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Matthew Shepard to be interred at Washington National Cathedral

Matthew Shepard, in an undated photo, will be interred at the Washington National Cathedral nearly 20 years after his murder. Photo courtesy of the Matthew Shepard Foundation

WASHINGTON (RNS) — In 1998, the grief-stricken parents of Matthew Shepard struggled to find a suitable burial site for their son, a 21-year-old college student who was tortured and killed in what was widely seen as an act of anti-gay violence.

They feared his gravesite could become a target for hateful vandalism.

But this week, almost 20 years after the murder, Shepard’s family has finally found a place to lay his ashes to rest: the Washington National Cathedral.

“That (Shepard’s) family would choose the cathedral as a safe and sacred place, where his remains will be safe and where people can come as a pilgrimage destination to remember the power (of his life) … and that we could have his memory and his legacy as part of the fabric of our collective witness to the country, is an honor beyond belief,” said Bishop Mariann Budde, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

The cathedral plans to commemorate Shepard’s interment with a public ceremony on Oct. 26, followed by a private service with the family, according to Thursday’s announcement, which coincided with National Coming Out Day.

Stairs lead up to the Washington National Cathedral on June 12, 2015. RNS photo by Sally Morrow

While the cathedral will likely erect a public plaque to Shepard for visitors, his remains will be kept in the building’s crypt behind a lock and key, Budde told reporters.

She expressed gratitude that Shepard’s family would trust the cathedral to protect his ashes.

“If it were an open site anywhere in the country, there’s no guarantee” the remains would be protected, she said. “A lot has changed in 20 years, but not everything has changed — we’re still prone to the kind of violence that dehumanizes people.”

Budde pointed out that Shepard was Episcopalian and said the cathedral, which is run by the Episcopal Church, was honored to “bring him home.”

She said that while the Episcopal Church had expressed “shameful” anti-LGBTQ sentiment in the past, it is now in a “vastly different place.” The denomination has ordained openly gay priests since at least 1989 and instituted two new marriage rites in 2015 that can be used by priests to wed same-sex couples.

Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, said Shepard’s mother, Judy Shepard, called him earlier this year to inquire about interring her son’s remains at the cathedral.

The Washington National Cathedral interior framed through a stone detail on the Cathedral’s balcony on June 12, 2015. RNS photo by Sally Morrow

“I said, ‘I think that’s brilliant on so many different levels,’” Robinson said. “So I called the dean of the cathedral, who was immediately welcoming and supportive.”

Officials said they hoped the move would offer a tribute to Shepard’s memory, educate visitors about gay rights history and push other religious traditions to be more inclusive of LGBTQ people.

“My hope with this memorial to Matthew Shepard is that it will just raise the slightest bit of doubt in the minds of those who still oppose LGBT people, that maybe they got it wrong,” Robinson said. “Maybe we all got it wrong for a long time. And maybe it’s the Holy Spirit leading us into the truth about this part of our community.”

About the author

Jack Jenkins

Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.

396 Comments

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  • An eloquent gesture by the Dean and Chapter of the National Cathedral, my favorite church building in America.

  • Oh, but you ARE familiar with it. We all are. Pulse Nightclub, Orlando 2016. Gay playground. But gay man Omar Mateen, previously seen trying to pick up guys, decides to pick up Sig Sauer Rifle and Glock 17 instead. Re-visits Pulse, kills 49 people. Gays and Liberals decide to exploit tragedy.

    “The principles, such as they exist, seem to be this: If you oppose same-sex marriage or mixed-gender bathrooms, then you not only can’t legitimately grieve the loss of gay lives, you’re partially responsible for the massacre in Orlando.” — David French, in the National Review.

    “A man kills 49 people. He calls 911 during the attack to make sure that everyone knows he’s a jihadist. And now this is somehow the fault of Christians? … We remember how Nero got away with blaming Christians for the fire that nearly destroyed Rome. This feels eerily similar.” — theologian Denny Burk.

  • There is no evidence of which I am aware from any source, such as the FBI, that Omar Mateen was gay. There is plenty of evidence that he was a jihadist who claimed to be following some bizarre form of the Islamic faith.

    I’m also not aware of anyone who is a part of the LGBTQ community trying to blame the massacre on Christians, right, left or middle. This was all on the perpetrator. And I’m not convinced that his wife is as innocent as she claims to be.

    So no, to you and sandi, there weren’t 49 folks killed by a gay man in Orlando, there were 49 members of the LGBTQ community and their friends killed by a horribly misguided and mentally unhinged jihadist.

  • Honorable act of compassion. No one should be killed or injured because of their sexual morality (though when it causes harm to others certainly they should be punished such as molestation). One can disagree with a person’s choices and even vocalizations without trying to use force out of anger or revenge.

  • Is this even remotely similar? “What about” “What about” “What about” – you sound like a toddler.

  • Omar Mateen was a homosexual, you say? Tell that to his widow, Noor Salman, to whom he was married. He went to the Pulse Nightclub to scope out the joint the way terrorists typically do. If he was gay, he was on the “down low” while being heterosexually married, so technically he was a heterosexual.

  • no It was reported he is a homosexual. Anyway, you didn’t answer my question. Those 49 who were killed by the homosexual…..weren’t they important too?

  • still denying reality, I see. You also rewrite news stories to satiate your fears. I’m starting to feel sorry for you;

  • Considering that it was a gay nightclub that he targeted, I’m not sure where you’re going with this.

  • What is my way of thinking? I just referred to a biblical scripture…God will take care of the perves…(abominable behavior).

  • Some bizarre form of the Islamic faith? Uh do you mean like the Shia Mullahs in Iran who make being gay a crime? It’s mainstream Islam nothing “bizarre” about it.

  • Ah okay – since you quoted that book I thought you believed in following it exactly and would laud the killing of gays. Guess you only like to quote it instead of follow it…(probably sleep next to your bleeding wife too…)

  • Very true. Of course, evangelicals want the recriminalization of being gay here as well. There are so many similarities between the faith groups sometimes. It is funny to see them criticize each other lol.

  • no denigration. Why was a young man murdered more important than the 49 murdered by another homosexual, is my question. What makes him the poster boy for homosexual abuse?

  • I’ll repeat what I asked someone else Arb – Why was a young man murdered more important than the 49 murdered by another homosexual, is my question. What makes him the poster boy for homosexual abuse?

  • No one else is being honoured. I’ll ask you the same question I’ve asked everyone else – Why was a young man murdered more important than the 49 murdered by another homosexual, is my question. What makes him the poster boy for homosexual abuse?

  • Nobody thinks that he is more important than the victims of the pulse massacre. You are creating a weird question that is irrelevant.

  • No one, including, is saying that the Shepard murder is “more important” than the Pulse nightclub killings. In fact the latter is one of the few mass shootings to be classified as terrorism by the FBI. If you’re interested, the owner of the nightclub has started a foundation to create a permanent memorial and museum to the killings.

  • Michael, their death for eternity in Hell is solely at Christ’s discretion. He said they would not see the Kingdom of Heaven. They have time to turn to Him, repent and follow Him before they die but no one – other than Christ – has the authority to kill them.

  • Yet, they are not being interred with the ELCA wanting to turn it into a “pilgrimage destination” for a bad drug deal when 49 others were killed because they were homosexuals in an unambiguous incident. They are creating a fallacy where a kid in a drug deal is more important and worthy of reverence than 49 legitimately murdered. It is a laughable farce and only points further to the lack of legitimacy and reality in the homosexual agenda.

  • What difference does it make? I’m certain you got great satisfaction that so many gay people were killed.

  • This was a lynching. You clearly want more people to die like this, because you are a bad person.

  • It’s interesting that all the sources claiming him to be gay are hearsay and 3rd party reports. Also reported in foreign press; UK & Brazil. But those closest to the situation, the owner of the Pulse night club and the FBI say that there is no evidence that he was gay.

    I’m not sure why it is that you have this vested interest in the bizarre being true. As to your original statement, the 49 aren’t being forgotten, no matter the sexual orientation of the murderer. The Pulse night club itself is becoming a memorial to the victims.
    “The city of Orlando announced plans this week to purchase the Pulse Nightclub, the site of the deadliest mass shooting in United States history, and turn it into a memorial.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/09/us/orlando-pulse-nightclub-memorial.html

  • This was not a bad drug deal. This was an anti-gay lynching, which you clearly want to see more of, because you are a bad person.

  • You are creating a fallacy where this was a drug deal instead of the anti-gay lynching that it was. It is a laughable farce and only points further to the lack of legitimacy and reality in the homophobic agenda.

  • You just want to see more gay people get lynched by terrorists, because you are a bad person.

