for you. The dark feelings and the power that may have kept you in darkness? All of that is replaced by this unexplainable personal peace.

Now, our canary? He had no choice when the cover came off his cage, but you do. Your release from darkness comes when you open your heart to Jesus Christ, and that could be today. You tired of the darkness? Well, you might be ready for Jesus to come in. And if you are, simply pray and surrender your life to his loving guidance and king-ship today. Got nothing for you to join. There's no religion to be a part of here. It's all about you reaching out and embracing the love of the person who died for you.

There is light to replace your darkness. There's a song that can replace your sin the day you let Jesus lift the cover off of your life
 
But who will take the cover off the cages that Christians place around gay people, who are told that they cannot be free until they accept someone from a book that describes them as abominations? Isaac, DON'T YOU SEE THE HATE? ARE YOU BLIND?
 
But who will take the cover off the cages that Christians place around gay people, who are told that they cannot be free until they accept someone from a book that describes them as abominations? Isaac, DON'T YOU SEE THE HATE? ARE YOU BLIND?

I think you're not separating the person from the behavior. No one is excluding them, you're the only one who's phrasing it like that. You seem to be unable to separate the person from what they do, but God isn't.

A relationship with God has put many confused people on a better path. They are no exception
 
describes them as abominations

Frankly, I didn't want to get caught up in technical technicalities arguing, but that's actually an untrue statement..

And in my opinion, this...this.. is the crux of our difference. You see the actions and the person as one. I do not. Neither does God.

They are no different than an addict who wants to stop practicing his addiction, or a cheater who wants to stop practicing his infidelity. Or anyone of us any day that sin in many ways in our attitudes. The only substantial difference is whether each person is persuaded by their inner circle that they are what they do.

God is not willing that any should perish but that all should have everlasting life, but it must be received.

It is actually the christian perspective which brings freedom. You are NOT what you do.

The attitude that "this is what I do. Therefore, this must be who I am. Permanently"...., is actually what makes a person a slave...
 
The attitude that "this is what I do. Therefore, this must be who I am. Permanently"...., is actually what makes a person a slave...

And you are not a slave to an authoritarian way of thinking?

But you deny that the Bible calls homosexuals or their behavior an abomination.

Leviticus 18:22 ~ You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13 ~ If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

So you don't see Lev 20:13 as a Biblical death sentence? Your statement:

They are no different than an addict who wants to stop practicing his addiction, or a cheater who wants to stop practicing his infidelity. Or anyone of us any day that sin in many ways in our attitudes. The only substantial difference is whether each person is persuaded by their inner circle that they are what they do.

The problem is that an addict can stop using drugs with or even sometimes without chemical help (and good for those who do!) A cheater can turn over a new leaf if they realize the error of their ways.

The SUBSTANTIAL difference here is that gay people cannot change the God-given brain structures that cause them to desire what YOU would call the wrong-sex partners. I have already listed a few references and have demonstrated the way to find more. Isn't it true that by Christian standards, we are ALL given whatever we are, whatever we have, as gifts from God? So God gives out lumps of coal?

Isaac, you are in my book a decent guy with beliefs that tend to warp your thinking a little bit. I don't hate you, but I do pity your inability to see that your viewpoint is prejudiced by the harsh (and 2000-years-obsolete) thinking of a technologically impaired book that was argued about at the council of Nicea to see what it would actually contain.
 
In fact the only place in the Bible where homosexuality is criticised is in Leviticus. Anyone who reads the rest of Leviticus will realise he was a complete nutjob. The passages where he goes on and on about how his sons must get the best cuts of meat should make it obvious he was self obsessed and profoundly bigoted.
 
Have you considered that the canary may be shouting to be let out of the cage and given its freedom?

Can't think that you'd be best pleased to be locked up for the rest of your life in a proportionally sized cage within four walls and never feeling the sun on your back. Or looking out over a pleasant view. Have you never seen a dog or a horse pause to take in a view? The canary will feel the same. I've never seen a bird fly into a building and not desperately want to find a way out
 
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The canary in the cage rejoicing at the lifting of the cover is an excellent analogy for religion. Things look better but in fact you are still in a cage.

 
or their behavior
Ahh, there it is.
Do you see how thorough, how complete, how entrenched the untrue perspective was in your mind?

