The Faith of Katy Perry

The most recent issue of Rolling Stone has an interview with pop music sensation Katy Perry. I’ve written about Perry before and have noted her past life as Katy Hudson—a Christian music star and the daughter of two charismatic youth pastors. What I found interesting about this interview in Rolling Stone was her remarks about her current spiritual state and practices. She describes it this way:

“Speaking in tongues is as normal to me as ‘Pass the salt.’ A lot of religions use meditation or chanting as a subliminal prayer language, and speaking in tongues isn’t that different–it’s a secret, direct prayer language to God. If I felt intuitively that I had to pray for some situation, but I didn’t rationally understand it, I just let my spirit pray for me.”

Perry tells Rolling Stone that she still gets offended at blasphemy, even when her own fiancé is the culprit. She doesn’t want anyone taking God’s name in vain. The interviewer is astonished at Perry’s residual Christian scruples:

“It’s surprising to hear Perry talk about God in this way, because one would think her religious past is behind her, but she says she still considers herself a Christian. She shows me the tattoo of the word JESUS that she got on her wrist, just like her dad. ‘God is very much still a part of my life,’ she says. ‘But the way the details are told in the Bible—that’s very fuzzy for me. And I want to throw up when I say that. But that’s the truth.’

“‘I still believe that Jesus is the son of God… But I also believe in extraterrestrials, and that there are people who are sent from God to be messengers, and all sorts of crazy stuff… Every time I look up, I know that I’m nothing and there’s something way beyond me. I don’t think it’s as simple as heaven and hell.'”

The article also reveals why Perry has departed from Christian music and the strict charismatic faith of her parents.

“Perry started to question the path she was on. Her Christian label shut down, and, she says, ‘My gospel career was going nowhere.’ She started to write songs about love—and boys—on her guitar. And those weren’t gospel songs. ‘Letting go was a process,’ she says. ‘Meeting gay people, or Jewish people, and realizing that they were fine was a big part of it. Once I stopped being chaperoned, and realized I had a choice in life, I was like, “Wow, there are a lot of choices.” I began to become a sponge for all that I had missed—the music, the movies. I was as curious as the cat.'”

The article is as sad as it is revealing. I hope and pray that perhaps there is a flicker of gospel still alive in Perry and that she will heed it soon. Pray for her. The Lord’s arm is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1).

———————–

Source: “Sex, God & Katy,” Rolling Stone (August 19, 2010)

107 Responses to The Faith of Katy Perry

  1. J.A. Swanson August 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Denny, I see another message from this article, a message for Christian parents.

    Katy states, “I began to become a sponge for all that I had missed—the music, the movies. I was as curious as the cat.’”

    To me there is a lot in this statement. While parents can’t make the decision for their kids to follow Christ, we are called to train them in up in the ways they should go. Sadly, I think this is often reflected in a bunch of rules and regulations, instead of a real relationship with Christ, as well as parents and child(ren) and a lot of God-honoring, open, straight forward dialogue and communication about movies, music, culture, people who are different. All from a biblical worldview, of course, but something more than “This is right, that is wrong. Listen to this, don’t listen to that. Watch this, but not that. Read this, but not that.” Such phrases might work when kids are young, but as they get older….not so much. As parents we have to grow with our kids through the various seasons and stages of their lives.

    When our kids are young they do what we are interested in, what we tell them to do. However, as they grow older, we have to bridge into their culture and be involved in what they are doing, so we can offer input, advice and help bring a Christian worldview to what they are experiencing.

    It’s not a one-size-fits-all model, that’s for sure. Yet, it sounds like Katy was taught to NOT be in the world and to not be off it. And it sounds as if she was not given the tools to be IN the world, but not of it.

    I think in general parents should help their kids engage in the culture and be there to explain things to them, to dialogue with them about what they see and experience. Not completely sheltering or cutting their kids off from the world around them.

    This will look different from family to family. Yet, I strongly believe that we have to prepare our kids for the world that we do live in with a solid foundation in Christ.

    While I realize this wasn’t necessarily the point that you were addressing, her words and even intent ‘screamed’ at me and my husband as we were reading this blog post.

    Perhaps it’s because we are both musicians. As well as folks who have worked extensively with tweens, teens and college-aged students, now raising our own young children, earnestly desiring to protect them, along with grounding them in the faith, in order to release them with wings to fly and navigate the world that we live in due time. We just read into so much more that was said in this article that wasn’t blatantly spoken in words.

    Every time I hear something about this girl, my heart cries. Sadly, I know many young folks walking this path, raised in ‘strict Christian homes’, where faith in Christ is more about a list of rules to follow, than a relationship. Makes me sad.

    Please know nothing of what I have written is to imply that I have it figured out. We are still on the journey with our kids. Yet, this is a broken girl, who is being deceived. As much as I want to protect my kids from everything, I know there will come a time where they will make choices for themselves. It is my earnest desire that their faith is their own. And the choices they make is not to please me, but to honor God.

    ~Jada

  2. Julie Nott August 11, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    Oh my word Denny…. I’m so glad you shared this! I am so shocked that Katy Perry WAS Katy Hudson! I own that CD and absolutely LOVED her voice… in fact I still listen to it from time to time. Never in a million years would I have guessed that it was the Katy Perry of today. This is sad, but not surprising.

    When I had children, I was so THANKFUL for much of the sheltering that my parents tried to do (yet I rebelled & experimented when I was out from under that umbrella)… There’s such a fine-line between openness/exposure/transparency with our kids and sheltering (or chaperoning as she puts it) … I’m learning each day (especially with four teenagers!) that as our kids get older, parenting waffles back and forth between protection and teaching to modeling, monitoring, safe-guarding, and listening — among many other things — the HARDEST job I’ve EVER had! I continually have to remind myself that I’m doing the best I can and that my LORD loves them so much more than me or my husband…it’s a daily surrender…

    My prayer as a parent has always been that my life would radiate my Abba Father in me and that my kids would see my daily reliance on HIM… though I will not always shine or rely, I am so thankful for HIS GRACE!

    Now….the topic of speaking in tongues and Katy Perry would need a whole other page for me to give my two cents on…. I’m gonna choose not to 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing this Denny… it has always broken my heart to hear that she grew up in a Christian family — and to hear/see her music and morals now?!? I join you in praying for her.

    And look at YOU… all grown up and a Ph.D.! Whoda thunk?!? 🙂

  3. RD August 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Denny, are you saying that Katy isn’t saved?

  4. James K. August 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    “Meeting gay people, or Jewish people, and realizing that they were fine was a big part of it.”

    I can’t help but wonder if the way we in the church sometimes characterize nonbelievers (‘bad people’, unhappy, ignorant, etc.) or paint the world can be overly simplistic and therefore set people up for a crisis of faith of sorts when they step out into the real world.

  5. Nathan August 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    James, stop wondering, it’s true…

  6. Derek August 11, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    I don’t usually agree with Nathan, but he’s right.

  7. Mark August 12, 2010 at 1:20 am #

    Though we don’t have God’s perfect omniscient viewpoint regarding anyone’s spiritual condition, I don’t know how any right-minded Christian can NOT doubt her redeemed status the way she is now.

  8. RD August 12, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    She believes that Jesus is the son of God. She still has a true sense of Jesus in her life. She is offended when God’s name is taken in vain. Her beliefs (and her willingness to openly discuss them) left the interviewer bewildered that she believed as she did. Clearly she still prays and seems to have a deep understanding and experience of praying from the spirit. So, is it the fact that she met gays and Jewish friends and didn’t find them to be horrific perverts or evil that leads us to automatically conclude she is “lost”? This kind of commenting and scrutinizing is what turns so many people away from Jesus. This is why, I think, Ann Rice said she is a follower of Jesus but not a Christian. Denny has posted four paragraphs of comments that Katy Perry made in an interview, and from these four paragraphs worth of commentary the concensus thus far is that she needs the saving arm of God to rescue her.

  9. Jeff Parsons August 12, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    RD,

    I’m with ya. It seems we’ve taken “come out from them and be separated” to mean we shouldn’t associate with non-believers. As a result, we’ve lost our ability to relate to them and don’t know how to deal with their apparent contentment without God. Sometimes I wonder if our quick judgment of them is to justify our insulated condition rather than anything else. The more I deal with non-believers, the less I can count on cliches and over simplistic answers……I do believe Katy Perry needs prayer, but she may be closer to God than we think.

  10. Zack Skrip August 12, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    All, Your salvation isn’t entirely wrapped up in your vocal creed (remember all those times when the Jews declared that they follow the Lord but he thought differently?), it’s also about the fruit in your life. While I don’t hang out with her all day or anything, we can look at her — very public — life and make suggestions where the gospel is being occluded which would give us an area to pray for her (speaking as if she were in my small group).

    BTW – Anne Rice doesn’t get the fact that you can’t be called to Christ and not also called to the church. You can’t be called to the head and not called to the body. It’s that simple. This is another area of fruit that is missing.

  11. Chris August 12, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Demons also believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

  12. Lauren August 12, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    Well, think about it, though. Even the nicest people who are offended by cussing can still be unsaved. And she mentioned believing in Jesus as the Son of God, but she did NOT mention her belief in the Gospel. BIG difference.

    She’s obviously a church kid, but it seems like she was taught the wrong way to interact with nonbelievers (like, gays are nasty people who like to eat children). So, when she got out from beneath her parents’ watchful eye and met nonbelievers, she mistakenly came to the conclusion that since they were not the evil child-eaters that she was taught they were, then stuff like homosexuality and non-Christian beliefs must be hunky-dory.

    Another thing is, she’s a writer – a songwriter. And when you put fame and awesome creativity as a God-replacement in your life, chances are that if you stay on that path long enough, you’re going to go at least a little downhill. Or kiss a girl.

    In sum, I think – I think she’s not saved, and if she is, she’s very confused. And if she stays longer in Hollywood, I have a feeling that that offense she takes to blasphemy won’t last long. Even the best-raised church kid can turn to mush in an environment like that. So we must pray for her soul.