  • Sorry, my link holds water. I understand that you need to believe these lies because your whole ideology will fall in and you will need to assume responsibility for yourself, but that is the only way to get right with God and spend an eternity with Him – as taught by Him. Why you want to hurt others boggles me.

  • I’m not suggesting either are more important but there was a different intention behind the killings which is perhaps why Matthew Shephard is being remembered.

  • If he isn’t killing them, he is following that “book”. You need to learn more about Christianity. Christ is the only One with the authority of life and death.

  • The different intention being a bad drug deal. I would have thought 49 innocent people killed by “one of their own” would have made a better poster.
    The ELCA is trying to turn this into a shrine

  • People forget that Shephard wasn’t killed by homophobes…he was a meth addict and he was killed in a drug dealer relationship gone bad.

    In a way Shephard’s interrment at the Episcopalean Cathedral is a permament reminder of the danger of political correctness, and how it “kills truth”.

  • Actually, you couldn’t be more wrong. I have no need for Marteen to not be gay. Gay folks have done some atrocious things: such as serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, & John Wayne Gacy; and Roger Nunez, suspected as the arsonist in the NOLA Upstairs Lounge fire which killed 32 LGBTQ folks. But I don’t have to assume responsibility for these acts anymore than you need to for the acts of heterosexuals. There are really bad folks in the world; the majority of them heterosexual and some of the homosexual.

  • There’s plenty of evidence that McKinney was not just gay, but a sometime sex partner of Shephard.

    “Matthew Shepard Murdered By Bisexual Lover And Drug Dealer, Stephen Jimenez Claims In New Book”. Huffington Post. September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

    Smith, Kyle (September 21, 2013). “New book questions Matthew Shepard killing”. New York Post. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

  • “Matthew Shepard Murdered By Bisexual Lover And Drug Dealer, Stephen Jimenez Claims In New Book”. Huffington Post. September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

    Smith, Kyle (September 21, 2013). “New book questions Matthew Shepard killing”. New York Post. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

  • I’m not sure what you mean. Are you suggesting that McKinney and Henderson did not know Shepard was gay and singled him out for that purpose? These same two people subsequently went on to start a fight with two Hispanics that same evening.

  • Books have been written about it, virago.

    “Matthew Shepard Murdered By Bisexual Lover And Drug Dealer, Stephen Jimenez Claims In New Book”. Huffington Post. September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

    Smith, Kyle (September 21, 2013). “New book questions Matthew Shepard killing”. New York Post. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

  • #fakenews
    This was a lynching. These were homophobes.

    You just can’t handle reality without a hefty dose of whataboutism.

  • It’s hilarious how you folks need to latch on to such trash. One can write a book about all sorts of theories and get other fools to believe them. There is a whole industry built around the visits of UFOs.

  • no one asked you to assume responsibility for the acts – I said, ” you will need to assume responsibility for yourself, but that is the only way to get right with God and spend an eternity with Him – as taught by Him. Why you want to hurt others boggles me.” Again, you see only what you want to see.

  • #fakenews
    You just don’t want to take responsibility for the tragic cost of human life caused by homophobia.

  • I’m just question why you seem so certain. There appears to be different stories. McKinney admitted he was high on drugs at the time but I don’t see where there was a drug deal between Shepard and the other two.

  • I believe the truth – not the homosexual agenda. I haven’t seen much truth out of that propaganda machine, used to keep people away from Christ and His saving grace. There was enough truth about the drug deal to write articles and books about. Take a look at ThomasA’s comments. (edit) Christ doesn’t want these people to perish.

  • #fakenews
    There is no merit to your homophobic agenda. Stop lynching LGBTQ+ people for attention.

  • His murderers are in jail, where they belong, along with all the other murderers of LGBTQ+ people.

  • I pray every day that homophobes and transphobes will magically disappear, before they kill any more LGBTQ+ people.

  • When things get quiet exteriorly, and chatter a bit with God Who made us, gave us our freedoms but for a reason to increase the envelope of charity in the world, increasing His glory (beauty).

    When we foam at the mouth and tell people to get lost, we aren’t doing this…and the world gets ugly..and then we get uglier inside. And over time we get coarser and coarser and we don’t resemble who we once were.

  • Oh our love must be much more effortful..and ever more quiet and refined, such that no one realizes how we’re helping others to love more…that is to give themselves in a more demanding way.

  • And I bet McKinney is still giving it in prison like he gave it to Shephard, sadly. No happier…still angry inside .

  • “Matthew Wayne “Matt” Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) was an American student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten, tortured, and left to die near Laramie on the night of October 6, 1998.”

    “Reports described how Shepard was beaten so brutally that his face was completely covered in blood, except where it had been partially cleansed by his tears.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard

    No-one deserves such treatment.

  • You ass-ume Shepard was “a kid in a bad drug deal.” Evidence about the night in question argues otherwise.

  • Read the wikipedia article about the full truth

    or these.

    “Matthew Shepard Murdered By Bisexual Lover And Drug Dealer, Stephen Jimenez Claims In New Book”. Huffington Post. September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

    Smith, Kyle (September 21, 2013). “New book questions Matthew Shepard killing”. New York Post. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

    Or this book.

    https://www.amazon.com/Book-Matt-Hidden-Matthew-Shepard/dp/1586422146

    Open your eyes.

  • It’s another Duke Lacrosse myth

    Read the wikipedia article about the full truth

    or these.

    “Matthew Shepard Murdered By Bisexual Lover And Drug Dealer, Stephen Jimenez Claims In New Book”. Huffington Post. September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

    Smith, Kyle (September 21, 2013). “New book questions Matthew Shepard killing”. New York Post. Retrieved September 30, 2013.

    Or this book.

    https://www.amazon.com/Book

    Open your eyes.

  • I don’t see anyone on this thread making Shepard “the poster boy for homosexual abuse.” Shepard was a member of the Episcopal Church. According to Wikipedia, “The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, is an American Act of Congress, passed on October 22, 2009, and signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009, as a rider to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 (H.R. 2647). Conceived as a response to the murders of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr., the measure expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability….Shepard was a student who was tortured and murdered in 1998 near Laramie, Wyoming. The attack was widely reported due to his being gay, and the trial employed a gay panic defense. Byrd was an African American man who was tied to a truck by two white supremacists, dragged behind it, and decapitated in Jasper, Texas, in 1998.”

  • ECUSA is not ELCA.

    There is no definitive evidence that Shepard was the victim of a “drug deal” gone bad. The public record has a lot of conflicting accounts.

    From the ABC News internet report cited above:

    “Six years ago, on a cold October night on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyo., 21-year-old gay college student Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten, tied to a fence and left for dead. He was found 18 hours later and rushed to the hospital, where he lingered on the edge of death for nearly five days before succumbing to his injuries.

    “The story garnered national attention when the attack was characterized as a hate crime. But Shepard’s killers, in their first interview since their convictions, tell “20/20’s” Elizabeth Vargas that money and drugs motivated their actions that night, not hatred of gays.

    “While Shepard lay unconscious in a hospital, the national press quickly arrived in Laramie. Cal Rerucha, who prosecuted the case, told Vargas the media descended on Laramie ‘like locusts.’

    “‘We knew in the newsroom the day it happened, this is going to be a huge story, this is going to attract international interest,’ said Jason Marsden of “The Casper Star-Tribune.”

    “‘I remember one of my fellow reporters saying, ‘this kid is going to be the new poster child for gay rights,” he added. News of Shepard’s death sparked reaction overseas and demonstrations across America.”

  • “Stephen Jimenez, the producer of the 2004 20/20 segment, went on to write a book on his theory of the attacks, The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard, which was published in September 2013. The book also said that Shepard and McKinney—the killer who inflicted the injuries—had been occasional sex partners.

    “Many commentators have criticized Jimenez’s views on the attack as being sensational and misleading; those views were shared by gay advocacy organizations and cultural critics. Some commentators, however, have spoken up to defend it. Police who were involved in the investigation have criticized Jimenez’ conclusions, though the prosecutor, Cal Rerucha, said that there was evidence that drugs were at least one factor that led to the murder.”

    “There’s plenty of evidence…”

    Debatable, to say the least.

  • God did not condemn same-sex attraction. Jesus, in fact, says nothing whatsoever about it. Your comments “don’t warsh”.

  • You’re a dysfunctional, self-loathing closet case. This is why you’re so passionate about anything related to homosexuality. PATHETIC.

  • So it’s necessary “to get right with God [in order to] spend an eternity with Him”???

    Nah, God’s love is unconditional, “no strings attached”.

  • I don’t see any reference to “perves” [sic] in Leviticus 18:22. I don’t see there any reference to homosexuality, either.

