Picture of Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

No, Franklin Graham, God Didn’t Destroy Sodom & Gomorrah Because of Homosexuality

Does the Bible teach that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality?
Does the Bible say that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality? Nope.

It’s a common claim accepted as truth: God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because gays had overrun the place.

This past week, Franklin Graham repeated this biblically illiterate and twisted claim as if the LGBTQ community should be on notice that wearing shirts that say, “So gay, so what?” might result in God sending fire from the sky like the good ole days.

Like blindly spouting, “God helps those who help themselves” is in the Bible without double checking, the claim that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah over homosexuality remains one of those commonly repeated claims that is biblically false.

Tisk. Tisk.

No, God didn’t destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality– and that’s what Franklin Graham is Wrong About Today.

No need to take my word for it– if the Bible is our authority, let’s just look there.

The Bible does tell us that Sodom and Gomorrah was overrun by wicked people, there’s no doubt about that. When Abraham tried to bargain with God to save the city, we remember he had to keep moving the goalpost to strike a deal with the Almighty. And yet, in the end, the only ones to be saved were Abraham’s family who lived down there– and even that was clearly a matter of God just doing Abraham a solid, because later in the story we discover that Lot was a horrible human being who should have been at ground zero of God’s wrath.

I’m sure you also remember that God sent a couple of angels to do the extraction mission just in case the gang of misfit oil drillers failed to drill deep enough into the asteroid or detonate the nuke that would divert it into space and save the city.

Okay, I might be confusing that last part with a movie I saw once, but I think my point still stands.

Anyhoo, the angels went into the city to grab Lot and his family, but there was just one problem: their worst fears turned out to be true and the city was full of basically the worst people on the planet. They even formed a mob outside Lot’s house and wanted to haul these strangers out into the street and gang-rape them. Lot tried to talk them out of it, but they reminded him that he was just an immigrant and that they’d do even worse to him if he stood in their way.

Now, I *shouldn’t* have to explain that there’s a difference between being gay, and wanting to beat and gang-rape immigrants in your local town. If I have to, there’s a problem- but it’s not really my problem.

The irony here is that in fact, this wicked action tells us the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were likely harshly disapproving of being gay– which is precisely why they weaponized it. You see, in these ancient cultures homosexuality was largely despised because the one on the receiving end of the transaction was seen to take on the role of a woman– and if there’s one thing they hated more than gays, it was women.  Thus, for one man to rape another man wasn’t an act rooted in sexual desire, but an action rooted in humiliating and demoralizing that person. It would have been an action to strip them of their manhood. 

Had Lot seen them as being gay, he would never have offered to let them have sex with his virgin daughters instead (horrible human being, remember?). They weren’t interested in that option- not because of sexual orientation, not because they were seeking sexual pleasure, but because they wanted to send a strong message to these new immigrants who wandered into town.

This was rape. It was an anti-immigrant hate crime. None of it has anything to do with sexual orientation.

These weren’t people inviting the angels to come out and participate in a gay pride parade, but were instead trying to humiliate and demoralize them by forcing them to be on the receiving end of male/male sex, something that would have been extra detestable for these bronze age tribes.

So, say it with me: Trying to gang-rape immigrants as a way of humiliating and demoralizing them isn’t the same thing as just “being gay.”

What the people of Sodom wanted to do to the strangers who came to visit Lot revealed the deeper wickedness that made the city detestable to God: a lack of hospitality for strangers. In fact, for those who claim a belief in the inspiration of Scripture, we turn to the Bible itself to tell us why God destroyed the city:

“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away when I saw it.” – Ezekiel 16:49-50

When God describes why he took these folks out, he lays out the case quite clearly: The people of Sodom were rich and full of themselves– thinking they were entitled to whatever they wanted, giving no thought to helping the poor or to showing hospitality to strangers (immigrants), and they showed scorn for anyone they felt was inferior to them (aka, “haughty”). To top it all off, they attempted to do something that should be seen as detestable in the eyes of anyone with a sliver of humanity.

Basically, when the mission to divert the asteroid failed, God was rather okay to put on that Bloodhound Gang song and tap his foot with the beat while humming “we don’t need no water…” and you know the rest.

But none of that has anything to do with being gay.

When the Bible describes a bunch of rich a%&@! who didn’t give a rip about the poor and needy, and who hated immigrants so much that they were content to rape and dehumanize them, it’s not describing the same thing as when that kid in your church youth group works up the courage to admit they’re gay.

It’s not the same thing. It’s not even close to the same thing.

And to sucker millions of people into blindly believing otherwise is What Franklin Graham is Wrong About Today.

Picture of Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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567 Responses

  1. Ignorant post, designed to get clicks I suppose.

    Yes, the sins of Sodom were many. The one sin highlighted most frequently by the OT and NT is . . .anal sex between men. Not sure how you missed it, Mr. Corey.

    Will you soon begin a feature . . .What Franklin Graham was Right About Today ?

  2. (Genesis 19:24). When the two angels arrived in Sodom and Gomorrah, a man named Lot invited them to stay at his home. Some men from the city came to Lots home demanding to be given the two visitors so they could have sex with them. Lot, trying to defend and protect the angels, offered the men his virgin daughters in their place. As the angry men tried to break into Lot’s home, the angels struck the men blind and then led Lot and his family out of the city.
    The namesake for act of sodomy, the town of SODOM. Men having anal sex is sodomy. This is abhorent to God Almighty. The answer is yes, Sodom and the town of Gomarrah were both destroyed because of their wickedness, and perverse lifestyles. Homosexuality is the act of sodomy, two men doing that which is inconvenient. Romans 1:28 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”

  3. That would be a false assessment as Jude 1 verse 7 begs to differ.
    God’s Judgment on the Ungodly
    …6And the angels who did not stay within their own domain but abandoned their proper dwelling—these He has kept in eternal chains under darkness, bound for judgment on that great day. 7In like manner, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, who indulged in sexual immorality and pursued strange flesh, are on display as an example of those who sustain the punishment of eternal fire. 8Yet in the same way, these dreamers defile their bodies, reject authority, and slander glorious beings.…There are many sexual sins we all struggle with and homosexuality is no exception. They are all sin ,homosexuals do not have a special claim on sexual struggle.Making light of any is not honest.thanks

  4. That’s right , it was not just the sin of homosexuality but it was a cesspool of sin there was no sin that had not done or was not being done . It was braking all the Ten Commandments . But most it was commenting the un-forgeable sin, of Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit .

  5. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this
    blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

  6. I believe this is very true. And many angry Americans blindly follow the hatred Trump promotes and insights at his rallies with his immigration atrocities and blatant abuse of immigrants and children. Might I also mention his hatred of women and any right a woman deserves 2 make decisions regarding her healthcare and Family Planning all under the guise of spirituality or godliness.

  7. Benjamin Corey, you can try and twist the truth about the Bible but you homosexual lifestyle is an abomination against God. Period. We all have to answer to God for our sins, so will you. The Bible plainly says a man shouldn’t sleep with another man. Why is it so hard for you to understand that concept? I’ve studied the Bible and have listened to Billy and Franklin Graham preach all my life and have read their books, needless to say, you don’t have a clue about God’s word. It’s typical for sinners to twist the word of God to justify their sinful behaviors. Repent!

    1. “you can try and twist the truth about the Bible”

      If you believe the Bible,you believe that slavery ( buying,selling,and owning human beings as property) is OK.

      ” but you homosexual lifestyle is an abomination against God. Period.”

      Until someone proves a god exists,your statement can be dismissed as nonsense. Period.

      “homosexual lifestyle is an abomination against God”

      And according to the Bible,what is the punishment for homosexuality?

    2. No wonder you don’t have a clue about anything if you only listen to those two clowns.

      What does the bible say about lying, antisemitsm and genocide all of which Billy Graham has done or advocated?

    3. “…you homosexual lifestyle is an abomination against God…It’s typical for sinners to twist the word of God to justify their sinful behaviors. Repent!”

      Oh great. Here comes another one charging onto the site thinking he’s speaking for God. By the way, Ben isn’t gay. Pretty sure God knows that. You just demonstrated perfectly why man is not equipped to judge.

      Hard for you to understand, but not everyone who believes differently than you about this subject is trying to justify “their sinful behaviors.” Maybe you should delete this post and start all over.

    4. You have studied the Bible and listened to Billy and Franklin (who is definitely not Billy) Graham preach all your life and have read their books and yet you, by your fruit, still do not live with and in the Spirit of truth (the one Teacher), the Messiah (the one Instructor) and the one Father (who is spirit in heaven). You tell me how any intimate relationship between two reciprocally consensual adults of mankind, and/or of God, trespasses against in everything do to others as you would have others do to you (the sum of the law and prophets). You tell me how any reciprocally loving relationship trespasses against love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind, and love your neighbor (gay or not) as you love yourself (empathy), the commands that all the law and prophets hang on, so that any might live. From my perspective, as an infant child of God born of the Spirit, it is you who must reconsider (repent) from what is most abominable to God (like coveting, intimidation, manipulation, coercion and subjugation of another) if you choose to live with and in God bound in all love, beginning today and forever more.

      1. Wullaj, I know God’s word is Jesus and the Bible was inspired by God. I was referencing Billy Graham’s book “The Journey” and Franklin Graham’s book “Through the Eyes of My Father”. Those are two great inspiring books, you should read them sometime. Billy Graham was the greatest Evangelist in the 20th century and Franklin Graham is following in his Father’s footsteps. It’s sad someone like Benjamin Corey is trying to tear them down.

        1. sandidad, God’s word is not Jesus and/or the Bible. You don’t know God! Read your Bible after inviting the only Teacher who can guide you into all truth. Not carnal being on earth can do that for you. If you want Bible references that neither Billy or Franklin will lead you through, I will try to help you.

        2. Franklin Graham is tearing down more walls than Trump. Well, maybe not.

          I have been reading your comments and I would say you have, too. Have a nice life!

            1. Lol it’s on public record, moron…..

              Billy Graham, Nixon and anti-Semitism: The Bombshell Tapes That Tarnished the Faith Leader’s Reputation
              Graham’s closest presidential relationship was with Richard Nixon, who offered him any government job he wanted – including ambassador to Israel

              ”They’re the ones putting out the pornographic stuff,” Graham said to Nixon – “the Jewish stranglehold has got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain,” he continued.

              Graham also confided in Nixon that he hid his true feelings about Jews from them: ”I go and I keep friends with Mr. Rosenthal (then executive editor) at The New York Times and people of that sort, you know. And all — I mean, not all the Jews, but a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine, they swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I’m friendly with Israel. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country. And I have no power, no way to handle them, but I would stand up if under proper circumstances.”


              And Graham tried to lie himself out of it by claiming he never said it until…….


              Oh and asked Nixon to commit war crimes…..

              No wonder you love him.

              But lies are what you feed on.

              Gee it’s fun taking you lying bastards down.

  8. Scripture is correct when it states that He
    ( GOD ) gave the homosexuality community over to a depraved mind.
    It’s quite evident on this page.

      1. Homosexuality is a mental disorder
        Everyone chooses to be homosexual.
        The Lord God created no one homosexual.

        1. Until someone proves a god actually exists,there is no reason to believe a god exists or that a god created anything.

          Mental disorder?You mean like a delusion?

          With no evidence to show for a god’s existence, belief in a god must be taken on faith.

          Faith has a few definitions.The definition for faith as it applies to believing a god exists is ” firm belief in something for which there is no proof”.

          The definition for delusion is: “a persistent false psychotic
          belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that
          is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary”

          With no evidence being presented for the existence of a god and with no evidence
          being presented to prove any of the miracles described in the Bible
          happened, believing a god exists is delusional & so is a mental disorder.

          “Everyone chooses to be homosexual.”

          Homosexuality exists throughout nature in hundreds of species.Did those animals choose to be homosexual?

      2. The Lord God will forgive you of your sins if you ask and are sincere when you ask for His forgiveness.

        1. Unless someone proves a god exists,the word sin has no meaning.

          If you believe the Bible,will you forgive god if he asks to be forgiven for his sins?

              1. I was raised as an atheist.
                I don’t need to prove anything to you.
                If you want to believe that God/Jesus doesn’t exist go right ahead and believe that.
                I’ve already been where you are at now.
                As far as I’m concerned God/Jesus exist.
                And Christ Jesus is my Lord and Savior.
                Maybe someday soon you’ll also come to that belief.

  9. Btw the Destroyer has been reported after he replied to himself as Widuran and forgo to change his account, the stupid lying bastard.

    Ya gotta love the hypocrisy and evil of conservative Christians.

    They do all the work for us.

      1. Oh he’ll be back…..just look for the next idiotic fundy ignoramus to pop up in the next couple of days.

        Like dogs have fleas, progressive Christians have conservatives.

        1. Fleas are a part of nature, fundies are not. Fleas can be controlled with sprays and collars. I haven’t found anything yet that works on fundies. I’ve tried facts, truth, logic, even the Bible. They seem to shrug it all off like a super germ shrugs off antibiotics. Scary!

          1. I found the below very interesting from Rev. Dr. Vaseilios Thermos (I posted this on another site earlier today):

            “For fundamentalism…it cannot tolerate doubt, perplexity, or coexistence. Psychologically, fundamentalist violence (whether physical, emotional or spiritual) indicates insecurity. The fundamentalist is insecure in his faith…Freedom and joy in others can trigger anxiety, leading to envy and then hatred. In short, the fundamentalist is animated by fear rather than by love. Aggression becomes a critical issue of survival, not a manifestation of bravery. Therefore, the noblest elements of his faith have not been adequately internalized. Consequently, the deep raw psychic aggressiveness seeks legitimization by claiming to defend tradition, a defense that does not stem from confidence but from fear. This is a fear that can evolve to a real paranoia, namely a morbid suspicion against non-existent enemies…Fundamentalism is unable to interpret the holy texts because it approaches them like fossils, disconnecting them from the context that gave birth to them. Its concrete discourse lacks the capacity for metaphor, which is an indispensable means for interpretation…The other way in which fundamentalism converges with psychosis is paranoia, namely a fear that annuls any dialogue and reception…it is the inner aggressiveness that is projected under a Christian disguise, when the raw destructive forces of the psyche motivate a fight against the perceived enemy. Therefore, the threat is perceived as coming from outside, while it is a projected aggressiveness.”

        2. I’m almost to the point of no longer commenting in these forums. It’s discouraging where conservative Christianity has taken the gospel. It defies belief how people think, and how they condemn others for not thinking the same way they do. DMS pretty much acknowledged yesterday that we should be worshiping the Bible. I’m dead serious. His comments are posted for anybody to see.

          Normally, while many fundamentalists ultimately DO turn the bible into an idol of worship, they don’t recognize the fact that they’re actually doing it. DMS, however, point blank acknowledges that we should. It’s astonishingly bizarre.

          1. Hey Ron, I have a simple question for you. Do you know of any unbelievers, those who are not Christians, who don’t deny that all of Scripture is inspired of God?

              1. Ron McPherson StevenHaupt • 4 hours ago
                Define what you mean by “all of Scripture” and what you mean by “inspired”

                “all of Scripture”

                I thought you would have recognized my reference. Here is the reference: 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB

                and what you mean by “inspired”

                Ron, my question to you – “do you know of any unbelievers, those who are not Christians, who don’t deny that all of Scripture is inspired of God?” was my question to you, not a question to myself.

                Ron, you surely have an idea of what “inspiration” means and your answer would reflect that. Therefore, you could easily answer my question with a yes or no and then explain your answer, or not

          2. I must admit that its the behaviour of conservative christians online which has turned me away from ever wanting to attend a conservative church again.

          3. Ron, anyone who worships a book, for any reason, as though it is God/Allah/Deity does not know God is real, caring and available to them in every moment of their awareness and influence. As we see from all evangelic fundamentalist conservatives who troll those who speak to God as really nurturing, providing, teaching (even if they can only bear a very little) and loving them in their daily lives, they are fear based, not reciprocally love based in their pseudo spirituality. We all need you, especially the trolls, to comment as truthfully as you know how today when the Spirit moves you. That is what we are called to do, as testified to in Matthew 28:16-20, when truly accepting to be students (disciples not necessarily Christians) of our very real God. No student of God has been called to evangelize the bible as sacred truth. Only the Spirit of truth, as the only endless source for all truth as we can bear, can fully fill our heart, soul, strength, mind that is in the image of God, who is spirit (not carnal paper).

            We know the good news to share when we know the Spirit of truth in our lives, without fear. D.M.S., and his/her like, gives us all cause to learn more , not less, as we share what the Spirit leads us to understand and share when challenged.

            Do not wear yourself out, take sabbaticals, but always look forward to the adrenaline opportunities to fearlessly call out the fear based spirits likened to the high priest Caiaphas and the Pharisee Saul who lived in fear by written word alone. There are many who silently lurk, who learn from your open responses, who don’t know the questions, or statements, without the evangelic conservative fundamentalist trolls who challenge the truth out of you.

            We need us all to honestly love mankind and God in relationship, beyond intellectual debate, for the good of both mankind and God. Consider that this physical life will definitely end for each of us but; first it does not have to end for mankind, as a living carnal entity, and second, as much as we can understand spirit, there is no reason why in spirit there must be a beginning and/or an end as there is surely for carnal. What better way to seek and share truth than to accept the challenge of those who idolize their Torah, Bible, or Qur’an as their holy deity?

            I am happy that I have had the theology (study of God) training only so that I am able to communicate with those who never made it beyond to a relationship with and in God, yet. Because you have clearly made the transition your heart, mind and voice are necessary and always will be to make more students of God.

            This is all very important but, in all honesty, it is not nearly as important as savoring each moment of opportunity we’ve been graced to share with those we love of mankind and with all of God today (fearlessly with or without the promise of eternal life). You’ve shared much here in love that we all have grown from and none of us wish to see that end. Thank you!

          4. Ron ~ Please do not give up on commenting. Many of us may stay quiet, but enjoy the thoughts, perspective, and explanations that you – and so many others – provide.

              1. Ron, I strongly echo Dave’s comment above. Your voice is needed even more today, in the era of Trump’s gospel of frothing hatred.
                I may not have mentioned this to you, but at least 10 or more fraudulent Disqus accounts have been created for the sole purpose of cyberstalking and harrassing me. Evangelical Bullies and their Evangelical Enablers will not succeed in silencing the truth, no matter how hard they try. Your voice is critically important!

                1. “at least 10 or more fraudulent Disqus accounts”? What makes them “fraudulent”?

        3. I’m shocked at the high number of Evangelical Trolls, which has grown on Disqus recently, since White Evangelicals put Trump in the White House. Today, there are possibly up to one dozen fradulent Disqus accounts that have been created for the sole purpose of cyberstalking and harrassing me. Most of them surfaced first over at Sojourners where the comment sections are rarely moderated and where commenters like SamHamilton support such abusive behavior (and then lie about it after the fact). So the trolls will always have a place at Sojourners. The users at the Cranach blog at Patheos Evangelical took it one step further and recorded their support for abuse in the comment sections, so the deceptive, dishonest bullies will likewise always have a home at Cranach.

          Evangelical Bullies and their Evangelical Enablers certainly have earned their reputations. This is how history will remember them. Observe:

          1. Trump has enabled the morons and his lying has shown that the more he lies the more they love him.

            It just confirms to us their duplicity and dishonesty.

            1. Trump has certainly helped his U.S. White Evangelical followers to clarify their hate-filled, fear-mongering gospel of self-worship. They proudly deny Jesus in their own words and actions for the world to see. This denial is their single defining trait, all in the name of White Nationalist greed and power.

  10. Pride AND abominations. That’s what Sodom and Gamorah were destroyed for. The question is, what does God consider to be abominations?
    Hmmm…child sacrifice, bestiality, homosexuality…wait a minute.
    I guess the only mistake that was made that they were destroyed ONLY for homosexuality because, by implication there was so much more.

  11. Is anyone here even engaging with the article, or just pushing their own agenda?

    This stuff is important, and should be basic knowledge. I think a lot of people get hung up on what they think the bible has to say, rather than what it actually says. This is an excellent example.

  12. I see the Franklinbots have been out in full force for almost a month here. On that note, I think it pretty much proves who the real “Sodomites” are, and it sure ain’t the LGBTQ community.

  13. The broader question I have of Franklin Graham is does God destroy entire towns? You see, there’s this naggy little problem of God destroying His enemies in the OT, when Jesus says we are to love our enemies. We are to love as God does. Franklin believes in a literal, inerrant Bible. This presents much bigger problems than Franklin’s homophobia. Is God like Zeus, or Janus, or is He like Jesus? Franklin’s God is like a Shiva/Zeus composite. There is no doubt that primitive Jews, Canaanites, Hittites, Amalekites, Stalagmites and Stalactites saw natural disaster and war as the action of their gods but you’d think in the 21st century people would stop blaming God for bad things. Franklin, why did 60 million people die in WWII? Why were the Jews, Poles and numerous others, women and children sent concentration camps to be starved or gassed to death? Franklin, does God kill women and children? No, appealing to mystery doesn’t cut it. Evangelicals still blame disease, earthquakes and famine as God’s punishment for moral decline. It’s not a love relationship, but a perversion of love: a fear relationship. It seems to me that Franklin’s god is no better than the men of Sodom, in fact much worse.

