Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Who Knew? (Well, Besides Me and All My Friends...)


Interesting.

A new study out (recently covered in Christianity Today) shows that the more you actually read the Bible, the more likely you are to hold more progressive views on a variety of topics. Further, the more independent reading you do of the Bible, the more likely this is the case.

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/12/09/warning-actual-bible-reading-likely-to-turn-you-into-a-liberal-study-shows/

From Christianity Today (as reported in the story above - I can't see all of the CT article)...

Unlike some other religious practices, reading the Bible more often has some liberalizing effects—or at least makes the reader more prone to agree with liberals on certain issues. This is true even when accounting for factors such as political beliefs, education level, income level, gender, race, and religious measures (like which religious tradition one affiliates with, and one’s views of biblical literalism)...

“Support for abolishing the death penalty increased by about 45 percent for each increase on the five-point scale measuring Bible-reading frequency.”
“…the more someone reads the Bible, the more likely he or she is to believe science and religion are compatible. (For each increase on the five-point scale, the odds that they see religion and science as incompatible decrease by 22 percent.)”
“How important is it,” the survey asked, “to actively seek social and economic justice in order to be a good person?” Again, as would be expected, those with more liberal political leanings were more likely to say it’s very or somewhat important. And those who read the Bible more often were more likely to agree. Indeed, they were almost 35 percent more likely to agree… Those who are most engaged in their faith (by directly and frequently reading its source material) are those who are most supportive of social and economic justice. “
“For each increased level of Bible-reading frequency, support for the Patriot Act decreased by about 13 percent.”
Interesting report, with data that supports the reality for me and many of my friends. The more seriously we took the Bible, the more we read it and sought God's Ways, the more progressive we became, sometimes, almost kicking and screaming!

Of course, I have many friends from childhood (and maybe a few current friends) who I know to have also done a great deal of taking the Bible seriously and reading it independently who did not have this result that I had and that this study is reporting. Makes one wonder what the difference is.

Thoughts?

41 comments:

Marshall Art said...

I think the difference is implied, at the very least, in the article. First, I didn't subscribe to CT either in order to read the full study. But just going by the links to CT and what is stated there, we see this:

"Perhaps we've assumed that such questions would be redundant, merely one more measure of religiosity, along with how often one attends church, how literally one views the Bible, and how much one prays. When researchers look at these indicators, they usually find a correlation with both political and moral conservativism."

This is contrast to this:

"Reading the Bible on one's own makes a difference, too."

The difference, then, seems to have something to do with guidance by more educated people, such as ministers, scholars and the like. Reading on one's own allows for one to be misled by poor understanding of the subject matter. NOT taking things in context, NOT considering the times in which it was written, etc. You demonstrate this problem routinely.

Another point I found confusing was these two statements:

"Frequent Bible reading has some predictable effects on the reader. It increases opposition to abortion as well as homosexual marriage and unions. It boosts a belief that science helps reveal God's glory. It diminishes hopes that science will eventually solve humanity's problems."

and...

"...reading the Bible more often has some liberalizing effects—or at least makes the reader more prone to agree with liberals on certain issues."

"Frequent reading" versus "reading the Bible more often"??? What the heck is the difference here?

From what I could determine, CT is not necessarily a down-the-center publication. It is believed by some to lean leftward. Nonetheless, you read more into this study than you probably should. I'm going to assume you're simply doing a rather tongue-in-cheek presentation here.

Dan Trabue said...

My point, Marshall, is that reading the Bible and taking it seriously (as I was taught by my very conservative teachers) led me to this place of belief that you would call liberal. Even more so than what the article seems to suggest. Me and many of my progressive friends are not liberal in spite of biblical teachings, but because of biblical teachings.

And, when you say, "The difference, then, seems to have something to do with guidance by more educated people, such as ministers, scholars and the like." what you mean (to be clear - and correct me if I'm mistaken) is "have something to do with more CONSERVATIVELY-BELIEVING people..." since many more educated people, ministers and scholars are liberally inclined and presumably you wouldn't be citing them.

Marshall Art said...

Such people are conservative as a result of objective study. This is the truth that you assert is the case with lefties. But it can't be both. When you reject the teachings and guidance of those you label conservative, it frees you to believe what you want, regardless of your ability to support that belief with sound reasoning and the equal measure of "hard data" that you demand of those you've left behind. That lack of "hard data", your unwillingness and inability to provide it, clearly demonstrates that your "serious and prayerful study" did NOT lead you to your liberal and corrupt (redundancy...sorry) positions and understandings. Scripture itself simply cannot lead you there. You went there on your own and dragged Scripture with you, forcing meaning and intention that doesn't exist.

Dan Trabue said...

When you reject the teachings and guidance of those you label conservative, it frees you to believe what you want, regardless of your ability to support that belief with sound reasoning and the equal measure of "hard data" that you demand of those you've left behind.

But as I keep reminding you, I had never rejected or wanted to reject conservative beliefs. Instead, I held to the conservative belief that I must follow God, not humanity and take the Bible seriously, even if it disagrees with human traditions... and because of that, conservatism rejected me. That is, I was not starting from a place of opposition to conservative teachings. I started WITH conservative beliefs and reading the Bible led me away from those.

And surely you agree: That if I read the Bible and seek God and truly believe that theory X is mistaken (no matter how many of my conservative - or liberal - friends might believe theory X or how much I had believed it previously), I must follow God as best I understand God. Do you disagree with this thinking?

And I have provided every bit as much if not more "hard data" as you have for holding on to your preferred "conservative" opinions. You have not provided one shred of data more for your positions than I have for mine. As a simple point of fact.

And, as a point of reality, yes, in the real world, it was Scripture that led me away from conservative beliefs, at least some of them. You can deny reality all you want, but that's the way it happened in the real world, Marshall. Sorry if that hurts your feelings or if you can't believe reality, it remains reality, none the less.

Marshall Art said...

"I started WITH conservative beliefs and reading the Bible led me away from those."

A couple of problems here:

First, your understanding of what constitutes "conservative" beliefs leaves much to be desired. Indeed, I've never seen any indication that you have ever had any true understanding of what conservatism, political or religious, actually is. For the purpose of this discussion, therefore, one example would be the absolute sinfulness of homosexual behavior in any context. This is not a "conservative" belief. It is a Christian belief based upon Scripture. That is, by your comments, one can easily assume that you mean conservative equates to proper understanding of Scripture...in which case you still haven't confirmed you ever had a proper understanding, even when you superficially seemed to abide.

