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Bishop John Shelby Spong: his views


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#16    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 07:45 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 22 June 2013 - 05:47 PM, said:

I think that is a projection of Spong's agenda.  Spong is determined to open Christianity to accepting homosexuality as something that isn't unholy.  I don't agree with him though.


Oh no, not again.

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#17    Bluefinger

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 08:01 PM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 22 June 2013 - 07:45 PM, said:


Oh no, not again.

Oh us pesky Orthodox Christians making sure nobody perverts Christianity.  But when YEC start making biblical statements about evolution, the scientific community freaks out.  Double standard if you ask me.

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#18    Ben Masada

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 08:41 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 22 June 2013 - 05:47 PM, said:

I think that is a projection of Spong's agenda.  Spong is determined to open Christianity to accepting homosexuality as something that isn't unholy.  I don't agree with him though.

Holiness and righteousness are two different things.

Take a look at Romans 7:13-25 and tell me if it is not about Paul's struggle against homosexual feelings.


#19    ouija ouija

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:16 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 24 June 2013 - 08:41 PM, said:

Take a look at Romans 7:13-25 and tell me if it is not about Paul's struggle against homosexual feelings.

It is not about a struggle against homosexual feelings.

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#20    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 06:29 AM

Oh no, as i said, this isn't going to turn into yet another debate about Homosexuality just because someone insists that a couple of lines in an ancient book of Old testament Law and a few of the opinions of Paul are the be-and and end-all of the basis of Christian theology, are they? No wonder (as has been argued in the hundred page-plus thread on the subject), people get the iimpression that Christians are obssessed with the subject to a perhaps unhealthy degree.

Edited by Colonel Rhuairidh, 25 June 2013 - 06:30 AM.

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#21    Bluefinger

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:47 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 24 June 2013 - 08:41 PM, said:



Take a look at Romans 7:13-25 and tell me if it is not about Paul's struggle against homosexual feelings.

Its not a struggle against homosexual desire.  Thats a projection from our current culture.  You see that because its relevant to you not because it is what Paul was talking about.

Likely the only ones who know exactly what Paul was talking about is the original audience.

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#22    jugoso

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:17 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 25 June 2013 - 12:47 PM, said:

Its not a struggle against homosexual desire.  Thats a projection from our current culture.  You see that because its relevant to you not because it is what Paul was talking about.

Likely the only ones who know exactly what Paul was talking about is the original audience.

So, if you were not a part of the original audience, how can you be so sure? There are so many different ways to interpret different passages from the bible. Those that insist theirs are correct should respect the interpretations of other IMHO.

Edited by jugoso, 25 June 2013 - 05:18 PM.

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#23    Bluefinger

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:59 PM

View Postjugoso, on 25 June 2013 - 05:17 PM, said:



So, if you were not a part of the original audience, how can you be so sure?

I can't be sure.  All I know is that it was something he didn't like but couldn't get rid of.  That can be any number of things.  

But just because homosexuality is a big topic in today's culture, it doesn't mean that we can assign it to Paul.  

We don't know for sure, so we are best not assuming.

Quote

There are so many different ways to interpret different passages from the bible. Those that insist theirs are correct should respect the interpretations of other IMHO.

Interpretations are one thing.  And I respect interpretations.  But I do not feel like the world progresses on interpretation alone.  Even as a Christian, I appreciate cold hard facts.  It keeps the discussions up and the accusations down.  

But Paul isn't really specific.  You can enter any kind of sin in the thing he struggled with and still end up with the same result.  If one does not consider homosexuality to be a sin, then the discussion really just fades from there.

Edited by Bluefinger, 26 June 2013 - 12:00 AM.

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#24    jugoso

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:41 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 25 June 2013 - 11:59 PM, said:

  Even as a Christian, I appreciate cold hard facts.  It keeps the discussions up and the accusations down.  

So why are you using the bible then as your source? That book has many different versions and has been tinkered with and tweaked so much over time that I am rather hesitant to state unequivocally that it presents "cold, hard facts".

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#25    RavenHawk

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 03:43 PM

This is a very good thought provoking thread.  I seem to agree a little bit with everyone (in that I also disagree a little).  So how to explain that?  First off, in the sketch of the duck/bunny.  It is afterall, still just a sketch.  That will come into play later.

I definitely believe that the religions we have today all came from the same origin.  That at the point which many identify as Tower of Babel, as the different cultures formed and migrated to other corners of the planet, ideology also diverged.  The ďBroken TelephoneĒ experiment if you will.  Sketches of ducks and rabbits and fish and horses but they were all from the same artist.  All religions point to the same God.  They all have a different part of the story.

Now I do agree that the Church unfairly uses its power to control the people but it also comfort them.  It is very much a love/hate type relationship.  In its best sense, it can strengthen and support a community, in the worse sense, a case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.  And too often, it is reduced to a life of reward and punishment.  I believe that that is not what GOD wanted for us and hence, why Jesus appeared.  Jesus came to set us free from the law.  And so, what does that mean?  Using Homosexuality or just sex in general, it is not the act or desire that is sinful.  It is how it is used or misused.  The law has been clear that it is against breaking trust relationships and unhygienic actions and that is the crux of the law.  The Law is not to satisfy a sadistic killjoy of a God, but itís to protect us.  Jesus is telling us to respect one another and to understand why the law is so.  Enlightenment is better education of maturity than a carrot/stick approach.

