Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Study: Homosexual lifestyle strongly linked to depression, suicide

LONDON - A new study in the United Kingdom has revealed that homosexuals are about 50% more likely to suffer from depression and engage in substance abuse than the rest of the population, reports Health24.com.

After analyzing 25 earlier studies on sexual orientation and mental health, researchers, in a study published in the medical journal BMC Psychiatry, also found that the risk of suicide jumped over 200% if an individual had engaged in a homosexual lifestyle.

These findings strongly support the results of similar studies conducted in the United States, which have unveiled the severe physical and psychological health risks associated with homosexual behavior. Drs. Paul and Kirk Cameron of the Family Research Institute revealed in 2007 that research shows that the lifespan of a homosexual is on average 24 years shorter than that of a heterosexual. As a health threat, even smoking pales in comparison, as studies show smoking can shorten one's life by only 1 to 7 years on average.

While the Health 24 article suggested that homosexuals may be pushed to substance abuse and suicide because of anti-homosexual cultural and family pressures, empirical tests have shown that there is no difference in homosexual health risk depending on the level of tolerance in a particular environment. Homosexuals in the United States and Denmark - the latter of which is acknowledged to be highly tolerant of homosexuality - both die on average in their early 50's, or in their 40's if AIDS is the cause of death. The average age for all residents in either country ranges from the mid-to-upper-70s.

Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist and member of the Catholic Medical Association, says there is evidence that homosexuality is itself a manifestation of a psychological disorder accompanied by a host of mental health problems, including "major depression, suicidal ideation and attempts, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, conduct disorder, low self-esteem in males and sexual promiscuity with an inability to maintain committed relationships."

Fitzgibbons said the American Psychological Association, which is known for its support of homosexual "marriage," ignored the evidence he presented that homosexuality presents significant danger to psychological health.


from:
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=255614

21 comments:

satire and theology said...

Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist and member of the Catholic Medical Association, says there is evidence that homosexuality is itself a manifestation of a psychological disorder accompanied by a host of mental health problems, including "major depression, suicidal ideation and attempts, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, conduct disorder, low self-esteem in males and sexual promiscuity with an inability to maintain committed relationships."

Good points.

I suppose someone from the pro-gay lobby could claim that many of the psychological problems are caused by lack of family and public acceptance of homosexuality as totally normal. But as homosexuality is becoming more accepted in Western society these pressures should be becoming less, if that is a primary cause of problems.

Jeff said...

Excellent point, Russ.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

“Salvation is not for the purpose of a ‘better life now’, but to save us from God’s wrath and from Hell.”

I’m commenting here instead of at the “witnessing” videos because this comment of Jeff’s stuck with me while reading this latest post on homosexuality. It seems to me that the issues that this post shows homosexuals dealing with may not be best addressed through "law" witnessing. Homosexuality, as with any other “law-breaking”, is a symptom of a deeper reality that I don’t think our “witnessing” addresses very often; a reality that I think is crucial in effectively communicating the Gospel; the reality of “estrangement”.

And this is where the above quote caused me to think about these things. In our witnessing, we tend to share, in my opinion, a diminished understanding of the Gospel, or "salvation". Salvation is so much more than simply being saved from the wrath of God and hell; it's nothing less than a "New Creation". Salvation is Life out of Death; it's restoration (really, fulfillment) of our originally created design and purpose as "image-bearers". Redemption isn't even confined to us; it's "cosmic" in scope as the entire created order will realize its own redemption in Christ when He returns. And I think we rob (this is too strong a word, possibly; but it's the only word that came to mind just now) people that we are witnessing to when we reduce the Gospel in this way, and when we center our witnessing around "law".

I don’t necessarily have a big problem with the way that “The Way of the Master” does evangelism. I think that presenting the Law of God is beneficial in helping people to understand that “man” (meaning themselves) is not the “measure of all things”; that there is a standard of life from which we all fall short. But if this is all that “law” witnessing accomplishes, then I don’t think it answers the fundamental question of why people really need Jesus.

