Possible podcast topic, etc.

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Stormbringer
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Re: Possible podcast topic, etc.

Post by Stormbringer » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:45 pm

Chapabel wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:57 pm
No, this isn't my interpretation, this is straight from the Bible. God forbids homosexuality (Lev.18:22, Lev.20:13, Rom.1:27-28, I Cor.6:9). To suggest Christians can be involved in homosexuality with God's approval is to suggest it's also ok for Christians to lie, steal, cheat rape and kill. To continue in these actions is evidence the person has never experienced the new birth, and are therefore, not Christians (Matt.7:19-20). I find it amazing that you, a non-Christian, feel qualified to tell me, an active Christian, who is and is not a real Christian. There may be gay ministers that perform gay marriages, but there are no gay Christian ministers performing gay weddings for gay Christians. That's not my opinion, that's God's opinion.
Yes, I understand that this is YOUR interpretation of what the Bible says. It doesn't change the fact that millions of people interpret the Bible differently than you do and they self-identify as Christians. There really is no objective, legal, absolute definition of a Christian. There are many different kinds of Christians and, like you clearly exemplify, there are many who claim that they are real and others are not. I could take your word for it, but when I will meet someone else who will reject you as a legitimate Christian for the same reasons. So no matter how much you claim sole ownership of the definition; I, like billions of other people, don't recognize you as such. This is not a judgement on my part, though as a former Christian I could easily choose to do so. There is simply a clear lack of consensus and no objective way to know who is right, if any. I don't know you and even if I did and totally agreed with your interpretation, I still don't have the kind of objectivity needed to determine that you are correct and everyone else is wrong. If someone tells me they are a Christian, that's good enough for me.
Unfortunately, alot of what you posted here is accurate. Religion has been used to discriminate against different races. Proper exegesis reveals how wrong many people have been. There is no condemnation from God about being black, oriental, white or middle eastern. Our race is determined by God. It is our actions that God judges, not our skin color. While there is no condemnation for being black, there is condemnation for participating in homosexuality. That is the difference.
If the condemnation is for "participating" in homosexual acts, then clearly baking a cake is not such an act and I don't believe it is approval of it either.
The argument then turns to choice. Many people, and I suspect you as well, will claim homosexuals have no choice in the way they are made. That's simply a load of bovine poop. God did not make anyone gay. People choose to participate in homosexuality to satisfy their lusts. God's plan is for one man to be with one woman (Mark 10:6-7). Anything outside of that is merely lust of the flesh.
I want to challenge you on this in the most cerebral way. Don't recoil in disgust or perceived judgement; just hear me out. You just criticized me for claiming to know who is and is not a "real" christian (even though I didn't do that), but now you are telling me that you somehow know what is in another person's mind. You assert that everyone who is gay is choosing to be so and that they are not born that way. I fail to understand how you can know this. I certainly don't know it. From a purely fundamentalist Christian perspective, it's forbidden regardless of reason, so I don't know why you would even be interested in the choice discussion. The bottom line is that we are not all governed by your religious views in this country (for the time being at least), so we need not care what you think about it. So if someone chooses to be homosexual, I have absolutely no problem with it. But you do have a serious problem if you cling to this "god made them the way they are" assertion. Some people are sociopaths and some people are pedophiles. There is an unimaginable amount of evidence that supports the conclusion that these people are born this way. So why would a loving, caring, fair god do such an evil thing? When a child born into a completely normal, loving, well-adjusted family begins to torture and kill animals at a very young age, there's no justification for arguments like choice or environment. This is a congenital condition and there's absolutely nothing these people can do to change themselves, especially when they don't even know this is abnormal or socially unacceptable. As adults they can seek help but as children this isn't a reasonable expectation. So with that in mind, I see no reason why being born homosexual is a stretch at all. I was born shy and introverted; I didn't learn to be that way. I know other people who are so outgoing it's ridiculous and have always been so. So to assert that it is impossible that sexual preference can be an inborn aspect of one's personality, I think that's stretching your knowledge and powers of observation far beyond reason. You simply cannot know this.