    1. We are to love as God does.

      … as perfect as does our heavenly Father love … equally rain and/or shine on both evil and good, as well as on both the righteous and the unrighteous!

      Why must I carry my cross if not out of my Father’s perfect love for his/my enemy? My brothers and sisters now born of God, living with and in Christ, already shall not perish but do have eternal life?

      It seems that mankind hasn’t yet realized to stop paying penance to the gods of natural disasters that were imposed on them as insurance from evil harm. This blame God’s wrath is just not far enough removed from superstitiously casting our virgin daughters into the crater, purely founded on a surmised belief, taught by our sanctimonious village priest, that such dedication would appease the volcano god from spewing his wrath down upon us for the following year.

      Thanks Kirk!

    2. Franklin Graham and his Evangelical followers have more in common with Zeus than with Jesus, the law-breaking Middle Eastern refugee crossing borders without English, without Christianity, without homophobia, and without the slightest shred of nationalism.

      1. … and I thought you were always so consistent, as much as continually learning all truth as you can bear forever will allow.

  14. Someday you may understand why God created man. It wasn’t so God could show man how He obeys His own laws but so He could teach man to understand and obey His laws and commandments. Violating God’s laws has consequences and you have read about those consequences in the OT. Those stories you object to are there for lessons and examples. God has the prerogative to judge man and He can and did and does. Whether or not you agree with those lessons today does not mean they were wrong or you are exempt from them. It just means you don’t agree. Trying to escape from God’s plan is not possible.

    1. Let me get this right.

      God created me to obey his laws and commandments.

      This includes:

      killing gay people; killing non-virgin women; separating from my wife and daughters because they are unclean and may make me unclean; owning slaves.

      It’s also a bit like saying I conceived my kids so they obey my laws and commandments.

      Nah that’s bs. That is not why I had kids.

      Btw why do you reject God’s commands on immigrants and foreigners, arrogance, pride and false witness if it’s so important to you.

    2. Bob, I was my children’s father. I served them to grow to share with me equally, as they do today while raising their children to share with us equally, in love. How can you dare to speak so unequivocally as though you know the intent of a God, the Father in heaven, who is spirit (not carnal), who knows no beginning (as do all who are carnal), who will know no end (as will all who are carnal), who is continually growing and progressing in relationship by adding new children from Man (born of water, elements of this carnal cosmos) born of the Spirit, and will obviously be growing and adventuring in unity for eternity … all according to the Bible which you clearly do not comprehend. God is not, never was and never will be stagnantly perfect with nothing more to learn and share.

      My children, when helpless infants, began by trusting that I was perfect, their first God, because they had to trust that I would make available all that they required to survive and grow. They couldn’t comprehend that I would require an eternity before I could know everything there was to know and had saturated all the sharing in life adventures there were. I, their perfect God who laid down the law necessary for them to receive life from me, had hope, anticipation yet before me with some painful learning experience behind. I, their God, would never have, and would never want, a perfect moment in life where I knew it all and experienced it all. My Father in heaven will never have and will never want a final moment where life no longer had anything new to offer.

      I taught my children the laws governing their survival in my house that became their responsibility. I taught my children the laws governing their survival on this earth that became their responsibility. I taught my children the laws governing their survival in spirit that became their responsibility. I taught them that all laws were not arbitrarily determined by me but were laws that would still be necessary to survival with or without me. I lived and live responsible to those laws for the best chance for my and mine’s continued survival. God, my Father in heaven, does not lay down an arbitrary law that he is not, also, responsible to live within for God’s best chance to survive.

      It is not “God’s” laws, it is “the” laws, with or without God’s intervention, that govern the survival of all relationships, for carnal and spirit life, that God teaches their children (all who can see to know and accept the Spirit of truth), as they can bear (according to their maturity).

      How can you presume to assume God has now no new life ahead of them? How can you presume that God has no law that they must remain within to live to eternity? Why do you go back to the Old Testament when Man was even more infantile than Man is today as though what they understood of God was perfect? Why do you go back to the New Testament as though that is the final growth of relationship that Man has with God? Why do you portray a dead god having lived all life already, before mankind, as your master that you want to live eternally with, after you are perfect? Projecting on your, and your carnally based conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical, theoretical infantile mentality, you seem to want mankind to go back to when heaven was great and perfect, that a newborn mankind fell from due to their infantile rebellious ignorance.

      My suggestion, founded on experience, is that you reconsider preaching blindly relative God’s will for all mankind as though you have been ordained to do so by he who maintains all of God’s authority in heaven and on earth today. My suggestion, based on recovery from my childish mistakes, is that you stop exalting yourself as God’s emissary and enforcer. In the attitude of humility, befitting a newborn ignorant child, dare to beseech and challenge God to show themselves (at minimum the Son, the Father, and/or the Holy Spirit). Do as I did, at my age of 50, wholly trust your life, spirit and carnal, to the God who you believe is a perfect Father, Son and Holy spirit, to protect you from all evil, to provide all your physical and spiritual sustenance, and to teach you all truth as you can bear. If the God you talk about cannot fill you wholly with the Spirit of truth, with you beginning today having no preconceptions and a completely empty heart and mind of mankind’s conjecture, then you worship a dead god with no hope of continued adventure in life.

      Bob, your form of religious worship is no more going to sustain eternal life than when mankind worshiped many carnal like god’s; like sun god’s, volcano god’s, rain god’s, … . The God portrayed in your Bible, spoken of by the Messiah in your Bible, is solely spirit. Since the Christ was given all authority in heaven and on earth, as the high priest forever more, all worship of the Father and of God is only in the Spirit. The temple is spirit accessible both in heaven and on earth. All scattered carnal representations of Christ’s church, structure, dogmas, theologies, rituals, sacraments creeds and all appended carnal accouterments, are idol worship. The Son of God/Son of Man lives and only by accepting him to live with and in our graced spirit self, that we are responsible to under the law (heart, soul, strength, mind), can we know to live eternal.

      The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

      Matthew 23:11-12

      The greatest among me as a living child of God, with and in me, is my servant; my Father in heaven, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They teach me the law that we all who live will live by which is no more complicated than as is expressed in Matthew 7:12, 22:37-40 and Luke 10:27. Obedience to the law is no more mine than it is my Father’s, my Christ’s, my Spirit of truth’s and all my sibling’s born of the Spirit as children of God in heaven and on earth today and eternally.

      1. Thanks Herm for the tome. Does it ever occur to you that when you don’t understand a subject your replies are very lengthy. Nothing I said is controversial or judgmental but it is biblical. Now since you only quote the bible when it seems to agree with your mood of the day I think you should read Matthew 23 with yourself in mind.

        1. Bob, everything you said, without any biblical reference to back it up, because it does not exist, was self exalted judgment on your part. It is no wonder that you don’t know your Bible, or what is controversial about your commanding ignorance, due to your non-existent relationship in and with God as their child, when you can’t read to comprehend the little I took the time to share with you.

          I am not the one here attempting to shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. I am not the one here trying to convert anyone, but simply to point to he who knows to guide all into all truth as each can bear. I am not the one, between you and I, who is blind to the Spirit of truth. I am not the one here who worships mankind’s dogma, ritual, creed, and theory of God rather than trusting to accept direct and real relationship with and in the Spirit of truth, with and in the Son, with and in the Father, shared in mutual worship only in the spirit. I am not the one here full of greed and self-indulgence. I am not the one here who idolizes a carnal church structure unaware of the only temple of the Christ, who lives in me and I in him fully this very moment always, which is spirit and only administrated by the high priest with all authority in heaven and on earth. I am not the one here who serves to crucify children of God born of the Spirit, appearing as a dove. Oh, you blind judge of “the” law governing all relationship on earth and in heaven, I do grieve for you.

          1. Please state for the record whether you believe the bible is the written Word of God or not! If you do not (and you have stated this many times) please do not quote it to me.

            1. Bob, you don’t get it. Why are you so stubborn, closed headed, and closed hearted?

              You faithfully read what little you do of your Bible as though it is the inspired promise, in totality, that God will return one day, but has no time or ability to share with you personally today. You seek, listen and accept as holy, that which are no more than scattered interpretations of your Bible, from many studied Bible authority’s (exactly like the Pharisees, Sadducee, and the teachers of the law that Jesus spoke of in your Bible) theory (theology) of God, from those who too, like you, do not know God, in and with them. You won’t even respond to the Bible quotes offered to you, in full context as literally presented in your Bible, that flatly tell you the Good News that God is real, alive and in your midst to be sought, found and directly asked for all truth forever as you can bear. You don’t know the personal loving word of God from God that is pertinent to you today. Just on that do I grieve for you today.

              Your Bible tells you that God is spirit, not carnal as you only communicate through with carnal beings by written and spoken words of many languages, dialects and tribal innuendos throughout the body of mankind. You haven’t even, known by your fruit, begun to grow from the image of God graced you which is spirit, not in any way physical. Communicating to learn all truth from God as your sole eternal Teacher as you can bear can only be fully expressed and shared with and in the Spirit of God, not the physical written and spoken differing words of Man.

              There are many here who can point you to where this is clear in your carnal Bible expressing the reality of the Spirit of truth in your midst available to fill in the last 1,900 years of mankind’s growth who can now bear to know that the earth is not flat and all the heavens do not rotate around this earth. As best as any written and spoken words of Man can convey, your Bible through the inspirations of mankind do share the following as true.

              God is dynamically real, actively loving, presently available, providing, nurturing and protecting all this world as it/they will allow today, right this moment. Mankind was not left orphaned even though most of mankind remains blind to and unaccepting of the equal relationship as was accorded Jesus, the Christ on this earth, with the Father in heaven today.

              Anyone of Man who comes to God (Father, Son and/or Holy Spirit) who hates the exclusive tribal traditions of carnal father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—can be God’s student right now. Anyone of Man who carries their cross and follows the Messiah’s example can be my God’s student today, right this moment. Anyone of this world who sees him and knows him can accept the Spirit of truth to live with and in them forever without pause. All who are whelmed (not over or under but filled) by the Holy Spirit living with and in them, as was Jesus by he who was perceived by carnal witnesses as a dove, will be taught all truth as they can bear.

              Your Bible does not contain God’s words verbatim but only the words of those who were inspired by the Spirit as each author could bear. If the carnally written words in the Bible were God’s precise words, then the following scripture from each of the gospel witnesses/reporters would be identical:

              As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

              Matthew 3:16-17

              Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

              Mark 1:10-13

              When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

              Luke 3:21-22

              Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

              John 1:32-34

              It is your carnal church, founded on theology about God without a relationship with and in God, not unlike Caiaphas, who demands the litmus test of do “you believe the bible is the written Word of God or not?”, not Jesus, the eternally reigning high priest with all authority for God’s children on earth and in heaven.

              As long as you insist on revering your Bible as hallowed without knowing for absolutely certain that your prayer addressed “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” is received, except by some dim faith based on theory, you will not know God living fully with and in you without pause, without end. Until you are filled with the Holy Spirit you will not be able to boldly speak the word of God as spoken by God to you in the single eternal language of spirit today. None in God have a written or spoken name but are individually recognized by their unique and equally loved heart, soul, strength, mind all living as one with and in the Holy Spirit bound in all love.

              We’re sticking with you even though you have yet to show more than exalting yourself to judge us, children of God born of the Spirit, with no more evidence than Caiaphas had to judge Jesus to death in the name of God based solely on his interpretation of scripture (being a Sadducee he only accepted the first five books (the law) and not the available remainder of the Old Testament (the prophets) as did the Pharisees). Many of us here are filled with the Holy Spirit and all of us can help you to find your own personal relationship that we know to be true, available and necessary to understand the fresh word of God as you can bear to comprehend each moment for the rest of eternity. None of us believe we are more capable than infant children to be authorities or judges for our family God. All of us know to share what we do because the Holy Spirit tells as we are ready or needed to convey the everlasting love God has for the world and most specially for the animal species of mankind graced the image of God, which is awareness and influence (life) in spirit.

              You can remain obstinate by defining and judging your life through only carnal terms and relationships, but you will then not be able to ever define your life in the terms related to you by the Spirit of truth, as was highlighted by the Messiah 1,950 years ago chronicled in your Bible as the Gospel.

              In answer to your judgmental question I preface with the following questions used by Caiaphas as a certain litmus test to judge the Christ, the Son of God/Son of Man born of the Holy Spirit, to death in the name of God that Caiaphas only knew of by scripture (as high priest Caiaphas could have queried the Holy Spirit behind the curtain of the Holy of Holies to determine the legitimacy of Jesus, but he didn’t):

              The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.
              Finally, two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”

              Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”

              But Jesus remained silent.

              The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

              Matthew 26:59-63

              I will testify by my most hallowed relationship as an active learning child of God born of the Spirit, living with and in the Spirit of truth, that the Bible you refer to, though containing much of Man’s sincere inspirations from God as each could bear and you could learn from of the reality of the Spirit of truth, is not “the written Word of God”.

              1. Ok. Thanks for the admission. You believe the bible is “Man’s sincere inspirations from God .” I believe it is the written Word of God. I like my belief better than yours.

                1. Bob, is any book of your Bible written by the hand of God? You do know that God could have written the entire Bible in stone, according to your Bible written by the hand of Man. God is spirit, those of Man who are inspired to share God with their fellow Man in love, as am I, as I do, write by their hand, and speak by their mouth, the fresh word of God only after being filled with the Holy Spirit.

                  This, too, can be found written in your Bible.

                  Nothing was written in your Bible that the carnal author could not bear to write.

                2. Good News, I know the Spirit of truth, exactly as written in your Bible, so I tell you that the authors of your Bible got at minimum one thing right. Yours is a belief, mine is a relationship. You can like your belief better than mine but your belief is no more than the your fantasy. You are “The world” in:

                  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

                  John 14:17

                  Really,can’t you see that? Can’t you see why we can’t accept your authority to make the judgments you do, found solely on your belief? What makes your judgments based on belief, no more than a surmise, anymore destructive to Man and God than Caiaphas’ judgments based on his beliefs that Jesus couldn’t be the Son of God?

                  How can you honestly say…

                  Someday you may understand why God created man. It wasn’t so God could show man how He obeys His own laws but so He could teach man to understand and obey His laws and commandments.

                  … when you don’t know God; the Son, the Father or the Holy Spirit?

                  This is why we call you on your persecuting others as if you are the authority when, by your own admission, you actually don’t know for certain what you are speaking about. That is called exalting yourself as it is written in:

                  For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

                  Matthew 23:12

                  Please Bob, speak only of what you know when you instruct others, please. Would you have others instruct you in what they don’t know, or, have others judge you on their belief without personal knowledge of whether it is true or not? This isn’t a competition of my belief is better than your belief. This is sharing what we know to uplift other people.

                  I know what it is written in your Bible and most important, I know the Spirit of truth actually living with and in me right now, the Holy Spirit filling my heart, my soul, strength, my mind with as much as I can bear. That is what I share with you hoping that you will accept such as just possibly true, enough to knock, seek and ask God for the truth as you can bear in your heart, your soul, your strength, your mind no less than me. You are loved but the destruction you do by instructing others to follow your beliefs, on your word alone and/or your Bible’s word alone, is not good for anybody, especially you.

                  1. Fantasy? That is where you dwell. Lawlessness is your home. You and the we you refer to. God forbid others would read and believe what you do. My bible is the Word of God. You spirit is the spirit of the Evil One.

                    1. There you go, again. Proof? Where is the proof?

                      I have proof and I point you to him. I do not ask you to believe me, just to go directly to him and ask. Your Bible does say that you can. Why haven’t you cleared your heart and mind, as a little infant child, safely in a room all by your self, and beseech God, demand of the God in your Bible, to protect you from evil, to provide for you which you know you cannot for yourself, and to teach you all truth just as you can bear? Are you afraid, it sounds like it in your blind insistence, afraid that God won’t answer?

                      You sound just like you are tearing your clothes:

                      Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.

                      Matthew 26:65

                      You sound no more convincing to me, or any who know God in spirit, than a conservative fundamentalist swearing that his Qur’an is the Word of God.

            2. YES, the Bible is the inerrant word(s) of GOD.
              The only ones that are carnal here are Formerly Fundies.

              1. Is it inerrant to commit genocide? And make sex slaves of all the virgin young girls? Ever read Numbers?

                1. Mark 1:1-Mark 1:15- Acts 20:24- Romans 1:16- 1 Corinthians 9:14- 2 Corinthians 4:3- Galations 1:6- Ephesians 1:13- Collossians 1:23-
                  Revelations 14:6. Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel
                  ( that you Herm deny as gospel)
                  to preach to those who dwell on the earth—-to every nation, tribe, tongue and people.

                  1. If you are sincere and truly want to know the truth, don’t be lazy assuming you know the truth already, and read through this entire reply referencing all the scripture you have submitted.

                    The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”— “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ” And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

                    Mark 1:1-8

                    After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

                    Mark 1:14-15

                    The kingdom of God is here and all who are in Christ, and Christ in them, worship the Father and all of God in the Spirit and in truth only.

                    “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

                    Acts 20:22-24

                    Is the good news of God’s grace that you have been saved from sin by Jesus’ dying on the cross and he now lives? Why, then must every disciple of Christ hate carnal family and life and must pick up to carry each their own cross in his example? I testify that God can teach you all truth forever, at a pace that you can bear, through the Advocate my heavenly Father made available by Jesus’ request. I testify that through Jesus, the Christ, as his disciples, all accepting mankind can become little children of God today. That is the Good News that was not available before Christ’s sacrifice for us. Previous to that only the high priest had an audience with the Holy Spirit, behind the curtain of the Holy of Holies, with only the exception of the prophets.

                    First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

                    Romans 1:8-17

                    Only living with and in the Spirit of truth is the righteousness of God revealed, for certain. The above letter to the Romans was written before today’s Christian Bible, any version, was written, compiled and canonized. Your bible cannot be the gospel revealing the righteousness of God supported by the book of Romans.

                    Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

                    2 Corinthians 4:1-18

                    The light out of the darkness is the one Teacher, the Spirit of truth, spoken of in John 1:9-13. This was he who appeared as a dove in all four gospels of your Bible, each a different witness not written by the hand or spiritual inspiration of God, to remain with Jesus. This was he who had the vision to lead Jesus out into the wilderness to begin his three-year ministry. It is he who glorifies God, by his light shining through, from all who witnessed Christ and all who witness the sibling disciples of Christ today.

                    I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

                    Galatians 1:6-10

                    What was given, that you could not earn (the grace of Christ), that was more valuable than the Advocate he had my heavenly Father make available to all nations?

                    In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

                    Ephesians 1:11-14

                    You are not sealed, wholly filled, living with and in the Holy Spirit forever without pause. You do not boldly speak the continually fresh word of God available from the Spirit of truth alone. You partially highlight scripture, over 1,900 years old as the word of God as your authority.

                    Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

                    Colossians 1:21-29

                    Is Christ in you and you in him? The fruits of your labors say he is not and you are not.

                    Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.

                    Revelation 14:6

                    How can you believe that your scripture, your Old and New Testaments are the eternal gospel? Eternal means no more and no less than no beginning and no end. Your Bible has a beginning and surely will have an end when mankind can no longer read it and misrepresent it with their interpretive logic having no Teacher to Instruct them in all truth as they can bear.

                    The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

                    Revelation 13:5-8

                    Right now, known by the fruits of your labors, you do not know the Gospel in your midst.

                2. The shame here is all yours. You constantly blasphemy our Lord with almost every statement that you make here.

                  1. You do realize how hollow, not hallowed, your vindictives are, don’t you?

                    Read your self hallowed Bible. Read your replies throughout this blog. Compare your obvious offensive attitude with that of Christ’s attitude of love.

                    I’ve shown you where Caiaphas accused Jesus of blasphemy against God, enough so that he had the Christ crucified in God’s name.

                    There is a difference, according to the Messiah in your Bible, of blasphemy against “our Lord” and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

                    1. Not by you I don’t.
                      Loving our neighbor is also telling them that they are sinning against God.
                      You have yet to back up what you believe about God/Jesus with scripture.
                      Until you and all of your colleagues do back up your beliefs with scripture.
                      All you’re all doing is quoting LIES.

                  1. Ignorance is bliss until you find it’s too late. You don’t know what you don’t know. I can guarantee that you’ve never heard “the good Lord” “make that call”, as you put it. You see, I do know what you choose not to accept as truth, even when written of in your ‘hallowed’ Bible.

                    1. When I stand before the Lord to present my life to Him.
                      I’m absolutely sure that you won’t be there or anyone like you.

              2. It was prophesied long ago about this type of Lawlessness:
                Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

                There are some interesting people on this site for sure. I wonder if the Formerly Fundies understand why the Atheists are here? It is said that like minds attract.

                1. Yes we’re seeing that right here in this thread.

                  You and your friends come on here and lie about other posters and you think it’s good.

                  The reason why there are so many atheists is because of people like you and your hateful mates.

                2. “Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil”

                  That’s the verse that often comes to my mind when thinking of evangelical support for Trump.

                  1. DMS here again.
                    We Evangicals are happy with Trump, Obama, Bush, & Clinton, etc; here in the U.S. all helping with our soon return of Christ Jesus our Savior.

