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Tag: Incest

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Jeffrey Zizz Charged With Sex Crimes Against His Children

arrested

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Jeffrey Zizz, former pastor of Calvary Chapel in North Thurston, Washington, stands accused of first-degree incest, first-degree rape of a child, first-degree child molestation, second-degree rape of a child, second-degree child molestation, third degree-rape of a child, two counts of third-degree child molestation and second-degree attempted rape. Zizz’s alleged victims are his children.

The Olympian reports:

Jeffrey Kian Zizz, a military veteran, turned himself in to Lacey Police on Oct. 21 and vaguely confessed to “sexual misconduct” in his home, according to court documents. He pleaded not guilty to nine specific crimes during his arraignment on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The nine counts include: first-degree incest, first-degree rape of a child, first-degree child molestation, second-degree rape of a child, second-degree child molestation, third degree-rape of a child, two counts of third-degree child molestation and second-degree attempted rape.

On Oct. 22, Thurston County Superior Court Judge John Skinner found probable cause for six of the nine crimes Zizz’s was ultimately charged with and set bail at $250,000. A pretrial services screening of Zizz did not find any prior criminal convictions. Zizz became pastor at Calvary Chapel North Thurston in June 2019, according to a church Facebook post. The church holds services at Northwest Christian Academy in Lacey.

Law enforcement were told church pastors and elders “were aware of the allegations and as a result he is no longer a pastor,” according to court documents. In a statement, current Pastor Sam Christensen at Calvary Chapel North Thurston acknowledged Zizz’s was an employee and confirmed he is no longer affiliated with the church. “We were deeply grieved upon hearing of this news and we seek and pray for healing for the family,” Christensen said. “We are available to law authorities if they have questions, but since the issues involved do not appear to involve the church, and since there is an ongoing investigation, we have no further comment to make.” The alleged crimes described in court documents only involve his children and make no mention of other potential victims. A probable cause statement from the perspective of law enforcement described the events leading up to Zizz’s arrest.

Zizz’s attorney contacted a Lacey police officer on Oct. 12. During the meeting, the attorney told the officer that Zizz wished to turn himself in for numerous sexual assaults he committed “over the years” involving his children. The attorney also informed the officer that Zizz admitted to attempting to sexually assault one of his children while intoxicated a week prior, according to the statement. The incident reportedly prompted Zizz to confess to his attorney. In the days after the meeting, the statement says law enforcement interviewed Zizz’s wife and children about the alleged assaults. The children confirmed graphic details during those interviews, per the statement. On Oct. 21, the statement says Zizz turned himself in at the Lacey Police Department and explained there was “sexual misconduct” in his home involving his children. He reportedly said he wanted his children to tell the truth and believed they would, per the statement.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Is Incest a Sin?

cain and abel wives

Most Evangelicals believe that the earth was created 6,023 years ago, and the first two human beings on the planet were Adam and Eve.

Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. It is assumed that Adam and Eve also had daughters who are not mentioned in the Bible. The reason this is assumed is that Cain and Abel had wives and children. The question then that must be asked is this: where did Cain and Abel‘s wives come from? Since there were no people on earth before Adam and Eve, the only answer is that Cain and Abel‘s wives were their sisters.

The Bible is clear: incest is a sin. If God is a moral being, absolute perfection, explain why he used incest to propagate the human race. Doesn’t this mean that God broke his own moral commandments? If God is against homosexuality, fornication, and adultery — sins which lead to eternal damnation and Hell — as Evangelicals say he is, why would God ever condone or use incest as a means to advance his purpose and plan?

When Evangelicals are asked about why God used incest to propagate the human race, they typically give one of three answers:

  • Mystery — we just don’t know.
  • God’s ways are not our ways, and God‘s thoughts are not our thoughts.
  • God used incest for a time, and once the human race was growing, he banned incest, calling it a grievous sin (only to allow it again after the Flood for a time with Noah’s family).
  • God had not yet given the command against incest (or rape, adultery, fornication, bestiality, etc).

Answering the question, “why is incest wrong?” Christian Fundamentalist “Dr.” David Tee (known in real life as David Thiessen) wrote:

Because God decided to make it wrong at the right time when genetic deformities will arise and ruin his creation. This may seem like a flippant answer but it is not. God was protecting his creation from the ills that come from inbreeding.

To illustrate this sexual harassment was recently made illegal but all those who practiced sexual harassment prior to that event did nothing legally wrong. You cannot judge or condemn people (or God) based upon actions after the fact. In other words, the people who did sexual harassment when it was legal, did not commit illegal or wrongful acts. They are still innocent people even though eventually the act was declared illegal.

Tee states, “this may seem like a flippant answer.” Ya, think? Either incest is immoral, or it’s not. Either God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent or he’s not. Supposedly, God is sovereign. He knows everything from beginning to end. If this is so, wouldn’t have God known that there would be genetic birth defects? Couldn’t God have manipulated human DNA to eliminate this problem? Or better yet, couldn’t he have created numerous families, each with unique DNA? Instead, the moral architect of the universe used behavior he says is sinful to propagate the human race.

When you believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible word of God, such questions pose all sorts of problems for you. When you believe the Bible should be read literally, and that the history and science found within its pages are true, you are forced to defend incest and all sorts of immoral behavior. When you believe God’s moral law is absolute, incest committed by Cain and Abel proves to be an insurmountable problem.

