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Source: (consider it) Thread: Biblical interpretation of apparently anti-gay passages
Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
You know what I find "jarring"? Treating the lives and rights of other people as some kind of abstract debating point and then acting shocked when people react strongly to suggestions that they are a lesser order of citizens and/or beings.

Sure. That point has been made by many people over time, and was made by Joan the Dwarf in her cut-out-and-keep post at the beginning of that thread, and believe it or not I do try to keep it in mind.

However, I don't thing strong reaction has to lead to, um, implacability. If it does, well that's your, um, right. It's just that I personally have to work extra hard to find your arguments persuasive precisely because of that attitude.

quote:
your whole argument seems like you're upset that those people (however defined) aren't deferential enough and act as if they're just as welcome at church as decent folk.
I reject the idea of some less decent having to defer to some more decent. I don't care how decent you are, in the context of a church meeting, I think the idea is to defer to one another. That context does not appear to me to be compatible with militancy.
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Neither do I look on any particular body as gatekeepers of the Kingdom of Heaven (or, if I had to nominate a group to be so, it would probably consist of tax collectors and prostitutes. . . . ).

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The space of the grace of God in which we all stand is not ours to claim, and I see the leadership's responsibility in ensuring both that everyone benefits from it and that nobody hijacks it.

And you said you didn't know any gatekeepers!
You're misrepresenting me again. Being gatekeepers of how a meeting is run is not the same as being the gatekeepers of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the fact that our leadership has no such monopoly is one I regularly emphasise.

quote:
It's interesting that certain people trying to claim space in the church is always interpreted as an effort to seize control through threats and violence ("highjacking").
It's more than "interesting", it's positively fascinating. However, it is (again) nowhere near what I said or implied.

I said I saw leadership responsibility as being to ensure nobody hijacked the space of God's grace we try to embody, and I meant nobody, not "certain groups". By "hijacking" I meant "divert to fulfil a personal agenda" and nothing whatsoever to do with threats and violence.

I think that in doing so, our leadership is doing nothing more than implementing good governance, any absence of which would be sure to draw as much fire (albeit for different reasons) as you are currently directing at me. If you persist in seeing all this as being doublespeak on my part for some "keep the gays at bay" agenda, it seems there's little I can do to convince you otherwise.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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What is hijacking, though? Bringing up concerns? Confronting anti-gay messages?
How much challenge is allowed before it is considered hijacking?

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
You know what I find "jarring"? Treating the lives and rights of other people as some kind of abstract debating point and then acting shocked when people react strongly to suggestions that they are a lesser order of citizens and/or beings.

Sure. That point has been made by many people over time, and was made by Joan the Dwarf in her cut-out-and-keep post at the beginning of that thread, and believe it or not I do try to keep it in mind.

However, I don't thing strong reaction has to lead to, um, implacability. If it does, well that's your, um, right. It's just that I personally have to work extra hard to find your arguments persuasive precisely because of that attitude.



Which brings us back to my earlier, still unanswered question of what constitutes "placability" when people are asserting their previously denied rights? Do they have to put in a whole bunch of caveats and provisos about how they're not really sure they're entitled to equal treatment but they just thought they might ask anyway, just in case you were in a charitable mood?

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
You're misrepresenting me again. Being gatekeepers of how a meeting is run is not the same as being the gatekeepers of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the fact that our leadership has no such monopoly is one I regularly emphasise.

<snip>

I said I saw leadership responsibility as being to ensure nobody hijacked the space of God's grace we try to embody, and I meant nobody, not "certain groups". By "hijacking" I meant "divert to fulfil a personal agenda" and nothing whatsoever to do with threats and violence.

Unless it's the agenda of the leadership. Those are apparently persons who can be trusted to set and steer the agenda.

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think that in doing so, our leadership is doing nothing more than implementing good governance, any absence of which would be sure to draw as much fire (albeit for different reasons) as you are currently directing at me. If you persist in seeing all this as being doublespeak on my part for some "keep the gays at bay" agenda, it seems there's little I can do to convince you otherwise.

Have you considered being less implacable? Maybe concede that sometimes you do engage in doublespeak and occasionally work to "keep the gays at bay"? [Big Grin]

I say that not because I believe it to be true, but rather to illustrate what you're essentially asking of those who "militantly" believe homosexuals should possess equal rights, and maybe even be acceptable to the God who made them. If someones going to demand being placated with admissions of evildoing and inferiority so they don't "have to work extra hard to find your arguments persuasive", it's doubtful they're going to be convinced by that kind of meal-mouthed, self-denigrating half-argument that serves as its own refutation.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Which brings us back to my earlier, still unanswered question of what constitutes "placability" when people are asserting their previously denied rights? Do they have to put in a whole bunch of caveats and provisos about how they're not really sure they're entitled to equal treatment but they just thought they might ask anyway, just in case you were in a charitable mood?

No.

However, I don't think either this thread, which is what we were talking about originally on this tangent, or congregations of believers, which is my chief preoccupation, are the most appropriate forums for asserting rights.

The former is (ideally) about open discussion, and the latter is (ideally) about mutual recognition in corporate worship.

quote:
Unless it's the agenda of the leadership. Those are apparently persons who can be trusted to set and steer the agenda.
I'm finding it difficult to come up with a better definition of leadership than that.

The real questions are to do with whether they deserve that trust, how they are held accountable, and whether they set and steer the agenda merely to uphold the status quo (an assumption you seem keen to foist on me, along with the asusmption that this is basically an anti-gay status quo) or on behalf of all those they welcome.

quote:
If someones going to demand being placated with admissions of evildoing and inferiority so they don't "have to work extra hard to find your arguments persuasive", it's doubtful they're going to be convinced by that kind of meal-mouthed, self-denigrating half-argument that serves as its own refutation.
I'm not asking you to admit any such things. My comment was about style, not substance, and you seem to be oblivious to that, whether deliberately or otherwise.

In the above quote you have cleverly lined up a direct quote from me with a "demand to be placated with admissions of evildoing and inferiority", in such a way as to misrepresent me, and added a string of invective. This does not come across to me as good-faith engagement.

And again, it suggests to me that you think this is a zero-sum game in which the route to victory is to crush those with other views into oblivion, rather than seek to interact with and understand them.

