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I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.

Today I want to write about something that has bothered me for the better part of a decade. I’ve carved out no fewer than a dozen drafts of this post, all strangely unalike, all ultimately failing to accomplish the job I’ve set out to do. Truth is, I’ve been trying to write it off and on for more than a year now, and the right words have been seemingly impossible to come by.

In the end, and in order to post it, I guess I had to care more about the message than I do about potential backlash. I’m not being facetious when I say that I hope I can get this message across without offending… well… everybody.

What I really hope is that this post will spark and encourage poignant and worthwhile discussion that will lead to some poignant and worthwhile changes in the lives of at least a few people who are hurting.

That being said, I believe some strong words need to be said today.

“God hates fags.” We’ve all seen the signs being waved high in the air by members of the Westboro Baptist church. On TV. In real life. It’s hard not to take notice.

Over the years, I’ve watched seemingly never-ending disgustingness and hatred spill across the media airwaves from those who belong to the organization. For those who don’t know much about that “church,” they have made a seedy name for themselves by doing drastic things like picketing beneath atrocious signs and hosting flagrant anti-gay protests at military funerals.

Almost every person of nearly every religion has no problem loathing and condemning the Westboro Baptist Church and its members, and perhaps with reason. They take freedom of speech far beyond what our founding fathers intended when they fought to give us that right, and they laugh at the rest of the world while they do.

But today I don’t want to talk about those idiots. I want to talk about you. And me.

And my friend who I’ll call Jacob.

Jacob is 27  years old, and guess what… he’s gay.

Not a lot of people know. He lives in a community where being gay is still very “frowned upon.”

I was talking to him on the phone a few weeks ago, telling him about my failed attempts to write this post. He was trying to hold his emotions in, but he eventually became tearful as we deliberated the very problem that this post attempts to discuss.

Before I go on, I feel I must say something one time. Today’s post is not about homosexuality. It’s not about Christians. It’s not about religion. It’s not about politics. It’s about something else altogether. Something greater. Something simpler.

It’s about love.

It’s about kindness.

It’s about friendship

And love, kindness, and friendship are three things that Jacob hasn’t felt in a long time.

I’m thankful he gave me permission to share our conversation with you. It went something like this.

“Jacob, I honestly don’t know how to write it,” I said. “I know what I want to get across, but I can never find the right words.”

“Dan, you need to write it. Don’t give up. I’m telling you, it needs to be said.”

I paused. “You don’t understand. It’s too heated a subject. It’s something people are very emotional and touchy about. I’d be lynched.”

My friend hesitated. “Dan, you are the only friend I have that knows I’m gay. The only freaking one,” he said.

“What do you mean? I know you’ve told other friends.”

That’s when his voice cracked. He began crying.

“Every single person I’ve told has ditched me. They just disappear. They stop calling. They remove me on Facebook. They’re just gone,” he said. “They can’t handle knowing and being friends with a gay person.”

I didn’t know what to say. So I didn’t say anything.

“You don’t know what it’s like, man. You don’t know what it’s like to live here and be gay. You don’t know what it’s like to have freaking nobody. You don’t know what it’s like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. And I’m so tired of people hating me for it. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t.”

How do you respond to that?

I wanted to tell him it was all in his head. I knew it wasn’t. I wanted to tell him it would get better and easier. The words would have been hollow and without conviction, and I knew it.

You see, I live in this community too. And I’ve heard the hate. I’ve heard the disgust. I’ve heard the disdain. I’ve heard the gossip. I’ve heard the distrust. I’ve heard the anger. I’ve heard it all, and I’ve heard it tucked and disguised neatly beneath a wrapper of self-righteousness and a blanket of “caring” or “religious” words. I’ve heard it more times than I care to number.

About gay people.

About people who dress differently.

About people who act differently.

About fat people.

About people with drug addictions.

About people who smoke.

About people with addictions to alcohol.

About people with eating disorders.

About people who fall away from their faiths.

About people who aren’t members of the dominant local religion.

About people who have non-traditional piercings.

About people who just look at you or me the wrong way.

I’ve heard it, and I’ve heard it over, and over, and over again.

Hell, in the past (and to some degree in the present) I participated in it. I propagated it. I smugly took part in it. I’ll admit that.

And I did so under the blanketing term “Christian.” I did so believing that my actions were somehow justified because of my beliefs at the time. I did so, actually believing that such appointments were done out of… love.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

24375 comments
Ono
Ono

It's a tough job sometimes, but someone has to do it!

Tiffani
Tiffani

Hey all. So, I thought I would jump on this little bandwagon we have going here, and share an article I read today which I found incredibly relevant the sorts of discussions we have here. But before I do, I want to share something.

Most of you who comment here regularly know what I am about, and what I believe in. I guess you could say, in general, I am somewhat conservative in that I believe in the divine inspiration of the scriptures, and I believe in the message of the Gospel and the divinity of Jesus. I also believe that the Christian faith is unique because we profess a God who desires intimate, personal relationship with us. So when I support something, it is with that framework as my foundation.

For a long time, I have tried to focus my comments here on reconciliation between those who affirm and those who do not affirm gay marriage. And while this will always be my end goal, I have over the course of a long period of time come to realize something. There is a time when pursuing reconciliation requires legitimating a particular belief that undermines the radical, powerful message of love, a message that is in the undercurrent of everything Jesus teaches.

So I cannot in good conscience work toward that reconciliation without also calling out the belief that homosexuality is sinful for what it is: a toxic, harmful belief that reaps pain and not peace among those whom it affects.

I know that what I said here isn’t really connected to any recent comments, it is just something I wanted to express after chewing on the article all day.

Anyway, that’s kinda the gist of what I wanted to say, so here is the article. It’s quite long, but very worth reading. The writer spends the first third or so outlining a form of bigotry---anti-Semitism---that took root in Christian tradition over the course of centuries before turning the corner and connecting it to homosexuality and Christianity. So if you want to skip his outline on Christian tradition and anti-Semitism and start with the LGBT stuff, you can begin reading with the section that starts with “I have now been talking about the Church’s teaching of contempt against Jews for 2000 words” (though of course, I would recommend reading the whole thing!).

http://www.reformationproject.org/gushee-endingcontempt

kathleen z
kathleen z

@Ono It certainly is a tough job, some days tougher than others!

kathleen z
kathleen z

@timqz1 Oh I read that! I thought about posting it here but I thought that might just be too much for Tim C. and he might spontaneously combust!

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono 

One's beliefs will make one's behavior, for better or for worse.

timqz1
timqz1

@Tiffani Tiffani, I wonder if you could clarify a passage in your comment, specifically: "So I cannot in good conscience work toward that reconciliation without also calling out the belief that homosexuality is sinful for what it is: a toxic, harmful belief that reaps pain and not peace among those whom it affects."

kathleen z
kathleen z

@Tiffani Great article, thank you for sharing it. I loved his acknowledged and careful use of the term unchristlike, which is why I have used and will continue to use that term when I see that same behavior being perpetuated.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Tiffani

Hey Tiffani


To be sure, the Christian tradition has parted company from its teachings in so many places.


I want to put this out to those reading this, including Tim C. Especially Tim C.


Given the BILLIONS of people living in destitute poverty, covering themselves with rags, drinking dirty water if they're lucky, starving to death or dying in pain from easily curable diseases simply because they don't have enough money to pay for medicines that those in the west take for granted.


Given this, do you HONESTLY think that God (in whatever form you happen to believe) will send a Gay man (or woman, for the sake of brevity, I'm going to use this to refer to anyone who doesn't identify themselves as heterosexual) to hell if he spends his days trying to change the lives of these people, and then at night takes comfort in the arms of someone who is the same sex as them.


