Do conservative Christians care what the Bible really says?

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December 16, 2007, 09:52

I belive that my discussing and defending my point of view I am in a small way glorifying God. The point isn’t whether you belive me really, in fact I get the feeling that nothing I can say on the topic will convince you. The point, for me anyway, is that my defence shows I truely belive what I say and am willing to stick up for God’s word, something which has value to him regardless of the outcomes.

So, you are speaking God are you? OK then. I must be speaking for the devil. Do you want to send some people over so I can be exorcised?

Take the story of the ark. God has such a dim view of humanity that he drowned the lot of them, including the children. I wonder what the

Asians did to displease God so much that he sent a tsunami to wipe out thousands of them?

And what did Isaac do to deserve to be sacrificed? Ok God spared him at the last moment but isn’t even the thought of sacrificing a child totally abhorrent to even the most hardened criminals? And Jephthah’s daughter wasn’t so lucky was she?

I hope that clears some things up. I think to an extent AVB is right, this conversation could go for twenty pages and we would only be brushing the surface of your questions and your anger at bible believing Christians. I admire you willingness to ask though and suggest that you get in contact with a church pastor or minister who has much more expertise and experience answering these questions than I do.

You seem like you’re the one who is angry. Why don’t you get in touch with a psychologist and ask them for help for the obvious brainwashing that you have been subject to? Richard Dawkin’s book The God Delusion would be a good place to start to realise how dangerous a professed belief in the inerrancy of the Bible can be.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
December 16, 2007, 10:46

A reminder to everyone involved in this discussion please read through the posting guidelines 9 ) and if your communication has not been aligned with these could you please edit your post and adjust future posts accordingly.

thank you.

Keeping F2B a safe, respectful and welcoming place for all is paramount. that includes non-believers and believers agnostics, atheists, spiritual whatever.

Joined in 2007
December 16, 2007, 22:50

Keep it calm, people.

However, you’ve managed to get across the point that I was making in the first place – the vital importance of proper translations and finding out what the text actually says.

Because ‘kill’ and ‘murder’ are two quite different things.

Joined in 2007
December 17, 2007, 07:21

Just over the past few years I have started to see the bible very differently, and at this point in my journey I tend to see the bible in the same way as Brian McLaren – an ancient book of incredible spiritual value for us – and I am very comfortable with that. For me, reading the bible and trying to understand it from the midrash tradition in which it was written has made things so much clearer, and I no longer find all the texts as overwhelming. I have struggled with the bible in terms of the contradictions – you just have to look at the different account in the gosples about Jesus’s birth for one – but having read about the midrash tradition of story telling it is no longer a stumbling block for me. For me the bible is a book that attempts to tell a story about a God and a man that words really fall far short of telling. History tells us how we have misused the bible’s words to do very awful things to our fellow mankind, and continue to do so. Do conservative christians care what the bible really says? Probably not – but I think that is because they are totally convinced that they have the true insight into interpreting what the bible is teaching – and if we are honest it is not a failing that ony conservative christians share. If our reading of the bible enriches us and those with whom we share it, then for me that is of God. If our reading and sharing of the bible diminishes anyone, then it is not of God. I think the biggest stumbling block for me was the way I was taught to interpret the bible – it is an ancient jewish text written in a midrash story telling tradition – and when read without those boundaries it was confusing and full of contradictions that didn’t sit right with me. I have started to re-read the texts in that tradition, and I feel more connected to the bible than I have in a long, long time.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
December 17, 2007, 13:28

Hi Jenaz

I think that for so many of us the beliefs we had (based solely on the bible) were foundational to our lives here on earth and also our eternal destiny. Anything that undermined that was quickly discarded……..or we lived in denial about some of the unanswered questions…….I realise now that was the case for me. A little like the question of my sexuality. the best way I could cope was to see my attraction to men as a temptation from the devil that had to be overcome. I rarely owned it. it was a form of denial.

To accept the inconsistencies in scripture was difficult as was accepting my sexual orientation. outside the walls of the church….when my previous securities were washed away…….I was able to find a new faith in God and myself…….and to live with all the unanswered questions.

just my thoughts

Joined in 2006
December 17, 2007, 23:49

For the most part i did what i was told as a christian, although i did have many lecturers in bible college fear their lectures when they knew i was in the class (their admissions to me at the end of each semester) lol, cos i tended to ask and challenge difficult/hairy issues. I did this in sincere curiousity not as a smart so and so. Once i came ‘out’ it was like i had permission to challenge much of the doctrine i had accepted reluctantly. When the christian schools that i worked for asked me to resign earlier this year i firstly was quite upset about it, but then after a couple of weeks i found it to be the best thing that could have happened to me because it allowed me the chance to start my search all over again without any ties to my past associations. My connections to the christian culture had been severed, as if on purpose. This may sound weird but i know what i mean lol.

Now, without fear of being struck with a thunder bolt or by a bus i feel free to question many things and search for answers but i am also free for the first time in my life to not worry if i get the answer immediately or not. In fact, i have accepted there are many things i may never find the answers for. and it is great. (if you knew me you would realise how big this is lol)

For me, do conservative christians care what the bible really says, well perhaps some do and perhaps some don’t – the thing is they are human as we are. people faithfully served God but did not see in the scriptures that the earth was not flat, others served God faithfully to the best of their ability but persecuted and even killed those that baptised others in full immersion, and similar ridicule and disdain for those experiencing pentecost etc etc etc. Others amongst them only used religion for their own gain. Nothing is different today, there are the sincere and the not so sincere. For me – i endeavour to live in healthy integrity, slipping every now and then in one form or another but trying always to be sincere in what i know/feel. At this point in my life i have one christian friend, who knows i am gay, who does not hate me. He loves me but works tirelessly to get me ‘back’ into the fold. He believes i am not going to heaven etc but at least he does not hate me. He is sincere, and polite in it all, Some of my friends have voiced less then pleasant views about him and his intentions. Perhaps they are correct but for me – i can not turn away from someone who is sincere, regardless of their beliefs. I have told him he can dish out the scriptures to me as long as i can do the same with him. Hence some interesting future conversations will be had. LOL.

