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Source: (consider it) Thread: Homosexuality and Christianity
Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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Even if that were true, it wouldn't necessitate that evangelicals were unintelligent. However, what you have just given us is the worst sort of stereotype. It would be rather like saying 'all Catholics have no knowledge of the Bible and think everything the Pope says is infallible' or 'all liberals don't believe in revelation'. Not helpful.

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Trudy Scrumptious

BBE Shieldmaiden
# 5647

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Unintelligent because they know little of biblical hermeneutics, modern biblical or medical/psychological scholarship and accept the authority of one book, the Bible, and insist that everything else that doesn't fit it be made to bend to fit or else disregard it.

Yeah, somebody's certainly showing a lack of intelligence around here.

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leo
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# 1458

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If you read the stuff they post on thos over-long thread or much of their literaure, it all boils down to 'The Bible says.....'

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leo
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# 1458

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Maybe I should have said 'ignorant' rather than unintelligent.

Ignorant of hermeneutics, of the experience of LGBT people, of medical research etc. and unwilling to think outside the box of 'The Bible says....so it must be true. The bible is true because it says it is.'

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anteater

Ship's pest-controller
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Even though stereotyping is not the monopoly of one side of the argument, I have to agree with a lot of what Leo says, even if it's a bit intemperate.

And I'm in a fairly soft evo church, but any attempt to engage people in modern understand of how sexuality develops, and the extreme difficulty of maintaining a model of just two genders, is met with blank stares, followed bythe usual mantra that "we are in a fallen world" which I think is bullshit, and never has been accepted by mature Christianity much less Judaism.

As a pure guesstimate, I would say you won't get any meaningful discussion of these issues out of more than 10% of christians in evo churches, and a good minority, if not majority, are not past the point of saying as an (ex) friend, recented Toronto'd said: "God has told us what he things of homosexuals. They should be killed". And this in a respectable, middle-class anglican church.

So I'm afraid I think Leo's not far from the mark. Sadly.

[ 16. December 2006, 16:24: Message edited by: anteater ]

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Qoheleth.

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In my observation, many are unable or unwilling to engage with ..
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
.. hermeneutics, [] the experience of LGBT people, [] medical research etc. and unwilling to think outside the box of 'The Bible says....so it must be true. The bible is true because it says it is.'

Q.

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leo
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# 1458

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Well, I haven't been called to Hell......yet!

I used to get a lift to work from an evangelical who thought I believed in reincarnation. She went to church twice every Sunday but had never heard the word 'Incarnation' and didn't understand the doctrine when I told her what it meant. She is a good honours graduate who is not unitelligent, just ignorant and going to a chuch where, in evo-speak, she is not 'being fed'.

BTW most of us learned to feed ourselves a long time ago.

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Nigel M
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Page 73 already: it’s beginning to look like a respectable English cricket score now. I’m glad to see the issue of hermeneutics and interpretation has come to the fore. Sets the scene for a look at Genesis.

I should set out the model I am proposing here, so people can see where I am coming from. I take it that Jesus’ work effectively countered the results of rebellion against God (I prefer the word ‘rebellion’ to ‘sin’ – the latter has become too much of a read-flag word in English). For those who avail themselves of that effect, guidance on how to live can be found in both Testaments; the principles are there, but key to this is an understanding of the way God intended humans to be and act before the rebellion.

I think the early Genesis passages are crucial for any understanding of humans as human beings. I take it from their use by Jesus and Paul (not to mention numerous OT characters) that they laid considerable importance in this stage of Israel’s story. We will need to consider the impact of Gen. 3 as well in due course. However, first things first – some thoughts:

The quite clever linguistic arrangement of Genesis 1 – deliberately arranged, I think – plays days off against each other; e.g. day 1 with day 4, 2 with 5, 3 with 6, each pair containing related themes. Days 4, 5 and 6 expand somewhat on their partners, but noticeably day 6 – with the creation of humans – expands even more. I read this as the author intending to show the relative importance of life over inanimate objects (previous unpartnered days), and humans over other life forms (days 6 over its partner, day 3). If this is valid, then the Sabbath may indeed be the goal of the Genesis 1 episode, but human beings are the crown of creation. I assume there is not much at issue with this finding?

