--- John W Burgeson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Don P: People that are pro-abortion do have rights
> just as all do. For
> the law says that a woman can have an abortion. So
> we must follow the
> But if one believes that God intended for people to
> do so, then this is
Here is where I differ with the view of groups that
are confrontational towards abortion. I hope that
everyone who pickets outside an abortion clinic spends
an equal or greater amount of time volunteering to
help unwanted children and unwed mothers in some way
shape or form. It seems to me the more Christian
thing to do is show compassion and love and make it
possible for individuals to feel that they do not have
any choice but to get an abortion. Care for those who
have to face those choices and the consequences
thereof should be of paramount importance to us.
It always seems to me that negative responses play
into media perception of religion and Christianity
about having a list of things that you can't do and
judging people negatively who do those things. I much
prefer a positive witness of the love of God.
> JB: What is wrong? I happen to agree that abortion
> is a bad idea. Yes --
> a "sin," at least in some instances. What I oppose
> is a LAW to control
> it. I oppose a law because I see a law doing more
> harm than good. On my
> website are testimonies from six women who were
> involved in the "real
> thing." Read them.
It seems to me that the Christian focus should be on
the detrimental effects of abortion for the mother as
well as the concern over the life of the child. The
goal should be education regarding what the
consequences rather than simply asserting that conduct
is wrong, even though it may be. It is not wrong
merely because people say it is wrong, but because it
takes away something of value in the potential of a
human being and is often detrimental to the woman as
> John: Anti-racist in a wide meaning of that term.
> See all humanity as
> before God.
> People of color have equal standing
> Women have equal standing
> People with different sexual preferences
> have equal standing
> See diversity as a "good thing."
> Don P: You are correct. Everyone is and should be
> equal, regardless of
> they were born. Color is not chosen, nor is gender.
> Sexual preference
> however is chosen, and to my knowledge against God's
I find the emphasis on sexual sin, particularly
homosexuality odd in modern Christian circles and I am
doubly troubled for a couple reasons. First, I do not
dispute that Levitical law and Paul in reference to
some type of homosexual activity clearly disprove it.
However, Jesus was not particularly concerned with
sexual sin. In fact, the reported remembrances of
Jesus seem to suggest he was not much concerned with
it at all, except to universalize it, rejecting
polygamy and holding that any lust, even if not acted
upon, is sinful.
This seems to me to be part of Christ's great message,
that the inward turning of our hearts reflects whether
we are sinful rather than the outward expression of
that sinfulness. Thus, the faithful husband who lusts
after another woman at some point is as sinful as the
actively practicing homosexual in the area of sexual
sin. Why focus more on the homosexual, than the
"faithful" husband with the roving eye. As
Christians, we should all be aware of OUR sins.
Moreover, there are lots of things that various
scriptures disapprove, but that Christians do not
think much about at all. Usery is an excellent
example, because it reflects the cultural nature of
our emphasis on homosexuality as a sin. Scripture
clearly says that usery is sinful. In the middle
ages, Jews were money lenders in parts of Europe,
because the Church prohibited Christians from charging
interest for money. Yet, today, Christians all over
the world work for or own banks, credit card
companies, etc. that charge usery. Yet, we do not
fail to ordain people because they have a credit card
or own stock in a bank. Today, consumerism seems
pervasive in the prevailing western culture.
Moreover, it is insidious, leading to a multiplicity
of sins and a far greater threat to the hearts and
minds of a huge number of people. Our selectivity
toward sin seems rather odd to me, and generally
This is not to say that new cultural or political
tides should not prompt our opposition as Christians.
Barth and Bonhoeffer were right to oppose Nazism.
But, did the churches in Germany prohibit those who
had been members of the Nazi party from being church
members, should they have? It seems to me that
homosexual activity does not demand any more or less
emphasis than any other sin.
> JB: Your claim is that sexual preference is chosen.
> I do not think you
> can cite reasonable grounds for this. Of all the
> gays (male term) and
> lesbians (female term) and trans-gendered people I
> know, and that is more
> than a few (OK -- only one trans-gendered that I am
> aware of) none hold
> that their orientation was in any way "chosen." The
> evidence for genetics
> is large; for environmental is also present,
> although not as large; the
> evidence for chosen is small. That some may choose
> it is agreed; that
> more than a small % of all gays & lesbians choose it
> is hard to defend.
