Friday, July 5, 2013

Rachel Held Evans asks "What if my son or daughter were gay..." and gets a response from Dr Joel McDurmon

Nine months ago, I wrote about popular Christian author and blogger Rachel Held Evans. I mentioned her in this blog entry here which speaks of the Christian feminist agenda, and also I listed her in an essay about the new Christian feminism.

Evans had written the book of late, "A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master."

Her book was thoughtfully and instructively critiqued here (negatively), and sternly here (very negatively).

Today I read an essay which is a response to Evans' piece called "If my son or daughter were gay..." The piece is written by Dr. Joel McDurmon and it's called "To Rachel Held Evans, RE: “If my son or daughter were gay…"

Sometimes when we write about someone who has a new book which illustrates a slide toward apostasy, it's good to catch back up with that person later on to see if they have corrected course, indicating a momentary inattention and a repentant drift, or if they have continued that slide (are they are still going out from us?) Is Rachel Held Evans still sliding? Yes. That is the first point of this essay. Examples to come and warning duly given.

Example 1: Over the last year Mrs Evans has been presenting a series of ask and answer questions on her blog. The series is called "Ask A..." in which she asks a prominent person a question and explores all the biblical responses to it. As Kevin Miller says at Patheos, "she’s allowing readers to throw their questions at people who hold to various positions on hell. First up was Edward Fudge, well known advocate of Conditional Immortality and author of The Fire that Consumes. Next up is Robin Parry, author of The Evangelical Universalist."

Enough said.

In the essay response to Mrs Evans' 'If my son or daughter were gay' piece, Dr McDurmon wrote, "There is a stream of tears dripping from the end of Rachel Held Evans’s recent blog, “If my son or daughter were gay…”. I have to admit: I am crying, too. - ... Yes, I am crying, too, but for a different reason. I am weeping over the disgrace to God, the neutered theology, the tortured application of “unconditional love.” - See more here.

I think it is clear that to read Mrs Evans's blog or her books would not be profitable for the Christian and her works do not honor Jesus.

The second point of my essay here today is to examine the tactic Mrs Evans uses, in the hopes that how satan slyly comes in will be made more apparent to you and you can then be aware in future.

She asks questions.

I am not against questions. Christianity is a thinking religion, demanding in its intellectual and spiritual proposals. After all, the Holy Spirit endeavors to transform our mind. (Romans 12:2). That is one of the ministries He is performs inside us- renewing our mind away from the default of saturated sin and evil toward light and Christlike. (Colossians 3:10). Honest questioning is a good thing. "What did that verse mean? How can I apply that to my life? Is there a biblical example of that I can learn? Where is a parallel verse? What is the context here? What does Jesus mean when He says 'meek'?" and so on.

Those are honest questions. When a disciple of Jesus comes to the word and honestly seeks to know, and asks the Spirit to answer, this is honest work.

Satan asks dishonest questions.

Let's look at the dramatic moment in Genesis 3. I keep going back to that moment in many of my blog essays because it is important. Also, we are given insight into not just what the apostles said about satan, but in the very few times satan himself is recorded interacting with man (or Jesus or God) it behooves us to pay attention and learn from it.

We meet satan for the first time in Genesis 3:1. The introduction to him is "Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made." That is how the Spirit chose to introduce satan to us. So pay attention.

When you make an introduction to someone you state their name. You say one or two of the best things you can think of to commend that person, to make a good first impression. In the bible's introduction of satan, his name is left off and the only commendation of him to us is negative. Not one good thing.

In the very next sentence we read, "He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

This is dishonest questioning. Satan had an agenda. He did not approach the woman in earnest, seeking to know what God hath said. He already knew what God hath said. He is all ears. He sees all that God does and with constant and persistent action, seeks to undermine God and accuse humans. (Revelation 12:10). If satan had really wanted to know what God had said, he could have gone to God and asked. No, satan knew the answer but had a different reason for asking. This is dishonesty.

He asked this question of Eve not because he didn't know the answer. He asked it because he had an agenda. That agenda is to subvert the word of God and to introduce doubt into the recipient.

Rob Bell perfected this art of subversive questioning in his book denying hell's existence, "Love Wins."

Dr John MacArthur noted this in his review of Rob Bell's book, "Rob Bell: “Evangelical and orthodox to the bone? Hardly.", first quoting a passage from Bell and then making his statement-
Bell: "What if that spring [the virgin birth] were seriously questioned? Could a person keep on jumping? Could a person still love God? Could you still be a Christian? Is the way of Jesus still the best possible way to live? Or does the whole thing fall apart? . . . If the whole faith falls apart when we reexamine and rethink one spring, then it wasn’t that strong in the first place, was it?” (26-27)

So on the one hand, in a single sentence, he professes to affirm the virgin birth. On the other hand (and on the very same page), he spends multiple paragraphs calling the truthfulness and importance of that doctrine into question.
Back to Mrs. Evans.

Even Charisma Magazine asked a couple of days ago if Mrs Evans has caved to the culture.
"Evans, who states that she “grew up in a religious environment that vilified LGBT people,” still identifies as an evangelical Christian but has had a change of heart in her viewpoint on homosexuality, just as she had a change of heart on “the age of the Earth, the reality of climate change, the value of women in church leadership, [and] the equal failings of both the Republican and Democratic platforms to embody the teachings of Jesus.” And so, when Exodus International announced it was closing its doors and when the Supreme Court made its momentous, pro-gay activist decisions, she “celebrated” along with her many LGBT friends. ...The title of her article is “Not All Religious Convictions Are Written in Stone,” but Evans leaves us wondering if any religious convictions are written in stone."

Yes, they are written in stone. It is the job of satan to make you believe that they aren't.

This questioning-seemingly-humble tactic is what John MacArthur called the "Hermeneutics of Humility" in his sermon on 1 John 1:1-4, "The Certainties of the Word of Life, part 2", writing, " There's a new hermeneutics, a new science of interpretation called the Hermeneutics of Humility, and this is serious to the people who espoused this and their Hermeneutics of Humility say, "I'm too humble to think that I could ever know what the Bible really means and so I can only offer my opinion and I certainly can't say that this is in fact the truth." They pat themselves on the back congratulating themselves for such intellectual openness."

It does seem to fool people when we come across someone who seems to be struggling with the larger questions of Christianity, and they are seemingly innocently asking questions in order to resolve their doubt. Who wouldn't want to come alongside such a person and help them with biblical answers? But we are in the midst of wolves. We must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16). This calls for discernment. Is a person a wolf who will devour me with their questions, or are they an immature lamb seeking their Shepherd?

As for being a 'humble seeker,' you can know. You should know. You will know with certainty. In the sermon on the 1John verses, MacArthur said "I mentioned to you before that 36 times you're going to find some form of the word "know" here. I know, we know, you know...there is an absoluteness in that."

I wondered about hell when I was first saved. I studied the bible, read what Jesus had to say about it. The answer became clear. So then I stopped asking. Question asked and answered. To continue to ask questions about a subject once you have learned what the bible says on it is blasphemy because by then you're not genuinely wondering about your understanding of the topic, you are directly questioning God. To fail to gain clarity on a topic that the bible presents clearly in the first place is also blasphemy. It is all dishonest questioning.

The bible is also clear on the disposition of the unrepentant sinner, including unrepentant homosexuals. It is also clear on the definition of love. A person is not being humble by continuing to ask, they are simply using their blog to introduce doubt and giving a platform to others who are wolves. (I.E. "Ask A... series").

The bible speaks to these foolish 'what if' questions. The bible has the first word and the last word on the questioning tactic, dishonest questioning, that is, 'If anyone has a morbid interest in controversial questions...'

"If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that religion is a means of gain." (1 Timothy 6:3-5).

Pulpit Commentary says
"In this morbid love of questionings and disputes of words, they lose sight of all wholesome words and all godly doctrine... surmisings, here in the-New Testament, In classical Greek it means "suspicion," or any under-thought. The verb occurs three times in the Acts - "to deem, think, or suppose." Here the "surmisings" are those uncharitable insinuations in which angry controversialists indulge towards one another."

Be wise, be strong, and study hard. Know what you know, and proclaim it! Satan is coming on like a flood.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further reading:

More on gays, and Rachel Held Evans -
Everyone's literal about sin until you bring up homosexuality

Can we ever know doctrine for certain?

Can we know what the scripture means?

What is doctrine?


Thank you everyone. Comments are CLOSED.

132 comments :

  1. Some people will repeatedly ask a question until they get the answer they want. Also to cause division. Sad, but it happens all too often.

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  2. I have a question. I have followed your blog for 7-8 months now tuning in 2-4x's a week and notice you spend a fair amount of time (actually a lot of time) naming names when you speak of all that defiles. Is that what the bible tells us to do? How does Matt 18 v. 15-17 or Ephesians 4:32 or Galatians 6:1 apply? Have you ever approached or contacted these individuals you mention according to these scriptures. Can you mention the deceit, wrong doctrine, questionable theology, and the like without naming names? Is it biblically correct to call people out by name at any time? If so, please provide scripture of when it is ok to name the trangressor. I believe it is just as effective to speak about the apostasy, sin, misleadings, evangelicals, prosperity gospel; whatever it is you wish to bring attention to without using names.....I may be wrong though. Serious question, not trying to be divisive.

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    1. Thanks for your question, it’s a good one. Thanks for following my blog for 7-8 months now.

      I believe that it wouldn't be profitable NOT to name names. It doesn't help to go to a banquet and have someone tell you that one of the covered dishes contains a killing poison, and then not tell you which dish, reasoning it would not be kind to the person who brought the dish to single them out. False doctrine is poison, ingesting it kills. It makes no sense to tell someone hiking through a field that there are 4 buried landmines, and not tell them where the mines are. It doesn’t build anyone up, except maybe satan, to hide where the spiritual land mines are.

      Look to Paul's example, who in one book alone, names 8 names. (1 Tim 1:20, for ex. Also 2 Tim 2:14-19). John named names, 3 John 1:9.

      In 1 Timothy 4:1-2,6 Paul specifically tells them that the brethren should be made aware of false teachings & point it out.

      Brannon Howse wrote, “Is it negative and unbiblical to name false teachers?” saying in part,
      “I truly believe that one reason why God allows false teachers is to provide believers with a test of whether they will be faithful in their Biblical mandate to expose false teachers and thus protect the sheep from the spiritual poison of wolves in sheep's clothing.”

      more to come

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    2. More here

      Ephesians 5:11 makes it clear we are to expose false teachers; "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
      http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=6684#sthash.kMMJnkNK.dpuf

      Here are two audio clips about it being the work of Christ to expose false teachers, 2 min, John MacArthur
      Was Jesus polite to false teachers?
      http://youtu.be/6zP0ADNjKzE

      And here also MacArthur speaking of Rick Warren by name and denouncing his false purpose driven Gospel. http://youtu.be/pQf_GICd4Zk

      He also names teachings of Rob Bell, Joel Osteen, Billy Graham by name, and shows you where their teachings are inconsistent with the word of God.

      How can we know false prophets unless we judge them by the Word of God? It is extremely helpful to listen to Justin Peters’ video, A Call for Discernment, and compare what the false teachers he names and quotes to the bible.

      As for going to them first as Matthew 18 says, DA Carson has a good editorial here on the public teaching and subsequent confrontation of false teachers via Matthew 18, and whether private confrontation should be made or not, http://thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/article/editorial_on_abusing_matthew_18

      Does Mrs Beth Moore privately approach every church where she intends to bring her teaching curriculum and speak with the pastor? No. Her teaching is public and any discussion about it can be public. A public teaching such as those in books or on the internet or circulated widely in arenas are not meant to be private and local, but Matthew 18 is. DA Carson explains the difference.

      Eph 4:32 you ask about, being kind to one another? Was Paul violating that verse –which he wrote -when two books later in the same letter to Ephesians when he said “ avoid Alexander the Coppersmith for he did me much harm”? How do you reconcile what would then be an inconsistency in Paul's letter to the Ephesians? Or was Jesus violating Eph 2 when He called the Pharisees vipers and garbage? Do you think that being ‘kind’ means never judging a false teaching? Is it kind to leave the sheep to the wolves? Let’s look at what is kind. Is it kind to Jesus to allow false teaching so as not to hurt the feelings of the false one bringing it? No, Jesus rebuked them that tolerated the teachings of Balaam, Nicolaitians and the Jezebel in their midst. (Rev. 2:14-15, Rev 2:20).

      Here are more links and more scripture
      “Teaching that mislead people or those whose motives were clearly questionable were named to protect the innocent.” http://www.letusreason.org/Wf6.htm

      Finally, if I name names and you compare what I am saying to their teaching and find that I am in error, or that I have misused the bible, then you can know that I am a false teacher. If I never name names, then I am shielded from scrutiny, and that’s wrong.

      Ultimately, why would someone NOT name a name if they, by being led by the Spirit, felt that the sheep were in danger from a dangerous false teaching? What does staying quiet accomplish?

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  3. I had never heard of Rachel Held Evans until I read your blog, I will consider myself blessed.

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  4. Thanks for your response Elizabeth...your first comparrison of poison and landmines is a viable point, however it does not solidify the reason of specifically naming a transgressor. Why not simply say avoid that table over there, I saw a few people putting some leaven in the bread or hey, I saw the enemy laying a few hidden claymores on that hill you may want to avoid that area. Speaking of leaven, Jesus used that very example to warn against the Pharisees and Sadducees......not beware of the leaven that Scott, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike are spreading around.
    Same goes for your question to me about Jesus and being kind in Eph.....He mentioned groups of people that were in violation of His Word, I didn't see a specific list of names of who to be aware of.
    Also in Eph 5, which you used....it says "do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, instead expose them" Expose the deeds. As for those examples of those few disciples using names of who to avoid....OK, From that It's rather difficult to draw the conclusion that we should use names rather than just naming the deed, I could also surmise that Paul had some personal interaction with those he named, therefore a good reason to expose them and warn his brothers since he had personal knowledge of their works.
    Finally, I never said to remain quiet, I pray for just the opposite; that the Spirit would strengthen me to speak against the poison and landmines, but in the form of exposing deeds not the names. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.....
    I just don't see enough in the scriptures to convince me to expose by name with just as much evidence maybe more to support the conclusion I've come to rather than the practice you hold by being specific.

