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Toronto legalizes gay marriage

Same sex marriage Toronto Canada

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#161 LaughingVulcan

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 08:13 AM

Rhea, on Jun 17 2003, 06:39 PM, said:

No one tells you who to marry now. Why would you assume that if gay marriages are legalized you would somehow be forced to marry gay people? I can't imagine ANYONE, gay or straight, who would want to be married by a person who isn't happy to be there.  :unsure:
There are two aspects to this.  First, the non-legal.  I frequently have members of my congregation expecting to marry a child of theirs to someone else, because the parent(s) is a member of my congregation.  That is within my domain to decide (with intracongregational political consequences.)  And I have married one couple against my better conscience; I should have listened to it more than the families involved.

The legal aspect is this:  Discrimination is a truly ugly thing, more often than not.    Would a couple who are Christian in self-understanding, who cannot find any Church to marry them, be able to file a lawsuit compelling action?  OK, it's farfetched, but keep in mind I'm in Berkeley this week.  :p  And there have  been other times and places in history where courts have tried to compel clergy to follow a certain course of action, right or wrong, justified and not.

So frequently the 1st amendment is used to circumscribe the limits of how church is defined and what it can do.  (No, not in legal opinions as much as illogical opinion.)  I'm not saying the days of churches compelling government what to do were better.  But I clearly have personal bias on the issue. And I hate it when my faith requires me to go against the tides of popular opinion, as it does sometimes.  :o
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#162 Lady of Mystery

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 08:15 AM

Hi Te

You said in this thread: "How do you know when someone actually is divinely inspired? All you have to go on is their words and your own personal beliefs. If they say something you like or agree with, you’re more likely to believe that they are. If they say something you don’t like or agree with, you probably won’t think so."

I hope you don't mind my answering this because this wasn't actually addressed to me, but I can tell you what I believe.  AGain this is MY belief ok?

If an individual is speaking and they are divinely inspired, what they say will remain consistent and support all that is written in God's word, as well as Jesus' teachings.

If it is not consistent and does not support the above then it should be questioned as being divinely inspired.

So for me it has nothing to do with whether I like what they say or I don't.  (And sometimes,  I don't feel really good about it, but realize it is what God's law says, so it is what God wants.)

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#163 Gaiate

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 08:18 AM

Hi LoM. :)

My response to that would to look at all the inconsistancies in the Bible itself.  They don't all match up or agree.  So, if we use what you said, you'd have to question relatively vast portions of the Bible, and that opens up another can of worms.

--Te
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#164 LaughingVulcan

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 08:42 AM

rodglas, on Jun 17 2003, 08:57 PM, said:

Laughing Vulcan, I'm afraid I don't entirely agree with you.  If you were to agree that the Bible teaches that the practice of homosexuality is a sin, then any one was unrepentant practicing homosexual should be treated no different by the church then anyone caught in any other sexual sin.
....

I really see a lack in mainstream churches of respect for Paul.  He was one of the greatest apostles and wrote much of what would become the Bible.  I think people should take more of what Paul says seriously.  That being said one can easily seperate from Pauls teachings what if a command for how one should live their life from a more culturally relavent statement.
I think there are two points here that I feel compelled to address.

The first of which, the central theme of my post was to ask why do you feel qualified to determine what is normative of Christianity?  I'm not saying you can't declare what you understand your Christian faith to be, nor that you can have an opinion on what Christian orthodoxy entails.  But do you have any other professional qualification to make a blanket statement about what Christians must and must not believe?

On the other point, no, I'm not sure that I would label, "that the Bible teaches that the practice of homosexuality is a sin"  Certain sexual actions between same-gender couples are addressed here and there in OT and Epistle.  Homosexuality however, is a term fairly recently coined which can as much denote one's sexual orientation and attitude as much as an act, sexual or amorus.  There's a big difference between, "I am sinful because I eat pork," and, "I am sinful because I find the odor of bacon attractive."
Aside from this small matter, there is also the question of how one allows Bible to define one's attitude toward Law and Gospel.  If you are convinced that your eating of pork is justified because those laws only applied to pre-Christian Israel, then why do you make a distinction in regards to laws regarding sexual acts?    Should you appeal to Paul, what makes you think that Paul's best vision for the early Church applies to today's Church?  (And yes, the matter or whether women's hair is allowed to be seen is very germane to the argument.)  
Aside from this, what more than Christ's sacrifice is required to fulfill the law?  Am I free in Christ or not?  (My answer is not, but not because of sin.)
Finally, and off-topic, why do you assume that Paul is any more or less holy than any other Christian?  Many have pointed out his frankly misogynistic side, which is quite different from what seems to be envisioned in Luke/Acts.  What gave Paul the authority to define what is and is not normatively the Church, and did that authority leave the Earth with Paul's death?
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#165 Lady of Mystery

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 08:43 AM

Gaiate, on Jun 19 2003, 04:19 PM, said:

Hi LoM. :)

My response to that would to look at all the inconsistancies in the Bible itself.  They don't all match up or agree.  So, if we use what you said, you'd have to question relatively vast portions of the Bible, and that opens up another can of worms.