Secondly, to have been led away from conservative beliefs, even assuming the superficial variety under which you seem to have lived, could only have been the result of reading or studying (or whatever passes for such in your world) without benefit of guidance by those you now regard as "conservative". Thus, my point stands more strongly that the lack of guidance explains the perversion of understanding that is labeled as "liberal".

Third. Your positions still require "hard data" that justifies the alternative understanding that deviates from what you regard as "conservative" positions. You offer none and there is none within Scripture itself that rationalizes such deviation. Only your own poor comprehension and reasoning skills can account for the deviation. Proper guidance could not.

You keep insisting that you've provided "hard data" for your positions. Can't recall that has ever happened. I do recall your own opinions put forth as hard data, but no actual hard data, such as verses or explanation for what verses might mean if not what "conservatives" have always known well what they mean.

I saw how you have stated over at Stan's "I cite ALL of scripture as evidence that sola scriptura is not a biblical/scriptural opinion." Here, you suggest that using "ALL" of Scripture makes your case. But you don't provide anything but the absence of the words "sola scriptura" or any similar notion to stand as evidence. Unfortunately for you, that doesn't cut it in the least. The arguments for that and other positions are made with what Scripture DOES say in usually a variety of places. Faced with what Scripture DOES say, you offer nothing akin to "hard data" that either debunks the understanding or provides a reasonable alternative. Indeed, using the "ALL of Scripture" defense is cowardly and deceitful due to the laziness of the defense as well as the fact that is just clearly isn't true.

Long standing traditions and understandings of what Scripture teaches isn't ambiguous or subjective as you'd like to believe it is, such that alternative understandings are equally valid or even possible. Absent proper guidance from more knowledgeable people results in the "liberal" positions to which those like yourself choose to hold fast. But Scripture itself cannot lead someone to the leftist, socialist, progressive, liberal position. Leftist, socialist, progressive, liberal tendency forces preferred meaning onto the text. THAT is the reality, your hurt feelings notwithstanding.

Dan Trabue said...

Indeed, I've never seen any indication that you have ever had any true understanding of what conservatism, political or religious, actually is. For the purpose of this discussion, therefore, one example would be the absolute sinfulness of homosexual behavior in any context. This is not a "conservative" belief. It is a Christian belief based upon Scripture.

By all means, point out somewhere that I do not have an understanding of conservative thinking. I think you are mistaken and I don't think you can do so.

And yes, thinking that all gay behavior is demonstrably not a "Christian belief" held by all Christians. It is a belief held predominantly held by more conservative and traditional Christians, but it is not an across the board Christian belief.

without benefit of guidance by those you now regard as "conservative". Thus, my point stands more strongly that the lack of guidance explains the perversion of understanding that is labeled as "liberal".

Your ignorance of my actual experience does not support your hunches. I had no "guidance" from liberals to where I reached my positions. I had guidance of traditional and conservative teachers and authors. Again, Leonard Ravenhill. RA Torrey, James Dobson, Chuck Swindoll, CS Lewis, all my very traditional/conservative pastors I had growing up, on and on it goes. All very traditional and conservative. I deliberately and specifically excluded all liberal teachers because I didn't trust liberals.

That is the fact of it, in the real world. My guidance came exclusively from conservatives. I had NO guidance from liberals to reach any of my positions. So, don't let your ignorance of my reality be the basis to form your opinions.

Marshall Art said...

You were NOT guided by those people in your choosing liberal viewpoints and anti-Christian positions. If you were indeed guided by them, then you would be a truly conservative and Biblically sound Christian. It's really quite simple. When you chose to disregard their guidance in reading for yourself, you led yourself astray. If you eshew conservative Christian principles, it could not have been due to the guidance of conservative Christian teachers and theologians. In the same way, all "progressive Christians" rejected proper understanding of what you regard as "conservative Christians", i.e. those with an accurate understanding of Christian principles and Biblical interpretations. Said a slightly different way, guidance by "conservative Christian" teachers and theologians produces "conservative Christians"...not anti-Christians like yourself.

Dan Trabue said...

When you chose to disregard their guidance in reading for yourself, you led yourself astray

Their guidance - or amongst their guidance - was the teaching that I ought to take the Bible seriously and that I ought to take Jesus seriously. They taught me (being very good Baptists) that even if other humans disagree with me, I must follow God as best I understood God - even if it displeased humans. This is solid, traditional teaching (at least in Baptist and Anabaptist circles, and I'm sure in others).

The fact is, Marshall, the ONLY guidance I had, the only advice I had, the only input I had - outside of the Bible and prayer to God - came from traditional people. I read ZERO liberal writers, listened to ZERO liberal teachers. I was not guided by liberals.

That is the fact of the matter. Do you understand that fact is reality, even if you don't understand that fact?

Perhaps your failure to understand how this could happen is because you are not familiar with the notion of the priesthood of the believer, a very traditional, very conservative teaching in many protestant traditions? You tell me. Good Baptists, etc, will tell you to follow God, even if they disagree with your interpretations. Do you recognize that reality?

Marshall Art said...

Their guidance would include an understanding of the original language, the context in which a given verse or passage falls, the traditions, customs and above all, how they ancient peoples understood what you now corrupt and pretend means something it doesn't. THAT is guidance. When you believe that your best understanding is accurate, when it clearly is far from it, then you've received no guidance of any value. Your positions validate this fact.

"Priesthood of the believer" does not include believing what isn't true, which is common with you. Good Baptists, or good Christians in general, will never tell anyone to follow a bad understanding of God's will. They will not tell anyone that any old interpretation will do and that one's interpretation can be so wildly apart from reality that one is still believing in God. What you're doing here is more of the same nonsense which has made you so notoriously NOT-Christian. You're babbling about the most superficial resemblance to traditional, conservative concepts and principles in order to validate your corrupt and unChristian positions. You just wouldn't be you if you didn't.

Dan Trabue said...

Again, the reality is just as I described it. Reality is reality and I reached my positions only reading the bible and with conservative influence. Fact.

You can argue against reality but you'll always lose.

Marshall Art said...

I'm not arguing reality so much as your definition of what constitutes reality and guidance. Telling you to read the Bible is not guidance compared to helping you understand what you're reading. Leaving you to figure it out on your own is not guidance. So the "reality", as you've just described, is that you were not guided by conservatives at all. Had that actually been the case, you'd have not only a real understanding of conservatism with regards to understanding Scripture, but you'd actually affirm, support and preach that true message, rather than your made-up, fantasy world alternative that is the result of your unguided study. Conservative influence does not result in non-conservative results. (That's called "reality".)

