Sister Tenor

[Note: the dead-end, tangential “debates” about scripture have sucked all the oxygen out of this thread; comments are closed]

As admirable as it is for Daniel Mount to attempt an intervention into the obnoxious Sister Tenor schtick that afflicts so many hackneyed sg emcees’ repertoire or “jokes” (and I agree, these droolingly dumb jokes can’t stop too soon), it doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that these jokes and his argument against them might be drawing from the same well of flatfooted assumptions among (conservative) Christians about sexuality. Thus Mount:

In today’s society, homosexual behavior has become more prevalent and openly admitted. Some but not all homosexual men think of themselves as women and adopt effeminate mannerisms, including but not limited to speaking / singing in a high voice. […] But this problem is too real–too much a major cultural problem right now–for me to enjoy a joke about it [i.e. how the tenor looks like a man but sings like a woman].

Homosexual panic? Party of one? Your decompression chamber is now available.

Honestly. Mount’s got it all backwards here. He’s right to sense some anxiety about gender-bending in these tenor jokes, but the point of the joke isn’t to legitimize or trivialize homosexuality in a religious culture that is Seriously. Freaked Out. By. Gay Men. Rather, these jokes are part of the mechanism by which evangelical popular culture keeps the “the homosexual crisis” at bay.

First and on the surface, a sister tenor joke is a way of managing a collective fear among your average southern gospel crowd that they might catch cooties from the high-voiced tenor if he’s … you know … [in a stage whisper] one of them … because, as Mount’s comment suggests, it’s a pretty common view in certain conservative quarters that the best way to spot a homosexual man is to look for limp wrists, mincing catty banter, lisping queens or high talkers (which is true, of course, except when it isn’t — “some but not all” — but then you don’t know what you don’t know, and which is which, anyway, and how do you keep it all, uhm, straight?). The joke neutralizes the issue by acknowledging what has been called a “visceral surface revulsion” about effeminate/gay males (and the assumptions it’s predicated on) through humor. If we can all laugh at it – including Sister Tenor – then there’s nothing to worry about, nes café?

More deeply, though, the joke is a way for a macho culture of manly Christian men to humorously act out a not-so-latent distaste for homosexuality. Everyone is only half-joking, after all (the other half of the joke carries with it clear implications: we wouldn’t be jokin’ if you were one of them … and you better not be … it’s Adam and Even, not Adam and Steve). But that half-measure is important. It’s when the jokes stop altogether that you ought to be worried, because nothing is scarier than unsublimated phobias. Then it’s open season on every guy whose voice ranges above middle C and crosses his legs at the knee.

That and, well, the jokes just aren’t that funny.

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Comments

  1. smells wrote:

    This must be why christiangays.com endorses you. http://www.christiangays.com/links/christian_music.shtml

    Which is exactly why REAL christians shouldn’t read your blog anymore. I’m talking about people who don’t believe that there is such a thing as a gay christian, or even a “struggling” believer.

  2. Snarfie wrote:

    And yet you (”smells”) continue to visit and post comments on a regular basis.

    If someone’s faith/belief system is so shaky that any blogger’s commentary causes them to stumble in their walk, then perhaps their problem is not with the blog or the blogger…..just a little something to think about.

  3. quartet-man wrote:

    Politically, I probably disagree with Doug most all of the time (if not all of the time.) Other non musical points probably close to the same. I even disagree with other things he says. However, he makes some good points about some things and often good discussion. Besides, smells, remember that even a broken clock is right twice a day. :) So, Doug can say some things that are right. Besides, who is going to call him when he is wrong if people who disagree leave?

  4. Howland Sharpe wrote:

    Doug, do you sing tenor?

  5. Montana Man wrote:

    As a matter of fact, the best humor is usually self-deprecating, rather than targeting some one else. Person who can laugh at himself/herself has some security, rather than insecurity, and doesn’t need to build up one’s self at the expense of another. This could be said of the obese, or bald, for example, as well as sexual inclinations.

  6. Stephen wrote:

    Cheers to averyfineline.com for ‘coming out’ and saying exactly what most people are scared to say. Be tolerant! Who do you think Jesus would be among if he were walking the Earth today? Think about it.

  7. Rod wrote:

    So you don’t belleive in struggling believers smells? I found out that EVERY CHRISTIAN is struggling in some way…Salvation is journey and you must be 12 if you haven’t figured that one out…Or you’re a legalist.

  8. Videoguy wrote:

    Avery probably got linked from his Marsha Stevens commentary.

  9. Daniel J. Mount wrote:

    Doug, just so you understand my perspective on things a little better, of all the things you’ve said in the last few weeks the thing that surprised me the most was when you said something to the effect that the Collingsworth Family dresses very conservatively.

    In my circles, and in my line of thinking, they dress well, but not *very* conservatively; it’s more along the lines of average or normal. I would reserve *very* conservatively for those friends who are (or dress like) Mennonites or Amish.

    Just so you know where I’m coming from…

    :)

  10. Practical Fellow wrote:

    Come on Smells - no such thing as a ’struggling believer’? Pardon me as I work out my salvation day by day. You know, like right now as I ’struggle’ to believe you surely can’t be that ridiculous. Either your as ignorant as the day is long or you’ve had absolutely no contact with people coming out of addictive sin.

    Go do some research on the subject of homosexuality and restoration. It’s not an easy lifestyle to walk away from and it’s even harder when the church that awaits them is filled with the likes of you.

    Ugh. I need a cup of coffee.

  11. CG wrote:

    FWIW, I think Daniel Mount’s comments are (possibly) homophobic in nature, however, while I disagree with him on that premise, I, too, am VERY tired of the decades old stage schtick of many of these (very unoriginal) SG artists.

    With that said, “let’s give Jesus a hand” for all these men “that sing like a woman” (and gives identity to SG music) while this (very) straight man (not that there’s anything wrong with that) goes looking for “another limited supply” of Avery’s wisdom.

  12. jb wrote:

    Maybe I am reading too much into this or not enough into this, but, I have been to singings where the tenors were joked about as well as saying “this bass is the Lowest Man I Know”. I did not sit there and think the tenor was gay or the bass singer was “no good’. I laughed because that was part of the act. Christians really carry a chip on their shoulders just waiting for someone to knock it off. We are forgetting that it is not about “me”. It is all about worshipping God and yes, I agree Christians struggle. If you don’t, you must be a hermit and never leave your house. We better have on our Armor daily because there is a battle waiting us today, I guarantee it. God Bless

  13. Rod wrote:

    JB

    That’s the problem…The “ACT” is old and we are in need of a new one.

