could be anything. might be nothing. might make you think. could make you wish I would stop.
breathe people...everything is easier when you breathe!

3.28.2013

all things being equal Part 1

This looks really LONG! Take heart...it is a conversation with lots of empty space.
I think it is worth your time. I offer a 100% money back guarantee if you think otherwise.
(there are some places where the editing is wonky. just go with it. you will be able to figure it out)

There is a rumbling in my heart that will not be denied. It makes me nervous to talk about because I am sure to make a fool of myself.
Actually, for today only, I do not mind so much revealing my inner fool.
I am more concerned about making other people look or seem foolish. This is not my desire.
I am also a tad vaklempt about people getting all bothered and fussing in a mean way.
Let me say loud and clear...You are very welcome, invited actually, to get as bothered as you want.
However, if you decide to get mean, I will shut you down.
In love.

I have a very good friend that continually pokes and stretches me into new places of radical thought and deepening love for Jesus. She has an ability to ask the hard questions (that make me want to both hug her and poke her in the eye) while maintaining love and genuine openhearted sincerity. She is funny and brutally honest (an endearing combination). She can wield a word and start a swirl or calm your heart on even the most delicate of topics. This chica brings it. And that is why I have asked her to co-host our show today.
Her name is Niki.
We will be talking in a QA type format. One of us will play devil's advocate.
( I dare you to know which one. )
We are going to challenge you today to think new thoughts. We are going ask you to trust us at times to get to the point. We may poke you and prod you and maybe even tick you off.
There may be cussing. 
The questions we ask may be ugly at times. This is by design. I want you to hear the things I have heard.
I want to ask the hard questions even if they seem hateful and full of bigotry or pharisaical nonsense.
I want to point out some places where the church may be standing on the cliffs of insanity. I want to question the biblical status quo and see if there are loving answers to be had. I have huge hope that there are.

Today we will be talking about gay marriage. Truly, may the Lord be Lord of  us all in this conversation.

          Beckie- I have been frustrated with the position of christians that gay marriage goes against God. It      seems that  people want to uphold the biblical standard and be against sin ...I get that. What I don't get is the double standard. How can people piously pity or devalue someone for "sexual impurity" as going against God's law, then supersize their meal (gluttony), cuss in traffic ( rage), and pay their money to support that really exciting James Bond film (sexual immorality).


  • Niki-
     It's easy for us to see other people's sins as worse than our own. I'd like to know who designed the sin hierarchy model so I can poke them in the eye. (Lots of poking going on today. :P)
    Here's the thing. Sexual impurity covers all sorts of issues, but someone at some point decided that homosexuality was king of the sins and knocked the rest down a notch.
  • Beckie-

    well, you could say that Paul set up the heirarchy. He did list things in order. But what if...what if he was saying "yes, this is wrong, and this is wrong, and this...but also this, and dont forget this...and what about this.
    What if he was actually levelling the playing field.
    This knocking things down the sin line...it is quite preposterous you know.
  • Niki-
    America was founded on Christian principles, right? Um...sort of. The big concern of the founding fathers was that they would have religious freedom in that no king/country to oppress them with religious beliefs they did not adhere to. Sound familiar? Yet here we are oppressing people that don't adhere to our religious beliefs.
    Ooooh. Let me interject a Christian platitude here:
    The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
  • Beckie-
    I think I could take the whole matter more seriously if people would start yelling about how sinful it is to eat that Krispy Kreme .
  • Niki-
    Don't be hatin' Krispy Kreme deliciousness. lol
  • Beckie-
    I am not dissin KK...I am listing gluttony up there with the seriousness we place on homosexuality.


