Saturday, June 14, 2008

What Causes Homosexual Orientation -- Words of Julie Harren, PhD

This lady has come to the same conclusions as I. That there ARE things that parents and society do to influence sexual orientation--and that there is hope for any who want to change. If bonds with parents are often influential on orientation, then gay marriage and parenting should be discouraged (like divorce should be discouraged) --because boys, especially, will not have that male role model they need. It is my view that states ought not make legitimate an institution that handicaps children who optimally fare best with both a mother and a father in a happy, loving, functional home. Of course, I believe that Christian faith and principles are the greatest aid to family life, in combination with common sense. (We all know of some Christian homes that do not apply scripture or common sense --and we also know that carnal nature with free will can mess up the best of homes--it's that Satan factor, tempting since the Garden of Eden.)

Julie Harren, Ph.D., LMFT wrote about origin of homosexuality, published at NARTH website :

....While environmental factors may include experiences of sexual abuse or other traumatic events, a common contributor to same-sex attractions is a disruption in the development of gender identity. Gender identity refers to a person's view of his or her own gender; that is, his or her sense of masculinity or femininity. Gender identity is formed through the relationships that a child has with the same-sex parent and same-sex peers.

The process of gender identification begins approximately between age two and a half and four. For boys, it is during this phase that they begin to move from their primary attachment with the mother to seeking out a deeper attachment with the father. For males, the relationship between a boy and his father is the initial source of developing a secure gender identity. It is through the father-son relationship that a boy discovers what he needs to know about being male, including who he is as a boy, how boys walk, how they talk, how they act, and so forth. As the father spends time with the son, shows interest in the son, and gives the son affirmation and affection, the father imparts to the son a sense of masculinity. The boy begins to develop a sense of his own gender by understanding himself in relation to his father.

When the child reaches the age of five, he begins to face another task, that is, to begin to attach to same-sex peers. At this age, he starts school and begins to look to the other boys to answer the same questions that his dad has been answering. He looks to the other boys to discover how they walk, how they talk, how they play, and how he measures up in relation to them. He seeks to be included, accepted, and acknowledged. Through the relationships he forms with other boys, he continues to gain a sense of masculinity, discovering more about others boys and therefore more about himself as a boy.

During the early years of elementary school, children are not usually very interested in playing with members of the opposite sex. They desire to spend time with members of the same sex. This is a very necessary stage of development, because a person cannot be interested in the opposite sex or in others, until he or she first understands himself or herself.

Eventually, after many years of bonding with members of the same sex, the boy enters puberty. At this time he begins to turn his attention to the opposite sex. He becomes curious about the gender which is different from his own, the female gender. With the simultaneous emergence of puberty, this curiosity becomes a sexual interest and a desire for romantic connection with the opposite sex.

Conversely, for the child who will develop a homosexual orientation, this process does not happen. So, what happens in the development of gender identity that would lead a child to have same-sex attractions? Typically, for this child, there is something that prevents him from attaching to the father. Either he doesn't have a father or a father figure, or he doesn't have a father who he perceives as safe and/or welcoming. Of course, there are many children who grow up without fathers and yet do not develop a homosexual orientation. In addition, there are many children who have loving fathers, yet still become homosexually oriented. This is due to the fact that there are various factors that contribute to a homosexual orientation. Human development is very complex and includes events, as well as perceptions about the events.

Perceptions are very important. Perceptions are more powerful than what actually happens, because perceptions become that person's reality. Perceptions are influenced by temperament. For example, a child with a more sensitive temperament might perceive rejection even when rejection is not intended. Temperament is the biological contributor; however, temperament alone is not enough to create a homosexual orientation. The temperament type must be met with the right environmental factors in order to produce same-sex attractions. Typically the child who will later develop same-sex attractions is naturally sensitive, observant, intelligent, and is sometimes more artistic than athletic. This child often tends to personalize and internalize experiences and observations.
So, if a child perceives that his father does not want a relationship with him, that child might try a few times to connect with his father, but will eventually retract in self-protection. This is called defensive detachment. Upon sensing rejection, the boy chooses to reject the father in return. He detaches from the father and even what the father represents, which is masculinity (Nicolosi & Nicolosi, 2001). Typically at this point, he will stay connected to the mother and will instead soak in femininity. Usually he is also surrounded by other female figures, such as, a sister, an aunt, or a grandmother. So at a time when he is craving masculine input and seeking to understand himself in terms of his male identity, he instead receives feminine input and begins to develop a sense of the feminine.
By the time this child enters school, he often has a difficult time relating with other boys. Either he is just more comfortable with the girls, who are more familiar to him, or he is intimidated by the boys. Often this child sees himself as different from the other boys. So he may hold back from bonding with them. If he has developed any feminine mannerisms, he might also be rejected by the other boys and quite possibly even ridiculed. He is craving acceptance from the other boys and continues to need this acceptance, though the need goes unmet. The boy watches the other boys from afar, he longs to be noticed by them, and included by them, yet he remains with the girls, further gaining a sense of the feminine while deeply craving the masculine.

This child typically spends his elementary school years learning about femininity while craving to understand masculinity. Specifically, he desires to understand himself in terms of his own masculine identity. Yet, he does not assimilate with the same-sex parent or same-sex peers, so he does not acquire a masculine identity. He associates with the feminine, which is his primary source of input. He does not develop a secure gender identity. So by the time this child reaches puberty, the craving for male input has grown and intensified. At this time in his life he is not curious about or interested in the opposite sex. He already knows all about the opposite sex-- they are quite familiar to him. What he is craving to know about is his own gender. He still deeply longs to know about boys. He longs to experience connections with males. This emotional need, the need for same-sex love, which has gone unmet, now begins to take on a sexual form. His unsatisfied cravings for male love become romantic cravings with the emergence of puberty. (Satinover, 1996).

To this child, it feels very natural that he longs for male love. In fact, he typically thinks that he was born that way, having craved male love for as long as he can remember. Indeed, he has craved this love most of his life. However, initially it was not a sexual craving. Instead, it was an emotional craving, a legitimate need for non-sexual love, an emotional need that has become sexualized.

The female development of homosexuality is a bit more complex. As with the male development, there are a number of factors that can contribute. For some women who end up with same-sex attractions, the development is similar to the male development previously described. For others, negative perceptions regarding femininity may lead to an internal detachment from their own femininity. For example, if a girl watches her father abuse her mother, the girl might conclude that to be feminine is to be weak. At an early age she might make an unconscious decision to detach from her female identity. She might detach from her own gender in an effort to protect herself from the perceived harmful effects of being female.

Sexual abuse is another factor that can contribute to a homosexual orientation. In these cases men are seen as unsafe, and lesbianism becomes a way of protecting against further hurt from a male. For some there might be a disconnection from the mother, and lesbianism becomes a search for motherly love. For others, same-sex attractions may not initially be present, but may later develop as a result of entering into a non-sexual friendship which becomes emotionally dependant. An emotionally dependent relationship is one in which two people seek to have their needs met by one another. It is a relationship in which healthy boundaries are not in place. The absence of appropriate emotional boundaries can then lead to a violation of physical boundaries.

For any of these reasons listed above, and in combination with other factors, same-sex attractions may develop. To the one who has these feelings, they are very real and very strong. There are many people who find themselves attracted to members of the same sex and yet do not want those attractions. For those who are dissatisfied with their sexual orientation, it should be noted that change is indeed possible. Research studies have revealed that change of sexual orientation does take place (see Spitzer, 2003; Byrd & Nicolosi, 2002). It is not a quick or easy process, but as with any other therapeutic issue, varying degrees of change are achievable through therapy and other means.

The inaccurate concept that homosexuality is solely biological is extremely misleading. Many therapists tell their clients that homosexuality is biological and therefore unchangeable. These therapists encourage their clients to embrace a gay identity, even when such clients are seeking change for their orientation. In doing so, therapists negate clients' rights to self-determination. Clients have the right to choose their own goals for therapy and should be allowed to pursue the path they desire. Clients should not be discouraged from pursuing change when change is what they seek. In order for clients to have the options made available to them, it is vital that therapists as well as clients become better educated on this issue.

References

Anastasia, T. (1995). New evidence of a gay gene. Time 146, 43.

Byrd, A. D., & Nicolosi, J (2002). A meta-analytic review of the treatment of homosexuality. Psychological Reports, 90, 1139-1152.

LeVay, S. (1996). Queer Science, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Nicolosi, J. & Nicolosi, L. A. (2001). Preventing homosexuality in today's youth. InterVarsity Press.

Satinover, J. (1996). The gay gene? The Journal of Human Sexuality.
Spitzer, R. L. (2003). Can some gay men and lesbians change their sexual orientation? 200 participants reporting a change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32:5, 403-417.

Whitehead, N. & Whitehead, B. (1999). My genes made me do it: A scientific look at sexual orientation. Lafayette, LA: Huntington House Publishers.

Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 32, No. 5, October 2003, pp. 403-417

Updated: 9 April 2008

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"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

85 comments:

Barb said...

PS to my post:

Referring to harmful and legal institutions that disadvantage kids: Granted, that divorce, while also handicapping to kids, is legal --even God made it legal "for the hardness of your hearts" --and legitimate for one party when the other party has committed adultery.

Today most would believe divorce is also a necessary evil in cases where there is violence and real abuse of any kind.

But divorce is still not a subject for a pride parade as homosexuality has become.

Gay marriage was never sanctified or ordained or even 'allowed' by God as divorce was --only abominated by Him. While the Bible says He ALSO hates divorce, His word allows for the possibility.

After all, God is a jealous God and wants us to have no other gods. We are made in His image and thus have no tolerance in marital union for infidelity. God doesn't expect us to stay married --even though Jesus is ever-faithful to His bride the Church --despite her instability--as He was with Israel, also, who was described as a harlot in her idolatry.

So while divorce and gay marriage both disadvantage kids, the one is allowed by scripture and the laws of the land --the other has not been allowed, in scripture or the law--and should not be.

Christian Apologist said...

good post.

I'm kinda curious why you spend so much of your blog on the topic of homosexuality?

Barb said...

In my previous PS post I said "God doesn't expect us to stay married...." I meant, when there is adultery by the mate. He is jealous; we are jealous. In reading it over, I saw it suggested God doesn't expect us to stay married. Yes, He DOES! but not if husband Harvey has jumped the fence and gotten in someone else's bed. God is a jealous God --we are jealous for the loyalty of our mates --just as Christ is jealous for the faithfulness of His bride the church. Difference being, Christ has a lot of tolerance and grace for a flawed bride, the Church--but then He really DOES want us to be faithful to Him in the long run. It is our goal. We are all flawed as spouses and are to love our spouses as Christ loves the Church --with forgiveness and tolerance of imperfection --but always yearning for the other's good.

NOW, CA --I write on this subject of homosexuality because I think the church is asleep on the issue while the USA is going to Hell in a handbasket with this issue(whatever that means!)

I have long been interested in child rearing and Christian education--how do we help kids to grow up moral and with their faith intact --and saved. Where are we missing the boat when our kids lose faith and mess up their lives.

Of course, it isn't always parents or the church's fault --anymore than it was God's fault when Adam and Eve sinned.

but the issue of Gender Identity Disorder IS a disorder, and I think the church and the parents both want to help kids feel masculine or feminine and accepted by their own sex so they can relate someday as healthy people as spouses and parents.

I've seen much cultural confusion on this subject with the current trend being to see homosexuality as good and equal to heterosex at best --as an inevitable disability at worst. I think it is none of these things and the Church is one of few voices to say so.

Meanwhile, the Church is divided between those who think we should not address the social issues --and those who feel that we should be SALT and LIGHT, never equivocating about the definitions of right and wrong and the need for repentance of sin for salvation. As Jesus said, "If a man says he has no sin, he is a liar." Today's "everyman" says there is no God --or if there is, He is disinterested or totally accepting of us regardless of how we live. He IS accepting of us when we come to Him in repentance, but the Bible is clear that He wants us to have obedient hearts even if we fail in the letter of any laws.

today, American culture wants to say the ONLY sins are lack of love and unforgiveness (and crime, of course.) We think love means saying, "I'm OK, you're OK" --no matter what we are doing or how we are living.

To disapprove of any life choices like abortion or gay marriage is now seen as hate.

