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Rasheed, Muhammad. "False Security." Cartoon. The Official Website of Cartoonist M. Rasheed 19 Jun 2022. Pen & ink w/Adobe Photoshop color.
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Justin Howe - When will they stop telling me to "look it up"? 😆
Muhammad Rasheed - The Book of Romans is composed of the letters of Paul. To look up the matter of what God unambiguously thought about the physical act of homosexuality, read the Sodom and Gomorrah narrative in the Book of Genesis.
Justin Howe - I'm not sure I'm comfortable enough in calling something an unambiguous statement from God when it was written by humans thousands of years ago, and debated and interpreted and reinterpreted by humans ever since.
I've read Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible and the Quran, and I'm not convinced that God destroyed those cities because adults were having loving, consentual, same-sex relationships.
Muhammad Rasheed - Justin wrote: "I'm not sure I'm comfortable enough in calling something an unambiguous statement from God"
"Sodomy is an abomination" is pretty unambiguous.
Justin wrote: "when it was written by humans thousands of years ago"
It was written down/scribed by humans. It was revealed by God and preached by His anointed messengers.
Justin wrote: "and debated and interpreted and reinterpreted by humans ever since."
There's what God said versus what humans tried to self-servingly make it into. "Looking it up" involves taking the time to discern between the two, not throw the confusion of self-serving debates and interpretations up in the air in an effort to make the matter even more confusing as some kind of equally self-serving "gotcha."
Justin wrote: "I'm not convinced that God destroyed those cities because adults were having loving, consentual, same-sex relationships."
What's important, is that God said something very specific about the physical act of homosexuality itself. Whether people can have a loving, consensual, same-sex relationship without that act present is worthy of exploring in a God-fearing context. Whether God condones that specific act is *NOT* up for debate for those who believe and were actually serious in their study when they looked it up.
Justin Howe - Yes homosexual rape, or any rape, is not okay. That doesn't mean that the act itself is the abomination.
Muhammad Rasheed - Justin wrote: "Yes homosexual rape, or any rape, is not okay."
Are you trying to carefully cherry-pick a very specific choice of definition for 'sodomy' to bluff me as your counter? In the Sodom and Gomorrah narrative, there was one part of the event where the hostile people threatened to force themselves on the two angels they assumed were mere men. You're trying to confine the definition of sodomy to that particular narrow incident, when it is quite clear that the wider, more accepted non-rape definition for the term was actually the nature of the loose-moraled culture of the Sodom and Gomorrah region and is why the two angels had come to destroy the towns in the first place.
God had already decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah before that "particular narrow incident". The angels were there to see if they could find "10 righteous men" in the area, which would spare it. I guess they didn't find them.
As for what made Sodom and Gomorrah so "wicked" seems to be open to interpretation and debate.
Right. So, where's all the others? I had to actually click open a "More definitions, origin and scrabble points" drop down to find yours. To be fair, I'm not doing this on my phone though.
Justin wrote: "God had already decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah before that 'particular narrow incident.'"
Yup. So, obviously, the "mob violence/sexual aggression" angle of your screenshot is nonsense.
Justin wrote: "The angels were there to see if they could find '10 righteous men' in the area, which would spare it. I guess they didn't find them."
In the OT narrative, expanded in the apocrypha, Abraham was supposed to have negotiated with God to get Him to spare the righteous people who were there. Lot and his family, of course, qualified (sans his wife). In the Qur'an, the One God said it was His normal practice to make sure His righteous servants were removed from towns that had ignited the Divine Wrath, so the Abraham 'negotiation' tale is clearly fiction. Peace be upon the named prophets of God.
Justin wrote: "As for what made Sodom and Gomorrah so 'wicked' seems to be open to interpretation and debate."
In your screenshot comment, it's clear that the modern politicized "protected class" status of homosexuality is the sole nature of the "open to interpretation and debate" thing, which takes a backseat to God's unambiguous assigning of the physical act itself to the 'sin' category. Take heed.
Justin Howe - "the Abraham negotiation tale is clearly fiction"? NOW who's cherry picking? If that tale is clearly fiction, how does any of it hold up?
I'll be honest, I was raised in a church, but no longer consider myself a religious person. It's things like this that brought me to that point. People fall over themselves to tell each other what "the true meaning" is when, given our human limitations, how can any of us know?
For me, I don't understand a wrathful God at all. Why create people in all their variations to then have a "chosen people"? Why tell us to live one another and care for our neighbors and then build in exclusions?
I just don't buy that.
Muhammad Rasheed - Justin wrote: "'the Abraham negotiation tale is clearly fiction?' NOW who's cherry picking? If that tale is clearly fiction, how does any of it hold up?"
