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Bishop John Shelby Spong: his views


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#46    Ben Masada

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 06:41 PM

View PostBeany, on 02 July 2013 - 04:03 AM, said:

OK, I'll bite. I don't care whether Paul was a homosexual, repressed or otherwise. Sexual orientation has never a criteria I apply when evaluating a person. I've never understood why for some it overshadows almost everything else a person has accomplished.

Perhaps if you look back at the issue from 2000 years in the future, you are right, sexual orientation ought not to be the criteria but if you set yourself at the time Paul was in action the picture takes a different connotation especially as Judaism was concerned. As a Hellenistic Jew Paul was not aware of the seriousness.


#47    ouija ouija

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:06 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 06 July 2013 - 06:14 PM, said:

Allow me to help you in your lack of success. Paul says in II Cor.12:7 that a thorn in the flesh was given to him as a messenger of Satan to buffet him. Something caused by Satan to keep him under spiritual stress is akin to a sinful condition. Therefore, it could not be a physical illness. Now, let's go to Romans 7. Paul was a Hellenistic Jew. The idea of Hellenistic Jews at that time was that they were amoral and not subject to the Law as the common Jew. He implies that the way he lived was not sinful  but when he became aware of the Law he understood how sinful it was. That's when he started struggling with his desires as a thorn in the flesh. It was as if the Law had brought death to him. Sin started working in him. He hated to break the Law but there was nothing he could do for he would end up doing what he didn't want to do because sin was dwelling in him. His thorn in the flesh was like a war between his mind and his flesh. He came to the conclusion that he was a wretched man. As his struggle was about to make him go crazy he arrived to the conclusion that the only solution was to allow coexistence of two personalities in himself: To serve God's Law in his mind but with the flesh the law of sin since he could not get rid of his desires. (Rom.7:8-25)  Clear now?

No it is NOT clear that what he is talking about is homosexuality. He could be talking about anything that was considered a sin at that time ...... he could even be talking about something that he thought was a sin but others didn't!

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#48    Ben Masada

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:18 PM

View Postouija ouija, on 06 July 2013 - 07:06 PM, said:

No it is NOT clear that what he is talking about is homosexuality. He could be talking about anything that was considered a sin at that time ...... he could even be talking about something that he thought was a sin but others didn't!

You are struggling for a hypothetical excuse for Paul and I don't think it is helping because the evidences are shouting. He was living together with another Hellenistic bachelor Barnabas and teaching the young guys not to marry if they were single and to remain as he was free of wife. Just not to go out in search of wives. (I Cor.7:8,27)  Now, imagine preaching such a message in the synagogues! They were looking for trouble as the women were concerned. Yes, imagine the women dreaming every moment to find a marriage partner and these guys telling them not to go looking for a wife! In fact, when they were preaching these ideas in the synagogue of Antioch, the women ganged up against them and expelled them from their territory. (Acts 13:50) Amazing! If Paul was fighting against homosexual cravings why would he advise the young guys not to look for wives? He was lucky that he escaped with his life.

Edited by Ben Masada, 06 July 2013 - 08:21 PM.


#49    Bluefinger

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:48 AM

View PostBen Masada, on 06 July 2013 - 06:35 PM, said:



IMHO, it is more wise not to embellish the truth in order to hide its effects.

I agree.

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#50    Bluefinger

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:55 AM

View PostBen Masada, on 06 July 2013 - 08:18 PM, said:



You are struggling for a hypothetical excuse for Paul and I don't think it is helping because the evidences are shouting. He was living together with another Hellenistic bachelor Barnabas and teaching the young guys not to marry if they were single and to remain as he was free of wife. Just not to go out in search of wives. (I Cor.7:8,27)  Now, imagine preaching such a message in the synagogues! They were looking for trouble as the women were concerned. Yes, imagine the women dreaming every moment to find a marriage partner and these guys telling them not to go looking for a wife! In fact, when they were preaching these ideas in the synagogue of Antioch, the women ganged up against them and expelled them from their territory. (Acts 13:50) Amazing! If Paul was fighting against homosexual cravings why would he advise the young guys not to look for wives? He was lucky that he escaped with his life.

I dunno.  Even Jesus advised not to marry if one could help it.  (Matthew 19:10-12)

I think Paul was of the opinion that it is better to marry than to struggle with sexual sin.  So, if he was advising people not to marry, it likely has nothing to do with sexual sin.  Likely, its because he felt such an urgency about the kingdom of God that he considered marrying a loss to the mission field for such an imperative cause.  That may have been what inspired him to say that somebody that isn't married can devote more time to God while a married person is devoted to his or her spouse.