[ 29. March 2016, 06:16: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:

Have you considered being less implacable? Maybe concede that sometimes you do engage in doublespeak and occasionally work to "keep the gays at bay"? [Big Grin]

I say that not because I believe it to be true, but rather to illustrate what you're essentially asking of those who "militantly" believe homosexuals should possess equal rights, and maybe even be acceptable to the God who made them. If someones going to demand being placated with admissions of evildoing and inferiority so they don't "have to work extra hard to find your arguments persuasive", it's doubtful they're going to be convinced by that kind of meal-mouthed, self-denigrating half-argument that serves as its own refutation.

Nope. That wasn't funny at all. Nor can you take back the demeaning by the second of those quoted paragraphs. It may be being done elegantly, Croesos, but you've still crossed the Commandment 3 line into Hellish posting. Either call Eutychus to Hell or find less personally demeaning ways of continuing the discussion here.

Barnabas62
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[ 29. March 2016, 08:10: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Palimpsest
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Gay people spent a hundred years trying to not be implacable; proposing that it was a medical illness or mental disease or hoping that concealing identities to get along would help.

That didn't work so well. Modern Gay rights and the surge toward equality have happened by being implacable about being out and telling those who think it's bad that they are wrong.

If that makes you sad, or makes it less likely you'll concede the arguments for equality, well too bad for you.

It's a form of what Martin Luther King was talking about in his Letter from Birmingham Jail; the so called allies who claim that now is not the time, and that they have special knowledge of a way to win based on their identity as a member of the group who is doing the oppression.

For every one who was repelled by those uppity gays who insisted they be accepted as equal, there are as many or more who are convinced by existence of gay people who brook no compromise of their rights. So why don't you spare us your advice on how to be kind to homophobes.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
Modern Gay rights and the surge toward equality have happened by being implacable about being out and telling those who think it's bad that they are wrong.

As you will see if you scroll up, I originally used the word "implacability" to describe, not the gay rights movement, but a posting style.

By which I meant a posting style in which there appears never, ever, to be a recognition of any valid insight or point worth considering on the part of other interlocutors, and in which the post content of those of differing views appears to be used, or misused, solely to buttress the position of the poster.

It was one such action in particular which caused me to return to this thread. Specifically, Croesos' response to Joesaphat speculating about how people's thinking on homosexuality might have progressed (by clear implication, positively, from his perspective), over time.

Rather than concede this might be the case (and there are plenty of posters, myself included, for whom this is demonstrably the case), Croesos chose to produce two posts by Russ spaced fourteen years apart purportedly showing a) a shift in his views but b) immediately following up by arguing that this "moving on" was actually for the worse rather than for the better.

(Note: I am not endorsing Russ' views; I am pointing out how Croesos chose to use and represent them and them in particular).

That is a prime example of what I meant by implacability.

Yes, gays have suffered, been abused, denied their rights, and been oppressed, and the depth of suffering and its inextricable connection to identity is bound to boil over into the debate; I get that. But here there are people trying to engage in a conversation, not a shouting match.

There's a place for angry and vociferous protest; there's a place for venting one's suffering; there's also a place for sitting round a table and recognising, even if you are the oppressed party, that the (perceived) monster across from you is a human being too.

They are not simply the punching ball for all those other people who beat you up or mocked you, and it is unfair and unconstructive to treat them as if they were.

quote:
If that makes you sad, or makes it less likely you'll concede the arguments for equality, well too bad for you.
If "arguments for equality" refuse to acknowledge in the slightest anyone and everyone who thinks differently (or even thinks along similar lines but chooses to express it a different way) or treats them like shit, I am dubious about what form of "equality" will emerge.

quote:
It's a form of what Martin Luther King was talking about in his Letter from Birmingham Jail; the so called allies who claim that now is not the time, and that they have special knowledge of a way to win based on their identity as a member of the group who is doing the oppression.
I have claimed no knowledge of a "special way to win"; I shared a personal opinion and have repeatedly emphasised that it was nothing more and nothing less. The outpouring of venom in return is puzzling.

Besides, by association, I've apparently just been labelled a member of "the group who is doing the oppression". What group is this and how do I qualify?

quote:
So why don't you spare us your advice on how to be kind to homophobes.
This is just more inflammatory misrepresentation. But it confirms to me the idea that for some at least, this debate is a zero-sum game in which not only do they seek to be the absolute winners, but everybody else very definitely have to be absolute losers.

[ 01. April 2016, 07:47: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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Eutychus:

Rights are the issue. And in this the results should allow no equivocation.
I do not see venom. Lack of concern for feelings, perhaps.
I can only speak for me, but I feel no animosity towards you. But this is a discussion site and I will not concede the partial validity of viewpoints which I feel have no validity at all.
This is not to say everyone must acknowledge my viewpoint. Everyone is free to believe what they wish. But when that belief crosses over to practical rights, then there is an issue.
BTW, I don't see a shouting match. A discussion isn't defined by the end result necessarily being a compromise.
But what do you, Eutychus, want here? What are you looking for in this discussion? Polite engagement? I can try, though it is not my strong suit. Concession? Not on this.

[ 01. April 2016, 15:54: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Rights are the issue.

The issue in the OP on this thread is "Biblical interpretation of apparently anti-gay passages".
quote:
I do not see venom
When my posts are cast as "advice on how to be kind to homophobes"?
quote:
this is a discussion site and I will not concede the partial validity of viewpoints which I feel have no validity at all.
This gets to the heart of it. I haven't asked anyone to concede anything about the worthwhileness or otherwise of people's viewpoints.

But it's possible, in the thick of disagreement, to seek common ground if there is any, and acknowledge it. Especially in the context of diverging interpretations by Christians of their foundational texts. In that context, I think compromise is a likely and mutually beneficial outcome, if only in the medium term. As someone with pastoral responsibilities, that is something that has very real practical implications for me.

