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Tristen

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  1. John 12:3-7 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial." 2 Corinthians 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith Philippians 2:12 work out your own salvation with fear and trembling
  2. Tristen

    D J

    Obviously - you should ask God first - and His instruction overrules any advice I provide from my limited perspective. People who want to be a part of your life don't make "DEMANDS". She can ask or negotiate - but you also have the right to negotiate and set boundaries. If you are prepared to compromise on the name, she should be prepared to compromise on the pronouns. If she only wants to control everything around her, then she doesn't want to be in a relationship - that's not how successful relationships work. That's not how the world works. You are obligated to love and accept her, but you are not obligated to agree with her (or to fall in line with her deception). Tolerance is a two-way street. If she wants you to tolerate her convictions, she must be prepared to tolerate yours. You will not accomplish anything of eternal consequence by compromising your conscience towards God.
  3. John 12:5 - Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?
  4. Access to the miraculous is dependent on faith (in this context, meaning certainty - absolute confidence; without any doubting). Even the smallest amount of this kind of faith can move mountains. In the West, our culture conditions us to be suspicious of any experience outside of our senses (which is contrary to faith). That cultural conditioning, along with the fact that we are rarely in situations where we need to totally rely on God, makes miracle faith difficult and rarer. We hear of more (and more spectacular) miracles in cultures where people have grown up interacting with local spirits, and where daily life is a struggle for survival.
  5. Hi Mike, You asked, “Is denominationalism biblical?” I think humans like to label things. It sometimes makes communication more efficient if we can refer to labels. I don't think there is anything intrinsically harmful to such labelling. But as with all things, denominations can be used errantly – i.e. to divide rather than unify. “Does God have a preferred and true church amongst denominations?” I think God is probably inclined to see denominations as different parts of the same body. Only God has the whole truth. He gives to each of us the truth we need to fulfil our role in His plan. Most denominations, in my experience, believe pretty-much the same things. Some are simply called “denominations” because they were seeded by different groups. In many cases, differences of opinion within denominations is greater than differences between denominations. Obviously there are some distinctions, and some denominations arise from strife (usually over non-essential doctrines or personality issues). Nevertheless, I think overwhelmingly, most Christian denominations consider other Christian denominations to be equally Christian. “Are there denominations in Gods kingdom?” I suspect not. The main reason denominations exist is because we each have limited access to God's truth. When we all have access to all of God's truth, we will know each other to be fellow siblings in the family of God. The concept of denominations will be irrelevant.
  6. Hey Thomas, “insults can offend” Only if the insulted person lets them. But the insulted person doesn't have to take offence. It is in the power of the one being insulted to not take offence. “ ok, let's switch to FGM - female genital mutilation. Since it is well documented, you can ask me to bring sources, if you want. In countries where people mutilate girls, their parents are very sincere. "Only a mutilated girl" can get adult or pure or religious or able to get married or able to integrate specific groups ... they say. This is a "good" example for hostile sincerity or sincere enmity towards other humans, girls in this case” I'm not sure what any of this has to do with characterising a behaviour as “mental illness”. I think you are still failing to distinguish between actions and ideas. Just because you choose to interpret something as hostile, doesn't mean that the author's intention was hostile. If the interpreter is so sensitive that they can't consider a potentially sincere claim without being offended, then they are being just as emotive and irrational as the person whose intent is to offend. There is little point to rational argument with either – because neither is interested in trying to see the issue from the other's perspective. “Tristen please, you were asking me a question and I had to repeat myself in answering that question” I provided a bunch of arguments explaining why a claim of “mental illness” does not warrant a deviation from normal conversation protocol – i.e. claims don't need to be automatically supported at the instant the claim is made, though we have the right to subsequently request support for any claims made. And your response was to simply repeat, “You should back it up”. So you didn't deal with the arguments. “Getting labelled menally ill means your credibility is under attack” Or it could mean that the person making the claim sincerely considers you to be suffering from a psychological disease. “If the label mentally ill was to be socially acceptable for lesbians... their detractors could sweep anything they say aside calling them mentally ill. This would be the same as bullying someone out of a discussion” Right – it would be an Adhominem attack. Anyone who dismisses an argument without consideration of the argument is engaging in technically irrational behaviour. But that's not what happened here. That is just another irrelevant analogy you like to use to muddy the conversation. “These are minor tactics used by anti-gay prpaganda” I think you live in an alternate reality. Like you, I've heard a lot of nasty things said against homosexuals, but I've never heard an argument from a homosexual be arbitrarily dismissed on the basis that their homosexuality disqualifies them from commenting. I've seen men's opinions dismissed – solely because they are men who disagree with the prevailing narrative. And I've seen white people's opinions dismissed when they disagree with the popular narrative. But I've