Can you honestly tell me that in the eyes of your God it is more important for someone to be pious than kind?


Because if you can, you don't believe in the same God that I do. The God I refer to is the one that Jesus referred to in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

I honestly cannot say I give a damn about whether someone identifies themselves as heterosexual or otherwise. I don't care whether a person has many consenting sexual partners or is celibate, whether they're Christian, Muslim, Asatru or whatever, what I care about is whether people are kind and loving toward others in this world and try to do something to change the HORRIFIC conditions that I've witnessed people living in because they have no alternatives. I've been to an orphanage recently where a baby girl was found in the trash outside the orphanage, the parents presumably put the baby there hoping the child would be found and cared for. This had me, and my colleagues in tears, not just for the baby, but the sheer desperation the parents must have felt to have turned to such a desperate measure.

If the thing you believe in and the person that you are leads you to being kind towards others and trying to help, even in a small way, to right some of the wrongs we humans levy on one another, then the God I believe in will welcome you into heaven. If the God you believe in is more interested in someones sex life or whether they pray before a cross, a crescent moon or not at all, than whether they've tried to do something good in this world, then your God shares nothing in common with mine, and your threats of eternal damnation are meaningless.


This idiotic discussion about whether or not non-heterosexuals will be allowed into heaven is meaningless and pathetic in comparison to the bigger issues in this world.. For the Love of God, get out of your selfish bunker, stop hurting people for completely pointless reasons, and do something constructive to change the world and these peoples lives for the better. Give your life some MEANING.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@kathleen z @timqz1 

Why would you think that? That is more than a rhetorical question, and except for the entertainment value for you I don't expect it to be responded to.

The "lost gospel" is a cute novel and I can see why God would not include it in the Bible. Since it doesn't offer any information that is supported by any other part of the Bible means someone at sometime benefited from publishing it. Also, since it has nothing to offer that is realistic about my relationship with God then it needs to be disregarded as I would any tabloid paper that publishes anything to sell papers for more profit.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@timqz1

Hi Tim, Just wanted to say WOW and thank you! I just read the article, "Jesus vs Paul". It is amazing when you see it all laid out that way and  the huge contradictions. Paul really sounds like he learned and heard very, very little of Christ's message and had his own agenda.


.......talk about having an agenda

Tiffani
Tiffani

@timqz1 Yeah, sure. Hah, sometimes my sentences can get rather difficult and unwieldy. What I meant is this. Over time, I have very slowly come to the understanding that believing homosexuality is sinful is, at its core, toxic. There has been no shortage of hatred for LGBTQ people throughout church history. I know hate is a strong word, one that I am usually very hesitant to use. But I think it is accurate here. And I have come to think that this hatred for the LGBTQ community and the belief that homosexuality is sinful are intrinsically linked. I might even go so far as to say that eradicating one would inevitably wipe away the other as well. 

This has been something quite hard for me to accept, because it is in my nature to always want to understand and respect different beliefs (especially since the belief homosexuality is a sin is one my parents both hold firmly). But as I said I cannot in good conscience respect this idea that same-sex love is inherently broken, because I have seen how much hurt it can cause, and how easily it can foster ideas that are totally off the rails (you should have seen the debate I got into a little while ago with a former pastor of mine; talk about disillusionment!).

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon @Tiffani 

If only you were able to be on the same level as God in all of his requisite attributes then it would be possible to know the answers to your insightful observations and resulting questions.

But since our answers are limited to our five senses, it is not possible to explain. The explanations are possible and certainly are in the Bible, which is rejected as God intended.

Tiffani
Tiffani

@SwissJon First off...I'm not sure if your comments were addressed to me or to Tim Conley, but if they were addressed to me, I would like to point out that you are making a lot of assumptions about me based on one comment. Considering you and I haven't had any interaction here at all (that I can remember), I'd suggest learning about what I believe in before directing such accusations at me---if indeed I was your intended recipient.

That being said, I want to say that I appreciate your heart for the least of these, and your fervor in pushing for awareness of poverty. That is a very worthy cause, and one that I am sure everyone here would support (my guess is that even Tim Conley would, despite your continued attempts to compartmentalize him). We could all use a little perspective on how big this world is, and how many people are in need.

However, your comment also seems to send the message that I need to care about those who desperately need my help to escape poverty, and caring about LGBT issues isn't as important. Your comment sets me up to be a callous, uncaring person if I push to discuss anything other than poverty.

The way I see it, every person is equipped with unique callings, unique passions that drive them to make the world a better place. Yours seems to be poverty. Mine---God help me---is staying here, embedded in my own church and raising my voice when the opportunity arises to offer a different perspective on Christianity to others in my church---regarding LGBT issues as well as many others. And I have another friend who is a teacher, whose heart is about equipping and building self-confidence in young people. 

Anyway, my point is that there is no shortage of injustice in the world, and I thank God that the causes human beings are drawn to are as diverse as the issues out there that desperately need our attention. The true crime, I think, would be ambivalence toward injustice altogether.

Anyway, I shared the article because I have come to believe the opposite of what you have laid out here. I understand where you are coming from, in that people of differing religious beliefs can be loving or hateful, and that your religion doesn't matter nearly so much as the condition of your heart and the actions you take to help those in need. 

But there are harmful beliefs out there, as the article's treatment of anti-Semitism clearly conveys. I am sure there were remarkably kind and loving people in Nazi Germany who did not oppose Jewish persecution due to their anti-Semitic beliefs. Am I to believe these people should be let off the hook? Of course not. So beliefs do matter very much, and that is the point I was trying to make. I hope you would agree.

timqz1
timqz1

@kathleen z @timqz1 Yes, Kathleen, that article was very illuminating.I’ve always wondered why Fundamentalist Christians, who claim to be following Jesus’ teachings, are so often full of hate and judgement.I think the answer is that they’re not really Christians, but “Paulians”.The religious right has basically thrown in their lot with the Republican Party, which has baffled me until now.They support a political party that is constantly fighting against the poor, whether it’s reducing access to food stamps, making it harder to get public assistance when needed, fighting increases in minimum wage, and cutting the period of eligibility for the unemployed.I mean these are profoundly anti-Christian actions.But they’re not “anti-Paul” who shows a lot less compassion for the poor than Christ did (the poor will be fed only if they work for their food first).And the Republican party’s love of military action and war as a better solution for international conflict than diplomacy?Not the attitude of “the Prince of Peace”, but it sure fits in with Paul’s militant, aggressive “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” behavior towards non-Christians.And while Jesus was all about inclusivity and equality, seeking out the company of society’s outcasts (Samaritans, tax collectors, prostitutes, the poor and sick), Paul was all about judgement, instructing his followers to shun “bad company”, (including gays), and supporting power imbalances (slavery is acceptable, women should be subservient to men, etc.).Paul, as Saul, was a fanatic.He wasn’t just a non-Christian living a normal life, he aggressively hunted down and killed Christians.With his “road to Damascus” conversion, the objects of his condemnation changed but not the fanaticism.Paul comes across as charismatic and forceful, with superb organizational skills, and largely through his efforts the institution of the Christian church, and all its subsequent power, came into being.But, as I said in my previous comment, it was at the expense of some of Jesus’ core teachings.During the American Civil war, the Southern “Christian” slave owners justified slavery by quoting Paul, not Jesus.“Christian” men demanding that women be subservient to them quoted Paul, not Jesus. “Christians” taking a bellicose attitude towards “outsiders”, quoted Paul, not Jesus.And “Christians” who have persecuted homosexuals and still do, justify their homophobia by quoting Paul, not Jesus.Jesus’ inerrant divinity is not shared by Paul, yet “Christians” seem to give his teachings equal weight with Jesus’.So now, over the years, all these fervent commenters in this forum denouncing homosexuality claim to do so because of their Christian beliefs, but actually those beliefs are pure Paulian, not Christiian. These commenters are frauds, whether they realize that or not.But when dealing with pious bigots, it’s usually a waste of time and effort to try to point this out to them. Sad.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Tim Conley @SwissJon @Tiffani

Once again, that doesn't answer the question I asked Tim.