(In real life, believe it or not, I get far more riled by the entrenched and uncompromising anti-gay positions of many around me than I do by anything pro-gay.)

quote:
A discussion isn't defined by the end result necessarily being a compromise.
No. But even if one view is right and all others are wrong, if that view prevails those who hold it still have to live with those who did not prevail. (unless you think, with Clausewitz, that total war is the most humane in the end).

quote:
But what do you, Eutychus, want here? What are you looking for in this discussion?
To understand how people who are at a different starting place from me think, feel, and argue, examine my convictions in the light of all that, and if my convictions change, consider how that should affect my behaviour and decisions.

One of the great things about the Ship for me over the years is that it proves that with a minimum of goodwill, people on any side of any debate can get past their prejudices and interact with those on the other side without it descending into mud-slinging. That fosters respect for people one might never otherwise have interacted with, or might have despised through prejudice. And over the years it has certainly changed both my views and my behaviour.

It's a shame when, occasionally, the noise drowns out the signal.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Rights are the issue.

The issue in the OP on this thread is "Biblical interpretation of apparently anti-gay passages".
Yes, but the reason those are important is because of their effect on rights.
quote:

quote:
I do not see venom
When my posts are cast as "advice on how to be kind to homophobes"?
I see it as frustration. I could be wrong.

quote:

But it's possible, in the thick of disagreement, to seek common ground if there is any, and acknowledge it. Especially in the context of diverging interpretations by Christians of their foundational texts. In that context, I think compromise is a likely and mutually beneficial outcome, if only in the medium term. As someone with pastoral responsibilities, that is something that has very real practical implications for me.

I think Eliab's OP pretty much sets the common ground. That the passages mean what the anti-gay folk think, but that they are human fallacy rather than divine instruction. As he rightly points out, nearly every Christian on earth does this with other issues. This is, in fact, why i struggle with accepting anti-gay interpretations.
I understand that you must deal with some of your flock who see the anti-gay passages and cannot go past. But how do you deal with slavery? Child abuse? Genocide? Incest? Why is anti-homosexuality so different?

quote:
But even if one view is right and all others are wrong, if that view prevails those who hold it still have to live with those who did not prevail. (unless you think, with Clausewitz, that total war is the most humane in the end).
I've had to live with bigotry for much of my life. I've not yet begun a pogrom. I've worked with, and am friends with, people who have viewpoints that I think are wrong. Some are lovely people except for those views. This does not mean I accept their views as OK, nor that I will fail to state this.

quote:

It's a shame when, occasionally, the noise drowns out the signal.

Granted. With a comment. These issues do not begin with the posting of an OP. There is history and baggage from before the first character is typed. Everything you say is filtered through this. And I feel your pain, on the abortion threads, I am in the middle ground. I have stated my position many times, but still I am associated with extremist views.
The difference here, is that I'm not sure there is a middle ground. Not beyond what Eliab put in the OP.
What do you think is the middle ground?

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I see it as frustration. I could be wrong.

The more whoever posts expresses good grace and patience at other times, the more I'd be inclined to see it as frustration rather than venom.
quote:
I understand that you must deal with some of your flock who see the anti-gay passages and cannot go past. But how do you deal with slavery? Child abuse? Genocide? Incest? Why is anti-homosexuality so different?
At the very least, it's a potentially divisive issue, not just for Christians, that we are more likely to have to face than the others, on which opinion is broadly settled.
quote:
I've had to live with bigotry for much of my life. I've not yet begun a pogrom.
Good. I don't think I can add any more to my explanations of why, in some other cases at least, I feel the comparison to (rhetorical) total war is apposite.

quote:
These issues do not begin with the posting of an OP. There is history and baggage from before the first character is typed. Everything you say is filtered through this. And I feel your pain, on the abortion threads, I am in the middle ground. I have stated my position many times, but still I am associated with extremist views.
It's nice to know I'm not alone [Smile] It is precisely because of those filters that I think it's worth putting in the effort, on all sides, to go the extra mile in gracefulness, if one is actually interested in discussion. I really appreciate those who do.

quote:
What do you think is the middle ground?
I personally have got as far as here, a position which orfeo at least said he could "live with" (I realised belatedly this is not an option where he is because I don't think SSM is as yet legal there).

I suppose another way of putting it might br to suggest that the middle ground for a church involves classifying homosexual relations under matters of conscience, for which the model is not to hold others to our interpretations, not unneccesarily put stumbling blocks in their way, and generally exercise grace towards one another.

[ 01. April 2016, 20:50: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
At the very least, it's a potentially divisive issue, not just for Christians, that we are more likely to have to face than the others, on which opinion is broadly settled.
This I understand. My point was that the tools to deal with this are there and natural to contemporary Christian teachings.
quote:

a position which orfeo at least said he could "live with" (I realised belatedly this is not an option where he is because I don't think SSM is as yet legal there).

I suppose another way of putting it might br to suggest that the middle ground for a church involves classifying homosexual relations under matters of conscience, for which the model is not to hold others to our interpretations, not unneccesarily put stumbling blocks in their way, and generally exercise grace towards one another.

See, the bits I've bolded are problematic.
Matter of conscience puts a colour on the issue that is a bit off. IMO.
And unnecessarily? What are necessary stumbling blocks?
Do you see why this phrasing might trigger reaction?

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Louise
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quote:
Besides, by association, I've apparently just been labelled a member of "the group who is doing the oppression". What group is this and how do I qualify?
Christians who think there is some value in natural law teaching?

I tried to explain earlier that natural law thinking about these biblical texts rests on a lot of suffering (female and gay) and your post in response to me didn't seem to understand why I was making that point. It's something which historically-speaking has destroyed and shamed people, and that makes it a minefield.

You don't want to use it for this, I'm sure, and I trust you! But when someone allies themselves with a brand of thinking which has had such awful consequences, it's not realistic to expect people who have suffered from it to be OK with it and to look for the good in it because you're a good person.

Let me give an example. I live in a country with a terrible sectarian heritage, so as a Church of Scotland heritage Protestant, I'm very keen to be pro-Catholic and to appreciate what's good about Catholicism. So naturally with two of my Catholic friends I was keen to talk about the good things I found in it. But they had both been abused by priests - which I didn't know. Imagine how terrible I felt! Because I wanted to be that tolerant person looking for the middle ground, and it turned out, I really didn't understand the depths to which their church had hurt them, and they really didn't want to hear my 'trying to find good things' approach.