never heard anyone say to a homosexual, 'your opinion is irrelevant because your are homosexual'. “So I stay with my opinion, it is not a valid point of discussion - this is particularly true when this topic has been around for some 120 years and scientists couldn't find anything that could potentially substanciate these claims” Actually, for about 70 of those years (pre-1973), homosexuality was formally considered a mental disorder. Since the concept of mental illness itself is somewhat fluid, it is a perfectly “valid point of discussion”. But either way, that's not up to you to decide. People have the right to make claims – whatever claims they think are “a valid point of discussion”, and you have the right to ask them to provide support for their claims. And then you have a discussion. “Jesus places offences ("ideas") in the same categories as murdering ("actions"), Matthew 5” No He didn't. He just said it wasn't just wrong to do wrong things, but also to think about doing wrong things. He didn't say they were the same, just that both were wrong. “yeah, that's the one exception. I thought I made it clear that I was talking about divorcees who don't claim adultery. I could have been clearer. OK.” “Sexual immorality” (Gk. pornea) is broader than just “adultery”. But that's not the point. The point was that we don't just take a single comment of scripture as the final word on any matter. We have to consider the comments within the context of the full counsel of God. You are claiming discrimination on the basis of comparing a disputed sin against an overt, uncontested sin. There are several uncontested sins you could have considered; E.g. - Intemperate sins: drunkards, angry people, violent people etc. - Idolatrous sins: Cults (false religions), pagans, atheists etc. - Sexual sins: Singles having sex, Married people having sex with a non-spouse, homosexuality etc. Now, using your remarried divorcee argument, you could have complained about discrimination against any of these groups of sinners. Or, you could have concluded (in my opinion more correctly) that, when it comes to positions of example in the church, Christians reasonably discriminate in favour of those who share our values (i.e. against unrepentant sinners). But that was not your agenda. You disagree with the Bible that homosexuality is a sin. And you want us to disagree with the Bible that homosexuality is a sin. So instead of comparing like to like, you take a debatable sin (which different churches treat differently), and you compare how we treat the debatable sin to how we treat the overt sin - all so you can cry “DISCRIMINATION!!!” and “human rights!!!”. “Here I feel the need to repeat myself again. I've said it so often, why is that not clear: if you apply liberal Bible interpretation to remarried divorcees, I mean the ones not claiming adultery, then you should not apply strict Bible interpretation to lesbians” I don't think it's a matter of “strict” versus “liberal” interpretations. If you are familiar with what the rest of scripture teaches about marriage and divorce, the issue is not so straight forward. For example, Paul teaches that we are free from obligation if an unbelieving spouse leaves us (1 Cor 7:15). And that raises further questions about whether the rules apply to pre-conversion marriages (i.e. marriages that were not faith commitments before God). When we convert to Christianity, “all things become new” (2 Cor 5:17). God gave us marriage because “it is not good that man should be alone” (Gen 2:8), and “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord” (Pr 18:22). So the message is counter-intuitive - marriage is a good thing that should be sought – except where it isn't and shouldn't. Even if getting married is a sin for the divorcee (and new spouse), does God expect the new couple to divorce (which He hates – Mal 2:16), or does He forgive the sin and expect the new couple to remain faithful to their covenant vows? I'm not stating an opinion on any of these questions, but with regards to homosexuality, there is none of this complexity. All scriptures on the issue agree that homosexual desire and practice is sin. So we can't be as dogmatic about the sin of remarried divorcees, as we can about the sin of homosexuality. I said, “carnal desires are not intrinsic to a persons identity or value” and you said, “I want to ask you to back up this assertion with regard to sexuality/ sexual desires” Sure (even though you never supported your assertions that homosexuality is part of our identity). I'm going to assume you are already familiar with scriptures describing homosexuality as sin – so I won't list them unless you feel you need them. Given the premise that homosexuality is sin, theologically, it would be unjust for God to judge and punish us for something He placed in us. But the Bible is clear that A) God is perfectly just/righteous (Deut 32:4), and B) God is not the source of our sin (Jms 1:13-18). Before we were corrupted by sin, we were “very good” (Gen 1:31) - i.e. without corruption; including the corruption of sinful desires. Corruption entered the creation through human sin (Rm 8:20-21). It is not from God – and therefore not part of our intrinsic design or makeup. “* Edit.. now I fear that you accuse me of bullying when I say a derogatory statement against LGBT belongs to anti-gay propaganda, if it's not backed up. You have to be able to criticize a derogatory AND unsubstanciated standpoint as being anti-gay, racist, anti-women or whatever. That's not bullying” If someone makes a comment you don't like, you have 2 rational options, and 1 bullying option. The first rational option is to ask the commenter to provide rational support for their assertion. The second rational option is for you to provide an argument as to why you think the comment is problematic. Both of these options encourage discussion. The bullying option is to attempt to shame the person out of the conversation by simply labelling the comment as bigoted in some respect. “It's cleaning the discussion board. If you were not allowed to do so using this kind of vocabulary, Worthy is under threat of getting snowed under with homophobic remarks” I don't know what you are presuming to do when you say “cleaning the discussion board”. There are 2 good options, and 1 bullying option. I think choosing one of the good options accomplishes a better outcome.