    One person comes up to you and says..."you know, eating that donut is really hurting the heart of God. He really loves you. Loves you enough to want you out of your gluttenous sin so that He can be with you for eternity.
  • Niki-
    Beckie, have you not learned proper etiquette? We only yell about sexual sins, and only if they involve two men or two women.
  • Beckie- Who was yelling??
  • Niki-
    Speaking of the food thing. When I did the Weigh Down Workshop year ago, that was in her lessons. Every extra bite past feeling comfortable full was sinful. (insert rolling eyes here)
  • Beckie-
    Can you imagine what would go through your mind if someone tried to "school" you on the rights and wrongs of what you put into your mouth.
    Where do people get off believing it is ok for them to insert their religious agenda on your donut.
     (I think the term "get off" has some sexual connotations that might offend people. Should I take it out?)
  • Niki-
    Gluttony is more than just about food. It's over-indulgence or over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. (3 cheers for Wikipedia) Sounds like America, right?
  • Beckie-
    I love that about gluttony. Very inclusive.
  • Niki-
    Gluttony/ The inclusive sin. I like it. lol
  • Beckie-
    So here is a twist...
  • Niki-
    I like twists.
  • Beckie-
    I had someone say that giving equal rights to homosexuals was like giving equal rights to polygamists.
    where on earth do you find a connection there?
    my response...Jacob, David, Solomon. God seemed to be able to deal with it.
    That is really beside the point but illustrates how ridiculous this argument can get.
    People have so much to say about how God feels about gay people. They hold up these random standards that call people to church standards whether they are christian or not. 

    I guess I just do not understand where we (christians) think that our job is to hold the church standard to the whole world.
  • Niki-
    Because we have to draw the line somewhere! Someone back in the 60's (check my facts, please) decided to blur the line and get all progressive by letting black people and white people marry. *gasp*
    We need a line. Hurry up and draw it so I'll feel better!
  • Beckie-
    Ok you might have crossed that line.
  • Niki-
    Ahem. Sorry.
    I was reliving some of the crap I've seen on Facebook the past few days.
  • Beckie-
    There is a lot of crap. Most of it around this assumption that it is the job of the church to make sure that the marriage sacrament is upheld.
    Niki- Well, they've done a bang up job of it so far, haven't they?
  • Beckie-

    I don't remember the scripture where God told the church to go out into all the world and tell them how wrong they are.
  • Niki-
    I think that is found in Opinions, chapter 1.
  • Beckie-
    Opinions Chapter 1...haHAHAHAHhahahah!!

    Or the scripture where God says that we should love everyone enough to tell them how despicable He thinks they are.
  • Niki-
    That's also in chapter 1.
  • Beckie-
    And, help me remember here, where is that one place where God said it was my job to define the legal and moral parameters for upright and holy living.

    Niki-
    Chapter 1 has it all covered.
    Let's talk about the basics of marriage.
    Beckie-
    oh, right. moving on.
  • Niki-
    In America you are married when you go to the state and request a form, fill in your basic information, and submit it for approval. In some states all you have to do is live together for 5 or more years and it's called a "Common Law Marriage."

    No church wedding or church official needed, just a person called "The Justice of the Peace."
    (Oh the irony - I could do a whole stand up routine on that alone.)

  • Beckie-
    I don't understand how that has anything to do with if you are gay or straight.

    tell me again...what is marriage? (talk to me like a child)

    Personally,i think it is when you decide to link your life with someone else. for life. even if you get mad.

  • Niki-
    When two people love each other very much and decide they want to spend the rest of their healthy, happy lives together, they get married.

  • Beckie-
    You are kidding right?
    healthy, happy???
  • Niki-

    Am I?
  • Beckie-
    what about when they are sick and mad?

  •  Niki-
    Well, the other part of that discussion is about divorce...people who aren't healthy and happy lean that direction. Right?
    Okay, I'll get serious.
  • Beckie-
    right. but lots of people stay married even if they are sickly and mostly dead and real stinkers.
  • Niki-
    Yes we do. lol
    Kidding!
  • Beckie-
    I want to talk some more about the church feeling like it has to hold up its marital standard for the whole world.
    you said "they have done a pretty bang up job of it so far"
    what did you mean?
  • Niki-
    That was sarcasm.
  • Beckie-

    really?
    snort.
  • Niki-
    So, is it the job of the church to make sure that the marriage sacrament is upheld?
  • Beckie-

    yeah. is it?
  • Niki-
    I don't think so.
    I don't see that the church has very many things it was tasked with. Love God. Love others. Preach the Good News (Jesus took care of that whole debt thing.), make disciples.
    I can't find anywhere that says we are to be the law.
  • Beckie-