Something that seemed like nice, reasonable, 'trying to appreciate what was good in something different to me', was deeply hurtful to them. I felt I had to 'put my hand upon my mouth' because I hadn't fully understood how they suffered.

I think it's very hard even for people who are nice people and keen LGBT allies to understand quite how much damage 'biblical interpretations' have done. I understand the impulse to explore other Christian traditions and to look for what is good in them, but I think if you don't fully understand the weight of suffering they have caused, it's very easy to be misunderstood and then to be indignant as to why your good intentions aren't being appreciated.

I think your 'trying to find good things' about natural law and biblical texts is falling into that same unhappy place as I did.

I'm honestly trying to help and I hope that helps.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Matter of conscience puts a colour on the issue that is a bit off. IMO.

Yes, when posting I thought that both pro and anti camps could find reason to be unhappy with it. Granted it does not settle the issue. But I think it might be a better interim place, for a church or The Church, than polarisation.
quote:
And unnecessarily? What are necessary stumbling blocks?
I was conflating a couple of Bible passages, firstly from the Council of Jerusalem - more on which later.

Acts 15:19 says:
quote:
that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God
and secondly 1 Cor 1:23
quote:
we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles
The idea being that the "offence of the Gospel" is enough of a stumbling-block for non-believers to come to faith and join the Church without adding redundant lifestyle requirements. If you like, the only necessary stumbling-block is "Christ crucified".

Back in the day, the issue of whether non-Jewish converts to Christianity should be circumcised and generally obey the rest of the Jewish law appears to me to have been as divisive in the early church as homosexuality is now. Had the circumcision camp prevailed, this requirement would have become a real (not to say painful!) stumbling-block for non-Jewish converts.

In the short term, the Council of Jerusalem effectively produced a compromise that basically enjoined the non-Jews (at the time, the more "liberated" and more "oppressed" camp) not to unnecessarily provoke their more conservative Jewish brethren.

The issue was not resolved by the end of the New Testament (we still read of "Judaisers" trying to spread their oppressive circumcision doctrine right through to the end of Scripture), so it took time - but the Council compromise paved the way for later generations to embrace the full impact of "neither Jew nor Greek".

And for later generations still to embrace "neither slave nor free".

I think we're still working on "neither male nor female", even as we affirm we are "all one in Christ".

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
quote:
Besides, by association, I've apparently just been labelled a member of "the group who is doing the oppression". What group is this and how do I qualify?
Christians who think there is some value in natural law teaching?

I tried to explain earlier that natural law thinking about these biblical texts rests on a lot of suffering (female and gay) and your post in response to me didn't seem to understand why I was making that point. It's something which historically-speaking has destroyed and shamed people, and that makes it a minefield.

As far as natural law goes, I see the pre-Fall creation narratives present us with male and female and the two becoming one flesh, and Jesus referring, positively it seems to me, to that state of affairs as how things were "in the beginning".

In the same breath, Jesus acknowledges the need to make provision for divorce, which I think amounts to a protection of the divorced wife and is thus an issue of rights (thanks in passing to lilbuddha who has got me thinking along those lines).

The space I'm currently floundering in is that of trying to understand how issues of rights fit with how I see things to have been "in the beginning".

I'm not saying rights aren't important. What's more of a conundrum for me is how they fit in with grace (not saying they don't, just saying I can't figure it out properly).

quote:
I think your 'trying to find good things' about natural law and biblical texts is falling into that same unhappy place as I did.
I'm not sure if what I've just posted above qualifies as doing that. I'm just trying to set out as honestly as I can where I've got to on this issue.

quote:
it's not realistic to expect people who have suffered from it to be OK with it and to look for the good in it because you're a good person.
This suggests to me, not for the first time, that there's been a misunderstanding about why I came back to this thread.

Specifically, I didn't object to Croesos not sharing Russ' views or not looking for the good in them. I objected to him, in the context of a reflective interlude on this thread in which people were entertaining the possibility of minds changing over the years, holding up two quotes from Russ spaced fourteen years apart and using them to argue that if his mind had changed at all, it had changed for the worse.

Not only did that single out Russ for treatment on a thread on which he hasn't even been involved (thus making it unlikely he'd respond here or be able to defend himself), it seemed designed to torpedo any hope of dialogue in general. It's not about finding good in views, it's about basic politeness and assuming a minimum of good faith on the part of the people involved in the discussion (as I tried to explain here), not least because it reflects on one's own credibility.

[ 02. April 2016, 07:30: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Joesaphat
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I don't mind a clause of conscience, really, but it should work the other way around. The quaint belief that marriage was instituted at creation should be tolerated as a matter of conscience in the church, and we should be nice to people who hold such odd beliefs, flying in the face of modern science as they do. See how it feels from the other side, Eutychus? and that's only about one peculiar belief you hold, not about marrying the love of your life, the legal legitimacy of your kids or minor stuff like that...

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Joesaphat
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And that's the position of the mildest fringe of the other side, in my church, those who merely disagree with same-sex marriage being blessed in church (though, to be fair, they also strenuously opposed partnerships and have a very short memory), but some of them also think my relationship is sinful, yet others favour keeping legal penalties against me, and at the deep end of the pool, they associate with other Anglicans abroad who would have me jailed or killed... as LilBuddha said, it's not just a question of a theological argument, it has deadly consequences.

[ 02. April 2016, 09:08: Message edited by: Joesaphat ]

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mr cheesy
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I fail to understand why it is so damn obvious that those who take a moral stand on something like marriage or ordination are bigots.

I don't much approve of many aspects of Hinduism. I wouldn't want to be in a church that married people according to Hindu rites. Or the provisions of Scientology. Or Jehovahs Witnesses, Satanists or a whole bunch of other things. Does that make me somehow "against marriage of people who love each other"?

And surely there is clear blue water between people who want to make conscience statements about things that go on in their own religious services and those who believe that their religious conscience statement means that they can dictate to the State about the way it regulates people who do not believe what I do.

There are people with a range of views on this topic. Determining that those with the mildest end are the same as those of the much more severe end is not really helping.

[ 02. April 2016, 09:24: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
See how it feels from the other side, Eutychus?

I entirely agree that clauses of conscience should work both ways.

