As I will be taking a short break from posting until after the New Year, I would like to close out 2008 with a re-iteration of how important it is to recognize the “big picture” of God’s nature, which is LOVE. God’s love and God’s justice are one in the same. Just as a parent corrects their child out of love and for the benefit of the child, any punishment by God is temporary and corrective as justice would show a finite life requires finite correcting.
I John 4:16b
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Fire is a PURIFYING element. How does that concept work into the idea of a punishment for one who might be (theologically) temporarily cast into a "lake of fire"?
Destruction of mercy. Lack of understanding. Polarization. Elitism. Judgment. These are just a few things that come to mind after reading the following story.
In order to structure a belief system around the assumption of perfect knowledge, we can't evolve. Perfect knowledge becomes imperfect if it needs to be reconsidered in light of changing cultural and scientific understanding. Maybe nature is telling us to back off by creating gays or non-breeders, maybe it is not. We have no way of knowing. What we do know is that there is homosexuality in nearly all species of animals, that there are genetic markers which seem to predispose some to homosexual behaviors, that where people lie on the “gay” line is rather more a matter of gradation than absolutes, and that these ‘knowledges’ and understandings continue to change as we learn more about the tremendous complexity of the body, the mind, and sexuality, we should be revising our world views. It’s funny that science continues to point in the direction of tolerance; rejecting the biological basis of race, finding increasing evidence of the biological basis for homosexuality, etc.
Gay groups angry at Pope remarks
Gay groups and activists have reacted angrily after Pope Benedict XVI said that mankind needed to be saved from a destructive blurring of gender.
Speaking on Monday, Pope Benedict said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was as important as protecting the environment. The comments were "irresponsible and unacceptable", the UK's Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) said. Vladimir Luxuria, a transgender former Italian MP, called his words "hurtful". The row erupted as news emerged that the pontiff is to pay his first visit to the Holy Land in May next year. 'Self-destruction' Pope Benedict made the comments in an end-of-year speech to senior Vatican staff. Defending God's creation was not limited to saving the environment, he said, but also about protecting man from himself. It was not "out-of-date metaphysics" to "speak of human nature as 'man' or woman'", he said. It came from the "language of creation, despising which would mean self-destruction for humans". Gender theories, he said, led to man's "auto-emancipation" from creation and Creator. "Rain forests deserve, yes, our protection but the human being... does not deserve it less," he said. LGCM head Rev Sharon Ferguson said the Pope's remarks justified "gay bashing" and bullying. Mark Dowd, strategist for Christian environmental group Operation Noah, said the comments betrayed "a lack of openness to the complexity of creation". And Ms Luxuria, who recently lost her seat in the Italian parliament, said suggesting people like her were destructive was very hurtful. "I'm someone who was born as male and has a spiritual and female soul, and it's contradictory that a Pope just thinks of people just made as flesh and not made of a spiritual aspect." The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage. It teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are. Earlier this month, the Vatican said that a proposed United Nations resolution decriminalising homosexuality went too far. "Unjust discrimination" against gay people should be avoided, but the use of wording such as "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in the text would "create serious uncertainty in the law", it said.