Men and women are different. Sex is intended only for marriage. Sexual expressions other than those that are monogamous, heterosexual, and cissexual are in error. God’s love and forgiveness is for everyone.

These are the earth-shattering ideas affirmed by the Nashville Statement, evangelical Christianity’s attempt to speak up for itself in a time when its views are quickly being pushed from the public square. The reaction from many corners of our culture have been as predictable as they are outraged:

Look, I get it. Many people disagree strongly with these views. They directly contradict the non-traditional values held by a large swath of the population, perhaps even the majority. But there can be no doubt that the Nashville Statement represents the views and beliefs of a significant number of Americans (also, perhaps even a majority). That is why it was especially galling to see public officials denounce the statement, particularly the Mayor of Nashville, who said:

Actually, Ms. Barry, it does represent the values of many, if not most of the people of Nashville. It’s remarkable that a public official feels so free to slander the views of such a significant portion of her constituency, and declare with the imprimatur of government that such views are unacceptable in the public square. A more appropriate response from a government official would be:

As a government representing citizens of wide-ranging beliefs who are free to express them, and bound by the U.S. Constitution to neither endorse nor prohibit the free exercise of religious belief, the City of Nashville takes no position on the so-called “Nashville Statement”.

The public, secular argument about the Nashville Statement is remarkable enough, and worthy of debate in the comments below. Issues like faith’s role in the public square, what it means to be ‘tolerant’, how to approach transgenderism, ‘hate speech’, coerced cake-baking, and the like are all worthy topics of discussion and tie in to the Nashville Statement. But I find the debate within Christianity itself to be especially interesting. These issues of sexuality have been tearing apart many Christian denominations, which have struggled to reconcile their historic beliefs with today’s culture. While most evangelical denominations have held fast to traditional beliefs, the so-called “mainline” churches, the often larger and more established denominations (Episcopal, PCUSA Presbyterian, United Methodist, ELCA Lutheran) have fairly rapidly departed from them.

A response called the “Denver Statement“, released by an ELCA-sponsored alternative church designed to “make sense to urban, postmodern folks” encapsulates the view of this side of Christianity:

Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in an exciting, beautiful, liberating, and holy period of historic transition. Western culture has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being by expanding the limits and definitions previously imposed by fundamentalist Christians.

How exciting, how historic, this upending of millennia-old beliefs and traditions! Such sentiment is widespread in progressive Christian corners, which revel in their unmooring from scripture, and wear their heresy as a badge of honor. They engage in too-clever-by-half reinterpretations, selective reading, and feelings-based decision-making to arrive at doctrinal conclusions that oh so neatly track with the values of secular culture. The result, in the mainline denominations most affected by this, is chaos and schism. What about all that talk about not serving two masters, families being divided over belief, and how people will be persecuted for their Christian belief? Ehhh, we wouldn’t want to hurt people’s feelings, after all.

Other Christian responses have been supportive, eye-opening, and even humorous. Many are taking the release of the statement as an opportunity to discuss and explain the nuances of what is a very nuanced topic. A lot of commentary focuses on the need for Christians to stand up for their beliefs in this age, and asking for respect for these beliefs from those who proclaim their tolerance and inclusiveness. One of the most interesting responses is from someone who has herself struggled with the conflict of her faith and sexuality, and in doing so, offers a powerful testimony and example for those with similar struggles.

As a Christian myself, I read the Nashville Statement and have a really hard time finding anything I disagree with. Perhaps it could be more clear about the duty of Christians to love those struggling with sexual sin, but there is already ample content in the statement affirming this. One of the worst parts of this whole thing is the mischaracterization of the statement as “hateful”. Wrong. The statement is clear in its condemnation of sin, no doubt, but it is love for the sinner is also clearly stated.

But in an age when the culture breaks people into identity groups, instead of individuals, and teaches people to incorporate their sexuality as a core part of their identity, no wonder people have trouble with it. When our culture conflates words with violence, of course there would be attempts to silence people. And when a believing person’s polite disagreement is considered hate, no wonder such people are vilified, attacked, and ousted from society.

