Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » Spirituality » Brokeback Mountain Blues

Brokeback Mountain Blues

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

I wanted to see it, but I didn’t want to see it. I’m talking about the “gay cowboy” movie called Brokeback Mountain (even though I read Jake Gyllenhaal, one of the two major actors – “Jack Twist” – wants it to mean much more than that to its audience).

I didn’t want to see Brokeback Mountain because I felt it could be considered some type of tacit approval of two men “falling in love,” which goes against my Christian grain and biblical beliefs, but I wanted to see it because I am humanly “gay all the way.” However, I am not a practicing homosexual (some would say I’m a professional one), sober and celibate by choice, so help me God, because of deep spiritual convictions.

I went and ran errands with a gay friend (who knows my beliefs and knew me wild and now knows me tame), visiting his “lover” in the Bowling Green, Ohio jail where he’s doing ten days for a drunk driving, donated an autographed copy of my book Beyond Babylon: Europe’s Rise and Fall to the main library in downtown Bowling Green (since I was born there 46 years ago, but never lived there), we picked up some fast food and visited my friend’s mother where we ate and then he asked if I wanted to see Brokeback Mountain that would be showing at Franklin Park Mall (now called Southfield or something since the Brits took it over) in Toledo shortly, so I said yes and we rushed to get there and made it — ten minutes late. He had seen it a week earlier up in Michigan with some gay and lesbian friends, thinking it wouldn’t be shown around here — wrong!

Immediately you have to stand in awe (or sit and watch) the scenery that is most spectacular and moving, especially as the sheep are being herded and moving on the big screen in front of you like you could reach out and pet one, and the mountains are majestic aspiring to reach Heaven with their snow-capped tops and trimmed with forests here and there, evergreens, and of course I couldn’t help but think of the irony of nature playing such a prominent role in this film that the Apostle Paul would say is against nature….

I was surprised to see so many older folks in the audience. I thought they would all be set in their ways (I’m not saying that’s wrong in some ways), traditional, opposed to such a real or imagined threat to “family values.” Maybe they just wanted to watch a movie that looked interesting or they’re also jaded, or desensitized to the seriousness of sin like too many, or recognized that it could provoke discussion or a greater understanding (without necessarily approving of it) of this whole issue of homosexuality.

I thought the first sex scene was rather abrupt, nothing really leading up to it, no mating game or cruising or furtive glances or hints of anything out of the ordinary. Must have all been buried underneath all that butch (masculine) appearance, simmering somewhere, and the fuel on the fire was a tad too much liquor, true to life. Alcohol can strip away any inhibitions some might have or offer an excuse later to help cover your butt (which is why I am sober and celibate by the grace of God). The movie does help blow the stereotype that all homosexuals are limp-wristed, sissy faggots – but didn’t Rock Hudson already prove that? Among others.

The whole idea (or unwholesome idea) of two men on a mountain, far away from rules and regulations and norms, reminded me of a passage within a little booklet I wrote years ago (God and the Gays: What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality) to address many of the issues Brokeback Mountain broached: about how some men who are basically “straight” (heterosexual) will engage in homosexual acts while in prison or a monastery, but will quickly revert to their preferred heterosexual passion as soon as possible and pretend nothing ever happened.

In BM, which we called “Bareback Mountain” among ourselves (no “safe sex” practiced in it among the men or women involved since it was set in the sixties), the fellows went their separate ways initially and got married and thereby proved they were hybrids – bisexuals – since they could obviously get sexually stimulated by men and women. A curiosity to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. But the first chance they had to get back together, in every way, they jumped at it like a raging bull let out of his cage. “Free at last, free at last!”

I’ve watched Oprah have men on her program who have been married for years, with children, who have suddenly “discovered” they’re gay, and in “finding” themselves – isn’t that just interestin’? – lose their wife and children. What about the commitment they made before both God and man? I don’t care if you’re gay or straight, if you make a vow you should keep it! Why make victims of the truly innocent wife and children who didn’t ask for it? Of course some will say they’re all victims, and that’s true to an extent, but even if someone has “feelings” they should control them or nip wrong thoughts in the bud – not permit them to take root and grow.

Why do some find it fascinating for a man to cheat on his wife with another man, but would stone someone who was going through his “midlife crisis” sleeping around with younger women to prove some point to himself? It’s not that the thoughts aren’t there, it is possible to lust after your neighbor’s wife or husband (or both), but you’re supposed to rein in such maverick thoughts and not let them run roughshod over your life and marriage!

Of course two men can fall in love, or a married man and woman can fall in love with someone other than their spouse, but you’re not supposed to set yourself up for a fall, you’re not supposed to let yourself flirt with forbidden love, you’re supposed to control the thoughts rather than let them control you (Genesis 4:7).

Brokeback Mountain forcibly brings all these tumultuous thoughts, tormenting conflicts of interest and personal struggles to the surface, surging like lava from a volcano, which I’m now wrestling with and pouring out for others to consider.

We can feel hopeless and all too human or we can transcend human relationships, overcoming sin rather than being overcome by it, by going up to the Mountain, following the path paved by the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53), who gave His back to be beaten for us to break the power of sin over us, by whose stripes you are healed, who bears our heartaches, sorrow and sin; by going up to Mount Zion and “to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels…” (Hebrews 12:22).

Instead of wrong desires that only lead to self-destruction, please let us yearn to return to Zion, time and again.

Powered by

About David Ben-Ariel

  • gkar

    I hope you learn to stop hating yourself some day.

  • David

    I genuinely feel sorry for you.

    Your head’s so full of the Old Testament and righteous condemnation of lesser human beings that you have no room left in it for love.

  • Ian

    I too feel sorry for you and I don’t say that in a patronising way. Your beliefs and your sexuality must cause a lot of difficulties for you. I am a gay man, happy and intend to stay that way. I disagree with many parts of what you say in the article, but particularly in relation to Old Testament theology. You come from the point of view that homosexuality is sinful and one must control their feelings. I come from the point of view that many things in the bible simply are not true, including what the book of Genesis has to say on a whole matter of issues, not least the way we were created. That said I do believe Jesus was real and is the son of God. He never actually describeD homosexuality as sinful. That is my solace.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Actually, David seems to be carrying out his beliefs in a way I have to respect. There’s no tacit condemnation of gays who are active sexually. There’s no judgement passed on entire segments of society. I don’t agree with David and the reasons for his celibacy; However, I’ll fight to the death on his behalf to maintain those rights. Why? Because he’s done it in such a way that it doesn’t attack or destroy people, reputations and families.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    For the record, Franklin Park Mall is now called Westfield Shoppingtowne at Franklin Park.

    Two minutes from my house.

    And this probably isn’t the thread to throw around stereotypical words, but that’s a rather … um … “fabulous” … name for a mall.

  • T

    I think that while you’re very well-written and seem to be highly intelligent, you may have missed the point of that movie. I agree that it was difficult to watch the men cheat and not feel some sort of anger for the wives and children involved. The point is that for their own safety, they needed to pretend that they were not “sinners”. I don’t think that that necessarily means that they did not love their wives and children, they just had a different kind of love reserved for them.

    Had they been living in a more open-minded environment, they may have made different choices. The ending of the movie proves that it was a life or death decision.

    Also, I would just like to say that it must be a whole lot easier to live life in black and white terms, that way you never have to make the difficult decisions, but you also may lose something in the process. In other words, the bible is a wonderful tool for guidance, however, the world is a whole lot of shades of gray rather than black or white. I just hope you know that it’s ok to love yourself for who you are, instead of beating yourself up for not being who you’re “supposed” to be.

  • Ron

    Not very convincing. I hope that some day you will be able to love yourself.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Hello Ian,

    You said Jesus “never actually described homosexuality as sinful.” As the I AM – the Preexistent Word (who became flesh and blood and dwelt among humans) – He is the One who spoke to Moses and gave the Torah to Israel, which includes the prohibition against practicing homosexuality.

    As Jesus, He clearly stated that He did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets (whom He inspired), but to magnify or fulfill them, making them even more relevant in attitude and in action, in word and in works.

    It is because our loving Creator God wants the best for us, that He instructs us to avoid certain things like the plague. This is revealed within God and the Gays: What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.

    Those of us who are learning, through the conversion process, how to properly love God and our neighbors as ourselves, trust Father knows best.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Thank you Silas Kain for recognizing I’m not about condemning people but practices, although everybody must learn for themselves and I maintain friendships with my “gay” friends who disagree with me on this issue. Such is life, eh?

    Thanks Matthew T. Sussman for identifying the former Franklin Park Mall by its new name of Westfield Shoppingtowne at Franklin Park.

    I also appreciate each and every comment posted, even while disagreeing with parts of some. Isn’t the internet a marvelous thing?

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    “T” wrote:

    “I don’t think that that necessarily means that they did not love their wives and children, they just had a different kind of love reserved for them.”

    In other words an “open relationship” that was kept secret? Aren’t you basically saying the cheatin’ fellows were victims, focusing on them rather than their victims? Even if “society” accepted them, would they accept themselves, due to that nagging thing called conscience? Is that why they drank so much in the film? Trying to drown out uncomfortable thoughts? What if they went and lived alone somewhere, would they continue to drink heavily or become alcoholics (if they weren’t already) and beat each other and then get bored with their abusive relationship and decide to have an open relationship or just cheat on each other as is “normal” in 9 out of 10 “gay” relationships I’ve known? Who could be blamed then? The unhappy gays….

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Instead of wrong desires that only lead to self-destruction

    I feel for you, that you believe the desires within your own self are destructive.

    I’m in a 20 year relationship with anothe rman, raising a child and couldn’t be happier with my own world, which is positive, affirming and instead of destructive, is actually full of love and energy.

    I’m sorry you feel that being gay is self-destructive, because it is actually the outside forces/pressure that make life for gay people destructive. Love between adults is not destructive, the denial of love is.

    You make the assumption that because the two characters marry, they are capable of being sexually stimulated by their spouses. That is an assumption and you acknowledge that they marry due to external pressure but refuse to look at the concept any further, when it clearly runs very deep. It’s possible they really didn’t love their spouse at all, but were simply too weak to withstand the massive amount of societal expectations placed upon them. Expectations that were often enforced with violence.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Even if “society” accepted them, would they accept themselves, due to that nagging thing called conscience?

    You don’t have to limit the concept to just gay people. You can look at any oppressed minority in this world and see that outside condemnation creates self-loathing. Drug abuse, promiscuity, the inability to maintain relationships, all these factors and much more like alcoholism increase in any oppressed group. In areas where homosexuality is more tolerated (people are allowed to marry for example) you can see a reverse of this trend and an increase in self-respect.

    Please look at the world and the facts around you before you jump to conclusions.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve S. –

    You’ve jumped to the conclusion that if everybody would just accept homosexuality as normal, everything would be peachy-keen. Not so. Many would still have that nagging thing called conscience (unless they’re IN DENIAL) reminding them that something “just ain’t right.” If they continued to harden their heart against such common sense, then they’d become reprobate, as is evident among many, whether practicing homosexuals (in denial) or those who promote abortion or pimp for a “Palestinian” state.

    As I mention within Beyond Babylon: Europe’s Rise and Fall, quoting John Underwood from the Boston Globe: “In a society where anything goes, every thing will.” Ever hear of Sodom and Gomorrha? It wasn’t just queer folk engaging in every abomination, but “straight” people too, if folks would read all the accounts about it in the Bible and not just focus on the homosexual aspect. It revealed a society that was immoral and amoral.

    God save us all. :-)

  • maphere

    I am a straight male, married with 3 kids. There are women who I emotionally loved in my past and at the time could not make a move to marry them. Now happily married for 7 years, I still long for them at times and if I was put in the wrong situation could be intimate with them both physically and emotionally. Relationship Love is a combination of emotion, passion and commitment and all three needed for an ideal relationship. Out of the three two are subjective and one, being commitment, is objective. Sometimes I hate having to be committed but it is the foundation that keeps stability in a healthy anything. Relationships based on passion or emotion are straw houses.

    My problem with the movie was the cowboys were shown as victims. Take the gay theme out of the picture and you have a human condition that we all face which is the pasture always seems greener on the other side and sometimes we don’t care what boundaries or hearts we break to get there.

    The story ends in death but there could have been a BM2 where the guys lived together and found out they couldn’t stand each other.

    My hat’s off to the above reviewer for staying committed to his beliefs.

  • gonzo marx

    well David…i must disagree with you assessment that folks would have “that nagging feeling” if the outside societal pressures were removed

    many folks i know, of all persuasions, that have been brought up in an accepting environment have NO such “nagging feeings” because they were never oppressed by forces which painted their behavior as “wrong”

    that fits for many circumstances …as varying as racial, religious and sexual

    check outside the restrictive boundaries apparent in your writings Viewpoint and you might find the same

    you have the inherent Right to live as you see fit (as long as it does not harm others, of course)…and so does everyone else

    matters such as these are quite difficult to discuss between folks when some have a restricted Opinion stemming from Dogma rather than Knowledge

    just a Thought

    Excelsior!

  • http://suspiria.org Vic

    David,

    Well written piece and the comments in response were VERY predictable for this site.

    How someone can read that and pull out of it that you are a self-loathing person is beyond me. To most commenters here vows and promises do in fact seem to mean nothing and self-discipline is a sign of self-hate.

    Most accomplishments in life come THROUGH self-discipline, not in SPITE of it and failure usually comes from a LACK of it.

    Vic

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Steve S. – You’ve jumped to the conclusion that if everybody would just accept homosexuality as normal, everything would be peachy-keen.

    actually, after I posted my comment I thought that it would be better worded as being brought up to the level of heterosexuals and how they view their relationships, which is far from perfect.

    I disagree with this nagging conscious that you think everybody has. If that were the case, there would be far more people trying to enter ex-gay ministries than there are. Most people learn to accept themselves.

    To Vic, I would just say in friendly disagreement that self-discipline is not a sign of self-hate. Denial of part of one’s self is though. Sexual orientation is not like a preference for hamburgers or golfing.

  • bgjohn

    I find it funny that the justification for hatred and religious based discrimination is based on three lines out of this booked called the bible.

    If you really followed the bible you would be living in a dirt hut (because to have money means you will not get into heaven), not eating cheese on you hamburger, selling your daughters into slavery, stoning the whore down the street and married to your dead brothers wife.

    So before you sling rocks at someone you should pick up your “holy book” (that was written by men and rewritten by other men over and over again) and take a look at your self first. But maybe you have and you see something you don’t like so you need to point at others and make them the problem.

    Brokeback Mountain is a mirror of the truth about the 1960’s. Like it or not. It’s a great movie because Mister Lee had the guts to tell it like it is.
    One final note: To have religious faith is to relinquish logic and do as you are told.

  • http://suspiria.org Vic

    bgjohn,

    Dirt hut: It’s not MONEY that’s evil, it’s the LOVE of money. When it takes over your life above everything else.

    As to your other examples, you’d need a Jew to respond, since Christ boiled everything down to a much simpler level (although I’m really confused about the “cheese” comment).

    The bible was NOT rewritten. In fact it is the most well documented ancient document that exists, with literally thousands of copies (at least of the New Testament) in existance that only differ from each other by less than 5%.

    As to your final note, I disagree. I’ve heard it stated before that it’s “blind faith”, but it’s not. Nothing I say will convince you otherwise so I won’t bother trying, but thanks for trying to educate us poor, ignorant believers.

    Vic

  • maphere

    “I find it funny that the justification for hatred and religious based discrimination is based on three lines out of this booked called the bible.”

    With all due respect and some sarcasm, maybe anyone with a disagreeing opinion should go in the closet for fear of being said he was full of hatred. Your understanding of hatred is clouded by your personal emotions.

    If it’s not possible to have strong differences of opinion with other people without being labeled as a hater then I guess we all hate each other. This of course is absurd and not logical.

  • Max

    David,

    Now that I see your personal understanding of the bible, I can tell that for sure the analysis that the book migh include is far from accurate. It amazes me how much damage can a series of bad translations make in narrow minded/victim people who is educated to repeat wihout questioning for years and years.

    Sadly your article could be reduced to> “repress yourself and buy my book”. Coincidentally the same thing that the church says “repress yourself and buy my book”. David and church: please stop “helping” people. And let “love as a force of nature” to “come out”.

  • grier

    I would rather bring my partner to bed with me every night than an old dog eared King James Bible.

    Jesus asked us to love each other. He didn’t say that terms and conditions apply. And I’m disgusted, utterly disgusted, that you would dare to suggest that sexual love between people of the opposite or same sex is unholy.

    What a lonely life you are living. What a sad, lonely life, you poor thing. I suppose the only communication you have with the world is to tel them all how much more sinful they are than you. Is that how you get your rocks off these days?

  • yadih3

    David,

    May I suggest you spend all your abundant free time (no dates, remember?) reading the Bible instead of bashing other gays with it?

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    John Adams

    “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    maphere:

    You’re right. Regardless of gay or straight, the two fellas in the movie CHEATED on their significant other, their partners, their lovers, their WIVES. Their wives and children were the victims who didn’t ask to be a part of some experiment.

    Thanks for the encouragement of remaining true to my personal convictions some would have me deny and live a lie.

    Vic:

    Many of the replies were definitely predictable, but my beliefs can weather such storms of protest and howls of discontent against those who dare to change or keep their appetites under control rather than be mindlessly controlled by them.

    Cheers!

  • puna

    Interesting discussion. My mom had no trouble reconciling her membership in the 700 Club with the love for her gay son.

    I hope you don’t end up like Ennis…looking out the window of your trailer with regret, wondering what your life might have been like had you followed your heart (the same heart God gave you).

    Let’s pray for each other!

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Wow, very intelligent discussion for the most part.

    We all have issues and issues aren’t limited to people who deviate from the “norm”. While I am somewhat sad for David in the path he’s chosen with regard to his own sexuality, I understand completely where he’s coming from. From a personal standpoint, my life has come full circle in the last few weeks. Demons that have haunted me for years have been confronted and delegated to their proper places. Let’s get back to the subject…

    I’ve seen Brokeback several times now and continue to learn something new from it every viewing. When it makes its way to DVD, I’ll be among the first at the video store. I plan on showing Far from Heaven back-to-back with Brokeback. (That sounded SO gay.). Why? Because Far from Heaven is a great depiction of what life was like in 50’s New England. Dennis Quaid’s character is tormented by his homosexuality yet nothing could have been worse than what happened with Julianne Moore’s character. Here we had a white woman in the 50’s attracted to a black man. Talk about scandal. Part of the reason why I want to present these works of art together is to educate. Far from Heaven and Brokeback Mountain are as real as it gets for the times they explored.

  • maphere

    Puna:

    I respect your point but God also gave us a soul and mind and he asks us to love him with all our heart, soul, and mind. The mind processes data, the heart gives counsel and your soul makes the decision. This is tough because the heart can be easily swayed, the mind could have bad or insufficient data and that’s why Christians lean on the Holy Spirit for direction to help our souls find their way.

    In regards to regret, Ennis could just as easy looked to a picture of his family and regret that he just threw them away for what was behind door number 2.

    That being said, I join you in our prayers for each other.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    In regards to regret, Ennis could just as easy looked to a picture of his family and regret that he just threw them away for what was behind door number 2.

    Actually, the whole point of the movie was that he was homosexual, so no, that would be an implausible scenario, since it is not a choice.

    If it was a choice, then the author of this post wouldn’t be identifying as a celibate gay, but as a straight person.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    I just watched the movie, it was phenomenal. It seems that most commenters on all the BBM threads here have completely missed the message, but I don’t say that with any negativity on commenters. I think the message has been missed for generations, for thousands of years, so I’m not surprised that a 2+ hour movie doesn’t provide the answers to many.

    Homosexuality is not a choice. Due to external forces, the two men tried to make it a choice, and at least one of them lived to regret it.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    If Ennis or Jack were truly homosexual, rather than what they clearly were – BISEXUAL – they wouldn’t have been able to rise to the occassion and have children.

