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Sexuality, race, and gender: 3 explosive insights about America’s 100 largest churches

Image courtesy of Edward Cisneros via Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/@everythingcaptured)

Last October, evangelicalism was rocked by the launch of ChurchClarity.org, an organization that reports churches’ LGBTQ+ policies and rates congregations based on their level of clarity. The website angered Christians on both sides of the issue. Some conservatives attacked the CC’s liberal leadership, while some progressives claimed that labeling churches undermined progress.

Nevertheless, Church Clarity persisted.

Over the past two months, CC published scores for 500 congregations and have 700 more in the pipeline. But today, they announced their most significant accomplishment to date: a detailed analysis of America’s 100 largest churches. Using Outreach Magazine’s popular annual listCC’s staff uncovered three explosive insights about America’s mega-churches.

READ MORE: “Church Clarity pressures pastors and churches to disclose views on homosexuality”

1. None of America’s 100 largest churches are LGBTQ-affirming.

While progressive Christians often claim that same-sex issues have largely been settled, America’s mega-churches have apparently not received the memo. None of them have policies affirming same-sex people and relationships. This staggering statistic will doubtlessly provide firepower to conservative Christians who claim that LGBTQ+ affirmation is a slippery slope to liberalism and a congregation killer.

And yet the data also provides progressives a counterargument. According to CC’s analysis, a paltry 35% of these mega-churches have clear LGBTQ+ policies, and 54% actually hide their positions (e.g. sermons and blogposts) deep inside their websites. This seems to indicate that many non-affirming mega-churches are not as boldly opposed as one might assume, and some of these large congregations may be currently reconsidering their positions and policies.

2. 93% of America’s 100 largest churches are led by a white pastor.

Only 7 out of 100 of the churches on Outreach’s list are led by a person of color. For context, people of color comprise nearly 40% of the American population. So despite the Christian calls to diversity, equality, and justice, America’s mega-churches are still lagging in the race department. These churches may preach a Gospel of inclusion, but they disproportionately prefer white men for their top leadership positions.

3. Only 1 of America’s 100 largest churches has a female pastor. 

Female pastors are on the rise in America, but not so for the largest mega-churches. Only 1 of the 100 largest churches on Outreach’s list cites a female pastor. Faith Church in West Palm Beach, Florida holds this honor, yet even that congregation lists Nicole Crank as a co-pastor alongside her husband, David.

Given that 8% of Fortune 100 companies are led by women CEOs, one might say that secular companies are more gender-inclusive than spiritual communities in America. In October of 2018, Heather Larson will join the list as she assumes the role of lead pastor at Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago. Even still, this statistic is surely deflating for those Christians who advocate for women in church leadership. 

The Outreach Magazine list is conducted in coordination with LifeWay Research, the public polling arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. Since congregations must disclose their numbers in order to be list, it is not fully comprehensive. However, the listed churches still represent more than 1.1 million American Christians.

With the New Year looming, Church Clarity’s leaders claim that their analysis arrives not a moment too soon.

“Part of the reason we chose to release this now is because the New Year is a time when people decide to reengage with religion by attending church,” said Church Clarity’s co-founder Tim Schraeder. “As people of faith commit to new resolutions, we wanted to set them up for success by helping them make the most informed decision.”

Church Clarity’s leaders added that their decision to analyze race and gender in addition to sexuality also hints at the organization’s expanding mission. In the future, they plan to also report on race and gender inclusion among church leadership. So this is not the first time Church Clarity has created a stir, and neither will it be the last.

View Church Clarity’s full report for more information and analysis.

About the author

Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He has published more than 2500 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Week, Buzzfeed and National Journal. Jonathan is author of "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined" and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY.

261 Comments

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  • Holy Moly!! I love how breathlessly this is all reported…

    evangelicalism was rocked by the launch of ChurchClarity…

    Rocked? Since it’s launch, nobody has said much about it. It was like a two-day story.

    three explosive insights about America’s mega-churches…

    We’re shocked, shocked(!!!) I tell you, to find out that most of the largest churches in the U.S. are led by white men. Totally explosive…yes yes…

    None of them have policies affirming same-sex people and relationships. This staggering statistic…

    I don’t know about you, but it sure is staggering to find out that these Christian churches don’t affirm gay relationships! Wow…stop the presses!!

    This report reads like a press release sent out by Church Clarity to get you to notice their report. Is Mr. Merritt on their payroll? If not, he should be.

  • ” and 54% actually hide their positions (e.g. sermons and blogposts) deep inside their websites. ” It probably isn’t a case of “hiding the information”. Christ teaches that homosexuality is a sin and any Christian who reads a Bible would know that, so the church would only need to identify itself as “Christian” for anyone to understand that truth.
    “2. 93% of America’s 100 largest churches are led by a white pastor.” lol, so not only are they “anti”-homosexual, are you inferring they are racist also? Awwwww
    Ahhhh……and only 1 with a female co-pastor. That’s kinda like being a bi-Christian….don’t know which side of the fence to sit on, eh? Well, Christ taught us that women should not be pastors, so, here goes another slur against the church that disagrees with him…..oh well.

    The first point for success, is leading the homosexuals to a church that the author would term “non-affirming”. Christians don’t affirm sin. We identify it so people are able to have a relationship with Jesus as sin blocks us from a relationship with Jesus.

    Isaiah 59:2 – English Standard Version
    but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
    Gratefully, Christ is faithful to forgive and heal us of our sin, should we turn to Him, repent and follow Him.

  • “Christ teaches that homosexuality is a sin and any Christian who reads a Bible would know that.”

    I’m a Christian who studies the bible.

    I’ve never seen that passage.

    Can you please point me to it?

  • I suspect you’ll find that Sandi knows what Jesus taught – even if she has to perform some rather convoluted mental gymnastics to do so – and even if he didn’t he should have done/meant to/the papists who translated it were wrong/the liberals who wrote the Gospels removed it!

    Our Sandi is God’s answer to Sarah Huckerby-Whatsit.

  • Sandinwindsor,
    Hold up just a moment.
    1. Where dude Jesus say that women “should not be pastors”? I think you may be mistaking Paul’s words for Jesus’.
    2. Please expound on how “sin blocks us from a relationship with Jesus”.

  • I guess that the largest church in the US didn’t make the list because it likely refuses to jump through the hoops to make the list. This was the church which said that it didn’t open its doors to the victims of Hurricane Harvey because the City of Houston didn’t ask it to open to victims.

    Lakewood Church, which meets in a converted basketball arena/stadium in downtown Houston, has a weekly attendance of 43+K and is led by a husband & wife copastor team. It’s message is the Prosperity Gospel.

    It also is anti-lgbtq, but it’s difficult to get them to say it outloud.

  • QUESTION: What should my NON-AFFIRMING born-again Christian brothers & sisters do, now that, though “none of America’s 100 largest churches are LGBTQ-AFFIRMING”, in actuality “a paltry 35% of these mega-churches have clear LGBTQ+ policies, and 54% actually hide their positions”?

    ANSWER: According to The Apostolic Rule of Christian Conduct Outside the Church, it’s time for them to leave their congregations that eventually are LGBTQ-AFFIRMING, then find a new church that’s NON-AFFIRMING. Or stop going to church altogether. Why? Because they can no longer do this, as per 1 Corinthians 5:12 – “Are you not to judge those who are within [krinete tous eso]?”

  • Article’s about the 100 churches in Clarity’s survey and you’re talking about a church that’s not one of them. You’re out of order, sir. Or not staying on point. Or not even a qualified surveyor.

  • Messiah Jesus’ crowds, apostle Paul’s crowds, apostle Peter’s crowds, and the mystery “Hebrews” writer’s crowds were comprised of abused women, adulterous men, exploited slaves, exploiting masters – but no LGTBQs. And so LGTBQism was an anachronistic non-issue. Granted, there were ex-LGTBQs in one of apostle Paul’s churches – in Rome [Corinth, actually, my mistake] – but that was about it.

  • Fair enough. But what’s missing as you’re making fun is where you stand. “Some conservatives attacked the CC’s liberal leadership, while some progressives claimed that labeling churches undermined progress.” How about you as to CC’s effort? You like? Aww you no like? How come, boss?

  • Philip Hoover, you’re a genius, man! Your religion is spot on: “Sin blocks [none of] us from a relationship with Jesus”!!! God bless you, sir!

  • Since Christians believe Jesus confirmed, obeyed and taught the Law of God found in the Torah – found in the first few books of the Bible. Christians also believe that Jesus is God incarnate, ergo the examples of God being seen/interacting with humans in the Old Testament are pre-incarnate examples of His appearance on Earth, thus it was Jesus who wrote the commandments and gave the Law to Moses. Jesus also taught that marriage was between a man and a woman, Matthew 19:4, and that sex outside of marriage was adultery/fornication, John 4:17-18.

