Book Review: "The Bible & LGBTQ Adventists"

Let’s not go ahead of ourselves here and mix up carrots and potatoes.

We are trying to find out what the Bible says about same-sex marriage. If we call ourselves Christian it is our duty to know about God’s will even if it is not comfortable at time. The disciples themselves had hard times sometimes with what Jesus was saying because they found out that following Christ was not always convenient.

What about us today? Is our walk with the Lord based on what is convenient to us or is it based on the love of Jesus and the love of the truth?

Because this is the question that we have to face once we have discovered God’s will. And it is rarely easy, not just for the LGBTQ people but for everybody.

Are the LGBTQ people condemned to a life of loneliness in the church? By definition, no. But in practice, well, it can be the case, unfortunately, because of the raging ideological war concerning the LGBTQ. But is changing the meaning or interpretation of some biblical texts the solution to this problem? I don’t think so.

For the record, I didn’t minimize anything. So let’s avoid the red herring.

And to say that it is just a church policy is a mischaracterization. But I guess it is easier to say that it is just a church policy rather than saying it is a “policy” coming from God because like that people don’t appear to be fighting against God but rather against a “misguided” church policy.

Again, you are comparing carrots and potatoes.

What was the role of circumcision? What is the role of marriage? They have two different purposes and you cannot arbitrarily compare them.

Also, who told you that the concept of marriage being only between a man and a woman was arbitrary? Can you prove it?

In fact, being arbitrary or not is even not the issue. You may say that circumcision was an arbitrary sign but it was chosen by God and you ignored it at your peril.

Also, circumcision was not arbitrarily abolished and the disciples didn’t just decide on their own to abolished the practice.

There is a name for that: wishful thinking.

Determining whether same-sex attraction is a normal outgrowth of biology or not is precisely the point of argument. First, is it really a outgrowth of biology? Second, if it is, can it be considered “normal”? Acromegaly is also an outgrowth of biology (literally) but nobody would say it is normal.

And third, what does the Bible say about it and what are Christians supposed to do?

To say that “surely God would intend for us to accommodate same-sex marriage” is borderline presumptuous and even dangerous as it is always perilous to confuse our wishes with God’s intentions or will (there are a few examples in the Scriptures).

Now, this being said, it is sure that “the great psychological and spiritual pain” of LGBTQ people needs to be addressed and cannot be swept under the rug.

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i think we partially agree, but i’m not as convinced that ancient Israel was so prudish and averse to homosexuality as you seem to be…i think you’re imposing your own ideas of where Israel was at for your own purposes…here’s an interesting article on homosexuality in ancient Egypt from The Advocate, probably LGBT’s premier news magazine, which i still read on occasion:

if this article is accurate, and i think it is, ancient Egypt had at least 15 gay and/or polyamorous gods that were worshipped and celebrated…morever, ostraca, hieroglyphics and pyramid walls show quite an extensive, thriving gay culture along the Nile, in which no record of the outlawing of homosexuality on any level has been found…this is in keeping with explicit biblical language in Lev 18 and 20 that shows the normalization of homosexuality in both Egypt and Canaan at the time of the exodus…

it’s important to remember that Israel was settled in Egypt, prior to the exodus, for at least 2 centuries…Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been dead, with no written records left for their descendants, for that amount of time and longer…this is not an insignificant time frame…if Egypt had a normalized gay culture, what makes us think that Israel didn’t absorb that culture…what makes us think that gay couples weren’t living together in Israel, just as they were in Egypt, given that nothing about homosexuality was restricted or outlawed…are we really thinking that a highly sexualized culture like Egypt would have exercised self-restraint with respect to sexual activity or romantic relationships just because producing heirs was a priority (producing heirs is a priority with the Taliban, yet bacha bazi, involving the rape of young boys, is common, and traditional)…and given the master/slave relationship between Egypt and Israel, what makes us think there weren’t at least some biologically gay Israelites who used their homosexuality to improve their lives with their Egyptian masters, in the same way that at least some Israelite women no doubt did…the point is that we know that ancient Israel was intimately familiar with the “flesh pots” in Egypt…what else in Egypt were they intimately familiar with (let’s understand that in today’s lingo, “flesh pots” is a euphemism not only for food, but for all forms of physical pleasure…is this additional meaning really restricted to today)…

