"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Grace to Those Coming Out of the Closet

I received my Sports Illustrated this week and on the front cover was a picture of NBA basketball player Jason Collins and the big bold words Jason Comes Out in the article itself. Jason announced to the world that he is attracted to same-sex sexual relationships. He said it was time to stop hiding in the proverbial closet, come out, and "live truthfully." Good for Jason. He is being honest about his desires to have sexual relations with men. Some might say, "No, he is only speaking about his sexual orientation. He is attracted to men." I respond, "Attracted in what sense?" Many of us (men) are attracted to other men in friendship, and attracted to men in relationship, and attracted to men in companionship. Jason is coming out and declaring his attraction to having sex with men--or possibly a man--and he is being honest about it. Again, good for him. Jason says, "greater openness and honesty promotes increased understanding, respect and acceptance." I agree Jason.

For example, I have a friend who is sexually attracted to exposing himself to women. He hid his desires--and behavior--for many, many years. When he finally came out of the closet with his wife, family and friends (including me), we began to understand him better. My friend will tell you he has never been loved and accepted by anyone the way he was when I went down to the police station and hugged him and told him I loved him and was there for him. I walked with him through the hurtful process of coming out of the closet and confessing to his sexual attraction to seeing the looks on women's faces when he exposed himself. I stood with him when the police mocked him. I stood with him when the judge sentenced him. Many people were disgusted with him because of his sexual orientation and his sexual actions. Not me. I accepted him, appreciated his honesty, and stood by him. His honesty with me helped me understand why he was attracted to exposing himself to women. I agree with Jason Collins: "Greater openness and honesty promotes understanding, respect and acceptance" -- at least with me.

I have another couple of friends who are sexually attracted to women who are not their wives, and on more than one occasion have acted out on those attractions. I would consider them two of my best friends. When they came out of the closet many years ago regarding their sexual orientations, I stood beside them, respected them and accepted them. Both confess to others that I helped save their lives, and both confess that their sexual orientations have not changed, only that they are beginning to understand the beauty of having sex with the person to whom God has given to them in the covenant of marriage.  In one case, a marriage was saved; in another, a marriage was not. My love for both men is present even when some in their own families turned against them. Again, I agree with Jason Collins: "Greater openness and honesty promotes understanding, respect and acceptance."

I have another friend who was arrested for solicitation of sex from a minor. He confesses to being oriented toward having a desire for sex with young people, particularly those who are in the age range of 10 to 12. He went to prison for his crime. He will tell you that I have stood with him, respected him and accepted him. Everywhere he goes in our church he must be announced as a "child predator." We know that many say a child predator is not a human being, but God forbid those words ever come from my mouth. When my friend came out of the closet several years ago, I accepted him, respected him and understood him better, even as we encouraged the courts to sentence him for his crimes. I agree with Jason Collins that "greater openness and honesty" promotes better relationships. My friend will tell you he has never been loved like I have loved him--by anyone.

I know some of you are saying, "Wait a minute! How can you compare the sexual orientations of a homosexual or an adulterer with those of a genital exposer or a child predator! The first two involve consenting adults! The latter two involve crimes perpetrated against the non-consenting or children!" I respond: Do you not know history? The Roman emperors during the Roman Empire declared sex between men and young boys both legal and beneficial. The Greeks considered men exposing themselves to women a sign of masculinity and patriarchal power. Just because sex with children goes against your sense of morality or exposing yourself to non-consenting women goes against your sense of morality, it doesn't mean that it goes against everyone else's sense of morality. Cultures change. As my friend John Blanchard says, "The new morality is actually old immorality."

The American culture is changing. It used to be that same-sex sexual conduct was illegal in America, punishable by a prison sentence. It used to be that adultery was illegal in America, punishable by a prison sentence. Some people in America are pushing to legalize sex with children, just as the ancient Romans did, because how can you call an act of love with a child wrong?

Here's the deal. I agree with Jason Collins: "We need more honesty." We need more people to continue to come out of the closet. We need more people to be transparent about their struggles with sexual orientation and their struggles in acting out. We need to commend Jason Collins--and anyone else for that matter--for coming out of the closet and making known their sexual orientation. And, we need to love them, respect them and accept them--as immoral people in need of God's grace.

This is the message of Christ. He is in love with sinners. He came for sinners, not the righteous, and until a homosexual, adulterer, sexual lover of children, or any other sexually immoral person can be honest and call their desires and actions sinful, there is no hope for ever trusting Christ and receiving God's forgiveness and transformative power to change. The standard of human morality is set by revelation not by speculation. The Scripture is clear: "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

All the friends mentioned above have come to Christ. Since becoming believers in Christ, all of their sinful orientations and desires have not disappeared. Coming out of the closet and admitting their orientation toward sexual immorality was a first step to finding grace. All of them have had sexually immoral desires since coming to faith in Christ, and most of them have been sexually immoral in conduct since coming to Christ. Yet, they continue to be honest about their struggles, and they call their acting out sexual immorality.  They have been loved and accepted by me as I've walked them through the process of continued healing and change, and I will be with them to the end.

I close with profound words from C.S. Lewis on sexual immorality, words that I pray characterize my love, respect and acceptance toward those who come out of the closet and the truth I will tell them when they do:
"Our warped natures, the devils who tempt us, and all the contemporary propaganda for lust, combine to make us feel that the desires we are resisting are so 'natural,' so 'healthy, and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them. Poster after poster, film after film, novel after novel, associate the idea of sexual indulgence with the ideas of health, normality, youth, frankness, and good humor. Now this association is a lie. Like all powerful lies, it is based on a truth--the truth . . . that sex in itself (apart from the excess and obsessions that have grown around it) is 'normal,' and 'healthy,' and all the rest of it. The lie consists in the suggestion that any sexual act to which you are tempted is also healthy and normal. Now this, on any conceivable view, and quite apart from Christianity, must be nonsense. Surrender to all of our desires obviously leads to impotence, disease, jealousies, lies, concealment, and everything that is the reverse of good health, good humour, and frankness. For any happiness, even in this world, quite a lot of restraint is going to be necessary . . . For 'nature' (in the sense of natural desire) will have to be controlled anyway, unless you are going to ruin your whole life.

I want to make it as clear as I possibly can that the centre of  Christian morality is not here. If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronising and spoiling sport, and backbiting; the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither."


Victorious said...

I have always wondered why Christians seem to elevate homosexuality to the top of the "evil list" and those who shout the loudest against it get promoted to the head of the class. I can only conclude it must be an effort to white-wash our own "little" sins and feel justified in that.

Thanks for this thought-provoking post, Wade. May God forgive us for our disdain toward the "least of these." Mark 25:43-45

Steven Stark said...

Hi Wade,

It is important to think about what we use as our judge for morality.

I would say that it is our ethical intuitions, tempered by our reason, seeking to promote greater well-being.

While "external" authority - the words of others, including ancient texts - is important in our evaluation process, I would not recognize external authority as enough on its own to merit unquestioned obedience.

The reason homosexual relations are morally acceptable, and even good, is that family is good. Love plus commitment creates good situations for adults and children.

And furthermore, there is no compelling interest in asking homosexual people to forsake intimate (and family) relationships. This would create suffering on their part, for no clear reason.

That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics supports same-sex marriage. Same with the American Medical Association. And the American Psychological Association. And the list goes on and on.

Their positions are based on empirical research - following the lives of gay families and children raised in gay families.

It's not based on an authoritarianism. The acceptance of the word of an individual, a book, or a group, based on nothing but their perceived authority.

Here is a very brief article on this topic:


Best, Steven

Wade Burleson said...


If the American Academy of Pediatrics one day supports an adult male having sex with a 10-year-old consenting boy as "healthy, and promoting a greater well-being," then I suppose you would ask me to accept that as well, right?

You, too, have an external standard of morality - the American Academy of Pediatrics. I respect your position. I simply believe the standard I offer--the standard of revelation from God's word--is a much better standard and has shown throughout history to be so. I trust you will respect my position as well.

Rex Ray said...

How did some ‘hacker’ break into you computer and write such filth?


“…What magician has hypnotized you and cast an evil spell upon you?” (Galatians 3:1 Living)

“You are free from the law, but that doesn’t mean you are free to do wrong. Live as those who are free to do only God’s will at all times.” (1 Peter 2: 16)

“God let them go ahead into every sort of sex sin…vile and sinful things with each other's bodies…they deliberately chose to believe lies…their women indulged in sex sin with each other…and their men burned with lust for each other…” (Romans 1:24-27)

“There was homosexuality throughout the land, and the people of Judah became as depraved as the heathen nations…” (1 Kings 14:24)

“He turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into heaps of ashes and blotted them off the face of the earth, making them an example for all the UNGODLY in the FUTURE to look back upon and FEAR.” (2 Peter 2:6)

What does your associate pastor think who you fired for six months for sharing ONE kiss a year earlier with a church member?

Wade Burleson said...


I agree. I think, however, that many Christians are now putting pedophilia at the top of the "evil list," in place of the homosexuality. I trust it is not to white-wash our own "little" sins (as you put it).

Wade Burleson said...


The man of whom you spoke had a much higher degree of accountability because of his greater responsibility. By the way, you err. He wasn't fired. He was restored by the very people with whom he broke trust - us. He went on to become Senior Pastor at a very large church.

Ray said...


Wade has shown in this post how sexual immorality, including homosexuality, is a violation of God's moral standard, and yet it is possible to be full of grace and truth. You seem to be wanting to shout "Filth!" and point a finger at filthy people. Your approach doesn't win people to Christ.

Daniel Harding said...

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

We tell folks they can come to faith in Christ because of His grace. We then turn and instruct them as if that grace has disappeared. Paul seems to directly deal with this in the first verses of Romans 2 following his description of the world in Romans 1.

Thank you Pastor Wade. Your willingness to transparently deal with the culture in light of the mercy and goodness of God is a great encouragement to me. Also, as a young pastor, I am in the middle of listening to your series on Hebrews and am learning much.

Wade Burleson said...

Thank you Daniel!

Debbie Kaufman said...

So many, including Christians do not understand fully God's Grace. It's why Christ was crucified, he loved and showed great grace to those the people and religious leaders condemned. They didn't understand either so they crucified Him.

Victorious said...

And let's not overlook the fact that Jesus reached out and extended love to the most despised and isolated in that culture; taxpayers, lepers, lame, murderers, etc. They all responded to His love.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this extremely accurate post, Pastor Wade!

No matter who says what sexual or other deviancy is fine and dandy, we have to follow God's Word.

And yet we have to do so understanding that we all have our sin and sins to overcome!

I wish you could have the chance to preach this message loudly and nationally--it really needs to be heard both by the gay haters and gay promoters!


Austin said...

"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (I Corinthians 6:9-10)

As Christians, I think we tend to overemphasize the sexuality in this verse while ignoring the fact that greed is right there in the mix. And let's face it: most people who say they follow Christ are greedy in at least one area of their lives. Where are the messages of grace for these horrible offenders...what's that? We're too focused on shunning homosexuals that we forget to examine our own lives?

Susan Castillo said...

"Wade Burleson said...
The man of whom you spoke had a much higher degree of accountability because of his greater responsibility. By the way, you err. He wasn't fired. He was restored by the very people with whom he broke trust - us. He went on to become Senior Pastor at a very large church."

Dear Mr. Burleson:

I don't know you. You don't know me. But what you wrote regarding your "brother in Christ" makes me sick and is the very reason why I stopped listening to ANYONE who claims to be a Christian leader. This "restored Senior Pastor" will go on to offend again. You don't have to comment, but go ahead if you think you have to justify your nonsense. This is pure ignorance on your part, and the part of the ones who "restored" him. This "restored" man abused his right to EVER be in a position of pastor again. These guys, while in need of God's grace, don't need to be put in a trusted position again. Because he ABUSED that position. Pastors and religious thinkers/writers take abuse of power and treat it quite like you say homosexuals are trying to justify a gay lifestyle and call it love...It's something like "once you're an alcoholic, you can't drink anymore"--at least successfully. It just doesn't work. God does forgive, but he doesn't fix. That's why YOU and your colleagues are some of the most dangerous people in this country. Because you claim to know something from God that the rest of us don't, about your own brothers and sisters in Christ. So, when YOU all deem him fit---then you can restore him to proper authority. But you can't. You can't "reset" an alcoholic, you can't "reset" a rapist, and you can't "reset" a pastor/religious authority figure. It can't be done. One---ONE--kiss is ONE too many. I feel for your congregants and followers and caution others who read your blog to approach your ministry with caution, fear, and trembling. You are abusing your privilege as a man of God and religious leader. People LOOK TO YOU, sir, for help, and you throw them the same rotten flesh, just cleaned up and pronounced "restored" by whom, sir? You? You don't get to do that.

I am sure you will come back here with some balmy words of wisdom, but it will fall on these deaf ears. This is why religion, specifically Christianity, is a dying sect. You don't use common sense, the sense you were born with, because you claim to have a "higher calling." None of us do, sir. We are all the same, and you, and your "restored" brothers need to really re-examine yourselves with your ability/priviledge to "restore" each fallen brother to a place of authority over women, children and other men. I am shocked and horrified and once again, sickened, that you try to make your ideology make sense to someone, like the pediatrician, who actually can look under a microscope and prove what is wrong with the patient and then prescribe a treatment. No one waves their hands over a sick patient, sir. But you and your "restored" brothers and sisters seem to have a way with words that people want to read and hear, I guess.

Don't pray for me. Your ignorance will stop your prayers from being heard by anyone except your "restored" brothers and sisters and I, for one, do not need them.

Susan Castillo
Birmingham, Alabama

Steven Stark said...


I do not accept the AMAP as an “external authority”. I am using them as an example of an organization that used empirical research coupled with a coherent view of morality (the good of children), to reach their decision. That is the authority - a good moral argument coupled with empirical data.

Now, if having sex with a 10 year old boy actually WERE “healthy and promoting well-being”, then it would be right. But it not, and that is the REASON that it is wrong.

Not just because someone or something perceived as powerful says so.

In your original blog you write:

"Wait a minute! How can you compare the sexual orientations of a homosexual or an adulterer with those of a genital exposer or a child predator! The first two involve consenting adults! The latter two involve crimes perpetrated against the non-consenting or children!"

You are correct in your criticism of your own words. Then you give a history lesson on changing cultural norms (which are also very prevalent in Scripture - slavery, women, marriage, etc.), which is not a moral argument.

Actually, I do not respect your position on this, but I have lots of respect for YOU! And a lot of “like” for you as well. :)

Wade Burleson said...


Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you and respect all of your concerns. Since you don't know me or have knowledge of what Rex was referring to in his comment, let me encourage you to read the background. Maybe, just maybe, you will see that your assumptions about the man involved, his sin, etc... are incorrect. Some sins carry with them consequences that last a lifetime. You may disagree with the approach we took with this pastor, but you will at least know why we took the time and energy to restore him to a place of ministry instead of covering up what he had done.


Rex Ray said...

You didn’t reply to any of God’s Scripture that I quoted. Why NOT? Have you cut that part of the Lord’s Word from your Bible?

It seems you’d rather haggle if the man was fired or not.

He was relieved of his church duties for six months. Was that not fired?

His salary was stopped for six months. Was that not fired?

Would you have fired him if it had been two years? Five years? Ten years?

Why did you let the church think he had committed adultery?

Was it because they might have laughed if they knew it was only one kiss a year ago?

Was the church every informed of the whole truth, or would that be embarrassing?

