I worked at a record store for most of my college days. The pay was terrible, the customers had bad taste (for the most part), and the owner was always doing some untoward stuff that later resulted in his partner kicking him out of the business… but it may have been the best job I’ve ever had. Why was it the best job ever? Because my income was supplemented by an unending supply of promo CDs, first crack at all CDs being traded in by customers, and my name always happened to make it onto the guest list of two of the three big music venues in town. Plus my co-workers were a diverse group of equally music-obsessed nerds, punk rockers, hip-hop enthusiasts and an Anglophile manager who became one of my best friends. It was pretty epic, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Working in a record store also gave me special insight into crazy rabbit hole of music theory conspiracies. My buddy Ryan Shaw had this theory about Andrew Wood, the lead singer of Mother Love Bone and the first major heroin casualty of the grunge era. His theory was that Andrew Wood was the prophet that rock and roll was promised, that he would be overlooked and ridiculed in his own time, and then sentenced to death for the sins of rock and roll, only to be resurrected and live eternally through his disciples and their testimony.
In other words, Andrew Wood was the Jesus Christ of Grunge who had to die for the sins of Hair Metal so that Rock and Roll could live on.
SIDE NOTE: My buddy Ryan was an ordained minister who later became a trial lawyer, so that gives credence to the underpinning philosophy of the theory.
Much like B.C. and A.D., prior to Andrew Wood there was no “Alternative” but after his death we started living in the Alternative age. Grunge, Indie and Nu-Metal, Emo, and Alt-Country were all new gospels that were written in the aftermath of Andrew Wood’s passing… So if Andrew Wood was the Jesus Christ of Grunge, who were his apostles?
Stone Gossard as SIMON/PETER - The rock upon which the Temple of the Dog was built, literally. Stone Gossard is the through line for the Seattle sound and was ever present in its inception. From his time at Green River to Mother Love Bone to Temple of the Dog to Pearl Jam and then Brad, Gossard was the foundation stone. Without Stone Gossard, would there even be grunge? Stone is the rhythm (along with his brother Jeff Ament) from which the music is manifested. Gossard may never have been front and center in all of the bands he formed, but he spoke softly and carried a big axe.
Chris Cornell as JOHN - John was the disciple whom Jesus loved the most. Chris was Andrew’s roommate and best friend. When Andrew overdosed, Chris was on a European tour with Soundgarden striking his own Jesus Christ pose. Chris was so grief stricken with the loss that he immediately wrote two songs “Say Hello 2 Heaven” and “Reach Down” about Wood. Chris showed them to Stone and Jeff, and Temple of the Dog was formed to honor their late friend. Chris would later hit mainstream success with Soundgarden and with Audioslave (which was just okay but waaaayyy to mellow for a band composed of members of Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden).
Jeff Ament as ANDREW (Simon/Peter’s brother) -
Ament was right there with Stone in Green River, Mother Love Bone,
Temple of the Dog and then Pearl Jam. He’s the bass that pulses the
heartbeat of the music. Plus, his graphic design sense provided the
classic look and feel of all the liner notes and album packaging for
those bands (which along with flannel, long hair, and Doc Martens worn
with shorts, were essential cornerstones of the era). Through Ames Bros.
Design, Pearl Jam’s visual aesthetic was really set in stone and their
tour posters became must-have’s for screen print enthusiasts everywhere.
Music never looked so good.
Eddie Vedder as JAMES, SON of ALPHAEUS - Some people say that James was literally Jesus’ little brother, while other’s interpret it metaphorically because upon dying Jesus said to James that Mary was now his mother, and James was now her son. Either way, Eddie Veddie was the younger brother of Andrew Wood who then took his mother’s hand and ushered in a new era of grunge. Eddie would tell you that he’s no fucking messiah, which is meant as a testament to the love he had for his brother.
SIDE NOTE:I almost had Eddie as Paul/Saul, not one of the original 12 apostles, but one of the most steadfast and true disciples of Jesus whose writings to the Romans and to the Corinthians would help shape Christian philosophy for many centuries to come. As the lead singer and songwriter of Pearl Jam, you could make a case that Eddie is Paul, but I don’t think he’s gentile enough for that. He’s Eddie Vedder, and that’s an entirely different essay.
Kurt Cobain as SIMON THE CANAANITE or SIMON THE ZEALOT - Simon the Zealot was known for strictly keeping the law of Moses (the Ten Commandments) and had great disregard for where he saw people headed. In Jesus, Simon found someone who was practicing what he preached. Simon would go on to evangelize the gospel in much of the west including throughout Egypt and into Africa. Kurt Cobain hated the mainstream and was a zealot when it came to grunge. He spread the word far and high and carried the tradition well.
Layne Staley as THADDEUS - Cool name. Cool band. When a jar of flies is kept for too long, the man in a box digs some dirt. Staley of Alice in Chains and Mad Season fame burned out too soon, but man was he cool.