    And, not to be stinky or anything, but you said it...
    even if the church was to be the standard bearer...yeah...bang up job there folks.
  • Niki-
    Yep. That was my point.
    Living a life worthy of our calling...THANK GOD FOR JESUS, that we're covered, because we suck at sacrifice.
    And example.
  • Beckie-
    So you think it is enough to live your life like you have been called and just leave it at that?
    living by example.
  • Niki-
    I'm not saying that it's enough. I'm saying we kind of suck at doing the things we were told to do, yet we (the church) want to add more to our plate. Gluttony? lol
  • Beckie-
    ha.
    why dont you think it is enough?
  • Niki-
    There are things we're "tasked with" that we aren't great at, but we want to be in charge of more. I don't think we were tasked with upholding marriage for our country.
  • Beckie-
    Have we been tasked with stopping people from murdering each other?
  • Niki-
    Technically? No.
    Technically, the church is not the law.
    Now morally, we don't let that stuff slide. The base of my argument is that the church wasn't called to be the law of the land.
  • Beckie-
    ok. let's say it was. just for a minute, let's pretend that we live in a church run state.
  • Niki-
    Okay.
  • Beckie-
    should we, as the church, be about keeping each other under the law?
    even within the church.
    is it my job to tell you how to live your life as a christian?
  • Niki-
    If we're both Christians (AND are in relationship/community with each other) and you see something in my life that doesn't line up with what you believe God says, then yes, you can come to me and ask why my actions don't line up with what I proclaim.

    But, you can't enforce my behavior based on your beliefs.
  • Niki-
    BUT, you and I may be interpreting scripture differently and are ultimately accountable to God, not each other, so it gets tricky.
    That's why I said your beliefs. We can follow the same God but not see eye to eye on what we believe God is saying.
  • Beckie-

    right. seeing eye to eye.
  • Niki-
    I can already hear people screaming that there is only one way to interpret scripture and I'm going to hell because I'm interpreting it differently.
  • Beckie-
    yes. that does happen. screaming.

    because people are so desperately concerned for your well being.
  • Niki-
    Well, it's more like snide comments and unfriending me on Facebook rather than actual screaming.
    They aren't bold enough to scream to my face.
  • Beckie-
    probably way too mature, too.
  • Niki-
    Mature. right.
  • Beckie-
    and, sorry to repeat myself...because they love you and want you to not go to hell.
    so they yell. right?

    they even love you so much that they un-friend you rather than yell at you.
  • Niki-
    Yes. It's weird, but yes. That is what love looks like to them.

    So...we are NOT a church run state. I'm glad we have believers in the government and that we have some sense of morality in the country, but we don't have a Christian government.
  • Beckie-
    because that, my friend, would be hell.
  • Niki-
    Yep. We can't even agree in our small gatherings.
    What makes anyone think it would be different on a bigger scale?
  • Beckie-
    This might be a major point in our discussion.
    Do we want to create laws that force people to interpret God's agenda according to a preset formula?
  • Niki-
    I guess I'm stunned that every time there is a big public issue, Christians come out in force to make sure we stay "Christian" yet we get hateful in our methods.
  • Beckie-
    But we do it "in love" so that is ok.
  • Niki-
    Love for who?
  • Beckie-
    Love for those people that are surely going to hell.
  • Niki-
    Is it love that leads people to condemn others? That's bullshit.
  • Beckie-
    Love for God?
    Because He wants us to shout and call names until everyone comes to know the Love of Christ.
  • Niki-
    Nope. He didn't do that or tell us to.

  • Niki-
    It is God's KINDNESS that leads us to repentance, not His agenda, plan, coercion or anything else.
  • Beckie-
    Basically, you are saying that God leads us to repentance?
    But arent you supposed to spread the word in such a way that I really and truly get the point about how wretched I am. (If I was a sinful heathen gay person, that is)
  • Niki-
    People living in sin will be drawn to me because of how I LOVE them. I'm not leaving anyone behind because I'm doing my very best to live a life that says I love you to everyone I meet.
  • Beckie-
    But you don't go around telling people what they are doing wrong?
  • Niki-
    I have GOOD NEWS, but I'm only going to get to share it when I'm not being an A-hole to those I think are living sinfully.
  • Beckie-
    you cussed. I can't even listen to you right now.
    ruined your witness right there missy.
  • Niki-
    Part of my good news is that I'm not any better than they are, but it's because of who loves me that I don't have to wallow in my sinful ways.
    So maybe there are Christians who won't listen to me because of my potty mouth, but guess who is listening?
    And not because I cuss, but because I don't pretend that I don't.
  • Beckie-
    Well, it sounds pretty worldly.
  • Niki-
    I don't proudly wear a badge that says to the world that I've set myself apart from them. Because really that just means that my "apart" is ABOVE them.
  • Beckie-
    How do you sleep at night knowing that your behavior may condone worldliness.
  • Niki-