    God Bless

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    1. I'd encourage you to listen to the two clips and read the several pieces I linked to. The biblical evidence is clear. Rom 16:17 says to Identify and mark “them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine” of the LORD, is to be a regular part of the Christian life.

      “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” 1 Timothy 5:20

      I can't go so far as to say I 'surmise' that Paul had evidence that we were not privy to and that is why he named 8 false teachers, because that is surmising. In your scenario, I'd have to say the same for John, who also named false teachers. And so on.

      You asked for additional verses and there they are, as well as the practice of the Apostles, the practice of the early church fathers and the practice current church fathers. If you do not feel comfortable naming names, then of course that is fine. I will continue to do so, my conscience being clear having stood on the verses.

      Just remember, “Open rebuke is better than secret love.” Proverbs 27:5

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    2. Anonymous,

      I'd like first to point out where Elizabeth showed from Scripture where names were indeed named.

      As to your claim about Jesus naming Pharisees as a whole instead of individual names, Jesus didn't have to name individual names because His point was that the whole group was bad. That would be like now saying beware of the Mormons - you don't have to name individual names, you just name the group!

      As has been pointed out above, I want to point out again - If you don't name the names of the false teachers, then you've done absolutely nothing to protect people from them. Here's is a link to an excellent article about why it is important to expose just who the false teachers are:
      http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2012/04/should-or-can-we-tell-secrets-of-star.html

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  5. Thank you for calling attention to my presentation in Rachel H. Evans' blog concerning final punishment. I am grateful to her for giving me the opportunity to summarize the teaching of the whole Bible on this important subject -- in a sentence that "the wages of sin is DEATH but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord." It's as simple as that, and we can take it at face value.

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    1. Mr Fudge, thank you for stopping by. I agree, every single soul will inherit eternal life Some to eternal damnation in hell and some to eternal joy with Jesus. The dividing line is whether the person had repented of their sins while in the body. Those that do not will be in hell for their eternal life, those that do will be with Jesus in heaven. (2 Thessalonians 1:9

      And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2.

      Being holy, Jesus punishes sin. Hell is real and many will go there.

      Matthew 25:46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

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  6. Elizabeth, again, many thanks for your thoughtful and helpful writings. I am truly grateful for your honest, NOT harsh naming of names. Having been (blessedly!) awakened by The Lord to the foolish teachings of the seeker driven church, I see that naming names is essential. Within the slippery and confusing world of mega "Christianity," "Jesus Followers" are routinely urged to attend conferences, buy DVDs and books of the many big-name pastors. They all endorse each other BY NAME, and encourage cross pollination of their varied and aberrant ideas, lending credibility and leading sheep into danger. If they so willingly name names, so must the voices of discernment---obviously with a spirit of humility. I know that understanding the errors of SPECIFIC teachers was crucial to my unraveling the mess we had become entangled in.

    Blessings!
    Lisa

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  7. I disagree with some of Elizabeth's viewpoints on certain things, but I think she has a good point on this one. Tolerance doesn't mean we agree with the sin. Oh, I would certainly welcome any homosexuals in our church, and share God's love for them. But at the same time, ever so gently, I will show them that that kind of lifestyle isn't what God has planned for their life. I think it's time for Christians to make a stand, to uphold God's Word more than anything, while displaying the same compassion and humility that Jesus displayed when He mingled with sinners.

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  8. I love it that she asks questions. She's truly following after the Jesus of the bible.

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    1. Jana, thank you for your comment, but ever so gently I ask...did you read myessay? Asking questions isn't the issue. It is the agenda behind it that is the issue.

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    2. Elizabeth, just out of curiosity are you working out of the assumption that unlike Rachel you don't have an agenda underpinning the questions and concerns you are raising? Clearly Rachel has a purpose (call it an agenda if you want, it's your blog) for writing these posts, and clearly you do too. Otherwise you probably wouldn't bother posting them in the public sphere. Is it a question, then of the purity of these motives? If so, what do you think her motives are and are you open to the possibility that you could be wrong about her motives? Or more to the point what reason do I have for trusting your motives to be pure and not hers (or vice versa of course) since I can't objectively know either?

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    3. Ryne, you have reframed the blog essay's point into one of motivations. It is not a question of motivations, but of tactics. Let's get back to the issue at hand.

      False teachers will come and they bring false teaching. That is a fact that is mentioned many times in scripture. It is also a fact that satan has schemes, wiles, snares, and tactics. I pointed out one of them, and used several scriptures to support this (Genesis 3:1, 1 Timothy 6:3-5 and 2 Tim 3:7 for ex.).

      As a believer, your job is to see whether I've used scriptures rightly to show this tactic for what it is.

      You're correct, you cannot know my motives or Rachel's motives objectively- but you CAN know fruit objectively. (Matthew 7:16). You CAN know scripture objectively.

      You read what I proposed, that there is such a thing as honest questions and there is such a thing as dishonest questions. It is up to you to decide if the things I am sharing are true.

      "My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins." (James 5:19)

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    4. Are you for real? In other words, asking questions is not the issue, if the question is convenient. I would say that this is more dishonest than asking difficult and challenging questions. You are the one being dishonest here, not Rachel.

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    5. Yes, George, I am for real. Remember, questions are good if seeking to understand God's word, but at a certain point they become disingenuous. For example, the pharisees' questions were satanic (Mark 10:2) where Nicodemus' questions were not (John 3:4,9).

      The first time we are introduced to satan in the bible we're told he is crafty, and next, he asked a question, "Hath God said?" That is where Rachel is coming from, "Hath God said?" not "How can I learn more so as to submit to God?" There IS a point, after which the question veers from honest to dishonest.

      It's why Jesus said that you share the Gospel but after a certain point if they disbelieve, shake the dust off and depart the town, (Mt 10:14). As for profane and blasphemous seducers, after a certain point we're told to leave them as dogs to lick their own vomit. (2 Peter 2:22)

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  9. At the end of the day, if you give the biblical canon the first and last word on everything, aren't you just worshiping the biblical canon? This is a significant question, because Jesus never promised a bible (any version of the many that have existed) to lead you into all truth, but rather promised God's Spirit. What role does the Holy Spirit play if it has to remain a slave to the canon?

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    1. Lewis, Jesus said He is the Word, and the word was with God and the word IS God. (John 1:1) We don't worship the pages of the bible nor the book of the bible but we read what is inside because that is how God speaks to us, He revealed Himself and told us what He wanted us to know.

      The Spirit is not a slave to the word but He submits to the Word which is Jesus. At the same time, the Holy Spirit IS God.

      The Holy Spirit has many ministries, many.

      --The spirit always points to Jesus. The Spirit glorifies Jesus, and declares him to us (John 16:14). The Jesus the Spirit points to is the Jesus as revealed in the word.

      --The Spirit transforms our mind by applying the bible's truths to it

      --The bible reveals God's will for us and the Spirit enacts it in our loves and empowers us to bear fruit for the glory of Jesus.

      --The Spirit reveals the things of God to us, and you can know what those things of God are by consulting the bible. 1 Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God

      The Spirit inspired every word of the Bible. He wrote the bible, Lewis! "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness," (2 Tim 3:16.)

      Where else can you know what the deep things of God *are* except by His word?

      God thinks very highly of His word! He gave Moses the Law on stone tables, didn't He? Personally writing it in His own finger?! (Exodus 31:18)

      God gave us the bible, "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world" and this Son, is the Word (John 1:1).

      He reveres His word so much he made a curse against anyone who added to His book or took away from it, twice, in the OT and the New. (Deut 4:2; Rev 22:18-19)

      Colossians 3:16 - "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

      If you have a problem with which translation to read, here is a good essay on the versions:

      How should I choose a bible version?
      http://carm.org/how-should-choose-bible-version

      Which bible translation is best?
      http://carm.org/which-bible-version-is-best

      How do YOU find absolute truth, if not from the bible?

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    2. Your first paragraph is a good example of what I'm talking about. You paraphrase a quote of John 1:1 in the first sentence (which is all well and good), make the biblical canon equal to Jesus, and then the rest of the paragraph is entirely human religious mythology built upon the premise of recent fundamentalist tradition regarding the biblical canon. I say recent because most of the prominent reformers would've preferred MUCH of the current canon to be excluded (Luther, for instance, considered Revelation to be a fictional work and Jude to be devoid of inspiration - among the numerous other individual books he disregarded...much the same as Calvin).

      Doesn't this ultimately come down to controlling doctrine (and therefore people) through the rigid use of a canon?...that is, the desire to measure everything and everyone by it?

      Also, doesn't this render your holy Trinity as a holy Quartet?...Father, Son, Spirit, Biblical Canon - seeing as how even the Spirit isn't allowed to speak to you apart from the canon?

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    3. Lewis you demonstrated good insight when you said, "doesn't this ultimately come down to controlling doctrine (and therefore people) through the rigid use of a canon?...that is, the desire to measure everything and everyone by it?"

      Yes. The canon is the ultimate standard. It is absolute truth, given to us by inspiration of the Spirit. It isn't part of the Trinity but it is the work of the Trinity, as is the creation, man, and Providence, etc. Ultimately it comes down to understanding that it is a work from heaven, revealing who God is and setting a holy standard for life. You either accept that or you don't, and it looks like you don't.

      Thanks for the challenging questions and the opportunity to explain.

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    4. Lewis,
      If it wasn't for the BIble, you wouldn't know about Jesus or the Holy Spirit, let alone about who the True God is. Every claim about things of the Spirit must be tested by the Bible. Why do you think the Bereans were praised for searching the Scriptures?

      Simple as this - if a claim is made which doesn't agree with Scripture, then the claim is wrong.

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    5. That's not absolutely true. The first Christians heard of the Good News via word of mouth, via the Holy Spirit, or by revelation. Scripture / Canon / Doctrine was determined years later by consensus of various human leaders through councils.

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    6. You're right, they heard via the Apostles. However, doctrine existed immediately as Jesus preached. "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." (John 7:16). Before the New testament was codified, Paul and John exhorted all to adhere to doctrine, watch out for false doctrine, and to live by doctrine. (1 Timothy 6:3, 1 Timothy 1:9-11, 2 John 1:9)

      Later as the Inspired letters were included into the canon and reprinted and re-distributed, disciples could read the doctrine for themselves. But doctrine was always a part of Christianity. And of course, do not forget that they still had the written Old Testament scriptures, as well.

      It is incorrect to say that doctrine was formed later. Jesus came to deliver doctrine, and it is contained in the very first letters and the very first sermons.

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    7. Also, the first Christians had the Old Testament, and within a just a few decades most of the N.T. was written and being circulated throughout the Churches.

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  10. Good blog Elizabeth. I have kept an eye on Rachel Held Evans myself ever since her release of the "Year of Biblical Womanhood" book. I had hoped she would repent, but she has done the opposite. Your viewpoint is spot on with mine. Isn't it amazing how when you expose the wolf, people attack and question you? So many people have itching ears and don't like it when the darkness is brought into the light.

    -Brad

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  11. Elizabeth, I won't be stopping by to read your blog. Your Phariseeical (yes, I made that word up, but I think you get the meaning)attitude is a major "put off." Given the radical way Jesus lived, if I'm going to err in my Biblical views, I'd much rather err on the side of tolerance. I firmly believe if I love and accept people, the Holy Spirit is capable of convicting them of their sins; it's not MY job to point them out. I think Jesus was VERY CLEAR on this.

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    1. Of course the Holy Spirit is capable of convicting people of their sins, that is not the point.

      If you believe Jesus means us never deal with sin, then half the New Testament is wrong, because the Apostles pointed it out constantly and individually. We also have to erase Matthew 18:15-17, and Leviticus 19:17, Luke 17:3, Galatians 6:1 and so on.

      You are wrong when you say that tolerance is the better path, it is an err to be tolerant of sin. Jesus rebuked the church at Thyatira for tolerating what they KNEW to be bad doctrine. (Rev 3:20-23)

      You are actually being unloving when you let a brother or sister wallow in false doctrine which wages war against the flesh and leads them astray. How intolerant is that?

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  12. The irony of this piece is astounding to me. You drag this woman through the mud for a non-literal interpretation of Genesis (among other things) and then subsequently drag a literal Genesis through the mud by claiming that the serpent is Satan. The text never states that, so your assertion is extra-biblical. (I also believe that assumption is correct, but it seems hypocritical to vilify somebody for doing the same thing you yourself do.)

    This is minor, but the part that really made me cringe was you quoting 1 Timothy 6:3-5 in an attempt to paint Rachel as a divisive, attention-seeking, controversy-monger- followed by these completely innocent blog labels: divisive, Hermeneutics of Humility, homosexuality, rachel held evans, rob bell.

    How will everybody know that Rachel is using religion as a "means to gain" unless you can name-drop and google-keyword your way to pageviews? How will everybody know "out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction" unless you start that strife?

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    1. You sound really mad. What specifically has upset you so much?

      (And yes, a literal belief in Genesis is foundational to faith).

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    2. I'm not all that mad actually, just tired of the mudslinging and propagation of fear that is so common these days.

      Jesus had a lot more to say about living in (and selling) fear than he ever did about homosexuality or even Scripture.