    Also for my two cents on the homo thing…God commands us to “Hate the sin but to love the sinner”. How can we do that when most of the church would rather you kill someone than to be in a homosexual lifestyle? I just heard a profound statement that I believe all Christians should adopt. “We need to be like a pomegranate…Thick on the outside but sweet on the inside”. We are never going to reach lost people when we are consistently pounding them into the dirt. Do I believe they’re wrong? YES! Do I believe they should have no place in ministry? YES! But here’s a little food for thought people…Many of the men in SG music at one time or another has had an affair. Are they any more spiritual than a homosexual? I think not. If they are a Christian and I do doubt some are…They are just as susceptible to sin as any of us are. And by the way I have found the people who scream the loudest have the most skeletons. That’s for you smells…

  14. Tyler wrote:

    Stephen wrote:
    “Cheers to averyfineline.com for ‘coming out’ and saying exactly what most people are scared to say. Be tolerant! Who do you think Jesus would be among if he were walking the Earth today? Think about it.”

    Well let’s look at what Jesus has to say about homosexuality. How about Romans 1:26,27: ” That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.” NLT

    Sodom & Gomorrah anyone?

    Genesis 19:4-11 “But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. 5 They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”

    6 So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.”

    9 “Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door.

    10 But the two angels[a] reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. 11 Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.”

    Where people get the concept that God is ‘tolerant’ of homosexuality is BEYOND me.

    NO, we should never JUDGE someone, but there’s no way I’m gonna stand by and listen to this unbacked balogna about the positions of God on lasciviousness.

    Daniel, I got your back, man.

  15. Rod wrote:

    Tyler…Again…Hate the sin, but love the sinner. It’s not about tolerance it’s about “GRACE”…It’s even available to the homosexual, the adulterer, the criminal, the murderer…Oh my gosh even the pedophile can receive him. It’s even available to you and smells if you’ll just accept him :) It’s funny that every one of his disciples were a bunch of ragtag losers that were changed through his love…He didn’t say IF you do this. He said follow me and I will MAKE you fishers of men…MAKE means to process or to shape. That’s what happens when we get saved…Sometimes it takes a little molding and shaping. The problem with you and most Christians is that you guys want them to fit into what their idea of salvation is.

  16. Rod wrote:

    By the way…Do not quote old testament scriptures to explain sin…That’s prior to GRACE.

  17. e.c. wrote:

    Please……. Are we getting so politically correct that a tenor introduction must be debated.

  18. Daniel J. Mount wrote:

    Good words, Tyler! Thank you for bringing the Bible into this discussion…no matter how inconvenient it may seem to the other side!

  19. Videoguy wrote:

    (An add-on to Rod’s comment regarding ‘molding and shaping’:)

    Guess who Paul was talking to when he said to be transformed by the renewing of your mind? Yep, church folk like smells and Videoguy. He wasn’t talking about Salvation, he was addressing their stinkin’ thinkin’. The work just starts with accepting Christ.

  20. Tyler wrote:

    Rod,

    I agree wholeheartedley that we must “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Absolutely. I don’t “hate” homosexuals. I hate homosexuality. The problem is that people are beginning to go beyond loving the homosexual - they are beginning to love, or at least tolerate with no problem, homosexuality itself. And that is unbelievable.

    BTW, if you don’t like the Old Testament, the New Testament is just as clear. And in case you didn’t know, we still serve the same God that lived in the Old Testament and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah - well, I know I do.

  21. Felicia wrote:

    I say not only tenor introductions, but ALL sg emcees need major overhauls. As much as I love the music, the mindless, schlocky banter between the songs is just downright embarrassing. I’m wracking my brain to think of an exception and can’t think of one. They all sound over-rehearsed and condesending. Why can’t people just be natural and personable with their audiences?

  22. thom wrote:

    that joke is very tired. who started that anyway? was it Jim Hammill? bet it was.
    someone come up with some new material, please. lol

  23. Tyler wrote:

    Felicia and Thom both have good points. The joke was funny in its time, but SG desperately needs fresh, original material, IMO.

    I disagree with Felicia that all “banter” between songs is embarrassing, however. I love it when the guys cut up with each other — if they are shooting from the hip. In other words, not reciting some over-rehearsed memo line they’ve practiced for a year.

  24. CG wrote:

    Speaking of the New Testament (post #20), the Apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 6: 9-10 (KJV), “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor theives, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Every time I read this passage (frequently) I remind myself that I used to fall into some of these categories and still struggle with some.

    Then I read verse 11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God”.

    So, when the enemy, or more recently someone who professes to be a Believer, “accuses me of my past”, I’m reminded of verse 11.

    It’s easy to condemn those who are tempted by things that don’t bother us. I venture to say, however, that most of the folks reading this (at one time, maybe even now) fall into some of the other sins that Paul mentions in verses 9 & 10.

    Jesus said that every time I (a straight man) look upon a woman with lust, I’m guilty of adultery. That’s probably similar to the temptation that (Daniel Mount’s edited description) has previously been made public by a tenor who described his “same sex attraction”.

    The Apostle Paul describes my temptation (adultery) and the tenor’s in much the same degree of seriousness (not inheriting the kingdom of God) in the aforementioned verses.

    I’ll never forget a response Dr. Billy Graham wrote (several years ago) in his syndicated column concerning the act of homosexuality. While I won’t attempt to quote Dr. Graham, he did explain the sin as being on the same level (serious sin) as (straight sex) adultery.

    But, Lord, how some of us can’t wait to convict those who are guilty (in our eyes) of those things we have “victory” over.

    Do you ever wonder if God wonders why we can’t understand His simple (free, complete, and available to all - regardless) offering of Grace?

  25. Tyler wrote:

    I agree with CG. One sin is no better than the other. But do we sit around and “tolerate” adultery? Absolutely not. Why then should we tolerate homosexuality?

    I wonder if these so-called “Gay tolerant churches” also tolerate adultery. Show me a difference.

  26. John wrote:

    thom wrote:
    that joke is very tired. who started that anyway? was it Jim Hammill? bet it was.