  7. Hey Thomas, “thanks for agreeing ;). ” You mean “thanks for agreeing” that you were confusing insult with offence – your welcome. “Actually, sincerity doesn't blot out an insult” Motives are of paramount importance. If a person makes a sincere statement, then you can respond with rational argument; respectfully try to convince them of your own position – i.e. why you think they are wrong. If they are just trying to insult, then they are being irrational; emotive; insincere etc. In the case of pure insult, rational argument is a waste of time. “Many men very sincerely think that woman are just there to provide sex and for cooking and house cleaning purposes. Yet it is anti-woman bias. These men also call women [enter smear word here ...]. All the while being totally sincere. Just as an example for someone speaking in all sincerity AND being guilty of group related bias simultaneously” We might have to start using specific examples. Because this statement sounds to me like new-wave-feminist propaganda. I don't know any man that thinks like this. Some men talk a big game to make a public showing, but everyone with any life experience knows that there are insecure men who feel the need to 'talk themselves up'. I've met a few narcissists who think everyone exists to serve them (and a few teenagers who do the same). Apart from that, this analogy seem largely mythological. “You should back it up if you say so. We're going round in circles, here” We're not really “going round in circles”. What's happening is I'm providing arguments, and you are responding by ignoring my arguments and restating the same thing over and over. You don't get to change the rules of conversation – just because you don't like what was said. Most conversations are filled with unsupported assertions. When an unsupported claim is made, either A) everyone agrees (or no one cares enough to bother disagreeing) and the conversation moves on, or B) someone asks for further clarification. That's just how conversation works. I think you were correct in asking for clarification (back up/support). I think you were wrong to try and shame the author by characterising the comment as homophobic (an intentionally derogatory label - for which you also provided no support). “EDIT: you go on saying "in this case, any “testing in the field” is irrelevant – since the “testing” hasn’t ruled out the possibility that homosexual desire [..]" ... there has been testing as you say. Testing is never irrelevant.” The “testing” is irrelevant to your argument because it doesn't provide the conclusion your argument requires. The testing has not ruled out “mental illness”, therefore mental illness remains a logical possibility – and therefore a valid point of contention/discussion (and therefore not necessarily sourced in homophobic sentiment). “Any human should document any claims that gays were ill by the facts generated by testing (or other science)... or repeal this derogatory statement” I have no problem with you asking for support (which I have stated many, many times in this thread). I don't think we have the right to demand someone “repeal” anything they've said, but we do have the right to dismiss any unsupported assertion as empty fallacy. “bullying.:blow-up: . Why is that bullying. Labelling unsubstanciated accusations / derogatory remarks as scornful... is not bullying” Unless you label them with further “unsubstanciated accusations / derogatory remarks” (like "homophobic")- with the intent of shaming the author into repealing the statement, or exiting the discussion. “Let me give you an hypothetic example: someone leaves his excrements on the pulpit. Now you want this: "There is no onus to back up any claim unless requested. But if a claim is left without rational support, it remains an Unsupported Assertion (a logic fallacy) - which no one is required to take seriously – and which you have the right to point out. So if you take issue with it, you have every rational right to demand they back it up before moving forward in the conversation. "To stay in the picture... as long as noone protests with regard to the excrements on the pulpit... it's ok? No. If you do this you should absolutely be quick to explain why this had to be necessary... and clean the place up. Don't let others do your work. Don't make them ask you to clean this up. I'm speaking in extremes to simplify here.” Respectfully, I think you are "speaking" nonsense. Do you seriously not understand the difference between actions and ideas? If the excretor didn't explain his actions, I would expect someone to ask for clarification; e.g. “Why did you do that?”. “But there you say gay couples are always sinners. That's where I see favoritism.  For remarried divorcees you suddenly start to talk about caveats and so on. There are none (using old style, strict Bible interpretation)” Well, I don't really know what “old style, strict Bible interpretation” means. I'd be surprised if an “old style, strict Bible” didn't have the words “whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality ...” (Matt 5:32). So there is an explicit exception in the very statement you are hanging your argument on. Now show me a verse of scripture making any specific exception for homosexual practice. “lol, no. I'm neutral on that one, too. Just saying please treat all groups equally” You can “lol” all you want (i.e. Appeal to Ridicule fallacy), but you are not “neutral”. You are either demanding that all Christians agree with your definition of this one sin (which is debated in Christianity), or else you are saying Christians have no right to make a distinction between unrepentant sinners and faithful believers. We are under no obligation to “treat all groups equally”. Under the right of religious freedom, we are free to distinguish between Christians (who share our values) and others (who choose to reject our values and continue in their sin). If someone don't share Christian values, then they are not one of us, and we are not obligated to pretend they are one of us, and we are not obligated to treat them as though they were one of us. They are welcome in church, but they are not part of our fellowship; our eternal family. Outsiders don't get to tell us who is entitled to work in our family business. We determine who is, and who is not, qualified to fulfil those roles in the church. Shared values is a perfectly legitimate qualification standard for a values-based organisation. “when it comes to gays, Christians just don't stop. They rant and rant and rant and rant... when does that stop? Even in this thread we saw rantings such as gays being filthy” Have I done this? Christianity is a large, eclectic group. We have different ideas, different experiences, different approaches. The internet and media has a tendency to amplify the worst aspects of any group as typical. I can only be reasonably expected to answer for myself. “How often does a gay have to hear "you are sinful!"” What is “a gay”? You mean a human with homosexual desires? Biblically, carnal desires are not intrinsic to a persons identity or value. Homosexual practice is an explicit, unequivocal sin according to the Bible. All humans are corrupted by sin and deserved God's condemnation. Nevertheless, He has provided us all a path to pardon – to save us from that corruption. Christians are obligated to spread the truth of God's pardon to any who will hear it – to convince the world of our moral bankruptcy and need for salvation. The knowledge that we are lost in sin is first step to finding salvation, and eternal peace with God.