Dan Trabue said...

In reality, Marshall, they DID help me understand the bible. They taught me conservative, traditional interpretations of the Bible. They taught me meanings of hebrew and aramaic words. They taught me traditions and mores of the cultures involved. In reality, Marshall, they DID offer guidance.

And then having taught much about the background, the words, the context, the text, etc, yes, they leave you to make up your mind. What is the alternative, Marshall? Forced agreement?

Yes, the reality IS that I was guided by conservatives. One final time, Marshall: Do you understand that reality in the real world? Do you understand that fact?

I will not continue conversations with a delusional person, Marshall.

?Conservative influence does not result in non-conservative results. (That's called "reality".)

And yet, in the real world, that is just what happened. Don't fight reality, Marshall. It makes you sound crazy.

Marshall Art said...

Thanks for validating everything I've said. It's very gracious of you.

"Offering" guidance is far different than you accepting that guidance.

Leaving you to make up your own mind is to have suspended guidance. From that point on, you proceeding without guidance and the result is your own preferred understanding, rather than the more accurate understanding that continued guidance would have brought about in you (assuming normal comprehension skills on your part---this is called giving you the benefit of the very large doubt).

You cannot develop non-conservative positions following the guidance of conservative counselors and teachers. That is, assuming they don't suck at their jobs as teachers and counselors. That's also in doubt given your current state of mind.

So now, we see by your wildly inadvertent honesty, your current understanding is the result of the suspension of guidance by your teachers, and the rejection of their original guidance by you. Again, this assumes average comprehension skills on your part, and average teaching skills on the part of those you claim "guided" you. Clearly, no delusion on my part. None that you've been able to prove.

Dan Trabue said...

Leaving you to make up your own mind is to have suspended guidance. From that point on, you proceeding without guidance and the result is your own preferred understanding

I'm sorry, Marshall, but this SOUNDS like you're saying, "It doesn't matter what makes sense to you, what ways you think God might be leading or what is moral and rational, if THAT group tells you to believe X, Y and Z, then you MUST believe that and suspend your own reasoning..." Is that what you're saying?

You cannot develop non-conservative positions following the guidance of conservative counselors and teachers.

Define "guidance."

In English, guidance is defined as "advice or information aimed at resolving a problem or difficulty, especially as given by someone in authority."

It is advice aimed at, trying to help with, giving support for a problem/belief.

Do you agree with that?

It is not, however, brainwashing or force. That is, "guidance" is suggestion, not strong-arming. It is helpful hints, not forced compliance. Guidance is shepherding kindly, not under compulsion or duress.

Do you agree with that?

If so, then do you see that one can be under the guidance of a tutor/mentor/shepherd and yet, ultimately disagree with them in good faith? And that this disagreement is NOT a sign that they weren't under their guidance, but that they simply disagreed with them?

I think the problem is that too many conservatives have a problem with the idea of disagreeing in good faith.

Marshall Art said...

"this SOUNDS like you're saying, "It doesn't matter what makes sense to you, what ways you think God might be leading or what is moral and rational, if THAT group tells you to believe X, Y and Z, then you MUST believe that and suspend your own reasoning..." Is that what you're saying?"

Of course not. I'm saying, as I've been saying quite clearly, that you have no true, supported by "hard data" support for that which you prefer to believe, which flies in the face of thousands of years of understanding and scholarly support. When your "reasoning" leads you so far astray from all those years of understanding and support, it is illogical and wholly UNreasonable to continue on that path. At some point, you must have something more than your "reason" to substantiate any of that which you believe.

There has always been debate within the body of Christ regarding one issue or another. But throughout, there have been serious and substantiated arguments for each side. Most other points in Scripture are not in doubt by anyone...except for the likes of you. When do we get some "hard data" to support your preferred positions?

"Define "guidance.""

In the context at issue here, it is leading one toward truth, truth being the goal. When a teacher allows or encourages the student to come to his own conclusions, he has suspended guidance from that point. When the goal is the best possible understanding of God and His Will, leaving one to make up one's own mind is to allow one to "go the wrong way", as is starkly evident with you. This is clear when you try to insist that "marriage" is a good thing, without acknowledging what "marriage" truly is, especially within the context of Scripture, where it has always been the word that describes the conjugal union of one man and one woman. There is no Scriptural basis for suggesting that it could be applied to any other union of same-sex couples, multiple partners, siblings or other family members or humans and animals. While one might apply the term to any of these other unions, by definition the word is wrongly applied. Thus, any belief based upon this corrupt definition is itself corrupt. More than ever, then, "hard data" is essential in order to even hint that this corrupted definition is actual valid.

If one does not "shepherd" toward truth, one is not truly guiding. IF one is allowed to roam toward any old belief, then one was not truly "shepherded".

The problem isn't merely disagreement. It's that there is no legitimate reason for the disagreement. No support for the alternative view. It is merely preference. What poor explanations you've provided in the past for your understandings lack the support you demand for others who defend the long-held understandings you've rejected.

Gotta go.

Dan Trabue said...

've been saying quite clearly, that you have no true, supported by "hard data" support for that which you prefer to believe, which flies in the face of thousands of years of understanding and scholarly support.

This is not a fact, Marshall. I DO have reasons/support for my positions, my understandings. I don't have hard facts/hard data, any more than you do. But the difference is I'm not claiming to have hard data. I have what I believe are reasonable criteria for believing as I do and it is a damned lie to say that I don't have reasons.

Disagreeing with my reasons is not the same as me not having reasons.

This is interesting/disturbing...

n the context at issue here, it is leading one toward truth, truth being the goal. When a teacher allows or encourages the student to come to his own conclusions, he has suspended guidance from that point.

What would you have the teacher do whose student ultimately disagrees with their hunches? Not "allow" it? NOT encourage people to reach their own conclusions?

That sounds like a very shallow and childish approach to belief systems, not to mention oppressive and ugly as hell, if that is what you are encouraging.

So define "allowed" (as in, "if one is 'allowed' to roam toward any old belief..."

When your "reasoning" leads you so far astray from all those years of understanding and support, it is illogical and wholly UNreasonable to continue on that path. At some point, you must have something more than your "reason" to substantiate any of that which you believe.

This is nonsense, of course. I hope one day you realize as much.

What do you have more than your reason to support your hunches about your human interpretations of what various beliefs you personally believe you should hold? WHere in ANY of that is something more than your reasoning?

