Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

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Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby Pity » 22nd April, 2017, 3:46 pm

This is a phenomenon that I have noticed. Churches seem to be conforming to the LGBT community and society at large ignoring that homosexuality is a sin in both testaments of the Holy Bible. For example, I have seen multiple churches wave rainbow flags.

Personally, I feel churches are going against the word of God by doing so as the Bible is explicit that homosexuality is a sin.

In the Old Testament:
"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." — Leviticus 18:22, NASB

"If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them." — Leviticus 20:13, NASB

In the New Testament:
"For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." — Romans 1:26-27, NASB

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God." — 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NASB

My question is this: should churches be conforming to the LGBT community? I am not Christian myself, but I am spiritually attached to the writings.
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby Dessy » 22nd April, 2017, 4:20 pm

In the Old Testament:
"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." — Leviticus 18:22, NASB

"If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them." — Leviticus 20:13, NASB


These are rather open and could be interpreted in a number of ways. These don't explicitly call out homosexuality but the act of doing apparently something similar to that you would do with a woman in bed.

In the New Testament:
"For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." — Romans 1:26-27, NASB

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God." — 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NASB


The last one is pretty damning though. But I don't see anyone going around telling drunk people or men with some apparent feminine features or people who LOVE certain people outside of their family and friends that they're going to hell :P


My question is this: should churches be conforming to the LGBT community? I am not Christian myself, but I am spiritually attached to the writings.


Yes, by Christianity's own logic it is suppose to love and forgive anyone. And there's no reason why it should condemn a sexual while ignoring the many things considered abominations and/or sinful just because a significant number do those thing. The church's adverse treatment of LGBT is more harmful than anything and it should stop. Now i'm not saying they should dump their beliefs but a lot of it backed by individuals' focused hatred of homosexuals and make them ignore issues that would affect us because their belief doesn't support us. We also can't ignore that there are LGBT Christians, looking for faith within Christ/God and whatnot. They can't keep up this antagonism against the LGBT community, isolating them for something that they cannot change.
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby Vortex » 22nd April, 2017, 4:46 pm

Pity wrote:My question is this: should churches be conforming to the LGBT community?.


This is an unsurprisingly poorly worded question. It attaches fault to the LGBT community via them "pressuring" churches into changing, and ignores that churches might change of their own volition, that is to say, church leadership thinks it's right to accept and affirm LGBT people.

A better question(and topic, hell) is "Should churches accept and affirm the LGBT lifestyle?"
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby freakism » 22nd April, 2017, 5:00 pm

Most of the laws from the Old Testament are usually disregarded as they've been "superseded" by writings in the New Testament, especially as in Leviticus animal sacrifices are asked for (the blood of Jesus is considered to be enough for Christians, and I think Jewish people just kind of ignore it), and Deuteronomy bans all kinds of animals for eating (including pork - pigs have cloven hooves :devil: and were bizarrely considered unclean). Some of the weird things (like what animals you can and can't eat who you can't have se with) from the old testament are re-stated in the New Testament (and in the new testament the language is usually more explicit with reference to homosexual acts, with translations in the NT such as "men who have sex with men" (over "lie with, as with woman" etc.) or even the more modern "homosexuals")

Also, technically the bible only ever says that homosexuality is a sin, two men living in a celibate, homoromantic relationship technically aren't living in sin.

But really, you have to look at this from the perspective of evolving culture. If Christians took every single thing in the bible literally then they'd have more difficult, and possible less fulfilling, lives. Christianity would undoubtedly have a smaller, possibly more radical (due to the fundamentalism) population and would be less relevant in the day-to-day. Here in the UK we're still a Christian country, and the Church actually has quite a lot of power, but it rarely imposes its own beliefs on people because it recognises the number of non-conformists, atheists and other religions/spiritualities mean that this would be unfair and make Christianity a less welcoming religion. In order for traditions to survive, they often have to adapt to either make themselves more relevant or more acceptable/tolerable. A lot of people, especially in the LGBT* community, resent fundamentalist sects such as Jehovah's Witnesses because they actively promote a religion that is hurtful and can often harm people.

