How Does Christianity Differ From Other Religions On Homosexuality?

By Terrell Clemmons

It’s probably not what you think.

Saving Truth on Human Sexuality

“Sorry if this is off topic,” the young woman stammered into the microphone, “but, um, I’ve searched for answers, and I can’t seem to find any, so I thought I’d come tonight and ask you guys. Where does Christianity, if it does at all, differ on homosexuality as opposed to other religions, and if so, how?” Her quivering lips and trembling hands revealed the magnitude of struggle it had taken just to voice the question.

The auditorium fell silent as all eyes turned to Abdu Murray, who had just taken part in a university open forum on major world religions.

Abdu was silent for a moment. He could tell she was not just looking for another opinion. She needed an answer that would validate her as a human being. What could he say that would not compromise biblical sexuality yet would show her that God cares for her beyond measure?

“There are only so many worldviews to choose from,” he began. And none of them would provide an answer that unconditionally validates her humanity. None, that is, except for one. But before getting to that one, he surveyed the others.

Consider naturalistic atheism, the worldview driving progressive secularism. According to naturalistic secularism, human beings are highly evolved animal life. This worldview is doubly dehumanizing in regard to homosexuality. First, according to the Darwinian evolutionary narrative, there is nothing especially significant about human beings at all. “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy,” in the words of Ingrid Newkirk, founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), such that the only thing distinguishing us from the flies in our windowpane is that we’re above them on the food chain. Second, if, as we are told, Darwinian evolution proceeds via the evolutionary process, then homosexuality fails evolutionarily because same-sex sex does not reproduce. So, in a naturalistic worldview, people practicing same-sex sex are, just like everyone else, nothing special, and Darwinian failures to boot.

What about the Eastern pantheistic systems, such as Hinduism or Buddhism or a Deepak Chopra-esque spirituality? Well, the ethical foundations of these worldviews are ambiguous at best, as they teach that morality is relative. And so, none of them provide any objective grounding for human value or identity. Worse for the struggler looking for solid answers, they hold that suffering is an illusion, which is flat out insulting to a person in pain. They offer nothing beyond self-referential psychobabble for the one struggling with his or her identity.

What about Islam? While it does offer solidity, with its monotheistic foundation and clear rules circumscribing sexual behavior, Islam is openly hostile to homosexuality. In some Islamic countries, homosexual acts are punishable by prison, flogging, and in some cases death.

Finally, then, Abdu came around to Christianity. He made two points about it. First, we all intuitively know there is something about sex that makes it more than just a physical act. Why is sexual assault treated differently from a mere physical assault? Because he said, there is something sacredly fragile about sexuality, and sacred things are so special, they are worthy of protection. God wants to protect the sacredness of sexuality from becoming common, and the boundaries given through the biblical sexual ethic guard the sacred specialness of sexuality.

But, he conceded, that doesn’t explain the proscription limiting sex to opposite-sex marriage. That was the subject of his second point. To address the principle of male-female marriage, he referred to the biblical creation account in Genesis, where we are told that God created man and woman in the image of God. Man and woman being created in the image of God is a blasphemous concept to Islam, a foreign concept in any pantheism, and an absurdity in any naturalistic secularism. Only the biblical worldview, which holds that all men and all women bear God’s divine image, gives any objective grounding for inherent human dignity and value.

And this leads to the reason why human sexuality is worth limiting to male-female marriage: It’s because sex is the way human life comes into the world. “Sex between a man and a woman is the only means by which such a precious being comes into this world,” he said. “And because a human being is the sacred product of sex, the sexual process by which that person is made is also sacred.” The biblical ethic limits sexual expression to monogamous, male-female marriage because “God is protecting something sacred and beautiful.” As we submit ourselves to the creational guideline, “We are given the honor of reflecting an aspect of the divine splendor.”

He wrapped up his response to the troubled young woman by telling her that God anchors all human dignity, including hers, and sacredness in his unchanging, eternal nature. We are granted the supremely high dignity of reflecting the glory of God in the world.

So, where does Christianity differ from other religions when it comes to homosexuality? As it turns out, it differs quite profoundly from all others, but not in the way the dominant cultural voices say it does. Abdu relates this scene in his recently released book, Saving Truth: Finding Meaning and Clarity in a Post-Truth World. Although he had much more to say about the uniquely sublime nature of sexuality within natural marriage, Saving Truth is not just about sexuality. That’s only the subject of one chapter, but I hope it will give you an idea of the beauty biblical clarity can bring to an area rife with confusion.

Saving Truth surveys a whole landscape of cultural confusion, offering refreshing doses of clarity so that we may make sense of many other confusions:

  • What does “post-truth” even mean?
  • What is the difference between autonomy and liberating freedom?
  • How does one navigate the alleged conflict between science and faith?
  • And what about religious pluralism? Can all religions really coexist?

Abdu never gave the name of the young woman asking the profound question about sexuality, but he did conclude the story by noting that after he answered her question, “she seemed to know she was ‘understood.’ The tears began to flow, and she afforded me the honor of praying with her.” Truth has a way of quieting clamor and provoking profound moments. I hope you will check out Abdu’s new book Saving Truth, and even more that, I hope that you will seek truth right where you are. Whatever it may cost you, whatever tears it may provoke, seek clarity, seek the truth. There is where you will find your meaning.