Next, I take the reference to ‘man’ (adam) in Genesis one to be generic. Male and female are both created in God’s image, not just the male. Both have a joint stewardship function. Again, reasonably uncontroversial?

The reference to ‘image’ is significant, I think. I am impressed by the interpretation that links this to the royal stewardship functions associated with being a junior king or vice-roy. In other ancient near east literature and artefacts this is explained as someone who rules in a manner that replicates that of the boss – the senior king or emperor. Here in Genesis, I think the author is asserting that humans (all humans, male and female) are to function as divine representatives on earth – not overlords in our own right, but as stewards of creation with responsibility to behave as though God were physically present. They were to an example or a model for all of creation. It is in this context that the functions variously translated into English by “rule”, “subdue”, “dominion” etc. are to be placed. They are not intended to support violence at all – especially against other humans. They simply say that the earth is a gift we can enjoy responsibly. This was a blessing from God, not a chore or even a curse. There is a role for green theology in here, too – but that is for another day!

I don’t think there may be much at issue thus far. The interpretation concerning ‘image’ has been debated, but it does fit rather well with Psalm 8. Also, Gen. 1 breaks with all the cosmologies of the ancient near east with respect to the status accorded to humans (and here begins the gospel!).

One aspect of the blessing God gave is the first set of imperatives in v28: “be fruitful and multiply.” This is one of the texts that has been referred to in the context of human relations; it is said that a primary task of humans is to procreate. On the face of it, that appears to be the import here. But I want to place it on the context of the next set of imperatives – the “rule” and “subdue” set – to say that God’s intention was that human beings should take the blessing of the created earth as stewards and enjoy it, and in order to do that they need to put their feet on all corners. Well, as a species we’ve been pretty good at doing that – perhaps over enthusiastic about it. I’m not so sure that the author intended procreation to be the ‘be all and end all’ here. It was a means to an end, but not every individual was able to fulfil that aspect: we have examples of people who were barren in OT history. What I find interesting is that the ‘end’ had changed during that history from the way is presented in Gen. 1: what was important to them was the need to have a successor to carry on the family name and hold the family land. God’s intention had to be reinforced, e.g., with Abram in Gen. 12:2-3, where having a ‘name’ was only a means to the end of acting as a model for the rest of the world.

So – partnership between humans and with God, stewardship (the function arising from that partnership), being a model (setting the standard) – these are all aspects of God’s intention for humanity. Christians have the lead responsibility on this. Is there any issue over these principles so far?

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John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
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Christians have no more responsibility (and no less) than the Jews. That is, if you take the narrow interpretation.

More widely, the responsibility rests with all humans, because the picture you are drawing up is one that (we think) applies to all humans. That many of them will disagree with the specifics of the picture does not mean that for us, the picture is not appropriate. And therefore, as I say, the responsibility is for all.

If you want, I suppose you could say that Christians and Jews have a particular responsibility to tell people about human responsibility -- since the mythos was originally directed to Jews and, we trust, by adoption to Christians.

John

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Originally posted by Leo:

quote:
Since when were evangelicals intelligent -especially on this issue?
It is rarely wise to assume that people who disagree with you are stupid and never wise to make that assumption explicit in debate with them.
Unintelligent because they know little of biblical hermeneutics, modern biblical or medical/psychological scholarship and accept the authority of one book, the Bible, and insist that everything else that doesn't fit it be made to bend to fit or else disregard it.
Goodness, even I wouldn't go that far. One of the things I really envied in the more evangelical members of my denomination was their dedication to the bible and scholarship. It might not have been scholarship I agreed with, but it wasn't unintelligent. And I can certainly think of liberal theologians who drive me nuts with their insistence on bending the bible to their own ends, very stupidly.

