Author Topic: Sunday School Lessons  (Read 4036 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lotanddaughters

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
  • Darwins +49/-21
  • Gender: Male
  • Artist: Simon Vouet (1633)
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #87 on: February 01, 2014, 08:57:43 AM »
Here is the first lesson of 6 verses / stories regarding homosexuality in the Bible.  Loading the complete lesson as a Word document or any other type of document into the system has proven impossible so am copying and pasting.  There are two posts.  The one below has the verse and opinions which do not take the story at face value.  I posted one earlier showing the same verse and the views which take the story at face value. 

Please review and let me know if you think it is even handed.  I want the kids to see both sides and make their own decisions. 

Many thanks,

OldChurchGuy

Genesis 19:1-11:
1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed down with his face to the ground.

2 He said, ‘Please, my lords, turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you can rise early and go on your way.’ They said, ‘No; we will spend the night in the square.’

3 But he urged them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house;

5 and they called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them.’

6 Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him,

7 and said, ‘I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly.

8 Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.’

9 But they replied, ‘Stand back!’ And they said, ‘This fellow came here as an alien, and he would play the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.’ Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near the door to break it down.

10 But the men inside reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.

11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the door of the house, both small and great, so that they were unable to find the door.

The references below do not accept the above story at face value


It is obvious that Lot wanted to protect the angels from the city mob. The people of Sodom, having recently been under attack by foreigners, might have been worried that the angels were really military spies. The mob might have wanted to humiliate the strangers with homosexual rape which is the authors of the Bible considered as abhorrent as heterosexual rape. The male-on-male rape that the angels were threatened was not a act of romantic attachment or lust; it was a common method of humiliating men in that era and culture. Lot indicated in Genesis 19:7 that whatever the mob intended to do to the angels, it was "wicked."
Lot had lived in Sodom for some time, so he would have known whether the men of the city were mainly or all gay. It is unlikely that Lot would have offered his virgin daughters for the mob to molest or rape if the men of Sodom had been homosexuals. They would then have had no interest in women. It would have made much more sense for him to offer his future sons-in-law instead. Since he was the patriarch of the family, and since his daughters were engaged, Lot would be in a position of authority over both his daughters and their future husbands. But he offered his daughters instead. So he must have known that the men of Sodom were mainly heterosexual.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hombibg191.htm

First of all, in interpreting this event we must take into account the entire situation. Whatever is happening here it is a form of rape. The crowd of men wished to sexually assault or “gangbang” the angels. The situation is also sewn through with appalling violence. Many assert that Lot’s offer of his daughters instead of the male angels implies that homosexual sex would have been worse than heterosexual sex, but Lot himself gives his reason for his action: “Don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” In our time, this does not make entire sense, but in Lot’s time, hospitality was a nearly sacred concept, and it is that distinction that Lot expresses: the visitors are his guests.

Nonetheless, if we were to accept that the distinction is gender-based, we could only conclude homosexual rape of angels is worse than heterosexual rape. To use this story to condemn all homosexual behavior is unfounded and truly stretching this story outside of its historical framework, but that is exactly what has happened. As Jeffrey S. Silker, in reference to such distortion of this text, wrote in his article in Theology Today, “David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba does not make all heterosexual expressions sinful!”
http://www.gaychurch.org/homosexuality-and-the-bible/the-bible-christianity-and-homosexuality/

[Regarding verse 4] the phrase in the original Hebrew that is transliterated as "anshei ha'ir, anshei S'dom." It can have two meanings. It can mean  "men of the city, even the men of Sodom." But it can also mean "the people of the city, the people of Sodom." It appears that the KJV and NIV translators, perhaps influenced by their homophobia, chose a translation that would make the mob all male. The author of the original Hebrew text may well have intended to say that everyone in Sodom -- men, women and children -- were there.

The National Gay Pentecostal Alliance comments:

"This alone tells us that the traditionalists were wrong about the intent of this mob: If you are planning a homosexual orgy, you don't invite the wife and kids!"
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hombibg192.htm

As we look into the rest of our Bible, we see that Scripture does not describe the Sodomites' evil as sexual wickedness. Rather, the prophets charge the Sodomites with a variety of other offenses, including a lack of justice (Isaiah 1:10; 3:9), a general disregard of moral and ethical values (Jeremiah 23:14) and ignoring the needs of the impoverished (Ezekiel 16:48-49). These themes are picked up later by the rabbis of the Talmud who describe the Sodomites as mean, inhospitable, uncharitable and unjust.
http://www.jewishrecon.org/resource/sins-sodom

When I read the part of the Sodom and Gomorrah story that involves the mob, here's what I get out of it:




There might have been a real man named Lot for whom the story is based upon. It is even possible that this man actually had guests whom he respected. Sodom and Gomorrah might have been real places that were destroyed by some natural event or arson caused by people. It is also possible that the entire story is fiction. I can properly conclude that there weren't two angels who left their creator to be haggled by Abraham and went to Sodom.


The sexual orientation of the mob isn't etched in stone, especially if the story is fictional. Lot's offering of his virgin daughters only tells us that Lot thought it was a good move. Lot could have simply been mistaken in thinking that such an offer would satisfy this particular mob.


An average, modern, Western moral person will view Lot's offering of his virgin daughters to the mob as an abhorrent act. However, the author of the story is trying to paint a picture of Lot's hospitality for angels of the Lord the only way an ancient, ruthless, Old Testament author knows how. The author wants the reader to know that when it comes to angels of the Lord, Lot is such a righteous host, that he will offer up his virgin daughters. It makes perfect sense within this ancient barbaric context that the "virgin" part is more important than the "daughters" part. The fact that his daughters are "virgins" makes them hold more value as his property. Forget the feelings that might get hurt when it comes to an ancient barbarian and his property.


We've seen all the weaseling a Christian will do to keep his faith in an ancient collection of man-made writings. This wacked-out reasoning doesn't even have to come into play here. A homosexual-friendly Christian could easily say, "God had Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed because they were rapists, not because they were homosexual", and the homosexual-friendly Christian would actually have a decent argument.



It doesn't matter, though. As long as you have this . . .


"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." -Leviticus 20:13


 . . . coming directly from the Lord Himself, no decent argument will get the homosexual-friendly Christian off the hook. In this instance, the only argument you can possibly get from the homosexual-friendly Christian will be convoluted and nonsensical.

Enough with your bullshit.
. . . Mr. Friday . . . that post really is golden.

Offline Graybeard

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6706
  • Darwins +534/-19
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #88 on: February 01, 2014, 11:05:50 AM »
As we look into the rest of our Bible, we see that Scripture does not describe the Sodomites' evil as sexual wickedness. Rather, the prophets charge the Sodomites with a variety of other offenses, including a lack of justice (Isaiah 1:10; 3:9), a general disregard of moral and ethical values (Jeremiah 23:14) and ignoring the needs of the impoverished (Ezekiel 16:48-49). These themes are picked up later by the rabbis of the Talmud who describe the Sodomites as mean, inhospitable, uncharitable and unjust.
http://www.jewishrecon.org/resource/sins-sodom
I think there are grave presentational difficulties in trying to avoid Leviticus and Romans. However, gang rape as a punishment is mentioned lesewhere in the OT:

It may seem to the weak of faith that ordering gang-rape is, in some way savage. It is not. It is ordained by God as a lesson for the good of us all.

    Judges:19 tells the story of a Levite who lived on a mountainside with a mistress but the mistress was unfaithful and returned to her father. The Levite went to his father-in-law’s house and was well received. The Levite wants to leave with his mistress but the father-in-law insists that he stay to enjoy more hospitality. Eventually, the Levite and his mistress make their way home.

    On their way back, they stopped in the city of the Benjaminites, Gibeah, but could not find a room. Fortunately, an old man from the same area as the Levite offered him and his party food and lodgings. Now as they were eating, there was a knocking on the door. It was a crowd of drunken youths who wanted to anally rape the Levite. (I assume these things were common in those days when there was no Christian TV channels.)

    Like any good host, the old man offered his virgin daughter and the Levite’s mistress to them but they ignored him. So the Levite insisted they take his mistress and they did. The whole gang went “in unto her” all night and in the street.

    Come morning the Levite finds the mistress, her hands on the doorstep and tells her to get up and leave. But she’s dead. So he cuts her into 12 pieces and sends the bits to various parts of[1] Israel to ensure that the same thing never happened again.

Now this seems to me to be allegorical[2] but the allegory and that of Sodom is set around a story of what the listener would least want and what desperate measures he would/should take in order to avoid the fate - i.e. absolutely anything.