    That joke was going long before Hammill.

    Hovie Lister was calling his tenor singer “Sister” Cat Freemam as early as 1950. It wasn’t “fresh” material even with Hammill.

    Lister also referred to Rosie Rozell as “Mama’s Little Fat Boy”. Guess it’s time to look up the scripture references about gluttony.

  27. JW wrote:

    Slow news day?

    I just figured the “sister tenor” joke was a typical lame, corny joke. Maybe it’s pretty funny after all if it causes so much hand wringing.

    When is the “Take my wife,…please” column and how it’s a license to abuse women column?

  28. quartet-man wrote:

    The thing is that to many Tolerance is just a hundred dollar word for not speaking out against the sin. Telling someone they are wrong or are doing something harmful to them either on this earth or in eternity) is not being hateful. I get tired of people trying to turn that around to be hating the person.
    I am not condoning mistreating them, and yes there are tons of other sins we could talk about. Adultery, lusting, gluttony, lying, stealing etc. Just because we are speaking out against one sin doesn’t mean that we are saying others are not sinful.

    It is my belief that if homosexuals are tempted, they are not sinning. It is if they act on it. We all have a choice. An attractive woman can tempt me. However, I have to choose not to act on it. They can choose not to act as well. Now, if one of us goes to a strip club or something that is a different idea as we are putting fire in our laps so to speak.

    As far as the old testament, Jesus quoted from it and said he came to fulfill the law. As also stated, the new testament speaks out against homosexuality too.

    We are not called to be tolerant of those in sin. That is like saying we should look the other way while they knowingly do it. We are not to treat them poorly, nor hate them, yet we are not to approve of their choices. Jesus was not very tolerant driving the moneychangers out of the temple. Yes, Jesus forgave the woman at the well and was actually less tolerant of the pharisees. However, He knew their hearts. The woman at the well knew she was bad and wanted forgiveness. He told her to sin no more. He didn’t want her to continue in sin while other people told her she was okay.

  29. Rod wrote:

    CG…Great comment or should I say commentary…And again people it’s not about tolerance it’s about God’s Grace…Jeez I can’t believe I have to keep saying that…Some people just don’t get it.

  30. Leebob wrote:

    I seriously never gave it a second thought while joking with my younger tenor brother. All of a sudden I am supposed to be fearful of what others may think when I joke with him (yes on stage) and yet, we still have people laugh at the same jokes and then I still have others later joke with me about giving him a hard time. Maybe it’s okay for us because we are brothers.

    I respect both of my brothers and their talent immensely. There isn’t too many tenors in the industry that I would rather have. He has worked extremely hard (practice AND vocal technique) to get to the talent level that he is at. I have never had somebody come up to me and question his manhood. We simply minister, have fun at what we do, and don’t excuse each other when we are wrong.

    People, if we worry about such things as how do we reach the people we are singing to with the message and less about who we might happen to be offending, or what a certain group may be wearing, or….we might actually get some where. From my own personal experience I know that when you focus on such mundane issues as this I can assure you that you are no longer focusing on the Author and Finisher of our fath.

  31. Tyler wrote:

    I’m with quartet-man.

    Rod wrote:

    “CG…Great comment or should I say commentary…And again people it’s not about tolerance it’s about God’s Grace…Jeez I can’t believe I have to keep saying that…Some people just don’t get it. ”

    Of course it’s about God’s grace. Whoever said it wasn’t? But that doesn’t mean God is tolerant of those in sin unashamed and unwilling to turn from it. …some people just don’t get that either….

  32. smells wrote:

    Okay, class is now in session. If I look at the same gender, and I say “wow, they look hot, I’d like to get with that!” This means that I am a homosexual, regardless of whether or not I act upon it. This isn’t the same as adultery. Adultery is sin, but it would be natural if I looked at the opposite gender and had thoughts. God made me to be this way. God did not make me to enjoy the opposite gender in a sexual way.
    Real christians are people who have been rooted and grounded in the Word of God and have doctrine and beliefs and they KNOW that there is no such thing as a person who has been born again and still “struggles” with looking at the same gender and lusting.

    It’s really sad that this isn’t common sense for all believers.

  33. quartet-man wrote:

    Tyler beat me to it. God’s grace will cover any sin, but we have to turn from the sin. If people have done that, it is done. However, if they say I am not perfect and therefore have a right to openly sin and have no intention of turning from it, yet you have to accept me just as I am, we have problems.

    As far as tolerance, I wonder if those who want tolerance of sin would trust someone who had molested children to babysit their child. All of a sudden tolerance might not be something they want. Granted, you have no right to attack the person, but you don’t have to look the other way either. :)

    Leebob, I agree that some people do not seem to have a sense of humor while others have a different sense of humor. I also understand that not everyone sees a joke the same way. Some are so uptight you feel if they smiled their faces would crack. However, not so much necessarily about how the sings like a woman joke is not saying they are gay (I don’t think so) there are certainly those who think so. Either way, it is up to the person joking and receiving the joke I guess as well as the owner of the group and where they perform in.

    However, from a “I”ve heard it a billion times standpoint, people might at least consider adding some new material to go along with it. :)

  34. Tyler wrote:

    GREAT post, quartet-man. Hey, you’re on the www.singingnews.com boards, right? I’m “youngartist.”

    Smells, while I agree with you in theory, I think you need to be careful at how you assess those who struggle with homosexual thoughts. Sure, the Bible says the natural order is one man, one woman, but Satan can lead people down a sinful path long enough and hard enough (when they yield to him), that the sin just gets worse and worse. Finally they are turned over to a “reprobate” mind.

    I don’t think it’s natural to roll out of bed one morning having gay thoughts. But, I think if you yield long enough to other sexual temptations which we won’t get into here, I think it’s possible to allow Satan to develop unnatural affections/lusts.

    BTW, it is NEVER a sin to be tempted. Please don’t make Bible-believers look bad. Sin starts when you YIELD to temptation - whether it be in thought or in action. Lusting is a sin, but temptation to lust is not.

  35. Erin Histom wrote:

    There is no point in getting in on this. I know that and that’s why there’s no need for any of you to comment back to me or thump your Bible in my direction. I won’t revisit it and I won’t read any more comments on this subject.

