Struggling with homophobia in the church.

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    [QUOTE=samantham999;67884536]
    (Original post by Robby2312)

    Yes we will all die soon, and then there will come a time where homosexuals will burn in hell but lets just leave it here X
    Yes and perhaps they will also go to hades where they will be judged and confined to the fields of punishment forever.Or maybe they will be reborn as a sloth.Or they could even go to valhallah and enjoy a pint with the mighty thor.Lol.Hell doesnt exist you utter fool.It was a scare tactic made up to scare people into obeying the church.The carrot is heaven and the stick is hell.You are the silly donkey who doesnt realise that both the carrot and the stick are imaginary.
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    (Original post by lowza)
    So I go to a pretty liberal, happy clappy pentecostal church which i LOVE. The atmosphere is always so unbelievably positive and accepting and loving so I really thought that I'd found my people and my church going there...until this morning.

    We had a guest preacher (turns out he used to be the pastor there like 10 years ago but I've not been there that long) and he was talking about the second coming of Christ. He was saying about how the world is getting worse and ungodly so it will be soon, and this was due to terrorism and war etc. Then he started talking about the loss of family values and sexual immorality. He never outrightly said homosexuality or being gay but it was SO clear what he was talking about.

    I wasn't happy but understood why he might feel this way, he backed up this with scripture and I won't disagree with God's word but then he started going off on some of the most ignorant things I've ever heard. He kept saying "now young people, listen to this" and then genuinely was suggesting that being gay lead to disease (AIDs), taking drugs and turning evil. I actually couldn't believe what I was hearing and how my lovely, accepting church was allowing him to say these things. It felt like he totally went off reading scripture and was just on a tangent about his own hateful opinions.

    I'm now feeling very torn about whether this church is the right one for me. I believe that God loves us all and as long as we believe and follow the path of Jesus then we will be saved. And I definitely think you can be gay and follow Jesus. I think what has upset me the most is the fact that I've always seen my church as so accepting, I used to go to a really conservative catholic church and nothing this hateful was ever said there so it completely shocked me to come from my current church.

    I don't know whether this is something I have to accept and just continue in my church because apart from today I have loved it. Or do I need to find a new church?

    (I'm sorry this is long, I just needed to get it all out of my system)
    In response to the OP, I'm sorry you've encountered such hatred, I wish I could say it doesn't happen often...

    Here are my thoughts (often echoing previous posts):
    • You don't have to believe or interpret your religion the same as your church/a particular preacher. It's good to think for yourself and come to your own conclusions about what's right and true!
    • I personally think that being gay and being Christian don't have to be contradictions, nor should Christians consider being gay a sin.
    • It sounds like it's a one off thing, so hopefully your church will go back to normal soon.
    • If it doesn't you could always seek a new church, so simply keep going knowing that you disagree with some of what is being said.
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    Okay so I feel like this thread has gone a little off topic so I think this will be my last post to round up everything I've been thinking.

    Thank you so much everyone for your thoughtful & kind responses, you've helped me so much and truly strengthened my belief but also my acceptance! I don't believe the two have to contradict each other. For those interested, I'm going to continue at my church and start going to life group where we have more of an opportunity to discuss issues with the pastors. I'll bring up my views and express my opinion - I think it'll be good for me to talk to more people in the church.

    For those still stuck with their hateful views, please remember that we are Christians. We follow in the ways of Christ who was entirely compassionate, kind and forgiving. We know that God's plan was man & woman but we also know that Jesus taught that the two most important commandments were to 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.' and 'Love others as much as you love yourself.' (Matthew 22) These aren't my words, these are Christ's. So I understand you not agreeing with homosexuality but some of you are SO hateful and mean. Love your neighbour, despite their sins and imperfections just as God loves us! None of us are perfect so what right do we have to judge others so horridly.

    And for those wondering why I care despite being heterosexual. It's because I do 'love my neighbour.' I care about the people who are treated awfully and hated because of something they do not choose. I've seen friends try and kill themselves because of their sexuality and the fear they are not loved due to it. That's why I care.

    In essence, thank you everyone who has helped, I appreciate it so much. Goodbye!
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    (Original post by lowza)
    So I go to a pretty liberal, happy clappy pentecostal church which i LOVE. The atmosphere is always so unbelievably positive and accepting and loving so I really thought that I'd found my people and my church going there...until this morning.
    no reference to Jesus, the authority of scripture/God to define morality, conviction of sin etc. Not a good sign...

    We had a guest preacher (turns out he used to be the pastor there like 10 years ago but I've not been there that long) and he was talking about the second coming of Christ. He was saying about how the world is getting worse and ungodly so it will be soon, and this was due to terrorism and war etc. Then he started talking about the loss of family values and sexual immorality. He never outrightly said homosexuality or being gay but it was SO clear what he was talking about.
    ok, still no references...