  • Clarity didn’t actually come up with the list of 100 churches, CC borrowed it from Outreach Magazine. And it isn’t a true list of the top 100, it is only a list of the top 100 which gave their stats to Outreach;

    Since congregations must disclose their numbers in order to be (on the) list, it is not fully comprehensive.

    I have merely mentioned the absolute largest church in the US, which happens to not be in the list, but is also anti-LGBTQ and adds to the comprehensiveness of the information.

    Sorry that further info about yet another church offends you!

  • There may have been men who were attracted to other men, women who were attracted to other women and men & women who were attracted to both men & women in those crowds. It’s highly likely that there were. Like their counterparts today, they understood when their lives depended on “living in the closet.”

  • Jesus did not say anything that we know of for sure, and he would have spoken to “his people” in a semitic language, in which none of it was written down. I been to Court too many times to witness both sides of every event have complete different versions of what happened and what was said on weeks earlier. The Gospels were not even written in Jesus time, and they were written in Greek. And the writers of the Bible were selective and most likely omitted any history that was not favorable to their position. Who was to stop them from taking creative license with all these miracles?

  • My guess is the question Jesus (the Lord of the Church, remember?) is most interested in is: “Who’s transforming their communities by making disciples?”

  • There you go again with no confidence in your preconceived herd-mentality to attack any of the KNOWN 100 churches in CC’s survey. Instead you attack the hitherto UNKNOWN as far as CC is concerned. That’s classic PREJUDICE. I can’t stand bigotry even when whitewashed with ooh-liberalized progressivism.

    I can’t stand Joel Osteen but I can’t stand EVEN MORE your Evangelicals-bashing uncalled for in light of this otherwise helpful survey for both sides of this stupid, stupid culture war.

  • And your reliable eyewitness testimony-based evidences are as follows (yah mahn you betta fillin them empty spaces ifya no wan stupido):

    1. _____
    2. _____
    3. _____

  • The default model for marriage for millennia in the Old Testament was polygamy — one man with many wives, often comprising slaves and concubines captured in war.

    Is this what you mean when you say that Jesus upheld the Old Testament understanding of marriage? Did Jesus also “confirm, obey, and teach” the Law of God in the Torah which tells us to stone disobedient children, execute witches, avoid wearing clothes of different fibers, and avoid unclean food like pork and shellfish?

    Please read the bible before you instruct others in what it says.

  • 31Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. John 9:31

  • You can also add that Jesus said that He did not come to abolish the law —

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    Jesus was well versed in the Law delivered by Moses. It was a sin for a man to lie with another man as a man lie with a woman.

  • The Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City is the largest United Methodist Church in the United States. It may not be officially welcoming of Gays, but its Pastor, Adam Hamilton is for the most part affirming of Gay people.

  • For a marriage model Jesus went even farther back than the Torah, to the creation design. As Jesus said, there were things that were temporarily tolerated under the Law due to our “hardness of heart” that were unacceptable at creation and are again unacceptable in the Kingdom now that we have a new heart with the Spirit to empower us. The Church rejected both divorce and polygamy from its inception, for this reason.

    Food and fibers were asked and answered 2000 years ago at the Jerusalem Council.

    The execution mandates and other penalties were part of the civil system of ancient Israel which no longer exists and which Jesus paid anyway — and the “disobedient children” frequently referred to by scoffers were not children but unruly young MEN who were a menace to their society and whose fate, in the absence of a penal system, was left in the hands of their fathers. Josephus covers this subject in detail in his Antiquities of the Jews.

    I think a little of what you blithely prescribe for others would be very beneficial to you.

  • Excuse me for intruding, but having stumbled onto this article and discussion thread by clicking on a story on the FB group “The Christian Left,” and not knowing either one of you from Adam, I would like to say, HpO, that I don’t understand what you mean by your last comment to David Allen. Your quite evident and, I would say, exaggerated anger at David Allen gets in the way of your rhetoric. So, unless you’re using some kind of coded language that is unintelligible to outsiders, maybe you’d like to take another crack at it. Say what you mean, only what you mean, and leave off the snarkiness.

  • Yeah we got that from the survey, which finds United Methodist Church of the Resurrection “Unclear: Non-Affirming” because their “policy … buried in … sermons, blogposts, media … is not in website’s primary pages”. Now you wanna go through the other 99 churches, one by one, in this comments section of this article – which brother Jonathan Merritt is kind enough not to do that number on his readers?

  • 93% of America’s 100 largest churches are led by a white pastor.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the larger Christian churches in places like China, as an example, have a predominantly Chinese leadership/pastorship. Larger Christian churches in say Indonesia, probably have majority Indonesian pastors. Seems reasonable.

  • If it weren’t for such “a white pastor” as my first pastor, truth to tell, I wouldn’t be saved by the blood of Christ Jesus right now. Thank You, God & Jesus, for that “white pastor” in my life.

    Good observation, ‘bruh!

  • A small group of this Church is “Reconciling” which is the official LGBT welcoming movement in the UMC. Rmnetwork.org. Also Glide Memorial in San Francisco is both huge and is Reconciling.

  • But “Sorry that further info about yet another church offends you!” is OK doh!-key wichyoh? No “snarkiness” there, you swear on whatever-you-swear-on-these-days.

  • I see: the creation stories in Genesis, of which they’re two — and very different ones — are about marriage. And somehow the Jewish community for years on end simply misunderstood them and practiced polygamy as the default definition of marriage in violation of their own biblical testimony.

    So a development or purification occurred within Judaism and it finally got onto the right track and understood what it’s own scriptures had been about all along.

    But no such development or purification can ever take place within Christianity, because we — well, that is, folks like you — KNOW what the bible is all about, and know exactly how to sift the “good” passages from the “bad.”

    Because the “good” ones happen to fit your preconceived prejudices while the “bad” ones don’t. So that you can go blithely along talking about Jesus upholding “the” Old Testament of marriage without paying the slightest bit of attention to the fact that Abraham and David and countless other Old Testament patriarchs had many wives.

    Got it.

    This is a convincing and thoughtful way to deal with what’s there in the bible.

    Not. Not in the least.

  • Well thanks HpO. Western Civilization has lead Christianity for 2000 years. Now all of a sudden it is SHOCKING that a majority of Christian pastors are Caucasian. Oh the horror!

  • Affirming. Non-Affirming, Gay-Friendly, and now “Reconciling”. You know what? As in politics when you start doublespeaking, redefining, obfuscating, disambiguating, semanticizing – well, there you go. You’re just politicking. Just no longer in English as a means of persuasion.

  • Actually the commandments were written by God, nowhere stating that same sex love was a sin. Moses and probably others wrote the Mosaic laws. Men. Needless to say most modern western governments do not follow most of these sometimes barbaric laws.

  • What this is is not anti-Whites. It’s to stir up the currents (perhaps even the currencies) to transcend/overcome Biblical Christianity via the forces of dialectics (thesis vs counterthesis vs synthesis, blah-blah-blah). That’s OK by me. Just stop with the cowardice, non-straightforwardness, exhibited by these militant-wannabees. Just say it, We No Like You Jesus-Faithful, Go Away!

    And we say, Up to Him and then we shall indeed go away. The Martyrs’ Way.

    Chin up, ‘bruh! (Amazing, some people here are offended that I call you my brother, but not when I call Jonathan Merritt or a Muslim my brother. What ever did you do to them, dude?!)

    We disagree, you and I, but on certain things we can never be!

  • “Reconciling” just happens to be what the official movement for LGBT affirmation in local Churches in the UMC is. It isn’t politicking. It is just Congregations officially welcoming LGBT because they are created in God’s image. Many of these Churches also name race, economic class and gender as factors they don’t discriminate against.

  • Sorry, what’s the rule, again, of the “Cross” and Circle boardgame? I haven’t been “a disciple” for some time now.

  • What “preconceived prejudices” did you have in mind?

    “This is a convincing and thoughtful way to deal with what’s there in the bible. Not. Not in the least.” Well, of course many did not find the gospel to be such, either.

  • He attacks my staid comments with this level of idiocy quite often. He’s insane and off his meds. Not to mention Matron will be angry when she finds he has snuck into her office again and is using her computer.

  • Nothing in John 4 has anything to do with marriage, adultry or fornication. When you prooftext, you should have the references correct.

  • That isn’t what the Hebrew says in that passage. That is one of the preconceived prejudices that conservative Christianists bring to the translation of the texts.

  • You haven’t provided any reliable testimony that there weren’t.

    We are everywhere, in every tribe, tongue and nation. We are as natural a part of creation as the rain

  • Except for the shrimp cocktails and bacon sandwiches, of course. That was one jot and tittle that did pass away, because Christians wanted them.