  • “You need to learn more about Christianity,” says someone who offers his/her own questionable interpretation of scripture.

  • As one can see from the comments below, Evangelicals celebrated Matthew Shepard’s murder, while decent human beings mourned it. Evangelicals have no human decency – they’re filled with hatred toward all those who aren’t like them.

  • Wow, you’re really disturbed. What’s with all this fantasy about prison sex? Why are you obsessed with gay folks? Your comments here are completely bizarre. I’m starting to wonder if your really are a closet case.

  • JJ, she has said previously on this news site that God’s love isn’t unconditional. You’re beating your head against a wall.

  • The reason that this is being brought up is because this is the 20th anniversary of his lynching. The press in general and the LGBTQ community would have remembered him regardless as to whether he parents now have a final resting place for his cremated remains. There are many folks whose cremated remains are interred in the National Cathedral. Matthew’s parents have held onto his remains because they were afraid that if the remains were interred in a cemetery that the location might get out, the spot become vandalized and a focus for hatred & homophobia. This summer they asked Bishop Gene Robinson to speak to the cathedral’s dean about a spot for Matt’s ashes. As the article states, the ashes will be kept under lock & key in the cathedral’s crypt. Because there are certainly many folks who don’t believe what you believe about Matt, his death or LGBTQ folks in general, the cathedral will likely mount a plaque stating that his remains are interred in the cathedral and explain the events surrounding his death. There are many such plaques in the National Cathedral regarding the folks whose remains are held there.

    As to the 49 victims of the Pulse Massacre, the City of Orlando has purchased the night club property from the woman who owned it and are converting it to a permanent memorial to the victims and a museum. None of them are being forgotten or honored any less. The city has approved is a temporary memorial along the front of the property while the rest of the property is developed into the permanent memorial & museum.

  • yawn……it was a bad drug deal with the lies perpetuated by the homosexual activists.
    Read the books

  • “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which interpreted is, God with us.” (Matt. 1:23) Since this is a religious news forum (RNS), guess you are the creep that should go away.

  • I need to leave you now, but I will leave you with the truth.

    I am very happily married to a beautiful woman and we’ve been given by God a whole home full of children. We used to have a very good marriage, and then we both got deeper into the Catholic Church and its beautiful teaching, and now our marriage is truly great, ever demanding, but always joyful, with many opportunities to meet Jesus each day, in each moment.

    I am sad for people who have “fallen into” sensuality and now serve their passions and appetites.

    Sensuality can cloud the intellect, dull the will, and make a person topsy-turvy in their “affect”, always chasing new distortions of sensuality, as they try to make themselves happy.

    Sad indeed.

  • When you spread bigoted conspiracy theories online, you make the world a worse place to live.

  • Get rid of all the homophobes Ann’s transphobes who think that lynching people is funny.

  • Kind of sad.

    Someone mimics an act of love designed for a married couple, and then murders his “lover”. wow.

  • It’s anger and vituperative comments that reveal the interior sadness within.

    As Jesus taught, it’s what comes out of the mouth that is evil.

  • You have asked numerous times why. I have answered that question for you in good faith that you would at minimum understand what was occurring and instead of accepting the answer graciously, you act the fool.

  • What comes out of your keyboard is evil. Do you have nothing better to do than disrespect the dead with homophobic conspiracy theories? Homophobia leads to more lynchings like this one, FYI.

  • You go around spreading homophobic conspiracy theories, because you like it when gay people get lynched.

  • Yes, it does. Also, evidence proves that virgins don’t give birth, in case you weren’t aware.

  • #fakenews from fake people who can’t handle reality without a hefty dose of whataboutism.

  • You are trying to turn this into a homophobic farce, as usual. Clearly, that’s all you’re good for.

  • You want these people to perish. The “homosexual agenda” you speak of is merely the demand that homophobes stop lynching people.

  • Naw, you are the only one doing that. I never followed psychoanalysis. I subscribe to more modern theories of psychology, because “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!”

  • Modern theories of psychology are even worse than Freudian psychology.

    Today’s theories of psychology have multiplied like deformed rabbits.

  • Pointing to documented facts about Shephard is now considered homophobic!

    That’s what has happened to the frontal lobe of some on the left.

  • You think that straight people never have sex outside of marriage? Seek professional help for your delusions.

  • The happy ones don’t.

    The happy ones continue to throw themselves back into the marriage, setting their little preferences aside for their bride, their children, their work, their friends.

    The happy ones know that marriage is a constant rock tumbler, in which we are fashioned by Love for love.

    Our little needs, whims, wants, inclinations, tendencies, and various forms of selfishness are what get in the way of true and lasting and deep happiness.

    The happy ones know that to be happy one needs to be close to God, Who is the source of all true happiness, and if one is near Jesus, then the Cross can’t be very far away.

    By fully accepting the Cross, one learns how to have a mature and ever-youthful love for others, particularly one’s bride.

  • Read the book by Jimenz or the easier to read articles….which present substantiated facts.

    I realize this gets in the way of your defensive opinion, but it’s growth that is needed if you want to be happier with yourself than you are.

  • Yeah, appears so. Still, we must be ready, willing, and able to repudiate such toxic views. Thanks!

  • No kiddin’. We’ve been here before. Your argument “don’t warsh” among most Christians.

  • I’ve read about this horrific episode, thank you. The Wild West don’t want no stinkin’ homo-sex-uals around their parts. Best to get out’a town quick and not get strung up on a fence, huh?

  • Then you didn’t listen, my friend. Christ’s love may be unconditional, but salvation is not. I’m not even sure His love is unconditional to one who is actively rebelling against Him but I would rather err on the side of love.

    As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Romans 9:13

  • You would need to understand scripture to make that determination and I have seen no evidence that you do.

  • No you have not answered why. Christians do not venerate those who have died in active rebellion against Christ and himself while committing yet another crime. If the young man didn’t repent before death, he isn’t even in Heaven – he is in Hell.
    We pity them, but do not honour them. Put your thinking cap on.(edit)

  • My answer wasn’t about your religious beliefs, nor an argument against them. You know that there are plenty of Christians around the world who don’t share your beliefs about LGBTQ folks, no matter how much you pontificate.

    Where you misinterpret honoring, his denomination, the Episcopal Church and the LGBTQ community see remembering and the care of human remains. Nothing more. Thousands of Anglican/Episcopal churches and those of other denominations around the world have people’s bodies encrypted or their ashes interred in crypts made especially for that purpose. It’s the modern concept of the burial yards that surround many pre-20th Century churches. Some are somebodies, others are nobodies. They are just like the columbariums and mausoleums in cemeteries around the world, if there is space, your family can purchase a spot to permanently store your remains.

    You aren’t being asked to agree, merely understand that is what is happening. You can lead a horse to water…

  • Your so-called “facts” are not substantiated at all. You’d be a lot happier as a person of you stopped hating gay people.

  • LMFAO. You think that straight people never have sex BEFORE marriage? Seek professional help for your delusions.

  • They aren’t my “Christian beliefs”. They agree with Jesus because He taught:

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

    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. Leviticus 20:13

    Seems the Episcopal group want to deify the young man…’ and where people can come as a pilgrimage destination to remember the power (of his life) … and that we could have his memory and his legacy as part of the fabric of our collective witness to the country, is an honor beyond belief,” said Bishop Mariann Budde, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
    So, my question has not been answered. Why celebrate and make a pilgrimage, and grant a legacy to a young man, dead in sin, breaking the law, and, if he didn’t repent, is in Hell?
    That is not Christian. It makes a mockery of all that Christ died for.
    That is my point.

  • “Your “facts” are nothing but conspiracy theories, to cover for your homophobia.” So you were there too Charlotte – why didn’t you protect him?

  • Hatred for lies and farces, yes. Hatred for people being duped by an institution calling itself a “Christian church” suggesting people honour an sinner rebelling against Christ as if he were a saint, yes, No argument.

  • the young man was an unrepentant sinner. I’ve posted links to the other information Mglass.
    Christians do not promote sin that leads to death in Hell and those who have chosen it.

  • If I had been there, I would have protected him. You, on the other hand, would have been holding the pistol.

  • Who said that? Early onset issues? Visit Dunc’s and get a tall black coffee to clear out the gay cloud that fogs your brain.

    I said to be truly happy one needs to do what I said above.

    Banging some hot but dopey brained woman at noon doesn’t bring happiness.

    And neither does creeping around the men’s room at rest areas. That leads to AIDS and a lot of unhappiness.

  • geez you are calling everyone homophobic not just here but at religion as well. why aren’t you there anymore sir?