A Canadian minister was recently fined for preaching against homosexuality. We need to retain the freedom to preach the Word. We need to combat this false teaching that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality --and if it does, it's just wrong.

that's why I'm interested in the topic --I think it's a sign of a decadent culture, sliding ever downward when we accept acts of sodomy as equal to God's procreative design for male and female.

Rob R said...

As to why a particular Christian would spend so much time on one topic, it should also be noted that the church should be a diverse body with people of varying skills, gifts, and expertise and this fits with Paul's discussion on the diverse parts of the body of Christ. Of course this is an area where most of the church and the rest of the world is poorly educated. Most of the church, at least the orthodox church and evangelical church is of the opinion that Gays simply choose to be the way they are and it's wrong just because the bible says so often citing Sodom and Gomorrah and the judgment passed on it. Most everyone else assumes that science has proven that they were born that way and a negative view of homosexuality is just due to bigotry and outdated religious ideas. The church needs to do much better and the church and everyone else even of a politically correct should understand that the issue is more complex than just choice or the way one is born.

I recall in an ethics class at the conservative Christian college that I attended, when we discussed the issue, one girl suggested that male homosexuals were probably hugged by their fathers too much and some would assume that rejection by girls in the teen years also leads to homosexuality. It kinda makes sense and yet it turns out that the roots of homosexuality are just the opposite.

On the other side, you have the liberals who reject that a homosexual can change just because shock therapy way back in the day failed and so many who "tried" to change failed when having sex with prostitutes and girlfriends and looking at porn failed to convert them as if you could cure sin with sin. Little to none of this deals with the root causes and even though one does deal with the root causes, it's not necessarily going to be any easier to deal with than any other addiction or psychiatric disorder.

There is also the issue which I believe that the expert conceded to the effect that that not all root causes are completely known and of course there are all sorts of people out their who react and develope within similar environments in different ways.

At any rate, the short end of it is that the church needs to have greater nuance and understanding in this issue to be effective in dealing with it and the rest of the world needs to wake up to the fact that this debate has not been effectively settled on the side of homosexual advocacy.

Rob R said...

I'll add, Christianapologist, that your question is a good one and it is important to address because the claim has been made that those who spend much time on the issue should mind their own business, that they have an unhealthy obsession, that as Christians, they should devote themselves to other pursuits such as feeding the poor and so on, and I think that is where it is really important to point out the importance of diversity within the church where we acknowledge that the church as a whole should of course focus attention on caring for the poor and so on, but we have hold that much else in life is also sacred such as sexuality and we need people to direct their attention in that direction as well or we are not living up to full role that the church is to play in the world as the presence of Christ, comforting the afflicted, but also calling the rebellious to repentance and the sick to healing, and as far as I understand it, the homosexuals fall into both of those later categories.

Christian Apologist said...

The problem is that homosexuality and sexual immorality in general is not a disease. It is a symptom of a greater disease. You said it yourself...

"that's why I'm interested in the topic --I think it's a sign of a decadent culture, sliding ever downward when we accept acts of sodomy as equal to God's procreative design for male and female."

you'll never get anywhere fighting a symptom you must fight against the root cause of the problem. The root cause being the rejection of God as sovereign Lord. The cure is Christ, or the alternate cure is that offered to Sodom and Gomorra.

rockets2010 said...

While I agree with the basic idea that homosexuality is a sin, I have some problems with the conclusions being raised, both by this Harren and in the comment sections:

1. I unequivocally reject the postulation that homosexuality is necessarily a direct result of the environmental factors she lists (inadequate relationship with one's same gender parent, disassociation with persons of one's own gender) because I am acquainted with homosexual people about whom these things are not true. Generalizations are always dangerous (pun intended :) ).

2. I do not think that two women or, conversely, two men in a relationship will ever be considered married in God's eyes. But do I think that our federal government should be making that decision? No, I do not. I think that, if it were a decision I feel that the legislature should make, it would be at the state level. But I do not agree with the idea that the goverment should outlaw or otherwise impede gay marriage. It is not the place of the government, federal or otherwise, to legislate morality. It is the duty of the government to secure each citizen's right to life, liberty, and happiness as outlined in the founding documents of this country. Two men or, conversely, women, getting married in no way impeded my right to those three things that I am guaranteed.

3. To say that being raised in a same-sex parent household is inherently detremental to a child's development is preposterous. I know a same-sex couple who adopted all four of their children, three of whom came from a single mother home in which the mother was an IV drug user (even through her pregnancy). If we are all reasonable I think it's safe to say that it's better for these kids to be safe, warm, well-loved and well-fed in a home where two parents love one another and they are not fearful of their parents' activities. This couple's children are some of the most well-adjusted, kind, and loving kids I have EVER met. And, as a side note, the eldest boy has a healthy romantic relationship with a girl who attends his school.

I think that homosexuality is a sin, and that it is bad. I do not think it matters whether people are "born gay," or not. I also think that, rather than Christians pushing to just have people in same-sex marriages marginalized in a legal way, it would be more prudent to show them the hope, grace, forgiveness, and perfect healing that comes from a relationship with Jesus. And stop trying to use the federal government to do what the church should... effect change in the culture in which we live.

Christian Apologist said...

1. I unequivocally reject the postulation that homosexuality is necessarily a direct result of the environmental factors she lists (inadequate relationship with one's same gender parent, disassociation with persons of one's own gender) because I am acquainted with homosexual people about whom these things are not true. Generalizations are always dangerous (pun intended :) ).

So in essence you are saying that you know better than the psychologist who studied the subject in depth? She is not saying these are the only factors. She is saying these factors can contribute. It is like saying that smoking does not cause cancer because you personally know people who smoke and dont have cancer.

rockets2010 said...

What I am saying is that I think it is a cop out to blame it on the parents. Just as I, a heterosexual female, make my own decisions about my sexuality (to abstain from sex until marriage, for instance), homosexual individuals are responsible for their own decisions. I think it is imprudent to determine a "cause" of homosexuality because that's not the issue at hand.

As far as me "knowing better than the psychologist who studied the subject in depth," that has nothing to do with my rejection of those particular ideas. I have seen NO evidence to support her postulations in my experience and have seen numerous COUNTEREXAMPLES to those ideas.

rockets2010 said...

Also, as far as the cancer reference; one doesn't reasonably apply the same logic to two principles when one of them is actual, fact-proven science and the other is a hypothesis suggested by loose correlation.

DA said...

I think everyone is missing the point. God (The Bible) says its a sin....period. So, why do we waste countless hours discussing and trying to understand the how's and why's. Jesus said to repent and sin no more. Do we discuss why we become alcoholics, murderers, etc.

What's wrong is wrong...and trying to explain it away or justify the "exceptions" is simply a cop out.

Every example of marriage in the Bible depicts a man and a woman. The Lord said husbands should love their WIVES as themselves. Wives should submit to their HUSBANDS. Is there a sentence in the Bible that says, "Hey you...homosexuality is a sin?" No, but, every example of love is between man and woman. The Bible also speaks of men lusting after men in "their degrading passions."

Its unfortunate that so many churches and Christians are even willing to be open for discussion on this issue. Trying to "Understand" is how homosexuality crept into the church and now even some churches are saying its not a sin.

2 Peter 2:1 says,

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Christian Apologist said...

rockets2010 said...
Also, as far as the cancer reference; one doesn't reasonably apply the same logic to two principles when one of them is actual, fact-proven science and the other is a hypothesis suggested by loose correlation.


Wow... I'm almost speechless at this response. You do realize that correlation studies are a commonly accepted practice of science. Especially phychology. The cancer studies that initially found out that smoking causes cancer were based on correlation studies.

The point of the original post, I think, was to point out that sexual immorality is caused by our sin nature and that it is not beyond our control. This may be one case where the sins of the father shall be visited upon the children even to the 3rd generation. It is important to realize that sinful actions have consequences not only eternally but also in the here and now.

rockets2010 said...

DA made the point in a much better way than I did: NONE of this matters. Sin is sin, and the why isn't important. It is completely distracting from the real conversation to discuss how and why people develop homosexual tendencies.

Chrisitan Apologist, I do not mean to argue with you, because obviously we are both Christians and are on the "same side," as it were... but correlation does NOT imply causation. The first thing I learned in an experimental Chemistry class... and it is such a loose correlation at that. That was my point. The nature v. nurture issue is such a large one in science as a whole, that to just think that it can be assumed that environmental factors (nurture) are at fault for homosexual tendencies seems far-fetched.

Rob R said...

one doesn't reasonably apply the same logic to two principles when one of them is actual, fact-proven science and the other is a hypothesis suggested by loose correlation.

this is not a rule of logic. analogies are perfect ways of explaning relations.

correlation does NOT imply causation.

Actually, correlation does imply causation. It just doesn't prove it. Naturally, the correlation has to be scrutinized further.

The nature v. nurture issue is such a large one in science as a whole, that to just think that it can be assumed that environmental factors (nurture) are at fault for homosexual tendencies seems far-fetched.

Those who have been dealing with homosexuals from a Christian perspective who've seen homosexuals leave the lifestyle and many of those homosexuals themselves would frequently identify the factors that Harren describes as most relevent. Of course as Harren noted and as we'd admit, we don't have the full picture. Sexuality is complex and naturally, free will does play differing roles for different individuals. Nobody's denying that sin is involved, but the reason why someone may be prone to a certain sin may be analyzable and here we have such an analysis for many in the homosexual lifestyle.

Barb said...

Great debate -all of you!

Thanks for caring enough to engage the topic!

The WORLD is NOT inclined to believe that homosexuality is environmentally caused --by either external or internal temptation to sexual sin --nor by Gender Identity Disorder from family breakdown. THE WORLD thinks HS could be genetic or congenital (meaning from birth from pre-natal influences such as hormones in the womb.) They haven't proven either by any studies I've heard about.

Nevertheless, secular influence in the media and our schools would lead some in our own churches to conclude that "God made me gay so it must be OK." One gay I know, who had seemingly found Christ in his adolescence, came out as homosexual in his college years or later and said he believed God made him gay to have a ministry with gays -as a gay. He didn't think his orientation was sinful since he couldn't help it and really believed in God and Christ and had had what he believed to be a genuine conversion experience --which made him a much happier kinder person than he had been. It did seem that he really had come to faith and was excited about the Lord. But I observed him having a crush on a teen boy in his church --he talked about him all the time, went to the boy's activities to encourage him, sat close to him if given opportunity, wondered aloud what the boy was thinking, etc. etc. -- (No, I didn't say anything to him about that until he "came out" much later--he really was oriented that way.)

I believed from observation that his parents did, unintentionally, of course, influence him to have some gender identity confusion such that he felt like a girl in his attractions to guys. He was classically comfortable with girls as friends and denied a niche among male peers whom he alternately idolized OR hated and competed with for friends and theater roles he wanted. I had noted a couple of fixations on guys in his youth that seemed like crushes. (NO, he's not one of my kids as you might think because of my observations --just active in youth circles and a good friend of our family, such that I had opportunity to know him and his personality--and see him act out his crushes.)

His grandmother had drawn him into love of things feminine -like her jewelry. And I wondered if his bachelor uncle hadn't played a role --might have been gay and role-modeled it. But I don't know the uncle --it's just a possibility. I gathered he was a character from what his nephew said. When I first met the father, he seemed like a cold and austere individual -- mother could have qualified as "overbearing." I was told that they called themselves atheistic at a Christmas party, but the son never confirmed that history when I once asked. But they were not "churched" as he grew up.

There is scripture to suggest God makes gays gay (but not as a good thing as in "He made me gay so it's ok") where Paul says God "gave them up" or "gave them over" to their gay lusts because of their idolatry and love of self -- and love of creature more than Creator.
Maybe a better translation would have been that God "abandoned them to their lusts." or "left them to their own sinful homosexual activities." which were already part of their idolatrous living. That is a slightly different twist than "gave them over to...." which suggested that God CAUSED their lusts as a result of their idolatry.

Gay-defenders on line will point out the obvious: that they weren't any more idolatrous than straights so why should God give just them over to same-sex attraction and not everybody who loves self and creature more than Creator. It could be that "Left" them or "abandoned" them to their already existing lusts may just be what was meant by "gave them over to."

Romans1: 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."