                3. I dare say Bob that if DMS knew your full theology, there’s a good chance that he would relegate you as being in the same camp with the rest of us reprobates here on Formerly Fundie

                  1. You didn’t say anything about catholic or Mormon.
                    This is where I was speaking from about catholic and Mormon. You spoke if DMS knew how you believed about religion. I would think that Bob is just as bogus as Formerly fundies are about our Lord.
                    Then I found out that Bob is a catholic.
                    I added the Mormon.
                    Because both of their doctrines are bogus.
                    Please forgive me for the confusion.
                    Ron, I believe that both you and Herm believe that Christ Jesus is God.
                    We just don’t believe the same way.
                    I believe that you and your freinds are lost in your doctrine.
                    But then you and Herm believe that I’m lost in my doctrine.
                    It’s probably best just to pray for each other and part company peacefully.

                    1. “You didn’t say anything about catholic or Mormon. This is where I was speaking from about catholic and Mormon. You spoke if DMS knew how you believed about religion. I would think that Bob is just asbogus as Formerly fundies are about our Lord. Then I found out that Bob is a catholic. I added the Mormon.”

                      I think Bob may have been formerly Catholic but now Adventist. But I’m uncertain about this and could be wrong.

                      “Please forgive me for the confusion.”

                      Not a problem. Thank you though.

                      “Ron, I believe that both you and Herm believe that Christ Jesus is God. We just don’t believe the same way.”

                      I appreciate this, thank you at least for the sentiment.

                      “But then you and Herm believe that I’m lost in my doctrine.”

                      I’ve never accused you or even intimated that I believe you to be “lost.” I personally avoid trying to separate wheat from tares.

                      “It’s probably best just to pray for each other and part company peacefully.”

                      I agree and appreciate this. Thank you.

                  2. This is DMS.
                    Reprobate is to strong of a word in my opinion.
                    Basically all of you are lost, lost to the world, with your itching ears.
                    You want to believe something in God/Jesus that isn’t actually there.
                    God/Jesus is Holy,Holy,Holy.
                    There are sins that we humans accept, because of some compassionate reasoning.
                    God/Jesus doesn’t accept any sins.

                4. The great Deciever is their god, but they’re to blind to see him.
                  Scripture states that our Lord God will put those blinders on many that are deceived.

                  1. You said you aren’t carnal. The word ‘carnal’ means, ‘of flesh’. Thus, you claim to not have flesh. No body! Quite the claim.

                    Not an opinion, just taking your words seriously. Should I not take what you say seriously?

                    1. You twist words, the same way that you twist scripture.
                      Carnal to me means to be perverse, to have perversion of some sexual sort. Yes I’m a sinner, but I try to stay away from such things.

            3. In words you may understand of a length you may read;

              If the Bible you refer to as the “written Word of God” is truly so why can’t you respond in kind to the quotes I share with you from your Bible?

              Why can’t you say that what I share from your Bible is wrong because it is clearly refuted by Jesus, the Messiah, right here in my Bible?

              I have shown, by my concern for you and, also, more importantly my concern for those you callously try to intimidate by your blatant judgments in the name of God without any evidence or relationship with God, where you and all of Man can surely find the only living and fresh in each moment word of God directly from the carnal words in your Bible. You don’t refute them, you ignore them and where, in context, those words came.

              Don’t be lazy, read all that I addressed to you 2 hours ago, inviting the Holy Spirit to agree or disagree with any part or the whole meant for you. Otherwise, you have no business speaking for God who you do not know and/or cannot confer with directly. We would like to believe that you honestly are seeking God’s counsel and have only been misled by blind guides. Let us know if you choose to be God’s authority or God’s child for you cannot be both (with less than 120 revolutions of earth’s revolutions around its sun it is impossible for you to be accepted as an authority for God, who has the experience of no beginning and will continue to learn and grow for eternity, without the Spirit of truth living with and in you).

              Good luck!

                1. The bible is physical, translated from any spiritual inspiration into physical languages, and was hand written by physical beings. Your church that tells that you the Bible is the physical Word of God who is spirit is physical. Jesus’ church is spirit only. I don’t accuse the Bible of being carnal it is carnal. What else could it possibly be?

                  Bob, the road sign pointing the way to heaven is not heaven. The Bible can be no more than a physical road sign pointing to the Spirit of truth. Why do you insist that the Bible will sufficiently do until the Spirit of truth comes along? … because, maybe, it’s more physically comforting, like your security blanket, than the Holy Spirit who is just too spirit and too foreign for you to accept??

                  1. As to you question. I don’t. I did not. I never have.
                    Heaven is not where you are going in any event. You will be back on this earth as a physical being after the resurrection with your mind opened and receptive to the Word of God you decry so that you can finally understand, repent, and become the child of God you think you are.

                    1. You speak with no more authority for God than any fundamentalist conservative Islamist who spouts what (s)he hears of God only from a terrorist Imam. You want so bad to be important, knowing more than those who are not God’s/Allah’s (who neither of your know personally in spirit) special soldier fighting all the evil in the world, that you become the evil in the world.

                      The word “repent” means no more than to reconsider, especially a direction that is not getting the results you thought it would have.

                      I am in heaven as I am living with and in the Spirit of truth this very moment who faithfully promises this relationship will never cease, will never pause, because my Father, my Eldest Brother with all authority in heaven and on earth, my God promises they will never leave me orphaned. I don’t have a direction to reconsider for I actually have reached the destination I sought; to be a protected from evil, provided for in all ways, and being continuously taught as I can bear little child of God born of the Spirit/child of Man born of the water.

                      All that is carnal (physical) returns to where it came, individually scattered elements from the physical cosmos. The carnal cosmos will return to the black hole from whence it came knowing nothing and forgotten.

                      If you lived with and in (filled/whelmed/baptized) you would know at least this much because with true scientific research (primitive and infant by God’s standards) all of mankind can bear to know, for sure, that the earth is not flat, and all the heavens do not revolve around our invisible planet earth, as Peter, Paul, James, and John did not know.

                      Reconsider speaking for God who you only know, at best, by the efforts of Peter, Paul, James, and John who no longer live on this earth and have no authority on this earth what-so-ever. If you believe anything in your Bible and you really want to grow into all truth as you can bear then know who lives on this earth with all authority. Know who can speak the word of God fresh today.

                      Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

                      John 14:19-21

                      Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

                      Matthew 28:18

                      You have no authority to boldly speak the fresh word of God, apropos to the moment, without being filled, whelmed, baptized, with and in the Spirit of truth, as was Jesus when he began his three year ministry on this earth as the carnal Son of Man born of the Holy Spirit.

            4. The Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an are not any the written word of God, in any form, but all three are revered by Abrahamic religions as though they were. No book of mankind is the litmus test to be considered a sibling student of Jesus the Messiah, as is attested to in your Bible in the verses Luke 14:25-26. I am speaking the word of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, using inspired words and quotes from what you considered God’s only authority on earth. The Spirit of truth is the only authority on earth for God’s truth according to your Bible.

    3. There are millions of undetected and undetectable gods and goddesses that have all been invented by men and your pathetic undetectable god has nothing to distinguish it from any other.
      Present evidence of the existence of gods or a accept that nothing but your indoctrination separates your religious delusions from any other.

      Your ridiculous claims just reveal you as dishonest and delusional.

      1. Why do you say My God is pathetic? I am just one of the two billion plus people who believe in God. Perhaps you can explain to us why being an Atheist makes you so insecure?
        If I am “dishonest and delusional” you are ignorant, irrational and frustrated.

        1. Your imaginary god is impotent and irrelevant to all but the corrupt institutions and individuals that gain obscene wealth selling their lies to the rapidly declining rump of the ignorant and the gullible.

          Your pathetic attempt to project your own terror and insecurity is risible.

          Your inability to validate or support your delusions through evidence is pathetic.

          You retain my sincere sympathy but earn nothing but contempt for your dishonesty, gullibility, ignorance and self delusions.

          1. And you have now officially joined the ranks of the insane on this site like Bones and Herm. I am not sorry for you in the least but rather amused that you think you are persuasive without proof. Atheism is a minority view and no one on this site will support your claims to the contrary.

            1. Please have compassion for your enemies. The Lord wills His Christian children not to be like our enemies.

            2. The irony of this comment from someone so ignorant and delusional as you constantly demonstrate yourself to be.

              You are repeatedly challenged to present evidence supported proof that your undetected and undetectable gods exist then demand proof from less gullible folk that evidence of the nonexistence of the non-existent must be provided to counter your bizarre claims regarding non-existent fictional super-spooks.

              Your condition of child like denial is already comprehensively demonstrated but you fail to convince anyone to join your deluded fantasyland.

              For all your furious and terrified denial, those leaders of the fraudulent religions accept and measure the accelerating decline of gullible simpletons who still buy into their lies.

              Get over your egotism and make some effort to overcome your ignorance and cognitive dissonance.

              Meanwhile: thanks for your insight into the twilight zone of the mind of possible one of the last of the religiots.

              1. Welcome to the insane club, rashie.

                Normal people often hear voices telling them to go top gay people.

                1. Nothing “normal” about some ordinary citizens expressing hatred toward other ordinary citizens, Bones.

                  Fortunately equal social and civil rights are enforced by law in a growing number of the most advanced and civilised nations.

        2. It was by majority rule that the Christ was crucified in the name of God. There are 1.5 + million Muslims who do not believe or know Christ as of God. If the majority, who executed God in the name of God, did not know to recognize the Spirit of God living with and in the Messiah weren’t they, too, by your standards “ignorant, irrational and frustrated” being led by the conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical, and theoretical carnal authorities of God of their time? Bob, you don’t know God because you don’t know to recognize the Spirit of truth anymore than the majority of “God’s chosen” did before Christ was crucified!

          “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

          Matthew 22:14

          Can’t you see that you are only exalting your ignorance over that of God’s truth supported only here on the numbers of many?

          1. Matthew 22:14 is better rendered as “Many are called but few are chosen.” Are you saying you are called? Explain this verse to us if you can? Does this verse mean only a few are in “heaven” after death. You with your direct link to the spirit should have no problem but you won’t be able to do it will you?

            1. For many are called, but few are chosen.

              Matthew 22:14 (KJV)

              chosen as taken from your King James interpreted translation came from the Greek word κλητός.

              Greek Strong’s Number: 2822
              Greek Word: κλητός
              Transliteration: klētos
              Phonetic Pronunciation:klay-tos
              Root: from the same as
              Cross Reference: TDNT – 3:494,394
              Part of Speech: adj
              Vine’s Words: Call, Called, Calling

              Usage Notes:

              English Words used in KJV:
              called 11
              [Total Count: 11]

              from the same as (klesis); invited, i.e. appointed, or (special) a saint :- called.

              Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

              Why do you assume so much as to begin with “Matthew 22:14 is better rendered” when each English translation was taken from the very same Πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοὶ, ὀλίγοι δὲ ἐκλεκτοί.

              To better understand how called and/or invited is used here go to the simplest webpage that you can study to understand the significance of the conclusion to the parable of the wedding banquet. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=nasb&strongs=g2822


              Outline of Biblical Usage [?]
              I. called, invited (to a banquet)

              A. invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ

              B. called to (the discharge of) some office

              i. divinely selected and appointed

              … contrary to your incredulity my invitation initiated by the King, accepted, is best described from the choices on that webpage by “invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel [the Good News of the Spirit of truth available to all who see him to accept him to live eternally with and in him] to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ” now, today.

              Why do you make such a blind and ignorant effort to make an ass out of u and me by such an absurd question of, “but you won’t be able to do it will you?”. What is your divine authority to disagree, beyond biblical conjecture, when I tell you that the Spirit of truth, living this moment with and in me, has no problem explaining Matthew 22:14, especially when related to the 10 other instances where called and/or invited are used in your New Testament?

              All of mankind is invited, regardless of religion, gender, race, tribe, or nation, but few of this world can accept the Spirit of truth.

              And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

              John 14:16-17

              By your own doubt it is clear you do not accept the King’s invitation through Christ, for if you had you would meet the obvious criteria for all listed in Luke 14:25-27. No see + no know + no accept = not chosen.

              1. “Why do you assume “…Because you used the NIV rendering Invited rather than Chosen which tells me you don’t understand the verse.
                ” “but you won’t be able to do it will you?” And you did not. ”
                All of mankind is invited, regardless of religion, gender, race, tribe, or nation, but few of this world can accept the Spirit of truth.” That is not the meaning of this verse.

                1. You cannot seem to understand that you are interpreting founded on your church teaching. I just broke down the word from the original Greek that is not “chosen” but is κλητός. κλητός translates to either English word “chosen” (old English) and “invited” (modern USA English).

                  You’ve done it again by making a flat statement that,”That is not the meaning of this verse” without anything but your exalted word as authority.

                  By what authority do you speak for God?

  15. First of all, I apologize in advance for such a long post, but feel the need here. Periodically we have rabid fundamentalists (we know who they are) come onto more progressive leaning sites like this one to condemn others. The motivation to do it is likely complex and varied, but as one coming from a culture exhibiting some of this same mindset (though not nearly as vitriolic), I’ll offer my thoughts as I think I can speak to it.

    When encountering these folks, keep in mind that they don’t view themselves as cruel, no matter how cold, insensitive, and dishonest they may sound. Their Christianity is defined not so much by the words of Jesus, but rather by an overall biblical narrative as taught to them. Since the words of Jesus ultimately carry no more weight than say Moses, Joshua, Paul, or whoever, the Bible as a whole becomes their authority, with God being restricted within it, as if bundled up inside. The danger here is that, ultimately, their interpretation of the Bible becomes their God, which means their image of God is subject to what goes on inside their own head. Others can see this in them, but they can’t see it within themselves. The irony is that they believe others to be the ones who are blinded. They don’t understand that some on these sites were once where they were, only now rescued from it.

    Some condemn because it’s a way to project their hatred of others, convincing themselves that it’s really just the other person’s ‘sins’ that they hate (otherwise they would have to admit to themselves that they harbor very un-Christlike feelings against others). That’s why they categorize ‘sin.’ As an example, the LGBT community is viewed as vile, while gluttons get a free pass. It’s why they can say amen to an obese 300 pound preacher who idolizes food as he rails against gay people. Gluttons to them are not viewed as evil. Gay people are, because they consider them threatening and these fundamentalists become angry when you point this out to them. Instead of honestly addressing the hypocrisy of their own views, they instead retreat in defense mode. It’s just easier for them to claim others reject scripture. That way, they can avoid dealing with their unbalanced biblical interpretation. We can see this very scene played out over and over in these threads. Responses are predictable.

    Some condemn others to bolster their own sense of self-righteousness, because there is an inherent dislike of their own selves. It’s often just about projecting. The ‘sins’ they harp on the most are often the ‘sins’ they most fear. The other person then becomes the object of their scorn rather than themselves. This is likely why we see them harping on sexual sins so much. You never see turn or burn preachers holding up signs warning of greed, pride, and materialism. Those things are not viewed as threatening to them.

    Some condemn others just to self validate their own dogma. Aggressively spouting their own doctrine to others provides an outlet to battle their own self doubts. It’s a defense mechanism. The more they repeat their dogma, the less they have to grapple with their own insecurities. They’re essentially yelling over their own consciousness. That’s why they often are unable to engage in rational discussion, but rather assume a posture of closing their eyes, sticking their fingers in their ears, and repeating conservative doctrine that many of us have already grappled with. Faith to them is binary, all or nothing, dichotomous. In fact, it’s more about achieving certainty with them, rather than living in faith.

    Some condemn others in the hopes ‘converting’ them. They themselves became Christians because they were afraid not to. The narrative for conversion for them was to escape eternal torture. As such, they feel they must warn others as well. Though we never see anyone from the scriptures converting to Christ under the threat of hell, the post-biblical evangelical narrative is quite different. Instead of preaching Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom, what’s preached instead is an individualistic and self-centered gospel of how one can go to heaven. So it’s within that framework that the Bible must work for them. While eternal life is certainly a benefit for those in Christ, Jesus’ message was not about asking him into your heart so you can escape hell. But to the overly zealous fundamentalist mindset, the gospel is more about sin management, behavior modification, and affirming a doctrine of belief so as to avoid eternal punishment. Trying to convert others often helps them to combat their own doubts and insecurities. It’s about looking like a Christian is supposed to look as they’ve been taught. As such, you do ‘Christian’ things as proscribed by your tribe. So rather than peacefully walking in the Spirit of God, they must do certain things to convince themselves that they themselves are truly right with God. Otherwise, insecurities will pervade their psyche with respect to their own self doubts.

    Fundamentalists often exhibit a profound level of cognitive dissonance. Instead of honestly wrestling with contradictory scripture and their own inconsistent biblical interpretational methods, they instead tell themselves that those raising these issues to them are deluded by Satan. That allows them to avoid the discomfort which might arise from weighing any evidence that might bring tension to their closely guarded belief system. How many times do we see this scene played out on these threads? If the other person raising objections is of the devil, then what they say has no value and thus it can be dismissed outright. It is an ‘us vs them’ mentality and such a mindset is continuously reinforced by like-minded individuals within their own tribe. They are taught not to question any of their own core beliefs, for questioning might be a sign of doubt which could then undermine their own assurance.

    Overly zealous fundamentalists often have been proselytized into a belief system, bolstered further by the tribe in which they’ve been indoctrinated into and continue to surround themselves with. So, ironically instead of striving to emulate the ways of Jesus, it’s about upholding their biblical doctrine – which often looks very little like Jesus. They’re programmed into a pattern of thinking, and this pattern of thinking to them is their lifeline to God. To them, a Christian is not so much one that follows Jesus, but one that follows their version of the Bible. Their dogma. That’s why we see orthodoxy quizzes from them, lol. The Bible can only authentically exist within their own interpretation. In fact, they don’t even realize that their understanding is an interpretation. They believe they know the truth. Everybody else is wrong or is a heretic.

    They see all 66 books of the Bible as representative of Jesus. To them, Jesus’ quotes from the gospels carry no more weight than any other parts of the Bible. When confronted by the words of Jesus which might contradict their entrenched biblical worldview, they subconsciously reject those in favor of the dogma they’ve been taught which attempts to systematically align Jesus’ words with every biblical author’s. So his plain words can mean something different to them. They afford themselves the right to contextualize, but reject others who do it who might arrive at conclusions different than their own. So it’s not so much about following the words of Jesus as the Spirit leads, but more about trying to live by a biblical narrative as they’ve been taught to believe. In fact, many fundamentalists are dispensationalists, which means that Jesus’ words are often meant only for future generations – those living in the millennium. They’re taught this narrative. Paul is who they really live under. In that sense, they are more Pauline Biblicists than Christians (at least based on what the term Christian really means).

    Zealous Fundamentalists often operate in a binary worldview. Everything must be black or white. That’s why they reject those who don’t walk lockstep with their doctrine. The cognitive dissonance between reality and their doctrine is why it seems they cannot even accept on its surface Jesus’ greatest commandment to love God and neighbor. It must somehow be wedged into their dogma in order to fit the entirety of the Bible as it is systemized to them.

    Their doctrine (I won’t call it faith) requires absolute certainty – no ambiguity. It HAS to be THEIR way, because another way puts a crack in their foundation. They can’t bear to be wrong because their belief system operates much like a house of cards. It’s all or nothing, black or white, good or evil, their way and the wrong way. Instead of faith in God, their ‘faith’ is often in a creed. Believe these things and life can work for you. The creed itself becomes their God. They just can’t see it.

    They impose limits upon God without realizing it. To them, God must be defined under concrete terms. Certainty is what they crave.
    There is a psychological need for it. Again, those who view God in different terms as they are viewed as threatening. Instead of wrestling with biblical and spiritual complexities others might raise, they instead attack those that raise them. It’s a way to shut down conversation.

    Convincing themselves their opponent is of the devil, blinded by Satan allows them to maintain the certainty within their own doctrine they so crave. Dismissing their opponent as invalid allows them to dismiss their opponent’s points. It’s a defense mechanism, self preservation, so that they can cling to their closely guarded beliefs. Entertaining any beliefs other than what they’ve been indoctrinated into might be too costly. Such would bring too much insecurity for them.

    Again, I apologize for such a long post, and I don’t want to paint all zealous fundamentalists in broad brushing terms as if they all exhibit such traits, but I feel I can speak to some of the mindsets prevalent within this tribe. I admit I sometimes respond in less than Christlike ways myself, so apologize to all the readers for anytime I come across that way.


    1. Thank you for your time spent in sharing this with all who will read! As one of the children’s choir I agree wholeheartedly! amen

  16. Seems to be that the Bible is an utterly heterosexual book. It assumes heterosexuality. Progressive Christians need to admit the Bible is wrong, on most everything. That’s because it was written by humans, not God — not God through humans either. I understand why gay Evangelicals like Matthew Vines look for alternative interpretations of the Bible’s verse on homosexuality. They want to serve God and live like Christ. They want to have a relationship with God. I get that. And they see the Bible as central to achieving this. Without the Bible, how are we to know how to live? How do we know what God wants from us?

    1. Also DMS feeds on the posts of other trolls.

      Seen it last time he was here.

      He followed some guy around until his hero left because he couldn’t tell me why my 12 year old daughter should be tortured in hell for being gay.