I was an Evangelical pastor for 25 years. The incest question bothered me the entire time I spent in the ministry. I could not square incest in the book of Genesis with God‘s commands other places in the Bible. I concluded this was a mystery, and that someday, in Heaven, God would reveal his reasoning for permitting incest for a time. This is a common hermeneutic used by Evangelicals to not answer hard questions.

Are you a former Evangelical? How did you answer the incest question? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

One Man’s Christianity is Another Man’s Cult

christian cult
Cult or Christianity? Who decides? By what standard?

James “Jim” Bellar pastors Dove Outreach Church in Waverly, Ohio, a church considered by many local Christians to be a “cult.” An article in The Athens Messenger, written by Cole Behrens, calls Bellar a “self-proclaimed minister and apostle.” The not-so-subtle implication by Behrens is that Bellar is the wrong kind of Christian, a cultist. Behrens evidently is not aware of the fact that countless Evangelical preachers are “self-proclaimed” ministers. There’s no main Evangelical headquarters, no governing or ruling authority. Anyone can become an Evangelical pastor/apostle/bishop/evangelist/missionary. Anyone can start an Evangelical church. Want to see capitalism and entrepreneurialism at work? Visit an Evangelical church. If giving men and women important-sounding titles is a sure sign a church is a “cult,” then tens of thousands of “Bible-believing,” Jesus-loving, gospel-preaching churches are “cults.”

Apostle Bellar is busy “retranslating” the Bible to a “faithful” rendition of the gospels for English-speaking people. When asked by what (or who’s) authority he was retranslating the Bible, Bellar replied:

God. The Holy Spirit. I don’t have to answer to any man. God. You have to answer to God yourself.

Valerie Trainer, a member of Dove Outreach, said:

He’s doing translations as God gives them to him, to be more perfected by the Lord — praise the Lord — but that’s a good thing. He’s an apostle, yes. Praise the Lord.

Oh my, Bellar is putting his own words into the Bible. Isn’t that exactly what Christians have been doing for 2,000 years? The Bible has always been an evolving book — often radically so — especially when you take into account the individual interpretations of billions of Christian clerics, church leaders, teachers, and run-of-the-mill congregants. If a cultist is someone who puts his own spin on the Bible or changes its words to suit him, why EVERY Christian is a cultist.

Athens Messenger writer Behrens found a cult expert, Stephen Kent, professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, to label Dove Outreach a “cult.” Kent stated the church doesn’t look like a “standard” Christian church. A “standard” church? As opposed to an “automatic” church? (Car joke, for those trying to figure out what I mean.) What, exactly, is a “standard” Christian church? By whose standard are we making this judgment?

Christian sects are, by nature, individualistic. This individualism continues at the congregation level. Sects have official statements of doctrine and practice. Yet, visit any of the churches in said sect, and you will find a diversity of beliefs and practices. There is no such thing as “standard” Christianity. There are endless Christianities. For as many Christians there are, there are Christianities. No two Christians agree on anything.

Kent went on to say:

This group appears to be way off the charts in relation to normative Christianity.

….

One has to be very careful about religious figures who claim unique godly authority because in doing so they place themselves above secular law. When people grant themselves extreme religious authority — then one has to wonder if that person is delusional or narcissistic.”

“Unique Godly authority?” You mean like pastor, deacon, evangelist, missionary, bishop, elder, prophet, priest, or king — all of which are found in the Bible, all of which are found in Christian sects and churches today.

I would think a news reporter and cult expert would know that countless American churches are patriarchal and authoritarian; that Dove Outreach is not special or unique in that regard.

Bellar denies Dove Outreach is a cult:

We are not a cult, I don’t run people’s lives. I preach the truth. And certainly, if I saw anything illegal, it would have been dealt with.

as does Trainer:

As far as I know, it’s a church that believes the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that’s all Jim has preached as long as I’ve gone there. So whatever you’re hearing out there about whatever — it’s not true.

I spent a few minutes today reading Dove Outreach’s official doctrinal statement. Everything in what the church calls The Foundational Principles of the Doctrine of Christ, is believed by American Christians everywhere — with a few quaint oddities concerning baptism. If this is the doctrine of a cult, every Evangelical church in America is a cult.

The church’s website defines “salvation” this way:

Romans 10:8-13
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That 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.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
KJV

If this statement is cultic, every church I ever attended and pastored was a cult.

Based on my investigation, Dove Outreach promotes Bible literalism. Again, scores of Christians interpret the Bible literally, so such a practice is not unique. Cultic? Nope.

Dove Outreach is a Bellar-owned and operated church. Troubling? Sure, but not unusual. Lots of churches, Evangelical and mainline alike, are controlled by certain families. Sometimes, it’s the pastor’s family that controls a church — often for multiple generations. Other times, it is powerful families within a church that wield control.

Several Dove Outreach church members were recently indicted on sexual and physical abuse charges. According to The Athens Messenger, the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office argued in their indictments “that the font of their alleged behavior may have been “cult”-like beliefs stemming from what was being taught at Dove Outreach Church.

The Daily Mail reports:

An Ohio couple and two of their 19 children, who are adults, have been charged after their daughter who escaped the family came forward with a string of allegations against them.  

Robert Bellar, 54 and his wife Deborah Bellar, 49, face charges in connection with an ongoing sexual abuse investigation concerning their children. Two of their sons Jonathan Levi Bellar, 26, and Josiah Bellar, 24, have also been charged.