In “witnessing”, I prefer to try to start at the beginning, to show people from what “height” we have fallen. The Law speaks to people in terms of their “actions”, not their “nature”. But I don’t think people nowadays care that much about “disobeying” God because they don’t realize who they were created to be and what really happened in “The Fall”. I believe that if people were shown who they are as “image-bearers”, and what really happened in “The Fall” it would help them to recognize the void in their lives—a void that they may have never realized existed.

Whether we’re talking about homosexuality, or stealing, or committing adultery, etc. “sin” is not really in the act committed; sin is, at bottom, unbelief. People “know the truth” (the truth of who God is and who they are as “image-bearers”, not the truth of the “law of commandments”) and in unbelief, they suppress the truth in unrighteousness; and their lives of unbelief are reflected in the myriad of ways that they live out this unbelief.

If our “witnessing” doesn’t get us back to the reality of who we were created to be and from what lofty heights we have fallen, then I don’t think people will understand what their “breaking of the law” really means. They’ll continue to think, even after a legitimate “conversion” (which I don’t deny can and does happen through “law” witnessing), that it is their “actions” that determine their standing with God.

I guess my point is that in my opinion “law” witnessing doesn’t really go far enough, it doesn’t hit at the core issue of who “man” is; and because of this, I don’t believe that is really the most effective way of witnessing. When we confront people with their wrong actions, we’re not telling them anything that they don’t already know. What they don’t know is that their actions are a reflection of their unbelief in God who created them as image-bearers. They need to know that they are living their lives in estrangement from God (and themselves) and that their actions bear this out. They need to know the “rightness” (righteousness) of their original created nature which was in harmony with God and the created order and which facilitated communion with God as “Father”; and then they need to know about the “new birth” in Christ that restores this “shalom” by transforming them and causing them to partake of the divine nature through the presence of the Spirit. A person’s “actions” will take care of themselves as the Spirit works to conform the person (back) into the image and likeness of Christ.

Anyway, I’m not trying to undermine anyone’s belief about how to witness. But this issue is a good discussion point for Christians as we all try to do our best in effectively ministering the Gospel to a lost and dying generation. I appreciate the work of “The Way of The Master” ministries and all those who witness for Christ as the Lord leads them.

I think I’ll do a post on this sometime soon :-)!

Jeff said...

GGM,

Thanks for your comments!

You make some interesting points.

The evangelistic technique that "The Way of the Master" teaches addresses the problem of leaving out the Law in modern evangelism, so they are basically saying that modern evangelism techniques come short. I can verify, from personal witnessing experiences, that they are correct, because most people don't believe (or will not admit) that they are a sinner, and they do not understand the reason why they are a sinner; nor do they understand why they deserve Hell. "The Way of the Master" technique addresses this lack.

I understand you to be saying that even "The Way of the Master" is not going far enough. However, I'm not sure that a lost person would truly be able to comprehend the ideas you are referring to. Have you actually tried that as a witnessing technique? If so, I would be interested in what the person's response was.

Jeff said...

GGM,

Homosexuality, as with any other “law-breaking”, is a symptom of a deeper reality that I don’t think our “witnessing” addresses very often; a reality that I think is crucial in effectively communicating the Gospel; the reality of “estrangement”.

Interesting point. "The Way of the Master" teaches not to focus on their sin of homosexuality, but rather just to show them that they are a sinner, the same as everyone else is a sinner. I think this is one good way to avoid making them feel "estranged" or "rejected" or "hated" because they are homosexual.

Showing love, while at the same time showing them that they are in sin, is not an easy balance to achieve, I don't think. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit is the only One Who can change anyone.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Hey Jeff,

I'm glad you read my comment in the spirit that it was given. It's hard to either outright disagree with someone or to find areas of thought to critique without coming off sounding superior in some way. I hope I never sound like I think I know it all or have a "better" understanding of doctrinal and theological issues as someone else. I always seek to learn; but that involves, obviously, sharing my understanding with others as they share theirs with me. I have no problem changing my mind completely about something or altering my view somewhat through the better clarity of understanding that someone else provides.