--Te
um well if you believe there are inconsistencies in the Bible then it would make no sense to you.

I don't see inconsistencies in the Bible.  And therefore, it is usually pretty easy to see what is divinely inspired.

So, I guess we just don't agree and perhaps don't have common ground for communication.

I respect your view tho.
;)

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#166 LaughingVulcan

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 09:19 AM

Uncle Sid, on Jun 19 2003, 06:50 AM, said:

The actual official Bible was the Vulgate and that remains unaltered from about 400 AD.  This is not an oral tradition where we're talking about playing the telephone game with Sacred Scripture.
Most of the New Testament is in Greek and that is a well understood and studied dead language, second only to Latin.  The Old Testament is the Torah and that has a longer history, of course, but is still a well understood language. 
A couple of quick corrections:
The earliest Old Testament seems to date anywhere from 600-150 B.C.  This is that we know of, not that we have extant manuscripts of.
The New Testament was developed from various papyri and vellum copies of individual books.  The oldest individual book manuscript we have is dated c. 150-250 A.D., with the bulk of them being in the era of 3-500 A.D.  This period also saw collections of manuscripts together.
The process of determining *which* books were determined to be Scriptural and thus make a "Bible" well, that's more than outside this thread.
As to which translation is *right*, well there is no question that the manuscripts did differ.  Some of these differences are critical.  (Example:  The woman caught in adultery in Mark.  They story is not present in the oldest extant manuscripts, and Mark's gospel ends far earlier with a definitive conclusion.)  Those of us with professional need study koine Greek and make our own determinations based on our scholarly understanding and/or take the opinions of others.
There was also a Greek version of the Old Testament prior to Christ, called the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX in study.)  
"Torah" is Hebraic for "Law," and only refers to the books Genesis-Deuteronomy.  Substituting "Torah" for "Old Testament" is not accurate.


Sorry for the nitpicks.
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#167 Uncle Sid

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 11:07 AM

Quote

Hey, wait a minute! I don't get the "hurting God" thing on so many levels I hardly know where to start.

The concept is not really that strange.  We have feelings ourselves, especially hopes and expectations.  It would seem that God would thus have similar capacity, on a perhaps more complex level.  I'm not saying that we could give God a black eye.  


Quote

But then, the only God I'm willing to believe in is a loving God who understands us and forgives us when we screw up.

Hey! Me too.  You seem to think, however, that God in judging something to be wrong, for reasons that may not be immediately evident to you or I, that He's not loving or understanding.  One is generally considered "loving" by trying to make sure that their friends do what is right and don't hurt themselves.  Obviously, God isn't the one who is benefitting from morality or rules, we are.  We simply may not understand it at the time.  And of course, God does forgive.  I doubt there's an action you could take on Earth that could go unforgiven, as long as you allowed it to BE forgiven by a) ceasing the activity and b) recognizing that you messed up.  

On the other hand, at the same time, for some reason free will is part of the plan, and it prevents God for just making everything nice and tidy for us.  But then, we wouldn't be "us* if God did all our deciding for us.  Strangely enough, I'd say that every one of us would prefer to live in this world rather than one where we automatically do everything perfectly and strum harps all day long.


Quote

And I'm with Lil - you claim not to "cherry pick" God's word, but to accept it all, but there are patently many strictures which are in the Bible, were once followed, and clearly are not followed now.

I already explained that.  It's not "cherry-picking" if the Messiah comes and revises the rules.  The old rules, including most of the ritual items and daily rules of the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament are no longer binding.  Why?  Because that's what Christ said Himself, and everyone has said afterwards.  

Let me make this clear in it's own line: if you think that we ignore Leviticus out of convenience, you missed most of the point of the entire Gospel in the New Testament.  

Yes, you used to stone women who were adulterers.  But now you don't.  Jesus himself put a stop to that personally.  

Yes, you used to not eat shellfish or certain other foods.  Now, however, it's prefectly fine.  Peter was given a vision that this was acceptable.

Yes, you used to marry your brother's widow, however now it's unnecessary.  Although in practice, there's really nothing wrong with that act that I can see, especially under certain social circumstances.  It's just no longer required.

You're quoting old laws that have already been overturned, and say that they conflict with the new ones.  Well they DO conflict in many instances, but the old rules no longer have force unless they have a place under the New Law, so there's no point other than of interest in comparing them or contrasting them.  

As for homosexuality, on the other hand, that one was an old rule that appears to have made it through to the new world because it has mention in BOTH Old and New Testaments.  It is difficult to ignore the implications of that.  

It is also clear that while Christ did not personally say anything about homosexuality that was recorded, He was quite clear that you can be taken to task for your sexuality.  It is arguable whether He considered homosexuality to be the same as adultery, for instance, but the fact that it exists in both Testaments, before and after, is about as good of a clue as we're going to get.  

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#168 Rov Judicata

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 11:11 AM

Sid-- But, at one time, it *was* acceptable to stone adulterers? If it still stood as the standard in the BIble, would you do it yourself? I'm curious as to how this works...