That came after one of Robert and Deborah’s daughters told The Athens Messenger she was forced to attend a ‘cult’ church run by her uncle, James Bellar, who would tell them their siblings would have to have children with one another in order to prepare for the apocalypse. 

Serah Bellar said: ‘All the kids would have to go, whether they wanted to or not— even if you were sick, you had to go, it didn’t matter. [sounds like every church I attended or pastored]

‘Anytime he’d say anything, I’d just kind of repeat it in my head, like, how messed up it kind of sounded. He’d always talk about the end of the world and how you’d reproduce with your siblings.’ 

That uncle denied the claims in a statement to Law and Crime, calling it a ‘complete lie’. James Bellar said: ‘I am a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and stand as witness to the Truth. How people react to that is on them.’

….

Serah had been missing since April last year after escaping the alleged abuse; after turning 18-years-old she then posted to Facebook under a fake name detailing all of her allegations. 

They center on incidents said to have occurred between 2008 and 2016. Child services are said to have received reports but no formal action was taken. 

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said: ‘There was an absolute systematic failure in handling these accusations. 

‘Serah was turned away by authorities every time she tried to report this abuse.’

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Liz Pepper accused her mother Deborah of ‘refusal to accept the fact that there was sexual abuse going on in the home and the conspiracy she then entered into to conceal that’.

She said she ‘has concealed witnesses…tampered with evidence and…continues a conspiracy to hide sexual abuse that has occurred in her home’.

Robert and Deborah are believed to have 18 biological children and one adopted child. 

They have each been charged with one count of engaging in corrupt activity, and two counts of endangering children, according to Athens County Prosecutor. 

The couple have each pleaded not guilty and were given $1 million bonds.  

Jonathan Levi Bellar is charged with gross sexual imposition. He is being held at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail. He has pleaded not guilty. 

Josiah Bellar is charged with three counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition. He is yet to be arraigned. 

Again, the “C” word. Readers of this blog would agree with me when I say that beliefs have consequences. Anytime appeals are made to a divine religious text such as the Bible for justification, it’s possible to have bad or harmful outcomes. Apostle Bellar is accused of promoting incest, a charge he denies. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he was. Just read the Bible. Take it literally, and you can easily conclude that God, in some circumstances, approves (demands) incestuous sexual behavior. Evidently, The Athens Messenger reporter has not pondered where Cain and Abel got their wives? Hint . . . they married their sisters. They had children with their sisters. And on and on the incestuous behavior went. If you buy into the Evangelical Adam and Eve story, all of us are products of incest. And then there’s Jesus — the product of the Holy Spirit having forced sex with a teen virgin named Mary. If incest and perverse sexual relations are signs of cultism . . . well, you know where I am going with this.

One man’s Christianity is another man’s cult. Who decides which is which? What is allegedly going on sexually at Dove Outreach is abhorrent. However, as the Black Collar Crime series makes clear, such behavior does not make a sect/church a cult or a pastor a cultist. Bad people, do bad things, and use the Bible to justify their behavior.

I typically do not use the word “cult” in my writing. Sometimes, as I do with Bethel Church in Redding or the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement, I use the word for effect. In the strictest sense, all Christian sects and churches are cults. Whether a church is a cult, or pastor is considered cultic depends on perspective or deviance from a perceived norm. Thus, for the people at The Athens Messenger, the aforementioned cult expert, and the County Prosecutor, Dove Outreach is a cult, but First Baptist Church on the corner of High Street and Main is not.

One website explains the difference between a cult and a religion this way:

*Sigh* Really? I mean, really? Isn’t that Jesus, Abraham, Allah, Moses, Paul, or Buddha standing before worshipful devotees? The Abrahamic religions are, by definition, cults, founded by charismatic men. Apostle Bellar is just one more cult leader in a 2,000+ year line of cultists. To suggest Bellar or his church are unique in any way reveals a shallow, lazy understanding of Christian church history, doctrine, and practice.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Ken Ham Approves of Brothers Having Sex With Sisters

ken ham incest chart

Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and Ark Encounter, believes that at the beginning of the world 6,024 years ago, incest was approved by God.

Ham writes:

…Perhaps no woman mentioned in Scripture has caused more confusion among Christians. Despite the fact that we have regularly addressed this issue in numerous books, articles, and presentations, the issue of Cain’s wife is still one of the most common questions we receive. Who was she, and why have so many believers struggled to give a biblical answer to this inquiry?

The simple answer is that Cain married his sister or another close relation, like a niece. This answer may sound revolting for those of us who grew up in societies that have attached a stigma to such an idea, but if we start from Scripture, the answer is clear.

1 Corinthians 15 tells us that Adam was the first man. Genesis 3:20 states that Eve was the mother of all the living.(NASB), and Genesis 5:4 reveals that Adam and Eve had sons and daughters (besides Cain, Abel, and Seth).

There were no other people on earth as some have claimed. God did not create other people groups from which Cain chose a wife, as we are all made of one blood (Acts 17:26). If He had made others, these people would not have been able to be saved from their sins, since only descendants of Adam can be saved—that’s why it was so important for Jesus to be Adam’s descendant.