It does not speak of a society that is cool with gays, it speaks of a society in which even death is preferable to homosexuality. No amount of apologetics is going to get around that.
 1. read 'tribes of
 2. probably the recurring theme of Israel leaving the Lord
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #89 on: February 01, 2014, 11:32:59 PM »
Trying to add the additional 5 lessons and I am getting this error message:

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access /forums/index.php on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.


Apache Server at whywontgodhealamputees.com Port 80



Any suggestions / recommendations?

As always,

OldChurchGuy


Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Online Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12492
  • Darwins +324/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #90 on: February 02, 2014, 12:53:30 AM »
It's a language block. It prevents certain words and/or phrases from submitting. You have to go through it to find the error. If talking attachments, those don't work either.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline lotanddaughters

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
  • Darwins +49/-21
  • Gender: Male
  • Artist: Simon Vouet (1633)
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #91 on: February 02, 2014, 09:09:28 AM »
Trying to add the additional 5 lessons and I am getting this error message:

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access /forums/index.php on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.


Apache Server at whywontgodhealamputees.com Port 80



Any suggestions / recommendations?

As always,

OldChurchGuy

If you have typed a lot of stuff, I would copy and paste the entire post to MS Word or somewhere other than WWGHA. Then, delete the entire post from the "Post reply" section once you have it saved elsewhere. Then, copy and paste little amounts(one paragraph, or three or four sentences at a time) from where you have it saved. After each little amount you paste back into the "Post reply" box, hit "Preview". If you don't get the "Forbidden . . ." message, those portions that you have pasted so far are O.K. When you hit "Preview" and finally get the "Forbidden . . ." message, you then know the "trigger word" is to be found within your most recent pasting. Then, delete your most recent pasting. Then, take maybe half of your most recent pasting and try pasting that. Eventually, you will find the culprit.

From my experience, it has always ended up being a single word that triggers the "Forbidden . . ." message, and it sucks trying to find it. But, I've always found another word or term to replace it. I usually mention the word that gave me trouble somewhere in my post, since I went through all that trouble in order to quarantine it. For instance, if the "trigger word" was "forbidden", I would mention that the word that gave me trouble was "borfidden" with the "b" and "f" switched, because I can't use the actual word, or I will get the "Forbidden . . ." message again.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 09:20:49 AM by lotanddaughters »
Enough with your bullshit.
. . . Mr. Friday . . . that post really is golden.

Online Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12492
  • Darwins +324/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #92 on: February 02, 2014, 01:55:10 PM »
I find it humorous that OCG is posting a "forbidden" word. He doesn't seem the type.

Just sayin'.

;)

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #93 on: February 03, 2014, 09:18:51 PM »
I find it humorous that OCG is posting a "forbidden" word. He doesn't seem the type.

Just sayin'.

;)

-Nam

It was news to me.  I think I figured out the "forbidden" word and so am filling it in with "**".  You guys should be able to figure it out. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #94 on: February 03, 2014, 09:23:00 PM »
Here is Lesson 2 - from the perspective of those who accept the verse at face value.

Leviticus 18:22: 22You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

In transliterated Hebrew, the verse is written: "V'et zachar lo tishkav mishk'vey eeshah toeyvah hee."
The first part of this verse is literally translated as "And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman" Many, probably most, theologians, Bible translations and biblical commentators agree that the verse is directed at men who engage in at least some form of a**l sex with other men. But they do not agree on the full scope of the forbidden activities. For example:

The Living Bible greatly widens the scope of the original Hebrew to include all homosexual acts by both men and women. They confuse the matter further by not differentiating between homosexual orientation and homosexual behavior. They render the first part of this verse as: "Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden."
The second part of this verse explains what type of sin this transgression falls under. There are two types of sin in the Mosaic Code:
Moral sin is produced by rebellion against God. This seems to be the interpretation of most biblical translations imply when they translate the Hebrew "toeyvah" in this verse into English words such as "abomination," "enormous sin," or "detestable."
The verse is, unfortunately, incomplete. Its precise meaning is ambiguous. The phrase "lay lyings" has no obvious interpretation.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh4.htm

The most common conservative Christian Interpretation: This verse condemns homosexual behavior of all types including consensual sex between two adults and  monogamous sexual activity within a committed relationship. Its meaning is clear and unambiguous. This verse is often quoted in Evangelical churches and on religious radio and TV programs. "Abomination" is defined in Webster's New World dictionary as "nasty and disgusting; vile, loathsome." It is a strong word indeed!
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh5.htm

Such an act was regarded as an “abomination” for several reasons. The Hebrew prescientific understanding was that male semen contained the whole of nascent life. With no knowledge of eggs and ovulation, it was assumed that the woman provided only the incubating space. Hence, the spilling of semen for any non-procreative purpose ˜ in coitus interruptus (Gen. 38:1-11), male homosexual acts, or male masturbation ˜ was considered tantamount to abortion or murder. Female homosexual acts were consequently not so seriously regarded, and are not mentioned at all in the Old Testament (but see Rom. 1:26). But Israelites also affirmed sexual intercourse for pleasure and companionship, and permitted it during pregnancy and after menopause, when conception was not possible. Birth control as such is not mentioned in the Bible; but the Talmud lists exceptions when an “absorbent” could be used by a minor, a pregnant woman, or a nursing wife. But generally the injunction to “be fruitful and multiply” prevailed (Gen. 1:28). One can appreciate how a tribe struggling to populate a country in which its people were outnumbered would value procreation highly, but such values are rendered questionable in a world facing uncontrolled overpopulation.
In addition, when a man acted like a woman sexually, male dignity was compromised. It was a degradation, not only in regard to himself, but for every other male. And the repugnance felt toward homosexuality was not just that it was deemed unnatural but also that it was considered alien behavior, representing yet one more incursion of pagan civilization into Jewish life. On top of that is the more universal repugnance heterosexuals tend to feel for acts and orientations foreign to them. (Left-handedness has evoked something of the same response in many cultures.)
http://forusa.org/content/homosexuality-bible-walter-wink
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #95 on: February 03, 2014, 09:33:02 PM »
Here is lesson 2 from the perspective of those who do not accept the verse at face value.

Leviticus 18:22: 22You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

In transliterated Hebrew, the verse is written: "V'et zachar lo tishkav mishk'vey eeshah toeyvah hee."
The first part of this verse is literally translated as "And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman" Many, probably most, theologians, Bible translations and biblical commentators agree that the verse is directed at men who engage in at least some form of a**l sex with other men. But they do not agree on the full scope of the forbidden activities. For example:


On the other hand, many religious liberals have interpreted the beginning of this verse as referring only to sexual activities between two males during a Pagan temple ritual. If there were a liberal translation of the Bible, it might say "Ritual a**l sex between two men in a Pagan temple is forbidden."
The second part of this verse explains what type of sin this transgression falls under. There are two types of sin in the Mosaic Code:

Ceremonial uncleanliness is caused by contact with a forbidden object or by engaging in a behavior which might be quite acceptable to non-Hebrews, but which was forbidden to the Children of Israel. Eating birds of prey, eating shellfish, cross breeding livestock, picking up sticks on a Saturday, planting a mixture of seeds in a field, and wearing clothing that is a blend of two textiles are examples of acts of ritual impurity which made a Child of Israel unclean. These were not necessarily minor sins; some called for the ancient Israelite to be executed or expelled from the tribe.

The verse is, unfortunately, incomplete. Its precise meaning is ambiguous. The phrase "lay lyings" has no obvious interpretation.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh4.htm

This passage does not refer to gay s*x generally, but only to a specific form of homosexual prostitution in Pagan temples. Much of Leviticus deals with the Holiness Code which outlined ways in which the ancient Hebrews were to be set apart to God. Some fertility worship practices found in early Pagan cultures were specifically prohibited; ritual same-sex behavior in Pagan temples was one such practice.

The status of women in ancient Hebrew culture was very much lower than that of a man and barely above that of children and slaves. When a man engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman, he always took a dominant position, as a penetrator; the woman would take a submissive posture. When two men engage in sexual intercourse, one of the men, in effect, takes the role of a woman. When a man takes on the low status of a woman, the act makes both ritually impure

Many would regard "abomination," "enormous sin", etc. as particularly poor translations of the original Hebrew word which really means "ritually unclean" within an ancient Israelite era. The Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (circa 3rd century BCE) translated "to'ebah " into Greek as "bdelygma," which meant ritual impurity. If the writer(s) of Leviticus had wished to refer to a moral violation, a sin, he would have used the Hebrew word "zimah."

This verse says nothing about consensual same-sex activity today. It only condemns same-sex religious prostitution in Pagan temples.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh5.htm


If Leviticus 18:22 is considered in the context of its surrounding chapters and previous verse, then one might expect that it refers to some forbidden idolatrous activity in a Pagan temple from which the ancient Israelites must separate themselves.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh4.htm
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 09:37:13 PM by OldChurchGuy »
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #96 on: February 03, 2014, 09:41:17 PM »
Here is Lesson 3 from the perspective of those who accept the verse at face value. 