  • “It’s another Duke Lacrosse myth.

    If you had any ability to recognize myths, you would have rejected Christianity long ago.

    “Open your eyes.”

  • There are so many queer people in New England, you’d think that Dunkin Donuts turns people gay.

  • I’ve been banned from so many forums, they’re like notches in my belt, at this point.

  • You obviously allow your life to be ruled by Biblical Senselessness, Biblical Scams, Biblical
    Spuriousness, Biblical Savagery, and/or Biblical Shams. . . . i.e., it’s all BS.

  • And what precisely in that cherry picked sentence compels inherited/born that way?

    Nothing whatsoever.

    You’re not educated enough to read even this narrow article.

    A memory formed causes “structural” changes.

    Go back to reading Ophrah.

  • You can’t even spell “Oprah”, let alone comprehend peer-reviewed scientific research.

  • If you agree with me that no-one deserves to be tortured, what does this say about the notion of never-ending torture?

    If you believe that eternal torture awaits unrepentant sinners, how does this square with Ecclesiastes 3:19, which states that we have the same fate as all the other animals, and Psalm 39:13 which states that when we die we cease to exist?

    Doesn’t your belief in hell turn your god into a sadistic monster who is worse than those who tortured Matthew Shepherd and left him to die?

  • If you are referring to Hell, they choose that when they reject Christ. Hell will be much worse than what happened to the young man.
    Christ taught all over the place on Hell I suggest you open a New Testament
    psalm 39:13 – Look away from me, that I may smile again,
    before I depart and am no more!” One is no longer on the earth when they die

    Ecc 3:19 – 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other.” self explanatory

  • Your reply is garbled. The last sentence is at best a half truth.

    Have you heard the saying that a half truth is a total lie?

    If you want to do justice to this story you have to be prepared to deal with the complexity of the tragedy.

  • If “am no more” doesn’t reach you, other translations are even more explicit:

    Leave me alone so I can smile again before I am gone and exist no more.
    https://biblehub.com/psalms/39-13.htm

    I have quoted chapter and verse. If you want to debate the issue, back up your claims with evidence

  • It has been. Again, I’m sorry that it was too simple for you to understand.
    As you seem to be looking for a fight, find someone else, I’d rather try to get people saved. Blessings

  • Apparently, asking you to provide evidence for your claims is too much for you.

    You claimed that the New Testament taught about hell “all over the place.”

    I have asked you to provide evidence for this claim. If you aren’t prepared to do this, then see you later, Sunshine!

  • It’s telling that YOU do know how to spell her name; and I don’t.

    When I got out of graduate school years ago, I published in several journals.

    Now, I do business with NEJM, Lancet, OUP. I know this space, but no longer write.

    But once a Ph.D. always a Ph.D.

  • You are TurtleBoy. You are literally begging for money because Facebook, Twitter, and Google Ads have all banned you, LOL.

  • I know what I see. In you, I see a hateful person who resembles nothing of Christ. There would be no reason for me to know the “Christ” you claim to love, because your message is one of hatred.

  • So in fact, you ARE aware that there are sources reported in the media, whose testimony DOES indicate that mass shooter Omar Mateen was gay. Usually when a guy tries to pick up other guys, both the gay and straight communities consider that guy to be gay.

  • No, I wasn’t aware of any such thing until you made the claim right here in these comments. Then I did a few searches about the topic and found that none of the claims come from reliable sources, as I then stated.

  • Again, shady source, The NYDN is the equivalent to the National Enquirer, on the local NYC level.

    Moving on.

  • lol
    “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26

  • I’m reminding you that is not your job. Your actions speak louder than words, and your actions are the antithesis of the Christ of the NT. Maybe you should think about how YOU can get right with Christ, hypocrite.

  • Actually, it is a Christian’s job.
    “remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:20 – New International Version

  • Charity. You have none. You have no empathy, no understanding, no basic human dignity. You’re a hate machine, and this thread is exhibit #1.

  • Perhaps I don’t extoll those virtues all the time, but:
    It takes charity to tell someone they are on the wrong path
    It takes empathy to not want to see someone die in their sin
    It takes understanding of what happened to you to know how much these people need the truth about what Jesus expects of us.
    It is affirming their basic human dignity to not let them die in the filth of sin, Canis – just as Christ asked us to do.
    My understanding is, you fight all of these things every time someone tries to help someone. How do you think you display these attributes?

  • You’re not helping anyone. You’re contributing to a hateful climate. You can go to hell. You are one of the worst human beings I have ever encountered. Let that sink in.

  • yes He does. What is He going to say to you because of your animosity toward He and His, and people trying to help others?

  • That’s a good example of Faux News propagandizing. If they were in Germany in 1933 they’d have reported Die Jeuden started the Reichstag fire.

  • No, your argument, i.e., that Jesus himself taught the Israelites during Old Testament times (based on comments of yours on other threads), is without foundation.

    “[Jesus said], It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to my *Father* and learns from him comes to me” (John 6:45; emphasis added). It is the Father who speaks to the Israelites and to Jesus’ followers.

    “In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Just as God, i.e., the Father, did the speaking through the O.T. prophets, so the Father does the speaking through Jesus, the Son of God. (In the Gospel, Jesus describes himself as a prophet. In other New Testament passages, his followers acknowledge him as a prophet.)

    “[T]here is one God, the Father, from whom all things are and for whom we exist…(1 Cor 8:6).

    It is God the Father who sends the Son into the world (John 3:17 and 4:34; Gal 4:4). “I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me” (John 6:38; see also John 4:34; Matthew 26:39; Hebrews 10:7, 9).

    It is the Father who speaks/teaches. Jesus, prophet and Son of God, is the divine agent doing the Father’s bidding.

  • That guy? Any evidence he was kweer is speculation. Next up: denunciation of African Americans for black on black crime. It’s right-wing buzz word bingo!

  • Seems to be the case. The more I read of and think about hell and God’s love, the more I’m convinced hell is a FEAR-based mechanism to control people.

  • “He walked in the flesh two days afterward also.”
    _______________

    No, that was fabricated. Dead people don’t walk in the flesh two days after. We know that for a fact.

  • You can’t discount McKinney’s first hand testimony and other corroborating evidence that has been assembled. Books have been written about it.

    Heck even the liberal British news the Guardian reported this.

  • Sure you can. Any schmuck can write a book. If they tell people like you what you want to hear you’ll believe it.

  • I haven’t seen any bullies.
    Are you trying to act like one? How does that get these people into a right relationship with Jesus?

  • I’m sure there must be some that don’t understand Joe; I’ve seen that clearly evident in your comments too. I guess no one knows everything.

  • Homosexuals are not saved. To be saved you want to give all of yourself to Christ, just not the parts that don’t cost you any faith.

  • And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. 3 You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. 4 You shall follow my rules[a] and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord. Leviticus 18.

  • You’re committing a great sin by bearing false witness against Matthew Shepard. You’re mean-spirited and a liar.

  • I think you’ll make anything up as you go along because of your fear of the truth. It is better to hear the truth than to die in Hell, with no chance Canis

  • I think you need a new religion. The problem is not that gay people exist: the problem is that religious extremists like yourself discriminate against them for attention.

  • Thanks for confirming what I’ve contended. The “God” in O.T. is what Christians understand as “the Father”. In the Gospel, Jesus does not refute this truth (see my scriptural quotes).

    One can rephrase your selection from John 1 for clarity as follows: “In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with the Father, and the Son [along with the Father] was God. The Son was in the beginning with the Father. All things WERE MADE THROUGH (i.e., NOT BY) the Son, and without the Son was any thing made that WAS MADE. In the Son was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (caps for emphasis to stress that it is the Father, not the Son, who was the Creator; references to “made” are in the passive voice to indicate the activity of the Father and presence of the Son in creation — and, consequently, in teaching the Israelites).

    John 5 offers some insight: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also. For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed'” (vv. 19-20).

  • Your comment makes no sense in terms of the Gospel and gays’ embrace of Jesus as Lord and Savior.

  • 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11English Standard Version (ESV),
    Christ doesn’t send Christians to Hell. He will forgive and cleanse us of our sin when we turn to Him, repent of the sin, and follow Him, though (vs.11)

  • Yes, Jesus is God (within the Trinity), but Jesus was not “giving the instruction” to the Israelites. This interpretation ignores the importance of the Incarnation. One can say from a Christian perspective that the Word, i.e., Jesus, was present with the Father in the act of creating and teaching. The Creator and Teacher in this understanding is the Father; the Son is the agent “through” whom creation and teaching occurred. The Triune God taught the Israelites *through* the prophets It is only after the Incarnation that the Triune God taught the Jews through Son and prophet Jesus. Jesus is both messenger and message, i.e., Revelation itself.