I doubt God would have sent his son to suffer and die with the intention of the story being rejected, however that's not really relevant since the parable of the Good Samaritan was intended to answer EXACTLY the question I asked.. The parable of the Good Samaritan, ends thus: 


Luke 10 "36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”


This tells us that the important thing isn't if we spend our lives trying to be close to God like the priest or Levite from the story, but spend our lives trying to be good neighbours, like the Samaritan, who were pagan. That is all that matters to God. That is what the Bible tells you. Can you really not see that?

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Tiffani 


My comment was not directed at you in the least, I'm sorry if it came across that way. I actually agree with pretty much everything you've said.


I'm NOT saying that caring about LBGT issues isn't important, quite the opposite, non-heterosexual people are marginalised in society, and caring what happens to marginalised people is something that I care about, if it wasn't, I wouldn't have read this thread and started commenting on here.

My comment if I try to put it fairly succinctly is "For the God I believe in, it doesn't matter if you're heterosexual or not, the God I believe in Loves you because that's what the God I believe in is.. Love. And the Love that you show towards other people is the way you encounter God."


So please understand, it's my belief that loving people, losing that "ambivalence toward injustice" and simply just doing something to change the world in a positive manner, providing people with dignity where others have removed it.. THAT is an encounter with the God that I know and Love. 

kathleen z
kathleen z

@timqz1 @kathleen z

Sad, but oh so true.... on the topic of truth.


How anyone can, with a clear conscious say, the bible is not based on bias' when a fairly good portion was Paul's interpretation and his writings, and they overwhelmingly go against Christ's teachings. That certainly does not sound like one seeking truth.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon @Tim Conley @Tiffani 

But the fact you are missing is that the Levite and the priest were not close to God. They were into the social and the religious hierarchy. The point of that parable is the people who SAY they are close to God and their religiosity is proof are in fact actually 100% fakes. The proof of doing God's will is how our lives are lived according to the action of giving w/o thought of reward in this life.

Ono
Ono

@SwissJon @Tim Conley @Tiffani 

Once again it boils down to whether one uses God, bible, or a religion to subjugate or malign a group, to scare with hell fire, to belittle another, to bolster one's prejudices, instead of showing the love of God in one's heart. The message in the Bible clearly shows the hearts of men in their actions. However, the message of love will be lost on those who use the Bible to clobber another.

Tiffani
Tiffani

@SwissJon Awesome. Thank you for expounding, SwissJon. Glad to know we are on the same page after all! I admit, sometimes I can create an argument where none exists. ;)

kathleen z
kathleen z

@Tim Conley @kathleen z @timqz1 your name was not included in the @ for who the message was intended for, which was timqz1.  I did not ask a question of you that needed a response from you.

timqz1
timqz1

@kathleen z @timqz1 Paul's contribution was consolidating and promoting the power of the institution of the Christian church.  Later, those on top of the Church hierarchy returned the favor when they included his letters in the New Testament, giving them equal weight to Jesus' teachings (and thereby corrupting those teachings).  Ever since then, scripture by Paul has been used throughout the centuries to clobber over the heads of the powerless and marginalized.  This goes on today, of course, as illustrated by the pious bigots who are so eager to engage in fag-bashing in this forum.

SwissJon
SwissJon

I didn't miss that Tim, it was the crux of my argument, I'm glad you agree. What you have written pretty much affirms my assertions. Now go out and apply that as a part of your life.. Instead of examining the Bible in all its minutia to see what others are doing wrong, go out and give..

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @SwissJon @Tim Conley @Tiffani 

If you or anyone has an example where I maligned or subjugated a group, please point it out. My whole message has been reading the Bible and living accordingly. Saying what the Bible says applies as much to me as it does to anyone. Sin is the problem. If one sin can be described specifically, like homosexuality, or adultery, or theft, etc...etc...etc...it's all just as bad. And yes sin will separate the perpetrator from God. 

I am not about clobbering anyone. I live according to God's will.

Oh, and if it makes you feel better please say how I am hateful, bigoted, prejudiced and any other pejorative term you can think of. 

kathleen z
kathleen z

@timqz1 @kathleen z It's funny, before reading the comparison side by side I always had this sense that things just didn't line up. When I'd read or hear the words of Christ's, the over whelming love, compassion, humbleness of his, it never sat right with me that anyone could pull any hate or exclusion from his message. Now I see how and where the justifications for hate, bigotry and exclusions come from when people use the bible to do so. It completely dishonors Christ.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@timqz1 @kathleen z


The message of Jesus was simple, love God and love one another. Any argument that allows anyone to attach the words "hate" to any part of Jesus' message is a corruption of that message and a departure from God.


The Westboro' baptist church is a prime example of what happens when someone loses the fact that Jesus was a tolerant man, and uses intolerance to frighten people.. This is not God, this is the antithesis of the God Jesus represented to us. No wonder so many are turning their backs on the Christian church, it's losing (some might say has already lost) it's way and its connection to God. I'm not a catholic, but I hope this new pope will do something no other pope has done and bring the message of Christ back to the church.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon 

Why do you keep telling me to do what I am already doing?


I serve as God leads and directs, NOT as a person that doesn't know anything about me tells me to do.

SwissJon
SwissJon

I don't mean "Give words from the Bible to save their souls", save your own first. You have agreed that God judges one on their actions not their religiosity, but you spend your "mission" here expounding religiosity, without any concern as to whether those people you condemn on behalf of God are actually closer to God than you, simply through their actions.

I put it to you, that it's better to be a kind generous person who is ignorant of Gods "rules" but finds God through their selfless actions, than to be a scholar who knows the Bible intimately, but who's only interaction with the rest of the world pushes others, and consequently themselves, further from God.

Kaatje Van der Zee
Kaatje Van der Zee

@Tim Conley You can not be separated from an omnipresent god. Just saying. Nothing you may do can make god 'go away'. You minimise the Creator. 

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono @SwissJon @Tiffani To be clear Tim, I wasn't speaking to or about you, or accusing you. Had it been about you, I would have put your name there instead of being more generic than writing "one's".

timqz1
timqz1

@kathleen z @timqz1 I couldn't agree more, Kathleen. So many "Christians" reading the New Testament opted for the hatred and divisiveness of Paul instead of the love and inclusiveness of Jesus.  I think mainly because it's a lot easier to hate and judge than to love and accept. So now they can go ahead and hate with the Bible's seal of approval.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@SwissJon @timqz1 @kathleen z I agree Jon, I'm not a catholic either but so far it looks and sounds like this pope is a much closer representative of Christ, and his true message, then any the previous ones.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Tim Conley @SwissJon

Tim, the only view we have of you are your actions on here, which are far from neighbourly. The only thing you've told us you do outside of this forum is to share your interpretation of the Bible. That is not practical help, especially if your interpretations of the Bible outside of this forum are reflective of your odd interpretations that you share here.


But that's really not relevant. You continue to make unneighbourly comments; about citizens of Eastern European countries based on very tenuous information, Gay people and how their love is like the love one receives from a prostitute, and that also leads me to believe that you don't consider prostitutes worthy of consideration by God either.