I believe you were informed by the woman involved because there is no fury like a woman scorned.

Hooray for the man that would not kiss her again…the man you fired.

Wade Burleson said...


"That is the authority - a good moral argument coupled with empirical data."

What defines a "moral" argument? Whose morality?

"Then you give a history lesson on changing cultural norms (which are also very prevalent in Scripture - slavery, women, marriage, etc.), which is not a moral argument."

Agreed. I'm pointing out that morality must have a basis or new morality ends up being old immorality under another name.

My position is that sexual immorality is defined by God as sexual intercourse or copulation outside of the context of covenant marriage between a man or a woman.

How can I condemn sinners when I am the chief of sinners? The good news for me is that my sins have been forgiven by God through Christ. To me, that's the message of Christianity. Without an understanding of sin, there would be no need for a Savior from sin.

Wade Burleson said...


I believe the man for whom you have taken up an offense (the man you say was fired), is one who would, indeed, feel differently than you about his situation. He was overwhelmed by our grace, transparency and support.

Anonymous said...

Something must have been done right in the situation perturbing Rex because Susan is so angry at the grace shown the pastor and Rex is so angry at the harshness shown the pastor. Good grief.

Rex Ray said...


I disagree that it’s possible to be full of grace and truth and at the same time continue in sexual immorality such as exposing themselves, adultery, homosexuality, and molesting children.

Twice Wade agreed with Jason Collins: “Greater openness and honesty promotes understanding, respect and acceptance.”

Would confessing murder promote understanding, respect and acceptance?

As Wade said people are in jail for some of these crimes. So what’s the difference of one crime from another?

Sure, we are to love the sinner BUT not their sin!

Jesus even used a whip on some sinners.

Obama congratulated Collins within hours…need I say more?

Ray said...

Rex Ray,

You are pushing people away from Christ and I don't think you understand that you are. If you honestly believe that the best place on earth is the human heart where Jesus Christ resides, then it might be advisable to be quiet when Wade posts something like he has posted today.

Susan Castillo said...

Mr. Burleson:

As if the only alternatives were "restoring" him and "covering up" his actions.....How about, as Rex said, firing him? That certainly was an alternative. How about busting him--for good? How about leading other ministers/pastors in a central reporting system for all churches (for they surely do have to answer to the public based on our current tax laws). I pay his/your salary as a taxpayer (even if indirectly), but I don't recall getting to vote on this. The *church* looked into the incident, and based on the *church's* internal processes, the *church* found him "restored" enough to pastor another *church.* The offended "forgave" the offender and "restored" him to an even better position than before?

You don't read the news? This approach has been tried by the Catholic Church. They have their internal processes as well...and something is being done (but never enough to remedy the destruction they produced). The difference here is the that Catholics have the Vatican (and money---dwindling though it is). The situation with your "restored" brother apparently was left up to internal processes---the guilt of the guy, the embarrassment of the hierarchy, and the public scandal his actions created.

I have no doubt that if this man wanted to do it, he could move to an obscure little town and get another church, another following and yes...another victim or victims.

My "assumptions" are based on facts:
1. Associate pastor kissed someone NOT his spouse.
2. Internal investigation and consequences for 6 months.
3. "Restored" to a senior pastor level.

Those are not assumptions. Those are the facts presented (and the news is scant/non-existent---because before I commented last time, I DID research). I'm sure the guy IS quite overwhelmed---and will say whatever he has to in order to be "restored" to a position of authority. You say he was overwhelmed by your [group's] "grace, transparency, and support."

I am sure he is---relieved to have made it through this...with not just keeping his job, but actually being promoted, apparently. I would be overwhelmed, too. I would even tell myself what I had to in order to get another job in good standing, let alone a promotion. This man is ,no doubt, a good person. But like you said, sin is something we are all quite capable of. Forgiveness is something we all want and need. It's not the associate pastor I have the issue with. It's your mellowy, dripping sweet false teachings that I object to--and your attempts at using your position to justify your deceptive, manipulative "theology."

Susan Castillo said...


That is logic that can come only from someone who is easily influenced by a man trying to wield power that is given him only by people who refuse to think for themselves. Mr. Burleson does well fighting his own battles.

You are correct about one thing: I am angry. This situation is sad.

Victorious said...

That is logic that can come only from someone who is easily influenced by a man trying to wield power that is given him only by people who refuse to think for themselves.

Boy have you got it wrong, Susan. No other pastor that I've met in 35 yrs. has spoken so often and so strongly against hierarchal power and it's abuses. And thanks for underestimating the intelligence of those who read his blog. :(

Anonymous said...

Susan Castillo,

Have you read Baptist Minister Pushes for Child Predator Data Base

A Reader said...

"Forgiveness is something we all want and need. It's not the associate pastor I have the issue with. It's your mellowy, dripping sweet false teachings that I object to--and your attempts at using your position to justify your deceptive, manipulative "theology."

Ahem. Thanks, Miss Castillo, for reminding me why I don't like Christians and why I never want to become one. After reading Mr. Burleson's post, I actually thought, "There's a guy who understands my struggles." After reading your comment I thought, "There's a woman who wants to castrate me." You have confirmed for me Mr. Burleson is an anomaly and not the norm.

Rex Ray said...


You’re sure good at not answering questions.

I agree the man was “overwhelmed”.

A lot feel the same way that are in cults.

If I remember right, at the time, you said you had to make an immediate decision.

I said on the blog that you could have asked input from the deacons, but you handled it all yourself.

I felt a ‘one man rule’ was not good, and I still do.

It was never brought out who instigated the kiss, but it seemed neither was forced. He had repented and asked God to forgive him.

If the woman had done the same, I don’t think she would have tattled to you. I believe she wanted to hurt him because he wouldn’t have anything to do with her.

His wife didn’t know until the church informed her. I guess that made her day?

The man couldn’t get a job until the church got him one that paid so little the church helped feed his family.

How far from a cult is that? Oh, I forgot; you called that “grace, transparency and support”.

The reason I brought the subject up is because I think it’s the OPPOSITE of your post today.

Ray said...

I am beginning to have pity on your pastor Rex.

Wade Burleson said...


There are times we disagree. Nothing wrong with that, at all! Ray, Rex is man who wants what is best for everyone. His pastor is blessed to have him.

Anonymous said...

A Reader,

Miss Castillo, I went back and read your comment again. I realized reading it the second time that you are not a Christian.

I apologize to all those who are Christians for my previous comment. I misunderstood Miss Castillo.

Aussie John said...


Spending most of my life in ministry I came to understand that the most strident in their criticisms of another are attempting to hide the skeletons in their own cupboard by focusing on, and elevating the degree of sin in another.

We would all do well to consider Jonathan Edwards Seventy Resolutions, especially #8 :

Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

Rex Ray said...


You may know when friends fuss; never take sides…you may get hit by both. :)

News Cartoon shows two athletes.
Tebow: “I’m a Christian.
Reporter: “Keep it to yourself.”

Collins: “I’m gay.”
Reporter: “Yippee! Tell us more!”

Wade Burleson said...

Aussie John,

Excellent word.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Susan: I hope (sincerely hope) you read the article Wade posted. I was there and though it was several years ago, I love the man in question and his family. Those services changed me as I came from a very moralistic, legalistic background and this was the first time I had seen Grace in action. I was one who wept uncontrollably and to would do anything for the man in question. I dearly, dearly, love him. He is a completely different person, but I loved him before.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Rex: I disagree with you, and that's OK. Look at the passage you gave for Christ using a whip. Who was it against and what was the exact reason. Scripture in context is well scripture in context. I too think you minister is fortunate to have you.

Restoration is a painful process, but it's a good pain. A life changed is worth the process, and in this particular instance, I think a whole church was changed.

Christiane said...

can't think what might help here, except I'll share something from my own Church

This is from a letter written by the USCCB to affected families:

" God loves every person as a unique individual. Sexual identity helps to define the unique persons we are, and one component of our sexual identity is sexual orientation. Thus, our total personhood is more encompassing than sexual orientation. Human beings see the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart
( 1 Sm 16:7).

God does not love someone any less simply because he or she is homosexual. God's love is always and everywhere offered to those who are open to receiving it. St. Paul's words offer great hope:

'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 8:38-39)"

in the end, Christians must realize that all of us descend from the outcasts from Eden.

And now, in Christ, how are we to look upon others who are troubled?
Here is something to think about from the early Church:

". . . This last (Christ) is the Adam, who when forming the first set His own image in him.
Hence He assumed his role, and received His name to prevent the loss of what He had made to His own image.

There is a first Adam, then, and a last Adam:
the first has a beginning,
the last has no end.

Because this last is in truth Himself the first, as He says,
‘I am the first and the last…’.

” . . . we have borne the image of the man of dust,
. . . . now reborn after the pattern of our Lord . . . let us bear the full and complete image of our Maker; not in majesty, in which He is alone,
but in innocence, simplicity, meekness, patience, humility, mercy and concord – in which He deigned to become and to be One with us.”
(from a sermon by St. Peter Chrysologus)


Steven Stark said...

“What defines a "moral" argument? Whose morality?”

These are the right questions to ask! And they are not always easy.

What actions result in greater well-being? What do our ethical intuitions say?

But “I said so” or “this book says so” is not good enough.

There is no compelling reason to ask a homosexual person to give up intimate relationships and the possibility of family.

This results in less well-being. It is needless discrimination.

In fact, it is cruel.

Even if one has an inerrant view of certain ancient writings, does might make right?

Do we worship power blindly? Do we obey out of fear? Do we persecute to save our own skins? Do we turn our back on our neighbor when her long-term relationship is considered second-class compared to ours, and there is no real reason why?

Or do we believe that “God’s will” is actually what is best? For actual reasons and not just because “God said so”?

And if so, what happens when reality does not conform to our concept of God’s will?

I write to those who may be reading this who respect the Bible, but who are still searching to find its proper place in their lives.

We are born with brains in our heads and hearts in our chests, but not Bibles in our hands. Even if one accepts the Bible as perfect, one had to arrive at that conclusion by using the head and heart. Therefore the individual conscience and sense of reason is still primary for everyone.

I simply ask everyone to continue to use their heads and hearts.

And I hope it will lead to compassion. That is also my hope and prayer for myself.

Best to all! Steven

Susan Castillo said...

In fact, I did read the article. Which is why I started following Mr. Burleson months ago. My objections were and still are at equating issues such as molestation of a child or a minister's preying on a congregant with two adults who choose to be in a relationship together, work, raise children, and support a family. The two are in no way comparable.

What happens between consenting adults does not compare to abuse of power. NO ONE is in a position to judge another's morality. That is a different matter entirely than what happens when a person is taken advantage of by a minister, no matter how slight or how few times. You don't get "a little pregnant" and you don't abuse "just once and that's all." It is not adultery between a minister and a congregant. It's ABUSE.

You all obviously DO NOT GET IT. Neither does your pastor and the reason I say this is because he promotes "grace" for this type of issue. I'm not angry at grace being shown the associate pastor because it's not "grace" that has been shown. God ALONE is in the position to extend grace---you are not. None of us are. Acceptance, love, tolerance---yes. But grace is God's alone to give and to use flowery language and manipulation to suggest "restoration" for someone who steps over the line, as this minister surely did, is---well, just THAT: manipulation. I don't suggest that your pastor does this intentionally. I think he does not understand the issue thoroughly enough to be considered an expert on the matter. His "method" alone shows that to me. It should show it to you as well.

There are a few things from which a person cannot fully recover: one of those things is the tragedy of being abused by a minister or parent figure. I think, however, that a minister's transgressions are different because his whole responsibility is ETERNAL LIFE. Heaven and hell and eternal destiny. I do not suggest that abuse by a minister is not recoverable. I'm saying why risk it? Why not make it one of those things that IF YOU DO THIS---IT HAS PERMANENT CONSEQUENCES for someone besides the victim.

You say I am not Christian. You don't get to decide that, either. I don't know if I am or not. I'm one of those people who is trying to be as good as I can and leaving the rest up to Providence. My morals and ethics do not look like yours or anyone else's. But it is what I can live with at the moment.

You proved one true thing to me: that people who feel insecure about themselves feel the need to tell the group what the "sinner's" words or actions REALLY MEAN. And it usually means that Satan is secretly at work making the sinner feel anger and lash out at the "good" guy, or that the Holy Spirit is working in the "sinner's" life to convict them of their wrongs.

I believe the original post by Mr. Burleson was about Jason Collins and went off topic. My first thought was how Mr. Burleson was showing his readers that Jason's honesty was great and that somehow he was now ready to be healed from his struggle with homosexuality. THAT's what I'm talking about. Rather than approach the fact as just a fact that belongs to Jason Collins, he turned it around--manipulated the facts, if you will--to make his point about inappropriate sexual desires and acting out. This is where the associate minister came into the picture, as if the two can be compared. They can't. One is abuse, the other is a sexual orientation. You can't compare them. No matter how hard you try, you can't find ONE word in the Gospels about homosexuality. And those books supposedly contain Jesus' words. But there are stern words for abusive church leaders and those who take advantage of those who are in their charge.

Anyway, thanks for a lively exchange.

Rex Ray said...

You hoped Susan: would read the article Wade posted. I noticed your one comment out of 178 was about how you enjoyed seeing Grace in action.

These two comments were made close to the end.

Anonymous said... Last week a relative on my wife's side of the family had "church discipline exercised on him. I'm not so sure everybody, including the church leadership, is now saying it was worth it. So the background story is this man is well respected in his community and served as a lay leader in his church. He was laid off from his job almost a year ago and was not able to find employment due to the poor economy right now. So last week his pastor and some other church leaders invited him to lunch. Well as it turned out it wasn't exactly "just lunch". It turned out to be an intervention meeting. They proceeded to tell him that he was a disgrace to his family and church for not being the man of his home and finding employment to support his wife and kids. Well he didn't react very well to this. So he left and went immediately home to tell his wife what had happened. When he got home he was more surprised to find that his wife was in the process of packing up and moving herself and the kids into an apartment across town. She was leaving him. Well he snapped. He drove over to the apartment where they were unpacking and shot and killed his step son, shot his wife and kidnapped his 7 year old son. He ended up dropping his son off at a friend’s house when an amber alert was released. The friends had no idea what was going on until several hours after the fact when they saw the news. The man was eventually spotted by the police which resulted in a high speed chase which ended up ending in a mutli-car fatality accident. He survived. The others were not so lucky. So now this man is facing murder charges as well as several other charges and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. All because a church was so hell bent on "practicing church discipline" rather than pray for, help, and uplift their brother in need. Do you think his son thinks it was worth it? How about his wife? Or his dead-step son?

Steven Tue Jul 13, 12:17:00 AM 2010

Rex Ray said... Steven,
Yours is truly a sad and tragic story, but from what you said the ‘church authorities’ did, I don’t believe the ‘pressure’ they put on the husband would hold a candle to the ‘pressure’ put on the pastor in Wade’s church.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Susan: Your statement reminds me of the Eugene Petersen paraphrase of Romans 5:7-8

"We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him."

God shows Grace to us, so that we can show Grace to others. People who are without Christ such as yourself can see who the true God is who sent His only Son to die for us when we were the worst of the worst and "of no use to him." So yes, we Christians are called to show grace to others. Just as God showed His grace to us.