  • The New International Version has “men who have sex with men”. The American Standard Version has “abusers of themselves with men”. The Douay-Rheims Version has “liers with mankind”. The Good News Version has “homosexual perverts”. The King James Version has “abusers of themselves with mankind”. The Wycliffe Version has “they that do lechery with men”. And so on and on. What they all demonstrate is ignorance of what social and life scientists know today as “homosexuality” or “same-sex attraction” or, in a more general sense, “sexual orientation”.

    No reasonable person today, whether Christian or not, would advocate a return to slavery even though sacred scripture upholds the practice. It took hundreds of years for society to condemn it. The Church of Rome itself did not “categorically” condemn slavery until December 1965 near the close of Vatican II, per John T. Noonan, Jr. in his A CHURCH THAT CAN AND CANNOT CHANGE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF CATHOLIC MORAL TEACHING. Western Christianity is witnessing increasing acceptance of homosexuality as a legitimate God-given orientation in light of scientific findings and, as with slavery, compassion for fellow human beings who are different from the majority.

    As for hell, there’s no evidence anyone is “there”. JPII regarded it, for example, as a state of being, not a place. In any event, the name ‘Jesus’, let’s remember, means “God saves”. It does not mean “God saves if”. Luke 15 informs us it is God, not the sinner, who initiates searching for, forgiving, and healing the sinner (v. 32). It is only afterwards that the (former) sinner can express repentance. Until God does God’s thing, the sinner is “lost” in sin. One who is “lost” cannot find his/her way back “home”. That person is, by definition, helpless. Based on my reading, the term ‘hell’ as a destination in the afterlife is of human invention and is used as a FEAR-based control mechanism by religious leaders who are themselves FEAR-ridden.

    For me, the simple truth “God is love” says it all. God’s love, therefore, is unconditional.

  • In the book there are other corroborators of this homosexual relationship.

    And you reversed something. McKinney admitted he killed Shephard!! He didn’t point the finger away to the Crips and Bloods. Get some coffee.

  • No, you do not. You love your own bigoted, self righteous ego. You cannot “love” someone while pissing on everything they taught.

  • You might want to read the gospels again. Jesus never mentioned gays, but had plenty to say about hypocritical, unmerciful, self righteous butt wipes. He reserved his harshest criticism for people who claimed to be religious but treated their fellow humans with contempt.

    Hell does not exist and Jesus was just a dime-a-dozen, semi-mythological wandering preacher. But self righteous butt wipes never seem to go away.

    Quiz – describe the behavior of those Jesus was speaking about when he said: “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

  • His god is make believe. The sadistic jerk is the real life person who happily believes such nonsense and praises an imaginary being that would act that way.

  • The Florida killer may not have even known it was a gay bar. He may have just chosen the bar at random.

  • Yet one of the murderers wanted to try the “gay panic defense” claiming Shepard made a pass at him.

  • 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.

  • Yes He did. He is a part of the Godhead. He agreed with everything taught.
    He was with God in the beginning John 1
    All things were created through Him John 1

    6 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6New International Version (NIV)

  • 2nd comment

    Preexistence Of Christ
    Micah 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.

    John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

    John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

    John 17:5 Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

    John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

    Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

    Hebrews 7:3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.

    Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

    Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

    1 John 1:1-2 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life– and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us–

    John 1:15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'”

    Revelation 1:17-18 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

    Revelation 2:8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:

  • The writer of Leviticus did not describe the sexual orientation known as ‘homosexuality’. He also didn’t know that men can fly in airplanes, much less anything about the sinfulness of slavery, or the development of vaccines, etc. In fact, he did not know of Jesus.

  • “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17).

    “For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him” (Acts 13:27).

    “And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do…'” (Luke 23:34).

    God takes the initiative to forgive — if, that is, there’s anything to be forgiven!

    (and there’s not)

  • God has also taught what will not be forgiven unless repented of:

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)

  • No such thing as a “sexual orientation”. It is a term coined by the current, wicked culture to try to “normalize” sin. Christ is against all homosexual sex as quoted above

  • “No such thing as a ‘sexual orientation’.”

    At one time, there was no such thing as airplanes. We learned. Learning requires at minimum an open mind and exposure to new information and insights. (It may also require overcoming FEAR derived from religious or other belief/opinion.) Increasing numbers of people have concluded that sexual orientation is real, and Christians within these ranks have concluded it is God-given. I presume you are heterosexual, but I know — just as much as the sun appears in the morning and disappears at night — that no one can explain scientifically *why* you are heterosexual. The same truth holds for homosexual orientation. In the meantime, social and natural scientists continue to search for answers.

    Jesus never addressed same-sex attraction. Jesus did not write or inspire Leviticus.

  • Thank you for quoting scripture. If only the translator realized that sexual orientation, i.e., homosexuality (and, for that matter, heterosexuality), was unknown by the ancients. They also didn’t know about trains and automobiles.

  • Is pedophilia an “orientation”, i.e., something naturally inherent in the individual?

    Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know. I’ll rely on peer-reviewed scientific research in this area. For now, I’m unconvinced pedophilia is a natural orientation.

    In any event, mainstream science accepts same-sex and opposite-sex orientation as natural, not chosen or contrived. I agree. Such orientation, like heterosexuality, is not inherently evil/sinful. I trust you are not trying to propose a link between pedophilia and sexual orientation. Professional researchers would otherwise disagree with you.

  • We seem to be discussing three questions:

    1. Did “Jesus” exist before the beginning of creation? YES (there you have it!!!).

    RE: Michah, the reference to “One” as meaning “Jesus” is an example of typology, which as such proves nothing. The Israelites believed in One God, not a Triune God. Theologian Hans Kung writes, “The view has largely become established in exegesis that the author of the prologue [in John] has used an older, probably Jewish-Hellenistic hymn which in good Jewish fashion is not about a pre-existent divine being ‘Son’, but about God and his Logos, his Word, his Wisdom in creation and revelation. The Christian author of the prologue did not change this text about the Word which was from the beginning with God, but only gave it a Christian focus at the end: ‘and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us’. For the Christian author this is the ‘climax of the prologue’, which in this way has lost nothing of its universality: God’s Word remains the life and light of human beings; God’s Word was and already is there at creation, is at work everywhere. But now it has become visible and tangible among us in a human being…..The evangelist John…was the first to identify the titles Logos and Son of God with a concrete person, the earthly Jesus, and thus give the title Son of God a personal content which…was unacceptable to Jews” (CHRISTIANITY: Essence, History, and Future, Continuum, 1995, p. 89). Discussion follows on pages 90-91.

    2. Did Jesus create the world? No. See my quotes several days ago from John 3:17; 4:34; 6:38, 45 and 14:10; Hebrews 1:1-2 and 10:7, 9; 1 Cor 8:6; Gal 4:4; Matthew 26:39.

    CCC-292 states, “The Old Testament suggests and the New Covenant reveals the creative action of the Son and the Spirit, inseparably one with that of the Father. This creative co-operation is clearly affirmed in the Church’s rule of faith: ‘There exists but one God. . . he is the Father, God, the Creator, the author, the giver of order. He made all things by himself, that is, by his Word and by his Wisdom’, ‘by the Son and the Spirit’ who, so to speak, are ‘his hands’. Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity.”

    3. Did Jesus instruct the Israelites in the Old Testament? No. See aforementioned quotes.

    CCC-436 states, “The word ‘Christ’ comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means ‘anointed’. It became the name proper to Jesus only because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission that ‘Christ’ signifies. In effect, in Israel those consecrated to God for a mission that he gave were anointed in his name. This was the case for kings, for priests and, in rare instances, for *prophets*. This had to be the case all the more so for the Messiah whom God would send to inaugurate his kingdom definitively. It was necessary that the Messiah be anointed by the Spirit of the Lord at once as king and priest, and also as *prophet*. Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of Israel in his threefold office of priest, *prophet* and king” (emphases added).

    CCC-438 states, “Jesus’ messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, ‘for the name “Christ” implies “he who anointed”, “he who was anointed” and “the very anointing with which he was anointed”. The one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit who is the anointing.’ His eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when ‘God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power’, ‘that he might be revealed to Israel’ as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as ‘the Holy One of God’.”

    My problem with seeing “Jesus” at work in the Old Testament is that the Israelites were ignorant of the divinity by name of “Jesus”. They dared not even *say* the name of God but, instead, used *relationship* descriptors. It is only in the New Testament that we see the introduction of Jesus’ name to the Jewish people. My problem with John in this area is its fairly high level of abstraction. I still think associating Jesus’ name with the Old Testament diminishes the significance of the Incarnation and his subsequent naming by the angel Gabriel to Mary. In the Old Testament from a Christian perspective, the Father creates and inspires *through* Son and Spirit. It is only with the Incarnation that the Son takes on human flesh and becomes like us in all ways but sin. The Son interacts on the human plane with friends and foes.