    To each of you who comment with the ‘love the sin, hate the sinner’ regurgitation we’ve all heard a million times, to each of you who are feeling just a little bit superior in this thread and feel some sort of private piousness (’yeah, they’ll get theirs on judgement day,’) to each of you who think the ‘gay stuff’ is far away from your safe holy circle, and to each of you who is too afraid to look around in your church or in your family or in your community–to each of you, I say–you have no right. You absolutely do not know.

    And you know what? You can’t know until you’ve loved someone…until you still love someone…who hates God because God won’t take the feelings away or who tried to commit suicide because God obviously hates him and wants to send him to hell anyway. You think I need to pray harder? You don’t know what that means. I could tell you a thing or two about weeping before God and being in constant prayer. God can ‘heal’ it? What if He won’t. Don’t tell me He will. He may choose not to so then what do you suggest? Pray harder?

    You don’t know until you’ve had to live with this how those ‘jokes’ break your heart because those are the ‘jokes’ that were part of what made the person you love realize that he is not welcome in the house of God. Your loved one feels like he is not good enough and he is not worthy.

    The jokes are not funny. They’re homophobic and uneducated and ill-thought out. You want to talk about “ministry?” Okay, then are we going to have an inclusive ministry or an exclusive ministry? Tell you what–why don’t we just include those who don’t make you feel uncomfortable and make fun of those who do? Wow. That requires a lot less work and it will get us some cheap laughs. Yeah, go ahead, do that.

    A few years ago I was at NQC on the awards night. Jonanthan Wilburn got up to accept some award and made the clever and original “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” comment. Many of you who were there were probably clapping in the audience. It was one of the most disgusting moments in gospel music ‘ministry’ that I’ve ever witnessed.

    Jesus did hang out with the prostitutes. Alabaster box, anyone? Jesus did hang out with the people I wouldn’t have expected him to, honestly. And, I find some sort of grace in that. Some type of healing for me that you couldn’t understand. I guess that’s because he was Jesus, though. Surely WE shouldn’t do that. There’s nothing to be gotten from loving people unconditionally. We’re a flawless people. Spotless, even.

    You know what? Take your homophobic jokes off the stage and put them where you keep your racist ones–far away from those of us who wish not to participate.

  36. Aaron Swain wrote:

    Smells, lemme give you a testimony on struggling with homosexuality that is very relevant to the SG industry: Kirk Talley.

    He’s recovered and performing today :-)

    http://www.restorationnet.org/12.html

    His testimony is the second one on the page…

  37. J.J. Moore wrote:

    Tyler, back at post #14, you said “Let’s look at what Jesus has to say about homosexuality.” You then quoted Romans and the Old Testament. Did I miss something? I’m still waiting for you to tell us what Jesus has to say about it.

  38. Sandy wrote:

    …And a person would want to be a christian why?

  39. Aaron Swain wrote:

    And we eagerly await Tyler’s response.. Jesus would probably use the “hate the sin, love the sinner” principle, for God designed marriage between man and woman, therefore homosexuality is a sin, but we shouldn’t hate homos. Instead, love the sinner, and hate the sin!

  40. Stephen wrote:

    Ok, so I used the word “tolerant”. The word “Grace” is definitely the word I should have used. Saying the tenor sings like a woman is more of a ’shot at females’ more than the gay community, in my opinion.

    J.J. Moore, you are correct, I haven’t seen what Tyler means by ‘let’s see what Jesus has to say about homosexuality’. I know what the bible says. I assume Tyler is saying anything in the bible is inspired by God, therefore is also from Jesus. I give him that much.

    We are not perfect in any way. When I say ‘be tolerant!’ I’m talking about US..as Christians..how are we not going to reach the ‘lost homo’ if we can’t have tolerance and drop the judgemental attitude to actually face them with the truth? People are going to hell everyday while we sit back and debate over who is right and wrong. Roll up your sleeves and have some compassion for the lost and do something about it instead of talking about it. Peace out.

  41. Rick wrote:

    Erin, thank you.
    As a Christian and a lover of Southern Gospel music and a gay man, I have been right where you have described. I guess what galls me the most is the arrogance of many of these posters who have never walked in my skin. It must be very satisfying to make pronouncements from on high. I’ve never had that luxury.

  42. Aaron Swain wrote:

    My point exactly

  43. quartet-man wrote:

    #35, Eric. You may not see this reply, but maybe someone who reads yours and think you are right will.

    I am not pious, nor are all others who speak out against homosexuality. That is a low blow because you cannot argue against what we are saying so you take a cheap shot.

    I have had my own sins to contend with. I have lusted after women with my heart for one. That is not right and I have done it. That doesn’t mean that I should have nor does it mean that because I did I have no right to say it is sin or that homosexuality is sin.

    As far as loving someone and the feelings not going away. We are all given a choice in how we respond to temptation. If I loved a married woman, a girl under 18, a child or animal would I have the right to give in to those just because the feelings were there? No. If I asked God to take those desires away and He didn’t perform an instant delivery from those do I have the right to give in to them? Of course not. I am using these examples to get you to think outside of your own personal ideas not because I have had these.
    We are ALL born short of the glory of God. If we accept Him we will still have temptation. He gives us the ability to say no and a way out. Joeseph ran from Potiphar’s wife. David, on the other hand stayed on the roof and watched Bathsheba (probably more than once). He then slept with her, got her pregnant and had her husband killed. God was not amused.

    You talk about Bible thumping. Do you have a problem with the Bible? I know people can interpret in different ways, but if someone doesn’t even want to hear the Bible before seeing if the person has a point, I have to question their walk.

    Homophobic? No, I am not afraid of homosexuals. It might surprise you that I known a few. I even took one home from a choir rehearsal once when he needed a ride. I admit although I never showed it, I had some concerns going through my mind at the time. (Not that I thought I was better than him or that he would come on to me, but that someone might see us together and think I were a homosexual.) However, I took him home and he and his “partner” would both tell you that I never treated them poorly at all. Well, one of them would. The other died of aids. Then again, I don’t know if the second is still alive as I have not seen him for years.

