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Isaac

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Sorry, Isaac, I have to call you down (slightly). Your answer about "a man and a woman as a normal two-parent family" is biased by a religious group's incorrect interpretation of homosexuality and its implications. Before you complain, I ask you to quote me exactly what Jesus said about homosexuality. Not other prophets, but Jesus. Find the quotes in the four gospels and let me know what is there.

If folks wouldn't emphasize their views that a gay marriage is automatically a sin no matter what else those parents do, those kids who had two gay parents would have less stress at school and therefore would not be bullied as often. It is your attitude that engenders stress based on gender biases. The data about two-parent family? Don't actually disagree, because the second parent is a safety net who provides regular attention and/or a second income. But the data for gay parents is harder to find because of same-sex marriages not being legal for such a long time. So I challenge the depth of that facet of the data.

Don't remember if I ever answered this Doc, but fortunately we can avoid arguing on this one because we'll just have to shake hands and part friends - as I disagree with the very first premise, the implication that if I can't find it in the Gospels it's worth nothing - I just don't agree with that, so. Jesus said he did not come to abolish the law or the prophets, but to fulfill. That's a loaded and complex concept which I won't pretend to dissect or explain here, but suffice it to say I disagree with your implication that the only commands of God are those found in red print in the Gospels.

My guess on Jesus' attitude toward practicing homosexual acts would be the same as it was toward adultery, when he told the woman. "Your sins are forgiven you - Now go, and don't sin any more". Love, forgiveness, rehab, and the inevitable 'now recipocrate God's love toward you by loving him through, among other things, obedience'.

You'd be surprised. Obeying God is actually a happy, fulfilling place, if done for the right reasons.
Just because I (me, Isaac) was born with a half-dozen impulses that I may struggle with doesn't justify me indulging them.
I'm not responsible for them being there when I was born, but I am responsible for my recovery.
 

The_Doc_Man

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Obeying God is actually a happy, fulfilling place, if done for the right reasons.

Any mandate from God that would require me to disavow my gay stepdaughter is one I would happily PERSONALLY shove where the sun doesn't shine in that deity's physiology.
 

Isaac

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Any mandate from God that would require me to disavow my gay stepdaughter is one I would happily PERSONALLY shove where the sun doesn't shine in that deity's physiology.
Disavow??? You could benefit from rereading some of my previous posts about loving and welcoming and helping people.

You sure make a lot of assumptions and are a bit forgetful. Let me know where I said that we should disavow our children??
I for example have wonderful parents who have helped me work through a lot of the things in my life that needed work, and I don't remember ever feeling disavowed from it, if that's the way you're doing it something's def wrong!
 
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Isaac

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Disavow??? You could benefit from rereading some of my previous posts about loving and welcoming and helping people.

You sure make a lot of assumptions and are a bit forgetful. Let me know where I said that we should disavow our children
Your twisting of my words or actually making brand new ones that I never said reminds me of this political cartoon
cartoon-111122-copy.jpg
 

The_Doc_Man

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Obeying God is actually a happy, fulfilling place, if done for the right reasons.

Then let me remind you that your God is an authoritarian deity who nit-picks reasons and condemns homosexuals as abominations to always be shunned. AND according to the Bible, you don't get to pick-and-choose what you obey. If were of the mind-set to obey God, I would have to go by scripture without questioning whether a particular passage could be somehow avoided. God supposedly doesn't allow loopholes.
 

Isaac

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Then let me remind you that your God is an authoritarian deity who nit-picks reasons and condemns homosexuals as abominations to always be shunned. AND according to the Bible, you don't get to pick-and-choose what you obey. If were of the mind-set to obey God, I would have to go by scripture without questioning whether a particular passage could be somehow avoided. God supposedly doesn't allow loopholes.
The New testament has many instructions that help people understand how to relate to other people in the community including when people are in sin. It's obviously much more nuanced than simply shunning, in fact there is very rarely touched on the idea of shunning, and in fact shining when it really work would it? Because we all have sin in our lives since no one is perfect therefore we would all have to simultaneously shun each other.

As I have stated many times before, practicing homosexuality is just like any other sin anger jealousy unkindness etc. You don't shun a person from your life simply because they are not perfect. At least I don't, do you?

It sounds to me like you're saying that you actually would shun someone who you truly think is in the wrong I hope that's not the case but that's not really the way to live.
 

The_Doc_Man

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It sounds to me like you're saying that you actually would shun someone who you truly think is in the wrong I hope that's not the case but that's not really the way to live.
Habitual criminals? Easily shun them once they've been convicted several times. Child molesters? Easily shunned after a few counts. Serial rapists? Not a problem to dump them in the garbage heap after a couple of convictions. People who eat peppermint and puff it in your face? There, I could perhaps be more forgiving.

As I have stated many times before, practicing homosexuality is just like any other sin anger jealousy unkindness etc.