And I think that depends on good faith on both sides. Which is why evidence bad faith on either side pisses me off so much.

quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
but some of them also think my relationship is sinful

Where this gets really and immediately complicated for me is my gay friends who think gay relationships are sinful.

(And by the way, I can tell you from experience that having one's carefully thought-out and prayed-out stance judged by others to be sinful is not the preserve of gays...)

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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Lots of people think things that other people do are sinful. What's that got to do with anything?

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arse

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I see the pre-Fall creation narratives

I must be honest and say that as soon as someone begins speaking about "the Fall" I see their arguments in the Jesus riding a dinosaur category.
The point of that should be, IMO, that people are responsible for their own sins, not a creator God setting up his "beloved" creations to fail.
quote:

I see the pre-Fall creation narratives

I must be honest and say that as soon as someone begins speaking about "the Fall" I see their arguments in the Jesus riding a dinosaur category.
The point of that should be, IMO, that people are responsible for their own sins, not a creator God setting up his "beloved" creations to fail.

quote:
I entirely agree that clauses of conscience should work both ways.

And I think that depends on good faith on both sides. Which is why evidence bad faith on either side pisses me off so much.

Not all arguments are balanced. This one isn't. The onus is on those whose position would oppress, rather than the ones who would suffer the oppression.

[ 02. April 2016, 15:34: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I fail to understand why it is so damn obvious that those who take a moral stand on something like marriage or ordination are bigots.

ISTM, you object to the negative view held of that word, but what better fits?
Bigotry is not on or off, any more than racism is. It is not inherently hate v. love, either.
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

I don't much approve of many aspects of Hinduism. I wouldn't want to be in a church that married people according to Hindu rites. Or the provisions of Scientology. Or Jehovahs Witnesses, Satanists or a whole bunch of other things. Does that make me somehow "against marriage of people who love each other"?

This is not a valid comparison. There is no such thing as gay marriage. People, within a faith are asking to be treated with the same respect as other people within that faith.
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

And surely there is clear blue water between people who want to make conscience statements about things that go on in their own religious services and those who believe that their religious conscience statement means that they can dictate to the State about the way it regulates people who do not believe what I do.

The gulf does not exist. For one, it affects those within their religious sphere.
And extremists have always drawn support from the milder like-minded. Whether or not that support is given freely.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I see the pre-Fall creation narratives

I must be honest and say that as soon as someone begins speaking about "the Fall" I see their arguments in the Jesus riding a dinosaur category.
The hiatus between what happens in Eden and what happens thereafter, whatever you want to call it, is I would venture, virtually universally acknowledged by theologians of all persuasions, and nothing to do with creationism as you seem to be implying.

You are free not to subscribe to Christianity, but caricaturing its teaching will not ultimately be very convincing.

quote:
Not all arguments are balanced. This one isn't. The onus is on those whose position would oppress, rather than the ones who would suffer the oppression.
Even if that's true, the fact is that good faith is required on both sides.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
ISTM, you object to the negative view held of that word, but what better fits?
Bigotry is not on or off, any more than racism is. It is not inherently hate v. love, either.

Is that sound-nite supposed to mean something?


quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
This is not a valid comparison. There is no such thing as gay marriage. People, within a faith are asking to be treated with the same respect as other people within that faith.

Newsflash: not everyone within any given faith agrees. You're making it sound like it is obvious to everyone who spends enough time thinking about this issue will eventually agree with you. Funnily enough, that almost never happens. Toleration has never come by everyone agreeing with each other - why is the bottom line here that everyone should just buckle up and agree to something they have a conscientious objection to?

I'd defend the right of my brother to have their relationship ratified by the state and any religious body that will accept them. But I'll also defend the right of religious bodies to do things I don't agree with, and I'll defend the right of my religious body to make religious decisions that you, or anyone else, don't like.

If you don't like it, you have a plethora of other religious groups you can join, and good luck to you.

If you want to call that bigotry, then sorry, we've got nothing else to talk about.


quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The gulf does not exist. For one, it affects those within their religious sphere.
And extremists have always drawn support from the milder like-minded. Whether or not that support is given freely.

Yes, that's bullshit. But whatever you fancy telling yourself, I suppose.

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arse

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
ISTM, you object to the negative view held of that word, but what better fits?
Bigotry is not on or off, any more than racism is. It is not inherently hate v. love, either.

Is that sound-nite supposed to mean something?


quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
This is not a valid comparison. There is no such thing as gay marriage. People, within a faith are asking to be treated with the same respect as other people within that faith.

Newsflash: not everyone within any given faith agrees. You're making it sound like it is obvious to everyone who spends enough time thinking about this issue will eventually agree with you. Funnily enough, that almost never happens. Toleration has never come by everyone agreeing with each other - why is the bottom line here that everyone should just buckle up and agree to something they have a conscientious objection to?

I'd defend the right of my brother to have their relationship ratified by the state and any religious body that will accept them. But I'll also defend the right of religious bodies to do things I don't agree with, and I'll defend the right of my religious body to make religious decisions that you, or anyone else, don't like.

If you don't like it, you have a plethora of other religious groups you can join, and good luck to you.

If you want to call that bigotry, then sorry, we've got nothing else to talk about.


quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The gulf does not exist. For one, it affects those within their religious sphere.
And extremists have always drawn support from the milder like-minded. Whether or not that support is given freely.

Yes, that's bullshit. But whatever you fancy telling yourself, I suppose.

Sorry Mr Cheesy, but surely there must be boundaries set by the state. Religions make people do the most destructive things. FGM? ok, it's mandated by my faith, or polygamy, or beating up women who don't obey, or the physical punishment of children, or sentencing gay people to hard labour, the jews being deicides, Christians have to pay jizya... there are just so many, awful, horrible counter-examples

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
and nothing to do with creationism as you seem to be implying.

You are free not to subscribe to Christianity, but caricaturing its teaching will not ultimately be very convincing.

It has everything to do with this discussion. It is the essence of as written v. as interpreted Again, this is plain and common with the vast majority of Christians. Except for this subject.