    Just fine. lol
    Condone. I really hate that word.
  • Beckie-
    If you won't wear the badge of purity then you might not really be saved.
  • Niki-
    Jesus wears the badge of purity, not me. I'm saved because He says I am.
    The world doesn't need Christians to say, "Come be a part of our purity club." They need Christians to say, "Jesus says come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you...wait for it...wait for it...REST."
  • Beckie-
    Would have been so much easier if He had just told us to shave our heads or something.
  • Niki-
    We don't need the shaved heads to set us apart because our outward difference is our love lived out for others to see.
  • Beckie-
    That just hurt my feelings.
  • Niki-
    Shaved heads would certainly get people's attention, but so would our love...if we were all living that way, which we're not.
  • Beckie-
    I am having a heart crisis in that department.
  • Niki-
    How so?
  • Beckie-
    Well, I can snark all day about love and the lack of it in the church..but when it all comes down I feel some very un-loving thoughts toward my church family.
    Part of me wants to stand up and scream. (some not pretty things)
    and part of me wants to hold up a sign "GROUP HUGS HERE"

  • Niki-
    Go for it.
    Do both.
  • Beckie-
    Do you think Jesus would hold my sign with me?
  • Niki-
    He's probably scream with you too.
    Then he would calm you down and help you find a way to practice mercy.
  • Beckie-
    I also feel almost a little uncaring...it is a mystery...because I feel like I just don't care what those stupid homosexuals do.
  • Niki-
    Stupid homosexuals? Where's the love?
  • Beckie-
    I chose my words carefully.
    I am just a stupid heterosexual.
  • Niki-
    I know you did.
  • Beckie-

    I just can't find a place in my heart to give residence to caring if they are in sin or not.
  • Niki-
    So there's a feeling there, if sinners would just stop sinning so I could be comfortable, then this country would be a great place?
  • Beckie-
    They are certainly in no more sin than me.
  • Niki-
    Nope they are not.
  • Beckie-
    And I would like to live my life dealing with my sin before God.
    I figure everyone else deserves the same.
    There are few people that I want to speak into my life.
  • Niki-
    What if we don't have to live our lives dealing with our sin with God? What if Jesus already did that for us?
  • Beckie-
    Do I have to police them?
  • Niki-
    You don't.
  • Beckie-
    Can I really trust Jesus to handle all that?
  • Niki-
    I don't know, can you?
  • Beckie-
    It feels like the church is instructing me (through its example) to go around holding everyone to God's standard.
  • Niki-

    That's the church's mistake.
  • Beckie-
    Yet I have a hard enough time holding myself to that standard.
  • Niki-
    Me too.
  • Beckie-
    And God himself said that that particular task was IMPOSSIBLE> insert Jesus here!<
  • Niki-
    Again, that's what Jesus was for.
  • Beckie-
    So, quite simply, it seems that telling people how to live is like playing savior.
  • Niki-
    It is. But as a society we need to have some social order and morality standard. We get caught up on what that standard should be. Christians believe it should be the Bible. Muslims believe it should be the Koran. So on and so on. We all live here in this place together, so who gets to decide which book to follow?
  • Beckie-
    Personally, I think the Book of Deuteonomy was pretty cool.
    Sorry.
    So, society has to make some laws and regulations to protect and to serve. I get that.
    Who gets to decide on the standard?
  • Niki-
    Nobody. The law dabbles in faith - having people swear on a Bible, God is still in the constitution, blah blah blah, but it is NOT part of our faith.
    It is separate. It's a legal standard to police our country so people are treated with equality.
  • Beckie-
    Yes. Equality.
    People talk a lot about that.
  • Niki-
    It's a word that sounds good and fair, but I think a lot of people aren't in favor of it. They want an edge over others.
  • Beckie-
    I think a lot of people are actually intimidated by the thought of equality.
  • Niki-
    For fear that they will be the one without the edge.
  • Beckie-
    Really, we all want to be judged based on how good we did.
    In christianity...I believe that a level playing field scares the horse pookey out of people.
  • Niki-
    Judged, and awarded accordingly. People who didn't do good should get nothing.
    Because it doesn't seem fair.
  • Beckie-
    so, for chistians that are working really hard to toe the line and get it right...welcoming people who are clearly wrong will somehow lessen their own efforts.
    Lots of people would scream right about now. "I SAID I LOVE THEM I JUST DONT CONDONE THEIR SICK BEHAVIOR!!"
  • Niki-
    I think that's why Jesus told a story about a group a workers gathered over the course of a day. They were all paid the same for their work not matter what time they joined the crew. The ones who worked longer were mad. Their work didn't count for more than the people who didn't work as long or hard. 