Leviticus 20:13: 13If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

This is almost identical to Leviticus 18:22. In transliterated Hebrew, the verse is written: "V'ish asher yishkav et zachar mishk'vei ishah to'evah asu shneihem mot yumatu d'meihem bam." However, it adds a compulsory death penalty to the participants.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh3.htm

Conservative Christians generally interpret the passage as condemning all male homosexual activity. Some would extend it to lesbians as well. A comment on the capital punishment aspect of this passage by an Evangelical authority is:
T.Crater: stated that the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) are a covenant between God and Israel, which also set up a civil state and decreed its laws. The Christian Scriptures (New Testament) is an agreement "between God and a multinational body called the church. It is not a state, so it doesn't engage in state functions like capital punishment."  Thus, the death penalty called for in Leviticus 20:13 is no longer binding for Christians.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh3.htm

Whatever the rationale for their formulation, however, the texts leave no room for maneuvering. Persons committing homosexual acts are to be executed. This is the unambiguous command of the Scripture The meaning is clear: anyone who wishes to base his or her beliefs on the witness of the Old Testament must be completely consistent and demand the death penalty for everyone who performs homosexual acts. (That may seem very extreme, but there actually are some Christians” urging this very thing today. But it is unlikely that any American court or religious body will condemn a homosexual to death even though Scripture clearly commands it.)
http://forusa.org/content/homosexuality-bible-walter-wink

Homosexuality is clearly condemned in the Bible.  It undermines the basis of God's created order where God made Adam, a man, and Eve, a woman -- not two men, not two women -- to carry out his command to fill and subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28). Homosexuality cannot carry out that command. It also undermines the basic family unit of husband and wife, the God-ordained means of procreation.

Unlike other sins, homosexuality has a heavy judgment administered by God Himself upon those who commit it - and support it. This judgment is simple in that those who practice it are given over to their passions - which means that their hearts are allowed to be hardened by their sins.

As a result, they can no longer see the error of what they are doing.  They will not seek forgiveness.  They will die in their sins and face God's holy condemnation.  But, that isn't all.  In addition to the judgment of being given over to their sin, those involved in it also promote it and condemn others who don't approve of their behavior.

So, in their hearty approval of homosexuality they encourage others to be trapped in their sinfulness.  This means they will reject Christ's redemptive work on the cross.  Without Jesus, they will have no forgiveness.  Without forgiveness, they will have no salvation. Without salvation, there is only damnation in eternal hell.  We don't want this for anyone.

The politically correct view is that there is nothing wrong with two people just loving each other.  Who are we Christians to judge them?  But, who are they to say what is morally right and wrong?  Do they have an objective standard of morals that all people should follow?  No, they don't.  They appeal to things like "society" and "common sense" and "basic rights", etc., to promote their opinion of homosexual normality.  Well, societies have been wrong before (Nazi Germany, anyone?).  What is common sense to one person isn't necessarily common sense to another.  And, basic rights?  Well, we all have basic rights.  But, the homosexuals want special rights.  They want laws passed to protect their sexual behavior. They also want to redefine marriage and require everyone else to accept it! (Will the redefinition stop with homosexual marriage? Don't bet on it. Pedophiles are now asking for rights, too, and they are using the same arguments initially presented by the homosexual movement decades ago.)  Think about it. The pro-homosexuals want laws passed to protect a behavior, a behavior!   It is, after all, homoSEXuality. I want to know what right the politically correct, pro-homosexual minority have to impose their values on the majority. What right do they have to condemn Christians, call us names, and be so very intolerant when say their behavior is a sin? They don't have sound arguments, but they do have liberal dogmatism pushed along by the momentum of the compromising media. They are successfully getting homosexuality promoted in schools, TV, and movies as "normal" and healthy.  As a result, their confidence and successes have pumped up their bravado so much that they even oppress those who oppose homosexuality - a fact blatantly ignored by the double-standard-liberal-media.  But what are we to expect when dogmatism is king and all opposing views are condemned? The pro-homosexuals want everyone to think like them and approve of their "inborn sexual orientation" -- and if you don't?  Well, then you're labeled a bigot!  Yep, they are so tolerant.  That is why they want laws passed to ensure that their behavior of pairing a penis to a penis and a vagina to a vagina is protected as a special legal right even if the majority of people think otherwise!  But hey, its okay if the minority pushes the majority around, redefines marriage, enforces loosening sexual morays, hides the condemning health statistics of homosexual behavior, and not-so-gently forces a change in society as a whole while they arrogantly yell, "This is normal!"
....really?  It is?
But, believe it or not.  We Christians aren't judging them.  We are informing them.  God has declared that homosexuality is a sin.  It isn't our preferences we're declaring.  It is God's.  I know.  I know.  Some will say the Bible isn't true, that it is archaic, sexist, homophobic...blah, blah, blah.  I've heard it all before.  Kill the messenger and let's all jump into bed together and have our fun. Sorry, I'm not interested in freedom without responsibility and the resulting promiscuity and diseases that accompany the politically correct, sexual freedom of aberrant liberal morality.  Instead, I'll follow my Lord who calls all to repentance (Acts 17:30), myself included.
http://carm.org/bible-homosexuality
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #97 on: February 03, 2014, 09:43:18 PM »
Here is Lesson 3 from the perspective of those who do not accept it at face value

Leviticus 20:13: 13If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

This is almost identical to Leviticus 18:22. In transliterated Hebrew, the verse is written: "V'ish asher yishkav et zachar mishk'vei ishah to'evah asu shneihem mot yumatu d'meihem bam." However, it adds a compulsory death penalty to the participants.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh3.htm

Liberal Christians Some comments on the death penalty aspect of this passage by pastors and academics taking a liberal position are:
J. Nelson: "It is grounded in the old Jewish understanding that women are less worthy than men. For a man to have sex with another man 'as with a woman' insults the other man, because women are to be treated as property." She added that this passage is not part of the 10 Commandments, but merely part of almost 600 additional rules put forth via Israel's religious leaders.
D. Bartlett: "Nobody I know, even the most conservative, is saying homosexuals should be executed. I think people who think they take the Bible literally don't take it so literally as to want to execute people."
Krister Stendahl: "If you look at the whole chapter, a lot of things come in for capital punishment that no Southern Baptist would argue that capital punishment is appropriate for. So their reading is a little selective."

Many religious liberals believe that this passage does not refer to all homosexual behavior, but only to a specific form of homosexual prostitution - that performed in a Pagan temple.
•   National Gay Pentecostal Alliance (NGPA) interpretation: They state that a word-for-word translation of this verse from the original Hebrew is:
 "And a man who will lie down with a male in beds of a woman, both of them have made an abomination; dying they will die. Their blood is on them." 3
In modern English this could be translated as:
"If two men engage in homosexual sex while on a woman's bed, both have committed an abomination. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
This does not generally forbid homosexual behavior between two men. It only limits where the act can be done.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh3.htm

In the Old Testament,, homosexual activity was strongly associated with the idolatrous practices of the pagan nations surrounding Israel. In fact, the word "abomination," used in both mentions of homosexual acts in Leviticus, is a translation of the Hebrew word tow' ebah which means something morally disgusting, but it also has a strong implication of idolatry. Thus, many Bible scholars believe the condemnations in Leviticus are more a condemnation of the idolatry than of the homosexual acts themselves. However, that interpretation is not certain.
http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_homosexuality.htm
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #98 on: February 03, 2014, 09:56:36 PM »
Here is lesson 4 from the perspective of those who accept it as face value.

Romans 1:26-27:  26 For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.


David Griffiths writes: "One of the consequences of refusing God's plan for life is homosexual activity which is condemned by the Scriptures (Romans 1:26-28; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13 ), and is contrary to the gospel. (1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10 ). But homosexuals can be saved through faith in Christ and can know deliverance like other sinners. (1 Corinthians 6:11 )."

Frontline Christian organization states: "The 'natural use' would  be the use of sex between a male and female who are married.  Intimate affections between two of the same gender are here called unnatural.... Homosexuality displays clearly how utterly perverse man's desires are."

Drew Worthen writes: "...when people willfully dishonor the One true God, God may very well turn people over to their own sins where they are dishonored. In the case before us it involves sexual perversion. Now I'm not going to spend a lot of time getting too specific here as this kind of behavior is very unnatural and not a very pleasant subject. But the gist of it all is that God is addressing the perversion of lesbianism among women and homosexuality among men."