Are you saying you reject reason? That would explain a lot, but I doubt you do. In fact, I know for a fact you don't. You use your reason to reach conclusions about what OT rules are literal and universal and which ones aren't. You use your reason to decide what parts of Jesus' teachings are literal and which ones aren't. You use your reason to decide if a biblical text is historically accurate or more figurative in nature... of course we all use our reason. WE have to unless you want to embrace being a vegetable.

Dan Trabue said...

It's that there is no legitimate reason for the disagreement.

And who gets to decide what is and isn't legitimate? You? No thanks. To whom are you going to appeal besides yourself, because I'm not buying you as a final guide. Those who agree with you? Again, no thanks.

Who gets to decide, Marshall? On what basis do you appoint some group/people in charge of making that decision?

Marshall Art said...

"Disagreeing with my reasons is not the same as me not having reasons."

Oh, geez, I'm well aware you have your "reasons". But it's your positions with which I disagree. Your reasons for holding those positions are idiotic, self-serving and immature. But there's nothing behind them that can be regarded as "hard data" to any extent. Nothing that can be regarded as supportive in any way, in the sense of evidence or a true and honest explanation of how Scripture in any way teaches what you insist are legitimate positions. You assert, inject, invent but produce nothing that is not wholly and totally subjective.

"What would you have the teacher do whose student ultimately disagrees with their hunches?"

I would have that teacher resign for daring to put forth "hunches" as if demonstrable and verifiable facts. So if a teacher taught his "hunch" that marriage means more than merely the conjugal union of one man and one woman, he would be derelict in his duty as a teacher as there is no history of the word ever meaning anything more, and certainly nothing in Scripture that could ever possibly suggest such an inane notion.

"That sounds like a very shallow and childish approach to belief systems..."

Only to shallow children who find the teachings of their faith to be inconvenient. To everyone else, it sounds exactly like what teachers are supposed to do. Only a petulant child would suggest that teaching only the truth and tolerating nothing less is "oppressive" and "ugly as hell". Everyone else finds the truth liberating and beautiful.

"So define "allowed" (as in, "if one is 'allowed' to roam toward any old belief...""

In the context of this discussion, and as regards your allegedly conservative teachers "allow" you to reach your own conclusions, it means leaving the blind to stumble off a cliff to their death.

"This is nonsense, of course."

We finally agree on something! Rejecting thousands of years of scholarship and understanding is indeed nonsensical. Kudos to you.

"What do you have more than your reason to support your hunches about your human interpretations of what various beliefs you personally believe you should hold?"

First of all, I don't deal in hunches. You, in your desperation, simply insist that the acceptance of truthful teachings of Scripture are hunches in order to diminish those of us who accept those teachings.

Secondly, they're not MY interpretations, but the interpretations and teachings of thousands of years of scholarship since the time when those teachings were first revealed. When will you provide anything that compares with that to defend your heresies?

Marshall Art said...

"Are you saying you reject reason?"

I'm saying two things:

--You've never exhibited or demonstrated that you are capable of actual reason.
--What for you passes for reason is not supported by anything other than your personal preference and desire that it be so.

I'm also saying that you insist that your appeal to reason justifies you holding clearly unChristian positions, particularly with regards to human sexuality. This ambiguity gives you license to claim equal validity to that which actually can be supported with something far more tangible than simply the "reasoning" of the other guy.

But since you cling to such dishonest practice, consider this: my "reason" clearly sees that what thousands of years of scholarship teaches us makes far more sense, exposes incredible continuity of teaching, leaves no gaping holes of logic and makes clear that your positions are absolutely and laughably inane and self-serving. Accepting truth, seeing so clearly why it IS true, does not equate to being a vegetable. Not at all. It validates the quality of my ability to reason. Seeing truth, recognizing that it IS truth...that's proof of one's ability to reason. Unless, that is, you consider accepting that 2+2=4 makes you a vegetable...which wouldn't surprise me in the least.

"And who gets to decide what is and isn't legitimate?"

In this case, anyone who's heard the sad and cheap rationalizations for holding the positions you do.

"To whom are you going to appeal besides yourself"

I don't appeal to myself. I state my belief and appeal to that aforementioned thousands of years of understanding and scholarship which helped inform my belief. All YOU have IS yourself, and that's a sad source indeed. On what basis do you put your feeble reasoning skills above the serious study and work of scholars and theologians throughout history?

Dan Trabue said...

I'll try just one more question:

I asked...

And who gets to decide what is and isn't legitimate?

You responded...

In this case, anyone who's heard the sad and cheap rationalizations for holding the positions you do.

So, many people - left and right and moderate - have heard my reasons for my arguments. Some would agree with me, some with you. You are saying then that all those people get to decide what is legitimate? And so, those on the leftish side will agree that my points/views are legitimate and you're okay with that, is that what you're saying? If so, then what? We'll have those who tend to agree with me agreeing with me and those who tend to agree with you agreeing with you and we're each deciding what is and isn't a legitimate reason to disagree? Is that what you're saying?

Or are you saying that only those who agree with you are the ones who get to decide what is and isn't legitimate reason for disagreement?

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, I'll try one other question, but I really just don't think you're able to read and understand my words or respond in a rational way, any more, but let me try. I asked you to define "allow," as you were using it. I asked...

What would you have the teacher do whose student ultimately disagrees with their hunches? Not "allow" it? NOT encourage people to reach their own conclusions?

You responded, not with a definition, but this...

In the context of this discussion, and as regards your allegedly conservative teachers "allow" you to reach your own conclusions, it means leaving the blind to stumble off a cliff to their death.

Again, what does that "allow" look like to you? How are they going to NOT "allow" me to reach my own conclusion? Tackle me to the ground and give me a lobotomy? Torture until I agree? How are they going to stop me from reaching my own conclusion and in what way is that not guidance?

I say it again, it sounds like "guidance" to you is more of a forced compliance to your own doctrine, is that what you mean?

Marshall Art said...

"So, many people - left and right and moderate - have heard my reasons for my arguments. Some would agree with me, some with you."

It's been quite awhile since we've seen anyone come here and agree with anything you've said. It's been just as long since we've seen anyone visit any other blog that we've both visited, and still no one agrees with you. Sorry if I don't take your word that anyone ever does agree with you. Those you know that seem to might only be humoring you.

"Or are you saying that only those who agree with you are the ones who get to decide..."

I said nothing about anyone agreeing with me. I spoke only that those who read your comments decide. I was suggesting that they'd all fail to find your positions legitimate. That we all might agree is simple coincidence, but at the same time logical given the quality and "soundness" of your positions.