For one, why would a mere human "negotiate" with the all-knowing One God to tell Him how to do His job? For two, the nature of sacred scripture is that humans input corruption into the narrative based on their politicized agenda biases, and God anoints a new messenger to get them back on the Path -- confirming & fulfilling what the previous People of the Book held, while correcting the areas they allowed the message to stray. This is the "abrogation" aspect of the ages old scriptural narrative, known by all those who know how to "look it up." It holds up if you've studied the material. It causes confusion & doubt for those who only have dangerously half-assed studied it and lean towards agnostic disbelief.
Justin wrote: "I'll be honest, I was raised in a church, but no longer consider myself a religious person. It's things like this that brought me to that point."
That makes up the profile of at least 80% of the folk I have these discussions with. For those of you with that background, know you that "STUDY TO SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED" has a very specific meaning that none of you have taken seriously, which puts your soul in danger. The library of sacred scripture is THICK and multilayered and you have to take your time with it. People study this stuff their whole lives, Justin -- it's work. You have to take it seriously and dig in. Giving up when you start to realize how hard it is, is a no-go. There are dire consequences for rejecting the message of the Lord thy God just because you don't feel like putting in that elbow grease.
Justin wrote: "People fall over themselves to tell each other what 'the true meaning' is when, given our human limitations, how can any of us know?"
Because God TOLD YOU what the true meaning of His revelation is. Your job isn't to join those blasphemously trying to change it to something more palatable for a modern political clime (that's now eerily similar to the Lot tale), but to submit to it and save your soul.
Justin wrote: "For me, I don't understand a wrathful God at all."
Irrelevant. This is God's reality and His rules. Who are we to tell the All-Powerful, All-Knowing Supreme Creator of reality what He can get mad about? God is God.
Justin wrote: "Why create people in all their variations to then have a 'chosen people?'"
The only people God favors are those who believe in Him, do what is right and forbid what is wrong. These are the chosen.
Justin wrote: "Why tell us to live one another and care for our neighbors and then build in exclusions?"
The only exclusions God hath revealed involve the above.
Justin wrote: "I just don't buy that."
You're riding a line here that pits your puny will against God's. You will not win such a contest. Are you going to reject God in an emotional outburst based on lazy, slipshod scriptural study and decide that "loving, consensual, same-sex relationships" of the finite material experience is the idol you bow down to? Will you exchange temporary fleshy pleasure for your soul? This is a terrible bargain that you are taking very lightly and it doesn't look good on you.
Justin Howe - Only God can judge me. If that judgement comes from choosing love over hate and acceptance over fear, than I don't want to sit with that God anyway.
Muhammad Rasheed - Justin wrote: "Only God can judge me."
God will Judge and He will do so according to the criterion He revealed in the scripture revealed to guide humankind aright -- we don't get to just willy-nilly make up what God's criterion is based on what feels good to us in the flesh. The idea is absurd. Your job is to study and find out what your Guardian Lord requires of you that you may prosper.
Justin wrote: "If that judgement comes from choosing love over hate and acceptance over fear, than I don't want to sit with that God anyway."
You are not God's peer; you are the creation, made solely to worship your Creator. In the context of this particular subject matter, "choosing love" is one thing and choosing sin is another. As a believer who is determined to win this game of life who happens to have been given the burden of homosexual temptation, it would behoove you to cultivate the love while strictly avoiding the temptations of sin. I have no doubt this would be a difficult journey, but all of us who have specific, personally-tailored burdens of temptation find the same levels of difficulty as we walk out our material lives. Such is the nature of the game. Choosing the flesh over the promise of everlasting spirit life is not how we'll pass Judgment. But we can have everything we want (and MORE!) if we do it God's way.
Rod Zirkle - @Muhammad... I'm pretty sure the true definition of "Sodomy" was not being kind and welcoming to strangers in their town... THAT is why God destroyed it. You're arguing the hows and whys of just what it was they did (or wanted to do) because it makes you feel icky for some reason.
And you are 100% right! We shouldn't pick and choose... but that's exactly what people do. For example, we can't sell our wives and daughters into slavery, nor the women from the next town over. We no longer slaughter and burn livestock because the smell is pleasing to the Lord. We can't stone our neighbors for working on the Sabbath, or for mixing the types of materials used in their clothing. God wiped most of Leviticus away and replaced it with the 10 commandments... (and, some argue he swept those away by sending Jesus) homosexuality didn't even make God's top 10! But murder did, and false testimony, and adultery... but we keep making people rich and famous that do those things for a living! I think we're concentrating on the WRONG things.
Muhammad Rasheed - Rod, you're trying to use a specific, narrow Judao-Christian argument against a studied practicing Muslim. I suggest you stand down since most of what you posted does not apply to my argument here. Revisit my "abrogation" comment.
Rod Zirkle - so you're saying your studied, practiced Muslim point of view should be the only accepted one? For everyone? Even atheists? In a country where freedom of religion is guaranteed?
