People occasionally respond to the webpage with e-mails. Some common elements are repeated, so I have tried to address them here to save both of us some time. This is similar to a FAQ page, but it would be a FRS for Frequently Repeated Statements.
If you are considering sending an e-mail about the Straight page, please read the statements below and check that what you are going to say or ask is not in one of these e-mails. If you do ask a question that is listed here, the chances are very high that you will get a response that is listed below.
Some people are quick to remind me that the Bible says "judge not, lest ye be judged."
"You are making a judgment about another person. Some people would say that's absolutely un-Christian."
The Bible does say "Judge not, that ye be not judged." You get bonus points if you know the reference for that verse. People usually do not know the context of the verse though. The verse is Matthew 7:1 (or Luke 6:37). Verse 2 continues: "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged." These verses are not a prohibition against pointing out right and wrong; they are a warning against hypocrisy. Another way of looking at it is that we will be held to our own standards in that if we are harshly critical of others, God will be harshly critical of us. If we are generously forgiving of others, then God will be generously forgiving of us. The "judge not" verse does not bother me, because I know the standard by which I will be judged. If I hold other people to a standard, I expect that I will be held to it as well.
If I made a blanket statement that robbery or murder is wrong, would that be judging? Am I not allowed to say even that?
The Bible has some other commands for Christians. In 1 Corinthians 5:11, it says not to associate with those who claim to be Christians but are immoral. How can I tell who is immoral if I am not supposed to judge? And 2 Timothy 4:2 tells us to correct others. How can I correct others unless I discern what is right and what is wrong?
The concept here is that we are not to be rashly critical of others, but we do need to appropriately correct people.
Speaking for God
Some people seem to think that I am playing the role of God.
"If you really truly believed in the Bible as a whole, wouldn't you leave the role of God up to God? Wouldn't you (personally) love one another you think God apparently wants you to and not publish a webpage that may be hurtful to your neighbor?"
"Telling people that they must stop living their lifestyle just because it doesn't fit your ideas on how life should be"
"You have no right speaking for what you think God thinks is right"
I am showing people what God has said in the Bible. Really, my own ideas don't matter - they don't hold much weight in the grand scheme of things. I am telling people they must stop living their lifestyle because it doesn't fit God's ideas on how life should be.
I am getting my information right from His Word, the Bible, and that's what I present to other people. Some other thoughts on the webpage are my own, but anything attributed to God is backed by Scripture references.
As a Christian, should I be trying to do what is right? Can I tell other people about what I think? Can I tell other people what the Bible says? If not, why not?
Some people refuse to admit that any behavior can be labeled as wrong.
"Jesus was tolerant and accepting of outcasts (tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, the dregs of then-current middle-eastern society)."
There are some that say that Jesus accepted the people for how they were and did not want them to change. They imply He tolerated their lifestyle choices (applicable to the tax collectors and prostitutes. I doubt that leprosy was a lifestyle choice). They may be thinking of Mark chapter 2, when Jesus was eating with the tax collectors and sinners. In verse 17, Jesus says that the sick need a doctor and the He has come to call the sinners to repentance. That does not sound like He wants them to stay as they are but rather to be healed. He even calls them sinners. He does not say that they are good people or living acceptably. Does God want people to sin? to live a sinful life? to stay in their condition in which they were before they came to know God?.
But that was one isolated passage.
When Jesus met lepers, He healed them (Luke 5:13 plus others). He also healed those who were blind, lame, or diseased (Matthew chapter 9, plus many others). Was Jesus tolerating their conditions or did He change their lives? If He were just tolerating and accepting, He would not have healed them, right?
In Luke chapter 19, there is the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector. The tax collectors were despised in that society because they got rich by overcharging their fellowcitizens for the taxes due. When Zacchaeus met with Jesus, did he stay the same? Zacchaeus goes out of his way to undo what he has done wrong as a tax collector.
Then there is the famous passage from which people often quote something along the lines of "He that is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone." People use that verse (John 8:7) to say that Christians should not judge anyone for his actions, and they forget to read verse 11. In verse 11, Jesus tells the adulterous woman not that she is okay as she is but that she should leave her life of sin. If He were tolerant and accepting of adulterers (also outcasts in that society), wouldn't He have told her to continue living as she was? But He didn't; He told her to change.
I believe that God knows and understands everything we do, but He does not approve of everything we do. He understands that we are sinners and He knows that we sin, and, as well, He requires that we confess our sinfulness to Him, ask for His forgiveness, and recognize Him not only as Ruler of the universe but also as personal Savior.
Old Testament laws
Some people say that homosexuality is okay because the Old Testament laws do not apply to us today.
Those who discredit my webpage because it quotes the Old Testament seem to skip the fact that I quote the New Testament too. If you are going to write about the Old Testament, please be prepared to write about the New Testament too.
The role of the Old Testament and its laws in today's society is another subject that I am not going to cover in this webpage.
God is love
Some people focus on one part of God and neglect the rest of Him.
"God is Love and only love."
"God does not hate. He can not hate. This is important."
"God loves all of his children."
True, God does love His children. That's why He sent His Son Jesus to this earth, so that people would accept His sacrifice and believe. However, love does not mean never telling people when they're wrong. God has a number of attributes. Love is one of them. Others are justice, mercy, vengeance, etc.
What do you mean when you say that God loves all of His children? What does that love entail? What does He do because of that love, and what does He not do because of that love? The Bible says that God has punished and will punish people.
Also, God can and does hate. But hating things and behaviors is different from hating people. In Malachi 2:16, the Bible says that God hates divorce. So God can hate. Indeed, there is a theme throughout the Bible of hating evil. But that is a side point that is brought by people who probably missed the disclaimer on the webpage. It stated that saying something is wrong (or immoral) does not equal hate. Apart from that disclaimer at the top, the webpage does not mention hate.
Considerations before writing
If you disagree with me, please consider a few things before you write.
This topic is mainly based on people's concepts of morality. So if I state something and you disagree, how will you be able to prove I am wrong? You are welcome to write me with your opinion, but if all you give me is your opinion, it is likely that I will ask you why you believe that and how you know it is right.
People have also written and stated their concepts about God. To those who state that they disagree with me about some aspect of God, I ask them how they arrived at that idea. Is it from God and His Word, the Bible, or just a thought that entered their minds?