      You espouse a literal belief in Genesis, but only when it is convenient. You don't believe that the sun orbits the earth or that the snake is only a snake, yet you insist on a new earth. A truly literal reading is a stunted reading, luckily neither of us truly reads Genesis literally.

      As far as what has 'upset me', please read my original comment. I would appreciate a response to my points if possible.

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    3. It is not mudslinging to point out a false doctrine or expose a devilish method. 2 Cor 2:11- for we are not unaware of satan's schemes.

      Proclaiming the word is divisive and it does instill fear in people, a good kind of fear in which they should examine themselves before the knowledge of a coming Holy God and imminent judgment. That IS fear-inducing, as it should be. So when you say 'propagating fear' this is not an insult to me, it is a compliment. Read Jerry Bridges' "The Joy of Fearing God" and it will give you a new perspective on what it means to fear God and live by His statutes.

      As for me saying belief in Genesis 1 literally is important, this does not mean that one should *interpret* everything in the bible literally. Bible students know that there is context, proper hermeneutics, poetry, narrative, history, symbolism, allegory, parable, and figurative language. Through study and prayer, being led by the Spirit, one can discern properly and come to a solid understanding of the nature and character of Jesus.

      This may help- it is not long.

      Can / Should we interpret the Bible as literal?"
      http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-literal.html

      As for the rest of your points, they were simply angry accusations, and I'll let the readers decide on that score.

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    4. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

      What allows you to determine "context, proper hermeneutics, poetry, narrative, history, symbolism, allegory, parable, and figurative language" but Rachel can't do the same? You both have the same Holy Spirit and I assume you both have a biblical education. The church has a long history of Godly people coming to different conclusions about scripture- unity does not require full agreement with one another.

      As far as you refusing to address my other points- why is my exhortation for honesty and humility "an angry accusation" but your entire blog post is "to point out a false doctrine or expose a devilish method?" Other than the small difference that I would never call you Satan or un-christian like you have done to Rachel.

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    5. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge- Proverbs 1:7. Even the apostles and prophets dropped in fear at the presence of an angel or the incarnate Lord.

      I'd like to know what it is about this post that is scriptural error or a wrong interpretation of how satan uses questions to sow doubt. That is the premise of the essay,and you don't like it. But other than denouncing me personally you have not shared where I am in error or used scripture incorrectly, or even refeted or accepted the notion that questions CAN be used as a method to attack scripture. Let's get back to that.

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    6. "But other than denouncing me personally you have not shared where I am in error or used scripture incorrectly, or even refeted or accepted the notion that questions CAN be used as a method to attack scripture. Let's get back to that."

      If you'd prefer then we can focus on that, but I'm personally more concerned with being able to disagree well than with proving myself right. I'll also overlook the fact that I haven't attacked you personally at all, I have only turned your own lens back on you but it appears that glare is too uncomfortable to bear.

      And since you seem so interested in drawing lines in the sand instead of working towards unity- I'll bite. I think your premise is wrong.

      Of course questions can be used as a method to attack scripture. But they can also lead to greater holiness and understanding of God. Questions have power, and like a gun that power can be misused. But Jesus and Paul repeatedly asked questions they knew the answer to, and to great effect. I don't believe that either the Bible or the Holy Spirit is so weak that it can't withstand some questions.

      When you quote MacArthur you claim that we can KNOW absolutely. You imply that this is something we can have no questions about. I think this shows a small view of God, one where he is understandable to the human mind.

      "But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets." -Revelation 10:7

      I believe that God is bigger than me, bigger than the church, and even bigger than the Bible. Perhaps one day we will understand the mystery, but I believe to claim so now is to replace faith with arrogance. And I have done exactly that many times.

      You and I are no different in that regard- just like Eve we wish for knowledge when we should wish for obedience.

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    7. Unfortunately when you said "Of course questions can be used as a method to attack scripture. But they can also lead to greater holiness and understanding of God" you overlooked my very clear sentence where I said that "I am not against questions". I said questions are good, but only honest ones. This essay showed you that there are dishonest questions- and I am against those.

      You're not using the word 'mystery' correctly. Mystery doesn't mean we cannot know, it means what was once concealed is now revealed- to the saints.

      I'm not seeking unity, you're right. Doctrine divides, as it should. "Seeking unity" instead of being called to separateness is antithetical to what we are told to do. 2 Corinthians 6 is about this. We are to love others but never seek unity among those who are non-believers, false, or in any way contrary to the doctrines of Jesus Christ. In other words, ecumenism is unbiblical. Accepting sinful doctrines angers Jesus AND failing to point them out angers Him also Jesus (Rev 2:18-29)

      I believe as you do that God is bigger than me, bigger than the church, and even bigger than the Bible. We agree on this. Where we disagree is that He gave us the bible and then didn't make it understandable with clarity. He did make it understandable, and he gave us the indwelling Spirit to apply its truths to our heart and to transform our mind.

      Where you say that dogmatic belief in biblical doctrines is arrogance is the perfect example of the hermeneutic of humility. This is a false belief that we can't know and understand what He gave us in His word- and to attempt to do so is arrogance. Not so.

      "We live in a time when certainty and conviction about what is true is not tolerated. The politically correct attitude is one of uncertainty with nothing absolute. There's a new hermeneutics, a new science of interpretation called the Hermeneutics of Humility, and this is serious to the people who espoused this and their Hermeneutics of Humility say, "I'm too humble to think that I could ever know what the Bible really means and so I can only offer my opinion and I certainly can't say that this is in fact the truth." They pat themselves on the back congratulating themselves for such intellectual openness. Opinions and feelings tend to rule the mood of our time. And the church as always it does fall prey to this sort of post-modern inclusivism that wants to embrace everything everybody thinks as truth for them. And so the church has lost its convictions, its lost its certainties" More here
      Certainties of the Word of Life, Part 2
      http://www.gty.org/resources/print/sermons/62-3

      When you said "just like Eve we wish for knowledge when we should wish for obedience" that sounds good and Christian-y. But it is not really. How do we know what to obey unless we have a clear understanding of what God told us do? We don't. And where do we find that instruction so we can obey? The bible. If you are never sure of doctrine then you are never sure of your obedience. Eve had one instruction- don't eat the fruit from this tree. She had the mind of God and perfect holiness. Her error was not in wanting to know more, because she could walk with God and ask Him. Her error was in succumbing to the beguiling notion proposed by satan's question: Has God really said? And she became doubtful and confused. And that brings us full circle to the point of the essay. Her response should have been dogmatic and conclusive: "Yes, God hath said." But she wasn't dogmatic nor certain- and see where it got us.

      Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1

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    8. Trust the person asking the questions, not the one with all of the answers. Salespeople have all of the answers. It's the ones seeking Truth that continue to ask the questions.

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    9. Trust the bible, which has all the answers, not the person always asking whether it's true. "Hath God said?"

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  13. "I think it is clear that to read Mrs Evans's blog or her books would not be profitable for the Christian and her works do not honor Jesus."

    I had no interest reading past that line.

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    1. Ben, you should, for the sake of seeing if I handled the scriptures correctly and also so you can test these things for yourself. :)

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    2. Like Ben, I also had no interest reading past that line. However, against my better judgement I did anyway. Nothing I read changed my initial response.

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    3. Then you are not interested in the truth. Evans has been exposed by many, many solid apologetics ministries - and solid Bible teachers - as being a bonafide false teacher who abuses Scripture almost as badly as any cult member.

      Any Christian who claims that homosexual behavior is okay in ANY context is blaspheming God who said it is an abomination to Him.

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  14. There are too many things wrong with this post to mention.... So I'll just mention this: You write "Enough said" about RHE inviting her readers to ask questions to an Annihilationalist and a Universalist--both of whom profess to follow Jesus--and use this as '"proof" of her apostasy. Enough was not said. Having conversations with people who believe different things is not proof of apostasy. It's proof of sanity. It's proof of having a faith that is confident enough in its truth that people aren't afraid to TALK to people of different faiths, or people of the same faith who have come to different conclusions about what scripture says regarding the afterlife.

    It seems such an uninspiring thing to stand on a box and shout that everyone who doesn't come to the same conclusions you have come to is hell bound. It really makes me sad, but I take solace in this: Congregations who reduce Christianity down to "Where are you going when you die?" are dwindling, dissolving, disappearing, and dying. Posts like this are a death rattle. It is the end of times.... The end of the times of Christians being known for this kind of "LaLaLa, fingers in ears, I'm not listening" persona that is so far from what a follower of Jesus should be.

    Rachel Held Evans is one of a growing number of voices in the Church that has seen some things that don't make sense, and she's speaking about them. And the reason you have a giant bump in your blog numbers today is because her voice resonates with millions of people (like myself) who love Jesus but have become disillusioned with the sort of garbage you are passing along as Christianity. You dismiss any different conclusions than the ones you have come to as "unbiblical," but they aren't. I know it's scary when people who believe differently than you start making sense, but you will get over it.... Just like I did. Here's something I wrote about this issue: http://theboeskool.com/2012/05/18/perfection-truth-and-finding-your-porpoise/

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    1. Having endless conversations with people who believe false doctrine is proof of insanity. Continuing to be 'open' to false doctrine is a recipe for disaster.

      The bible is exclusive, dogmatic, divides with a sword, and is either-or. The verse I quoted from 1 Timothy applies: do not have continuous conversations with people who do not know true from false, because by that you can know they are not delivered to the truth. There are many who are "always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth." (2 Tim 3:7) Avoid these

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    2. And you (and people who hold the same views as you) pull that out as a fail-safe whenever the other side is starting to make sense. It is the Biblical equivalent of fingers in your ears, and you justify through the same scripture that I'd use to try to get you to see the error of your thinking. It's like making up a belief system that requires that you never entertain any criticism to that belief system. It's like hitting the throttle on a boat that is tied to the dock--It's a perfect system for never going anywhere.... Unless the dock to which you've tied your boat is actually built in the wrong place.

      "The Bible is exclusive"<-- Really? I suppose that about sums it up. Exclusive to whom? Is the Church also exclusive?

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    3. The bible is exclusively truth, exclusively the word from the only God, exclusively available to be understood by only those who are exclusively His sheep. The 'other side'? What other side? There are believers, who know and understand doctrine as delivered to the world by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and there are unbelievers who can never understand it. The only one who knows the mind of God is the Spirit of God and those who HAVE the Spirit of God.

      Are those the two sides you meant?

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    4. Elizabeth , your responses and articles border on parody and satire. They are parody and satire, yes? It reads like something that parody evangelical web sites write up.

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    5. Unknown, No I am perfectly serious. John is particularly either-or. And of course Jesus is the original either-or, saying there is a closed door and an open one, a narrow way and a broad way, true and false prophets, heaven and hell, etc. Thanks for reading, on whatever basis you choose. :)

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  15. "EVEN Charisma Magazine asked..."
    You have a flair for the dramatic. Saying "even" suggests that you would expect the magazine to support Evans. Really?? It didn't take me long to see that Charisma Magazine is a conservative source, just like everybody else that I noticed you quote, John MacArthur and McDurmon (or should I say "the estimable doctors"). You know there are other biblical scholars (some of whom are also doctors), wise men (and women), who would disagree with MacArthur and McDurmon.

    I'm not saying Evans is right or wrong. I'm saying that by relying solely upon conservative Christian voices to prop up your presuppositions you limit yourself and your argument. A well-argued point, supported by scholarship from a broad range of sources, is far more impressive than an argument that only pulls from a singular vein of Christian scholarship.

    That being said, I would presume that you would describe conservative Christian beliefs as the one true beliefs and anything else as (highly) suspect. If that is the case, then I doubt anything I say has much meaning to you. But I know very little about you so I apologize if that is an unfair presumption on my part.

    peace!

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    1. You're exactly right, I personally believe biblical sources are best and after than, conservative ones. I'd disagree with your statement here:

      "A well-argued point, supported by scholarship from a broad range of sources, is far more impressive ..."

      by saying, no it's not.

      Far more impressive is a well-understood biblical point and clung to dogmatically even unto death. There are no liberal martyrs for a reason.

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    2. Yeah we're probably going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I could find a thousand outspoken conservative voices ranting against Evans. I expect that.

      A couple of things:
      1. Perhaps you could change that statement to say "A well-argued point that engages with a broad spectrum of scholarship." This will tie in with my next point, but if your only interaction with non-conservative biblical scholarship is critical it appears to me that you only read them to criticize and then turn to your conservative repertoire for truth. (I wouldn't call Evans scholarship either, so interacting with her doesn't count)

      2. You assume that by asking you to use non-outspoken-conservative sources I'm asking you to use liberal sources. As if there are only righteous conservatives and heretical liberals in the world. I think you'll find a lot in between. Will you like all of the in-between? Maybe not. But there's truthful biblical understanding to be found outside of the far Christian right.

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    3. non-conservative biblical scholarship is often an oxymoron, fraught with error and sowing confusion. I almost never engage with it, because it is not profitable.

      Let's dispense with 'conservative' and 'liberal' monikers for a moment. I said that the best stance is biblical, because scripture interprets scripture.

      Biblical beliefs are what count. Does someone believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven? That the bible is 100% true and completely sufficient for all believers? Does someone believe hell is real and permanent destination for the unbeliever? Does someone believe that faith is by grace alone and not of works? That Jesus was resurrected on the third day by the power of God? & Etc.

      The source of my belief is the bible and the understanding I have of it so far, is completely due to the Spirit's work in my mind, the ever growing path of sanctification. (Transforming my mind daily). Once the Spirit settles a doctrine in me, I do not dishonor Him by continuing to question it, like some do and Rob Bell has done as a perfect example of this emergent tactic of endless questions for the sake of questions.

      Last, I'm not trying to "impress" anybody with any arguments. The bible alone is impressive enough. I wrote a piece that showed how questions can be honest or dishonest, and how satan uses them as a scheme to get people to doubt. That's all.