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leo
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# 1458

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They tend only to read 'sound' theologians. Scholarship is supposed to be wider than that.

I agree re-liberals. It's not a word I acknowledge if it's used of me.

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anteater

Ship's pest-controller
# 11435

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quote:
Is there any issue over these principles so far?
Nope. Except it looks like it's going to take quite a while to get to romans 1. Do you have Sundays off?

[ 17. December 2006, 14:13: Message edited by: anteater ]

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Afghan
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# 10478

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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
quote:
Is there any issue over these principles so far?
Nope. Except it looks like it's going to take quite a while to get to romans 1. Do you have Sundays off?
Hey! I'll do Romans 1 for free.

When considered within the context of the epistle as a whole the only sensible way to read it is as a positively acidic lampoon of Jewish prejudices about Gentiles. To wit, they are all boy-buggering, rock-worshipping, uncut ignoramuses. So what's your excuse, sunshine?

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
They tend only to read 'sound' theologians. Scholarship is supposed to be wider than that.

I agree re-liberals. It's not a word I acknowledge if it's used of me.

I guess I must have been lucky then. My biblical studies lecturer was an evangelical Baptist, and his scholarship was very far-reaching and widely based. He tried very hard to get his more conservative students to think beyond their own prejudices. I remember him, in a lecture, spinning a real line around Luke's parables, waiting for someone to cop to his blatantly fairy-tale exegesis (he'd emailed me to tell me to keep quiet, since I tended to keep the discussion alive and he knew I'd done the reading). He infected me with his own love of the texts.

Picking up on something said earlier, there is no pure maths in theology. If you think you can come up with a pure ethic, you're fooling yourself. Personally, I settle for workable, since that is at least honest.

My baseline isn't whether every line of the bible is true, but whether the great messages are. For instance, I would hate to think that anyone thought that the story of Hosea's wives was a paradigm for sexual ethics. Ditto the rape of Tamar. Or for that matter, Lot's suggestion that the men of the town rape his daughters rather than the angelic visitors.

The great messages of love either apply to everyone or no one. "Love your neighbour as yourself" doesn't come with qualifiers - there are no exceptions to the rule. This is the second great commandment. Laws are usually stated as hierarchies, so this one stands above everything except loving God. Every other law has to be interpreted in light of it.

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Nigel M
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# 11256

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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
quote:
Is there any issue over these principles so far?
Nope. Except it looks like it's going to take quite a while to get to romans 1. Do you have Sundays off?
Work or other commitments sometimes take me away from base anteater, yes – and we have only one PC in the house, which rather limits my access.

The 'gospel' here is that we won’t need to digest the whole OT before getting to Romans – happy to go with the flow on this, but I think Romans makes better sense when viewed in the light of (at least) Gen. 1-3. And I see that we already have one interpretation of the book from Afghan!


The parts of Gen. 2 that I light on are: woman as a ‘helper’ taken from man; and the union in that context to make ‘one flesh’. Personally, I take Gen. 1 to be a controlling text for this episode; not only because it goes wider (mankind as a generic thing), but also because those responsible for putting together the OT/Hebrew Bible must have intended something by placing it at the head of the book. Nevertheless, the authors of both do have a model in mind: that of partnership for a purpose and they deal with male/female union.

So, the question arises: is this a reflection back to provide a basis for marriage (as the legal mode for expressing commitment to that partnership), or is it expressing a belief that God ordained heterosexual marriage and no other form of partnership?

Into the mix here I would place the fact the OT does stand rather apart from the other near eastern explanations for human existence, standing and purpose. I get the feeling that the authors of Gen. 1 and 2 were reflecting a view of a God who placed a much higher value on human beings as humans in relationships that were not intended to be hierarchical. That co-existence broke up, though. Which brings us to Gen. 3....