Doesn’t the Bible forbid marriage between close relations? It does, but the laws against marrying family members were initially given as part of the Mosaic covenant, approximately 2,500 years after God created Adam and Eve. Due in part to genetic mistakes [God made a mistake?], these laws were necessary to help protect offspring from mutations shared by both parents.

But that’s incest! In today’s world, this would be incest. But originally there would have been no problem with it. Looking back through history, the closer we get to Adam and Eve, the fewer genetic mistakes people would have, so it would have been safer for close relatives to marry and have children.

Christians who have a problem with this answer need to remember that Noah’s grandchildren must have married brothers, sisters, or first cousins—there were no other people (1 Peter 3:20, Genesis 7:7). Abraham married his half-sister (Genesis 20:2). Isaac married Rebekah, the daughter of his cousin Bethuel (Genesis 24:15), and Jacob married his cousins Leah and Rachel. Clearly, the Bible does not forbid the marriage of close relatives until the time of Moses…

Ham’s argument is necessary if one reads the Bible literally. In Ham’s world, the earth is 6,024 years old, and evolution is Satan’s lie. However, in the aforementioned post, Ham reveals that he is not really as much of a literalist as he claims to be.

Ham says Cain married his sister or niece. Where does the Bible say this? Where does the Bible say Cain married anyone? Perhaps people didn’t get married in Cain’s day. Perhaps Cain actually had sexual relations with his mother. Why doesn’t Ham mention this as a possibility? Ham repeats the same story when trying to explain where the children of Noah’s grandchildren came from.

According to Ham, a law against incest was not necessary until 2,500 years after God created Adam and Eve. The reason? “Genetic mistakes, these laws were necessary to help protect offspring from mutations shared by both parents.” Again, where does the inspired, inerrant, infallible Bible say this? Shouldn’t Ham follow the mantra: where the Bible speaks we speak, and where the Bible is silent we are silent?

How is a particular human behavior not sinful for 2,500 years, and then, all of a sudden, it becomes sinful? How can an immoral act ever be moral? Does this mean God changed his mind? Does this mean God permitted immorality so he could accomplish a greater good? I thought Jesus (God) was the same yesterday, today, and forever? Doesn’t Ham’s explanation lay waste to this “Biblical truth?”

Sooooo many questions . . .

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Lot, the “Righteous” Man

lot fleeing sodom

And [God] delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them [Sodom and Gomorrah], in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (2 Peter 2:7,8)

The story of Lot begins with him traveling with his uncle, Abram, to the land of Canaan. Both Lot and Abram had sizable herds of livestock, and this led to conflict between the two. The contention reached a level that Abram said to his nephew:

. . . Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. (Genesis 13:8,9)

Lot, whom the Bible calls a “righteous” man:

. . . lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. (Genesis 13:10,11)

We see right away that Lot had a covetous eye. When given a choice, Lot chose the well-watered plains near Sodom and Gomorrah. Abram and Lot lived in a patriarchal culture, one where the elder Abram should have taken the best land. Instead, for whatever reason, Abram deferred to Lot, and his nephew took advantage of him.

Lot likely knew about Sodom and Gomorrah’s reputation, yet he chose to “pitch his tent toward Sodom.” Why is that? Lot was married and had several married and unmarried daughters. Why would be willingly move his family to Sodom? Perhaps covetousness caused him to turn a blind eye to what was best for family. Yet, the Bible calls Lot a “righteous” man.

In Genesis 19, we have a story that reveals a good bit about “righteous” Lot:

And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.

By the time two angels arrive in Sodom to see Lot, he had become quite comfortable with his status and place in Sodom. As the angels arrived at the city gate, Lot arose from his seat and welcomed them. Knowing the sexual proclivities of the men of Sodom, Lot encouraged the angels to come to his home and spend the night with him. At first, the angels said they would spend the night on the streets. Lot, knowing what would happen to them if they did, pleaded with the angels to take him up on his offer. Finally, they relented.

Later that night, the younger and older men of the city surrounded Lot’s home and demanded that he give the angels to them so they could have sex with them. Lot said to the crowd, “I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.” Okay, good so far, right? Just what you would expect a Jesus-loving “righteous” man to do. However, Lot didn’t stop there. Here’s what he said next:

Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. (Genesis 19:8)

Instead of standing his ground against the boys and men at his door, “righteous” Lot attempted to appease them by offering his two virgin daughters to the men. Lot said, “do ye to them as is good in your eyes.” What kind of man and father was Lot? What kind of man offers up his young daughters for sexual gratification? How can Lot be considered a “righteous” man? The men at Lot’s door refused his offer and demanded that he turn over the angels to them. Instead, the angels smote the men with blindness.

In Genesis 19, the Bible tells us that the pro-life God finally had enough with Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities of the plain, and decided to destroy them — men, women, children, animals, and unborn fetuses. The angels told Lot that it was time for him to gather up his family and leave the city. Lot’s married children refused to leave. The angels grabbed ahold of Lot, his wife, and his two virgin daughters and led them outside of the city. The Lord said to Lot: “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” (Genesis 19:17)

Righteous Lot didn’t want to leave, so he made a deal with God:

Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. (Genesis 19: 8-20)

Lot and his family fled Sodom and headed for Zoar. God promised that they would be safe in Zoar. Unfortunately, Lot’s wife wasn’t paying attention when the Lord told them not to look behind them as they left. Lot’s wife turned her head to longingly look back at her home, and God smote her dead by turning her into a pillar of salt. In the New Testament, the writer of the gospel of Luke tells readers in 17:32, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Why did the author want readers to remember Lot’s wife? Based on the context found in chapter 17, Lot’s wife was an example of someone who sought to save her life; a person who put self above God.