"...I'll try one other question, but I really just don't think you're able to read and understand my words or respond in a rational way..."

I'm quite certain you need to believe that.

"You responded, not with a definition, but this..."

What followed "this" was my direct response to your request to "define "allow," as you were using it."

"I say it again, it sounds like "guidance" to you is more of a forced compliance to your own doctrine, is that what you mean?"

Clearly this isn't the case, regardless of how desperately you need and want to believe it. "Guidance" in this case is to lead the student to the truth. "Allowing" you to come to your own conclusions is not "guidance" at all. It is by definition the absence of it. As my metaphorical response illustrates, I can guide a blind man to safety (the truth), or I can let him find his own way in his darkness. He may stumble upon the truth, but he is more likely to fall down an open manhole, get hit by a car, be trapped in an alley...each of which is metaphorically akin to coming to his own conclusion...a spiritually fatal conclusion.

Dan Trabue said...

So, again (and finally) what does "allow" look like to you?

These people would have taught me what you'd have them teach me. They would have taught sola scriptura and traditional interpretations and to seek God and to follow Jesus and to take the Bible seriously. I did that and reached different conclusions than they/you prefer. You say they should not have "allowed" me to reach my own conclusions, what should they have done to stop it? What specifically?

You say that apparently forced compliance is not what you're advocating. Good. They guided me to the truth, literally, to the beliefs you would have me believe and they guided me to follow God. When I did so, I reached different conclusions than you all share. How is that not "guidance..."? Is it "guidance" only when you hold all the same opinions on every point and if a student disagrees with the teacher, then they weren't guided?

This does not make any rational sense that I can see. Feel free to explain.

Marshall Art said...

"So, again (and finally) what does "allow" look like to you?"

You are clearly mentally deficient. I've explained this at least twice now. I could not be more clear. "Allowing" you to come to your own conclusions is to stop guiding you toward truth. When your conclusions equate to that which is clearly in conflict with Scriptural teaching and truth, as your conclusions most definitely and distinctly are, then guidance would redirect your journey towards truth. If you consider reiterating what is true and factual to be akin to "forced compliance", then you are demonstrating the level of your obstinate rebellion against God's will. Again, we're talking about that to which thousands of years of theological scholarship gives testimony and reaching your own conclusions is no more than rejecting what more learned people, including those who support the homosexual agenda, know.

You do not follow God when your "conclusions" fly in the face of what that thousands of years of theological study has affirmed. You follow yourself and your own personal preferences. You follow worldliness and the carnal desires of your friends.

"Is it "guidance" only when you hold all the same opinions on every point and if a student disagrees with the teacher, then they weren't guided?"

Here again you prefer to call what has been affirmed as the truth to be only the "opinions" of all the scholars through the ages. When the student disagrees with the teacher, the student is in rebellion against that which the teacher teaches. The student is simply rejecting the guidance, rejecting truth without the "hard data" the student demands of everyone else.

What is lacking in "rational sense" is how all those scholars can be mistaken just because you say so. The fact is that like others of your kind, the truth is inconvenient and personally objectionable. It goes no farther than that. Your demand for "hard data" that never meets your ever more increasingly stringent standards is mere petulance, while in the meantime, you offer NOTHING that even begins to support your "conclusions".

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, sadly, you do not appear to understand either Truth or Fact. You ain't no god.

Have yourself a happy new year. As always, if you ever find any hard data to support your godless hunches, bring them back. Or, when you can't find what does not exist, grow a pair and admit you have no hard data.

There is no shame in admitting your impotency and your mistakes. The shame is in pretending your hunches are the same as facts or "god's word."

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall, sadly, you do not appear to understand either Truth or Fact."

This assertion is worthless (to say nothing of being wholly false) until you can provide something other than merely the assertion itself. But then, it's really all you've got, isn't it? Prove I'm wrong. At least make the attempt with "hard data" that affirms I'm wrong or some that suggests you're right or more knowledgeable. Anything. It's long past due.

You need to show that what I've put forth as hard data is not. Merely saying it isn't is just another example of your childish "Nyuh uh" defense. Again...it's worthless.

OR, you can continue to be a liar. That's probably much easier for you.

Dan Trabue said...

No Marshall, I don't need to prove your flimsy, whimsical and wholly unsupported claims aren't hard data. You made the claim(s), the burden is on you to, you know, support it/them. Otherwise, I have no obligation to give a pissant's worth of credibility to it. And I don't.

Marshall Art said...

I see. You want me to support my "hard data" with "hard data". And then, I suppose, I would need to support that "hard data" with "hard data" in order for it to truly be "hard data" supporting the "hard data" that supported my position. Got it.

I'm not asking you to prove what you call, in your cowardly and dishonest way, my "flimsy, whimsical and wholly unsupported claims aren't hard data". I'm insisting you support your baseless and unsupportable anti-Christian positions in some way that appears to align with your demands of others for "hard data".

Wait...now that I think about it, I do indeed demand you offer "hard data" of your own that contradicts, rebuts or disproves ANYTHING I've put forth, rather than just your childish "nyuh uh" defense. It's blatantly and pathetically clear that you content yourself with merely trashing anything put forth by those with whom you disagree. It doesn't matter the quality, to say nothing of the validity, of the "hard data". It could indeed be God's affidavit and sworn video-recorded testimony backing my position and you would still dismiss it as insufficient for your ambiguous, but self-serving standards of evidence and "hard data".

You're willing to accuse me of anything with regard to my position and how I support holding it. Yet, like the lying coward you are, you do jackshit to demonstrate that there is the least problem with the positions I hold, or the "hard data" I provide to support them. You simply say the hard data isn't hard data, the evidence isn't evidence or that what I know a verse means doesn't mean what it clearly and unambiguously does. "Nyuh uh" is good enough for you while some unknown level of quality is required for anything an opponent puts forth.

You're pathetic, hypocritical, lacking anything that even slightly resembles the Christian grace you pretend to hold so dear and demand of others. And you're a liar.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, I was born to and raised by Bill and Mary Trabue. This is verifiable. Hard data.

Bill and Mary raised me in a conservative traditional Southern Baptist Christian home, where they read me Bible stories and guided my beliefs in traditional Christian ways. This is verifiable, hard data.