    They thought it wasn't fair.

  • Beckie-
    prodigal son* cough cough*
    ahhh...see here we are straying into that infuriating world of "love the sinner hate the sin."
  • Niki-
    Name one person Jesus told he hated their sin.
    Beckie-
    Gosh, all I can think about is that time where he said "neither do I condemn you".

    Niki-
    think that's why Jesus told the stories he did. He wanted the people (and us) to see that he's an equal opportunity God.
  • Beckie-

    Jesus is cool like that.
  • Niki-
    He is, but the people that don't like that about Him try to twist his words so they will be painted in the best light.
  • Beckie-
    I know I do.
  • Niki-
    We all do that, even when we love Jesus like crazy, we can't handle being the selfish brother, or the whiny worker in Jesus' stories.
  • Beckie-
    I do keep trying to find places in my heart where I need to clean up and be more worthy.

    Because God can't live with sin you know.
    (that was sarcasm)
  • Niki-
    He can't? Then why hasn't He destroyed us yet?
  • Beckie-
    well, my answer...He came for the broken hearted.
    that's me.

  • Niki-
    I'm pretty sure he tore the curtain and dwells with us right now.
  • Beckie-
    Dwells with me,  in my sin.
    So I am going to be really really honest with you right now.
    Please dont hold it against me.
  • Niki-
    I would hope you are always really really honest with me.
    God hates lying. lol
  • Beckie-
    Well, I am putting it in writing...that's different.

  •  Niki-
    I'm ready for it.
  • Beckie-
    I think that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong.
    (I hate the word lifestyle).
    I also think that doing anything that harms your body...overeating, not exercizing, watching too much tv...
    is wrong.
  • Niki-
    So do I. Because it wasn't just talked about in the Old Testament like everyone quotes. It was talked about in the New Testament too. Not as law, but as behavior we choose.
  • Beckie-
    I do not weigh my friends at the door.
    I do not hold my neighbors accountable for how many times they jogged around the block.

    I still do judge my neighbor when I see his van in the driveway at 10 am on Sunday.

    Cuz he is a heathen.


  • Niki-
    How would you see it if you were at church? lol
  • Beckie-
    Exactly.
    So, if I do not ask what tv shows you have been watching...
    why would I be concerned about the fact that you love your partner with all your heart.
    even tho I think it is wrong.
    it is just not my business.
  • Niki-
    Even if I'm blatant about it? Taking quizzes about my favorite shows, posting celebrity pics, wearing merchandise to advertize what I watch?
  • Beckie-
    what heterosexual does not do that.
  • Niki-
    The one staying home with the Bible as their only source of "entertainment." The set apart people who don't watch heathen TV.
  • Beckie-
    I cannot tell you how many movies my christian fb friends have raved about that I thought came right out of Satan's studio 666.
  • Niki-
    I'd better not give you a list. Some of mine might be on yours.
    I'll just hide what I watch and in public I'll talk like I disapprove of the shows I love.
  • Beckie-
    Well here is a shocker for you. 
    it goes to your comment above about people staying home to read the bible....


  • I believe...and I do say this gently...if you spend all your time at home reading the Bible only...you may be setting yourself so far apart that you do no good whatsoever.
    But who am I to judge that really....because maybe that is your calling...or your need.
    Not my call.
  • Niki-

    It's my call. What about Jesus saying "Go"?


