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"Whilst I agree there must be some debate on this matter, I do find your argument flawed in the face of evolutionary evidence..."
Whilst I agree there must be some debate on this matter, I do find your argument flawed in the face of evolutionary evidence. I must admit that I am baffled by the assertion that God and evolution are mutually exclusive. Is it impossible to accept that God is the deus ex machina in evolution? It is something that as a Christian myself I do believe.
Regarding your comments on homosexuality: as a homosexual and a Christian I do find your argument reasonable but ultimately objectionable. I do not appreciate a high-handed tolerance of my "sin", as I do not believe I am sinning. It seems that homosexuality gets people more steamed up than anything else in religious debate. It is mentioned several times in the Bible, but it not as high on the list of crimes as adultery, and/or divorce. I would be interested to know your views on adultery, and whether you believe it to be a worse crime (listed as one of the Ten Commandments) then being gay. After all, people were put to death for it in previous centuries. Which leads me on to another point (apologies for the ramble!). If denying God, commiting adultery, sodomy, etc. resulted in being burnt at the stake centuries ago, why do committed Christians not call for it now? Could it be that we "interpret" biblical teachings and sins differently now? Therefore surely "interpretation" is a key to understanding religion and making it relevant to today. Alterations made by Pope Gregory, etc, make it almost certainly necessary.
It is nice to hear from you. Please see my comments below regarding your e-mail and please remember they are meant with sincerity and respect.
Whilst I agree there must be some debate on this matter, I do find your argument flawed in the face of evolutionary evidence. I must admit that I am baffled by the assertion that God and evolution are mutually exclusive.
Which God are you talking about? If you are referring to the God of the Bible then there are reconciliations that need to be done with these stark differences:
|Sun before earth||Earth before sun|
|Dry land before sea||Sea before dry land|
|Atmosphere before sea||Sea before atmosphere|
|Sun before light on earth||Light on earth before sun|
|Stars before earth||Earth before stars|
|Earth at same time as planets||Earth before other planets|
|Sea creatures before land plants||Land plants before sea creatures|
|Earthworms before starfish||Starfish before earthworms|
|Land animals before trees||Trees before land animals|
|Death before man||Man before death|
|Thorns and thistles before man||Man before thorns and thistles|
|TB pathogens & cancer before man (dinosaurs had TB and cancer)||Man before TB pathogens and cancer|
|Reptiles before birds||Birds before reptiles|
|Land mammals before whales||Whales before land animals|
|Simple plants before fruit trees||Fruit trees before other plants*|
|Insects before mammals||Mammals (cattle) before “creeping things”*|
|Land mammals before bats||Bats before land animals|
|Dinosaurs before birds||Birds before dinosaurs|
|Insects before flowering plants||Flowering plants before insects|
|Sun before plants||Plants before sun|
|Dinosaurs before dolphins||Dolphins before dinosaurs|
|Land reptiles before pterosaurs||Pterosaurs before land reptiles|
|Land insects before flying insects||Flying insects before land insects|
The main point is “who is your authority?” If God is your authority then you will believe His Word is the correct eyewitness account of what He created, which is in opposition to the idea of molecules-to-man evolution. However, if imperfect human beings are your authority then the belief in molecules-to-man evolution usually prevails, even though no human being was present in the past to witness these events.
Evolution and creation are two diametrically opposed ideas; they do not compliment one another, they contradict each other. It is tantamount to note that if evolution is true then Jesus Christ died in vain (Romans 5). Some evolutionists are aware of this fact:
Christianity has fought, still fights, and will continue to fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.1
Is it impossible to accept that God is the deus ex machina in evolution? It is something that as a Christian myself I do believe.
deus ex machina \DAY-uhs-eks-MAH-kuh-nuh; -nah; -MAK-uh-nuh\, noun:
1. In ancient Greek and Roman drama, a god introduced by means of a crane to unravel and resolve the plot.
2. Any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an apparently insoluble difficulty.
God is not some mysterious force needed to fill in the unsolvable gaps of molecules-to-man evolution. He plainly and clearly tells us in His Word what and how He created everything. He is closely involved with mankind. Theistic evolution has many theological problems, is a compromise of God’s Word, and has been thoroughly refuted on this website.
Sometimes I wonder why people would want to become a Christian when they believe in evolution. This is not to say they can’t be Christians, but follow the logic:
Regarding your comments on homosexuality: as a homosexual and a Christian I do find your argument reasonable but ultimately objectionable.
Our arguments are reasonable only because they are based on Scripture and not fallible man’s ideas. Since we base our arguments on God’s Word, any objection you may have is with what God has said, not with what we have said.
You state you are a “homosexual and a Christian.” This sort of statement seems more of a setup than a genuine confession of a struggle. It seems you have a few motives to state this: 1) you may want an emotional response from us saying “you are not Christian, because you are a homosexual”; 2) you are attempting to justify your behavior; and/or 3) you are trying to set yourself up as an authority above what the Bible says about homosexuality.