i think the only reasonable conclusion is that the prohibition against homosexuality in Leviticus implies that it was happening in Israel…why would god bring it up otherwise…i think it’s obvious that Israel was practicing what they’d picked up in Egypt, and that god was leading them out of the cultural baggage they’d brought with them when they left Egypt…he was seeking to purify them from the numerous errors they had internalized and normalized…and i definitely think it’s clear that the deserts of sinai were the perfect moment to normalize gay marriage if the only thing wrong with homosexuality was that it wasn’t happening within a gay marriage…

as for our modern biological understanding, what of it…are we really saying that people need PhD’s in modern Genetics in order to recognize and act on their physical attractions…in whatever terms people thought in ancient Israel, i find it quite impossible to think that there wasn’t a subset of biologically gay persons living quiet lives of intimacy, even if they had marriages and families on the side, given that they’d been steeped for centuries in a culture where just this type of thing was happening…are we really thinking that it was only the men in the ancient world who had multiple sex partners…

i think it’s exceptionally naive to think that ancient Israel, living in circumstances in which their religion and culture were systematically quashed for centuries, still retained the high morality that Abraham would have exhibited (if you can call lying and polygamy high morality)…i think we need to see ancient Israel in terms of what they were: destitute slaves, with no moral compass…this explains why so much minutia governing their lives was so systematically dispensed…obviously their desert wanderings were designed to instil a culture that could form and sustain self-government…if god intended to ever teach gay marriage, the deserts of Sinai was the time and place to do it…

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Remember when we were taught that if we went into a movie theater our guardian angels would wait outside for us? That was a hoot! I remember being about 14 and thinking, “Well that’s not so bad. At least he’ll get a break. Maybe all the angels get together for a two hour smoke-break or something…”

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There’s a name for this: crocodile tears.

I doubt it helps that they’re being shed by a supposedly Christian croc.

And, Dude, you also can’t be absolved by avoiding the previous question. In fact just the opposite it the case as he who is silent is deemed to be in consent

So you speak as if you have the word of god on your side.

But the burden of proof is on you.

Other than trying to confirm the text by citing the text-or by singing “it’s good enough for me”-you’ve provided nothing other than hearsay to show that the god of the Bible actually exists, to say nothing of the claim that the purported creator of the universe wrote or inspired even one word of any book.

Only after having established those astounding assertions to an absolute certainty can we talk about trying to find even one reason why a god who intentionally creates purportedly perverted monstrosities (whom we’re told he utterly despises from the moment they have their first sexual thought) could in any way be found “not guilty” of the charge that he, she or it is the biggest monster in the universe.

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Bryan*,
Certain positions are incomprehensible, the one you stressed out being one of them. Legalism and lack of scientific awareness is a poor combination that makes people insist on ideas that are, to say the least, inhumane. There are many people who sit on legalistic ideas that completely put down other people, and they still call themselves Christians. How can such an incongruence exist?

And then, when people like you, who have knowledge and humanness make statements that contradict those biased positions, you are called “infidel” …

Well, discussing these issues with those legalists (who must then be “fidels”) may not be a wise thing, only a waste of time. They don’t want to learn, they want to just be … mere “fidels” … :wink:

*Sorry for spelling your name correctly… :rofl::rofl::rofl:

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OMgosh… I thought this “theology” was developed in Brazil… Maybe it was just imported from the US then? Or vice-versa?