Dave Armstrong writes: "...the contrast is between natural and unnatural, and also between heterosexual and homosexual sex. Paul is not merely saying that the 'inflamed passions' are what is sinful, but the very concept and practice of homosexual relations, which goes against nature. The documented medical consequences of engaging in such unnatural and unhealthy sexual practices bear this out. Since it is "unnatural" for men to be (sexually) with men, and women with women, according to the Apostle (and God, since the Bible is God-breathed), he describes the sexual acts as 'shameless' and 'error.' There is no qualification here for things like rape or promiscuity or uncommitted, manipulative sex (that is the desperate eisegesis [sic] of those who already believe the Bible is neutral on the issue - itself an absurd proposition, in my opinion). St. Paul makes an argument from nature. He is saying that the very notion of homosexuality is disordered and unnatural."

Jonathan D. Inman writes: "There is no indication whatsoever that any of the sins mentioned in Romans 1:26-32 -- homosexuality or greed, murder or gossip (among others) -- would be acceptable under any circumstances. Such a distinction is a far-fetched fiction, based on impressive sounding speculations that lack any demonstrable factual basis....In Romans Paul teaches that homosexuality is absolutely wrong, that it is coincident with and on a par with all kinds of other sin, and that God forgives people of all kinds of sin, including the sin of homosexuality."

Bob Harbison writes: "The popular view is that homosexuality is just as natural for the homosexual as heterosexuality is for the rest of us, and that it is actually harmful for one to suppress his natural sexual inclinations. Is this a natural, inborn trait? Does the Bible address that question?....(Romans 1:26-27). There may be physical or sociological factors which make the temptation to be homosexual stronger for some people, but there is nothing natural about it! If someone convinces us that there is, it becomes easier to accept the sin."
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc4.htm

The assertion of Bennett Sims, the former Episcopal bishop of Atlanta, is a good example of a viewpoint that is held by many conservative Christians. He believes that these verses have done more to form Christians' negative opinion of homosexuality than any other single passage in the Bible. He writes:
"For most of us who seriously honor Scripture these verses still stand as the capital New Testament text that unequivocally prohibits homosexual behavior. More prohibitively, this text has been taken to mean that even a same-sex inclination is reprehensible, so that a type of humanity known as 'homosexual' has steadily become the object of contempt and discrimination."
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc3.htm

Analysis:
1.   First observation: This is about God being mad ("For the wrath of God [orge] is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..."
2.   Second observation: There is a specific progression that leads to this "orgy" of anger.
      1.   "They "suppress the truth in unrighteousness." (v18)
      2.   "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator." (v25)
      3.   "God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity..." (v24)
      4.   They "exchanged the natural [sexual] function for that which is unnatural" (v26)
      5.   They encourage others to do the same (v32)
      6.   Therefore, the wrath of God rightly falls on them (v18), they are worthy of death (v32), they are without excuse (v20).

Condemnation of homosexuality in the New Testament:
This text is a crystal clear condemnation of homosexuality in the New Testament by the Apostle Paul right in the middle of his most brilliant discourse on general revelation (i.e., he's not speaking to a localized aberration of pedophilia or temple prostitution of "Mediterranean life in the capital of Graeco-Roman culture")!
1.   Here are the specific words Paul uses to describe this behavior:
      1.   An impurity and dishonoring to the body (v24)
      2.   A degrading passion that's unnatural (v29)
      3.   An indecent act and an error (v27)
      4.   Not proper and the product of a depraved mind (v28)
2.   There's only one way this can be missed: if you're in total rebellion.
      1.   According to Paul, homosexual behavior is evidence of active, persistent rebellion against God.
      2.   According to v32, it's rooted in direct, willful, aggressive rebellion against God--true of any "Christian" defending his
                homosexuality.
      3.   "But I'm seeking God." No, according to Paul you're rejecting Him and instead are obeying your deeper rebellion.
      4.   God's conclusion: there's "no excuse" (2 verses).

Does this apply to all homosexuals?

1.   What if one's "natural" desire is for the same sex (co-called constitutional homosexuality)?
2.   There are five different reasons this is a bad argument. The first four are good; the fifth is unassailable.
      1.   The court is still out on scientific evidence.
      2.   The "genetic" argument is a non-argument because it commits the naturalistic fallacy, i.e., you can't get an "ought" from
                an "is."
              1.   Many laws exist to keep you from doing what comes naturally.
              2.   Paul is addressing this on a moral level, not a physiological level.
      3.   This interpretation introduces a whole new concept that is entirely foreign to the text.
              1.   If Paul did not understand genuine homosexuality, then how can one say that he excepted constitutional homosexuals
                        when he wrote they "exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural"? This argument, therefore,
                        self-destructs.
              2.   Paul would also note that some men burned unnaturally towards women, & vice versa if his interest was only in
                        violating whatever sexual orientation one was born with.
      4.   Creates another problem: if all who have a desire for the same sex do so "naturally," then who does this verse apply to? If
                everybody is only following their "natural" sexual desires, then to whom is Paul speaking?
      5.   None of these previous arguments are even needed because Paul was not unclear about what he meant by "natural."
              1.   1:26-27 "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function
                        for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and
                        burned in their desire toward one another..."
                       1.   "Function" (#5540) v 26&27 kreesis, is used only these two times in NT but is frequently used in other literature
                                 of the time.
                       2.   According to Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich (BAG), A Greek/English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early
                                Christian Literature (University of Chicago Press), the definitive Greek language standard reference work, the
                                word means "use, relations, function, especially of sexual intercourse."
              2.   Paul is not talking about natural desires here in this instance, but natural functions.
                      1.   "Natural" is not determined by what you want sexually, but by how you function sexually.
                                 1.   The body was built to function a specific way.
                                 2.   Men were not built to function sexually with men.
              2.   Natural desires go with natural functions. The passion that exchanges the natural function of sex for the unnatural
                        function is what Paul calls a degrading passion.
              3.   Jesus clarified the natural, normal relationship:
                      1.   Matthew 19:4-5 "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female
                                and said 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall
                                become one flesh [sexual intercourse].'?"
                      2.   The desire is unnatural because it abandons the natural function.
                                1.   Extramarital heterosexual sex is wrong because it exploits a natural function in an immoral way.
                                2.   Homosexuality is worse because it's an immoral act based on the perversion of a natural function.
http://www.str.org/articles/romans-1-on-homosexuality#.UuRL15Uo7IU
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #99 on: February 03, 2014, 10:12:29 PM »
Here is Lesson 4 from those who do not accept the verse at face value.

Romans 1:26-27:  26 For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.


In the original Greek, the phrase [degrading passions] probably does not mean "passions" or "lust" as people experienced in normal, day-to-day living -- the type of emotion that one encounters in a marriage or sexually active relationship. It seems to refer to the "frenzied state of mind that many ancient mystery cults induced in worshipers by means of wine, drugs and music." 2 It seems to describe the results of ritual sexual orgies as performed in many Pagan settings at the time. Paul seems to be referring here to Pagan "fertility cult worship prevalent in Rome" at the time. 4 Vestiges of this type of sex magic are still seen today in some Neopagan religious traditions. The Wiccan "Great Rite" is one example. However, in modern times, such rituals are restricted to committed couples in private.

About the words "exchanged," "leaving," "change," and "abandoned:" These words are important, because they precisely describe the people about whom Paul is talking. From the text, he is obviously writing about women with a heterosexual orientation, who had previously engaged in only heterosexual sex, who had subsequently "exchanged" their normal/inborn behaviors for same-sex activities.  That is, they deviated from their heterosexual orientation and engaged in sexual behavior with other women. Similarly, he describes men with a heterosexual orientation who had "abandoned" their normal/inborn behaviors and engaged in same-sex activities. In both cases, he is describing individuals with a heterosexual orientation, who were engaging in same-sex behavior -- in violation of their natural desires. In normal life, these are very unusual activities, because heterosexuals typically have a strong aversion to engaging in same-sex behavior. However, with the peer pressure, expectations, drugs, alcohol and other stimulants present in Pagan sex rituals at the time, they appear to have abandoned their normal feelings of abhorrence and engaged in same-sex behavior.

About the word "natural:" "The operative term in Paul’s original Greek is "phooskos", meaning "inborn", "produced by nature" , "agreeable to nature". 1 This term, and the corresponding phrase "para physin" described below, are open to interpretation:

To many religious liberals, gays, lesbians, mental health therapists, and human sexuality researchers, homosexual and bisexual orientations are normal, natural, and inborn for a small percentage of human adults. For gays, lesbians and bisexuals with these orientations, opposite-sex behavior would be abnormal and unnatural.

To most religious conservatives, and perhaps to Paul himself, all same-sex behavior is abnormal and unnatural, no matter by whom it is done and regardless of the nature of their relationship.