Stormbringer
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Re: Possible podcast topic, etc.

Post by Stormbringer » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:15 pm

Chapabel wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:21 pm
I have to agree with most of what you said here. I don't want the government forcing any religion, even my personal beliefs, on anyone. God wants us to worship Him because we choose to, not because we have to. I don't want teachers forcing kids to pray, because I don't know what god they may be praying to.
I'm happy to hear this and this is the prime reason why I believe no Christian should support the idea of forced prayer. In fact, the opposition to school led prayer mostly originated with Christians for this very reason. It wasn't baby-eating atheists as many people seem to believe.
However, I also believe the 'separation of church and state' has been abused. For starters, there is nothing in any of our founding documents that indicate the current interpretation of separation of church and state. The first amendment states the government has no right to impose any religion on anyone, but it does not forbid the practice of religion in government. For instance, a teacher cannot force a child to pray, but there is nothing that forbids the teacher from praying in public. You are correct, it is a fine line and we must be extremely careful.
The line is relatively thin and I consider any teacher led prayer to be a mild version of coercion. One is not "forced" to participate in terms of attempting to communicate with a supernatural being, but then you can't say that being in a room full of people bowing their head in prayer is not awkward if you don't share their conviction. I think almost any Christian would feel awkward if put in a similar situation if the prayer was Muslim or Hindu. My position on school led prayer has always been very practical. Every person in school has ample opportunity to pray all day long and nothing I was ever taught as a Christian suggested that praying as a group provided any more value than praying alone. In fact, I can easily interpret Jesus's teaching that one should only pray alone and not make a spectacle of oneself. So to me this teacher led prayer thing appears to be nothing more than rubbing religion in our noses out of spite. As I said before, any such sharing of faith or religion should be done ONLY on a voluntary basis. And I wouldn't be offended in every instance if someone wanted to pray. It's the expectation that prayer is "right" and that you "should' participate that bothers me.

There would be no reason to force more separation between religion and state if Christians were less hyper-forceful. There was a time when our money had no mention of god, when the country's pledge had not mention of god. These were inserted for the most obsessive of reasons. Each time Christians force another religious monument on public grounds, some other group will start a movement to further limit religious expression; it's predictable human behavior, yin and yang. Christians have zero limitation on their right to observe and practice their religion but you wouldn't know it by how the loudest of them complain about how much they are limited. I hear and see religious messages multiple times every single day of my life. There is no limitation. If Christians were less aggressive about their message it might actually put fewer people off.
I am truly sorry you have not felt love and compassion from Christians. Sadly, many Christians are judgmental of others. I know my position on certain issues is seen as being judgmental of others, but I assure you, I am not judging people. I simply repeat what is found in the Bible concerning sin. I don't try to remove the sawdust from another's eye, because it is hard for me to see around the log in my eye. Thank you for your honesty concerning your experience with Christians. I hope your experience with me will be different. I can be extremely stubborn and hard-nosed, but I will do my best to be compassionate and nonjudgmental. Thank you for reminding me of who I am supposed to be.
One suggestion I have is that you would do better if you realized that you are merely the messenger and not the message giver. If you want to say that according to the Bible, such and such is not allowed, therefore I will not do it and I suggest you don't do it either, that would make more of an impression on me. I knew an Indian kid when I was young and I was thrilled to ask him all sorts of questions about his religion and culture, astonished by the differences to my own. He never once told me that I was going to hell because I didn't meet his qualifications for heaven and I found that refreshing. Most Christians simply don't do this. They are arrogant beyond reason and this turns me off.

The most amazing thing about this whole Christian vs. Atheist thing is that there are religions with far more draconian beliefs, like Islam and Scientology, but we don't talk much about those other religions because they don't have the numbers in the U.S. at least to make life uncomfortable for the non-religious. Christians do and they do their best to make life miserable for the rest of us. So if that's your goal; you are doing it well.

