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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

23480 comments
cara
cara

Hi, this is a beautiful piece written. And im sure it will get many people reflecting on things we have done or said or thought in the past which are against the basic principles of love, empathy and friendship. However, just on a side note, im pretty sure you haven't heard the statement that "god hates fags" from Buddhists. Because Buddhist don't believe in a single creator god in the first place. Also, buddhists are the more liberal ones when it comes to LGBT issues. Would be good if writers in the future do not lump all religions/systems of belief together as that will cause misunderstandings oftentimes. However,the parts when he quoted things from various religions/systems of belief, to prove that single point about understanding the fact that we are one human race and that we all need to love and be loved, was great. :)

Peace and love,

Cara

REGGIE ANDREWS
REGGIE ANDREWS

i always stay home and not allow out with gay because of gay is very dirty and sin hate of them

thank god they gone can forget the past, but still lonely by my young brother feel same as my late parents well but i'm different of him, all are very old fashioned  is true, they never change attitude,

i still disappointed but i have been holiday abroad   4 times but now  ex-support worker is destoryed me as life is risky over diabetic, pacemaker, eye drops for life, one day to be lucky fir my future new partner if can,   thanks,   reggie andrews

kathleen z
kathleen z

@Sora Tuulinen @BeauJackson @DavidStevens @Ono @Tiffani @SwissJon  and all my friends and family here. Thought this might be something those who can would be interested in signing.


Love to all, Kathleen


Dear friend,

In 32 US states, you can be fired just for being gay. President Barack Obama has promised to issue an order that bans federal contractors from firing or refusing to hire someone because of who they are or who they love. Experts say that it could set the standard for future employment laws in the USA and around the world.

But some well-funded religious groups are lobbying Obama hard for a huge loophole (a “religious exemption”) that lets employers keep firing anyone they think is lesbian, gay, bi or trans.

Obama's position on discrimination against LGBT people is clear. But powerful interests are trying to get him to back down right now, so we're going All Out to make sure he has our support to say NO to anti-gay loopholes.

The order could come any day now. If you think no one should be fired for being gay, sign now and share with your family, friends, and coworkers:

https://www.allout.org/obama-no-religious-exemption

Wayne
Wayne

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

CarolynWolfe
CarolynWolfe

I am absolutely flabbergasted that this  is still going on. I think that this forum should be about raising people up, not attacking each other,  trying to trump each other's knowledge of the Bible. or bully, harass  or engage in one up-man-ship. Really where is this getting you all? Tim Conley says this, everyone argues back- back and forth, back and forth. I  came to this forum to  raise my voice for  my friends who are Gay. Who are harassed, criticized and belittled- I came because I am appalled by people who use religion as a way  to bludgeon another person. My friends are wonderful, happy, married and secure in their relationship and yet meet prejudice with grace everyday. This forum is about enlightenment. Instead all I  have seen over the past few weeks, is  stupid arguing over fine points, or he said she said they said comments- why? What is this getting anyone?  I do not think that I am the only one who is getting tired of seeing the rhetoric.  Let's use this forum to help bring Gay rights  and Gay suffering to light, not bully and harass. It is  common, it is futile and it is really getting boring.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley

I'm bringing this up to the top because I would like to see Tim explain this. 


Tim wrote: "You are correct in one thing, there is no proof of anything in the life after this one. But God's love does has it's limits. If God's love didn't have limits then there would be no violence or hatred in this world. All there would be would be love."

Did you just blame violence and hatred in this world on God because God is limited?

Ono
Ono

@CarolynWolfe 

I'm sorry you feel that way Carolyn. I'll shut up, and leave.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

God set limits on His love since He will not be in the same place as rebellion and unrepentant sin.

No, God's love is in this world only in the places that worship Him in spirit and in truth.

God's love is the only thing keeping this world from using some WMD and annihilating this planet. Except for God's love, violence would be so rampant that there would be so much destruction that nobody would be safe.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Ono @CarolynWolfe 

Dear Ono,


Please don't leave, I suggest you simply stop talking to Tim.