    E & J made the CHOICE to engage in heterosexual sex (something that never appealed to me as a homosexual), they made the choice to get married, they made the choice to have children – and they made the choice to CHEAT on their wives, break their vows, and they made the choice to act like dogs in heat with each other, selfishly.

    How romantic.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    If Ennis or Jack were truly homosexual, rather than what they clearly were – BISEXUAL – they wouldn’t have been able to rise to the occassion and have children.

    That is false. Many straight men, who are sent to prison, are able to engage in same sex encounters because of circumstance. Same with those men in a different era, in a different environment.

    It was circumstance, albeit a different one than external confinement, but it was circumstance that led them to try to live lives they clearly weren’t meant to live.

    Many gay people can perform very well with real women, I happen to know this for a fact! For many the ability to perform sexually isn’t 100% aligned with attraction. Otherwise, the blow up doll market, for example, would be non-existant. Many people can have sex without love involved. Straight and gay people do this all the time. I don’t recommend it of course, but it would be foolhardy to assume it isn’t a fact.

    E & J made the CHOICE to engage in heterosexual sex (something that never appealed to me as a homosexual), they made the choice to get married, they made the choice to have children – and they made the choice to CHEAT on their wives, break their vows

    Yes, David, those were choices. That is one of the points of the movie. They were bad choices stemming from outside pressure. If there was no outside pressure, I am fairly certain they wouldn’t have made those bad choices, but who can say.

    they made the choice to act like dogs in heat with each other, selfishly.

    Whether you are straight or gay, acting like a dog in heat with the one you love is very romantic!

  • Steve

    Sad. You seem so trapped within your conflict and esire to preach that you failed to really enjoy a brilliant movie.

    Of course two men can fall in love bibically. David and Jonathan did. They loved one another as their own souls. It is a love superior to the love of a man for a woman as David said when Jonathan died.

    I would like to sympathize for you in your agony, but your self-righteous attempt to preach is scary. Don’t you know that Romans 1 condemns those people commtting idolatry, and Romans 2 condemns those people condemning those people in Romans 1?

    If you are going to speak for Paul, then let it be known that he included both or all in Romans 3, and that he would have been more distressed over the self-righteous adulterers in their minds in Romans 2, since the people in Romans 1 can see their sin, while self-righteous people are more often blind to sin, since it is in the heart and not readily visible. It is self-righteousness that paves the way to Hell, thinking they don’t need a Savior but are better than everyone else and must be good enough for God.

    Everyone is in one camp or the other. I left Romans 1. You appear to be still in Romans 2. And because of that, you sound doubly conflicted. You would have been better off being a sinner in Romans 1. That way you could have stopped your sin because it would have been readily visible. But you don’t see it, which solodifies your place in Romans 2, which is where much of the church is today.

    Good luck with your spiritual journey. Perhaps when you realize that intolerance and judgmental spirits are what keep people from the heart of God you will mature. And I’m not talking about tolerance of sin. God hates sin, especially a proud look.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    One of the premises of the movie is that external forces causes the gay man to experience some form of despising of his ‘self’ and he then denies that part of himself. Ultimately such an act leads to his pain and the pain of those around him.

    I would submit for gay men who watch this movie to then self reflect on if they know of such an incident, with the external force perhaps being an interpretation of religion. Perhaps there are gay men who use religion to condemn part of themselves and experience pain because of it. Such a thing IS the premise of the movie.

  • Jeff T

    I cannot say anything too strong here; I have no idea what you have gone through in your life to get to where you are right now. I do agree with several folks: I just hope that you will one day find peace with yourself. As far as your review goes, you were all over the map. The main idea of the movie was that “love is a force of nature” and it is a tragedy for EVERYONE involved when two people aren’t true to that nature. As far as I can see, that is the only sin involved in this story.

  • Matthew

    I feel for David. We must realize that for some it is impossible to ever accept yourself, but he is at least much more honest about it than most. He has recognized his homosexuality and has decided not to act on it. The characters in Brokeback tried to do the same and were unable to, and hurt their families. David is stronger and perhaps more self-aware than they. His iron will is exceptional and buttressed by deeply-held religious faith.

    I personally feel he would be infinitely happier if he could accept his sexual feelings, and imagine that his self-repression must be quite a burden. (I certainly couldn’t bear it.) To share yourself with another emotionally and sexually is certainly one of the most magical and joyous experiences we humans may share. To forgo this is an enormous loss. But perhaps if David tried to embrace his feelings he knows he would never completely succeed, any chance for self-acceptance would be always undermined by his deepest beliefs.

    I have to respect those who choose principled self-denial honestly, though I may think they choose wrongly. For most of us, like Ennis and Jack in Brokeback Mountain, their choice is not ours, and would lead only to crushing lonliness and regret for love and happiness that might have been.

    I say “follow your heart”, but for those who chose not to, I respect their choice, as I hope they will mine.

  • Dan Cobb

    David, David, David! You’re worshipping a God
    whose favorite humans included skanks like Solomon with is 200 wives and 300 concubines (in modern-speak, that’s “sluts”); and garbage like
    Jacob whose deceitfulness and treachery and
    lying you God apparently thought was wonderful –why did your God prefer Jacob over Esau, his brother? After all, Esau was a lot like you –earnest, serious, honest, hardworking… and Jacob was treacherous and evil. How about God’s other favorite sons –think of them all– who stole, pillaged, and were disgusting creeps who I wouldn’t even want living in my neighborhood!

    This is the God you worship? This is the God
    you’re contorting and twisting your natural sexuality for?

    Let me suggest something to you m’man! That God
    of your Bible is less morally developed than the average American today. Look at the Muslem world where a few cartoons make so many of them want to kill all Westerners. THAT’S the kind of world your God is mired in –a mentality from over 2,000 years ago– and that same backward
    mentality remains in large parts of the middle east.

    The Enlightenment changed things. Morality, individual choice and rights… it’s hundreds of years old, going back to the 1700’s… and it has developed a lot since then. Why do you insist on adhering to a mentality that is 2,000
    years old. The Ayatollahs in Iran and Saudi Arabia would be proud of you! After all, they believe in the Bible too… the old Testament, and you’re adhering to their belief SYSTEM… and you’re rejecting the Enlightenment. UGH!
    And by the way… how old are you? You write like confused teenager.

    Dan in Baltimore

  • Dan Cobb

    The Enlightment happened in Europe hundreds of
    years ago… and was the beginning of Western ideas of social and economic freedom…the same
    freedoms that are what America is all about.
    Our freedoms are the offshoot of this enlightenment… we have enlightened views on individual autonomy and freedom of expression and freedom of speech… and of assembly….it is these freedoms that has allowed the West to advance FAR ahead of the rest of the world.

    The Moslem world has NEVER had an enlightenment.
    They are still mired in ideology from 2000 years ago. That’s what you want to be a part of?
    I don’t get it…. the Old Testament is bunk.
    You might as well convert to Wahabbi Islam if that’s how you want to live… but in your daily life and view of the world, you’re probably much more WEstern than you even know… it seems as though only on the issue of homosexuality do you want to revert to ancient times…
    My sense of things is that you have been irreparably damaged by religiosity. I’m sorry for you. You seem horribly confused, and, as I understand your post, you’re over 40 years old.
    Man! That’s really really sad. SOunds like you haven’t come to terms with anything.

    Dan in Baltimore

  • Glen Sillett

    Hello, I read your artical with great interest. However your interpretation of the Film was through the eyes and soul of someone who has choosen to oppress thier inner feelings, thus leading to a judgemental and distorted view of life, people and sexuality.

    Why do you feel the need to inform the reader whether your friends are gay or straight, are they not all friends? I find it bizarre that you wish to catagorize, maybe this is to conform to your veiw of societies “Rules and regulations and norms”

    You imply that the love between Ennis & Jack only grew due to the topography and isolation of the land, this is true in one way, as for the first time they could actually be true to their selves; away from the bigots and those who judge.

    They both married, not through choice, but because they felt they had to, the film made that quite clear, “If you cant fix it you have to stand it” No choice made, Ennis could not even articulate how he felt about Jack, until the end if the film.

    I am greatly saddend by your views, firstly for your personal happiness, but also that you are contributing to the oppression of many others who struggle with their sexuality, like Jack and Ennis.

    My personal view is, always be true to yourself, otherwise you can never be true to other people. I am not a religous man, but I am a human being, who hopfully is kind, open and non-judgmental ( I have friends who would kick me otherwise!!)

    I hope one day you will find true happiness.

    Best wishes

    Glen
    London

    PS: My Mother who is 70 (Old folk), said what ways is she set in? She thought the film was intelligent and thought provoking, and the more people that go and see it the better!!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Some would pervert a perfect example of pure male bonding into something that a closer examination of the biblical accounts proves just plain wrong:

    Straight Talk About David and Jonathan

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    “My personal view is, always be true to yourself, otherwise you can never be true to other people….I hope one day you will find true happiness.”
    Glen
    London

    Glen you fail to see that I AM being true to myself and honest with all, having a mind and not just a body.

    You assume that I haven’t found true happiness, as if I could be happy living a lie pretending that practicing homosexuality is acceptable to our Great Creator God when it clearly isn’t – for those honest enough to submit to the Word and Will of God and say, despite peer pressure and all too human feelings (that mature adults control rather than be controlled by), “Nevertheless, thy will be done.”

    There’s far more to life than having sex and being “gay.” When’s the last time you OPENED YOUR EYES to the unhappy “gay” world and faced its ugly reality exposed within God and the Gays: What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.

    I’m not saying a long-term “gay” relationship isn’t possible, although extremely RARE (rare if it’s not an “open” relationship, which is no relationship in my book worth having), but it still doesn’t make it right. That’s how I strongly feel and I choose to live true to myself rather than just blindly follow those who believe otherwise and who try to “convert” me to their way of thinking (Romans 1:32). I’ve stated my opinion and haven’t asked anybody to endorse it, unlike those who disagree, and don’t need others’ approval – unlike so many other homosexuals.

    I don’t want to be one of those who foolishly throw away the pure gift of eternal life, found outside the Kingdom-Family of God looking in, with weeping and gnashing of teeth before being destroyed, for being a slave to their senses. It is a personal choice to act upon homosexual, adulterous or illicit sexual feelings. I choose not to, so help me God, even if it means scorn, “pity” and condemnation by those who just don’t get it.

    Give my regards to the Queen (the real one),

    David
    Toledo

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    “I am not sure which… Church of Christ you belong to.. I know that sometimes God uses Doctors… even while praying and trusting God to heal me…”
    Kevin Surbaugh

    Hello Kevin,

    I’m a baptized member of the Sabbath-keeping Church of God, none of the above mentioned.

    I also know that God can use doctors, but that each must decide for themselves to what extent they believe God will work in and through them and when they’ve crossed the line and are “playing God.” It’s a personal decision, as you know.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    David, you keep going on about gay people, who choose differently than you, and choose to accept themselves completely and without denial as being slaves to the senses.

    It is about loving someone with your heart and soul, and as such then heterosexuals are nothing more than slaves to their senses too. You compared gay men to dogs in heat, but if it is love, then heterosexuals are nothing more than dogs in heat too. You disregard the emotional aspect of gay love and choose to only focus on the physical, attempting to define all gay men by a physical act, yet you choose to not define yourself that way. You have no idea how many gay men participate in what you condemn. You assume everybody but yourself.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    SteveS: “…you keep going on about gay people.. as being slaves to the senses.”

    If and whenever the senses are opposed to the Word and Will of God, they’re idolatrous if exalted above the Word of God, regardless of whether gay or straight.

    “You compared gay men to dogs in heat,”

    No, I didn’t. I compared two married men, cheating on their wives they vowed to love and cherish and be faithful to, as two horny dogs.

    “You disregard the emotional aspect of gay love”

    I understand and have experienced it, but I know that such illicit love should never have been permitted to develop, but should have been nipped in the bud. Just like a married man should “repress” any illicit thoughts for his neighbor’s wife (or husband). It can happen, but it shouldn’t ideally.

    “choose to only focus on the physical, attempting to define all gay men by a physical act,”

    Since heterosexuality or homosexuality is sexual orientation, it stands to reason such feelings are confirmed/fulfilled by sexual actions and those who participate in such sexual actions become conditioned by such repeated actions. If being “gay” isn’t mainly about having sex, why do so many gay men get upset that I choose not to act upon my sexual urges, so help me God? Have I asked anybody not to, while expressing my feelings about this controversial subject?

    I’ve merely stated what I clearly believe to be the biblical position on it, and folks can take it or leave it. My queer friends (they’re all queer in their own way) still love me and I love them, but I won’t categorize it as gay love – just the love of friends (philos).

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    why do so many gay men get upset that I choose not to act upon my sexual urges

    I can’t speak for all gay men, but I would GUESS, and it’s only a guess, that it is because gay men see, time and time again, how religion promotes the denial of the self and how it creates a scenario where one despises part of himself, etc.

    You say you are happy with your life and the way things are for you, for that I am glad, but I think the initial impulse of gay men is to assume the opposite. You have to understand that, even if you don’t agree with it. Gay men have seen far too many of their community harmed by religion rather than helped by it. Certainly the majority believe, and I believe correctly so, that any denial of the self and of love is not spiritually positive or what God would want. But ultimately to each his own. What may seem like an attack by other gay people is more likely stemming from a feeling that you are being hurt, and there is good intent behind it, even if it doesn’t seem that way.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Those who feel that denial of the self are clearly at odds with Jesus and Paul who taught we’re to die to the self and live for God, according to His standards.

    Jesus clearly taught just the opposite of those who don’t ever want to deny themselves any forbidden fruit, and said we’re not worthy of Him if we don’t bear our burdens and follow Him.

    It’s easy to say we love God, until He slaughters our sacred cows or expects more of us than we’re willing to surrender, short-sighted mortals that we tend to be.

  • http://desicritics.org Aaman

    Why should we care what a half-baked book from a couple of milennia ago says or doesn’t say about what men (or women) do with each other?

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    “Why should we care what a… book from a couple of milennia ago says or doesn’t say about what men (or women) do with each other?”

    Especially when we’re not willing to submit to its Wisdom and don’t want to be blinded by the Light, preferring our traditional darkness, eh?

  • gonzo marx

    Question here..but in the film..doesn’t one of those men get beaten to death?

    now, i’ll grant you, there is an Ethical lapse against an Abstract(the marriage vows)…but isn’t the real “crime” here the murder of a person?

    shouldn’t THAT be what folks of high “moral values” be screaming about?

    anything less seems a bit petty and Agenda driven…

    just a Thought

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.fotolog.com/butki13 Scott Butki

    There are some parts of Australia where the movie is
    not being distributed.

    What do you think of that?

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    I think whatever part of Australia or America or anywhere that chooses not to show the film are merely exercising their right. It’s their prerogative, eh?

    I would love to visit Australia! One of my best friends (from London) that I met while serving as a kibbutz volunteer in Israel (and hitched around Europe and Israel with), ended up marrying an Aussie roommate we had on the Sea of Galilee at Kibbutz Ha’On. They now live in Brisbane.

    I made it to South Africa to visit friends from various kibbutzim I made, and Lord-willing I’d sure love to get to Australia and see it all.

  • Steve

    Gonzo, homphobes don’t talk about the murder in the film. Some of them justify it, while not vocally, in their black hearts nonetheless.

    On another note, I never said David and Jonathan were gay. Hugging and kissing doesn’t make one gay, and the bible attests to that conduct on both their parts, with Jonathan actually stripping down to give David his honor at one point. Not to mention Jonathan’s father Saul telling Jonathan that he was an embarrassment to his mother because of his passionate love for David.

    Oh, and one man’s biased opinion such as the one you pointed out on David and Jonathan hardly makes that gospel.

    Keep plugging your book, though. Some poor soul here will seek out comfort for his homophobia eventually.

    I do appreciate you noting that Sodom was not destroyed because of homosexuality. Because it wasn’t. People want to use that scene with the angels as the reference point for God’s destruction, and the destruction of Sodom was determined way back before that when Abraham failed to negotiate the saving of the city apart from Lot and his family. And God didn’t say then He was doing it because of homosexuality.

    That was when Sodom’s fate was sealed, not when the people gathered around Lot’s house for the angels which were there to warn Lot to leave.

    And Leviticus was a command to Jews. I am not a Jew. That command is as valuable as the one to not eat anything with a split hoof, if you are a Jew and God is raising you into a holy nation. Both episodes have passed.

    Christ fulfills the law for us. If we have to hold to the Leviticus example you give, then James says we have to keep the entire law or we have broken it all. Besides I’m a Gentile, that law wasn’t given to my people. But the law to receive salvation in the name of Jesus Christ was. And I accepted it.

    And I have peace about my sexuality. And lets keep in mind that the kingdom of God is neither male nor female, nor is there marriage there. And that kingdom is among us and within us if we believe.

    None of this has anything to do with the movie, which is brilliant, and is changing our world for the better. Gay people will be considered as legitimate in their humanity and relationships as they should be, and this movie will have helped by contributing to the change in hearts and minds, and by blowing the stereotypes out of the water, and making the homophobes come to terms with the world they share with everyone else, not the world they think they own as they have until now.

  • John

    I have a question about the old Testament.
    It seems to have a lot of commandments and prohibitions that don’t make any sense.

    For example, forbidding eating pork and demanding that we stone a non-virgin bride to death. Nobody enforces these. It also condones bigamy and slavery in places. Nobody pays attention to this.
    Why do we make a big deal about just this particular absurd command, condemning homosexuals to death?

    I respect faith, but interpreting the bible literally and selectively this way doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

    If Jesus, who I do respect, didn’t waste his time condemning homsexuality, why should we place all this emphasis on this one particularly bloody and judgmental line in Leviticus, while ignoring so much else?

  • http://desicritics.org Aaman

    Being an enlightened soul, one does not need a book or books to see the light

  • gonzo marx

    amen, Aaman

    would that more could see the Truth so easily…

    namaste’, my Friend

    Excelsior!

  • chantal stone

    in response to #53… “I respect faith, but interpreting the bible literally and selectively this way doesn’t make any sense to me at all.”

    John….
    it’s called cafeteria style theology…where people pick and choose what they want to believe to suit their own prejudices and agendas.

    i’ve said this before on another thread (a BM thread, no less) that any clever mind can manipulate the Bible to suit their own, often times, extremist attitudes. it’s been done throughout history, just like you pointed out with slavery and bigamy, for example.

    if you look back at our own American history, minority groups, at one time or another, have had to pay their dues to fight for equality –women’s suffrage, civil rights, etc.— and now the acceptance of homosexuality with the right for gay marriage is just another example. the good news is as humans we do eventually evolve, and attitudes change.

    so someday, sooner rather than later, i believe, everyone will be seen as equal in the eyes of the law as we already are in the eyes of God.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    commenter 52 was brilliant. If you have a URL/blog, I wish you would share.

    I agree with chantal (#56) about why the bible’s statements are selectively chosen. Overall, I believe it’s primary purpose is to distract.

    My own thoughts: We have a government that spies on it’s citizens, wages illegimate war, slashes medicare and assistance for the poor while pandering to corporate elites and giving them tax breaks, etc. and all this can be done if the populace is kept busy frothing at the mouth about two men in love, which is exactly what is happening.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Note that the bible makes three references to homosexuality but has literally hundreds of references condemning the hoarding of wealth and the love of money. Yet there is no outcry over the millions that people like Pat Robertson, Dobson or those who claim to speak for the Lord, have.

    It’s a very selective ministry, it’s used to distract the populace, and it’s why I became disillusioned and went agnostic. I truly believe that the House of the Lord™ is now a House of Evil.

  • chantal stone

    whereas i feel very confident and secure about my faith in God and my savior Jesus Christ, i often…no, almost always…feel very confused and conflicted about my religion.