  13. JackW August 12, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    She does need the saving arm of God to rescue her … as we all do. Everyday. The Gospel is not a one time thing, it’s an everyday thing for a lifetime.

    Praying for her is helpful, God will take care of it.

  14. Kelly August 12, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Lauren, while most of the gay Christians I know would take offense (with good reason) to your ‘nonbelievers’ reference, your point is a sound one. As was James K’s.

    That one quote from her about gays and Jews concurs with the topic Dr. Burke had a few days ago.
    I am personally saddened when I read things like what she said, and I keep thinking of a sweet teenage girl I invited to church over a year ago. The girl was shocked that I went to church and said so. I asked why, and she said it was because she knew I was not (her words) ‘like, you know, mean and anti gay and anti everybody else, and (pause) well, nice’. She did not know I attend a very gay welcoming church, and just assumed, because I am a Christian, that I must be a close minded bigot.
    I will live, and she apologized later, and we talked about things. But, from this interaction, and her set opinions of Christians as bigoted people, I have an awful feeling that this perception on her part will prevent her from even listening to the Gospel…much less accepting it.
    If anyone wonders why I post here, its not for kicks. No one enjoys abuse, and I have better things to do than post a lot (dont we all? 🙂 But, attitudes like Ms. Perrys and the young girl I refered to are not the exception, they are the rule. Just asying “we have to tell them the truth (as you understand it)” wont work. It is this understanding of truth that even evangelical youth are rejecting. Please, don’t shoot the messenger.

  15. Michael August 12, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    RD, according to your criteria most of America would be considered “saved”!

    You only left out the most important part, that part about being a disciple and following the commandments that Jesus taught.

  16. Andy August 12, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    RD, Jesus himself told us we can judge a tree by its fruit. The things she SAYS are just the “leaves” – it’s the actions that lead people to conclude she isn’t yet saved. Anyone can say they believe Jesus is the Son of God – after all, “even the demons believe, and tremble.” Salvation means believing his death is the only solution to your sin, and embracing him as Lord (which obviously means submission to him as Lord, as well, and relinquishing any notions of control over our own lives).

    One of the truest marks of a Christian is a holistic concern for others from an eternal perspective, that is, a desire that other people submit to Christ and embrace the salvation only he can provide. There’s no indication of that from Katy Perry.

    And no one is ever too far gone – “Behold! The Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save!”

  17. Darius August 12, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    “She believes that Jesus is the son of God.”

    RD, the demons believe that too… and shudder.

  18. RD August 12, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Okay, I’m seriously trying to understand this. Based on the four paragraphs that we’ve been given, what out of all that Katy said makes you so sure she’s not saved?

  19. Darius August 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    “I don’t think it’s as simple as heaven and hell.”

    “I still believe that Jesus is the son of God… But I also believe in extraterrestrials”

    That and her lifestyle/music tell me that she doesn’t yet know what Christianity is about.

    “Many will say to me “Lord, Lord”…”

  20. RD August 12, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    Darius,

    Following Jesus and being a Christian isn’t as simple as heaven and hell. And as for the belief in extraterrestrials, even Billy Graham has commented that he can’t rule out advanced life on other planets in other solar systems. And, her lifestyle music??? Come on. These are reasons to make a judgement concerning the eternal condition of her soul???

    Does no one here see what this kind of knee-jerk judgement (we’re talking a mere four paragraphs of comments, people!) This is why the future of evangelicalism is in danger. This is exactly why people give no credence to Christianity.

  21. Darius August 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    RD, what is safer? To assume someone isn’t a Christian and show them the Gospel or to assume they are a Christian and let them wallow in their lostness?

  22. Darius August 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    The future of evangelicalism isn’t in danger at all. The Church is growing, the Kingdom is advancing, Satan is being destroyed.

  23. Michael August 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    RD,

    what out of all that Katy said makes you so sure she’s not saved?

    Look up the original article and you’ll likely have the same opinions. Revealing photos, curse words, calling Miley Cyrus a “ho”, etc.

    We shouldn’t say we know without a doubt, but given the “fruit” she has given us to look at, there is certainly reason to doubt her salvation.

    “So then you will know them by their fruits.” Matt. 7:20

    “Once I stopped being chaperoned, and realized I had a choice in life, I was like, “Wow, there are a lot of choices.””

    She doesn’t appear to be referring to flavors of ice cream here, but different choices about how to get to God.

  24. Michael August 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    This is exactly why people give no credence to Christianity.

    No, (most!) people give no credence to Christianity because of the sin in their hearts. (Romans 1)

  25. Ken August 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    People–and by this I presume you mean people who don’t believe in Christ–give no credence to Christianity for exactly the same reasons as always. Christ, particularly the crucified Christ, is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. If they hate/reject Christians it is because they hated/rejected Christ first.

  26. RD August 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Darius, I also wanted to make a comment about the verse you ended your comment with (“Many will say to me Lord, Lord…”). Of course we most all know that the response Jesus gives is for those to depart that he never knew them. But, it’s interesting to put that in context. When they say to Jesus, But Lord, we prophesied in your name…, the Greek usage of the word for “prophesied” is used somewhat uniquely in the verse. It means “to tell others what God thinks”. So they basically were telling Jesus, Lord, we told everyone what you thought about things, and Jesus replied…well…you know the rest.

    It saddens me that the Church seems to feel its primary role is to tell everyone else just exactly what God thinks about what they eat, who they love, where they worship, what they wear, what music they listen to, whether their patriotism is authentic, etc etc etc

    We no longer seem to be salt and light in the world; we are the “thought police”.

  27. Darius August 12, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    RD, what Jesus was actually saying there was that anyone who comes to Him on Judgment Day and says the reason that they should get into heaven is because of all the great things they did will have missed the point and be rejected. The only way one enters heaven is by the blood of the Lamb. So, if Katy Perry believes that, yes, she is a Christian. Unfortunately, based on the above article and her lifestyle, I doubt she believes that. Either way, like I said before (which you ignored), it’s better for her soul if we assume that she isn’t saved than if we assume she is. A lot of people, particularly in this country, have gone to hell because it was assumed they knew the Gospel and were Christians. Thankfully, cultural Christianity is dying in this country, but as you have shown by your comments, it’s not dead yet. That Bible-Belt Christianity is the “evangelicalism” that is in danger, and good riddance.

  28. RD August 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Darius, you say, The future of evangelicalism isn’t in danger at all.

    Do a quick Google search:

    The Coming Evangelical Collapse: http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2009/0310/p09s01-coop.html

    The Great Evangelical Decline: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-wicker/the-great-evangelical-dec_b_105009.html

    A Wakeup Call to Evangelicals: http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/A-Wakeup-Call-for-Evangelicals.html

    Going Down? Why Evangelicalism Could be Declining: http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=16514

  29. Wes August 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    RD,

    Jesus said “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word… Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.” (John 14:23-24) He came to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), not just the penalty of sin. So when we see anyone living a life which contradicts the commandments of Jesus, we – out of love – pray for them and view them in danger. I’m joining Denny in praying for Katy.

    Oh, and Kelly: The same thing applies to homosexuals. Anyone who thinks that saying that homosexuality is sin and wrong isn’t “a close minded bigot” – they are Biblical. And one more thing – it is sin that prevents people from “listening to the Gospel” (Romans 1) It is foolishness to the secular mind and a stumbling block to the “religious,” but it’s the power of God to those who are being saved. I’m not arguing for poor presentations, but the Gospel is more powerful than the messengers who carry it.

  30. Grubb August 12, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    RD,

    The demons in Mark 5:6-10 knew Jesus was the Son of God. Were they saved? Of course not. Simply “knowing” Jesus is the Son of God isn’t enough.

    Only God truly knows the heart of a man, but we’re called to discern whether another is a true believer as best we can. It helps us to know whether we can let them be leaders in church and whether to enact church discipline or not when they rebel.

    Her song “I Kissed A Girl” describes a homosexual act favorably (which the Bible is against: Lev 18:22-24, I Cor 6:9), and her recent video (in which she’s nude) is encouraging boys & men all over America to lust & commit adultery in their mind which Jesus condemned (Matt 5:27-30).

    To determine (as best we can) if someone is a true follower, ask 3 questions: 1) do his stated beliefs agree with the Bible? 2) do his actions align with his stated beliefs? 3) has he persevered in his godliness? I haven’t heard enough of her stated beliefs, but her actions simply don’t align with what a genuine follower of Jesus normally does.

    Don’t you agree?

  31. Ben August 12, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    What does “believing that Jesus is the Son of God” even mean? Anyone can say that.

    There is a big difference between saying Jesus is the Son of God and obeying Him as Lord of your life. Belief and obedience go hand in hand.

    Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
    John 3:36

  32. Charlton Connett August 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    “It saddens me that the Church seems to feel its primary role is to tell everyone else just exactly what God thinks about what they eat, who they love, where they worship, what they wear, what music they listen to, whether their patriotism is authentic, etc etc etc”

    I know what you mean RD! Why did Paul have to write all those mean things about people who knowingly ate food sacrificed to idols, or who continued to worship at pagan temples, or about homosexuals, or about women who wore immodest clothing, or who continued on in unwholesome conversation, or who refused to actually obey the authorities and only gave it lip service! How dare he assume he had any right to set forth Christian morals or tell people how to live! Didn’t he know that God doesn’t care about things like that?

    All that matters is that we tell people that we love them. We need to let everyone know that Christ wants them just as they are, and he doesn’t want to change them. We need churches that will simply open their doors, invite everyone in, and never expect that Christians would actually look, act, or think differently than the world.

    After all, what really matters is that they know the name of Jesus. It doesn’t matter who they think Jesus is. It doesn’t matter whether they have any faith in the death of Christ for their sins, the atonement made on their behalf, the resurrection from the dead, or the real historicity of the faith. All of that is just secondary to the wonderful message: God loves you, just like you are.