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Eliab
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I'm not sure how far we can take Genesis 2 as being normative for our present, fallen, condition.

For a start, there aren't that many people I want to see naked.

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Nigel M
Shipmate
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I'm not sure how far we can take Genesis 2 as being normative for our present, fallen, condition.

For a start, there aren't that many people I want to see naked.

The model I would want to follow would be to suggest that the work of Jesus and the (at least partial) coming of God's kingdom brings us back to the pre-fallen condition; if we avail ourselves of that status. Principles found in Gen. 1-2 would then become normative for Christians who, as someone suggested earlier, should be a model for the rest of creation.

Happy to exclude nakedness from the principle!

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El Greco
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# 9313

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quote:
Originally posted by Nigel M:
Happy to exclude nakedness from the principle!

Darn!
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duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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I would prefer a nice Albion Cuvee Rouge, Barbera & Pinot Noir from the Sierra Foothills. I don't know about homosexuality being offensive as much as I know that I am deeply offended that the French get all the attention and Californian wines are ignored.

IS OUTRAGE!

I am sorry, but RuthW just closed the thread. And I had written a reply in purg.

I am right now in the process of writing a young man struggling with homosexuality in another Christian forum. He is more comfortable writing me than other men and I seemed to be getting through to him, that God's love has nothing to do with what you do.

I will not say much more except I may in time steer him over here. I may not agree with some things written but this is the best darn discussion on this emotional topic I know of.

And I am touched that Arabella Purity Winterbottom would like to meet me someday. That means a lot to me for I have lost friends with how insensitive I used to be about the topic many moons ago.

[edited to fix Arabella Purity Winterbottom's name. I did not want to leave it screwed up and make y'all think I had been drinking too much again. I am sadly stone cold sober this Tuesday morning since I have to go to the dentist. [Eek!] ]

[ 19. December 2006, 15:32: Message edited by: duchess ]

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Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Nigel M:
The model I would want to follow would be to suggest that the work of Jesus and the (at least partial) coming of God's kingdom brings us back to the pre-fallen condition; if we avail ourselves of that status. Principles found in Gen. 1-2 would then become normative for Christians who, as someone suggested earlier, should be a model for the rest of creation.

Happy to exclude nakedness from the principle!

Granting that homosexuality was not part of God's original plan for Adam and his sinless progeny (something which I think plausible, but ultimately unknowable), I don't think any conclusion about its morality now necessarily follows.

Firstly, because I don't think Jesus' work can be characterised as simply undoing the effects of the fall. We are not unfallen humans, and we never will be. We are redeemed humans. That may well be something even better than being unfallen - because to redeem us God has made our nature his own - but it isn't the same.

Secondly, to the extent that Jesus' work does undo the effects of the fall, it is incomplete. What has not (yet) been redeemed in us is specifically our bodies (Rom 8:23) and we cannot simply ‘avail ourselves' of that aspect of our redemption as of right. I will (probably) be an asthmatic until the day I die. I don't think asthma was part of God's original plan, and I think that in the eternal kingdom, I won't have it. That doesn't mean that I can start to live today as if I were not asthmatic.

Thirdly, it doesn't follow that what was not in God's plan originally is necessarily sinful. And the issue of clothing or nakedness is an example. Adam was not ashamed to walk around naked. I would be. I accept that my shame is entirely the result of the fall, but it is not sinful. On the contrary, modesty is a virtue. The story in Genesis, and still more, the nakedness of Christ, does teach me that modesty is not the highest virtue, and that for a good and charitable reason I should be willing to overcome my shame. It does not persuade me that Christians should throw off their clothes without good reason.


I think our sexuality, straight or gay, has been seriously affected by the fall. And it simply is not available to us to go back to the innocence of Adam and Eve. We face issues which they were never meant to face at all. If homosexuality is one of those (and I don't know that it is) I don't think that the Genesis account offers us clear guidance on how to deal with it.