Muhammad Rasheed - No. I'm saying what you specifically wrote to me did not apply to my argument, and I doubt you know enough about Al-Islam to have an appropriate counter to my position here.
Muhammad Rasheed - Now, I can go on ahead and breakdown what you wrote and show why it doesn't apply, but it would only take us off in another direction from Justin's actual topic.
Rod Zirkle - So... God is love, judge not less you be judged, love thy neighbor... none of that matters because I don't know enough about Al-Islam? Got it.
Muhammad Rasheed - You wrote a great deal more than that in that first post. lol
Muhammad Rasheed - Rod wrote: "God is love"
In the weak effort to confine the Majesty of the Omnipotent Supreme Creator to a single narrow concept, let me remind you that literally no one warned of the dangers of hellfire more than the Christ Jesus, son of Mary (peace be upon them).
Rod wrote: "judge not less you be judged"
That doesn't even fit the last thing I wrote to Justin. lol Believers gently admonishing fellow believers in the Word we all believe in is the point of being in Community. This is not "judgment." It's Support.
Rod wrote: "love thy neighbor"
You don't think that's what I'm taking the time to do here? Would you prefer that I put my Taliban costume on and threw you lot off the roof? 🤨
Muhammad Rasheed - (i don't really own a Taliban costume btw; i know how y'all can get with jokes)
Justin Howe - @Muhammad... laughing at the Taliban line... I do appreciate the conversation. The loving your neighbor Rod and I are discussing are the neighbors that believe differently. Whether that's faith or sexuality, isn't it better to love everyone? Is that not the goal?
Muhammad Rasheed - @Justin... The goal is to pass Judgment Day and enjoy an eternity of bliss -- the Ultimate Achievement for a human. To pull this off successfully will require a certain amount of sacrifice in the earthly realm, but it will be worth it.
Muhammad Rasheed - I don't normally have the religious discussion about the homosexual lifestyle since that's not actually my lane in the social justice area. But if you guys are game, I wouldn't mind exploring the concepts with you in this space. I have no intention of being insulting about it, just truthful from the theist position.
Justin Howe - I actually would be very interested in that. I have a hard time knowing where someone is coming from when they hold that being gay is "against God". If God made everyone, loves everyone, "knows every hair on your head", etc, then I can't imagine any love being against God.
Muhammad Rasheed - "Being gay" is not "being against God," no more than the state of finding women attractive while one is married is being against God. For some, it is natural to find same-genders sexually attractive, just as it is natural to find multiple women sexually attractive as a married man.
The issue is that there is a specific temptation inherent within both scenarios. The act of giving in to temptation and committing the corresponding sin, is where we cross that "against God" line.
Justin Howe - I understand adultery. What I don't understand is how two men or two women who are single, consenting adults have committed a sin by acting how they were created.
Rod Zirkle - @Muhammad... that's the thing, God gave us freedom of choice. I understand you believe you're doing as God asked and telling people "hey, if you keep that up, you're going to hell." Truth is subjective on belief, and the fact you describe it as a theist position is extremely telling... people don't need the fear of God to be good. People don't need someone who believes different telling them what they're doing is wrong or evil. Judging someone on your values is wrong. Here's how it boils down to me - you are free to do what you want so long as that doesn't infringe anyone else from doing the same. Ideally, that wouldn't include self harm, but that's a different discussion. It goes back to religious freedom - which includes freedom FROM religion. To enforce religious beliefs as law is tyranny. It's ok to be morally opposed to them in your own practice - then you simply don't engage in those practices. But to tell someone else how they choose to dress, who to love, how to express that love in the privacy of their own home is wrong. Maybe they won't make it to your heaven, but how is making this life their hell acceptable? Isn't judging them somehow condemning ourselves as well? We are only sure about the short time we have, shouldn't we all do our best to act like brothers for the short time we share each other's company?
Muhammad Rasheed - @Justin... God also lists "fornication" as a sin... two contenting adults having intercourse outside of the marriage covenant. This leads us back to "it's God's rules for His creation." Being a believer is the choice of being in the submitted, obedient state.
Muhammad Rasheed - Rod wrote: "To enforce religious beliefs as law is tyranny."
Do you feel "enforced" at from my typed FB words, Rod? I asked if I could explore the concepts from my position as a theist in a philosophical space and Justin said he'd like that and now we're engaged in it. If it makes you uncomfortable, you don't have to play. I'm not going to confine you to FB religious jail and ENFORCE you to play.
Justin Howe - @Muhammad... So in modern society, in places where gay marriage is permitted, is that still against God?
Muhammad Rasheed - @Justin.... Was it permitted by God? Was the decision justified using sacred scripture in good faith?
Muhammad Rasheed - Or was it just a political thing following the lusts of the people?