As a teenager I never went to the movies, afraid of being caught and expelled from the SDA school. My parents didn’t go to movies because they didn’t care - they were not Adventists anyway, but kept the Sabbath. I would have no criticism from them if I had gone. The terror came from the teachers and [astors. I became an “infidel” only years later when I came to the US (age 39) and started doing what almost every SDA did here with no feelings of guilt - going to the movies!!! Haven’t heard from any “angel staying outside” either. Maybe here they too enjoy some good movies… :wink: :wink:

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LOL. You must have grown up in the same church as me. I also remember that all the empty seats in the front row that my friends and I avoided sitting in were filled with Satan’s angels. I was also told that one of the reasons for not attending the theater is that people smoke in there. I guess that is why it is okay these days as no one is allowed to smoke indoors anymore? :wink:

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Well, at this point, there isn’t much more I can say anyway. My arguments have been so thoroughly proven faulty, and Alicia is obviously totally off base too, as her professors at seminary, who obviously know more than her, have already thoroughly proven that God has excluded LGBTQ+ people from His kingdom. What is one to do? You can strive with some people for only so long and then leave them to their own depressingly dark corner. I will now break out my rainbows. :rainbow: :rainbow:

How dare you! LOL :rofl: :upside_down_face: :roll_eyes:

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Oh, my old friend Anon7, right?
Some of your positions are really “interesting.” When you say, “meaning or interpretation,” which one is it?

Interpretations are always dangerous - though not as dangerous as the interpreters. Because the latter usually try to impose on others the meaning of their own interpretations.

On the topic being discussed, I am always astonished seeing how little people know and how much they talk about it. I am thinking of people in the past, that didn’t even know what genes or chromosomes or atoms were. But they talked freely about a certain gender profile - always understanding that it was choice and not a condition.

Well, even in our enlightened era, many still think the same, that the gay status is a choice, not a condition; that it’s a chosen behavior. To those straights that think this way, I ask, When was it that you chose to be straight? …

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Well, if you still have any silver bullets left, you have only two days left to shoot them… LOL Then you can relax from dealing with so many beautiful statements… :wink:

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Whatever. Not sure what criteria you are using to categorize things God instituted (or did not) as categorically different from one another. Oh well, I don’t have more to add.

Yes, yes, and acromegaly is also a normal outcome of a person who has a gene for it. Being gay is a part of the normal spectrum of human sexuality, and there is nothing detrimental about being gay, which is why it differs from acromegaly, which is very detrimental to one’s health and quality of life. Being gay can also negatively impact one’s quality of life, especially when fellow Christians keep reminding them how sinful it is to be gay and telling them they must remain celibate for life. Why would God expect people who are naturally attracted to members of their own sex to remain celibate when there is no demonstrable moral problem with same-sex relationships?

Yep, so why don’t you work on that rather than trying to prove God doesn’t accept LGBTQ+ people for who they are?

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In two days I will be out at PUC’s marine station at Albion enjoying the woods and the beach. :smiley:

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I only have this to say. Every time I actually look at the academic, peer-reviewed literature and the scholarly body of literature on ancient sexual practices, these kinds of assumptions fall apart. There is no ancient culture with which Jews or Christians had contact, that I am aware of, that had anything like same-sex marriage as we conceive of it today. And in spite of your arguments to the contrary, until very recently no Western or Near Eastern culture viewed same-sex attraction, as we understand it today, as part of the normal spectrum of sexual behavior. So, I am sorry, until the last 20 years or so, it was not even possible to ask the kind of questions we are asking now.

Adventists pride themselves on believing in progressive truth or present truth. This is present truth. We now know more about who LGBTQ+ people are and the evidence is they are part of the normal biological spectrum of what people are. Can we accept that and then reevaluate our doctrinal stance, or will we just act as if the truth we have believed since ancient times remains the same?

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Would it bother you if it was the case?

But you missed the point anyway. The question is not to know if I have the Word of God on my side but rather if I am on the side of the Word of God. That is, as a Christian, am I willing to accept what Scripture says, above all when dealing with a sensitive and/or difficult matter, or not?

This is not the subject of the discussion as far as I know.

Who said that God intentionally (???) created perverted (???) monstrosities (???)?

As far as I know, God loves everybody.

Aha! Now you are onto something!

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Okay.