I would like to point out that I do not know your heart (only God knows your heart—Psalm 44:21; Acts 15:8), so I will take your word that you are a Christian. I understand that no Christian is perfect (including myself), and we all have struggles (Romans 3:23; 7:14–21). But just because we may struggle with something does not mean we are justified in doing it. Your statement above is akin to someone saying “I am a drunkard and a Christian and I object to your arguments against drunkenness” or “I am an adulterer and a Christian and I object to your arguments against adultery.” Someone subscribing to a certain lifestyle or behavior and then claiming to be a Christian does not negate the fact that it is a sin.
But, this sort of reasoning follows the rejection of Genesis as literal history. For if Genesis is rejected, then other “disagreeable” parts of the Bible will be rejected as well. So then how does anyone know which parts are true and which parts are untrue? Genesis is the foundation of the Bible and the Gospel, and therefore is the foundation for Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection; thus, it is the foundation for salvation and being a Christian. For if we believe Christ died for an allegory then how do we know that salvation is not just an allegory? For then we are to be pitied most among men (1 Corinthians 15:19–21).
I do not appreciate a high-handed tolerance of my "sin", as I do not believe I am sinning.
Whether or not you believe you are sinning is not up to you, it is up to God. God does make it clear that homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:21–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:8–10), just as drunkenness, greed, sexual immorality, idolatry, and stealing are sins.
However, if you do not believe it is a sin, and others do, then who is right? Who decides what a sin is? If not an all-knowing God, then who? Fallible man? By discounting what God considers sin, then anything is permissible and there are no absolutes. If homosexuality is not a sin, then God cannot be a reliable source for what sin is, and so murder, rape, stealing, idolatry, etc., may not be believed to be sins by others. But God clearly tells us what is right and wrong. As fallible and finite beings, who are we to tell God what is right and wrong?
It seems that homosexuality gets people more steamed up than anything else in religious debate.
I disagree. There are many other debates that can get people much more upset (creation-evolution, Bible translations, eschatology, etc.).
It is mentioned several times in the Bible, but it not as high on the list of crimes as adultery, and/or divorce.
Homosexuality is a form of adultery; it is an unmarried sexual relationship. Also please note that it is placed with many other sins:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–11)But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, (1 Timothy 1:8–10)
The point is, though, that even a single sin is worthy of death and that we are all sinners. But in Christ we are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:17–24). As Christians, though we cannot be perfect because of our flesh (i.e., sinful nature), we must strive to be like Christ (1 John 2:4–6), and the Holy Spirit enables us to live lives that please God (Philippians 2:13).
I would be interested to know your views on adultery, and whether you believe it to be a worse crime (listed as one of the Ten Commandments) then being gay. After all, people were put to death for it in previous centuries.
Since homosexuality is a form of adultery, let’s see what God has to say about it:
You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27–28)
Jesus reassures us that adultery is wrong and that even just by looking at someone lustfully we have committed adultery. And since we know God instituted marriage as between a man and a woman, as Jesus reiterates when asked about divorce (Mark 10:6–8), then any other form of union, whether it be a man and a man or a woman and a woman, is not marriage as defined by God. Therefore, a homosexual relationship is a form of adultery, which is sin. And all forms of sin have the same punishment: death (Romans 6:23).
Which leads me on to another point (apologies for the ramble!). If denying God, commiting adultery, sodomy, etc. resulted in being burnt at the stake centuries ago, why do committed Christians not call for it now?
In times past (including the OT), death was the corporal punishment for certain sins; however when Jesus came, He took the punishment for sin on Himself showing mercy to sinners and calling them to repent (e.g., the adultress woman in John 8)—an example we should follow. Those Christians centuries ago did not follow what Christ said about loving those who do not know Him (Luke 5:30–32) or forgiving those who have sinned (Matthew 6:14–15). They should have helped and forgiven instead of acting as judge, jury, and executioner. God will be the Judge (1 Corinthians 5:12–13). God asks us to love them as He does and for us to forgive others as He has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32–5:2).
Our hand is extended and we would be happy to help you get in contact with a ministry that specializes in helping people become freed from the bondage of homosexuality. We know of people who have come out of such behavior.
Could it be that we "interpret" biblical teachings and sins differently now?
Unfortunately, most people do reinterpret God’s Word to justify their sins. But when we take away the foundation, what do we have left to stand on? (Psalm 11:3; Luke 6:47–49) If we cannot trust God’s Word when He tells us of earthly things (e.g., Creation, the Flood, etc.), then how will we trust Him about heavenly things (e.g., sin, salvation, repentance, etc.)?
If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (John 3:12)
Therefore surely "interpretation" is a key to understanding religion and making it relevant to today.
Alterations made by Pope Gregory, etc, make it almost certainly necessary.
The only interpretation that counts is God’s interpretation (2 Peter 1:20–21). There is no reason to trust interpretations when God already tells us how to interpret His Word (plainly/straightforward in 2 Corinthians 4:2 and Proverbs 8:8–9). Regardless of what any man or culture says, God’s truth is always relevant. And only truth about what is sin and what is not sin can come from Him, because He does not change like the culture (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). He is the all-knowing, ever-truthful, always-relevant God.
David Wright, AiG–USA