39 comments

  1. Where to begin? I suppose the logical place would be my own interpretation and opinion.

    For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10
    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5

    The Nashville statement focuses solely on sexuality. Where is the special 14-part treatise on gluttony or hypocrisy, things that the US has in abundance? Why do we need a special statement on sexual sin? Why does no one acknowledge that the Bible is full of godly men that sinned sexually and found favor with God? Jesus had more to say about hypocrisy than he did sex and the hypocrite may as well head down to the brothel. Indeed, the writers of this statement could very well have run it past their side pieces before publication all puffed up in their self-righteousness.

    The testimony of the average sexual sinner seems to be formulaic. As a young person they are tempted and conflicted and governed by hormones. As they age and hormones subside, so do the temptations. I couldn’t find a chart of beliefs by age, only denominations, but most people that discuss sexual sin are at least beyond the teenage years. Perhaps someone else has that data, but I did see a statistic from “waitingtillmarriage.org” that 1 in 30 wait until marriage to have sex. According to the Bible, 29 in 30 may as well be a fat, lazy, homosexual alcoholic. When they then proceed to judge others dealing with the same issues they are at best being unkind.

    I am sorry for my cynicism, but this is how it goes these days. I don’t really care if someone publishes a “Nashville Statement”, but I am not entirely sure what they hope to accomplish with it. Nashville is like most southern cities, it has it’s liberal parts and conservative parts with the suburbs being more conservative. I have an uncle that lives there and was a part of the music industry. He is very liberal but I don’t think the music industry is one or the other. Surely people in Nashville can find common ground with a significant number of people of any stripe. So, go find them. They are all over the place.

    Given my sometimes bumpy history with Christianity, I will not stand in condemnation of someone struggling with various temptations. The standard for conduct these days amounts to “it isn’t illegal” so I am not terribly concerned that two men or two women fall in love and want to marry. If God wants to judge, he certainly can do so, but very few people in the US have removed the planks from their eyes sufficiently to see what others are going through.

  2. I was going to write a pithy post of my own but I read pfluffy’s and she got many of the points I was going to make out first.

    There is an infatuation, almost bordering on Freudian obsession with American evangelicals surrounding sexual sin, and even more obsessively surrounding homosexual sin. I might be mistaken but I believe the only UNFORGIVABLE sins are suicide and taking the name of the Holy Ghost in vain (whatever that truly, or literally means). Additionally, and while it is debated, we as christians often wonder what the point of christ’s visit was with some of the debate settling on Jesus delivering his disciples from the Old Testament into believing his true word and examples as the “way and the path.” Some scholars say Jesus remarked that the Old Testament was god’s word but humans had misinterpreted it.

    Sooooo, when toothless, barely litererate hillbillies congregate in “mount Zachariah holy temple of Christ” on a hill in Tennessee to craft a statement in god’s name I am immediately dubious on said idiots ability to truly grasp the amount of nuance and reflection that’s gone into the Bible and its teachings.

    Surely thee are statements in the Old Testament that talk about homosexuality as a sin and abomination, and there are exerpts from a couple of Jesus disciples that opine on homosexuality, but absolutely zero, zip, zilch, and nada on the topic from Jesus himself during his life or after his resurrection. Not. A, word.

    Jesus did however talk about plenty while he was with us which is surprisingly absent from the superstitious beliefs of Tennessee yokels in their proclamations. Not the least of which is the never, ever, ever talked about truly despicable behavior of the Jews in the temple taking advantage of the pilgrims. It is the only recorded incident of Jesus truly going positively and violently apeshit about what he witnessed and it had nothing to do with faggotry. It had everything to do with the trust factor placed in houses of worshipping his father, and the archaic Osteen’s of Israel fucking over simple pilgrims coming from miles away to worship.

    That drove Jesus positively apeshit.