 


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20 replies
  1. KR says:

    “Consider naturalistic atheism, the worldview driving progressive secularism. According to naturalistic secularism, human beings are highly evolved animal life.”
    .
    So we’ve gone from “naturalistic atheism” through “progressive secularism” to “naturalistic secularism”. Any chance of some definitions of what any of these terms mean – and how they’re relevant? Atheism is just the lack of belief in deities, so it clearly doesn’t qualify as a worldview.
    .
    “This worldview is doubly dehumanizing in regard to homosexuality. First, according to the Darwinian evolutionary narrative, there is nothing especially significant about human beings at all.”
    .
    Evolutionary theory is an explanatory model for how life develops and diversifies. It has nothing to say about the significance of any particular species – that would be the subjective experience of the individual. The observable fact that humans tend to place higher significance on themselves than on other species is of course perfectly explainable within an evolutionary framework as self preservation – if we didn’t care about ourselves we would most likely have gone extinct a long time ago.
    .
    ““A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy,” in the words of Ingrid Newkirk, founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), such that the only thing distinguishing us from the flies in our windowpane is that we’re above them on the food chain.”
    .
    I consider myself to be an atheist (though I’m not sure I qualify as a “naturalistic atheist” as I don’t know what this means) and I don’t agree with this statement. Is there any particular reason I should accept Ingrid Newkirk as my official spokesperson? Do we even know for a fact that Ms Newkirk is a “naturalistic atheist”?
    .
    “Second, if, as we are told, Darwinian evolution proceeds via the evolutionary process, then homosexuality fails evolutionarily because same-sex sex does not reproduce. So, in a naturalistic worldview, people practicing same-sex sex are, just like everyone else, nothing special, and Darwinian failures to boot.”
    .
    From an evolutionary perspective, species succeed or fail, not individuals. Since homosexual humans are part of a successfully propagating species, they are clearly not “failing”.

    Reply
    • JM says:

      “The observable fact that humans tend to place higher significance on themselves than on other species is of course perfectly explainable within an evolutionary framework as self preservation – if we didn’t care about ourselves we would most likely have gone extinct a long time ago.”

      Of course; this is indisputable. However, the point still remains that naturalism does not leave room for transcendent meaning — we are simply one species on this earth among many. You seem to be missing the author’s point here.

      “From an evolutionary perspective, species succeed or fail, not individuals. Since homosexual humans are part of a successfully propagating species, they are clearly not ‘failing’.”

      What the author means is that homosexual humans who neglect heterosexual propagation fail to pass on their genes, which is the evolutionary directive that, under naturalism, all beings are subject to.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        “homosexual humans who neglect heterosexual propagation fail to pass on their genes, which is the evolutionary directive that, under naturalism, all beings are subject to.”
        .
        What do you mean by ‘under naturalism’? There’s no imperatives under naturalism. They’re not passing their genes on – so what? There are plenty of species where the majority in a herd don’t pass on their genes. In a hive of bees only two individuals do out of thousands. So what?
        .
        And all this aside from all the research showing siblings of gay men tend to have more children than average, meaning gays still have more nephews and nieces, who share many of their genes anyway.

        Reply
      • KR says:

        “However, the point still remains that naturalism does not leave room for transcendent meaning — we are simply one species on this earth among many. You seem to be missing the author’s point here.”
        .
        I’m not sure what “transcendent meaning” is. It seems to me that meaning, like value, is subjective – it’s not a thing that exists independently of our minds.
        .
        “What the author means is that homosexual humans who neglect heterosexual propagation fail to pass on their genes, which is the evolutionary directive that, under naturalism, all beings are subject to.”
        .
        Evolutionary theory, like all scientific theories, is descriptive – not prescriptive. There is no “evolutionary directive”, only extant species and extinct species.

        Reply
  2. KR says:

    “Only the biblical worldview, which holds that all men and all women bear God’s divine image, gives any objective grounding for inherent human dignity and value.”
    .
    Value is not an inherent property, it is attributed by a value-giver which makes it subjective by definition. Claiming that this value is given by God obviously doesn’t change this – unless you’re suggesting that God is an object rather than a subject.
    .
    ” “Sex between a man and a woman is the only means by which such a precious being comes into this world,” he said.”
    .
    That’s not quite true, is it?
    .
    “He wrapped up his response to the troubled young woman by telling her that God anchors all human dignity, including hers, and sacredness in his unchanging, eternal nature. We are granted the supremely high dignity of reflecting the glory of God in the world.”
    .
    I imagine those words would seem a bit hollow to someone who’s suffered discrimination and ostracization at the hands of the worshippers of this god.
    .
    “Truth has a way of quieting clamor and provoking profound moments. I hope you will check out Abdu’s new book Saving Truth, and even more that, I hope that you will seek truth right where you are. Whatever it may cost you, whatever tears it may provoke, seek clarity, seek the truth. There is where you will find your meaning.”
    .
    The “truth” that’s been delivered here is apparently that any other sex than the heterosexual variety is wrong. How is this supposed to provide this woman with meaning? It’s not as if she has the option to choose her sexual orientation.