  33. Josh August 12, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Katy’s faith is between Katy, God and those close to her! what right as people who have never met her do we have to judge her faith?

  34. Denny Burk August 13, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    Dear All,

    I’ve been out of town and away from the blog. I just released about 17 comments from my moderation queue, so many of your comments are only just now showing up. Sorry for the delay.

    Thanks for taking time to comment!

    Denny Burk

  35. Jeff Parsons August 13, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    I can’t speak for RD, nor am I trying to excuse Ms. Perry’s obvious deviation from the core elements of the gospel, however, I can’t help but wonder…..did the church as it exist today help create the Katy Perrys of the world? To a large extent, we’ve preached a gospel of cultural isolation and not one of cultural engagement. When Katy finally met people without a relationship with Christ, she found people apparently content in their sin. This apparently had an impact on her faith. Had she been trained to engage the culture as Paul did, perhaps these revelations would have less impact.

    The church is growing everywhere but the US. Until we learn how to engage the culture while being biblically faithful, we may see more Katy Perrys out there….

  36. Nate August 13, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    “The church is growing everywhere but the US.”

    So you think the European church is growing? The Arab world? Also, the US church is basically losing all its “casual christians”, so I think it is a little more complex than that.

    I do agree with you about engaging the culture, but I’m not sure we can make broad statements about how Katy Perry was raised. Ultimately Katy has made her own decisions concerning the faith that she was raised in. She says that once she was no longer chaperoned and realized she was able to choose for herself she has made these decisions. She says she met gay people and Jewish people and realized they were fine. What does that mean?

    This should spur Christian parents to made every effort to impart the faith once delivered to the saints to their children, but is also a strong reminder that the world, the flesh, and the devil are always prowling and roaring. Also, the entertainment industry, even the “christian” entertainment industry is a dangerous place for young minds.

  37. Grubb August 13, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    Josh,

    We need to discern the extent of Katy’s faith even though we don’t know her directly, because she’s so public. Friends, coworkers, and (worst of all) young kids are going to see Katy doing all these sinful things publicly, and then say to us Christians, “Is she really one of you? Is that what Jesus taught? Is that what the Bible allows? Is it really ok to follow Jesus and lie around naked in public?”

    It’s true Jesus accepts us where we are, but He doesn’t want us to stay that way. Paul said if we’re in Christ, we’re a new creation (II Cor 5:17), and Jesus accepted (or at least didn’t condemn) the adulterous woman but then told her to “go and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11b) If Katy believes in Jesus, she would do well to heed that command of Jesus as best she can…we all would. Don’t you agree?

  38. Derek August 13, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    One thing that some of us seem to be forgetting is that Katy might simply be a prodigal. Actually, Denny kind of indicated as much in his original post. It doesn’t seem fair to rush to judgment about Katy’s parents or upbringing. Katy made her own decision to go to the “far country” and now there seems to be a tug of war, part of her misses Father’s house and another part of her isn’t ready to leave the far country.

  39. Lauren August 13, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    Kelly, when you say gay Christians, do you mean Christians who are struggling with homosexuality, or Christians who gay and are not changing their lifestyle? (I’m just trying to understand)

    What I meant was, is that homosexuality is indeed a sin – it runs contrary to what God’s plan for Creation is, and is a result of Adam and Eve’s choice to sin. However, that DOES NOT give us any right to call them nasty names or do mean things to them. This is because we are also sinners, and it would not make sense for sinners to pick on sinners.

    However, as Christians, it IS our duty to help fellow Christians who are struggling with same sex attraction, and to pray for those who are unwilling to change their lifestyles. Deep down, they are quite confused about what their sexuality is, and do not know how God loves them so, and is waiting for them to come back to Him.

    We are indeed to love the gay people in our lives, as well as those who do not believe in Jesus. But we would not be loving them if we did not try to shine the Gospel in our lives. I have been guilty of these things so many times!

    Thus, with love and prayer, we can prove to the world that we are not bigots, but at the same time help bring the gay people and the nonbelievers of this world to Jesus. And having done that, to help them come out of sin. 😀

  40. Darius August 13, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Here’s the deal, RD (and Jeff)… the “church” in America may be shrinking, but the Church in America is growing. As Nate pointed out, we’re losing the casual Christians… which is a good thing. For the last century and beyond, people thought they were Christians merely because they were born in America. While that idea still exists, people are now realizing that a) that’s not true and b) you can be an American and believe something else. I personally think this is a very healthy development, because cultural Christianity created more children of hell than if the American culture had been atheistic in nature for the last hundred years.

  41. Lindsey August 13, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    I normally try to thoroughly read all comments & responses before I feel a need to comment, but I haven’t been able get past Michael’s initial words:

    “You only left out the most important part, that part about being a disciple and following the commandments that Jesus taught.”

    I shudder to think that we are telling people that it is what we do in following the words of Christ that is most important and the key to our salvation. We are only given the ability to follow Him through His Spirit, which is given to us by grace–BEFORE we repent and turn from our sins. Heaven help all of us our performance is the fulcrum for redemption.

    Of course, Paul asks, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?” and the reply, “May it never be!” Certainly I’m not advocating Katy’s lifestyle, but to suggest that the most important thing for her is to follow the commandments is to offer a false road to salvation. Please, please, friend, do not share this false gospel with those you meet.

  42. Darius August 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Lindsey, I believe Michael was talking about Perry’s fruit and not how one comes to be saved. But a very good comment on your part whatever the case!

  43. Mark August 13, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    I think some people here should read these books in relation to the spiritual condition of Katy Perry:

    “The Gospel According to Jesus” – John F. MacArthur

    “Christ’s Call to Discipleship” – James M. Boice

    “How Can I Be Sure I’m A Christian?” – Donald S. Whitney

    “Run to Win the Prize” – Thomas Schreiner

    Now after reading those books, you guys (who are less inclined to believe that Katy Perry might be unregenerate) tell me how her lifestyle and mentality squares with what those authors have to say about the nature of the true Christian life.

  44. Mark August 13, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    Lindsey wrote: “Certainly I’m not advocating Katy’s lifestyle, but to suggest that the most important thing for her is to follow the commandments is to offer a false road to salvation. Please, please, friend, do not share this false gospel with those you meet.”

    If you mean following after commandments in a legalistic fashion to obtain salvation then NO we should not offer that kind of false gospel to anyone. If you mean following the commandments as in bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) and continually following the truth (2 John 1:9) as EVIDENCE of genuine salvation then we should exhort all fellow Christians to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith.

    I don’t understand why many people these days have a problem with “fruit inspection” (whether to ourselves or others). As long as it isn’t done in a proudful or unloving way it is something commanded by us in Scripture for our salvation and the salvation of others.

  45. Nathan August 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Who cares what John F. MacArthur, James M. Boice, Donald S. Whitney and Thomas Schreiner have to say about being a Christian? What does the Bible say?

    I think the important issue surrounding Katy Perry is not her faith (only God can truly tell the heart of Katy) but rather should Christians participate in the entertainment she is offering.

    Unless you’re going to meet her directly or if she wants to join your church, the “is she or is she not a REAL Christian” argument is kind of stupid. As if you’re really going to pray for her and her California Gurls…

  46. Mark August 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Nathan, respectfully, it is attitudes like yours that will lead many astray and cause many to stumble to eternal perdition.

  47. Nathan August 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Pointing people to the Bible instead of contemporary authors is going to cause someone to stumble? That’s a new one.

    At Judgment, either Jesus is going to stand in on Katy’s behalf or not, according to HIS perfect discretion. You can argue all you want about Katy’s works, BUT salvation isn’t based on works. You can point people to focus on Katy’s works or ignore her altogether and tell people to focus on THE only work that matters: the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. I wonder which will cause more stumbling.

  48. Mark August 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    Nathan, may I ask what issues you take with those authors I listed above?

    Also, before I get misunderstood by you, I take Scripture as the highest authority on matters of faith and doctrine. I believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of all the books of the Bible.

    Your of “who cares” what those scholars have reveals a bit of theological naivete on your part. Though scholarly Christian works should never be put on the same level as Scripture they do help us in understanding the Christian life and doctrine clearer sometimes.

    I never said that salvation is BASED on works. Now you’ve put words into my mouth that I never expressed. There is a difference between salvation based on works and salvation revealed in works (consistent with Scripture and the Reformers, I hold to the latter). You can argue all you want about penal-substitution, imputation, sola fide, etc., but if you’re not being sanctified over time producing good fruits and fail to remain in the truth to the end the benefits of Christ’s salvific work on the cross mean nothing to you.

    Don’t argue with me on this matter. You’re arguing against Holy Script. You can check out the first letter of John. He dedicates a whole letter to let us know how we can find out whether one is a true believer in Christ.

    P.S. I also don’t ever recall giving a gavel slam judgment regarding Katy Perry’s salvation status. I just said in my first post to this entry that “I don’t know how any right-minded Christian can NOT doubt her redeemed status the way she is now.” That is not taking over God’s omnipotent role as Judge; that is making sensible discernment based on the present evidence of her life and what the Bible says about the Christian life.

  49. Brian August 14, 2010 at 4:32 am #

    While I seldom post on blogs what mark said about fruit inspection is absolutely true. As Christians we are called to examine our fruit, both individually and corporately. The very fact that Katy as identified herself as a christian means that her actions should be judged against scripture. And because we are not omniscient we can only judge her based on her lifestyle, which goes contrary to scripture.
    A large portion of the problem comes with Christian liberty.
    Romans 6:15-17 We are told that we are no longer slaves to sin but slaves of righteousness. In New Testament times, a slave was not only owned by their master, much of the time they were representatives of their masters. So in essence Paul is saying that we are representatives of the righteousness of Christ. So the question then becomes is Katy living a life representing righteousness. On this case I don’t think to many people would say she is living a righteous life.

    We have only two choices, either we are a slave to sin, which has wages of death. Or we are slaves of righteousness because of the free gift of Christ.