None of this is Christ like behavior, it's the opposite, it undoes everything that Christians should be trying to do. To me, your behaviour on here is much more reminsicent of the Rabbai or the Levite than the Samaritan.


THAT is why I keep telling these things.. Because you are not doing them.


I'm not God.. You have nothing to answer to me, lying to yourself and God is where you will find yourself with problems, as you're distancing yourself.


Remember what you said about the Eastern Europeans and how I drew a parallel with an abused woman.. Perhaps that parallel could also be drawn between you and your relationship with what you imaging God to be like.


For once, let your barriers down and allow yourself to hear the words for what they are, people offering you the Love of God.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon 

I condemn nobody, on behalf of God or anyone. If you say they are closer to God, then you are clairvoyant or wiser than I.


Yes, it is best to do than to talk, generally speaking. However, God is able to empower one to do both simultaneously. I am probably NOT a scholar, doesn't matter to me, and you have no idea what I am involved in, even though I have listed some activities I do to help others. I said what I am involved in so that it would be obvious how God is doing things that are hidden to our senses.


kathleen z
kathleen z

@SwissJon

Yes exactly! Anyone can say words, but they are meaningless without the actions backing them up. When the actions that are being done or shown are consistantly  contrary to the words that are said there can be very little trust in those words.


It reminds me of a saying, "Do as I say, not as I do"

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley @SwissJon @Tiffani 

Thank you for that clarification. My response was to be sure of my intentions as I sometimes have a hard time getting my message in the clearest way possible. I really am not here to offend. I am all about a dialogue with the truth as the standard issue.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@Tim Conley @SwissJon You really don't read...SwissJon said, " without any concern as to whether those people you condemn on behalf of God are actually closer to God than you, simply through their actions."  

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@kathleen z @Tim Conley @SwissJon 

Right, I got that. My response is appropriate since the word whether doesn't change the tone of the sentence that also has the accusation that I condemn. This accusation is put forth w/o any facts or reality check. It was meant as a personal dig and I took it as such. But I will not return the false accusations for one big reason that I can't accuse anyone since I have faults of my own. One need not be perfect to talk about and work on a problem noted from the Bible text that would be good for all of us to be humble enough to admit that we need help. I don't know what KIND of help I need but I know I am not the only one that is not perfect. Confessions are the first step forward but that doesn't mean I need to be piled on or accused falsely.

At any rate, the fact that I know when a personal accusation has been made is far from it harming my spirit or my relationship with God. Accusations are only indicative of someone's intentions, nothing else. 

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Kaatje Van der Zee @Tim Conley 

You said separation from God is possible.

You say this minimizes the Creator.

Yes, God is all powerful. Not sure what you mean by pure energy.

Experience, knowledge and logic doesn't explain how you arrived at your statements.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@Tim Conley @kathleen z @SwissJon It most certainly does change the tone. He wasn't claiming to know, he was stating you don't know either before you start condemning. Your only concern is whether or not you are accused of condemning ( see how that works, the *not* doesn't need to be there, it's implied).  And still it wasn't an accusation, it's been a recurring fact throughout your comments, how we all are condemned, because according to you, not God, we don't have  your truth. In recent comments of yours, you have condemned Kaatje Van der Zee a number of times now, point blank. You've made yourself, judge, jury and executioner as to OUR eternal souls, based on nothing more than your understanding and interpretation of words in the bible. I don't recall one time where anyone of us has condemned your soul because of how you believe or because of the things you've said or done. Not one of us has presumed to make God's judgment for him as to your eternal soul.



Kaatje Van der Zee
Kaatje Van der Zee

@Tim Conley I said separation from God is impossible. God = Energy. Everything is energy in one form or another. God is everywhere. 

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@kathleen z @Tim Conley @SwissJon 

If stating the truth is judging and condemning then I am guilty. However, the truth is what speaks to the conscience, I know because my conscience is in the same predicament. How one believes dictates the action (or words), which is what I judge. There is not now nor has there ever been nor will there ever be anyone who doesn't judge by actions, words or looks. Anybody who claims otherwise is being dishonest.

" I don't recall one time where anyone of us has condemned your soul because of how you believe or because of the things you've said or done." Neither do I.

" Not one of us has presumed to make God's judgment for him as to your eternal soul." Neither do I.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Kaatje Van der Zee @Tim Conley 

Fine theory except it is not true.

Wherever you get your information is not reliable.

Your god might be everywhere. Not so with the creator of the world. God did create life in all of its forms but that is not the same as God being everywhere. God CAN be everywhere, anywhere He chooses, He doesn't choose to be everywhere. If you have proof then I promise to listen, read it. Every word about that which I have heard so far is nothing more than a belief that makes someone comfortable with their own wisdom.

If everything is energy, as you claim, then why would we need to burn wood, coal or any fossil fuel to have electricity?

I have never heard of anybody using a rock as energy. Especially on a large enough scale to be useful.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee

God is omnipresent, filling heaven and earth with His character. “‘Am I only a God nearby,’ declares the Lord, ‘and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:23–24). God is not some localized God from whom we remain concealed. Upon His heavenly throne, His eye is still as keen. Nearness and distance make no difference in what God sees or does. - See more at: http://www.allaboutgod.com/god-is-omnipresent-faq.htm#sthash.IQXrIvcw.dpuf




omnipresent[om-nuh-prez-uh nt] Spell Syllables

adjective1.present everywhere at the same time:the omnipresent God.


Sorry Tim C. wrong again

Kaatje Van der Zee
Kaatje Van der Zee

@Tim Conley Here we go again. How do you know what God doesn't choose? It is true: everything which exists is made up of energy. Basic physics/chemistry. I dont think the forum will let me type the equation, but energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. Wood, coal and oil have potential energy until you put it to work. 


Tim, uranium is a rock, (actually mineral / ore) before it is processed. The energy from nuclear power plants and nukes started from 'rocks'. 


Nothing wrong with learning about how Nature and the universe works. 

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Kaatje Van der Zee @Tim Conley

How do I know God chooses to not be everywhere? There are many reasons but one main reason is that God is Holy, God is sovereign so if God were to choose to be everywhere it would mean He has no more value than the lowest common denominator. According to the Bible, God is not common nor is He inhabiting any place where rebellion is.

Basic physics/chemistry is about controlling energy. I know the equation well but that explains nothing about the presence of energy in the universal world. As one who believes in Polytheism, it is imperative to believe everything has energy and wisdom. However, there is no proof that inanimate objects have either energy nor wisdom.

Uranium is indeed a rock but in it's not the material that has been used in any structure in the past. It is not a material that has any use in it's natural state or a material for energy of life. God has no need for any radioactive material.

You can speak of nature, the universe, science or scientific principles. None of these will get one closer to the God of creation of life.

Kaatje Van der Zee
Kaatje Van der Zee

@Tim Conley God is omnipresent. Why would that de-value the Eternal?


I didn't mention wisdom; I said everything is made up of energy, which is true. Is it what holds atoms together.

God did have a need for radioactive material; it exists for a reason. Just like God had a need for ultra-violet light, our atmosphere and magnetic fields.

I can only speak what I've experienced and I know it was studying physics and chemistry which helped me to NOT become an atheist; dont tell me what would make me feel closer to the Almighty.  

Not all people relate to god in the same way, Tim; we are different and there is nothing wrong with that. 

SwissJon
SwissJon

Here we go again. Tims theory that the Omnipresent omnipotent all seeing all loving God is no such thing, because that allows him to remain judgemental of other people. Give it up Tim, you inst the very sing you claim to love and follow.