A ghost-writer and believer who wrote books with Billy Graham, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, is famous for making the claim that he was born gay because he always had homosexual feelings, tried everything to be converted out of them but never was. Mel White, founder of SoulForce --a campus "ministry" which tries to appear on Christian campuses to defend the oxymoron of Christian homosexuals. Well, I'm not sure it IS an oxymoron entirely. I do think a believer can be oriented homosexually and disinterested in the opposite sex because of gender identity disorder described by Dr. Harren --not that all gays are gay by that route.

I believe the church IS to put the message out there to the world that homosexual acts and relationships are sinful--EVEN THOUGH many homosexuals say, "I always knew I was different," "I've always had these feelings," or as one said,in Newsweek, he had strange sexual feelings in the men's shower at the age of 6 at the YMCA. (I always felt he probably felt as kids feel when naked --maybe what boys would feel in pelting shower waters! There are erotic feelings normal children can be aware of but they have no understanding of eros, no frame of reference for it, no idea of what is normal for themselves or what their biology is all about.

Christian pscyhologist/minister Tim LaHaye wrote a book that I think is still good, "The Unhappy Gay" based on a sampling of 100 he counseled. He lived in California--this was before it was such a hot button political issue. He observed this father-son breakdown causing the GID issue though that is a newer term for it, I believe. He found that his counselees, were more sensitive and bright and precocious in sexual curiosity and interest at an early age. And like I said, children have no frame of reference for understanding sexual feelings --so they may come early to a misconception that, "I'm different from the other kids."
But the difference becomes reality for various environmental --AND sinful --reasons.

When I speak of environmental influences, as one of you noted, I'm referring to sin in our culture that can damage others and lead THEM into sin, as well.

But Julie Harren points out that it's ALSO within the individual to respond to environment (sinfully, we would say.) If the church doesn't stand up and say that homosexuality is sin, even more can be lured or deceived into buying the world's perspective about it.

And of course, the church is then accused of being hateful.

You think, if you just promote Christianity, Rocket, that people who come to Christ will believe the Bible's teaching on this subject. But they are all pretty sophisticated --they learn that the Bible doesn't STILL hold us to the dietary laws, and all the OT purity laws, that we are now under grace and not under the LAW, so they make this big leap and say God doesn't hold us to laws on sexuality either.

Barb said...

Another gay I knew who grew up in a
"Christian home" and church --was denied significant time with his father from 12 on, due to divorce. His mother thinks he got into sexual activity and porn with neighbor guys. Granted, MOST of the kids of divorce aren't homosexual --and granted, many homosexuals aren't the products of broken homes--but Family Research Institute cites studies from various sources to suggest that fatherlessness may be a factor in homosexual self-image. I read that it inclines both girls and boys to promiscuity with men in the JOurnal of Human Sexuality (for physicians) many years ago.

Christian Apologist said...

rockets2010 said...
DA made the point in a much better way than I did: NONE of this matters. Sin is sin, and the why isn't important. It is completely distracting from the real conversation to discuss how and why people develop homosexual tendencies.

Chrisitan Apologist, I do not mean to argue with you, because obviously we are both Christians and are on the "same side," as it were... but correlation does NOT imply causation. The first thing I learned in an experimental Chemistry class... and it is such a loose correlation at that. That was my point. The nature v. nurture issue is such a large one in science as a whole, that to just think that it can be assumed that environmental factors (nurture) are at fault for homosexual tendencies seems far-fetched.


Cant you see how much post-modern thought has invaded the way you think. You are constantly saying that you dont think the article is true because you havent observed this phenomenon yourself. A thing is true or not true objectively and whether we want to beleive it or not has no bearing on its truth or falsehood. You should read the article again. It is not saying that nurture is the entire cause of homosexuality. It says that nurture has factors in it. There are important lessons to be learned from this article. It matters how we raise our children and what environemental influences we expose them to. Divorce can have a profound effect on children who only have one gender as a role model in their lives.

Barb said...

Rocket writes:
1. I unequivocally reject the postulation that homosexuality is necessarily a direct result of the environmental factors she lists (inadequate relationship with one's same gender parent, disassociation with persons of one's own gender)


I think Harren agrees with you. So do I. She didn't say it was "necessarily" a direct result of....

She is a trained psychologist with her doctorate, so I assume she's done some counseling and has some research for her observations.

From Harren's article: "For any of these reasons listed above, and in combination with other factors, same-sex attractions may develop. To the one who has these feelings, they are very real and very strong. There are many people who find themselves attracted to members of the same sex and yet do not want those attractions."

I've certainly observed homosexuals for whom these conditions were part of their history. And you will say heteros also have these conditions as part of their history. But is it not possible that these factors influenced some children to develop homosexual identity and attraction? while not influencing others the same way?

Rockets wrote: ... because I am acquainted with homosexual people about whom these things are not true.

For the majority of the gays whose history I know something about, there WERE influences such as Harren described --but not the same influences on all or the same results for everybody in any given family. Note, she said that some homosexuals DO have loving fathers. And she also mentioned the role of "perception," a very individualistic thing.

Rockets wrote; ...But do I think that our federal government should be making that decision? No, I do not. I think that, if it were a decision I feel that the legislature should make, it would be at the state level. But I do not agree with the idea that the goverment should outlaw or otherwise impede gay marriage. It is not the place of the government, federal or otherwise, to legislate morality.

but that's what laws are about --right and wrong, justice, societal well-being --that IS morality. Does the gov't have the right to redefine marriage to be for two consenting adults of any sex after millenia of marriage being the union of a male and female?

Ought the gov't create and legitimate a new institution which will deprive children of at least one of their bio-parents by design?

For the good and equal rights of women, our gov't outlawed polygamy and bigamy. For good practical reasons. Besides, most men couldn't afford the kids of more than one wife but they would be tempted to try --in a religious community that encourages taking new young brides to wed and bed.

Rockets said It is the duty of the government to secure each citizen's right to life, liberty, and happiness as outlined in the founding documents of this country.

Actually, not--it is the duty of the gov't to ensure the freedom by which we may PURSUE happiness --but they can't guarantee or secure anyone's happiness for them. And the gov't never before misconstrued this to mean that people had the liberty to pursue happiness in just any way they wished --regardless of the morality of it or the consequences. It may make some people happy to steal their neighbor's possessions --or to have sex with the neighbor kids --or to keep 150 cats and 300 dogs in their house --but the Law by majority rule will usually impede such individual pursuits of happiness.

You said< Two men or, conversely, women, getting married in no way impeded my right to those three things that I am guaranteed.

So as long as a problem isn't bothering you, it's not a problem for the law to address?

Actually, I think two gay men have deprived two women of love and marriage and children. Someday, your child may decide he's gay and deprive you of grandchildren. Those 2 men or 2 ladies in their gay marriages have deprived their country of future kids for national support for the aged and the needy, for national defense forces. They've failed to pass on their genes by creating and raising children for the future.

3.To say that being raised in a same-sex parent household is inherently detremental to a child's development is preposterous.

Preposterous? I wouldn't go THAT far --on the basis of one family you describe below whose kids are still in school. The jury is still out --the case hasn't been fully presented --until we see how a generation of kids raised in lots of gay-parented homes are faring at all stages of their lives--and have a large enough group for random testing.

Granted, hetero parents are often very unsuccessful with outcomes. But will the gender issue present even MORE complications down the road for kids than does the typical dysfunctional hetero family? Who wants to put kids to the test? I don't. But that's what gay marriage will be --a social experiment impacting children.

I know a same-sex couple who adopted all four of their children, three of whom came from a single mother home in which the mother was an IV drug user (even through her pregnancy). If we are all reasonable I think it's safe to say that it's better for these kids to be safe, warm, well-loved and well-fed in a home where two parents love one another and they are not fearful of their parents' activities. This couple's children are some of the most well-adjusted, kind, and loving kids I have EVER met. And, as a side note, the eldest boy has a healthy romantic relationship with a girl who attends his school.

Again, the trial isn't over --the jury can't even deliberate to defend this experiment in social policy. We always say that the moneyed kids will do better than those in poverty--but look at Hollywood kids --it just isn't true.

I said before, I wouldn't object to two women adopting kids --I'd be leery of two men. But I don't want those kids to have to see those ladies as married to one another, in bed together, kissing and caressing each other in front of the kids, etc. I don't think it's healthy or normal to model homosexuality to the kids the way we play our female/male roles in hetero marriage.

But if two single ladies want to raise children whom no loving hetero parents want to raise, fine --hopefully just girls. I'm not for forbidding the single parent or same sex house residents from taking in children in the absence of hetero couples willing to do it. but preference should be given to hetero married couples. Gay marriage will level the adoption and foster parenting field such that hetero couples will not be preferred --to the detriment of the kids.

The gay male pair, one of whom I know, who have adopted have subjected their daughter, now 1st grade age or thereabouts, to a series of nannies. Those are her mother figures and she loses one every now and then and has to start with a new one. I predict a troubled child.

I think that homosexuality is a sin, and that it is bad. I do not think it matters whether people are "born gay," or not.

Rockets, more and more people in the U.S. are saying HS is not sinful; it is a disability at worst, a wonderful love relationship at best. These new converts you seek will be astonished that you still think homosexual behavior is sinful, that gay marriage is not pleasing to God. Your opinion will be viewed the same as support for slavery, bigotry and racial discrimination. Gays are succeeding in changing the culture so that it will seem "odd" and "mean" to call homosexual marriage a sin. How antiquated! And there may be persecution of the church and a silencing of the Bible believers on this subject. E.G. there are many forums --like Oprahs and Beliefnet --that have little tolerance for diversity of thought on homosexuality, transgendering, etc. IT is NOW a great sin to speak against these activities -- whereas before, the activities were the sin.

I also think that, rather than Christians pushing to just have people in same-sex marriages marginalized in a legal way, it would be more prudent to show them the hope, grace, forgiveness, and perfect healing that comes from a relationship with Jesus. And stop trying to use the federal government to do what the church should... effect change in the culture in which we live.

The Church DOES overall have a compssionate approach--but if they teach the Bible on the issue, where do you think your new converts will go? Right out the door. How do you propose that we affect culture while the law is being pushed to TEACH the culture that gay marriage is good, a right?

Jesus preached, "repent" --and also taught that the divine image is reflected in the male and female couples --since creation.

If they can say they were born gay, they become people with a disability to accommodate with efforts to make their lives better. That's why they prefer to say they are born gay.

We Christians would say that just because we have genetic tendencies toward obesity or alcoholism or homosexuality or other sex addictions--is no reason to hold a pride parade for those conditions. but the world is quick to normalize homosexuality to make homosexuals feel Instead, people need to resist genetic tendencies which aren't good for us.

I believe no one has to take the first drink --or entertain the first homosexual inclination/attraction/thought.
"Just don't go there !"

YOu do show that you have bought the cultural lie of gay rights when you say we are "marginalizing " them by not letting them marry legally. That's the victim mentality they use.

In fact, marriage just isn't the union of woman to woman or man to man. there is no reason to redefine it just because the Bible is one of the best arguments against it. There are plenty of other arguments coming as more and more kids are subjected to these unusual and perverse situations.

Yes, I know, gays can be very sweet people --but they are called to wholeness --not this half life.

Agreed, if you can win people to Christ, persuade them that God is real (through apologetics and the power of the Holy Spirit --and the power of preaching), some may embrace the cross and give up the lifestyle.

Meanwhile, the culture is losing all moral backbone.

rockets2010 said...

I went through the posts in the order of what stuck out to me, because that is how my thoughts were best organized, so sorry if it seems disconnected... :)

Barb said: "It may make some people happy to steal their neighbor's possessions --or to have sex with the neighbor kids --or to keep 150 cats and 300 dogs in their house --but the Law by majority rule will usually impede such individual pursuits of happiness."

Well, by what I have said already, those things impede others' rights, so the law ought to prevent them.

Barb said: "So as long as a problem isn't bothering you, it's not a problem for the law to address?"

That is not even a reasonable consequence of what I said. The point I was making is that two people of the same gender engaging in a relationship do not deprive others of their guaranteed rights by that action alone. As far as depriving people of spouses or children, or depriving the armed forces of personnel: this is only fair if you are willing to say the same things about everyone who chooses to remain single and celibate throughout his or her life. If you child were 35 and still single, would you tell her that she was depriving some man of a wife and you of grandchildren? I don't think that would be the case...

