Ware Farms

Speaking truth to prejudice

Monday, April 10, 2006

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Science, Religion and Charisma

Braveheart,

You seem dismissive of knowledge for some reason. Surely you agree we've learned a lot in the 1600+ years since the Bible was put together. We use this knowledge to implement Christ's teachings.

When we find through 50+ years of research that sexual orientation is a fix trait for most everyone, then we approach our ministry to gays and lesbians differently than if we thought people just went out and engaged in that behavior willy-nilly.

When we deal with those who find the idea of being intimate with someone of the opposite sex vulgar and repulsive, then it isn't helpful to suggest they do what's "natural" and marry someone of the opposite sex like the rest of us do.

I find the Serenity Prayer helpful:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

It would be in our best interest to understand that sexual orientation is one of those things which cannot be changed when we bring our message of Christ's love and redemption to our friends and neighbors who are lesbian and gay.

So that is why I ask you in all sincerity, "How does a Christian congregation who would treat others justly and fairly minister to the needs of those who are not among the 95% of our population who are born heterosexual?"

Jim Johnson has provided his church's answer. I'd like to hear yours.

Braveheart,

Science has nothing to do with "beliefs." Science is the compilation of observations of the world and theories which help describe how the world works. The accuracy of observations is constantly improved; theories are modified or replaced as more becomes known. This self-correction is the beauty of science not a short coming. As time goes on our understanding of the world improves.

Religious beliefs provide the moral principles to live by. Yet religion, like all things, must operate in the reality of the world as it actually exists. Facts are stubborn things. We are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own set of facts.

Since studies started in earnest after WWII, our understanding of homosexuality has grown considerably, yet there is still a great deal yet to know. Never-the-less, it would work to our best interest if we consider what we know in determining the morally appropriate way of dealing with our gay and lesbian neighbors.

NB: The Bible was compiled in 325 AD by order of the Emperor Constantine, so that's where the "1600+ years since the Bible was put together" comes from.

5 Comments:

At 4/11/2006 1:30 PM, Anonymous John said...

Paul really complicates things.

I don't think Paul does a good job in separating his own prejudices from Jesus's teachings.

I would not consider Paul a reliable source.

 
At 4/11/2006 3:02 PM, Blogger Rick said...

Well, Bill, I'm not sure much has come from our attempts to dialogue with the folks on the Charisma blog. I got there from your link at Ex-Gay Watch and imagine I'm pretty much done with the discussion. You and I have a perspective that values scientific inquiry. The commenters there seem to believe their understanding of the 'Word' is ITSELF the Word, without any room for thinking through challenges or entertaining new understanding. No surprise, really. What really DID surprise me, though is the utter nastyness of persons on the thread who profess to be Christian believers - not just toward us, but toward each other. That is what I will take with me and remember from the discussion.

 
At 4/11/2006 3:31 PM, Blogger Bill Ware said...

Well, they aren't in the mood to discuss anything, that's for sure.

 
At 4/11/2006 3:36 PM, Anonymous John said...

Bill, Rick.

What I have read on the Charisma board is typical of my experience with Christianity; It is why I no longer worship, and can practically be considered agnostic, at best.

For what it is worth, Bill, you and Jim Johnson are gradually pulling me back in.

 
At 4/11/2006 3:39 PM, Blogger Jim Johnson said...

When you believe you have all the answers, you apparently don't feel the need to exchange thoughts and ideas, just shove yours down anyone's throat who doesn't "see the light."

I found an awful lot of darkness in that forum. The posters there mostlly showed a very narrow view of God, severely limiting him to only what they could understand. It's a real shame.

 

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