Reasoning with a gay/lesbian

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Posts 166
Susan W. Murphy | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Feb 26 2016 6:30 AM

My apologetic question for discussion this Sunday is how to reason with people regarding the gay/lesbian lifestyle and how this relates to the scriptures.

I need help with finding this in my Logos materials.

Thanks.

Susan Murphy

Posts 1392
James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 26 2016 6:35 AM

Try a Heading OR Largetext search for... (homosexual,gay,lesbian) AND (scripture,bible) in all resources

you can further refine this in an "apologetics" collection if you've made one

Logos 8  | Dell Inspiron 7373 | Windows 10 Pro 64, i7, 16GB, SSD | iPhone X | iMac 27" i7, 16GB, SSD | OS 10.13

Posts 2328
Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 26 2016 6:36 AM

I haven't read it, but it might have some good information in it.

https://www.logos.com/product/9288/biblical-counseling-keys-on-homosexuality 

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 26 2016 11:44 AM

James Taylor:
Try a Heading OR Largetext search for... (homosexual,gay,lesbian) AND (scripture,bible) in all resources

Expanded Heading Text; Large Text search for articles:

(homosexual,gay,lesbian,transgender,bisexual,transsexual,transvestite,heart) NEAR (scripture,Bible,deceit,orientation)

Keep Smiling Smile

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 26 2016 12:20 PM

Some of the best material on this subject has been done for position papers for denominations - something that despite my pleas are rarely available in Logos. The site http://www.religioustolerance.org/ generally has links to them and identifies the pro/con positions they take on a very detailed level. The Lutheran once are particularly strong on a Biblical basis.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 27 2016 11:48 AM

Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay CommunityAndrew Marin, Brian McLaren

Published by IVP might be one of your best resources... Helping you understand where they are and how to best reach them.

-Dan

Posts 1699
JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 27 2016 1:28 PM

Hello Ms. Murphy

I have found some of the best reasoning for anyone comes from standard Biblical apologetic texts and books.  Considering what it means for any one of us (sinners all) to be holy and to pursue God's righteousness may be helpful to.

In my opinion, applying a Biblical standard to everyone universally should prove fruitful.

Most people are  caught up in some besetting sin, trial, or struggle whether they like to admit it or not.
My advice is to reason from this vantage point if you can.

I think these resources might be of use to you:

https://www.logos.com/product/9288/biblical-counseling-keys-on-homosexuality

https://www.logos.com/product/16121/leviticus-holy-god-holy-people (yup...Leviticus is great to go to for verses on what it means to "be holy" especially as some may use the Book in quite a different way distancing themselves quickly from the very people they hope In Christ to reason with. The traditional don't lie with another man verses are there but my advice - focus on the more universal truth of God's standard of Holiness and the lifestyle He expects us all to live).  

Books by Joe Dallas (easily found on Amazon but regrettably not offered in Logos) geared for the same sex attracted overcomer in Christ may be especially useful as well.

May The Holy Spirit assist you as you tell the truth lovingly and boldly without compromise.

Amen

(addendum: engaging very active compassionate listening skills and asking engaging questions https://www.logos.com/product/33103/all-that-jesus-asks-how-his-questions-can-teach-and-transform-us so that another person begins to question their own unBiblical thinking - similar to what Jesus did - may be helpful.  Perhaps "Who do you say that I am?" Mark 8.29 asked by Jesus Himself is be a good question to begin with.  Also - "Who do you belong to?" and "Who or what do you take direction and guidance from?" may be good followup questions.

I quite liked Gao's advice below too.  Thanks for engaging all of us in your quest for help.  God bless you and those you/we reason with for His sake. 

Glory to God...Jesus Lead On.

Joshua in Rhode Island

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 27 2016 3:23 PM

JoshInRI:
I find the best reasoning for anyone comes from standard Biblical apologetic texts and book.

