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Anyone Interested, I Would Appreciate Feedback on my College English Paper!


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Hi, I wrote a paper for my college English class concerning faith and would like some feedback/comments/thoughts on it as well if there is anything lacking or missing. This is a persuasive research paper and is not meant to offend Christians or any other persons. My goal for my paper is having an open mind towards other people. Before commenting please read the whole paper, again, so not cause a misunderstanding. Thank you so much!

Christianity: Compassion Through Understanding

Having different sexual orientations is a controversial topic in the Christian church and harsh judgment is put on the LGBT community within the church. Minority of Christians treat being part of the LGBT community as an unforgivable sin; all sin is equal to God and is no different from being an addict or telling a lie. The Christian community should foster understanding towards fellow sinners rather than casting them aside, their issues are seldom aided or understood. Narrow mindedness, the inability to grasp the sufferings of others and display compassion for our fellow man as well as the mindful destructive use and exploitation of others’ weaknesses, goes against Christian ethics.

In the past, there have been instances where scripture was put out of context to justify an individual or group’s own actions against another. Take slavery, one of America’s greatest sins, for example. According to History.com, slavery was initiated with 20, or so slaves arriving in Jamestown, Virginia; 1619, and continued throughout America’s Civil War (1861-1865), ending with over 3.9 million slaves that were immigrated into the United States. European settlers saw slavery as an opportunity, replacing indentured servants with a cheaper and more sufficient labor force, to monopolize plantation farming. America’s Civil War emerged between the North, who determined to have slavery abolished, and the South, who advocated slavery to cheaply dominate business, apathetic to the agony left in their wake. Slavery legally ended with the 13th amendment and slaves gained Citizenship, as well as the right to vote with the 14th and 15th amendments. However, after the Civil War, southerners found a way to maintain the grasp on ‘freed slaves’ by initiating new laws and rules such as sharecropping and Jim Crow Laws. Sharecropping put freed slaves in debt, and made it impossible for them to leave the plantations; Jim Crow Laws enforced legal racial segregation. (Slavery in America, 2009). They justified these laws with scripture, specifically Ephesians 6: 5-6; “5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart” (BibleGateway). Slave owners ignored Ephesians 6:9 stating, “9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him” (BibleGateway). The mistreatment of others is not justified by God. His word was twisted to justify mans’ actions and to abuse, God’s word is most definitely a sin. Maltreatment of others is mistreating God’s people and all are his children, it’s well to keep this in mind while approaching someone concerning their beliefs along with personal faith. Confronting someone regarding their beliefs is a delicate situation and should be handled by expressing understanding, explaining why this is important to Christians, and why, as a community, these convictions are upheld.

In addition to the exploitation of others, being part of the LGBT community and being an addict have more emphasis as a sin compared to swearing, or using the Lord’s name in vain. Why is that? Putting a number on sin can undermine an individual’s personal wrongdoings and in turn, they might feel obligated to criticize others based on the nature of and amount of others’ sins. How does this affect a person seeking redemption and forgiveness, or a non-christian looking for acceptance during their time of need? This is in relation to what Paul Gibbs describes, “In politics today, we see many people proclaiming their Christianity, but, unfortunately, I see far more of the former version than the latter. When our Christianity is used to oppress, marginalize or hurt others, it is not the Christianity of Christ. Nor is it when it is used to motivate imprisoning children, breaking up families or denying basic human dignity or rights to anyone” (Gibbs, 2018). Christians who set others to their standards cause a lack of understanding to those seeking forgiveness and, following, the person receiving harsh criticism might turn sour towards the beliefs that make them feel unworthy of forgiveness. No one has the same background or circumstance as another, who a person is, is characterized by how they were brought up and what they make of the world whether it be for better or worse. This mindset is demonstrated in The Great Gatsby through the character and narrator, Nick Carraway. Early on in the book, Nick remarks that he is “inclined to reserve all judgment” (The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald). The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, set Nick up as an open-minded observer to his surrounding environment until the end when Nick comes to despise the other characters excluding Gatsby. By the end, Nick earned the right to judge the other characters, because he got to know them and witnessed them making poor ethical decisions. Having a narrow mindset inhibits someone from judging a person properly; through their actions and sense of morality.

