What passes for professing at Covenant College...

(Tim) A couple days ago, under the post "Why Same-Sex Intimacy Is Sin," a comment appeared written by Baylyblog's resident scoffer, Cliff Foreman. For twenty-five years, Professor Foreman's day job has been professing Reformed Christian faith as a member of the English Department at the Presbyterian Church in America's Covenant College. Most of our readers are aware that David and I aren't fans of Covenant College. We think it would be best for our denomination to sell it to Tim Keller, but to this point no one's taking our suggestion seriously.

As a simple defense of our position, consider this exchange between Prof. Foreman and a mere graduate student here at Indiana University--a young whippersnapper who lacks the terminal degree as well as the wonderful privilege of a quarter-century of spiritual and theological growth there at Covenant College, at ease in Zion on top of Lookout Mountain within the wonderfully safe cocoon of scores of like-minded Reformed PhDs sharing his commitment to the Westminster Standards.

Here then is Prof. Foreman's explanation to a shake-the-dust-off-your-feet hard-hearted unbeliever of why sodomy is wrong, followed by Josh Congrove's deconstruction of Prof. Foreman's explanation:

* * *

CLIFF FOREMAN WRITES: How about this: God created human beings and intended them to find happiness and fulfillment in committed heterosexual marriages. Then human beings fell and sin entered the world. This meant that people would be born with sinful desires and that through life experiences those desires would solidify into sinful patterns of behavior. But God set his son to offer us forgiveness and the opportunity for significant healing in this life. Our struggle against sin is difficult, but success is possible because of Jesus' sacrifice and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. But of course, in order to be healed and to enjoy the blessings of health, we need to admit that we are sick. If we say that our sinfulness is normal, we won't seek healing. We may tell ourselves that our disease isn't contagious and that it hurts no one, but we will never, then, know what it is to be healthy.

If this scenario, which is what the Bible teaches, is true, then the people who are condemning your behavior are doing so because they think you are missing out on something that would be better for you...

That's why I, personally, am opposed to homosexual behavior. I think that the people who are engaging in it are missing out on something better that is God's intention for us all. It may be that some of them will never in this life experience that better thing, but it is God's intention, as I read scripture, that they begin to seek it.

JOSH CONGROVE RESPONDS TO PROFESSOR FOREMAN:

Professor Foreman,

If you simply wanted to make the argument that original sin distorts the desires of all men from birth, I'd be in hearty agreement with you; more important, you'd be speaking Scripturally.  But in fact, the actual connotations of your words are so far from the truth, I'd almost assume you tossed them off in a moment of unconsidered carelessness.  But since you're a man capable of great nuance and exact expression, you'll understand if I fault some of your formulations:

>>God created human beings...then human beings fell and sin entered the world.

Of course God created human beings, but is there a reason you seem incapable of speaking about mankind in the way that Scripture does?  Scripture states plainly, and obviously, that God created "man in His own image," that "in the image of God He created him," and only lastly that "male and female He created them."  The most obvious choice would have been for you to state "God created man," or "God created men," or "God created mankind," or even, "God created men and women."  Any one of these would have been a more precise, historically-precedented, relevant usage than your pallid accommodation; more important, any one of those would have been both more Scriptural and more appropriate to the man whose sin you were, I assume, trying to point out.

>>...and intended them to find happiness and fulfillment in committed heterosexual marriages. 

"Intended"?  Your sentence sounds fine until one begins to imagine what you might have said.  Reading your sentence, one might easily conceive that God was only distantly, tangentially, connected to the "heterosexual marriages" He "intended" men to make use of.  How about, instead: "...ordained that they would only find sexual fulfillment and happiness in marriage, which He established between one man and woman."  Seriously, "heterosexual marriages" is a highly troubling phrase.  What other kind of marriage is there?  Why must you qualify a term which can only be defined in heterosexual terms anyway?

>>people would be born with sinful desires and that through life experiences those desires would solidify into sinful patterns of behavior.

So, are you attempting here to boldly proclaim the doctrine of original sin, or rather simply that same-sex desire is innate?  If the former, I'm wondering why you either (1) didn't notice that Mr. Doe claimed no adherence to historic doctrine, or (2) didn't go the simpler, more accurate, and more direct route of quoting a six-word Scripture (or at least St. Augustine)?  On the other hand, if here you're conniving at the culture's clinical lie that all same-sex desire is innate, we'd all find it immeasurably helpful if you'd just tell us plainly.

>>But God set his son to offer us forgiveness and the opportunity for significant healing in this life.

I'd like to think you're here appropriating Augustine's favorite image of the sinner in need of profound healing.  Alas, the rest of your words make that quite impossible, so pale and passionless they are.  But, far more important, where is the omnipotent purpose of God in your words?  "Sent his son to offer...the opportunity"?  If this is the Reformed doctrine of definite redemption, then God is truly as impotent as He comes out to be in your language.

>>Our struggle against sin is difficult, but success is possible because of Jesus' sacrifice and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, right on, thank you.  I only wish the rest of your response looked like this sentence.

>>But of course, in order to be healed and to enjoy the blessings of health, we need to admit that we are sick.

If the sickness of original sin is as shallow a matter as it sounds here, then you've preached repentance boldly.  But since the truth of the matter is that our sickness is so radical that we're "dead in our trespasses and sins," merely stating it as you've done is intolerable.  How about, "Repent and be baptized...in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." ?

>>We may tell ourselves that our disease isn't contagious and that it hurts no one, but we will never, then, know what it is to be healthy.

I'm barely more than halfway through your comment, and the reality of what disease you have in view has already faded from view.  I gather you mean the general disease that is sin in the lives of fallen men, but if so, why generalize when there is a particular sin at issue here and not simply man's general sinfulness?  In other words, there's quite a difference between what you wrote and this: "We may tell ourselves that our deviant, sinful desires for sodomy aren't contagious and hurt no one, but we will never, then, know what it is to be healed of our unnatural desires."

Up to this point I've agreed with most of the content, if not language, of your comment.  But, with all due respect, Dr. Foreman, the latter half of it reads much more like so much emergent-church drivel rather than the plain language of Scripture.

>>If this scenario, which is what the Bible teaches, is true...

One might be excused here for doubting your confidence in the "scenario" you just described.  If it's what Scripture teaches, isn't it, ipso facto, true?  And if it's true, why begin it with a conditional?

>>then the people who are condemning your behavior are doing so because they think you are missing out on something that would be better for you.