    Beckie-
    Also, I watch way more "worldly" stuff since I got out of organized church.
    hangs head in shame. 
    Niki-
    Can we please define "worldly" so I know we're on the same page?
  • Beckie-
    you know, Worldly...things that don't have a "Godly" message like Fireproof, or Courageous,
    I sometimes/often watch stuff that is just regular now.
    and sometimes it has cussing.
  • Niki

    So, stuff with my people in it?
  • Beckie-

    which actually has made me a better person.
    because let me put it out there...
    i used to exist in a placewhere my heart snarled every time i heard a cuss word.
    i was too good for that.
    those...people...were beneath me.
    if my friends did it once in a while i would cringe but try to be cool
    and forgive them in my heart.
    but never ever condone it.
  • Niki-
    I understand that. I've been there too.
  • Beckie-
    and it set me apart from my world so much that i could not operate in love for people because i was so busy judging them and praying for them.
  • Niki-
    Did you say stuff like, "I don't cuss. My friend does, but I try to love her right where she's at and not judge her, that's God's job"?
  • Niki-
    ("And sadly, He will.")
  • Beckie- WOW...this really is the point of our discussion.
    i might hate you right now.
    what a stupid thing to say.
  • Niki-
    I've said those exact words.
  • Beckie-
    but see...so have i...in this discussion about gay marriage.
    i have GOT to stop seeing people through the judgement eyes.
  • Niki-

    Because it's true. But...hang with me here and let me type for a minute.


  • It IS God's job to judge. So when that magical, mysterious,day arrives, what do you think is going to happen? Will I - the cusser - be standing in line for hell with people like King David who killed a man to steal his wife even though he had a bunch of wives already? Do I believe Jesus meant what he said about IT being finished? Did his sacrifice for me count or not?
  • Beckie-
    So, judgement happens...God is going to do it.
    but in reality...i judge.
    stupid to say I dont.
    just need to get comfortable with it.
  • Niki-
    I think we really mean it when we say it's not our place to judge but we get that yucky feeling in our gut because we don't want our friends to face judgement either. It moves us to action...sometimes. And there is a selfish bone in our body - I think it was the rib Adam gave for us women - that hopes that they are judged because we want everything to be fair.
  • Beckie-
    deep down...we don't want equality. We want judgement. And I do judge.
    but I dont want to let it come before...or as an amendment to...my loving.
  • Niki-
    Because it shouldn't. But, we have been trained to judge.
  • Beckie-
    I love it when people say "don't judge me"
    because in my brain I immediately say "too late"
  • Niki-
    (Because it sucks to feel and be judged.)
  • Beckie-
    and sometimes I say it out loud.
    but I think I am coming to the place where I see that judgement is just not my job.
    i may feel it tho.
  • Niki-
    Because we have been trained to judge. Christianese for that is that we are "Fruit Inspectors."
  • Beckie-
    if i am close enough to you I may say it.
  • Niki-
    That is close indeed.
  • Beckie-
    right now...i try to live by NOT saying it (my judgement) unless you ask me to.
    and that is some haaaard thing to live by.
  • Niki-
    Me too. It's a start.
    Imagine a day when your heart catches up.
  • Beckie-
    I do have places where it is catching up.
    But then it sneaks in again. 
  • Niki-
    Let's put this in another way...
  • Beckie-
    ok. But let's do it tomorrow. I have the sneaking suspicion that it is gonna be good! 

    Tune in tomorrow to hear Niki say...Could we still be friends if I promise not to feed my lemon pie to your family? Can we coexist in a pie-free world?

10 comments:

  1. Not wanting to sound foolish, I wonder that....homosexuality and gluttony and other such sins are sins against ones own body which is the temple. The argument against gay marriage is not merely a Christian judgement call on sin. Just like murder has an impact on many others and society. It is a slippery slope. Allow me to be forthcoming and take this to a "gross" level. A person who is into sex with animals decides they need equal rights under the law as well. Do we let our society progress to where it did in the days of Noah or Lot when God did step in and judge? What about the children who are being raised and brought into all of this? So many children I see each day...and the helplessness I feel to reach them and love them because the adults in their lives are living selfishly. Where is the line of responsibility for us? I know more questions right. God even says that if a person knows what is right but stands by and does nothing...to that person..it is sin. Faith without action is dead. Is it more loving to fight for the morality of our world or to just allow the results of sexual sin like trafficking to come for our children? I love children, but it is not my responsibility to judge those who are involved. I will just love them and tell them the good news! ??? Horse....Badooky. Because that is how I cuss as a Christian. :) lol

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  2. Anonymous - Rush Limbaugh used the same argument yesterday, the same argument that holds no water because under the law of the land, which is what we are dealing with rather than religious views, marriage must be 1.) an act of consent (children and animals by definition cannot consent) and 2.) a contract entered into by two persons competent enough to enter into contract. Those will not change - thus this slippery slope is rather contrived, in my opinion.