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Chapabel
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Re: Possible podcast topic, etc.

Post by Chapabel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:45 pm

Stormbringer wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:45 pm
Chapabel wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:57 pm
No, this isn't my interpretation, this is straight from the Bible. God forbids homosexuality (Lev.18:22, Lev.20:13, Rom.1:27-28, I Cor.6:9). To suggest Christians can be involved in homosexuality with God's approval is to suggest it's also ok for Christians to lie, steal, cheat rape and kill. To continue in these actions is evidence the person has never experienced the new birth, and are therefore, not Christians (Matt.7:19-20). I find it amazing that you, a non-Christian, feel qualified to tell me, an active Christian, who is and is not a real Christian. There may be gay ministers that perform gay marriages, but there are no gay Christian ministers performing gay weddings for gay Christians. That's not my opinion, that's God's opinion.
Yes, I understand that this is YOUR interpretation of what the Bible says. It doesn't change the fact that millions of people interpret the Bible differently than you do and they self-identify as Christians.
I see no other way to interpret Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. So to participate in homosexuality is to intentionally defy God. Christians may defy God for a while, but He will not allow them to do so indefinitely. Ananias and Sapphira both lied and were struck dead. God may not always work in so dramatic fashion, but He will not allow His children to sin successfully.
I want to challenge you on this in the most cerebral way. Don't recoil in disgust or perceived judgement; just hear me out. You just criticized me for claiming to know who is and is not a "real" christian (even though I didn't do that), but now you are telling me that you somehow know what is in another person's mind. You assert that everyone who is gay is choosing to be so and that they are not born that way. I fail to understand how you can know this.
Because God did not create people gay. Jesus explained it simply: Mark 10:6-7 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; Jesus did not say God created man to cleave to another man or a woman. He was very specific when He said a man should be married to a woman. Couple that with God calling homosexuality an abomination and the only logical conclusion is those who do participate in homosexuality are doing so because they choose to.

Some people are sociopaths and some people are pedophiles. There is an unimaginable amount of evidence that supports the conclusion that these people are born this way.
You are correct. Brain scans reveal abnormalities in their brains. However, there are no abnormalities in the brains of homosexuals. Therefore it must be by choice.

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Chapabel
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Re: Possible podcast topic, etc.

Post by Chapabel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:51 pm

Stormbringer wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:15 pm
The line is relatively thin and I consider any teacher led prayer to be a mild version of coercion. One is not "forced" to participate in terms of attempting to communicate with a supernatural being, but then you can't say that being in a room full of people bowing their head in prayer is not awkward if you don't share their conviction. I think almost any Christian would feel awkward if put in a similar situation if the prayer was Muslim or Hindu. My position on school led prayer has always been very practical. Every person in school has ample opportunity to pray all day long and nothing I was ever taught as a Christian suggested that praying as a group provided any more value than praying alone. In fact, I can easily interpret Jesus's teaching that one should only pray alone and not make a spectacle of oneself. So to me this teacher led prayer thing appears to be nothing more than rubbing religion in our noses out of spite. As I said before, any such sharing of faith or religion should be done ONLY on a voluntary basis. And I wouldn't be offended in every instance if someone wanted to pray. It's the expectation that prayer is "right" and that you "should' participate that bothers me.
I don't think I was as clear as I could have been. What I meant was while I don't believe teachers should force students to pray, there's nothing wrong if the teacher wants to pray herself/himself. I see nothing wrong if a person or a group of people want to get together and pray even if it is in school. As a chaplain serving with other chaplains of various faiths, I have no problem at all when our Muslim chaplain prays. It's not uncomfortable at all. He is a friend of mine. In fact, I recruited him for our chaplain corps. I think we're in agreement on this issue.

Stormbringer
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Re: Possible podcast topic, etc.

