The flood may be an “object lesson” but it doesn’t sound plausible as reality. If God was truly giving the entire population a chance to prepare and be saved, he would have called for several Arks. That boat would not have held all the people Noah was preaching to. If it’s about the “openess of God” - the idea that God doesn’t know how we all will react to His invitation, then that boat story debunks that idea.
Again, we agree here. I’m on your side when you say that it is not a sin to be born broken, as we all are. However, it is a sin to act upon our fallen broken tendencies. You yourself admit that “doing” homosexual activity is morally wrong. I agree. Dr. Ness does not agree with your position here, however.
Not if you know that your employer hired you to teach something else.
Now, You may think think that your employer is completely nuts, and you may be right. Your employer may be completely bonkers. However, if you freely agreed to take the job, knowing full well what was being asked of you, it’s still theft to take the money yet not deliver what you’re being paid to deliver - even if you’re working for someone who is asking you to teach something that is absolutely self-evidently false. If you don’t like what you’re being asked to do, and it goes against your personal ethics to teach what you know are clearly falsehoods, just resign and go work somewhere else. Otherwise, teaching what you know is right, while being paid to teach something else, is still stealing - a moral wrong.
Is this really such a difficult concept?
Have you learned nothing from the examples of what it means to be a Christian that you would indulge in such harshness and judgemental words and pronouncements?
In our age of enlightenment and unprecedented understanding how is it that you could hold such feelings of contempt and judgement towards our brothers and sisters who through no fault of their own find themselves in such a condition?
You forget the many sins and propensities to evil you possess yet feel the blood of Jesus can wash you clean but deny these brothers and sisters the same.
Such declarations of condemnation and judgement ring in the courts of heaven louder than you think.
Jesus told us not to indulge in such a spirit and to avoid becoming the instrument of the enemy to harm others.
When it comes to changing the lifestyle of someone, it does work. Few of us instantly experience complete and total relief from being tempted to act upon our natural fallen tendencies when we first come to God. Yet, as we walk day by day with God, we experience a “New Birth” and are given strength to actually live a new life in Jesus. Consider, for example, the very interesting conversion story of Becket Cook:
Consider that while Jesus most certainly was very kind and gentle and forgiving to the woman caught in adultery (certainly one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible), that He did in fact tell her to “go and sin no more”.
I would say that the very same action and recommendation should be given to all who find themselves part of the LBGTQ+ community. God loves sinners and came to save all of us who find ourselves caught in the web of fallen and sinful lives. He doesn’t condemn us for being broken, but He does offer us a way out and tells us to “go and sin no more”.
In light of this, my problem with the efforts of Dr. Ness is that he is making the claim that there is no brokenness or moral problem with committed monogamous homosexual lifestyles - that the Bible says absolutely nothing in this regard and therefore there is nothing for God to forgive here. There is simply no need to say, “I love you, now go and sin no more”.
I’m also not quite sure why Dr. Ness draws the line with monogamy since he doesn’t accept the Biblical statements, often within the same passages as those discussing monogamy, that speak against homosexual activities? This seems inconsistent to me since it seems quite reasonable, given the arguments presented by Dr. Ness, that polygamy could also be argued as being even more consistent with God’s will and natural genetic mutations that God Himself designed. Upon what “scientific” or “religious” or “philosophical” basis does Dr. Ness draw the line at monogamy as being the clear Biblical standard where God draws the line? - when many have very strong and very “natural” polygamous tendencies?
Of course, I also have a problem with a paid representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, who is responsible for teaching our youth in support of the primary goals and ideals of the Church, publicly arguing that these goals and ideals are completely wrong - on the church’s dime. Such activity, even if one is totally convinced as to the error of one’s employer, is unethical since it is a form of stealing from one’s employer.
At the very least, parents who are paying a great deal of money to send their children to one of our church schools should be very well informed as to what they can expect their children to be taught at our schools and what positions the teachers at the school are publicly promoting. Providing this information to such parents is my primary purpose in responding to Dr. Ness’s publicly published article in public forum.