Barb said: "YOu do show that you have bought the cultural lie of gay rights when you say we are "marginalizing " them by not letting them marry legally. That's the victim mentality they use."

I have "bought into the cultural lie" that the government should exercise as little control over the personal lives of its citizens as is possible. I think that, if the citizens of a country, state, city, municipality, etc. raise up in a majority and ask that their government recognize gay marriage as an institution, the goverment ought to honor that request. Anything less than that and the government will have sorely overstepped its bounds and will immediately become dangerous to its citizenry. That being said, I do not think that the government should decide the issue AT ALL. It should be a citizen-led initiative to either outlaw or recognize such unions.

Barb said: "The Church DOES overall have a compssionate approach--but if they teach the Bible on the issue, where do you think your new converts will go? Right out the door. How do you propose that we affect culture while the law is being pushed to TEACH the culture that gay marriage is good, a right?"

When you share the gospel with someone, is one of the key elements of the "pitch," for lack of a different word at this moment, that homosexuality is a sin? It surely isn't for me. The facts are this: Jesus, the Son of God, came to die and rise again to redeem men and our sinful nature. If you will repent and turn towards Him, He is willing to meet you where you are. As far as helping them to overcome a sin (any sin: sexual immorality of any kind, alcoholism, drug abuse, greed, envy... the list goes on), that is the job for a supportive Christian community, a good Pastor, and Jesus' healing spirit. No one, having accepted salvation, simply ceases to sin altogether. Why do we decide that people who are struggling with this kind of sexual sin are worse than someone who struggles with anger or greed?

Christian Apologist said: "Cant you see how much post-modern thought has invaded the way you think. You are constantly saying that you dont think the article is true because you havent observed this phenomenon yourself. A thing is true or not true objectively and whether we want to beleive it or not has no bearing on its truth or falsehood."

I don't think this is postmoderism so much as it is my ideas pertaining to the strength of a logical argument. Counterexamples are extremely detrimental to a logical argument and I have seen enough of those to reject the idea from my own personal experience.

I believe in absolute truth (obviously, as a Christ-follower). I do not think, however, that absolute truth has anything to do with this article. The factors Dr. Harren lists may be present in some homosexual lives and not present in others. It may be present in one life and in no others... you get what I mean. That would make it partially true that environmental factors are responsible for homosexual tendecies.

The point that I try to make whenever possible is that the WHY doesn't matter as much as the healing power of the Lord to take away any sin. The arguments over why people are gay only detract from the real issue. (If I talk about distractions being the tool of the devil, I can't help but think of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape...). Satan is quite happy if, instead of preaching the gospel of love and forgiveness available in Christ, we would debate the science of homosexuality...

Barb said...

Rockets: That being said, I do not think that the government should decide the issue AT ALL. It should be a citizen-led initiative to either outlaw or recognize such unions.

Actually, I agree that the legislatures should represent the majority of the people and see if they really want to change the definition of "marriage." There certainly ARE citizen led- initiatives on this topic --pro and con --and the majority do not support a new definition for marriage. In Calif. a court has "ruled" from the bench, striking down Calif. law passed by the voters before. Even if they vote it down again in November, what's to keep the court from overruling the majority of the people again???

Christian Apologist said...

I don't think this is postmoderism so much as it is my ideas pertaining to the strength of a logical argument. Counterexamples are extremely detrimental to a logical argument and I have seen enough of those to reject the idea from my own personal experience.

And yet the thrust of your argument against the original post rests on counterexample.

The point that I try to make whenever possible is that the WHY doesn't matter as much as the healing power of the Lord to take away any sin. The arguments over why people are gay only detract from the real issue. (If I talk about distractions being the tool of the devil, I can't help but think of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape...). Satan is quite happy if, instead of preaching the gospel of love and forgiveness available in Christ, we would debate the science of homosexuality...

We are not called as christians to check our brains at the door but to use them to further the cause of Christ. What this article gives us is that homosexual activity is not neccessarily a genetic predisposition but an act of sinful nature. Thus if it so happens that the readers of this article come to preaching the good news to someone caught up in Homosexual sin we can destroy their arguments, that they cant help themselves because they were born that way. Sometimes it is helpful to break down the barriers in a persons mind to the gospel before they can hear it.

Christian Apologist said...

Barb said...
Rockets: That being said, I do not think that the government should decide the issue AT ALL. It should be a citizen-led initiative to either outlaw or recognize such unions.

Actually, I agree that the legislatures should represent the majority of the people and see if they really want to change the definition of "marriage." There certainly ARE citizen led- initiatives on this topic --pro and con --and the majority do not support a new definition for marriage. In Calif. a court has "ruled" from the bench, striking down Calif. law passed by the voters before. Even if they vote it down again in November, what's to keep the court from overruling the majority of the people again???


The problem is that we shouldnt have any government incentives for legally married people. If we could get rid of those things we would no longer have an issue of gay people wanting to be legally married.

Barb said...

Many people, Christian and otherwise, are sympathetic toward homosexuals --that's good.

But many think that being sympathetic means embracing the idea that there is nothing wrong, abnormal, perverse, immoral or sinful about gay activity or gay marriage. This erroneous belief affects the church by affecting the culture and the gov't, entertainment and news media--and it's affected many of the mainline churches. It also affects the church by forbidding it to preach on this particular sin.

I think there is a groundswell of support among younger people for gay marriage.

It starts with saying it does not matter --that gov't should have nothing to say about our sexual arrangements. Some say there shouldn't be any "legality" to marriage at all --that any consenting adults, couple or group, can do whatever they want and define marriage anyway they wish, including polygamy. In otherwords --back to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, licentious Rome, the temple prostitutes, Baal's incestors, Solomon's wives and concubines--back to pagan society and all its spin-off effects on culture.

The factors Dr. Harren lists may be present in some homosexual lives and not present in others. It may be present in one life and in no others... you get what I mean. That would make it partially true that environmental factors are responsible for homosexual tendecies.

Perhaps. Or it may make it wholly true that environmental factors are responsible for homosexual tendencies in some people. That doesn't mean, however, that homosexuality is not absolutely a sin.

If homosexuality doesn't have victims, why are 70 per cent of the American AIDS cases homosexuals --currently. Considering that homosexuals are only 2-6 percent of the population or thereabouts.

AS for Single people and childless people, they may or may not be single and childless by choice. And they aren't asking us to marry them as singles (silly, I know) or to hold pride parades for the choice to be childless and single. MOreover, the Bible never labels it sin to be single or childless.

Homosexuals, on the other hand, have choice and enter into sexual arrangements that give them no children --except by adoption or step-parenting, so that child has 2 moms or 2 dads, but not daily closeness with one of each, as is optimal for a child's healthy, normal psycho-social development.

I believe you said that you believed homosexuality was a sin and not a sickness. Jesus did say that the sick need the physician, to explain why he hung out at times with the winebibbers and harlots.

Of course I don't believe in witnessing to people on the basis of their sins first of all. But Jesus first sermon is "Repent --for the kingdom is nigh." So if repentance is part of the sermon, what are people to repent of? Homosexual acts are one sin among many.

rockets2010 said...

(As a pertinent side note: one of my biggest personal areas of constant improvement is that I become committed to what I am saying to the point of daftness...)

Christian Apologist, I think that is valid: that we use information like this to argue apologetically. I never meant that Christians should check their brains at the door, only that there has to be a balance of discussion and action because if Satan can tie us up in arguments amongst one another for long enough, he wins the battle for our time.

Barb: That is also one of the biggest problems I have with the whole situation: bench legislation. The court has no business deciding the will of the people without having consulted them in any way.

The only hope I have for the situation is that someone will push that each individual state will push to bring the issue to the voters and make decisions that way. I think that, at this point, that is the only way this can be resolved with any semblance of reason. (Not that I am particularly optimistic that this will happen easily or in the immediately forseeable future). What happened in California, however, was completely inexcusable. (I have some problems with the current incarnation of the Supreme Court for the same reasons on different issues).

Barb said...

I disagree, CA. I don't think the advantages of marriage have a whole lot to do with the push. I think it's a perverse desire to change culture to embrace homosex as positive and normal. There is a gay agenda with gay activists and gay marriage is part of it because they want lifestyle approval.

Barb said...

I'm going to bed, dear bloggers!

I had a temporary crown put on a tooth today and that was hard work! I'm going to have a gold crown--worth $6 he said. It was too short a tooth way in the back --too short for a natural looking crown --but I never smile THAT broadly, anyway! Just hope I don't know any gold-diggers!! (corny I know.)

rockets2010 said...

Barb said: "It starts with saying it does not matter --that gov't should have nothing to say about our sexual arrangements. Some say there shouldn't be any "legality" to marriage at all --that any consenting adults, couple or group, can do whatever they want and define marriage anyway they wish, including polygamy. In otherwords --back to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, licentious Rome, the temple prostitutes, Baal's incestors, Solomon's wives and concubines--back to pagan society and all its spin-off effects on culture."

I do not think that the government should just not define marriage, I am saying that it should do so in accordance with the will of its citizenry.

I do believe that Homosexuality is a sin, and as far as a sickness: Jesus is the Great Physician who heals all ills, spiritual or otherwise. I think that Homosexuals can and should turn from their ways. A choice of celibacy is better than the choice of a sinful lifestyle.

I think the issue of homosexuality should be addressed Biblically, not politically, in the Church. And, unfortunately, not all denominations see it the same way. But compassion is, I think, the best way to show God's love to everyone, including those in a homosexual lifestyle. It's okay to say something is wrong and refuse to condone it without smacking people in the face with it when they come in the door. And that would include making huge political statements that make homosexuals feel unwelcome in a church.

rockets2010 said...

P.S. I am really enjoying this conversation, but I too must get some sleep. Thanks for the kind conversation; it's not often people can discuss such an issue with such civility and respect for one another :)

Barb said...

CA wrote: "Sometimes it is helpful to break down the barriers in a persons mind to the gospel before they can hear it."

Yes. Also, I have gone to other forums where this topic IS the topic. There are many gays and gay supporters who post to say that the Bible is wrong about this if religion is brought up --and they put the most positive spin on their agenda. They do present a rationale for why homosex is in- born and thus gay marriage should be legal.

My message is that they were NOT born that way --and if they don't think it was a choice, then perhaps they were influenced by others, however unintentionally.

I advocate for being open to researching the cause for homosexuality because I think it is frought with so many risks and problems, sadnesses, etc. --and not just because of society's disapproval.

Barb said...

Rockets --our church doesn't preach against homosexuality every week, if at all. If someone finds out that we think it's a sin because we are Bible-believers, and they think that it is cruel to call homosexuality a sin, they go down the street to find the united methodist church or episcopalian or a church of Christ (nominally) or some other mainline, large denomination that has bought the lie that homosexuality is OK with God --that the prohibition is outdated culturally along with the prohibition against eating pork and shell fish --the latter 2 of course were really made clean in Peter's vision --along with us Gentiles. but homosexuality was denounced as a sin in God's sight in Romans 1 --and mentioned elsewhere --in addition to Leviticus written thousands of years earlier. Not to mention the biological design issue, the promiscuity of the lifestyle in general, especially for males, and common sense.

The approach to homosexuals who would walk into our congregation: kindness and acceptance of them as persons. But if they wanted to portray themselves as a gay couple and also wanted to know where we stood on gay rights or gay marriage and make an issue of it --we would come to the topic of homosexuality itself and God's opinion of it. The topic would come up in church membership and in holding office or leadership position in the church. NOT that they couldn't be homosexuals in their orientation and join the church--but they would be expected to be celibate with that orientation, not a gay couple or practicing gays.

Since I observed that a very honorable-in-most-ways gay Christian man in his 20's got a serious crush on an attractive boy in his teens in his congregation --and pursued that boy as "just mentoring" "just showing interest," I would not want the church to let someone who admits homosexual orientation who is single work one on one with the young people --lest such a crush arise and develop mutually. Libido is powerful and lifetime celibacy is difficult.

Teens (perhaps not many) are vulnerable to the attentions of seductive, admiring people even of the same sex --and vulnerable to sexual temptation to let someone persuasive and charismatic, confident and aggressive, make them "feel good" by inappropriate touch. Kids raised in church CAN wrestle with homosexual inclination --and they don't need anyone to induct them into the activities.