Islam often comes under attack because more of its adherents have negative views towards homosexuality, ranging from simply thinking its disgusting/sinful to throwing people off the roofs of buildings. This is a problem that Islam has, because it's not adapted as (admittedly mostly western) society has to the freedom of love/sex. I went to school with a lot of muslims (about a third), and lived in an area (West Yorkshire) where there are large groups of muslims, so I can see that as Christianity has done before it, it is slowly becoming more liberal when it comes to issues such as homosexuality - although it still has a long way to go. As does Christianity, in a number of African countries, Russia and probably elsewhere, Christianity is used the state and society to persecute sexual minorities, whether it be constant haranguing, threats, gaoling, murder, lynching or execution.

tldr; religions adapt to remain relevant as the world liberalises, they should probs do it more to stay relevant and generally be nice

[also disclaimer: I'm not actually a Christian, so pls correct me if I'm wrong although I have tried to research it a bit]
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby freakism » 22nd April, 2017, 5:20 pm

(also if anything, the LGBT community is conforming to "the Church" as you call it by campaigning for marriage equality, ecclesiastical roles etc. because they're trying to integrate into a centuries old system which has held a significant amount of both actual and cultural power in the world, particularly the west, for centuries - in order to "fit in" and live "normal" lives.)

((and I like having the option, because I'm a semi-old person, but I though I'd just point out a more realistic interpretation))
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby George » 22nd April, 2017, 5:26 pm

Why do we still have this debate
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby Example » 22nd April, 2017, 5:54 pm

i read a translation that was like for "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." — Leviticus 18:22, NASB

that said it could mean men shall not treat a fellow man like a woman (since women were opressed back then) it meant if you treat ur fellow man like a low life woman
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby ConnorM » 23rd April, 2017, 2:39 am

The interesting thing that I've found with this is that as time went on, the translations of the bible became progressively more homophobic. For instance, in the original hebrew scriptures, such as found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Leviticus says that, "He that lies with a man, as with a woman, is unclean." Unclean, in this instance means that the person would have to purify themselves ritually before they could make a sacrifice. However, in the old King James version, Leviticus 18:22 says "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination." - The word "unclean" has come to be translated into "abomination".

I, however, appear to have the exact opposite perspective from you, Pity. Whereas I greatly respect the structure and traditions of the Catholic Church, and am more than willing to listen to the pronouncements of the Pontiff, I couldn't give less of a shit about what the bible says. It's a three-and-a-half-thousand-year-old book of fairy tales, whose laws are so old that they coincide with, and perhaps predate the Trojan War. These things were formed during the bronze age. I wouldn't listen to the medical advice of Pliny the Elder's Natural History, so why the hell would I take religious advice from a conglomerate of books dating from 3,500 years ago to 2,000 years ago?

But most important to my perception of whether or not modern churches should "conform" or not, and the reason why I'm so critical of the bible in general, is that Jesus Christ never said any of that. The first two are Leviticus, which, the Catholic Church holds no longer applies due to Jesus dying for our sins (see Acts 10:29, where Peter has a revelation about the old laws not applying, and specifically states, "But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean."). The latter two are both written by Paul. Gosh, it seems like the only two negative references to homosexuality in the NT were written by Paul. Further, in Luke 7:1-10, Jesus heals a Centurion's servant, remarking at the faith the Centurion has in his servant. The implication, naturally, due to Roman sex-politics, is that the Centurion and the slave are lovers. And Jesus remarks on the Centurion's faith in his servant, saying that he had never seen such faith, even in Israel.

So, besides the fact that the Bible is split into two testaments due to the efforts of a heretic who was trying to prove that there were two gods, (the evil one of the Old Testament and the good one of the New Testament), and that it was seven committees of people who decided what got into and out of the New Testament, and even then there is various arguments over which are canon and which are apocrypha, all we've got are second- or third-hand reports of what Jesus actually said, assuming, of course, that he even existed. So, I've come to the conclusion that if Jesus seems to've been cool with a Roman centurion and his slave/boyfriend, and if the only word we have condemning homosexuality in the NT is Paul, I'm inclined to say that modern churches have a right to some leeway over what they consider canon, and should act accordingly.
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby TheBrunswickian » 24th April, 2017, 8:57 am

Basically everything Harry said
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby Finch » 25th April, 2017, 6:18 am

Pity wrote:My question is this: should churches be conforming to the LGBT community? I am not Christian myself, but I am spiritually attached to the writings.

You could potentially spin this question in a number of ways, which is probably why it's so contentious. Given that the bible, which outlines the core teachings of the Christian faith explicitly condemns homosexuality, and encourages Christians to put homosexuals to death, from a purist perspective, it is completely unacceptable that some divisions of the Catholic Church are beginning to accept homosexuality. To bible purists, it is of utmost importance that they're allowed to exercise their religious freedom to put homosexuals and disobedient children to death, which is the only justification I can think of for Christians who think gay marriage is an infringement on their religious rights (since churches can deny matrimonial services), because they can no longer openly kill homosexuals upon identifying them. *gasp at this horrible infringement of their petty religious freedoms for the sake of human rights*

Yet even to purists, adherence to the bible in the form of condemning and killing homosexuals instead of accepting them puts Christians in a sticky situation; the core teachings of the bible are basically that there is only one God who reigns over all of creation and that you should love thy neighbour and follow the ten commandments.