After “righteous” Lot and his daughters arrived in Zoar, God rained fire and brimstone down on Sodom, Gomorrah, and other cities, killing every living thing. Zoar, “righteous” Lot’s safe haven, was spared punishment, but it was not long before Lot feared for his life and left the city. “Righteous” Lot moved to a mountain cave with his two daughters. One night, righteous Lot’s daughters decided that they wanted to have babies, so they got their father drunk and had sex with him. Both of them were ovulating, and both got pregnant the first time they had incestuous sex with “righteous” Lot. (Genesis 19:31-38)

I ask you, dear readers, what in this story says to you that Lot was a “righteous” man? What I see is a covetous man who valued property and place over family; a man who put his family in harm’s way; a man who violated his daughters, impregnating both of them. Does anyone really believe that Lot was so drunk that he didn’t know he was fucking his daughters? If Lot truly was that drunk, it is unlikely he could even have sex. I suspect the author of Genesis wanted to protect “righteous” Lot’s reputation, so, as men have been doing from time immemorial, he put the blame on the women.

A righteous man is moral and just, yet it is evident from the Bible that Lot was anything but. Why, then, does the Apostle Peter call Lot a “righteous” man? Evangelicals explain away Lot’s profane life by saying that Lot was “righteous” because of the righteousness of Jesus, and not anything good that he had done. This same argument is used to defend adulterous, murderous King David, whom the Bible calls a “man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:22)

If religious faith does not result in moral and ethical transformation, what good is it? James seemed to understand this when he said that “faith without works is dead.” What were the works James was talking about? In James 2, the Apostle spoke of doing right by the poor and disadvantaged; that doing so was a sign of true faith. Consider these words:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Compare these words to the behavior of Trump-loving Evangelicals. Are these lovers of Jesus righteous? Not according to the Bible. In Matthew 25, Jesus purportedly told people what were the marks of being a True Christian®:

  • Feeding the hungry
  • Giving drink to the thirsty
  • Taking in strangers (immigrants?)
  • Clothing the naked
  • Visiting people in prison

Notice that Jesus said nothing about beliefs. True Christianity® is measured by good works, not doctrinal fidelity.

Based on this standard, how many Americans are truly Christians? From my seat in the atheist pew, what I see is a form of Christianity that focuses on right beliefs; that Lot and David are considered “righteous,” not because of their behavior, but because of what they believed. All that matters is having beliefs deemed orthodox. Is this the kind of Christianity Jesus envisioned?

Did you ever hear sermons about Lot? How did your pastors explain the Bible calling Lot a “righteous” man? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Incest Caused by “Immodest” Dress

gerald collingsworth

The entire eighteenth chapter of Leviticus is on nakedness. Although most Christians still consider bestiality as being wrong, they no longer consider homosexuality as being wrong or dressing improperly as being wrong. Many see nothing wrong with dressing scantily. Many see nothing wrong with mixed bathing, yet God calls it an abomination. How many cases of incest have taken place in homes where passions have been inflamed by immodesty among family members? How many boys and girls have been raised in homes that practiced immodest dress and now live lives of promiscuity?

— Gerald B. Collingsworth, Independent Baptist, Right Living is Not Legalism, May 18, 2019

Gerald Collingsworth is the pastor of Heritage Baptist Church (an IFB congregation) in Mogadore, Ohio

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Mike Holloway Denies He Knew Anything About Woman’s Sex Abuse Claim

pastor mike holloway

Please read Black Collar Crime: Woman Claims Evangelical Pastor Mike Holloway Knew She Had Been Sexually Abused and Did Nothing to provide context for what follows.

Mike Holloway, pastor of Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo, Indiana issued a statement today denying Dawn Price’s claim that he knew about Price’s father molesting her and did nothing to stop it. Deven Zimmerman, a writer for The Kokomo Perspective, reports:

After declining to speak at length with the Kokomo Perspective prior to last week’s publication, Temple Baptist Church spoke out via social media last week in response to the story published concerning allegations made by former member Dawn Price.

In a statement on the church’s Facebook page, the church addressed the allegations leveled at it by various sources, including Dawn Price and her ex-fiancé, Andy Thornton. The church confirmed that an altercation occurred in 1991 just prior to Thornton and Price’s wedding. However, the church argued that no confession was made by Dawn’s father, Don Croddy, in regards to the accusation of his sexual abuse of her in front of Temple Baptist Church Pastor Mike Holloway.

“I first became aware of a potential family problem in 1990 when Dawn and her father were interviewed by Child Protective Services (CPS), though I was not informed of the topics being discussed at that time,” read the statement said to be authored by Temple Baptist Church Pastor Mike Holloway. “The authorities chose not to pursue any legal actions as a result of that investigation.

“My first knowledge of Dawn’s molestation accusation came in 1991, when Don, Dawn, and her then-fiancé, Andy Thornton, came to me five days before Dawn and Andy were to be married. In this meeting, I was informed of the alleged event that had occurred 14 years earlier. While no confession was made by Don, I immediately sought legal counsel, turning over all information to the Christian Law Association (CLA) [CLA is operated by David Gibbs and is widely known as the cleaner — someone who makes things go away — for  IFB churches and pastors.] I was encouraged by the CLA to take the precautionary measure of restricting Don from all children and youth programs in our church, which I did. Since that decision and up to this present time, I have received no information indicating concern about Don’s behavior.”

