Openly practicing "gay" couples and the Church

How is the church supposed to respond to a heterosexual couple who visits the church, expresses belief in the gospel, and a desire to join this church AND let's us know, right up front, that they are not married, but living together as if they were, and with no intention of ever getting married?

 

And what if that couple also lets us know that not only are they not married, they are each still married to other people, having never been divorced because, they say, they don't believe in divorce? Do we graciously accept them as members, with the knowledge that they are living together, sharing "the marriage bed" without being married?

 

Would it be correct to say that we would not accept a couple who are openly practicing adultry as members of our congregation? And how, pray tell, would we not accept them, but at the same time be loving, compassionate and accepting of them as lost human beings? Or as Christians who are knowingly living contrary to the Scriptural standards of Christian behavior?

 

We tell people whom we want to be saved, that they must repent! Or at least we should be telling them that. Are we to make exceptions for the openly practicing "gay" couples who come our way? I assure you I am not being contentious. I am asking all who agree with the author ... for example, Carlos Santiago ... I would love to hear your answer on this issue. Considering all that you said in your post. Just how do we "connect" with the openly (and defiant) members of the LGBTQ community? Without compromising?

 

Gay churches have come into existence because they are accepted just as they are, and their members are not only allowed, but encouraged to continue in their homosexual activities, because they are teaching that homosexuality is just as "normal" as anyone else, and that their life-style is perfectly accepatable to God, because, after all, God made them that way.

 

Please, seriously ... I just want to know how to connect with all that. So, we have authorities now telling us how wrong we have been in our dealings with the gay community, and how we need to be loving and compassionate and understanding. Okay, I can understand that ... but that does not tell us, or instruct us as to how to deal with their sexual behaviors. Are we going to start telling them that their attractions are okay, and they can just keep right on keeping on as always. Serious and sencere questions.

Comments

Riley Brown Added Aug 18, 2018 - 2:59pm
Chuck, no apology is needed, I don't see any overt attempts to be insulting, and consider all else to be acceptable, even satire and humor aimed at me.
 
Your question one, I have no confidence that the stories in the bible were truly given to us by God, but also no proof that they aren't.  I suspect they were created by man but temper my beliefs and my actions with a healthy respect for the possibility that they were and a belief that even if they weren't they can be used to inspire and comfort millions of people. 
 
# 2, I believe whatever God or creator exists is the same for everyone, no just Christians.  They may not all recognize that, but I don't believe there are competing creators serving people of different religions.
 
#3, I know the Jews place an extreme value on replicating the Torah exactly as it was given to them, character by character, and that is probably why it's possible to view copies that are thousands of years apart and see no changes. 
 
That being true I had a class in the bible that focused on it as a historically accurate document, not on it's religious content or teachings.  I don't remember everything that I learned, but it was taught from a Jewish point of view.  Lots of what we learned about was detailed in the Talmud.  As things seem to have turned out I saw plenty of evidence that the stories in the Old Testament are not what would have been there if the scholars who assembled it knew then what we know now.  The Talmud includes a lot of discussion, and the arguments describing what they wanted to include, including which versions of the stories, what order it should be in, and what didn't belong in it.
 
First with regard to the order of the stories, some are not in the right order, and we know because more modern scholars have figured out that some of the stories are not as old or older than others, based on content that was not as closely scrutinized by the scholars who put in on paper.  They used the presence of words, phrases, and things that helped date the works, like we might do if we noticed someone in a story used the internet and inferred that couldn't happen in 1965.  I wish I could remember a good example.
 
As things turn out some of the New Testament stories should have been in the Old Testament.   As for which versions of the stories, well it's tough, the Hebrew that it was written in, in the Torah, was a dead language for a long long time before it was translated into other languages.  Very well meaning and educated scholars combine their best interpreting skills with guesses about what they think God would have said, to come up with what we read today.  There is a lot of room for guessing, and a lot of room to be wrong.
 
Very Orthodox Jews have lots of rules based on the most cautious and respectful interpretation they can imagine, causing them to believe things like that it's bad to even say God's name.  They don't mix meat with dairy, and that to reminds me how cautious people can be when they when it comes to making sure what they say God wants, can never be too strictly interpreted.  God never said don't mix milk with meat, and very possibly didn't say a lot of other things that are attributed to him or her.
 
Than you for the discussion.
 