Leaving because you don't get on with someone simply means that you've been bullied off this forum, which, correct me if I'm wrong, is what Carolyn was complaining about. I'm happy to talk to you, and if we are uninterrupted then I'm fairly certain that the conversation will be interesting.


As far as I'm concerned, you're welcome here.

If Tim feels he is getting bullied, he could equally stop talking to you and the conversation would also cease, however when I stopped talking to him, he simply said the same things to someone else, suggesting he's less of a victim, and more of a provocateur. I've no interest in seeing him bullied, but if both Tim and you choose to continue to talk, then talk, I don't particularly see why either of you should relinquish your right to free speech.

If Carolyn is bored, there are a lot of amusing posts on this site that can cure that, I suggest that she sticks with the more interesting posts and unsubscribes from this one.

Tiffani
Tiffani

@Tim Conley I'm sorry, but this is outright blasphemy. You're looking at this all wrong; it isn't that God is so righteous and holy that he can't stand to be immanent with unrepentant sinners; rather, it is that human beings choose to reject his unconditional love. As you said, God does not coerce. But he is always present, always near, ready to welcome his sheep back to the fold.This is the very definition of grace, the very focal point of the Gospel. He never forsakes us, but we so often forsake him. And there is a world of difference between the two.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono Thanks for you explanation. It's good to know why there is so much destruction and why I have to lock my doors to be safe and why there is no peace. So you believe it's God's choice for all the bad that is happening in this world. Thank you for explaining that to me.

CarolynWolfe
CarolynWolfe

@SwissJon @Ono @CarolynWolfe 

Ono, leave, stay, do whatever you like. I was giving my opinion. I am not bored with what this blog post is about SwissJon, I am  increasingly frustrated that this blog is getting bogged down by  arguments that go nowhere, that bullying is and does occur, that people seem to be posting to get one-up-man-ship on each other, that this is getting to be a childish,  tit for tat forum, instead of doing what it was meant to do, uplift, educate and re-evaluate the  way Gays are being treated in society. If all you want to do is argue, then by all means, argue- or go watch  Honey Boo Boo for all I care, but don't suggest it is for anything other than arguments sake. And I will continue to post here  and call a spade a spade when I see it happening.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Tiffani @Tim Conley 

I believe "immanent" was supposed to be intimate? I can't find any other meaning.

Yes, I see what you mean. There is a vast difference between the two. The point I would make from what you said is that to "reject his unconditional love" means that God then has to limit His love to life sustenance and blessings as much as possible. But God won't go beyond a person's choice if they want to act violent or otherwise rebel.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

Blaming God for the bad that is happening in this world, after all that He has done to prevent it, is like saying that He should control everyone like puppets or marionettes. Or maybe more up to date would be robots that are programmed to function a certain way.

I, for one, would NOT like any of those options, although it would be nice to live in paradise. God has his own ways for accomplishing the same thing, except He would use love rather than direct control or coercion.

Ono
Ono

@CarolynWolfe @SwissJon @Ono


Tim and I were having a conversation last night, and I thought we made some progress in communication, because I instead of bucking him, I asked him for clarity, and I'm sure pestered him a bit, but he was engaging with me. It certainly was some progress between us. Or so I thought, until you posted your displeasure. 

There was no intent to bully him, I was actually in a conversation with him and listening to what he said because I was trying to understand where he was coming from and thus asking for him to clarify and thought he was being sincere in his efforts. You have projected something into that conversation that is your own perception. 


That conversation started before in a much buried thread where I was conversing with another poster who is a gay and reassuring this person. Tim stepped into the conversation and so in order to keep his post from taking away from the other conversation I tried to move it away (so as not to dilute the original thread) and have a separate conversation--the one that you seem to be up in arms about. Most of the time I have not sought Tim out to start a debate, he is normally the one who  inserts himself into a conversation I am having with another in disagreement to what I am saying.