  8. Hi Takoda, From a Christian perspective, the One who determines what is sinful and what is "completely normal" is God. Desires can absolutely be sinful. God has explicitly determined, through His word, that the desire for homosexual sex is a carnal, ungodly desire. I think you are using the word "innate" to imply that the homosexual desire is somehow intrinsic to the human experience of some - i.e. a birth condition. Yet God has unequivocally deemed homosexual practice to be a sin, so that desire is not something God designed into anyone, but is rather a corruption of what God designed.
  9. “You can offend, Jesus is crystalclear about that in Mt 5:21-26. If you do, you are to be held liable for it (verse 22)” I don’t think these verses are as “crystalclear” about the issue as you think. Are you saying I have the capacity to mouth an insult? – Absolutely I can. But whether or not the insulted person takes offense is entirely in their control. “An offence is a comment on the person of another human that is derogatory” You are confusing insult with offense. And you are presuming to know the motives of the author. Sure – it is wrong for a person to intentionally insult another person – for no other reason than to offend them. But here, someone claimed homosexuality to be a “mental illness”. Mental illnesses are real things. You are presuming that the person intended the comment as an insult, rather than an opinion. After studying the trans phenomena, I am leaning towards the conclusion that ‘being trans’ is a “mental illness”. I don’t mean that as an insult. I honestly think they have a treatable disease. “If there is a truth that is effectively a derogatory judgement passed on others.... let Jesus do it when he comes. He is the judge... not you” With regards to sin, God has already revealed His judgement to us. Homosexuality is not something God designed into humanity. It is a corruption of God’s design for relationships. Therefore, Christians have every rational right to declare what God has already explicitly determined to be sin. With regards to “mental illness” – are you seriously suggesting no human has any right to define any behaviour as “mental illness”? Sure - it's not nice to consider, but that doesn't make it automatically untrue. “Today it [a biological origin of homosexuality] has been tested as a matter of fact. It is a futile exercise to ask what would happen if it had not been tested yet” But since no conclusion has been reached scientifically, you can’t rule out the possibility that “mental illness” is a potential source of homosexual desire. But if you try to bully that opinion out of the conversation, you are dismissing a potential truth – just to save feelings. “In this manner - if this were to be right - you would justify any remark that's racist, homophobic, antisemitic, misogynist, xenophobic... and many more” The reason such remarks are now frowned upon is because people had the courage to speak out against the immorality. They made their case and convinced society as a whole to reject the older ideas. It is the freedom to speak-our-minds that brought down these notions. So I am very libertarian when it comes to freedom of speech. You don’t achieve anything by pushing unpopular views out of the conversation. You change people’s minds through safe, rational arguments – not bullying. “Racism for instance should be a no-go. That's how we shold view all group related enmity. Including homophobia” I don’t think Christians should be intentionally nasty to anyone, but I don’t see these 2 issues as the same. Race is unequivocally biological in nature. Homosexuality is about desire and action. Desires and actions are moral issues – and therefore subject to moral judgements. Even so, I’d rather have the chance to convince someone their racism is wrong, rather than have them retreat into some insular fringe group with no capacity to hear an alternative perspective. “It can be a human rights issue as soon as discrimination is involved” Human rights refer to those things fundamental to our humanity. None of us has the right to demand our preferred employer to hire us, despite our values being in direct conflict with the organisation. That is absurd. “if they let [remarried divorcees] in while banning gays... then you show partiality against gays, in my opinion” It depends if they agree with your interpretation that all married divorcees are committing a sin. If they see the issue differently to you, then they are making a distinction between the married faithful, and unrepentant sinners – which is a perfectly reasonable distinction given their position. The Biblical concept of ‘not showing partiality’ is about not treating people as though they are less important than others. It has nothing to do with making a distinction between the faithful and unrepentant sinners. “Churches are liberal when it comes to the one group, all the while jumping to old style Bible interpretation when it comes to the other group... which is showing partiality. If their values include what you call 'strict interpretation' of Bible verses for sexual matters... they should apply the same set of values to all groups without making exceptions for a few favorites. What Bible calls favoritism or partiality is called discrimination by modern society.” I don’t think it’s that simple. Jesus made one comment on one occasion that you are interpreting as a universal moral edict. Even in the passages relaying that comment, Jesus added caveats that warrant further investigation. But there are also other scriptures that also inform one’s opinion on the issue of remarried divorcees. When studying an issue in the Bible, we don’t just take a single verse as the final word. All of the Bible is God’s word. Therefore everything