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... in contemporary language that translates as this:
"It's not that I hate him/her/them it's his/her/their BEHAVIOR that I can't stand !!!
Is it really possible to do this? If you "hate" behavior, might you not find the behaving being at least somewhat contemptible?
I like the idea that Jesus would disagree with this. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
I like the idea that a man can be better than his actions. Any statement with the word "sin" should not be trusted though.
Basically I think we should not worry about the "sins" (or negative actions, whatever you want to call them) of other people as much as we worry about our own. I hear the "hate the sin, love the sinner" line used a lot with Christians who are trying to like gay people despite the fact that gay people have gay sex, which some Christians think is a sin. I don't see why, if you don't like the idea of gay sex, you would spend time thinking about gays having gay sex and judging them for it. Worry about your own stuff, leave other people to live their life. The Jesus quote could be taken this way, I think. I hope.
+Scott Jordan Scott Jordan commented: 'I like the idea that a man can be better than his actions. Any statement with the word "sin" should not be trusted though'.

'He should have known better because, early in his learnings under his brother Mahmoud, he had discovered that long human words (the longer the better) were easy, unmistakable, and rarely changed their meanings, but short words were slippery, unpredictable changing their meanings without any pattern. Or so he seemed to grok. Short human words were never like a short Martian word -- such as "grok" which forever meant exactly the same thing. Short human words were like trying to lift water with a knife. And this had been a very short word.' Valentine Michael Smith's musings on "God"

Sin is still a useful word for discussion, but we need to ensure all the participants in the discussion mean the same thing by the term. That's not usually the case.
Elisa T
I am not a Christian, but I think anyone busy concentrating on the perceived sins of others should do well to remember Romans 3:23. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

More than acknowledging past wrongs, this says that nobody has the right to judge another unless they themselves are perfect. And if they think that, surely they should be off somewhere busy walking on water.

The gospels are not about Jesus' time being spent with popes and pastors and reverends and all the wonderful great leaders. He spent his time with sinners. Had homosexuality been widespread and accepted in society at the time, he would have been eating lunch with lesbians and associating with gay men, rather than only lunching with prostitutes and disciples about to betray him.

So, any "Christian" who denounces gay people for their sin has sorely missed the mark of modelling their behaviour on Christ's image.
That's a cogent, reasoned statement of a carefully selected part of the Gospels. The problem is that it's all one piece, not a buffet you can pick from.
Yes, Jesus called sinners to the table, but he also told them they were forgiven, and to sin no more. He accepted all in their imperfections, but never once suggested that they should accept being imperfect. "Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect."
And I do NOT say that homosexuals should be condemned.
I do believe that a lot of "so-so" behavior in the world is a cause of a great deal of the pain in the world. Divorce, avarice, casual use of people as "things", thoughtless misuse of the world's resources.
You argue that " Had homosexuality been widespread and accepted in society at the time, he would have been eating lunch with lesbians and associating with gay men, rather than only lunching with prostitutes and disciples about to betray him" and that's probably true.
But like the prostitutes and tax collectors and publicans he lunched with, it is quite possible that he would say, "your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more."
That's not the same thing as "you're a sinner, just like every one else, and you don't need to worry about it; it's not that bad."
Elisa T
I don't disagree. But I suppose I'm saying that people haven't the option to say "all is forgiven, now go off and be good kids." Because those people will still do the wrong thing again in future (being imperfect and all). The speck and the plank, if you like. One might argue that even the virtuous Popes have sinned in condeming gay people. Nobody on earth has a golden halo. I have far more respect for those who would smile and offer a hand, than for anyone who spends their time telling others they're sinners.
Just curious, I'm not a Christian so I don't understand the concept of condemnation simply for the biological structure of one's mind. How is that justified by the church?
Elisa T
I've had it argued at me that everyone has "temptations" and prayer and cognitive behaviour therapy can overcome all. (Although, I'm with you, I consider being gay to be innate.)
+Scott Jordan +Elisa Tammela Scott, that's much too long and involved a discussion for Google+.
Just a few thoughts: no one is or should be condemned for the biological structure of their mind (or body). But just as being biologically predisposed to an alcohol or drug addition should not be condemned, a person can't use that as an excuse to plunge head-first into alcohol and drugs.
You and Elisa believe (an act of faith) that homosexuality is innate. Others believe not. I believe the truth is it's neither wholly innate nor wholly environmental. But that's all irrelevant anyway.
It's not about being "cured" through prayer. Alcoholics and addicts are never "cured", they just learn make a choice to deal with their nature in a specific way.
Elisa, it's not about my sins or your sins or their sins. All people are part of the family of God. It's about our sins. Just as a truly loving family doesn't just turn a blind eye to Uncle Rory getting tanked and then trying to drive home, the loving family of God can't turn a blind eye and ignore the harm that these problems are doing. There are no private sins; they all affect the world around us.
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God, and the second is like it; that you love your neighbor as yourself. Christian love is active, and it is sacrifice. "This is love, that God so loved the world that he gave his only son", "greater love has no man than that he lay down his life for his friends".
Not "like" your neighbor; not "be kind to" you neighbor. Love your neighbor.
Read C. S. Lewis, "the Problem of Pain": “Love may, indeed, love the beloved when her beauty is lost: but not because it is lost. Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal. Love is more sensitive than hatred itself to every blemish in the beloved… Of all powers he forgives most, but he condones least: he is pleased with little, but demands all.” .
Which gets back to the original post. "Love the sinner, hate the sin".
Scott, Elisa, thank you for your posts here.
Too bad that many churches here and now hate the sinners!!!
+Ron Ruble It sickens me to hear homosexuality compared to alcoholism. You may as well say that only whites are welcome in heaven. I'm going to give you the benefit of doubt and assume you don't understand the physiology of structures within the brain which determine sexual orientation. Please take the time to read up on the subject.
+Scott Jordan I'm sorry to hear that you took offense at my analogy; I attempted to choose a somewhat neutral one. Obviously I did not completely succeed.
My attempt was to note that there is a biological basis for alcoholism, and point to a statement that no one is or should be condemned for their biology.
I would be very willing to take time to read up on the subject; perhaps you could recommend some books?
I would like to repeat, once again, that I do NOT say that homosexuals should be condemned, or imply they are unwelcome in the church or in heaven.
My goal had been to openly discuss a complex and emotionally volatile issue. I had hoped I would do better. I offer my sincere apologies for my failure.
Elisa T
Not a judgement on anyone in this thread, I just wanted it noted that I don't consider homosexuality either a sin or inherently causing harm to anyone or anything. I realise others disagree and that's their perogative.
A view possibly responsible for more emotional and psychological abuse than any other. I hate to say it but it's duplicitous and fey beyond words.
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