    Christianity is such a beautiful faith….when the focus is on what Jesus actually taught. but even during the time of Christ, He was often misunderstood. at that time, Israel was occupied by the romans, so when the “savior” and “king of kings” came on to the scene, many Jews assumed it was to liberate them from their physical occupiers. they didn’t consider He was their to free them from the bondage of sin.

    to me it just makes sense that if Jesus was misunderstood when He was performing miracles in front of people’s faces, of course He’s going to be misunderstood 2,000 years later.

    but the thing that attracted me to this faith in the first place was that it’s all about a personal relationship with God. He comes to live in us. any “born-again” Christian will tell you that one of our goals and purpose is to spread the Word and advance the Kingdom of God. the mistake that MANY make is that they focus on the parts of the Bible than are MISINTERPRETED to suit their own prejudices.

    the person who introduced Christianity to me, about 15 years ago, was a young man named Alan. i was in ireland at the time, and Alan was a born and raised irish catholic, and carried all the guilt about his own homosexuality that comes with that. he was, just like the author of this thread, one who chose to suppress his homosexuality, and he actually believed that through prayer and faith, he could be converted.

    aside from all of that, the thing that Alan said to me that really stood out, was that Christianity wasn’t all about the rules and regulations that so many religions try to preach. we don’t have to dress a certain way, or pray in a specific way. there are no rituals that will guarantee our salvation. all we have to do is accept Jesus as our Lord and savior. all we need is personal relationship with God, and the rest will follow.

    i’ve since lost contact with my dear friend, Alan, but i hope and pray that he has come to terms with his sexuality, that he he has learned to accept himself as the beautiful creature that God made, and that he is loved just the way he is.

    its upsetting to see so much fighting over a faith thats essence is about love and peace. i honestly don’t believe that God cares if you are straight or gay or bisexual. God wants us to love one another, to not judge, to be charitable to one another, to help those in need, to be kind, and to lead productive, moral lives. and two men, or two women in committed relationships are fine examples of that.

    (the more i type, the less guilty i feel about skipping church this morning, by the way…)

  • chantal stone

    my belief is that the old testament is fill with wonderful stories that can often be used to illustrate a point that can be applied to today’s living. but it bothers me when someone puts so much emphasis on what is written in the OT but claims to be Christian.

    Christ came to fulfill the prophesy of the OT, and by doing so, and by dying for all of our sins, He fulfilled the Law of the OT, that no man before was able to do. and in doing that, he made that old law obsolete. as Christians, we no longer are bound by the strict tenants of the old law. Christ has set us free. so we no longer have to stone non-virgin brides and adulterers. we can feel free to wear a garment made of more than one fabric. and we can eat shrimp and lobster with no worries.

    Jesus said for us to “love one another”. (am i preaching too much? i apologize, but this is such a heavy burden on my heart) who cares if a man loves a man or a woman loves a woman? there’s nothing sinful about LOVE…..in fact, its part of God’s commandment.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    John, do two wrongs make a right? You wrote: “If Jesus…didn’t waste his time condemning homsexuality, why should we place all this emphasis on this one particularly bloody and judgmental line in Leviticus, while ignoring so much else?”

    First it wasn’t an issue in Jesus’ day, nor was reminding folks they shouldn’t eat certain foods, because they all knew and agreed with the Torah (Law). Jesus did uphold Leviticus but tempered judgment with mercy, depending on the attitude of the person involved, such as the adulterous woman who He commanded to go and sin no more (not some more). He pardoned and empowered her, expecting her to “repress” adulterous thoughts and actions or condemn herself. He didn’t justify her sins or pretend they weren’t sins.

    Jesus did speak against practicing homosexuality when He said He did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets. He upheld the Law. Do you still respect Him? Can you honestly call Him “Lord?” (1 John 2:4).

    The Law and the Prophets also set the standard, the ideal for which we should strive. If we discipline ourselves, we don’t need to worry about suffering the consequences for disobedience.

    The prophecies clearly reveal Jesus will teach Torah when He reigns as King in Jerusalem, and all mankind will have to learn to think like God (Isa. 55:7-9), and repent of idolatrous thoughts that would contradict His Word and Will. It’s all part of the conversion process from human to divine.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve: Sodom and Gomorrha were destroyed, in part, for homosexuality. But as noted in God and the Gays, it wasn’t only for homosexuality. The depraved men, blinded and yet still filled with lust and violence, banging at Lot’s door, proved how degenerate tolerant Sodom and Gomorrha had become, which is why our great Creator God refused to further tolerate the reprobate cities.

    Jude 1:7
    7In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

    “Leviticus was a command to Jews. I am not a Jew. That command is as valuable as the one to not eat anything with a split hoof, if you are a Jew and God is raising you into a holy nation. Both episodes have passed.”

    Leviticus was a light, a command, for Jews and Israelites to share with all the world, restoring this truth that had been on Earth since Noah, which is why the Noahide laws include dietary restrictions and sexual codes for all mankind, as the Jerusalem Council decreed in Acts 15:29.

    You must not be aware that the dietary laws have been in effect since Creation, and you must have failed to notice that the Gentile Noah brought two of every unclean critter into the Ark and SEVEN of every clean animal into the Ark before the Flood (Gen. 7:2).

    “Christ fulfills the law for us.”

    Then why did He command the woman to go and sin no more? Why did He foretell such a heresy, a license to sin that He never issued, when He said many would call Him “Lord” and He would reject them, knowing they’re living in sin and in denial and are nothing but liars, according to John 2:4?

    If Christ lives in you, then He’ll love and respect the Law and the Prophets He inspired and upheld and taught – not rebel against them.

    “If we have to hold to the Leviticus example you give, then James says we have to keep the entire law or we have broken it all.”

    James was making the point that we’re imperfect and must trust in the grace of God, that the blood of the Passover Lamb (not Easter bunny) covers us, if and when we truly submit to Jesus as Lord and Saviour, one who saves us from the death penalty of sin, and who can daily help us be saved from sinning to the degree we yield to Him and approach the Throne of Grace for help in time of need; receiving not just the pardon, but the POWER. That’s why James said faith without works is dead. And Titus 1:16 speaks of those who take Jesus’ name in vain, professing Him with their mouths and denying Him by their sinful lives, their unrepentant lives, living the lie that we’ve got a get out of jail free card and don’t need to go through the conversion process, overcoming, growing, until the finishing tough of perfection is given at the Resurrection.

    “And that kingdom is among us and within us if we believe. ”

    Belief must be based upon a foundation, and such a false belief is based upon the misunderstanding of Jesus’ words to those who hated Him, when He told them the Kingdom of God was in their midst, not in them, but in Him as its representative. Go back and look in the margin that explains this and you’ll see that it’s true. We still pray “Thy Kingdom Come” because it hasn’t arrived yet, Christ doesn’t yet rule in Jerusalem and teach Torah like He shall, and the world isn’t at peace, but it will be.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Some, imagining themselves enlightened, descend further into the depths of deception, having blindly followed the Dark One (who disguises himself as an angel of light), while thinking they’re only following their own way. Such misguided souls steal the divine prerogative of determing what is good and what is evil, setting up their own idolatrous thoughts and standards (forbidden fruit) over the Word of God (revelation/Tree of Life/Bible) and will also find themselves outside of the Garden and wandering in their spiritual bewilderment.

  • gonzo marx

    some think that the very Scripture you are Quoting…compiled by Iraneus, the bishop of Lyon around 180 AD..ratified by Constantine at Nicea..

    could very well be the Work of a demi-Urge who seeks to distract and distort the Teachings…thus driving Man into chaos and strife…setting them up against each other following the False…

    much of what many speak of is from St Paul (Saul of Tarsus) who had his “moment” on the road to Damascus…strange how both he and Constantine both experienced their “enlightenment” and then used such as a club to beat down the “heretics” and unify the Church into a political instrument of Power…

    but i digress…

    my Question concerning the lack of Outrage at the death of a Man at the hands of a bigot remains unaddressed…

    curious that

    is murder less a “Sin” that should be denounced that the breaking of a Vow, which seems to be an Obsession for some…

    side Note: chantal…thank you for Posting, a needed breath of Air in the Judgemental darkness…

    “those who have two good ears better listen”

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    That’s ok Chantal, Jesus kept the Sabbath, setting us an example to follow, but NEVER ON A SUNDAY. :-)

    Which Day is the Christian Sabbath?

    Is Chantal French?

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve, you keep forgetting about the two wives that were CHEATED ON by men who supposedly loved them enough to marry them and take a VOW to love them and be faithful to them until death did them part. ..not until an old flame showed up and scrap the vows and the love that supposedly was and forget the children too. How selfish! Why neglect the wives in your posts? As I originally posted, regardless of whether they’re gay or straight, the story is about an ADULTEROUS AFFAIR, two cheatin’ men. It just ain’t right.

  • chantal stone

    chantal is french, but i am not….

    gonzo…you’re welcome, and thank YOU!

  • gonzo marx

    which day?..the day decreed by Constantine..check your History

    since christianity was to replace the very popular Roman Sun God religion, the new Church commandeered many things, form making the “sun” day the sabbath…to the allegorical use of a “halo”

    still…i Ask..

    what about the Murder?

    Excelsior!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    The SUNday pawned off on the world by that pagan Constantine, who thought to change the times and the seaons, is null and void to Bible-believers who follow Jesus’ example, keeping the fourth commandment in loving obedience to God.

    Gonzo M, why do you ignore the breaking of the seventh commandment – against ADULTERY (and all immorality by extension and principle as magnified/fulfilled elsewhere) – to speak out against an alleged breaking of the commandment against murder?

    To be technical, we are left wondering if Jack was murdered (I believe he was), and we are left assuming if he was murdered it was connected to his homosexuality. Since the movie doesn’t tell us, it could be safe to say he was murdered for cheating with the lover of some gay man!

  • chantal stone

    adultery IS selfish. but the point is that if these two men didn’t have to hide their homosexuality, perhaps they wouldn’t have married women in the first place, thus leading to their adulterous affair.

    i don’t think anyone here is condoning adultery, but many can relate and/or understand the circumstances that led these two men to the act.

    the lesson is that if TOLERANCE was the norm, then so many lives would not have to be destroyed.

  • gonzo marx

    David..if you scroll up and actually read what i typed, you will see i easily acknowledged the Ethical violation of their Vows

    my concern is the MUCH larger greivance of the murder…and why none seem to be speaking about THAT

    read the short story

    as for theological discussions…i find it quite difficult to take some folks too seriously

    good luck with the sales of your book

    Excelsior!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Those women who were cheated on, whose marriages were destroyed, whose love was lost, hearts broken and dreams smashed, all due to the ADULTEROUS AFFAIR of their lying men, would undoubtedly feel they died in many ways only someone in their situation could understand.

    As for the sales of my book, it’s priceless at Beyond Babylon: Europe’s Rise and Fall, where it can be downloaded for free, and it’s also graciously available to read online. That’s because I’m more interested in getting my message out rather than getting paid for my labor of love, although I’m definitely entitled to it, as is every author.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Are you justifying their ADULTEROUS AFFAIR by blaming it on society? Is it no longer “the devil made me do it” but now “society forced me to do it?” Do marriage vows taken before both God and man mean nothing?

    Chantal, don’t you think America the Beautiful is big and wide enough for “Jack and Ennis” to have their tryst or keep their relationship going before they got married? After all, one stayed in Wyoming and the other moved to Texas. I’m sure they could have found some part of these big United States that would have been more “tolerant” of their sins than other places. There have always been havens for sin, whether hetero or homo, but then they couldn’t play victims or have a movie – at least not the same kind to abuse your emotions, as is a clever tactic brought out and exposed in The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party (that I’ve read twice and heard the author lecture on in Jerusalem). There’s another book called “The Marketing of Evil,” but I don’t remember that author’s name. They offer some interesting insight worth pondering, at least for those with open minds willing to think outside the box (office).

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    I disagree with the idea that the author isn’t judging practicing gays – his use of quotation marks around words such as gay and lover indicate otherwise, as does the self-loathing that pervades nearly every sentence of this article. This brought tears to my eyes; I have this urge to give the author a big, comforting hug and remind him that he is as the Creator made him and that the Creator loves him unconditionally. That said, I must give him credit for living up to his principles.

    I absolutely understand his point about honoring promises made. I remain in an unhappy, celibate marriage only because of vows taken long ago and because of “the kids.” But I refuse to judge those who – in the interest of survival and sanity (’cause Lord knows this sort of life is neither survivable nor sane) – find they must renege on their promises and I understand all too well how difficult it is to ignore real love when it appears. Yes, I have been successful in walking away from it before vows are broken (the only sins I see in the film are adultery and lying), but it doesn’t make me a happier human. Yeah, I am true to my word, but it creates only misery, for me and my suffering spouse. If that’s what God wants for us, we have good reason to wonder about God.

    So far, I have not been able to see Brokeback Mountain, though I did read and love Annie Proulx’s story. Can’t wait to view the film — because whatever some believe and despite all the late-night show jokes and controversies generated by bigots and ignorant people, it’s a story of star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet, and I’m a sucker for a sad love story. The main important difference? Adultery. And only one member of the star-crossed pair dies. (The previous sentence contains a spoiler. Highlight it with your cursor if you are interested in reading the words.)

    One more note: Bisexuals *enjoy* sex with members of either gender. It is absolutely possible for gays to have sex with heterosexuals – it does not follow necessarily that enjoyment or arousal or anything positive or healthy is involved. Merely *having* sex doesn’t make a person anything other than sexually active – the defining comes from what arouses a person, from their basic orientation. Trust me on that one; I have two kids, and while I love and cherish them endlessly and am fortunate to have them, I did not enjoy what I had to endure to make them.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Ooh, and check out his #73: Yes, he is indeed judgmental. Which is his right.

    Chantal Stone wrote, “…if TOLERANCE was the norm, then so many lives would not have to be destroyed.”

    Speaking as one of the destroyed, a-a-a-men. Thanks, Ms. Stone, for your humanity and compassion.

  • Anthony Grande

    David, you are not gay. It is all in your head. You do not have to be gay if you don’t want to.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    But you must be het, whether or not you want to be, if you want to be seen as good, virtuous, worthy of legal equality, etc.

    Bleh.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Are you justifying their ADULTEROUS AFFAIR by blaming it on society? Is it no longer “the devil made me do it” but now “society forced me to do it?” Do marriage vows taken before both God and man mean nothing?

    I think you are grasping at anything you can find, in order to condemn someone from your mantle of superiority. What they did was wrong, however they did succumb to outside pressure. You can point your holy finger and pass judgement on them for being weak all you want. Heaven forbid you should find compassion for the weak. It was a hostile environment/society that they were in. Too bad everybody can’t handle that with indignant righteousness like you.

    People, straight and gay, get ‘married’ for all types of reasons, from financial security, to the fact that a woman might find she’s pregnant and the man and the woman feels obligated to marry for the kids, and also the fact that many people think they are in love, make commitments and find out later it was more along the lines of lust.

    I’m not rationalizing adultery. In an ideal situation, the adulterer would get out of the marriage first, before moving on, but it’s not an ideal world, something that those who would pass judgement on others from their holy throne might not be able to see.

  • Steve

    I’ve read your responses and need to pull out of this because endless arguing is not my thing. I put forth my case and leave it at that.

    Regarding the adultery in the movie you want to concentrate on, you are missing the point again. The movie does not downplay the damage to family as a result of the mens’ struggle.

    I have spoken repeatedly on Brokeback Mountain in other threads about their adultery, which if it were in another movie you would simply accept as the token sex scene, and you do accept it or you don’t watch movies today. And you wouldn’t be protesting about it because you don’t. Your problem is same sex love and your strange belief that it cannot happen and that is if does God cannot bless it. But God is not in your little box.

    Brokeback Mountain is a tragic story of human love that cannot be, something every gay person has experienced at some time in life, as well as straight people. Their genders don’t matter.

    David, you sound like you are in a religious system which requires the law be kept. Paul in Galatians said the people who add the law to salvation are under a curse. The law is there for instruction in righteousness, but christ kept it, we can’t and the most we can do is recognize that God sent us a Savior because we can’t keep the law. He saves us from sin, yes, and thereby saved us from the law.

    You conclude that others who don’t see things like you are ‘tricked unbelievers.’ Yet you are a very narrow, bigoted, force of a modern day pharisee. You look alright on the outside, but on the inside you are full of legalism and distortion, twisting the scriptures to justify your own ‘personal enlightenment.’

    I’ve been a Christian for 24 years, pulled from the gutter of life into the arms of a loving God when I had no hope. Pulled from a self-destructive life that could not hold up its own righteousness in any given circumstance, ever.

    And as soon as I came into the family of God I was resented by many of the churchgoers, the religious ones who had been doing ‘everything right.’ But God wasn’t blessing them like he was me. He was building me new from the ground up, they didn’t have the power of that type of conversion. They didn’t have the power to see their sin. Oh, they saw the bad things they did. They didn’t always see their wicked hearts. I knew mine inside out. And it was easy to spot the phonies.

    I was the prodigal son in Luke 15. You come off as the older brother in Luke 16. I was a Christian broadcaster in a major metropolitan area for nearly a decade. And you are going to throw scriptures back at me as if I deliberately misinterpret? Please. I have had one of the strongest conversions and upbringings around, born again on fundamental theology such as J. Vernon Magee, Chuck Swindoll, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Stanley, Watchman Nee, Billy Graham, John Darby, and even the likes of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland and James Dobson, the latter from which I have removed myself because of his lack of Christian compassion and understanding, kKnd of like our ‘born again’ President. Rich, powerful and clueless. But the first shall be last.

    But I also know the works of Corrie Ten Boom, Rebecca Pippert, Carol Balizet, Jo Berry and others whose knowledge of the love of God is what they seek to know. He who still fears is not perfected in love. Your rants are loaded to the gills with fear.

    I leave this endless debate, because the scriptures tell me to do so.

    You are scary. I thought like you once. Thank God I was set free from that rigidity that causes one to see little as it really is, but everything as s/he wants it to be. You skirt the real issues for which you have no answer, and are quick to provide response to those for which you believe you do. You mix real substance in with jello, almost like a cult, where they hide the lie between two truths. That is what I get from your posts.

    Sexual immorality and perversions you note in Jude are also committed by heterosexuals. And the men in BBM were two heterosexual men who, despite the horror of everything they could want or imagine, found themselves in love and their souls knit together for life. As a result, their lives are destroyed and so are the lives around them. That is the beauty and passion of this story. No ‘gay cowboys.’ And the film had very limited activity in it. I find it so odd when people take issue with that. What planet are they on?

    And we don’t pray, “Thy kingdom come.” Perhaps you do, but I’m not religious and vain repetitions are to be put away. Religious people pray what the call the Lord’s Prayer, or Apostle’s Prayer, but Christ would be horified at the position that prayer has been given in Christiandom, except for the fact that he knew it would happen. We are Kingdom people, and the Spirit of God within us confirms that the good thing He has begun within us will continue until the day of Jesus Christ. That’s kingdom living here and now, not Beatitudes for the coming reign.

    May you someday see things in life for what they truly are instead of what you are told they are by others or by your determined self that has been heard in the past and apparently adored for its messages, and now can’t let go of that raised stature.

    And Jesus didn’t tell Mary Magdalene to go and sin no more because she needed to keep the law. He knew that if she did what she had done again, He wouldn’t be there to protect her the next time. But He also knew that she was converting to him, and thereby assured her of her newfound state of life, to walk in it, enjoy the results of repentance.

    Chantal and Steve S, I appreciated your posts.

    But I’m outta here.

  • http://desicritics.org Aaman

    Steve, that should be a post in itself, and we’d be glad to have it on DC/BC

  • Steve

    But I do leave with levity.

    The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision. – Lynn Lavner

  • Steve

    And thank you, Aaman. I’ll check it out.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Thank you Natalie Davis for recognizing I strive to live by my honest principles, and for agreeing that promises made should be promises kept.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve, you can struggle to rationalize away the sins of adultery and homosexuality all you please, but the Word of God remains true.

    Your convenient brand of “Christianity” (apparently reflective of an “itching ears” denomination) that condemns one who reads and believes the Bible as, in your words, “a very narrow, bigoted, force of a modern day pharisee,” could only be thrown up by those who remain in rebellion against God and has yet to learn what it means to surrender and honestly call Jesus “Lord” (1 John 2:4).