    Surprisingly absent from this heehaw magnum opus is any simbalance of understanding, level playing field of sins, or humility that eschewed from christs actual teachings. Instead of being the early and inclusive disciples of the man that stopped to wash the feet of lepers, and told a rich man that all he had to do to get to heaven was cast off his wealth and follow him, we get a pompous screed from a bunch of brow beating bible thumpers about what THEY don’t like in American society.

    Fuck them, really. I don’t say that in a hateful way, but an aloof “guess what the crazy guy on the corner just said” kind of way. Christianity grew through the Roman Empire by being inclusive, forgiving, pacifist and martyred. This statement has none of that, and wrongly distorts a “hierarchy” of sins where one does not exist.

    I used to get angry at the religion for statements like this but it’s truly the work of idiots, falsely claiming to hold the scrolls of Christ’s word in their own hands when they make bullshit opinions like this. They should be ashamed of such proclamations of judgement like this because that’s not how they were taught to behave towards others and anyone who endorses this unchristian-like sentiment should be stoned in accordance to the Old Testament fetus he they cherry pick to cast aspersions on others.

  3. I can definitely appreciate responses that highlight other types of sin as not getting as much attention. Divorce/infidelity, gluttony, greed, selfishness are issues that modern American Christianity has largely overlooked, to its detriment. These types of problems have destroyed families and damaged faith, and in some cases are indeed bigger problems than sexuality.

    But isn’t it also true that issues of sexuality have largely been foisted upon Christendom by the culture? Isn’t it equally “cherry picking” to tell Christians they must focus on other types of sins before addressing the sexual ones? By no means should Christians ignore other sins or start dividing sin into classes of more or less important, but the fact that these sorts of sins aren’t given as much attention doesn’t mean the sexuality ones are any less important. Many of the other sins haven’t really changed much since biblical times, but there is no doubt the culture around sexual issues has rapidly changed.

    Those of you making the argument that Christians should focus on other sins before tackling sexuality need to explain how you think Christians are to deal with these cultural changes. Are they supposed to simply eschew their long-held beliefs? Are they to ignore blatant and unrepentant sin in their midst? Are they supposed to shut up completely and not even talk about sexuality before all other sins are equally addressed? Seems an unachievable standard.

    I think Christians have, for a while now, accepted the fact that the culture is going a different way. While not okay with sexual sin “out there”, much like other sin, it is accepted that others will live differently than Christians. But within Christendom, isn’t it appropriate to say ‘hey, we believe this stuff the popular culture is teaching is wrong and contrary to what we believe’?

  4. Meh. I think it’s fair enough. I don’t believe in God, so it doesn’t affect me. If you take away the fact that the label we’re using here is Christians. It’s just a bunch of people in a club, writing down some things they all think. I fundamentally disagree – that’s why in my ‘club’ being LGBTQ is absolutely fine.

    As long as it’s not public policy, have at it. In a club that doesn’t like gays? Then don’t be gay. In a club that doesn’t think you should eat pork? Cool, more bacon for me. If the Manchester United supporters club want to issue a statement affirming that Eric Cantona was the most gifted number 9 of his generation, and denying the brilliance of Robbie Fowler, then have at it, we all have our beliefs.

    Within the ‘club’ though, it’s something that the members need to reckon with. How did y’all get past the shellfish thing? Just do that? 😉

    I guess that perhaps calling it the Nashville Statement wasn’t right – it sort of intimating that this was the position of Nashville itself.

  5. Has American Christianity failed to keep up with changes in society? Yes, but many of those changes are negative, especially when it comes to the transgender “gender neutral” stuff that is being pushed on kids in public schools. I have my own issues with the American brand of religion that tends towards fundamentalism, but many of those views are shared by other Americans. The Left’s tendency to dismiss more traditional beliefs in favor of radical change is what’s driving a conservative backlash that will be nasty-but largely because the left has encouraged it to do so.

  6. A case can be made that introducing such concepts to children is wrong, but it seems that some children know early on that something is wrong. That stuff should be left in the family IMO.

