It’s all about sex

by Richard on June 26, 2005

A careful reading of the gospels makes it plain that sex and sexual morality was at the heart of the ministry of Jesus. His absolute condemnation of sexual sin, the many parables and stories he told about sexual behaviour and the way that he refused to have anything to do with those whose sexual lives were anything less than totally pure all point to the priority of sex as the lodestone of Christian morality. Twenty-first century disciples of Jesus will want to emulate his priorities, and Christian pronouncements about morality will reflect this.

Sex. Who’s allowed to do what and to whom. And, of course, when. How far can you go? Having drawn a line, let’s be clear in our condemnation of those who cross it, just as Jesus was. Of course, we only hate the sin not the sinner. Of course, forgiveness is always offered to those who truly repent. But how can you seperate depravity from the depraved? If condemnation of the one sounds too much like condemnation of the other, that’s too bad. Christians are called to purity, and those who condone or encourage impurity are responsible for their own fate. Our task is to speak the truth. It is time for preachers to forget their political correctness and take off their kid gloves. Let the pulpits thunder! Let the Church speak with the same voice as Jesus and consign to perdition those who despoil his holy people.

It’s all about sex.

I didn’t mean it, though if you’ve spent any time around Christian blogs I’d forgive you if you’d thought I did. Should the church bless homosexual “marriages”? Gays in the church. Premarital sex. The blogosphere, in it’s interest in sex, seems to me to be reflecting accurately the situation in the wider church. The furore in the Church of England over the appointment of a homosexual bishop even though he is celibate is witness to that.

But why? Not because it reflects anything of the ministry of Jesus. You will search in vain for anything but compassion from Jesus towards the sinners of his day. His condemnation was kept for the rich, powerful and respectable. Yes, he called all to repentance. All. There doesn’t seem to have been any special place in his life and teaching for the less than sexually pure. In the “sermon on the plain” recorded by St Luke, the Beattitudes are contrasted with woes - woe to the rich, the satisfied, the happy, the well-thought of. Nothing there about sex.

Looking more widely at Jesus’ teaching, it is apparent that it is our attitude to the poor which receives the greater attention. Luke’s beattitude’s are explicit. “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God”. Jesus begins his ministry proclaiming “good news to the poor”. The song which Mary sang announces “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.” The parables of Dives and Lazarus and the Sheep and the Goats have condemnation to hell for those who ignore the plight of the poor and the downtrodden. His parable of the vineyard owner turns capitalism on its head by paying the workers according to their need rather than by the work they’ve put in. (And I find ironic that those who are quickest to tell me that parable isn’t about economics are precisely those who tell me I should be more willing to take the Bible at face value) Which ever way you cut it, Jesus said an awful lot about money and next to nothing about sex.

Most of us who’ve been around the evangelical movement a while will know of situations in which the sexual line has been crossed. I recall an incident in which a teenage girl got pregnant by her boyfriend, both of them members of the same church. When she told her pastor not only were they made to stand in front of everyone to receive their dressing down, both were refused communion until long after the baby was born. I’ve heard this sort of story over and over again. But I’ve never once heard word of warning, let alone condemnation, to those who are wealthy. Far from it. The richer members of the church are fawned over and held up as examples of God’s blessing. So much for “Blessed are you poor … woe to you who are rich.”

So — why is this? If sex was not a priority for Jesus, why does it occupy so much of the churches’ (and bloggers’) time? I’m convinced that part of the answer lies in our continuing “conformation to the world”. Western Christians may claim to be in Christ, but we still share the world’s obsessions: sex and wealth.We talk about sex the most because, frankly, sex is interesting. Exciting, even. There’s no thrill in listening to a condemnation of greed, or pride, or gluttony. In any case, condemning those sins leads us to condemn ourselves. Sex is different. First, because it is usually other people’s sin we’re talking about, and that’s always easier to condemn than our own. But most important, it’s different because we like talking about it. “They did what?” “How often?!” “Shocking! Tell me more.”