But I still believe that Jesus Christ is the fulfilled "Israel" of the OT! :-)

"Ultimately, the Holy Spirit is the only One Who can change anyone."

I agree.

I guess my point was that in showing people that they are "law-breakers", we really aren't telling them anything that they don't already know; or at least they know that we, as Christians, would say that they are "law-breakers". People may balk at being described as a "sinner", but everyone knows that they've not met the standard of perfect righteousness because everyone knows that they've done "wrong" at least somewhere along the way.

But I think what they don't fully realize is that their fundamental problem is not that they break God's Law, but that they are estranged from God; and I don't think that this type of evangelism goes far enough in explaining this to them. It seems that all people hear is that they've broken some commandment of God and God must now judge them because they can never be righteous after having done this. What they don't hear is that it is not the "act" of breaking a commandment that is the problem, but rather it is the gulf or separation (estrangement) that exists between them and God simply because of who they are in their unregenerate condition.

When people begin to comprehend who they were created to be as image-bearers and what happened in the Fall to bring about this condition of estrangement (separation from God, themselves, etc.), then they are better able to understand that their actions (as "law-breakes") simply reflect their "lost" condition. I believe that people need to know that Jesus didn't come in order to "save" them on the basis that they are "law-breakers", but on the basis that they are estranged from God--a condition that has nothing to do with their actions as "law-breakers".

I think that if people don't know who they are as image-bearers and what happened in the Fall, they'll never really know what condition they're in apart from Christ. They won't really know the reality of the "death" that they now exist in or the "life" that is offered in Christ unless they know who they were at the beginning and the fulness of what Christ came to do in redeeming God's creation.

I've had many good responses from this kind of "witnessing". It's been my experience that people just don't care about "God's law" enough to give it much thought. The legitimate and biblical idea that Jesus came to die for our sins (though not simply on the basis that we have "committed" sin, but because we are by "nature" sinners) is meaningless to so many people because they don't understand what happened to the human race (or the whole created order, for that matter) at the point of The Fall. And they don't understand this because they don't know who they were created to be in the first place.

Once I begin to explain to people the paradigm of salvation history, i.e., Creation-Fall-Redemption-Consummation, people begin to see themselves as in need of "restoration"; not simply on the basis that they've broken some laws and are found to be "unrighteous", but on the basis that they are estranged and separated from the meaning and source of LIFE--God Himself, their Creator and "Father".

Of course, I don't use the same language on everybody I talk to. I'll state things differently based on who I'm speaking with and how they are understanding what I'm talking about. But once they begin to see themselves as "not the way they're supposed to be" (to borrow phraseology from Cornelius Plantinga), then issues of Christ's atoning work on their behalf begin to make much more sense.

Again, thanks for the edifying dialogue, Jeff.

Jeff said...

GGM,

I hope I never sound like I think I know it all or have a "better" understanding of doctrinal and theological issues as someone else. I always seek to learn; but that involves, obviously, sharing my understanding with others as they share theirs with me. I have no problem changing my mind completely about something or altering my view somewhat through the better clarity of understanding that someone else provides.

Good attitude.

But I still believe that Jesus Christ is the fulfilled "Israel" of the OT! :-)

LOL!

I believe He is the fulfillment of all the Law and the prophecies. He was also perfect God and perfect man.

I guess my point was that in showing people that they are "law-breakers", we really aren't telling them anything that they don't already know

I don't completely agree. If you ask people if they think they are a good person, most people will say yes. If you ask most (lost) people if they think God will let them into Heaven, most people will say yes. Most people do not see themselves as wicked sinners.

One thing that "The Way of the Master" stresses is not just to tell someone they are a sinner, in a general sense, because they will reject that idea and see it as ridiculous. You have to specifically show them why they are a sinner, and this is done through showing them the Law.