The Greek phrase "para physin" is commonly translated into the English as unnatural in the RSV. 

M. Nissinen defines "para physin" as:
"Deviating from the ordinary order either in a good or a bad sense, as something that goes beyond the ordinary realm of experience." 3
The word "unconventional" would have been a more precise word for translators to use. The phrase "Para physin" appears elsewhere in the Bible:

In 1 Corinthians 11:14, Paul uses the phrase to refer to long hair on men as unusual and not ordinary.

In Romans 11:24, Paul used it to describe God's positive actions to bring Jews and Gentiles together.

Many religious liberals, secularists, homosexuals, and others view this passage as an attack on heterosexual persons who were formerly Christians, who reverted to Paganism, and who engaged in ritual sexual behavior as a part of their newly adopted Pagan services. During these rituals, the Pagans were whipped into such a state of sexual frenzy that they went against their basic heterosexual nature and started engaging in sexual behavior with members of the same sex. Paul condemns such behavior. He concludes that Pagan worship will inevitably leads to other negative behavior:
"...unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, [and] unmerciful."
The beliefs that persons of other religions are all morally corrupt and that followers of one's own religion behave on a much higher moral plane was common in Paul's time. The same assertions have been made throughout history. Yet, modern-day studies indicate that followers of no one religion have a monopoly on good behavior. We are unaware of any religion, all of whose members exhibit consistently immoral behavior.

The passage deals with immoral behavior among heterosexuals who have converted from Christianity to Paganism and engaged in behavior which is against their nature. There is no real connection between:

Former Christians in the first century CE who have returned to Paganism and engaged in sexual orgies, and

Persons with a homosexual orientation who have entered into a loving, committed relationship or same-sex marriage and who may members of a Christian denomination, members of another religion, or persons with no religious affiliation.

Having lived in a pre-scientific era, Paul would not have had access to the research in human sexuality which started in the late 19th century and which only became widespread in the latter half of the 20th century. He would have been unaware of the concept of sexual orientation.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc3.htm


J. Nelson: "Paul didn't write it as a condemnation of homosexuality, but as a criticism of Greek behavior in temple worship. Greeks often incorporated sexual behavior in temple worship."

D. Bartlett: "This is the tough one. I think one doesn't get around this. It's the only place in the New Testament where there's any extensive discussion of homosexual relations. In Romans, there's no question that Paul thinks certain kinds of homosexual behavior are a result of the idolatry of the pagan world."

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc5.htm

In other words, Paul really thought that those whose behavior he condemned were “straight,” and that they were behaving in ways that were unnatural to them. Paul believed that everyone was “straight.” He had no concept of homosexual orientation The idea was not available in his world. There are people that are genuinely homosexual by nature (whether genetically or as a result of upbringing no one really knows, and it is irrelevant) For such a person it would be acting contrary to nature to have sexual relations with a person of the opposite sex.

Likewise, the relationships Paul describes are heavy with lust; they are not relationships between consenting adults who are committed to each other as faithfully and with as much integrity as any heterosexual couple. That was something Paul simply could not envision. Some people assume today that venereal disease and AIDS are divine punishment for homosexual behavior; we know it as a risk involved in promiscuity of every stripe, homosexual and heterosexual. In fact, the vast majority of people with AIDS the world around are heterosexuals. We can scarcely label AIDS a divine punishment, since non-promiscuous lesbians are at almost no risk.
And Paul believes that homosexual behavior is contrary to nature, whereas we have learned that it is manifested by a wide variety of species, especially (but not solely) under the pressure of overpopulation. It would appear then to be a quite natural mechanism for preserving species. We cannot, of course, decide human ethical conduct solely on the basis of animal behavior or the human sciences, but Paul here is arguing from nature, as he himself says, and new knowledge of what is “natural” is therefore relevant to the case.
http://forusa.org/content/homosexuality-bible-walter-wink

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #100 on: February 03, 2014, 10:15:48 PM »
Here is Lesson 5 from the perspective of those who accept it at face value

1 Corinthians 6:9-10:  9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

NOTE: The key words in the analysis below are “male prostitutes, sodomites”.  In Greek these words are malakoi for male prostitutes and arsenokoitai for sodomites.


Albert Mohler: 'I believe it explicitly relates to homosexuality. It has been understood that way in the Christian Church from the earliest era.'

T. Crater: 'It [malakoi] can have a meaning that's not carnal. But the way it's used -- it's embedded in the same context with adultery -- it's pretty clear what the meaning is...A hallmark of Evangelicals is that we take a literal, normal, face-value interpretation of the Bible. Some people attempt to keep some form of Christianity and hold on to homosexuality, too. It leads to strange interpretations of the Bible.'
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc1.htm

Mr. Vines says, "In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul warns against those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. And then he lists 10 different types of people who will not inherit the kingdom. Because the dispute here is about translation, I’ll start with the King James Version of this passage, which was published more than 400 years ago and so predates this modern controversy. It reads: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Our key words for the discussion here are the words translated as “effeminate” and “abusers of themselves with mankind.”...This changed halfway through the last century, when some Bible translators began connecting these terms directly to homosexuality. The first occurrence of this shift came in 1946, when a translation of the Bible was published that simply stated that “homosexuals” will not inherit the kingdom of God....The concept of sexual orientation, and of same-sex orientation in particular, didn’t exist in the ancient world. The English term “homosexual” was not even coined until the end of the 19th century. And so translations of these words that suggest that Paul was using these distinctly modern concepts and categories are highly suspect...The word translated as “abusers of themselves with mankind” in the King James is a compound word. In the Greek, it is “arsenokoites,” “arsen” meaning “male,” and “koites” meaning “bed,” generally with a sexual connotation...simply looking at a word’s component parts doesn’t necessarily tell us what it means...This and some other contextual data indicate that this term referred to some kind of economic exploitation, likely through sexual means. This may have involved forms of same-sex behavior, but coercive and exploitative forms. There is no contextual support for linking this term to loving, faithful relationships." (underline added)
This lengthy quote is necessary in order to clarify Matthew Vine's context.  Mr. Vines is trying to say that the words in question ("effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind") cannot be used against homosexuality because "There is no contextual support for linking this term to loving, faithful relationships."  So, Mr. Vines is saying that homsexuality is okay if it is a "loving, faithful relationship."  There are problems with this approach. 
First of all, notice there are other sins listed:  fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, extortioners, etc.  Why then does homosexuality get an exemption in this list of bad things?  Does the text really mean that it is okay for a homosexual to have a partner as long as they are loving each other?  Think about it.  Homosexuality is clearly condemned in the O.T. (Mr. Vines admits this regarding Lev. 18:22), but now it is okay in the New Testament?  Second, if committed "loving, faithful relationships" is the justifying factor that makes homosexuality okay, then does a "loving, faithful relationship" mean that fornication is also okay?  Mr. Vines' logic would require a response in the affirmative - which is absurd.  Third, why has Mr. Vines given the non-married homosexual couple the exemption to be able to have sex and it isn't wrong, yet when a heterosexual couple does it, it is wrong?  Mr. Vines failed to address this serious error in his position.
What do the Bibles say?
Let's take a look at some modern translations of the verses to see what Bible translators are offering us.
•   KJV, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (malakos), nor abusers of themselves with mankind (arsenokoites), 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God," (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
•   NASB, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (malakos), nor homosexuals (arsenokoites), 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God," (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
•   ESV, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality (malakos), 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God," (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
o   
?   It is worth noting that the ESV combines the Greek malakoi oute arsenokoitai, which is literally "soft ones nor male bed partners" into the single phrase "men who practice homosexuality."
•   NIV, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes (malakos) nor homosexual offenders (arsenokoites) 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God," (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
Of course, some might say that the modern translations are biased.  That would be an easy dismissal.  Nevertheless, let's take a look at some Greek dictionaries.
•   ???????,  malakós; fem. malak, neut. malakón, adj. Soft to the touch, spoken of clothing made of soft materials, fine texture (Matt. 11:8; Luke 7:25). Figuratively it means effeminate or a person who allows himself to be sexually abused contrary to nature. Paul, in 1 Cor. 6:9, joins the malakoí, the effeminate, with arsenokoítai (733), homosexuals, Sodomites.  [Zodhiates, Spiros. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. electronic ed. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000.]
o   ???????, malakós; soft; (1) of clothes soft (to the touch), delicate (LU 7.25); neuter plural malako? as a substantive, luxurious clothes (MT 11.8); (2) figuratively, in a bad sense of men effeminate, unmanly; substantivally ? µ. especially of a man or boy who submits his body to homosexual lewdness catamite, homosexual pervert (1C 6.9)  [Friberg, Timothy, Barbara Friberg, and Neva F. Miller. Vol. 4, Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker's Greek New Testament Library. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000.]
o   ???????, malakós; m: the passive male partner in homosexual intercourse—‘homosexual.’ For a context of malakós, see 1 Cor 6:9–10 in 88.280. As in Greek, a number of other languages also have entirely distinct terms for the active and passive roles in homosexual intercourse.  [Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996.]
o   ????????????, ??, ?, arsenokoít?s;  an adult male who practices sexual intercourse with another adult male or a boy homosexual, sodomite, pederast   [Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. (2000). Vol. 4: Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker's Greek New Testament library (76). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.]
o   ???????????? arsenokoít?s; gen. arsenokoítou, masc. noun, from árs?n (730), a male, and koít? (2845), a bed. A man who lies in bed with another male, a homosexual (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10 [cf. Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:27]).  [Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G733). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.]
o   ????????????, arsenokoites /ar•sen•ok•oy•tace; n m. From 730 and 2845; GK 780; Two occurrences; AV translates as “abuser of (one’s) self with mankind” once, and “defile (one’s) self with mankind” once. 1 one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual.  [Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G733). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.]
Is Mr. Matthew Vines correct in his assertion that 1 Cor. 6:9 is not about committed homosexual relationships?  That isn't what the dictionaries seem to imply.
Focusing on orientation is, according to homosexuals, a means of justifying actions.  In other words, because they're born this way, it's okay to act in a manner according to their orientation.  But again, if orientation is a justification for homosexual behavior, then the heterosexuals orientation to be attracted to someone of an opposite gender can also be used as a justification for fornication.  Of course, this argument doesn't work.  The text of 1 Cor. 6:9 cannot be dismissed based on Mr. Vines preferential interpretation.
http://carm.org/matthew-vines-on-1-corinthians-6-9-10
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #101 on: February 03, 2014, 10:21:10 PM »
Here is Lesson 5 from the perspective of those who do not take the verse at face value.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10:  9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

