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Was Jesus Gay? — The Slippery Slope of Progressive Christianity

Was Jesus Gay? — The Slippery Slope of Progressive Christianity

by Mike Duran · 104 comments

I recently had several great conversations with individuals in the Christian publishing industry who are philosophically progressive. They were fun, vigorous discussions; I consider myself very much friends with these people. I am fascinated by the evolving cultural intersection between Evangelicals and Progressives. Our “conversation” was the one the now defunct Emergent Church was supposed to be having with culture, a “conversation” that has blossomed into what it always was — a rejection of Evangelicalism’s basic tenets.

Anyway, during my conversations, the “slippery slope” argument came up repeatedly.  “A slippery slope argument states that a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant effect.” *   In other words, if you concede “A” you will inevitably concede “B,” “C,” and “D.” In the case of our “conversation,” If you concede relativism, that all truth, even biblical truth, is subjective, untethered to historical and/or logical validation, then pretty much anything goes. Once an exception is made to some “rule,” whether theological or moral, nothing will inevitably hold back further, more egregious exceptions to that rule. Which is why conservative believers cling so tenaciously (perhaps obstinately) to a set of external, objective truths and societal norms. They believe that removing them will lead to cultural and spiritual degradation and eventually chaos.

But not everyone believes the slippery slope argument carries such weight. For instance, James F. McGrath argues that There is No Slippery Slope:

One of the most common arguments used by “fundamentalists” (or whatever one may wish to call those who claim to accept the Bible as inerrant and that it is all to be accepted and believed) is that rejecting their view of the Bible puts one on a “slippery slope” down which one will inevitably slide to liberalism, unbelief, or whatever horrific things are said to lie at the slope’s bottom.

The biggest problem with this argument is that, when it comes to Biblical literalism, Biblical inerrancy (understood in any straightforward sense), and related viewpoints, there simply is no place one can actually stand at the top of the slope.

While I’d agree that the “slippery slope” argument is, indeed, not airtight or infallible, and is probably employed willy-nilly far too often, McGrath’s rebuttal invokes further questions. Namely, McGrath must draw a line on a philosophical slope to make his point. Notice: By saying there is “no place one can actually stand at the top of the slope” to draw a line, McGrath IS drawing a line somewhere on a slope. He is suggesting that we cross a reasonable line of logic by assuming that (1) There is a slope (or at least a linear plane), and (2) A line should be drawn on it. McGrath must make an absolute statement in order to undermine absolutist applications. He must appeal to laws of logic in order to draw a line there.

The issue is never, Is there a line to be drawn, but Where do you choose to draw the line?

Okay. So I’m thinking out loud.

Anyway, my conversation with my progressive friends inevitably bumped into the “homosexual problem.” The “slippery slope” debate is nowhere more at play than as it pertains to homosexuality. While Evangelicals believe that homosexuality is a sin, an abnormal lifestyle that deforms the human personality and undermines a biblical understanding of gender, Progressives believe not only that the LGBT community should be loved and embraced, but that sexual orientation is God-given and same-sex attraction and intercourse (at least, monogamous intercourse) is not a sin.

Here’s where the “slippery slope” argument comes into play, at least for Evangelicals. Conservatives believe that cultural, moral acceptance of homosexuality will lead to an incremental deterioration of morality and societal mores (like gay marriage opening the door for polygamists to marry). Whether or not one concedes this connection, an even more insidious drift may result from the Progressive’s view of homosexuality.

If Jesus not only loved and accepted gays but made them that way, is there any reasons why Jesus couldn’t have been gay Himself?

Some are, bravely, saying no.

Like Anglican priest Paul Oestreicher who writes in  Was Jesus Gay? Probably:

Heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual: Jesus could have been any of these. There can be no certainty which. The homosexual option simply seems the most likely. The intimate relationship with the beloved disciple [the apostle John] points in that direction. It would be so interpreted in any person today. Although there is no rabbinic tradition of celibacy, Jesus could well have chosen to refrain from sexual activity, whether he was gay or not. Many Christians will wish to assume it, but I see no theological need to.

While Oestreicher may be considered on the fringe — even for theological leftists — he is extrapolating logically from the Progressive position. If, as McGrath states, “there simply is no place one can actually stand at the top of the slope,” then why should we be so appalled with Oestreicher’s assertion? Why draw the line at Jesus being gay… if there is no line? Thus, he concludes,

Whether Jesus was gay or straight in no way affects who he was and what he means for the world today. Spiritually it is immaterial.

Granted, most Progressives appear to shy away from Oestreicher’s conclusions. But why? Hasn’t he reached those conclusions logically, via the natural outworking of Progressive ideology?

Here’s where I think the “slippery slope” argument carries weight. For while Evangelicals and Progressives disagree about “the top of the slope,” we still agree about many points in between. Which means… there IS a slope that lines must be drawn upon. We’d agree that murder is wrong, that torturing puppies is wrong, that pushing old ladies down stairways is wrong, that racism is wrong, that genocide of “inferior” races is wrong, that spousal abuse is wrong, and on and on and on. We’d also agree that, if we tolerate any of these things, there may be an incremental slide to worse atrocities. Correct?

That’s the “slippery slope” argument in action.

Likewise, if you believe that homosexuality is NOT a sin, that Jesus loved, in fact, created homosexuals the way they are, then what is holding you back from believing Jesus Christ could have been one?

See, the issue is never Is there a line to be drawn, but Where do you choose to draw the line?

Yes, my thinking is still rather raw on this, so I’d love to know where I might be going wrong. The question I’d like to pose to my Progressive friends is, Could Jesus Christ have been gay? I believe if you’re true to your own beliefs, you must say “yes.” If, however, you answer “no,” then you are drawing a line on the slope… a slope you say doesn’t exist. Which, I think, undermines everything you believe.

(Note: If you choose to comment, understand my intention here is not to debate homosexuality, but to discuss how the “slippery slope” argument works or doesn’t regarding the Bible, Christ, and homosexuality.)

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{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzi Shumaker June 9, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Love is the most important thing that Jesus taught. We are all sinners and I, therefore, have no stones to through.

That being said, if all temptation is common to man, and Jesus was put through every temptation, it may be surmised that the “temptation of homosexuality” was one of them. I do not believe that Jesus had sex with anyone though because that would make his sacrifice for MY (our) sins void. He had to be perfect.

God doesn’t call us to be enemies or hateful, or judgemental. Judge only your own heart and love the people around you.

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Mike Duran June 9, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Thanks for the reply, Suzy. You’re probably right, If Jesus was tempted in all ways, homosexuality probably was one of them. However, being tempted toward homosexuality (or gluttony, lying, bestiality, murder, etc.), doesn’t make one a homosexual (or a glutton, liar, zoophile, murderer, etc.).

So, do you think Jesus could have been gay?

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Suzi Shumaker June 9, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I’m not, at present, prepared to discuss my beliefs about the origins of homosexuality. Not simply coyness (though partly so), I just haven’t fully formed a conclusion. I am not sure I believe that people are rigidly and unchangeably sexually programmed – maybe they are, I’m just not certain about it.

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Katharine June 9, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Mike,

Your excellent use of logic here reminds me that it is possible that God’s perspective on the things that bother us Conservatives may just transcend logic, catchphrases, common argument, 21st century culture, tradition, and most books on a Christian bookstore shelf. It may, how will we really know? This makes me feel a little humble, and as a result I treat others little more gracefully. Always a good feeling. Thanks.

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Cherry Odelberg June 15, 2012 at 6:05 AM

Well said, Katharine. Thank you.

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Mark Lee Schnitzer June 9, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Thank you for your thoughts here, they have made me think.
I would consider myself a progressive Christian. I was at one point fundamentalist, but several years ago as my understanding of God’s grace in Christ “evolved” so did my understanding of Christianity.
I have also changed my stance on the LGBT community, eqaul rights including marriage equality. But getting to your point, I cannot say one way or the other whether Jesus was gay, straight, or bi. I know many of my friends from both side of the church speculate His sexual identity, but in reality that identity does not change the fact He is God incarnate and the Savior of Humanity. The debate that so many of us engage in when it comes to this hinders us from getting out the real message of the Gospel.
Thanks again for your thought provoking work.
Peace.
Mark Lee

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Mike Duran June 9, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Appreciate the comment, Mark. You said, Jesus’s “identity does not change the fact He is God incarnate and the Savior of Humanity.” I’d answer this simply: If homosexuality is a sin, then Christ couldn’t have been gay and still be “God incarnate and the Savior of Humanity,” right? Once you concede any lifestyle is sinful — and I’m guessing you believe some are — Christ couldn’t have been that and still been holy. Which loops us back to the central question at the heart of the debate: Is the homosexual lifestyle abnormal and sinful? Once again, thanks for commenting!

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Mark Lee Schnitzer June 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I have come to the conclusion that there is enough debate to question whether or not the 6 verses in Scripture used to beat people in the LGBT are actually speaking to our understanding today of homosexuality. Therefore, I do not see being gay as a sin.

Could Jesus have been gay? Maybe. Could he have been straight or bi? Maybe. But He sexuality is no as important to me as what He has done for me.

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Mike Duran June 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Mark, I appreciate your honesty.

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Amused June 12, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Mike Duran – “understand my intention here is not to debate homosexuality”

Mike Duran – “the central question at the heart of the debate: Is the homosexual lifestyle abnormal and sinful?”