      In a personal comment- You've spent time dissecting *how* I wrote rather than *what* I wrote. And spent your time chiding me for being dramatic and using rhetorical flourishes to detrimental effect. Yet you say things like "prop up your presuppositions" which is a sly backhand compliment and beautifully alliterative too. ;)

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  16. It never ceases to amaze me how many people who call themselves Christian will attack those who expose false teachers like Rachel Evans. Their itching ears take in every lie from Evans and don't want anyone to point out the error, lest they would have to accept they made a mistake listening to said false teacher.

    Evans has no clue what the Bible really says, and has proven that over and over again. Thank you Elizabeth for being one of the "watchmen" who are willing to expose the wolves.

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    1. Hi Glenn,

      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. It has been a long morning. Mrs Evans took notice of the blog essay yesterday and linked to it, and wrote a response essay on her blog today with another link. She promoted both on twitter. As a result, there was a hue and cry this morning and I've been engaging in dialog with many people of diverse opinions both here and on twitter- one of those being Mrs Evans. In the middle of it I thanked the Spirit for the opportunity to witness to her and the others, and I prayed for wisdom to use scriptures correctly and that He would pierce their consciences with it. I shed a few tears over the lostness of Mrs Evans and others who deny the perspicuity of scripture and go forth in error, perhaps to their doom.

      It is a sad day for me to see so many who are blinded, and more than ever I want to rely on the Spirit to both be wise and also strong in proclaiming -DOGMATICALLY- the truth and clarity of His word. His word convicts, saves, and transforms. How terrible to say one cannot know it with certainty. How sad for them that they ask endless questions, never to arrive at knowledge of the truth.

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  17. This is a prime example of why religion is going to disappear - too much hatred! Jesus commanded us to love all people - not control them! The only people Jesus had a beef with was the religious people! I gave up church many years ago in favor of Jesus! Jesus is not known in most churches today! It's sad - man trying to be God! Please don't ask questions - continue to be blinded by your pastor - he/she does not want you to know the truth of Jesus & his teachings - after all they could no longer control you if you understood the love of your Father!

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    1. "control" you? It sounds like you may have had an abusive spiritual experience. I'm sorry about that. There are many churches of people in loving fellowship who edify and support one another according to the word of God. I hope you find such a community sometime.

      You're so right, Irene, Jesus is not known in many churches today, nor even in the first generation of the church. He said to the church at Laodicea in Rev 3:20 that "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me". They were meeting, but not in His name and they did not have Him in their heart. He wasn't present in their midst. Happens all the time.

      I hope you weren't burned too bad and can follow the admonition of the scriptures once again not to give up meeting together, and do so all the more as you see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

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    2. Irene,

      Why is it "hatred" to expose false teachings? Why is it "hatred" to speak the truth?

      Truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth.

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  18. I haven't seen this much vitriol from supposed Christians since my posts exposing the false teachings of Beth Moore. People want false teachers and teachings exposed unless it is their favorite teacher or teachings THEY follow.

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  19. I just don't see how you can presume to know her motivation for asking these questions. I've read her blog for a while and haven't seen anything that says "controversy seeker." It feels more like a person honestly dealing with difficult questions. You said the question of Hell became clear after reading the Bible. Have you considered that someone might read the same passages with the same goal in mind and not become convinced in the same way? I read the conditionalist follow-up on her blog and he had scripture to back up his alternate theory.

    The fact is, many theological points are not that easy for most people. Many of us have difficulty reconciling the character of God painted in the Bible with some of the actions and attitudes said to be condoned by Him. Also Christians exist who do not possess the "Bible is 100% straight from God unaffected by human writers, translation or our misconceptions" ideology. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm sincerely trying. Getting called Satan for asking questions does nothing to illuminate.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment Anonymous.

      My point was that there are honest questions and there are dishonest questions. I warned people to be wary of the dishonest ones, the questions satan plants to sow doubt. I did not call Mrs Evans satan.

      I agree when you say "many theological points are not that easy for most people." They aren't easy for believer. Christianity itself is not easy. That does not mean they are permanently hidden and unavailable from the diligent disciple. Far from it. It takes work for all people. It is not easy for me. Clarity comes at great cost and effort. But clarity does come.

      Sadly, Mrs Evans has drifted far from the faith. She wrote in her book "Evolving in Monkey Town", "I’m an evolutionist because I believe that the best way to reclaim the gospel in times of change is not to cling more tightly to our convictions but to hold them with an open hand."

      This is the exact opposite of what the bible teaches (no evolution) and what it urges us to do, as seen in one example from 1 Timothy 1:19.

      "Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked." (1 Timothy 1:19).

      "They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience." 1 Timothy 3:9

      Therefore comparing what she says to the word of God, her statements are heretical. Also heretical is her fruit, such as is celebrating when Exodus International announced it was closing its doors and celebrating when the Supreme Court made its pro-gay activist decisions. So is being a feminist. Her tortured use of scripture in "Year of Biblical Womanhood" was grievous fruit which should have seared her conscience. These and other works show us that in truth, Charisma Magazine is correct when they write -

      Rachel held Evans "capitulated to the culture and conformed to the world rather than to the will and heart and Word of God."

      In all likelihood, she is apostate. THAT is why she does not understand doctrine.

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    2. Elizabeth - Thank you for your reply. I apologize for over-simplifying the Satan thing. For myself I do pray for clarity, though I don't expect to ever know everything.

      In my experience, the questions of evolution, gay marriage, conversion therapy, and feminism are not open-and-shut. A few words on each:

      Evolution - We have to frame our faith in light of the facts around us. Our Biblical lens does not prevent us from seeing what color the sky is. As evolution is more convincingly proven, we need to understand how Biblical truth can be applied. If Jesus used parables to instruct, why can't the creation story be a parable to teach the nature of God, humans, and the fallen state of our world?

      Gay Marriage - Even if the sinfullness of homosexual behavior is clear in the NT (exploring the language and culture in which Paul wrote makes things a bit more murky), the next question is how we should deal with gays in our midst. Should we say, your sin is illegal while divorce, pornography and infidelity are not disallowed? Pushing people away from what we say is sin is not the same as pulling them toward Christ. And with the gulf between us and God so wide, is there a real difference between an unbeliever and a gay, married unbeliever?

      Exodus International - To borrow from another likely apostate, Jay Bakker, conversion therapy should be judged by its fruits. If the fruits are miserable people, bad marriages, suicide, and prominent members hiding their unchanged sexuality for years, maybe the tree isn't healthy.

      Feminism - This is tough because 100 different feminists could advocate for 100 different things. Surely asking equal pay for women is not unbiblical? I assume you mean that Evans is egalitarian, disavowing the male/female hierarchy in marriage and in Christian community. I know what Paul says on the subject, including that there is no male or female in Christ. My belief is that Christ provides equality and that we should seek equality if it does not occur naturally. So me saying that women should always be under men in worship and that childbirth is necessary for women's salvation - that would deliberately violate my conscience.

      I know you won't agree with the majority of what I've said, but I hope I did a reasonable job in explaining how so many of us can follow the same God while disagreeing about these important subjects. Thanks again for your time, Elizabeth!

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    3. Andrew, you said,

      "In my experience, the questions of evolution, gay marriage, conversion therapy, and feminism are not open-and-shut."

      That is the problem- your 'experience.' God has opened and shut those topics, He declared them in the word. Who says 'we have to frame our faith in light of the facts around us'? Certainly not God.

      We 'HAVE TO'? No, sir. No, we don't. Because the 'facts' are man's and not God's. We "frame our faith" around JESUS-- not man's facts.

      "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

      The 'facts' of evolution change annually. The sky is blue. Really? At night it is black. In Singapore it is gray. During Auroras it is green. Framing faith around facts only means that you will be forever chasing your faith down a vortex of endless questions and sinking in a pile of sand. Build your faith on the rock, not on the house of sand that is man's facts.

      The fact is that God spoke and a person either believes that or he does not and if he does he frames his faith around his sinfulness and the risen Jesus to forgive those sins. It is apparent to me that you do not believe, if you frame your faith around facts and not Jesus, and likely are an atheist.

      God is God. He spoke. His revelation of Himself and His ways are contained in the bible and are the only truth there is which can be counted on and is absolute. Believe it or not.

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  20. I love Rachel Evans essay and her viewpoints. The more you try to condemn her the more I am firm in my opinions that Rachel is more biblically correct because Jesus himself was the example that sometimes went against the old testament and the written traditions. Let me guess, your a white male still stuck on blaming Eve for why women should be submissive and usually in err.
    Well, wake up to the new century when the abused minority now outnumber the ranks of the rich white male and we have a very different view point of the world because of the history that was forced on us. Yes you have interpreted the meanings of the bible to fit your lifestyle and your own beliefs. Take a breathe and a step away and see people world the way Jesus sees them. From the perspective of love not bias. Pick up your own cross and carry it, drop your stones. (the old testament approved of polygamy, slavery, revenge, animal sacrifice, etc but condemned using the same language of condemnation as homosexuality... the eating of pork, shellfish, cutting your hair/beard, divorce, gluttony, working or gathering on a sabbath, etc etc.... Rachel's point is exactly perfect in the way she tenderly explains. Why do you accept a divorced man among you but condemn the gay person? Why do you yourself eat BBQ pork on a sabbath even, yet protest the gay person eating at Chik fila. My point is IF YOU ARE RIGHT ON THE GAY ISSUE< THEN YOU ARE VERY WRONG ON ALL THE OTHERS... its not one or the other,, which is what Rachel was saying all along and your angry defenses got side tracked.

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    1. This is very telling about your heart-condition:

      "Jesus himself was the example that sometimes went against the old testament and the written traditions."

      No. He didn't. He obeyed it to the letter, and without sin.

      Matthew 5:17.
      Matthew 7:12.
      Luke 2:42.
      Matthew 19:17.
      Romans 3:31.

      "Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." (John 14:24)

      Just because the OT recorded "polygamy, slavery, revenge, animal sacrifice," does not mean it approved if it. Everywhere Christianity flourished, those things died away.

      Eve must submit to her husband as the Husband submits to the Christ. (Eph 5:22-23)

      Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead. He does not change and he set the standard for living which is contained in the entire word. OT and the NT. He has these same standards no matter which era and no matter which culture, Chinese in 200AD or Icelanders in 1500 or Bolivians in 1999 or you in 2013. EVERY generation in EVERY new century is called to love Jesus, repent of their sins and follow Him according to His Word. Including you, and including Mrs Evans. Including me. Repent, I say, time is short.

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    2. Anonymous,
      Evans has been exposed for her false teachings by many, many solid apologetics ministries as well as by many, many solid teachers. So you'd ignore all that and accept her because she makes you feel good?

      the old testament approved of polygamy, slavery, revenge, animal sacrifice, etc but condemned using the same language of condemnation as homosexuality... the eating of pork, shellfish, cutting your hair/beard, divorce, gluttony, working or gathering on a sabbath, etc etc.

      This statement pretty much proves you have no idea what Scripture really says and instead just take atheist talking points from the web.

      The rest of your litany demonstrates your heart - that you'd prefer to be with the world in its views than with Christ.

      Delete
    3. Elizabeth,

      Jesus certainly taught from the law, but he also made updates (Deuteronomy 19 -> Matthew 5:38). I would also say that there is a big change in attitude between old and new as far as dealing with sinners and foreigners and especially punishment/forgiveness. To your point:

      "Just because the OT recorded "polygamy, slavery, revenge, animal sacrifice," does not mean it approved if it." -- God commanded Abraham to make animal sacrifice. Does that not constitute approval? Exodus 21 has rules on how slavery should be conducted. We are also told that God told Israel when conquering a nation to kill all non-virgin women and keep the virgins for themselves if they wanted. (Sorry I could not find the citation, maybe you know where I mean?) I'm not saying these invalidate the OT, just that believing that God is loving of all his creation but that he condoned killing countless non-Israelites while subjecting women (but not men) to life-or-death virginity tests is hard. There is a tension there.

      Glenn - Why don't you explain how the texts that atheists use to say these things have been misinterpreted. This is frustrating, especially when you say she has no idea what it says. Tell what it does say on those subjects. Be a teacher instead of dismissing. MAYBE "Anonymous" does have a heart that is unwilling to accept truth and would rather be popular than right with God. Maybe he or she would be not change her mind no matter what you said, however truthful. But why on Earth would you give up on somebody that easily?

      Sorry for writing a novel every time, but I feel I have to say emphasize this. Many Christians who struggle with elements of the Bible are TRYING. You know, knocking that the door may be opened. Plenty of people are not, and admittedly Anonymous could have used a better tone. Regardless, it does nobody any good to say to them:

      You don't know anything.
      You don't really care about Christianity.
      You only feel this way because culture tells you to.

      You should not judge someone else's heart, especially based on one post. You can believe they are totally lost, but why not help them get unlost (totally a word) rather than unhelpfully saying "Wow, you sure are lost"

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    4. Hi Andrew,

      Thanks again for participating.

      There is no tension for me between the OT and the NT. Jesus didn't make updates to the Law. He fulfilled it and now there is a new covenant. Hebrews explains this. We are now under the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, Matthew 22:37-39, Matthew 22:40)

      Animal sacrifice is not an issue- then nor now. Animals are sacrificed today- for our bellies. Man always had dominion over the animals anyway. (Gen 1:26)

      The citation to which you refer but could not find is Deuteronomy 20:13-14. Or perhaps here- Num 31:31-40

      It comes down to believing that what God ordains is always good. You can find tension (AKA 'contradictions') everywhere in scripture if you look with an eye of man and not faith in God. Ultimately it comes down to understanding God is God, in the OT and the NT He is the same God who in a great redemptive work since Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 ordains good so that he will bring a holy, virginal bride to His son, the atoning sacrifice.