NOTE: The key words in the analysis below are “male prostitutes, sodomites”.  In Greek these words are malakoi for male prostitutes and arsenokoitai for sodomites.





J. Nelson: 'Paul used the Greek word malakoi. They translate it as effeminate and so on. It could mean that; it might not. It can mean soft. Paul was a Jewish theologian. Someone from a Jewish background would consider that behavior unacceptable. Many Greeks did not.'

D. Bartlett: 'There's considerable debate over what the Greek words mean. We just don't know. I've read most of the debate, and I don't know.'

K. Stendahl: 'When people come to me -- deeply Christian people -- and say, 'This is the way I am created. This is how God made me, how He makes me feel love,' I have to respect that. We know many things people [like Paul] did not know at that time. One should read the Bible with some kind of reason.'

"Malakoi" is translated in both Matthew 11:8 and Luke 7:25 as "soft" (KJV) or as "fine" (NIV) in references to clothing. It could also mean "loose" or "pliable," as in the phrase "loose morals," implying "unethical behavior." In the early Christian church, the words were interpreted by some as referring to persons who are pliable, easily influenced, without courage or stability. Non-Biblical writings of the era used the world to refer to lazy men, men who cannot handle hard work, and cowards.

[John] Wesley's Bible Notes defines "Malakoi" as those:
"Who live in an easy, indolent way; taking up no cross, enduring no hardship. But how is this? These good-natured, harmless people are ranked with idolaters and sodomites! We may learn hence, that we are never secure from the greatest sins, till we guard against those which are thought the least; nor, indeed, till we think no sin is little, since every one is a step toward hell."

Although "homosexual" is a very common translation, it is almost certain to be inaccurate:

If Paul wanted to refer to homosexual behavior, he would have used the word "paiderasste." That was the standard Greek term at the time for sexual behavior between males.

The second term is "arsenokoitai" in Greek. The exact meaning of this word is lost. It seems to have been a term created by Paul for this verse. "Arsen" means "man" in Greek. So there is no way that "arsenokoitai" could refer to both male and female homosexuals. It seems that the English translators gave in to the temptation to widen Paul's condemnation to include lesbians as well as gay males.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc1.htm

"Arsenokoitai" is made up of two parts: "arsen" means "man"; "koitai" means "beds."

•   Male prostitutes: Justin Cannon has provided an interesting analysis of 1 Corinthians. 4 He noticed a pattern in verse 9 and 10. They are composed up of pairs or triads of related groups of people:
o   The lawless & disobedient: two near synonyms
o   The ungodly & sinners: also two near synonyms
o   The unholy & profane: two synonyms
o   The murderers of fathers & murderers of mothers & manslayers: three kinds of murderers
o   Whoremongers & "arsenokoitai" & menstealers
o   Liars & perjurers etc.: again, two near synonyms.
From the repeated pairs or triads made up of synonyms or near synonyms, one might expect that whoremongers, "malakoi arsenokoitai," and menstealers are interconnected with a common theme -- just like the other pairs and triads in the list.
o   In the original Greek, the first of the three words is "pornov." An online Greek lexicon 5 notes that this is Strong's Number 4205, and was derived from the Greek word "pernemi" which means to sell. Its meanings are:
?   A man who prostitutes his body to another's lust for hire.
?   A male prostitute.
?   A man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator.
o   The second term is "arsenokoitai" which has not been given a Strong Number because it is a made-up word that is almost never found in the Greek language other than in 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians.
o   The last of the three words is "andrapodistes," the stem of the word andrapodistai. It is Strong's Number 405 which means:
?   A slave-dealer, kidnapper, man-stealer -- one who unjustly reduces free men to slavery or who steals the slaves of others and sells them.
If we assume that the three words refer to a common theme, as the other five groups are, then we have to look for some sense which the words have in common. Cannon suggests:
o   "pornoi" refers to an enslaved male prostitute.
o   "arsenokoitai" refers to a man who forces sex on an enslaved male prostitute
o   "andrapodistes" refers to a person who kidnaps and enslaves people.
The common theme is slavery. Cannon suggests a translation: "It is as if Paul were saying, 'male prostitutes, men who sleep with them, and slave dealers who procure them'." 1 That is, all three words deal with slavery. They are unrelated to homosexual behavior in the modern sense of the term i.e. consensual sex between persons of the same sex.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/homarsen.htm
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #102 on: February 03, 2014, 10:32:12 PM »
Here is the FINAL lesson from the perspective of those who take it at face value.  NOTE: There are 2 verses

1Timothy 1:9-10:  9 This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, 10 fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching


Paul is repeating here his condemnation of all homosexual activity which he first wrote of in 1 Corinthians 6:9.

Conservatives generally believe that 1 Timothy was written by Paul. 1 Timothy 1:1 actually states this. For almost all of its history, the Christian church has taught that Paul wrote 1 Timothy.

Conservatives generally believe that it was written at a much earlier date. The Schofield Reference Bible says that Paul wrote the Epistle in 65 CE, during the interval between his two imprisonments by the Roman government.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc7.htm



Jude 1:7:  7 Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust,[a] serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire
[a] Jude 1:7 Gk went after other flesh


This verse is referring back to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The male mob in Sodom rejected the offer of two virgin women for sexual purposes and demanded to have sex with the male angels instead. This proves that they were homosexuals. The passage clearly condemns homosexual behavior.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc2.htm

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline jtp56

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
  • Darwins +4/-66
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #103 on: February 03, 2014, 10:36:58 PM »
I had a great discussion with some high schoolers in their Sunday School class this morning.  After discussing various ideas on how the Bible is interpreted I asked them what they would like to discuss next month when we meet again.  Being typical high school age people they fearlessly decided they wanted to discuss:

- Homosexuality and the Bible;

- Birth control, Abortion and the Bible. 

We are agreed the information will present the pro and con sides of the issues so we can have a better discussion and hopefully better appreciate an opposing view point even if we don't agree with it. 

I was wondering if you would recommend any books, magazine articles or websites for either of these topics?   The slant is not as important as the content.  By content, I mean well thought out ideas and, as applicable, documentation / footnotes. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

I recommend the Bible since in Sunday School you should represent the Biblical view.   Oh wait....sorry....that doesn't represent your view.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #104 on: February 03, 2014, 10:38:43 PM »
Here is the FINAL lesson from the perspective of those who do not take it at face value.  NOTE: There are 2 verses

1Timothy 1:9-10:  9 This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, 10 fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching

The book of 1 Timothy was one of the series of "Pastoral Letters" written by an unknown author perhaps half a century or more after Paul's death, and falsely attributed to Paul. The text would appear to have no relationship to homosexuality in the modern sense of the term: consensual sexual activities by persons of the same sex.