the Bible says about the issue should inform our conclusions. On the issue of homosexuality, the Bible is unequivocal that God considers homosexual practice to be a moral sin. This is explicitly expressed several times in different contexts from multiple sources. There is no contrary position or mitigation expressed in scripture. So one is a more clear-cut case of sin than the other. “Same rules applied to everyone, this is what I want, I don't want Christians to "compromise Christian values in order to accommodate people with contrary values.", as you say. Similarly, when it comes to hiring they shouldn't show favoritism, saying that gays are unqualified by default whereas remarried divorcees are not...” I think churches do apply the “same rules to everyone” – as in, unrepentant sinners are considered disqualified for positions of example in the church. I don’t think all churches automatically consider all remarried divorcees to be unrepentant sinners. Your argument would be more cohesive if you were suggesting remarried divorcees should be excluded from positions in the church. But that would be a conversation over whether or not remarried divorcees are unrepentant sinners. It has nothing to do with church discrimination against homosexuality (which I suspect is your primary agenda). “Churches do have the right to attach importance to qualification” Surely shared values are an important “qualification” in a values-based organisation. “Edit: Saying that someone behaves in an inappropriate manner when he declares gays to be mentally ill, without backing things up (in a moment when there has been testing in the field, already) isn't an ad hominem attack on the author. It is criticizing the author on the subject level, since I'm not referring to him personally. Just his actions. My standpoint is, the moment you post something detrimental to others... the onus is on you to back things up. It's not the other way round. If you fail to back derogatory statements up, it is hostile behavior against the accused people. It comes across as saying: "you can accuse them of whatever you want, if noone takes issue it's ok!"” In this case, any “testing in the field” is irrelevant – since the “testing” hasn’t ruled out the possibility that homosexual desire is sourced in “mental illness”. It is an Adhominem attack because of what it insinuates against about the author. Describing comments as “homophobic” insinuates that the author is bigoted – rather than just expressing a sincere opinion. There is no onus to back up any claim unless requested. But if a claim is left without rational support, it remains an Unsupported Assertion (a logic fallacy) - which no one is required to take seriously – and which you have the right to point out. So if you take issue with it, you have every rational right to demand they back it up before moving forward in the conversation. Whether or not something is “hostile” depends on the motive of the author (which only God is qualified to determine). Sometimes the truth is “derogatory” – i.e. if you don’t want to hear it.
  10. Hey Thomas, “Well... you render it socially acceptable to make such a claim, in my view” It should be “socially acceptable” to make any claim you hold sincerely. Then it can be discussed, argued, debated; the facts can be presented for consideration and a conclusion might be reached; and a plan to move forward formulated. “According to you, there is no back-up needed to document such a claim, if I get you right” I have stated many times during this discussion that, if someone makes an assertion, you have every right to ask them to provide rational support for their claim. If they don't provide rational support, you are not obligated to consider their claim. I'm not sure how I could be clearer on that. “Concerning potential biological origins of homosexuality... I assume there has been testing in the field because the topic is nothing new” There has been a lot of “testing” on this issue (which I previously stated explicitly). To date, no biological origin of homosexuality has been discovered despite this extensive “testing”. That doesn't necessarily mean there is no biological basis for homosexuality, but it does mean there is currently no scientific basis for assuming there is a biological origin of homosexuality; and certainly no basis for obligating others to that assumption. “But you are free to prove me wrong” So you want me to “prove [you] wrong” by 'proving a negative', for a claim I didn't even make? “persecution can adopt many ways. As an example, hypothetically speaking though, I don't want to be barred entrance to my job life in the secular world just for being a Christian. Likewise, gay people shouldn't be barred from churches solely on grounds of being gay. If they don't qualify - as is the case with your imam who doesn't have Biblical knowledge - then they can't assume a job, that's true” If the organisation is a values-based organisation (like a church), and your values are contrary to the values of the organisation where you are applying for a job, then you are not qualified to represent the organisation. I have no problem with a Muslim organisation not hiring Christians on the basis of a conflict of values. “So we both agree that we are discussing human rights now, Tristen ;). Of course, groups have the right to religous freedom” You are equivocating. I think freedom of religion is a "human right". I don't think getting a job in a Christian church is a "human right". But according to you, churches don't have the right to determine who qualifies to represent them in positions of example within their own organisations. How is that “religious freedom”? You are claiming that the church must compromise Christian values in order to accommodate people with