The church also confirmed that its leadership became aware Dawn’s YouTube video, which she posted in February 2017 as a confessional of her alleged abuse at the hands of her father.

“In February 2017, Dawn posted a video to Facebook making additional accusations against her father, claiming Don had admitted his behavior to me during the 1991 meeting,” said Holloway. “This accusation is completely false and an attack on both the truth and my character. Given the allegations made in Dawn’s video, I sat down with Don and our church deacons for an in-depth discussion. After this discussion, I asked that he resign as a member of our church.”

Price, however, stuck to her claim about that meeting in 1991.

“The incident five days before my wedding was to take place happened exactly as my then-fiancé, Andy Thornton, and I said,” said Price. “I am simply stating the truth as Andy Thornton and I know it. Andy asked Holloway why he was allowing an admitted pedophile to remain in the church, and Holloway said that my dad had repented, so therefore no action was required, and there was no reason to tell anyone. Why he would seek legal counsel and not report to the police is just mind blowing to me and the actions of a guilty man. He never once asked me if I was OK or needed anything.”

Additionally, Price shed light on Holloway’s comment on the CPS call made to the Croddy household.

“While attending Temple Christian Academy, CPS was called,” said Price. “I have always been forthcoming with this. While CPS was called, Mike Holloway also called my dad, Don Croddy. I was terrified of my dad. Try to put yourself in my position. While my abuse was sexual, my brother’s was physical, severely physical,” said Price. “While I was in one room being questioned by CPS, my dad made a commanding presence right outside the door. I lied to the CPS worker. I was a child. I didn’t want to be beat like my brother, I was in self-preservation mode.

“I had to go home with this man if they didn’t believe me, and I didn’t know what to do. So I did the safest thing I knew to do, especially with him being the commanding person he was; I lied. The authorities didn’t pursue legal action because I was a child who was terrified and had those around me who failed me. The system failed me. Follow-ups should have been made. Questions should have been more pointed. My dad shouldn’t have been allowed to be there. My pastor failed me. I do not believe that Mike Holloway didn’t know what topics CPS were called about that day.”

 

Black Collar Crime: Transgender Episcopal Youth Worker Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse

james lilly

In January 2016, James Lilly, a youth worker at Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield, West Virginia, was arrested and charged with incest, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported:

A transgender Bluefield man who worked in youth ministry at local Episcopal churches was arrested Tuesday and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of a juvenile.

James Lilly, 24, was charged with one count of incest, one count of second-degree sexual assault and 31 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, Detective K.L. Adams, with the Bluefield Police Department, said.

Adams said the victim in the case is a juvenile female. He said the abuse began in 2009 when the victim was 9 to 10 years old, and continued until she was 16.

The alleged abuse in the case took place at a home, and not a church, Adams said.

“Mr. Lilly, by his own admission, is transgender,” Adams said. “He is in the process of becoming a woman.”

Adams said Lilly has a degree in religion from a Virginia college and has worked at numerous churches. Locally, he worked at Episcopal churches in both Bluefields.

Lilly is also in the process of getting a teaching degree at Bluefield State College, Adams said.

In August 2016, Lilly pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported:

A transgender man pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree in Mercer County Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon.

James Lilly, 25, of Bluefield, will be sentenced on Nov. 17.

Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope accepted a plea agreement in the case, which dropped 28 counts of sexual abuse in the first degree as well as charges of sexual assault third degree and incest.

Each count brings one to five years in prison, but with the plea, Swope said two counts are “probated” (no prison time) and the third count carries the possible one to five years at the discretion of the judge.

Swope also said the plea agreement includes a mandatory lifetime registry as a sex offender as well as 10 to 50 years of enhanced supervision.

Assistant Prosecutor John McGinnis told Swope that the plea agreement was reviewed by the victim as well as the victim’s guardian ad litem, Cathy Wallace, and both agreed to it.

Lilly’s sentencing hearing was delayed so a diagnostic evaluation could be completed. Yet to be determined is Lilly’s classification as a prison inmate. The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports:

A diagnostic evaluation was completed recently for a former youth pastor and admitted transgender sex offender who is facing a prison term after pleading guilty last year to sexual abuse first degree.

James Lilly, 25, of Bluefield pleaded guilty in August 2016 in Mercer County Circuit Court to three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. Raleigh County Judge John A. Hutchinson, who was assigned to the case after Mercer County Judge Derek Swope recused himself, delayed Lilly’s sentencing on Dec. 21, 2016 and remanded him to the state Department of Corrections so a diagnostic study could be completed with regard to how he would be classified as an inmate.

….

During the December 2016 hearing, Hutchinson spoke of Lilly’s pre-sentencing report and emphasized that gender disorientation is a recognized condition, saying that he psychologically identifies with being a female.

In mid-April, Hutchinson informed the court that he had received the report resulting from the diagnostic interview, and sentencing was scheduled for a later date. In his order, Hutchinson instructed the Department of Corrections (DOC) to send a representative to Lilly’s sentencing hearing to inform the court about the policies, procedures and protections at DOC facilities “in the event the court determines a sentence in the penitentiary is appropriate for this defendant.”