  50. Brian Krieger August 14, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Dr. Burk:

    Glad you’re home finally. Just out of curiosity, where else did you write on Katie Perry? Did a quick search to no avail. Not that it matters much, just curious (I do recall you writing on another controversial artist, Jennifer Knapp, though.).

  51. Denny Burk August 14, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    It’s forthcoming in the second book listed in my sidebar, Don’t Call It a Comeback.

  52. Brian Krieger August 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    Cool, thanks!

  53. Kelly August 16, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Lauren, deep down, I have no way of knowing if you really love God (I assume you do) or are/were a good daughter. (I assume you are/were…well, once a daughter, always a daughter…even if our parents are gone).

    There is a lot I cannot know about your soul.

    Respectfully, I ask you to think of this, and what you cannot know, before you say something like “They are quite confused about what their sexuality is” (that was..well…it was arrogant of you to so DARE to presume, and that is being kind). Most gay people know fully what their sexuality is. I have met people trying to be stright who got married, and live in misery trying desperately to be something they are not, but that is not what you meant I think.
    I know very well an “ex gay” whose church trots him out as an example of “successful change”, but who comes to me and crys on my shoulder with the guilt and shame he says he feels everytime he gives what he knows is a testamonial of a success that is not real, but, it is what his family expect of him, and now he is married to a woman whom he cheats on, on the sly, and he is not brave enough to leave, build a happy life (it is NOT a happy marriage, and he tells me it cannot be, and he lives with the guilt of this) and find a church that would accept him as the gay man he is. Thats the only confusion I have seen, and from the very nature of your question, I suspect I have spent a LOT more time ‘in the trenches’ of this issue, and know a lot more gay people than you do.

    The “lifestyle”? Respectfully, I must take issue with this. A lifestyle is living in Beverly Hills and shopping all day. Or living in an organic eating ashram in Oregon where trees are hugged, and everyting is solar powered.
    Gay people are not, living a “lifestyle”. Some are married, faithful couples with kids and PTA meetings. Some are wild and promiscuous. Some rich, some poor. The very term implies a “Oh, I will try this on” attitude which every gay person I have ever known finds offensive. Even the ones trying (and invariably failing) to be heterosexual.

    “and do not know how God loves them”. …Really? How do you know such a thing, for millions of people?

    How many gay pastors do you know, never mind regular run of the mill laity? There are gay bishops, pastors, priests and ministers in denominations ranging from Anglican to Presbyterian to American Baptist to Lutheran and countless others…and…you presume to so describe these people, some of who I know personally, and who spent decades in mission abroad, lead wonderful churches, and live lives of Christian grace and humility, loving God, and dedicating their lives to Gods service, as people who “do not know how God loves them”???

    Lauren, with respect, admiration for your tone, which was neither aggressive or mean spirited (you were raised a lady, and that comes through), PLEASE, I beg you, before you deal with this issue, get to know some gay Chrisitians. And yes, I mean exactly that, Good, often ordained, Christian men and women who are both openly gay, and joyously humbled to recieve the gifts by grace alone, not works, that God has given them.

    They are how and who God made them to be. That, when it comes down to it, is the whole point.
    And before anyone quotes scripture, there is a LOT of scripture even modern conservatives no long follow either. Thanks.

  54. Grubb August 16, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    Kelly,

    I have known a few homosexuals (not nearly as many as you) and seen some interviewed on tv and certainly sympathize with them; but when all is said and done, sin is sin, and God is against it. Lev 18:22-24 and I Cor 6:9 reveals that the nature of God is against homosexuality.

    You say of homosexuals, “They are how and who God made them to be.” Do you take that same position with: people who lie habitually, parents who rage with anger at their kids, pedophiles, or people who yell obscenities or profanities when their sports team loses? If God made them with a temper, a sexual disorder, or an uncontrollable passion, should they remain that way or indulge in that; or should we “put to death therefore whatever belongs to [our] earthly nature?” (Col 3:5a).

    If you read Col 3:5-10 and I Cor 6:9-11 (and indeed many other passages), you’ll see that we’re called to put to death things that we appear to have been born with. If I put to death my temper, must I walk around singing happy songs? No. Similarly, if a homosexual puts to death his homosexuality, it doesn’t mean he has to start dating someone of the opposite sex. If I put to death my lust (and let’s face it, men are born with a lustful nature), must I then sit around and look at wholesome pictures of husbands & wives holding hands? No, it just means that with the help of the Holy Spirit I stop doing lustful actions which in turn gives glory to God.

    Some people are born compulsive liars, some lusters, some sexual deviants, some homosexuals, and some with Irish tempers. We’re all called to “put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature” which is against the nature of God. Don’t you agree?

  55. Grubb August 16, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Kelly,

    And before anyone quotes scripture, there is a LOT of scripture even modern conservatives no long follow either. Thanks.

    But God’s chosen people (Jews & Christians) have believed for 4000+ years that homosexuality is a sin. Why would we side with a handful of modern “enlightened” theologians who say these passages aren’t clear or are obsolete?

    If you don’t want scripture, here’s a logical argument against your position. (I ask sincerely) What will be next once we accept homosexuality as valid? Will we then accept premarital sex as ok? An 18 year old boy will say he is who God made him, and he can’t control his urges. A husband will say he is who God made him and indulge in adultery. Young girls who are born desiring male attention will go scantily clad or even topless to get it.

    People will justify whatever their sin is by saying “God made me this way.” Don’t you see where that defense breaks down? People who want to indulge in anything will simply say “God made me this way,” and force everyone else to accept their behavior. But that’s not what Christ taught. He told the adulterous woman to go and stop sinning. That’s what we should tell our friends who sin too.

  56. Nate August 16, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Grubb, Kelly won’t agree because biblical logic doesn’t equate into her decisions. She is adamant that homosexuality is biblical and all those who disagree are racists. For Kelly, as John Lennon famously said, “All you need is Love.” Truth is relative.

  57. Grubb August 16, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    Nate,

    I realize in most instances, the person we’re debating with is well entrenched in his opinion, but (as I’m sure you agree) we keep speaking the truth in love in hopes that God will change their heart and (possibly more importantly) for all those who are reading but not commenting that may be changed by the true Words of Life God has given us in the Bible.

    Thanks for your “warning”. 🙂

    Grubb

  58. Nate August 16, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Knock yourself out… Kelly has posted on this blog many times and has always dodged biblical questions and logic, always resorting to the kind of diatribe that she has already expressed in response to Lauren.

  59. RD August 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    I have to say that I completely see where Kelly is coming from, and am in agreement with the comments that have been presented that support the notion that the Church is going to have to rethink it’s automatic condemnation of those in the GLBT community. Our theology shifted drastically once the culture of race changed in this country. It will change in years to come once more and more people realize that GLBT people are created that way.

  60. Charlton Connett August 16, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    RD, et al.

    Our theology has not “shifted drastically” since the days of slavery. The fact is that there were always conservative theologians who opposed slavery, particularly the form of “man stealing” and chattel slavery that was going on in the Americas. What do you think lead to the downfall of slavery? Christian opposition, in both the more conservative northern states (interesting that religiously speaking those states were more conservative) and in Europe (again, interesting) lead to the downfall of slavery, not some enlightened cultural wisdom.

    While the theology of the South, and the accommodation of preachers to slavery, changed once slavery was done away with, Christian theology did not change. Likewise today, liberal theologians have accommodated to the cultural pressures of accepting homosexuality and other behaviors as “natural” and acceptable. That does not change Christian theology, it only demonstrates that churches have always been willing to compromise with culture.

    The argument, “the church has changed its theology about…” is old and worn, and simply not true. Christian theology has evolved to address specific cultural situations, and different vocabularies, but I would argue that historically you see the Christian theology has not changed more than you might argue that it has. Even if you want to point to the schismatic events of the Reformation, I think the stronger argument is that Luther and Calvin both wanted the church to get back to the truths it had been proclaiming. Thus, even the reformation was not about changing the church’s theology, but getting back to the historical theology from which the church had drifted.

    Have there been theological changes? Sure, some. From a Pelagian to an Augustinian/Calvinistic, to a semi-Pelagian soteriology, there have been changes. In other areas there have been similar small changes and disagreements throughout church history. But, to argue for the acceptance of homosexuality based on the minor changes we have actually seen in Christian theology over the ages is simply hopeful thinking for those who think culture should drive the church’s thinking, instead of the Word of God.

    And if you want to point to the “mainstream” churches of today, please consider that they are dying. The changes that crept into liberal churches are now killing them. It seems, looking at statistics and the growth of conservative Christianity, that instead of saying the church will learn to accept homosexuality or die, it would be more apt to say that the churches that have accepted homosexuality are dead. (Or dying, take your pick.)

  61. Mark August 17, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    RD, I don’t mean any disrespect or rudeness, but it is people with your mentality that has caused the spiritual and theological degradation of our churches today. Like Grubb said above, even if homosexuality is genetic or natural for some people what about those who were born with bad tempers, pedophile tendencies, greedy personalities, or injust attitudes? Should we also allow them to express their inherited tendencies no matter how sinful or detrimental they may be? Nobody ever said embracing the gospel for the rest of one’s life is going to be easy.

  62. Nathan August 17, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    It’s easy to say, “no one said it was going to be easy.” That isn’t helpful in the least.

    What do you do specifically that helps homosexuals cope (in a godly way) with their particular sinful bent?

  63. RD August 17, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    I’ve never said that I believe God condones all behavior. I certainly know that God does not condone sinful behavior that inflicts suffering and pain on others (anger, sexual aggression, emotional dominance, etc). The HUGE problem is that those who oppose homosexual relationships – and specifically gay marriage – is that they mischaracterize the phrase “homosexual relationship.” Most opponents demonize homosexuals by characterizing them as preditors and deviants; their sexual desire for someone of the same sex is merely a perverted choice they make. Opponents argue against those of us who are in favor of legalizing gay marriage as if we are arguing to allow men and women to prey on school children or to lure unsuspecting teens into back alleys for some type of perverted sexual tryst. I don’t think anyone I know who is in favor of gay marriage would condone any kind of reckless, selfish homosexual behavior (any more than we would condone such behavior in heterosexuals). We are simply saying that committed gay relationships are not an abomination to God.