Liberals generally believe that this Epistle was not written by St. Paul, but was composed by an anonymous author who was a student of Paul's theology and wrote as a follower of Paul. If done in modern times, this would be considered a forgery. However, it was routine practice in Palestine during the first and second century CE.

Liberals suggest that the Epistle was written circa 100 to 150 CE by an unknown author, up to 85 years after St. Paul's execution by the Roman Empire.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc7.htm


Jude 1:7:  7 Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust,[a] serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire
[a] Jude 1:7 Gk went after other flesh

Jude does not define exactly what sexual "perversion" he is referred to here. It seems to be sexual in nature, because it is coupled with a condemnation of fornication. Jude might have been referring to:
   The intent of the mob to rape the angels. Rape is a clear perversion of God-given sexuality.
   The fact that the angels were non-human. This would have made their sin of rape even worse; bestiality would have been involved.
The Harper Collin's New Revised Standard Version of the Bible uses the term "unnatural lust." A footnote comments: "The Sodomites attempted sexual relations with angels." They apparently use the term "Sodomites" in its original sense to refer to inhabitants of Sodom.
Jude appears to be in conflict with other Biblical passages which also refer to Genesis 19, but stress that the crime of the citizens of Sodom was their lack of hospitality to strangers and insensitivity to the needs of the poor.
Some biblical scholars interpret this verse as relating to an ancient Jewish legend that the women of Sodom engaged in sexual intercourse with angels. Jude's reference would then definitely be to the sin of bestiality, since angels are a different species from humans.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc2.htm
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline Anfauglir

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6198
  • Darwins +408/-5
  • Gender: Male
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #105 on: February 04, 2014, 08:06:13 AM »
And, basic rights?  Well, we all have basic rights.  But, the homosexuals want special rights.  They want laws passed to protect their sexual behavior. They also want to redefine marriage and require everyone else to accept it! (Will the redefinition stop with homosexual marriage? Don't bet on it. Pedophiles are now asking for rights, too, and they are using the same arguments initially presented by the homosexual movement decades ago.)  Think about it. The pro-homosexuals want laws passed to protect a behavior, a behavior! 

Just to pick up on this point.

1) DO they want laws passed to protect their sexual behaviour?  Or do they just want the repeal of laws that make their sexual behaviour illegal?

2) The other issue, frequently touted, conveniently ignores one thing: the issue of, and age of, consent.  You may as well say that they use the same argument as that of heterosexual congress. 

3) Also on the above, it implicitly presents homosexuality as deviant and unwelcome behaviour, something I see used quite frequently when there is no appropriate rational argument.  Compare 'em to Hitler as well, why not?  :police:  ;D
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #106 on: February 04, 2014, 08:13:45 AM »
And, basic rights?  Well, we all have basic rights.  But, the homosexuals want special rights.  They want laws passed to protect their sexual behavior. They also want to redefine marriage and require everyone else to accept it! (Will the redefinition stop with homosexual marriage? Don't bet on it. Pedophiles are now asking for rights, too, and they are using the same arguments initially presented by the homosexual movement decades ago.)  Think about it. The pro-homosexuals want laws passed to protect a behavior, a behavior! 

Just to pick up on this point.

1) DO they want laws passed to protect their sexual behaviour?  Or do they just want the repeal of laws that make their sexual behaviour illegal?

2) The other issue, frequently touted, conveniently ignores one thing: the issue of, and age of, consent.  You may as well say that they use the same argument as that of heterosexual congress. 

3) Also on the above, it implicitly presents homosexuality as deviant and unwelcome behaviour, something I see used quite frequently when there is no appropriate rational argument.  Compare 'em to Hitler as well, why not?  :police:  ;D

Your points are well made.

FYI there were 4 kids on Sunday and we went over the first two lessons.  We had a great discussion and they came away with a better understanding of both sides.  One of the kids asked where I stood on homosexuality and the Bible and I replied that is not appropriate.  My job is to provide information for YOU to decide.  But I did promise that when we have finished the discussion that I would share my personal views. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline lotanddaughters

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
  • Darwins +49/-21
  • Gender: Male
  • Artist: Simon Vouet (1633)
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #107 on: February 06, 2014, 06:10:10 PM »
Here is Lesson 3 from the perspective of those who do not accept it at face value

Leviticus 20:13: 13If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

This is almost identical to Leviticus 18:22. In transliterated Hebrew, the verse is written: "V'ish asher yishkav et zachar mishk'vei ishah to'evah asu shneihem mot yumatu d'meihem bam." However, it adds a compulsory death penalty to the participants.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh3.htm

Liberal Christians Some comments on the death penalty aspect of this passage by pastors and academics taking a liberal position are:
J. Nelson: "It is grounded in the old Jewish understanding that women are less worthy than men. For a man to have sex with another man 'as with a woman' insults the other man, because women are to be treated as property." She added that this passage is not part of the 10 Commandments, but merely part of almost 600 additional rules put forth via Israel's religious leaders.
D. Bartlett: "Nobody I know, even the most conservative, is saying homosexuals should be executed. I think people who think they take the Bible literally don't take it so literally as to want to execute people."
Krister Stendahl: "If you look at the whole chapter, a lot of things come in for capital punishment that no Southern Baptist would argue that capital punishment is appropriate for. So their reading is a little selective."

Many religious liberals believe that this passage does not refer to all homosexual behavior, but only to a specific form of homosexual prostitution - that performed in a Pagan temple.
•   National Gay Pentecostal Alliance (NGPA) interpretation: They state that a word-for-word translation of this verse from the original Hebrew is:
 "And a man who will lie down with a male in beds of a woman, both of them have made an abomination; dying they will die. Their blood is on them." 3
In modern English this could be translated as:
"If two men engage in homosexual sex while on a woman's bed, both have committed an abomination. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
This does not generally forbid homosexual behavior between two men. It only limits where the act can be done.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh3.htm

In the Old Testament,, homosexual activity was strongly associated with the idolatrous practices of the pagan nations surrounding Israel. In fact, the word "abomination," used in both mentions of homosexual acts in Leviticus, is a translation of the Hebrew word tow' ebah which means something morally disgusting, but it also has a strong implication of idolatry. Thus, many Bible scholars believe the condemnations in Leviticus are more a condemnation of the idolatry than of the homosexual acts themselves. However, that interpretation is not certain.
http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_homosexuality.htm

Hi, OCG.

I'm glad that you were able to post the rest of your lessons. I will, I guess, get lucky for awhile, but lo and behold, that "Forbidden . . ." message strikes from time to time.



If you don't mind, I would like to ask you something. What do you think is more probable of these two explanations?


1) The Bible was written by men who had no help from any sort of god. This explains why the biblical writings seem to have originated in the Middle East, and why their message seems to have gradually spread to other parts of the world in a non-god-influenced way.

2) There is a God who gave commandments long ago that have been misinterpreted in so many different ways, and all of these misinterpretations could have easily been avoided if only God had added some more words to better clarify. But, for some reason, God chose not to.


If you don't care to answer, I understand. Or, if you think they are equally probable, that's fine too.
Enough with your bullshit.
. . . Mr. Friday . . . that post really is golden.

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #108 on: February 06, 2014, 09:34:46 PM »
Quote

Hi, OCG.

I'm glad that you were able to post the rest of your lessons. I will, I guess, get lucky for awhile, but lo and behold, that "Forbidden . . ." message strikes from time to time.



If you don't mind, I would like to ask you something. What do you think is more probable of these two explanations?


1) The Bible was written by men who had no help from any sort of god. This explains why the biblical writings seem to have originated in the Middle East, and why their message seems to have gradually spread to other parts of the world in a non-god-influenced way.

2) There is a God who gave commandments long ago that have been misinterpreted in so many different ways, and all of these misinterpretations could have easily been avoided if only God had added some more words to better clarify. But, for some reason, God chose not to.


If you don't care to answer, I understand. Or, if you think they are equally probable, that's fine too.

You have posed an excellent question. 

For me, the Bible is a compilation of writings by various people over centuries of time all trying to express what it is like to experience God.  Not sure if that interpretation fits either or both of the above scenarios. 

Do the lessons come across as even handed? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline lotanddaughters

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
  • Darwins +49/-21
  • Gender: Male
  • Artist: Simon Vouet (1633)
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #109 on: February 06, 2014, 10:31:18 PM »
Quote

Hi, OCG.

I'm glad that you were able to post the rest of your lessons. I will, I guess, get lucky for awhile, but lo and behold, that "Forbidden . . ." message strikes from time to time.



If you don't mind, I would like to ask you something. What do you think is more probable of these two explanations?