They took me to Victory Memorial Baptist Church, I was on the rolls there from 1963 until I left in 1985, attending Sunday School (of traditional Bible study, 1 hour), Church service (~1 hour of traditional Bible study/preaching), Church training in the evening (Bible study, 1 hour), church service in the evening (1 hour of Bible study), Wednesday night prayer services (another hour or so of Bible training and prayer) and usually some extra events during the week where we visited the shut-ins, had Bible camps, had retreats, on and on. Every week, every year. There is much hard data and many dozens of still-living people who could testify to all this, verifying the reality of this day-in, day-out, week-in, week-out Bible study, guidance and teaching. It's hard data.

From 1982 until 1992, I was in a Christian band that traveled the southeast preaching/teaching traditional Christian thoughts/beliefs. We put out two albums where you can still find the lyrics. The 5-8 people in/associated with that band can all testify to the Bible studies, prayer meetings and discussions where we continued to guide/disciple one another and that I was guided in traditional ways.

All of this is hard data, demonstrable. It's out there.

On the other hand, you appear to think that because YOU don't understand how a person could get from where I was to where I am, that it didn't happen (or whatever it is you think, you tell me). That is not hard data, that's a flimsy, subjective hunch, one that is easily disproven by the data and by the testimony of dozens of people. As a point of fact in the real world, Marshall, I was guided by traditional conservative Christians.

There is not a single bit of lie or falsehood in that. It's demonstrated by data.

Your claim of me being a liar, however, is a false claim, disproven by data.

Move on.

Dan Trabue said...

As to your unproved hunches about how best to interpret various texts, this remains the fact:

The Bible literally says "no man shall lie with a man, if he does, kill them both." (or words to that affect). That is a fact, it is literally there in the pages of the Bible. That fact is not in dispute.

However, what meaning to associate with that verse and a handful of other verses that speak to some ideas about homosexual practices, what opinions can we form as to what God does and does not think about gay guys marrying... what MEANING we associate these words, they are not facts, they are opinions. And unless you produce an affidavit from God to attest "Yes, Marshall is correct in his hunches," it remains an unproven and unprovable subjective opinion, not a fact.

That is the fact of the matter. And there is zero dishonesty or lying or lack of grace in pointing to simple observable facts.

The claim, then, that I am a liar because of our differences of opinions is, in itself, a provable, demonstrable false claim. There is no hard data you possess that demonstrates that I am a liar in holding my opinions and much evidence to the contrary.

So, again, short of you actually stepping up with some actual hard data, Marshall, you're done here. There's no need to repeat, "nu uh, I DO have hard data!" and point to your opinions again, as if your opinions are hard data. That's just embarrassing to keep this silliness going.

Good luck to you and may you have a happy new year. Don't bother with "nu uh!" I'll just delete it. Hard data or nothing.

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall, I was born to and raised by Bill and Mary Trabue. This is verifiable. Hard data."

God opposes homosexual behavior. This is verifiable. Simply read Leviticus 18:22. That's "hard data". To suggest that it refers to "some forms" of homosexual behavior requires "hard data" to support the possibility. There is none. You have never provided any. There is nothing in the text, nothing in Leviticus, that suggests the possibility or gives anyone a reason to suspect that it isn't referring to all forms of homosexual behavior or any context in which the behavior might take place.

I don't "fail" by citing Lev 18:22. YOU fail by your unwillingness to defend your wild assertion that it refers to anything more than act itself, regardless of context or intention of the participants.

So, if Lev 18:22 isn't hard data to defend the accurate and true understanding that God opposes homosexual behavior, you need to explain why rather than, like the deceitful coward you are, simply deleting this comment.

Dan Trabue said...

God opposes homosexual behavior. This is verifiable. Simply read Leviticus 18:22.

? Verify it. With data. NOT your hunch about a verse.

Look, Marshall, I don't think you're getting it. Merely citing a verse from the Bible and saying, "See? It's in the Bible, therefore this is what God thinks, as a matter of fact..." does not make it a fact.

You agree with this. The bible says clearly (Jesus, in fact, says clearly): DO NOT STORE UP TREASURES FOR YOURSELVES ON EARTH... That's clear, not hard to understand, and it's directly from Jesus. Therefore, by your measure, it is a "fact" that God opposes us holding money in the bank (because the bank is on the earth).

But of course, you don't think this, do you?

So, YOU do not think that "there is a line in the Bible, therefore, we know what it says taken literally is a fact about what God wants," am I right?

No, you don't. You think you need to weigh the verse, using YOUR human reason/OUR human reason, to sort it out, consider its meaning in context, in the text, in light of other passages and when you weigh those variables, THEN YOU as a mere mortal assign some meaning that TO YOU, a mere mortal, makes sense, seems plausible or even likely. But it is YOUR human opinion, MY human opinion. It is not provable and it is not a known fact.

I mean, the ancient text of the Koran no doubt has some clear lines, like this one...

"As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands." can someone then say, "it is a fact that God/Allah demands that we cut off thieves hands..."? Why is that not a fact but your line (and more specifically, YOUR INTERPRETATION of that line) about "men should not lay with men, if they do, kill them..."? You have no rational and consistent explanation as to why your interpretation of one verse is a "fact about what God thinks" but not someone else's interpretation of that same verse or a Koran verse.

What is your consistent criteria for "knowing" the "true" interpretation of this passage, one that works not just for you, but for all others?

That is, if you say, "The criteria is, "if a verse seems to be saying X to me, that is what it is saying," and someone else thinks it means Y, then you have an inconsistent explanation and one that YOU would not agree with, I'm pretty sure (that is, you would not agree that the person who thinks Y is factually right, when you're "sure" it means X). So that explanation doesn't work.

If, on the other hand, you say, "The criteria is "if a verse seems to be saying X to me, that is what it is saying, and my and ONLY my interpretation is right (and others are right, so long as they agree with me..." then that immediately begs the question: On what rational bases is ONLY Marshall the one who is rightly understanding it? Says who? To what are you appealing? You are appealing only to your opinions. "WE ALL think that it means X, therefore it means X..." It is an appeal to tradition, to numbers, perhaps... it is, thus, a fallacious appeal.

Do you not see the problem? The bottom line is you are appealing to your own hunches and that does not make it a fact.

Marshall Art said...

"? Verify it. With data. NOT your hunch about a verse."

