Questions from the Holy Conversations
At the final Holy Conversation about the Marriage Amendment (Wallace Church, February 22, 2015) someone asked me to put together a document with all the questions posed at the various conversations. I have done so in no particular order and without attempting to delete duplicate questions.
They are reprinted here to give an idea of the range of questions that the conversation partners (Rev. Jim Randall and Rev. Ernie Thompson) addressed in their comments following their first conversation. Their responses to some of the questions are recorded on the video made of the last conversation. You can find it at: www.youtube.com/channel/UCjQ-XSMBOYsW-KLzC1kKYOQ or by following the links at www.WallacePresbyterian.com.
If you wish to add your comments about any of these questions, feel free to do so in a respectful manner. In order to control spam, this blog is moderated and so your responses will only appear after they have been vetted by me. (It might help if you refer to the question by its number.)
— Bill Reinhold,
General Presbytery, Presbytery of Coastal Carolina.
The Questions Asked at Holy Conversation
- Gold made woman from man and made them so they may procreate. I believe homosexuality is the work of the devil and the more prevalent it becomes they will eventually destroy humanity because they will not procreate. What are your thoughts regarding the above. In no way agree with this amendment!!
- How would you address Jesus’ words that He didn’t come to destroy the law? And that we should not remove/dismiss any part of the law? Along with the other warnings not to dismiss Scripture. What value do you see in multiple denominations? Is the Church universal?
- It troubles me that the church has “sat out” on the issues of abortion as it has overtaken our country and millions of babies have been murdered, but now in face of “cultural pressures” is entertaining the discussion of “blessing homosexual unions or marriage”? Please speak to this from Scripture as I am concerned about “false teaching” in same-sex marriage.
- Satan is known as the Father of Lies – the arch deceiver! There is zero authority to marry two homosexuals in Christian marriage! Saving Souls is the Church’s primary purpose – NOT UNITY.
- Did biblical writings on homosexuality have any understanding of loving committed homosexual relationships? Would they write the same way today?
- How the, do we with love and respect respond as Paul instructs in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 for use to instruct, teach, correct in righteousness, that the man of God be competent and equipped for every good work. Are we not called to be salt and light in our witness – in truth to Christ as Savior?
- Explain the reason the advisory committee on the constitution advised to disapprove.
- I attend a church where gay are welcomed and the roof has not fallen in.
- Re Ernie: If Laban and Jacob could be “family” as “one flesh” why could not incest be also “family”?
- Rev. Randall: What truth should we speak in love to gay Christians who want to marry? In other words, what message would be effective in changing their behavior and keeping them in the Church?
- Why was W-4.9002a (premarital discussion) eliminated especially (1), (3), and (5)?
- Do you really believe that God would allow His Word to be translated so loosly that we have to change the meaning of the words?
- Ordination vows also include that scripture is our authority for faith. *How do those who believe scripture speaks to the traditional understanding of marriage stay in a denomination that does not seem to uphold scripture as our authority for faith? (Seems to be giving priority to peace, unity, and purity over authority of scripture.)
- All of the scripture passage that address same sex relationships condemn them. (The relationships, not the people). So, how can we say that the Bible is not clear about the issue?
- What would it mean for the Authoritative Interpretation is the Marriage Amendment doesn’t pass?
- How has this proposed amendment – on same sex marriage – gotten to this point? The Westminster Confession and Helvetic Confession both state marriage is between a man and a woman.
- Why does Scripture speak of homosexuality only in negative terms? We have good men/bad men; good women/bed women; good kings/bad kings. However no good homosexuals/bad homosexuals.
- Do you see this issue enhancing the exodus from our presbytery by member congregations?
- What can we do about “the ordination thing” causing a lovely three generation family to leave ____ Presbyterian Church for ____ Methodist Church?
- You did not address the thousands of homosexuals that have recognized it is sin before God – and repented and god graciously forgave and changed them and they are now heterosexual. So – it is a sin.
- To Jim: If Genesis 2 says that the man needed a complimentary partner to be “complete,” what is the church’s positive good news for gay people who cannot find a complimentary partner in order to be “complete?”
- Do you believe that the Presbyterian Church or a presbytery should be allowed to interpret the Scriptures to support contemporary ideas when the preponderance of the members of the congregation do not support that stance?
- God bless a marriage between a man and woman – where in the Bible does God bless the “marriage” of 2 men or 2 women?