      His ways are not our ways, but faith means believing that His works are holy and just- even if we complain that female virgins must be tested and not male virgins. That is the flesh talking. Job 36:26 says "Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable" and Job had first hand conversations with God and he should know!

      I know a great many people are 'trying'. I understand that. We're all trying. And the point is? Hopefully not that it's impossible to know scripture clearly, the original issue. Because you can know.

      God didn't just condone it, He ORDAINED it. He also ordained the killing of 185,000 (2 Kings 19:35).

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    5. "Animals are sacrificed today- for our bellies"Poor choice of words, methinks. A sacrifice is something, that you give up/kill in order to please God (or another person). If you sacrifice animals for your stomach, it would literally and grammatically mean you are worshiping your stomach through animal sacrifice. We no longer sacrifice animals to God, but we do slaughter them in order to get nourishment and food. There is a huge difference and your lack of proper grammar in many of your posts makes more a difficult and arduous read, it also risks confusing your readers. Not trying to start an argument about your content or anything, just saying you might want a proofreader for your posts or something.

      Delete
    6. Thank you for (nit)picking up up that. Animals' lives are sacrificed for us in the sense that they are killed to keep us alive. They live sacrificially. I think you know the difference, but your fine theological point is well taken.

      Yes, as for poor grammar and needing a proofreader, you have said so several, several times. It is your favorite point to make, methinks.

      Since it's just me here, and I'm doing my best and though I'll try harder it likely won't get any better- I'm just warning you - you'll just have to put up with my lack of proper grammar, tortured narratives, and keep arduously climbing the Mountain of Confusion and rounding the Lake of Irksome Grammar so as to arrive at the Empty Comment Box and heroically tell me of your travails, which I'm sure you continue to do as a sacrifice to my readers.

      Delete
  21. Andrew,
    I don't bother explaining the texts because I have learned people like that don't care. If they cared, they wouldn't be spewing such nonsense because those who are interested in the truth about these passages can find it all over the Internet - the same place they found the talking points to begin with.

    I have better things to do than to waste my time teaching someone who really has no desire to be taught.

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  22. Boy, I bet you're always the life of the party.

    Why is the issue of homosexuality such an important thing to disagree over? Why is it equally important to completely slam a woman over her blog post about tolerance? What benefit does this bring you, your religion, or her?

    These are honest questions. It also might help to get someone to read over your posts before you submit, to eliminate some of the poor errors. GOD DON'T WANT NO BAD GRAMMARTISTS

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    1. In the spirit of Mrs Evans's "As A..." I referred to above, I'll ask you a series of questions also in response to your comment.

      Is that what life is about? A "party"? Is that the best life has to offer, me being the "life" of a party? Isn't there more to life? Are you happy being the life of the party all the time?

      Why is it important to 'slam' a woman over her post about tolerance, you ask? Is that what I did, "slam" her? Is it because homosexuality is a marker of judgment from God in the individual and an indicator more widely that a culture is on its last legs? But is it more important to party??

      Is that the "benefit" to our religion? Tolerating sin? By avoiding discussion of God's standards? But is that a benefit to HIM, who gave us those standards?

      Is this how you discuss an issue "honestly", by calling me dour and by alluding to my poor grammar skills, but offering no specifics or help?

      *These* are honest questions. You don't want honest answers. If you did, you would have left off the sarcasm, name calling and ad hominem (and intolerant) denunciation. But can God forgive your hypocrisy? Yes. Will He? It's up to you, delve into the subject from a truly honest Christian perspective and allow the Spirit to bring repentance to your heart. Then, you will discover 'Life" because Jesus will be the center of it.

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    2. Great response to “anonymous,” Elizabeth.

      I’d also like to make a response.
      
First, I find it rather cowardly to go on blogs anonymously so as to bully the authors.

      Second, the issue of homosexuality is a very important thing to “disagree over” because it is the issue in the forefront of taking away the rights of Christians. Homosexuality is debasing and destabilizing our society. It is an affront to God. We “disagree over” it because God has plainly called it an abomination. It is a gross sin violating human sexuality and yet it is being shoved down our throats.

      Martin Luther said, ”If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

      Why must you call it a “slam” to expose false teachings? Evan is leading many astray with her false teachings, which really amount to “another gospel” - as Paul called such teachings. Paul, in reference to false teachers, said to “let them be eternally condemned.” Was he “slamming” false teachers? Christ called the Pharisees hypocrites, whitewashed tombs, snakes, vipers, and even “sons of hell.” Was Jesus “slamming” them?!?

      The “benefit” it brings to Christianity by expose sin and false teachings is that it protects the sheep from the wolves. It brings benefit to Evans IF she listens to correction!

      As Elizabeth pointed out, you had no honest questions, rather you sought only to judge and condemn.

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    3. Thanks for the wonderful addition to the conversation, Glenn! Thank you.

      I think that her post has resurfaced somewhere, because I am getting a lot of traffic on it today, when it was a 5-month-old post and had died down...the more I write the more I feel the burden of 'everything stays on the internet forever' kind of feeling...

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    4. Glenn - Martin Luther also dismissed Revelation as a work of fiction. He wanted Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation all removed from the Bible and was only not able to because his followers disagreed with him. I don't know if your quoting him means you are using him knowing he is an unreliable source (picking what you like about him and ignoring the rest) or you just didn't know. Either way, it makes your argument sound less valid, no matter how right it may be.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous, we all agree that man is fallible and the only 100% accurate source in the world is the holy inspired word. Stretching your argument to its logical conclusion, we would never quote any church father, ever. David Lloyd Jones sought charismatic gifts. Piper is open to tongues. Sproul is a preterist. Stott was a annihilationist. At some point in their preaching lives they all held to positions that caused perplexity in others. Yet they were all obviously men of God.

      So we dispense with them completely? Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Todd Bentley, Mark Batterson....all also hold strange positions. Do we leave off quoting them, too? The duty of the Christian is to see with an overarching eye in context and through history over time, test the spirits, and determine who is inspired but errant momentarily and who is errant in the main.

      God raised up men in every century to promote and protect His word. Chrysostom, Clement, Ignantius, Jan Hus, Martin Luther, Calvin, the Puritans, Jonathan Edwards, Spurgeon, MacArthur...all men whom God has raised up for a particular purpose. Of COURSE it is acceptable to quote them. Just as the Muratorian Council through prayer and wisdom, and obvious perception,(!) detected which inspired books to include in the New Testament and which to leave off, so it is equally obvious that Martin Luther was of God and from God. Quoting him makes a person no less reliable or unreliable than any of the previous or subsequent church fathers.

      Since you want to remain completely 100% "valid", I suppose you quote only Jesus. Right?

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    6. The point made by Luther is not invalidated because he was anti-semitic, or skeptical of biblical books, etc. Anyone could have made that same citation and make the same point.

      Delete
  23. People like you amaze me. You quote scripture with some kind of validation, in the same way that people like Rachel quote scripture with validation. The only difference is, people like Rachel are loving and accepting, while you use the bible to preach hate and fear.

    I find it incredible that people can claim that Homosexuality is taking away the rights of Christians. How, exactly? Wasn't it Christians who took away the rights of the Native Americans to believe and behave the way that they had done for thousands of years before we came to the New World? Wasn't it Christians who took away the rights of the people of Africa by enslaving them? Haven't we, as Christians, forced our religion down the throats of so many people, with the righteous belief that we are doing so to save them?

    ALL they are asking for is the right to LOVE. Oh, but you will preach to me that their love is sinful.

    I know that writing this post is entirely pointless, because i know that people like you will tell me that somehow my belief in what Jesus stands for and what God means is wrong, because i'm somehow asking sinful questions. And for that, I am judging you, just as you are judging me.

    But I have read the bible. I go to church every Sunday. I grew up with the church. I have spent three years of my life in mission work. Just a few weeks ago, I listened to my pastor speak of where the word bible came from, how the bible is a collection of books. He spoke of the store of Jonah, and how being swallowed by a large fish where he spends three days and three nights isn't necessarily the point of the story. And I know, in telling you about what my Pastor said, you are going to express concern, as though somehow your belief and your faith allows you the authority to judge. But I know that you are not in any position to judge or condemn me, or Rachel, or anyone who is gay or supports gay marriage. You may pray for me all you want, as though somehow your prayer holds more weight.

    I choose to believe in a Jesus that was loving, humble, and radical. I choose to accept my gay friends, my Muslim friends, my Sikh friends, my Jewish friends... and love them as I love the Lord.

    Because in the end, it is not up to me to judge them, or you, but to simply pray that we may all find peace and love in the Kingdom of Heaven. The rest is up to God.

    (please forgive my "cowardly" anonymous post. yet another judgement)

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I see that you have several concerns. But first allow me to clear up a misconception.

      I never said “Homosexuality is taking away the rights of Christians”. That is incorrect.

      I read through your comment and see that you’re concerned with two overarching themes. One is “love” and the other is “judge.”

      Scripture, as you perceptively saw, can be used correctly or incorrectly. It is the word of God, breathed from Him to men, inerrant in the original language and profitable for all teaching, correction, and reproof. (2 Timothy 3:16). It is the bread from heaven (John 6:32) and the way we learn about who God is…AND what His standards are. And He’s got standards, Anonymous.

      It is up to each Christian to determine if the things they are being taught are based on a correct understanding of scripture, and to “judge” whether a teaching is valid or not valid. In this way, you, too, “judge”. (1 John 4:1-3). You have judged my teaching wrong and Rachel Evans’s right.

      In the bible, God said that He has standards for behavior, morals, language/speech, sexual fidelity, marriage, and more. He listed sins that disqualify one from heaven (all sins do). Man tries to writhe out of His standards, but to do so is death to him.

      “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

      There are many lists of sins that He hates, (Proverbs 6:16-19 ,1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Corinthians 5:11) and one of them in particular, He used as a benchmark of a society’s collapse. Homosexuality. (Romans 1:2-32).

      Not everyone is qualified for marriage. Not everyone is getting into heaven. Not everyone worships acceptably. Not everyone behaves in a way that pleases God. He has standards.

      Now, in today’s permissive “tolerant” society, people don’t like that Christians hold to the standards God laid out. They do not like it when Christians tell them that some things are forbidden. They call it “hate.” It IS hate to them, they hate to be told they can’t do what their carnal heart desires! You can redefine judging, hate and love all you want, but those redefinitions to suit your carnal desires will not stand on the day you face THE Judge.

      “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them.” (Proverbs 2:4-5)

      Unrepentant active homosexuals will not enter heaven. Homosexual marriage is not a marriage, because it is outside God’s law. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Period. (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-5).

      Homosexuals have the “right to love” as much as any sinner! They can choose to love Jesus and His statutes. Or they can choose to hate Jesus and His statutes. But they are not qualified for marriage. And do not have the right to love one another in a sexual way. Sodomy is not “love” - it is hate against God’s statutes and standards. It is loving to tell them so, in order that they may repent.

      Do you approve of sex between a 37 year old man and an 8 year old girl? No? Then you are “judging” aren’t you? Do you approve of relations between a 42 year old man and his German Shepherd dog? No? Then you are “judging.” Do you approve of your spouse having sex with another person while you’re married? No? The bible forbids bestiality, adultery and immoral fornication, by the way, just as much as it does forbid acts between same sexes. Yet you will pick and choose?

      “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

      Yes, I am intolerant, in the way you want to use the word. I don't tolerate sin, my own especially. I don't tolerate people who try to change God’s laws to suit their own carnal desires. I try to tell them that they are doing a disservice to Jesus and to their own selves, but some, like you perhaps, won’t listen. Yet I persist because I love them. I love them in the biblical way: because Jesus first loved us, and came to seek and save sinners.

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    2. First, let's set a few things straight.

      I was not saying that you had said that homosexuality is taking away the rights of Christians. I was saying that in response to your friend Glenn, who you thanked for his teachings and agreed with, in the above comments.

      I don't need you to quote Scripture to me, thank you very much. Your back up plan is always to quote Scripture, as though because you can quote Scripture your argument is somehow more validated than your opposition. I am a Christian, and know what the Bible says. Your quoting of the scripture does not have any standing.

      The bible is the Word of God, but there are also many other scrolls and books, not included in the canonical bible that was compiled by man, that profess to be the Word of God. Do you also follow those?

      The Bible also tells us how to treat our slaves. Are you going to go out and by a slave now?

      "You can redefine judging, hate and love all you want, but those redefinitions to suit your carnal desires will not stand on the day you face THE Judge."

      Really. Who are you to make such a claim? Am I not a Christian? Have I not stood with Jesus Christ every single day of my life since my baptism? Who are you to say that I am doing a disservice to Jesus? Do you know Jesus better than i do?

      You are not Jesus Christ. You are not Lord. You are not God.

      You pick and choose scripture in the same way that Rachel Evans does. If she is a false prophet for doing so, aren't you, also, a false prophet?

      I wasn't aware that I was "redefining" love. I have always operated under the belief that I should love all of mankind, and pray for their sins, as I love the Lord. I didn't know that love was exclusive.



      Delete
    3. We are talking about Homosexuality so I’ll focus on that sin and not all the others. But the following is true of all other sins as well: homosexuality is a sin. Those who engage in it are rebelling against God and will not go to heaven when they die. They will go to hell.

      As for a specific response to your last comment:

      1. You said, "I didn't know that love was exclusive." It is. Now you know. First, the only love that counts is the redeemed sinner's for Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Loving Him and no other god or idol is the exclusive command. (Ex 20:3; Luke 10:27).

      Secondly, in marriage, sexual love is exclusive between a man and a woman. Sexual love is not to be expressed between same sexes, outside of marriage or with animals. Anything else, is not love. It is sin.