You are angry, I hear you, but I don't agree with your assessment. Tim gets a lot of attention because as I said before he inserts himself into conversations in full opposition with  many, especially those who are allies to LGBTS. He has even told you he is not having a problem with any of the debates he is in, I believed he was sincere in what he told you. And Swiss Jon gave a good assessment that Tim does stirs things up and it appears to be his purpose.


You are certainly welcome to your opinion. But you are mistaken about others intentions. And I too have gay friends, I am in a creative business where gay people are the norm, and I don't understand why some people have a problem with anyone that is LGBT. Many are my peers, and despite what they go through (or because of) I've seen their kindness and beautiful spirits in action. I've met some cranky, b-word types too, they live in the same imperfect world as I do and I can forgive them for it. I went to a gay event with my daughter, flew down in support of her efforts to help homeless gay youths. Her age group welcomed me in with so much love and charm, I was blown away!  I tried to think of that same age group of heterosexual young people and couldn't imagine that kind of reception coming from a group that are usually still growing up and still too self-absorbed.

In the 70s I had a gay roommate in college who I adored and although it wasn't until later that I realized how ostracized gay people were, she never told me how it affected her life. She was a brave soul who came out to me, even though I was clueless how brave it was for her to do so. Unfortunately, I've lost contact with her and it is my hope that she has done well for herself.

My daughter is a Lesbian although I was an outspoken ally long before my daughter came out to me, and have been ostracized myself because I've spoken for years to Christians, about what is happening to gay people. I even picked up a stalker for awhile, but I continued on regardless.


I tell you all this because you are not correct in what other's intentions are. I am not here to argue points, or do one-upmanship. Yes I get side tracked with Tim, as do others, but please, many of us have held each others hands here for a long time, reassured those who have been hurt , and even watched the transformation of at least one who started questioning her belief system that was against gays. I admire her courage too. A lot of people have been through here and I believe a lot have been helped by Dan's original post and the reassurance of those who hang out here. There have been many Christians who have come here disparaging homosexuals, and that is why so many of us do stay here, trying to help those who may be harmed by their words.

Yes I've been here nearly from the beginning of Dan's post trying to uplift, educate and reevaluate the way Gays have been treated. Are any of us perfect at it? Of course not. And most of us here have been calling a spade a spade a long time before you came in. Does that make me a better person? No. Does it mean I post perfectly everytime? No. However, I have found your posts condescending, rude and interrupting and far from uplifting, educating and re-evaluating the way Gays are being treated in society--the very thing we have been doing here for a long time. I've pretty much ignored them, figuring that you needed to speak your mind and you have. Do I agree with your assessment? Not really, I've seen a lot of good that has come out of this place. I agree that engaging with Tim is futile and believe me I've disengaged many times from him only to be drawn back in. I'm working on that. Trust me my intentions here go way beyond the banter between Tim and I. 


I barely know who Honey Boo Boo is, except I hear mention of her and know she is a little girl. What I know about her is from comments usually done in order to disparage another. I find it really sad that a little girl is used for some form of mean entertainment or as an insult to another.

Tiffani
Tiffani

@Tim Conley No, my word choice was correct - I used immanent as the opposite of transcendant, to mean that God is involved in the reality of this world we live in as fully as he transcends it.

I still take issue with your idea of God's love. Who says God must limit his love to those who are committed to him and offer him blessings?! Again, that negates the very definition of grace. Just because God doesn't coerce someone into a right relationship with Him, it doesn't automatically follow that He must also completely turn his back on them.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

You said : " after all that He has done to prevent it."

He hasn't prevented it, because it is happening all around the world. According to you, he could prevent it by not limiting his love. You are saying it's God's fault and you are ok with that, are you not?.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono I'm not blaming God, you are. You said he limits his love and that is why there is so much violence and hatred in the world. Those are your words Tim. I asked you to explain and you basically said the same thing. So you blame God because he has limited his love. You also said there would be no violence and hatred if he didn't limit his love.