[Ironically, as I've been writing this little rant an email has arrived. It begins "We are writing to inform you that Rev xxxxxx who is a Methodist church minister in xxxxxxx is gay." It goes on claiming to identify the minister's boyfriend. The sender claims to be uncovering a secret, although they do not identify themselves. In other words, they have been speculating about what these two people are getting up to and have decided to gossip openly and widely about their prurient speculations. Disgraceful.]

What I’m suggesting is that the churches obsession with sex has more to do with tittilation than a genuine concern for morality. Married couples are no quizzed by their pastors about what they get up to in their bedrooms. It is unlikely that a gay couple in church would begin an over-coffee conversation with, “Guess what Sam did to me last night…” — most gay people regard their sex lives as every bit as private as heterosexual couples do. So why should their living together be a source of scandal? Because we like to imagine what they do. Oo-er, missus. Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more.

If the church were genuinely concerned about the sexual morality of gay Christians, we would surely be doing everything we can to make sure that their relationships are stable and lifelong. But instead of offering support and care, we prefer condemnation. Instead of focussing on how they relate to others in the world, we’d rather spend idle moments amusing ourselves with an imaginery visit to their bedroom as a fly on the wall. Self-proclaimed homophobes find it amusing to label themselves such, making (unintentional) common cause with others who get their kicks from a Saturday evening’s queer-bashing. So far from being a place of safety, the Church is experienced by gay men and lesbians as a place of persecution. Where Jesus offered welcome and compassion, the Church most often offers vilification and hostility.

So I have a suggestion to make. Let’s give the same priority to sex that Jesus did — you know, like, none at all. Remember Jesus’ words about specks and planks? Let’s take them seriously and work on the planks in our own eyes before we trouble about the specks in other peoples. Or we could just continue in our sin, smugly ignoring the greed and covetousness most of us are a part of. But I hate to think of the consequences of that.

OK, I admit it. This is a reblog.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Dave Warnock 06.26.05 at 10:02 pm

Amen.

2

rhys 06.26.05 at 10:13 pm

yes a reblog! re blog it again, amd again and again - at appropriate Anglican reasanable intervals :-) of course!

3

John 06.27.05 at 12:14 am

Sex, sex, sex. What, is it sweeps week at Connexions?

4

Richard 06.27.05 at 9:19 am

sweeps week?

5

Keith 06.27.05 at 12:34 pm

Excellent stuff well said.

6

Bene Diction 06.27.05 at 4:48 pm

In the U S, the TV sweeps period determines local advertising rates. (National advertising rates are based on Nielsen Ratings.)

During sweeps weeks networks throw up supposedly good shows in February, April July and November.
It’s a lot of hype.

7

DH 06.27.05 at 5:14 pm

Is that why Jesus said “go and sin no more” to the woman in adultry? Also, Jesus didn’t come to do away with the law but to fulfill it. He never contradicted Scripture because Scripture is the Word of God. So when the bible says certain things are a sin Jesus never contradicts that. You read Romans 1, why would we want people to continue in sin? Even if it is monogomous it is sin. Churches want to promote what the Bible says about obsession with sin. To me that is a good thing. That is not to focus on one sin over the other because they are equal but that doesn’t take away from the fact of Romans 1 and other passages regarding the issue. We must all address our sin and repent and turn to Christ for forgiveness.

8

John 06.27.05 at 8:47 pm

Oh. “Sweeps week” is an American term. It refers to a week of the year when TV shows are rated for viewership. They tend to get very competitive at that time and often resort to using sex to attract viewers.

9

Richard 06.27.05 at 9:05 pm

You’re surely not suggesting that I would use that sort of cheap trick, are you? ;)

10

Camassia 06.27.05 at 10:29 pm

Eh. I don’t think that Jesus’ non-preaching about sex helps the liberal side here. He preached about things he saw that needed to change, and the conservative Jewish sexual morality of the day wasn’t one of them. Also, isn’t the real pro-gay-marriage argument that sex is important enough that it’s wrong to deprive people of that type of fulfilment? If it really doesn’t matter, why bother to upset so many people by pushing for change?