 
C.L.(Chuck)Troupe Added Aug 18, 2018 - 7:14pm
And thank you Riley for your comments. Earlier in my former life (before retirement) ... I was probably still in my late 30s, pushing 40 (my memories fade sometimes) I had taken a semester of New Testament Greek (Koine Greek) and a few months later a week-long workshop on the documents of the Old and New Testaments.
 
We had two Rabbis teaching the Old Testament part of the workshop ... of course, they did not call it the "Old" Testament.
 
They presented according to their belief that the books of Genesis through Malachi WAS, IS and ALWAYS WILL BE, The Word of The Living God.  One of the Rabbis was Orthodox, and the other (not sure) might have been Reformed or something like that.
 
One would say, or pronounce the Tetragram as "Yah-Veh" or "Ya-Way" and the other (the orthodox) would not, but would say, "Adonai."
 
Anyway, BOTH of these Rabbis agreed that the Talmud is NOT inspired as was the Torah and the rest of the Bible, but was an account, or an on-going, multi-volume record, of a series of writings (or discussions) among Rabbis and other Jewish Scholars.
 
Some of them disagreed with many portions of the writings of Genesis through Malachi, but most of them did not.
 
I would suppose that if some publisher could legally do it, they could take ALL the writings of ALL the CHRISTIAN commentaries (many of which totally disagree with each other) and put them all together in a multi-volume series and we would have something pretty darn close to a Christian style version of the Talmud.
 
In today's world of "Christendom," there are many churches that no longer believe in the Authority of the Bible ... not even as much as you do.  One of them is the Unitarian/Universalist church.
 
These two churches merged back in the early part of the last century. The Universalists were a legitimate Christian church that believed that ultimately, ALL people, regardless of belief or unbelief, and regardless of behaviors or life-styles, will be saved. And they DID believe that the Bible was the ultimate authority for all matters pertaining to Christian faith and doctrine.
 
The Unitarian church was never a Christian church. They never believed that the Bible was of any particular importance at all. And they have always been practitioners of séances and other occultic rituals.
  
Why they merged I have no idea. But now the two (U/U) are both the same in every area of faith and doctrine.  In other words, they are both totally Unitarian.  They believe whatever they wish. Which is just about anything but the Bible.
 
I am not disparaging them, just giving an example of the fact that there are churches (once Christian in every sense of the term), that have now become something totally different, yet still maintain that they are Christians.
 
I am a bit on the run again today, so I will close with one question that might be a bit multi-phased.
 
In the area of the Bible (both testaments) can you cite any particular statements, or teachings that, according to some scholars, should not have been included?  Or that should have been excluded?
 
In the area of translation (from the Hebrew or the Greek) can you cite any particular verses or (even parts of verses) that were NOT translated accurately?
 
OR any portions of Scripture that simply should not be there at all, but because some of the existing manuscript copies do not have those portions of Scripture while others do?
 
These Scriptural issues (and questions) have to do with an area of theology known as "Apologetics."  This is something that I have been involved with for about 20 to 30 years ... Or thereabouts.
 
No, I am not "lettered" in the subject, just a very much interested and enthusiastic practitioner.  
 
I wish there was a way to hold these discussions privately. In this format, or forum, anyone who sees this may join in and make comments.  I don't mind if they are respectful and civil, and sensible.  But those that are not ... I will simply delete.  And if the deleted individuals complain about being deleted, I will delete those complains also.
 
Take care, be safe, and God Bless..............................!
 
C.L.(Chuck)Troupe Added Aug 18, 2018 - 7:17pm
Riley, please be advised ... just a reminder, I am going to keep only the last two or three postings of our ongoing dialog. And I will probably not respond to any new comments on that very 1st posting that Ms. Autumn Cote posted for me.  We are doing a totally new thread now.
Riley Brown Added Aug 18, 2018 - 9:27pm
Chuck, you asked about possible mistranslations and one I remember well was prompted by your own recollection of a Rabbi who used the word Ya-Way to represent the name of God.
 
First, generally the more Orthodox Jews would never refer to God by his name, that would be disrespectful, so the Rabbi who refereed to him using the descriptive adjective, Adonai was much more in line with traditional Judaism than the "Rabbi" who for whatever reason called him Ya-Way.  I may not be quoting the proper English term but Adonai is to the name of God just like President is to Trump today, not the name, just a respectful reference that in religious context would always refer to God.
 