    1. Apparently so. Hopefully, the toxic comments forever went with him too. The falsehoods he continued to make began to mount up, so maybe he finally came to grips that his continuous denial of them would eventually succumb to the hard evidence against him – such evidence being his very own posts. Unfortunately, words can linger forever whether memorialized in print or not. Words matter, and they can inflict much damage.

        1. The spirit of Caiaphas (as in don’t worry God, you just silently rest as you have for 1,900 years now, we’ve got this for you as proud soldier destroyers of your enemies!!!) will not be gone for as long as mankind looks for instant gratification from struggle rather than having to face a promised eternal adventure learning with and in God.

          I hope this makes some sense and I’m not projecting too far out so that those without relationship with God today just can’t get it if they really wanted to. If God is not real enough to them to speak to and through them today, without a God/Man-Man/God translation dictionary, then they only seek pagan solutions to appease the potential wrath of their fictionalized volcano god. My carnal parents didn’t need any book to make their will known to me, neither does my heavenly Father.

  17. My Lord and God described marriage here in Mark 10

    6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8 and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    According to Christ Jesus our God he says marriage is between one man and one woman. I trust him and I pray the brothers and sisters in Christ trust Jesus too.

    1. Actually thats about divorce. In the torah ie gods words – a man could divorce a woman for anything, a woman could not divorce a man at all even if he was raping her and the kids.

    2. You must not be in direct communication, you know, like the Spirit of all truth living today with and in you and you with and in him. If he was, considering that now mankind can bear to understand the properties of DNA, stem cells and such, you would have known for sure that the “one flesh” joined together by God was the progeny of the coupling, not the marriage. No where is it described that God declared any word, of any of mankind’s languages, as sacrosanct.

      Only students (disciples) of the Messiah (the ONE Instructor for all children of God born of the Spirit) were described as brothers, sisters and mother in Christ, by Jesus of Nazareth.

      God is not some magical being requiring pledges of allegiance, incantations, creeds, rituals, and/or sacraments to worship the Father.

      “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

      John 14:15-21

      By your Christianity-eze it is clear that you are not a branch of the true vine. You do not worship the God in the Spirit and in truth. You do not see him or know him to accept him because you are not of his kingdom, his family. Your reference and judgment no more recognize the Spirit of truth here than did Caiaphas recognize the Spirit of truth (appearing as a dove) in Jesus, the Son of Man (the one flesh progeny of the Holy Spirit and Mary on earth)/the Son of God (conceived by the will of the heavenly Father).

      Be afraid, you know not what you speak. You seek to destroy children of God in God’s name as was described to illustrate why I carry my cross in the example of my brother with all authority in heaven and on earth for all who are with and in God today, and forever.

      The only word of God that is fresh and apropos to mankind’s needs today, is heard from those who are filled with the Holy Spirit to speak boldly as they are led by the ONE Teacher for all children of God.

      1. Hello

        I am filled in the spirit and am in communion with him just like those in the original church.

            1. Would you like to take this separate from the Christianity Bible, Spirit on spirit, or would you prefer to study the Bible verbatim?

              I ask these questions, once again, to someone afraid to be transparent:

              how old are you, what is your nationality, and what are your educational credentials?

              In addition, because it is pertinent to a possible upcoming discussion, I ask these questions:

              Do you consider the Christianity Bible the inerrant word of God?

              Do you abide in the Nicene Creed …

              We believe in one God,
              the Father, the Almighty
              maker of heaven and earth,
              of all that is, seen and unseen.
              We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
              the only Son of God,
              eternally begotten of the Father,
              God from God, Light from Light,
              true God from true God,
              begotten, not made,
              of one Being with the Father.
              Through him all things were made.
              For us men and for our salvation
              he came down from heaven:
              by the power of the Holy Spirit
              he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
              For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
              he suffered death and was buried.
              On the third day he rose again
              in accordance with the Scriptures;
              he ascended into heaven
              and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
              He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
              and his kingdom will have no end.
              We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life,
              who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
              With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
              He has spoken through the Prophets.
              We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
              We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
              We look for the resurrection of the dead,
              and the life of the world to come. Amen.

              … and/or the Apostles’ Creed?

              I believe in God, the Father almighty,
              creator of heaven and earth.
              I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
              who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
              born of the Virgin Mary,
              suffered under Pontius Pilate,
              was crucified, died, and was buried;
              he descended to the dead.
              On the third day he rose again;
              he ascended into heaven,
              he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
              and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
              I believe in the Holy Spirit,
              the holy catholic Church,
              the communion of saints,
              the forgiveness of sins,
              the resurrection of the body,
              and the life everlasting. Amen.

              Do you wholly agree with Mark 3:28-29?

              … continue

              1. I do not see what my age, nationality etc have to do with you. But i like I hope all Christians believe the statements in the Nicene Creed.

                Yes I believe one can blaspheme against the Holy Spirit

                1. Like I said, transparency!

                  It is your grammar and sentence structure that implies that we may be handicapped sharing the truth in a form of conversing that is not common between us.

                  I am 74 years old and a born and college educated citizen of the USA. I was a seminarian, a prison minister for a very conservative denomination, an elder and am, today, a child of God born of the Spirit for the last 24 years. Do we have anything in common that we can speak from?

                  You didn’t answer three questions that are helpful to continue in the truth:

                  Would you like to take this separate from the Christianity Bible, Spirit on spirit, or would you prefer to study the Bible verbatim?

                  Do you consider the Christianity Bible the inerrant word of God?

                  What are your educational credentials?

                  If you are here to be a destroyer then we might as well end here for “those in the original church” carried their cross in the example of Christ and not their sword. If you are here to destroy those who disagree with your church then you are not following in the example of the Messiah who taught by his example to disagree with the church, and its traditions gone wrong, that he was born a member of.

                  … continue

                  1. I study the bible through prayer and the Holy Spirit in me

                    The Bible is the inerrant word of God.

                    My education does not matter. Neither Jesus nor the apostles had special education. You either know Gods word or not.

                    Why am I called Destroyer- I am a Christian who joins the other Christian soldiers who follow Christ to DESTROY evil and sinful practices within the teachings of Christ.

                    1. I’m guessing pretty much anybody that Jesus would would have hung around with – the ‘sinners’ and ‘outcasts’ : )

                    2. You’ve got special education alright.

                      Of course you’ll start by destroying your own sin and evil wont you like your previous posts were destroyed..

                      This will be fun.

                    3. We will begin there. No Christian (only mentioned twice in your Bible) considered themselves as, “a Christian who joins the other Christian soldiers who follow Christ to DESTROY evil and sinful practices within the teachings of Christ” before Constantine, most certainly not “those in the original church” who were filled with the Spirit of truth. You follow a tradition that traded the cross for a sword and murdered millions of many different nations in the name of Christ without his authority. All of the Messiah’s students must hate all of mankind’s traditional allegiance to church and family. All of the Messiah’s students must pick up their own cross in his example before they can even begin to learn, humility. How many legions of angels do you believe my heavenly Father would deliver to “DESTROY evil and sinful practices” if such was his will? You are a self exalted fraud. You couldn’t possibly fear “blaspheme against the Holy Spirit” and for only one reason, he is not real to you.

                      Let’s get something real clear right here and now. Either God is real and just as active as they were before the New Testament or they just didn’t care after 1,900 years ago. I can only testify, for your edification because even in your audacity of self exaltation my Father loves you, that God is real, is spirit and lives with and in me no different than he did in Jesus on this earth. God is not three persons. God is so much bigger because every person of Man, graced the image of God in a spirit heart, soul, strength, mind with awareness and influence (life spirit and carnal), who has been born of the Spirit for, at minimum, the last 1,950 years (following Christ’s ascension and the curtain torn top to bottom) is a true and real child of God loved no less by our Father than he who was conceived by the mating of the Holy Spirit and the mother, our brother with all active authority in heaven and on earth for us all.

                      The Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Spirit of truth teaches me all truth as I can bear forever. I studied the bible with the Holy Spirit invited for 33 years, after I saw the hand of God active in my community, and didn’t accept him with and in me, as a little know nothing child, until I had lost everything that I thought I had earned. God had been a theology until then and became a family since, promised forever never to leave me orphaned.

                      There are many within all spiritual environments today who study with the Holy Spirit, by many names. There are many within all spiritual environments, of all nations, today who have accepted the Spirit of truth to be their one Teacher with no dependence on any study of God, because they are truly of God. You will know them by their fruits that they are a branch of Jesus’ divine family.

                      Right now, your credentials suck to be able to speak for my Family of God. The bible you study was not in existence for “those in the original church” who when filled by the Holy Spirit boldly spoke the word of God. The word of God that teaches all students to be perfect in the love of our enemies as our Father is perfect.

                      Saul was a destroyer before the Holy Spirit convinced him to reconsider as the apostle Paul.

                      I would suggest you reconsider just what spirit has convinced you to be a destroyer of God’s children, from many nations, as were the Pharisee Saul and the high priest Caiaphas, both using scripture and not the Spirit of truth for their authority.

                      Do you wish scripture lessons to make clear who really has made you believe there ever was such a thing as “Christian soldiers“? Please, find that scripture for me to learn from, if you would.

                    4. What are you talking about? Destroying Gods children?

                      God is real. He will cast all evil all sin satan and his angels into hellfire as per the Revelation.

                      I am not sure it be wise to take scripture lessons from you. The Spirit is warning me against your teachings.

  18. I haven’t visited this blog in a long time and now I remember why. It’s rife with people using their version of Christianity to oppress others. I don’t miss them.

    Ben, keep it up. You are a calm in the storm. Sorry I missed meeting you at Wild Goose this year.

    1. Hope you return. You might also appreciate Dr. Warren Throckmorton’s blog. He’s the one recently booted by Patheos Evangelical for reporting facts about seriel abusers like Evangelical Mark Driscoll. And you might also like Sojourners, though I wonder if you might have visited some time ago.

  19. Exactly!

    (facepalms in frustration) How many times does this all need to be reiterated to Biblically-illiterate bozos?

  20. Ben, I think both of you are wrong!

    Graham is wrong if he is saying that gay sex was the only reason why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. But I think you are wrong if you think gay sex had nothing to do with it.

    One can hardly simply remove the forced, violent aspect to the potential rape of the 2 men (angels in reality but not to the people of the city), but one cannot either remove the sexual nature of it. It seems to me God condemned both aspects. In the Ezekiel passage, the Lord compares Jerusalem with Sodom, and uses specifically sexual descriptions of Jerusalem’s behaviour. Clearly it is symbolic of her betrayal of God, but we cannot remove the obvious sexual connotations – it would seem in Jerusalem sexual immorality had become pervasive. The same can be said of Sodom: ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. ‘ It is hard not to come to the conclusion that rampant sexual immorality is included within ‘detestable things’.

    This is backed up by 2 Peter 2, where the author uses ‘ ἀσελγείᾳ ‘ to describe the behaviour of the men of these cities, and this word seems to have definite sexual overtones given how it is used elsewhere in the NT.

    In summary, Sodom and Gomorrah were condemned for their self-satisfied, uncaring, idolatrous and immoral sexual behaviours.

    When rereading the Ezekiel passage, it reminded me of many countries around the world. It seems nothing changes.

    1. Sexual immorality becoming pervasive?
      I don’t think so. There is no such thing as a society that accepts rape just like you aren’t going to find a society that accepts random killings and random stealing.
      What you will find is tribalism. For example, the French. A French might help another French in his society. They might even work together to invade a neighboring country, kill people and steal their gold. People protect their “own” and they will hate the “outsider”. That is human nature.
      So, I think the Sodom story is about jews hating the outsiders, which in this case are the Sodom people. In fact, if you read the Bible, they hate quite a lot of groups. They hate Romans. They hate, I think called the medinites. They hate the amorites. They even go and chop to bits the amorites and steal they young virgin girls.
      Humans always form groups and hate the others. Even in the same society, small groups form, such as Democrats vs Republicans and these guys hate each other quite a bit from what I see on the internet.
      In summary, you don’t understand that the bible has been written by a group known as the jews, who are themselves tribal and have tribalism in their brain.

    2. Why are you getting worked up about a story that didnt happen?

      Do you get upset about fairy tales as well?

      Of course theres the historical fact that the jews interpreted the story as having nothing to do with gay sex.

      You need to get over this hate you have for yourself.

  21. I really appreciate Ezekiel’s wording.

    “This was Sodom’s sin,” and lays it right out. It puts the fundagelicals in something of a bind. How do you start a, “Well, ACTUALLY…” rejoinder to that?

    1. What were their detestable sins? Please advise us.

      Ezekiel 16:49-50 New International Version (NIV)
      49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

    2. Hello Phil. When you have some time, can you entertain the following question please?:

      What makes one a Christian?


      1. Hey Matthew,

        Wow! No small questions, eh?

        In terms of being specifically Christian, Paul writes about Jesus:

        he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Eph. 1:20-23)

        People who believe that and are willing to engage the life calling that entails (emulation of Jesus, faithfulness to God, putting off the old creation to live out the new creation, willingness to endure suffering for this calling, etc.) are, by my lights, Christians in the specific sense of the term.

        I think Christians can genuinely disagree on the exact definitions of those terms, and it’s also true that someone doesn’t have to be specifically Christian to embody the ethics of new creation humanity. The sad state of affairs we have today is that many who identify as Christians do not seem to be very interested in being the new creation, and many who have no significant regard for Christianity do a pretty good job being what we should be and doing what we should do.

        I think this raises a number of options when we talk about what God will do eschatologically with humanity as a whole, but in terms of specifically who I would define as Christians, I feel pretty good with the definition above. I think it defines both the earliest faith communities and works as a contemporary definition, too.

        1. Thanks so much Phil. I seldom have small questions 🙂

          Some conversations I have had this past week have me reflecting on the idea of being able to reject the church dogma and doctrines about the faith and Jesus Christ (some of which are mentioned in the Ephesians passage you share), but still being able to call oneself a Christian.

          Also … it seems many of us in the west find ourselves in a context where although materialism, consumerism, worship of self, etc. is running rampant, there is still this strong belief that society can win the day if everyone is just a better human being and we let any God-talk simply fall into the great abyss.

          Finally … it seems a lot of folks are O.K. with Christians who simply talk about the good teachings of Jesus Christ, and the need to follow them, but once you begin talking about resurrection, Jesus as Lord, sin, repentance, judgement, etc., then suddenly you become persona non grata.


          1. Well, keep in mind that I said that it’s quite possible for Christians to disagree on what the terms actually mean. I may have my own interpretations of what it means to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and affirm his resurrection, but others may differ in their interpretation and that wouldn’t necessarily make them not a Christian, in my opinion.

            But the term has to mean something and that something, by nature of the case, revolves around the importance of Christ. I have some friends who are atheists who are very caring people. They take care of their families, they pursue justice, they spread compassion and healing in the world. In just about every way that counts, their behavior looks like Jesus and is what any Christian should aspire to. But they are not Christians by either my reckoning or theirs.

            And that’s why I made the point that when we talk about being the new creation, that category can be broader than just Christians, and we might debate what the outcome of all that is, but I (not that anyone should care) would not label someone a Christian solely because their behavior was exemplary of what God wanted in the world. Abraham and Moses and David and Solomon weren’t Christians, either. There’s a belief/confession component to it as well.

            But the converse is also true. I would not typically classify someone as a Christian who claimed the belief/profession piece and embodied things like the pursuit of power and prosperity and self-promotion over all, or the exploitation of the weak for their own gain, or hatred of other people, or wanton hedonistic excess – and I can’t speak to your side of the Pond, but in America, that’s where we’re really taking it in the teeth.

            People of other religions and atheists who care for others, pursue justice and compassion, and live unselfishly for the benefit of their fellow man are a living indictment against the Christian church in America, and for every Christian who responds to this indictment by throwing themselves anew into the task of being a blessing to the world, there are nine who double down on why they shouldn’t have to do such a thing.

            I do have to acknowledge that there can be differing interpretations of ethics just as their can be differing interpretations of doctrinal confessions, and just because someone doesn’t define “being Jesus in the world” the same way I do doesn’t make them not a Christian, but much like the doctrinal piece, eventually you get to a point that’s so far afield that it’s indistinguishable from not being a Christian at all. And, frankly, I would rather share a planet with people who embodied the new creation in the world but eschewed Christian doctrine than people who affirmed Christian doctrine and went right along perpetuating the evil structures of the age.

            So, all that to say that I think it’s important to keep in mind that:
            1 – People being what God wants people to be is not the exclusive domain of Christians.
            2 – Christians can vary to a degree on what their core confession means or what ethics ought to look like, but
            3 – “Christian” is a term that means something, such that people who are not Christians recognize they are not Christians even though they may be living out an ethic that has lots or even everything in common with the ethics Christians also should aspire to.

            1. If what you say is true Phil, and I´m in agreement with most of it, what´s the advantage then, in your view, of even being a professed Christian?

              1. The God of Israel is the God who created the heavens and the earth, and as things began to go badly, He established a new creation in the midst of the old one in the form of a people He made agreements with. Today, being a Christian is being part of this people which puts us in covenant and relationship with this God in the manner in which He is providing this in history.

                This people has His promises, the realization of the Spirit, and the consequent hope for the future. This is the people that God saves when they are threatened with extinction. He forgives their sins when they turn away from them to do better. Being a part of this people is a calling into being a priestly servant who is in a deliberate and focused relationship with God and also dedicated to be a blessing to the world. In addition, we belong to a community that (we hope) embodies the new creation. Among the people of God, I experience justice, forgiveness, compassion, love, healing, comfort, and restoration even as we look forward to a renewal of the heavens and earth.

                Additionally, Jesus is Lord over these people, which means that by the power of the Spirit he is our leader and shepherd and dwells among us and in us, and this not only steers us through our various historical crises but also produces Christ-like behavior among his people. Jesus running the show is a good thing and is good news.

                In the biblical narrative, the differences between “the way the Christian community works” and “the way the Empire works” or “the way the corrupt Temple power structure works” are obvious, although there are glimpses of the idea that the picture is not as simplistic as it seems. A good portion of Jesus’ own people do not believe him, but a Roman centurion does. Still, the lines are fairly solid in the big picture. You have the powers of the age that run off oppression, self-exaltation, and self-gratification, and you have the people of God who run off self-sacrifice, love of neighbor, and devotion to God.

                At our current point in history, long past the cultural-political background of, say, the book of Acts – we’re in a weird situation. There are some countries where the situation is analogous to that early community of believers – selfless, Spirit-filled bonds of sacrificial love pitted against the powerful boot of oppressive regimes. But in other countries, the communities of believers are truly a mixed bag, some of whom looking so much like the world powers Jesus was -against- that people outside the community of faith end up looking more like Jesus than the people claiming his name.

                This seems more analogous to Jesus’ ministry among his own people. They all shared a common religion, but some of them used that religion for power, prestige, wealth, comfort, and they didn’t care who they beat down with it, while others found this situation regrettable and longed for the consolation of Israel and found in Jesus a hope for what they could be and what the future might hold, while yet a third group was just tired of the whole thing and just wanted to make it through life the best way they knew how. In terms of air time in the gospels, Jesus spends the majority of his time calling people from that third group into the second one.

                By doing this, Jesus creates a sort of dividing line between those who technically held to Israel’s religion (and maybe even performed it fastidiously) but who had cut the heart out of it and made it a mechanism for worldly power – and those who, in faith, came to Jesus believing he would show them the way to being better individuals, a better people as a whole, and having a better future, safe through coming calamity.

                Jesus, the people he is forming around himself, and their future is better than anything that power, money, or hedonism can get you, and that’s still a message I have for people today.

                These days, I do not believe being a Christian keeps someone from an eternity of torture in the afterlife. However, I do believe in a new creation and I do believe that anything that plagues mankind will not be present in that creation. I’m not a universalist; I don’t think we’ll see Antiochus Epiphanes in the new heavens and the new earth. However, I also acknowledge that we might! That’s God’s prerogative and I have a lot of sympathies with my universalist brothers and sisters.

                What’s more, there are passages in the Bible that indicate that people who behave as God’s people do and take care of people like God’s people do will share in the rewards that God’s people do even if they don’t know they are serving Jesus. So, I don’t feel like the message, “Become a Christian or God will ultimately destroy you,” is an accurate message, especially because I suspect there will be a chunk of Christians who will be very surprised at God’s evaluation of their lives.

                But when I share Jesus with someone, it’s not to avert disaster they might suffer at God’s hands, but rather calling them out of a broken, empty, oppressive world that is passing away into a new world where love is the Law and the Spirit is real and the man in charge of the whole thing is Jesus who is both Lord and Christ.

                1. Wow.

                  I´ll be taking a somewhat long ride on a train soon. Maybe I should ask your permission to turn what you just said into a Gospel tract? 🙂

                  Thanks again Phil.


      2. I am not Phil, but I can give you my opinion on what “makes someone Christian.” That person helps and loves their wife or husband if they are married or in a committed relationship, cares for their children, if they have children, tries to help others, is kind, does not discriminate, is compassionate, is not a racist, or a bigot or a homophobe or a xenophobe, decries injustice, tries, but sometimes fails, to be a decent human being. These are things that Jesus would want us to do, but….all of these attributes could apply to followers of other religions, too.
        Remember, Phil, there are many roads to the top of that mountain.