    While I must acknowledge the truth that “Jesus” was operative in the Old Testament, I think using his name in this context is potentially confusing, tends to reduce the influence of the “Father” in Israel’s life, and seems a rather extreme way to acknowledge Jesus’ divinity.

  • “I see you didn’t listen to the links.”

    Thank you, but, no, I did not listen to them. When I listen to public speakers, my attention span begins to “lose it” after about 15 minutes. I’m reminded of the advice, “Tell ’em what you’re gonna’ say; say it; tell ’em what you said.” Keep it sweet, simple, and short. (I realize Protestant Christians can have fairly long sermons. Catholic Christians make up time-wise for long sermons with their liturgy.) With a graduate degree in the adult training field that, by definition, focuses on andragogy, I value learner participation. I shy away from didactic instruction unless the content demands it and learner participation would add nothing of real value to the experience.

    As for your links, thank you. I prefer links, if any, to written material of short to moderate length.

  • Legitimate science, which includes peer-review, does not “accept what it wants”. On the other hand, there is religiously informed “science” that does do so. The best example I can think of in this area is NARTH, an organization comprised of MDs, PhDs, et al who have prostituted their professional training and experience in order to reach conclusions that they want. Since its founding in 1992 per Wikipedia, it has changed its name to “Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity ” (2014).

    You write, “Christ has taught that homosexuality is unnatural.”

    No, he has not — either as “Son of God” or as “Jesus”. Sexual orientation, whether homosexuality or heterosexuality, encompasses much more than two naked persons lying down next to each other to have sexual relations.

  • Christ taught that homosexuality is unacceptable to Him. He did not state the trash (love for each other, etc.) that they would try to justify it with, nor did He need to. If they had followed His instructions, they wouldn’t need to make things up.
    Love: “remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:20 – New International Version
    That is just one example of love – not sending the object of your sex drive to death and Hell.
    Christ taught:

    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 also taught:
    “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26
    And when you try to say, “Paul taught that” Remember: “All Scripture is breathed out by God….” 2 Timothy 3:16
    Jesus disciples taught against homosexuality as did Christ:
    ” But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and who teaches and leads my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.” Revelation 2:20 International Standard Version (ISV)
    and:
    “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 ESV

  • I never said it was, but it is by definition. It’s generally used as a namecalling device, as you have. It just shows your ignorance.

  • It shows that I live in reality, not needing rhetorical devices to soften the happy demands that God places on His children, as a loving Father God.

  • People of two thousand and more years ago did not understand the human person including sexual orientation as we do today. I’ve no problem per se with James 5:20, but I do not think it pertains to genuine, i.e., committed love between two persons of the same or different sex. We learn — just as we’ve learned about the sinfulness of slavery even though Jesus approved of the practice two thousand years ago.

    The references to “abomination” you’ve quoted from Leviticus do not pertain to sexual orientation as understood today. Furthermore, at least in Roman times, a citizen’s sex with a slave was a demonstration of power over the slave; it had nothing to do with love for another human being. We would certainly regard such behavior today as truly sinful and contrary to God’s law. The O.T. allows certain behaviors and prohibits others that often enough are regarded differently today by Christian churches and communities. As just one example, “Intercourse with an unmarried or unbetrothed woman is not prohibited but carries responsibilities and fines (cf. Ex 22:15–16; Dt 22:28–29). Cf. Lv 19:20–22”, per USCCB commentary. Likewise, “[Leviticus 18:16]…refers to cohabiting with one’s sister-in-law not only while the brother is alive, but also after he is dead. Dt 25:5–10 allows for the marriage to the wife of a brother when that brother died without a male heir. Cf. Gn 38:6–14.” I’m not aware of any Christian community today approving such practice.

    When referring to writings of Paul et al, I’m wary of introducing them (as you’ve done) with “Christ taught”. With respect to women, for example, would Jesus approve of a sacred writer contending, ” [W]women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church” (1 Cor 14:34-35; see also 1 Tim 2:11-12 and 1 Pt 3:1).

    I’ve no problem with ” “All Scripture is breathed out by God….” (2 Timothy 3:16) as long as the phrase “breathed out” is understood as “inspired by” and not “dictated by”. The scriptural writers were not transcribers.

    In Revelation 2:20, the writer is condemning the false prophetess Jezebel who is encouraging Christians to engage in idol-worshiping behaviors. Per the USCCB commentary, ” [2:20] The scheming and treacherous Jezebel of old (cf. 1 Kgs 19:1–2; 21:1–14; 2 Kgs 9:22, 30–34) introduced pagan customs into the religion of Israel; this new Jezebel was doing the same to Christianity.” I should note that if such behaviors included men lying with men or women with women, the condemnation of such acts would be based (at least here) on their association with idolatry. I stress that condemnation otherwise would not reflect what is known today about sexual orientation.

    Regarding your final scriptural quote, I think an understanding of language is relevant. See http://usccb.org/bible/scripture.cfm?bk=Revelation&ch=

  • “People of two thousand and more years ago did not understand the human person including sexual orientation as we do today.” your god isn’t omniscient Joe?
    “[Leviticus 18:16]…refers to cohabiting with one’s sister-in-law not only while the brother is alive, but also after he is dead.” You agree with Leviticus there yet, not homosexuality, as dictated by Christ? One is free to marry their sister-in-law after her husband is dead.
    “Breathed out” He breathed out the words. Leviticus was dictated – see 1:1-5.
    Also vs 24 “‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
    29 “‘Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. 30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.’” Christ not only condemned the act, the land vomited out partakers of the sin.

    Revelation 2:20 is Christ speaking. It is not known which Jezebel is being referred to.
    Condemnation of idolatry – homosexuality is idolatry.
    I’m sorry, I don’t open links from people I don’t know, and I do not stand on man’s opinions, but do scripture.

    1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

  • This is not a matter of God’s omniscience. Instead, it is a matter of God knowing whether the audience is ready or not ready to understand and accept a particular teaching. Moral doctrine does develop. People two thousand and more years ago, in light of socio-economic and other factors, were not ready to embrace such concepts as “sexual orientation”, much less what are known today as “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality”. Also, behaviors such as men lying with men and women with women were associated with pagan cultic religions, not with the One True God’s moral expectations. Divine omniscience is not at play here.

    I think sleeping with one’s sister-in-law is wrong — even if one’s brother is dead and leaves no children. This is an example of moral doctrinal development. In his A CHURCH THAT CAN AND CANNOT CHANGE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF CATHOLIC MORAL TEACHING, the late scholar John T. Noonan, Jr. deals with this subject. Slavery is another example (and dealt with by Noonan.) Jesus approved of slavery; the Christian Church taught it was morally OK. Over the centuries, Christians increasingly questioned its morality. The Church of Rome “categorically” (per the author) condemned slavery the end of 1965. If Christians can condemn what Jesus approved, they can also approve what God never addressed in either the O.T. or N.T. (We have no divine teaching dealing with sexual orientation.)

    Leviticus was not dictated. In 1994, the Pontifical Biblical Commission issued “The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church”, which is admittedly lengthy and available online. A key difference, for example, between Christianity and Islam is the latter’s teaching that the Sacred Koran was literally dictated by God to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Part III in the PBC document deals with the matter of interpretation in the Church of Rome. Your other selections from Leviticus do not deal with what we know today as “sexual orientation”.

    You contend, “It is not known [in Revelation 2:20] which Jezebel is being referred to.” The USCCB commentary states that “this new Jezebel was doing the same to Christianity.” I accept this statement as an objective conclusion. Homosexuality is not “idolatry”.

  • Leviticus was dictated read chapter 1:1-5
    If Jesus approved of slavery, he would have left Israel with Egypt
    I really am not interested in what man says, thank you

  • No need to deal with “orientation”.
    Aside from being a farce, this is what the land did with the people who committed moral sins:
    ““Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, 25 and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you 27 (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), 28 lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. 29 For everyone who does any of these abominations, the persons who do them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, and never to make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 18:24
    It wasn’t even for only Israel, but also for the strangers who abide with them. God isn’t going to change His mind
    Christ is not going to say, OH OH, they are calling the sin love now, that makes it ok.
    The land will vomit them out

  • In his column, “Special Authority of the Bible”, published in 1970, the late Catholic theologian Richard McBrien writes:

    “The Bible is not the pure Word of God in the sense that God himself physically wrote it or dictated its contents to certain hand-picked writers. There have been notions of biblical inspiration that have approved the dictation view, but these have never been accepted officially by the Church. Indeed, such ideas create more theological problems than they resolve.