I've never heard a member of the Jewish clergy call God Ya-Way, but if that Rabbi did, it makes me wonder about his background and intent.  Other more contemporary, none Jewish religions have tried to figure out God's actual name and did come up with something like Ya-Way, but virtually all the Jewish Scholars agree that their pronunciation is based on a lack of understanding of Hebrew language.  Real Jewish scholars tell us that the word being pronounced that way would never have been said that way because it defies traditional Jewish rules of grammar and pronunciation.  The character and vowel combinations they are interpreting are not uncommon in other words in very common Jewish prayers that have not changed for thousands of years, and we do know how they are pronounced. 
 
The translation is not as straight forward as it sounds like it should be.  The Hebrew alphabet is simple but compounded by vowels and the Torah has  none of the vowels because the people who lived when it was written knew the words so well that there was no reason to include them in written texts.  However without them the literal pronunciation would be quite different.  Here is an English example.
 
Suppose you didn't read English and saw the word atypical.  The A could be pronounce a long A like the sound of the name of the letter or short A more like in the name Author.  In Hebrew vowels under the letters tell us how letters should be pronounced, but as with the word Atypical in English, fluent readers don't need them
 
Ya-Way is a mistake made by non-Jews who don't understand what they are reading well enough to correctly pick the correct pronunciation.
C.L.(Chuck)Troupe Added Aug 19, 2018 - 6:26am
Riley! God bless you my friend! The picture of you tells me that (compared to me) you are a very young man, and I am very impressed with your interest in the Jewish (and Hebrew) history, traditions and Scriptures.  I am too.
 
Not too many people know that the Hebrew Scriptures have NO VOWELS!  ALL the letters, Genesis through Malachi, are all consonants!  I think (just a gut feeling ... I am NOT pretending to prophesy) that God has plans for you.  Ordinary, worldly people, very seldom, if ever, have any interest what-so-ever in such matters.
 
Okay, enough of that.  I need to let you know that in a few days, I am going to delete ALL of the dialog we have had, because I want to have a posting right under the original (with my ugly picture) saying, that "this is an old posting, and I am no longer responding to any comments on this subject matter, and will deletet them as they come in.  Thank Youl."
 
I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I really was using hypotheticals in my questions.  Maybe I could have cleared things up by also posting the article to which I was responding, but it was Ms. Autumn Cote who posted it ... not me.
 
Riley, if you are a seeker of Truth, then all I can say, as I close this posting, You just keep on seeking, keep on searching, and keep on knocking ... You are on the right track!
 
I have an email where I can be reached privately, and you, or anyon else who sees it can access it, and (as usual) if the correspondance is respectful, civil, and sensible, I WILL answer.  I am always available at:  "bibleswordsman@gmail.com"
 
Take care, be safe, and God Bless.........!
 
Chuck
 
C.L.(Chuck)Troupe Added Aug 19, 2018 - 6:32am
Riley ... I left something out.  Talk to Him!  I am not using the word, "pray" ... even though that is what it is.
 
Just talk to Him ... Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.
 
That's what I did more than 40 years ago (I was 32 years old when I came to believe.  I was NOT seeking, and I was NOT in the least bit interested.  But one day (at work, on the job) something happened to me, and I came to believe.  And I HATED Christians!  (Sometimes I still do!)
 
Anyway, PLEASE do that!  Ask "God" to reveal Himself to you ... and see what happens.
 
Chuck
 
C.L.(Chuck)Troupe Added Aug 19, 2018 - 6:56am
Riley ... We may not be corresponding any longer. Ms. Autumn Cote wants to delete my account here on WriterBeat. Evidently, she does not approve of me deleting snarky and insulting comments.  So, it's been a very nice and edifying experience corresponding with you.  If we never meet again, God Bless and take care of yourself.
Riley Brown Added Aug 19, 2018 - 10:30am
Chuck, thank you for the compliments.  I don't consider myself to be particularly devout but I do have a strong interest in history and the truth.
 
I am sad to see you leave WB, and a bit surprised to hear your decision was prompted by Autumn, your posts to WB are not at all offensive compared to some other authors.  If you look at some of my topics you will see there are some posters that do almost nothing but insult other forum participants and Autumn doesn't seem to care.  I have not seen another author regularly delete old forum discussion like  you do, perhaps that is what irritates Autumn.
 