At our high school, the Campus youth ministry became known to a very dynamic, single, young preacher-type, who usually wore a suit and tie --he was obsessed with the idea that Urbana, the big mission convention, was going liberal and liked to discuss that. Meanwhile, he befriended another young college age worker --may have led him to Christ--who eventually accused him of
making a pass at him sexually when they were out on God's mission of some kind. He would have boys sleep over at his house. All his rhetoric was concern for the souls of youth.

After the alleged incident, I did a little research in the Christian community and the church where he claimed to be from, and was told by a reputable and well-known Christian leader to stop this man's association with youth ministry with our school and church kids immediately because the man was troubled and perceived as a predatory homosexual at a church where he attended before. People had been duped by him, then tried to help him, and he admitted no homosexuality and no need. But the allegations followed him around as he would try and try again to connect sexually with young men. You would never think this was possible to know him. A very "self-actualized," seemingly spiritual individual.

He knew the jig was up when the other guy told on him and he disappeared from our circles. I would've been willing to discuss/counsel/refer him/pray with him, etc. --ANYthing, but in these situations, the fellows did not want to reject the homosexuality, did not admit to struggling with it and needing liberty from it.

You spoke of other sins like pride --and how we let proud people work in the church, hold membership, etc. Churches don't demand perfection; we preach it and Jesus said to be perfect --so we strive to live for him and we ought to acknowledge sins like dislike of the brethren and pride in our own ideas, etc. Those sins have been mentioned often from the pulpit and in our S.S. lessons.

It is certainly true that homosexual sin isn't going to be judged any more harshly than our sins of arrogance and lack of love, holier-than-thou attitudes, failure to forgive people, etc. The difference is that we all agree that pride, arrogance, snobbery and hatred are sins and we receive preaching and teaching to resist such sins --but homosexuals will not admit that those sexual relationships are sinful in God's sight and they think preaching against it is hate-speech. Instead they want to have public sanctification and legitimation of their homosexual relationships.

Many of them say they cannot help their orientation any more than straight people can. I always say there was a time of first thought --as with an adulterer or someone who commits incest --and that was the time to raise the barrier in the mind --don't go there in the mind. Don't indulge the temptation mentally or physically. Flee temptation. The more we indulge it, the harder to break an addiction or sinful habit.

Wrong and tempting thoughts may fly about your head like birds, Susannah Wesley told her 17 children, but you don't have to let them light on your head or nest in your hair.

For someone who struggles with the attractions and can't feel liberated from them, it may really help to hear an analysis of the problem such as Julie Harren's. That's what the reparative therapists for homosexual orientation and gender identity disorder find --some success in helping homosexuals UNDERSTAND the compulsive abnormal attraction. Understanding that which has been mysterious --homosexual preference--is a first step to wholeness.

It also helps us to be compassionate, i think, to realize that these people didn't just wake up one day and say, "I choose to find my own sex attractive; I choose to be turned off to the opposite sex." We have no evidence that gays are "born that way," but there may be causative factors and youthful perceptions that have led one to be gay --devil's tools, all --be it divorce, inattentive same sex parent, molestation, incest in a family, ignorance of God's teachings, unintentional parental error that wouldn't affect most kids, cultural influence, predators drawing kids into same -sex addiction in formative years --and just plain old sin, one's own, and those of others toward oneself.

It's a fallen world, and homosexualiity is just one of many results of the fall. OUr message is to preach wholeness in Christ --deliverance from bondage. Love of sinners --but standing on the Word of God when it comes to definitions of marriage, sin, sexuality --God's Creation Design for our lives.

steve said...

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. "Symmetry Of Homosexual Brain Resembles That Of Opposite Sex, Swedish Study Finds." ScienceDaily 18 June 2008. 18 June 2008

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617151845.htm

Rob R said...

yes steve, our addictions and mental afflictions may often have visable neurological effects. Of course even harmless personality traits or behaviors may affect brain structure. Japanese people for example may have significantly different brain structure than Americans of Japanese descent with regard to linguistic parts of the brain.

Brain structure isn't necessarily determinative either. About last year or so, mom mentioned that a newsweek article pointed out the people who believed that they could change their lives and behaviors had more neurological change then people who didn't believe this.

Barb said...

From Steve's science reference: Positron emission tomography (PET) scans taken by the researchers also show that in connectivity of the amygdala (which is important for emotional learning), lesbians resemble straight men, and gay men resemble straight women. The researchers analyzed the brains of 90 subjects, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess brain volume and PET data partly gleaned from previous olfactory studies.

Very interesting. If you think about it, we already knew that homosexuals resemble and have the attractions of the opposite sex. New research on the brain shows more and more that our brains are "programmable."

The Bible told us this first: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."

This may just give credence to the idea that the emotional nurture of the child is lacking in his same sex parent such that the child identifies (and develops brain areas) like his opposite sex parent.

We know that addictive substances affect brain structure (Newsweek article) neurons for pleasure transmission such that only the addictive experience gives the "high." Orgasm is presumeably 'addictive' --and perhaps experiencing it as forbidden fruit even more so. The forbidden experiences may modify the brain --like drugs. God's design, misused and highjacked by the fall of man, by sin, and man's original free will which he used to sin.

Interesting that language is a difference in the part of the brain being discussed. We know that gays are loquacious like their verbal mothers --but so are some straight men! a verbal parent will affect the language development of her/his kids.

What's important to know today, is that bains aren't static --such that we are simply born with what we have. They are somewhat programmable. Stroke victims are able to re-route the brain somewhat, re-wiring so they can restore lost function.

Perhaps homosexuals can re-route their wiring so they can restore lost function/attractions and develop self-image that matches their bodies.

The Bible says to meditate on the Word of God.

The old saying, "Garbage in; garbage out," may just be more scientific than we thought.

Barb said...

I don't know if any have been miraculously converted overnight away from same-sex attraction, such that they no longer wrestle with those thoughts and attractions, but many have left the life and married and become husbands and fahers, wives and mothers.

I saw some ex-gays, now married, on the Oprah program with their spouses, and it was shameful how Oprah let gay guests beat up on her ex-gay guests --denying the validity of their change to normalcy. It was so insulting to the married couples.

I do know that Rob's paternal great-grandfather dropped a serious nicotine habit overnight when he was gloriously converted by faith in Christ. God changed brain structure! "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds!" (wow!)

Granted, that not all of us with addictions have experienced such divine transformation--or I wouldn't weigh what I do! But then I do enjoy food and it's ever around me --whereas with other addictions, one can do without them and avoid them altogether with the help of God.

When Grandpa was saved, he really was a "new creature in Christ." He became a preacher in small country churches --not formally educated, but annointed nevertheless for the ministry God gave him. He had a profound influence on his 3 grandsons (he had one daughter, the mother of those boys.) I had the privilege of knowing him and his wife before they died --and they were truly "godly people" --whose minds were shaped and disciplined as Christ followers. they both would rise early in the morning and have long devotional times alone with God and prayed for all their family down to future generations (and others) and their salvation. They were perpetually sweet people, unselfish and giving, never irritable or temperamental. (and Grandma was rotund, too --to her detriment.)

My college roommate once said she believed that we are either getting better and better as we age and conform to Christ's example --or worse and worse! as we prepare for one eternal destination or another! I do find that for me, I may not be getting better --but my faith is stronger--my assurance of His reality, His love and His role as CREATOR and the Truth of the Bible --my own salvation. My love of the beauty of the earth is rich and gives me joy --peace --as I see the loving hand of God in all that He has made with such glorious design --all those things we sing about at church. I marvel in spring time at his bountiful blessings and wonder if natural disasters are the birthpangs to precede the return of Christ. And I have these charismatic impulses to want to feel free to raise my hands and be ecstatic in worship! Watch out ! OUr church is singing about dancing! The wedding dance to come with the Lamb of God!

I just don't want to call attention to me in any worship setting--like a big showboat!

I believe such a God is interested in and personal to every individual --that He meets us where we are, and accepts us "just as I am" --"unworthy of the blood He shed for me" --"Yet He saved me --still He saved me --Bless His holy name!"

The Truth about the reality of God and Christ, the plan of salvation from our Creator --His love, our Christian love for homosexuals --Yes, that is all the most important message to homosexuals --but they already know that traditional Christianity defines their sexual preference as sinful --not what God wants for them. Even our church youth who spend more time watching tv and Will and Grace than in church or in meditation on the Word and Truth of God are fast losing the conviction that homosexuality IS detrimental, thus, sinful, and something God abominates --along with other sin.

To speak about sin, is viewed as judgmental and unloving -as Rockets feels. But that has always been the role of the preacher and the Christian--to warn people of what Jesus called, "The wrath to come."

So the pulpit preaches against sin. And doesn't usually mention homosexuality very often, because the preacher is mindful that the sins of his congregation are USUALLY not that one. I do think the better approach WITHIN the church is to help parents parent to help their kids have normal sexual self-image. To make sure our own children understand God's purpose for being boys or girls -that they may, among other things, grow up to be mothers and fathers, wives and husbands. That each child feels good about being a boy --or a girl --and feels affirmed by BOTH parents and by the men and women of the church as a boy or a girl. And we need to teach our kids to treat other kids well and not have cliques and snobbery in the church. And adults in church need to avoid harshness in their dealings with troubled and troublesome kids, too.

Well, so much for my armchair philosophizing today!

Christian Apologist said...

Even if homosexuality were entirely genetic(its not). the prohibitions against sexual immorality would still apply. Just as a single person is not to give into the lusts of the flesh so to is the homosexual. Sex of any kind outside of the marriage covenenant is idolatry. As christians we are wed to Christ our savior, and any love of the things of this world, The cravings of sinful flesh, and the boasting of what we have and do, are in direct contradiction to the Love of God, which is the definition of Idolotry.

Barb said...

Right. Well said, CA.

Problem is --some "christian" gays like in "soulforce" would agree with you. that sex must be within marriage --thus, they say, "let us marry."

That's why it is important that the universal Church keep the definition of marriage before the public --reminding them of what God has said. Because today's post-Christian pagan doesn't know!

And he doesn't believe the Bible anyway, with the help of the universities --and non-christian parents. That's where other reasons come in, sociological, psychological, for-the-public-good and public health reasons--to teach WHY we oppose gay marriage and homosexuality.

But the post Christian, post-modern American does believe that homosexuals can't help it and thus deserve every compassion and every accommodation for their difference. That's where the Christian agrees that WE are to give compassion to sinners, the same as Christ did --but Christ did so to a point! He still called ALL of us to repentance, to discipleship, to a new life, to traditional righteousness PLUS the righteousness of loving, forgiving, compassionate, unselfish attitudes --and moral living. he never justified immorality. Said He was the fulfillment of the law --not to take away from it.

At the same time, there was much said in the NT by Christ and others for holy boldness and willingness to be persecuted for teaching the Truth about God and Christ and the need for repentance and faith --if we wanted to be saved and live forever.

The Church needs to keep saying that God IS, that Jesus came as the Living Word --and HIS written Word is true about Him and about us, about righteousness vs. sin.

When John the Baptist shouted at Herod that he was sinful in his sex life, that was not a namby-pamby example of godliness. The prophets weren't persecuted because they were so compassionate and loving --but because they denounced sin and pointed to God as righteous judge --as well as the lover of our souls. Who was a mere man to tell the king and the Pharisees the truths about God? they wondered. Then Jesus healed and raised persons from the dead and does claim to be a king of a spiritual kingdom, now and forever --a kingdom with a real place to be that He has gone to prepare.

Even though they had that example of the miracles and the Resurrection, they would not believe --and even though we have the Biblical reports of that example --people today do not believe.

God's love is a tough love --not a cotton candy sentimentality that tolerates intolerable abuse of his design plan for men and women as procreative beings, who are designed to pro-create with God new souls into the world and thus, into the kingdom--if they follow the King.

Barb said...

Right. Well said, CA.

Problem is --some "christian" gays like in "soulforce" would agree with you. that sex must be within marriage --thus, they say, "let us marry."

That's why it is important that the universal Church keep the definition of marriage before the public --reminding them of what God has said. Because today's post-Christian pagan doesn't know!

And he doesn't believe the Bible anyway, with the help of the universities --and non-christian parents. That's where other reasons come in, sociological, psychological, for-the-public-good and public health reasons--to teach WHY we oppose gay marriage and homosexuality.