Once again, Dan...and read this slowly, sounding out the words and seeking help from adults if need be...the position is God opposes homosexual behavior. This position is verified by citing Lev 18:22. Lev 18:22 is "hard data" as it verifies the position that God opposes homosexual behavior. No "hunch" is at play, nor is proffering a "hunch" necessary. The verse states that the behavior is an abomination/detestable. It could not be more plain. Disagree as you must, being morally corrupt as you are, but you can't without "hard data" of your own that supports your position with equal or greater weight. OR, you could provide "hard data" of some kind that supports the notion that my understanding is somehow flawed, in error, incomplete or flat out wrong. Merely asserting that citing the verse does not stand as
"hard data" verifying my position is merely another application of your now infamous, but oh so expected, "Nyuh uh" defense.

"Merely citing a verse from the Bible and saying, "See? It's in the Bible, therefore this is what God thinks, as a matter of fact..." does not make it a fact."

Actually, in this case, it absolutely does, and in a far less ambiguous manner than your example of Christ telling us not to lay up treasures for ourselves...a verse you totally take out of context and purposely misapply to rationalize your socialist idiocy (more on that later). This verse, v22, is direct and straight to the point providing a reason for the prohibition on top of it (it's an abomination/detestable). It could not be more clear. Thus, it is not merely and only what God thinks. It's what He proclaimed without mincing words. We can therefore KNOW, without doubt, that He opposes homosexual behavior.

"But of course, you don't think this, do you?"

No, because I'm not an idiot who chooses to see only what he wants to see in order to rationalize his own preferences. Anyone who cares can look to the whole chapter and see what the point is in verse 33...

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

If I seek first His kingdom, all I do in life is good. The entire deal has to do with serving two masters...either money or God. I can serve God AND be wealthy without worshiping the money. This is where you failure is so epic. One who knows how to make money does not have to do anything untoward to accumulate vast quantities of it. True wealth builders get to a point where the money generating vehicles generate money in a compounding manner. There is no need to serve the money if wealth creation is done properly. One can, and many do all the time, put God above all things, including the vast fortune they create, maintain and perpetuate. You're too socialist and focused on how you're perceived by other socialists and "social justice" idiots to truly be serving God first.

Gotta go. Much more later. Hold your water until then.

Dan Trabue said...

the position is God opposes homosexual behavior. This position is verified by citing Lev 18:22. Lev 18:22 is "hard data" as it verifies the position that God opposes homosexual behavior.

I understand that this is your hunch. What I don't think you understand is that your mere repeating this hunch, over and over, is not evidence that your hunch is based on hard data. It's not.

Look, if I say I was raised in a conservative church and home and taught by conservative family/teachers, that is verifiable. I can point you to dozens of witnesses to this reality, I can point to paper records such as church attendance and membership information. It is verifiable.

When a Muslim extremist points to the Koran and says, "See, Allah wants us to cut the hands off of thieves" or if a Christian fundamentalist points to the Bible and says, "See? God does not support any gay behavior, not even in marriage..." that is not verifiable. It is their hunch, unproven by any hard data.

Your hunch about God and gay folk is not any more demonstrable or based on hard data than the Muslim fundamentalists' hunches about Allah and gay folk.

I can point to hard data supporting my claim about my upbringing, you can not do the same for your hunches. You just can't. Admit it and move on.

Marshall Art said...

Clearly, I indicated that was not yet finished responding to your comment of January 10, 2016 at 7:28 PM, and I do not have time at present to continue. But I will say this: I don't give a flying rat's ass about what the muslim scriptures say. I don't much care about what the "holy books" of wiccan says, or any other false religion. Citing that which has no bearing on the teachings of the One True God does little to affirm your devotion to Him.

It is also of no concern what you claim is your upbringing. Regardless of what you think you can bring to bear on that score, you still have to demonstrate that your upbringing was sound, and/or that you had any clear comprehension of what was being taught you. Given your comments over the years, that's a very tall order. Why not, then, focus on the subject at hand and demonstrate you can support your position or to any extent rebut mine. Thus far, you've shown no ability to do either. Must be because you know you're so very wrong.

Once again, I have more to say about your posting of January 10, 2016 at 7:28 PM, before I give any true attention at all to your most recent.

Dan Trabue said...

Any time you have hard data to support your hunches, by all means, bring them back. But seriously, Marshall, don't bother pointing to a verse(s), saying, "I, Marshall, think that means this..." and then suggest this opinion is proof of fact. That's opinion, not hard data.

I always will welcome your hard data. I will always point out your opinion is an opinion when you offer it in lieu of hard data.

Marshall Art said...

Sorry, Dan, but you're an inveterate liar, lacking in grace and the spirit of unity. I've never said anything remotely similar to "I, Marshall, think that means this...". I have supported my clear position that God opposes homosexual behavior by citing a specific verse wherein we find that God opposes homosexual behavior. I don't "think" it means that. It clearly does. Calling a behavior an abomination or detestable (depending upon which version one uses) leaves no room for doubt. That is, unless you truly believe anyone, or God, could approve, support or encourage that which is detestable. I know YOU do. But I'm talking about normal people. Leviticus 18:22 is hard data in support of the truth that God opposes homosexual behavior. For you to say otherwise is an ungracious and divisive lie. If you have some "hard data" that contradicts this truth I have presented over and over again, you need to bring it. Otherwise, you are offering something that doesn't even rise to the level of an opinion, but only a fervent and desperate wish. For even an opinion requires some evidence to justify holding it. You have none. Your having none does not give you license to pretend that I also have none, especially since I have cited a verse that is beyond doubt "hard data" in support of my position that God opposes homosexual behavior.

Dan Trabue said...

I have supported my clear position that God opposes homosexual behavior by citing a specific verse wherein we find that God opposes homosexual behavior.

Says who? YOU, Marshall. YOU are the one reading a verse ("men shall not lay with men, if they do, kill them...") and YOU assigned meaning to that verse (that means that, in the 21st century, God is opposed to gay guys marrying...) You are citing your own opinion and that is not proof. Now, if you have nothing more than your own opinion to support your own opinion, that's fine, but admit as much. Stop calling it a fact or "proof."

There is no lie in citing reality.

If you have data that demonstrates that your opinion on how to interpret such passages is supported by actual facts, provide that data. Merely pointing again to the verse is not data.

We can keep going in this circle all year if you want Marshall, but your claims about how YOU think YOU should properly interpret a passage is not hard data. It just isn't.

Look at it this way: I DO NOT ACCEPT MARSHALL'S HUNCH THAT LEVITICUS 18 MEANS WHAT HE THINKS IT MEANS. Where is your proof that you are interpreting it correctly?

Until you can find that proof, no matter how reasonable your hunch appears in your own head and in the heads of those who agree with you, you have nothing to make your case. If you think you have something, present it.