The Gospels are not the only part of the Bible. The whole Bible is true and the words of God without error. Each word in scripture is for a definite reason. Even passages that show homosexuality to be a sin. But even then we are to show Grace. And for those without Christ, sinning is the least of their problems. Without belief in Christ their only destination at death is hell.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Rex:That is not church discipline or is it extending Grace. Discipline means teaching. That was humiliation. I was there. What I said I saw for the first time is what I saw. Grace as I had never seen it before and a brokenness with a sweet spirit from this person. I don't know what to tell you anymore. I think it takes away from the point of the post. But I come from an Independent baptist fundamentalist background and this is like nothing I had seen or experienced before. The love our church had and the tears were life altering for me. Bluntly, God was in that place that night. I was broken as well.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Rex: To clarify my above statement, none of what anonymous wrote is what happened that night. It was the sweetest service I have ever been too. It was so life altering for me, that I still remember it vividly. It was wonderful.

Michael said...

Wade...my love and respect for you was great before reading this article, but those descriptors have both pegged out at the max after reading this! Thank you for showing us a walking, talking, breathing example of grace! BTW...have you read "The Bible, Homosexuality and Christianity" by Justin Cannon? I am re-reading it now, wowzer! Blessings to you and your family. Give your mom and dad my love...

Rex Ray said...

Yes “discipline” means teaching. I learned a lot by switches on you know what. Discipline by punishment is used most often.

How much was the preacher punished by being fired for six months by people he loved?

I only worked thee days as a mechanic for Chevrolet and was fired and it hurt even though I had a job the next day for Ford that I kept over a year until I left to work for General Dynamics. I eventually designed the tool for the Space Shuttle Nose Cone.

I said that to say a person feels worthy and respected by doing a job well done, but to be fired is to be ridiculed and for WHAT?

The Bible teaches a private sin is to remain private while a public sin is to be made public.

Your church took this man’s private sin—a sin he had received forgiveness through Grace by God a year previous; and made it PUBLIC!

In my opinion, that borders on bullying, hazing, and spiritual abuse. If he hadn’t been a strong Christian he might have committed suicide.

But you say it ended so well that “the service was the sweetest service I have ever been to.”

Does the end justify the means? I believe he was brainwashed into thinking he was the Prodigal Son returning home.

You said thanks for a lively exchange.

I’m beginning to think (and I’m including myself) of “Ecclesiastes 12:12 Living) “But, my son, be warned there is no end of opinions ready to be expressed. Studying them can go on forever, and become very exhausting!” :)

Wade Burleson said...

Susan (Part One),

You wrote: "My first thought was how Mr. Burleson was showing his readers that Jason's honesty was great and that somehow he was now ready to be healed from his struggle with homosexuality. THAT's what I'm talking about. Rather than approach the fact as just a fact that belongs to Jason Collins, he turned it around--manipulated the facts, if you will--to make his point about inappropriate sexual desires and acting out. This is where the associate minister came into the picture, as if the two can be compared. They can't. One is abuse, the other is a sexual orientation. You can't compare them. No matter how hard you try, you can't find ONE word in the Gospels about homosexuality. And those books supposedly contain Jesus' words. But there are stern words for abusive church leaders and those who take advantage of those who are in their charge."

I commend you. You are getting what I am writing. At first I thought I might not have been clear, but after reading the above paragraph, I realize I communicated what I intended in my post. Thank you for commenting. We simply disagree. Just a few responses to your excellent comment.

(1). "Jason's honesty was great and that somehow he was now ready to be healed from his struggle with homosexuality."

That is exactly what I was meaning in what I wrote.

(2). "Rather than approach the fact as just a fact that belongs to Jason Collins, he turned it around--manipulated the facts, if you will--to make his point about inappropriate sexual desires and acting out."

I see what you are saying. You believe I 'manipulated the facts.' Jason came out and was PROUD of his sexual orientation, calling himself a Christian, and was EXCITED about having sex with men! You are angry with me because I manipulated the facts and made it look like Jason was COMING OUT in a manner similar to others who have COME OUT about their sexual immorality.

I see what you are saying. I really do. Frankly, I wouldn't call it manipulation. I did what I did intentionally to show people (like you) that:

(a). You can be gracious and loving to someone in the midst of sexual immorality.
(b). To be gracious and loving does not mean you call someone's sexual immorality something beneficial and good.

What angered you is that I compared homosexual orientation (a desire to have sex with a man) to other sexual orientations (a desire for pedophilia, a desire for genital exposure, etc...) and that offended you.

My question for you is a simple one: Why do some sexual orientations that God calls sin offend you, but others don't?

Wade Burleson said...

Susan (Part 2),

I am trying to say that I love and accept everyone who has deviant sexual desires and acts out on them. It seems to me that you are saying I CAN'T love someone unless I call his desires and behavior moral. I am saying I can love the immoral person, stand by them, accept them, and call what their actions immoral.

(3). "One is abuse, the other is a sexual orientation. You can't compare them."

This is the heart of the differences. BOTH ARE IMMORAL according to God. Just because culture calls an orientation to have sex with a man moral doesn't make it moral. You DESPISE adults who have sex with children (and call it abuse). Go study Roman history. Roman leaders, Roman Senators, Roman emperors - almost ALL had boys with whom they had intercourse (in addition to their wives), and the culture of Rome believed the activity BENEFICIAL for the boys. I am the one pushing for a SEXUAL PREDATOR data base to track predators. I understand abuse.

The point of my post is unless your standard of morality is an external code given to you by revelation (i.e. "The Bible"), you will wind up with a standard of morality that is established by culture.

(4). "No matter how hard you try, you can't find ONE word in the Gospels about homosexuality. And those books supposedly contain Jesus' words."

Susan, I respect you. I am not trying to convince you that you are wrong and I am right. That's not even on my radar. Let me just say that the Bible couldn't be any clearer that an orientation to have sex with a man is sexual immorality - the same as having sex with multiple women, having sex with children, etc... - and it's very clear. Again, there IS a difference CULTURALLY in America, but not biblically.

(5). "But there are stern words for abusive church leaders and those who take advantage of those who are in their charge."

Amen. I have written extensively on this subject.

Susan, I close with a word of support. If you have a loved one who has come out of the closet and declared himself or herself to be homosexual or lesbian I want you to know that if you could comprehend what I'm saying you would know that I could be friends with them, have them over to my house for supper, welcome them to Emmanuel, and would treat them like my own children. I would also tell them the truth (if they asked) that their orientation to have sex with someone from the same sex is sexual immorality. Christ died for sexually immoral people. We will never know him as Savior until we know what He died to save us from.

Anonymous said...

(Gal 6:1 NLT) "Dear bothers and sisters, if any believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself ".

Jesus was asked how many times the grace of restoration and forgiveness should be exercised, and we know his answer to that.

Wade, you have shown real class in the way you have handled these matters... then and now.


Bob Cleveland said...

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. – "

(Isaiah 1:18)

I gather a couple things from this passage. One is that there doesn't seem to be a limitation on God's grace in this. I conclude, therefore, that if the grace of God is enough to make my actions as white as snow, in His sight, it's enough to do the same for homosexuality. Despite what we don't want to see happen in others.

Second, it is reasonable to think that. Reasoning in the scriptures will lead us to that conclusion, not merely wishful thinking or personal prejudices.

Wade Burleson said...

Thank you Gordon and Bob!

Anonymous said...

Just a thought:

Yes, Jesus does address homosexual behavior in the gospels when He addressed marriage as between a man and a woman.

Adultery and fornication were already banned.

So yes, it is addressed.


Susan Castillo said...

Wade: (Part One)

"What angered you is that I compared homosexual orientation (a desire to have sex with a man) to other sexual orientations (a desire for pedophilia, a desire for genital exposure, etc...) and that offended you.

My question for you is a simple one: Why do some sexual orientations that God calls sin offend you, but others don't?"

I'll explain why.

While you label people "homosexual" and suggest that's the sum total of their presence in the world, in truth, homosexuals are much, much more than that. I think you focus so much on how they have sex that you can't see them as people. Homosexuals are not obsessed with sex, they don't recruit members to the Gay Club, and the statistics on how often a homosexual thinks about sex is no more often than heterosexuals think about it. They don't break out the leather, whips, and studs, and run out in the street to recruit a sexual partner so they can get that "deviant" sexual desire fulfilled. It is NOT the homosexuals who are focusing on deviant sex here. It's the heterosexuals.

While Jason Collins DID state that he was gay, in that particular article to which you referred he most certainly did NOT say he "was PROUD of his sexual orientation, calling himself a Christian, and was EXCITED about having sex with men!"

What he DID say was this: "I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just marched in Boston's 2012 Gay Pride Parade...What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding."

In fact, Jason used the word "pride" twice in the article and the word "proud" three times. None of those statements even remotely expressed his own feelings toward himself. They were statements about the Pride parade in Boston and his
feelings toward his behavior on the basketball court. (Here's a link to the article: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/magazine/news/20130429/jason-collins-gay-nba-player/#all)

It appears that you indeed have manipulated the facts. Which is my point.

We cannot ignore culture. The Bible is just as clear on the subject of women's menstrual periods as you say it is regarding homosexual acts, but if you were to get up on Sunday morning and preach a sermon to your men that their wives were dirty during their cycle and if they sleep in the same bed during their cycle they are offending God's sensibilities, I think you would find yourself booted out the front door and on the sidewalk before you could give the altar call. "Such an idea is foolish!" you would say. "There's nothing dirty about a menstrual cycle. It's just something women are blessed with," you might say. Well, yeah.

Your opinion of women's menstrual periods is not relevant---because you, as a man, have no idea what it's like to have a period. Likewise, your "interpretation" of homosexual sex and homosexual relationships are not relevant because you are not gay and it is clear you have no idea about homosexuals, their relationships, or their sex life. Gay people work jobs, raise children, argue with each other, support each other, pay taxes, get sick, contribute to the community, and go to church. To reduce homosexuals to their sex acts alone says a lot more about you than it does homosexuals.

Susan Castillo said...

(Part Two)

Wade: You said:

"You DESPISE adults who have sex with children (and call it abuse)."

Pedophiles and children do not "have sex." First of all, let's get on the same page here. That phrasing and choice of words disturbs me. You see a pedophile/child relationship as sexual???? Pedophiles prey on children who are one of the weakest segments of society. The act of ultimate self-centeredness and self-absorption...which may produce an erection and ejaculation for the pedophile---but most certainly IS NOT "having sex." If your definition of pedophilia includes "having sex" ANYWHERE IN IT----then we DO have a problem.

That being said, I do not despise pedophiles. But they destroy souls and lives. And let's not forget the minister who takes advantage of his congregants by having inappropriate relationships with them. They interfere with a person's concept of God, church, and salvation. And I am frankly puzzled that you were so proud to "restore" your associate pastor brother. He did more in ONE kiss to destroy a soul than 100 homosexuals having a lifetime of consensual sex. Your associate pastor brother was not in a "consensual relationship" with the woman he kissed. You won't be able to truthfully convince anyone that a centralized database is needed for minister offenders unless you begin to see the absolute obliteration of a woman who has been taken advantage of by her pastor. Until I actually read your words of support for the VICTIMS (HELLO---that woman in your church is a VICTIM) and not for the restoration of your associate pastor brother, nothing you say will have meaning.

The database is for the protection of the congregation---not the associate pastor brother. You ministers have a difficult job, but on some level, you earn only part of your living. You pronounce yourself as being "called by God" and that automatically makes some people elevate you in status (and inappropriately so---in some cases). So in exchange for being elevated in status without earning it, your responsibility is severe and leaves NO ROOM for mistakes such as an inappropriate relationship with a congregant. Be careful. That is true soul murder like no other, for your associate pastor brother left at least one soul open and bleeding and doubting the existence of a loving God.

Susan Castillo said...

Finally, last part:

Homosexuals are in relationship with another adult homosexual, both of whom have made a decision to be together. There is no such consent in a pedophilic act. What goes on behind the door of a homosexual home is no more your business than what goes on behind the door of a heterosexual home. Each ONE person is accountable to God. Your constant drip, drip, dripping of condemnation for things about which you can only speculate harms everyone, not just homosexuals. Because of your brand of ideology, violence against gays is not only acceptable, it is sport for some.

I make the comments to you not to get you to agree with me. I make these comments to try to make you understand when you spend so much of your time speaking out against gays and trying to show that they are such a threat to marriage, children, and communities, you are silently (sometimes openly) consenting to the wrongs that are committed against gays. When you throw hell-fire into the mix, gays become an object rather than people who are parents, nurses, doctors, servicemen and women, pastors, auto mechanics, and so on.

I honestly do not believe that is your intention. But you are contributing to the problem rather than the solution by picking out a subject like this, misquoting the source, and interjecting your uninformed opinion about it. A lot of people listen to you because you are seen as a leader who "has an inside line to God" (for lack of better terminology) and in order to gain favor with you, some of them agree with you either verbally or in principle, which, in turn, ultimately spreads venom and hate---but wrapped in a pretty wrapping paper and made to look nice and sweet. At least Fred Phelps overtly is nasty and judgmental. He does not try to make what he does pretty at all.

I have gone on long here. I have had these exchanges multiple times with other people, I throw up my hands in frustration and don't comment for a while, but for some reason, I decided to jump in again. I'm not asking you or your followers and readers to agree. I just want to say a bit about what I believe contributes to war, murder, rape, violence, depression, suicide, and widespread hatred against SOULS. What you do does not promote well-being and peace in this world. It merely
gives permission to hate without regret.

Thank you.

Susan Castillo said...


The intent of posting here for me is not to get into a one-up contest with people who obviously believe differently than I do about God, the Bible, and Christianity. I don't see the Bible as history, accurate, or inerrant. I realize that conflicts with your view, but honestly, we cannot debate that issue here. The Bible conflicts itself so many times, there's not enough time nor webspace to hash it out. I respect that you see it differently than I on many, many subjects, homosexuality being only one of them.

Regarding grace given to your friend, the associate pastor: Saving grace is not given by humans to another person. If that were possible, then Protestants and Catholics have one less thing to fight about, and the Priest at Sunday Mass really is a sacrificial lamb, like Christ. My forgiving you of your sins does you about as much good as my waving a magic wand over you and thinking I have cured your cancer. True healing is a lone event, and is not passed down from human to human. That was all I meant. But thanks.

Johnny D. said...

Susan, you have an amazing ability to take something one says and assign a motive(s).

Now, while not nearly as masterful as you, I shall attemp the same.

You are angry, and you are angry much of the time. Not only has the church burned you at some point, but so has at least one man.

You have no theological training, and do not think it is worth having, though at one time, you did desire such training and began to embark upon that journey. You have a deep anger and resentment towards God, but you miss Jesus and want Him to be true. When you lie in bed at night, often, your last thoughts are of missing a relationship with Christ and the peace it would bring you, yet, because you have been burned by humans, you blame God and can't find a way to believe in a God that is cruel to the point where He "allowed" you to be burned by men and church. Many nights, you lose sleep over it.

You are "always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth," because in your mind, all truth is relative. You stand with Pontius Pilate and look into Jesus beaten and bloodied face and reply, "What is truth?"

How'd I do? Not much better than you, right?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate how your ideas of Grace apply to your friendships, Wade.

You said: "All of them have had sexually immoral desires since coming to faith in Christ, and most of them have been sexually immoral in conduct since coming to Christ. Yet, they continue to be honest about their struggles, and they call their acting out sexual immorality. They have been loved and accepted by me as I've walked them through the process of continued healing and change, and I will be with them to the end."

When your friends who say they love Christ don't call a spade a spade, and repeatedly aren't interested in reconciliation or change, then what does Grace look like in this type of situation? thanks, ken

Anonymous said...

Funny how we humans always want to decide for ourselves what is sin and what is not.