Clear as mud.

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Mike Duran June 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Amused, allow me to explain. The central question at the heart of the debate is whether the homosexual lifestyle is “abnormal and sinful.” My intention here is not to debate that (although I can, have, and will), but to examine the consequences of one’s belief, specifically those Christians who arrive at the opposite conclusion. Is that clearer?

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Linda June 9, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Yes, Jesus was gay a lot. Was He homosexual? No. Homosexuality is an abomination to God, and Jesus was sinless, so He wasn’t homosexual.

There is no such thing as homosexual “marriage.” It isn’t listed in Bible anywhere. But marriage between one man and one woman is. Homosexuals may be living an aberrant lifestyle together, but they aren’t ‘married.’

I agree that homosexuals should be loved just as any other person. But their lifestyle is sinful. Just as our lifestyles that don’t line up with the Word of God.

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Suzi Shumaker June 9, 2012 at 11:35 AM

How many Christians are divorced and remarried? That makes them adulterers… so are those marriages real or not?

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Greg Mitchell June 9, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Um…what if that *does* make them adulterers? It doesn’t mean something else isn’t a sin.

See, I don’t understand this logic. A) He who is without sin cast the first stone–that wasn’t metaphorical. Jesus was LITERALLY talking about stoning someone. Me coming up to somebody and saying “Hey, cheating on your wife is a sin” isn’t casting a literal stone. It is making an observation about a moral condition based on a Biblical standard. B) To have that person turn around and say “Hey, man! Don’t you judge me! You sin, too!” Yes. I sin. I am in the wrong and YOU are still in the wrong. The fact that I have sin in my life, or have sinned in the past, doesn’t excuse you from your sin. It simply states the obvious–we are all sinners in need of forgiveness. C) Within the Church we are CALLED to “judge” each other. We are called–nay, commanded–to use the Bible as our standard, go to our members, and say “You are in the wrong on this matter”. We are accountable to each other. We are accountable to God to point out where our brothers or sisters are failing and help them correct their error. This doesn’t mean we are saying “I’m better than you”. It’s saying “God has a higher standard and you aren’t cutting it”. Within the Church, we are all subject to the Bible’s authority. If something is wrong, it’s wrong. Even if I’m in the wrong, it doesn’t mean I can’t read the Bible and say “Wow, it says don’t murder”. That’s not a judgment call on my part, that’s a standard that God has set.

The problem is lack of Biblical authority in our lives. We say “Oh, I can’t go to my neighbor and tell them to stop beating on their infants because I stole a pack of cigarettes the other day. I’m a sinner, so I can’t come out of my turtle shell and say something”. We live in a “Hey, don’t bother me, I won’t bother you” kind of society that looks the other way.

I look at it this way. I knew a guy who was a recovering drug addict and former drug dealer. We could drive down the road and he could point out every single addict on the side of the road. Total strangers! How? Because he lived the life. He knew the type and the signs. I’m a sinner and I can’t spot sin in others. I’m not trying to justify mine. I own it and struggle to make it right before God.

So what if Christians divorce? Is it wrong? I read in the Bible that it teaches against it. Jesus said Moses only gave the option of divorce because the people’s hearts were hard. But that it wasn’t meant to be that way. But just because a Christian is divorced and remarried doesn’t mean that they are forfeit from saying that a child molester is in the wrong or that genocide is wrong. Some things are just WRONG. And we don’t make up those things–God does.

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sally apokedak June 9, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Where’s the “like” button?

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Melissa Marsh June 9, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Agree with Sally! Very well articulated, Greg.

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Greg Mitchell June 9, 2012 at 12:58 PM

And obviously I meant to say that “I’m a sinner and I CAN spot sin in others” in that next last paragraph there. I guess the next time I go off on a tirade, I should really type a little more carefully *embarrassed grin*.

Ah, well. Nobody’s perfect, right?

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Mark Lee Schnitzer June 9, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Actually there are several types of marriage “listed” in the Bible. And prostitution is never condemned. We love to pick and choose what is “sin” these days without regard to what the Scripture says in context. And why do you insist in degraded others by calling them abominations. Pride and arrogance is an abomination as well. Look it up in Proverbs

Peace,
Mark Lee

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Kyle Prohaska June 9, 2012 at 9:29 AM

People treat Jesus as his own person/being as opposed to an equal member of the Trinity. Jesus wasn’t born of a virgin and at that point in time and from that point forward…existed. Jesus IS God. If that’s so as the Bible would confirm, then would Jesus be something radically opposed to his own nature? Would he be something or condone something that God the Father is (as clear as day) disgusted with and full of rage over? The same God who ordered the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah came down to become a man. How people confuse this is beyond me. When Sodom was destroyed, he was alive and well, as he was during all the events of the Old Testament and back through eternity. God is not at war with himself, and Jesus was NOT gay and to say so is blasphemy. This whole “God is love so therefore he’s tolerant and condones my ‘sin’,” is a twisted hippy-mentality that’s not grounded in scripture. To say Jesus was gay is to say Jesus sinned which makes the entire Bible invalid. Speculating about whether or not Jesus was gay, something he himself as God forbids, is foolishness.

To Mark (commenter above me), I would strongly urge you to look into this matter and realize the importance it is to the validity of your faith. Jesus being gay or not is CRITICAL to your faith and the grounds on which it stands. Christ cannot be gay and be the blameless/spotless lamb that he was sent to be. Christ cannot be gay and be God at the same time, since it contradicts his nature and the other things he has revealed in Scripture not just in times past, but in the future after his death to his apostles. Christ being gay destroys the validity of the scripture. These are all strong words, but I’m concerned you’re not fully grasping what your dabbling in and what it REALLY means if you think Jesus’ sexuality is an “either or” or a question without a right answer.

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Mark Lee Schnitzer June 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Let me be perfectly clear. I do not see gay people as a “living sin” I see them, as I see all people in need of a relationship with Jesus. I did not say Jesus was any sexual oriention, but if I do not view “being gay” as a sin, then Jesus is still the sinless, perfect, holy God come to earth to rescue us from ourselves. What is “critical”‘is whether or not I accept what Jesus did on the cross as sufficient to save me, not His sexual orientation.

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Melissa Marsh June 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Mark, why do you not see it as a “living sin” when the Bible explicitly calls it such?

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Mark Lee Schnitzer June 10, 2012 at 6:56 AM

I through study of the six passages in question would make one question whether or not the Scripture is speaking to our understanding of homosexuality today rather than the various authors understanding two to eight thousand years ago. There has always been theological debate around this issue. I tend to err on the side of love rather than judgement.

Peace to you,
Mark Lee

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Mike Duran June 10, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Mark, as I said in my post, I prefer this NOT to be a debate about whether or not homosexuality is a sin. Rather, I want to explore the implications of having arrived at those conclusions. However, your comment touches upon a huge part of the problem in grappling with these issues — “whether or not the Scripture is speaking to our understanding of homosexuality today rather than the various authors understanding.” This is where the discussion constantly runs aground. Once we deconstruct the Bible down to differing individual and cultural understandings, we pretty much neuter Scripture. Anything can be explained away as “subject to interpretation” — heaven, hell, salvation, atonement, is all “subject to interpretation.” Until we can agree to a basic hermeneutic, to a set of absolutes, ground rules, to certain concrete concepts and terminology, we will forever be at odds in our approach to this subject.

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sally apokedak June 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

And I was going to honor wishes and not get into whether homosexuality is sinful, but since you allowed a little stray….

I wonder if they had a different understanding of bestiality than we do, too. I wonder how much sex has really changed over the years. Why would it change? Lying with a man or lying with an animal…you pretty much have to do those things the same way no matter what century you inhabit. Don’t you?

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Amused June 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM

In fairness to Mark, in addition to saying you didn’t want to debate it, you also said it the was central question at the heart of the debate.

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Melissa Marsh June 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM

You’re twisting his words, amused. He was talking about the heart of the debate OUTSIDE of this blog post. This SPECIFIC blog post is NOT about that.

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Amy L Harden June 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Out of all the comments made here so far, the one above is one that I completely agree. The slippery slope IS when we try to determine the meaning, cause and effect of the SIN as defined by our understanding of the scripture on the topic in relation to what we know and understand today. I believe Kyle has hit on the most important aspect of this question….WHO IS JESUS CHRIST and WHAT WAS HIS MISSION HERE ON EARTH?

I believe we make Jesus Christ…who is God in Flesh…in to who WE are as human beings far too easily…so, we attach those things (sin) that WE, as human beings, struggle with to Him.

Yes, Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. Yes, he walked this earth as a LIving within human skin BUT I believe He takes our burden BUT HE doesn’t live it…He carries it. IF Christ takes on the human burden and lives as we do then; how can He be the Messiah? Christ doesn’t have to live our life…He is God in flesh and already knows and understands. If Christ is the “Lamb of God” then he is unblemished, pure and offered up as the perfect sacrifice for OUR sins!

It all boils down to WHO Jesus Christ is and WHY He was sent… Saying that Jesus was gay is making Him like us…He isn’t us…He is God in Flesh, which means he wears flesh but His inner spirit and being is GOD! His mission was to preach and give us the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven…How could Christ preach about sin and the Keys to the Kingdom and then live a lifestyle that would ultimately make Him a hypocrite….we all know how much He loved hypocrites.