Dan Trabue said...

Here's a simple line of questions for you, Marshall:

There's a fella who says, "I KNOW that God wants us to cut off the hands of thieves. This is a fact about God because the Koran has a line that says that and I interpret that to mean what it clearly means - that in any and all circumstances and cultures, what God wants is for people to cut the hands off of thieves..."

Is that "hard data..."?

If not, why not?

If not, then in what way is you doing the same thing for a few verses in the Bible "hard data" and makes your extrapolations a "fact," when you would not concede that this guy's interpretation is a fact?

Also, do you concede that the Bible NO WHERE, ZERO TIMES, NEVER says "God does not want gay folk marrying..." that this is something YOU EXTRACT from verses that do not say anything like that?

Rather, you read a verse written specifically to ancient Israel "men shouldn't lie with men, if they do, kill them" and you SURMISE, "God thought that this was wrong in ancient Israel and I HAPPEN TO THINK that it was speaking of any and all gay behavior, therefore, I EXTRAPOLATE out the conclusion, "if God opposes all gay behavior (as is MY hunch), then sex in a marriage of gay folk would also be wrong..."

That is, do you concede that this is a literal extrapolation you pull out of the Bible, not what is literally there?

As in the same sense that someone who says "Jesus said not to store up treasures on earth, therefore, in 21st Century America, it is wrong to have savings in a bank..." it is an extrapolation, one that people could reasonably reach if they are taking Jesus' words pretty literally, but it is NOT literally what it says..." Agreed?

Marshall Art said...

"Says who?"

Says the verse. It's right there. It says, "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman;" It's clear as day.

"YOU assigned meaning to that verse."

No, God did. Or you could say that Moses did when he told the Israelites what God told him to tell them. In other words, the meaning is already there. No need for me to assign anything to it. The meaning, in fact, is in the words and how they are arranged in the sentence. We call it "reading comprehension". There is no mystery. The verse isn't metaphorical, rhetorical, allegorical or hyperbole. It's quite straightforward (pun only slightly intended).

Therefore, I am not citing my "opinion". I'm citing fact. The verse says what it says and honest people cannot disagree that it clearly shows that God opposes homosexual behavior.

"There is no lie in citing reality."

If you truly believed this, you would no longer deny the reality of this prohibition of homosexual behavior. But you do...constantly and with malice aforethought.

"If you have data that demonstrates that your opinion on how to interpret such passages is supported by actual facts, provide that data."

Well, I'm not offering opinion, so I don't know what to tell ya. But I am stating a clear and obvious fact, and for that I can direct you here for all manner of supporting evidences. Or, more specifically, you can go here or host of other articles, essays, videos and pod-casts wherein you can find more evidence that you would prefer exists to support the FACT that God opposes homosexual behavior. You can find numerous places where pro-homosexual scholars like William Loader or Bernadette Brooten (a lesbian who did extensive work on sexual practices in ancient times) that agree that this is the case.

But of course, you won't read any of them. You can't because it shows your personal preference for what God does or doesn't oppose isn't worth a damn.

Unless, of course, you'll be providing me with reams of evidence supporting your fervent wish (again, it doesn't qualify as even an opinion if there's nothing whatsoever to support it by way of evidence) that God might support "some form" of homosexual behavior.

In the meantime, there is no evidence that in the last, oh, 4000 years or so, anyone tried to put forth the notion that Lev 18:22 wasn't a comprehensive ban on ALL homosexual behavior...that is, the act itself alone without regard to any context in which it might take place...until very recently...like the last 50 years or so. Only those who find the prohibition inconvenient pretend that millions and millions of people for the last 4000 years, including those who were around when the Law was first handed down, got it wrong. Only those who put their own carnal desires above the Will of God. That would be you.

Marshall Art said...

"There's a fella who says, "I KNOW that God wants us to cut off the hands of thieves. This is a fact about God because the Koran..."

I don't abide the koran. As a Christian, I don't abide false religions. If you want to defend islam, go for it. I had this crazy notion that I was conversing with a Christian. My bad.

In any case, unlike some, I do not believe the muslim god is God. Therefore, I don't need to argue against what the koran says, especially to one who wants to know what God's position on homosexual behavior is. (He opposes it.)

"Also, do you concede that the Bible NO WHERE, ZERO TIMES, NEVER says "God does not want gay folk marrying..."

Hey, no problem. I totally concede He doesn't say that anywhere inside or outside of the Bible. But only idiots and the sexually immoral would pretend He wouldn't oppose that which is predicated on an act He called an abomination. It's ludicrous.

"Rather, you read a verse written specifically to ancient Israel "men shouldn't lie with men, if they do, kill them""

Pardon me, but you're being a complete asshole for continually lying about the verse upon which I have been focusing exclusively. This is purposeful lying on your part, willful and a complete lack of the Christian grace to which you apparently bullshit everyone into accepting you are so dedicated. How many times do I have to type out "Leviticus 18:22" or "Lev 18:22" or "18:22" or "verse 22" or "v22" before you cut the crap? You are devoid of honor.

"...and you SURMISE, "God thought that this was wrong in ancient Israel..."

Wrong in two ways:

1. I don't "surmise". I know based on the clear wording of the verse (that would be Levitcus 18:22...the verse on which I have been focusing exclusively for...like...ever.

2. God didn't "think" it was wrong in ancient Israel. He stated that it was an abomination. Period. It is YOU and other rebellious people who wish to insist that He was only saying it was an abomination for Israel, despite having destroyed Sodom because of it (yes, as well as for other things), and for driving out the Canaanites, who defiled the very land on which they walked by engaging in the abomination of homosexual behavior. This is all very clearly spelled out in Scripture. You really should read it sometime.

"As in the same sense that someone who says "Jesus said not to store up treasures on earth, therefore, in 21st Century America, it is wrong to have savings in a bank..." it is an extrapolation, one that people could reasonably reach if they are taking Jesus' words pretty literally, but it is NOT literally what it says..." Agreed?"

No, because it is you who misunderstands the point of the chapter in which this "storing up of treasures" thing is mentioned. I've cleared that up for you many times and you continue to use this improperly. I will not acknowledge any further mention of it while you abuse it so badly.

Furthermore, nothing you've said contradicts the truth of what I've said regarding God's opposition to homosexual behavior, and the only possible conclusion based on that as well as on all that Scripture says with regards to marriage and family. Said another way, I've provided plenty of "hard data", and you've done squat but say, in effect, "nyuh uh". Not surprisingly. It's really all you have.