    The Right could stand to clean up its radical fringe before pointing fingers at the Left’s, and vice versa of course. If the right gets “nasty” that is on them. Don’t scapegoat the left for not wanting to live like you do. The vast majority of this stuff doesn’t actually affect most people day to day. If a gay couple gets married, how has my life changed in any way?

  7. Isn’t it equally “cherry picking” to tell Christians they must focus on other types of sins before addressing the sexual ones?

    Yes, but …

    No one talks about sex more than fundamentalist Christians. Sexual sin has been done to death and the rest of the nation is fully aware of how most Christians feel about sex. I don’t think I have heard about gluttony or greed as a sin in decades, since I left the Baptist Church. It was only touched on lightly even there.

    I am aware that there is a breed of Christian that has modified canon to suit their more modern needs. Modern sects of Christianity preach monetary success and feeling good over fire and brimstone. These people may or may not be sexually active before marriage and think that is fine because “at least they aren’t gay”. Again, the statistics aren’t so good about waiting for marriage. Most couples don’t and are fine with it since “they are getting married anyway”. All of this is of no concern to me but it isn’t “traditional values”, would you agree? I have no issue with communicating this amongst Christians.

  8. Gee, they’re upset that people have reacted to being preached at and told “y’all doing it wrong”? Amazing.
    And cress is right – calling it that clearly suggests it has something officially to do with the city.

  9. BTW how does anyone reconcile being Christian and actively voting Trump? I’ll never understand that. Unfortunately it just reinforces my belief that a considerable number of people who consider themselves Christian are nothing of the sort. My dad is the truest Christian I know. I don’t believe in God but I sure do admire his faith and way he lives it.

  10. No one talks about sex more than fundamentalist Christians.

    This is so unbelievably wrong. Fundamentalist Christians aren’t the ones printing the dozens of magazines in the checkout line listing sex positions that will make your man (or woman) go wild. Fundamentalist Christians aren’t the ones mandating T&A in at least two scenes per hour on HBO. Fundamentalist Christians aren’t exploiting vulnerable young women in the internet porn industry. Fundamentalist Christians aren’t riding floats with simulated orgies down the middle of the street in a “pride” parade. Fundamentalist Christians aren’t producing “art” using their own menstrual blood. Fundamentalist Christians aren’t performing dramas told from the perspective of their own vaginas. Fundamentalist Christians aren’t forcing people to pretend boys are girls. Shall I go on?

    Rather, Christians (not just fundamentalists) are quite modest compared to the rest of the culture. We’d rather people keep that stuff to themselves and not parade it in front of us and our children. We’d also appreciate the previously-assumed freedom to believe what we want about sexuality and not be ostracized from society as a result.

    Furthermore, gluttony and greed aren’t issues that are ripping congregations to pieces. It’s sexuality, in its many forms (gay pastors, women pastors, blessing of gay marriages, fornication), which is causing massive rifts within Christendom, such that it should come as no surprise that churches are discussing ways to address it. So yeah, it’s a hot topic right now, but not out of some hypocritical or prurient motivation, but a desire to save and protect the faith from rapidly changing sexual values in the outside culture.

    Finally, waiting for marriage has always and is still the clear norm and expectation among the vast majority of Christendom, and basically universal among those who aren’t the “modern sects” you refer to. People routinely fall short, as with any sin (though many are indeed faithful until marriage), and if Christian, would hopefully repent of those sins. Good churches aware of any unrepentant or persistent sexual sin should and do act with church discipline to help bring the couple to repentance.

  11. BTW how does anyone reconcile being Christian and actively voting Trump? I’ll never understand that.

    Well, there’s what, 60 million people who voted for Trump? So let’s be generous and say that 40-50 million of them are Christian. Shouldn’t be too hard to find a few and, I don’t know, maybe ask them, instead of proclaiming the answer incomprehensible.

  12. The first paragraph is a perspective issue and I will concede it to some extent. I am only peripherally aware of the apparent plethora of deviant publications but fundamentalists seem to be abundantly clear.

    Furthermore, gluttony and greed aren’t issues

    Another “agree to disagree” opportunity here.