    I wasn't happy but understood why he might feel this way, he backed up this with scripture and I won't disagree with God's word but then he started going off on some of the most ignorant things I've ever heard.
    Right, so you understand the authority of scripture, and you recognise that one cannot just say the bible is wrong, unless they are willing to forgo the entirety of the Christian belief system because it is underpinned by biblical inerrancy/biblical "inspiration".

    He kept saying "now young people, listen to this" and then genuinely was suggesting that being gay lead to disease (AIDs),
    Well statistically, he's got a point. This is common knowledge. You may want to Google Scholar: MSM (men who have sex with men) and HIV/AIDS.

    taking drugs
    again, statistically, he's got a point... Also bear in mind the links with depression and the fact that people often self-medicate with drugs, then you'll see that it's not completely unfounded.

    and turning evil.
    ok so here, I wouldn't agree if that's what the guest pastor said. The bible teaches that mankind is evil, whether homosexual or not. Jesus wouldn't need to die on the cross if we didn't do evil things. At the end of the day, homosexual acts are evil, like a load of other things we do everyday, like be proud, lie, be selfish, gossip, envy and steal.

    I would point you to Romans 1:26, where it says, "...God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature." You may want to read the whole of that chapter. The chapter clearly says very negative things about homosexual desires and acts. That's just what it says.

    I actually couldn't believe what I was hearing
    I think that's because you don't study what the bible actually says, and so you don't have a consistent view of good and evil, of sin, the bible, or the gospel. You also don't know anything about the research done on homosexuals and health.

    and how my lovely, accepting church was allowing him to say these things. It felt like he totally went off reading scripture and was just on a tangent about his own hateful opinions.
    It's really revealing how your focus is on the church being "accepting", rather than on Jesus being who he claimed to be, or on the church you attend preaching the actual gospel, and not a watered-down gospel, so that people will be presented with something that will save them from a deserved place in hell if they believe!

    I'm now feeling very torn about whether this church is the right one for me. I believe that God loves us all and as long as we believe and follow the path of Jesus then we will be saved. And I definitely think you can be gay and follow Jesus. I think what has upset me the most is the fact that I've always seen my church as so accepting, I used to go to a really conservative catholic church and nothing this hateful was ever said there so it completely shocked me to come from my current church.

    I don't know whether this is something I have to accept and just continue in my church because apart from today I have loved it. Or do I need to find a new church?

    (I'm sorry this is long, I just needed to get it all out of my system)
    Look, I've been pretty harsh, but you're not thinking it through. You're just labelling groups as "liberal" and "conservative", rather than thinking about the issues. What did Jesus teach? Why did he die on the cross? How do we know what is good and what is evil?
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    Instead of that, try going to your local Cathedral. That is where you can find the best Catholic experience.
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    (Original post by Toughtee)
    In response to the OP, I'm sorry you've encountered such hatred, I wish I could say it doesn't happen often...

    Here are my thoughts (often echoing previous posts):
    • You don't have to believe or interpret your religion the same as your church/a particular preacher. It's good to think for yourself and come to your own conclusions about what's right and true!
    • I personally think that being gay and being Christian don't have to be contradictions, nor should Christians consider being gay a sin.
    • It sounds like it's a one off thing, so hopefully your church will go back to normal soon.
    • If it doesn't you could always seek a new church, so simply keep going knowing that you disagree with some of what is being said.
    Are you a Christian, Toughtee?
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    (Original post by Pride)
    Are you a Christian, Toughtee?
    Nope, and before anyone asks, I'm not gay either.
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    (Original post by Toughtee)
    Nope, and before anyone asks, I'm not gay either.
    So you're not a Christian, yet you say this: "I personally think that being gay and being Christian don't have to be contradictions, nor should Christians consider being gay a sin."

    1) Would you represent some other religion you don't follow, like Islam or Judaism, even though their teachings also condemn homosexual practice?

    2) Do you not think you made the comment sound like you were a Christian? Do you not think you made it sound as though you follow what Jesus taught and what the bible teaches, and have these as an authority in your own life?
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    (Original post by Pride)
    So you're not a Christian, yet you say this: "I personally think that being gay and being Christian don't have to be contradictions, nor should Christians consider being gay a sin."

    1) Would you represent some other religion you don't follow, like Islam or Judaism, even though their teachings also condemn homosexual practice?

    2) Do you not think you made the comment sound like you were a Christian? Do you not think you made it sound as though you follow what Jesus taught and what the bible teaches, and have these as an authority in your own life?
    There are many Christians who don't know about their religion, and many non-Christians who know a lot about Christianity. Not to mention that many atheists are ex-Christians who have practiced the religion.
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    (Original post by The Epicurean)
    There are many Christians who don't know about their religion, and many non-Christians who know a lot about Christianity. Not to mention that many atheists are ex-Christians who have practiced the religion.
    Yes, I see what you're saying. But let me come up with similar examples.