This issue seems rather complex. "Scientific" data,
psychological, genetic, sociological, etc. seem to be
all over the map. I would venture a guess that there
are many different factors at work in sexual
preferences and expressions thereof. I have heard
different versions of people that I know who are
homosexual from being born that way to being affected
by experiences of pederasty.
> You say "to my knowledge against God's will." I
> accept that; it was my
> opinion also -- ten years ago. After study, I came
> to a different
> position. Study materials on my web site (on both
> side) are there for
> anyone who wishes to look at them. Also my own
> position statement.
I have never understood those who say I knew when I
was five or six or seven since I do not recall
sexuality being present in my thought process at that
age. Perhaps that is one of the differences. On one
level, I see the problem of homosexuality at least the
same as the problem of heretosexuality (it may be more
problematic, but I have not reached such a conclusion
definitively). The problem as Christians is that we
have to evaluate how we behave in regard to our
sexuality as a general principle, regardless of
whether it is homosexual or heterosexual. Just
because my heterosexuality is more "the norm" does not
mean that it is not sinful. In fact, it may be very
sinful. As Christians, we should be aware how any of
our behaviors involve sin. I see nothing special
about homosexuality in this regard.
> Don P. Anyone that chooses for personal gain, or
> reasons, not to
> propagate is wrong. This was our main function given
> by God.
I think that God might care about us having a
relationship with him more than propagating. And of
course, not all circumstances of propagation are in
God's will. I agree that personal selfishness should
not be a basis for not having children in the same way
I agree that choosing to have children should not be
to lead a vicarious life or merely to try to add
something that is missing in your life. In other
words, one should not do anything merely or primarily
for personal gain.
> To chose not
> to have children for medical, or religious reasons,
> is one thing. But,
> because one prefers same sex, that is
> not beneficial to the human race. This is not just
> religious, but
> scientific logic.
The path of this scientific "logic" has, in the past,
led to eugenics.
Social Security is a problem, but mainly because
people live a lot longer than they did when the system
went into effect. It is the growth of older
population segments that is the main problem. When
Social Sec went into place, only about 5% of the
population were expected to live long enough to get
it. Now it is considerably higher than that coupled
with a bulge in population curves.
> Wow. OK Don. we now have a world population of 6
> billion people. As I
> read what you have written you see it "God's will"
> that this number
> increase until the only room left on earth is for
> some people to sit on
> standing peoples' laps.
I agree with Burgy here. The world is rapidly
reaching its bearing capacity. A higher birth rate is
not what we need. I am always reminded of the story
of the reindeer on that island (someone help me out
with the reference, I can't remember it now), who
outstripped the carrying capacity and _ALL_ died out
in a short space. Let's hope we do not do the same.
> Don P. " How can anyone say that homosexuality is
> not harming others.
> Heard of AIDS? "
What are the chances of two non-intravenous drug using
homosexuals in a monogamous relationship getting AIDS?
Zero (or close enough).
Same couple in a monogamous relationship spreading
I concur with Burgy's comment.
> JB: Yes. One of the great diseases hitting mostly
> heterosexual folks. The
> sin here is promiscuity, both homosexual and
> heterosexual. Which is, I
> assert, proscribed by scripture.
> John: Honor those of a different religious
> Honor those with no religious persuasion.
> See Christianity as primarily a confessional, not a
Feel compassion and empathy for those without a
religious tradition. I do not know that I can honor
those who are despisers of Christianity or who are
rudderless and caught up in the ways of this world,
but I can love them and do my best to serve them.
>Don P: To discriminate would be wrong, but as I said,
>we must help them find the way for their own sake as
>well as society's. Just as it benefits
>everyone to rehab a drug user. Tolerance, coupled
>with prayer and rehab.
The same is true for all of us, in whichever sins
afflict us. Covetousness, putting ourselves first,
loving money or power or attention or fame. Wanting
us to be served rather than to be served. The list of
sins is endless. We all need rehab. We all need
prayer. We all need to do our best to take up our
crosses, let go of the things that the culture says
are the source of security and rely on God.
Unfortunately, I fail to do all these things. But,
every day, I try again.
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