Post by Stormbringer » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:07 pm

I prepared a very in-depth response to your comments but my browser decided to log me out before I finished and I lost all of it, so I'm not going to recreate the entire post but rather just submit the main points. I'm sorry if it seems too brief.
I see no other way to interpret Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. So to participate in homosexuality is to intentionally defy God. Christians may defy God for a while, but He will not allow them to do so indefinitely. Ananias and Sapphira both lied and were struck dead. God may not always work in so dramatic fashion, but He will not allow His children to sin successfully.
I'm not saying your interpretation is "wrong", it's yours but I don't agree with it and clearly many Christians don't either. I don't believe in a strict interpretation of the Bible (never did as a Christian either) and I know Biblical scholars and ministers who have the same concerns I do. My point is that Biblical interpretation is far from an exact science; it's difficult to be objective. There are many factors to consider, including historical cultures and your own feelings. So when you say something is "god's opinion", you are often far from having a true consensus among Christians on most topics and just saying "don't pay attention to those other people, they aren't "real" Christians" doesn't help your cause to be understood at all. It actually weakens it tremendously because you are unilaterally declaring yourself to be an absolute judge on the matter. While you may be a persuasive person, the next Christian I speak to may be equally persuasive, so no declarations on your part or his will ultimately convince me that one of you is 100% right and the other is 100% wrong. That's like saying whomever shouts "I'm the expert" the loudest gets the benefit of the doubt. Does that make sense to you?
Because God did not create people gay. Jesus explained it simply: Mark 10:6-7 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; Jesus did not say God created man to cleave to another man or a woman. He was very specific when He said a man should be married to a woman. Couple that with God calling homosexuality an abomination and the only logical conclusion is those who do participate in homosexuality are doing so because they choose to.
I think declaring them "abnormal" is your first mistake. You don't really know the depth of human sexuality; medical experts agree that it is more complex than has always been assumed. From your Biblical interpretation, "abnormal" may make sense, but again that isn't the law for everyone, not even all Christians.
Some people are sociopaths and some people are pedophiles. There is an unimaginable amount of evidence that supports the conclusion that these people are born this way.
You are correct. Brain scans reveal abnormalities in their brains. However, there are no abnormalities in the brains of homosexuals. Therefore it must be by choice.
Here are two studies involving brain scans that completely contradict your opinions:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21672322

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn ... osite-sex/

There have been numerous studies that reveal the range of human sexuality and it is far from being completely understood by medical and psychological experts. Ages of repression have kept many of these tendencies secret, but they have existed throughout human history and continue to exist without prompting or teaching people to do this, which clearly suggests heredity. Gender identity is another aspect of human sexuality that is poorly understood yet Christians often revile with zero Biblical justification.

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Chapabel
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Re: Possible podcast topic, etc.

Post by Chapabel » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:50 pm

Stormbringer wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:07 pm
I prepared a very in-depth response to your comments but my browser decided to log me out before I finished and I lost all of it, so I'm not going to recreate the entire post but rather just submit the main points. I'm sorry if it seems too brief.
Sorry to hear you lost all your work. It's happened to me as well, so I understand your frustration. If I'm posting a rather long response, I'll type it on a word document then copy and paste it on the forum. That way it's saved on my computer until I delete it. Maybe that will help in the future.
I'm not saying your interpretation is "wrong", it's yours but I don't agree with it and clearly many Christians don't either. I don't believe in a strict interpretation of the Bible (never did as a Christian either) and I know Biblical scholars and ministers who have the same concerns I do.
I do believe in a literal interpretation of scriptures unless it indicates it is not. Again, I see no other logical way to interpret God's instruction to not be involved in homosexuality. I Cor.6:9 plainly states homosexuals will not enter Heaven. Any other interpretation is dishonest in my opinion.
Here are two studies involving brain scans that completely contradict your opinions:

The first link only involved 28 men so I would be very skeptical of that study. The second study is more interesting. My only question would be if their findings were 100% across the board. For instance the study states: The results showed that straight men had asymmetric brains, with the right hemisphere slightly larger – and the gay women also had this asymmetry. Gay men, meanwhile, had symmetrical brains like those of straight women. Here's my concern: Was the symmetry of each gay man's brain like that of straight women? Did every gay woman have brains like that of straight men? Also, I would like to see, for instance, if they discovered any gay men with brains like that of straight men. This study leaves the door open for more research rather than putting the final conclusion on the issue. Thanks for posting such an interesting study.
Gender identity is another aspect of human sexuality that is poorly understood yet Christians often revile with zero Biblical justification.
I disagree with you. If a person is born with an X and a Y chromosomes, he is a male. If they are born with two X chromosomes, they're women. That is gender identity. I see no reason the debate gender identity. As far as Biblical justification, I have already posted the scriptures that forbid and condemn homosexuality.

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Re: Possible podcast topic, etc.

Post by Stormbringer » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:58 pm

Chapabel wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:50 pm
I do believe in a literal interpretation of scriptures unless it indicates it is not. Again, I see no other logical way to interpret God's instruction to not be involved in homosexuality. I Cor.6:9 plainly states homosexuals will not enter Heaven. Any other interpretation is dishonest in my opinion.
I will leave you to debate that with your fellow Christians. It isn't much of a concern for me but there is certainly a lot of disagreement in the Christian community.
The first link only involved 28 men so I would be very skeptical of that study. The second study is more interesting. My only question would be if their findings were 100% across the board. For instance the study states: The results showed that straight men had asymmetric brains, with the right hemisphere slightly larger – and the gay women also had this asymmetry. Gay men, meanwhile, had symmetrical brains like those of straight women. Here's my concern: Was the symmetry of each gay man's brain like that of straight women? Did every gay woman have brains like that of straight men? Also, I would like to see, for instance, if they discovered any gay men with brains like that of straight men. This study leaves the door open for more research rather than putting the final conclusion on the issue. Thanks for posting such an interesting study.
My first response is whoa, you are suddenly qualified to analyze and evaluate scientific studies? But I see that you at least accept that this is interesting evidence and worth considering. Of course there are loads of questions and always the need for further study; that's what studies always do, open the door to more investigation. My point in posting them was to draw your conclusions into question. I have wrestled with the question of how homosexuality is defined as well, but we come at this question from two different angles. For me it is not a question of morality at all and I accept a person's sexual preferences no matter what they are so long as they are within the bounds of mutuality. But for a Christian, I imagine it should be a real struggle to understand how a loving god would create people with such a divergent aspect to their being if he knew they would only be ostracized and persecuted. But then I laugh and realize that this goes on all the time with people of many different sorts, not just homosexuals; it's just typical human behavior. Maybe this is some part of what Christians call "original sin".
I disagree with you. If a person is born with an X and a Y chromosomes, he is a male. If they are born with two X chromosomes, they're women. That is gender identity. I see no reason the debate gender identity. As far as Biblical justification, I have already posted the scriptures that forbid and condemn homosexuality.
You don't have to debate it if you don't want to but your conclusions are, once again, quite simplistic. You are completely ignoring the psychological aspect of a human being. Sure, chromosomes technically define gender, but so do genitalia and even those can be inconclusive in some people. But humans are not just physical beings and how a person perceives oneself is not something to just be tossed aside and ignored. Again, this is not something new those due to historical repression, it seems as if it is new. Fortunately, society has opened up just enough to reveal more about human nature than was previously allowed to be known. I see no reason to force people into boxes that serve no other purpose than to make me feel comfortable. From a Christian perspective this must be frustrating because I know of no mention of such people in the Bible, so I have only a limited idea of how a Christian is supposed to deal with and understand people who don't fit their boxes. Outside religion, this topic can be considered in a much more open and non-judgmental way, which to me is far more healthy and fair for everyone.

Stormbringer
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Re: Possible podcast topic, etc.