Would God take on those things that He states He abhors or calls sin?

I think not!

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sally apokedak June 9, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to admit that Jesus could have been gay. What would hinder that conclusion? Jesus was without sin. That’s why I know he never engaged in homosexual acts or fantasy. But if homosexuality were not sinful, of course he could have been homosexual. If monogamous homosexual relations were not sinful, then of course he could have been having an affair with John.

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Mike Duran June 9, 2012 at 9:54 AM

“What would hinder that conclusion?”

Fear of rejection? Fear of charges of heresy? Fear of actual heresy? I’m not sure. But the minute a Progressive uses Scripture as the basis to say Christ wasn’t gay, they invoke the Scriptures as an Absolute Line regarding the matter, which undermines their assertion that all lines are simply subjective.

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Jason Brown June 9, 2012 at 11:48 AM

This has actually crossed my mind recently with the thoguht about how Jesus had been tempted in every way we are to be as errant as any single human being.
However, my thought is… if Jesus was tempted to be gay, then what’s that say about being gay? Plus, I’m not one to accept that one is born gay, like no one’s born to be racist. There are things people are born into, and other things we’re le to believe about ourselves in hat brief time before we can start to remember.

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Jay DiNitto June 9, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Oestreicher’s reasoning is garbage, at least his facts are. Jesus wasn’t a rabbi like the formal office that we have today. He was an ascetic Jewish preacher, who were well known to be celibate. That puts a damper on his “well, since most of them married and he wasn’t, then he was probably gay,” inference.

And this quote, on Jesus’ love for John being homosexual love:
“It would be so interpreted in any person today.”

Well duh. But apparently he has no idea of Jewish thought or expressions. He’s reading it with a tabloid mind, not as a 1st century Jew would write it.

It also doesn’t answer the question why the gospel writers, Jews themselves, would be so willing and open to write about homosexual love between two fellow Jews.

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R.J. Anderson June 9, 2012 at 12:11 PM

In reference to Christ’s time on earth, every time the NT says “tempted” in regard to Him it would be better translated as “tested”. The English word “tempted” implies that within the person being presented with an opportunity to sin, there is a part that lusts after or is drawn toward that opportunity. But when the Bible says Jesus was “tempted in all points like as we are”, the same verse goes on to say “yet without sin”, or “sin apart”.

That is, not that Jesus was “tempted to sin” but nobly pulled up His socks and mustered His courage and decided not to give into the temptation, but that sin itself had no allure or foothold in Him, ever. He was TESTED in all the ways we are — in hunger and thirst, in loneliness, in sorrow, in physical abuse and agony, and all the other challenges and difficulties we as humans go through, so He knows precisely how it feels to experience those hardships. But He was not TEMPTED the way we are, because in order to be tempted there would have to be some ignorance within Him of the fact that sin is always and unconditionally wrong and bad and harmful to the one who commits it, and there would also have to be some sinful nature within Him that could lust after things which were contrary to the Father’s will. That absolutely is not true, and never could be true, of the perfect, eternal, virgin-born Son of God who knew all things from the beginning and with whom the Father was well pleased. Saying He could be tempted to sin is like saying a world-renowned diamond expert could be tempted by a cheap little rhinestone; it’s ridiculous. Jesus had spent eternity in perfect communion with the Father in the glory and perfection of Heaven — how could even the greatest pleasures this corrupted Earth can offer possibly entice or beguile Him? Even Moses, a mere man, could choose to suffer with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season — and Jesus in His divine knowledge and perfect character was a Prophet far greater than Moses.

Was Jesus, as a man, equipped with all the normal sexual organs and functions? I see no reason to believe otherwise. According to the Law He came to fulfill, He would not have be eligible to serve as our Great High Priest if He had been physically or sexually incomplete in any way. But was Jesus ever tempted to use His body in a way that was contrary to the Scriptures and the will of God? Was there even a moment at which He, even briefly, allowed Himself to lust after a woman (or man) in His heart and so, according to His own teaching, commit adultery with them? Absolutely not. Sex is, ultimately, merely a metaphor for a far greater and more intimate spiritual relationship that Jesus already possessed to the fullest. Again, there was nothing there to entice Him — any more than a jar of mushed-up Gerber beef n’ carrots would appeal to a man who had eaten at the greatest restaurants of Europe.

People sometimes make the argument that it must have been possible for Jesus to be “tempted” to sin or else He wouldn’t be fully human. But sin is not what makes us human: it is an unnatural, aberrant and Satanic addition to human existence, which only came into being after the Fall. To be fully human is to be as Adam was in the beginning, when God declared him and Eve “good” — to be without the corrupting taint of sin, and therefore able to realize our full divinely given potential to glorify God and reflect His image. Jesus alone was fully human in that respect — the most truly human Man who ever lived.

Of course, Satan didn’t understand this any more than a lot of us do, and therefore tried to offer Jesus things that would have “tempted” any ordinary man, hoping to find some foothold in His heart and destroy His ministry. Knowing Jesus had fasted for forty days, he urged Him to create bread for Himself — after all, what could be wrong with a nice bit of bread? Nothing sinful about that, in itself, surely? But Jesus did not even hesitate; He immediately rebuked Satan by the word of God and refused to do anything he suggested. That “temptation” was really not tempting to Jesus at all: it was merely a test that proved Jesus’s complete perfection and Satan’s inability to influence Him in any way.

I thank God for a Saviour who understands all my infirmities and sorrows as a human being, but is NOT tempted, and never has been tempted, to share in the sins from which He died to save me. If He had ever sinned, if He even COULD have sinned but didn’t, then He might still be capable of sinning now or in the future, and my security as a believer would be very shaky indeed.

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sally apokedak June 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Loved this!

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Barb Riley June 9, 2012 at 4:27 PM

I’ve spent some time studying out certain words which are used to control Christians and keep them living in fear (i.e., hell, homosexual), and I don’t believe there’s conclusive evidence to support the judgements and condemnation done “in the name of God” just because a person lives outside the church’s definition of absolute right and wrong.

Despite how omniscient some folks believe themselves to be, there is no way we can ever say with certainty 1.) what, exactly, the original Greek & Hebrew words meant within their original culture and context… We can only speculate based on information available to us; new revelation could change everything (what if evidence turns up one day that those ‘homosexual’ verses were interpolated?), and 2.) how anyone who is not gay can *possibly* think they understand what it’s like to walk in LGBT shoes. It is a very “us vs. them” attitude, and all it does is feed you with the illusion that if you were gay, you would be able to make the decision to turn away from that lifestyle.

We’re all in this together, and we all miss the mark of perfection. As far as the slippery slope goes, put me on it and push me down it, if it means I can use my own discernment and obey what I believe God has whispered about unconditional love, acceptance, and peace within my heart.

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Melissa Marsh June 9, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Sorry, Barb, but I do not “live in fear.” Quite the opposite, in fact. I am very grateful and at peace for the grace God has bestowed upon me, a lowly sinner. I am not afraid of going to hell and I am not afraid of dying – because I know I will be with my heavenly Father in the end.

In addition, we are not to use our own discernment – we are to rely upon the Holy Spirit to give us discernment. Our thinking is always faulty and tainted by sin. Only through relying on the Holy Spirit can we know the Truth.

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Barb Riley June 10, 2012 at 6:48 AM

Hi Melissa. I should clarify my comment about using discernment. I agree with you; relying on the Spirit is essential in our journey to Truth. But along the way, each of us needs to use our own discernment to distinguish God’s voice teaching us from man’s voice teaching us.

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Lyn Perry June 9, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Due to the virgin birth Jesus had no y chromosome, therefore Jesus was female. (Tongue in cheek.)

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Jessica Thomas June 10, 2012 at 6:45 PM

*cracking up*

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Lori June 10, 2012 at 8:16 AM

This article makes me think of a different line of deductive reasoning.
Lets just say that IF we believe, within and from the very essence of all God is, He made each one of us *in His own image*, meaning both male and female having each of our intrinsic gender foundations in God, so therefore He must represent both genders equally, and….
IF we believe Jesus is 100% man as well as 100% God….
Then would it be reasonable for us to assume that Jesus – although his human chromosomal nature was male gendered – His spirit represented all God is, including male AND female?
In that case….
Why, then, do we humans feel the need to debate or presume to assign a sexual orientation to Almighty God?
Isn’t our human arguments inherently flawed to begin with, as we would ever presume to understand how to define the vastness of God’s existence within the embodiment of our Messiah through the smallness of our limited human minds? Do we really believe we are able to define the Creator of the Universe through the meager limitations of our capacity to comprehend Him….AS IF we could ever do so with accuracy?
Just my two cents…. ;-)

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Mike Duran June 10, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Lori, thanks for writing. Absolutely, if “God is spirit” (Jn. 4) then He is genderless. Some theologians even suggest that, before Eve existed, Adam was somehow both male and female. (Don’t ask me how that works, but it’s an interesting idea.) Scripture is clear that Jesus came as a man, not a woman. “Unto us, a SON is born!” However, I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that Jesus perfectly represented a Male / Female archetype. But that’s speculation. Nevertheless, sexual activity / orientation is presented within parameters. Adultery is viewed as a sin, as is incest, bestiality, etc. So while I’ll agree with you about trying to understand how God is represented within a single human Person, suggesting that that Person had impulses and/or relations contrary to his own Law, is wayward thinking. Thanks again for writing!