1) The Bible was written by men who had no help from any sort of god. This explains why the biblical writings seem to have originated in the Middle East, and why their message seems to have gradually spread to other parts of the world in a non-god-influenced way.

2) There is a God who gave commandments long ago that have been misinterpreted in so many different ways, and all of these misinterpretations could have easily been avoided if only God had added some more words to better clarify. But, for some reason, God chose not to.


If you don't care to answer, I understand. Or, if you think they are equally probable, that's fine too.

You have posed an excellent question. 

For me, the Bible is a compilation of writings by various people over centuries of time all trying to express what it is like to experience God.  Not sure if that interpretation fits either or both of the above scenarios.

Thanks for answering.

To me, your answer seems like it could possibly fit with both, but I feel your answer leans with being more compatible with #1. That could be just my opinion though. 





Do the lessons come across as even handed? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

That would be a long post if I got into detail about all of the lessons.

If I concentrate on Lesson 3, I might consider the two sides even-handed. I am more of a literalist when it comes to the Bible, so I will usually agree more with the Christian literalist's interpretation.

Having said that, the liberal opinions that you included made good points about how when it comes to death sentences for petty or non-existent crimes, you never see the literalists calling for them in real life.

My advantage of being an atheist is that when I believe that the author of a passage is truly calling for a death sentence, I can dismiss the passage without being a hypocrite because my stance is that the author is a human who I simply don't agree with. My stance is that the author is a human who claims that God called for a death sentence.   :)

Enough with your bullshit.
. . . Mr. Friday . . . that post really is golden.

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #110 on: February 16, 2014, 05:57:14 PM »
We have gone through 4 of the 6 segments now.  The kids seem to enjoy the discussions and seeing two opposing view points.  If nothing else, it is making them think so I am happy. 

Just felt like doing an update and to thank everyone for their feedback.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12338
  • Darwins +677/-28
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #111 on: February 18, 2014, 08:57:11 AM »
Will they let you continue to teach sunday school if 75% of the kids come out no longer believing in god?
Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline OldChurchGuy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1529
  • Darwins +101/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • One of those theists who enjoys exchanging ideas
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #112 on: February 18, 2014, 09:05:00 PM »
Will they let you continue to teach sunday school if 75% of the kids come out no longer believing in god?

Don't know.  At the very least, I suppose they might ask some questions should that happen.

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Offline Graybeard

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6706
  • Darwins +534/-19
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #113 on: February 18, 2014, 10:01:29 PM »
OCG

It's late and I must read your lessons again.

As an apologist, it is a most difficult trick to pull off to move the OT and NT to read in anyway as accepting of homosexuality. I have an atheist, gay friend who is extremely well educated who cannot, for the life of him, understand why Churches can find any acceptance of homosexuals and yet gay friends are Christians.

Looking back at the references, it would appear strange that God could not make Himself clear. Every statement that condemns homosexuality or describes it as an abomination or uses it to inspire horror and terror, would seem to be wrong or "in need of interpretation."

I don't think that this can be the case. Doctors in training are given the advice: "When you hear hoof beats, think horses not zebras." Soldiers are told "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is probably a duck." and famously, Freud said, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Judges in the courts of the UK are well-versed in "taking the plain meaning." of the words of the law.

All these speak of not trying to force an unwilling paragraph to confess to lying.

Given that the history of Christian countries has been one, generally, of utter condemnation of homosexuality, and all this has been based upon Christianity, and those who passed the laws and gave the commands were professing Christians. I can only say that God hates homosexuals -> we really need look no further. There is no debate, there are not "two sides."

We are now in a more liberal climate. Personal freedom is valued. But how is it possible for words, set in stone, to suddenly change their meaning? The Churches are screwed: they can accept reality and that the priest/saints/forebears/disciples/ were wrong when they, uninspired, simply wrote down what they thought were solid, popular ideas and called them The Word of God. Or they can say, Let's have another Council at Nicaea and revise the whole lot we'll throw out all the garbage: we'll take as a basis The Jefferson Bible and work from there.

There are those who are around who have reached high office in mainstream Churches who do not merely "reject" the more fanciful or odorous parts of scripture but actively deny them and use Christianity as a philosophy more than dogma or a creed. Like the fluffy-bunny Christians, they choose the bits that they like. Usually, there is nothing objectionable in this set of ideas.

I don't have a difficulty with these characters - we have recently given up Godly genocide, curing leprosy by "herbs" executing witches, and I see no reason whatsoever that other sacred cows cannot find their way to the altar of reason.

Personally, I blame Gutenberg: had he not enabled everything to be recorded in black and white, chances are that God would have evolved along with the rest of creation and philosophy and we would have a religion like John Shelby SpongWiki[1] espouses.
Quote
A prominent theme in Spong's writing is that the popular and literal interpretations of Christian scripture are not sustainable and do not speak honestly to the situation of modern Christian communities. He believes in a more nuanced approach to scripture, informed by scholarship and compassion, which can be consistent with both Christian tradition and contemporary understandings of the universe. He believes that theism has lost credibility as a valid conception of God's nature. He states that he is a Christian because he believes that Jesus Christ fully expressed the presence of a God of compassion and selfless love and that this is the meaning of the early Christian proclamation, "Jesus is Lord" (Spong, 1994 and Spong, 1991). Elaborating on this last idea he affirms that Jesus was adopted by God as his son, (Born of a Woman 1992), and he says that this would be the way God was fully incarnated in Jesus Christ.[1] He rejects the historical truth claims of some Christian doctrines, such as the Virgin Birth (Spong, 1992) and the bodily resurrection of Jesus (Spong, 1994). In 2000, Spong was a critic of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church's declaration Dominus Iesus, because it reaffirmed the Catholic doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church and, perhaps even more importantly, that Jesus Christ is the one and only savior for humanity.[7]
My apologies for that huge quote but were I stuck on a desert island with a Christian, Spong would be my choice.

It is this approach, not apologetics, that I hope will win the day. I find it honest and refreshing and a belief system that does not seem to threaten anyone or create fanatics. (I wonder if he has a counterpart in the Muslim world...)
 1.   Also available on Youtube and worth listening to.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 10:07:41 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12338
  • Darwins +677/-28
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #114 on: February 19, 2014, 09:42:20 AM »
good post GB.  I feel mostly the same.  However, I would lay blame not on Gutenberg (I loved the Police Academy movies), but on the RCC for acting like total douchebags, Martin Luther for enabling every loon with an opinion and protestantism in general for fetishizing the bible. 

Society has moved on from the laws and morals of the OT, and even the NT in some instances, but the bible was never revised to reflect that. So we have these crappy, outdated ideas still laying around as "word of god", when most sensible people understand and agree they are crappy and outdated. 

In manufacturing we have a parallel.  Our bible is our ISO 9001 documentation.  It should reflect how the business runs - specifically and in detail what our methods and practices are.  If we find we have a bad or outdated practice, we update the ISO manuals - all of them.  That keeps people from continuing to follow bad practices. 

Similarly, it seems to me that had someone added to the commandments the obvious and almost universally agreed upon instructions "thou shalt not own people" and "thou shalt help other people" and "thou shalt use birth control if thou really wants to", and removed all the crap about women being submissive, and homos being stoned etc, we'd be in a much better spot right now.  Because really, the bible does not reflect modern values much at all. 


edit: ever--> every
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 11:41:39 AM by screwtape »
Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline Graybeard

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6706
  • Darwins +534/-19
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: Sunday School Lessons
« Reply #115 on: February 19, 2014, 11:36:50 AM »
OCG

It's late and I must read your lessons again.
I think you have possibly stated the entire controversy. On the one hand, it is a very difficult subject as you approach it with neutrality; on the other there are homosexuals within every church and they would wish for and work towards another interpretation.

"V'ish asher yishkav et zachar mishk'vei ishah to'evah asu shneihem mot yumatu d'meihem bam." = "And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman"

I don't think there is a diffiuclty in the translation. This linguistical form in Hebrew "lay lyings" is quite common:

Ge:27:34: And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry,
Jos:6:5: And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout;
1Sa:6:19: And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.
2Ch:13:17: And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men.
Zec:1:14: So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

It is clear that it is an emphatic form of the verb, the style of which has been carried over in the translation. The root-word appears both as a verb and as a noun. To remove the emphatic, the first verb can be (in English) replaced by "to do".

The "of a woman" qualifies the noun "lying" the "of" indicates "associated with" as in "the leg of the table"

So all we now have to do is look at 'lyings.' which, in English, would be the non-count noun for a lie down - i.e. lying down in the broadest sense.

"And with a male you shall certainly not do lyings associated with a woman." Which is clear enough for me. "And with a male you shall certainly not lie down as you would in the manner associated with a male and a woman lying down."
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 11:41:01 AM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”