Remember when God said that He wouldn’t destroy the entire cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of just 10 righteous people living there? The same would most likely have been true if “too many” people tried to board the Ark. God would simply have called off the Flood, at that point, for their sakes alone.
The problem, you see, is that the entire world, except for Noah and his family, were evil beyond any kind of salvation. Of course, only an infinite God can determine when such a point is actually reached. That is why only such a God can do such a thing out of infinite love for all involved - even for the wicked.
Just a general question; are there any successful conversion therapy modalities for elder brothers/accusers of the brethren/arrogating hypocrites, or are they turned over forever to their “thank you god i am better than _ _ _ _” prayer mantra?
They need prayer, too.
But back to the OT.
Perhaps the eye salve we will receive is to open our eyes to what the bible is actually saying. To believe that every letter is a literal “word issued directly from and by god” and as such grants us the right to couch our bigotry in religious garb(age) suggest that if the meaning is contrary to the core, the heart of the gospel then there is a fatal flaw in our interpretation and application of scripture.
Here is a NT example of a perhaps mis-written and mis-read, mis-applied text. It was written by men (not god) who probably tried to “sin with her” and failing that “set her up” with trumped up charges in order to hide their own sins while posturing a moral superiority.
Perhaps the real message, Sean, is the way Jesus tended, very tenderly, first to the VICTIM, and then addressed the perps?
Is there a difference in personally writing “accusations of the brethren” in sand PRIVATELY-
versus gleefully shouting and outing from the universal interwebs all manner of perceived other peoples faults?
I think you have likewise confused the sinner with the victim.
The woman was the victim-and the “religious right” the perp.
I wonder if those men, conspiring to use the woman for their own benefit, were also not “church employees”. And i wonder if you realize you-and we ALL are-employees, in the vineyard? Some of us have not appointed ourselves as the “pruners”. Something to consider-if you can.
I still remember what he @Sean, some Hilde guy, and David Read
tried to do to LSU some years ago. Basically they were (implicitly and explicitly) trying to destroy some people’s life. Thank God I don’t remember all details, because it was ugly. I only remember that what they were doing was just borderline villainy and defamation. (Sorry for the plagiarism…).
And now this!!!
Certainly the men who set up this woman were far more at fault. That’s absolutely true. However, by the time He finished writing in the sand, they had all disappeared. Only the woman was left there with Jesus.
So, when Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more”, He was most certainly speaking directly to the woman. Sure, her sins were much less significant as compared to those men who were accusing her, but she was by no means sinless here. She also needed a Savior to give her power to save her from her own sins - which Jesus freely offered her.
In other words, you are saying that those who tattled on the woman were afraid of Jesus, and of having their sins outed-
but the woman discovered the breadth and depth of grace, and wanted to be close to her savior.
What could this interpretation of yours possibly reveal ?
Shall we out your sins-all over the web? You seem rather proud of some of them-as if they were not sins.
Have you discovered the real good news-and staying by Jesus, are you imploring others to likewise approach Him? Hint-honey is more effective than vinegar, in administration of medicine.
Come on Allen, (if you read Sean’s) you know that this is not what he is doing. He is going after Bryan’s @bness employment. It seems that he has a need to go after other on a personal basis. Speaking as Mr. Saint. With total disregard for the consequences of his irresponsible behavior.
You know, to date basically every Mr Saint that I met in my life ended up messing it up. One day their sainthood collapses when something ugly about themselves surfaced. It’s been always only a matter of time; sooner or later … Even cheating in school can be a reality in many people’s lives. Or some not so “saintly” dating…
I wish he would be just “pointing out the clear difference of opinion” he holds regarding Bryan’s expert opinion. But, ultimately, it’s not!
Oh, in this case, I challenge you to go and buy a couple of Playboy magazines, you know, those for … heteros.
Are you kidding me Allen? Again accusing ALL gays based on what some may be doing bad? Do you really believe that those gays sitting in your congregation, who are battling their own wars and trying to be good Christians are also involved in porn? What about the male heteros in your congregation doing the same, without the personal gay war?