CarolynWolfe
CarolynWolfe

@Ono @CarolynWolfe @SwissJon 

Ono, I will address your last question first. Honey Boo Boo is a reality television show that is  of questionable taste. I have only seen ads for it but have heard it discussed and it  touts  what would be considered a very narrow  viewpoint. I said it out of  frustration about what I have been  reading. I have been reading  these blog posts on this site,  for  a very long time and  do not speak up  very often. When I do it is with heartfelt sadness/anger that  the discussion is being vindictive or bullying. I  have seen some wonderful and uplifting conversations- many people have been helped.  Many people come here to be heard. Your assessment of  my comments is  interesting since I do not often speak my mind here.  I  am not questioning your heartfelt  wanting to help people on here, I am not questioning that at all. But  what I have seen lately, the asking for clarification, the accusing of non-clarification, the  quotes from the Bible, used both for and against a particular point, seems  to be more about being right, than understanding each other.. I remember when Tim came on as True Love. I remember how everyone ganged up on him.  I realize you find my posts, condescending and  rude, that is exactly how I feel about many of the posts here. Some of them are just short of being actually insulting to the person or persons that are being posted about.  If you  read, really read all the posts that you, Swiss Jon and others have been  writing over the past week or so, or longer- you may understand where I am coming from. There are many accusations being thrown around about  the twisting of words or meanings. If you are going for a deeper understanding of each other, than why attack? I re-read a lot of the posts before commenting, and I  stand by what I said. I am not  trying to be provocative, actually I am just trying to get everyone to see that  the conversation was devolving. Maybe it is not now. But I will keep  commenting whenever I think someone is being bullied cause that is a sore point with me. Thank you for your explanation. I do wish everyone on here well.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Tiffani @Tim Conley 

That makes sense.

Just because God is in the world by His love doesn't mean that He gives grace and mercy to all. I didn't say He turns His back on anybody. Of course God doesn't reject anybody until that moment where it is obvious to Him that that being is choosing to keep rebelling. The best example is Satan. Yes, God can foresee the future, and that is the mystery, how does God know when a one passes over that line. He still doesn't give mercy or grace unless and until it is asked for. For instance it says that God will resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. So, depending on a ones attitude and beliefs God does limit His blessings.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

Right, He hasn't prevented it because He would have to control people and they would then not have a free will to choose for themselves. I am saying it is God's fault as much as any parent can control every decision and movement of their child. 

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

You are correct that those are my words. Not in the same sentence but the same words changed around to mean something different.

God limits His love for the simple reason that God is Holy and pure. He will not make His love as a tool for someone to use for themselves. God loves everybody, but that love is not the same for everybody. For those who don't trash His love and the ones who value His love then He loves more.

CarolynWolfe
CarolynWolfe

@Ono @CarolynWolfe @SwissJon 

Oh and I stand by what I said about one up man ship too. It is very much a back and forth,  I'm right your wrong, kind of  posting- some of it is nicer than others, but  it is still going  in circles. And as for my  interrupting the conversation- I thought that this blog was for everyone? And as for helping the Gays in the community, I do that, I just don't feel the need to put  everything I am doing out for display.

SwissJon
SwissJon

I've resisted to interrupt, but you're all going around in circles, trying to put a definition to Gods love in human terms, which is impossible if God is beyond our understanding.


By trying to define "God's Love", you are effectively trying to define God, which means you necessarily have to put limits on an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient being, which means that by the very definition of those words, you must all be wrong. It is written that God is love, and if you don't know love, you cannot know God, which, to my understanding, defines God as Love, or at least the part of God that we can come into contact with.


With fear of contradicting myself, this is what I believe:


God is Love. Therefore, in order to know and understand God, we must love. That's what is written.


The contrary is also true, if we choose to hate, or rather, not to love, then we choose to turn our back on God.


God doesn't punish a child who was given the freedom to choose to turn their back on that love, choosing to be without that love is punishment enough.


Jesus was God because Jesus only knew love. The more you choose to love, the more you know God.

