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RELIGION, CURRENT EVENTS, TECHNOLOGY Subscribe to the breaking newsWhat is RSS?
FRONT PAGE  |  10/2/2014
FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013  |  84 comments
When Christians become a 'hated minority'
When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.

During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.

“But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, ‘I agree with everything you said,’" says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.

We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot. ...


CLICK HERE to Read Entire Article
religion.blogs.cnn.com

Attitude Toward Homosexuality?
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Page 1 | Page 3 ·  Found: 84 user comment(s)
News Item5/13/13 7:53 AM
Observer  Find all comments by Observer
Christopher000 wrote:
...I do wonder sometimes though if intellectualism trumps simplicity at times. Maybe not, but maybe.
Hey Chris

Definitely not about intellectualism!

Its about understanding the mind of God. I am sure we all agree that God means what he says. But what he appears to say at face value and what he is actually saying maybe 2 different things. This may sound like a bold claim, BUT I am prepared to demonstrate this because a great deal is at stake in our understanding of God's word!

Even in our Lord's life we have many examples e.g.

John 2:19
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

The literalist Jews were dumb founded because they thought he was speaking about THE temple.

Helps/UK recommended a good book for you to read. If you do determine to read Fairbairn, do follow it up by reading his commentary on Ezekiel to see how those principles are applied to that prophetical book.

44

News Item5/13/13 7:29 AM
Christopher000 | Rhode Island  Find all comments by Christopher000
I look forward to the day when I will be able to follow and grasp these conversations. I look even more forward to being able to offer intelligent, accurate input.
I understand pretty much everything at first, but as the conversations evolve, I get lost quick. I'll read some threads over and over, trying to comprehend because I want to get involved, but I end up scratching my head and going, "Huh?"
I think it's amazing how much knowledge you all have and how deep you can go into the topics at hand. I do wonder sometimes though if intellectualism trumps simplicity at times. Maybe not, but maybe.
43

News Item5/13/13 4:16 AM
Observer  Find all comments by Observer
Unprofitable Servant wrote:
...., You have shown a very apt grasp of the Scriptures for whatever my opinion is worth..
US
It's all very well to pay lip service to detecting genre and then saying we deal with it according to its rules. But here is the rub: when it comes to the prophetical writings the literalist becomes a crude literalist. One has to study how the Holy Spirit uses and interprets prophecy in the NT to start to see how David for instance is used as a figure for Christ. Literalist would say David is going to return. We'd say no the reference is to Christ. See also the prophecy about the return of Elijah and how this vexed the Jews but the Lord answered saying that John Baptist had come in the spirit of Elijah.

When one studies the NT quotations of the OT, the crude literalism of the millenialists is blown out of the water.

I will wait to see how Mike NY answers re: fuzzification before posting up some more difficulties that the literalist will have with how the NT handles OT prophecy.

If nothing else, these sorts of consideration should send people back to their bibles to examine their presuppositions. Which ain't no bad thing!

I'm sure you'll agree bro that we have to take hermeneutics real serious!

42

News Item5/12/13 11:59 PM
Lurker  Protected NameFind all comments by Lurker
Unprofitable Servant wrote:
I would say Peter using the passage in Joel in Acts 2 also did not have a fulfillment of the sun being turned to darkness and the moon to blood.
I struggled with the Joel text for quite some time myself till I began to perceive the recurring cycles throughout the bible. The first obstacle to overcome is the fact that the prophecy isn't written in chronological order. The second is the figurative language must be defined which is quite impossible if interpreted literally.

IMO, the proper chronological order....

1) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood accompanied with wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(Similar to the spiritual darkness in Egypt when Pharaoh rose to power who didn't know Joseph. Also similar to God's wonders in Egypt and in the wilderness (Acts 7:36). See Rev 6:12 and 6:17 to see what comes next)

2) the great and the terrible day of the LORD (Same as Israel's 40 year wilderness trek under the law and the first seven weeks of Daniel's 70 week prophecy)

3) afterward I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh (when the day of the Lord's vengeance had an end and His enemies had been judged. See Deut 32:2 for the shadow of Pentecost.)

41

News Item5/12/13 10:01 PM
jpw  Find all comments by jpw
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

"Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." John 3:3-5

"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" John 3:12

40

News Item5/12/13 9:27 PM
Unprofitable Servant | Georgia  Find all comments by Unprofitable Servant
Not sure I will answer to your satisfaction as I am not going to chose to address your five questions one by one. I would be the first to agree that it is not obvious to see how James chose this passage to show that God would deal with the Gentiles except as it states that the Gentiles (heathen) are those upon whom the name of the Lord is called. I would say Peter using the passage in Joel in Acts 2 also did not have a fulfillment of the sun being turned to darkness and the moon to blood. I do know that it was foreign to the Jewish mind that God would offer salvation to any other than His chosen people of Israel, remember they were going to throw our Lord off a cliff just for reminding them that God had favorably dealt with the Gentiles. My point is that there are both portions we should take literally and portions that are clearly allegorical. I have seen error by people making a literal out of an allegorical and vise versa. Back to the passage, although Amos would not have seen it that way, James is obviously making a spiritual application to a passage about a physical structure. As I said before, one would hope that we can make spiritual applications to all of the Word of God. You have shown a very apt grasp of the Scriptures for whatever my opinion is worth. God bless
39

News Item5/12/13 6:45 PM
Observer  Find all comments by Observer
Unprofitable Servant wrote:
Thanks Observer.....
Let's have a go at this:

Acts 15.14-17
Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

The prophecy cited reads:

Amos 9.11-12
In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this.