Dave Grohl as MATTHEW/LEVI - Matthew/Levi was the tax collector who gave up his job and life to follow Jesus. He was the author of one of the gospels (Gospel of Matthew). Grohl was a drummer who later gave up that life to lead his own band, the Foo Fighters, who went on to become one of the biggest alternative bands (and David Letterman’s favorite band).
Kim Thyll as JAMES (brother of John) - James was John’s brother who followed him along and became an apostle. He had a moment of doubt when Jesus came back to life and doubted that it was really Jesus. Kim followed Chris Cornell into Soundgarden and preached the gospel upon a black hole sun. He later had many doubts when Chris left the band and stored to become a pop singer and then started Audioslave, which was terrible. Eventually, Soundgarden reformed and the word could go on being spread, one music hall, arena or outdoor festival at a time.
Jerry Cantrell as BARTHOLOMEW - Cool name. Cool band. Do the Bart, man!
Mark Arm as PHILIP - Philip was an apostle, but he didn’t really matter. He was there at the start and probably did some stuff but you can’t really remember it. That’s kind of like Mark Arm and Mudhoney. He started Green River and recruited Stone Gossard to the band because he only wanted to sing instead of sing and play guitar. Then He formed Mudhoney. They had a moment for a slight minute but most people couldn’t tell them apart from Tad. How’s that for a Judgement Night?
Courtney Love as MARY MAGDALENE - Go listen to Hole’s first record, Live Through This, and you’ll be asking Courtney if you could wash HER feet. From start to finish, that album is all killer and no filler, regardless of wether Kurt Cobain wrote it or not.
Thurston Moore as JUDAS - Sonic Youth were grunge before grunge was a thing. They ushered in the alt-rock movement and were preaching the gospel way before it was cool. In another world, Thurston Moore would have been John the Baptist, but he blew up the band by betraying Kim Deal (whom the Dandy Warhols rightly worshipped in their song “As Cool as Kim Deal”). So, yeah. Thurston Moore is Judas.
Paul Westerberg as JOHN THE BAPTIST - He came first and helped lay the groundwork for the alternative movement. This could have easily gone to Michael Stipe of R.E.M., but The Replacements were much better and spawned a legion of followers. The Mats work in the 80s at Twin Tone and in Minneapolis would help to set up the dynamic that would take place in Seattle with Sub Pop. Westerberg couldn’t hardly wait…
With Pearl Jam having recently been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, now more than ever, we should give thanks and praise to the great Andrew Wood, the Captain Hi-Top, Love Commander (it is right to give him thanks and praise). For he so loved rock and roll and that he was forced to suffer, die and was buried for its sins so that rock could be reborn again. May he rest in peace today, knowing that his words still resonate with the masses.
So come bite the apple, my fellow star dog champions.
The theatre at Hierapolis was built in the second century AD under the Roman Emperor Hadrian during a period of extensive rebuilding following a devastating earthquake in 60 AD. It was later renovated under Septimus Severus (193-211 AD). At this time, the scaenae frons was modified and decorated with elaborate limestone and marble carvings. Although the exterior is relatively unassuming as viewed from the front, the interior contains one of Anatolia’s most complete and best-preserved collection of Greco-Roman theatre decorations. In 343 AD the scaenae was renovated and the orchestra was altered so that it could hold aquatic displays. In the later years of the Roman Empire the orchestra was converted into a cellar. Renovation work since 1977 has restored many of the arches and a portion of the stage floor. Prior to this date, the stage as well as its arched support system lay in ruins. Recent archaeological evidence shows that the theatre was in use through the 5th and into the 6th century AD. In 532 AD the scaenae, which had been weakened by seismic activity, was repaired.
Being LGBTQIA+ isn't a sin. What is sinful is to deny your true self
True peace, love, and happiness are only found in the will of God. We must carry our crosses and follow Him. This is what God and His Church have to say about this:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27 RSVCE).
“Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 RSVCE).
To read more of what the Bible says about homosexual behavior, please see Genesis 19, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:9-10.
CCC 2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
Our sins and temptations are not our true selves. I am not my sin. I am not my temptations. I am a child of God.
If its okay to be gay then why dose the Bible speak against it? Isn't everything in the Bible true?
Does the Bible condemn being gay – that’s the Big Question, isn’t it? This blog exists because we believe the answer is a lovely, resounding no and so we want to affirm LGBTA+ Christians. I suppose it’s high time we answered this question at length, rather than just pointing readers to our resources page.
Christians who don’t have any reason to delve too deeply into the matter will, at most, pull open their Bible, find those two peskyverses in Leviticus, or read over certain passages in Romans, Corinthians, Timothy, and Jude, and say, “well, there we have it: scripture says doing gay stuff is wrong. So…just don’t do gay stuff.” Simple as that. End of story. Close the book.
But when a Christian realizes that they themselves or someone they love is gay (or another branch of the LGBT+ community, but I’ll focus on same-gender attraction for this post), pointing to those “condemnatory” passages and ending the search right there just doesn’t cut it. Suddenly the question isn’t just a “fun” theological debate; the answer matters; your happiness and salvation – or that of a loved one – are on the line. What about context, historical or textual? Or what if some things got lost in translation? Or…do we dare even wonder it…what if, just maybe, every rule and opinion that made it into the Bible isn’t necessarily God’s opinion?