    Beckie, I am here as an OLD blogging friend of Niki's who happens to still follow her on FB, I LOVE this (as well as your last post, I love you. Period.) and thank you for sharing, opening yourselves up to people who may not approach this topic with as much grace or compassion. I am a Christian who came to Christ in my late teens (from a very worldly and dysfunctional background) and attend a church that tends to be of a fairly conservative flavor, which rubs against my liberal, unconventional streak. I have to watch my native tongue (cussing) a lot - because though I feel it is mostly a non-issue, it is a stumbling block to others and I try to be mindful of it. Issues like abortion and gay marriage break my heart when it comes to the ugliness that many Christians fan alive when they are discussed.

    Anyway - I'm rambling, thanks again for sharing!

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  3. Anonymous:

    How on earth does trafficking fall into this discussion???

    If I see someone HARMING a child, I will go all mother bear crazy on them. I am NEVER in favor of allowing abuse of any kind. I am shocked at your jump from homosexuality to child trafficking. And no, we're not to judge the trafficker either. The law will hold them accountable, but their salvation is in God's hands.

    And children being raised and brought into what exactly? The selfishness of adults? A world where homosexuality is allowed? I'm not sure what you mean.

    If you think the world is worse off right now than in biblical times, I think that's just horse badooky.

    Where do you think the line of responsibility should be? Do you think gay marriage is the line?

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  4. Heather- By slippery slope..I just mean that a law of this nature will surely open the door for others. I am more concerned with society and our culture than our govt. For example..I am certain that there is some law against trafficking but it still exists. I believe that a law of this nature opens the door for societal degradation. When we try to go against what God says is best for us we miss out, whether it is permissible or not. You are right. Children cannot consent. They are the victims in all of this. Marriage to me holds so much more value because it is a covenant between my husband, myself and God. In man's hands and the law...look what it has been reduced to even among Christians. Children full of fear and confusion and anger from broken homes struggling with blended families and So much more! God hates divorce and says it should be reserved only for specific situations...yet it is legal just if you disagree with someone..children are the ones hurt. God says it is better for a man to have a weight tied around his neck and be cast into the sea than to hurt a child ..vengeance is his. Such a loving nonjudgmental God we serve. God is love! That shows me that to love others we must speak the truth in love and stand up for our convictions especially when led by the Holy Spirit to do so. And like the cliches..love the sinner not the sin. God turned his own back on his own son on the cross because he was carrying our sin...his own son. Anyway...now I ramble. :)

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  5. Niki- This is the message I get from this discussion. If as a Christian, I speak out against passing a law that allows gay people to marry... I am unloving and a hater and judging someone in their sin when I surely have sin of my own to deal with. I should only love and mind my own business. If I don't...I surely lead others further from the cross. I don't think that our world is worse off than in those times right now but History can repeat itself if people don't learn from it. I think that gay marriage is one door cracked open. It goes against what God established. The family suffers as a result, the children suffer as a result, society suffers as a result. Over time, the lines become blurry, the door is open to move just one more tiny step into darkness. The downfall of God ordained marriage and family is a line, a major line. When it affects my children that God entrusted to my care, living in this world, it becomes my business. I AGREE that we all are sinners and we need God's grace and forgiveness. We need to love others and let God be their judge. I have amazing friends who are homosexual believers. They know where I stand and they know my heart and they know I love them. It hurts being referred to as someone full of hate when that is not who I strive to be.

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  6. If I support a bill to end obesity...am I not judging the glutton and being a "hater?" If I speak against the abuse of others...am I not judging? By the standard discussed here..Why am I only considered Hateful when I speak out against gay marriage? Why are you putting a different standard on it as well?