So questions:

1. Reading Amos alone, what would you have understood by his words?
2. Who is this David?
3. When was the tabernacle of David raised? The ruins built up? Where is this literally fulfilled?
4. How does "that they may possess the remnant etc" mean "That the residue of men might seek the Lord etc."
5. Edom in fulfillment?

38

News Item5/12/13 5:20 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
Unprofitable Servant wrote:
We believe (and I mean those of us posting here) in a literal heaven and hell, in a literal Jesus who walked on this earth and the literal miracles He performed. We believe He literally walked on water, healed the sick and rose from the dead. Even though passages are allegorical, we still believe in a literal Isaac and Ishmael. When our Lord said we are His sheep, that does not mean we run to the mirror and wonder how we have been fleeced because we haven't any wool. The Scriptures obviously have both literal and allegorical parts. In Revelation 19 we believe that literal saints are singing literal alleluia's at the marriage supper of the Lamb We believe He will literally destroy His enemies and avenge the blood of those who were beheaded. We believe in a literal great white throne judgment and a literal lake of fire. Therefore, since ALL that surrounds the 1000 year reign is literal we have no reason to think it is allegorical.
Yep, surely correct US.

Except for the non-literal parts in the passage.

It just remains to work out when, and of what sort, the reign of Christ is.

37

News Item5/12/13 5:10 PM
Unprofitable Servant | Georgia  Find all comments by Unprofitable Servant
Thanks Observer and others for your great posts. Maybe I can in part answer your question. If i am misrepresenting what you are trying to say, my bad. Obviously if all Scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction, then one would hope we can find a spiritual meaning from any passage. Remember context is critical. We believe (and I mean those of us posting here) in a literal heaven and hell, in a literal Jesus who walked on this earth and the literal miracles He performed. We believe He literally walked on water, healed the sick and rose from the dead. Even though passages are allegorical, we still believe in a literal Isaac and Ishmael. When our Lord said we are His sheep, that does not mean we run to the mirror and wonder how we have been fleeced because we haven't any wool. The Scriptures obviously have both literal and allegorical parts. In Revelation 19 we believe that literal saints are singing literal alleluia's at the marriage supper of the Lamb We believe He will literally destroy His enemies and avenge the blood of those who were beheaded. We believe in a literal great white throne judgment and a literal lake of fire. Therefore, since ALL that surrounds the 1000 year reign is literal we have no reason to think it is allegorical.
36

News Item5/12/13 10:31 AM
Observer  Find all comments by Observer
Mike wrote:
Again, Nicodemus was not taken to task for his literalism. It wasn't the issue, but his lack of prophetic grasp.
What is silly is defining literal interpretation as taking every verse content or individual word in a physical sense rather than as it is meant to be taken, then pointing a finger at it in ridicule.
The heart here, as you know, is not the blood pump, but the inner man. Literal interpretation already gets this. There is no spiritualization of the Ezekiel passages if you accept literally what it means when it speaks of the heart. Proper definition helps.
I get it. You're not a crude literalist. If by literalism you mean identifying the genre of literature and using the rules for that genre to determine the meaning, I have no issues with that.

Given this, can you please give me an example of what you mean by fuzzification?

35

News Item5/12/13 9:01 AM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
Christopher000 wrote:
Hmmm, ok, well that bothers me then. So to believe in the literal interpretation will cause us to compromise parts of the gospel?
As you study more on this subject, Christopher, you will find that for those theologians who document a literal physical reign from Jeruslaem, the one true gospel is jettisoned for that period in time and replaced with another. This is standard dispensationalism, where God deals differently with sinners in different time zones. Not wanting to give you a headache or anything.

But as I say, you'll come across these things over time, and you will be able to weigh them up slowly and reach your own mind on the matter.

For myself, I believe that when we reach the eternal state in heaven, every last human sinner who ever got saved will worship and praise their Saviour, the Lamb of God, who will be the sole reason why they made it there. ("....not of works, lest any man should boast.")

34

News Item5/12/13 7:57 AM
Christopher000 | Rhode Island  Find all comments by Christopher000
John UK wrote:
"Christopher, if the millennial issue was a standalone docrine, then sure it would okay to keep an open mind and not let it become schismatic. However, it does not stand by itself, there are other doctrines involved, doctrines which affect the gospel itself."

Hmmm, ok, well that bothers me then. So to believe in the literal interpretation will cause us to compromise parts of the gospel? That doesn't sound good. I wish I could respond to all of the comments but I can't argue anything. I even read Gal 4 and see that Abraham's two sons are used as allegories; comparing them to the two covenants, free and bondage, but don't understand how I can use that example to sway me towards an allegorical intetpretation on the millenium. I don't know why God made important parts of the Bible so difficult to understand. Most everything seems so clear to me but then I find out that they have meanings that are the polar opposite of what I had thought. On top of that, I can't even comprehend the meanings at times...ha-ha...argh.