Thank you Pastor Wade for being willing to do two hard things: call sin sin even when it isn't politically correct to do so, and being willing to stand lovingly with sinners to lead them to Christ.


Megan said...

I know that posting on blogs rarely changes anybody's mind, but I was saddened after today's post, and I thought it was important to say this: Pedophilia and rape are much, much worse than homosexual behaviour, even from a traditional reading of Scripture.

The key here is that although same-sex relations are forbidden under a traditional reading of Scripture, they are also entered into by choice. Rape and pedophilia are not; they are predatory, the strong taking advantage of the weak.

Guess what sins Jesus condemns most fiercely? The sins in which the strong take advantage of the weak. He condemns the Pharisees because they use their position of financial and religious power to control the people. He condemns the tax collector because they use government backing to get rich off the meager savings of the poor. Those who cause children to sin (By the way, a child whom a pederast preys upon has not sinned) are damned to the very lowest levels of Hell.

Yes, traditionally any sin from disobeying parents and complaining to sexual immorality will send a person to Hell. Yet some sins are intrinsically worse than others. Sodom and Gomorrah get off easier in the Judgment than Capernaum does. Dante places the sin of fraud (which includes seduction) far beneath the sin of lust (which includes homosexual behaviour).

In other words, Jesus's concern was always for those who were the victims of the religious and political power plays of the day; the worst sinners, according to Him, were those who used the power structures for their own personal advantage.

This is what pederasts and rapists do. There are no victims when two men or two women have sex. There are victims, ones who are scarred forever, when pederasty or rape is in the picture. Thus, I suggest that it is more biblical to recognize rape and pedophilia as worse crimes than homosexual behaviour, rather than try to level all sins under the vague, poorly-applied "grace".

I get your point that because Jesus seeks out those who are despised and rejected by humankind, we should show grace even to the pederast. Yet we also know from the Bible that some people we are supposed to take great care in our relationship to them, lest we be contaminated or damage the cause of Christ (Jude 1.23).

While you've made some good points on your blog before, this post is an offense to the very people that Jesus Christ cared for, those who have been hurt and victimized and taken advantage of. Unfortunately, I don't expect to convince you, but this is important, so it needed to be said anyway.

Susan Castillo said...

To Jimmy D.

This blog entry from Wade is not about me, my history, my theology, or my education/career choice. It is about Jason Collins and sexual orientation, and Wade's viewpoint regarding sexual sin. Your personal intuition about me is not relevant to this discussion and only detracts from Wade's original point of this blog.

I'm not sure why you chose to write personal things about me publicly unless the point was to take the focus off my comments. Most of the others who commented expressed opinions against homosexuality, but you did not make a personal critique of their history/personality, and neither did you contribute anything to the point of the discussion about Jason Collins' homosexuality. You instead posted a rather lengthy "guesstimation" about ME rather than address my comments and opinions about the subject. I am not the issue here.

However, you do have my email address and I would be more than happy to take this discussion to a more private forum.

Thank you.

Thy Peace said...

I just wanted to say that this blog post and comments are very illuminating of a difficult subject. We may not agree with all that is said, but the function of a blog is just that. To persuade or make an attempt to show one another our reasoning and thinking. Amen to that.

Eagle said...

Just an observation from my point of view. Christians have huge problems with grace. Many Christians treat grace as a mere doctrine only. Its goes to reason that if Christians lived and dispensed grace Christianity would be healthy. Two things lacking in Christianity today are love and grace.

Eagle said...

BTW Wade.....on the pedophilia part of the story surely you can find a better source to quote from than Rush Limabugh? That's just bad bro....

The Odd Baptist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zac Lohrenz said...

A few observations after being told about this post and seeing it for myself.

#1) Never did Wade condone homosexuality. In fact he identifies this along the same lines of pedophilia, and calls these acts "immoral".

#2) For a Christian saved by grace, is not the first step the acknowledgement of wrongs done?

#3) What response did those opposed to this post want? A call for a public stoning?

“Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” ... “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

The point is- everyone has sin. Collins' just happens to be homosexuality. We should spend more time trying to murder and put to death the sin within ourselves, less time stoning others, and more time accepting THE PERSON for who they are.... Like Jesus does.

Susan Castillo said...

Apologies to Johnny D. for calling you Jimmy in my last comment. I wrote without the benefit of the looking at the reply that you wrote this morning.

Rex Ray said...

Would you give the day/time of Wade’s Rush Limbaugh quote? I missed it. (You’re bound to be a Democrat.) :)


To be on the same page do we agree that Child molesters are defined by their acts while pedophiles are defined by their desires? (The world would never know a person was a Pedophile unless they make it know verbally.)

Are homosexuals the same way? I guess all homosexuals have the desire and are like Pedophiles until they become sexually active. I guess that can happen in the closet or out of the closet.

It’s been said that everyone has a different ‘filter’, and whatever comes through it can cause far different thinking.

Do some homosexuals prefer a ‘straight person’?

Here’s my filter.

In 1950, I was 18 going home for college holidays. It was mid-night with a seven hour layover for the next bus when this guy with a college ring said I could sleep in his hotel sweet a couple blocks away. The sweet was a one bed deal. I didn’t think much about it because I’d slept with my twin brother all my life. In a few minutes, he was all over me saying how much he loved me. Duh I was raised mostly on a farm and never heard the word homosexual. All I thought was MANIAC!!! I was glad I was bigger and stronger and he kept saying, “You can’t blame a guy for trying.”

Maybe that’s why I though Wade had gone bonkers with this post.

I think the main question of Collins coming out of the closet is not will he have a better chance of being saved, but will his actions increase or decrease homosexuals in America?

Crayton said...

I think some may have missed Wade's point.

He was neither equating NOR comparing homosexuality with raping children.

Wade was comparing, but NOT equating, the desire to have sex with men and the desire to have sex with boys.

Wade labels these differing desires: "sexual orientations." And he points out that while Western Civilization variously condoned or 'stoned' people acting on those desires throughout history (whether the year is 2013, 1913, or 113), God's Word has been constant.

That said, personally, I am quite sympathetic to those concerned about abuse of authority in the clergy. It is an issue that gets me riled up.

Rex Ray said...


You said, “I don't see the Bible as history, accurate, or inerrant.”

If you’re talking 100%, I agree.

To get 100% the ‘powers that be’ in the Southern Baptists say you must believe the “Chicago Statement on Inerrancy” which states in words to the effect that anything in the Bible that looks untrue will someday be seen as an illusion.

With that said, if you had the desire, you could produce my dream (I’m getting too old) of making a movie of the oldest “Cold Case” which would show who really caused the murder of Paul. It would involve “motive” and “suggestion” by the ones that called him “dear brother”.

In defense of my ‘dumbness’ of not knowing what a homosexual was; in 1950, they were not in a closet but under a rock, and I believe God would like for them to return. Back then, any ‘homo’ discovered in the military was discharged on the spot; but not the case today by their Commander-in-Chief!

Pege' said...

Wade,I remember precious Judy who started a ministry to people in the sin of homosexuality. She her self saved by Grace and healed,reaching out to others who needed the same love. She taught us so much at Emmanuel. I remember your support of her ministry and opening up the church for EXODUS INTERNATIONAL. The Lord called her home way too soon. I am sorry some people do not understand what you are trying to say here. Some times words can be misconstrued. Jesus was accused when he ate with the sinners and publicans. Jesus was ridiculed for allowing a prostitute to anoint his feet. Oh would it not be wonderful if we all could be judged for being to loving, kind and gracious to lost hurting people. Keep up the great work Wade, you are in good company!!

RRR said...

All of your comments have made me think.

“The Law” is great in pointing out things that are consistent and inconsistent with God’s holiness. I can’t meet God’s standards. There are too many Laws and they’re too difficult for me to interpret and invariably I find myself breaking one or another. Makes me mad! Plus I “know” that I disappoint my Father when I do things that “He” knows are not good for me and contrary to His plan for me.

I’ve discovered that I do better if I try to walk as close to Christ as I can. It seems that the more time I spend with Him by talking with Him in private, reading His Word and then talking with Him some more about the things that I just read causes it to become more and more like He’s actually sitting in the room with me! Hard to explain, but a lot of you know what I mean.

Also I find that when I try to love all the other people I encounter, who I know “HE” loves desperately, and I try to help them the way He wants me to, I actually can tell that my relationship with Him gets even stronger! As a matter of fact, the feeling of Him being close to me becomes so strong that I have “stopped wanting to break the Law”! I mean, I’m not even “tempted” to break it, most of the time!!

I can read what the Law says so I don’t have to guess about what is “sin”. However, for me anyway, being close to Him and loving Him so much causes me to not even have a desire to do so many things that used to REALLY have a lot of power over me. It’s a lot like the relationship I have with my wife. I honestly “want” to do whatever I can to make her happy because I love her so much!! “Most” of the time she doesn’t even have to “tell” me what she wants! I just know and I “want” to do that for her!

Believe me, I still fail and I do sin. I “know” it when I do. Nobody has to tell me. It’s like disappointing my wife. She doesn’t have to “tell” me I have hurt her. As soon as I do I deeply regret it. When I hurt my Father I want to immediately beg His forgiveness and I sure don’t want to do that again! He helps me to not do it again.

Last night a dear Christian friend called to say that she didn’t know what to tell a close friend of hers who has recently professed his faith in Christ but he still says that “he’s a woman in a man’s body”! My friend that called said she didn’t know what to say to make him change! I suggested that she, “Don’t try changing him by telling him how bad he is for being a homosexual. Just treat him like he’s a ‘man’ and spend time teaching him how to use his Bible and how to pray! Changing him will be the work of his Father’s Holy Spirit! Trust Him.”

Pege' said...

Wade, I have spent several hours considering reactions and posts here concerning this topic and all the other ones addressed. I wonder like Victorious why homosexuality is at the top of the "EVIL LIST" of sins.I also wonder why you are being lambasted for acting with compassion towards people who have sinned sexually. Who is there among us that does not struggle with sin even after salvation? Sanctification is a life long process and having people like you come along side to strengthen the weak and help carry the burden as we are commanded to do by our Lord should be taught and be the norm. Instead I hear rejection and anger here among the posts.I know some of the drug/alcohol addicts you have lovingly stood firm in the mud with, who are the most amazing victorious people. I have been in the room with you as someone has repented of a sexual sin and the honest but loving guidance you have given to bring them to real repentance and healing. I know this man who was restored to the pastorate. HE lusted, SHE lusted and temptation given in to. King David who also sexually sinned was not only restored but is in the linage of Christ,as was Rahab, a prostitute. It is a good thing none of us are held to the condemnation and rejection I see in some of these posts for there would be none of us worthy to follow Jesus. He came to heal the broken hearted and to set the captives free. Wade,my sin was different, and like a shepherd who cares for the sheep of the Lord, not a hireling, but a shepherd, you rebuked, showed grace and kindness to me as many others did at Emmanuel. I am FOREVER changed and now from what I have learned show to others. PLEASE ...HOW can love and restoration be a BAD thing? HOW can being like Jesus to someone struggling BE WRONG?? is this not the way church should be? Is this not the way of our Lord?
This is CHRISTIANITY!!! Wade, my brother, my friend...THANKYOU! Continue to be the man God is making you into and do what he has called you to do.

Aussie John said...


This article has done a great service by illuminating how ill taught, and plainly ignorant regarding Scriptural truths, we who claim to be Christian are.

1. Our inability to understand That ALL sin is equally abhorrent to God, including that of our own judgementalism, by which we judge our own sin as lesser than that of the other.

2. The inability to make sound judgements based on what Scripture says, rather than WHAT WE WANT IT TO SAY,to support our opinion.

3. Our unwillingness, as recipients of God's great grace, to be gracious towards those who are caught in sin. Jesus words to the Pharisees who accuse the woman caught in adultery are appropriate,"Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

It's scary that we are unafraid to throw the first stone!

It's even more scary that we are willing to take over God's throne by making the judgement that caused us to throw the first stone, even though it was verbal.

Take note that I have used the inclusive we!

Anonymous said...

RRR--please encourage your friend to listen to her friend that feels like a woman in a man's body.

Not everyone truly is born JUST xx or xy.

Don't assume he is gay. Transgender isn't the same thing, and often has a medical component.


Pege' said...

Wade, I have been considering what it takes to be this type of person.One who comes beside another in such a way.
Andrew Murray has well said... "it is not our sin that humbles us most but GRACE.The soul lead through its sinfulness to be occupied with God in his wonderful glory as God,as Creator,and redeemer, that will truly take the lowest place before God. Jesus taught us that there is nothing more divine and spiritual than to be the servant and helper of all. Humility is more than contrition but to accept our participation in the life of Jesus. Being a servant of Christ is the highest fulfillment of our destiny and as people created in the image of God."
Wade, it is your understanding of GRACE that has humbled you so much so you can be this kind of person. TEACH ME MORE!! I want to learn to be this way, to love this way to serve others this way!!!I get it brother I get it!!

Wade Burleson said...

Thank you everyone for the excellent comments. I am in Nashville and have limited access to a computer. Can't respond to each comment but appreciate them all.

RRR said...

Anonymous "Linda"?

If you're "Anonymous" why is the name "Linda" at the bottom of your post? Just curious how these things work.

You said, "Don't assume he is gay. Transgender isn't the same thing, and often has a medical component."

I think you missed my point. It's not necessary for me or my close friend to define "what" or "who" this person is. We will treat him with respect and seek to help him do things that we've found bring us into a stronger relationship with God.

"God" alone knows what He created him to be and when he is walking close with God he will know what God wants.

Thank you for sharing your insights.

Rex Ray said...

Will anyone reply to this question?

Will Jason Collins ‘coming out of the closet INCREASE or DECREASE the NUMBER of Homosexuals in America?

Rex Ray said...

My friend—Aussie John,

I believe you would disagree with your statement: “All sin is equally abhorrent to God…” because the sin of rejecting his Son is punished by hell.

Pege' said...

Rex, No one can answer that question. Certainly not me. I pray there are less. I pray that some how I understand how to reach out and love these hurting people and point them to Christ and He will bring them to salvation.
http://exodusinternational.org/ This is a web sight of an amazing organization that teaches me and gives me emapthy to those in sexual sin. I continue to pray for 3 friends who have chosen this life. 30 years I have prayed and until the Lord removes the burden I will pray 30 more.Let's all take out knees to war. Our anger and disgust is not working. God DE-stroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brim stone... with the power of the gospel and the love of Christ God can RE-store these souls to himself. There is hope.

Johnny D. said...

Wise words, Pege.

No need to apologize, Susan - no offense taken. And I would like to dialogue with you, but what would be the point? You've made it clear Christians will not be heard. You have also said you don't want to be prayed for. Too late, I did anyway.

Jesus is after you, Susan. Why are you fighting it so hard? You think you have to give up everything that is logical and follow blind faith. Not true at all - Jesus will make that clear. You will be miserable until you quit fighting The Holy Spirit of Jesus. You will have no peace. I will be praying for you even if you don't want me too.

Rex Ray said...

I tried your link, and there was a place to ask a question. I tried to ask but could not get logged in. Could you ask them before you say “No one can answer that question”?

Maybe Genesis (4: 4-10 NLT) can answer:

“The Lord…did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry…Why are you so angry?...You will be accepted IF you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But YOU must subdue it…What have YOU done?”

Pege, do you think God wanted Cain to do right?

Then why didn’t God MAKE him do right?