But I think what they don't fully realize is that their fundamental problem is not that they break God's Law, but that they are estranged from God; and I don't think that this type of evangelism goes far enough in explaining this to them. It seems that all people hear is that they've broken some commandment of God and God must now judge them because they can never be righteous after having done this. What they don't hear is that it is not the "act" of breaking a commandment that is the problem, but rather it is the gulf or separation (estrangement) that exists between them and God simply because of who they are in their unregenerate condition.

That may be a valid point. However, the reason they are estranged from God is because they are born into sin, and are practitioners of sin. Sin is the only thing that separates them from God. However, after showing them why they are a sinner, if you then proceed to explain to them that they are separated from God, that might be helpful. On the flip side, I have seen techniques that talk about the person being separated from God, but not using the Law to explain why they are a sinner, and to me, that is an incomplete explanation.

The main thing that "The Way of the Master" addresses is the problem with telling someone, "Come to Jesus to have a better life." This makes it sound like after they become a Christian, their life will be a bed of roses. "The Way of the Master" claims that this is part of the reason why so many people come forward at Billy Graham crusades or 'revival' meetings, but a year or two later, are not found in any church. They are coming to Christ for the wrong reason, just as many in the crowds that followed Jesus when He was on Earth followed Him for the healings and the food, but, when He started preaching a more serious message, many left Him.

It's been my experience that people just don't care about "God's law" enough to give it much thought.

I agree, and that is why they need to see the penalty of their sin, that they are headed for everlasting punishment in a fiery Hell.

Once I begin to explain to people the paradigm of salvation history, i.e., Creation-Fall-Redemption-Consummation, people begin to see themselves as in need of "restoration"; not simply on the basis that they've broken some laws and are found to be "unrighteous", but on the basis that they are estranged and separated from the meaning and source of LIFE--God Himself, their Creator and "Father".

The question I would have concerning this is the same question I have when people say that Hell is merely separation from God. Why would an unregenerate, lost person even care if they're separated from God? That's what they want! They don't want to be accountable to a higher Being, so being separated from God, would then sound like a GOOD thing, IMO.

Jeff said...

He was also perfect God and perfect man.

I said that wrong. I meant, "fully' God and "fully' man. 'Perfect God" is redundant. However, He was the perfect man, because He was sinless.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

"The main thing that "The Way of the Master" addresses is the problem with telling someone, "Come to Jesus to have a better life." This makes it sound like after they become a Christian, their life will be a bed of roses. "The Way of the Master" claims that this is part of the reason why so many people come forward at Billy Graham crusades or 'revival' meetings, but a year or two later, are not found in any church. They are coming to Christ for the wrong reason, just as many in the crowds that followed Jesus when He was on Earth followed Him for the healings and the food, but, when He started preaching a more serious message, many left Him."

I understand and agree.

"I agree, and that is why they need to see the penalty of their sin, that they are headed for everlasting punishment in a fiery Hell."

I have no problem with this as PART of our "witness". But if the motive for a person to "turn to Christ" is to escape the "fires of hell" and not because he is "dead" and comes to Christ for "life" (however we may put that), then I believe that we have seriously misrepresented the Gospel. The Gospel is God's recovery of His creation in Christ, it's the "summing up of all things in Christ"; it's not primarily an escape from hell.

"...Hell is merely separation from God..."

While I understand the provocative nature of "hell", why do you think that the "fires of hell" would be more painful for a person than "knowing" separation from God for all eternity? If it's true that we are fully "human" and experience "life" only as we are restored to right relationship with God in the True Man, the Second Adam (which I believe the Bible teaches); if it's true that in "eternity" the unbeleiver will always know what he was originally created to be and to know what LIFE truly is, but will never experience it (which I believe the Bible teaches); if the great purpose of God is to restore "relationship" with His image-bearers through His Son, Jesus Christ (which I believe the Bible teaches); then why would "mere" separation from God not be the issue in the presentation of the Gospel, but the "fires of hell" is?