Forgive me if I'm reading you wrong, here, but your words don't convey a particular willingness to ally yourself with God's people when they carry His message.  Rather, it seems you feel the need to explain others' poor, benighted, insufficiently nuanced choice of words in condemning homosexual intimacy.  And how helpful it is that you can ensure their message is correctly understood: that it's mostly about a sodomite's not achieving his very best in life, rather than about suppressing the truth of God and becoming darkened in his foolish mind.  Really, it's a shame the Apostle was deprived of a fine institution where he could shore up his educational deficiencies...

Far easier, and better, it had been for you to say "Those of us who are condemning your sinful embrace of sodomy are doing so because we love you and want you to see the destructiveness, sadness, and damnation that comes from your sin."

>>That's why I, personally, am opposed to homosexual behavior.


Dr. Spaetti's question is a sound one: so, the fact that homosexuals are "missing out" explains why you, personally, of course, are opposed, positionally, of course, to homosexual behavior? 

It's certainly gratifying that you understand qualifications better than the writers of Scripture.  Where would we be if we thought you were willing to condemn homosexual intimacy outright?  My sense, personally, is that we might end up actually being Scriptural.  Where would we be if we weren't confident in your ability to so carefully parse homosexual "behavior" vs. the homosexual "orientation" that is so carefully left out of your condemnation...err, I meant "opposition"—wouldn't want to put you in the camp of the condemnatory, after all.

>>I think that the people who are engaging in it are missing out on something better...

How about, "The men who are sodomizing each other are destroying their own happiness in this life, and heaping up judgment in the next."

>>...something better that is God's intention for us all.


Considering your reticence to speak in the words of Scripture, you're remarkably audacious in assuming His intention here. 

>>It may be that some of them will never in this life experience that better thing, but it is God's intention, as I read scripture, that they begin to seek it.

Professor Foreman, could you possibly have written a more lackluster defense of the creative ordinance of God?  I mean, seriously: "it may be"?  "...In this life"?  So, are we to assume that practicing homosexuals will never see God's grace leading them to repentance in this life, but that somehow such men have hope of "that better thing" in the next life?  Maybe this isn't what you meant, but if so, for the sake of readers' understanding, nuance needs to take a back seat to clarity, here.  Is your qualification "as I read scripture" supposed to grant a pass for refusing to state what God so clearly has in His Word?  God, who in your prose seems to have little more than "intentions," is far deadlier in His, for He has stated that those who consistently pervert His establishment (not simply "intention") of heterosexual intimacy have no hope of "that better thing" you so blithely offer them.

Finally, I'm glad you want those who practice sodomy to have a life "in which they seek God and godliness."  I have little reason to doubt that.  What I doubt is that the words you use to express your desires have much to do with the words God uses.  And this I doubt not because I know you, but because I know this allure in my own life, and I know that "no temptation has seized you but what is common to man."  Indeed, by nature I'm probably even more loathe than you to proclaim God's truth in these matters directly.  But for those of us whose work is in the academy, our students (and readers) deserve more from us than simply a selection of divine truth with every corner rounded, every edge dulled, everything attenuated so as to put Scripture's best foot forward, as it were.  Our students, and indeed, all who ask us to explain why we reject sodomy, deserve nothing less than the whole counsel of Scripture on this matter. 

So here, to this one lost sheep wandering without a shepherd, it's neither sufficient nor loving to shrink back from speaking with Scripture's tones, to hide behind the culture's carefully (and, à la Chesterton, carefully wrong) sophisms about "sexual behavior" vs "sexual orientation," or to speak of sodomy as principally an obstacle to happiness.  In short, we need to speak to sodomites not just of happiness lost, but of holiness offended.  God's principal desire is not for our happiness, but for His holiness.  Thankfully, His holiness is also our happiness, when we pursue it by embracing His holiness rather than the false assurances and academic accommodations of our age.

Sincerely,

Josh Congrove

Comments

Looks like a double rebuke to me. A well-written and well-argued one too.

A rebuke to the pro-GLBT crowd.

And a rebuke to those who don't sufficiently rebuke the pro-GLBT crowd.

I don't know Prof. Foreman, but it seems to me that this critique of his response is quite uncharitable. I skimmed the other thread...maybe i missed something, but I read Prof. Foreman as simply taking a different aproach than others in addressing John Doe.

Admittedly his language is weak-er, but when we are dealing with real people we must be wise, winsome and at times gentle to be disarming.

Noticing that he was using the second person "you," i gather Prof Foreman intended to write a personal note to an individual, not an apologetic defense of the Christian doctrines of marriage and creation.

Also he began by saying "How about this:" This seems to indicate that he was trying to take a different approach than what many others had already taken...it would be pointless to simply repeat in the same fashion what has already been said by others in the thread, right?

Isn't it possible this is all he was doing?

Brad,

I find your analysis of Josh's writing to be uncharitable. His writing *is* wise, winsome and gentle and I believe that Prof. Foreman has been successfully disarmed.

Mick,

As wise, winsome and gentle as the man himself. Right?

The more I read Josh's response here, the more I appreciate him.

Kamilla

(and great work, Josh!)

Brad took the words right out of my mouth.

>Brad took the words right out of my mouth.''

That's good. We are spared from having to hear them twice.

What I wrote has been taken out of its context. I intended my remarks simply to be a supplement to what others had already said. Of course, I believe that God will judge homosexuals, but many of the responses had already said that. I simply thought that the additional argument I was offering might affect the homosexual we were speaking to, and I was praying that it would.

Nevertheless, I appreciate your critique, and I've thought over your suggestions.

You are right that "heterosexual marriage" might be taken to imply that there is such a thing as homosexual marriage. But the person we were speaking to had suggested that homosexual marriage was valid, so I wanted to make clear that I disagreed, and simply saying "marriage" wouldn't have conveyed that. I could have said "marriage between a man and woman," but that doesn't solve the problem either. Besides, others had already made that point.

You have suggested that at various points I should have used the word "sodomite" in my reply. But I don't think that term is fair, despite it's long history in English. The men of Sodom were not simply homosexuals; they were violent homosexual rapists. Some homosexuals deserve to be called "sodomites," but I personally have never met any who behaved like the men of Sodom.

When I said that some Christians would never experience complete healing in this life, I simply meant that a homosexual who repented and sought God might never experience heterosexual love and might continue to be plagued by temptation. Of course, as you point out, all Christians do experience the blessings of salvation here and will be blessed hereafter.

