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Thanks both of you. I don’t get the chance to talk about this much so I didn’t know people felt so strongly about it. But I feel like we limit our understanding of God when we say that only some are deserving of God’s grace. 
Are Native people who never heard the name of Jesus deserving of God’s grace? How about those who killed people in war? What about a devout Hindu who worships Krishna and does good?
This is important to the conversation about LGBT religious inclusion because we’re always being judged and told by religious conservatives that God will condemn us to hell. It invites deeper questions as to whether a loving God would condemn any of God’s subjects to eternal damnation. 
The Christian faith is as much about questioning as it is about absolute truths. So we should take the time to pray, meditate, and try to come to better understandings.
There is plenty of room for healthy disagreement. All I ask is that we remember that God is still speaking, still revealing things to us. Jesus told the disciples that there were things he wanted to say but they could not bear it. So He sent a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who continues to guide us in God’s truth. 
None of us have all the answers, but let us seek them together in unity.

Thanks both of you. I don’t get the chance to talk about this much so I didn’t know people felt so strongly about it. But I feel like we limit our understanding of God when we say that only some are deserving of God’s grace. 

Are Native people who never heard the name of Jesus deserving of God’s grace? How about those who killed people in war? What about a devout Hindu who worships Krishna and does good?

This is important to the conversation about LGBT religious inclusion because we’re always being judged and told by religious conservatives that God will condemn us to hell. It invites deeper questions as to whether a loving God would condemn any of God’s subjects to eternal damnation. 

The Christian faith is as much about questioning as it is about absolute truths. So we should take the time to pray, meditate, and try to come to better understandings.

There is plenty of room for healthy disagreement. All I ask is that we remember that God is still speaking, still revealing things to us. Jesus told the disciples that there were things he wanted to say but they could not bear it. So He sent a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who continues to guide us in God’s truth. 

None of us have all the answers, but let us seek them together in unity.

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I’ll only say it but once more. I believe in hell in the sense of being separated from God’s Love, which is an insufferable pain. But I do not believe in eternal damnation. It is contrary to the loving nature of God. 
And while we Anglicans declare in our Eucharistic prayer that Christ is our only Mediator, I don’t necessarily hold that He is the only Mediator. The message of God has reached and will reach people through other channels: it reached Native people through nature and it reached people of other cultures through other religions. It even reaches those who do not practice religion. 
As a Christian I believe Christ’s atonement covers us all, but I also don’t believe God is so small and limited that the only way a person can receive God’s love is through their belief in Christianity, or that my religion is the sole and exclusive source of truth. So I have respect for any Mediator (Muhammad, Krishna, Mother Earth) who leads a person to the Divine Love while clinging to Christ as my Mediator and the perfect revelation of God.
Earlier discussions on this topic here and here.

I’ll only say it but once more. I believe in hell in the sense of being separated from God’s Love, which is an insufferable pain. But I do not believe in eternal damnation. It is contrary to the loving nature of God. 

And while we Anglicans declare in our Eucharistic prayer that Christ is our only Mediator, I don’t necessarily hold that He is the only Mediator. The message of God has reached and will reach people through other channels: it reached Native people through nature and it reached people of other cultures through other religions. It even reaches those who do not practice religion. 

As a Christian I believe Christ’s atonement covers us all, but I also don’t believe God is so small and limited that the only way a person can receive God’s love is through their belief in Christianity, or that my religion is the sole and exclusive source of truth. So I have respect for any Mediator (Muhammad, Krishna, Mother Earth) who leads a person to the Divine Love while clinging to Christ as my Mediator and the perfect revelation of God.

Earlier discussions on this topic here and here.

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Anonymous said: Why/how is it that some Christians don't believe in heaven/hell? Not to be rude, just curious.

Most Christians believe in Heaven: I sure do, and we need something to hope for! But many Christians believe that a loving God would not condemn anyone to eternal damnation: “In just the same way your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost (Matthew 18:14).” 

The most common school of thought on this theology is called Universalism: that all people will ultimately be reconciled with the Love of God. This is sometimes paired with Panentheism, which holds that God is a part of all of nature and infinitely extends beyond it: scripture says [God] “is over all, through all, and in all.” So if God is in all and all is sustained by God, how could God destroy anything God has created?