I believe God CANNOT/WILL NOT break his own LAW. That LAW is:

God made man NOT a robot but gave him freedom of choice.

You said you have prayed 30 years for 3 friends. Hello

It’s time to stop praying as God told Moses: “Why are you crying out to Me?” (Exodus 14:15) “Tell the Israelites to break camp.”

Christians need to ‘break camp’ and march to Washington!

Pege' said...

Rex, sorry that you could not get to the web sight...just type in EXODUS INTERNATIONAL.
Cain and Able both took their sacrifices to the Lord. Cain from the fruit of his hands and Able the required sacrifice God required.Just so happened he kept the animals to be sacrificed. Cain wanted to sacrifice what he chose.. the work of HIS hands.Able gave what God required. Humility verses pride.God does not want our sacrifice he wants out obedience. Cain did not obey.His sacrifice was empty.
We can not bring change in society by legislation. Sexual sin, gluttony, stealing, covetousness...and the list is huge...flourishes from the lack of self government. Self can only be governed by the spirit of God or following his principles. Proverbs says if we do not control ourselves then something or some one will do it for us. They maybe be able to control the person but not the heart. Put a thief in jail...he is just a jailed thief.Change the heart of a thief with salvation he not only is no longer a thief but he is to give back what he has stolen and extra.Laws did not keep people from being homosexual, just kept the secret and underground. God has more power than any one in Washington. My POWER to make any changes in society is through humility and prayer. I will not stop praying for the salvation of not only these 3 friends, but the others God has placed on my heart to pray for.As long as they have life there is hope of their salvation. It is not for me to decide the time God will call them to himself.
Rex I am afraid that marching on Washington will only bring you sore feet.

Anonymous said...

Rex, why does the proportion matter ? The gender, race, culture, nationality or personality (including sexuality) of a person is really of no consequence when it comes to getting right with God.
All people are declared to be a wretched sinners in the sight of God, and all are in need of his saving grace to be spiritually born again. The Good News is that if we will firmly believe that Jesus is the Christ, the divine Son of God, and will trust in his atoning death for our sins , we will pass from death unto life, from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.
This personal response then leads to a walk in harmony with the Spirit of God, and I find my former selfish behavioral patterns start changing. New fruit begins to grow in my garden, such as love,joy,peace,patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, just like my good mother and Sunday School teacher told me many years ago.(God bless their patient hearts and prayers, because the Hound of Heaven has caught up with me now, though I fled Him for years). Amazingly, I even find myself being able to cope successfully now with difficult patterns of behavior and the abuse trauma which I previously thought were innate or permanently conditioned on my mind. All things are new; I am a free man in Christ Jesus now and no longer the prisoner of my past or of my own choice.
Proverbs 28;13 "The one who conceals his sins shall not prosper,but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy". (HCSB). Collins has 'come out'. I hope he goes further and completes the full spiritual session for his eternal benefit.


Anonymous said...

RRR--anonymous Linda due to a computer usage issue. No google account but Pastor Wade knows who "Linda" is.

I think you missed my point also.

Your post seemed to assume a man thinking he was a woman trapped in a male body is a homosexual or that it is a sin issue.

My apologies if I misunderstood you.

Just pointing out that may not be at all the case. The man may be suffering from chimerism or from genetic abnormality such that he indeed IS genetically female with male exterior appearance.

Those people are often assumed by Christians to be sinners when they actually have a birth defect.

I've seen them hounded unmercifully when they sought appropriate medical treatment.


Rex Ray said...

Sorry you didn’t understand: I found the web sight and it said they would answer questions, but I couldn’t get my question posted. That’s why I asked you to try.

That was my first of 3 questions to you that you made no reply.

The next one was: “Pege, do you think God wanted Cain to do right?”

And the last one: “Then why didn’t God MAKE him do right?”

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach said, “Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.”

I believe you dodged when you told why Cain’s sacrifice was not acceptable.

You said, “We can not bring change in society by legislation.”

Were the Ten Commandments legislation?

Someone said the best prayers were when you put feet to your prayers.

They didn’t mention if the feet were sore or not. :)

Susan Castillo said...

Johnny D:

I just have to ask:---what are you trying to do? Is this how you show the love of Christ to a sinful, dying world? Sarcasm and disrespect? This is the way Christians do things?

Thy Peace said...

Stop Baptist Predators [Christa Brown] > Why I do this

Pege' said...

Rex, I am sorry if it appeared I was dodging the questions. It was not my intent.1) I do not think any one any where can tell if the increase or decrease of homosexuals will happen because of this article. I do however know this athlete is on his last legs as a professional and it has made him some money and got him attention.
2.)Cain had everything at his disposal to do the right thing. God gave him the instructions to make the right choice.
3) We are not puppets of God nor was Cain. Able did not obey God because he was a puppet.
4)IF Cain had repented before God instead of killing his brother in jealousy God would have accepted his sacrifice.
No the 10 Commandment were not legislation, they were the law of GOD not man!
MARCHING is worthless, protesting a waste of breath.LIVING the truth of Christ will be the only change that will make a difference. take your KNEES to WAR!!

Rex Ray said...

On your answer #1, I did not intend “this article” to be the subject, but what I asked before:

"Will Jason Collins ‘coming out of the closet INCREASE or DECREASE the NUMBER of Homosexuals in America?" Mon May 06, 12:46:00 AM 2013

Your answer #2 dodged the required yes or no answer.

Your answer #3 agrees with what I believe, but it disagrees with your believe that all we have to do is pray for a particular person and God will save then as if they were a puppet.

I did not ask for an answer which your #4 answered. BTW, even if Cain repented, why would Cain’s sacrifice be accepted if it was still food? I thought you covered quite well that the sacrifice must be blood.

“Take your KNEES to WAR” made me smile because it made me think of a man who some nicked name “Camel Knees” because his knees were hard as a camel’s cause by praying for the sins of the people. (Foxe’s Book of Martyrs)

Pege, would you guess he didn’t understand Calvary replaced his job, or did he enjoy the prestige too much to quit?

You probably don’t want to answer that question. Huh? :)

Pege' said...

Rex...perhaps I am thick or may be it is all the blonde hair dye I have used over the years....I am perplexed. Once again and this is the 3rd answer...NO ONE knows if the population of the homosexual or lesbian community will be increased or decreased because this man "CAME OUT". How in the world could any one have the answer to that.
2) I will not speak for God concerning his desire for Cain to do right...God wanted Adam and Eve to be obedient and they were not.It is easy to assume God wanted Cain to be obedient also. I must have some where confused my post. When I said "IF Cain repented" and took the animal sacrifice required of him by God it would have been accepted.:) Sorry If I did not make that clear.
You have misconstrued my beliefs on praying for someones salvation. My prayers for someones salvation does not bring it about. I have a burden from God to pray for certain specific peoples salvation. I will yield to the spirits leading to pray those prayers. The gift of salvation comes from God and HIM ALONE.
I am commanded to pray by our Lord. Jesus example of prayer, his teaching of prayer and the worship of prayer is an honor and sometimes a burden. I am not like "camel knees" ... he sounded much more dedicated. I fail way too much in this area. You may judge his calloused knees as something he did for others to see and praise. God knows his heart. I have been in the presence of intercessors and it is holy ground.
Rex why would Jesus teach us to pray, set the example of prayer and teach us to pray with out ceasing if it was a waste of time or worthless??
Please forgive me, but from your remarks I have drawn the conclusion that you do not believe in prayer , the need of it nor the call to it. Forgive me if I have read made a wrong assessment. I 100% believe in the sovereignty of God. I 100% believe in the power of prayer.
How they work together in harmony is beyond my intelligence....I take it all by faith.

Pege' said...

Rex, Please tell me how can any one determine the reaction of people to turn to or away from homosexuality and lesbianism based on the actions of this man exposing his sin? Do I wish he had kept his personal life personal...you betcha. Do I need to know his private desires. No!!
Does it bother me that our president called him to tell him he is courageous for doing so when I see men and women who have lost arms and legs from the war, walking around town in prosthetic or a blind business man using his cane to walk down the side walk in the city? They have courage. Do their actions affect me...yes I pray for them and I am challenged to try more and do more.
Your question seems nonsensical to me for it cannot be answered rationally. Unless someone stands up and says..."I am now a homosexual because Mr Jason Collins is"...we will never have an answer to satisfy you.

Pege' said...

Rex, I have the need to clarify why protesting, or "marching on Washington" is a waste of time and does not work. I my younger years I protested outside and abortion clinic in Sacramento California. Never said a word never carried a sign. The rage and venom that came from people driving and walking by was thick and passionate against me and the other silent protesters. One car tried to hit us several times. Things were thrown from cars at us and we were spit on. Some one got a hose and turned it on us. Was any ones heart changed that day? Were any babies saved that day? NO! Enemies were made and their determination deepened to keep the clinic open.
A few years later, due to some very serious complications, I was counseled by my doctor to have an abortion to save my life. That was not an option for me or my spouse! I would not take the life my child. I was afraid. Very afraid. I had no idea if either one of us would make it through. God in his mercy saw fit to protect us both and I have an amazing 24 year old son. Now when I speak to women who are considering abortion or who have the heart ache of having one I can minister to their hearts for healing instead of protesting against them to make them angry and rejected.I can show them the grace God taught me through the trial I had. Have I saved any babies from my testimony? I will never know but I do know compassion, love grace and the truth is so much more heard than protests, anger and rejection.

Rex Ray said...

The blond dye---I’m not going there. :) You are a courageous person.

The ‘filter’ that influences you is very different from mine. In ways, I envy you, but in others I don’t.

You say no one knows if the population of homosexuals will increase or decrease because Collins “CAME OUT”.

How fast would people drive if there were no speed laws or punishment? It’s that simple.

You were probably thinking animal sacrifice, but you original said, “God would have accepted his sacrifice.”

I guess you didn’t know that “camel knees” was James the brother of Jesus. James was the most respected man in Israel and was known as “The Just”. He wrote that he would show his faith by his works. He was the only person allowed in the “Holy Place” and rubbed elbows daily with those who killed Jesus. What was his “works” that did not identify him as a Christian?

Pege, you should read the original version of ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs written in 1500, but not the new one that makes James like a Baptist preacher.

A better interpretation of “pray without ceasing’ is to be in a calm state of mind (not angry etc.) that you could pray.

I was saved when I was ten, and prayer was precious until I prayed as a teenager for the ‘sex thing’ to be removed. The ‘success’ was the same when I asked my wife not to die.

No. I’m not bitter; as the old song says: “We’ll understand it all by and by.”

Pege' said...

Rex, I am sorry at the loss of your wife. I hear your love for her and she must have been precious to you. I understand also the struggle to have desires removed. Mine are in a different area, but a deep pain and struggle to my heart. Desires of the flesh are all around. I will be bold enough to say that there is not one person alive that does not fight something with in themselves about something. I so honor you for sharing your struggle. God does not remove these things from our lives for many purposes Rex. I cannot speak for them all. To keep us humble before him. He can be our strength. To use us to minister to others with deep compassion and empathy. We have the power to yield to those weakness, to participate in the sin that would destroy us. It is easy to do.I find that in my flesh there is no good thing. In Christ and with yeildness to the spirit of God you and I can tame the flesh and the lusts there of. I have asked the Lord to teach me how to live with such weakness. Paul prayed only 3 times for his thorn in the flesh to be removed....my oh my...I have prayed much more than 3 times for mine. Since God has saw fit not to remove it, I look to him for the power to over come from him.
I have also sought the Lord fervently not to take a beloved one from me in death. Prayed for their healing. God brought them to himself in glory. He did heal them Rex, in death. How it hurts. How the pain comes. The prayer was heard. Just not answered the way I wanted it to be. It was best for my loved one to be with him and not lingering here with me. I do not know the pain of loosing a beloved spouse and life partner. I wish I could give you a HUG and be a friend to you. I will pray the God of all comfort and mercy flood you heart with peace and contentment. May happy memories fill the place of the loss and rejoicing that your beloved wife is in no pain, at peace and in the arms of her Lord. May you feel the same love as you rest in his arms knowing that He has left you here for a purpose and will guide you to it as you seek his will. Prayer does not change God to bend to our wishes and desires Rex, it changes us.
I will be praying for you.

Susan Castillo said...


I am perplexed as to why some Christians feel the need to save homosexuals. I realize that for Baptists in particular, it is a teaching that we are to be constantly seeking out lost souls. That leaves little room for discussion in my opinion.

As a child growing up in the South, at one time it was a popular idea to take the church bus to local social spots and go physically remove our unsaved friends by pulling them onto the bus and then taking them to services. We did this specifically during the summer, during youth revival times. I shudder to think of the legal liability today. But--another subject at another time.

I was raised Southern Baptist. I was taught not only to pray for my unsaved friends, but I was also taught that if my friend did not accept Christ, then there was the
possibility that their soul would be on my hands, so to speak. If I lay awake at night at all, it was for that reason. I didn't want to disappoint God by allowing my friends to remain unsaved.

As an adult, I see now the flaws in that teaching. In truth, each of us is responsible for our own souls with respect to salvation and eternal life. But there are still those teachings out there that seemingly place the load of salvation of souls still on Christians themselves, specifically on Baptists.It now seems a particularly grave assignment for Christians to stop the spread of homosexuality in America.

To use Fred Phelpisms, America is being punished SOLELY due to our tolerance of the homosexual agenda--and more now because of the push or gay equality in all aspects of American life. Now, I use the term "Fred Phelpism" loosely. It is also a teaching of mainstream Baptists that God does not hate anything except sin. But the taste that is left in our collective mouths is bad because there also exists a segment of "haters" that want to blame someone else for the corruption, moral bankruptcy, and natural disasters of this country. So too easily we have placed homosexuality at the top of the list of things that cause God to punish Americans. (More to come)

Susan Castillo said...

Continued from above:

Let's face it: there are gay people now, there always were gay people, and there will always be gay people. Whether or not homosexuals are born with their “misfortune,” or if they have learned that behavior, is immaterial at this point. (And to answer the question posed by Rex: I doubt Jason Collins made any new converts to homosexuality by coming out---he merely raised the consciousness of Americans to the presence of gays in every aspect of our society---hence it appears as if there are increased numbers. There is an increased *awareness* of homosexuals. Not an increase in number.)

Gay people have existed since Biblical times; hence, the Bible has at least 36 references to sexual impurity/immorality that today have been VERY LOOSELY
interpreted to mean specifically
homosexuality. Gay people have contributed to our country's freedom. They have been interspersed in the military for every war that has been fought for our freedom (reminder here that some people say America is a Christian nation---so specifically they have fought and died for Christians to have the right to go on and on about the sin of homosexuality) since the Pilgrims
landed. Gay people commit gay acts. So it is safe to say sexual sin in the form of same sex relations has always existed as well. In other words--God is no stranger to homosexual sex.

I honestly don’t believe He is standing in Heaven with his hand over his mouth, his eyes wide open, with shock and horror at homosexual sexual acts. We have anthropomorphized God in just about every era, and I guess today's era, we get to ascribe our own horror with sexual shame to Him. WE are uncomfortable with sex PERIOD. Not to mention sexual practices that have been drilled into us as being "taboo." So, it's not news to God that there are homosexuals. It’s US who have the issue with it.

So is it accurate to say that one of this nation's Christian responsibilities is to stop gay rights/marriage equality? Why is it so much more of an issue today than in the past? And why must we assume responsibility for homosexual souls thereby targeting a very large proportion of the world's population for shame, ridicule, poverty, discrimination, and violence? Just because we are afraid of our own sexual urges? God, being God, is not ashamed of sex---He created it for our pleasure. P-L-E-A-S-U-R-E. Now there's a word we are not familiar with. Sex is pleasurable.