My saying that this was why I personally am opposed to homosexual behavior was simply a mistake. I should have said that this is one of the reasons I am opposed to it. I simply meant that this is an argument that flows from my experiences and doesn't depend on some of the scriptural pronciples that the person we were speaking to doesn't accept.

When your reply to me was originally presented, it was presented as a deconstruction of my remarks. Deconstructionism is based on the premise that what someone doesn't say is often as significant as what he or she does say. That technique has some value in analyzing imaginative literature. But I think Christians should be wary of it. And I think in our communication with each other we should work hard to try to understand exactly what each other is saying.

Finally, I am called me a "scoffer" above. I don't know what I have done to deserve that title. The particular remarks you have quoted don't seem to me to be scoffing at all. If anyone is being scoffed at, I am.

Cliff,

What you had written was not taken out of context--not in the least. Further, what you wrote posted above has a broader context--the things you've written in the past on this blog, as well as your life's work.

All of it is of a fabric and to cop a naive posture here is disingenuous. As regular readers here know, you have been repeatedly called out for your many protests of innocence by men who know you aren't. Among others, one who has consistently called you out is your former colleague there at Covenant--Dr. Eric Wilson of Covenant's Math Department.

Yet here you go again, giving a little here, saying you've been misunderstood there, explaining how you meant something other than what you said, and always this claim of innocence: "Who, me? What did I do? Why are you picking on me?"

Then, off you go once again. Your comment above will mislead some who want to think the best about you and haven't known your work of subversion, here, but those who have watched you for years, now, aren't buying it. Josh Congrove wrote critiquing a whole lot more than the few things you've addressed in this comment and discerning readers see that his condemnation of your witness remains intact.

Sincerely,

>>>You have suggested that at various points I should have used the word "sodomite" in my reply. But I don't think that term is fair, despite it's long history in English. The men of Sodom were not simply homosexuals; they were violent homosexual rapists. Some homosexuals deserve to be called "sodomites," but I personally have never met any who behaved like the men of Sodom.

In band I had to sit next to a sodomite for a year and he said something that I will never forget, "I don't care what anybody says, all gay guys are perverts. Do you know what we do?" They know what they are doing is not natural

You can't normalize what they do, for them and yourself.

Oh, this is fantastic. Cliff Foreman didn't say anything that could even remotely be construed as pro-gay. He's on the same side as the rest of you, albeit he arrives there by a slightly different rationale. But it's not enough that he shares your bottom line; your real argument with him is that he's not sufficiently vitriolic toward those on the other side. You guys ever hear of something called a shibboleth?

As someone who is pro-gay I will grant that I find his prejudices slightly more palatable than the rest of yours. That's hardly a ringing endorsement.

Josh,

I am extremely grateful for your work here. I don't have the words, the time, the patience, or the courage to expose Dr. Foreman in such detail.

Tim,

Thanks for promoting this, and for your tireless and faithful work in opposition to such men.

To those that aren't sure what's going on:

I'm happy to talk or correspond with anyone that can't understand why it was necessary for Josh to write what he did.

wilson.eric.n@gmail.com
740-420-6042

Professor Foreman,

> I don't think that term [sodomite] is fair, despite it's long history in English. The men of Sodom were not simply homosexuals; they were violent homosexual rapists.

And so the term's long history in English is due to...what? Insufficient data on the nature of the men of Sodom? A lack of educational sophistication among those who have used the term? Really, Professor Foreman, the term has been quite understandable for centuries, now, and never has lacked for clarity: it refers principally to the same-sex desires and behavior of the men (and, likely, women) of Sodom. And it's been understood for centuries that Sodom's wickedness, which God has caused to inhere in the very term in question, is not simply homosexual rape, as you insinuate, but rather the sin of men burning in their passion for one another. In actuality, the only group that has "suggested" the point you have here is that of "scholars" who deny the inspiration, authority, and perspicuity of Scripture. Why would you want to assent to their unbelieving rationalizations?

Sincerely,

Josh

*************
Dear John,

> your real argument with him is that he's not sufficiently vitriolic ...

If you read the responses again, sir, you'll see that your statement here is far afield from anything we've said. And if you knew me or any of the men sharing our "bottom line," you'd realize how foolish a statement that is.

> Cliff Foreman didn't say anything that could even remotely be construed as pro-gay.

Quite true in a certain sense, and that was part of my problem with it. Indeed, most of the responses (mine included) to your original question were actually quite pro-homosexual, if by that we mean that we love the man rather than the sinful category he's been put in. It is you, and others who insist on defining a man by his sin, that display such a narrow, unsophisticated conception of the human condition. We're proclaiming that man is more than the sum of his depraved desires, and that putting him into such a restrictive box as you have truly limits the diverse potential he was created to enjoy. Why do you have such an illiberal view of a sodomite's potential?

And "prejudiced"? Sure, as is every man, but the difference is in the details. We're prejudging that the sodomite was not created to be so, and that, like all men, some part of him longs to be free of his sin. You're prejudging that the sodomite has the right to autonomy, and, maybe, that the only people prejudiced here are those who love him more than his sin. And that's not very caring of you: you may love being "pro-gay", but you don't love homosexuals.

> You guys ever hear of something called a shibboleth?

Hmm...such as the shibboleth of carefully distinguishing "homosexual behavior" and "homosexual orientation"? The shibboleth of saying we're "personally" opposed to things Scripture condemns unequivocally? The shibboleth of touting being "pro-gay" while actually being anti-homosexual—shall we continue? Anyway, keep reading this blog, and you'll see that shibboleths are hardly unfamiliar to the pastors, here.

Again, reject us if you will, but do not mock God, nor harden your heart against the truth that He has revealed here.

Soberly,

Josh

Well, Josh, I see you've adopted the typical Reformed tactic of redefining terms in ways no one else defines them, thus attempting to win the argument with creative definitions. I once knew a pastor who defined "anti-Semitism" as rejecting Jesus Christ; the problem, of course, is that since nobody else defines it that way, nobody else had a clue what he was talking about.

No, "pro-gay" does not mean telling gay people that they are biological and/or spiritual freaks, which is what your position boils down to. "Pro-gay" means that homosexuality is a good thing, or at minimum a morally neutral thing. And by that (commonly understood) definition, you and Foreman are in the same camp. Granted, you have a different emphasis; you emphasize that it's objectively wicked (in your opinion) whereas he emphasizes that gay people would be better off not being gay (or at least not practicing), but neither of those positions is pro-gay.