You are SO determined to prove your theory that Christians and God hate gays that you stared at that sentence in the Bible for hours before finally admitted that it does NOT say that gay people are an abomination.

There is a big difference between a person and what they do.

There is not gay or straight, there are just PEOPLE, and God offers salvation to ALL of them.

Need to draw a bigger distinction between the person and whatever behavior God calls Sin.

You may think that's splitting hairs, but I don't. During the worst part of my drug addiction, my wife hated - absolutely HATED with palpable hatred - my using. But did she hate ME? No. Now we're still together 24 years.

She's a Christian, and she was able to separate the sin from the sinner. And yeah, it's a big deal.
 
The canary in the cage rejoicing at the lifting of the cover is an excellent analogy for religion. Things look better but in fact you are still in a cage.
There are two types of birds in cages. The ones that never sing or make a noise and those that make a great deal of noise. The quiet ones have given up, are resigned to their fate and in a permanent depressive state . The noisy ones are, as I say doubtless demanding to be released.
The cage and religion are identical each with the sole intention to restrain and control.
 
gay people cannot change the God-given brain structures

One of the problems with your argument is it would bring disastrous consequences if applied to pedophilia.
Most professionals are unable to help them change, too.
And their brain structure is not their fault, presumably.

So ... ?

And you are wrong about addiction; most people with severe addictions will always struggle to find organic happiness & pleasure, or what about people who are past that point of no return? The addiction is lifelong, but recovery comes through faith in God and surrender to find freedom.

Ultimately your argument "if your brain wants it, then it's OK" just doesn't work for many things.
It only works so long as the activity in question just happens to be an acceptable thing.

I know from personal experience what I am talking about. For a long time I also thought the only way to find meaning and joy was through chemicals, and in a sense it was true - but also in a sense it wasn't true. It took a relationship with GOD to cut through that and alter it.
And I know what it is to use that as an excuse, too.

There are many people who have struggled initially with same sex attraction but have also overcome it enough to live joyful, purposeful, meaningful lives. Generally speaking they have found victory in their struggle at an early-enough point to where although they continue to live with some amount of temptation, they are able to mostly live fulfilling, heterosexual lives. Many are married. I personally know one.

For obvious reasons, they're not on the nightly news detailing their story.

Refusing to acknowledge those cases is willful blindness.

@Cotswold I mostly agree with you. Religion has been used for terrible purposes at times, because ANY organizational or ideological movement is used for terrible purposes at times. The Civil Rights movement was wonderful; Black Lives Matter was atrocious (usually), as an example. There are bad people with bad intentions infiltrating everywhere.

Thankfully, Jesus didn't say "follow my followers", he said "Follow ME". The only reason to reject Jesus is if you've got a problem with Jesus.s

Believe me, a relationship - not religion, a relationship - with God brings huge peace, joy, victory on a spiritual level that cannot be adequately described, only experienced. (This is why formerly god-denying people accept Jesus Christ mostly through personal interaction, word of mouth, and experiencing it for themselves. There is no scientific study that will tell you "here is God!". But if you take a quiet moment right now to believe in God and sincerely seek Him in an attitude of complete surrender and willingness, He will meet you where you are and begin to transform your life, if you sincerely continue the journey.).
Although if you go to a dozen AA meetings, you will hear a heck of a lot about it - from people who lived in just about the most severe level of bondage known to modern times, and ONLY God could deliver them...and did.
I can't tell you how many testimonies I've heard from people who were the most God-denying folk on the planet all their life. When they came to 12-step they just about vomited to hear the word 'God'. 1 year later, their life was transformed and to hear their new found joy, freedom, etc., ....it must be 1000's of times I've heard it, and I don't even attend all that many meetings.
Of course there is a question of which 'God' people are finding, I can tell you it seems to mostly be the same God I serve, since 100% of AA principles are just a replica of Christianity, and the AA program literally came from the Oxford Group.
Yeah, sure, there are always a few old timers who claim their God is a doorknob .. Usually the grumpy ones. :)
 
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You are SO determined to prove your theory that Christians and God hate gays that you stared at that sentence in the Bible for hours before finally admitted that it does NOT say that gay people are an abomination.