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      God is a person not an object or subject.

      Regarding sexual orientation being firmly set: there have been cases of people who were not gay choosing to become gay so gender confusion does exist.

      There is more fluidity along the spectrum of sexuality than people realize.

      I read an interview of a woman who turned gay and ran a gay magazine for about 20 years then one day realized she was not gay. She had opted for it after a couple of bad heterosexual relationships. But woke up one day and realized that she was never gay.

      Also there are bisexuals. If there isn’t a chargeable factor how do you explain them?

      Some gay people do believe in God and accept they are made in his image.

      Reply
      • KR says:

        “God is a person not an object or subject.”
        .
        If God is a person then He is by definition a subject and any value ascribed by God is subjective.
        .
        “Regarding sexual orientation being firmly set: there have been cases of people who were not gay choosing to become gay so gender confusion does exist.”
        .
        Citation needed.
        .
        “There is more fluidity along the spectrum of sexuality than people realize.”
        .
        This would seem to create more problems for people who want to denounce certain types of sexuality as wrong. Where do you draw the line if it’s fluid?
        .
        “I read an interview of a woman who turned gay and ran a gay magazine for about 20 years then one day realized she was not gay. She had opted for it after a couple of bad heterosexual relationships. But woke up one day and realized that she was never gay.”
        .
        If she “woke up one day and realized” it, it obviously wasn’t a matter of making a choice.
        .
        “Also there are bisexuals. If there isn’t a chargeable factor how do you explain them?”
        .
        What does explaining bisexuals have to do with the price of tea in China? I see no more reason to think people choose to become bisexual than homo- or heterosexual.
        .
        “Some gay people do believe in God and accept they are made in his image.”
        .
        Yes – and they tend to be the ones that find themselves in the kind of distress that the woman in the story was in because they don’t feel accepted by their fellow believers.

        Reply
        • Thoughtful Discussion says:

          KR:
          If God is a person then He is by definition a subject and any value ascribed by God is subjective.

          .
          Yes, God is a person. But, when we say that God is a “person,” we do not mean that He is a human being. We mean He has a mind, emotions, and a will. The Covenantal name that He gave to Moses to tell the people of Israel just Who God was is this: I AM that I AM. The Christian god is immutable, not an imperfect subject to change fallen human like you or I. Therefore His values are not subjective. They are what they are. In other words, they are objective truth.
          .
          This would seem to create more problems for people who want to denounce certain types of sexuality as wrong. Where do you draw the line if it’s fluid?
          .
          This thinking seems to indicate that just because various forms of sexuality exist they become more difficult to set apart from one another. Is that really the argument? All things being equal, maybe you could conclude such, but that’s certainly not the case. Just because they exist does not mean they’re equally moral, valuable, or practical.
          It’s actually very easy, sexuality between one man and one woman within the confines of their marriage is ok. Anything else is a sin, a very clear line, and is not what God intends for us to prosper.
          .
          Yes – and they tend to be the ones that find themselves in the kind of distress that the woman in the story was in because they don’t feel accepted by their fellow believers.
          .
          To quote yourself, “citation needed.” (see how a slight like this is unproductive towards having a thoughtful discussion?)
          .
          I hope this clarifies some of your thinking and helps better your theological understanding of God. I pray you come to know Him personally too! God Bless.

          Reply
        • Susan says:

          You can do your own research into the topic, KR. I am not arguing your assumptions with you.

          The homosexual debates are usually loaded with false terminology.

          Christians are not “homophobic”. Christians don’t have a fear of homosexuals.
          So why the false pseudo-psychological term usage by the liberal media against them?

          Christians just believe in God about the nature of humans being sinful.

          Some people take to heart the Old Testament Sodom and Gomorrah passages but we aren’t living under the Old Covenant any more.

          Jesus came to change human nature not endorse sin.

          Some homosexuals are born that way and a few people are turned that way by social pressures and more will be turned now that society has legalized it.

          So since when did a biological issue increasing sin have a right to quarter from God’s intent to eradicate sin?

          We don’t turn a blind eye to substance abuse and that has a genetic component as well.

          Thanks liberal media for your biased coverage of an issue that is a lot more complicated and deeply personal than the treatment given of it publicly.

          Faith is personal, too.

          And some people are going to put God ahead of this world.

          Some gays did. They are living celibate but you never hear about the people who opted for self control.

          All you ever hear from is the complainers.

          Don’t you ever get sick of all the whining and complaining when all people have to do is examine themselves and follow Jesus?

          Instead they change role models for the world and want people to accept risky sex which is a public medical risk and threat as normal.

          People wouldn’t have to have the government interfering in their lives IF they could start listening to God and stop being sinners.

          But until they can do that we have to have government regulating us and not all governments are good.

          So look at the crazy world. Refused to go to Jesus and be restored into fellowship with God while it settles for an evil world ruling over them.

          Exchanging the Great Parent and His example for the evil one and his evil example.

          Does that make sense?