    The scripture teaches that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, that God knows us when we are in our mother’s womb. God knew I would have blue eyes and a bad back and knew that I would be heterosexually oriented. God created those physically realities in me. I can’t change any of them. My eyes are forever blue, my back is always going to give me fits and I am sexually attracted to women (specifically my wife or 20 years). As science continues to uncover the basis for sexual orientation it is becoming more and more obvious that all sexual orientation is somehow biologically constructed (created??). Now, being created homosexual does not give license to be a sexual libertine. God expects homosexuals to express themselves sexually within the spiritual boundaries that God expects heterosexuals to express themselves. No one is saying that open sexual expression is fine with God, i.e. that men have stronger sexual urges that God created in us so that makes it fine for us to be sexually aggresive. We’re talking about orientation, about genetically and biologically determined states of physical being (like having blue eyes, being left handed, having a predisposition to hair loss, etc). God CREATED about 10% of ALL species to be homosexually oriented. That’s just a fact. Now, how is society at large – and the Church in particular – going to address this reality?

  64. Nate August 17, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    Nathan, would it be possible for you to expand on your notion of coping in a godly way? I have yet to see you outline how you would disciple a homosexual who gets saved.

    I would say that we need to disciple believers to realize they have been set free from their sin by the blood of Christ, Rom 3:21-26. We have been shown the love of God even while we were His enemies, Rom 5:1-10. Yet, we are told to fight against our sin because we cannot continue in it simply because of grace, Rom 6:1-7 and Rom 6:11-15.

    This is regardless of the sin we were most easily entangled with when we were saved. What is doesn’t mean, RD, is saying this is who we are and therefore others should simply deal with it or that because we don’t believe it is a harmful sin then others should live with it.

    The wages of sin is death! All sin… Your rewrite of the bible to suit your disposition on this subject is sin. It really doesn’t matter what you think is an abomination to God, it only matters what God’s word says on the matter.

  65. RD August 17, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Nate,

    God’s word says men caught in homosexual acts should be killed. As a Christian who reads the words on the page of scripture and believes that they are absolutely the direct thoughts of God, do you agree with that? Are you prepared to stand firm on the inerrant, never-changing word and advocate for the God-ordained punishment of homosexual sinners?

  66. Grubb August 17, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    RD,

    Even if there are certain genes that are found to predispose one to homosexuality, self-mutilation, and self-gratification, these things are still sinful and should be put to death.

    You asked how we should help homosexuals. How do we help a man who is a habitual masturbator? One can say the simple act of masturbation isn’t sinful, but the lustful thoughts that accompany masturbation ARE 100% sinful. And WAY more than 10% of our unmarried men struggle with this.

    So what do we do with those guys? 1) We tell them the truth in love; we do NOT say masturbation accompanied by lustful thoughts is ok. 2) We pray for them and try to set up some sort of accountability for them. 3) If they persist in declaring openly (because that’s really the only way we know they’re still sinning :)) that this is ok, we would either prevent church membership or enact church discipline if they’re already members. These are the same things we should do for homosexuals.

    Some say homosexuality is a victimless issue and hurts no one, because both parties are consensual. The same is true of masturbation, but both hurt the sinner himself. Also, both pervert the natural way God intended and expects things to be; therefore we should preach against each sin.

    And does homosexuality really only affect the 2 people involved? Not within Christianity. What is the church called? The Bride of Christ. That phrase and symbolism are somewhat lost if we sanction homosexual marriages, aren’t they? Who’s the authoritative head of the family? The man. That’s completely lost in homosexual marriages. Eph 5:24 says, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” How do homosexual marriages accommodate that passage? What’s the purpose of marriage? To help each other (Gen 2:18) and to produce Godly offspring (Mal 2:15). 50% of this purpose is completely lost on homosexual marriages. So many aspects of Godly marriage are lost or distorted if we allow 2 men or 2 women to marry.

    To allow homosexual marriages is to say, “God intended it and wants it THIS way, but we’re ok with doing it THAT way.” I look forward to hearing your reply on how I say we should help homosexuals.

  67. Grubb August 17, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    Oops. I addressed RD, and it was Nathan who asked how we help homosexuals. My apologies to you both.

  68. Darius August 17, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    “God CREATED about 10% of ALL species to be homosexually oriented.”

    We should keep in mind that this is due to the Fall. If we still lived in a perfect world, no one would be “oriented” homosexually.

    “What do you do specifically that helps homosexuals cope (in a godly way) with their particular sinful bent?”

    Nathan, same as with someone coping with any other sinful urges (like myself). Take them to the Gospel, show them the freedom to be had in Christ, that nothing we do can save us, but that Jesus did it all on the cross, and ask them to turn from (repent) their sin and choose Life. It’s something that every Christian should do about every day in their own lives. You need to preach the Gospel to yourself on a daily basis.

  69. Darius August 17, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    Why do some people hate homosexuals so much that they won’t tell them about the freedom that everyone else enjoys through the blood of Christ? It bewilders me that some prop up homosexuality as a special issue or even sin that is impervious to the power of Christ. Lying, lust, hate… Christ says He has those covered. But homosexuality… sorry, He’s just not that strong.

  70. Nate August 17, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    RD, In the New Testament Rom 1:18-32 clearly says that homosexuality is sin, as does 1 Cor 6:9-11. The Old Testament laws were in effect for the nation of Israel at that time, not for the nations today. If you didn’t know that, well know you do. Many use the laws dictated to the theocracy of Israel in this discussion and they are not pertinent, but they still outline sin and define it. I’m saying this all the while knowing that you realize this and are simply creating a straw man.

  71. Nate August 17, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    Darius, that is because they don’t want to call homosexuality sin. They want to say it is only homosexual rape or multiple partner issues. They want to convince themselves that homosexual marriage is not forbidden in Scripture. Professing to be wise they become fools. We all fall prey to the same thing on the sins that so easily entangle each of us, although most people don’t start national campaigns to promote it.

  72. Michael August 17, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    RD,

    God CREATED about 10% of ALL species to be homosexually oriented. That’s just a fact.

    This is not a fact. Homosexuality is a sin, not a genetic defect. If you want to say we are all genetically programmed towards sin due to Adam’s fall, fine. But don’t make homosexuality a protected sin.

    Now, how is society at large – and the Church in particular – going to address this reality?

    Society at large will just endorse the sin, what else do you expect? The Church will hopefully do what the Bible says to do: tell them to repent and believe on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You know, preach the gospel?

  73. Kelly August 17, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Grubb, you just compared someone who is gay with people who lie constantly…etc. A totally unrelated issue.

    I point out that we look at many things differently, and you ignore this, and just start comparing gay people to people whom are in not way related to them. A sad attempt at guilt bu association. And, yes, I know you are going to quote a verse…and, when you do, will point out that verses were quoted over and over to support many things we now see as wrong. But, you are comfortable with this opinion of gay couples and families, so, you will just ignore that I suppose.

    To all the fundamentalist literalists here, this is my point, and the one that seems to anger/frighten you the most it seems. Just like Ms Perry, most of the young people, including young Christians, get out into the real world, and see that gay cuples are not the abominations that the early Biblical writers said them to be. And they do not agree with youtr arguements. Even the Christian ones. Whole denominations now disagree with you in fact. Approaching this problem, and before it misogony, and slavery, and other issues, has made people, who see positions easily supported by the Bible but which now are in hindsight seen as wrong, and which has made most serious Biblical scholars who are looking for truth, and not a confirmation of their conservative views, look at the Bible and wonder just how it was written, by who, and, did they put their societal prejudices into it. Most have come to the conslusion that yes, this is the case. And, they cease to be “inerrant literalists” (which most were not really before…happily ignoring a lot of parts by explaining why ABC does not apply, but EFG, which we like and are comfortable with, do)

    This issue is one that brings that into full light. And, in truth, like Ms Perry, more and more people will see it this way, because it is what it is. And, that will lead to them start wondering “what else in here just does not hold water reality?”

    The whole way you approach the Bible is called into question by this issue. I think that is what disturbs you most. I would appreciate your collective thoughts on this.

    You are confortable with your bigotry. Just like your religious ancestors were comfortable with their bigotry, and used the Bible to justify it to.

    They were wrong, and we now read the Bible differently than they did.
    We are starting to do the same with this issue and the Bible.

    Many denominations are already doing this.
    In time, you will to, and your grandchildrens kids will probably get to read a statement of apology that would be just as shocking to you as they 1995 statement on Slavery and racism would be to the conservatives of the 1860s.

    If this offends, well, sorry.
    You are on the wrong side of how to approach scripture on this, and history will record you as such. You seem shocked that someone would dare point out bigorty based on sincerely held religious conviction is still bigotry, and you seem to think that saying “well, I am NOT a bigot, just following my denominations interpretation, the right one” somehow will excuse you. Uh…no.

    It does not, any more than it excused our ancestors on racism or a host of other sins.
    This was written with directness but, honestly,the idea that people who have expressed some of the patronizing, arrogant, hurtful statements on this chain of posts, all the while seeming utterly unaware of 1)how they sound 2) oblivious to why the young people, like Ms. Perry, are NOT buying your arguemtns 3) honestly unaware or unable to grasp that you do not speak for the Church (big C)how hurtful you sound, on this issue cannot grasp why they no longer hold the societal high ground, and that the Church does not all speak with one voice on this issue, is… very interesting.

    Most progressive/liberal Christians I know make a great point of trying to understand conservatives. I don’t see much of this from the conservative side. At least not here.