        1. That’s not a Christian since like you said, people in other religions can do those things. I am an atheist and you just described me.
          If you are a christian, then you are basically jewish. You are in a offshoot jewish sect, which is a merger religion (mixed Judaism, roman religion, greek religion, mythraism, egytpain religion, Babylonian religion). You either think jesus is the son of the jewish god or is that god. You either think the Genesis creation and flood story are real or made up to teach a lesson.

    3. See also references in the Talmud

      “There were four judges in Sodom (ib. 109b), named respectively Shaḳḳarai (“liar”), Shaḳrarai (“habitual liar”), Zayyafa (“deceiver”), and Maẓle Dina (“perverter of the Law”). In Sodom every one who gave bread and water to the poor was condemned to death by fire (Yalḳ., Gen. 83). Two girls, one poor and the other rich, went to a well; and the former gave the latter her jug of water, receiving in return a vessel containing bread. When this became known, both were burned alive (ib.). In the Midrash (ib. 84) the judges are called Ḳaẓ Sheḳer (= “greatest liar”), Rab Sheḳer (= “master of lies”), Rab Nabal (= “master of turpitude “), Rab Masṭeh Din (= “chief perverter of the Law”), and Ḳelapandar (probably = “forger”). Pentapolis existed only fifty-two years; and during the last twenty-two of them God brought earthquakes and other misfortunes upon it that it might repent. It refused to do so, however, and was destroyed (ib. 83). The inhabitants of the cities of the plain worshiped the sun and the moon. If destruction had come upon them by day, they would have said that the moon would have helped them; if by night, they would have declared that the sun would have been their aid; wherefore they were destroyed early in the morning, when both the sun and the moon were shining. This happened on the sixteenth of Nisan.

      According to the “Sefer ha-Yashar,” a man entered Sodom riding on an ass, and as he had no lodging he was received by a resident of the place. On preparing to depart he missed his colored cover and the cord by which it had been tied to the animal’s back. When he asked his host about the matter, he received the answer that he had only dreamed of a cover, but that the vision was of good omen, since the cover meant that he would possess large vineyards, and the cord indicated that his life would be prolonged. The stranger protested; but he was dragged before the tribunal and sentenced to pay four silver shekels. The names of the judges, according to this account, were: Sarak in Sodom, Sarkar in Gomorrah, Zabuak in Admah, and Manon in Zeboiim (ib. 24-27). For the other stories related in the “Sefer ha-Yashar” see Eliezer and Lot.”


      1. If you believe anything from the Talmud, which is the Oral law aka Man’s law, you’ve already been deceived. The Talmud is like the Roman Catholic church that claims to be god on earth,,,, Deranged and of No consequence.
        Unless you are of those that believe that your life and the world is a big cosmic accident and that you are a decendant of apes.
        You are an agent of some kind which is why your name is Bones & you have a picture of Albert as your profile pic, which means no one should believe anything you say because you are as our president says fake news.
        There’s no need to say anything for I will not reply to a figment of someone’s imagination again!

        1. Lol derpy…if you believe your liar-in-chief then you’re another whose sold themselves out to the biggest bs artist ever seen.

          Oh and the pont is that the Talmud reflects Jewish thinking at the time.

          But that’s too difficult for the likes of morons like you.

        2. How do you know that the Talmud is man’s law and not god’s law?
          Which president says that this is fake news? Why should we care what a president says?

          1. You’re kidding me RIGHT?
            How do you know about the Talmud and NOT know that it is man’s law?
            The Father didn’t need two sets of rules, he didn’t tell his people NOT to speak his name, (which is from the Talmud) but The Talmud is the compilation of the historic rabbis “discussing” or “debating” what the Torah means. There are 2 of them the Babylonian written around the year 500 CE I believe & the Jerusalem Talmud that came in the 4th century.
            Neither are from the father but attempts of flawed men like you & I which means it has no validity!
            But do not take my word for anything I am just a flawed man just like you. Do your own research and go from there!!!

            1. Which father didn’t need 2 sets of rules? Why didn’t he need 2 sets of rules?
              What research do you want me to do?

    4. I think that the way to understand Sodom’s sin is not to focus on what happened that night, but to see why God sent angels there in the first place.

      BEFORE they residents of Sodom sought to rape the angels, was God pissed at Sodom? Yes. BEFORE the attempted rape, what was the reason God wanted to destroy Sodom?

      Genesis 13:13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.


      Genesis 18:16 “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

      What had they done… dunno. But no hint that it was male on male sex. No suggestion. No implication. Just that they were wicked.

      But NOTHING in the precursor says “it’s the homos”. Nothing says they’d raped anyone else. Zero mention. Yet God was going to destroy them for “wickedness” whatever that was.

      Which is why the Ezekiel passage is so relevant.

      1. An interesting parallel is Nineveh. God decides to destroy it for generic wickedness, but we never hear what that wickedness is until 3:8 –

        “All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands.”

        1. And then there’s Er (the person, not the interjection), of whom we never learn anything more than “Er was wicked in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord killed him.”

      2. Come, come now, Don’t be so obtuse.
        Our world today is full of wickedness and it was prophesied long ago to be that way. If we list the wickedness around us it will be illustrative:
        1. Killing babies and calling it a woman’s choice.
        2. Deviant sex of every sort and description called normal.
        3. Lawlessness covered by the love of Jesus.
        4. Drugs destroying people not defended but overlooked.
        Doubtless this behavior was extant in Sodom. God apparently didn’t agree that it was just peachy keen. He destroyed them as an example for us. But today many people on this site say everything was fine – no need to worry. But secretly they do worry.

    5. U.S. White Evangelicals like Franklin Graham and his followers are unraveling as they witness their White Evangelical Hegemony and Privilege crumble in real time. What is remarkable is that their steady stream of lies and deception fails to conceal Truth.

      Just like Bob Shiloh and Josh in this very comment section: they keep lying, derailing, and obfuscating. Yet neither their deception nor their sophistry will keep Truth from being proclaimed.

      1. The thing that gives me hope is these last two rounds of undeniable deception on the part of the current US administration is causing even would-be supporters to fall away. They just can’t do it, anymore, because it’s so incredibly obvious they’re being lied to.

        Sure, there’s still a sizable core of support, but you can’t have an Antichrist without people who believe he’s the Messiah, which is where Bob et al tend to hang out, epistemically speaking. There’s really nothing you can do about that. You hope that the evidence will turn the tide, but then you also have to contend with the fact that this is the same guy who argued stridently that Adam wrote the first part of Genesis, so….

        1. You will be slightly depressed when you see the results of the DNC lurch to the far Left in the soon coming mid-terms. #WalkAway
          Elections are about visions for a better future and plans to do that. Incessant and constant hatred of the current President will not win elections.

          1. “A new study, however, suggests that the main threat to our democracy may not be the hardening of political ideology, but rather the hardening of one particular political ideology. Political scientists Steven V. Miller of Clemson and Nicholas T. Davis of Texas A&M have released a working paper titled “White Outgroup Intolerance and Declining Support for American Democracy.” Their study finds a correlation between white American’s intolerance, and support for authoritarian rule. In other words, when intolerant white people fear democracy may benefit marginalized people, they abandon their commitment to democracy.”

            While it is true that there has been a moderate swing to the far left in the Democratic Party, towards socialism, it is still not mainstream within the Party. On the other hand, the swing to the far right amongst Republicans has become mainstream within that Party. While one can have a successful merger of socialism and democracy, that is not true of totalitarianism and democracy. I have seen time and time again, in my conversations with white evangelicals, the swing against governmental intrusion into their lives goes only one way, i.e., conservatives balk at the government intruding into their lives but have no problems with it interfering in the lives of women, Latinos, Blacks, migrants, refugees and the sexually “others.” They display the worst form of libertarianism and will gladly jettison equality and civil rights if it is perceived to benefit them.


            1. I appreciate your comment but find it hard to read without skepticism.

              “Their study finds a correlation between white American’s intolerance, and support for authoritarian rule” Which leads me to ask what is the basis for that correlation? Democracy benefits all the people which is why the Left’s lurch towards socialism is troubling.

              “While it is true that there has been a moderate swing to the far left in the Democratic Party,” is an understatement.
              “the swing to the far right amongst Republicans has become mainstream within that Party. While one can have a successful merger of socialism and democracy, that is not true of totalitarianism and democracy” is an overstatement.
              “government intruding into their lives but have no problems with it interfering in the lives of women” aka baby killing.
              “sexually “others” as the Left is sexually obsessed.

              1. While it is good to be skeptical it is also good to be honest about one’s biases and to be open to constructive criticism. The great American experiment is not perfect, nor is either Party’s plan for America. Blind genuflection to a romanticized depiction of democracy without an honest reflection on just whom that depiction benefits and who it does not is simply blind. It is also, unchristian. Democracy is supposed to benefit all the people, I agree, it never has. If you cannot see that, then I pity you. One of the goals in a healthy society should be a government that is for the people…working towards an egalitarian society.

                Unfortunately, majority rule does not always have that in mind. Disenfranchisement of those not in power, those who have a weaker voice is always a temptation in any society. America is no exception. This is the area that conservative American Christianity has been prone to stumble most. Aligning themselves with the powerful, the wealthy, the entire military industrial complex, a system that wallows in self aggrandizement, disguising their self worship as “patriotism,” has no place in a Christian social worldview.

                I guess we can thank Billy Graham for the Religious Right’s misrepresentation of the “evils” of socialism. There is much I admire about the man, but his fear mongering about the godless intents of communism during the Cold War, was painted with a rather broad brush, leading to a general tendency among conservatives to connect a few failed socialist countries with the horrors of a totalitarian communist state. The democratic socialist countries where it has flourished are ignored in favor of simplistic view of democracy. A society that takes care of the elderly, the sick, the young, the homeless, that provides for the least of these may be a socialist society, but it is far closer to the ideals of the Kingdom Christ talked about then a society where one group of people get the best seats at the table, while everyone outside that group has to be content with the crumbs that fall to the floor.

                If you are unaware of how that played out amongst White Christians in the South for 150 years, then, again, I pity you.

                Ah, “baby killing,” the great conservative Christian diversionary tactic. Way to deflect, Bob! I suggest you do a little research into why the Moral Majority introduced this tactic in 1979. Look up Bob Jones University and Green v. Kennedy for the truth behind the fiction. Here’s a link to get you started:


                1. After reading this I am still not i the slightest agreement with you.
                  “Democracy is supposed to benefit all the people” – No that’s socialism. And socialism has never worked anywhere it has been tried. Why do you talk about the ideals of the Kingdom in relation to earthly governments? Do you not know the end of all of this? Total destruction with only a remnant saved to usher in the next age. And you dare call abortion a diversionary tactic?

                  1. The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence starts as follows: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

                  2. And you dare call abortion a diversionary tactic?

                    In one breath, people like yourself argue that the local abortion clinic is actually a baby murder factory.

                    But, for some reason, you don’t in the next breath round up a posse, pick up torches and pitchforks, and shut the baby murder factory down, as any reasonable human would if they just heard that down the street there is a local baby murder factory.

                    So it ain’t a stretch to consider y’all pro-lifers the biggest, most transparent blowhards on the planet, desperate to distract with rhetoric that never matches action.

                    1. It is. What would you call 50 million aborted babies since 1973 in this country?
                      We live in a country with laws not mobs. Even fighting to defund the murder factory known as Planned Parenthood is resisted by confused Liberals. “Blowhards?” Try again y’all.

                    2. We live in a country with laws not mobs.

                      So, lemme get this straight. You know a murder is about to happen down the street. So you call the cops, and you tell them, and they believe you, but they decide to do nothing. “Eh. There’s an exception in the law. Our hands are tied,” they say. You’re telling me that you would do nothing, and your excuse for doing nothing in this most exigent of exigent circumstances is your unerring fidelity to the rule of law.

                      I have two reactions.

                      First, you are most probably a liar, either to yourself or more generally. You wouldn’t just sit there with your thumbs up your arse in that scenario, you would act. The reason you don’t in the case of abortion is because you know, deep down, that your rhetoric is bullshit and that you do not react to the situation it describes with the same moral gravity as preventable murder.

                      But it is possible that you do know yourself and are honestly reporting that your fidelity to the law is so great you would not lift a finger to stop a preventable murder where police refuse to intercede. In which case, please conduct yourself to the nearest available exit of human civilization. You don’t belong in here.

                    3. What would you call 50 million aborted babies since 1973 in this country?

                      Ooooh look at you going all emotional with the false tears.

                      I would call it the exact same thing you call the BILLIONS dead babies from failed pregnancies since 1973. Only 50% of pregnancies go to term while the rest are aborted “naturally” by a woman’s body. I notice your fields are completely barren of fucks to give about that.

                      They are not babies, they are not people. A seed is not a plant, a blueprint is not a house. And you know this. Your political leaders know this. Your activists know this.

                      By your utter lack of action we know you.

          2. Incessant and constant hatred of the current President will not win elections.

            … or life eternal for those who seek to win elections for party over mankind.

  22. If he’s wrong, that means that most Christians get the point of the story wrong. How is it that most Christians for most of history get the point of the story wrong? Why is it that most Christian denominations teach that homosexuality is a sin precisely because of the story of Sodom?

    1. The earliest source I have found which taught that Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality was the Koran. It seems to have taken almost 500 years before Christians in the middle ages adopted this Islamic idea.

    2. It’s worth noting that the Jewish interpretation of the story does not include homosexuality either, although to be fair, ask four rabbis a question and get at least five answers.

    3. I think that all christians don’t understand their religion. If they did, there wouldn’t be 37,000 sects. Each of them read the bible and understand it their own way. The Bible has a lot of vague parts that is interpreted, reinterpreted, generation after generation.
      In the end, the Sodom story is irrelevant. There are about 3 or 4 lines that say that god of the jews hates homosexuals. It doesn’t use the word hate, but when you ask people to kill another person, it involves hate for that person.

    4. Oh, Premium “Smell”, how is it that most of the authorities of “God’s chosen people” got the story so wrong that they judged to crucify the Son of Man/Son of God in God’s name under the authority of the Moses seat?

      Truth is not determined by quantity of believers but solely by they who know the truth. He asks us, as His sibling students, to pick up our own cross and not to pass judgment on others. You, Os, are clearly not of God as Christ’s student, but the student of Man and their haughty judgments.

    5. There’s probably a number of components to that.

      As far as the point of the Sodom story, I don’t know if “most Christians for most of history” have gotten the point of the story wrong. For instance, in the early church fathers, Augustine and John Chrysostom identify the sin of Sodom as homosexuality, but Jerome identifies it as “pride, bloatedness, the abundance of all things, leisure and delicacies” and suggests that if they repented and fasted, they could have averted the disaster. These three church fathers are roughly contemporaries of each other. So, it seems like there’s always been a strain of Christian thought that identified Sodom with homosexuality and a strain that identified Sodom with pride and selfish excess.

      I’m also not sure that the Christian denominations that teach homosexuality is a sin do so on the basis of the story of Sodom, or at least not primarily on that basis, although it is certainly held up as an important example whenever you’re discussing it with them. The primary argumentation I’ve run into has been the Torah laws against homosexual behavior and some of Paul’s stray comments that are then also interpreted as laws against homosexuality.

      But I think back of both your questions is a great observation: why would someone read the story of Sodom and later biblical commentary on that story and think it’s about homosexuality?

      Part of that is that most Christians are very unfamiliar with the Bible and evangelicals especially so. They are familiar with their narrative of what the Bible allegedly teaches, but actually have trouble exegeting the Bible itself and are generally only familiar with passages directly relevant to that narrative. The majority of Christians who would hold up Sodom as an example of God’s views on homosexuality are completely unaware that Ezekiel actually defines what their sin was. Exceptions apply, obviously.

      But I’d say that’s the crux of the problem – the conflation of the narrative in one’s head of “what the Bible teaches” and the text that’s in the Bible.

      1. Well, Franklin Graham, Augustine, and Chrysotom are more knowledgeable about the Bible and far better Christians than I ever was. Who’s to say they’re wrong? Franklin Graham gave the opening prayer at Trump’s inauguration, after all. Doesn’t that indicate that his views are the mainstream and correct ones, especially since they’re in line with 2000 years of Christian teaching and tradition?

        1. No, Premium, just the opposite. Trump is the anthesis of anything that Christ would want us to be.

        2. Franklin Graham isn’t a Christian at all! There is NOTHING about the way he lives that suggests he follows the teachings of Jesus.

        3. Augustine failed his introductory Greek course and never bothered trying to learn Hebrew or Aramaic. He was very eloquent in Latin, but he never deserved anything close to the level of respect he has been given as a biblical authority. John Chrysostom was quite fluent and famously eloquent in Greek. I don’t know how good his Hebrew was, but I do know he was extremely anti-Semitic. (I believe he was among those who held that the Septuagint was the only divinely inspired version of the bible and that it was folly to even try to study the versions the Jews used before they were translated into the Greek; this ancient equivalent of the crazy KJV-only movement was quite common.) Franklin Graham’s association with Trump should be taken as prima facie evidence that his views are wrong, no matter how popular they are among the sort of people who have been duped into thinking Trump is a man of good character.

        4. Really! I can say they’re wrong. It’s about educating yourself and finding facts and information.

          Now about these knowledgeable Christians

          Franklin Graham cheered the war in Iraq and believed Obama was a secret Muslim.

          Augustine proposed torturing heretics eg you and me.

          Chrysostom was a rabid anti-semite whose sermons led to the destruction of synagaogues.

          Were they wrong?

          Hopefully you’re a better HUMAN than they are.

          1. Oh great Herm. Now you’ll really get the evangelicals riled up. You just had to go and bring Jesus into it didn’t ya? Thanks a lot!

            1. And we all know Jesus was a right wing conservative.

              That’s why the right wing conservatives killed him.

              1. Jesus couldn’t get elected in the U.S. Conservative evangelicals would see to it. They couldn’t support his agenda. They don’t now anyway.

        5. Is this a real set of questions?

          What does Graham giving an opening prayer at an inauguration have to do with it? When a president throws out a first pitch at a baseball game, does that mean he is an expert in pitching? Is mainstream always correct? If so, we’d still oppress many more people than we do today. Why just assume they are more knowledgeable than yourself? Just because they are well-known does not necessarily mean they are more insightful on things than yourself, why sell yourself so short? And, even if they are, why simply rest on that and not do the research and study for yourself? Then, maybe, or maybe not, it will be you that is the one who’s to say they’re wrong.

        6. I can’t speak for Augustine and Chrysostom, but I doubt Franklin Graham is a far better Christian than you, even if you’re not a Christian at all. But my point was that A) church history has always had Christians and theologians who did not see the Sodom story in terms of homosexuality and B) most contemporary evangelicals don’t know what the Bible says.

          Franklin Graham most definitely is not representative of mainstream Christianity. He may be representative of mainstream American evangelicalism (which is, in turn, not representative of mainstream Christianity), and I would agree with you that the vast majority of American evangelicals would tell you Sodom is about homosexuality. But that’s a small percentage of Christians -today-, much less when you tally up the entirety of Christianity historically and worldwide.

        7. I’m pretty sure both Augustine and Chrysotom would support slavery as the Bible represents it. That would also be in line with 1850 years of Christian tradition. Tradition can be profoundly wrong.

  23. 6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;
    7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men
    (2 Pe 2:6–7).

    6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,
    7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an dexample in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
    (Jud 6–7).

    First, “being gay” wasn’t the sin. A sin that Sodom was doing was male to male sex. Among other things as mentioned. How do you interpret “strange flesh” and “sensual conduct” in these NT evaluations of the Sodom story, and square your article with the Jewish law, and Romans 1?

    1. Tim… not sure what translation you’re using but they seem to have strayed a bit from the origins of the text

    2. The jewish god also killed all the kids of Sodom & Gomorrah. Why isn’t anybody talking about that?

      1. Because the bible makes a case that all life came from and will return to God. Killing these children is not so much evil as it is inevitable from the bible god’s perspective. Think of this like a farm or ranch where the owner attempts to prevent animals are from attacking each other but he can kill them any time he likes.

        1. The bible says that the reason for killing the people of Sodom is that they were evil.
          My question is, what is the reason for killing the children, the babies, the fetuses?
          A farmer kills his animals for food. Or he kills them and sells the meat. This is part of our biology and social structure. It isn’t a meaningless killing.
          Think of capital punishment. A country may choose to execute a criminal. Should they also kill his children and significant other, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends?

          1. Apparently god didn’t have a problem killing kids eg the fictional Canaanite conquest, the Exodus……

            Somewhere he changed his mind.

    3. In 2 Peter I would say that ” καὶ δίκαιον Λὼτ καταπονούμενον ὑπὸ τῆς τῶν ἀθέσμων ἐν ἀσελγείᾳ ἀναστροφῆς ἐρρύσατο” doesn’t speak of “sensual”, especially not in the way we’d use the word. ἀσελγείᾳ is much more speaking to an absolutely “outrageous” behavior. This was an absolutely “outrageous” sexual behavior– it had nothing to do with orientation, but everything to do with domination. Think prison rape.