Provide something other than circular logic-e.g., the text is believable so I believe the text-to show that Jesus agrees with or you, or with anything in either covenant, for that matter.

Even better, provide something verifiably written in Jesus own hand to show that he authorized any of his disciples to build churches with his mistranslated name over the door.

And I get that you’d rather not talk about this but when one makes absolute claims it seems important that he have absolute reasons to substantiate them. So again, I suspect that your desire to remain silent in the matter is the loudest testimony against you.

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Yes and is the result of self inflicted ignorance. Declarations of I read nothing but the Bible and EGW are symptomatic of this condition. It is their crime and is also their punishment.

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Yes, but nobody is saying that having this genetic disposition is normal in the case of acromegaly.

Also, before trying to find out what God expects from thin air or from our imagination, let’s see what the Word of God has to say on the matter. This is, after all, a central question of the book you are presenting in your article, right?

Since the title of the book is “The Bible and LGBTQ Adventists” I expect to see convincing biblical arguments. So far, I haven’t seen much if any as the conversation keeps shifting to the psychological and social aspects of being LBGTQ (which is an important subject, no doubt).

Beside the fact that it is a little bit patronizing, this is rich coming from someone who is attempting to prove that God condone same-sex marriage and is presenting a book who is trying to do the same.

By the way, wasn’t it you who reproduced that quote at the beginning of your article:

“Long-cherished opinions must not be regarded as infallible. . . . Those who sincerely desire truth will not be reluctant to lay open their positions for investigation and criticism, and will not be annoyed if their opinions and ideas are crossed.”

I hope that you are not annoyed to see your opinions and ideas challenged.

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Just in case you didn’t notice, the subject at hand is about the Bible and LGBTQ Adventists. So, the context is unavoidably the biblical context.

Now, the fact that you want to put the discussion in another context shows that you are missing the point.

I don’t see what this question has to do with the subject at hand. Also, does Scripture say that Jesus wrote anything (except when He wrote on the ground when He was presented the case of the woman caught in adultery)? Show me where and maybe we’ll go somewhere.

Instead of introducing a straw man maybe you should stay on the subject at hand. It would prevent you from making wild guesses about people’s desires.

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Judging by your response so far, I suspect you will be gravely disappointed. Just a wild guess on my part. :wink:

Ha ha. I get it all the time. I am beyond feeling annoyed when people disagree with me. Disagree away. And as to the quote, my views on a lot of things have changed during my lifetime. I like to say it is because I believe what the quote says and consequently have abandoned older views I once held. I once held view not too different than yours, but, by the grace of God I got over them.

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This is obvious.

But what you believe to be relevant is beside the point.

You insist that everyone must accept that your ground rules are exactly the same as those of Jesus and that your first principles are precisely aligned with his dad’s.

That makes how you can make this assertion the most relevant question of all. In other words, before any Christian-as some do-says god hates LGBT’s, they need to first prove god exists and then show how they were able to get inside his, her or it’s head.

To go on arguing with someone who simply says “I read a book about it” is pointless, particularly when the book in question was admittedly not written by the people in question.

So you’re right. I can’t know your desires by reading your mind. But since you insist that your beliefs are those of Jesus and god, and given that you claim their desires are described in some ancient accumulation of hearsay and gossip which was written by neither of them and which book clearly asserts that acting on same sex attractions is an abomination, then I don’t need to guess at what you want when it comes to anyone who, for whatever reason, is attracted to the same sex.

If you don’t hate them and find their behavior abominable you’ve provided prima facie evidence that your views and desires are neither those of the savior and/or god you claim to love.

In other words, when one insists that the Bible is absolutely the word of god he must be absolutely binary in his thinking on the topic at hand, just as he cannot say slavery, genocide, infanticide, etc., are necessary wrong in each and every case.

To which I can only say I think I understand, at least in general, what your beliefs are in this matter as I used to share them myself. But thankfully I’ve put away such childish thoughts and don’t accept absolutist claims based faith anymore, nor am I impressed by any con man’s assertion that “You gotta believe me.”

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