Monday, July 12, 2010

10 million for gay marriage

So i was on facebook a little while ago, and I joined one of those groups that you join.  It was called I Bet We Can Find 10 Million People Who Support Same-Sex Marriage

Now as a Quaker, I truly believe in equality for all.  Not all Quakers believe this, but I do.   I have a very strong faith in my beliefs just as others have the right to believe in their own beliefs.

So i was a little surprised that after i posted this, i got an odd comment.  They said:

"I know several dear people that would support this view, but they don't claim to be Christians. Are you a bible-believing Christian?"

I wasn't sure how to take this comment.  Was this person stating that i was not a christian because I support equality?  I was actual caught off guard.  So I responded back with:
 
"yes, I do not judge or hate others, that is the Christian way."
yea,  I know, pretty lam, but I was a little loss for words as what to say since it was on my facebook page, not anyone Else's.  

But for some reason, this has kind of stuck with me, probably because I see it every time I go to my facebook account.

So I guess  here is the post, which they probably wont ever see, but I find blogging at times therapeutic.

So I want to take a moment and explain a little about MY beliefs.  

My true belief comes from God, because as a Quaker, I believe that all people are children of God and equal in his eyes.  As a Quaker, I actively oppose any racism and other forms of intolerance.  Unlike some other religions, Quakerism as a whole,  is tolerant of all people regardless of race, age, nationality, sexuality, or religion.

Now, in regards to the 'Bible'.  The Bible is the most sacred book in Christianity.  I don't think anyone can argue with that.  I do realize that some Christians feel the bible is the single most important written book of religious knowledge.  They believe it is the  word of God, that everything they read in the bible is literally true.  As I'm sure the 'commenter' believes.

I, and some Quakers, also believe that the bible is a sacred and holy text.  However, this is open to interpretation.  I agree with George Fox that God's spirit is more important than the Bible or any other human source of knowledge.  To me, the Bible is very important and powerful.  But the bible can never be more important than God's spirit itself. 

Now, what makes this complicated, that being of Quaker faith.  Even though Quakers have their basic shared beliefs, their beliefs are open to interpretation also.  Confusing?  I know.

So with all this said. Yes, I am a Christian.  However, God did not write the bible, man did.  Though it is sacred, I don't feel it should ever be used for hatred.  I find more and more Evangelical Christians are using the Bible to keep it to a 'us and them' and for that reason, it's hard to really true understand where some of these people come from.

If we all believe we are equal in Gods eyes, then how can anyone justify to themselves that not allowing gays to marry is a Christian thing. 


So,  am I a "Bible-believing Christian"?  What do you think?

"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." -- John the Elder

6 comments:

  1. "Bible-believing Christian" sounds to me very much like a 'label'. Do you really feel the need for a label? (They are often a manifestation of divisiveness, in my opinion.)

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  2. I believe the bible is a great tool, but not to be taken literally as man had written it. God speaks to me, thats how I find the truth.

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  3. How could anyone else know whether you're a "Bible-believing Christian?"
    I do have friends whom I hold in high regard on both sides of the gay-marriage question, and it saddens me that frequently both sides seem to see the Others as morally indefensible. I know what seems rue to me, but I can see how people of sincere faith, compassion and righteousness could come down on either side.

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  4. As to your question on what I think regarding if you're a Bible believing Christian - I don't know. I tend to agree with Judy, your first commenter above, in that labels can be misleading.

    I'm not a Quaker and know very little about your beliefs. I've been quite enamored of a specific author, Richard Foster, who I believe is a Quaker. Because I've been captivated by every book of his that I've read, I've become interested in Quakers and would like to visit a church service.

    I find your statement: "I agree with George Fox that God's spirit is more important than the Bible or any other human source of knowledge. To me, the Bible is very important and powerful. But the bible can never be more important than God's spirit itself." very interesting.

    I have lots of thoughts, way more than I can say without taking up too much of your space here, in response to that statement. A couple of responses are:

    * Yes God's spirit and His revelation are most important because it is His Spirit that empowers me to understand and discern the Bible. Plus Jesus is recorded in the Bible (John 10:1-21) as having told us that His sheep know His voice. So God does indeed talk to us.

    * I think I may see the Bible as, for lack of a better was to say it, having more authority than you may see it. Even though it was written by mere humans, I believe that these humans were inspired by God. Even though it has been copied and we're looking at several manuscripts and it has been translated into many languages, I believe that this All Powerful, All Mighty, Creator of the Universe, God is more than capable of ensuring that His written Word to mankind is preserved and can convey to us what He wants. I also see references in the Bible itself indicating that we are not to add to, or take away from what it says. So every revelation that I believe I receive from God's spirit, I check to ensure that it goes along with God's written word. If it does not, I figure I must have "missed it" - I hate to admit this but the truth of the matter is that sometimes in life I do miss it.

    As to the whole "gay marriage" thing - I have heard strong, Christian, loving and good viewpoints that come down on both sides of this issue. Like many things in life, it's not so clear cut. I'm by no means saying that Truth is relevant; just that as humans, even those who are following after Christ, it's not so easy to decipher.

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  5. In response to your question about what do I think about if you're a Bible believing Christian, I tend to agree with Joanna above - how could I know?

    With regard to the Gay Marriage issue, I have read and listened to persuasive, strong, loving and good arguments given by Christ followers who come down on both sides of this issue. I'm not saying that truth is relevant; just difficult for us humans to decipher sometimes.

    I'm not a Quaker. But I'm quite fond of an author, Richard Foster, who I believe is a Quaker. Because of my adoration of his writing, I've become interested in Quakers. I want to visit a Quaker church service.

    I find your statement above: "I agree with George Fox that God's spirit is more important than the Bible or any other human source of knowledge. To me, the Bible is very important and powerful. But the bible can never be more important than God's spirit itself." very interesting.

    I have many responses to this statement (way more than would be polite of me to write here). Just a few of my responses are:

    * Jesus was clear that His followers hear His voice and that the Holy Spirit is our teacher.
    * It is only by the Holy Spirit's revelation, or enlightening of our minds and spirits, that we can even understand the Bible.
    * Even though the Bible was written by men, these men were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Even though we are looking at several copies over many years, that have been translated into many languages, I believe that the All Mighty, All Powerful, Creator God is capable of ensuring that His written Word to mankind says what He wants to say.
    * Whenever I believe the Holy Spirit is revealing something to me I check it out against the written Word - the Bible. I do not think God would say anything to me specifically that contradicts what He has said in His written Word. Sometimes in life I've "missed it"; so I find this practice a helpful way to stay on course.

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  6. Friend Sloane, thee speaks to my light. I have had the good graces of many weighty Friends in my life who made it possible to pursue a graduate degree in Divinity at Earlham School of Religion. I, too, enjoy the testimony of Richard Foster, required reading, at ESR. I am a fan of my favorite professor, John Punshon. John led me to a more complete understanding of George Fox's understanding of the world that informed his testimony. And there is the rub, the world we live in informs our testimony. Whenever a Friend meets with prejudice, intolerance and injustice one would assume he/she would take a stand against it. Unfortunately, Friends have the fruits of those trees growing in their congregations, just like congregations of other religious and metaphysical places of worship. Even congregations which grappled with same gender unions a quarter century ago, have suffered the same divisions because they will not flesh out the issue and seek a community leading of the Spirit. All all to often, the process is truncated, no one changes, no one agrees to disagree, they just refuse to deal with it. Not a leading of the Spirit in my book. But who am I.

    Master of Divinity, Pastoral Ministry, ESR 2003

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