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Lori June 10, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Hi Mike,
I can see where you’re coming from. Actually, I believe we are on the same page on this subject. I, too, agree sexual activity is Biblically presented within well-defined parameters. Thats totally indisputable to me. That said…what I’m more perplexed about is the fact that so many of us tend to hyper-focus on the “humanity” of Jesus Christ to the extent of which we often fail to realize and fully embrace the Power and Holiness of Who Jesus truly is.
Yeah, it’s slightly off topic. (My bad.) But, in thinking out loud, I thought I’d just toss this out there.

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Nissa Annakindt June 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM

The word ‘homosexuality’ seems to have two meanings. One refers to the orientation— the tendency to be attracted to one’s own sex, to fall in love with same-sex persons. The other refers to homosexual actions including impure thoughts.

I see no evidence that having the orientation forbidden by the Bible or the Church. Therefore it is not a sin to have a homosexual or gay orientation.

Homosexual acts are plainly listed as sins, whether they are committed by gay people or not.

Jesus was/is sinless. Therefore he could not have committed any homosexual acts. He might have been tempted in that direction— he certainly understood what temptations gay people might be subject to.

I don’t think he could have had a gay orientation, as Jesus was born without original sin and is what humanity was intended to be. God didn’t want the human race to have a gay orientation since He wanted the human race to reproduce.

As a Catholic Christian with same-sex (gay) orientation living a celibate life, I can understand why some people need to believe Jesus might be gay. When you feel like the whole Christian church rejects you for a gay orientation even if you are living a celibate lifestyle, it’s tempting to believe that Jesus was like you. I don’t think that’s true, but I do believe He’s on my side no matter who-all rejects me.

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sally apokedak June 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

I’m on your side, Nissa. I have always had a great deal of respect for you. I do know that some believe that a gay orientation is sinful. I don’t see it.

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Mike Duran June 11, 2012 at 6:12 AM

“I see no evidence that having the orientation forbidden by the Bible or the Church. Therefore it is not a sin to have a homosexual or gay orientation.”

I agree with this, Nissa. And I appreciate your honesty here. You make a good point as to why Christians with gay orientation may be inclined to believe Jesus was gay. My feeling is that’s a HUGE line to cross, however. Your decision to remain celibate is staggeringly important. It is that concession to surrender to one’s “orientation” (or not) that seems to be the watershed in where people fall in the debate. Once again, I really appreciate you joining this conversation. Grace to you!

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Jessica Thomas June 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM

For some reason, my brain is not grasping the “slippery slope” thing tonight. All I’m seeing are a bunch of water slides. I think it’s time to go to bed. However, I do have one immediate thought that hopefully isn’t too off track. I’ve heard the “Jesus was gay” argument, and something about…how Peter leaned against Jesus during the last supper is evidence. “Wha? They touched??” Also, I’ve heard the Jonathan and David relationship turned in to a homosexual relation ship.

It kind of annoys me how we have to sexualize everything, and I think the fact that we (as Americans in particular) do so is why so many seemed confused of their sexual orientation these days. Jesus/Peter, Jonathan/David…ummm, maybe the *real* point is that men *do* need other men. *Gasp*. They need closeness, fellowship, true and deep friendship with other men. Wow. Maybe they even need to hug each other every once in awhile. That’s not sinful, and it’s not “gay” either, it’s how God made men. Americans, just because you have warm fuzzy feelings about someone of the same sex does not mean you want to or have to have sex with them.

So, I’m pretty sure I didn’t address your slippery slope point, but I do have an odd hankering for Holiday World now.

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Sherry Thompson June 10, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Jessica, please forgive me while I quote a bit from your entry–and simultaneously change it. “(Human beings) need closeness, fellowship, true and deep friendship with other (human beings). … they even need to hug each other every once in awhile. That’s not sinful, and it’s not “gay” either, it’s how God made (people).”

I yanked this out of context & fiddled with it for a reason. Keeping Jessica’s (altered) words in mind, let’s look at what I see as recent developments. (“Recent” to me, because I’m 65 & remember when some standards were very different.)

We have the confluence of what are mostly -positive- changes in human conduct at least in the U.S.:
1. devout and especially fundamentalist Christians take pains to avoid touching someone else in any way that might be construed as sexual contact. In my opinion, some people take this to amusing extremes with fleeting side-ways “hugs” that bear virtually no resemblance to a hug. (Your mileage may vary)
plus,
2. anyone worried about being falsely accused of sexual harassment or of child abuse takes pains not to ever touch a child that isn’t their own or to ever touch anyone at all in a business setting.
Why do I bring this up? Because occasionally there are unintended consequences brought about by changes in social mores which were made with the best of intentions.
When I was growing up, the members of one whole side of my family hugged & kissed every relative they visited both on arrival and departure. I’m not saying that this was necessarily a good thing or a bad thing–just that it was my experience for at least the first couple of decades of my life.
Later, at work, if someone was either distraught or ecstatic about good news, fellow workers (probably always of the same sex) would hug them–with “real” hugs.
And so on.
As may of you know–because I’ve said it here & elsewhere–I am not married and no longer have any family. As a result, I and others in similar situations have become the new “untouchables”. We shake the pastor’s hand after service & doctors touch us during examinations. And that’s about it, short of accidentally brushing against someone on a crowded sidewalk.
This has reached such an extreme for me that last week at the beginning of our hour, I actually asked my psychotherapist if he would mind shaking my hand from now on at the end of our sessions.

(BTW, I don’t pretend to -know- but I suspect that given the reclining dining arrangements in Jesus’ time on earth, John could hardly have asked Jesus a quiet question without leaning back against him.)

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Sherry Thompson June 10, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Does this mean there may be people who simultaneously believe two prevalent myths, that:
1. Jesus is gay,
and the older myth that
2. He married Mary Magdalene and they (possibly) had children?

When someone begins adding to Scripture in -these- ways, even in a work of fiction, that’s what I would consider a true slippery slope!

OTOH, I believe that devout Christians can disagree with devout Christians about the exact interpretation of a Biblical passage–and yet agree to disagree in love, since we will not know everything until we are ourselves with our Lord.

At which point, I strongly suspect we will no longer care about certain things. For example, will we even remember any of our hair-splitting when it comes to which connotation of a Hebrew or Greek word was the original intent? How could such details still hold the attention of even the most learned or pious once we are face-to-face with our Lord?

It’s more important isn’t it, to love our God with all our heart and all our mind and all our strength, & to love our neighbors as we love ourselves?

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Amy L Harden June 11, 2012 at 6:33 AM

I agree, Sherry.

It is truly a secular phenomena to rewrite the story, eliminate cultural history, which so far I may have missed in some of these responses about Jesus’s actions towards other men as “gay” or “homosexual”.

Historically, men in that region did lean against one another and touch other men in ways that would be considered “gay” in our American society…in fact, Middle Eastern men TODAY kiss each other on the lips when greeting and hold hands when walking! So, to attach stereotypical gestures to what Christ did with His disciples is ridiculous…it may have been culturally acceptable to demonstrate fondness and friendship in ways that we stereotypically attach to those in our society as “gay” or “Homosexual”.

Could the slipper slope of this question be that we are NOT considering everything that can and will influence the final conclusion? In the end, the debate will continue as the story continually changes according to the viewpoint that is used.

Please consider reading read James Sires “The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog” to consider how each Worldview may look at this question.

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Sherry Thompson June 11, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Thanks, Amy!
I added Sires’ book to my Amazon wishlist as a reminder. It sounds interesting, and so did , “Hidden Worldviews: Eight Cultural Stories That Shape Our Lives” by Steve Wilkens which was linked from that page. I “wished” it as well. However, I don’t promise to buy, much less read, either one.

(I’m a terrible slow reader who already owns hundreds of unread books. I really need to prioritize books I already own, especially those written by certain LGG authors.)

You shine a spotlight on the customs of Middle Eastern men today in your response. I agree that these currently accepted actions suggest bits about what Jews found acceptable in Jesus’ time. On the other hand, we need to keep in mind that most modern Middle Eastern men are Moslems not Jews. I have no idea–do both groups perform the actions you mention?

For this discussion, i.e. David & Jonathan/ Jesus & John (the “beloved” disciple), we also need a resource comparing regional cultural customs from Biblical times. Something that would lay out and compare the social mores of very early Hebrews, Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and of course the Jews of Jesus’ time on earth.

BTW, I was a history major once upon a time but in those days no class I took ever delved into these kinds of things. Too bad. I hope some colleges do better today. And I hope that seminaries offer some kind of course about historic social mores. Otherwise, even the best seminarians may develop an inaccurate view of Biblical social custom and standards, by unconsciously assuming practices closer to our own rather than practices as they were then.

p.s. In Paul’s epistles, what did Paul envision when he exhorted the recipients to greet one another with a holy kiss?

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Cherry Odelberg June 15, 2012 at 6:25 AM

Yes again. To love God with our whole being and love our neighbors as ourself – all the law, all the commandments are contained in these…Now, how to go about that?

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Amy L Harden June 11, 2012 at 6:37 AM

PS To Mike Duran: Thank you for challenges us in your blog. Reading your blog at times is like eating a juicy steak!! No fluff…just a lot of meat!!!