    "I think eating ham and being a Muslim is compatible. I actually think Muslims should just ignore all dietary laws. You can still be a Muslim and eat what you want."
    "What do you know? You're a Christian."

    Or

    "Did you know, there's some new churches popping up in the USA and Canada that consider those who consider themselves to be atheists to be part of the church. There's even that church with the atheist pastor. So it's clear that you can be an atheist and still identify as a Christian, don't worry about it."

    Or

    "You know you don't have to consider the bible to be the inspired word of God to be a Christian. You can just believe it is a bunch of myths with a generally positive message. You're still a Christian."

    Do you see any problem with those ideas? My point being that you have to allow the doctrines of religions to define orthodoxy.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    Yes, I see what you're saying. But let me come up with similar examples.

    Do you see any problem with those ideas? My point being that you have to allow the doctrines of religions to define orthodoxy.

    Any text, religious or otherwise, is subject to an element of interpretation. A liberal interpretation can be just as valid as any orthodox interpretation.

    If we take something as simple as the ten commandments. Catholics, Protestants and Jews all interpret differently what these ten commandments are.
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    (Original post by The Epicurean)
    Any text, religious or otherwise, is subject to an element of interpretation. A liberal interpretation can be just as valid as any orthodox interpretation.

    If we take something as simple as the ten commandments. Catholics, Protestants and Jews all interpret differently what these ten commandments are.
    well whether a liberal interpretation is valid depends on what the truth is, so discussing a hypothetical like that is pretty useless. What does it mean for an interpretation to be valid? I have a feeling we would disagree on the answer to that question, perhaps because of post-modern thinking.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    well whether a liberal interpretation is valid depends on what the truth is, so discussing a hypothetical like that is pretty useless. What does it mean for an interpretation to be valid? I have a feeling we would disagree on the answer to that question, perhaps because of post-modern thinking.
    Do you take a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation story?
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    (Original post by The Epicurean)
    Do you take a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation story?
    I know where you're taking this discussion, but it's pointless, because it basically bottles down to "people disagree on doctrine", and "multiple opinions on doctrine can all be valid [+/- because we don't know what's true]". I don't think that's a discussion worth having. It's a fundamental worldview issue there.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    I know where you're taking this discussion, but it's pointless, because it basically bottles down to "people disagree on doctrine", and "multiple opinions on doctrine can all be valid [+/- because we don't know what's true]". I don't think that's a discussion worth having. It's a fundamental worldview issue there.
    Unless you are willing to claim divine inspiration, then I don't think you can claim that you hold the one single correct interpretation.
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    (Original post by The Epicurean)
    Unless you are willing to claim divine inspiration, then I don't think you can claim that you hold the one single correct interpretation.
    I think we can claim that we are correct, but I don't think we can claim infallibility. I have certain beliefs that I claim to be correct. I believe certain contradicting things are wrong.

    For example, I would claim that Jesus rose from the dead physically. I claim that the bible teaches that. I claim that that is the only valid interpretation of the text regarding the resurrection. Now the Jehovah's witnesses would disagree and say that the bible doesn't teach that it was a physical resurrection. But I can claim that their interpretation is not valid, and mine is. While at the same time, I recognise that I'm fallible.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    no reference to Jesus, the authority of scripture/God to define morality, conviction of sin etc. Not a good sign...



    ok, still no references...



    Right, so you understand the authority of scripture, and you recognise that one cannot just say the bible is wrong, unless they are willing to forgo the entirety of the Christian belief system because it is underpinned by biblical inerrancy/biblical "inspiration".



    Well statistically, he's got a point. This is common knowledge. You may want to Google Scholar: MSM (men who have sex with men) and HIV/AIDS.



    again, statistically, he's got a point... Also bear in mind the links with depression and the fact that people often self-medicate with drugs, then you'll see that it's not completely unfounded.



    ok so here, I wouldn't agree if that's what the guest pastor said. The bible teaches that mankind is evil, whether homosexual or not. Jesus wouldn't need to die on the cross if we didn't do evil things. At the end of the day, homosexual acts are evil, like a load of other things we do everyday, like be proud, lie, be selfish, gossip, envy and steal.

    I would point you to Romans 1:26, where it says, "...God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature." You may want to read the whole of that chapter. The chapter clearly says very negative things about homosexual desires and acts. That's just what it says.



    I think that's because you don't study what the bible actually says, and so you don't have a consistent view of good and evil, of sin, the bible, or the gospel. You also don't know anything about the research done on homosexuals and health.