contrary values. And for what – so their feelings aren't hurt? You want us to invite people with counter-Christian values to infiltrate the church. Why should we be obligated to do that – unless there is an anti-Christian agenda; an agenda to undermine Christian values from inside the organisation. “My point is: There seems to be two types of churches. Consider a church that accepts a husband married for the second time to a divorced lady - without claiming any form of adultary to be the reason for the divorce .... but living in peace with the former spouses. The moment this church bans gays... they show partiality, in my opinion. For the detriment of gays. Here it is discrimination against gays and lesbians in place” You seem stuck on this one example of remarried divorcees. I'd say that this is, at best, a debatable example of sin. There are many learned views that would disagree with your strict interpretation of this one comment by Jesus. I haven't had a chance to consider it thoroughly – so not really sure where I stand on the issue as yet. But there are more explicit, uncontested, examples of sin that would undermine your claim of “discrimination”. For example, I would suggest that any single person engaging in unrepentant fornication would be considered disqualified for a position of example in most churches. Likewise, married people engaging in unrepentant adultery. Likewise, unrepentant idolaters such as practising Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus etc. The reasonable “discrimination” is not specifically against unrepentant homosexual practice, but against all unrepentant sinners. “You shouln neither offend nor call names. Well but let's agree to disagree here?” I can't “offend” anyone. People can only choose to be offended (or not). Since I can't read minds, I can't know what offends every individual. So I can't be reasonably held responsible for triggering offence in others. Some people find the truth offensive. If society can't discuss issues that some might find offensive, then how can we address uncomfortable truths? I think I have a moral and intellectual responsibility to be sincere in my claims – i.e. not to say something for the specific purpose of offending. But ultimately, if someone is offended by my sincere expression, that is on them, not me. “I never did any of this. I was focussing on behaviour. Not on persons. Jesus will judge persons” As a matter of logical consistency, when you label someone's comment as homophobic, you are accusing the person of being homophobic. Did you justify your accusation that the comments are homophobic, or did you just let it sit as an unsupported Adhominem attack on the commenter?
  11. Hey Thomas, “Is that a new idea for you? Did you know, a scientist died 115 years ago introduced homosexuality as an illness (the corresponding German article is more clear in this respect). So I think this topic must have been tested and discussed already” It was certainly “discussed”. But you'd have to show me how and where it was “tested”. I'd have to be able to assess the standard by which the conclusion (“mental illness” or not) was determined. I was recently studying the literature on the trans phenomena. Experts disagree whether or not it's a “mental illness”. So it seems to me, the determination of what constitutes a “mental illness” is somewhat subjective. My impression is that the standard of “mental illness” can depend on the ideological philosophy of the researcher, rather than any objective measure. “Maybe some 120 years ago, it might have been some vaild basis for discussion. Today, pathologisation of gays/lesbians is homophobic, I think” In reality, the biological origin of homosexuality is not understood. A genetic origin has been investigated extensively without any result. There is a lot of literature reporting correlations between homosexual desire and certain life experiences. But we still don't know. So it is still legitimate to entertain multiple possibilities; including the possibility that it may be sourced in “mental illness”. What if it is “mental illness”, but we are not even allowed to talk about it – let alone develop treatments? Note: I am not defending the claim homosexuality is a “mental illness”. But I think it is dangerous to dismiss ideas purely on the basis of ideology. What if people who need treatment are being denied treatment – because we are not even allowed to discuss the possibility. “Let me tell you something out of my personal life: In the last forums where I used to be a member in (jesus.de), people started to call me mentally ill, this went on for months. They didn't like my personal behavior, but they didn't seem to be able to refute my position on the subject level, so they chose to discuss me as a person in that way.” The way you describe it, they were reverting to Adhominem attacks. If someone refuses to engage in rational discussion, you perfectly within your right to point out their fallacy and accuse them of being technically irrational. Note that labelling someone “homophobic” because they dare to have a different opinion to you is also an example of Adhominem fallacy. “In my opinion, labelling those who hold uncomportable views as "mentally ill" is tyranny, (since you were using that word)” The “tyranny” is in bullying people out of the conversation by characterising them as bigots just because they have a different opinion to you (i.e. in the application of Adhominem fallacy). Stating an unpopular opinion is not tyranny – i.e. the position may make people “uncomfortable” or even angry, but there is no coercion in the mere expression of an opinion. “Consider I would think you are a pig. Do I have the right to express my opinion. No. This would be offensive. Freedom of expression isn't unlimited” I