I don't have a firm view myself. I'm inclined to say that the task of applying Christian ethics to homosexual feeling is one that God has given to Christian homosexuals. And I will respect fidelity, chastity and sincerity in anyone.

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I'm inclined to say that the task of applying Christian ethics to homosexual feeling is one that God has given to Christian homosexuals. And I will respect fidelity, chastity and sincerity in anyone.

Rock on, mate! Works for me.

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barrea
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# 3211

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Bible believers believe that same sex is wrong because that's what the bible teaches.
Others who pick and choose what they believe don't think that way.
So why keep on and on about it,it could go on forever?

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ToujoursDan

Ship's prole
# 10578

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quote:
Originally posted by barrea:
Bible believers believe that same sex is wrong because that's what the bible teaches.
Others who pick and choose what they believe don't think that way.
So why keep on and on about it,it could go on forever?

Nice try but EVERYONE picks and choses what in the Bible they believe and everyone invokes interpretation and hermaneutics to do so.

Including you :-)

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John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
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Actually, Barrea, some "bible believers" believe the Bible does not say God believes same sex is wrong.

Unless by "bible believers" you mean literal fundamentalists, in which case you've essentially damned 95 per cent of Christians to hell regardless of their beliefs and their relationship with God.

John

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by barrea:
Others who pick and choose what they believe don't think that way.

I assume, in that case, that you observe all the requirements to be found in Leviticus.

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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Yes, I too await with interest the fracturing of the global Anglican communion over the appointment of a bishop who openly wears mixed fibre clothing.

This is good on Romans 1.

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anteater

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# 11435

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NigelM:

I suppose the reason I wanted you to move on from Gen 1-2 is that I can't take any argument seriously, which bases any argument on some pre-fall state of perfection.

You see, a major issue for me is whether it is any longer possible to state "male and female created he them". I just don't see that the reality of how humans develop is that simple.

So part of what we have to decide is whether we build our view of humanity from what actually is, in this world, or we base it on an ancient text about a golden age which didn't exist.

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Callan
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# 525

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That passage is important because it indicates that both male and female are created in the image of God. (As opposed to the spare rib theory.) I think that Anteater is right about it not bearing the weight that it sometimes put on it because Genesis is a figurative account of human creation. It isn't literally true, as any fule kno, so to suggest that the passage can be applied unproblematically to an understanding of human sexuality is somewhat dubious, IMO.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 9757 | From: Citizen of the World | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
ToujoursDan

Ship's prole
# 10578

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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
Yes, I too await with interest the fracturing of the global Anglican communion over the appointment of a bishop who openly wears mixed fibre clothing.

This is good on Romans 1.

And this is good too in that it gives a great discription of what was going on in Rome at the time and how the earliest Christians saw Romans 1

Paul, the goddess religions and homosexuality: An analysis of Romans 1

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"Many people say I embarrass them with my humility" - Archbishop Peter Akinola
Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan

Posts: 3734 | From: NYC | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
# 11014

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Originally Posted by Barrea:
quote:
Bible believers believe that same sex is wrong because that's what the bible teaches.
Others who pick and choose what they believe don't think that way.
So why keep on and on about it,it could go on forever?

I think there are at least two reasons:

1) One way or another, it's impossible for homosexuality to be both acceptable and unacceptable for Christians. THerefore, one side has to be right.

and...

2)Some people just like to argue things until the cows come home.

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Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

Posts: 7522 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Nigel M
Shipmate
# 11256

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Firstly, because I don't think Jesus' work can be characterised as simply undoing the effects of the fall. We are not unfallen humans, and we never will be. We are redeemed humans. That may well be something even better than being unfallen - because to redeem us God has made our nature his own - but it isn't the same.