Except that YOU have obviously been ignoring my discussions that homosexuality is more like a condition of birth. There is NO CONSCIOUS DECISION that you can make that would change the physiology of your brain in that particular way. Yet the UK studies based on Positron Emission Tomography clearly showed that homosexuals have a detectable physical brain difference. It is NOT just like any other sin. But you can't accept that, can you? Do you shun left-handers? No, of course you don't. Do you shun people of an ethnic origin not your own? Probably not. Neither of those cases represent people who had a choice. But gays predominantly don't have a choice either. That is the problem basing your social decisions on a book written in primitive times when the idea of a brain structure was SO alien to them that if you had mentioned it, you would have been ostracized for your insane ideas.
 

Isaac

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There are many conditions from birth that make people more likely to desire or crave a multitude of things. The question isn't being in that condition, the question is what acts are taken.

Big difference.
 

Jon

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Oh crap! I've never asked what any of my ex girlfriends identified as...
 

Isaac

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Man, Doc and I sure do talk a lot about gays on this forum, but I fear the 99.9999999% (you get it, there aren't enough 9's for me) of the impact of Christianity is being disguised behind the salacious tidbit of argumentative streaks we both have.

I was brought to tears today in church, (albeit online, as I got up too late to make the 1 mile trek to church) , but I hooked the Internet up to the TV and heard this amazing story of a guy who got west nile virus and his life changed in an instant. The love of God was felt through miracles and caring from his neighbors, his wife, his son even transformed, I mean here is a man whose life is changed by gratitude for a loving God who literally surrounds us with His love and presence when we most need it. Absolutely awesome to hear. I also heard a Joyce Meyer segment the other day on the Roku about how most of our stress and weariness literally comes from WITHIN, not without. It's how we choose to see God working in our lives and our circumstances (or not) that gives us the power. It's absolutely amazing the MILLIONS of lives Joyce's ministry has transformed - including working with trafficked or addicted girls and general public, and those in abject poverty around the world - ONE woman obeying God. It's no accident that Zig Ziglar, the father of all things motivational, was a Christian.

Then my church experience is about 1.75 hrs, and the first 45 minutes of it was how much it took to go through the various things the church community (the main source of charitable social network in this nation, just in case you forgot!) - is doing to help the poor all the way from Lebanon to Mexico to Phoenix with grateful families who will never be the same who have been lifted up with the care and love of CHRIST in ways ranging from visible physical needs to emotional needs to marriages saved and families restored.

Boy am I on fire today. I am inspired to get out of my complaining, foul mouthed, grumpy mood and get my butt in gear to see my life differently!! May these words inspire you a little bit on this sunday afternoon!!
 

The_Doc_Man

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Isaac - I want to be clear on this. I know & understand that many churches perform charitable actions and I truly respect them for that facet of their operation. Regardless of their motives, they do good things. FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE that point. My wife and I specifically support charities that provide cheap or free food to the needy. We picked a group that has low overhead and high efficiency so as to maximize the "bang for the buck" - which I don't think is wrong to consider for charitable giving. We see their results because they operate in our area among others.

I refuse to support the flashy folks whose activities "bring in the bling." Some of the evangelical preachers turn my stomach on the grounds that even if I don't believe in God, I believe that the church is generally well-intentioned. Then to see the shysters on the pulpit who beg, who plead, who shed tears to elicit one more dollar out of your pocket - and then drive off in a Cadillac or a Lexus or whatever, and who wear a real Rolex or a diamond ring big enough to bail out the economies of some smaller impoverished nations... that totally frosts my cookies.

I will point out that multiple double-blind studies have demonstrated more than once that prayer doesn't really work if the target of the prayer doesn't know about the cadre of praying parishioners. It is totally within the realm of possibility that some of the effects of prayer are due to a placebo effect. So when you talk about a guy being transformed, was it due to God or was it due to a morale boost following the discovery of the folks offering some level of prayer? More to the point, can you tell the difference in any objective way?

You go believe as you like. I never at any time wish to stop you in that belief. My position is and always has been that religious comments made in public can be rebutted or debated in public. The Socratic method includes public debate as a way to explore issues, so in a way I am like Socrates. Except that I know what hemlock is and refuse to take any.
 

The_Doc_Man

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There are many conditions from birth that make people more likely to desire or crave a multitude of things. The question isn't being in that condition, the question is what acts are taken.

Big difference.

The question is also whether you are mentally "projecting" your profile of cravings onto someone else whose physiology causes different desires. In essence you are asking someone else to live up to your expectations. You are NOT your brother's keeper. If you think that, you don't understand the Biblical implications of free will. Go find a Bible with the Apocrypha and read the first three chapters of Esdras to better understand those implications.
 