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Mike Duran June 11, 2012 at 6:41 AM

Hi Amy! I appreciate the kind words, and the shout-out over at Facebook. Glad you enjoy my blog. Have a great week!

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xdpaul June 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Contrary to widespread belief among English teachers, “The Slippery Slope” is not a logical fallacy. This is evidenced by a number of perfectly straightforward logical chains.

The key to the validity of a slippery slope is whether or not the related segments are related causally or casually (i.e. coincidentally). In other words it is a slippery slope that if you pull a trigger on a loaded gun, the hammer is almost certain to strike which will, 99 times out of 100, result in the discharge of a round. A slippery slope indeed, but not fallacious!

Where the fallacy comes is when one makes a chain out of unrelated (or unsupported) things. In other words, the only way that someone can deny Mike’s theoretical conclusion is if the premises and assumption of each element in the chain can be disrupted (well technically, it only takes one “break” to break the chain, but I’m not seeing it.)

As long as they agree on the assumptions, they agree on the conclusions.

But here’s the kicker: I highly doubt anyone who agrees with the assumption that there’s nothing spiritual about sexuality would then disagree with the possibility of Jesus being something other than he was/is. In other words, I’d be surprised if your line-drawers worry about drawing lines for very long.

After all, everyone I know who argued for gay marriage, saying it wouldn’t encourage polygamy are now advocating for polygamy. That swap in thinking took about six months and a few episodes of Sister Wives.

I have to laugh at the article title with the seriously illogical headline: “Was Jesus Gay? Probably.” The author obviously has no clue what a probability is.

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Katherine Coble June 12, 2012 at 9:16 AM

What fun we are all having lighting fire to this straw man!

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Katherine Coble June 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM

I went into more detail at my own place, but lest I be accused of not showing up myself here’s my thought process regarding all this:

[This conversation here] like going to a VBS craft class where everyone made their own little straw men. “Tomorrow, kids, we’ll set them on fire!!”

People love to argue. They want to argue. And the greatest thing about the internet seems to be the fun of arguing with people who are not actually there to argue back for themselves. So we get these blog posts that are compilations of mischaracterisations and misunderstandings of another person’s position. After all, why show up for a real conversation with the people you’re deconstructing when it’s easier to just tear them apart at a choir meeting?

I left active politics because of this. You know, I still love Jesus. I still claim the Gospel of salvation and transformation. But I’m so very tired of this “following Jesus” being turned into “joining a club where you have to hold opinions X, Y, and Z to be a member in good standing.” None of this stuff looks like Jesus. All of it misuses Jesus’ name and sacrifice to create new and improved ingroups and outgroups. Ironically, though, Jesus and the apostles were the ORIGINAL outgroup. He was a firebrand who taught outside the conventions of the temple. His followers weren’t the learned, erudite intellectuals of the day. They were fishermen. Men who were strong and rugged and knew what it was to risk your life daily to get food to the table.

I want my faith experience to be more like that. More fishing, less sepulchure whitewashing.

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Mike Duran June 12, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Katherine, where do you think I’ve used a “straw man”?

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Katherine Coble June 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Everywhere. Almost from the beginning of the post and then several times throughout.
The first example is when you are talking about the Emergenting Church–a group I am not a part of–and characterize them as you do.

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Jill June 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

This is just my opinion, obviously, but asserting that “if Jesus loved and accepted homosexuals and even made them that way, then Jesus could have been gay” is the straw man argument at work because it doesn’t accurately represent the progressive argument.

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Mike Duran June 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Good gosh! I never said that, Jill. How could Jesus ever love any sinners? What I’ve suggesed is that concluding that homoseexuality is not a sin is the first step – not necessaily taken mind you – in suggesting he could have been gay.

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Jill June 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM

It was an indirect quote of this: “If Jesus not only loved and accepted gays but made them that way, is there any reasons why Jesus couldn’t have been gay Himself?”

I’m just saying that this doesn’t represent what progressives believe (and I have to add the caveat of not being a progressive). It seems a huge logical leap. Like xpaul above, I don’t believe that slippery slope is always a fallacy. But when it’s used in this way, I believe it becomes a straw man because it doesn’t directly address a progressive Christian belief system. You quote an outlier, and you admit that most progressives don’t believe this or go this far in their thinking. Oestreicher’s position defies Christ’s purpose on earth, which was not to be sexual or to marry or have a family, but to minister, to heal, and ultimately to become a sacrificial lamb.

I’m not trying to go on the attack or misrepresent your viewpoint, but I do think this is a false slippery slope that turns into a straw man. And I’m sorry to jump in so late. I was out of town over the weekend.

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Mike Duran June 12, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Seriously, I’m finding your and Katherine’s charges of me using straw men as pretty weak.

“…this doesn’t represent what progressives believe.”

Are you suggesting that progressives AGREE with evangelicals that homosexuality is sinful and abnormal? Because that’s simply not true for a large part, if not the majority, of progressives. Good heavens, that issue is defining for SO many progressives. All three of the individuals I mentioned in this post believe that homosexuality is NOT a sin, at least not one that needs repented of. I could probably find a dozen links in minutes to demonstrate that progressives have a more liberal view of homosexuality. You know that. And I wouldn’t agree that Oestreicher is that much of an “outlier.” Heck, he’s an active Anglican priest. (Also, you might want to scroll through the 650+ comments left on that post.)

I dunno, Jill. You may not agree with my progression of thought — that believing Jesus made homosexuals the way they are is the first step to believing that Jesus could be gay — but I just don’t see how you could portray my basic assertion as fallacious.

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Jill June 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Mike, progressives don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin. I agree with this. The basis of a straw man argument is to take the opposition’s view and twist it into something they don’t actually believe. I was looking at “therefore, Jesus could have been gay” as the straw man argument because I’ve never heard a progressive say this is the conclusion of homosexuality not being sinful. The gist I get from progressives is what commenter Mark states above–that arguing Christ’s sexual identity detracts from Christ’s purpose on this earth. It’s a vicious distraction, at best. In my opinion, it’s bordering on blasphemy [not your argument, per se, but Oestreicher's]. I haven’t scrolled through the 650+ comments, though, and I’ll repeat that I’m not a progressive. If progressives actually believe that Jesus could have been gay because homosexuality isn’t a sin, then I eat my words and agree you don’t have a straw man argument. p.s. YOU called Oestreicher’s beliefs fringe. How many Anglicans actually believe this? Who knows? The Anglican church is being split over homosexuality, just as the Lutheran church is. But calling Jesus gay is an entirely different matter to embracing/loving homosexuals.

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Mike Duran June 13, 2012 at 5:45 PM

“I was looking at “therefore, Jesus could have been gay” as the straw man argument because I’ve never heard a progressive say this is the conclusion of homosexuality not being sinful.”

Jill, I didn’t say that all progressives (or anyone who chooses to agree with the homosexual lifestyle) WILL reach that conclusion. I said there’s no reason they shouldn’t. Some quotes from the post, highlighting for emphasis.

Whether or not one concedes this connection, an even more insidious drift may result from the Progressive’s view of homosexuality.” It MAY result as opposed to it WILL result.

Also,

“Granted, most Progressives appear to shy away from Oestreicher’s conclusions.” See? Most Progressives don’t seem to actually embrace that conclusion. The question I’m asking in this post is, If they believe Jesus created gays the way they are, then why couldn’t He been gay?

Honestly, I think the straw man argument doesn’t fit here.

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Jill June 14, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Mike, thanks for engaging in this debate w/ me. Leaving logic behind for a moment, I’m a little sensitive to reductionist arguments. Reducing an argument is, to me, a straw man. But I’ll leave that alone. Mostly, I’m having an emotional reaction against dwelling on Christ’s sexuality. To me, it’s difficult to arrive at this kind of conclusion, in which we remake our savior in our own image [Christ was straight! No, he was gay!], from a progressive argument. And, yet, at the same time, if we don’t accept the word of God, then we’ve already created a strange paradox because Christ is the word made flesh.

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Mike Duran June 12, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Katherine, though the Emergent church is rather amorphous, its early “thinkers” (like Brian McLaren) most definitely challenged and rejected many (if not all) basic tenets of Evagelicalism, like the authority of Scripture, the nature of God, man, and salvation. That’s pretty established, frankly. But this is way off topic.

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Cherry Odelberg June 15, 2012 at 6:35 AM

Did you say the emergent church is defunct? I had not heard that, I am grief stricken. I like the emergent church. I like Brian McLaren. I have been looking for them. They help me love Jesus more – a Jesus I was never taught; a Jesus I came dangerously close to rejecting because I thought I had to accept him in only and all of the ways I was taught.

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dolphin June 13, 2012 at 1:55 PM

If you concede relativism, that all truth, even biblical truth, is subjective, untethered to historical and/or logical validation, then pretty much anything goes.

I know ALOT of progressive Christians. I know NOBODY (progressive christian or otherwise) who believes “that all truth, even biblical truth, is subjective, untethered to historical and/or logical validation.”

Once an exception is made to some “rule,” whether theological or moral, nothing will inevitably hold back further, more egregious exceptions to that rule.

Disagreeing on what the rules are is not the same as making an exception to a rule.

Further, you totally misrepresent McGrath’s post. Aside from his (possibly regrettable, but clearly intended to make an impact) title, he isn’t arguing that there is no slope or that someone should not figure out a place on that slope to dwell. He explicitly says there is a slope but you can’t find the best place to dwell on that slope without understanding it.

