Michael Olan Webb
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@CurtisBeauJackson @Rob W @danieliam @DavidStevens and others. Curtis, first of all thank you again for sharing your story with me. Daniel, my heart goes out to you. Your straight friends mean well; they just don't understand. Marriage doesn't cure anything. If God wants that for you, it must come come in His time, His way as part of His process for you. Ex-gay groups may help, but some of them do more harm than good. I hope yours is a good one. God bless you. Remember you are His beloved.
Rob W. You are right, I am not happy. Not in the way you may think, though. I'm not happy with my "voice" here. I believe differently than you, as you know. But I don't wish to sound like the "cold voice of the scribe" but rather as the "warm voice of the prophet" (A.W. Tozer's concepts) and am not satisfied my ability to communicate what is really in my heart in that way because of competitiveness, needing to be right, and the nature of blogging itself. Sooo, I think I REALLY need to hang with my Father a bit and let Him talk to me.
Dave S. Good talking to you.
If you miss me too terribly, email@example.com ;) >mike
1 year, 1 month ago on I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.
@CurtisBeauJackson. Thanks for sharing your story. I am greatly challenged. Thanks for lending your face to the discussion.. I need that reminder..
@Danieliam. Thanks for your input. I especially applaud your bringing up the fact that "gay" is not your identitiy. That has always been my position as well, even though same-sex attractions were there. If we accept that identity it constitutes agreement. I certainly empathize with the "gay" struggle, but I don't accept that as my identity either. I am a new creature in Christ. That is the incarnational transformational message of the Gospel, something "religious practice" can't provide. We have been made new. Blessings.
@CurtisBeauJackson Thanks for your comment, Curtis. Your last point is that it is "unjust" that a homosexual be "required" to live a life without loving companionship. I agree in part. God, in Christ, comes to dwell in us and promises to never leave us or forsake us, so that we are never unloved, never alone. And Jesus was clear that love for Him must supersede that of any human relationship which He may bless us with. He who said "it is not good for man to be alone" provides in many ways, with many forms of human companionship. In my case, I did end up married to my wife of 30 years in spite of a heavy homosexual orientation; and yes, I am physically attracted to her and have a good (not perfect) relationship on all levels. She is my best friend, we have six kids.
I am not "healed" of same-sex attractions (and the Bible never claimed that we would be--it merely says that "if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away, new things have come."). The nature of true Christian life is that we receive His indwelling life to be and to do what, in our own weak human nature we can't. He says that "Apart from Me, you can do nothing." Paul says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." God said to Paul, "My grace (enablement) is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in your weakness." God never asks us to do something without backing it with the power to do it. On the other hand--and here some may disagree--He very frequently will ask us to do things that are impossible for us to do on our own. (We must be careful that it is HIM asking us to do it and not our own good idea. He isn't obligated to back up our presumption--we can end up flat on our faces.)
I am not saying that God's will for everyone is what my life is. But God is not "unjust" in whatever each particular calling is. Though I know you were speaking hypothetically, and not judging God, to say God is unjust is to say He is unrighteous, or that He makes mistakes. (I have felt Him unjust at times, but in time was proven wrong, and seen how He has indeed "caused all things to work together for good for those who LOVE Him and are called according to HIS purpose" (Romans 8:28). The kicker here is that we must align ourselves with HIS purposes, not the other way around. God is good. His plan for us is good and satisfying. But without faith in His ultimate good for my life, it's a terrifying thing to lay my desires on the altar with no guarantee of whether He will meet my deepest needs the way I want or expect Him to. That is a crisis every true believer faces--many times in our lives--but God who is loving and faithful knows how to fulfill us. We are not always the best judge of that. "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He IS, and that He is the REWARDER of those who seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). He doesn't deprive us, He rewards us. But we must trust Him, not our own ideas or abilities to accomplish it.
Since God has said we all fall short of His glory and are "shut up under sin", but by a gift of mercy He offers us the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life in Christ Jesus, we who come must come to God demanding nothing, but receiving a gift. That is the beginning, and His individual plan for us begins to unfold as we grow in that relationship. "Shall we continue in sin that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?...What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? Though some say homosexuality is not sin, the Bible says otherwise (creative reinterpretations notwithstanding). It's up to you to determine whether the Bible is trustworthy or not. Many here say it is not, unless abridged to meet their requirements.
Finally consider this: Did God so assemble the scriptures so that only theologians and historians and intellectuals could find out the real meaning of things, or did he "put the cookies on the bottom shelf," so to speak, so that it was accessible to all: a guide for knowing and following Him? Paul said that the simple Word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God. Peter said that people "distort the scriptures to their own distruction," and he included the letters of Paul in the category of scripture. We need to reckcon with these things. Blessings as you seek His wisdom!