    Your last paragraph is worded in just the way I would expect a Christian to word it. Compare and contrast that to how other sexual sin is worded. That is pretty much my whole point. You never even said “abomination”, arguably the kindest thing said about homosexuality.

    women pastors

    See, I learned something today and it is still early! I didn’t know that “women pastors” were considered sexual sin alongside painting with menstrual blood and porn. Now, I did note above that sins are not rated on a sliding scale, so OK. The Presbyterian church I belong to would be shocked to learn that one of their pastors may as well be drawing with her tampons. We are probably not going to get much further in this conversation.

  13. To be fair, I think CM in in New Zealand? Probably not many Trump voters, but you never know with all the voter fraud.

    Or … you could just answer the question yourself since you meet the criteria.

  14. It’s not incomprehensible. Christians, particularly evangelicals, don’t vote for the most moral and nice candidate. They vote for the candidate who has strong moral convictions and forcefully defends them. Reagan was a Hollywood actor who had been divorced. GW Bush had been an alcoholic and a cokehead. They got the support of evangelicals because they didn’t doubt their convictions, despite that both of their opponents were practically Boy Scouts.

    If the morality of the candidate were all that mattered, they would vote differently. It’s the moral convictions that matter: America is exceptional, abortion is wrong, radical Islam is a threat that must be destroyed, etc. Couple that with “I’m not afraid to say these things you know to be true!” and “I will unite us to get this done!” and you have a winning Republican candidate.

    They wouldn’t want Trump to be their pastor, but they believe that as long as he has the righteous positions and will fight for them then his personal flaws don’t matter. Presidents have to do amoral things by virtue of the job. Evangelicals get that.

  15. Your last paragraph is worded in just the way I would expect a Christian to word it. Compare and contrast that to how other sexual sin is worded.

    I’m not really understanding what you’re saying here. Can you clarify so I don’t just make an assumption before I respond?

    I didn’t know that “women pastors” were considered sexual sin alongside painting with menstrual blood and porn…We are probably not going to get much further in this conversation.

    Women pastors is a sexuality issue, obviously, and one that is dividing many churches. If you are being this obtuse, you’re damn right we won’t get much further. I thought we were having a conversation, but it seems you’re more interested in one-sided snark.

  16. Frankly, I’d be less embarrassed by my choice had I voted for Trump in the general. Instead, I voted for Egg McMuffin, what an awful choice.

  17. I know that you don’t mean it this way but it sounds like if he pretends to care about some evangelical shit they are good. That is pretty much what it looks like he has done.

    I am an issues voter and not a values voter so I can see myself voting for a complete asshole if he or she were on the right side of even a handful of issues that matter to me. Sadly, that just isn’t the case with Trump AND he’s an asshole. I may have to modify that a wee bit if he actually signs something reasonable to help dreamers, but alas, Congress has to actually pass something first.

  18. You got triggered af before when I remarked that my belief of many American splinters of faith are cults, and statements like the one from the Tennessee cultists are a perfect example of why. Now I don’t disparage them for being faithful or possessing conviction but it is the obsession with seemingly ONE aspect of sin that makes me believe they’re more cult than Christian.

    In the pantheon of sinning, in my mind, homosexuality registers neither more, nor less than other noteworthy sin. Theft, murder, gluttony, idolatry, etc are all sins. I don’t believe the Bible places a premium on homosexuality as a sin over others in terms of severity. In order to pass into heaven, depending on what you believe is the culmination of your faith and life’s work weighed against your sins. So, who are these people, with no earthly idea of what a premium on sin is to tell anyone else that one is more vile than another?

    Jesus pardoned a fucking murderer. If we use his life experiences as an emotional measure for what was the most impactful reactions to the sins he witnessed, mega churches would actually be the number one target of any Christian in my mind. I can’t think of any more perfect of a black letter example of something that exists right under our nose in society that has a direct relationship to something Jesus saw and went apeshit over in his lifetime. In fact, the existence of greedy and deceitful houses of worship and their figureheads are THE event that Jesus had the most violent reaction to.