      2. You said "Am I not Christian?" Not all who call themselves Christian...are. Judas called himself a disciple. He wasn't. Simon the Magician was baptised by Philip, and turned out to be false. Mormons call themselves Christian. They aren't. Catholics call themselves Christians. They aren't. How you perceive the word of God is a benchmark for truth in a deceived world—“Your word is truth” (John 17:17). You may or may not be a Christian. Jesus said that there will be many who had deluded themselves into thinking they were Christian, MANY: witness one of the most heartbreaking verses in scripture

      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23).

      So I don’t know if you are a Christian. Are you?

      3. If you call yourself a Christian and reject a biblical discussion of sin by refusing to include the bible as the basis for the discussion, there is nothing more to say. Not only is the word the standard, it is the ONLY standard. Yet you say it has “no standing” in a biblical discussion.

      Jesus prayed for His disciples, saying “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:17-18). If you reject His prayer, His method of sanctification, His word, then there is no more to say to you. Our discussion is concluded.

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    4. PS Anonymous, if you're confused as you say because that both I and RHE uses scripture to support opposite arguments, then I urge you, plead with you, and exhort you to be a Berean and read all the scripture I shared yourself, in context, and pray to the Spirit for illumination. Be diligent.

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    5. Hello Elizabeth,
      I read the original article on RHE's blog and skimmed over some of her other posts, and I saw very few scripture references anywhere, on any post. The original above commenter above is incorrect. RHE does not use scripture for validation. I'm not sure what she is using for validation, except her own personal feelings on issues. Am I missing her scriptural references somewhere? I wonder how she would explain the meaning of Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, or 1 Timothy 1:8-10? I wonder what those verses "validate" for her? Nothing, I think she would rather leave those out.
      Jane

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    6. Thanks for checking those out for yourself. I agree, very little scripture. She does the same for the topics of feminism and evolution, both of which she agrees with. In fact her stated favorite book of 2013 is called "Pastrix", and it is about the story of the tattooed, profane, female pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber. (You notice Nadia's hyphenated name, who of course is a feminist too). Rachel's stance is that it is the mean ole patriarchy keepin' the women down. Rachel Evans uses scant to little scripture in her blog entries regarding these subjects, because, obviously, scripture doesn't support them. She uses emotion, waves her hand over the bible saying 'I love Jesus' and that is good enough for her undiscerning followers.

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  24. Anonymous,

    Let’s see, if a Christian photographer doesn’t want to participate in a fake wedding of a same-sex couple, she has the right to not do so. AH, but because it is a homosexual couple, she loses her rights. A baker doesn’t want to bake a cake for a same-sex fake wedding and he loses his rights to not participate in such activity.

    I could snow you under with cases where the homosexual agenda has forced Christians to either give them sanction or be punished. And that isn’t taking away the rights of Christians?!?!?

    The Bible also tells us how to treat our slaves. Are you going to go out and by a slave now?

    Wow, a talking point straight from atheists and skeptics; you apparently don’t understand the Bible - such a foolish statement to make. In the O.T., God told Israel how to treat their slaves. This was God’s rule for the theocracy of Israel and for no one else.

    Am I not a Christian? Have I not stood with Jesus Christ every single day of my life since my baptism? Who are you to say that I am doing a disservice to Jesus? Do you know Jesus better than i do?

    I don’t know if you are a Christian or not - that is between you and God. But this very quote of yours could be said by any Mormon or JW. And if you think Jesus is in anyway favorable towards homosexuality, then, yes, we do know Jesus better than you do.

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  25. As a Christian male, I think this blogger has usurped my authority. Or does the blog author care nothing for when Paul commands women to keep silence?

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    1. Christian male: You "think" your authority has been usurped? You don't sound too authoritative...

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    2. Anonymous "Christian Male," do you sing any of the hymns by Fannie Crosby? Those hymns teach doctrine.

      How about using proper exegesis of the appropriate biblical passages instead of sounding foolish.

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  26. I love that Rachel has a faith that can stand up to honest questioning. It sounds like you are just threatened by someone who questions the parts of church culture that have so often been grounded in hatred, fear, and stereotyping. Also, I lost some respect for you when you criticized her for believing in climate change... stuff like that just makes you sound uneducated.

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    1. Questions are fin, if they arr ehonest. The problem is, that her questions aren't honest. Jesus can stand up to honest questioning. It is satan who brings the dishonest questions. Remember "Hath God said?" from Genesis 3:1-2?

      I don't care that you lost respect for me over a ridiculous thing like climate change. The real issue is, do you believe the inerrant word of God, including that homosexuality is a sin and gays will got to hell (along with all other unrepentant sinners?" Do you question the holy justice of God, or accept it?

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  27. My comment wasn't about homosexuality. But since you asked, yes I believe that, heartbreakingly, all unrepentant sinners will go to hell. And I do believe that homosexuality is a sin. Like Ms. Evans, I question the methods that we as the body of Christ have used to reach people who are still living in darkness. Is it right to use political power to force a lifestyle on people while ignoring their hearts and souls?

    My main frustration is when people seem unable to tolerate anyone pointing out parts of faith that don't make sense. (For example, the selective literalism to which Ms. Evans refers).

    You're right that my comment about climate change was irrelevant! Sorry about that - I have just heard so many Christians sound uneducated and stubbornly foolish while trying so hard not to believe what is right in front of them. Perhaps you didn't mean it that way!

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  28. While agree with the many here, who I assume are long time readers (I am not, but will attempt to be in the future), that this is a definite thought provoking post, I cannot agree with your insinuation that Evan's question "What if my son/daughter is gay.." is a dishonest question. Sure, Satan asks dishonest questions, and he plants certain questions in our minds. But is there not the truth that Christ also plants questions such as these in our minds in order to help as grow as Christ followers? My thoughts are a bit scattered at the moment, as I'm trying to comprehend what all you have written here, but this struck me as a question that also needed to be asked.
    This is also shows me that you have definitely not been the parent of a homosexual. And good for you, you've never had to deal with the pain that comes from that. But as someone who is closely related to a member of the homosexual community, I find it hard to shun a person who I loved far before I found out "their sin." I know many gay men, who choose to abstain from sexual intercourse as repentance of their sins because they follow Christ. Do you still believe they are going to Hell, as well? (This is a serious question, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.)
    In any event, I have a slight feeling that you, too, would continue to love your child unconditionally if that had been you.
    Anyway, have a great Sunday. Keep on keepin' on.

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    1. Hello Haley,

      Thank you for commenting. The issue of sin within close friends or family is a painful one. We all have our hurts. No- I have not been the parent of a homosexual, active or not. No I don't know that pain. Nor do I know the pain of being a parent to an alcoholic child, a divorced child, a drug addicted child, a promiscuous child. But I am the daughter of parents who reject Jesus and will spend their eternity burning in hell. That is painful. We're all hurting to some degree because of sin. We would not be Christian if we weren't

      So you see, any parent, friend, child to anyone who is in sin is painful. Homosexuality is not special nor a plight. It is simply sin.

      Christianity hurts because we have the truth, we have been released from bondage, and we clearly see the pain others are in who refuse this blessed liberty.

      Do I refuse to love my parents and extended family because they reject Jesus and prefer their sin? No. I love them unconditionally. It is not about love. It is about repentance from the sin that keeps them from Jesus.

      There are no gay men. There are men who struggle with same sex attraction, just as there are other men who struggle with opposite sex attraction. It is about men struggling with a sin.

      As for the men who have chosen to abstain and repent, the standard holds: if they have repented and do not act on it and are released from its bondage to the point where they can master their very thoughts about it, then like any other sinner who struggled but has been forgiven and released, then no, if they are truly repentant (only Jesus knows) they are not going to hell. Jesus forgives us of our sins. All sins, sexual or not, including homosexuality (and adultery and fornication and pornography and bestiality and child molestation...)

      However the sanctifying process means that as they are brought into increased holiness and Christ-likeness they struggle LESS.

      Better than my thoughts on the abstaining man and his eternal destiny are two pastors who have clear and loving thoughts on the issue. One is Pastor Don Green, who addressed whether even same-sex attraction is a sin,here to read in essay form
      http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/12/a-pastor-responds-to-desiring-god-on.html

      and here on audio as he discusses the issue with another pastor on radio

      http://www.nocompromiseradio.com/2013/12/20/is-it-sin-to-experience-same-sex-attraction/

      Here is a loving Christian dad writing a hypothetical response to a son who has hypothetically come out to him. It provides a good discussion point and a clear example of the necessary balance between loving the son and hating the sin- it is really beautiful,

      http://headhearthand.org/blog/2012/08/08/what-letter-would-you-write-to-a-gay-son/

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  29. I am right along with those who didn't want to read past the first part of this. As a person who happens to be a GAY CHRISTIAN, I quickly became angry at your words. I'm not here to try and change your mind, just want you to hear that even though you have a different opinion than me, I still accept You. However, this article is not cool. I'm very sorry that you feel so strongly against people like me. Thank goodness my family and friends aren't like You. While they may not like the fact that I was made to be gay, but they accept me based on me as a whole. While you all say prayers for homosexuals to change, I am praying for all of you to see that being gay AND being Christian is possible. No need to reply to this comment. Just wanted to share my opinion.

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    1. Hello Anonymous,

      Thank you for commenting. I cannot maintain an unholy silence and allow you to remain in your sinful state of eternally damning misconception. I'll speak bluntly-

      No. It is not possible to be gay and Christian. Indulging in the sexual act with same sex, or any sexual act outside of marriage, is a sin.

      Even thinking about it is a sin. Here is Pastor Don Green in his essay "On the Issue of Same-Sex Attraction http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/12/a-pastor-responds-to-desiring-god-on.html

      PLEASE read it. You'll need your bible. Pr Green also discusses the issue with Pastor Mike Abendroth, here--
      http://www.nocompromiseradio.com/2013/12/20/is-it-sin-to-experience-same-sex-attraction/

      Here is one quote: "For a man to desire a man as a sexual companion is to sin from the heart against God’s order that a woman be the sole sexual companion of a man, and that in the context of a marriage relationship. "

      I'm very sorry that you feel this strongly against Jesus. I don't love you or hate you, I don't know you, other than by what you have chosen to define yourself as: a bundle of unrepentant sexual desires and acts that are contrary to God's law, and insisting that I accept you as a Christian. That is not cool.

      I "accept" you as a sinful person in *need* of Christ, but I do not accept that your sinful act or its internal desire is from a regenerated heart. The two are mutually exclusive, just as it is for every other sinful person on the planet.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous,
    Let me point out that no one is "gay" or "homosexual." That is NOT a person's identity. People are people, and you may be a person who has homosexual desires or who engages in homosexual behavior, but you are NOT a "gay" or "homosexual."

    Next, to say one is a "gay Christian" is an oxymoron. It's like saying, "I'm a murdering Christian," or "I am a thieving Christian," etc. If one is not willing to give up a sinful lifestyle, especially a sin which God plainly calls an abomination, then one is not interested in turning their lives over to Christ.

    If we live in a life defined by sin, then we cannot be Christians. 1 John 2:4 says, "The man who says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him." 1 John 3:6 says, "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him."

    We all sin and continue to sin, but John is talking about a life defined by sin. A lifestyle of homosexuality is defined by that sin.

    No one is "made" to be "gay." First, God made only two people - Adam and Eve. Everyone else has come about by procreation - the process God placed in operation. Secondly, there is absolutely no evidence, even after multitudes of studies, which show homosexual orientation to be innate. There just is no evidence of such. Thirdly, even if there was discovered a genetic brain defect which led to one being oriented towards homosexual behavior, that still does not justify one's acting upon their desires. You still have to choose where or not to have sex, and since God says sexual relations outside of real marriage (not same-sex fake marriage) is sinful, then you are living a lifestyle of sin.

    You can deny this all you want, but the Bible is quite clear on the matter. Becoming angry at the truth won't accomplish anything - the truth will always be true.

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    1. LOL, Glenn, on another screen right at this moment in response I wrote the same thing- there is no such thing as a gay man because no one is identified by their sin. It's all just sin. Thanks once again for the good word

      Delete
  31. I'm sorry you all feel so strongly and judgemental of my life. I will continue to live as I am now as I am convinced that I will be joining my family in heaven. Just as I know that I cannot change your view, you will not change my views. Also, someone (myself included) who happens to be homosexual doesn't define their life as being all about sex. We, like you, fall in love, and do so because we love our partners' personality and the person as a whole. I am sorry that you cannot love all of God's people and treat others as you want to be treated. Must be a quite disheartening to judge people who happen to be different than you every day.

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    1. Anonymous, you're not different and you're not special. You're a sinner, just like the rest of us. The only difference is, though you feel we are judging you (and the bible DOES judge homosexuality a sin) just wait until you meet Jesus, the real Judge. He will tell you so Himself, as Matthew 7:22 says. He never knew you. You are not going to see your family in heaven, "Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God..." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

      It matters not that you 'fell in love'. You're not biblically qualified to love someone same sex. You're not biblically qualified to live with them- now you've added the sin of fornication to your sin of homosexuality. You're not qualified to marry them. Just because a married man fell in love with another woman doesn't give HIM the justification to pursue her, either.

      The "But I fell in love with him" excuse is as ridiculous a justification as if a car thief said, "But I LOVE that car! I wanted it with all my heart and soul!" "Love" isn't the end-all nor the justification for whether something is not a sin. The bible is. And the bible says NO to your lifestyle. Do not steal, do not be sexually immoral. Period.

      You said "I am sorry that you cannot love all of God's people and treat others as you want to be treated." Oh, for heavens' sake, stop whining. We reject your sin, we reject your lifestyle because the bible does. We love you, OK. We hate that you reject Jesus. Big difference.