Except in Christian America. Here--it is okay for someone to be fired for their sexual acts---which should be left in the bedroom, incidentally. I've stated in this blog before that it's no one's business what goes on in another person's home.

Let me propose a question to you: in the scheme of things---how would we feel if the "sex police" came beating down our doors to make sure we are all having missionary position sex? I mean---good old fashioned one-man-one-woman missionary position sexual relations? How many men are going to pay fines for not satisfying their wives sexually, or visa versa? And who is going to regulate all that? How often do we legislate
sexual relations with our spouse? And if we break those rules, who gets to do the probation/parole? Is this a civil offense, or criminal?

To be continued.

Susan Castillo said...

You can see, this is silly. I know that, but my point is just this---we have cast our own shame/guilt/bad attitudes towards something God created as a gift. It just is not possible for Christians to police sexual rules that are broad and obscure, and PRIVATE.

I want every person here to upload a picture of themselves. Then, I’ll get online and tell each of you about the last time you had sexual relations and how that went. Because you know, I can tell just by looking at your picture that you have had sexual relations—with whom, what position used, and the satisfaction level of each person. I can also tell who masturbated last night.

Silly stuff, huh?

Everyone is responsible to God for their own sins. Christians, in launching an all out war on gay marriage, have inadvertently also made it one of those things where "Hey, we are going to do what we need to do to eradicate homosexuality from America and well, if someone gets hurt/killed, that's not on us---we're just doing what God wants us to do. They shouldn’t be gay.”

That is some jacked up logic. In reality, you are condoning ridicule, violence, shame, increased alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide---not overtly. You are wrapping it into a "God is love" package and the hell with the rest.

You are making it ok for your daughters and sons to be discriminated against. To be raped, beaten, perhaps murdered. If gays find someone to love and to commit to, because they live a pure life and faithful to their spouse---who happens to be of the same sex---you are suggesting that a lifetime of loyalty to ONE spouse does not entitle them to pension, health insurance, SSI....all because of their orientation to the same sex.

And you are doing it all in the name of God. God's not doing it. He loves our children. Just as he loves all of you. You "strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel," to use Jesus’ words. You diminish very good people to a sexual preference and a sexual act that you are not even sure happens and have no idea about. Except you porn watchers. You are judging me, my children, my spouse, my family, YOUR family, and perhaps your own children---and maybe yourself---and attributing to us acts that you don’t even know anything about. I am suggesting that some of you are well-intentioned, good people, but uptight , misinformed, and ashamed of sex. And the others just enjoy the fact that the heat of God's holiness is off them for a moment. I doubt that God hears our prayers for the salvation of homosexual souls, because He can't hear our words. We are like a clanging cymbal.

I've read your words here, been mocked, and tried to digest your writings. But I see how mistaken we all are. ALL OF US. You have your right to your OPINION, but that’s all it is. Who has absolute wisdom and who knows the mind of God? Adultery used to be illegal. In some states, it still is, but I can’t remember the last time I saw a man or woman on “Cops” being shoved into a police car,
handcuffed, because they were unfaithful to their spouse. And of course: when is the last time you confessed to God your sin of sleeping with your wife while she is menstruating? There are lots of questions; there is so much we DON’T KNOW about the things we CAN see. We will never comprehend the mystery of God's wisdom. You have no more right to sit in judgment of homosexuals than homosexuals have to judge you. And that's what it is---don't water it down by quoting Scripture to try to support what you are really doing---judging. God can and will take care of homosexuals.

But that’s HIS job. Not yours. If you all died today—everyone who has read or contributed to this blog, God’s work would STILL be done. Let’s please be careful and not make things worse here, when just keeping your mouth closed and tending to the log in your own eye is a full-time job.

Last entry coming up.

Susan Castillo said...

Last entry and I'm done.

If I offended you, I don’t care. You will get over it and dismiss my words as foolishness.But I hope some of you hear what I am saying.

Years ago, divorce and adultery were grave sins. There were so many wives who stayed in an abusive marriage with an ogre who beat them.

My mother was such a person. My father beat me, my sister, and my brother. He shot and killed 8 little Boxer puppies one time right in front of us. I was 7 years old when that happened. He beat our mother. And yes, it was that bad.

My mother lived with him for 25 years--because she was taught divorce was wrong because the Bible said it was. Our pastor came to our house and advised her that if she divorced my father, she would be sinning.

So she stayed. And so did we.

Today, the Bible reads exactly the same as it did way back in the '60's when my mother, sister, brother and myself were being abused physically and emotionally. Just because it was "wrong" to divorce, my siblings and I were subject to so many more beatings and abuse than we had to be.

Today we wouldn't dream of asking a woman to stay with an abusive husband, and it offends our sensibilities to even suggest. Now, was that old pastor wrong for advising her of that? I have no doubt that he believed he was advising her to do the "right thing." The Bible spoke against divorce and leaving your husband. There are no clauses or footnotes in the Bible that stipulate the exceptions to the law. But it was necessary for her to leave him for our very lives.

I just want to ask you all to stop for a moment and consider what you are doing when point out another's sexual orientation, call it sin, and make it your agenda to slow down or halt the process to obtain equal rights for everyone. That---well, that's why we have separation of church and state. Equality is a function of government, not church. You folks get together and pray for us all, but when it comes to equal PROTECTION in American, please, please let the law decide that.

We all have differing opinions. But the law of the land provides for us to freely worship as we please. Don't make that mean discrimination against people who are different than yourself.


Pege' said...

Susan, I liked the way you expressed yourself. I heard you. I agree with you that I need to take care of my own "house" and make sure my life is what it should be.Also I cannot speak for God, I can speak of his word but I am not him.I stand in no judgement of any one. The theme of this stream is homosexuality because of the article and blog Wade posted as you well know. So the content of each post will have that as its theme. I do not pray for my friends because they are homosexual, I pray because I love them and they are lost as I do some other friends who appear to live a good and "moral" life. I can call anything God calls sin, sin. It is not societal laws that determine that.
MISTAKES have been made in the name of the Lord and I am so heartbroken to hear of your mothers suffering and the nightmare you lived through. I too had a mother who would not leave an alcoholic father and suffered for it.How wrong wrong wrong that man was for counseling your mother to stay there. How wrong he was for not reporting your father to the authorities and holding him accountable. How wrong to leave children and a wife in such a position.I am so sorry.

Homosexuality can become legal in all 50 states. Civil Unions accepted. Looks like it will be sooner rather than later. The fight here is not for the temporal pleasures of this life and all their gratification. Its about the reality of eternity. If I had the cure for cancer...I would share it. If I had the cure for Aids....I would shout it from the mountain top and give it away for free.If one baby saved from abortion... If I could stop the pain of abuse and neglect...use my hands Lord to do so. How can we remain silent? How can we not speak the truth? What kind of people would we be as followers of Jesus Christ if we stopped sharing his good news of freedom from sin?
True, God will deal with the adulterers, thieves, lairs, gossips, gluttons...of which I am guilty of all of this list and much more. I stand in the freedom from sins penalty because of Jesus not because I am innocent because I am forgiven.
God wants a relationship with us. He will draw men to himself. Agreed.

If I were a neighbor Susan and saw your bruises and your mothers suffering. Heard her cries in the night as she was hurt by the fists of your father and turned away, did nothing. What kind of neighbor, what kind of human would I be? Mother Theresa went to the unwanted found people in gutters covered in maggots, dying. How could she turn away? She took them to her home, cleaned them with her own hands. Clothed them and fed them. Showed them dignity and respect. She told them of Gods love for them. Did alcoholism, drug addiction, laziness, get them to be gutter fotter, I can't speak on it. In the gutter they were. There she was like her savior, loving them.
I respect your thoughts. I am sorry. We followers of Christ cannot and will not remain silent. People are too important.
Eternity too real.
Freedom available
Jesus too precious not to share.

Anonymous said...

Susan, I'm sorry for what you and your mother suffered.

And yes, some preachers did understand divorce the way you state.

So is divorce sin? Yes--but not in the way it was explained to you. The sin would have been on your father, not your mother. He was the "guilty party" in such a situation.

If you want to use anecdotes, my aunt went through much the same thing. Her church HELPED her leave her abuser and supported her financially in raising all five of her children.

It isn't up to a vote as to whether or not homosexual behavior is sin. The Bible is consistent throughout that the action is forbidden.

But let's pretend for a moment we can abolish it being sin. Guess what?

All gay people are still sinners in need of a Savior. Why? Because all human beings are sinners in need of a Savior. Find me one person who has never broken one of God's laws (except Jesus).

And of course, no matter what one's sin might be, upon regeneration God starts the process of sanctification and we will all be called upon to grow up and drop off our sins.

Part of the problem is that today we confuse our actions with intrinsic parts of our being. Rather than being a person who goes hunter, we see him as a hunter. Rather than see her as someone who shops in malls, we call her a mall rat. Rather than a person with diabetes, we call ourselves diabetics.

We've built an identity--gay or homosexual--upon an action or desire for the action.

If we move away from those identities and see each other as humans, with some actions forbidden by God and some not, we can see the issue more clearly.

I'm not out to change your mind. You seem to have decided already that you are either smarter than God or endowed to dismiss the scripture and decide things for yourself.

I believe in soul competency, so all I can is to caution you that with that freedom comes great responsibility. Ultimately you will be held accountable, as will all of us, if you have led folks astray.

I sense you are very angry, very hurt, and very much not going to have anyone say "no" to you about this issue.

That is fair enough--but then the same rules apply to those who will forever stand saying this is sin as so many other things are labeled sin also in the Bible.


Pege' said...

Such a well written and beautiful post..I could not agree more.

Susan Castillo said...


I appreciate the time you took in replying to the post. I understand that we disagree, but you're missing the point. I don't seek to change your mind. I don't care on way or the other whether you believe homosexual acts are sin. What I do care about, however, is the mostly inflammatory statements made about gays and disregard for the consequences. It's not like being diabetic and having diabetes at all. Diabetes is an ILLNESS, and carries with it no prejudice or stigma. When a blanket statement is made like Wade made (equating homosexuality with pedophilia) it then provides opportunity for less benevolent people than this group to commit hate crimes. Surely I don't have to tell you what that means.

You say I seem to have decided that I'm smarter than God. I'm not even sure what you mean by that. It has nothing to do with being "smarter than" anyone or anything, although saying that about me discounts my words and focuses on my character. I simply don't agree with you or Wade, or most of the people participating in our conversation. Further, I am confronting your group with consequences of your group's prejudice and presumption. Has nothing at all to do with being smarter than you or the group. My point in keeping up this dialog is to point out that the barrage of negativity doesn't further the cause of the Christian agenda. It creates superstition and gives rise to fear. It's not a far walk to "hate" from there.

I am hurt and angry some of the time, as are you. I am human. But that doesn't make what I am saying to you and the group less valid or less meaningful. You believe what you believe, but don't try to create laws for the entire country based on religious superstition. You are correct, sin is not up for discussion or vote, but civil rights are very much the business of the country and that should be a matter for those it affects to decide, not a religion.


Susan Castillo said...

My original point in bringing up divorce is relevant here...the fact that you so easily tossed that belief aside is proof of how the attitudes about it have changed over time. I don't know how old you are, but I remember very well the fears and prejudices of the '60's and '70's and although they seem silly to us now, then it was cause for shame and prejudice. When I married, my husband's parents did not attend the wedding because my parents were divorced. And my parents divorced anyway, and some of my relatives pronounced us "bastards." That's very ignorant and silly today, but it was justified back then in the religious circles I was in (Baptist).

The belief of soul competency is a good one. Each person is accountable to God for his or her own salvation, and is responsible for reading the Bible and interpretation of such. There are people who do not interpret the Bible as saying homosexuality is wrong. So if your belief of soul competency is something significant enough to mention here, why won't you allow that belief to really be effective in the soul of a homosexual? It seems as if you want both options--soul competency if it's convenient for you, but condemnation of gays because YOU see homosexuality as sin.

And you are correct, no one can say no to me about this. I'm not asking permission. So that's a moot point. Say what you want to about sin. Stand your ground. It's your religion and you have the right to practice it, just as I do to practice as I choose. Soul competency, you know. Neither belief in God nor lack thereof should be the basis for American law.

Lastly: I can't think of a gay person I know (and I know plenty) who want to dodge responsibility of the freedom to marry. Quite the contrary. That's why they want to marry. To be a whole person in society and to be equal under the law. To raise children, to work and contribute to society. Sin is not a matter of the law. Jesus came not to abolish the law, or the writings of the prophets. "No, I came to accomplish their purpose." (New Living Translation, Matthew 5:17).

Rex Ray said...

Your first comment on Wade’s post was:

“Dear Mr. Burleson: I don't know you. You don't know me. But what you wrote regarding your "brother in Christ" makes me sick and is the very reason why I stopped listening to ANYONE who claims to be a Christian leader. “

Do you feel any different if the “Christian leader” is a woman?

I believe you used “Dear” as demeaning whereas the leaders of the Jerusalem Church used ‘dear brother” to hoodwink Paul. (Acts 21:20 NLT).

See, I’m still trying to get you interested in the “Cold Case” of Paul. :)

I believe your statement reveals your ‘filter’ was caused by an abusive father and possible other factors. You seem to jump to the conclusion that the “brother in Christ” was a sex abuser. Whereas my ‘filter’ concluded it was the woman at fault more than him. My filter’ was influenced by the biggest hero of my life---my father and Christian teachings. You known…I don’t smoke and I don’t chew and I don’t go with girls that do. :) I’ve only had sex with one person and after we were married. (She was 24 and I was 25.) Maybe it was because in high school, I was voted the most handsome but many girls/women and that dumb homosexual…well, you know the rest.

Back to your abusive father…what would you think if he offered you to a mob of homosexuals to be raped as in (Genesis 19:8), or a husband that pushed you out the door to homosexuals that raped you so bad you died? (Judges 19:25-28) I believe she died of a broken heart caused by her husband.

You paint a pretty picture of homosexuals that you know. Wonder why you can’t find that kind in the Bible? Maybe they change when they become the majority as Muslims do in countries where they are the majority.

I agree with ‘soul competency’, but how can that be if missionaries and others are forced to sign the BF&M 2000? (Another axe to grind.)

Thanks for the “HUG”. My wife’s death has been known as ‘the long goodbye’. I don’t know if that makes it any easier or not.

When my father was 93, he asked for my belt so he could get out of a ‘horse trough’.

“No daddy—you’re in a hospital bed.”

He had my belt as quick as a flash that made him smile after he said with tears down his face, his last words to me, “I’ve done a lot for you.”

Rex Ray said...

I said, “I love you”, and he said “I love you too.”

Denise Craig said...

God when he created Adam and Eve, he gave them several commands. One was to be fruitful and mulitply, and another was not to eat from the tree of knowledge. Well here comes this slimy snake who tells Eve "look God lied to you. See I ate from the tree of knowledge and I didn't die, and Eve being naive said I guess since you said it is ok than I will ignore what was told to me, by my creator. Well guess who the liar was? The slimy snake. There after we are dying everyday, and still searching for the tree of life. Now we are still eating from the tree of knowledge that we can twist things to support what we know is wrong, and soon guess what?
Man will truly die, because we are no longer being fruitful and slowly dying off and never to produce again. A little extra note. God said any man who sleeps with another man will have the blood of death on him. Guess that is where AIDS comes in. So you can follow Gods rules, or die by the snakes twisted logic.