Update

An October 30, 2017 Register-Herald story reports:

A transgender man who pleaded guilty to three charges of first-degree sexual abuse is now serving his sentence in a northern West Virginia prison, officials with the state Division of Corrections said Friday.

James Lilly, 26, formerly of Bluefield, is currently an inmate at Northern Regional Correctional Facility in Moundsville, according to the state Division of Corrections Inmate Search website. Prison officials confirmed Friday that he was among the facility’s inmates.

A former youth pastor, Lilly was arrested Jan. 12, 2016. A Mercer County grand jury indicted him on 28 counts of first-degree sexual abuse as well as third-degree sexual assault and incest. He pleaded guilty to three charges of first-degree sexual abuse. After being arrested, he told Bluefield Police detectives that he was a transgender who was in the process of becoming a woman.

The victim, a female juvenile, came forward after learning that Lilly was pursuing a teaching career and student teaching at a school. The principal at Bluefield Intermediate School said later that Lilly was a student observer in 2015, but had little interaction with the students. Bluefield Detective K.L. Adams said after Lilly’s arrest that the abuse began in 2009.

In May, Special Judge John A. Hutchison of Raleigh County sentenced Lilly to a pair of one- to five-year sentences that will run concurrently. These sentences are running consecutively with the third charge of first-degree sexual abuse. This gives Lilly a sentence of two to 10 years in prison. He will be subject to lifetime registration as a sex offender after he is released, and he will be under 30 years of supervision.

….

Charisma Denounces Incest, Ignoring God-Approved Incestuous Relationships in the Bible

biblical marriage
Biblical Marriage, God’s Unchanging Moral Standard

According to Jessilyn Justice, a writer for Charisma News, the United States is facing a perversion tsunami. Several weeks ago, the Daily Mail reported that a man who was given up for adoption now wants to have a sexual relationship with his birth mother. Monica Mares, 36, gave Caleb Peterson, 19, up for adoption at birth. She was sixteen at the time. Nineteen years later, mother and son reconnected, fell in love, and are now facing criminal charges due to their incestuous relationship. Here’s what the Daily Mail had to say about their relationship:

GSA [genetic sexual attraction] is defined as sexual attraction between close relatives, such as siblings or half-siblings, a parent and offspring, or first and second cousins, who first meet as adults. Mares said: ‘He is the love of my life and I don’t want to lose him.My kids love him, my whole family does. Nothing can come between us not courts, or jail, nothing. ‘I have to be with him. When I get out of prison I will move out of Clovis to a state that allows us to be together.’

Incest is a crime in all 50 states, but the specifics of the laws and punishment vary greatly from state to state. Mother-of-nine Mares said she would even give up the right to see her other children if she was asked to choose between them and her lover. The couple who currently live separately in Clovis, New Mexico – and are banned from having any contact with each other by the courts – first embarked on their love affair towards the end of last year.
….
The couple was charged with incest – a fourth-degree felony in New Mexico – following the February 25th incident. They were arraigned and appeared jointly in court in April – but were held in custody for breaching their no-contact order. They were released on $5,000 bond and now face a trial by jury in September.

Currently Mares is not allowed to see any of her children or have any contact at all with Peterson.Yet she maintains that is has all been worth it. ‘It is every bit worth it,’ she said. ‘If they lock me up for love then they lock me up. There is no way anybody could pull us apart, and I really do love him. ‘It hurts he is far away. It hurts really bad. I wish I could see him, talk to him, but I can’t risk it.’

Peterson said he started falling love with his mom about a week after meeting her – but claims as he grew up with an adopted parents he never really saw Mares as his mother. ‘I never had anyone cook me meals or give me anything,’ he said. ‘I never got anything my entire life and she went out of her way to make me happy and after about a week or so I started having feelings for her and I guess I fell in love. ‘It went beyond a mother-son relationship I never really viewed her as my mom. In certain aspects I do but mostly I don’t. ‘I never thought I was crazy for having these feelings because I didn’t see her as my mom, it was more like going to a club and meeting a random person. It didn’t feel wrong, it felt normal.’

Peterson claims it was him who made the first move not his mom. He recalls: ‘We were hanging out just talking and I looked at her and she looked at me and I kissed her. ‘It was a real kiss it had feelings behind it, there was a spark that ever since then it just stayed. ‘Honestly I never thought we would get into trouble for our relationship. We were both consenting adults – when it comes down to it.

‘She’s adult I’m adult I can make my own decisions. I never thought it would blow up into something like this.’
….
Despite the immense opposition to the couple’s relationship, Mares and Peterson do have supporters in the community – including Dayton Chavez, Mares’ ex and father to two of her sons Moses, nine, and Joseph, 12.

He said: ‘I’ve told them I still love you guys either way. I support them. ‘I would like to see the government get out of their business and let them live a normal life – let them live how they want to live. ‘It would be different if it was a domestic violence situation but it’s not. ‘My point of view is they need to be allowed to live just how they are that’s what America is built on.’
….
The couple – who both have roots with Native American Apache tribes – is also being supported by Cristina Shy who runs www.lilysgardener.com, a support and advocacy website for related couples, also known as consanguinamorous people.

