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The Lazy Paralytic
1. When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at his home. 2. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. 3. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 5. When Jesus saw this he grew angry, “Why did you wreck my roof? Do you have any idea how much that cost to install? Do you know how many tables and chairs I had to make in my carpentry shop to pay for that roof? The reeds alone cost five talents. I had them carted in from Bethany.” 6. The disciples had never seen Jesus so angry about his possessions. He continued, “This house is my life. And the roof is the best part.” The disciples fell silent. 7. “It’s bad enough that you trash my private property, now you want me to heal you?” said Jesus, “And did you not see the stone walls around this house?” “Yes,” said the man’s friends. “Are these not the stone walls common to the towns and villages of Galilee?” 8. “No,” Jesus answered. “This is a gated community. How did you get in?” The man’s friends grew silent. 9. Then Jesus turned and said to the paralytic, “Besides, can’t you take care of your own health problems? I’m sure that your family can care for you, or maybe the synagogue can help out.” 10. “No, Lord,” answered the man’s friends. “There is no one. His injuries are too severe. To whom else can we go?” 11. “Well, not me,” said Jesus. “What would happen if I provided access to free health care for everyone? That would mean that people would not only get lazy and entitled, but they would take advantage of the system. 12. Besides, look at me: I’m healthy. And you know why? Because I worked hard for my money, and took care of myself.” The paralyzed man then grew sad and he addressed Jesus. “But I did work, Lord,” said the paralytic. “Until an accident rendered me paralyzed.” “Yes,” said the man’s friends. “He worked very hard.” 13. “Well,” said Jesus, “That’s just part of life, isn’t it?” “Then what am I to do, Lord?” said the paralytic. “I don’t know. Why don’t you sell your mat?” 14. All in the crowd then grew sad. “Actually, you know what you can do?” said Jesus. “You can reimburse me for my roof. Or I’ll sue you.” And all were amazed. 15. “We have never seen anything like this,” said the crowd.
The results showed that 53% of Australians who identify as Christians support same-sex marriage, while 41% oppose. 67% of non-Christians support it.
Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Malcolm McPherson, himself a Christian, said the poll shows church leaders and Christian lobbyists who oppose same-sex marriage are not representative of the feelings of most Australians on the subject of same-sex marriage as evidenced by the poll’s results.
The Galaxy poll found overall support for allowing same-sex marriage to 60%, which is unchanged from an identical poll conducted by Galaxy in October last year (the result of the October poll was 62%, which is within the margin of error of +/- 2%).
However, there has been a marked shift in how strongly views on the issue are held. Since October last year 5% of supporters of equality have shifted from “agree” to “strongly agree”, with a similar shift among opponents of reform from “strongly disagree” to “disagree”.
Religious leaders who have given their support to the campaign for marriage equality come from Uniting, Anglican and Baptist churches across Australia, and include Sydney minister and 2GB radio host, Reverend Bill Crews who said in an interview:
Today in Australia we all live in a secular non discriminatory society. Churches and other spiritual institutions exist within this society. It seems to me that in a secular and non-discriminatory society gay couples should be as free to marry as any other human couple. If people wish to be married within a religious or spiritual institution’s framework then they should accept the rites and rules of that institution. However it is the state that legitimises all marriages.
A Melbourne Baptist pastor, Matt Glover, said allowing same-sex marriages will benefit marriage as an institution:
When a couple want to be part of the institution of marriage, when they fully accept the same rights and responsibilities of marriage and treat marriage with the respect it deserves, why should they NOT get married? As a Christian minister, I believe that marriage is under threat from many angles, but also believe that recognizing same-sex unions will help return marriage to its rightful place in society.
An Anglican parish priest in Sydney, Rector David Smith was blunt in his assessment:
From a Christian point of view, marriage is an institution designed to serve two social needs:
1) contribute broadly to social stability
2)provide a stable environment for the nurturing of children.
If this is the case then the only questions Christians need to concern themselves with when it comes to the issue of gay marriage are these two:
1) Would gay marriage lead to greater social stability?