ColinEssex

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I refuse to support the flashy folks whose activities "bring in the bling." Some of the evangelical preachers turn my stomach on the grounds that even if I don't believe in God, I believe that the church is generally well-intentioned. Then to see the shysters on the pulpit who beg, who plead, who shed tears to elicit one more dollar out of your pocket - and then drive off in a Cadillac or a Lexus or whatever, and who wear a real Rolex or a diamond ring big enough to bail out the economies of some smaller impoverished nations... that totally frosts my cookies.
I agree Doc, I hear Billy Graham made millions out of conning the gullible freaks. Nice work if you can get it, almost free money. I'm glad we don't have TV evangelists in the UK, if we did I suspect they would be outed as the frauds they are.
Col
 

Isaac

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@ColinEssex Well, before someone else does, I have to call that out strongly - Billy Graham did a huge amount of good in the world, and interestingly many people both Christian and non-Christian share that opinion of history. His predictions of how society would become are startingly accurate too, perhaps interestingly. But I am at total peace with the fact that whatever I say, you will rise up as my 6 year old niece used to do, to contradict it with great force. Although I will admit in honesty that anyone with a devoted audience (whether religious or not) is especially to the temptation of venality, especially those in a position to solicit financial support.

Well, Joyce Meyer is a televangelist according to some people's rather unthinking and pointlessly imprecise definition of anyone who preaches Christ and has heard of a television, as most have ....... and millions of people owe their life's transformation, peace, joy and even physical security to her work. Many have tried in vain to 'out' her, but it's a bit difficult when the voices thanking her are louder and more numerous than the petty jealousy of those opposed. In fact her messages have given me a lot of good in my own life, and I haven't paid a penny for them - I'd be curious to know just how that's fraudulent?
This is a great article about when Billy Graham contributed to Britain:

PS ... And I have to thank you for your nation contributing some of the great theologians of the Christian faith who began preaching the same things many televangelists are continuing today, such as John Wesley.
 
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Isaac

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I know & understand that many churches perform charitable actions and I truly respect them for that facet of their operation. Regardless of their motives, they do good things. FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE that point. My wife and I specifically support charities that provide cheap or free food to the needy. We picked a group that has low overhead and high efficiency so as to maximize the "bang for the buck" - which I don't think is wrong to consider for charitable giving. We see their results because they operate in our area among others.
Fair enough, thanks for mentioning. And absolutely - financial responsibility should be a baked in expectation of anyone who solicits donations I would think. I also hesitate quite a bit before donating to any organization. One of my favorite organizations is Teen Challenge (an old name no longer really related to helping teens, but anyone); they have a pretty good track record of helping addicted men, women and adolescents find new life. Their program is bare bones, but they survive by donations.

I'm sure glad there are people who are willing to open their wallet and help them continue their work, as they have saved thousands of lives and of course we know the exponential # of people impacted by one person's problems - families, employers, etc.

That's another thing I like about the USA - that I haven't pondered for a while. Generosity and a reputation for being people who donate to goo causes. Thanks @ Col for reminding me - just got the warm fuzzies thinking about it!
 

Isaac

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I will point out that multiple double-blind studies have demonstrated more than once that prayer doesn't really work if the target of the prayer doesn't know about the cadre of praying parishioners. It is totally within the realm of possibility that some of the effects of prayer are due to a placebo effect. So when you talk about a guy being transformed, was it due to God or was it due to a morale boost following the discovery of the folks offering some level of prayer? More to the point, can you tell the difference in any objective way?

Completely acknowledge that the supernatural is, by definition, super-natural. It is not something to be "proven" in a scientific method nearly as much as it is to be 1) experienced, 2) witnessed.

Also one thing to keep in mind regarding the 'placebo effect' (which I completely get the point you are making).

Most of the gifts and benefits from belonging to God do, in fact, need to be consciously received. They are given, but they must be received.
For example, when I pray for a person and I know they need joy in their life, my prayers aren't all that focused on just asking God to make them feel happy. It's to ask the Holy Spirit to stir their own spirit up to reach out to God in their own way and receive what God is giving them.
Over-generalizing here, but Christianity is mostly something to be individually received for the recipient by the recipient - it is a direct 1 to 1 thing between a human being and God.
 

Isaac

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ou go believe as you like. I never at any time wish to stop you in that belief. My position is and always has been that religious comments made in public can be rebutted or debated in public. The Socratic method includes public debate as a way to explore issues,

I agree, nothing wrong with public debate! I personally believe you and I will someday shake hands in eternity with God - because out of all Bible talks about what it takes to become saved, I believe the most important aspect is someone who truly seeks truth - and maintains an attitude of "whatever I find, I'll believe - when I actually find it and if I actually find it". Among other things you are that type of person.

I think most atheists are actually quite pure in heart, in the sense that the only reason they don't believe is because they haven't been fully persuaded, and they are, quite nobly, the self-honest types who aren't given to believing things that simply aren't real to them. Simultaneously they are quite dedicated to the pursuit of truth - pursuit. When/if it becomes real to them, they sometimes convert into the most profoundly impactful witnesses the world as ever known (CS Lewis and the apostle Paul come to mind).
 

ColinEssex

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Isaac, I went to hear Billy Graham (I think it was 1966). I wanted to hear his opinions and see how he became so famous. I have to say, he was very articulate for an American and managed to convince many people to accept Christian values into their lives. There is no doubt he was very charismatic and appeared to be sincere in his dialogue.
Col
 

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