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
December 19, 2007, 23:14


I think Orfeo (in the first post in this topic) proposed that conservative Christians are more likely to have opinions that things like homosexuality are out of sync with Christianity without really knowing much about what the Bible says … a kind of rote learning perhaps? I think our discussion in the past few weeks suggests that there is even a difference in the way less conservative (e.g. ‘gay/lesbian) Christians perceive the Bible’s stand. So it may not be restricted to conservative Christians?

I’ve expressed some fairly definite views myself about where I stand in this discussion and yet I think it is important that we all respect each other’s journey. When we feel we are right and that everybody else is wrong we have reached the point where we can no longer learn from each other.

In my own posts I have tried to illustrate my beliefs by citing personal experiences, believing that is how most people on this earth form their personal opinions. I accept that some of these experiences have been extremely deep and would have been better to keep private. (In my eagerness I am unashamed of honesty, yet the world around me prefers a polite and professional distance).

As a university student I also understand that science and theology focus on evidence. Experience is regarded as anecdotal and only valued in a collective survey. As a factual historical text the Bible is full of evidence, yet as Orfeo suggests, there are different interpretations about the Sodom story, for example. If it wasn’t for the fact that I have accepted the love of Jesus Christ in my own life, I could easily have tipped the baby (Jesus) out with the bath water. All because of my negative experiences of rejection in the Christian church.

I understand there are many readers of this site who could echo this sentiment or who struggle to even accept the truth of Christianity because our journeys are often bitter sweet or bitter (and twisted) without the sweet.

I still accept that the Bible presents me with a ‘hope’ I cannot find anywhere else, even though I disagree with some of the interpretations given by Christians or Bible translators. It is a hope that I can embrace regardless of where I fit in the scheme of things. I hope this is not too simplistic because I think it reflects the real message of the Christian gospels.

‘Whoever believes (in Jesus) has eternal life’ does not demand a prerequisite that we endorse every other verse of our modern Bible translation before we can experience the promises of God. All in good time…

Just my thoughts


Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
December 19, 2007, 23:28

Dedicated to Freedom 2B

My risk of the night: a poem I wrote about Sodom in the year I came out as a gay man – 2004. Factual or not, it was my conclusion after reading widely on the subject. It may be interesting for some readers. Raw and as yet unpublished.

Sodom Myth

ancient Sodom

evil city


destroyed by God

a ruined land

home of sodomy


man on man

provoking God’s wrath

contrived myth

Lot hid strangers

secret angels

God’s destroyers

waiting to act

fait accompli

Sodom men

surrounded Lot’s house

demanded to ‘know’

to interrogate

his guests

our translations say

they wanted sex

with the strangers

(the angels)

a questionable claim

943 times

the Old Testament

recites ‘to know’

just ten times

it describes sex

Ezekiel called Sodom

arrogant, overfed

neglectful of the poor

self-focussed, wicked

not gay

ancient Hebrew, Greek

and Aramaic texts

had no word

for homosexual

no evidence

yet Sodom gave

its name to men

emitting semen

for reasons more

than procreation




marital pleasure

all acts of sodomy

thirteenth century

Albertus Magnus

named homosexual acts

the gravest sexual sin

vilest sodomy

new enemy of grace

reason and nature

Magnus moved attention

to gay hostility

rewriting history

a natural expression

throughout the ages


survived misunderstanding

and oppression

in Symposium

Plato represented

sexual orientation

as an objective

inborn trait

emperors, heroes

popes and kings

stand among the gay

in countless


in myth Zeus carried off

young Ganymede

to heaven

Edward II of England

loved the exiled Gaveston

Israel’s David king elect

proclaimed the love

of Jonathan

more wonderful

than that of women

in medieval times

mankind repressed

sought to eradicate

the ill of men

with men

year AD 1533

Henrician statute

wielded rigid laws

banned gay relations

severe punishments

in recent decades

Wolfenden Committee

raids on Stonewall Inn

challenged laws

and time reformed

wise nation states

today embrace

gays, lesbians

as rightful


while churches cling

to sodomy

as evidence

of God’s


yet local law reform

steps back

protecting marriage

from assault

gay unions die

and still the myth

lives in our land

gay is unnatural

queer and straight

don’t yet unite

Liberation Rob
Joined in 2007
January 22, 2008, 14:02

unfortunately they do – too much… unfortunately they don’t balance their zeal with intellectual disciplines.

they are the most ignorant lot I know concerning modern biblical interpretation… and as far as their so-called seminaries are concerned – I wouldn’t wipe my arse with any one of their so-called degrees.

Joined in 2006
January 22, 2008, 15:15

for me the very phrase ‘conservative christian’ denotes so much thinking for me

the original existence/creation of the christian was everything but conservatie

yet the very nature of humans over the centuries has not changed.

at every opportunity leadership (not all but many) find ways to control their parish/congretation/neighbouthood/community/society.

They blast emotional, spiritual and mental blackmail at people to keep them in line.

The issue of homosexuality is one of many situations where leadership has cast its own agenda.

Perhaps, unfortunately, I have come to a point where I currently don’t give a beeeeeeeep about what the conservative say. And for me with my past experience I include many denominations and their leaders into that category. I may sound too harsh but for me as soon as a church creates an order of service worship of the Living God no longer exists in the way it was meant. So i see many many many churches as conservative.

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