    And divorce. And slaying the unbelievers in your town, a moral commandment if there ever was one. Wouldn’t want to pollute your purity, Wild we?

  • Women should not be pastors – 1 Corinthians 14:34; 1 Timothy 3:1-13

    I don’t know exactly how it does, but scripture teaches that it does as I cited in Isaiah.Isaiah 59:2English Standard Version (ESV)

    2 but your iniquities have made a separation
    between you and your God,
    and your sins have hidden his face from you
    so that he does not hear.

  • So when the previous Gospel authors wrote about extraordinary non-Jews, folks considered sinners by that fact they weren’t Jews, the Syrophenician woman, the Roman Centurian and the Samaritan woman, to name 3, God didn’t hear their prayers, Jesus didn’t grant them their fervent desire? The other Gospel writers lied?

  • two of many:

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

  • What an absurd, illogical, and racist comment. Are you a White Supremacist or something? The logical conclusion from your examples (large Chinese churches led by Chinese pastors and large Indonesian churches led by Indonesian pastors) would be that large American churches would typically be led by AMERICAN pastors, not WHITE pastors! Whiteness has nothing to do with being American, and yet here you are equating being American with being white. NEWSFLASH–almost half of the people who make up America are people of color.

  • Was the role this pastor played in your life dependent on his/her being white, or was whiteness just incidental to his/her ministry, an accident of birth?

    BTW, if you really mean what you say, aren’t you severely restricting the work of the Holy Spirit? You don’t think God could have reached you through someone else at some other time in your life? This “white” pastor was the only instrument at God’s disposal? That’s a pretty pitiful-sounding God you worship.

  • You certainly are a rude little snot, aren’t you, HpO? Seems to me, Mr. Wagle was trying to point out that the classification in the survey is not entirely accurate. Are you opposed to accurate information for some reason?

  • Hp0 – it is not judging people by telling them they are sinning. The only means to have a right relationship with Jesus is to renounce one’s sin.

    James 5:20 – New International Version

    remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

  • “[That] there may have been men who were atracted to other men, women who were atracted to other women and men & women who were atracted to both men & women in those crowds … [i]s highly likely” – because, by way of reliable eyewitness testimony-based evidence, “we are everywhere, in every tribe, tongue and nation [and] as natural a part of creation as the rain”!

    Hey, I’m sold. Where do I sign to recant?

  • I’m curious about what you mean by your repeated “HPOO” reply to HpO, and why the number of exclamation points increases each time. It would suggest you have a history of dealing with him/her.

  • Surrender control of your life to Jesus, HpO. We don’t have the capacity to rule ourselves. Not one of us.

  • Isaiah 59:2English Standard Version (ESV)

    2 but your iniquities have made a separation

    between you and your God,

    and your sins have hidden his face from you

    so that he does not hear.

  • John 1English Standard Version (ESV)

    The Word Became Flesh

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

  • Using both year of our Lord and Anno Domini is redundant. But maybe you just like repeating yourself needlessly.

    Plus, it seems you don’t know the difference between being “on the offense” and being “offensive.”

  • Just be careful. Playing with trolls can be hazardous to one’s mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

  • this is another example of what Christ taught on marriage:

    1 Corinthians 7 – Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”

  • No, you don’t really know what Jesus said, dumbass Roy. And Jesus is less than worm food now. You’re just hangin on to a crazy horror story.

    Stuff your BS Jesus stories already. Just get over them, dumbass.

  • You may be everywhere, but that does not make it less of a sin. Christ died so that if you turn to Him, renounce your sin, and follow Him, you can partake of His blessings here and in the afterlife also.

  • I know, sweethe… oops too naturally homey-me there for a sec … I mean sister sandinwindsor (not to be confused with Ben in Oakland – that’s precious!)

    But I get you, seriously. Just that thinking through this, I think you & I and the rest of Bible Christians are losing this battle for the church. And if our church is already pro-LGTBQ, then if we start judging our brothers and sisters there (which would’ve made better sense hand our church still hedging between the fences, so to speak), many, many people are going to get hurt. Brother Jonathan Merritt in one of his original Clarity-related opinion papers, was also concerned about this. I share his burden that people are going to get hurt if church directions remain in non-Clarity.

    I speak not theoretically. I know church folks at various strata in the living organism who are impacted by local and global LGTBQism. (Which was why I suggested to Ben in Oakland the other day that Bible Christians best accept the dominance of this way of life in the world outside the church. This paper though is where I deal with this crisis once it gets inside our churches – what then?) Tell their pro-LGTBQ loved ones to find an Affirming church? Tell their church folks to embrace them?

    I take the peaceful approach. Let them win. Let us lose this culture war.

    Or maybe I give up easily. That too, granted.

  • LOL. Don’t eat those shellfish either, sandinrustland, or you’ll get even more sick and roll off your flat earth…

    Your bible is a fuggin farce. Just get over it, stupid.

  • LOL. sandinrustland, you lecherous old cougar, get back to work on combing that pathetic beard of yours. Eddie won’t go for you again otherwise…

  • I’m sure Jewish people still follow those, but Im a Christian:

    Acts 10:9-16English Standard Version (ESV)

    Peter’s Vision

    9 The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour[a] to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.

  • LOL. sandi you lecherous old cougar. Stop peddling your oppressive religion and get back to combing that scruff of a beard.

  • If you consider yourself a Christian, shouldn’t you treat someone you feel is mentally ill with a some decency?

  • Except, people committing unrepentant sin are not Christians.

    1 John 2: 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,”

    1 John 1:6 – If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

    1 John 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

    1 John 3: 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

  • Listen Keith Jenkins: I was born & raised in a liberal, progressive church (yawn so boring was my only impression of them). But when I met this Whitey, man, kaboom! First time someone shared with me THE Christ Jesus. First time I ever heard of the ransoming Fatherly love of God for me (yeah and for you too, I suppose, irregardless, kinda, maybe, I don’t know) through the crucifixion, burial & resurrection of His own beloved Son, Israel’s Messiah Jesus.

    So now you’re telling me because he was Whitey, everything must change. Which reminds me of that Beatles song, how does it go?

    Jai guru deva om
    Nothing’s gonna change my world
    Nothing’s gonna change my world
    Nothing’s gonna change my world
    Nothing’s gonna change my world

    That was a hymn in that good ol’ liberal, progressive church (not yawning for me, though, ‘coz I love the Beatles! yaay).

  • I’ve always understood her to be the irreverent athiest who posts here.

    And HPOO to be a play on his username and excrement.

  • What is a ‘white supremacist’. I ask because the definitions as of late are often different one from another.

  • “Snot … snoht … noun informal … nasal mucus … an arrogant or conceited person … a contemptible or worthless person … origin … late Middle English: probably from Middle Dutch and Middle Low German; related to snout”

    NOPE. Same word.

  • You’re right. Hamilton is pro-gay-marriage and pro-openly-gay-clergy, and definitely seeks to do his part to totally influence Christian people towards supporting those ends.

    But apparently there’s enough partially-conservative Methodists left at his 10,000-member mega-church, to where he has to keep everything all diplomatic and “church-unity” for now. He cannot yet attempt any official-policy, church-wide, written endorsement of those two unbiblical items.

  • He isn’t following the commandment of doing to others as he wants done to him?!?!

    You Christianists really confuse me.

  • Ok…..translate it for me then.

    I’ll give you Malcolm Lavender’s translation —
    “Do not begin to think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I came not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth may pass away, one iota or one stroke may by no means pass away from the Law until all things come to pass…..”

    www dot lavendersnewtestament dot com

  • I didn’t write it.

    “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” John 9:31

  • I do not disagree. But I love my LGTBQ brothers & sisters & bristers(?). We’ve hurt them for too long, and we’ve killed them too. I can’t live with that, I can’t. So please just give’em what they want – friends, fellowship, families of their own. And may God have mercy upon me a sinner.

  • Same word, different meaning. Works that way rather often, or hadn’t you noticed? In your comeback, you related it to your sinuses, so you went with the “nasal mucus” definition. I, on the other hand, intended the “contemptible or worthless person” definition.

  • That’s why the holy hypocrites “retask” Matthew 19 to be about their anti-gay agenda, so as to totally ignore the actual message against divorce for frivolous, lustful reasons.

  • To define by example, someone who believes that only white Americans matter. Someone who believes that only white Americans are “real” Americans. Or, to cite your own recent comment, someone who assumes that “white” and “American” are synonymous and interchangeable.

  • What is “lecherous old cougar” with “scruff of a beard”? That’s actually a funny cartoon character, truth be told. Wow, thanks for that creative handle with the English language, Ms. Stormtrooper.

    Love,
    HPOO

  • Nope. We are not to endorse sin, nor give into it. It would be worse to let them die in their sin without trying to help them HpO

    Philippians 3;19

    New International Version
 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

  • 1. You wrote, “Christ teaches that homosexuality is a sin and any Christian who reads a Bible would know that.”