- To both: What is the most at stake if this amendment fails? And if this amendment passes?
- Cite one example in Holy Scripture of a same-sex marriage that is endorsed or blessed by God.
- Do you see a danger in the church excluding homosexuality? This was practiced in Germany in the 1930s to horrendous results. Could history repeat itself?
- Is being gay a result of “nature” or “nurture”? Nature reflects mainly genetics. Nurture implies acquired traits from want
- To Jim: If you were to hear tomorrow that scientists have located within the brain the genetic cause of homosexuality, would your mind be changed? [We are close to finding this, and twin studies and other studies are pointing toward that.]
- The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. Then if the church condones it then are we not aiding and abetting sin by marring same-sex people?
- All scripture on marriage refers to a man and a woman or a husband and wife – not a man and a man or a woman and a woman.
- Are we becoming a humanistic church and changing the Bible to suit our own needs?
- Lot knew that they wouldn’t take his daughters – he knew the men were homosexual.
- As far a fruits – it rains on the just and unjust.
- Are we slipping into “Replacement Theology” where man replaces God?
- How can we change God’s word? The definition of it.
- The words can be deceptive and confusing in our new Presbyterian Laws – why exceptions for pastors and sessions?
- Has the First Church in Wilmington hold Holy Conversations about same sex marriage and what was the outcome?
- How will same sex marriage further the peace – unity – purity of the Church?
- Why is the PC(USA) losing 80,000 to 100,000 per year without determining the root cause?
- Why are we no longer debating things (divorce and others things mentioned outright) and denying divorced people the same rights as other Christians?
One of the arguments against homosexuals and also gay marriage is that it will cause people leave the church. It has already caused this. Homosexual Christians, many of them, have left. Many Christians who sympathize with them, have left.
And also many people have left who do not agree with even talking about. And certainly feel the Church has already gone too far.
- To Ernie: Do you believe your understanding of the Bible’s view on sexuality reflect the best of New Testament scholarship? If so can you recommend any N. T. Scholars who support your position? [Someone suggested Mark Achtemeier’s The Bible’s Yes to Same Sex Marriage.]
- How are all churches going to decide what parts of Scripture are now outdated, and what parts of Scripture are up to date with man’s thinking? Page 3 of Ernie’s script states from John Piper, “there are laws in the OT that are not expressions of God’s will for all time, but expressions of how best to manage sin in particular pole at a particular time
- If marriage is designed for procreation, what is the standing of a couple who decides not to have children? Or a couple that cannot have children? The latter may choose to adopt – as a gay couple may also choose to do.
- To both: What do you see as some ways the church can boldly witness to our unity in Jesus Christ in the midst of deep disagreement?
- A relationship where two same-sex individuals are joined together – then how are children brought into this relationship WITHOUT A THIRD INDIVIDUAL being involved – in a man/woman relationship/joined together – it is only the two of them whom can carry-on generations as has been since Adam/Eve as our Scriptures direct believers to do – two should be the way we carry generations on till Jesus Christ returns – RIGHT?
- To Ernie: In #3 you state the lasting teaching is that when Israel follows the ways of the world there will be serious consequences. It this, then, ONLY for Israel? Some argue that a pro same-sex stance is following the ways of the world. What’s the difference?
- To Ernie: Given that Jesus and Paul were celibate, do you think that this practice is a legitimate and good option for homosexually oriented Christians? Does celibacy bear good fruit? Why or why not?
- Why did God make a female – rather than an other male? We read into it Genesis 29:15. Are gay relationships any different than non gays? Why call it marriage – why not just recognize it as a union?
- To Jim: Do you see a difference between the church’s rules and the state’s rules regarding sexuality? Can we advocate only heterosexual marriage in the church and yet still seek to affirm the political rights of homosexuals?
- If our Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow as the Word says He is. How can you say that our Lord is OK with same gender union when He stoned Sodom and Gomorrah for their sexual immorality in Genesis 19? And in 2 Peter 2:6 and Jude 1:7 speaks about them living ungodly and being put into eternal fire.
- If it feels “natural” to have multiple “partners” or animal “partners” how is this not OK also?
- What if any, does the “Actions” of the “legal system” or “PCUSA” have on _____ Presbyterian Church?
[To see the handouts and other resources from the Holy Conversation events, please click www.presbycc.org/2015/holy-conversations/ .]