A protester might argue, without judgment, sinners wouldn’t acknowledge their sin and would lead a life of unrighteousness. In society, people have their own opinions and the right to voice them, the argument remains that it’s not acceptable to abuse others with harsh words or claim they need to be punished for how they feel. Similarly, “One of the greatest stumbling blocks to Christianity, especially among those who are drawn to the idea of a loving, compassionate God, is the Bible’s teaching on judgment” (The Compassionate Truth About Judgment, 2015). Being a part of the LGBT community might or might not be a sin, but treating all with compassion and understanding as well as having an open mind should be first, thereby withholding judgment on how another is currently leading their life. It is our duty as Christians to point souls into the direction of God and to teach them as well as ourselves the path of righteousness, love, and charity.

Loving one’s neighbor and loving one’s enemy means to understand that everyone’s circumstances are different and that it’s impossible to control all that happens in life. Christians must withhold judgment, have an open mind, and assess oneself first before pointing fingers at others. Allowing people to see Christ within the Christian community by demonstrating the love and compassion God extends to His children on earth will lead the multitude towards the path of righteousness. Illustrated by Readhead, “Being a good neighbor is a one-person movement first of all. Then in company with others, our efforts are multiplied, and like the Biblical account of the feeding of the multitude by Jesus and his disciples we all start sharing till all are fed. This is when the miracle takes place” (1999). Loving fellow sinners enough to give them compassionate judgment will bring endless rewards towards oneself and the people surrounding them.

Works Cited

“BibleGateway.” Ephesians 6 NIV - - Bible Gateway, [www.biblegateway.com/passage/?searc....com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6&version=NIV).

Gibbs, Paul. "Letter: Christianity of the World Vs. Christianity of Christ: Salt Lake Telegram." Deseret News, Nov 02, 2018. ProQuest, Cape Fear Community College library: Proxy server login.

History.com Editors. “Slavery in America.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 12 Nov. 2009, [www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery](http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery).

Readhead, Ross. "Miracle of Loving One's Neighbour: [Final Edition]." Expositor, Oct 16, 1999, pp. B5. ProQuest, Cape Fear Community College library: Proxy server login.

Sauls, Scott, et al. “The Compassionate Truth About Judgment.” The Gospel Coalition, 20 May 2015, [www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/...icle/the-compassionate-truth-about-judgment/).

“The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Enotes.com, Enotes.com, [www.enotes.com/homework-help/great-...y-why-does-f-scott-fitzgerald-present-357960)
 
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
11 hours ago, Angel said:

Christianity: Compassion Through Understanding (Your title is not reflective of the papers focused or intent. Your paper is primarily about wanting acceptance and inclusion by Christianity for the "LGBTQ community" but it is NOT about Christianity's compassion through understanding, which is a much broader topic. This should be reflected in the title. The current title implies this will be how Christians will show compassion through understanding, however the paper is not written with a Christian world view or an understanding of Christian views regarding sexuality. Basically your paper complains that Christians are ignorant about the issues facing the "LGBT community" while ignoring the fact that Christianity's arguments regarding them are based in the facts of basic biology and desiring Spiritual growth over that of fleshly feelings. Christians are not without compassion in regards to LGBTXYZ and other sins but they are blunt and clear when it comes to ANY sin. This bluntness and non-acceptance of LGBTXYZ ways by Christianity is purported by you to be rudeness and ignorance. This is not correct on your part. Throughout the paper you never once explain why Christians are opposed to this "LGBT community". Only that Christians should accept them. This also is not proper argumentation and is a logical fallacy called "begging the question".)

Having different sexual orientations is a controversial topic in the Christian church and harsh judgment is put on the LGBT community within the church. (The first sentence of a paper it to set the tone and direction. However, yours simply states that there is an issue but does not explain the actual reason for the controversy.) Minority of Christians treat being part of the LGBT community as an unforgivable sin; all sin is equal to God and is no different from being an addict or telling a lie. (Your second sentence deals with a "minority" and not general Christianity, gives a blanket statement of this minority, then follows up with a doctrinal rebuttal but does not site the source proofs for either. Any accusations and rebuttals need sources and proofs and a paper dealing with a whole should not rely on arguments dealing with only a part. As a note towards your offered rebuttal, it is correct to say that God sees all sin as the same, as in one sin will take you to hell and that Christ can save anyone regardless of the sins committed. However, Biblicly all sin is not the same and some will incur more wrath form God and will incure more physical and spiritual consequences than other sins. There are many verse explaining this. A quick look of the following verses should make this clear: John 19:11, Proverbs 6:16-19, Luke 16:15, Leviticus 18The Christian community should foster understanding towards fellow sinners rather than casting them aside, their issues are seldom aided or understood. (In regards to general sin and repentant sinners, in their need for redemption and help out of the bondage of sin, I wholly agree.) Narrow mindedness, the inability to grasp the sufferings of others and display compassion for our fellow man as well as the mindful destructive use and exploitation of others’ weaknesses, goes against Christian ethics. (Again I agree in the sense that I stated above. The last two sentences would have been good to start a general discussion that your tile implied. However, the "general view" of these two sentences in regart to the topic are out of place in this paper because you already prefaced them with your narrowed view of the "LGBT Community". There for you should take theses sentences from the general to the specific of your topic by making clear their focus on the LGBT acceptance rather than just general compassion for fellow sinners in need of repentance and help out of sin.)