While, I agree with you that they can be a useful resource, let me tell you a personal story as to why I have mistrusted them since I was 18. I was attending a church affiliated college and had as a friend a fellow 18 year old who had led a very protected life to the point that adjusting to college was difficult. She was a very active Pentecostal who decided to take an apologetics class from her church so that she was better able to save her classmates. She asked myself and my roommate to be her "guinea pigs" for the duration of the course. My roommate and I decided that we would do so because we knew her well enough to know that anything that might make her question her beliefs at this particular time might force her to drop out of college ... and we could protect her. As a result when she presented a point with which we did not agree we carefully crafted our objections. In week 4 she had to fire us - her instructor wouldn't believe that someone had really responded in the way she reported. Hmmm ... Yes, I've gone on to take an apologetics class and discovered that they teach scripts that rarely match real people in my life.

And yes, I went on to be a guinea pig for a 16 year old Jehovah's Witness ... and similarly got fired for taking too long to see the light.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 27 2016 3:49 PM

I would add:

1. Pray - God will surely guide you

2. Get counsel from real people around you who have been successful

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JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 28 2016 12:43 PM

Choose to live a holy and pleasing life before God. 
 
But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."  1 Pt 1:15-16

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Cor 6:19-20

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 2:05 AM

The "from the blogs" post this week deliberately addresses this issue https://community.logos.com/forums/p/123484/806700.aspx#806700 you may want to skip down to the bottom section after reading the intro.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 10115
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 8:07 AM

I'm probably going to get in trouble with DAL, sigh.  But MJ, your apologetics account was interesting. I was an arguing teen Christian (the kind confident to demonstrate the truth of the scripture). Then I went to Bible college. Which was ok ... many fellow argue-ers. Then I took what they called 'evidences'. 21 years of belief disappeared in a few weeks time. The problem was 'that's the best they've got??'  And it hasn't improved in 40 years of evangelical reasoning.

I returned decades later, but have no respect for apologetics ... apologetics easily fail on the 3rd question .... as the pastoral writer pointed out, oddly enough.


Posts 1010
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 9:21 AM

I have also been frustrated by the poor quality of much apologetics materials and classes. But part of what's being described is almost unavoidable.  Much of what's done in an apologetics class is the equivalent of the shooting drills basketball teams run, the blocking drills football teams use, or the standardized forms (kata) that martial artists practice.  These are all artificial exercises that are used to help people understand and internalize basic principles and skills.  They are not realistic examples of what you would do in a real game or sparring match, because they simplify as many variables as possible - often to the point that there is no real opponent.  There's nothing wrong with that.  It's useful, and at times necessary, to help students break things down and learn important basics.

Of course, the danger is that someone will mistake these practice exercises for real life, and assume that just because they can run the drills they're ready to take on the NBA, or because they know the katas by heart they're a lethal weapon like Bruce Lee.  That's not just wrong, it's ludicrous.  But we routinely send people out of apologetics classes thinking exactly that.

I think there are at least two reasons this happens so often.  First, many apologetics classes are really more focused on strengthening the faith of the students than they are on preparing the students to defend the faith against skilled attacks by non-believers (I think of these as "evidences" classes rather than "apologetics" classes).  Because of that, teachers tend to stop once the students are persuaded that the grounds for their faith are solid.  Second, the training time is just too short.  Compare a one-semester apologetics class to a martial arts class.  After three months a student may have learned a couple of katas reasonably well.  They'll be a "martial artist" who knows some of the basic moves, but will never have received an attack delivered with full speed and power.

One step I wish more apologetics classes would take is to analyze the transcripts of real debates as case studies.  Breaking them down and following the flow of the arguments would give students a much more realistic view of the complexities of real life engagement with critics of Christianity. This isn't something unique to theological debate.  If you watch martial arts students practicing their forms, it's beautify, orderly and controlled.  If you watch a real fight, it's ugly, chaotic and frantic.  That doesn't mean that the forms aren't useful - they build skills and reactions that can make the difference between winning and losing - but they aren't real life.