If people end up thinking that "separation from God" is no big thing, then I think we don't communicate the problem of separation clearly; this, in my opinion, should be the motive for people to come to Christ. Paul says that our justification in Christ brings us "peace with God". I don't think a Gospel witness leads people to come to Christ to escape the "fires of hell", but to have "peace with God" in a restored relationship.

I don't doubt that there are "Christians" who have come to Christ through a powerful "hellfire and brimstone" message or through a powerful presentation of "law" and "eternal punishment in hell". But at some point they will have also come to Him for HIM and HIM ALONE, or I don't believe their conversion was genuine. Jesus doesn't call us to come to Him so that we can escape punishment; He calls us to Himself to find LIFE (Isa. 49:1-13; 55:1-13; John 5:39-40; 6:35, 47-48ff., 63; 11:25-26; 14:6; Rom.6:4; 2Cor. 3:6; Col.3:4; etc.).

Separation from God is separation from LIFE; so I don't know why a Gospel presentation of "hell" should seem to be more effective than a proper understanding of "separation from God". Aren't we agreed that the Gospel isn't a "fire insurance policy"...as they say?

I'm sure that we are agreed on most everything that we've said back and forth, but to me the emphasis of "law" in our witness doesn't do justice to the Gospel that is life in Christ.

"You have to specifically show them why they are a sinner, and this is done through showing them the Law."

I'm not sure why our witness would be incomplete without specifically showing them the Law. The "sin" situation, the condition of "man" as "lost" and "dead" is a condition that exists (and existed for centuries) apart from the "Law". From The Fall forward, the condition of "man" has never changed.

I'm not saying that it is wrong to use the Law; but I don't understand the necessity. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Hey...I've been blabbing so long I'm almost late getting out of here. I like my job and all, but I like Mrs. Moogly more--I'd better get out of here and fast! :-)

Your Brother in Christ,

GGM (Jason)

thekingpin68 said...

I have a fairly new commenter on my thekingpin68 blog who is a brother of a female Facebook friend I have never met.

He is interested in Genesis and eschatology. I have dialogued with him via email.

Sorry boys, I have not had time to concentrate on this discussion. I have spent today preparing a letter for religious publishing companies and emailing with the man I mentioned.

It is tough being finite...

Jeff said...

But if the motive for a person to "turn to Christ" is to escape the "fires of hell" and not because he is "dead" and comes to Christ for "life" (however we may put that), then I believe that we have seriously misrepresented the Gospel.

I believe that some come to Christ through fear (as I think you implied), and some come to Christ through love. Not everyone comes to Christ in exactly the same way, because everyone is different. The technique used by "The Way of the Master" is largely to help prevent false converts.

Jesus talked about Hell more than any other subject, and warned against it. If He did that, should not we do the same?

The reason that being "dead" and needing "life" is so bad is because the spiritually dead person is headed for Hell. If it weren't for the reality of Hell, being spiritually "dead" would mean very little (from a fleshly point of view) to the lost person.

The Gospel is God's recovery of His creation in Christ, it's the "summing up of all things in Christ"; it's not primarily an escape from hell.

In reality, both are very closely tied together. Hell is the place He sends those who are not His. Yes, I agree that God saves a remnant in order that we can be in intimate relationship with Him forever, and Hell is merely the 'garbage pit' that He throws the unredeemed into, just as someone might throw away a broken piece of pottery.

While I understand the provocative nature of "hell", why do you think that the "fires of hell" would be more painful for a person than "knowing" separation from God for all eternity?