    Grubb, you speak of Biblical logic. Do you think the best scholars and theologians of the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, United Chruch and Christ, Disciples, etc. are unable to use Biblical logic? Do yo uhonestly think they are just “making it as they go along” to make people feel good? Somehow, I doubt this. I would certainly hope not

    All any of you have ever really said to me is, in effect “Lets just ignore Kellys arguments, and those of the other denominaitons, and all the ramifications of how we are seen, and then lets ponder why the youth who know gay people, Christian and unchurched, are leaving our way of thinking…but, lets not think to deeply about it…lets just declare them lost and confused, otherwise, we may have to ask really, really uncomfortable questions of ourselves”…and then you seem STUNNED when the world around you, listening to both sides, is not agreeing with you.

    Dont forget, I used to be a fundamentalist, 5 point Calvinist, and know the conservative arguemtns very well. I have not, as one poster said, ignored your arguments. I have tried to answer them and been ignored. Hey, I used to use them myself, I am sad to say.

    But, have my points be addressed? No…I have been told that Biblical logic is beyond me. And, I been responded to with literalism, straw man arguements, etc.

    Finally, Grubb…you ignroed RDs excellent question. The Bible is explicit, clear, and, to a fundamentalist, unambiguous to the call for death for gays and lesbians. Your response to RD was long (not as long as this, my apologies), but, never addressed that issue. Not really.
    If that blunt and literal rule can be ignored or overtuned, may I ask how?
    Why this one departure form literal interpretation and belief in inerrancy?
    And, if it is due to the expanded Grace of our Lord, then…why does that grace not extend as far as persons such as myself says it does?

  74. Nate August 17, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    “Finally, Grubb…you ignroed RDs excellent question.”

    But I didn’t Kelly and it is a Straw Man.. see #70 And to be honest, any legitimate scholar would not see it as an excellent question. If you want to have a serious discussion, then don’t trump up ridiculous comparisons of the nation of Israel and the church.

    “Dont forget, I used to be a fundamentalist, 5 point Calvinist, and know the conservative arguemtns very well.”

    Kelly, that is totally irrelevant, other than to say that you no longer believe in any of those concepts. It doesn’t make you right. I could just as easily counter with: The Devil used to be the Head Angel in charge, and he knows more of the bible than any of us, therefore…

    Post an argument but please refrain from demeaning others simply because you used to be something that you no longer think it is a viable position.

  75. Kelly August 17, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    One last thing. If someone asks me a direct question, I try to answer it. Grubb, you asked “whats next” after the church fully accepts gay people.

    This is an attempt to imply that doing one thing automatically leads to another.

    how many years after the voting age was lowered to 18 from 21 did it take for 13 year olds to get the vote?

    If a Biblical arguement can be made for a thing, as the many denominations and congregations that have done so have done for the case for ordaining GLBT persons and not considering them sinful, then, the case will be made. I have never heard a good theological arguement for adultry. I doubt I ever will. An earlier poster had some sadly weak arguements on how gay relationships hurt the people in them and everyone else (sadly weak), but, it is pretty easy to see how adultry is not loving, but hurtful.

  76. Darius August 17, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Grubb, what’s next?? The Bible indicates that the acceptance of homosexuality is the end of the road… doesn’t really matter what’s next. Once you’ve jumped in the mud, it doesn’t really matter how much more mud gets thrown on you.

    Nate is correct that that was definitely NOT an “excellent question.” It’s a basic question asked and answered in most 5th grade classes. Kelly, you may have been a 5 point Calvinist, but you obviously had no clue about orthodox Christianity.

    “then you seem STUNNED when the world around you, listening to both sides, is not agreeing with you. “

    Funny, Jesus said the world wouldn’t agree with Him and His followers. Guess that puts you on the wrong side, Kelly.

    It’s very sad to see soul rot up close… honestly, very sad.

  77. Michael August 17, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Kelly,

    see that gay cuples are not the abominations that the early Biblical writers said them to be. And they do not agree with your arguments. Even the Christian ones

    This is the funniest thing you said in your whole diatribe! Who cares what the world thinks. What matters first and foremost is what the Bible says on the issue. And we see where you stand on the Scriptures! Remember not everyone who claims to be a Christians is one.

    The Bible is clear on homosexuality. It is a sin. Those who practice it are living in sin. Read 1 John. Children of God do not continue to practice sin in their lives.

  78. Grubb August 17, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Kelly,

    I’ll try to keep it short. 🙂 I didn’t address RD’s “excellent question”, because I hadn’t read it yet…Nate addressed it well. Please see my most recent comment to RD & Nathan where I compare homosexuality to masturbation with lustful thoughts and to premarital sex. Surely these are a good comparison and very similar. All 3 of these sins are consensual, and each sinner is made that way, yet they are all sins none-the-less, and we’re called to forsake them…the sins not the sinners. 🙂

    As I don’t think anyone who masturbates or has premarital sex is a monster or demon, I also don’t think homosexuals are monsters or demons. We’re all sinners.

    You wrote Do you think the best scholars and theologians of the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, United Chruch and Christ, Disciples, etc. are unable to use Biblical logic? Do yo uhonestly think they are just “making it as they go along” to make people feel good?

    Sadly, that’s probably exactly what’s happening. II Tim 4:3 says, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

    Why is it bigotry to call homosexuality a sin but not to call premarital sex a sin? Or am I bigoted for saying premarital sex is a sin too? Wife swapping is a sin too. Is that bigotry?

    You said, “All any of you have ever really said to me is, in effect “Lets just ignore Kellys arguments, and those of the other denominaitons” I said nothing of the sort and am in fact interacting with you kindly. I did say I didn’t think I would move you on this topic, but I haven’t ignored your comments at all. As I reread my comments, I think I’ve been very kind to you and spoken the truth in love. I haven’t demonized homosexuals in any way.

    I’m curious, how do you view the Bible and it’s authority? I read the Bible and form my world view. In other words, I read that premarital sex is a sin, and I believe premarital sex is a sin. So when I read that homosexuality is a sin, I say it’s a sin. I’m being very sincere, how do you approach the Bible? It seems as though you and many others want to accept homosexuality as acceptable, so you discount passages that are clear and 4000+ years of Jewish & Christian tradition/belief. Doesn’t that concern you?

  79. Grubb August 17, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Kelly,

    You said, If a Biblical arguement can be made for a thing, as the many denominations and congregations that have done so have done for the case for ordaining GLBT persons and not considering them sinful, then, the case will be made.

    What’s the Biblical argument for homosexuality? I know the Biblical passages condemning it. Do you know the Biblical argument supporting it?

  80. Chris August 17, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    RD you wrote: “God expects homosexuals to express themselves sexually within the spiritual boundaries that God expects heterosexuals to express themselves.”

    I absolutely agree! Sex within a heterosexual marriage or no sex at all. I know that’s not the answer you intended but it does show the rightness of God is still able to be seen through illogical and fallacious positions.

    You also wrote “God CREATED about 10% of ALL species to be homosexually oriented. That’s just a fact.”

    Not so sure its a fact but the bible clearly says that humanity is separate and above all animal and plant species so even if wombats exhibit innate homosexual behavior why would anyone want to lower their value by acting like a wombat? Another illogical and fallacious position.

    Kelly suffers from these inconsistent, illogical, unbiblical positions as well!

    Kelly assumes we are somehow offended by her own fallacies! Frankly their is nothing offensive about what she says. What comes across is a desperate attempt to justify a worldly sinful behavior with Gods higher standards. Now its so obvious because we all do this with different issues! We are all are good justifiers of sinful behavior so if we are honest we recognize that in ourselves.

    Kelly does have the compassion and heart for justice that we all should have but she erroneously and detrimentally pairs it up with her desire to have Christianity and Gods word be different and easier that she believes it should be.

    It’s a losing battle! The world will get exactly what it wants and what it deserves!

  81. Mark August 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Btw, for those who argue that homosexual activity doesn’t “hurt” anybody, how do you understand Romans 1:27? Paul seems to suggest that there is some kind of penalty attached to committing this act.

  82. Mark August 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Chris wrote: “Kelly does have the compassion and heart for justice that we all should have but she erroneously and detrimentally pairs it up with her desire to have Christianity and Gods word be different and easier that she believes it should be.”

    This seems to be the trend among many professing Christians today, especially in so-called developed countries. Compassion and desire for justice are worthy things but if those things trump the word of God, how can the church be a fitting witness of the gospel? Compassion and justice must be reoriented towards a biblical perspective so that the church can stand in a midst of moral and doctrinal errors permeating our time.

  83. Darius August 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    “Kelly does have the compassion and heart for justice”

    I don’t know if I would agree. I don’t see it compassionate toward gays to help lead them to hell, or view their sin as so special that Jesus doesn’t offer them freedom from it. I don’t see it as compassionate to be “open-minded” about homosexuality yet bigoted with regards to polygamy.

  84. Nate August 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    I have to agree with Darius. Jesus showed compassion, but never failed to point out the sin and tell them to go and sin no more. We (evangelicals) need to be leary of the argument that says we are intolerant and non-compassionate towards those we are heralding the gospel to, and that our opposition is caring, kind, and really looking out for people’s feelings. Your feelings lie to you and lead you to hell.

  85. Chris August 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    Dairus and Nate what I meant was that Kelly does seem to want to rectify the mistreatment and ostracization that LGBT people have faced and still face at times by Christians. Unfortunately she also wants to sell them a lie.

    I agree with you 100%! Enabling them to continue a lifestyle that is against Gods designs and Gods blessings is not compassion, is not justice, is not mercy and most of all is not love! But we all must approach all sinners with a broken heart before we attempt to speak into their lives.

  86. Mark August 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    I find it hardly compassionate for someone to not stop a reckless driver who is speeding mightily towards a cliff.

  87. Kelly August 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Soul Rot Darius? Nice.

    Grubb, if you honestly think that the several denominations that have come to a fuller and welcoming position on gay and lesbian people did what they did for the reasons you presume, I promise you, on my life, you do NOT understand why they did what they did at all, nor why.