And yet Leviticus 20:13 says to kill them anyway, even though they aren't an abomination?

I'm going to toss in an aside, Isaac:

During the worst part of my drug addiction, my wife hated - absolutely HATED with palpable hatred - my using. But did she hate ME? No. Now we're still together 24 years.

This is heart-felt and sincere: Congratulations in cleaning up your act and good luck in staying clean. I respect the effort that it took. The guy who got me my first REAL job was a stoner and became the prototypical Hollywood image of a burned out druggie. He couldn't drop his habit. He was a nice guy and still is, but can't hold a coherent thought in his head. You appear to still be coherent.

OK, now let me return to my viewpoint. From the outside looking in, it would appear that you learned how to remove the negative emotions and desires by giving yourself over to your imaginary higher power, which acted as a placebo. That's how atheists see what you described. To YOU, God is real so you believe it will work. Which is EXACTLY how VooDoo works in south Louisiana. If you BELIEVE it strongly enough, then you believe it will have power over you. But the strength came from the strength of your belief.

Ultimately your argument "if your brain wants it, then it's OK" just doesn't work for many things.
It only works so long as the activity in question just happens to be an acceptable thing.

That is a mischaracterization. I don't claim that an arbitrary desire caused by a brain issue is OK. You are guilty of faulty generalization. I am claiming specifically that being gay is strongly correlated with certain brain structures that are determined (biologically speaking) during gestation, even if they don't grow completely right away. Gay people are what they are because of how they are built. To ask them to deny the truth of how they are built is the flaw in your logic.

NOTE that we agree that for kids, some of the "grooming" activities that you have described elsewhere are not OK. Choices about personal gender must be made by the individual when their minds and bodies are ready for the choices to be made. My complaint WAS and REMAINS that organized religion has trouble accepting the truth of gay brain structure even though it is scientifically provable, and thus they treat gays as people who are engaged in execrable acts. When in fact, they are being true to themselves.
 
being gay is strongly correlated with certain brain structures that are determined (biologically speaking) during gestation

People can keep saying that all they want, (and I do understand and have some sympathy for why they would want to say this - I get it), but sorry, you'll never convince me of that when the clear and convincing mathematical evidence of the following, very simple reasoning totally and thoroughly contradicts it:


I am 100% certain that environment, surroundings, influence, and exposure most definitely impact whether a person ultimately desires to identify as gay.

And I can tell you some stories from my adventures in addiction of straight people who ultimately changed their orientation to suit their surroundings after a substantial period of exposure, limited options, and fitting in with groups. If you like I will carefully detail that to some extent without putting anyone's privacy at risk. (You can also consider prison, where totally straight men enter the prison one day, and eventually many of them willingly engage in gay sex, due to nothing more than continued starvation for sex and limited options - showing that the claim that orientation is fixed from birth, and the opposite orientation can never be desired or enjoyed, to be wrong).

Those are 2 examples and they don't come from my imagination, they come from real life experiences and knowledge.

Anyway, I'm not sure why we keep talking about gay people. God in the old testament did prescribe executing people who chose to engage in homosexual acts. Of course, it was always an option to just not do them - you weren't doomed just because of how you 'felt'.

Thankfully Jesus died for our sins so that God now sees those who accept Jesus' sacrifice as being in right standing with Him.
The rest of our earthly life here, although still dotted with sinful acts to be sure, is a process of a transformation from the inside out. We love Jesus and because His spirit resides in us, we slowly (sometimes quicker, sometimes slower) learn to actually make His desires our desires, thus resulting in, hopefully, a transformed life.

But we do not try to do or earn our way to God.

Most religions are man trying to be good enough to earn approval from a God, Christianity is about God's goodness being the thing that lets us have a relationship with God. We can still choose death and darkness if we want.

Billions of people's lives have been radically transformed, all from surrendering to God.

My opinion is it makes less sense to focus on trying to imagine the way you wish God to be, and more sense in surrendering to the way He is.

Here is a great thought: It is not the explanations of God which bring peace, it is the presence of God.
 