And as far as "energy from rocks" goes, what do you think geothermal energy comes from? Or volcanoes, if you want an example that's not ma'am made.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@kathleen z @Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee 

And God is also capable of doing anything He so chooses since He has the wisdom and omniscience to NOT be somewhere, IF that is the best. God has many depths and dimensions that we know nothing about.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Kaatje Van der Zee @Tim Conley 

The degrading comes by mortal man attempting to make God into something He isn't. And that would be saying God is everywhere.

The bond that holds atoms together that forms various elements is not energy like what is in a muscle or what happens when a fuel is burned. The bond in atoms is the same as a magnetic force, which scientists are still trying to adequately explain.

As far as what would get one closer to God, believe whatever you want. It has been proven to anyone in the Bible that God can be found by anyone seeking to know Him.

Of course we are all different. Right, nothing wrong with that. There is only one living God and each person chooses to accept or reject Him.

timqz1
timqz1

@SwissJon To jon, kaatje, kathleen, tiffany, ono and everyone else: you do realize, of course, that every time you let ol' Tim goad you into a response to one of his bloviations, you're doing exactly what he wants.  He's immune to rebuttals, insults, outrage (especially outrage!) etc., and feeds off of reaction.  Every rise he gets from anyone in this forum feels to him like another victory for his grotesque, twisted version of Christ.  Including this one I'm making now.  I know it's soooo tempting to grab at the bait, but, really, what he fears most is that you won't.  And he'll keep on poking harder and harder until finally someone breaks down and gives him the response he so desperately needs.I can only think that in his real life he is so isolated and lonely that it thrills him to have people actually acknowledge his existence by letting him get under their skin. I suppose it's an exercise in futility to make this point, but really, folks, the worst thing you can do to this sad little man is IGNORE HIM.

Kaatje Van der Zee
Kaatje Van der Zee

@SwissJon Thanks SwissJon, I didn't think of magma/lava and the Earth's core. Speaking of volcanoes, did you hear about the volcano in Alaska? 

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon 


"inst the very sing you claim" Please clarify.

The energy can be found in rocks. Just like uranium can be found in rocks. The energy didn't exist anywhere before God created them. The rocks wouldn't exist w/o God's creation and His attributes. However, God is not in the rocks any more than any other inanimate object. When God spoke to Moses in the burning bush, the bush didn't burn. God also led the Israelites through the desert by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. God can be anywhere He wants to be or He can put energy where He wants it. The occurrence of energy might seem odd or natural, depending on one's perspective. It wouldn't happen at all w/o a wisdom and energy source.

Now in the case of geothermal energy, volcanoes, the sun or uranium, these are all places where energy can be found. The fact is they all were created and God created the world perfect.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@timqz1 @SwissJon

Unfortunately I do continue to take the bait, not as often or as intense but I do still feed into the madness. I am trying, and I will try harder as I know,( it's been shown time and time again) just how accurate your evaluation of this twisted situation is.


Let the ignoring commence!

Kaatje Van der Zee
Kaatje Van der Zee

@Tim Conley @SwissJon @Tim Conley God is omnipresent. Why would that de-value the Eternal?


I didn't mention wisdom; I said everything is made up of energy, which is true. Is it what holds atoms together. This is why when you split an atom, a TREMENDOUSLY AWFUL amount of energy is released. Our sun is a nuclear furnace which fuses atoms of hydrogen together creating energy in the form of light and heat. That equation I mentioned earlier DOES explain the relationship between mass and energy. Energy was, is and will always be in existence; it can not be destroyed, but it can be transformed. 

God did have a need for radioactive material; it exists for a reason. Just like God had a need for ultra-violet light, our atmosphere and magnetic fields. 

I can only speak what I've experienced and I know it was studying physics and chemistry which helped me to NOT become an atheist; dont tell me what would make me feel closer to the Almighty.  

Not all people relate to god in the same way, Tim; we are different and there is nothing wrong with that. 

Sorry about that; ran out of editing time. 

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon @Tim Conley @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

Because I am NOT casting doubt. Why would you see words that are not there?

When the Bible says God is omnipresent and in every part of His creation, He obviously has that ability, if He so chooses. God also has omniscience and wisdom to use His powers as He sees fit. God is not required to be everywhere.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@DavidStevens @timqz1 @SwissJon

Thanks for this article David, it is so very true, sad but true.


Like Ono I see it within my family as well. Another aspect that the article doesn't mention that I've noticed within my family is ignoring. My cousin is gay, we've all known it since we were kids but his mom, my aunt, who is a evangelical christian doesn't even acknowledge it. My cousin has a partner, who he has been with for years and years, they bought a house together, they are a family, but my aunt still refers to him as my cousin's "friend" at family functions etc.  Though my other cousins ( his brother and sisters ) acknowledge who their brother and his partner are...a loving committed couple, with a 20+ year history.


And my mom does a similar thing with my son. If we talk about one of his friends who happens to be a girl my mom will ask if he is seeing her, is she a new girlfriend, even though my son and his partner have been living together for 3 years.


What it seems like to me is, when it comes to someone they love, rather than do the usually clobbering with bible verses they ignore who these people are. And rather than question their beliefs it is easier to pretend the people they love aren't who they truly are. Although I have to give my mom credit, she is much more open to questioning the way in which her beliefs have been presented.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@Kaatje Van der Zee @Tim Conley @SwissJon


I agree, Kaatje. To me the omnipresence of God is one of the more amazing facets of the universe. Visible patterns in the "chaos" of a piece of granite, for example. Or the fact that that same piece of granite, if pulverized, can be food for plants, and in turn food for humans and animals.


Of course, there will always be forms of energy made solid that we are unable to "use," but this makes them no less valid as a manifestation of the eternal.


One of my favorite conservation sayings says something like, "Over 1,000 uses, but it still works best as a tree." Usability by humans is not the only determinate of value.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Kaatje Van der Zee @Tim Conley @SwissJon 

In order to split that atom there has to be energy put into the process. Either naturally or artificially.

Yes, energy will always exist in some form. We agree it can be transformed but only with energy being combined.

God made this world for our benefit. God can do miracles with or w/o the existence of elements in our world. Since God created everything in this world, it follows that He would know how to make something happen any way He chooses.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Tim Conley @SwissJon @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

Oh but you are Tim. The Bible says he IS omnipresence, NOT that he has the ability to be, that's completely different. If God says he's Omnipresent then he's omnipresent.. You're verging very close to heresy here Tim..

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@DavidStevens @Kaatje Van der Zee @Tim Conley @SwissJon 

I am so glad to know the God that created me is much more than visible patterns in a rock. It does have a wonderment about it but as beautiful as nature is, the creator is sooo much more than any of the components of His creation.

BTW, any source I ask says granite is unable to support growth of any plant.

????????

????????

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon @Tim Conley @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

I am so reluctant to inform you that you are not the expert that I would turn to, especially on this. I detect a large amount of cynicism that is not sincere.

I know where of I speak and I know God is not bound by any laws or belief. It's all ok, go ahead, believe anything you wish, as I know you will.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@DavidStevens @Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon 

The meaning of omnipresent is not my issue, that God can and does live according to His own will and His own wisdom. If you are saying God is required to obey His creation rather than His creation obey Him, then obviously the cart is ahead of the horse. If God has a will that transcends all of the laws of nature, then I won't argue with that.

As to the granite as a fertilizer, yes it does have some minerals/vitamins to contribute. To say granite supports life as a growth medium is totally wrong. Usually, the gardener sprinkles the crushed mineral in the soil that is needed by that particular plant. Some plants need a iron rich additive. Other plants need their nutrition from sunlight or sea based compost. Still, no plant can grow with only the additives or the special based conditions.