    So, in the context, when a faith decides to go off the deep end and focus so heavily on one aspect of sin they cease to get the greater picture and get lost in the weeds of cultish behavior, in my mind.

    Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, and obesity is a uniquely American epidemic, why no condemnation of that? “Stand your ground” laws seem to be antithetical to “turn the other cheek” examples of christ’s teaching so why not condemn gun violence? You can’t say it goes without saying because neither clearly does in America.

    No, those kinds of things aren’t condemned because it’s easy to cherry pick a sin most people will never have the urge to commit and condemn it because they personally don’t experience the temptation. Only “others” do. This is directly analogous to my experience dealing with muslims and their superiority complex regarding halal eating.

    Muslims think they are high and mighty for abstaining from pork because that’s easy to do and it’s a cop out. All they feel they’re obligated to is obedience if the edicts and they’re secured a path to heaven, regardless of deeds beyond that. They may drink and fornicate but they sure ain’t no damn bacon eater. It’s ridiculous, and a cop out, and I feel the gay bashing is the Christian equivalent. Something very easy to abstain from, and finger wag others about that have impulses to do so.

    Christianity is unique in the abrahamic lineage of faiths because it requires, well, faith. True faith. It’s not obedience or law based like Judaism or Islam. It’s simply baffling, to me, that christians would seek to prohibit the free will centemral to the faith, good or bad, from their fellow man. That’s what heathens do.

    Jesus said “render unto ceasar” regarding politics. He did not say “assume political power and impose my will on others.”

  19. I really really wanted to vote Libertarian but Gary Johnson was such an embarrassment. The whole thing really was Lee’s Giant Douch/Turd Sandwich election.

  20. It was early, zoom and you are pretty snarky when you want to be.
    Women pastors are not a “sexuality” issue. What are you talking about? Women are people. We aren’t talking about a battlefield or building the pyramids here, just pastoring. Anyone with the proper education can do this job and you are equating it with sexual sin.

    I’m not really understanding what you’re saying here. Can you clarify so I don’t just make an assumption before I respond?

    This was not intended to be snark or insult. Why is it that homosexuality is spoken of as some vile abomination but “regular” shacking up is handled so delicately?

  21. No, I said “moral convictions” not “posturing”. A candidate has to be convincing. And Trump is doing what he said he would on issues evangelicals care about, more or less.

  22. Women pastors are not a “sexuality” issue. What are you talking about? .. Anyone with the proper education can do this job and you are equating it with sexual sin.

    I am not “equating it with sexual sin” so much as saying it, along with a range of other sexuality (i.e. sex-based) issues, is is a fault line driving chaos and schism in Christendom. As a Presbyterian, maybe you are unfamiliar with this, as your denomination largely resolved the issue before you were born. You can feel free to believe what you wish about ordination of women, but many other denominations do not share your view and some are actively grappling with it.

    Why is it that homosexuality is spoken of as some vile abomination but “regular” shacking up is handled so delicately?

    As for myself, I would hope I use the same “delicacy” in addressing both types of sin. I do know many if not most others share that view, despite the attention given to Christians who do seem to approach each type of sin differently. I would expect my congregation to similarly lovingly minister to a hetero couple shacking up as they would a gay couple.

  23. FWIW, I’m most aligned with this viewpoint as he’s described it.

    Trouble is that ilovecress is the “live and let live” sort, as am I. Many critics aren’t. I have to ask the question: in 2017 America, is it “hate speech” to declare that marriage can only be between one man and one woman? I think that it is rapidly becoming hate speech, if it isn’t already in some pockets of the country.