      Jude is quite easy as well– he called it “strange flesh”. And well, they were angels, so that would absolutely be “strange” flesh. Had the author of that verse wanted to simply draw out the same sex angle (something that’s doubtful as Sodom didn’t become associated with homosexuality until later), he would have used the term “same” flesh like the word “homo” (same). Seems clear he deliberately used the word “strange” to refer to the fact they were angelic and not human.

      Romans 1 doesn’t speak of Sodom & Gomorrah so I’m not sure how that one helps us understand anything about the Genesis story.

      1. You make a good point… in the first century, the story of Sodom was not understood to be about same-sex behavior.

      2. “it had nothing to do with orientation, but everything to do with domination.”

        There is nothing wrong with a married man and woman having sex. But a man raping a woman corrupts the normal and acceptable behaviors. What about sex between two married men? The ancient cultures (including Judaism) believed that homosexual acts debased the recipient. If homosexual gang rape debases the recipient, then homosexual gang rape cannot be a corruption of normal and acceptable consensual homosexual activity because that activity also debases the recipient. Rather, the logical conclusion is that homosexual acts corrupt the normal and acceptable heterosexual acts.*

        Allegedly, the people of Sodom believed that consensual homosexual acts were abhorrent, but homosexual rape was acceptable. Let’s say they were wrong about the latter; homosexual rape is actually abhorrent. It is a false analogical conclusion that consensual married homosexual acts are thus normal and acceptable. You’ve concluded that homosexual rape is merely a corruption of normal and acceptable consensual homosexual acts because rape is wrong. But rape is wrong regardless of whether or not consensual sexual acts are wrong.

        You acknowledge that these cultures thought consensual homosexual activity was abhorrent, and yet you think that when the Bible criticizes Sodom’s homosexual gang rape it is only because it disapproves of the gang rape. Lot, a righteous man, offered his daughters to [dominating] gang rape. If the issue was primarily the abhorrence of [dominating] gang rape, this action doesn’t make sense. Another explanation is required. Perhaps, instead, you are suggesting that the gang rape of immigrant men is markedly worse than the gang rape of women or one’s own daughters?

        * If you want to say that homosexual acts do not debase the recipient, the logical conclusion is to reject the Bible. No mental gymnastics are required.

        “Jude is quite easy as well”

        The men of Sodom (including Lot) thought they were foreigners, not angels. Did the men of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities all want to have sex with angels? Of course not: they never went after sex with angels because they didn’t know they were angels. Your explanation is plainly impossible.

        “…he would have used the term “same” flesh like the word “homo” (same). Seems clear he deliberately used the word “strange” to refer to the fact they were angelic and not human.”

        This argument doesn’t work. Using the same argument, you can say that since he didn’t use the word for angels, he must have meant homosexual acts.

        1. I take it the gays in Judges 19 just went around raping women if they couldn’t find a man? Because like the whole thing describes normal homosexual behaviour. I regularly have gay people coming to rape guests at my house and suppose you think the gay posters here want to go to your house and rape you.

          “If you want to say that homosexual acts do not debase the recipient, the logical conclusion is to reject the Bible. No mental gymnastics are required.”

          Nah we’re rejecting your bigoted ignorant opinion.

          You shouldn’t equate your hatred of others with god

          Btw: Why are you so f***ed in the head?

          Is this what your religion has made you into?

      3. Not sure where you are making the connection between orientation and Graham’s comments. Just having an orientation isn’t and has never been the issue. We are all oriented to sin. Me, you, everyone reading this. It is the action that is the issue. You can’t on one had say “God saw them as awful people, and they did X” but doing X isn’t bad. What? That makes no sense. I am not trying to single anyone out here, but if you want to deny homosexual actions as not sinful, I think there is a bit more work to do.

        Romans 1 points to sex acts outside the prescription of God’s will. It shows the consistency of the biblical teaching.

        1. Bullshit! If you are a parent, like the Father is a parent to all the children of God in the Spirit, are you the law or do you teach the law that you know your children will survive by if they choose to adhere to it, as do you? You really don’t believe that Jesus could have asked, and received, legions of angels to protect Him from crucifixion, do you?

          God is not the law. God knows the law. God lives eternally under the law. What sums up the law that God lives under? What does all the law and prophets hang on?

          Seek God!

          1. The comparison as God the Father and me as human created father breaks down. I am not God. I don’t have his nature, perspective, knowledge, or will. I am fallen and sinful, God is none of these things. Jesus says only God is good. The Philosophers have settled this 2000 years ago, and William Lane Craig has done a great deal of work on God being the grounding of good.

            The Euthyphro Dilemma The other response you can count on getting from unbelievers is the so-called Euthyphro dilemma, named after a character in one of Plato’s dialogues. It basically goes like this: Is something good because God wills it? Or does God will something because it is good? If you say that something is good because God wills it, then what is good becomes arbitrary. God could have willed that hatred is good, and then we would have been morally obligated to hate one another. That seems crazy. Some moral values, at least, seem to be necessary. But if you say that God wills something because it is good, then what is good or bad is independent of God. In that case, moral values and duties exist independently of God, which contradicts premise 1. Answer to the Euthyphro Dilemma We don’t need to refute either of the two horns of the Euthyphro dilemma, because the dilemma it presents is a false one: There’s a third alternative, namely, God wills something because He is good. What do I mean by that? I mean that God’s own nature is the standard of goodness, and His commandments to us are expressions of His nature. In short, our moral duties are determined by the commands of a just and loving God.

            Craig, William Lane. On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 2204-2213). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.

            1. W.L. Craig and your so-called third alternative is simply the first horn of the dilemma dressed-up in fancy clothes. When you poke it lightly with logic, circular arguments about the goodness of God readily pop out.

            2. That is only a dilemma when God is misperceived as a “he” determining all destinies of mankind. Hatred is always destructive to the target, and the bearer, just as gravity, on earth, will always suck. Love of one’s enemy, as one would have one’s enemy love them, is productive to all. The law of eternal life was, is, and will always be what is constructive, regardless of what the eternal, no beginning and no end, They, God, wills. God lives only because They are in full harmony with the law, not because They dictated the law that protects life forever. Real law is the law of reality and the truth that God lives within. God does not enforce the law of truth, but graces us, empathetic in love for us who are in Their image, by teaching us the law that would exist even if God did not.

              Your argument assumes an all powerful volcano god that must be appeased that we might live. The Euthyphro Dilemma defines a god in Man’s image not Man in God’s image. The God I know with and in the Spirit teaches, not dictates, the law They know, and live by, that we, children of Man, too might live without end as children of God today.

              Rather than quote the musings of Man, as your source for truth, perhaps it would be more constructive to all if you quoted the Teacher, or at minimum the words of Christ as found in your Bible.

    4. Dr. Corey is not really interested in understanding why God destroyed Sodom. He is interested in criticizing Graham. Whatever Graham says it can’t be true. I am more disappointed we did not get a blog about Trump and Putin.

    5. How do you square those verses with Ezekiel’s contention that Sodom’s sin was “pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy?”

      Is Ezekiel wrong or is 2 Peter and the Book of Enoch via Jude?

      OR is it that Sodom was a city that was full of self gratification who oppressed outsiders and strangers and tried to rape some guys, thus making sense of all those passages?

      1. 16:49–52. Sodom’s sin was her haughty unconcern for the needs of others in spite of her wealth. Also the Sodomites did detestable things before God. This could refer to their deviate sexual aberrations (cf. Gen. 19:4–5). The sin of Samaria, though not specifically stated, was her idolatry. But Jerusalem’s sins were so vile that, in comparison, the sins of both Sodom and Samaria seemed almost like righteous deeds!

        Dyer, C. H. (1985). Ezekiel. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1258). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

        The author’s point is was the Jerusalem’s sins where worse than Sodom’s and Samaria. The highlight of the sin’s isn’t exhaustive but showed a parallel. Jewish, we can assume, didn’t have much in the way of homosexual sin because of the laws against it, therefore it would not need to be highlighted here, but what we do know is whatever the Jews were doing it was really really bad, and they were getting judged because of it.

        1. Exactly correct. And the Jewish power structure was being judged for oppression, not butt sex.

          Prophetic indictments of Israel for centuries centered around this point. Hosea 6. Isaiah 1. Jeremiah 23, and perhaps most relevant to Ben’s point – Ezekiel 34 itself.

          1. I think you are making some assumptions here. No where in scripture is homosexual actions spoken up favorably. From Genesis on God prescribes one man, one woman marriage. Do people step outside of this in the bible? Yes! Are there negative consequences for doing so? Yes! When homosexual sex in mentioned in the context of awful people, considering the full context of scripture we can conclude it was part of the evil.

            Now again, this is action not orientation.

            1. What various passages say about homosexuality is one discussion. What we’re talking about is whether or not Sodom was destroyed because its population was homosexual, or whether there was a different issue that characterized their population and this issue provides a better context for understanding the Lot story.

              Whether or not there are passages in the Bible that speak negatively about homosexuality does not tell us if that’s what the issue was in Sodom. What Ben is saying is that Ezekiel lays out what Sodom’s issues were, and these issues provide a context for understanding why the men outside Lot’s house wanted to rape the angels (an act that was obviously wrong, certainly) and why God’s wrath would be brought against Sodom. This is over and against Franklin Graham’s contention that the people of Sodom were gay and God destroyed them because of gayness.

              The perspective any given biblical writing has on homosexuality is certainly an interesting and important topic of discussion, but it’s not directly relevant to Ben’s refutation of Graham. Various biblical writings have negative things to say on a wide variety of topics that may or may not have been issues for Sodom.

              1. Dr. Corey has stated that homosexuality has nothing to do with the destruction of Sodom and Franklin Graham has stated that this is the primary reason. The reason this is one discussion (and not two) is because of the contention that homosexuality was one of a number of reasons why Sodom was destroyed. Two simultaneous discussions are required: one to refute Franklin Graham and one to refute Dr. Corey.

                1. I’m not sure what you’re arguing, here. What the Torah or Paul say about homosexuality in principle doesn’t establish whether or not it was the reason Sodom was destroyed.

                  1. If they are discussing Sodom directly (2 Peter 2 and Jude) or working in a similar cultural framework (various works of Paul) and the Bible is authoritative and accurate, then those writings do establish some of the reasons why Sodom was destroyed.

                    But this is beside my point. Both Franklin Graham and Dr. Corey are incorrect. The reason why Sodom was destroyed was their sin in its totality. It was not any specific sin in particular.* To understand what sin is, one has to consider the complete works of God. Thus the Torah and Paul are quite relevant.

                    * A good argument can be made that homosexuality was one of the factors that led to Sodom’s destruction. It is not the only possible argument, but it’s a hard one to refute. Making that argument requires the discussions you think are irrelevant.

                    1. What text tells us Sodom was destroyed for their sin in its totality? This seems like a strange argument to make. “Sodom was destroyed for their oppression of strangers and also frequent profanity.”

                    2. “What text tells us Sodom was destroyed for their sin in its totality?”

                      How could Ezekiel know why Sodom was destroyed when 1200 years had passed? Instead of giving a single specific reason, he gave a list of reasons. Jude gave a different explanation.

                      Abraham was told that the reason for their destruction was “sin”. Most other biblical and deuterocanonical references to Sodom refer to Sodom in the general sense. They are used as an example for the worst kind of rejection of God, for many/any/doesn’t-mater-which sins. They are used as a warning for cities like Jerusalem or Babylon, not because they committed the exact same infractions, but because they sinned.

                      “This seems like a strange argument to make. “Sodom was destroyed for their oppression of strangers and also frequent profanity.””

                      Not at all. Saying it was destroyed for profanity is like saying it was destroyed for homosexuality. It’s speculative and misses the point. If it was destroyed for sin, then the specific sins are secondary.

                    3. I have to admit, Derek, you’re kind of a hard person to figure out. On the one hand, you argue the accuracy of 2 Peter’s assessment of Lot on the grounds of the inspiration and accuracy of Scripture, and on the other hand, you argue that Ezekiel couldn’t have known why Sodom was destroyed and just pointed out some things that were probably under the umbrella of general sin while Jude gave different reasons.

                      But in any case, I hear what you’re saying, but I find it very unlikely that Sodom can be used as a warning to Babylon and Jerusalem because of sin in general. Sodom sinned a lot and you guys sin a lot, therefore watch out.

                      The reason Isaiah prophesies an overthrow of Babylon in 13 isn’t because Babylon is generically sinful and, once your city hits a certain sin level, God destroys it – but because they’re an oppressor of Israel. This is why 14 follows with promises of the restoration of Israel as well as an extended discourse against the arrogance of the king of Babylon. Note the refusal to allow exiles to return in v. 17.

                      I’m with you in that oppression is not the only sin mentioned of Babylon ever, or even in these passages (14:20 mentions that the king of Babylon kills his own people – also a common feature of the prophetic indictment against Israel), but Babylon is not being overthrown for generic sin. Their role as an oppressor of God’s people from whom the people need deliverance (which, btw, is how 2 Peter casts the Lot story) is why God will overthrow them. Likewise, the sequence of oracles against Philistia, Assyria, Moab, etc. None of them are about high levels of general sin – they are because these nations are arrogant oppressors of Israel.

                      When the crosshairs turn back to Israel itself, this is a consistent feature of the prophetic indictment – that the power structure of Israel herself has become oppressive toward her own people. Since we’re dealing with the scope of the first book of Isaiah, just read chapter 1.

                      Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
                      remove the evil of your doings
                      from before my eyes;
                      cease to do evil,
                      learn to do good;
                      seek justice,
                      rescue the oppressed,
                      defend the orphan,
                      plead for the widow.

                      While it’s easy to note there were other sins going on in Israel besides injustice, this is easily the spearhead of the prophetic case against Israel for breaking covenant -as well as- the indictments Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet brings against Israel’s leadership as well.

                    4. Lol….

                      I’m pretty sure Ezekiel was around before the 2nd century anonymous author of 2 Peter…….or Jude

                    5. “I find it very unlikely that Sodom can be used as a warning to Babylon and Jerusalem because of sin in general.”

                      I’m arguing that Ezekiel used Sodom similarly to how we use the Nazis. People who embody our idea of pure evil are called a “Nazi”, even if the label does not match the historical Nazis actions. It’s an inflammatory figure of speech. Sodom is a symbol; an example; a warning. The specific real sins of Sodom are generally not the point. There is long history of using Sodom this way (e.g. Deut 29:32; Isaiah 3:9; Jeremiah 23:14; Lamentations 4:6; Ezekiel 16:44-58; Amos 4:11; Matt. 10:16; Luke 10:12,17:28-30).

                      “…you argue the accuracy of 2 Peter’s assessment of Lot…you argue that Ezekiel couldn’t have known…”

                      Ezekiel couldn’t get his list of crimes from Genesis, since those crimes are not explicitly stated in Genesis. However, Jude’s and Peter’s analysis of Sodom clearly parallels the Genesis account.

                      If you reject biblical inspiration, this is the most logical conclusion. If you do accept it, then you’d argue that Sodom did all of those things and wasn’t destroyed for any one in particular. Either way you conclude that the sexual immorality described by Jude and the depravity described by Peter are among the reasons why Sodom was destroyed. Thus, both Franklin Graham and Dr. Corey are incorrect.

                    6. “Bible is authoritative and accurate”

                      Dude, you need to go right back to this before we can have any discussion.

                      Because that assumption is flat out bs.

                      There was no divine destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah – just like there wasn’t a tower reaching heaven.

                    7. “Dude, you need to go right back to this before we can have any discussion. Because that assumption is flat out bs.”

                      If you don’t accept the premises of my arguments, that’s perfectly fine. They weren’t intended for you.

                    8. Too bad, I’m here.

                      And yeah the premise of your whole argument is a fallacy.

                      So blurting out Bible verses just shows you don’t understand anything.

                      So is it religion which has made you like you are?

  24. Thank you Dr. Corey for speaking elementary truth, no matter how outrageously offensive it is to U.S. White Evangelical Franklin Graham and his Evangelical followers.

    Jesus taught his followers to “Seek..” Will Graham and his White Evangelical followers listen? Let’s observe this comment section:

      1. Yes, this is precisely the question. Do U.S. White Evangelicals following TrumpPutin have eyes to see and ears to hear? Their own behavior, as evidenced in this very comment section, provides a concrete answer.

        Just last week, TrumpPutin advisor Pastor Paula White plainly explained to the world that the law-breaking Jesus is not their Savior. They tell us all we need to know about their own fraudulent gospel and theological malpractice. Observe:

  25. Didn´t Franklin Graham call separating children from their parents at the U.S. border disgraceful and terrible?

    If so, there was no mention of such here and it might have been a good opportunity to find some common ground
    with someone who seems to be an enemy most of the time. Maybe an article entitled “What Franklin Graham Is Right
    About Today” would have been in order?

    Please do not interpret this as me being a fan of Franklin Graham. Most of the time I am not.

  26. Once you take the approach that Graham did you’re on a slippery slope. Does that mean the 26 who died in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs shooting were killed because they were sinful in God’s eyes? What about all the natural disasters that occur on a regular basis and people who believe like Graham unfortunately die in them , should we then assume their death was warranted because God definitely would not kill them if there wasn’t sin in their lives. This kind of stuff only shows off the ignorance of Graham and people who believe like him . Many are now calling fundamentalism a mental illness that impedes the ability to think critically. No wonder people are leaving their Churches in droves.

    1. That kind of thinking is present in the Westboro Baptist Church and probably was present in all churches ~1000 years ago.
      I think people are leaving the churches bc it is from the stone age. There is no evidence to support that the jewish god is real. Modern science has been eating away at it since the 1700.

  27. I love the Franklin Graham columns. Billy Graham devoted his life to saving souls and Franklin is disgusting. When I was a young woman, I had several gay friends. They were nothing like the stereotypes that people come up with. One should not talk about things they know nothing about. That is what Franklin Graham does.

    1. Billy Graham built lifetime of respect for others and decency so all so that he could reach all people – presidents, princes, and paupers. It infuriates me that Franklin Graham has distorted and perverted Billy’s message and uses Billy’s reputation to push politics and make claims which would shame his father.

  28. Thanks Ben. I remember feeling so much better about God when I read Karen Armstrong’s same explanation for “God’s” wrath on the cities in one of her books (failure to be hospitable to strangers). She augments with fascinating details about how men in these ancient cities would come out to challenge, even rape, strangers who showed up. It was a thing back then and detestable to God/Israelites.

  29. “…later in the story we discover that Lot was a horrible human being who should have been at ground zero of God’s wrath.”

    This is false. Because it is false, the conclusions that depend on it in the rest of the a post are logically invalid.

    We know this for two reasons. First, Abraham did not request that Lot be saved by name, he requested that city be saved on account of the righteous that lived there. Who were these righteous? Lot and his family of course. How do we know they were righteous? Because (a) they were saved; and (b) 2 Peter tells us that Lot was righteous.

    Your point doesn’t even make sense. If Lot should have been the recipient of God’s wrath, then why did God go to so much trouble to save him? The whole point of the narrative is that God would not destroy the city while the righteous still lived there. Lot and his family had to be removed precisely because God is just.

    “You see, in these ancient cultures homosexuality was largely despised because the one on the receiving end of the transaction was seen to take on the role of a woman”

    What ancient cultures considered to be acceptable is not morally relevant. Only God’s commands are morally relevant. But we can even grant your point for sake of argument: male homosexuality is wrong because it treats a man as a woman. Thus, if the act includes two voluntary participants, logically both must be culpable. As expected, the Law would later condemn both men, including unequivocally the man performing the act. The Law further states that the recipient of rape is not culpable, only the person performing the rape. Thus, in the case of homosexual rape, only the person performing the act would be condemned. This is logical even without the Law as guide. Therefore, it’s logically contradictory to say that these ancient cultures considered consensual homosexual acts to be abhorrent and then engaged in them voluntarily because the were not the recipients.

    “Ezekiel 16:49-50”

    You’ve concluded that their homosexual acts were not part of their abomination. This does not follow logically. While God had already decided to destroy them prior to the angels visiting Lot, they were guilty of a multitude of sins and were not destroyed for any one in particular. Their attempted rape was just a small part of their total abomination, but it was a part of it nonetheless.

    “…giving no thought to helping the poor or to showing hospitality to strangers (immigrants)”

    You’ve created a false dilemma. Let’s repeat the applicable quote from Ezekiel: “…poor and needy…”. This is not poor and immigrants. It is not poor and strangers. It is not poor and those treated inhospitably. It is poor and needy. Certainly immigrants can be needy, but this is not a passage about immigrants. Surely I don’t need to explain a part-whole relationship?

    1. Well if Lot is righteous we all are.

      Offers his daughters to be raped.

      Gets drunk and impregnates his daughters.

      Anyone here better than that?

      Lol and no surprise the fundamentalist disregards the bible on immigration and refugees.

      God you’re pathetic and so is your right wing anti-Christ.

    2. Hey Derek,

      WRT Lot being “the righteous,” that is correct, but that doesn’t mean Lot was a moral or even good person. Dikaion simply means “being right.” It may connote being moral, but in itself is a morally neutral term. A person is dikaion if they follow the terms of their contract or hold to a correct belief. There’s not a necessary contradiction between Lot being a terrible person and Lot being on the “right” side of the situation with Sodom. You might argue that Lot was actually a moral person and have at it, but I wanted to point out that the author of 2 Peter calling Lot “righteous” does not inherently mean Lot was unworthy of God’s wrath.