The point began that God does not inhabit every place on the planet. The fact that granite has unique properties doesn't mean that God is present there any more than any other unique place with it's own beauty.

We sing this song that says "God has the whole world in His hands" and other words commending God's attributes. It is obvious to the believer of truth.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon @Tim Conley @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

So then why pretend to have a dialogue?

Except for the groundless accusations or comments that try to distract there wouldn't be any conversation.

I don't mind being targeted (I have to assume such), it's the insincerity about the cynicism. In fact, honesty would dictate a confession of game playing for the sake of levity. I have been honest and the truth is the root cause of your issue.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@Tim Conley @DavidStevens @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon

I never said granite was a growth medium, I said it was food for plants (fertilizer).


I see food as sacred, because life is sacred. Everything that exists on this planet is part of the web of life, even if we humans don't understand how it fits.


I get that your belief system regarding the sacred nature of life and the planet is different from mine.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Tim Conley @SwissJon @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee So... Finally you admit you've been pretending to have a dialogue all this time Tim.. Something that's been patently obvious to the rest of us..


And I'm glad you admit to making groundless accusations as well.. The rest of us back our arguments by quoting from the bible..


Cynacism... Insincerity? Nope, I sincerely believe you're driven purely by self interest.


Yep, honesty and truth are the root cause of my issue.. Too much of it from me, far too little of it from you.

Ono
Ono

@DavidStevens @Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon 

Actually granite is a growth medium for some plants, what comes to mind are plants adapted to a rocky terrain. Granite, shale, limestone, basalt, all are good growing mediums for plants who adapted to them. Just go to the Cascade Mountains and up into the alpine meadows. Many examples of them there and of course along the sea cliffs along the coast...

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon @Tim Conley @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

I admit no such thing as pretending. That is what you are stuck on believing. Conclude and believe whatever makes you feel better.

Since you don't refer to any of my "groundless accusations" then I find it plagiarism to use my words.

Of course you believe that, I would be surprised if you believed any other way. BTW, it's cynicism not ''Cynacism"

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @DavidStevens @Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon 

It might seem that way to a lay person. In reality every plant needs a growth medium to 1) have a place for roots to get nutrients and water. 2) the medium has to support the plant in weather. 3) the medium itself has to be stable so it doesn't shift.

I go to the cliffs along the coast and even in the desert and it is amazing what grows there. But I have yet to see a plant that grows only in rocks without the benefit of soil medium for water because no plant can exist on rainwater alone. There are some plants that get a percentage of water through their leaves, but again, not all of the needed supply.

The rocks you speak of can supply some nutrients, but not all of them. Also, those rocks supply zero water content.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@Tim Conley @DavidStevens @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon

Yes, well, again, you and I see the inherent sacredness of life differently.


Tim, if you are seriously here to promote Christ, and not just be a pot-stirrer, please take this friendly advice:


When someone points out a factual error on your part (e.g. granite as a fertilizer), acknowledge the error and thank them for the correction. This is a hallmark of civilized discussion and of a humble person truly interested in learning. 


Every time someone has pointed out a factual error on your part you have either continued to argue or simply ignored the correction. Frankly, this makes you look bull-headed and ignorant and NOT like a disciple of Jesus.


Seriously, man, I am actually trying to help.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Tim Conley @SwissJon @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee  Cynicism, cynacism.. Wow.. You got my Tim, I'm slightly dyslexic.. Congratulations.. So what? Perhaps God won't let me into heaven because I'm less than perfect and my spell check doesn't work on this site?


Accusations.. Hmmm... We'll start with the obvious shall we?


You stated - "Homosexuality is not anymore an expression of love than is a man getting his "love" from a prostitute or an affair. Same thing."  This wisdom is from the Bible, not my wisdom.


Yet you refuse to state WHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAY THIS?? YOUR EXACT QUOTE - CHAPTER AND VERSE.


"I find it plagiarism to use my words.." so sue me.. We'll see whether your ridiculous charade stands in court. But I'm glad you admit to making groundless accusations like the one above.


"So why pretend to have a dialogue?" Those are your words.. Sounds like admitting to pretence to me..


If you don't like the criticism, I suggest you stop making ridiculous unfounded claims like the one above. Or that rock cannot support life, what on earth do you think this whole planet is made from? Candy? Each and every time you post your claims get more silly..

Ono
Ono

@DavidStevens @Ono @Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon 

I just wanted to let you know that your posts were correct and I was just correcting the errors Tim made. He doesn't know the whole story about plants adaptations to all kinds of  growing mediums, from sterile peat bogs, tree bark, rock, water and of course soil. And that plants have adapted in numerous ways to get their nutrients in other areas besides soil and draw water from the air and not just in the tropics.

I see he did change his tune just a little after he probably went to look it up and posted right before me. Too bad he didn't do that before he posted his answers to you and Beau.

Although it really doesn't matter who's wrong or right on this subject. Just think that sometimes I wish he would learn it is wiser not to speak with authority about things he knows little about.

BeauJackson
BeauJackson

@Tim Conley Orchids and other plants thrive in rocks with only modest amounts of fertilizer.  Orchids in the wild get their nutrients from rain water and possibly runoff from surrounding sources.  However, that water can only be in contact with their roots for a very short time.  Orchids grow on the rocks.  It is amazing how such large beautiful plants will grow from seemingly nothing.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@DavidStevens @Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon 

By your logic there isn't any solid that is NOT a fertilizer for some plant. Very few solids lack any mineral that some plant could use. So it can be said that part of either of our comments are correct.

Still, the main issue to the reference of minerals and rocks has been left far behind. You didn't point to any factual error since you didn't understand what I said.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@kathleen z @Tim Conley @SwissJon @Kaatje Van der Zee 

The plagiarism was in reference to copying my words but not seeing the meaning of same. Many times I make a point in truth and the words are reiterated but with entirely different results. No problem, I can work around deleterious motives.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon @Tim Conley @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

I only pointed out the misspelling as a footnote to be used for good. I didn't think it would be such a big deal.

As I stated previously, again I say that I am not opposed to showing where the Bible says what I say. I have done it many times. The issue here is you said how the Bible is not to be taken at face value or as I see it, only in "acceptable" interpretations. I find this to process of yours to be a waste of time if at the outset you have prejudged prior to my list of verses. It looks to me to be a case of the pot calling the kettle black and "looing for an argument". I will present my list of verses when it will be taken seriously by a sincere truth seeker.

I don't sue anybody since I am not out to prove wrong. My purpose here is to talk about truth in charity and Jesus's teachings.

Those are my words and if you choose to understand them then they would be best in context.

If rock supports life, why not go tell the farmers that constantly clear their fields of rocks as they find them?

I don't mind the criticism. It's best if criticism is based on facts, truth and IF it leads to wisdom as Jesus taught.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @DavidStevens @Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon 

I never claimed to "know the whole story".

Of course plants adapt. I have made no comments to that issue.

What I said previously as compared to now is not a ''change of tune''. No facts were changed.

I never claimed that I was speaking with authority. Nothing I said is factually in error although my wording could be improved.

Ono
Ono

@BeauJackson @Tim Conley

Exactly, Beau. Plants don't alway get their nutrients from soil. Bladderworts (Pinguicula vulgaris) trap insects on their sticky leaves and digest them for nutrients, and they grow on rock seepages, no soil. Many epiphytes get their nutrients from the air and rain and they don't just grow in the tropics, as TC seems to believe. Mosses, lichens, etc. Picture is of moss and bladderwort  growing on a rock.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@BeauJackson @Tim Conley 

There are over 20 thousand orchid types and some do grow in rocky situations but those have humid climates and are very fragile with short lives, some living only weeks. But they still require some soil amongst the rocky substrate. There are also some species that seemingly grow in air but these are classified as mosses. They draw in nutrients and moisture through their leaves and/or stalks. Some live on rock cliffs if they get enough nutrients in insects. They all need roots for support.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Tim Conley @kathleen z @SwissJon @Kaatje Van der Zee plagiarism (noun ) "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own."