11

Joel 06.27.05 at 10:43 pm

Sweeps. Well, during that time the networks often pre-empt the shows that attract the fewest viewers. I’m still “on the air” so that must not be the case. :-)

12

Eugene 06.28.05 at 1:52 am

“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them (disciples) “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make a man unclean.” Jesus Matthew 15:16-20.

Are you still so dull about sexual immorality? Jesus was not always a radical. Sometimes he is lockstep with the Law, Prophets, and Writings re concerning issues such as sexual immorality. Sexual immorality is clearly listed in Leviticus 18 and Jesus would have been fully aware of that passage and in lockstep with it. As a matter of fact he would have probably agreed with the Pharisees when they brought forward the woman caught in adultery. If you read their argument which is derived from Lev. 20:10 the reason why the woman was let go was because the adulterer was probably in their presence. Both the adulterer and the adultress were to be executed, but they he was absent.

Even his speaking about social justice would be lockstep with the prophets of old.

As to the comment on capitalism and the workers in the vineyard you are slightly misguided. Capitalism is a nineteenth century economic construct inspired by Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. If you ever read the Social Science Commentary on the Gospels by Bruce Malina you would discover that Jesus speaking about the dishonest manager, and the parable of the talents in which he tells the last talent keeper should have invested the money. That would mean robbing others in a time and a place with limited economic resources.

Peace.

13

DH 06.28.05 at 3:24 pm

Like I said before, he indirectly mentions adultry as a sin by saying to the adulterer, “go and sin no more”. Isn’t that a sexual sin? I like your first sentence Camassia. I would add based on what I said before that Jesus fulfilled the law but did not do away with it. Just because Jesus doesn’t mention it directly doesn’t do away with what the Bible says is sin. To me Jesus addresses sin in the broad sense on multiple occasions and the Bible mentions what is sin and Jesus never contradicted that.

14

Richard 06.28.05 at 9:21 pm

I think you’re missing my point, DH. I’m not saying that there is no such thing as sexual sin. What I’m saying is that the church is obsessed with sexual sin and that is an unhealthy situation, driven by the world not the kingdom.

15

Camassia 06.28.05 at 11:33 pm

I expect I’m more in sympathy with your side than DH is, Richard, but frankly I think it’s dishonest to pretend that only the conservative side here is making a big deal out of sex. It’s important to gay people whether they can get married. It’s important to women (and their parents) whether they get pregnant. It’s important to teenage boys to find pictures of scantily clad women. It’s important to advertisers to provide it to them. It’s important to Africans whether they get HIV. It’s important to people who think abortion is murder to prevent them from happening. And in my view that’s proper, because sex IS important. The fact that Jesus didn’t talk about it indicated that it wasn’t controversial, not that it was irrelevant. The fact is there are huge changes happening in marriage, family, childbearing, and gender relations, which were not happening in Jesus’ day, and it would be ridiculous not to think they matter.

Look, I know poverty is important. But I hate the way the two issues keep getting pitted against each other, like the more you care about the one the less you care about the other. And I also think trivializing sex conforms to the world more than you think it does. Do you think using it to sell soda pop isn’t trivializing?

16

DH 06.29.05 at 3:43 pm

I think it is unhealthy not to address at all sexual sin, that goes for homosexuality.

I agree with you Camassia except for th gay marriage part. I think there are changes in this areas that didn’t happen in Jesus’s time that need to be prevented or at least not promoted. I totally dislike the promotion of sin in all of its forms sexual and non-sexual.

17

DH 06.29.05 at 4:09 pm

Richard it’s not part of the Kingdom?