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#51    ouija ouija

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 06:52 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 06 July 2013 - 08:18 PM, said:

You are struggling for a hypothetical excuse for Paul and I don't think it is helping because the evidences are shouting. He was living together with another Hellenistic bachelor Barnabas and teaching the young guys not to marry if they were single and to remain as he was free of wife. Just not to go out in search of wives. (I Cor.7:8,27)  Now, imagine preaching such a message in the synagogues! They were looking for trouble as the women were concerned. Yes, imagine the women dreaming every moment to find a marriage partner and these guys telling them not to go looking for a wife! In fact, when they were preaching these ideas in the synagogue of Antioch, the women ganged up against them and expelled them from their territory. (Acts 13:50) Amazing! If Paul was fighting against homosexual cravings why would he advise the young guys not to look for wives? He was lucky that he escaped with his life.

Firstly, can you give me chapter and verse that tells us explicitly that Paul and Barnabas were living together as a homosexual couple?

Secondly, which version of the Bible are you using?

Thirdly, I read 1Cor.7: 8, 27 and it's obvious that he's talking about celibacy not homosexuality! Why? in verse 32 he says single people are 'free from cares' and are therefore able to focus more fully on a spiritual life, 'the work of the Lord' ........ which he considers to be more important, as he himself is celibate.

To be honest, I am more concerned about him thinking it's fine for a father to be 'unseemly' with his 'virgin daugther' and even marry her!!

When all is said and done, Paul was just a man with weaknesses and desires and opinions, like every other man. Just because he chose to pontificate at great length to others DOES NOT MEAN THERE IS ANY VALUE IN HIS WORDS!

Why are you so focussed on the thoughts and opinions of someone who lived in very, very different times to ours? Can you not look into your own heart and find your own answers? That should give you a better answer than a book that has been translated and interpreted so many times ....... each person adding their own bias. If you believe in God, why don't you ask him , not the Bible or your minister or your fellow Christians?

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#52    Ben Masada

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:23 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 08 July 2013 - 12:55 AM, said:

I dunno.  Even Jesus advised not to marry if one could help it.  (Matthew 19:10-12)

I think Paul was of the opinion that it is better to marry than to struggle with sexual sin.  So, if he was advising people not to marry, it likely has nothing to do with sexual sin.  Likely, its because he felt such an urgency about the kingdom of God that he considered marrying a loss to the mission field for such an imperative cause.  That may have been what inspired him to say that somebody that isn't married can devote more time to God while a married person is devoted to his or her spouse.

Hey Bluefinger, thank you for that quote of Mat.19:10-12. You have just given me a good evidence that the guy who wrote that text was a Hellenist former disciple of Paul. So much so that if Paul was not the one himself who wrote it, he was the spirit behind the pen of the writer. If you compare it with I Cor.7:1,2 there is no doubt about it. Jesus could have never said that. Besides, evidences abound that Jesus was married himself.


#53    Ben Masada

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:51 PM

View Postouija ouija, on 08 July 2013 - 06:52 PM, said:

Firstly, can you give me chapter and verse that tells us explicitly that Paul and Barnabas were living together as a homosexual couple?

Secondly, which version of the Bible are you using?

Thirdly, I read 1Cor.7: 8, 27 and it's obvious that he's talking about celibacy not homosexuality! Why? in verse 32 he says single people are 'free from cares' and are therefore able to focus more fully on a spiritual life, 'the work of the Lord' ........ which he considers to be more important, as he himself is celibate.

To be honest, I am more concerned about him thinking it's fine for a father to be 'unseemly' with his 'virgin daugther' and even marry her!!

When all is said and done, Paul was just a man with weaknesses and desires and opinions, like every other man. Just because he chose to pontificate at great length to others DOES NOT MEAN THERE IS ANY VALUE IN HIS WORDS!

Why are you so focussed on the thoughts and opinions of someone who lived in very, very different times to ours? Can you not look into your own heart and find your own answers? That should give you a better answer than a book that has been translated and interpreted so many times ....... each person adding their own bias. If you believe in God, why don't you ask him , not the Bible or your minister or your fellow Christians?