Meaning no disrespect,
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#169 Rhea

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 12:20 PM

Uncle Sid, on Jun 19 2003, 05:08 PM, said:

I already explained that.  It's not "cherry-picking" if the Messiah comes and revises the rules.  The old rules, including most of the ritual items and daily rules of the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament are no longer binding.  Why?  Because that's what Christ said Himself, and everyone has said afterwards.
I'll buy that if we take as a given that what Christ said takes precedence.  Because Jesus spoke about love, redemption, forgiveness, and a very clear dislike of greed and hypocrisy. I can get that because it makes sense to me, on a spiritual level.

I don't accept that the meanderings of people who never knew Jesus qualify as divine revelation, and especially not that old misogynist, Paul. "It is better to marry than to burn," my ass. :crazy:
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#170 Uncle Sid

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 01:17 PM

Quote

I’m not doubting that you believe in God.  My point is that if the priesthood could prove the existence of God to everyone else, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

And again, that's invalid.  Even if a priest could prove to us that God existed, and existed as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, forever and ever.   The Whole Nicene Creed, blah blah blah.  Amen.  It still wouldn't matter.  We'd know who God was and a lot of what God said to do, but Jesus didn't pronounce on "everything".  Nor did the Prophets, even if part of their details weren't overridden.  You will come a great distance to closing the gap if you end up in believeing in God in that manner, but it doesn't answer all questions.  Debate on doctrine is still possible with sure knowledge of God's existence as a fact.  Homosexuality is one such doctrinal decision.


Quote

Okay, but then how do you know when to listen to someone who says he’s going to “clean it up?”

Well, at the time, it would have been obvious.  Jesus was there and was doing miracles.  That's a relatively good indicator that you should pay attention.  

Now, really all that matters is that if we stipulate that Jesus could tolerate association with what he evidently considered an imperfect institution without renouncing it, ie Judaism, that logically, it is not inconsistent that He could tolerate continued association with a similarly flawed present institution, ie. The Church.  If we then stipulate that Jesus is God, for this example, then logically it follows that God can tolerate association with a flawed institution.  

Of course, this is obvious, since God would have had to deal with flaws all day long if He's dealing with us at all.  


As for the rest....

...let's just shrink this a bit, since the questions are starting to get so precise on wording that actual word choice is motivating some objections.  

Your questions seem to revolve around the emerging points of:

a.)  You should make your own decision on your own religion.

b.)  The decision you make is a personal one and no one can tell you you're wrong if you believe that, because they don't know anything any better than you do.


Re: A:  You, as a human, have free will.  No Christian can legitimately deny this.  If you are a Christian, you are that way because you decide to be.  A Muslim or pagan forcibly converted to the faith is not a true Christian unless they take on that faith themselves.  Granted, there is infant baptism in some sects, but there is always a confirmation process when you've obtained an age where you can be fully held responsible for your own decisions.  Some groups have adult baptism and may combine the process.  I'm not up on what every little sect does these days, but Christian = voluntary belief.

Thus, all Christians believe that you make your own decision as to the religion that you choose.  Not only that, but you *must* do so in order to follow Christianity.  While the deck might be stacked in favor or against the prospects of acceptance, the ultimate decision is always personal or it doesn't count.


Re: B:  While your ability to choose is your right and responsibility due to free will, that does NOT confer upon you the inherent ability to make correct decisions.  If I believe in God and you abide by your particular brand of Wicca or Islam or atheism or whatever, one of us, or none of us, are going to be correct.  Some beliefs can co-exist, but many do not.  And, of course, co-existence is no guaruntee of correctness either, since complete co-existence in all cases means you really either don't know what you believe or what you believe is so general that it really doesn't serve any consistent purpose in making decisions anyhow.  

Obviously, there is a key factor in all free will situations: having not only the ability to choose a path, but also the knowledge that a certain path actually exists to begin with.  That is what I mean when I said that you can decide what you want, via free will, but that ability to decide is limited in and of itself.  Chances are that pure free will isn't going to lead you to the right path without significant errors along the way because otherwise it would no longer admit of any doubt or other options, and thus, would cease to be free will by defintion.  

In short, personal decisions on your own morality part of the equation, but aren't enough alone.  Revelation is the key part of the equation in this regard, because it does present the options you need to make the right decisions and properly employ free will.
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#171 Uncle Sid

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 01:44 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Jun 19 2003, 07:12 PM, said:

Sid-- But, at one time, it *was* acceptable to stone adulterers? If it still stood as the standard in the BIble, would you do it yourself? I'm curious as to how this works...

Meaning no disrespect,
Rov
Would I do it myself?  Of course not.  But my answer is tricky.  I'm a baptised and confirmed Christian, in full knowledge of the Gospel and such.  If I was me, I wouldn't exist in such a place as mysef, and if someone who looked like me did, it still wouldn't be me.  

Unless you're talking time travel back to the actual past, and then I'd just answer that I'm still a result of a time line where I had been covered by the New Law.  

So there.  :p

This brings up the issue of how one God can create two different laws, which seem to be so different.  The short answer to that is, they're probably not as different as they may seem to you or even I.

Edited by Uncle Sid, 20 June 2003 - 01:46 PM.

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