"The LORD says, 'The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald.' " - Isaiah 3:16-17
We finally get to hear from God again today. Almost the entirety of today's section is God speaking through Isaiah. Unfortunately, it's nothing new or particularly exciting. Israel has been naughty again, and God is telling them how he's going to destroy them if they don't straighten up.
Chapter one starts with God being rather dumbfounded as to why Israel is still being bad. He says that all of their cities are burned, their fields are stripped, and they've been beaten. Maybe corporal punishment doesn't work? One of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein seems particularly relevant here, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." By this definition God is completely insane. He keeps beating the Israelites and burning their cities, and it's not working. Try something else, God!
God goes on to say he doesn't want the Israelites' meaningless offerings anymore. I'm not sure why he wanted them in the first place. What does God care if some measly little humans kill some insignificant animals?
Again, God says that if they go back to God's way they will be forgiven. Those who are still alive that is. At this point, God can't seriously think that the Israelites are going to turn around and stop being bad (actually, he should know they're not going to). It has to be almost 10 times now that the Israelites have gone against God's will.
Chapter 1 ends with God promising to straighten out the Israelites. So he's essentially saying "we can do this the easy way, or the hard way."
Chapter 2 talks about the "last days". It says mostly that in the last days the mountain of God will be raised above all the other mountains and everyone will want to go there. Well, we must not be toward the end of days then, because I don't even know what mountain they're talking about.
For the last couple of chapters God just goes on and on about how the Israelites have been bad. He says the women have been running around flirting (oh no!) so he's going to make them bald, and give them sores. He says he's going to make their perfume into a stench. Why are the women getting the rough end of this deal? I'm sure the guys they were flirting with weren't going "no, please stop, we hate flirting!"
Recently, billboards like this were found on Ontario buses.
When you went to their website, you got the answer "based on the Bible". Unfortunately, the Toronto transit system was so offended by this that they had this particular sign removed, saying that the content pointed to in the ad was "inappropriate". Seemingly in agreement, answerme.ca (aka Bus Stop Bible Studies) pulled it's answer to this question from it's website. If you go to the website now, all you get is a message saying why the content was removed.
Fortunately for the curious among us, what goes on the internet, takes awhile to get off the internet. Google still had the full text of the answer cached, and I caught it before it went into oblivion. Here is the original answer:
The quick answer is “Yes”. God cares about us and all aspects of our lives.I personally didn't find the answer (or the sign) offensive at all. There is much more offensive anti-gay rhetoric out there, and I don't think these people were being dishonest from a biblical perspective. Do I disagree? Yes, but I don't think we should be taking down their signs, or pressuring them to take things off their website just because they have a different opinion. I think I just mentioned this a few days ago, even if I had found this sign offensive, I still don't think it should be removed. That's freedom of speech in practice.
To answer the main question “Does God care if I’m gay [homosexual]?” one must place the matter in context by asking and answering several other questions:Why am I homosexual? Is there more than one reason for being homosexual?
* Reason 1 – The fall of mankind. Death and decay came into the world when Adam sinned. Adam and Eve were created in perfection, “in the image of God”. As much as any other ‘imperfection’ can be found in creation, that is physical, mental or spiritual in nature, these imperfections are a result of the death and decay that came into the world many thousands of years ago ‘through one man’. In this case the responsibility for being homosexual cannot be directly blamed on the individual. The Bible illustrates this point very clearly, As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened…” Read the whole dialogue in John chapter 9.
* Reason 2 – Refusing to know God. In Paul’s Letter to the Romans he explains how God will show his displeasure “…as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth.” that is those who have chosen to go against Him. The consequence of this is that “Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.” Carefully read Romans 1:18-32 and notice the type of people Paul is talking about at the end of the passage. He is not singling out homosexuals!
Does God love homosexuals?
Yes! Without exception.
Are my responsibilities as a homosexual any different from heterosexuals?
We know from passages throughout Scripture that God hates homosexual acts BUT no more than any other sinful act. Some individuals seem to place homosexual acts in a special class – God does not. Sin is sin.
Homosexual activity is no better or worse than heterosexuals engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage. The Bible refers to these people as fornicators. See 1 Corinthians 6:9 and as you read this passage be sure to read it in the context of all Scripture, especially Isaiah 1:18.
This raises the whole question of whether a gay person should lead a celibate life? Jesus himself acknowledges that this is a tough issue to deal with: …Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!” “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
Struggling with homosexuality?
All humans, including all Christians, struggle with sin. Romans 7:7
Does God ‘heal’ homosexuals?
There is no evidence in Scripture that God ‘heals’ homosexuals any more or any less than any other ‘imperfection’.
Will God punish homosexuals?
Again, God will not judge a homosexual any differently from any other sinner (that is 100% of the human population throughout time). As in all things, God looks at the heart and the response of those who reach out to Him. For those who reject Him there are consequences, see Jude 1:7
Is AIDS God’s punishment against homosexuals?
No! Punishment is only effective if the one receiving the punishment is specifically aware that he or she is being punished. Someone who ends up in jail as a consequence of a robbery will know full well why he or she is going to prison because the judge will explicitly make the details known.
BUT, there are consequences to engaging in homosexual activity:
There is an old saying, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” In all things there are consequences for our actions; some for good and some for bad. Engaging in practices God specifically warns us against, whether heterosexual or homosexual, has consequences. It is unfortunate that one’s selfish freewill choices not only impact you but may impact those around you. A blood transfusion from an infected drug user or someone infected with AIDS (not necessarily a homosexual) because of sexual activity outside of a lifelong monogamous relationship, can lead to an innocent person’s death, i.e. the haemophiliac child who receives the AIDS virus through the infected blood.
God gave us the Ten Commandments, not as some omnipotent spoilsport who doesn’t want us to have any fun, but out of his deep and abiding love for us, to warn us against those things that which are inevitably harmful to our well-being. What parent will not caution their child in love, “Don’t touch that or you will get hurt!”? Ironically, AIDS is one disease that is 100% preventable – but this requires selfless, not selfish, living. See also: Can I find happiness?
How should a homosexual live?
No differently from any other single individual, that is to glorify God and enjoy Him. See Ecclesiastes 12:13-14...[Show Full Text]
(via The Vancouver Sun)