Posts 44
Mikael S | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 9:56 AM

I can't remember taking an evidences class, but the other day I thought I should have taken one when I was young, I could have grown more interested at that point. Other things in life took over until five years ago.
Because of practical circumstances, I should have started studying religion on my own by ordering more books. Instead I was thinking of everyone else and was, like many young adults, more concerned about communication.

Even at this point I am at now, I can't take for granted that I'll have likeminded people to chat or discuss with who are actually interested in friendship. Usually both age differences and geographical distances are the hindrances for actual friendship or dynamic exchange of ideas. But if I find someone too close my own age the problem is instead that they lack time because of they having a family or being career-rockets.
I also demand something from myself: If I'm to write to a girl I want to be poetic in some of my messages, plus I'm not that interested in talking about degrees and such - I can talk intellectually without having a degree because I know about various things within several areas of interest.

Cognitive activity can be an asset. But I can't think extremely rapidly nor always limit the amount of time I spend on considering offers and possibilities, every Week I have a moment when I should act to prevent the late evening from approaching too fast. Because late in the evening I can't start out on anything anymore and just loose time if should instead have used that amount of time on something that challenges my intelligence during an earlier period of the day. And there are deadlines - not too many but I build up lots of guilt if I miss too many.

I feel well enough to really work on making a difference in my own life now. I don't have to set new unrealistic goals, I have a few big goals and that's enough, and I have somewhat close to something of a full life because I'm already starting to reap some of my efforts. I learned much of my life skills the long hard way and I regret that and didn't want that from start. They're right (classmates) that experience is not as valuable as reading about something if You can avoid the slowed down brain which is an effect of not starting out reading enough and having enough intellectual interests at a more continuous pace throughout Your young adult life. When You've strived but failed and then rose up again You've lost the time You could have stimulated Your brain more.

Big/basic life choices would not have been completely different, just performed differently with less material loss.

My home city was a wonderful place, I miss it. It was good to go back there as a young adult. The culture and social norms were so different. I fit in better there. I suppose I have nothing left there and it's far away so I haven't expected to make it back, even for a trip. Nor have I planned to live there a fourth time - there would be other places perhaps that would suit me better when I get old, plus actually I can't move from where I am.

I want to end this with: If I were able to speak to more, different, people, I would probably not be any happier, I rather hone my skills choosing whom to talk to - the latter has the greatest outcomes.

translatio-princpld...
10 Bibls.. Supporting the cause of the right for data

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 9:59 AM

As has been mentioned, there is a lot of overlap between general apologetics and this specific area of concern. And like some others, I am often sickened by much of the material out there.. Much of it seems to have a lack of knowledge of and especially respect for, and so little listening to the other, for whom Christ died. They may be following (usually not realizing) the enemy, but are not THE enemy, and we should always keep this in mind.

I have never seen anyone argued into belief. Yes, our arguments can clear away misconceptions and some other barriers to faith - and this has even been useful for me in my walk of faith. But faith itself? It is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

I am reminded of the recent faithlife blog, which commented on how we are often too interested in behavior modification and not enough interested in the Bible itself. Yes, behavior is important. But it isn't the most important thing, and often it sounds like it is to us Christians...

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 11:50 AM

Ken McGuire:
I have never seen anyone argued into belief.

But I have often seen people reasoned into changing their beliefs - often small incremental changes that eventually cause a major revision. My personal interest, however, is more in how to defend one's own belief and correct them when erroneous and how to dialogue with those of other faiths. I am concerned that our society is coming to make fun of Christianity and sometimes religion in general (witness the Flying Spaghetti Monster aka Pastafarianism) and therefore cutting itself off from being able to study a significant chunk of reality and human experience. And it is doing so based on the simplest of logic errors i.e. on prejudice rather than knowledge. Unfortunately, this is often a reaction to counter the silliest of logic errors on the part of believers who have slipped into indoctrination rather than growth.