My point is only one: Pointing out that there are “gay magazines” and not even mentioning that there are “hetero magazines,” may be, just may be, a sign that you could benefit from becoming more understating, tolerant, sensitive, and gracious. Try! For heaven’s sake, just try once! Once!
One more thought, consider the question-
If the bible is the literal infallible “word of god” why oh why do we not have THESE ACTUAL WORDS? Seems these would be prime to print! Why are these oh so important words blown away in the dust?
Perhaps Jesus was speaking to the men in a language they understood-and if they understood that God did not splay their sins village/church/worldwide but instead chose to erase them. Perhaps this is a valuable teaching for us.
Or-is it possible, or am I being too provocative-to suggest that truth might be HID in the words, AND NOT IN THE LITERALLY TRANSLATED MEANING OF THE WORDS?
Maybe the real meaning requires a heart, you know, a heart like Jesus.
And his “literal” words do not matter so much-but the hidden meaning, the timeless truths (ie, love) are what only will persist for perpetuity?
So what? If hge and I have a different take on this detail, is this now a reason for me to go and start a crusade against him as a person, trying to destroy his professional life, threatening his employment as well? For a difference of opinion?
Unfortunately this is what you are doing. I am not sure whose “fault” is more vicious, his or yours. I really don’t know…
You illustrate exactly the level of superficial thinking and wrong spirit that was at work when Jesus was here.
Your attempt to hide behind pious indignation and through accusations only expose the true author and spirit behind your level of thinking. People forget when reading the story that Jesus was speaking more to those that brought here out and the spectators. She knew her need of a saviour, the others couldn’t comprehend that it was they who the lesson was about.
Many, as you so well illustrate, treat others as if they are not real and as mear conceptual constructs.
Learn from this lesson and raise your level of understanding, compassion and understand the awesomeness of God who have us love others.
Isn’t this interesting, some people, when reading biblical stories (like John 8), compare themself to Jesus and not to the sinner… some are the hero and not the sinner in general … Who do we identify with? What is our tendency? In general, are we the Savior, that has to rescue the world, or are we the one that is in need of a savior?
Indeed they express the same spirit of self righteousness that lead to burnings, drownings, hangings, imprisonment and neglect of others.
No longer content to right their own wrongs and preach the Gospel they instead create controversy and trouble where none rises to such a level.
We read about such men who in times past passionately believed they were doing the work of God and wonder how they could be so deceived and blind.
We now have real-time examples of the same spirit and men willing to be used by the enemy of souls to continue the work of destroying others.
Allen @ajshep never told us which magazines he bought. Not only one, but “a couple.” Apparently he is familiar with their content. Or is it just his bluff? Who knows…
Sean, I hope you are aware of the general standards and expectations regarding Academic Freedom, especially for accredited institutions in the US.
That’s why, If you read a handbook or a place like PUC, you will find statements like:
As residents of a democracy, Pacific Union College teachers are guaranteed the freedom to speak and to write responsibly, free from unwarranted limitation. As members of a learned profession they must recognize that the public to some degree judges the profession by the professor. Therefore, in public speech and writing teachers will be accurate and tactful, making it clear when they are speaking for the institution and when they are speaking for themselves (AAUP 3,4)
It’s a general understanding that lack of Academic Freedom hurts academic research.
It’s also generally understood that these teachers are not institutional slaves. The institutions benefit from them just as much as they are from institutions, so it’s a give and take process. And freedom to explore and test institutional ideals is a part of not only their freedom, but their responsibility as Academics that pursue truth.
While institution may limitations on curriculum that teachers are to abide by, it doesn’t mean that institution is to act as a thought police in their personal exploration of these subjects, which is a baseline necessity for Academic and research process.
Likewise, there’s a difference between theological position on science, and debatable scientific facts that should be disclosed for theological position to maintain integrity as opposed to merely brainwash its students without opening up their awareness to potential criticism that they will face upon graduation, and especially in the STEM field.
So, I ask you to recognize that your efforts so far has been nothing short of a witch-hunt.