Eliab,
In a strict sense, ‘redemption’ is merely taking us back to a previous state and to that end I would say that the idea is we should seek to function as designed – looking at the pre-rebellion condition where the initial principles can be found. Gen. 1 & 2, however, are somewhat of a snapshot on God’s intended status and function for humans. From other passages in both OT and NT we catch glimpses in more detail of what God had and has in mind for us.

Incidentally Eliab, I’m not clear what you mean by the statement, “We are redeemed humans.” Do you mean the whole human race or just Christians here? I am assuming the latter and I’d go with that – but add that there is an element of take-up in terms of understanding needed by Christians: Christians can often be in need of some awareness-raising on this issue; they do not automatically realise the status they have before God. This can lead to unfulfilled lifestyles.

quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Secondly, to the extent that Jesus' work does undo the effects of the fall, it is incomplete. What has not (yet) been redeemed in us is specifically our bodies (Rom 8:23) and we cannot simply ‘avail ourselves' of that aspect of our redemption as of right. I will (probably) be an asthmatic until the day I die. I don't think asthma was part of God's original plan, and I think that in the eternal kingdom, I won't have it. That doesn't mean that I can start to live today as if I were not asthmatic.

I’m also a believer in that ‘Already and Not Yet’ model of the Kingdom of God. My take on much of the biblical teaching, though, is that there is a major focus on lifestyle, something that applies across the whole gamut of humanity regardless of physical condition. This includes emphases on the role of the Holy Spirit and responsibilities of other members of the people of God to work together in building a community (or ‘body’, if you like).

quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Thirdly, it doesn't follow that what was not in God's plan originally is necessarily sinful.

Yup. Agree with you there. In narrative terms, Gen. 1-2 is one of the pre-peak episodes that lead up to what Josephine earlier called the ‘crown’ of Scripture – the Peak of the narrative (the Gospels). The pre-peak episodes contain hints and other necessary parts of the plot, but not the whole story. The real Peak ties up the pieces and points backward and forward to other smaller peaks in the range, where we find more detail.

quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
I suppose the reason I wanted you to move on from Gen 1-2 is that I can't take any argument seriously, which bases any argument on some pre-fall state of perfection.

You see, a major issue for me is whether it is any longer possible to state "male and female created he them". I just don't see that the reality of how humans develop is that simple.

So part of what we have to decide is whether we build our view of humanity from what actually is, in this world, or we base it on an ancient text about a golden age which didn't exist.

Anteater (and Callan’s point, too),
I would suspend historical arguments from the theology to a point, here, to say that the one doesn’t necessarily depend on the other. The way I see it is that it is possible to tie Gen. 1-3 through to the gospels, via some other landmarks on the way, and from there on to other NT texts in such a way that the principles hang together regardless of whether history plays a part in the discussion. I quite like history, but Christians cannot afford to wait for the day when questions of history are answered; we need guidelines now on how to know God and live in the way God intends. I think Romans has to be seen in the light of the principles, because I think Paul had them firmly in mind when he was writing.

The bummer, of course, is that this takes time! I’m playing on the hope that God will become impatient and end the world tonight. But I’ve been hoping that for around 16,000 nights thus far.

And has anyone got a spare bottle of wine for duchess?

Host(s) alert:
I’m conscious that we are delving into the bible quite a bit; I’ll post a query on protocol in Styx soon.

Posts: 2826 | From: London, UK | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by barrea:
Bible believers believe that same sex is wrong because that's what the bible teaches.
Others who pick and choose what they believe don't think that way.
So why keep on and on about it,it could go on forever?

I consider myself to be a believer in the Bible, yet find myself unconvinced as regards the universal wrongness of same sex relationships. What are you going to do about me?

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insert amusing sig. here

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Nigel M
Shipmate
# 11256

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Gen. 3...