2) Would a married gay partnership be likely to provide a more secure environment for the nurturing of the children of a gay couple than an unmarried one?
I think the answer to both these questions has to be ‘yes’.
Buoyed by the poll results, Australian Marriage Equality has launched a Christians 4 Equality letter-writing campaign which has the endorsement of a wide range of Christian leaders and has already seen almost 10,000 letters sent to MPs from Australian Christians since the site went live last Friday afternoon.
The PinkNews UK reported that during a rally held yesterday in Canberra, the so-called ‘National Day for Marriage’ rally, an American anti-gay activist told the audience during her speech that gay marriage would lead to paedophiles marrying children. Rebecca Hagelin, a columnist for the right wing tabloid World Net Daily, also added that there is “no greater evil” than gay marriage supporters and that Christians are in a “war for the future of the human race”.
Australian Marriage Equality’s McPherson responded telling the PinkNews:
Christian groups that oppose marriage equality like the Australian Christian Lobby are entitled to their view, but they do not represent the majority of Australian Christians.
Clearly, most Australian Christians believe same-sex marriage is consistent with Christian values like justice, love, compassion and fidelity, not opposed to these values.
Parents of LGBT kids don’t have an easy time of it. Parenting a child is difficult at the best of times, but adding the complexities of sexual diversity to the mix can make parenting downright terrifying.
It’s worse if those parents are practicing Christians.
Kathy Baldock writes clearly and firmly to Christian parents of LGBT kids in her latest post at CanyonWalker Connections. She’s not advocating marching in parades and becoming a fierce advocate and PFLAG zealot, she’s advocating simple acceptance.
If God has given you a gay child and you are trying to make that child heterosexual, that is not “the way of him”. If you try to impose change on your child or reject who he is (yes, that is really what you are doing when you tell them to “not be gay”), there are some general , predictable consequences.
If you reject your glbt youth they:
- Are EIGHT times more apt to attempt suicide than those who are accepted
- May suffer depression SIX times more often than those who are accepted
- Are THREE times more likely to get involved in drug abuse than those glbt that are accepted
- May contract HIV and STD’s THREE times more than accepted glbt youth
Are you catching the key words here? “than those who are accepted” The unhealthy, risky behavior is a result of rejection. Mom and Dad, you are completely in control of that dynamic. If you withhold love, acceptance or security from you glbt youth because of their sexual orientation, you will, in all likelihood, be damning them to these statistics. I cannot imagine any parent knowing this and choosing to ignore it.
If you’re the parent of a gay kid and don’t know what to do, contanct me. I’m available.
If you’re an LGBT kid who’s been rejected and kicked out of the house- or is about to be, contact me. We’ll find a safe place for you to be. Promise.
My email: Dgsma@hotmail.com.
Please read Kathy’s full post here.
And then share it with your friends and Christian parents.
In light of the recent “Conservative Revival” in our political/social/religious environment, I celebrated by watching the movie Outrage. An amazingly interesting movie about the shame that rules the gays in politics- and in Washington D.C. The amount of personal shame and fear that being gay arouses among politicians is tragic and fascinating at the same time. I recommend it as a cathartic way of dealing with the current reality.
What makes a self-loathing homosexual/bisexual etc. person work so hard to persecute their fellows? Fear. Fear of losing power, status, dignity and self-worth. All of which are illusory anyway, since, for those still in the closet, they’re based on a lie. And lies aren’t good for anybody in the long run. Truth is a universally held value, especially if you’re a believing Christian. Ironic that the people who most vehemently espouse the teachings of the man who said “The truth will set you free” shrink just as vehemently from it….
Ironic and sad. Which is why I have no problem with outing people who actively persecute us- they’re secret cannibals. And I will be watching several people in politics whom I know are conservative and gay- and not out. Watching carefully. And holding them accountable. I think we have to. This is the time for all fair-minded people to pay attention and not let anyone get away with lies. We can’t afford to.
On of the more interesting comments in Outrage was that “Washington would grind to a halt without it’s gay people”. Interesting idea.