          What stops anybody from getting sanctified if not their own evil impulses that they keep giving into and you want Christians to endorse sin?

          Try endorsing God for a change.

          Christians aren’t self contradictory by refusing to endorse sin. This world is because sin is self destructive and self destruction is the self imposed contradiction that people learn from others in this evil world when it isn’t part of their own genetics.

          Depression is genetic based in part but social pressures can trigger it.
          And depression is a cause of suicide.

          So are we suppose to endorse suicides now because people are born more predisposed towards it?

          You just said people are born gay so we must endorse it whatever the risk to society. You assume God can’t change gay people.

          How do you know. Maybe some of the gay people never learned God’s way to even try.

          Reply
    • JM says:

      “Value is not an inherent property, it is attributed by a value-giver which makes it subjective by definition. Claiming that this value is given by God obviously doesn’t change this – unless you’re suggesting that God is an object rather than a subject.”

      Correct — however, don’t you think that a Being who creates all of reality and places human beings within said reality according to a purpose kind of deserves to be thought of as a giver of “objective” value? Sure, in a technical sense it is subjective, but clearly the value that the creator of a human being gives them would be ranked higher, in a certain sense, than the value that an employer gives to an employee, or a mother to a child, or a person to their friend, for example.

      “I imagine those words would seem a bit hollow to someone who’s suffered discrimination and ostracization at the hands of the worshippers of this god.”

      So what can be deduced from this discrimination? A complete and utter rejection of the religious narrative? Or a clear recognition that these “worshippers” are going against their own God’s wishes? Many things have been done and said by so-called “Christians”, but if the actions of said “Christians” go against the fundamental assertions of the religion they claim to represent (uncovered by theology, scriptural hermeneutics, and the like), we can quite reasonably deduce that they are not “true” followers. And, at least according to the author, the woman was satisfied in some way with the answer; so, at least in this one instance, the words weren’t so hollow.

      “The ‘truth’ that’s been delivered here is apparently that any other sex than the heterosexual variety is wrong. How is this supposed to provide this woman with meaning? It’s not as if she has the option to choose her sexual orientation.”

      Obviously, this opens up a whole can of worms, but I suppose I, a random person on the internet without any sort of theological/philosophical training, might try to answer in some feeble way:

      1.) The *entire point* that the speaker was trying to convey, I believe, is that while homosexual activity is considered sinful, this by no means should debase the value of homosexual human beings in any way. After all, as the speaker tries to argue, Christianity is the only religion that can give “true” value to human beings.

      2.) I heard it expressed by a Catholic priest online (Fr. Mike Schmitt, you can find him on YouTube) that God makes us for all sorts of vocations. He makes a kind of equivocation between a priest called to lifelong chastity with a gay person called to lifelong chastity. Correct; she does not have the option to choose her sexual orientation. But if God is calling her to different life to that advocated by our society, namely, romance/marriage/the like, that is okay.

      I don’t mean to flippantly disregard the very real struggles, sentiments, problems etc. expressed in your comments. This is a very difficult subject for millions upon millions of people and most of the time it is not handled well at all, especially not by religious believers. I appreciate that and I hope that I do not upset you or anybody else with my seemingly unsympathetic responses. I just wanted to respond to some of what you said.

      Reply
      • bob says:

        JM – “…but clearly the value that the creator of a human being gives them would be ranked higher, in a certain sense, than the value that an employer gives to an employee, or a mother to a child, or a person to their friend, for example.
        This is a fair assumption, but an assumption none the less. The only way you could claim that this is “clearly” is by actually knowing…KNOWING…KNOWING that said “creator” exists, and then actually demonstrating that this creator has made his/her/it’s actions, desires, and expectations KNOWN.
        But – so far – all we have is believers who routinely confuse and misrepresent what they believe with what they actually know.
        I see absolutely no reason to respect a persons beliefs, but their knowledge, that’s another thing all together.
        .
        r.u.reasonable@gmail.com

        Reply
      • KR says:

        “Correct — however, don’t you think that a Being who creates all of reality and places human beings within said reality according to a purpose kind of deserves to be thought of as a giver of “objective” value? Sure, in a technical sense it is subjective, but clearly the value that the creator of a human being gives them would be ranked higher, in a certain sense, than the value that an employer gives to an employee, or a mother to a child, or a person to their friend, for example.”
        .
        As Bob has already pointed out, I would need to know that this god actually exists and has indeed expressed these values. Currently, I see no compelling reason to believe this is the case. In the end, I don’t think the idea that I would need a deity to tell me that human beings have value makes any sense.
        .
        “So what can be deduced from this discrimination? A complete and utter rejection of the religious narrative? Or a clear recognition that these “worshippers” are going against their own God’s wishes? Many things have been done and said by so-called “Christians”, but if the actions of said “Christians” go against the fundamental assertions of the religion they claim to represent (uncovered by theology, scriptural hermeneutics, and the like), we can quite reasonably deduce that they are not “true” followers.”
        .
        This is basically the No True Scotsman fallacy. The problem here is that we can define any religion or philosophy in a way that elevates it beyond critical scrutiny by just declaring that adherents doing something wrong are not “true followers”. To people at the receiving end of this kind of treatment, it doesn’t do much good to be told that it wasn’t done by “true Christians”. Their experience is real and has to be dealt with.
        .
        “1.) The *entire point* that the speaker was trying to convey, I believe, is that while homosexual activity is considered sinful, this by no means should debase the value of homosexual human beings in any way. After all, as the speaker tries to argue, Christianity is the only religion that can give “true” value to human beings.”
        .
        In my view, the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach has a credibility problem. Gays tend to feel (justifiably, IMO) that this is just Christians speaking out of both sides of their mouths. Our sexuality is an important component of our identity and to say that you love and value someone while denouncing what they are as sinful just doesn’t add up.
        .
        “2.) I heard it expressed by a Catholic priest online (Fr. Mike Schmitt, you can find him on YouTube) that God makes us for all sorts of vocations. He makes a kind of equivocation between a priest called to lifelong chastity with a gay person called to lifelong chastity. Correct; she does not have the option to choose her sexual orientation. But if God is calling her to different life to that advocated by our society, namely, romance/marriage/the like, that is okay.”
        .
        The obvious problem here has already been touched on: the lack of evidence that God exists and provides anyone with a calling. Even if there is a God, this scenario doesn’t make much sense. If the end goal was to make this woman choose a life without romance and marriage, why give her a sexual orientation that comes with such a social stigma attached? Why not just give her an irresistible urge to become a nun? This is quite apart from the fact that the very idea of God calling people seems completely incompatible with the concept of free will.

        Reply
    • Thoughtful Discussion says:

      KR:
      The “truth” that’s been delivered here is apparently that any other sex than the heterosexual variety is wrong.

      .
      To be specific, the truth is sexuality between one man and one woman within the confines of their marriage. You miss the point if you only think it’s about heterosexuality.
      .
      How is this supposed to provide this woman with meaning? It’s not as if she has the option to choose her sexual orientation.
      .
      It’s actually objective meaning, arguably speaking, if the Christian god exists as claimed then the truth he espouses is fundamental. It’d therefore be best to align ourselves to that truth, lest we want to hurt ourselves or be hurt by reality.
      If we start with His word then we understand that He created us male and female, and for the purpose of marriage. One can also learn that we now live in a fallen world where we all have bad natures and vices for evil. Some have proclivities for violence, drunkenness, or promiscuity for instance, but that doesn’t mean such actions are morally justified. What’s important is we also have free will and can CHOOSE Him, can CHOOSE righteousness, and become transformed in both our WILL and ACTIONS. We don’t have to succumb to our lesser selves, but can be lifted towards the greater purpose God provides. This is significance beyond our personal subjectivity, it provides ultimate meaning to those who accept Him.

      Reply
      • KR says:

        “Yes, God is a person. But, when we say that God is a “person,” we do not mean that He is a human being.”
        .
        Irrelevant to the point. A person – whether human or not – is a subject, not an object and any value that depends on this person is by definition subjective, not objective. You may ascribe a higher significance to values assigned by this person but that would be your subjective assessment.
        .
        “The Christian god is immutable, not an imperfect subject to change fallen human like you or I. Therefore His values are not subjective.”
        .
        Again, irrelevant. Perfection is not the issue, it’s whether an entity is a subject or an object. An agent acting or observing is a subject, while an entity being acted on or observed is an object. Assigning value is an action performed by a subject, therefore this value is by definition subjective.
        .
        “This thinking seems to indicate that just because various forms of sexuality exist they become more difficult to set apart from one another. Is that really the argument?”
        .
        The term used wasn’t “various forms”, it was “fluidity”. The argument is that if you want to classify various forms of sexuality in a binary system of right or wrong, you will need to draw the line somewhere on this fluid spectrum.
        .
        “To quote yourself, “citation needed.” (see how a slight like this is unproductive towards having a thoughtful discussion?)”
        .
        The internet is full of testimonies from gay Christians, if you care to look. Here’s one:
        .
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfotzIBzhps
        .
        I hope you’re not suggesting that it’s somehow illegitimate to ask someone to back up their claims because I would still like to see some evidence supporting the claim that we can choose our sexual orientation.
        .
        “To be specific, the truth is sexuality between one man and one woman within the confines of their marriage. You miss the point if you only think it’s about heterosexuality.”
        .
        You seem to be missing the point that if you can’t show that sexual orientation is a choice, you’re basically saying that your god is punishing people for something they have no control over, which would seem neither rational nor moral.
        .
        “It’s actually objective meaning, arguably speaking, if the Christian god exists as claimed then the truth he espouses is fundamental.”
        .
        You can call it fundamental all you like – it doesn’t change the fact that it’s subjective.
        .
        “It’d therefore be best to align ourselves to that truth, lest we want to hurt ourselves or be hurt by reality.”
        .
        Until the opposite has been demonstrated, it seems to me that reality is that we don’t choose our sexual orientation and that punishing people for something they didn’t choose is what is causing the hurt.
        .
        “What’s important is we also have free will and can CHOOSE Him, can CHOOSE righteousness, and become transformed in both our WILL and ACTIONS. ”
        .
        I see zero reason to believe there is any such thing as free will in any true sense. In fact, free will seems to inevitably lead to logical contradictions, which means it cannot exist in reality.