Denise Craig said...


stevenstarkmusic said...

Spend a week or two with a family that happens to have two parents of the same sex. Then follow your heart as to what is right and wrong.

What is right is love and commitment. Supporting families and children. What is wrong is persecuting those different than us because of an ancient holiness code that is irrelevant today.

We may find homosexual sex distasteful. Probably because we are not homosexuals! I don't really care for sushi, but that doesn't make sushi-eaters sinners.

Let's stand for what actually is right and wrong, not whether one eats shellfish or not, or wears fabrics of different kinds, or prefers men or women to pursue relationships with.

Also, AIDS is passed during heterosexual sex too.

Homosexuals make an easy "out" group, because most of us are not homosexual. The New Testament speaks much more strongly against being rich (James 5:1, Luke 6:24, Matthew 19:23-24, etc.)

But we see CHristians doing exegetical backflips to explain those verses away. They are bad for business after all. But picking on homosexuals is good for business with many....

Please give our homosexual neighbors the benefit of the doubt. Let's choose compassion first and judge any residual legalism against the standard of love.

I fear the hate I read in many of these comments. It's just not worthy of the Jesus tradition.

Rex Ray said...

You have a pretty name. That’s what a mother said who had twins and because of circumstances, they were named by their dumb uncle. She was delighted to hear the girl’s name but not the boy’s---Denephew. :)

What do you think of the remarks by stevenstarkmusic ?

He speaks like the God of the Old Testament is not the God of the New by him saying:

“What is wrong is persecuting those different than us because of an ANCIENT HOLINESS CODE THAT IS IRRELEVANT TODAY.”

The “ancient holiness code’ or the Old Testament said, “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man...both men…must be put to death…” (Leviticus 19:13 NLT)

What does Steven do with the New Testament?

“God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women…indulged in sex with each other. And the men…burned with lust for each other.” (Romans 1:26-27 NLT)

“Don’t you realize those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God?...Those who…practice homosexuality…” (1 Corinthians 6:9 NLT)

“He turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into heaps of ashes and blotted them off the face of the earth, making them an example for all the ungodly in the future to look back upon and fear.” (2 Peter 2:6 Living)

Does Steven live in the “future”? Does he look back with “fear”? He said “hate” is in our comments. I believe he is listening to the “slimy snake” and believes its “twisted logic”.

Denise Craig said...

To Rex Ray

The new Testament, was written by King James. Research King James, he was born in the 1500. He wrote the bible the old testament based on the koran, the new testament was based on his fictional account and he characterized Jesus, because he failed to believe that Moses was the only man to have physically seen God. But saying that homesexual activiy is normal, ask yourself what benefit comes from sexual relations with the same sex? Old beliefs was that a man asks a girls father for her and in marriage and that a girl remains a virgin until she is married. Why we should have kept that belief? Look at all these young pregnant teens, unwed mothers, women going to court for child support. Who's my baby daddy. These teachings has a reason behind them. Let me get a little graphic here: A man's dunky hole was not meant to be invaded by another man's genital parts. Seman was not meant to enter through that way to reproduce. Sticking and sucking from another mans waste area is very unsanitizing. But just as a woman chooses to strip or prositute for a living, keep it to yourself and no one else has to express there feelings on it to offend you. Another thing Homosexuals are always talking about they are being discriminated against when in reality they want more freedom than others. They want to express their beliefs on others but not visa versa. They want to enter the service and free to be in the same room with their lover, but a heterosexual man is seperated from his because of distraction. They can go to jail and still be free to be sexually pleasured. A straight man is raped and denied th right for female companionship. A gay man can have a sex change because he feels he was meant to be a woman and he likes men. But he is not required to let a straight man know that he is marrying woman that was once a man and allow him to decide if that is what he wants.
If you don't see the evil behind it than oh well!

Denise Craig said...

Steve I read your comment, but I don't think you even know what your argument is about. You make a say spend a week or two with a family that has two parents of the same sex. It is impossible to have two parents of the same sex. One may be your mother or father, but the other is a friend brought in to play house. You have another parent out there you may not know of, but that is irrelevant. You say it is love and committment that matters,supporting families and children. Yes that matters, so how are you supporting children and families if you are creating kids and seperating them from their real parents to pretend you can have kids with the same sex. Where is the other parent that created this child. You go on to compare homosexuality with sushi eaters. Maybe you should ask how would you feel if your mother brought her boyfriend into your home with your father and they all lived together as a family sexually and all. Are they sinners. You say focus on what is right and wrong. Well what do you consider a sin and what do you consider right and wrong. In your world nothing is wrong, as long as it makes you happy. So I am assuming you do not judge murderers, rapist, prostitutes, teen mothers, adultorers, theives, and drunk drivers. I can go on, but no sushi eaters do not fall into the catagory of sin, but if you look up the definition of sin, than you will see that homosexuality do fall into that catagory. YOu talk about giving homosexuals the benefit of the doubt. What doubt is there. I am not a christian, I am a believer in God my creator. Christianity, and other religions is mans way of making their own rules. Let me just ask you this. If in told you that I was an incestor, and that I liked having sex with my brother, would you than judge me

stevenstarkmusic said...

Rex Ray,

I don’t believe the Bible to be the perfect word of God, but even if I did, I would interpret it in the light of Jesus.

In the Old Testament, eating shellfish is called an abomination. Is it still?

There are many interesting interpretations of all the passages you mention. 1 Corinthians 6 seems to be more about sex acts in context with the worship of different Gods.

If we keep reading Romans, we see that God has abandoned all, so that he may be merciful to all.

And remember 1 Corinthians 10:23 23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.

So in the context of the new freedom on Christ - where the old notion of clean and unclean is done away with - we should judge right and wrong by what is beneficial and good. Family is good. Asking our gay friends to forsake family and spend years in therapy needlessly is not good.

Perhaps it would also be interesting to meditate on Acts 10 and what it means in today's context.

Acts 10:28 “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean."


I consider parents of adopted children to be real parents. I know a lot of adoptive parents who show a lot more real parenting than biological parents.

And I am sorry, but the rest of your comments mention situations that are not parallels. I am not talking about incest, or a three-way in a household, or any of the other situation you are discussing. I am discussing two people in a mature, consensual, relationship built on love and respect. I am not as worried about their private parts.

As to what constitutes right and wrong, yes, ultimately what is right is what is beneficial. What creates greater well-being in the long run? If you disagree with this, then what is your standard?

Susan Castillo said...

To answer your question: No I would not feel any different. A minister, male or female, is never justified in crossing that line. I don't understand how you can say on one hand that homosexuals live in sin and list that "sin" very near the top of the black list of sins---and yet not assign to a minister the same standards and require absolute fidelity of them. Male or female, if they violate a congregant, adult or child, they cross the line. That line is sacred trust. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be "forgiven." I'm saying they shouldn't be a minister.

My use of the word "Dear" in my first post was how I was taught to address someone. You read too much into that. Here, you lack the advantage of hearing my voice inflection and seeing my facial expressions. No, it was not demeaning.I never even thought of that.

Regarding my father: He didn't offer me to homosexuals.What both my parents did was allow me to date at age 12. My date? age 17. They were busy fighting, I guess, and it was easier to let me do that than it was to try to keep me from it. I probably don't have to tell you how that relationship turned out.

I see my parent's lives in a very sad way. To live in hell for 25 years (they were married that long) was something neither of them deserved. I came to make peace with my father, but with the knowledge that he did fail as a father for US. But--there was nothing that hating him would accomplish and even further, knew it would rob me of my peace of mind as an adult.

A pretty picture of homosexuals in the Bible. Geez. I don't know. I don't really recall seeing a pretty picture of the Gentiles, Pharisees, Samaritans, or women, either, except for a select few who provided no obstacle to the spread of monotheistic religions. So I'm not sure that "a pretty picture" can really be an accurate measure of attitudes toward homosexuals during Biblical times.

I don't recall writing here either that all homosexuals are sweet and pretty. There are asses in every population. I studied mob behavior in college, and Muslims, gays, and Fred Phelpists all fall under the heading of "mob" as do Christians. What one Christian does functioning as an individual can be vastly opposite the behavior of a group of Christians. A group of homosexuals are no more or less obnoxious than any other group of people. Homosexuals have at the core *humanity.* As do Muslims, Christians, etc.

We are doing ourselves no favor by grouping people together and judging their character based on group behavior, or misbehavior. Hitler did this with Jews, Whites did this with Blacks, Christians do this with Muslims, and straight people do this with homosexuals. At the base of stereotyping groups of people? F-E-A-R and I-G-N-O-R-A-N-C-E.

Susan Castillo said...


My issue, and I'll say it again, is this: denying any group of individuals their civil rights based on religion, falsehoods, and superstition is to target that population for violence, suicide, depression, poverty, and abuse. I have no idea about the BF&M 2000. I had to google it to see what it was. Baptists don't get to make the laws. Just because you are enmeshed in your church's beliefs and doctrines does not mean the rest of the country is. The law-making body consists of United States citizens, not Baptists, Catholics, so on and so forth.

If YOU want to go to church and worship, do it. More power to you---stay married to one girl and have sex with her for the rest of your life. But don't measure others by your religious standards and don't expect the law to reflect your Baptist/Christian beliefs. Go ahead and quibble about Paul's murder, Cain's sin, and God's plans. Go to Sunday School and talk about it. YOU, as a white, American, Protestant male have more civil rights than anyone in this country, so I feel quite sure you are satisfied with status quo and see no problem.

But everyone is not like you, Rex. There actually are people who do not measure their life and worth by the Bible or church. Homosexuals don't sit around and long for the opportunity to be straight. Catholics don't pine away to be Protestant. When you throw your Bible verses at me and tell me what it says, I'm not going to suddenly GET IT. I DON'T CARE.

In the realm of law and civil rights, the Bible is irrelevant because all Americans are not Christians. Your biblical laws and notions should not apply to secular government. Your Protestant God is not everyone's God. There are Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, and countless others, and to think that your religion should trump all others is dangerous.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that, in some things, Denise has more wisdom in her little finger than Doctor Faustus had with all his learning. He sold his soul to the Devil and so lost touch with reality. People who renounce their baptism and abandon the Gospel they once knew, enter a world of fear and fantasy. They become indecisive, restless, feckless, bitter, humourless and verbally intemperate. They haughtily declare they don't care what others think of them, being glutted with conceit, pride and spite, and driven constantly by the dark emotional demons to whom they have sold out. They are terrified of death, because they can already hear the Devil knocking at the door to take possession of their souls.
We can empathize with them having sensed their 'original helplessness', as Freud puts it, which is rooted in the helplessness of our childhood, of the child's lack of control over the sources of his or her own satisfaction. This fear and resentment of our helplessness can be commonly seen and heard in the very earliest days of a child's life. It can steadily grow as the frustration increases, and the hurt can remain for decades to come. As a solution we construct in our minds and emotions a labyrinthine of ways, some even self-destructive, to try and avoid this pain of vulnerability or to protect ourselves from the fear of it. Some may withdraw their need for others, striking a pose of artful self-sufficiency in which they become mini-gods, immune from the pain that dependency upon others inevitably generates. Dr Faustus wanted out by selling his soul in exchange for magical powers from the Devil, and was deceived into thinking he was given the ability to read the minds and secret actions of others . The play ends with the Devil's agents coming to collect Herr Doktor, to securely escort him into Hell. Faustus had been deceived into putting all his trust in a bogus soul investment and had made the wrong choice. As Francis Thompson says in 'The Hound of Heaven' : "All things betray thee, who betrayest Me".
But the glory of the Gospel is that helplessness is not hopelessness. The recognition of our brokenness and inability to fix ourselves; our wounds, fears and weakness from the past, opens the door of opportunity for God's grace to come into our lives. In weakness we can find strength; "out of the experience of a devouring eater, like a lion, comes forth honey". (Judges 14:14). We are all invited to come and choose abundant life through trust in Jesus Christ, the redeemer of lost and broken souls. Peter, who was sinking, made an urgent 911 call . We can do the same. Right now !


stevenstarkmusic said...

Hi Gordon,

"Dr Faustus wanted out by selling his soul in exchange for magical powers from the Devil, and was deceived into thinking he was given the ability to read the minds and secret actions of others."

This statement is ironic in the context of your comments, which are fantasies of what is inside the minds of others.

But I agree with many of your comments, particularly those concerning "letting go" in the face of what we cannot control -a huge tenant of Buddhism incidentally. Also, I appreciate your emphasis on compassion and empathy - which is our only hope.

Thy Peace said...

This is an Off Topic comment to Steven Stark: I thought you might be interested in Joseph Campbell. I have lately been poring over his writings and speeches, as I love comparative mythology and religion. I have loved studying native american mythology and Hindu and Buddhism mythologies. Also as a former Hindu and now a Christian, I get to appreciate different sources of mythology and religion. Encourage you to check out his interviews with Bill Moyers on the Power of Myth.

Rex Ray said...

I started to reply to you last night but got too sleepy. This morning, I had thoughts gathered in what to say, but after reading the rant of Susan, I feel she would have me apologize and agree you are right. So keep in mind these words may apply to both of you.

You state, “I would interpret [Bible] in the light of Jesus.”

That implies I don’t.

You ask if eating shellfish is still an abomination.

No; and neither is gathering firewood on Sunday punished by death. God’s ways are not man’s ways. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 Holman)

You replied to 1 Corinthians 6 (condemning homosexuals) that the verse is “more about sex acts in context with the worship of different Gods.”

You’re right and there will be many more in hell than homosexuals.

In reference to my quoting: “God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women…indulged in sex with each other. And the men…burned with lust for each other.” (Romans 1:26-27 NLT); you said, “If we keep reading Romans…”

The end of the chapter says, “…those who practice such things deserve to die—they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.”

Steven, do you applaud homosexuals?

Whereas I quote “Don’t you realize those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God?...Those who…practice homosexuality…” (1 Corinthians 6:9 NLT); you say (1 Corinthians 10:23) “the old notion of clean and unclean is done away with.”

In those verses, Paul was ‘fighting’ food laws Christian Gentiles were given to be accepted by the Christian Jews. Many thought these food laws were necessary for salvation.

You quote Acts 10:28 where Peter tells a Gentile why God has sent him so he would hear the Gospel.

Yes, homosexuals should hear the Gospel, repent and be saved, but to use this Scripture to accept homosexuals reminds me of the quote: “Genius has limitations but not stupidity.”

Steven, do homosexuals rebel against God’s command how to populate the earth? If you were there when God opened the earth and swallowed all the rebels, where would you want to be standing? (Numbers 16:32)

Anonymous said...

I don't believe Marlowe was fantasizing when he formed the character and actions of Dr Fautus in his play. Like all successful writers, Marlowe was both keenly observant and intuitive of what goes on inside the minds of others. It is the writer's gift to be able to 'telt what is felt', and so express our deepest fears and failings.
We are all familiar, to some degree or another, with people involved in the spiritual struggle presented. I once knew a man who portrayed all these ugly things mentioned, and even more. With his arrogance and censoriousness he tried to cover his own guilt. Yes, I lived with him for many years but he no longer lives here now. Sometimes the Devil still comes looking for him, but I say; "No, he's gone; he's no longer here......praise God" !


stevenstarkmusic said...

Thy Peace,

I am familiar with Joseph Campbell's work, though I have yet to read "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" all the way through. I have seen some of the Moyers interviews.

Thanks for you inspiring me to read more!