The Jewish have the concept of Sheol or the Pit, which Jesus mentioned, as a place where both the good and the wicked go once they die. I believe Hades, or Hell is a state of being separated from the love of God, something we all experience at some point, but not a literal place of fire and brimstone. 

See our earlier question on this topic.

So that’s my understanding on the topic. And I guess it’s an important one for LGBT Christians since fundamentalists are always claiming we’re going to hell. But I don’t worship God to get into Heaven. I worship God because God loves me and created me in God’s image. —Enrique

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theradicalweirdo replied to your post “jepartrick replied to your post: anonymous said:I want to believe … …”

what’s conditionalism?

Conditionalism is the belief that immortality is granted to those who follow Jesus Christ.

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Anonymous said: I want to believe what you say about Hell, but can it be backed up by Scripture?

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Some scriptures that point to Universalism, the belief that God will save all persons, are Matthew 18:14, Luke 3:6, John 3:17, John 12:32, John 12:47, Romans 8:38-9, 1 Timothy 2:3–4, and 1 Timothy 4:9–10.

Pope Francis also suggested salvation for all persons:

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

In addition to Trinitarian Universalism, I also believe in Panentheism, which holds that God is in all of nature and infinitely extends beyond it. Ephesians 4:6 says God is over all, through all, and in all. So if God is in all and all is sustained by God, how could God destroy anything God has created?

Many Christian leaders have struggled with this idea. I’m persuaded that since God is Love, God would not desire that any of us should perish. And I am convinced without a doubt that all persons will be reconciled with the Creator. 

Consequently, I also am convinced that the message of God’s love has reached others through different religions and different channels. The Hindus say there are many paths leading up the same hill. The only foolish person is the one at the bottom running to tell everyone else their path is wrong. So while I’m committed to Christianity as the primary way I choose to seek God, I respect all other paths. 

Lastly, if you’re just going to Church as an insurance against the possibility of eternal damnation, you’re going for all the wrong reasons. You can’t be scared into loving someone. We must love Jesus because He first loved us. —Enrique

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Anonymous said: what's Weymouth?

Weymouth is a translation of the New Testament from the original Greek. 

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hanging-up-my-cape said: As a gay Christian, do you think that the original message of the Bible was not homophobic, but loose translations and interpretations only made it sound that way? I can only think of three instances homosexuality was brought up - Genesis 19, Leviticus 20:13, and Corinthians 6:9 - and I think they can all be denounced as not what God intended to be anti-gay. Just curious what you think.

watchoutforfrostbite:

gaychristian:

watchoutforfrostbite:

notalwaysluminous:

watchoutforfrostbite:

pterodactyl-catching-detective:

watchoutforfrostbite:

notalwaysluminous:

watchoutforfrostbite:

I just want to add that people may have written the Bible, but God told them directly what to write in the Bible. God is the author, the people were the scribes.

I disagree. The Bible was inspired by God, but the words in the Bible are not the literal words God chose and dictated to anybody. The Bible contains human thoughts, human ideas, human interpretations of events, mythology created by humans to explain the world around them, and human errors and fallacies. God, however, makes use of this very human vehicle as a means of revealing certain things about Godself.

I disagree. The Bible was written by specific people chosen by God. He picked people who woild not be easy to believe. He used broken people to speak about his love. He spoke to people, as he still does. He tokd the broken people what to write in his holy book, which is why it exists. If we did not have a creator, we would have no morals. We would have no comfort, no purpose to our lives.

What I think we should look into more isnt so much the people He chose to write it, but the people through the years that have translated it into so many different languages. What was originally written may not have been anti-gay but as it passed through times where homosexuals were more prosecuted,translators may have changed it to make it anti-gay so there could be an “excuse” for their actions.

Which is why I read and rely on the King James version of the Bible. It was translated straight from Hebrew. No changes to anything written in it. Nothing added and nothing taken out. It’s the original book in English.

The NRSV is actually the most correct translation, as accepted by most scholars.