Acknowledging homosexuals doesn't violate the first of those 3 core teachings, while the being homophobic towards homosexuals directly violates the second and killing them violates the third. In addition, the bible also says to follow the law of the land as if it was God's law, so killing gays is a no-no.

So if you guys hadn't noticed yet, all of the stuff above is just a sardonic commentary on religious purism that only half answers the question. Nobody puts their children to death for being rebellious anymore, so clearly it's not like the Church has never deviated from the bible before, a point that even a precisionist must recognise.

This leads me to my real point, that when religion and the sentiment of the people no longer align, it is only natural for the religion to give way and accept social change; people get sick of killing their children, not being able to wear mixed fabrics and being obligated to convert their friends because otherwise they'll go to hell for not accepting Jesus as their lord and saviour. That's probably more beneficial for both society and the religion itself, since religions need to update in order to give value to the people and actually have believers, laypeople, devotees or whatever you call them, which should be a central aim of any faith.

The Church makes this goal of theirs no secret; they have evangelists and missionaries across the world providing aid to the disadvantaged and spreading their message whilst doing so in what I personally feel is almost a form of manipulation. But enough of my biases and back to the main point.

The word 'conform' seems a little ambiguous, especially since it is entirely possible for the Christian Church to find compromise with society; it is becoming increasingly clear that the Church needs to acknowledge homosexuality as a normal way of life and the validity of gay marriage in a secular sense so as to avoid being seen as an oppressive force by the western population and media. Yet, nobody is asking them to hug and make up with the homosexuals, since the many Christians feel that the two cannot be reconciled, and for the most part, gays just want to be left alone. As such, the Church doesn't necessarily need to affirm, approve of or perhaps even condone homosexuality within reasonable limits (eg refuse to marry a gay couple), but just leave it alone and accept that it's going to be around for the long haul, since it's basically older than the human race itself.

It's also odd to think that people take the words of the bible as gospel (sorry that was terrible) given that for a truth to be objectively true, it must maintain its veracity under all circumstances. For example, it is true that everything is relative to everything around it, eg. blue is only blue only because the other colours are not blue, therefore we can perceive it as blue. Given that many bible verses are now overlooked and some in the old testament were overruled in the new testament, and therefore cannot be objectively true. Therefore, it is inevitable that there would be different interpretations of the bible, which leads to some parts of the Church accepting homosexuality. That honestly doesn't seem like a violation of the teachings of the bible if you think about it that way, given how often the bible contradicts itself and how many different interpretations there are of the bible. In fact, many interpretations of the bible suggest that it is not homosexuality itself that is condemned, but rather multiple different acts that were closely associated with homosexuality, including gang rape, pre-christian rituals involving sex in temples, male prostitution etc. It is also important to note that interpretations and translations off which modern bibles are based are also impacted by their social and historical context, causing the meaning of the bible to slightly change over time, and some theorise that some scripture regarding homosexuality was altered throughout its many revisions.
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby gnossienne » 11th August, 2017, 9:47 am

So I see that this thread has aged, but this is a topic of extreme importance to me as I am a Christian. This article is well written and it addresses all of the verses that you mentioned in the first post and I believe a few others. I'm not a proponent of interpreting the verses as you want to see them, and that's not what this guy does. He simply explains the context surrounding the verses.
https://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

Hope this helps! As far as I know, the Churches don't deny the Bible, they simply found that it doesn't condemn homosexuality (like me!).
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Re: Churches Conforming to the LGBT Community

Unread postby Pity » 11th August, 2017, 10:50 am

gnossienne wrote:So I see that this thread has aged, but this is a topic of extreme importance to me as I am a Christian. This article is well written and it addresses all of the verses that you mentioned in the first post and I believe a few others. I'm not a proponent of interpreting the verses as you want to see them, and that's not what this guy does. He simply explains the context surrounding the verses.
https://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

Hope this helps! As far as I know, the Churches don't deny the Bible, they simply found that it doesn't condemn homosexuality (like me!).


That was a great article and I enjoyed reading it! The author made a lot of important and interesting points :D
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