Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

If you believe that the church has always maintained the same position on homosexual marriage, then here is an article for you.  It provides evidence quite to the contrary dating all the way back to the 8th century. I found to be very interesting.  Is it possible that what Prof. John Boswell has concluded about his findings are correct? Here is an excerpt from the article. Click the link to read the full article with more examples cited.

When Same Sex Marriage was a Christian Rite

A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai in Israel. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman ‘pronubus’ (a best man), overseeing a wedding. The pronubus is Christ. The married couple are both men.

Is the icon suggesting that a gay “wedding” is being sanctified by Christ himself? The idea seems shocking. But the full answer comes from other early Christian sources about the two men featured in the icon, St. Sergius and St. Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who were Christian martyrs. These two officers in the Roman army incurred the anger of Emperor Maximian when they were exposed as ‘secret Christians’ by refusing to enter a pagan temple. Both were sent to Syria circa 303 CE where Bacchus is thought to have died while being flogged. Sergius survived torture but was later beheaded. Legend says that Bacchus appeared to the dying Sergius as an angel, telling him to be brave because they would soon be reunited in heaven.

While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early Christian church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly intimate. Severus, the Patriarch of Antioch (AD 512 – 518) explained that, “we should not separate in speech they [Sergius and Bacchus] who were joined in life”. This is not a case of simple “adelphopoiia.” In the definitive 10th century account of their lives, St. Sergius is openly celebrated as the “sweet companion and lover” of St. Bacchus. Sergius and Bacchus’s close relationship has led many modern scholars to believe they were lovers. But the most compelling evidence for this view is that the oldest text of their martyrology, written in New Testament Greek describes them as “erastai,” or “lovers”. In other words, they were a male homosexual couple. Their orientation and relationship was not only acknowledged, but it was fully accepted and celebrated by the early Christian church, which was far more tolerant than it is today.

Contrary to myth, Christianity’s concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual…..(read more)

If you enjoy this post, please also read Randal Rauser. C.S. Cowles writes a convincing essay on the christocentric hermeneutic and how one ought to understand genocide in the Old Testament. Those committed to Biblical inerrancy and infallibility of all Scripture must maintain a tension in the texts between the Old and New Testaments and will argue that the indiscriminate annihilation of the Canaanites was indeed willed by God. Since the annihila … Read More

via Philosophia

What do we mean by ‘simple church?’

Some call them house churches. Some call them organic churches. Some call them simple churches. We prefer to just call them churches. They are rapidly multiplying, simple (more…)

Jesus + Nothing = Everything This is a statement that my lead pastor began a series through Galatians with.  It hits to the deepest part of my relationship with Jesus and my understanding of the Gospel.  Many of us try to make faith in Christ a Jesus ‘plus’ Gospel and create boundaries for entrance into the covenant community of faith.  You need to clean up your act if you want to be a Christian, people will say either explicitly or implicitly.  For instance, when we have mo … Read More

via Kurt Willems & Friends

Jesus Didn't Preach Tolerance Outrage is pouring in from all sides — as it should. Terry Jones is the kind of “pastor” who gives clergy a bad name; the kind of “Christian” who affirms the worst suspicions of skeptics and cynics. His plan to burn copies of the Qur’an on Saturday (September 11) is a stunt both feeble and horrifying. If we didn’t live in an age of instant access to quasi-news, fake-news, and no-news, no one outside the greater Gainesville area would know about … Read More

via Intersections: Thoughts on Religion, Culture, and Politics

from Cristus Victor Ministries by Greg Boyd

The New Testament commands us never to “repay evil with evil” but instead to “overcome evil with good” (Rom.12:17; cf. I Thess 5:15; I Pet 3:9). Jesus said, “Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also”(Mt 5:39). He also said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Lk 6:27-28). The teaching seems pretty straightforward, yet this very straightforwardness presents us with a dilemma.

On the one hand, we who confess Jesus as Lord don’t want to say that Jesus and other New Testament authors are simply off their rockers in telling us not to resist evildoers, to repay evil with good, to love our enemies and to do pray for and bless people who mistreat us. If our confession of faith means anything, we have to take this teaching very seriously. On the other hand, we have to frankly admit that it’s very hard to take this teaching seriously when it comes to extreme situations like having to protect ourselves and our family from an intruder. Not only would most of us resist an evildoer in this situation, killing him if necessary, but most of us would see it as immoral if we didn’t use violence to resist such an evildoer. How can refusing to protect your family by any means be considered moral? Isn’t it more loving, and thus more ethical, to protect your family at all costs?

How do we resolve this dilemma? (read more)

I am an avid reader of the Bible.  One thing that I have noticed through my studies is that the more that I study, the more things don’t seem to add up.  The Old Testament with the New Testament, the gospels with the epistles, Paul and Jesus all seem to disagree at times when it comes to specific teachings that many consider indispensable doctrines of the Church.  It also should be noted that those within the Church quite frequently disagree on what doctrines are indeed absolutely necessary for one to believe.  Who’s right?  The more I try to answer this question the more questions I have.  Sure, I have been taught, accepted as truth, and proclaimed to others many so called answers, answers that try to harmonize these biblical disparities by ignoring the parts of the Bible that disagree with the doctrines that are chosen by the Church of the day to be orthodox.  For me, these answers no longer suffice.  That’s why when I saw the book titled Who really Goes to Hell? – The Gospel You’ve Never Heard:  What a Protestant Bible written by Jews says about God‘s work through Christ, I thought “This should be good”.

Disregarding the extremely long title, this book by David I Rudel  appears to ask all the right questions. Here are some of those questions from the back cover.

How would the Jewish leaders of the Christian church view the message spread by American evangelicals today?

How should Paul’s goals in writing to specific churches influence our interpretation of the epistles?

How well do the views of conservative Christians regarding God’s judgment match Jesus’, “Judge not, and you will not be judged”?

How does salvation as described by evangelicals compare to the Messianic kingdom proclaimed by the prophets?

After reading this book, I concluded that the solutions arrived at to these questions were more than a little lacking as the author performs much of the same biblical acrobatics as the evangelicals he attempts to refute.  However, I applaud him for having at least asked the questions.

If you want to check this book out go to:

David’s blog: http://www.authentic-christianity.net/

The Gospel You’ve Never Heard booksite: http://www.whoreallygoestohell.com/