        Reply
        • Thoughtful Discussion says:

          KR:
          Irrelevant to the point. A person – whether human or not – is a subject, not an object and any value that depends on this person is by definition subjective, not objective. You may ascribe a higher significance to values assigned by this person but that would be your subjective assessment.

          .
          It is VERY relevant that we understand God not to be a mere human like you or I. Let’s be careful not to unduly ascribe God human limitations.
          You’re essentially hitting on the Euthyphro Delima. Have you heard of it? In its simple form, it can be stated something to the degree of “Are the things God does good simply because He’s God or does God do those things because they’re good?” In other words, is God subjectively choosing what is right and wrong from His own feelings, or is He looking for an objective standard outside Himself?
          1) If God is truly SUBJECTIVE (though, His values as our creator can be understood logically to be of higher importance than you or I’s) then that means God is arbitrary and COULD change His opinion later.
          2) If God is looking BEYOND Himself for an outside standard then what’s the purpose of God? He’s nothing more than a compass to point towards (or an object affected by) OBJECTIVE value.
          .
          The problem with this thinking is that it’s a false dilemma. A true dilemma is either “A” or “not A”. This is actually “A” or “B, and, guess what, there’s a “C”. The last option is made available BECAUSE God is GOD, and not human like you or I.
          3) God IS the OBJECTIVE standard. The buck has to stop somewhere and it stops with Him. He doesn’t look outside Himself and His values aren’t assigned subjectively, they are what He is. Why? Again, because God is the great I AM. They are Him.
          .
          Again, irrelevant. Perfection is not the issue, it’s whether an entity is a subject or an object. An agent acting or observing is a subject, while an entity being acted on or observed is an object. Assigning value is an action performed by a subject, therefore this value is by definition subjective.
          .
          But it’s not if you’ll listen. First, let’s be clear, immutable means unchanging, not perfect. See, God always was and always will be unchanging. He’s also eternal. These are attributes of His nature. His values are rooted in His eternal UNCHANGING nature. So they too always have been and will be such. Our universe, created by Him, align with these values. It’s certainly a plus that Christian theology also indicates God is Justice, Righteousness, Goodness, Love, and Perfection. So we have little reason to fear, argue, or mistrust Him, but those are simply descriptions of His being and aren’t directly relevant, as is His immutability.
          .
          What do you mean by subjective? Beyond the false dilemma, I think you’re conflating two common understandings of subjective. Subjective can mean influenced by or based on personal beliefs or feelings (for humans that means changing) or it can mean not objective, or not based on facts. For God, His values are Him. They have been and always will be as they are now. Therefore His values are facts; they are objective truth.
          .
          You seem to be missing the point that if you can’t show that sexual orientation is a choice, you’re basically saying that your god is punishing people for something they have no control over, which would seem neither rational nor moral.
          .
          See I like to be very specific, and when you mistakenly made out the message to be only about heterosexuality it needed correcting.
          How did you come to such a conclusion? I think you’ll find it can only be reached when one comes from a lack an understanding Christian theology. Also, what do you mean by rational or moral? Aren’t those ungrounded, relativistic, and therefore meaningless terms from the atheistic perspective? You’re stealing a standard from God to use against Him.
          .
          You can call it fundamental all you like – it doesn’t change the fact that it’s subjective.
          .
          … except that it’s not subjective and they are, in fact, facts themselves lol. I hope this makes more sense in light of the above. His values, and the world that aligns to them, which are based IN His unchanging nature are objective facts. They are fundamental in the sense they are Truth. They are what He Is.
          .
          I hope you’re not suggesting that it’s somehow illegitimate to ask someone to back up their claims because I would still like to see some evidence supporting the claim that we can choose our sexual orientation.
          .
          Until the opposite has been demonstrated, it seems to me that reality is that we don’t choose our sexual orientation and that punishing people for something they didn’t choose is what is causing the hurt.

          .
          Of course one can ask for sources, but you didn’t ask now did you KR? Yours was a snub statement unconducive towards a respectful, thoughtful conversation. The internet is also full of trolls who ask for something they can find on their own. Are you saying you cannot find a testimony of a former LGBTQIA+ person who’s reformed to monogamous heterosexuality within marriage? Personally, I’ve been blessed to see God work and hear such testimonies first hand.
          .
          The term used wasn’t “various forms”, it was “fluidity”. The argument is that if you want to classify various forms of sexuality in a binary system of right or wrong, you will need to draw the line somewhere on this fluid spectrum.
          .
          It doesn’t matter how many various forms nor how fluid one believes themselves to be on this apparent “spectrum”. God’s truth isn’t dependent on how creative we are in our fallen nature. I’ll repeat myself. It’s very easy, a monogamous heterosexual relationship within the confines of marriage is right. The line is that ANY OTHER KIND of sex is a sin and is not what God intends for us to prosper. Is this not simple to understand?
          .
          I see zero reason to believe there is any such thing as free will in any true sense. In fact, free will seems to inevitably lead to logical contradictions, which means it cannot exist in reality.
          .
          Ah, and we get to something that undergirds all your reasoning. Or perhaps doesn’t ? Well, you can choose to believe what you want… or, wait, maybe you can’t… XD
          This spins us off into an entirely different conversation that I’d prefer not to move to until we agree on the topic above. The only point was through God’s saving grace we can be transformed to rise above our proclivities to His greater purpose.
          .
          I’ve already said a prayer and have added you to my prayer list KR. I hope you’ll come to know Him and accept His grace someday. God Bless!