    In time, all will cease and desist from putting their idolatrous thoughts above God’s clear commandments, and learn to think like God (Isa. 55:7-9) and submit Father knows best, and have the law written upon the tablets of our hearts and minds, in attitude and in action, so help us God.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Steve, you can struggle to rationalize away the sins of adultery and homosexuality all you please, but the Word of God remains true.

    Or he could just laugh off the archaic notion of ‘sin’ and the fantasy that is the ‘word of god’ and live by an internal moral code like a rational human being.

    Dave

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    A truly rational human being would recognize there must be a standard that determines what is right and what is wrong, an absolute, otherwise there would be spiritual anarchy. That’s why the wise recognize that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, the Tree of Life, a gracious God-given Instruction Manual for mankind to save themselves from unnecessary sin, suffering, misery and death.

  • KYS

    Hate to tell ya, but here in the good old US of A there IS spiritual anarchy. That’s because the government doesn’t regulate our spiritual lives and we are all free to believe what we want.

    As it should be, and has been for quite a while.

    Spiritual freedom is not the enemy. Intolerance is.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    The United States does have its share of spiritual anarchy, although this country was founded upon biblical ideals whether or not fascist liberals want to acknowledge this plain truth. The enemy of intolerance against conservatives cloaks itself in a self-righteousness that rivals any traditional religionist.

  • KYS

    There are regulars on this site who are MUCH more schooled in American history, but I would venture to guess that this country was founded by individuals with a strong sense of historically popular beliefs of the time, yet they crafted a constitution allowing room for other beliefs. This includes a legal system that permits the practice of any peaceful belief system. These beliefs may or may not include the bible. You’re free to judge, but not on a social or political level.

  • KYS

    Upon re-read I could have worded that better, but y’all know what I’m tryin to say!

    ;)

  • Steve

    I’ve been sober and celibate for 24 years, and only through the power of Jesus Christ my Lord as evidenced in the Word of God, which I studied faithfully for 12 years.

    You remain confused, and God is not the author of confusion. Look at your opening sentence, you want to see the movie, you don’t want to see the movie. Nuff said. And you lack compassion and understanding as evidenced in your writings, which are laden with fear and judgement.

    I’ve posted these last comments for the rest of the readers who already can tell where my brand of Christianity comes from and where yours stands.

    It is starting to get to the point where people like you make me ashamed to call myself a Christian, not the cross of Christ which is where the offense should be.

    You need to leave the power of conviction to the Holy Spirit who is here for that purpose, and yield to him so that he can fill you with love and compassion for a lost and dying world.

    He isn’t condemning the world as you are, He is rescuing it.

    Get on the bandwagon against divorce, which God says He hates, rampant pride within the church, which God says He hates, and a lying tongue, as you have readily evidenced here, which God says he hates.

    The only thing you appear to know about Christ as Lord is the saying. If Jesus were like you, all men would flee.

  • gonzo marx

    David sez…
    *The United States does have its share of spiritual anarchy, although this country was founded upon biblical ideals whether or not fascist liberals want to acknowledge this plain truth.*

    you just lost me here…and revealed that all that Mr Nalle postulated about the organization you belong to is at the very least, close to accurate

    the Nation was founded on the Rule of Law, and ethical set of standard by Men who reasoned and rationally deliberated that “morals” could NEVER be legislated, and that NO such thing as a claimed “divine right” was possible

    check the back of your dollar bill…

    novo ordus seclorum

    and the Great Seal…a Masonic emblem, NOT any kind of “christian” one

    now, you are correct ni stating that MANY of the Founders were indeed Christians…but MANY of the framers were indeed Deists, NOT theists in their spiritual outlook…

    and we thank whatever we hold IMportant for such happenstance…

    it has kept us a secular Nation where ANY kind of “religion” can be observed (as long as it harms no others)…while raising NONE of these mythologies above another

    as for the “liberal fascist” oxy-moron…that bit of prose has secured your writings into the intellectually destitute propagandist dustbin with all the other False Profits

    “know your enemy”

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • Steve

    Interesting.

    I visited your website and see that one of your favorite books was written by cult leader Herbert W. Armstrong, of the Plain Truth and the Worldwide Church of God.

    No wonder you struggle with biblical grace and truth and put yourself under the law. And don’t think I am not familiar with Armstrongism, my mother was in it for several decades before Christ set her free. Her dream while I was growing up was to see me go to their college in Pasadena. I used to drive her for over an hour to get to one of his churches.

    Fortunately, God has caused a split in that cult whereby true believers are coming out of it as evidenced in a great report in Christianity Today a while back, one of the largest such spiritual awakenings in modern history, which happened way too late for Herbert W., whose take on the twelve tribes being Great Britain and the United States, as well as several other heretical stands kept him from being a credible spokesman for God’s truth and Christianity. He led millions astray, putting them under the laws of Israel for tithing 10% to his congregation or else they were excommunicated, and a bunch of other bizarre, legalistic crap that helped make him rich and famous.

    The article is here:

    Regardless, I watched my mother struggle for a long time trying to separate truth from error after coming out of that cult. Poison just doesn’t wash out of our spirits very easily.

    But that explains everything. Now I understand your stand on Christ, who, by the way is God in the flesh. And I wouldn’t be interested in spiritual food from any of the splinter groups coming out of Armstrongism at this time. It’s very likely to be tainted.

    So, one of your favorite books was written by a heretic. And you are the spokesman here for biblical truth. Yeah, right.

    And now I am really gone.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Who’s confused Steve? How many times have you said you were gone? Regardless, your condemnation of honesty in expressing my conflicts of interest about seeing the movie prove you would probably accuse the Apostle Paul of being “confused” too when he called himself a wretched man and confessed how he struggled with his human nature. Such confessions aren’t to be condemned but commended, since that’s what the true conversion process if all about – wrestling and overcoming, become more like God and Christ.

    You can falsely accuse the Sabbath-keeping Church of God as a cult, but it won’t change the plain truth that we follow the real Jesus and keep the same days and ways and beliefs He did and taught – unlike traditional Churchianity.

    If you read and submitted to the Word of God instead of idolatrous traditions of men, “ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth,” and accepted Jesus as Lord over all of your life, then you would confess and forsake pagan holidays and other unclean practices (spiritual Babylon), and gladly anticipate the return and reign of Christ when He will teach Torah, not tinsel traditions, when He will teach (just like the Sabbath-keeping Church of God does today) that all nations are to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (it doesn’t say Xmas or Ishtar). But some will consider the King of the Jews, the King of Israel a “cult” leader and foolishly oppose Him…until their opposition literally melts away (Zechariah 14).

    Thankfully, the Lord is most merciful and warns all to forsake Babylon or suffer the consequences. Those who truly are His People hear and heed and come out of that false religious system with all its traditional trappings.

    May you read the Bible and believe and understand that when Jesus, the prophets and apostles condemn practices, like I do, it is TOUGH LOVE and meant to save people. But folks can’t repent unless they know what sin constitutes (1 John 3:4, 2:4), that’s why God has some “cry aloud and spare not” (Isaiah 58:1), even if others misunderstand or disapprove. Our nations will be left without excuse before they fall: believe it or not.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    ewwwwww.

    Okay, you’re certainly entitled to hate the movie, of course, I no longer have any interest in any debate. I’m sure you don’t want debate anyway, just to advocate your point of view, (and your book).

    As a separate topic, one thing that always gets to me, is that in all the discussions where religious people debate things, whether it is economics, the cinema (like this), foreign policy, marriage issues (divorce, adultery, same-sex, etc.) each and every single time, the discussion degenerates into theological interpretation and the spouting of biblical verses.

    What you don’t get is that when someone doesn’t follow your faith, that carries as much ‘weight’ in the debate as spouting famous cinematic one-liners at them. Who cares what Romans 1 is, who cares what John and Paul did, who cares about some Tree of Life or whatever.

    If we were to debate the death penalty and I started spouting out quotes from The Color Purple, would I win you over? Hmmm……..

  • gonzo marx

    David, i find it fascinating that you keep insisting on following yeshua’s tenets, but the VAST majority of the scripture you quote is Pauline at best

    each and every time, rather than quoting the Teacher…you cite examples written by Men who merely claim thay were “inspired”

    a case in point…previously you have mentioned Noahide Law, and pointed out the dictum that such applies to all non-jews

    now, within the Noahide Laws resides a strict injunction AGAINST incest…

    so, if you can, answer me this…

    since you are taking the allegory of Noah as Literal Truth, and since the Story states that NOah, his wife, their sons and their wives were the ONLY humans on that ark…and thus all humans are descended form them…

    hwo do you reconcile such with the undeniable Fact that after ONE generation , there would have to be siblings and cousins fucking and having children

    which is, by definition, incest

    just curious

    Excelsior1

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve what are you doing but advocating your point of view? What other position would you advocate? I gladly agree to disagree about the movie that I thought was great DRAMA, but I see all the conflicts of interest and have expressed them.

    What book are you referring to that you allege I’m “advocating?” The free “God and the Gays”? or Beyond Babylon that’s also available for free (unlike too many authors provide). I feel no shame. LOL

    “Spouting” of biblical verses? I thought you said you were a Christian? “Iron sharpens iron.” That is, if you’re iron and noble like the Bereans who checked out the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true (and it was).

    As for the Color Purple, I loved it!

  • gonzo marx

    but again…the Points i raise are ignored, interesting indeed

    David continuously points out the adultery, yet neglects the murder

    and then avoids any issue with the texts he holds as literal “truth”

    a fascinating set of tactics, but you do realize you do no good for your “cause” by adhereing to what appears to be hypocritical standards?

    not that i expect any answers, but i do think the Questions need to be raised

    Excelsior!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Hmm, I’m not sure how I can rephrase it to how I mean it. Let me try this again.

    I am advocating my point of view on the movie, you are advocating what you believe is God’s point of view on the movie, ergo, it seems to me that it is impossible to debate with you as you would see it as trying to debate the Word of God. I don’t know if that makes sense, or if I can word it differently. What I mean is, it seems like you don’t want to debate a movie, you want to advocate your beliefs as is evidenced by the constant spewage of biblical rhetoric.

    Okay, your books are free, I withdraw that comment, I made an assumption that I shouldn’t have.

    As for my beliefs, I was baptized, I usually point that out in debates with religious people, it seems to make a difference but I’m not sure why. I am currently agnostic. I don’t know or care to debate Scripture, I don’t believe it is necessary, I believe God (if he/she/it exists) is in the heart and is Love and not a set of rules from thousands of years ago.

    Having said that, I think any debate of this movie, what little debate there was, is done, and the rest is just spouting biblical interpretation and I have no interest in that.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    This conversation has become downright terrifying.

    Re: Armstrongians… They scare the heaven right out of me. I’ve read a lot of HWA’s stuff for opposition-research purposes. Chilling. If the alleged heaven is reserved for them, I don’t want to go there. If Jesus supports what HWA taught – or what Mr. Ben-Ariel is preaching – he isn’t my savior.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    The Noahide Laws are recognized by the United States Congress.

    Regarding your question about Noah’s descendants, the best reply I could find in principle (just happened to read this the other day, actually) comes from “Answers from Genesis,” a former publication of the (former) Worldwide Church of God (when it was God’s Church). I’ll type it here for you, as a labor of love:

    * “Can you tell me where Cain got his wife?”

    The answer becomes obvious when one considers the time factor of Genesis 4. Time obviously had elapsed since Adam’s and Eve’s creation. Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel were not the only human beings on the earth when Cain killed Abel. By this time other children had been born to Adam and Eve. Genesis 5:4-5: “And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were 800 years; and he begat sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were 930 years: and he died.”

    Notice that Adam begat daughters. It is quite obvious that Cain married one of his sisters – Adam’s daughter. There simply weren’t any unrelated females for him to marry. Adam was the first man (1 Cor. 15:45), and Eve was the mother of all humans with the exception of Adam (gen. 3:20).

    Perhaps because of modern laws concerning marriage to those near of kin, many have not see this obvious solution. But it was not wrong for brothers and sisters to marry at that early time in human history. Abraham married his half sister Sarah (Gen. 20:12). His brother Nahor married his brother Haran’s daughter (Gen. 11:29). There was no genetic harm to the children. However, by the time of Moses, marriage between close relatives was prohibited (Lev. 18). Such marriages should not take place today.

    ******************

    Hope this helps!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    you have no interest in condeming the Color Purple because the men raped and abused the women? Okay. Enough said.

  • gonzo marx

    Ms Davis…no worries

    any simple study will show that what is being Advocated has preciousl little to do with the Teachings themselves, but is instead a pot pourri of Pauline doctrines and some other fun stuff tossed in by the founders of this sect

    when outrage over adultery is greater than outrage over murder…

    well, by the fruit of their tree shall they be known, eh?

    Excelsior!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    seems to me the sins there are a little worse than adultery, if we were to put them on a scale.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    eh, gonzo, I went full circle with my Color Purple analogy to your adultery/murder scenario without even realizing it. I should have just deferred it to you, you’re several steps ahead of me!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    “Okay, your books are free, I withdraw that comment, I made an assumption that I shouldn’t have.”

    Thanks Steve, I appreciate that. Thanks also for the clarification that you’re an agnostic, not a Christian, which explains why the Scriptures don’t necessarily hold weight for you.

    Have a good night and week.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    If you read “a lot of HWA’s stuff” you should know we believe Jesus: “the meek shall inherit the earth.” You must have read right over that plain truth.

    “If Jesus supports what HWA taught – or what Mr. Ben-Ariel is preaching – he isn’t my savior.”

    At least you’re honest.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Those interested in the plain truth about what Herbert Armstrong taught are encouraged to see and read and come to their own prayerful conclusions:

    Mystery of the Ages.

  • http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2001/113/54.0.html Steve

    Armstrongism is an extremely dangerous cult. Like Jehovah’s Witnesses, like Joseph Smith and Mormonism, and not unlike Jim Jones. Those on the inside blindly do what they are told.

    Its belief structures are ‘man-made’ and as Natalie said, terrifying. I personally watched someone I was raised by get caught up in it, someone I deeply loved who spent years trying to climb out from under their false teachings.

    They look good. They put their lie in between two truths, so it is nearly impossible to recognize, and apart from help from the living God in discerning the spirits, it is virtually impossible to escape their teachings and community.

    The writer of this blog is obviously a recruit to this insidious, soul-snatching perversion of biblical truth. Using the blog and Internet to pull in the curious, just as the witness or mormon would come to your door, leaving you ‘something to read.’

    For those who check it out, be aware you were warned. You just received an invitation from the netherland to join one of its dead member clubs. It will sound believable.

    Once inside you will spend a lifetime trying to fix your soul and spirit, and quite possibly an eternity.

    There is no salvation in this world apart from Jesus Christ as Savior, God in the flesh who dwelt among us and died for the wrongs that we do to each other and Him. That is the simplicity of Christianity and that is good news. Believing it saves our souls. We don’t need anything from the likes of Herbert Armstrong for any reason except to learn from as as example of gross error in egotism.

    There is no structure or system anyone can follow to heaven. Paul says in Galations those people who keep the law to attain heaven are under a curse.

    This blog had little to do with the great movie, Brokeback Mountain, and I left a dozen times but am glad I stayed. If one person heeds the call to avoid Armstrongism, it would have been worth it, whether they believe right now in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord or not.

    BBM was a tool to reel us in. We were all taken by the glittering lure. But some of us have bitten this bait before and found the experience for what it truly is.

    Death.

    Avoid it like the plague. If you are curious yet have any sensibilities, learn from those of us who have been poisoned but rescued. And may you also find eternal Truth as a result of those sensibilities.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Talk about DRAMA QUEEN!

    Steve, you’re unfit to judge what constitutes Christianity since you’re a professed agnostic and clearly reject the Scriptures by much of what you’ve spewed.

    As I’ve encouraged, those who are interested in what HWA taught and whether or not it is biblical (since others have brought him up and I’ve naturally responded), should read and decide for themselves. How logical.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Yes, Steve, with your vitriol against Herbert Armstrong and the Sabbath-keeping Church of God, you really are gone. May the good Lord bring you around, in His good time, just like the prodigal son (the “Lost Ten Tribes”). That way we can all be born again into the Kingdom-Family of God and be one big HAPPY Family!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Back on track:
    Of course two men can fall in love, or a married man and woman can fall in love with someone other than their spouse, but you’re not supposed to set yourself up for a fall, you’re not supposed to let yourself flirt with forbidden love, you’re supposed to control the thoughts rather than let them control you (Genesis 4:7).

  • http://www.fotolog.com/butki13 Scott Butki

    If you want to see something amusing,check this out:

    Brokeback to the Future:

  • Steve

    As might be expected, you are confusing your Steves. I am not SteveS. Just Steve.

    For him to be an agnostic and post #91 among others with my nick would not make sense. I was born again and live by the Scriptures.

    Somehow we both appeared on the blog at the same time, but I don’t know him.

    DRAMA QUEEN – LOL

    Armstrongism brought misery, sorrow, confusion and pain to our household. And it took us up to a deathbed to finally remedy. Call that drama if you will. I know Pandora’s box when I see it.

  • chantal stone

    Steve and SteveS are two different people. SteveS is the agnostic. both are brilliant.

  • chantal stone

    ahh Steve, you beat me to it!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    So the two Steves are not one? I do declare!

    As for the allegation that “Armstrongism” (so ironic since the Church of God belongs to God and we never called ourselves after any man, unlike Lutherans and others) brought woe and sorrow to your household, that’s not the fault of the Church of God or Herbert Armstrong who always said to believe your Bible and follow Christ. There are individuals in every organization who idolize their leader, but I wouldn’t throw the bathwater out with the baby.

    I certainly didn’t idolize HWA, but I truly respect him for bringing many Scriptures to my attention that I would have read right over otherwise, like “the meek shall inherit the Earth,” and the New Jerusalem will come down from Heaven, out of Heaven, TO EARTH. But I strongly disagreed with him (so much for the wide brush of the cult slander) on war and military service and voting and the dates for Passover and Pentecost.
    ********

    The first I heard about Brokeback Mountain was a parody on Mad TV (I think) and when some friends brought up the movie I had to ask them about it, if it was a real movie.

  • http://StevenJohnThompson.com Steve

    Ahh, Chantal, thank you for the compliment!

    I beat you to it because I’m wound real tight tonight! LOL – I need to take a walk or get some air. I greatly enjoyed your posts as well, and, while I was headed for church tonight as you were today, I decided this was going to be church for me and stayed here instead.

    Crazy. I’m going for some air.

    For Steve S, you asked for a URL way back. There ye be. I enjoyed your site and will return.

  • chantal stone

    Steve, i just took a quick look at your site and your photographs are amazing. i, too, am a photographer, although digitally impaired. i don’t have anything online to share, but hopefully, with a little help from a friend, i will very soon.

    great stuff, as brilliant as your words.

    for me, discussing faith and scripture is always enlightening. and i’m always very curious to hear what people of differing faiths have to say.
    i must admit though, that this discussion is tiring because David seems to be repeating himself over and over again, and as gonzo pointed out (a couple of times) certain topics are never even addressed.

    David….this has been and, i’m sure, will continue to be a lively discussion. however after doing a bit of my own research on your church of God, i have to agree with what Steve and Dave Nalle have said…it does appear to be very “cultish”. and your spewing off the same rhetoric on this and other posts only makes you sound like your quoting some sort of cult-tract.

    i’m sorry if this offends you (although i doubt it does), but i can almost predict the scripture you will use in your own defense to what i’ve said.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I suspected that there might be confusion about our names, but thought that perhaps the S on mine, and the fact that mine was always listed with a URL might make things clear. I should have pointed it out too, back when I suspected it.

    Steve, ironically I have an associate’s degree in multimedia communications and presentations. I’m not a teacher though, but our careers are very parallel.

