From: Debbie Mann (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jun 03 2003 - 09:08:23 EDT
It's not what I read in the Bible. But, you might want to see:
I would like to believe that all nice people who believe in God go to
heaven. I would like to believe that Native Americans that worship the Great
Spirit and free spirits who worship the God in All of Us and my Moslem
Friends and my Jewish almost family are all going to heaven. I would like
for Consenting Adult not cheating on someone else Sex to be totally okay.
(If I thought that, my marriages would have been on a different schedule -
at least my second one.)
I don't like that obey the laws thing either. Speed limits are usually set
extra low to play mind games with people. (I'm guilty of perpetually doing 7
over - so there goes the living in sin thing. :) )
While I'm complaining, I think the current pot laws are stupid. I don't like
paying $26K a year to lock up some dumb kid and then frequently have him
come out with his future destroyed. Don't like pot either. Why did God
It's one thing to say that ssome of the Bible may be allegorical or
explained in terms of false scientific premises. It's something else
entirely to say that no matter when it was written or who wrote it we can
take the pretty parts and leave the rest alone. Some of it begs for
interpretation. Other parts don't. I believe it was Jenkins who said, when
you can - take it literally.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On
Behalf Of Don Winterstein
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 5:01 AM
Subject: Fw: Do non-U.S. Christians say "God Bless America?"
Sondra Brasile accused me of something like cowardice (for her benefit I
won't repeat the word she used) for responding offline to her attack on a
post I'd made, so I need to set the record straight. Please consider this
my online response to her remarks as well as my defense against her
First, I responded offline because I did not receive an online message, so
I assumed she had written offline. She told me she did not. She then
accused me of calling her "ignorant," which I did not. Everyone is
ignorant, so it is meaningless to accuse someone of being so unless you go
into detail. In fact, she herself implied I was ignorant in a sphere where
I'm actually fairly knowledgeable.
I said that her comments stemmed from ignorance, because without any
evident basis she called the Holy Spirit, whom I worship as God, "the spirit
of antichrist." If that remark was not made in ignorance, then it was
malicious; so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I might also have
accused her of not reading my post, as she came up with very inaccurate
opinions about what I'd said. In addition, her tone was disrespectful, an
aspect I found offensive under the circumstances despite my thick skin.
My response in its entirety was the single sentence that follows:
I forgive your comments, as they stem from ignorance.
Ms. Brasile's comments on my post (see below) were:
> Actually the 'spirit' you speak of is the spirit of antichrist.
> You can haggle over and argue about what relates to physical science and
> Biblical references to the physical world, but when you start saying
> morality can be broken down to our own, twisted, distorted,
> selfish, fallen, sinful interpretation, you've "left the building".
> So everybody's going to heaven, is that what you're saying? Because
> 'everyone does right in his own eyes' but see, God (and Jesus) have a
> completely different perspective on what's right and wrong, they are the
> *authority* not you or I, not our emotions. Have you ever even studied
> Bible? If you take such a liberal approach to the scriptures as that; if
> you've read it and don't get meaning out of it other than that, I'd say
> aren't 'enlightened' and I seriously worried about your actual
Some of the comments people (not just Ms. Brasile) have made on this
thread emphasize how depraved mankind is. There is another side to the
story. Many statements in the NT say how virtuous and knowledgeable
children of God can be when living a life sanctified by the Holy Spirit
(e.g., John 14:26; I John 2:20, 3:9).
Compassion for fellow humans led Jesus himself to set aside OT laws and
rules more than once. By his actions and words he demonstrated that
compassion trumps law. Should we ignore his lessons? Should we now become
fixated once again on details of the law?
The exchange that led to Ms. Brasile's comments (above) was as follows:
Sondra Brasile wrote:
> So what part about the word "abomination" are you not grasping?
Scientific discoveries force us to reinterpret the Genesis creation
accounts, the Flood account, the Tower of Babel account, etc., etc. All
this necessary reinterpretation means the Bible and its inspiration were
what a lot of conservative Christians thought they were.
Where does the need to reinterpret end? In heaven. On earth we need to
integrate our experience of the world with our personal knowledge of God
through the guidance of his Holy Spirit. When our world changes as
drastically as it has over the past several centuries, we can't expect
directives to people thousands of years ago necessarily to apply in fine
What does apply today? God has given us his Spirit and minds to
Inspired by his Spirit we should not look at religion as a set of laws and
rules but instead as guidance for living lives pleasing to him. The
one moral principle that Jesus gave was that we love one another. This
principle transcends all other laws and rules, and all other laws and
need to be interpreted in terms of it.
Just as we have looked in detail at evidences for the great age of the
world, and that look forces us to reject a strictly literal interpretation
of the Genesis creation accounts, so also Christians have looked in detail
at sexuality and the lives and motives of homosexuals and have concluded
that some of the directives from thousands of years ago are less
with the law of love than certain revisions of those directives.
If behavior is approved by a proper application of the law of love, no one
should call it an abomination.
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