Tag Archives: protestant

Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study (Part I)

Inspired by Funky’s recent exchange with Amba, I’ve decided to share my opinions regarding Christian acceptance of gays.

At the University of Pittsburgh (aka Pitt), in the fall semester of 1999, I attended a bible study series sponsored by the Pitt Rainbow Alliance and lead by Dr. Michael Penn-Strah, a protestant minister from Pittsburgh’s Northside. They used the study book Claiming the Promise by Mary Jo Osterman. I would like to share some reflections of that Bible study that stuck in my mind along with some other intermingled comments. (As a matter of disclosure, I am a Catholic Christian who before and after the Bible study believed that a homosexual tendency is not a sin but that engaging in homosexual sex, even in same-sex “marriage”, is sinful.)

I attended the study for personal as well as “professional” reasons. I was an opinions writer for The Pitt News. There was another writer, Michael Mazza, who always wrote pro-gay columns. I thought that I should balance out his columns with at least one from the other side.

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Straining Gnats and Swallowing Camels

"You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!" – Matthew 23:24

The irony in the following was too good for me to pass up.  My favorite (I mean that. He’s a nice fellow when not on his soap box.) Bible thumpin’, street preachin’, Jack Chick resemblin’ Fundamentalist, Rand, had an unpleasant exeperience at a church he recently visited.

"We visited a Brethren Gospel Hall on the Lord’s Day and we enjoyed the sermon. There was however, a weird moment, at the Lord’s Table. The problem was with one of the elements. It was the bread. They distributed a loaf of bread; a loaf of leavened bread that you would find at any bakery."

The following day he explained why that was wrong.

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Still Amusing the Church to Death

Remember the post I wrote about Chuck Colsen’s critique of trite worship music? I agreed with Colsen’s distaste for “Draw Me Close to You” and its ilk. My buddy Rob didn’t. When discussion on both blogs died, I figured the matter was closed for the time being. I didn’t think the article had legs beyond my little corner of the net, but it seems I was wrong.

Sam Storms of Enjoying God Ministries and Justin Tayler of Between Two Worlds threw their two cents in with Rob. I wouldn’t have know that, though, if Godblogger heavyweight Tim Challies hadn’t joined the fray. I’m happy to say he’s on my side. 😉 Challies presents a seven-part test for “whether a particular song is suitable for worshiping our God, especially in a corporate setting”, borrowed from a book by Elmer Towns and Ed Stetzer. He also adds an eighth criterion of his own.

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The Root of Catholicism’s Error?

Adrian Warnock does not often openly criticisize Catholicism, a fact that demonstrates his desire to emphasize unity in the body of Christ over differences in ecclesiology. So, when he does criticize the Catholic Church, it really catches my attention.

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