But we are sinful creatures, so weíre going to do this stuff anyway.  That doesnít condemn us to Hell.  So how could a GOD send his people to Hell for acting on their natures?  He doesnít and thatís not the point.  The whole concept has been to train us to learn respect.  We are already in Hell and Jesus is offering a hand out of the mess.  GOD doesnít punish us as it is we who punish ourselves.  To worry about living by the law is to lose focus on the prize.  Worrying about if it is a duck or a bunny is a distraction.  The reality is to seek out the artist.  The only unpardonable sin is to die rejecting Christ.  And that only makes sense.  If you donít believe in the Savior, then why would you want to follow?  Why would you want to leave your predicament?  Salvation is a very personal thing.  The Church canít help you.  You must find the individual within you that takes responsibility for yourself.  I also donít think that Hell is a final destination for non tares but if you can avoid it, it only behooves one to do so.  Who knows when the next chance you get for getting out of Hell will come around??

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#26    DeWitz

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:10 PM

View Postjugoso, on 25 June 2013 - 05:17 PM, said:

So, if you were not a part of the original audience, how can you be so sure? There are so many different ways to interpret different passages from the bible. Those that insist theirs are correct should respect the interpretations of other IMHO.

Paul's struggle with consistently doing the right thing, his ambivalence about heterosexual marriage and his reference to a "thorn" he bore which kept him both questioning and humble, are all used as Rorshach inkblots upon which Christians and non-Christians will impose their views and values. The same can be said of any other personality, image, situation or spiritual concept in the Good Book. Example: "The Kingdom of God is within (or, "among") you." [Luke 17:21]. Does this mean I have no need to affiliate with a specific group, sect, church, gathering or tradition, because all the answers are already within me? Or does it mean that God's reign is found in, with and under the fellowship of like-hearted adepts who will assist me in grasping it? Arguments over 'proper' interpretation of scripture have killed a myriad of people and destroyed countless lives.

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#27    Bluefinger

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:20 PM

View Postjugoso, on 26 June 2013 - 02:41 PM, said:



So why are you using the bible then as your source? That book has many different versions and has been tinkered with and tweaked so much over time that I am rather hesitant to state unequivocally that it presents "cold, hard facts".

That's a mute argument.  I understand the point you are trying to make, but I don't think you are reading my statement correctly and in the right context.

If Paul never said that he struggled with homosexuality, in the Epistle to the Romans or any of his other writings, then we can't say that he did.  It's not our place because we don't personally know him nor do we have solid evidence.  His writings don't give a strong enough conclusion.

The most likely cause for concluding that Paul struggled with homosexual desire, then, is that the culture of today is overstepping its literary bounds and projecting its culture and values into a writing that is far removed from that culture.

So, its not like I'm trying to prove that homosexuality is a sin by using the Bible.  I haven't tried to.  All I'm saying is that the writings themselves do not provide the evidence to support the claim that Paul was a homosexual.

For all we know maybe he had bragging rights for his influence among the Gentiles but knew it was wrong to like it.  We don't know and can't say for sure.

Edited by Bluefinger, 26 June 2013 - 05:22 PM.

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#28    jugoso

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:38 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 26 June 2013 - 05:20 PM, said:

That's a mute argument.  I understand the point you are trying to make, but I don't think you are reading my statement correctly and in the right context.

Not really sure how this thread is ending up debating Paul´s sexuality. If I´m not mistaken, there is a whole thread that deals with that. I haven´t participated in it because for one, I couldn´t care less and two, it is pure speculation.

Your quote:

Quote

I appreciate cold hard facts.

Then you go on to say

Quote

If Paul never said that he struggled with homosexuality, in the Epistle to the Romans or any of his other writings, then we can't say that he did.  It's not our place because we don't personally know him nor do we have solid evidence.  His writings don't give a strong enough conclusion.

So in other words, it is open to an individuals interpretation and is merely speculation. You can´t have it both ways Bluefinger.

Quote

You see that because its relevant to you not because it is what Paul was talking about.

Quote

We don't know and can't say for sure.

You seem to be contradicting yourself. First you say it wasn´t what he was talking about then you admit we can´t be sure while previously stating that you like to deal with cold-hard facts. I must admit to being a bit confused.

Going back to my original point, I don´t think you can use the bible if you want to deal with 100% factual information.

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The kingdom of heaven is within"
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#29    Bluefinger

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 12:08 AM

View Postjugoso, on 26 June 2013 - 07:38 PM, said:



Not really sure how this thread is ending up debating Paul´s sexuality. If I´m not mistaken, there is a whole thread that deals with that. I haven´t participated in it because for one, I couldn´t care less and two, it is pure speculation.

Your quote:



Then you go on to say


So in other words, it is open to an individuals interpretation and is merely speculation. You can´t have it both ways Bluefinger.





You seem to be contradicting yourself. First you say it wasn´t what he was talking about then you admit we can´t be sure while previously stating that you like to deal with cold-hard facts. I must admit to being a bit confused.

Going back to my original point, I don´t think you can use the bible if you want to deal with 100% factual information.

I think you are stretching here.

What I'm saying is that the book doesn't need to be fact.  What I am saying is that the text itself does not provide enough informatoin to come that kind of conclusion.  I don't know how to put it much more plainly about that.

I'm not making an argument for or against homosexuality, especially with the Bible.  What I'm saying is that a critical analysis of the text does not provide evidence to support the argument that Paul struggled with homosexuality.  It's that simple.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#30    jugoso

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 02:14 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 27 June 2013 - 12:08 AM, said:

I'm not making an argument for or against homosexuality, especially with the Bible.  What I'm saying is that a critical analysis of the text does not provide evidence to support the argument that Paul struggled with homosexuality.  It's that simple.

Agreed. That has always been my position. I think the bigger question I have is, "what difference does it make"? We will never really know. How does Paul´s sexuality affect one´s spirituality? Does it really matter in the overall scheme of things?

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Free your mind and you ass will follow.
The kingdom of heaven is within"
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