In the past, there have been instances where scripture was put out of context to justify an individual or group’s own actions against another. (I agree in general with this sentence, however your paper has not shown any verses taken out of context in regard to your topic. Also you need to make it specific to the verses regarding LGBT and not general a generalized statement. After this is done then you can go to other generalized examples, such as verse on slavery.) Take slavery, one of America’s greatest sins, for example. (This statement contradicts your paper's theological argument that all sins are equal. If you yourself do not believe all sin is equal then what makes you think God treats all sin as equal?! your paper needs to be consistent or the reader will not accept your argument as genuine.) According to History.com, slavery was initiated with 20, or so slaves arriving in Jamestown, Virginia; 1619, and continued throughout America’s Civil War (1861-1865), ending with over 3.9 million slaves that were immigrated into the United States. European settlers saw slavery as an opportunity, replacing indentured servants with a cheaper and more sufficient labor force, to monopolize plantation farming. America’s Civil War emerged between the North, who determined to have slavery abolished, and the South, who advocated slavery to cheaply dominate business, apathetic to the agony left in their wake. Slavery legally ended with the 13th amendment and slaves gained Citizenship, as well as the right to vote with the 14th and 15th amendments. (Perhaps a paragraph break) However, after the Civil War, southerners found a way to maintain the grasp on ‘freed slaves’ by initiating new laws and rules such as sharecropping and Jim Crow Laws. Sharecropping put freed slaves in debt, and made it impossible for them to leave the plantations; Jim Crow Laws enforced legal racial segregation. (Slavery in America, 2009). (Perhaps a paragraph break)They justified these laws with scripture, specifically Ephesians 6: 5-6; “5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart” (BibleGateway). Slave owners ignored Ephesians 6:9 stating, “9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him” (BibleGateway). (Perhaps a paragraph break) The mistreatment of others is not justified by God. (Agreed but cite verses) His word was twisted to justify mans’ actions and to abuse, God’s word is most definitely a sin. (Agreed but cite verses) Maltreatment of others is mistreating God’s people and all are his children (this thought is not doctrinally accurate. It is true that we are all made in the image of God, Genesis 1:27 and 9:6, and we are all "off spring" Acts 17:24-29, it is not true that we are all Children, which requires one to be Born Again, John 1:12-13, John 3 and Romans 9:8, Galatians 3:26, etc), it’s well to keep this in mind while approaching someone concerning their beliefs along with personal faith. Confronting someone regarding their beliefs is a delicate situation and should be handled by expressing understanding, explaining why this is important to Christians, and why, as a community, these convictions are upheld. (I agree, we all need to work on tact and how we approach others. In regard to the paragraph on slavery , it was pretty well condensed and handled for the paper this size and making the distinction that this was the slave owner's manipulation was good but I would liked to note that much of Christianity was opposed to this type of verse manipulation, noting that the slave owners had to make their own "slave bible" version because the KJV in use at the time clearly contradicted their views, and that Christians opposition of cattle slavery was the the primary reason slavery was abolished, along with the fact Christianity has been and is the primary fighter against racial inequality in the world today. Taking this into account shows that the citation of salve owners was not the view of or an manipulation of Christians in general and therefor not a relevant argument for the Christian use of scripture. In regard to verses citation, it is not necessary to cite BibleGateway as the verse source, as you merely copied the bile verse from their website and did not quot them, but it is necessary to cite the version quoted, unless it is the King James Version, due to copy right law. Also I must not that the NIV quoted was not in use at the time, so should not be used as a source. For the proper bible source of that time you should check out the "Slave Bible" or the KJV.)