          Reply
          • KR says:

            “It is VERY relevant that we understand God not to be a mere human like you or I. Let’s be careful not to unduly ascribe God human limitations.”
            .
            You’re missing the point. The properties of the subject (deity, human or other) make no difference. A subject is a subject. This is a question of definitions – you can’t go changing the meaning of words just to suit your argument.
            .
            “You’re essentially hitting on the Euthyphro Delima. Have you heard of it?”
            .
            Yes, I’m aware of the Euthyphro Dilemma but that’s a completely different issue.
            .
            “God IS the OBJECTIVE standard.”
            .
            As I’ve explained, this is a false statement. What you’re doing is to arbitrarily elevate God’s subjective standard by slapping the label “objective” on it. God’s standard is contingent on a person (God) and is therefore, by definition, subjective.
            .
            “First, let’s be clear, immutable means unchanging, not perfect. See, God always was and always will be unchanging.”
            .
            Perfect, unchanging – makes no difference. A subject is a subject. BTW, if God is unchanging, He can’t perform any actions, have any experiences, collect any information or go through any emotions since all of these constitute change. Come to think of it, if God is indeed unchanging, that would basically make Him an object. Of course, an object wouldn’t be able to ascribe value to anything. Another thought: isn’t the concept of intercessory prayer predicated on a changing God? If God has everything planned and doesn’t change, what would be the point of praying?
            .
            “What do you mean by subjective? Beyond the false dilemma, I think you’re conflating two common understandings of subjective. Subjective can mean influenced by or based on personal beliefs or feelings (for humans that means changing) or it can mean not objective, or not based on facts. For God, His values are Him. They have been and always will be as they are now. Therefore His values are facts; they are objective truth.”
            .
            Subjective means that it’s not an observable fact that can be verified independently of any person. Since God’s standards are contingent on God, they are by definition subjective.
            .
            “How did you come to such a conclusion? I think you’ll find it can only be reached when one comes from a lack an understanding Christian theology. Also, what do you mean by rational or moral? Aren’t those ungrounded, relativistic, and therefore meaningless terms from the atheistic perspective? You’re stealing a standard from God to use against Him.”
            .
            No, they are not ungrounded, relativistic or meaningless. They are, however, subjective – as are God’s values. If you disagree with this, you need to show that God’s values are objective by demonstrating them in a way that can be independently verified (i.e. without referring to any person, divine or human). In short, you need to show that God’s values are observable facts. Can you prove to me that homosexuality is wrong without referring to God or any other person?
            .
            “… except that it’s not subjective and they are, in fact, facts themselves lol.”
            .
            Please demonstrate these facts.
            .
            “Of course one can ask for sources, but you didn’t ask now did you KR? Yours was a snub statement unconducive towards a respectful, thoughtful conversation.”
            .
            “Citation needed” is exactly that – a request for sources. I’m sorry you took it as a snub but I really don’t see why you would.
            .
            “Are you saying you cannot find a testimony of a former LGBTQIA+ person who’s reformed to monogamous heterosexuality within marriage?”
            .
            Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying – hence my request. As a general observation, I would consider it bad form to expect other people to go looking for supporting evidence – that would be the job of the person making the claim.
            .
            “The line is that ANY OTHER KIND of sex is a sin and is not what God intends for us to prosper. Is this not simple to understand?”
            .
            Perfectly. This obviously doesn’t change the fact that this is a subjective standard (and one that I happen to disagree with).
            .
            “Ah, and we get to something that undergirds all your reasoning.”
            .
            How so?
            .
            “This spins us off into an entirely different conversation that I’d prefer not to move to until we agree on the topic above.”
            .
            Well, if your argument hinges on people having free will, it seems to me you need to first establish that there is such a thing.

  3. Susan says:

    You can google “sexual fluidity” and read it on Wikipedia, KR.

    It is a concept I came across several years ago trying to understand homosexual, bisexual and transgender issues.

    People in a sense are clay just like God describes us. Clay is malleable and so are people by nature and nurture and our own ideologies.

    God knew people’s shaping capability long before science did.

    He is the Potter we are the clay.

    Did you ever stop to think of the bad effects some social research can have on people?

    The sexual revolution was jump started by Kinsey and Mead’s research findings. But these two might have lacked objectivity on the subject they claimed to study.

    Kinsey was a bisexual and Mead a lesbian so did their own sexual biases cloud their conclusions?

    You ought to watch Helen Fisher’s video on TED about the brain “in love”. In my opinion it validates Genesis 2.