This means that everyone, even Adolf Hitler, knows God to a greater or lesser extent, and Evil (or Satan or whatever worldly name you choose to put on the unworldly) is simply the consequence or absence of knowing God.

What I believe I this: When you die, the part of your consciousness (or soul) that is love continues, and continues forever as a part of and with God. I don't know how that works because I am at one with the living, not the dead, but what I also believe is that the part of you that is not love ceases, disappears into the abyss that is not love. They say the love of money is the root of all evil, and I can agree with that. How can you love someone and take from them at the same time. A few on here have tried to say that God does this, bargaining with love, but I don't agree with that idea at any level.

What this means to me is that for my existence here on earth to have meaning, I should do my best to learn how to love.

It makes no difference to me if you agree or disagree with this philosophy, your point of view adds nothing to my life if it is only negative, it contradicts nothing that Jesus said, and the resulting life it brings to me is fulfilling and I believe that I already know God. Jesus is my guide (not the Christian church by the way) and the thing Christians call "the Holy Spirit" is simply this thing we also describe as love, and it is in that way I come to know God every single day. One day I will die, and the part of me that is at one with God now will remain at one with God, and the rest will eventually crumble to dust, as my bones will also.


Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

Please explain your contradictions. First you say, "after all He has done to prevent it." Then your next post to me you agree with me that no it hasn't been prevented and you say, "Right, He hasn't prevented it."

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

Again your statements point to God's fault, as a matter of degrees.  More love from God means less violence and hatred. Less love more hatred and violence. If my child would be prone to more violence because I limited my love, I believe as a good parent, I would not limit my love. So your analogy doesn't work as any good parent would of course choose more love/less violence and hatred. And as a responsible parent I would curtail my child so that he would not be able to harm another, which would limit violence in the world.


Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

You said:

"You are correct that those are my words. Not in the same sentence but the same words changed around to mean something different."

So you are saying that you changed the words around to mean something different. In fact, didn't you change them around to mean just the opposite of your original statement?

Ono
Ono

@CarolynWolfe @Ono @SwissJon 

You are free to believe what you want to believe. If you wish to be a self-appointed sitter, that is also something you are free to do. However, for someone that is not contributing to this place except to come in every once in awhile and voice your displeasure, well I think that's a bit disingenuous. And if I wanted to continue my conversation with Tim you don't have to read it, still you can project whatever you want into it and you are very free to do that also. 

What frustrates me is the interruption to a conversation where I was beginning to understand Tim  a bit more, and I think he was sincere in his efforts to communicate with me. I even kidded with him about a whiplash. I believe that was a first for both of us with each other. Unfortunately, you projected and interpreted it from your own viewpoint. Besides the way this threads up you can't even follow the conversation the way it happened. Where it could look like everyone started ganging up on Tim, may not even happen until after a conversation back and forth had gone on for a bit. Or something ends up ahead of another post because how it threads to a reply without setting it aside so you can tell it's an after thought, even though it came long after the conversation was still heading towards an understanding.

And I think Tim and I may have come to at least a bit more understanding of each other in that conversation that made you angry, and I am sorry you felt anger, but nothing was directed towards you, and wasn't even a heated debate.

Ono
Ono

@SwissJon


You are right God's love is beyond our understanding and not limited to the human experience. However, you are contradicting yourself when you say we all have it wrong because we can't define it and then you proceed to define it too.

I find no fault with your beliefs.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

God tried miracles, prophets, direct intervention and the biggest deal was when God sent His own Son as a prophet, teacher and sacrifice. God definitely has tried to do everything possible to reach out to mankind, to try to get as many people as possible to follow, to fellowship and be as one with the Father just as Jesus and God are one. Too many distractions are happening. Or is it the simple fact of each person having their own free will and choices to make?

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

Not at all, unless you are reading that God wants to control.

I did not say that by God limiting His love then that causes violence. What I said was the exact opposite. God will not control His creation simply to make them do His will. God chooses to use His love, but not everyone excepts His love. Most people choose to change God's love to their own level of understanding. Or their are people who change God's love to gain money, power, prestige, fame etc.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Ono @CarolynWolfe @SwissJon 

Carolyn, Just to add to Ono's point.