    2. I asked you where he said that.

    3. You have not answered my question.

    4. Now, you point to something Paul is saying in Corinthians and want to tell me Christ said it.

    5. He didn’t. This is Paul in Corinthians.

    6. You put words into the mouth of Christ that he never spoke.

    7. Should you perhaps begin to recognize that you are imposing on Christ you own ideas, putting words into his mouth he never did say — because this was not the focus of his teaching at all?

    8. Love was the focus of what he talked about.

    9. I never hear anything at all about love when you talk about your Christ.

  • 1. “For a marriage model Jesus went even farther back than the Torah, to the creation design”: What is ACTUALLY THERE in the Jewish scriptures as a taken-for-granted, default model of marriage for many foundational centuries is polygamy.

    2. Instead of looking at what is actually there, you have overlaid the biblical text with preconceived prejudices about what it ought to say, and what marriage ought to be.

    3. You do this at the same time that you chastise others for paying insufficent attention to the biblical text.

    4. “The Church rejected both divorce and polygamy from its inception, for this reason.”

    5. There are three separate teachings about divorce in the Christian scriptures, which do not say the same thing and cannot be conflated with each other. Luke has Jesus prohibiting divorce altogether, while Matthew has him prohibiting divorce with the porneia exception allowing it, and Paul adds to these teachings the Pauline privilege.

    6. The teachings of the Christian churches have developed and shifted over the course of history. For almost 2000 years, slavery was blessed by the Christian churches — because it is blessed in scripture itself. For over a millennium, the Christian churches prohibited usury; they then reversed that teaching and accepted usury as a moral practice.

    7. Just as the understanding of moral issues develops within the scriptures themselves (in part, because the scriptures contain conflicting teachings on almost any moral issue), they have developed in the thinking and practice of the Christian churches.

  • 1. Leviticus is in the Jewish scriptures, not the Christian scriptures.

    2. Christ is never mentioned in Leviticus and could not have been mentioned in that text, since it was written many centuries before him.

    3. Christ never said a single word about homosexuality.

    5. Christ never once cites that Leviticus verse in the gospels.

    6. If Christ were preocuppied with homosexuality as you are fixated on it, he’d have spoken about it.

    7. He spoke about love, something nothing you say about him and his teaching ever reflects in any shape, form, or fashion.

    8. You know all this and you go right on lying about it.

    9. You know that the scriptures DO say clearly? “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

  • LGBTQ people have existed in all cultures throughout history.

    People determined to make other people invisible have no grasp at all of what the teaching and message of Jesus are all about.

  • Conclusion 2 and 3 are ridiculous. Mega churches don’t hire pastors, they are built by them. So the real question is why white men like to build ecclesial empires, and conservative white people like to follow them.

    More problematic is the 40% people of color statistic. That surely includes Latinos, who are dominantly Catholic. So it’s a bogus number in relation to Protestant churches.

    You don’t reach useful conclusions with this kind of bs analysis. The best reason to not be a Christian, and what hurts us in a world of rational people, is our almost complete irrationality when it comes to identifying and analyzing facts.

  • nonsense. Speak for yourself.
    I can’t even remember the last time I raped anyone, murdered anyone, stole form anyone, molested a kid, committed arson, committed adultery, divorced my husband, assaulted anyone, or believed in the wrong god.
    I have been known not to go to church on Sunday.

  • As always, you left off the slandering and reviling which you thrive on. Not to mention, that little matter of divorce for any reason except adultery.

  • Not one jot or tittle of the LAW will change. Jesus said that. What did he mean, if not what it says?

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

  • “…one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).

    But Christ is the end (telos: goal, culmination) of the Law (Romans 10:4), and in Him, on the cross, it is finished/fulfilled (John 19: 28-30).

    We see confirmation of this in the vision of Peter in Acts 10, as well as in the decree of the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15.

    The best way to understand Jesus’ teachings is to see what those whom He Himself instructed said that He meant. He explained it to them in greater detail.

  • Even more problematic is drawing any conclusions above and beyond the said mega-churches. Given that there is approximately 280 million Christians in the US and an average congregation of 184 souls, 1.1 million is not really representative of the broader Christian community.

  • Please do not continue begging the question. Jesus expressly acknowledged what was there and pronounced it incompatible with the Kingdom as it was with the original creation order which He came to restore.

    It probably has not occurred to you that Jesus’ teaching on divorce logically precludes polygamy as well.

    So Luke gave only the general rule of thumb about divorce. So what? Matthew, writing to mostly Jews, gave the more detailed Jewish perspective — particularly relevant because Matthew had supplied the nativity narrative where Joseph, “being a righteous man,” had decided to divorce Mary for the same kind of “porneia” Jesus discussed in Matt 19. Nor is Paul’s teaching inconsistent, because Jesus premised His teaching about divorce upon the previous absence of the Holy Spirit in fallen human interaction and upon the action of God in joining husband and wife. Consequently, where one spouse becomes a believer while the other is not, it is not actually a union effected by God and the Spirit is not present in both partners, hence the freedom of the unbeliever to break the union while the believer may not

    Nor did the Church “bless” slavery for 2000 years. The efforts of the Church gradually dismantled slavery in Europe during the early Middle Ages (alone among the cultures of the world, btw), and then a second time after its resurgence during the age of exploration.

    The prohibition on “usury” depends upon what one means by usury. The relevant Torah passages quite clearly refer to loans to the poor for necessities (Ex.22:25). One may not deepen a poor brother’s need by charging him interest. An interest-bearing loan that is merely part of a business deal to make more money is not usury; both parties share in such profits. Usury was largely frowned upon on early times mainly because most people WERE poor and therefore charging them interest was predatory rather than mutually profitable as it would be between well-heeled equals.

    Not to mention that even in the NT the Jesus-figure in the parable of the talents severely condemns His servant for NOT charging interest. 😀

    So much resentment of scripture nowadays! Wonder why that is?

  • …Except that you can’t keep yourself from reviling, mocking & acting hostile toward others. That’s the inescapable curse, my friend. And, left untreated, it is destroying you.

  • 1. Jesus came to fulfill the scripture, not abolish them
    2. Christ spoke Leviticus to Moses.
    3. “Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.” Christ spoke it and taught it and that’s homosexuality.
    5. Christ taught more than the gospels and it is spelled out very well in:
    Matthew 15:19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.20 These are what defile you.
    6. He did speak about it – all over the Bible
    7. Re-read above
    8. No need to lie. I have scripture supporting me.
    9. Then stop bearing false witness about Christ

  • Matthew 15:19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.20 These are what defile you.

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

    You need to read a Bible, my friend. No need to look as silly as you do now.

  • LOL. Sandi Luckins you lecherous old cougar. Take your disgusting dead zombie Jesus on sticks stories and shove them. And comb that beard or Eddie will be back with Jimmie before you can shake that beard at him.

  • LOL. Sandi Luckins you lecherous old cougar. Your “Christian values” are evidently oppression and bigotry.

  • LOL. LOL. LOL. Sandi Luckins you lecherous old cougar. You are all sin, all the time, but Windy Eddie has escaped your clutches.

  • LOL. Sandi Luckins you lecherous old cougar. While you might like being reviled and despised. it isn’t helping you in your quest for Windy Eddie.

    Now go comb that scruffy beard!

  • LOL. Sandi Luckins you lecherous old cougar. Take your disgusting dead zombie Jesus on sticks stories and shove them. And comb that beard or Eddie will be back with Jimmie before you can shake that beard at him!!

  • LOL. Sandi Luckins you lecherous old cougar. No, in the beginning your god didn’t exist and still doesn’t now.

    Now go comb that BEARD!!!

  • Sandinwindsor,
    Let’s be clear: Jesus didn’t say (that we know of) that women shouldn’t preach/teach/be pastors. Paul did. And many believe that was based on the culture/people to whom he was writing. Some also believe that his statement may have been an opinion rather that God’s command.
    To whom was Isaiah written? “Separation between you and your God” appears to say that the audience already had a relationship with God. If why you say is true than none of us are in right standing with God simply because he never heard our prayer asking for His life creating forgiveness.
    And do you consider yourself a sinner? If that is your criteria, then God doesn’t hear you either. If you don’t consider yourself a sinner (albeit saved by grace) you are overly prideful. (Though, I’m sure you’re not)
    Peace to you.

  • Sorry Lisa, your jibe about a beard is really dated; I’ve had one for about half a century now. And your shellfish canard is so dated it’s beginning to stink like rotten fish. The Bible permits shellfish to Christians, don’tcha know? (Unlike homosexuality).