    “If the Bible is not the Word of God in the sense indicated above, how can it be called his Word at all? It may come as something of a surprise to learn that this question has been very much an open one. (For the most recent survey of the discussion within the Roman Catholic community, see James T. Burtchaell’s Catholic Theories of Biblical Inspiration Since 1810, Cambridge University Press, 1969.)

    “The discussion hinges upon the solution to several related problems: the meaning of revelation, the nature and quality of understanding that is given by faith, the relationship between faith and its verbal formulations, and so forth.

    “What must be clear is that the Bible is not a collection of books given from on high in exactly the form we now have them. The Bible is the work of communities of faith, and of individuals within those communities: first of Israel, and then of the primitive Christian Church.

    “What we have in the Bible are the written expressions of what the authors (whether individuals or groups of individuals) assumed to be the inbreaking of God in their experience and in their history. The authors of Sacred Scripture did not actually *see* God acting; they saw people and events which they *interpreted* to be the action of God in the world.

    “The bible, then, contains the various interpretations of both the Israelite and the Christian perceptions of God’s presence in history. When we study the Bible, we are studying the interpretations of divine action as mediated through the faith of Israel and the early Church.

    “These interpretations, however, are not on the same level with the writings of a given theologian, nor even of an ecumenical council of the Church. Since these interpretations were formulated in the period of primitive establishment, i.e., in that period when the Church was coming into being, they have a special authority that cannot be duplicated by any later text.

    “We might use the analogy of the Constitution of the United States. This document was produced by the Founding Fathers of this country and all later political literature would simply have to come to terms with it. Either the nation remains faithful to the original ideals upon which it was founded, or it decides to become something else entirely. So long as it is determined to remain what it has been, the country accords special reverence and attention to what is contained in its initial constitutional decree.

    “God is the author of Sacred Scripture in the sense that he is the author of the Church. And to the extent that he intended the Church to commit to writing its initial insights of faith, to that same extent did he will the production of its Sacred Scripture. This is basically the argument advanced by Karl Rahner, S.J., in his extraordinarily influential work, Inspiration in the Bible (Herder and Herder, 1964).

    “In one sense, therefore, the Bible is ‘privileged theology.’ It is the primitive community’s written interpretation of its perception of God’s transforming presence in and through Jesus of Nazareth. If we believe that the Church itself is a work of the Holy Spirit, gathering men from every land and nation, then we should be prepared to affirm that the Church’s normative literature is also a work of that same Holy Spirit, not merely in the sense that the Spirit is involved in all good works, but in a special, even unique, sense. The bible is inspired in a manner that no other writing, sacred or otherwise, is inspired (see Dei Verbum, chapter III).

    “Is it really sufficient, however, to say that Scripture and Tradition are two separate expressions of divine revelation, in such wise that Tradition is merely the faithful interpretation of Scripture?

    “When the Bible is understood in this other, larger sense, it becomes clear that Scripture and Tradition are a part of the same basic process whereby a community of faith attempts to express its perception of God. Sacred Scripture is that special segment of the Tradition-process whereby the insights of the *primitive* community are committed to writing and thereby become a norm of all later insights and interpretations.”

    In his “Modern Critical Study Of Bible Hits With ‘Immeasurable’ Impact”, also published in 1970, McBrien writes:

    “There have always been Christians who think that one can simply pick up the Bible at any moment and read it with total comprehension, as if God speaks clearly and directly from every printed page.

    “Some readers may have seen films, na[i]ve by present standards, which depicted a person in the agony of doubt suddenly taking up the bible, opening the book at random, and, with eyes tightly closed, moving a finger to some particular verse. Somehow God was supposed to communicate his will through the text and answer the problem.

    “There have been still other Christians who have employed the bible as a source of proofs for various individual opinions. Catholic theology, earlier in this century, tended to use the Bible in this fashion, consulting it mainly for the verification of dogmatic positions already held.

    “Both attitudes (that of the fundamentalist who believes that the Bible is self-explanatory, and that of the apologete who looks upon the Bible as an arsenal of proof-texts) are incorrect because they fail to accept the Bible for what it is: a multi-faceted, mysterious work of both God and man.

    “Until Pope Pius XII’s encyclical on Biblical studies in 1943 (Divino Afflante Spiritu), Catholic scholars were reluctant to press ahead with their own critical insights and research. Too often, Biblical courses (in seminary or college) were merely geographical, archaeological, historical, or linguistic exercises. The theology and basic unity of Scripture were all but lost.

    “The encyclical of Pope Pius XII changed that situation. Since that time, Catholic biblical studies have made exceptional progress, and their influence on Catholic life and thought has been immeasurable.

    “Nevertheless, many Christians (Catholics included) remain uninstructed and/or unconvinced. They do not yet appreciate the importance of a careful, critical study of the Bible. After 2,000 years, they argue, we should all know what the bible means by now.

    “Chapter III of the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (especially art. 12) provides much of the rationale and some of the guidelines for the critical study of Sacred Scripture. The major principles follow:

    “(1) “Since God speaks in Sacred Scripture through men in human fashion, the interpreter of Sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by means of their words.” (This principle should be read in light of my three preceding essays on the relationship between Scripture and Tradition.)

    “(2) The truth of Sacred Scripture is “proposed and expressed in a variety of ways.” The sacred writers employed various ‘literary forms,’ such as prophecy, parables, wise-sayings, and so forth. The interpreter of Sacred Scripture must be sensitive to the purpose and variation of these literary forms if he is to understand the real meaning of the book or text in question.

    “(3) Indeed, the interpreter must know as much as possible about the ‘situation of life’ in which the various portions of the Bible were produced: culture, geography, contemporary history, intellectual milieu, and so forth.

    “(4) The meaning of a specific section can only be determined in the context of the whole Bible. Since the same Holy Spirit is at work in the writing of all of Sacred Scripture, there must be a fundamental unity of purpose and theme. A piecemeal stuffy of the Bible will not produce acceptable results.

    “(5) Since the Bible is itself an expression of the life and faith of the Church, it can only be read in the light of the Church’s present experience and understanding of the Gospel, i.e., the ‘living tradition’ of the Church.

    “(6) Biblical interpretation can never be indifferent to the doctrinal positions of the Church. Ideally, there should always be an essential harmony between the two elements. (Of course, doctrinal pronouncements, too, much be subjected to careful, critical inquiry.)

    “Less than 10 years ago, most of the material presented in this column would have been regarded as controversial, and several letter writers would have expressed strong disapproval – in the name of God, Christ, and the Pope. Today the essay must appear to many as bland and prosaic. But the fundamentalist spirit is not dead. It has simply shifted its ground: from the biblical to the doctrinal and theological arenas. Many Catholics have still not come to terms with the basic weakness of every kind of fundamentalism.”

    Of course, Jesus approved of slavery. In Luke 12:43-48, Jesus gives the parable in which he approvingly cites the right of a master, depending on circumstances, to “beat” or “severely beat” a disobedient slave. This prerogative is predicated on the master’s right of property ownership, in this case, the property consisting of slaves. Slavery was normal in Jesus’ time and place. The presumption, albeit unwritten, is that Jesus would expect a master to treat his slaves humanely if they did not disobey him. (The Roman government encouraged humane treatment of slaves for two reasons: [1] reduce the likelihood of slave rebellion and [2] encourage steady production.) There are even places in the N.T. where the writer uses *slavery* in a metaphorical sense to stress faithfulness to Christ. The oldest Western church upheld the morality of slavery for nearly two thousand years. Historian John T. Noonan, Jr., mentioned earlier, suggests that slave owners in the antebellum South could justify the practice by recourse to their bibles’ references to “servant” and similar language that, in fact, referred to slavery.

    “I really am not interested in what man says, thank you.”

    But you are “interested in what man says.” You rely on a *preferred* scriptural translation. Words and phraseology in different Bible versions are not necessarily the same. The biblical stories in both Old and New Testaments were passed down orally before eventually being put into writing. When I conducted supervisory training years ago, I employed an exercise whereby I gave a story to a participant, instructed her to read it silently and remember it, and then instructed her to quietly whisper the story to the participant to her left. This whisper-sharing continued around the circle until the last person shared the story with the initial participant. The final oral version NEVER matched the original written story. When stories are passed down orally from generation to generation, there WILL be changes. Even committing these stories into writing does not guarantee preservation of the original oral language. Copyists add, delete, embellish, etc. God acts *through* human beings, not in place of them. All the various biblical translations reflect the human element. Of course, you are “interested in what man says.” Neither you nor anyone else can help it. We have what we have. We pick and choose a translation that reflects our values, opinions, background, etc.