    Another pair I knew because I worked with one of theirs mother. They too would tell you that I never treated them poorly. Well, one would because one of those is dead too. (Not sure if it was aids, but am pretty sure.) Both of these who died were in theri thirties or forties. Before you attack me and say that I think aids is God’s punishment or that they deserved to die, take a breath. Although I believe more homosexuals die of it (and my understanding is that they are higher risk) it is not exclusively theirs. Other people die from transfusions or straight or bisexual relations etc. It does, however, seem odd to me that two of the three people I know who died of aids were homosexual and the third may have been. (I really don’t know.)
    But, I am getting away from the point that none of them could point to one thing I did that made them feel like I looked down on them or anything.

    As far as uneducated jokes. Whose education are we talking about? Do you think you are smarter than God? Now, I am not going to say that making fun of homosexuals is Christlike. However, the jokes in question are not making fun of homosexuals as far as I can tell. It isn’t like they are flipping their wrists, prancing across the stage and lisping is it?

  44. quartet-man wrote:

    Tyler, yes I do belong at singingnews.com, but rarely get over there. I am also on many other boards. My reputation precedes me. :)

    As far as those who think we should show more compassion. Is it compassion to see someone sinning and look the other way? Is it compassionate to see someone who we believe are rebelling against God and risking their eternity to tell them it is okay so we and they might feel better? Don’t accuse us of not having compassion or being hateful. There is a difference in hating someone and enabling them.

    Rick, every one of us has struggled with sin and I imagine most of us still do. God has made us with a choice. He has never promised that life would be easy.

    Tyler you are right to say that temptation is not sin. satan tempted Christ, but He never caved. If what I said came across that some temptations were, I was thinking more along the lines of those who look at a woman and instead of resisting the temptation, instead kept fantasizing, looking, and taking fire in our laps. I believe if we do not resist the temptation and entertain it too long it becomes sin, by either lusting or eventually giving in.

  45. Rod wrote:

    quartet-man…I’ll tell you what…Next time you’re backstage (If you’re a singer) and you hear something off color or sinful make sure to don’t look the other way. God said that “SIN IS SIN” there’s not one greater than the other. So make sure you get on those people who light up and talk about women, or tell filthy jokes (half of the SG singers would go to hell for that one). GRACE GRACE, GOD’S GRACE. GRACE THAT WILL PARDON AND CLEANSE WITHIN.

  46. Tyler wrote:

    Ok to the several people (including at least one gay) who has ‘eagerly awaited’ my response, here it is:

    1. Do you believe the Bible is the true, infallible, inspired Word of God? If not, let’s stop right there. No need to even read anything else I have to say.

    2. Do you believe God sent Jesus incarnate to the Earth, and is, therefore, God? If not, let’s stop right there.

    3. God says very plainly in the NEW Testament (since none of you seem to believe we serve the same God that existed in the Old…), in Romans and other references that homosexuality is unnatural and sin. If you don’t believe in a literal translation of the Bible, we might as well stop again.

    4. God also says to “Judge not that ye be not judged.” I believe that. I’m am truly sorry if I have honestly judged someone inaccurately or hurtfully so far.

    5. God says to “Love they neighbor as thyself.” Again, if I have exemplified a hatred for homosexuals THEMSELVES (not their actions), I am truly sorry.

    6. If any of you believe God tolerates sin you can stop reading at this point.

    So where does this lead to?
    1. Homosexuality is sin - Romans 1:26, 27
    2. God/Jesus/Holy Spirit are all God, therefore, Jesus holds the same position God does (I’m dying to hear someone argue this one…)
    3. God will not tolerate sin (not just homosexuality - anything from adultery to lusting to cheating).
    4. God’s grace can save anyone. Romans says: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved.” KJV No one is ever beyond the reach of God’s grace. The KEY is that you have to accept it.

    I for one never said its impossible to struggle with homosexual thoughts and be a Christian - it definitely is, look at Kirk Talley. The difference is that Kirk sought the Lord and now (even though its a struggle), he is living victoriously.

    Homosexuality is just like any other sin. Take adultery for instance: Just because I have accepted Christ into my heart does not mean I wouldn’t be tempted if I walked into a strip club. THE POINT IS DON’T WALK INTO IT!! Hello?? No one’s saying you can’t struggle and be a Christian. We’re saying if you’ve clearly seen what the Bible has to say and openly deny it and refuse it then we’re sinners bound for destruction.

    This is not pinpointing homosexuals. This goes for anyone in sin who’s unwilling to give his struggle to God, get help, and get accountable. For those of you who gave the impression that none of us from our “pious” indignations have no clue what you’re going through you may be right - I don’t know what it’s like to struggle with homosexuality. BUT I do know what its like to struggle with heterosexuality. Does that mean that just because my flesh desires a woman I should go indulge and never turn around?? The question answers itself.

    Sorry guys, but if anyone wants to argue the Word of God help yourself, but you’ve been given the Word in the most accurate way I know how.

    Again, I’m not here condemning anyone -just trying to speak the truth in love. I welcome any questions/comments you may have for me.

  47. quartet-man wrote:

    Rod, you have a point there. However, I have not had those things come up. However, they are wrong. The difference is that the people who do that are not here saying that it is okay. If they were I would tell them otherwise. :-) Does that surprise you?

  48. quartet-man wrote:

    #46. Great thoughtful post, Tyler.

  49. quartet-man wrote:

    My last post made a minute after the previous one says awaiting moderation while the previous one does not. I thought moderation for the most part was good. ;)

  50. Tyler wrote:

    In special response to Rick. I want you to know from the bottom of my heart (and my eyes are watering as I write this), that I am absolutely no better than you or any other homosexual. I may not struggle with that particular sin, but I am far from perfect. My point is that I am giving my struggles with this sin-stricken world to God. He’s the only way I could ever resist the Devil.

    As for moral purity I could never be free if I didn’t have people who kept me accountable and taught me by example how to give our struggle with sin to God. Like I said, the strip club would pose temptation, so I don’t go to the strip club. It has nothing to do with anyone not “knowing what its like.” I’m single, and I’ve never had a physical relationship with a woman (yes, that’s rare these days). Although, I must admit I have fallen in my thought life at times, but I have given that to the Lord.

    BTW, in case you’re wondering, I’m not a virgin because I can’t get a girl… lol just ask my friends.

    We ALL (and I DO mean ALL), struggle with some form of sexual temptation. The question is, “What are doing with it?”