1 Corinthians 6:8-10

18

Richard 06.29.05 at 6:40 pm

Camassia - your comments give me pause. But I’m not trying to sy that sex isn’t important. What I’m saying is that its importance has been very greatly inflated and that needs addressing. I rather agree with you about the way that poverty and sex are often set against each other (because it doesn’t need to be either/or) but the fact remains that the Bible says rather more about the treatment of the poor and the sin of greed than it does about matters of sex. I’d really like to get to a place where we can talk about sex with openness and integrity, but what we have is a rather hysterical and sterile “the Bible says” that closes down all conversation, a refusal to accept that matters of sexual morality are to a large extent culturally conditioned. Marriage today, for example, is a very different animal from the marriage we read about in much of the Bible, and Christian understanding of marriage has hardly been static over the generations. Josh Claybourn has a worthwhile post on this.

DH - I’ve got your drift. Honest!

19

Joel 06.29.05 at 7:07 pm

One of the things that disturbs me is the losing sight of why a passage calls for this or prohibits that. The purpose of moral mandates is to do those things that bring us in harmony with God and neighbor and to avoid things that destroy community with God and neighbor. Perhaps once homosexual relationships disrupted wholeness because of people’s understandings or lack thereof of sexuality and/or because the earth needed to be inhabited. God said “be fruitful and multiply.” Many Christian couples today elect to have only one or even no child. Who warns today that such couples will be thrown into the lake of fire? Then Paul comes along and says if possible it is better not to marry. I’ve never heard a single preacher give that latter passage any weight, except in a very passing reference.

In modern times, it seems that we can best be in community with God and neighbor by encouraging stable homosexual relationships for those who are clear that such is their orientation and have no desire to change, and in the majority of cases no ability to change. (If you believe absolutely in the ability to change sexual orientation, then the next totally blind person you meet, please assure them that without doubt or reservation, that you know that by prayer and faith they will regain their sight.)

Many conservatives will say that gay love is distorted. On the other hand, during significant periods of Christianity, marriages were based on things other than love, even agape as opposed to romantic. Again, look at Josh’s post.

Finally, again, Richard’s point wasn’t at all that sexual morality doesn’t count. It is, rather the obsession on that issue over and above issues of economic justice, peace, war, slander, gossip, etc.

20

Dave Warnock 06.29.05 at 8:36 pm

Warning, inflamatory comment!

I suggest that “1 Corinthians 6:8-10″ does not condemn what 21st century western civilisation calls homosexuality. Why? The word homosexuality requires a post-enlightenment understanding of sexuality that just did not exist for Paul.

The note in the ESV “The two Greek terms translated by this phrase [men who practice homosexuality] refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts” is completely improper.

It would be accurate to say “one modern interpretation of the two …”. As nobody knows for sure what the words mean in the understanding of the author and reader of the time it is not correct to pretend that this is not interpretation.

21

DH 06.29.05 at 9:01 pm

So now we are letting culture dictate Scripture. Sorry, I just don’t buy it.
Can people be tempted to be homosexual and not practice homosexuality? Yes and that is not sin and never did I imply that. So I guess I agree to a point on that one and it is consistent with what Paul is saying. I will say that a person who is tempted to be homosexual needs to check their heart and make sure not to fall into that sin just like any other temptation or sin.

I do think that condoning the behavior is condoning sin. So a person who is tempted to act on the homosexual desire shouldn’t condone it just like a person who is tempted to use drugs shouldn’t condone drug use. The same goes equally for any other sin I didn’t mention that is stated in the Bible.

I don’t feel that you can say we don’t know what the author means and to say that the Bible condones homosexuality or to say homosexuals can marry in light of the Bible is just a plain misunderstanding of Scripture . In light of the many other passages on the subject OT and NT.

22

DH 06.29.05 at 9:03 pm

P.S. I’m not inflammed and thanks for the clarification to a point. :)
Go with God, Dave. :) DH

23

Dave Warnock 06.29.05 at 10:33 pm

“I don’t feel that you can say we don’t know what the author means and to say that the Bible condones homosexuality or to say homosexuals can marry in light of the Bible is just a plain misunderstanding of Scripture . In light of the many other passages on the subject OT and NT.”

There are only 6 key passages. 3 OT and 3 NT epistles, none in the Gospels.