Because everlasting torture, pain, hopelessness, helplessness, loneliness and separation from all your loved ones on Earth is a horrible, horrible, thing; while, merely being separated from God, in and of itself, is already true of the lost here on Earth. They are already separated from God. Yes, God blesses them (i.e., He brings rain on the just as well as the unjust), but most of them don't even recognize that.

if it's true that in "eternity" the unbeleiver will always know what he was originally created to be and to know what LIFE truly is, but will never experience it (which I believe the Bible teaches)

I don't think that is true. How can the unbeliever know what life (with God) truly is, if he has never experienced it? I believe that the unbeliever will be too selfish, even in Hell, to care about what man was created to be. All the unbeliever will care about in Hell is how he is feeling at the moment.

if the great purpose of God is to restore "relationship" with His image-bearers through His Son, Jesus Christ (which I believe the Bible teaches); then why would "mere" separation from God not be the issue in the presentation of the Gospel, but the "fires of hell" is?

Because you can't miss something that you never had. And Hell is a reality to be greatly feared, and the unbeliever who never comes to Christ will suffer horribly in Hell for the rest of eternity.

If people end up thinking that "separation from God" is no big thing, then I think we don't communicate the problem of separation clearly; this, in my opinion, should be the motive for people to come to Christ.

It's not that people "end up" thinking that separation from God is no big thing; I believe they already think that; and therefore, if they don't care about it, why would they come to Christ because of it? My point is, why would a person who wants nothing to do with God, care about being separated from Him?

Now, if you have a way to draw them to Christ through telling them that, they I say, 'Go for it!' But I can't see how that could draw them to Christ.

Paul says that our justification in Christ brings us "peace with God". I don't think a Gospel witness leads people to come to Christ to escape the "fires of hell", but to have "peace with God" in a restored relationship.

In fact, both are true. However, from the unbeliever's point of view, most of them (that I've talked to and heard) already think they have peace with God. So, offering them something that they don't think they need seems to me an ineffective method.

Jesus doesn't call us to come to Him so that we can escape punishment; He calls us to Himself to find LIFE.

Yes, Jesus calls us to enjoy life with Him forever. However, as I said, Jesus preached on Hell more than any other subject; therefore, He certainly did use the fear of Hell to warn people.

Separation from God is separation from LIFE; so I don't know why a Gospel presentation of "hell" should seem to be more effective than a proper understanding of "separation from God".

How are you going to convey this to an unbeliever in a way that they will care? Are you going to tell them that their life is going to be care-free from now on? Again, my point is, why should an unbeliever care what God desires of them? On the other hand, fear of punishment has always been a great motive for action (though our society has moved away from that, ever since Dr. Spock).

Aren't we agreed that the Gospel isn't a "fire insurance policy"...as they say?

Certainly, salvation is not only for "fire insurance." But I believe that "fire insurance" is surely an effective way to draw them.

I'm not talking about what salvation is all about, and the fullness of its meaning. I'm talking about what is the best way to draw someone to Christ and to avoid misleading them so that they become nothing more than a false convert. If they are misled into believing that a Christian never has any problems, they not only have they come to Christ for the wrong reason (i.e., earthly happiness), but they may turn away from the gospel, because its not what they thought it would be.

However, if they come to Christ to escape Hell, then, no matter what hardships they endure (especially in countries where physical persecution against Christians is a reality), it won't matter, because they know Hell is far worse than any hardships or persecutions they may endure on this earth.

However, it is also true that a truly redeemed Christian will not stop there. In other words, they will not only continue to follow Christ just so they won't go to Hell. Instead, they will fall in love with Christ Jesus more and more, and will obey Him more and more out of love, rather than merely just out of fear (though the Bible does teach us that we should rightfully fear God).

What I'm talking about is presenting the gospel in a way that they are not merely looking for happiness on this earth, and presenting the gospel in a way that will not lead to false converts. What you are talking about, as far as being completed in Christ, is certainly something that they should be taught as they are discipled (which is another problem, because discipling someone is rare anymore), but I don't think it is something that unbelievers would care about, and therefore I don't think it would be something that would be effectively used to draw someone to Christ.

But again, if you are able to use that to effectively draw someone to Christ, then use it. But without the Law, people generally do not see a need to come to Christ.

