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God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve and Jessica and Rachel and

#41TheRealJiraiya(Topic Creator)Posted 8/16/2013 12:59:55 PM
kozlo100 posted...
Perhaps there is a different kind of marriage that has become culturally required in the modern day.


Perhaps so. Do you have a suggested change?

Also, as always, interested in your feedback on the soundness of my argument so far.
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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" -Isaiah 6:8
#42kozlo100Posted 8/16/2013 2:28:20 PM
I think your argument is really solid so far. Unless there's some other information regarding translation or etymological issues that I'm not aware of, I don't think I could poke a hole in it.

In any case, I was thinking about gay marriage specifically. So, cultural necessity. Our culture is based on the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Without comment on how well we actually end up accomplishing this, that means if you want to do something, and it doesn't impinge on other, you should do it, particularly if it makes you happy.

There is a whole group of people out there that want to have a legally recognized marriage, and they can't. I would argue that it is culturally necessary that we address this problem. Therefore, and particularly if monogamous homosexual relationships are not sinful as they've been thought to be in the past, Christians ought not only tolerate, but accept this kind of marriage, as they did with polygamy, even though it may not be the ideal form for a Christian marriage.
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#43gamesrgreatPosted 8/16/2013 5:28:50 PM
^I assumed that was where he was going with it and didn't want to rush to his conclusion
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#44TheRealJiraiya(Topic Creator)Posted 8/16/2013 6:48:34 PM
Kozlo: I was going to say something similar - that the reasons for why homosexuality was banned no longer exist, so we should implement it - but you have taken it a step further by saying that we are obligated to accept it to meet a modern cultural need. I will mull that over a bit before I respond.

As an aside, there are literally dozens of people on this board who disagree with my message about homosexuality and no one is responding to this thread :'(

It makes me feel sad
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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" -Isaiah 6:8
#45C_MatPosted 8/16/2013 8:17:17 PM
TheRealJiraiya posted...
It is now time to embark on our exploration of homosexuality in the New Testament.

There are three excerpts that I can think of off the top of my head that are relevant to this discussion.

The first two I will respond to in the same way. They are 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10.

Both passages say more or less the same thing, so I will only use one here as an example.

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[b] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Youve probably heard this spiel before if you have involved yourself in this debate at all. The word there for "men who practice homosexuality" is a word we have actually never seen before. In all Greek literature, it exists exactly twice, with no real contextual clues as to what it might mean. Piecing it together, it does appear to have something to do with male homosexuality (explicitly male homosexuality - neither of these verses could have been used to condemn lesbians), but, and this is supported by it being explicitly male, it could mean one of the manifestations of homosexuality that were explicitly male, things like pederasty, and has been interpreted that way by many, many groups of people. Ultimately, we dont really know. The jury is still out, as out as it was in the OT.


There seems to me to be less wiggle room in the New Testament verses, and I'll try to lay out my objections below. Please let me know if I need to expand on anything.

The Greek word we're talking about in 1 Corinthians 6, as I'm sure you know, is arsenokoitai. I'm sure it includes pederasty, but it's certainly not limited to pederasty if you look at the etymology. And I'm not sure if Paul was the very first person to use it, but it's clear what the meaning is and where the word comes from.

Leviticus 18:22 (from the Septuagint, Paul's and Jesus' version of the Old Testament)
Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.
arsenos ou koimethese koiten gunaikos

And Paul actually "invented" well over 100 words in the New Testament- just food for thought. But if he only wanted to single out pederasts in 1 Corinthians 6, why would he invent this word from Leviticus clearly referring to male homosexuality in general rather than simply use the specific Greek word paiderastïs?

I think this is a knock-down argument for why 1 Corinthians 6 must refer to male homosexuality in general. Unlike other verses in the New Testament which we understand be culturally specific (like whether women can speak in church), there is nothing that contradicts this teaching and no reason given to assume that it doesn't still apply today just like everything mentioned alongside arsenokoitai in 1 Corinthians, like sexually immorality, idolatry, adultery, thievery, greed, drunkenness, slandering or swindling. Again, these other practices are always understood to be objectively wrong, not just cultural taboos; the text gives no reason to assume otherwise.