    But here we are today dealing with societal changes that come from biased sex research that may actually contradict how our brains work.

    So did sin cloud these sex researchers scientific judgment?

    Kinsey’s sex research was conducted in a very questionable manner.

    He consulted far too many prostitutes, pedophiles and prison inmates in his research work.

    So how do you draw sexual norms by interviewing extreme members of the population group. Will your sex study results be accurate?

    Reply
  4. Susan Tan says:

    Instead of reading all the anti-Christian scientists why don’t you read some of the pro-Christian scientists for a change.

    By such a narrow anti-Christian perspective you might not be receiving a full picture to consider.

    I haven’t read this book yet but it gives details about how the male and female mind are like described in the Bible:

    His Brain, Her Brain
    How Divinely Designed Differences Can Strengthen Your Marriage, Walt and Barb Larrimore

    Read that one.

    Or read “Born Believers” by Justin Barrett.

    There has to be more evidence to examine than just evolution.

    There is a difference between logically minded people and intuitively minded people and it could be you have trouble relating to the more intuitive minded explanations of scripture.

    The logical believers emphasize evidence more than the more intuitive believers.

    Intuition is just knowing without having to over analyze everything.

    So if your understanding of the evidence of God is incomplete then it could be unethical for you to argue to deconvert people by your own standard if that is your motive for arguing.

    You should stop cherrypicking evidence and stop letting others dominate your thinking and go on your own evidence seeking trip.

    I did that for unbelievers only to discover they were too narrow and biased to inspect the evidence. Lazy, too.

    I made all the discoveries like Hugh Ross did because I asked the questions and followed the trail where it led. Of course, I was looking for evidence confirming God and I always find it.
    That is my bias.

    You have a bias, too.

    So which bias is correct.

    I am a bigger non-conformist than most so I limit the world’s interference with my bias.

    So if you have not limited worldly interference then you may have to self correct and examine your opponents’ evidence learning their perspective.

    This is the only way you can even start to approach getting your own personal objectivity back so you can honestly assess the truth.

    You will have to admit. You never looked at any evidence from God’s perspective.

    So give yourself a chance now and do some serious digging.

    I am an intuitive person. I know God exists. Christ is the best example of Him.

    But your mind may be different from mind so make sure you seek wide on the evidence not on the arguments because you have no way of gaging if the people arguing with you have a good heart motive or not.

    Have a blessed day!

    Reply
  5. Brent Hurst says:

    If there is such a thing as living in harmony with nature, thus following the natural order, would not this be the wisest thing to do.
    .
    From the top, there is God and His Creation, His Creation acts as a womb that produces created souls, into these some of these souls God implants His own Seed, the divine Spirit, creating Children for Himself that will transcend this temporal reality.
    .
    This is mirrored in Adam as Eve was produced from his side, and into her he gives his seed and Eve produces children in Adam’s likeness.
    .
    The created soul itself, is formed of two different layers of consciousness, one of the Intellect and one of the Emotions. In these two different dynamics is the ONE souls that experiences them.
    .
    Within in each physical human being (embodied souls) they interact with the would through two distinct hemispheres of their brains, the combination of the two generating a whole experience for the soul on the plane of existence.
    .
    Likewise the physical bodies demonstrate this with gender, to distinct and different, yet together they have begotten children through which mankind has flourished on the Earth.
    .
    From a distance two paintings might look alike, but upon closer examination brushstrokes and technique can be discerned and so we can tell which artist painted which. Every time we create something, something of ourselves is mirrored in the thing we create, so the Infinity of God is juxtaposed with the Finitude of His Creation, and within the Creation there is a divide between the Heavenly realm as the greater reality and the lesser reality of the Earthly realm. The Heavens and the Earth are mirrored in man’s existence as a soul (Heavenly) within a material body (Earthly). There is Father God and Mother Nature, Christ and His Bride, the Macro and the Micro intimately related, the orbits of Atoms possibly accounting for the orbits of the solar system.
    .
    Gravity and inertia, Earth wanting always to move in a straight line, Gravity pulling it down towards its center, and the balancing of the two force creating the orbit where by life might be sustained. So we might think a mother centers the home, and a man’s instincts tend to drive him straight forward, yet together there is balance and growth.
    .
    Small minds, narrowly focused, see very little of the whole of the universe, a child raised in a swamp might think the whole world is like his home, aberrations can often look normal when we only see a small portion of the totality. Truly broadening our horizons brings us to the place where we can see that two with distinct differences can make a whole greater than the sum of it’s parts. There is something INBETWEEN that is not manifest until those parts come together.
    .
    The dynamics of the sexes are so prevalent, then even when we see same sex unions, this confluence of two distinct parts can even be seen as one will tend towards the masculine while the other acts more feminine. Even within their unions nature is still seeking to establish itself beyond the aberration that has either turned their desires towards their own sex or spoiled their desires towards the opposite.
    .
    Human Beings are complex, and so people can often focus on narrow categories to validates their preference in the debate, but nature, the very thing we are made out of, demands distinction with differences, so there will always be a masculine and a feminine. But sometimes damage to the psyche distorts the natural order and harmony and balance is lost.

    Reply

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