@Kievjoy. What constitutes being a "Christian"? And from what authority do we draw the meaning of "Christian"? Until those two questions are answered: IF those two questions can be answered and agreed upon, then there is some hope for a consensus...a common ground for discussion. Without that, what we have here is "fruitless discussion" (1 Tim. 1: 6), endless wrangling about words, foolish speculation--un-anchored to any foundational truth. A rudderless ship. These things we as Christians are urged to stay away from. Where there is the Incarnate Word (Jesus) within, guiding and interpreting His written Word by His Spirit, there is unity, there is accord, there is a shared Life that has coherence. That is what the Church is (organism, NOT the organization). What we have here are many people who claim a relationship with Christ. The Lord knows those who are His. It's personal knowledge, surrender, and relationship, not head knowledge that counts. Many will say to Him, "Lord, Lord". But He will say, "Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity; I never KNEW you." Those are some of the most terrifying words in the Bible. I will be accused of "hate" (definition: "you disagree with me") and mean-spiritedness for this, but the truth is, I wouldn't want ANYONE--myself included-- to ever hear these words. My hope is that we are all, or will be all, reconciled to God through Jesus Christ--on HIS terms, for they are the only terms He offers. As Jesus said repeatedly, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." May the Father draw us all to Christ as He is revealed in scripture, which is, after all the only way we may truly come (John 6:35-65).
@Rob W @Rob Got another cup of coffee per your rx. I would in no way wish to interfere with your ability to think and /or interpret freely.
@Rob W @APeene @Rob Nope. But I get that a lot because I have six kids.
@DavidStevens @Rob Glad to help. :)
@APeene @Michael Olan Webb @Rob Not at all. It's evident God created humans to procreate, and to enjoy sexual oneness. God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) existed in a community, even though One. He intended for us, made in His image, to reflect that complementarity and to have the fruit of our love to bring forth life. Sex is primarily for relationship, with the fruit (when God ordains) to create new life. My point to Rob (and I hope he was kidding) is that childbirth was not given to women as a punishment for sin. Increased pain in childbirth was a consequence of God's judgment, but childbearing capacity was part of the plan from the beginning. Procreation is an effect. Sexual oneness is the point.
@Rob W ?
> There was no sex in the garden of Eden... if God made Eve for Adam, he meant for them to be roommates..nothing more....
> Pregnancy was given to Eve as a PUNISHMENT.... so if opposite sex marriage has to be the only kind because it is "for" procreation....isn't that saying that its sole purpose is to maintain a punishment?
Rob, Rob, Rob.... Exegete that once again, now that you're awake.
From my quiet time...(over coffee).
"...Love is the sovereign preference of one person for another, and spiritually Jesus demands that that preference be for Himself (cf. Luke 14:26). When the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ is easily first; then we must practise the working out of these things mentioned by Peter.
The first thing God does is to knock pretence and the pious pose right out of me. The Holy Spirit reveals that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now, He says to me, show the same love to others - "Love as I have loved you." "I will bring any number of people about you whom you cannot respect, and you must exhibit My love to them as I have exhibited it to you." You won't reach it on tiptoe. Some of us have tried to, but we were soon tired.
"The Lord suffereth long. . . ." Let me look within and see His dealings with me. The knowledge that God has loved me to the uttermost, to the end of all my sin and meanness and selfishness and wrong, will send me forth into the world to love in the same way. God's love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God's love to me. Growth in grace stops the moment I get huffed..." --Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest, May 11 entry)
@ThomasRoss @APeene @Rob W @DavidStevens Thanks, Thomas. I appreciate that. Hey, did you notice that I rocketed from 5pts to 6 pts? I should've deserted sooner! :)
@APeene @Rob W @DavidStevens Deserting? Ouch. Looking at the pile of patient charts on my desk which await my dictation, it's a matter of necessity. Wish it wasn't. Thanks for your sentiments. I'll shoot you an email as soon as my desk is clear! In the meantime, watch my blog in a few days.
@Rob W @DavidStevens Hi guys. Had a couple of minutes to try to do a little "housekeeping" and tie up some loose ends:
Dave, I did get to watch Mathew Vine's video. He is a very articulate spokesman and an endearing person. He's likeable and his sincere, deep wrestlings over this issue are so evident. A very thoughtful young man. From a theological standpoint, he really just re-iterated the Boswell take on homosexuality in the Bible, so there wasn't much new to comment on in that. Being the dinosaur that I am [that was for Rob W... :) ] I find that exegesis very problematic and full of untenable leaps of interpretation and logic. Thanks for recommending it, though; I hope Matthew finds the deepest longing of his heart fulfilled as he follows Christ.
Rob, my friend. I do need to heed your rebuke and ask your forgiveness for the spirit in which I addressed the "haters" comment early on. The assertion I made had some merit--not as pertains to your usage, however--but the timing and specific application was not right. I'm very sorry. (P.S. I'm not really averse to apology--it just takes God a while to pummel some humility into me. As one who is constantly in need of forgiveness, I know my obligation to ask for it...and give it. Thank God for His grace.)