    Sorry, that was off topic.
    Everybody is welcome to my site, it is about family, love, being gay, good cooking and my fears about where this country is headed with irrational people at the helm. It’s just an online diary.

    David, sorry for the hijacking of the thread here. Back to the topic. Can you please explain why the adultery is the bigger crime in your eyes and not the murder? At least why it’s the one you focus on.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Chantal, who hasn’t repeated themselves here, including you?

    SteveS – Aren’t you assuming a murder took place? Don’t we all? And, permit me to repeat myself (grant a royal pardon if you please), since you must not have seen what I wrote earlier about this assumption of murder, isn’t it another assumption that it was related to homosexuality (not that you have said that)? It could have been a murder of passion, infringing on someone else’s lover perhaps, considering cheatin’ wasn’t nuthin’ new to that cowboy…

    What I found most haunting in the film is the tormenting emotion of wanting something you can or never should have, always out of reach for one reason or another, a terrible tease, a cruel joke, a crying game…. Where’s Oprah? LOL

  • gonzo marx

    now listen closely…

    who gives a shit WHY the murder was committed?

    what is being brought to your attention, and what you have dodged over and over again, is the fact that there IS a murder

    and rather than denouncing that as a “sin” you latch onto what appears to be your agenda driven message

    what is being attempted is understanding the “rules” of your particular behavior by comparing and contrasting your own words

    so far, you are not helping yourself, or your cause in the minds of rational people

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Rational people can see that I don’t dodge anything, especially if they’re the blanks you’ve been shootin’!

    Rational folk would question why you crave my answer when you ought to logically know it will be a biblical answer that you reject. Do you just want to wrestle or something?

    Regardless, for your information, both murder and adultery are capital offenses.

    What you fail to understand is that the only murder that IS a fact in the movie is the one Ennis’ has childhood memories of and the other is a questionable murder left to the audience’s imagination.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Where’s Oprah? LOL

    you laugh and ridicule in a way that must make Jesus proud.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    should have phrased that as, ‘you laugh and ridicule at torment, in a way that must make Jesus proud’.

  • chantal stone

    David….had that 2nd murder been more clear to the audience, would it be fair to say that you would regard it as justifiable considering Jack engaged in homosexual activity? i only ask because before you have stated (on another thread i think) that disease is punishment for sin…so my assumption is that you believe his murder is also punishment for sin.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    You shouldn’t jump to conclusions, since I don’t laugh at torment, but I laugh that Oprah laps such stuff up, as David Letterman has joked about. Feel better now? My aren’t we hyper-sensitive….

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Chantal, murder is never sanctioned by Scripture, neither mob rule or vigilantism. Only the State is ordained by God to render justice based upon rule of law, as clearly taught by Romans 13 and expounded upon somewhat in Onward Christian Soldiers!

    Now I must bid you goodnight, my loves, as this mere mortal has grown rather weary. Tomorrow is another day closer to the Kingdom. :-)

  • gonzo marx

    Davis sez…
    *Regardless, for your information, both murder and adultery are capital offenses.*

    capital offenses…in other words, punishable by the death penalty…in the OT, quite possibly stoning…

    yep, there is the “Love” of the Teacher as seen by the Poster

    once again gnosis > dogma

    and so i remain, apostate and heretic…

    Excelsior!

  • Steve

    Chantal, thanks again. I love photography. If I can ever be of help send me an email. I also apologize for the length of what follows, but so be it. Apparently I got a second wind after my trip out – LOL

    We are never closer to the kingdom than right now. And when I physically enter, as I will most assuredly, and not because I followed a religion but because my wrongs are on the Christ who now empowers me, from what I have read and know of him and his teachings, I don’t expect to see Herbert W. Armstrong there.

    Isaiah 53: HE was wounded for my transgressions.

    If you haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain do not read on, this is a SPOILER:

    The character in BBM was murdered, as the book testifies, that when Jack’s father tells Ennis of the other rancher who was going to come up to live with them, Ennis ‘knew then it was the tire iron.’

    Just as some freaks think Matthew Shepard deserved what he got because he was homosexual, there are those who have no problem with the murder in BBM. Anyone who calls himself a Christian and feels comfortable allowing the murder of another, when Christ said we murder with our thoughts and that is condemned even apart from our actions, then that person’s Christianity is twisted and in doubt.

    Scripture is very clear that evil actions follow evil thoughts and attitudes, and it is the latter which condemn a man, whether or not they are ever even acted upon. To want to murder is evil, and one of the things Jesus died for, not just murderous actions. That is why we are all guilty before God, and need new hearts, which we get when we are reborn here, not at some future date, as Herb Armstrong now realizes.

    People who condemn Brokeback Mountain for its sin component are grasping for straws and hypocritical. There is blatant sin in nearly every popular movie out of Hollywood, and most of these people have no problem letting it erode their values or feeling the need to speak out. Haven’t yet seen the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, so that may be one of the few exceptions joining the ranks of a few high quality classics.

    But this movie depicts the hopeless human condition and struggle as it is pitted against the forces which shape it. It calls into question the choices we make, the losses we suffer, the ill effects of our poor decisions.

    It lays it out that same sex relationships have humans at their core, humans who have feelings and can truly love each other as their own souls. And it does it against the majesty of God’s creation in a spectacular backdrop of nature and the elements. Its characters are haunting and powerful, they all lose at life, and we recognize that their story is ours.

    It’s a timely and sensitive work of brilliant art. Naysayers are too caught up in ego and supposition to appreciate it, but it will go down in history as having changed it.

  • http://www.ehrensteinland.com David Ehrenstein

    Do you talk this way to your tricks after sex, David? HOT MAN-TO-MAN ACTION followed by pious blather about what Jesus would have done.

    JESUS WAS GAY!!!!

    LIVE WITH IT!!!!

  • miller

    Too bad you didn’t bring a shearling coat, then you could have really petted a sheep. You don’t seem very bright but I’m happy older people are seeing the movie.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Jesus was gay in the pure sense of the Word. Yeshua was very happy knowing He was living in perfect peace and harmony with the Word and Will of God, and He wanted to share that blessing. That’s why it’s written that He came to give life and life more abundantly, because most folks are the living dead and don’t even realize it yet.

  • http://www.cbn.com/ Agape

    God does work in mysterious ways. He created you and you perverted his beautiful creation by using it to become gay. At least you’re celibate now. You’ll never experience the intimate physical relationship between two people again, but it’s better to suffer lonliness and isolation here on earth than in hell for an eternity. So for your celibacy now, God bless you, and good luck with that.

    As the gay cowboy movie shows, the wages of choosing homosexuality over God’s love is a solitary life where you are denied the beautiful union God intended. This is true even if you repent, because choosing homosexuality is irreversable, no matter what groups like Exodus say. It is irreversable because it’s such an abominable sin, and the consequences of ever having made that choice at all must at least include celibacy and isolation. It’s the only way to demonstrate that you accept and honor God’s forgiveness.

    Good for you that you have given up the homosexual lifestyle, but just as I hope you never slip back into wickedness, I hope you never make the mistake of ruining a woman’s life by trying to “prove” that you can become a real man at this point. You can’t, and I hope God continues to work in you so you can maintain your celibacy and not fall back into your former sinful lifestyle.

  • http://www.ehrensteinland.com David Ehrenstein

    “Jesus was gay in the pure sense of the Word.”

    IOW, a major queen.

    “Yeshua was very happy knowing He was living in perfect peace and harmony with the Word and Will of God, and He wanted to share that blessing.”

    As indicated i the verse about the disciple “who Jesus loved.” Can you name Jesus’ boytoy David?

    “That’s why it’s written that He came to give life and life more abundantly.”

    He came/ On who? Quick get a towel!!!

  • Steve

    Agape, some nice twisted thoughts that seem to make sense, however, Christ said “Nothing is impossible with God,” so that blows your irreversibility out of the water. Unless, of course, you don’t believe that statement or only want to apply it to rich people trying to enter heaven.

    As far as never slipping back into wickedness, Paul said in Romans that he struggles always with the sin nature and that it will not leave until he is dead.

    Regarding sinful lifestyles, the one of pride and contempt is perhaps one of the most condemned in scripture. Repeatedly, across many of its books, if not all.

    We never see a lifestyle based on sexual preference or orientation a subject matter of condemnation any more than sinful heterosexual lifestyles, though we do see in Romans 1 people practicing idolatry by worshipping the creature, however in Romans 2 we see the self-rightous lifestyle exhibited, which Paul equally — if not moreso — condemns.

    If you are correct that the sinners in Romans 1 have an irreversible consequence, then it would also apply to the people in Romans 2 who point the finger at those in Roman 1. Because they are made one and the same by Paul who includes all in Romans 3.

    I get so tired of the self-righteous hypocrites pointing to Romans 1 while blinded to the reality that if they are not in Romans 1, they are in Romans 2, which is an equally if not more undesirable state of horror. At least the sinners in Romans 1 can physically see their sin. The people in Romans 2 are blind to theirs.

    That’s why we have Romans 3. All of humanity is in Romans 1 or Romans 2. In Romans 1, they are practicing gross idolatry. In Romans 2, they WISH they were practicing that same idolatry, and aren’t physicially, but are in their hearts. They are hypocritically condemning the people in Romans 1 and Paul condemns both in Romans 3.

    An understanding of Romans is critical to an understanding of the rest of the scriptures, especially those first few chapters.

  • Steve

    And this systematic theme is repeated.

    While the prodigal son’s story of sinful activity in Luke 15 is tragic, the story of the older brother’s self-rigteousness in Luke 16 is more tragic.

    The prodigal found redemption. The older brother…? There’s no way he always had it. Not in this life or on this planet.

    He missed it because of his own pitiful inner condition which only came out when he showed how much he despised the prodigal for his activity yet didn’t see his own condemning self-righteousness.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve, I understood your point about the Prodigal Son but now you’ve judged him harsher than the Scriptures have, considering the Father called him “son” and said everything he had was also his to share, but gently corrected him and put his brother’s situation in perspective.

    Something to think about is that this also represents Judah and the “Lost Ten Tribes.”

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve, you also wrote “I get so tired of the self-righteous hypocrites,” and understand your point there too, especially when traditional Churchianity is always lying that “the law is done away” and then turn right around and go by the law when it comes to matters of morality, while ignoring the fact that they’re spiritual drunks and whores with their pagan holidays and heathen customs, whoring around with the Babylonian Mystery religion of foreigners and drinking its wicked brew. That’s why the Sabbath-keeping Church of God offers the Christ-like Plea to Diehard Catholics & Protestants to Repent, knowing physical drunks and whores who repent will enter God’s Kingdom-Family before them.

  • gonzo marx

    let me see..if Memory serves…the main “christ like plea” is…

    “do unto others as you would have others do unto you”

    followed by

    “Love thy neighbor as thyself”

    let me leave you with one from the Coptic Gospel of Thomas…

    “those of you with two good ears better listen”

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://robin33.blogspot.com/ Robin

    geee.. I hope you are happy… and not suppressed!

  • Steve

    My bad on noting Luke 16 for the older brother who is still in Chapter 15. I have not judged him wrongly, his actions have judged him. In Verse 28 it says “He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him.”

    He refused to enter the house and the father came outside and pleaded with him. The story leaves off and we have no indication that he got over his indignation and accepted the father’s offer. It is my belief that in doing what he did, he deliberately separated himself from the redemption party.

    Humans need to repent, but not to join a religion or follow a man. We need to repent of our rejection of God as Jesus Christ taking his rightful place in our lives as Savior and Lord. Once we truly do that we become a new creation.

    Any other repentance is a waste of time and only leads to self-righteousness and vain attempts to keep the law, which Pauls says in Galatians is foolishess and a bewitchment, a curse to those who add the keeping of the law to the gospel of faith in Christ alone.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Paul warned about spurious works like the so-called “gospel of Thomas,” which is why those of us who accept the whole Bible reject it as unclean.

    If you submitted to what the biblical definition of love is, you would know Jesus’ call to love God and neighbor as ourself are all based upon the Law and the Prophets, the absolute standard that God has set, not leaving us in chaos and confusion, a spiritual anarchy where everybody with a pretty platitude and fluffy sentiment can try and steal that divine prerogative for their idolatrous thoughts.

    It is out of tough love that Christ commands all to forsake Babylon or suffer the consequences, to go and sin no more, to live Kingdom-like now to the degree we yield to the lead of the Holy Spirit, so help us God, in peace and harmony with the Word of God that often clashes with tinsel traditions of men.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    SR, I’m also glad science is there to complement my faith to the degree I feel that it should.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve, some would feel the Christian thing to do is to give the upset brother the benefit of the doubt, that after the father corrected his spiritual vision and put things in perspective he would have also “come to his senses” and celebrated his brother’s return (repentance) and rejoiced in his deeper love and relationship with his father (whom he must not have known would have thrown him a party all along and appreciated him).

    The father must have seen this proclivity to repent by not condemning him as you have, and by giving him loving correction, still referring to him as son – not a low-down, self-righteous, hypocritical sinner deserving of gehenna fire!

    The prophecies also reveal an initial reluctance on the part of Judah to become one again with the “Lost Ten Tribes,” due to our estranged relationship over the years and our pagan Gentilized Israelite behavior that is foreign to many of them. We will be reconciled, however, as it is written, so let it be done.

  • gonzo marx

    David in #143 sez…
    *Paul warned about spurious works like the so-called “gospel of Thomas,” which is why those of us who accept the whole Bible reject it as unclean*

    interesting take on it…so you accept the word of Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul) who claims to have been “spoken to” by a higher power, and then continues on to write the “word of god” from whole cloth, years AFTER the fact over the Coptic Gospel of Thoms…which by hostorical accounts is dates form the time in Question and offers NO interpertation…merely Quotes from Yeshua…the ENTIR “gospel” is just that…quotes directly from Yeshua (aka Christ)

    instead, you take literally as “gospel” the book selected and edited by bishop Iraneus in 180AD, after he had written “the Book of Five Heresies” and wrote to other bishops that they should “lie, even about the Truth…to combat these teachings”

    instead, you choose to venerate and follow the Pauline Dogma ratified by Constantine(who also had a questionable “vision” and used if for political gain)and blend it with select portions of the Old Testament , all in LIteralist fashion…

    your perogative, of course…

    but after chcking Mr Nalle’s link in another Thread wich lead to the FACTS about your False Profit, HWA here

    we can see that the one you have chosen to take as Divinely Inspired is just another charlatan and snake oil salesman who cons the Faithful and gullible into the Dark

    as i have stated… gnosis > dogma

    but to those who seek Power and to Control other Men…dogma is so much easier to use than Reason or Facts

    Question for you…according to the tenets you follow is it…

    Jesus of Nazareth
    or
    Jesus the Nazarene

    your answer to that simple Question will say much…

    Excelsior!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Paul was inspired by the real Jesus Christ, unlike your spurious work of “Thomas.” The early Sabbath-keeping Church of God already knew what was scripture before the pagan Constantine made it official for the Catholics (not Christians). The bloody RCC has NOTHING in common with Jesus or the early Sabbath-keeping Church of God, but amounts to a fraud, a counterfeit, complete with the Babylonian Mystery religion dressed upon in their drag.

    Yeshua was born in Bethlehem, just like King David, and raised in Nazareth. If you studied the Bible rather than preach your doubtful “Thomas” you would know Jesus was a Nazarene – not a Nazarite (no long hair for the real Jesus!).

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    It’s better to read Herbert Armstrong’s own words, than words written by those biased against him.

    Mystery of the Ages by Herbert Armstrong affords you this priceless opportunity.

  • gonzo marx

    David..there was NO “nazareth” at that point in history..both the greek and the aramaic refer to him as a “Nazarene”…which was one of the sects at the time…like John the Baptist was an “Essene”…and the Sanhedrin were Pharisees

    i have read some of the words of your False Profit, and find him sorely lacking…

    How could one recognize a false prophet?
    “You will know them by their fruits,” Yeshyua answers (Matt. 7:16, RSV).

    Continuing the analogy Yeshua explains,
    “A good tree is incapable of producing bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit”

    i leave it to the gentle Readers what “fruit” is born by Armstrong and his “church”

    Excelsior!

  • chantal stone

    “…..Jesus was a Nazarene – not a Nazarite (no long hair for the real Jesus!).”

    could you please explain the difference??

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Chantal, a Nazarene is originally someone from Nazareth. A Nazarite is someone like Samuel, Samson or John the Baptist who took the Nazarite vow (that forbid cutting hair during length of vow or eating or drinking anything from the grape). It is based upon Num. 6:2-21.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I have a question I would like to interject, although it is off the current topic. It is actually related to a movie and it’s review here on a movie review site, rather than dealing with the current Sermon on the (Brokeback) Mount, if that’s okay.

    David, do you believe that what people see and hear coming out of hollywood influences their behavior and causes societal problems?

  • gonzo marx

    John the Baptist was an Essene…hence the “white” clothing as well as the Baptism ritual…

    chantal, my point earlier was that, archealogically…there was NO “Nazareth” at that time, historically (from both Roman and Jewish records)…but there was a sect called “Nazarene”

    the saying “of Nazareth” is a mistranslation acknowledged by most biblical scholars, and i had been trying to gauge David’s historical and archeological acumen with the question

    again..i leave it to the gentle Reader to decide upon the qulity of the “fruit” in question

    to me…murder is so much greater a “Sin” than the breaking of a marriage Vow ..that it staggers me when self professed people of “faith” spend so much time and energy denoucing one, but do not even deign to acknowledge the “shadow of the tire iron”

    Excelsior!

  • chantal stone

    thank you, david and gonzo, for clarifying.

    “…archaelogically…there was NO ‘Nazareth’ at that time, historically (from both Roman and Jewish records)…”

    that just goes to show how inaccurate history and translation can be. if you look back at paintings depicting the Crucifixion, often there is a sign above the head of Jesus saying “Jesus of Nazareth”.

    that just verifies to me what i’ve always thought in the first place…..that God lives in our hearts, and i choose to follow that, as opposed to the words of men.

  • gonzo marx

    and you will be much happier inside and out because of it, chantal

    beware of the con men, tricksters and snake oil salesmen who try and tel you they know the Mind of “God”

    because each and every one of them are full of shit…even the ones that mean well in their own hearts…

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • Steve

    Gonzo, yes Herbert W. Armstrong goes down in history as a false prophet, a heretic.

    His teachings are a mixture of truth and fiction, which means those who truly follow him also spew the same poison. Problem is, he missed the essential truth which would have actually validated him, that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, who died for mankind, and lives to intercede on the behalf of those who receive Him here and now.

    Not a new technique for deceiving the masses. Notice how there is a bizarre yet pat ‘biblical’ alternative to real truth when put forth and one soon recognizes the pattern. There is always ‘another truth’ that these people believe which is contrary to sound biblical teaching.

    And they actually pride themselves on having ‘hidden’ or ‘revealed’ knowledge that other people on the ‘outside’ don’t have. This is much of the attraction to those who lack spiritual discernment: they get ‘privileged’ knowledge by joining forces with the cult, and a community which believes like they do that they all have ‘privileged’ information that actually came from some yahoo who made it up and threw it out there, and voila, people got all puffed up and began to cling to it, rather than to truth.

    Same procedure with Jehovah’s Witness, same procedure with Smith and Mormonism, same procedure with Jim Jones, Bo and Peep, etc.

    Tons of biblical warnings from Christ about this sort of procedure. And most cults name His name and ‘accept’ Jesus, but are clueless to his actual working in the hearts of people here and now and sealing them as His for eternity. They expect to get rewarded for following a religion here with His name in it after death, when the scriptures are pretty clear that after death is too late. Death seals our fate.

    Also, all the constant references back to the Old Testament, when the whole point of the OT was to point us to our need for the Christ of the New Testament or Covenant, not provide a separate means by which we would obtain grace.