About 2000 years ago two men were living together and you want me to tell you if they were having sex? See how illogical this can be? Even today we can't affirm such a thing about two men living together. Paul and Barnabas were two bachelors. Both were Hellenists. Barnabas had converted and joined the Nazarenes. Paul would persecute the Nazarenes. But somehow, 3 years after the Road to Damascus experience Paul tried to join the Sect and was rejected due to his history of persecutions and his strange way to preach about Jesus. As he was rejected by the Apostles Barnabas for some weird reason stuck to him and interceded with the Apostles to give him a chance at least on a trial basis. (Acts 9:26,27,30) After only 15 days preaching his peculiar gospel in Jerusalem he caused such a havoc that the local Jews wanted to kill him. The Apostles took him down to Caesarea and from there they sent him to Tarsus where he belonged. In the meantime the Cause had peace throughout Judea,
Galilee and Samaria. (Acts 9:31) Since the Nazarene Cause in Antioch was growing too fast the Apostles chose Barnabas and sent him to lead the work in Antioch. Instead of doing what he was told, he went to Tarsus after Paul and invited him to work together. (Acts 11:22-25) Do we have to prove that they were living together? I don't think so. Do we have to prove that they were having sex? I don't think so. They were Hellenists and Hellenists were amoral as homosexuality was concerned. Paul was free to preach his gospel undisturbed by Barnabas who obviously didn't care less as long as Paul was happy. At the end of a whole year the Nazarene synagogue of Antioch had been overturned into a Christian church by Paul. (Acts 11:26)

I am using the KJV translation of the Bible. That's the one I use when studying with Christians.

Edited by Ben Masada, 09 July 2013 - 08:57 PM.


#54    ouija ouija

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:26 PM

@ Ben Masada: Shall we agree to disagree?

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#55    Paranoid Android

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 05:11 AM

View PostBen Masada, on 09 July 2013 - 08:51 PM, said:

I am using the KJV translation of the Bible. That's the one I use when studying with Christians.
So you are intentionally limiting yourself to a version of the Bible that virtually all modern secular scholars understand to be inaccurate, while many Christians prefer modern versions that secular scholars use.

Interesting.

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#56    Ben Masada

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:07 PM

View Postouija ouija, on 09 July 2013 - 09:26 PM, said:

@ Ben Masada: Shall we agree to disagree?

Definitely! That's the easiest way out.


#57    Ben Masada

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:16 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 10 July 2013 - 05:11 AM, said:

So you are intentionally limiting yourself to a version of the Bible that virtually all modern secular scholars understand to be inaccurate, while many Christians prefer modern versions that secular scholars use.

Interesting.

Oh no! I use four versions: An old one in Hebrew, the JPS, a Catholic translation of the NAB and the KJV. Contrary to what you say, the KJV is the most widely used especially in England and America. Due to my frequent use of the NAB many KJV users have complained that many quotes diverge.


#58    Paranoid Android

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 03:09 AM

In Australia, the NIV, RSV, and ESV are the most common Bible translations (at least in Protestant churches, I haven't had much to do with Catholics here so I can't tell you their translation of choice).  We protestants use these modern versions because they use the most current textual criticism in translating ancient texts. For example, these versions all use a set of texts from the New Testament known as the Novum Testamentum Graece.  This contrasts to the KJV which translated the New Testament from the Textus Receptus.  All modern academic sources universally agree that the Novum Testamentum is more accurate to the originals than the Textus Receptus.  Only KJV-only'ists argue the validity of the KJV over these better versions.

I just think it a bit like shooting yourself in the foot if you're going to use inaccurate translations that many Christians do not use.

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#59    Admiral Rhubarb

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:30 AM

Oh, you can't beat the KJV if you ask me. St John's Gospel or Revelation really doesn't sound right in modern day language that makes God sound like a middle manager who tries to, like, be a regular guy and speak to his subordinates on the same level. Surely if God did speak, He'd say "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

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#60    ouija ouija

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 05:32 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 July 2013 - 03:09 AM, said:

  All modern academic sources universally agree that the Novum Testamentum is more accurate to the originals than the Textus Receptus.  

*is puzzled* How does that work then? Why don't these 'modern academic sources' translate straight from the originals and cut out the latin translations? Why do you trust modern academics to be more accurate at translating when, if nothing else, early translators would have a better understanding of how people at the time thought?

Life is all too much ............................................. and not enough.

It is only when you form your question precisely and accurately that you receive the true answer.




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