Cristina, who is involved in an illegal relationship with her half brother in Minnesota, said: ‘Our whole community is watching this case and looking for updates. ‘It needs to be brought to the attention of everybody in the country and people need to start thinking differently. ‘It was the same with gay people just a few years ago and now they can get married they are accepted. ‘Well why not consanguinamorous people like us? We are all adults. We are not pedophiles, there’s no domestic issue we are in love, we want to be together but we are related. That shouldn’t be a deciding factor.’

Most readers of this blog likely think — at the very least — that this is a bizarre story. I have mixed feelings about the mother/son sexual relationship, but I suspect my discomfort is the result of my Fundamentalist Christian upbringing. If I believe that consenting adults should be free to have sex with whomever, wherever, and however, then, despite my conflicted feelings, I really should have no legitimate objection to Mares’ and Peterson’s relationship.

As soon as this story hit the news wire, Christians such as Jessilyn Justice were screaming, SEE! This is what happens when we let same-sex couples marry, legitimize homosexuality, and allow Transgenders use the bathroom of their choice! Unable to comprehend any other sexual relationships beside what they “think” is decreed in a bronze age religious text — the Protestant Bible — people such as Justice warn others about the dangers of the slippery slope that ultimately leads to every sexual perversion imaginable. Why, what’s to stop people from marrying their dogs, right?

Justice focused on the incest component of this story:

Paul specifically warned about the evils of sexual immorality throughout his letters to the Corinthians and Romans.

Now, perversion rises as a mother wants an incestuous relationship with the son she gave up for adoption, according to The Daily Mail.

“If they lock me up for love then they lock me up. There is no way anybody could pull us apart, and I really do love him,” 36-year-old Monica Mares tells the online paper of her son, Caleb Peterson.

The couple faces a charge of incest, according to the Clovis News Journal. If convicted, they face hefty fines and years behind bars.

“I never had anyone cook me meals or give me anything,” Peterson tells the Daily Mail.

He continued: “I never got anything my entire life and she went out of her way to make me happy and after about a week or so I started having feelings for her and I guess I fell in love. It went beyond a mother-son relationship. I never really viewed her as my mom. In certain aspects I do but mostly I don’t. I never thought I was crazy for having these feelings because I didn’t see her as my mom, it was more like going to a club and meeting a random person. It didn’t feel wrong, it felt normal.”

Perhaps the book of Romans is at play here, as Paul warned in chapter 1 that God would give people over to the lust of their hearts.

I find it laughable and quite entertaining that Justice opposes incest, yet she worships a God that used incest to advance his divine agenda on earth.

The Bible — the original Kinsey Report — certainly condemns incest. God, the arbiter of all things sexual, had this to say in his inspired, inerrant, infallible word:

None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord.The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness.The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or of thy daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness. The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister: she is thy father’s near kinswoman.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister: for she is thy mother’s near kinswoman. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time. Leviticus 18:6-18

See! God says incest is a sin! Right there in the B-i-b-l-e. End of story. Later in Leviticus 18, God also condemns homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, and having sex with a woman when she is menstruating. In Leviticus 20, God says certain incestuous relationships — along with adultery, homosexuality, and bestiality — are capital crimes punishable by death. Strangely, if a man has sex with his uncle’s wife or has sex with his brother’s wife, their immorality is not punishable by death. (See Wikipedia article on Incest in the Bible.)

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul rebukes the Church at Corinth for having in its membership a man who was having sex with his mother. 1 Corinthians 5:1 states:

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

Paul commanded the church to excommunicate the man, delivering him to Satan for the destruction of his flesh. Surprisingly,  Paul considered the incestuous man to still be a Christian (To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus).

The Apostle Paul, along with Jessilyn Justice, seems to ignorant of the fact that the Big Man Upstairs approves of incest — at least in certain circumstances. Here are six of the numerous incestuous stories recorded in God’s perfect Word:

  • Genesis 4-Where did Cain’s wife come from? Either Cain had sex with an unnamed sister or he had sex with his mother Eve.
  • Genesis 9-Ham has sex with his father, Noah.
  • Genesis 19-Two daughters have sex with their father, Lot, a man the Bible says was a righteous man.
  • Genesis 20-Abraham has sex with his half-sister Sara.
  • Genesis 38-Judah has sex with his daughter-in-law Tamar (the daughter of adulterous, murderous David, a man after God’s own heart).
  • Exodus 6-Amram has sex with his father’s sister Jochebed. She bore him two very famous sons, Aaron and Moses.

answers in genesis incest
How Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis “Answer” the Incest Question

Christians are certainly free to object to incestuous relationships such as the one mentioned in this post. However, they don’t get to claim the high moral ground, saying that God says incest is a sin punishable by death. As I have clearly shown, God, at certain times and in certain circumstances, approves of or ignores incest. So much for God’s law being the perfect moral standard for all peoples, at all times. Evangelicals box themselves in when they demand that the Bible be recognized as the sole arbiter of morality. They are forced to come up with all sorts of creative ways to “explain” away the contradictions and absurdities found in the Bible. Christianity would be better served if Christians just admitted that there is some crazy shit in the Bible — especially in the Old Testament; and that the morality code of ancient sheepherders and fishermen has little relevance today.

If you have read this far, please allow me to reward your diligence with a video that I think you will find quite funny.

Video Link

Should Monica Mares and Caleb Peterson be legally allowed to have sex and/or get married? Please share your opinion/sermon/rant/exegesis in the comment section.

Bruce Gerencser