While I understand the views that have been raised as a result of the article that started this thread can raise some strong feelings, I wish to point something out.

Gay people are not disabled or voiceless, there's plenty of Gay pride marches that prove that point. They do not need our help to live, they simply need to be treated with equality, and the common courtesy and decency that is extended to non-gay people. Being gay (or otherwise) shouldn't make a jot of difference to you, me or anyone else unless we happened to wish to start a relationship with someone. It's none of my business whether someone is gay or not, however for some reason, someone's sexuality, whether that is a lifestyle choice or whether it is the way you were born (quite frankly, until I reached puberty, I had no idea whether I was gay or straight, it was a question I simply did not ask myself), and unless my friends come out to me one way or another, I really have no idea at all what their sexuality is (Yes, straight people "come out" as well, the first time they announce their desire for someone of the opposite sex, it's just more acceptable for general society, and no big deal is made about it.

I started in this thread, not because it was about gay people but because the article was about Christians treating a group of people in a very un-Christian way. It would have made zero difference to me who those people were, or why they were being intolerant, I've come across this attitude before, and I feel it is hypocritical and wrong.

So I'm sorry if you found the thread has gone off topic, but quite frankly, a discussion about the do's and don't's of Christianity is, to me, very much on target.

As for Tim. Well, he very much came onto this thread with the Christian point of view described in the article. He has mellowed somewhat in his attitude because he has listened, and as a result, I think the whole discussion, while somewhat frustrating at times, has been a learning experience for everyone involved.

If you wish to talk about gay rights and equality for all, go right ahead, and I will chip in also, but please don't, just because it's not of interest to you, belittle a discussion that is actually making sense and headway.

By the way, Dan Pearce initially wrote this article in 2011. It's not new, there are over 2000 responses to it, so, today, in 2014, for the article to continue to generate dialogue, suggests that the topic is far from over.

SwissJon
SwissJon

@Ono @SwissJon  :) I didn't say I was right about my beliefs, it's simply what I choose to believe. I knew I was contradicting myself, but since I'm human, what can I do? I'm simply saying that by trying to make any kind of definition (mine included) there will always be problems and holes in everyone's arguments because we are trying to put boundaries on something boundless.

Having spent a few days away from this thread, resisting the urge to say "you're wrong" when I see things I disagree with, I've come to the conclusion that we would be far more fruitful in searching for things we could agree on, rather than things we disagree on.

Your beliefs will always be different to mine, you are a different person to me, it would be nice to find something in common, because I believe that is where we will begin to touch God.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

I don't know Tim, you tell me. You often tell me that you have the truth. 

Still waiting to hear the limited love of God explanation. You see if you put a caveat that God is limiting his love, then you can't say his love is unlimited even if you mean in the future or a different place. I guess you can say it, but that doesn't make it true.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

This is what you said in your original statement and I quote: "But God's love does has it's limits. If God's love didn't have limits then there would be no violence or hatred in this world. All there would be would be love."

So God doesn't limit his love, that the cause of more hatred and violence is because people don't accept his love, is that what you are saying?

kathleen z
kathleen z

@SwissJon @Ono @CarolynWolfe @BeauJackson @DavidStevens I just wanted to say thank you to Ono, Jon, Beau and David for all your wonderful words of wisdom and unending love and support, as always you amaze and continue to enlighten me and fill my heart with hope.


And I wanted to add my two cents. Coming onto this site and this particular blog post I was never unaware of what it was about and what might come from a discussion about this topic. I don't believe there was ever any bullying or ganging up on anyone. I believe that anyone who read the article and came on posting comments saying exactly what the article talked about knew  full well they would be met with strong disagreement. And even if they didn't believe it would be met with disagreement, no one is forced to stay, read or write here so to suggest there is bullying/ganging up going on is ludicrous, everyone is free to come and go as they please. To me bullying/ganging up implies that person has no retreat  from those things, which is clearly not the case here.