BTW,the "free not to subscribe to Christianity' seems a bit insulting to LGBT Christians with a sincere faith. I accept that you probably don't mean it this way, but it very much feels like 'Accept a 2nd-class status or bugger off'

quote:
]Even if that's true, the fact is that good faith is required on both sides.
But what is that good faith? Acknowledging that there is a genuine internal struggle? No worries.
Accepting validity to the position? Not so much.
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
ISTM, you object to the negative view held of that word, but what better fits?
Bigotry is not on or off, any more than racism is. It is not inherently hate v. love, either.

Is that sound-nite supposed to mean something?
It means that bigotry is a good, if not perfect, word in this case, you just don't like it.
Find a better word, if you wish, but it isn't merely a difference in opinion.

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
why is the bottom line here that everyone should just buckle up and agree to something they have a conscientious objection to?

The bottom line is that this is not about what people believe, but what they enact upon others.
Take racism for an example: I do not care to force anyone to think any particular way. I do, however, wish to restrict their right to enforce that belief.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It has everything to do with this discussion.

Equating the observation of conditions described as pre-Fall and post-Fall is an entirely separate issue to that of six-day creationism as caricatured by you in terms of "Jesus riding a dinosaur". Suggesting otherwise is what is caricatural on your part.
quote:
I accept that you probably don't mean it this way, but it very much feels like 'Accept a 2nd-class status or bugger off'
You are going to have to spell out just how it translates into that.

quote:
But what is that good faith? Acknowledging that there is a genuine internal struggle? No worries.
Yes, that's part of it. But that is not something I perceive everybody here to accept.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
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Sorry, the "Equating" at the start of that post shouldn't be there. Nor should I try and post in between Netflix episodes.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Equating the observation of conditions described as pre-Fall and post-Fall is an entirely separate issue to that of six-day creationism as caricatured by you in terms of "Jesus riding a dinosaur". Suggesting otherwise is what is caricatural on your part.

Suggesting a Fall, a point before which the world was in grace and after which it was not is from the same source as creationism and, IMO, the same type of thinking.

quote:
You are free not to subscribe to Christianity, but caricaturing its teaching will not ultimately be very convincing.
I think I see why we read that sentence differently.
The first part of that sentence still reads as like it or get out.
As for the second, I don't think I was caricaturing anything, as above.


quote:
But what is that good faith? Acknowledging that there is a genuine internal struggle? No worries.
Yes, that's part of it. But that is not something I perceive everybody here to accept. [/QB][/QUOTE]Practically speaking, it is difficult to ascertain sincerity. What you say sincerely, others say to avoid further engagement.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Equating the observation of conditions described as pre-Fall and post-Fall is an entirely separate issue to that of six-day creationism as caricatured by you in terms of "Jesus riding a dinosaur". Suggesting otherwise is what is caricatural on your part.

Suggesting a Fall, a point before which the world was in grace and after which it was not is from the same source as creationism and, IMO, the same type of thinking.
The same source, yes, but not necessarily the same sort of thinking at all. Many, many Christians—perhaps even the majority—understand the creation story in Genesis to be poetic metaphor that cannot be taken literally, but also understand the metaphor to speak about a reality of Creation as God intended it ("before the Fall') and Creation as marred by sin ("after the Fall"). Creationism requires a literal reading of Genesis. Belief that Creation was created good but has been marred by sin doesn't require a literal reading at all.

[ 03. April 2016, 01:27: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
Belief that Creation was created good but has been marred by sin doesn't require a literal reading at all.

How can it not? At what point in the development of the universe did it it go wrong? If the point of "the Fall" is that human's create their own sin, then fair do, but if it to mean that the universe is less than perfect because of sin, than it is no different than believing in Adam and Eve or a 6,000 year old universe.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mousethief

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I have to agree with Nick Tamen here. I am by no means a literalist, and do not believe that the first three chapters of Genesis should be taken to be historical (or indeed the first 11 chapters if any of it) nor are meant to be. But I do believe that our world is marred by sin.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Equating the observation of conditions described as pre-Fall and post-Fall is an entirely separate issue to that of six-day creationism as caricatured by you in terms of "Jesus riding a dinosaur". Suggesting otherwise is what is caricatural on your part.

Suggesting a Fall, a point before which the world was in grace and after which it was not is from the same source as creationism and, IMO, the same type of thinking.
The same source, yes, but not necessarily the same sort of thinking at all. Many, many Christians—perhaps even the majority—understand the creation story in Genesis to be poetic metaphor that cannot be taken literally, but also understand the metaphor to speak about a reality of Creation as God intended it ("before the Fall') and Creation as marred by sin ("after the Fall"). Creationism requires a literal reading of Genesis. Belief that Creation was created good but has been marred by sin doesn't require a literal reading at all.
Fine, as long as you don't envisage a time when creation was perfect as God wished it to be. A story about our current predicament it may very well be, but it's only recently been reinterpreted as such.

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Joesaphat
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And another thing: death did not enter the world because of human sin, not only is Genesis metaphorical but Paul is demonstrably wrong on the matter.

[ 03. April 2016, 21:14: Message edited by: Louise ]

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Eutychus
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(I'm pretty much with mousethief in his view on Gen 1-11, in which I read of a mysterious world in which there are many things I don't recognise, after which there is a decided gear-change to a world I feel much more familiar with, featuring nomadic lifestyles that can still be found today and dysfunctional families that are only too familiar.)

My nascent insight from the past few posts and a couple of other live threads is that part of the disagreement over this issue may depend on... eschatology.

If one believes in fully realised eschatology (this life is all we have) then I suppose it is not surprising if it leads to some quite different approaches and conclusions than if one believes in a hereafter (and, by extension/parallel, a "herebefore") - different approaches and misunderstandings not just between those who are Christians and those who are not, but between Christians of different theological stables.

I have just deleted my first attempt to put this into more words and decided it needs more time.

For now, suffice it to say that, on reflection generated by recent discussions, my current position on homosexuality (and lots of other aspects of sexuality) is very largely informed by the view that when Jesus says "that is not how it was in the beginning" he is pointing to some sort of "before" and a condition that was different and immeasurably better, and when he talks about "going to prepare a place" for us, and people being "neither married nor given in marriage at the resurrection", he is talking about some sort of definite "after" in which our condition will again be different and immeasurably better.