  24. I will not concede that Christians make sexual sins a bigger issue than other types of sins. Rather, it’s the culture and its own obsession with sex (thoroughly documented by me above) that raises the issue profile.
    I have heard many sermons that tackle all of the issues you have mentioned. There are major church initiatives throughout most denominations designed to counter the trend of impersonal, convenience-culture church and it is an issue widely discussed in Christian circles. Gluttony, greed, and other non-sexual sins are routinely discussed and addressed in sermons, bible studies, and conversations, and pastors and elders are routinely called to address and help people struggling with those sins.
    The issue with those sins, though, is that they don’t have the stark contrast with the values and emphases of the broader culture, and don’t emphasize the types of sin the culture creates identities out of (nobody is a “glutton” or “liar” in the same way they are “gay”).
    And let’s talk about imposition of will on others. Christians just want to live in peace, believing what they do without having contrary values forced upon them. We long passed the point of Christians seeking to impose their view on the country and have swung clear to the other side. I’m not even sure it is debatable (at least among this crowd) that the non-traditionalists have the upper hand (social and political power) and are actively working to suppress, demean, and destroy traditionalists on this issue. So who is seeking to impose its will on whom?

  25. in 2017 America, is it “hate speech” to declare that marriage can only be between one man and one woman?

    No.

    It is bordering on hate speech to say that if two men or two women get married it will “damage” the nation. How so? It appears that gay marriage is damaging the nation because it makes other people crazy angry. Normally, conservatives like to tout personal responsibility but exceptions can be made.

    I am also “live and let live”. If a church doesn’t want to marry gays they don’t have to. Cake bakers are not clergy so they are under a different set of rules. Honestly, where there is another bakery (or grocery store) around I don’t really care much at all. I didn’t even have a cake this last go-round. They are not integral to the marriage process. Marriage licenses are and those that refuse to issue them should be held in contempt until they either issue them or are replaced with some who will. We are a nation of laws as we were reminded quite recently.

    I am also live and let live when it comes to the affairs of a given church. There are thousands of churches, find one that suits you or start one. Just don’t be shocked when people poke fun of your worship of the Big Lebowski or handling of poisonous snakes.

  26. Some scholars say Jesus remarked that the Old Testament was god’s word but humans had misinterpreted it.

    Could I introduce you to some Jewish faithful? Pretty sure that’s what he was talking about.

  27. Why is it that homosexuality is spoken of as some vile abomination but “regular” shacking up is handled so delicately?

    I’ll take a swing. Because one of Christianity’s fundamental beliefs is marriage between a man and a woman. Since a man and a man cannot be married in the sight of God to these people, it’s “an abomination”. Whereas a heterosexual couple living together out of wedlock still have the option of marriage.

  28. Jesus pardoned a fucking murderer.

    Jesus also paid for that murder, so he was in a unique situation to “pardon” him.

  29. Cake bakers are not clergy so they are under a different set of rules. Honestly, where there is another bakery (or grocery store) around I don’t really care much at all.

    So you don’t support the lawsuit you allude to? Because there were many other bakers, even gay bakers in the town in question.

  30. BTW how does anyone reconcile being Christian and actively voting Trump?

    Might as well ask, ‘how does anyone reconcile being Christian (or Buddhist, or “not stupid”) and vote for any politician?’

  31. I know that you don’t mean it this way but it sounds like if he pretends to care about some evangelical shit they are good. That is pretty much what it looks like he has done.

    That applies to every politician who’s been elected in the last…forever. If they promise the right things, regardless of delivering them, American’s vote for them. It’s why Congress has an approval rating in the teens, but a 90+% re-election rate.

  32. What I mean is that Trump appears to embody the exact opposite of what Christianity teaches people, particularly how you treat people. It’s a terrible advert for Christianity that so many supposed Christians voted for Trump.

    It’s remarkable that a public official feels so free to slander the views of such a significant portion of her constituency, and declare with the imprimatur of government that such views are unacceptable in the public square.

    Good on them. Too many young people suffer unacceptable harm and even commit suicide because of the pressure put on them – much of it based on their belief in a specific Supreme Being.

    Perhaps it could be more clear about the duty of Christians to love those struggling with sexual sin

    I don’t see how it would matter. Pressure is pressure. Treating people are freaks has a very real effect on them, no matter how you parse it.

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