Just like you can condemn obesity on moral grounds (i.e., gluttony is a sin), or you can condemn it on health grounds (i.e., it causes heart attacks, high blood pressure and strokes), but whichever of those positions one takes (or both together), in neither case are you giving approval to obesity. And if someone comes along who thinks obesity is a good thing, he's not going to be impressed with either position.

But I think you probably knew all that before I told you.

John Doe the Email Guy: "But it's not enough that he shares your bottom line; your real argument with him is that he's not sufficiently vitriolic toward those on the other side."

See the first comment on this thread by me.

But I would substitute the word "firm" for the word "vitriolic" in your sentence above.

P.S. But I do realize that to some people, what is "firm" gets (mis)interpreted as being "vitriolic."

Dear John Doe,

After many loving appeals to you from sincere men and women who commented under the earlier post, "Why same-sex intimacy is sin...," it has become clear one final thing needs to be said to you.

If you continue down this path, you will face the wrath of God, for God Your Maker has warned:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

And:

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

(Galatians 6:7, 8)

John Doe, all those who rebel against God will surely die. Refusing to believe His Word and Son, you have no hope. The day is soon upon us when all rebels will be cast into Hell where the worm never dies and the fire is never quenched. Turn from your wicked way that God may cleanse you through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Did you notice that the church of Corinth had thieves and covetous and sodomites in her midst, and that having repented of their sins, they were thieves and covetous and rebellious no longer? This is what you must do, too.

But all indications are that your heart is hard and you live to defy God. You are a reviler. Recognizing this, we turn from you and give ourselves to those who will believe.

Under His mercy and blood,

It seems to me that this whole critique is an exercise in uncharity and nit-picking. Nothing that Dr. Foreman said is contrary to Christian or reformed orthodoxy. You, Mr. Congrove, are criticizing him for not speaking as strongly as you would have. Your zeal for good dogma and calling sin what it is (both excellent ideals) has led you to be unnecessarily offensive--the Gospel will, of course, be offensive anyway, but there's no need to be uncharitable to those who may want to take a more nuanced--but still Biblical--approach to the issue.

Honestly, I too avoid the term sodomy simply because of the negative connotations. There's no need to use invectives in argumentation. It wins me no points to call my opponent's arguments "damn nonsense" even if they are such.

Your style of argument may be theologically correct, but it will be preaching to the choir--a homosexual might actually listen to Dr. Foreman's argument whereas your own argument will be absolutely dismissed as vitriolic and unworthy of real consideration.

Again, your assessment of Dr. Foreman's post is uncharitable--it's nit-picky and a poor witness. Might your time be better spent doing real apologetics or theology? As I recall, there is no shortage of real enemies to the faith. As someone who has studied with Dr. Foreman, I can attest that he is no enemy of Reformed theology.

The problem, Mr. Pugh, is that your argument against "invective" and in favor of nuance is ultimately an argument between you and God. The most forceful and un-nuanced attack on sodomy in all Christendom is found in the Word. Great balls of fire from heaven, man, don't you understand that when the Word becomes "invective" to us we're no longer Reformed at all?

David Bayly

>>Honestly, I too avoid the term sodomy simply because of the negative connotations. There's no need to use invectives in argumentation. It wins me no points to call my opponent's arguments "damn nonsense" even if they are such.

Then why does Jesus call the Pharisees a "Brood of Vipers"? Or why does God call Judah a Harlot over and over? Invectives and Ad Hominem arguments are not only Scriptural, they are necessary for effective preaching, theology and discourse. And though Prof. Foreman may hold to the reformed faith, his writing style certainly differs greatly from the actual reformers of history. Can you honestly imagine Luther writing about sodomy as Prof. Foreman did?

P. F., I scratch my head when I read things like what you've written, I wonder if you actually read Scripture. I don't write that to be insulting, but honestly, how can you miss the style that God inspired men used to denounce sin and call us to repentance. Peter's preaching technique is essentially to tell his Jewish hearers that they a) Killed Christ and b) must repent. You are the one being uncharitable, God is Holy, we should act like it, write like it and live like it.

>>Your zeal for good dogma and calling sin what it is (both excellent ideals) has led you to be unnecessarily offensive--the Gospel will, of course, be offensive anyway, but there's no need to be uncharitable to those who may want to take a more nuanced--but still Biblical--approach to the issue.

To say that Prof. Foreman is being Biblical is reducing the sword of the spirit to a butterknife of pandering, damned nonsense.

>Honestly, I too avoid the term sodomy simply because of the negative connotations.

Oh heaven forbid the evil "negative connotation". So was God being overly negative when he commanded that sodomites should be put to death?

>There's no need to use invectives in argumentation.

Nor any need to whitewash what God calls an abomination along with corrupt, impure, degrading, indecent and depraved. Ah but God is preaching to the choir and if we use His language folks might not listen. Sodomy, oops I mean homosexuality, is a capital crime is it not? Or do you disagree with that also?

>Again, your assessment of Dr. Foreman's post is uncharitable--it's nit-picky and a poor witness.

And some think yours compromising, limp wristed and effeminate, a poor witness and unworthy of "real" consideration. Real consideration being your term. Is that to distinguish it from unreal consideration?

>a homosexual might actually listen to Dr. Foreman's argument

Really? How do you know? Or should I ask how do YOU know? Or perhaps how do you KNOW? Or is this just one of those "it seems to me" moments that you're using as an excuse to pontificate?

>I can attest that he is no enemy of Reformed theology.

Oh! Well! YOU can attest. If only we'd known!

You sound a bit self absorbed to me.

>>a homosexual might actually listen to Dr. Foreman's argument whereas your own argument will be absolutely dismissed as vitriolic and unworthy of real consideration.

Dear Mr.Pugh,

Listening is not what any of us want, nor are we seeking to be considered worthy of real consideration. It's repentance and faith--that's the one thing we want and the one thing a sodomite needs. And to trade that pearl of great price for a gay man's acceptance or halfway approval is to prostitute the Gospel for the sake of our reputation. We say "Never! Never will we do that. Never!"

Our nation is filled with teachers and preachers who have made themselves the message and have no fruit other than their reputation. This is the entire purpose of the Emergent hirelings and many of those who talk about being missional. They are the medium and the medium is the message. They are hip. They are cool. They are nuanced. They are oh-so-graceful.

But it's false grace and their converts only believe in them.