But the post Christian, post-modern American does believe that homosexuals can't help it and thus deserve every compassion and every accommodation for their difference. That's where the Christian agrees that WE are to give compassion to sinners, the same as Christ did --but Christ did so to a point! He still called ALL of us to repentance, to discipleship, to a new life, to traditional righteousness PLUS the righteousness of loving, forgiving, compassionate, unselfish attitudes --and moral living. he never justified immorality. Said He was the fulfillment of the law --not to take away from it.

At the same time, there was much said in the NT by Christ and others for holy boldness and willingness to be persecuted for teaching the Truth about God and Christ and the need for repentance and faith --if we wanted to be saved and live forever.

The Church needs to keep saying that God IS, that Jesus came as the Living Word --and HIS written Word is true about Him and about us, about righteousness vs. sin.

When John the Baptist shouted at Herod that he was sinful in his sex life, that was not a namby-pamby example of godliness. The prophets weren't persecuted because they were so compassionate and loving --but because they denounced sin and pointed to God as righteous judge --as well as the lover of our souls. Who was a mere man to tell the king and the Pharisees the truths about God? they wondered. Then Jesus healed and raised persons from the dead and does claim to be a king of a spiritual kingdom, now and forever --a kingdom with a real place to be that He has gone to prepare.

Even though they had that example of the miracles and the Resurrection, they would not believe --and even though we have the Biblical reports of that example --people today do not believe.

God's love is a tough love --not a cotton candy sentimentality that tolerates intolerable abuse of his design plan for men and women as procreative beings, who are designed to pro-create with God new souls into the world and thus, into the kingdom--if they follow the King.

Christian Apologist said...

God's love is a tough love --not a cotton candy sentimentality that tolerates intolerable abuse of his design plan for men and women as procreative beings, who are designed to pro-create with God new souls into the world and thus, into the kingdom--if they follow the King.

It may sound like quibbling over terms but I dont think the term tough love correctly applies. Gods love is real love. Real love does everything in its power to keep the object of its affection from destroying itself. The only limit being the free will of the person in question. God will not trample that. Sin is not merely bad because God said so. Sin is bad because its consequences, both physical and spiritual, lead us away from God and the wonderful plans he has for our lives. We are like little children complaining because God wont let us stay up past bedtime, or have too much candy. God knows whats best for our lives if we would just trust him and obey his word, we would see no end to his blessings in our lives.

Barb said...

Yeah, I think you are quibbling over semantics because I don't disagree with your statement.

You may not be familiar with the term "tough love" as used in parenting?

It was love that allowed rebellious and drug-addicted, ever-taking people (usually one's relatives) to experience the consequences of their actions instead of always bailing them out and extending unlimited grace without the person coming to terms with his own misdeeds --apologizing and changing. Parents whose love was always "positive" (always rewarding without punitive correction ever)were seen as spoiling, needing to develop a little "tough love."

God's love is sometimes "tough" or "a severe mercy." In that He does allow us to experience painful consequences of our own sins --especially if we never repent and convert--never make an attempt to believe and follow His Son --won't quit sinning against others, e.g.

Tough love is for our good --but the Bible says that we can lose out on God's grace by never admitting our sin or trusting Christ for salvation and trying to follow Him.

steve said...

what's all this hubbub over gays?

Rob R said...

The general answer: homosexuality is an affront to one of the most sacred aspects of humanity, that is sexuality. If sexuality was not sacred, there'd be no reason to be concerned.

The reason within our national context: the view that homosexuality is determined biologically, and is to a degree natural and good/healthy, and ethical has not been challenged very well in the mainstreme culture when there are significant challenges to this view. There is just not enough said the view that it is wrong is just painted as uneducated bigotry. Well, if it isn't, it deserves to be explained. What is discussed here is that far from a norm of human biology, homosexual tendencies may have their roots in brokenness.

The answer for the immeadiate context: Mom is currently discussing the topic at some other web forum with homosexuals and advocates of the view, and so it's on her mind, hence all the posts. Recall all the posts on evolution and intellegent design when the Stein movie came out? Well, now this just happens to be the focus at the moment.

So what's the hubbub when so many of these people are just pursuing happiness and minding their own business and not hurting anyone else. We do not hold it to be self evident that the American individualistic hedonistic ethic is anywhere near correct. In other words, we don't buy it that whatever one wants to do as long as it "makes them happy" and "doesn't hurt anyone" has truly met a standard for what is truely ethical. This is an individualistic ethic, but the heavy emphasis on individualism is flawed and dubious. It flys in the face of that Christian value that you, steve, emphasized in terms of being one's brother's keeper.

steve said...

Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Rob R said...

good and excellent words from a faithful student and interpreter of Jesus who's love is reflected in his call for all to repent from rebellion and recieve the forgiveness and love of a merciful God who has power to bring transformation and life to the fullest.

The love of God and the love that we are to reflect though we often fall so short is not accurately viewed as a general niceness and positive regard and warm feeling but has deep and intricate content and true compassion even for the afflictions even for those for which we are in denial.

DA said...

Rob R...

I really enjoyed reading your well articulated answer.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

==================================
THIS POOR SAVAGED PLANET

Faces Nuclear Devastation by Insane
Global Jihad that enriches U-235,

We Face Obama-Mania Here At Home,
Endorsed by MoveOnDotOrg and other
minions of George Soros "Open Society Institute"...

And I stumble over here to witness
eloquent citizens discussing the Ages-Old Pro's & Con's of Homo-Sexuality. Forty-Four Comments! Where Are The Urgent Priorities?

Incredible. reb
===================================
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

Rob R said...

Yes, every minute we aren't discussing terrorists and spending time on something silly, oh say like feature of humanity that uniquely reflects the image of God and yet is being mangled, is wasted time.

Christian Apologist said...

SNAKE HUNTERS said...
==================================
THIS POOR SAVAGED PLANET

Faces Nuclear Devastation by Insane
Global Jihad that enriches U-235,

We Face Obama-Mania Here At Home,
Endorsed by MoveOnDotOrg and other
minions of George Soros "Open Society Institute"...

And I stumble over here to witness
eloquent citizens discussing the Ages-Old Pro's & Con's of Homo-Sexuality. Forty-Four Comments! Where Are The Urgent Priorities?

Incredible. reb


Of course the utter moral corruption of western society, and its spreading influence in the middle east, has nothing to do with why there is an endless supply of suicide bombers.

Rob R said...

That's a good point. In the Muslim world and perhaps a good portion of other sorts of cultures, we are hated as much for what comes out of Hollywood as we are for what comes from Washington

Rob R said...

Where's my manners.

Thanks da

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

======================================
Perhap it is I who have made an error in posting a comment here on "Homosexual Orientation".

But "Christians" seem devoted to focusing only on Two Issues (a) abortion, and (b) the sexual perversions of others, to the exclusion of All other pressing matters facing our nation!

Now, while I do feel a huge sadness for the 4th grade innocent children that has difficulty explaining in "Show & Tell" about 'Daddy Rosie' & Mamma Suzie, and must deal with the cruel snickers from class-mates, its a fact-of-life that Therapists and Phd's cannot deal with! And neither can Barb & Friends!
>>
However, We Can 'do something' about Political Hate Dubya-Propaganda, Gas Prices At-The-Pump, Congressional Inaction on dozens of vital issues like Ending the 30 year Moratoria on Drilling to relieve our dependence on Enemy OPEC OIL, Promote Nuclear & Solar Power Generation, Stopping the Corn-Ethanol Fraud, etc Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin's call to "bring our boys home" instead of trusting our Trained West Pointer Officers to make deployment decisions!
>>
I Am An Intruder Here; I'll Apologize, and return to Obama-Mania, and "End Of Greenism" & 'Global Warming' Posts. (Informative Stuff!) I Wish You All Much Goodwill; thank you. reb
__________________________________
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

Barb said...

Why many Christians focus on these two issues --as many of us do as regards politics and candidates.

Those issues tell us which candidates really care about God and Scripture. Though some may do it for votes.

We ALL AGREE that we want everyone to rise out of poverty, to have decent housing, we want the earth to be unpolluted, we want alternative energy supply, we want good education, we want good health care for all, we want good economy and jobs for all --but we don't all agree about the method for obtaining these things or about whose responsibility it is to see that we have these things.

But the issues where we are sharply divided are abortion and porn and homosexual wrongs--not rights. If we don't speak for the unborn and for God's definition of marriage, who will??? That's why you hear Christians on these topics. "They will know we are Christians --not only by our love, but by how we value life and the sacredness of our divine image as male and female couples in 'marriage.'"

Christian Apologist said...

But the issues where we are sharply divided are abortion and porn and homosexual wrongs--not rights. If we don't speak for the unborn and for God's definition of marriage, who will??? That's why you hear Christians on these topics. "They will know we are Christians --not only by our love, but by how we value life and the sacredness of our divine image as male and female couples in 'marriage.'"

WHOH!! back up a bit there Barb. That is a pretty blantant and unsubstantiated addition to the biblical message. You are taking a derivative quality of the christian message and elevating it to an essential one. You cannot do that without running into the error of the pharisees where they elevated the law to be equivelant to the covenant. I am only being harsh here because I love you as my fellow christian and dont want you to fall into error in your thinking, and you are on very dangerous ground with that statement.

Rob R said...

I don't know what mom was suggesting with that entire phrase in quotes, perhaps a neural typo (I do those all the time), but you can identify someone or something or some view by it's non-essential aspects as well as derived attributes or aspects as well as with the essential aspects.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

======================================

Barb:

Count Your Post Scripts!

This 'Magnificent Obsession' appears obvious to the serious observer when it Excludes All Other Vital Subjects!

See 'Valerie from France' on S/H's "Greenism." She points to exactly why your weblog is self-limiting. Your message tends to reach out...only to your choir loft, and that, it seems to me, is also unfortunate. reb
======================================
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

Barb said...

Why is it unfortunate, Reb? to not have a wide reach for my blog --if you don't think my blog topics are any good? You contradict yourself.

CA --I sincerely do not see the spiritual, pharisee-like danger of my statement. Perhaps you interpret it differently than I mean it.

I think there are sincere Christians who believe in Darwin's theory, hook, line and sinker --and sincere Christians who drink alcohol and smoke--and sincere Christians who will vote for the democratic party (how can they?) and sincere Christians who have gotten the cart before the horse and slept with people to whom they are not married (though they wouldn't defend it as right) -and sincere Christians who believe Calvinist doctrine --who believe that women should have no leadership in churches --who believe women should wear hats to church --who believe that divorced people should be 2nd class Christian citizens thereafter --etc. etc.

-but I don't think Christians with any Bible knowledge can appropriately defend gay marriage and abortion or porn as free speech-- as a nation's laws, saying God doesn't care about these social issues because the USA is not His Kingdom --therefore we shouldn't care either.

If killing the unborn is a violation of the Ten C's --and if homosexual acts are an abomination in God's sight, if porn and immorality-promoting and tempting TV are all wicked, that explains why many evangelicals like me and Focus on the Family and every para-church, policy-concerned, salt and light ministry in the country -- are grievously concerned about these social issues --and how our gov't has begun to handle them since 1973--and how people are seeing these wrongs as rights --for the first time in Christendom/western civ. We see it as calling evil good and good, evil --and don't think our gov't, elected by the people for the people, should have started down this path. Though they were there before with legalized slavery.

We aren't preaching about these issues from the pulpit at our church (at least not often or with emphasis --except the once a year pro-life sermon from the Crisis Pregnancy Center) --because we recognize that it's MOST important to preach how to be saved and how to live as followers of Christ. We know we ARE preaching to the choir in our church, so messages are aimed at believers --rather than at non-believers who tend not to be present in any great numbers.

It's most important to preach the Bible on ALL aspects of being the Church --whose main mandates are love, compassion, generosity and forgiveness --love for enemy, for brother, for neighbor --all. And love for the lost so we will evangelize the unbelievers abd carry out the Biblical mandate to preach the gospel to all.

Abortion (and extra-marital sex) are so widespread now in USA --and homosexuality is arguably the biggest social theme in the country --at least one of them. It's being PUSHED more than any other socio-political issue in media and education. About all the other issues, Americans seem to agree --to a point --at least in desired outcomes of peace, prosperity, freedom and a green planet for all.