Post by Stormbringer » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:00 pm

Chapabel wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:51 pm
I don't think I was as clear as I could have been. What I meant was while I don't believe teachers should force students to pray, there's nothing wrong if the teacher wants to pray herself/himself. I see nothing wrong if a person or a group of people want to get together and pray even if it is in school. As a chaplain serving with other chaplains of various faiths, I have no problem at all when our Muslim chaplain prays. It's not uncomfortable at all. He is a friend of mine. In fact, I recruited him for our chaplain corps. I think we're in agreement on this issue.
That is clear and I don't disagree. The problem is that some Christian groups seek to make prayer and religion compulsory for students, and some even believe that this is the key to bettering humanity.

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Chapabel
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Re: Possible podcast topic, etc.

Post by Chapabel » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:38 pm

Stormbringer wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:58 pm
You don't have to debate it if you don't want to but your conclusions are, once again, quite simplistic. You are completely ignoring the psychological aspect of a human being. Sure, chromosomes technically define gender, but so do genitalia and even those can be inconclusive in some people. But humans are not just physical beings and how a person perceives oneself is not something to just be tossed aside and ignored. Again, this is not something new those due to historical repression, it seems as if it is new. Fortunately, society has opened up just enough to reveal more about human nature than was previously allowed to be known. I see no reason to force people into boxes that serve no other purpose than to make me feel comfortable. From a Christian perspective this must be frustrating because I know of no mention of such people in the Bible, so I have only a limited idea of how a Christian is supposed to deal with and understand people who don't fit their boxes. Outside religion, this topic can be considered in a much more open and non-judgmental way, which to me is far more healthy and fair for everyone.
My views are quite simplistic, I agree. But, that's because God made it quite simple when He created a man and a woman. He didn't create a transvestite, or a gay couple, or a woman trapped in a man's body. These are all man's creations. It is man that has complicated a very simple issue. I disagree with your claim that society has recently opened up to reveal human nature. Human nature has been revealed thousands of years ago in the Bible. Man's nature is to disobey and reject God's guidance. As a Christian the issue of homosexuality is not frustrating at all. Since God has condemned the practice, and there is no mention whatsoever of God ever blessing those who participate in the act, the conclusion is very plain to understand. Because of my position on the subject, I am constantly being accused of being judgmental. I am not. I see myself just as sinful as the homosexual. How can I judge someone who is no more guilty than I am? The difference between a gay man and myself, is I have acknowledged my sinfulness, repented and asked God for forgiveness. My sins were therefore judged at Calvary and I now stand justified before God. If a homosexual never confesses his sins (all of them, not just sodomy), repents and seeks forgiveness, then that person will be judged at the Great White Throne of Christ. I don't see it as a matter of being healthy and fair in man's eyes. I see it as a matter of being justified in God's eyes. Again, I thank you for your civil and thoughtful responses.

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Re: Possible podcast topic, etc.

Post by Stormbringer » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:40 am

Chapabel wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:38 pm
My views are quite simplistic, I agree. But, that's because God made it quite simple when He created a man and a woman. He didn't create a transvestite, or a gay couple, or a woman trapped in a man's body. These are all man's creations. It is man that has complicated a very simple issue. I disagree with your claim that society has recently opened up to reveal human nature. Human nature has been revealed thousands of years ago in the Bible. Man's nature is to disobey and reject God's guidance. As a Christian the issue of homosexuality is not frustrating at all. Since God has condemned the practice, and there is no mention whatsoever of God ever blessing those who participate in the act, the conclusion is very plain to understand. Because of my position on the subject, I am constantly being accused of being judgmental. I am not. I see myself just as sinful as the homosexual. How can I judge someone who is no more guilty than I am? The difference between a gay man and myself, is I have acknowledged my sinfulness, repented and asked God for forgiveness. My sins were therefore judged at Calvary and I now stand justified before God. If a homosexual never confesses his sins (all of them, not just sodomy), repents and seeks forgiveness, then that person will be judged at the Great White Throne of Christ. I don't see it as a matter of being healthy and fair in man's eyes. I see it as a matter of being justified in God's eyes. Again, I thank you for your civil and thoughtful responses.
My apologies. Since you seem to have everything figured out, it appears that I have nothing of value to offer. Good luck on your voyage.

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