    Sheesh. What a mess.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve why do you continue to spew murderous nonsense against Herbert Armstrong? Any objective person can read and see for themselves that what he taught, versus traditional and popular error, is the plain truth: the meek shall inherit the Earth – not go to Heaven; the wicked will be destroyed, not tormented forever; you’re not an immortal soul, eternal life is a gift; we’re to keep the same biblical Sabbath and festivals as Jesus and the early Church, not pagan holidays pimped by reprobate Rome, etc.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Chantal, if you believe the bs that there was no town called Nazareth in Jesus’ day, then you’re denying the inspiration of the New Testament that testifes there most certainly was.

    Of course the Enemy would want to cast doubt on anything associated with the Anointed One who will soon defeat him on his own turf and smash his opposition.

    Aren’t you aware of how some have pontificated this or that wasn’t historical and were later put to shame when further facts were excavated and proved them wrong and the Bible right?

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    You asked if I believe what’s “coming out of hollywood influences… behavior and causes societal problems?” Obviously, the liberals with their agenda believe it, as well as all those who pay big money for commercials believe it, having conducted many studies, and I agree it certainly can and does affect us all. However, to what degree, depends on the individual.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    I’ve read Israel leads HIV/AIDS research, and yet they have those infected with it on their list to deny entry at their discretion….

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Liberals believe Hollywood causes societal problems? So you are saying that conservatives control Hollywood?

  • chantal stone

    “Of course the Enemy would want to cast doubt on anything associated with the Anointed One ….”

    i believe what i know to be true…that Jesus saves, that i am saved because i have accepted Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Savior…..
    that’s enough for me.

    i am wise enough to follow the word of God, not of a man. i am even inclined to question some things stated by the pastor of the church i belong to. men are fallible, and ego can get in the way of wisdom.

    all of this back and forth is certainly interesting, but none of it has swayed me to believe anything contrary to what i know in my heart to be true.

  • Steve

    Chantal, right on. That is the simplicity of the gospel, and is truly enough for anyone.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    The Bible says “the heart is heart is wicked and deceitful.” We’re not to lean to our own human understanding of what we feel to be true. Better to play it safe and make sure our faith has a foundation: the Word of God, not fickle feelings.

    Those who deny Nazareth was a literal place where Yeshua grew up, next deny that He existed. The Bible states Nazareth was a literal town, just as surely as Bethlehem. This is the plain truth of the Scriptures, that those who are true Bible-believers (believing what’s written in the Bible is true) have faith existed, based upon the Word – not just their feelings.

    “The Nazarenes” are those who followed the Nazarene, Jesus of Nazareth (the Son of God who appeared in the flesh as a Jew)just like they were called “Christians” by others elsewhere. Some called them Nazarenes for following Jesus of Nazareth.

    Men are certainly fallible, that’s why a true Christian hears someone out and then like the noble Bereans checks out their message in the light of holy Scripture – not just trusting in their feelings. Some pass the test, others don’t.

  • gonzo marx

    and some do their homework, while others make pronouncement and say they alone speak the “Truth”

    and there’s the rub…

    i will say what i have on many occasions…NEVER belive me, go and look things up for yourself, think about it rationally, discuss it…then decide

    NEVER take the “word” of those who claim to know the “mind of god”…because NO ONE does…

    i state openly that i am apostate, and heretic..and claim no “special knowledge”…but the Facts and Reason…along with a bit of investigation…show that Armstrong and this “church” spoken of here ,is a complete sham…

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Hollywood liberals believe they can influence behavior.

  • gonzo marx

    and self righteous fanatics believe they are the only ones who can perceive Truth, and will twist Reality and Facts to suit the needs of their cults

    Excelsior!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    God is an open Book. We can read His Mind: the holy Bible. And we can renew our minds and learn to think like God during our conversion process (Isaiah 55:7-9), awaiting the transformation from human to divine when we’re born again into the God-Kingdom Family at the resurrection when Christ returns.

    True Christians are God-Beings in the Making!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Is that a confession GM?

  • gonzo marx

    nice try…but note, gentle Readers..i have advocated NO cult, sect or religion…

    to you David..i reject you, your evil, the demiurge you follow..and any that would care more about who was in Love than with the murder of a person in the name of bigotry

    in the long, dark rea time of your “soul”…may you find whatever Peace you seek

    the False that you follow will not be there for comfort when needed most

    and for that, i do feel bad for you

    gnosis > dogma

    nuff said

    Excelsior!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Some defer to the Bible and those who faithfully teach it as the Word of God, and others promote their idolatrous thoughts, fleeting thoughts that amount to their religion, created in their own image, exposing spiritual anarchy at its worst, stealing the divine prerogative of determing what is good and what is evil.

    Such spiritual rebels will find themselves outside of the Garden, reduced to ashes (Malachi 4:1-3), if they don’t have a change of heart, learn to think like God, and love His Word that graciously serves as an Instruction Manual for Mankind, entering the New Covenant where God writes the Law upon the tablets of our hearts and minds during the process of conversion.

    At that glorious time, all will either be dust or DIVINE and those who receive the free gift of eternal life will experience Revelation 21:4 fulfilled:

    4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

  • Bennett

    “free gift”

    heh!

    Poor tortured and deluded masses, believing the word of self-serving men to be the word of an imaginary god.

    Shrug off this superstition, and know freedom.

    Rock on, Gonzo.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    So far, David, you haven’t committed to anything in terms of my questions. You’ve thrown out non-committal answers.

    I asked if YOU believe that hollywood influences behavior. Of the numerous follow-ups, you’ve given, you still haven’t answered the question. Is YOUR faith always about being on the defensive? Is that what following God has become for you? Have you asked yourself why that might be?

    Never mind, I don’t care anymore. You clearly have no intent on following along with my questions. THis post has long ceased to be about a movie review, but anybody can see that.

    You are like a pamphlet in the laundromat. Promotional yet full of nothing but rhetoric. Quoting scripture doesn’t mean one is right or wrong. It simply means one knows how to cut and paste.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve, I DID answer your question above. In your rush to judgment, you must have missed it, or you’re trying to dictate how I answer. God knows.

    Here it is again:

    “Obviously, the liberals with their agenda believe it, as well as all those who pay big money for commercials believe it, having conducted many studies, and I agree it certainly can and does affect us all. However, to what degree, depends on the individual.”

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    okay, I would say that I missed it, not that I’m trying to dictate your answer. It was well embedded within a whole slew of ‘the opposite thinks so too!’ on one end and ‘maybe/maybe not to a degree’ on the other end.’

    Pat Robertson should take some lessons from you.

    So, you agree that hollywood and the big screen affects people’s behavior. Would you then not concede that the big screen is the equivalent of the bully pulpit and the speech there can also affect people’s behavior? That continual condemnation of gay people can lead to others committing hate crimes?

    Yes, or no, please, don’t shroud it in your ideological opponent’s viewpoint, or disclaimers or ‘degrees’.

    If Hollywood and the big screen can influence people, then how is the big screen different than the pulpit and it’s influence on people’s behavior. The pulpit doesn’t always influence towards the positive, you know. When it condemns, people can then take that message and do violence, right? Yes, or no please.

  • nugget

    SteveS:

    I believe what David meant was that liberals have an agenda to allow societal problems to abound.

    Of course, I do not believe it’s that simple. Hollywood is not fueled by a childlike connivance. This misunderstanding has to do with the relativity of the term “societal problems” as it relates to morals, and the mass disagreement thereof (between liberals and conservatives).

    What many liberal-thinking people believe to be admissible to a wide audience is incongruous with what many conservative-thinking people believe. Only a very small fraction of either extreme organizes a machination of ill-intent. In other words, typical bigotry sprouts from both ends, and this should be no surprise.

    David; I’ve known a couple of men like you. They choose celibacy. Abstaining from sexual activity sounds terribly difficult. When you ask for God’s guidance, do you request that he suppress your desire? Do you seek outlets? How do you cope?

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    SteveS, do you really believe “fag bashers” attend Church services? Maybe in the Muslim world some might storm out of their mosques, burning rainbow flags and such, but Christian pulpits only preach hate the sinner and never the sinner. The practice of sin is condemned, never the sinner. Final judgment or condemnation is God’s sole responsibility.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Nugget, being celibate can be hard (pun intended), but truly “with God all things are possible.” Would He require celibacy of all singles (hetero or homo) if it weren’t possible? Oddly, I know folks who aren’t religious who choose to be celibate for the most part, and I marvel at them!

    I avoid setting myself up for a fall, which is why I no longer drink or go to the bars. That’s throwing fuel on the fire for sure, especially if you’re drinking Firewater (not Hot Damn).

    I also try to remember not to let the “look” be a hook, easier said than done, somedays are easier than others, but such is life. God doesn’t tell us to deny that we have “natural urges,” but He does expect us to keep them under control, whether its eating, drinking or craving SEX and not to get depressed over feeling all too human, but encourages us to exercise the divine nature to escape the temptation (Gen. 4:6-7. 1 Pet. 4).

  • nugget

    Bennett says,

    “Poor tortured and deluded masses, believing the word of self-serving men to be the word of an imaginary god.

    Shrug off this superstition, and know freedom.”

    It’s ostensible that many, like Bennett, are quite taken with the idea that all religion = superstition and thus not practical ethos for world peace and stability.

    The problem with this philosophy, however, is that it roots itself in the very same dictatorial leaps of faith as does adhering to any particular religion. Claiming that man could or will overcome all things superficially unstable is the same as declaring that man must rid himself of passion and resolution.

    Bennett: If you’ve already read Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley then I urge you to do it again. “Freedom” is not as you describe it. Rather, moral relativism/anarchy (as long as it doesn’t “hurt” anyone) yields artless, tasteless, controlled barbarism. That is why the Savage hung himself in the end. The world controllers desired world peace, and the only way to obtain it was to create such distractions as soma, obstacle golf, polygamy, and feely movies. Your humanistic philosophy depends on the success of democracy. That is naive. Democracy will certainly fail as has every other form of human control.

  • nugget

    very interesting David. I marvel at your commitment.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I believe what David meant was that liberals have an agenda to allow societal problems to abound.

    Oh, I thought he was talking religion. So political ideology is thrown in the mix. Okay. Just trying to understand the opposing viewpoint.

    This misunderstanding has to do with the relativity of the term “societal problems” as it relates to morals, and the mass disagreement thereof (between liberals and conservatives).

    ahhh, yes, so nugget enters the fray. You do know that libertarianism, of which I am becoming more and more inclined towards constantly, is conservative, yet very live and let live towards homosexuality, even approving gay marriage? Libertarianism is very conservative and pro-gay. So I’m not sure what you mean by morals – liberal vs. conservatism in the context of this thread.

    What many liberal-thinking people believe to be admissible to a wide audience is incongruous with what many conservative-thinking people believe.

    and what many conservative people think should be the way the country is run, runs counter to what many liberals and moderates think. Yes, and your point is?

    Only a very small fraction of either extreme organizes a machination of ill-intent. In other words, typical bigotry sprouts from both ends, and this should be no surprise.

    It is no surprise and well said.

    David; I’ve known a couple of men like you. They choose celibacy. Abstaining from sexual activity sounds terribly difficult.

    difficult, needless and counter to God’s gift. But that’s all I care to say about that.

    I do, however, have a link for you, David. Should you wish to follow the story, I leave to you, I have no idea as to it’s factuality. (if that’s even a word). Just thought maybe you would be interested. Sincerely, although we disagree on everything under the sun, I have no animosity.

  • Steve

    Very interesting report, SteveS. Encouraging!

    Nugget, one doesn’t necessarily ask all those questions when choosing to abstain from sex. The born-again Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit who empowers her or him with grace to adjust one’s life and choices. Such a person simply goes about life expecting and receiving God’s grace to endure and grow beyond. There are greater pleasures in life than sex, however unusual that may sound.

    While the Christian can backslide into certain habits and temptations and even override the Spirit’s guidance through free will, for the most part, his or her desires have changed after being born again.

    Following a true conversion, the weight of sin is removed, and no longer are the vices, addictions and self-indulgences which controlled the life in charge. Instead there is power to say no, self control and an overwhelming desire to please the God who set the individual free.

    If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.

    Since David is in a legalistic cult that believes one is ‘born again’ after death, I am not sure how or if he draws power to resist temptation in this life, though I would think he prays or talks to someone, and no doubt draws strength from community. From reading his writings I am tempted to believe that he is abstaining in his own strength, and expects a future ‘born-again’ state as a reward for such ‘good works’ here.

    That tends to be the expectation of Armstrongism adherents, who deny that death seals a man’s fate as Christianity contends, and rather than place their eternal destiny solely in faith in Jesus Christ, instead take their chances by placing their eternal destiny in Herbert Armstrong’s surmission that their rebirth happens after death.

    Of course, as is soon discovered upon death, it is way too late.

    Anyone who has had an actual spiritual rebirth can tell you that it happens here and now when one puts genuine faith in Jesus Christ as Savior leading to acknowledgement of him as Lord. We’re talking millions of people who have made this decision and now live altered, better lives awaiting the day when they will be united with the Christ.

    Celibacy helps protect the single Christian and is a gift, though, sadly, a lot of people would rather get a car or iPod.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    SteveS, what you falsely accuse of being a “legalist,” others know is proof of a truly converted life and renewed mind, made possible by the grace of God and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, expressing loving obedience to God, rather than living the lie of a religious rebel who preach it’s not necessary to “go and sin no more” – contrary to Scripture (1 John 2:4).

    Ephesians 2:1-10

    Ephesians 2
    Made Alive in Christ
    1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins [the living dead], 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world… 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

    2 Peter 1:
    2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

    3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

    5For this very reason, make every effort to add [conversion process, growing, overcoming] to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

    10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    1 Peter 4:1-5

    1 Peter 4:
    Living for God
    1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Those who go about bleating they’re already “born again” don’t have a clue as to what it really means to be born again. God-Beings in the Making! helps to rebuke their traditional darkness with the Light of the Word that offers mankind a brilliant future, filled with meaning and purpose.

    We can exercise the power of the Kingdom today to the degree we yield to the lead of God’s Holy Spirit, but when we’re truly born again, sin will be a thing of the past and no longer a temptation whatsoever!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    I found the article about the possible AIDS “cure” interesting, but won’t hold my breath. They also say they don’t expect it to be available for 7 or so years, if then. That gives them plenty of time to get bought off, if it’s legit, by their “competition” – the AIDS industry.

  • chantal stone

    “Those who go about bleating they’re already ‘born again’ don’t have a clue as to what it really means to be born again.”

    my goodness, if that’s not the most self-righteous thing i have ever heard, i don’t know what is.

    remember this:
    “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” ~Proverbs 29:23

    and also:
    “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” ~Matthew 7:2

    David, you seem like an intelligent person, surely you understand that you’re doing your cause a huge disservice by coming off so arrogant.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Chantal, I’m sorry if my testimony offended you, but some would say you have been both proud and self-righteous in jumping to judgment, rather than simply considering what I said, whether or not it is true.

    But I don’t get hung up on others’ real or imagined attitude, since I know only God truly knows the hearts. That’s why I try and stick to the facts, and the fact is those who go about bleating they’re already born again, expose themselves as sheeple of traditional religious lies and misunderstandings that stands corrected within God-Beings in the Making!

    And for those interested in the plain truth of the Bible, rather than blindly following popular error, such precious and chosen few would be pleased to know and understand that such a Kingdom of God-Beings are destined to rule Earth from Jerusalem.

  • gonzo marx

    again and again, some try and make Man’s interpertation of Man’s written words into “god’s truth” rather than reading what the Teacher taught and thinking about that for themselves…

    gnosis > dogma

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • nugget

    gonzo, what if the Teacher teaches and uses the words “god’s truth.” Is that still Man’s interpretation? I gather an implication in your statement that there is no transition from what a teacher might say to what the students are, by default, allowed to say within a “gnosis” construct. I guess by that “allowance” I mean intellectual honesty. For instance, I cannot say “There is definitely a God,” within the confines of reason. I have no proof. But it should be encouraged to speculate, should it not?

    Anyways, I do not interpret David and Steve’s doctrinal debate in the same light as you. They are both thinking for themselves, and perhaps they will reach some mutual conclusion. Fat chance, but it’s quite possible.

  • gonzo marx

    nugget, i am all for speculation and discovery…

    what i despise is when some folks try and state that they, and only they, have direct access and knowledge of “the mind of god”…

    most times in Man’s history, this has been used exclusively for political/empire purposes

    to paint their foes as heretics and/or less than human

    to cloak whatever the will of the “priests” happens to be in Holy and Righteous terms

    to fleece money from the followers

    on and on

    i am more than happy to give room for anyone to hold whatever Belief brings them comfort

    i am also more than happy to Oppose any who would Wish to impose or legislate THEIR version of “holy” on me

    when/if they try and come to burn this heretic, they will find that i’ll not “go gently…”

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://homepage.ntlworld.com/robin.brace/1arm.htm Steve

    David, stop referring to me as SteveS. I AM NOT SteveS. As you have been told and previously acknowleged, he is someone else, and your continued failed attempts at telling the difference between us is further evidence of your inability to separate truth from fiction, what is real from what isn’t.

    He is agnostic, I am born again. They are nowhere near the same.

    You also took my comments which were in reference to Mary Magdalene and applied them across the board, which is deceptive and wrong. I never said believers were to not flee sin.

    I personally have done so and do so daily, and sin no longer has control over me like it did, but because I am a believer I have automatically obeyed the edict to go and sin no more, since my spirit and soul are redeemed. My flesh may cause me to do wrong still and certainly does, but it does not control me, and those wrongs belong to my old nature, though in reality they now belong to the Christ who bought them with his blood.

    Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead us in the way of all truth. Sadly, there are people out there who cannot distinguish the spirits, and, accusatory as it may sound, you are one of them.

    I leave this meaningless debate since the Scriptures also tell believers to avoid vain janglings, and to reprove a man who calls himself a brother, and if he fails to listen to sound doctrine, leave him as a heretic. And such was Herbert W. Armstrong, your father, who was not a spokesman for revealed truths of God but a professional salesman, and a false prophet.

    As you are as well, continually pointing people to your cult’s writings where the innocent will get pulled in, where the spiritually clueless will latch onto your false teachings and end up spending a lifetime confused.

    I understand that you cannot stop this behavior. That you have been brainwashed and must obey your thoughts now which tell you to gather in others, let them know ‘the plain truth.’ But these are not thoughts given by God, who is insistent that those who seek him learn of his Son, and trust solely in the Son, not in meaningless stuff like keeping days and already fulfilled laws for salvation. And of course, like a pyramid scheme, every single person you successfully pull in validates you, your pride, your church and your mission.

    The Scriptures are clear. One could be shipwrecked on an island having never heard the gospel, yet if they hear it and truly believe it no matter where they are in location or in lot in life, trusting that Christ died for his or her sins and now lives in place of him or her for final judgement, that is sufficient knowledge and affirmation that such a person has done all they can to receive salvation, and is eternally forgiven by God here and now. It could happen on a deathbed. God requires no more.

    The Bible says any requirement added to faith in Christ is not of God but a trick of the devil, who first deceived Eve by adding to what God had said.

    You can quote scriptures all you want. The devil can quote them, he knows them all. And so do countless cults. I’ve done my part to clear up the confusion for those who seek clarification here. What you have been getting is good, strong solid bibilical principals and real-life testimonies that bring the truth forward, and your false teachings to the light to expose them for what they are.

    Those of us who have been born again know Christ personally, as did the Apostle Paul, and we frequently recognize each other since we have the same Christ within us.

    But I don’t know you, not because you hold some secret truth revealed by Armstrong which won’t let me know you, but because you don’t know the same Christ. If by some strange chance you do, you’ve wandered in a direction so far from his intentions and revelations, that you are no longer recognizable as belonging to Him, or testifying to Him, but rather to upholding a dangerous and erroneous system which glorifies man’s word and alters God’s plan of salvation.

    You are a captive of Armstrongism. The good news is that you can be set free.

    Remember, if the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed. Believe it. It’s the plain, unadulterated Truth.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Steve, you’re not born again, you’re not a Spirit-Being, you’re not a God-Being, but the GOOD NEWS is if you repent of your traditional religious lies and idolatrous thoughts, confess and forsake Babylon, you very well could be LITERALLY born again at the return and reign of Christ, so help you God.