When you look at the source of the word arsenokoitai, it seems obvious that no further contextual clues are needed. In the next post, I'll look at Romans 1.
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#46C_MatPosted 8/16/2013 8:55:52 PM
I think your approach to Romans 1 is flawed, first by misunderstanding its purpose. Paul is certainly condemning the actions listed at the end of the chapter, this is especially obvious when he finishes with, "those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." Romans starts by pointing out the actions of irreligious people, and at least the next 2-3 chapters deal with people who are religious/judgmental. But just because Paul deals with the irreligious people first (the people who try to keep God at a distance through sin) to set up how he deals with the religious people second (the people who try to keep God at a distance through their own righteousness), that doesn't mean Paul didn't mean what he said in chapter 1. He meant every word, and if you re-read the last verse of that chapter, it's clear that he's serious about what he's saying. He describes the wrong behavior of both the religious and the irreligious, but condemns both groups.

Second: we can probably agree that Paul found a certain behavior from women to be "against nature," and that this was similar to how men were behaving with other men. But how are we to know what that behavior was, and why was it unnatural? To understand this, let's take a look at the Old Testament scripture that Paul is drawing a parallel to. I will bold the words that clearly show Paul's intent with Romans 1:24-27, but I'll also need to give the verses directly before those to display the proper context.

Genesis 1:26-28
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Romans 1:22-27
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

What I want to draw your attention to is that each of those words used in Genesis 1 show up again in Romans 1, in pretty much the exact same order. Paul is harkening back to the Garden of Eden when referring to what is "natural." And in the Garden, man and woman were told to be fruitful and multiply, with sex being the obvious method to accomplish this. Since Paul describes men as lusting after each other instead of using the woman for her "natural use," and right before that says that the women "likewise" went against nature instead of the "natural use," whatever the women were doing must have been comparable to what the men were doing.
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#47C_MatPosted 8/16/2013 9:02:13 PM
I was running low on characters in the last two posts, but since we're officially on the topic of the New Testament now, I want to point out a couple things about when Jesus and Paul spoke of sexual immorality. Obviously, many Old Testament prohibitions did carry over to the New Testament. Jesus, Paul and others spoke often about "sexual immorality," and it's seems reasonable to assume that what constituted sexual immorality for them came from Old Testament sexual ethics (which included prohibitions on incest and bestiality). If you think Paul and Jesus got their sexual ethics from somewhere else, I'd like to know where. If you think the prohibition on male-male sexual contact expired along with the ceremonial laws, do you also think incest and bestiality are OK with God now?
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#48TheRealJiraiya(Topic Creator)Posted 8/16/2013 9:54:18 PM
I will respond to everything here at length tomorrow, but my initial response to your last post is that other words are used for the other things youre describing. Rather than tow'ebah ("abomination", the meaning of which I have discussed at length in this thread) bestiality later in Lev 18 uses a word which means objective sexual perversion, tebel. Rashi's understanding of this term is:

n expression denoting prostitution, sexual immorality, and adultery

which is a translation supported by every other source I can find. Huge contrast to the way tow'ebah is understood, and tow'ebah is not used in any of the other laws you are referencing.

So, yeah, I do think there is room for a difference between the ones that are explicitly called objective sexual perversion and the ones that are not, and I think it raises the question of why that difference exists.

Thank you for your well thought out responses, I look forward to diving further into these issues tomorrow :D
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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" -Isaiah 6:8
#49Julian_CaesarPosted 8/17/2013 10:49:32 AM
TheRealJiraiya posted...
Wait, since when? I would argue the Bible's concern for having sisters in the same marital relationship probably springs from the fact that, more often than not, it DID disrupt the one-on-one nature of the sexual act itself.


