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A message from God

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Pah, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    James 2:1-17

    1My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. 2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," 4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

    5Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?

    8If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself,"[a] you are doing right. 9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder."[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

    12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
    Faith and Deeds
    14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

    Now, favoritism is preference in civil law to heterosexual marriage. The rich man can be considered the Christian Pharasee who loves the law, the old law, and favors the straight. The poor man is, of course, the gay who must, by dint of the "marriage amendment", sit at the feet of the rich man. The rich man is not promised an inheritence of the kingdom of God, but the poor man is. The rich man will drag the poor man to court and force the injustice of the amendment upon the poor man.

    It is worth repeating -
    If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.
    But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
    For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
     
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  2. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

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    The Bible also "favors" one thing to be truth and it's opposite to be false. If being materially poor was detrimental toward cultivating spiritual life then it would not be an example of favoritism to allow certain rights to only the rich. As far as marriage is concerned as a religious observance, homosexual marriage is out of the question. You would be better off just sticking to it as a legal agreement.
     
  3. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Bias and prejudice against ANY group of people is just wrong. I have long since advocated that ALL people should be treated the same irregardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation.

    Love everyone. It does not matter who or what they are: love them in spite of yourself and sometimes in spite of them selves.
     
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  4. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

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    It is not a question of love. You can love someone and not condone what they stand for at the same time. For example, your friend is really sick and the doctor has prescribed that he eats no sweets. Now, maybe your friend insists that you give him some candy, but out of love you do not give it to him. Love, as far as Christianity (and various other religions) goes, is Divine. It comes from God and God is the supreme object of love. Unless you come to this platform of understanding, your so-called love is likened to giving your sick friend the piece of candy. Are we biased against the "candy-loving sick who should not be eating candy" group of people? You bet your a** we are.
     
  5. bigvindaloo

    bigvindaloo Active Member

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    It is also reasonable to ask what function marriage as recognised by Christian traditionalists serves. Historically marriage may have evolved as an arrangement providing suitable environmental conditions for the nurturing of children. Modern legal arrangements make same-sex couples eligible to raise kids, bronze-age opinion was different no doubt.

    The problem here is that the legal recognition of marriage is traditionalist. Even if the law was to decouple from tradition and recognise same-sex marriage, it would be an amoral recognition of rights, not a move towards reconciling Christian traditionalist morality with homosexuality.
     
  6. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

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    From a strictly religious stance, marriage is an arrangement meant for focusing one's lusty desires toward the begetting and raising of God conscious children. In this case the question becomes, why is it necessary for the two members of the same sex to display themselves as a romantic couple in order to raise children? What are we teaching our children, who we are supposed to be raising to understand God and how to cultivate spiritual life, when we display homosexuality as an appropriate lifestyle? These pro-homosexual arguments are better off avoiding religious considerations.


    The thread topic attempts to use religion for persuasion on this matter. That is the basis for my statements.
     
  7. bigvindaloo

    bigvindaloo Active Member

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    I agree that the question of recognising the validity of same-sex marriage is not a moral, therefore religious matter. Therefore it is wrong of you to use morality as a basis for arguing against it.
     
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  8. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Sure it is. Jesus ate with the dregs of his society: tax collectors, terrorists, prostitutes, etc. etc. Surprisingly, the only harsh words that he had were for the self righteous who condemed these very same people. They also did it for their "own good", I am sure.

    Now, just as then, many people thought rich people to be blessed by God. Clearly, OUR PERCEPTIONS of who God is for or against are flawed. God does not hate homosexuals: bigots do.
     
  9. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

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    No. It is not wrong of me given the context that the topic itself uses religion as a persuasion tool for homosexual marriage. The original post attempts to appeal to religious and moral sentiment in order to justify homosexual marriage rights. So If I am wrong it is because the original poster is wrong.
     
  10. angellous_evangellous

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    Pah, there just might be some homosexual (or insert other oppressed groups like feminists or imperialist/colonialist) New Testament scholars who interpret this passage just as you have.
     
  11. angellous_evangellous

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    Plato knew of life-long same-sex relationships in 300BCE.

    Commited Same-Sex Relationships in Plato
     
  12. bigvindaloo

    bigvindaloo Active Member

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    I agree
     
  13. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

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    And Jesus could eat with homosexuals. That in no way justifies homosexual marriage. Consider marriage like a church. Now, you can identify yourself as "homosexual" and still enter the church and worship God, but you cannot perform homosexual acts in the church. Similarly, you can be homosexual and still seek God, but you cannot add homosexuality to a religious observance that condemns it. Or perhaps you think that a prosititute can get married and still turn tricks around town.


    No. God loves everyone. Now what we need to do is discern between the living entity itself and the designation he/she is identifying with. In this case, "homosexual". God loves the person who considers himself homosexual even if He does not condone the lifestyle of homosexuality.
     