I'm sure that we are agreed on most everything that we've said back and forth, but to me the emphasis of "law" in our witness doesn't do justice to the Gospel that is life in Christ.

To me, an emphasis on the Law is exactly what is lacking in modern evangelistic techniques. After being presented with the specifics of the Law, people generally see then that they are sinners, whereas before, they often did not believe or admit that. People tend to compare themselves to the very worst moral cases in history (i.e., Hitler, etc.), and by those standards, they come out looking pretty good. That's why the Law is necessary to show them their need for a Savior.

I'm not saying that it is wrong to use the Law; but I don't understand the necessity. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Yeah, I think that is probably the crux of all this discussion.

The important thing, however, is not so much the precise technique that we use when witnessing, because even the best and most biblical and precise technique will do absolutely no good without the Holy Spirit working in that person's life. And, even if the technique is amateurish and missing this or missing that, the Holy Spirit can still use it to bring someone to Christ. Therefore, the important thing is not to just continue to argue with each other about what is the best technique, but rather, to actually go out and do it.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

I have a fairly new commenter on my thekingpin68 blog who is a brother of a female Facebook friend I have never met.

He is interested in Genesis and eschatology. I have dialogued with him via email.


Cool!
Heh..."Genesis and eschatology"...the beginning and the end.

Sorry boys, I have not had time to concentrate on this discussion. I have spent today preparing a letter for religious publishing companies and emailing with the man I mentioned.

That's no excuse!

LOL, I'm just kidding. Cool that you're doing those.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Hey Jeff,

I'm heading out, so I only skimmed your comments. I agree that the main thing is that we actively "witness" for Christ; and if a certain "technique" works well, then there is no reason not to use it.

I'll read through it more thoroughly tomorrow and see if I should add something. It may just be to "agree to disagree" about certain points--and that's cool with me.

Thanks for the discussion!

kingpinned said...

Or we can disagree to agree...hahahaha (evil non-Christian comic book laughter).

Tamela's Place said...

Hello Jeff,

You have some interesting info on Homosexuality. In Romans 1:27 The Word of God says that anyone who is partaking in homosexual activities will suffer physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Thanks for sharing you studies on this subject... God Bless you Jeff

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Well Jeff, after re-reading your latest comment in response to my comment in response to your comment in response comment mine in comment your my response comment my your comment response comment...huh?

Okay...I'm lost. :-)

Anyway, I have to respectfully disagree with the emphasis of Law and hell.

On a related note...

You believe that the unbeliever will spend eternity in "hell" without ever knowing the Truth; that his pain will be mainly physical and some emotional, but only in connection with missing loved ones. You believe that the "mere separation from God" will be meaningless. And I believe that it is just the opposite.

I don't necessarily doubt your understanding of hell, it's what I've believed for the past 20 years (and still do, though I believe Hughes makes a powerful point in refutation). But I believe that at the judgment, the unregenerate will finally and fully know the Truth of who they are as image-bearers, who God is as Creator and Father, and who Christ is as Savior. I believe that this knowledge will be with them "forever" and it is this knowledge that will be the greatest pain for them--the knowledge that they will be separated from God and their true selves forever.

BTW--when I kept referring to LIFE, I was not, of course, referring to mere existence; Biblically, "life" is "union with Christ", it's "fulfilled purpose and meaning". This is what we've been given in Christ and what the unregenerate is missing. And it is this, this "separation from God", that I believe the unregenerate in hell will be experiencing as his/her undying "torture", "pain", etc.

Anyway, I'll give you the last word if you'd like. I'm glad that neither of us will be proven wrong on this by "experience"! :-)

Jeff said...

GGM,

It may just be to "agree to disagree" about certain points--and that's cool with me.

Thanks for the discussion!


Cool. And thanks, Jason, for your comments!

Jeff said...

kingpinned,

Or we can disagree to agree...hahahaha (evil non-Christian comic book laughter).

