I've recently had a back and forth with a pro-homosexuality advocate on the "Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX)" Facebook Page. Here's my most recent reply to him on Facebook this early morning.
For some reason, Facebook has decided to not notify me of comments on this thread. It's happened to me before a number of times with Groups (now Pages). Fully expecting some additional commentary, I returned manually.
Andrew, some things don't need citations. There is no way that all the "authorization" (rising in the general population that began largely with homosexuals pressing their case with the very, very young a few decades ago and often without the knowledge of, and obviously without the consent of, the parents of those young children) has not led to increased experimentation, etc., among the youth. If you need a "scientific" study to confirm it, you are certainly someone I know should not be in the position of making policy before such "studies" have been concluded. Of course, there are countervailing forces arrayed against that "authorization" (non-violent tolerance cum hyper pro-homosexual proselytizing). It is certainly not "bad form" to state what ought to be obvious.
As for your appeal to the Bible above as the only resource in the way you meant it, even when the Bible was unknown to a culture, the harmful aftereffects of especially the full-blown homosexual act were identified (not by all). Here again, I don't need to cite some other "authority." There is a great deal of "scientific" and medical evidence clearly showing the harmfulness of it, but we can't wait upon the powers that be to undertake further studies where the methodology and interpretation are done in a finally conclusive way. The system of those powers is not bent toward "discovering" the objective and absolute truth. There is a built-in general bias in favor of greater and greater self-licensing (selfish or self-centered licensing; anti-whole or anti-wholesome in the Christian sense).
This is a religious, spiritual, even philosophical discussion. What rises or falls in terms of substantiation is not for you to set. You appear to have general difficulty with the self-evident.
The whole debate over homosexuality has exactly to do with societally what we are teaching our children. If it doesn't matter, why have the homosexuals advocated so adamantly to be allowed to begin instructing/indoctrinating even the youngest of the young? Why are there any rules? There are rules to prevent behavior and to help to mold and form the minds and characters of individuals and the greater society, as those individuals go to comprising it. Rules can be used for good or ill.
For all sorts of reasons, people find the Bible contradictory. The Bible contains arguments within. The debates are there to enlighten. The trains of thought are not "easy" to follow. This partly goes to why Jesus said, "Few there be that find it": the strait and narrow. If you are looking for answers to the questions in your mind about all of this, you can't remain "vaguely aware of what Jesus said." You have to dig in. The fact that you are only "vaguely aware" has very much to do with why there isn't sufficient common language between us that I can impart to you why the selfishness inherent in homosexuality is always a problem that needs to be overcome. This does not mean that everyone who claims Christianity has the same "understanding." They don't. What you need to do is determine to come to know the mind of Jesus Christ if you want the answers to your questions answered.
You are right that Jesus's sayings confuse people. His words are a sorting process. The softness of your heart will determine. If you hold out for selfishness in the end, you won't enter in. God is wholeness. Being selfish (that is apart from God's righteousness) is death. The connotations of all the various words are throwing you only because you haven't gone in to partake. You have thus far stood off and pondered, so you aren't seeing the details and are misconstruing the big picture. This answers your question about the law and every jot and tittle. The law is enlightenment. To know Jesus's words, one can't erase the scriptures or the Mosaic Law. One learns the higher law by the refinement of the lesser. Hypocrisy is dross. Jesus was and is greater than Moses. The "fulfillment" for you is when you see all of this and act in accordance.
A good example of your difficulty with the language is with "culture" and now "family." Jesus asked rhetorically who is mother and brothers and sisters were. He gave the answer. I won't give it to you here because you need to seek it for the sake of your soul and the sake of the souls around you and with whom you interact, including on the Internet. "Israel" is a case in point. It is Jacob, but it is the twelve tribes. It is a nation. You are right that many would agree with your use of the terms. However, "few there be...." The Mayans were of a father as the Israelites were of Jacob versus his half brother. Israel also means those who joined themselves. The same applies to Christ and of course, God, and unfortunately for those to whom it applies, Satan.
You wrote, "As for the term "natural", the religious and the pro-homosexuals are not applying the same understanding of the term. Most religious persons view it as the manifestation of a negative spirit. I'm not quite following you here. If "natural" is a "bad thing" in some contexts in scripture, then how does the argument "homosexuality is bad because it is unnatural" hold?"
Your confusion there is more understandable than elsewhere. It does require greater clarity from me. Read "Most religious persons view it as the manifestation of a negative spirit" as "Most religious persons view homosexuality as the manifestation of a negative spirit." That should clear it up for you. Your question though points to your missing how to apply different connotations to different overall contexts. This is the single-most point at which Jesus is separated off from "humanity" through no fault of his. Re-read your question: "If 'natural' is a 'bad thing' in some contexts in scripture, then how does the argument 'homosexuality is bad because it is unnatural' hold?" If you can sort out your own confusion here, your mind will begin the process of being able to grasp more and more of Jesus's sayings and doings. Your question admits to two different contexts and connotations where your mind wants to insist upon one connotation. This is why so many people couldn't, and still can't, begin to understand Jesus's parables, let alone even his interpretations openly revealed in scripture that he shared with his closest disciples.
You really need to read the Gospels with the view that you are ignorant of the language of the revelation of Jesus. Suspend your being stuck at every term. Read through and return. You have watched movies over again and seen things in subsequent viewings that you hadn't noticed before. You've been told about the "hidden" meanings in some. There's a huge body of work that seeks to do the same concerning the Bible. All of it isn't correct, but you won't know what's what regardless without delving in.
The meanings of "righteousness" and "wholesomeness" cannot be given to you with your grasping them without prerequisites on your part. You want a Ph.D. without having taken a 101 course. I'm not saying that you can't begin to get it quite quickly. I'm also not saying that I disbelieve in what is called "the priesthood of all believers." This though comes back to the relative and absolute hardness of your heart. You're asking me what is righteousness. Jesus's New Commandment is the "nut shell" answer. It's also the answer to wholesomeness. Love is the answer.
Of course, there are those who apply connotations to "love" that are false-hearted. Homosexuals say they "love" the object of their sexual attraction. In Jesus's New-Commandment definition of love, they don't. You don't love when you harm, and you harm (ultimately harm) when you engage in performing sexual acts on the same sex. How and why this is the case is for you to discover or to have revealed to you by virtue of your doing what I've said that is asking, seeking, and knocking.
You have been given a huge opportunity here in this forum. It is a spiritual event.
As for your statement about Johnny, if you continue holding to your current view, you will have no hope of entering the kingdom of God. You are asking people to have always been as perfect as God. There is no forgiveness or even mercy in your statement about Johnny. How will you receive when your standard is begrudging? I have to tell you that there are convicted pedophiles working in schools right now who were convicted by their own hearts in private consultation with God who healed them such that they are now more trustworthy than those who would have stoned them to death. If you want a citation, I refer you directly to God. Ask.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)