We’d agree… …that racism is wrong, that genocide of “inferior” races is wrong, that spousal abuse is wrong

Would you? I believe that YOU believe these things are wrong but there ARE numerous Evangelicals who don’t necessarily; and they are just as sure that they are at the top of the slope as you are. You believe these things are wrong because you’ve expanded your view of the slope in such a way to include these things being wrong and then (properly) decided to dwell there.

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Mike Duran June 13, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Hi dolphin! Let me address your points one at a time.

dolphin: “I know ALOT of progressive Christians. I know NOBODY (progressive christian or otherwise) who believes “that all truth, even biblical truth, is subjective, untethered to historical and/or logical validation.” ”

MIKE: You’re right. I think that sounds too concrete. I probably should not have said “all truth.” The question I’d ask is, for the postmodernist, what truths AREN’T subjective? Clearly, history is up for deconstruction. And the Bible is… historical. The point is that relativism creates a slippery slope, which I think is fairly indisputable.

dolphin: “Once an exception is made to some “rule,” whether theological or moral, nothing will inevitably hold back further, more egregious exceptions to that rule. Disagreeing on what the rules are is not the same as making an exception to a rule.”

MIKE: Um. Agreed. But that is the essence of the debate, isn’t it? What’s the rules?

dolphin: “you totally misrepresent McGrath’s post… he isn’t arguing that there is no slope or that someone should not figure out a place on that slope to dwell. He explicitly says there is a slope but you can’t find the best place to dwell on that slope without understanding it.”

MIKE: I read it differently. The author is clearly taking aim at “self-proclaimed Biblical literalists and inerrantists who are doing dangerous exegetical and hermeneutical acrobatics to try to maintain a stable high ground that isn’t really there.” So it’s pretty clear what McGrath’s purpose is here: To deconstruct “the slope.” So… “there is indeed a danger” but only “for those who think they stand safely on the peak. ” The assumption is that anyone who finds a “moral high ground” (a peak) is in a precarious spot, right? Which means no moral position, including his, is safe. I don’t see McGrath saying (your words) “there is a slope but you can’t find the best place to dwell on that slope without understanding it.” He’s saying, “Stand whereever you want… except the peak.”

dolphin: “We’d agree… …that racism is wrong, that genocide of “inferior” races is wrong, that spousal abuse is wrong. Would you? I believe that YOU believe these things are wrong but there ARE numerous Evangelicals who don’t necessarily; and they are just as sure that they are at the top of the slope as you are.”

MIKE: Well, that may be. There are also ARE numerous Progressives who believe Jesus COULD be gay. So I guess that balances things out.

Thanks for commenting!

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dolphin June 14, 2012 at 6:37 AM

All philosophical worldviews contain relativistic themes. It’s my truth that cookie dough ice cream is the best flavor of ice cream that there is. But I tend to think that’s relative to my taste buds and so I don’t demand that you share the belief that that is truth. But what you’re arguing against is pure relativism, a worldview held by no more people world wide than I could likely count my on my fingers and toes. So congratulations you have shown up like 7 people, which wouldn’t even be a problem if you hadn’t ascribed that belief system to millions of people in the process. Classic straw man.

But that is the essence of the debate, isn’t it? What’s the rules?

I don’t know. In your post you say it’s not. In the comments, you say it is, then it’s not and then it is except when it’s not. So I guess I’ll have to defer to you on what the essence of the debate is. But it SOUNDS like your chastising people for breaking the “rules” when they don’t share the “rules” you’re chastising them for breaking. Not QUITE as classic of a straw man as outright assigning false beliefs to those you view as your opponents, like you did in the sentence immediately proceeding this one, but still fits the mold pretty clearly.

He’s saying, “Stand whereever you want… except the peak.”

I guess that is an easier straw man to tear down than what he’s actually saying. Nobody (at least no human) is standing on the peak. We’re on Mt Olympus here and the peak is where only gods dwell. As humans we should dare not display the arrogance that says “I know absolute truth absolutely.” When your worldview rests on the basis that you are god (ie. you have absolute knowledge), the slope is indeed slippery because the tiniest pebble loosen from under your feet will send you tumbling. It’s only when one can accept that, while absolute truth exists, none of us can known absolute truth absolutely, that we no longer have to be threatened by other, differing world views. That’s what pluralism (the believe you are falsely declaring to be relativism) is all about. Pluralist take moral positions all the time, the difference is they don’t need the security of everyone else agreeing with them in order to do so. The world is big enough for all people to live together.

There are also ARE numerous Progressives who believe Jesus COULD be gay. So I guess that balances things out.

The fact that you view the belief that Jesus could have been gay as the moral equivalent to racism to the point of genocide as well as spousal abuse is admittedly disheartening to me, though not terribly surprising. It, as well as this post in general, really illustrates the pathological obsession with homosexuality that modern evangelicalism has.

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Melissa Marsh June 14, 2012 at 11:18 AM

So dolphin, you’re saying you don’t believe in absolute moral truth?

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dolphin June 14, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I’m beginning to see why you don’t see the strawmen in Mike’s post. You’re reading comprehension skills are seriously lacking. Let me help you out a bit: “absolute truth exists” does NOTequal “[I] believe in absolute moral truth.”

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dolphin June 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM

sorry, missed a word when I was copy/pasting your strawman accusation; should say “absolute truth exists” does NOTequal “[I] don’t believe in absolute moral truth.”

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Mike Duran June 14, 2012 at 2:53 PM

dolphin, It appears this discussion will not go anywhere. Before I respond to your last round of statements, let me say that it appears you are doing everything possible to avoid my central point: Believing God approves of homosexuality begins a slippery slope. Part of that progression is believing Jesus could be gay. You seem pretty determined to avoid directly answering that question. Nevertheless, onward!

dolphin: “what you’re arguing against is pure relativism, a worldview held by no more people world wide than I could likely count my on my fingers and toes. ”

MIKE: So is the problem here me arguing against “pure relativism” or that, you believe, very few people hold to “pure relativism”? Also, I’d love to know the difference between “pure relativism” and, what, impure relativism? Partial relativism? Perhaps I should ask those seven people. Even if “All philosophical worldviews contain relativistic themes,” this does not disprove my point that, “relativism creates a slippery slope.” And I must say, if you judge the claims of Jesus Christ in the same way you judge the “truth that cookie dough ice cream is the best flavor of ice cream,” then we’re operating on different wavelengths.

dolphin: “it SOUNDS like your chastising people for breaking the “rules” when they don’t share the “rules” you’re chastising them for breaking.”

MIKE: Huh? I used the word “rule” twice in my post, both in this sentence: “Once an exception is made to some “rule,” whether theological or moral, nothing will inevitably hold back further, more egregious exceptions to that rule.” This is very similar to definitions on the Wikipedia page for “slippery slope” . And for the record, I’m not chastising anybody for anything. I’m illustrating that the slippery slope argument is valid, especially as it relates to Progressive’s views on homosexuality. Methinks you’re obfuscating.

dolphin: “It’s only when one can accept that, while absolute truth exists, none of us can known absolute truth absolutely, that we no longer have to be threatened by other, differing world views. ”

MIKE: Do you know this absolutely? If not, why should I worry about it? Or should I embrace it? If so, why? And as far as not being threatened by others worldviews, would that have worked with the Third Reich? You know, just live and let live? Hm. Maybe there ARE some worldviews we should be threatened by, huh?

dolphin: “The world is big enough for all people to live together.”

MIKE: Perhaps you should run this by the Jihadists.

dolphin: “The fact that you view the belief that Jesus could have been gay as the moral equivalent to racism to the point of genocide as well as spousal abuse is admittedly disheartening to me, though not terribly surprising.”

MIKE: Totally taken out of context. From the post: “while Evangelicals and Progressives disagree about “the top of the slope,” we still agree about many points in between. Which means… there IS a slope that lines must be drawn upon. We’d agree that murder is wrong, that torturing puppies is wrong, that pushing old ladies down stairways is wrong, that racism is wrong, that genocide of “inferior” races is wrong, that spousal abuse is wrong, and on and on and on. We’d also agree that, if we tolerate any of these things, there may be an incremental slide to worse atrocities. Correct? That’s the “slippery slope” argument in action.”

Didn’t say, “the belief that Jesus could have been gay as the moral equivalent to racism.” You said that. Please, dolphin, I think you’re reaching now.

Like I said, I appreciate the discussion. However, my guess is we’ll just go round and round. I am interested, however, in how you’d answer the question I ended my post with: Could Jesus Christ have been gay?

Appreciate the conversation, dolphin.

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dolphin June 14, 2012 at 8:26 PM

You seem pretty determined to avoid directly answering that question.

On the contrary, I’ve tackled that proposition directly. There is no slippery slope there. If you believe that the Bible does not teach that homosexuality is a sin and does not specify Jesus’ sexuality, then Jesus could be gay, straight, bisexual, or asexual. So long as you believe being left-handed is not a sin, Jesus could also have been left-handed. It’s wholey unremarkable, unless you believe it’s a sin to be gay. You’re holding people to YOUR rules, which they don’t share, and declaring checkmate. Pretty much everything I’ve said has been addressing this point. Your post is a strawman made of up strawmen.

Come to think of it, since you said earlier in the comments that you don’t believe same-sex orientation to be sinful, it’s remarkable to me that you DON’T believe Jesus could have been gay. On what grounds do you deny that Jesus could have been gay?