Rex Ray,

I am not suggesting that Scripture condones homosexuality outright. What I mean is that there is a larger point to the New Testament. That what makes us clean is what comes out of our mouths, not what goes in.

It is clear that rules about homosexuality in the Old Testament are grouped in with all the law that has to do with cleanliness and uncleanliness. And we know that most of that has been abandoned by Christians these days.

What I meant by mentioning the context of 1 Corinthians 6 is that equating homosexuality in the New Testament, which in 1 Corinthians is probably referring to sex acts in conjunction with some kind of religious rite, with a gay long-term relationship today may not be consistent.

As one Methodist minister and Yale professor emeritus of theological ethics, who recently performed his son's wedding (to another man) says about reading Scripture, "context matters."

As far as threats of hell, I think that is the lowest form of a "moral" argument. It is the worship of power and authority over goodness. It reduces morality to a sort of "adult" toddlerhood, where rules are about punishments and rewards instead of their true purpose - to create a better life here and now. It is an obsession with legalism - the letter of the law over the spirit of the law. And that is exactly what the Jesus tradition sought to change.

I certainly applaud homosexuals if they are living a good life, focusing on love, respect and commitment. I applaud them whole-heartedly.

Thanks for answering some of my points - many of which I probably didn't make carefully enough.


I didn't mean Marlowe was fantasizing. I meant that you were fantasizing in your comments about what is going on the heads of those who believe differently than you.

stevenstarkmusic said...

Rex Ray,

I should add that I am discussing things on conservative Christian terms here.

I do not believe the Bible is perfect at all. It is a very human book. I admire Paul, but he is not God.

Anonymous said...

Steven Stark,

I appreciate all that you have said and the spirit in which you have said it :-)


Anonymous said...

We do miss the point of the new Testament, don't we?

Can gay people, actively gay, be generally decent and loving people? Of course they can.

That doesn't mean the acts are not sin, nor should we leap to conclude that when the scripture was written and there was no such thing as gay marriage, it is ok.

There was no such thing as an atomic bomb then, but for me to use one on you would still be murder, which is clearly condemned.

Gays, like straights, are sinners in need of grace.


Rex Ray said...

You said, “I am discussing things on conservative Christian terms.”

“Conservative”? Sounds like the big bad wolf saying he’s Little Red Riding Hood.

Methinks Thou Doest protest Too Much since you’ve written 6,866 words, and 38,572 characters with spaces. I believe your life of ‘hard knocks’ has taught you “Be careful who you trust, the devil was once an angel.”

Good point about the Bible doesn’t condemn the atomic bomb or gay marriage.

A relative of mine in his 50’s was dressing to go swimming in a man’s dressing room. He ran out with only a towel because he was shocked at what two men were doing. Seems they had come out of the closet. Now the establishment keeps the door partly open.

stevenstarkmusic said...

"Can gay people, actively gay, be generally decent and loving people? Of course they can."

And that is what matters.

Rex Ray,

What I meant, in case I was unclear, is that I am discussing this issue more on your (conservative Christian) terms - since you take the Bible more at face value than I do.

I am definitely not a conservative Christian, although I once was. I am maybe a very, very liberal Christian, but perhaps "unitarian universalist at heart" is better. I also like the term "reverent agnostic." :) But I deeply love the Christian tradition.

The Bible is a very human book, full of wonderful things and full of terrible things. We must use discernment with it, just like we should with all things we read.

I disagree with Steven Weinberg a bit. But when I read conservative Christians, people who I believe are nice and decent people on the whole, discussing gays, I am reminded of his quote:

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

And thank you, Heather!

Susan Castillo said...


Me thinks I am using this blog to support my research on religion addiction.



Rex Ray said...

Can actively gay/child molesters/adulterers/murders/lost church members be generally decent and loving people? Of course they can.

Do you see the folly in your reasoning? Sin is sin; no mater shape, color, or size.

What you said made me smile, but I’m afraid Steven and you are confusing religion for true worship. Do you believe Jesus had an addiction for doing his Father’s will?

Denise Craig said...

When people come out about who they really are it is because they are looking to change their ways, not demand that others except it. When Alcoholics confess they have a problem they are looking for help. When sex offenders admit who they are, they are looking for help. When victims of rape admit what happened to them, they are looking for how to get over it and keep on a positive path, but when Gays come out it seems that they are daring anyone to say that they are wrong. If you think that there is nothing wrong than why is there a closet to come out from. Either you want to change or if you don't keep it to your self.

stevenstarkmusic said...

Hi Rex Ray,

"Do you see the folly in your reasoning? Sin is sin; no mater shape, color, or size."

With this manner of thinking, the idea of "sin" loses meaning and becomes arbitrary rules. We need deeper reasons than "because I said so." I am not denying our human limitations. But we cannot ignore our consciences and turn off our hearts and minds.

Bible is secondary. Heart and Mind are primary.


Obviously there is a "closet to come out from" because of persecutions. Simply living as a gay has been against the law many place until recently! As unbelievable as that sounds, you could be sent to prison.

And many of the attitudes shown on this blog show us clearly why people are hesitant to "come out." Look at what they would face from so many, even now.

That's it for me on this thread! I wish you all the best. And I wish our gay neighbors the same rights and privileges that we all enjoy.

Rex Ray said...

I believe you evaluated yourself with your statement: “Bible is secondary. Heart and Mind are primary.”

Adam and Eve only wanted to be like God in knowing good and evil, but your heart and mind primary over the Bible makes you higher than God.

stevenstarkmusic said...

OK - I fibbed a bit - one last quick statement! ;)

Heart and mind are primary for all. Even if you decide that the Bible is God's perfect word, what did you use to decide that?

Best, Steven

Rex Ray said...

I made a bet with myself and I won.

The bet was that you’d reply.

Good answer!

The best back to you also.

Rex Ray said...

Me thinks I’ll try one more time to entice you in your research on religion addiction to add religion murder. :)

Maybe I should contact the TV “Monk” on this.

Paul was in a war with lost Jews and Christian Jews.

If I chose only two references picturing the ‘war’ that raged between Paul and his Christian brothers, they would be (Galatians 1:8 NLT) and (Acts 21)

1. “Let God’s curse fall on anyone…who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.”

2. “They praised God BUT then said, “You know dear brother, how many thousands of Jews have also believed, and they are all very insistent that Jewish believers MUST continue to follow the Jewish traditions and customs. Our Jewish Christians here at Jerusalem HAVE BEEN TOLD that you are against the laws of Moses, against our Jewish customs, and that you forbid the circumcision of their children. Now what can be done? For they will certainly hear that you have come. We suggest this: We have four men here who are preparing to shave their heads and take some vows. Go with them to the Temple and have your head shaved too—and pay for theirs to be shaved. Then everyone will know that you yourself obey the Jewish laws and ARE IN LINE WITH OUR THINKING in these matters.” (Acts 21:20-24 Living)

[They presented ‘the problem’ and the ‘solution’ at the same time, so the elders must have agreed in a previous meeting. Was it an accident they had these guys going? Would Paul feel supported going with a group? And why ask Paul to pay for their heads to be shaved? Would not going make him look like a tightwad? If the Jerusalem Church stoned Paul, hero of Christian Gentiles, the Gentile Churches would have revolted. But if Paul was killed in the Temple, the Elders could push their Jewish Laws to be obeyed by saying Paul believed in them or he wouldn’t have run the risk of taking Jewish vows.]

WHAT? Paul was NOT in line with their thinking: “… He wrote: “…he died to annul that whole system of Jewish laws…” (Ephesians 2:15 Living)

“…The old way, trying to be saved by keeping the Ten Commandment ends in death…” (2 Corinthians 3:6 Living)

In the first place, the lost Jews plotted to kill Paul, (Acts 9:23), and the elders sending him to their Temple was dangerous. In Acts 23:12-13, more than 40 men conspired not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.

If the elders were worried their congregation would stone Paul, why didn’t they have their pastor tell them how great Paul was? Maybe they didn’t because they were the ones who TOLD THEM that Paul was against their Jewish laws.

Paul’s vow was for 7 days, and for 6 days no one recognized him with his head shaved. How did men from Turkey recognized him on the last day unless someone tipped them off? Maybe the tipster didn’t want to be recognized by locals.

Paul’s preaching was twisted: “…This is the man who…tells everybody to disobey the Jewish laws.” (Acts 21:28 Living)

“The whole population of the city was electrified by these accusations and a great riot followed. Paul was dragged out of the Temple…As they were killing him…” (Acts 21:30-31 Living)

How many thousands of church members were in the mob? Had the elders’ suggestion, “everyone will know that you…obey the Jewish laws”, failed, or was their suggestion working perfectly?

Susan Castillo said...


I don't think I will be able to answer your questions. My purpose in ever coming into this venue was to present a side to this that, frankly, hit me over the head years ago. That is this: There are many ways to God. Unfortunately for you and your brothers and sisters who have participated in this discussion, you all have been taught that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and outside of belief in him and asking him to save you, there is no hope for a wonderful afterlife in heaven with the saints in glory. This myth has been perpetuated over the years by fear and superstition.

What exactly do you get by having the answers to your questions? I can't see anything really beneficial here, and perhaps that's where we have to "agree to disagree." In my world, people need much more than solutions to hypothetical questions. In the end, it doesn't matter who murdered Paul nor who shaved their heads. If God is true, I doubt whether or not that really means anything to him. Like you say, though, I don't know the mind of God.

But neither do you.

Rex, my posts were self expression. I've been told I am angry. That's true. It has been speculated that I have been hurt by a man, maybe more. That's true as well. I can't say that I am 100% sure, but I believe you could make that statement to each person who wrote on this blog and it would be accurate.

Because I am angry, don't think the anger is something that shouldn't be directed towards the very things that fuel the anger--abusive, power-hungry, lying-out-the-ass people (mostly men because there are far more men in ministry than women)who deceive people under their care. If and when you all have that experience, I hope you think back to my comments. There are far more people who have been raped, sodomized, beaten, and terrorized by ministers and pastors than you want to know about.

We are, again, straining out the gnat and ignoring the camel. I will make it my business to come out against members of the clergy who 1. have committed these acts, and 2. are placed back in a position of power after being caught. I would think it would be an insult to your sensibilities to hear about this almost daily. But you all are more worried about my gay child getting equal rights under the law than you are about the fact that your pastor probably (statistically) has had at least 2 inappropriate relationships with their congregants since they have been a minister.

I'm all for forgiveness--I've stated this before. That's God's job. Our job is to never let it happen again. It's difficult for me to read here you all making belief in Jesus a requirement for eternal life, yet seeing no harm in a pastor who strays and repents.

Rex, you count my words and characters, and tell me I am protesting to much. Good. Maybe some day you all will hear what I am saying.

Rex Ray said...

“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” Rita Mae Brown

I believe this will completely happen only in heaven when God wipes away our tears to forget the bad in our lives and lives of others.

“Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.” Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

A few minutes ago the radio said Obama was asked: “Do you know of anyone in the White House that knew what the IRS was doing?” He dodged the question by answering, “I didn’t know what the IRS was doing.”

That reminded me of someone asking if he could do anything for me. I made a request and he said, “My wife is overprotective of me.” Did he dodge answering my request: “Tell your wife the truth”? (You see, she had put on the blog that I was full of hatred and lies.)

Susan, why do you write? “There are many ways to God.”

All the religions of the world have their ‘heroes’, but none rose from the dead except Jesus. Do you believe this? Why would God execute his Son if it was unnecessary? How much would you love someone if you let them drive nails into your daughter?

Many pastors use their position to influence their members for sex. A girl was being ‘counseled’ for sadness and he ‘rationalized’ sex would give her comfort. Duh…she was only 13. (I was far removed and heard of this event many years ago.)

Some 30 years ago, the chairman of the deacons read a letter of resignation of our pastor. Everyone wanted to know why. He had demanded the resignation of our associate pastor because he was going to remarry after two years of being divorced. His wife left him because she was tired of having a husband in the ministry. The associate told the deacons since he was being fired; he was revealing the pastor had sex with his wife while counseling her not to leave her husband. The story doesn’t end there. The pastor’s son announced he would kill the deacons, but became the ‘drug lord’ as a senior in high school He did not attend his father’s funeral a few years later, because he was in prison for drugs. When he was released, he committed suicide. I had been his soccer coach in grade school with my two sons. His father and I were the same age.

You said, “In the end, it doesn’t matter who murdered Paul.”
Would you say the same if that person was a pastor? :)

People might agree with Martin Luther when he said the Book of James was a Book of straw.

All I’ve said so far was suspicion. The real proof is in the actions or I should say ‘no actions’ when Paul was on trial, and their non-visit program of Paul in jail for years which caused Paul to write; “At my first answer [trial] no man stood with me…I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Timothy 4:16 KJ)

This was the same prayer that Paul heard Steven pray as he was being murdered. I believe the same crime had been done.

Rex Ray said...

Why do you write? “There are many ways to God.”

All the religions of the world have their ‘heroes’, but none rose from the dead except Jesus. Do you believe this? Why would God execute his Son if it was unnecessary? How much would you love someone if you let them drive nails into your daughter?

Many pastors use their position to influence their members for sex. A girl was being ‘counseled’ for sadness and he ‘rationalized’ sex would give her comfort. Duh…she was only 13. (I was far removed and heard of this event many years ago.)

Some 30 years ago, the chairman of the deacons read a letter of resignation of our pastor. Everyone wanted to know why. He had demanded the resignation of our associate pastor because he was going to remarry after two years of being divorced. His wife left him because she was tired of having a husband in the ministry. The associate told the deacons since he was being fired; he was revealing the pastor had sex with his wife while counseling her not to leave her husband. The story doesn’t end there. The pastor’s son announce he would kill the deacons. Instead, he became the ‘drug lord’ as a senior in high school He did not attend his father’s funeral a few years later, because he was in prison for drugs. When he was released, he committed suicide. I had been his soccer coach in grade school with my two sons. His father and I were the same age.

You said, “In the end, it doesn’t matter who murdered Paul.”
Would you say the same if that person was a pastor? :)

People might agree with Martin Luther when he said the Book of James was a Book of straw.

All I’ve said so far was suspicion. The real proof is in the actions or I should say ‘no actions’ when Paul was on trial, and their non-visit program of Paul in jail for years which caused Paul to write; “At my first answer [trial] no man stood with me…I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Timothy 4:16 KJ)

This was the same prayer that Paul heard Steven pray as he was being murdered. I believe the same crime had been done.

Keith Champion said...

How can this stream stop so suddenly. I was enthralled with Susan's story. After reading about a fifth of the comments, I just began scrolling through and reading her posts.
Personal pain is a merciless master. My heart hurts for Susan. To be convinced that the only path to peace is through angry battle.
I have had similar pain. Pain of abandonment, rejection, and as a result an occasional bad habit flares into a full blown addiction. All in the pursuit of peace.
And then, one day, I gave up. I stopped trying to control my circumstances and the people around me. I surrendered. And for the first time, I began to feel freedom. It wasn't immediate. It's been 18 months, and I still battle my addiction and the pain that I desperately want to avoid. But through transparency, incredible friendships and the Grace from God demonstrated through the forgiveness of family and friends, I am not the man I used to be.
And it is all because of Jesus Christ.
You are on the same road, Susan. Fighting, battling, avoiding, spinning your wheels arguing with no hope of convincing. And all the while you reel inside as you contend with the Holy Spirit. "It is hard for you to kick against the goads!"
I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to draw you to himself...kicking and screaming.
My name is Keith...and I have Changed.