If Tim/TrueLove not only came here once but returned, knowing very well what he would encounter and still he sought it out how can that be bullying? Maybe crazy, as the saying goes, " crazy is doing the very same thing but expecting a different result". That's a joke, BTW, I don't believe Tim is crazy, misguided yes, crazy no.


Anyway I just wanted to say thank you as you all have given me much valued insight, understanding, new perspectives and new ways in which I can and will continue to support and love those who are truly bullied, ganged up on, denied basic human rights, judged, or persecuted, because contrary to popular belief the bible ," has NOT told me so".


Love you all so very much,

K

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

God's love is unlimited in that He has endless forgiveness and grace and mercy. The limitation comes from our rejection and God's will does not override ours even though He could.

It is rather ironic that God, the most powerful entity ever is limited by His creation. It really is one more example of God's love towards us.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

Right. So if God's will was to circumvent all of everyone's free will and make us robotic, then the violence would cease. Along with corruption, deceit, envy, pride etc. But since God's love is limited by us mortals supplanting our own free will, then all of the bad actions happen.

Don't you see? It is either God's will or my will. If left to my own devises and will, totally, then I would self destruct in a very short time. But with God's will and love giving me strength and guidance, then I am able to live a better life, and even pass blessings around to others in need.

God could zap me into the way I should live. But I am so glad He used His love in the way He did and still is. And I for sure am going to be very happy to see Him and be in His presence forever.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono That is not what you said before, but I don't really mind. Just wanted you to get it straight for yourself.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

All right Tim, now you are saying it's not God who is limiting his love as you said in the above statement. It is God's creation that is limiting God's love.


So please tell me, was your original statement not true then?  Or was this one true? You said: "God limits His love for the simple reason that God is Holy and pure. ... God loves everybody, but that love is not the same for everybody. For those who don't trash His love and the ones who value His love then He loves more."

Just trying to be sure I am understanding you correctly. 

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

You are really saying that God's love is NOT limited as you claimed in your first post. God's love is unlimited.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

Well, I never claimed to be a class A writer. But is there any contradiction in my words? For sure each copy of my text gets more clear. I hope so, anyways that is my goal.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

God's love is unlimited in paradise. But in reality this is far from paradise. And it will be unlimited in the future. But not in this life.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

Yes you did contradict yourself numerous times. I was having hard time keeping up with all your pinging off of one wall to the other. I think I may need to see my chiropractor in the morning for the whiplash. :)

Tiffani
Tiffani

@Tim Conley God's love is unlimited in Paradise, but limited on this side of eternity. So now you are admitting you do not believe in an immutable God. The convoluted webs you are weaving here seriously make my head spin! 

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

You are confusing. So now you are saying God's love is limited.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

You don't object to any of my terms in those seemingly contradictory words so maybe it's the whole subject matter that is the problem.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

Well that accusation is still a generalization.

It is a true statement that what I was saying needed clarifying so saying it in a different way wasn't contradiction as much as it was restating. If it is a contradiction then I would like to know the words that were included.

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Tiffani @Tim Conley 

I understand why you would say that since it's a concept so foreign to any of our logic abilities.

Is it possible that we may not understand everything about a God that created the world? I mean if we knew everything that God knows then it would put us on His level. I don't know if I could deal with that.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

You don't know what I object to because I made a point not to object to the subject matter, but pestered you to clarify your contradictions, to make sure I was understanding what you were saying.

Ono
Ono

@Tim Conley @Ono 

Simply go up to the top of this thread and reread my posts. I was very specific in every post that I asked for you to clarify your contradictions. 

Tim Conley
Tim Conley

@Ono @Tim Conley 

I sincerely believe I have clarified each noted contradiction. Without reiterating each occurrence, the explanation given has been my best effort and then the words sometimes get transposed and/or redefined. It's my goal to say ideas and words succinctly with ultimate in clarity.