PS thanks for teaching me "execrable". Good vocabular word, hope I don't have to use it much in this life :)
 
Here is a random thought to distract everyone and help me exercise my humble muscles

I just used OFFSET and FETCH in T-SQL for the first time today. Really terrible that I didn't use it before - WOW, so powerful.
Might not see an occasion to use it a lot, but for the moment, I've created an SSIS package that splits any dataset export into chunks (input chunk size put in by user).

The magic bullet wasn't SSIS of course (as usual), it was T-SQL. Once I wrote the simple code to create the sql statements to be executed, I could loop through them and do a data flow.

SQL Server is the bomb !!

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I am 100% certain that environment, surroundings, influence, and exposure most definitely impact whether a person ultimately desires to identify as gay.

I am 100% certain that you are wrong by excluding the scientifically proven fact of brain structure differences. I have given reference links for that fact, and research continues today that confirms that brain structure differences correlate VERY STRONGLY to being gay. I will remind you again: Do a web search for "brain scan + homosexual" - and yes, use the plus sign. The key articles are UK-based from the 1990s and involve Positron Emission Tomography. I must also point out that you have phrased your statement with a wrinkle: "whether a person ultimately desires to identify as gay." What you ACTUALLY said is "those factors often keep gays in the closet where they live miserable lives rather than identify as gay."

Now substitute "black" for "gay" and see if it makes any sense for someone to stay in the closet about being black. If you can't see the parallel then you remain blinded by your Christian anti-gay conditioning.

When I was a kid in school, I was probably one of the smartest kids in the class. Among other things, I skipped a grade and always coasted through subjects that the older kids tripped over. I got beat up about it. For instance, I was the only kid in my high school to pass the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (and I also DID pass the follow-up test!) I didn't necessarily want to be smart but it is harder than you can imagine to consistently play dumb in order to "fit in" - particularly when my parents pushed me hard to excel. I was so socially traumatized that I didn't do much dating and such interests never really "took." My own father questioned my sexuality so much that I even wondered if I might be gay. (That problem eventually resolved itself after some much later therapy, but I felt the pressure.) So when I got to college I said "Screw it" and did what I did, which ended up getting a Ph.D. in a physical science but avoiding dating and such until I could resolve my issues. Now I'm married to a wonderful, loving, caring woman and even have grandkids, in case anyone was wondering.

No, I don't claim to be a genius. Yes, I know there are ways to test that - but I have nothing that I need to prove to anyone and so don't care. I am what I am. And I can fully understand why gays want to be what THEY are without having people bash them for it. I can understand being angry about having to live a lie. And I am to a certain degree very SAD that even with the evidence I have presented to you Isaac, you won't recognize that gays have more than sociological reasons to identify as gay.
 
It is not the explanations of God which bring peace, it is the presence of God.
Another belief held in the absence of evidence.
Billions of people's lives have been radically transformed, all from surrendering to God.
They surrendered to the will of their religion's oligarchy and led many to misery.
 
There is a kind of truth that is not subject to the physical world you see around you. Those that have had near death experiences have been given a glimpse of it, but most will not experience that part of truth until they have left their body and experience the spiritual side of themselves. You don't have to believe in your spiritual essence for it to be very real. You will find out one day. You most certainly will. Those folks on that Sub sure did.

Now who among us is has not been corrupted in some way spiritually. Most are so focused on physical world and all that it has to offer to our five senses on a daily basis they have given themselves over and are enslaved by the chaos in this physical world. The elite and powerful leaders don't believe in God like they used to and our whole Country suffers with great corruption and selfishness. It did not used to be like this.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
 
excluding the scientifically proven fact of brain structure differences

That's a mischaracterization of what I said. I didn't say that biology doesn't factor into it at all, but I reject your implication That biology is the only thing and that environment and influence and exposure doesn't factor into it at all. It's a combination of both and I find it interesting that I am confident enough in the evidence I have seen to be able to concede that point, but you can't do the reverse of that.

Still waiting for an explanation of the 100% in the family tree with zero occurrences while people in other environments are at a huge percentage.

No matter what science finds in the brain structure, if your conclusion defies what we can see with our own eyes, then perhaps you're misinterpreting the scientific aspects.

There is science and then there is the interpretation. The devil is in the details. It is easy to collect facts and much harder to interpret them.
 

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