My understanding of the text lies in the concept of ‘kingship and vassal king’, which helps draw the picture here. It would have been a familiar concept for the Jewish people, used to family-clan-tribe-king relationships. The leader of the group owed a duty of care to those under him (usually a ‘him’) and those under the leader a duty of service to those above. If humans were created to fulfil a vassal king / vice-roy / stewardship role under God, it would be understood that they would serve their King (God) loyally. In turn they could expect their King to protect them in times of need. This relational and functional concept underlies all the passages of covenant and the psalms of protest; after all, if a subject had been loyal to God in their life and service, they had a right to expect God to show loyalty back. If they felt let down when things went wrong, they had every excuse to go banging on God’s door in a state of extreme umbrage.

Equally, if a subject failed to be loyal to their King (or family / clan / tribe leader), they could only expect that leader to show some umbrage right back in their face. The subject had rebelled. That was treachery. Traitors deserve to die.

So I read Gen. 3 under this framework. Mankind (the generic version) rebelled. They deserved to die as a result, but instead God banished them from his empire (kingdom?). Exile. That would also speak quite powerfully to the Israelites, especially after the fall of Jerusalem during the Babylonian invasion. The question that arose (and arises for some Christians) here is whether the banishment was to a state totally away from of God’s protection or whether God was still in control of where humans went. I tend to the view that God, having mitigated the death sentence to exile, went even further in his mitigation to continue his protection to an extent (clothing for Adam and Eve, mark upon Cain). So all was not lost for humans; it is not a totally depraved state. I know this last bit is controversial!

The impact of exile was that the functions humans were given to do were made arduous. Humans were not cursed, but their work and relations were. Striving for mastery becomes a feature of human existence.

Leaping ahead: by Jesus’ time I think we are in a state where the Jews recognised that they should be practising loyalty to God – which meant function, relationships and lifestyle were in accord with God’s ‘Way’. N.T. Wright emphasis that Israel saw itself as still being in exile. Although the Jews had returned to the homeland from Babylon, they had not returned to ‘Eden’ – the state of being in God’s kingdom. I think the Jews would have traced the line of exile not just back to 587 BC, but back to beginning of the rebellion against God portrayed in Gen. 3. So when Jesus talked about God’s Kingdom, I can see the force of Wright’s thesis that Jesus was announcing the end of exile; the return to the initial state that God had in mind regarding relationships, status and function. It’s into this context that I place such statements as “Love your neighbour...”, what it meant to be “Blessed...”, why Jesus talked about fulfilling the Law and the Prophets, and why the call to loyalty and obedience was total – not hedged about with the qualifications made by the interpreters of the Jewish Scriptures up to that time. It was a call to holiness, which meant loyalty to the senior King – God. That’s the framework in a nutshell.

I think it can be worked out in the detail, both with regard to the legal texts in the Pentateuch and also in regard to Paul, but, my goodness, is that the time? I need to go. Back later.

Posts: 2826 | From: London, UK | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
the_raptor
Shipmate
# 10533

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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
quote:
Originally posted by barrea:
Bible believers believe that same sex is wrong because that's what the bible teaches.
Others who pick and choose what they believe don't think that way.
So why keep on and on about it,it could go on forever?

I consider myself to be a believer in the Bible, yet find myself unconvinced as regards the universal wrongness of same sex relationships. What are you going to do about me?
Seconded. Especially when same sex relationships are treated as a special class of "really evil sin which Jesus can't save you from".

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Mal: look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir!
Mal: Ain't we just?
— Firefly

Posts: 3921 | From: Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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No one is ever going to change their minds about this issue this side of death so what's the point?! [Biased] [Big Grin] Thread closed for the duration of H&A day or until someone grovels enough to either a passing Admin or a DH to make them feel like re-opening. Go spend that extra time productively people!!!!

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

Posts: 12701 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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Well there was no grovelling - suitable or otherwise - that I observed.

But as the H & A's Funtime is now over, I guess I'd better open this thread for business.

Back to you...