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  7. I would like to answer. Anonymous, I do wish I knew your name (are you one person or more??)
    On this last comment...if you support a bill to end obesity are you being a "hater?" Only you could answer that. But if you support a bill to end obesity, without regard to the fact that many people are obese through no fault of their own...then you might be judging in a way that is very unmerciful and unloving.
    I realize that many people do not accept that being gay can ever be anything other than choice...so they then might feel justified in calling people sinners for their un-biblical choices. I consider this behavior to be hateful. And it is this behavior that I was talking about.
    To my knowledge, there are many homosexual people who want to live in committed relationship with each other...just like heterosexuals. These individuals are being oppressed. Pressed down. Lowered. Despised. Seen as less than. Mostly because it is seen that they live "in sin".
    I believe, with all my heart, that my sin is equal to their sin. If I get to walk head up then they should too.
    I believe that fear and stupid misinformation causes many otherwise loving christans to loathe and revile this people group as beneath them. I do not think that that position is loving. I think that if we want to learn from history we need to look at the way Americans have treated the native peoples, and the African peoples...and the Catholics...and the Protestants...
    We seem to specialize in oppression. and we especially like to do it in the name of Jesus.
    I don't want to be a part of that any more.
    I am asking you, in love, to step away from all fears of child trafficking, polygamy, animal porn, divorce, child endangerment, historical hysteria, and jazz hands.
    Just think about an individual. doing something you don't like. That just wants to be left in peace. consider that heterosexuals do as much or more damage as any homosexual in the areas of perversion and degradation.
    I know I am not right in all of this. I just want people to think about what is happening. Some of it is just plain ridiculous. Some of it is perfectly justified.
    I suggest that being justified is not enough. We ALL need to reexamine our motives.
    I wish we could talk in person. Typed words are not enough.
    All snark real or perceived was intentional...but not meant to be unloving. Only thought provoking.

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  8. Freebie- Thank you for your response. So far I am one person. I intended to put my name on these posts but I don't have an account set up. After looking over earlier posts...I am not sure that I conveyed all my thoughts so well. It is just I have so many and they all get jumbled up sometimes. I don't know if being a homosexual is something one is born into or not. If this is the case...then it would only be sinful to act on it. This seems totally unfair, a high calling, or a huge deception? As I mentioned before, I have friends and even family in this people group and have only unfriended one of them because he kept posting pictures of his blatant sexual acts and I had enough. More later....Hubby just brought me breakfast in bed.

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  9. I am glad you don't know who I am but I will say I am someone who knows you both well enough, I can hear your intended snark and even the inflection in your voices while you speak. I Love you both and I know, or feel I do your hearts. I fully agree with you on so many levels. You are so right that many who call themselves Christian, act so unchristian like when it comes to this issue and many others. I Certainly don't know the answers when it comes to this issue, but only what we are told in scripture. I look at it as I would any other. I have had family members who have struggled with drugs and alcohol, which alone are not sinful, but in excess God says...Not a good idea. I love them with all my heart and do not want to see them hurting themselves or others. When what they do has a grave effect on children (Dui) or society then I feel it is important to take a stand to stop it. I Just wanted to mainly throw out there that everyone who stands up to support something they feel a conviction to support is not in One big hateful category. Do I continue to love them? Absolutely! I can't change them...I can pray. Maybe it is not the Churches "job" to change the world, but the world will change if we follow God's command to Love. I. Cor. 13 says that nothing we as the Church will do, will be effective, Without Love. We have been given the deposit guaranteeing our salvation, the Holy Spirit, to lead us and guide us. If we are convicted to take a stand on a matter in our world...We better be obedient and Do it..But Do it in LOVE and not out of a pius, hateful spirit...humble and gentle...consider others better than ourselves. OK....Nuff said...Love you Both....Carol

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  10. Carol! I see that we are on the same page. I did not think you rambled...but I do question some of your parallels. I believe that you have every right to stand up for what you believe in. That is not hate. I think you agree with me when I say that hate comes in when we stand on top of someone else to get our point heard.

    You said this... We need to love others and let God be their judge. I have amazing friends who are homosexual believers. They know where I stand and they know my heart and they know I love them. It hurts being referred to as someone full of hate when that is not who I strive to be.

    Let me state emphatically...if you are operating in love then none of this conversation was directed at you.
    Honestly, I was directing it at myself first. I have really hateful thoughts. All. The. Time. And in the times when I get all noble and drop my hate toward some oppressed person I am super quick to channel my hate towards everyone thinking the thoughts I was just thinking yesterday.
    All this discussion was meant for me. And Niki. She can be a real stinker. :-)
    I am going to write a follow up to this discussion. I am going to use NO SNARK. (I might die) And I am going to say in plain talk what I really think. I hope you will read that and only feel love and sincere concern for people...on every side of this issue.

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