  • I do not know what you mean when you say “only white Americans matter”. That is certainly not my mindset. But I am Caucasian and I do love my racial Heritage. I made my original comment because that stated fact seemed rather hostile. Western Civilization has led Christianity for 2000 years. What could be possibly wrong or bad that it’s leadership is predominantly white. The beauty of our so called freedom is anyone can start their own church. If someone doesn’t like the fact that most mega churches have white leadership……..rather than forcing them to change, why not just start your own. I’m not a fan of forcing people to do things they don’t want to do.
    We have a couple mega churches here in Atlanta Georgia. Some are all black. I’m certainly not complaining that these all black churches are 1) too black and 2) are solely run by blacks. None of my business. And I have the freedom not to attend if I don’t want to.
    Little town called Molena. 2 churches literally side by side. One is attended by mostly white people; the other mostly black people. And guess what???? No one cares and no one has a problem with it. And everyone gets along fine when the services are over.
    What I want to know is why only Western Civilization is being forced to accept those not of her posterity? Why is not China being forced to be less homogenous….. As an example.

  • Lisa…..you changed my life! calling me ‘dumbass’ just woke me from my slumber. I’ve never been so convinced in my life! Thank you for calling me dumbass. Who would have thought that calling someone names could actually work!!! Hallelujah!

  • I know you aren’t able but I’m requesting anyway. Give me 3 reliable eyewitness testimony-based evidences supporting your otherwise false & delusional claim that “LGBTQ people have existed in all [the 1st apostolic churches] throughout history.”

    No? I rest my case, then.

  • Re: “Except for the shrimp cocktails and bacon sandwiches, of course. That was one jot and tittle that did pass away, because Christians wanted them.” 

    This is a classic example of what can be discovered at the level of source criticism. In Acts, Peter is literally shown by God that Mosaic dietary restrictions are lifted for Christians (Acts 10:9-16). Yet, in Matthew, there’s the “jot & tittle” remark that suggests exactly the opposite. Both works are considered equally sacred and obligatory, yet they were written by what appear to be competing Christian movements. One wanted to retain the Law, and (possibly) keep the new religion as a form of Judaism; we see other N.T. evidence of this movement in the “Judaizers” that Paul spent most of Galatians whining about. The other movement, the one to which Paul became attached, wanted Christianity opened to Gentiles (i.e. Hellenes) who were particularly fond of foods forbidden by the Law (e.g. pork and shellfish) and who also objected to circumcision (which is, let’s face it, a gruelling ordeal). Hence, the aforementioned removal of dietary restrictions in Acts … among other things. 

    Sociologically, the movement had much more to gain by opening it up to Gentiles and making the religion one they’d want to belong to. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, which of the two approaches to nascent Christianity won out. In practical terms, numbers — and overall religious appeal — were simply not on the side of the “Judaizers.” 

    Even so, interestingly, relics of both remain in Christian scripture, and have stayed there. Which is why Christians have to tap-dance around one approach, or the other, in order to justify what they do. Had they done a better job of filtering their scripture, perhaps those relics of one would have been excised from scripture; but their often-irrational attachment to sacred writings seems to have prevented that. 

  • Keep’em coming, Poster Girl & Exemplary Cheerleader For Atheism, you, but don’t assume nobody read and remember this brief but priceless exchange:

    Lisa Strom HpO
    a month ago

    HPOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jim Johnson Lisa Strom
    a month ago

    What are you – the Peanut Gallery? How about some constructive comments?

  • Of course. You don’t want them to be saved and on their way to a good relationship with Jesus. That won’t stop Him though.

  • Phillip, you may be interested in Galatians 1:11-18 where Paul teaches he was taught through revelation by Christ. Paul, unless otherwise noted was teaching what Christ wanted taught to the gentiles. Paul was chosen to teach the Gentiles.
    Right standing with God is having a good relationship with Him – being “born again” to be exact. Otherwise, He does not hear your prayers.
    I’m a saint, thank you. All of my sins were placed on Christ while He was on the cross. That is available to everyone.

  • It is a fact that in Jewish society polygamy, which predated its monotheism, was tolerated from the most ancient times to comparatively modern days.

    That did not make the “default model for marriage”.

    The Law regulated and limited it and the Prophets and the scribes looked upon it with disfavor. It was not practiced among the Israelites as among other nations, and the tendency in Jewish social life was always toward monogamy.

    The ideal state of human society in the mind of the primitive Israelite was a monogamous one, evinced by the fact that the first man (Adam) was given only one wife, and that the first instance of bigamy occurred in the family of the cursed Cain. Noah and his sons also are recorded as having only one wife each. Abraham had only one wife; and he was persuaded to marry his slave Hagar only at the urgent request of his wife, who deemed herself barren. Isaac had only one wife.

    The last chapter of Proverbs, which is a description of the purity of home life, points to a state of monogamy. Marriage with one wife became the ideal form with the great majority of the Jewish people; and in post-exilic times polygamy formed the rare exception.

    Of all the rabbis named in the Talmud there is not one who is mentioned as having lived in polygamy.

    Jesus made clear that (a) monogamy was the Creator’s intent, citing Adam and Even, (b) as was permanence, (c) in accord with becoming one flesh and fulfilling the fundamental command to go forth and multiply.

    The implications for“same sex marriage” are clear.

  • Negative proof texts are of little or no value.

    Christ never said a single word about fornication, incest, genocide, or a plethora of other known sinful vices.

    Yes, He spoke about love, which love began with love of God which is exhibited by keeping his commandments.

  • Existing in all cultures throughout history does not in and of itself constitute an endorsement of a trait or behavior.

    People determined to turn 2,700 years of Abrahamic religion on its head may find their version of “the teaching and message of Jesus” taken with a few grains of salt by adherents of those religions.

  • And now we get to your mental and verbal gymnastics to justify your point. You originally said “Christ teaches homosexuality is a sin”. He did not. He never actually (that I have read) addressed it.
    Then you insult those of us that hold a different opinion that yourself by noting we don’t read the Bible or we’re not Christians.
    Furthermore, you said “Christ taught us that women shouldn’t be pastors” (which is absolutely false). A more accurate reading shows that Paul said “I do not permit women to teach” not Jesus doesn’t.

    I don’t expect any of this to change your mind. I know well the spirit of pride that holds onto you. It drives you to “know” that you are right rather that humbly ask God for truth.
    I’ll simply ask this: will you earnestly and humbly ask God for two things?
    1. Forgiveness of your pride
    2. Revelation of His loving truth

    And as fellow believers (though our theology is waaaayyyy different) let’s pray for each other.

    Peace to you

  • I know I’m going to regret replying, yet again, to someone who is obviously either too obtuse to understand basic facts, or too stubborn to accept them, but I’m a glutton for punishment.

    I characterized your mindset as “only white Americans matter” because your statements made “white” and “American” synonymous. You can deny it all you want, but your attitude is plainly revealed by what you say.

    You throw around the term “Western Civilization” a great deal, but you clearly know nothing about it, because, as you do with America, you ignorantly assume “Western Civilization” is Caucasian in origin and nature.

    Do you have any idea of the essential role that Mediterranean culture (both on the European side and the North African side) played in creating, spreading, and sustaining Western Civilization?

    Do you know that had it not been for Arabic, Islamic culture, the great learning and advances of the civilization you cherish so much would have perished during the “Dark Ages” of the Medieval Period and never have been heard of again?

    Do you know that Irish Christian monks (Celtic, not Caucasian), on islands off the Irish coast, hand-copying by candlelight manuscripts of great ancient works of philosophy written in languages they didn’t even understand are credited with “saving” Western Civilization?

    You say, “What I want to know is why only Western Civilization is being forced to accept those not of her posterity?” To start with, you ignorantly use the word “posterity” (having to do with future generations, not past ones) when you probably mean something like “heritage.” But more importantly, you foolishly fail to realize that (1) “Western Civilization” isn’t being FORCED to accept anything or anyone but is moving toward greater racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of its own accord, and (2) there is nothing monolithic or pure about Western Civilization OR America OR Christianity. It has always been and always will be a wonderful mixture of people and ideas.

    I suggested earlier that you are a White Supremacist. I misspoke. You are a racial purist, which–if possible–is even worse. And you are clearly a frightened, small-minded, deeply deluded man who is more to be pitied than despised. And I do pity you. But I also choose to have nothing more to do with you. My final word to you is this. If you have some spare money lying around the house, buy one of those DIY DNA tests that are so popular these days. I’m pretty sure it will be a surprise to you to see how much of your own ancestry is something other than your precious “Caucasian.”

  • Gee, you got all of that just from one comment wherein I disputed your idea that we are all of us in desperate need of control. As I pointed out, I am not. You may be.

    If you are going to make theologically and humanely absurd comments about complete strangers and your opinions about their morals, don’t be surprised if people find your comments mockworthy.

  • Sandi – you really don’t understand the basics so you.