However, even the original Greek and Hebrew (and some Aramaic) were written by humans.

See my earlier history lesson re: “literal and inerrant”, fundamentalism, etc. The entire concept is a steaming hot mess, as is any theology/worldview derived from it. 

Written by humans, but told to the humans by God. See my lesson before as well. Re: “God is the author, people are the scribes” you can say it’s completely by humans all you want, that doesn’t change that God’s word it still God’s word, not the words of mere humans like us.

Jesus was a ‘mere human like us!’ So what makes you think that the Bible couldn’t have been written by mere humans? Those who do not believe that pure deity could take a material body believe something contrary to the Athanasian Creed, and are thus heretics.

Ever notice in the Gospel of John that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’? Logos = Word. Jesus was the Living Word. That is, He was the perfect example of all that we should be. And it’s much easier to follow an example than a rule book, which is what some think the Bible is.

There are a lot of troubling things in the Bible, such as the approval of slavery. It would be ignorant to believe that God literally dictated the approval of slavery. A more sound conclusion is that people are at least sometimes wrong in interpreting and discerning the voice and will of God. That’s why we needed more than a collection of writings of men, as honorable as that attempt may have been: we needed a divine example.

If we follow the example of Christ the Living Word and strive to be more like Him than to be like the Bible, we cannot go wrong. But one cannot take the Bible seriously and literally too; it’s one or the other.

Previous comment by GCI: Watch this. And pay close attention around 1:30.

—Enrique

www.gaychristian.tumblr.com

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Jesus wasn’t just a mere human. He was fully human and fully God. He was God in the flesh. So, no, mere humans like us couldn’t have written the Bible and saying that Jesus was just another human is wrong. He died on the cross for our sins, that would not have been able to be true if Jesus was only just another mere human like us. Why don’t you people actually try reading the Bible. There are prophecies and predictions in there about Jesus, about God’s people that no human could have ever guessed would happen. Only God would have known things like Jesus would be born of a virgin before it even happened. Saying stupid things like “Jesus was a ‘mere human being’ like us!” Makes you sound really stupid to those of us who have actually read what the Bible has to say about God and Jesus.

You are correct that Jesus was fully God and fully man. But you seemed to belittle the latter when you suggested that mere men could not write the Bible. We believe in the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds as a statement of Christian faith, and nowhere in the Creeds does it say that absolute faith in God is the same as absolute faith in the ability of people to discern God’s will.

The Bible contains great truths but grave errors as well, but as notalwaysluminous said, God “makes use of this very human vehicle as a means of revealing certain things about Godself.”

And as far as sounding ‘stupid’ for suggesting that Jesus was a mere human, I guess St. Paul was pretty stupid too:

notalwaysluminous:

1.) God did not write the Bible. People did. 

2.) gaychristian did an awesome job addressing “homophobic” Bible passages here: http://gaychristian.tumblr.com/clobberpassages 

6 Although from the beginning He had the nature of God He did not reckon His equality with God a treasure to be tightly grasped. 7 Nay, He stripped Himself of His glory, and took on Him the nature of a bondservant by becoming a man like other men. -Philippians 2:6, 7 (Weymouth)

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hanging-up-my-cape said: As a gay Christian, do you think that the original message of the Bible was not homophobic, but loose translations and interpretations only made it sound that way? I can only think of three instances homosexuality was brought up - Genesis 19, Leviticus 20:13, and Corinthians 6:9 - and I think they can all be denounced as not what God intended to be anti-gay. Just curious what you think.

watchoutforfrostbite:

notalwaysluminous:

watchoutforfrostbite:

pterodactyl-catching-detective:

watchoutforfrostbite:

notalwaysluminous:

watchoutforfrostbite:

I just want to add that people may have written the Bible, but God told them directly what to write in the Bible. God is the author, the people were the scribes.

I disagree. The Bible was inspired by God, but the words in the Bible are not the literal words God chose and dictated to anybody. The Bible contains human thoughts, human ideas, human interpretations of events, mythology created by humans to explain the world around them, and human errors and fallacies. God, however, makes use of this very human vehicle as a means of revealing certain things about Godself.