Which has a huge impact on how I, at least, approach dealing with "now".

[ 03. April 2016, 07:01: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Curiosity killed ...

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Standing in a queue, I had a discussion with an Elim minister a few years ago. He was reading a book about Biblical reinterpretation of slavery, the role of women and homosexuality*. He said that the book's view (and his) that although the verses on slavery and the role of women could be reinterpreted, those on homosexuality could not. I disagreed with him and argued with reference to fruits of the spirit and human rights. It was a queue: we didn't resolve this.

We are so slow to change our minds from the status quo; it took decades with slavery. Homosexual acts only became legal in 1967 in the UK. The legal position has changed at about the same pace as it did for slavery. With slavery the church was part of the campaign for change. With homosexuality (and women's leadership), the church is part of the resistance. Telling faithful LGBT people that they are less than perfect and should be celibate to be part of the church does not feel to me to be in the pattern of Christ, who often spoke out against the legalism of the religious authorities of his time.

<continuing tangent>Trying to express how Genesis gives an explanation of the beginnings of the world in a comprehensible way, along with the other creation myths around the world, I got to the Fall narrative trying to explain why a God created world is not perfect. But I realised that this opens more than the eschatology can of worms, it opens up what is meant by a creator God.</tangent>

* I suspect the book he was reading was William Webb's Slaves, Women and Homosexuality: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis, which, from the reviews and no I have no intention of reading it, seems to be using slavery and homosexuality as "neutral" topics to argue that the Biblical view of the role of women should be rethought, as has that of slavery. Webb seems to have taken homosexuality as something that should still be seen as unacceptable in his "neutral" view. I am willing to be corrected on this by anyone who has read the book rather than the reviews.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
Belief that Creation was created good but has been marred by sin doesn't require a literal reading at all.

How can it not? At what point in the development of the universe did it it go wrong?
Frankly, I don't know, and I don't know that I need to know. For my money, the point of the metaphorical poetry is to express a perceived reality, not to explain in detail the mechanics of that reality.

quote:
If the point of "the Fall" is that human's create their own sin, then fair do, but if it to mean that the universe is less than perfect because of sin, than it is no different than believing in Adam and Eve or a 6,000 year old universe.
I disagree, and I think this gets at what Eutychus was describing as caricatural. It seems to border on telling people that they don't really believe what they say they they believe, or that they really believe what they say they don't.

Granted, it is indeed possible that this is the case—I imagine that for most of us, there are times when we say or even truly think we believe one thing, but in practice don't really quite. But when the point is made is made by saying something like believing that the universe* is not perfect because of sin "is no different" than believing in a 6,000 year-old universe, I think there may be a lumping things together of things that aren't really the same.


* I said "Creation," not "the universe." Is there a distinction between the biblical writers' understanding of "creation" and a modern scientific understanding of "the universe"? Seems to me there well may be.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Telling faithful LGBT people that they are less than perfect and should be celibate to be part of the church does not feel to me to be in the pattern of Christ, who often spoke out against the legalism of the religious authorities of his time.

This, Like, +1, Thumbs Up, etc.
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I have to agree with Nick Tamen here. I am by no means a literalist, and do not believe that the first three chapters of Genesis should be taken to be historical (or indeed the first 11 chapters if any of it) nor are meant to be. But I do believe that our world is marred by sin.

That malaria, birth defects, etc are part of an "imperfect world" caused by sin?
That 'sin' exists because of some act in the past?
I don't see either of those justified in Jesus' teachings.
That humans create their own problems such as murder, greed, war, rape, etc? This is what I think the point of Genesis is.

ETA:Nick Tamen, I'm not telling anyone that they do not believe what they say they believe. I am saying that what they state is inconsistent.

[ 03. April 2016, 15:47: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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Double post to say that a "fall", as generally represented,* is no more rational or likely than Adam and Eve. This stated within the context of Christianity.


*World perfect
bad thing happens
World impperfect

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mousethief

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AIUI, modern day Jews don't believe in a "Fall" and think it is a misinterpretation of Genesis by Christians.

As a perhaps interesting side note, the song "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand" by Primitive Radio Gods contains the lines

The seconds ticking killed us all
A million years before the fall.

The convo in the YouTube comments some while back included a long back and forth about what "the fall" could possibly mean. All sorts of theories were suggested but nobody there knew the Christian bible reference. It simply wasn't on their radar.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Telling faithful LGBT people that they are less than perfect and should be celibate to be part of the church does not feel to me to be in the pattern of Christ, who often spoke out against the legalism of the religious authorities of his time.

This, Like, +1, Thumbs Up, etc.
For the record, I don't think LGBT people are any less perfect than anybody else, and make no requirement of celibacy (any more than I quiz straight people about what they get up to in private).
quote:
I'm not telling anyone that they do not believe what they say they believe. I am saying that what they state is inconsistent.
You were lumping together the "Fall" with six-day creationism. Nick Tamen has summarised my position in this respect perfectly.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
That 'sin' exists because of some act in the past? I don't see either of those justified in Jesus' teachings.

I feel this topic is broadening out way way beyond the subject matter of this thread, but within the context of this debate, I invite you to consider the following passage, which I keep referring to, Matthew 19:1-8, emphasis mine
quote:
Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning “made them male and female”, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ They said to him, ‘Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?’ He said to them, ‘It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but at the beginning it was not so.
I think further discussion of the "Fall" (a term I don't normally use, actually) would be a tangent too far here, and belongs in Purgatory. I think orfeo and I have done "male and female in Genesis and what it might or might not mean for the sexuality of Christians today" to death further up. At least, I can't make any further headway in my own thinking on it for the moment.

The only relevant takeaway for me here is that Jesus refers to a former state when hardness of mens' hearts was not a problem, accepts a current state of affairs when it is (for all of us), and also concedes to provision being made for our current imperfect state of affairs.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
ETA:Nick Tamen, I'm not telling anyone that they do not believe what they say they believe. I am saying that what they state is inconsistent.

Fair enough. But consider the possibility that when you say that what someone states is (in your understanding) inconsistent, you are responding to what may be a few sentences on a subject that takes much more than a few sentences to really unpack, and that you may be bringing assumptions in that don't actually apply—especially if you are responding to someone from a different tradition or background than your own. (Such as your substitution of "the universe" for where I said "Creation.") The result can be a reaction from the one being responded to along the lines of "you're putting words in my mouth or caricaturing what many of us actually believe."