Gen 19:1-38 Sodom & Gomorrah. Widely believed that homosexuality is not the sin but breaking hospitality. What do you say to women now about their value? Was is OK to offer a daughter and a concubine to be used as sex objects?

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. Part of the Holiness code. Read the rest of the code. How much of it do you still follow? If you don’t follow other parts then why this? That is interpretation and other interpretations are possible. The context might well be referring to pagan practice on altars or in marriage beds (eg see Deuteronomy 23:17). It is does not directly and simply include consensual relations as it is pre-enlightenment understanding of sexuality. What was the purpose of the Holiness code, maybe to keep the Jews separate and ensure their survival, hence keep sex for getting lots more babies, hence, there are rules to stop people doing what they are doing (if they are not doing it then no rule is needed) when it does not result in children to increase the nation.

Judges 19:1-30 It can be argued that this is about rape and breaking hospitality. Also notice the connection to Genesis 19. Is this midrash/recapitulation or a different event? Is it to be read literally or as allegory? There is nothing like consensual homosexual relations here.

Notice what comes next! Nothing in the Gospels at all!

Rom 1:26-276 1 Cor 6: 9-10 and 1 Tim 1:8-11. These are amazingly complex to try to discover what is being condemned. The terms have been interpreted in lots of ways eg
- homosexual relations in general
- male prostitution
- sacred male prostitution
- pederastic practices
- concepts of maleness and effeminacy in the greek of jewish world
There is not general agreement as to which of these is meant.

According to experts in the society of imperial Rome both Jews and Christians saw a form of homosexuality which was strongly related with idolatry, slavery, and social dominance. It was often the assertion of the string over the bodies of the week.

(mostly from Thiselton: The New International Greek Testament commentary for 1 Cor which has 16 pages on these 2 verses) He does not offer a final conclusion one way or the other (although leans on the consensual homosexuality is covered by this text side).

Therefore to say that scripture is entirely clear and unambiguously condemning homosexuality takes the text a long way past what is safe.

However, it would be true to say that Christian Tradition has generally condemned homosexuality for most of its history - but saying that is a very different thing. For much of its history Christianity did not condemn slavery, that would not mean that we accept it now.

24

DH 06.30.05 at 3:21 pm

On the Genesis passage, Sodom was punished for multiple offenses and one of those was homosexuality as well as the others. God also didn’t condone what Lot did. As you know, Lot had to pay for his mistakes. So your example as God condoning it is wrong. Just because God saved Lot and his family (except his wife) from physical harm doesn’t mean He condoned what he did. If you read on God rebukes him for later actions.

Just because it is not mentioned in the Gospels doesn’t mean that Jesus done away with the law on that. He came to fulfill the law not to do away with it.

Also I think saying the 1 Cor. passage refers to unconsentual practice to me is absurd. Homosexuality was defined as the actual act back in OT and NT times. It even mentions in one the passages what is to be done to the person caught in the act. The definition is the act of homosexuality. I strongly believe that means in all of its forms. I feel that any other idea on this is basically making excuses or is not dealing with the conviction of sin that all people feel when they sin or condone sin.

I know people who have come out of the homosexual lifestyle and never practiced again. They have wives and families and are successful. Why can’t we help them not practice it rather than make accomodations for the actions?

On the Roman part I feel that the term means for everyone of those incidents.The terms have been interpreted in lots of ways eg
- homosexual relations in general
- male prostitution
- sacred male prostitution
- pederastic practices
- concepts of maleness and effeminacy in the greek of jewish world
Couldn’t it be all of them? Couldn’t they all be right?

To lump slavery and homosexuality together is a red hearing.

I think saying that homosexuality in all of its forms (other than the temptation) is unsafe and is taking the passages out of context. To look at an authoritative statement as allogory is very funny and I can’t agree with that.

25

DH 06.30.05 at 5:47 pm

Also, the entire chapter of Romans 1 gives the progression of how a person becomes a homosexual (exchange the natural uses) sure does seem direct to me.