I disagree. The Bible was written by specific people chosen by God. He picked people who woild not be easy to believe. He used broken people to speak about his love. He spoke to people, as he still does. He tokd the broken people what to write in his holy book, which is why it exists. If we did not have a creator, we would have no morals. We would have no comfort, no purpose to our lives.

What I think we should look into more isnt so much the people He chose to write it, but the people through the years that have translated it into so many different languages. What was originally written may not have been anti-gay but as it passed through times where homosexuals were more prosecuted,translators may have changed it to make it anti-gay so there could be an “excuse” for their actions.

Which is why I read and rely on the King James version of the Bible. It was translated straight from Hebrew. No changes to anything written in it. Nothing added and nothing taken out. It’s the original book in English.

The NRSV is actually the most correct translation, as accepted by most scholars.

However, even the original Greek and Hebrew (and some Aramaic) were written by humans.

See my earlier history lesson re: “literal and inerrant”, fundamentalism, etc. The entire concept is a steaming hot mess, as is any theology/worldview derived from it. 

Written by humans, but told to the humans by God. See my lesson before as well. Re: “God is the author, people are the scribes” you can say it’s completely by humans all you want, that doesn’t change that God’s word it still God’s word, not the words of mere humans like us.

Jesus was a ‘mere human like us!’ So what makes you think that the Bible couldn’t have been written by mere humans? Those who do not believe that pure deity could take a material body believe something contrary to the Athanasian Creed, and are thus heretics.

Ever notice in the Gospel of John that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’? Logos = Word. Jesus was the Living Word. That is, He was the perfect example of all that we should be. And it’s much easier to follow an example than a rule book, which is what some think the Bible is.

There are a lot of troubling things in the Bible, such as the approval of slavery. It would be ignorant to believe that God literally dictated the approval of slavery. A more sound conclusion is that people are at least sometimes wrong in interpreting and discerning the voice and will of God. That’s why we needed more than a collection of writings of men, as honorable as that attempt may have been: we needed a divine example.

If we follow the example of Christ the Living Word and strive to be more like Him than to be like the Bible, we cannot go wrong. But one cannot take the Bible seriously and literally too; it’s one or the other.

notalwaysluminous:

1.) God did not write the Bible. People did. 

2.) gaychristian did an awesome job addressing “homophobic” Bible passages here: http://gaychristian.tumblr.com/clobberpassages 

Previous comment by GCI: Watch this. And pay close attention around 1:30.

—Enrique

www.gaychristian.tumblr.com

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This is what happens when theology students are facebook friends….

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I Had An Awe and Wonder Moment A Few Days Ago….

I was watching the latest recording of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the 02 (you will only really know about this is you British OR a big fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber/Musicals (what am I saying? This IS Gay Christian.) And while the whole thing was wonderful, it came to the crucifixion, the script for this part is a combination of what Jesus say’s in all four Gospels during his death and an added line of “Where is my mother?! I want my mother!” 

The moment the actor said “I thirst! I am thirsty!” the tone was angry and desperate. From some reason the voice of Jesus has never come to me while reading the Gospels. I do not know why. I cannot hear Him, how His voice would have sounded, I have tried,  and this is why, I have come to realise, it took me such a long time to form a bond with Him.

The tone of that sentence sent me back to a First Aid Training session I had about  a month ago:

"When someone’s body goes into shock, they will become very, very thirsty, they will demand a drink, they may even get violent and angry."

Of course if someone today is injured and in shock you can’t give them a drink as normally it is caused by a severe injury that needs surgery and anesthetic will need to be used. But of course Jesus, didn’t need an anesthetic. He was dying. He was being executed. In agony. And his body went into shock. His body was just like ours. This rocked my soul. It struck me to my very core. I literally couldn’t speak for two hours. Jesus went into shock and begged for water to quench that resulting desperate thirst. Yes it also fulfilled a prophecy but for me it now means so much more. I had been told time and time again that Jesus was fully human but I don’t fully believe it sunk in. Theological teaching that I knew was true but I didn’t KNOW in my soul it was. That has now changed. 

Alicia