Everything I've seen and heard from Cliff Foreman leads me to believe that he's of a fabric with these Emergent and missional cool dudes, although he's getting old and old men such as us never have much street cred. Seriously. Ed Stetzer is about the limit.

Sir, may I be so bold as to suggest before you write anything else here, you read the entire thread under the category on the left side of the home page titled "Feminization of discourse?" If you're humble and teachable, I think you could learn much and become much more useful for the Kingdom of God.

Sincerely,

PS: I might add that a number of what you call "homosexuals" and I call "people tempted by same-sex intimacy" listen to me each week. When I preach. With deep affection and love. In fact, one of them hugged me just recently and a number of these "of such were some of you" folks read this blog.

PPS: I see our comments overlapped, so my recommendation came too late. But still, please consider it now, OK? Even if some respond to you--read the thread before answering their responses. That would make me grateful.

I also notice that St. Paul didn't call the areopagus a brood of vipers. Neither did Christ unnecessarily offend Pilate or any Roman. It seems that different situations call for different things. Did the apostle brazenly broadcast "homosexuality is a sin" on every street corner? No, he said, "Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and here are the implications of that." Sometimes I wonder if my theology is Christ-centered enough.

What you are doing is taking a comment, composed with very small amounts of editing, and nit-picking things that the author himself has rethought.

Show me where the Bible calls homosexuality "sodomy"--that's a later extrapolation. We needn't make a shibboleth where the Bible doesn't.

I can't imagine Luther writing as Foreman does, but I can certainly imagine Edwards or Machen doing so. One does have to consider cultural context. Is there no place for a relational approach that seeks to lovingly point out the error of our neighbor without antagonizing him? This kind of thinking is what has in the past relegated Reformed thought to (at times) the fringe of Protestantism.

You argue based on what Dr. Foreman doesn't say--I'd rather leave that sort of thing to the postmodernists. Dr. Foreman's approach recognizes that the sword of the Lord is not a broadsword, used with blunt brute force to be effective, but a rapier--to be used precisely to get to the heart of the matter.

I will leave it at that--deconstruct if you must.

Except that Prof. Foreman doesn't come near the heart of the matter. He misses it entirely.

David Bayly --> The problem, Mr. Pugh, is that your argument against "invective" and in favor of nuance is ultimately an argument between you and God. The most forceful and un-nuanced attack on sodomy in all Christendom is found in the Word. Great balls of fire from heaven, man, don't you understand that when the Word becomes "invective" to us we're no longer Reformed at all?

Well said.

>Well said.

Perfect actually

Dear Mr. Pugh,

> You, Mr. Congrove, are criticizing him for not speaking as strongly as you would have.

No, not at all, sir, though I don't blame you for not knowing me enough to know that. Personally, I'd rather not speak strongly at all. But the question is not about how we speak but about how God has spoken. I criticized Dr. Foreman not for speaking in his own style, but for speaking in the limp-wristed, postmodern language of modern academia rather than the language of Scripture.

> ...whereas your own argument will be absolutely dismissed as vitriolic and unworthy of real consideration.

So, have you yet read anything in the category Pastor Bayly requested? My argument may indeed be unworthy, but vitriolic? In the eyes of our soft culture, perhaps, but hopefully not in the eyes of you or any man who's read any of our fathers in the faith—and who know therefore that my words are mere blandishments compared to their excoriations, let alone vitriol.

> I also notice that St. Paul didn't call the areopagus a brood of vipers.

Yes, obviously, and neither did Christ call the Pharisees "men of Athens worshipping in ignorance." After all, different situations call for different things, don't they? The point here, which you have not apprehended, is that to call an Athenian philosopher "ignorant" carries at least as much as offense as did calling the Pharisees a "brood of vipers." So, if your point means "Paul chose an offense better suited for a different audience", fine and dandy. If it means anything else, it means nothing at all.

> Neither did Christ unnecessarily offend Pilate or any Roman. It seems that different situations call for different things.

So, offending those of our own community is okay, but offending those outside is not—is that the point here? Or does it rather have to do with authority? And if so, which party you claim we've "unnecessarily offended" is in a place of authority as Pilate? In other words, unless you can demonstrate someone here has disregarded legitimate authority, your point is spurious.

> Did the apostle brazenly broadcast "homosexuality is a sin" on every street corner?

Has anyone done any such thing here? Has anyone called for such a thing? Really, sir, your mischaracterization of the arguments made here is unbelievably uncharitable.

> No, he said, "Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and here are the implications of that."

The nearest analogue we might have to "every street corner" is undeniably Paul's words on the Areopagus, which you've here summarized in much the same way that Prof. Foreman did with Christian doctrine, earlier. That is, by representing Paul's sermon as you have, you've removed the conviction of sin from the Apostle's words: where is the ignorant groping he says characterizes the Athenians? Where is the vain worship done in temples made with hands? Where is anything that militates against the relational approach you (and, honestly, I) prefer? Having glanced over the prefatory offenses, you've then removed, or at least sublimated, each gnarly part of the Gospel under the innocuous phrase "the implications of that." So...what are those implications? Namely, that the Resurrection of Jesus demands a resurrection of all men, and that by this the Athenians are condemned in their sin.

> Sometimes I wonder if my theology is Christ-centered enough.

With all due respect, sir, I doubt you (or I) need to wonder about that.

> What you are doing is taking a comment, composed with very small amounts of editing...

It's an exceedingly rare English professor who half-hazardly tosses off a comment on a blog whose tenor he knows well, by now. If indeed the comment was as careless as you claim, it's high time for an errata sheet to be produced—which so far hasn't been forthcoming.

> ...and nit-picking things that the author himself has rethought.

No, sir, what you are doing is taking comments, assuming and misstating things that never were said, and nit-picking substantial criticisms of things that ought never to have needed rethinking, and most of which, to all appearances, still have not been rethought.

> Show me where the Bible calls homosexuality "sodomy"--that's a later extrapolation.

Show me where the Bible calls sodomy "homosexuality" and you might have a point. But of course, both terms come with latent assumptions: the only difference is that those attached to "sodomy" are biblical and those of your preferred term are not. In much the same way that "sodomy" reminds us of Sodom, Scripture uses this wicked city as an archetype of the sin which hearkens back to it. But, really, if you don't like "sodomy," you could always use the actual terms Scripture uses—only I'm not indelicate enough to do so here. So, let's be a little more genteel, a little more relational, and, for starters, just use "Men who copulate with men as they do with women..." Argue for that, if you wish.