  14. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Actually, I would be amazed if your church allows it's congregants to do heterosexual acts there in the church. Maybe I need to check your church out!
    I don't recall Jesus saying for us to do ANYTHING but to love God and to love others. The apostles surely put a human spin on many things that they said. Either that or you require women to say NOTHING in the church.
    Somehow, I feel Jesus would blow your mind should you ever get the pleasure of meeting him:

    Matthew 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions." NIV

    How much more validation do you need then he was their FRIEND. Not just an acquaintance, BUT A FRIEND.
     
  15. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

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    Good point! Although, I am not therefore saying that heterosexual acts may be committed in a church. The point is that the homosexual lifestyle is not permitted within the confines of the religious observance of marriage.


    That's fine. We can love others. What does that have to do with what is and what isn't permitted within the confines of the religious observance of marriage?


    I never said that Jesus was just their aquaintance and not their friend.
     
  16. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    It's strange that you would "down play" the word of God.

    Perhaps you could tell us how those verses allow for the suppression of civil libertties.
     
  17. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    That's a BIG "if". Please show where a same-sex couple diminishes your spirituality. I would think that if your spirituality were dependent of someone else, it is not really spiritual.
    You have not shown why the verses support your view.
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I think we're trying to apply modern cultural thought and actions to a concept that was formulated in a different culture. I really think we need to ask ourselves, "What is marriage, Biblically speakikng? (And I don't mean this "relationship-between-one-man -and-one-woman" legalistic horse**** that the religious right have dreamed up.) I mean, "What is the nature of marriage? What is it for? What does it accomplish for us and for our relationship with God?" Look at marriage in first-century Israel. In that culture, men carried the responsibility and honor of the family. The women belonged to the head of the household. Women did not work. Women depended upon men for sustenance, for the gift of children, and to carry their honor. Marriage was a necessity for most grown women (either that, or live in your father's or brother's or uncle's house for the rest of your life.)

    What about today? Do we still need marriage? Has marriage, as a socio-cultural institution, outlasted it's usefulness in our culture? (I'm not saying that religious folks don't still need to confirm the relationship as holy before God, nor am I saying that we don't need some kind of legal recognition, for purposes of financial and legal disposition of household monies and goods.) Maybe what we need today is not "marriage," but a civil contract.

    I think, first of all, it's a mistake to marry (pun not intended) the socio-legal aspects of marriage to the cultural-religious aspects. Currently, we can define marriage from two completely spearate perspectives, according to two completely different authority structures: religion and state. What good is that? The Church can marry someone that the state does not recognize. The state can marry someone that the Church does not recognize.

    Second, I think it's a big mistake to try to impose clearly religious motivations upon a law of the state. That defies the constitution of this nation. Ol' Dubya can't impose his narrow, conservative, religious "morals" on civil law. Conversely, the state can't (or shouldn't be able to!) impose state law on a religious act.

    What is marriage? Is it the purview of the Church (my opinion), or is it the purview of the state? I say, let the Church marry whomever it deems worthy, and let the state recognize that union. If the Church chooses to marry homosexuals, let the state recognize it. If the Church chooses not to, let the state honor that.

    What about non-religious folks? Since (in my pov) marriage is a religious act, non-religious folk cannot be married (marriage is a sacrament). However, let them enter into a civil contractual arrangement before a judge.

    In this scenario, we divorce (again, pun not intended) religious morality from civil law. The state can draw up contracts for whomever it deems has the civil (not "moral") right to such a contract. Churches can now marry whomever they deem worthy of the sacrament. I think, if we adopted this perspective, we'd find that the state would be compelled to recognize that the contract must be extended equally, across the board, without regard to race, creed, or sexual orientation.

    There are two fronts to this "war:" 1) Homosexual couples wishing the same rights and privileges as other, heterosexual couples, and 2) Homosexual couples wishing religious blessing of their union. Let's not confuse the two.
     
  19. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    While your post was a good debate point, I wish it had been more to the point of the verses. If one takes the verses literally (a mistake in my mind), they only apply to the rich and the poor. A figurative reading would allow for all circumstances when there is systemic disperity. If one does understand that, the verses have relevancy to any culuture at any time. Even in a literal sense. it apllies as long as there are rich and poor.
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Exactly my point when I said that, once we "unstack the cards" -- that is, once we divorce religious "morality" (emphasis on quotation marks) from civil law, the state would be compelled to apply the contract equally.

    What the religious right is trying to do is to stack the cards in favor of the "righteous," that is, "those who do not live in abomination before God." Clearly, the state should not concern itself with matters of "righteousness." Just as clearly, if the cards are stacked at all, the Church should always stack them in favor of the disenfranchised.
     
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