You're conflating sex with marriage. Polygamy was about economic advantages for a man (to have more children) and multiple women (since the one wealthy man was able to financially provide for all of them). I agree that this is not the Biblically ideal picture of marriage, but the disruption to the sexual act was one of personal significance to the participants because they wanted each other's full attention, not disruption of God-given purpose for sexuality (i.e. representation of salvation). There's quite a difference between having sex as commanded by God within the bounds of a circumstance-driven, less-than-perfect marriage arrangement. It's quite another to have sex in a way that defies the commands of God, regardless of whatever marriage arrangement you've chosen.

I merely brought forth an alternate view for why male homosexuality would be described with a word which is understood to mean a cultural no-no because it leads to objective evils (an instrumental abomination) and female homosexuality would not be - the ancient cultural manifestations of the two make this style of condemnation against men, specifically, make sense.


If we're going to allow arguments-from-ancient-culture, then I would respond that women in that culture had few rights over their own body, especially in terms of sexuality. Sex with anyone other than their husband would not be allowed. I mean, I get your interpretation (that male homosexuality was culturally different from female), I just disagree based on what I know of that ancient culture.

Whoa, now, youre jumping ahead. The question is about the OT Jewish lesbian - she doesnt have those Christ images yet. But standards and examples of one man one woman, again, strike me as problematic arguments, because God DID bless marital agreements outside of that standard DESPITE the one-man-one-woman example used with Christ and the Church.


God blessing marital arrangements (which are essentially economic in nature) is a different issue from which marital sexuality He blesses. So the standard of "one man, one woman" is absolute in regards to the sex act (i.e. threesomes are just as sinful to God as homosexuality), but I'd argue that the standard is an ideal when it comes to marriage arrangements, since those are economic arrangements rather than spiritual ones.

Don't get me wrong, engaging in polygamy for the sake of having sex with more than one other person is going to be a sin anyway. God judges by intents of the heart, not actions (though actions often do reveal those intents). I honestly believe that He would similarly have judged any man in the OT who had many wives just because he wanted all the sex. But that culture had many pressures/circumstances for which polygamy could be entered into with good intentions.

Of course this was terribly unfair to women, that polygamy didn't work both ways. But culturally and biologically, there weren't many advantages for a woman to have more than one husband, the way that it was advantageous for a man to have more than one wife. At least, not that I'm aware of.
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#50Julian_CaesarPosted 8/17/2013 10:59:11 AM
DeadPresidents2 posted...
You know, this actually did a good job of explaining the theological position to me, so thanks for that. But it makes me wonder; then what is the opposition to gay marriage? If the legality of homosexual relations is not an issue at all, then what's the point of preventing it? It seems to me that the issue that Christians (or at least, some Christians) have is of homosexual relations period...but that's going to happen no matter what. If the big problem is gay sex, and gay sex is happening already, then what's wrong with just treating them as sinful people, who can get married as any other sinful people can? I mean, would there be as big an issue of two men or two women getting married if sex wasn't involved?


A lot of it is cultural/religious bigotry, to be honest. But an equally large and less recognized contingent has more to do with dislike of change. It's no coincidence that Republicans have latched onto this and piggybacked on it to further their own agenda. Conservatism has always thrived on fear of change, just as liberalism has thrived on the desire for change. And just as liberalism is headed the wrong way when it embraces change merely for the sake of change and newness, so conservatism goes the wrong way when it opposes change merely for the sake of avoiding change and newness.

Interestingly, this exact same issue (theology vs. legality) was hotly debated in the church when divorce became more and more prevalent after the turn of the century. You can see how that turned out :) in the end, homosexual marriage will be legal here. The sooner churches stop fighting it and begin understanding why they fought it and how they should be reacting to it, the better off we'll be.

And let's be honest here, folks, if gay people having sex is the problem, then surely, isn't gay marriage the solution? =D


*ba-dum-ching*
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