In addition to the exploitation of others, (Your first phrase is disjointed from the rest of the sentence because it is not a completed thought. ie. Who is doing the exploiting? is this in reference to the reader, the salve owners, the minority or Christians in general, the church leadership? someone in the past or now? It needs to be a clear segway from you previously established thoughts and arguments. You shouldn't let your reader wonder.) being part of the LGBT community and being an addict have more emphasis as a sin compared to swearing, or using the Lord’s name in vain. Why is that? Putting a number on sin can undermine an individual’s personal wrongdoings and in turn, they might feel obligated to criticize others based on the nature of and amount of others’ sins. How does this affect a person seeking redemption and forgiveness, or a non-christian looking for acceptance during their time of need? (Perhaps a paragraph break and several more sentances clarifiying your direction and then a connection sentence that can better segway to your quotes. Or simply eliminate the quote to better flow or put int in a different paragraph.) This is in relation to what Paul Gibbs describes, “In politics today, (Your quot is adding another anecdotal argument similar to the slave owner minority. Just as slave owners manipulated scripture in opposition to general christian thought, so do many politicians. Also explain in a short way who Paul Gibbs is and why the reader should care.) we see many people proclaiming their Christianity, but, unfortunately, I see far more of the former version than the latter. When our Christianity is used to oppress, marginalize or hurt others, it is not the Christianity of Christ. Nor is it when it is used to motivate imprisoning children, breaking up families or denying basic human dignity or rights to anyone” (Gibbs, 2018).(Perhaps a paragraph break) Christians who set others to their standards (Sin and Standards are not the same thing and LGBT controversy is not about personal standards) cause a lack of understanding to those seeking forgiveness and, following, the person receiving harsh criticism might turn sour towards the beliefs that make them feel unworthy of forgiveness. (No Christian Church has ever rejected anyone seeking forgiveness. Rather the issue with those who would force the church to receive their sin, which we cannot do. As many identify with their sin they feel rejected when we tell them that we must ALL reject our sin.)  No one has the same background or circumstance as another, who a person is, is characterized by how they were brought up and what they make of the world whether it be for better or worse. (I agree, however all mankind has a common nature, the same basic laws ingrained on their  heart, Romans 2:14-15 and all Christians have the same Spirit, 2 Corinthians 4:13-14. Therefore there can be a common standard of right and wrong in spite of individual differences.) This mindset is demonstrated in The Great Gatsby through the character and narrator, Nick Carraway. Early on in the book, Nick remarks that he is “inclined to reserve all judgment” (The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald). The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, set Nick up as an open-minded observer to his surrounding environment until the end when Nick comes to despise the other characters excluding Gatsby. By the end, Nick earned the right to judge the other characters, because he got to know them and witnessed them making poor ethical decisions. Having a narrow mindset inhibits someone from judging a person properly; through their actions and sense of morality. (Do you know the mindset of the "LGBT Community" or the reasons Christianity in general is opposed to it? your paper does not present the reasoning and morality of either side to the reader.)

A protester might argue, without judgment, sinners wouldn’t acknowledge their sin and would lead a life of unrighteousness. (Again your paper expands to the general argument of sinners to make your case for the LGBT but does not deal specifically with that group. Also Sinner and Community are also not the same thing.) In society, people have their own opinions and the right to voice them, the argument (add: however it) remains that it’s not acceptable to abuse others with harsh words or claim they need to be punished for how they feel. (This sentence is disjointed here and presents conflicting ideas as written when they are actually complementary.)  Similarly, “One of the greatest stumbling blocks to Christianity, especially among those who are drawn to the idea of a loving, compassionate God, is the Bible’s teaching on judgment” (The Compassionate Truth About Judgment, 2015). (It needs to be clear here that he issue is not the biblical teaching of Judgement, Matthew 7:1-5 but rather pre-judging a person, Proverbs 18:17.) Being a part of the LGBT community might or might not be a sin, (it Is and if you are a christian you should be open minded and find out why it is before pre-judging Christianity's rejection of it) but treating all with compassion and understanding as well as having an open mind should be first, (I agree) thereby withholding judgment on how another is currently leading their life. (I disagree with this last part because as a christian, we know God's perimeters and what he has already declared about certain lifestyles. If due diligence is already been done on behalf of the Christian then they have full right to respond to that individual or community, according to scripture) It is our duty as Christians to point souls into the direction of God and to teach them as well as ourselves the path of righteousness, love, and charity. (I agree with this. This is why Christians verbally, and spiritually oppose the LGBT Community, as they oppose the righteousness of God, John 16:8-11, Deuteronomy 13.) 