    Any links-to-Life I offer are most appropriate and provide further information and offer the many Scriptures to support the plain truth I share.

    Unlike some, those Christians in the holy spirit of the noble Bereans LOVE to look up the Scriptures to see whether or not these things are so and are praised for doing so, not condemned! God takes note of such honest Bible-believers who enjoy Christian fellowship in the Word:

    Malachi 3:16-18

    16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.

    17 “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

    Acts 17:11

    11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    Enough said. ;-)

  • http://www.ukapologetics.net/ Brother Robin Brace

    Re: Armstrongism, you say, “Steve, you’re not born again, you’re not a Spirit-Being, you’re not a God-Being” – it is now well-recognised that Armstrong just never really understood the ‘born again’ teaching. it is not talking about the resurrection but about being being re-born in Christ as a Christian. Even some hard-liner Armstrongists now recognise this. I have put many other comments and recommended readin in, I think, the ‘Does God Heal?’ thread.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Sounds like you need a refresher course in the Bible Correspondence Course the former Church of God graciously offered, so help you God.

  • Steve

    Yes, and while you’re at it, why not make yourself a nice little molotov cocktail to enjoy while you are refreshing?

    It can only make washing down the poison a little easier.

  • A Straight Married Guy

    What a sad person the writer is. To act holy like you know the first thing about your so called “god” is rediculous at best. There is not one shred of REAL evidence that your “god” exists in the first place…and I got news for you, if there is a god in the form all you bible beaters believe, he is gonna be right pissed that you have been spending your life condeming people. The bible says that ONLY God may judge man…and put any spin on it you want, you are taking a big risk if what you believe in really exists by spaming the internet with such hate. Bible beaters are every proving they are all exactly the same…quit letting people fill your mind with hatred towards your fellow man.

  • Steve

    The bible says that ONLY God may judge man

    No it doesn’t. As a matter of fact the scriptures are very clear that those who belong to Christ are accountable for judging one another and bringing evil to the light.

    But judging is a very ambiguous term. And motive is critical. Am I judging to hurt someone? Or am I judging to help someone? What is my motive for judging another? Have I judged myself first?

    Jesus told us to remove the beam from our own eye before we try to remove the splinter from our brother’s. He knew a right motive, proper intent and a lack of hypocrisy are critical to sound judgement.

    You do have an interesting point, though. A lot of people fail to let God convict people of sin by being quick to judge others on what they believe is a violation. The motive behind that is often pride, so it is one sin trying to judge another’s, which is twisted, and is not something God would be happy about.

    Only righteousness can judge evil, i.e., tell it that it is condemned for being so. But all men can judge or discern what is right and/or wrong. And all men should.

    You might want to familiarize yourself with Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. The Bard shows his unmatched genius regarding the topic of humans judging one another.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Should Christians Judge?

    Why can everybody but Christians judge? Is it against the Christian religion? Who preaches such a stifling message?

  • gonzo marx

    well Yeshua did say…
    “judge not, lest ye be judged”

    just a thought

    Excelsior!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Jesus did say “judge not that you be not judged,” but for the rest of the story, putting Jesus’ words IN CONTEXT, check out Should Christians judge? and think more deeply, if you please.

    May everybody also come to a better understanding of What it means to be born again rather than just fall for popular error and traditional misunderstandings.

  • gonzo marx

    my appreciation for all the linkages to your church’s proganda , and the Interpertations of MEN that are espoused

    as i have stated many times…i prefer to look at the Words of the Teacher themselves, and think upon them…eschewing the “interpertations” , “inspirations”, and “revelations” of Men who claim to know the Mind and Will of “god”

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • James

    God loves you. I hope you learn to love yourself as well.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    what i despise is when some folks try and state that they, and only they, have direct access and knowledge of “the mind of god”…

    Damn, gonzo. And all this time I though you were speaking from On High! My take on most of your comments here is that your point of view comes from a place where common sense and practicality reign. To me that is more “God-like” than speaking in tongues or from a fear of fire and brimstone.

  • Scott Butki

    I’d be curious to read your reactions to
    Dan Savage’s column about the movie.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Thanks Scott for bringing Dan Savage’s column to my attention. I read it and it appeared mostly stereotypical of Christians (reverse discrimination?).

    I would encourage Dan Savage to read God and the Gays: What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality and see that this recovering homosexual doesn’t pretend to be “straight,” doesn’t pretend to never have homosexual temptations, doesn’t plan on getting married and definitely doesn’t do anything for the approval of other mortals, professing Christians or not, but God knows I do my best to live my life in peace and harmony with my Christian convictions.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    I suspect you would encourage Mr. Savage to dump the man he married, ship their son off to a good fundie family, and become like you. In which case I would encourage Dan to run like hell.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    From what I understand Dan the man is a heterosexual, otherwise I would encourage him to have a sex-change so he wouldn’t confuse “their” son and thereby become the mother the boy always needed, starved for truly feminine affection, and as one big happy family they could attend their local gay church where all unrepentant sinners are most welcome and where zero tolerance can be expected for legitimate Bible-believers and those who dare to live the alternative lifestyle of an honest Christian life.

  • Scott Butki

    If you don’t know that Dan Savage is gay you are even more out of touch than I realized.

    So let me get this straight: The “christian” thing to do would be for a gay man to have a sex change so as not to “confuse” the child.?

  • chantal stone

    Scott…..that’s not the “Christian” thing to do…that’s the DENIAL thing to do….the right-wing, fanatical, self-loathing, self-denying, prejudiced, intolerant, narrow-minded, and ignorant thing to do.

    Jesus taught us to LOVE one another….not to single out any one group for persecution. the Christan message is about love and tolerance, and finding peace through God.

    the sad thing is, far too many “Christians” have missed the message.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Scott you asked what I thought of Dan Savage’s column (whom I had never heard of), so I went and read it and made my comments. Since I had never heard of him I googled him and went and read this at the top of that particular site:

    “Savage Love
    Come to the Bash

    BY DAN SAVAGE

    I am a straight, monogamous man with normal sexual predilections. I don’t need to find someone to pee on me, paddle my butt, tell me about fucking other men, or anything else too weird. ”

    That led me to believe he was a heterosexual. After your rude comment, I went back and looked again and saw that was part of a letter he received and that DS is a homosexual. Life goes on.

    As far as the sex-change comment goes, I’m sorry you failed to realize it was clearly sarcastic. Life goes on.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Chantal – Paul addresses Christian folks who self-righteously want to be more “tolerant” and “loving” than God and pat themselves on the back for it:

    1 Corinthians 5:1-8

    1 Corinthians 5
    Expel the Immoral Brother!
    1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you [how judgmental of Paul! how dare he!], and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this [true Christian judgment, not lack of it], just as if I were present. 4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

    6Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us keep the Festival [Passover & Days of Unleavened Bread – not pagan Easter], not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.

  • gonzo marx

    and once again, the Authoritarian quotes Paul rather than something the Annointed spoke about directly…

    again and again, quotes form the snake oil salesman (Saul of Tarsus) used to justify just about any misogynistic behavior and attempted to be put forward as the undisputed “Will of God”…instead of s single man’s political ambitions wrapped up in a Lie

    move along folks…nothing to see here

    Excelsior!

  • chantal stone

    David, although very thoughtful, i don’t think your Bible quoting is going to change any minds here. we all believe what we know to be true and correct.

    with that being said, i do hope and pray that you find peace and comfort in your life.

    but i agree with gonzo….it’s time to move on, there isn’t much to see here anymore.

    see you on another thread.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    GM if you followed the Anointed One, Yeshua, you would recognize that the Apostle Paul, authorized and sent forth as an ambassador of Jesus Christ, upheld the same Law and the Prophets that Jesus did and purposely said (to counter illegitimate liberal claims)He did not come to destroy them, but in fact made them more binding in the letter and the spirit saying we shouldn’t commit adultery in attitude or action, for example. But the Apostle John warned us about professing Christians who are religious rebels and liars (1 John 2:4) who certainly would bristle at the Apostle Paul speaking in the Name and by the Authority of Jesus Christ – not his own idolatrous thoughts, as is proven in light of the Scriptures (for those whose beliefs are truly Bible based and not just based upon their fickle feelings).

    The Church Jesus Built is far different than the politically correct and biblically wrong smorgasbord out there that just isn’t kosher.

  • gonzo marx

    David…

    as i have stated many times..i am apostate and heretic to that “book” compiled by Iraneus, to the lies from Saul of Tarsus, as well as the scam of Nicea

    that being said, i do note previously you attemtped to distract from my Question about NOah by raising the bit around Cain’s wife…not the same thing

    as well as on and on peddling the Brand of Authoritarianism stemming from Pauline doctrines that you advocate

    your Choice…of course

    i will always call out those who Revere the words of Men, and yet try and couch it into the “will of god” due to both the Logical fallacies as well as in strife against a DemiUrge

    “those who have two good ears better listen”

    after reading much of what you have tossed out, and especially after your Comment #13 on the Coretta King thread…i will gladly state i am Opposed to your hatred, and fervently hope that you do “awaken” someday

    my Positions are considered, NOT the result of any “emotional content”, and while my scholarship in biblical matters is not as extensive as…oh say, Shark’s…it IS rather more varied, historically extensive, and further reaching than most might believe

    Excelsior!

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    GM: At least we’re in agreement on one thing: you’re a heretic, rejecting the Bible for your own idolatrous ideas, as is your prerogative.

    You’re sadly mistaken if you think I didn’t answer your previous question about Noah because I clearly did by using the same BIBLICAL PRINCIPLE that explains Cain’s situation.

    As far as rejecting proper authority, that clearly exposes who is your real leader (Titus 1:16, 1 John 2:4) and that you don’t follow Yeshua who said “I have kept my Father’s commandments,” “I have not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets,” and other humble submissions to the Kingdom of God and allegiance to its Constitution, setting true Christians an example to follow.

  • gonzo marx

    well now David..you assume quite a bit

    but that’s ok, you are entitled to your Opinions, of course

    i don’t think you can ever find where i said what i do “believe” or “have Faith” in…i’ve stated my positions against the veracity of certain dogma and it’s sources

    just as i’ve stated my Thoughts on the Ethical Principle involved where the crime of murder is vastly more important than the “crime” of breaking a Vow

    which…up earlier in this Thread, you referred to BOTH as “capital crimes”…very telling, that…

    may you find Comfort…

    Excelsior!

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Mr. Ben-Ariel:

    I do not wish to converse with you because, quite frankly, you frighten me. However, I did want, out of Christian kindness, to clarify your error regarding Dan Savage’s sexual orientation (i.e. the way God made him).

    Dan Savage is an advice columnist. What you read was the start of a letter from someone asking him for advice. Dan is clearly, queerly gay and really most sincerely gay. And a great husband and father too. Worry not for their son – he has plenty of female relatives and role models and lots of respect, love and support (something lots of fundie kids don’t receive).

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Those willing to speak the plain truth, however politically incorrect, often frighten those unwilling to face reality and lead a truly alternative lifestyle that biblical Christians do.

    May such frightened folks get over being scared of the Light and learn to live in and with it, and be blessed both now and forever. (John 3:19-21).

  • Scott Butki

    No, that’s not what she is saying.
    It’s not that what you are saying is politically correct – it’s that you’re so full of bias and prejudice against people of your own sexual orientation that is disturbing to watch.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Bias and prejudice are in the eye of the beholder. (I really can write properly, even if I’m tired).

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Precisely, Mr. Butki, and thanks.

    Mr. Ben-Ariel, I am praying for you.

  • Scott Butki

    Call me Scott, Natalie.

    You are welcome.

  • Travis Hicks

    I am against it same as my Grandma but my Mom is for it. See called me Intaleranate but i hate the Sin.

  • Jet in Columbus

    Concerning Brokeback Mountian Critics
    As I’ve quoted many times…
    First They had them come for the Jews, but I wasn’t Jewish so I didn’t speak out
    Then They had them come for the Catholics, but I wasn’t Catholic so I didn’t care
    Then They had them come for the gays, but I wasn’t gay so I didn’t complain
    Then They had them come for the Buddhists, but I wasn’t one, so I didn’t protest
    After the Catholics and gays and Jews were marched off to the gas chambers and death houses-because the Bible (Leviticus in particular) teaches that they must die (look it up), they began looking for anyone else who didn’t believe in their “fundamentalist” beliefs, and rounded them up to be retaught to their way of thinking, and since I didn’t agree with them, I was taken too, but there was no one left to speak for me.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Shamefully, some folks want to be more righteous and more tolerant than God.

    Deviance by choice is not to be defended. Those who are truly innocent must be defended.

    Some maintain biblical standards and refuse to blur the lines, however intense the fascist p.c. pressure gets.

  • Jet in Columbus

    Ahhhh the words of a self-righteous hypocrate if ever I saw them!

  • http://alienboy.wordpress.com/ Christopher Rose

    I have heard many a stupid, smug, pompous remark made by people who presume to act as moral authority figures because they choose to live their lives based on a novel.

    Remark #226 is a true classic of the genre; babbling, incoherent, self-martyring drivel.

    Truly religion is the work of the devil.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I’ve read through this entire line of comments as well as the original article posted by my friend David.

    I’ve seen the comments degenerate into bitter attacks and arguments by Chistians and a few non-believers.

    Just some observations. I haven’t seen the movie in question. I understand why someone like Silas or David would be attracted to the movie. I’m not. I have a vague idea of its plot from the 220 odd comments posted and from David’s review and that of others.

    David has made a difficult choice with respect to his sexual behavior. Forgetting for a moment all moral considerations, he has chosen a survival strategy after having his own survival and chances for a long life severely threatened by a killing disease.

    Let’s look briefly at some of David’s ideas. Chapter 18 of Leviticus, the Holiness Code, is applicable to the Children of Israel only. What is applicable to those who are not the Children of Israel are known as the Seven Laws of Noah, made known to Moses after the Exodus from Egypt.

    David argues that many of the people living in America and Britain are descended from the Children of Israel. Therefore, the Holiness Code applies to them, as does the rest of the Torah. These arguments are also made by a Jewish group run by Yair Davidiy and Rav Avraham Feld called Brit-Am which may have been referenced elsewhere.

    Are they right? I’m the last person who could tell you. The only intelligent answer I can give you is that when the messiah comes, we’ll find out.

    As to the moral issues involved, I would prefer a gay Jew who has come to analogous conclusions as David has, take up the cudgels and argue. I am not qualified to. There is too much I don’t understand.

    There are two things I do understand clearly though. The Holiness Code is given for a reason – stated at the end of Chapter 18. It has to do with remaining on the Land that G-d gifted us with, and the fact that the previous inhabitants were to be thrown out because they defiled the Land by defiling themseves through the behaviors prohibited. Thus, this is part of the Land Covenant between G-d and the Children of Israel.

    Also, in Chapter 20 of Leviticus, issues of proof and punishment are raised. Homosexual behavior between men (women get a free pass) is defined as a capital offense. The Torah demands a burden of proof be met before convicting anyone of a capital offense.

    When the Torah becomes the governing code of law in this country, the issues I refer to above will then have to be addressed by people who have greater wisdom, compassion and understanding than I will ever have.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    I appreciate Ruvy’s dispassionate, objective comments about this entire thread and subject, but seriously question the comments:

    “Chapter 18 of Leviticus, the Holiness Code, is applicable to the Children of Israel only. What is applicable to those who are not the Children of Israel are known as the Seven Laws of Noah, made known to Moses after the Exodus from Egypt.”

    Then why did God condemn the pagan Gentile Canaanites for engaging in such abominable activities and destroy the Gentile cities of Sodom and Gomorrha?

    Even as the dietary laws were given to all mankind at Creation, revealed to Adam and Eve and later passed on through Noah (who took into the Ark SEVEN of every clean animal and 2 of every unclean animal – and he wasn’t Jewish!), it appears mankind once knew God’s standards, some more, some less, some retained the knowledge and some purposely forgot it.

    I’ve read time and again how lesbians are free to engage in acts contrary to nature, just because it doesn’t mention them by name in the Torah. It does mention them by name in the New Covenant/Testament. The spirit of the Law, not just the letter, applies, otherwise God would have to write out in “plain English” every sexual infraction or perversion so some didn’t think they could carry on without consequences.

    Ruvy has stated other Jews who would share my convictions would be more qualified to speak on these subjects from a strictly Jewish perspective. I appreciate that but merely wanted to offer this kosher food for thought, these rhetorical questions. ;-)

  • Jet in Columbus

    Ruvy & David are neither compassionate nor objective, and I’d respectfully ask that they re-read comment #225 instead of just scanning over anything that they don’t agree with

  • Jet in Columbus

    Compassionate-OBJECTIVE??? In your alternate universe maybe, or did you miss the part at the beginning of his triad about not even seeing the movie??? Wich after all is what this is all about.
    See the movie-then come back and comment on it, then re-read #225
    PULLLLLLEEEEEASE!

  • chantal stone

    good morning Jet…..do yourself a favor and re-read this entire thread…all 200+ comments, and you’ll see how this issue has been thrown back and forth. every possible angle has been argued, but yet the fact remains….no one is changing any minds here. sorry.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    David,

    The answer to your question is in my comment as well…

    “The Holiness Code is given for a reason – stated at the end of Chapter 18. It has to do with remaining on the Land that G-d gifted us with, and the fact that the previous inhabitants were to be thrown out because they defiled the Land by defiling themseves through the behaviors prohibited. Thus, this is part of the Land Covenant between G-d and the Children of Israel.”

    Jet: I’ve expressed no opinions on the comments preceding mine except to observe how bitter the arguments became. I’ve certainly expressed no opinions on a movie I haven’t seen.

    The general text of Comment 225 – without the PC spin to it – is about 60 years old and is one I’m well aware of.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    I understand how primitive folk who reject contact with Higher Intelligence, who vainly dismiss our Great Creator God’s Instruction Manual for Mankind, who foolishly reject such divine revelation and extraterrestial message for their own idolatrous ideas, tinsel traditions and self-righteous liberal standards, could easily feel threatened by or misjudge those who nobly choose to lead an alternative lifestyle that is based upon absolutes rather than the fickle feelings or passing fads or personal phases an individual, society or country might be going through.

    May such folk have a proper change of heart (Isaiah 55:7-9), attitude and direction and learn to love and walk in the Light and not fear it (John 3:19-21), as it will soon be the golden rule of law for all Earth under King Messiah who will come to restore law and order, saving mankind from chaos and confusion and near extinction from such self-destructive ways that will demand divine intervention and deliverance:

    Matthew 24:22

    22If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

  • gonzo marx

    /sigh

    and once again…rather than Personal Responsibility, some folks would rather take the “free ride” and wait for a nebulous “redeemer” to “save” them, based on interpertations of Men who claim “inspiration” of old books that contain Wisdom

    “know your enemy”

    and my Thought is that ANY person who tries to “sell” another that they and they alone know the Mind and Will of the “Creator” are either deluded, deranged or after your wallet

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    There’s a guy around the corner from my house that knows EVERYTHING the creator has in store for us gonzo…and he tells us so on the boobtube all the time! Pat’s my hero!!!

    HA!!!

  • MCH

    [Entire comment deleted]

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    [Entire comment deleted]

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I figured that was gonna happen…

  • nugget

    ruvy: Your messiah already lives and has saved God’s creation. God begat this messiah. As you may know, and as C.S. Lewis eloquently alluded, God created man in his likeness with the gift of free will. He did not beget man. He created him. Thus, God created AND begat “God” as flesh in order that free will be perfectly restored and that man may try in faith, humility, and selflessness to be like Christ. Those who reject the Anointed One because of his ostensibly blasphemous teachings, reject him in a heap of arrogance and contempt and have a false presumption of what God must be and how God must save man. No matter the Christian theology, this much is true about the messiah. It would serve you practically and eternally to submit to the Christ who was and is living perfectly.