Maybe you were looking for a simple answer. But even if you’ve only rarely cracked it open, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the Bible is a pretty hefty text. Thus, this question requires a lot of unpacking. This post aims to deconstruct your two-part question – does the Bible condemn being gay, and is everything in the Bible true – one piece at a time. Buckle up and get comfortable, folks, because we’re about to zoom through several millennia of biblical history, explore translation and interpretation, and philosophize a bit on the differences between “fact” and “truth,” advocating for a non-literal reading of scripture and an affirmation of LGBTA+ people, identities, and relationships.
Note: it is possible to read only parts in bold, or to skip to this post’s final section (“Wrapping Up”) if you do not have the time or inclination to read this post in its entirety.
So you’ve decided to tackle one of the most influential books in human history. Now, it seems daunting (and it is), but the thing to remember about the Bible is that it’s not actually one book. The Bible is made up of 73 books (66 if you’re reading a Protestant Bible) all written by different authors, during different time points in history, and for different reasons. The best way to really understand the content of the Bible is to keep in mind the context of the book you’re currently reading. It does nobody any good if you treat the Book of Psalms (largely poetic hymns to the God of Abraham) with the same air that you would Deuteronomy (which should be read as sermons delivered by Moses to the Israelites). So, to help you, I’m providing this lovely outline which divides the books of the Bible into nice digestible chunks
Books marked with an ** are part of the deuterocanonical books (those found in Catholic Bibles but not in Protestant Bibles).
The Old Testament
The Pentateuch: The first five books of the bible, called the Torah by the Jewish people. Included in these books are the stories of creation and of the nation of Israel. It also includes the law given to the Israelites by God.
Historical Books: These books tell the story of the Israelites from their entry into the Promised Land until the Exile.
Esther** (deuterocanonical additions)
Wisdom Literature: These books are Jewish reflections of faith and God’s relationship with humanity.
Song of Songs
Wisdom of Solomon**
Prophets: The writings of the people whom God inspired to counsel and confront people and kings.
Daniel** (deuterocanonical additions)
Books of the New Testament of Jesus Christ
The Gospel Account: Four portraits and collections of stories and sayings of Jesus of Nazareth
Acts of the Apostles: consisting of one book, Acts is the story of the early Christian Church after the Ascension of Jesus. This is not a complete history of apostolic Christianity.
Letters (Epistles): Letters written by early Christians that show the problems and concerns facing the early Church.
Pauline Epistles (attributed to St. Paul):
Hebrews (author is anonymous)
Revelation (Apocalypse): A single book, addressed to people experiencing persecution and questioning the truth of their faith. Revelation offers hope that God’s deliverance will come as promised. Extensive use of symbols and images that early readers would have readily understood.
The amphitheatre is built of stone blocks, located on a flat ground, and is exceptionally well conserved. The amphitheatre of El Jem is the third amphitheatre built on the same place. The belief is that it was constructed by the local proconsul Gordian, who became the emperor as Gordian III.
The Phoenician city of Baalbek was known as Heliopolis (the city of the Sun) during the Hellenistic period.
The city became an important religious center during Greco-Roman times and it was one of the largest sanctuaries in the Roman Empire.
The greatest temple of the city was sacred to Jupiter Baal,
(Heliopolitan Zeus), identified with the Sun. The Jupiter worshipped there was also understood to be Baal-Hadad, a local storm deity who had
been honoured for centuries. The temple was constructed
during the 1st century AD (completed circa 60 AD) on top of a podium
and foundations presumably from a previous ancient temple. The temple had more than 50 Corinthian columns, 20 meters high, but today only six columns remain standing.
Baalbek, with its colossal structures, is one of the finest and most impressive examples of
Imperial Roman architecture.
Although little is known for definite about the history of Qasr al-Abd it is widely believed to have been built by a Tobiad notable, Hyrcanus of Jerusalem, head of the powerful Jewish Tobiad family and governor of Ammon. Credence for this theory is gained from the fact that the Hebrew name ‘Tuvya’ or 'Toviyya’ (Tobias) is engraved (טוביה but in a more Aramaic script) above the adjacent burial caves of Iraq al-Amir, which share their name with the nearby village.
The heavily decorated two-storey stone structure (measuring about 40 metres by 20 metres, and 13 metres high) is a rare example of Hellenistic architecture in Jordan. In the 1st century AD, Flavius Josephus described it as, “A strong fortress, which was constructed entirely of white marble up to the very roof and had beasts of gigantic size carved on it; and he enclosed it with a wide and deep moat”. The castle is built from some of the largest single blocks of any building in the Middle East, with the largest block measuring seven by three metres. However, these blocks were at most only 40 centimetres wide (making the building relatively vulnerable to the earthquake which destroyed it).