      WRT what ancient peoples considered acceptable or not, this is actually very relevant as biblical passages did not arise in a transhistorical vacuum but were, in fact, produced in concrete historical contexts that very much inform the likelihood of various interpretations. For instance, since Sodom was not an Israelite city, what Torah did or didn’t say would be completely irrelevant to them. What a citizen of Sodom thought about homosexuality is relevant in determining a Sodom citizen’s relationship to homosexual behavior.

      As a corollary to this, it’s well documented that even heterosexual rape has little to do with people just being horny and wanting sex right then and much more to do with contempt and dominance and is usually premeditated. When we look at cases of homosexual rape in prison, for example, which is probably more like the situation described in Genesis, we find men with absolutely no homosexual inclination engaging in this activity. In some cases, this may be an issue of the fact that there are only men around and someone finally snaps in a fit of sexual frustration, but most of the cases are, again, cases of dominance and oppression. For instance, fights that break out in prison sometimes end in rape, not because one party was sexually aroused, but to demonstrate to the other party that they are vulnerable and at the mercy of the rapist and there’s nothing the rapist can’t take from them.

      You can look into studies on rape if you like, or I can refer you to some if you think that point is contentious. What I’m getting at is that there are ample, empirically verifiable reasons for a man to rape another man that have nothing to do with homosexual desire, and when taken in conjunction with Ezekiel’s indictment, I think it’s far more likely that the prospective rape in the Lot story is about dominance and abuse than a bunch of horny gay people congregating outside Lot’s door because some especially good-looking men were there.

      1. Why are you quibbling over the meaning of a Greek word in the book of Genesis? Wouldn’t the Hebrew term be far more relevant? I know many Christians of the Patristic era believed that the Septuagint was divinely inspired while the Hebrew texts from which it was translated were not, but that does not seem like it would be a popular view today.

      2. “You might argue that Lot was actually a moral person and have at it, but I wanted to point out that the author of 2 Peter calling Lot “righteous” does not inherently mean Lot was unworthy of God’s wrath.”

        I might argue?The Genesis 18 and 2 Peter 2 passages about righteousness are anything but “being right in a morally neutral way”. The former (Abraham) was a righteous icon for Judaism as a whole. The latter compares the righteous (including Lot) and unrighteous in the context of the Day of Judgment. It doesn’t get more morally relevant than that.

        Lot did deserve God’s wrath, but so do all men. This is a fundamental truth. However, Lot did the right thing in the context of Sodom. Dr. Corey’s premise that he was a horrible human is plainly contradicted by 2 Peter 2.

        1. I think for the most part, in the old testament, whenever a person or people were declared “righteous” , it seems to me that it was simply because God said they were so, at least in as much as their part of the covenant/agreement with Him was kept. Its really quite convenient, you can do what ever you want to the surrounding peoples and regions, but as long as your performing the right rituals on the right days with the right tools, your right-right-righteous with God….. and everyone else who dont, are not. :/ I’ll just say it…most of isreal were not righteous because they actually did what was right, it was more like “we’re righteous cuz God said so.”

        2. I’m pretty sure Genesis 18 does not present Lot as a morally upright person, considering he offers for the crowd to rape his daughters, instead.

          You’re on stronger ground with 2 Peter 2, given that the larger passage is contrasting “godly” men with their persecutors. This may be the author of 2 Peter taking their cue from Enoch, as they do in other passages.

          1. The Lot story seems to me to be yet another variation on the theme of the righteous remnant being delivered from the destruction wrought on the sinful city / country / world. Lot is “righteous” for these purposes because he doesn’t share the sin for which Sodom faces destruction. Sodom’s abuse of the strangers in their midst is contrasted by Lot’s taking hospitality to an insane extreme.
            That Lot on being rescued immediately falls into sin himself is par for the course (cf Noah getting drunk likewise).
            I am not BTW entirely convinced that Lot is really in fact offering up his daughters to the crowd in the Genesis passage. I know a little Hebrew and I think Lot may be understood as saying that he would rather hand over his virgin daughters to the crowd to do with what they will than let the crowd harm his guests, without in fact any real intention of doing either. Certainly the crowd do not understand this as a serious offer to be considered, but tell Lot as a stranger he has no business telling them what to do and try and break into his house.

              1. The Judges 19 account if anything supports my reading. The whole Judges passage is a parody of the Lot account, and various other incidents, and almost every incident in it has people doing stupid things without thought, as the book keeps saying because “there was no king in Israel”.
                The householder tries to be like Lot, but messes up: Lot shuts the door behind him, he doesn’t. He tries to give Lot’s speech on how he will defend his guest but, ludicrously, ends up actually offering the crowd the concubine, one of the guests he is supposed to be protecting. The grammar is also subtly different: Lot says he has daughters, this man says directly to the crowd “Here is my daughter, and his concubine” and where Lot’s sentence is structured as “I would give them, if only you would not etc …” the man’s is subtly different: he says “I will willingly give, that you do not…” The passage in Judges says the crowd wouldn’t listen to the man (which suggests they are not acting as he meant it to happen) and pile through the door he has left open to take his guest’s concubine as he has, in fact, offered to give them.
                The remainder of the story continues the theme of ill-thought-out idiocy, with the man telling his dead concubine to get up and go, the grotesque parody of cutting up the woman instead of a sacrificial bull to summon the tribes and the ill-considered vow not to give wives to the Benjaminites and the rigmarole that follows.
                The point, I think, is that the man consciously tries to imitate what is Lot’s heroic, hyperbolic refusal to give up his guests and messes it up completely, ending up actually handing one over to the crowd.

                1. That’s a complete nonsensical reading of Judges 19.

                  If they ignored the man and just ent into his house – why didn’t they just take his guests.

                  Dishonestly trying to make the text say something else because it is embarrassing is no better than the fundies.

                  It’s clear what the text says in BOTH instances and that is that women were offered to be raped.

            1. Thanks, Iain. I think that’s insightful about the narrative purpose, and that certainly seems to be the take 2 Peter has on it.

              Not sure about the Hebrew. It’s been a while since I learned my Hebrew and I’m not a Hebrew scholar. I’d be interested to read arguments to the contrary, but the use of the “na” sort of puts that urgent timestamp on it, and I -believe- everywhere “owsiah” is a root, it refers to something that actually happened, but then again, most appearances of it are in past tense, and even if it did mean that most places, that doesn’t mean it can’t mean something else, here.

              I’m definitely not an authority on that and any actual Hebrew scholar would probably wipe the floor with those reasons.

              1. Apart from making the whole scene less weird (and to be honest this is the main one) my reason for thinking this is that “I will bring them” is in the cohortative, and it seems dependent on the following phrase, making the whole thing structured as a conditional sentence, effectively: “I have daughters, but I would let you have them if you did not touch these men.” and in conditional sentences (according to my grammar book) the cohortative refers to what one would do hypothetically, rather than actually will do.
                But hey, my Hebrew is likewise dodgy, so I could be wrong.

          2. “I’m pretty sure Genesis 18 does not present Lot as a morally upright person, considering he offers for the crowd to rape his daughters, instead.”

            This does appear to be the most common explanation. I’ve seen a few others that paint Lot in a more positive light. The main issue is how can a man who offers his daughters for rape be considered righteous? This seems pretty contradictory.

            1. He can be considered righteous in the Sodom situation because, as you pointed out, he’s in the right in the Sodom situation. In the 2 Peter passage, the other similar example is Noah, who is vindicated against everyone else around him, also by way of God destroying them, but saving him.

              In the Sodom story, we see Lot is justified by virtue of God saving him and destroying everyone else, but whether or not Lot was generally more moral than everyone else isn’t really clear.

        3. While I love the Bible and have devoted much of my life to it, I don’t give a hoot what 2 Peter says about Lot.

          He offered to let people rape his kids.

          I’m really, really, really, okay with calling him a horrible human being. I don’t care who that puts me at odds with– because if such a person (or even deity) thinks you can be a great guy and also offer to hand your kids over to be gang raped, I’m not really interested in being in relationship with such a person or such a deity.

          1. “… if such a person (or even deity) thinks you can be a great guy and also offer to hand your kids over to be gang raped, I’m not really interested in being in relationship with such a person or deity.”

            YES Dr. Corey, oh YES! How can such actions be remotely acceptable, let alone laudable? How can people simply blow off any basic decency and just assume if their concept of God is OK with something, it’s just fine? How can someone be so sure their views are right that even obvious brutal horror doesn’t give them pause?

            An aside; Dr. Corey, I know you’re had a rough year. As someone who’s last few months have also been sub-par, I empathize. Best wishes for better days ahead.

          2. Perhaps righteous in the sense that all those following and forgiven by God are deemed righteous, despite their sins? I think Lot’s ‘righteousness’ is linked to Abraham, whose righteousness was credited to him due to his belief and obeying God. Given 2 Peter was written after Jesus, that may have been Peter’s thinking, in line with Paul’s. And Abraham was prepared to kill his own son, and yet it is clear God viewed him as ‘righteous’.

            Also I wonder if once Lot realised he was actually entertaining angels, in his panic he thought his offer was the lesser of 2 evils?

            In the end, God stepped in and ended the situation, just as He did with Abraham.

            Just some thoughts.

            1. So offering up your daughters to be raped isn’t as bad as gay sex then?

              It seem to be true what atheists say.

              It takes religion for good people to justify and commit evil.

        4. Amazing how context becomes important to excuse disgraceful behaviour eg offering women up to be raped but not when it comes to gay sex. Coz thats really bad.

          Maybe you shouldnt spend too much time thinking about gay sex.

          Btw matthew 10 is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem which had happened in matthew’s time.

        5. Your subjective interpretations are not fundamental truths.

          Btw the bloke in judges 19 must’ve been a really righteous guy giving his concubine over to be raped and killed.

          The story is the mirror image of sodom and gomorrah.

          Thats how they wrote back then.

          And your loathing of humanity has been behind everything from genocide to psychosis.

          1. Your subjective interpretations are not fundamental truths.

            “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

            “There is none righteous, no, not one”

            “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

            The notion that humanity is fallen is fundamental to Christianity. But if you want to call people who deny this Christian, go for it.

            1. Derek, “The notion that humanity is fallen is fundamental to Christianity” maybe to “christianity” but not to students of Christ.

              Exactly what did mankind fall from? If mankind had once known, as a whole species, all that God knew then I would agree that mankind fell into ignorance. If mankind began with ignorance, as all children do, what did they fall from?

              Perhaps, “fundamental” “Christianity” has the notion that mankind fell from the love of God’s grace. I believe they still believe God so loved the world …

              There is only one word that should have been fundamental to all of Christianity, and is not. Jesus teaches to all his students daily that there is only one Father, one Teacher and one Instructor (the Messiah).

              Your subjective interpretations are not fundamental truths.” Who is your teacher?

            2. Once again parroting bible verses proves nothing.

              You may as well parrot the koran.

              You’ve just made peoples opinions and interpretations as fact.

              Congratulations. Like that hasnt been done before.

              You need to get over your hatred of humanity and quit justifying it.

                    1. I already have.

                      Your problem is your assumption that the Bible is authoritative and accurate is based on a house of cards.

                      It isn’t either of those.

                      There’s your fallacy right there.

                      And yes your attempt to disregard refugees is completely dishonest.

                    2. Your problem is your assumption that the Bible is authoritative and accurate is based on a house of cards.

                      The target of Dr. Corey’s criticism is the evangelical who believes that the Bible is authoritative and accurate. The purpose behind my arugments is that if this is premise is held, then Dr. Corey’s position has a number of logical problems. The logical consequence is that Dr. Corey is attempting to get evangelicals to abandon the notion that the Bible is authoritative and accurate.

                    3. Your position has a zillion logical problems.

                      I’d be looking at yourself first.

                      And the bible is neither authoritative nor accurate which from your posts here you only use parts of anyway.

      3. “There’s not a necessary contradiction between Lot being a terrible person and Lot being on the “right” side of the situation with Sodom. “

        I’ve taken some time to think about this and I agree to a certain extent. Being declared righteous indicates that you were obedient to God, not that you didn’t sin. It is also an acknowledgment of God’s everlasting mercy: your sins are not forever held against you if you repent.

        That said, Lot was righteous enough for God to go out of his way to save him and for him to be commended for his righteousness. He certainly wasn’t a perfect person, but Dr. Corey’s criticism goes too far. At the same time, that part of my argument is not quite as strong as I implied.

        1. Hey Derek,

          I think we probably still have a substantive disagreement, and I’m not that interested in picking this discussion back up.

          But I did want to say that I think it takes a lot of character for you to think through an issue and then come back around to a discussion we left a long time ago just to note in the thread that you’d thought about it and maybe your initial conclusions weren’t as strong as you thought. You didn’t have to do that, almost nobody does that, and I think it speaks well of you that you did.

    3. This is not poor and immigrants.” Are you referring to the poor immigrants seeking asylum (once considered legal by the Attorney General in the USA) from certain death as not “poor and needy“?

      1. Ezekiel: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

        Dr. Corey: “The people of Sodom were rich and full of themselves– thinking they were entitled to whatever they wanted, giving no thought to helping the poor or to showing hospitality to strangers (immigrants), and they showed scorn for anyone they felt was inferior to them (aka, “haughty”).”

  30. Why doesn’t copy and paste work here?
    Are you claiming that homosexuality was despised in Sodom and gomorah? How do you know?
    The ultimate goal here is that you want to pretend that christianity is ok with homosexuality. This jewish god wants people to stone male homosexuals to death. Even the new testament is against it.
    So what’s with all the tip toeing? Perhaps you should consider dumping Judaism/Christianity if its morals are not congruent with your own.

    1. Copy and paste works perfectly well here, “Why doesn’t copy and paste work here?” It must be something on your side.

      “christianity” is not, as a whole, ok with homosexuality. Christ is!

        1. vmelkon, I know because Jesus, the Christ of the “Christian” Bible, told me so. How can you intellectually know, since you are an avowed atheist, having no with and in relation with Christ? I will have to refer you to any version of that bible.

          Jesus’ quoted words only;

          So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

          Matthew 7:12

          Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

          Matthew 22:37-40

          Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

          Matthew 11:11-15

          Can you find anything in these statements, regarding the sum and all the law, attributed directly to Jesus speaking, that even implies that any physical reciprocally consensual adult intimacy, carnally sexual or otherwise, is against the law of eternal life?

          If you were to go over to Luke 10:25-37, Jesus states unequivocally that if you do only as stated in Matthew 11:11-15 (plus love Them with all your strength) that you will live eternally.

          God is made up of at least the Father, his son Jesus, and all Jesus’ sibling student children of Man/God. Each of God are with and in one another as one bound by all love because each are with and in the Spirit of truth (who appeared as a dove at Jesus’ baptism administered by John the Baptist). The heart, soul, mind (and strength in Luke) are spirit, not physical. God is only spirit governed under the law of relationship, not concerned with any physical act, but definitely concerned with the spirit of relationship. To the question of longevity of life in spirit, all law is relative to attitude.

          Not to worry about the unknown after your carnal body returns its elements to the earth, those not living with and in the Spirit will surely die physically and know nothing. Those with and in the Spirit today, recognized in living carnal bodies, have already begun eternity.

          One more text that highlights what changed most from the Old Testament to the New Testament as spoken to a good Samaritan woman:

          Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

          John 4:23-24

          All acceptable carnal worship of God has been over for nearly 2,000 years now. All carnal “sex” is the worship of our propagation of our animal species on earth.

          Now, vmelkon, know that, without the prequalification of any self ordained carnal religious order on this earth, by any name, you can address directly Jesus, his Father, his mother, his sisters, his brothers, and yes the Spirit of truth (who is with and in them all) to ask all your questions. If you are sincere your certain answer will come via your gifted image of God; your heart, your soul, your strength, your mind which is you as spirit.

          Love you and thank you for asking!

          1. “I know because Jesus, the Christ of the “Christian” Bible, told me so”

            ==How did he tell you and when did he tell you? Can you give me a date, perhaps just the year?

            1. Somehow, I think you are being sardonic, are you?

              I will try to explain how your physical logic does not apply in spirit. God, who I know with and in me, at all times, without ceasing, without end, is a plurality of hearts, souls, strengths, minds of spirit (the image of God graced Man) bound as one, each with and in each other bound in all empathetic, compassionate, tolerant and forgiving love of each other within one perfectly clear Spirit of truth. Jesus, the Christ of the “Christian” Bible, is with, in and of God. I am a child with, in and of God. Jesus is in me, and i in him, as I write this to you.

              All of God need not speak in carnal form, or language, to be perfectly understood by all of God. I once was like you, an image of God. Today, I am one with and in all of God at once and forever. This is what the Christ is speaking about in:

              You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

              John 4:22-24

              “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

              John 14:15-21

              “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.

              John 15:26

              “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

              John 16:12-15

              To understand completely the difference between unity in the carnal and unity in the Spirit you have to have related to both. I sense, by how you pose your questions, that you may know neither unity, and certainly not unity in spirit. Is this true?

              1. I am just asking a question based on your response.
                You said “he told me so” so I wanted to kow the mode of communication.
                Are you saying the mode of communication in this case is through text (The bible)?

                1. vmelkon, how do you communicate with children of Man, as you are one? How does the species of whale communicate with other whales? God is spirit and cannot teach their children fully in even the most rudimentary fundamentals of God “through text”. As a child of God, all communications with God are being with and in one another in spirit (mankind’s image of God). Communicating in spirit within God each are recognized by their unique heart-soul-strength-mind which is spirit separate from any physical description you can think of. This not an exclusive club subject to the animal mankind’s rules of engagement and unity of relationship. You can be included but only by beginning with accepting and developing your gift, that no other species of physical animal on earth appears to have, of the image of God, as spoken of in Genesis, which is spirit, not physical. The texts I offered you were for your edification, not mine. I cannot explain it any better than those texts do. You appear to be of a physical world trying to define God and spirit contained within your world. How do you, physically, know life without beginning or end? How do you, physically, expect to comprehend the concept suggested of every heart-soul-strength-mind with and in every heart-soul-strength-mind of God simultaneously, without pause, without end? That is what Jesus spoke about best in carnal terms. “The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.” I know him and that is “the mode of communication”, the Spirit of truth.

                  1. The modes of communication is verbal, written (paper or electronic), video (VHS, DVD, online).
                    Whales communicate with other whales with sound in water. This is something that has been discovered by those who were interested if whales communicated.

                    “God is a spirit”
                    ==What is a spirit and how do you know he is a spirit?
                    I am not asking how to be included in the christian club.
                    My initial question was base don your comment that Jesus communicates with you. Are you now saying that he does not?
                    Yes, you quoted the Bible but the question is, why are you quoting the Bible. Why do you believe that the jewish god is real and that Jesus is a god?

                    1. Whales communicate with other whales with sound in water. This is something that has been discovered by those who were interested if whales communicated.

                      Children of God, of which I am one, communicate with other children of God, of which Jesus is one, with and in spirit. This is something that has been discovered by those who were interested in pursuing spirit, beginning with the image of God gifted them (awareness and influence in spirit), and God (of any descriptive name in any carnal language of mankind) who is, was and will be aware and influential before (no beginning), during, and after (no end) mankind and all that is physical.

                      The Jews, the Christians, the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Bahá’ís, the Confusions, the Hindus as well as any carnally defined organization of mankind do not own God. No human organization can define or contain the fullness of God within all data storage on this earth that will ever exist. God has no beginning and has no end. God is in all of the cosmos simultaneously. God can sit in their entirety on top the smallest pimple of a physical quark. God is spirit. Man is carnal and will surely return all of its physical elements back to the cosmos from whence they came. Life is awareness and influence of which God needs no beginning and no end in spirit. Each of, and all of, Man has a beginning and has an end. Earth has a beginning and an end. Our physical cosmos has a beginning and an end. Why are you here, in this forum of spirit, if you insist on defining God purely within the constraints of Man to suit your less than 120 years of awareness and influence?

        2. Jesus is not ok with guacamole.

          I hate it. Dreadful stuff.

          Same with American sports.

          Jesus is not ok with them either.

          He hates it.

          So do i.

          Jesus is ok with rugby and cricket.

          I love them.

          See how it works?

    2. You don’t know a single thing about what true Christianity &/or Judaism is all about, apparently.

  31. I scanned to see if this point had already been made but did not find anything. When we see the word “abomination” in any English translation, chances are it refers to idol worship. “Abomination and abominable” in most of the English speaking world have come to mean things that are against general social values (like picking one’s nose at the table during a State dinner). On the other hand, the Biblical meaning is “that which is ceremonially impure” as found in the Laws of the Torah. Whether or not sex between two men is an ‘abomination’ according to the Bible, there is never any discussion of the type of gay relationships in our era which include the establishment of a home and the rearing of children. Same sex attraction was seen as a physical act and not as an innate part of one’s psychological makeup. The two sides of this discussion will probably go on for many more decades to come. Hopefully, it can be conducted with facts and the attitude of ladies and gentlemen.

  32. Nicely stated. I would go further and argue that the other popular places that fundamentalists go to find anti-gay arguments–Lev. 18 and 20 and Romans 1–are also off target.

    1. Leviticus 18:22
      And you must not lie down with a male the same as you lie down with a woman. It is a detestable thing.