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Yours aye ... TonyK

Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Comper's Child
Shipmate
# 10580

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Well I wonder if it isn't out of business. Much as I want to continue the discussion I will admit to being at the point of exhaustion.
Posts: 2509 | From: Penn's Greene Countrie Towne | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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As host TonyK, are you never tempted to go through the thread and pick three posts that summarise the arguments - like Joan the Dwarf's excellent numbered version and stick them on a new thread and start over ?

I mean does the number 73 just not create a trickle of dread when you click on it ?

(You do a great job, I just feel for you wading out into the swampland of text.)

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

Posts: 19219 | From: Erehwon | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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I read it and lived to tell the story. All 73 pages.

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Ship of Fools-World Party

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TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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No Doublethink - I can safely assert that I am never tempted to read through all 73 pages of this thread, even for such a worthwhile objective! And I have no intention of ever doing so!!

Not even if Cap'n Simon himself suggested it!!!

I have to read every post - but fortunately I don't have to tell the poster that his argument was used by Shipmate Xxx on page yy.

I no longer even have to tell a new contributor that he/she should read all the posts - though I do usually suggest that they should read the last 10 pages....

Why anybody should feel that they might have something new and worthwhile to add to the thread also amazes me - but mine not to reason why, mine just to ensure that their post complies with the 10Cs.

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Yours aye ... TonyK

Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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It sounds a bit like the labours of Sisyphus - you know a half naked man enternally pushing a rock up a hill - which is a suitably homoerotic image ...

[ 02. January 2007, 22:33: Message edited by: Doublethink ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

Posts: 19219 | From: Erehwon | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stoker
Shipmate
# 11939

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Why not just call it a draw?

I mean, in 100 years time, we'll all be dead, our children will be dead (unless we're homosexual and didn't have any) and no one will remember us. The world won't care what impact, if any, this discussion thread had on attitudes to sexuality and all this effort will have achieved nothing.

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Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Stoker:
Why not just call it a draw?

I mean, in 100 years time, we'll all be dead, our children will be dead (unless we're homosexual and didn't have any) and no one will remember us. The world won't care what impact, if any, this discussion thread had on attitudes to sexuality and all this effort will have achieved nothing.

By this logic we shouldn't discuss anything at all. Why, then, did you sign up to be a member of a discussion board?

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stoker
Shipmate
# 11939

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I don't mean on all threads, just great big long ones like this!
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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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My mother is a lesbian, and had my brother and I.

I am not gay, and am childless, thus far.

Just saying, like.

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Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
My "LibraryThing" page

Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Qoheleth.

Semi-Sagacious One
# 9265

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quote:
Originally posted by Stoker:
in 100 years time, we'll all be dead, our children will be dead (unless we're homosexual and didn't have any)

<cough>

We have several Shipmates who would call themselves gay or lesbian and have one or more children.

Q.

ETA: crossed with Papio, just saying, like. Beware your assumptions on this thread [Smile]

[ 03. January 2007, 13:27: Message edited by: Qoheleth. ]

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The Benedictine Community at Alton Abbey offers a friendly, personal service for the exclusive supply of Rosa Mystica incense.

Posts: 2532 | From: the radiator of life | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stoker
Shipmate
# 11939

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quote:
We have several Shipmates who would call themselves gay or lesbian and have one or more children.
Sorry, I wasn't making a hard and fast statement - more of a sub-comment which came into my mind as I typed. I'm certainly not in the business of holding generalised opinions like that.
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TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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And although I have colluded with it, I think this tangent had better end here, before I get my wrists slapped!

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Yours aye ... TonyK

Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
MaryO
Shipmate
# 161

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"until we are parted by death"

Let's put a face on a topic, shall we?

St. Louis Tribune--Jody and Jess

What sins are we looking at here? Note esp. they didn't share a bed for five years.

[ 08. January 2007, 14:09: Message edited by: Louise ]

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Hanging around off and on since 2001.

Posts: 349 | From: New York City | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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[Votive]

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

Posts: 21377 | From: CA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged



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