> We needn't make a shibboleth where the Bible doesn't.

No one has done so here, except maybe the shibboleth of phrases like "Christ-centered," "relational," and "cultural context."

> Is there no place for a relational approach that seeks to lovingly point out the error of our neighbor without antagonizing him?

Of the type that emergent men speak of, and your comment resembles, no. But if you mean an approach where "relational" means having enough love to speak the true offense of the Gospel, where we don't gloss over its cost, and where we fear God more than being perceived as antagonistic, then you need but to look to the wealth of godly comments starting with Pastor Bayly's.

> You argue based on what Dr. Foreman doesn't say--I'd rather leave that sort of thing to the postmodernists.

Seriously, have you read nothing of Jesus' interactions with the Samaritan woman? Nothing of Athanasius? Nothing of Augustine's dealings with the Donatists? Of Luther? Calvin? The truth of the matter is that sufficient arguments have been made based on what Dr. Foreman has said—and arguments concerning what he has said implicitly have everything to do with what in the past he has said explicitly. Your approach here smacks not of discernment of postmodernism, but rather of willful naïveté.

> Dr. Foreman's approach recognizes that the sword of the Lord is not a broadsword, used with blunt brute force to be effective, but a rapier.

Neither your response nor his bear any resemblance to any sort of rapier. But really, the irony here is that no one ever asked Dr. Foreman to use Scripture at all in his response. The context, as I'm sure you'll recall, involved arguing for the illegitimacy of homosexuality without explicitly referencing Scripture. Dr. Foreman was not obliged to say anything Scriptural at all. But when he, or I, do speak of the glorious Gospel of our Lord, we are obligated to not simply present the truths of Scripture that conform to our ideals of relational evangelism, nor to take the double-edged sword of Scripture and blunt the edge we show to men. A true relational approach recognizes that relationship comes only when our hearts are made bare to one another, vulnerable, and exposed by the Word of God whose unsheathed blades discern the thoughts and intents of our hearts.

Sincerely,

I'd like to acknowledge John Doe the Email Guy (and Tim Bayly) for having generated two posts and two excellent threads. I have truly benefitted from the vigorous back-and-forth discussions.

I may be the unusual person who doesn't mind (at all) when having light also generates heat. Even if sometimes there's more heat than light. I just don't like heat when there's no light. But if there's some light to be found, I can usually withstand the heat to find it.

Mixing metaphors: If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

Truly I say this without rancor but as an observing layperson,

Josh is arrogant in what he perceives is his sure footed understanding of Holy Scripture. I think it may be academic isolation, youth, or a lack of trials, but as excellent as are his mental gymnastics, his lack of Charity, towards his Elder Teacher, Guests, and the Poor Subject and subject matter at hand ,make his arguments, though compelling, not Eternal.

The arguments shine, but lack real brilliance. ( think of the classics of our faith)

And on a personal note , I just don't hear Jesus in them.

PAX

Dear Anonymous,

My guess, pastorally, is that you hate discernment and think your hatred to be a spiritual gift called "love." Also, that the Jesus you listen for is not the Jesus of Nazareth Who is the Second Member of the Trinity.

Seriously,

> As someone who has studied with Dr. Foreman, I can attest that he is no enemy of Reformed theology.

Anyone else think it's strange that he's talking about a friend to doctrine than to Christ? Maybe that's why he's thinks we should tiptoe around sinners rather than love them enough to point them directly to Christ by calling out their sin plainly as Christ himself did?

I get so tired of people like Mr. Pugh and other intellectuals who disembowel our beloved Gospel of Christ with intellectual pandering.

Sir, I have spent most of my life tiptoeing around people - yes being direct at times but more out of my temper than my love for people or Christ. But I assure you the people here speak out of kindness toward the lost - I don't really know this about Tim Bayly but I suspect that years ago he came to the same conclusions I did that you can't do anyone any good if you're afraid to offend them and forced himself to say things he would rather not. Call it whatever you like but most people who claim that they will not engage in direct condemnation of sin because they "trust that the Holy Spirit will convict" usually are just cowards who hate God.

It's false humility, sir, because they love themselves and their comfort in false peace - they do not love God.

I'm weary not from the fight with the enemies of Christ but from those who claim to love him. Why are we so afraid to speak the truth - what is so horrible about this!! I ask you!! Have you not tasted God's kindness to you in your sin enough to speak in the harshest terms to rescue others?

Please, man, stop this wickedness!

In loving earnest,
Clint

Dear Josh (in response to anonymous),

"Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe."

Thank you for your humble rebukes for my not calling of sin, sin.

Love,

I agree that Covenant College should be sold to Tim Keller. I was a student there, albeit only for about ten days. I honestly couldn't take it. I thought that the college would actually be, you know, reformed.

I found out very early, on the first day of my psychology class, that their view of homosexuality was off. The professor, I can't remember his name, was saying something of a distinction between sexual orientation, and I believe even said that some people are BORN with desires for those of the same sex. I don't believe that, and I was arguing with him, and after class one girl even came up to me and said she agreed with me.

But, sadly, many of the students there, the majority I would say that I came across, did not act very godly at all. They far more resembled the "Christian" kids that I went to high school with at a supposedly Christian high school. In fact, I would say many of them were not CHristians, many of them cussed profusely, and few seemed to be concerned with the gospel at all. It was a great dissapointment for me, and a great waste of money. I am glad I got out of their quickly.

But, I am looking to get into a good refomed Christian college? Do you guys have any suggestions for me that are better than Covenant College I hope?

Thanks,

Thomas Booher

Was your psychology professor saying that homosexual behavior was okay? If he was, I can see your concern. But even Reformed pastors like John Piper and Albert Mohler have said that it's very likely homosexual desires have a genetic or biological factor. There is no solid research either way into the exact causes of same-sex desires. Like most things, I assume it's a mixture of nature and environment. However, even if it was 100% genetic and innate, that doesn't change God's laws about sexuality. If anything, it would simply change our approach when reaching out to homosexual persons.

Thomas,

Actually, Covenant is probably the best accredited, reformed, liberal arts college in the country. Having spent two years as a professor there, I am quite familiar with its flaws. But the students, faculty, and administration at Covenant were actually (in general) far more faithful and committed to God's word than what I observed at other Christian colleges.

If you want a liberal arts college where the typical professor explodes the lies of the world, as Josh demonstrates here in regard to the worldly wisdom offered by Professor Foreman, then I'm sorry to say that it doesn't exist, to my knowledge.