I'm going to write about whatever interests me that I think needs writing about. sorry, Fellahs. You can write about everything I miss, Reb.

Reb, I have written about a lot of different things here --but my main POLITICAL concerns --which dictate how I vote --have to do with the social issues --because I believe they are so important to God --and will impact the culture our children will inherit from us. And they may be important to the survival of our nation. God has punished nations for wickedness before; He can do it again. Whatever it might take to bring us to our knees as a people.

It was interesting that so many went to church for awhile after 9/11.

Barb said...

By the way, Reb (Snake-Hunter), one reason I don't write about fuel and environment and economy --or even a whole lot about terrorism --is because I don't theorize much about the solutions -that's more of a guy thing, I bet-except to note that families are often in poverty because of the moral decisions they make that cause teen pregnancy and divorce and thus, poverty, homelessness, etc.

I think about the gay issue because it IS a parents, grandparents' and educational issue. I am all 3. I feel that the key to heterosexual orientation is rooted mostly in gender identity --one's sense of his own masculinity or femininity. There is so much that parents CAN do to help kids feel normal --but there are also limitations to parental and church influence in a wicked culture.

Barb said...

Just so you know, Reb --I also think a lot about dating policy and rearing kids --how can parents help to get their kids to the church on time --before pregnancy, before multiple sex partners and broken relationships and broken hearts -- so that they have one partner for life and no std risk --as Jesus taught. I'm just as interested in how sex education is taught to our children, how media glorifies sex without marriage, how you can be watching a program and think nothing of the fact that two attracted people are in bed together having recently met --this is so commonplace in our movies and tv today.

I'm concerned about how young people present themselves on My Space, etc. -- the boys as beer drinking porn addicts "flipping the bird" whom no one with any sense would choose as the father of their kids --and so many girls present as shallow sex objects --whom no man with any sense would want to be the mother of his children.

My concerns are culture-watcher/culture-keepers' concerns. A Salt and Light concern for the Church of Christ. There need to be voices on the internet who hold up a Biblical standard instead of saying that sin no longer is defineable or important to avoid. The unpopular role of the prophet throughout biblical history is to warn people of the future and the importance of repentance and righteousness.

This Jesus who doesn't care how we live as long as we "feel lovey feelings for all" is not the whole Jesus. We have a Jesus who said, "Repent" --that His kingdom would be a righteous kingdom with holy people --that He would judge --and yes, that all sinners are invited to the wedding feast of the lamb --all the unlovely folks and repentant sinners. But Repentance is a key word. And it takes awareness of our sins to repent.

I'm not claiming any superiority in my own righteousness --only faith in the Word and its definitions of right and wrong and its godly advice and warnings for every generation.

Barb said...

It is good to remember that Jesus' blood covers our sins --and makes them white as snow --and that "a broken and contrite heart, I will not despise." So we know that no sin is too great for Christ to cover --if we are remorseful about it.

The culture has lost the definitions of sin and the remorse for it. In Biblical days, there were people who felt awful about their sins and Christ had complete compassion for them --they KNEW they were not righteous. They KNEW the standards. And Jesus pointed out that pride in righteousness and disdain for sinners was ALSO sinful on the part of the religious.

Today, society tries to make itself feel better by denying that they have any sin. Jesus says if we say we have no sin, we are liars. If we think we are "good enough" to merit Heaven "if there is one," we are deceived. Only Christ was good enough --we need His atonement --and acknowledging our sinful state and wanting to stop sinning --are keys to the remorse that results in Christ's mercy upon us. He will make us "new creatures in Christ." This is a life-changing experience to seek and find.

Rob R said...

Reb, the world is a huge and complex place with a variety of problems, but somehow, you've decided that you are the arbiter of what's important and the only thing worth discussing is terrorists.

rockets2010 said...

I don't have anything terribly productive to say, but I've been keeping up, and I do have a question for Barb:

Did you think that this particular post would have such far-reaching effects in this discussion? (That's not facecious, either, as I realize it could sound that way, I just never expected someone to pop in here to tell you why you were wrong to talk about homosexuality instead of terrorism and energy alternatives...)

Barb said...

I was surprised to see Reb --he posts on Yankee Doodle's site --Yank is a Christian teenager.

Reb is conservative, I believe, so he is usually respectful. But not so in his post to me on his blog recently. He really is skeptical of religion in general, i think and can sound just like a Mudrake on that topic.

steve said...

"Here's the theocon elite's problem. They cannot outright condemn homosexuals because that sort of thing won't fly in these tolerant times. It's not like when you could burn deviants alive, or stone them to death. So they have to tell the flocks to "hate the sin, not the sinner." That's as wimpy as it is muddled. If gays are not evil per se, then why give them such a hard time in the first place? Live and let live."

Quoted from:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Gays-Are-Winning--Why--by-Gregory-Paul-080624-910.html

Barb said...

There were people in my father's acquaintance thought to be gay--one worked beside him in the Boy Scouts --(red flags) --but no one persecuted this fellow or tried to see what he might be doing behind closed doors. That was 50 years ago.

Today, it's the same. I have a lesbian cousin. No one is persecuting her or treating her badly.

However, homosexuals have become militant against people who don't agree with them. she can't stand people who don't approve homosexuality and gay marriage. I can stand her and the fact that she differs from me in world view and lifestyle --but she can't stand my world view and the fact that I think the bible is true and relevant on this topic. Not that I try to discuss it with her; I don't. But she is the intolerant hater, not me.

There is nothing new about "hate the sin; love the sinner." That's what we are to do. That's Biblical and doesn't just apply to homosexuality.

Gays really want to change the culture so that a male couple is viewed same as a female-male couple --and this isn't going to happen --not really. The law may view them the same, but people with common sense will not.

Rob R said...

I don't think Gregory Paul got the 2,000 year old memo. Truely orthodox Christianity was born as and grew as a counter-culture movement and as we see even around the world today in the persecuted church, it is still the same as it thrives under persecution. So what if gays win some battles in the culture war. It doesn't mean much to the faithful, except as a loss for the culture itself. But of course, it will be a harsh wake up for many Christians living in the cushy west. But perhaps American Christians should realize that they are not the avant guard of the kingdom of heaven.

So what if if our messege, the same messege of Jesus, for the sinner to repent and recieve forgiveness won't fly. They crucified our leader 'cause his messege wouldn't fly, but he rose again and his followers who increased in numbers inspite of the persecuation of the Roman empire defeated that empire's resistence and persecution (which is not to say that the changes that came afterword didn't involve some unfortunate distortions).

These people who scoff at the whole "hate the sin, love the sinner thing", well, I don't think I would want them counciling drug addicts if they have a problem with this concept.

G. Paul furthermore doesn't realize the lessons of 1930's and 40's Germany, that you can win a culture war and be completely wrong. He seems completely oblivious to this notion.

Who wins a culture war may not be something to celebrate when it is a matter of a public that is largely illiterate on a topic, and from the one sided view of what the science actually demonstrates to the poor defense by so many Christians which amounts to a few prooftexts without going into the theological meaning behind the texts, I'd say we are definitely illitarate on the topic.

Christian Apologist said...

steve said...
"Here's the theocon elite's problem. They cannot outright condemn homosexuals because that sort of thing won't fly in these tolerant times. It's not like when you could burn deviants alive, or stone them to death. So they have to tell the flocks to "hate the sin, not the sinner." That's as wimpy as it is muddled. If gays are not evil per se, then why give them such a hard time in the first place? Live and let live."


This is a pretty good example of a misunderstanding of christian doctrine. Hate the sin and love the sinner has been around since Christ first preached it. Second Christianity beleives that all men are evil. Thats why we need Christ. Thats why we give sin such a hard time. It leads to death and we dont want our fellow human beings to die.

steve said...

My psychology textbook (Owens Psy 101 - "Introduction to Psychology 8e by Rod Plotnik / Haig Kouyoumdjian) points out a lot of convincing evidence for the biological and genetic influences that contribute to the development of homosexuality. Evidence such as twin studies,fMRI brain scans. The text doesn't come out and present a smoking gun causation, but it does list many strong correlations and evidence of biologic and genetic predispositions toward sexual orientation.

So my question is, don't you think having this strong biologic and genetic predisposition toward a certain behaviour a pretty unfair row to hoe? That if it is such a sin, that God has unfairly saddled these people with a "mark of cain" for no apperent reason other than random genetic action?

If it is such a sin, then I believe that if Jesus were here to day he would be hanging with these folks and ministering to them and would be telling the rest of you "sinless" folk to cast the first stone. Because that's what Jesus does. He ministers to the poor and downtrodden and breaks bread and fishes for the multitudes. He doesn't build his mega church in the affluent suburb and live in a 600,000 dollar mcmansion and then cast his stones via a Blade letter to the Editor.

Jesus wouldn't pave over his grandchildrens viable food supply by destroying perfectly good farm fields in the process of trying to escape the riff-raff (Ie. black people).

OK, you got me on a roll, better stop while I'm ahead.

Can I get an Amen?

Christian Apologist said...

So my question is, don't you think having this strong biologic and genetic predisposition toward a certain behaviour a pretty unfair row to hoe? That if it is such a sin, that God has unfairly saddled these people with a "mark of cain" for no apperent reason other than random genetic action?

According to the bible all sin is "genetic". Because of the sin of Adam mankind is perpetually born into death. But just as through the disobedience of one man all men were put to death. How much more through the obedience of Christ shall all men live? By the grace of God even the most hardwired sins can be overcome. Without grace nothing of the flesh can come under subjection.

The greatest tragedy of our modern culture is not that men sin. It is that they do not realize that what they do is sin.

Rob R said...

The text doesn't come out and present a smoking gun causation, but it does list many strong correlations and evidence of biologic and genetic predispositions toward sexual orientation.

I have the seventh edition and like a couple of other psychology text books I have, the authors are candid (and honest) to admit that there is "considerable debate over how much genetic and biological factors influence sexual orientation." (pg 341)

The gay twins statitistic I have in the seventh edition puts the likely hood at 48-65% of the time. In a sense, that's a strong correlation, but in another sense, it highlights that there are a huge number of people who are not living as there genes allegedly dictate and it leaves plenty of room for free will and/or environment to be a major factor. Plotnic also says that a problem with some of the studies he cites is that the identical twins spoken of are not raised apart so that environmental influences cannot be ruled out. (343)

The latest and largest gay twin study does not confirm a huge genetic influence, granted it wasn't primarily about homosexuality, and it was a little hard for me to understand. twins study

Also note that the former head of the human genome project does not think that the influence for homosexuality is huge. Francis Collins put the heritability estimate at 30% (which I take to mean that if one has a certain genetic makeup, they have a 30% of becoming a homosexual). He puts the genetic ifluence of traits like openness, neuroticism, and traditionalism around 50%, and these are all traits that we can develope and alter.

Collins

As for the fMRI and brain structure argument, well, we've been over that steve. It's not clear as to whether these changes of brain structure are genetic or due to an environment of brokenness. Another question is whether brain structure really causes homosexuality or the other way around.

So my question is, don't you think having this strong biologic and genetic predisposition toward a certain behaviour a pretty unfair row to hoe? That if it is such a sin, that God has unfairly saddled these people with a "mark of cain" for no apperent reason other than random genetic action?

Here's the point about environment vs. genetics. We've already seen a couple of people here argue from a Christian perspective to the effect that homosexuality is a sin and not due to environment when we are arguing that there are significant environmental factors. It's about God's soverignty. We, who are free will theists do not believe that everything that happens within our social environment originates from God, but much of it originates in terms of brokenness of human rebellion, with parents who fail their children. This may lead to a mistaken notion that if something is a feature of one's genetic structure, that it is from God. I don't believe this but it seems biblical to me that all of creation has a degree of brokenness, including physical creation, such as that which leads to our genetic makeup. We live in a broken world where nature itself does not work exactly the way it was meant to work.

But there is something to this genetic argument that I sympathize with and it is the reason that I find the genetic causation hypothesis (one that keeps getting debunked and is yet still purued) to be incompatible with the biblical take on homosexuality. It is the notion that because of someone's genetic makeup, they cannot find happiness or fulfillment unless they can have or at least be permited to pursue homosexual relationships. This is where the appeal for genetic causation creates this troublesome argument against the traditional view. Of course this is where the Christian highlights that sin often presents itself as the only alternative capable of bringing happiness and it's a perception that we are called persevere against. Otherwise, the person who embraces this perception from the enticement of sin either has to argue that it is not really sin or they have to ditch the traditional view alltogether.