What I was doing is mimicking your manner of twisting the truth until it fits into the situation you want it to. I'm glad you don't like that much when others do it to you, it's a very bad habit you have Tim.. You should stop it..
I don't see what pointing out misspelling achieved Tim, what, the numbers of errors you've made on here. I'm not "looing" for an argument, I'm "looing" for you to follow up with something that might resemble truth.. By the way, It's spelt "looking" ;)
You need to learn more about Jesus's ways before you try to teach anyone Tim. Your understanding of anything remotely resembling Jesus' teachings is extremely negative, I don't think you'd know "truth" if it came up and gave you a big hug.. In fact I think it probably has on quite a few occasions, you just push it away and get on with your "deleterious motives"... 
You're ON a big rock Tim... The earth is a big rock.. Farmers clear them because they break tractors. But really, you want to know how rock supports life? 2 Samuel 22:32 "For who is God, besides the LORD? And who is a rock, besides our God?"

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @BeauJackson @Tim Conley 

Except for a few words, I said the same things.

As TC seems to believe? Except for the words "tropics", "epiphytes", that sentence is what I said.

I also said there is three reasons why plants have roots.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@DavidStevens @Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon 

22 hours ago, "As to the granite as a fertilizer, yes it does have some minerals/vitamins to contribute. To say granite supports life as a growth medium is totally wrong. Usually, the gardener sprinkles the crushed mineral in the soil that is needed by that particular plant." These are my words and I defy you to point to where I said granite can't be used as fertilizer. Go ahead make my day.

Ono
Ono

@SwissJon @Tim Conley @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

Again you are talking to a man who refuses to hear. Although I believe he is talking about the parable of sowing seeds, he doesn't get botany. Jesus never said that nothing grows on rocks, he was trying to convey the message of sowing a seed to show how where it lands. Unfortunately, when a person takes a parable literally instead of the way Jesus intended, then you come up with this line of argument about that plants don't grow on rocks. He didn't hear, rather the seed fell where it could not grow for Tim's understanding.... Unfortunate, because the parable is a good one.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@SwissJon @Tim Conley @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

Go ahead and mimic then. However you can justify is no problem with me. The difference is that I seek the truth and it would be good for all to do the same.

Sometimes words are misspelled, I got that. What is bad is when it makes one wonder about the meaning of what was said. Dropping one letter shouldn't confuse anyone. I will make a note to not correct your spelling.

It is truth that one person's truth will never be accepted when there is an agenda. If you don't want to face the truth then don't blame someone else if they don't agree with your agenda. Facing the truth and living by it is my agenda. So it doesn't bother me if you want to reinterpret truth. The only detriment is knowing what Jesus said is the truth and the consequences of not facing the truth.

We all need to learn more about Jesus's teachings and that is my goal if only more people would engage in doing that rather than attacking the presenter. I am not perfect and I expect nothing of the kind for anybody else. I am looking to the day when I am perfect. It is expected that you would say my belief of the truth is negative since you want to redefine truth. The standard of the Bible should be the definition of truth.

Your thoughts on my knowing the truth is so predictable.

Rocks break tractors, equipment plus rocks don't produce any thing that is harvestable on a farm. Any food product that is marketable will never be grown on a rock. It might be grown around or in spite of a rock but it is not going to happen for that rock being there.

The verse in 2 Samuel 22:32 and other passages, is speaking about a spiritual foundation and spiritual growth, which is rare for you to reference. Jesus taught about 4 different ground types for growing plants. So with that it should be plain to see that there are various ways to consider the meaning of Jesus or God being a rock.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@Ono 


Botany can appeal to our most complex, intellectual pursuits, and at the same time light up the most child-like, exquisitely simple parts of our imagination.


One of my best friends put it best: "Why worry? Plants grow." I see it as a token of a covenant with God...Life is Eternal.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@Tim Conley @DavidStevens @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon


Tim, are you okay? This is not the comportment of a stable, spiritually peaceful individual.


In answer to your challenge, you originally said: "BTW, any source I ask says granite is unable to support growth of any plant."


When I provided sources for the use of granite a support for plant growth, rather than saying, "Hey, thanks for the info!", you continued to argue as if it was important that you were correct, rather than using the opportunity to learn.


So, again, are you okay?

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @SwissJon @Tim Conley @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

The parable of 4 types of ground were in response to Jon's reference of a rock in 2 Samuel and so I compared different use of the word "rock".

We already settled the debate that some plants DO grow on rocks. But the practicality of growing plants for use as food or any utilitarian use will not look to rocks as anything except for maybe an additive of minerals. And even the minerals in rocks are not practical as compared to some other sources.

Also that parable, if you want to apply the full meaning, has to do with a soul that is need of salvation.

Limited to how to grow a plant for practical use, it would mean to prepare rich, deep soil and water it often.

Ono
Ono

@SwissJon @Tim Conley @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

Further, I believe the seed of love has fallen where Tim will not allow it to grow, or for himself to grow in God's love. I truly hope that he some day hears the message of love. But Tim is one that listens to hate all the time and allows that to grow like weeds in his heart. Let's all try not to let his weeds fall on our own hearts and combat the hate he is being fed by showing him the love. If Tim would start with distancing himself from the negative vibes that feed his fears and the darkness, he may have a chance. But he needs to give up listening to those who have a message of hate. Let's try to give him a message of love instead of arguing with him. The argument only adds fuel to the hate he is already receiving.


Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@DavidStevens @Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon 

I stand by that statement.

Granite can't support plant growth. It can give nutrients but nutrients are a small part of a plants support. Such as water. A plant will grow with some nutrients missing but not w/o water. Or light. And in the proper amounts.

So, yes, you are correct that minerals in granite are what some plants need. But w/o water there is no minerals that would be processed by the plant. Or animals, for that matter.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@Tim Conley @DavidStevens @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon


It is a matter of semantics. Fertilizers "support" plant growth, but as you've pointed out, the plants need other things, too.


Are you okay?


You are right that plants need more than crushed granite to survive.


Are you okay? Do you know how to admit when you have misunderstood something or misspoken?

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono @SwissJon @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 

I am sorry my posts touched a nerve with you. I would really like to help you. I can only say, I've been where you are, and what I needed was love, not hate. It is what will bring joy into your life. I wish that for you Tim, I wish you much joy, and I pray that is what you will find. I believe you are deserving of it, just as I was, but didn't know I was. I will not pretend you don't exist, because you do and you are important, no matter what. 


SwissJon
SwissJon

@DavidStevens @Tim Conley @Ono @SwissJon @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee 


David, Someone taking their life is not something anyone should dismiss, my wife works in ICU, but I do want to point out something.


Tim has come onto this forum willingly and basically swung his weight around with a big sledge hammer Bible, and then left because nobody was prepared to be hit with it. I don't believe the situation would have been any different if we hadn't been here, if someone was on here who was having an internal battle over their own sexuality, and there had been nobody here to provide resistance, there's a very real possibility that person would have considered suicide. Given Tim's attitude toward who he was prepared to hurt with his misconceived ideas, I would suggest that it was a likelihood, rather than a possibility.


I'm not saying anything regarding Tim, just that in a situation such as this, something was going to break. Whether it was someone innocent or someone aggressive, something was going to change.