26

DH 06.30.05 at 5:49 pm

This isn’t in regard to temptation but the act itself.

27

Dave Warnock 06.30.05 at 6:04 pm

“Sodom was punished for multiple offenses and one of those was homosexuality as well as the others. God also didn’t condone what Lot did.”

That is not what I said or implied. I said that focusing on homosexuality as the only issue here is a mis-reading. A number of scholars say that you cannot tell her if it is homosexuality per se or homosexual rape is the issue. To decide that is a question of interpretation. I am saying your interpretation is one possibility, it is not the only one.

“Just because it is not mentioned in the Gospels doesn’t mean that Jesus done away with the law on that. He came to fulfill the law not to do away with it.”

Agreed, but the understanding of what that law is and how it is fulfilled is one of interpretation, there are other possibilities besides the fundamentalist one that still respect scripture.

“Also I think saying the 1 Cor. passage refers to unconsentual practice to me is absurd.”

I don’t have a problem with you interpreting this one way, nor of you finding the other ways absurd. I do have a problem that you are denying that the best scholarship agrees that other interpretations are possible.

“The definition is the act of homosexuality.”

No it is not. That is not clear from the original text, it is interpretation to say that the original text applies to what is understood by a consensual loving committed homosexual relationship (for example). Interpretation is not wrong, it is essential and inevitable. But to deny that what you are doing is interpreting ancient texts in the light of modern understandings of sexuality is misleading.

“On the Roman part I feel that the term means for everyone of those incidents.” Fine, that is one interpretation but it is not the only one.

“Couldn’t it be all of them? Couldn’t they all be right?”

Yes that is one possibility in the spectrum of possibilities.

Sorry I don’t understand your last paragraph.

Please note that I am not saying your interpretation is without basis and wrong. I am saying that the traditional understanding of the Church is that homosexuality in all forms is wrong.

However, I think it is important to note that there are other possible readings of these texts, the texts are not clear in the way that is often said. There is a tension which we have to continue to explore.

Until a consensus is reached I cannot see how we cannot need to live with the fact that there are multiple readings of these texts, that is one reason I am unhappy with aggressive responses to people who differ on this.

28

Dave Warnock 06.30.05 at 7:33 pm

DH: Wow, interpreting the whole of Romans 1 to be all about homosexuality. Amazing that we can find anything else to preach about.

29

DH 06.30.05 at 8:06 pm

Why should we wait for some scholar who is looking for a way to make culture fit into Scripture to agree with those who feel otherwise or vice versa? To me this is misleading.

I’m sorry if I overstated Romans 1. I was looking at the progression of sin especially Rom. 1:26-27. It seems that this includes the “loving relationships” that you mentioned.

While we disagree emensely, I think you would agree that many in my camp have a problem with people who are tempted in this area. I think you would agree that we need to have care and love for them so that they can change rather than be harsh and hateful in attitude toward them. Many in my camp judge those who are tempted in this and I think this is very wrong.

Maybe we can find a stopping ground on this. While I’m not harsh and in the sight of God I know I’m “in check”. I don’t want to fall into that temptation. :) Love you in the Lord. I hope we can prayfully consider this without any cultural (for you) or preconceived bias (that goes for me) for the proper idea on this.

30

Dave Warnock 06.30.05 at 8:21 pm

“Why should we wait for some scholar who is looking for a way to make culture fit into Scripture to agree with those who feel otherwise or vice versa? To me this is misleading.”

See Heidegger who said something like. It is not how we get out of the hermeneutic circle (which is arguably impossible) that is important but how we initially get in.

Start looking at the Hermeneutic circle and then see that where we begin changes interpretation. Then we can try to consider others starting points and realise that ours is not the only valid one.

“I think you would agree that we need to have care and love for them so that they can change rather than be harsh and hateful in attitude toward them.”

Nearly, I am happy with: we need to have care and love for them rather than be harsh and hateful in attitude toward them and leave anything else to the Holy Spirit.