I don't delete anything so other readers can judge the participants fairly by their own words, but I know many authors do delete comments they don't like and that never seems to get them kicked out.  I do get in trouble a lot because my spontaneous writing style often results in me posting forum topics without having participated in other people's often enough, but even so I think my overall contribution is positive.  I must admit I never read all the rules.
C.L.(Chuck)Troupe Added Aug 19, 2018 - 5:23pm
Riley ... I tried to post the comments below at about 2:15 PM on August 19th and got a message window that said I had made an “error” and (as usual) no clue at all as to WHAT that error might have been.  IF you see the posting below this text, then I was finally (obviously) able to post it.  I guess I am still in limbo as to me being allowed to stay on board or not.  We shall see.
 
CT
 
Well sir, I have had a couple of subsequent emails with Ms. Autumn, and I almost get the impression that she might let me stay.
 
I really don't like cluttering things up with a never-ending series of comments and responses, but if that is what is required I told her I would do that ... let the comments stand forever if that's what the requirement is.
 
Many years ago, a few years after the advent of the Personal Computers (PCs), there were no "blogs" ... we had what was called, "Message Boards."
 
I set up and ran two of them.  One was a theology message board (Bible Swordsman), and the other was called, "In Pro Se for You." It was a self-help, legal information center message board ... designed to help people handle their own routine legal matters in a court of law, acting as their own attorney.
 
Those were MY message boards and I was able to create access to all kinds of different subject matter ... called, "threads" by listing them by name. All visitors could access all the comments and responses by simply clicking on the titles.
 
Anyway, if I am not allowed to stay after all, then my last sign-off remarks still stand.  If I AM allowed to stay, I WILL let all responses remain for time and eternity ... so to speak.  I still will not put up with snarky, insulting and vulgar comments and I will continue to delete those WITHOUT offering any replies.
 
So, let the discussions continue and let the chips fall where they may.
 
Take care, be safe and God Bless..........!
 
C.L.(Chuck)Troupe Added Aug 20, 2018 - 2:57am
Riley ... Sorry to pile these things on you, but in my last email correspondance with Ms. Autumn Cote she mentioned something about having a multitude of "other" authors, and still saying that I not only am not, but "never have" commented to the "work" of other authors.
 
Riley, when I get a notice in my ctroop email address (at yahoo) it gives a URL (which is not a live link) so I copy it and paste it into the address window in my browser. It opens up to THIS format, forum, or what-ever-the-hell-it-is-called, and all I ever see is my original posting, and the comments (yours and mine) that are still there!
 
I have NOT deleted a comment since finding out that it is "frowned upon."  I asked her to tell me where and how I can access "all these other" authors?
 
This was four or five hours ago, and I have not heard anything back.  Perhaps you might tell me how to see all the postings of all these "other" authors?  I have not sent comments to any of them because I have never SEEN this page full of other authors!
 
Ms. Autumn let me know how important it is for me to "please" her, and I have made every possible effort to do that.  I have:
 
Promised that I would never again delete a comment!
(she even wants me to retain the "snarky" ones ... and I agreed to
that one too)
 
I assured her that I would gladly respond to the "other" authors if she would just give me some instructions as to how I can do that!
 
Quite frankly my friend, I feel I have been trying to damn near bend over backwards to assure this lady that I am willing to do EXACTLY what-ever-the-hell-she-wants-me-to-do!  But really, this back and forth dialog with her is getting stupid!
 
Pardon my miffed attitude, but I am not too confident that I am going to get any kind of a response from her that even comes close to being reasonable.
 
Her attitude is very close to one of those, "you do what I want, the way I want, or you'll never work in this town again" mind sets.
 
So this will be my last input, comment, response, reply or what ever UNLESS I hear back with something that makes sense.  I did enjoy our brief dialog.  Take care, and keep doing what you do.
CT
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
C.L.(Chuck)Troupe Added Aug 23, 2018 - 4:14am
Riley,
After much frustration ... caused by my own ignorance, I have been set staight AND Autumn told me how to access where all the other authors are. I understand that deleting comments (even my own) is frawned upon. I truly don't understand why it is considered a good and positive thing to leave comments on a forum in perpetuity, it just seems like collecting clutter to me. But I shall be compliant.
 
By the way, when some rabbis (while reading the Scriptures, say "adonai" when reading the tetragram, that is not so much a mis-translation, but a deliberate substitution so as to not utter the hallowed name of God.  I was asking you if you could provide some known translation errors (Hebrew and/or Greek words that are actual,  linguistic mistranslations.  Take care.