    It's really revealing how your focus is on the church being "accepting", rather than on Jesus being who he claimed to be, or on the church you attend preaching the actual gospel, and not a watered-down gospel, so that people will be presented with something that will save them from a deserved place in hell if they believe!



    Look, I've been pretty harsh, but you're not thinking it through. You're just labelling groups as "liberal" and "conservative", rather than thinking about the issues. What did Jesus teach? Why did he die on the cross? How do we know what is good and what is evil?
    I agree with everything you just said. To give another analogy...as I am a black person I can say that the statistics of black men in the U.S. making up most of the prison population is correct. The lifestyle of some black people, poverty, mindset and so on contributes to it. Therefore the statistics of what correlates to homosexuality is is also from a contribution to the lifestyle.
    Yes the bible talks about love and we should love one another. But that doesn't take away from what the bible says about homosexuality is the biblical truth.
    Genesis 1:27-28 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
    Do you see the first command that God gave human kind? Be fruitful and multiply. Homosexuality naturally breaks that first command. Also Pride I've read all your posts. You give a decent and stable argument.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    So you're not a Christian, yet you say this: "I personally think that being gay and being Christian don't have to be contradictions, nor should Christians consider being gay a sin."

    1) Would you represent some other religion you don't follow, like Islam or Judaism, even though their teachings also condemn homosexual practice?

    2) Do you not think you made the comment sound like you were a Christian? Do you not think you made it sound as though you follow what Jesus taught and what the bible teaches, and have these as an authority in your own life?
    1) I don't claim to be representing them, I was only saying how I have interpreted the texts. I wouldn't make claims about other religions because I haven't researched the relevant passages in detail, but I do know there are members of each religion that say being gay is okay.

    2) I don't think I made the comment sound like I am a Christian, but I am sorry if I have caused confusion. I didn't want to be disingenuous.
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    (Original post by medic997)
    I agree with everything you just said. To give another analogy...as I am a black person I can say that the statistics of black men in the U.S. making up most of the prison population is correct. The lifestyle of some black people, poverty, mindset and so on contributes to it. Therefore the statistics of what correlates to homosexuality is is also from a contribution to the lifestyle.
    What statistics? I don't think anyone is denying that sexuality at least has some amount of a social/economic factor.

    (Original post by medic997)
    Yes the bible talks about love and we should love one another. But that doesn't take away from what the bible says about homosexuality is the biblical truth.
    Genesis 1:27-28 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Godblessedthem; and Godsaidto them, "Be fruitfuland multiply,and fillthe earth,and subdueit; and ruleover the fishof the seaand over the birdsof the skyand over everylivingthingthat moveson the earth."
    Do you see the first command that God gave human kind? Be fruitful and multiply. Homosexuality naturally breaks that first command. Also Pride I've read all your posts. You give a decent and stable argument.
    So marriage/love is only for child rearing? With this argument, infertile people and people who simply don't want children should be banned from being married or loving people.
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    Okay, where do I start with this...

    (Original post by Peroxidation)
    I'm going to be brutally honest here. This is the true face of the abrahamic religions. You need to be honest with yourself and ask the question, "why would a god who's supposed to be omnibenevolent tell his followers to hate gay people?" If you think that an omnibenevolent being wouldn't hate gay people, christianity isn't the right religion for you. Homosexuality is specifically prohibited in the bible, which is why fundamentalists are so homophobic.
    Actually, it's not. If we're talking about Christianity (which we are) homosexuality is only mentioned and condoned in the OLD TESTAMENT, otherwise known as the 'Old Law'. We do not live our Christian life by following the Old Testament Law. The Apostle Paul makes this abundantly clear. The Apostle Paul wrote it in Galatians:
    All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” (Galatians 3:10)

    Which means, that when people start quoting Leviticus at you because you are/ support LGBT+, then they are following the Old Law, which is not being Christian. Being Christian is, to quote the book of Matthew:
    Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
    So, OP, your stand-in preacher is not a true christian if he is quoting Leviticus at you, and if he does, you can quote Galatians straight back at him.
    Also, for others who have found passages from Romans and so on, bear in mind that the Bible has been re-translanted over and over and over and over again. The true meaning from the original Greek or Hebrew has been lost (unless you read the very original letters and books). The word that we have interpreted as 'homosexuals/homosexuality' used to be translated to 'masturbators/masurbating'. It's just translated to what seems to be the biggest evil of the time.

    The good thing about believing in God is that he loves us, irrespective of who you are, or what you do. It's not 'God loves you if you're blond, have green eyes, are straight and are good at sports.' God loves you, FOR YOU. He loves you for all the quirks that make you different, for your sexuality, for your mind. We are all God's Children.
 
 
 
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