think you have every right to express any opinion you hold. It's up to me if I get offended or not. And I have the right to challenge the logic of your opinion. But if you label people with different opinions as bigots or homophobes – you are doing exactly the same thing. You might as well be calling the person a “pig”. “Homes is one thing, public places is another. Churches are meant to be open for the public. We Christians want to reach the public. So we shouldn't throw one group out” But if you choose who gets to come into your house – it's discrimination - you are depriving people of their human rights. That is the absurdity of equating any discrimination with the deprivation of human rights. Churches are not public entities. They are private – and have the right to open or close their doors to whomever they choose. I think most churches welcome sinners through their doors, but there are reasonable limits to their participation and access. “Employers don't have the right to only employ straight people, for instance. They would get sued for discrimination. Likewise, when churches hire straight people only, I see discrimination occuring, too” It technically is “discrimination”. The question is whether or not the discrimination is reasonable, or is it someone being deprived of their fundamental humanity. One of the main purposes a religious organisation exists is to promote a specific belief and value set. Should a Christian church be forced to hire a Muslim cleric as a preacher – i.e. someone who will try and convert the congregation to Islam? If not - “DISCRIMINATION!!!”, “ISLAMOPHOBE!!!”. I think that's absurd. So the reasonable question becomes, where do we draw the line? I personally think an organisation existing solely for the purpose of promoting a specific value set, has every reasonable right to limit who they place into positions of example within the organisation - i.e. to those who share those values. Any attempt to coerce them to do otherwise is an infringement of their right to religious freedom. “We all have a responsibility with regard to our human rights. Christians are the first to claim human rights when their brothers and sisters are being persecuted” Right – and by “persecuted” we mean being killed, imprisoned, physically or legally threatened because of our Christian faith. We don't mean having our feelings hurt because we were excluded from a group that we disagree with anyway.
  12. Hey Thomas, For Context: I gave a couple of everyday examples of reasonable discrimination that we consider morally acceptable, and you responded to my example of age discrimination with; “youngsters need to be protected. When you don't permit them to drive at the age of 12, it is in their interest.” Right. Some discrimination can be reasonably justified. That's my point. To just label any discrimination a human rights issue is simplistic and impractical. The conversation has to go beyond that simplistic standard to address the complexities of the issue. Is it reasonable for a religious institution to discriminate on the basis of sincerely held beliefs? If not, aren't we then discriminating against people with the beliefs? Do people with belief have a right to choose who they do and don't associate with? Do people holding different beliefs, or people antagonistic to the religion, have the right to demand unfettered access to a religious institution? It is a far more complex equation than the simplistic proposal that all discrimination represents a suppression of human rights. “Amnesty is the biggest human rights organization. So I think they should be heard. What they say isn't ridiculous” I never claimed Amnesty was ridiculous. I claimed that characterising the church's freedom to discriminate who they associate with as a human rights issue, is ridiculous. Even if a church prohibits homosexuals attending their services, no one is being deprived of anything fundamental to their humanity. In response to me asking; “Do we have the right to choose who comes into our home? Does a church have the right to choose who comes through its doors?”, you responded with “Showing no partiality is a biblical principle” This again, is a gross oversimplification of the issue. How far do we take the “no partiality principle”? Are Christians really obligated to give everyone access to our homes who wants to come in – because only letting trusted people into our homes and around our children is discrimination? Should we let atheists preach from our pulpits that it's OK to reject Christ – because not allowing them to do so is discriminating against their beliefs? The Biblical principle of not showing partiality has a context – it is not a universal tenet of morality. God Himself judges between the saved and unsaved. Is God a bigot? “I think it is a homophobic act to call them mentally ill... when you can't back this up.” How can an idea ever be tested (and backed up) if it can't even be proposed without the accusation of “bigot!!!”. That is a far more dangerous standard – to curtail the expression of uncomfortable ideas. That is a form of tyranny – against freedom of thought and expression. There is nothing inherently homophobic about having an opinion which represents a logical possibility. But then you have every right to ask the person making the claim to provide rational support for any assertion they make. And if they don't attempt to do so, you are under no obligation to consider their assertion.
  13. Hi Nick, Where is the "contradiction" (sorry - it isn't that obvious to me)? Hebrews, chapter 1 teaches that Jesus is better than the angels, because God has never declared an angel to be His Son. 1 Chron 28 teaches that God will conditionally be a Father to Solomon (who is not an angel). What am I missing?