      Leviticus 20:13
      If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.

      1 Corinthians 6:9
      Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality.

      Romans 1:27 KING JAMES VERSION
      And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

      1. Lev. 18 and 20 are ritual prohibitions. They’re arbitrary, like “don’t eat shellfish” or “don’t wear mixed fabrics.”

        Rom. 1:26-7: “God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.”

        This is talking about “natural” relations. Straight men and women doing gay sex? Yes, that’s pretty crazy. And, yet again, this has nothing to say about loving homosexual relationships.

            1. What is there to expand on? There is no consistency in what still applies and what doesn’t because the concept was invented in the intervening centuries since it was written. Judaism does not recognize any classification system whatsoever with regards to Torah Law. It is wholly a Christian conceit. Some of it is supported by text (Peter’s vision in Acts 10), but much of it is simply handwaved away as inapplicable to Christians EXCEPT THIS PART and this was fulfilled by Jesus BUT STILL NONE OF THIS and this was for cleanliness so soap and water fixes that BUT GOD PUNISHES THE UNCLEAN WITH PLAGUES and so on and so forth.

              1. Traditional Judaism doesn’t distinguish between laws that can be applicable today to Jews, in terms of what needs to be followed. So today, you will find areas with observant Jews which have kosher restaurants without pork or shellfish, and even the odd lab to check cloth for wool/linen blends.

                It does, however, distinguish between commandments for Jews (they count 613 of them) and commandments for everyone else (only 7).

                As well, there is a theoretical notion of a distinction between rules that have a rational basis and rules that don’t have any obvious reason given. Both are applicable, but there is no automatic assumption that a divine commandment is always a reflection of obvious morality. It is possible for an observant Jew to view male same-sex relations as no different than bacon-wrapped shrimp – biblically forbidden, but not a sign that someone is just the worst ever. See https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/No-Holds-Barred-The-Jewish-view-of-homosexuality

                1. Yes, this is largely true. It’s the ceremonial/dietary/cleanliness/whatever hat distinctions that aren’t really based in Torah law, as those grew out of Christian revisionism of the text in order to create categories that they no longer had to follow while insisting others were still applicable. XD

                  1. Jewish sources talk about a distinction between “chok” and “mishpat” but I don’t know how much of that analysis was influenced by Christianity.

        1. Bob,
          whether you want to classify it into different boxes; “this is arbitrary, therefore I don’t need to obey it” or “this is not arbitrary, I will obey it”, is up to you.
          There are all sorts of christians with all sorts of interpretations.
          That’s what happens when the original leader dies. Other leaders popup with their own rules.

          Romans 1:27. It does not say that the men are straight or the women are straight. That is your interpretation. I could just as well say that they are all bisexuals.

          You are right that it does not say anything about homosexual relationships. I doubt that there were homosexual couples back then, getting married and living together (in jewish culture). The only thing that they could do is meet up for sex and so, that is something that was somehow noticed by the jewish culture and the priest leaders wanted to ban it by invoking the jewish god.

          1. whether you want to classify it into different boxes are “this is arbitrary, therefore I don’t need to obey it” or “this is not arbitrary, I will obey it”, is up to you.

            It’s not so much that it’s arbitrary as that it’s not harmful. Murder is bad, not just because it annoys God but because it is objectively harmful. Not so eating pork, wearing mixed fabrics, or homosexual sex.

            And early Christians seem to have nicely bypassed the need for sacrifices and kosher rules. Whatever reason they conjured up should work for the remaining ritual demans.

            Romans 1:27. It does not say that the men are straight or the women are straight. That is your interpretation. I could just as well say that they are all bisexuals.

            It said “unnatural.” It would be unnatural for a straight man to have homosexual sex. So we’re clearly not talking about homosexuals.

            I doubt that their were homosexual couples back then, getting married and living together (in jewish culture).

            Then it makes all the more ridiculous citing the OT for rules about loving homosexual relationships if the OT never talks about them.

            1. Earlier, you had said that Lev. 18 and 20 are arbitrary rules and so is “don’t eat shellfish” or “don’t wear mixed fabrics.”. Are you saying that they are not objectively harmful?

              “And early Christians seem to have nicely bypassed the need for sacrifices and kosher rules. Whatever reason they conjured up should work for the remaining ritual demans.”

              ==Why are they bypassing god’s rules?

              “It said “unnatural.” It would be unnatural for a straight man to have homosexual sex. So we’re clearly not talking about homosexuals.”

              ==Perhaps homosexuality and bisexuality was considered unnatural (against the jewish god’s plan). Is this a possibility or not?
              After all, doesn’t 1 Corinthians 6:9 say that homosexuality is bad? 1 Corinthians 6:9 fits in with Lev. 18 and 20.

              “Then it makes all the more ridiculous citing the OT for rules about loving homosexual relationships if the OT never talks about them.”

              ==I think that you misunderstood. I imagine that if a couple of homos were to shack up and claim that they are having a loving a relationship, chances are, the priest leader would refer to god’s law Lev. 18 and 20 and would have them stoned to death.
              What do you think? Does what I imagine make sense or would the priest leader and the rest of the jewish people be ok with these 2 guys.

              In fact, why doesn’t the OT say that homosexual relationship is ok? Why doesn’t the NT say that it is ok? Did they run out of space on their papers?

              1. Earlier, you had said that Lev. 18 and 20 are arbitrary rules and so is “don’t eat shellfish” or “don’t wear mixed fabrics.”. Are you saying that they are not objectively harmful?

                Of course. You disagree?

                “It said “unnatural.” It would be unnatural for a straight man to have homosexual sex. So we’re clearly not talking about homosexuals.”
                ==Perhaps homosexuality and bisexuality was considered unnatural (against the jewish god’s plan). Is this a possibility or not?

                You’re changing the subject.

                After all, doesn’t 1 Corinthians 6:9 say that homosexuality is bad?


                ==I think that you misunderstood. I imagine that if a couple of homos were to shack up and claim that they are having a loving a relationship, chances are, the priest leader would refer to god’s law Lev. 18 and 20 and would have them stoned to death.

                For a ritual violation. Are you not following the conversation? Leviticus is talking about ritual sins, not actual wrongdoing. Wearing mixed fabrics is not morally wrong, and Lev. Puts homosexuality in the same bin.

                1. I do not see how you can simply dismiss Leviticus 18 as ‘ritual’. It isnt. It’s primarily a list of sexual behaviours which God finds unacceptable. If you read the next chapter, most of that also has nothing to do with ‘rituals’ – do not lie, do not steal etc. Most of those still apply today, especially if reiterated in the NT.

                  Ive found this twisting of Scripture before in discussions. Some would call it attempting to deceive – you know, one of those items prohibited in Lev 19.

                  1. Twisting of scripture? I think that concern goes both ways.

                    Read Lev. 18-20 and see how many of things are sinful “just because” rather than because they’re objectively harmful.

                    1. You claimed – ‘Lev. 18 and 20 are ritual prohibitions’ and ‘Leviticus is talking about ritual sins, not actual wrongdoing.’

                      – since when were stealing or lying ‘ritual’ sins?

                      Jesus seemed to view them as wrongdoing.

                1. The Bible knows of no such thing.

                  It was taboo in their culture.

                  Although little is said of girl-on-girl.

                  1. Show me where the Bible is strongly negative about slavery.

                    You seem to shrug that off pretty easily. Why then be bound by what an ancient book says about relationships that may not have even existed back then?

                2. There’s a bit of suggestive language in 1&2 Samuel regarding David and Jonathan, but probably more clearly there is the story of the healing of the Centurion’s Servant in Matthew and Luke, which suggests strongly that the Centurion and his “servant” were actually lovers and Jesus didn’t care at all.

                  Thin reeds to rest a case upon, for sure, but there is a bit here and there to work with.

                  1. Re David and Jonathan, have you never heard of or experienced a close male friendship, without sexual connotations? Many men have. In those books, Jonathan is described as ‘loving David as he loved himself’. Does that remind you of someone else’s words – ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself’? If only we did.

                    As for the Centurion’s servant, there is no evidence they were in some sort of sexual relationship. The Centurion was apparently well-known by the Jewish religious leaders as he had asked a group of them to ask Jesus to heal his servant. That is unusual – a Roman soldier seemingly being a God-fearer and an admirer of Judaism, to the extent he gave money for the building of a Jewish synagogue. It is unlikely he would have had such a positive relationship with them and Judaism knowing their condemnation of male/male sex, if indeed he was in such a relationship with his servant.

                    Some have tried to imply that the use of the word ‘παῖς’ (“pais”) for the servant means something sexual in nature, namely pederasty. Patent nonsense. Pais is used in numerous places in the Gospels, where clearly no sexual connotations are implied – The children slaughtered by Herod who are under the age of 2 in Matthew 2, children in the temple in Matthew 21, God’s servants Israel and David in Luke 1, the girl Jesus heals in Luke 8, the boy out of whom Jesus casts a demon in Luke 9, the servants of the Good Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 etc.

                    ‘Thin reeds’? More like empty space.

                    1. You seem very exercised about this.

                      Like I said, it’s thin at best–I don’t know enough Koine Greek to judge for myself the implications of the word choice–and as an atheist I really don’t care what the orthodox opinion is about the proper interpretation of the text from a theological perspective. It just seems to me that if a person commits themselves to using a human life instruction manual published several centuries ago–in a time with little reliable knowledge about human biology, sexuality, etc.–that they would choose to read it today in light of what we know now that we didn’t then. To not do so is prideful and foolish and not a little childish, reflecting an adolescent desire for simple, clear answers all to be found in one convenient source.

                      And if you really care enough to hold firm the line that the Bible is at best silent and at worst utterly monstrous on the topic of human sexuality, and yet still believe, perhaps you might want to examine just why you care about those textual instructions much more loudly and publicly than all the other ones. I mean, when’s the last time you went on a rant about divorce, or usury, or violent oppression?

                    2. ‘in a time with little reliable knowledge about human biology, sexuality, etc.–that they would choose to read it today in light of what we know now that we didn’t then. ‘

                      – what exactly do we know now that they didnt then? If you mean for example the possible causes of same sex attraction, that has little bearing on whether the practice is right or wrong.

                      ‘I mean, when’s the last time you went on a rant about divorce, or usury, or violent oppression?’

                      – I was responding to the topic of this blog post. That’s what people tend to do on blogs.

                    3. what exactly do we know now that they didnt then?

                      That sexual orientation is predominantly inborn and that sexuality evinces more diversity than the grammatical categories of antiquity had names for.

                      that has little bearing on whether the practice is right or wrong.

                      Even if one were to grant that the text is God-inspired, unless you think the preconceptions and biases of the penholders had no effect whatsoever on how the text was understood then obviously a change in how those preconceptions are formed will change the moral understanding of related sexual practices.

                      I was responding to the topic of this blog post. That’s what people tend to do on blogs.

                      I wasn’t talking about here, now. I’ve seen you around on other threads and in other Patheos sites. So, the question stands. I’m willing to bet even odds the honest answer is “never”, the other 50% is that you do it, but only fitfully and with remarkable convenience for your other prejudices. I mean, feel free to post a link to any rant you may have posted demonstrating your prior, deep, non-cynical concern regarding divorcees, predatory lending practices, or state violence. I won’t hold my breath, but I will flip a coin.

      2. Just on Paul, it’s clear when you read Philo’s description of temple worship at the time that he was referring to pagan practices.

        Romans makes it clear in the preceding verses that it was about idolatry which was a big no-no. In fact the source of their homosexuality was because they ‘worshipped creatures’.

        Romans 1

        22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

        24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

        26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

        I take it girl-on-girl was ok in the old Testament.

        Given that they had 1 husband for the lot of them.

        But then it also says women on their period are unclean and they can spread that around just by touch.

        No one take any notice of that superstitious nonsense.

        1. God gave them over in the lusts? What happened to the notion of free will?
          The same kind of problem appears in the case of the nameless Pharaoh vs Moses. It says the jewish god hardened the nameless Pharaoh’s heart.

          Yes, it sounds like whoever wrote Romans (Paul?) seems to be talking about idolatry. However, he writes in a convoluted way. If I was the writer, I would have written “Those guys are building statues of their gods. That is bad. Those gods aren’t real. The real god (the jewish god) does not want statues.”
          That is crystal clear. A lot of the Bible is repetitive and convoluted and puffed up.

          Yes, if you read Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13, it sounds like they are against male homosexuality but are ok with lesbians.

          First off, they are assuming the reader is a male.
          “And you (THE MALE READER) must not lie down with a male the same as you lie down with a woman. It is a detestable thing.”

          So, the 20th century came along and now you have female readers and female priests. Those cavemen from 2000 years ago were not planning on that.

          However, they did write:
          I Timothy 2:11-14
          Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

          I Corinthians 11:3
          But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

          I Corinthians 14:34-35
          Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
          35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

          Timothy 2:12
          I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[a] she must be quiet.

          Genesis 3:16 or the lines after
          Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
          However, the problem is that earlier in the bible, you have prophets like Deborah, which are women.

          1. Yeah god changed his mind in there somewhere.

            Whats even more weird is that if Romans 1 is about being gay, Paul then says in 2:1

            “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”

            Passing judgement is like anal sex?

            Or more likely thats the culture those people lived in.

            Extremely patriarchal.

            So of course their writings are extremely patriarchal

            Oh and those letters were peoples opinions. I think the writers would be astounded to think they were written for the 21st century.

            1. I think that what you are saying is that for Lev 18:22 and the rest of the lines I have quoted, people would be passing judgment and then stoning the gay men to death.
              That comes in conflict with Paul 2:1 where he says do not pass judgment.
              It is a case of too many cooks spoiling the soup. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
              However, judging is unavoidable in life. In order to be a Christian, you have to judge your religion as being acceptable or not. You have to judge the jewish god as good or bad.
              It is interesting to see the mental gymnastics a christian has to go through to accept homosexuals (because I think they understand that they are human beings) and there are other christians who don’t give a second though about homosexuals (westboro Baptist church is one prime example) and they are ready to throw them under the bus so that the jewish god would open the doors to heaven for them. To such people, homosexuals have no value. I think most of all, they hate atheists since they associate them with immorality and Russian communism.
              Yes, it is pretty obvious that the jews were patriarchal. Example: If you read Genesis, Adam is created first. The women is a byproduct, created as an after thought, created as a utility for Adam. The women is not even named until after a few paragraphs.
              Quite often, the bible doesn’t even name women.

              1. In the bible women were property for men to own.

                Thats why if a woman committed adultery, her and her lover were executed. Men actually could have sex with single women (hence concubines). The reasoning of course being that a man’s property has been violated.

                There were vaginal tests for women to see if they were virgins (not for men) and men sold their daughters.

                Of course what people dont understand is that these writers were products of their patriarchal and homophobic culture and apply Bronze Age standards to the modern world.

                Heck it was 2 500 years ago.

                1. Yes, and they created god in their own image (a god that is patriarchal, who choose male adult prophets), a god that creates Adam first, a god that hates homosexual males. Female homosexuality is not mentioned in the bible so I guess it would not result in stoning them to death.

  33. Then the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave. I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.” Gen. 18:21 These verses make it clear people were crying to God about these cities. There must have been many people raped, injured and probably killed if they were unfortunate enough to enter that city. Their friends and families must have been asking God for justice and safety. God destroyed those cities to protect the human race.

    God does not want to kill people, but he does it sometimes to protect us. “Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel.” Ezek. 33:11

    I find it interesting most Evangelicals condemn homosexuality in such a loud and ugly way, yet don’t condemn those who won’t help the poor. You don’t see them demonstrating in the streets about that sin. And that sin is the one God condemns most often in the Bible. Pride is a terrible sin, according to God. Let’s hear some yelling about that! But no, they choose what they see as a horrible sin and blot on the U.S., gay marriage, and worry God will punish the nation because we allow it! And here is the main thing – it hurts nobody! Nobody at all.

    If God punishes the U.S. it will be because in the richest nation in the world we allow people to die because they have no health insurance. We don’t care if someone can’t afford to buy his prescriptions. We have homeless people everywhere, in every city. We allow the rich to not pay taxes or keep their money overseas so they don’t have to help build roads, teach children or pay the police.

    1. Good points. Though it isnt just evangelicals who could do more for the poor in our countries, and elsewhere.

        1. Read the ancient myths for yourself, then read the bible.

          The bible isn’t just myth, it’s bad myth.

          The fact that CS Lewis can justify his belief with fancy words doesn’t make him correct.

        2. CS Lewis agrees with me….

          “The universally admitted unhistoricity (I do not say, of course, falsity) of at least some narratives in scripture (the parables), which may well extend also to Jonah and Job.” ”
          “The earliest stratum of the Old Testament contains many truths in a form which I take to be legendary, or even mythical — hanging in the clouds, but gradually the truth condenses, becomes more and more historical. From things like Noah’s ark or the sun standing still upon Ajalon, you come down to the court memoirs of King David. Finally you reach the new Testament and history reigns supreme, and the Truth is incarnate.”

          (From Is Theology Poetry?


          “I have therefore no difficulty in accepting, say, the view of those scholars who tell us that the account of Creation in Genesis is derived from earlier Semitic stories which were Pagan and mythical.”

          1. I stand corrected. Sorry about that. What I remember reading was he said myths have a certain flavor that the Bible does not have. I havn’t read this quote about the creation story. My sister believes the same thing. That’s fine, I don’t think our relationship with God hinges on whether we believe the stories in Genesis are factual.

            1. Well it is important if you’re going to judge others by them and have them inform your beliefs eg gay people in the Sodom story and even the Fall.

              1. Can´t God still give witness to Himself through a written account that is not historically accurate?

                1. If it’s not historically accurate all it can give us is general principles eg a moral.

                  Using fictional stories to condemn others (including gay people and even the whole of humanity) is a massive problem.

                2. I think what you’re looking for is “what can we get of this Bible passage today?”……..

                  And does it still apply?

                  1. We would probably differ on this, Bones, in that I believe the Bible is still authoritative and inspired although I no longer call the Bible inerrant.

                    I believe the Bible to be a compilation of sources that witnesses to God and his relationship with humankind, most specifically his relationship with Israel. Whether a text is historically or scientifically accurate is no longer a major concern for me because I believe the main point of the Bible we have is to get us to Jesus. I don´t believe the Bible has to be inerrant to do that, though because it does do that I believe that makes it both inspired and authoritative.


                    1. So when did God stop treating women and gay people like shit?

                      Nah, I can think of far more inspiring and authoritative texts and still be like Jesus.

  34. Anyone who thinks Sodom has anything to do with homosexuality are dishonest ignorant buffoons.

    They can sod off..

  35. Btw the term sodomy was a made up Christian word to describe sex between monks……

    That’s how late the antigay interpretation came about,.

    1. Wrong Bones. The citizens couldn’t think of a name for this ancient city. So one day somebody came up with the name Sodom. Why? Because the citizens were all gay “ sodomizers” and so they named the city Sodom (short for sodomy). And so obviously the story is about homosexuality then, otherwise the city wouldn’t be named Sodom. Sodom = Sodomy = homosexuality. Duh. Geez, you liberals are so ignorant.

          1. Showed his desperation, anything so that God’s messengers would not be harmed. Still, not an excuse.

            1. “…the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter;” Genesis‬ ‭19:4‬

              I think it’s a real stretch to believe “all the people from every quarter” were gay. Like mobs of raging gay men surrounded Lot’s home.

              1. ‘Like mobs of raging gay men ‘

                – stranger things… Have you ever watched a gay Pride? lol

                  1. Religious conservatives take the Sodom story and turn it into a condemnation of gay people. The fact that Lot offered up his own daughters to an angry mob to do anything they want with them is not that big of a deal I guess. Even when I was mired in a conservative religious environment I often wondered why the sermon was never about how whacked out Lot was. It’s like that one doesn’t much register on the radar.

                    It’s the same mentality that sees gay people at a pride parade as the evil ones rather than the spiritually abusive Westboro types holding up turn or burn signs .

                    1. Its amazing how people expressing their own human rights (eg we will no longer be humiliated) are seen as a threat to others.

                      Its also convenient how Lot’s unacceptable behaviour is written off as “well thats the way they were back then” whereas some poor interpretation about gay sex (not rape of course) still stands.

                    2. Yeah, that’s another thing. Instead of the religiots being bothered over the mob’s desire to rape, it’s because they presumably wanted gay sex. I guess it’s not about the act of rape itself being bad, but rather about WHO they wanted to rape.

                    3. Well, you know, Ron – women don’t count. They didn’t count in the days of Lot, and it’s clear from the fact that most people don’t even register that Lot threw his daughter out to be raped to death that women still don’t count.

                    4. Yeah, it’s like forcible gang rape isn’t on the radar, nor is the horrifying actions of Lot against his own daughters. Like how on earth does somebody read that story and come away thinking it’s all about the evil gays lol?

  36. And God said unto them, Franklin you dumb ass, you have pissed me off. I shall smite you with my dildo

  37. Corey is at least partially correct, it wasn’t JUST that issue. And the longer I read this blog the more I am amazed at the arrogance and down right rudeness of many of its readers.

      1. And then there are those, like you, Bob, whose opinions themselves are rife with moral corruption and hate.
        But heaven forbid that ever be called out. That would be just so rude!