      Delete
  32. Anonymous,

    Interesting how you judge us while claiming we are judging you.

    No, you are not like us, in that when you "fall in love" you directly violate God's commands and thumb your nose at God when He say homosexual behavior is an abomination - a grave sin. Even lusting is considered sinful (as Jesus stated).

    To be "God's people" you must be a Christian. And since you refuse to acknowledge your sin and repent of it, then you demonstrate even more your rebellion against God.

    We are indeed treating you as we want to be treated - confronted with our sin so that we may repent of it.

    We are told to make judgments about behavior as well as doctrine - Jesus tells us to "make a righteous judgment," which is what we have done. The only difference between you and us, is that you refuse to acknowledge your sin and rebellion against God.

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  33. You know what? I am happy who I am. I know that I am a child of God and that I will spend eternity with Him, regardless of what you say. I'm done with this as I get so frustrated with the ignorance of some people. We are both entitled to our opinion.

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    1. No you're not entitled to your opinion, because it is about truth, not opinion. I am not stating my opinion about this: God's word says homosexuality is a sin. You can be comfortable in it all you want, but it is still a sin. This is fact, not opinion.

      Please repent. I'm done too. You reject God's standards, His word and the pleas from His people. It shows you have a hard heart and stopped up ears.

      Delete
  34. Another anon., first time commenting.

    I have read the above blog (was sent here by a link in Rachel's recent post, that a friend shared with me, asking my opinion), as well as nearly every comment below.

    I am a Christian who believes the bible fully and literally. I was raised to hate gays and Catholics. I think that those attitudes were devastatingly wrong, and even caused me to lead a friend of Catholic faith away from Christ.

    What I cannot get over, is your villification of homosexuality while not holding the same standard for other sins. We are all sinners, "if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" 1 John 1:8. How is your or my perpetual sin different from that of a homosexual person's? How are they more deserving of hell than you or I? "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, in Christ Jesus our LORD" Romans 6:23. We all deserve death for our sin, but "God so loved the world, that he sent his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but receive eternal life" John 3:16.

    Have you forgotten the gospel? Have you neglected the truth that he has given you to shout to the nations? That Christ, the perfect God-man came to die, so that ANYONE who believes might turn from their wickedness and live. The requirement for salvation is faith which leads to repentance. It is not faith, and being a perfect person, because only Christ was perfect.

    Now I already know what you want to say in response to the above paragraph. That homosexuals are unrepentant. That by choosing to be gay, they are refusing God's grace to them. That this excludes them from salvation, as they have not turned from their wickedness. But does this same argument not apply to you, I, or any other Christian? I am overweight and struggle with gluttony. I have not made a huge effort to overcome this. Yet I firmly believe thst, were I to die today, Christ would receive me into heaven based on my faith.

    Over half of Christian men struggle with pornography. This is a sexual sin that involves continued acting out on lust. Is the part of their identity that is 'one who looks at pornography' going to keep them from redemption? Luther hated Jews, and "anyone who hates a brother is a murderer" 1 John 3:15. But I fully expect to meet Luther in heaven. I could go on, but I think that my point is evident, that we are all complete and utter, perpetual sinners. That is why we need salvation. Is one sin really any different than the others? I would say no, each sin produces an identical barrier between us and God, that only Christ can break through. So each sin and each sinner must be treated in the same manner.

    If we take your standard placed on homosexuals, there is no hope for you, or I, or any of us. Because we all wallow in our sins, like a dog returning to its own vomit. But I do not believe thst that is the gospel of grace.

    The Gospel of Grace is that Christ came for the unbearably weak and unendingly broken. He came to eat with sinners, and to give his body for those who hated God, that they might repent, believe in him, and be adopted as sons. I believe that while this in no way excuses sin, "shall we go on sinning, that grace may increase? By no means!" Romans 6:1-2, it defeats it. Christ is stronger than our sin, which is stronger than us. But if we truly accept Christ into our heart's regardless of our sinful nature, and surrender ourselves to his grace, that is enough for our sin to be defeated. Regardless of what sin that is!

    I don't think any of us is capable of judging another person's sin. I can only know the depths of my own sin. Remember the parable about the log and the sliver in the eyes. Or better yet "do not judge, and you will not be judged, do not condemn and you will not be condemned, forgive and you will be forgiven" Luke 6:37. Jesus is the only perfect judge, and we should leave that job to him.

    I look forward to your response!

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    1. Hello Anonymous,

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

      1. I have mentioned in many of my responses about the sins of thievery, pornography, adultery, drug use, alcohol addiction etc that they are sins also, unrepentant sinners who practice them will also not to go heaven. However,the blog entry Rachel Held Evans wrote to which I responded was not about adultery, thievery, pornography, alcohol addiction, or drug use. It was about homosexuality. That sin is the basis for the discussion. Just because we speak of one sin doesn't mean we have to speak of all the others also at the same time. In addition, the culture AND THE CHURCH are redefining homosexuality right now in a huge culture war so that is the topic. Homosexuality.

      2. Hating sin and confronting it does not mean one is "vilifying" Gays. Confronting sin is not judging salvation, The two are very different. You should study this because you are misguided on the topic. We are supposed to judge: sin, teachers, teachings, doctrine, etc. To fail to do so is to fail to love Jesus with all your mind.

      3. You said "I don't think any of us is capable of judging another person's sin." That sounds all fluffy and nice, but it is poppycock and unbiblical to boot.Of course we are capable of judging another brother's sin. We are *supposed* to. Galatians 6:1, 1 Timothy 5:20, James 5:19-20, 1 Corinthians 5:12

      If you are a brother who knows another brother is indulging in porn, are you NOT going to confront him? You are a bad bother. You hate your brother to let him wallow in it. The same goes for every sin, including homosexuality.

      4. Catholics adhere to a different Gospel. They are not saved. Catholicism is not Christianity.

      5. Of course any sin can be defeated with Jesus having won the victory and a repentant heart. I spoke to that above. That almost goes without saying. We all know this. That is not the topic and beside the issue.

      So that was my response that you looked forward to! :)

      Delete
    2. Oh Elizabeth, I'm feel so sad for your misguided believes. What a small world and a small God you must believe in. No. 4 really? "Catholics are not saved." Oh Sweetie, that is so sad that you believe that. You are not the judge of salvation. Praise God for that. Honey, you are going to be SO surprised to see who's in Heaven!

      Delete
    3. I am not your honey and I am not your sweetie.

      If a Catholic person adheres to the faith through grace alone they are saved. Most do not adhere to grace thru faith alone. Here is a good essay on how Catholics are not Christian if they believe the Catholic Dogma.

      Are Roman Catholics Christian? http://carm.org/are-roman-catholics-christian
      it states "If a Roman Catholic believes in the official Roman Catholic teaching on salvation, then he is not a Christian since the official RCC position is contrary to Scripture."

      I am not going to be surprised by who is in heaven, because I read the bible. Jesus said few make it. Mt 7:14. Many will say,Lord, Lord, didn't we...? and He will say to the many, "Depart from me, I never knew you."

      Delete
  35. Thank You Thank You to 'the other anon' for saying this so well. Beautifully stated.
    Grace is BIGGER than any sin. Hallelujah!
    As the Mom of the most recent "anonymous" that is getting replies, I have to say that I am forever thankful that Jesus is her judge, not me, or Elizabeth Prata or anyone else. You are right, He is the perfect judge.
    Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound!

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    1. I say to you as well, Anonymous,you should study the bible to learn the difference between judging salvation and judging sin. We are supposed to judge sin and confront it. Galatians 6:1, 1 Timothy 5:20, James 5:19-20, 1 Corinthians 5:12.

      Delete
  36. Hello again,
    I am the author of the anonymous post above whose post started with “Another anon., first time commenting.”
    1) I believe that my attempt to bring the discussion into other areas of sin is valid. Why? Because no one sin is greater or worse than any of the others. “Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin” Mark 3:28-29. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit has traditionally been understood as rejecting Christ as the Messiah, but regardless, the point that is relevant to this argument is that it IS NOT homosexuality. Based on this, I would rephrase your statement that ‘unrepentant sinners who practice [the aforementioned list of sins] will also not to go [sic] heaven’ to ‘unrepentant sinners who practice [the aforementioned list of sins] are not bearing the fruit of the faith that they claim to have’. I am extremely hesitant to mete out judgment on anyone who claims to be a believer in Christ, as I believe that extremely broken people can believe in Christ, as he gradually changes them. It is Christ who knows another’s heart, and no man or woman ever can, or should claim to. Christ can reach into any man or woman’s life by the Holy Spirit, teach them to love him, and bring them into a place of repentance.

    Anyways, as I was saying, I think that discussing other sins along with homosexuality is extremely valid, because I do not think that homosexuality is any different from these sins, as you seem to think it is. I agree that acting out on homosexuality, by acting out on homosexual desires, is sinful. But I do not think that it is irredeemable. God is greater than that. Jesus’ grace is stronger than that. “A lawyer stood up to put [Jesus] to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live’” Luke 10:25-28. I do not think that it is impossible for a homosexual person to love the LORD their God as much as, or more than I love him.

    To bring a bit of clarification to where my views are coming from, I believe that acting out on homosexual desires is a sin. I do NOT believe that having homosexual urges is a sin, any more or less than having heterosexual urges (adulterous/promiscuous) is. A person who has a biological tendency towards homosexuality (yes, I believe that this does exist), or through childhood abuse, or any other circumstance has homosexual urges CAN still follow Christ, and love him. I believe that the best way for this to happen, is for the man or woman in question to remain single and celibate, and to not act out on their urges. But I do not think that your earlier assessment (in another post) that there cannot be a gay Christian is accurate. I know a man who has homosexual urges, and lives a celibate, unmarried life, and gives his whole life to Christ by working in a Christian ministry. He does not encourage anyone to be homosexual, he does not flaunt his homosexuality, but he is open that it is a difficulty that he has to deal with daily, in his testimonies about how Christ’s grace is prevalent in his life. “Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” Matthew 7:17-18.
    [part 1 of 3]

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    1. You said you do not "believe" that having homosexual urges is a sin. I will tell you in fact that it is.

      1 John 2:15-16: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

      Matthew 5:28- But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

      Here is an essay from a pastor which will explain more.
      Asked & Answered: Is It Sin to Experience Same-Sex Attraction? A 'No Compromise' Conversation with Pastor Don Green
      http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/12/asked-answered-is-it-sin-to-experience.html

      My comment about there being no gay Christians is to the point that there are either sinners outside of Christ, or repentant sinners in Christ. If there is a special class of sinner who calls themselves by their (hopefully diminishing) sin, then we can say there are nymphomaniac Christians, Greedy Christians, Adulterous Christians. Are we going to classify ourself by our sins now? Is that what the homosexual community has done, separated their sin from all the others and made is so special they need to call themselves by it? No.

      I chose not to publish all your other parts. I couldn't read them fully in the comment area, and from what I saw, they got too long anyway.

      Delete
    2. oops the link above is to the radio portion of the talk about same-sex attraction, Here is the essay:
      http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/12/a-pastor-responds-to-desiring-god-on.html

      Here is the intro:

      Is it okay to be attracted to the same gender as long as you don't have sex? Short answer?

      No. The sin of homosexuality is more than the external behavior. The disposition toward homosexuality is also sinful.

      Delete
    3. JS: I am not going to post your comment. First, when you say to me, "You didn't respond satisfactorily to my example about..." I did. I offered a pastoral, biblical example via a link. You should read it. It answers your question. I'm sorry you weren't "satisfied" but it is an answer.

      Second, all your other "arguments" have been asked and answered, either in the body of the post or on the comments. Please read them. I'm sure you'll find answers. Whether they satisfy you or not is up to you.

      Because you keep harping on the same things I've already answered, my responses being unsatisfactory to you, it seems to me you're being argumentative for argument's sake.

      Please take Titus 3:9 to heart, "But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless."

      Delete
  37. I just need to make a point about Roman Catholicism.

    Romanism is a false teaching and MOST Catholics are very good Catholics but not Christians. I have heard this way too many times from ex-Catholic friends, and read it way to many times from ex-Catholic authors.

    Because the true gospel is buried beneath all the added junk of Rome, people have come to Christ - true saving faith - in spite of Rome's teachings. Again, I have heard and read many testimonies to this truth.

    So I would never say ALL Catholics are unsaved, rather I'd say that there are those who are saved in spite of Rome, and the one's who stay in that organization - based on the numerous testimonies I have heard and read - stay there for family reasons.

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  38. A person who has a biological tendency towards homosexuality (yes, I believe that this does exist)

    The problem with this statement is the denial of all evidence to the contrary, and capitulating to a claim made by those who practice homosexual behavior - a claim which is meant to legitimize such behavior.

    In order for a "biological" cause to be true, it would have to be a genetic defect. BUT, you'd then have to say the same about every other sexual "orientation," such as pedophilia, zoophilia, necrophilia, et. It is an irrational claim to enable perversion.

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  39. I'm taking a guess that you are a Jehovas Witness based on the subtitle of your blog. I was also a JW, and at first I was happy. Then I started feeling brainwashed. The views of everyone in the Kingdom Hall were so skewed. So while you are telling gay Christians, I'm begging you to find another place of worship.

    Not so fun being told by someone else what you need to do, is it?

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    1. Beth, you guessed wrong. I am not a JW.

      I love being told what to do. God tells me and I submit to His commands because all His ways are perfect.

      "May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!" Psalm 119:30

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    2. Beth

      I am not sure why, but I actually read this whole article and some of the comments. You, Elizabeth, are way off base. The way you condemn people who are gay is not in anyway correct. I, like Anonymous (the most recent one), am aperson who is gay AND Christian. What makes you think you are on a higher pedestal than anyone else. It almost seems as though you want everyone to think YOU are God

      Delete
    3. Hi Beth,

      If you have read the whole article and the comments, as you say, which means you have read the scriptures stating homosexuality is a sin, and you *still* think I am way off base, then there is nothing more I can say, because I've already offered you the best there is, the Word of God.