33

News Item5/12/13 7:18 AM
Mike | New York  Find all comments by Mike
Observer wrote:
He failed to understand because of his literalism!!
And you've just spiritualized the Ezekiel passages silly!! The new heart is not a literal heart etc...
Again, Nicodemus was not taken to task for his literalism. It wasn't the issue, but his lack of prophetic grasp.

What is silly is defining literal interpretation as taking every verse content or individual word in a physical sense rather than as it is meant to be taken, then pointing a finger at it in ridicule.

The heart here, as you know, is not the blood pump, but the inner man. Literal interpretation already gets this. There is no spiritualization of the Ezekiel passages if you accept literally what it means when it speaks of the heart. Proper definition helps.

32

News Item5/12/13 7:08 AM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
Observer wrote:

Which one John?

It is the parable of the sower, bro.

Here is the text:

Matthew 13:23 KJV
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Now what is this "fruit" that the seed bears? And what is this "hundredfold, sixty, and thirty"?

I am taking it that the seed is the word of God, and that the good ground is a prepared heart of a sinner, willing and able to receive the seed, and to understand and believe it.

31

News Item5/12/13 6:55 AM
Observer  Find all comments by Observer
John UK wrote:
.....There are some parables I am still struggling with, and despite asking everyone I know, there is one in Matthew 13 which no-one seems to have the answer for......

Which one John?

30

News Item5/11/13 7:42 PM
Observer  Find all comments by Observer
Mike wrote:
.....,being a master of Israel(meaning a high order of teacher) yet not understanding what a master should have known from the OT of these things.....
He failed to understand because of his literalism!!

And you've just spiritualized the Ezekiel passages silly!! The new heart is not a literal heart etc...

29

News Item5/11/13 7:26 PM
Mike | New York  Find all comments by Mike
Observer wrote:
---
Nicodemus 'birth' meant 'birth' and so to his mind his question about entering again into his mothers womb was a natural enough question. Why did the Lord have to chide and explain to a master in Israel that this was a spiritual experience? Surely what limited him in his understanding was his literalism!
---
He wasn't chided for being a literalist, but for being a master of Israel(meaning a high order of teacher) yet not understanding what a master should have known from the OT of these things.

Ezekiel 11:19
"And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:"

Ezekiel 36:26,27
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."

Among others, also Deut 30:6; Jer 31

Nicodemus' problem was not with his confusion about birth, but with having a weak grasp of prophecy. Perhaps he didn't take it literally enough?

28

News Item5/11/13 7:07 PM
Observer  Find all comments by Observer
Please you literalists out there explain to me how Paul in Galatians 4 could say that the 2 sons of Abraham were an allegory teaching the 2 covenants and their effects?! In reading of Abraham, without this informing theology from the NT would you ever have figured this to be the case?!

Isn't this precisely the kind of spiritualization that you despise? And yet the Spirit of God himself gives us this explanation of that historical event as an example of how we are to read and understand the OT!!!

27

News Item5/11/13 6:33 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
Observer wrote:
True enough John.
But what puzzles me is that those who are born again and therefore enter and see the kingdom of God (a kingdom NOT of this world) have difficulties differentiating between 'literal' and 'spiritual'!
We have spiritual sight, spiritual ears, spiritual tastes, spiritual lives, spiritual desires, spiritual battles etc but we when we come to the Bible we somehow have to dismiss the spiritual for the literal!
Jesus teaching was very much in parables, so that folks wouldn't comprehend the meaning. Deeply spiritual, very difficult to grasp. There are some parables I am still struggling with, and despite asking everyone I know, there is one in Matthew 13 which no-one seems to have the answer for.

As for Jesus reigning as King in this world, well I somehow thought that he was reigning right now, until the Father puts all his enemies under his feet. It fits the whole of the scriptures, and forces a spiritual meaning on the 1000 years of Revelation.

Now I really must outta here!

26

News Item5/11/13 6:20 PM
Observer  Find all comments by Observer
John UK wrote:
Yes indeed! I was just thinking, the only people who know what it means to be born again, are those who have been born again.
True enough John.

But what puzzles me is that those who are born again and therefore enter and see the kingdom of God (a kingdom NOT of this world) have difficulties differentiating between 'literal' and 'spiritual'!

We have spiritual sight, spiritual ears, spiritual tastes, spiritual lives, spiritual desires, spiritual battles etc but we when we come to read and understand the Bible we somehow have to dismiss the spiritual for the literal as though when we use the word 'spiritual' we mean fictional!

Agreed that the Lord will return bodily and upon his return the kingdoms of this world will be given to Christ, there will follow a great conflagration and a new heaven and earth etc and that what our bodies will be (1 Cor 15) not even our wildest imaginations can conceive and as for heaven we are assured eye hath not seen nor ear heard neither hath it entered the heart of man what God hath prepared for them that love him. Oh to be with Christ is indeed gain!

25
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