Feel free to contact me if you want to talk more about your options. (740-420-6042, wilson.eric.n@gmail.com)

I don't have a dog in this fight, since I neither know nor care whether homosexuality is in-born (except out of general curiosity).

But I am curious about the notion that a belief that homosexuality is innate somehow contradicts reformed theology. Dusting off my recollections of Calvinism, which I admittedly only studied many years ago and not particularly in depth, I thought that a fundamental principle is that we are all born in sin. So under that doctrine, it would make sense to believe that a desire for homosexual sex is among the sins an individual may be born with and that he or she must master through the grace of God.

Personally, the issue of whether homosexuality is innate seems irrelevant. Conservatives believe that, either way, the homosexual impulse must not be acted upon. Liberals believe that, either way, it is okay to act on the homosexual impulse. In other words, neither side's argument rises or falls on whether homosexuality is in-born.

All men are born into sin. Someone can be born with homosexual desires, just as I was born into natural rebellion against God in the forms of lust, pride, and dishonesty. Original sin and total depravity are reformed...

This even stands if homosexuality is proved to occur biologically. In fact, the existence of sin in biology only supports the doctrine of total depravity ("all creation groans"). I recently read an opinion column on how humans should accept homosexuality because it is prevalent in many species of animals. Well, so are cannibalism and infanticide, but no one's arguing that we should go ahead and practice those (though infanticide is prevalent and fought for, so maybe just cannibalism...).

Well, if I remember correctly, the impression I got from this professor was that there was this guy (the prof. was telling a true story about this guy) who more or less was born with homosexual desires, which apparently only some people are born with. And, this man was a Christian and married to a woman and had kids, but either his lust for men was greatly harming his marriage, or it actually lead to divorce, I can't remember which.

The professor said that he regarded this guy as a hero, I am assuming because he was born with a love for men and not women, and yet he tried to overcome his homosexual passion and desires. Well, I was pretty stunned, because I don't consider someone who is supposedly born with homosexual desires, and who ends up wrecking his marriage because of his uncontrolled passions, as heroic.

I also think per Romans 1 that it is against the Word of God to say something to the effect that "You were born with a desire for those of the same sex, not those of the opposite sex." If this is true, if this is truly their desires, how can they ever love someone of the opposite sex? Even AFTER they are saved, you are going to tell me that it is normal and natural to still have sexual desires for those of the same sex? That it is part of their genes? I don't think that is biblical at all.

As far as the quality of education at Covenant, I cannot say one way or the other. I can say that the environment was not conducive to learning. Like I said, I truly got the impression that the majority of the students were not believers, some probably would even confess as much. My RA cussed and told the others that he wouldn't get them into trouble unless he had to (meaning, unless HE would get in trouble for not telling the Resident Director what was going on.) They also had a gathering on our floor, where they read a "letter" from a previous RA on the floor I was on, which was also filled with profanity, coarse jesting, etc. to which basically everyone but myself got a good laugh out of.

Quite frankly I don't care how good the education is, they had us playing so many stupid games and doing other stupid stuff that it stressed most everyone out. Most new students were worried about getting their work-study schedules set, but communication was so bad that it was virtually impossible. And then, there is required practical service, which is a joke. The spin was that we are doing God's work, but of course, God doesn't want us to do those types of things out of obligation, yet we had to.

The overall experience was bad. I was disappointed with some of the faculty as well as many of the students (there were some genuine Christians there, I am not denying that) namely because they didn't seem to take the faith very seriously, in my opinion.

I'm looking for a good reformed Christian college where discipline is upheld, where RA's aren't cussing and actually supportive of ungodly behavior, and where the faculty is smart enough to know when stuff like that is going on and do something about it. You know, a godly environment where the students are united in their theology and have a passion to learn more, have a passion for sharing the true gospel, and have a passion to actually live like Christians. Does such a place exist?

I see your dilemma. Perhaps you should be seeking a good educational institution with a solid reformed church nearby. I think all the things you want in a school are characteristics of a good church but are unfortunately difficult to find in any college, because of the temptation of the idol of knowledge and academia. I currently go to Indiana University, which I can guarantee you is more depraved than Covenant. However, being in a solid church has been a gift of God, and being in the family of God with pastors and accountability has fortified me against the wickedness of the institution. Make sure you do not try to replace the church and its functions with an academic institution.

Alex,

Good points. As I was thinking further on this, I recalled Paul's earnest warning to the Ephesian elders that ravenous wolves would come in to devour the flock.

If the elders of a church must be diligent in discipline for the purity of a church, how much more an academic institution, which has 80 or so preachers, none of whom are regularly heard by any other than their students?

Thomas, I think your Romans 1 example is a bit off. I don't think it's "normal or natural" for a person to have homosexual desires after they are saved. Such desires are a result of the fall. But like others have pointed out, total depravity means total depravity. Surely you and other heterosexual men struggle with heterosexual desires and lusts even after you are saved. Those lusts are not "normal and natural," and those lusts are likely innate. Yet God gives you the power to control those lusts and marry one woman and remain faithful to her, something that biologically, you aren't built for. After all, if the flesh had its way you'd have sex with as many females as possible, as animals do.

Those of us who struggle with homosexual desires are no different. Now, I don't know if I was born with them or if they developed psychologically through my environment. There hasn't been much credible research in either direction and, like most things, I assume there is probably a mixture of nature and nurture involved. Being saved doesn't automatically make the desires go away, and it certainly doesn't give me desires for the opposite sex. It simply gives me the ability to be strong in Christ and choose to submit to him rather than my sexual desires.

I agree, it isn't heroic for a man who struggles with homosexual desires to marry a woman if he doesn't love her. It isn't heroic for any man to marry a woman he doesn't love. But just because something is genetic (IF homosexuality is genetic) doesn't mean that it is immutable. God can do anything, and many homosexual men have repented and moved forward to loving marriages. Others have never developed opposite-sex attractions but have lived lives of godly celibacy. Even if it is part of our genes, our genes don't determine our relationship with God. Thank you.

College Jay, Romans 1 says

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

Notice that what is "natural" is desiring the opposite sex, not the same sex. It was "unnatural" even for the unbelievers to desire those of the same sex. I am not going to go into a long explanation, but I think its quite absurd and unbiblical to say that a person has a gay gene, or is born with a gay desire rather than what is normal. The verses say God gave them over to these vile, abnormal desires. However, desires for those of the opposite sex are considered natural.