I sincerely hope that Tim hasn't tried that, and I hope if he did, someone found him and helped him, because in reality, that's what Tim needs, some real and practical help. The reality is, we don't know him, and our message on this board has simply been "Take that hate some place else".. If he manages to do so, and disposes of it, I for one will welcome him back. I don't hate people, I simply don't think that it's ok to allow someone to attack someone innocent and vulnerable and not step in and protect.. That's just my way I'm afraid.

I sincerely wish Tim would find it in his heart to change, and come back and allow us to show him what Love really is, he's obviously not seen any in his life, it would be a real enlightenment for him.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@Tim Conley @DavidStevens @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon

And Tim, I am seriously asking after your well being.


You are not discussing this like a rational adult. You are throwing a tantrum because I don't agree with your scientific analysis and you can't seem to admit when you've misunderstood something.


Really, truly, are you okay?

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@Tim Conley @DavidStevens @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon

Okay, I just reviewed the conversation. I originally said that granite could be "food" for plants (I think that we've established that it can be in that it provides nutrients). You responded by saying that granite cannot "support" plant growth.


Here are the semantics:


In my mind, "food" "supports" life/growth. It isn't the only thing...obviously light/water/air are necessary, but it is one important thing that plays a "supporting" role in growth. One of the definitions of support on the Merriam-Webster website is: " to give help or assistance to (someone or something)"


You are using the word "support" to mean providing sole sustenance. 


We are having a SEMANTIC disagreement, Tim. Are you okay? Do you understand what semantic means?

timqz1
timqz1

@SwissJon @DavidStevens @Tim Conley @Ono @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee Well said, Jon.It’s a sad fact that in a forum such as this, with people of good intent coming to dialogue and exchange views, it can take just one participant acting out of malice to disrupt it entirely.It’s clear that Tim came to this forum to hijack it to meet his own agenda.He carpet bombed it with innumerable comments about how we homos are sinners bound to hell, and he showed no interest in engaging the forum participants in any honest dialogue; just sermons how he was a messenger from Jesus come here to show us the error of our ways.When he got serious push back from these little hate bombs, his feelings got hurt and now he says he’s leaving us.Maybe I lack the compassion shown by others but I’m fine with this. No happy person acts out of malice like this, and I believe that Tim is wrestling with some serious demons.I mean it when I say I hope he finds some peace in the future, but not at our expense.


I’m a pretty old guy, which means that when I was young I lived in a world very different than the one we live in today.  The message I received on a daily basis was that I was a worthless piece of shit bound for hell, but not before I lived the rest of my life in total misery.  No counter voices pushing back, no positive role models, nada.  Just the hate.  I didn’t have the armor I have now, and I took those messages to heart.  The pain I felt was pretty much non-stop and so intense that I started thinking that anything was better than living like this.  Fortunately I didn’t act on those feelings.  But the worst attacks directed at me by far were from people who identified themselves as “Christians”.  Like Tim.


During the ’80s, when an AIDS diagnosis was a death sentence (and a horrible, drawn out one at that), I started witnessing friends and acquaintances all around me being stricken and cut down by the disease, always wondering if I would be next.  It was then that I learned how truly hateful self-identified “Christians” could really be.  The Fundamentalists gleefully proclaimed that this was God’s judgement and that those with AIDS (the gays at least) had it coming (to be fair, other, more liberal Christians did show incredible compassion).  The Fundies seemed almost glad that AIDS was out there taking its toll.


I’ve survived those years, I’m happy now, and I have a good life.  But I’m at the stage of my life where I refuse to take crap like what Tim has been handing out.  Especially in the name of Christ.  I have more respect for an honest bigot than I do for a pious homophobe who talks of love but acts out of hate (or at least a profound lack of compassion).  So, sayonara Tim.  Get some professional help, but peddle your hatred somewhere else.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@DavidStevens @Tim Conley @Kaatje Van der Zee @SwissJon 

Fact is that food w/o water is useless. Also many nutrients are found dissolved in water. It doesn't matter that a body can ingest food until they are overfeed but if the body doesn't have water to process that food that body will die. A body can last for more than a month w/o food but a body can't go more than a day w/o some form of water. That's why one of the first items given a patient after triage is intravenous fluids, if they are unconscious or otherwise unable to drink. Like I said water can have dissolved minerals and nutrients and that is what gives growth to any form of life.

NOT  semantics by a long way. 

kathleen z
kathleen z

@timqz1 @SwissJon @DavidStevens @Ono @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee

I feel very much like you do. I find it very hard to have any compassion for someone who purposely continued to do something, that was fully aware of the harm and pain it was causing. Especially under the guise of some messenger of Christ's, it makes me hopping mad! ( that's the watered down version of what I really want to say).


The pain you describe tears at my very soul and my first reaction is that I want to retaliate. The thought that it still goes on, in any way, and how they seem to delight, with self righteous smugness, ..... I'm afraid to say what I'm really thinking.


In any case, I am very sorry for any of the pain Tim C. might have gone through but I feel like at what point do we stop letting that excuse be accepted and hold people responsible and accountable for their own actions? I can't help but feel that my compassion is reserved for those that are still the victims of that self righteous smugness that is still being hurled about.


But, I am more than overjoyed that you, ultimately, have the sweetest revenge of all...... you are happy, loved by many and have a good life, the best revenge of all! My pray is that everyone finds and has that kind of revenge.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@DavidStevens @SwissJon @Tim Conley @Ono @kathleen z @Kaatje Van der Zee

I agree with everything said. My only fear is that this is part of his game and that he will take on another persona in a few weeks and this will start again. I pray my fear is unfounded and Tim is on a road to real love, happiness and peace. I hope he comes back and shares that when he can feel what we've felt all along.

Ono
Ono

@kathleen z @timqz1 @SwissJon @DavidStevens @Ono @Kaatje Van der Zee 

I meant to answer this earlier. Having compassion for someone when they are hurting others as well as themselves, doesn't mean you have to condone their actions.  I do believe that retaliating doesn't help the person come around to stop their actions. I have watched with my own eyes what love has done to help even the most hardcore. I could be wrong, hey I often am, but for me I am constantly being reminded that my own actions towards another is about me. I have to be responsible for whatever I do, no matter what another does to me or others. And I don't have to condone another's actions, because I certainly can call someone on their behavior, but I must remember to always have compassion. It's darn hard to do though. But someone like Tim can help me learn to practice compassion and walk in love for Tim as Jesus taught.  That I believe may help him more than anything. Yes, I could be wrong, but I would rather be wrong in love, than right and not walking in the love. I hope that made sense.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@Ono @kathleen z @timqz1 @SwissJon @DavidStevens @Kaatje Van der Zee

Yes that made sense Ono, and I do have compassion, in the general sense. I don't wish any harm to anyone and I do hope that one day their hearts are softened, but that is as far as my compassion can go for people who knowingly continue to cause pain. 


If someone is honestly trying to change and see things through a different lens then I would be the first person to offer any and all the help I was able to, even if that road was uncomfortable and daunting. But when someone makes it very clear, no matter what pain they might be in, that they have no desire to stop inflicting pain onto others, and then seem to delight in the fact that they have caused such pain, well that is where my tolerance ends. Someone's own pain and/or suffering is not license to cause pain to others when you have been made aware that you are indeed causing pain.


Is my first thought that I want to retaliate, it is, but I don't act on it, not in the way that my first thought is. So yes, I do have compassion, just in a more general sense, for Tim C. and people like him. I don't feel that this is not loving, I feel that it is the most realistic way of being loving, for me, in these situations.