    I find no valid reason (evidential or rational) to think that anyone can be “saved” or have a “good relationship with Jesus” (NB many Christians believe that talking to the dead is forbidden); so the possibility that I “don’t want etc…..) is not possible.

    As to whether or not he can be stopped – let us know when he starts really trying because so far he’s not doing very well is he? (or is that all just part of his cunning and ineffable plan?).

    Best wishes for 2018 – to you and everyone daft enough to be reading this!

  • Bye, bye, whatever your name was. I just blocked you so I don’t have to be exposed to your brain-numbing nonsense anymore.

  • Whether you understand it or not, will not stop those who need Him, and know they need Him. Your lack of understanding does not invalidate Him, Give.
    Happy New Year to you, my friend and blessings…

  • no mental or verbal gymnastics….it’s simple and there for you to read.
    He taught it as referenced by Leviticus 18:1-10.
    He taught about women not being pastors in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy 3 – all there for you to read.
    Pride in Christ and what He taught is good, Philip. His word is loving truth.
    Blessings

  • the Jewish still do not eat shrimp or pork. those are laws for the Jews. Christ gave a different law for the Christians (Acts 10 above).
    Homosexuality is taught against throughout the New Testament, showing the moral laws were brought into the New Testament by Christ.

  • Goshes. I’m tired of heterosexuality— a questionable assumption at best— and conservative Christianity being declared the measuring stick for the value of ANYTHING.

  • Ben, it’s obvious from the way you’re treating everyone on this site that you’re being ravaged by the curse. You have no ability to stop fomenting hostility. That’s the way the curse operates. It festers in “self” – multiplies – and then it attack others… You (like the rest of humanity) have no power to change the destructive way of the curse.
    But Jesus can set you free, Ben. Take up the cross. Die to self. Follow the resurrected God/Man Jesus of Nazareth. I am praying for you.
    X

  • What is truly revealing is that her comments were not deleted. I’ve had plenty of comments ‘removed’ and none of them were derogatory. rns has a right to delete anything they want….but that just proves their true intent.

  • It’s obvious you at no attention whatsoever to how I treat people on this site.

    “You have no ability to stop fomenting hostility.” Says the man who makes a statement like that.
    I tried Christianity some 50 years ago. It is no more attractive to me now than it was then. But sure, pray for me. If you don’t mind, I’ll think for you.

  • Not to disagree…

    But I have been reliably informed by Christians on these very pages that all will not be fulfilled until Jesus returns. I see what John says, but that is john speaking, not Jesus. Matthew, Mark and Luke make no mention at all of Jesus’s comment in John.

    I have also been reliably informed, repeatedly, that god’s word never changes, but is eternal.

  • As a business model, it also had a great deal to gain by relieving the gentiles of the torah requirements.
    There is a very interesting book called “Jesus and the riuddle of the dead Sea Scrolls” which uses the texts found therein to expose that very idea.

  • “It probably has not occurred to you that Jesus’ teaching on divorce logically precludes polygamy as well.”
    Not at all. Polygamy is just serial marriage without divorce.

  • “Existing in all cultures throughout history does not in and of itself constitute an endorsement of a trait or behavior.”
    One could make the same statement about heterosexuality, heterosexual marriage, heterosexual oppression of gay people, homophobia, and a host of other things.

  • According to the Apostle John, who was there at the cross, those were the words of Jesus Himself. John records many sayings and discourses which were not included in the Synoptic Gospels.

    Apropos the discussion of the law, the whole purpose of the law was fulfilled by Christ. Of course not all things (return of Christ, new heavens and earth, etc.) are now fulfilled, but that is a different topic from the fulfillment of the law.

  • My lack of understanding is irrelevant to validating him – as is your unsupported claim to know him.

    Without being able to provide valid evidence or demonstrate a rational need the claim of knowledge is false.

  • just another heathen looking for attention, Roy. Our job is to help her look in the right direction, eh? Happy New Year.

  • No – you don’t need to prove him if you chose to believe – but morally you have to prove him before you tell anyone you know, because if you can’t you don’t know if your lying do you?

    Now – I know lots of people who call themselves Christians do tell lies, but I reckon the god they think they believe in would question their right to use the term.

  • Books for you Library: March of the Titans by Arthur Kemp; and “Tracing our Ancestors” by Frederick Haberman.
    My motivation is characterized by James 5:20. Peace to you.

  • In regards to DNA testing —

    www dot cracked.com/personal-experiences-2522-inside-shady-world-dna-testing-companies dot com

  • LOL at lecherous old cougar Sandi Luckins and dumbass Roy Hobs. Sandi’s got her claws wrapped around Roy already, despite her not having quite let go of Windy Eddie yet!

    Here’s to a less religious and therefore vastly better and less bigoted 2018 for you, and especially for dumbass Roy Hobs.

  • No, L’il Hermie. You’re wrong. Your Jezeus came not to change the law…, or so you Christian crackpots often say…Can’t have it both ways you fuggin hypocrite.

  • LOL. Sandi Luckins, you lecherous old cougar. Stop peddling your oppressive, bigoted religion and get back to combing that scruff of a beard!

  • dumbass Roy, your god heareth nothing, because your god doesn’t exist, you hoary old DUMBASS.

  • Lisa…Lisa….why do you beat a dead horse? You converted me I told you. You have me so thoroughly convinced with your ‘name calling’. Who knew…..name calling actually works!!!!

  • I’m actually learning from you Lisa. I’d never heard the word “hoary”. I thought you misspelled ‘hairy’! LOL. So…….thanks Lisa. I’m learning from you and I really do appreciate your name calling. Never thought name calling could actually work. You should consider like an Infomercial or something. Like….how to motivate the indoctrinated in a few easy words! I’d pay. 🙂

  • The law was for the male head of household in Israel and was the same as the other cultures of the Levant around Isreal. It states that this male head of household was not to play the role of the woman, be the passive or receptive partner, in a sexual relationship with another male. It doesn’t forbid him taking the active role.

    The Hebrew states;
    Lie not the layings of a woman with another man.

  • makes perfect sense. Paul was clearly delusional. Now I can throw Paul’s writings out of my theology.

    Question — Do the same rules for ‘divorce’ apply for men on men and or women on women marriage? Just wondered why Jesus didn’t speak to same sex marriage re: divorce. Only “sexual immorality” as in hetero?

    Jesus spoke in parable about His return stating that virgin women would keep their lamps full. What about men’s lamps? Seems Jesus wasn’t very sensitive or inclusive only using female and male analogies. Weird.

  • It is wonderful that the largest 100 churches do not affirm the LGBTQ agenda. St Paul condemned homosexual sex in Chapter 1 of Romans and Jesus told us that He made us male and female in Chapter 19 of Matthew and Chapter 10 of Mark. There is great hope for churches in America!

  • Right you are, little Lisa! Christ came not to change the law, but to fulfill it, and in fulfilling it, the shadow of the law has passed away. I guess you really do know nothing about Christianity if you are under the sad delusion that Christians are not permitted to eat shellfish! So sad. You should have read the teachings of the Apostles (who were themselves taught by Jesus) in Acts 10 and 15 concerning the law before you opened your mouth in a matter about which you appear woefully ignorant.

    You like to throw around the term “hypocrite”. yet have not demonstrated a single instance of hypocrisy on my part. So let’s see if you can do more now than bloviate empty verbiage. Prove it. Time now to put up or shut up.

  • I think you’re confusing Paul with Christ. This is not “…another example of what Christ taught on marriage.” Paul wrote the letter to the Corinthians and the passage you cite is Paul’s response to a letter/question he had received from the Corinthian Christians. Just because it’s in the New Testament doesn’t mean it was a direct teaching of Christ.

  • ML Snyder…..I mean no disrespect, but re-read my comment to Lisa. I do the same all the time — not read close enough. Perhaps it is a product of our environment/society. We are always multi-tasking and often reading comprehension takes a back seat. Peace to you Snyder.

  • Lynn Hunt, Professor of Modern European History at the University of California, Los Angeles, disagrees with you.

    According to Lynn Hunt, Measuring Time, Making History: Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Series at Central European University, Central European University Press, February 28, 2008, at the end of Chapter 1, “Is Time Historical?”:

    “Universal, homogeneous, and deep notion of time [as a] notion undergirds Western science, Western imperialism, globalization, and the current vogue of world history. … The Western calendar eventually prevailed world-wide and has become associated with Western values. It does not follow, however, that universal, homogeneous, or deep time is somehow Western in essence, any more than that the idea of universal, homogeneous time is somehow Christian because dating Easter provided a prime motive for calendar revision or because bc/ad refer to the life of Jesus. Having begun as a Christian exercise in dating Easter and reconciling sacred and profane histories, the bc/ad dating system ended up submerging Christian chronology in an even more universal, homogeneous and deep sense of time.”