    Again, I welcome questions/comments

  51. Practical Fellow wrote:

    Smells - I think your theological perspective is the real stinker here. I’ve worked with restoration ministries that reach out to those struggling with all kinds of sexual sins, including homosexuality. Your ignorance is simply stunning. Please stop posting comments based on nothing more than your own uninformed perspective. Why not take a break from posting anything else on this thread and review the research of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi? You can google his name - he’s an expert in this field.

  52. GLenn wrote:

    Thank you Doug for you display of tolerance and thought provoking commentary. Kudos also to both Erin and Rick. I don’t know where Daniel Mount’s obsession with homosexuality comes from, even though it seems to be shared by most of you. It is amazing how 3% of the population has become something you seem to fear. Maybe 1/10th of 1% of your congregation is homosexual, and probably more than 50% are adulterers or have been divorced. I think your efforts are misdirected I am personally sick of the hate and intolerance being espoused by supposedly Christian people. If many of these sanctimonious, hypocritical, front row sinners do make it heaven, I think they will be surprised how many practicing homosexuals will be there. Like Erin, I will not follow any further comments. I can’t imagine hearing anything new or innovative.

  53. CG wrote:

    Erin (post 35),

    This is OT, and I know you even said you would not revisit this thread, but I think you probably will. I can’t forget your comments.

    I prayed for you today. Our spiritual conflicts may be of a different nature, but our desire to please Christ (I’m sure after reading your thread) are the same. I pray that you find peace, strength, and answers.

    I love you in Him.

  54. Tyler wrote:

    Just one question (while trying my level best not to sound condemning) for Glenn.

    Do you believe God will allow sin into Heaven?

    Yes, you have a strong point that we should be more worried about the relatively common adultery that occurs in some churches, but that doesn’t mean we can shut up about what the Bible says on both topics. BTW, our church does not have one single member that has ever committed adultery! No, not all churches are in the gutter…

    Sorry guys, but this debate ended a long time ago.

  55. jb wrote:

    Glenn #52 : Maybe I missed something, but, sin will not enter heaven so a “practicing homosexual” or any other kind of sin we are “practicing” will not either.

  56. Rod wrote:

    Glenn

    Let me say this…I am all about love the sinner thing but I do NOT believe a person who practices homosexuality, adultry, or any other sin on a regular basis is a true Christian or will make it into heaven. I wanted to point out that we do need to embrace the sinner and lead by example. I agree that there is a lot of hypocrites and the like in church but ultimately are eyes should be on God and not man to begin with. The fact about homosexuality is what God calls it…An ABOMINATION…That IS a fact.

  57. bostonbeauty368Jen wrote:

    I believe this nonsense needs to stop. All of us love Southern Gospel…it is now very evident why we are laughed upon. This could be a very productive site and is very successful in its traffic, however it is the loser mentality of many of the posters of this thread that our industry declines each year. First of all, the connection between the open philosophy and Southern Gospel does not even go together….please…stop the nonsense… You don’t even hear this much debate over sex with Country Stars… If its that big of a deal why don’t they have Trojan Sponsor the next big Southern Gospel Awards Show… or have The Perrys put a Viagra vehicle wrap down the side of their Silver Eagle to make some extra $$$$ or since everyone in SG is so horny…how about complimentary peep shows at the Quartet Convention this year. People need to use your heads…this thread is disguisting, it is a disgrace on the industry, it is a disgrace to Christianity and our genre deserves to take a hit…this is private stuff people. Use your brain…most of the people in this thread have mouths MUCH bigger than their brain.

  58. JW wrote:

    What quartet-man said.

    I don’t condemn anyone, but the Bible is just plain as day on this issue. Ever heard of the Apostle Paul?

    I find it funny how the gay people and “thou must be tolerant” people are so…intolerant? “Bible thumpers”, “front row sinners”, “50% are adulters.” Who’s judging who here?

    In my experiences the most judgmental people are the ones always screaming “tolerance.”

    Intolerant or not, I have to follow what the Bible, my textbook, says and on this one issue it speaks very plainly. I’m just following the truth.

  59. Tyler wrote:

    I’ll have to assume bostanbeauty isn’t speaking to me, since I’m anything but sexually “active,” but I do have a few comments:

    I don’t think a number of these posters even LIKE SG. They’re just defending themselves. This has nothing to do with SG. It has everything to do with the Bible vs. the flesh. I’m studying law and this topic will be a hot-button topic for me in the years to come. We can’t ingore it, and you shouldn’t jump on people who are standing up for truth.

    Again, I don’t believe half the people on this thread even like SG.

  60. Tyler wrote:

    A+ on your posts, JW & Quartet-man.

    Frankly, this debate would’ve been called as over a long time ago. There hasn’t been one pro-gay Scripture verse quoted yet, and the only thing the defense has done is throw some mud to try to justify themselves. Very unprofessional, very revealing, very lopsided debate…

  61. bostonbeauty368Jen wrote:

    “Criticism and commentary on southern gospel music and culture” is the tagline for this room…maybe they should go someplace else? Just a thought. Not trying to be smart-this conversation does not fit here. There was nothing wrong with the post…its the comments..

  62. Tyler wrote:

    I agree to that Jen. This conversation belongs somewhere else and since there really never was any relevant opposition this ‘case has been dismissed’ so to speak.

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

    Let me leave you with this:

    1. No one (including me) is perfect
    2. God’s grace reaches to everyone
    3. God will not tolerate sin
    4. We must give our struggles to God and turn from our wicked ways and he will come and heal our land

    Thanks, I am now signing off unless someone desperately wishes to talk further with me about this subject. God bless.

  63. CG wrote:

    Avery,

    60 + posts! You did it again. Congratulations on getting us to think (and speak).

    You’re still my first-choice (and favorite) SG stopover.

  64. art drake wrote:

    Interesting discussion, mostly respectful — and like most interesting discussions, it rambles.

    Getting back to the topic, the jokes are moldy, and I don’t know why they are continually resuscitated. A group that has a great tenor plays up that tenor. Likewise, a group that has an awesome bass or piano player will feature that asset. Few of the SG groups that I’ve seen have members with the wit or poise to pull off humor effectively. That doesn’t stop them from trying — and failing, over and over.

    I’ve seen Roger Bennett and Gerald Wolfe pull it off. I’ve seen many, many others fail.

    SG groups should take a realistic inventory of their strengths. If humor is not among them, they should play up their tenor or bass or pianist. (Apologies to the baritones and leads.)