      Delete
  40. This is the first time I've come across your blog, and I absolutely LOVE it. I've been thoroughly entertained by reading first your post (which I found after coming across Evans' blog for the first time and following the link), and then the comments and your responses.

    Thank you for being you. It never ceases to amaze me when people such as yourself who have a very genuine intellect are not only boxed into a microcosm that allows no intellectual escape, but actually take the key to their miniature world and melt it, create a chain with it, and double up the lock with it.

    I especially enjoyed the way you refer to any out of the box thinking ("dishonest questions" - HAHA what a wonderful idiocy) as being 'not profitable'. That is truly inspired - I'm not sure how you define the word 'profit' but in reality it refers to gaining through work things that you didn't previously have. You very obviously have an uncompromising system of beliefs that do not allow for any expansive thinking (after all that would be the devil at work, right?) so I think the word 'profit' is not correct. The phrase you are looking for is 'supportive of my own rigid beliefs'.

    So, instead of "I think it is clear that to read Mrs Evans's blog or her books would not be profitable . . .", you should have written "I think it is clear that to read Mrs Evans's blog or her books would not be supportive of my own rigid beliefs . . ."

    Easy fix really - just do a 'search and replace' of your original blog, and you'll make it spot on.

    Again, thank you - every now and then I truly love finding crazed religious zealots (matters not what denomination) and trying to crawl inside their mind for a few moments to imagine what it's like to be unable to have such a sense of certainty. For most of us life is very difficult to figure out but sadly I'm cursed with an affinity for logic and I cannot blind myself to it enough to force myself into your limited box. I guess you'll have your infinity to look at fools like me with derision, but for me I think I'll keep on believing that the life I have now is the one that's worth living for.

    If you want to write a response that would be great - I'll check back in a while. I'm going to compose my best guess as to what your response will be, so I'll look forward to comparing to see how far off I am. That's one of the things I've learned through my occasional romps through mindless blogs like this - people have no choice but to fall back on their beliefs, so someone like you who has a very simplistic belief system is very easy to peg.

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    1. Hello Anonymous,

      Thank you for reading, and for commenting. I see that my beliefs engender mockery and chuckles from you. That is fine. I am glad you read what is here. I hope you read more.

      You are an excellent writer. I enjoyed reading what you wrote on the strength of its obvious talent, if not the content, of course, lol :). If you are not already employed in a capacity which showcases your agility with the written word, then please consider it. You would be well served.

      Have a Happy New Year.

      Delete
    2. I was pretty close with my guess - figured it would try to come across as understanding, with a bit of whimsy and point out that reading your blog is a step towards something better for me. The martyrdom was somewhat expected as well, but you've pulled it off in a more understated and dignified tone than I would have expected, and although I imagine an element of pity underpinning your note, again it's very subtle. All in all, I think this is an excellent response, again leading me to the same conclusion - you are extremely intelligent. If only you could give yourself a bit more credit and use that intelligence, instead of bottling it into this limited position. (That's my attempt at subtle pity - not as good as yours, I fear.)

      Anyhow, I should actually be working and this was distraction enough for one morning. (Nope, not a writer - might take it up some day though - thanks for the kind words.)

      Thanks for the fun, and sincere wishes for a happy and prosperous 2014 to you.

      Delete
    3. It never fails. Expose a false teacher for what they truly are, and all their followers come out of the woodwork to mock and belittle the one who did the exposing. Of course these same people wouldn't bother to read the Scriptures to see if what is said is true - you know, like the Bereans did?

      When a false teacher has followers like that, they act like members of a cult.

      Delete
  41. Hey thanks SO MUCH for reminding me why I left Christianity and any kind of church in my rear-view mirror. At this time of year, sentimentality often takes over and it can be difficult to remember the various levels of hateful BS that most of you spew. Thanks for the reminder. See you in hell, pal!

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    1. I wish for you the very best, sincerely, and the very best is Jesus. I hope He elects you to salvation, and then I would hug your neck in heaven.

      Delete
  42. I have to wonder how Evans asking questions about how we should treat gay people has anything to do with satan questioning what is actually sin. In other posts she acknowledges it as sin yet asks us if it is ok to bully or condemn an individual. Why do you compare her asking us to treat people with more respect with trying to undermine what the bible says? This is bewildering. I think the anti-christ is defined as not only an individual in prophecy but also by jesus as a spirit in direct conflict with christ. Many times the bible outlines where jesus condemned sin but then also protected sinners from persecution and condemned those who would persecute them. It seems to me then that ms Evans is advocating the spirit of Christ and you are advocating the spirit of the anti-christ or at the very least the antithesis of christ's example. Very poetic as this blog claims to chronicle the end times. So many people today rather than live the example of christ and be his hands and feet decide to use their own righteousness as filthy rags to try and clean up their contempt for others and justify their mistreatment. I find it sad that so many rather choose to follow the example of the pharisees that crucified jesus and write articles condemning a woman who seeks to end bullying of a minority. This article is disgraceful and I'm sure that if Paul himself could respond he would have even less nice things to say about it.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      it is not a question of treating gay people nicely and not bullying them. Every true Christian knows what the bible says about treating people nicely and not bullying them. There is a deeper agenda here.

      Mrs Evans is in open rebellion on the homosexual issue, having served active lesbians (with a child!) communion, and making many, many attempts through her blog essays to ultimately working toward her goal of redefining homosexuality as a respectable activity. (Romans 1:32).

      She is not a saved person and thus has no clue as to what the bible is about. How do I know she is not saved? She supports gay marriage, is an evolutionist, has served communion to active homosexuals, rejects the inerrancy of the bible, refuses to submit to its authority, rejects exclusivism (Jesus is the only way) and is a feminist. She is in gross rebellion and is not a person worthy to gain biblical wisdom from. She has the spirit of antichrist. The only interaction a person should have with her is to share the Gospel, advise her of her rebellion, and then move on (1 John 2)

      More on why RHE is in open rebellion
      http://standupforthetruth.com/2012/10/the-influence-of-rachel-held-evans/

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  43. You attempt to make a lot of points here, but only take them halfway. Perhaps you think we should be able to follow your line of thought to the conclusion you come to; maybe you cannot actually conclude any of them yourself. In any case, I'd enjoy seeing all of the threads you started here brought to their logical close.

    Also, just something to think about: you reference MacArthur several times above, but what gives him credibility over the people whose writings you call into question here? I'm of the opinion that when you are talking about the Bible, the only credible source is the Bible itself, so I'd be interested in knowing why MacArthur's teaching is a credible source--actual cited reasons are the only acceptable answer to this question.

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    1. You make a point here but only make it halfway, alluding to some halfway points I'd made but didn't give specifics. How can I improve when you only allude?

      What makes MacArthur NOT a credible source in your opinion?

      Hey I just realized the clever Catch-22 you instituted. I cited the bible many times in the essay and the comments, in your words "the only credible source" but you said that I didn't close the deal, and when I cite a theologian you said that's no good either. I Lose-Lose. So sad. I guess the discussion is over- particularly since you're not addressing the issue of the post but are interested only in diversionary tactics.

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  44. Hi Elizabeth,

    The first comment there was simply to see if you would respond. I knew you were approving comments and wanted to see if you would take my concerns seriously--thank you for indulging this criticism.

    Below are four examples of my first criticism. This may seem off-topic to you, but you are asking us to trust your judgment here, so it would be good to create as complete an argument as possible if for no other reason than to gain the trust of your readers.

    "I wondered about hell when I was first saved. I studied the bible, read what Jesus had to say about it. The answer became clear. So then I stopped asking. Question asked and answered." Somewhat off-topic, but you just ask us to trust this without giving the proof that 1) you received an answer and 2) it was Scripturally sound.

    "To fail to gain clarity on a topic that the bible presents clearly in the first place is also blasphemy. It is all dishonest questioning." Could you give a Biblical source that directly addresses this issue?

    "The bible is also clear on the disposition of the unrepentant sinner, including unrepentant homosexuals." I know what this clear position is, but I'd like to see which Scripture you're pointing to exactly.

    "The bible speaks to these foolish 'what if' questions. The bible has the first word and the last word on the questioning tactic, dishonest questioning, that is, 'If anyone has a morbid interest in controversial questions...'" Once again, could you give Scripture that directly addresses this issue.

    As for MacArthur, I've simply never had any reason to consider him more or less credible than anyone else speaking on the Bible, and since your argument relies on thoughts from him (among others), I simply want to know what makes him credible enough to be the driving support for your argument.

    I do believe that the Bible is the only credible source on the Bible, and whenever I teach on it I encourage those listening to think about what we're studying, question, and form their conclusions based on prayer, on the Scriptural soundness of those conclusions, and on whether or not their conclusion translates into living their life as Jesus showed us how to live (based on how Paul asked the Corinthians to judge his teaching, as seen in 1 Corinthians 10). This is not to say that you discourage questioning--that's the entire point of the article--only to point out that we both value the productive questioning that leads to better teaching of and greater understanding of Scripture.

    There are Scriptural tests for determining the (Deuteronomy 13, Matthew 7:15-20, Romans 2:17-24 & 16:17-18, Galatians 5:16-26 [in judging the teacher's character and the fruit of that teaching], 2 Peter 2:1-22, to name a few passages), and it is by these that I ask for proof. there was no catch-22 in my questioning, though I do apologize for not explaining as thoroughly as possible.

    Sorry as well that this took so long to write, up--I wanted to make sure it addressed your criticisms. I'm sorry if an attack on your character came out in the previous post, I didn't mean to come across as attacking you, only as wishing to better elucidate the arguments presented in the article.

    ~Anonymous

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    1. I'll answer in each case --

      ANON: The first comment there was simply to see if you would respond. I knew you were approving comments and wanted to see if you would take my concerns seriously--thank you for indulging this criticism.

      Yes, I moderate, That means I decide which comments go thru. Some are not to be taken seriously. Your going about seeking information as a “test” is less than stellar. Matthew 22:15

      ANON: "I wondered about hell when I was first saved. I studied the bible, read what Jesus had to say about it. The answer became clear. So then I stopped asking. Question asked and answered." Somewhat off-topic, but you just ask us to trust this without giving the proof that 1) you received an answer and 2) it was Scripturally sound.

      I don’t have to give you proof about my testimony. It is my testimony, take it or leave it. If you have a discerning mind, then please use it when conversing with me or anyone. When it comes to scripture use, the credibility of a preacher I quote, or a doctrine, I do NOT ask you to believe me point blank. I always urge people to test it and seek clarity thru prayer and your own study.

      ANON: "To fail to gain clarity on a topic that the bible presents clearly in the first place is also blasphemy. It is all dishonest questioning." Could you give a Biblical source that directly addresses this issue?

      2 Tim 3:16. 1 Timothy 1:4. 1 Timothy 6:4. 2 Timothy 2:23. Titus 3:9.

      ANON: "The bible is also clear on the disposition of the unrepentant sinner, including unrepentant homosexuals." I know what this clear position is, but I'd like to see which Scripture you're pointing to exactly.

      Since you know it then we can agree and go walking. Hallelujah! Amos 3:3.

      ANON: "The bible speaks to these foolish 'what if' questions. The bible has the first word and the last word on the questioning tactic, dishonest questioning, that is, 'If anyone has a morbid interest in controversial questions...'" Once again, could you give Scripture that directly addresses this issue.

      Asked and answered. Mark 12:13.

      ANON: As for MacArthur, I've simply never had any reason to consider him more or less credible than anyone else speaking on the Bible,...

      Saying you’ve ‘simply never had any reason to consider Dr MacArthur more or less credible than anyone else speaking on the Bible’ demonstrates a drastic and deadly lack of discernment on your part. Benny Hinn speaks on the bible. So does Christopher Hitchens. Point driven. Anonymous, please take some time to develop a cadre of credible bible teachers on whom to listen to and learn from, but first pray for discernment to do so.

      ANON: we both value the productive questioning that leads to better teaching of and greater understanding of Scripture.

      Yes we both value productive questioning. I dislike fake humility, disingenuous questioning, snide comments with hidden motives and gotcha agendas. Believe it or not, those things exist. Matthew 22:23

      ANON: I'm sorry if an attack on your character came out in the previous post, I didn't mean to come across as attacking you, only as wishing to better elucidate the arguments presented in the article.

      ~Anonymous

      So, speaking of character, what is *your* name? :) 2 Tim 2:15

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  45. JeffK,

    Thanks for your detailed lengthy testimony and several-part comment. It's interesting that you accepted Christ only 4 years ago and also that you have had prophetic visions, a miraculous healing and have had such a deep professional and academic interest in rhetoric.

    I'm not going to publish your comments. It would simply be unprofitable and belabor, well, everything.

    I ask you to prayerfully seek and find a bible-based, home church that preaches verse by verse, and go there. Every week. Also ask you to prayerfully seek discernment from the Spirit. Rachel Held Evans is not a true teacher in the faith and has shared no wisdom, and MacArthur is not an untrue teacher in the faith and has not shared foolishness.

    As for wanting me to be more open, and worrying about the trust of my readers unless I am, that is easily solved. I live an open life and have written over 2500 posts on this blog and over 1500 on my other blog. I have a twitter stream also. You can read it along with my statement of faith in order to get a sense of who I am, what I write, and whether I'm worth following or even reading again.

    As for my readers and their trust, I'd expect the same from them as I do any reader, read, pray, test the words against the bible.

    You're young in the faith. You need a good older male preacher to take you under his wing and put you to work. I wish you the best of luck.

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