Loving one’s neighbor and loving one’s enemy means to understand that everyone’s circumstances are different and that it’s impossible to control all that happens in life. (I agree) Christians must withhold judgment (I disagree Christians are to make righteous judgement, John 7:24), have an open mind, and assess oneself first before pointing fingers at others. Allowing people to see Christ within the Christian community by demonstrating the love and compassion God extends to His children on earth will lead the multitude towards the path of righteousness. (I agree that the foundation must be love but it must be God's standard of love as defined in scripture. Not the quasi lust and universal acceptance as shown by the world.)  Illustrated by Readhead, (Explain who Readhead is) “Being a good neighbor is a one-person movement first of all. Then in company with others, our efforts are multiplied, and like the Biblical account of the feeding of the multitude by Jesus and his disciples we all start sharing till all are fed. This is when the miracle takes place” (1999). Loving fellow sinners enough to give them compassionate judgment will bring endless rewards towards oneself and the people surrounding them. (Your paper osculates between arguing for the LGBT Community and then just generalizations of accepting sinners. You need to narrow the focus of the paper to deal with one or the other.)

Works Cited

“BibleGateway.” Ephesians 6 NIV - - Bible Gateway, [www.biblegateway.com/passage/?searc....com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6&version=NIV).

Gibbs, Paul. "Letter: Christianity of the World Vs. Christianity of Christ: Salt Lake Telegram." Deseret News, Nov 02, 2018. ProQuest, Cape Fear Community College library: Proxy server login.

History.com Editors. “Slavery in America.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 12 Nov. 2009, [www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery](http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery).

Readhead, Ross. "Miracle of Loving One's Neighbour: [Final Edition]." Expositor, Oct 16, 1999, pp. B5. ProQuest, Cape Fear Community College library: Proxy server login.

Sauls, Scott, et al. “The Compassionate Truth About Judgment.” The Gospel Coalition, 20 May 2015, [www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/...icle/the-compassionate-truth-about-judgment/).

“The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Enotes.com, Enotes.com, [www.enotes.com/homework-help/great-...y-why-does-f-scott-fitzgerald-present-357960)

 

Edited by John Young
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First of all, thank you so very much for the feedback, I know my paper wasn't explained very well at the beginning and needed some direction. I appreciate the time you took to scrutinize every part of my essay. Let me clarify, the LGBT community is an example I use to get my point across and is not the main subject. The main subject: Leading others to Christ by demonstrating the compassion and understanding He extends to us by having an open mind when approaching another person. And properly judging that person after getting to know who they are and if they want to follow the path of righteousness. Not to automatically accept another person, just to understand why they lead the life they do. My target audience: Christians who condemn/mistreat/judge others without thoroughly assessing themselves or that person and their circumstances. Also, I do believe being part of the LGBT community is a sin, I just wanted to avoid putting my personal bias into my paper. If there's anywhere else where I expressed bias, could you point it out? I haven't gone over everything you suggested yet, but thank you again for reading and criticizing my paper!

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The first paragraph of a paper is not for examples. It is for the introduction of your topic and its focus/purpose for the paper. To tell the reader "this is what I will be speaking about". Within the first two sentences you should grab the readers interest and then present the central thought or proposition of the paper and then explain to the reader how you will analyze the issue for a possible resolution. 

Only after your introduction should you go into examples and the examples should not lead into new topics or issues but should be confined to illustrating a point that is part of the general topic. Using "the LGBT community" as an example of how the church treats sinners fails to provide a proper example because the way a sinner is received is not the same way a "community" is received as they are two completely different things and therefor introduces a new topic separate from the intent of your paper and confuses the reader rather then helps your main point. Additionally the example of Slave owners and Politicians does not help your paper's focus either because these are not examples of actual christian failings towards the sinner and introduces a new topic of people who manipulate Christianity for their own gain which will distract from the focus of your topic and confuse the reader.

If your topic and focus is for Christians to have "Compassion Through Understanding" of the sinner then your paper should focus on identifying with Christians who have a genuine desire be compassionate but fail to do that because we forget to be understanding of each other and others. Give examples of attempt and failure, give the reasons for that failure (lack of understanding, biases, rush to judgement, etc.) From there show solutions and practical applications of the things you purpose as the solutions, and finish up with community effort of togetherness. Keep it clear and flowing form one paragraph to the next. Don't let any one example take over the paper's central idea. Keep it focused and try not to add new concepts or ideas separate from that specific topic. If yo do that your paper will be better overall and more enjoyable for the reader.

Edited by John Young
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