  65. Leebob wrote:

    My, my, my….hasn’t EVERYBODY been busy since I last visited?

    My last joke with my youngest tenor brother was that mom and dad kept having children until they had a girl…b-dump dum.

    The family interaction and birth order thing plays out very well on stage with each of us. Yes I do have a middle brother but who remembers the middle child anyway.

    Art - you make a very good point. I used to try to be humorous because that is what I saw among other groups. Over time, the best stuff was the natural bantering that goes along with being a family ministry. Through it all the thing that I have learned is to be genuine about who you are and people will see that and the Christ that lives within you. Make yourself available to the people you sing in front of and you will have opportunities to sing in a pastor’s church over and over again because he sees the genuine article of Christianity before his congregation and not the phonynous that tends to be associated with many artisans.

  66. Videoguy wrote:

    jb, do you think Paul is in Heaven? According to your interpretation, he’s not. There’s a difference between sin not being in Heaven and a person not being in Heaven. Go read Romans 7 where Paul confesses his ongoing sin. The last verse indicates he serves both God and sin.

  67. Tyler wrote:

    I thought I was done here, but I just had to reply to Videoguy.

    One question: Do you read your Bible? It says very clearly that no man can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or vice versa. The one thing God says about people serving God and serving sin (unbelievable word choice of above poster) is that he will “spew out of his mouth” these lukewarm “Christians” who go to church for their salvation, but do whatever else they jollywall please in the week. They know better, yet they do nothing to change. Lord have mercy.

    BTW, struggling with sin and serving are 2 COMPLETELY different things.

    Wow, some people have interesting theology…

  68. Videoguy wrote:

    The words I used were Paul’s, not mine. Romans 7:25 “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

    In this whole chapter, Paul confesses his own sin that he is at war with. What particular sin, we don’t know - but that’s irrelevant. The fact is that Paul said himself in v17 that “sin dwelleth in me”.

    Bottom line: love thy neighbor, remember the ‘70 times 7′ rule, and keep short accounts. Videoguy out.

  69. J-MO wrote:

    First of all, the joke is not in the least bit funny for various reasons, most notably because it is so incredibly tired and overused within our genre. 2nd, the joke hints that the tenor is a girl, not a homosexual. I find it very stereo-typical that most people here seem to assume that because a person accuses someone of being feminine that they are in turn accusing them of being homosexual. That assumption is just as non-PC as any comments thrown toward tenors on stage.

    As far as homo-sexuality goes, I think there is plenty of solid evidence stating that it is a sin, just like adultery or anything else. Being tempted by homosexuality is therefore no different than being tempted by adultery. The debate about whether someone who struggles with homosexuality can make it into heaven almost seems to have more to do with eternal security than the actual act it’s self. Will a Christian who continued to be tempted by adultery after being saved and maybe even gave in to that temptation a few times be found in heaven if he was remorseful and repentant for his sins? I see no reason that whatever your answer is to that question wouldn’t also apply to the sin of homosexuality. Will someone who accepted the gift of salvation and lives an otherwise Christian life, but spends his entire life involved in a marital affair make it into heaven? Again, your answer to that question should also apply to a homosexual.

  70. Joe wrote:

    For Rick (#41)-

    My friend- with all the love and grace I can muster, I need to reinforce what others have already said. To call yourself “a Christian…and a gay man” is a Biblical oxymoron.

    In 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Paul makes it very clear that some in the Corinthian church HAD BEEN homosexuals. But not any more. They had been washed in the blood of Christ, and their past, was past. Those who continued to practice this aberrant lifestyle, he went on to say, would “not inherit the kingdom of God”.
    If you disagree with this, Paul says in verse 6 that you are “deceived”.

    Now if you have been recovered by grace, but still have these tendencies yet do not act upon them, then you are like all the rest of us who are sinners saved by grace, who ALL have tendencies to many kinds of sin, that the Holy Spirit continually keeps us from. As a number have written, the temptation is NOT the sin.

    But if you are telling us that you are continuing to practice this lifestyle, then you really need to hear what Paul is saying. Not only here, but in Romans 1, where he says those who practice this lifestyle “turn the truth of God into a lie…”

    And for those who may yet be wondering what Jesus might have to say on this subject, Paul makes this crystal clear as well. He says “the things I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37)

  71. DM wrote:

    A few years ago no one would have ever thought quartet men would be homosexual. They had a girlfriend in every town and some followed them everywhere. Now the guys chase each other. I miss the “good ole” days. It was fun watching it. You knew who would run up to who. I miss the “good ole” days.

  72. Tyler wrote:

    GREAT thoughts Joe.

    Videoguy, I think you should read the ALL of Paul’s writings - not just a verse or two. Check it out and you’ll realize Paul was saying that his flesh would always carry the sinful nature that every man has inherited since the fall of Adam. The difference is he followed the law of the Lord. Paul wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t dwell in sin. He may have STRUGGLED with it, but he NEVER SERVED it - at least after he was converted.

  73. Angie M wrote:

    Re: #43: “I even took one home from a choir rehearsal once when he needed
    a ride. I admit although I never showed it, I had some concerns going through my mind at the time. (Not that I thought I was better than him or that he
    would come on to me, but that someone might see us together and think I were a homosexual.)”

    What, exactly, do you think homophobia means? Why were you so concerned that people would think you were a homosexual?

  74. Aaay Nonemus wrote:

    In regards to post #57, the complimentary peep shows are in the bathroom area where the showers are near…ummm….nevermind!

  75. Rod wrote:

    First of all we established homosexuality and adultery is wrong…No surprise there. One of the posters made a good argument that most of the problem is whether or not you beleive in eternal security or not…I think that is the main problem here. The bible in many cases is not clear on certain issues…If it were we would not have the many denominations and disunity in the church. However I believe many of you would be well served if you read Romans 6-8…I do not believe there is such thing as a homosexual Christian (Practicing) but I do believe they can still fall and sin just as any one else…Again we are putting the sin in categories and levels and that biblically doesn’t exist. Tyler I find your version of paul almost that you knew him personally and you cetainly have no idea what you’re talking about on post #72…He said “The things I Know to do, I do them not…And the things I know not to do, those I do”. We can debate what he meant or he didn’t serve or he was just “dabbling”. WHATEVER…The fact is he was CONTINUALLY (keyword) struggling with sin and THAT IS A FACT…

  76. I'm Bored wrote:

    Fresh coffee anyone?