I find it sad that a mainline Protestant seminarian was taught to gear their sermons at a 5th grade level of understanding. It a society where the majority of people have a high school education, I think that the aim ought to be to grow your congregation up to at least a 10th grade level of understanding ... adjusting up or down for a particular congregation.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 166
Susan W. Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 11:55 AM

Ken, Michael S., and East TN,

I just have to respond to your comments.  Apologetics is fun.  I don’t consider it arguing but reasoning.  And one rule that we have is that if either person in the conversation gets angry, stop immediately because you have lost the focus of the conversation. 

And another rule I have in my group is that we must stay true to the scriptures.  And the reason I got involved in this is to lead others to the Lord.  I really believe in sharing my faith with people wherever I go.  There’s a Buddist lady that I’ve been talking to for two years and my goal is to win her to the Lord.  There’s an atheist man that I’ve practiced music with in the past that I’m trying to get him to see that God is real. 

And I’ve learned better ways to communicate with people that are thinking about God or pondering many questions about the Lord by using apologetics.  Some books that have helped me with this and I’ve used in my groups are “Tactics” and the Tactics workbook by Gregory Koukl.  Another book that I used is “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel.  It is absolutely tremendous.  Also, I’ve used “Why Do You Believe That?” by Mary Jo Sharp.  I also purchased the CDs to each one of these. 

So I suggest you get these and read and listen to the CDs with them and then let me know what you think.  Too bad you’re not in Sunny Flordia where I live and could join our group.  We have an awesome time.

Also, It’s very important to learn how to laugh.  Let me share some humor with you that I found in Reader’s Digest that might make you laugh.

A defendant isn’t happy with how things are going in court, so he gives the judge a hard time.

Judge:  “Where do you work?”

Defendant:  “Here and there.”

Judge:  “What do you do for a living?”

Defendant:  “This and that.”

Judge:  “Take him away.”

Defendant:  “Wait.  When will I get out?”

Judge:  “Sooner or later.”

May the Joy of the Lord be your Strength!

Susan Murphy

Posts 1010
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 1:40 PM

Susan,

I never meant to suggest that apologetics isn't a useful endeavor, or that it can't be done well - and I certainly didn't mean to imply that your group isn't doing it well. And I completely agree that a Christian spirit is essential, which includes approaching others with an attitude of love and goodwill.

I do think that, as the discussion in this thread illustrates, there are Christians whose faith has been challenged by poor apologetics. That's not to deny that others have had their faith strengthened, or even been brought to the Lord by effective apologetics. 

It may be useful to remember that what we broadly call "apologetics" can be used for different purposes. These include:

  • To deepen the faith of those who already believe;
  • To answer the questions believers have when they encounter different points of view;
  • As an evangelistic tool when proclaiming the gospel to those who do not believe, but are open to the faith;
  • As a tool to persuade those who are willing to listen, but who have serious intellectual doubts or objections;
  • As a defense against the attacks of those who are actively hostile to the faith and who are trying to undermine the faith of those who do believe.

And, of course, people make decisions in different ways.  Some of us come to the faith through our hearts, and others of us through our heads.

I obviously can't know all the circumstances behind the frustration that's been expressed.  But I've seen it occur when, for example, an approach that's best suited for reinforcing the faith of someone who already believes is used with someone who has serious intellectual doubts. 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 29 2016 2:05 PM

MJ. Smith:
I find it sad that a mainline Protestant seminarian was taught to gear their sermons at a 5th grade level of understanding. It a society where the majority of people have a high school education, I think that the aim ought to be to grow your congregation up to at least a 10th grade level of understanding ... adjusting up or down for a particular congregation.

My daughter was interviewing a high school student for employment and discovered the prospect could not read the job application nor tell time on an analog clock. 

If I remember correctly, the New Century Version was written on a 5th grade level.

If preachers are only preaching to educated people a lot will be forgotten.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

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