  14. “Nondiscrimination is a human right. "We all have the right to be treated equally, regardless of our race, ethnicity, nationality, class, caste, religion, belief, sex, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, age,health or other status. " amnesty says*. ” This raises a lot of questions. - Firstly, I think there is legitimate discrimination in all these areas. For example, young people aren't able to do a lot of things adults can do (driving, drinking, working etc.). That is discrimination on the basis of age. There are gyms and doctors that only serve females. That is discrimination on the basis of sex. Citizens often have rights that non-citizens don't. That is discrimination on the basis of nationality. There are scholarships that are only available to certain races/ethnicities. Often you need to speak the language to qualify for a job. So there is some logical provision for reasonable discrimination in every system of rights. - Then we need to ask, 'what exactly are “human rights” and where do they come from?' In the US declaration of Independence states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says we shouldn't discriminate on the basis of “race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty”. No mention of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity”. If rights are determined by secular organisations (like “Amnesty”), doesn't that mean they can be taken away by secular organisations. If rights can be added at the whim of society, why can't they be removed just as readily? How long before freedom of religion is limited to conform to secular values? But if rights are “endowed by their Creator”, then surely those rights should conform to God's stated values. The Apostle Paul was the first in history to promote the revolutionary idea (at the time) of universal equality – which should be applied regardless of sex, ethnicity or economic status (Gal 3:28). But would the Creator endorse rights on the basis of an explicit sin? Should the church be obligated to respect rights that promote values which are antagonistic to Christian values? - Is our discussion really about denying the rights of any of these groups? Or is it more about the right to choose who we associate with? Do we have the right to choose who comes into our home? Does a church have the right to choose who comes through its doors? - If freedom of thought and religion are rights, what do we do when rights clash (e.g. religion vs sexual orientation)? Who gets to choose which rights win out? - What is “sexual orientation”? Is it just about sexual desire, or is it inclusive of sexual practice? No one is excluded from church for having carnal desires (because we all have those). But we don't all try to excuse or justify carnal behaviours. It only becomes a potential issue when a person decides to prioritise the practice of sin over God's explicit will. I think a church has every reasonable right to choose who comes through their doors. I don't think it's a violation of anyone's fundamental human rights to be excluded – regardless of the reason; but especially if it's on the basis of religious values. I'm not endorsing any decision, but I think its a little ridiculous to suggest it's a human rights issue. “Here we see a post claiming homosexuality was a mental disorder. The author didn't bother to back anything up in this regard” I don't think disagreement justifies a claim of homophobia. But I do think you have every right to ask if they can support their assertion. “I'm neutral with regard to whether or not God made them gay.” That's your position, but I would suggest most Christians agree with scripture that homosexual practice is a sin. And it is that premise that influences how we approach the question you asked. So it is fair that Christian will challenge your neutral premise on homosexuality – on the basis of Christian scripture. “My keypoint is, the moment you promote inequality, you should be able to prove that it is possible to alter your sexual orientation through choices” I disagree. No one has ever verified a biological origin of homosexuality. So when you are asking questions of Christians, we are only obligated to agree with our scriptures. It's perfectly rational for us to conclude that God knows what science doesn't. But again, very few churches would exclude someone for having carnal desires. The only basis for considering exclusion would be the unrepentant practice of those desires.
  15. Hey Thomas, You said, “I'm not trying to restrict definitions, btw” You premised your argument on the idea that homosexual desire and practice is simply part of one's “identity”, “personality traits” or “lifestyle”. That premise places homosexuality in the category of being 'just the way God made them'. You then go on to claim that judging that aspect of their “personality” is the same as judging the person - i.e. you said “Judge actions - not people (including their personality)”. It is therefore perfectly legitimate, in the context of this discussion, that someone contests your premise - i.e. by claiming homosexuality is actually in a different category; an explicitly defined sin (and therefore NOT a natural part of God's design). As a stated sin, God has already judged the behaviour as immoral. Therefore, it is perfectly fair for us to agree with God that the behaviour is immoral. But when someone raised this, you said, “these are the questions I don't want to discuss in this thread”. Whichever premise you accept determines how the question of discrimination is addressed – and whether or not it even qualifies as an issue of discrimination, or just exercising their right to promote and defend their own values within their own organisations. “Whether you consider it sin or not, never judge a person. ” But if it is sin, your argument defines sin as an intrinsic part of the person. So by that logic, we are no longer permitted to be critical of sin. “Furthermore, you should be able to discuss human rights” This is not a discussion about “human rights”. It is about the rights of congregations to choose who they allow to associate with them – and where we should draw the line when it comes to those holding conflicting values. “BTW; did you ever witness a clear debate about discrimination of LGBTQ people here on Worthy?” It's not an issue that generally interests me, so I couldn't say. I think it's perfectly valid to question why we treat some sins differently to others. But I don't think we should compromise what constitutes sin (as characterised by scripture). And we should not pretend that that it's OK to express your “personality”, or live a “lifestyle” in justification of explicit sin. But if sinners are willing to associate with us, they should be loved as Christ loved us before we repented. “Since you're evoking love... did you ever step in when it comes to homophobic remarks that can be read here on Worthy?” If you have any examples of said “homophobic remarks” (with context), I'd be happy to share my thoughts. I don't think I have any obligation to provide a resume of responses to justify “evoking love”.
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