  • Hi Philip…..pardon me for cutting in; but I would appreciate your opinion on Matthew 5:17:

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
    It is true that Jesus did not say specifically that a man having sex with another man; or a woman having sex with another woman is a sin. However…..we do know that this was part of the Law delivered by Moses.
    So how do you deal with Christ’s emphatic statement that the Law of Moses is still the Law until Heaven and Earth pass away? I have yet to hear anyone ‘deal’ with this passage when it comes to the debate over whether or not homosexual sex is a sin. Thanks. Peace to you.

  • Jesus made plain that “the law” is the moral law — the Ten Commandments. The moral law, and that alone, is universal and timeless. Purity law (including prohibitions of homosex and shellfish and blended fabric), agricultural law, ceremonial law, etc., having served the purpose of building a nation out of a mass of slaves, is obsolete. Jesus made plain that the non-moral law is obsolete.
    Sandi and many others who comment here seem to read the Bible thoughtlessly. Evidence of that is their tendency to quote passages without interpretation or context.

  • One could not make the same statement about heterosexuality and heterosexual marriage in seriousness, unless one simply dislikes stable families and the race perpetuating itself.

    “(H)eterosexual oppression of gay people, homophobia” are buzz phrases.

    Sloganeering and buzz phrases do not an argument make.

  • So, you had already looked up the word ‘hoary.’ Good! I’m guilty as charged…quickly read up to the word “hoary” and missed the past tense of “I’d”. Should have read the entire comment before jumping the gun but didn’t want Ms. Strom to score on you. My bad! Thanks for taking the time to point it out.

  • Heterosexuality and stable families are not synonymous. The evidence is clear on that.

    Heterosexual oppression of gay people is a buzz phrase? Until 1t years ago, heterosexuals put gay people in jail in this country. Until 6 years ago, gay people could not serve their country, and despite all of the hysteria on the subject, the justification for it held no water.

    The claim that it doesn’t exist, and is simply heterosexual privilege talking. Sloganeering and buzz phrases do not an argument make.

  • So you’re saying “I don’t have a problem. You have a problem for saying that I have a problem.” Forgive me for saying this, but you’re giving me the classic excuse of someone caught up in an abusive & dysfunctional system.

    Truth is, we ALL have a problem, Ben. Yourself included. You can deny it, but the evidence is all around… Eventually you will also succumb to death – the ultimate evidence that we’re all under a destructive curse. And what will your state be then?

    In the end, God will put up boundaries to the curse so that it doesn’t endlessly infect and compound the creation that He loves. It would not be loving to let child-molesters run free in our society. God feels the same way about the hostility & abuse brought about by the curse.
    One day God’s love will remove the curse from the earth. Those who choose to retain the curse reject Him will (of their own determined will) be separated from Him and His friends – forever… never again tasting any form of blessing, goodness or kindness. Their final state will be utterly torturous, necessary and of their own making.

    Ben, you can yield to the Curse-breaker by inviting Jesus to reign over your heart & life right now. You don’t have to experience this future-state, or continue to bear the present affliction of the curse.

    I wish only the best for you. X

  • Jesus said that none of the law will pass away and that he had come to fulfill the law. It is pretty clear that Jesus referred only to the moral law — the Ten Commandments. The moral law, and that alone, is universal and timeless. Purity law (including prohibitions of homosex and shellfish and blended fabric), agricultural law, ceremonial law, etc., having served the purpose of building a nation out of a mass of slaves, is obsolete. Jesus made plain that the non-moral law is obsolete. Indeed, the passage from Matthew that you cite is one example of Jesus’ teaching that purity law is dead letter.
    You and many others who comment here seem to read the Bible thoughtlessly. Evidence of that is your tendency to quote some passages not adding interpretation or context and to quote other passages adding bizarre interpretation or false context.

  • No. Christ maintained the moral law in Matthew, 1 Corinthians, Romans, and on and on to the book of Revelation. The Jewish people still adhere to the Law. Actually, Matthew explains how immorality defiles one.
    I’m sorry that I expect you to be Biblically literate.
    Whenever I see you Richard, I’ll try to remember to explain it for you.
    Blessings.

  • In Matthew, Jesus said that it is not what goes into one (i.e., it is not what one eats that would be impure under the non-moral law) but it is what comes out (i.e., deeds that originate in the evil heart) that defile. Yes, in Matthew 15, Jesus clearly affirmed the moral law but disaffirmed the purity law.
    “Christ maintained the moral law”. That is what I asserted. Your “No” shows that you read not only the Bible thoughtlessly; maybe you read everything thoughtlessly.
    Do not have any expectations about my literacy. Whether I am “Biblically literate” or not, you will be sorry.
    As for your explaining it or anything to me or to anyone, that could be a first; I have read scores of your comments and not one was explanatory.

  • Oh well. If you cannot understand scripture I’ll gladly help you

    Matthew 15:19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.20 These are what defile you.

  • Well, precisely! Jesus said that evil deeds — murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, etc. — originating in the evil heart are what defile. That is just how I paraphrased Jesus’ teaching. Do you think you are helping me understand scripture by repeating my own express understanding of scripture? Or are you joking — making fun of yourself by giving exaggerated proof of my suspicion that you do not read thoughtfully? I wish the answer to the latter question were yes, but I would be astonished if it were. You appear to have no ability to laugh at yourself.
    Now, start at the beginning of Matthew 15 to apprehend the context of verse 19 and consider what Jesus said do not defile. (I know context is unimportant to you, but do as I advise.) Jesus said they are the kinds of things that the OT purity law, distinguished from the moral law, once prohibited. Such things are not evil deeds.
    As I said, Jesus taught that all the purity law, including prohibitions of homosex and shellfish and blended fabric, is obsolete. I suppose I need add (because you have difficulty following discussions) that your citing scripture passages that state purity law as if those passages state God’s moral will today is quite wrong for a Christian. (The fact that unbelieving Jews may cite those passages as statements of God’s will today is irrelevant.)

  • “As I said, Jesus taught that all the purity law, including prohibitions of homosex and shellfish and blended fabric, is obsolete” Where did Christ contradict Himself, Richard?
    Odd for you to say such, because He taught Paul what to say, via revelation. (Galatians 1:11-18) for 3 years after He stopped Paul on the Damascus road so he would teach the Gentiles the things he had learned as a Pharisee of Pharisees and under Gamaliel, and Paul teaches against homosexuality, along with Peter, John and Jude, Paul and John being taught by Christ for 3 years.
    I think you need to check your facts, my friend.

  • God did not contradict himself.
    If I tell my daughter she is not permitted to drink coffee and later I tell my daughter she is permitted to drink coffee, I have not contradicted myself. I and my daughter understand that non-moral rules given to her may be valid only temporarily. She is forbidden coffee while a child because I believe that caffeine is harmful to children, but she is permitted coffee after childhood because I believe that caffeine is harmless to adults. This context resolves any apparent contradiction.
    God, in the same way, forbade some things to the ancient Hebrews because they were in cultural childhood. God knew those ignorant, brutal, superstitious people. And God had a plan for them. God planned to make them a nation that would be the vessel of the prophets and then the Messiah. Purity law — all the non-moral law — was an important means to realize God’s plan. By such means, God’s plan was realized. By the time Messiah came, purity law was obsolete, as Jesus and Paul and (after his dream) Peter taught.
    There is apparent contradiction only for someone who reads the Bible like Muslims read the Koran — as principally a record of God’s commands for all people at all times. We Christians read the Bible as principally a record of God’s dealing with people in human history, teaching them, according to their specific historically-conditioned capacities, his plan and how they should act according to his will. We Christians find no contradiction in, e.g., God’s forbidding his ancient people to eat pork but permitting them to eat pork by the time God sent them the Messiah.
    As for Paul, I hope you do not really believe that Jesus stopped Paul so Paul would take Gamaliel’s teaching to the Gentiles. Read Acts 9. (This advice does not even suggest a disparagement of your Biblical literacy; I abhor and refrain from gratuitous insults.) Jesus stopped Paul, saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Then Jesus commanded Paul to go to Damascus, where Paul would be told what to do. After several days with Jesus’ disciples in Damascus, Paul went to the synagogues and proclaimed that Jesus is the Son of God. Christians rightly infer that Paul’s proclamation was what Jesus wanted Paul to take to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews. There is no evidence that Paul taught the Gentiles Gamaliel, who probably proclaimed very many things that Paul expressly denied, e.g., circumcision as God’s will for God’s people (or God’s males). I think you need to check your facts, my friend.
    As for Paul’s condemnation of homosexual conduct, even conservative Christian scholars like Robert A. J. Gagnon and Thomas Schmidt agree that Paul was condemning a kind of violation of the Seventh Commandment — viz fornication, sexual relations of persons not married to each other — and not homosexual conduct per se. The only basis for condemning homosexual conduct per se as contrary to God’s will would be purity law, but Paul was (after Jesus) the leading teacher that purity law is dead letter.