    Additionally, if I ever have a muslim neighbor, I will invite him over for dinner and I will love and respect him just as I would a Jew or gentile or buddhist or taoist. I will listen to the message of islam and inquire many things, but I will not read a book on the subject. I believe Allah, God, Christ, the Holy spirit, and any other manifestation of truth to be capable of symbolizing and implementing truth and love. If Allah, the Jewish, and Christian God are in fact the same God of Mt. Sinai then I would be quite relieved and even more hopeful.

    Furthermore, I believe the amalgamation of religious teachings to be a great thing.

    Evil men use religious texts like the Koran, the New Testament, and the Torah as instruments to embolden their weak flesh-driven exploits. In doing so, they reject prudence, circumspection, faith, real pleasure, and love. They even reject pride. Real and great pride is from God. Man’s pride is the most dangerous and vile of all sins. A man’s pride destroys him. Every man knows that pride is the catalyst of self-destruction.

    Good, God-fearing men use religious texts in hopes to learn more about their nature as men, improve, and praise whoever and whatever it was that gave them life. God fearing men love other men and women and do not assume that they are “ok”. All men hold deep and painful secrets and sins which we would never admit to any other man. This IS NO secret. Real evil happens not as an anti-thesis of good, but springs as a short-cut detour route to things perceived good without any work or sacrifice involved. Pleasure is not a bad thing by itself. A man seeking pleasure by hurting another is bad. A man seeking pleasure by corrupting a child is bad. Pleasure, however, is NOT bad in and of itself.

    My point is, ruvy, that you view evil to be whatever it is you perceive to threaten your rhetoric and your intellectual precepts. You ignore your feelings and instincts. A child is a child. A muslim child is no devil, nor is a jew. If you understand all people to be what they used to be (children) then you can understand the G-d’s love outside of the Land of Canaan, the reversal of the jewish diaspora, or any covenant. God is outside of time. Your “waiting” is based on time. God cares for you as an individual. He wants you to work very hard and love intensely. Therein lies your purpose as a man. If you reject Christ, then you are rejecting what old sour men are and were telling you to reject because of man’s interpretation of what a savior must be like, but if you accept Christ then you accept not some idea, but a great truth and saving grace.

    I say accepting Christ not as a means of power and controlling rhetoric, but as a means of practical necessity for any man who wishes to understand virtue and openmindedness to its full extent.

    If Christ were flesh today, Christ would be chillin’ with prostitutes, visiting jails, befriending lost and drunken college students, enjoying and accepting the company of gay men and teaching about love. He would be rebuking powerful religious men like Pat Robertson, James Dobson, many priests and bishops, rabbis, and many other interpreters of God’s law. Nothing has changed. God dislikes man’s arrogance. Period.

    I’m not preaching, but I do believe that the more mandates you religious types put on well-meaning people, the more you alienate them who would have otherwise been a friend, and, more importantly, a believer.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    “Christ would be chillin’ with prostitutes, visiting jails, befriending lost and drunken college students, enjoying and accepting the company of gay men and teaching about love.”

    Yes, and in TOUGH LOVE, Yeshua would offer the pardon and the power for all to “go and sin no more”not some more. Yeshua doesn’t approve of living in sin but offers all a Way out.

  • nugget

    unfortunately, many would read my former post in disgust, only imagining a southern baptist extremist rather than an introspective artist. I rarely go to church because I view the Church, or body of christ, as the diaspora of christians throughout the world. True believers. How do you identify them? I’m not sure. Who’s to say whether they are or whether they aren’t? Not me. Only in a close friendship or relationship might you get a glimpse of one’s true convictions.

  • nugget

    David: I certainly agree.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Awesome. :-)

    Shabbat Shalom (Sabbath peace)

  • gonzo marx

    very interesting read, nugget…one can easily tell you have spent some serious time on your inner convictions…

    nugget sez…
    *Good, God-fearing men *

    why Fear?

    and for David…
    “judge not, lest ye be Judged”

    but you knew that….

    gnosis > dogma

    Excelsior!

  • nugget

    thank you gonzo.

    why fear? Well let me first clear up what I mean by “fear.” Man’s definition of fear, in most cases, consists of suspicion, distrust, or wariness caused by a lack of knowledge or understanding about a specific ideal or entity. An irrational fear is quite dangerous as I know you understand. I see one of your sigs “gnosis > dogma”. Clearly gnosis is most beneficial. Gnosis shatters fear, and as a consequence, obviates disagreements, bigotry, hatred, and war.

    On the other hand, men need fear to survive. Just as a man who does not feel pain will hurt himself, a man who does not fear will run into a similar fate. Men often lose this instinct in drunkenness, and it’s pretty clear why they need it.

    I fear consequences. I fear that I may run out of money. I fear that my wife could be raped. (not all the time, but you know) On the other hand, I do not fear any one man. The smart kid that gets picked on by the less intuitive bully in the schoolyard does not necessarily fear the bully, but he fears embarassment, alienation from his peers, and, most of all, his parents! So he walks away from the fight. He may be labeled a coward for the time being, but he’s not. He’s smart, and his survival instinct was greater than that of the bully’s.

    My dogs fear my wrath when they stray out of my yard into my neighbors. They could destroy their garden or get run over. In this way men should fear God’s wrath. God’s wrath is just and warranted by our disobedience. (IMO) Our insubordination causes our destruction. I love my dogs (probably too much). I don’t want them to get hurt, but sometimes it is only fear that makes them listen. A simple change in tone or scowl does the trick.

    I believe God not to be a God of rules, but a God of love. And that is precisely what Christ taught. Naturally, I gravitated to the teachings of Christ for this very reason.

    I’m probably rambling. And I probably sound like a philo 101 pedant talking about fear, but the fear of God is great and necessary! We are fallen and desperate men. We are all inches away from doing something irrational and gross! I need God or at least an idea of him/her/it. I need it. Who’s to say that my instincts that God might exist are false? I readily admit that they might be. But that’s not the point. The point is, I feel all of this based on my experience alone, NOT my interpretations of someone else’s life. I feel that the kingdom of God is inside all men who wish to sacrifice silly flesh life for life of true and unimaginable bliss. I’m not talkin’ about some cheesey romantic version of heaven, but I’m talkin’ about truth! Who knows what it is? It’s crazy to even attempt at imagining it. We are stuck in a created logic that limits our spirituality!

    If you ask me, that’s fucking weird shit. And I can’t wait (as Jake Gyllenhall talks about in Donnie Darko) to see what’s going to happen next.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Nugget,

    While I type this, I’m listening to a man who is a believer in money and power only – one of the thieves in the government who plans to help the acting crime minister divide G-ds’s land and give it away. The man disgusts me, so I may sound harsher than I mean to here.

    I too, have given serious thought to my beliefs. And there is a big difference between a believer and one who merely follows rules and mumbles prayers because they are written in a book or stated by a rabbi. Here you and I agree.

    The mandates I have upon me as a Jew do not apply to non-Jews, and we are not in the business of “witnessing” in the same sense you are. I’m not obligated to push my religion on anyone else. I am obligated to proclaim that the there is a Living G-d, and certainly not to deny Him. But that is what prayer is all about, and if you notice, it is also what my writings here are mostly about.

    I attempt to make my behavior about this too. Sometimes, I succeed.

    But the bottom line is that all the rules you find in the Torah do not apply to you, unless it turns out that you are indeed one of the Children of Israel.

    I’ve often pondered why, if Christians are wrong, whey have they been such a success? When you are a tiny minority in the Middle Western United States, with every variety of non-Jew trying to tell you what your own book is about and why you are wrong, such a question is well worth asking.

    The answer is related to why there was a holocaust of a ⅓ of my people, and why the Romans succeeded in destroying our Temple 2,000 years ago.

    So, here is the deal, shortened a bit, but clear after much searching.

    The job of Jews is to spread the Seven Laws of Noah and to guide people in helping them to observe them. That as always been our job, and is why we were gifted with a piece of real estate of our own. Israel is the home base. We Jews are to be a holy nation, a nation of priests to the world.

    The Hebrew Bible after the Torah is largely a tale of how we fell down on the job and proved to the Almighty that indeed we were not ready, just as He told Moses we weren’t. It is largely proof of the Admonitions found that warn us of what would happen if we didn’t follow the rules given us on our home base, which is holy to G-d.

    So G-d decided to send his “educational team” back to “training school”, so to speak. That is what the last 2,000 years has been all about. One hundred ninety years of slavery in Egypt and miracles in the desert evidently was not enough “education.”

    While we Jews were back in “training school” what to do? How do you get the message out while the educational team is in training? That is where Christianity and Islam come in.

    Islam mandates about 90% of our rules on its adherents. It is very similar to Judaism, so similar that kosher meat is usually accepted by Moslems as “hallal” meat – which is analogous in Islam to “kosher”.

    Christians, particularly Evangelical Protestants, have more than a passing familiarity with Jewish law. That is the idea. You’re supposed to understand some of the principles of Jewish law – even if you reject most of them. If you are not Jewish, you are not supposed to follow a lot of them anyway!

    But when we Jews finally tumble out of “training” ready to do our jobs at long last, the idea is that you and billions of others will have a pretty good idea of the curriculum to be covered in learning and following the Seven Laws of Noah.

    If you just fell in line like sheep behind a shepherd, we wouldn’t have a job to do. It would have already been done! If the Moslems just accepted us as we were, we would not have to actually follow the practices of the faith. That is part of their price for reconciliation. So, in order to work a reconciliation with the Children of Kedar, we actually have to follow our laws. Reform Jews and “secular” Jews stop their ears up at that. They are still in “training”.

    It will be problematic weaning you Christians away from worshipping a fellow Jew. But, contrary to your theology, we haven’t been replaced at all. That is what the re-emergence of Israel is all about theologically, and you Christians are having a hard time with that, even those of you who classify yourselves as “heretics”. We still have plenty of work to do. But more of my fellow Jews will have to emerge from “training” before the work can begin in earnest.

  • nugget

    Interesting.

    you say, “The job of Jews is to spread the Seven Laws of Noah and to guide people in helping them to observe them. That as always been our job, and is why we were gifted with a piece of real estate of our own. Israel is the home base. We Jews are to be a holy nation, a nation of priests to the world.”

    I have no doubt that this is true because you say it. As a gentile, I’ve always understood the children of Israel to be God’s chosen people. That is, I readily exclude myself from this elite group.

    One question: How can a gentile be a child of Israel without the sacrifice of Christ? Must the gentile convert to Judaism, or must he uphold the 7 laws of Noah?

    You say, “It will be problematic weaning you Christians away from worshipping a fellow Jew.”

    Why is this necessary? Can a Christian not still learn these laws and maintain his redemption through Christ? As a Christian, I worship God. Why should I not believe that Christ was God’s son and God manifested in flesh? I have been told this my entire life, and I still believe it. What am I to believe if the “truth” as you know it has not reached my corner? Am I to hope for redemption some other way?

    And, why is it taking Jews so long to get it together? And, what is it that Christians don’t understand about the re-emergence of Israel? Take your time with these questions.

    I know one thing, living in Middle America as a Jew must have sucked.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel
  • nugget

    thanks for the articles David. I read them all and will comment on them a bit later.

    for now I’d like to quote from a different journalist,

    “With no Temple complex or known tribal lineage by which to determine who might serve as a Levitical priest, Old Covenant Judaism has been embarrassed by the fact that they have had no atoning sacrifice to offer for almost 2,000 years. Having rejected the only sacrifice sufficient to bring them atonement, that of Jesus the Lamb of God at Golgotha, they have no alternative divinely-appointed mediator that might convey to them the mercy of God so necessary for salvation.” ( from Carson C Day’s “Defending the Faith of Jesus: Christianity as True Judaism”)

    Ruvy: what might you say in defense of Old Covenant Judaism? What have you sacrificed? How are your sins justified? What is the source of your atonement?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Nugget: You wrote,

    One question: How can a gentile be a child of Israel without the sacrifice of Christ? Must the gentile convert to Judaism, or must he uphold the 7 laws of Noah?

    If you want to convert to Judaism, you have to first convince some rabbis that you are serious, and that you are not there to spread dissension or convert Jews to another faith.

    Once you’ve accomplished that, you study under the guidance of a rabbi, and learn. The difference between being a Child of Israel and a Child of Noah (which you are already, as is everybody else, including all the Children of Israel) is that you are willing to undertake to try to fulfill all 613 comandments incumbent upon us, instead of the Seven Commandments of Noah.

    In other words, you don’t have to convert to anything, unless you want to join the Tribe. Fulfill the Seven Commandments of Noah, and you’re fine. You don’t need “salvation” or anything else. You never did. What you need for spiritual sustenance on a day to day basis is a simple code of law, and a mechanism by which you can confess your sins. And the value of the confession is so that you feel that you are “straight with G-d”. No man can absolve you of sin against G-d. Only the Sh’khiná, the Holy Presence of G-d, can do that.

    When the messiah arrives, one of the things that he will destroy is the inclination to do evil. With that gone, many of the things you were taught as a Christian will be a lot easier to do and will seem like simple common sense, instead of a concept “that nobody has tried before”.

    And you won’t need Jesus to pull it off, either. That is one of the things you’ll discover if you live to see the time, and when the time comes. That will leave you disconcerted.

    At that point, instead of me knocking at your door with a Bible in hand and a sales pitch, you’ll seek out Jews or other B’nei Noah (Children of Noah) to teach you what you don’t understand, and guide you.

    At some point, you will die and your soul will be judged. You’ll discover in a very clear way what you did wrong, and you will be “educated.” Exactly how, I’m not sure, though one example of this is found at this site. We will all be judged and G-d does not play favorites.

    you quoted,

    “With no Temple complex or known tribal lineage by which to determine who might serve as a Levitical priest, Old Covenant Judaism has been embarrassed by the fact that they have had no atoning sacrifice to offer for almost 2,000 years.”

    Not quite.

    When the Sh’khiná departed from the Temple of Solomon was the last time Divine forgivenss was granted our people in the form you outline above.

    The Sh’khiná never saw fit to dwell upon the Second Temple.

    When did the Sh’khiná permanently leave the Temple of Solomon? I don’t know. I’m guessing, and this is only a guess, that it left at the end of the reign of King Josiah of blessed memory. It may well have been towards the end of Solomon’s reign, far earlier.

    Either way, the forgiveness of sin in the form of the Sh’khiná granting it at the request of the Kohén Gadól, has not been given us for at least 2,600 years.

    As to the “known tribal lineage by which to determine who might serve as a Levitical priest,” we’ve always had that through the ages. We know who our kohaním are, we know who our Levites are. And to supplement tradition, we have science. The “Aaron” marker on the “Y” chromosome is found on at least 65% of people who identify themselves as “kohaním”. This “Aaron” marker is estimated to be 106 generations old.

    So you can take the whole quote and toss it in the trash bin, for what it is worth.

    As for what we have sacrificed, we have sacrificed 2,000 years of punishment to teach us that it is not the sacrifice itself that matters, but the intent.

    When the time comes, those of us whom G-d is gracious enough to allow to survive will make the apppropriate sacrifices at the Temple, with the appropriate intent, and G-d will grant us atonement such as He sees fit.

    Finally, you ask, “Can a Christian not still learn these laws and maintain his redemption through Christ? As a Christian, I worship God. Why should I not believe that Christ was God’s son and God manifested in flesh? I have been told this my entire life, and I still believe it. What am I to believe if the “truth” as you know it has not reached my corner? Am I to hope for redemption some other way?”

    Go back and re-read my third paragraph. Anything else I say will only be met with bristling hostility. When the time comes, you will understand.

    Shavua Tov (have a good week)

  • http://myspace.com/merrily7242 Merr

    David Ben-Ariel, I have arrived very late in this discussion so please forgive me for not having read all of the comments previously posted, i.e., I may be repeating something already stated.

    Many people’s comments I did read made an attempt to enlighten you about the real “theme” of Brokeback Mountain. I’m going to try again because evidently you still don’t “get it.”

    Annie Proulx is a Pulitzer Prize, O’Henry Prize, Golden Globe and Oscar winning, to name a few, writer. She has studied the subject of Brokeback Mountain, being the “theme” of the film: The Tragic Effects of Rural Homophobia in Wyoming in 1963. She then told the story. It centered around Ennis and Jack, who grew up very poor in remote country areas and knew very few people. Ennis’ parents were killed when he was about 14 y/o. But his father was around long enough to make sure that Ennis was fearful of being a “queer.” Ennis’ father dragged he and his brother to the ditch where an old man, who was “ranched up” with another man, had been violently killed. This event had a very lasting impression on him – because of the violent nature of the killing, not because Ennis was queer. When he and Jack meet when they are both 19, there is an instant bonding going on which leads to the first Tent Scene (you missed the first 10 minutes so I’ll forgive your lack of knowledge about how J&E began their flirting), and you are right it happened with liquid courage at first, but Ennis’ fear was also associated with the fact that if anyone found out he was queer, he could end up like the dead guy his father dragged him to see. In Annie Proulx’ short story, Ennis is paired with Alma by his sister who was going to get married and leave soon. At the time, Ennis had no sexual experience or understanding, so he went along with it – as was the custom. But after he and Jack find each other he is very confused and afraid. Small town – easy for him to be found out. They immediately have 2 children and are dirt poor.

    Jack at the same time is trying to figure himself out. He is pretty much aware of the fact that he is gay, but that is not socially acceptable. He meets his wife during a rodeo, they get married and have a son.

    Four years after J&E come down from Brokeback Mountain, Jack mails Ennis a postcard saying he will be coming to Wyoming, presumably to visit his folks. When they see each other again, it is a “Powerful Force of Nature” that hits them. Ennis is very afraid and also unwilling to leave his wife and kids for Jack. Jack would be willing to leave his wife for Ennis though. They continue meeting 2-3 times a year until Ennis just can’t stand this struggle anymore. Jack returns home and the next thing we hear, he has been killed – no definitive answer. It could have been an accident – it could have been the same as what happened to the old rancher who had been killed violently (Ennis father had dragged him to see). It was at that time that Ennis realizes how much he loved Jack and how much Jack meant to him. At the same time, he also discovers how much Jack loved him. It is a truly sad ending. Jack’s wife didn’t seem to be all that interested in the marriage (maybe she figured Jack was queer) and Ennis’ wife had already remarried and had a new baby. Ennis had a good relationship with his girls though. But, most of us think that Ennis will never try to “replace” Jack.

    I think this beautiful Masterpiece on film has opened up a lot of people’s homophobic ideals and helped them to become tolerant of “people period,” not just the ones who are “like them.” I have spoken to hundreds of people who have told these stories and I, myself, feel that I have been even more enlightened than I thought I was.

    David Ben-Ariel, I feel really sorry for you because you are using the Bible to keep yourself from living a life. You have denied yourself the happiness that WE ALL DESERVE! This type of interpretation of WHAT IS A TRUE CHRISTIAN, is the main reason I am not a CHRISTIAN. I cannot praise a God who passes judgment on me (I think there is a passage in the Bible about judging others, right?)and I also have seen with my own eyes the horrible wars in the name of religions of all type: Muslim, Catholic, Christian, Judaism, etc. If you have to kill people to convince them that Christianity is the best religion, what’s up with that? And, don’t say that isn’t exactly what the holy wars have been about. You know it is true. Is that what you think is worth sacrificing your entire life for?

    When I read your initial article, I was appalled. Your self-righteous opinionated attitude is another thing that God is supposed to hate. But you use God to force us to believe you are right. I liken it to a person doing some great, unselfish jesture but goes around bragging about it. Self-righteous. Keep your celebacy to yourself – we don’t care and don’t need to know. Keep your righteous behavior to yourself. We don’t care and we don’t need to know. And, I would be grateful if you wouldn’t publish it on a news forum for me to read. Keep that to yourself too. Good luck selling that self-righteous book.

  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel

    Merr, you’re entitled to your opinion. You can come down off your soapbox now because you’re not going to convert me. If only you knew the Bible as well as you know that movie!

    Should Christians Judge?

    Plea to Diehard Catholics & Protestants to Repent