In order to fully address the issues on my heart, and those fielded to me--and it's a bit like playing racquetball in an enclosure with 2000 people!--I would need to quit my practice, completely ignore my wife and kids, and hide in my man-cave with my computer, ad infinitum. So in the interest of the aforementioned (work and family), I must withdraw from the day-to-day discussion, for now at least. Some may howl about retreat and cowardice and capitulation, and of course I can't stop what people think. This decision is a very practical one..and sad. I enjoy the dialogue. (Though I must say, I'd rather meet you guys face to face at Starbucks and inject our humanity into the discussion. It's much easier to show love and respect to people with faces than to blog entries.)
As a Christian man, bisexually-oriented (but needle much more strongly on the same-sex end of the spectrum), I recently celebrated my 30th anniversary with my wife Shelley and have six kids: five daughters and one son (Ages 11-28, two daughters married). Needless to say, our marriage and family life are a testimony of God's grace and mercy. I have so much I'd like to say because, though I'm often seen as adversarial, I have walked through a lot of the same issues (not all, of course), and truly do care about the pain of this.
Recently I started a blog called "Bent Man Walking (on the Street Called Straight)" which is also a book under development. Up until now I've only posted a few introductory blogs/devotionals of general content. This dialogue here has become the impetus to plow into the issues we've been discussing in Dan's blog--one of my original intents anyway. In the near future I'll be posting a blog which kicks off my experience and the biblical viewpoint that I hold. The blog address is BentManWalking.wordpress.com if anyone cares to check it out.
I may peek back in from time to time. May Jesus Christ be incarnately revealed in each one of us. He is the wisdom of God...something we all desperately need in these confusing and contentious times. Grace and peace to you. >mow
@Rob. "...not likely to be true."
Man, you are HARD on me. I'm 61. Enjoyed reading your other remarks, but they will have to wait...to work I go.
@Rob W. As much fun as this is, and as much as you can't WAIT to take on what I wrote in response, as an OLD man, I'm heading to bed and will have to respond to any new stuff tomorrow. G'nite.
"First, I again find it fascinating how you go after one extraneous detail to pull out of context and ignore the rest."
I simply addressed the exegesis that Collins laid out. Not sure how that's extraneous.
"...Your "get acquainted" is condescending."
That's interesting. I was simply quoting Collins definition of the word in question.
"As Ken Collins pointed out...to re-translate a word to a meaning that it had never been used in that exact way is the stretch."
I find a common delusion that people have is that if you say something repeatedly or forcefully enough, that somehow must make it true. You have a much higher confidence level in Mr. Collins' hermeneutical skills than I do. There's a stretch here for sure.
" But I still think your desire to read it the way you do (and your need to be condescending around an alternative interpretation) colors what could be an implication to being and absolute."
I don't have a need to read the scriptures in any way, other than in context and incorporating study of the original languages to corroborate. I also don't have a need to be condescending. Using your logic in posts past, maybe your exaggerated and highly subjective reactions to what I write denotes a possible underlying "closeted" need to be condescending yourself.
" Lot is certainly putting his daughters in danger... but could be given the credit that he is having his daughters entertain the crowd."
Of course he put his daughters in danger. He had a convoluted sense of responsibility toward his "guests". That doesn't make it right. The Bible is not squeamish about the sins and failings of the men and women it tells about. This is a fallen world. People are not inherently good. I strongly doubt that Lot sent the girls out to put on a show.
"But... if you wish to interpret it your way, it also leaves open the other statement that does not make sense under your interpretation....since Sodom is already condemned, for as you see it..homosexuality.... and the angels knew that... why would they choose to sleep in the square and tempt it?"
The angels came down to assess and implement God's judgment on the cities. Angels are not fluffy creatures with Breck hair and satiny wings. They are powerful creatures who could vaporize an enemy if needed. Lot didn't know they were angels, and that he didn't need to protect them.
"Your interpretation is the one that needs a stronger justification, and to not give one means that it is you wishing one translation to be true over the other."
The interpretation I adhere to is grounded in the Hebrew and has stood the test of millenia.
"C'mon Michael.... (and it would be nice if you could figure out to answer within the conversations so people know what you are talking about)...."
Be patient, Rob. I was typing as fast as I could. :)
@CurtisBeauJackson. How so?
@Rob W. The fact that Lot begged the men of Sodom not to do that "evil" to his guests and offered his virgin daughters to them instead would tend to nullify an interpretation in which the men of Sodom just wanted to "get aquatinted.". I think that is quite a stretch, no matter how badly the author might wish it to be true.
@Rob W @Rob Ummm. Let me clarify. No. It would probably get worse. Reading it after the fact, it does lend itself to misinterpretation . Later.