31

DH 06.30.05 at 8:41 pm

Maybe there is something wrong with certain Hermeneutic circles and how they got there in the first place? (I said that not to digress)
What you say is too hard because when I see the Bible say something authoritatively I believe it for what it says. In my opinion looking at it in a different way seems out of place and out of context. Maybe that is where we disagree.

Rom. 1:26-27. It seems that this includes the “loving relationships” that you mentioned. I don’t see anywhere in Scripture that says homosexuality is okay. All this and what I stated earlier is why I believe the way I do on this subject.

32

Dave Warnock 06.30.05 at 9:04 pm

You see there we go again. Hermeneutic circles - you can’t escape them.

You start with a world view, you read scripture and find support for your world view. Now scripture supports your world view.

Your world view includes a view on sexuality, mine starts with a different view.

You see 6 authoritive texts. I see 6 ambiguous texts (in their relationship to homosexuality, in other respects there is less ambiguity). Therefore your view gets reinforced and so does mine.

You can’t choose your starting point for hermeneutics - it is who you are. Have you read any stuff about Schleiermacher or Heidegger or Derrida?

33

DH 06.30.05 at 9:39 pm

I can escape them because the other side labels people like myself with predispositions that is not the case. My view starts with Scripture.

1 Cor 6:8-10 is not authoritative? that seems really funny to me. Saying who is not in the Kingdom like 1 Cor 6:8-10 is not authoritative? I’m sorry this is too much for me.

I don’t agree or like any of those philosophers. Particularly Derrida. I’m a strong post-post modern (modern without the harsh, hateful attitude).

Does Rom 1:26-27 include the loving relationships? All marriages start with a “desire” for the other sex. Seems pretty clear to me and this is from an unbiased perspective. I didn’t start with a particular “world view” before I read Scripture. In my case it started with Scripture. As you see, I have a “high view” (in the theological sense not in the Faith sense) of Scirpture. That might be where we disagree.

I just don’t see Scripture supporting the “other” world view. I just don’t understand the ambiguity.

I have enjoyed the conversation and it has definiately taken the “harsh” that is typical from “my side”. We probably need to stop unless we find common ground. Don’t you think? :)

34

Dave Warnock 06.30.05 at 10:06 pm

ok by me

35

Joel 07.01.05 at 2:44 am

No one starts entirely with Scripture. We all start with an overlaying of our world view and our predispositions. That’s why Christianity in the U.S. has a different flavor to in than Christianity in Africa, South America or Asia. That’s why so many otherwise very faithful Christians, including preachers, could support slavery. In my community, there remains a substantial body of Christians who oppose women wearing makeup or jewelry. They are fervent in their belief that Scripture is their only starting point. Christians in some countries don’t have the same attitude of “individual” ownership of everything that much of the western world has. Inevitably, such predispositons affect the way we evangelize, witness and do mission work.

36

DH 07.01.05 at 3:31 pm

I’m sorry but I did come into it with Scripture. I got saved at a young age and read Scripture for myself to my own understanding by the holy Spirit. I know no African, SA or Asians who are so-called Christians who support slavery. I definitely don’t put this issue in with jewlery or the like. Jewlery is not mentioned in the same way as 1 Cor 6:8-10 that is mentioned so specifically with regard to who is in the Kingdom.

In fact if you read many of the Christian pastors in Africa they are even more “Evangelical” than even the US. We aren’t the only ones in the world that have a more specific views of Scripture. We need to get back to that because it seems sin (that goes for all of the sins beyond the one mentioned here) is done more in public and is condoned. I refer to Springer, this issue, other movies, adultry, lasciviousness, murder, drunkeness, not caring for the poor as much, abortion, cursing, etc.

Whenever we condone or downgrade the consequences of these actions we promote people hardening their heart to God. Sin leads to more sin and more sin leads to a hardeding of the heart. However, not doing these requires a heart change to accomplish being obedient to Christ.

37

DH 07.01.05 at 3:32 pm

This reminds me of Paul when he mentions the “lusts of the fleash”.

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