  77. quartet-man wrote:

    #73 Angie M, I am not afraid of homosexuals, which is what a phobia is. If so, I wouldn’t want any near me and would avoid anyone who was. I am not afraid of adulterers or liars either. However, I don’t want to be accused of being any of them. It really isn’t that hard to understand is it?

    Yes, I have sinned. Although I wouldn’t want every sin I ever committed to be public knowledge. However, as bad as it could be for me to be pegged a certain type of person by what I have done in my life, it would be better than to be accused of something I am not or have not done.
    I have admitted lusting after women before, however, I have not sex of any sort with anyone because it is contrary to my beliefs. That is not to say that I haven’t done other things contrary to my beliefs. The Bible says that I have admitted adultery in my heart in having looked at women that way. Now, granted, I wouldn’t want to be seen as an adulterer either because the definition in usage today takes it to mean you have slept with someone who is married. However, if someone said I have been a luster of women, I would say yes I have. That still doesn’t mean I would want to buy a t-shirt and proudly proclaim that to everyone who sees me. Yet, I do not deny it and in fact am stating it on this board. (I could have very easily not shared that.)

    Before you think that I think I am some paragon of virtue, think again. We are all sinners and although many of us here hasn’t done the sin of homosexuality, we have done some. The difference is that we are not saying it is okay. I could tell other sins I have done in the past, but since they are under the blood and since I shared one, I don’t see the need.

    I still say it is a low blow to accuse someone of being hateful for speaking God’s truth. We are stating facts. We are not saying it in mean ways nor are we saying the homosexuals are beyond hope or grace if they repent. However, many on the opposite side love to make it personal. They cannot accept that we are speaking God’s word nor can they leave it at a debate of “I disagree with your interpretation.” They have to attack us, our motives, accuse us of being hateful, intolerant, holier than thou etc. Do you see us calling homosexuals bad names?

    In fact, homosexuals often will settle for nothing less than our silence. Whoops, I take that back. They don’t even want our silence. They want us to admit that they aren’t doing anything wrong. Well, it isn’t going to happen. If you guys feel better at shooting the messenger of the message, go ahead. It won’t change the eternal truth.

  78. Aaron Swain wrote:

    well, since we’re on the subject of tenor singers and such, I’ve got some good news about a singer many would like to see come back to SG.

    http://swainsmusings.blogspot.com/2007/05/josh-cobb.html

  79. Tyler wrote:

    Rod, your post totally contradicted itself. First, you say that I had not a clue what I was talking about when I said Paul struggled with sin, not served it.

    Then you say, and I quote: “The fact is he was CONTINUALLY (keyword) struggling with sin and THAT IS A FACT…”

    No, Duh. That’s what I said. And I quote myself here: “He may have STRUGGLED with [sin]…” BTW, I meant the word “may” to mean “granted” or “did” struggle with sin. (If it came out wrong, or if you just plain didn’t read it or get it, that’s what I meant). Paul constantly struggled with sin. I meant that, I agree with that. You said the same thing. So if I don’t know what I’m talking about and you (by your own post) agreed with me, what does that say about you?

    Paul STRUGGLED with sin. Who doesn’t? Was Paul some superhero who didn’t constantly struggle with sin?? Of course not. Paul was just like the rest of us; he constantly, daily struggled with sin. The key word is “struggled.” He fought it. It was spiritual warfare with the flesh(Ephesians 6:12). The difference is, many homosexuals I’ve come in contact with are openly gay and they are not “struggling” with it. They are DWELLING it it. They serve it. They’re not accountable to anyone to get out it. They don’t listen to anyone who says they’re wrong. Basically, they SERVE it, and do not STRUGGLE to get out of it.

    Let me leave you with the words of Jesus: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” (Matt. 6)

    Rod, it doesn’t get any plainer than this YOU CAN’T SERVE TWO MASTERS. EITHER YOU WILL HATE THE ONE AND LOVE THE OTHER OR YOU WILL HOLD TO THE ONE AND DESPISE THE OTHER. Direct quote from Jesus’ own mouth in Matthew 6.

    Argue with the Bible if you want, but I would recommend avoiding unprecendented, unbacked personal attacks until you have some of Jesus’ words of your own to back up such propaganda. I know this post is more harsh than I like to write, but when someone’s this far off I can’t stand by and watch.

    BTW, I’m gonna give this thread a rest for now (sigh of relief to the liberals lol) because I feel the Bible has been clearly laid out:

    1. God will not tolerate sin.
    2. Homosexuality is sin. (Romans 6-8)
    3. God’s grace reaches to everyone. (Romans 6)
    4. No man can serve both sin (homosexuality, adultery, etc.), and also serve God. (Matt. 6).
    5. Although Christians don’t SERVE sin, they DO struggle with it. (”For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6). Paul struggled. We struggle. We DON’T SERVE SIN.

    It doesn’t get any clearer. All these principles have been plainly laid out and anyone wanting an argument will have to take it up with the inspired Word of God. Goodbye for a few.

  80. Sandy wrote:

    I was shocked, confused, bewildered

    as I entered Heaven’s door,

    Not by the beauty of it all,

    nor the lights or its decor.

    But it was the folks in Heaven

    who made me sputter and gasp–

    the thieves, the liars, the sinners,

    the alcoholics and the trash.

    There stood the kid from seventh grade

    who swiped my lunch money twice.

    Next to him was my old neighbor

    who never said anything nice.

    Herb, who I always thought

    was rotting away in hell,

    was sitting pretty on cloud nine,

    looking incredibly well.

    I nudged Jesus, “What’s the deal?

    I would love to hear Your take.

    God must’ve made a mistake.

    “And why’s everyone so quiet,

    so somber - give me a clue.”

    “Hush, child,” He said, “they’re all in shock.

    No one thought they’d be seeing you.”

    JUDGE NOT.

  81. dkd wrote:

    Sandy- lol Still chuckling at your post.

  82. jb wrote:

    videoguy: If you will read my orginal post again, the key word is “practicing”. If I was to practice adultery, stealing, cheating on a daily basis, no, I will not go to heaven. Practicing means it is willful.

  83. Videoguy wrote:

    Rom 7:15 NKJ “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”

    I’ll ask again: Is Paul in Heaven? I’ll hold…