To be sure, in a discussion like this we're all somewhat constrained by what a poster posts. None of us can read minds. All the more reason give some benefit of the doubt, ask questions to better understand where others are coming from, and then make judgments,

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
For the record, I don't think LGBT people are any less perfect than anybody else

Well, not exactly perhaps. But as you admit to struggling with the issue, it does appear to lean a bit that way. Either LGBT people are normal and natural or they are not. Whether they are perfect as individuals is irrelevant.


quote:
You were lumping together the "Fall" with six-day creationism. Nick Tamen has summarised my position in this respect perfectly.
I do think they fit together as both require reading without a sufficiently critical eye. And I do think this is relevant as I see the anti-homosexual passages suffering the same.

quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
All the more reason give some benefit of the doubt, ask questions to better understand where others are coming from, and then make judgments,

In fairness, none of this is new or starting at this last bit of exchange. It is with the history of this topic with the people involved that I make my statements.
Perhaps not perfectly, but not without reference.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
You were lumping together the "Fall" with six-day creationism. Nick Tamen has summarised my position in this respect perfectly.

I do think they fit together as both require reading without a sufficiently critical eye.
I think that suggesting that some kind of a "Fall", i.e. a break in how man is portrayed as relating to God post the state described (metaphorically or literally) as being "in Eden", is the result of as uncritical a reading of Scripture as six-day creationism is ludicrous.

I may of course be wrong, and I have started a thread in Purgatory to see what other Shipmates think.

In the meantime, I see you don't have anything to say about Matthew 19.

[ 03. April 2016, 22:15: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


In the meantime, I see you don't have anything to say about Matthew 19.

No, you see that I had not yet said anything about it. For one, I think orfeo did a fair job deconstructing your interpretation.
And two, there is no Gospel of Jesus. There are gospels attributed to his disciples. As such, the message entire should have precedence over individual verse.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
With slavery the church was part of the campaign for change.

And an even bigger part of the campaign against it. It's one of the pleasant bits of fiction that the early 19th century church was all the Clapham Sect, rather than recognizing that for most of the struggle folks like that were regarded as a small group of heretical oddballs. A similar bit of revisionism crops up when discussing the American civil rights movement. Everyone wants to associate themselves with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and no one wants to remember how deeply embedded white Protestantism was with the White Citizens Councils or the Klan. I'm anticipating a similar bit of revisionism with the history of the gay rights movement in a few more decades. A few progressive churches everyone now regards as heretical will be seen as the true face of Christianity from this era and the bulk of religious response will be whitewashed from the record.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
there is no Gospel of Jesus. There are gospels attributed to his disciples. As such, the message entire should have precedence over individual verse.

If you think individual verses can be dismissed out of existence on the basis of "the message entire", it causes me to wonder why you bothered to observe (with regard to a Fall)
quote:
I don't see either of those justified in Jesus' teachings.
You can disagree about what the verses I quoted mean, and I was generous enough to concede this passage might not mean what I think it means, but to me there appears to be no getting round the fact that the Gospels record Jesus as assuming the existence of a "beginning" when things were as they should be and not as they are now.

The point for me, in the context of this discussion, being that Scripture presents us with a view in which none of humanity is presently as it should be, but counters that bleak prospect with a message of redemption and grace for all, with none more than entitled than others.

Which, lest it be unclear, I do not believe necessarily means being "de-gayified".

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
but to me there appears to be no getting round the fact that the Gospels record Jesus as assuming the existence of a "beginning" when things were as they should be and not as they are now.

It is not a fact, but a way of viewing the material. What is is first century people speaking in 1st century terms to other 1st century people.
There are inconsistencies between the Gospels, so the words are as remembered, not as spoken.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
With slavery the church was part of the campaign for change.

And an even bigger part of the campaign against it. It's one of the pleasant bits of fiction that the early 19th century church was all the Clapham Sect, rather than recognizing that for most of the struggle folks like that were regarded as a small group of heretical oddballs. A similar bit of revisionism crops up when discussing the American civil rights movement. Everyone wants to associate themselves with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and no one wants to remember how deeply embedded white Protestantism was with the White Citizens Councils or the Klan. I'm anticipating a similar bit of revisionism with the history of the gay rights movement in a few more decades. A few progressive churches everyone now regards as heretical will be seen as the true face of Christianity from this era and the bulk of religious response will be whitewashed from the record.
The airbrushing goes further than that. The Clapham Sect although clearly and rightly exercised about slavery in the Empire rather overlooked the "slavery" on their doorstep - in the industries and farms of England itself. That wasn't touched for a further generation at least and, in the case of Farm Workers and tied cottages, not until the 1980's. It wasn't until 1939 that Farm Workers could claim any dole if they were unemployed for example.
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
but to me there appears to be no getting round the fact that the Gospels record Jesus as assuming the existence of a "beginning" when things were as they should be and not as they are now.

It is not a fact, but a way of viewing the material. What is is first century people speaking in 1st century terms to other 1st century people.
There are inconsistencies between the Gospels, so the words are as remembered, not as spoken.

[brick wall] Leaving aside all considerations of who wrote the Gospels, when, and how accurately they record any words by some guy they refer to as Jesus, it is a fact that the text makes reference to a beginning, a middle (where we now are, as I see it) and a future end.

My view of the text is that it attempts to make sense of the middle in the light of events at the beginning and the end. It does so all over the place.

Inconsistencies and other problems notwithstanding, there is a linear progression to it which I can't separate from its meaning (which does not mean I have to accept every aspect of it is literally true, by the way).

I personally find attempts to salvage something worthwhile out of the middle whilst throwing away the idea that there is also a beginning and an end less convincing than attempts to understand it as a linear, eschatalogical whole.

Specifically, in the context of this thread, that means that to my mind, in the field of human relationships, the middle (where we now are) is the territory of compromise and accommodation conducted in an awareness of universal imperfection on the one hand, universally accessible grace on the other, and enduring hope.

That is all.

[ 04. April 2016, 06:33: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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