  • Father, Ben is estranged from You – and doesn’t know the depth nor strength of Your love. Break into his soul and set him free from the curse. Amen.

  • That’s a good point. These aren’t the 100 largest churches in the country, but merely the ones who are listed in Outreach.

  • Your first error: Hebrews 13:8 – English Standard Version
    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
    He doesn’t endorse immorality when the crowd decides to go immoral.
    Paul met Jesus on the Damascus road Acts 9:1-9
    Jesus proclaims Paul to teach the Gentiles Acts 9:15
    If you have read Gagnon, and I have extensively, you would understand that Paul condemns homosexuality, along with Peter, John, Jude – people who had been with the Lord 3 years, whereas Paul was taught via revelation by Jesus for 3 years.
    I would suggest you brush up on your reading

  • 1. Nothing in my view is inconsistent with Hebrews 13:8. Christ is the same always. It is people and their societies and cultures that change, and the unchanging Christ knows it. In his wisdom and love, he deals with changing people/societies according to his plan for them and their state of progress. I have made no error. You have made a grievous error in failing to apprehend the Bible as a record of unchanging God dealing in history with real people. Real people! Known by God, who has a plan to do them good! Known by God, who is wise and whose plan is perfect! The Bible is not some badly-written fiction about unrealistic characters.
    2. It is you say: Christ does not endorse immorality when it becomes popular. Christ does not endorse immorality under any conditions. All of the Moral Law — the Ten Commandments and their implications — is universal and timeless; Christ said that not a jot or tittle of the law will pass away. Purity Law is not Moral Law; no mature and learned Christian thinks the Levitical purity taboos are God’s moral will. Purity Law has passed away; Christ said so and Paul said so and Peter said so.
    3. As I said, Acts 9 tells the story of Paul’s meeting Jesus and Jesus’ giving Paul his orders. Paul followed Jesus’ orders and there is no record that Paul passed on Gamaliel’s teaching to the Gentiles.
    4. Has your extensive reading of Gagnon included “The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Key Issues” in Gagnon and Via, Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views (Augsberg Fortress, 2003)? Whether it has or not, I would suggest you brush up on your reading. Look at what Gagnon says on page 87. According to Gagnon, Paul did not condemn homosexuality or even homosexual conduct as such. According to Gagnon, Paul condemned practicing homosexuals’ violation of the Seventh Commandment.

  • Christ doesn’t change, therefore things that He has declared a sin, will always be a sin.
    Levitical laws of morality are pertinent to Christians. Paul brought them forward, as did the other disciples in God’s word.
    I think you live more on hope than reality.
    Gagnon teaches that Paul condemned homosexuality.
    Where does Christ contradict Himself on morality? I’m still waiting for that scripture. Thanks

  • On the positive side, if same sex marriage becomes the norm, the race will extinguish. That should take care of global warming.

    I cannot find a single instance where someone was jailed for being homosexual.

    I can find instances where people are jailed for public sexual activity, homosexual or heterosexual.

    The claim that everyone who opposes your agenda is homophobic is a ploy, a scam, a rhetorical tool, not a fact.

  • For a man that claims he’s not anti gay, you are sure tagging all of the bases.

    Heterosexuality, at least ostensible heterosexuality, is the majority. I doubt that will change, though I am pretty sure there are for more bisexuals than stand up to be counted.

    Thus, even though heterosexuals seem to be abandoning marriage, there is no danger of the race going extinct. And of course, gay people will continue to be blamed for heterosexual malfeasance.

    You didn’t search very hard. Michael hardwiwicke, and Mr. Lawrence, both of who challengeged the sodomy laws, are two examples of people who were arrested. Oscar Wilde was arrested and imprisoned.these are just historical examples.

    Opposing what agenda? Equal treatment before the law? Ending legalized prejudice, discrimination, and oppression, especially that hiding behind religious belief? That is the agenda.

    Try again.

  • “These churches may preach a Gospel of inclusion, but they disproportionately prefer white men for their top leadership positions.”

    OK, BFD!

    Outreach should conduct some new and vital research that tells us how effective America’s top 100 churches–with multi-gender and multi-ethnic pastors–are at preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, inclusively to all genders, races, ethnic groups!

  • And “tagging all of the bases”, like the general allegation of homophobia, is simply another construct for disputing with those who disagree with you. It’s at the same level as “I know you are, but what am I?”.

    I assume you know that Oscar Wilde was British rather than American, that he was not prosecuted for BEING gay, but for acting on it (gross indecency with men), and that rather than a victim of a witch hunt he was the victim of his own arrogant stupidity. Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for criminal libel, the Marquess being the father of Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. As the trial progressed and evidence was unearthed, Wilde had to drop his charges and was arrested, tried, and imprisoned for gross indecency with men.

    The Lawrence case also did not involve an indictment for BEING gay but for acting on it.

    Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) arose on September 17, 1998, when John Geddes Lawrence Jr., a 55-year-old medical technologist, was hosting two gay acquaintances, Tyron Garner, age 31, and Robert Eubanks, age 40, at his apartment in northeast Harris County, Texas.

    Lawrence and Eubanks had been friends for more than 20 years. Garner and Eubanks had a tempestuous romantic relationship since 1990. Lacking transportation home, the couple were preparing to spend the night when Eubanks, who had been drinking heavily, left to “purchase a soda from a nearby vending machine”.

    Apparently outraged that Lawrence had been flirting with Garner, he called police and reported “a black male going crazy with a gun” at Lawrence’s apartment.

    I believe you know what the police encountered when they responded to the call.

    The “(e)qual treatment before the law”, “(e)nding legalized prejudice, discrimination, and oppression”, and “hiding behind religious belief” is simply a restatement of your argument that LBGT rights = the fight for civil rights by African Americans, which appears to be something you need to prove if you plan to enter into support of an argument.

    And, of course, since the Masterpiece case arose most Americans have discovered the heretofore unknown or little known fact that there is an embedded strain of anti-Abrahamic religions pro-atheism or paganism in the LBGT movement.

    I don’t believe that fact is going to improve its chances for success.

  • On the positive side, your response was brief.

    That about concludes it for the positive side.

  • I can already tell exactly who you are, and what you think. I’ve already shown it to people who do not agree with who you are and how you think. I don’t expect to reach you with that information. I long ago learned that it is virtually impossible to reach people whose minds are irretrievably poisoned by their religious beliefs, or their wholly unwarranted belief in their completely imaginary superiority as so-called Christians, so called moral people, or human beings. It may be possible to reach them, but not by one such as me.

  • I can already tell exactly who you are, and what you think as well.

    Since you speak in slogans, misreadings, and misrepresentations, and hate the majority of Americans who belong to the Abrahamic religions which you apparently feel cramp your style, I don’t think you’ll reach many people outside the Bay Area.

  • Your opinions are, of course, your opinions. But you do mean the members of the abrahamic religions who identify themselves as conservatives, and who people frequently identify as dominionist, because they are. I don’t hate them either. Yet another story you tell yourselves.

    Or, as you put it, a misrepresentation

    The majority of Americans, including the majority of American Christians who don’t identify as hyper conservatives disagree with a lot of what you have to say,

    But your opinions are your opinions, and one thing I do with hyper conservatives assured of heir own superiority to other people is I don’t really attempt to argue with them, just point out to others the flaws and assumptions of their thinking.

    Or “thinking”.

    You have a nice evening.

  • For the purposes of your script, every member of the Abrahamic religions prior to approximately 1960 were “conservatives”. The “dominionists”, who may number as religious movement as high as 40,000 or so, are completely irrelevant.

    Of course you include every Christian who believes Justice Brewer’s use of the phrase “a Christian nation” was a fair one, who does not hew to your view of the “separation of church and state”, in short anyone who might be some sort of threat to your neo-pagan viewpoint is a “dominionist”. Or a “hyper conservative”. Or “homophobic”.

    Nonsense.

    The “majority of American Christians”allegation is a throwaway.

  • Two responses:
    1. These churches have a lot of people in them. What does that say about American Christians and their views?
    2. Next job: MosqueClarity, then TempleClarity…

  • “will doubtlessly provide firepower to conservative Christians who claim that LGBTQ+ affirmation is a slippery slope” You say that as if it’s an untrue idea that conservative Christians will perpetuate. In fact, it’s likely true. The fact that this truth doesn’t fit with your pro-LBGT narrative doesn’t change that.
    The question is, why will only conservatives believe it? You are essentially saying that those who don’t want to believe something won’t believe it. I guess you’re confirming that confirmation bias is a thing. And you are correct. Sadly, it’s a problem for many, possibly most, people these days.

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