So is the problem here me arguing against “pure relativism” or that, you believe, very few people hold to “pure relativism”?

The problem is that I have never met a single pure relativist in my entire life, not one, and you have declared that all progressive christians are relativists. It’s a demonstrably false claim that you’re using to argue against your perceived enemy because you find it easier than arguing against their actual beliefs. That’s what the problem is. You’re arguing against a belief system by arguing against beliefs that are not part of said system.

Also, I’d love to know the difference between “pure relativism” and, what, impure relativism? Partial relativism?

Relativism teaches that all truths are relative to the circumstances in which they arrive. Pluralism teaches that there are a variety of understood truths though some have greater validity than others.

if you judge the claims of Jesus Christ in the same way you judge the “truth that cookie dough ice cream is the best flavor of ice cream,” then we’re operating on different wavelengths.

And if you can quote where I said that, we’re reading different discussions.

I’m illustrating that the slippery slope argument is valid, especially as it relates to Progressive’s views on homosexuality.

But you haven’t done that at all.

Do you know this absolutely?

I believe it to be the case absolutely, but I have no desire to compel you to believe the same.

And as far as not being threatened by others worldviews, would that have worked with the Third Reich?

It works for me. I am in no way threatened by the beliefs of NAZIs (either past nor present). I rather strongly disagree with them, but until such time as they seek to put those beliefs into action, I’m not threatened by the fact that they believe them.

Maybe there ARE some worldviews we should be threatened by, huh?

I’m not.

Perhaps you should run this by the Jihadists.

I thought I was, or do you view your particular brand of fundamentalism to be philosophically different just because you’re not strapping bombs to your chest?

Didn’t say, “the belief that Jesus could have been gay as the moral equivalent to racism.” You said that.

No, you explicitly said that the view that Jesus could be gay “balanced out” racist, genocidal, and pro-spousal abuse views. By definition, things that are balanced are in some way equal. If you believe I’m putting words in your mouth, I will go back and quote you exactly. Just let me know.

I am interested, however, in how you’d answer the question I ended my post with: Could Jesus Christ have been gay?

Yes, Jesus could have also been left-handed, or had red hair (though that’s exceptionally unlikely given he would have been of Arabic descent, and certainly not the pasty white caucasian in so many paintings). That’s only an egregious view if you believe that homosexuality is a sin. There’s no slippery slope at all. Jesus could have had absolutely any non-sinful trait that we do not have evidence against. You’re judging others views by your rules. You’re trying to make a point that doesn’t actually exist. It’s strawman city with a bit of circular logic thrown in there for flavor.

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Mike Duran June 15, 2012 at 4:08 AM

dolphin, this will be my last response to you. I think what pushed the conversation over the top for me is when you said this,

dolphin: ” ‘Perhaps you should run this by the Jihadists.’

I thought I was, or do you view your particular brand of fundamentalism to be philosophically different just because you’re not strapping bombs to your chest?”

MIKE: Sad that you have to resort to name calling.

The one final comment I’ll make, since I believe it proves my point in this post EXACTLY, is this…

dolphin: “There is no slippery slope there. If you believe that the Bible does not teach that homosexuality is a sin and does not specify Jesus’ sexuality, then Jesus could be gay, straight, bisexual, or asexual. So long as you believe being left-handed is not a sin, Jesus could also have been left-handed. It’s wholey unremarkable, unless you believe it’s a sin to be gay. “ (emphasis mine)

MIKE: My friend, THIS IS EXACTLY THE POINT I’M MAKING. If a person DOES NOT believe homosexuality is a sin, Jesus could be gay. The watershed in this discussion is whether or not someone believes the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin. This is the slippery slope.

Once again, I appreciate the interaction.

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dolphin June 15, 2012 at 6:23 AM

I never ONCE resorted to name-calling. If you don’t want to continue the conversation, that’s fine, it’s your blog after all, but please do not accuse me of name calling when I did nothing of the sort. Fundamentalist philosophy is not different because of the religion (or non-religion) involved. It’s not even remotely name-calling to note that. It’s an objective fact. As I said, if you want to stop the discussion, that’s your prerogative, but do not falsely accuse me. Where does LYING fall on your slope?

Your point is a non-point. A slippery slope indicates that if you make one small change, another small change will follow, then another, then another until large change has manifested. What are the series of small changes culminating into a larger one? I see only one change (if someone has further researched homosexuality in the Bible and come to the rational conclusion that there is no Biblical condemnation of it). If someone never held homosexuality to be a sin in the first place, then not even that change exists.

Since you already made your last comment, I don’t expect you to answer (anymore than I honestly expected you to answer it the first time) this question I asked it in the previous comment.
On June 11, 2012 at 6:12 AM, you said in a comment that you agreed that same-sex orientation was not sinful, only same-sex sexual behavior. If you still hold that belief, I’d like to know on what grounds YOU believe Jesus could not have been gay.

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sally apokedak June 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Being born with no arms is not sin, either, but Jesus was not born that way. Being born with a propensity to commit gay acts is part of the fallen nature, whether we hold it to be sin or not.

God commands us to praise him with song. A person born deaf and dumb is not sinning when he doesn’t obey that, but he’s still not a perfect man. He’s born in a fallen state.

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dolphin June 15, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Sally, it’s an interesting point of view since it goes against what most evangelicals I know would claim to be one of the most basic tenets of their faith. I’d almost like to have discussed it further, but given that in my previous interaction with you, you demonstrated yourself to be one of the most hateful and evil people I’ve ever had the displeasure to be in contact with, I think I’ll avoid it this time around. I will no longer respond to any statement you make.

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Melissa Marsh June 15, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Completely and totally uncalled for.

R.J. Anderson June 15, 2012 at 1:59 PM

you demonstrated yourself to be one of the most hateful and evil people I’ve ever had the displeasure to be in contact with

…and there you just lost any possible iota of respect I might have had for you, or any inclination to take your comments seriously. In my experience Sally has never been anything but a warm, gracious, thoughtful person who handles disagreements respectfully, and I’m appalled you would say such things about her. Disagree by all means, but this kind of personal attack only undermines your credibility.

sally apokedak June 15, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Dolphin? Do I know you? Have we spoken before? I have no idea what you’re talking about. I have been less than loving a few times on the Internet, I’ll give you that. I’m sorry for injuring you, since I apparently did. Your name is to familiar to me, so I apparently didn’t hate you. If I’d hated you, I’d have remembered you, I think.

sally apokedak June 15, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Duh. I meant to say, “your name is NOT familiar to me.”

dolphin June 15, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Honestly RJ, I disagree with you and you’re a fundamentalist, so you never had one iota of respect for me to begin with. The one time I engaged with Sally I had other commenters sending me private emails apologizing for the way she was acting (as if any one should feel the need to apologize for anyone else’s behavior, but it was what it was).

sally apokedak June 15, 2012 at 8:25 PM

OK. I had to Google our names to find out when I’d spoken to you.

Seriously, Dolphin, I am sorry that you had so much trouble with the things I said. I read over all my comments in that thread and while I wasn’t overly gentle, I don’t believe I said anything hateful or evil. I certainly felt no ill will toward anyone on that thread. I did think there was some hypocrisy and double standards over there and I called Katherine on it, but I don’t hate her or you or anyone else. Sometimes love demands we speak the truth even if it puts us in conflict with others.

And if I am “one of the most hateful and evil people you’ve ever had the displeasure to be in contact with” then you’ve had a blessed life, I guess. I’m happy for you, and I wish you only good things and God’s mercy.

Virginia Hernandez June 15, 2012 at 1:28 PM

You called him a jihadist. Pretty obviously.

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dolphin June 15, 2012 at 1:42 PM

No, I indicated that I was addressing the same fundamentalist philosophy that fuels jihadists. I SPECIFICALLY stated that he was not strapping bombs to his chest, but the philisophical underpinning of fundamentalism are the same regardless of the fundamentalist sect. That’s why we have the word fundamentalist. Words have meaning. I would think this would be fairly controversial.

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dolphin June 15, 2012 at 1:43 PM

fairly UNcontroversial I meant.

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Melissa Marsh June 15, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Agreed, Virginia. Here it is:

Mike said: Perhaps you should run this by the Jihadists.

dolphin said: I thought I was, or do you view your particular brand of fundamentalism to be philosophically different just because you’re not strapping bombs to your chest?

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Virginia Hernandez June 15, 2012 at 1:54 PM

You beat me to the quote, Melissa. Let me quote dolphin: words have meaning. When you said to Mike that you thought you WERE addressing a jihadist you called him a jihadist. You weren’t “running conversation” by anyone else but him because the rest of us were semi checked out on your “logic” several posts ago. So yes, you DID call him a jihadist. And the fact that you deny it is all the reason anyone should have to pretty much stop engaging.
Funny, I knew that’s what you were going to say. That’s how easy it is to see your “logic.”

dolphin June 15, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Now that sounds like good fundamentalism. Attack anybody who disagrees with you. No similarity to jihad there at all. Dissent is not tolerated.

Message received. Will return back to sites that encourage polite debate. You guys have fun in your bubble of patting each other on the back.

Melissa Marsh June 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

What a fascinating discussion this has been, Mike. Thank you so much for delving into this topic. I don’t see any straw men at all, but logical, well-thought out, and well-supported statements and conclusions from you.