  • “The Bible is not the pure Word of God in the sense that God himself physically wrote it or dictated its contents to certain hand-picked writers”
    McBrien is calling God a liar then; did you read Leviticus 18:1-5. Now the Bible lies? Not a good start Joe.
    That makes Moses a liar, Timothy a liar, Malachi 3:6 – so Malalachi is a liar, Isaiah is a liar, Hosea lied – Hosea 4:1, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, are all liars , and on and on….The whole mess of them lied about God talking to them and their conveying the scripture to people.
    Do you even know the scripture: “If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—” (John 10:35), so Christ believed the words were dictated by God – BTW, I am not RC.
    For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21
    “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. 2 Samuel 23:2
    “And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:13
    They all lied, eh – even His apostles. Sad one Joe.

  • No, McBrien is not at all “calling God a liar” (your words).

    The rest of your comment is pure frustration-fueled anger. “BTW, I am not RC,” says my fellow blogger. No kiddin’, says Joe who doesn’t care whether you are Catholic, Baptist, Snake Handler, or whatever. I recognize your right to follow your conscience. I acknowledge genuine — as opposed to RC bishops’ — religious freedom.

    However, as long as you present a literalist/fundamentalist interpretation of Judeo-Christian scripture and I feel compelled to refute your beliefs, I will assuredly do so. I embrace the Christian faith in the context of LOVE while you embrace the Christian message in terms of FEAR.

    “They all lied, eh – even His apostles. Sad one Joe.”

    You’re the “sad one” here, not those of us who appreciate important background about scripture.

  • Of course, “God isn’t going to change His mind.” Why would God change the two great commandments combined into one? “The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40). The problem with a literalist interpretation of sacred scripture, as I noted earlier, is that it ignores the influence, inter alia, of time and place on the scriptural story tellers and later writers. Not only are biblical exegetes faced with determining what Jews and primitive Christians believed two thousand and more years ago — but also with how their writings should be interpreted and applied by believers today. Nowhere in sacred scripture does God address what is known as *sexual orientation* today.

  • I prefer scripture in modern English. One that I use fairly often in my blogging is available on the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to wit, http://usccb.org. Click “Bible” and “Books of the Bible”. Since you do not trust my links, use your internet SEARCH function. (I should note I do not accept *official* Catholic doctrine about homosexuality. Therefore, I reject any references to “homosexuality” in the online Bible available at the USCCB website.) I also condemn CCC-2357 thru -2359 in the Church of Rome’s catechism about homosexuality.

    Just as Christians increasingly condemned slavery over the centuries, so growing numbers of Western Christians including Catholics are condemning homophobia, i.e., bigotry, against persons with same-sex orientation. I for one see the increased recognition of LGBTQI rights as reflecting the influence of the Holy Spirit.

  • “,,,and all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Lk 3:6).

    “He will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken” (Is 25:8).

    “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (Jn 12:32).

    “What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ [Jesus] who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:31-39).

    “For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life…” (1 Cor 15:21-22).

    “Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin” (Mk 3:28-29). [However, Lk 15 says sinners are “lost” until “found” by God.]

    “In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:18-19).

    “For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all” (Rom 11:32).

    “My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world” (1 Jn 2:1-2).

    “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world'” (Jn 1:29).

    “Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger, abounding in mercy. He will not always accuse, and nurses no lasting anger; He has not dealt with us as our sins merit, nor requited us as our wrongs deserve. III For as the heavens tower over the earth, so his mercy towers over those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him” (Ps 103:8-13).

    “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you” (Is 49:15).

    “The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord'” (Lk 2:10-11; per USCCB commentary, “[2:11] The basic message of the infancy narrative is contained in the angel’s announcement: this child is savior, Messiah, and Lord. Luke is the only synoptic gospel writer to use the title savior for Jesus (Lk 2:11; Acts 5:31; 13:23; see also Lk 1:69; 19:9; Acts 4:12). As savior, Jesus is looked upon by Luke as the one who rescues humanity from sin and delivers humanity from the condition of alienation from God…[T]he Messiah of the Lord (Lk 2:26) or the Lord’s anointed is the one who now brings salvation to all humanity, Jew and Gentile (Lk 2:29–32). Lord is the most frequently used title for Jesus in Luke and Acts. In the New Testament it is also applied to Yahweh, as it is in the Old Testament. When used of Jesus it points to his transcendence and dominion over humanity.”]

    “…and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive…” (Lk 20:38).

    “…and they said to the [Samaritan] woman, ‘We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world'” (Jn 4:42).

    “For this we toil and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all, especially of those who believe” (1 Tim 4:10).

    (h/t: http://www.thehypertexts.com/No%20Hell%20in%20the%20Bible.htm; see, especially, last page)

  • Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[b] he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

  • No such thing as “homophobia”. Christ hated sin. Homosexuality is a sin.

    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22
    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. Leviticus 20:13

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)
    God does not send Christians to Hell

  • He had no need to discuss what you call “sexual orientation”. He condemned the sex as unnatural, shameful act and abandoning natural acts with women. How many times did you need to be told not to murder?

  • Of course, Jesus “had no need to discuss what you call ‘sexual orientation’.” His audiences were not ready two thousand years ago for this advance in level of thought and understanding. They also were not ready for presentations on planes, trains, and automobiles (including trucks, btw).

    “How many times did you need to be told not to murder?” Only once because today’s law is fairly clear on the term’s meaning. That said, even the term “murder” as used in O.T. translation has been subject to debate. Since you do not trust my internet links, feel free to SEARCH on your own.

  • “No such thing as ‘homophobia’.”

    There most certainly is. Online dictionaries indicate the term was first used in the mid-1950s. It means, per one online dictionary, “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals”. This relatively new word is an example of a neologism. The term ‘homophobia’ is based on human observation of people who display the behaviors described in the definition.

    You are misusing Leviticus, etc. If you insist on being a literalist, I insist you use the plain words of scripture to justify human slavery.

    “God does not send Christians to Hell.” I fully agree. I’ll add that God does not let Christians and others send themselves to Hell. Luke 15 is especially relevant here. That’s why we acknowledge God’s love is unconditional, i.e., “no strings attached”.

  • One is “born again” — and again and again and again, etc. — when one has been forgiven and, thus, healed by God. There is no standard meaning of the concept (Wikipedia has an entry for “Born again”). Regarding your mention of John 3:3, the USCCB commentary states, ” [3:3] Born: see note on Jn 1:13. From above: the Greek adverb anōthen means both ‘from above’ and ‘again.’ Jesus means ‘from above’ (see Jn 3:31) but Nicodemus misunderstands it as ‘again.’ This misunderstanding serves as a springboard for further instruction.”

    (I’ve associated my understanding of “born again” with Luke 15’s teaching about God’s unconditional love [ perhaps because I am half-Protestant]. Men cannot save themselves; Jesus=”God saves” is “the Savior”. One who is “lost” [v. 32] can extricate herself from the wilderness of sin only by God’s prior intervention.)

  • You can find whatever one is looking for online, That lends no credibility.
    God’s love is not unconditional – you must be born again to be saved and go to Heaven

  • No. Christ is the Word of God. He taught against homosexuality – as I keep telling you, you need to learn who Christ is.

  • I know who Jesus the Christ is. I know he did not teach against homosexuality. Neither the Old nor New Testaments teach against this particular sexual orientation. In fact, they do not address the general subject of sexual orientation at all!

  • I find online mainstream dictionaries, e.g., dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster, Oxford, and Cambridge, entirely credible. (I assume you don’t believe in using dictionaries. Do you also not believe in using encyclopedias?)

    Of course, God’s love is unconditional, and I’ve already addressed the matter of “born again” (my understanding is superior to yours). Because divine love is unconditional, I believe in universal salvation, a doctrine that has never been condemned by the oldest and largest of the Western Christian churches.

  • this is a sacrilege, a desecration of a Holy Cathedral….how did his parents get this ‘privilege’ for their son? yes, his murder was heinous and his killers deserve to hang! And I do feel sorrow for his parents. When the gay bishop said, “Matthew, welcome home, you are home” it made me cringe. did the alphabet people help get his remains into this cathedral? They refuse to understand that their lifestyle is Blasphemous in the eyes of God….wake up! if they truly understood what this cathedral represents and what the Bible says about their sin, they would cry out to God for forgiveness. I do feel grief for individuals who don’t acknowledge the existence of God…..one day, every knee will bow and proclaim that He is God. There’s still time to ask for forgiveness!

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