I don't think any sin is a "genentic" thing. What I mean is, if it's in the DNA of some people to desire those of their own sex, then I think I can understand the conclusion the professor at Covenant came to, that he considered the man "a hero" for going against, well, what was part of his genes, his DNA, to be gay. How can one overcome something that is a part of their genes? So, for a person to struggle against his genes yet still fail to resist same sex temptation (which, if its part of the genes, can it really be a temptation, but rather, something that the person MUST do?) so badly that it wrecks his marriage, in the professor's eyes, was heroic. I guess if I had in my genes a rape gene, or murder gene, that I couldn't help but be a rapist or a murderer, and if I tried really hard to go against that and reduced my murdering and raping to once or twice a year then I could be a hero too?

And yes, I would say heterosexual desires is very natural. IF a person indeed had a gay gene, then for them, wouldn't being gay be natural? After all, if its the gene they have, it would be natural for them to be gay. So, unless you are going to argue that a person with a "gay gene" comes to Christ, gets saved, and God does a gene altering work in him where he then gives him a straight gene, or at least destroys his gay gene (but then if he doesn't have a gene for either sex at all...that seems quite troubling too)I don't see how we can say that people are born with a gay gene. Sin isn't a genetic thing, our genes don't cause us to do it, we do it because quite simply, we want to do it. We are sinners to the core, wicked and depraved to the core.

Alex,

I am sad to hear that you do not believe there are any colleges that match my criteria. If that is true, that is quite an indictment of the Church today. To be honest, I am sick of Christian hypocrisy. If there truly isn't any Christian colleges where the majority actually behave like Christians, I would rather not attend them. A Christian college with the majority of students and the overall atmosphere being ungodly and un-Christian simply isn't a Christian college to me.

So, if this is the case, what about Bible colleges? Are they any better? Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it a lot.

I think your ideas about sin and genetics are simplistic and unhelpful. You say that we are wicked to the core, but you somehow can't accept that our genes are also affected by sin? What Again, what do you think total depravity means? If we are wicked to the core, what could be more "core" than our very biology?

Even if one has a genetic desire for the same sex, that doesn't mean that they are forced to actually sin. People still have the choice to act or not act upon their desires, even if their desires are genetic. They have the choice to submit those desires to God or dwell on them. Studies have shown that things like alcoholism or a violent temperament have genetic factors. That doesn't mean that the person is destined to be an alcoholic or murder someone. You're making it sound like genes somehow force us to do things, which isn't accurate.

Again, I'm not saying that I know what the origin of homosexual desires are. I don't. But I do know that I started experiencing these desires early, and I certainly did not choose them, and submitting to Christ has helped me control them and not act upon them, but they are still present. Are they natural? No. It's not natural for heterosexual men to be tempted by women who are not their wives, either. Natural is only defined by what God has deemed good, and we all fall short of that, even in our DNA.

College Jay,

I've very much agreed with a lot of things you've said but I ended up scanning your blog. I didn't see much about your church.

You're doing a lot of teaching, but what authority are you under?

You've said you're called to be celibate, do you remain pure or do you struggle against pornography and your need for emotional intimacy etc.? How is your church teaching and helping keep you?

-Clint

Thomas,

It is possible that such an institution exists, but I am not aware of any. Unfortunately, when I was looking for a school, I was not seeking theological soundness or a good church nearby, so I don't know much about what you're lookig for. Thankfully, God was merciful to me. I assume that if you find such a college that there will be a solid church in the vacinity, but I encourage you not to let a college replace the role of the church.

Love,

Thomas - As a small rebuke, in a conversation about wanting to be around greater holiness, you steam-rolled College Jay's personal (and courageous) disclosure in your effort to prove your theological knowledge. Do not tithe the mint and dill of seeking Biblical knowledge while neglecting mercy and faithfulness.

I think Alex McNeilly's advice is sound (I'm quickly becoming one of his biggest fans), and would further recommend that you can be that light to others while at school, regardless of their profession. I struggle against the same impulse to surround myself with perfect Christians instead of prostitutes and tax collectors - may we follow the example of His love!

Clint, that's a good question. I'm a pretty sporadic blogger and I haven't really blogged much about my church. I can assure you that I have been blessed with a wonderful one, and I am under the authority of a great pastor whose family I am close to (and who have welcomed me into their home and lives in absolutely amazing ways). I don't want to reveal too much, because I do blog about some sensitive personal issues (I don't use my real name, for example).

I've definitely grown a lot because of my church, though, and like I said, my blog has been a sporadic and very personal account of my journey as a maturing (and deeply flawed) Christian. So there's probably some pretty heinous stuff there! Haha. I don't feel comfortable saying too much about the details of my struggle here, but you are more than welcome to e-mail me.

College Jay,

I'm glad to hear about your church's involvement. Do they have much knowledge of or help with your blog at all?

Considering how people who read it probably have had some bad experiences with churches and the popularity of lone-ranger Christianity, you should say more about how your church has helped you.

Your blog could be a great witness to Christ and his bride as the center. After all, today the church is so dishonored - as if that can be done without dishonoring Christ.

Though I like some of the idea of it, from what little I saw, your blog and your habits are a potential danger for you and others, and you should have accountability from your church.

Kindly,
Clint

No, I can't say anyone I know personally knows about or reads my blog. I should definitely write more about my church. I suppose I've never thought of my blog as a witnessing tool, nor have I ever seen danger in it. It's always been just a place for me to process things openly. Thank you for the advice and concern. I'll do what I can to take it to heart.

As an unbeliever stumbling across this post, thank you for giving me further reason to continue to dismiss Christianity and its followers. You can't even respect each other. The bickering and fighting of the individuals on this blog would be scoffed at by the scoffers of scoffers. Why would I want to be a part of that?

College Jay,

I am not sure if my comment was deleted or if it was never sent properly. I did not think my comment was hostile in any way. At any rate, we are just going to have to disagree on the whole homosexual gene issue. I see Romans 1 saying that God gave them over to unnatural desires, and He was referring to homosexual passions. That would mean that it is natural to have heterosexual desires, but not natural to have homosexual desires. I don't think there are exceptions for that.

But, that is the last I will say concerning that. So, if there are not many good Christian colleges out there, are the Bible colleges any better? Also, I do not see how me desiring to go to a Christian college with other Christians who actually act like Christians is an attempt to replace the role of the church. Of course I would want to attend a faithful church as well. But for a college to truly be Christian, shouldnt the majority of the students at least resemble Christians?

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