    Also, in answer to your question about bigotry, it is bigotry to oppose equal rights for a group of people simply because you dont like them, which is what this comes down to. It is cloaked in religiousity, maybe even sincere, but, thats the long and short of it I think. A gay couple, in a loving, committed relationship, hurt no one. You asked about pre marital sex, and wife swapping. Those show neither love, nor committment, and are hurtful and abusive realstionships. By pre-marital, I of course assume you mean heterosexual couples, who have marriage as a legal option to them, which most gay couples in American do not yet have. I support premarital sex for no one, as I have never seen a Biblical, sociological, or other arguement for it.

    Grubb, you say you are interacting, then you just disregard all the scholarship of the various denominations listed, with dozens of seminaries between then, with a verse that does not even address the reems and reems of scholarship and books written that deal with understanding committed same gender relationships. And, you call this, discussion? Talking past each other perhaps. But, have you read the works on the issue by Guthrie, or Bruggerman, or any of the other theologians who have addressed the issue? I admit, I wonder. If you have not even bothered to read the experts (were you not curious WHY these denominations made the decision they did, or did you honestly just say to yourself “oh they just want to justify their selfish actions”?) why would you listen to me?

    As per how I address the Bible, well, that was a big part of my last post. I am no longer a litealist. Could not be and be honest with myself. If we took it all literally, we would be stoning people. As Scholars such those listed have shown, both translation and our understanding of the Bible have changed a lot. But, it was a Rabbi who first pointed out to me that most Jews do not take a lot of what is in the OT as literal, which, at the time, shook me to the core, I promise you! There is a reason most of the Jewish congregations in the nation are now gay welcomgin and affirming after all.

    I notice my last question, about the literal killing of gay people called for in the Bible was never addressed anywhere that I see in the responses.
    How literal are you guys? Humm? If we are not to be literal here, why are we so literal elsewhere? Seriously, I am curious.

    Darius, I was indeed a 5 point Calvinst, and if you knew the beliefs I once held, you would have indeed called me orthodox (little o)

    Chris, not ‘enabling’ as you call it, leads to families not getting insurance, and couples with dying partners have the much vaulted and often ignored legal paperwork (who travels with all their paperwork of this sort? why should anyone have to?) being turned away, and one person of a couple together for decades dying alone. Hey, before Darius, with his heart of stone says its, how have you put it in the past “anecdotal”, well, it is not to the people who experience it.

    What say conservatives respect liberal and progressive Christians (and secular) people enough to not put laws in place that take away their rights to live in peace, with the safety and security for their relationships that heterosexuals take for granted?

    In other words, treat people the way you would want to be treated yourself. Is it just and fair NOT to do so, just because you believe it? Would you want it done to you? And please, remember, it is not like you are addressing non believers here. A lot of these gay and lesbian people and their families are members of the churches I mentioned, or even their pastors. Do you want them, when they are the majority, to enforce their understandings on your marriages? (please, dont bother with the “but the definition will be changed” crap. If your marriage is so weak that a gay couple getting married down the street threatens it, you need a divorce attorney already)

    Lastly, Mark. It would be the EASY way out to just say “we have always understood it this way”. And, since I used to really believe as the majority of posters here do, I promise you, it would be easier to lay down this fight. As I said in a post long before, most of the scholars who come to the conclusions that the Bible was written by men, inspired by God, but written none the less by men, and filled with their prejudices and cultural biases of their time, often do not like the changes they have to make in their lives. Our ancestors had to adjust to the idea that slavery was wrong, even when the Bible gave instructions on how to do it. These men and women, and myself, had to look at our gay and lesbian fellows, parishioners, and neighbors…and family, with a new light. And, in truth, it was not always easy. But, honesty, and prayer, and a desire to love God, by loving others, and to walk with God, humbly, doing Justic, required nothing less.

    Grubb, I hope this was of some help in explaining where I, and more and more of the church, all of it in time I suspect, (long view) am now or will be.

    Michael, if the Bible was so clear on this issue, then, I promise you, this issue would have never become the great debate it is today.

    Got a family and life to take care of, and a hospital to visit (very sick relative) Will try to come back tomorrow. I look forward to your thoughts, should any of you care to share them. I am particularly looking forward to the answer on why we no longer ‘let their blood be upon them’, should anyone care to explain this move away from something so obviously stated. Thanks for letting me post by the way. It is appreciated.

  88. Chris August 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    So Kelly if the secular government bestowed all the same legal benefits that heterosexual married couples have, would you no longer advocate that before God there is no difference between heterosexual and homosexual unions? That God made a mistake creating gender? That homosexuality is not a sin?

    From what I read you would not but please prove me wrong if I am.

    The enabling is lying to people that God’s best is anything other than monogamous, lifelong, heterosexual unions!

    I was open to giving you the benefit of the doubt but many of the posters here are right when they say that you avoid, deflect and ignore according to your agenda.

  89. Michael August 17, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    Kelly,

    Michael, if the Bible was so clear on this issue, then, I promise you, this issue would have never become the great debate it is today.

    LOL. Kelly, you put way to much stock in man and the world. Reams and reams of paper have been written about every sin known to man. This means nothing. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!” Billions of people are Hindu, so if we’re ‘counting opinions’ then their religion is the true one!

    If you don’t take the bible literally, do you mean all of it or only parts? If you only takes parts of it literally, which parts? Who gets to decide what part is literal and what is not? Do you simply throw out what you don’t like and keep what you like? Keep what is politically correct and throw out the rest?

    Kelly, there is no need to address your question about stoning people. Jesus already answered that question in Matt. 5:43-48.(But was that a literal part of the Bible or not? Guess we’ll have to go to the liberal popes, I mean scholars, to find out.)

  90. Grubb August 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Kelly,

    You ask me if I know why denominations have accepted homosexuality and encourage me to read volumes on it, but even you haven’t read much on it and don’t know why they do. If you did, you’d tell us. You haven’t espoused any valid reasons for overturning 4000+ years of the Church’s understanding of homosexuality. But to answer your question, yes, I did research this and the female pastor issue about 8 years ago, and there was nothing that convinced me that Sodom & Gomorrah was destroyed for inhospitality (yes, that was the alternate interpretation of S & G) rather than homosexuality. Nor was there any good defenses for dismissing Lev 18:22, I Cor 6:9, and other clear passages. If you know of a good reason to dismiss the historical understanding of these passages, I’d love to hear it.

    You’re dismissal of consensual, committed couples having premarital sex makes no sense. Just as with homosexuals, they’re not hurting anyone, they’re loving, and they’re committed. Yet you maintain premarital sex is sinful and homosexuality is not. That’s inconsistent on your part.

    You keep saying I don’t like homosexuals. I don’t dislike homosexuals; I dislike homosexuality. My daughter has lied to me before. I don’t dislike her; I dislike lying. If she turns out to be homosexual, I’ll love her as much as I do now, but I’ll still hate homosexuality. ‘Nough said.

    I’m interacting with YOU not Guthrie, Bruggerman, or the seminaries you cited. If you want their ideas and opinions brought into this discussion, it’s up to you to bring them in. Don’t expect me to do your homework for you. 🙂

    You ask specifically why we don’t stone homosexuals now if it’s in the Old Testament. We hold to OT teachings unless superseded by New Testament teachings. What did Jesus teach when they tried to stone the adulteress? He said, “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) While he took away the penalty of stoning, he didn’t allow to continue, condone, or welcome the sin. He said to her, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)

    We should love homosexuals and tell them to repent & leave their life of sin. Not only is that what Jesus would do. It’s what Jesus DID do.

  91. Nathan August 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Chris said: Enabling them to continue a lifestyle that is against Gods designs and Gods blessings is not compassion, is not justice, is not mercy and most of all is not love!

    Mark said: I find it hardly compassionate for someone to not stop a reckless driver who is speeding mightily towards a cliff.

    There are so many reckless “lifestyles” out there and you pick this one to show your compassion by excluding them from something because you think they will taint it, even though it is already tainted. And even though this expression of their orientation (sinful or otherwise, but not going away from humanity) is safer and saner than other expressions. And even though there are a host of things that you are involved in that aren’t exactly God-honoring, but you still let them continue because you don’t want to limit yourself.

    Hmmm.

    I don’t understand your line of reasoning unless you…
    Petition for a ban on sports – they are full of greed and pride. Petition for stewardship of resources even though that will cost you more time and hassle. Petition for limits on American consumption because it is based on greed. Petition to ban PG or worse movies. No alcohol. Dress codes. Mandatory dieting. Close all non-essential business on Sunday (or would that be Saturday?). Outlaw joblessness, which includes retirement. Ban the practice of credit.

    Gee, you are WAY BEHIND with saving people from their evil lifestyles.

  92. Nate August 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Nathan, once again you castigate on those who are against homosexuality, yet refuse to tell us how you would evangelize or disciple someone with that background. You have portrayed yourself as a believer, and nobody has doubted your statements, but your continued affirmation of the homosexual lifestyle (on this thread and every other that speaks about it) leads, at least me, to think that you do approve of the lifestyle and don’t think that the church should stand against it.

    And, regardless of whether the church doesn’t stand strong enough on other “sins” that you would like them to, does that mean that homosexuality gets a free pass? Tell us plainly where you stand, because you have never explicitly told us what you believe about homosexual as an acceptable practice by a believer.

  93. Chris August 18, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Nathan I could be wrong but we are talking about this issue because its on topic with the post. If there was a post on pride, greed etc… we would talking about that. So I don’t know what your point is.

    For the record I would tell anyone the truth of Gods best no matter what the issue. The problem is around this issue many Christian leaders are being deceived and thus deceiving others and not upholding God’s standard of best!

  94. Darius August 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Nathan, your list of “sins” is really disingenuous.

    Sports in themselves aren’t sinful, humans are!

    Consumption isn’t sinful, humans are.

    Movies rated (by a secular organization) at some subjective PG or “worse” rating aren’t necessarily sinful… unless you’re suggesting that taking in media that shows violence and sex is sinful, in which case it’s a sin to read the Bible.