Is that how the Kingpin (Spiderman's and Daredevil's enemy) laughs?

Jeff said...

You have some interesting info on Homosexuality. In Romans 1:27 The Word of God says that anyone who is partaking in homosexual activities will suffer physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Thanks for sharing you studies on this subject... God Bless you Jeff

Thanks, Tamela! May the Lord richly bless you as well!

And for the sake of anyone reading this who doesn't feel like looking it up:

"In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."
(Romans 1:27)

Jeff said...

GGM,

But I believe that at the judgment, the unregenerate will finally and fully know the Truth of who they are as image-bearers, who God is as Creator and Father, and who Christ is as Savior. I believe that this knowledge will be with them "forever" and it is this knowledge that will be the greatest pain for them--the knowledge that they will be separated from God and their true selves forever.

I do believe that the unbeliever will finally see that God is Lord, and they will be terrified and fearful of Him. But, at the same time, I suspect that they will continue to hate Him for all eternity. That would be my guess.

However, the important thing is that Hell is the most horrible, terrible place in all of existence, and we should be so unwilling that anyone (even our worst enemy) go there, that we should do everything we can to tell others how to escape that horrible place.

"Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment, and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire." (Matthew 5:21-22)

"And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)

“O for one drop of water to cool my parched tongue!” See how his tongue hangs from between his blistered lips! How it excoriates and burns the roof of his mouth as if it were a firebrand! Behold him crying for a drop of water. I will not picture the scene. Suffice it for me to close up by saying, that the hell of hells will be to thee, poor sinner, the thought that it is to be for ever. Thou wilt look up there on the throne of God-and on it shall be written, “for ever!” When the damned jingle the burning irons of their torments, they shall say, “For ever!” When they howl, echo cries, “For ever!” “For ever” is written on their racks, “For ever” on their chains; “For ever” burneth in the fire, “For ever” ever reigns.” (From a sermon preached in 1855, cited by Edward William Fudge, The Fire That Consumes [Houston: Providential Press, 1982], p. 417.)

"

So it will be with the soul in Hell; it will have no strength or power to deliver itself; and its torment and horror will be so great, so mighty, so vastly disproportioned to its strength, that having no strength in the least to support itself, although it be infinitely contrary to the nature and inclination of the soul utterly to sink; yet it will sink, it will utterly and totally sink, without the least degree of remaining comfort, or strength, or courage, or hope. And though it will never be annihilated, its being and perception will never be abolished: yet such will be the infinite depth of gloominess that it will sink into, that it will be in a state of death, eternal death….

To help your conception, imagine yourself to be cast into a fiery oven, all of a glowing heat, or into the midst of a glowing brick-kiln, or of a great furnace, where your pain would be as much greater than that occasioned by accidentally touching a coal of fire, as the heat is greater. Imagine also that you body were to lie there for a quarter of an hour, full of fire, as full within and without as a bright coal of fire, all the while full of quick sense; what horror would you feel at the entrance of such a furnace! And how long would that quarter of an hour seem to you!…And how much greater would be the effect, if you knew you must endure it for a whole year, and how vastly greater still, if you knew you must endure it for a thousand years! O then, how would your heart sink, if you thought, if you knew, that you must bear it forever and ever!…That after millions of millions of ages, your torment would be no nearer to an end, than ever it was; and that you never, never should be delivered! But your torment in Hell will be immeasurably greater than this illustration represents. How then will the heart of a poor creature sink under it! How utterly inexpressible and inconceivable must the sinking of the soul be in such a case." (Jonathan Edwards, cited by A. W. Pink, Eternal Punishment [Swengel, PA: Reiner Publications, n.d.], cited by Edward William Fudge, The Fire That Consumes [Houston: Providential Press, 1982], p. 417.)


I'm glad that neither of us will be proven wrong on this by "experience"! :-)

AMEN, Jason!

Anonymous said...

Study: Homosexuality Linked with Childhood Trauma