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dolphin June 14, 2012 at 6:38 AM

Perhaps you ought to re-read the post?

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Melissa Marsh June 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM

It is exactly this “holier than thou” attitude that so irks me about the progressive left. Insinuating that I’m too dense to make my own conclusions and that I arrived at them erroneously is a way to demonize whoever disagrees with you. I wasn’t even directing my post at you, yet you had to leave a snarky comment.

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dolphin June 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Where did I say you are too dense to reach your own clonclusions? Where did I say you arrived at them erroneously? Where did I demonize you in anyway?

The strawmen were quite obvious, if you missed them, it’s only because you weren’t reading very closely. If I thought you were dense I wouldn’t havesuggested you go back and read.

I didn’t think you were dense at all until you proved it conclusively by stating that I said exactly the opposite of what I said. NOW, I think you’re pretty dense, but until that point I didn’t think so at all.

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Melissa Marsh June 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Have a good day. I’m not going to bother engaging you when you resort to this kind of “debate.”

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dolphin June 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM

You too Melissa! Hope you have a GREAT one! It’s probably best you don’t engage me if you won’t actually read what I write first.

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Melissa Marsh June 15, 2012 at 7:08 AM

I want to kindly point out that you look up what the word “insinuate” means.

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dolphin June 15, 2012 at 8:19 AM

Ok, let me be clearer then. Where did I insinuate that you were too dense to reach your own conclusions?

I said a mere sentence to you: “Perhaps you ought to re-read the post?” From that one question you drew that I thought you were too dense to reach your own conclusions? I’d like to kindly point out that you look up what the word “insinuate” means.

You drawing some out of nowhere, bizarro conclusion that had absolutely nothing to do with what I actually said is not the same thing as me insinuating it.

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dolphin June 15, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I just need to make a further note because I’m actually totally perplexed how you came to the conclusion that I was insinuating you were dense from my suggestion you re-read.

For what logical reason would I ask you to re-read if I suspected you were too dense to draw conclusions? Should implies could. If I didn’t think you were capable of drawing a conclusion from reading the material, I wouldn’t suggest you do as much. The very notion that I suggested you re-read in fact insinuates precisely the opposite conclusion that you reached.

Now in another later comment you asked if I believed the exact opposite of what I’d just explicitly said, so perhaps opposites is just your general way of thinking? I’m genuinely trying to understand you, so help me out here.

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Melissa Marsh June 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM

You said: “The strawmen were quite obvious, if you missed them, it’s only because you weren’t reading very closely.”

That is YOUR OPINION. I do NOT see any strawmen in this argument. You do. We disagree.

Here is what I said: ” I don’t see any straw men at all, but logical, well-thought out, and well-supported statements and conclusions from you.” You said: “Perhaps you ought to re-read the post?” Now. If I said the same to you, what would you take away from that? To me, your comment meant, “Obviously you didn’t read it well enough because you DIDN’T come to the conclusion that there WERE strawmen in the argument, therefore your reading comprehension is not good.” Tell me what other way I could have taken this?

Let me make a suggestion to you. If you want to have a meaningful debate, snarky comments are perhaps not the way to go about it. If you had said something along the order of, “Perhaps you didn’t see any strawmen in his argument, but I did and here is why” , THEN I would have come to a different conclusion. Instead, you INSINUATED that there were OBVIOUSLY strawmen in the argument but I just didn’t see them because I didn’t READ it close enough.

After reading through your posts, I have to say one thing: you like to argue for argument’s sake. And that is rather interesting to me considering Katherine said this: “People love to argue. They want to argue. And the greatest thing about the internet seems to be the fun of arguing with people who are not actually there to argue back for themselves.” Now I know what she meant (please do not feel the need to spell it out for me) but it strikes me as deeply ironic that you also fall into this category.

I really don’t like to argue. I like to debate. To me, those are two different things. Debate is respectful. Debate is healthy. Arguing, as I’m defining it here, puts down your opponent. Makes them feel like they’re not playing on a level playing field. To wit: “I didn’t think you were dense at all until you proved it conclusively by stating that I said exactly the opposite of what I said. NOW, I think you’re pretty dense, but until that point I didn’t think so at all.”

I’m sorry, but I do not wish to stoop to this level. I don’t know you. All I know of you are the words you put on the page. Your words define you and they define your character.

If I have offended you, then I do sincerely apologize. It was never my intent. I merely disagreed with you.

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dolphin June 15, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Melissa,
Yes, the strawmen are obvious. Even Mike quasi-admitted that he was overzealous in trying to describe his view of what progressive Christians think.

However what’s interesting to me is the quoted portion was from comments made AFTER you say I insinuated that you were “dense.” I’m curious how you drew the insinuation from comments you had yet to read because they were yet to have been made? As a fundamentalist Christian, do you feel your psychic abilities are witchcraft prohibited by the Bible or a gift from God. This is very interesting.

Tell me what other way I could have taken this?

Quite probably the same way I took it when you told me “Perhaps you ought to re-think your position.” That is to consider it. I’m open to the need to rethink my position, but needed more than what you offered so I asked you for more details yet you never answered. This is the difference between the pluralist and the fundamentalist.

Yes, I do sometimes like to argue. I think we can learn about ourselves and others with a free exchange of views. It’s fine to set inside your own bubble from time to time and never hear anyone else’s viewpoint, but I think it’s quite unhealthy to stay there long.

Interestingly, you indicate that I argue “with people who are not actually there to argue back for themselves.” To whom are you referring? Who do you feel I argued with who was not here to argue back for themselves. I believe I’ve only argued with Mike (who owns the blog so sure he is “here,” and you (who have left numerous comments leading me to suspect you are “here” too). Admittedly, I haven’t gotten to argue with you much because you’re too busy being offended that I’d dare ask you to explain your positions.

All I know of you are the words you put on the page.

If only that were true. All you know of me is what you predetermined yourself to know without bothering to read any words that I put on the page. You’re responses make in abundantly clear that you didn’t read my words.

I do apologize for that one comment you quote. Almost as soon as I said it I wished I could remove it but alas, that can’t be done so easily on the internet. I was just so taken aback by the fact that you would so blatantly disregard my comment in your rush to set up a strawman for me. It was quite literally as if I’d said “The sky is blue,” and you responded “So you’re saying the sky is red?”

I fully acknowledge that my response was not the best, but I’m curious how you would respond to someone who purposefully ignored what you’d written so that the could accuse you of the opposite position? Strawmen are common in debate, but seeing one that was so incredibly blatant was so mind-blowing that I didn’t know exactly how to respond.

Your words define you and they define your character.

I hope so. My words, like myself, are all too often imperfect, but I like to think that on the whole they contribute to making the world a better place than it would be without them. Which is why it’s so offensive to me when someone like yourself tries to put words into my mouth.

Melissa Marsh June 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Perhaps you ought to re-think your position.

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dolphin June 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Perhaps I ought to. I’m perfectly willing to look at why you think I’m incorrect, but I apologize that I will not simply take your word for it.

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Melissa Marsh June 15, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Since I can’t reply to you on the other thread, I will reply here. I very specifically stated that I was quoting Katherine only for the “likes to argue” aspect. I told you I knew what she meant – arguing with an audience that didn’t argue back – but I guess I didn’t state it clearly enough. I know that you’re arguing with the audience here on Mike’s blog. The audience that can’t argue back is not referring to you. I hope that clears things up.

Again you make an assumption, and are thus putting words in MY mouth, something you oppose quite vehemently. You assume that I am a fundamentalist Christian. How do you know this? Did I come out and say so? No. So you are just assuming that I am. Unless I STATE that I am a fundamentalist question, you cannot assume it. That is like me reading your comments and assuming you’re an atheist or a New Age believer. I don’t know that and neither will I make that assumption. You didn’t state what your religious affiliation is, and frankly, that is none of my business.

Yes, I did read your words, even though you think I didn’t, or rather, it’s “abundantly clear” to you that I didn’t. Because I disagreed with your words doesn’t mean that I didn’t read them.

I didn’t accuse you of the opposite position on the “absolute moral truth” argument – I asked you a question. I wasn’t sure of your answer, THUS the question.

“Admittedly, I haven’t gotten to argue with you much because you’re too busy being offended that I’d dare ask you to explain your positions.” – When I’m insulted (yes, you insulted me) I’m offended. I can’t state that? I don’t think I’m being “too busy” by stating this, but what this IS doing is getting us off the subject.

And I DO find it offensive that you said, “You’re reading comprehension skills are seriously lacking.” That is an insult. I like to have debates without resorting to such insults.

So here is what I believe. Yes, I believe there is absolute moral truth. Yes, I believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Yes, I think homosexual behavior is a sin. No, I do not believe Jesus could have been gay. No, I do not think Mike had straw men arguments. Please don’t try to tell me otherwise as I GET IT that you think he did. It’s okay if you think he does and it’s okay if I think he doesn’t. That’s called disagreement, and in most civil conversations, there is a saying: “We will just have to agree to disagree.”

No, I would rather not be insulted for my position, have my intellectual capabilities questioned, or my reading comprehension skills put in doubt. I think we have nothing further to learn from each other. I respect that you disagree with me. I will not try to change your position. I think we are probably very entrenched in our belief systems and this back and forth commentary is really doing nothing to change each other’s minds.

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