    Alcohol isn’t sinful. Where in the world did you get that idea?

    Dress codes? You lost me.

    Dieting? Again, lost me.

    Working on Sunday is a sin? Since when?

    What’s wrong with credit?

    What Bible do you read, dude?

    The only ones excluding homosexuals from anything are people like Kelly who want to exclude them from the freedom offered through the blood of Christ. Liars, greedy people, murderers, thieves, gossipers… all can come to the Fount and leave their burdens behind. But gays… nope, no can do. Kelly says they are stuck in their slavery to sin.

  95. Nathan August 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    Nate,

    I think church laws and national laws don’t have to coincide. The church can have its own moral standard and the nation does not have to follow it. That’s how I can say it is a sin and yet say that Americans should be free to participate. I don’t have to think exercising the liberty is a good idea; I don’t have to approve of it. I stand on the fact that people can follow a morality based on whatever religion they want – a religion like yours or Kelly’s.

    Regarding discipling gays. Except for the recommendations of reading the Bible and praying, everything that I’ve read and all the counsel that I’ve been given revolves around getting gays to conform to a certain type of culture as an alternative to acting in sin. I contend that the culture that they are being asked to conform to is itself broken and perpetuates the basis of their predicament.

    I guess I should step back and say that causation is complicated and a single dynamic is not universal. And I can only speak with authority about my personal situation, but off the top of my head, I see three general reasons (not mutually exclusive) that play a role in its cause 1) active rebellion 2) deception (resulting from believing a lie, naivete or even a genetic origin) 3) coping mechanism.

    You probably ascribe to #1 and #2, but if you read through the literature produced by Exodus affiliates, you’ll see that #3 is the looming cause. According to them, gays are acting out in specific ways because of a broken father-son relationship and secondarily because of broken relationships with male peers.

    I say all this because the things you say and do should be different based on the cause. A few basic questions will tell you how much #1 & #2 are involved. If you get little indication of #1 & #2, that leaves you with #3, which I’m guessing will be the case for most everyone that is willing to be discipled.

    Now, what should you do? I am probably a minority of one, but I think that YOU need conform to be what the discipled needs. There are some serious emotional and relational differences, but realize that not all the difference are wrong on his part. A major mistake is made at this point, so I’ll say that again for emphasis: He has GENUINE relational and emotional needs that aren’t going to be met in conventional ways that you feel safe doing. OBVIOUSLY, you will have to use good judgment here, but don’t confuse good judgment with fears of time and emotional commitment.

    I think the best way for him to overcome is to find at least one man that will be 100% his friend and brother. That’s difficult to do in church and without that core, you are asking him to navigate the same minefield that he has failed to do every time in the past.

    Here are some specifics the CHURCH can work toward to bridge the gap:

    Don’t allow it to be used as a joke whatsoever. Sin is serious, turning it into a joke turns people away.

    A lot of work needs to be done to lessen the fear surrounding the issue. If people are afraid to even admit it, then how are they going to get help?

    There is a need for a biblical definition of homosexuality. When the word is said in phrases like “homosexuality is sin,” everyone is NOT thinking of the same thing. Where is the biblical boundaries that defines the sin? I think there is a lot of room here that Christians just leave up to the assumption that we are all talking about the same thing.

    Pastors pawn off the counseling to paraministries. If the pastors can’t handle it, what do you think is happening among the congregation? Why do the pastors think that they can’t handle it? There is a problem here, which I think permeates the church.

    Boys should be taught that there is more to respect than sports; sport culture should be lessened within the church.

    TONS of teaching boys and men about proper male relationships NOT just whatever the pastor feels comfortable with because he has to realize that his ideas about relationship may not be 100% biblical and may not be what some people need (even if they amount to only 3% of the population).

    TONS of parenting classes for fathers that address specifically manhood & male relationships and the importance of the father’s role.

  96. Charlton Connett August 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Nathan,

    Maybe there is a major shift in the winds that you are not aware of currently in seminaries and churches, but I know that at Southern the #3 point you brought up was directly addressed in multiple family and ministry classes. The reality that many homosexuals, both male and female, struggle with issues that stem from or relate to some poor father figure is something that is discussed in seminary. The problem of pastors not counseling is also something that is being addressed and that seminaries are trying to overcome. Even the point you make with one-on-one discipleship that changes based on the needs of the disciple is actively discussed in evangelism courses. Everything you recommended was basically what I was taught at seminary.

    I think that within conservative churches a new generation is coming up who have lived with open homosexuality, and so they are more comfortable ministering to and caring for those who are struggling with this problem. At the same time there is also a resurgence in Biblical counseling and the church as a family going on. Yes, the church has been slow to address this problem is a fully biblical way, but I see that it is beginning to step up as it should. Hopefully you see that change starting also.

  97. Michael August 18, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Nathan,

    In Romans chapter 1 Paul makes it pretty clear where homosexual sin comes from.

    There is a need for a biblical definition of homosexuality. When the word is said in phrases like “homosexuality is sin,” everyone is NOT thinking of the same thing. Where is the biblical boundaries that defines the sin?

    Ahh, the old trick of the devil. “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Actually the Bible makes it pretty clear. Homosexual relations and even thoughts are sinful. Not much to discuss on that point.

  98. Nathan August 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Michael,

    I was talking about NOT limiting homosexuality to doing and fantasizing about doing what I call “same-sex genital intimacy.”

    Examples may include, the color of clothes you wear, what kind of car you drive, being afraid of the ball in gym class, preferring home ec to shop class, hugging a man, living with another man beyond your 20s, sitting next to a guy in the movie theater without leaving the “we’re not gay” seat in between, not being interested in women other than their hairstyle and heels, etc. etc. etc. I’ve seen it PLENTY of times in blogs like this one comments that vilify “metrosexuals” as if the Bible gives a laundry list of what are man things and woman things.

    (go ahead and do a search on metrosexual)

    I asked Denny specifically to write up or point to a write up that outlines Biblical manhood with adequate proof texts. He hasn’t done either because it’s either really hard to find the proof texts or they doesn’t exist or he doesn’t think it’s worthwhile.

    CBMW.com, Challies.com, boundless.com, owenstrachan.com, Mark Driscoll’s blog (resurgence or marshill), etc. do not provide a proof-texted laundry list of do’s and don’ts for men. They, instead, rely on a cultural bias. Call them on it and they get mad! Except for Denny here — which I have to really thank you, Denny for allowing real conversations to occur on your blog rather than editing out the counterpoints.

  99. Nathan August 18, 2010 at 11:54 pm #

    Also, Michael, Romans 1 doesn’t explain the only way homosexuality occurs, it shows A way. Homosexuallity can be the natural result of the progression found in Romans 1, but it may not be a necessary result of that progression and certainly NOT the only way to end up at homosexuality.

    ——————-

    I highly recommend you reading through the discussion of metrosexuals on this blog because it shows precisely how non-gay things are considered gay and how some things are considered unmanly without any Biblical proof. That is what I am personaly up against:

    http://www.dennyburk.com/the-sissification-of-men/

  100. RD August 19, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    I have to really thank you, Denny for allowing real conversations to occur on your blog rather than editing out the counterpoints.

    I second Nathan! I know that 90% of the time my views are going to put me at odds with the average reader of this blog (and with Denny) but I’ve never once had a comment deleted or not posted. Open exchange and dialogue are so important when discussing some of these issues. And I think it’s in the diversity that the Holy Spirit moves and convicts. So, thanks, Denny!!

  101. Denny Burk August 19, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Nathan,

    I have not been following all the comments on this thread. I did, however, happen to see your earlier request, but didn’t have time to answer it. CBMW.org has resources galore in answer to your question. I’ll just give you brief paragraph from Piper and Grudem with several proof texts:

    “Biblical headship in the home is the husband’s divine calling to take primary responsibility for Christlike leadership, protection, and provision. The most explicit texts relating directly to headship and submission in marriage are Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7; Titus 2:5; 1 Timothy 3:4, 12; Genesis 1-3. Moreover, in view of these teaching passages, the pattern of male leadership that pervades the Biblical portrait of family life is probably not a mere cultural phenomenon over thousands of years but reflects God’s original design, even though corrupted by sin.”

    So the main features of headship are leadership, provision, and protection.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  102. Denny Burk August 19, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Here’s the link to the previous paragraph from CBMW’s website:

    http://www.cbmw.org/FAQs/Questions-and-Answers/What-does-the-Bible-say-about-the-roles-of-men-and-women-in-marriage

  103. John Holmberg August 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    RD,

    While you may be one of the “lucky” ones, I myself am not. Denny currently moderates all my posts, and about 50% (or more) of them he completely deletes. I never curse or attack him personally and I try to keep it civil. He just doesn’t like what I have to say sometimes so he just gives it the boot

  104. RD August 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    John,

    No offense but the things you are writing MUST be pretty incindiary if Denny is blocking your posts. I rarely write anything that anyone who reads this blog agrees with and he has always posted whatever I’ve commented about. I even had a commentor make the following comment about me on another post here at Denny’s blog: this is the second blog this week I’ve seen RD hijack. He’ll have us on his defense of homosexuality soon enough.

  105. Wes August 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    RD,

    Do you blog anywhere?

  106. Lauren August 25, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Wow. Just wow.

    There has been a lot of discussion on these comments, and lots of good explanations and defenses. Talking about this stuff is always good, because it brings us back to what we should always focus on; the Bible and the Gospel. 😀

    Kelly, the lads do have a point. It would be better if you had more info to back up your statements. I know that you are passionate about what you believe, but saying unkind things to us does not give momentum to your arguments. Thank you, though, for calling me a lady. My mother would be so happy! ;D And yes, I do love God. I also know that I am a great sinner in need of a great Savior! 😀

    In the meantime (regarding the Bible being taken literally), I heartily recommend for anyone to read Tim Keller’s book, “The Reason for God.” Anyone with questions might find good answers there in regards to literalism and other topics. 🙂

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