If it is such a sin, then I believe that if Jesus were here to day he would be hanging with these folks and ministering to them and would be telling the rest of you "sinless" folk to cast the first stone.

Perhaps*, but most people stop short of the comparison of our modern situation with that story and never get to the part where Jesus told the person that he saved from a stoning to "go and sin no more".

He doesn't build his mega church in the affluent suburb and live in a 600,000 dollar mcmansion and then cast his stones via a Blade letter to the Editor.

Of course Jesus spoke to a culture that largely knew what sin was and he did only some redefining of that though some of it was very significant.

Jesus wouldn't pave over his grandchildrens viable food supply by destroying perfectly good farm fields in the process of trying to escape the riff-raff (Ie. black people).

OK, you got me on a roll, better stop while I'm ahead.

Can I get an Amen?


I'll Amen that.





*it's not even clear that this story is truely an authentic part of scripture as it is not in the ealiest manuscripts.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

======================================

Those Roman Rascals had control of most of those scrolls, and they decided which to keep as "Sacred Doctrine", then they declared Papal Infallibility in "matters of Faith & Morals", and demanded Obedience! May the Saints Preserve Us! Hot doggie!

Then Mohammad had his "Moon-God of the Kaba" about 640 A.D. which over time became Allah, the Wahhabi/Sunni/Arabs and the Persian/Ali have been fightin' & killin' and head-choppin' and stoning their sinnin' women ever since those early days!

Today, Hamas is a Persian (Shia) puppet, and Fatah (PLO) is Sunni (Arab) puppet, and they kill each other every day now in the "Holy" Land of Palestine, if they can't find a Jew! And, on "Holy" Friday, the Saudi Royals Chop Heads & Hands...grim stuff! And Hezbollah (Party of God) waits in Southern Lebanon with some new long-range rockets, ready to fire into Israel when they get the order from Mahmoud Ahamdinjad, when he get the word from the Grand Ayatollah Khameinei! Rock & Roll Time!

All of this from the loins of
Abrahim, Sarah, and Hagar! Go figure it!

There's some more material for you folks to knash yer teeth over; have fun. Do you know what they do
to homosexuals? and adulterers? They stone 'em...and Jesus said, "Go, and sin no more." That' what I admire.

But when Sharia Law Rules this old world after Armeggedon, and you pay your Dhimmi Tax, you'll all be allowed 2nd class citizenship in the brave "new world order" of the al Madhi Prophet. Hope you all like Mutton Pie. reb

======================================
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

Christian Apologist said...

Those Roman Rascals had control of most of those scrolls, and they decided which to keep as "Sacred Doctrine", then they declared Papal Infallibility in "matters of Faith & Morals", and demanded Obedience! May the Saints Preserve Us! Hot doggie!

A case in point of where a lie is told so often that people are unable to distinguish it from the truth.

Do not be so quick to judge a system of belief on the actions of those who act contrary to the system. If you want something to think about consider that the genecides commited by athiest regimes like Nazi germany and communist Russia are perfectly in line with the philosophies of Darwin and Nietzche.

Rob R said...

The church did make decisions as to which scriptures were authentic (as in written by the followers of Jesus or recognized as scripture by the time of Jesus) and which ones weren't as it should considering it is the living presence of Christ on the earth. It's true that different branches of the church have slightly different lists of books of the bible, but those differences are less important than many would think. Of course when you specify the Romans and papal infallibility, me thinks you are oversimplifying...drastically... the history of the developement of the canon.

More importantly is the continuity of the old scriptures and the new. So many of the alternatives would disown the ancient Jewish scriptures, and I believe there may have been some that emphasized the old ways to the extent that Jesus did not really inaguarate a new covenant. Both are dead ends for good reasons.

There's some more material for you folks to knash yer teeth over; have fun.

well, okay, not exactly sure what we're supposed to gnash about. We aren't muslims though. Don't agree with them. We think they are wrong for reasons.

But when Sharia Law Rules this old world after Armeggedon, and you pay your Dhimmi Tax, you'll all be allowed 2nd class citizenship in the brave "new world order" of the al Madhi Prophet. Hope you all like Mutton Pie. reb

SH, we are Christians and we take our eschatology seriously. Whatever the world goes through, democracy, tyranny, "theo"cracy(in quotes because every so called example is anything but..) God will bring it all to an end, His end on His terms.

You seem to trust in the might of America and any of her willing allies to keep the world from going to pieces. But the US is like any other nation in this: It will not last forever.

Do you know what they do
to homosexuals? and adulterers? They stone 'em...and Jesus said, "Go, and sin no more." That' what I admire.


Yes, the religion of Jesus is one of grace and reconciliation. It is an answer to all of the evils of the world including adultery and homosexuality.

Barb said...

Good posts, Fellahs.

About the twin studies, Steve --

if one twin is gay and the other homosexual, doesn't this disprove the genetic and prenatal theories--since these fellows have identical genes and identical hormone exposure in the womb? And when there is a gay twin, more often than not, his brother is straight --though the correlation is higher, i believe, for a gay twin to have a gay brother than for a gay single child to have a gay brother. Right? Maybe he's trying to be different.

Possibly, one twin is more naturally athletic and macho and dominant than the other --and the other develops this weak sense of his own masculinity as Dr. Harren speculates. Perhaps one gets treated differently because he is the less assertive/confident one.
Granted, I'm just arm-chair philosophizing here.

We know that kids with the same parents don't all turn out hetero or homosexual --but there's a mix. Different kids are treated differently, have different experiences, have different personalities and strengths and weaknesses, and have different PERCEPTIONS --which Dr. Harren talks about.

The question for parents and grand parents and the church is --CAN WE HELP KIDS AVOID A HOMOSEXUAL SELF-IMAGE AND EXPERIENCE? I believe we can. But it's hard to protect kids from cruelty of other kids and snobbery. They need to feel that the people of their same sex accept them as part of their group, their "club" of guys --or girls. Uncles and aunts, grandparents, parents --all can play a conscious role in helping boys feel like "one of the guys" and helping girls feel feminine. Instead, people are often cruel --when the real difference a child has from the general population of men or women, may be his precoscious-ness, artistic or athletic talent or lack of , sensitivity, --just oddness, differences, that alienate one from his/her same-sex peers.

I don't think gay marriage, gay parades, and promotion of gayness as just another alternative lifestyle, is the way to go if we would help kids grow up normal in their orientation. It is not good for kids to grow up thinking this is an option--or even hearing about it. I managed to get almost to high school before hearing there were such people --and i think the ignorance was protective. I never wondered if I might be homosexual --yet, my same sex friends were VERY important to me --emotionally so. I think I could have been confused right into trouble --if today's social climate re: homosexuality were the climate in my youth. But it wasn't. And also, I knew God made Eve for Adam. While my girlfriends were very important, I also had a lot of romantic interest in finding my Adam.

they say that homosexuals have a precocious interest in sex/sexuality. I think I had that precocious interest. But we had no one role-modeling or promoting homosexuality to our generation as we grew up.

Barb said...

Snake hunter --do you ever wonder --what if it is true that God sent a God-man --a Son of Man and Son of God --to make us imperishable --simply by our faith in Him and our subsequent desire to please Him? What if everything said of Jesus Christ is absolutely true??? Miracle-worker, healer, crucified, resurrected?

It's not something to be flippant or casual about --if it just might possibly be true. It really IS GOOD NEWS!

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

==========================================

Barb,

I want you and your friends here to know that I have never been "flippant" about spiritual matters. That's grossly unfair. In fact, I've devoted much adult thought to the subject.
>>
On the matter of 'Papal Infallibility', Holy Mother Church Makes An Audacious Claim, (a) of Being the One True Church, and (b) that Infallibility is 'strictly limited' to matters of "Faith & Morals." Let's Think About That.

If 'Faith' deals with 'Thought', and 'Morals' with Actions, then...

The entire range of human experience is encompassed within the Papal Claim!
>
Now, take a cursory look at Islam, and you will find in the "Holy" Qur'an...the outrageous parallels of extreme religious fervor, and Insistence on Obedience, with severe punishment for "Sinners".

Stoning & Head-Choppings are common on 'Holy Friday'...In The 21st Century!

Once Exposed to Truth, the hapless believer, searching for a less violent form of worship is somehow transformed, declared an Apostate by Sharia Law, and loses his head!

There's a long History of grim intolerance in Islamic & Roman Theology that leads the hated "free-thinker" in the odd direction of...Skepticism!

Thank Gawd For Our First Amendment.

The Pious Ones Don't Burn Witches in Masssachusetts, or Slaughter Mormons in Missouri and Illinois Anymore! reb

===========================================
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

Barb said...

Snake hunter:

I am neither of the Roman Church or the Muslim faith and see both as spiritually erroneous. The Protestants knew the Pope was just a man --and that there was much corruption --and unbiblical emphases in Catholicism. Most of the protestant churches consider the Bible to be the authority in matters of faith and morals. Many Catholics are also followers of the Book and of Jesus Christ, however, and put the protestants to shame in their pro-life labors.

Muslims were led astray by Satan, the angel of light, Lucifer, who deceived Mohammad. I understand that Mohammad was illiterate and relayed his angelic messages to scribes. So I think the Koran is truly a spiritually inspired book -- inspired by the evil one whom Christ said would deceive multitudes. It's a very dark and scary religion. And yes, Christendom has had its times and persons of error also.

but the errors aren't Christ's --He is still the plum line, the standard bearer, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Faith in Him and repentance for sin --that's the ticket to paradise.

Rob R said...

You probably wouldn't have much of a first amendment if it weren't for the protestant, and the largely christian inspired deists of the American revolution.

Anonymous said...

"Plumb line" not "plum line." We are not referring to pieces of fruit in a row.

Oh yes. One more thing: "Truth is a pathless land."

Regards.

The Loop Garoo Kid

Barb said...

L. garoo--Truth is not a pathless land. Jesus Christ is the truth--
"I am the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father except by me."

There is a True Way -- a path. "Broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there be that go that way--but narrow is the way that leads to life , and few there be that find it."

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You Christo-fascists will all burn in hell. The God of faith and mercy is going to be righteously pissed that you have perverted his teachings into hating and condemning others that he has created. That you would presume to deny gay men and women basic human rights granted by their Creator further condemns your souls to eternal damnation.

Rob R said...

So aren't you worried as well? You're hateful and condemning us whom God has created.

As to whether or not you choose to be gay, that could be compared to an alcoholic who says he didn't choose to be an alcoholic. It's quite irrelevent whether you choose it or not. Since you know it's wrong, the important issue is what you're going to do about it now BECAUSE YOU CERTAINLY DO HAVE THAT CHOICE RIGHT NOW.

I suppose you might be one of those who has claimed to have tried to change and that may be true. But then the question would be, did you simply try not being attracted to members of your same sex or did you attempt to deal with the root causes?

kateb said...

I think just delete his posts. This is embarrassing to watch. For him to sink to anonymous postings of this nature speaks of a human being who's out of control.

Venomous, salivating and irrational. It's just embarrassing to watch someone humiliate themselves on this level.

Just let him spin - he isn't interested in rational debate. He hasn't ever been and now it looks like he cannot control himself at all. Sad. Just really sad. It's like watching a small child banging their head on the wall in their irrational rage.

I'm going to spend some time praying for him - he must be such an unhappy creature. And that's not what God has in mind for him - God wants him to have joy.

And that's what I'm going to pray for. Only God can help such a pitiful creature as this.

Rob R said...

two more points.

The comment above was deleted for language.

Secondly, Anonymous here is amongst the typical internet contributor who has opinions on things that he/she clearly doesn't read. The article does not say much about choice at all emphasizing environmental factors and noting that "There are many people who find themselves attracted to members of the same sex and yet do not want those attractions."

Barb said...

Kateb, you might be assuming anonymous here is MR? I would think he might have gotten here by Google.

But it matters not -Rob is right that the poster has not read Julie Harren's piece to come to the conclusions he does.

As you said, this person isn't interested in a discussion--just in ranting.

kateb said...

I think that's a good policy. If it's not relevant and abusive - get rid of it.

Very good.